Take Two

Chapter One: Crashes, Clatters, and a Phone Call

By Talyn Gray

.


Please refer to my profile for notes.


.

"Do you have my skirt steak?"

"Hey, where's my colander?!"

"I need the ice for my lobster!"

"I told you guys to be ready at lunch!"

Clank, clatter, squish.

Students clamored around the Home Ec classroom, searching for the equipment and food they needed. They went in and out of the cabinets of the six kitchenettes in pursuit of wooden spoons, colanders, mixing bowls, and grill pans.

A few feet away from the frenetic chaos of the room, stood a tall blond teen, packing away the last of his equipment, having had it previously prepared hours before. His tousled hair fell into his eyes, and he brushed a few strands away to peer down at the girl sitting on the table desk next to his black bag of tricks. She looked up at him, also seeming to take a short intermission from watching the tumultuous show of frenzied wannabe chefs.

"Maybe you should help Jenna," she said, pointing to the frazzled red-headed president of the Culinary Club, "She looks like she needs help."

"I'll just get in her way," the blond replied with a wry shake of his head, "Jenna knows what she wants, just the other members are getting in her way." He paused for a moment and watched the scene of pandemonium for a moment before saying, "I'm getting Eric to pick up the video camera from the shop tomorrow after school."

The girl let out a frustrated noise and rattled her dangling legs, "That still doesn't do us any good. By that time, you'll be on the plane to Virginia, and I'll be stuck with no one to play Hamlet in the video project," she informed him, "I mean, I could put on a blond wig and green contacts and pretend to be you, but something tells me that that isn't going to work out so well when I'm supposed to be in the scene with you."

"I still don't get why you don't have a video camera. You're in Photo," he pointed out.

"Photo…as in stills."

"You know, Devan, you could use Eric as my stand in," he said in a careful casual tone. Devan narrowed her gray eyes. She had known this was coming.

"No," she answered. "Why don't you be the best friend you're supposed to be and not go to Virginia," she stated more than questioned. "Then we could get the project done."

"You're being unreasonable."

"I'm not."

"Eric looks exactly like me," he pointed out, "he knows how to act like me, and he could easily pass for me since he is my twin."

"Eden," she said, rattling her dangling legs against the table again and she lightly kicked the side of his knee, "he doesn't like me, and I don't like him. We'd kill each other before we even begin."

Clank, push, shove, clatter.

Eden leaned his tall, sinewy frame against the table and spread his long legs in front of him. He leaned until their shoulders tapped. "I told you I wanted to work on the project earlier, but you were busy with your photo project—"

"—and the three essays Mr. Smith had us write in the past two days," she finished for him sourly, "that man is crazy. He can't expect us to magically pull out the most wonderful video on Hamlet in one week, especiallywith you leaving tomorrow and competing for that scholarship, especiallywith it being worth as many points as it is, and especially when your video camera decided to break on us!" Her cheeks were red with annoyance, and Eden reached forward to rub her shoulder with a light chuckle. She eyed him and inched away. "I don't see how you can be so calm about this."

"It doesn't matter what grades I get in high school," he answered, "since I'm just going to culinary school afterwards, anyway."

Clank, clatter, clatter.

"Uggh," she said, running her fingers through her long black hair, "don't remind me."

"But back to the project," he said, talking above the voices of his fellow cooking club members, "Unless you want to get an F on the project and a B in the class this semester, you're going to have to use Eric as my stand in. Mr. Smith won't even tell the difference."

He was right, and she grappled for an excuse. It was a logical solution, and the only good reason Devan could come up with to not work with Eric was that they just simply did not get along.

It had always struck Devan how there could be two people that had the same stunning face. Whether or not Eden or Eric liked it, they were popular and known around school for the pure and simple fact that they were tall and effortlessly gorgeous twins.

However, Eden and Eric, like some twins one would hear about, were the antithesis of each other. On one hand, Eden was sweet, kind, caring, quiet, reserved, smart, and unassuming. He was Devan's best friend and greatest ally since she could remember, and it was hard to see that someone who looked so similar to him could be so different. Eric was a smartass, annoying, bold, and always had a new girlfriend flavor of the month. Creamsicle cutie cheerleader? She'd been the flavor last month. Now he was on the smooth sexy caramel, the treasurer of the Drama Club. Devan did have to hand it to him though; he only ever had one girlfriend at one time.

"Eric hates me," she stated, as if it were the best argument in the world. Eden heaved a long sigh.

Clatter, clank, clank, shove.

"He doesn't hate you," he replied automatically.

"In that case, I hate him."

He heaved another sigh and said, "Devan, if you want an F, do whatever you want."

Clatter, clatter, push, teeter totter, CRASH!!

"Crap," he said as the president of the club wailed and fell to the floor to pick up the pieces of her used-to-be presentation plate. Eden quickly got up and moved to help her. Devan stayed put, knowing full well that more people on the floor of the kitchen would only make people fall.

Her mind wandered back to her current issue of the Hamlet video.

Eric…

She cursed under her breath and crossed her arms. Why couldn't Eden's twin at least be nice to her? Couldn't he at least pretend to be nice like he does to the rest of the school? Devan couldn't even remember what she had done wrong to him in the past that would make him such a jerk around her. If Eden wasn't there half the time, she was sure she would have at least ripped his pretty boy hair out by now.

And now, Devan was going to have to be reliant on him to help her salvage the A- she had in her English class.

Shit… she thought, shit.

o—O—o

Eric chuckled deeply into the phone as his girlfriend prattled on about the Drama Club funds and how she was having a hard time with the secretary. He wasn't really listening, but he just nodded his head even though she couldn't see, and grunted when she paused. He scrolled down the webpage on the computer, searching for the latest article on the Winter Basketball Tournament. He smiled when he read that Bailey was still ahead. Just another four games and they would win.

"Eric? Are you listening?" Rachel questioned, with a hint of a timid threat.

"Mm? Yeah, babe, Lindie's giving you shit about the fundraiser," he replied, reciting the last thing her remembered hearing from her. His phone beeped, and for a moment, Eric thought she'd hung up on him. He brought the phone in front of his face to look at it, and realized that Eden was calling him. With a slight sigh, he put the receiver back to his ear. "Hey, hun, I gotta go. My brother's calling me. I'll call you in a few, 'kay?"

"Love you."

He hung up and hit the talk button. "Yeah?" he greeted, reaching forward to tap a bit on the keyboard.

"Eric," Eden said as more of a question.

"Yeah?" he repeated, getting up from the computer desk to walk over to the kitchen. "Hey, where's that chicken you made the other day?"

"In the shelf above the milk and left of the capers," he answered shortly, "can you do me a favor?" There was a loud crash in the background, and he heard a few shouts. Eric shook his head. That Culinary Club and their crazy national competitions…

"That depends," he replied, finding the chicken and pulling it out of the fridge, "what do you want?"

"I need you to pretend to be me being Hamlet in my English video project," Eden explained as Eric heard another chaotic noise in the background.

"Is that the one you're working on with your attachment?"

"You mean Devan? She's playing Ophelia."

"No."

"No?"

"No, I will not play you in your video project," he stated dryly.

"Eric," Eden said in that tone of voice that left a lingering threat. "Remember when Mom and Dad thought you were at the library with me when you were out with Denise?"

His eyes narrowed. "You wouldn't." He could almost see his twin's annoying little smirk, and knew he would. "You're a bastard, you know that?"

"If I am, you are." Eric growled under his breath and threw the plate of chicken into the microwave.

"I hate you."

He could feel Eden's smile widen.

"Thanks. Go to her house on Thursday with the camera."

"Yeah, whatever."

o—O—o

"What did he say?" Devan asked as soon as Eden closed his phone. She has half hoping he'd refused unconditionally and that she was going to have to put on a blond wig.

"He said he'd love to do it," Eden answered with a wide smile. Her eyes narrowed again, but she gave up, relaxed her face, and sighed in defeat. He chuckled and patted the top of her head, letting his hand slide down her long hair. "It won't be that bad. If you're civil, he'll be civil."

She wondered if he was right, but somehow she felt much more stressed about Thursday than she had been before. Devan had never tried being nice to Eric before, mostly because he'd been the one who'd provoked her from the beginning.

"Well," she began, sitting back down on the desk while he remained standing, "you're finished packing, leaving tomorrow for you competition, we can safely assume that you are going to win the scholarship and leave me next year for the city of lights."

"The competition hasn't even started yet," he told her with a raised eyebrow, "you can't know for sure that I'm going to go to Paris."

Devan took a deep breath and stared at the floor. She had always known that he was going to aim big and shoot for Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but somehow, being in their senior year had made everything seem so much more real. "I'm gonna miss you," she admitted.

"Hey," he said, reaching forward and squeezing her fingers, "don't put me on the plane yet."

"But the fact is that you're going to be on the plane… and you're going to be on a plane tomorrow, anyway."

Eden broke out into a smile then, and then offered, "Want to go for coffee?"

"Now?"

"Yeah. I'm packed already, so I can leave."

"Jenna won't miss you, Mr. VP?"

Eden glanced back at Jenna's red head. It looked as though the chaos of the room had somewhat simmered, and Jenna wasn't having a panic attack.

"She'll be fine," he replied shortly, turning his attention back to her. "Let's go."


A/N: This will be the only note present in my final draft for this story. This story has changed drastically from the rough draft, and the ending may change. This story takes place after the ending of K for Catcher. If you find any discrepancies or grammatical errors, please PM, email, or review to inform me and I will fix or explain.

There are character lookalikes and a soundtrack of sorts in my profile.

Thank you. :D