Squinting in the sunshine, John propped his sunglasses back in place, sweeping his eyes across the beach. No contest, which stung worse, the sun in his eyes or Aeryn picking up some damn surfer dude like taking delivery of a pizza. No, more casually.
Some ugly barge out in the water. Man even the view is spoiled.
What's next? Harvey again? Sure, Harvey, why not? John opened his mouth with a squint as he looks to the right down the beach.
Speak of the devil. There was Harvey. Standing with his back nearly facing John's way, holding his margarita (complete with an umbrella), hand in pocket, socializing casual as you please with a tight packed little crowd, all standing around something. Harvey glanced casually over, then overdid a double take, calling as if surprised to see him. "Ah, John! John, do come right over!" Harvey beckoned.
Two reasons to go. A distraction, and the detail that if he didn't go over, Harv would look him up anyway. A caterer had a little cart there, and John bought a Corona before facing the crowd. The party featured some bongos. "Whatcha got, Harv?"
Scorpius stepped aside and the crowd parted enough for John to see the silver wrap and barely-there-bikini clad Chiana moving in some weird but sexy dance to the bongos, blaring from a boom box lying on the sand. That explained the crowd. In fact he finds himself staring as hypnotized as the rest of the crowd. The gal had that effect. Harvey placed his hand on John's shoulder, jarring his attention back to the empty present.
"Consider it," Harvey hesitated, as he and his template Scorpius seemed to do every sentence, while both John and himself glanced a microt at Chiana stripping off her wrap to reveal the tiny bikini underneath to hoots from the crowd, "an object lesson in useless distraction."
John took one look at him: "Thank God Almighty for distraction, huh?"
While Scorpius looked blankly puzzled, Chiana turned off the boom box and started shooing off the crowd: "Okay, show's over, I'll ah catch you guys later, I'm gonna get in some time here, just going to deflect some rays, drop it or you'll lose your mivonks mister," she chopped, kicked and pushed a would-be boom box thief away.
"As she said John, the show is over, now we should return to something more fitting, such as, ah what could that be," Scorpius paused to look directly to John, "wormholes?"
"I said beat it, creepy," Chiana kicked and chopped a startled Scorpius with a "Huuuh" and a "Huah!" until he lay crumpled and half buried in sand.
"Very well for now John," Scorpius urgently declared as Chiana kept twisting his shoulder in her leglock, "but you waste our time from more important matters!"
"Maybe to you, Harv," John stepped up and nonchalantly helped Chi hurriedly burying him in the sand. One hand holding his Corona, John shoved some sand over Scorpy's margarita with his foot.
"Enjoy the sand, old crab," Chiana patted the finished sand mound and stood with a satisfied nod.
John then looked to her, a bit impressed. "How did you get a mind of your own?"
"You don't mind?"
"No, but this is my mind you know."
"Oh. Then never mind," she turned back around and settled front down onto a towel. "Have a seat," she offered.
He decided she must have meant the beach chair under the umbrella. He sat down, taking a moment or several to observe, in passing, that the tiny thong of that stretched-on bikini bottom doesn't look strong enough be holding, never mind take any motion. He shook his head to himself as he turned his gaze back out to the horizon, figuring it'd be so Pip to keep things interesting out here. In here. Whatever.
"Well what's up, Pip?"
"Yeah got the brush off."
"Aeryn," Chiana figured, sounding to him like she was saying it with a roll of her eyes.
"Yeah. She's got a lot to think about."
"Really? Such as? Being with you and being happy or maybe not but either way you're still the person she wants to be with and she's got nowhere to go anyway?"
"Not that easy."
"Nawp. But it is that simple," Chiana unfastened the back strap of her top.
John averted his glance back at her so he couldn't really see anything if there were anything showing. "Not anymore it ain't. It was. Maybe. Isn't now."
"Really?" she propped up on her elbows. "If you ask me, it just makes it simpler for both of you if she's pregnant. If she is. Not....that you asked."
"You don't," he glanced and quickly diverted from the display while she was enjoying shoving some sand in the gap of the side of his chair just to annoy him with a sandy nuisance, "damn Pip, you don't believe she is!?"
"Like I said, I'm not used to trusting anybody. You. Maybe. But that weirdo? No thanks."
"Will you knock it off! Damn, Pip!"
"Ah, lighten up, you'll feel better once you get some sand in your trunks!" she laughed as she worked some into the side of his trunks.
John shot her a wary eye and moved the chair out of reach.
"Aaw. Wan' me to help get the sand out for ya?"
"I'd feel safer using a crab," he remarked to himself, but her giggle said she heard that.
"Might do ya some good, enjoy yourself a little. Besides, if it's like you say, you gotta go slow on her. Give her some space." Chiana suggested, then rolled onto her front and started the boom box, far more softly than before.
"Bongos?" John queried.
"Yeah, it's soo....direct," she cackled a giggle.
"Aren't you full of surprises. I dunno Pip. It's pretty tough out here," John lamented, taking a swig. "I don't know which is worse, leaving it with her or it living with us. Screwed either way. Far as I can see." He glanced over his shoulder, catching the view and rolling his eyes up before focusing on the shore again.
Rolling her eyes up a bit, she scooped her hands into the sand and slapped the handfuls of sand onto her breasts, dropping her hands back down and looking flatly at John. John in turn looked flatly at her sandy covering a few microts.
"Yaap, just too weird" he eyed the shore before them as if on the lookout for something.
"Out here. Everything. Hell, I don't even know if Humans and Sebaceans can have kids, I mean, what's it going to be like? He still going to be heat intolerant or what?"
"Or maybe she," Chiana pointedly mused, pleasantly admiring her orange painted nails.
"Oh yeah. We had that round."
"Look, I'm in you're head, right?" she looked at him over the rim of her silver sunglasses. "So I know that. Lighten up: she'll be back."
"Wish I could buy that, Pip."
"Why not? It's true. You know it. Besides, where's she going to find someone kind and good like you? Not to mention be that much of a sap over her."
"You're welcome. Just stop being an ancient mudstick, have a little fun....wanna dance?" she scooted over enough to pull out the elastic of his trunks with a finger and let it snap back.
"Just - stop it!" he hotly ordered. She made an impressed face and laid back down. After a few microts and another swig, he felt a heel. "Sorry Pip. Guess the mudstick in me ain't swingin'. Wish you'd stop reading my mind though. Hell, wish everyone would."
"I didn't. But you asked about me. What's up with me. That could only mean you didn't want to talk about what happened with you. The rest I figured out."
He looked aside to her. "Sorry Pip." He looked back out to sea. "Got a lot on my mind. Go ahead. Shoot."
"Never mind." He got up, cranked up the boom box, knelt on the sand and took a swig. "Go, girl!"
She hurriedly fixed her top on and turned off the boom box. "I don't think so." He gawked, puzzled as she plopped back down and jerked her head aside to him: "Right now I'm working on my sungray."
"Women!" he declared heavenwards, throwing his hands up as he stood and started walking away. A clump of sand smacked him on the rear. "Ow! That stings!" he told Chiana with a point at her. He got another one in the same vicinity. In front. That stings more. "Uwww," he doubled over.
"Is something the matter?" Aeryn chided. He looked up, the stars parting enough to see her slowing up and turning backwards to watch him as she was jogging alongside some lifeguard hunk.
Whatever he muttered, she shrugged and jogged on a few paces until she was hit from behind. She turned around, not amused. John was just straightening. He followed her gaze back to Chiana, who lay on her towel with a leg straight up, admiring an orange painted toenail. Chiana looked back to them with a magnificent poker faced innocence. A microt later, John adds two and two, in time to yell and start leaping backwards, facing her with a finger out and headed towards the only protection, the beach chair: "No! Aeryn! That wasn't me! I didn't -"
"Aaw man," John lifted his head above the beach level and tried to crawl out of the trench Aeryn's industrial strength sandball knocked him into.
Scorpy popped up from the sand to his left. "You see, John! This is so much useless triviality. I suggest you go back to working on your wormholes." Scorpy got up and brushed off with a small hand broom.
"My wormholes, Harvey? Since when? And where are you going, if not snooping around my head for more information on wormholes?"
Scorpy tossed John the broom. "Off to work for you. I think I'll apologize for you," he starts jogging off after Aeryn.
"Harvey you -! You leave her the hell alone!" John kicked some sand. "Bad day. Very bad day." He started for the sea, then soon stopped. He looked over to his left. Chiana sat on her knees in the sand, her forearms folded on the seat of the beach chair, chin on her forearms, gravely watching him. He started a hum and headed over, leaping and knocking his heels together. Chiana smiled, running her tongue under her upper lip and cranking up the boom box as the bongos started the 1812.
John leapt and knocked his heels together, stopping to bend over the DRD and tap it awake. It bleeped up the 1812 as John picked up a marker and started notations on a fresh door panel.