Here's another Dye! Dye! My Darling AU (I promise, no more of these). Thanks to 917brat for all the reviews and for offering the idea.
I never imagined my first kiss. I didn't spend my free time thinking about fictional romantic partners in 'magical' situations. But I did always believe it would be something worth remembering. Unfortunately, it would be for all the wrong reasons.
I didn't anticipate the moment. There was no build-up or momentum. No first date or second or third. I didn't even have the comfort of a room. If I did imagine my first kiss, it wouldn't take place in a beat-up Jaguar and the person of interest wouldn't be my best friend's boyfriend. But I didn't have to imagine it because it was all horribly and entirely real.
There was a sinking feeling in my chest when I noticed him parked outside my house. I was still reeling from the confrontation with Jane and I was out of steam. He was the last person I wanted to have a heartfelt conversation with. It seemed that nothing would go my way that evening. My life had been a whirlwind of confusion and anxiety ever since he came into the picture. Things were simple with Jane and I. She was my best friend and I was hers. We didn't fight like everyone else. I could count the number of arguments we'd had on one hand and none of them were particularly damaging. Jane was the first person I trusted wholeheartedly. Despite all the changes in my life, Jane had been the one constant keeping me sane. It only took a few short months for all of that to fly out the window.
I never had feelings for anyone. At least not romantic ones. I had no interest in dating and I was fine that way. Jane was the exact opposite and it provided the perfect balance. Watching her go through the ups and downs of relationship nightmares was almost like living them myself. It was more than enough for me. The thought of being in a serious relationship seemed ridiculous. Tom Sloane managed to shift my perspective in a matter of weeks.
I didn't plan on developing feelings for him. I hated his guts. He was too bold, too forward. Trips to Pizza King became three-party affairs and I wasn't used to being a third wheel. I wanted Jane to see what an annoyance he was. Instead, for the first time, she didn't agree. I was her best friend, not this guy who she just met. What was so great about him? I wasn't jealous, just annoyed. I was being shut out of her life and it was all his fault. I wasn't sure exactly when the shift happened. I started tolerating his presence more and more until we were spending hours talking on the phone about foreign films.
It wasn't right. I understood enough about relationships to know that. You didn't spend hours talking to a girl if you weren't interested. It was difficult to push him away but I did it because I cared more about Jane than myself. I wouldn't jeopardize our friendship. I wouldn't stab her in the back. But he just kept showing up.
If he wasn't at Jane's he was popping up on my walks home from school, leaving me voicemails. God, he even managed to find me at that stupid parade. It was hard to drown my feelings when he wouldn't let them sink. All I wanted to do was be a faithful friend. Why wouldn't he let it go? I rebuffed him at every turn and he still persisted. In another universe, his determination would've been admirable. But in this universe, his attempts were unsettling. He had no qualms about contacting me even though he was spoken for. He didn't seem to care that I was Jane's friend. It was as if Jane didn't even exist.
I wouldn't be a part of whatever he had planned. At least, that was what I had hoped. Somehow, I got roped in anyway. Jane was becoming suspicious and I couldn't blame her. His intentions were obvious. Could she tell that I liked him? She had to know that I would never act on my feelings. I'd never seen Jane so upset before. She wasn't acting like herself at all. The hair dying fiasco was just the tip of the iceberg. She knew I didn't know anything about dye or hair or painting. It was a test. A test that I failed miserably.
"You did this on purpose! To take Tom away from me!"
How could she say that?! Didn't she know I cared about her more than any boy? It hurt to hear her say such horrible things about me. I would never do something so deceitful and she should've known that. I knew she was just paranoid...and maybe some of the things she said were true. But I would never go so far as to destroy the only friendship I had. Everything was a mess and I had no idea how to fix it. I walked home from Jane's that night feeling like I'd been hit by a train.
"Well, then, hair apology accepted. Life goes on."
What did that mean? Were we still friends? I wanted to believe that she had completely forgiven me but her choice of words made me reconsider. Life goes on? It sounded so final as if I was now cut out of her life forever. My chapter was over and she was ready to make new memories with other people. People that weren't me. I knew I needed to give her space but her words were eating away at me. I couldn't tell what she really meant and that scared me. I didn't even see the car at first, I was too busy mulling over my thoughts.
His voice was as familiar to me as Jane's by this point. I turned to see him sitting in his car with the passenger window rolled down halfway.
"What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to talk to you. Your sister said you weren't home so I figured I'd wait out here."
He had deliberately come directly to my doorstep? This wasn't good at all. I glanced back towards my front door.
"...Do you want to come in?"
His eyes widened, "No! There are girls in there rubbing stuff on each other's cheeks and making animal noises. I got kind of scared."
Stop smiling! Why did this have to happen now? I wasn't ready to deal with this. I would probably never be ready to deal with it. But now I didn't have much of a choice.
"That's just the opening rites of the Blushathon. At least you got out before the rhythmic chanting."
"Oh yeah. I think I saw that on the Discovery Channel."
"Why don't you get in the car?" It was as if he could read my mind.
I sighed but I opened the door and slid into the passenger's seat. Just sitting in the front seat seemed like a betrayal. This was a spot reserved specifically for Jane. I was always relegated to the backseat. The shift was just a subtle reminder of what was really going on. He wanted me to take her place. And here I was.
I cleared my throat, "Did you want to talk about Jane?"
He loosened his grip on the steering wheel, "Nope."
My heart was threatening to burst out of my chest, "Oh...then what?"
"About our situation."
There it was. Out in the open. I couldn't play dumb anymore and I couldn't ignore it and hope that it would just go away. I had to confront the issue head on.
"I don't know what you mean. We have no situation." I shook my head, "Leave me alone! I...I've gotta go."
I reached for the door but he placed a hand on my shoulder causing me to stop. Just get out of the car. My body wouldn't comply.
"Wait. Why is everyone so mad at me?"
"Why? Why? Because I moved to this town and I knew immediately that I'd be a total outcast. And in the one moment of good luck I've had in my entire life, I met another outcast who I could really be friends with and not have to feel completely alone!" I could feel the tears stinging the back of my eyes but I fought them back, "And then you came along and screwed the whole thing up!"
He sighed, "...All I did was meet a girl who I thought was cool and I went out with her for awhile. We started to get bored with each other. It happens all the time...it's nobody's fault."
"Oh yeah? Would you still be bored with her if I weren't around?"
"Probably. And more to the point, she'd be bored with me." He shrugged, "It's got nothing to do with you."
It had everything to do with me.
I forced myself to look into his eyes, "Good. Because I'm not interested in you. And I'd be stabbing my friend in the back if I even considered it."
Saying it made me feel a lot better. It was the truth. Well, partly the truth. I was interested but I'd never consider it. A relationship with him was something that would never happen. I could never be happy knowing Jane didn't trust me anymore.
He maintained the eye contact, "Exactly. And what kind of a jerk would that make me?"
I continued to stare because I couldn't believe what I heard. He was agreeing with me? After all the attempts and the flirtation. I was baffled. It couldn't be this easy, not after all I went through. No, there was something else...
Before I could figure out what was going on, he kissed me. It was so sudden that at first, I didn't know what was happening. But then I understood and my body acted of its own volition. I'd never kissed anybody before. Nobody had ever kissed me before. It was nice...
No! It was all wrong! I wasn't supposed to be doing this. I was supposed to say goodbye and walk away. I wasn't supposed to be lip-locked with my best friend's boyfriend. Jane's boyfriend. Oh no. Jane.
I pulled away, "Dammit! Dammit, dammit, dammit!"
"...I liked it too."
I was upset and confused but I was mostly angry. Angry at him for tricking me into his car. For manipulating me this entire time. I knew Tom, he was crafty. I could just imagine him formulating his plan on the drive over. He knew he could win me over with phony apologies and well-placed jokes. He read me like a book and that drove me insane. God, was I so predictable? So gullible? So desperate? No. I wouldn't let him win. Especially not when the stakes were so high.
I slapped him, hard, leaving a bright red handprint on his left cheek. He was stunned into silence.
"That's not funny! God, I'm so stupid! I actually thought you wanted to talk about Jane. I actually thought you understood how much I care about her. I thought you would care enough not to do this."
He pressed a hand against his cheek, "Ow! Look, Daria, I like you. A lot. Hell, a whole lot. Jane's just-"
"Jane's just what?" I glared.
"She's not like you. You're smart, you're witty."
"So you think Jane's stupid and unfunny?" I scoffed, "I can't believe this."
He rolled his eyes, "Come on, Daria. We never would've lasted. Sure, she's fun but there wasn't much there."
"You lied to me!"
"Wake up, Daria!" He threw his hands in the air, "Okay, I may have stretched the truth but who cares? I came here to see you. I like you, you like me. Who cares about Jane?"
He kissed me again and I pressed back, running my fingers through his hair. I made sure he was completely relaxed before I broke the kiss. I kept a firm grip on his hair and I slammed his face into the steering wheel.
I pushed open the door, "Go fuck yourself!"
I slammed the door shut and smirked once I saw his nose was bleeding.
"Are you insane?!"
I narrowed my eyes, "Leave. NOW."
He glared at me but he didn't say anything else. He quickly pulled away from the curb and sped off down the street. I watched the car disappear before I angrily kicked at a rock.
"Quiet, kid. You might scare the neighbors."
I whipped around, "Jane?!"
She was leaning against the back of my mom's car, "Were you expecting the president?"
"...How long have you been standing there?"
"Long enough" she smiled, "I personally would've gone for the folding chair but to each his own."
I made my way over to her, "I'm sorry. I never should've started talking to him."
"...No, I'm the one that's sorry" she sighed, "I kinda overreacted. My relationship was falling apart and I didn't know what to do. It was easier to blame it on someone else."
"...You didn't mean all those things?"
She linked her arm with mine, "I know you'd never stab me in the back."
"So, your other body parts aren't off limits?"
She narrowed her blue eyes playfully, "Come at me with a knife and we'll see who has the best MMA moves."
"...He was a jerk."
She nodded, "Yeah, definitely."
"For the record, I think you're pretty cool." I smirked.
She gasped, "Hello? Who are you and what have you done with Daria?"
"You wanna come in? I'm pretty sure we'll be just in time to see the final results of the Blushathon. I warn you, what you're about to see might be graphic."
She grinned, "Lead the way."