Yes, I'm finally back with a new chapter.
First I wanted to apologize for taking so long (too long) to update, but to be honest, besides being extremely busy, I had lost all inspiration to finish this. But I promised myself that I would, so here I am, hoping that you guys will accept me back.
I hope you'll like this one, though I'm a bit rusty in my writing and I hope that it won't show through. Not my best work, but I'm getting there. It's fun being back, and I do want to finish this to honor my loyal readers…even after all this time.
Enjoy…this is for you!:)
Disclaimer: I don't own Ned's Declassified SSG
Smiling, she grabbed his hand tightly and pulled. "Come with me!"
Smiling, she grabbed his hand tightly and pulled. "Come with me!"
Sixteen-year-old Jennifer Moseley ran as fast as she could, pulling away from his grasp, her bare feet sliding over the cool grass. She stopped, panting, and looked behind her, a wide smile spreading in her beautiful face. "Hurry up!" she told the figure lagging behind her. "Can't the soccer player catch up with me?" She mocked. Starting to run again, she let the wind slap her face gently, making her feel as if she was finally free. She extended her arms towards him, smiling, "Isn't this beautiful?"
"Wait up Moze!" The boy behind her yelled, laughing at her enthusiasm.
She laughed, and instead, ran faster, changeling him to a race.
Well, the boy thought, if she really wants it this way… He ran as fast as he could until finally reaching her, and wrestled her onto the ground. Before they knew it, they were rolling down the green hill laughing hysterically.
They sat up, all covered in grass, but they couldn't have been happier. "Thanks for bringing me along," The boy said interrupting the comfortable silence.
She giggled and reached for his messy hair, pulling out blades of grass from it. "Don't thank me. That's what friends are for…"
"But you chose to bring me with you to your family vacation over Seth," the boy countered, somewhat confused.
"Yeah well," Moze said slinging her arms around him in a loose embrace, "Seth, even being my boyfriend and all, cannot compare to the best friend of the whole wide world."
Ned looked at her and all he could do was smile.
It had been a fun day after all.
After the boys arrived at the mall to meet them, they had spent a while talking, before Cookie and Ned got distracted by the smell of food. Laughing, the girls dragged them to the food court, and while they decided what to eat form the many options presented to them, Lisa and Moze slipped away to Lisa's car to hide their purchases.
When they returned they couldn't believe their eyes.
Ned and Cookie had enough food on their table to feed a small army.
Rolling their eyes, they sat next to their boys, or in Moze's case, her pretend boyfriend. She laced her arm through his and put her head on his shoulder, something she had done since they were younger. Between bites, Ned smiled and dropped a small kiss on her forehead, as he offered Moze a bite of his sandwich. She graciously agreed, lifting her head and in the process accidentally brushing her nose against his. Both of them blushed, but this time, Moze decided to be brave. Instead of turning her gaze away embarrassed, she looked right into Ned's blue eyes, trying to read his thoughts.
What she saw surprised her.
Ned was looking at her with a different kind of gaze, something Moze couldn't exactly place. But this was forgotten when he smiled at her and gently kissed her nose, all the while offering the sandwich to her. They were quite a sight.
"Ned, when's the next game?" Cookie asked him, drawing them from their reverie. Lisa, on the other hand, sighed, and kicked him under the table. He had obviously been unaware of his best friend's latest interaction.
Cookie doubled over in exaggerated pain, while the other three occupants of the table laughed at his antics. "What did I do now?" he asked holding his ankle. Lisa only rolled her eyes and responded, "Nothing love," she said wondering how Moze, Ned and Cookie could carry on with their lives with them being so clueless.
"Anyway, the next game is tomorrow, and I was actually hoping you guys would come."
"Of course we'll come Ned," Moze said, now eating from Ned's french fries. "After all, your loyal girlfriend has to be there to make you play better," she said remembering his words from a few years back.
"Awww!" he said playfully, placing a kiss on the top of her head.
Cookie's eye twitched, while he tried to contain his laughter. They would never learn. "Anyway," he said clearing his throat. "Ned do you guys want to go to the movies?"
"Why not?" he asked, all four of them getting up from the table after eating. They went up the electric stairs and picked a random movie to watch, which to be honest, neither Ned nor Moze really watched. Once they saw that the movie theater was full of their high school classmates, they knew they had the perfect excuse. And so, as soon as the lights dimmed, they started stealing kisses.
A few wonderful hours later, they dazedly walked out of theater and decided to go home. She grabbed the bag containing her dress from Lisa's car and jumped into Ned's. They drove off silently, Moze putting her head back on her seat and closing her eyes. Without meaning to, she slowly fell asleep.
Ned looked at her and smiled. She deserved the rest. Moze had tons of responsibilities at school, but somehow always managed to squeeze in time for her friends. She had been so busy lately that Ned wondered if she was even getting enough sleep. Sure, he could skive off his work, everyone knew that schoolwork wasn't his strength, but to Moze, it was way too important to even think on doing her work. And even after all these years she had yet to get tired of bugging him so that he did his homework. She really was an amazing girl.
Ned couldn't picture his life without her. And so he wondered what would happen if he took a risk. Parking in his driveway, he took the seatbelt off and reached over to gently shake Moze awake.
"Mmm?" she asked still with her eyes closed.
He smiled. She looked so cute when she slept. He slipped his fingers through her hair softly. "We're home Moze."
She yawned and opened her eyes sleepily, stretching. "Thanks," she said almost whispering.
He opened the car's doors, slipping out into the chilly night. He laughed. "You're not planning on sleeping in my car, are you?" he joked, as she grabbed her bag and stepped out.
"Ha ha, you are so funny," she responded sardonically. She followed Ned's curious look to her bag. She raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"What's that?" he asked. Ned hadn't noticed that she had bought something.
She smiled conspirationally. "Nothing, just a little something I'm going to use to play a prank on you."
"Look who's funny now…" Ned said rolling his eyes. "Now, really, what is it?"
"It's just the dress that I'm going to wear to the dance, Ned."
"Ohhhh, can I see?"
She laughed. "You do know that curiosity killed the cat, right?"
"Hey! I'm no cat…"
"Really? You could have fooled me."
"Moze please let me see it."
"Patience Ned, you'll be able to see it in a week or so…"
He playfully scowled at her. "Okay, I guess I'll have to wait," he said resigned, walking up her porch steps. Moze dug into her pockets, looking for the keys. When she finally found them, she put them on the lock and unlocked the front door.
"So…I guess this is goodnight." She said smiling. "See you tomorrow at the game Ned."
"Nighty night," he responded putting his hands in his pockets. Moze pushed the door open and started walking in.
A spark of inspiration grew within him "Moze!" Ned reached and grabbed her wrist. She turned around startled.
"What's wrong Ned?" she asked curious.
Ned scratched his head nervously. Okay, so maybe this wasn't the best time, but it couldn't hurt to try... He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. He looked like a goldfish out of the water.
"Ned? Are you okay?"
He laughed nervously. "I-" Damn, this was great. What was he supposed to say now? He chickened out. "I just wanted to know what color your dress so that I could get you a corsage," he covered.
"Guess," she said playfully, aware that he was hiding something from her.
"How am I supposed to do that? There's too many colors!" he complained, trying to distract her.
"If you know me well enough you'll know," she told him confidently, and walked inside, calling goodnight out to Ned.
He only stared at the closed door and sighed.
He walked over to his own house, and wondered if he would ever be able to tell her his real feelings.
He wasn't about to give up. Not yet.
Moze hung the dress in her closet carefully, took her shoes off, and jumped onto her bed, closing her tired eyes. She was sleepy, but at the same time her mid was reeling. She couldn't shake the feeling that something was off with Ned. The way he had looked at her tonight when he had dropped her off at her house was different. And then, while she was still wondering what was up with him, he had opened his mouth but no words had come out of it. It was as if he had wanted to say something, but couldn't.
Ned had never had any difficulty to tell her something, so she desperately wondered what was it that he had been about to say.
She turned her head sideways, and watched as the light in Ned's room turned on. Her best friend walked into the room, not realizing her stare a few feet away. He walked around, looking lost, getting ready for bed. Moze wondered what was on his mind. It wasn't normal for him to act this way, so quiet, somewhat distant from her.
Her heart stopped as a sudden thought occurred to her. Had Ned planned on "breaking up" with her tonight?
Tears started to form in her eyes. Moze couldn't let that happen. Not now, when she was just starting to figure out what she really felt for the blue eyed boy. Not again. She didn't want her heart broken, especially by that one person she trusted her life to.
Then, however, she reminded herself of how wonderful the last weeks had been, and at that moment, a spark of hope grew in her heart.
It was then when she took the decision. Lisa was right. She had been right all along. She had to do something, and soon. She couldn't risk losing Ned. Moze had no idea how she was going to tell him that she had fallen in love with him, but part of her—that little part of her heart that she tried so hard to ignore every day—knew that this was the right thing to do. She brushed her tears away gently, and wondered how she had gotten herself into this mess. If she was stronger, braver, this would be easier. But she couldn't try to pretend something she was not in front of Ned, who knew her better than anyone in the world, and who would look right past the strong façade into her vulnerable, sensitive self. In her own un-valiant way, she would someday—soon she hoped—be able to confess to him.
But he was different, he would understand, even if she made a fool of herself. That was why she loved him so much.
One way or another, even if Ned did not love her the way Moze did, she knew that he would never in a million years hurt her—intentionally at least.
And she knew that she couldn't continue to lie to him. Or herself for that matter. And although she hadn't the faintest idea of what she could do make Ned love her the way she did, she smiled, because she knew that whatever happened everything would be all right. She just had to wait a while more. She wanted to be sure of what she was going to do, sure that that she wasn't making a mistake, and keep the hope that maybe deep within him, Ned loved her as much as she loved him. She only wished she knew what he really felt.
She curled herself into a ball, still looking at Ned who had now changed into his pajamas and prayed to God to give her more time. Ned was about to turn the light off and go to bed, but when he raised his face, he spotted Moze just across from him and his eyes lit up. He saw her give him a small smile and headed to the window to speak to her.
"Moze? Are you still awake?" he asked, hesitantly.
She laughed silently, sitting up on her bed. "No Ned, don't worry, I'm just sleepwalking," she responded the obvious question with sarcasm.
He laughed at her joke, rubbing his hands maliciously. "Ooohhh, so this means I get to ask you embarrassing questions and you'll answer them in your sleep?"
"You are never going to change, are you?" She asked, standing on her toes so that she could sit on her windowsill.
"Hey, I'm just saying."
It was her turn to laugh. "Besides, what can I possibly tell you that you don't already know being my best friend and 'boyfriend'?" she continued, making quotation marks with her fingers.
Ned carefully climbed out his window onto her roof, and sat down next to her on the sill. Playfully he raised his hand to his chin and pretended to think, all the while glancing sideways towards Moze. "Oh come on," she said shoving him lightly laughing, "I bet you can't ask something that you don't already know the answer to."
"What do I get if win Moseley?" he asked seriously, an idea forming in his head. Maybe this was it. Unconsciously his hand reached for hers, and he started playing with her fingers. Ned had gotten so used to holding on to her hand these past few days that he actually felt strange when her soft fingers weren't laced with his.
Moze rolled her eyes, trying to ignore the tingles in her hand and the butterflies in her stomach. "Whatever you want Bigby," she answered defiantly. Honestly, she really didn't think he could come up with a question.
"Hey, so I get to have a personal slave for the next month?"
Moze scowled at him while Ned laughed. "You really think you are that smart?"
"Oh come on Moze, you know I am," he smirked.
"Yeah, that is so obvious…"
"You are never going to admit it, right?"
She laughed. "I'll admit it when it's true," she said in a sing song voice.
Ned sighed. "Anyway, here goes nothing." He raised his gaze to look directly into her chocolate orbs. "Moze…who do you love?"
She froze and her heart dropped to her stomach. This was too soon. I can't do it now! She thought frantically.
"Uh…" she laughed nervously.
Ned smiled mischievously. He looked like a cat that had just caught a mouse. He had so trapped her. Maybe she really did love him.
What do I do now? She thought, avoiding his penetrating blue eyes. "Uhh… I love my mom," she said avoiding the question, "I love Cookie and Lisa, they're my friends," she said counting with her fingers.
"I love my grandmother,"
"I love my grandfather,"
" Oh I know! I love my baby cousin Sophie who's so sweet,"
"Moze!" Ned finally got slightly impatient. "That wasn't the question."
"R-really?" she stuttered, looking down at their loosely intertwined hands.
Ned then reached out and put his hand on her chin softly, raising her gaze to his. "Why won't you tell me who you love Moze?" he asked softly. He hoped this would work.
"You don't understand Ned,"
"Are you afraid?" he continued.
"Y-yes," she said.
"Of what? Are you afraid he won't love you back?"
She nodded silently. "I can't tell him yet," she said carefully. "I want to be sure first."
Ned nodded resigned. "At least tell me. Do I know him?"
She smiled shakily. "You do Ned. He's a close friend of yours," she tried to cover up.
Great. His heart dropped, it wasn't him. However, it had to be someone who he knew…couldn't it be worse? He would have to deal with of friend of his going out with Moze. "Wait a sec… Moze it's not Cookie, right?" he asked suddenly.
"Ned! Of course not, Cookie's like my brother, besides being Lisa's boyfriend.
And what about me? he asked himself silently. What am I to you?
"Actually," Moze said, "The guy I love is someone sweet and caring." She stole a glance at him. Ned's expression was unreadable. "He always makes me laugh, and in certain goofy way, he's unique. He looks out for his friends a lot and that says a ton about him, because to him, they're the most important thing in the world. He's the type of guy you can always run to for help, and someone that overall, won't let you down. Never." She smiled, gripping his hand more tightly, looking up at the moon.
"Well. I can say one thing," Ned said sighing.
He caressed her hand with his thumb. "He's one lucky guy to have you. And-" he gulped, "once we're over, he will have his chance with you."
Moze sadly lowered her gaze again. Once we're over… That was it?
"Moze?" he asked softly, gaining courage. If he was going to lose her to another guy, he would at least keep this.
"Yeah?" she said still not looking at him.
"Since I won the bet, can I get the prize now?"
She nodded silently, realizing that in fact he had won. She wondered what kind of torture he had planned for her. "What do you want?"
Ned took a deep breath, trying to calm his wildly beating heart . "This," Ned tilted her chin once more, leaned in slowly towards her, closing his eyes and placed his lips against hers in a soft, long kiss.
He broke the kiss and separated their lips a few millimeters, and whispered "Goodnight Moze."
And with that, Ned stood up and disappeared into his own room.
She ogled at him. What had just happened?
Ned was warming up near the field where he was about to play. He raised his glace and looked up into the bleachers looking for the familiar head of brown hair. Why hadn't Moze come yet? The game was about to start…
Sighing he picked up his shoes and started lacing them, while trying listening to the coach's words of preparation to the game, but his mind was elsewhere.
Could it be that Moze was angry at him for what he had done last night?
Or had she had finally figured out his secret and was freaking out?
Damn, he had just had to do that. But Ned hadn't been able to help it. She had looked so beautiful and innocent last night under the moonlight. And after all, he didn't regret it.
That kiss had been so magical..
The moment he had laid his lips on hers his heart had leaped in joy. Her kisses were addicting, and he knew that whatever he did, no matter how much time passed, that special feeling would always be there. Ned knew that he would never get tired of kissing her. And he just hoped that he would get the chance to enjoy it for the rest of his life.
Suddenly, a pair of arms wrapped around his waist, startling him. "Hello Ned," she said softly placing her head on his shoulder.
He laughed. Ned should have known better. Moze would never let him down. "I thought you weren't coming." Some way or another, she felt revitalized by last night's events. Now there was hope in her heart. Maybe…jut maybe. All she had to do now was tell him—easier said than done. But for now, she only had to keep pretending.
She smirked at him. "Hey! Of course I was coming. I have to see my boyfriend kick the other team's butt."
Ned laughed harder. "Jennifer Moseley, Ms. Competitive," he joked.
"Don't you ever doubt it," she said.
"Moseley! What are you doing? Distracting my star player before the game?" The coach asked spotting them sitting on the bench.
Both of them laughed. "Sorry coach, I was just leaving."
"Nah, I was just joking, but since you're here please help me keep track of their stats." He told her, handing her a clipboard and a pen. "Anyways, Bigby plays better when you're around."
"I told you, didn't I?" Ned said poking her playfully, making her laugh. "You're my lucky charm."
Moze blushed a bright red. Did he really mean that? Noticing her blush, Ned smiled timidly at her, and kissed her nose. "Wish me luck, Moseley."
"I sure will," she said blushing harder. He stood up, heading towards the field and leaving her behind.
Moze looked him go, and she hoped that some way or another, she would be able to stop him from leaving her, figuratively speaking.
One week until the dance. One week for her to tell Ned those three little words.
She had seven days to figure out how she was going to tell her best friend that she loved him.
The game was almost over now, and they were still tied. Ned was too distracted in his own thoughts to concentrate on the game, but he knew that his team was counting on him. He really was trying his best, but nothing seemed to be going his way today.
He tried to get past the defender, but he ended up losing the ball again. He groaned frustrated with himself, and crouched down to take a breather. He felt as if the whole world was on his shoulders. He had to do something so that his team could advance to the state finals. But even the skies seemed to be sad today, covered with thick gray clouds.
"Ned!" he turned his head at the sound of his name.
And there she was, his own little ray of sunshine.
"You can do this Ned!" she continued over the holler of the other voices. "I know you can."
He smiled. He would do this for her. And so, the next time he got the ball, he didn't waste his chance. He ran, shot and scored. The bleachers rose up with excitement, but he was only looking at one person.
Ecstatic, he spotted her jumping up with joy on the sidelines, waiting for him. He ran towards her, embracing her in a tight hug, and she welcomed him, not caring that he was sweaty. He spun her in circles, both of them laughing, realizing that he had just won the game. But they really didn't care.
This was what Ned really wanted. This is what he longed for. Her warmth, her love.
He smile grew as he caressed her face. "Thanks," he whispered into her ears.
"That's what friends are for…" she responded only for him to hear. And without waiting for his protest, she kissed him softly on the cheek.
Now, if they could only be honest with themselves.
But everything was not as simple as it seemed.
To be continued...