2007-07-26: An Alien in the Driveway

Starring:

Manuel_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

Summary:

There's an alien in the front driveway, Manuel and Ramon set a giant fire, and the future gets discussed in more ways than one.

Date It Happened:

July 26, 2007

Log Title

An Alien in the Driveway


Country Home, Upstate New York

Guess who ends up with moving van duty out of all these women and kids? That would be Ramon. And Manuel. The big U-Haul, featuring a tribute to Arizona with a big green alien peering out of the side, is wide open. "Okay, let's get the couch," Ramon grunts, nodding to Manuel as he heads into the van. "Ready?" No suit for him today, though his closet has acquired them. No, it's jeans and a white teeshirt for moving day.

Moving day…go figure. Nodding a little, the younger Gomez steps up the ramp of the U-Haul, dressed similarly to his father, only opting for a beater and jeans himself, the front of the shirt tucked into his pants, "Remind me why we moved this far out again…?" He smirks a little bit, running a hand through his hair before grabbing the bottom of the couch, lifting it up a little.

"Because," Ramon grunts. And that's all he's got to say about that. He figures Manny knows the reasons very well. Starting with they might /notice/ if someone gets under their car with a bomb this time. "One…two…three." He lifts his end of the couch, growling in pain. This is not doing good things for various aged and injured and stressed parts of his body.

Manuel's not exactly in perfect shape himself, still feeling the…effects of the bomb, albeit lessened over time. Stepping back out of the truck, Manny can't help but think this will at least help him in some ways. He starts to head toward the inside of the house, turning to look behind him, "This thing gonna fit, Papa?"

"It's a piece of crap and I don't know. I'm starting to think we shoulda taken a bonfire to all the old furniture and just went and bought new." He pauses, eyeing the couch. Yes, the urge to set the thing on fire with his son is rising.

Manuel laughs quietly, carrying the couch toward the door, "Startin' to agree, can't lie…" As they approach the door, the urge to set the couch on fire for Manny increases a little bit…he quickly realizes that no, without barring a lot of twisting and turning, the couch is NOT just going to fit into the door. And Manny knows it.

Ramon considers this. Then he says, "There's a fire pit out back. Come on. We just won't tell the women. They'll think we've gone insane. We'll distract them by saying, here, go to the furniture store and buy whatever you want. Do your decoration thing. Be women. Go to town."

Manuel chokes, "Maybe not in those words, mm?" Manny can only imagine what Portia would try and get Desiree and Elena to buy…Shaking his head briefly, Manny smirks, "Let's do it."

Ramon smirks and starts backing towards the big fire pit. "Three…two…one…drop it." He goes out to where he's already set a brand new bunch of bbq stuff and returns with a giant lighter and two things of lighter fluid. He hands the lighter and the lighter fluid to his son. This must be bonding in action.

Manuel flicks the lighter on--away from the lighter fluid--and laughs, "Mm…cheap lighter…perfect." He tucks the lighter into his pocket, taking the bottle of lighter fluid…and rather than bother with squirting it, Manny unscrews the entire cap, just starting to dump the fluid all over the couch.

Ramon unscrews his own cap and just starts flinging fluid over this couch that has been his bed for nearly five years. Oh how he hates it. He saves extra special lighter fluid for the big tear right in the center that always jutted up and woke him out of sound sleeps over the years. He empties the can with special satisfaction and says, "Light her up."

Manuel smirks and kneels by the pit, striking the lighter and nudging himself back just a bit. Reaching out to set the flame to the fluid, the entire couch goes up in flames…to Manny and, most assuredly to the younger Gomez, Ramon's pleasure. Off the record, Manny has to ask, "How…did you sleep on this thing, anyway?"

"Very carefully," Ramon grunts, looking grimly satisfied as the heat brings sweat up on his brow. He steps back to watch it, folding his arms. "The late night movie special helped too, though those mornings where I left the television all night and woke up to Dora the Explorer were pretty insane." Pause. Beat. "I'll never forget the look on my boss' face when I, pre-coffee, muttered: great counting! Thanks for helping! Now let's Vamanose!"
Manny just…stops. And turns. And stares at his father briefly, "Please…please tell me this was one of the mornings 'Nita and Luis were visiting?" He can't imagine his father actually waking up to take in Dora the Explorer…and, shaking his head, Manny has to remember that 'Nita can get him to do anything. So at least that would be an explanation.

"Uh huh," Ramon says with a nod. "She'd turned the channel and sat down more or less on top of me. She's too old for that show, but she just smiled and said something about good female childhood heroes or something and I went back to sleep. Sadly, the effects remained."

"At least it was because of 'Nita…" Manny would…frankly laugh his ass off if it just HAPPENED. Deciding he outta tell his father something to counter it, he glances over, "Any consolation, when I woke up…'Nita was basically sitting on top of me and holding a cupcake to my face. In front of Elena…and…other people…" He smirks a little bit, shaking his head—sometimes, he hated the ability of his baby sister to make ANYONE do ANYTHING for her…

"Cupcakes are good stuff," Ramon says, adding more wood to the couch fire. "Can't blame a man for likin' his cupcakes. Really can't blame it if Nita's at the other end. Just one of those things." He nods his head. "Man eats a cupcake to keep a woman happy, that is a very masculine cupcake."

Manuel chuckles quietly, offering a little shrug, "It was nice. I hadn't seen her in forever anyway. But…" Manny has to laugh a little bit, "She didn't quite understand that my car had blown up into my side…"

Ramon grimaces. Then he says, "Well. She'll be home with us now. I'm thinking we should get a couple of Dobermans or something." To go with the parrot. And this totally unexplained kitten which has just…shown up in the house. Ramon denies any knowledge of the kitten.

Manuel nods a little bit, folding his arms across his chest and watching the flames. It's probably not a good site, literal fire in the eyes of the teen, but in this case, at least the fire is in front of him. The news that the family's going to be together again at least relaxes Manny for a moment, nodding a bit, "Be nice to have the family together again…" Manny doesn't need to finish the sentence—he knows his father knows what's not being spoken about this situation.

Ramon isn't 'listening', but he looks over at Manny. "But…" now he has to guess. He can think of several buts. "I've dragged you away from your friends and school," is the first one that comes to his mind. Or maybe he's just not entirely ready to go into the second, or maybe the third, or fourth, or fifth but.

Manuel snorts, "You obviously don't remember the last time Armando came by our home…" The blood stain that resembled a murder scene, the whole in the wall from the baseball bat…yeah, Manny doesn't miss Armando and his gang. He shakes his head a little bit, rolling his neck out a little—with a notable pop.

Worry one down. "But you're uneasy because you know that I'm serious about Dezi and her kids are moving in too." Ramon finally mans up, and takes a stab at what he perceives to be the next biggest thing on the list. He's not great at this, maybe, but he'll square up his shoulders and plow through.

Manuel chuckles quietly, "That's…" Manny shrugs a litle bit, "…I guess a part of it." He shrugs a bit, finally just acquiescing, "Doesn't sit right with me, Elena not movin' up…" Yeah, he knows it's only because of school. That doesn't make it any better.

Ramon nods his head, fire reflecting in his own eyes. "Me either. But shouting, or insisting…" he shakes his head, grimacing. "I want her here. But she's 19 years old. Nearly 20 soon. We can't hold on to her forever. And the harder we hold the more reasons she'll find not to be held. The only way to keep her in our life is to have respect for her needs."

Nodding a little bit, Manny has to sigh. He knows his father's right, but he's loath to admit it. He shakes his head, clicking his tongue lightly. Forgetting, briefly, that his father can probably hear him, Manny thinks to himself, /God…she's almost twenty. I guess I forgot that…/

"And next," Ramon says ruefully, "It'll be you." He doesn't look entirely happy about any of this. "You'll have your own plans, goals, dreams." He looks over at his son. "You probably already do. What do you want to do when you graduate? Given any thought to that?"

/Graduation? God…am I even on pace to graduate at this point…?/ Probably not what his father wanted to hear, but Manny also figures Ramon is aware of this fact. Clicking his tongue again, Manny has to think again, "I…" A sigh escapes the young man, who shakes his head briefly, "…really haven't…"

"I don't care if you're forty and living in my house, but you might," Ramon says gently. "And Gonzalo ain't going to show you anything but how to be a drain on your familia." He's switched to Spanish at this point, really he has. He says, "You think about it. Then you tell me what I can do to help you. Me, I think you can be bad ass at whatever you want."

Manuel grinning at his father's switch of languages, Manny follows suit just as quickly—it is his favored language anyway, "Only thing I could think is a trade school…just get certified as a mechanic…" Manny folds his arms, knowing it's not the most ambitious thing in the world…that said, he's thought about it for exactly thirty seconds.

"Good trade," Ramon says. He smirks. "Just remember that our fortunes have turned in a heartbeat so right now I could probably pay for you to learn to fix /airplanes/ if you want." He says, "You don't have to make the decision overnight. And nobody has just one career. Christ, I'm going back to school now cause I don't have a fucking clue what I'm doing with what I've just been handed. I also know," here he pauses. "Well. Don't feel like you have to live up to Elena's act, alright? Just because she focuses on what she wants like a freight train with a mission from God doesn't mean that's your path."

Manuel can't help but laugh; it's such an accurate description of his big sister that Manny just can't help but laugh at it. "Believe me, papa…if I thought I could live up to Elena's standard, I wouldn't be talkin' about fixing cars." He smirks a little bit, looking at the ashes that were the couch. Nodding a bit, Manny looks into the pit, "Improvement, no?"

Ramon smirks and nods. "Big improvement." He starts kicking stuff over the fire and says, "You should believe in yourself more. I believe in you." He looks over at his son. "I know I did a lot of yelling and swearing and basically didn't handle things worth a shit. I'm sorry. I was scared for you."

Manuel shrugs a little bit, arms folded still. "Hardly think I'm the picture of maturity about it, Papa…but believe me, I'm doing what I can to set things right…" What he doesn't mention, and what he's praying his father can't hear, is that without his car, Manny's going to have a hard time getting Armando off his back…he shakes his head, though. He's not troubling Ramon with that notion.

Ramon really doesn't listen on purpose these days. So he /misses it all/. The more fool him. He might smarten up and start using his Fatherly Telepathy against his kids again when the reasons God invented such things come to life. He says, "I know." He expels a breath. "For now just help me keep the family safe. Carter's dead, but there was more going on than just him."

Manuel nods, "And if Elena was right…and Luis or 'Nita…discover these…things…" He can only imagine what might happen if, as Elena surmised months prior, the two manifest as well. He taps his foot briefly, thinking for a moment, "There's always more…"

"That's life," Ramon says, shaking his head. "Even when things are going well, everybody has problems. The mistake most people make is, they try everything they can to frantically live a life without problems. It don't work that way. We enjoy the good and we beat the shit out of the bad. That's the way."

Manuel laughs a little bit, nodding briefly. It wasn't subtle, but it was true, "No better way to say it than that…" Manny can only imagine what happens if someone puts his family in jeopardy now that they'll finally be together again…between Ramon and Manny, 'Nita might well be untouchable, even moreso than they try to make Elena. "Safer, at least…"

Ramon can only hope. He drops down onto the front steps of the house, content that he hasn't just started a wildfire. He wipes sweat off his brow and leaves room for Manuel. They have all weekend with this truck. He's not in a huge huge hurry about anything. Everything is a little surreal sometimes as he looks around. "Which room you want?"

Manuel laughs a little bit, looking into the house curiously, "Don't need a whole lotta room…" He thinks a bit, "But if you want to reduce the pink content of the house, I'll take the one up front. We both know 'Nita's going to want her room pink and colorful…"

Ramon gets a rather disturbed look on his face. "It's yours," he says. Dear God. "It'll keep the dice content in the front of the house to a dull roar too." Luis' Trunk O' Multisided Die is in that moving van. God help them.

Manuel laughs quietly, "Thought as much." Manny, obviously in no rush to move in himself, just props himself against the door frame, "Last thing we need is to welcome people to 'Nita's…colorful decorations, mm?"

"My reputation would be shot," Ramon grumbles in agreement. "And even if I gave the excuse that I was just pleasing my little girl, my reputation would still be shot. We could never have anyone over. We just couldn't. So you take that room and you man it the hell up." Keep the man stuff by the bathroom and the girl stuff at the sides of the house guests don't politely go near. Hot damn.

"I just hope she doesn't give me that look…" Manny's certain his father knows what look. The look that 'Nita gives when she REALLY wants something. REEEEEEALLY wants something. And it basically means Manny, Ramon, and anyone else she gives the look to is screwed.

"We have to find a way to make that room we want her to take to be the best room in the whole house," Ramon muses. "I think there's a real pretty tree back there in the window view. And she can see the mountains from that angle. Think that'll get it or are we going to have to resort to something more drastic?"

"If we can get me moved in before she shows up, I think she likes me enough not to question it…" Especially if EVERYTHING is settled. Juanita was always happy to see Manny, even if it was just from a day of school. "But I do think we need to convince her."

The big moving van is out in front, with the Roswell Alien peering in friendly fashion from the side. Manuel and Ramon have been doing the moving this afternoon, but they seem to be taking a break. With Ramon lounging on the front steps and Manuel leaning against the doorframe, they look like a beer commercial about to happen—without the beer.

If anyone's really paying attention to it, there's still a little bit of black smoke hovering around the house. Not much, at this point…but it's there for the Elena-esque attentive folks.

A taxi pulls up outside the country home. A long way to go for a taxi, but well, these girls have had somewhat of a weird day and it seemed like the fastest route. Maybe not the most cost-effective. Desiree gets out of the cab after having what seems like an inordinately long conversation with the driver, and wastes no time in clack-clack-clacking her way up the drive. "Jesuschri—!" She veers sharply to the right, away from the moving van. Friendly or no, it's an /alien/. It takes her by surprise, okay?! She heads on up to the front of the house, glancing once at the sky. She's in a hurry, though it's hard to say why or where she's going. "Y'all know there's a alien on the van and somethin's on fire, right?"

Ramon looks up at Dezi and smiles. "Yeah. Got it just for you dear." He stands up and lets Desi move on through her path. "Everything okay? Where are you two going?" He is just not saying anything about the fire at all. Nope!

Manuel just leans himself against the door frame, smirking a little bit. Yes, there's an alien. Yes, it's painted to the moving van. And if Ramon's listening to his mind, Manny's laughing his ass off at Desiree. But outwardly, the kid just smirks, shaking his head a little and folding his arms across his chest. Fire? What fire?

Desiree is distracted enough to ignore the suspicious behaviour of two boys who set something on fire - she just keeps on truckin', only pausing only after she passes the threshold. "Do you know what box my Magic Eye book I got from 'Lena is in?" she asks over her shoulder. It's like asking for the age old needle in a haystack. "Everythin's okay. Or it will be, once I find my book! Portia can stay here and help y'all unpack." She generously offers up her healthy daughter for manual labour.

Ramon heads into the moving van. "Probably in one of the ball busters marked books," the man rumbles. "Hang on, I'll find it. Sweetheart," he asks. "Where are you /going/?" Worry has started to edge into his tone, until it has risen up to its higher octaves. Which, granted, is most men's lower octaves.

Manuel just shrugs; he doesn't even remember packing it, so far be it from Manny to try and say he knows. He just leans against teh door frame, thinking for a minute, curiously mentioning, "(Kinda suspiscious that she's lookin' for that book in a hurry…)" He says it mostly to himself, favoring speaking in Spanish still.

Dezi whirls around on her heel, grabbing onto the doorframe to peer at Ramon at the van. She's close enough that her cheerful green skirt likely infiltrates Manny's personal space. "Oh. Uhh, well, I saw the future. And, well, it's kinda crap," she babbles matter-of-factly. "So, I got a plan to fix it." She glances over at Portia, who is still in the driveway and out of earshot due to an iPod. She glances at Manny, who is sixteen, and spends about half a second debating before she blurts out, "I'ma go get drunk and see if I can have more visions."

"That's…awesome, sweetheart," Ramon says, a little bit faintly. "How about you get drunk here? At the house? And let all of us in on your brilliant plan?" He's in fact looking a bit pale around the edges, and suddenly less enthused about finding her special book.

Manuel just raises an eyebrow, noticing Desiree's glance toward him before deciding to go get drunk. Manny can't help but wonder what THAT means, but he doesn't put too much time into thinking about it, "So…what's this crappy future anyway?"

"I guess that works too," Desiree says as if the thought hadn't occurred to her, because it hadn't. "A storm… destruction," she says, her voice taking on a distant and almost forlorn tone. "The city changes." A beat. "Did you know there was an artist who could paint the future, only he could only do it while he was on drugs?" Is she drunk already? Very much noticing the out-of-place pallor of Ramon's face, she breaks into a warm and reassuring, if slightly off-kilter and silly, smile and ambles down to the van. She hops up into it and lays a hand to his upper arm. "But we're gonna stop it. Everyone is, everyone who cares." She looks into the van's interior. "I'll help you look."

"Here," Ramon says again, firmly. "You get drunk /here/. So I can take care of you." Then he hands her the book. In truth, he knew it was important, and so made sure he remembered where he could keep his hand right on it. He looks ready to haul her back by the scruff of her neck if she suggests anything other than getting drunk here. "There is beer in the fridge. And if you try something harder than that you and I are going to have a Discussion." He squints at her through his single eye, glowering. Then he kisses her cheek. "The table and chairs are set up."

Desiree, her brows raised way, way up, stares at Ramon incredulously, her mouth poised to retort; her hip is even cocked, a hand planting on it. But then he kisses her cheek and she just laughs, grinning a good-natured, joking grin. "Don't you worry! I'm not gonna go get addicted to heroin or somethin' just to see pretty pictures that tell the future. 'Sides," she says, taking the book with a triumphant beam, hugging it to her chest. "'Lena's got the same effect." Pause. Pause. Maybe she shouldn't have worded it quite so much to imply Ramon's daughter is like drugs. "Anyway, I was at Cass's."

Ramon just stares evenly right back at her—and then she relaxes and the good side of his face twitches up into a good natured smirk. He eyes the children and settles for a chaste kiss on the cheek. Cass' is a good place for her to be, so he relaxes a notch. "You just let me know what you want me to do and I'll do it," he rumbles seriously.

"(So…she's getting drunk, looking at a picture book, and hoping she'll get clues about some future that may or may not happen? This…whatever.)" Manny folds his arms, looking into the house curiously, tapping a foot against the floor and thinking, "Define…'changes' here…"

"You," Desiree returns the chaste kiss with one of her own, after Ramon's. Don't look, Manny. "Can be on record duty. 'Case I forget what I'm talkin' about a hour later." That happens at the best of times. Tucking the book of illusions under her arm, she wanders out of the moving van to head back to the house. The big, new house. Even as she approaches it, she looks up in wonder and shakes her head in disbelief. "It was… it's gonna be…" Desiree comes to a slow halt in front of the door, in front of Manny. "Well, it don't matter, 'cause it's not gonna happen." Dezi plasters on a bright, optimistic smile and marches into the house.

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