posted 8/10/2012 © peanuts and paydays
welcome and enjoy :)
Rumor Has It
a oneshot by peanuts and paydays
"So did you hear?"
Alli Hampton never particularly liked it when those four words came out of Camille Kennedy's mouth. Or the jumble of sentences that her best friend usually spit out afterward.
"I heard from Lisa, who heard it from Mark, who heard it from Emily who heard it from Amy, who apparently witnessed it that—"
"Cam," Alli interrupted quickly, "Would you get on with it?"
Camille swished her blonde hair around and proudly announced, "Rumor has it that Miranda broke up with Jordan Cartwright!"
"And?" Alli wearily asked.
"That means I now have a chance to becoming the future Mrs. Cartwright!" Camille proclaimed, waving her fist in the air.
Camille's previous attempts at becoming the school golden boy's girlfriend had yet to work. Her latest trial, dancing seductively in front of Jordan, ended in a disaster involving Jordan's broken nose and two large bruises on Camille's own arm.
"Okay, Cam." Alli dully replied. "Whatever you say."
"I mean it!" Camille enthusiastically shouted, "I've even devised a plan! It's going to work this time!"
Exhibit A, Alli thought, You break Jordan's nose. Exhibit B, he still has no clue who you are.
"Anyway," Camille's voice snapped Alli back to reality. "The plan involves you, Alli! Isn't that great?"
Ignoring her best friend, Camille continued on happily, "You're going to woo Jordan with your cute self—"
"Excuse me." Alli said, incredulous. "I will not—"
"Don't stop me now!" Camille complained, "I'm not done."
"Please tell me," Alli begged, "That was a joke."
Camille shook her head and grinned, "Nope! But after you woo him, you'll have to back off and introduce him to me because it would kind of defeat the purpose if he began to like you. Plus-" she knowingly tipped her head toward a blonde headed boy coming their way, "I don't think he would like it very much either."
"What are you all gossiping about now?"
Alli smiled at the familiar voice and looked past Camille's shoulder to meet the green eyes of Chris Hunter- star athlete and fellow confidante. The two had met in homeroom the first day of freshman year when they'd both decided, after being offered to be initiated into the after-school drug club, that the only normal people in the room were each other. And here they were, four years later, still banding together against the drugees, despite their homeroom's constant "boyfriend-girlfriend" teasing.
Not that they minded much.
"Cam wants to seduce Jordan again."
"With Alli's help!" piped up Camille, grinning sadistically as Chris's eyes popped out of his head. She ignored her best friend's blatant glare.
Turning his head, Chris rolled his eyes and muttered something that suspiciously sounded like, "I will kill that asshole."
"What did you say?" Camille asked innocently, batting her eyelashes.
He stomped off.
"Don't tell me," Camille drawled, looking pointedly at Alli, "That you guys are still 'just friends'."
Alli let out a sigh. "Weren't you just informing me of your plan to grapple with Mr. Cartwright?"
"We're not grappling until you promise to help me!"
"Fine, fine," Alli gave in, "I'll help you- but I am not seducing Jordan."
"Why?" Camille waggled her eyebrows, "Would that... interfere with your relationship with a certain other boy?"
"Did you even hear what he said about Jordan?"
"Jordan's practically his best friend too."
"You know he's totally into you, right? And you're totally into him too. Why don't you just jump his bones already?"
"That's not an answer you bitch- you know, he was totally checking you out."
"Alright, alright, you crazy woman." Alli led the bubbly blonde towards their classroom door and away from the subject, not because she couldn't handle Camille's mindless chatter, but because truth was, Alli Hampton never particularly liked the way she felt hopeful whenever Chris looked at her.
"Did you hear?"
"Camille Kennedy's trying to go for Jordan again!"
"Isn't this the fifth time she's trying? When is she going to get a clue?"
Letting out a breath, Alli squirmed in the soft library chair and tried to focus on the list in front of her. She wasn't doing her calculus homework like she should've been. Instead, she was being a good friend to Camille—she was listing all the possible ways she could make Jordan fall in love with the bubbly blonde.
1. Tie him to a tree and force him to ask Camille out on a date.
2. Someone force him into making a match . com account and match Camille's answers to his.
"That's not calculus." Chris's voice floated into her ear as he stopped at her side to pull on her curls. He stopped short as he stared down at her list. "Ways to woo Jordan Cartwright? Who are you and what have you done with Alli Hampton?"
"It's for Cam, not me." Alli said, yawning as she shoved her hands into the pockets of her skirt. She was notorious for wearing cute pocket-skirts, something Chris could not get over when he'd first met her.
"What kind of skirts have pockets?" he'd asked relentlessly, "Only pants are supposed to have pockets!"
Later, when Chris first stepped foot inside Alli's house, she'd gone and shown him her collection of pocket-skirts, nearly boring him to tears.
"The only thing good about these skirts," he'd cheekily said, "Is that I can admire your sexy legs while you wear them."
She'd smacked his face afterwards.
"Are you really going to seduce him for Cam?" he asked, plopping down in the chair across the table.
"What other way can you think of to get his attention?"
"You know," Chris said thoughtfully, "I don't think he's a pocket-skirt kinda guy." Before Alli could ask him who he thought was a pocket-skirt kinda guy, he reached over and plucked her notebook out of her reach, then turned to a new page. "The only way this is going to work is if you straight up tell him Cam's interested."
Alli raised her eyebrows. "And how do you propose I do that?"
"Easy. We stalk him."
She laughed at his serious expression, "Hunter, you're crazy."
"No I'm not. There's a party this weekend, his parents are going away, but since he just got dumped by his girlfriend, he will definitely not be down to party."
"So? And how do you know all of this?"
He sighed dramatically. "Have you forgotten we're on the same basketball team? I also practically live at his house."
She just rolled her eyes. "Okay, so you think we should stalk him until he realizes we're there, and then just tell him that Camille's basically in love with him?"
Loud squeals erupted from the table beside them.
Looking over, Alli saw a group of freshmen girls, sneaking looks in their direction, though clearly not at her.
"Fans of yours?"
He shrugged, "What can I say? I attract 'em like a magnet."
"Do you think they'll leave soon? I actually have to finish my calculus homework before class starts next period."
Chris paused thinking, then winked at her. "Probably not by themselves, but don't worry, just leave it to me." With that, he stood up and headed straight toward them. Feeling something stir inside of her when the girls poked and giggled at each other, Alli cast her eyes at her book.
Keep it together, Alli. She gritted her teeth together as she heard peals of laughter. He's not even yours to begin with.
It was a Saturday evening, and they were climbing a ladder to get into Jordan's bedroom.
"This is disgusting."
"Stop whining! Do you want this plan to work or not?"
"I feel like a—"
"Sexy CIA Agent about to kick ass?"
Alli lifted her foot off the ladder to kick Chris, who was below her.
"Stop calling me that!" she whispered down at him. If anything, she was feeling less-than-sexy today. She'd woken up late with a sore throat and stuffed nose, and she was currently wearing an old sweatshirt and jeans. In reality, she was just grateful she'd opted to wear pants. Who knows what would've happened if he saw her in her freaking underwear.
He grinned at her, then frowned when she started to have a coughing fit. "Are you okay? Do you need some cough medicine? I can get you some when we get inside."
"Exactly why couldn't we have just gone through the front door?"
"Because that's not fun, genius!"
A rustle of leaves made both of them stop arguing. They held their breaths until the sound passed, but only a second later they heard a, "Hey! What are you doing?"
"Heeeey Cartwright!" Chris said brightly, "We were just coming by to try cheering you up!"
A head popped out of the bushes. "Chris?" Jordan asked, confused, "I thought you were murderers! Use the front door would you?"
"If you don't use the front door I will personally tip that ladder over."
Chris sighed, tugging at Alli's foot defeatedly. "Looks like we have to enter in your way."
"Who's the genius now?" Alli mocked, smiling as Chris let out a snort.
A moment later, the two were trudging up the large patio into the open door. Jordan held it open for them, but stopped Alli before she could walk in.
"Hey, you're that girl!"
"You know," he said, trying to elaborate, "You always wear those cute skirts that Hunter is always—"
"Yes, she does wear them a lot." Chris interrupted quickly, smiling a little too intensely, avoiding Alli's bemused gaze.
"Anyway, Alli, right?" Jordan quickly tried to cover up his mistake.
"Uh, yeah, I guess so?" It was more of a question than an answer. She was trying to stop her brain from thinking of all the possible ways Jordan could've completed his interrupted sentence.
"You guess?" Jordan seemed amused, "You're funny. Hunter, you sure know how to pick 'em, huh?"
Chris reappeared and grinned, ignoring Jordan's words completely. Smiling a secret smile, Jordan led them all inside and sat down on a huge couch. "So what brings you here to chez moi?"
Alli blinked again. She was very surprised at Jordan's laid back personality. "You speak French?"
"Sure do." Jordan beamed. "It's one of my many talents."
Chris laughed. "What other talents do you have, oh mighty one?"
"Enticing girls, for one." Jordan ticked off a finger, winking at Alli. "Which brings me to my next question, how's Camille doing?"
"Wait," Alli said, thoroughly bewildered, "You know who she is?"
Jordan snorted, "She hit me in the face while dancing in front of me. Of course I know who she is."
"Well," Alli replied, deciding to jump right to the point, "Would you possibly be interested in—"
"Getting us water?" Chris interrupted.
"What is it with you and interrupting me?" She whispered to him as Jordan left the room.
"Sorry," Chris smiled lazily, stretching out on the couch across from where Jordan's butt was imprinted, "Just a habit."
"Don't you want to just hurry up and spit out the real reason we're here?"
"What's the rush?" He shrugged, "Jordan's cool. Besides, he just broke up with his girlfriend; he can't be forced into asking Camille out immediately."
"Waters for everyone!" Jordan announced, tossing bottles of water to the two of them. "Is anyone interested in a little Xbox action?"
Three hours later, Alli picked up her phone and scrolled through her text messages. She'd been mindlessly picking at her sweatshirt for the last hour while listening to the boys' noisy sound effects. The two hours before, she'd helped herself to a Tylenol and multiple servings of chocolate brownies that Jordan apparently liked to make when he was down in the dumps.
YOU HAVE EIGHT NEW TEXT MESSAGES.
All eight were from Camille. The first three were urgent pleadings to take her shopping. The last five were hopeful messages wondering if Alli had thought of a plan yet.
"I'm going to the bathroom." Alli announced, getting up. She was ignored completely. Stifling a laugh, she headed out of the room into the large house in search of a bathroom.
Back in the living room, there lay an abandoned game console and two boys stretched out on the floor in deep conversation. A deep laugh came from the room. "Dude, you can't just tell me to ask her out. She is definitely not interested."
A snort. "Well you can't just tell me to ask Camille out on a date. She punched me in the nose!"
"Oh come on, that was an accident. It would mean a lot to me if you did!" Silence. "Fine, it would mean a lot to her."
"Dude, it's been like four years. She's gone out on two dates, and she clearly knew one of them was moving to Wisconsin the week after."
"She's obviously waiting for you to ask her something!"
"Well Camille's clearly waiting for you to make a move!"
The sound of chuckling. "That is definitely not the same thing."
A sigh. "Tell you what, bro. I'll ask Alli out whenever you decide to make a move on Camille."
The sound of hands clapping together sealed the pact. "Deal."
"Girl, you are the best!"
Alli didn't know what Chris had said to Jordan, but as soon as she stepped foot inside the high school on Monday, Camille had cornered her and squealed.
"Jordan asked me out on a date this Saturday!"
Alli smiled at her friend's enthusiasm. It helped that she was feeling a lot better, thanks to Jordan's pills and brownies. "Told you I didn't have to seduce him to get him to notice you."
"Oh yeah, what did you end up doing?" Camille asked, curious. "You said you were at Jordan's house and then never texted me back."
Alli shrugged, "I didn't really say anything. It was Chris. I went to the bathroom and then we left after I found my way back." She didn't mention how Jordan had mysteriously smiled at her and whispered 'Don't worry, you don't have to wait much longer.'
"Bless that boy." Camille said, putting a hand to her heart. She brightened, "Hey, here he comes now!"
"Ladies." The respective boy greeted, "What's going on?" He jumped when Camille tackled him with a hug, then laughed and met Alli's eyes. "I'm guessing Jordan did the deed?"
"No!" Camille wrinkled her nose, "We haven't even gone out on a date yet!"
Alli chuckled, "I think he's talking about the fact that Cartwright asked you out?"
Camille's eyes lit up again. "Oh yeah, that deed!"
"So," Chris teased, "What are you going to wear?"
"Oh my god!" Camille instantly sounded worried, "What am I going to wear?" She ignored her amused friends, then gasped. "I have the perfect idea."
"Uh oh," Alli quipped, "That doesn't sound good."
"Since I have to pay you guys back anyway, you two can come shopping with me on Friday!"
"Oh no," Chris began backing away, "You really don't have to repay me. I'm sure Alli can—"
"No way." Camille interrupted, glaring fiercely in his direction, "You are a boy. And Jordan's best friend. You know what he likes! You know what I should wear!"
And it was set.
On that Friday afternoon, Camille was leading Alli and Chris into yet another store, muttering to herself about cute clothes and 'the perfect look.' They'd spent the past three hours marching in and out of stores. So far, Camille had only managed to find a single skirt.
"When is she going to stop?" Chris whispered.
"Well," Alli answered slowly, analyzing, "Considering she hasn't even found a top to match that skirt, I'd say we're going to be in here a while."
Chris groaned. "Do you even know what I could be doing right now? I could be tackling men down on my Xbox! Eating a beautiful sandwich!" He waved his arms around wildly, "Doing my English homework!"
"You don't do homework on Fridays."
"It's better than being dragged around from store to store."
"Stop whining," Alli lightly punched his shoulder, "Take this as a life experience. When you get a girlfriend, you'll have to spend hours being dragged across the mall too. Now you know what to expect."
He grimaced. And promptly sat down in the corner behind a rack of sale items.
While Camille fluttered around the store, Alli made her way to the back and stood next to Chris. "You know," She said thoughtfully, "It's been a while since you've been out. Any news on the latest girl chase?"
Her heart hammered in her chest. You shouldn't have asked that. Now you're only about to get disappointed.
"She's totally uninterested."
She forced a laugh. "Come on, she'd be blind to be uninterested."
"Nope, I've been after her for four years and she still hasn't noticed."
Seconds passed by. "So… what's she like?" It was the only thing she could muster up.
He looked up to meet her eyes. More seconds passed by. Then, in a flash, he stood up.
And he pulled her in and kissed her.
There were two things Alli felt were very wrong.
First, it had three days and Chris had yet to respond to her texts or voicemails. Second, people around school were giving her questioning looks.
Maybe it was because she'd helped set Camille and Jordan up.
On the more realistic side, it was probably because Chris had kissed her at the mall. News traveled around unbelievably fast at school.
She'd allowed herself a day to think about it. On Sunday, she'd listened to Camille talk excitedly about how well her date went, then proceeded to spill her guts out when Camille asked her what happened at the mall. On Monday, she'd anxiously waited at Chris's locker multiple times during the day to talk to him, only to find out he'd skipped.
It was Tuesday, and she was determined to find him.
She'd come to terms with the fact that Camille was probably right; that they both liked each other. She'd also had time to clear her head. With Camille's help, she'd managed to prepare a list of what she wanted to say to him— how she felt he kissed her, and her current state of emotion—, and what she wanted to hear from him— why did he wait for four long years, why did he choose to kiss her then, and most importantly, why he'd sprinted out of the store after the moment had passed.
"I can't find him!" she wailed to Camille.
Her best friend frowned sympathetically, "But I know he's in school today, he was in gym!"
Alli let Camille pull her into a hug. "Maybe he decided to move away to Arkansas and left afterwards."
"Or not." Camille let go, spinning Alli around to face the devil himself. To his credit, he was rubbing his neck and looking sheepish. Camille gave a quick 'good luck!' to Alli, then flitted away.
He stopped in front of her. "Hey."
All thoughts of her speech went away. Her mouth went dry. "Hey."
"Okay, look, I didn't mean to run away and then avoid you like that. I was—" he stopped, searching for the right words. "I was totally and utterly confused."
When he saw the bemused expression on Alli's face, he continued, "I didn't mean to kiss you—" he grimaced, "I mean, I did, but not there— I just wanted... our first kiss to be more meaningful." He decided.
There was silence for a while. She could breathe again. "It was meaningful to me," Alli admitted quietly, then smiled and added defiantly, "After waiting for four years!"
"Hey!" His hands shot up in defeat, "It's not my fault. Cartwright told me you'd never go for me in a million years."
In response, she reached over and punched him in the arm. "You're an idiot."
"No I'm not!"
"You definitely are. The goth girl in our homeroom even told me she thought so."
"Pfft. What does she know?" They laughed together.
"So," he rubbed his neck again, a boyish grin on his face. "Did you hear? About the charming basketball player who finally asked the pretty pocket-skirt wearing girl to be his girlfriend?"
She laughed, tugging his hand into hers. "Yeah," she beamed, looking over at him. He looked both determined and hopeful. "And rumor has it, she said yes."
a/n: sooo some of you probably are wondering who i am and why the heck i showed up in your inbox. i posted a oneshot over a year ago... which might explain some of the confusion. but thanks anyway for stopping by, whether you came out of confusion or curiousity! i hope you liked it!
constructive criticism/reviews are appreciated :)