A/N: Hello again! I'm here with another one shot! If you haven't read "Leggo My Ego" before, I highly suggest you do so you can better understand Wendy and Max's relationship along with Wendy's mind.
Basically, I wrote this because I just wanted to write more Wendy and Max fluff. I came up with this one shot when one amazing, gem of a line just popped into my head at random, and I thought, "Wendy would totally say something like this." If you can guess which one it is, kudos to you!
Now, enough of my rambling; read on!
Waffle No More
Suffice to say, the waffle business is no more. It might be because of the fact that school is now out – and has been for a month or so now – but hey, what do I know? If I wanted to, I could take both my truck and my waffles back to the school again, but I'd hate to be the reason – other than grueling, physical exertion, a.k.a. sports – people go back to visit the school during the summer.
And don't think I haven't thought about taking my business elsewhere. It's just… a little bit questionable when you're hanging around a park asking little kids to approach your truck because you have "waffles".
In order to continue providing for myself, I've been forced to into the sad situation that is the summer job.
Now, I love food; I have since the moment I realized it was necessary for my survival, both in the literal sense and in the monetary sense. Food has always been my thing; I make waffles for my school and I cook dinner for my family.
So, of course it makes sense that I would look for a job at a restaurant, most likely serving food, right? And that I would enjoy such a job?
Oh, how wrong that is.
Waitressing at Mario's is like slowly stabbing yourself to death with a wooden spoon; it's horrible, it's painful, it's excruciatingly slow, and it's a pain that you're inflicting upon yourself through your own free will.
I've never had to deal with annoying, demanding customers at the high school; usually students were too groggy from a lack of sleep and loads upon loads of homework to really care about the waffles I was serving them. Customers at Mario's, however, seem to have an extra sixth sense on what's the perfect thing to do to get under my skin.
Shit, if I meet another person who leaves me a card for a tip again, I swear…
I guess there's always that metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to things like this.
Take for example, my co-worker, Vincent. At six foot five inches, he's like a regular goliath, always instilling fear in the hearts of customers as he lumbers up to their table. Then, after that, they forgive him for his freakish height because he's got an award winning smile (seriously, the guy won his senior superlative for 'Best Smile') and dark brown hair that's always flopping into his eyes in a way that he has to constantly keep brushing it out of his face. And then there's that barely noticeable lisp he has, origins unknown, that makes him seem more bumbling than threatening.
The rest of my female coworkers have pretty much established that Vincent is the "cutest thing since sliced bread" and that they "would jump him if they ever got the chance" – if only they could reach him, though.
And then there's the added fact that he's an older, college man that just finished his freshman year, which apparently makes him instantly more mature and more well-learned than high school boys.
If you ask me, older guys are just the same as high school boys – the only difference is they can now legally buy porn and cigarettes.
But whatever Vincent is, he's got a sense of humor that somehow manages to match up with mine, and a deep, rumbly laugh that he seems to love using whenever he gets.
Then there's the added fact that out of all the female waitresses on our lunch shift, he seems to have latched onto me – little ole' me, who's always got some snide remark to make about the restaurant after we've stepped out of it.
Apparently he's interested in me, if the glaring of daggers at me by the rest of the female wait staff is any indication.
God forbid they get their hands on the kitchen knives.
And I'm flattered, really. But – and that's a huge but – there's just the littlest of problems.
… Fine, the biggest of problems, and he happens to be across the country on the West Coast on what seems like the longest of vacations.
Oh, life is definitely very interesting after high school.
I've just finished my lunch shift one day at work and am packing up in the staffroom when I feel someone coming up behind me, and then a hard poke in my back.
Hissing from the unexpected gesture, I whirl around to find Vincent, who's grinning at me playfully, looking something like a big, rambunctious, puppy.
I've heard some of the other girls describe him as such, at least.
"I'll walk out with you," he says as we hang up our aprons.
"So, you saw the mom with the whole pack of kids, right?" he asks, immediately launching into a story. His hand goes up to brush at his hair.
I wrinkle my nose at the mention of the unruly family.
He grins at my reaction. "I got such a large tip from the mom, it's kind of ridiculous," he boasts. "Anything out of the ordinary for you?"
Oh, the stories I could tell you about annoying customers.
I ponder the question for a bit. "How about Mr. Robin?" I ask, referring to a customer who comes to the restaurant daily. "That guy eats like he's planning to get sent into orbit as Earth's second moon." God knows how skinny he is though.
Vincent lets out a laugh. "You're pretty funny, Wendy," he says amidst chuckles, stating the obvious.
"You think I don't know that?" I ask, raising a skeptical eyebrow at him. I hoist the strap of my bag over my shoulder and we walk side by side out of the staffroom.
"I'm pretty sure you do," he responds. We've just walked into the main dining room, and he stops to flash me a grin.
I'm obliged to stop walking as well, although all I really want to do is hightail it out of this joint.
"Look at me like that any longer and your face will get stuck like that," I tell him.
That earns more laughter from him, and it's like I'm a regular on Comedy Central or something.
"Sorry," he says, the lying bastard – I can tell he's apologetic about nothing.
"No, you're not."
"You're right." He shrugs. "Actually, there was something I kind of wanted to ask you."
"Oh, really? Well, coincidentally, I have an answer for you."
"Hopefully it's a good one," he says. He shifts a little bit on his feet, like a nervous middle school student.
What did I say about maturity?
"Would you maybe want to catch a movie later?" he asks.
"Oh." I'm sorry, I can't because, did I forget to mention, that I have a boyfriend who hasn't been picking up my phone calls for the past three weeks?
But what if I said yes? Just to get back at him for falling off the face of the Earth, even though from the photos on his Facebook, it's obvious that he's somehow managed to fall onto a sunny beach.
I'd be completely lying if I said I wasn't tempted to accept Vincent's offer.
"Well," I started, "I –"
"Sorry, she doesn't have any time."
Speak of the devil.
I look to my right, where Max is standing like he's been there the entire time. He's got a murderous look on his face that he's shooting primarily at Vincent, and his jaw is squared and set.
I haven't seen this guy in a month, and I'm a bit taken aback by his appearance. First of all, sun-kissed is definitely the wrong way to describe the color of his skin; it's more like the sun has picked him up and slobbered all over him, leaving trails of tanned skin across his entire body. His blonde hair is slightly blonder than it was before, but still neatly kept together, like always.
Vincent is slightly startled as well. "Um, who are you?" he asks Max.
"Max." Curt, short, and simple, no breath wasted to further explain.
"Okay?" Vincent says, slightly hesitant, as if expecting him to say something else.
Max doesn't offer him anything else other than a "We have to leave now", referring to both him and me. He grabs me by the wrist and pulls me towards the front door, leaving a bewildered Vincent staring after us.
"I'll see you later!" I call out to him over my shoulder as Max flings open the door, marching us out into the heat of the hot summer sun.
He lets go of me once we're a good ways away from the restaurant, and I follow along after him in silence while we make our way to the busy park across the street. We've gotten to the middle of the park, where a large fountain, surrounded by a brick wall, stands, when he turns around to face me, his eyes flashing.
"What was that about?" he asks me.
A little kid runs through the space between us as I shrug. "I don't know what you're saying," I say.
"Don't pull that card on me, Wendy." His voice is low and barely audible against the chattering of the people in the park. "I come back from California and the first thing I do is come see you, only to find some guy trying to ask you out."
"You just got back?"
"Two hours ago, but is that the point? Have you been hanging around with that guy a lot while I've been gone?"
Oh, he was playing the role of the jealous boyfriend perfectly.
"Maybe I have, maybe I haven't," I say, a bit defiantly. "Why do you care though?"
"Now what are you talking about?"
"You haven't called me back or anything for weeks! Seriously Max, it's like you haven't even existed for the past three weeks or so." I hoist myself up onto a brick wall by the fountain, standing up as I throw my feet over it.
After throwing my hands out to balance myself, I look down at Max, who has grown silent. "Cat got your tongue?" I ask.
Max runs a hand over his face. "God, Wendy."
I toe the edge of the wall. "What about God?"
"I dropped my phone into the ocean."
"Oh." I could have left it at that, but I egg him on. "That's convenient."
"What?" He removes his hand from his face, and his eyes narrow. "You don't believe me?"
"You could have let me know from a different phone."
"Wendy, I'd had your number on speed dial this entire time; I have no idea what it is anymore."
I snort. "You don't know my number? What kind of boyfriend are you?"
"The kind who makes sure to come see his girlfriend first thing after he gets back from vacation." He reaches a hand out for my foot, but I quickly sidestep him and walk forward on the wall, slightly teetering left and right. "I'm sorry I didn't call you; can we please drop this?"
"No Facebook message, no e-mail, nothing," I continue on.
"I swear, Wendy, this is the first time you've ever gotten hissy about something like this. Knock it off."
I kick at the bricks, bringing up some stray dirt. "Maybe I just want to know what you've been doing while you haven't been in contact with me."
"Visiting family friends like I told you," he says, trailing after me as I walk down the wall.
"Uh-huh." I turn around and walk the other way down the wall. Max curses to himself underneath his breath before turning in the other direction and following after me.
"This is about Melanie, isn't it?
"Oh, so that's her name? Guess I don't have to call her 'that sexy blonde with the hot bod' anymore."
Here's the thing: if your boyfriend is off in another state and you seem to have lost all contact with him, the last thing you really want to see is a girl tagging him online in pictures of her practically draping herself over him in a state of half-dress.
"She's just a family friend," he clarifies.
"And I'm just the queen of England," I retort.
There's a moment of silence, and I look back at him curiously. He's stopped walking, and his brows have flown up in realization.
"You're jealous," he accuses.
Jealousy is for chumps.
"No, I'm not," I scoff.
I don't get jealous.
"Oh, you are so in denial," he says.
"No, you're in denial."
"I'm not in denial about anything!"
"You're in denial about Melanie!"
Our voices are getting louder and I'm sure a few people are shooting us nervous glances, but I don't care enough to check.
"Fine!" he exclaims, throwing his hands up into the air. "Maybe she does like me, how would I know? I'm not interested in her, isn't that enough?"
I take a tiny leap forward on the wall, not bothering to offer him a response.
He doesn't wait for one either. "And why the hell are we focusing on me right now?" he asks, his voice frustrated. "Are you forgetting about what's-his-face back in Mario's trying to ask you out on a date?"
"It's not like I was going to accept! And besides, it's not like I get countless guys all the time trying to chase after me like I'm some hunk of meat."
"Oh, and I do?"
"God, I wish countless guys were chasing after you all the time. No, you have teenage girls that squeal when they see you like it's their job."
"No, I'm not! Max, before and even while you were dating me, almost all the girls at our school were trying to get in your pants."
"It's not like I ever did anything about it!"
"Yeah right, Casanova, I can easily name ten times you've made questionable decisions about the opposite sex."
"Besides deciding to date you?"
Ignoring his slight jab, I continue on my rant. "First, you took two girls to homecoming sophomore year," I say.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the second one followed me there."
To get in his pants, no doubt.
"Junior year, you sold a date with yourself to raise money for charity," I claim, my voice starting to get louder.
Max doesn't even speak up to remind that those were all rumors. Instead, his eyes are darting around looking at the people near us, and his jaw is clenched. "Wendy, keep your voice down," he grinds out.
"And then, senior year, you made out with three girls at Brooke Kelley's New Year's party!"
"Wendy, shut up!"
"And let's not forget the fact that YOU GOT NAKED WITH YOUR MOTHER," I say, loudly and clearly at the people around us. Some stop to give me bewildered looks as if syrup has started pouring from out of my ears, and others – namely middle-aged women with young children in their arms – send curious glances Max's way. I shoot a quick peek down at my feet, where Max is now glaring at me, his face absolutely livid and red like a baboon's behind.
That is one unattractive simile.
"Wendy!" he hisses. He gives the leg of my jeans one hard tug and I jump down from my precarious position on the brick wall, teetering on the balls of my feet as I land on the grass. "Remind me to kill whoever showed you my baby pictures," he mutters under his breath as he clamps a hand around my wrist, dragging me away from the middle of the park.
"What?" I ask, feigning absolute innocence. "My mom took plenty of pictures when she gave me baths too."
"No! What? You- ugh!" He throws his hands up in exasperation and it's my sheer will power that keeps me from imitating the ridiculous gesture.
If I hadn't stopped myself, we would have looked like a bunch of buffoons, wouldn't we have?
We're now standing at the edge of the park, across the street from the local bookstore and just a ways from a coffee shop that's become a recent middle school hangout spot. (Which is a shame, considering I quite enjoyed their lattes.) The area around us is relatively empty, save for a park bench a few feet behind us and an elderly couple walking by, their hands entwined.
"'Ugh' to you too," I retort, placing my hands on my hips.
"You know that's not why I'm mad right now," he growls, completely ignoring my witty response to his sputtering outburst.
"Do I?" I challenge him.
"Yes!" For just a moment there, smooth Max Fields loses his steely composure. "Wendy, you just embarrassed me in front of all those people."
"Drama queen, much?"
"God, Wendy, I don't even know what it is about you." His fingers are rubbing furiously at his temples – God forbid I've given him a migraine. "First," he says, after's he's done massaging his head, "you throw a waffle at me." He counts off on his fingers. "Second, you dumped flour on me at graduation as a form of celebration." Oh, he so enjoyed that. "And third, just now, you make it out like I've got a weird relationship with my mom! Shit, I have to be crazy to somehow want to keep being in a relationship with you."
"So, what are you saying?" I ask, my voice rising to match his. "You don't want to be in a relationship with me anymore?"
"Maybe not!" he responds. "Maybe I just want to date a regular, normal girl who doesn't chuck food at random people and who doesn't go out of her way to embarrass her boyfriend!"
"Fine!" I say loudly. "Maybe I just want to date a guy whose best friend isn't a mirror and who actually knows the meaning of the word 'girlfriend' when he sees it!"
"I totally know what 'girlfriend' means!" he yells.
"Then I'm sure that you know what 'we're over' means too!"
"Even if I didn't, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't need to have you explain it to me." With that, he's turning on his heels and walking off in the opposite direction, his hands jammed into the pockets of his shorts and his entire body rigid.
I'm watching him walk off when a thought immediately pops into my head.
"I'll sue if you ever let my family's waffle recipe out!" I shout at his retreating figure.
He waves a dismissive hand in my direction.
It's like we're in high school all over again.
So, I broke up my boyfriend.
Woe is me, and all of that shit.
I broke up with my boyfriend yesterday, the one who no one thought it was going to work out with, the one who was too good for me, according to the rest of the girls at my old school.
I hope they're starving without my waffles this summer.
But today feels like any normal summer day, save for the fact that I know Max is now no longer on the other side of the country.
We're over now though, unless he actually did need me to explain the meaning of the phrase to him.
But, maybe someone needs to explain it to me, because I've been feeling a bit sick to my stomach ever since and because I've been thinking that maybe I shouldn't have ended things like I did.
Any other girl in my situation would probably be thinking: Oh thank God, now I can focus all of my feminine wiles on the totally cute, older, and very much available Vincent.
What can I really say though, other than that I want to date Vincent just about as much as I want to date a little brother, if I were to have one?
Besides, I don't really need him; I have the power to purchase my own cigarettes now.
… If I were to ever require them.
So, walking into work today is just the tiniest bit of awkward, considering the possibly friendship-breaking question he dared to ask me the other day. For the entirety of our lunch shift, he passes me fleeting, cautious glances over the heads of the customers in the dining room, trying to get a hint from me that will help him make better sense of the situation yesterday.
I can't assist him however, because even I'm feeling a bit lost concerning yesterday's events.
Finally at the end of the shift, after we're hanging up our aprons in the staffroom and getting ready to leave, he approaches me, his stance purposeful and his jaw set, like he's ready to go to battle.
"Can we talk?" he asks.
Classic breakup line, but I know that's not the case. (Though, if it was, I'd be sure to sit down with him for a nice, long chat.)
"Did another customer today ask for pizza with no cheese?" I ask in response as we step out of the staffroom.
Vincent snorts amusedly, recalling the "health conscious" parent who had walked into the restaurant with her kids.
He trails off because he notices I'm no longer looking at him. Instead, my attention is now focused towards the front of the restaurant, where all the windows are. I'm staring, rather bug-eyed, at a certain familiar blonde, who's holding in his hands a Tupperware container. He offers me a weak smile when he notices me watching him.
And even though I've taken note of all of the flaws in his features, I've always had something of a soft spot for the stupid, singular dimple that appears on his right cheek.
It just looks so poke-able, you know?
It's this moment that I get something just short of an epiphany.
Because, I realize, that for all of his imperfections, Max isn't all that bad of a guy.
He's the kind of guy that wakes up at five o'clock in the morning just to make waffles with you. He's the kind of guy that's trying to hide a smile underneath his scowl while he dusts off the flour you just dumped on him. He's the kind of guy that makes sure you're the first person he sees when he comes back from vacation.
So, maybe he's worth keeping around.
"That's the guy from yesterday," Vincent observes, his gaze having followed mine. He sounds apprehensive as he asks, "Is he your boyfriend?"
"Not anymore," I say. But, before he can get too happy about that piece of news, I quickly add, "But I still want him to be."
Without waiting for Vincent to say anything, I walk past him towards the door, a few feet away from where Max is standing by the window.
"Hi," he says when I approach him.
"Hi," I say in return, repeating back to him what he said to me.
"How are you?" he asks.
Oh jeez, we're doing the whole awkward, post-breakup thing now?
"Amazing; it's not like we broke up yesterday or anything," I respond.
I can see from the twitch under his eye that he's trying to suppress an eye-roll. After a semi-amazing show of self-control, he thrusts the container out towards me, its contents jostling around slightly.
"For you," he says.
"You shouldn't have," I say, taking the container from him. I weigh it in my hands. "What is it?"
"Waffles." His answer is short and simple, just like the first time he came up to me, on his own will, to buy waffles.
"Really?" I pop the cover open and indeed, inside are two golden waffles, still slightly warm. He's tucked into the corner a small packet of syrup that's slightly leaking over the insides of the container.
The whole gift is so sickeningly thoughtful I just might puke.
"And what's the occasion?" I ask, popping the lid back onto the container.
"Trying to make up with my girlfriend?" he says, a question in his voice, as if he needs my permission.
"And how are you planning to do that?" It's a subtle challenge, and it doesn't go unnoticed.
Max sighs. "Really? You're going to make me do this?" I don't offer any response other than the slight quirk of my eyebrows, and he lets out a frustrated groan.
"You're crazy, Wendy," he begins with, because that's always the first thing you should tell a girl when you're trying to get back into her good graces. "And I'm crazy for always wanting to be with you, for going after the one girl who knows how to bruise my ego the most." He takes a deep breath. "But I'm going to be even crazier if I just stand by and let you go without a fight, because, for some insane reason, I love you. I love you, even though you threw a waffle at me the first time we met and even though you dumped flour on me for graduation. I'm sorry I didn't call you, I'm sorry about the other girls, and I'm even sorrier for being an ass about everything." He pauses. "I don't want normal, I want you."
That's it. Now Wendy the Waffle Girl is Wendy the Girl-Who-Gets-Amazing-Yet-Convoluted-Confessions-of-Love, and I couldn't ask for anything else.
Don't worry, though; I'm not going soft on you.
"So…" he trails off, and he sounds kind of breathless after talking so much.
He scratches at his head, messing up his neatly cut hair. "Are you going to say anything?"
I cross my arms at my chest. "Nice speech," I offer.
Max purses his lips and his eyes flash in warning.
I grin at him, deciding he's probably had enough of my antics. "I'm sorry I've been cavorting with the enemy," I say.
Max seems to relax a little as his eyes flit over my shoulder into the restaurant. "Are you into him?" he asks me, his voice turning slightly bitter at the reference to Vincent.
I shrug. "Not really. He kind of doesn't have a mirror for a best friend, and I'm sure he has a pretty extensive vocabulary."
"I thought you were into that?" Despite his question however, that dimple on his right cheek has returned.
"Maybe I'm not."
There's a slight pause in which we stare at each other, both of us unmoving. Then, his arms are wrapping around my waist, pulling me into him so he can press his lips against mine in a kiss. Without a second though, I'm kissing him back, moving my lips along with his. The kiss is searching and insistent, like he's trying to make sure that I'm actually standing there with him.
(And I am, which is a ridiculous thing to be wondering in the first place.)
After a good few seconds, where we've given both the people in the restaurant and out in the parking lot the show of their lifetimes, I finally pull my head away from his. I gesture at the container, which I've been clutching at and which has been sandwiched between our two bodies.
"So, it's nice that we've forgiven each other and all," I say, "but, I bet you twenty bucks these are not half as good as mine."
Max's eyes narrow. "I love you Wendy, but you really know how to piss me off sometimes."
I let out a loud, genuine chuckle and lean back slightly in his arms so I can get a better look at his face. "Fine," I say, "we'll call it ten bucks."
His expression tries but fails to remain grim; the hard line that was once a frown curls into a small grin and the corners of his eyes begin to crinkle, hinting at a smile.
I jump onto my tiptoes and brush my lips across his for a second kiss. "I love you, too," I murmur against his skin.
And you know what?
He tastes like syrup.
And all good things start with waffles.
A/N (cont.): Annnd that was it. I really hoped you enjoyed! Hopefully you found something to smile at in this little one shot. I think Wendy's sarcasm was a little more subtle in this, but I really wanted to steer the focus more to her and Max's dynamic rather than keep it focused on her perspective, which I feel I did in the other one shot.
I think this will be it for Wendy and Max; I wrote this one shot because I just didn't feel satisfied with where I left the other one. Obviously Wendy and Max don't have a perfect relationship, but they don't have to and not everyone does. But what they do have is an extremely interesting dynamic where they (in my eyes at least) just seem to fit each other, and that's why I decided to write this one shot.
Anyways, if you enjoyed, please leave a review! I'd love to know what you think!