The prominent black 'L' against the square, yellow background. This was prime example of misunderstanding between two generations; those who made the law and those who suffered by it. Actually, not suffer per se. It was more along the lines of 'embarrassment'.

'L' for 'Learner driver' a.k.a. 'Lame Loser whom pedestrians should avoid'. The unmissable bright signs were blu-tacked onto the front and rear windscreen of a Mazda and Adrianne Laura Scott was attempting to remove them. Legally and permanently.

Adrianne was taking a driver's exam.

" Why are you taking this test anyway? You're too lazy to walk from the TV to the fridge. I find it hard to believe you would drive anywhere." Adrianne's older, and more importantly; licensed sister was behind the wheel. "Besides, you've got me to cart you around."

"Well. My chauffeur is going to university and I get her old room and old car." Adrianne smiled and started listing various things she could fit into the soon-to-be property of Adrianne Scott. "... so I need to get around on my own."

Carrie feigned a regretful sigh "Remember the days when your only comeback was to kick me in the shins and cry? What happened to my sweet little sis?"

Adrianne shrugged.

The family automatic rounded a corner and the afternoon glare caught them in the eyes. Two annoyed teenagers produced an arm each and flipped down the sun guards. Sitting side by side in the front seats, they looked very grungy, very similar.

"Here we are." A building crawled into view. It looked very plain. Kinda boring. "Got anything to say before I get my licence?"

Carrie snorted; if the brat was fishing for some praise and reassurance... "I'll give you all the support you want. Just don't expect to pass the first time."

Adrianne raised an eyebrow. "That's not advice." (Little sister status still gave certain benefits. Just watch.) "It wasn't supportive either." She shook her head and put on a show. Whimper, pretension of offfence. The works.

Carrie's facial muscles tried to settle on an expression, trying to decide if that was funny, pathetic, sarcastic or just plain sad.

"I'm upset you judge me so early." The younger sister continued, pushing for a response. Throwing dynamite into Krakatoa can be fun - if you could get away with it. "Who knows? Maybe the road rage genes skips the non-homicidal." Her tone slipped from indignant to cheeky.

She's just plain sad, Carrie concluded and pulled a frown. Adrianne was referring to the incident when Carrie backed into another car. Repeatedly. Fourteen times. Made quite a dent. No insurance company would take them after that.

"What do you know about genetics? You're the one who threw tantrums in public all the way up till high school."

That was true, and something not very easy to live down.

Carrie hit a hard turn and swung into a small car park. Adrianne cringed at the sound of squealing tyres; and what Carrie said next. "It's great living in a small town."

"Why? No witnesses?" her voice was crisp and dry. (With fries please)

Carrie opened her mouth to object -. "Yeah. Pretty much." - but went with the truth, and parked the car with reasonable respect to safety. Adrianne unbuckled her seatbelt and stepped outside, slamming the door behind her. For a moment she wondered if it was bad karma treating the car like a travelling garbage can. The driver had to supply the vehicle. Adrianne didn't want to step on a coke can instead of the break pedal.

Carrie saw the mess too. "Bit late for a clean up I'd say." She tilted her head towards the whitewashed building. "Hurry up. I don't get paid to baby-sit you anymore. I want to be home by five." She tossed the fifteen-year-old a bright green key-fob with keys. "Good luck, and don't worry. We have built-in airbags." She winked.

Adrianne's insides did an unexpected 360. Well, it wasn't that unexpected. (The nerves, not the stomach problems.) One look towards the road told her how easy it was to quit now and run home. Sure she'd look wimpy and childish but... hell, she was wimpy and childish. No risk, no license. She sighed. The school bus smells like diesel she reminded herself. After this you might never have to sit on gum wrappers again.

Besides, built-in airbags. Yep, great inovation; Built-in airbags...

Red haired, tall and laughing like some hyenas performing at a music recital; Dara Young wasn't feeling very sorry for Adrianne. "He..." She spluttered, "He... the instructor said you drove it like you stole it?"

"Yes." Adrianne had to stretch the syllable so Dara could hear.

"So you failed?" She knew the answer.

"Yeees" This time Adrianne stretched the word to signal she was annoyed. "Stop laughing like this is the funniest thing you've ever heard. Because it's not." Her inner self - the one with all the second thoughts - started thinking. (as thoughts do) Why did she call Dara Young? As a friend the redhead clearly wasn't qualified to cheer people up.

"Aww, come on. You sound like someone just shot your cat."

Adrianne didn't have a cat.

"I don't have a cat..." She said, catching herself in mid-sentence when she detected the queerness. "And why did you have to use that as your example?" Images of cat remains were not welcome.

Dara shrugged from the other end of the phone line. "Didn't want to sound too cliché. . Everyone uses the non-existent dead dog for their simile. I'm original."

It took Adrianne's brain a while to reassemble and understand the previous sentence. Meanwhile, Dara returned to their conversation with a crude attempt at empathy. "Don't feel bad, no one passes first time. If they did, there'd be waaaay more accidents."

So. Not. Qualified...

"You suck at this you know that?"

"What? Talking?"

"That too."

Such a whiner. "My talk isn't what bothers you. You're just pissed 'cause you can't drive."

Adrianne was finally getting a point across. "DUH!" Even if it was a stupid point.

"And you need me to listen so you can feel better?"

"YES!" God! Communicating shouldn't be this hard! They were speaking the same language weren't they?

"You and your lack of skill isn't a reason to blab to me. For every second we're talking you're avoiding the fact you need to practice." Dara tapped her watch "I know teenage girls are supposed to be chatty but -" Her eyes opened wide when she saw how far the small hand ran. "- I'm getting bored."

Adrianne smiled. She had to stop expecting a conventional response. Dara wasn't serious, but she told the truth. The things she says on a day-to-day basis would get any other person beaten up on a day-to-day basis. At least she remembered why she'd called. Dara had a way to make every problem seem stupid. Even the important ones.

So Adrianne did something very typical when annoyed. "Thank you for your 'lovely' comments. I am going to hang up now."

"Hey! You know I didn't mean that! I only said it so you would change the subject - " Dara paused when she heard no click. "I thought you're gonna hang up." Dang, crazy, attention-deprived git. That part was left unsaid (And in the brain's equivalent of a recycling bin) .

"And I thought you didn't care."

"Drama queen."

"Yep. I know."

Click. Dara rolled her eyes. Adrianne wasn't going to break the connection and Dara wasn't a waiter (or waitress). Twirling the unplugged phone cord, Dara went to find her cell before her deranged friend could call again.

"We just don't have a healthy relationship." She said aloud as she pressed the off button.

They can see each other any time. Why bother tying up phone lines?

Airports inspire some very diverse emotions. Great joy and sorrow. Tension and relief. Too bad none of those feelings fuel the planes. Nope, though there are two that does.

They are called Stress and Frustration. Occasionally frustration's drunk cousin 'anger' comes along but that's not important.

Erick S. Rae was surprisingly unstressed and calm for someone waiting to board a long-distance flight. That wasn't why his plane has been delayed for the past four hours but it does make you wonder.

His twin sister was arguing with a desk clerk who probably couldn't clear the storm either. Erick covered his face with a hand, embarrassed, as the clerk threw him a look. (Y'know, the look)

Blue Rae was only doing her job; changing what she can't accept. Stepping over people was part of what she does to get her way. The right way. To her credit, stepping over was better than stepping on. Socially speaking.

Blue finally spared the airport employee and came back to where Erick was sitting. "Time to go." She picked up two sports utility bags and shoved them into his chest. "Weather's improving." She said before Erick could complain. "I booked a different flight. It'll leave in twenty minutes so you might want to start boarding."

Erick grinned sheepishly as he balanced underneath his luggage. "You're nice enough organise this whole trip without telling me - " He hooked his last bag with a foot. A second later it was around his neck. "But you won't help me carry a few bags?"

Blue took note of Erick's stance. He did look a little unstable with all the carry-ons. "That's right. Can't help right now."

Cruel? Maybe. (Yes)

He had to carry them himself anyway. It was a one-way flight and Blue wasn't going with him.

"Didn't think so." Erick tried to adjust his luggage. Several hard things were digging into his back, torso and all other places. Blue noticed his glare.

"Go ahead and hate me. I don't care."

"I would..." He muttered "But that'd be almost like me hating myself." He pretended to check himself out in a chrome reflection. "And I just looove myself."

"Mmhmm." Blue almost smiled.

Erick was wobbling dangerously now. Apparently swearing doesn't help you stay upright.

Blue hesitated for a second. "Hey... eh... You want me to find you a trolley or something?" She trailed off, surprised by the sudden weight on her arms.

"No, no." Erick put the rest of his stuff down. "You've been so 'kind'! Just look after my bags while I get one myself." He put on a jaunty smile and started running in the opposite direction.

* 14 hours later *

Erick S. Rae hated flying. It was a sad, sad experience he'd very much like to avoid whenever possible. During his fifteenth hour inside an airbus Erick was beginning to hate some other things as well. He hated his sister and the Academy for making him 'travel via air'. Erick squeezed his armrest. He also hated the stewardess who thought he ought to have the children's meal instead of something with actual nutritional value.

Stress was chipping away at him. Erick not only hated flying; it also scared the bejesus out of him. His right leg was numb from lack of movement. Erick recalled a friend once saying something about lack of circulation and heart attacks onboard planes; but decided against the short walk to a bathroom. He couldn't move anyway.

Actually he felt fine for the first few hours. Erick even managed to catch up on some sleep. Too bad his only dreams were of impending doom. There was one thought that occurred again and again. He had absolutely no control of this aircraft whatsoever and couldn't contribute in any way if the Boeing 747 decided to go down. He himself didn't realise he was having a nightmare till he woke up to the sound of his own voice calling out 'MAYDAY! MAYDAY!'. Nothing like embarrassing yourself in an enclosed space with fifty people watching.

Erick was ashamed of himself. There he was, on a errand; and he wanted to curl up in the fetal position every time there was a little turbulence. He wasn't brought up to act this way... but he did, and was finding it hard accept.

Speaking of turbulence, a bit of leftover storm bumped into the jumbo jet sending it on a little ride of its own. Erick couldn't allow himself to show his degree of panic. Right now that would do nothing. Nothing except attract the attention of the airline's most annoying flight attendantProbably ready with Lego this time. Erick snorted at the thought. Lego is a funny word. All Erick wanted was a shot of alcohol. Not that he drank. Ever. But they say it works so he was willing to try.

The difference between wanting something and getting something was for Erick, on that particular 747; a proof of age. Adult age. Proof of adult age that he did not have. Probably because he was only fifteen (yep, makes sense). Instead he distracted himself with some mind exercises. He tried to remember everything he noticed within the last twenty-four hours. Just for the hell of it.

When she had offered to fetch a trolley, it was actually a huge breakthrough for Erick. For them both. Now that he had time to look back, Erick saw how he and Blue were never that close. After almost sixteen years it was one of her only gestures to show she cared. They didn't act related at all. Even he knew that wasn't normal.

A crackling announcement interrupted a long line of regrets, informing passengers of their near arrival. There'll be time for personal reflection later, the weather had cleared and the ground was visible. Erick shut away his thoughts and opened his eyes to see endless fields.

"So this is New Zealand. Place of the sheep." He could see a lotta green "... what a hole..."

**Author's Notes: Well, I'm sorry about the grammatical irregularities you're bound to find in there. *Shrugs* Meanwhile, drop a review ^.^ I appreciate (And devour) all comments and adore long discussions on characters and situations. It means a lot to any author (I'm sure) to see their work's being read. If you want me to review your story don't hesitate. I'll automatically check out everyone's work if I happen to see them around. I love browsing fictionpress. This happens to be the third revision so if you notice changes then there probably is.