This story is completely out of my comfort zone: no, and I mean no "typical" couples you're used to seeing from me are in it. For this flashfic, I'm viewing LwD through eyes not-yet-corrupted by Dasey. Derek and Casey just like to tease each other, and Edwin and Lizzie are just best friends. There is no u.s.t. between any of the step-siblings. Got it? Good. :)
Despite the fact that this particular pairing came out of a crack!fic, I like it. I'm glad you made me think outside the box, December. Hope you like!
Oh, and thanks, Tony! You continue to rock!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters I manipulate herein. And the plot's technically mine, but most of the credit for that goes to December's awesome prompt.
Male Code Two
Lizzie was not easily ruffled. She was a "take things as they come" kind of girl. But this university thing was really giving her a hard time. It was only her first day, and nothing had gone right. She'd walked into the wrong laboratory for her chemistry class, and by the time she realized her mistake and found the correct room, lab partners had already been assigned. She had to stay after class to sort things out with the professor, which meant she had no time to grab lunch before her freshman seminar. She rushed up to one of the carts set up around campus, but the only vegetarian option had been soda, so she'd had a hot dog roll with condiments and a flat diet cola. Then, she rushed into freshman seminar so quickly that she spilled her bag; she had to scramble to pick up the pencils, notebooks, and other supplies that were now littering the floor. She scooped her things up as quickly as possible, and settled in to listen, only to have her phone go off in the middle of class with a text from Casey, wishing her luck. Ha.
Needless to say, she was exhausted by dinner. She was not the kind of girl that could go up to a group of people and ask to join their party, so she ate alone, wondering if she'd run into anyone she knew. Only a few students from Thompson were at this university, but she had met some other biology majors at orientation, and her roommate, Sarah, was around here somewhere. What she really wanted right now was to see Edwin. He was on the other end of the country studying marketing, and she was dying to call him, but knew his classes weren't yet over for the day. She texted Casey back, which took all of one minute, and sat quietly, tapping her foot against the cold metal table leg.
She decided to go back to the dorm and see if Sarah was there; maybe they could do something. On her way out of the dining hall, she passed a group of guys tossing a football around on the quad. She kept walking, but turned her head back to look, thinking she'd seen a familiar face. She hadn't been wrong.
"Sam!" she cried, racing towards the group, who had looked up at her outburst. Sam dropped the football he had just caught, and opened his arms as she reached him, embracing her tightly.
"Liz," he murmured, "It's so good to see you!" They pulled apart and Lizzie wiped some of the mud from his shirt off of her own. "Sorry about that," he said sheepishly, starting to brush her off.
"No worries. I completely forgot that you're here. I haven't seen a friendly face all day, so I'm really glad I found you." She beamed at him, and he laughed.
"Well, here are a whole bunch of them. Guys," he gestured to his friends, who had been watching their meeting in silence, "This is Lizzie McDonald. Lizzie, this is…everyone."
Lizzie shook each of their hands, and fought the urge to wipe her palms on her skirt. It was just mud.
"Want to take a walk?" Sam asked, and Lizzie nodded. Sam told his friends that he'd be back, and they started playing again as Lizzie followed Sam towards the brick walkway that wound around campus.
"So it's been a tough first day, huh?" Sam began, and Lizzie scrunched up her nose at him.
"How could you tell? Do I look that bad?" she teased.
"Actually, you look remarkably good for someone who just entered the world of higher education." He winked, and Lizzie couldn't keep herself from blushing.
She'd always felt really comfortable around Sam, and they'd known each other for years, but since he and Derek were both away at school, there wasn't much reason for him to come around the house as much as he used to. She had seen him once that summer, but before that, it had slowed to about twice a year. And the last few times he'd been around, she had been noticing how good he was looking. His trademark shaggy hair had been cut short, and he had the hint of a beard, making him look older, if a bit scruffy. But he was as tall and lanky as ever, towering over petite Lizzie.
Lizzie had changed as well, and it was easy to see that though she wasn't looking her best at the moment, she projected an air of self-confidence. Her long hair had gotten lighter, but she'd cut it into a stylish bob over the summer. She still dressed in sporty, preppy clothes, but for college she'd done a little bit of self-reinvention: more pink, more skirts, less hemp. That's not to say that she wasn't still environmentally conscious. She was majoring in biology, with the hopes of picking up an ecology or environmental science minor. Sam, she remembered, was a psychology major, but she had no idea what he was planning to do after graduation that spring.
"So…" Lizzie began, trying to think of something interesting to say.
Sam grinned. "Not at your most articulate today, are you, Liz? It's okay, I know you're stressed. In a few weeks, you'll have this campus down pat. It takes time for everyone."
There was the stupid blushing again. She really had to stop doing that. She'd never blushed like that around Sam before.
"I guess. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm usually so together."
"I know you are," he nodded. "So, you like your roommate?"
"I do. She's really nice. But she's as neurotic as Casey. I thought I'd be getting away from it when I moved out, but no such luck."
Sam laughed. "People like that just gravitate toward you. It's the peril of being a good listener."
He really had to stop doing that. She couldn't take any more of his compliments disguised as jokes. "Thanks, I guess."
"Well, it's true. Hey, you joined any clubs yet?"
"I'm doing intramural soccer. That starts up the beginning of next week. Other than that, I haven't really heard any news on meetings for stuff."
"You should join our environmental club. I'm secretary this year. We do a lot of fun activities."
"Yeah. We toured a paper recycling plant last semester. And this year we're organizing a trip to visit the Greenpeace offices."
"Sounds great. I'll definitely join."
"Cool. I'm not sure when our first meeting is, yet, but I'll let you know."
"Sounds great," Lizzie said again, and mentally slapped herself for her lameness. "What other clubs are you in?"
"Just intramural hockey in the winter, student government, and SADD."
"Wow, you do a lot." Lizzie was impressed.
Sam gave her a sideways glance. "Well, that's just the stuff that looks good on a resume; not that that's why I do it," he added quickly. "I've done my share of partying."
"I'm sure. Derek's told some stories."
"I hope not." Sam hid his face in mock embarrassment. "One of the guys back there is president of his fraternity, so we get invited to their…events. It's my dumb mistake bringing Derek along."
"It's good that you guys have managed to stay friends," Lizzie said, thinking of Edwin. She knew their bond was strong enough to withstand the distance, but it still hurt knowing she couldn't see him every day.
Sam nodded. "Are you going to keep in contact with your high school friends?"
Lizzie thought for a second. Besides Edwin, and a couple of girls, she really didn't have that many friends. When she and Jamie had broken up in grade eleven, they had stopped talking. And her best girlfriends were all living far away. "I'm going to try. Edwin's always been my best friend anyway, so I'm not too worried."
"You're lucky that way." Sam paused outside of a building. "Are we walking anywhere in particular? Because here're the freshman dorms."
Lizzie panicked momentarily, for some reason thinking he was inviting himself up. But that was stupid. "Um…I was heading here, actually. So this is perfect." She gave him a quick hug goodbye. "Thanks, Sam. You've made me feel a whole lot more welcome at this place."
Sam patted her on the back. "No problem. I'm glad you're here. Can I get your number so we can run into each other on purpose next time?"
Lizzie fumbled to get a pen out of her purse. She pulled a sheet of paper from her bag and jotted down her cell number. "There you go."
Sam took it with a thank you and a goodbye wave, and carefully folded the paper before slipping it into his pocket. Lizzie stood in the doorway for a moment, watching him leave, and her breath caught as she saw him turn around and wave one more time. She returned it, and went upstairs, unable to keep the grin from her face.
Oh, yeah. She was a goner.
They spent a lot of time together the first two months of school. Lizzie joined the environmental club, and started soccer practice. She was feeling confident in her classes, and she and Sarah were getting along famously. She had even flown out to visit Edwin for the weekend, and he was coming to see her in a couple of weeks. But for some strange reason, the only person she felt like she wasn't seeing enough of was Sam.
This particular evening, the first weekend in November, Lizzie and Sam had been doing their homework together in his dorm, which he shared with a computer science major named John. John spent most of his time at his girlfriend's apartment, so Lizzie and Sam often had the room to themselves. Sam had fallen asleep over his Piaget textbook. Lizzie hadn't had the heart to wake him earlier, but now she really needed to head back to her own room. She shut off the Jesse McCartney song that was currently gracing the airwaves, and went over to him.
"Sam," she nudged his arm gently. He stirred, but didn't wake up. "Sam!" she said a little louder, and this time his eyelids fluttered open. Seeing her, he shot up.
"Oh man, Lizzie, I'm so sorry I fell asleep." He stretched, and she backed away to gather her things.
"No big deal. I just have to get going, that's all."
Sam glanced at the clock and nodded. "Okay, lemme get my shoes."
They headed out into the chilly night, and when they reached her building, Sam lingered a moment, as if he wanted to say something. Lizzie waited patiently, but Sam just hugged her instead. He didn't step back when they pulled apart, though, and Lizzie felt her heart begin to pound rapidly. She hoped he couldn't feel it; they were standing that close. He reached a hand up to brush a strand of hair from her face. Lizzie sucked in her breath. This was it. The moment. Right?
Wrong. Sam backed away, stuttering something about 'get inside, it's cold.' Lizzie's face fell, and she could tell that he saw it. But she dutifully turned around and entered the dorm, refusing to look back. She would not give him the satisfaction.
At about three a.m., her cell phone rang softly. She groggily fumbled for it in the dark, figuring the light would wake up Sarah. "Hello?" she whispered angrily, seeing that it was Sam.
"Lizzie, I need to talk to you," he whispered back, and she sighed.
"Yes, now. Please?" He sounded so pathetic that she just had to give him a chance.
"Just meet me at the entrance to your building. The night guard will never let me up, and I don't want you walking to my place alone."
"Fine. Ten minutes," she sighed, and threw off the covers. Finding some slippers, she ran into the bathroom, splashed some water on her face, and gargled with mouthwash. Then she headed downstairs.
Sam was waiting for her at the door, keeping one eye on the guard, who was giving him the evil eye through the glass. As soon as he saw Lizzie, he waved frantically at her. The guard backed off when he saw her approaching, and let her outside.
They stood facing each other in the freezing night air, and Sam automatically pulled her closer to help warm her up. She melted into him gratefully.
"Look, Liz, I want to apologize for earlier. I was sending mixed signals, and that wasn't fair to you."
Lizzie's mouth popped open but nothing came out. That had been the last thing she would have expected him to say. And she surprised herself when the only thing she could think of to say back was, "This couldn't wait until morning?"
Sam smiled. "Well, no. I was lying awake trying to figure out why I'm being such an idiot. And I think it's because you've always been Derek's little sister to me."
Lizzie frowned. "Oh."
"But…" he moved his hands up to frame her face. "Now that we're getting to know each other again, you're so much more than that."
"How much more?" she whispered, hoping against hope that he would give her the answer she so desperately wanted.
This time, he didn't disappoint. He kissed her softly, and Lizzie wrapped her arms more tightly around him as she kissed back. She couldn't believe this was actually happening, after so many nights of dreaming about it.
Well, okay, in her dreams, they weren't in their pajamas. Or cold. Or being watched by the night guard. But whatever. This was just perfect.
Lizzie kept lacing and re-lacing her cleats, obviously lost in thought. Her teammate Dana nudged her.
"You okay, Liz?"
"What?" Lizzie looked up from her shoes. "Oh, fine. Just thinking."
"About…" Dana was apparently not going to let this go.
Lizzie sighed. "Sam and I. It's so weird. I mean, people at school know, but I guess with how he knows my family, it's awkward if we tell them."
"You mean because Sam is your brother's best friend? He'll get over it." Dana shrugged. "I don't see what the big deal is."
Lizzie shook her head. "You don't know Derek. It will freak him out. You should have seen what he did when Sam tried to date my sister. And it's just weird all around. I've known him since I was twelve, but…"
Dana was looking at Lizzie like she had three heads. "Sam dated your sister?"
"Yeah. But that was a long time ago."
"Man, that is weird."
It was Lizzie's turn to shrug. "I guess I'm worrying about it too much. Edwin found out when he came to visit last week, and he was happy for us. But Derek's unpredictable. I have no idea what to tell him if he visits."
"Just tell him the truth. It can't be any worse than hiding, can it?"
"That's the problem…I don't know." Lizzie finished with her cleats and stood up. "But I have to focus on the game." She did a couple of jumping jacks. "This can wait."
Dana looked at her, skepticism clear on her face. "You do what you think is right."
That evening, Sam's friend's fraternity was having a big pre-finals blowout. Sam and Lizzie usually made an appearance at these parties, but didn't stay long. She wasn't really into drinking, so Sam didn't want to make her uncomfortable. But on this particular night, Lizzie had completely forgotten that Casey and Ralph were coming. She had been so stressed, with the semester ending the next week, that she had failed to realize that Casey would soon find out about her relationship with Sam. She wasn't as worried about her reaction, as she was about the fact that she had failed to tell Casey they'd been dating for six weeks. The sisters usually shared everything, but somehow Lizzie had just never found the right way to tell her.
That night, when Ralph and Casey entered the frat house, Casey made a beeline for Lizzie, who was waiting on Sam to get them water bottles from the kitchen.
"Lizard!" Casey hugged Lizzie tightly and pulled back, grinning. "You look amazing!"
"Thanks. So do you!" Lizzie put a finger to Casey's sequined halter top. "Let me guess: Ralph picked this one out." She rolled her eyes in mock annoyance.
Casey giggled. "Of course. I promised him one slutty outfit a month. The things I do for my man."
"You better be talking about me," Ralph said, coming up behind her and placing his arms around her waist. "Hey Liz, how's it going?"
Lizzie figured that now was the perfect opportunity. "Great, actually. Listen, I have something—"
"Hey Sweetie, did you want a diet Pepsi instead?" Sam called as he came up to Lizzie; Casey and Ralph were blocked by the crowd.
Lizzie's face reddened and Ralph and Casey said at the same time, "Sweetie?"
"Oops," Sam said as he approached, Casey and Ralph coming into view. "So I guess now you know." He looked at Lizzie lovingly, placing an arm around her shoulders and handing her the bottle of water.
"Oh my gosh, you two are…?" Casey trailed off, still too surprised to function properly.
Ralph gave Lizzie a thumbs up. "I have no idea what you see in this dude, but congrats," he said sincerely, and Lizzie smiled up at Sam.
"And you," Ralph turned his attention to his friend, "have snagged quite a babe. But I'm warning you now, McDonald girls are high maintenance."
Casey elbowed him in the stomach, but she was smiling. Sam said with a grin, "Sorry, Ralph, I think that's just Casey."
"Hey Case, are you sure you're okay with this?" Lizzie couldn't help asking.
"Totally. We both lucked out in the romance department."
Sam and Ralph exchanged high fives, as Casey gave Lizzie a hug.
All of Lizzie's nerves were gone; her sister was happy for her, and that was enough.
Before Lizzie knew it, the semester was ending. The day after her last final, she had to move out of the dorm, and she and Sam would head back to London for winter break. She was excited to see her family; Edwin and Casey had been the only ones to visit, though she talked to her mom, George, and Marti often. It would be such a relief to know that she and Sam could be open around them, given Edwin and Casey's positive reactions. However, she still hadn't worked up the courage to tell Derek, and she knew Sam wasn't too keen on the idea, either. They both managed to avoid the topic when they talked to him.
Lizzie finished her last exam and handed it in. She was home free now. She had survived her first semester of university.
Sam was taking her out to dinner to celebrate. He was running a little late, so she started packing up her room. When he came to pick her up, she was almost finished, leaving only the necessities unboxed.
They went to a fancy restaurant not far from campus, and after their meal they returned to Sam's dorm to relax on the couch with a movie.
They were halfway through the newest James Bond when Lizzie turned to Sam.
"Do you mind if I just crash here tonight? My stuff is almost packed anyway."
Sam nodded, still engrossed in the movie. "Sure. I'll sleep in John's bed."
Lizzie shifted uncomfortably against him, and Sam paused the movie. "What is it?"
She turned red and replied, "I was sort of thinking maybe…" she trailed off, too embarrassed to continue. She had been thinking about this for awhile, but hadn't had the courage to bring it up. She figured Sam just assumed she wasn't ready, so he never talked about it, either. But she was definitely ready. She had never been surer of anything in her life. If only she could get the words out.
"Maybe we could…share your bed?" She gazed at Sam intently, and brightened when he blushed, recognizing what she meant.
"Are you serious, Lizzie?"
"Yeah, I am. I mean, if you want to."
Sam held her tighter. "Absolutely." With that, he shut off the movie and pulled Lizzie off of the couch.
The next morning, Lizzie awoke to a soft knock at the door. She rolled over and nudged Sam. "Sam, wake up. John probably forgot his key or something." He didn't move, so she sighed and sat up. Blinking at the clock, she realized it was only six-thirty. Why was John here so early? "Sam!" she tried again. But he merely groaned and turned towards the wall.
The knock came again, louder this time. Lizzie reluctantly slipped out from under the warm covers. She located her underwear a few feet away, and grabbed Sam's t-shirt off of the bedpost. Slipping it over her head, she tried to smooth down her hair as she made her way over to the door.
"Did you forget your key?" she asked as she opened the door, but instead of John, she found Derek with his fist poised to knock again.
"Lizzie?" Derek's eyes grew comically wide as he checked the number on the door. "This is Sam's room, isn't it?" He was still looking at Lizzie in shock, and when he took in her appearance: rumpled t-shirt, messy hair…he gazed over to Sam's bed, where Sam was finally opening his eyes. He sat up, revealing his shirtless top half, and Derek let out a pitiful little whimper.
Lizzie panicked. "Derek, I can explain! We just…"
Derek cut her off harshly. "No need to explain." He marched over to the bed and towered over Sam, who had just realized Derek was in the room.
"D, hey man, what are you doing here?" Sam was trying to keep his voice level, but Lizzie could tell that he sensed Derek's anger.
Derek just glared at his friend menacingly, and Sam instinctively pulled the covers up higher on his body. Before either Lizzie or Sam knew what was happening, Derek had decked Sam in the nose, knocking him backwards onto the bed, and strode out of the room. Lizzie wouldn't have been surprised if steam had started coming out of his ears.
Miraculously, Sam's nose wasn't bleeding, though it was swelling pretty badly. Lizzie rushed over to him and examined his face; it didn't appear to be broken, just severely bruised.
"I can't believe he did that!" Lizzie huffed, handing Sam his boxers. Sam slipped them on and got out of bed.
"I can. I need to go after him." He found a shirt and shoes, threw them on and headed out of the dorm after Derek. Lizzie found her own shoes and followed.
They caught up to Derek in the lobby, and the guard raised an eyebrow at the girl in only a t-shirt, the boy in his underwear, and the other boy who looked like he was ready to throw down.
"What the hell, man?" Sam grabbed onto Derek's arm, stopping him from opening the door. Derek threw his hand off harshly, but stepped away from the door.
"How dare you! You were supposed to protect Lizzie, not…not…" he spluttered, gesturing at his stepsister.
Lizzie rushed up to him. "Look, Derek, please don't be angry. I love him."
That was apparently the wrong thing to say. "You love him?" Derek bellowed. Lizzie could see the guard wince out of the corner of her eye. "Lizzie you're a little girl. And this…this…" He was still unable to speak properly.
Sam laid a gentle hand on Derek's shoulder. "It's true, Derek. I love Lizzie, too. It just sort of happened. We knew you would be upset, but—"
"But nobody cares about what I think," Derek snarled. "My baby sister gets deflowered by my best friend, and nobody cares to tell me."
"Please be reasonable. I'm sorry you had to find out like this, I really am." Sam lowered his gaze, and Lizzie could see that Derek was about to soften. Too bad she had to drop another bomb.
"It was my idea. I wasn't a virgin when we—"
"Oh, God, I did not need to hear that," Derek moaned, backing up against the wall for support.
Sam glanced at Lizzie with a small nod and back at Derek. "Lizzie's eighteen now, Derek. She's not a baby anymore."
"But, but…" he seemed to lose his train of thought, because in half a second he went back to being angry at Sam. "You should have told me you liked her! What about the code?"
Sam actually had the audacity to laugh. "That male code you made up when I wanted to date Casey? Dude, you were just jealous because you thought she'd take up too much of my time. Well, Lizzie is the one taking up my time now, and I only get to see you every couple of months. I promise that when we hang out, it'll be just the two of us."
Derek began to mutter under his breath, but after mulling it over, Lizzie could see that he was about to cave.
"I can't say I'm happy about this, but I guess there's really nothing I can do to stop it, is there?" he said with a resigned sigh.
"Thank you for understanding, Der!" Lizzie moved to hug him, but Derek held up his hands, horrified.
"Not gonna touch you until you shower, sorry, kid." He tried to smile at her, but it came out more like a grimace, and he quickly shoved himself up off of the wall and reached for the door. "I'm going to sit in my car. You guys come get me when you're presentable."
"Derek, wait." Lizzie was close to tears; she was so relieved that Derek was going to try and adjust to this. "I have a question. Why are you even here? You didn't call and say you were coming."
Derek sighed. "I thought I'd be a good friend and help you two move out. But that's the last time I ever surprise anyone, ever again." He shook his head, obviously still reeling from the morning's events.
"D…Lizzie's almost packed; but I need some help. Want to?" Sam spoke quietly, and Lizzie knew he was hoping that their friendship wouldn't suffer from this.
"Yeah. I'll be back up to help, after I walk Lizzie to her room, how's that?" Sam nodded. "Oh, and sorry for hitting you." Derek looked contrite as he gave Sam a punch on the arm, and Sam's face broke into a grin.
"No problem. I deserved it."
"Yeah. But that's water under the bridge now."
"Thank God," Lizzie muttered, as Sam smiled again.
"Go grab your clothes, sis, and I'll walk you out," Derek instructed, and Lizzie obediently ran upstairs to throw on last night's skirt, pull on her winter coat, and gather the rest of her belongings. She never thought she'd be taking a "walk of shame," let alone with her brother right next to her. But whatever. She was too excited that Derek didn't want to disown either of them.
Derek opened the door for her on her way out, and she turned around to give Sam an encouraging smile. Sam waved at them both and then headed back upstairs. Lizzie could see the guard cover his mouth, presumably to stifle a laugh. Good thing someone thought this morning had been funny, because she sure didn't want to ever relive it.
"So, Sam's good to you?" Derek asked, as they strolled in the direction of her dorm.
"Fantastic. He's the best, Derek, he really is."
"Good. Because if he didn't treat you right…" he trailed off.
"Relax. Casey and Edwin both know, and they think it's great. Just try to be happy for us, okay?"
Derek shrugged. "I can try, but I'm not promising anything."
Lizzie smiled at him. "That's all I ask."
They both fell silent as they continued across the campus, and Lizzie breathed in the crisp December air. Her brother was here, her boyfriend was amazing, and she would see her family that night. Life really doesn't get any better, she thought.
And there you have it. I tend to start to like the ships I have to write for the flashfics, and this one is no exception. Anyone else on board for some future Sazzie? ;)
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it, December. I even threw in some Rasey and Jesse for ya, so be happy! :)
December's prompt was to write a Sam/Lizzie (Sazzie) story:
It can be one sided, futurefic, or crack!fic as long as the pairing is present. Have reaction from Derek and Casey about the pairing.