"Ow." Peanut muttered and grabbed the back of her head, which had just been smacked by her grinning friend. "Why'd you have to do that? You asked me for the truth."
Brown eyes stared back at her incredulously. "No I didn't."
"Okay maybe you didn't ask me vocally but you gave me a look." Peanut defended. "If you don't want the truth, then don't give me looks."
"There was no look, and how exactly does a joke about my na´vetÚ fall into the category of telling the truth?"
"It just does," Peanut answered. "It's like you and your innate ability to get involved in demented situations... it just is what it is."
The comment earned her another smack from her friend, but this time on her arm.
"Stop hitting me," Peanut replied as she rubbed her arm. "It's not my fault you've got karmic mishaps following you around like some bad following around thingie."
"Your vocabulary astounds me."
"I'm only telling the truth." Her friend responded smiling brightly.
Peanut sneered then turned her expression back to one of mild amusement. "So tell me Polly, why are we sitting outside the house of our best friend in the freezing cold at night again?"
"We're going to kidnap her," Polly responded easily turning her attention back to the dimly lit house.
Peanut nodded. "Okay. So why are we kidnapping her?"
"She needs to be taught a lesson."
Peanut nodded again. "What lesson exactly?"
"She needs to be taught how to respect others."
Peanut pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. "What did she do to you?"
Polly turned her fiery eyes back to Peanut, "I called her fifty times in the past three weeks and left messages, but she never called me back. The one time I actually did talk to her she said she was busy working or some shit like that. Do you know that she's been working for the last three weeks straight without one day off? That's insane. That's inhumane. That's..."
Peanut stopped her friend's tirade by planting her left hand over the moving mouth. "It's the holiday season, Polly, people who work retail are very busy right now. I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
Polly gave her friend an evil glare then licked the palm of the hand that had attached itself to her mouth. Peanut pulled her hand away quickly not hesitating in vocalizing her disgust. "Spew! You need to keep your tongue to yourself young lady," she chastised, "don't make me sic my girlfriend on you."
Polly laughed. "Yeah whatever."
"Why you laugh?"
"Sweetie, the last time you tried to sic your girlfriend on me she laughed at you and offered me a drink. I don't feel very threatened by her."
"I'd growl at you, but I don't feel like giving you that pleasure."
"Stop pouting. You look weird."
Peanut stuck out her tongue.
"Quill doesn't work in retail any longer, by the way. She works for some company doing some thing that requires her to do stuff."
"She didn't tell me that," Peanut said sounding hurt. "She never calls me anymore. And she doesn't write."
"She tried to call you," Polly explained, "But that's after you killed your phone. You were studying for finals and disconnected yourself from the world, remember?"
"Oh yeah. The phone deserved to die," Peanut told her friend evilly. "It just kept ringing and ringing when I tried to study. It wouldn't stop. It would never stop. I had to kill it. There was no other choice."
"You could have just turned it off," Polly suggested. "It would have been more logical than throwing it on the ground and stomping on it."
Peanut narrowed her eyes. "It deserved to die."
Polly rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
"I got a new one though," Peanut exclaimed excitedly and reached in her pocket to pull it out. "See," she shoved it in her friend's face, "It's all blue and pretty. It doesn't scream at me like the other one did."
Polly raised her brow. "You're insane."
They stared at each other in an absurd silence that was broken by the sound of knocking on the passenger side window. Peanut jumped out of her seat toward the driver's seat not quite making it and landed on the space between the seats.
"Ow!" She screamed. "The gear is up my ass, Quill! That wasn't fucking funny!"
Kyla, the to-be-kidnapee stood outside of the cranberry colored Saturn SL and laughed at her friend. "Are you guys going to sit out here all night or come inside?"
"How did you know we were here?" Polly asked suspiciously as she pushed Peanut back to the passenger side of the vehicle, seemingly unconcerned with Peanut's proclamation of ass problems.
"Peanut called me."
Peanut looked over to Polly with wide eyes then opened her car door and jumped out. "I didn't know you didn't want her to know we were coming."
Kyla crossed her arms in front of her and gave Polly an accusatory glare. "Why didn't you want me to know that you were coming over?"
Before Polly could answer another car drove up and parked behind Peanut's Saturn. All three turned their attention to the vehicle, but only one shone with recognition.
"Crap," Kyla muttered under her breath.
Peanut heard her friend's exclamation and instead of asking Kyla any questions ran up to the side of the Honda Accord and opened the driver's side door. "Hi!" She said brightly. "Who are you?"
The dark haired woman in the car gave Peanut a once over and decided not to slam her door shut. "Kathryn," she responded smoothly.
Peanut shook her head. "Noooo... that won't do. You're not a Kathryn. I shall call you Tiger and you will be Tiger."
Kyla dropped her head into the palm of her hand and started rubbing her temple. "Oh God."
Polly decided to get out of the comfort of her friend's car and turned to Peanut and Kathryn. "Who's she?" She asked Peanut.
"Tiger!" Peanut exclaimed loudly. "Kathryn in the real world though."
Kathryn's blue eyes traveled from one woman to the other then focused on Kyla. "These are the friends you were talking about, aren't they?"
"You were talking about us?" Peanut asked.
"Behind our backs?" Polly chimed in.
"Without talking to us about Tiger?" Peanut continued.
"I think I'm offended." Peanut and Polly said at the same time.
Kyla groaned. "I didn't say anything about it because you guys aren't normal."
Peanut and Polly looked at each other then back to Kyla. "We're offended," they responded in unison once more.
"We can be normal," Peanut argued then turned to Kathryn and offered her left hand. "Hello Kathryn, my name is Evangelyn Townsend. I'm a friend of Kyla's."
Kathryn took Evangelyn's offered hand timidly. "Nice to meet you."
"And I'm Lindsey," Polly waved.
Peanut turned to Kyla. "See? Normal. You just need to give us a chance." She then turned back to Kathryn. "So Tiger, are you sleeping with our Quill?"
"Peanut!" Kyla yelled. "That's none of your business!"
"Inside the house we must go," Polly said as she pointed to the open front door of Kyla's house. "I think we need to talk."
"Into the house!" Peanut yelled in a fake British accent then skipped past Kyla and up the walkway to the house and through the door.
"Hmm." Polly rubbed her chin, "I thought she was gonna trip." Then followed Peanut's trail minus the skipping.
Kathryn walked up to Kyla and gave her a brief hug. "You were right about them," she told her girlfriend. "I can see why you wanted me to wait until I met them."
"They're really great. Really. Just... different. They function perfectly well in the real world... when they take a visit in it."
"Hey come inside!" Peanut called out to the couple. "I'm making wonderful concoctions of drinks that shall warm your heart and soul." She held up a glass with something purple in it, then walked back into the house.
"Don't let them scare you," Kyla warned. "They may seem crazy, but there's a method to the madness."
Kathryn smirked, "I don't think they could possibly scare me."
Kyla snorted. "Keep telling yourself that." She took Kathryn's hand and dragged her into the house where they found Polly lying on the couch with her mouth open and Peanut standing above her pouring the purple liquid into her friend's mouth.
"If you guys get that stuff on my couch, you are so dead." Kyla warned.
"I'll buy you a new one," Peanut offered.
"With what money?" Kyla asked with her hands attached to her hips.
Peanut shrugged. "Monopoly?"
Kyla shook her head. "You drop it, then you die."
Peanut stopped pouring the liquid and stuck her tongue out at her friend. "You suck. I'm going to get more drinks and you're going to help me." Peanut pointed at Kathryn.
"Okay," Kathryn drew out the word and followed Peanut to the kitchen leaving Polly and Kyla conspicuously alone.
Polly sat up and pointed at the chair across from her. "Sit."
Kyla sighed but gave into her fate and took a seat across from her friend. "I can expalin..."
"Shh," Polly interrupted. "I'm the one that gets to talk now."
Kyla's shoulders sagged but she nodded in compliance. "Go ahead."
"You lied. You said you were busy working, and that's not true. You were hiding. Why did you ever feel the need to do that?"
There was a sudden crash from the kitchen then Peanut's muffled voice yelling out, "Everything's fine!"
Polly continued to talk as if there had been no interruption. "We're your best friends Quill. We love you no matter what."
Kyla sighed. "I was scared."
"Of what?" Polly asked perplexed.
"Well you know what happened with Sandra?"
"Yes, we judged her unworthy and told you to break up with her, but you were stubborn and didn't do it. She ended up breaking your heart."
"Yeah," Kyla turned her attention to her entwined hands. "And do you remember Rebecca?"
"Yes," Polly nodded. "We told you she was a woman of ill repute and to break up with her, but you were stubborn and didn't do it. You caught her in bed with another woman and we killed her garden."
"Yeah. And do you remember Jessica?"
Polly sighed, "Yes. She was really fantastic, and quite beautiful. We told you she was a great person but you guys didn't mesh. We thought you should break up with her, but you're..."
"Stubborn, I know," Kyla interjected. "So, we ended up being together for a couple of years then broke up because we didn't love each other like we needed to in order to stay lovers."
"Yep," Polly nodded. "So where is this going?"
"Lindsey, you and Evangelyn have been right about every one of my girlfriends since high school. You've never been wrong about anything. You've got a freaky sixth sense about it, and well... I didn't want to know what you thought about Kathryn."
Polly sat back on the couch and looked over at her friend thoughtfully. "You could have told us not to say anything to you."
"That's true, but you guys don't keep your opinions to yourself very well. Plus, the last three weeks have been... incredible. I think I'm really happy."
"Sweetie," Polly reached over and took Kyla's hand, "we only want you to be happy. We want you to have what we have with our girlfriends."
Another crash came from the kitchen and Peanut's muffled voice exclaimed that everything was fine once more her voice sounding a little strained.
Kyla was about to get up, but Polly pushed her back down. "We need to give them more time."
Kyla's green eyes widened. "What's Peanut doing?"
Polly shrugged. "I don't know. She's probably just making sure that Kathryn knows the rules."
Polly only smiled.
In the kitchen Peanut and Kathryn were on the floor partaking in an activity that looked a lot like wrestling. A few pots were lying on the floor around them and somehow a canister's worth of salt streaked the floor.
"I'm so gonna kick your ass when I get you off me," Peanut growled out. "There's no way some punk like you is going to beat me."
"Punk?!" Kathryn yelled. "You're the one that attacked me!"
"I didn't attack you," Peanut grunted as she tried to roll Kathryn off of her. "I was trying to be nice by offering to take your jacket. I had good intentions!"
Kathryn pulled back, giving Peanut the benefit of the doubt. "Are you serious?"
"Of course I..." Peanut took the advantage she was given by Kathryn moving and rolled them both over so that she was sitting atop Kathryn. "Of course I'm not." She pinned Kathryn's arms to the floor. "I jumped on your back and took you down." She leaned over and looked intently into Kathryn's eyes. "I win."
Kathryn stopped struggling. For such a petite woman, Peanut was oddly strong. "Fine. You win."
Peanut smiled and jumped up off of her friend's girlfriend. "Let that be a lesson to ye."
"What lesson?" Kathryn asked, as she brushed salt from her clothes and hair.
Peanut got a blank look on her face. "That I'm good at kicking your butt?"
Kathryn gave a glare in response.
The taller woman shook her head.
"Okay then take it as a lesson to not ever hurt Kyla, because at any moment I may jump on your back like a little monkey and make life difficult for you."
"Kyla was right about you."
Peanut cocked her head to the side. "About what?"
"She said there was a method to your madness."
"She called me mad?" Peanut responded in her bad British accent.
"But she said you had method," Kathryn was quick to add.
"Of course I have method. I have much method. More method then I know what to do with. And in my methodness I shall method on you."
"Or," Kathryn drew out the word, "maybe you're just mad."
Peanut narrowed her eyes and scowled as evilly as she could possibly muster. "Technically I'd be called a psychotic."
"According to Hans Eysneck psychotics can be insensitive to others, hostile, cruel and inhumane, and like making fools of people. Of course they're also pure genius so it wipes away all the negatives, don't you think?" Peanut focused her attention to a spot on the distant wall not waiting for a response before she started speaking again. "But then I think I like Raymond Cattell's theory on psychosis. He says that the individual loses contact with reality and lack insight into their problems. It's all very involved. Although Cattell really doesn't get all that much credit these days since he was in league with the Nazis" She finished in a confused voice as she began to scratch the back of her head.
"Are you into psychology?" Kathryn asked casually opting to ignore the entire psychosis topic of conversation.
Peanut nodded. "I'm actually attending grad school for my doctorate in psych. I'm focusing on forensic psychology."
Kathryn's eyes widened in obvious surprise. "Really? That's? surprising."
Peanut sighed. "Yeah. I originally was focusing on child psychology but then my sister was murdered and in a need to understand what had happened I focused on the minds' of the offenders."
Silence filled the kitchen, Kathryn not knowing what to say and Peanut busy cleaning up the mess they had made. Kyla called to them from the living room asking them if they were okay and Peanut hurried to respond that everything was fine. She needed just a little more time alone with Kathryn.
"So do you love her?" Peanut asked bluntly as she stopped cleaning and turned to face Kathryn. "If you're fucking with her then I suggest you take a walk far, far away and change your name and address because no body hurts our Quill."
"I love her," Kathryn responded not breaking eye contact with Peanut. "I've never felt this way about anyone in my life."
"Okay," Peanut nodded. "But I'll be watching you with both my eyes open."
Kathryn gave the shorter woman an odd look then nodded her head. "Okay."
"Alright. I'm glad we've got all that settled," Peanut put her hands on her hips and looked around the kitchen. She hadn't cleaned up very well. "Let's go back and join everyone else."
"What about the mess?"
"Kyla can clean it up. She owes me."
Peanut smirked. "Let's just say I saved her from a very unpleasant road trip where much mayhem would have ensued. I think we might even have involved the evil staring squirrels."
"Squirrels?" Kathryn asked then held up her hands and shook her head. "Never mind. I don't want to know."
"But it's a wonderful, scary, blissful, horrifying story."
"I still don't want to know."
"Eh," Peanut shrugged, "suit yourself."
They returned to the living room where Polly and Kyla greeted them with anxious glares.
"I have proven her worthy," Peanut announced gallantly in the British accent once more. "Also, I kicked her ass."
"That's my girl," Polly yelled giving her friend two thumbs up. "I knew you could take her."
"Take her?" Kyla asked her voice with a sever edge of anger in it.
Peanut looked around for a quick escape then pointed an accusing finger at Polly. "She was gonna kidnap you and take you to a place far away where there are scary squirrels in league with the evil birds."
"What?!" Kyla shrieked.
"You are so dead!" Polly jumped from her seat and gave chase to an already running Peanut.
Kyla and Kathryn watched them run around the house for a minute then turned to each other.
"She didn't hurt you did she?"
"No," Kathryn answered softly.
A loud screaming could be heard just outside their field of vision accompanied with an evil laugh.
"You've got some really great friends." Kathryn observed as she put her arm around Kyla.
Kyla sighed. "Yeah I do."
"If Polly wants her shoe back she better give me my phone back!" Peanut could be heard yelling from the hallway that led to the bedrooms.
"Well if Peanut wants her phone back she better give me my wallet back!" Polly could be heard yelling in response. "Or else Peanut's phone is going to be murdered!"
"Really great friends." Kyla reiterated as a loud crashing was heard from one of the bedrooms. "So great that I don't need enemies."