Theme is 'he who angers you conquers you'. A and B meet. Can't stand each other (for whichever reason you chose). They end up together (in whichever way you chose). How do they move from nemesis to lovers? You tell me :)
Both main characters must be over the age of 18.
Must use the words: thesaurus, Kaleidoscope, arithmetic, dusky, iridescent and question.
One character must say: "You only said that because right now, you're feeling very small inside!"
MUST BE SLASH (like I need to say this)
At some point in the story, one of the MCs must do something very immature/stupid/embarrassing.
No dates: no characters can go on date, ask someone on a date, mention a date, suggest a date, etc. If you want your characters to meet up somewhere, make it imaginative and completely un-date-like.
No High School romance, unless it involves two teachers. This time around, teens are banned from this challenge.
Not another one, I groan mentally.
Since we were sixteen and fourteen, my little sister Melissa has been going out with the wrong guys. She has always attracted the strays and losers; her ex list includes a pimp, a druggie, a guy who honestly cared more about his computer than her, and a man who was in his fifties.
And of course, every time, I (who absolutely refuse to be called Big Brother, despite the reactions of some of her more disgruntled former boyfriends) have had to save my baby girl from whatever jackass she was with this time. I had really hoped that it would stop when I went to college. Or when she went to college. Or when she got out of college. But here we are, her twenty-two, me twenty-four. And there he is, this smug, superior, self-satisfied, haughty, arrogant (I go a bit thesaurus happy when I get bored, sue me) person (without a thesaurus, I am pretty much useless) beside her.
Okay, so he is better than some of them, I grudgingly concede. He is kind of alright looking, though his blond hair is clearly dyed, what with his dusky skin, but he has almost perfect teeth, a straight nose, a strong jaw...if it were not for the fact that he is an asshole, he might have been attractive. And he is clearly sober, unlike the Goober, whose given name had completely abandoned the Basile family's vocabulary years ago, who had apparently been nervous about meeting his girlfriend's family and decided that he needed to be mellow to make a better first impression. So Newbie is unlikely to...it does not matter. At all. He is still a jackass.
He just stands there, smiling serenely, looking like he had just swallowed a copy or two of How to Win Friends and Influence People, not like he should look. Which is cowering in fear at the wrath of the mighty Melissa's Brother, Who Was Really More Of A Parental Unit Than Either One Of Her Parents (MBWWRMOAPUTEOOHP for short).
"So, Tony," begins Melissa, oblivious as always to her dearest, darlingest older brother's issues, "this is Gabe."
I give him a stiff nod. Newbie, or Gabe, whatever, smiles wider (cocky jerk) and says, "Nice to meet you...Tony, was it?"
"Anthony," I grunt. "Only Lissy calls me Tony. Don't try it. Ever."
"Lissy, huh?" Gabe (who I really need to come up with an insulting nickname for) turns to her, with that infernal grin firmly in place. "Did I know that you were called Lissy? Or did you not feel the need to tell me? I thought you loved me! Now you betray me? What is this...Lissy?"
"Shut up, Gabriel, only Tony calls me that," the girl in question-MY BABY SISTER-giggles. "And he wouldn't either, except that he's old and stubborn and unchanging in his ways. Kind of like a moose. Do moose often change their minds? I don't suppose they do, do they?"
I barely heard him answer; I am way too engrossed in utter disgust that the Asshole was flirting with my sister right in front of me! Gabriel...there has to be some way to twist that. Gabriel, Gabriel...there was the archangel Gabriel. That is just too easy. Angel I can work with. Angel...what angels can I think of...that painting with the angels by Raphael. Raphael...who was a painter of the Renaissance...which sounded like the name René...which was French...just like the name...
"Pierre!" I suddenly cry out. Asshole, henceforth to be called Pierre, looks at me strangely.
"Um...what?" Such a foolish child.
"Oh, keep up!" Lissy says, sounding impatient. "Obviously Pierre is your new name. How does that not make sense? It is just simple arithmetic. Gabe equals Gabriel equals Archangel equals Angel equals Raphael equals Renaissance equals René equals France equals Pierre. Easy."
"Okay..." Pierre replies slowly.
I shoot Lissy a quick smile. She really is a genius. "Well, we'd best be off. Gabe...or Pierre, whatever, and I have to go throw acorns at these kids who were being mean to the squirrels at the park. Be home by eleven!" Except for that one little snag...
"Do you have a curfew?" Pierre asks, his amused voice fading as he walks off, practically arm in arm with her.
"Kind of. Tony's sooooo protective."
"Why do you..."
"Live together? It's a long story. Real estate, chrysanthemums, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...basically a nasty break up. You know how it goes..."
Pierre laughs. Jackass.
And so a few weeks pass, and Pierre is still here. I was starting to get a bit panicked; I had been working as hard as I could to scare him away. Pierre just kept smiling, winning friends, influencing people, calmly stating that his name was Gabe, he had very little in common with the average capybara, he hated leis...and the list went on and on. However, I had started to be successful: I have seen the telltale tightening of my enemy's brow, the slight sigh, every sign said that he was weakening. If I can just push a bit farther, get Lissy to realize what an asshole he is...because he has to be, right? Right.
"Hey PiPi!" Pierre is a bit too dignified. It brings up the image of artists, and berets, and twirly moustaches (and frankly, if Pierre had had a twirly moustache, then all would have been forgiven). PiPi...not quite as dignified. Come on. Say it out loud.
A quick push of air from between those almost perfect teeth, a twitch of that big brown eye. "Yes?"
"Think fast!" And I pull off my sneaker and throw it right at that straight nose. And...hit that strong jaw. Whatever. Same thing.
"What the hell! Did you seriously just throw a fucking shoe at me? How old are you?Four?" Ooh, I always knew that he would explode eventually. Here he is, his face turning all of these lovely iridescent colors, screaming at me. I think that is more of a way to lose friends and alienate people! Just a little bit more...
"I know you are, but what am I?" That has to do it. That has to be the end of stupid Gabriel the Perfect, who thinks he has any impact on my sister's life. He actually calls her Lissy sometimes. That is seriously Basile family tradition. She calls me Tony, I call her Lissy, end of story. Everyone outside of the family calls her Melissa or Mel; I deign to be called Anth occasionally. But using the end of names to make a nickname is what we do. Our family. Well...our family and my best friend Kevin, but Vinny is different. He actually matters. He is not just some guy that is just going to end up tossed away, another story to laugh about later; he is special enough to use the family nicknames. Pierre...not so much.
To my surprise, he just slumps down, his anger seeming to abandon him. "What...exactly is so wrong with me? I mean, I never did anything to you, why can't you just...leave me alone?"
He had better not be thinking that I am just going to let him off easy like that. "You're playing my baby sister! You make her cry, I make you cry. I make you cry preemptively, all the better. She doesn't need you!"
He looks up at me incredulously. God help me, if he says that he loves her and will never hurt her, I will throw this chair at him. I honestly do not care at all that we happen to be in the middle of the mall, that people are staring at us, that he probably thinks that I am really creepy for having followed him here at all. If I hear that bullshit line... "I'm not dating Melissa!"
Not the one that I meant, but I am adaptable like that; I can work with this. "Riiiight. You're not dating the gorgeous redhead that you spend all your time with and who gushes about you like an idiot all the time. There's a fucking chance in hell."
And...now he is mad again. "Like you don't know I'm gay!"
"Oh sure, you...wait, what?"
He snorts bitterly. "Oh God, you didn't know, did you? Whatever. I'm out of here." And he walks off, without giving me a second look.
"Um...Lissy...what's Pier...Gabe's cell phone number?"
She shoots me an amused look. "I thought he was an asshole?"
"He is an asshole, but..." I trail off, hoping she will just let it go and not make me answer. "But?" Obviously, Melissa Alison Basile would never do that. That would be nice. Why would I even consider it?
"But...he must think that I'm just some small minded homophobe. And I guess...that...Ifeelkindofbad'causeIjustjumpedtoconclusionsandIwaswrongandIshouldhaveaskedyouand...yeah, basically."
She arches an eyebrow. Damn, I taught her how to do that. Traitor. "You feel bad about something?"
"I believe," I answer haughtily, "that I said 'kind' of bad. 'Kind' of bad. How can you read just plain bad out of that?"
She stops and considers a bit. "Maybe...if I were looking through a kaleidoscope? You know, I'd see 'kind of bad' so many times that they'd build up and just become bad? Or I suppose that'd be if I were listening through a kaleidoscope, but that's kind of...worthless. And probably uncomfortable...Wait, bad? Even kind of bad?" She falls down in shock. I think that this is just her teasing me. I think.
"I do feel human emotion sometimes. And I really am sorry."
"You only said that because right now, you're feeling very small inside," she replies smugly.
"Be quiet, woman."
"Sexism! I'm highly offended."
"Of course you are, Liss, of course you are."
"Anyway," she continues, a serious look on her face. Great, she knows how much I hate when she goes all "Psych major" on my ass. "Why doyou hate Gabe? I mean, you're small, but you're not small-minded, and he has great hair. The two of you should have gotten along great. But the moment that you met him, you wanted him to combust. I could tell. Why?"
"Hey, he's shorter than I am! And he was going to hurt you. I thought. 'Cause I thought you were dating."
"Why would you then take it upon yourself to chase him away? And how could you tell that he was going to hurt me in the first place?"
"Well...you're my little sister. And no one's allowed to hurt you. And you have bad taste in boyfriends."
"I do not," she retorts, breaking character.
"Yes, you do. Remember the Goober?"
"Oh, the Goober! The Goober was sweet, he was!"
"And old man Roger? God, it stills creeps me out that you dated him, you perv, you."
"Hey, I honestly thought that he was in his twenties. He looked young."
"He had a walker."
"It was his eyes! They still sparkled! Anyway, we're talking about you here. If you chase everyone in my life away, that won't make me happier. And I am an adult, you know. I can take care of myself," she says, getting stern again.
"I'm not chasing everyone away, just the assholes," I protest, knowing that I am about to lose the argument even as I do.
"And what exactly did Gabe do that was so terrible?"
"Well...he's..." I struggle, trying to articulate the problems that I have had with him for the past few weeks. "He's so...poised. All the time. It's like he doesn't even care. And he's got that smile, and he's so intense and into all of your protest, even the bizarre ones. And he is always so polite, even to bastards like me. And...andhecallsyouLissyandyoutalkabouthimallthetime," I mumble under my breath.
"Ah," she says, nodding like she just drew a conclusion, "so you're jealous."
I blink at her. "Actually, no, I'm not jealous of the guy I thought that you were sleeping with, that's called incest, and I'm pretty sure that it's illegal in this state."
"Yes, you were," she answers sagely. "You were insecure and needy and desperate for love. You thought that I liked him better. You thought that I was going to replace you."
Stupid psychologist. Why does she always have to be right? "No...I just...I just...thought that he didn't care about you! I mean, he was so calm; he was supposed to be nervous! For God's sake, he was meeting MBWWRMOAPUTEOOHP! If you mattered to him, he would have been apprehensive or something." Nice save, Anthony.
She cocks her eyebrow again. "I'm going to presume that those letters mean you. And Tony, are you really as dense as you look? Gabe was terrified. That poise...he's normally a crazy neurotic mess like the rest of us! He combed his hair to perfection, he focused to keep from fidgeting, he tried to be perfect! Every time he's been around you, he's been stiff and cold and uncaring, trying to impress you!"
"...oh." Well, now I do feel very small inside.
She sighs. "Here," she says, handing me a Post it note.
"Gabe's address. Go. Talk to him. I know you want to."
I consider protesting, but decide against it. I do owe him an apology. Or three.
Ooh! Pie...Gabe has a nice apartment (I guess I have to find him a new nickname. Gabe is too common)! I can only see the building and I just know that it is absolutely prettiful! I just know it!
So...will he talk me or not? Probably, since he is just way too polite...but he just screamed at me in a public place...but he was provoked...but apparently he is less naturally polite than I thought he was...but...gah! I have absolutely no idea whether or not he is about to let me in! Only one thing to do, eh? Try.
I decide to bypass the buzzer and just knock on his door. Hopefully, his automatic reaction will be to open the door, no question of who happens to be on the other side. He will, in his emotionally vulnerable state (I really hope that he is emotionally vulnerable right about now, make my job easy), regress into his childhood, and open the door just like he would when he was five and lived in a house...hopefully. I think that Lissy said something along those lines to me once. Oh well, either way, it is a brilliant theory. Of course it is. I came up with it.
He opens the door. Classic. "What the hell are you doing here?" And the hostility. I am too good. I should be the psychologist in the family. Oh, wait. He actually wants me to say something.
"I...I just...I wanted to...you know...say...I'm sorry or whatever." Hmm. Stuttering. What does that say about my inner self?
"Right." What he means is, Cut the crap; why are you really here?
"Really. I seriously thought that you and Lissy were...romantically involved or whatever, and that you were...just messing with her, and she...she really doesn't need any more of that shit. Like, ever. So...I'm sorry. And," I take a deep breath, bracing myself for the words that are about to come out of my mouth, "you'rereallynotacompleteassholeandyouwereactuallytryingandIjumptoconclusionswaytoofastandyou'reactuallysomewhatdecentIthinkpossiblyandinanycaseyouhavegreathair." I really need to stop with this whole word vomit thing.
"Don't be a jackass when you're apologizing. It's unbefitting," he snarls, looking angry again. Okay, what did I say? Seriously, what did I say?
"Okay, what did I say? Seriously, what did I say?" I think I have gone too far with the whole "mean what you say" thing.
"'You have great hair?' God, I'm gay, but you don't have to act like I'm some limp-wristed walking stereotype. Bastard."
"Hey, you do have great hair. I'd have said whoever you were. Well...not really, 'cause if you were someone else, then maybe you wouldn't have great hair. 'Cause it'd be, like, a parallel universe and all. And I guess that there are some situations in which hair comments would be inappropriate. Like if you were raping me or something. Not that you would, because you're not necessarily some creepy rapist who's hot for every guy he sees just because you're gay. Of course, I suppose that you could be, but you don't have to be. In fact, I'd really prefer it if you weren't. Because, you know, that'd be kind of terrible. And...wait, Lissy said that you were trying to impress me with the whole How to Win Friends and Influence People thing, why? Because if you weren't dating...I mean, you wouldn't want me to hate you, I guess, but why would you try so hard?" I really hope that he heard just about none of that. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
He sighs. Clearly he was listening. "Isn't it obvious?"
"Um..." I begin, before all of a sudden, his lips are hard on mine. Oh, maybe he is the creepy rapist type, I muse, before my mind promptly shuts down.
I am not entirely sure what happened next, since my mind was shut down and all, but for some reason, my hands are in that pretty, dyed hair and there is a taste of orange Tic-Tacs in my mouth despite the fact that I only like the red ones. Oh, and Gabe is looking kind of dazed. And I am feeling kind of dazed. And flushed. And out of breath. Odd.
"So, that would be why," he gasps. Apparently we are both out of breath. Yay, we have something in common! Sharing is caring!
"That explains a lot," I manage to pant out.
"Yeah. So, what now?"
"I don't know. Jeez, Riel, make me come up with all the answers, why don't you? Well, obviously; I am utterly brilliant and amazing at everything, but you should at least try, you know. It's considerate."
"Shut up," he breathes, before forcing me quiet again. I think that he is trying to suffocate me. I was already completely unable to breathe, and what does he do? Does he offer me a...um...something to help me? No, he just makes it worse!
And it is only about now that I realize that I called him Riel. Well, I guess that he has to be in it for the long haul now. He probably tricked me into it. Asshole.
I shrug and pull him closer. Well, I might as well make the best out of a bad situation, eh?
A/N: Well, that was different for me. I have to admit, it's kinda cute. Please review!
And if you're wondering what it is that Tony's saying when he goes on his rants, here they are in chronological order:
I feel kind of bad 'cause I just jumped to conclusions and I was wrong and I should have asked you and
and he calls you Lissy and you talk about him all the time
you're really not a complete asshole and you were actually trying and I jump to conclusions way too fast and you're actually somewhat decent, I think, possibly, and in any case you have great hair