Me With Red
AN - Part of the Valentines Day Fanfiction Festival. This is technically the last story in the set (not that it makes any difference) so I'd like to just say that I hope you've enjoyed this little spurt of creativity. I've enjoyed writing these fics, no question. Feedback would be great.
Disclaimer - The characters from AGU are property of KlaskyCsupo.
So I don't think too well when it comes to girls, but call me a sucker for a pink bow. -- Tommy, Radio Daze.
SCENE 44a - THE CAVE.
BAND is on stage playing "RED", when NARRATOR enters. Lights cycle over his face. Every time "Where" is screamed in the song, the light turns red.
Pan up to girl standing against the bar from NARRATOR's eye view. Wearing black dress, hair pulled back in ponytail. Holding a drink, watching the band.
Cut to overhead view. Focus on NARRATOR as he approaches GIRL. Brief cut to the BAND, lead guitarist and vocalist. Cut back to NARRATOR, now nearly at GIRL. Puts hand on GIRL's shoulder. GIRL turns.
GIRL - What the hell do you think you're doing!
"What? That's not the line," I mutter to myself, re-reading what I just wrote.
"I know it's not," says an irritable voice from behind me. "It's a question."
I roll my eyes slowly and turn around to face my most recent intruder. "I can hear that."
Lillian DeVille is leaning up against my doorjamb wearing a pink bow, a scarlet jacket, a black shirt, a red skirt, and a ticked off expression. "Then are you going to answer?"
I turn back to my script. "I'm working."
I hear her growl and hope she goes away, only to feel her grab the arms of my chair and swing me around, away from the work I'm so close to making a breakthrough on. "Tommy, do you know what day it is today?"
I nod. "Valentines Day."
"Then why are you up here working?"
"Because Valentine's Day is a thin excuse for a holiday that has been turned into a festival on which florists and chocolate companies make a killing," I tell her.
"So you're standing up for your right not to buy chocolate and stuffed bears and the like?"
She slaps a hand to her forehead. "You're a worry, Thomas Louis Pickles."
Uh-oh, she's full-naming me. Can't be good. "What's so wrong with that?"
She pits me with a glare. "Whether you're into Valentines Day or not, whether you have a date or not - which we both know you don't," she cuts me off; "your parents and my parents are throwing a party on our collective back lawns and you are completely snubbing everyone. So get your butt out there before I drag you out."
I slump in my chair. Phil came in and pestered me, Kimmi came in and apologized for Phil - and then pestered me herself, Chuckie came in and tried to tell me how great the party is, and Angelica came in and told me what a loser I was. But Lil has to be my pick of the lot. She's the first who's actually worked up the guts to threaten to take me away from my work.
"I'll be down in about twenty minutes," I concede, turning back to the desk.
I hear the door open behind me and let out an audible sigh of relief.
But then I feel an awful sensation in the back of my guts as a hand hooks onto the headrest of my chair and gives a firm yank.
My desk slides away from me.
"I told you I'd drag you if I had to!" Lil yells.
"Hey! Stop! I'm on a breakthrough!"
"And I'm on the end of my tether," she informs me. "You're coming to this party if I have to push you down the stairs!"
I spin around and grab her hand, but that doesn't stop her. She just drags me by her wrist instead. "Why can't I just work for a little longer!"
"Because you spend too much time locked up in this room as it is. Why do you think you don't have a date?"
"That's a bit harsh," I tell her.
"The truth hurts," she points out.
"Well so does this!" I yell, indicating my hand which is being stretched an unhealthy distance from my body. I dig my feet into the carpet, and it becomes a three-way battle. A battle to see which happens first - she loses her grip, I leave imprints in the rug, or I get carpet burn. "I don't spend that much time in here."
"Oh no?" she asks, propping herself up against the doorjamb and trying to use it as leverage. "How many times have you blown us off lately to 'work'? And if you're this way now, think how you'll be when we graduate high school?"
"I haven't blown you off that many times," I point out.
"Oh no?" She strains a bit then relaxes momentarily. I try to slip out but she's too quick and grabs onto me with her other hand. "Just five times last week. Going to the Coliseum for the ice-hockey? The movies?"
"No-one else went to the movies, either," I remind her. "I asked Phil about it the next day. No-one else even knew."
"I know they didn't!" she screams. "Now get out here now!"
"In twenty - wait a minute," something finally dawns on me. "You asked me and didn't ask any of the others?"
"No, I just didn't bother to ask them after you said no," she states, finally dragging me to the door.
"Just hang on a sec!" I yell, sticking my feet out to catch myself on the doorjamb. "You were asking me out on a date?"
"No, it was just a bad weekend for everybody," she insists. "Now come on!"
"That's why you were so rough about the date thing! Because you wanted to ask me out."
She finally lets go of my arm only to grab my shirtfront. There's a certain fire blazing in her eyes. "Look, Pickles, just drop it already."
I push my feet against the wall and send the two of us careering back into my desk. She slumps against me and I pin her arms to the armrests. "Lil...I'm sorry..."
"You have nothing to be sorry for, Tommy, now let me out of here."
"I just thought -"
"Well what difference does it make?" Just when I thought she was softening a bit... "You're so obsessed with this stupid script that you ignore everyone. Why would it have been any different if it had been a date."
"I..." I'm lost for words. "I don't know why."
I slacken my grip on her arms. I look up into her eyes, and I'm surprised to see that she hasn't moved an inch. "Oh." She drops her eyes from mine and puts her hands on the arm of the chair to get up.
I wrap an arm around her back and pull her back down. "You wanted to go out with me."
She glares at me again. "Wanted, Tommy. Wanted."
"You don't anymore?"
"I'm having serious doubts. Like whether I really want to go out with someone who would put his 'art' over me."
I shake my head slowly. "I wouldn't."
"You put it over everything else!" She tries to make an expansive gesture to accompany the 'anything', but I've got my grip on her arms back and I'm holding her tight. "Why would I be any different from the rest of the guys?"
"Because you're you," I tell her, lacking anything else to offer.
She holds my gaze for almost a full minute, and my eyes are almost beginning to water with the effort not to blink. "You would have said yes?"
I nod, slowly, carefully, not losing eye contact if at all possible.
"Pity you didn't, then," she mutters, and pulls her arms free.
She's halfway through the doorway when I grab her by the arm. "Wait, Lil -"
"What, Tommy? You know, I thought we had something there for a while. Almost. And then I finally get up the guts to ask you out! Do you know how long it took me to get the nerve to do that? I was stressing about it for weeks. And you respond with what?"
I look down at my feet and realise with shame I can't even remember.
"You tell me that you can't because 'you're on a breakthrough'." She finally turns back to face me and points at me with a long, lean index finger. "Either I was wrong when I thought you liked me or I'm going to be forever put on the backburner. Sorry, Tommy, but you aren't that cute."
"I'm sorry," I mutter, realizing how lame it must sound. "I...I really like you, Lil. I mean, I know, I haven't been all there lately, but that's just for the moment. Just while I'm writing. I can stop."
"Can you? Can you really?"
"Then come down," she says. "Come down and socialize with your family and friends." She steps out of the doorway and presents it to me.
I stand frozen to the spot.
"I knew you couldn't," she whispers, venom starting to creep into her voice. "I knew it. This film is the love of your life. There's nothing you want to do more than -"
Her bitter diatribe ended there.
I run through my mind my brief romantic experiences of the past. First kiss, subsequent ones where I learnt more about how to, so on, so forth. This has to take the cake. Not because it's great. But because, I think, it's her. And if that's not corny, then I don't know what is.
I press my lips to hers again and again, trying to pull her closer despite the fact she's already enfolded in my arms and in about as close contact as we can get. She pulls away from me long enough to unbutton my shirt and I lift hers straight over her head, leaning down to kiss her shoulder.
"You realize we're going to miss the party," I point out, between gasped breaths.
"Oh, who cares?"
"Why do blackouts always happen at night?"
"Got me beat."
"Lousy day for it. The party's going to be short-lived."
"Yeah, but you have to appreciate the humor that everyone's dinner is going to be candlelit whether they want it to be or not."
"Oh, god! The power went out!"
"Yeah, fifteen minutes ago. We were distracted. Don't worry, there's a torch somewhere."
"No, seriously, your computer. You forgot to save your script."
We both turn our heads to cast a forlorn glance at my desk, where my computer lays dormant. Black as the night in the rest of my room.
And I turn my head back and look at her shadow in the darkness, before reaching out and stroking her hair. "I'll rewrite it some other time."
She turns back to me and, though I can't see it, I can almost feel her smile. "Do you want to come see a movie with me?"
"Whenever the power comes back on," I tell her.
"Hey, have you got a torch around here?" she asks.
I nod. "Always."
"Good. 'Cause if we got dressed in the dark, there might be some embarrassing explanations later..."