note: So I decided to tackle a rarely seen ship that I think could use some love. The rating will change later on, maybe in the second chapter, but I think this first chapter is pretty tame, strong-T at the most. And I'm putting Walkerville in like the fourth(?) state I've set it, mostly because they're college aged and I think this setting works better. Also, any Greek houses mention are indeed (hopefully) fictional.
Don't own MSB or the title, which is a Death Cab For Cutie song.
names for the same thing
by, the ultimateSora
Phoebe rode her bike from her house near Providence College down to Brown University, like she had been for the past couple of weeks, to bring Arnold a lunch. They had been trying to rebuild their friendship since their break-up right at the beginning of their freshman year, Arnold wanting his space and keeping his options open. Phoebe, on the other hand, still wanted to be his girlfriend, even though a year and a half had passed. It was now the spring semester of their sophomore year.
The chilly March breeze blew through her auburn hair, tousling more than it already was. Her black Providence College scarf was around her neck, the ends tucked in her gray, worn out wool coat to keep it from catching on anything, and the forty-six degree (wind chill, thirty-eight) weather had her wishing she grabbed her Red Sox beanie, her freckled forehead now numb from the cold. Aside from that, she was enjoying the clear New England day. She biked towards Kappa Omega Rho Fraternity, and she locked her bike on the half-empty bike rack on the side of the house. She made sure, again, that Arnold's lunch was in her bag, and she trotted up to the front door. She rang the bell, and a blonde wearing a rugby shirt, chinos, and boat shoes (the usual attire of the Kappa boys) answered.
"Hi, I'm here to see Arnold," she said, knowing the guy wasn't impressed with her old coat and wind blown hair.
"Yes," he said, his tone short. "He's upstairs."
He let Phoebe in, and she went up the stairs as fast as she could without running. She found Arnold sitting at his desk in his room, and she tapped on the open door before crossing the threshold. He looked up from his notes and textbooks, and he smiled at her.
"Oh, hey, Pheebs."
She opened her messenger bag and pulled out a brown paper sack. "I brought you some lunch."
He put his pen down and got up, taking the sack from her. "Awesome, thanks!" He pulled the contents out one by one. "Tuna fish sandwich on white bread with crusts, a Mallowblaster, a Coca-Cola, and six Double Stuf Oreos." He smiled. "You know just what I like."
She shrugged. "I like to think so."
He looked at the food and back to her, still smiling. "Thanks, again, but I need to get back to work."
She nodded and looked down, in hopes he thought her pink cheeks were from the cold. "Right...yeah, sure. I'll be off, then."
She gave a small wave before walking downstairs. She walked back to her bike, unlocking it, and she headed back to the house she shared with Dorothy Ann. She decided to cut through the Brown campus, and she looked around, always finding it gorgeous. Arnold, D.A., and Janet were students of Brown, and she went to PC with Wanda, Ralphie, Carlos, and Keesha. Tim was living out his dream and was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the best art schools in the country.
Phoebe braked, and she looked around to see who had called her name. She turned to see a handsome, forty-something year old man smiling at her. His smile told her who it was, despite having not seen him since she was eight, and she felt her heart flutter at the fact he retained his nerdy, but handsome, boyish look.
He walked over to her, and she got off of her bike to give him a hug. He was wearing a knitted coat over an argyle sweater vest and oxford shirt with pressed slacks and loafers. His brown hair was just as wind blown as hers, and it had some gray just above his ears.
"How have you been?" he asked. "Are you a student of Brown?"
"I've been fine. I'm not a student here actually. I go to PC. I was just dropping off lunch for a friend." When her cheeks began to ache, she realized she was still smiling. "What're you doing at Brown?"
"I was giving a speech to the education students." He smiled and looked around. "Brown is my alma mater. So how is Providence College? What are you wanting to study?"
She shrugged. "I'm not entirely sure yet. I'm thinking either primary education or nursing."
"You would make a wonderful teacher."
She giggled. "Are you just saying that because you want one of your former students to follow in your footsteps?"
"It wouldn't hurt," he said, still smiling. His brown eyes were soft, and she darted her eyes down when she realized the look he was giving her made her blush. "Would you like to get a bite to eat sometime? I would really like to catch up with one of my former students."
She nodded. "I'd like that." She reached in her messenger bag, and she pulled a pen and scrap of paper out. She scribbled Phoebe - 401-555-2727, and she handed it to him. "My classes all get out at 2:30. I scheduled them that way."
Mr. Seedplot pocketed her number, and he patted her arm. "Thursday around four sound alright?"
She nodded. "Sounds fine to me."
He smiled. "Then I'll see you then. It was wonderful seeing you again, Phoebe."
He walked off after she gave a small wave, and feelings she hadn't felt since she was eight resurfaced. She once again had a crush on her former teacher.
Phoebe kept checking her cell phone, which started to annoy Dorothy Ann. The two were eating Chinese take-out while watching TV the following night, and they were laying on the couch, Phoebe's feet resting beside D.A.'s hips.
She nudged Phoebe with her foot. "Arnold's not going to call you if you keep checking your phone."
Phoebe snapped her head up. "Huh, what?"
"I said, 'Arnold's not going to call you if you keep checking your phone'."
Phoebe shook her head. "Oh, I'm not waiting for Arnold."
D.A. raised her brows. "You're not waiting for Arnold?" She sat up. "Is there a new man in Phoebe Michelle Terese's life, then?"
Phoebe's face went red. "What? No! No, no, there isn't."
D.A. smiled. "Yes, there is!" She reached over and pinched Phoebe's hip. "Who is it?"
"I don't have a 'new man'," Phoebe said, smacking her hand away.
"You so do! Who is he? Is it Tim? Ralphie?" Her face fell. "Oh, God, don't tell me it's Carlos. Phoebe, don't even bother with him. He's not as great in bed as he brags."
"It's not any of them because I don't have a 'new man' in my life, okay?" Her phone buzzed, and she jumped to her feet. "It's...my mom." She ran to her room, locking the door behind her, and knowing D.A. would listen at the door, she went in her closet. "Hello?"
"Hello, Phoebe. It's Archibald."
Phoebe didn't know what to think when he used his first name. "Oh, hi...Mr. Seedplot."
He chuckled. "Please, Phoebe, you're no longer my student and you're a young woman now. You can call me 'Archibald'."
She smiled. "Okay, then...Archibald."
"That's better. Now, would you like to meet me for lunch at the Tea Room?"
"Is that the charming little place on the bay in Walkerville?"
"Yes, it is. So I'll see you there Thursday at four?"
She nodded, knowing he couldn't see her. "Of course. I'll see you then."
They said their byes, and she hung up. She crawled out of the closet, and she looked at herself in her full length mirror. Still lanky and skinny, her breasts still small (But at least that means they're perky, she said to herself), her skin pocked with freckles from head to toe. The two years she dated Arnold in high school had been good for her in the way that she got over most of her body issues. Arnold had seen her naked more times than they could count. He always said he had her body memorized; every freckle, every scar, and every birthmark was imprinted in his brain. But Arnold had been a virgin when they first made love, despite having dated all the girls he had; she was sure Archibald had been with different women sexually (including Ms. Frizzle, she was sure, again), so now she was nervous that he would think she wasn't attractive enough physically.
Oh, why was she even thinking about this? Archibald was a forty-something year old man. Why would he want anything more with a nineteen year old? She took off her shirt and looked at her naked torso. Her ribs were defined, and she pushed her stomach out some to make it look like she had more meat on her bones. She pushed her sweats down some to see her hip bones. She was nineteen and built like a twelve year old...a five-foot-eleven twelve year old. At least, face wise, she looked nineteen.
She put her shirt back on, and she went out to the living room. D.A. was watching TV while finishing her dinner, and Phoebe resumed her spot on the couch. D.A. nudged her.
"So what did your...mother...say?" D.A. asked, her brows raised.
"Nothing. She and Dad are fine."
D.A. narrowed her eyes, suspicious. "You've never been good at hiding things, so I give it three days before you crack."
Phoebe furrowed her brow. "Thanks for the confidence."
Phoebe drove down to Walkerville after her class on Thursday, and she found the Tea Room. It was a small restaurant on the bluffs, and Phoebe parked in the gravel lot, the sounds of the waves crashing down below filling her ears. The seagulls were out, hoping for scraps, and Phoebe prayed one of them wouldn't poop on her. She trotted inside the restaurant, and she found Archibald sitting at a window table. He waved her over, and she walked to him.
"Hello, Phoebe," he said, getting up to hug her.
"Hi...Archibald." She smiled. "I'm still trying to get used to calling you by your first name." They sat down across from each other, and Phoebe opened the menu. "Wow, food was more expensive here than I thought."
Archibald shook his head. "I'll pay for you. It's not a problem."
"What? Oh, no, I don't want you to have to do that," she said.
He smiled, making her heart flutter. "I want to, so please let me."
His voice always made her feel lighter, and she nodded. "Well, okay. Sure."
"What sounds good to you?"
She looked back at the menu. "Well, I'm a vegetarian, so probably just a salad and a water."
Archibald nodded. "And how about we share a slice of lemon cake with some hot tea afterwards?"
Phoebe smiled. "That sounds wonderful."
The next hour went by fast. They took turns talking about what they had been doing in the past eleven years. Archibald was still teaching second grade at her "old school". He had a few relationships, but sadly, none of them worked out. He briefly dated Ms. Frizzle before she took off for her dream of rafting the Nile.
"And now, I'm devoting my time to my students and to the education students at Brown." He took a sip of his tea. "How about you?"
She shook her head. "Nothing interesting. 'Graduated' from Walkerville Elementary, ran track at Walker Lake Middle School until I tore my ACL, and I spent my last two years of high school in a serious relationship until he went to Brown and decided he needed his space and ended it. Now I'm in my second year at PC, and I'm still not sure what I want to do."
"Well, if you're interested, I may still have some of my teaching books from when I first started, if you'd like to look them over to see what you think."
Her face lit up. "Oh, that would be great, Archibald!"
"Do you have anything planned for after this?" She shook her head. "Well, if you would like, you can come by my house and look at the books."
She smiled. "I can do that."
After he paid their bill, he put his bike in the back of her ten year old Jeep Grand Cherokee, and he gave her directions how to get to his house. He lived further down the bay from the restaurant, just on the edge of the town limits. Phoebe drove down a long, dirt driveway, and she parked in front of an old, but gorgeous, beach cottage.
"You live here?" she asked, in awe.
He got his bike out of the trunk, and he locked it on his porch. "My grandfather built it in the 1930's, and this is the house my father grew up in. I bought it from him when my grandfather passed on, and I've been fixing it up for the past fifteen years now." He unlocked the front door, and Phoebe followed him in. "I even kept the original appliances."
Phoebe looked around the living room, smiling at the smell of old books and the faint hint of his cologne. Her jaw dropped when she spotted a cabinet. "Is this a Victrola Phonograph?"
He smiled. "You know your radios."
She went over to it. "It looks like the VV 7-11 model. A phonograph-radio combination?"
Archibald joined her. "You would be right. It was my grandfather's. He bought it in 1928."
Her fingers brushed the mahogany finish. "It's gorgeous. I haven't seen a Victrola in a long time. My great-grandmother had one. She died when I was four, but I remember her phonograph machine."
He smiled. "It's refreshing to know a young person that knows what a phonograph is."
"Does it work?"
"Absolutely!" His face lit up, and he went to the shelf that held his records. "Some of these were my grandfather's, but most of them I bought at a second hand stores."
Phoebe looked through them, her eyes wide. "The Andrews Sisters...Bing Crosby...Al Jolson...Louis Armstrong...Ella Fitzgerald... Archibald, this is an amazing collection." She pulled out a Gene Austin album. "Oh! You have 'Ain't She Sweet'! I adored this song when I was little."
Archibald took the album from her and took the record out. He opened the cabinet to place the record on the machine, and he started to play it. Phoebe closed her eyes and smiled as Gene Austin sang, "There she is, there she is/That's what keeps me up at night/Oh gee whiz, oh gee whiz/There's why I can't eat a bite/Those flaming eyes/That flaming youth/Oh mister, oh sister, tell me the truth/Ain't she sweet..."
Phoebe took a deep breath and smiled. "This song makes me think of mornings I'd wake up when we'd visit the family in Boston, and my great-grandma and grandma would have this playing while making breakfast."
Archibald held out his hand. "Care to dance?"
She took his hand. "I don't know how, but I'd love to."
He smiled. "You'll be fine."
He took one of her hands in his, and as she put her other hand on his shoulder, his slid around her waist to her lower back. He was probably around Arnold's height, maybe six-one or six-two, and he pulled her closer. She let him lead, and she eventually got into the rhythm. She felt her heart pound when she realized how close they were. She enjoyed having his body pressed against hers, and before she realized what she was doing, she pressed her lips against his.
He pulled back. "Phoebe, don't."
She let go of him, her cheeks red. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I just..."
He shook his head. "I don't mean I didn't like it or wanted it to happen...it's just...we can't."
Her face fell. "What do you mean?"
He turned off the phonograph, his back to her, and he said, "I'm too old for you, Phoebe. You're nineteen...I'm forty-two...you should be with younger men, closer to your age."
She bit her lip and took another deep breath to calm herself. "Yes...I am nineteen. That means I'm over eighteen and not a child anymore." She linked her fingers together, gripping them hard. "Archibald...I've always carried this small crush on you, ever since I was seven. The older I got, the more I knew it would never happen...but I have a chance now. I want to be with you."
He shook his head. "It wouldn't be right, Phoebe. I'm old enough to be your father."
"I don't care!" She gasped, not meaning to snap. "What if we keep it quiet? Just something between us?"
He turned to look at her. He could see the determination in her bright green eyes. She had always been mature for her age, even when she didn't look it, and he reached out to cup her cheek. His thumb brushed along her girl-fuzzed, freckled skin, and he stepped closer to her, cupping her other cheek. Her lips were so soft, so pink, and he pulled her face closer so he could taste her again. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and she pressed her chest against his. She moved her arms down so her hands cupped his neck. His soft brown hair intertwined with her fingers, and she let his tongue in when she felt it on her lips.
She groaned against his mouth, and he moved his hands to her back to hold her as close as he could. He guided her to the couch, and they fell on it, him on top. Phoebe brought her legs up and wrapped them around his waist, and he pulled back, his lips red and swollen.
"Phoebe, we should take this slow." He brushed her bangs back. "I don't want you getting into anything you'll regret later."
She reached for his hands. "I'm not a virgin, anymore, Archibald. I haven't been since I was sixteen."
He was surprised that the sweet-natured, sometimes naive Phoebe Terese wasn't a virgin, and he assumed it must have been the boy she dated for two years that had been her first. The sudden thought that he felt some resentment he wouldn't be her first had him get to his feet.
"No...no, Phoebe. Okay, we can't do this." He rubbed his chin and put his other hand on his hip. "We can't be together...it's too...it's wrong."
She got up. "No, it isn't. Archibald, I'm old enough to make my own decisions, and I want to be with you." She took his hand. "Please."
He looked a her and took a deep breath, hoping he wouldn't regret his question. "And we'll take it slow?"
She nodded. "We'll take it slow."
note: There you have it...Seedplot/Phoebe. Rating will change for the next chapter, so if the story is suddenly gone, switch the ratings filter to "Ratings: All", and there it be. :D
reviews appreciated, but not required.