TITLE: Kristy's Senior Year - January
AUTHOR: freelance spice
PAIRING: Kristy/Cokie, Kristy/Dawn
WORD COUNT: 2400 something
SUMMARY: Senior year. Things change. A lot.
NOTES:This is a sequel to The Kristy Thomas Guide to High School Romance, and is part of the same 'verse as my Charlotte fic (but those happen later in the timeline). And I realize that TECHNICALLY this is still December. But it's the January fic, mmm kay?
Okay, so remember when I said I was ready for anything?
Apparently, I wasn't.
I was ready to tell Dawn about my run in with Cokie. I was ready to laugh at the weirdness of it all. I was ready to start the new year with a new outlook on life, not holding on to the past.
I was not, however, ready for Dawn to pull me into a whirlwind of preparation for some New Year's Eve party that was starting in only so many hours and it was going to take at least an hour to get there and her friends (these would be the ones she just ran into who extended the invitation to said party) would be here to pick us up by four o'clock. No, I wasn't ready for that. Because, Dawn was chattering away a thousand miles a minute, trying to explain to me who these guys were (friends from her old high school) and where we were going (some town called Neptune), all while trying to figure out what to wear, because we hadn't really brought any party clothes to the condo.
I wasn't really that concerned. I'm not that keen on dressing up fancy for events that do not end with two people getting married to each other. And, it was weird, because Dawn's pretty casual most of the time. But sometimes she can get really girly, I guess. If Mary Anne were here, they'd be flitting around and shrieking about outfits, I'm sure.
By the time we found ourselves riding in the back seat of some guy's SUV, Dawn had changed her clothes twelve times. This does not count the mixing and matching of accessories. At one point, she even sent our friend Claudia pictures of earrings, over her cell phone, just to get an opinion other than my, "Yeah, that looks fine."
I saw no problem with my jeans, button up shirt, and sneakers. I mean, at least I was wearing a shirt with buttons and not a t-shirt.
Dawn's friends were really nice. The guy, Logan (which I remembered immediately because it's Mary Anne's boyfriend's name), was kind of cocky, but friendly. His girlfriend, Veronica, was super cool and one of those people who will spend a long car ride turned around and talking to you instead of just shouting over the radio. Also, I immediately liked her because, she was also wearing jeans and sneakers.
When we finally got to the party, I realized it was a college party, in a dorm on the third floor. Most of the students were gone for the holiday, but anyone staying behind was partying hard. And this was before the sun even went down. I wondered if any of them would be conscious for the new year.
Logan introduced us to some people and Veronica gave us a couple personal tips about parties, the most important being to always get your own drink and to hold on to it at all times. This is the kind of stuff you always hear, but when she said it, something in her voice told me to take it very seriously.
The party was total madness. Beer pong, flip cup, and half a dozen other drinking games were happening throughout the dorm. I'd been to some intense parties in Stoneybrook, or I thought I had. The varsity sports teams like to get together after games and get rowdy, but that seemed pretty low key compared to the California collegiate counterpart.
Dawn was chatting with some old friends she'd found and reminiscing about her California high school. I got bored and eventually wound up in a round of flip cup. It's this game where two teams line up on opposite sides of a table and each person in succession has to drink their cup of beer, then place the cup on the edge of the table and flip it so it lands right side up. Yeah, it's one of those that sounds easy enough (and is, for the sober), but proves to be impossible when you're trying to do it.
By the time the round was over, I didn't see Dawn where I'd left her, so I started looking around. I couldn't even find Logan or Veronica. I'm pretty outgoing, so I wasn't too concerned, but it is a little weird to be surrounded by people you don't know.
It's even weirder to run into someone you never expected to see, twice in the same day.
"Okay, what is this? Am I being Punk'd?" I crossed my arms and tried to look annoyed.
Cokie, once again, was right in front of me, across the entire United States from where she should have been.
"Yes. Ashton Kutcher is behind that tree, over there." She pointed to a small fake plant in the corner. "Why are you here?"
I motioned to the surrounding chaos. "The party. Duh."
"Okay, why are you here at the party at Hearst College, sixty miles from where I saw you this morning?"
"I don't know. Dawn's friends are here or something."
"So, is this the scholarship place?"
"Seems like they offer plenty to learn." I glanced at a couple who was making out in the corner. "That could be you next year."
She rolled her eyes. "I can only hope."
"So, where's Kelly?"
"Kelly, the loving cousin she is, kicked me out of her room so she can have sex with her new boyfriend."
"It's college, Kris, people do that." She held up a bottle of Bacardi in her hand. "It's okay, though, I snagged this before she booted me out."
"Lucky for you, I am a skilled in the ways of rum and coke." I grabbed two plastic cups off the beverage table and scooped ice into them.
"Oh my god, you are so talented."
"Don't get your hopes up, this is the extent of my bartending abilities. So, don't do asking for a Long Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against a Cold Hard Wall with a Twist or anything."
Often times, my mouth runs off before my brain catches up and I end up saying stuff without thinking.
"I'll... try not to ask for that, then." Cokie smirked.
I just kept my mouth shut long enough to pour the drinks and hand one to her. "Um, so. You really think you'll end up here?"
"Maybe. I like it. Although, I haven't really seen the classes or anything. But the campus is nice."
"Yeah. It's just so far. From home."
"Yeah. But, scholarship, hey."
"Yeah." There was something in the back of my brain that had been buzzing since that morning. Cokie and I broke up because of her father. More specifically, her father's money that would be going into her education. If Cokie had a scholarship, even a partial one, she might not need his money. I took a big drink.
"I know what you're thinking, Kristy. And I don't know, yet. So, let's just not talk about it, okay?"
"How do you...?" Sometimes she was creepy like that, knowing exactly what I had on my mind. "Yeah, okay."
And, really, even if I'd wanted to talk about it, I couldn't, because Dawn emerged from the depths of the party.
"Hey, I was looking for you..." Apparently, she hadn't seen Cokie until that moment. "Oh. Hey." Dawn looked at me, then at Cokie.
"Hi, Dawn." Cokie greeted, casually. "Kristy and I were just talking about how weird it is that we'd end up here-- all of us-- here at this party, like, a thousand miles away from home."
"Oh. Yeah, that's really weird." Dawn snuck a glance back at me. "Um, so, what are you doing here?"
I answered for her. "She's got a thing. A scholarship thing."
"Maybe. I don't know, yet." Cokie shrugged.
"Wow. Congratulations. If you get it. That's really cool." Dawn looped her arm through mine. "Kristy, I want you to meet some people. See you, Cokie."
And then Dawn pulled me away, down some hallway, into a room full of even more strangers. I was just glad the encounter hadn't escalated into something else. Dawn's really laid back, but she doesn't like Cokie, because of our break-up.
"That was weird, huh?" She said, after introducing me to some people.
"Yeah. And twice in one day? Super weird." Crap. Had I just said that?
"Um, yeah, she was at the Starbucks this morning."
"By the condo?"
"She just ran into you? Out of the blue?"
I nodded. Dawn doesn't get jealous, like, ever.
"Were you planning to tell me or was I not supposed to know?"
"Dawn, I didn't know she was going to be here."
"Well, it's pretty convenient."
"I can't help where people show up."
"Whatever. It's not like I'm your girlfriend, anyway. Do what you want."
Ouch. And even worse, people were watching all this. I can get pretty dramatic, but this was too much for even me.
"Okay, fine. I'll be out there somewhere, just call my cell when we're all leaving."
I made my way back out into the hall. My cup was empty, so I headed back toward the drink tables. Cokie was still there, sitting on the edge of a sofa, talking to some blond guy. As I got closer, I could tell that she had no interest in what he had to say. I could also tell that was coming on to her. So, I did what any girl does to save another girl from the unwanted advance.
"Hey, baby, there you are!" I walked over and draped my arm around Cokie. "Everyone's been asking where you are."
Cokie ran with it and leaned into me. "Sorry, honey, I was just talking to Dirk, here."
"Dick," the guy interjected.
"I'm sorry, I was talking to Dick, here, and I just lost track of time." She held out her cup. "Mix me another and then we'll meet up with... Ross and Rachel?"
"Yeah, sure." I took the cup and refilled both of our drinks.
Dick snorted as he took a chug of his beer. "Whatever. You guys can fake it up to get away, but it's not cool."
I feigned ignorance. "Fake?"
"Yeah, yeah. All girls play the lezzie card when they want to get away from Dick." He looked me over. "You, yeah, okay, I'll buy it, but you..." He leered at Cokie. "You're not into the whole chick vibe."
"You don't think so?" Cokie reached over and looped two fingers through my belt, pulling me toward her.
Before I had a chance to say anything or even ask what was happening, she was kissing me. And there it was, everything I'd been missing since the end of summer. Every night that I'd cursed Cokie Mason evaporated as her hands slid around my waist, holding me against her. If the entire maneuver had been a ploy to get Dick to lose interest, it hadn't really worked.
Now he was just staring and shouting, "Chicks making out!"
Cokie broke the kiss but still kept me close. "You wanna go somewhere where we're not the sideshow?"
I nodded. We politely bowed to the small crowd of guys who had gathered to watch us, grabbed our drinks and headed off to find somewhere we could talk. Or whatever.
Most of the dorm rooms were full of people making out or smoking out, so we kept moving down the hall to the stairwell, where more people were lighting up their various vices. Eventually, the we found that the laundry room was both empty and warm. Also, it smelled like fresh laundry, which is a great scent to kick off the new year, if anyone asks.
Of course, now that we were alone, one of us had to say something. At first, I was worried about awkward silence.
Fortunately, Cokie started laughing. "And then we'll met up with Ross and Rachel?"
"It was the first thing that came to mind!"
"You are such a dork."
"I was just trying to save you from Dick." I hopped up and sat on the edge of one of the folding tables.
We both laughed, but then it died down and left more of that silence. I stared at my drink, watching the ice cubes float around.
"I'm sorry, Kris."
"It's okay. I mean, you had to do something to get that guy off your back. And I really have no complaints when it comes to kissing attractive girls." While I was joking, it was true. Who doesn't like kissing hot girls?
"No, I mean, I'm sorry about... us. Before."
"Oh. Um, well, that's okay. It's over. We've both moved on or whatever." I took a drink. "How is Geoff, anyway?"
"We... broke up. Like a month ago."
"Oh. I didn't know."
"You've been busy with Dawn and stuff. And I'm sure you weren't keeping tabs on my social life."
"Yeah, sure. Dawn and I are... we were... I don't know."
"I thought you guys were... a thing."
"I guess. But not really. And not after tonight. She was kind of upset, earlier. About you."
"Jeez, I... crap. If you need to go talk to her, go ahead."
"No, it's okay. I'd kinda rather just... stay here."
She settled next to me on the edge of the table. "Remember last year? At Claudia's New Year's Party?"
"And Alan Gray wouldn't stop asking Stacey to kiss him at midnight?"
"Only he passed out at eleven-thirty? What a dork."
She rested her head on my shoulder. "I miss you."
"Miss you, too."
"So let's not do this."
"What, sit here?"
"No, let's not be broken up, anymore."
"What about college?"
"Screw college. It's just a bunch of drunks."
"Tell you what..."
"Well, since it is traditional to kiss someone at midnight, I'll be your girlfriend for..." I checked my watch. Eleven seventeen. "The next forty-three minutes."
"And after that?"
"After that, I don't know." I scooted back on the table, so I could lean against the wall. Cokie leaned back against me.
"Forty-three minutes, huh? What do you want to do?"
"List and spell all of the fifty states, alphabetically?"
She suddenly moved forward and slipped off the table. "Actually, I think I want another drink."
"Oh. We left the rum upstairs."
"I'm sick of rum and coke. I was thinking more about that other drink you mentioned? Long Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against a Cold Hard Wall with a Kiss?"
"You mean a twist."
She reached over and flipped the light switch down, plunging the room into darkness. I felt her hands grab the collar of my shirt as she pulled me to her. "No. I don't."