Hey, all! I'm sure you'll notice that LYU has been whittled down from 22 chapters to 14 - never fear, I haven't taken anything out, I've just combined it so there aren't any ridiculously short chapters in the beginning. I'd like to thank my wonderful beta Katie for fixing my comma-frenzy, and thank my wonderful readers for sticking with me even though I'm an awful and erratic, though good-intentioned, updater. Finally, thanks to Rachelle (hollyisfainting) for giving me the final kick in the ass I needed to get the show on the road. And here is the show! Enjoy.
Love Ya, Unc
Chapter One: Scheming About the New Kid
"I have this friend—"
"No, really, he's great—"
"Scott, no! Seriously!"
"His name is Sasha, and—"
"I said no! Wait—his name is Sasha?"
"Yeah. It's 'Alex' in Russian. His name is Alex, but he likes to be different." He has me hooked, and he knows it. Darn it, Scott! I think while considering his offer.
"All right… I'll meet him. But I swear, if he turns out to be weird, creepy, or addicted to anything, legal or illegal, I will skewer you with a shish kebab stick!" I warn, adding hand gestures for emphasis.
"He's not! He's cool. You'll like him." I roll my eyes at him, but really, I am interested. I trust Scott's judgment even if I don't say so and have since infancy, literally. See, Scott is my uncle, even though he's only a year older than me, and we've been stuck together since the moment I got home from the hospital. Of course, at one, he just thought I was a squirmy little maggot that got more attention than him and was fun to prod, but as we got older and I got more human-like, we became friends.
He's also like my big brother. He tries to set me up with his friends constantly, and they nearly always turn out to be weird, obsessive, ugly, or possessing some other undesirable trait that drives me up a wall. He says by screening my boyfriends he's "protecting me," but I know better. He just has a whole lot of desperate friends.
So, as my uncle, brother, and best friend for the last sixteen years, Scott has done what was thought impossible: he has kept me (too) safe, (socially) unavailable, and (in) sane.
The number of guys I date at the hands of Scott is endless, and the list of guys that I have gone out with more than once, very short. Scott calls me picky, I call the guys he sets me up with "unpickable."
Two of the guys on the short list happen to be Scott's best friends, Preston Ross and Caleb McKinney. It wasn't anything serious, but Preston and I dated for two months, Caleb and I three weeks. And yes, three weeks is a long time for me. People at school call me a player for going through guys so fast, and a slut for dating Caleb and Preston, who are best friends. Especially outgoing (jerky) people will occasionally come up and ask when my uncle and I are going to start dating. If Scott is nearby when they do, I say, "Oh, we are!" run up, and hug him passionately. Scott's so awesome he just plays along, even when I tackle him mid-conversation.
I generally hang out with Scott, Preston, and Caleb during lunch (another reason my social life isn't booming: I hang out with obnoxious seniors). Girls get to know me so they can get to them. After a girl I thought was my friend stopped talking to me when she got Scott to date her, I stopped making girl friends, save one: Chloe Sexton.
I hated Chloe when I first met her. She was loud, nosy, and giggly. But, as she kept pursuing a friendship with me, I eventually let her in. And boy, has she stayed in. Unlike me, she has other friends that are girls, but somehow, I never feel left out. Chloe's just awesome like that.
She has this annoying theory, though.
"Oh, God, I wish you and Scott weren't related," she said one night after pizza with the boys.
"Why?" I asked, perplexed.
"He'd be so perfect for you! You guys would fit like—like this!" She meshed her fingers together.
"Ew," I had replied. "Scott is… Scott. Ew."
"It's not gross, and you know it. Damn, why does he have to be your uncle? You don't even look alike, really!" It's true. We don't. My hair is light brown, his is white blonde. My eyes are brown, his are green. I am undeniably curvy, he can eat thirty Twinkies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of his life and not gain an ounce (lucky bastard). "Such cute little babies you'd make!"
"EW!" I shrieked, covering my ears. "Incest! So wrong!" I'm used to Chloe's outrageous comments, but that had been just gross to think about.
So—back to this "Sasha" person.
"I'll make you a deal," I tell Scott, putting an arm around his shoulder. We're sitting in his car, where he brought up the conversation. We'd better not be late for school. "I'll take a look at this guy, but you have to promise—if he turns out to, I don't know, think that walnuts are out for world domination or something and won't shut up about it, you have to promise to never set me up with someone ever again. Deal?"
"You're so weird. Walnuts?" I just glare at him through my eyelashes. "Fine, deal. I don't know how you expect to get a guy if I don't set you up with them, though. I pay all of them." I hit him not-so-lightly, and he smirks. "You'll like this kid, really."
"Younger or older?" I ask with a sigh, going through the normal questions.
"Not another college guy…" I groan.
"Oh, no. He's a senior, goes to our school."
"Scott, I would've noticed a guy named 'Sasha' roaming around," I drawl. Scott rolls his eyes and starts the car, pulling out of my driveway and heading towards school.
"He's new. Started yesterday," he explains. Damn. I always feign sick on days that something actually happens. "You'll meet him at lunch." I moan and put my head in my hands. Lunch introductions Scott, Preston, and Caleb style were always mortifying. I left my tranquilizer gun by the door! Shoot.
From first period till lunch I did my best to locate this "Sasha" person, scouring the halls for unfamiliar faces. Scott and his cronies were, unfortunately, very good at preventing this from happening. After fourth period, though, I nearly caught them.
"Shit!" I heard Preston squeal when I rounded a corner. I just barely caught sight of Caleb literally diving into the men's room, and heard an unfamiliar, "Ow, what the hell?" Ha HA… I had caught them…
"Shh! Do you want her to catch us?" Preston's whisper drifted into the hallway. I had grinned and began creeping up to the door. I don't care about going into the men's room, as the trio knows perfectly well.
"This is the men's room. We're safe… right?" The newcomer obviously didn't. Poor child.
"Oh, no. This girl's a madwoman," Caleb had assured him.
"A pretty madwoman," Scott added, causing snorting to erupt. Hey! Not nice!
"She'll stop at nothing," Preston said in a mockingly scared voice.
"In every department," Scott had laughed, his voice thick with sexual innuendo. I'd had enough.
"Little pigs, little pigs," I called in a singsong voice. "This little door between us isn't going to stop me from getting in there." My voice was Exorcist, spinny-head menacing.
"No," someone said behind me. I gulped audibly. "But I am." It was the assistant principal, Ms. Shale, wanting blood. My blood.
"Oh, shit!" I heard from the bathroom.
"Why, Ms. Harris, are you trying to get in the men's room?" I decided to take the clueless approach.
"Men's room?" I had asked innocently. I turned around and peered at the sign on the door intently. "Oh, God, this is the men's room! I thought it was the ladies! Oh, I'm so embarrassed!"
"Wouldn't the male voices inside give it away?" Ms. Shale asked dryly.
"Now that you mention it, they were a bit deeper than usual, but you see, not all of these boys have gone through puberty yet, and I can hardly tell the difference between theirs and yours." This was only partially a lie. The boys in the bathroom had, obviously, gone through puberty, but Ms. Shale's voice could be mistaken for a man's, so…
"I'm going to let you go this time, Ms. Harris, but don't let me catch you trying to get in the men's room again, you hear me?"
"Yes sir—I mean ma'am." It had been an honest mistake, I swear.
"Off to class."
So now, here I am, waiting impatiently at our usual lunch table for the boys to arrive. Chloe is next to me, munching loudly on an apple. She'd already been informed about the goings-on.
"I bet he's cute," she says, taking another bite out of her apple. "I mean, why else would Scott go through all this trouble?"
"Yeah, either that or Scott's just building up the suspense so I'll make a fool out of myself when I'm disappointed," I point out.
"That would be hilarious," Chloe concurs, "And very Scott-like." Scott appears from behind the school—carrying a megaphone. Dear God.
"Lacy—sweetheart, can you hear me?" he says into the voice amplifying device, making his voice reverberate off the school walls. I drop my head into my hands, which was sign enough for him that I could hear loud and clear. "Let me introduce a friend of mine. His name is Alexander Miller, but he prefers to be called 'Sasha,' for unknown reasons. We would question his apparent coziness with his feminine side, but are persuaded by his obvious masculinity towards other things, such as a love for soccer." My mouth had been hanging open in shock, but I come to my senses.
"Scott, no…" I say weakly. So many bad memories are associated with lunchtime introductions. In my mind, there are two types of guys. Either the introduction boosts their ego so that they strut out from behind the wall, showing off and acting like a supermodel, or it mortifies them so much that they shuffle out with their heads down, unable to speak.
"He enjoys reading Greek literature, eating stuffed grape leaves, and learning Russian. Although that's really weird, he's actually a pretty cool guy. Of course, nothing less for my darling niece." Oh, gag me with a spoon.
"You're so full of shit," I laugh.
"Presenting… Sasha!" he finally yells, holding his arm out. Everyone in the vicinity, even those who were feigning not being interested, turns their head—but no one comes out. Instead, we hear voices.
"No way, I'm not going out there after that show!" a voice says urgently. I cover my mouth with my hand, trying to stifle a giggle.
"You know you want to…"
"She's gorgeous…" I vaguely wonder which one of the boys made this last comment, but I forget about it easily.
"All right, up he goes!" That was definitely Scott. Laughs erupt in all directions as the trio comes towards my table, carrying a squirming guy on their shoulders, spread eagle and belly up. They set him down in front of me, and I see he's scowling, but in a fun-loving way.
"That was a rather unorthodox way to introduce us, Scott. I commend you," I say with a grin. Apparently there're three kinds of guys: ego-boosted, mortified, and Sasha. Scott just hands me "the list." "The list" was something I compiled in order to screen obvious weirdoes before I actually went anywhere with them. I would adlib occasionally, of course.
"What's this for?" Sasha asks, eyeing the paper apprehensively.
Scott put a hand on the victim's arm from across the table. "Don't worry, my friend. All we're going to do is determine your social status for the rest of the year based on these questions."
"So no pressure," Preston adds from behind Sasha, before returning to the conversation he'd been having with Caleb. My friends are so random. Maybe today is psychic day and I missed the memo. Hey! Not cool!
"Why didn't you tell me today was psychic day?" I whisper to Scott from behind my hands, as we're both on the same side of the table. I don't want to scare Sasha too early, but it's okay for him to think we're scheming.
"Wha?" Scott asks, pulling an Ace Ventura face. I don't laugh, however. Apparently Scott is also out of the memo-loop, meaning we can no longer be seen together.
I ask the first question—one that had I come up with based on one of Scott and my recent conversations. "Have you ever considered a walnut as a potential world leader?" I have to hand it to him, Sasha only looks confused and afraid for a split second before answering.
"Oh, definitely. The peanut-brains currently in office could use some help." Ooh, clever. Let's throw him off with a semi-normal question, shall we?
"Do you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher?"
"Yeah…" he says, obviously disappointed with the non-psychotic-ness. Ho hum.
"Do you eat your own toenails for nourishment?"
"Only on Sundays." To my credit, I keep a straight face.
"Do you imagine your cereal pieces as living, breathing, feeling beings?"
"Are these questions testing my sanity?" Not wanting to answer this particular question, I move on.
"Do you obsessively collect anything?"
He shrugs. "Car keys." Never heard that one before. Literally.
"If a girl showed up on a date with parsley in her teeth, would you tell her?"
"You know, your questions sound like they're coming from personal experience," he muses.
"Just answer the question, Bucko." Scott has been shaking with silent laughter for a while now. No wonder he's so thin.
"Depends on the girl."
"Meaning…?" I do a very Italian hand gesture, involving twirling my hand in circles.
"Whether or not it'd be safer to keep my mouth shut."
"Ah. Very wise." This boy is going to be hard to crack. I do love a challenge.
"Do you know how to tango?"
"No." Scott makes an aha! motion with his hands and pretends to write notes with gusto. I'm tired of waiting. I'm going in for the kill. My secret weapon: something I came up with approximately 1.9 minutes ago.
"Have you, in the short time you've known him, ever thought of Scott as more than a friend?"
"Why? Is he—"
"I don't think so. Lacy?"
"Wait— who is what?"
"GRAVY!" Chloe shrieks from where she's sitting with Caleb and Preston, cutting our rather confusing discussion short. It had the effect I wanted, though. Now Sasha is looking thoroughly worried and confused, and my job is done. Scott gives me a high five under the table. He knows I'm a genius, I know I'm a genius, the school lunches that I swear have minds of their own know I'm a genius, and Sasha thinks I'm creepy. It's all good.