Lest They be Torn Apart: A Lackadaisy Fanfiction

(Author's note: Calvin is aged up from the comics; he's now 20 years old, as opposed to 18, for story reasons that will be addressed later on)

Chapter 1: The Dancing Lesson

Calvin huffed and sat down, looking up. The record player hadn't stopped, and Ivy smiled brightly down at him. "Come on," she said, holding out her hand, "Haven't you got one more in you?"

Calvin caught his breath and shook his head, looking up at Ivy. "I dunno, you...you seem more used to this kind of thing."

"Didn't you play baseball or something?"

"I was a pitcher and I always went last to bat, I'm not much help unless you need me to start throwing things at you."

"Nah, of course not! C'mon, please? I feel like you just got here!"

Calvin stood. Ivy clapped her hands together and trapsed over to the Victrola, putting the needle back to the beginning of the record. She quickly grabbed Calvin's hand.

"Okay...like this!"

Calvin moved his feet and held Ivy's hands tightly...Ivy liked that feeling, even if at the back of her mind she knew he was only doing it because he had not idea how his hands were supposed to move. He would constantly look down at his feet to make sure they were doing the right things, making the right steps...and not stepping on Ivy's feet. They continued like that for a while. When the music stopped, Calvin did, too, his tail up and off the ground, and his ears standing to. He smiled and heaved in air, unable to sweat. Calvin collapsed onto a sofa in the small room, and Ivy collapsed next to him. Ivy looked over.
"Phew….that's enough for today." Ivy said. "Anything else you need while you're here?"

"I'd like to stay a while...just to be around." Calvin replied. He hadn't actually visited anyone in a month or so. He just liked the company of someone other than his mom.

"Sure!" Ivy said. She walked over to a small dresser. "Might have to look away for a moment, I haven't got much time until we open tonight!"

"You're going out?"

"Of course, why wouldn't I? Now that people actually go there again, why not?"

People had finally come back to the daisy, for a number of reasons, the biggest of which being them finally obtaining a decent source of alcohol that flat refused to work with Marigold, but also because of help from an 'old friend' who had all sorts of money and nothing to do with it but pour it all over Mitzi and the Daisy.

"Wanna come along?" Ivy asked.

"Hmm? Oh, I dunno if I should, I have to be home soon."

"Oh, tell her you got called into work late or something."

Ivy headed over to him, now changed into a green, sleeveless dress and a pair of dancing heels. Calvin, meanwhile, was just wearing a sweater vest, shirt, and slacks….not dirty, by any stretch of the imagination, but not what he figured appropriate club attire would be.

Ivy was awfully close to him, to the point where he could feel her breath on his nose. He had no choice but to look into those big eyes of hers. "Oh, Freckle, c'mon...I can't just go without a date, can I?"

"Hey, I dunno about calling it a date, we barely-"

Ivy felt that in the pit of her stomach, but she didn't miss a beat. "Well, then it'll just be friends! Just friends going out for a bit of dancing."

"I'm hardly dressed to-"

"Have you seen what some people wear? You'd look fine...please? I gotta have someone to dance with, and you've been doing well!"

Calvin thought on it for a moment. He could handle a bit of lecturing from his mother, he was more than old enough to do that. Ivy seemed so insistent, and he found it hard to say no at the best of times. He sighed.
"Alright. I'll go."

Ivy jumped up and dragged Calvin with her. "Oh, thanks, Freckle! I knew you'd get out of that rut you're in!"


"Well, what other word is there for it? You never go out, you've been moping a lot, you never seem to try and...get involved with people..."

Calvin looked down and scratched the back of his head. "I guess I have been distant. There's a lot of stuff going on in here." He tapped his head. "It's hard to keep up with sometimes."

"Oh, I see. Well, I dunno if you can forget about all of it, but if you wanna try now's your chance." Ivy held his hand and squeezed, looking up at him and giving him that familiar friendly smile. He gave it right back.

"I can try, at least. I feel like I can."

"Great...so what are we waiting for?" She perked up and walked right out the door, and Calvin sort of got dragged along. He always admired how Ivy was able to cheer him up, even after the nigh constant moral dilemma of his work. He normally wouldn't do this, but he held her hand all the way to the Daisy.

His tail gently swayed and he looked down. "So...are we still having a lesson next week?"

"Next week?"

"A dance lesson? I like them." He said. "I like spending time with you."

Ivy scoffed and looked down, bashfully. "Aww….of course! Door's always open, Freckle." She looked up and smiled warmly, leaning up on his arm. "Calvin?"

She didn't use his name that often. He looked down. "Hmm?"

"Do you have a sweetheart or something?" Calvin cleared his throat.

"I...don't, no. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I just figured. We-I mean, you remember when we kissed. In the pig truck?"

"I remember that, yes."

"I just wanted to know why you never really followed up on it."

Calvin sighed. "Ivy, I've...been thinking a lot." They crossed the threshold into the Daisy, the air and the music hitting them as they crossed in. Calvin took them to a corner, away from people and pretty quiet. He looked Ivy in the eye.

"Ivy, I want to be able to be with someone. You, in particular." He said. Ivy nodded and crossed her arms. "So...why're you waiting, Freckle? I mean I'm not exactly running from you!" She said, leaning on the wall.

"Ivy, you know what I do for a living now."

"I'm...well aware." She said. She furrowed a brow. "You don't wanna try and pull the 'i'm a bad man, Ivy, you need a good man to hold you through the night, you delicate little flower!' bit are you?"

"No, I just don't know if I have a very long life ahead of me...that, and I'm not quite made for killing." He said. "I go to church, I pray some nights...I'm not the sort of person who's supposed to do this at all! It just weighs on me a lot, Ivy." He sat down in a stray chair left by a guest who was now probably somewhere on the floor near the stage. Ivy looked down as he sat.

"So...you're not sure where you're going and you think you're gonna get killed before you can do anything meaningful?" She asked. She put a hand on his shoulder.

"I guess I just don't want my last moments to be facing the sky after a shootout and being sorry that I couldn't get back to you."

Ivy sighed and drooped her ears. "But...you don't want those last thoughts of yours to be about how you never said 'I love you', right? That would be even worse." She said.

Calvin thought a moment, his face in his hands. He looked up at her.

"I figure it might be, yes." He said.

"Wouldn't you rather be able to think about this?" She kissed him gently. It was somehow better than the 'movie kiss' in the pig truck, and he found himself standing and hugging her tightly, pulling away from her lips.

"It would be miles better for that to flash by."

Ivy smiled and looked up at him. "I think so, too." She looked out to the floor. "We came here to dance, right?"

"We did."

"So let's get to it!"