A/N: Okay, so this is something I've been working on for a few weeks. I wasn't going to post it unless I was SURE I was going to finish it, and now I think I will.
Now, this isn't a "chapter" story -- it doesn't go, "First this happened, then this happened, then THIS happened." It's more like specific moments in Ned and Sally's relationship that were important or meaningful or just plain cute. I THINK it all makes sense . . . let me know if it doesn't, though.
I hope you enjoy it!
Oh, right, I almost forgot -- there has been a lot of disagreement about Ned and Sally's last names. It doesn't really matter to me, but I'm just going with the movie, which calls Ned "McDodd." And for fun I'm making Sally's maiden name "O'Malley," because "Sally O'Malley" is just about the cutest name ever. I may be totally wrong, but it's not important, so please don't give me a review that says, "Ned's last name is O'Malley. DUH!" Because I DON'T CARE.
Sally hugged her lunchbox to her chest, looking up at the sky, where a few white clouds swirled lazily in a field of bright blue. A typical day in Whoville, where nothing ever went wrong. Ever.
Sally was a little nervous, since it was her first day of kindergarten, but after watching her three older brothers and sisters all start, she wasn't scared enough to make her mom walk with her. Besides, she thought, glancing over at her siblings, who were walking to school ahead of her, it's not like I'm alone.
"Hey!" Sally turned to see large gray eyes and a friendly, gap-toothed smile . . . inches away from her face. With a yelp, she leapt backward, dropping her lunchbox.
The boy scrambled to pick it up and tripped, sprawling across the road. He sat, up, blushing and wincing. "I'm sorry," he said, hurrying over to her and handing her the lunchbox. "I didn't mean it."
"I know," Sally replied — it was obvious that he hadn't tried to scare her. "What's your name?"
Sally suddenly noticed that Ned's eyes were watering and his lip was trembling slightly.
"Are you sad?" He shook his head, and she saw that his chin had been scraped raw and had just started to bleed. "You're hurt!"
"I . . ." He brushed his chin with the back of his hand. When it came away bloody, he gulped hard and squeezed his eyes shut, breathing deeply. "Ow, ow, ow," he whispered, clenching his hands into fists at his sides.
She smiled sympathetically. "I'm Sally O'Malley," she said, to distract him. Suddenly something occurred to her. "Where are your parents?"
His eyes snapped open and his face brightened. "They said that I was grown-up enough to find my own way to school!" he chirped, clearly thrilled with this responsibility. "What about you?"
She pointed towards her siblings, who were far ahead of them at that point. "My brothers and sisters are taking me," she said. "Well, the ones that are old enough. I have another two siblings at home."
Ned squinted. "They're far," he observed. "Should we hurry up?"
Sally shook her head. "Nuh-uh. I like walking with you."
They grinned at each other for a moment, then started walking, talking about their families. Sally was amazed and jealous of Ned's large family — 85 younger siblings! — but he said it was annoying having them around all the time. "All they do is cry and poop," he complained. They both giggled at the word "poop."
"So, you're the oldest?" Sally asked.
"Yep," he replied proudly, lifting his chin. "That's why I get to be Mayor!"
"Mayor?" she repeated, wrinkling her nose. Who'd want to be Mayor?
Ned nodded, blissfully unaware of her lack of enthusiasm. "Yes, it's what I've always wanted to be. And someday I will."
"What kinds of things will you do when you're Mayor?"
Ned thought for a second. "I'd make everyone have dessert for dinner, and kids would be allowed to stay up late!"
Sally laughed. "And ice cream sodas with lunch every day!"
"Yeah, that's a good idea." They walked in comfortable silence for a few minutes. As the school loomed up ahead of them, large and a little intimidating, Ned broke the silence.
"Can I hold your hand?"
Sally blinked, surprised. "Ah . . ." She thought about it for a second. "Okay!"
Ned beamed, then took her hand in his unbloodied one.
Suddenly a loud, clanging bell rang through the schoolyard. "We're gonna be late!" Ned called and started running, dragging Sally, laughing, into the school.