Disclaimer: Obviously, I don't own Disney or related characters. But I do own Daphne and related characters, so yeah.
Author's Note: This is the first story I've posted here. Not the first story I've written. There's a big difference. This is, however, the first cheesy romantic/comedy highschool story I've ever written.
Let me tell you, this genre is way
underrated. Unfortunately I am simply not as talented in this genre as
other authors (notably Meg Cabot and even some authors on this site) so
you'll have to bare with me. I'm doing my best here.
Just Kill Me Now
You, of course, know who the Disney Princesses are. There's Princess Jasmine, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Pocahontas, Belle and even Mulan, who's not really a princess, but she's close enough anyway.
Yeah, all those Disney princesses had it good.
Because me, I'm the reject Disney Princess. Princess Daphne, the one that no one talks about because my life is so damn sucky.
Don't believe me?
Exhibit A: I am sixteen-and-a-half years old and have never been asked out by a boy. I've never even been hit on by a boy. Well, not a straight one, anyway.
The only person who loves me is my cat, and that's just because I feed him every day. I am fix-foot-six, which is fine, and a size nine. My cup size is B, but only if the bra is really, really padded. All of that wouldn't be so bad if my best friend Jia wasn't a size zero (which she is) and my other best friend Flo wasn't a D-cup. Which she is.
And to top it off, I am pale. And I mean really pale. So pale that I have to go around wearing hats. ALL THE TIME. Otherwise I get burned to a crisp. And yeah, that has happened to me on a number of occasions.
I am so going to have melanoma. Or whatever that skin disease is called.
Still not convinced that my life sucks?
Exhibit B: My best friend's stupid schnauzer just stole my (size B) bra. And I have about twelve minutes to get ready for work.
This day, just like my life, was going to suck.
I knew by the end of it, I would have a hit list a mile long.
And at the top of that hit list? Picasso No, not the artist, obviously, the miniature schnauzer.
Who invented schnauzers, anyway? If there is a more obnoxious and useless dog in the world, please tell me what it is.
And who names their dog Picasso? If that's not asking to get beat up on the doggie playground, I don't know what is.
Said doggie was currently standing in the doorway, wagging his tail and looking as happy as ever.
With my BRA clenched between his teeth. Slowly, I sat up and sort of half-crawled, half-walked over to Picasso, my hand outstretched to snatch up my bra at the soonest possible second.
I was getting nearer now, and Picasso was just standing there, wagging his tail and looking oblivious. I almost had it.
Then, as if it was just to spite me, he turned tail—literally—and ran down the hall. I swear to god that dog is out to get me. If dogs could smirk, this one most certainly would be.
"Goddamnit!" I yelled at the top of my voice, scrambling down the hall after Picasso. I doubt his namesake ever stole a girl's bra.
Who knows? Boys are stupid.
Ironically, just as I was thinking this, one such person emerged from the room down the hall. Clad in boxers and nothing else.
"Christ Willows, want to wake up the entire neighborhood or just the people living on this block?" aforementioned stupid boy said (stupidly).
Apparently he hadn't noticed the reason for my outburst, which was currently lying at his feet. My bra, in all of its worn-out glory. Picasso, the little spawn of Satan that he was, sat obediently at his owner's feet, panting and wagging his tail.
A dog decided to steal my bra and give it as a gift to his favorite person in the world—who also happened to be my best friend's brother.
And it wasn't even my nice bra, either! It was beige and kind of ratty. The straps were a sort of faded gray, and rather stretched out.
I crossed my arms defensively (and because my white tank top was kind of see-through) and said, "Could you kindly tell your minion of evil never to come near me or my underwear again?"
He looked kind of confused. That is, until he looked down and saw my bra, lying there at his feet. He grinned. I felt like punching him.
"This yours?" he asked, casually picking it up and waving it a little. Picasso barked. I felt like punching him, too.
Gritting my teeth, I replied icily, "You know it is, now give it back, idiot."
He wagged his head, still grinning. He looked like a dog. "Now that's no way to talk to someone who you want a favor from."
"A favor?" I said, er, rather shrieked. "This is not a favor, Sevin, I just want my bra back!"
I kind of shrieked that part too. Can you really blame me? My underwear was on the line.
"What'll you do for me?" asked Sevin (pronounced like seven, as in the number. I know, what kind of weirdo names their kid after a number? Then again, his sister, also known as my best friend, was named after a city, and their dog, an artist. Buncha weirdos if you ask me).
I did not quite know what he meant by this comment, but I equally did not want to deal with him. "Um, I don't know, not kick you in the balls?"
"Wha—oof…" was the exact sound he made after I rushed at him, not sure whether I wanted to tackle him or actually kick him in the balls.
I ended up pushing him back against his door, which opened and we tumbled into his room. I wasn't sure how I planned to overpower him and rescue my bra from there, but before I could decide on a plan of action, a shrill scream came from Flo's room.
Five seconds later, Flo burst into the hallway. "DAPHNEEEE!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU WAKE ME UP?"
She said it in all caps, too, I swear. She's this petite little girl—kind of round in a nice sort of way, and has this really sweet face with large, doe eyes and is altogether unassuming. But damn that girl can scream.
I took this slight distraction and used it to my advantage—snatching my bra out of Sevin's hands before he could react. Then I got up, tugged on my shorts and ignored Picasso, who was yapping at my ankles.
Then, with as much dignity as I could possibly muster, I strode into the hall. "Good morning Flo, dear," I said in a cheery voice. "Noticed the time, have you? Is Jia awake?"
"Mrphhgle…" was the reply, as I saw a very tired Jia peeking out from Flo's room.
I beamed at her.
"We've got ten minutes to get ready—now go!" Flo exclaimed, running back into her room and jostling Jia along the way. I exchanged glanced with my sleepy-eyed friend and then turned back toward Sevin.
Except he had already gone back into his room and shut the door.
Well, thank god. Maybe he'd at least put a shirt on now. And I could always brag about the dramatic rescue of my bra another time.
Ten minutes on the dot later, all four of us were trooping into Sevin's car, all equally bleary-eyed and dreading another day of work.
Why on earth had we decided to get summer jobs, anyway? Why waste your summer waking up early when the entire point of summer was to sleep in?
Apparently these questions had not come to my attention back in June when we had applied. But evidently, all four of us found ourselves increasingly short of spending money during sophomore year of high school and had thusly decided to get a job for the summer. Since our school let out in late May, it let us get a jump-start on all the other kids in the area when it came to applying for jobs.
It was that good fortune that led Sevin and me to land perfectly well paying jobs at a diner in one of our city's multiple strip malls. And when I say multiple, I mean multiple. Lancaster is basically made entirely out of strip malls and convenience stores.
I kid you not.
Flo and Jia worked across the street at a bagel shop/bakery (in a different strip mall).
"Bye Daffy! Have a fun day at work!" Jia called enthusiastically, kissing me on the cheek and hopping out of the car. Apparently she had gotten over being completely dead tired.
"By darlings!" I said to her and Flo as they disappeared into the bakery.
Sevin just shook his head at us, as if our displays of affection were somehow wronging him. Jerk. I kicked the back of his chair as he swerved out of the parking lot and went to park across the street, making it into work just 30 seconds before our balls (well, my figurative balls, Sevin's actual…well…you know) would be served on a platter to some unsuspecting old woman.
Sevin and I walked into Georgia's Fine Diner (I swear, it's called Georgia's Fine Diner. We aren't even IN Georgia!) arguing about whose fault it was that we were late.
Um, excuse me, but I didn't steal my own bra and hold it for ransom.
The hostess, Mikayla, a freshman in college, just shook her head at us. She was used to our bickering in the morning, which had a range of topics, including a) why we were late (because we were close to always late) b) Whether Timothy Dalton was a better Bond than Pierce Brosnan c) If the Spurs were better than the Kings.
I think we all know the answer to that one. Any team that has Tim Duncan as a power forward is so far better than any stupid team from Sacramento. I mean, honestly, Sacramento is a stupid city, anyway. Everyone knows the capital of California is really Los Angeles. Sacramento's like their scapegoat, so people won't bomb LA and ruin Hollywood. Yeah, sorry guys, you're not fooling anyone.
Anyway, after tearfully (HA HA) parting ways with Sevin, I slipped into work mode. Plastering a smile on my face that was so wide I thought my face would crack in half, I proceeded to do my job. I mean, they're paying me for something, right? And being extra nice means extra big tips, so no, I did not feel any impact on my ego sucking up to the losers who ate a place called Georgia's Fine Diner.
I spent the morning thinking about how much happier I'd be if I was still sleeping. Work sucked almost as badly as school did.
There was one good thing about work, after all…
And its name was Jason Brian Tranter.
The boy was, to put it very simply, beautiful. Even early in the morning he looked stunning. He had shaggy, light brown hair, very highlighted from the sun (it was summer after all) a slow, easy smile and really gorgeous eyes.
I know you were expecting me to say his eyes are blue, but they're not. They're somewhere between light green and gray, and utterly intoxicating to look at. All together, he was definately one hot specimen. Like a modern-day Tarzan. Except without dread locks.
Or the loin cloth. That would be icky.
Needless to say, I had been flirting with him all summer. Rather shamelessly, I might add. Sevin was constantly mocking me about it. And not in a nice, ha-ha-I'm-teasing-you kind of way, either.
He could be so mean sometimes.
If you don't know, 'soup-jockey' is a stupid word someone made up that somehow means waitress. It's evidently old diner slang, which we're supposed to use at Georgia's, being all 'authentic 50's diner'-ish.
I turned to the sound of the voice, annoyed already, if only because soup-jockey was such a stupid word. I'd much rather be called a waitress. Or by my name, actually.
But when I turned around (balancing about sixty-seven plates in my arms—all loaded with heart-attack inducing food) my annoyance all but melted away.
Because the person who had called me was none other than Mr. Greek God himself. Jason.
He grinned at me. "Need some help?"
I was trying to wait nearly a dozen tables at the same time. YES I NEEDED SOME GODDAMN HELP!
But I didn't say that. Instead, I smiled sweetly (well, I hope it was sweetly. I was kind of getting weighed down by all the plates in my hands and don't know if I looked constipated or not) and said, "Yeah, I'm totally swamped right now. I'd really appreciate you taking a couple of these tables off my, erm, arms."
He wagged his head at me, like Sevin did that morning. Except when Sevin did the head-wagging thing, he looked like a schnauzer. When Jason did it, he looked amazingly hot.
Well. He always does.
Anyway, he was shaking his head and laughing and then he said, "Nu-uh, you gotta say it the right way."
I just stared at him, totally baffled. Did he want me to scream at him? I was pretty close to doing so, no matter how utterly perfect he was.
"You know…" he went on. But I really didn't, and it was clear he was not going to help me unless I had a clue what he was going on about. And he was wasting my precious time. At Georgia's, our motto was "A dawdling employee equals a fired employee."
Well, actually the motto was "Come to Georgia's—we've got a feast for you." But whatever.
Still trying to egg me on, Jason said, "You're in the…"
Was he trying to get me to finish that sentence? "I'm in the ugliest diner in the Antelope Valley?"
He laughed at this. "That's true, but you're also in the weeds." He grinned and took some of the plates off my hands.
See, Jason is so perfect that he not only knows all the stupid, lame diner slang, he actually uses it. And makes other people use it.
I wouldn't be surprised if he used it outside of work, too. Of course, I wouldn't know because I've never seen him outside of work.
Anyway, as he was walking off I called to him, "Oh, and I think that family over there would like a refill on their windmill cocktails."
He laughed really loudly at that, startling a little girl who was coloring on her placemat.
A windmill cocktail just means water, but once I made a joke to Jason that I would go to a bar (you know, once I was legally allowed to do that) and order a windmill cocktail and see what they tried to give me. I think this is very funny, and so did Jason, evidently.
See? Our relationship does not consist of me drooling every time he glances at me. In fact, I'd say we have some downright witty repertoire. Er…if I'm using that right. Maybe it's repartee? I should make sure to check on that before I use that word again. It could mean something completely different.
Anyway, I figured I'd been standing there like an idiot for long enough so I started to get a move on. I passed Sevin, who was staring after Jason as he walked away. He was staring so much that he totally ignored this couple that came in and asked to be seated.
Hm. Maybe Jason's charm works on both male and female. Heheh, next time Sevin tried to pester me about Jason, I'd just fire back with this. I moved on, cackling evilly (but quietly, so no one would discover what a loser I am.)
As the breakfast rush died down, I was beginning to feel ready to go on my lunch break. Usually for my lunch break I cross the street to grab something at the bakery that Jia and Flo work at, but today I noticed Jason requesting a lunch break at approximately the same time as me.
Hmm…I wondered if he was up for more witty repartee. Er, repertoire. I really need to check that.
However, before I could approach Jason, a pair of tiny hands covered my eyes and a voice hollered in my ear, "Daphne!"
Why can't people say my name using a normal tone of voice? Why is it always in an insanely hyper, high-decibel voice? Is my name like a laughing gas or something?
Knowing full well who was playing the "guess who" game with me, I said, with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, "Alla!"
She released me and I spun around to face her. Alla was a tall, slender African-American girl. She also happened to be freaking gorgeous. I swear, if that girl makes it out of Lancaster, she is going to be a model. Her skin is flawless, she's practically all leg and her hair is this elegant mass of curls, which has recently been cut into something resembling an afro. In a very, very attractive way.
"Hey babe, what's going on?" she asked me, as if she hadn't just seen me the day before.
"Oh, you know, usual stuff," I responded. It was almost automatic. My eyes still searched out Jason, but he had disappeared for the moment.
"So, you know, I'm having a party tonight," she told me, bobbing her head emphatically. "Mostly people from Georgia's, but I'm inviting a couple of my friends from school. You know, it being the last summer we're together and all." Alla was two years ahead of me and had just finished high school. How I envied her. "I'd love if you'd come. It's not going to be too crazy or anything, don't worry. Just a couple cool peeps."
"That's cool, yeah, I'll definitely try to make it," I said. I swear I didn't sound as uncaring as it seemed. I just really, really wanted to find Jason.
"And, you know, if you happen to see Jin today, could you…"
It was then that she had my full attention. "Jin-ho?" I asked. Well, kind of screeched.
She blushed, not that I could really notice against her dark skin, and looked down. "Uh, yeah, he's…"
She didn't finish.
I was truly alarmed. "Alla, do you have a thing for Jin-ho?" I screeched this too.
She stared at me, scandalized. For a moment I thought she was so appalled that I thought that, but then I realized it was probably because I had said that pretty loudly.
"Sorry," I muttered. "But, I mean…"
If you're wondering why I got so flabbergasted about this, let me explain who Jin-ho is. Jin-ho is a busboy at Georgia's. He is a six-foot-two Korean, and just about the least Americanized Asian American in the US. I mean, I don't even know if the guy speaks English. Staring at Alla incredulously, I could not think of an odder couple. Honestly, I was racking my brains.
"Uh, yeah, I'll be sure to tell him," I flashed Alla a smile and she grinned back.
"Thanks Daph, you're such a doll!" she said, and then bounded off.
Unfortunately, thanks to Alla's untimely intervention, I did not end up finding Jason and subtlety spending my lunch break with him. Oh well. It was back to the bakery for me.
As I was coming out of the diner I saw Sevin in my peripheral vision. He seemed to be telling Mikayla he was taking his lunch break too.
I sped up and exited, hoping he wouldn't catch up with me, or that he didn't see me.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with Sevin. He's not too obnoxious (most of the time, like when he isn't holding my bra for ransom), nor does he smell like something in the back of your refrigerator. And he's not exactly bad looking, either. However, he does have a history of freeloading off of me and I did not feel like paying for his hoagie and milkshake yet again.
The boy owed me a fortune in food buying alone.
Unfortunately, all my praying went unnoticed and Sevin caught up to me not long after I exited the diner. This is what I get for not believing in god.
I pretended like I didn't know he'd been behind me the whole time.
"Oh, hey Sev," I greeted. "I'm just headed over to the bakery for my lunch break."
"Yeah, me too," he told me, grinning. "Why don't we walk over together?"
Okay. There was something about that grin. It was far too innocent.
And the thing is, he knows how much his stupid innocent grin works on me, too. He uses it all the time, and I always end up succumbing to his will.
It's probably because it's only when he smiles innocently that I really remember he's Flo's twin brother. I mean, as far as twins go, they don't look very similar. Flo has her dad's straight, honey brown hair. Sevin's hair is much darker and kind of curls, especially at the back of his neck and around his ears. While Flo is certainly anyone's definition of plump, Sevin is more on the lean side. The kid was a stick before he hit ninth grade and finally filled out a little.
In fact, it kind of amazes me that he isn't much fatter than he currently is, what with all he eats. That was exemplified magnificently by the two cheese croissants he scarfed down when we got to the bakery. And the tall strawberry milkshake he had to wash it down.
Maybe he only eats this much when other people are paying.
I sent him silent death threats, sipping my lemonade slowly.
Beside me, I felt two bodies sink into their chairs. Jia and Flo each took a piece of my muffin, looking exhausted.
"Hey, how's your morning been?" I asked them.
"Fine," Jia answered shortly, clearly meaning she didn't want to talk about it. She thrust her hand out and I handed her my lemonade.
"So I was thinking, maybe we could all catch a movie tonight?" Flo asked.
"Me too?" Sevin asked, a cheeky grin on his face. This was somehow not unlike his innocent smile.
Flo glared at him. "No," she said simply.
Sevin, who of course hadn't been expecting to be included in our plans, pretended to look hurt.
Then he burped and hurriedly got up.
"Excuse you!" Flo exclaimed angrily.
Sevin offered no such excuse. "See ya ladies later!" And with that he walked out. Forever.
Well, no. Not forever. Actually I saw him right when I got back to Georgia's, and he was smiling welcomingly at the people who came in.
Except me. For some reason when he saw me about to come inside, the smile dropped off his face completely and he glowered. Not in a joking way, either, he actually looked angry.
I wondered if he blamed me for how dismissive Flo had been—but that was just banter between siblings, I knew he couldn't possibly be hurt because Flo didn't want him tagging along to our movie.
Besides, he'd never tag along to our anything.
I moved to pull the door open, but a large tanned hand stopped the door. And that's when I realized standing very closely behind me was Jason Tranter.
I craned my head upward and looked at his somewhat hypnotizing light green eyes. It was kind of an awkward position to be in, but I didn't notice much because I was so incredulous that he was actually standing right behind me, his arm trapping me between him and the door. He looked very attractive, too, with the slight breeze tousling his hair.
"So. Daphne," he said, and I liked the way he said my name. And not just because I was used to hearing it all high-pitched and super excited. It just sounded good when he said it in his low, sort of rumbly voice.
I then got the brilliant idea to turn around so I could actually face him. This craning my neck business was not very comfortable.
Only, as I was returning me head to its straightforward position, Jason's head came a bit closer and my forehead smacked into his chin. And it hurt. A LOT.
I couldn't help but howl in pain. However, even through my pain I hoped I was howling in an attractive way, and not like a particularly seasick coyote.
Not that a coyote would ever be seasick, though. I can't think of any reason a coyote would be on a boat in the first place. Plus, if coyotes can eat dead bird heads and trash, I doubt they get queasy very easily.
In any case, I was pretty happy when the pain in my forehead finally subsided enough that I could a) see and b) stop yowling like a seasick or non-seasick coyote.
And then I remembered I didn't want to be able to see because then I'd be able to witness firsthand the expression on Jason Tranter's face.
I just knew he was looking at me like I was a complete loser. Which I so obviously was, it wasn't even funny.
Just kill me now.
But when I finally focused my eyes on his face, he looked utterly unfazed. I don't think I even hurt his chin very much, smacking my forehead into it like that. Still, I could tell I was blushing like mad, and due to my pale skin, that meant my entire face was probably a very interesting color. I just knew Sevin had seen everything and would be laughing like crazy about it. He just didn't know how to let things go.
"So, uh, Daphne—"
"Jason—" we began at the same time. I blushed more and looked down.
He cleared his throat. "Alla's having some sort of party at her place tonight," he said easily.
"Yeah. Um. I heard about that," I replied. Hoo yeah, bring on the witty banter. I am so freakin' witty right now.
"So, you going?" he asked me. He was staring right at me, how could I not look up? So I did, and then got completely entranced by his eyes. What is it about eyes that make me, and most other girls, go completely gaga.
I mean, I am usually a very levelheaded person. I am not one to swoon over a guy.
Except that I was. Over this guy. And I guess that's what made me go, "Oh, I don't know, I thought I might go to the movies with my friends—Jia and Flo, I don't think you've ever met them, they're, well, Flo is, Sevin's sister, but they're not really alike that much, it's kind of funny, actually—"
Yeah. Kill me now, please.
"Oh," Jason said, cutting off my rambling. I don't know why, but one "oh" seemed to do it. I was blushing like crazy. "Well, I thought I might want to go to Alla's with you, but if you're not going…"
Woah. He wasn't…was he?
Usually, I am not so much of an idiot. It's just that…guys don't ask me out. Like ever. I am pretty convinced there is something biologically wrong with me because guys just do not ask me out. I mean, I am not that weird looking, and I try to be a nice person. And I can be pretty dang witty, too, which is supposed to be quite sexy, I hear.
But for some reason guys never like me. Ever. I must be giving off the wrong pheromones or something.
But apparently Jason liked my pheromones just fine. "Oh," I said, very intelligently. "I can always go to the movies another time."
He smiled, that slow, sweet smile. "Great," he said, and it sounded almost as good as when he said my name.
I smiled in what I hoped was a dazzling way and flounced inside, oozing with joy.
End Notes: I am going to make this story as fast-paced as possible, because it is going to end up being a very long story. I hope some of you are interested enough by this first chapter to stick around.