A/N: Soooo umm, this is a really random oneshot, but it was requested by my dear friend Bia who introduced me to the wonderful crossover couple featured in this oneshot. I won't tell you who they are, because I think it would be fun for you to guess throughout the story. I will tell you though it involves Peyton Sawyer, and that's all you need to know. Just remember it is a crossover.
He remembers the last words she spoke to him were "I hate you, you jerk." Since then she's been giving him nothing but the cold shoulder and a pout. He'd roll his eyes, but that would probably just make it worse. He doesn't know how she does it, but she always managed to catch him at the most inopportune moments.
He can't help it that he finds her extremely funny when she's angry. It's just her eyes bulge and her arms flail, and her voice raises at least two octaves. And she hits him, not hard enough to leave marks, but enough for him to stutter backwards. It's a comical sight. So, he tries hard not to laugh when she goes into one of her rants about how he doesn't treat her right, but she always seems to notice the smirk etching its way onto his face.
He doesn't know why he puts up with it. She's constantly nagging, always trying to get him to respect her. He wishes he could explain that he does respect her. He thinks she's the definition of perfect. But, he's not big on words, or talking and isn't much better at expressing himself through actions either. The only thing he's ever really given her is a headache and a whole bunch of sarcastic and witty banter.
He doesn't know why she puts up with it either because clearly she deserves better, someone like her ex boyfriend who doted on her constantly and fed her cheesy lines about waiting forever and destiny. The most romantic thing he's ever said to her was "you look hot in that skirt." She smiled for days at that one.
He's trying hard to remember why they fought in the first place…or maybe they didn't fight. She fought, and he just sat there and took it. That was how their relationship always went.
The silence within the house is finally getting to him. Valentine's Day is approaching, and this is their favorite holiday. Probably for different reasons. She's a romantic though she refuses to admit it. He always gets her something cheesy and cliché that makes her squee like a teenager and kiss him like tomorrow might not come. That's why he loves it, because the sex is always great.
But he fears that there won't be any sex this year, and maybe more frightening there might not be any sex for a long time. It's not just the sex though. It's that he misses her, and he's never missed someone who's been physically close to him. That's enough to get him worried. This has been the longest she had gone without forgiving him. It is even more unnerving that she's beginning to get comfortable with the situation. She can sit in the same room with him, using only gestures to get by. He's considered stopping interpreting the signs, but he knows that would only serve to make her madder.
He decides that he needs a plan.
He's sitting downstairs by the fireplace reading Tolstoy when she comes home. She doesn't acknowledge him, but he's not expecting her to. It is, after all, day fourteen of her vow of silence, and there are only five days left to Valentine's Day. He's decided to take matters into his own hands. As he said before, Peyton loves gifts. They're the sure fire way of making her melt, and he knows if he gives her just the right gift, she'll realize he's sorry. It's the game they play.
Sure, he could just say he's sorry, but really where's the fun in that? And besides, Peyton probably won't even believe him if he tries to say it.
It's not even five minutes after she's gotten into the house before she's charging back down the stairs. He figures that she must have found his first present, lingerie; the frilly black kind that she loves and buys every time she's out with Brooke. He hopes she's taken the time to put the stuff on, or if not, that's cool. The make-up sex will be fantastic either way.
He doesn't expect her, however, to throw the box at him, eyes filled with a fury he didn't know she had, and storm back upstairs. Something must be off. He panics. Oh God, what if he mistook her size. Jesus, he knows how sensitive women are about that. If he guessed too low, she's probably thinking she needs to lose weight and if he guessed to high, well, she's thinking the same thing. He pulls open the box, but before he can check the tag, he sees the note taped inside.
You. Are. An. Idiot.
Apparently, lingerie had sent the wrong message.
He tries again the next day. This time he decides to go with something more traditional, and less sexual. Peyton's always been worried that their relationship was based solely on sex so he should have known it was stupid to give her something so sexual and expect it to get him in the clear.
When the doorbell rings that morning, he answers it and when he sees who it is, he smiles mischievously at the poor delivery man.
"Peyton! It's for you."
She looks at him, eyebrows quirked.
"The door," he says, as if explaining it to a child.
She glares, but stands up and brushes past him.
"Ms. Sawyer?" the man at the door asks.
"Yeah?" she croaks, her vocal muscles adjusting to being used again.
"These are for you."
"Oh," she says blankly, "Thank you."
She just nods, giving the man a tip before shutting the door behind him. Her hands are full of two dozen daisies, her favorite flower. She reads the card and rolls her eyes.
To my stubborn bitch of a girlfriend.
"Smooth, baby. Real smooth."
"You talking to me now?" he asks, perking up in his seat.
The obscene hand gesture that follows gives him her answer. Clearly, humor wasn't the way to go.
He realizes at this point in his life, he has made many enemies over the years. There were people who wanted him dead, girls whose hearts he had broken, and parents who blamed him for corrupting their kids. But his mortal enemy has always been the stove.
Yes, the stove because believe it or not he can cook. He's a great chef. He learned from his uncle. He cooks dinner for Peyton every night, even when they are fighting. But the stove and him can't seem to coexist when it comes to baking.
It's the one thing he and Peyton share in common when it comes to the kitchen. Neither one of them can make cookies. For the two years he's lived with her, they've survived on store bought Chips Ahoy and Haley's gracious offerings over her own baked goods.
Today, though, he's going to conquer the stove. He's going to make the perfect batch of oatmeal raisin cookies and he's going to have her eating out of the palm of his hand. And he's going to try not to think about the vivid fantasy that comes to mind when he says that because the last thing he needs is to be distracted.
It takes him four batches, but he finally gets it right. The perfect batch of cookies. He's so proud, he almost calls up his uncle to brag, but he doesn't. He does however take the time to glare at the oven.
When she gets home, she tries to hide her smile, but he can tell she wants to laugh at him or probably more specifically, his oven mitts. He doesn't say anything, just pushes the plate of cookies in front of her. She eyes them suspiciously but tries one. He waits for her opinion, his stomach in knots. It's at this point that he discovers he misses the days when he didn't give a damn about anyone. It was easier back then when pissing people off came with no consequences to his conscience. Back before he met Peyton Sawyer and he learned to care.
Her face suddenly pales and her eyes bulge. She opens the garbage and spits out the un-swallowed food. She grabs the nearest pad of paper. He watches how fast she scribbles the message, and he can't for the life of him think what was wrong with the cookies. Hell he tested them himself. She shoves the pad of paper at him before running out of the room.
You think after three years you'd know I was allergic to raisins.
"Oh you've got to be shitting me," he curses, closing his eyes.
There's one day before Valentine's left, and he's running out of ideas. He thinks maybe she wants some sort of commitment, but if she thinks for one second he's going down on one knee and proposing, she's got another thing coming to her. Hell, they're already living together in not just an apartment but a house. Marriage is just not in the cards right now. They're supposed to be taking baby steps.
He thinks maybe they're ready for the next step, but not if the next step means marriage. So he debates for awhile just what could be seen as the booster step between living together and marriage and when he thinks he's cracked the case, he's runs off to the closest pet shop that's open this early in the morning.
"Here," he shoves a box in her hands as she comes down the stairs.
She points at her watch to signify she's running late for work.
"I don't care. Open it."
She places the box on the counter and opens it carefully. Her face lights up when she sees what's inside and he thinks he's finally won.
"Oh my God, it's a kitten!" She pulls the chocolate colored cat out of the box. It's curled in a ball not much bigger than her hand. It purrs and snuggles closer to Peyton.
"Do you like it?" he asks carefully. He wonders when his voice started sounding so timid.
"I love it," she smiles, a small giggle escaping her lips as she watches the kitten lull itself back to sleep.
He takes a deep breath.
"But I'm still not talking to you," she says, "At least now though, I'll have someone to talk to. Isn't that right Cocoa?" She scratches the kitten behind its ears before exiting the kitchen.
He watches her go before banging his head against the nearest wall.
It's Valentine's Day and he finally feels the weight of failure at all his attempts. The kitten is roaming around the fireplace, weaving around Peyton's legs. The daisies have already wilted. The lingerie is probably packed up in the back of her closet. The cookies have already been devoured.
He looks up from his book. Her eyes are glued to the book in front of her, his very own novel. She's so absorbed in it that he's given an opportunity to just observe her. He watches her eyes flicker over the page, her mouth quirk into a smile at points. Sometimes she smiles. Sometimes she's solemn, but no matter what he can always see the emotion on her face.
Peyton can guard her emotions most of the time, but whenever she picks up his book, she loses that composure. And he realizes at that moment, that it's not just the book. When she's around him, she loses everything, every pretense, every defense mechanism. It's why she fights with him so much. He's the first person who's ever torn down everything without giving her anything back. She had let other people into her life and into her heart, but only when they had given her a reason to. But he…he still hadn't.
She trusts him, even though she has no reason to, and he realizes that he's never been trusted, really and truly, trusted before.
"Peyton?" he whispers, breaking the silence. She looks up from her book, but her expression is blank. He stares into those green eyes and sees something that's always been there. Something he never took the time to name.
"I love you."
She blinks, her face frozen with shock. Her mouth opens a few times as if to respond. It takes her a good couple minutes to say anything, but all the while, he doesn't push her to say anything. He almost convinces himself to go back to reading his book, but then he'd have to miss the priceless facial expressions she's sporting. The faces she makes when she's angry make him laugh, but these ones are just as comical.
"That's the most romantic thing you've ever said to me," she finally settles on.
"I mean it," he whispers, a crooked grin settling on his lips. She can't help but smile back.
"Why'd you say it?"
"Because I mean it."
"Well yeah," he says as if it's the most obvious thing in the world, and then adds for good measure, "Plus, it's Valentine's Day."
"So you are a romantic at heart," Peyton coos, the sarcasm dripping from her words.
"Yeah, that's it," he rolls his eyes.
Peyton chuckles before standing up and sitting down on his lap. She stares into his eyes, her gaze so deep it makes him squirm.
"What?" he mutters, looking away. He has this strange feeling she's going to make fun of him.
"I love you too," she whispers. She kisses the side of his head and snuggles next to him. He puts his arm around her, pulling her close.
"Am I forgiven?" he asks, breaking what's now become a welcoming silence.
"Ha," she snickers, smoothing her hand down his chest, "For now, Jess. For now…"
He laughs, one of the few times he ever gets the chance to really laugh. She may make his life hell and he may do the same to her, but they love each other. And in the end, love's always enough.
"This was the best Valentine's Day gift ever."
That's something they can both agree on.
In case it's still not clear...It's Jess from Gilmore Girls.
I hope you enjoyed that little break from all the angst I've written lately. Right now, I'm working on an update for both The Art of Selflessness and A Love Story. So reward me with a little review and let me know how I did with my first crossover.