soooo this is ~1.1k of julie’s giant nerds finding out that pluto isn’t a planet anymore and freaking the hell out. no, it’s not the projection of a 90′s kid at all, why do you ask?
warnings: they just swear way more than they need to. sorry about that.
“We’re the luckiest motherfuckers on the planet,” Luke says, voice full of wonder, as he falls backwards onto Julie’s bed, the last wisps of adrenaline from their show leaking away. The image of a gross, sweaty boy sprawling all over her nice, clean bedspread would normally have Julie squawking in protest, but luckily ghost sweat doesn’t stick. Neither do ghost tears, as she’d learned that fateful night they’d cried all over her in the garage. “That crowd was insane!”
“We’re the luckiest motherfuckers on all nine planets,” Reggie agrees, though he has the decency to bypass her blankets, falling directly on top of Luke instead. Luke catches him easily, wrapping his arms around Reggie’s back without so much as an oof of dissent. They fit together like they were created for it and Julie can’t help but grin from ear to ear as she takes the spot next to them on the bed. They’ve built this little family together and she fits, too.
Still, she can’t help but point out, “While I agree that we’re lucky, it’s actually only eight planets.”
Alex freezes midway through climbing into the space by the headboard, his eyes going wide and worried. “Did we—did we lose one?”
Luke and Reggie are staring at her with matching expressions of horror. “Did one of them fall out of the sky?” Luke asks, forehead crinkled with concern.
“Did one of them explode?” Reggie gasps, cheeks flushed like they get when he’s really worked up about something. “Why is no one talking about this?”
Julie tries her damndest not to laugh, honest she does, but their stricken little faces dissolve any ounce of self-control she might have pretended to have. Flat on her back, she kicks her feet in the air, cackling as loud as she dares with her father sleeping in his bedroom down the hall. “Guys,” she says, rolling her eyes. “Nothing happened to it! Pluto just got demoted from planet to dwarf planet. It’s been like that since I was little.”
“They can just do that?” Alex says, finally taking his place in the cuddle chain. He props his chin on Reggie’s back so he can look at her. “Some poor bastard exists for millions of years, making its merry way around the sun, and then bam! Some scientists decide to play God and it’s erased?”
“Not erased…demoted,” Julie reminds him, not because she actually cares but because her boys’ genuine distress about the matter is the most amusing thing she’s seen all day. And that’s saying something considering Willie had shown up to their dressing room with purple ribbons braided into his hair. He’d looked like a maypole. A cute maypole, but a maypole all the same. “Is it really that big a deal?”
Reggie leaps to his feet, making Alex’s mouth click shut and coming within centimeters of kneeing Luke in the crotch in the process. His eyes are wild. “Yes, it’s a big deal! What about My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas?” He slams his fist against the palm of his hand with every word like a judge with a gavel.
Julie shrugs. “Now she just serves us nachos. Or noodles. Depends on who you ask.”
“Unbelievable,” Luke whispers, eyes squinting up like he’s trying to make it compute. “I hate the future!”
At this point, Reggie is pacing back and forth across Julie’s room, putting Alex’s runway walk to shame. “They couldn’t have done this to Uranus?” he cries, throwing his hands in the air. “No one likes Uranus! What fucking weirdo named that planet, anyways?”
“Just name it Urasshole next time,” Alex mutters to himself darkly, but before that comment can receive the noises of disgust and punches on the arm that it deserves, Luke exclaims, “Wait, it says here that Pluto is still a planet in Arizona and Illinois!”
Julie glares at him. “Did I say you could touch my phone?”
“No, but—this is life or death, okay?” Luke pokes his bottom lip out in a pout that makes Julie want to flick him in the nose. “This is about survival, Jules!”
Julie flicks him in the nose.
“No, this is good,” Reggie is mumbling to himself, hands curling in and out of fists as he paces. “This is good! This is—”
And then he disappears, gone with a split-second flash of light and a subtle moving of air.
The room instantly goes silent, Luke’s hurt nose and Alex’s personal vendetta against Uranus’ discoverer quickly forgotten. Alex slaps Luke on the stomach. “Good going! He probably went all the way to Arizona!”
“Oh god,” Julie says, throwing an elbow across her eyes. “No, he definitely went to Illinois. There’s no way in hell he went anywhere but Illinois.”
“This is your fault,” Luke says petulantly and then they all lie back to wait.
When Reggie poofs back in, it’s been roughly three minutes and his hair is standing on end. If his face was flushed before, he’s practically on fire now, tomato red and panting for breath. “Illinois is a long way away,” he announces like it’s a groundbreaking discovery. The corners of his mouth are turned down. “I got as far as Vegas before I started feeling like my head was going to rip open.”
“Oh Reg,” Alex says pityingly.
“Buddy,” Luke says, shaking his head.
“Arizona was right there,” Julie says, but she opens her arms to him all the same. He takes her up on it, faceplanting into her neck like his limbs can’t hold him up any longer. Which, judging by the exhausted jitters that have started to wrack at his body, they probably can’t. Cross-country ghost travel really takes it out of you, so Julie has heard. “Just—c’mere. I’ll hold you for awhile and it’ll be okay. What do you say?”
“Mmm okay,” Reggie concedes, going completely limp until Julie is veritably crushed beneath him. She doesn’t mind, though – the pressure is welcome and grounding. Reggie feels like love and warmth and all the rest of the good things, too. “I say it makes me the luckiest motherfucker on all nine planets, how about that?”
Julie grins. “You’re never letting it go, are you?”
“Nachos,” Alex whispers disdainfully from one side of Julie.
“Noodles,” Luke whispers from the other. “I fucking hate it here.”
“No, you don’t,” Julie teases, running a hand through the back of Reggie’s hair, and neither one of them even bothers to argue.