"Those That Can..."

My answer to Missy's L/L Guitar Challenge
By Shotzette
Rated PG

This is a work of fanfiction written soley for fun and is not intended to infringe upon anyone's copyrights, anyhow, anytime, or anyplace. Really.

Stupid jerk!

Laverne DeFazio flopped on her couch and rolled to her side, fetal position as she angrily replayed the day's events in her head.

It had seemed like a great idea at the time. Lenny knew how to play the guitar, and she had wanted to learn how to play the guitar her Pop had bought her in Tijuana. How hard could it be if Lenny could do it? Right?

He had seemed enthusiastic, at first. She'd promised him a pizza, a beer, and ten bucks if he spent the afternoon with her and taught her a few simple songs. Shirley was working an added shift at Bardwells so she could make the final payment on a dress she had on lay a way, and they wouldn't have had to listen to her complain about the noise.

It had seemed like a real good idea. That is, until he had actually started to teach her. Lenny Kosnowski, good-natured, goofy guy; had become Lenny Kosnowski: Nazi.

She hadn't done anything right. She had been sitting the wrong way, her hands had been positioned the wrong way, and why hadn't she been able to tell just by listening that the guitar was out of tune? Well, duh! That's why she had asked him to teach her! Their lesson had lasted all of twenty minutes before they had started arguing, and he had run out the door in a huff.

What a jerk! And to think, she was the one who had taught him to tie his shoes in second grade. And to tell time. And to ride a bike. The one time she asked him to teach her to do something, he went to pieces. How typically Lenny, she scoffed.

Then again... She had yelled at him for not learning to tell time fast enough, had ditched him five blocks from home so he'd have to ride the bike back, and had hit him twice when he quadrupled knotted his shoelaces and couldn't get his sneakers off. He hadn't learned fast enough to suit her. Could she really blame him for being impatient with her in return?

A knock on her door dragged her back to the here and now. She was curious as to who was there. After all, everybody just seemed to barge in most of the time.

A recalcitrant Lenny stood in the door way, looking at the floor with his guitar at his side. "Hi, Laverne," he mumbled.

"Hey, Len."

In the next instant, they were both babbling at once.

"I'm sorry, I shoulda been more patient..."

"No, I need to pay better attention..."

"Laverne, can we start over?" he asked, hope lighting up his blue eyes.

She grinned in response. "Sure, Len. Why don't we kick back for while, though. Wanna beer?"

"Always!"

She smiled as she returned from the kitchen. He was already tuning her guitar for her.

"Now, that's what a G chord is supposed to sound like, Laverne," he said as he took the proferred beer.

"Sounds the same to me."

He looked shocked. "Really? You can't tell the difference?"

She shook her head.

"How are you going to keep your guitar tuned if you can't tell the difference?"

She shrugged. "I dunno. How often do I have to tune it?"

"Everytime before you play it, if it needs it."

"Oh," she said, as pessimism rounded her shoulders and slouched her spine further into the couch.

"Don't be that way," he chided, "it's not like you're hopeless of nothing."

"Yeah?" she replied, her spirits lifting ever so slightly.

"Yeah." He leaned forward conspiratorially, "You don't think back when Squiggy started to play the clarinet that he was as good as he is today, do ya?"

Her slouch returned, this time accompanied by a low pitched whine.

"Aw, c'mon! You can do it, Laverne. It's real easy!"

"Yeah, for you."

"Well, uh, yeah. It is," Lenny said, as a look of astonishment slowly crossed his Slavic features. "Come to think about it, I think it's the only thing that's ever been easy for me. Ever."

"Really?"

"Yeah," he nodded thoughtfully. "I mean, remember how hard of a time you had teaching me to tell time when we was kids?"

"Yeah," she answered, her guilt over her earlier insensitivity returning and reddening her cheeks.

"And remember when you tried to teach me how to dance in ninth grade?"

Laverne chuckled. She hadn't thought of that in years. Trying to teach the uncoordinated Lenny Kosnowsky the simple box step had been a week long event. "Yeah, I remember that too."

"You was really patient with me, Laverne. I know I never got to be very good at it, but you made it look so easy when you did it, I hadda try."

"Really? I made dancing look easy?" she said in surprise.

Lenny rolled his eyes, "Yeah, you did. That's why I asked you to teach me since you were so good at it and all."

"No, I wasn't!"

"Yes, you was! You and Carmine were always the best dancers in school. You two always knew the new dances before everybody else, and," he added, his eyes taking on a faraway expression, "you always looked so happy when you was dancing. Y'know, I don't think I've ever seen you smile more than you do when your on a dance floor, Laverne. Never!"

"Aww, Len... You're making me blush!" And he was.

"I'm serious. And of course, I'd rather have you teach me than Carmine, of course. 'Cause, I don't dance with other guys, and I think he probably would have belted me one if I even asked."

"I'm glad you asked me too, Len. You got better, really you did," she said as she hoped Heaven would forgive her for the tiniest of white lies.

"Nah," he guffawed, "I just stepped all over your feet and scuffed up your saddle shoes something fierce. Guys with feet this big," he said, raising his size fourteen motorcycle-boot clad foot in the air, "can't dance."

"Nah. Well, maybe so," she ammended as she caught the no nonsense look in Lenny's eyes. "But there are a lot of good things to say about a guy with big feet."

"Yeah? Like what?" he asked, all wide eyed innocence and genuine curiosity.

"Like, uh nothing," she stammered, as she wondered how this conversation had gotten so off track. Men's shoe sizes and their related proportions was not a subject she was ever planning on discussing in depth with Lenny. Ever, she said to herself. "Wanna start again?" she asked hopefully and desperate to change the subject.

"Okay," he agreed, quickly gulping down the remainder of his beer. "Now," he began, "hold your guitar like this."

"Like this?"

"No, like this."

"Is this it?"

"Are you kidding me?"

"Len!" she whined and started to stand up to walk away.

"No, Laverne. Wait! I have an idea."

She watched him as his eyes scanned her living room. The next thing she knew, he grabbed her arm and was pulling her away from the couch and over to the chair and ottoman. "Len?"

"This is how my Pop taught me to tie a tie when I was a kid," Lenny explained, "He stood behind me and put his hands over mine so I'd learn by doing."

"That makes sense. Okay, what do I do?"

"You sit here," he said as he put his hands on her shoulders and pressed her down towards the ottoman, "and I sit back here on the chair behind you."

"Okay, now what?"

"Uh, I think you need to move back towards me a little. I don't think I can reach all the way around you."

"Is that better?" she asked as she scooched a few inches back.

"More," he said, grabbing her hips and pulling her backwards so her body was flush against his.

"Lenny," she said in a warning tone.

"I have to be able to reach around you and show you what to do, Laverne. Geez!"

Laverne let out an exasperated breath and picked up her guitar. "So now what do I do?"

"Gimme your left hand. No, Laverne, your other left."

"Your confusing me, sitting behind me and all," she complained.

He scooted even closer to her, while taking her left hand in his. "Now, on this hand we have your pointy finger, your highway finger, your ring finger, and your pinkie."

"You forgot my thumb."

"You don't need your thumb. Okay, you need to put your pointy finger here," he said, nudging it down a fret, "and your highway finger down here..."

"Lenny, it won't reach."

"Yes, it will. Just stretch it a little."

"Lenny, it won't--Owww!"

"Sorry, Vernie."

"I told you it wouldn't reach," she said as she flexed her fingers to regain her circulation.

"Laverne, hold out your hand."

"Why?" she asked, immediately suspicious.

"Just do it," he asked, frustration coloring his voice.

She extended her left hand, and he surprised her by covering it with his own. "What?" She asked, suddenly aware of his nearness, the smell of SenSen, and the heat of his breath on the back of her neck.

"You got really little hands, Laverne," Lenny said in amazement. "Look at them, with your teeny weeny fingers..."

"I don't have teeny weeny fingers!"

"Yes, you do!" Lenny giggled. "You got tiny little girly hands. No wonder you've been having a hard time with finger placement."

"I don't have little girly hands, either!"

"Oh yeah? Look Laverne, I can practically close your entire hand in mine. See?' he said, as her hand was completely enveloped in his own grip.

"Oh yeah, Lenny? Maybe you just got really big hands, you ever think of that?" she retorted, playfully.

"Great," he murmured, "big hands to match my big feet. Hey, why are you giggling?"

"No reason, Lenny," she said, attempting to regain control of herself.

"Okay, then. Back to work. Now, you got your pointy finger here, your highway finger down--well, as far as you can reach, okay? Then you take your ring finger--"

"That don't have a ring yet," she said, glumly.

"That will one day," he said as he rolled his eyes in the very definitition of exasperation, "and put it here. Then you take your itty bitty teeny weeny pinkie.."

"Lenny..." she began, before giggling again.

"You take your pinkie," he said, pulling her closer against him to silence her, "and put it over here. Got it? he breathed, huskily into her left ear.

"Got it," she replied. She waited for her next set of instructions, but he remained silent. She heard him inhale ever so quietly, as his breathing became a little heavier. She leaned back against him further, relaxing into his embrace and feeling his heart beat against her left shoulderblade. They stayed that way for many minutes, not speaking; as she became attuned to the sound of his breathing, and the warmth of his nearness.

"Len?"

"Hmmm?" he breathed, imperceptably nuzzling her left ear, sending an involuntary shudder throughout her body.

"What do you want me to do with my right hand?" she asked, throatily.

The words were barely out of her mouth when her right hand was engulfed by his. He reached around her and gently placed her hands across the strings of her guitar. Laverne knew she should count the strings, find out where she should start her downstroke for this particular chord, but all she could think about were the goosebumps covering her bare arms as Lenny's arms encircled her.

"And now, strum" he whispered, as he tightened his embrace.

A loud, strong, chord, sounded through the empty apartment.

Laverne set down her guitar on the coffee table before turnng around into Lenny's embrace. "Did I do it right?" she asked, looking into his eyes as if she was really seeing him for the first time.

"It was perfect," he said, as he pulled her closer still.

"What chord was that?"

"I have no idea," he said, before capturing her lips in a tender kiss.

FIN