Teenage Wildlife
by itsacraze

Lilah has discovered the underground clubs of LA. Not the trendy, bright hot-spots, the ones with a line wrapped twice around the block, the ones with nice drinks in technicolor with little umbrellas or pieces of fruit. Not the kind with clean bathrooms, security, or little booths to sit and take a break from dancing. She's found the kind that you either stumble across or are brought to. Little, squat cement buildings with no windows, and broken glass outside the door. The kind where it's so dark inside with only the flashing of strobes and the glow from the tiny lights so the DJ's can see the turntables, you can't see anyone who isn't right in front of you. It's better that way. Because the people here...sometimes they're just better in the dark, with only flashy blue lights to cut strips over their glittered and painted faces.

There is no air conditioning, no seating, just two rooms. One where you can get a bottle of water, maybe some fruit from the tables lining one wall. You can sit on the floor if you want to brave it. Better to sit on someone's lap. The other room is packed, full of people and noise and drugs, and sweat. The DJ's change every hour and a half; there is never a break in the constant pumping of bass and synthesizer.

Lilah has met a circle of people she knows would probably never set foot in those tiny little bars and clubs back home, and she wonders what was so exciting about those tiny little dives in the first place. This is different. Every Friday and Saturday night, there's a new abandoned warehouse with the doors flung open (well, not really, don't want the cops to bust up the party too early) to the ravers, the groovers, the lost children of Los Angeles looking for somewhere to escape for a while. It makes Lilah just that much more grateful to have gotten a scholarship to an LA school. Because here, she's not worried about her mother or her homework. Because here, everything is set to a beat and everyone wants to be your friend.

...there are little pills that make the lights brighter and the music beautiful...

And there are girls. Girls in shiny nylon pants with reflectors that shine in the strobes, with lollipops in their mouths, staining their lips red, purple, blue. There are girls who are as small as she is, girls who are taller, shorter, girls who hold her hand, girls who hold her.

And there are boys. Boys who couldn't be any older than her, and ones who are probably men. There are boys who look nervous, who haven't been here before. She meets them at the checkpoint where they pick up directions to wherever the next party is, or in the little hallway by the bathrooms, or leaning against a wall, looking dazed and sleepy.

Tonight...there's both. A girl with long, shiny black eyes and piercing eyes that hold intellegence and cunning, and a smile like the Mona Lisa. A boy with the same dark hair and wide, full lips. They don't belong here, not with these shiny happy ravekids. She can tell...they're special.

He smells like sandalwood and she tastes like warm honey and something burnt and rich. He presses a white tablet to Lilah's tongue as the three of them dance and she smiles.

"What's your name?" She manages to ask, close to his ear and screaming over the music.

They smile at each other over her shoulder. "Nathaniel." He replies, turning her around to face the girl who had up until now been holding Lilah by the hips. His arm holds her close to his body and the girl smiles. "And this is my sister, Isabel."

Lilah swallows the pill and reaches for the girl, pulling her so that the three of them pressed together, Lilah in the middle, her head already spinning. Her eyes flutter closed as Nathaniel kisses her neck and she feels the floor drop out from beneath her feet. Just before she loses her grip on the world of the completely sober, she registers Isabel's hands on her ribcage, and says "I really...really hope I remember this tomorrow."

"If you don't, we'll remind you"

And she's not sure which one of them has said it.


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