A/N: Inspired by RT Animated Adventures, Gus vs. the Machete Man. According to the wiki, York's real name is actually James. Seeing as I have absolutely no idea where the heck they got this info from, I named them all after their voice actors.
None of the Freelancers were entirely sure how they had gotten onto the topic of childhood –personal subjects were generally avoided. But they had gotten onto it, and found one common factor: throwing rocks.
"So, what's your story, York?" North asked.
"Like something out of a horror movie," York replied. "It went like this…"
Sean, later York, threw a small rock further than before, but still far behind Alex's. They, along with Micah, were having a competition to see who could throw a rock from the hill the furthest into the college's football field.
"Not bad," Alex said with a cocky grin. "Just not as good as me."
"Shut up," Sean replied, giving his friend a punch on the shoulder.
Micah shook his head at them, before throwing a rock that landed –
–right next to the guy who had walked on the field.
The college kid stopped, and looked around for the source of the rock. He saw the three boys high on the hill, and screamed at them.
"Stupid kids, watch where you're throwing those things! Someone could get killed!"
"Yeah? Well watch where you're walking?" Alex yelled back.
"Should we be insulting him?" Sean asked. "He's bigger than us."
"And he probably has friends…" Micah agreed.
"What's he gonna do?" Alex laughed, then yelled to the college guy, "What are you gonna do?"
College Guy seems to consider this seriously for a moment, before walking out of the stadium. The three boys kept an eye on him as he walked through the parking lot, opened the boot of his car… and pulled out a machete.
"You're freaking kidding me," Micah said. "A machete?"
"Time to go," Sean said, running down the hill, away from the stadium, the car-park, and, most importantly, the big guy with the machete.
"Split up!" Alex yelled, and his friends complied. They were in the college campus now, and Alex headed for the dorms, Micah for the science buildings, and Sean for the art buildings.
It was a big college, and the art buildings shared a street with… music? Sean couldn't make out the signs; the streetlights weren't great, and it was past midnight.
The sound of squealing tyres froze Sean in his tracks, and the headlights of a car came crashing around the corner. The car screamed bloody murder as the brakes worked, bringing the car to a shuddering stop.
For a second, Sean really was a rabbit in the headlights. Until the engine cut off, and College Guy jumped out, still holding his machete.
"This guy's gotta learn to let go," Sean mumbled, before his legs caught up with his brain and he ran, pushing open an unlocked building.
The building was three storeys high, and Sean ran up to the second one. Thanking whatever god was listening, he jumped on the partially open door and quietly closed it behind him. The couple that were in there glared at him, but his wide eyes and general out-of-breath appearance shut them up.
When Sean heard the guy rightoutsidethedoor, his heart froze. The couple, a young woman with a nose ring and a young man with purple hair, looked scared too, the semi-transparent window at the top of the door showcasing the machete College Guy held.
Sean slowly relaxed as he heard the footsteps fade away, and waited two minutes before waving goodbye to the thoroughly confused couple and cautiously leaving the room. The College Guy could vaguely be heard messing around one floor up, so Sean quietly jogged down the stairs and out the door, and then leaving the campus for his home.
"Guys," York finished, "I thought I was dead."
"South and I were throwing rocks at the beach," North began. "Mainly at the water, but sometimes at some of the boulders, too. We had a little competition, too; to see if either of us could break the rock we were throwing in half."
Ben and Shana scrambled over the rocky beach, looking for nice, crumbly pebbles. The wind blew Shana's hair right into her face, and she snarled before brushing it away.
"You alright, sis?" Ben asked.
"Brilliant," Shana growled back.
The twins stood on relatively flat ground, taking aim at the boulders. Their first few shots achieved nothing, neither twin winning the competition that was suddenly incredibly important, though it hadn't existed for more than five minutes.
Eventually, the rock Shana held felt weak, like she could snap it with her bare hands. Grey eyes glinting, she hurled it at a sharp-edged, tall boulder. It snapped straight down the centre, one half flipping gracefully into the air, landing on the other side.
Shana gave Ben a smug smile, and he shrugged in defeat.
Then they heard a dog barking.
"The hell?" Shana asked.
A dog –a German Shepherd, to be exact –jumped around the boulders, over the rocks, towards the twins.
"Oh, come on!" Shana snapped, at the same time Ben yelled, "Run!"
The twins were fast, avoiding the beach rocks until they were on the grass. The Shepherd was right behind them, and they had no chance of outrunning it.
"There!" Ben yelled, pointing at a tree.
The twins jumped to the lowest branches and pulled themselves up just as the dog leaped, nipping at their heels. Shana and Ben stared wide-eyed at the beast, a few centimetres the only thing separating them from its teeth.
"Now what?" Shana snapped.
"The owners will call it off," Ben told her.
Said owners arrived quickly, a small family jogging up to their dog and the tree with the twins.
"Call it off," Shana ordered.
"Please?" Ben added.
"A rock hit our dog," the man said. "Did you throw it?"
"The dog's –" Shana started.
"Did. You. Throw. It?" the man repeated.
"Well, yes," Ben started diplomatically, "but we weren't aiming at your dog, sir."
"You shouldn't be throwing rocks at all," the woman lectured. "Someone could get hurt."
"Really?" Shana snapped.
"You can't just leave us up here," Ben said, looking pointedly at the German Shepherd biting at his feet.
"I suppose we can't," the woman agreed, nodding towards the child. The little girl whistled, and the Shepherd bounded to her, still growling at the twins. The family walked away, leaving Shana and Ben to climb down the tree, and then run back home.
"My turn," Carolina said. "Ever throw a rock at your teacher?"
The food fight had, predictably, gotten way out of hand. Jen didn't even know who had started it, and she didn't care. While her friends (as well as quite a few of her enemies) were now covered in what could be called 'food' (if you were being polite), she was clean. More or less.
Jen laughed as she threw a mandarin, hard, at the annoying jock who always flirted with her, and about fifty different girls. With her blazing red hair being backlit by the sun, she would've looked incredibly badass if it were a fire-fight.
"STOP!" someone yelled. The teenagers barely listened, but the food fight slowly stopped. The principal, red-faced and fuming, walked through the sea of teens.
"NEVER, IN MY YEARS AS AN EDUCATOR, HAVE I SEEN SUCH HORRID BEHAVIOUR!" the principal screamed. Jen knew what was coming; a three hour lecture on their behaviour and how they could all be arrested in actual society.
Jen put a stop to it.
The other kids were frozen, so she slowly waded through to the edge of the courtyard where they ate. The courtyard was surrounded by gardens, and Jen crouched down, picking up a good-sized rock as a few of the students noticed what she was doing.
'No' several of them mouthed. 'Yes' more of them mouthed.
Majority rules, Jen decided, before hefting up the rock, and pegging it at the principal.
There was silence. The principal stopped talking, and the students stared. Then, as one, the students turned to Jen. Someone clapped, and then another, and then another, and then the whole school was cheering.
Digging her own grave a little deeper, Jen bowed and blew kisses, smiled and waved.
"JENNIFER!" the principal screamed. "MY OFFICE! DETENTION! IMMEDIATELY!"
Still blowing kisses, Jen skipped right past the principal, not caring how long she got suspended for.
"I was a school hero," Carolina announced.
"You know how in movies you always see those kids on the overpass, squirting ketchup or something like that onto cars?" CT asked.
Samantha leaned against the barrier, looking down at the cars speeding below the overpass. Her friends, Cameron and Jay, each held two big bottles of ketchup.
"Are you guys serious?" Sam asked them, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah," Jay said, goofy grin taking up half his face.
"What's wrong? Scared?" Cameron goaded.
"That doesn't work on me," Sam told them, turning her attention back to the innocent, shiny cars below. "And if you get caught, you could get in a lot of trouble."
"You are scared," Cameron said, trying to provoke her into joining them. "That's so cute."
"Shut up, Cammy," Sam snapped. Her friend scowled at the nickname.
"Whatever, Ant," Cameron returned. "I swear, you get more like a girl every day."
"Oh, for the love of –fine then," Sam snapped, taking one of Jay's bottles. "But I'm blaming you if we get caught."
They didn't get caught, not with the ketchup. They got yelled at by enraged drivers, sure, but that was to be expected. Anyone would get annoyed by red suddenly appearing on their windscreens. Despite their yelled threats, no one called the police about the two boys and a girl squirting ketchup from an overpass.
Soon enough, the bottles ran out.
"Damn," Cameron complained. "I'm out."
"Me too," Sam said, and Jay nodded.
"Just a moment too soon, as well," Jay added, nodding towards the rust-bucket of a vehicle that was lumbering towards the overpass. Within the vehicle was Dex, a bully from their school and someone they all hated.
"Well," Cameron said, the glint returning to his eye. "There's something we can do."
He bent over and scooped some of the larger pebbles from the side of the barrier, holding one out to Sam.
"You're kidding, right?" Sam asked. "Squirting ketchup was one thing, throwing rocks is another."
"Chickening out again, Ant?" Cameron leered. "What a baby."
"I don't know, man," Jay said. "This does seem pretty bad…"
"Whatever you two," Cameron snapped. "I'll do it myself."
Cameron gave Sam a rock anyway, and she took it with no intention of throwing it.
Cameron flipped the rock over in his hands a few times, before lifting his arm and pegging it.
The rock flew through the air, sailing towards the roof of Dex the Bully's car. It made contact, denting the roof above the passenger's side. The car pulled over, and Dex –as well as his big brother, who had been driving –hopped out.
"You bunch of idiots!" Dex yelled. "You screwed up my brother's car! You're paying for that!"
Dex continued to yell, reminding Sam just how much she hated him. His big brother didn't do him any favours either, calling the three friends some things better not repeated.
Eventually, after Dex insinuated something rather risqué about her relationship with Jay and Cameron, Sam had had enough. She raised her arm and threw the rock she held at the windscreen, making a large crack. There was a moment of silence before the three friends ran, the two brothers stumbling up the hill in pursuit.
The friends were fast, but the brothers caught up. They left Jay and Cameron with many bruises and scratches. Because Sam was a girl, they deemed that they could not hurt her. Instead, Dex's big brother picked her up, despite her struggles, and placed her in a tree.
The brothers left, congratulating each other. Jay and Cameron moaned on the ground, and Sam tried to figure out how she was going to get out of this tree without spraining an ankle.
Despite their many differences, the Freelancers could all agree on one thing:
The true purpose of childhood was to discover what you could and couldn't throw rocks at.