based on this because i love 90s!boyfriend luke and i keep thinking about him
She almost doesn’t hear the little tappings at her window over the sound of her music. But when the little pinging sound comes again, Julie finds herself cautiously approaching her window and pushing it open.
“Luke?” She squints into the darkness, down at her boyfriend who’s got his hand raised up like he’s about to throw another handful of pebbles at her window, only stopping when he sees her head leaning out and haloed by the light in her room, “What are you doing?”
“I uh—” he starts, lowering his arm and Julie can faintly hear pebbles falling to the ground in the silence of the night before he’s talking again, “I missed you.”
“You only left like, half an hour ago, how can you possibly miss me?” Julie shakes her head at him, as she lets her elbows rest on the edge of the windowsill, leaning her upper body a little further out into the night.
Luke had come over straight after school under the pretence of wanting to get their homework out of the way before the start of the weekend, but they’d spent the whole afternoon sat side by side on the sofa in the garage, scribbling away in Luke songbook and working their way through a whole bag of chips. And then Luke had stayed for dinner because her Tia had never been able to take no when it came to food, and had gotten even more insistent since her mom died. Not that Luke ever really complained.
Everyone knew that things with his parents could be a little...hard, so if he stayed a little late into the night Ray didn’t often comment until Carlos was going to bed and it was time for Luke to go too. And if he’d show up bright and early the next morning sometimes, well, no one commented on that either.
“You’re the easiest person to miss,” Luke shrugs and Julie's glad for the darkness and the distance so he can’t see her blushing, “Can I come up?”
Julie hesitates, looking over her shoulder at her closed bedroom door as if she can see her dad all the way down stairs watching tv or doing some work or whatever it was he did at night.
There had been one main rule when Julie had first introduced Luke as her boyfriend rather than her bandmate. No being alone in her bedroom with the door shut.
“Come on Molina, we can finish that song we started,” Luke must sense her hesitation as his voice calls up to her lightly, and Julie looks back to see him with is hands clasping together in front of him, eyes wide as he looks at her, “I’ll go as soon as we finish it.”
She blows out a breath, shaking her head lightly as she looks at him with his stupidly cute and earnest face. “Only until we finish the song. And you’ve got to be quiet!”
Julie catches sight of his teeth as he grins before ducking his head to inspect the lattice against the side of the house that leads up the roof outside of her window. Biting her lip, Julie turns back to her room when he’s out of sight to shove dirty clothes into her hamper and turns the volume on her radio up just a little.
Luke is many things, but quiet isn’t one of them.
She hurries back to her window just as Luke’s head pops up on the other side of the roof, eyes shining with a smile that she can’t quite see yet. Julie bites her bottom lip a little hard to keep herself from smiling too much as she watches him pull himself up — proving that his biceps aren’t just for show — and then he’s standing up and waving at her with a smile that makes her feel warm all over.
There’s a split second when Luke wobbles on the edge of her roof, his arms waving in the air at his side and Julie’s eyes go wide, readying to jump to of her window to — do something, when he steadies himself, blowing out a breath that lifts part of his fringe off his forehead, shooting her a thumbs up.
“Would you get in here before you fall,” she shakes her head at him, holding one hand out of her window for him to grab onto. And sure, he doesn’t exactly need help to get through the window, but he doesn't turn it down either. Or let go once he’s crawled through her window and is standing facing her, breath panting over her face as his eyes dip once to her lips before back up.
“Should really tell your dad about that loose slat, someone could take a wicked bad fall,” he murmurs, lips ticking up in a smile that makes Julie roll her eyes at him.
“Mhm, I’ll make sure to mention it over breakfast. Come on,” she tugs at his hand, taking a small step towards her bed and the sheets of paper and blank tapes littering her floor, “Let's finish this song.”
Luke lets himself be pulled along and pushed to the floor, kicking off his shoes and making himself comfortable as he pulls his notebook from his back pocket and picks one of her pens up. For a moment, Julie just watches him and how easily he fits into her space, her life.
“What?” Luke raises his eyebrows at her, lips pulling into an almost nervous smile.
“Nothing,” she shakes her head and uses his shoulder as leverage to lower herself back to the carpet next to him, pulling the pen from his fingers, “We want it to be legible.”
They finish the song much quicker than either of them expect or wanted, the lyrics coming to them quicker then they had earlier in the garage. Almost like it’s taunting them. The only sound in her room is an ad playing on the radio and Luke’s chains on his jeans clinking as he bounces one bent knee.
“Guess I should be going,” he starts, lowering his knees and closing his notebook.
“Stay,” Julie blurts out before she can stop herself, pushing up to her knees and gently pulling the book from his hands to hide behind her back, “Please.”
“But your dad—“ Luke bites his lip as he glances at her bedroom door much like she had earlier, “We’re breaking the main rule.”
“He’ll only put his head around the door to say goodnight, never even know you’re here,” she shrugs and Julie doesn’t know why she wants him to stay so much. Doesn’t realise until the next words out of her mouth are, “I miss you when you’re not here too.”
Luke’s eyes soften slightly as he looks at her, giving up on gathering his things and instead reaches out to pull her over to him, her knees rubbing on the carpet until they hit his thigh and she awkwardly moves one leg up and over until she’s half straddling him. But their faces are level and Julie rests her hands on his shoulders to keep herself steady as he rests his on her waist and then Luke presses a light kiss to the corner of her lips.
“Okay,” he says, like it’s just that simple. Like he’ll always stay if she asks. Julie thinks he probably would, as she angles her head a little better to kiss him properly. By the time she pulls away, a little breathless, one of his hands is in her hair and one of hers and found its way to one of his biceps.
“Wanna help me figure out what songs to put on this mixtape for Flynn’s party next week?” she eventually asks, because if her dad was to walk in and find them like this there might suddenly be more rules to follow.
“Mix tapes are the way to my heart,” he grins and Julie tries not to look at her bedside table where the first ever mixtape he had given her is. They’d been 14 and barely friends and he’d gotten her music rates perfectly.
Julie pecks his lips one last time before turning around where she is and sitting between his legs, Luke arms automatically coming around her middle to pull her body back against his, using his chin to brush stray curls away from her shoulder so he can peer down at the sheet of paper she’s picked up.
It’s 2 hours and too many songs later when Julie hears her dad's steps on the stairs and Luke’s looking at her in silent panic.
“Under the bed!” she whispers, pushing herself away from him to give Luke a little more room to wiggling himself under her bed frame, and Julie barely has time to half throw her blanket over his feet that just stick out when her dad knocks lightly on her door.
“I’m heading to bed, don’t stay up too late,” Ray smiles at her as he leans head and shoulders around her door frame and Julie smiles back, about to wish him good night, when he looks down at her bed and the space below it with a light laugh, “Goodnight to you too Luke, I’ve made the sofa up down stairs for you.”
She can hear a thud and Luke letting out a grunt of pain at her dad's words, and even her eyes are wide.
“I heard you throwing the rocks at her window hours ago mijo. Plus, you mom called to check if you were here,” Ray says to the bed, even though Luke still hasn't crawled back out and then he looks back at her, and he’s still smiling but there’s a tiny frown between his brows, “We’ll talk boundaries in the morning. Goodnight you two.”
It’s not until her bedroom door clicks shut again that Luke pops up on the other side of her bed, hair a mess and a dark blush on his cheeks.
“Shit,” is all he says, rubbing one hand at the back of his neck as he looks at her and Julie can’t help but agree.
“I guess I should be glad that sneaking into girls' rooms isn't something you’re good at, huh?” She teases and her smile only grows as she watches Luke’s lips twitch into one as well.
“I’m sure with a little practice I’ll get in here one day without him knowing,” he shrugs once before jumping up onto her bed and off to the other side so they’re standing together again, his hand automatically finding hers. “Hey, since Ray knows I’m here now, think there’s any of that apple pie left?”
“Come on,” Julie laughs, tugging a little at their joint hands to lead him downstairs. She’s not sure what her dad will say tomorrow and she doesn’t know if things will ever get easier with Luke's parents, but all of that seems like problems for another time. Tonight she’s going to eat leftover pie with her boyfriend and deal with everything else later.
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IN LIFE, IN DEATH...
Warnings: Swearing, fighting, angst (sorry <3)
A/N: this was definitely meant to be posted like a week ago but here it is! <3
The florescent lights of the hospital waiting room were starting to give you a headache.
They were way too bright and flickered every so often that it made you dizzy to look at them. But you needed something to focus on to stave off boredom, so you focused your attention on the clock on the wall.
It read just after midnight and you silently cursed yourself, quickly pulling out your flip phone and dialing your mom’s number.
She was probably asleep by now, but thinking about her possibly waiting up and worrying made your stomach turn. The line rang for a moment, but then the ending tone chirped and you were left with her answering machine.
“Hey, Mom. Uh, we had a little accident at practice. Luke was practicing his guitar throw and he kind of threw out his shoulder. I’m gonna drop him off at home and then I’ll probably just stay at the studio so I’m not biking home so late. Okay, love you. Bye.”
You hung up the phone and shoved it in your pocket just as Luke appeared from behind the door. The nurse said something to him that made his eyebrows furrow but he nodded. As you got closer, you realized that his right arm was wrapped in a sling.
“So, you’re not dying?” You joked.
“I might as well be.” Luke pouted, lacing his other arm through yours as you start to walk out of the building and into the parking lot. “They said I can’t play guitar for two weeks.”
You hummed sympathetically, knowing more than anyone how much that was going to drive him crazy. “This is what you get for trying to be all ‘Rockstar’”
“Excuse you.” Luke said. “I am a rockstar.”
“Uh-huh.” You sarcastically nodded.
“You’re a jerk.” Luke grumbled petulantly, resting his head on your shoulder. “Here I am, in unimaginable pain and you have no sympathy.”
“Here’s a tip for the future, if you want sympathy then don’t make me drive through Hollywood past midnight.” You teased, lightly shaking him to show that you weren’t actually serious.
“I’m still surprised that Bobby let you drive ‘Amber’.” He gestured to the car you were walking towards.
‘Amber’ was a present that Bobby had gotten for his birthday a few years earlier and it was his most prized possession. Normally, he never would’ve let you take it, but he didn’t feel like driving and taking Luke to the hospital in the basket on your bike seemed a little impractical. So he had handed over the keys reluctantly.
“You got something to say about my driving skills, Patterson?” You asked as you unlocked the car and settled into the driver's seat. Luke got comfortable in the passenger seat, and winced as he looked over at you.
“Don’t get me wrong, (Y/n). You are many things,” He said. “But a good driver isn’t one of them.”
You flipped him off as you started the car and started pulling out of the parking lot. It was quiet for a minute, but just as you turned back on the street, Luke turned on the radio and a familiar song filled your ears.
Tonight, I want to give it all to you,”
“Oh no.” You laughed, knowing exactly what you were in for from the way that Luke’s eyes lit up. He grinned as he cranked up the volume and shifted in his seat as much as he could, ready to give you the performance of a lifetime.
‘In the darkness, there's so much I want to do
And tonight, I want to lay it at your feet
'Cause girl, I was made for you
And girl, you were made for me,’
You were trying your best to keep your eyes on the road, but it was hard when Luke was being so frustratingly cute.
His hair was still messy from rehearsal so it stuck up in different directions and he had a dorky smile on his face as he drummed his fingers against the center console. You pulled up to a red light and Luke looked at you expectantly.
You rolled your eyes, but gave in, taking one hand off the wheel to make a makeshift microphone. Luke grinned as you both began to sing.
‘I was made for lovin' you, baby
You were made for lovin' me
And I can't get enough of you, baby
Can you get enough of me?’
One song turned into two, then three, then before you knew it, you had pulled onto Luke's street.
Unlike the rest of the neighborhood, every light in the Patterson household was glowing bright yellow into the night and Luke let out a heavy sigh.
"Thanks for driving me." He said, his voice suddenly a little quiet. You looked up to the window to see the shadows of Luke's worried parents as they passed the curtains and suddenly the levity in the air was gone.
"Of course." You said.
You both knew what was about to happen.
Luke had told you all about the famous Emily Patterson meltdowns, and how they had been getting more and more frequent since he formed the band. Luke spraining his shoulder was only going to give his mom more reason to push Luke away from music.
From your music.
"Hey," You reached over and interlocked his pinky with yours, making Luke raise his eyes from his feet. "Don't let her get in your head, okay? Our music is important, and I know she'll realize that someday."
Luke’s eyes held yours for what seemed like an eternity before lightly squeezing his pinky around yours. “How do you always know what to say?”
You laughed. “’Cause I’m the greatest best friend ever.”
Luke smiled, his eyes slowly drifting from your still connected hands back up to your face. “Yeah, you are.”
The softness in his voice made your heart skip a beat. “I’m serious though. We’ll get into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame someday and you’ll prove her wrong.”
Luke learned a little closer, his voice practically a whisper, "Is this your way of admitting that I actually am a rockstar?"
"Oh, shut up." You groaned as you threw your head back. "You're the worst, you know that?"
"You love me." Luke retorted.
"Unfortunately." You deadpanned. "Now get out of the car, dork."
Luke fake pouted as he wiggled out of his seat and started walking towards the door, he gave you a quick grin and a wave before disappearing into his house.
Once he was out of sight, you let out a sigh and leaned back against the seats, trying to remember the way his hand felt in yours.
"(Y/n)! Where have you been?"
Alex demanded the second you stepped into the studio, a worried expression on his face. As soon as you left the diner so late, you knew that a lecture from Alex was coming.
"I’m sorry, Al." You said. "I just lost track of time."
"Were you with that guy from the diner?" He asked, crossing his arms and raising his eyebrow.
"Someone's in trouble." Reggie loudly whispered to Luke who was next to him on the couch. Just like usual, Luke barely spared you a glance before he glued his eyes back to his songbook.
"I don’t think you have any room to be teasing anyone about cute ghost boys.” You said, mirroring his position. “How was your afternoon with Willie?”
Across the room, you could’ve sworn Luke’s writing got heavier against the page. But when you looked over at him, he gave no other indication he was paying attention.
“Don’t change the subject,” Alex's cheeks turned a little pink but he stood his ground. “You’ve been gone for hours.”
“Hey,” You walked up and rested your hands on his shoulders. “I’m sorry I made you worry. But you don’t have to. I’m good.”
“Of course I’m gonna worry.” Alex said, finally dropping his grumpy face and nudging you. “What else are best friends for?”
This time it wasn’t your imagination, Luke’s writing was definitely getting harder, enough to where it was going to rip a hole in the paper. Reggie and Alex noticed this time too and you all exchanged confused looks but before anyone could say anything, Luke jumped up from the couch.
“So! We should get working on this song.” He puts the page on the piano for you all to read. “I could use your help on the bridge, (Y/n).”
Alex shot you one last confused look and you shrugged before shifting your focus to the song. It was mostly finished, and with Julie’s poem as a guide for the lyrics, you were confident that it would be one your best songs yet.
Next to you, Luke scanned the page with the edge of his pencil, pointing at things he wanted your opinion on. Even with all the tension surrounding the two of you lately, it was nice to know that you were still a great team when it came to music.
For someone who learned that ghosts exist, that four of them from the 90′s were living in her best friends garage, and that they were all in a band together in one afternoon,
Flynn took the news surprisingly well.
Which meant that once Julie agreed to join the band, Flynn immediately started coming up with T-shirt ideas and new band names. You weren’t surprised at all when Julie announced that Flynn had booked a gig at the school dance a few days later.
You had all decided on the setlist that morning and had been practicing all day. Which meant by mid-afternoon, you had everything memorized. Since it was the first performance with Julie as a part of the band, you figured that letting her take the lead with vocals would be a good idea.
During the second break of the day, Luke and Reggie were messing around up in the loft, leaving you and Julie with nothing to do. So she offered to teach you a little about piano. It was a slow-going process but you were slowly getting the hang of it. "Okay, so, like this?"
Julie watched carefully as your hand flew across the keys. You miraculously played all the right notes to the song that Julie had taught you over the past half-hour and she beamed.
“Yeah! That’s perfect!” She said, “Play it again.”
Your finger was about to press down on the key, but then Alex phased through the doors. Ever since yesterday, you had been waiting for a moment to tease him about Willie. It was only fair since he just grilled you about being out all day.
“Hey, Al.” You greeted as you stepped away from the keyboard and wiggled your eyebrows at him. “And just where have you been?”
“Yeah, man, we gotta start practicing.” Luke said.
“For what?” Alex asked just as Flynn came strutting into the room. You noticed the colorful paper in her hand and nodded your head toward it with a grin.
Flynn set the paper down on the keyboard to Julie to see.
Alex whined as he looked it over. “Aw, man. We’re playing a dance?”
“Yeah, it’s how you build a following these days.” Luke said as he plopped down into a chair.
“Yeah, get with the program, Alex.” Julie said and Luke laughed.
The sound drew your eyes to his face and you can’t help but stare at him as you tried to remember the last time you and Luke had joked around like that. It used to come so naturally, but now even just being around Luke felt like a ticking time bomb of awkwardness.
Luke’s eyes flitted up to yours for just a second and for the next few moments you couldn’t help but wonder if he was thinking the same thing.
Flynn shouted, breaking you out of your thoughts. “The band is here?”
She then proceeds to wave to the wrong side of the room and you laughed as Julie gestured towards where you all were actually sitting. You all still waved back despite knowing she couldn’t see you.
“Okay, so now that Alex has graced us with his presence, we should get back to rehearsing.” Luke said and everyone nodded in agreement.
But before any of you could move, Carlos strolled in. “Hey, Julie, remember those orbs from dad’s pictures? I think they’re ghosts.”
Julie’s eyes went wide as she looked at the photos Carlos set on the keyboard right in front of her. She looked back and forth between all of you as Carlos rambled on.
“But don’t worry.” He said as he spun in a circle. “This room is clean, I’m not getting any ghost vibes.”
You couldn’t help but laugh. Carlos was exactly what you always pictured a little brother would be like. You had always wanted a sibling, but the closest you ever got was Reggie.
“If they come back, I’ll protect you.” Carlos puffed out his chest a little. “Because I’m the man of the house.”
Julie raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t dad supposed to be the man of the house?”
“There can be two.” He said as he pulled a salt shaker out of his pocket. “According to the internet, salt burns out their souls.”
Your eyes all got wide and you backed up until you were almost against the wall. Reggie and Luke both yelped and jumped up as Carlos spun in another circle. Alex screamed as salt went right through his torso, but he straightened a second later with a sheepish smile.
“You’re such a drama queen.” You snort as Alex flipped you off. Julie nodded at Flynn to distract Carlos and she led him out through the doors and back up to the house.
Once they had left, you turned to Julie with an excited smile. "Wait, before we start, I wanted to show you some old Sunset Curve songs."
Luke opened his songbook and a page quickly fell out. You instantly recognized the cramped but neat handwriting and laughed at Reggie. "'Home Is Where My Horse Is'? Again, Reg?"
Reggie beamed. "It's a gift."
"Thanks, Buddy." Luke patted his shoulder before opening his songbook to a page in the middle and laying it across the piano for Julie to see. 'I think you’d kill this one."
Julie’s eyes scanned the page for a moment before flipping through the book. "Who's Emily?"
The color drained out of Luke's face as he scrambled for the journal. But Julie kept it just out of his reach. "And this another one, 'She Is Love’? Who knew you were such a romantic?"
You shared confused looks with Alex and Reggie. Of course, you all knew about ‘Unsaid Emily’. Luke always eagerly shared every part of his music with the band, even if it was just a few scribbled lines or a riff he thought of off the top of his head.
But it was clear from the guy’s faces that none of you had ever heard this song. Luke writing a love song was weird in itself, but him not telling anyone about it was even weirder.
"It's just something I tried." Luke said, a faint blush on his cheeks. "But you should flip to the next one. It's got a killer beat."
He played one of the first songs you had ever written for Sunset Curve 'Last Place' and Julie nodded along with a confused look. "So you wanna use a sample?"
"What do you mean?" You asked.
"Sample someone else's music." She explained. "I've heard that riff a million times. It's a classic Trevor Wilson song."
With a couple of clicks on her computer, Julie pulled up a picture of a middle aged guy leaning up against a guitar and your head started spinning.
"Guys, is that...?" You trailed off, hoping that you were wrong.
"It's Bobby." Luke finished.
"Seriously? I just told you his name is Trevor." Julie said.
Alex ran his hands through his hair, a slight scowl settling on his face. "Okay well then he changed it. That's definitely Bobby, he was our rhythm guitarist."
"He looks so old." You said, resisting the urge to reach out and poke the screen.
"He looks like a substitute teacher." Alex added, producing a slight chuckle from Reggie.
"Julie, what were his other songs?" You asked. You had a feeling the bad news was only beginning.
"'Get Lost'." She said and your heart sank even further.
"I wrote that." Luke said as he tugged his strap over his head. You could tell he was getting angry beneath his calm exterior, and the same feelings were rising up inside you as Julie went on.
"’Long Weekend'?' She continued.
"That one too." Reggie said. "It took (Y/n) and Luke like a month to finish."
"This is freaking me out!" Julie rubbed her temples. "This whole time I thought you were connected to my mom. But you're actually connected to Carrie's dad?"
"Add it to our list of questions." Alex sighed, his leg bouncing as he sat in front of his drum set.
“We used to talk about music all the time.” Julie said sadly. “He never mentioned you guys.”
"Of course not." You scoffed and Luke walked across the room and threw a dart at the board with enough force to put a hole in the wall. “He takes all the credit and doesn’t even mention us.”
“And he’s rich.” Julie flipped her computer screen around to show a photo of a huge mansion. “He has his own helicopter.”
Luke abandons the darts and makes his way over to the screen as Alex jumps up. “Man, we live in a garage!”
“It’s not about the money.” Luke huffed. “It’s about the music!”
Reggie whined. “It’s a little bit about the money.”
“A little about the money.” Alex emphasized.
“He could have at least shared it with our families.” You said, thinking about your mom and how she used to work extra shifts to take care of the both of you.
Reggie nodded in agreement. “Then maybe my parent’s house wouldn’t have gotten turned into a bike shack.”
Luke took a deep breath. ”What he did was steal our legacy.”
There was a moment of tense silence before he spoke up again.
“Where does he live?”
Julie hesitated. It was clear that all of you were angry, but Luke was on another level. His music was everything to him and being betrayed by Bobby was clearly getting under his skin. You gave her a pleading look and she sighed.
“Above the beach in Malibu.”
Luke glanced at the three of you, asking a silent question. You all nodded and Luke threw on his jacket, a look of determination on his face. “Let’s go teach him a lesson.”
Julie got up from the bench and tried to protest, but you all phased away.
As you walked into the front door of the mansion, a million memories raced through your head.
Of days when the five of you would go down to the pier or the park and play for hours, or take a drive around the city in Bobby’s car and talk about being famous one day. You used to joke about someone breaking off and starting a solo career, never actually thinking it would happen.
But clearly Bobby took it a little too seriously.
You and Alex walked to one side of the house while Luke and Reggie searched the other side. Every wall you could see was covered in awards and photos of his performances along with a giant portrait of his face right above the living room. From a little further down the hall, Alex shouted your name and you walked over to see him pointing at a display of shiny silver records.
“Have you seen these records? They’re Platinum.” He said.
“Platinum?” You repeated in disbelief. You ran your hands along the frame and were shocked that you could actually touch it. Across the room, Luke grumbled.
“He recorded ‘My Name Is Luke’.” He said. “My name is Luke!”
Suddenly, you heard the front door open and Bobby walked in.
“There he is!” Reggie called and you all turned to face him as he walked up the stairs. You snorted at his outfit choice and Reggie scoffed, clearly thinking the same thing. “He wears sunglasses indoors.”
Luke and Reggie started bouncing up the stairs after him but you and Alex hung back.
“Wait!” Alex called. “You know, It’s my first time haunting someone. I want it to be special.”
You stifled a laugh as Luke and Reggie exchanged confused looks before continuing up the stairs.
“I made that weird, didn’t I?” Alex cringed and you patted his shoulder.
“Definitely.” You laughed as you nudged him forward. “Come on.”
You reached the top of the stairs just as Reggie and Luke phased through a door at the end of the hall. Alex was quick to follow but you found yourself stopped in front of what you assumed was Bobby’s office.
It was a huge room with expensive guitars and fancy furniture. It looked like every other room in the house, but for some reason, you felt like you needed to look in there.
Alex noticed your hesitation and frowned. “You coming?”
“I think I’m gonna look around a little more.” You said.
“You sure?” He raised an eyebrow and you nodded.
Once he was gone, you walked into the room and spun around, taking in the sight of even more awards lining the walls. Your blood boiled thinking about all the hours you had spent writing them only for Bobby to take the credit.
You crossed to the desk to find the bottom drawer cracked open. You tried not to open it, but your curiosity won out. It slid open and you saw that it was completely empty except for an old shoebox that was pushed all the way to the back.
The lid was covered with a thin layer of dust like it hadn’t been opened for ages. It took a minute of pulling, but you finally got the lid off and peered inside.
The first thing you saw was a guitar strap. It was black with white skulls and flowers lining the sides. You recognized it instantly as the one Alex got Bobby for his 17th birthday.
The second was a picture of Sunset Curve playing at the winter formal freshman year. You cringed while looking back at your questionable fashion choices, but the memory still brought a smile to your face.
Finally, there were a few picks spread out across the bottom of the box, and a faded napkin from the diner.
A wave of confusion and regret washed over you.
So Bobby hadn’t forgotten about all of you.
Maybe he was a music-stealing weasel that you wished you could deck in the nose. But why would he keep all of this stuff if he still didn’t care deep down? If that seemingly always grumpy but secretly dorky boy you had known wasn’t still in there somewhere?
Suddenly, you heard screaming down the hall and you quickly closed the drawer before following the noise. It led to the bathroom door, where Luke and Reggie leaned up against the wall as Alex held the door shut. Then he backed up and the door swung open.
Bobby stumbled out with a terrified look on his face, running down the stairs while he mumbled to himself. The boys laughed and high-fived, grinning at you before phasing out again. You groaned and started walking downstairs where Flynn was sitting on the couch rambling to Carrie as Julie snuck into the backyard.
You followed Julie cautiously, knowing that she would probably be mad at you for leaving earlier. When you walked through the screen door and heard her start to lecture the boys, you knew you were right.
“So, did you guys have fun?” She asked, crossing her arms.
“You would do the same if he stole your music.” Luke said defensively.
“But you guys have new music with me.” Julie added. “And the best way to get back at him is for this band to do great. First we have to play dances, then clubs.”
“Then tours. I know.” Luke said and Julie sighed.
“I’ll see you guys at the school. We go on at 9:00.” She frowned. “Please don’t be late.”
“We’ll be there.” Alex said reassuringly. “Don’t worry.”
Julie turned and walked back through the screen door, giving you a tight-lipped smile as she passed.
“I don’t care what Julie says. I’m glad we scared Bobby.” Reggie said as he glared up at the mansion.
“I mean, maybe it was a little harsh.” You said and all of them stared at you in disbelief.
“Harsh?” Luke sputtered, like he couldn’t believe that just came out of your mouth.
“I found some stuff upstairs.” You tried to explain.
“What kind of stuff?” Reggie asked.
“The picture of us playing back in freshman year, some of our old picks, his old guitar strap.” You said, but the boys didn’t look convinced. “Guys, Bobby was our friend. We shouldn’t forget that.”
Alex and Reggie looked a little conflicted, but Luke didn’t budge. “How are you so cool with this?”
“I’m not!” You sighed, talking a little louder than you meant to. “God, of course I’m not okay with it, Luke. I put just as much of myself in those songs as you did. But I think we’ve done enough. Besides, it's not like we can even confront him anyway.”
“Maybe we can.” Alex said and you all turned to look at him. “I mean, Willie knows a lot about ghost stuff. Maybe he knows a way we could talk to him.”
“Let’s go find out.” Luke smiled mischievously.
You frowned but nodded. “You guys go. I’ll meet you at the dance.”
“(Y/n)-” Luke started but you had already disappeared in a flash of bright white.
If there was anything you didn’t miss about being alive, it was school dances.
You were always wrapped up in work or band stuff to be able to go, let alone ask anyone to be your date. Playing at the freshman winter formal was the first and only time you had ever set foot in a dance until tonight.
Your eyes scanned the gym in awe as you followed Julie through the dancing crowd. There were bright lights and balloons everywhere. There were a few kids dancing but it wasn’t very crowded, but it was still early and you hoped more people would be there to see you perform.
Once you and Julie reached the stage, Flynn grinned from behind her DJ booth and gestured to the backstage area. Julie fiddled with the bottom of her shirt nervously as you both walked behind the curtain.
Flynn gave Julie a hug and you laughed as she flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Are they here?”
“(Y/n) is.” Julie explained and Flynn waved in your general direction in response. “The boys will be here later. At least I hope.”
“I’m sure they will be.” You tried to reassure her. “They know how important this is.”
Flynn nudged Julie’s shoulder with a grin. “Well, let’s get your stuff set up then.”
By the time 11:00 rolled around, you were ready to track the boys down and kill them again.
The dance floor was twice as crowded as it was when you got there, and everyone was impatiently waiting for the main performance. You knew that wherever the boys were, they must’ve just lost track of time and didn’t know they were late. But that didn’t stop you from being angry. Especially when you saw the look on Julie’s face.
“Hey,” You sat on the floor next to her while she stared sadly at the projector. “I’m sorry they’re not here.”
Julie just shrugged. “I was really looking forward to playing tonight.”
Your eyes drifted to the crowd, then to the projector, then to Flynn and you got an idea. “Maybe we still can.”
She furrowed her eyebrows but there was a spark of curiosity in her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“We can perform the songs. Just the two of us.” You started. “Flynn can play some backing tracks and we can still rock this place!”
Julie looked nervous and a little hesitant but she called for Flynn and the girl raced over immediately. She explained the plan quickly and Flynn grinned in approval and assured you that she would take care of the backup music.
A pit of butterflies opened in your stomach. You hadn’t performed without the boys for years, but with Julie to lean on, you were fairly confident that you could get through it without throwing up.
You went on with Julie as planned, pushing thoughts about what the boys must be doing off to the side so you could focus on the performance at hand. It wasn’t quite the same, but it didn’t seem like the audience could tell. You belted your hearts out as they danced along, and both yours and Julie’s nerves disappeared as you got lost in the music.
It ended with a thunderous round of applause and you and Julie taking a bow at center stage. You took your cue to phase away and there was another wave of cheering as Julie waved and joined you in the backstage area.
As the crowd of students began making their way home and the stage was being torn down, you sat on the gym floor beneath a colorful balloon arch with Julie. Flynn had made her way to the cafeteria, taking advantage of the fact that there were no adults to stop her.
You watched the last few students leave, including the blonde boy you’d noticed staring at Julie all night. You turned to her with a playful smile.
"So? When were you going to tell me about the cute boy who obviously likes you?" You teased and Julie sighed.
"Nick is Carrie's boyfriend." She said as her eyes drifted across the empty room and you smiled sympathetically. She elbowed the air next to your ribs, "When were you going to tell me about Luke?"
"What about Luke?" You asked, trying not to blush.
"Don't play dumb, (Y/n)." Julie smirked. "It's obvious."
You groaned, falling onto your back against the floor and Julie laughed. "How obvious?"
"(Y/n), you wear his jacket like everyday, and that song in his journal was one hundred percent about you." Julie laid down beside you.
You snapped your head sideways and Julie laughed again at your shocked expression. "What?"
"Come on." She said. "Who else could that be about?"
You thought back to earlier, when Luke looked like a deer in headlights as Julie read the title out loud.. But you knew there was no way that it was about you. I mean, Luke never exactly had a shortage of girls that wanted his attention.
Just as you were about to point this out to Julie, there was a series of bright lights and Alex, Luke and Reggie appeared in front of you. You and Julie stood up, wearing identical glares, the anger you both felt earlier returning in full force. But before you could say a word, Luke launched into an apology.
“We are so sorry that we bailed on you guys.”
“The night just got away from us.” Alex added, looking everywhere but your face.
“It was about Carrie’s dad, wasn’t it?” Julie asked and when none of the boys answered, she scoffed. “You know what? Save it. Bands don’t do this to each other, friends don’t do this to each other. This whole thing was a mistake.”
“You mean the dance, right?” Luke asked hopefully and Julie shook her head.
“I meant joining a band with you guys.” She said, trying to keep a straight face. You could tell she was holding back tears as she ran out of the gym.
Once she was gone, you took a deep breath and faced them.
Alex immediately stepped forward, guilt etched on his face.”(Y/n), We’re so sorry.”
“I’m not the one you should worry about apologizing to.” You said, looking towards the doors where Julie left just a second ago. Alex followed your eyes and sighed, grabbing onto Reggie’s shoulder and steering him towards the door.
There was a moment of heaviness as you took another deep breath. You realized with a start that this was the first time you and Luke had been alone in months. Talking used to come so easily between the two of you, but now you found yourself struggling to find your words.
“We really are sorry, (Y/n).” Luke said quietly. “We didn’t mean to hurt Julie. Or you.”
You scoffed, kicking your foot against the linoleum of the gym floor, “But you did, and for what? A chance for revenge?”
“No! Well, yeah. But there was something else that happened. You won’t believe-”
“What could’ve been more important than being here?” You asked, cutting him off. You forced yourself to look up and found him looking back at you intently.
“If you just let me explain, I promise I would never purposely leave you hanging.”
“But you have been leaving me hanging, Luke!” You fired back, your voice nearly echoing in the empty room. The second the words left your mouth, you felt nauseous. After months of keeping those words on the tip of your tongue, you had expected saying them to feel better.
Luke winced at your words, but kept your gaze, “Hey, I know I’ve been..” He paused, knitting his eyebrows together, “distracted”.
“That’s one word for it.” You said and Luke took a cautious step closer.
“It’s just that everything has changed so much.” He said, and for the first time tonight, he looked away, “Even before we died.”
You opened your mouth to say something, but he cut you off, seemingly unable to stop rambling.
“It’s like there’s so many things I’ve been trying to say, but I can’t make the words come out. And it all gets so tangled up in my head and I just end up saying nothing.”
You could see him getting more frustrated as he continued on. “I’m sorry for everything. For being late, for being such a shitty friend and being so far away lately. I just-”
He took another step forward, eyes never leaving your face. “I’m just afraid of losing everything.”
There was an edge to his voice, like it was hard for him to get the words out. As he inched a little closer, you reached out your hand, fingers inches away from his when suddenly he jumped back. A purple shock flashing in the middle of his chest.
Luke fell to the ground, groaning as he clutched his side. You crouched next to him and his eyes fluttered open slowly. “Ow.”
“What the hell was that?” You asked and Luke sat up.
“I don’t know.” He said, rolling his shoulders, “That’s never happened to me before.”
Suddenly, Alex and Reggie phased back into the gym, both of them looking just as shocked.
“Guys, something so weird just happened.” Reggie exclaimed. Alex took in the sight of you and Luke sitting so close to each other and cleared his throat.
“Should we come back later?”
You glared at him. “Let me guess, you guys also got shocked with creepy purple magic?”
“How’d you know?” Reggie asked, wide-eyed.
Alex sighed at him before he turned back to you. “We definitely need to figure out what the hell just happened.”
“Yeah, let’s go home.” You said and Luke cleared his throat, staring at Alex and Reggie.
“Uh, you guys go. We’ll be there in a minute.”
Alex gave you a questioning look and you nodded, and with another flash, they phased out.
It was quiet for a minute as you both processed everything that just happened. You and Luke hadn’t had a fight like that since you were kids, and that was the most he had said to you in over half a year. Your head was spinning with all the change.
Luke rubbed the back of his neck and you could almost feel how nervous he was. “So..”
“So…” You repeated.
Luke turned a little more towards you and quickly wrapped his pinky around yours. He gave it a gentle squeeze as he smiled.
“Truce?” Luke asked.
You nodded, smiling as you squeezed back. “Truce.”
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reggie doesn’t know
inspired by a classic song on my way home from school one day. part two to reggie’s girl so you should probably read that first. ok, enjoy! feedback is always appreciated!
you took a sip of your drink as you looked around the crowded living room. there were people everywhere dancing, drinking, talking, doing drugs in the corner. you could feel the bass of the song playing in the pit of your stomach as you pulled your cup from your lips, looking beside you to your boyfriend. he was talking to luke about something that you had stopped paying attention to a while ago. luke nodded along to what reggie said when you all suddenly turned toward a loud yell.
“wilson’s gonna jump from the roof!” you looked at reggie with wide eyes at the announcement and he sighed.
“i wondered where he had gone. i’ll go try and stop him. stay here with luke.” he kissed your forehead before heading toward the back door along with a big crowd of people that wanted to see bobby jump from the roof and, hopefully, into the pool.
“how likely is it that we have to go to the hospital tonight?” you thought back to the three beers you saw bobby drink before you even showed up to the party and sighed at luke’s question.
“i say fifty fifty.” luke laughed at your answer and nodded in agreement.
“unless reggie can get him down.” it was your turn to nod now. it was silent between the two of you for a moment as you both looked around the party. “how much have you drank?”
“not much, a few. i don’t usually drink too much when reggies dd remember?”
“that’s right, i forgot about that.”
“how much have you had?”
“well, i’m not gonna puke later, if that’s what you’re asking.” you laughed at the answer.
“good to know.” you weren’t sure what went through his mind but before you knew it, luke’s lips were on yours. you were shocked for a moment but quickly regained your sense and pushed him away. you looked up at him with wide eyes and a slack jaw, not sure what to say.
“oh my god,” he spoke softly before raising his voice. “oh my god! i am so sorry, oh my god!”
“luke, it’s okay, it was just-“ he shook his head, running his hand through his hair.
“no, no it’s not okay. i just, i kissed you. and you’re reggie’s girlfriend. that’s- oh my god.” you opened your mouth to speak again when you caught reggie walking toward you from the corner of your eye. you turned to face him and saw him dragging bobby behind him by the arm. he had a dopey smile on his face and greeted everyone that he passed. unfortunately, he was also soaking wet.
“so! mission failed, bobby jumped off the roof. luckily, he didn’t miss the pool and smush himself. unfortunately, we’re being kicked out.” you nodded and turned to look at luke.
“come on, we gotta go.”
“yeah, uh, just give me a second.” he took off running out the front door and you glanced at reggie before following him. you found him not far from the door, puking into the bushes in front of the house. you scrunched your nose at the sight and turned back to reggie.
“dude! whatever, just get it all out before you get in my car.” he sighed and looked to you, giving you a tightlipped smile. you heard a sigh from behind you along with some rustling and turned around.
“thought you said you weren’t gonna puke?” luke glared at you for a moment before turning and walking toward where reggie had parked along the street. you took off after him to make sure he got there in one piece while reggie helped bobby along behind you. when you got to the car you stood by the passenger door while luke stood next to the door behind the driver seat. reggie was still too far away to unlock the car and you both stood in silence for a moment.
“just save it, y/n. ok? pretend it didn’t happen.” you sighed but nodded as the car beeped, signaling that it had been unlocked. luke all but yanked the door open and climbed in and you turned to see bobby about to fall over onto the sidewalk.
“a little help?” you smiled and shook your head, running over to your boyfriend and friend to help get him to the car. once you made it there, it was easy enough to get him in and buckled and he was passed out only two minutes into the car ride back to his house.
the next week was awkward between you and luke. it wasn’t bad enough for the other guys to notice it at first but as the days progressed, they started to catch on. reggie walked you out to your car as you left a practice one night but stopped you before you got in.
“what’s up with you and luke?” you shrugged and didn’t meet his eyes.
“i don’t know. what do you mean?”
“you’ve just been acting really weird around each other again. did he say something to you?” you shook your head, not technically lying. “ok, well, call me when you get home then so i know you’re safe.” you nodded and he leaned in to kiss you before you got in your car and left.
the drive home gave you time to think. it gave you some much needed time to think. you thought that everything would be fine. that you and luke would eventually go back to being close friends just like last time. but then reggie kissed you and you realized that something had changed. reggie’s kiss didn’t give you that same spark of satisfaction that it normally did. it felt... wrong. and that fact terrified you. you had been with him for eight months now. he had been your first for a lot of things and the fact that you were even questioning your relationship was starting to make you feel guilty. you sighed as you pulled into your driveway. the drive home hadn’t brought as much clarity to your thoughts as you hoped it would.
after making your way inside and greeting your parents, you slouched on your bed, reaching for the phone and calling the phone in the studio. you hoped reggie was still there and you wouldn’t have to call his own home. last time it took three calls before he answered as he couldn’t hear the ringing over his parents voices and when he answered the call was rushed and shouts could be heard in the background. luckily he answered after the first ring.
“hey, i made it home.”
“are you ok? you sound tired.”
“yeah, i’m probably gonna eat and shower and head to bed.”
“ok, well, i’ll see you tomorrow at school.”
“yeah, see you tomorrow.” you hung up, the fact that you didn’t end the call with your normal ‘i love you’ not even crossing your mind.
reggie had noticed your odd behavior around him by the time the week was over. you had been spaced out, not really talking to anyone and never actually listening either. people had to call your name to pull you back into conversations and you hadn’t been showing up to rehearsals like you normally would. reggie found you on your way to class and pulled you into the janitors closet.
“reggie what are you doing? i have to get to biology.”
“that’s not important. you know what is? you.” you gave him a concerned look and he shook his head. “ok, what i meant to say was that you’ve been acting really distant lately, not just to me but to everyone, and i wanted to make sure you’re doing ok. did something happen?”
just luke kissing me and then me questioning our entire relationship, you thought.
“no, i’m just nervous about the ACT coming up i guess.” he nodded, easily accepting your lie as a good reason.
“you don’t have to worry, you’re gonna absolutely crush it.” you sighed and nodded. reggie leaned forward and kissed your forehead. “i guess i should let you get to class. stop stressing so much ok?” you nodded once again and left the closet.
that night as you laid on your bed trying to finish up some homework, there was a knock on your window. you were hesitant to pull back the curtain but another knock sounded throughout your room and you peeled through them. luke smiled at you through the glass and you sighed out of relief. you didn’t feel like having to deal with a murderer today. you unlocked the window and opened it, watching as luke climbed through and shut the window behind him.
“hey, what are you doing here?” you sat on the edge of your bed, closing the textbook you had been using.
“um, i was hoping we could talk.” you nodded and luke took a seat next to you. “so… i’m sorry for what happened at the party a few weeks ago. i don’t know what was going through my head but all of a sudden it was happening and i just- i don’t know.”
“luke, i told you it was fine.”
“but it’s not! you’re dating one of my best friends!” you were both silent for a few moments until you spoke softly.
“luke can i tell you something?”
“yeah of course.” you took a deep breath, trying to find the courage to voice the thoughts that had been intruding your head for the past week.
“your kiss was… better, than reggie’s.” it was quiet for a moment until luke spoke.
“are you saying i’m a better kisser than reggie?” you could practically hear the smirk in his voice and you shook your head.
“no. well… no that’s not- what i’m saying is, when you kissed me, i was shocked and i thought that that was the reason it made me feel the way i did. but then reggie kissed me a few days later and, i don’t know, it felt… bland.”
“yeah.” it was silent again as you both thought about your words. you finally turned so you were facing luke, admiring his look of concentration and confusion for a moment before speaking. “luke?”
“kiss me again.” he turned his head quickly to look at you like you were crazy.
“kiss me again. i need to know if every kiss you give me is going to make me feel the same way as as the first one did.” he studied your face, trying to decipher if you were serious. after deeming you were, he let his hand fall to your thigh.
“you’re absolutely sure about this?” you nodded. “what about reggie?”
“i can figure that out later.” luke nodded.
“ok.” he lets his free hand come up to cup your cheek and softly and carefully pulled you in to meet his lips. you kissed him back this time, and luke wasn’t sure if he was happy or not. he pulled away after a few seconds, letting his eyes open to meet yours. “so?”
you answered him by pulling him into another kiss. this one was faster and more heated then the first. it made you feel like every single nerve in your body was on fire, and luke could say the same. neither of you thought about the consequences of what you were doing as luke leaned you back until your back was against your blankets and he was hovering over you. he let his lips wander along your jaw and neck, subconsciously careful enough not to leave any marks. you gasped out his name when he found the sensitive spot under your jaw and he nipped at it before pulling away to look at you. you whined at the loss of contact and tried to pull him closer to you.
“are you sure about this?” he asked and you nodded. “no i mean really sure. because if this happens it’s happens and there’s no taking it back.”
“luke, please,” you whined, tugging him back down to you by the front of his shirt. he smirked, and finally gave in to you.
two weeks had passed since that night and you had managed to act completely normal again. you would playfully ignore the winks luke sent your way during rehearsals and you tried to avoid talking one on one to each other more than you had before the whole predicament had started. you and luke were both hiding the fact that he had been in your bed three times now very well.
the whole thing had you conflicted though. luke made you feel… alive. it was the only way you could think to put it. and you loved that about him. but you couldn’t get over the love you held for reggie. maybe it was because he was your first love. he was your first time too, maybe you were just holding on to those things. you knew you couldn’t keep stringing him along the way you were but you couldn’t find it in yourself to break his heart. which is why you managed to hide your whatever it was with luke for another two months. he would sneak over to your house at night, the two of you spending time together for a few hours before he would sneak back to the studio so you could both get some sleep. you weren’t the most proud of the system you had created but it was your life and until you gathered the courage to break things off with reggie, it’s how you would continue to live.
with only a week left in school, reggie thought he would leave you little presents in your locker leading up to summer. he knew the combination to get in and he knew you wouldn’t mind a few chocolates or cookies to brighten your day. what he wasn’t expecting was to open your locker to find a loose piece of paper fluttering down to the ground. he picked it up and unfolded it, the bad handwriting immediately catching his eye. his jaw dropped as he read the words on the page, shoving it back into your locker and slamming the door shut.
it was next period that you made your way back to your locker and found the paper. your eyes widened as you read the words that had been scribbled across it and you looked around to see if anyone was watching you. luckily, no one was. you quickly switched out your books and hurried to your next class, one you shared with luke.
“scotty doesn’t know? really?” you whisper yelled as you sat down. luke smiled back at you.
“i see you’ve gotten my note.”
“luke, are you kidding me? this is… you can’t show this to the guys.” he shook his head.
“all for you pretty girl. all for you.”
when alex and bobby got to the studio later that day they found reggie pacing back and forth next to a smashed acoustic guitar.
“dude is that luke’s?”
“he’s gonna be pissed.”
“yeah well he fucking deserves it,” reggie all but growled out. bobby threw his bookbag on the couch.
“uh huh, what did he do this time?” it was an unfortunate coincidence that you had shown up at the moment, walking through the door with a smile on your face. it quickly dropped when reggie pointed at you, a frown etched onto his face.
“her.” alex’s jaw dropped and bobby couldn’t help but sputter out a laugh.
“no fucking way. holy shit.” you surveyed the room for a moment and opened your mouth to speak. before you could however, luke entered the studio.
“hey guys, what’s going on?” his eyes drifted toward the ground and his smile quickly turned to a frown. “is that my guitar? what the hell happened?” reggie scoffed and luke looked up at him.
“you think you would’ve learned last time luke, changing one name in some song lyrics doesn’t mean i can’t figure out what you’re talking about.” it took a moment for luke to process what he meant and when he did he turned to you.
“you showed him the song?” you quickly shook your head.
“it’s been in my bag since i found it, why would i show it to him?”
“then how does he-“
“i found it first. and i read it three times because i couldn’t believe that there was any way what i was reading was true. how long?” neither you or luke answered and reggie asked again.
“two months,” you whispered.
“two months? i cannot believe you two!”
“reggie, i wanted to tell you i just- i couldn’t break your heart that way!” you spoke, tears starting to fall down your face.
“and you think this is better? you don’t deserve to cry over this. you dug your own grave and now it’s time for you to lie in it. i hope you get what’s coming to you.” reggie pushed past you and you took a step to follow him but decided it wasn’t any use. tears rolled down your cheeks as you let a sob out and turned back toward the other three. alex gave luke a look of disgust before following reggie out of the garage. bobby slowly stood up from the couch, making his way over to luke.
“hope it was worth it bud,” he said, patting him twice on the shoulder before leaving the two of you alone. you looked over to luke, the tears in your eyes blurring your vision. he kicked a piece of his broken guitar, cursing loudly before falling down onto the couch. so much for reggie not knowing.
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