"Shut up, Marco." I said. We were driving along in the car (his car), a nice new snappy little thing. It was silver and I didn't know what it was called, but I still liked my old, beat-up Back To The Future-esque car better. You know, the kind with the gall-wing doors. My lovely, speedy DeLorean. Marco had helped me fix it up from the not-so-wonderful-shape it had been in before I got it. In fact, the car was what we were arguing about now.

It had broken down right when I had gotten home, and so I had been forced to hitch a ride from my best friend.

"I kept telling you that that old thing would break down. But did you ever listen to me, Del? Nooo, never listen to Marco." My friend shook his head, giving me the lowered eyebrow in disapproval he was the self-proclaimed master of.

Let me give you a short summery of the two of us. His name is Marco Caesar (he claims he's descended from the first Caesar—I tease him constantly about that). He has a little of an Italian's looks in him, due to his grandfather who was born in Italy at the time of World War Two. He has dark hair, slightly olive-colored skin, and very dark eyes. He'd be incredibly handsome to me if we hadn't been friends since the fourth grade. And I would have thought that another girl would have claimed him, but apparently his burn scars weren't attractive. He had been in a terrible fire when we were in fifth grade. He had escaped and survived, but did have the scars to show for it. He also had a few mental scars from the fire as well. I took him camping once and he made sure to be between me and the fire at all times. He's sweet that way.

My name isn't really Del, but he calls me that because of my car. My real name is Sedona Metz. My nickname I prefer, but Marco is the only one that I allow to call me but my nickname. Hey, if he stuck it on me, he has rights. I have darker blond hair, I don't dye it. I have really light blue eyes and a smattering of acne, but it's not really that bad. We both get good grades at school and aren't part of the social hierarchy. Frankly, neither of us cares.

We met when we were debating over the number of Texan volunteers defending the Alamo during the fight for Texan independence from Mexico in 1836. He said it had been 185; I said it had been 183. Incidentally, neither of us had been right—it was 184 Texan volunteers. Amazing how things like that work out. We'd been 'history buddies' from then on out.

At school we're not really known, but yet again we don't care. People do seem to think that we're going out, or steady, or whatever. We're not, we're just friends.

Right now we were headed to Keligans', an Irish pub that allowed underage teens in up until six in the evening. They had really good fish 'n chips, which, every Friday faithfully, Marco and I split and then headed to Seize the Book, the most wonderful bookstore ever. After that I had persuaded Marco to come and fix my car, because he could do that and I couldn't. I had promised him my brownies and then we were going to watch the new Legend of Zorro and nitpick the fencing. Then would come the point in time at which we looked over our new book (we always pooled our money together and bought one, which we shared) and then crashed on the couch in my room. And my parents? They were fine with me having a guy in my room. I loved them for it.

When we came to Keligans', Terry, the collage-age waitress pointed to a table in the back and went into the kitchen. She didn't even have to ask by now what we wanted. I grinned at Marco across the table and he yawned, rather cat-like, at me. I rolled my eyes. "So…" I started. "Chariots."

Now was time for our battle/war/weaponry/anything related to war talk. It had been my turn to choose.

Marco shook his hair out of his eyes. "Well, the Egyptians were the ones who made them powerful, but the Hittite and Egyptian clash is what the climax of their era was."

"Kadesh, or Qadesh, depending on who you ask." I answered him with the name of the battle.

"You both are so very strange." Terry had arrived with our food. We had been coming so long now that the cooks just knew that we'd be by, and thus started out fish 'n chips before we came in the door. We nodded, thanked her and went on with our conversation.

"What about the Romans, though? They brought it to another height, only it was really the racing. Hell, they built the Hippodrome to house races." I pointed out.

"Mmn." Marco nodded as he took a bite of the fish. He closed his eyes in pleasure. I copied him. The fish was incredible here. We soon finished off the basket and Terry came back for money. We dished up eight dollars between us, five for the food and three for her. She thanked us and we left, heading off to Seize the Book.

When we entered, I felt like I was in heaven. They say smells associate with memories, and the smell of second-hand books was sheer pleasure. They have a musty old smell, a very nice… well… book-y smell.

As always we headed to the history section. We sat on the floor and pooled our money, surrounded by the fifteen foot bookshelves. Between us we had a little over ten dollars. Hey, what can I say, we were always broke.

For about two hours we perused the bookshelves, looking for an old account of some survival story from WWII I had heard about. It was called We Die Alone, by David Howarth. We eventually found it for exactly ten dollars. Which meant we had just barely enough to cover tax. I got the card punched, a little card that kept track of how many books we had purchased from the store. On the tenth punch we got a free twenty dollar or under book. I was just two punches away from the freebie, and that was a good thing. Both Marco and I were running out of money.

Anyway, after we drove to my house Marco went out to poke around my car. It bugged me to no end when he came back in, five minutes later, no grease or oil on him. I could hear my DeLorean purring outside. "Fixed. Don't make the brownies yet—I'll go turn it off and wash my hands."

This, of course, was the signal to make the brownies as fast as I could before he could come back and eat all my ingredients before they even made it into the batter. I was just slipping them into the oven when he walked into the kitchen through the archway. I could see his nose twitching as I almost slammed the oven door shut and turned my back on it protectively. I pointed to the bowl, which I had left on the counter.

"Lick the batter out of that. And don't you dare steal these brownies out of the oven. I will whack you with this spoon. I brandished the wooden spoon at him threateningly. He cowered behind the counter, snatching the proffered bowl as he did so.

That was what I loved about being his friend. He didn't feel the 'I have to be cool to impress all females in a twenty foot radius' that many guys at our school felt. I laughed at him and threw a marshmallow at his head. I had an air-tight container full of marshmallows on my counter, please don't ask why. The marshmallow bounded off his head and landed in the batter bowl, as Marco told me exuberantly. I laughed gain and checked the timer. Not done for another twenty-five minutes.

I walked into the living room, almost tripping over my dog as I did so. Her name was Gixie, and she was a two year old pit bull. I kneeled down and greeted her, slipping her a dog treat I had gotten from the kitchen. She licked my hand just as a loud call of "Your brownies are bubbling!" came from the kitchen.

I sighed. "They're supposed to do that!"


"Yes, Marco."


He walked into the living room, flopping onto the couch as he did so. "I wasn't aware of that."

I sat on the couch but made Gix stay down. Mom didn't let the dog on the new couch.

"Did you put cinnamon in the brownies?" Marco was as curious as a little kid sometimes, I swear. I half expected him to ask one day, 'why is the sky blue?' to some perfectly random stranger on the sidewalk in the city sometime. Only I knew that he wouldn't, because we had just covered light refraction or something in physical science.

"Yes, Marco. How else do you make brownies?"

"I don't know. I don't make them."

Sooo... yeah. I put WOS on hold, but this sprang into my mind. I listed it under romance because there will be romantic elements in it later.

What'd you think? Sorry if the history bores you, but that is what I love and I have been wanting for the longest time to write a story with characters who love history, and Del's room is practically my dream living space.