Win Some, Lose Some

Author's Notes:

Disclaimer: All the Twilight stuff belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm just mashing her potatoes.

Summary: Disorder has always been an issue for me - I just can't stand the unexpected. Everything in my life has been turned upside down, and I have no one to turn to. Do I?

What the heck are you doing, Savy?

I have no idea, but I'm blaming Cejsmom again (this is her plot bunny). I'm as addicted to posting daily as you are to reading it.

It says Romance/Humor, but as per usual with dribble/drabble/Quick Fic (I like this term), I have no idea where this is going yet. There will likely be angst and drama. I'll probably know by chapter 20 and I'll change the categories if necessary. All the usual warnings apply. I'll probably piss you off at some point. Read at your own risk and don't whine about it later. I say that with love.

I always thought the lottery was a tax on people with poor math skills.


Chapter 1

"Oh shit, shit, shit," I mumbled under my breath as I stared at the rear bumper of my car. It wasn't all that bad, but it was caved in and completely nonsymmetrical. I could feel the panic rising into my chest, and I tried to swallow it down as I turned towards the footsteps I heard coming up behind me.

"Dude, what the fuck?" a big blond guy with a ratty ponytail snapped at me. "Yellow doesn't mean stop, you idiot!"

"Illumination of the yellow/amber light denotes, if safe to do so, prepare to stop short of the intersection," I heard myself mumble in response. "I had time to stop. I can't afford to get a citation."

"Citation?" the blond guy snapped. "You mean a ticket? You don't get a fucking ticket for going."

His words didn't make any sense at all – there was nothing in the law that said it wasn't a ticketed offense – it was. I studied it thoroughly for my test. If the light had been red, surely he would have thought running it was reason for a ticket. I looked back into his pale, blue, kind of blank eyes.

Maybe he wouldn't.

"It's a good thing you didn't dent up my car," he said as he stood right next to me and glared into my eyes. From his stature and demeanor, I got the idea he was used to being taller than most guys, but we met nearly eye-to-eye. He had at least forty pounds on me, though, so the effect wasn't dissimilar.

"I'm sorry-" I started to say, but he interrupted me.

"I'd say you are!" His laugh was full of menace.

"I'm sorry," I repeated, "but you are in clear violation. If you could just give me the name of your insurance company-"

He took half a step forward and poked his finger into my chest twice.

"Fuck. You."

I swallowed hard. I knew how to defend myself, but every martial art I had ever studied demanded strict adherence to the rules – only use it if there is no other choice. I still had some choices left.

"Excuse me, sir," I said with a little more conviction, or at least between clenched teeth. "But you rear-ended me. You are clearly at fault, and there is damage to my vehicle…"

I made a sweeping gesture towards my bumper, cringing a little at the sight. I wouldn't be able to drive it like this – not knowing the bumper was back here, looking the way it does. I wouldn't be able to concentrate.

I pushed back another pending deluge of panic. I couldn't let that happen here at the edge if the street, and in front of this Neanderthal . I took a couple of deep breaths, wishing I had enough money to go back to the therapist.

"Well, considering the piece of shit you call a car," they guy said, "I'd consider it a mercy killing. Here-"

He shoved a little piece of paper at my chest, which then fluttered to the ground.

"Consider us even." He laughed again as he turned around, got back into his car, and drove away.

I leaned down and picked up the bit of paper – I couldn't stand having litter in the street – and saw that it was one of those Powerball lottery tickets. I sighed. I always thought the lottery was a tax on people with poor math skills. It fit the stereotype of the guy perfectly.

It didn't matter – I saw his license plate and I would just let the insurance company deal with it. Having an uncle in the insurance business had definitely been a blessing over the past six months. He made sure the car and the house were covered so I wouldn't freak out. Emmett was cool that way, like my dad.

Like my dad was.

I closed my eyes, took another couple of long breaths, and got back into the driver's seat. I tried to wipe my mind clear of the image of the bumper, but of course it didn't work. I had to pull over twice to get myself back into driving condition before I completed the three mile drive home.

Home.

The house was in a nice neighborhood, but nothing extravagant. Three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths – a typical suburban place with a small yard and a mailbox with a cedar post. More than anything it was…quiet.

I walked in and dropped my book bag down on the little bench in the foyer before getting myself a glass of water. Mostly I ate stuff out of the freezer that I could heat up in the microwave, but I hadn't cooked any actual food for three days, and I tried to force myself to make some real food at least a couple of times a week.

All the recipes were set to feed four people. All of them, I swear.

I put my glass in the spotless kitchen sink.

I took the glass out again, filled the sink, washed the cup, and then washed out the sink and dried it off until there were no water marks at all. I had completely lost my appetite, so I went into the den to do my homework.

Everything in there was pretty much how my dad left it – papers, notes and books all over the place. I couldn't stand messes, never could, but I couldn't bring myself to clean it up, either. Mom was more like me – she wouldn't even walk in here.

She had been.

Had been.

Past tense.

Passed on.

Passed away.

Deceased.

The words filled my mind, unbidden. I closed my eyes and hoped it would just stop, but of course it didn't. My mind rarely went in the directions I commanded. I had to get up and leave the den. I stopped in the family room, but even the name of the room still set me off into panic attacks sometimes. All I could think about was how I had argued with Mom over the cooking show she liked to watch all the time. I had wanted to watch Top Gear and they were always on at the same time.

I went back to the kitchen, thinking maybe I would cook something after all. I poked around in the cupboard filled with mostly packaged foods and ended up coming across a box of Thin Mints Mom had bought from a girl scout who lived down the street.

I lost it.

I couldn't stand any more heat, so I got out of the kitchen.


Chapter End Notes:

Gah! It's another one! I just...can't...stop...

I'll try to update at least every other day.

Enjoy whatever the heck this turns into.

...

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