A/N: Okay, this is the first OC flash fic prompt, and here is my response to it. It's light, it's fluffy, it's definitely a one shot, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Just to reiterate, flash fic is written in one hour and edited in five, so that's why this piece is decidedly shorter than my others. Everything that happens should be self-explanatory, but, if you have any questions, just ask.
OCFF#1: Black Cherry.
Ryan Atwood missed the simple things about his once on and off again girlfriend, and, although it was true that admitting that should have wounded his highly sensitive male pride, he just didn't care anymore. They had been broken up now for a year – the longest span of time they had been apart since first meeting – and, as he sat though Doctor Montgomery's lecture on the Aztec culture in one of those irrelevant freshman courses all students are required to take but absolutely no one gains anything from daydreaming about the girl, now woman, he had foolishly let slip away, he could admit he wanted her back. Badly.
Sure, there were the big, important relationship staples that he craved to experience with Marissa once again – the constant companionship, the trust and support, the sex, but those things a guy could find with almost any girl they mildly got along with. No, what drew him to his former girlfriend were the little things that made her unique and perfect just for him, and those were the things he really missed about being with her.
He missed the way she could make him feel as if he was the only person in a room filled with hundreds with just a simple look, a secretive, compassionate, understanding look, one he had only ever been able to receive from her. It would come from the corner of her wide, expressive eyes, lock onto his own vivid gaze, and hold him to her even if yards of physical distance separated them. And, with those glances, he was always able to see what she was feeling, and he knew she could read him the same way. He needed those looks back.
He missed her hands, too. Always cool when he was emotional or warm when he needed her strength and love, Marissa's hands could calm his most vehement temper or his most incapacitating fever. They were as soft as silk and gentle to the touch. Whether simply holding her hand as they walked along the beach or feeling her long, thin fingers trail seductive down his spine during a rather indulgent afternoon alone with her in bed, there was nothing Ryan felt he wore better than her touch, and that conclusion included his infamous wife beaters.
Speaking of which, he missed her constantly stealing his clothes. Whether it was his tanks and boxers to sleep in, his button up shirts to wear together while they shared a private breakfast, or his coats when she was cold, he never complained, because, once she gave them back, her scent always lingered in the fabric, a scent that always made him feel at home and at peace. He had never told her how much he loved her wearing his clothes. Of course, he had admitted to enjoying seeing her in them, but savoring the smell of her on him the next time he put on his leather jacket or his favorite shirt, that was a secret he had kept to himself.
And, finally, he missed her lip gloss. Most guys hated to be kissed by women wearing too much makeup, but that was something Marissa never did, and her lip gloss always tasted good – sweet and innocent just like she was. He could mark the various moments in their relationship by the kind of gloss she had worn that particular day. Each kiss stored away in his memory stirred his mouth to remember a different taste – peaches and cream for their very first kiss on the Ferris wheel, bubble gum when they had gotten back together during junior year, and mint chocolate chip for the very last kiss they had shared during the previous March.
However, perhaps because of the sheer joy his confession that night had brought her, his favorite memory and flavor came from their first New Year's Eve together, the first and only time he had ever told her he loved her, but, unfortunately, he couldn't remember what kind of gloss she had worn. If he closed his eyes and let his mind drift to that night, something that was not that difficult of a feat as he pushed out the sound of the professor's ramblings from his mind, he could still lick his lips and taste her there, smell her surrounding him, feel her in his arms. If asked, he could describe the various aspects of the gloss, but a name, a simple, common, easy to state name, would not come to mind, and it was starting to frustrate the hell out of him.
Yes, he wanted her back, yes, she was close by at a smaller, more personal community college preparing to join him at Berkeley the next year, and, yes, they still occasionally met up for chili cheese fries at a diner that frighteningly resembled their diner in Newport, but he refused to go to her and ask her for another and, hopefully, final chance without first figuring out his favorite flavor of Marissa Cooper. He was just going to have to do some research, something he was quite adept at after his first year at college. Unfortunately, there was no book in the library or database full of information on the very confusing, ultimately guy-unfriendly topic of lip gloss, meaning he was going to have to do something he hated more than almost anything in the world – ask for help.
And not from Summer.
Or Sandy and Kirsten, for one sex talk (and Marissa's favorite lip gloss which reminded him of kissing her… which ultimately reminded him of sleeping with her) was one talk too many.
And he certainly was not asking Seth. Hell no, absolutely not, he would die celibate first.
Instead, he was going to have to go to a professional – one of the overly friendly, overly made up, overly perfumed women who worked at the department store in the mall, peddling their wares at the makeup counters.
He was doomed.
"Could you describe the gloss for me, tell me what the container looked like?"
Ryan shook his head, already frustrated and he had only been attempting to communicate with the bottle blonde for two minutes. "The container doesn't matter; the brand doesn't matter. All I'm looking for is a certain flavor of lip gloss."
The salesgirl smirked, obviously amused by his blundering attempts to buy makeup. He could only imagine what incomplete, grammatically incorrect thoughts were slowly moving their way through her mind, and it frightened him. Finally, she replied, "okay," drawling out that one word while eyeing him skeptically. "Can I ask why?"
"My ex used it once, and I want to give it to her as a gift."
"Is it her birthday?"
"Oh," she sighed, her shoulders deflating noticeably. "Then why the sudden need to give her a present?"
"Look, does it really matter," Ryan exploded, his words clipped and angry although his volume remained controlled. "You work for a store that sells lip gloss. I want to buy some. Now, if you don't want to help me, I'll find someone else who will."
"Alright, fine, I'm sorry," the older woman apologized. "I was just curious." Rolling her eyes, she went on to explain. "This isn't really something you see everyday, you know – a guy coming in to buy his ex makeup."
"Well, I'm hoping she won't be my ex for very long. This is… it's my way to show her that I want to get back together, my way of telling her just how important she is to me." Taking a deep breath, he tried once again. "Will you please help me?"
"Sure," the salesgirl agreed quickly, obviously interested all of a sudden in his mission. "You want a certain flavor, right?" He nodded to show she was correct. "Can you describe to me what it tasted like? I get this killer discount since I work here, so I have like every single product from every single retailer. If this flavor you want still exists, I'll know it."
Ignoring the way the woman's rambling made him want to cringe, Ryan closed his eyes and allowed himself to go back more than three years in time, reliving the night Marissa wore his favorite gloss all over again. "It was sweet, fruity, but there was a bite to it at the same time. It kind of made your lips pucker." Smiling, he recalled, "it seemed to taste almost forbidden, decadent, sinful. I remember thinking that my innocent girlfriend might just have a naughty side hidden underneath her seemingly gentle smile." Blushing at the last memory, he opened his gaze but refused to meet the older woman's kind yet somewhat dim hazel eyes for several seconds. Once he did though, he found a knowing, pleased grin turning up the blonde's loudly painted red mouth.
"Black cherry," she answered, "that night your girlfriend was wearing black cherry lip gloss.
Approaching her dorm room, Ryan couldn't bring himself to knock just yet. Instead, he fidgeted. First, he had to pull at the collar of the t-shirt he wore. What was normally one of his favorite, most comfortable shirts, suddenly, the faded tee seemed to be strangling him. Then he scuffed the toes of his boots across the floor, wiping off the non-existent dirt just in case. Finally, he ran a hand through his shaggy locks, trying, vainly, to arrange them in a somewhat presentable order while simultaneously realizing he needed a haircut. When there was nothing left to fiddle with, nothing left to fix, he lifted one slightly clammy hand to Marissa's door and knocked.
One second went by, and he felt as if he wanted to throw up.
After two, he tried to tell himself that she wasn't home and to try again tomorrow.
Reevaluating that idea, at three seconds, he decided to wait for another seven to go by before he chickened out and drove back to his own dorm.
With the passing of the fourth second, he realized he wasn't breathing.
He ordered himself to inhale fresh oxygen at the fifth second, but his body wouldn't cooperate.
Just as the sixth second ticked by, he felt the box in his back pocket burning against his skin through his jeans, but the discomfort disappeared as soon as the door swung open, revealing his ex-girlfriend after seven seconds.
"I want another chance," Ryan revealed without giving her a moment to even comprehend that he was standing before her. "I was sitting in class yesterday, and I couldn't stop thinking about you – the way just sharing a single glance with you makes me feel not so alone in this world, how your hands always manage to be just the right temperature when you touch me, how, after you wear my clothes and give them back, I wear them once before washing them so that I can smell you on me all day long, and how, no matter how much time has passed, when I think of all the memories we've shared over the years, I can still taste your lip gloss on my mouth when I close my eyes and remember."
Reaching blinding into his back pocket, he pulled out a small, simply wrapped box. While she opened it, he explained, "this is my favorite flavor. You wore it the night…
"The night you told me that you loved me," Marissa finished, tears glistening in her always vibrant, always caring eyes.
"And I want you to wear it again, for our next date… that is if you'll accept," Ryan requested, smiling at her shyly, "so that when I kiss you again for the first time in over a year and when I tell you that I love you again for the first time in more than three, I'll be able to taste this flavor, my favorite flavor, on your lips again. So," he refocused, gulping quickly before plunging ahead, "will you? Will you give me another chance?"
He watched as she unscrewed the lid and applied the gloss to her mouth. And, with that, he got his answer.