koyuki: (inception/thard 」 smoke/mirrors/&whiskey)
/人◕‿‿◕人\ ([personal profile] koyuki) wrote in [community profile] southofreality2012-01-14 01:54 am

(i can) run with this (Tommy / Warrior, one-shot)

Title: (i can) run with this
Rating: G
Word Count: 968
Genre: General/Character Study
Fandom: Warrior
Characters: Tommy Conlon, OCs
Warnings: references to underaged drinking
Summary: Tommy, on a morning run, the day after his school's homecoming.
A/N: Tommy is about ~15 here. Written for "And the winner is..." 2011 films fic-a-thon, for the prompt i get so lost sometimes.

(i can) run with this

Tommy stops by the corner Eat'n Park after his morning run. It's nearly empty save for a group of rowdy teenagers crowded around one of the long booths, most of the neighborhood having chosen to sleep in rather than patronize the diner at 5am on a Saturday morning. Judging by their get-up, level of noise and the annoyance on their waitress' face, Tommy can tell they're the few stragglers from yesterday's Homecoming dance who've yet to turn in for the night.

Tommy hovers in the entrance area, waiting as the waitress delivers the group's orders and sets them on the table. Despite the chilly November air outside, his skin is hot and tight, and he shifts his weight from one foot to another, trying to cool down and contain the rush of adrenaline thumping in his veins from his jog.

"Hi there, sport," the waitress - Emma - greets him. Emma has the night shift five days a week, so her husband can work his nine-to-five and she can stay home and watch their four-year-old. They were barely making ends meet even between their two jobs, Tommy's learned from talking to her the last couple of months, and he's tries to leave her a generous tip.

"Hi," Tommy breathes lowly. "I don't usually see you on Saturdays," he says. He only comes maybe once a week, but he's never caught her on the weekend before.

Emma rolls her eyes. "Jenna called in 'sick,'" she says. "Promised to take my day-after Thanksgiving shift if I filled in for her. Couldn't refuse an offer like that." She winks at him.

Emma grabs a menu and motion for Tommy to follow her into the main part of the restaurant. They pass the group on their way to Tommy's table, though none turn or notice him. Tommy recognizes a few of them -- Sydney from his English class, a couple of guys from the football team, and some girl he's pretty sure Brendan's brought home once or twice. Tommy sits down facing away from their table and doesn't acknowledge them either.

"I'll give you a few minutes." Emma smiles and sets the menu down in front of him.

Tommy's eyes scan down the menu he practically knows by heart, waiting for something to catch his eye. Slurred jokes and raucous laughter drift over from the other table, and Tommy's forehead furrows. Even from this distance, he can tell that dancing wasn't the only thing his classmates last night.

A knot catches at the hollow of his throat, and anxiety twists and pools coolly at the pit of his stomach.

"So what can I get you this morning," Emma says, startling Tommy out of his thoughts.

"--a coffee," Tommy says after a moment. "Small. To go. Please."

Emma raises an eyebrow. Even though it's not busy, she knows Tommy well enough to know he'd never waste her time.

She leans down. "Are they bothering you?" she asks in hushed tones "I can tell them to quiet down."

Tommy shakes his head. "No. Just not hungry today," he says. A coffee would probably not help either, he thinks, with all the nervousness humming underneath his skin.

Emma purses her lips and takes the menu. She comes back a few moments later with a small cup to-go and the check.

"Here ya go, Tommy," she says, and Tommy leaves a tip that's enough to cover a second cup.

Tommy gets up to leave, coffee in hand, and as he's about to pass the rowdy group's table, someone calls out his name.


Tommy turns towards the table and puts on a thin smile. He has enough grace to know what's necessary to navigate the complicated circus of high school social protocols.

"Tommy!" the blonde girl who he's pretty sure is one of Brendan's exes slurs. "Hey -- it's, it's Karen. Remember?"

"Hey," Tommy says with just enough intonation to not be insulting.

"Hey, come join us," she says, and a few of the footballers sloppily motion for him to come over. From this close, he can smell the alcohol fumes clinging to the group.

Tommy shakes his head. "Sorry, got errands to run," he says and turns around and walks out of the diner before they can another word.

The cool, crisp air hits his skin as soon as he's outside, and the coffee in his hand becomes his sole source of warm. Tommy takes a sip of his coffee and grimaces, the tastes like bitter ash on his tongue.

Money's tight around the house right now, and growing up working-class, Tommy knows better than to waste money that was half an hour's work mowing lawns this summer. Still, he can't bring himself to care enough and takes another sip before tossing it into the trash can just outside the store.

Better in the trash than in his father's liquor allowance, he thinks.

Tommy watches the stoplight turn from yellow to red, waiting patiently for it to turn. He checks his watch - 5:32. His old man won't be up for another few hours. He’ll be “better” this morning, Tommy knows, like that’s any help. Somehow, he'll still find out Tommy's been out running. I'm so proud, he'll say, like he actually gives a damn, like he actually cares that he has a son who'll get up and train on his own, a month before the start of the wrestling season.

Tommy wipes his lips, trying to get the ashy taste out of his mouth. Wrestling is one of the few things that's still his own.

Just as the light shifts to green, Tommy turns his heel, and breaks out into a run. He doesn't think, just breathes and puts one foot in front of the other, in the direction opposite of his house.