I'm feeling particularly vicious this chapter. There's an argument behind this, so allow me to get up on my soapbox. Here we go... I am so sick of the stories where our teenage heroes have sex. I'm so tired of them.

Want to know why?

Because that isn't reality. I don't care what you try and tell me. Most 15/16-year-olds know only about the physical aspects of sex, and either underestimate or forget about the emotional connections. They don't realize what kind of risk they're taking by having sex so young. Flame me if my thoughts offend you. Go for it. I'm more than prepared for this debate, kiddies.

How's that for an author's note?

Anyway, I don't own School of Rock. This fic is dedicated to all the girls out there who said no and to all their boyfriends who listened

Of hotel rooms, waltzes and love

(a one-shot)

She was crying. It was the farthest thing from beautiful Freddy Jones had ever seen. Summer Hathaway did not cry pretty, which was one of the many reasons why he hated watching her do it. Her face contorted, like she was trying to suffocate her emotions and, in turn, herself. Maybe, he reasoned, that's what made her so un-beautiful.

He tried to remember what she had looked like when they took that first step into itemhood. Her hair was once loose and it smelled obscenely delicious; nothing like the pinned and hair-sprayed wedding cake of curls perched on her cranium. Her eyes had been bright, not feverish or sickly, but happy and smiley; there was no trace of that joy in the eyeliner smudged bloodshot look now.

Freddy imagined he looked differently too, those few years ago. Certainly, he hadn't been wearing a tuxedo (the jacket was discarded on the floor, where she had taken it off him) and he probably hadn't appeared so annoyed when she first accepted his offer to see a movie. He almost smiled at the memory; it was one of the few movies he had seen with a girl that he actually watched.

Summer wrapped her skinny arms around her equally small waist, bowing her head. It was clearly obvious she wasn't thinking the same thoughts as the other. She bit at her painted lower lip in an attempt to silence the sobs. Freddy sighed and ran a hand through his hair; the other remained stuffed in his pant's pocket. He fingered the hotel room key absently, running his fingers over the sharp plastic edge.

"I… I'm sorry, Freddy." She apologized again, pushing one of the thin straps from her dress up her pale shoulders. Summer looked up at her boyfriend, hoping for his approval. With narrowed brown eyes, he stared steadily down at her with his blonde hair sticking up oddly. Even after their most vicious of vicious fights did she sound this defeated, this traumatized. Summer tried to hold his gaze but failed after a few moments. An anxious silence passed between the two as the faint bass line from the ballroom crept through the carpeted floor.

She opened her mouth again, but he cut her off. "Don't." Maybe it was sharper than he had intended it to sound. Summer hoped so because he did sound awfully mean. And, honestly, it wasn't her fault that she wasn't ready. Well. Maybe it was. But that didn't make it okay for him to be angry with her.

"Freddy," she had to be careful, she noted as he stiffened slightly. There was enough tension in the room, and it was quite far from sexual, and Summer knew how notorious she and her boyfriend were for fighting at any given moment. That in mind, she wanted to treat the situation delicately.

"Summer." At least he was responding.

"I'm sorry I freaked out." Freddy wished she would stop apologizing. Honestly, didn't she think he wanted anything besides that? Summer's status as a proud virgin was no secret, just like the fact that Freddy couldn't really remember his first time was no secret. He crossed his arms over his chest, about to tell her just that when she started talking again.

"Actually." Summer pursed her lips, something she did when she was thinking, and Freddy could almost put money on the fact that she was pondering the same train of thought as he. "No, I'm not really sorry." So much for delicately, Summer sighed in her mind, when she saw Freddy cross his arms. It was something he did when he was about to counter her. "I'm sorry I ruined our junior prom night, but I'm not sorry that I said no."

Freddy nodded sharply, setting Summer even further on edge, and said with finality, "good." He nodded, more to himself, a second time and eased himself onto the bed next to her. He sat with slightly hunched shoulders and titled his head up at her. She still looked a mess, but she had her Hathaway confidence back. Maybe, he reasoned, that was what made her truly beautiful. Instead of voicing this observation, Freddy leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to her equally soft shoulder. She responded by threading her fingers through the artfully constructed spikes in his hair.

They sat in a much more comfortable silence; Freddy found himself almost falling asleep against her. It wasn't exactly something he would've minded. Then, she shifted and rubbed at her face with a fist, like a small child. "I feel grimy," she stated simply.

"Okay," he replied with eloquence. Her face did look a little caked-on, but she, herself, looked a little less victimized so it wasn't something that bothered him. Gently, she nudged him off her shoulder and stood up. He rested his hands between his knees and gazed up at her, almost in awe.

"I'm gonna go," she glanced in the direction of the small adjoining bathroom, "take a shower, okay?" He nodded. She nodded. He nodded again. She smiled in amusement and smoothed over her skirt. "I'll be back," she bent over (he tried not to look down her dress when she did so, and succeeded) to give him a peck on the cheek. He smoothed over her cheek with his hand and she hummed happily in his ear as she straightened.

As soon as the bathroom door shut, he flopped onto his back and used his heels to scoot up in the bed. Freddy grabbed the remote off the bedside table and listened for the click of the lock. There was none. With an amused smile, he turned on the TV and sought out some decent late-night television. The smile faded to a disgusted grimace when he realized that the only non-news channel working was MTV, which blew. Really, really blew. Like hardcore.

Fifteen minutes later, Summer edged out of the bathroom with steam billowing in her wake. She had neglected to bring a change of clothes so she had put her prom dress back on. Her hair was wet and hanging limply over her shoulders. Her face was tinged pink and looked a little raw. Turning off the television, Freddy sat up on the bed as she padded over to him. Her bare feet made no sound on the cushiony carpet. They both felt inexplicably shy.

"Hey," he greeted and scratched at the back of his neck.

"Hi," she replied and twisted her fingers together.

"Do you think... that is to say, would you like to dance with me?" What he actually intended to say was something along the lines of leaving the hotel and finding some place where they could just hang out. Somewhere public. But, all in all, dancing sounded nice too. Actually, he mused as he trailed his eyes innocently over his girlfriend, dancing sounded very nice.

"Okay," Summer nodded and smiled. Neither of them moved. After a beat, she asked, "don't we need some music?" He could've said something cheesy, something corny, about making their own, but instead he turned on the alarm clock radio. Over the airwaves floated a classical waltz. For a few measures, the two teenagers face each other. Freddy had yet to stand from the bed and Summer wasn't quite used to making the first move.

Feeling quite contrary, Summer bowed her head almost gallantly in Freddy's direction and offered him her hand.

"May I have this dance?"


What just happened? This is also dedicated to endymion015, who indirectly inspired me to get this chapter finished. I think I started it sometime in 2005, not gonna lie. Despite this time gap, I still feel the same. In fact, I think it may be because of this almost two year block. I've matured a lot, and I've watched my friends and the kids (yeah, at almost eighteen, we're still kids) around me grow and mature. My high school is quite nearly famous for the pregnant mother population, so I'm not naive enough to say that kids aren't having sex. They are, and that's not the argument I'm making in my earlier note. We underestimate the gravity of sex and we overestimate our abilities to be unchanged by it.