Development Team (infinitely lucky to have them)
Artist (I still feel unworthy about working with him)
Special Thanks to Cerberus X and IceKitsune for their constructive criticism and allowing me to recreate my style and improve my ideas.
Many thanks to Sinder for his teachings, I'll never forget them. They mean a lot, really.
And special thanks to Strauss for being a fountain of inspiration and D-Singer for his research and support.OC cast
1. Aaron Morris by Dr. Prower
2. Wonderland "Wonder" Deeters by The Game
3. Stephanie Castle by The Game
-------------------------------------------Episode 1 - Just Starting OutPart 1:
Taking It SteadySometimes she'd console with me. How, no matter how hard things got, everything would be okay. I do the same for her, we share the comfort, share the pain. It's funny though, she doesn't know how well a job she does of keeping my mind off things. When she's with me it's hard to think about the end of the world.
The morning seemed uneventful, at first, for a certain black cat. The alarm clock, ever eager to welcome him to the day with it's ever punctual ringing, sang it's monotonous song so vigorously at his side. The sunlight peeked through his window striking directly at his face, spiking his eyelids.
Max smacked over his clock to shut it up, only to realize that it wasn't at his bedside table. Sabrina was testing a way to get people to wake up. Putting the alarm clock away from the bedside, forcing them to get up, was annoyingly clever of her.
He stood from his bed, holding the subverted pick he usually hung around his neck. He nestled it in between the strings of his guitar that lay against the wall before leaving his room then down the stairs, completely ignoring the alarm clock as he shut the door fast behind him.
He smelled the crisp scent of fresh fish cooked to perfection then beyond. Unnervingly beyond.
Max's eyes then widened as he rushed into his kitchen, finding the welcome sight of his feline girlfriend and an overcooked fish she juggled onto a plate.
"Ow ow!" Mesmerized by her morning presence, he then proceeded to forget she was actually cooking, much less burning the fish. Not even regarding the fact that he'd soon have to eat it.
"I must be dreaming." He cooed.
"No you're not, Hun." She kissed him on the cheek. A perky and pleasant smile gracing her features.
"I made breakfast for you," She slid the little white plate to him as he sat behind the counter. "What do you think?" She leaned next to him, watching his movements over her cooking.
Max readied his knife and fork, taking that first eager bite of her fish. It wasn't what he was expecting, it tasted like coal rather than anything else. He neared tears but swallowed it down.
He nodded at her with a muffled "It's good." as he kept his tongue from falling out in sweet relief from the taste.
She was skeptic and not at all oblivious. She took his fork and took her own piece to her tongue. "Ack!" She spat it out. "This is terrible!" Her expression was in no less similar than his own.
He sat with desperate grin, caught red handed, wishing he hadn't been making eye contact. "Eheh." He said, unable to utter any plausible response.
She was suddenly more depressed than anything else. His neck stiffened as her hand set at the back of it.
She kisses him. "You're sweet," The pleasant feel of relief washed him over. "But you shouldn't be afraid about being too honest. The last thing I want is secrets, and a boyfriend with any of 'em." She winked at him knowingly.
Max smiled at her, he felt he had everything he ever needed, right here, with her. Like the future was set in stone, ready to continue with what he has now.
He sighed, as he took her hand. "So when's your class?" He asked.
"In three hours; It's only five but I'd like to get there sooner. But do you want to do anything before you drop me off?"
They eyed the overcooked breakfast, then exchanged glances. Grape stuck the fork back in as the fish turned to ash.
"Let's get a descent breakfast."
Max pulled her out of the kitchen and into the living room. He couldn't resist intertwining his hands with hers. He noticed her hands were sweaty from all the cooking, it reminded him of their first date.
Though he'll never admit it, he will always love the fact that he could hold her. The ever comforting fact that he can do this just because he can. And he wouldn't have it any other way.
Grape noticed the glimmer of joy in his eyes and giggled a bit. She knew well how he reacts to her. Every kiss on the cheek right down to even the gracing of her arm touching his own ever so slightly. She loved every moment of it.
Max noted his tacky furniture, patched up with different patterns at some parts. The furniture doesn't even look like it's part of the same set anymore! The red designing and loathsome green leather upon the arm rests looked heavily unpleasant. "Note to self, get new furniture."
Outside, the morning had hardly risen and the air was still in the dark blue atmosphere of the early morning.
Max pulled out his Kawasaki Fury from his garage. He set down the stand as he cleaned the rear view mirror with his jacket.
Grape gave him a quizzical look, as if silently asking about his ready affection for it. "You love this thing, don't you?"
"Don't worry, Babe. She'll never replace you." He replid slyly.
Grape began to chuckle, not giggle, but chuckle at her apparent new pet name. "Babe?"
He was embarassed. "What?"
"Nothing." She grinned.
Max sat down on his ride, caressing the grips before startling the engine with an eager twist.
"Hold on tight." He said as he kicked off the stand, already moving.
She squeezed tightly around his waist. "Don't need to tell me twice." She giggled. A bit saddened afterwards when she didn't hear any of his regular flirts.
Max drove off into the distance with Grape securely around his waist. "Hun?"
"I love you," He was gasping under his helmet "But can you loosen your grip?"
Charlie's, an old Café down Vagrant Road, beheld many memories of a matured life. Grape and Peanut had gone here several days after they rebuilt their old home to celebrate it's finishing. It was a quiet place filled with more talk then food.
But somewhere in here, mixed with the scent of coffee beans and freshly cooked eggs, sparked their young minds to fathom the new world and what they had accomplished. Within these cement walls and aged crimson seats, behind the counter and in every single nook and cranny lay the ever constant stem of revelation.
They had pushed on and became what their parents had always dreamed them to be, and not just Peanut and Grape. It was here that the first few inspirators said 'Yes, I accept this fate.' To move forward and rebuild the world from the ashes of war, into the utopia all man had dreamed. Their parents' dream would come true, through them.
Inside, laughter was astir among the animals. Few noises, freshly cooked eggs and decaf latté embellished the air in a pleasant soothe.
Grape sat across from Max by the window on the red cushioned seats. "I mean, they're still keeping the place. Memoirs of the old days and such, but they just couldn't take it."
"What about land tax? Isn't that in the least bothersome?"
"Hun, we don't have a government anymore."
"Oh, right. About that, How's Rufus?"
"He's fine, but he says that most of the Community's chairmen are eager but just don't quite know how to lead."
"I thought there was a system for that."
Most conversations would go like this. One topic would lead to another and they'd talk for hours only to be interrupted by another or an interesting sight. But nowadays they were packed with time and the conversations would ocassionaly break when one's thoughts wandered.
"Umm... Grape?" Max waved a hand over her face as she glanced out the window. "You okay?"
She shifted back to the present. "I'm sorry. Just worried about class. Not sure if I'll be able, much less willing, to fit in among stereotypes." Most everything Grape heard about school was stereotypes that bring you down, all this from a naive young schoolgirl named Natalie who did little else than complain.
Max saw that she was rather disheartened. "Don't worry about it," He took her hand on the table. "I'm sure you'll be fine." He gave her a reassuring smile as she looked to him.
One of the waitresses, an orange tabby, brought the brewed coffee to them. "One decafe for Max, and one brewed for Grape."
"Thanks, Charole." Grape greeted. "So when are you getting out of this place?" She said as she stirred her coffee.
She sighed with a tone of delight. "Don't think I'd like to, anymore."
Max's curiousity sparked. "Really? I thought you want nothing to do with this place because of the manager."
"It was the assistant
manager I didn't like." she stressed assisstant in frustration, "I can't stand the guy breathing down my neck! But ever since Nat came back, everything's been easier. Plus he's really
cute!" She giggled.
"Ah, young love." Grape teases.
"Look who's talking." She grinned.
Max had only then realized that he hadn't let go of Grape's hand, but didn't loosen his grip despite. "Hey, it's not like we're denying it."
"Well, you two love birds enjoy yourselves. As for me, I got a cute manager to flirt with. Wish me luck!" She gleefully hopped away.
Max inhaled steam of their fresh coffees. Grape followed suit, ready for the sweet sensations to meet with her tastebuds. "Hmm. Brings back memories." She smiled.
The soothing coffee here was like a symbol to them. As they matured, their first sip of Nat's famous coffee, passed down from generation to generation, was a beacon of young adolescence. They had gone and readied to face the world since then, carrying that mantle, as the new kings of earth, with pride.
Just as Charole brought over the eggs, Peanut had entered the café. "Heey Peanut."
"Hey Charole." The dog greeted.
He headed for the counter till he caught sight of his best friends seated at the table. "Hey guys."
As Max looked up to see him, he noted the peculiar add on to the dog. He was wearing clothing, though it was not as perplexing when he realized it was manditory at most Academys. His black uniform was almost intimidating, Peanut even looked a lot older than last they met, maybe it was just the clothing.
"Hey Peanut, it's been a while." He smiled.
"Yeah, two years too long." He laughed. "You takin' good care of Grape?"
"No need to worry about that." Max exumed his confidence with a smile.
He glanced back at Charole. "Why's Charole so happy?"
"Oh, she's in love with the returning manager, Nat." Grape answered with a giggle.
Peanut seemed surprised, almost appauled. "Huh, that's weird..."
"Weird? Why would you think that?"
Peanut gave an almost guilty expression, inching a little smile that dropped as he spoke. "Nothing, it's just... I thought Nat was a dog."
Max and Grape exchanged glances.
An awkward silence seemed to course it's way through.
Peanut broke the silence. "At any rate, I should get going."
"Aww, but you just got here!" Grape whined. Max felt a slight itch of envy.
"Sorry, pager rang. Gotta get to work." He called out before closing the door, bidding them goodbye with a smile.
"Okay, bye!" She called as he waved outside the window.
Max watched him go, into the same green car his father drove most everyday. But before he drove off, Max could see him grip the wheel and sigh. He caressed the dashboard and grit his teeth, holding back soft sobs. Then, as the engine kicked off, he could of sworn he saw a tear escape his eye.
He couldn't help but let a tear escape his own.
Grape held his hand. "We miss them too..."
After a quick kiss, she bid him goodbye. Max drove off as she faced college.
The University of Pheonix is not actually a university since everything but the college has been built since the war. It stood with the vast expanditure before her with two wings, standing two stories tall, and the mass of the main building jutting three stories higher than the other two.
The entrance was met with a mass of grass and war remnants pushed aside to be taken as scrap metal for later. Not much pathing was made just yet but students knew where the doors were.
Grape took steady steps along the grass, glancing idolly at the mound of scrap.
A grey dog watched her in intrigue. Her pace was steady and her head was hung low, but tried to hide it. He felt concerned and took his heed to her.
Grape haulted by a helicopter heep, stared into the pilot seat with solemn eyes, silently asking the world to forgive humanity. Her gaze seemed hopeless and seemed to reminisce of the horrors of war as she cringed
"Demons of the past won't leave you alone?" The dog asked.
He caught her by surprise, she almost screamed. She turned to him, a gleeful smile gracing his lips. "Oh, um... yeah." She began to retain her own cheerful expression. "I still have a lot of getting over to do. Hehe."
"Don't worry, we all feel the same. We're all orphans in afterworld." He took his own deepening facade at the machine, then returning his attention to her.
She giggled. "Isn't that line from a movie?"
"If it is, I've never heard of it." They laughed.
As the laughter subsided, Grape's smile began to set comfortably on her cheeks. "I'm Grape, Grape Jelly Sandwich."
"Hehe, funny name." She shot him a serious glare, he laughed nervously. "Um... my name's Aaron, Aaron Morris."
"Well, Aaron, would you mind showing me around? I don't know where room 21B is."
They began making their way to the building proper. "You want a full tour or just to the class?"
"Just the class, for now."
Aaron was more than willing to show her to her class yet he felt the urge to show her around on the way. As they passed through the halls, and exited in the wide openings that seem to burst out in front of you, he would point out every detail and seem to go on and on with stories about them.
He was well endowed with intimate knowledge of the school. He knew his way around and managed to make her laugh a few times. She enjoyed his company, but she still felt uneasy.
Now that her mind was off her parents, it was now focused on the ever concerning notion of change. Taking college was a huge step in her life and the uncertainty of the future was largely discomforting.
As he left her to her class Grape lost whatever slight comfort she had. She felt almost dizzy as she faced the door, unwanting to open it for a while.
She inhaled deeply, then open the door.
Inside, a few students stood around talking in their seats or leaning by the window. The upward diagonal of the seats as they went up was somewhat dizzying.
No one took notice of her.
She headed to one of the front row seats at the bottom to avoid any sense of vertigo. At her seat she took out a notebook and began writing.
Unbenounced to her, a gray tabby looked over her shoulder. "Hopeful of her return he dashed away under the moonlit valley..." She whispered.
Grape covered her notebook in panic, a deep blush over her cheeks.
"Is something wrong?" Grape's eye twitch in irritation to the obvious answer.
"I don't think it's polite to look over people's shoulders, Wonder." A corgi with brown fur color and a trailing white from her forehead down sat next to Grape. "Excuse my friend."
"Sorry, I guess curiousity kill the cat." She glanced at the notebook before Grape hurridly covered it again. "It's really good though." She mused.
Grape's expression changed, but somehow maintained the embarassment, if not furthered. "Umm... thanks." Grape closed her notebook and retreated it to her bag.
"By the way, I'm Stephanie Castle." She outstretched her hand to shake. "And I'm Wonder!" the tabby expressed with glee. She shaked their hands, crossing her arms.
"And your name?"
Before Grape could answer, Aaron had entered the room. "She's Grape."
Stephanie gawked at him. "Just where have you been?"
"Sorry, just realized we had the same class." He seemed embarassed, Wonder giggled.
The two began to argue. Wonder didn't seem to mind.
"Sorry, this happens a lot with them but we're all friends."
Grape smiled softly. "You guys wanna hang out at lunch?"
Wonder mirrored her smile. "Sure, why not."
---Sorry for the late update, there's been so much in the way but updates from now on will be sooner but shorter.
Anyway, sorry again.
Now I'll be alternating between this and Seattle Runaways. It could be difficult so wish me luck!