Disclaimer: Don't own a thing.
Authors Note: Well then, I don't have much to say, this chapter was hard, mainly because I'm struggling with my muse and having issues in real life and blah blah blah. Siigh.
Thank you to everyone that stuck with me, mainly Lovely, Naph of Tali (who betad), Trisha and Millie
"And that would be me kicking your ass!" Wendy laughed as she scored a strike for the last time, winning the game.
"I thought you said you're sports challenged" he grumbled watching the score screen.
"Bowling isn't it a sport, well not really, eh actually kind of..." Wendy paused, attempting to collect her thoughts. "Okay, rewind, I am apparently I master bowler person…thing. I have skill"
"Skill?" Reid laughed pulling her in to his arms.
"Mad skill. Don't mock"
"I never mock."
"First you mock, now you lie." Wendy heaved a dramatic sigh, "What am I going to do with you Garwin?"
"I can think of a few things…"
"Or you know, not."
Reid just shook his had and Wendy saw a hint of the expression she had glimpsed in his eyes earlier.
"What?" she questioned when he was silent.
"Nothing, I'm just enjoying myself."
"You sound surprised…?"
"Nah," he leaned in and kissed her slowly, taking any reply Wendy might have had from her lips. "You wanna head over to Nicky's and get some real food." Reid questioned against her lips, and Wendy pulled back nodding slowly, attempting to form some kind of a response.
"Nicky's doesn't really fall under the 'real food' category, but I follow your train of thought. Let us be mobile." She attempted to force a dry tone, hoping to drown out the breathy tone that she thought was too noticeable.
Reid Garwin made her go all wonky-like on the inside.
If he took any notice of her lack of composure, he didn't mention it. Tugging Wendy's arm with a smile and leading her out the door, she willingly followed musing over how well the night was going.
Reid might have been surprised that he was enjoying himself on a 'normal' date (a fact that made Wendy wonder what he did on most dates, then she cringed), but she was surprised that Reid hadn't done something completely obnoxious to upset her.
It was completely out of character for him.
Wendy glanced over at Reid from across the car, silently observing him. This was her favorite side of Reid, the side that wasn't constantly showing off for someone and just enjoying whatever he was doing.
The side that Wendy was pretty sure only she and his three 'brothers' got to see.
Reid made a sharp turn on to the street Nicky's was situated on and parked the car.
"Mhmm." Wendy was aware that going into Nicky's would shift the balance of the date, and she found the smart side, the side that she rarely listened to, screaming for her to head back to the dorms and call it a night.
Of course, the less logical more hormonal side of her was dying for another make-out session like the one they had partaken in before heading in to the bowling alley.
But Wendy opted for the middle ground, heading in to Nicky's and promising herself that they wouldn't stay long and secretly allowing herself to mentally prepare for some sort of lip action at the end of the night.
Balance is a good thing.
For a Thursday, Nicky's was relatively crowded, and Wendy noted how Reid's eyes lingered on the group around the pool tables before the switched back over to her.
"You wanna go grab us a table while I get us some burgers?" He threw over his shoulder, already heading in to the crowd.
Wendy sighed and looked around, spotting a table in the far corner (conveniently not near any pool tables) and she quickly claimed it, sitting down with a sigh.
She could almost see the shift in the date already and tried to ignore logics voice laughing and saying 'I told you so."
"So you and Reid are here on a date?" Pogue asked taking a sip of his drink Wendy nodded glancing over at the pool table where Reid was hustling random bar patrons out of their money. He had been over there since they had finished eating, which had been about the time that Pogue had joined her at the table.
"Apparently," she murmured, the night started out so well, so date-like, she should have known it was going to end sourly. He had brought her flowers (which she recognized from one of the schools planters, but for her it was the thought that counted…right?), there was moderate amount of making out, bowling. It was good. Then they came to Nicky's and it was all not good.
"Um, not to be obtuse or anything—"
Wendy barely held back a snicker when the word 'obtuse' left Pogue's lips. She knew he was intelligent, but she couldn't help but find it odd when he randomly sounded mildly intellectual.
"—but don't dates usually involved being in close proximity to the other person?"
"I thought so too, but it turns out we're both wrong, because this is Reid Garwin's world. And you know what a date in Reid Garwin's world entails? It entails pretending to be charming, and then, and then he takes the girl to a dirty bar, which they go to when they're on non-dates, and he makes the girl he feel awkward and unimportant and…oh God."
"What?! What's wrong?"
"Making the girl feel unimportant or second best or something like that. Crazy library girls one and two were right. Jesus, I am so stupid! It's all about him and his damn list and I just don't rank high enough on it!"
"Crazy library what?"
Wendy continued, ignoring Pogue's confusion. "I mean, yes, he took me bowling, but that was to butter me up, to make sure I'd hang around while he wanders." She shook her head with a disgusted look on her face, "I'm an ass." She grumbled glaring over as Reid took another shot.
"He took you bowling?" Pogue repeated, Wendy nodded. "He hates bowling."
"Which explains him losing."
"Why are you repeating everything I say?"
"Reid never loses, it's why we all have stopped playing pool against him. If it looks like he's going to lose then he'll either say he's tired or Use--"
"He'd Use just to beat you?" Wendy broke in.
"Using is still addicting right?"
"As far as I know."
"So he'd risk addiction just to win," she growled out.
Pogue, catching on to her rising agitation, just nodded looking away from her.
"He's so fucking stupid!" Wendy exploded tugging on her left ear lobe. "He knows how bad it is, has probably seen what it can do to him, but still risks it. He's such a, such a boy!"
"Uh yeah…I'm gonna go…"
"And you know the part that really gets to me? He thinks I don't know about this stupid game he's playing. So it's like, on some level, he's lying to me!" Somehow, Wendy managed to sound both triumphant and appalled while saying that last sentence.
"I have no argument with that, in fact, I support you so much that I'm going to walk over there and lecture him." Pogue stated standing up.
"And you're patronizing me, but whatever. If you get a chance, tell Asshole that I'm over at the bar being a fool and waiting for his return."
Pogue stared at Wendy for a long time, and she turned her eyes away attempting to hide the disappointment she was feeling. "I'm on it, and Wendy?"
She looked at him, half interested in what he had to say.
"Regardless of all the shit you think Reid's pulling with you, he really does care."
As Pogue walked away Wendy looked around the bar, slowly allowing the disappointment she felt to wash over her. Some stupid little part of her really thought that Reid had the potential to be different and better and sweeter with her than he was with all the other girls. That she could be girl that made him change.
Didn't every girl think they could save the bad boy?
Disgusted with herself, she pursed her lips and was about to give up on Nicky's when she saw Aaron standing near the bar, waving her over.
Wendy quickly returned his wave with enthusiasm, because honestly? The date for Reid and her was over as far as she was concerned, and quickly maneuvered over to him.
Aaron greeted her with a hug.
"I thought you were on a date tonight Wendybird, what happen? Garwin confess his secret feelings for Simms?"
"Uh no, actually, but funny you should mention Garwin's hidden feelings. The date was going fine until he was reunited with his first true love." Wendy gestured to the corner where Reid was playing. "Pool."
"And you correct me when I called him an asshole." Aaron muttered nodding at Nicky for a drink. Wendy smiled wryly and hopped up onto a vacant bar stool.
"I only corrected you in order to point out that his asshole-ism is selective. He's a decent human being when he's actually trying," she reasoned.
"People shouldn't have to think about being decent. They should just be decent."
"What about you?"
"Hey, I'm a decent guy, it's the being an asshole that I work at." Aaron flashed a grin at her and Wendy couldn't help but to fall in to giggles.
"You're random and I dig it."
"With a shovel?"
"Bad puns, I love it."
Still chuckling the two settled in to a comfortable silence, observing the bar around for a few moments before Aaron spoke again.
"So, do I need to kick his ass?"
"No, no ass kicking. It's just—" Aaron nodded encouragingly, "We got here and I become second to a pool table, second on his list, second to the all the other girls in the bar…unimportant." Wendy shook her head, dismissing the tears burning behind her eyes. "Whatever, it's no big." Aaron silently pulled her in to a hug and she burrowed closer in to his arms.
"Having fun?" Reid's voice was dry and broke in to the calm that was settled around the two friends. Wendy attempted to pulled away from Aaron and mentally prepared herself for what ever was about to occur.
"Until you showed up." Aaron growled, refusing to let Wendy go. Reid's eyes flicked over to him before settled back on Wendy.
"How bout you?" Reid drawled out.
"Well I've had better nights, but as my company changed so did my mood." Wendy stated leaning back into Aaron.
"So what, you're dating two guys in one night now? Making sure that you don't get bored?"
"Watch your mouth, Garwin." Aaron warned in a low voice.
"What I'm only making an observation."
Aaron took an aggressive step forward and Reid just smiled tauntingly. Wendy sighed, running a hand over her face.
Didn't the two of them tire of antagonizing each other?
They were getting louder, bickering about what Reid did or didn't imply about Wendy, Aaron calling Reid a bad date and saying that he was not good enough for Wendy.
"Okay, you two can continue to beat your chests in a manly manner, I'll be finding alternate means of transportation." Wendy grumbled leaving the two and the crowd starting to form around them.
She moved across the floor, ignoring the raised voices following her.
"Tyler!" Wendy called out as he rushed passed her to aid his friend. Tyler turned quickly to face her, confusion blurring his features before it registered who was calling after him.
"Uh…Wendy hey? What's up?" His eyes stayed focused on Reid.
"Drive me home please and thank you." Wendy grabbed his arm, forcing him to look at her.
"I don't think—" His eyes shifted back towards the bar.
"I really need to get back." She paused sensing his indecision, "I have cramps."
Wendy sighed, turning to face Reid who had apparently opted out of fighting with Aaron in order to harass her.
"Go away Reid, I know longer want to talk to you. Tyler, ride?"
"Baby boy, go to the bar. We're talking." Reid didn't spare Tyler a glance as he grabbed Wendy's arm.
"Like hell, I'm leaving; Tyler's driving me. End of story." Wendy snapped pulled her arm from Reid's grip. "And don't grab me."
Reid sighed and lowered his face near hers. "Darling please, I didn't mean to screw up." He spoke in a soft voice and Wendy felt herself waver for a moment. "We need to talk, come on."
There was something in his tone of voice, something that told Wendy that them talking wasn't a suggestion, and that raised her ire. She took a step back, glaring up at him.
"I don't have it in me to talk to you right now," He opened his mouth and she shook her head. "Don't, you're not my boyfriend—"
"Like hell I'm—" Reid raised his voice and Wendy spoke over him
"We were on a date, it ended badly. There you go."
He just looked at her for a long moment, before sighing and running a hand through his hair.
"Do whatever the fuck you want." Reid pushed his way through the crowd, walking out of Nicky's. Wendy watched after him for a moment before turning to Tyler who just shook his head.
"I'll drive you Wendybird. C'mon." Aaron tugged her hand, pulling her away from the scene that the night had become.
Wendy rolled over to look at the clock. It was a little after 3 a.m. and Aaron was sleeping soundly. Heaving a sigh, she sat up and plodded over to the bathroom. Glaring at her reflection she turned over the evening.
It's ridiculous, she was obsessing over how poorly the night had turned out, but after looking at the evening from a thousand different angles, Wendy could see how she was at fault for the evening going poorly as well.
And it sucked to have to admit that.
She could have gone over to Reid, asked to leave, invited him to dance, gone to play pool with him, stayed and talked with him. Multiple ways for the night to gone better that she could have done.
"Stupid, stubborn, Irish blood." Wendy muttered splashing some water on her face. Wasn't she convinced that it was his damn fault earlier? "Ugggh."
"You know very well what you are, don't let 'em write you—"
"Hello?" It was her phone, and apparently Aaron had answered it. Wendy walked out of the bathroom, "What the hell do you want Danvers, do you—Wendy what the hell?"
Wendy grabbed the phone from Aaron, "Calling to yelling at me Mr. Danvers?"
"Wendy, Reid's been in accident." She sat down hard on to the floor ignoring Aaron's questions of whether or not she was okay.
"What? When? Is he…?"
"He's unconscious, but the Doctors said he'd be fine, could you…?"
"I'll be down there ASAP, what hospital?"
"Beverly." Caleb sounded so tired, and in the background she could hear the Tyler and Pogue talking.
"Be there in a few." Wendy hung up the phone turning to Aaron. "Reid's in a hospital." She closed her eyes as Aaron pulled her in to a hug, "Please?"
"C'mon Wendybird, let's go."
The clock was creeping well passed 8 a.m. and Wendy could only lean her head back against the wall. Reid was speeding around a turn when a deer came out of nowhere and the car hit the deer dead on, spinning out control, totaling his beloved car. There was no reaction time on his part, nothing, it all just happened.
No time for him to Use and prevent the accident.
"Hey" Pogue sat down in the seat next to her.
"He's stabilized and all his signs are good. The doctors say he's just resting so if you want to head home…"
"No, I'll stay." She twirled curl around her finger. "Where are his parents?"
"His mom is in Paris, we think. And his dad? Dead."
"Oh…" Wendy mumbled just for the sake of saying something. What did one say to something like that?
She heaved a sigh and let worried thoughts cloud her brain as the silence moved around them, each preoccupied with their own thoughts when Pogue turned to face Wendy.
Her legs were drawn up against her chest and she was gnawing a hole in to her lower lip.
"I met someone." It was futile attempt at lightening the mood, but Wendy appreciated the effort, Pogue wasn't big on talking about himself.
He rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously with an awkward smile. "Yeah. Her name is Kate, I think she's in your art class, at least she mentioned she was--"
"That'd be her. You know who I'm talking about?"
Wendy crinkled her nose. Yes, she knew Kate Tunney, not that the girl had ever said much to Wendy. But for what it was worth, Wendy didn't make much of an effort to become the girls' friend either. The girl seemed pretty normal (at least, normal by Spenser terms, i.e. at totally princess) and really not the type of girl that she pictured with Pogue.
"Uh yes, I kind of do. I think I heard that her room-mate was pregnant or something, leaving at the end of term." Wendy paused thoughtful trying to sort through Spenser gossip, before affirming her thoughts. "Yup, it's her room-mate, Ana or something of the sort. Hm."
"Maybe you'll be her room-mate next year?" Pogue offered, Wendy just snorted.
"There's a reason why I got a single." Wendy deadpanned shifting her weight. "But um, I heard Kate is nice, I mean, she seems nice. Always smiling and stuff."
"She is, and well I'm thinking about asking her to Junior Prom."
Wendy nodded again; it felt wrong to be sitting there discussing something as normal (and fear inspiring) as Junior Prom while Reid was laying a room over unconscious.
"Hey" They both sat up straight, startled at some point during Pogue and Wendy's conversation, Caleb had snuck in to the room with a haggard but happy looking Tyler Simms.
In fact, Wendy quickly eyed Caleb and noted that Mr. Danvers was looking noticeable more happy and less stressed.
Or as less stressed (unstressed?) that Caleb Danvers got.
"How is he?" Wendy's was telltale of her lack of sleep and anxiety, cracking slight as she spoke.
"He's doing fine, still asleep but if you want to go see him, you can." Caleb leaned against the wall.
"Um…" Wendy tugged at her ear.
"He's completely knocked out, you can bitch at him or draw something on his face if you'd like." Tyler spoke quickly, throwing an arm around Wendys shoulders and steering her towards Reid's room. He threw a quick glance over his shoulder at the other two Sons before focusing solely on Wendy. "Reid'll appreciate when he hears you sat with him."
Wendy eyed Tyler skeptically as they came to stop in front of Reid's door. Looking through the window on the door, she noticed how the only real difference between this Reid and on of the last night was the purplish bags under his eyes.
It seemed to Wendy, that when most of the population was in the hospital, they usually appeared smaller and meek. Like the hospital was draining the life out of them, rather than making them better. But not Reid, he still looked annoying and healthy and somehow larger than life.
Wendy glanced over her shoulder to where Tyler was standing to comment on how Reid was tenacious even when unconscious, but Tyler must have had other opted to join the other Sons who, Wendy looked further down the hall for confirmation. Yup, they too had left her to do this on her own.
"Right, going in alone then." She muttered as she moved in the room and gingerly took a sit next to Reid's bed. "Well, just you me and huh?" Idly Wendy played with the bracelet around his wrist. "I'm sorry, about earlier. I was wrong. I mean, you were wrong too, we were both wrong. But I shouldn't of left like that; I shouldn't have left at all. And I'm sorry I did."
The room was quiet except for the steady beeping of the machine hooked up to him and Wendy rushed to fill the silence.
"It's just you made me feel stupid for wanting to be there with you, everything was going great and then we get to Nicky's and bam, you're a big jackass again and I'm sitting at the table nursing another iced tea. Maybe I was over analyzing but yea. And then I left with Aaron, the whole time I was with him I couldn't think about anything but how bad an idea it was for me to leave. Then I finally admit to myself that it really was a bad idea and I get this phone call from Caleb say you've been in an accident." She took a deep breath laying her head down on the edge of his bed. "I was so scared. Like, probably the most scared I've ever been in my life, and I felt so selfish cause the whole time I keep thinking that I only had one date with you and we both blew it. And I really wanted to make it right, you know? So if you get better. I'll make it right, I mean…if you'll let me. We should go out again." The mattress muffled the words but Wendy was still glad to get them out.
Wendy's head shot up quickly to see Reid smiling at her. Her mouth worked for a minute but no words left it.
"The fish look doesn't work for you Darling." He gently reached open and pushed her mouth shut. Wendy just licked her lips and stared at him for a moment.
"I thought you were sleeping?"
"I was, your babbling woke me up."
Wendy felt her cheeks redden and she turned away from him.
"Oh…I didn't mean to…"
"Hey," he grabbed her chin and forced Wendy to look at him. "It's okay. And you were right?" Reid leaned back on the pillow.
"Yeah, we were both wrong and uh…" He took a deep breath, "I'm sorry. I didn't make you feel insignificant or whatever. You're not, to me that is." He paused and Wendy felt herself grow amused as he grew more flustered. "Insignificant that is and--"
"When you're out of the hospital, we'll talk this all out." Wendy interrupted. Reid looked at her for a moment before nodding
"That sounds like a plan." The two settled in to silence for a moment. "We okay?"
It was role reversal, and a bubble of hysterical laughter left her lips.
"Yeah Reid, we're fine. Worry about getting better."