god, i love some people sometimes (because people are the greatest thing to happen)
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Ride the Cyclone: A New Musical - Maxwell & Richmond
Mischa Bachinski & Jane Doe | Penny Lamb
Mischa Bachinski, Jane Doe | Penny Lamb, Original Characters, Constance Blackwood (Ride the Cyclone), Noel Gruber, Father Marcus (Ride the Cyclone), Ocean O'Connell Rosenberg, Ricky Potts, Elijah Maria Macdonald, William Cook | Kyrylo Dudnyk
Additional Tags:
5+1 Things, Not Canon Compliant, Everybody Lives/Nobody Dies, Crack Treated Seriously, Fluff and Crack, Feel-good, hints of angst, Queerplatonic Relationships, wrote this with qpr mischajane in mind, Found Family, big part of it makes sense only to my twt friends sorry, Attempt at Humor, we love some father markus content here, he has a landline. yippie!!, mischa keeps going around uranium collecting little brothers, Adoptive Siblings, Platonic Soulmates, Platonic Female/Male Relationships, its mischa and jane. theyre soulmates fr
Part 2 of uraniumverse
Published: 2023-02-10 Words: 6,087 Chapters: 1/1

god, i love some people sometimes (because people are the greatest thing to happen)


it's a fact, thought not known commonly outside the choir that the two scariest seniors in st. cassians - mischa bachinski and penny lamb - share one brain cell.


5 times everyone thought mischa and penny share a brain cell + 1 time they realized they're actually pretty clever


BIGGEST shot out to the crackedporcelain gang on twt . kisses you all <3333 /p

cranked this out in two days so sorry if the writing quality is shit?? like 1/2 of this was written in notes, 1/4 on a train when i had no reception and 1/4 on an actual pc.

cws - drugs ment (iii) , eating things that shouldn't be eaten , vomit ment (v)

(longass) title from people - ajj . i had like three other ideas for the title so i might change it later :3

god, i love some people sometimes (because people are the greatest thing to happen)

i – the matrix incident


Mischa and Penny, if anything, had one thing in common - they are both terrifying to younger kids, apparently.

It didn't take long for Mischa to notice. How kids would jump away from his way when he walked in the hallways, how suddenly he could skip the queue for lunch, how the other students looked at him. Yes, he might be over six feet tall, permanently Resting Bitch Face (whatever it was - Constance and Noel tried to explain it to him, but it was just another part of Canadian culture he just didn't get) and some significant issues with violence, but he wasn't all that unapproachable.

Penny was described as scary in a different way than Mischa. Mischa was violent, aggressive and abrasive, and Penny, also being over six feet tall, but overly stoic was just creepy. She was avoided by the general school population, if she wasn't bullied by them for simply having personality. Mischa thought it was utter bullshit – Penny was a sweetheart, and while she had her weird moments, she was usually just quirky, happy and excited to be around the choir.

So, Mischa and Penny joined efforts. The free period they had on Fridays, between fourth and sixth period they would spend together, hanging out on the playground if there were no kids there or behind school, away from the area where students would gather to smoke.

That Friday, early autumn with warm winds and first leaves crunching under their shoes, they walked out of the door in the corridor leading to the gym. Mischa scanned the area, searching for any teachers, and when it was clear he motioned to Jane to start walking.

They had a designated spot in the woods. They brought two chairs Mischa's guardians were throwing out there and they had a blanket thrown haphazardly on the ground.

Penny is in the middle of explaining the extensive lore of Pokémon, which Ricky got her into and now their conversations consist mostly of infodumping to each other about it, when something shuffles behind them. Mischa brushes it off as one of the many animals inhabiting forests of Uranium and hopes it's not a bear, but something like a squirrel.

But a squirrel wouldn't scream "I love Pokémon!" on the top of its lungs.

Mischa screams. Penny freezes.

There's a kid. There's a kid peeking out from behind the bushes, with a huge smile showing off his braces, wearing a St. Cassian's uniform, specifically.

The kid's eyes squint, looking at "Hello?"

Penny blinks owlishly, kind of dumbfounded. "Hi. What are you doing here?"

The kid doesn't respond. He just looks between Jane and Mischa with dark eyes wide open. He’s crouching in the bushes around their little hang out place, with the bottoms and knees of his pants dirty with mud.

"I like Pokémon too." He says, rubbing at his eye with a dirty finger.

Mischa still stands in shock. There's a kid! A whole kid! Crouching in the bushes behind St. Cassian's, where the mud and wet leaves reach knees, of all things! He would be less surprised finding one in the dumpsters behind Mega Mall!

He and Penny exchange a quick look, secret conversation between just the two of them. Penny’s hands are clasped in front of her and her ankles are crossed – “I’m kind of anxious, but at this point I’m okay” – and he puts his hand on elbow – “I’m okay”- before they turn back to the kid, whose cheeks have turned red from embarrassment.

Beat of silence. Mischa tries to soften his eyes, because he’s been told his gaze can be intense and the last thing he needs is a kid ratting on them to a teacher.

"I'm Elijah Matrix Macdonald."

Penny raises her eyebrow.

"Matrix?" Mischa checks, wanting to know if it’s his internal subtitles being faulty or the kid is really named Matrix.


Mischa hopes his face doesn’t look as empty as his mind is. "Who the fuck names their kid Matrix?"

"My parents, apparently." Elijah-Matrix-McDonald’s shrugs.

“I’m Mischa. Bachinski.” Mischa hadn’t felt this awkward around kids since his guardians finally adopted their long-awaited child from Ukraine and he was forced to babysat it when they had an emergency situation with their real family. Needless to say, the awkward silence with Mischa and the kid, who they renamed William of all things, fucking William!, lasted for three minutes before “William”, really Kyrylo, asked him if he can speak Ukrainian. When Mischa confirmed, Kyrylo started ranting off about his kindergarten friends, who don’t speak Ukrainian, but they teach him English and he understands some words, and how it’s so stupid nobody but them speak Ukrainian, and how he misses his aunties and kids in the orphanage, and how he flew from a “big, big building” with a woman in black suit and suddenly he couldn’t understand anything and was so mad but he can’t tell it to anybody because English words are Big Words. And how he’s so happy he finally can talk. And then he dragged Mischa off to play with his Hot Wheels together.

“I know you. You beat some kid two grades above me for saying something about your friends?” Elijah’s head falls to the side, like a puppy. There is no clear malice in his words, just curiosity.

Mischa shrugged and slipped his hands into the pockets of his pants. “Yeah. I don’t feel bad about that.”

Elijah smiles, this time with something more mischievous. “Me neither.”

He’s starting to like that kid.

“And this,” Mischa motions to Penny, “is Penny Lamb.”

“My cousin’s named Penny!” Elijah flashes his braces again in a smile. “I like her a lot! She lives in Toronto with her parents, and her dad is my dad’s step-cousin by our grandma’s step-brother, and Penny, I mean the cousin Penny, is like twenty now? Maybe a little older but she’s in university, and she’s studying child psychology and she is very nice and has big curly hair, and her dad let me ride his motorcycle and-"

“Okay, but what are you doing here?

The kid looks down. His shoes are just as muddy as his pants are, if not more.

“I have a free period. Dunno what to do.” Elijah’s voice quiets down.

“Well…” Penny looks away from Elijah, and her eyes find Mischa’s immediately, asking a silent question that both of them get. After a few seconds, Mischa nods. “You can hang out with us.”

The kid’s entire face lights up, and he smiles widely, much like when he mentioned Pokémon. He scrambles out of the bushes and sits down on the blanket, in front of Mischa and Penny, and after a moment of awkward silence bursts out what their favorite Pokémons are. Penny excitedly starts telling him about her favorite ones, and Elijah almost screams with excitement in response. Quickly, the two of them are wrapped up in discussion about what type of Pokemon is the best, practically yelling at each other and gesticulating wildly. Mischa doesn’t even remember the overcomplicated names, but enjoys listening to Penny being happy nonetheless.


The next week, Elijah runs up to Mischa and Penny after school and shows them his English assignment he got an A+ on. He wrote his name on the top as Elijah Marianne Macdonald. The next assignment, two weeks after the last one, this time from Canadian History, he’s signed as Elijah Manatee Macdonald.


Elijah signs up to the annual run for some charity in Uranium as Elijah Melchior Macdonald. Neither Mischa nor Penny question it anymore.


("Did you fucking write down 'Spiderman' as your middle name on your Geography test?"

Elijah shrugs, but Mischa can see the mischievous smirk blossoming on his face.



(They don’t question the time when Elijah, in a rush, signed his French paper as Elijah Bachinski.)


ii - the flirting incident


"I don't get it! She keeps looking at me while we're in French. I only talk to Noel, not her, but she still looks!"

"It's so weird."

Constance can't believe them. Simply, because there is no way a human being could be so oblivious, yeah?

Well, the choir keeps proving her otherwise. Especially Mischa and Penny who, right know, keep missing the extremely obvious signs of clear flirting.

They're at lunch, sitting in the empty music auditorium. Ocean got caught up with another additional project for credit, and Noel went to get lunch for himself, Penny and Mischa. The two idiots, Penny and Mischa themselves, are sitting on the risers. Well, more accurately, Penny is sitting, because Mischa is pacing around the whole room, jumping up and down and gesticulating wildly, while Penny is completely caught up in his antics.

Ricky keeps looking over at Constance from his sketchbook, in a silent "can you believe it?".

She does not.

She thought Mischa had more than one brain cell. With being able to speak four languages before graduating, in tune with his friend's emotions and apparently a genius in math subjects that made sense to him, she thought there were at least some thoughts in that head of his.

There are none. Absolute zero. And apparently, he shares half a brain cell with Penny, who is just as oblivious. Their collective brain cell is probably working twice as hard, but no coherent thought seems to pop up in their minds.

Poor brain cell.

And poor, poor Leanne whose heart chose to beat for such an idiot. Half of St. Cassian's knows about her hopeless crush on Mischa. Honestly, every girl at their school had at least a small crush on him at some point. He's the type of guy that appears in every teen romcom: intimidating, very protective of his friends, tall, buff and handsome. At least for the female part of their school thinks so - Constance doesn't really see the appeal. Maybe it's her being a lesbian. Or maybe it's the fact she saw Mischa in absolutely every situation, and knows about his dorky side, how he flaps his hands when he laughs too much for too long, how he can distinguish almost every car brand by the back of the car and how Mischa he just is.

One thing she knows for certain; Without some kind of divine intervention, Mischa will never realize Leanne is flirting with him.

"She just stares at me when I walk through the hallways, and when I look at her she starts smiling and turns around." He sighs and jumps up once more.

"That's so creepy. I wouldn't want a guy or a girl to stare at me. I would feel so threatened." Penny nods along, carefully watching Mischa’s every move.

"I do! And if it wasn't enough, she invitened me to her friends on Facebook!"

Penny nods silently, and one of her hands finds its way to her mouth. She starts nibbling on her thumb nail.

"But today is it. She walked up to me and asked if I want to hang out with her in the park after school. And I just kinda panicked and ran away, because, Penny, she's a dangerous criminal in process! She wants to kidnap me for sure."

A lost cause.

Constance stands up and puts hand on Mischa's shoulder. He quickly turns around, and finding that it's not Leanne trying to kidnap him, "Mischa, poor Leanne doesn't want to kidnap you."

"Then why she keeps looking at me? And why did she ask me to go out together?"

Constance lets out an exasperated sigh. "She's flirting with you! Obviously!"

A beat of silence.

"No way." Mischa says, voice significantly lower, and puts a hand over his mouth. "How?"

God, give me patience but not strength because if you give me strength I will kill them.

"She looks at you because she thinks you are handsome! Half of St. Cassian's thinks so! She has a crush on you, dummy!"

Penny gasps.

"Is this right?" He questions further.

"Well, yeah! She asked you out, Mischa. A date! She asked if you want to go on a date with her!” Constance explains it like she would to a kindergartener. Though kindergarteners seem to have more brains than Mischa and Penny collectively have, from the looks of it, because theirs seem to be empty.

"She did?" He’s got eyes wide open, almost as wide as his mouth, hidden behind a hand. Penny seems genuinely shocked too, face expression from her usual blank to a “mildly-surprised”.

Noel chooses this exact moment to walk in, three brown bags in one hand, phone in the other, cheap ear buds in his ears blasting one of his 1920s music playlists. A huge grin sprouts on Mischa’s face, eyes instantly lightening up as he leaps in fast moves towards Noel. He almost launches himself on top of him, but the last brain cell tells him he doesn’t want the disgusting school lunch all over them.

Instead, he opts to put both of his hands on Noel’s shoulders and shake him violently. "Poet! Poet, I have a date!" Noel’s eyebrows shoot up so high they almost touch his hairline.

"Seriously?” Mischa nods excitedly, still with the biggest smile on his face. “Are you going with her?"

"Pfft, no! She might kidnap me!" Mischa says it like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Noel barely suppresses a confused laugh.

Jesus fucking Christ.


iii – street sign incident


“So, let me quickly recap that. You stole a street sign, one of the nineteen fucking street signs in entire Uranium, and expect no one to notice it?”

“Pretty much, yes!”

Noel should really have more faith in his friends. Really. He’s usually kind and patient to them – except that little ginger who keeps making his life absolutely miserable – and he listens to them and tries to give them the best version of Noel.

But they really test his patience.

He should be alarmed when Mischa told him he’s hanging out with Penny that afternoon. He should be alarmed, because these two alone never give a positive outcome. The last time they hung out without supervision, they ended up in adopting a rat family from the dumpsters behind Mega Mall and almost giving Penny’s foster family’s house a rat infestation (“But they were so cute, Noel, we just couldn’t say no!” Penny said as she showed Noel a blurry image of at least five rats, eyes red in the flash camera, sitting in what looked like a mountain of shit and trash smashed together in a dumpster.)

“Are you two really that stupid or just pretending?”

He really did not expect Mischa and Penny to show up on his doorstep at 11 PM on a Wednesday with a STOP street sign and the biggest grins on their face he’d ever seen. Also wearing the weirdest clothes combinations in fashion history – Mischa had beige jeans, definitely not his but also not Penny’s, with knees dark from dirt, shirt with floral pattern and a 7 Up t-shirt (definitely Penny’s), fitting “nicely” with his usual black combat boots, constantly dirty from snow and shit in Uranium. Penny had a pink dressing gown that reached her knees, camo pants, a denim jacket with a zipper and Pikachu slippers Noel swears he saw Ricky wearing sometime.

“We’re not that stupid. Mischa is going to hide the sign in his basement and if the police come for him, he’s going to knock them out with the sign and we’re going on a run!”

Noel looks between them, trying to see if they’re joking. Despite smiling at each other, they look completely serious. They’re either high out of their minds or they lost all of their remaining thoughts while tripping on the dangerous curb in front of the closed restaurant at the corner of Main and Pierce Street.

“It’s a terrible plan.”

“No it’s not! We thought it out in… How long Mischa?” She turns to Mischa, who had been staring at Noel’s house’s doorbell for approximately three minutes now.

“Whole eighteen minutes and thirty three seconds. Counted on Kyrylo’s baby monitor.”

Penny grins wildly, gums showing. “He helped us create it!”

Noel is not even going to question how a three-year-old could help them make the plan.

“Yeah, yeah he did. Come inside, you must be freezing.” Mischa and Penny gratefully step in, Mischa obviously carrying the sign in.

Shit, his mom. She’s still sitting in the living room, with another one of her political thrillers – she’s been reading them since Noel can remember – and a cup of tea, and he just can’t sneak two people and a street sign by without her noticing. “Mom, can Mischa and Penny sleep over tonight?”

She turns around and pays half a mind to them. “Sure, sure. Just don’t be too loud.”

The three of them crouch and make sure Mischa doesn’t knock into anything with the sign. They settle on Noel’s carpeted floor - Noel leaning against his bed, Penny in the beanbag and Mischa, after setting the sign against a wall, jumps onto the bed.
Eventually, Noel breaks the silence, “How do you plan on taking the thing to Mischa’s basement tomorrow?”

Mischa and Penny look at each other, Noel is convinced they’re communicating telepathically, and shrug their shoulders at the same time.

“We’ll figure something out. Don’t stress your pretty head about it, Poet.” Mischa giggles and pats the back of Noel’s head so forcefully he almost leaps onto the carpet. Penny starts giggling too and soon enough both of them are absolutely howling with laughter, even pulling Noel into their antics.

Noel puts them to sleep on his bed, while he resorts to finding a place to sleep on the floor by taking five blankets and even more pillows and putting them against his nightstand to make himself a comfortable “bed”. In the middle of the night, Mischa practically forces him to go onto the bed with him and Penny, because he “won’t let his best friend sleep on the floor”. Noel really wanted to sleep on the floor rather than get crushed beneath the sheer weight of both Penny and Mischa, but he had no say in this. He ends up sandwiched between the wall, one of his thick pillows and Penny’s back, with Mischa’s arm thrown over both Penny and Noel.

Next morning, Noel says goodbye to Mischa and Penny like a wife saying goodbye to her husband leaving for war. Except the husband is two people wearing the most outrageous clothes and they’re about to do something Noel’s pretty sure is illegal. He lets them out through the back door at 6 AM and watches as they almost demolish his neighbors’ wooden fence with the sign.


badegg: We survived

badegg: No polise

God fucking damn it. Fortune really favors fools.


iv – tortilla incident


Father Markus saw his fair share of extreme idiocy in his career in education. Teen pregnancy, underage smoking, drinking, being chased by a deer, accidents while Mischa-skating, having to bail out his students from their county jail, witnessing a roller coaster disaster during a fair. Been there, done that.

But he didn’t expect to get a call at almost eleven at night from the school’s delinquent, Mischa Bachinski himself, about feeding a child.

He was dozing off on his couch when a familiar ringtone played from the kitchen wall and he got up, just like he did so many times before. His hand scrambled around to get it, used to random calls from St. Cassian’s principal telling him off again for not grading papers quickly enough (he knew it was friendly banter, Father Carl had been like that since Markus started working at St. Cassians almost 25 years ago) or another teacher asking to emergency cover them tomorrow.
He didn’t expect Mischa Bachinski’s voice, of all things, to ring out.

“Hey, Father Markus, sorry for the late call, but should you heat up baby food jars on a pan? Or will they, like, explode?


“What?” Markus doesn’t sound very competent in that point, and he curses himself for it. If Mischa is calling him, it’s something serious for sure, and he needs to sound like he can be trusted.

“We’re trying to make tortillas,” Mischa says, and Markus is pretty sure he’s butchering the Spanish pronunciation in every way possible. His voice is unsure and he keeps stumbling over words. “And I wanted to make one for Kyrylo- William too, but I did something bad and I think it’s burning now.” He ends with an awkward sigh.

Markus’ awareness comes together, trying to piece together Mischa’s rant together. “We? Who? What?-“

“Me and Penny are making tortillas, and, uh, we tried making one for my younger brother too and we tried to make it from a baby food Gerbers, and I think it went not the way it should-“ Mischa speaks quick, fast, and his thick accent is more prominent than usual.

“Is something burning?”

“Like fire?”

Father Markus’ blood pressure spikes up. “Yes?"

“No, but the whole pan is smelling.”

Father Markus wants to get through the phone and see what in the Lord’s name is happening at the Cook household, but he hasn’t mastered the art of teleportation and quantum jumping yet.

“Are your parents home?” And he cringes instantly, because Mischa asked him and the whole choir to use “guardians” instead of “parents” a long time ago, but it slips out in his spacey mindset. He opens his mouth to apologize, but Mischa blurts out again.

“No, they left me to babysit William, and they’re out of town the whole night and-“ And suddenly, his phone receiver is filled with Mischa’s loud screams in Ukrainian or some similar language. Father Markus catches some words – “Ні” - “no”, “СТОП” – “stop” – and the name Mischa said earlier before correcting himself, Kyrylo, but most of it is pure babble to him.


“Sorry, Ky- William tried to feed dog tortilla.” If he wasn’t legitimately worried that Mischa, Penny and whoever is with them weren’t in danger of blowing up the house, he would sigh and rub at his face.

“Do you need help?” The line stays silent for a moment. Markus thinks Mischa hung up and gets up to put the phone away, when Mischa startles him again,

“Can baby food be heated up on a pan?” He asks once again.

Markus tries recalling everything about feeding children his sister told him when he babysat his own nieces and nephews. It wasn’t often, mostly during his studies in Vancouver where Sharon lived with her family, and back in the 1980s, but children couldn’t evolve that much in twenty years, could they?

“No, you most likely will burn the pan, if you haven’t already. Try warming it up in the microwave, if you can.” He hears Mischa inhale sharply before yelling once again

“Penny! Turn the pan off!” There’s a loud pop in the background, similar to oil being put on a grill, but loud enough for Markus to start wondering if he should start his car, before Mischa screams again, this time louder, “OFF!”

The line goes silent again. Not even a peep. Out of nowhere, Mischa’s voice bursts out on the phone again.

“Nothing is burning! Not anymore.” He can hear the proud smile in Mischa’s voice, and he just doesn't have the heart to say anything negative. He's trying, he has to remind himself in order to not call the fire station.

“Alright. Just don’t put it on pans, okay? Try to stay away from anything dangerous tonight."

“Yes, yes. Thank you Father Markus!” Mischa swallows thickly and hangs up.

These damn kids.


v – dirt incident


Elijah had adapted to the choir. It took a few times of Mischa and Penny taking him to the practices and even more times he sat beside Ezra or one of them, looking between the other choir members to sense if he could trust them.

But now, he was sitting comfortably, legs crossed and curled up on one of the folding chairs backstage, watching as Ocean organized the music papers. As usual, she predicted everyone “forgot” their music sheets at home, and made the grueling trip to the school secretary to photocopy the sheet she had. Then, she walked back to the choir room to discover, not without almost suffering a heart attack, Elijah already hanging out backstage. His last period was canceled, and he didn't want to go to an empty house. So he and Ocean were forced to spend some time with each other.

She mostly didn't mind his presence. Most of the time, his constant talking, which started the second time he was at the choir with Mischa and Penny and haven't stopped since, added to the ambiance and helped Ocean work. Sometimes she would listen to his words and find out he was either talking about LEGO, Pokémons or Mischa, Penny or Ezra. Mischa and Penny sort of school-adopted the little kid, and Ezra, voluntarily or not, became an older brother to him.

But a lot of times, honestly a good 80%, he annoyed her - he was energetic, like most kids, moving all the time, and neither his body or mind never seemed to stop, constantly doing something. Her own nervous energy didn't mix well with his, which have ended in various ways.

“Ocean, you want to see a cool trick?"

She turns around. Elijah is staring at her from behind his glasses with these big, dark eyes of his. They creep her out often, because it was almost unnatural for a person with dark eyes to have such an intense stare.


Elijah looks around the room, eyes darting across the yellow walls with old posters, window with view on the school parking lot and Paul Street, and the door with black paint scratched off, showing the green paint it was decorated with before, Ocean's eyes follow him cautiously. What this little demon does is he pulls out a whole patch of grass and dirt, clearly ripped from the ground not that long ago patch of grass and dirt, clearly ripped from the ground not that long ago.

And then he takes a bite out of the patch. Ocean could only watch in horror as his teeth ripped grass and dirt rolled into his mouth, and how he chewed on it, dirt stains around the corners of his mouth.


He smiles, and she can see the bits and pieces of dirt stuck between their teeth. She wants to vomit. “It’s very nutritional! Yummy."

"IT'S LITERALLY GRASS AND DIRT." Ocean is absolutely appalled. Flabbergasted. Her extensive vocabulary cannot express her shock, disgust and whatever she’s feeling towards Elijah, because her mind is completely overtaken with the urge to run far away and never come back. She feels freezing chills roll through her entire body, and she shivers.

Elijah sends her a look before going back to happily chewing on the grass. Ocean tears her eyes away from the image of despair, and suddenly sees something that definitely shouldn’t be there – a phone, peeking out from behind the denim couch, standing opposite of when her and Elijah are sitting, and a hand holding said phone. Her eyes seek further, until she sees...


She gets up so fast she almost trips over the stool she’s sitting on and leaps to the couch.

Penny and Mischa are crouching behind the backstage couch, with Mischa holding Penny’s phone in a position that only suggests one thing – he’s been recording her.

This is planned. Her mental anguish, the mental agony and pain that became a physical sensation, the torture they’ve put her through. It was all planned, and videotaped for the sake of having fun. For making fun of her.

“YOU TWO-“ Mischa and Penny start laughing out loud, snorts flying across the dirty air of behind couch, and when she puts one foot in front of other Penny starts scrambling to the other side of couch, feet slipping on the dusty floor, Mischa screaming on the top of his lungs,


Penny laughs even more at that and jumpstarts herself on the couch’s armrest, flying so high she’s almost above . Elijah is gone now too, and that Ocean had been distracted for approximately five seconds Mischa uses it to his advantage and squeezes by her, successfully running out to the corridor leading to main hall.

She can only listen as their shoes bang and squeak against the floor of the halls and their laughter fade, and the back door, from the corridor B slams shut.



Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg: Choir canceled.

connie32191: Why? Did something happen?

Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg: Elijah ate DIRT.

frenchwhore: yeah he does that sometimes

connie32191: HUH

r1ckyp00ttz: i saw him eat tissues the other day

connie32191: HELLO?


i – bus incident


It was a stupid idea. It started out completely normal – average choir weekend hangout at Ricky’s house, solely because his parents would barge in at any given time without knocking (Constance’s parents tended to do that, and Noel’s mom apparently had no sense of privacy) or object (Mischa and Ocean’s places were out of question, obviously. Especially after the last time Penny called her foster dad at Ocean’s house and her mom kicked her out because Wifi is used to control us by the government!). Ricky’s parents absolutely adored all of them, and agreed to every hangout without questions.

Between Mario Karts rounds when they were resupplying Gatorade and snacks by raiding the kitchen, Constance asked if they wanted to go to Hallinstown to just hang around, maybe go to the Mega Mall later.

Thirty minutes later, all of them were standing at their local bus station, really just a bus shed with a sing between the Tim Hortons, strip mall with half of the stores abandoned and, you guessed it, a forest!

Constance, standing on the edge of the group, holding hands “Does everybody have money for tickets?”

“Yeah, let me just…” Noel ravages through the pockets of his pants so brutally he almost years them apart and manages to gather enough change.

“I have had a monthly ticket since I turned eleven.” Ocean pipes in, and Noel rolls his eyes dramatically.

“I have one too."

Mischa shakes his head. “Nope.”

“Me neither.” Penny shrugs her shoulders.

“Well, how do you want to ride the bus without a ticket?" Ocean scoffs.

“We’ll stow away. No big deal.”

“It’s a crime, Mischa.”

“As I said, no big deal. And do you think I have not did this before? In Ukraine, everyone stow awayes. Even ticket checkers.” Ocean opened her mouth to argue, but the savior of their friendship, the bus rolled in front of them.

The bus, affectionately named by older residents of Uranium “Old Joe”, had been around for at least thirty years, and was the only one left after most bus connections were deleted by the town council in late 1990s to save some money. Old Joe had driven generations of Uranium residents back and forth, and despite sounding like the engine was on the verge of death, the inside being either freezing cold or hotter than Amazon Jungle and doors opening when they want to, not when they are supposed to and many breakdowns, Old Joe did its thing.

They got in. They were the only people inside, except for the old lady, Mrs. Fox, widow of the former vice principal and math teacher at St. Cassians. She got off on the second stop, on Chapel Street.

Old Joe puffed and huffed, carrying the teens to Hallinstown. They passed empty fields, covered in a thick layer of snow, lightened by sun peeking behind the heavy, dark clouds. The way to Hallinstown was empty as usual, going between forest and almost prairie imagery.

Only three more stops. Who even planned these stops? They could easily have one final stop at Chapel Street in Uranium, and then drive straight to Hallinstown. So stupid.

The bus doors open again with a loud hiss of air being sucked out.

Shit. The ticket inspector.

Ocean gives a panicked look towards Mischa and Penny, who are sitting in front of her. Mischa looks absolutely unmoved, though she swears he scooted a bit closer to Penny, who also looks stoic, as if she’s not stow awaying with a ticket inspector in front of her!

The man checks the tickets of Ocean’s row first, then moving to Penny, Mischa and Noel’s. Noel’s ticket goes through. Then, he turns to Mischa, hand in front of him in a silent question.

And Mischa, like the complete idiot he is, does a few moves with his hands before he starts spouting in Ukrainian. He speaks slowly, as if the man would understand him if he was talking to him like a baby, but even with the speed of speech slowed down he wasn’t understood. He points to himself, then to his mouth and shakes his head. Once, then twice for the effect on the ticket inspector.

He didn’t get it, but nods and moves on to Penny.

And she starts absolutely speeding in fluent Spanish, no traces of Canadian accent, words jumbling together, increasing in speed and emotionality. Suddenly, she bursts into tears, still talking in Spanish and throws her hands up, letting them crash on her thighs. The poor ticket inspector is absolutely taken aback.

Ricky purposefully doesn’t mention the fact that Penny is actually cursing the ticket inspector and his whole family, four generations past.

The man turns to the rest of the teens. Noel shakes his head. Constance says, “We don’t know them."

Next stop comes, and the ticket instructor steps out without a word. When the doors close, the tense bubble bursts and all of them, one by one, burst into uncontrollable laughter. Soon enough, the entire bus is shaking with the sheer force of it, especially Mischa’s low laughter and Penny shaking with it.

Noel wipes tears from his eyes and speaks. “How did you come up with an excuse so quickly?”

Mischa makes a face. “Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Survival instinct. I lie automatically.” Penny shrugs, smiling wildly. Noel quirks and eyebrow and looks at her with a somewhat proud and stunned xpression.

“Penny, since when can you speak Spanish?” Ocean questions, the faintest of blush from laughing still present on her face.

“My aunt in Elysium was from Chile, and she kind of taught me and Ezra some phrases. Well, not some because I can hold a conversation, but definitely not as well as a native speaker. And curses!” Penny beams, leaning into Mischa’s side, and Ricky taps Ocean’s elbow to get her attention.

“She cussed the shit out of the ticket inspector.”

“Penny!” Ocean lets out a shocked gasp, at the same time as the rest bursts into laughter. “This is completely inappropriate behavior. This poor man was just trying to do his job, and you practically verbally assaulted him! Even if he doesn’t know that!”

Constance, shaking with laughter herself turns to Ocean. "Oce, don’t be so serious all the time. At least admit they’ve got some good lying skills.”

After a moment of pouting, Ocean sighed. “Well, they do.”

Ricky put a hand over his mouth, quickly going to signing. “No way. The Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg is admitting to being wrong?”

“Actually, her full name is Ocean Peace H-” Noel is cut off by Ocean lunging at him, effectively shutting his mouth by slapping her hand on it.

“Noel, I swear to God-”

“Ocean is sinning! Third Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Mischa grins widely, like he just discovered the cure for cancer.

Ocean’s eyebrows pinch down. “Do not bring the Lord to this. Father Marcus wouldn’t be happy about this.”

“Father Markus isn’t happy with a lot of things. He doesn’t like blueberries, Ocean, everybody likes blueberries!” Penny stares in an accusatory manner at Ocean.

“Pretty sure Jesus Christ liked blueberries too.” Mischa nods.

Constance looks at him and asks, completely serious, “Do you think he would like my cafe's muffins?"

“Everybody likes your parents’ blueberry muffins, Connie. They’re scrumdiddlyumptious.” Ricky signs and Constance smiles bashfully.

“Why are we talking about whether Jesus Christ liked blueberries? I thought the problem was Penny and Mischa riding the bus without a ticket. And what in the world does scrumdiddlyumptious mean?"

“Oh, Ocean, you have so much to learn.” Ricky shakes his head.

“Yeah, the first thing she needs to learn the truth: Jesus Christ liked blueberries too.”



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