Author: fraidy bat
Rating: K+ for now.
Pairings: Olivia/Viola, Viola/Duke, Sebastian/Olivia
Summary: We see things from Olivia's POV, and all may not be well. Disclaimer: I do not own anything from She's the Man. None of it belongs to me.
Notes: There will be more of this as I write it. I wanted to look at things from a different angle. Hope you enjoy it. Reviews are appreciated. :D
He's Not You
I really should have figured it out. I should have. I looked right at her so many times, even thought she looked familiar that time at the kissing booth when she came to my rescue and took my place there. I should have noticed that they had the same bright, round eyes and the same ready grin. She sat across from me in class for two weeks, and I just didn't see.
But why would I have wanted to? He was so…perfect. It was an odd moment, bumping into Sebastian outside of Principal Gold's office. He was short and kind of scrawny, and he clearly wasn't exactly the most socially apt individual. The odd part was the little flip my stomach did when our eyes met the first time. Him? Really, Olivia? Yes, him. Despite the out of place interest in my shoes and where I bought them (how did I not know?), I was immediately attracted to Sebastian. He was so adorable and nice and not like the other boys at school, it was as though I simply couldn't help myself. I'd absolutely had enough of the thickheaded jock type, apparently.
Ending up Sebastian's lab partner was what really pushed me over the edge. Admitting that he was squeamish about dissection? That couldn't have been any cuter. And those lyrics. I read those lines and took one more look at his eyes and that was it. I was head-over-heels for him. For her, I mean. But that fact continued to escape me and everyone else as well.
"Trust me, you're not my type." I almost have to laugh, remembering that. Of course I'm not Viola's type. That didn't matter at the time, though. I was falling for Sebastian, and falling hard, even if I wasn't doing anything but sitting at a lab table with him. And to hear that I'm not his type, and on top of that he thinks I should go out with Duke (Orsino? Are you kidding?), after I had done nothing but moon about him for days…it was quite a shock. It was so shocking that I abandoned all decorum and flat out asked him why I wasn't his type, right there over the frog's dead body. He doesn't think of me that way. Why not? The small admission that I was one of few people Sebastian actually felt comfortable with was a small ray of hope that, in the end, contributed to the disaster that happened next.
I still feel awful about using Duke. It was such an excruciatingly embarrassing experience for everyone, except for possibly Eunice. I think she was psyched to be there at all. It didn't matter that it was awkward as hell and ended horribly. I can't imagine how Viola must have felt, sitting there watching me grope Duke. No wonder she tried so hard to convince me that Duke was undateable. The conversation in the bathroom should have been the hint I needed. How would Viola know that I had gone out with Duke Orsino on one date that didn't last more than twenty minutes? At the time, I didn't know that she and Sebastian were related, but it didn't seem to matter. I had faith in the high school rumor mill when I should have been suspicious of Viola's intimate knowledge of the situation.
That was another moment where I can't really imagine how she must have felt. I described in detail how I felt about Sebastian (about her) and how his (her) smile made me feel and the lengths I had gone to with Duke trying to make Sebastian (Viola) jealous. She stood there and listened, and I did manage to pick up on the total change in the tone of the conversation. I've been dying to ask her what the whole exchange, minus the fight afterwards, of course, made her think. As soon as the words "huge thing for his roommate Sebastian" left my mouth, how did she feel? Relieved that I didn't actually want Duke? Scared of how this might affect her? Uncomfortable with me? Why did she encourage me to tell Sebastian how I felt when she knew I would only be telling her? Sure, it would eliminate Duke from my radar screen and thus free him up for her, but she already knew that I didn't have any real designs on him. We really must have a discussion about this someday when I get up the guts to ask her about it. Which will probably be never.
If spending quality time with Viola didn't clue me in, then kissing the real Sebastian really should have. In hindsight, I can see how different Sebastian and Viola were and still are. Besides the obvious male-female discrepancies that could have been apparent to me if I'd allowed myself to really look at him, Sebastian (the real one) was more confident, more rough around the edges, and his lips didn't feel he way I had imagined they would feel. When I brushed my face against his, his skin didn't feel as soft and smooth as it had looked in all the times when I would stare at Sebastian and fantasize about what it would be like to cover his delicate face with kisses and run my hands through his hair. There was a harsher feel to his body than I had expected, and I admit to feeling just a tiny bit disappointed that he didn't wrap an arm around me or put a hand on my waist. Even so, none of that could dampen my spirits or the euphoria I felt when I believed I was kissing him, my Sebastian, and finally telling him how I felt. My heart was pounding harder at that moment than it ever had during the run I'd just finished before I saw him get out of the cab. I thought I might be able to fly back to my room. I didn't sleep at all that night. I did nothing but think about Sebastian, but it was Viola's face that I saw, not her brother's. I just didn't know that yet.
The very first time I thought something might be off about Sebastian was at the Cornwall-Illyria game when Principal Gold announced that Sebastian Hastings was, in fact, a girl. There was a wave of confusion followed by a brief flash of utter panic before I reined it in and vehemently insisted to myself that Gold was crazy and always had been. Hearing Sebastian say into the megaphone that he was definitely a boy helped calm the painful twisting that was beginning in my stomach. Does his voice sound deeper than usual? It must be the megaphone, I told myself. Then Sebastian dropped his pants, and all doubt about his sex was erased. Yep, definitely male. Then why did I still feel like something wasn't quite right? Maybe it was because Sebastian was playing so horribly, or maybe it was the way he moved that was so not Sebastian. The awful feeling in my stomach was a little better, but it was still there.
Halftime came and went, and they were back on the field. Sebastian was back, too. And he was playing so much better. He walked the walk I knew so well, and carried himself with the air that I could recognize even sitting so far away in the stands. The allure that grabbed hold of me somewhere very deep and pulled me toward him was back. My relief at seeing him as his old self again was so great that I had to sit down for a minute. The game went on, and I cheered along with everyone else around me.
Then there was the brawl. Boys can be so stupid, honestly. But that's not the point. The point is that Sebastian wasn't joining in. Oh, he was in the middle of it alright, but I never saw him throw a punch or tackle someone to the ground. He looked upset, but I couldn't tell very well from where I was sitting, so I got up and ran down to the field. Yes, ran. If something was wrong with Sebastian, I wanted to be there to help figure it out. Plus, I was dying to see him again after the kiss the night before.
So when Sebastian looked at me like I was the last person on Earth that he wanted to see and said "Not now, Olivia!" it stung. Duke was immediately pissed off, and I worried that he might start a fight with Sebastian over, well, me. Sebastian began to blurt things about not betraying Duke and that there was nothing going on between him and me. This was news to me. I was just about to say something when all hell broke loose.
"I love you," Viola said to Duke. My very, very first thought was: No wonder he said I'm not his type. Sebastian is gay. Apparently, that was Duke's first thought, too. Sometimes I wish it could have been that simple. It certainly would have made things easier for me. If not easier, then slightly less screwed up, but it definitely wasn't that simple. Viola began to explain about the Cornwall girls' team being cut and reached up to pull off her false sideburns and eyebrows. As soon as that first sideburn came off, my stomach just about fell into my feet. There it was, the truth. The other sideburn was followed by the eyebrows and finally the wig itself. When Duke still needed convincing, Viola followed in her brother's footsteps and flashed us all. Hello, Viola. And just like that, Sebastian was Viola. Viola, the same person who helped me fight off Monique in a bathroom mere hours before, was now standing where Sebastian had been thirty seconds ago, and she had been pretending to be her brother the entire time. It was the real Sebastian, the male Sebastian, that I had kissed. Oh my god, oh my god…he's a girl. She's…a girl. A girl. It began like a mantra in my head. Just as I feared I might lose my mind and my lunch all at once, rational thought kicked back in.
"Wait, if I kissed your brother, where is he?" A few moments and a few odd comments from Principal Gold later, someone said "present!" over my shoulder, and there he was. The resemblance to Viola was unsettling. She looked enough like her brother that she had fooled everybody, including me. While Viola tried to convince Duke that she hadn't meant to hurt him, I studied Sebastian from of the corner of my eye. He was cute and a little taller than Viola. It dawned on me that those were his lyrics, not his sister's. He seemed like a nice guy, and if the song he wrote was any indication, he was also very talented. I found myself backpedaling from the edge of complete and total panic, gazing at Sebastian and thinking that this might work out after all. I began to understand exactly why Viola had done it, looking at her face when Duke said she should play. She didn't mean to hurt anyone; she desperately wanted to play soccer, and this was the only way.
Honestly, I wasn't angry. I was still a bit shell-shocked from all of it, but survival instincts had kicked in and buried all the messed up, awkward complications that resulted from learning The Truth, and I was left feeling only surprise, sympathy for Viola, and hope that things with Sebastian would turn out nicely. Hell, we'd already kissed, so that was out of the way. For the sake of my sanity and Viola's, I decided that we should continue being friends. It didn't need to matter that I believed she was a guy for two weeks or that I had pretty much fallen in love with her while she was in disguise. We tacitly agreed to put it away and never bring it up again. She introduced me properly to Sebastian, and I was happy to meet him. I was happy to be a supportive friend when it seemed like Duke wouldn't come to the debutante ball for Viola. I was happy to be on Sebastian's arm. I was happy to let Viola take my hands and tell me I looked beautiful. I was happy. We are all friends now, and Duke and Viola are together, and Sebastian and I are dating, and I am so happy. I am.
Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.