So this is a story in response to a challenge posted by Tragic and Devastated. These were the rules:
1) Cannot use the word 'said'.
2) Lychees must be mentioned somewhere.
3) The one shot has to make you laugh at least twice and needs to try and incorporate witty comebacks and etc.
4) Some form of mythical creature must be at least mentioned.
5) The male lead and the girl lead meet by crashing into each other, in a physical sense.
6) One of the main characters must have an obsession with earl grey tea.
7) Uh... The character must show a flaw (probably a fear) for about a page. (That one was fun)
8) The main characters must have cool/unusual names
9) Cannot introduce more than 6 characters in the one-shot
10) The story must have a happy ending.
It is a statistical fact that there has to be a number one. It's simply a matter of question subject, circumstance, and or opinion that decides what or who is number one.
One of these "compilation of statistics" that people, for one reason or another, is called a Most Eligible list. I have nothing but pity for those who are placed on such lists, because they are liable to be stalked and be giggled around- and that's irritating.
Fitch Garridan was one of the least-noticed boys in the ninth grade, which was ironic, because you could spot him quite easily in a crowd because of his bright red hair (and when I say bright, I mean bright). He was relatively well-liked, got decent grades, and knew how to cook, which came in really handy at times.
However, this was not one of those times, so you shouldn't expect to hear about this unique talent too much in this story.
The trouble started when Fitch's mom decided that he needed a haircut. And trust me, when Mrs. Garridan decides something, her word is not just law; it is the law of the law- but anyways. As he could not ignore the law of the law, and getting annoyed with his older brother who insisted on calling him a Chia Pet gone wild, Fitch was forced to get a haircut.
It was that fateful hair-cutting that would change everything. And I mean everything.
It was the Monday after when the impossible became not only possible, but actually happened.
"O M G. Who is he?"
"Like, I wish I knew!"
"HAHAHAHA! You rhymed! When you were like, O M G, who is he! HAHAHA!"
"…You're so stupid. Why do we even hang out?"
"Because I'm dating the quarterback."
Idle chatter aside and back to our actual story… Fitch Daniel Garridan became Most Eligible in the Freshmen Five.
Perhaps it was the way he walked into school that day. Perhaps it was because his mother didn't force him to wear that terrible wool sweater that his grandmother made for him last Christmas and he actually got out the door with a much more comfortable trench coat. Or perhaps it was because of something that was completely beyond his control- his hair.
Either day, by third period, Fitch had noticed that guys were giving him dirty glares, girls were smiling and giggling around him, and he had no idea why. After all, as far as he knew, he was just Fitch Garridan, regular guy extraordinaire! What did he do to deserve being scowled and giggled at?
"Dude, since when do you qualify for 'Most Eligible'?"
Ah, Shea. Fitch's best friend since kindergarten when the other kids made fun of him because he colored outside the lines and Shea stood up for him… he remembered that day well… "Let he who has not colored outside the lines be the first to make this boy eat paste!"
Fitch turned to his best friend and blinked in confusion. "Since when do I qualify for what?"
Shea rolled his eyes and explained, almost regretfully, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but… you made Most Eligible in the Freshmen Five." He smiled apologetically and patted his stunned friend on the back. "Sorry, bud."
Fitch… in the Freshmen Five? There had to be a mistake! "There has to be a mistake!" spluttered Fitch, his eyes wide with panic. Several passing girls almost swooned. Yeah, swooned. "I can't be Most Eligible! I mean… look at me! I'm skin and bones!"
"Maybe that's in this year," suggested Shea casually.
Fitch raised an eyebrow. "You're very funny," he commented dryly. "You know what happens to all the guys who get picked as Most Eligible!"
Looking directly behind his friend's shoulder, Shea answered, "You mean the whole thing with the girls screaming fanatically for the guy who got picked as Most Eligible and chasing him through the hallways until he starts coughing up blood, even though they all have class to get to?"
"Uh… yeah. That."
Shea smirked and turned Fitch around, and Fitch was horrified to come face to face with a galloping horde of girls, all of them screaming his name like he was some sort of movie star. "Have fun, Fitchy."
Fitch's heart literally stopped.
"Heeeelllllllooooooo SPRINGVIEW HIGH SCHOOL! Now, in case you haven't noticed-"
"Screaming outside Mr. Miller's class is our new Most Eligible freshman boy- Fitch Garridan!"
"DON'T HURT ME! I'LL DO ANYTHING!"
"Standing tall at five feet, eight inches, Fitch is an extremely- hehe- handsome fifteen-year-old boy with shaggy red hair, deep brown eyes-"
"AAAGH! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!"
"Haha, feisty one, isn't he? And in his free time, he's been known to be a master in the kitchen! According to his best friend, Shea."
"Wh… what are you talking about, Mrs. Lloyd? This is a perfectly reasonable announcement! Of course it's in the interests of the school! But-"
"Girls are friends, girls are friends, girls are friends, girls are friends, girls are friends," repeated Fitch rapidly as he ran from the girls who were nearly closing in on him. He looked back behind him even though his brain was screaming at him not to, and he saw a particularly vicious-looking girl with curly brown hair and a cheerleader's outfit that seemed all too small for her snarl, "You can't run forever, you little varmint!"
Fitch yelped and picked up the pace.
You see, he had never really told anyone this (except for Shea, of course), but…
He was afraid of girls. Like, deathly afraid. Even being in the same room as them gave him a bad stomachache and made him all tongue-tied. Perhaps it was because his mother and his grandmother were so domineering. Perhaps it was because he was a pansy. Perhaps it was because the little girl he liked in kindergarten ate the Valentine he had made especially for her. And then bit him so hard that there was blood. Ah, the memories of his first rabies shot…
But anyways. Fitch had tried everything to cure his fear- counseling, trying to convince himself that girls were just like everybody else (and let's face it, that is simply not true), going to a psychiatrist (actually, it was his stuffed dragon, and he was seven at the time), AND EVEN aroma therapy.
None of it worked. So for now, he had his mantra, which was currently failing him with flying colors.
"Girls aren't friends, girls aren't friends, girls are not my friends!" cried Fitch to himself as he propelled himself to the library. Maybe he could ward off a few of them by taking shelter in there.
He could hear Mr. Miller giving the history lecture now… "…used to take shelter in the churches and cathedrals because…"
Ordinarily, he would have loved to drop in on the lesson, but currently, he was running for his life. And… was that blood he tasted in his mouth?
"Dear God…" breathed out Fitch, but then there they were. Those two great wooden doors, standing in front of him like the Pearly Gates. They almost appeared to be glowing. Fitch almost wanted to stop and take a moment to observe just how beautiful this moment was, but the screams of attacking girls brought him back to reality and he dove for the door like he imagined a great ninja warrior would do it.
The doors opened.
Fitch fell through.
Fitch forgot that the library was open to everyone.
CRACK! "MY RIBS!"
Fitch was trampled.
Somewhere in all the chaos, someone grabbed Fitch's wrist and whispered close to his ear, "Take my wrist. Trust me."
This was a peculiar turn of events. Unable to do anything else, Fitch grabbed his savior's wrist and was yanked through the multitude of females.
"If I were a superhero," thought Fitch suddenly, "my weakness would be estrogen."
They had almost made it out of the library, but one of the blondes noticed the two escaping and screamed, "HE'S ESCAPING WITH TASER! GET THEM!"
Fitch's thoughts flashed from, "Taser? What? NOOOOO!" before he was trampled by more girls. However, he still had a grip on this 'Taser' person's hand, and he pulled Fitch out of the mess. However, Fitch did get pulled right back on top of Taser.
There were several things that Fitch noticed immediately. One, Taser was most definitely a girl. Two, she had long, kind of stringy dark blonde hair in pigtails and she wasn't anorexically skinny like most girls Fitch met or ran away from. Three, she was very annoyed…
"Would you kindly get off of me?" she hissed, her dark blue eyes narrowing. However, before he could get off himself, she pushed Fitch off of her, standing up and dusting herself off.
Fitch looked at Taser in shock. "You… you're a girl…" He moved back instinctively.
Taser glared at Fitch disparagingly. "Yeah, so what? You don't have a problem with a girl saving your behind, do you?" she asked almost threateningly.
"No!" answered Fitch at once. "It's just your name is all!"
Taser smirked and rolled her eyes. "Oh. My nickname." She smiled wryly. "My friends thought it suited me better than my real name. It's Tasia, in case you're curious." She looked like she had nothing more to say to him, as she started walking down to the lunchroom, but Fitch kept her talking, walking alongside her.
"Why'd you help?"
Taser sighed. "These 'Most Eligible' things are stupid. They think any cute guy who walks in here should be picked."
Fitch had to smile. "…You think I'm cute?"
Taser rolled her eyes. "You're such a guy. Anyways. And it's not like any of the freshmen girls get any say in them." She rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Stupid high school hierarchy."
Fitch looked confused. "Wait… what? I thought all the freshmen girls chose the Freshmen 5."
Taser chuckled darkly. "Boy, are you naïve. You honestly think the 'popular girls' would let girls like me have a say?" She scoffed. "Yeah friggin' right!"
Fitch looked confused. "But… then what happened back there? Why'd you save me from them?"
Taser snorted with amusement, her eyebrow raised. "Make it sound like you were near death, Garridan. But since you asked so politely…" She sighed, pulling at one of her pigtails. "I've seen you around the hallways before. You're not 'Most Eligible' type, no offense."
"None taken," answered Fitch, who had never wanted the title in the first place, especially if it meant being chased around the school until he was coughing up blood.
"And… I know your little secret, Fitch." She suddenly looked very uncomfortable and avoided eye contact with the redheaded boy beside her.
The hallway fell silent and the boy and the girl stopped in their tracks beside the stairwell. "What secret?" asked Fitch, his stomach clenching tightly.
"Come on… it's kind of obvious… you've never had a girlfriend… you never talk to girls, well, except for now… plus the way you were muttering under your breath 'Girls are not my friends'…" Tasia looked up at Fitch and for a moment, he thought he saw concern flicker over her face. "You're scared of girls."
"What? Me! No…" denied Fitch unconvincingly, trying not to make eye contact with Taser.
Taser looked at Fitch doubtfully. "Garridan, please."
Ignoring the fact that a girl knew that he was afraid of her because she was a girl (wow, talk about confusing), Fitch summed up, "So… basically… it was a mercy mission." He smiled weakly.
Taser scoffed. "Hardly. I just wanted to annoy the popular girls. Besides, wait 'till they hear that their 'Most Eligible' boy is afraid of girls." She grinned darkly.
"…You can't tell them that!" whispered Fitch, his eyes going wide with panic.
"No, I can't," sighed Taser. "Especially since it isn't true." She frowned slightly.
"…Yeah it is…" disagreed a very confused Fitch.
"No it isn't. Fitch, look at who you've been talking to for the past ten minutes without panicking or running away or hyperventilating or anything." Taser smiled, and it was actually a genuine smile this time.
Fitch looked at Taser and blinked.
"…But…" He paused. "You're…"
"A girl," she stated simply. "Maybe a little bit of a tomboy, but a girl, nonetheless. Do you need proof?" She raised an eyebrow.
Fitch gave Taser a disparaging look. "You're very funny."
Taser grinned brightly. "I try. My point is, you're not afraid of girls." She paused for dramatic effect and continued in a high-pitched voice, "You're, like, afraid of preps! Like, totally hilarious!"
Fitch blinked and slowly backed away from Taser. "Never do that again," he requested, shaking his head slowly.
Taser laughed. "No worries there," she promised.
The bell rang for lunch. "Be my bodyguard?"
"Give me five dollars and Skittles and that's a will-do."
Shea nearly had a heart attack when he came to lunch, because last he checked, his best friend was afraid of girls ever since that little bloodletting incident in kindergarten. Now Fitch and Taser Segreti, AKA the toughest girl in ninth grade, were sitting side by side, chatting like old friends.
"Yellow Ranger was cooler," argued Taser.
"No way. Blue Ranger," argued back Fitch.
"Excuse me!" Before these two could get into an all-out battle about Power Rangers (of all things), Shea interrupted them and looked upon Fitch in confusion. "Excuse me, hi, mind clueing in your best friend as to why you suddenly have a girlfriend?"
Both Taser and Fitch glared at Shea and protested, "He/She's not my boy/girlfriend!"
Then a giggling noise came from behind them and a girl with brownish-reddish hair and bright red and blue streaks sat down next to Taser and she chirped, "That's good to know! But, ahh…" She looked Shea up and down and her eyes narrowed curiously. "What about you?" she purred.
"Piper!" protested Taser, whacking the girl over the head. "No hitting on the friends of my clients!"
"Ohh… sorry, Tase…" Piper smiled sheepishly at the three and opened up her thermos, taking a long sip and closing her eyes. "Mmm… earl grey tea. The best thing in the world, it is. Except maybe the word 'lychees', or the trees in my neighbor's yard, which are ideal to sneak to and drink earl grey tea under or perhaps…" She cut herself off and giggled to herself, taking another drink of her tea.
Shea and Fitch stared between Piper and Taser (who had her eyes closed and was slowly shaking her head) in shock.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my best friend!" Taser held out her hand towards Piper, who beamed, and Taser sighed deeply.
Shea blinked and finally took his seat next to Fitch. "…Right. So… why are we sitting with you again?"
Fitch explained the whole story about him barely escaping the girls (Taser threw in, "Oh yeah, you're a real American Hero") and how when he thought that he was doomed, Taser saved him from the other girls' clutches and she was now his bodyguard because he can't hit a girl, even if he was allowed to.
Taser commented, "Yeah, that's pretty accurate."
"Wow…" breathed Piper once the story was finished. "So… are you guys gonna like, fall in love and stuff? Cuz that'd be soo romantic…"
Fitch and Taser exchanged a look before they chorused, "No."
"Oh." Piper looked to her best friend and smiled shyly. "Can I have him, then?"
"I'm just kidding!" laughed Piper. The boys got the impression that this type of conversation was common with Piper in the group. The spunky one sighed. "Anyone want some of my earl grey tea? Best stuff in the world!"
"No thank you," was the resounding answer around the small table.
It was after lunch that the chase resumed. Or at least, it should have.
Fitch was just going to gym class with Shea when he heard, "Fitch! Oh Fitchy!"
Fitch looked at Shea, who was trying not to laugh. Fitch looked behind him and paled. It was two blondes this time. One of them was wearing a bright pink t-shirt and a short black skirt and the other was wearing an outfit that seemed to be too small and too uncomfortable for human use. And they were waving at him like the three of them were the best friends in the whole wide world.
Shea was so enjoying this.
"Shea… who are they?" asked Fitch under his breath.
"Jennifer Kirke and Tiffany Hill. Probably the girls that elected you in," answered Shea, who had the gleam in his eye when he was enjoying something that Fitch was not.
"…Drat." Fitch looked back at the two girls, who were quickly catching up with them. "I think we need back-up."
"No, really?" Shea smirked. "So, do you have a signal or something?"
Fitch scratched the back of his neck awkwardly, mumbling, "Somethin' like that…" He looked around the hallway and shouted as he raised up his fist and struck a superhero-like pose, "THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO!"
"I! AM! THAT! HERO!"
"PIPER! PREPS AT TWELVE O'CLOCK!"
And almost out of nowhere, Taser and Piper came careening down the hallway, and it was a little bit like watching two unstoppable forces team up to stop the slightly less stoppable forces in the world (if that makes sense). They ran towards Jennifer and Tiffany and then, with yells and squeals and yelps that would make you giggle, the girls crashed to the floor.
"Ohhhhhh!" chorused the students that were passing by as Taser pulled herself from Tiffany and helped Piper untangle herself from Jennifer.
The two preps stared at Taser and Piper in horror, disgust, and shock. "Why did you do that?" asked Jennifer as she scrambled up, pulling her short skirt down to a comfortable position.
Taser and Piper looked at each other and then back to the highly offended popular girls and shrugged. "Cuz it was fun?" suggested Piper.
"A little excitement?" threw in Taser.
"We were bored?"
"You haven't lived until you've been crashed into, or you have crashed into someone?" Taser considered this statement for a moment and smiled. "Or both?"
Jennifer and Tiffany scoffed. "You're so weird," sneered Tiffany.
"Well thanks! You two are so sweet," gushed Piper, folding her hands over her heart.
Taser smirked. "Yeah. 'Bout as sweet as Hitler." Her smirk widened.
Jennifer blinked and then she scowled. "…OK, did you just insult us?"
Taser and Piper exchanged a look, and Piper was forced to comment, "And you have Einstein's brains."
Tiffany rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Whatev."
"Now if you excuse us, we have a boy who was recently voted Most Eligible, no thanks to you," hissed Taser, "to protect." And with that, she and Piper went on their way.
"I'm feeling a little apprehensive about walking out that door, Shea."
"Oh come on. It's the end of the day. I bet they forgot all about the Freshmen Five!" This, of course, was a lie, but Shea would say and/or do anything to get his best friend to get out of seventh hour Algebra so they could go home.
Fitch looked out the window of the classroom and sighed. "Well…" He frowned nervously. "Where's Taser?"
"She's probably gone."
"You have her number?"
"Drat." Fitch twiddled his thumbs; that was his nervous habit.
Shea sighed and leaned up against the door, trying to think up another way to get his best friend out of the school already. Even the teacher had left. "Umm… I promise to eat anything you cook if we leave now," he promised.
Fitch raised an eyebrow. "Even the strudel?" he questioned.
"Even the strudel." Inwardly, Shea sighed. He hated strudel.
"Um… no deal. The mob is scary." Fitch shook his head firmly and crossed his arms.
Shea groaned. "Come on, Fitch! You have to stand up for yourself eventually!" he raved, throwing his hands up in the air in frustration. "They're just girls. Tiny, perky, squeaky, insane little pink-wearers who probably still watch Hello Kitty. Now are you a man or are you a mouse?"
Fitch was at a loss for words. He just knew that he wanted to get out. Like NOW. He looked around the classroom, staring out the windows, and suddenly an idea struck him. "Uh… Shea?"
"What?" He still sounded annoyed.
"…Can you help me open those windows?"
"You are so stupid." Shea rolled his eyes in annoyance.
Fitch looked at him expectantly, saying nothing.
"FINE! Gah, stop looking at me like that!"
Unfortunately for Fitch, there was a small mob waiting for him in the front of the school. As soon as he and Shea dropped out of those windows and walked to the sidewalk, a girl spotted them and shouted, "THERE HE IS! GET HIM!" And that's why Fitch was currently running around the high school, trying to find a door that would open for him. Shea had gone home to try to find the girls' phone numbers to call for help (since he thought they had gone home).
Luckily for Fitch, Taser and Piper were not at home. They were just coming out of their book club and saw the poor boy running around the school. Taser rolled up her sleeves and cracked her knuckles. "Well, Piper…" she breathed, "Let's go to work."
"Then we can go and have earl grey tea?"
Taser sighed deeply. "Yes… then we can go and have earl grey tea," she answered.
Piper beamed and clapped her hands happily. "Yay! Let's go!" she cheered.
Watching Taser and Piper in work was like watching a tornado. They could do their work in minutes, and the effect was great and powerful, but the difference between a tornado and Taser and Piper was that the two girls usually worked in favor of good. Usually.
"Alright, clear out," ordered Taser, shooing the last of the preps away from the school. "All of you have an essay to work on!" She shook her head slowly and rested her hands on her hips as Piper pulled Fitch up from his fetal position. He looked like he was in shock.
Taser sighed. "Piper, I'll be at your house in an hour for the project… and the earl grey tea. I need to make sure he gets home alright."
Piper nodded and smiled brightly at the two, also giving them a suggestive wink as she walked away.
Taser rolled her eyes at that, but Fitch didn't even notice.
They were quiet for a few minutes, and it was Taser who broke the silence. "Are you feeling OK?" she asked.
Fitch nodded silently, a smile beginning to form on his face.
Taser smirked in curiosity. "What're you smiling about?" she inquired.
"I was just thinking… Shea is right," murmured Fitch, staring off into the distance.
Taser looked confused. "Right about what?"
Without thinking at all, Fitch replied, "Girls are insane."
There was a long, deadly silence.
"Well first off, you can't go anywhere without another one of you- even the stupid bathroom, which in my opinion, is just downright creepy. And secondly, while you're in the bathroom, it takes a guy about 2 minutes- in and out. Then a girl goes in- you don't see her again for a whole year! I mean, what the heck are you doing in there?"
"What do you THINK we're doing?" laughed Taser.
Fitch sighed. "Talking about boys…? Making yourselves look beautiful? I don't know, I've only been in there once, and nobody was in there!"
Fitch coughed. "But that's another story."
"I'll bet it is…" Taser looked suspiciously at Fitch, who was tugging at his collar awkwardly.
"Moving on. Why do you always need to overanalyze things? I say a certain word or phrase. Several girls gasp or say 'How dare you' or say 'What the heck is that supposed to mean?' IS EVERYTHING SUPPOSED TO HAVE AN UNDERLYING MEANING! CAN'T I JUST SAY 'DOUGHBOY' WITHOUT SOMEONE SHOUTING 'ARE YOU SAYING I'M FAT'?" shouted Fitch, throwing his hands up into the air in exasperation.
Taser gasped in mock offense, but Fitch did not catch this. "ARE YOU SAYING I'M FAT!"
Fitch groaned. "THIS IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF THING I MEAN! No, I am not saying you are fat, Taser. I am merely using an example."
Taser glared at Fitch. "OHHH, so now I'm too skinny!"
Fitch looked absolutely perplexed. "WHAT?! That's not what I… what!"
Taser smirked, and then Fitch understood. "…You were joking…"
"Clever little boy, aren't you?" Taser laughed.
Fitch decided to ignore this. "…And then you never think you look beautiful, and this is quite possibly the most aggravating thing of all, because when we say you are beautiful, believe us! WHY WOULD WE LIE TO YOU?"
Taser raised an eyebrow and commented dryly, "Because we'd kill you otherwise."
"…Good point. But it doesn't matter because you'd be beautiful to us." Fitch smiled at Taser.
Taser smiled back. "Awww. I almost wanna gag." She grinned.
Fitch grinned back and remarked, "I thought you might." He thought for a moment. "And you know what else? Girls are the biggest drama freaks that I know of. They take one little tiny thing and BLOW IT UP TO A BIG DEAL when it really isn't." He shrugged. "And what's with the all-chocolate cure?"
"Now hold on!" protested Taser, who was a strong believer in the all-chocolate cure, but once you had gotten Fitch started, there was no stopping him.
"I mean, chocolate's good and all, but whenever you guys are having a bad day, you don't talk to people. You eat chocolate." Fitch shook his head in confusion. "It's food. It's a very good food, but… why?"
Taser grinned and shook her head. "You wouldn't get it." Which meant, in Taser language, I would tell you, but you're a boy.
Fitch's eyes widened. "OH, OH, you know what else is freaky? When you get all moody and emotional and-"
"Like you?" chuckled Taser.
Fitch stared at her. "This conversation is over."
"Then let's get home." Taser stood up and pulled the redheaded boy up from the steps and looked at him expectantly. "So where d'you live, Most Eligible?"
"Uh… South Street," replied Fitch, blinking several times.
"Good." Taser pulled Fitch towards her and looped arms with him, smiling brightly (and it was almost Piper-like). "South Street is adjacent to Piper's street."
"…No idea what adjacent means, but OK!" laughed Fitch as the two started walking off.
The thing about Piper Hannigan was that despite the cute, sweet, bubbly front she put on for everybody everyday, she could actually be quite deadly, in her own right.
So Taser knew that when she arrived at Piper's house, she was so in for it.
"You like him."
"I do not."
"Yes you do."
"Taser and Fitchy sittin' in a tree-"
"K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes looove, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!" Piper laughed as only a girl who had figured out her best friend's "deep, dark" secret could, and Taser had to glare at her.
"I do not like him!" she snapped, her face turning bright red.
Piper giggled. "You're bluuussshiing…" she teased, pointing at Taser's reddening visage, and she went so far as to clasp her hands together and imitate Taser, "Oh Fitch. I love you. Of course I'll protect you from those evil preps. Meanwhile, we should really start planning our honeymoon."
Taser scoffed and raised an eyebrow. "You have officially gone off the deep end," she commented.
"Of course I have, and so have you." Piper paused for dramatic effect. "Gone off the deep end in a pool of LOVE!" She collapsed in giggles and swung her arm around Taser. "Don't deny it, Tase. I know you too well. Now come, let's drink earl grey tea."
"…Why are we friends again?"
As we had covered before, Fitch had always been afraid of girls (or rather, the preppy ones). And so, when he returned home, he assumed that the strange, seasick feeling that he had in the pit of his stomach was simply from the Mystery Meat that was served in the cafeteria that day. After he had taken a couple Tums, he felt better. Until…
Ding-dong. Knock-knock-knock. Knock-knock. Ding-dong. "Got it!" Fitch switched off the X-Box and sprang to the door, recognizing the secret door knock that he and Shea had been using since… well, kindergarten. He opened the door and nodded his head in greeting.
"Did you make it out of the mobbing alright?"
"Only a couple cuts and bruises. Taser and Piper were still at school and they chased the girls off." Suddenly, the sick feeling returned to Fitch's stomach and he blinked in confusion.
Noting the puzzled look on his friend's face, Shea asked, "Are you OK?"
"Uh… yeah…" Fitch blinked again and shook off the odd feeling. "It's nothing."
Shea narrowed his eyes suspiciously, but decided to let it go. "Whatever, man," he snorted, waving his hand at Fitch dismissively. "Let's play Halo."
"Now we're talking!"
It's amazing what three hours of Halo, seven cans of Monster, and a bag of Doritos can do to two fifteen-year-old boys.
"AWWWW MAN!" groaned Fitch as his guy got killed- again. Halo wasn't his best event, let's just say.
"Muhahahahaha!" laughed Shea darkly, who was the one who shot Fitch in the first place. "You fail at life. Nobody loves you and your mother is a Dementor!"
"OK, that may be true about Ma, but Taser loves me!" protested Fitch without even thinking about what he was saying.
There was a brief silence.
"Duuuuuuuuuuude…" Shea looked at Fitch, awestruck and with a bright gleam of laughter in his dark black eyes. "That… is so…"
Fitch had a very bad feeling about what Shea was going to say next.
"CUTE and GIRLY!" Shea collapsed on the floor in laughter, twitching because of the amount of Monster that was running through his system. And trust me, it was a lot.
Fitch scowled as he turned off the X-Box. "No more Monster for you!" he snapped at his best friend.
"Ahahaha… YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH TASER SEGRETI! AHAAA! Ohhh… that's a good story… a very good story…"
The trouble with having friends like Piper and Shea is that friends like Piper and Shea like to interfere. A lot. So once they found out (or, in Piper's case, forced Taser to admit) that their best friends liked each other (as in, more than friends), then they (being Piper and Shea) would not be happy until something was done about it.
That something being Fitch and Taser getting together and getting a "happily ever after" ending. That ending equaling the other girls who were currently stalking Fitch being miserable at the fact that Fitch was no longer Most Eligible.
So basically, with all this needing to be done, Shea and Piper began to plot…
"I heard that you have valuable information for me, Hannigan."
"That part's correct." Piper leaned against the locker next to Shea's casually and took a drink of her earl grey tea casually. "You interested?" She raised an eyebrow.
"In the information or the tea?" questioned Shea. With Piper, you could never be too sure.
"Both." Piper grinned cheekily.
"The tea… no. The information, yes." Shea smirked.
"Alright…" sighed Piper. "The truth is… I know someone who likes Fitch."
"Don't we all?" snorted Shea, recalling the Great Chase and Fitch's high-pitched screams. Now that was entertainment.
"Someone who isn't stalking him."
That stopped Shea dead in his tracks. He slowly looked at Piper and saw a knowing smile firmly planted on her face. "Who is it?" he asked carefully.
"You're never going to believe me," she grinned.
"Try me!" he dared.
Piper bit her lip unsurely, but decided to give into the little devilish side of her. "Well…" She stood up on her tiptoes and whispered something in Shea's ear, and I think you can guess exactly what.
Shea slowly backed away from Piper, staring at her in shock. "No… way…"
"Yeah," giggled Piper, but then a slightly worried look passed over her face. "But there's only one little, tiny, itsy-bitsy problem…"
Shea's face fell and he could tell that whatever the "little, tiny, itsy-bitsy" problem was, it wasn't going to be good. "…What is it?" he asked slowly.
"She doesn't exactly wanna admit it yet…" mumbled Piper awkwardly, scratching the back of her head uneasily.
Shea sighed, but then he smiled darkly. "Well, that's not a problem."
"That's just a challenge, my friend."
Something was up. Since when did Fitch's best friend and her best friend get all buddy-buddy? Taser was very apprehensive about this sudden alliance, especially at lunchtime, when the two of them started freaking out over the seating arrangements, because, according to Piper, "You have to sit by Fitch! Not Shea!"
Taser had protested, "Why?"
Piper had yelled, "BECAUSE!"
And so now Taser and Fitch were seated next to each other, in between their best friends, who had obviously gone out of their minds.
"So, Piper, what did you think about that story in English?" inquired Shea rather conspicuously.
Piper grinned suspiciously. "Oh, you mean the one where the guy was painting the portrait of the girl he loved and then she died?" She paused.
"I thought it was rather sad," admitted Piper, but suddenly, she smiled. "But at least they were in love. I mean, it'd suck if she died without ever knowing that he felt that way, wouldn't it, Fitch?" She narrowed her eyes and smiled at the poor, unsuspecting boy, who started to choke on his milk at this sudden turn of events.
Fitch looked between Piper, Taser, and Shea, and stammered, "Uh… um… y-yeah… I guess…"
Shea turned to Taser and questioned, "What do you think, Taser?" And suddenly, their motives became all too obvious.
Taser's eye twitched. "Yes…" she replied slowly.
"It was a good story, though. Just needed a happy ending," commented Piper innocently, although she and Shea had made it clear that this was anything but innocent. Then she looked at Taser and chirped, "So, what shall we do this weekend, Tasia dear? Movies?" She beamed.
Taser's eyes narrowed threateningly, especially at the use of her real name. "You're up to something!" she accused Piper and Shea, standing up and pointing at them.
Piper and Shea gasped as if the idea was absolutely preposterous. "You're out of your mind," laughed Piper, shaking her head.
"I concur!" agreed Shea, who seemed to be on the verge of laughter from the whole situation.
By this time, both Fitch and Taser were growing highly suspicious of their friends and the way the whole conversation was headed.
"Oh, is she?" argued Fitch, standing up with Taser and folding his arms across his chest. "You guys have been acting weird all day!"
"Something's up, and we would very much like to know what," hissed Taser, snapping a plastic spork in half in her fist.
Piper giggled. "You're so funny when you try to threaten people."
Taser and Fitch exchanged sideways glances with each other, both silently thinking to themselves that this was going to be a long day…
"I don't like this, Jennifer."
"I don't either, Tiffany." Jennifer frowned deeply as she jabbed her spork (a custom-made pink one with diamonds that spelled her name on it) into her salad. "He's supposed to be, like, our Most Eligible. Not…" She scowled. "Hers."
Tiffany shook her head. "He's just, like, a stupid boy. And just like all stupid boys, they have, like, a weak link." She smiled sinisterly.
"Oh…" Jennifer smirked darkly. "I, like, get it!"
He wasn't sure what it was, exactly, but something about the way that every time a girl would start giggling around him and she would snap, "Hey! What're you laughing at, tiny?" was… charming.
And she wasn't scary or intimidating, no matter what the other guys in the locker room in gym class thought! She was protective and tough and brave and smart and cunning and funny. It was all a part of her charm.
"Uh… dude… why're you writing 'FG + TS 4ever' on your math homework? We have to turn that in, y'know."
Fitch snapped out of his daydreaming and quickly started erasing the words off the side of the page. He immediately sensed a smart-aleck comment forming in Shea's head, but Fitch cut him to the quick. "Don't say it."
Shea's eyebrows shot up in amusement. "Fine," he grinned, but then his voice dropped to a low volume to only Fitch could hear, "You know she likes you, right?"
Fitch was stunned. She liked him? Was that even possible for Taser to have those sorts of feelings towards another human being, let alone him? And he hadn't even noticed any signs… oh, she was good, she was very good…
Taser was not the doodle-on-your-notebooks kind of girl. Nor was she the type to start daydreaming in the middle of class (unless it was math class, which was particularly boring). For the most part, she left no sign that she liked any boy at all, except for…
"What a cute drawing," noted Piper, who was peering over Taser's shoulder. "Looks just like Fitchy. Oooh, are those little hearts in the background? Oh my…"
Taser slammed her sketchbook shut and cast a frown at Piper. "Shut up," she retorted.
Piper giggled. "And this is why we're best friends. I know too much," she reasoned matter-of-factly.
Taser rolled her eyes and flipped her sketchbook back up to continue work on her drawing. "That's probably right," she admitted.
Piper sat down next to Taser and whispered in a not-so-quiet whisper, "I know a secret!"
Taser smiled as she started to draw the letter F in bubble letters over her drawing of Fitch. "What is it?" she asked in the same not-so-quiet whisper.
Piper answered in a real quiet whisper, "He likes you, too." She smiled knowingly. "I have very reliable sources."
Taser literally dropped her pencil and started staring at Piper. "…What?"
"He does. Ask Shea. He'll tell you, too." She was acting as if this was not in the least bit earth shaking (because when you're fifteen and in ninth grade, it really was), and it left Taser stunned and a little confused.
The last time she'd had a real boyfriend was in seventh grade (mainly because last year all the boys were afraid of her because what had happened with that boyfriend), and that had only lasted two and a half weeks.
"Hellloooo, Tasssiiiiaaaa…" The use of her real name brought Taser back into the real world and back face-to-face with an impatient-looking Piper. "So? What're you gonna do?"
This was a very good question…
The next class where Taser and Fitch met was geography. They sat in the same row, but several seats apart from each other, so they thought they could avoid any awkwardness by this convenient placement.
But then, the story just wouldn't be that interesting.
They were working in partners on a project about a South American country. Unfortunately for Fitch and Taser, they had been working as partners already, plus they had claimed the hallway as their working area, and so awkwardness could not be avoided.
"Um… can I have the blue?"
"O…K…" Taser wasn't going to ask why at first, but curiosity drove her to it as she handed over the blue colored pencil. "Why?"
"Because Brazil starts with a 'b', like blue," explained Fitch.
"But blue's a dark color," argued Taser.
"Not if I color lightly," protested Fitch.
"We should color it yellow," bargained Taser. "Because yellow is the color of a banana, and that starts with a 'b'. Plus, we have to show the rivers and stuff." She looked at Fitch with a stern look on her face.
There was a silence.
"Fine," agreed Fitch, putting aside the blue pencil and picking up the yellow one. "But the border can be blue."
"Agreed," concurred Taser with a sigh.
Fitch had to smile. "That was almost a fight," he commented with a laugh.
Taser grinned. "Yeah. About what color a map is going to be, of all things." She had to laugh.
There was a short period of silence as the two worked on gluing and coloring the poster, and then Taser sighed.
"What?" asked Fitch, looking up at Taser. He felt his heart skip once or twice, but ignored it.
Taser bit her lip, debating whether or not to ask him, but shook her head. "Nothing," she lied, cutting out the part about Brazil's climate.
Fitch blinked. "You surprise me, Tasia," he confessed, and he thought to himself, he liked the way her real name sounded coming from his voice. She looked up at him, confused, and he explained, "You didn't strike me as the type of person who would let a chance pass them by." He smiled, and Taser thought that the smile looked just a little sad, and he shrugged.
Taser looked at Fitch thoughtfully. "Well… I heard something… that…" She sighed and decided to just get it over with. "I heard that you like me." She was surprised how natural the last three words sounded and how fast her heart was beating. The poster had all but been forgotten.
"W-well… I-I…" stammered Fitch, who wasn't quite sure what to say, even though he knew what he should say, and just didn't want to admit it. He gulped hard. "Yes."
The two of them exhaled; they hadn't even been aware that they had been holding in their breath, and Taser looked like she was about to say something when the bell rang. "Well… um… I'll take the poster in… I think we only need one more day…" she rambled uselessly as she picked up the poster and papers and looked at Fitch nervously. It was like a whole new side of her.
Fitch kind of liked it.
Until he remembered that she had never told him whether she liked him back or not.
It was during the middle of seventh hour that Fitch decided he couldn't put off waiting to find out any longer. He just… couldn't. Especially after that oh-so-informative meeting with the color blue and bananas and Brazil and… everything.
If he could just find the opportune moment.
Fitch sighed as he walked down the hallway quietly to the bathroom, hall pass in his hand. He stared fixedly down at the floor and muttered quietly, "God, if me and Taser are… You know… I just need some sort of sign… anything will work for me here…"
He looked up for a moment and waited for a brief moment, when he heard footsteps behind him, and then a quiet chuckle. "What are the chances?"
Well, that works for a sign. Fitch took in a deep breath and turned around to face the girl that his mind had been wandering off to so very often and smiled. "Hey Taser," he greeted her somewhat warmly, but with obvious nervous undertones.
Taser smiled as she repeated, "Hey Fitch."
Fitch nodded and smiled reassuringly. "So, ummm…" He wasn't sure what to follow that "ummm…"
Taser sighed. "You want to know if I like you, too." It was not a question.
"Well… yes," confessed Fitch before gathering the courage to say the words that he really, really needed courage for. "But… um… Taser?"
Taser started to look a little confused. "What is it?" she asked.
Fitch ran a hand through his sleek red hair. "Umm… I have to confess something… I kind of heard… that you like me, too… but I'm not sure whether to believe it until I hear it from you." And here it comes…
Taser rolled her eyes and laughed. "Fitch." She smiled warmly. "What're we going to do with you?
Fitch laughed awkwardly. "Um… get me off the Freshmen Five?"
Taser was very amused by the whole situation by now. "Sorry, that damage is already done," she consoled him. "But… the truth is…" She walked up to him and looked him straight in the eye, blue meeting brown. "I think you know the truth already."
Fitch smiled nervously. "And… that's…" He paused.
"We're friends," answered Taser quietly, and Fitch almost felt disappointed, but she continued, "but we're more than that, too."
Fitch sighed because it felt like anything he'd say would ruin the moment. "Tasia?" he whispered, stepping closer.
Taser looked at him curiously.
Suddenly, Fitch Garridan was brave enough to kiss Tasia Segreti. And it so did not ruin the moment.
Overall, it was a very good day. People had seemed to learn that if you tried to mess with Fitch, then Taser and Piper would, ehem, "clear them out", in friendly terms. It seemed that Fitch was finally safe… until…
"Here's our Most Eligible boy!"
Fitch paled and Shea was whistling the Jaws theme. It just seemed appropriate.
"Uh… um…" stuttered Fitch, looking desperately around the hallway for Taser or Piper, but alas, they were nowhere in sight.
It was one of the girls from the other day, Tiffany somebody. Shea had told him that she and her friend Jennifer had probably been the ones who had gotten him into this mess in the first place.
Tiffany smiled poisonously. Shea was now whistling SOS signals. "So, Fitch, I heard that you're, like, pretty good in the kitchen…" simpered Tiffany.
"Uh… I… guess…"
Shea raised an eyebrow. That was probably the longest sentence he had ever spoken to one of those girls.
Tiffany grinned. "Oh, don't be, like, so modest!" she squealed, slapping Fitch playfully on the arm. Fitch immediately tightened up and started wishing that Taser or Piper would get here, especially as Tiffany went on, "But I was, like, wondering if maybe you could, like, help me with my Home Ec homework. I totally, like, suck at cooking and that crap." Tiffany giggled sheepishly. Too sheepishly, Shea noted.
Fitch blinked. "Uh…" Suddenly, a thought struck him. He had achieved the unachievable today. He had Tasia Segreti as his girlfriend and colored Brazil yellow with a blue border! If he couldn't stand up for himself to this preppy little pink-wearer, was he, in Shea's previous words, a man or a mouse? "No!" he shouted boldly.
Tiffany blinked. "Excuse me?"
"I told you NO! Ha! How do you like that! NOOO! And take me off your stupid Freshmen Five list! I never wanted that moronic trash to disrupt my life anyways!" bellowed Fitch, placing his hands on his hips like he had seen Taser do so many times before.
"What've we missed?" whispered Piper to Shea as she and Taser walked up to the scene. Shea was casually observing from his locker.
"The dude is finally standing up for himself. It's pretty cool, really," nodded Shea.
"Really?" asked Taser in surprised undertones.
"Really," confirmed Shea.
"Sweeeeet," murmured Piper, taking a sip of her earl grey tea.
"But…" whimpered Tiffany.
"NO! NO! NO!" yelled Fitch, who was really getting into this whole "standing up for himself" thing.
Tiffany started to tear up. "…You're so mean!" she bawled as she ran away.
"HAHA! AND DON'T COME BACK, YOU PREPPY LITTLE… PERSON!" shouted Fitch, pumping his fist in the air. He turned back to the others and grinned broadly. "I did it!"
Shea nodded. "Of course you did. You had it in you the whole time," he remarked.
"Well of course you did!" Taser threw her arms around Fitch in a tight squeeze and let go quickly, the two of them blushing furiously. "You know… that was kinda cool… I liked it…" she murmured so only Fitch could hear, and somehow, he got the feeling that she wasn't just talking about the way Fitch finally stood up for himself.
Fitch smiled bashfully. "Yeah… so did I," he confessed as he took her hand in his.
Piper cheered and clapped her hands. "Yay! A happy ending!" She beamed. "Does anybody want some earl grey tea now?"
"Didn't think so!"
So that was probably the longest short story I've ever written. But oh well.
And I know I came very close to using the word "said" and that this story was anything but realistic. But it was supposed to be funny.
So let me know what you think... also, I apologize to the Fine Line readers for taking so long, the next chapter is getting pretty long... which is kind of ridiculous...
Anyways... hope you liked the story! And what the hey, have some smoothies. :)