The title of this chapter is a song by Interpol.
She's tempted to crawl back under the covers and continue sleeping, but the smell of pancakes wafting into her room makes her stomach growl.
"We're going on a second date..." Quincy stops himself when he catches a glimpse of Ari's hurt expression before she has sense enough to change it. "Are you okay, Ari?"
Noemi seizes the opportunity to change the subject and regale them with how much Twinbrook hasn't changed at all since they left, while Jarrod eases himself into the seat next to Ari with a smirk. "Nice save." He whispers.
She hopes that her glare will silence him for the rest of the day.
Their first stop is to the local salon where both Noemi and Ari get a haircut. It's been years since Ari has had her hair this short, and she's surprised how light her head feels once the inches are chopped away. It feels strangely liberating.
"We should get a tattoo." Ari chuckles when Noemi protests nervously, not at all a fan of the idea of being drawn on with a needle; but in the end, Ari manages to push Noemi to the parlor to watch as she gets one.
Ari treats Noemi to dinner in payment for, almost literally, scaring the shit out of her back at the tattoo parlor.
When Ari sneaks out back for a quick smoke, Noemi is right on her heels.
"When are you going to talk to him?"
Ari tenses. There's no way that Noemi knows about her romp with Jarrod, so this has to be about Quincy, which doesn't lessen how uncomfortable the topic is. Ari sucks deeply on her cigarette to stall the inevitable. When Ari continues to let the silence hang, Noemi snuffs out her cigarette in annoyance.
"Talk to who?" Judging by Noemi's deepening frown, Ari's attempt at playing coy isn't going over very well either. "Why are you asking me this now?"
"I've only been back a day, and I'm already tired of seeing you pout every time you're around Quincy. And I don't want this to be something that gets between you two. You need to be honest with him and tell him how you feel now or you never will."
"Maybe I don't want to tell him? Relationships in bands don't mix well." Ari can feel the bile building up in her stomach. She had no problem fucking a band mate the other night, why should she have any reservations about this? "Let's say we do get serious and it ends up not working out; I don't want that to be the reason the band splits up and -"
"- don't you dare." Noemi interrupts. "Don't you dare use that as an excuse to be a coward. We're friends first and band members second. Talk to him. Whatever happens, I'll be there for you. And so will Jarrod."
Ari leaves the conversation feeling worse than before.
Jarrod had enough sense not to ask Quincy earlier in front of Ari, but the curiosity is now too tempting to resist... "So how is what's-her-name in bed? She looks like someone that knows how to have fun."
"Her name is Veronica." Quincy purses his lips. "And that is none of your business."
"You're not going to give me any details? Seriously? Help a friend out here." Jarrod sighs in defeat when Quincy remains silent. "Fine. What I have cooked up in my mind is probably more entertaining anyway."
The taxi driver is not amused by the conversation and worse yet, she's sure she slept with that asshole.
The movie the guys went to see was horrible. Quincy is disappointed that the screenwriter didn't stay true to the book, and Jarrod is offended that he paid for that mess of a film.
"Do you think we can get a refund?"
"I don't want it unless they can rewind time and refund two hours of my life." Jarrod scoffs.
Noemi thinks that whoever painted this monstrosity *cough*Quincy*cough* should stick to their day job.
Later that night, the band plays a show at the bar. Ari steps outside for a smoke when the atmosphere gets a tad too crowded for her. With their new found fan base growing everyday, it's becoming more and more difficult for her to relax after gigs without someone interrupting to inflate her ego or ask for an autograph.
"There are benches here, you know?" Quincy leans against the fence with a tired grin. The attention is apparently getting to him as well.
"Benches are for losers." Ari quips.
Quincy laughs. "Always the contrarian. So... beside trying to escape our rabid fans, what are you doing out here anyway?"
Ari shrugs as she gets up from the table to stamp out her cigarette. "It's stuffy in there."
"You're a terrible liar."
"So says everyone, but I think I'm pretty damn good at it."
Quincy grabs Ari's arm when she starts walking back toward the bar entrance. "What's really going on? You've been avoiding me all day."
She contemplates shrugging him off again and going back inside. She'd rather deal with the people in the bar than with this conversation, but Noemi's advice stops her. Tell him now or you never will. This will get between you two if you aren't honest with him. Don't be a coward.
With reluctance, she faces Quincy. "I have feelings for you."
Ari says it so quickly that she's worried Quincy might ask her to repeat it, but by the confused look on his face, it's obvious he heard her. Quincy clears his throat awkwardly to break the silence, clearly as uncomfortable as Ari is at this moment . "You do?"
Ari nods mutely, her grip tightening on her sleeve. If he doesn't speak soon she might tear her damn shirt in pieces purely out of nervousness. "Will you please say something already." She snaps.
"I... don't really know what to say."
"That's not the response I was hoping for."
"You're one of my best friends." Ari steels herself against the rejection with a thin smile. "I do care about you, but you're like family to me. There's a lot riding on us remaining close and I don't want to jeopardize that, or the band, by getting intimate. I've seen that kind of stuff break people in this business, and I don't know what I'd do if I lost you as a friend. You know?"
"I do. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything."
"No. I'm glad you told me. I just wish I could return your feelings. You know you're awesome, it's just... well... you know."
Ari laughs. "I'm a mess?"
"I was going to word it a bit nicer, but yeah. You are totally a mess." Ari punches him hard in the arm with a feigned look of hurt.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding!"
Ari furrows her brow. "So what now?"
"We... go raid the bar as friends?" He shrugs.
"I could use a few stiff drinks right now."
"You're okay, right?"
"No, but I will be." Ari admits. "I say you owe me some strong alcoholic beverages of the vodka variety."
Quincy chuckles lightly as he leads the way back to the bar entrance. "I think you're right. Drinks are on me."
The sting of rejection. Ouch.
Holy shit ladies and gents - Ari is quickly becoming one of the most downloaded sims of all my legacies. What is this sorcery? On a serious note: I'm glad people like her enough to have her in their games. Or hate her enough to murder her in their games. I don't judge.
I've discovered a new glitch since patching. Ari now has four steady partners, 3 girls and one guy. She's never met any of them, never socialized with any of them, never even freakin' been in the same vicinity as any of them (redundancy, yay!!). But somehow she's dating all four.
Stop it, game. Just stop it.
(TLDR; Ari has imaginary significant others, possibly as a way to cope with the blow of Quincy's rejection. Or because my game is stupid.)