It was a new year in Pomfret – new students, new professors, new friends, new relationships; but also old students, old professors, old friends, and old relationships. As students and parents alike arrived and went through the move in process there was one group of students who were meeting in the TV Room for the first time in three months. It was a group of the best of friends in Pomfret. There were many hugs on all sides and smiles all around.
A ginger giving ginger stares from a big red sofa to the right; a happy squirrel-ish Gir smiling and waving at everyone from behind the ginger; to the left all laid out on a big ratty green couch were a German soccer player, a half breed ginger kid, Snape's Squib son (unless he uses magic to help him steal the Internets), and the perfect male combination of Hitler's eugenics with an unforeseen twist of drama, the four of them laughing at some inside joke.
All mixed in the center of the room were the rest of the group; some lounging in other couches, some standing together talking and giving hugs. A tall commanding brunette – the queen of black and white – was surveying the room to see who all had arrived. A large Totoro was walking about hugging all those he could get his arms around, which was everyone. Iron Woman could be seen on one of the couches showing off her newest comic book. The goofy dairy queen was telling tall tales of her hometown off to one side. In the back by the bookcases, a little hard to see for their shorter stature, was a couple having an ardent hello from an absence of perhaps two weeks.
Coming through the doorway, making a beeline for their queen, was a suit of past followers. As the queen of black and white turned to her suit she saw the charging Pepper in the doorway. Both smiled mischievously, they knew there would be many jokes, pranks, and hero/villain work this year for sure. The queen yelled for Pepper to come into the room, many looked up to see who was getting yelled at as her face heated a bright red. Pepper told the queen to hush as she walked in and began hugging here and there until she came up to the queen and gave her a big hug, popping her back in the queen's tackle hug.
It was decided upon that tonight there would be another great gathering in the TV Room for the first wonderful Bad Movie Night of the school year. As everyone began to disperse, going back to their rooms to unpack and such thing, the queen and her peppery friend stayed behind to talk some and catch up. When they finally decided to get up and walk into the Great Room still chatting away Pepper noticed a still figure outside the Great Room's wall of windows. She commented on it to the queen, both stared out into the shadows trying to perceive who it was. Neither could discover who because of where they were; so they just decided to go to their rooms, the queen to the highest room in the tallest tower and the charging Pepper to the lonely room on the bottom floor of the residents flat. Both being RA's with a room to themselves and both looking forward to the new year.
As the Pepper busied herself about her room, looking for a certain book she had that feeling at the nape of her neck that she was being watched. She spun around to face her door, thinking there was surely someone there, but there was not. She spun around again, looking out her window. There, sitting on a bench under a light pole, was a dark figure, unquestionably the same one from the Great Room. She felt a cold chill run down her spine as she stared at him. She knew she'd never seen him before but something seemed familiar about him. He sat there with an open book on his lap but he was looking directly into her eyes. He had dark black hair and bright piercing blue eyes that made her think he could see into her soul. He had a strong jaw line and looked very built. He was wearing dark clothes and besides the light from the pole he seemed to fade into the darkness of the coming night.
Pepper was now both creeped out and slightly interested as to who the hell this guy was. She was so absorbed in him that she about screamed when her door was thrown open by her Totoro-ish friend Kaleeb. He came up and hugged her and then backed up saying she looked like she'd seen a ghost. She mumbled about perhaps seeing one or just a creeper. Looking out her window one last time before going back to the TV Room only brought her confusion as she looked at an empty bench.
Everyone that was anyone was there in the TV Room that night. The bad movie that had been chosen was none other than Manos, The Hands of Fate – just because it's so bad the group at large thought everyone needed to see it again. Pepper was sitting on one side of Kaleeb and on the other side of Kaleeb was his queen of black and white; he was whispering sweet nothings to her and her face become so red that she could have been mistaken for the queen of hearts. Finally, a very bright red Kiera kissed Kaleeb on the cheek so he'd shut up, which he gladly did. On the other side of Kiera was one of her following suits, by the name of Fizz. Fizz was the cuddly, blonde-headed, fun floor kid of Kiera's. She was also trying to pester her past RA.
All around the room everyone was sitting on the couches together like before, leaning on each other, smiling, and they all just knew it was going to be another wonderful year in Pomfret. That's when Pepper's phone started ringing. She hurriedly silenced it and got up to go answer it, she was hoping it was about an internship. However, when she answered it it was just some stupid telemarketer trying to sell her footy pajamas – yeah, footy pajamas.
Before she turned back to the TV Room however she saw Him again. He was sitting on one of the couches in the Great Room, under one of the tent-like gazeboes. Again slightly hidden in the shadows. Pepper decided then and there that she needed to find out if this guy was just a major creeper or just, well she needed to know something it was better than knowing nothing. So she texted Kiera to call her in ten minutes if she hadn't come back to the TV Room, just as a precaution.
Pepper began walking towards the gazebo, towards the shadowy character on the couch, full of confidence that it'd just be some misunderstanding on her part. When she'd gotten half way to the gazebo he looked up from his book. The look on his face was priceless; he was utterly shocked to see Pepper walking straight for him. He put a scrap of paper between the pages to mark his spot as he set his book aside, his eyes never leaving hers. Pepper began to second-guess her decision of walking over to him; it was his eyes that made her think she should have stayed in the TV Room. She couldn't look away from them and she felt like she was falling into the depths of a cool lake.
As Pepper stepped under the shadow of the gazebo he stood up from his seat and put out his hand. Pepper numbly received the handshake as he told her his name. His name was Salt, James Salt. All she could do was stare, and then she laughed saying it must be some kind of joke. He was smiling and told her it wasn't a joke, it was his real name. Pepper then said someone must have put him up to it or he had found out her name and thought it'd be funny. Salt told Pepper no, this wasn't a joke, and asked what her name was. When she told him what her name was he couldn't believe it just like she couldn't believe his. They both stood there for a second just looking at each other. Then both burst out laughing, he even took out his ID to prove it to Pepper.
So Pepper then decided to ask him what he'd been doing out on the bench earlier. At this point he looked down at his toes with a bashful look on his face. He looked back up and asked if she'd like to sit down. Pepper thought he was trying to get out of the question so she sat and asked it again, also mentioning the first time she'd seen him. He tried to act normal but he was fidgety, he picked up his book and set it back down and then looked back up into Pepper's eyes. Pepper could only look into them for so long before she had to look down with a slightly crimson face.
Then just as Salt was about to explain himself Pepper's eyes were covered up with a pair of hands. Pepper knew it could only be one person, Aingeal, the happy squirrel-ish Gir. Aingeal sat facing both Salt and Pepper and looking at Pepper happily told her that this was the new RA, Salt. Aingeal thought it was hysterical that there was now a Salt and Pepper on the staff. She also reminded Pepper of something that happened at the dinner table, thanks to Kiera, having to do with salt and pepper shakers. Pepper did not appreciate this and gave Aingeal a significant glare.
Aingeal said her goodbyes and ran back to the TV Room just as Kiera called Pepper's phone. Pepper told her never mind and she'd be back soon. As the phone was hurriedly put away Salt picked up his book again and flipped through it aimlessly. Pepper looked back up at him and asked which floor was his. He told her it was the one straight across from hers, which was slightly creepy.
Salt then asked Pepper what her major was, when she answered veterinary medicine he smiled and said he was in wildlife and environmental sciences. From there the two of them hit it off pretty quickly. Pepper asked if he'd like to go on a walk, he hadn't seen the gardens so they decided to go walk that way. Pepper walked by the TV Room and said goodnight to everyone, which she got some pretty significant looks from Kiera and Kaleeb and a few others for.
Well their walk led them from the gardens to the bench outside their own windows in the dim light of one light pole. Salt started explaining his earlier actions and Pepper just sat there listening and blushing. Once there was quiet again, both sitting there on the little stone bench, neither could believe the start of this year. Having on the first real day in Pomfret fallen head over heels for each other, how could such a wonderful thing really have happened to them?
From the sidewalk, peaking around the corner of the building were Kaleeb and Kiera, both smugly smiling. They truly were the king and queen of hearts. To have somehow gotten these two together with out either of them knowing they'd been set up was a special kind of talent, and they had it.
As Salt and Pepper sat there on the stone bench, leaning towards each other, they knew they'd found happiness. Then Salt and Pepper's hands met, which turned into a hug, which blossomed into a warm embrace that the two had been waiting for their entire lives. So is college and so is Pomfret.