Disclaimer: I don't own Heroes, 'Save the Cheerleader', or Ben Affleck. I think. Let me go check in my closet...
This is from Gavin's perspective. He's fluffy, and I wish he was mine, but Katie has that privelege. Rated teen for Gavin's tendency to curse. Bad boy.
I don't like her.
Can't stand her, in fact. She's too damn happy, all the freaking time. It's aggravating as hell.
And it's not just that. She's stupid.
I mean it, a grade-A moron. She thinks people are nice, like they aren't going to try and screw her over the first chance they get.
I know. I told you she was an idiot.
It gets better. Not only does she seem to think people are 'nice,' she tries to be 'nice' to them, too. Like helping people carry in boxes, or take out the trash, or tutor some of these morons as if there's any hope of them ever caring what the hell the Pythagorean theorem is.
And it never works. Once she volunteers to help, like the Girl Scout she is, the assholes leave her to do all the work, or copy her tests, or just stand there and smoke, jacking around like she isn't the only person decent enough to give a damn what they do with their pathetic lives. And she still does it, day after day, letting them walk all over her, still confident that somehow she's "making a difference" and "making the world a better place" and all that feel-good shit.
So, yeah. I don't like her.
But all this crap was stuff I saw before she tried to play Sugar Plum Fairy on me.
I don't look like someone who would appreciate her efforts, okay? A lip ring and a tattoo that says 'Bite Me' just don't scream 'Oh, please come be my friend! I'm so lonely!' you know what I mean?
But she didn't pick up on that, somehow. Freshman year she moved into the dorm room next to mine, and ever since she realized I was another potential victim of her happiness, or whatever the hell you want to call it, she's been trying to pull that crap with me.
It hasn't gone over well.
The first couple of times she said "Good morning!" in that ridiculously cheerful voice as we headed off to class, I tried to let her down gently. Scowling, muttering vaguely obscene curse words under my breath, or ignoring her, that sort of thing. It didn't work. So I had to resort to less subtle tactics, namely, telling her to mind her own damn business, and if she felt it necessary to shit sunshine everywhere she went, could she please do it somewhere other than on my shoe? My friends thought it was hilarious, and I managed to convince myself that I didn't feel guilty at all for putting that kicked-puppy dog look on her face. Almost.
Well, for some reason, that didn't deter her. In the following weeks, Miss America continued to brightly inform me that she wasn't a morning person either. Huh. Could've fooled me. My response was to politely tell her that if she valued her life, she would get the hell out of my way. I don't think she believed me. Anyway, what followed was a really unfortunate episode where I kind of went off on her, and pissed her off. Now, she hates me almost as much as I hate her.
Which brings me to the Halloween of my senior year, following a good two and a half years of solid venom. The funny thing is, she's not quite as stupid as I thought. Teacher's pet, and all that. She's one of those intolerable over-achiever types, getting a degree in Communicative Disorders so she can be a counselor for kids with special needs.
I know. Gag me, right? What's she going for, the Nobel Prize? Wait, never mind, that wouldn't surprise me at this point (do you know she actually volunteers? Like, passing out food at the soup kitchen kind of volunteering. And she was a Girl Scout, and calls her family every week, and she sings in her church choir, for god's sake, I mean she actually goes every Sunday, what the hell is her problem?)
Anyway, the only person that ever seemed to rub her the wrong way was me. Turns out she doesn't mind being taken advantage of, but she can't stand being talked down to. My bad. So now all of our accidental meetings (that happens a lot, given she's been in at least half of my classes and lives next door) result in verbal bashings where I am almost always the loser. Sucks, right? But she's good at getting the last word, and when I get pissed all I can really handle is cursing. She keeps her cool.
So it's All Hallows Eve, and the normal college kids are off getting baked at some party or another. She's not. Instead, she's hosting a Big Brother/Big Sister Halloween Extravaganza (it says so on the banner) and all these underprivileged miscreants are packed into her room, probably slipping drugs into her decorative candleholders. I don't know if there are any, but it seems like the kind of thing she would have.
So I'm standing in front of my door, marveling at her capacity for idiocy, and she's trying to push these guys from our 'Domesticity and Social Sciences' class (they only took it to meet naïve freaks like her) out into the hall. I don't like these types of guys, this pair in particular. They're the reason 'nice' girls like her have to get into contact with 'nice' expecting mothers groups.
"Look, I'll see you Monday, okay Dylan? But I really can't let you hang out here for now, the kids need positive reinforcement only, and you two smell like beer. So-Max, stop- so if you would please…"
Her voice carries over, and I hear enough to figure out that the bastards are giving her a hard time. They just laugh, and the guy in front (Max?) pulls the door closed, wrapping his arms around her.
"Aw, come on, Katie, positive reinforcement isn't all it's cracked up to be. I should know. Why don't we test that theory, huh? Just you and me. Maybe if I do a good job you and I can work out a reward system of our own. How about every time I-"
But I've already yanked him away from her. He's got his hands on her and I push them off, already thinking up the many different ways I'm going to hurt him for trying to screw with her. Still, I want to hit her for being so damn stupid, and them for being such asses, and- hell, I just want to start swinging.
I stand between her and them, snarling in a way that must have freaked her out, too, because she jumps.
"Back the f--k off, asshole. She told you to leave."
They stare, and Max, or who I guess is Max (I don't care enough to learn their names) laughs again, all though it's much less confident than before.
"Look, freak, nobody asked your opinion. If she wants us to go, she'll deal with it. This isn't any of your… this isn't any of your business."
The falter was because I had cracked my knuckles in an incredibly overused but effective way, and taken a step forward.
"She tried. You didn't get the hint. So if you don't leave in the next…thirty seconds or so, I'm going to deal with it."
The morons look at each other, like they're trying to figure out whether or not I'm serious, and whether or not they can take me on. I start counting down ("30…29…28…27…"), and they seem to decide that yes, I am, in fact, serious about ripping their damn heads off, and they start to back away.
"Whatever, loser. We'll see you Monday, Katie."
Max is about three feet away, and I sock him once, knocking him to the floor.
"Like hell you will."
He's too shocked to retaliate and his friend pulls him to his feet, both of them stumbling backwards down the hallway, their lack of sobriety making the trek even more difficult It would have been really funny if I wasn't barely restraining myself from decapitating them.
Unfortunately for Katie, that one good punch did very little to release the fury that had been building in me ever since I realized she was in trouble. With another snarl I whirl around, scowling darkly at the wide-eyed cheerleader. Yes. She's dressed up as a freaking cheerleader, pom-poms and everything. All five-foot one of her is decked out in school spirit, which was probably the reason for the trouble in the first place. Jocks get off on cheerleader fantasies, everyone knows that, how could she be so STUPID?
Before she can speak I'm yelling, barely louder than the music coming from the other side of the door.
"Why the hell would you let those SOB's inside your room!? What the hell were you thinking!? What the f--k would you have done if I wasn't out here!? How can you be so damn stupid, Katie, you're the fricking valedictorian!"
I'm yelling and I don't even know what I'm yelling anymore, except that what the hell is she going to do when she graduates, if she keeps this up?
And she's just standing there, looking bewildered and uncertain and way, way too grateful. Doesn't she get that I'm every bit as dangerous as those guys? Where the hell was she when they were passing out brains? I say as much before pausing for breath, and in the brief silence she makes a very big mistake.
"Thank you, Gavin."
I stop mid-tirade, totally frozen. She's never said my name before.
I resume yelling, louder than before, screaming at her all the reasons she's doomed to turn into one of those milk-carton disappearances, and is she trying to be killed before she's twenty-five?
But she smiles now, which is worse, and my voice is hoarse and I want to shake her until she gets it, but I'm afraid to touch her, and she won't get it, anyway, she's too damn innocent and that is way too appealing and maybe I have a cheerleader fetish too?
"Gavin?" She offers timidly, looking aggravatingly enough like she's trying to keep from laughing.
"WHAT?" I rasp, breathless and angry as hell, although it's draining away way too quickly in face of her almost-laughter.
"Would you like to come in to the party? We have…ah, punch?"
And all of a sudden I'm really tired and I rub my temples, muttering, "I thought it was positive-reinforcement only?"
She's laughing for real now and without answering she pulls me inside.
The rest of the night was basically me feeling awkward and her introducing me to her 'little sister' and the other kids, being way too happy (as usual) and announcing "This is my friend Gavin!" like we've been friends for ten years instead of ten minutes.
Sadly enough, it wasn't that bad, and I ended up eating a lot of chips and drinking a lot of the promised punch. Free food is always a good thing, and I almost have what might be called a good time. In an alternate dimension. If she wasn't there. Because, let's face it, I don't like her. At all.
Aw, hell. Maybe I like her a little bit.
I'm having this internal debate as the guests start petering away and clean up begins (no decorative candle-holders in sight, by the way, but a rather questionable frog incense burner). She's the host, so she doesn't have to give any of the kids a ride home. Sad thing, too, since driving with her is rumored to be as bad as an amusement park. On second thought, maybe they planned it that way.
Anyway, she's cleaning up, and I'd fill like a douche if I didn't help, so I'm picking up cups and plates and working my way around to the door, maybe I can make an inconspicuous escape, and she taps my shoulder and I turn and now she's kissing me, if you can call it a kiss, it's so short, and then it's over and she's blushing and she's so fricking adorable, freckles and dimples (I'm a sucker for dimples) and this wavering, crooked smile that makes me realize she's nervous as hell, and when I finally smile, totally against every instinct in my body, she beams and I am so screwed.
"What, um, what was that for?" My voice is almost hopeful and I nearly curse randomly just to earn back some man-points.
She shrugs, smile firmly in place now, and says, "Positive reinforcement."
I roll my eyes, thankful to have something other to do than stare at her, because how did I not figure this out before? She's still queen of the idiots, but I'm definitely a close second, at this point.
We stand there a moment awkwardly, and I finally glare, pointing one finger into her still-way-too-happy face. "This is not going to be a goopy, sappy thing, you hear me? I'll take you to Arnold Schwarzeneggar flicks and we'll watch movies where lots of cars explode, and then we'll come home, and that's it, dammit" (I was proud to squeeze that in), "no roses or cards or anniversaries and I'm not going to call you on holidays and tell you I miss you, got it? Actually, scratch that, no dates. You can order take out and I'll come over, grab a box, and then leave. Because no one is going to find out that we don't hate each other anymore, because the result would be disastrous. I will not be cooed over by your nerdy, dorky little friends-"
And she kisses me again, longer this time and wow, and I'm almost not annoyed that she interrupted me, because that was important dammit (That's twice now, I win), but I can't really think at this point, so I give up and hold her against me, not thinking for the first time in a long time.
When we come up for air she's still grinning (can you smile as you kiss someone? I think you can, because she hasn't stopped smiling in a long time. Did I have something to do with that? No way,) and she flicks my lip ring once before settling back on her heels again (She was standing on tip toe. That shouldn't be a turn on).
"So, Gavin," she begins conversationally, and this isn't a good sign at all. "Gavin, Gavin, Gavin, you talk too much. It's easy to make mistakes. You do realize goopy isn't a word, right? And you should probably pick nerdy or dorky, because both is a little over-ambitious, but good job with the dammit squeezed in there-" I raise my eyebrows and she laughs. "What? I can say dammit." But her voice still gets softer when she says it and I really hope my face doesn't look as stupid as it feels like it does, because that would be sad. But she smiles and shakes her head and continues, "Die Hard is my favorite movie, Gavin. I can't stand chick flicks. So you're safe there. Buuut…"
She draws the word out, and I'm really scared now, and she smiles sweetly and says "I think we should revisit Max's" (here I growl unconsciously, and she tightens her hold around my waist with another megawatt grin) "Max's reward-system idea, because you definitely get points for that," She's looking at my lips so it's easy to figure out what she means, but since when did Katie start using sexy innuendos?
Anyway, it seemed like a nice thing to do, since she enjoyed it so much, so I kiss her again. Aw, crap, the 'niceness' is contagious. Although…maybe it isn't so bad after all. It certainly tastes good. And the innocent shyness is tolerable too. Yes. Definitely tolerable.
Later, when I finally go home, (still grinning like an idiot, I'm sad to say) I start flipping through the channels on the TV and come across Heroes. The drama unfolds, and I cover my face with my hands and groan.
Save the fricking cheerleader. Dammit. I'm practically living a chick flick.
But I guess it's not so bad. Who'd have thought? Fine. Happy Halloween. I am Ben Affleck.
I smile (that seems to be out of my control, at this point, and that's a shame, because it's hard to be a bad-ass when you're grinning like a moron) and mutter into the empty room.