A Little Help From My Friends
"I really hate that name," he said lowly, rolling his eyes as he squeezed Poppy’s shoulder, as if by doing it she would tell him the truth. He turned his eyes into slits as he locked his eyes onto the greens he almost forgot, green eyes he thought told him something, but really nothing. Glancing at her hands that held onto his arms, he clenched his jaw. It was still there, that shock that always coursed through him everytime she touched him. Sometimes he wondered if she was hiding a second ability from him, an ability that would explain why he always felt something when it was her. Yup, she has that electric power shit, he thought to himself as he let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.
Before he knew it, she threw him aside with surprising force and jumped out of his truck. Bending at her waist, Brad walked right beside her. He began to rub soothing circles on her back as she continued to throw up, worry, once again, coming up his face as he glanced around the decently packed parking lot. “There, there?” he said as a feeble attempt to suck away the suck that was happening to her at the moment. For a moment, his hand hovered above her hair, not knowing exactly if he should pull it away from her face so that the puke doesn’t get on it. But even before he had the chance to decide, Poppy quickly stood up and glared at him.
Moving back, he raised his hands in front of him, his head tilting to the side as he was met by those glaring green eyes. “I helped,” he said. “I rubbed your back and stuff so don’t look at me like I did that to you.” Chuckling at his own joke, he immediately cleared his throat when he noticed no reaction whatsoever from Poppy. Craning his neck to hear what she was saying, he took a step towards her while also making sure to bypass the puddle of puke right beside his car. “Okay, first of all, I doubt that,” he said, the tone of his voice light as he mimicked how she stood. “Secondly, that was disgusting but I’m giving you a pass because you look like shit right now. No offense.” Taking another step towards her, he pushed the hand that was on her hip away and set his own on her shoulder. Bending on his knees to level his eyes with her, he offered her a smile. “Lastly, do you want orange juice or apple? Or should I just stick with the norm and get ginger ale for the ill?”
Nodding his head at her answer, Brad guided Poppy inside the truck through the small of her back and helped her settle into her seat. His arm brushed on her own and his eyebrows furrowed. For someone who can play with fire, she’s a bit clammy. Glancing up to look at her, he smiled at her once again before going over to the driver seat to start the truck and put the A/C back on.
Before heading into the pharmacy, Brad warned Poppy not to mess with his truck, a homage of sorts to a running inside joke they both had a year ago.
He didn’t take long inside the store, like all of the dispatches he had at the station, he was in and out. He got the juice that she wanted, some gatorade, a few crackers and a beer for himself.
There was a chill in the air as soon as he walked out of the store, the skies now dark as the stars slowly brightened up above him, the moon was behind the clouds somehow, and the streets were slowly filling up. Must be close to rush hour, he thought to himself as he walked towards his car.
Settling into his seat, Brad placed the bag on his lap and opened it before handing her her juice and opening the bag of crackers he bought. “Not really sure what’s going on, but you look sick. You sound sick. And something sick just came out of your body too,” he said to her as he shifted the gears of the truck and peeled out of the driveway. “I should bring you to a hospital.”
Poppy wasn’t sure what exactly was happening between the pair as they stood in that parking lot, her lopsided grin only on her face to keep the disgust off her expression and shifting from foot to foot only due to how she needed to ignore the pain in her body. As Brad mimicked her, mocking her with his damned witty tongue, she tried to focus on his words, focus on his face that hadn’t changed after all that time.
“Sucks for you, huh?” She had quickly replied to his first statement about the name, her breathing a bit heavy. “Dick, dick, dick!” Lowering her head, she gave a laugh, though it almost came out as another wave of vomit.
For some reason she wasn’t wanting to give him the credit of at least being a semi-calming presence as she managed to barf everything out onto his truck and then offer to go inside and pick something up for her. There were so many things wrong with this situation that not even her sick body and mind could deny. This guy, who she had strung along a while back, was sticking beside her as if they were thick as thieves and she had done no wrong. True friendship, she figured.
Licking her lips, she nodded at him, putting a hand up to indicate he stop talking. As she lifted her green eyes up to lock with his own, she found that ball of sick crawling back up her throat, but this time it being for completely different reasons than the withdrawal that was coming hard and fast. He was still handsome as shit, time had been good to him and he still gave her that funny feeling deep inside. Feelings she never really told him about. Or did she?
“Bro, you need to not name off everything in the damn store, kay?” Poppy cleared her throat and raked her fingers through her hair and nodded after a moment when she was able to tear her eyes from his own. “Water.”
Brad was there for her, helping her back into the truck and not daring to say a thing, nor was she going to say anything in return that might somehow ruin a Kodak moment between these two people. Poppy felt chills creep up her spine like a wildfire when their arms brushed and while she wanted to blame it all on the drugs, she knew it was something else. Casting her eyes away from the man, she felt his presence move away as he moved away from her and over to the driver’s side where he turned on the ignition and turned on the air.
It felt heavenly against her face, though she didn’t want to make it seem so. Clenching her jaw she didn’t even thank him and when he spoke and his voice boomed in the cab of the truck she glared over at him, her heart skipping a beat that only made her more uncomfortable, she heard his warning and a grin slid across her pained face.
“Shut up,” she grumbled as she shook her head, allowing the man to go on his way as she struggled to keep whatever contents remained in her stomach there. Leaning back in the cushioned seat, she closed her eyes, blindly reaching out her hand to move the air vents to where they pushed the much needed cold air against her sweating forehead and neck.
“Keep it together,” the blonde mutant demanded of herself. In her mind this statement was for both the sickness and the feeling to just burst into tears and somehow become a fucking girly girl and apologize for whatever came to mind. Damned emotions, the woman mentally thought. Prison, whether she wanted to admit this shit or not, had changed her.
As she sat there, relishing in the cool breeze of the AC, she wondered what he was doing inside. Was he lost in the aisles? Did he know where he was going? How good did he look in those sexy ass jeans? That last little mental thought caused her to let out a deep throaty chuckle before she felt her pocket vibrate from her cellphone.
Furrowing her brow, she peered to her pants and began feeling around, only to see the fabric of her coat lighting up. Reaching into her pocket she slowly took the phone out, finding a familiar face and number peering back at her. Suddenly she groaned, it was her grandfather, probably curious as to where she was. Biting her lip she ignored it and slid it back into her coat, hoping to come up with a good excuse to where she had been the past week.
When she saw Brad come out of the store, she shifted in her seat, trying to look a little better than before, but that had to have been in vain since she felt like asshole, and when the man fell into his seat and handed her her water, he only confirmed her thoughts. Poppy wanted to give him a halfhearted teasing ‘fuck you’, but she refrained and let him continue talking, but he mentioned the hospital and it was like alarms blaring loudly in her ears.
“No!” She said rather defensively, sitting straight up and almost half ready to bounce out of his truck. If she were to be found with drugs in her system she’d be in violation of her parole, thrown back in jail, and her grandpa would have her ass out on the street. He had told her this was her last chance and she did not want to blow it. But fucking peer pressure from time to time was a bitch, as were those people back in that house.
“No hospital, I’ve just got food poisoning.” Poppy didn’t make her story sound so solid, but she didn’t care, she knew the guy relatively well enough to know he wouldn’t take her where she didn’t wanna go. At least, she hoped.
“Just…can we just…I need to sleep this off, man.”