Nickel Romeo

Summary: Boy? He kissed the wrong girl under an 'eternal love' bridge. Girl? She lost her virgin kiss to someone who rather die like Romeo than date a tomboy. Worldly advice? Watch who you make out with, dears.

A/N: Romedies rock my world; rock on romedies.

1. The Most Romantic Boy in the World

Neil was lying in front of the TV in his bedroom as he watched his favorite movie. His feet with its long toes were covered in cotton socks and tilted to the side so he would be able to see the screen without any distractions. He was watching Love Actually even thought it wasn't Christmas.

His favorite part of the film was playing. The one where the character Juliet open's the door to find her husband's best friend pretending to be a caroler, with a portable CD player, as he reveals his feelings towards her through signs. It was (in his opinion) the most romantic part of the movie and he wanted something that romantic to do on Valentine's Day.

This was his research.

"You should really come out of the closet soon man. They'll name you R. Kelly if you don't," a familiar voice called out.

The door opened quickly. He didn't need to look up to see that it was his best friend, Richard, who had entered and landed onto his bed. He had made enough noise for the headboard to hit the wall. No wonder the neighbors complained that he and his friend should be quieter when they were 'together.' It was comments like that which made him want to invite a girl over to screw in front of their door.

Err, if there was any such girl he was that close to.

"The neighbors are going to come over with their bibles again, jackass," Neil stated dryly, moving his legs to keep them from getting the pin and needle sensation. "If they show me any more against-same-sex passages one more time, I'm going to jump off the roof."

His hazel eyes were still trained onto the movie, his lips muttered each line, scene by scene. It was either deal with Richard's nonsense and not see his favorite part (the kiss between Juliet and Mark) and there was no missing that.

Well, until the stupid DVD stopped or rather his stupid friend turned off the player.

Now if the next scene had come from a movie it would have copyright law suits put all over it since it was too much like the sissy fights in Bridget Jone's Diary between Mark and Daniel. Even though the current show of mastery in fighting didn't reveal Neil and Richard to be trained in any form of fighting arts, they had met each other during a karate class in which their moms had sighed them up. It had been a case of too many black eyes from bullies and not enough done by the principal unless their mothers had come with belts to take care of the bullies themselves.

So punishing other people's children was a no-no, having their own children beat up was a no-no as well. At least that was the version of the story that they had informed the police officials of once they visited their homes.

So both of them had stayed white belts, even though they had been through at least a decade of training since they were eight. Each time the match had proved to be too much; they reverted to slapping their opponents.

They were on top of each other with their slapping hands posed to come down or up towards the other one's face. Richard was sitting on Neil's abdomen on the bed while both of their shirts were pulled upwards. When Neil's younger cousin, Reese, came into the room with a big bag of popcorn, she would have guessed the scene to be something from a Spartan before battle 'love training' sessions.

"Should I come back later?" she asked them lightly.

She watched with a smirk as Richard got up from his strangling position on Neil and sat back down on the bed, wavy hair wild and shirt still up showing the happy trail leading down into his pants.

"Hello Reese," Richard said, wandering why he never seemed dashing when she entered rooms, instead he was always in ego compromising situations.

Neil, who was still on the bed, rolled his eyes upwards as he pulled down his shirt. Charesse had come joined his family once her own mother had gotten cancer when she was still a baby. He had more or less viewed her as a sister over the years so when boys, such as Richard, saw her as a babe he couldn't understand their logic. His best friend was liable to act like an actual person around her—something that he didn't think was possible for the Italian born and raised Canadian that thought he was God's gift to every damn woman in the world. Richard would revert from an amore-a-prima-vista view of girls to a bumbling, stuttering, nervous, crushed boy, who forgot (for once) that he was the best shit around. In was like, for one moment in all the years that Neil had known him; Richard was back to the kid he had grown up with.

It was sort of scary to see—something in the lines of walking into the bathroom to see Jigsaw inside the mirror waiting to tell him to do things. Okay, that sounded bad. Telling him to do things like put his finger in the hole. A misstep like that could put him back into the closet, not that he was in any way shape or form—people (the neighbors) just thoughts that he was.

He's so not in the closet.

Not even close.

"Hi yourself," she said offhandedly, eating more popcorn. "How come you turned off Princess's movies?"

'Princess' was her less than affectionate term for Neil when he started to reach for his romantic comedies. Richard shrugged a little, his eyes glued to Reese as she moved to sit next to him on the bed (even though it could be said that it was next to Neil since he was closer to her). Her honey colored hair was in two French plaits down her shoulders. He leaned his head subconsciously to the left and inhaled a bit; he could still smell the Herbal Essences shampoo on her.

"Do I have to do that annoying thing where I tell you both that I need to leave the room for no apparent reason?" Neil asked, stretching back onto the bed.

He felt the look that Richard sent him but ignored it. He was giving him the you-don't-know-what-it's-like-to-be-me look; with that crappy walk-in-my-shoes reasoning. For Richard's information Neil would love to walk in them since he was a size small size eight instead of Richard's own fourteen. Whenever there was a girl helping him in the mall when he brought shoes, she would laugh at shoe size from behind her hands and tell the other females about him. Richard was the playboy and he was the romantic, he understood everything about his own role and nothing about his friends.

Knowing that was the first step to success in life.

"Shut up, Princess," Richard snapped.

Neil rolled his eyes, reaching out a hand for the remote. Richard dropped it in quietly, bringing back his hand so it would be in the perfect position to brush Reese's bare leg—if she hadn't brought her legs up under her at that moment. He still stopped to admire how good she looked in jean shorts and one of Neil's blue and white Beatles' band shirts. Reese continued to watch the movie, handful of popcorn after handful.

"Mom's going to be here with JC in a bit," Reese said absently. "Or something like that."

Neil put the DVD in without bothering to fast forward to the part that he left on. His mind wasn't on what Reese was saying because thinking about it would mean that he would have to acknowledge the fact that it was happening for real.

"Who's JC again?" Richard asked curiously.

The boy's mind was akin to a paper shredder when it came to anything that had to do with other people. He needed reminders every once and a while, like one of those email alerts that told a person when it was someone's birthday since it was too much of a hassle to remember the dates with the going and coming of daily activities.

"It's the niece of the lady from the fourth floor," Neil filled in quietly before he groaned; he had started to think about it.

His mother was one of those over zealous match makers that once they found happiness they were liable to curse everyone else in their lives with it. She had gotten over the absence of his father through her interior design courses which had given her the opportunity to fall in love with and marry her teacher.

Rafe Katros was a third generation Greek Canadian, who had a grandmother that lived within medium sized driving distance and gave them food until they cried during the holidays. There was nothing too wrong about him, which was already enough for Neil to be suspicious of. His mother was willing to start fresh with him even with her ex-husband's infidelities but whenever Rafe came home late Neil was on his ass with 'where'd you go? why'd you see? what'd you know?' freedom killing questions a la Sex and the City.

But her mother wasn't aware of anything that didn't make her children happy and she wanted her children to be that happy. Reese was already off limits, being the girlfriend of the smartest boy in her grade (seriously, his average was like 99.9) while Neil was loveless and the most romantic boy in the world.

Life was seriously unbalanced.

"Ms. Sima says she's you're age," Reese continued. "She even looked at both of your charts to make sure that it's a good couple."

Neil rolled his eyes once more, wondering faintly, if his contacts could fall out that way. He didn't even want to go down that road with his cousin. He knew that she liked that whole chart thing; she even tried herself with Richard once. It didn't come out as well as his best friend would have liked seeing as it had sent her into someone else's arms.

"I don't care about the stupid chart," he remarked, folding his arms underneath his head. "There isn't going to be a piece of paper that tells a person whether or not the one they choose to be with is the worth the effort or not. You have to find that out for yourself."

Richard snorted, combing out wavy brown hair with a hand. Neil was sounding way to much like Jerry Springer to be taken seriously. Either that or Dr. Phil. Both of which would be unacceptable in any case.

"Fine you don't believe in charts," he started. "But that's only because they never seem to tell you that you're going to find your type. One of those romance reading, wish making, straight-A having, flower picking, goody two shoes girls, with an I-always-reach-for-stars attitude."

Neil looked back at him thoughtfully before nodding. He was the person that knew him the greatest. He wasn't his best friend for no reason.

"I think it's interesting that you just explained me, Rich," Reese stated, scooping up her finished bag of popcorn and throwing it in the garbage.

Richard watched her lick each of her five fingers, slowly, before shaking his head.

"Nope, I don't see the connection," he choked out.


There was such a different vibe in Canada with everything, JC thought as she looked over at the woman her aunt called her friend. She had dark brown skin, a big smile, and long relaxed hair. Her wardrobe consisted of dark jeans and a baby doll shirt; she looked like one of those young looking mothers. The ones everyone was (not so) secretly jealous of.

"Are you okay?" the woman, Diane, asked her at a red-light.

JC had been quiet for most of the ride from the airport. Diane had thought it was because she had come so far, far, away from home and her parents to stay with her aunt, but then again, she was probably scared about the master plot. As one of the main conspirators, she knew that her son was someone who wouldn't be convinced of anything easily. But she was more than willing to try and push him a bit like she did on slings when he was little.

I'm going to make sure that he's happy, she thought, smiling to herself.

JC was already making a definite impression on her. The girl had manners, knew how to dress even if it was mostly tomboy chic of loose jeans, oversized t-shirts, and hoodies. At least she wasn't overly obsessed with everything materialistic, which would have sent Diane crawling the other way.

"I'm alright," JC answered, eyebrow quirked.

She had no idea what the moment was thinking but knew that whenever people smiled secretly to themselves it wasn't a good sign. When her parent's did it they followed it up with a trip to the mall to get her clothes that would make their daughter look more like a girl in their opinions.

"What do you think of the city so far?" Diane asked, wanting to start a conversation.

The woman had purposely driven through the livelier parts of town (even thought they were the most crowded) to give JC a good view of the city—especially the downtown.

"There are lots of different kinds of people," the teen offered noncommittally.

She had driven them through some of Little Italy and China Town to get a feel of the communities. The former was her favorite since it reminded her a little of her second home back in Taipei but not enough to bring on the tears.

There was no more time to waste on that.

"What is he like?" JC continued.

She didn't have to be a genius to realize that the reason why her aunt wanted her to be with her friend's family instead of going straight to her job was so she could set up her 'lonely' niece with a nice boy. Her own mother had tried to do the same thing in America before she gave up and sent her to her dad in Taiwan. The memories of playing a 'bouncing ball' were too raw in her mind; she closed her eyes to them as she waited for the answer.

Diane laughed suddenly at JC's words and current wishing full looking position. She wanted to gush about him like he was some sort of new color fabric for furniture shipped in from an exotic country, like he was a beautiful red convertible with new car smell.

"I can't tell you a thing about Neil until we get there," she told her in a sing-song voice. "But I know that you'll like him a lot, Miss Curiosity."

JC's eyes snapped open, she blushed. Her fingers went up along her face to tuck her short back hair behind her small ears.

"Seriously, I'm not going to ruin the surprise right now," Diane stated, more for herself than anything. "Just wait until we get there and you'll know everything."

JC felt that she was in the time before waking up when a person knew they were 'only dreaming.' Now she was starting to realize that everything was somehow real. She had moved from her home once again to start a new life and this one had more adult pressure on her from the get-go. Either she would play their marionette again, or find her own way to define her existence.

I promise now not to like him, she swore inwardly. I promise to not even try.

Diane parked in the downstairs garage of the apartment complex. She got out of her silver Honda to search in the truck for a Hello Kitty suitcase. She had given JC a look when she had come with the white cat on the pink fabric but the girl had answered her with a look that said: 'just because you think that I dress up like a boy doesn't mean that I hate cute things.'

They walked in silence, going over to the side of the building for stairs to reach the elevators. Diane hummed something that sounded like 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' by The Beatles as the door closed and they traveled up to the eleventh floor. They went in more humming and silence, towards the second last doors in the long red carpeted hall, and then turned to the door on the right.

JC glared at door 11D, written in gold calligraphy, refusing to let it open to her destiny. Not my destiny at all, she thought.

"Your aunt is going to call you down when she comes home," Diane explained. "Neil will bring you the rest of the way when she does."

She opened the door cheerily, leading JC in once it opened. The apartment was dressed in funky multicolored fabrics, tapestries and paintings. It looked like a cross between an Indian palace and what she thought that being inside a rainbow would look like.

"I'm home one and all," Diane called out into the room, pulling JC's suitcases deeper within the rainbow with her.

The call sent two teenagers sprawling towards her, though one more or less swaggered up to her. One of them, a girl, looked like Diane but had light brown skin and honey colored hair. She looked younger than JC but the other girl thought that she was stunning. She felt a little frumpy in her jeans at the moment but let the thought pass, she would have to be mentally prepared for anything. The other one was a boy, tanned with dark brown hair and very cute. There was an easy smile on his face pointed towards her but he looked back at the girl in front of him with something purer every once in a while.

"It is great to meet you finally, Cara," he said, reaching out for her hand and kissing it. "I am Richard Pompeii by also go by the name of your Prince Charming."

She looked towards the other girl who had rolled her eyes to the sky.

"Knock it off, idiot. You're going to scare her," the other girl told him with a slap to the hand holding JC's. "Sorry about that—he was born that way. They call me Reese."

Reese had given her a nice handshake before going off to hit Richard some more. JC thought that they were both interesting in that married couple sort of way, but it wasn't them she was there for. She was waiting to be carried off by some heart savior who would make her want to wear skirts and dresses and makeup.

Stupid things like that.

She had turned around to get her suitcase, open it and find her music to keep her from getting bored while my-potential-lover-man took his sweet time to come and meet her, when she heard a sound; turned around. Her face hit a hard chest, one of those I-work-out-in-the-gym-see?chests.

He had pulled her back and up away from him, but his hands were still holding onto her forearms. Nothing made sense to her—or at least not much—when all she could see was curly hair, a chiseled face, and light brown skin when she managed to look up at him. The muscular arms that were holding her up were connected to broad shoulders and everything was wrapped in a nice package of a white wife beater tank that had water stains on it and skinny jeans.

The fact that she didn't remember falling was the only thing keeping her from thinking that she had slipped, tripped, and landed in some kind of immense pole dancer heaven. She was a girl—no matter what she dressed like—and her hormones were in overdrive as she lusted over this prototype for the world's dreamiest boy, ever.

He was the mixed version of McSteamy without all that adulterous mistress bull-crap.

With all her delusions she had forgotten the little fact that she was there for a specific purpose, something that she had swore against already. It's funny how a little chest action can clear out a rational girl's mind so quickly.

"Oh, I see you've fallen into Neil's arms," Diane amused from the kitchen. "I knew it would be a piece of cake."

Neil snapped away from JC like she had told him that she wanted to have his children or something as random as that. Everything—the important 'not trying' plan came back to her with full force.

You will not be the object of my desire, she thought in a Jane Austen character-esque tone.

But to be fair to herself and those pesky hormones, she allowed herself some lusting time.

She lusted, lusted, and lusted some more.

Okay, lusting time over.

I tried dramatic. The only kind of drama I can do is with humor. I can't kill off characters and I push-push banter centered relationships. I will finally confess my writing vices.

Anyway, did you like this so far? It's going to be steady, so you won't know about the any bridges until I let you, alright? But it's going to be cool; I can feel it in my bones. Plus, tell me if there are any typos. I looked over it but I've been watching 24 so I'm on edge right now and therefore need an extra pair of eyes. Get me?

Love it or hate it, if you want more of it then give me an 'add oil' and review.

-love like chucks.