Don't Hate the Player; Hate the Game

Summary: He's funny. I'm funny. You'd think we'd go together, right? Wrong. He's hot. I'm not. And that's my dilemma in a nutshell. It's hard falling for a guy that wouldn't be the least interested in you.

"S'up homie g!" I cried, high-fiving Harriet. "What's crackin' in… uh… S-Town?"

Harriet gave me a weird look. "You live in Sydney too, idiot."

"And?" I said slowly, and she rolled her eyes.

"You are so strange."

"Hey! At least I don't say 'super cute' and 'omg'!"


Harriet slammed her locker closed and strolled down the corridor, me skipping next to her as we made our way to our first class.

"So what'd you do on your weekend?" she asked.

I shrugged. "Nothing much. Actually, that's a lie. I went to this party on Saturday—"

Harriet groaned. "And don't tell me, you got into the tequila."

"Shut up. But yes, I did. And all I can remember is some stupid repetitive song that was in my head for the whole weekend! It's that annoying song where it goes 'I'm a party, and party and party and party—'"

A strong arm settled over my shoulders, tugging me towards a firm body.

"Little Ari! Top of the morning to you!"

With wide eyes, my head whipped up and I met the bright blue eyes of a very amused Dean.

"Dean!" I squeaked, blood rushing to my face. "How's it going? Great? Awesome! Well I gotta go to class, so see ya!"

And with that, I high-tailed it out of there.

I guess this is the time where I should do a bit of explaining.

Prepare yourselves.

I, Arianna 'the-coolest-person-on-Earth' Rose, have a crush on Dean 'oh-so-perfect' Peterson.

I'll let that settle for a moment.

Okay, so from my performance earlier it obviously isn't that jaw dropping. But it still freaked me out. I was generally (kinda) immune to his charm, but when he got all touchy-feely like just before, my 'calm' demeanour just went to bits.

Let's give you the low down on Dean.

Dean was the hottest guy in school. And just to add to it, he was funny and smart. But, to his constant chagrin, he was no sports star.

And onto me: I was the class-clown – the girl who mostly everyone liked to be around because I could get just about everyone to laugh. I was also a bit of a party animal.

And compared to Dean's gorgeous looks, I was like a rock. And this is why my crush will never be fulfilled.

Dean went for girls with beautiful hair, stunning looks, and a killer body. I, on the other hand, was a bit of a Plain Jane. Sure, I had blonde hair and blue eyes (I swear I'm not a bombshell), but my hair was dull and my eyes were more of a pond colour, even though my mother continually insisted they were blue.

So there you have it – the reasons why my crush is unbelievably embarrassing and completely unrequited.

My life is absolutely terrible, I know.

I was in the middle of thinking furiously and walking aimlessly down the corridors when the second bell rang.

"Oh shit!"

By the time I'd raced to the classroom, the teacher was already talking while simultaneously writing on the board. I tried to creep in and slink over to my seat next to Harriet, but the teacher whipped around.

"Arianna! Is the word 'punctual' even in your vocabulary?"

I fake laughed. "You're so funny, miss! Is that some new highlights in your hair? It just makes your eyes glow—"

"Sit down," the seventy-year-old woman growled, pointing at the seat with her whiteboard marker.

"Certainly since you asked so nicely," I muttered, and a few people around me giggled as I flopped into my seat. I turned to Harriet and found her scowling at her book as she copied down the notes.

I nudged her with my elbow. "What's wrong? If your angry that I kinda ditched you with Dean, then I'm sorry, but I just remembered that I had to—"

"No, no, it's not you. For once. It's something that Dean said." Her eyes darkened even further and I pitied Dean for bearing the brunt of Harriet's anger. Harriet and I made an unlikely pair – I was generally bouncing off the walls while Harriet was fairly quiet but easily angered.

At the mention of Dean, my interest was piqued. "What'd he say?"

Harriet's eyes flew to mine and I saw guilt flash through them before they were clouded over by anger once again. "J-Just some stupid, masochistic stuff about the next girl he wants to do," she said quickly and I slumped back in my seat with an, 'oh'.

"Sometimes he can just be such a superficial asshole," Harriet muttered as I began to take down the notes.

"Don't I know it."


"Remember Penelope, it's not herpes if it's everywhere!" I crowed as I waved good-bye to her.

She stopped in the hallway as people began shooting her funny looks. "But that's not even what I was talking about!" she called helplessly, but I kept going my merry way.

When I arrived in the lunchroom, I was surprised to see Harriet standing in the line next to Dean, the former looking both smug and happy. Dean was looking stressed as he waved his hands around, so I crept up on him.

"…and you can't tell people, she doesn't even—"

"Tell people what?" I chirped right next to his ear and he jumped into the air as Harriet laughed loudly, making people look our way.

"Could you not sneak up on me?!" he cried.

"Don't hate the player; hate the game," I advised wisely.

He laughed incredulously. "That has nothing to do with you creeping up on me!"
"So whatcha gon' do 'bout it, boy?" I said with a thick southern accent, cocking my hip out and placing my hand on it.

His eyes glinted in amusement. "I know people who know people who kill people."

I gasped in fake horror. "No way!" I paused. "So… tell people what?"

"Don't worry about it," Harriet interjected before Dean could say anything.

"Tell people what?" I asked regardless. "Tell people what? Tell people wh—"

"Doesn't lunch look good today?" Harriet said, knowing my weakness was food. "I can't wait to get seconds of that chicken!"

"Tell people what?"

"It's nothing!"

"Oh, that's alright then." I paused and watched in amusement as they both look relieved. "Tell people what?"

Both of them tensed up and Harriet threw me a cranky glare.

"We already said, it's nothing," Harriet gritted out.

I opened my mouth to say something but Dean cut me off.

"We'll tell you later, okay?"

I grinned. "Absolutely! …Tell people what? Tell people what? Tell people what? Tell people what?""

Harriet looked about ready to explode but Dean grabbed my shoulders and spun me around, thrusting a plate in my hands.

"It's your turn to get food!" he said cheerily, his face strained.

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Tell. People. What."

"That's it!" Harriet cried shrilly. "I didn't want to do this because this song will get stuck in my head, but I'm pulling out the big guns!" She took a deep breath, then started singing, "I'm a party, and party, and party, and party, I'm a party, and party—"

"Okay!" I cried, throwing up my hands. "I'll drop it. For now."

Both of them looked intensely relieved as I turned and shovelled the chicken onto my plate.

Surprisingly, as Harriet and I headed towards our usual table Dean followed. My spine straightened as awareness washed through me. As he slid into the seat next to me, the hairs on the back of my neck rose as I felt all the girls' eyes boring into my back.

The Queen Bitches would never let me live this one down.

Dean's hand brushed my leg, sending shivers through my body. In retaliation, I shifted slightly to the side and thankfully he didn't follow.

"So how were your classes today, Ari?" Dean asked, breaking the silence that had started when he sat at my table. All my friends were staring at him in wonder or adoration, and it sickened me slightly.

"Uh… great, I guess. The usual."

"Wow, that's surprising—Holy bananas, what the hell is that?!" he suddenly cried, looking over my head.

I whipped around, searching for the amazing thing but met only the glares of his rabid fan girls.

"I don't see anythi—hey! Give that back you dirty mongrel!" He had taken the packet of potato chips that I'd bought using the hard earned money that I'd found down the side of the couch.

My eyes narrowed as red took over my vision.

Okay, not really, but no one steals my food.

Not even the super hot and funny guy I have a mega crush on.

I lunged at him, teeth barred, hands outstretched for the packet of delicious, ultra crispy chips. He laughed, leaning back and holding the chips out of reach.

"Bad dog," he said through his laughter, and I glared at Harriet who had joined in.

"Fine," I snapped, standing up and making my chair slide noisily across the floor. "Have them you bitch. Just know that I hate you, and you're clearing my plate." I turned on my heel and began to stomp away. However, before I had taken two steps I whipped around and filched the chips from his loose grasp.

"Psych!" I exclaimed, flashing him a grin. He seemed stunned for a moment, blinking at me in stupefaction and I found that I couldn't look away from the intense look in his eyes. "Um… I'm running away now."

Finally, he shook his head and I took this as my cue for action. Spinning on my heel, I dashed through the lunchroom, skilfully dodging the people as I ran. Remember how I said Dean wasn't good at sports? He wasn't too good at dodging either and I heard quite a few startled yelps behind me as I burst out of the room and into the sunshine.

"Get back here you little shit!" he shouted, but I only laughed. However I could hear him catching up to me so I looked around for a hiding spot. Normally I'd bolt to the girl's bathroom and lock the door, but I didn't particularly feel like consuming poo particles with my yummy chips.

With little other option, I ran around the side of a picnic table and stopped.

We faced each other.

"I'm gonna get you, poppet," he drawled, making me smile. Once again, he blinked and looked blank.

"What?" I said, my smile fading slightly.

"It's, um, don't worry."

I shrugged. "Whatever." I opened the packet slightly and made an astonished face. "Oh oops!"

"Don't you dare!" he said with narrowed eyes. "Those are mine."

"You can dere-lict my balls, capi-tan – and correction, these are mine!"

He lunged to the left and started chasing me again and I let out a squeal, running around the table. As we raced in circles around the table, I popped open the packet and shovelled as much as I could into my mouth, thrusting the near empty packet down my bra.


I stopped and gave him a grin that was chip-filled.

He looked disgusted. "I think I like your smile better when your mouth was clean. And is that half a packet I see down your top?"

I tried to say, "Victory is mine!" but as that obviously failed, I nodded happily and stuck up my middle finger.

My eyes widened as a roguish grin made its way to his handsome face, making his eyes sparkle with glee. I began to chew furiously as he raced at me, knocking me to the ground. The air flew out of me – as well as a huge amount of mushy chips – as we hit the ground and rolled a few feet. He came out on top and sat on me, smirking.

I smirked right back at him. "You lost."

His smirk widened. "Not quite."

I only realised his meaning as his hands began trailing up my sides, making my whole mind go blank. His eyes darkened as mine widened to the size of saucers.

I was frozen for a second, paralysed by the emotions running through me, before I burst into movement. I bucked my hips up and he went flying off. Then, faster than I've ever run in my life, I dashed off to the girls toilets.


"So where were you for the classes after lunch?" Harriet asked, regarding me with narrowed eyes. "Last I saw was you sprinting out of the lunchroom, Dean chasing after you. And then I didn't see either of you for the rest of the afternoon!"

My face went bright red as I realised what she was implying. "We did not spend the afternoon together," I said hotly. "He just chased me for a bit and then I decided to skip the rest of school."

Harriet's eyebrows rose sceptically. "I believe you, but there's more to the story and we both know it. I will get this out of you later."

I shrugged, shovelling the rest of my books into my school bag. "Whatever Trevor."

Harriet continued staring at me until I finally snapped, "What?!"

"You're sad."

I rolled my eyes. "I am not sa—"

"Let's go play laser-tag."

My whole demeanour brightened and jumped up and down. "Yus!" I squealed. "It'll be awesome!"

And that's the short story of how I came to be suited up with a fake gun and armour, army rolling through the darkness.

"This is the best idea ever!" I hissed as I crouched beside Harriet.
"Of course it is. Now, I think the enemy has us surrounded. I'll stay here while you circle around and attack them from behind."

"Why do I have to do the hard stuff?" I whined.

"Shh! It's because you're good at the stealthy commando roll. Now go go go soldier!"

Taking a deep breath, I got on my belly and inched across the ground, eyes alert for any of the enemy. I peered around a corner into the darkness, and to my luck I saw a little seven-year-old crouched down.

"Chick chick boom, bitch!" I hissed as I open fired at the boy. His chest armour flared red and he groaned.

"Aw man, not again!" he said, his high voice sounding slightly watery.

"I'm so awesome," I complimented myself, and waited for the little man to clear out before I commando rolled again across the corridor. Finally, I'd circled around the little runts.

"This is Sparta!" I roared as I jumped up and began shooting the children, who all squealed and tried to fight back.

Harriet leapt up as well, crying, "Kamikaze!"

Within a minute, all six of the children were sniffling and hanging their heads as they made their way to the entrance.

As the lights turned back on – meaning we were the winners – I walked over to Harriet and high-fived her.

"We annihilated those kids!"

"Do you think we were too harsh?" Harriet asked as we made our way to the exit.

"'Harsh'? You have got to be kidding me. Harriet, dah-ling, they couldn't have expected any less after challenging the reigning king and queen of laser-tag. We did warn them."

"True… But I'm the king."

"My hairy balls you are! I'm the king 'cause I totally rock at this game. You're just… I guess you're kinda like my wing man, Harriet." I patted her on the head as she scowled at me. "It's okay, the truth hurts."

"You don't even make sense, Ari!" she snapped. "I'm the king as—Dean? What in the world are you doing here?"

My head snapped around and I went bright red as I met sparkling blue eyes. Well, I guess you wouldn't be able to see my blush as my face was already super red because of exertion.

"I'm just picking up my little brother, who you happened to crush just a minute ago. And call a 'bitch'."

As if on cue, the little seven-year-old ran over and grabbed Dean's leg, clutching it tightly while giving me the stink eye. My heart softened as I saw Dean glance down at the boy, his eyes going gentle as he smoothed his hair back.

And in that moment, in the rush of emotions that assaulted by body, I realised something.

I was in love with Dean Peterson.

And there was not a damn thing I could do about it. I'd seen the girls he went after – they were all stunning, and some of them (I hated to admit) actually had good personalities. And then there was me, plain-faced me who could make people laugh but couldn't hold a serious, intellectual conversation to save my life.

And don't you dare start thinking that I was one of those modest types that thought they were gross, but were actually amazingly beautiful with a little pampering here and there. Nope, what you see is what you get and I was as plain as you could find. The only time I actually felt pretty was when I smiled. But Dean didn't go for girls that were passingly pretty sometimes – he went for the full deal.

This epiphany made the blood drain from my face.

I was so screwed.

So, I did what was becoming second nature – I bolted.

"Oh, you have a brother?" I cried, speaking quickly. "That's so sweet! I can't believe I never knew till now! Little boy, I'm sorry for calling you a bitch etcetera, have a nice life, don't grow up to fast and remember that girls with short skirts are the devil. Oh, look at the time! Gotta fly, munchkins, don't miss me too much!" After my super speedy speech and I turned on my heel and walked quickly out of there.

Once I was outside, I let out a sigh of relief. Thankfully it wasn't too much of a walk to my house so I didn't have to worry about calling a taxi.

"Oh my god, you!"

Frowning in confusion, I turned around to face a stunning brunette.

"Er… me?" I asked, looking at her sceptically. Okay, I knew I was weird but I didn't go around yelling at random strangers.

"Yes you! You're that funny little girl that hangs out with Dean sometimes, yeah?" she asked, her perfectly lipstick-applied lips twisting slightly as she looked down her nose at me.

"I think you're talking about my evil twin. I'd love to stay and chat but… that's a complete lie, so I'll be going now."

I turned to keep walking but she grabbed me with her razor nails and turned me back around.

"FYI, I'm still talking! Anyway, I know you're that girl and I just wanted to ask if you've seen Dean anywhere?"

My heart froze slightly but I forced myself to ask, "Why? He doesn't particularly like rabid fan girls finding him when he's in hiding."

She gave me a disgusted look. "I'm not a 'rabid fan girl', fool, we're supposed to be on a damn date."


My stomach fell as I completely deflated. Of course he'd have a girlfriend.

Without emotion, I pointed towards the laser tag place and said, "He's in there picking up his little brother. Go for your life."

"I would say thanks, but I'm not actually grateful. Grow up, little girl, sarcasm was so last century."

And with that, she flicked her hair – almost getting my face – and sauntered off.

"Bitch," I muttered under my breath as I continued my angry walk back to my house. Stupid beautiful girlfriend. Stupid Dean. Stupid laser tag—

Okay, I take back the last one. But that is all.

In anger, I kicked a rock on the side of the pathway and sent it sailing into the air.

Right through the window of someone's house.

"You goddamn kids! You have no bloody respect—"

And that's all I heard before I sprinted off, leaving the gun-toting old man in my dust.


"I have confidence in sunshine! I have confidence in rain! I have confidence the spring will come again and as you can see—"

"Oh my god, shut up!" Harriet finally yelled, cutting me off. I stopped my outrageous skipping and singing and fell back in line with her as we walked through the school corridor. "You're so fake happy that you're making me depressed!"
My eyes widened. "I-I am not fake happy!" I said, trying to sound affronted. "How could you even say that?"

I failed miserably. I am a terrible liar.

"Yes, you are! Just because you're in love with Dean and too stupid to do anything about it, doesn't mean you have to act so damn depressing!"

"I am not stupid! And he wouldn't like me—oh crap," I said as I caught the gleam in her eyes.

"I knew it!" she crowed. "I knew it!"

My mouth dropped open. "You mean you weren't actually sure if I liked him or not?"

"Nope! You just affirmed it for me!" She laughed. "This is so unbelievable! You're so stupid!"

"I already know I'm stupid!" I hissed. "How can I not be if I fell for someone like him?! Damn it, Harriet, you don't have to make it any worse than what it already is!"

Harriet stared at me, barely blinking as I glared at her.

"Ari…" she said hesitantly, placing her hand on my arm. "That isn't what I meant. But… look, I've got to go, okay? I'll talk to you in class."

And then she pulled a me and bolted.


I was walking to class, for once not whistling or dancing around the corridor, when I happened to glance into an empty classroom and see Harriet and Dean arguing.

I blanched. She couldn't be telling him about the thing right? She wouldn't do that… right?

Biting my lip as anxiety washed through me, I inched closer and strained my ears. I could no longer see them, as I was around the corner, but I could pick up a few words.

"…can't keep… idiot! Tell… for gods sake!"

"You think… tried? … hard! …feel the same way!" I frowned. What the hell were they arguing about? Thankfully it didn't sound like Harriet was breaking my trust.

They were silent for a moment until I heard footsteps, and Harriet's voice was now clearer.

"Just give it a go – you'd be surprised."

I heard her footsteps getting closer and I almost let out a squeak as I dashed into the girls bathroom right next to me. I waited for a few minutes to make sure the coast was clear until I inched out.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I began my stroll down the corridor, only to come face to face with Dean as he exited the room.

"Arianna!" he said, surprise lacing his voice. "Look, I need to talk—"

"Dean!" I cried, talking over his voice. "Great talking to you but I gotta skedaddle! See ya 'round, brother from another mother!"

Before he could say another word, I flashed him a brilliant smile and strode past him, quickly disappearing down the corridor. I breathed a sigh of relief before cringing.

Did I really have to say 'skedaddle'?


"Finally! I found you!"

I squeaked and jumped up, book in my hand as I blanched.

Dean was standing before me in all his perfect glory.

"Wow, would you look at the time? Man, I've gotta run—"

I tried to get past him but he stuck his arm out, blocking me – he was standing in front of the only exit. I scowled and berated myself – why in the world would I hole up in the library, especially on the top level which only had one exit and which no one ever visited?

I was basically asking for trouble.

"You are not getting away this time," he growled, sending shivers down my spine.

I laughed nervously. "Okay, starting to scare me – you're not going to go all Chainsaw Massacre on me now, are you?"

He cracked a smile. "Yes, that's exactly what I was going to do. Damn it, I cannot believe I was that see through," he said sarcastically, making me smile slightly.

But it disappeared soon.

Each time I met those beautiful blue eyes, I kept remember not only my love confession – to myself – and that gorgeous brunette.

"So… we just gonna stand here all day?" I asked when he kept staring at my face.

"I don't get it," he said suddenly, his face frowning.

"Uh… Wha—"

"I don't get you at all. You're not my type – at all." I pressed my lips together tightly as the pain rushed through me. He must have seen the hurt flare in my eyes but he continued on. "You know how I like my women? Tall, gorgeous, and intelligent. But you – you're like the opposite! You're kinda on the short side; your looks are not exactly breathtaking; you're barely scraping by in all of your subjects!"

He finally stopped his barrage of accusations and I breathed deeply, lips pursed as I nodded.

"Very true, I guess. I'm glad, in under a minute, you've managed to bring me down lower than dirt." I laughed, but it was bitter and slightly hysterical. "Congratulations. No, seriously, thanks – you've just helped take the first step to getting over you."

I made to push past him once again as tears sprang to my eyes, but he grabbed my arm.

I wrenched it away and hissed, "Don't touch me!"

He was looking at me wide-eyed. "Did you just say you were trying to get over me?"

"Yeah, I did – I was an idiot for letting myself fall for you in the first place, anyway." I barely knew what I was saying anymore; the pain was that great. It hurts when the guy you love decides that you're the grossest thing on the planet.

"You," he said slowly. "Like me."

"What is your damn problem? Yes, I like you – hell, I think I may even love you! There, I said it! It's out for the world to know! Now let me get past!"

A grin lighted his face and he grabbed my hand again, tugging me so I stumbled forward onto his chest. After all the cruel things he'd said, I still found myself breathless as he wrapped his arms around me and dipped his head.

Then, in one magical moment, his lips touched mine.

It was only for a second, but a bolt of electricity rushed through me and my eyes slammed open as I realised what I was doing. I tried to stumble backwards, but his arms kept my up against his firm chest.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" I hissed, one tear finally escaping and spilling over. "You call me the ugliest thing you've ever seen, I confess my love to you and then you kiss me?!"

"No, no you don't understand—"

"Oh I understand perfectly well, you horny bastard—"

"I'm in love with you."

"—and no one goes around doing that… what did you just say?" I asked, my voice reduced to a disbelieving whisper.

A grin stretched across his face. "I, Dean Peterson, am in love with you, Arianna Rose."

I blinked. "Are you joking?" I breathed. "Because if you are, this is the cruellest thing—"

He cut me off once again by dipping his head and kissing me, properly this time.

And by the fire I felt in him during that kiss, I knew he was true.

Dean Peterson loved me.

When we broke for air, I couldn't help but ask, "If you love me, then why did you say all that cruel stuff to me before? That hurt, Dean."

He smiled softly. "You didn't let me finish, and I'm truly sorry if I hurt you. What I was going to go on to say was that you don't fit my 'typical' woman, and that's what makes you so perfect. For me at least. If you're 'perfect' for anyone else, then I'll just have to kill them," he said solemnly.

I cracked a grin. "Because you know people who know people who kill people, right?"


I grinned outright and a smile curved his lips as well.

"Sorry if I sound like I'm fishing for compliments, but why in the world would you choose me? I'm not exactly the most gorgeous girl out there."

In one perfect moment, his hand came up to cup my cheek. "You have no idea how stunning you are when you smile – but it's your ability to make anyone laugh that truly caught me."

"Hmm…" I said, adopting a thoughtful expression. "I don't know if that compliment's good enough, buddy."

"How about you deal with it or I'll tie you down and set my younger brother on you – he's still pretty upset over the fact that you not only killed him in laser-tag, but also called him a 'bitch'."

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Fine. I'll take what I can get, then."

He grinned, and repeated my words back to me: "Don't hate the player; hate the game."

I punched him before kissing him again.


A/N: Tell me what you think! My first try at a one-shot, guys, so be nice. Oh, and the 'annoying song' is 'Gettin' Over You' by David Guetta and featuring all these other people. Also, there are quite a few movie quotes in here from Knocked Up, Pirates of the Carribean, Zoolander, Family Guy and maybe some others…

And please review and tell me my mistakes etc!!