Disclaimer: I don't own Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide or any of the characters in this story. As a matter of fact… I DON'T EVEN OWN A CAR! Yeah. That's not funny. That's actually a little depressing…
Chapter 1: That Fateful Week Before Senior Year of High School
Friendship is a complicated thing. Especially when it's between a boy and a girl. Sure, when you're young, being friends with a guy is totally normal. I mean, who really thinks about gender when you're six-years-old? Now, here's when it gets weird: when your body starts to change and you start worrying about if your hair is cute or if your outfit is ugly. That's when it gets weird, because the first guy you end up getting a crush on is either a) your neighbor, b) your best friend's older brother, or c) your best friend.
Now, in time, the crush you've developed for this guy goes down tenfold when you start to realize that there are other guys in the world besides him… but that doesn't necessarily mean the crush goes away completely.
Okay, if you have no clue what I'm talking about, I'll put it in simpler terms: I have a crush on my best friend… again. And it's not Cookie. Nope, I have a crush on Ned Bigby! Of all people!
The explanation for it is simple, yes. But the way I got into this mess is way more complicated. It all started that fateful week before my senior year of high school… and what's sad is that I didn't even know that it had started at that very moment! sigh…
::That Fateful Week Before Senior Year of High School::
"Moze… we're about to go into our senior year of high school, and after that, college is in my future. And… I don't know how to break it to you but, I'm not ready to be tied down in a relationship. It's getting serious too fast. So we should definitely stop seeing each other. You know, break up."
I stared at the boy in front of me, not believing what he was saying. He didn't want things to get serious? Was he serious? We'd been going together since the 10th grade, and after two years he was breaking up with me? I couldn't believe this. Not right before my senior year!
Despite the fact that I didn't want them to, my eyes filled up with unshed tears. "Y—you're breaking up with me… now?"
Seth Powers awkwardly shifted from foot to foot, for once in his life holding the basketball instead of spinning it on his finger. "Yeah. I'd prefer to just date around with lots of girls instead of… you know, just being with one."
I swallowed around the lump that seemed to be forming in my throat. "You… why now? I mean, we've been serious for so long. And then, out of nowhere, you break up with me? Seth, this is totally random!" My eyes widened up like a confused baby. "I thought… I thought you loved me."
"Jennifer, I did love you. It's just not anymore. When we were together, we were perfect, no doubt in my mind! That's why we won cutest couple two years straight! But… uh, let's just say that I have to focus on basketball since scouts are scoping me left and right. And I didn't have time for a girlfriend anymore, okay?"
"So you want to lie to everyone to cover up the truth? To cover up the fact that you just broke my heart?" I asked, my voice choking up despite my best efforts to prevent that from happening. But how could I not be so upset? Seth and my relationship was the envy of everyone! And that wasn't even the reason I was with him! With Seth, I felt like I was happy. Everyone knew who we were—we were the power couple! And though the flame that ignited our relationship had long ago burned out, it was still a good thing. We were still good together!
And it was hurting me to be without him.
"I'm not trying to cover up the truth." He snapped, the guilt I'm sure he was feeling appearing now. I folded my arms over my chest and stared at my shoes as the tears leaked from my eyes. "Moze…" He spoke quietly. "You want to know the truth? Here it is: I've been cheating on you for a while now with a girl from another school. Well… with various girls from other schools. And I didn't want to tell you because I knew it'd hurt you."
"W—wait a second! You've been cheating on me?" I shouted, my eyes watering up all the more. "Are you freaking serious! Seth! How could you do that to me! Gosh Seth! I love you and this is how you treat me? Are you out of your mind?"
"Moze, I can ex—"
"What can you explain? That you were tempted and had no other choice but to cheat? Is that it, Seth? Huh?"
"Well, you weren't giving me what I needed so I went somewhere else and got it!" He shouted back, making me reel back in shock. What he needed? Oh my goodness, this couldn't be happening.
"So you're saying because I wouldn't have sex with you that you cheated on me? And dumped me, too? Huh, Seth?"
He paused for a moment while dribbling his ball from hand to hand, a habit he did out of nervousness. "Yes… that's exactly why. And I'm not ashamed of it either."
"How do you think I feel, Seth? This is totally embarrassing!" I exploded, angrily wiping the tears from my face. I wouldn't let him see me cry—not anymore!
"Just…" He sighed, defeated. "No one will know, alright?"
"Yeah, whatever. I'm glad this is over. You're scum." I took a step back and shook my head. "I have no clue what I saw in you, anyway! Just because you play basketball and have a great body and gorgeous golden hair…" I stopped and wondered for a second what my point was… oh yeah! "That doesn't mean you're a good person! I'm glad we're through."
He smirked at my statement. "Sure you are sweetheart."
I let out a frustrated sigh before turning on my heels and stalking towards the car. When I picked up my cell phone before I came to meet him here, I knew something was wrong. The way his voice sounded made it appear that someone had died in his family or something! And then when I arrived at the park, where he asked to meet me, I knew that by the expression in his eye that no one had died, but that there was trouble in MozeSethLand. Very big trouble. And now that I was walking towards my car…
I couldn't stop the flood of tears that were overwhelming me. It wasn't that I was sad to be losing him. No, quite the contrary. I was pissed off and these were tears of frustration. I had been the best girlfriend Seth could ever want and he does this to me? How? How could he?
I wiped my tears away again, even though they continued to stream down my face. I knew only one person who could bring me up in a situation like this. I jumped in my car and started driving home immediately, to the only person I could depend on during a time like this.
When I pulled my car into my driveway, I instantly ran across my lawn into the one next door, taking the front steps two at a time. I knocked and rang the doorbell urgently, hoping that it would be answered by the one boy I was looking for.
"I'm coming! Chill out!" his voice shouted from inside.
As soon as he opened the door, a smile grew on his face… until he saw the tears streaming down mine. "Jennifer, what's wrong? Hey, why are you crying? Is it Seth? What did the jerk do this time?"
I let the flow of tears come back at the concern on my best friend's face. "Ned!" I wailed, flinging my arms around him, "he dumped me!"
He instantly caught me and rubbed my back soothingly. "Oh, Moze." He buried his face in my hair as I laid my head on his chest. "Damn. I should've seen this coming."
"You should've?" I pulled away to look into his eyes. "I should've! Ned, I didn't even see this coming! Did you know he—?"
"Ned, what's happening?" a female voice questioned.
I stopped talking and looked behind Ned to see Suzie standing there. She and I had become great friends ever since she began seeing Ned in 9th grade. And usually when I saw her, I was happy to! But this time… I needed Ned more than she did. And I was not exactly in a sharing mood.
But, she was his girlfriend. So I pulled away from Ned and wiped my eyes. Suzie looked on with a look of shock. "Moze! Hey… are you okay?"
"Sure, yeah. I'm good." I answered, clearing my throat and forcing a smile. "I just… I didn't know you were here."
"No! Don't leave. I'll just talk to him tomorrow." I smiled again and said, "You guys have a good night, alright?"
"Moze, I can—"
"Ned, it's alright." I assured him. "You stay."
"If you need me—"
"Ned Bigby!" I forced a laugh. "I don't want to ruin your night. I can handle it, alright?"
"You sure?" He asked one more time.
I looked at Suzie leaning in the doorway, a concerned look on her face. Smiling again, I answered, "Yeah, I'm positive. Night guys."
"Night Moze." Suzie said quietly.
Ned nodded his head as he watched me walk to my house. When I closed the door to my home was when I heard his door shut as well. I could wait until later tonight to talk to him. Suzie could have him for now.
"Jennifer! Honey!" My mother called me from the kitchen.
I ignored her voice. I was emotionally drained and didn't feel like answering my mother's questions. As worried as I knew she'd be, I just couldn't muster the energy to say anything to her. So instead of responding, I just ran up the stairs and locked my door, plopping on my bed with a loud sigh.
Minutes later, a quiet knock on my door made me more alert. "Jennifer," my mother spoke softly, "is everything okay?"
"Yes, Mom… I just want to be alone."
Another long pause before she said, "You can always talk to me."
A bit of guilt filled my chest, so I sincerely responded, "I know. I just don't feel like talking now. When I'm ready I'll come."
"Alright dear." I heard her footsteps going down the stairs, and I buried my head in my pillow, letting my eyes shut and take me into a much needed sleep.
"Moze! Get up!"
I blinked my eyes rapidly, shooting up in bed. I looked on my nightstand to see the clock read 11:46 p.m. Who the hell was trying to wake me up this late at night?
Banging sounded from my window as someone shouted, "Moze!"
I turned to see Ned, sitting on the tree, banging on my window loud enough for me to hear, but not so loud as to wake my parents up. I got out of bed, pushing my hair out of my face. Opening the window, I saw that he too was still in the clothes he wore earlier. I smirked. "Long night with Suzie?"
He laughed softly. "It wasn't exactly great. I was too worried about you… you ready to talk?"
"Yeah." I answered. I sat on my windowsill as Ned climbed onto my roof, myself following right after him. Whenever Ned and I didn't get a chance to hang out during the day, we usually just met up later that night on the roof, catching up on whatever we missed. We didn't even have to plan these kinds of things: we just knew when to meet each other.
I curled my knees to my chest and hugged them, looking out at the moon with a long sigh. It was kind of chilly out, but I didn't want to say that. I just wanted to get what was bugging me out to Ned. "He dumped me Ned."
"I know." He turned his head and looked at me, waiting patiently for me to continue when I was ready.
"It's like… do you know why he broke up with me?" I questioned before answering my own question. "He said that it was because he didn't want to be tied down—he wants to date around or whatever. And then, after that, he said that I could just tell people that he broke up with me because basketball season is coming up and he needed to focus completely on that."
"What an ass." Ned grumbled.
"Oh! But you haven't even heard the worst part." I continued, not even noticing the tears welling up in my eyes, or the strain that was becoming apparent in my voice. "That whole basketball excuse is just a cover-up for what he really did. He's been cheating on me this whole summer, with a bunch of girls! And I didn't even know. I mean… Ned, he was cheating on me. How could I be so stupid?"
Now I noticed the tears streaming down my face and wiped them away angrily. "I don't even know why I'm so…"
"You were with him a long time." Ned said, taking my hand in his. "You have every right to be upset, even if he is a bastard."
I let out a short laugh. "Yeah, he is a bastard… why did I never notice that before? Why did it take him breaking up with me to realize that he's not so great?"
"Hey. You can't always help the way things worked out." He answered, rubbing his thumb in my palm. "But, when you think about it… maybe it was for the best."
I looked at him with a raised brow. "Do explain."
He grinned. "Well, for one, you're not with that jerk anymore. And for two, it won't piss me off as much every time I see him flirt with another chick, even though you say you don't mind. And for three… this is something that you learn from. And as cheesy and as cliché as it sounds, you're coming out of this a stronger person. Seth will be exposed to everyone for the asshole that he is, and you'll be more aware of the guys you date."
"I hope so… but maybe this year I shouldn't date anyone seriously. I mean, maybe I could just have fun. Whenever I'm not studying or playing volleyball or being a peer counselor or whatever, I can just… chill."
"Wow. You actually sound like a normal teenager."
I laughed, pushing my shoulder into his before letting it rest there, laying my head on his chest. "You know, Ned. This is our last year together—you, me, and Cookie."
"I know." He let out a heavy sigh. "We have known each other for so long. It's hard thinking that we'll be away from each other in just a year. No more late night walks or just hanging out."
"Yeah." I agreed, closing my eyes. "We should enjoy this year to the fullest."
"We definitely should do that." He ran his hand through my hair as I shifted to a more comfortable position. Now we were closer—I was practically lying on his lap. My head was nuzzled in the crook of his neck and we were just enjoying the night.
"You're cold." He said absently.
"Yeah. You're keeping me warm, though."
We were silent—a comfortable silence if it ever were to occur between us—and just enjoying each other's company until I whispered, "We've changed so much. I was just thinking about how awkward we were in middle school or whatever… we've come a long way."
I looked up at the boy, damn near man, in front of me. He'd grown a lot taller than anyone could have imagined. Now five foot twelve, he was one of the best looking guys at school. Though he wasn't a meathead jock, he was considered cool. He grew his light brown hair out and had a lean body that was built. His style wasn't preppy nor punk—it was kind of a combination of the two. And his blue eyes practically had all the girls swooning. Girls went crazy over him, but his heart was with one girl and one girl only: Suzie Crabgrass.
They were cute together.
As for me? I didn't think I changed that much. I stopped growing after 8th grade pretty much. My womanly curves came in 9th grade, which is when a lot more boys started noticing me, and my hair changed from straight to wavy. How? I don't even have a clue, so let's just not ask.
And Cookie was… Cookie. Believe or not, he grew even more. Now at six foot five, he worked on his coordination a bit and opted to try out for the basketball team. He was center of the team and damn good, too. Before he made the team, he was dating the girl of his dreams: Lisa Zemo. But after he received all of the "fame" and "popularity" after changing from nerd to jock, his cockiness level raised tenfold and he dumped Lisa to go with a cheerleader, and a bunch of other girls after that.
Now, as a senior, he began to realize his true feelings for Lisa and how she was the girl for him all along… too bad she was pretty much over him. She didn't want a thing to do with Cookie after what he did to her. And though Cookie is one of my best friends in the world, I understand where Lisa coming from. It was pretty messed up what he did to her.
"Yeah, we have changed a lot." He agreed.
I stared up at my best friend and smiled, now thinking, How could I have been so upset and down a few seconds ago but now so at peace? How does he always do it? Ned's always the one who can bring me back up.
My eyelids started to flutter as sleep began to overtake me. "I'm tired."
"You should go back to bed. I don't want you to fall off of the roof."
I grinned and rubbed my head further into his neck. "But I'm so comfy here. Can't we just go to sleep?"
He laughed, bringing his hand back into my thick hair, something that he knew made me sleepy. "Moze, do you really want to fall off the roof?"
After a long pause, I answered, "No."
"Okay then. Let's get you to bed."
Neither of us moved, which caused us both to laugh. "What're you doing tomorrow?"
"Cookie's coming over… and that's all. We haven't exactly planned to do anything."
"You want to go to the beach?"
"Sounds like a plan."
I reluctantly sat up, the cold night air seeming to hit my body harder than I expected. Standing on my feet, I watched as Ned went down first, going to my bedroom to make sure that I got in alright.
After he helped me climb into my room, I smiled at him. "Good night Ned. I'll see you in the morning."
"Night sleepyhead." He leaned forward and hugged me tight. "Don't even think twice about Seth… he's not worth that kind of time."
I smiled at him before kissing his cheek softly. "I haven't thought about him until you just brought him up… and my thoughts aren't very caring."
He returned the smile before releasing me. "Alright. Later." He climbed out of his window and over to his own. With a final wave, I shut my curtains and climbed into my bed, this time a lot more content than when I fell asleep earlier that day.
Because Ned, once again, had made it all better.
Now, I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I'm pretty sure that's where it all began. But that's not the end of it. That next day at the beach pretty much sealed my fate—though I still didn't know at the time. But that day, or night, at the beach was when… well, it was when I fell in love with Ned Bigby… again.
A/N: First Ned DSSG fic! Please review now! I hope you like and look out for the next chapter! It depends on you guys! Much Love!