Bowling for Princesses
a oneshot by intotheroses

I saw him walking into the bowling alley the moment I opened the door to leave the toilets. We were there – the bowling alley, not the toilets, which I had gone into for obvious reasons – for my best friend's birthday. We were making idiots of ourselves in the best way possible, by dressing up as our favourite Disney characters. Of course, my phone had decided to die on the day Nat had texted out the invitation, and as such all the good costumes had been shotgunned by the time I got around to replying.

Thus, I was traipsing around in a bright blue bodice with poofy red sleeves and a horrendously voluminous yellow skirt, feeling hugely conscientious in my classic Snow White outfit. Because whilst it wouldn't have been out of place at a six year old's birthday party, I was sixteen, and the guy walking in had turned to look at me in a way that would most certainly have been out of place at a six year old's party.

I could feel the heat flooding into my face and knew that I was flushing a deep pink as I muttered out a greeting.

"Joey."

He grinned at me, his mouth stretching wide across his face showing off his perfect teeth. He was clearly finding my visible discomfort incredibly amusing.

"Jules."

I shuffled my feet around, staring at the ground. I was wearing distinctly non-Disney Princess like green Converse high tops, as I had a mean blister from my newest pair of killer heels, which as it happened, I had been intending to wear to the party.

"How are you?" I said reluctantly. The sooner the conversation was over, the better, really.

"Nice dress," he smirked, ignoring my lame question entirely.

"Cheers," I said sarcastically. "Prada's latest."

He laughed, his eyes flicking away from my face and surveying the rest of my body in detail. "You look pretty hot in it though, Jules."

I raised an eyebrow. "Joe, I'm wearing a Snow White costume."

"So?"

"So my dress is made of cheap, primary coloured nylon and I feel like I'm wearing a bin liner. And it's too small because they only made them up to age thirteen."

"But it does make your tits look absolutely massive."

"You are such a guy!"

"And what's that supposed to mean?"

I rolled my eyes at him, despite the slight smile that was threatening to quirk up at the corners of my mouth. "You can't just say stuff like that. It's demeaning to women."

"Bull," Joey grinned. "You all love it really."

I shook my head, remembering who I was dealing with.

"I'm not interested, okay, Joey? I'm not going to be your 'friend with benefits'."

"Darling, you kill me."

"I mean it! I really like you, and you clearly don't feel the same way, so just forget about it."

His tone was gentler now, less callous. "Jules..."

"Seriously, Joey. I don't want to hear it. Just..." I turned around to see my friends looking at me strangely from over where they sat. I smiled at them to let them know it was all okay. "Let me get back to the game, yeah?"

But I didn't hear him walk away like I had expected. Instead, I felt the weight of his chin on my head, and his arms coming round to encircle me.

"Juliet," he whispered, and I could feel him smile. I tried to pull away, but it was a bit of a no-brainer as to whether or not a five foot four teenage girl could out-strength a six-two teenage guy.

I couldn't, obviously.

So Joey kept hold of me, and oddly, as the warmth from his chest rolled into me, I found that I didn't want it to end, I didn't want him to unwind his warm, solid arms from around me. I didn't want him to let go.

"Jules," he murmured again.

I ignored him again, trying to sort out my head. One hug – well, imprisonment, really – couldn't make up for all the hurt he'd caused me. I'd been crushing on him for ages, and he'd known, but he had still gone out with Martine and slept with her. Twice, if the rumours were to be believed, which they generally were, especially when it came to Martine's sex life.

And then, two weeks ago, he had kissed me.

But he never called. And now, here he was at the bowling alley, looking gorgeous as ever in his usual jeans and hoodie, with me in my stupid Snow White dress. And he was whispering my name, calling me Juliet, which no one ever did. But it didn't seem strange coming out of his mouth. It just seemed... nice.

Even though he'd only done that after staring at, and then commenting on, my breasts, which was just so typical of him.

But now he was holding me to him, and his arms wrapped around me, my back pressing into his chest just felt so... right.

I let out an involuntary sigh and I heard him chuckle.

"I knew you liked me," he said quietly, as if afraid that the knowledge might shock me.

"I know," I muttered. "Nat told me."

He stiffened, clearly shocked. "Oh. You must have thought..."

"That you were a complete bastard? Pretty much."

"That kiss though..."

The one that had given me so much hope, made me feel like I was dancing on the clouds, and then brought me crashing back to earth?

"Yes?" I said.

"I..." For what was probably the first time in his life, Joey Bishop was lost for words.

I turned around to face him, and looked straight into his eyes, which I now realised, having first thought they were brown, were actually a muddy hazel, verging on green.

"It hurt," I said simply. "Like, a lot. But," and at this I shook my head, "against my better judgement, and every sensible cell in my body, I still like you. A lot."

A smile started to spread over his face, the cocky gleam returning to his eyes. "Do you want to go out Friday?"

I half smiled. I guess that was as close as I'd ever get to an apology. And, all things considered, it wasn't the worst outcome. I could, after all, still ditch him on the Friday. I had my options fully open, and for once I wasn't complete prey to his almost irresistible unconventional charm.

"I'll think about it," I said, smiling properly. "Now, if you'll excuse me," I hitched up my ridiculously large fluorescent skirt, "I have to get back to my team. We're losing, and I need to get another nine pins down."


Okay, so this isn't a new story or anything, but it's been edited from the original, as I'm moving all the connected oneshots into here. So if you were expecting more stuff about Natalie and Dylan, I'm sorry to disappoint :P But I AM writing more now! Shocking, right? But I did NaNoWriMo in November, and it's done wonders for my love of writing. So expect more stuffs very very soon! (And all you lovelies who reviewed last time, I have of course saved your reviews on my computer. They mean the world to me and I couldn't face losing them.)

LOVE YOU ALL,
Evie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx