"I want to rip your clothes off and have mad, hot sex with you right here on the library floor," a tall boy stated boldly, placing his elbow atop his friend's head.

"Darren, will you shut up please?" Winifred complained, swatting her friend's arm off her auburn hair in annoyance.

"Nerd," Darren chuckled, settling into the library chair next to Winnie, ignoring the disapproving looks the librarian was shooting them. They made for an odd pair, the school's resident 'bad boy' and an above average student who generally stood under the radar. Nevertheless, they'd lived their entire lives as neighbors and were, consequently, good friends.

"Winnie, I'm bored," Darren whined, running a hand through his hair and pouting like a child.

"Darren!" Winnie shrieked quietly, "Go beat someone up or light something on fire! I have to finish this before the period ends!"

"Did you not do your homework?" he asked slowly, lips curling into a smirk, "Winifred Reed didn't do her homework!"

"Oh hush your nonsense," she laughed, sending him a glare, "This is due Thursday, I just want to finish it now."

"Oh," he deflated, "Why are you doing homework three days in advance?" he gaped as his leg shook underneath the table, sending tremors through the ground.

"Because Anya invited me to the movies on Wednesday so I won't be able to do it that night," Winnie replied, not sparing him a glance.

"Wait, you're going to the movies?" Darren asked, afraid he'd misheard, "On a school night?"

"Uh huh," she nodded, finishing the last sentence of her assignment, "And before you scream about how I never go places with you, let's go outside." she said curtly, cutting him off. Open-mouthed, Darren followed her out the library door and waited until it swung shut.

"Why don't you ever go places with me? How come whenever someone else asks you, you go, but you never go anywhere with me? I'm your neighbor and your best friend! I'm wounded!" Darren began ranting, waving his arms around. Several freshman in the hall scuffled by quickly, trying to avoid the tall, leather jacket-clad lunatic flailing his arms around and looking, altogether, rather scary.

"Because you take me places that we go to anyways on the weekend," Winifred shrugged, heading towards her locker, "And because Anya is going on a date, and she wanted me to double to relieve the awkwardness."

"Wait, you're going on a date?" Darren stated in an accusing tone, "With who?" he demanded as he unlocked Winnie's locker for her.

"Anya's going with James and James is bringing Cameron. So Anya is bringing me to go with Cameron." she answered, replacing and removing books from her locker shelves.

"Cameron? As in Cameron Hansen?" Darren asked, looking perturbed, "As in the biggest asshole about campus?"

"Um, I guess so?" Winnie shrugged, "It's not like I want to get into his pants, I'm just going for Anya," she explained, shutting the locker door with a bang, "Are you going to Calculus today?" she asked, knowing of his habitual skipping of the class.

"Nah," he shook his head, "Got shit to do."

"Alright, I'll give you the notes if you want," Winnie offered, stepping into the classroom.

"That's why I love you," Darren laughed, grabbing her gently by the back of her neck and placing a kiss on her forehead. "I'll see you later, okay?"

"Where are you going?" she asked, nodding.

"Don't worry about it," Darren smirked with a calculating look on his face.

"Darren," Winnie said cautiously, "Don't do anything stupid, okay?"

"Do I ever?" he asked, laughing at the ridiculousness of his own statement. Smiling to herself, Winnie walked to her seat in Calculus as Darren headed off to find a certain Cameron Hansen.

"Want to tell me why Anya called and said that Cameron cancelled because you threatened to slash his tires?" an angry Winifred demanded as she stormed into Darren's messy room.

"What?" the tall guy sprawled on the bed replied lazily.

"Don't pull that shit with me, Darren," she warned, "I've told you like a gazillion times that you need to stop beating on guys that ask me out or go places with me!"

"Why?" Darren asked nonchalantly, staring at his enraged, petite neighbor as her auburn ringlets bounced around her head while she raged.

"Ugh! You're incorrigible!" Winifred sighed, stamping her foot in frustration.

"Winnie," Darren said softly, sitting up on his bed and pulling her towards him, "You told me you didn't like him."

"I don't!" she denied, "But you always do this," she said softly, staring at the collar of his favorite shirt. It was the one she had gotten him from Spain. Due to his impressive growth since the seventh grade it fit tightly, stretching tautly across his broad chest, but he'd be damned before he ever got rid of it.

"You know its because I love you, right?" he mumbled against her arm, his form of an apology.

"Yeah, yeah," Winifred laughed, taking his words as joke, though they had ceased to be some time ago. Grinning crookedly, Darren grabbed Winifred by her sides, knowing her ticklishness, and pulled her down onto the bed with him. After some struggling and screeching, Winifred lay squashed against the wall with Darren's arm under her neck, a position with which he could not be any more pleased.

"Hey," Darren said grunted.

"Yeah?" Winifred answered, turning her face up to her neighbor.

"Wanna go?" he mumbled into her hair.

"Tube?"

"Yeah," Darren nodded, rolling onto his side to face her.

"I don't want to, Darren," Winnie moaned, shaking her head, "I want to watch a movie!" she suggested perkily.

"Alright," he exhaled, flopping onto his back, "What do you want to watch?"

"Breakfast Club! Breakfast Club! Club de Desayuno!" she chanting, bouncing on the bed.

"Alright, alright," Darren laughed, turning the television in his room on. He and Winnie watched Breakfast Club so many times that it was still in the DVD player.

"Yay, yay, Breakfast Club!" she continued saying, gathering Darren's pillows around her.

"Hey, you thief!" he protested, snatching one of them back and leaning against the wall next to her.

"You dumb butt," she pouted, punching him lightly in the shoulder. Darren clutched his shoulder in fake agony, smiling as the title screen came on. Winnie immediately quieted down, eyes fixated on the screen as it began to play.

"Hey, it's you," Darren whispered in her ear as Claire came on the screen.

"It's you!" Winnie responded in like as Bender's angry face flashed across the screen. Smiling, the pair watched the rest of the movie in relative silence. Occasionally, Winnie or Darren would comment on something, but for the most part, Winnie focused on the movie and Darren focused on the feel of her body leaning against his.

"Hey," Darren said, staring at the ceiling as the pair laid on the bed after the movie had ended, "What do you think happens after the movie?"

"What?" Winnie yawned, turning her head to look Darren in the eyes.

"I mean, after detention, do you think Bender and Claire get together?" he asked, staring at her with his dark green eyes.

"I guess it's a little cliché, but I think so," Winnie smiled, eyes distant, "At least I want them to."

"What about us?" Darren asked, unable to help himself.

"What?" Winnie asked, faking a yawn as her stomach dropped.

"If you're Claire and I'm Bender, do we get together?" he asked, completely serious.

"You're so silly," Winifred laughed nervously, "I'm tired," she announced, flopping down onto her side, "Goodnight!" she chirped, squeezing her eyes shut and ignoring the fluttering in her stomach as she toyed with the idea that Darren might have more than friendly feelings for her.

"Night," he murmured, reaching over her to turn the lights off. Lying down behind her, he kept a safe distance from her body, but couldn't ignore the indescribable scent that wafted towards him. A mixture of floral and citrus emanated from her hair and only a small amount of self-restraint prevented him from pulling her flush against him before he fell asleep.

The next morning, as usual, Winifred woke up before Darren. Feeling his hands on her waist, her stomach dropped again and she was reminded of their conversation from the night before. Had he just been joking? Or did had that been Darren's way of showing her that he wanted to be more than friends? Quietly, she turned herself around to face his sleeping form. She smiled as she watched him breathing deeply, eyes fluttering while his brain was engaged in some dream. Unable to resist, she reached up her hands to caress his many scars and scabs. His nose was slightly crooked from a fight he'd gotten into as a sophomore in high school. The light dusting of freckles across his nose and cheeks were marred by a few scrapes from childhood adventures through the forest that grew behind their houses.

Darren's eyes opened slowly to the feel of Winifred's fingers dancing across his face. Reassured that she was still there, he tightened his grip on her waist and closed his eyes again, smiling softly at her.

"Hi," he murmured, and she could feel his chest rumble as he spoke.

"Morning," she smiled back, "You fell asleep in your jeans again," she informed him, glancing down at his legs.

"So did you," he laughed, pulling her against himself so his chin rested on her left shoulder. Winifred snorted something indecipherable as he pulled her close and mashed her face into his shoulder. Blushing, she tried to establish some distance between them, but his strong arms kept her squashed up against his chest and eventually she let herself go limp in his arms simply breathing in his scent.

"Hey Darren?" Winifred mumbled against his chest.

"Yeah?" he answered with his eyes still closed. Winifred felt his chest rise and fall as he talked and breathed.

"What did you mean yesterday? When you asked about us?" she finally breathed out, unable to hold her questions inside.

"Hmm? Oh, I was just being silly," he laughed nervously, pulling away to look at her.

"Oh," Winifred exhaled softly, okay. She seemed to shrink as she assumed that Darren didn't actually have any feelings for her and she'd gotten her hopes up for nothing.

"Actually, not really," Darren sighed, deciding to come clean. He grappled for the right words for a minute before just grabbing Winifred by the shoulders and planting a soft kiss on her open mouth. Surprised, she stiffened for a second and right before he pulled away, she reached up tentatively to touch his cheeks. Foggy-brained, she traced her fingers over his stubbled jaw line before pulling back for air.

"Wow," she murmured breathlessly as he stared back at her in slight disbelief.

"Does this mean…what I think it means?" Darren asked hopefully, staring intensely into her eyes.

"What do you think it means?" Winifred asked, burying her face into the crook of his neck so hide her spreading blush.

"Really?" Darren semi-shouted. Feeling her nod, he grabbed her even tighter against his chest in another hug. Then pulling back he lowered his lips to hers again, feeling her smile into their second kiss.