A/N:Quickly writing this slightly long one-shot was my break from stressing about finals.Italics are character's thoughts. I hope it's clear who is thinking what. The italics that are inside quotes though are not thoughts, but simply words that are being said in a stressed fashion. I hope everything makes sense and please review.
"I completely failed that math test," Dana complained as she got in the cafeteria line with Zoey and Nicole.
"Join the club," Nicole said hopelessly as she picked up a salad.
Zoey changed the topic, "Where is Chase? I haven't seen him today."
Dana shot Nicole a warning glare that Nicole didn't notice. Nicole blabbed, "He's with Lola."
Trying to sound casual Zoey asked, "Oh, what class does she need help in this time?"
"She's saying advanced algebra," Dana replied deciding that they had things to discuss. She continued, "You know, from what Nicole says, Lola's been pulling this routine with Chase since freshmen year and its senior year and she's probably getting desperate. If you don't want her to succeed in getting Chase to like her, you might have to do something."
"What are you talking about?" Zoey asked trying to play oblivious.
As she finished paying for her lunch Nicole leaned in to Zoey and said sincerely, "Go after him Zo, before it's too late."
"Yeah, he already wants you, it won't be that hard," Dana said putting in her opinion.
"Will you two stop talking about it if I say I'll think about it," Zoey said agitatedly. Agitated, because she knew they were right about her running out of time.
Dana and Nicole agreed, for now. They were automatically headed for their usual table on the far side of the courtyard. Logan was already there looking completely distracted.
"Today's been all blah," Nicole said as they were cutting their way through the crowds.
Noticing Logan sitting at the table already Dana got an idea, "Hey, I have an idea that could cheer us up just follow my lead." Zoey and Nicole gave her questioning looks but silently agreed.
As they were sitting down at the table Dana began like she was already in the middle, "I don't know. Lately it's just like there's something missing."
Zoey wasn't sure she was catching on but managed, "Something missing? Dana you have school, a job, basketball, track, and they made you join the French club just because you spent two years there."
"I know what's missing from that list," Nicole said taking the bait perfectly, "a guy."
Dana suddenly stopped eating her sandwich (as if she had a realization) and said, "I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I think Nicole is right."
Zoey, still not clear on the direction this was heading, managed to find the right thing, "Then get a guy, problem solved."
Rationalizing as she snacked on some carrots, Dana was on track with, "Yeah, but I don't actually have time for a boyfriend. Plus, I don't really want all that 'get to know you' date stuff and 'thinking about the other person'. I think I should find someone to be my 'friends with benefits.'"
Logan was sitting at the other end of the table and hadn't really seemed to be listening to them until Dana's last phrase, when his eyes got very wide.
Zoey definitely saw the direction of the conversation now and Dana was right it was going to be fun. Zoey made the appropriate comment and question, "Yeah, that's probably a smart idea. So, any potential 'friends with benefits' candidates?"
"I don't know," Dana said with a shrug. Logan's eyes were down on his food, so he didn't notice the look the girls shared that said they knew what she was up to. Dana leaned on her elbows on the table, pushing out her cleavage with her upper arms, and rested chin in her hands. She said pouting, "Hey Logan?"
"Yeah," he replied slightly flustered at the picture in front of him.
Looking his torso up and down Dana maintained her flirtatious pout as she said, "Do you have any plans after basketball practice today?"
Logan thought he knew what was coming and he needed to stop it, "That depends. If you want me to be your friend with benefits, then yeah I'm busy."
Dana was absolutely shocked. She said angrily, "You wouldn't want to be my friend with benefits?"
"Nope," Logan said honestly, "with good reason."
Dana simply couldn't believe it. She completely forgot that it was just supposed to be a game and began lashing out at him in disbelief, "Seriously? You don't want to have a purely physical relationship with me, a girl that you have propositioned at least ten times a day for the last five years, with the exception of when I was in Paris?"
Logan got up keeping eye contact with Dana, walked over to her and leaned across the table right in front of her. He easily could have looked down her shirt, but he kept his eyes on her eyes, which Dana found completely unnerving. The eye contact held and only inches away from her Logan said seriously, "Dana, with very good reason, I will never have a purely physical relationship with you." With a level of self-restraint he didn't know he had in him, Logan walked away.
That hurt. It was supposed to be a game, but somehow that hurt. Well, she wasn't just going to let him do that to her. Dana got up and quickly went after Logan, leaving a stunned Zoey and Nicole at the table. First, they were stunned that Logan would turn down a girl and second they were stunned that Dana went after him.
Dana went after him trying to keep her cool. She couldn't let him know that his rejection hurt her. "Hey idiot!" she yelled after him.
Logan stopped and turned around, which caused Dana to stop and burst out laughing. Logan walked over to her completely confused and asked, "What? What's so funny?"
Practically keeled over from laughing so hard Dana eventually managed to get out in between laughs, "I called you idiot and you responded, like it was your name."
"I responded to you, not the name," Logan said without thinking. Dana stopped laughing. Logan tried to move on quickly, "What do you want? You can't convince me to be your friend with benefits. I told you already I can't. I have a reason and you can't change it."
"I don't want to change your mind. I don't want you as my friend with benefits," Dana tried to say as though she was disgusted by the thought. She attempted to ask casually, "But you turning a girl down. You must have a good reason. So what is this unchangeable reason?"
She claims she doesn't want me, but she's here, she came after me. Logan decided he needed more time to figure out if he should tell her the truth, "I am not going to tell you why, but if you guess right I'll let you know. Deal?"
"Deal," Dana said extending her hand. How complicated could Logan be?
Logan shook her hand and held it as he closed most of the distance between them. He said cockily, "You are never going to guess it."
Dana let go of his hand and pushed him in the chest lightly. Looking upward, pretending to think Dana said playfully, "Your reason for turning me down is that the rumors are true. I'm not the right gender. You like guys!"
The bell rang, but neither moved, for neither of them had ever cared about being on time, besides it was just the three minute warning bell.
"Very cold Cruz," Logan informed her.
"So this is a game of hot and cold?" She asked though she realized it always had been with them.
Hadn't it always been? But he couldn't tell her that so he replied, "Yeah, you'll need the extra help."
Chase and Michael came up from behind Logan as Zoey and Nicole came up behind Dana. Logan and Dana didn't seem to notice, they were staring at each other, both smirking, trying to figure the other one out. The others looked around, confused at the odd behavior.
Chase tried to get Logan's attention, "Logan, we've got to go. It's a group presentation, we'll get in trouble if you're not there."
Zoey tried to get Dana's attention, "Dana, we've got to go. You'll get Saturday school if you're late again."
Chase and Michael jerked Logan away as Zoey and Nicole did the same to Dana. Logan and Dana both turned around and started walking in their opposite directions with their friends. There was silence between both sets of friends. Zoey and Nicole let go of Dana when she had turned around from Logan and started walking with them and Chase and Michael had done the same with Logan.
Dana turned around suddenly. Zoey and Nicole held there arms out across her to prevent her from going back. She was acting very strange and they were concerned. Dana let them restrain her and let them push her into walking backwards toward their class. She yelled to Logan, "Hey, your reason: you've come to think of me like a sister?" Dana posed the question playfully and smirking.
Logan had turned around at hearing Dana's voice and was, like Dana, being forced into his own destination by Chase and Michael. He shouted back wearing a smirk of his own, "If that were true then I've had some very incestuous thoughts." Logan winked at Dana as Chase and Michael dragged him into the history wing.
Dana felt suddenly flustered as Zoey and Nicole were pushing her into the English building.
"What the hell is with Logan?" Dana asked as they rushed through the hall.
"And you," Nicole added.
"What do you mean?" Dana asked as they entered their classroom and were shot a disapproving glare from their teacher.
Zoey, Dana, and Nicole took three desks in the very back and continued talking in a whisper.
Zoey explained, "You and Logan were really weird back there."
Dana started to get defensive, "No, I was just playing a little game, Logan's the one who was acting weird. I mean, since when does Logan turn down a girl?"
"You're right," Nicole conceded, "that was completely unlike Logan." Nicole continued, "But you were acting weird too, I mean you went after him. Then when we got there their was definitely something going on with the two of you. You didn't even notice that we were there."
Dana didn't know how to argue with that so she changed topics, "Logan said that he wouldn't tell me his reason for turning me down, but if I guess it he'll let me know if I'm right. So far I've guessed that he's actually gay and that was wrong. Then you heard my second guess that he thinks of me like a sister. Did you get his response?"
"Yeah, I can't believe he knows the word incestuous," Nicole commented.
"And that he used it correctly," Zoey added.
"That's not what I meant," Dana said growing frustrated, "It seemed like he was saying… if he thinks about me in that way then why would he turn me down?"
Their teacher stopped writing on the board and turned around to face the class, giving the girls a few minutes to think.
Once the teacher had her back to them again Nicole responded, "Maybe he knew you were just messing with him so he decided to mess with you."
"Yeah, maybe," Dana said thinking about it. It did sound like them.
Zoey had thought of another explanation, "Or, he said he couldn't have a relationship with you that is purely physical because for him it never could be. Maybe Logan likes you."
"What!" Dana exclaimed loudly. The teacher turned around and stared at her for an explanation. Dana tried to cover up, "I um… disagree."
The middle-aged teacher looked surprised and somewhat confused, "You disagree that Mercedes represents a dark creature in Stephen's life? Why?"
Dana let out a small sigh of relief. She actually knew this one since she had thoroughly read A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, "She always appears to him in white and one time as the Virgin Mary. She doesn't represent darkness, but innocence."
"Exactly," the teacher said with a smile, "I was waiting for someone to catch on." She turned back around to write on the board as she spoke.
The girls picked up their conversation. Dana quieter to Zoey, "How in the world could you think he likes me. That is completely insane."
"You didn't see the way he was looking at you," Zoey countered.
"Zoey, you're crazy," Dana said definitively. Nicole opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by Dana, "You are too if you agree with her."
Zoey and Nicole didn't say anything else. Dana would figure it all out soon enough because it was suddenly becoming very clear that previously repressed feelings were coming out.
Chase, Michael, and Logan had to present their research project on the historical relevance of The Wizard of Oz first. Since Frank Baum wrote it as a critique of the Gold Standard, and according to some the Populist movement, it wasn't a difficult project, simply a lengthy one.
Once they were done, the boys took their usual seats in the back of the class. Logan was well on his way to completely zoning out (thinking about Dana), when Chase interrupted, "What's going on with you and Dana?"
Logan shrugged and replied, "Just another game. Only this time I'm betting it all. Might as well, it's senior year, last chance."
That wasn't really the answer Chase was expecting, it was much more honest. He asked concerned, "You sure you want to do that?"
After a glance to make sure their teacher wasn't watching him, Logan turned to Chase and reassured, "Don't worry, I know what I'm doing. Do you know what you're doing?"
"What do you mean?" Chase asked playing oblivious.
Michael jumped in on the conversation, "He means what are you doing with Lola?"
Chase hesitated, but explained, "She offered to help me out with Zoey again, see if it works this time. She gets tutored in advanced algebra and I get to see if it makes Zoey jealous. What you don't think it's a good idea?"
"It may have some problems. Like what if Zoey thinks that you're with Lola, that you've moved on, so she decides to move on too and goes and gets herself a boyfriend," Logan pointed out.
Michael agreed, "He's right. There are too many bad outcomes to this. Think about it Chase, it's almost like you're trying to hurt her for your own gain."
Chase, however, was in his usual state of denial, "Both of those are completely unlikely since they both count on her feeling some shred for me of what I do for her."
"She does!" Logan and Michael replied in a hushed yell.
After a couple of minutes of silence, of thinking, Chase asked, "I shouldn't be doing this, should I?"
"Nope," Logan replied simply. Feeling in a helping mood he added, "Look, when you return to hanging out with Zoey, if she mentions that you've been gone, if she seems like that bothered her, tell her that you've had to help Lola, but you were always thinking of her. She'll love it. Then you finally take your chance with her. You're running out of time."
"You want me to use that line?" Chase asked extremely doubting Logan's plan.
"Isn't it true?" Michael asked knowingly.
Chase simply nodded, to which Logan concluded, "Then it isn't really a line."
The bell rang that signaled the end of class and all three boys went their separate ways leaving Chase with a lot to think about.
Dana spent the rest of her classes trying to think of why Logan would possibly turn her down. At the end of the day Nicole's suggestion was the only one that made any sense. Zoey's was simply impossible. Yet, in her last class of the day she finally decided to consider Zoey's suggestion.
It made her nervous to think about it. Logan, who had only physical relationships, not able to with her because he actually liked her. Logan liked her. Dana felt herself smiling at this thought and if anyone was watching they would have seen Dana's smile suddenly turn into a deer in the headlights look. She could not like Logan. Logan, no, no, no, not him. Okay, so maybe when he gets all close to me I get this little fluttery feeling in my stomach and breathing definitely doesn't seem as easy, but that doesn't mean that I actually like him. No, I don't like him,…I'm simply attracted to him. Yes, that's it…attraction. Nothing to worry about, honestly what girl wouldn't be attracted to Logan? Damn Zoey and her crazy theories. If she had just kept her mouth shut about her preposterous ideas I would have never had to acknowledge the fact that I lo…no no no…am attracted to Logan. I need to fix this…I'll just go see him and he'll be his usual obnoxious, jerk self and my attraction will quickly fade. Yes, that will work. I need to see Logan.
Right after the end of the day bell rang Dana started searching for Logan. Well, she didn't search for him right away, she went into the bathroom first. But she was not primping for Logan. There just happened to be a mirror there and she checked herself in it out of habit. At least, that's what she told herself.
Yet, her non-primping in the bathroom caused her to get to Logan's class late enough so that he was no where in sight. She checked his dorm, not there. The guys lounge, not there. The cafeteria, not there. The fountain, not there, but there was something else interesting there. Passing by checking the fountain as she was on her way to check the beach Dana found Zoey and Chase and they were kissing.
(After Zoey mentioned that they hadn't seen each other much lately, Chase took Logan's advice and said the truthful line, then Zoey kissed him. Of course he kissed her back, eagerly.)
Dana continued her search. She checked the beach, he wasn't there. She checked the basketball court even though practice had been canceled, he wasn't there. She checked the gym, he wasn't there. She checked the library on the off chance that he stumbled in there by accident, he wasn't there.
She had been looking all over campus for almost two hours when she finally decided to just head back to her dorm. As she approached the door to her building Logan came out of it.
When she saw him Dana realized she didn't know what she was going to say. She spent so long concentrating on finding him she hadn't actually thought past that.
Luckily Logan spoke first, "Hey Cruz, I was just looking for you. You think you figured me out yet?"
Dana put her hands on her hips, her traditional defensive stance, and said, "Oh, you think you're so complicated, do you? Please, you are so transparent Logan. You were only saying all that stuff today because you knew I was just trying to mess with your head when I pretended to ask you to be my friend with benefits and you were just getting me back."
Logan started walking towards Dana as he spoke and didn't stop until he was only about a foot away from her, "You're right, I did know you were just messing with me. But it just happened to work out that my honest answer to your fake question was something that would drive you a little crazy. So, I do have a real reason, and your guesses have all been very cold."
"Damn you Logan!" Dana yelled in frustration.
Logan smirked, happy with his affect on her. He loved it when she got all mad. She looked hot angry. He tried to keep her in her current outraged state, "So, you had all day to think about it and you only came up with that lame reason? You know I used to think you were smart."
"You ass!" Dana yelled as she shoved him. Normally she would have left, annoyed by Logan's attitude, but she stayed. Her feet didn't really seem to want to leave.
Logan continued to taunt, "I may be, but that doesn't change the fact that in an entire day you only came up with one reason."
"I came up with more," Dana retorted before she could stop herself. He was right, but she didn't want him to know that.
Logan folded his arms across his chest and replied coolly, "I'm waiting."
Their eyes locked. Dana tried to begin, "You…um…". That breathing thing is happening again and when had that foot of distance been cut in half? "You…" she tried to begin again as she noticed something. There was something in his eyes, a look she didn't recognize. Was he…nervous? She couldn't do it, she couldn't say Zoey's crazy suggestion and she couldn't think of anything else, "Never mind…it's wrong…just another bad guess, forget it."
"Tell me," he pleaded quickly keeping eye contact.
"No," she said and added quietly, "it's impossible."
The look in his eyes changed a bit. Was it…hurt? Dana looked away, unable to stand it. She looked to the ground. She glanced back up at him quickly before hastily turning around and walking away.
Logan, looking in Dana's eyes, saw something. He didn't know what it was. Maybe he could have figured it out, but she looked away and was leaving. Screw it, I'm risking it all, Logan immediately decided as she turned around. He rushed around her and stood in front of her, blocking her as he said, "Dana…"
"What do you want Logan?" Dana said keeping her eyes on the ground and wondering why do I feel tears behind my eyes?
Logan put his hand under Dana's chin and gently pushed it up to make her eyes meet his own. "You need a hint," he whispered right before he kissed her.
Though she was surprised, Dana found herself kissing him back as she let go of all of her denial. She could feel the smile on his lips as she began returning the kiss and it caused her own mouth to form a smile.
Logan grabbed Dana's hands and intertwined their fingers before breaking the kiss. Other than simply wanting to do that, it also made sure she couldn't easily run, which he was really afraid of. He broke the kiss, opened his eyes and looked at her. As she opened her eyes he said, "That was amazing," he began somewhat breathlessly, "and it was not just because we both happen to be fantastic at kissing, but because it was more than just physical."
Dana got the hint, or she thought she did. She was no longer afraid to say, "You like me."
Logan smiled at her as he said, "You're getting warmer."
"What would get me hot?" Dana asked before she realized the double meaning.
"Now that's something I'd really like to know," Logan said with raised eyebrows.
Dana let go of his hands and swatted at him playfully as she said, "I didn't mean it like that you perv."
"I know, I know," Logan conceded. I could just tell her, but what's the fun in that. Smiling Logan offered, "I could give you another hint."
"Okay," Dana immediately agreed hoping for a hint like the last.
She got what she hoped for. He kissed her again only this time he tried to put everything he felt for her into the kiss. He wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her closer as he deepened the kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck as she let him deepen the kiss. He kissed her with all his heart and she returned it the same.
After a few minutes they broke apart. They stayed in their embrace.
Dana spoke first. Looking up into Logan's eyes she said breathlessly, "You love me."
"Yeah," he said nodding and hoping that that fact didn't make her run.
Dana admitted what she had been trying to deny for what seemed like forever. "I love you too," she said smiling.
Logan's eyes lit up. He couldn't believe he didn't send her running scared. He checked, "Really?"
"Yep," Dana said nodding. He kissed her lightly and she added, "I win."
"No," Logan said looking at her disbelievingly, "I had to give you two huge hints. I practically told you and you just repeated, so I win."
"Fine, we'll call it a draw," Dana said compromising. She pondered, "We should really probably stop playing games now."
"Why? It's what we do," Logan said not understanding her thinking.
Dana stood up on her tip toes and kissed him passionately and said seductively, "Maybe we could do other things."
"Yeah, okay no games. We'll do 'other things'," Logan replied eagerly.
"So I was right, we should stop playing games?" Dana checked as her fingers played in his hair.
"Yeah, you're right," Logan said immediately hoping that it would get them back to the "other things".
Dana began, "Then if I'm right you know what that means?" She leaned in and whispered in his ear, "I win." She didn't give him time to respond, she kissed him and by the time they broke apart all thoughts of games were forgotten.