AN: I do not own Zac Efron, Robert Pattison and Twilight (thank god! They're all yours). I also don't own Batman or Aladdin (damn). Please don't sue, I can't afford it. Enjoy.
She chokes on her drink; her spluttering causes some to spill onto her dress.
"Attractive," he says, holding back a small chuckle.
Usually, she would have glared or slugged him playfully in the arm, but she's still in shock. A gentle hand on her shoulder snaps her back to life, but it's like she's not all there.
They stand there for a few minutes in silence, her gaping at his declaration and him waiting for a response.
"But you can't like me!"
He's taken back. Of course he can, in fact that's what's happening right now.
"Why not? I mean, you're ama-"
"Seriously, I'm not worth liking. You'd be wasting your time on me. I mean, look at me. I'm just… weird and strange and awkward."
He looks at her. He's not sure what she's been smoking/ drinking, but there is nothing weird and strange and awkward about her. Well, apart from the drink stain on her dress, but even that suits her.
"I'm not the right girl for you Tom. I'm awkward –"
"So I've heard," Tom remarks dryly, but she's too caught up in listing her imperfections to hear.
" – and I make people feel uncomfortable and I don't really know what to say half of the time, so obviously I'm a terrible conversationalist –"
Tom thinks back on all the times they talked and wonders what she's on about. He's never felt more comfortable talking to someone about everything from the histopathology of ischaemic heart disease to the appeal of Zac Efron and Robert Pattison and the other what's-his-face from Twilight for hours on end. He laughs as he remembers her whispering to him that she finds none of them hot, waiting and hilariously cowering in fear for the crazy fangirls to strike.
"Terrible conversationalist my arse," he mutters and once again it falls on deaf ears as she waves her arms in the air, trying to get her point across.
"Really, liking me," she shakes her head in disbelief.
"What possessed you to even think of that? You're crazy. No, wait, you're not crazy. I'm the crazy one. Holy smokes Batman, I must have some sort of freaky voodoo shit – and I swear, by the way, who wants a potty mouth for a girlfriend?- that makes you think you like me. Seriously, are you listening to what I'm saying here? You don't want to be with the crazy girl with supposed black magic, you'd be liking me against your own will. You'd be-"
Yeah, so maybe she's a little bit crazy. But Tom has known that for the past three years since he's been friends with her and it's her amazing craziness (if he were feeling whimsical, he'd call it vivacity and energy) that keeps him coming back. He's equally as crazy as her. In listing her so-called faults, she's clearly neglected that he has also been involved in every single one of her adventures, willingly, heck, even suggesting half of them.
Also, black magic? What has she been drinking?
"Plus, I'm lazy. I hate driving and have no sense of direction and can get lost really really easily-"
Tom snorts, she's really grappling at straws now. And she's the hardest working person he knows. So what if she likes to lounge around watching cartoons on Saturday morning? Doesn't everyone?
" – so if we were dating you'd always have to take me everywhere and have you seen the price of petrol these days? Have you? You'd be poor just from that. And we're both cheapskates so you'd really hate spending extra money on that."
He's not a cheapskate. He's more than happy to spend money on her.
He makes himself comfortable against the wall as he watches her work herself into a frenzy. It's strangely alluring and amusing at the same time. The thought of that makes him smile and she falters for half a second. Looking at him, peering into him, as if considering that perhaps, just perhaps, they could be good, even amazing, together. But her own sense of logic takes over and she soldiers on.
Three minutes later, she's still talking. He's taken a seat on the bench now and taking sips from her forgotten cup.
" – and then there's my parents. Oh my god, my parents! And grandma and grandpa and uncles and aunties. Even though they like you as my friend, they wouldn't approve of you and me dating. You're not Asian and I know that sounds racist, mostly, well, because it is. See? I've got some racist-ness in me and that's not the girl you'd want to be with, because –"
Tom frowns. He didn't see that one coming. But it doesn't deter him. So the parents and relatives might take a bit of time to warm to the idea of them together, but he's willing to stick around, willing to show that he's worthy of their daughter, granddaughter and niece.
"Seriously, me? How could you possibly like me in that way? I mean, look at you. If we were tin cans, you'd be Tin Can Tom! All new, shining, shimmering and splendid. But me… I'm not. I'm all dented and scratched. The one that they send back over and over again until someone remembers to put me in the trash. We just don't match."
He's not sure what's more ridiculous, comparing themselves to tin cans, calling him shimmering (he's glad no one else heard that) or her calling herself a dented, scratched can that no one wanted. He wants her. That surely has to count for something right?
If he could say so himself, they both are shining, shimmering, splendid (but not tin cans though). She's selling herself so short off the mark, she's gone backwards. And now he's got that damn Aladdin song in his head.
She's silent now and he looks up from the (now empty) cup. He's not sure what she sees in front of the mirror everyday, but what he sees before him is breath-taking. Her fiery, brilliant personality is reflected in her big brown eyes that are brimming, burning with passion.
She's holding her breath, as if expecting him to realise how supposedly incompatible they are and to snap out of this like-induced dream state. She's holding her breath, waiting for him to realise this and just… walk away. Walk away and find someone even more amazing than she is to declare his like, perhaps even love, to and just… walk away from her.
Tom stands up and walks over to her, closing the distance between them. He's standing right in front of her, taking everything in. The way her eyes widen at their closeness, her teeth gently biting on her lip in fear and trepidation and perhaps hope. Her hands wringing on her dress, the way the dress makes her look like the most beautiful girl he's ever seen even with the drink stain, the way her head tilts up as she looks into his eyes… and yes, her boobs (because, hey he's looking down and it's right there and he is a guy).
"Not good enough." Tom whispers.
He's about to say more, but she latches onto those three words and just about launches into a rant.
"Well that's what I have been trying to say for the past ten or so minutes Tom. I'm just not good enough for you. Was the tin can thing not clear enough? Ok, yeah so that was a bad metaphor but you're a smart guy, you clearly got what that meant. And-"
Tom rolls his eyes and cups her face in his hands. Before she is able to fully comprehend anything, he kisses her. Tom kisses her because a) she really needs to know how to not ruin a moment and b) it's what he has been wanting to do for the past four or so months. His lips are warm and insistent as he continues to kiss her, waiting, hoping for a reply.
She does not disappoint. She rests her hands on his wrists as she kisses him back, her lips sweet from the drink, pressing her lips back onto his and it sets both of their nerves on fire. This is what the poets and romantics talk about.
And suddenly his hands move from her face to rest on her hips, and then around her waist as he pulls her closer, wanting to hold her like this forever, to feel like this forever as her body presses against his, her legs shaking, knees going weak from this kiss, her fingers threading through his hair as if it's the only thing she can hold onto, aside from his lips with hers. He smiles into the kiss as he feels this, manoeuvring her towards the wall, their lips never ever parting, so she doesn't fall and end this. He feels every part of her imprint on him and what he wouldn't give for this feeling all the time.
When air finally does become necessary, they break apart, breathing heavily. Tom opens his eyes and looks at her, a dopey grin plastered on his face. She's still recovering from the kiss as her eyes open, blinking several times. Her lips are red and swollen and he beams with pride because he made it that way.
"Please don't interrupt?"
He's pretty sure he's kissed her senseless because her voice is stuck and all she can do is nod. Tom takes her hands in his.
"Isabel, those reasons you gave me aren't good enough. Not good enough for me not to like you, hell, they might even make me like you even more. You're more than good enough for me. I like you. I like you. I like you. How many times can I say it to make you realise that hey, I like you? Really like you. Really really like you. Really really like like you. Really really really -"
His speech is interrupted by her giggle as she presses her lips against his. He kisses her thoroughly back and feels the smile across her lips as they break apart.
He offers her his hand and she takes it, threading her fingers through his as they walk back to the party.
"Tom? Sometimes you talk way too much."
He grins down at her. Of course he does.
"And you owe me a drink."
Read and review? Please? You may even get the limited editions of Tin Can Tom. (All new, shining, shimmering and splendid).