Joan's pretty fast and she can run for a long time, usually, but she's not so quick now, winded, a dull ache in her chest from trying to talk to Kim while running. She feels fantastic, though. The extra burst of adrenaline she'd had when they took off was just the cherry on the cake, completing the momentum that's been building inside of her from dodging the shit the crowd was throwing, from hitting that jackass right in the face with her own can, from playing an actual fucking show.
It's not quite as complete as she thinks, though. They turn a corner and Sandy knocks into her, nearly sending her flying. And then Cherie's hand wraps around her arm, steadying her, and then she grabs Joan's hand, tangling their fingers as they slow down. And that, Joan thinks, is the cherry on the fucking cake.
Kim's even more of an asshole than they thought, because he makes them practice after the show. "While all your mistakes are still fresh in those pretty little heads of yours," he says, and Joan wants to tell him to go fuck himself, because they were fucking on, and he was upstairs on the goddamn phone the whole time, so how would he know anyway? But she bites back everything she wants to say, and they run through the whole set list, even the songs they didn't get to finish. Cherie's voice starts to get rough towards the end, strained to the point where it's about to crack, and it makes Joan shiver a little.
She's just as amped up once they're done, but exhaustion's starting to hit, even though it's still early enough that the sun is just starting to set. She stops just outside the door as they all pile out - something's rattling around inside her guitar case and the sound's driving her nuts - and Cherie pauses next to her. "You up for the club?" she asks.
Joan looks up, brushing her hair out of her eyes. She's not sure she is, as it happens, but Cherie's smiling a little, her eyebrows raised expectantly. "Just let me fix this," she says, gesturing to her guitar case, and Cherie grins, leaning back against the side of the trailer to wait.
Joan tends to favor drinking over dancing, but tonight she lets Cherie pull her onto the floor. She's on her fourth drink by the time they start dancing, and she's not quite drunk but it's enough to make her uncoordinated. She keeps colliding awkwardly with Cherie, who's a little tipsy herself, judging from the way she keeps laughing helplessly every time they bump into one another.
It feels incredible, laughing and drinking and dancing with Cherie. She's not sure how much of it is from the show and how much is Cherie, but at this point they're kind of intertwined in her head anyway, and when Cherie grabs her hand again and pulls her out into the hallway near the bathrooms, Joan's quick to follow.
"Hi," Cherie says, and she kisses her. It's a clumsy kiss, a little too wet, and Joan tangles her fingers in Cherie's hair and holds on tight, because this, well. This isn't something she wants to let go of.
"Shit," Cherie says a few hours later as they leave the club, and Joan is trying not to look at the way Cherie's lipstick is smeared, the way her hair's disheveled despite her best efforts to fix it. "When did it get so late? My aunt's going to kill me."
"You can stay at my place for the night," Joan suggests.
She only realizes how it sounds after she says it, but Cherie seems to take it at face value. "Sure," she says, easily, and maybe it is an easy choice. Maybe this - this whatever it is - is easier than Joan gave it credit for. Or maybe it's even more complicated than she thought, but either way, Joan's pretty sure she can handle it. "Thanks."
It's not a long walk, but by the time they get home, Joan's energy's all but gone. She's still as unsettled as before, though, something restless dancing under her skin, and once she's shrugged off her boots and jeans she sits down heavily on the edge of her bed, lighting a cigarette while Cherie calls her aunt to let her know where she is.
"You shouldn't smoke in bed," she says when she comes out from the kitchen, and Joan shrugs, smiling a little when Cherie sits down next to her and lights one of her own. They sit there in silence for a few minutes, and then Cherie says, "Do you have something I can sleep in?"
"Sure," Joan says. She rummages around and finds an old t-shirt, tossing it over and busying herself with stubbing out her cigarette butt in the ashtray, pretending she isn't sneaking glances while Cherie changes.
She's not sure whose the shirt was originally - an old boyfriend's, maybe, or something from a garage sale - but it's always been way too big on her, and it's like a dress on Cherie, the hemline hitting her knees.
"How do I look," Cherie asks, striking a pose, and Joan laughs.
"Not bad," she says. "Like you're swimming in a tent, but not bad." Cherie laughs and Joan stands up, gesturing to the bathroom. "I'm just gonna," she says, and Cherie nods, lighting another cigarette, still smiling.
Cherie's in bed already, half-asleep, by the time Joan comes back out. Her unfinished cigarette's still lit, burning away in the ashtray, and Joan takes a draw, stubbing it out after. "Shouldn't smoke in bed," she says, and Cherie flips her off.
Joan slips into bed beside her, back turned to her, and Cherie rolls over, leaning in close. "Night," she says, pressing her lips to the corner of Joan's mouth, and Joan grins, turning her face against the pillow to hide it.
"You and me," she says. "You and me, Cherie, we're gonna fucking make it."
"Of course we are," Cherie says, and maybe she means the band, and maybe she doesn't, but Joan's pretty content with that answer either way.