When: one recent evening
Faust sighs as he walks down the steps of the dance studio. He doesn’t like teaching foxtrot to a bunch of senior citizens, but surprisingly, it pays for his run-down little apartment. He needs the money. He walks out onto the street, drawing a cigarette out of his back pocket, still dressed in his dancing shoes.
Memphis is seated coincidentally on a bench right outside the place. The sun has dipped low on the horizon, shining angry and red into her eyes as she eats her dinner, a fast-food hamburger that looks bigger than she is. She's just gotten off of work, still dressed in a filthy pair of men's blue jeans, a white tank-top clinging sweatily to her skin, and a pair of steel-toed boots. Every inch of her is covered in dust, oil, and sweat, but Memphis looks pleased with herself. She chews her bite of hamburger and swallows. If she's surprised to see Faust, it doesn't show. "You dance?" she asks.
Faust turns around. He half-expected her to be there anyway. “I foxtrot,” he tells her, holding up a finger like there’s a difference. “And it pays well.” He takes it upon himself to sit next to her on the bench, taking a drag of the cigarette and watching her from the corner of his eye.
She looks back at him, almost laughing, and takes another big bite of her dinner. "Are you gay?" Memphis demands, and then takes a sip of her soda.
His lips curl into a smile as he watches her. “What if I was?”
Memphis glares and rolls her eyes. "You're not."
“Good girl,” he mutters, blowing smoke through his nose. Faust turns slightly and looks her over. “Where have you been?”
"My daddy got me a job," Memphis says. Tough as she is, she still calls her father daddy without any shame. "I'm drilling oil about fifteen miles off shore. Just got off work." She snorts in laughter. "Since all the dance jobs were taken."
Faust, were he braver, would shove her over for laughing at him. “Oil rig, huh? That’s pretty intense.” It works for her, though. In some weird way.
"Intense?" Memphis snorts and has a few french fries. "Not really. My daddy works at the steel mill back home. That's intense." A bit of hero worship comes into her voice while talking about her father.
Faust smiles slightly at the change in her voice, he brings his hand up to take another drag and cover his smile. “Well, you’re just an intense family, aren’t you?”
"It's just me and my daddy," Memphis explains. "We have to be intense."
Faust exhales on a sigh. “I bet. It’s just me and my daddy too,” he tells her. He’s never told anyone that. “And my brothers,” he adds, pulling a face.
"What are they like?" Memphis turns her dark eyes on him curiously. She's never had siblings, has always been interested in them.
“Awful. Absolutely terrible. They made my life hell for eighteen years,” he tells her in a bitter voice. Faust hates his brothers. He hates them. He can’t say that about anyone else. “I couldn’t wait to get out of there.”
"And you'll never go back?" Memphis takes another bite of her hamburger. It's quickly disappearing. She may be small, but her appetite is ravenous.
Faust shakes his head. “No reason to go back. There’s no point going back somewhere you’re not welcome.”
"I'd go back, if I had brothers." Memphis is sure of it. "I go back even without them. See my daddy. Doesn't matter if I'm not welcome. I always go back."
He nods. “Well then, you’re a much better person than I am.”
She grins widely, laughing at some private irony. "Yes I am," Memphis says with confidence.
His eyes flick over to her grin, lingering on her lips. He wants to compliment her, tell her how pretty she looks when she smiles. Because that’s what you do, isn’t it? When you like someone? You compliment them. He tosses his cigarette to the ground and pulls the pack out of his pocket. “Want one?” Faust asks, holding out the pack.
Memphis eyes the pack for a moment as she takes a sip of her soda, toying with the straw in her mouth. "Yes," she answers decisively, taking a cigarette and then pressing a short kiss to Faust's mouth in one fluid moment. She tucks the cigarette into her pocket.
Faust laughs slightly, shaking his head. “You don’t have to do that, you know.”
"Do what?" She's honestly confused as she looks at him.
“Kisses for cigarettes,” He says with a shrug. “They don’t have to come together. Granted, it is a good deal, but you don’t have to.” I’d kiss you anyway, he wants to add.
She frowns faintly, thinking this over. "Oh," Memphis says shortly. Then she leans up to kiss him again, short and a little demanding.
Faust likes it in any case. He leans over to kiss her again, slightly pressing.
Memphis returns it briefly, eyes shut, and then smirks a little bit into the kiss and bites down on his bottom lip. She laughs faintly and then releases him.
Faust groans quietly, resting his head on her shoulder briefly. “Memphis, Memphis, Memphis,” he says quietly, shaking his head and getting another cigarette from his pocket.
She looks at him from the corner of her eyes. "Yes, yes, yes?" Memphis asks, an eyebrow raised in interest.
“You’re going to be the death of me,” he mumbles around the cigarette. Faust’s sure it’ll be a nice death.