Disclaimer:I don't own Breakout Kings or anything related to it. The lyrics are Wherefore Art Thou Elvis by the Gaslight Anthem.


The Long Road Home

Walking in my old man shoes, with my scientist heart
I got a fever and a beaker and a shot in the dark
I need a Cadillac ride, I need a soft summer night
Say a prayer for me, Senorita

The backseat of a car is no place for this sort of thing, and Lloyd cannot fathom why it seems so popular.

On thinking about it, though, he comes up with a couple of reasons. There is something rebellious about it (breaking the law, etcetera etcetera), there is the inherent symbolic freedom (car equals travel equals freedom, combined with such a wanton act celebrating youth and abandon), there's the sense of trapped heat that adds to the intimacy of it –

Stacy's teeth graze his ear and there's also the fact that it's one of the few places (if they find the right spot, out of sight) where teenagers can get some privacy to fuck.

"Ready?" she whispers. Her voice is a kind of fake-sultry that makes it sound as painted-up as her lips. Her breath is warm and tickles his ear and he can't remember the last time he was this close to someone who didn't used to breast feed him.

Lloyd isn't ready. He nods, and thumbs at the hem of her t-shirt, but he isn't anything close to ready. There's cheap lipstick smudged at the corner of his mouth (meant to taste like bubblegum, she said before, and but it just smells sweet) which feels uncomfortably sticky. Stacy drags her hands down his chest and pushes herself back a little. She reaches down to his belt and he guesses the look on her face is meant to be sexy or something. Above the shoulders, Stacy is all half-lidded eyes and glossy pouts and peroxide. Below, she's lean and kind of pale and her clothes have clearly been chosen for their removability. After all, they both knew exactly why they were headed out here tonight.

Stacy, Lloyd thinks, as she drops his belt onto the floor of the car, is what one would describe as easy. She verges on whore, but Lloyd didn't actually pay her for this. He paid someone else to bet her she wouldn't sleep with the creepy new guy, sure, but a guy's got to lose it somehow.

Her hands are drifting over the buttons of his shirt now. Shirt and pants and dress shoes on a date, Lloyd thinks (if this even counts as a date; what do you call a pre-organised hook up masquerading as a social convention?), and it couldn't be more obvious he didn't fit in here if he'd brought his diploma tacked to his chest. Her hands are the only human part of her: her nails are unpainted and chewed, a little, except one nail that's torn right down and looks like it bled not long ago. Lloyd wonders what she's nervous about and thinks about the sticky patch at the corner of his mouth. Stacy unbuttons his shirt.

He is wearing a vest underneath, which he is sure is another thing sixteen year old boys aren't supposed to do. They're also not supposed to have just graduated from Harvard, or to sneak in to high school, or to have exam revision cards hidden in their shoes to calm them down. Stacy laughs and says, "what the hell's this thing?" when she tugs at the vest, and Lloyd thinks that it's a testament to how out of his depth he is right now that he doesn't explain. He helps her work it off and it goes, along with his shirt, onto the floor.

The shirt's definitely going to get creased, and his mother will probably want to know why.

Stacy slips off the seat to kneel in front of him, awkward and splayed on the skinny car-carpet. When she moves to unzip his pants and pull them down, Lloyd starts counting. Every one of her movements counts as one, and he counts one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine, before starting again, pausing in threes if he can. One-two-three, zip, zip, open; four-five-six, left leg, right leg, right leg again; seven-eight pause, left, right, why is she pausing – nine is a long stroke pulling them down, and as they hit his ankles, lifting his feet is one and two.

She sweeps her arms around behind her back, under her ponytail, and unclips her bra. The material falls away, and Lloyd has to acknowledge how much nicer breasts look when willingly presented. Stumbling into the ladies' changing rooms at college, pretending he was lost, was less rewarding in terms of visible areolas. He reaches out (clumsy, hits her shoulder with one hand and grabs way too hard at her left breast to steady himself) and Stacy favours him with another lacquered smile. There's a kind of vacant interest in her eyes, and she seems to be focusing on each step after each step. Pants to boxers (except he doesn't wear boxers, he wears – well, whatever, she's taking them off) to starting the s-e-x-u-a-l parts of this thing, and so on and so on, until it gets to getting dressed and driving home.

Lloyd's completely naked now, and Stacy is struggling out of her skirt in the cramped space between the back of the seats and Lloyd's groin. When she leans forwards, her breasts (another reason why he angled in on her for this, though he won't lie, her reputation was a selling point) brush against the tops of his legs, oh-so-close to naughty parts, and Lloyd shivers.

Stacy notices, and laughs. That's one thing he does like about her, really, is her laugh. Stacy doesn't giggle, she doesn't titter, and she doesn't smirk. She laughs. It's an admittedly little sound, keening and wiry, but it's genuine. Two human things, then. She thinks it's funny that her breasts arouse him. He can't blame her. The physical change accompanying male arousal is pretty damn stupid.

He's struck by the sudden worry about how he 'measures up' compared to the other guys she's been with. He supposes if he really went to her high school (instead of having just snuck in after arriving home early from college to try to see what other kids his age were doing with their lives) he'd be worried she'd tell people things about tonight. But he's not really going to go back there, not after he's got all he wanted out of the place. Besides, he has to start his summer reading.

Stacy starts doing something with her hands and her mouth. It sends jolts through him that make his legs go weak and his head go fuzzy and his throat scrabble to catch his breath before it hits the air. He starts listing his reading in his mind. The revision cards are a solid lump beneath his heel. He wishes he could curl his toes around them. He's positioned them wrong, he thinks, as he hears a packet being opened and feels something being rolled over his cock.

He tries counting but Stacy pulls herself up without warning, and all of Lloyd's world is suddenly taken over by pale flesh and the rising-falling pattern of her breasts and strands of blonde hair. She sinks quickly, and he gets a single-second flash of her smile again, before the heat hits him. Stacy shifts, and when she seems to have gotten comfortable, she starts to rock against him. One of her hands stays at the base of his neck, cradling his head, the whole time.

When it's over (and Lloyd won't lie, it didn't take long. Probably didn't even take short) Stacy stays there for a few seconds. There's a weird mix of cold and hot here in the backseat – there's sweat and breath and body heat and then there's the cool of the night air against the windows. Her hand is in his hair and her cheek is against his and she's breathing fairly regularly. Lloyd's panting a little bit, and his mouth is very dry, except for the corner which is still sticky. He licks his lips (she can't see him now and he thinks his lips are dry enough to merit it) and finally catches it.

A few moments later, Stacy draws back. She climbs off, and slides onto the seat next to him. She bends for her clothes, so Lloyd does the same, and focuses so hard on getting the right buttons in the right holes that he doesn't pay any attention to her getting dressed, or how she cleans herself up.

He forgets to put his vest back on, and bundles it underneath his shirt before tucking the tails into his pants. Last, he slips his belt round behind him, and tightens it up front. He checks his collar in the rear view mirror.

His mother will probably know.

Stacy opens the door on her side and steps out, rounding to the driver's side. Lloyd gets out too, to move up front. The drop in temperature is sudden and noticeable and he really wishes he hadn't forgotten to put his vest on. It sits against his stomach and rides up awkwardly when he settles into the passenger seat. Stacy winds down her window as she reverses out of the lane. Lloyd buckles up (safety first) and notices that Stacy doesn't.

There's meaning in that, somewhere. Maybe it's that she can't be bothered, even if it could save her life.

Maybe that's what life means to her.

Stacy flips on the radio. Guns 'N' Roses crackles out, and she turns up the volume. She taps the wheel in time to the beat as she winds her way back towards the house Lloyd told her he lived at, her face pleasantly blank. He's probably overanalysing her.

Is it weird they didn't sit around afterwards?

She pulls up to the curb some five minutes of semi-silence later (Lloyd was silent anyway; Stacy was singing along to Michael Jackson mostly out of tune) and leans across him to open the door. She gives him one last smile. She really is pretty, Lloyd thinks, underneath it all. She's kind of athletic, too, and practically reeks of teenage independence. He doesn't reckon he'll ever see her again. Maybe if he ever comes back as a guest lecturer to the school, he might see her picking up her kids.

"This is your stop," Stacy says, as Lloyd unclips his seat belt. "Night, Liam."

She doesn't bother with faking out lines like 'I had a really good time' or 'maybe we can do this again' (which he had been dreading), so he doesn't say, "My name is Lloyd." He swings shut the door, and Stacy drives off into the night. He watches until her headlights round a corner, and then turns and walks the other way.

He lives about ten minutes away – by foot – from where Stacy dropped him off. He knows he's probably going to get called out on where he was tonight, and knows his mom is probably going to wring every last sordid detail out of him, but there's no point in dragging Stacy into it. He winds through deserted streets that are so barren he decides to walk down the middle of the road.

So that was what all the fuss was about, he thinks. He can see why sex would be pretty enjoyable, if it was with a girl you really liked and all of that. When he finds one, Lloyd would probably like to give it a go. Properly. Training wheels off.

Maybe one day.

The porch light is on, so she is probably still up waiting for him. He's resigned, trudging up to the front door, and ready for the bitter rounds of questioning he'll get fired at him in about twenty seconds. Where were you? Who do you think you are? The sacrifices I've made for you, and you so ungrateful as to wander off… What do you smell of? Where have you been? How did you –

He's as quiet as he can, opening the door, hoping she'll appreciate the effort (knowing she won't). He locks up afterwards, nervous, expecting every moment to be the one where the silence rips with "Lloooooyd?"

He turns towards the living room. The TV is still on, playing infomercials, so maybe a film finished a while ago or something. There's an empty tumbler on the coffee table and his mum is slumped sideways on the couch, snoring, her cheeks red and her mouth lolling open.

Lloyd turns off the TV, and puts the lamp on instead of the ceiling light. He slips off his shoes (taking out the revision cards – the top one is sweaty and ruined and they didn't help much anyway) and pulls the vest out from under his shirt. He leaves his shirt tails untucked, just to be rebellious.

At the top of the stairs, he realises that his mom probably didn't even notice he was gone.