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John and Dave Go on an Adventure in American Horror Story:Coven/ or / That One Time in New Orleans

Chapter Text

It happened the way it always happened.

We were playing Smash, eating day old pizza for brunch, and getting drunk. And then, when we were too drunk to play Smash, we turned to one of the ESPN Esports channels buried somewhere deep within John’s expansive cable package, and watched other people play Smash while holding the controllers.

“You know, we could always just take a day trip,” John said as Donkey Kong Double Punched the Wii Fit chick on screen.

“What, to like, lake Erie or some shit?” Yoshi swallowed and then shat out Meta Knight.

“You know exactly what I mean. You still have the bottle. And its never not had get that bitch Yoshi get her! “ Yoshi Crush Bombed the Wii chick and ended the match.

“Dammit.” I downed the shot glass on the table in front of us and then refilled it. “You know, eventually, she’s gonna win one, and then you’re gonna have to down the whole damn bottle dude.”

“You say that like I wouldn’t do that anyway. And you're avoiding the question.”

“Dude, I don’t have time to go on a vacation right now, man. Wally’s is doing restocking this month and we’ve been swamped ever since the whole Comcast / Netflix thing and,”

“Cut the shit Dave. You know exactly what I’m talking about” He looked me dead in the eye. Or, at least I'm pretty sure it was dead in the eye, since by that point I was drunk enough to be going a little bit wall eyed. He may have been focusing on Yoshi sticker on my forehead.

“Fuck off man, I don’t wanna fuck with that shit. The soy sauce is poison. I know it, you know it, I’d say everybody knows it, but we’re, like, the only people that ever took that shit and lived.”

“What about Jennifer?”

I grunted. “Look, just no. Its not a toy. I hated every bit of our experience with that shit, John. I’m not looking to do it again just for shits and giggles.”

John sat back. “So, you’re totally happy just now, huh? Really feeling fulfilled in life. Right. In no way bored out of your skull and feeling more and more caged by mundanity everyday. Sure man, whatever,” he shrugged and turned back to the tv. Another match was starting.

“Though, you know,” he said, looking at the screen and not at me “when most people refer to Smash as a button masher, they mean in a figurative sense.”

I looked at the controller in my hands. The plastic casing was in two halves and one of the joysticks was dangling down like an eye hanging from a socket.

“Hey man, still works. All the wire’s are still connected and shit,” I said

“Dude, that's the second controller you’ve snapped in the past two weeks. And those things are made of like, some hard ass plastic. You’re lucky I have a shit load of spares. Yes! Get em!” Yoshi tossed an egg at Bowser and scored a direct hit. The Wii Fit chick wasn't in this one.

John continued, eyes on the action, “and what about that mannequin shooting dummy in your backyard dude?”

“The jelly is just in it to make its more stable, that's all. Its really light otherwise. I...had a lot of jelly on hand at the time.”

“Sure, sure, I mean, when Sam’s has a killer sale on strawberry Smuckers, ya gotta stock up.” We sat in silence and watched the match for a bit. Yoshi won with a deftly timed egg throw against Falco.

“Yes! The little green dude that could wins again! And the crowd. Goes. WILD!” he waved his hands over his head and slugged back the shot on the table.

“You’re only supposed to drink if you lose, dude.”

“Eh whateves, if I only drank when I lost I’d be stone cold sober.” He turned off the tv and turned to face me fully.

“Dave, come on man, you're going out of your mind with boredom. So am I. After all that shit in Vegas? I mean, what you expected to just come home and have everything be normal again? That after saving the fucking world, that you or I could ever be satisfied with a job at fucking Wally’s, tagging disks all day?”

I let my head loll back on my shoulder and looked at him sideways. “John. John. John, we’ve already done what I think you’re suggesting once. It was stupid and a mistake.”

“And what, you regret it? We saved those little blue dudes lives! And it was fun! And we got mad blue snu snu! Or at least I did, you were too busy moping over Jeniffer.”

“Dude, gross. I don’t think those things had snu snu’s man. They didn’t have, like, a concept of gender.”

“So? snu snu, dude snu, what the difference?”

“Ugh, and say we did take the sauce? For some fucking reason? What's the guarantee that we find another one of those portal things again, huh?”

“...well” John looked at the floor. And then the wall, and then the ceiling. And then back at the floor.

That bastard. “You already know where one is, don’t you?” I crossed my arms, managing to avoid punching myself in the face.

“Look, I’ve been worried about you dude. You need to get out, let off some of that pent up aggression, have some fucking fun. Heck, so do I.” He shrugged his shoulders up to his ears. “I mean, don’t you miss being the heroes?”

I shook my head. “John, we were never fucking heroes. Well... maybe you were. But I was only doing what I needed to to survive. Seems like that's all I ever do.” I ran my hand across my forehead and eyes, smelling John’s cigarette smoke from having my hand on his couch all day. That stuff stick to you.

“Nah, fuck that, man, you were a big damn hero! And what about our last trip, huh? Were you only doing what you needed to survive when we fought those monsters that were threatening the blue dudes with extinction?”

“...They were tortoises, John. We led them back to our world with lettuce and sold them to the shady pet shop on Elm and Bleeker.”

“That's not the point. The point is that the sauce took away a whole buncha shit right? Like, our lives will never be the same again, right?”

“Right, yeah, no shit.”

“Well, why can't we have a little fun with it then, huh? I mean, what's the harm? We pop over to another dimension in trouble, save the fucking day like the badasses we are, and then we’re home in time for tacos at Bella Locos.”

And so, in spite of the literally thousands of things that I knew could have been “the harm”, my drunk, stupid ass decided that yeah, fuck it, this is a great idea after all and that's how John and I wound up in the middle of a coven fight in New Orleans.

I’ve mentioned how its, like, impossible to say no to John before, right?

Chapter Text

It ended up being almost a week later when we finally got around to getting the sauce out of its hiding place for our little “trip”. I really wasn't kidding about being swamped at Wally’s, and John had to go to court to deal with his motor cycle getting repo'd again.

We were in my living room. I took a swig of my beer.

“You wanna do it?” I asked.

“Sure thing, man.” John downed the rest of his beer, flipped the bottle so he was holding it by the neck, and slammed it into the drywall. It punched a large hole. The drywall crackled and shed little bit of dust onto the carpet when John pulled it out.

“Aw man, now I gotta vacuum and shit.”

“Dude, you needed to vacuum anyways.”

“Besides the point. Got it?”

John reached into the hole and pulled out the little silver pill bottle. He shook it, and something inside rattled.

“Bingo.” He jammed the bottle back into the hole in the wall and screwed off the top of the capsule, dumping 4 little black pills onto his palm. “Bottoms up, buddy.”

“Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“No. In fact, I'm sure its a great idea. Like I said; hero’s, get laid, back in time for tacos.”

“John. This is a terrible idea.” I took two of the pills off of his palm and bounced them once in my hand. They felt chilly. “Welp, here goes nothing, right?” We locked eyes and downed the pills simultaneously. I took a drink of my beer afterwards to wash them down.

“Dude, I have no idea how you can just dry swallow pills.” I said to him, shaking my head.

“Aw man, that's just cuz you have a wicked gag reflex. Which is surprising, considering that time you took gold in the deep-throat challenge.”

I rolled my eyes. “Feel anything yet?”

“Not yet. Wanna head over to the place where the portal is?”

I shrugged. “Might as well. Might be too fucked up to drive once this shit hits. Let me grab my coat.”

We ended up having a hard time driving anyway. I had to pull my truck over to the side of the road for a few minutes because I was having very clear visions of how exactly the pyramids were built. Here’s a hint - aliens were not involved, but only cuz they were busy with something else at the time. It passed in what seemed like hours, but the clock in my truck said it had only been 4 minutes. I was down, but it still felt like everything around me was liquid, or like small particles floating on the surface of an oil slick, everything made up of toxic rainbows. I glanced over at John. He was staring fixedly at a point on the horizon.

I waved my hand in front of his face and shook his shoulder. “John. Dude. So where is this place?”

He shook himself and refocused on the interior of the cab. “Time doesn't ever. like. really pass. Its just the same thing over and over with little differences, for eternity. Just little changes, but we live for such a short time and our memories are such shit that we never notice. Everything that can happen has already happened. The Simpsons really did already do it.”

“John. Where is this portal place? Or are you planning on talking my ear off about string theory or some shit for the next hour and a half? Because you really don’t need the sauce for that, you do just fine sober.”

He looked at me. “How come you never talk to me about how sad you are?”

“Uh.... Dude, come down a little will you? Where is this place?”

He shook himself again and ran his hands through his hair. He’d just gotten his hair cut for his court appearance, only he did it himself, so it stuck up all weird in the back. “Shit, sorry man. Where are we right now?”

I look around. “Like a few blocks from the library.”

“Ok, cool, take a right at the next intersection.”

We ended up outside of a pizza place.

“What, don’t tell me it's in the oven or some shit.”

“Naw man, its around back.”

I parked and we hopped out and crossed into the alley behind the pizza place.

“Ok, so, where is it. Cuz I'm not seeing it. This better not be a wild goose chase.”

John gestured at the dumpster. “Voilà. Here we are, inter-dimensional transit central, my friend.”

“John that is dumpster”

He flipped up the lid and gestured inside, like a maitre de welcoming his favorite customer to the best booth in the place. I peeked inside.

“Ah. Ok then.” The dumpster was filled with heaving aquamarine light. “You wanna go first, or me?”

“After you, compadre.” He grinned. I shrugged and hoisted myself into the vortex.

It was like sinking into warm mozzarella cheese. I took a few moments before I was enveloped completely, and I saw John hop in after me before the dumpster disappeared from sight. Everything smelled like pizza.

The actual trip itself was just a constant barrage of weird, purple green light. It was like some 8th color of the rainbow, something that seemed super obvious when I was looking at it, but now I can't recall anything about it. The light show ended and I saw pavement coming to greet me warmly in the face. I shot my arms out to catch myself, and then was promptly hit in the back with a hurtling John.

I laid there for a moment with my face on the warm pavement. “Are you planning on taking out a timeshare on my back, or were you planning to get off me at some point in time?”

“Yeah sure, sorry.” We both stood up and brushed ourselves off. I looked around. We were on a thin street, lined on both sides with two and three story houses painted in pastel colors, most of them with balconies with plants hanging from them. There was a old school street lamp on the corner, which was lit. It was full dark, and warm, and the air smelled like horse manure, fried chicken, and jasmine.

I gestured at the quaint sign on one of the nearby buildings, advertising a place Gallier House Shop. “You think we’re back in time? Like, maybe colonial times?”

John looked at me and popped an eyebrow. “Um. No. I actually think we’re in New Orleans, Dave.”

“Cool, yeah we could absolutely be in New Orleans, this definitely looks like earth, so that's as good as guess as any. We could still be back in time though.”

“Uh. No, I don't think we are?”

“And how do you figure that?”

John gestured upwards, at a banner that read “French Quarter Festival”. A sky-scraper was clearly visible in the distance behind it.

“Ah. Right. Good eye.”

“Also, there are like. Cars, dude.”

I glanced to the left of me. We had landed 3 feet from a Ford Tahoe. There was a silver Toyota parked in front of it.

“Right, duh, obviously. I meant that like, maybe we had come back in time to a colonial period that had internal combustion. It wasn't like I didn't notice the cars or anything like that.” We started walking down the street, for lack of anything else to do.

“Dave, do you feel...kinda, I don't know, sober?”

I stopped and sorta felt around myself. He was right. The oily, off-kilter feeling that I’d had since taking the sauce was totally gone.

“Oh yeah. Oh, that’s weird.”

“Yeah, usually there's a pretty significant come down period, right? Doesn't usually, just, ya know, disappear totally.”

“Right. That’s ominous. I’m worried now, lets go back, ok? This was fun, I’d like some tacos, I’m thinking really spicy or something...” I turned around to go back to the dumpster. “Hey, John.”

“Yeah dude, whats up?”

“John, the portal’s gone.”

John turned around and looked down the street behind us, which was totally innocent and free from any supernatural portals. A few empty pizza boxes were sprawled where we had landed, but that was the only sign that anything odd had happened.

“Welp, looks like we’re here until we finish whatever we’re here for then, eh?” He clapped me on the back and grinned like he’d won something. I felt myself breaking out in a cold sweat in spite of the humidity.

“Hey, do you hear that?” I listened for a moment.

“Yeah, sounds like somebody's digging or something?”

John set off down the street towards the noise. He stopped about a block away, by a tall fence covered with ivy. He peered around the gate and then motioned for me to follow him.

“What? What’s up?” He put a finger to his lips and shushed me, and then gestured through the gate.

It was a garden or a park maybe. There were trees and flowers and stuff anyway. There was also a thin blonde woman, with her back to us, smoking a cigarette. At her feet was a hole, and in it were two guys in blue jumpsuits, digging.

I turned back to John and whispered. “Bit late for yard work, isn't it?”

He nodded and gestured back at the scene in front of us. The two men seemed to have finished now, and where climbing out of the hole.

“Fantastic.” The blonde woman gestured broadly with her cigarette. “Just pull it up out of there now.” She had a heavy southern belle accent, but carried herself like a trial lawyer.

The guys reached down in the hole and heaved out a huge wooden box wrapped in chains. It looked like a casket.

I turned back to John with a worried expression, intending to once again express my intense desire to get the hell out of here. He was watching the proceedings like it was a basketball game and his team was winning. I rolled my eyes.

“Excellent work, gentlemen.” The blonde woman stepped back from the hole. “Just set it down right here.” The workers dropped the box/casket thing at her feet.

“Well, I’d thank you...” The blonde woman reached out to the two men and stroked their cheeks with gloved hands. “But you’re not going to remember any of this any how.” As she let her hands drop, the two dudes glassed over, like they had just gotten massively high in an instant, and walked towards the exit of the park like automatons.

I grabbed John’s shoulder and yanked him backwards from the gate. I meant to keep pulling him all the way down the street, but he shook my hand off and gestured silently at the worker dudes as they passed through the gate. They kept their eyes straight ahead, didn't even glance at us. The just kept walking right past us, into the night. John waved at them with a broad smile as they walked by, but they didn’t look our way.

“That was some Jedi mind control shit man. “ John whispered to me. “See? This is going to be fun!” He winked and moved back to the gate. I rolled my eyes again. I roll my eyes a lot around John.

The blonde woman had picked up a pair of heavy duty chain cutters and snipped the chains that were holding the box together. As we watched, the box fell apart revealing... the body of a fat lady, dressed in colonial garb. I felt my chest tighten a little. Just what the hell had we walked into? Was it a weird mob thing? Kinky fetish stuff? Had we found the scene of a snuff film presided over by Lady Darth Vader?

The body of the fat lady started groaning and shaking. Ok, so not a body then, she was alive. I wondered briefly if maybe Lady Darth Vader had put her in the box just to scare her into thinking she was going to be buried alive for wronging their weird fetish mob, but that didn't explain the clothing, unless they were a weird fetish mob that also did civil war reenactments in their down time.

“Come on, Mary Todd Lincoln.” Lady Darth Vader gestured to the fat lady with her head.

“There’s no way that Mary Todd Lincoln, ” I thought to myself. “She was buried in the Illinois, in a huge monument thing that her husband was also buried in. And I kinda figure you can’t did up a dead presidents wife without somebody noticing.”

Then I noticed that Lady Darth Vader and Not Mary Todd were leaving the garden. And there was only one exit- the one we were standing at. I ducked back behind the gate and reached out to grab John’s shoulder to pull him away from the exit but my hand fell on empty air.

John was standing in the middle of the only path out of the garden, hands behind his back and bouncing on the balls of his feet like he does when he’s really excited about something. I couldn’t tell from behind him, but I was sure the mother fucker was grinning like a mad bastard.

“Hellooo!” He did a little wave at Lady Darth Vader as she noticed him. “Me and my buddy here,” he gestured at my hiding space behind the ivy, “were just taking a midnight stroll and we happened upon this lovely little disinterment ceremony. Care to let us in on what's going on?” That idiot.

Lady Darth blinked for a moment and then laughed hard, throwing her head back. “Oh my, aren't you just a nosy little fucker, aren’t you?” In my hiding space, I silently agreed. “Just taking a ‘stroll’, eh? Ha! Tell me, did that voodoo bitch send you?”

“...holy shit, there’s a voodoo bitch?!” John turned to me “Dude, this is gonna be so much more fun than the turtle thing!”

I sigh and sagged against the gate. This was going badly.

“Oh, do come on out.” said Lady Darth. “There’s no need to hide from me. I promise I won’t hurt you.” She almost purred the last sentenced. I was getting the idea that this chick was not so nice, but it wasn’t like I was hidden any more anyway, so I stepped out and stood behind John. I saw Not Mary Todd was standing behind Lady Darth, who was holding a chain that lead to manacles around her wrists.

“Look, ” I said, “We don’t want any trouble. You’ve clearly got...” I gestured at Not Mary Todd “ We’ll just go and forget we ever saw anything, ok?”

I saw John turning around to protest, but before he could say anything Lady Darth spoke up. “Oh, no, I expect you won’t remember.” She raised the hand that wasn't holding Not Mary Todd’s lead and sorta pointed at us.

Nothing happened. After a moment, she looked non-plussed. “Come on now boys, I don’t have time for this tonight. Be good little children and do as I say.” She gestured towards us with her pointing hand.

“Uh, you haven't told us to do anything?” John said.

Lady Darth pursed her lips and gestured again. As she did so, I became aware of a feeling in the center of my brain, like there was a small finger tapping inside my head very gently.

John shook his head like Molly does when she gets wet. “Woah are you trying to like, ‘These are not the droids you're looking for’ us or something? Is that what you did to these other guys?”

Lady Darth dropped her hand and raised an eyebrow. She looked us over like she was seeing us for the first time. “Well, this is very interesting. But I am really very busy tonight.” With that, she reached into her dress, pulled a little pistol out from between her boobs, and pointed it at us. I immediately threw my hands. John did nothing.

“Look, seriously, you don’t have to do that...”

Lady Darth interrupted me. “This really is a shame and all, but I can’t have any loose ends about this, and I don’t have time to figure out if you’re Marie’s little spies or some half bit warlocks wandering around. I’m sure you two understand.” She raised the pistol towards John. I felt my pulse jump and got ready to do a flying tackle, but John spoke before I could do anything.

“Or instead of shooting us, you could just take us with you?”

She paused. “And why would I do that?”

“Look, clearly something’s going on here. You didn’t get the results you expected when you did whatever it was you just did. Doesn't that make us interesting? Maybe worth looking into? I mean, if we are spies, I’m sure you could get important information out of us, right? Or whatever it is you mean by warlock, I’m sure that makes us valuable too.”

Lady Darth seemed to consider this and nodded for John to continue.

“And we are likewise interested in what's going on here. You could say we came here tonight with the intent to help who ever we came across. I think maybe we met each other at an awkward time, but I think we could be mutually beneficial to one another.” He smiled and did this thing with his eyes that always makes it impossible for me to say no to him.

But just what the fuck was John talking about? Mutually beneficial? And since when was John ever a smooth negotiator? I was lucky he hadn’t pulled some bullshit seizure or started talking in fake Tagalog. Still, there was a gun pointed at me , so I nodded enthusiastically.

Lady Darth narrowed her eyes like a snake, but I could see John’s persuasiveness working its magic. Behind her, Not Mary Todd was wide-eyed behind her gag.

Lady Darth seemed to make up her mind. She gestured with the gun. “You two. Walk in front. This little train is leaving the station. Any funny business, and I blow both your damn heads off.”

And with that, we walked out into the hot New Orleans streets; John in front, sauntering with his hands in his pockets; me, with my hands awkwardly held at shoulder level; Lady Darth with the gun; and Not Mary Todd jangling behind on her chain leash.