Author's Note-helloo this is just a one-shot i had written on my computer from a year, year and a half ago. sorry if it sucks.
disclaimer-dont own anything except the plot and my ideas. actually, there is really no plot, just a bunch of writing. so whatevs.
"Nice one, Spin-ugly!" Lawson cackled as Spinelli kicked the ball foul. It was afternoon recess, and the fourth graders were having their daily kickball game against the fifth graders.
When TJ Detweiler heard the nickname Lawson used for his best friend, Ashley Spinelli (but don't call her Ashley), he felt like punching his lights out. TJ always hated when anyone insulted Spinelli, but for the past month he'd hated it even more than usual.
"Just shut-up and pitch it again!" Spinelli snapped. Spinelli was a little different this past month too. She never kicked foul balls! She just wasn't focused, and she knew why. It all started a month ago with Gretchen Grundler's experiment. They all wanted to know if kissing was in fact good or not, and lucky TJ and Spinelli drew the shortest straws, meaning they had to kiss. Since their kiss, neither of them could really think about anything else. Of course, they would never let anyone else know that.
TJ knew for a fact that he had not been completely honest about the kiss. Actually, he downright lied about it. When his lips met Spinelli's, he went into a world of peace and happiness. He knew it was a great feeling, but what would his friends think? TJ Detweiler liking kissing? That's not something his friends would take easily. So as soon as he and Spinelli pulled apart, he stuck out his tongue and said "ew".
Little did TJ know that Spinelli did the same exact thing. She went into the same fantasy world when she kissed her best friend, and liked it. But Spinelli had a tough girl, badass, take-no-crap-from-anyone image to protect. If her friends found out she went soft…well that was just out of the question.
So both kids pretended to hate the kiss they shared. The gullible kids of the playground believed the grossness they had told about, and decided that they would never like kissing. But when the rest of the kids went inside for class, TJ and Spinelli stayed behind. Something changed that day, and they knew it.
Spinelli kicked the ball high into the air, but it was caught. She balled her hands into fists and stormed away to sit on the bench, right next to TJ.
"Hey, Teej." she said glumly.
"Hey, Spin. Why the long face?"
"I can't kick anymore!" she explained, frustrated.
"Why not?" TJ asked.
"I don't know, Teej." Spinelli lied, even though she knew very well why she couldn't kick.
TJ sighed. "I know how you feel, Spin. I haven't been focused these last couple of weeks either."
"Why is that?"
"Uh…I don't know." he lied, just as Spinelli had. Spinelli just nodded, and both of them turned back to watch the kickball game.
Vince LaSalle eyed his friends curiously and came to sit next to them. "Did you guys see the homerun I just made?"
"Yeah, Vince, it was great." Spinelli complimented, unenthusiastically.
"What is up with you two lately?" Vince suddenly asked, but they both shrugged.
"I think I know," Mikey Blumberg said, sighing happily. The three of them looked to Mikey, awaiting an answer. "Oh TJ! Spinelli! The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return!" Mikey said dramatically and poetically.
"….Ok?" Vince didn't quite understand. TJ and Spinelli got the hint, and were both scared that Mikey had seen through their acts.
"I believe what Mikey is trying to say, Vince," Gretchen started. "Is that our friends are simply pre-occupied with the most recent events that have occurred on the playground. You see, my research shows that they have been acting strangely ever since…" Gretchen didn't want to continue for fear of embarrassing her friends.
"Ever since…what?" Gus Griswold asked curiously.
"Well…" she started once more but was cut off my Spinelli.
"Well would you look at the time!" Spinelli interrupted.
TJ mentally thanked the Lord that Spinelli stopped Gretchen. He didn't want his friends to think he was a girl-liker.
"Why are we looking at the time?" Gus asked, glancing at the clock on the school.
"Because!" TJ piped up. "It's almost time to go in. Wouldn't wanna be late for good old Miss Grotke's class, would we?"
"Never!" Spinelli agreed, and together they pushed their friends into the school, just as the bell rang.
The six friends sat in their usual seats. TJ and Spinelli next to each other, Vince behind TJ, Mikey next to Vince and behind Spinelli, and Gretchen between Mikey and Gus. Miss Grotke handed back the kids' recent tests. Gretchen got a 100, as usual, and was the only one in the class with a grade in the 'A' range. Gus got an 85 and Mikey got an 83, along with a lot of other kids in the class. Vince got a 77, as did many others. Spinelli and TJ, however, both failed horribly. They each got a 'See me' written on their papers next to their grades.
Once class ended, everybody flooded out, except for the group of six friends. "Teej, Spin, why are you guys takin' so long?" Vince asked curiously.
"I failed the test," they each said in unison.
"We'll meet you outside," TJ told his friends.
"Good luck!" Gus saluted, and the rest of the friends followed him out the door.
"TJ, Spinelli, I have noticed a decline in your grades for the past month. Is something wrong at home?" TJ and Spinelli both shook their heads. "Well, is something wrong at school?" Again, they shook their heads no. "Well, something's wrong, and I would like to know what it is. Although you both were never 'A' students, you were never 'F' students either." She paused, hoping to get something out of the kids.
"Should I call your parents and tell them about your failing grades?" she threatened.
"No!" the best friends shouted at the same time.
"Then tell me what is wrong. I'm only trying to help you guys and improve your grades. What is causing you to fail?"
"It was a hard test," Spinelli shrugged, trying to get the teacher off her back.
"Yeah," TJ agreed. "How are we supposed to know how to spell photosynthesis?"
"TJ, it was a vocabulary quiz, not a spelling quiz."
"So are you guys gonna tell me or do I have to call your parents?"
"Miss Grotke, can't a kid fail without the teacher getting on their back?" Spinelli asked.
"Are you guys done yet? Everyone else left already!" Vince was at the door now.
Miss Grotke sighed. "Fine, go with Vince, but don't let this happen again." She threatened, and TJ and Spinelli left with Vince.
"What was that all about?" Vince asked the duo.
"We failed the test," Spinelli explained.
"It wasn't that hard." Vince told them. The two just shrugged and they continued walking home. "So…are you guys ready to tell me why you've been acting so weird, or do I have to bribe it out of you?"
"Alright, Vince. I'll admit; I have been acting different. But I sure as heck don't know why," TJ lied.
"I see, and what about you, Spinelli?"
She just shrugged. "I don't know, either."
"You guys, you don't have to lie to me. I'm one of your best friends, I can keep a secret."
"Well, technically, you can't." Spinelli said, remembering how he told many people about the kissing experiment.
"That was one time!" Vince defended, knowing what Spinelli was referring to. But then he got an idea. "Hey, wait a minute…"
"What?" TJ asked quickly, getting an idea that Vince now knew what was going on.
"How long ago was the experiment?" Vince wondered.
"I don't know," Spinelli said nervously. "Why do you ask?"
"Whoa, I just got an idea. But it can't be true." Vince looked scared almost.
"You're right! It can't be true!" TJ told him.
"It's so crazy, but I have to ask." Vince continued.
"No, you don't, you really don't. You have to turn here anyway!" Spinelli almost ordered him.
"But-" Vince tried to say, but he was cut off.
"Sorry, gotta go!" TJ walked quickly passed Vince's turn, grabbing Spinelli's arm along with him.
"Wait!" Vince shouted to his friends, but they were already out of ear-shot.
Vince was having a hard time understanding what was really going on, so he called Mikey, Gus, and Gretchen over to his house to find out. When they arrived at his house, Vince paced back and forth in his room.
"Clearly something's going on. It's up to us to figure out what it is!" Vince stated more to himself than anyone else.
"Vince,-" Gretchen started, but Vince ignored her.
"And when we find out, we will confront them about it." He continued.
"But Vince-" Mikey piped up, but again Vince cut him off.
"I mean, how hard is it to tell your best friends what's wrong? Know what I mean? And another thing-"
"Vince!" the three friends shouted at once to get his attention.
"What?" he asked, clueless.
"We think we already know what's going on." Gretchen said.
"Then why didn't you tell me sooner!? What is it?"
"You don't wanna know, trust me." Gus replied.
"There's no easy way to say this…" Gretchen started…"But remember at parents' night, what Spinelli's mom said?"
"No, all I remember is her calling me Vance!"
"Ok, well, while she butchered everyone's names, she called TJ BJ…"
"What does this have to do with anything, Gretch?"
"Please don't go any further!" Gus covered his ears.
Mikey ignored his friend. "Mrs. Spinelli said that Spinelli had a crush on BJ…who is really TJ!" he explained.
Vince slowly started to come to realization, but didn't want to admit it. "So?"
"Oh for the love of Mike, they like each other!" a frustrated Gretchen told him.
"Good one, guys. You really had me goin' there. We're only in fourth grade, they can't like each other!"
"I'm afraid they do, Vince. All the evidence is there."
"Oh the sweetest joy, and yet the wildest woe, is love!" Mikey exclaimed.
"You guys honestly think that Teej and Spin, our best friends, have a…a crush on each other?"
"Yes, it's quite logical actually. You see, on parents' night when Mrs. Spinelli said what she said about TJ, he began to act different toward Spinelli, or he did from what I noticed anyway. Soon, his different acts toward Spinelli faded, and he was normal again. That was until…The Experiment."
"Nuh-uh, you guys are crazy. We're just kids!"
"I hate to say it, Vince, 'cause I don't wanna believe it, but it's true." Gus piped up.
"Oh, but how great it is! Finally, after years of their love for each other, they can finally express how they feel, and without all of Third Street School watching. I for one am extremely happy for them." Mikey said.
"I can't believe you guys! We're in fourth grade! Kids like us don't care about love and feelings and junk!"
"Vince, you can't honestly say that you didn't see this coming." Gretchen tried to ration with him.
"If your guys think you're so smart, I'll just ask them about this little theory tomorrow." Vince stated. "Now if you guys don't mind, I have dinner waiting for me."
The next day, Vince waltzed right up to his two friends and confronted them about the theory. "Are you guys in love?" he asked them bluntly.
Both of them blushed like mad, but tried to hide it with disgusted faces. "What? No way!" they said in unison, after glancing at each other.
"I knew it!" Vince said, proud of himself for being right. Then he started laughing. "The guys thought you were in love with each other! I told them how crazy it was! I gotta go brag to them, see you later!" Vince waved and ran off to find his three other friends.
"Yeah…heh heh…crazy." TJ agreed.
Spinelli nodded. "We're only kids; we don't know what love is."
"Yeah," TJ agreed once more. "We won't know until we're at least 11!"
"Yeah!" Spinelli said. "I wonder why they would think that anyway."
"Probably because of the kiss." TJ suggested.
"Yeah, most likely."
"It's not like it meant anything."
"I know," Spinelli agreed. "I mean we're just friends, right?"
"Yeah, best friends, Spin. We could do it again and I wouldn't even feel a thing."
"Yeah, me too." Spinelli said. Without warning, both of them leaned in and kissed each other.
TJ looked Spinelli in the eye. "Uh…see? Nothing." he lied.
"Yeah, nothing at all." Spinelli answered, also lying, just as the bell rang for class.
"Hey, can I uh…carry your books for you?" TJ asked timidly, scratching the back of his neck.
Spinelli glanced around her at all the kids running into the school. She shyly smiled, nodded, and handed her books to TJ. "Thanks," she told him, as they walked up the school steps together.
TJ grinned boyishly. "Don't mention it."