"Normal? What is this...Normal?", chapter 7

*still Rhiannon's POV*

"Mike?" His head turned, and he smiled a bit. "Wha...What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for you." he said simply, turning back to Heart Grenade and stroking his nuzzle as he crunched on the carrot. Heart Grenade. Who nipped at me everytime I went near him for the first three months I owned him. Okay. Now, I was angry. And I had no idea. I was already regretting slapping Tre, so I tried to keep my anger down. Just crossed my arms and walked up to him. But he was so calm, in the way of an older brother or something. So I smiled and kissed Heart's muzzle and turned to him.

"And why are you waiting for me?" At this he seemed stumped, but only shrugged and turned to me. Okay, let me just straighten things out. I'm on the short side of average. Five foot four. But I'm not afraid to stand up straight and look people in the eyes. So that's what I did. Well, that and climbed on top of the stall door and sitting on it. We were almost at eye level, and I smiled smugly. "Alright, mister tallpantsrockstar. There has to be a reason that you would be waiting for me at my horse's stall."

"Because I knew you would come back here to pack him up."

"Yeh, but---" I was about to say something probably very rude, but I screamed and fell over backwards from the stall door. I slammed onto the ground, and hissed in pain, swearing like a sailor. Mike's face appeared over the stall door, and he was trying largely unsucessfully not to laugh.

"Are---you---*snicker* Okay?" He said, biting his lips. I tried to answer, but started laughing hysterically. He joined in, and I stood up.
"Dang. I have dirt and shiz all over my shirt," I complained, sighing. He paused, and undid his own shirt.

"Here. You can borrow mine." I raised my eyebrows, but took it from him anyay, and I started to undo my shirt, blushing red.
"Thanks..." I looked up, and held the top of my undone blouse closed. "Uhm. I can't do it with you watching me..." He blushed, and kind of stepped to the side, turning away.

*Mike's POV*

Why did I give her my shirt? I mean, I don't even LIKE her. Maybe it's just... She's the friend of that girl. Who was that girl anyway? I don't know, maybe I'll ask her. Or Tre. No, she'd be the best to ask, considering it's her friend. I turn (because how long can it take to change a shirt, anyway?) and find her just putting her arms through my light denim workshirt. A neon turquise bra showed through the opening to my shirt, and her skin is so pale. I blushed, and turned around. She didn't even notice, too busy buttoning it up. So that's what it's like being Tre. She cleared her throat to me, and I turned around, trying my best not to blush.

*Rhiannon's POV*

I cleared my throat, and he turned around. Mike's face was kind of pink, but I wrote it off as embarrassment that I was wearing his shirt and he himself was half-naked. I shrugged, and started to pack up the stuff.

"Could you help me?" I said, and unlocked the door to the stall. He nodded, and helped me get all of Heart Grenade's stuff. We joked and made small talk as we put everything in the trailer and led Heart into it.

"Hey, Rhiannon?" I looked up into the face of Mike Dirnt, who was kind of rubbing the back of his head embarrassedly.
"Yeah?"
"Uhm. You're a fan of Green Day, right?"
"A little bit." I laughed inside my head. Fan? FanATIC, maybe. But he didn't need to know that.
"Well, what if tomorrow I brought the guys to Cowboys, and you could bring a few friends? Like the ones that you brought today?" I raised an eyebrow, but my heart beat faster at the thought of seeing Tre again, hopefully long enough for me to apologise...
"That sounds cool. I'm sure my friends wouldn't object. And I'll give you your shirt back." He grinned, and we shook hands, agreeing to meet outside the club at nine thirty.
"Sounds good. See you. Bye Heart Grenade." He waved as I drove out of the grounds, headed for the stables where Heart was kept, then home.

*Mike's POV*

Oh my god. Yes. I was going to see her friend again. And meet her. And get to know her. Maybe have a drink. When her car turned into a dot on the horizon, I did a small dance and headed back onto the main grounds, picking up a coffee and getting to my car, heading to the hotel where we were sleeping tonight.

I opened to door to the hotel room that we all shared. That may sound like some sort of orgy to you, but do you know how much three hotel rooms during Stampede week cost? So we decided to get one. I had the couch to sleep on, Tre and Billie on each of the beds. Billie was sitting on the floor, reading an old copy of Catcher in the Rye. Tre was lying on his bed, examining a bright red cowboy hat as if his life depended on him having every fibre of it memorized. Billie looked up and raised an eyebrow.

"Dude. Where's your shirt?" I looked down, pretending to be slightly surprised at my scrawny, tattooed chest. The tiger on it was roaring at me, as usual. I looked back at Billie, shrugging and blushing a bit with a shy smile.

"Teenie attack." Billie nodded slowly, and went back to the book. Tre didn't even look up, or make a joke. I nodded at Billie and then at Tre. Billie just shrugged and told me with his eyes to shut up and let him read his favorite book. So I did. I changed into a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, collapsing on the couch and flipping through the channels on the T.V. There was a news report on the Stampede, and specifically a segment on Tre and Rhiannon. We all laughed (Tre's was half-hearted, though) and then fell into silence. I turned off the T.V. and the lights, and went to the couch. I couldn't fall asleep, so I went over to the window, watching the city. It was brightly lit still, and many people were clamouring all over the place. I put my hands on either side of the window, like in the Basket Case video just before I throw that thing through the window, and press my head into the cool smoothness of the pane, closing my eyes and imagining home. Somehow, it came around that I went through the entire day again, except in fast forward. Slow-motion kicked in when She went by and any other opportunity I had that I saw her. And also when I saw rhiannon putting her arms through my shirt. I opened my eyes, and found myself sweating a bit, but not from the shirt scene.

"Mike?" I looked over my shoulder, and found Tre sitting up in bed, looking troubled. Billie was out like a log, snoring lightly.
"Yeah?" After pause, he just shrugged and whispered 'nothing'. Okay, now I was worried. I went and sat by him. He was still holding the hat. I looked at it, then him.
"You know Rhiannon?"
"I think so. The Blonde girl?" I whispered, looking at him. He nodded, a smile tugging at his lips. "Okay, yeah.'
"Well. I kissed her." Oh. So that's why she looked so pissed when she came into the stables.
"Mhmm?"
"And she slapped me."
"...Oh."
"But I think I kinda like her and now I'm all depressed and just wish..." he sighed heavily. "I could see her again..."
"Good thing you will, then." I gave an evil grin.
"...What do you mean?"
"I saw her a few minutes before the attack, and we talked for a while. Turns out she goes to this one club Cowboys every Saturday night at nine, nine-thirty." The reaction on his face was precious. I grinned, and clapped a hand to his shoulder. "And I said we should get a feel for the feel of the club scene in Calgary. She said it's not much, but it's a wild party, usually." He punched me on the shoulder, but we laughed anyway.

"So I'll go and find her! And apologise, and who knows, maybe catch a drink or a dance with her!" He was so pathetically happy. I nodded and shrugged.

"We're not doing anything tomorrow, so I'll tag along. Billie might come too, if he's not all depressed over being not at home." His smile faltered a bit, and I laughed. "It's not like I'd crash in on your date thing, dude." He nodded, and put an arm around my shoulder.

"Thanks, man. You have no idea how glad this makes me." And you have no idea just how happy both of us are, Tre Cool. I felt guilty for using him like this, but he was using me too, right?

"Alright, alright. Enough with the mushy stuff. Let's go to sleep."
"Night."
"Good night." I stayed up for a few more hours, lying on my back on the couch, listening to the sounds of Cow Town at it's peak before dozing off.
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