Chapter 8

Her breath caught. "W- what?"

The corners of his mouth twitched upward into an amused smile. "You," he pointed at her. "Me," he jerked his thumb back to himself. "Go out," his pointer and middle finger made a walking motion across a span of air.

Instead of feeling giddy for winning Finn back, Megan felt her entire body sink. Too confusing. Everything is too confusing. She bit her bottom lip and shook her head furiously, curling her fingers around her comforter. Finn blinked, the smile sliding from his face like rain down a window pane. "No," she started, her gaze shying away from his. Creasing her eyebrows, she said again, more firmly, "no." She swallowed thickly, all the night's events replaying over and over in her head. And then the days before the night, and then the week before the days. "No, Finn. No more. I can't keep assuming all these things. I thought we were... you know? And then Kayla walks in, and you didn't even ask to break up with me. But I assumed we did. And then Evan walks in and says basically the same thing you just said–"

"What?" Finn choked, a vein pulsing in his forearm.

She ignored him, pressing on, "and I'm left assuming that now he and I are something, but it's never actually said out loud, and now you're walking right back in like nothing happened and I don't know what to think anymore and it's so confusing and I don't think I can deal with this and I- and I-" she stopped abruptly and sucked in a much needed breath, blinking viciously to keep the tears at bay.

"Evan what?" The sound of Finn's teeth grinding together couldn't have been any louder.

Megan's mouth parted for a second, and this time, she clenched her jaw. "Are you listening to me?"

Without thinking, he scoffed. "I'm sorry, my mind blanked out after what you said about Evan. What did he do?" His anger was just barely constrained, and his eyes were narrowing.

There was a long silence, in which both waited with bated breath for the other's reply. Finally, Megan broke it, her voice soft, tired, "Finn, please leave."

He was taken aback by the unexpected response, having anticipated a long spiel about Evan. "What?"

She heaved a sigh, looked up at her ceiling (but her gaze seemed to go past it to the sky outside her confinements), and shook her head slowly. Strands of her fine hair wisped around before settling and he wanted so badly to run his fingers through them. "You heard me. Just get out," she mumbled, slipping back under her covers. "Please," added as an afterthought.

Finn stood for a second, completely bewildered. Then he turned and left.

School seemed to drag on forever. Normally her class periods flew by and she was kicking dust up with her cleats by this time, but she was still a period before lunch.

Maybe it would have upset Megan, but she was just thankful nobody had heard about the incident last week. Still somewhat shaken up, she could barely get food down the following days. Her soccer performance improved tenfold though; it was just the perfect way to vent her frustrations. Sometimes when she stopped playing for a minute, she'd bend over in pain from the stitches that had caught up with her, and when she stood up straight, pain still shooting up her side, Hailey would glance at her. The first second when their eyes met, her's were always worried, until the blonde had been caught being concerned, and then she would snarl for Megan to stop slowing the team down.

Maybe co-captain wasn't a good idea, she sighed internally, brushing the grass stains off her knees. The pitiful green colour stained them, and she gave up. No. Who am I kidding? I really don't care about sharing the position, and she's good. I really do need to toughen up.

"Megan?" Said girl's head shot up from her downward stare, and Aimee smiled uncertainly at her. "You good?"

"Yeah, no, I don't know. It's complicated." Megan let out a cross between a laugh and a scoff, smiling fakely and rolling her eyes.

"Wanna talk about it later?" The girl cringed, dribbling the soccer ball between her feet.

"Nah, I think I'm good," brushing the pieces of grass out of her hair from her last fall, she rolled her shoulders and neck. "Alright, come at me," a real smile graced her features, and Aimee returned it.

"That's what I like to hear."

After 2 hours of fancy footwork, Megan was drenched in sweat, albeit the cold weather. The girls joined in the locker room to change out for showers. Chatter echoed across the cold steel, but Megan remained silent, sighing contentedly when she stepped under the steaming water.

It'd only been a few minutes when she heard multiple lockers bang shut. Her eyes fluttered open under the water, and she brushed an arm across her face. What? They're leaving already? Peering through the curtains, she glanced at the clock. Oh crap, I've been in here for 25 minutes already.

"Hey Meade," the voice sounded like Ria, "Should we wait?"

"No," she called back, scrubbing vigorously and quickly. "You guys just go."

"Well, ok, but call us if you need anything, ok?"


With that, the door banged shut, their happy laughter leaving fading out. By the time Megan was out of the school, the sun was sinking under the treetops. Evan's Saab was parked near the entrance.

She gulped. She would rather have just walked home. Seriously. She just really didn't want to face Evan right now. In fact, she didn't want to face anybody at the McGowan's, especially not–

"Finn?" She spluttered, as he left from the driver's side and pulled the door open for her.

"Yeah. Evan's out, and I figured you had to get home."

"I kinda planned to walk," she shrugged, looking away pointedly.

"Megan, it's 40 degrees out," Finn deadpanned, staring at her dead-on.

"Really?" Her eyes widened. "I seriously don't feel like it is!" She clutched her cleats to her chest, forgetting that she'd just changed, dirtying her top.

"Well you will when the sun sets," he brought a hand to his temples and rubbed. "Will you stop being difficult and just get in the car?"

Biting her bottom lip and looking down, she obeyed, sliding into the seat. The interior was warm, and even though she was grateful, she wouldn't have admitted it.

"Your welcome," Finn mumbled, shutting the door and striding over to the other side.

The ride was tense, and the air crackled between them... not in a good way. They were stuck in evening traffic, Finn tapping his hand against the stick and restlessly moving it around in neutral. Megan's head stayed turned away from him, trying her best to look anywhere but at him. I just miss when we could talk to each other she sighed in her head.

He broke the silence first. "Can't we just talk to each other? Like... how we use to?" His voice was strained. Their gazes finally met, and Megan tried a smile.

"Yeah, I was hoping maybe we could do that." A sigh of relief left his lips.

"So... what's up?" He didn't take his eyes off the road.

"I don't know. School?" She laughed tightly. It still was off. It still wasn't the same.

"Stupid traffic lights," he muttered under his breathing, slowing to a stop again. Silence filled the spaces between them again, and it proved too much for Finn, who turned to face her. "Megan, look, I can be an idiot sometimes, but–" he lifted his hand to her face, and Megan flinched. He winced, drawing back. "I've really missed you," he started softly.

This is a long light. "I– Um– Yeah," she finished shortly. She just had nothing to say. Finn's eyebrows furrowed just barely, a look of concern just barely ghosting his face. He shook his head just and inch.

"Megan, I don't get it. I thought we had something. You're acting like everything that happened between us meant nothing."

She was speechless.

"How can you just get over me that fast?"

She jumped when his hand met hers, but she didn't move away. His eyes bore into hers, and she felt the heat rise to her face. Move move move, please, she begged to herself. But she was planted in her position. In fact, he was moving closer, and it occurred to her that Finn had never seemed so huge before, but he was towering over her now, and pure panic set into the pit of her stomach.

And then his lips met hers, and it was warm, and everything anxious in her dispelled.

This is a long light, she couldn't help but think. The way his lips moved against hers, it was nothing like the way Evan kissed. He was always the driving force. If kissing was a video game, Evan was Halo or Call of Duty. All power and solo-shooter. But Finn was... I don't know. Warm. Sweet. Slow. I don't know. A two-player game.

I shouldn't be doing this, her insides wrenched suddenly, and she pulled away, lips throbbing and breath shallow. "Oh, no. Oh my god." Without thinking, she scrambled away from Finn, grappled for the car door handle, and stumbled out. The cold air stung her nostrils.

"Megan, are you crazy? You're in the middle of the road! Get back in here!" Finn yelled, reaching across her seat.

Oh my god. "No. Finn. Just... just go."

"Have you lost it?" The light above their heads flickered green, and the cars behind Finn began to honk. "Megan!"

"Finn, just go!" Her mind reeled. "I'd rather walk than sit in the same car with you right now!" She practically spat, dashing to the sidewalk. I hate myself. I hate myself.

Hurt flashed in his blue-grey eyes before it disappeared. He shook his head, looked at her for a minute, then drove off.

At least I left my bookbag in the car. But there was still a weight on her shoulders. What am I supposed to do now? Her eyes trailed after the cars, and she let out a sound of disbelief at herself. Walking. Of course.

Maybe 30 minutes passed, when she heard the rev of a motorcycle. She knew who it was before the vehicle skidded to a stop beside her, and Sean lifted the glass of his helmet. "I heard."

"Thanks," she mumbled, climbing easily onto the back seat, gripping across his jacket. The material was cold against her cheek.

"No problem."

Somewhere in the middle of the drive, the events piled up again, and she couldn't stop fidgeting. Eventually, her frustration built up and slammed against the dam, and a waterfall of tears rushed forth. Oh jeez, I'm a mess, she couldn't help but think. They were home, but she was crying, and his jacket was all wet and talk about embarrassment. She couldn't even catch her breath, and Sean was just standing there. Looking awkward. But he always kind of looked like that, so she didn't know what to think.

"Jeez," she managed, breaths breaking up her syllables," I am so sorry," breath. Breath. Gasp. "I can't believe you have to see me like this," force a laugh.

"It's cool." A few more minutes passed before Megan slipped off the seat, breathing slowly in and out of her nose. "You good?"

"I've been asked that a lot today," she monotoned, letting out a cough of unamused laughter. "Yeah, I think I'm good."

When Megan wasn't sure how quiet conversations could get, Sean was always there to show her exactly how much. "What?" She asked under his intense gaze.

"Honestly?" He kicked the stand out from his motorcycle, parking it in the 4 car garage. "You don't look fine to me." He placed his hands behind her shoulders and led her out back. "How about I bring you down until you... look better."

"Thanks," she said sarcastically, but she couldn't help but smile. Sean was quiet, but... something about him made it hard to worry.

When he opened the door to the basement, it was pitch black. He flicked on a lamp, which lit the room up dimly. "You can sit there," he motioned to the armchair across from a stool as he picked up the acoustic guitar laying on its side. He seated himself on the stool, strumming a few random chords.

"Do you actually have any idea what you're playing?"

"Nope." He replied as if he was telling her the time. "Wanna learn?"

"From who...?"


"You have no idea what you're doing."

"What's your point?" His tone translating roughly to it's 7:15. He got up from his seat and Megan took over.

"Um, ok, sure," and before she knew it, he was lifting the shoulder strap across her shoulder. Then he was behind her and lifting her hands into position.

"This is C," he pulled her fingers across the strings. Then he moved her fingers across the frets and made her strum again. "That's D." So on and so forth. Soon she was playing a song (one she didn't know. If it even existed.)... or he was, but the details weren't going to bother her for the moment.

She was smiling, "I thought you had no idea what you were doing."

He smiled crookedly, shrugging. "Hm." They smiled mutually for a minute in the dim lighting before there was a crash from outside. Sean pulled away, ruffling his short and dark brown hair. "That's the band. You look fine now."

"Thanks," she stepped off the stool, took the guitar off, and handed it to him, climbing up the stairs just as the smell of smoke entered the room and the sounds of greeting set off quietly. Then it occurred to her that she'd never seen Sean smile like that.

Dinner was... normal. Plates were passed, forks were dropped (especially by Ian and Caleb. Ian because he kept trying to fling his peas at everybody, Caleb... just because), and conversation exchanged. Megan's eyes never met with Finn's, and Evan kept trying to meet her eyes, but she avoided him, too. Doug kept kicking her foot under the table and Sean... just wasn't to be seen. The ketchup bottle was to the farthest right, the tallest bottle. Miller kept eyeing Megan and Evan and Finn nervously, as if he could feel the distraught atmosphere.

Strangely, Megan felt fine. Maybe a little bit distant, but... fine. Almost as if nothing about the situation she was stuck in bothered her. When she got up to scrape the leftovers into the tupperware that Regina had left out and place her plate in the sink, Finn got up to follow her.

And so did Evan.

But she didn't noticed and climbed up the stairs to her room, closing the door behind her.

From: Kicker5525

To: TooDamn-Funky

Subject: Re:Re: The Immersion Project

Trace, I think I'm just about to lose it. If it weren't for Sean, seriously... I think

Before she could continue, there was a tap on her door and her window simultaneously. Jumping a little bit, she minimized her window and drew her blinds. Evan smiled from the ledge, and she rolled her eyes, lifting the window pane.

Whoever was at the door knocked again, and it struck her that perhaps John or Regina needed her for something. "Evan, can you duck for a minute?" She whispered, motioning for him to get low. He complied, slipping away. But when Megan opened the door, it was Finn. His hair was tousled, and he looked worried and apologetic. A sheepish look spread when he saw Megan in her pajamas.

"I just wanted to say sorry for what happened this evening," he started rubbing the back of his neck.

"Oh, no, that was my fault, I shouldn't have just left like that. It was stupid of me."

"No," he stopped her abruptly. She started a little. "I meant the kiss."

"Excuse me?" Evan pulled himself up through the window and glared at Finn darkly. "Say that again?"

Fin's gaze hardened. Megan groaned internally. Please have mercy, she prayed, looking to the sky. "Have you been here the entire time?" His steely stare flickered to Megan accusingly for a second before he shook his head quickly. "Whatever," there was a determined look in his clear eyes now. "Yeah, we kissed." His jaw was set, and he looked almost like Evan.

"You kissed him." Evan said stonily, face betraying nothing but neutrality.

She was so sick of it all, she didn't even try to hide anything. "Yeah. Yeah, I did."

Finn smiled triumphantly at Evan, who shook his head. "I got her from you when you turned you back, idiot." And then his smile faltered, and his fist clenched. "You're pretty fast at throwing second place out when first is available.

"Evan!" Megan exclaimed, a look of pure disbelief on her face. Wow, he managed to seriously diss Finn and turn me into an object at the same time. Why did I ever like this guy. Then she mulled over Evan's statement for a second. Why did I ever like either of these guys. Her mind shuttered momentarily to Sean. What? That was uncalled for.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure!" Evan said too lightly for the situation, and Finn ground his teeth. Megan's eyes widened at the callous statement.

"Trash is a bit of a strong word, don't you think?" He said through his teeth.

"Probably a little too light for what you did," Evan's tone never changing.

"Will you shut up?" Finn spat, slamming the door shut behind him. "So I made a mistake. You're definitely not the person to point it out."

Evan's grin dropped, and he dropped an arm over Megan's shoulders. She shitted uncomfortably. "I just figure if I stay with Megan, you won't be able to make the same mistake twice."

"Who said I was?"

"Don't wanna take chances, bro."

"Can you get your arm off her?" Finn stepped forward and pushed his brother's hand away. Immediately, Evan set off.

"She's not yours, Finn, lay off!"

"She's not yours either!"

"More mine than yours!"

"Since when?" Finn exclaimed, raising his hands in the air.

"Since I was seven," Evan growled, pulling the subject of debate to him and kissing her.

Right in front of Finn. Who turned three shades of purple and lunged at Evan. How is nobody hearing this? Megan panicked, and realizing that their feud definitely wouldn't be heard over the sound of Caleb's banshee-shrieks. She pulled Finn off his brother and held him back. "Stop! I can't believe this is happening!" She yelled in exasperation, Finn still struggling against her. "Are you guys serious?" Over me? "If I'm supposed to be flattered, I am definitely not.

Evan, I told you that day that you're lucky to even have a brother. Were you listening to me? It's great to know that what I say goes straight through one ear and out the other. I'm supposed to date an idiot like you?" Her voice rose octave after octave, and her volume was rising. "How can their be anybody more stupid than you two?" She stressed, finally releasing Finn, who slumped against the wall. "Get out!" She screamed, pointing to the door.

Evan stood up slowly, brushed himself off, and left, glaring at Finn, who glared straight back. When he was completely gone, Finn slumped, head hitting the wall with a thwack. "Jeez, I can't thank you–"

Her green eye's flashed, he flinched. "Don't thank me yet. I've seriously had it with you guys. Am I really worth this? I can't believe I've gone from bringing you guys together to ice me to breaking you guys up to have me. This is completely insane." She stood up, grabbed his hand, and pulled him up. "Look, I'm sorry about what happened today, it was stupid of me. But you've been just as stupid, and you know what? Evan is right. I'm not going to take a chance. Kayla's going to be back for more–"

"No, she–"

"Shut up, Finn. Are you a girl? I didn't think so. I know how they work, ok? And she'll be back." She took a deep breath, gathering the courage to say what she had to say, even if her heart ached to say it. "And I don't want to have anything to do with it." She swallowed, blinking furiously. "To do with you."

Dun dun dun dunnn. Yeah... I'm back... it's... really late. I AM SO SORYRY RR AGAWGRGAWRG! So yeah. What has it been, a year? Well, Ima junior in high school now... hahaha! Anyyywwaaaayyysss...

So when Megan pulls Finn off, she doesn't have hulk strength or anything. And it's not that Finn is weak. He just uh... yeah. Just ignore the mechanics for now, LOL.

And maybe you might've noticed my style has changed? I reread the previous chapters before I wrote this, and I actually really liked it. I feel like my writing now is a bit more detached (I've been practising my writing, but my style just sorta turned into this, mewehehhh. T.T), and that my previous writing fit the book more. D: But I guess that's all up to you guys! I hope it doesn't upset any of you guys...

And yeah, as you can see, a little bit of MeganxSean going on here...mweeehehehe. :3 But not for long, I am sorry. You can stop reading now if that's all you were waiting for. -cry cry-

ANYWAYS, I DON'T KNOW WHEN I'LL HAVE THE NEXT CHAPTER UP, SO I HOPE YOU GUYS REALLY ENJOY THIS! :D:D I think it's longer than normal. LOL. (yeah. Along with the style change came my tendency to just start writing really long. You know, it's so interesting to see my writing evolve! It's the best thing about FF.)

Oh! I just found my original start for chapter 8, and it hits really close to how this chapter began! O.O Here you go, in case you wanted to read it. :D

Her breathing stopped, stilled completely. "What?"

"Think about it," Finn smiled crookedly, turning and leaving in one motion. Smooth.

Megan sat, confused and a little angry. He'd just broken up with Kayla; what was she, a rebound? She refused to be an emotional uplift. Just because Kayla hadn't been what he had wanted, just because he was broken up about it, she wasn't going to make him feel any better. She was sick of being pulled around by Evan and Finn. I need a break, she thought bitterly, closing her laptop a little too angrily.