Of mice and men (in flannel shirts)

by velja

Pairing: Cody/Dana

Category: Romance/Humor

Setting: I don't know, somewhere in an early Season where they barely knew each other I guess. But it doesn't really matter, does it?

Summary: When Cody accidentally ruins her date with some guy Dana assumes things can't get worse. But then again, being stuck in the middle of nowhere in a thunderstorm with the world's biggest cheese head is worse. Or isn't it?

Dedication: This is for all of you out there who like the idea of Cody and Dana as a couple. There are way too few stories about them, in fact I have only found a single good one so far. It's "Cupid's lock" by Althaea and it starts really great but she stopped updating it. It's a pity, really.

Author's note: Okay, my first attempt at writing a "Step by Step" story. I haven't seen any episode in English, so please be kind if the dialogues are nothing like in the show. I don't think I could ever write Cody as dumb and hilarious as he appears in German dub. And I tried to put the focus on the romance and not the 'in-character-ness', so… well, I hope you like it.

Oh, and I suppose I got the age-thing wrong. In my story, Dana is seventeen and Cody is twenty-two. I don't know if it fits and… I don't care.

Chapter One

"Wow, Dana," Carol greeted her eldest daughter when she entered the living room of the Lambert/Foster home, where said daughter was currently pacing the floor nervously.

"You're looking…"

Carol stopped mid-sentence when she noticed Dana's eyes fall insecurely down her body to check on her outfit.

"What?" Dana asked. "Too much?"

"No," Carol replied quickly, "you're looking great. Lovely, really."

And she did indeed. The seventeen-year-old had for once abandoned her usual jeans and sweater attire for a more feminine look. She was wearing a tight white t-shirt that actually showed off a bit of cleavage and a knee-length soft falling flowery skirt to match her high-heeled sandals. Her long blond hair, which she normally restrained in a tousled pigtail, fell loosely onto her back in soft waves. And she was wearing make-up, too.

"So," Carol asked casually, "who is this guy you've dressed up for?"

"I didn't…" Dana broke off and smiled slightly, "…his name is Tom."

As if on cue the doorbell rang and Dana gave her mother a short look before she walked to the front door and opened it.

"Hi Dana," Tom greeted her and with a look towards Carol he added quickly: "Hi Mrs. Foster."

"Lambert," Carol corrected automatically.

"Huh?" Tom asked bewildered and looked over to Dana for explanation.

She sighed and reminded him: "Mom has married again and so her name is Lambert and not Foster, Tom. I told you already, remember?"

"Oh, sure," Tom waved off, not really caring this way or the other. He was giving Dana the once-over and really appreciated the sight. But then he remembered something else.

"Ugh, Dana," he muttered, "we kind of have a small problem. My car just broke down in front of your house and I don't think it will take us to… to where we're going."

"And where exactly would that be?" Carol asked briskly. She couldn't help it but disliking this guy on first sight. Something about him didn't… seem proper.

"Oh, you know Mrs… Lambert," Tom answered pronouncing the name, "the usual Saturday night date. The movies, maybe dinner somewhere…but I'm afraid we need another car."

"Oh, okay," Dana turned and gave her mother a pleading glance, "mom, can I…?"

"Frank took my car for his business trip, Dana," Carol reminded her daughter, "but you could take his truck if you must."

"The truck?" Dana flinched at the thought, "But you know, it broke down several times this week. That's why Frank took your car."

Carol waved off: "Oh no, the truck's okay again. I saw Cody fixing it this whole afternoon."

"Cody? Great!" Dana said sarcastically, "that's settled then. The truck is out for good."

Carol shook her head and walked a few steps closer to her daughter.

"Come on, Dana. You can't say that. Cody's actually pretty good at fixing things. I'm sure he did fine. I would ask him about it but I don't know where he is. I haven't seen him all evening."

"Well, who cares where the cheese head went?" Dana commented dryly and with a look at Tom she sighed and gave in.

"Okay we're gonna try the truck. But…" she gave her mother a knowing smile, "tell Cody if it breaks down I'm gonna drown him in motor oil."

After that she went into the kitchen and returned a minute later with the car keys. Taking Tom boldly by his hand she shoved him out of the front door and shouted over her shoulder:

"Bye mom, I'll be back at eleven!"

Dana led Tom towards the old battered blue truck parked next to the house and frowned when she saw the loading space in the back of the truck packed full with rubbish. All sorts of tools lay scattered around a bunch of dirty old blankets.

Dana sighed again. "Typical, Cody," she mumbled to herself, "it's looking worse than before. He couldn't have cleaned up after making such a mess, could he? Damn Cheese head!"

After climbing next to Dana onto the front seat Tom asked suddenly curious:

"Who's this Cody you keep calling Cheese head?"

Dana gave him a slight smile and started the truck. Then she answered: "No one. Just my step dad's retarded nephew."

"Oh," Tom smiled knowingly, "so he's a kid then?"

Dana thought about it. "Not really. I mean, not regarding his age."


"Well, he's twenty-two. But otherwise?" She smiled and steered the truck onto the street, "Yeah, he's a big, dumb, cheese-headed kid!"

In the back of the truck, unnoticed by the couple in the front, the bunch of blankets suddenly got slowly lifted up and the 'cheese-headed kid' stuck his head out from under it smiling widely.

'Oh Dana-Burger,' Cody thought good-natured, 'I knew you liked the Code-man all along.' Then he finally took in his surroundings and thought:

'Oh-oh, dude, we're moving. And pretty fast.' Cody grabbed the sides of the truck hard in order to not topple off the loading area and chuckled quietly. "I wonder what new adventures are lying in front of the lovely Dana-Burger and her hot date?" And after a small pause Cody added sadly: "Too bad she had to bring the other guy along as well."


... if you like it so far. Please let me know, okay?