|One Mr Tall, Dark, and Handsome, Please
Author: NeoNails PM
Getting stood up sucks. Getting stood up by your best friend and crush sucks even more. Having someone to listen to your rantings helps. A little. Warren/LaylaRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Layla W. & Warren P. - Words: 2,007 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 47 - Follows: 8 - Published: 08-12-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4469085
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm currently writing a new chaptered fic, but you won't see it posted until I'm almost done with it, and I can't guarantee when that's going to happen. In the meantime, I was hit with a burst of inspiration and felt the need to write a sort of companion piece to From 0 to 60 in Less than a Second. Like the first one, it'll be short.
So I'm takin' my heart
And I'm gettin' me out of love
Somethin' that I wouldn't want to live without
So I'm takin' my heart and
I'm gettin' me out on my own.
-"Bleed," Anna Nalick
Layla Williams couldn't believe it.
Will Stronghold had stood her up. Her best friend had stood her up. At the Paper Lantern, of all places! Her favorite Chinese restaurant. Now this place would forever serve as a reminder that she has the suckiest best friend on the face of the earth. One more thing Will ruined for her.
That wasn't true. She was in love with him. He couldn't ruin anything for her if he tried. She was just too hopelessly in love. The boy could rip her heart out and stomp on it and she'd probably just giggle and sigh. How pathetic was that?
A sure sign of her obvious uselessness was the fact that she was willing to sit in a booth by herself at the Paper Lantern for what had to be a record 3 hours. Checking her watch for the umpteenth time, she saw it was now 9:09. She'd be here since ten of six, and she had sat in this same friggin' booth until it was nearly closing time.
Layla shook her head, pushing her bright red locks out of her face. She swallowed thickly, willing herself not to cry. She was tougher than that. She was going to cry in the middle of her favorite restaurant on a Wednesday night. Then she would hit rock bottom for sure.
Pushing her food around, she decided a change of pace was needed. She didn't need Will! Will was a tool bag. He didn't deserve a best friend like her. She could move on, and maybe even find somebody better than Will.
Yeah, and if you click your heels together three times, you could go back to Kansas.
She set her fork down, unable to believe how pitiful her life had gotten in just a few short weeks. Ever since that Gwen girl had ensnared him in her perfectly manicured claws… Ugh, and that wasn't even true! She wasn't evil! She was nice. And a senior. And… perfect. Everything Layla was not.
Really, that just hardened her resolve. Christ, she needed to find herself a replacement crush. Someone who leave her hanging quite so often. If she was lucky, maybe even a guy that could actually return her affections and pay attention to her.
"Are you going to finish that?"
Layla's head snapped up, her round brown eyes automatically widening when she realized someone was talking to her. That someone happened to be Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome himself.
Okay, that was total crap. Oh, he certainly was tall, dark, and handsome- at least 6'2, with dark hair that was probably long, because he had it pulled back from his face, broad shoulders, muscular arms, and a strong jaw- but this wasn't some crappy romance novel. She was a red-blooded female teenager, which meant while she certainly did admire his dashing good looks, her heart still beat for another. Well, that part sounded like something in a romance novel.
Even still, just to prove the Fates really were out to screw her over, she noticed the metal plate he was holding in one hand, and the dishtowel in the other. Specifically, she noticed his hands, and the wrists attached to them. Those same muscled, sinewy wrists had two identical tattoos branded on them. The tattoos were of flames that circled around each wrist and twisted about halfway up his forearms.
Suddenly, it all clicked into place. Maxville was a small town. There weren't very many places to work, and Paper Lantern was a very popular restaurant, which meant a killing in tips. Why she had never considered that someone from Sky High might work here was pure stupidity at its best.
Still… Warren Peace? Working at the Paper Lantern, of all places? Didn't really seem like his kind of hangout. After all, just a few days ago, he'd nearly killed Will and terrorized the lunch room. But, then again, she hadn't exactly thought of him as hot until just a few moments ago, so maybe she shouldn't have been so quick to assume back in the lunchroom.
"Hey," she said after a brief pause, when all of these crazy thoughts raced through her brains in what really only took a few seconds, but felt like a lifetime. She did smile, at least. She had enough manners to do that much.
"Hey," he replied, his dark eyebrows furrowing together and his near-black eyes filling with confusion.
Oh, for heaven's sake! This was just getting to be preposterous! He didn't recognize her. This day could not possibly get any more embarrassing.
Her smile faltered slightly, and she elaborated, "We go to school together?"
Layla could tell he'd finally pieced it together, too, because his square jaw set as he pressed his mouth into a firm line and nodded once. "You're Stronghold's friend," he said. It wasn't a question.
"Yeah," she replied, her voice soft as her eyes skittered down to his tattoos. There it was again. Will. Would she ever be able to forget about him?
"Yeah," he said, shoulders seeming to slump slightly. Maybe he was having a bad day, too. Maybe he was just as disappointed (for whatever reason) as she was. Then again, even with the scary 'tude and black clothing, he was still drop-dead hot, so what did he have to know about life's disappointments?
Well, other than the fact that his father was in jail and serving four consecutive life sentences.
Other than that, as far as relationships went, there was no way this guy was hurting.
Leaning forward, he pointed toward her half-eaten plate of food and asked, "Do you want me to heat that up for you?"
He wanted to heat her food up…? Oh, no. Layla's eyes widened to the size of saucers and she leaned forward, too, and replied in a whisper, "You're not supposed to use your powers outside of school."
The second the words were out of her mouth, she instantly regretted them. What kind of gigantic nerd would say something so classically dorky to someone so undeniably hot?
For the first time since she had set eyes on him in the lunchroom her first day of school, she saw Warren Peace crack a smile. It was small and lasted only a few seconds, long enough for him to lean even closer and mock-whisper back, "I was just gonna heat it up in the microwave."
Of course he was! Any normal, rational person with half a brain would put it in the microwave. Because that's how rational people thought! Rationally!
It was a shame Layla wasn't one of those people.
Shutting her eyes, she cursed her stupidity, not to mention red hair. Thanks to both, she was blushing furiously. She could feel blush spreading across her cheeks. Opening her eyes, she said slowly, "Uh, I was supposed to be meeting Will here, but, um…"
He stared down her blankly, obviously not getting what saying. Blushing even more, she cleared her throat and asked, "You want to sit down?"
Warren turned around surveying the room, which was pretty much empty, with the exception of the staff. He turned back around to her and said, flashing her one of those small smiles, "I think I can spare a minute."
Layla blushed again, only this time it was much softer. He may have seemed like such a scary guy at Sky High, but he wasn't. He listened at she prattled on for nearly half an hour, asking questions at just the right parts. He actually listened to her, a person he barely knew of an hour before.
It was amazing that he made any attempt at all to listen to her. She spent the entire time blathering on about every single anecdote there was to tell about herself and Will. There were a lot of anecdotes to tell.
She had gotten all the way back to the first grade lima bean story when he finally (thank God!) stopped her terrible case of verbal diarrhea. Not only that, but because he was smart and hot, he successfully pegged her as having a crush on Will.
She tried to deny it. "What?" she asked dumbly, her voice cracking piteously. She laughed, albeit feebly, but continued, "I am not in love with Will Stronghold…"
The knowing glare was all she needed stop the crappy lie. "Is it that obvious?" she asked, smiling weakly. This was exactly what she didn't want to happen. She wanted to avoid the subject, and here she was, bringing up Will once more! It was like a never-ending, vicious cycle. She was never going to win. Ever.
She told him about her sad, non-relationship with Will, explaining that she would like to ask him to homecoming, but never could because he was already smitten Miss Gwen Yes,-I'm-Freaking-Perfect Grayson.
Warren nodded, listening to her intently and mulling it over. "You know what I think?" he asked.
"To let true love remain unspoken is the quickest route to a heavy heart."
Layla tried not to let her jaw drop in shock. "Wow," she said, blinking up at him in surprise. "That was… deep."
"Yeah," he said, then turned around the little scrap of paper he'd been fiddling around with the entire time he was sitting with her. "And your lucky numbers are… four, sixteen, five, and forty-nine."
Layla blushed, almost missing the part where Mrs. Chung, the tiny old lady that ran the Paper Lantern, called out to Warren. He responded back in Mandarin, and she was temporarily distracted, impressed that he was able to pick up such a difficult language so easily.
"I gotta go," he said, sounding almost apologetic. As he was sliding out of the booth, he added, "See you around, hippie."
She blushed again, but this time it was from embarrassment. Glancing down at the table, she saw he had left the fortune on the table. She picked up the piece of paper, reading the front side. Lucky Numbers of the Day are: 4 16 5 49.
Layla smile grew, and she flipped the fortune over to the other side. Don't be quick to judge. You can find new friendships and romances around any corner.
Snickering to herself, she shook her head. She wasn't completely over Will, but things were starting to look up. Maybe she really could find a guy to replace Will. Hell, maybe Warren Peace really was going to be her Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.
She wouldn't mind.
I don't think it's totally identical to From 0 to 60 in Less Than a Second. I mean, it's still essentially the same dialogue (which I would never have remembered, if not for trusty Google- keyword: Sky High Transcript), but this is from a completely different point of view, plus I didn't end it the same way, because I didn't want to get redundant. But I still like it, despite any other similarities to my other works.
Now, on to sleep and then back to working on my messed up chaptered fic! Ta!