Sweets — because Hello Kitty stickers and chocolate always make a relationship worth trying. One-shot.
Dedicated to: I dunno, some random ultra-cool people? I just thought a dedication would be wicked awesome. :p
She liked candy. But she found that most of the boxes lining the shelves were heart-shaped and pretty. And not brown. She bought a box anyway, because she liked candy. And yummy chocolates were definitely (yummy) candy, even if they were packaged in glossy pink boxes with red bows.
Her worn shoes scuffed at dirty blue tiles as she shuffled into a checkout lane. Her eyes slid past the trading cards and teen magazines, instead focused on the colorful pad of Hello Kitty stickers. "UR sweet," one button-nosed cat purred cutely in a heart-shaped bubble. And Hello Kitty winked; she swore it did! She grinned to herself, mumbling a flattered, "Well, I think you're sweet too."
"You do?" a rough voice asked. She looked up as he continued. "Well you hardly know me, and I hardly know you, and I generally don't take compliments from strangers." She stared at him, open-mouthed. "Especially when they talk to little kitties who have nothing better to do than look cute. Not that they are," he finished, and his eyes were twinkling.
But she had nothing to say to him, so she cocked her head and watched him with slightly narrowed eyes. He insulted Hello Kitty, after all.
She continued to stare as he rung up her box of chocolates, averting his gaze. "Aren't the boys supposed to buy the chocolates for the girl?" he asked, as the scanner beeped her price.
She blinked, surprised. Were cashiers supposed to ask such blunt, personal questions of the customers? Not that the question was personal...actually, it was. How rude! Her fingers traced idle patterns on the gray plastic that ran along the sides of the conveyor belt. What to say, what to say...
"I am a boy," she said, because—well, she didn't know what to say.
He looked up quickly, and his dark hair messily flopped against his eyes. She sucked in a breath as he grinned slowly. He had a nice grin. And pretty hair. "Oh, you are?" he asked in a drawl. Her brain berated her loose lips, and her childish fingers busied themselves by digging through her pockets for coins. "And are you buying these for your girlfriend?" he inquired over the clinking of nickels in the plastic donation box.
She thought quickly, and answered slowly. "No," she replied. "Wait, umm...I'm a girl, but I'm just gay." The conversation was getting a little hard to follow, but she decided it was better to leave him in the dark than to have him fully comprehend the idiocy of her words.
He smirked at her. "Oh," he paused, "I'm confused." Good, she thought. "Are you buying these for your boyfriend or girlfriend?" He leaned his chin on his palm in exaggerated curiosity.
Maybe if she just told the truth..."Neither," she answered honestly. "I bought these for me."
Was that so hard? her brain asked, amused. But she shushed it because she was listening to what he was saying.
"Wait, so you're single?" he asked. "Because I'm gay, too," he confessed in a whisper, and his eyelashes fluttered seductively. "We should totally get together sometime."
Her mouth dropped in disbelief, and she looked at him with wide eyes. "He's...gay," she muttered, dumbstruck. "Well, that sucks," she remarked to herself off-handedly.
"What was that?" he questioned, and his smirk was threatening to split the rugged features of his face. He stopped himself. "Why does that suck? You're gay, too, aren't you?" he inquired, and his voice was pained.
She furrowed her brows, trying to make sense of the conversation. "Wait a minute," she interrupted him. "If I'm a gay girl, wouldn't I date other girls, not other gay guys?" she looked at him suspiciously.
"I dunno," he answered with an innocent blink and a nonchalant shrug. "I'm new to this scene too. But I don't think there's any rule against it or anything. Go out with me!" he demanded excitedly.
Poor guy. She needed to set things straight.
Fiddling with the plastic lane dividers, she drew in a breath. "Well…actually—," His eyebrow rose expectantly. "I'm…a girl. A straight one, I mean." She looked at him evenly, hiding her nervousness with an upturned chin and determined eyes.
But his stare was scarier, and she shuddered under the scrutiny.
"What?" she finally snapped, irritated.
He tilted his head back, laughing loudly. She rolled her eyes, watching in annoyed confusion.
"Umm..." he started with glittering eyes. "You're wearing a pink shirt that says 'Ashton Kutcher Will be Mine.' I think I already knew that."
She groaned as she felt the heat of a blush sweeping across her face and neck. He laughed louder, and she opened her mouth to retort. "Well—, yeah, you know, but I knew you knew that! I mean, why wouldn't I?" she laughed hysterically. "Do you think I'm stupid? Pfftt…guys are so dumb."
He looked at her, dimples winking adorably. "Sure."
"Fine," she answered. He stared at her challengingly. "And I'm leaving," she turned around, flustered.
She tried not to look back, but her neck turned around on its own accord. And she squinted her eyes closed in wary sheepishness. He was right on her tail—holding her groceries.
"Forgot this," he grinned goofily at her. She blushed again, mumbling a quick thank you. "Oh," he continued, leaning down to whisper to her. "And I am definitely not gay, Sweets."
She gasped, smacked herself, and stumbled on her merry way out the exit doors.
She dug around in her bag, feeling the need for chocolate even stronger than before. A pink piece of paper caught her eye.
I think you're sweet too.
The note was written on a Hello Kitty post-it, and scrawled with slanted print in red ink.
It stayed under her pillow—but only because she didn't have enough time to throw it away. And that was what she told herself.
Days turned into weeks, and red ink faded into pink. February 12th, and her mom sent her out to buy groceries. She agreed reluctantly. She wasn't sure if she wanted to see him again.
But she did. Stepping into the coolness of the grocery store, she hummed quietly to herself, glancing around furtively. Her eyes took in the careful decorations, even more extravagant than the last time. Huge white teddy bears, heart-shaped balloons, dozens of red and white roses; and she wondered if people preferred those things over chocolate.
Shrugging, she tossed the milk, the apple pie, the salad, the cheese, the bacon, the tomatoes, the soy-sauce, the spaghetti noodles, the cereal, and the ice-cream into her rusting blue cart. She strolled into a checkout lane, and plucked a box of chocolates off the shelf; her mom wouldn't mind.
As she neared the front of the line, she realized he wasn't the cashier. He, as in…well, he. She didn't know his name, but he invaded her thoughts anyway.
Instead of the black-haired youth with an adorable grin and a five-o-clock shadow, she faced a balding man with a sleazy smirk, and a dirty, untamed beard. But that was okay; at least she wasn't acting like a blushing, bumbling idiot.
"Hey, kid!" her foul-breathed cashier called to his right. A boy six aisles down glanced in their direction, pausing in his conversation with a pretty girl. "Get your butt over here and help me bag these groceries!" he bellowed. "This is work-time, not flirt-time!" She felt embarrassed for the boy as customers craned their necks to see who the old man was yelling at. Poor kid.
She could tell by the boy's posture that he was embarrassed, but his swagger was repulsively confident. And he looked so familiar…
She cursed under her breath as he neared her aisle, hastily picking up a magazine to cover her face.
"I was not flirting," she heard his familiarly rough voice. "I was just—you know," he finished pathetically. She wondered if he was lying; that blonde was giggling quite loudly.
The older guy barked with painfully obnoxious laughter. "Oh, really? Why? Was she not pretty enough?" She wished she could see their faces. "Or is she just not the one you've been thinking about for wee—hey; why do you have a magazine covering your face?" She waited patiently for the conversation to continue, before she digested what he said.
Blushing madly, she tore the latest issue of US Weekly away from her face. "Umm...you know, uhh—nothing," she cleared her throat, rubbing her left eyebrow absentmindedly.
His eyebrow rose in disbelief. "Whatever. Here kid, you take over. I need a beer," and with that he left the two red-faced teens to stare at each other.
She scratched her neck. "So are you gonna ring those up or what?"
"Huh? Oh, right," he mumbled, and she admired the deftness of his fingers as he bagged her groceries. Well, until he dropped her chocolates. He certainly lost dexterity points for that.
He shot her a wry little grin. "Well, at least these ones aren't in a pink box that says 'Be mine'," he said.
"Right. So…umm, how are you?" he asked, and his eyes were earnestly curious.
"And why aren't you talking?" he inquired confusedly, his voice curiously low.
The truth was she just didn't want to talk to him. He was just a cashier; she didn't need to say anything. And why would she? All he wanted was a chance to flirt with another female customer, and all she wanted was to pay for her groceries and go home.
She figured she couldn't say all that, so she offered another shrug. And he sighed.
"Well, umm…" he looked desperate for something to say. "Do you want a sticker?"
She couldn't keep her eyes from brightening excitedly; she loved stickers. He grinned, too; he loved seeing her happy.
"Well, come here," he called gently. She stepped forward hesitantly. "Hold on, Sweets," he murmured, and she grinned as she saw the pink Hello Kitty sticker pad he pulled from his back pocket.
His lithe fingers flipped quickly through the glossy pages and she watched as he carefully peeled two stickers off.
"Can I see?" she asked, and her voice rose slightly in childlike anticipation.
"Nuh-uh," he clucked his tongue. "Not until you get home."
She squeaked disbelievingly, and he sighed. "Fine, not until you get in your car. And not a second before that," he warned sternly.
She grinned in approval, holding her breath as he walked around the counter into the space right in front of her. She looked down nervously, and his calloused hands gently tilted her chin upwards.
Biting her lip, she watched as his features tensed in concentration, and he tenderly smoothed the stickers onto her freckled face. Her cheeks were burning hotly when he finished, and she stuttered a thank you, hoping it would be audible over the too-loud, fast-paced beating of her heart.
He grinned as she bolted out the door. And he laughed as she ran back inside the store, embarrassedly grabbing her forgotten groceries. And the customary "Thank you, please come again," held infinitely more sincerity than it ever had before.
She gaped as she looked in the mirror, staring at the quarter-sized Hello Kitty stickers adorning her face. " UR Sweet" was a cheery, angelic kitty stuck crookedly on her left cheek, and she couldn't stop herself from grinning. "Please Be Mine," another red-bowed cat pleadedin a purple speech bubble. She admired its adorable blue overalls as her cheeks burned even more. Was he serious?
She glanced at her receipt, laughing at what was written there.
Her fingers traced the crudely drawn Hello Kitty with too-big feet and too-small ears, as she read:
I know this cat isn't cute, but the original one isn't either. I mean, it has a bow holding up its nonexistent hair, and a yellow circle for a nose. I was gonna draw myself, (because, well, I'm much cuter), but I thought that might be a little vain. Anyways, I just wanted to say…well, I don't quite remember what I wanted to say, but uh, would you be my Valentine? Yeah, I know it's corny. Shut up.
He wrote his phone number in curvy script, and punctuated his note with a wobbly heart. She smiled to herself, deciding she would call him the next day. And she did. At five-thirty in the morning.
"Hello?" a rough voice asked, heavy with sleep.
She immediately felt guilty, fumbling through an apology. "Oh! I am so sorry, I wasn't thinking—this is…well, you don't know my name, but—,"
He interrupted her, sounding a little more awake. "Sweets?" he asked. "Wow, you're up early."
She blushed, rolling her eyes. "My name is not Sweets," she said as she fiddled with the Hello Kitty post-it under her pillow.
"It is now," he laughed. And she grinned at the sound.
"Well, then what am I supposed to call you?"
"Hot Stuff," he told her, and she could hear his smirk. She snorted incredulously.
"Or Sweetie," he continued.
"Sweetie?" she asked dubiously.
"That or Poppin' Sugar Muffin," he sing-songed arrogantly.
"Okay, Sweetie," she laughed pleasantly. What an odd guy.
And what a curious couple they made.
"You're wearing a purple Hello Kitty hat," and that was the first thing she said.
He smirked boyishly. "And you are too," he announced grandly, covering her eyes with the too-large mesh cap.
"Okay," she grinned. "But you're a real dork."
He laughed huskily. "And the cutest dork you'll ever know," he leaned down hesitantly, capturing her lips so softly, she could barely taste him.
She smiled softly. "And you're a tease, too," she murmured against the irresistibly tender caressing of his lips.
"And I'm your tease, Sweets," he purred.
"And you're really cheesy," she noted, absentmindedly.
"Shut up," he growled, gently pushing her against the cool brick wall, and kissing her lips with a newfound fierceness.
And there was nothing left to say.
Umm…hi! So, this is me trying to write some Valentine's Day fluff…yeah, I know I'm cheesy. Uh…review! Because I dedicated this to you! Well, kind of. Hehe..Happy Valentine's Day, dude(ttes)!