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12 April 2008 @ 01:54 am
D&J - Gratified Affair - 15/?  
Gratified Affair
drake & josh. drake/mindy, josh/ofc. 4858 words. PG13.

“Oh no,” Josh breathed and Drake noted how close he looked to having an actual nervous breakdown. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, YOU!”

previous chapters


author's notes;
for marleybanana, who held my hand, gave me commas when i needed them, and agreed that everything is drake parker's fault.

--

Parker/Nichols’ Residence, after “the big weekend”

Drake tried not to make a big thing out of walking through the front door. He certainly didn’t want to attract any attention; after all, as far as his family was concerned, he was only over at Trevor’s. No big deal.

He walked over to the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room and swept the room with a glance. No one was around and he dug the beach house key out of his pocket and placed it gingerly on the silver key tree before nearly having a heart attack.

“Hey Drake!” Megan said cheerfully, popping her head up from under the counter’s wooden ledge. Drake yelled while he dropped his duffle bag in order to clutch his chest; he could feel the rapid rhythm of his surprised heart.

Megan!” Drake exclaimed sternly. “What’s your problem?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she answered innocently as she went wide-eyed. “I hate my teacher, I can’t find a particular sponge for my collection, and Josh has been gone all day so I can’t bother him. Those are just a few of my problems.”

He gave her a withering glare and bent over to pick up his bag before heading in the direction of the staircase. He paused when she started talking again.

“My biggest problem though,” Megan continued, calling after him. “Is that a certain key to a certain beach house was missing from the key tree. I didn’t use it and Mom and Walter have been home. Josh was here, boob-ing it up.” Drake spun on his heel to face his sister, curious as to where this was leading. The sinking feeling in his stomach was doing a number on him, but he tried to ignore it. “But, you were at Trevor’s, right?”

There was something challenging in her voice, but Drake felt himself nod in agreement anyway as a way to desperately cling to his lie.

“Hmm, well you must not have used it then,” Megan rationalized, using a sugar sweet voice that made his stomach lurch. She looked down at the key tree and let out a gasp. “Oh look! Here’s my key. Kind of weird that it shows up when you come home, huh?”

“Yeah. Weird,” Drake answered weakly. His mind ran with thoughts of Megan’s past pranks and he wondered if he was going to get out of this lie. But she narrowed her eyebrows and he wished the floor would swallow him up instead of having to deal with this.

“Cut the crap Drake. I know you took my key,” Megan said, giving him an evil glare as she pushed through the door that led to the living room.

“Whatever you do, don’t hurt my face,” Drake pleaded, watching as she plopped on the stuffy blue couch. She didn’t answer him and a question blurted through his mouth before he could stop it. “How did you know?”

“Carly stopped by.”

“What? What for?”

“She wanted to drop off a box of your stuff. Since you told me three days ago that you were going out on a date with her, I thought it was a little weird,” Megan told him. “When I told her to take the box to Trevor’s, she said she had just come from Trevor’s and you definitely weren’t there.”

“So, so what did you do? Put snakes in my bed? Nair in my shampoo? Or maybe you’ll just set off a stink bomb in my room when you think I’ll least expect it. I know, I bet you were just waiting for me to come home so you could tell Mom and Walter, right?” Drake listed off as he paced around the spacious living room. Each thing he listed caused more worry to churn in his stomach; he had learned a long time ago never to underestimate his little sister.

“Drake, sit down. I didn’t tell Mom and Walter and I’m not going to tell Mom and Walter.”

He flopped on the overstuffed chair by the fireplace and stared at Megan, trying to figure out her angle. “Why?”

“Because if I tell them, you’ll get in trouble and I’ll enjoy it. But it’ll only be fun for a little while and then it’s over,” she answered calmly. “The longer you suffer, the more fun it is for me.” She rose from the couch and looked at him evenly. “Sleep with one eye open Drake.”

--

Despite his run-ins with Megan and Josh, Drake was pretty much on cloud nine. Every spare moment he had was spent with Mindy and they both couldn’t get enough of each other. It was as though spending one night in the beach house had pressed the restart button on them. He felt so happy that even keeping this all secret didn’t seem so daunting anymore.

Of course, there was still a certain inescapable fear that came with sneaking around, but Drake solved that problem by avoiding Josh as much as possible. It seemed to be working until Josh started calling him all the time, whenever they weren’t together.

“Just answer it,” Mindy said one night, stretched out on top of him. They were making out in the backseat of the blue convertible Drake borrowed from Walter and he noticed the annoyance in her face when she pulled away. “That’s the third time he’s called tonight.”

“Fine,” Drake sighed, digging his phone out of his pocket. Pressing the answer button, he tried his best not to sound too irritated. “Yeah, Josh?”

“Hey, Drake! You busy?”

“Just a little,” he answered as Mindy rested her head on his chest. “I’m on a date here.”

“Well I’m standing at the Premiere. Why don’t you and your date come over and catch a movie with me?” Josh asked, clearly not getting the hint.

“No!” Drake exclaimed with a mix of frustration and panic. “I mean…no, Josh, I can’t. I’m busy. I’ll see you at home.” He savagely hit the end button on his phone and tossed it to the floor as his head hit the leather on the backseat. “God, why does Josh have to be so clingy?”

“Have you spent any time with him?” Mindy asked diplomatically.

“Well…no. But he wasn’t like this before!” he protested. “Before, I could’ve set myself on fire and he wouldn’t have noticed. It’s just, you know. Perfect timing Josh.”

“Maybe you should spend some time with him,” she told him tentatively. “You know, store up some good faith. It couldn’t hurt.”

“Store up faith for what? Before we tell him?”

Mindy didn’t answer right away, but she wanted to blurt out, yes, of course! She bit her tongue and drew loopy patterns between the freckles on his arm with the tip of her finger before talking. “Are we back at that place again? Will we or won’t we tell him?”

“I never thought we’d have to tell him,” Drake said honestly. “And we keep talking about how sick we are of hiding this. What are we afraid of? It’s just Josh.”

“Yeah, just Josh,” Mindy agreed. “Josh, the second smartest in our school.”

“All the teachers like him, even crazy Mrs. Hafer.”

“He volunteers at the old folks’ home and heads the Science Club and tutors kids after school.”

Drake paused. “He’s kind of sensitive.”

“Just a tad overemotional,” Mindy agreed.

“I’m always afraid that when we tell him, we’ll literally see his head explode.”

“It’s physically impossible,” she said, sounding reasonable. “The worst that could happen is that he could faint.”

“Gee, that doesn’t sound like Josh,” Drake responded sarcastically.

“Okay, stop it. We are psyching ourselves out over this,” she said sternly. “Just…spend some time with him and we’ll go from there. That should be our plan as of now, okay?”

“Okay fine,” Drake agreed. He paused before his lips split into a grin. “But couldn’t you just see it though? His face would get all red and shaky and then guts and brain would explode all over the pla-“

A pair of insistent lips interrupted him and it was enough to shut his brain off for a few mind-numbing moments. When she pulled away for air, all he could do was look into her eyes questioningly.

“What was that for?”

“Drake. Don’t talk about guts.”

“Fair enough,” he agreed, placing his hand on the back of her thigh as he pulled her closer. “Maybe I don’t even have to talk at all.”

“Sounds even better,” she murmured, biting her bottom lip in anticipation as his fingers inched over flushed skin.

--

An hour and a half later, Drake pointed the car in the direction of his house after dropping Mindy off and felt content as he sped down the road. Slowing to acknowledge a red light, he saw a corner gas station closed for the night. However, the moon was particularly bright and something shiny caught his eye; it was coming from behind the gas station.

The light turned green and he swerved the car into the dark gas station parking lot before killing the engine. Making his way toward the back, Drake saw there was a ditch and the ground around it felt soggy as he walked toward it. But sitting a few good feet away from him was a glorious looking ping-pong table and he knew just who to call.

“Josh? You still up? Good, come meet me at the gas station on the corner of Shay and Spencer. I found something I think you’re gonna like!”

Josh arrived ten minutes later, clad in sneakers and his flannel pajamas. He stood next to Drake, arms folded as they both stared at the ping-pong table.

“It’s a ping-pong table,” Josh stated, not seeming overly thrilled about the idea.

“Yeah!” Drake said excitedly. “Isn’t it great? Now we can have ping-pong tournaments and pretend we’re samurais, like in the movies!”

“What does being a samurai have to do with ping pong?”

“Who cares? It’ll be fun!”

“It’s a ping-pong table,” Josh deadpanned. “In a ditch.”

“So? It’s not any different than going to a garage sale or picking through someone’s garbage,” Drake reasoned. He slapped his brother’s forearm and headed toward the table. “C’mon, help me put it in Walter’s car.”

“First of all, it’s very different than garage sale, but maybe about the same as going through someone’s garbage,” Josh started. “And secondly, how on earth are you going to get this in Dad’s car?”

“It folds,” Drake said, pointing to the metal leg joints. “But I need your help, so come on! Hurry up before someone sees.”

“Are we stealing?” Josh asked with his face going white. “I’m not going to get arrested for stealing a piece of crap ping-pong table because you thought for fifteen seconds that being a samurai might be fun.”

“Oh, would you quit complaining? You’re not going to get arrested for stealing. This is obviously garbage to someone. One man’s garbage-”

“Is another man’s garbage,” Josh interrupted as he gingerly made his way toward the table through the softened mixture of mud and grass. “You really want to take this and play me in tournaments and stuff? This won’t be like the time you tried to get me to play the keyboard and then gave up a half an hour after we started?”

“I guarantee you at least an hour of ping-pong tournament,” Drake generously offered. “Lucky for you, being a samurai doesn’t require any musical talent.”

“Whatever. Let’s just get this over with,” Josh grumbled as he pushed up his sleeves. As Drake walked passed him, he slapped his brother’s back and gave him a smile while Josh begrudgingly rolled his eyes.

--

A week later, the day of Mr. Roland’s insanely hard Chemistry test

All Drake wanted to do was play a little ping-pong.

Yeah, he heard Josh go on and on about how hard Mr. Roland’s test was going to be, but frankly he didn’t care. He was trying to follow Mindy’s advice to be a good friend (and a good brother for that matter) and store up some good faith with Josh. It had been fun for a while, to sneak around and see where this was going. No one was more surprised than Drake when she turned out to last more than a month.

If they were finally going to break down and tell Josh, Drake wanted to be the one to do it and he wanted to score as many brownie points as possible. It couldn’t hurt, right?

So, maybe approaching Josh when he was stressing over a big exam wasn’t the best time to appeal for a little game and some brother bonding. But he’d be lying if he said it wasn’t a least a little funny to see his brother all flustered and he had to bite his lip when Josh accidentally broke the “window of transparency”.

Tossing Josh his chemistry book and promising to be back in ten seconds, Drake thundered down the stairs toward the living room to retrieve the extra ping-pong paddle. He was about to race back upstairs when an odd sound coming from the kitchen distracted him.

“What was that?” Drake asked Megan, who was sitting at the table with her laptop.

“Humpback,” she replied calmly and he thought it was a little too early in the morning to start with insults.

“Jerk,” he shot back, not wanting to give her the upper hand. She looked at him and audibly sighed.

“I wasn’t calling you a name. That was the sound of a humpback whale.”

“Oh.”

“Boob,” Megan said quickly, flashing him a familiar evil grin. “That was me calling you a name.”

“Yeah, well you know what? I don’t like-“ Drake said, starting to get irritated, when he was interrupted by the phone ringing. Turning on his heel, he grabbed to answer it. “Hello?”

“Oh good, I’m glad you answered,” Mindy said on the other end, sounding relieved.

“Oh, hey Kat,” Drake said casually, still unsure if Megan had deduced who he’d been with at Aunt Catherine’s beach house.

“I got an early ride to school today and I’m all by myself in the library,” Mindy said, unfazed by the girl’s name. This wasn’t the first time he’d called her by something else on the phone and she figured someone must’ve been in the room.

“You are?” Drake asked, his interest piquing.

“Yeah. I finally finished studying last night, so I’m in the library all by myself. Wearing the lip gloss you like so much and completely alone,” she continued, hoping he caught her drift and also fibbing just a little bit. The librarian was on the other side of the room, but she was probably close to hitting 70 and Mindy knew her eyesight was definitely not what it used to be.

“You are? What flavor?” he asked excitedly, forgetting where he was for a moment. He was quickly brought back down to earth when an annoying whale noise pierced his thoughts. He turned the phone toward his shoulder and gave Megan a dirty look. “I’m trying to talk on the phone here!” He was rewarded with another whale noise. “Quit it!”

“Is everything okay?” Mindy asked, wondering why there were humpback whale sounds in the Parker/Nichols’ kitchen.
“No, sorry,” Drake answered, focusing his attention back on her. “It’s just my little sister playing on her-“ One more whale noise from Megan’s laptop and he’d had enough. “I’ll meet you at your locker in fifteen minutes!”

Drake angrily hung up the phone and whirled around to give his sister what Josh liked to call a stern talking to. “You know, when a pretty girl calls me in the morning and wants to make out before school, it doesn’t help when you start blasting your whale sounds-”

He watched as she dared to press a button on her keyboard and another whale groan annoyed him from the computer’s speakers. At this point, he wasn’t even surprised and he set his mouth in a line before speaking. “You’re the worst.”

Spinning on his heel, Drake grabbed the keys to the yellow Beetle and headed out the front door, eager to leave his vengeful sister behind and unfortunately forgetting about Josh upstairs.

--

“Is it really empty?” Drake asked when he caught up with Mindy at school, fifteen minutes later.

“If we’re really, really quiet, I’m pretty sure Mrs. Goldstein won’t hear us,” she assured him, grabbing his hand as she pushed through the heavy doors

As usual, Mindy was right as he surveyed the empty library. It wasn’t a place he visited often and he allowed her to lead him toward the back corner, behind the tall bookcases where a few couches and beanbag seats were scattered for a comfortable reading area. He watched as she flopped onto the couch and took a seat next to her.

“Hi,” Mindy said, smiling when she saw how close he was in proximity to her.

“Hey,” Drake replied, slow smile returned and then he discovered that raspberry was the answer to his earlier question of the phone when her lips met his.

“Mmm, missed you,” she mumbled, twisting into a more comfortable position. They had spent most of the week apart, with her studying for Mr. Roland’s test and him devoting his spare time practicing his ping-pong prowess.

“Missed you too. Stupid Mr. Roland.”

“Mmhmm,” Mindy agreed as she rested her head on his shoulder. “Did you study at all?”

“Sort of. Not really,” he answered, echoing the same sentiments he’d told Josh earlier. “I was busy doing what you said.”

“Which was…?”

“Spending time with Josh.”

“You think he’s ready for us to tell him?” Mindy asked idly as his arm stretched out over her shoulders.

“Probably not, but I feel more ready,” Drake admitted. He paused, considering the weight of their decision. “You sure we’re ready for this?”

“Yes I do,” she said decisively and they both heard the library doors creak open before the chatter of students broke the silence. Mindy looked at her watch and sighed. “It’s getting closer to class starting.”

“Ugh, we never have enough time,” Drake grumbled before he felt her warm hand pull him in for another slow kiss. She liked to take her time and when he started to get into it, she pulled away and looked into his eyes.

“You’re going to tell him today?”

“Yeah. Today’s a good day.”

“You sure you don’t want me to come with you?”

He shook his head. “We talked about this on the way home from the beach house. I think it’s better if Josh hears it from me.”

“Okay, if you say so,” Mindy agrees, shrugging as she gives him one more quick kiss. Drake opened his eyes to watch as she stood over him while smoothing out her pale blue skirt. “Just keep telling yourself, today’s a good day.”

He nods and watches her walk away as he counts to thirty in his head. He leaves the quiet corner of the library and wonders what it’ll finally be like to be with Mindy with everything out in the open.

--

Drake entered Mr. Roland’s class five minutes later and spots the real Kat in his class sitting at her lab table and looking bored out of her mind. Her eyes lit up when she spotted him and he can’t help but be curious when she waves him over.

“Hi Drake!” Kat greeted him brightly as she swung her long brown hair over her shoulder. “Are you ready for the test?”

“Sure, why not?” Drake answered flippantly as he took the open seat next to hers. In reality, he had no idea what he was going to do about the test, but he’d figure out something. He started to wonder if faking sick would work on tough Mr. Roland, but then he realized Kat was still talking to him.

“…Drake, you’re so laid back. That’s one of the things that I like most about you,” Kat was saying as she casually placed a hand on his thigh. It didn’t stay there long, but it definitely lingered and he definitely noticed.

“Yeah, well. Josh says I’m so laid back, I’m practically horizontal,” he told her half-jokingly and she laughed longer than she should have.

The old Drake Parker would have been making out with Kat by now, he realized. The old Drake Parker is noticing all the signs that she’s definitely into him, but the new Drake is getting pretty good at resisting those impulses he used to live by. Mindy had done what he thought was impossible and made him faithful to her after Carly broke up with him and that was the last thought he had before he realized that Kat was kissing him.

She was kissing him, his brain screamed at him and he brought up his hand to push her away, but he let it linger on her back a little bit. The old Drake missed this, hooking up with a new girl every week, but a combination of a mental image of Mindy’s hurt face and Mr. Roland’s voice caused him to pull away from Kat.

“…put all your materials under your desk. Drake, stop kissing Kat. Your exam is about to begin,” Mr. Roland was saying before he walked from his desk to lock the classroom door. Drake made his way back to his own lab table and absently wondered where Josh could be.

“You will have exactly 55 minutes to complete your exam,” Mr. Roland said before the class was distracted by the large crash and yelp against the locked door.

Josh popped up from the floor and everyone saw how he was sweat soaked through his bright blue polo and how freaked out he looked. He began to bang on the door in desperation. “Please, please, let me in! I’m sorry I’m late!”

Mr. Roland, completely unfazed, unlocked the door and opened it to find Josh out of breath on the other side. “Mr. Nichols, you know the rule.”

“But you don’t understand! See, I was about to come in-“ Josh pleaded, trying to explain.

“I understand that you are late,” Mr. Roland interrupted sternly. “And when you are late to my class, you are not welcome in my class.”

“But what about the exam?”

“You can make up the exam next Saturday morning at 6 am and you will be marked down one letter grade.”

“Oh no,” Josh breathed and Drake noted how close he looked to having an actual nervous breakdown. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, YOU!”

That last syllable was directed at Drake, clarified with a finger point from Josh, and he stood up from his lab table and asked an innocent question. “What?”

An animalistic scream tore from Josh’s throat as he charged toward Drake, who was used to this kind of behavior from his brother but it still didn’t diminish the small lick of fear that ran through him as he backed up toward the shelving unit. Luckily, a couple of their classmates caught Josh before he could do any damage, but they couldn’t stop him from screaming at Drake.

“Come here! Come here, you wanna tussle? Let’s go!” Josh screamed before Mr. Roland’s voice boomed over the ruckus.

“You will leave this classroom now!”

“But I-“

“Now!”

“I just-“

“Now!”

Now,” Josh conceded as he made his way out the door. But not before banging on the door and all of the windows as the teacher continued his instructions for the exam.

“…silence is golden,” Mr. Roland ended with as Josh gave one final scream from outside the third window in the classroom.

--

In an undecidedly Josh like move, he decided to skip school and walk the twenty minutes back home to rest and think about things. At this point, he didn’t care if he got caught; whether by the cameras he’s pretty sure Megan’s got trained on the house or if Mr. Roland called up Mom and Dad. None of that mattered because Drake had let him down once again and there was nothing he could do to stop his brother from disappointing him in the future.

Walking down the sidewalk of the subdivision he knew a shortcut through, Josh could feel the sun glaring down on him. It felt like Mr. Roland’s stare as he had tried to explain what had happened, that it was really all Drake’s fault, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

But he had to. Josh had to think of a way to stop Drake’s behavior because it was making his life miserable. Drake was his best friend, the closest thing that felt like family after Dad, but sometimes he had to wonder if he even liked the guy sometimes. Drake, with his perfect hair and his perfect luck with girls and his too good to be true luck with every single thing in life. How does a guy compete with that?

And Josh realized as he passed under a shady tree that he had to stop trying. He had to stop comparing his life to someone else, stop living in the shadow of Drake’s popularity, just stop all of it. Josh thought back over the past couple of months (heck, years) at how easily it seemed that Drake could ignore him and his feelings and blow him off whenever he felt like it.

Josh started to get disgusted with himself that he would always crawl back when Drake beckoned; it reminded him of this morning when he tried to study and what did Drake do? Throw a ping-pong paddle at his waist and coerce him into a game anyway, inadvertently causing him to break their bedroom window because that was just his own dumb luck.

That was it. Josh Nichols was done.

“You hear that world? I am done!” Josh shouted, looking up at the bright blue cloudless sky. He didn’t know if he should’ve expected anything bad to happen, but the fact that nothing at all happened instead gave him hope as he continued to walk back home.

--

Drake managed to avoid people at school when Chemistry was over, but stories and rumors swirled around the hallways of Belleview High in a way that made him a wish the ground would open and swallow him up.

”I heard that Josh tried to get in the class and Drake kicked him out.”

“I heard that Josh broke two windows in Mr. Roland’s room because he was so upset about not taking the test.”

“I heard Josh screaming from two hallways over! What did Drake do to the poor guy?”


When school was over, Drake busted out as quickly as he could and made a quick stop over at the neighbor kid’s house to swipe a Sit ‘n Bounce that he was sure would cheer up Josh and they could put this whole silly thing behind them. But when he got home, it seemed as though Josh was nowhere near being able to forgive him.

“I’m not mad at you. I’m done,” Josh said after Drake felt like an idiot for bouncing around on a toy. He stood up from the neon green ball in the middle of the living room, and tried to understand as Josh calmly explains to him that he’s done.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Drake asked, waiting for the explosion that was bound to happen. It never came.

“I don’t want anything to do with you anymore,” Josh said quietly and Drake has to admit that the words stung more than he’s willing to admit.

“So what, are you gonna move out?” he asked, trying to make light of the situation.

“No. This is the house where I live and I guess we’ll be roommates until the day I leave for college, but that’s all we’ll be is roommates,” Josh told him and all Drake could do was stand, dumbfounded and at a loss for words. “I’m done with you.”

“Whoa,” Megan says from the kitchen, breaking the tense silence. She came out to meet Drake in the living room and he can’t help but still be irritated at her from this morning.

“What?”

“You really did it this time.”

“Come on, you know how many times Josh has been “furious” with me?” Drake asked, not wanting to come to terms with the gravity of Josh’s words. “He’ll pout for a day or two and then he’ll get over it.”

“I don’t know. He sounded pretty serious,” Megan replied as she held on to her enormous stuffed whale.

“Trust me,” he told her, mustering up some confidence. “All right, I know Josh and there’s no way he’s going to-“

He would’ve continued, but Robbie the neighbor kid entered the house and stole back what was rightfully his. Drake thought Robbie’s kick in the shin was unnecessary, but focusing on the bruise that was slowly forming was a lot better than realizing how screwed up things were with the one person he counted on most.

--

chapter 16 | the necessity of you

 
 
Current Music: before he cheats - carrie underwood
 
 
 
angelkutty on April 12th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
JOSH IS DONE! JOSH IS DONE! That is what my head was screaming the entire time I was reading this chapter.

Seriously twin, why do you have to be so awesome? You did a fantastic job of combining the episode with your own little twist. I love how Drake was actually talking to Mindy on the phone, even though he said Kat on the show. I love how you included that extra scene when Josh leaves school.

You did a great job of not just taking scenes verbatim from the episode, but including the parts that helped push along your plot.

I CAN'T WAIT FOR MORE! WRITE FASTER!
mochacola on April 12th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
haha, that was screaming my head too while i've been conceptualizing these chapters for the past month just so i could keep myself sane from the amount of homework i had to do. ...but that's another story.

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank and did i mention, thank you? *hugs* you're the best.

I'M WRITING LIKE THE WIND!
marleybanana on April 12th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
i'm really glad you split it up at this point...and that i got to be just a *bit* surprised. personally, i love it, all of it, and i can't wait to see more because, really, what's gonna happen when mindy finds out about drake kissing kat? will she find out? and we all know what happens at the end of eric punches drake...drake's not gonna be happy!

now i'm very probably over-excited...so please, hurry! i love you!
mochacola on April 13th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
*big, giant, bone crushing, josh nichols-like hugs*

omg, please be online tonight. lots of words written. LOTS OF WORDS. &hearts &hearts &hearts
marleybanana on April 14th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
being online tonight will work for me...just let me know when and where. wait...i know where...nevermind...just when... :D