There’s a neon light perched atop the entrance of the local Chinese place. It may not be the palm trees from above the bar at Tuckers, all bicycle short pink and electric teal, but the flapping lid of the dancing carton of freon tubes blinks deviously in time with the generic 80’s music from where the club is located a block down the street.
Yorkie loves to eat there and drags Kelly in every time they hit up Tuckers in this era. Kelly humors her wife, even though the programmers got it right and the food is just as gross as typical Americanized Chinese food was in 1985. She goes because Kelly never got to experience bad Chinese after a night of drinking and dancing. At least the egg rolls are decent at 3 am after a few too many Jack and Cokes.
(And it’s a helluva lot fucking better than the diner in 1987 where everything tastes like ashy nothingness and virtual heartburn is no joke.)
It’s Saturday night in San Junipero and from her vantage point steps from the restaurant, Kelly notes how busy town is. She watches as the spillover from Tuckers reaches her, waiting in the rain. Music and laughter escape from the doors every time anyone enters for their first drink or leaves for a random hook up in a car parked outside or maybe even a long trip down the rabbit hole that is the Quagmire. A small group of what she assumes are tourists (since no self-respecting SJ resident would be caught dead looking like A Flock of Seagulls as styled by Edward Scissorhands) passes by. One of the men eyes her appreciatively while he fusses with his overly complicated bangs.
Kelly ignores him and rolls her eyes as she waits, her jelly clad toes tapping to the beat of Starship. “We built this city,” she sings, off-key and under her breath. “We built this city on rock and roll.”
Her cropped jacket would blind in daylight, but here in the evening rain, it glitters a dark purple over her acid wash jumpsuit. The rain doesn't bother her, but Yorkie is uncharacteristically late, which kind of does. Even then, it's more curiosity than annoyance.
Yorkie had promised Kelly a surprise as they laid entwined in bed that morning, her long legs tucked around satin sheets while the wind-blown curtains tickled the hardwood floors.
Kelly still, after a year together, could catch Yorkie staring at her with cartoon hearts in her eyes. She'd grin wildly when Yorkie’s cheeks burned at being found out until their smiles matched. Those oversized glasses might be gone, but she sometimes saw Yorkie's hand flutter when she reached for Kelly's while walking San Junipero's streets. Kelly loved watching her wife act like a lead from a Jane Austen novel - secret glances and deep blushes and stolen kisses all around. As much as Yorkie's confidence had grown, as much as she had found her voice in SJ - some things would remain the same.
Except, of course, for the sex. Yorkie was a fucking tiger in the sack.
This morning hadn't been any different (sex included). Kelly had pulled Yorkie's bare leg over her hip, her nails running small circles over the goosebumped skin. Yorkie smiled contentedly and snuggled in against her shoulder, peppering small kisses on her collarbone.
"Mmmlllrgslkdf." Yorkie mumbled something unintelligible into her neck, and Kelly laughed and tilted her wife's face to hers ."Did you just ask me something?"
"I have a surprise for you," Yorkie managed. "For our anniversary tonight. Will you meet me later on?"
"Really?" Delighted, Kelly kissed her and rolled overtop, sliding Yorkie's leg around her back before her hand reached under the sheet that separated them. Yorkie sighed against her lips as the kiss deepened. "Again?" she asked, coming up for air.
"We have all the time in the world."
Yorkie fidgets with her lacy sleeve, tugging on the too short but delicate arm. She refrains from redoing the bow in her hair again and instead pulls on the strand of plastic pearls at her chest. The beads are cheap and poorly-molded, and they scratch the back of her neck.
(It doesn't hurt though; every morning she faithfully sets her pain slider to zero, unless they've made some, specific, plans.)
She wants to be sexy for Kelly, wants to feel the way the song makes her body hum. The way Kelly can make her hot and tight and cry out into the early hours of the morning.
She rarely wears black, but it's their anniversary. Yorkie adds another necklace from her mental inventory of accessories, this time an onyx crucifix.
Yorkie glances at the LP cover propped up beside her bathroom vanity and tries to mimic the musician’s sultry look. Her reflection shows a heavily lined squinty eye and comically pursed lips.
It's gonna have to do.
Kelly is just about ready to abandon her post and hop in her jeep and just go looking for Yorkie when the red convertible with the sweetly silly vanity plate pulls up.
Before she can ask what's taken Yorkie so long to arrive, she notices the outfit. Lace jacket, sweetheart corset, painted lips, and that bow.
"Oh my god, you look amazing!" Yorkie exits the car and circles around to where Kelly waits, literally dancing with excitement, on the sidewalk.
Laughing, she grabs Yorkie into an embrace. "This is such a great look for you, Material Girl."
"You like it?" Yorkie searches her face, still feeling a little ridiculous for channeling Madonna on their special night.
"I love it! I do." She takes her hand in both of hers and gently pulls while leading them both down the street, towards Tuckers.
Inside the club, it's packed like any other Saturday night. People mill around them at the bar: drinking, talking, kissing, yelling. Kelly loves the chaotic brotherhood around her, Yorkie just loves to be with Kelly.
Suddenly, an uproar bursts out beside them just after the song changes. Blondie behind the bar shakes his head at the group of regulars gathering around him. "Check the date!" someone yells. He pauses and closes his eyes for a second before he shrugs his hands in defeat. Blondie turns and rings the bell behind him to the delight of the crowd. "One hour extra for everyone!"
"What the heck just happened?" Yorkie asks as Kelly squeals and pulls her to the dance floor. Yorkie follows happily, now that she's found her rhythm.
"This song may be from the '80's, but Neneh Cherry did not get her Buffalo Stance on until four years from now."
"I still don't get."
Kelly smiles and tugs at the bow in Yorkie's hair. "It's a glitch, like a once in a million fuck up. Whether it was planned or just the wrong code - no one knows." Yorkie's eyes light up. "Either way, the song shouldn't be here, shouldn't exist at this time."
"But why the free hour?"
Kelly shrugs. "Blondie has to do something to correct the screwup. Whatever it is, tourists get to replay the last hour and enjoy more time before the clock strikes 12."
The song fades and something slow starts. Yorkie pulls Kelly into her arms. "So what about us full-timers, huh? What do we get?"
"Legend is, it only happens once in a virtual lifetime." She leans in for a kiss. "Kinda like us, right?"