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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by Dashe
Press Start to Continue - Chapter 3: A Night on the Town for T-Bonne

Chapter 3: A Night on the Town for T-Bonne. Chapter image depicts Max and Teisel doing some clothes shopping.  Teisel's still in his Legends 1 outfit and carrying Tron's book.  He's a lot taller than Max and looks completely out of it, like he'd just downed a shot of NyQuil before heading out.  Probably not the best idea since the streets are cobblestone.

During his first few weeks living in Teomo City, Teisel aimlessly wandered around the small common room, unsure as to what he was supposed to do with himself while his new roommates went about their lives. He wasn't comfortable checking out everyone's bedrooms, and he didn't want to bother Pic for any of his books. Over the past couple of days, that young man had proven to be unsettlingly unpredictable.

The Bright Bats' television had a fuzzy picture. Somehow or another, Aero had managed to leech cable from the apartment building above their hideout. Teisel passed a good portion of the time watching game shows and infomercials. The nights in particular were especially difficult. He elected to continue sleeping on the couch, although there really didn't seem to be many other options for him at the moment. He doubted having a bed would help him doze off any better. So many thoughts were running through his mind that he found getting to sleep next to impossible. At least he had the local shopping network to keep him company while his fellow Bright Bats snoozed through the night.

His fellow Bright Bats. It still seemed like such an odd concept to wrap his mind around. He kept the goggles awkwardly strung around his wrist. It was hard to get used to. He couldn't find any means of wearing them that looked any good, even when his digging suit came back from the cleaner's. He couldn't remember it ever being that green before, and at some point he noticed that it was finally starting to feel a little less loose on him. Every once in a while the others would talk about something and even though he never seemed to care enough about the details to commit any of the conversations to memory, the small talk in itself was a nice break from the silence he'd had to deal with up until his arrival on Klickelan Island.

So when Aero rushed in one afternoon and proudly handed Teisel an empty, postmarked envelope while he and Max were watching Balloon Fantasy, Teisel found himself asking, "What's this all about?"

"It's proof of address," Aero explained. "For your library card, remember?"

"Huh." Teisel examined the envelope. It did indeed have his name and an address in Teomo City emblazoned across the front.

"It took me a while to break into the post office and borrow the stamp, but this is as legitimate as it's going to get," She replied. "I can't really see the library caring enough to dig much deeper than this. Every time I pass it on the streets, the place looks pretty empty. It's a shame. This library's only been around for a few years. All you have to do is show up with that and you should be able to get a card…and on the off-chance they give you any trouble, you can still read the books there for free no matter what Pic may tell you."

"Thanks," Teisel replied, still staring at the postmark. He reached over to the end table next to him and slipped the envelope into his book, turning back to watch the rest of the show.

"Hey, you haven't been out on the town yet, have you, T-Bonne?" Max asked suddenly as he hit the power button on the remote. The bouncing red and blue balloons on the screen vanished into a sea of black. "It's pretty great. We'll pick up your library card and I'll treat you to one of my famous shopping sprees! You really need to get some street clothes that fit, and I'm always at the cutting edge of fashion, you'll see."

Teisel took one look at Max's gaudy Hawaiian shirt and bright orange cargo pants and raised his eyebrows in skepticism.

"Come on, I refuse to take no for an answer!" Max exclaimed, jumping up and grabbing Teisel by the hand. "Aero went to a lot of trouble to help you get your library card, and you're gonna have to learn your way around Teomo City eventually. You'll like it. There are a lot of cool shops in town. Maybe you'll even find something that interests you out there!"

"Max is right," Aero chimed in. "Even if nothing else out there catches your eye, the fresh air should be good for you."

Teisel hesitated before giving a tentative nod. "Alright," he said as he grabbed his book and allowed Max to pull him to his feet. "I guess it couldn't hurt."

Not long after they ascended the stairs to the surface and headed out of the alleyway into the Teomo City proper, Max realized that Teisel had been to this city before. The old guy never mentioned it as they walked uptown to the library, but something about the way he never seemed to miss a step along the way despite the winding roads and the overall hustle and bustle of the was a pretty jarring contrast to how lost he looked while he was staying indoors.

Actually, Teisel didn't mention anything as they walked side by side up the sloped streets, except at one point where he accidentally bumped into an old woman and muttered an apology as he kept plodding forward with his book tucked under his arm. The envelope poked out of it like a bookmark. Max could feel the citizens of Teomo City staring at the two of them and couldn't shake how strangely uncomfortable just watching everyone else in the city interacting with Teisel made him feel.

They reached the library sooner than Max had expected, after more than a few failed attempts at small talk on Max's behalf. The librarian lazily blinked a few times as they walked inside.

"Welcome to the Teomo City library," she recited off of a note taped to her computer as Teisel awkwardly approached the counter with his empty envelope in hand. Her voice echoed throughout the large, imposing gray chamber. It looked like the building was completely empty aside from the three of them.

"I—I'd like a library card, if it's not too much trouble," He stuttered.

"I'm sorry, could you repeat that a little louder?" The librarian asked. "I'm afraid I couldn't hear you."

Teisel blinked a few times as though he'd just been punched in the stomach. After a profoundly uncomfortable silence he cleared his throat and repeated the request. It was almost painful for Max to watch, even though the paperwork went through without a hitch. When Teisel finally had the blue slip of plastic in his hand, he thanked her and shuffled off toward the door.

"Yo, T-Bonne!" Max shouted, seizing his arm. "Don't tell me you came all the way out here and you're not even going to borrow any books! You can't just keep reading that one forever, especially after Aero went to the…"

"Please be quiet in the library," the librarian reprimanded him before he had the chance to accidentally rat them out.

"Oh come on!" Max rolled his eyes. "We're the only ones in here!"

"It's okay," Teisel reflexively replied, clutching his own book, "I really don't think I…"

"It's free books!" Max raised his arms in exasperation. "What's there to complain about? It's not like you've gotta trade the one you've already got for it or anything…" He thought to himself for a moment. "I've got it. If you really don't want to hang around, I'll just grab something at random for you to check out. I'm not much of a reader, but, well…I want to help. Know what I mean?"

"You really don't have to go to the trouble, but if you insist," Teisel shrugged.

"I'll even read it, too," He added as he wandered over to a shelf at random, completely oblivious to the library's cataloging system. The only thing that mattered was the book's page count. Max would do a lot of things to help a friend out, but spending hours reading one book was definitely not one of them. "It'll give us something to talk about."

So that was how Teisel and Max walked out of the library with a copy of Klicke Lafonica: Fact or Fiction? that evening.

Max made good on his promise to update Teisel's wardrobe, and much to Teisel's relief, the leader of the Bright Bats didn't try and force him into a gaudy leather jacket or anything of the sort. Teisel mulled over the admittedly bizarre notion that this thuggish kid was technically his boss. He had a boss. He had a boss, and that boss was dipping into his own organization's funds to help out a perfect stranger.

He did admit to himself that it was kind of nice owning street clothes again, even though Max advised that he buy them in a slightly larger size, since neither of them could guess how quickly he'd fill them out or what his normal weight was supposed to be. In the end he wound up decked out in a light green button down shirt, a dark green vest, and a slick pair of khakis, with an armload of other outfits to choose from later. He almost didn't look like a panhandler, and opted to wear his new clothes out of the store to avoid any more odd looks from the townsfolk.

"Not bad," Max assessed, quickly surveying the assortment of semi-formalwear and carrying it to the register. "Did you want to hang onto your old suit or should I chuck it?"

Teisel turned a bit pale at the mere suggestion, and Max sighed. "Guess I'll just put it away for…later. Say, how do you feel about getting a haircut, too? That ponytail you've got doesn't quite mesh with your new ensemble and you could definitely use a shave."

Teisel thought hard on that one. "I'm not sure," he finally replied. "I've had a ponytail since I was a kid. Having hair too short to tie back would be…weird."

"Yeesh!" Max recoiled. "I don't know exactly how old you are, but it's definitely WAY too long for you to have the same hairstyle." He sighed. "Come on, we're going to the barber shop!"


"What? It's all on me!" The younger man exclaimed. He rifled through his wallet for his credit card. "Look, if you don't like it you can always grow it back."

"…Can I keep it spiky?" Teisel shyly requested, afraid of Max's answer.

Max mulled over the idea for a bit, trying to imagine how that would look. "I can't see spikes working on an old guy," he admitted, "But if you think you can pull it off and it makes you more comfortable, then you should go for it."

Max almost did a double-take. Teisel actually looked relieved. "Thanks," he gratefully replied as Max charged everything.

Teisel found himself oddly mesmerized by his new haircut. The spikes were slicked up and stopped after about four inches. And it only required a quarter of a tube of hair product to stay in place!

"Hey, this isn't half bad," he remarked, running his fingers through his hair for the seventh time as he stared in the mirror.

"I can't believe that doesn't look awful," Max shook his head in bewilderment as he charged the bill and tip and handed Teisel's books back. He'd been so curious as to what it was in that one book that Teisel thought was so special, but he somehow managed to suppress the urge to check it out as he waited by the front desk. "You feeling up for a late lunch?"

"It's dark out," The cashier stated flatly, as if the street lamps illuminating the main road outside the window didn't give it away.

"Come on, T-Bonne," Max said. "Dinner, then. We haven't eaten all day and I still haven't taken you to our favorite spot – Johnny's Sandwiches and Internet Café! Their pesto panini is first-rate!"

"Alright," Teisel nodded as they headed off into the city marketplace. Over the last few days, he'd learned it wasn't a good idea to turn away food from any of the Bright Bats.


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