Chapter 3: Dinner

"There's no way you pulled that off!" Tyler exclaimed.

"We're living proof of it!" Sarah countered.

Sarah and Adrienne had just finished sharing a certain experience of theirs back in their junior year, when they accepted a dare to run into the boys' locker room in only their underwear and steal the basketball team's gear without anyone noticing. They managed to complete the dare with both their good reputations in tack. Or so they claim.

"So you're telling me that you two were half-naked in the boys' locker room while the team was in there?" Kate asked incredulously.

Both girls nodded their heads triumphantly. The others at the table laughed and shook their heads.

"How 'bout a reenactment of that historical dare?" Reid suggested with a naughty twinkle in his eyes.

"Reid," Caleb said warningly, scooting his chair closer to Sarah's.

"Okay, okay, we'll excuse Sarah. But how 'bout the new girl?" Reid amended with a smirk and a flick of his head towards Adrienne.

"She has a name, dude," Tyler scolded.

"It's okay," Adrienne said, "But you should make a habit of calling people by their names, you know," she said to Reid.

The blond just smirked like he didn't care. "Right," he said sarcastically, "So are you gonna do it?"

"Do what?"

"Offer us a replay of that dare you two were bragging about," Reid said with a look that said Duh?

"Reid!" Sarah exclaimed, slapping him quite painfully on the shoulder.

"Ow! What the fuck, woman?" Reid said, outraged, "Put a leash on your cat, Caleb."

"Serves you right for being rude, not to mention perverted, to Adrienne," Caleb retorted. He was quickly getting fond of the newcomer, and Reid's attitude didn't sit well with him.

"Oh, great. New girl over here arrives not five hours ago, but you already take her side. Nice to know our friendship means a lot to you, Danvers," Reid remarked sarcastically.

"It's not about being friends, man, it's about being you rude to Adrienne," Pogue said with just a hint of anger seeping into his usually laid-back persona.

"And –" Tyler began to say.

"You're siding with them, too?" Reid turned to his best friend.

"And she has a name, Reid, so you might wanna try using it," Tyler continued as though the blond hadn't interrupted him, "besides, it's not about taking sides. We're all friends here."

"Okay, time to cool it down again! Jeez, I can't believe you all managed to stay friends after all those years of this happening," Kate said before Reid could open his mouth.

"Now that's what I call a friendship," Adrienne said.

The four boys finally stopped shooting each other daggers and went back to eating their spring rolls in a tense silence. The girls shrugged off their behavior and talked among themselves.

"Did you decorate the whole house yourself, Kate?" Adrienne asked.

"With the help of Sarah and Tyler," Kate answered.

"Tyler? He helped in making the house like this?"

"Yep! Baby Boy's got great style," Sarah complimented.

Adrienne turned to talk to the young brunette. "Which parts of the house did you do?" she asked him with a smile.

"Excuse me?" he said with an uncertain smile.

"They tell me you helped decorate the house. Which parts did you do?" she clarified.

"Oh, right," he said with a slight laugh, "I did the bathrooms and the guestroom. And the room that you're staying in."

"You did my room? I love the colors, and the stuff around," Adrienne said with pleasure.

"Yeah? Sarah mentioned that you like the ocean and the beach, so I just kinda went with that theme," Tyler explained, obviously pleased and happy that she liked his work.

"That's exactly what I thought when I saw it. You're good," she praised.

"Thanks," he blushed. Adrienne thought he looked pretty adorable.

"No problem."

At that moment, Sarah stood up with her hands on her hips.

"Are we cooled down now?" she said to the boys, pointing her narrowed eyes at Reid.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Reid asked in a tone ready for a confrontation.

"Obviously someone's not cool yet," Sarah said with roll of her eyes, "So no dessert for Reid. Who wants ice cream? We've got chocolate, brownie chunks, and mint chocolate chip."

Everyone placed in their preferences and Sarah skipped off to the kitchen to grab the desserts. Adrienne and Kate followed her out and the boys were left at the table, an uncomfortable silence hanging over them that none of them wanted to break.

After more than five minutes of heavy silence, Tyler couldn't take it anymore.

"So… Adrienne seems like a cool girl," he began tentatively.

"She is," Caleb agreed, glad for the break in tension.

"Seems uptight," Reid said off-handedly. Caleb glared at him, but knew better than to bite.

"And you're acting like an ass. Snap out of it," Pogue said, his tone joking but the meaning hit loud and clear.

"Why is everyone siding with her? She's been here all of 3 hours," the blond grumbled.

"It's 'coz right now, she's acting more likeable than you, who's been here all of forever," Tyler said cheekily.

"Funny."

The girls came in at that moment, carrying colorful bowls, spoons, and three different flavors of ice cream.

"Okay, we have brownie chunks for Tyler, since he's such a sweetie," Kate said, passing a bowl to the brunette, who accepted it with a mock-scowl. She reached over to ruffle his hair affectionately and turned back to the others, "And we have mint chocolate chip for Pogue and Caleb, 'coz they're both 'cool but sweet', though if you ask me, it's a pile of bull," she said jokingly.

The guys acted offended, but they were doing a poor job at it. The girls got their own bowls of ice cream and settled down at the table. All of a sudden Reid bolted up from his seat and strode off towards the kitchen.

"Where to, Reid?" Sarah called.

"Out back," he threw over his shoulder. Shortly after that they heard the back door slam shut.

"Is he always this grumpy?" Adrienne asked wonderingly.

"He's a bit… prone to mood swings," answered Kate.

Biting her bottom lip, Adrienne got up and took a bowl from the pile on the table.

"What flavor does he prefer?" she asked Tyler, who seemed to be the closest to Reid.

"Um… Chocolate, I guess," he said, a little taken aback by her sudden question. Adrienne nodded her head and proceeded to scoop out a healthy serving of the chocolate ice cream.

"Uh, what are you doing?" Caleb asked curiously.

"Trying to fix Sir Grumps-celot. I've never seen anyone who can stay angry after a bowl of ice cream," she explained, "And grumpy people aren't really my thing."

"Well, we should warn you: Approach angry blondie with caution," Pogue said seriously.

"I will," Adrienne said with a chuckle, "Wish me luck." With that, she retraced Reid's footsteps out towards the back door.

---

"Another stupid twit transferring in the middle of the semester…" Reid mumbled to himself as he made his way over to a stump on the far side of the backyard, "Learn to call people by their names…" he muttered in a falsetto, imitating Adrienne.

He settled on the stump with a huff, stubbornly turning his back to the house like a child would. He grumbled and complained some more. He was so caught up in his complaints that he didn't hear the sound of someone approaching him.

He almost jumped out of his skin when a hand dropped itself softly on his shoulder.

"What the fuck?!" he exclaimed, jumping off the stump and whirling around to give the intruder a piece of his mind.

"Sorry, I thought you heard me coming," Adrienne said calmly, holding a rather large bowl of chocolate ice cream in her hand.

Having regained his composure, Reid glared at her, "What do you want?"

"Actually, I just came to give you your dessert. Thought it might cool you off," she said, offering him the bowl.

Reid was taken aback by her sudden gesture. He was expecting a lecture, not a treat.

"Uh…" he fumbled, brain-farting all over.

"You know, when someone offers you ice cream, the best thing to do is accept it with a smile," she said with an amused grin.

"Oh, right..." he still fumbled, finally reaching over to take the bowl from her, "Thanks."

He didn't know what to make of the situation, so instead of saying anything else, he took a seat again. She was still hovering about.

"So… I think we got off on the wrong foot," she began, walking towards him.

"Yeah, about that. I'm sorry, I wasn't really thinking," he apologized before he could stop himself. After he realized his flub, he mentally beat himself up. Her whole attitude had completely thrown him off, kicking out his bad-ass image for a split second.

"It's okay. No, wait, it wasn't so okay, you were a bit rude," she amended with a slight laugh.

"You're right, I was rude," he said. Half a second later he was berating himself for admitting his mistake. To hide his confusion, he shoved a large spoonful of ice cream into his mouth, earning him the biggest brainfreeze he'd ever had.

"Argh! Crapping shitter's ass!" he exclaimed through the mouthful of freezing ice cream.

"Slowly there," she said, a smile dancing on her lips.

Reid grabbed his head with his free hand, trying to shake off the brainfreeze.

"You okay?" she asked, peering into his face, her own a mixture of humor and concern.

"Yeah, I'll be fine," he choked out. Shaking his head, he felt the iciness recede.

"Maybe you should take more human-friendly bites," she advised.

"Maybe I should," he answered, a genuine smile on his face.

"Anyway, I'll be heading inside. They might think you've strangled me or something," she said jokingly, turning back to the house.

"Okay, I'll just finish this," he gestured to his ice cream.

She nodded her head and went on her way.

"Thanks for the ice cream," he called out, "… Adrienne."

She turned her head back to look at him, and then, a smile blossomed on her face.

"No problem, Reid."