Classes seemed to drag on for Jason as he made his way to the lunchroom. He figured the best thing to do right now was find Paul. The entire time he was in class, he kept mulling what he said over and over in his mind.
"...if you need a place to stay, I'm sure I can convince my mom to let you crash for a while. If nothing else, I'm sure Kev has spare room too. You've got places you can go. Believe that."
Jason needed to find Paul right now, he had an answer now for this. Luckily, he found the young man sitting down eating his lunch and reading a book. He made his way towards the young man's table. He glanced over at what he was reading, Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary', and shuddered slightly. "Yiiiiiiikes. Pet Sematary?" he asked, sitting down. "Maaaaaaan you must be a lot more braver than I thought, if you're flipping through that book."
Paul sat down his old, dusty copy of the Stephen King classic. "Ha. I try to get myself spooked before Halloween rolls around. It's my favorite holiday, we're two months away, and I'm friggin' hype." Paul couldn't hide the cheesy grin on his face. "What's up hombre?" he asked finally.
"So you read the one with the resurrected pets and the kid? ...I would've at least thought you'd pick something better...possibly Cujo or maybe Christine." Jason chuckled, before sighing slightly. "Alright. So...I've been giving what you offered to me when we talked..."
"Hey it's a slow start. I'll read the creepier stuff as we get closer to Halloween," Paul commented quickly. "But, uh, yeah. What about my offer? What are you thinking?"
Jason took a deep breath and exhales slowly. "...we'll try this. I'll crash with you for the night and tomorrow night...since ya know, we'll be going back you know where like you said. I'll...I'll just let my mom know that I'll be staying with a friend for a couple days."
Paul nodded. "Then I'll make some arrangements. You get home and get your stuff after school. I'll shoot you my address and if you can't get a ride, I'll find you one."
"Thanks man." Jason nodded in response. "I owe ya...now if you'll excuse me...I haaaaaave to mentally prepare myself for my club meeting since I called out Monday. Ehehe, let's just say that if I end up losing some matches against the club leader, I have to write an essay about the game."
Paul twirled his spork around in his red beans and rice and decided against the meal. He pushed the tray to the side and stood up. "What game?" he asked as he began to walk beside Jason. They chatted for the rest of the lunch period.
Speaking of his club meeting, Jason finally walked in and already saw that the group was looking at him. It was obvious everyone knew...annnnnd it also didn't help that Lace was there near one of the TVs that had the selected game being prepped. He moved towards the game system and empty chair, greeting some of the group before sitting down.
Alright...here goes nothing... Jason took a deep breath as his right knee was bouncing up and down in a nervous motion, as he was handed the controller by Lace. The game was Mortal Kombat 10...or rather, Mortal Kombat X. He knew some of the characters and how they moved, but this would be completely new to him. "So...guess good luck?" Jason said chuckling nervously.
"Aww, bruh," Kevin said as he pulled up a chair. "She really gonna try to give it to you."
Jason was needlessly speechless at seeing this. He slowly looked at Kevin and mouthed: "Whaaaaaat the fuuuuuck??"
"Bro, you didn't know?" Kevin said with a smile. "Lace used to play MK for yearssssssss," Kevin explained with emphasis. "I mean, MK Universal is hot right now, but Lace goes back with it. She went by Harpoon on her old squad when she was like ten bro. That's almost twelve years of nothing but dedication to Mortal Kombat. I know she quit about two years ago. School and all. But yeah man. I ain't seen that fightpad since--"
"2024," Lace commented. "That's the last time I used it." She was vividly reminiscing about her past with the game. "There's no better fighter."
Kevin hesitated. "...welllll--"
"Don't make me put you in a headlock," Lace quickly retorted. The game screen was loading.
Jason gulped a bit, chuckling nervously at this point. "Oh goooooood..." he muttered, shaking his head. "Well...either way...gonna try and give it my all."
"Uh sure. Best of three sounds good." Jason nodded, already seeing Lace selecting Scorpion as her character. He cursed to himself, knowing he did like how Scorpion played in the other games...but if he chose Scorpion, that'd probably be bad. Reluctantly, he moved his cursor over and then selected Liu Kang.
Lace smiled. This was refreshing. She extended her hand to Jason. "Heads up. You uh, might end up seeing the other side of me," she said with a chuckle.
"...I don't think it'll be the worst thing I've seen..." Jason chuckled back, extending his hand to hers. He wasn't lying after all...he had seen worst things...and most in the last couple of days.
"Oh, and Kevin," Lace said as she looked over her shoulder with a menacing grin. "It's your fault Jason and I even have to have this match," she said, regarding basketball practice. "So if things go sideways, you're gonna suffer too." Kevin shivered.
Finally, the game started and well, the first game was pretty much a slaughter-fest with Jason eventually getting a few good hits in there but ultimately lost the first round of the match. A few Flameports here and there before being tossed into a series of combos that just ended up making Liu Kang and Jason a punching bag was all that was being done...then the finishing off him with the Fatality In his situation, he was still relatively new to this game's mechanics and the like, however, he slowly began to understand how to work the game. When the second round started, Lace yet again went straight for the kill, but was ended up being surprised by Jason's button mashing technique. Rather, it was button mashing up until he took the second round of the second match. It took some time, but Jason finally got the hang on how Liu Kang was to play and how he could actually be better in a few situations during a match. A few well placed Bicycle Kicks thanks to him finding the combo to ease into it from a Double Dragon Kick, and Jason somehow won the second match. ...it was all down to the third and final match.
"You're lookin' kinda sweaty Lace," Kevin chuckled. "Nervous?"
"You shut your face before I give you a swirlie, you peabrained little chickenshit!" Lace snapped.
"Whoaaaaa," Kevin laughed. "It's all comin' back now!"
Brad, who normally remained silent, slid up his chair beside Kevin's. "Interesting," he commented.
"Down to the wire, big guy," Kevin added.
Jason huffed a bit, his right leg still bouncing up and down right now in a furious motion as he shook his head slightly. "J-Jeez...y-yeah...I'll say it now...she's EXTREMELY good..." he said nervously. "Just...barely pulled that off."
"I can't feel my fingers," Lace said. "Let's go!"
Jason sighed as he stared at the TV and prepared for the last match. Unknowingly, he started chewing on his tongue at this point, being both on edge right now and extremely nervous. It was either going to be a win here...or a looooooong grueling essay. "Good luck..."
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