Note: This just came to me. Maybe it's the Buffy-verse overdose. I've watched all the episodes where people lose their memories or regress to adolescence. This chapter may or not may not have any impact on the story canon but it's a fun fluffy ride. Considering the next few chapters are not going to be very light (Kilo's mother and then her sister show up and they are both Barbara-esque, Dee deals with her situation and Mac realizes a few things) this is needed.
Also, in reponse to Emma McCloud: I thought about it and you were right. You have motivated me to try harder for my readers. I have decided to not post just because and aim for 1500 words or higher. Because my readers are the best readers ever, because you guys are nice, supportive and all sorts of good things. It's been a rough time since I moved and it's affected my writing. But no longer! The updates may be farther apart (like this one), but I hope that changes
soon. Things have been getting better.
It was a normal December afternoon. The gang minus Frank was at the bar. It was empty of patrons, since a big snow storm was supposed to be bearing down. No one had bothered to watch the news or read the paper so they had no idea was heading for them. The guys were at the bar, drinking beer and debating caveman vs. astronauts. Dee was in a booth, eating a foot long veggie delite. The kid was on a vegetarian kick these days. She was also helping Kilo dig through a box of her things that her mom had sent her. It was her high school stuff, mostly books and her old uniform. A stack of books was on the floor, all of them from her sophomore year.
"I fucking hate you," Dee said, half joking. Kilo was clad in a blue plaid skirt, a white blouse, a blue tie and a gray flannel blazer. "I tried my jeans from high school and they split."
"Years of stimulant abuse and a couple years of an eating disorder," Kilo muttered and went to model her uniform for Charlie. Mac got up and went to grab some napkins from Dee's table as she picked up a weird fake jeweled egg.
"What the fuck is that?" Mac snatched it out of her hands and shook it. Something inside it rattled. "I wonder what's in there." He fiddled with the latch.
As soon as he opened it, everyone became very tired. Dee slumped in her seat, her face planting in her napkins. Mac's knees buckled and he landed half in the booth, his head on her lap. Dennis fell onto the floor behind the bar. Charlie and Kilo fell onto the floor, knocking their heads together.
"Who the fuck are you people?"
Dennis Reynolds had never seen this place before in his life. The last thing he remembered was leaving St. Joe's and being about to cross the parking lot so his mom could take him clothes shopping. They had gone the night before but he needed to pick out a few more things and since his dad had gotten a Christmas bonus, his mom was going to treat herself and her favorite child.
The people with him were all older than he was. There was a blonde lady who reminded him of his mom, especially the look on her face. The guy that had been laying on her lap had no sleeves on his cheap looking t-shirt. He looked like a poor person. So did the other guy, who had on what looked like army surplus rejcts and smelled like shit. The fourth person was wearing a prep school uniform and the expression of a startled drug addict.
The others stared blankly at him. "I don't know why I'm around all you old-"
"Dude, you're like 30," the prep school chick snorted. She was practically climbing the wall, sitting as far away from everyone as she could. "Look, I don't know you people. And I have a chem test tomorrow, so I'm just going to go." She made no move to go anywhere though.
"I am not! I'm 16!" Dennis protested.
"No you're not!" the blonde woman laughed. "I'm sixteen."
"No, I am!" the sleeveless guy said. This went on in circles, everyone claiming to be a teenager, despite not looking it, until the blonde woman broke out her compact and passed it around. Dennis screamed.
"I'M OLD!" he put his head in his arms and began to cry. Everyone just stared at him.
"Hi, I'm Dee Reynolds," the blonde woman said.
"No you're not," Sleeveless said. "You're hot."
"Thank you," she said. "What's your name?"
The man paused for a moment, before mumbling "Ronald McDonald."
"No way! Ronnie….you look good."
Dee and Ronnie started chatting it up while the other two stared at everyone else before turning to each other.
"Katherine." She shrank back from his offered hand, her eyes darting behind the bar. "Look, I don't know what happened, but I want to go home." She got up, climbing over the seats, her schoolgirl skirt riding up a bit.
"Charlie, is that you bro?" Ronnie nearly leapt over the table to give him a hug. "You look the same!
"You finally got ripped, man!"
A minute later, Katherine came back, thing shoulders damp. "It's snowing. A lot." She grabbed some things off the table where the others were and went to sit at another booth.
"Do you think we own this bar?" Charlie asked, looking around.
"Dude, let's find out!" Ronnie said and they went for the back office. Dee kept eating the sandwich in front of her before deciding to go through her purse. She wondered what her grownup self was up to. Apparently she had a very fancy looking device, a cat, and she was having a baby.
Dee smiled and wrapped her arms around her stomach. She wondered who the father was. Did he care? Were they even together? The person she was now always wanted to be a mother, but only if there was a father. She wanted her kids to have one of those TV families, because on TV people had their issues, but they loved each other. Dee wondered all the time if she was loved at all. No kid should have it and this baby wouldn't, even if it turned out the dad was a total tool and had ditched her.
"We own this bar!" Ronnie whooped. "Me, Charlie and Dennis!" Dennis had gone to drink, figuring that whatever had happened, it meant he was somehow able to drink. "Okay, that explains why we're here. But why are Sweet Dee and Red here?"
"Well, I'm pregnant apparently," Dee offered, waving her sonogram in the air. "So I have no idea."
"You're pregnant?" Ronnie asked, sliding into the spot next to her. He thought for a moment. "Wait, when we woke up, I was laying on your lap and I think you're hot now. Maybe it's my baby and you were visiting me."
"That might be it!" Dee squealed with delight. "I'm not very far along, I think. Maybe I was showing you the picture thing!" She flung her arms around his neck and they hugged. For teenagers (at least mentally) they were very excited about being parents. Maybe some of their adult maturity clung to their brains.
Ronnie was excited because A. making babies was what good Catholic did, though he had fucked up by not marrying her. B. he had been thinking about being a dad since some sophomore who had 'went to live with her aunt for a semester' had snuck in to show her kid to her friends and Ronnie had gotten to hold it. Babies were cute, and it was hard work, but he kinda thought it would be cool. At least he knew what not to do. Besides, a man stuck by his kid, not matter what. His old man had taught him that much at least.
Both of them wondered why and how they had gotten here, and if they had been asked, both of them would say they had been able to live it. No doubt that it had been romantic and awesome.
Dennis had passed out and was put in the office. He was half asleep at the desk, mumbling a lot. A few hours had passed the storm was not letting up.
Ronnie and Dee were playing games on their fancy phones. The storm must have messed up service, Katherine explained. She had explained cell phones to the gang, as those had not been a big thing when they were 16. They were bigger in her 'time' though they had not been as impressive as the ones that Ronnie, Dee and Dennis had possessed. Charlie's phone had been closer to the ones from her time.
After they had calmed down a bit, they had gathered to discuss their situation. After a really long time, they had concluded that something had either set their minds back to their younger selves or their had been a brain switch. It was probably the first idea, since the future would have changed a bit if their older selves had been running around even for a little while. Dennis would have probably severed ties with the gang, since he considered this life awful. Ronnie and Dee would have hooked up sooner, and maybe she wouldn't even be pregnant right now and Katherine wouldn't have ever gone anywhere near Philly, since the way she was acting indicated that she did not want to be here. Charlie was the only one who wouldn't have changed anything. He was pretty happy. His ID had informed him that he had a place of his own, and he still had his best bros.
At the moment, Charlie had come back from the bathroom and he was holding a purse. He walked over to Katherine and set it down next to her pile of stuff. She was staring at an open textbook and sheets of paper, her eyes a bit wild with pen and various highliter inks staining her hand. He took a glance at what she was studying. It did not look like any sort of English.
"I think this is your purse," he said. Katherine grabbed it and gave him that same look people who thought he was a thief gave him. "I didn't take anything."
"It's not like I would know what was gone," she pointed out. "You aren't in Advanced Placement Chemistry, are you?" He shook his head. "Shit. My final is tomorrow, and I don't know if I…" She paused and slapped her hand to her forehead. "Obviously I failed. Why else would I be here?" She groaned and let her head fall to the table. "Fuck my life."
"Things can't be that bad. Your phone is fancy," Charlie said. It was weird. Whenever he looked at her, some weird feeling came over him, like he wanted to just hug her and make it better. Maybe it was because she looked really sad.
"Really?" she said, turning to look at him slowly. She dumped her purse onto the booth's seat. Inside were her wallet (according to her new license, she lived in Philly now), a coin purse, two tampons, hand sanitizer, some makeup, a pen, a nail file, some mints, pepper spray, a bunch of the big kind of scrunchies, Advil, a set of keys, a pair of joints and a fancy cell phone. After fumbling a bit, she turned it on. The screen showed the date and time, along with a picture of Charlie and Katherine cheek to cheek, and smiling. Her eyes went really big at the sight.
"So, I guess we're pretty good friends," Charlie said, staring at her phone. Katherine shrugged and began to flip through her phone's photo album. These people in the bar were in almost all of her pictures, Dee and Charlie being in the most.
"How did I get here? I have a 5.0 GPA. I am supposed to be in med school at this age. Not in a bar, wearing my old uniform for no reason and doing drugs!" Katherine tugged at her hair. She turned to Charlie and cocked her head. There was something about him that made her want to confide in him, give him a hug and then go to something ape shit crazy.
"How did we get here?" she asked, leaning back in her chair.
"I don't know," Charlie replied, taking one of her breath mints.