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 Post subject: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:38 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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So I decided to take a hack at fanfiction for the first time!

These are the first two chapters of a little story arc I'm working on. I'm trying to stick pretty close to canon with this one, and the whole thing will be from Jules's POV. It starts out a little slow, but it'll speed up, I promise!

Chapter 1
It was Sunday afternoon, and I FINALLY got Connie to stop talking with her friends after church long enough to drag her to the car so we could go home for lunch. I was starving.
Climbing into the passenger seat, I pulled out my phone to text Buck.
“Saw you in church today. Did Eugene and Katrina drag you there with them, like Connie does to me? Nice tie, by the way. lol”
“So, Jules, what did you think of Pastor Knox’s sermon?” Connie’s voice broke into my private world.
“Oh, uh, I don’t know. It was fine, I guess,” I mumbled.
“Oh.” She looked disappointed for a moment, then continued. “It kind of reminded me of that book I gave you to read. The chapter about how Jesus always comes and meets us where we are. Have you read that one yet?”
I shook my head. “Uh, no, sorry, I haven’t gotten around to it yet.”
“Jules, it’s the second chapter of the book. I gave it to you three weeks ago, and you haven’t even gotten that far?”
Oh no, here comes the lecture, I groaned to myself. But, surprisingly, none came.
“Never mind that. Maybe we can read it together and talk about it this afternoon.”
“Well, I’m not really…” I began.
“Oh, wait, Penny’s coming over,” Connie broke in. “She wants to show us that new painting she’s been working on. It’s the empty garden tomb after the Resurrection, and she’s really excited about it.”
“Well, you’ll have to just tell me about it when I get back.”
“Back from where?”
“Remember? Buck and I were going to go check out that new nature trail they just put in near McAllister Park.”
“Oh, that’s right,” She replied, her tone letting me know I had really rained on her parade.
The conversation dropped as we pulled into the driveway, and I bolted for the house as soon as the tires ground to a halt.


Chapter 2
I finished the lunch dishes just as Penny’s car pulled into the driveway.
“I’m heading out to meet Buck,” I called over my shoulder to Connie as I slipped out the kitchen door into the garage to get my bike.
The doorbell rang, and I could hear Connie and Penny chatting in the doorway.
I frowned down at my phone in my hand, slightly annoyed Buck hadn’t texted me back. That wasn’t like him.
“Where’s Jules?” Penny was asking Connie.
“She just left to go hang out with Buck. I was hoping she’d stay for a minute to look at your painting, but…” There was a long pause, which I assumed was filled with what I called “the Connie sigh.”
“Don’t worry, Connie. I’m not offended,” Penny offered.
“It’s not that,” Connie went on. “I was hoping seeing your painting would help spark a conversation with her.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just that, well, I’ve been trying to talk to her about God and, you know, share my faith with her and stuff, but she’s just not interested. I just don’t know what to do with her sometimes, Penny. She gets this glazed-over look whenever I say anything about God or the Bible, and I can tell she’s not listening to a word I say. I gave her this really great Christian book to read several weeks ago, and she hasn’t even…”
I heaved a big sigh and pulled the cord to lower the garage door. Funny thing is, though I didn’t want to let on, I actually had started reading the book. I wasn’t ready to admit it yet, but Christianity intrigued me, albeit ever so slightly. I still had a lot to think about, though, and I needed time and space to figure out for myself what I believed.
“Hey Jules!” my friend greeted me as he pulled up the driveway on his bike.
“Hi, Buck.”
“Are you ready to do some exploring?”
“I guess so,” I sighed as we started down the street.
“Everything okay? You seem a little down,” Buck observed.
“You never texted me back.” The words came out more irritably than I intended.
“Oh, sorry,” he said, raising his eyebrows and fishing his phone out of his pocket. “I guess I was a little distracted this afternoon.”
“Yeah, you and me both.”
“Anything you want to talk about?”
He crinkled his eyebrows and turned to look me in the eyes. Why did my stomach do cartwheels every time he looked at me like that?
“Well, I guess it’s Connie,” I began. “She keeps trying to get me into the whole Christianity thing, and it’s just, well, a little too much for me sometimes. That’s all.”
“Funny you should mention that.” He let out a nervous chuckle. “I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a predicament with that myself.”
“Oh yeah?” I raised an eyebrow in his direction.
“Well, you know I’ve been going to youth group on Wednesday nights like Eugene and Katrina have been wanting me to, right?”
“Yeah.”
“So this past week, the youth leader asked everybody tell the story of how they became a Christian. EVERYBODY else was doing it, and I didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t, so I—well—I just kind of made something up.”
“Buck, you didn’t!” I gasped, stifling a giggle.
“I sure did. And now I’m paranoid Eugene and Katrina are going to find out. They were asking me all sorts of questions this afternoon—about this morning’s sermon and youth group and a bunch of other stuff. I could hardly wait to get out of there.”
“I don’t blame you.”
“I didn’t mean to lie,” he continued. “I just wanted to fit in.”
“I know the feeling,” I sighed.
“It’s great that all that religion stuff works for Eugene and Katrina and Connie and all of them—I’m just not sure about it for me.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
We rode on without speaking for a while. Then I broke the silence.
“Buck?”
“Yeah?”
“What if it really is true—you know, about Jesus and all that? I mean, when I was younger, my mom would change her religion like she changed her hairstyle—which was a LOT. If one didn’t work out, she’d just move on to the next. But what Connie and Eugene and Katrina have, well, it seems different than that somehow. More real, I guess, like they actually believe it.”
“I get what you’re saying,” Buck replied thoughtfully. “I’m just not sure I’m ready to believe it. See, I was taught to deal in the concrete. ‘Only believe what you see with your own eyes,’ Mr. Skint always used to tell me. And that’s what I’ve stuck with all my life.”
“Hm.” I stared straight ahead for a moment, processing what he’d said. “Well, enough about that for now. We’re here! Race ya!” I hollered over my shoulder and took off down the trail as fast as my legs could pedal.


I'm planning to post a new bit every Sunday night until I've finished my little arc. :) Let me know what you think!

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:02 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Dude! Yes! That was fantastic! I can never get enough Buck/Jules fanfic. Can’t wait to read more!

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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:38 pm 
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Yeah, this is really good so far!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:14 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Thank you so much, friends!

You guys are actually my inspiration for this--I LOVE both of your work!

Keep creating the good stuff!

(Sorry for all the exclamation points :P )

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:46 am 
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Sounds pretty good so far. Is this set a few albums back, or 'here and now' as it were.


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:24 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Thank you! This is set in the "here and now." :)

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:05 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Chapter 3
I’d been lying in bed, staring at the ceiling in the dark room for what seemed like hours. My thoughts were all over the place, and sleep was somewhere far, far away. I grabbed my phone and began scrolling through the seemingly endless social media feeds—carefully documented, impossibly perfect lives of people I used to know. But none of it was real. The picture-perfect sunsets on the beach, the concerts, the parties—it was all like a movie set, just a smokescreen to cover up the nothingness underneath. I’d felt that nothingness lift a little since coming to Odyssey, but tonight it weighed heavily on me.
I switched on the small lamp that was clipped to the bookshelf headboard and rolled over on my stomach to peruse the volumes on the shelf. One in particular caught my eye: a well-worn Bible with Connie’s name etched in gold on the front cover. Strange, I’d never noticed it there before. I carefully removed it from the shelf and gently ran my fingers over the gold lettering. Opening the front cover, I noticed a hand-written inscription. It was from Mr. Whittaker.

Dear Connie,
In the short time I’ve known you, you’ve become like a daughter to me. I love you so very much, and I hope and pray that someday soon you’ll come to know how God loves you even more than I do. Take care of yourself in California, okay, kiddo?
Merry Christmas, and God bless!
Whit


Mr. Whittaker must have given this Bible to Connie before she became a Christian, I realized, once again struck by just how deeply these people cared about one another.
Carefully flipping through the pages, I tried to recall where Pastor Knox had asked the congregation to turn during his message that morning. Luke, was it? It was that story about the tax collector who climbed up in a tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by. Zacchaeus—that was the guy’s name, right?
This was a guy who thought he had it figured out, Pastor Knox had said. He’d built a world for himself out of lies and other people’s money, but he still felt an emptiness inside.
Just like me, I thought. A fake, a fraud, just looking for something real to believe in. The makeup, the designer clothes, the fake ID’s and counterfeit friendships—everything that had been my life in California—had always felt so fragile and transient, like it could all come crashing down at any moment. So I’d found myself running, always running. Yet, now, I felt myself irresistibly drawn to this place I’d never heard of until not too long ago—climbing, reaching, searching for something to give a little purpose to the madness.
I heard muffled footsteps in the hallway, then a soft knock on the bedroom door. I hastily closed the Bible and shoved it under my pillow. The door cracked open slowly, and Connie’s head peeped in.
“Everything okay, Jules? I got up to use the restroom and saw your light on.”
“Yeah, I was just having a little trouble sleeping.”
“Is something bothering you?””
“Nah, I’m okay. Probably just a chocolate chip cookie overdose,” I joked, ignoring the hollow feeling welling up in the pit of my stomach.
She rolled her eyes at me. “I told you not to eat so many right before bed.”
“I know, I know,” I groaned, returning her eye roll.
“Well, goodnight, Jules.”
“Goodnight, Connie.”

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:04 pm 
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This was amazing. Seriously. You have a great way with words and have a fantastic perspective on Jules' character development. I can't wait to read more!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:53 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Thank you so much! Feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas to make it better, too! :)

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:37 pm 
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Chapter 4
I awoke the next morning to Connie pounding on my bedroom door.

“Jules, get up! It’s 10 o’clock, and we need to leave for Whit’s End soon!”

I fumbled for my phone, realizing I had overslept my alarm by over an hour. Connie’s Bible lay open next to me on the bed. How late had I stayed up reading, anyway?

I sat up on the edge of the bed and rubbed my eyes before stumbling over to the closet and throwing on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

Connie was waiting for me downstairs with a bowl of steaming oat meal.

“Thanks, Connie. But you didn’t have to make breakfast for me. I can…”

She cut me off. “After last night, I figured SOMEONE ought to make sure you ate something healthy for once.”

“What? Oh…uh…thanks,” I stammered, remembering my fib about the cookies from the night before.

I picked up the bowl and blew on a spoonful of the hot cereal.

“Uh-oh.” Connie was frowning at her phone, which had just pinged several times.

“What’s up?”

“It’s Whit. He said the supply truck that came in on Saturday brought the wrong shipment, so he’s up to his ears in dill pickles and maple syrup, but he’s out of almost everything else. On top of that, there’s still a lot of cleaning up to do after all those birthday parties on Saturday. He needs us to get over there right away.”

“That can’t be good. If Whit’s asking for help, it’s got to be pretty bad,” I speculated.

“You’re probably right,” Connie nodded, grabbing her purse and herding me toward the door, oatmeal still in hand.

****

We arrived at Whit’s End to a scene of utter chaos. There were dirty dishes everywhere, and an enormous puddle of sudsy water was seeping out of the kitchen and into the main dining room.

“This place is a mess!” Connie exclaimed. “It looks like a dishwasher exploded in here. What happened, Whit?”

“Well, that’s nearly what happened,” Whit chuckled, halfheartedly. “I put in a load of dishes to run overnight before I left on Saturday and decided to finish the rest this morning. But something must have gone wrong with the dishwasher, and this is what I found when I came in this morning. Eugene should be here shortly to help me get this thing back up and running, but until then, I’m going to need some help getting this mess cleaned up.”

Connie set to work hand-washing the dishes, splashing sudsy water all over the counter in her haste.

“Urgh!” she groaned, as she accidentally backed into the table behind her, knocking over a tower of pickle jars, which shattered all over the floor.

I need to get out of here before one of us loses it, I thought.

If I’d learned anything from Connie teaching me to drive, it was that if she was stressed out, that meant that I was going to be stressed out. And nothing good could come of the both of us being stressed out together in a confined space.

“I can drive to the store to get whatever we need to hold us over until the new shipment gets here,” I volunteered, in what I felt was a stroke of genius.

“Well, thank you, Jules,” Whit replied. “That would be helpful. I’ll get a list together for you.”

While Whit worked on the list, I busied myself with trying to mop up the soggy, grimy floor.

“That should do it,” Whit said a few minutes later, handing me a list that rivaled a CVS receipt for length. “Just call us here if you have any questions.”

I rummaged through Connie’s purse for her keys, then half-jogged for the door.

“Drive safe, Jules!” Connie called after me. “And remember, the phone stays IN the glove compartment while you’re driving!”

“I remember, I remember,” I hollered back.

Traffic seemed lighter than usual for the typical summer Monday morning in Odyssey, and before I knew it, I was sitting at the stoplight waiting to turn into the parking lot at Jenkins's Market. The green arrow light came on, and I began the turn into the grocery store parking lot.

Suddenly, I saw a flash of movement to my right. A car was speeding right toward me with no sign of stopping. I punched the gas pedal to try to get out of the way, but it was too late. I heard the sickening crunch of metal against metal and felt the bone-jarring jolt. My head slammed HARD against the steering wheel, and everything went black.

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:58 am 
Chocolate Chip
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Whoa- wait- cliffhangers- why must you do this to me!?
Well, good job anyway! That was great!

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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:35 am 
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NOOOOO Please post again soon I don't think I can handle the suspense!!!!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:04 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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*rubs palms together in a Glossman-esque manner*

I shall certainly try!

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:40 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Aaand here's chapter 5!

Next thing I knew, I was blinking awake, squinting my eyes to shield them from the too-bright light of a hospital room. What was I doing here?

Connie’s face was the first thing I recognized as everything came slowly back into focus.

“C-Connie?”

“Jules!” She wheeled around and threw her arms around Katrina, who was seated next to her. “She’s awake! Katrina! She’s awake! Nurse! Eugene, call a nurse!” Her exclamations rang loudly in my ears, sending stabs of pain through my skull. I stifled a moan.

“Sh-sh-sh, Connie.” Katrina laid a gently restraining hand on Connie’s shoulder.

I sensed a wave of frenzied movement on the other side of the room as Eugene flagged down a nurse out in the hallway. A moment later, Dr. Lily Graham entered the room.

“How’s the patient?” she asked cheerfully.

“My head hurts. What…what happened?” My voice sounded muffled and far away, like it was coming from someone else.

“You don’t remember?” Dr. Graham questioned. “There was an accident, and—“

“Uuugh,” I groaned, burying my face in the pillow. “I remember. This car came out of nowhere—it didn’t even slow down. I tried to get out of the way, but… It all happened so fast, and I…” My heart pounded as my mind replayed the whole scene in vivid detail.

“Hey-hey-hey—Jules, it’s okay, it’s okay.” Connie’s touch on my arm was surprisingly gentle and reassuring, especially compared to her near hysteria just a moment earlier. I nodded my appreciation in her direction and turned my attention back to Dr. Graham, who was peering into my eyes with an ophthalmoscope.

“Pupils dilate normally. Now, follow my finger with your eyes. Good.” She continued the examination with a practiced eye and gentle touch. “Vitals are good. No significant bruising. We’ll just have to set that dislocated shoulder of yours, and then I think you’ll be in pretty good shape.”

“That’ll be fun,” I commented wryly. I’d seen it before in the movies, how the doctor snaps the joint back into place while the patient utters a primal cry of pain, and I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect.

“I’ll count to three, and then you’ll feel a pop, okay? You ready?”

I nodded, bracing myself.

One sharp twist, and it was over. It hurt like the dickens, but I managed to hold myself together. Connie hovered over me all the while, her brow crinkled with concern.

“Aaand that’ll do it,” Dr. Graham said, gathering her instruments and stepping toward the door. “We’ll keep you overnight for observation, but I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to go home tomorrow.”

I thanked her, and she nodded warmly, then turned to Connie.

“Can we step outside for a moment?”

I gave my half-sister a questioning look, and she gave my hand a reassuring squeeze as she left her seat. But something in the way she looked at Dr. Graham told me there must be something they weren’t telling me.

As Connie and Dr. Graham left the room, a shadow moved across the bedsheets, and for the first time, I noticed Buck standing over me. Silent and watchful, there was a certain uneasiness etched across his customarily serene features.

“Hey.”

“Hey,” he responded softly.

Our eyes met for a moment, then snapped apart as I suddenly became aware of the other visitors who sat grim-faced in a kind of semicircle around the room. Wooton and Penny stood in the far corner, arms around each other, and Jillian perched lightly on the arm of the chair where Katrina sat, while Eugene paced nervously from one end of the room to the other.

“I didn’t realize we were having a party today. Otherwise, I would have dressed for it.” I was trying to be funny, but the joke fell flat. Nobody even cracked a smile.

Just then, Connie reentered the room, trailed by Captain Quinn from the Odyssey Police.

“Connie, what’s he—“

“It’s alright, young lady,” the captain began. “I’ll just need to get a statement from you to complete the police report. Do you think you’re up to it?”

“Sure, I guess. Although I’m not sure how much help I’ll be. I mean, it all happened so fast, I can barely sort out what happened.”

“That’s no matter,” Captain Quinn continued, shuffling papers around on a clip board. “Just tell me what you do remember.”

“Well, like I said, there isn’t a lot to tell,” I began. “I was driving carefully. And my phone was IN the glove compartment—just like you told me, Connie—I SWEAR. I got the green arrow and started to turn, and then I saw this car coming right at me. And it didn’t stop. It just didn’t stop.”

My voice rose as I spoke, and I could feel my pulse quickening as my mind’s eye replayed the scene in slow motion.

“Mhm,” the police captain nodded as his pencil swished across the paper on his clip board. “And that’s all you remember?”

“Yeah, that’s it. Dr. Graham said I must have been knocked unconscious on impact or whatever.”

“Alright, then. That’s all I need. Thank you for your time, Miss Kendall.”

“Wait—“ I put in abruptly, interrupting Captain Quinn’s exit. “What happened?”

The room went silent. My heart began to pound, as I sensed that something was terribly wrong.

“Well,” the police captain began, “it’s almost certain that the other driver was on her phone and didn’t even see the red light. We found the phone thrown from the car with an unfinished text message on the screen, so we can only assume…”

“Who—who was it?” I stammered, my mind racing.

Silence.

“Why won’t anyone tell me?” I demanded. Panic tore at my throat, and I felt like screaming. I struggled to sit up, but a stab of pain from my injured shoulder stopped me.

“Jules—“ Connie began, choking on a sob. “Jules, the other driver was Valerie Swanson.”

I bolted upright, pain again coursing through my shoulder.

“What? Valerie? Is she okay? Where…?”

Connie interrupted my frantic stream of questions, her voice breaking as she struggled to hold back the tears. “Valerie… Valerie didn’t make it, Jules.

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:39 am 
Chocolate Chip
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Oh my gosh! Dude- agh. My heart. Post more soon, please!

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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:27 am 
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What? Woah. Oh. Okay. So this was a fantastic chapter. You're really good at putting the reader in the story. Can't wait to read more!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:52 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Chapter 6

At those words, my blood turned to ice. Tears blurred my vision, and the only sound I could muster was a muffled whimper. My stomach heaved, and I snatched at the trash can Buck had somehow instinctively grabbed and thrust my way.

None of the million thoughts that raced across my mind in that moment made any sense.

What is wrong with me? Why am I letting this get to me? Hadn’t Valerie been my “mortal enemy”? But wait, what am I even thinking? What kind of a monster am I? What if it had been me? Why hadn’t it been me? Had it all somehow been my fault after all? What if I had never come back to Odyssey? Would I still be living the same lame life in California, and she’d still be here?

I could have done or said anything during those moments of sheer delirium as the significance of the catastrophic revelation sank in. My mind and body went numb. I lost all sense of time. It could have been minutes, or it could have been hours that I just sat there, staring off into space.

Then, “Jules… Jules…”

A gentle voice broke through the nothingness. It was Buck. He was speaking softly and smoothing the wild strands of hair that hung in my face. Slowly my head began to clear.

I sensed that I was holding onto something, as if for dear life. What was it? Looking down, I realized that at some point I had grabbed Buck’s arm and was clutching it in a death grip. I released him from my grasp, horrified at the red, angry welts my fingernails had left in his flesh. My mouth hung open, and I just stared at the damage I’d caused.

“I’m sorry—I’m so, so sorry—I—“ I choked on my words, and my hands frantically caressed the marks, as if I could make them go away. Then, suddenly, I began to sob. He pulled me close, and I buried my face in his chest. I could feel his heartbeat—strong and reassuring—and for a moment in time, he was all there was in the world to me. His fingers trembled as he gently stroked the tangled locks of my hair. I knew he was being brave for me, and my hearth thanked him.

He held me till the tears stopped, but my hand still clung to his shirt, craving the security of his touch.

I don’t remember much after that. It felt like I was living in a blur, like I was watching someone else being poked and prodded by doctors and nurses and mechanically greeting the visitors who came and went.

At some point, they brought in a plate full of colorless mush that was supposed to be my dinner, which I of course had no intention of eating. After an hour or so of Connie trying to convince me to eat while Katrina, Penny and Jillian tried to convince Connie to eat something they’d brought up from the cafeteria, I guess they all gave up.

As the evening wore on, people began filtering slowly out of the room, leaving behind only Connie, Buck, and Katrina, who had stayed behind at Buck’s insistence.

It was well after 9 p.m. when Katrina left her seat beside Connie, whispering a few quiet words as she gathered her purse and keys.

“It’s about time we go home and let Jules get some sleep, Bucky Bear.”

He smiled softly at the nickname and gave his foster mother’s hand a gentle squeeze as she joined him in the corner where he’d tirelessly stood watch over me for most of the day.

Though he’d never left my side, Buck had remained mostly silent during those long hours in the hospital room. He had been so strong for me, but I knew he was inwardly fending off demons of his own.

“Goodnight, Jules,” he murmured softly, his eyes still trained on me as he got up to follow his foster mother out of the room.

They both paused in the doorway.

“Connie, give us a call if you need anything,” Katrina offered. “Eugene and I will be praying for you both.”

Then, they rounded the corner out of sight.

A split second later, Buck was at my side again.

“Jules—“

“Buck?”

We both spoke at the same time. Our eyes locked for a moment, and he grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. His blue eyes held an expression I couldn’t quite read.

“Go on. I’ll be okay,” I half-whispered.

“Jules, I, uh—“ He hesitated. “Goodnight, Jules.”

A second later, he disappeared into the hallway.

And just like that, everyone was gone. Except for Connie. She stayed by my side all night long. Mom and Dad would have left by now, I thought, blinking back a stream of involuntary tears.

They drugged me up pretty good so I’d fall asleep, and I slowly drifted off into a nightmarish haze of disconnected thoughts and rumblings of my deepest fears.

_________________
Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:04 pm 
Fudge Marble
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 10:16 pm
Posts: 862
Gender: Female
BUCKY BEAR. This was really cute! I can't wait to read more!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:45 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Location: How I Do Is Nothing Great
Gender: Female
Sorry, this one's a little short and clunky. :? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

Chapter 7

They cleared me to go home the next morning.

I sat in the hospital room, staring out the window and half-listening as Dr. Graham gave a few final instructions.

“Make sure she takes it easy these next couple of days,” Dr. Graham was telling Connie. “We’ve still got to keep an eye on that concussion.” Then her tone changed, and she spoke more softly. “She’s suffered a great emotional trauma, as well. Would you like me to provide the names of some therapists in the area?”

Connie, please, no, I willed silently, shuddering at the recollection of the weekly so-called “self-help sessions” my mom had made me attend with her nut-job therapist back in LA.

“Sure,” Connie replied, then added, “We’ll talk it over before we decide anything, but some names might be helpful.”

“God must’ve had a very special angel watching out for you, young lady,” Dr. Graham said, turning toward me. “You’ve been very fortunate.”

“I guess so,” I conceded.

After a final farewell from Dr. Graham, Connie was whisked away to the front desk to fill out some paperwork.

Left alone in the room, I struggled to collect my thoughts. Disjointed flashes of the previous evening's nightmares raced across my memory. It felt like I was running away from something I’d never quite be able to shake, like a deep darkness was slowly and inevitably closing in on me. I’d been trying to push it all out of my mind—how guilty and afraid and utterly helpless I felt. But there was no escaping it now. Alone and overwhelmed by my thoughts, I tried praying for the first time.

“God, if you’re up there, I could really use your help getting through this.”

“Earth to Jules!”

I snapped out of my daze.

“What? Oh—“

Connie had returned and was waving her hand dramatically in front of my face.

“Are you ready to get out of here?” she asked, once she’d gained my attention.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

****


Connie and I spent most of that day doing nothing. When we tried to watch a movie together, Connie burnt the popcorn, and I somehow ended up locking us out of our Netflix account.

The Meltsners came over that evening, and we ate a quiet dinner together. Buck and I didn’t say much to each other. We were both grieving a loss we didn’t quite understand, and words seemed inadequate to express what we were feeling.

When we hugged goodbye, I held on just a little bit longer than usual. He whispered something in my ear as he headed for the door. I thought I heard “I love you,” but I really couldn’t be sure.

_________________
Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: ByeByeBrownie Fanfiction
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:48 am 
Fudge Marble
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 10:16 pm
Posts: 862
Gender: Female
I appreciate reading some innocent Buckles fanfiction. It's very sweet. They've kind of become a little messy in mine if you haven't noticed lol

_________________
"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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