A/N: This is my first one-shot ever and my first What I Like About You fanfic. Please Review! XOXO, dontforget2remember
Vince had parked the car, they had been driving for 18 hours or so straight. By they, it was Riley and Vince. Neither of them new Holly had stowed away. They had pulled into a gas station and both Riley and Vince went into the gas station to buy food/freshen up, or something. Holly popped up from the back seat, her hair a mess. She slid out of the convertible, careful not to set off the alarm and pulled out her purse. She went over by the wall and attempted to freshen up, trying to appear as though she had not spent the past 18 hours in the back of a convertible with two duffels on top of her, listening to kissy-kissy sounds, chatter, and flirty giggling. She was trying to fix her hair when Vince left the gas station building and saw Holly. He groaned silently in his head but his heart took control and he went over to see her.
"Hey," Vince said, "What are you doing in Virginia?"
"Just clearing my head," Holly said quickly, pulling away. Vince looked around, looking for Val. Or Gary. Or Tina. Or even Lauren.
"You came down by yourself?" He asked, shocked. This was not like Holly at all.
"That's how you clear your head," she said slowly, looking at Vince, "At least that's how I clear my head, going far, far, far away from every problem, taking some time to think about, and then going back to New York. And excuse me now, but that café over there, it has a stool with my name on it. Have fun in Florida." She crossed the street and went into the café.
Something is not right, he thought. Vince went back to his car and pulled out a baseball cap, new flannel shirt, and aviators. Making sure that Holly wasn't looking, he turned to Riley.
"Give me a few min, okay?"
"Anything, Vince," she said, batting her eyes at him.
"Whatever. Thanks." He went into the gas station to change and then crossed the street to the café. Entering the café, he readjusted his hat and sat down on a stool next to Holly. She was feverously using a black sharpie to X-out a heart in sharpie that inside said "HT + VB".
"It's okay, Holly," the waitress said, watching her X-out the heart, "You'll figure it out. And I gotta go, because table 2 needs some coffee." She walked away to table 2.
"Hey," Vince said, disquised as Nick.
"Hi," Holly said, still crossing out the heart. She looked up.
"Can I get you something to drink?" he asked.
"Sure," she said nodding, "That would be sweet of you. I'm Holly."
"I'm," he racked his brain for a name, "Nick."
"Well, nice to meet you Nick," she said. The waitress came back and turned to 'Nick'.
"What can I get you?" she asked.
"Can I have a 7-up for Holly over here and an iced coffee for me," he said.
"Definitely," she said.
"How did you know that?" Holly asked.
"What?" he said, nervous.
"That my favorite soda is 7-up?" she said. he sighed, relieved.
"You seem like a 7-up kinda-girl to me," he said. Their drinks were served.
"Do you want to sit outside," he asked. "It looks like you've been sitting here for a while."
"Sure," Holly said. He paid for the drinks and they sat at a table outside.
"So, Holly," he said, "What are you doing all by yourself down in Virginia?"
"How do you know I don't live here?" she said.
"Well, you look city-girl to me, not like someone who would be trapped in a small town like this."
"I see," she said, "Do you want the real version or the bubble-gum pop version that I told a close friend of mine?"
"Whatever you want to tell me," he said.
"Well, I'll start with the bubble-gum pop version. I told a close friend of mine, his name is Vince, that I came down to clear my head," she said.
"And this isn't true?" he asked.
"Well," she said, "It's partly true because…Wow, that sounds crazy,"
"What?" he said.
"What I'm going to tell you. You're never going to believe it."
"Try me," he said.
"Okay, well," Holly began, "There is this boy I like, a LOT. His name is Vince. The one I was just talking about. He likes me too. At least, I thought he did." She sighed.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," she continued, "We've tried a relationship a billion times but it always turns out wrong. See, he's very cute and all the girls like him and well, he likes the attention and I'm a little, well, relationship-phobic. Except, I didn't realize this until I saw my ex-boyfriend, Henry, in Princeton yesterday. I talked to him for a long time and he was like, 'You see Holly, when things aren't perfect anymore you start looking for another guy. With me, it was Vince. With Ben, it was Vince. Don't you see a pattern?"
"Hang on a second," he interrupted. "Who is Ben?"
"Ben is this British musician who I dated. We met in Paris and he came back to the states with me," she explained, "But, anyway, when Henry said this to me, a realized it, 'the pattern is Vince'. Vince is the one I love. And then, as Henry and I talked, I realized, relationships aren't always perfect. They are never perfect. So, I hug Henry good-bye, you know, like a 'Thank you'-friend thing and head back to New York to talk to Vince."
"I see," he said.
"But, I leave thirty messages on his phone and even see him at this club but he won't talk to me. But, do you know what he dumps on me? He says, 'I'm going down to Florida, I have a bartending job down there and I'll be gone all summer.' And then, he leaves the club. Doesn't even let me tell him the eureka-moment I had. That I'm finally ready for a relationship and that I'm not going to flee when things turn un-perfect. Because that's what real relationships are… They are not perfect."
She says, "So the next morning, I sit in the back of his convertible and am ready to pop up and talk to him, right away in the morning, to actually talk to him and tell him this and you know what happens?" Holly is starting to freak out.
"No, but I'm sure you'll tell me," he says.
"He dumps his duffel bag on me and sits down. I'm ready to do it and you know who shows up- Riley, his ex-girlfriend. And she's all like, 'Last night was the most amazing night of my life' and he's like, 'Yeah, mine too,' and it turns out she's going to Florida with him. So now, I'm stuck in the back of his car listening to them kissy-kissy and talk and listen to music and I'm like, gag me. And you know the first place where they stopped. Right here, in Nowheretown, Virginia," she says.
"I think it's actually Boringville, but who's keeping track?" he jokes. Holly slightly laughs.
"So when he stops the car, he and Riley get out, you know, go into the gas station for whatever and I climb out of the back and try to freshen up, you know, like I haven't spent the past 18 hours or so in the back of a convertible and you know who comes out. Vince. And he's all like, 'Holly,' and I'm like, oh joy, 'Vince' and he asks me why I'm down here. So I rack my brain and say 'I'm down here to clear my head,' which isn't a lie because I am; well now I am. And I've came down here before, a few times. I just didn't mention how I got down here," she said, "And now I'm down here, talking to you, and then I got to figure out how to get back to New York."
"Wow," he said, "Epic."
"Yeah," she said, "That's my life."
"So, do you know why Vince is not talking to you?" he asked.
"No," she said, "And it's REALLY bugging me."
"Why don't you ask him?" he suggested.
"No," Holly said, "That would mean I'd have to go ask Snotty Miss Riley where he was and then figure out what to say to him. Because he won't listen. And he won't talk."
"How do you know he won't listen?" he asked.
"Because Vince is stubborn. I love him for that, because he stands up for himself, but he is stubborn. And he just won't."
"What if I told you he is," he said.
"What?" Holly said.
"He is listening."
"I'm sorry but I am so confused." She said. Vince took off the hat and the aviators.
"I was listening the whole time." Holly's eyes grew wide and she almost fainted.
"Wai- wha- Nick…Vince?"
"Yeah, Nick was me." Vince said, "I did listen, Holly, I really did."
"Wow, Vince…" that was all Holly could say, "I guess now it's my turn to listen."
"No, my explanation is stupid," he said, "I heard you on the radio, talking about Smen and Smince and figured you would come to me but you didn't. So I had Gary call you and when I found out you were at Princeton, we went up there. I saw you hugging Henry and was afraid you got back together. So later I went to Henry's dorm to ask him about it but it was all dark and Henry was making out with some girl and then said 'I love you, Holly'. I figured it was you so I left. I didn't want to talk to you because I didn't want to hear that you and Henry got back together, so I took the job in Florida."
"Wow," Holly said.
"So if you weren't kissing Henry…" Vince began. Holly cut him off.
"Henry found a girlfriend at Princeton, and her name was Holly. Holly Blake or something." She explained.
"Then, I guess I have to say this," Vince said, "I'm sorry."
"It's okay, Vince," Holly said, reaching over to hold his hand.
"I have to say this too," Vince said, pulling her up. They were standing, facing each other.
"I love you," he said, "I have always loved you, and I will always love you." He leaned in and so did Holly and they kissed. The kiss deepened and Holly found herself with her arms around his neck and his arms around her waist.
The kiss slowly ended and Holly said, "I'm done hiding it." She looked him straight in the eye.
"I love you Vince," she said, "and I'm ready to give a relationship a try if you are."
"I've always been," he said. They kissed again and the kiss slowly ended. They sat down.
"Just one question," he said. "How in the heck did you stay silent for 18 hours in the back of my car?"
"I really don't know," Holly said, "But, man, You pack a lot of stuff. It was HEAVY!! And Riley had some big plans for this trip, she had lots of…. Intimate items." Vince gagged.
"You don't really like her, do you?" she asked.
"No, definitely not," Vince said, "I was trying to keep my mind off of you. But that reminds me, how are we going to get rid of her?"
"I have an idea…"
Riley was blindfolded with her duffel on her shoulder and Vince was holding her hands, leading her into the yellow cab. Holly was holding the door open. Riley sat down in the cab and Holly shut the door. Vince said, "Take her to Fort Anderson, Florida."
"Wait, what?" Riley said, the blindfold still covering her eyes.
"Your fine, Riley. Just a change of plans." Vince said.
"Bon Voyage," Holly said, "See you in New York in three months." The yellow cab pulled off into the distance. Holly and Vince held hands, watching Riley fade faster and faster from their lives. When the cab was out of view, Vince and Holly climbed into his convertible and started to drive off, in the opposite direction.
"Just one second," Holly said, "Go back to that town." Vince did a u-turn and drove back into town. He parked where he did before.
"We have some unfinished business," Holly said, pulling Vince out of the car. They crossed the street to the café. They sat down at the same table they had sat at earlier that day.
"Do you remember when you came in, disguised as Nick, and saw me crossing-out the heart?" she asked.
"Yeah," he said.
"Well, the heart was written after you and I had first kissed in the hospital when you were hit by the cab." She said, "I crossed it out because I had lost hope that we would ever be together. Obviously, I was wrong." She pulled a Sharpie out of her purse and wrote her initials on the window ledge, very small yet legible and then passed the Sharpie to Vince. He wrote his initials under hers and added a plus sign in between. He gave the Sharpie back. Holly drew a heart around the initials and looked at Vince.
"I'm ready now if you are," she said. They crossed the street and sat in the convertible.
"I've been ready for as long as I've known you." The pulled off into the distance, back to New York, back to Val, back to Gary and Tina. But most of all, back to a new beginning.
A/N: What did you think? Please review!