It was her sixth birthday party when they first met. He pushed her over on the bouncy castle and laughed, so she punched him in the stomach and stomp-jumped to the other side. She watched him start to cry and run out; that was when it all started.
A few minutes later, her mom called her out and she saw her standing with the little boy and a blonde woman who she assumed to be his mother.
"Tianna, darling, did you punch Nick?" her mom asked, gesturing to the sniffling boy who looked to be around her age.
"Yes, but it's his fault for being a poopy-head," she crossed her arms over her chest and raised her head, proud at herself for giving the ultimate insult at that age.
"Now honey, don't you think you should apologize?" her mom said, gently but sternly; even though it was her daughter's birthday, Alina Capella did not tolerate rudeness.
Tianna was appalled. She scrunched up her nose, in what could only be described as an endearing facial expression. "Why should I?! The tattletale pushed me first!"
"Nicolai! How could you do that?" Nick's mother was now horrified.
"Be that as it may, Tianna, you were taught better than to hit someone to solve your problems. Apologize to Nicolai. Now," Tianna's mother interrupted the little boy's explanation.
Tianna clenched her hands in tiny fists at her side; she looked outraged. "Fine! I'm sorry for punching you, you stupid-face! You ruin everything!" She screamed, before stomping away.
Both mothers looked embarrassed for their children, and exchanged apologetic smiles. Meanwhile, Nick went after the little girl, who now had angry tears running down her cheeks. The little boy tugged on her arm, stopping her in her tracks.
"Hey, I'm sorry for pushing you, I didn't mean to," he said shyly, looking down. He reached a hand up to her cheek, and brushed her tears away with his thumb. "I'm Nick," he said, placing a small, gift wrapped package into her hands and smiling, "Happy Birthday."
By her ninth birthday party, the two children couldn't be separated. Tianna couldn't wait for the DiAngelos to arrive so that she could see her best friend. She sat impatiently as her mom finished putting her long, brown hair into a side ponytail, tying it up with a purple bow to match her new party dress.
When she reached the back yard, she saw a lot of her friends running around, and when they saw her they ran up to tell her happy birthday, but she hadn't seen Nick yet. There was face painting and music, games of musical chairs and water guns that some of the kids had brought, and she was having a lot of fun. Her mom had found her and told her it was time for cake soon.
A group of boys ran past her, and Tianna noticed Nick among the group. The little boy doubled back when he saw her, and ran up to give his best friend a hug. "You look pretty," Nick looked away, a pink flush appearing on his cheeks.
The little girl's face glowed, and she smiled shyly, "Thanks. Can I play?"
Nick nodded, and was about to begin leading her over to the boys he was playing tag with before when Tianna let out a shriek. One of the boys held a water gun, and had been aiming for his friend, but hit her instead. Looking down at her dress, which was now soaked, she screamed, picked up a glob of mud, and threw it at the boy; his face was soon covered in mud. The boy apparently would not stand for this, and aimed mud at Tianna. Before it could hit her, Nick jumped in front her and dragged her away, a large brown spot adorning his shirt.
Tianna giggled at her friend when she saw the mess he was in, and hugged him tightly. "Time for cake!" she said, grabbing his hand and running to where her mom was setting up.
All the kids gathered around the table to sing for Tianna, and she and Nick sat directly in the middle. When it came time to cut the cake, she shoved the forkful of cake into Nick's face instead and laughed. In response, when Nick got his piece of cake, he smeared frosting across her nose. They shrieked with laughter, and a cake fight between the two soon ensued.
Through his laughter, Nick screamed out, "Happy Birthday!" He then leaned over and plopped a kiss on her cheek, frosting covered face and all.
In middle school, it became uncool to have a best friend who was a girl. Nick started hanging around with boys his age during school; he didn't want to be teased.
"Look Nick, it's your girlfriend," his friend Michael teased, pointing to the end of the field where Tianna could be seen running towards them.
"Shut up, she's not my girlfriend," he denied hotly, shoving his friend.
Michael and Nick's other friends hooted, "Sure, that's why you hang around her more than any other girl in school. You even walk her home every day!"
"I do not! She's just a stupid girl; we're not even that good friends!" Nick, of course, regretted his words the instant they left his mouth, and even more so when he saw Tianna standing stunned, having heard the last part. Her eyes were glassy, and she looked crestfallen.
"Tianna," he started, but he was cut off by another one of the boys watching them.
Jake sauntered over to her, a smirk gracing his features. "Well Nick, since she's not your girlfriend, or one of your good friends, you wouldn't mind if I asked her out, right? What do you say, Tianna?"
The thirteen year old girl looked taken aback, and didn't seem as if she knew how to reply; she didn't have to. "Get away from her, Jake," Nick's voice sounded, his green eyes flashing dangerously. Tianna was a very pretty girl, and Nick didn't want any of his friends anywhere near her alone.
"You can't have it both ways, Nick. She's either your friend or she's not. If she's not, you can't dictate who she hangs out with. And personally, I'd love to have her hang around me," he said cockily, sending a wink in her direction.
Nick had gotten up from his seat by the goalposts, and was now stepping in front of Tianna protectively. "Get away from my best friend, Jake. Does it make it clear enough where I stand now?"
Jake scowled angrily, but he stepped off anyway. He took one last look at Tianna, and looked like he wanted to say something else, but with another glare from Nick, he stayed quiet. Nick was one of the tallest boys in his grade, and one of the most popular, so it wasn't really a good idea to get on his bad side.
"I'll see you guys later," he said, and with that he gently tugged Tianna away from the crowd. While walking home, Nick noticed Tianna was quiet, not talkative and bubbly about her day like usual.
"Hey, what's wrong?" he asked, stopping on the sidewalk. Tianna kept walking, so he gently grabbed her wrist and turned her around to face him; she wouldn't meet his eyes. "You know I didn't mean what I said back there, right? Tee, you know you're my best friend."
Her eyes snapped up to glare at him, her blue eyes, normally bright with laughter, now like ice. "If you didn't mean it you had no reason to say it," she snapped.
"I wasn't thinking; the guys are always teasing me and saying you're my girlfriend! What was I supposed to say?" he exclaimed.
"Say you're my best friend, and not call me a stupid girl who you're not even that good of friends with!" she yelled. "Look, if you don't want to be friends with me, then fine. You won't have to deny it anymore, it'll be the truth."
"Hey, wait a minute!" Nick exclaimed, grabbing her wrists and keeping her in place. "I'd never want you to not be my best friend. I made a mistake, okay? I'm sorry."
Nick could see her resolve softening, but she still wouldn't look at him. He placed a hand under her chin, lifting her face to meet his eyes. He dug around in his backpack, pulling out a small package. "Come on, I have M&Ms," he cajoled, flashing a smile at her.
Just like that, he was forgiven. The boy had an amazing smile, and paired with her favourite junk food, she found herself giving in. She held her hand out for the packet, and he laughed, slinging an arm around her shoulders and pulling her against him. "What would I do without you as my best friend?"
She felt a small smile appearing around the corners of her lips. "Die," she mumbled.
When they reached her house, they were back to normal, joking around and laughing like always. Before he left, he placed a chaste kiss on her cheek and whispered, "By the way, Happy Birthday."
She stood there stunned, a small smile on her face as she watched him walk away down the street. If only she'd have seen the same smile on his face once he'd turned away.
"Are you sure you don't mind? I mean, I could just say no and wait until the next one. The band wouldn't mind," he lied.
"Nick, don't be ridiculous, of course I don't mind! It's your first gig; I wouldn't let you miss it for the world!" Tianna exclaimed; she'd been reassuring him of this since he and the rest of the band were loading equipment into the van. They were now waiting backstage, about to perform in fifteen minutes.
Nick's eyes met her guiltily, "I know, but you had to reschedule everything, and it's your day, not mine-"
Before he could continue any further, Tianna cut him off. "This has been planned for over a month, Nick. Besides, why would I have a party if you weren't there? It'd never be the same."
Nick smiled, pulling her into a hug and kissing the top of her head. "You know I wouldn't be able to do this without you here?"
"Luckily for you, you'd never have to," she smiled, her eyes twinkling. "So, are you ready?"
He shrugged his shoulders, "As ready as I'll ever be, I guess. I never thought we'd actually get to play anywhere but my basement."
Tianna laughed. "You'll do amazing, I know it. I've been to every one of your band practices in the last six months, listened to every song you've come up with so far," she nudged him lightly, forcing him to look at her, missing the beginnings of a secret smile gracing his lips.
"Nick, I'm telling you, you guys are really good," she said, noticing his band members standing nearby. "Just go out there do what I know you guys can."
The announcer's voice sounded from on stage, starting off the night. "Hey guys, tonight we've got a local band opening up. They're new, but we think they're awesome. Please welcome Pantheon to the stage!"
Nick looked around at his band members nervously, his eyes landing on Tianna finally for reassurance. She took his hand in hers, squeezing it as she reached up to fix the collar of his leather jacket. "You'll do great," she smiled, before they ran on stage.
For the first few songs, she stayed backstage and watched the band perform from the side. Every now and then, Nick would look over and catch her eye, sticking his tongue out at her and grinning when he saw her laughing.
Soon though, she decided she wanted to see them from the crowd, with the added adrenaline rush that you can only get from the mixed excitement of tons of people around you. Tianna pushed her way to the front, jumping and weaving her way through the masses of people, except she had the goal of reaching front and center. The boys were actually very good performers, and they had the crowd jumping and screaming at the top of their lungs.
When Nick noticed her below him, he kept eye contact most of the time, grinning at her when she held up a camera in his direction. She sang along to all their songs, and when Michael jumped up on the speakers for a guitar solo while Nick jumped into the air at the same time, the crowd went wild. Hands shot out to try and touch him, and while he brushed his hand against everyone else's fingertips, he held onto her hand and squeezed it, smiling softly before letting go.
When it was time for the band's last song, the lights dimmed and Nick was sitting on a stool with his acoustic guitar. "How's everyone doing tonight?" he asked, holding the microphone loosely in his hand.
Tianna and the rest of the crowd screamed at the top of their lungs. He grinned, chuckling softly. "That's great. So maybe you'd want to see more of us?"
The crowd's response was louder this time, and he laughed as he flicked strands of his dark brown hair out of his eyes. "Awesome, because we'd love to see more of you," he winked, and a few girls screamed.
"You've been great tonight, really. So, we've got one more song for you tonight, and it's written for someone very special to me," he began. "I've known her almost my whole life and I have no idea what I'd do without her, and it's her birthday today."
Tianna looked up in disbelief at the man on stage before her. He caught her eye and held it as he continued speaking. "Her name's Tianna and I don't think I could have even gotten up on stage tonight if it wasn't for her," he chuckled, his eyes soft. "You see the girl front and center who I haven't taken my eyes off all show? Does anyone want to help her up here, please?" he asked, pointing me out.
Two guys near Tianna helped lift her up on stage, and Nick reached out a hand for her to take. "Hey beautiful," he grinned, pulling her over to where he was sitting. "Tianna here thinks she's heard every song our band's ever played. You see, she kind of lives in my basement because she loves me so much."
She punched his shoulder, cutting off what he was saying, and the crowd laughed. "I do not live in your basement, you arrogant son of a bitch! Actually, I take that back, I love your mom, you're just arrogant!" She took the microphone from him, and he tugged on her hand to pull her closer to him, smirking cheekily. "Just to let you all know, he can't live without me and invites me over any chance he gets," she informed the crowd, who were all rather amused as they watched the two bicker.
"She's feisty, eh?" He pulled her against him, laughing at her protests. "As I was saying, little does she know that all those food runs we sent her out on were so that we could practice one song that she wasn't allowed to hear until now."
At this, Nick got up, gently pushing her onto the stool he'd recently been occupying. "Happy seventeenth birthday, Tee," he said softly, before the unfamiliar chords began of what would soon become her new favourite song.
Tianna Capella was surrounded by her friends in a giant night club that had been rented out for the night. She was in a beautiful BCBG dress, as well as new Kate Spade shoes, and she was the center of attention.
It was open bar, and she could now legally drink; she should have been ecstatic, it was every girl's dream for her twenty first birthday. The only thing was, she was soon realizing it didn't mean a thing to her when her best friend wasn't there with her.
"Tianna Capella, look at you, you look gorgeous!" an obnoxious voice sounded near her. Her friend Delilah stumbled up to her, already tipsy, and her glazed eyes sparkled with curiosity. "Where's that sexy best friend of yours who never leaves your side?"
Tianna gave a wry smile; Delilah wasn't the first to ask a similar question. "Nick's still on tour, Delilah, he couldn't make it tonight."
Nick's band had recently been given the opportunity to go on tour as the opening act for a recently signed band. The label decided they would try it out, and if everything went well, they'd finalize the details of them getting signed when they got back.
The band was ecstatic of course, and Tianna celebrated just as enthusiastically with them. She couldn't be happier for them. In fact, when Nick had told her the news she'd jumped up and down doing a happy dance for a full five minutes. He caught it on video camera and felt the need to not only show it to all of his friends, but played it repeatedly the night before they left as well as burning her a copy of her own.
The blonde's face fell, and she sighed. "Well, I suppose I'll have to choose from one of the other boys here tonight. It's not as if he'd ever pay attention to me anyway when his eyes are always on you," she said, linking arms with Tianna and grabbing an apple martini from a passing tray before shoving it into her friend's hands. "Seriously, girlie, when are you two going to give up the best friend pretence and make babies already?"
Tianna choked on her drink, laughing at her friend's blunt words. "It's no pretence, he is my best friend," she said, digging around in her purse for the tenth time that night.
Pantheon had been gone for the last month, and she and Nick talked as much as they could while he was on the road. They'd actually planned to be back in time for her birthday, but the tour ran a bit longer than planned and the tour manager booked a few more shows on the way home. She'd reassured him countless times that it was okay, and she'd just see him when he came back. He promised to call her anyway; she'd been waiting all day and hadn't heard from him.
"Just because he's your best friend doesn't mean everyone around you can't see that you both desperately want to be more," Delilah giggled. "Now come on, Tianna, let's get this party started!"
Tianna laughed, and with one last look at her phone, she allowed herself to be dragged into the crowd by her hyperactive friend. It was going to be one hell of a party.
At two that morning, Tiana stumbled drunkenly into her apartment, giggling when she failed to get the key out of the door the first few times. Checking her phone, she realized she had four missed calls from Nick. She jumped up excitedly, punching in the number she knew by heart.
"Nick!" she exclaimed, when she heard his familiar voice on the other end. "You're coming home tonight!"
"Yes I am, Tee! We're on the road right now; we'll be back in a couple hours! Sorry I didn't call earlier, there's been so much happening, I didn't get the chance." He sounded excited, which made a smile appear on her face as she heard that he was happy. "Happy Birthday! How was the party?"
"Thanks, and don't even worry about it. The party was so much fun," she giggled. "It wasn't the same without you though; I miss you, Nick."
She heard him sigh, "I miss you too, Tee, more than you'll ever know. I wish I could have been there tonight. I'm sure you were gorgeous as always."
Tianna giggled. "You've got a biased opinion, Nicolai. Anyways, what's been going on over there? I want to hear everything!" she said, landing on her stomach as she jumped up on her bed.
"The label's decided they want to sign us for sure. We were signing contracts all day, and then doing an exclusive with AP. They want us to do a national tour in two months!" She could tell Nick was practically jumping up and down while he was telling her all this. "Tee, this is a dream come true, I can't believe we actually got here."
Tianna could feel her heart sinking with every word he said, and she felt worse because of it. She was being selfish, but she couldn't stand the thought of being away from him again. She'd barely survived a month; a national tour usually took more than a few. She was really happy for him though; she couldn't deny that she was proud of him.
"That's great Nick!" she said half heartedly. She fought to make her voice enthusiastic, but she couldn't stop the small hint of sadness from coming through. "I always knew you'd make it."
Knowing her so well, he picked up on the change in her voice immediately. "Tee, are you okay? Did something happen?"
"No, no, nothing's wrong, everything's great! So, that's what you spent all day doing, huh? It sounds exciting," she said, her voice falsely cheery.
"Okay," Nick said hesitantly, knowing not to push her when she got like this. He wouldn't be able to get it out of her until he was in front of her. "Tell me more about the party?"
"Actually Nick," she began, letting out a fake yawn. "I'm really tired; I'll talk to you tomorrow okay?"
Nick sighed, soft enough that she wouldn't hear it on the other end. "Yeah, that's no problem. I'll talk to you later," he said, his voice defeated. "Get some sleep, okay? Goodnight, Tee. I can't wait until I'm finally back."
After saying goodnight to him, Tianna put her phone on her dresser and got ready for bed before collapsing for the night. She thought about everything that had happened that night, and couldn't help but worry that she was going to be left behind. It was no secret that she loved the boy, no matter how many times she tried to deny it; everyone knew, it seemed, except for him. As she allowed herself to get caught up in her thoughts, a single tear rolled down her cheek. The last thing she remembered was drifting off to sleep to the faint chords of her favourite song.
When she woke up, she was still hearing music, but it was a song she'd never heard before. She reached over to turn off her I Home, thinking she'd left it playing, but soon realized that it wasn't coming from her room.
Hey you, I know I'm in the wrong
Time flies when you're having fun
You wake up, another year is gone
You're twenty one
She stopped when she heard the familiar voice singing. Faint light peeked through her curtains, the sky a dark blue. Her clock told her that it was almost five. She tiptoed out of her bedroom, peeking out into the living room to see his familiar head of shaggy brown hair, his 6"2 frame bent over his guitar and his green eyes shining with concentration as he strummed the chords as if he'd played them his whole life.
I know you hate me
Well I miss you too
Yeah, yeah I know
I know it's kinda late
But happy birthday
Nick looked up as if he'd heard her, grinning mischievously as he held her gaze. Tianna smiled slightly. This was what she got for giving him a key to her apartment; he could get in whenever he wanted.
It's not that I don't care
You know I'll make it up to you
If I could I'd be there
Tianna walked slowly over to him and he watched her, still playing the song. "When'd you get back?"
He stopped playing, putting his guitar down as he reached out to take her hand. "About twenty minutes ago. I came here right away; I couldn't wait to see you," he grinned, pulling her into a hug. "I'm really sorry I couldn't be there tonight; I know you hate me and everything for it but-"
Tianna pushed against his chest, looking at him in disbelief. "Wait a minute; you think I'm mad at you because you missed my birthday even though you were on tour?" Nick nodded slowly, confused, and she rolled her eyes. "That would make me the most stupid and selfish person in the world."
Nick smirked. "Well, I didn't want to say anything. But you do have your princess moments."
She punched his arm, turning away from him and starting towards her bedroom. He laughed, grabbing her arm and pulling her into him again. "Come on Tee, you know I was joking!"
She looked away from him, thinking about how much what he implied about her being spoiled was true. She couldn't even be completely happy for him about getting signed. "Yeah, I know," she mumbled. "Can I go back to bed now?"
"Goddamn it, woman; you're driving me insane!" he groaned, grabbing her wrists so that she couldn't get away.
Tianna glared at him, struggling to free her hands. "How am I driving you insane? Just let me go, I'm tired."
He dropped his head onto her shoulder, his eyes snapping back to hers in determination when he looked up. "No, there you go again, Tee. Stop trying to lie to me; you know I can read you like a book. If you're not mad at me for missing you're birthday then what'd I do?"
"You're an idiot, I keep telling you it has nothing to do with my birthday" she said, quietly, meeting his eyes. "You're going to hate me, Nick; I'll sound so stupid. It's just, I missed you, a lot, and now you're leaving me again. You'll forget about me, and who could blame you with all those girls around!"
Understanding dawned upon him, and he stopped her ramblings. "God Tee, you're the idiot," he said, pulling her closer to him. She opened her mouth to protest, but he didn't give her the chance. "I hate being away from you too long," he said, tucking a piece of dark brown hair behind her ear, his fingers lingering on her skin.
"It hurts having to miss you," he continued, one arm winding around her waist, pulling her as close as possible. She could feel his breath on her cheeks, her hand gripping his arm as if she was the one keeping him there.
Nick leaned in closer, his lips brushing teasingly against her ear and whispered, "It's annoying that I love you."
He leaned back a little to look at her, smiling as he saw her stunned face, and he moved to hover above her lips. Tianna's eyes twinkled, a stunning smile making its way onto her lips. "Finally," she whispered, before closing the distance between them.
He grinned into the kiss, his free hand moving to cup her face as the other stayed wrapped around her waist, his hand resting on the small of her back. Her hands trailed up his chest slowly, coming to rest around his neck finally, her fingers playing with the small hairs at the nape of his neck. His lips moved against hers, his tongue brushing against her lower lip and she opened her mouth in response. His tongue slipped inside, caressing hers, and she sighed into the kiss, making him smirk. She pressed flush against him in retaliation, tugging on a lock of his hair, smiling when she felt him gasp.
When they broke the kiss, they were both breathing hard, big smiles on their faces. "So, I was thinking," Nick began, his eyes twinkling as he drew circles on the bare skin at the small of her back, causing her to shudder, "That when I go on tour you could come with me, maybe. Not for the whole thing I know, since you have classes and stuff, but I could fly you in on some weekends. And you could stay with me during the summer."
Tianna grinned shyly. "Really?" she asked excitedly, placing a chaste kiss on his lips when he nodded. She smiled, kissing behind his ear, laughing lightly when she felt him shiver. "I love you."
"Happy Birthday, Tee" he whispered softly before closing the distance between them once more.
A/N: Hey everyone, a few things first. The song Nick sang for her at the end is called Happy Birthday by The Click Five. They're the inspiration for this one shot (:
I don't own The Click Five or their song Happy Birthday. Nor do I own I Home, BCBG, Kate Spade, or M&Ms. Ah, if only, I wish. Everything else in this story, however, is mine. Especially my characters Nick and Tianna, so don't touch.
Now that that's cleared up, this is my first story I'm posting on fictionpress, so I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading. Please review, I'd love to hear what you thought of it; I'll reply to every review that's sent (:
Until next time, hugs and kisses.