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[personal profile] buffyx
Title: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
Fandom/Pairing: Across the Universe - Max/Jude
Rating: PG-13
Length: 674 words.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] laavitaestbella. Prompt: Max-centric with Max/Jude, the song "Dizzy" by Jimmy Eat World (lyrics here). The names Martin and Holbrook come from [livejournal.com profile] arfwoogah's excellent fic Nod, Grin, Bang.

Max never believed in love at first sight-- and then he met Jude. Maybe it wasn't love, per se, but there was an instant connection, something that ran deeper than the general fondness he reserved for Chris and Martin and Holbrook. Yeah, they palled around and had their fun, but Jude was the first person he'd met in ages who had something more to offer, someone who he genuinely enjoyed the company and conversation of.

Jude was smarter than he let on, and that was a relief to Max. He got on well with his friends, but the only people at Princeton who knew how to have a good time could be... a little dim, and it seemed here that the prerequisite to having any intelligence was to have a stick up your ass to accompany it. He must have missed that part on the application.

Max was intelligent, and he knew it, and he was pretty sure his professors knew it too and that it scared them-- which he kind of enjoyed, actually. They all hated him and most made virtually no effort to even hide it. They scowled and pulled pained faces at his long, unkempt hair and ill-fitted clothes. He rarely did his homework and even more rarely turned up for class, and when he did bother to attend, he was always late and would spend the entire time interrupting with questions and ideas and starting arguments until he'd get kicked out for insubordination.

His teachers called him belligerent. That was because he asked questions, and pushed when he didn't get satisfactory answers, and that was what was so fucked up with his parents' generation-- they didn't want people his age to question anything, they wanted them to swallow down and regurgitate their own twisted, outdated ideals and value systems.

Well, Max had always questioned everything around him, and that sure as hell wasn't going to stop now. And if the university wanted to mold him into some cookie-cutter pseudo-intellectual-- well, fuck that. Fuck conforming, fuck assimilating to the system, fuck college altogether. He would rather drop out and face the fucking draft if that was the alternative.

Max never believed in love at first sight, but then he met Jude and escaped to New York. Everyone in New York was absolutely insane. The people were bizarre, and a lot of them were rude assholes, and Max, for the first time in his life, felt like he fit in flawlessly.

He wasn't sure which he loved more: Jude or New York. They kind of went hand-in-hand. He didn't kid himself; he had known that Jude would go with him, without even asking. And without Jude, he never would have come here, to the glittering, gritty city that all but throbbed with life, where he had nothing to his name and had never been happier.

His parents would never understand-- materialism made them happy. Having things never did that for Max. What he wanted wasn't tangible. What he wanted was to experience things, to experience life, to turn on, tune in, drop out.

He got a job as a cabbie, and was horrible at it, since he didn't know the city at all, which meant no one hardly ever tipped anything-- but after awhile he got better at it and he liked it, the driving, even with the horrendous traffic, liked that he could sit behind the wheel, chain-smoking and leaning on his horn and swearing up a storm and seeing more of the city and its people.

He would drive, and then go home and get stoned, get drunk, get fucked. Wake up at four in the morning to Sadie belting out a tune in the shower, Jude's cold feet rubbing against his, fighting for the covers. There was nothing he would change.

He wanted to live like that forever. He knew it wouldn't last. But he pushed it to the back of his mind, focused on living in the moment. Lived inside every drink of alcohol, every puff of weed, every note of music from JoJo's guitar. Every intoxicated kiss stolen from Jude's mouth-- and that would come to an end, too, Max was certain, but it didn't mean he couldn't enjoy it while it lasted.

...I promise not to spam my FL all day. SORRY, WORLD.
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