A.N. Hiyaa Peeps! New Story For You XD
Title: The Promise
Category: Grease (2)
Couples: Stephanie/Michael, Johnny/Paulette, Hint Of Johnny/Stephanie
Characters: Stephanie, Johnny, Michael, Paulette, Sharon, Louis, Goose, Rhonda, Davey, Dolores, Ms Mason, Mr Stuart
Disclaimers: Don't Own, Never Will, But I Loveee My Lil Story Lolz. By The Way, I Know La Caprice's Is In London, And That It Has A Revolving Door, But Just Go With the Flow Here People.
Johnny Nogerelli stared at his watch for what must have been the hundredth time in the past five minutes. He wasn't surprised. She was always late. Always. Why the heck was that? This particular occasion it was 15 minutes. More than some, less than others.
Just as he was pondering crossing the street to use the payphone, her cab pulled up. Her long, blonde hair was gently tousled and bounced around her shoulders. Her make-up was light, but still pretty. She wore a sparkly silver vest, which cut very low. Her black trousers were tailored, and flared from the knee. Her heels were strappy and shimmering silver. So that's why she was late, Johnny thought, too busy making herself look good.
"Hey, Steph!" Stephanie Zinoni looked up at the call of her name. "Hey Johnny" she smiled as she greeted him. She wrapped her long, slender arms around his neck to hug him gently, and he suddenly remembered why he used to have feelings for her. Many of those old feelings came flooding back for a moment as his muscular arms found themselves circling her waist. As she pulled back from the hug, her pale cheek gently brushed his tanned one, and as their lips were just a centimetre apart, he had to tear his eyes from hers to restrain from kissing her. He thought of Paulette. He loved Paulette, he truly did. What he felt for Steph was merely a touch of jealousy, and luck that he was friends with such a beautiful girl, no matter how much she shouted at him.
He remembered fondly the luau after the school talent show. As they had been king and queen, they had to sit on a float together above the water. He had whole-heartedly appreciated the affair as a chance to show off, and be waited on hand on foot. He had a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth, in an attempted sexy manner, which had clearly not been working on Stephanie. He had told her to lighten up, the cigarette fell from his mouth. He had jumped up immediately as he didn't want to get burnt. As he jumped up, he could have sworn he saw a flicker of fear in her eyes for just a second. His mind drifted to another memory, the reason they had broken up in the first place.
They had arrived back from Davey's 17th birthday. It had been an eventful night to say the least. Louis had finally told Sharon how he felt about her, resulting in ex girlfriend Rhonda running into Goose's arms. Turns out she had been harbouring feelings for Goose this whole time. The whole ride home, Stephanie blatantly ignored Johnny, for reasons he couldn't fathom. He had decided two could play at that game. He sauntered over to the fridge, pulled out a beer and cracked it open.
"Oh, sure, more beer, that'll make everything better" Stephanie had muttered. Johnny looked around with a confused look on his face "huh?"
"Oh come on Johnny, you've been drinking all night. And flirting with every girl in sight."
"Huh? Steph, what are you talking about?"
"You! You're always hanging around other girls. How do I know you're not cheating on me?"
"Steph, I wouldn't do that. I love you!"
"What about last week? When we were supposed to go out for that meal? Johnny, you never ever showed up!"
"I told you why, I was with the guys, I lost track of time!"
"Oh sure, use the guys as an excuse!"
Johnny's hand rose, as though about to hit her. When he saw the fear in his eyes, he dragged his hand through his hair as though that was what he was planning to do in the first place.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Oh come on Johnny, you know just as well as I do if I ask the guys if you were with them they will say yes! They always stick up for you!"
"How are you so sure I wasn't with them that day?"
"Because, Johnny! When you didn't show up I was wandering around town, and when I happened to pass by the open door of that jewellery store ten blocks down…"
Johnny's face fell.
"The… the jewellery store?"
"Yes, Johnny. The jewellery store. I'm sure you know what one is. You can't possibly be that thick. Well, I passed by the store and saw you looking at rings with some pretty girl with dark hair! What were you gonna do, marry her and not tell me?
"Steph, that was…"
"I don't care who she was, Johnny! I'm sick of this! We're so done!"
Stephanie had then walked out of the door, slamming it behind her. Johnny didn't bother going after her. He simply walked over to the desk in the corner, opened the drawer, and pulled out a small, velvet box. Inside was a silver engagement ring, with a single diamond on top. Johnny had practically had to sell everything he owned in order to pay for it. He just didn't understand why Steph wouldn't listen when he had tried to tell her the pretty girl was just a sales assistant, who helped him pick it out for her.
Johnny's mind came back to the present. He looked around to discover it was Stephanie's voice that had pulled him away from his thoughts. Well, obviously. No one else was stood outside a restaurant this time of the night, in the freezing cold, on a Saturday night, with Johnny Nogerelli of all people.
"I said, wanna go inside? Its freezing out here and I forgot my Pink Ladies jacket." Johnny smiled, it was typical of her. He dashed forward and held open the door of La Caprice's. Incidentally, this was the restaurant they were supposed to be meeting up at when Johnny was buying the ring. He shook his head to relive his mind of the past and thought again of Paulette. He reminded himself to ask Stephanie if he could give Paulette the ring.
As they stepped inside, the decoration hit them like a beach ball on water – like a slap in the face. A nice slap, though. The monochromatic scheme gave it a Audrey Hepburn kinda feel, and the warmth flooded them compared to the sub-zero temperatures outside. They felt out of place slightly, as the restaurant was filled with mostly couples. As the waiter showed them to a free table, Stephanie smiled at Johnny sweetly. The only time she ever smiled at him like that was when they were together. Which reminded him of his reason for calling this meeting.
After ordering their food, Johnny glanced at Stephanie. She really did look pretty tonight. Stop it, Johnny, stop it, he told himself. "So, Steph, how's your week been?" he asked politely. "Fine, thanks, Sharon and I went shopping on Tuesday, Thursday I went with Lewis and Rhonda to the movies, and yesterday Michael and I had dinner. How's yours been?" "Not too bad, thanks, spent most of it with Paulette but went out with the birds on Tuesday. Course, you'd know that though, since Michael was there. Speaking of Michael, there's a reason I asked you to dinner tonight."
Stephanie looked up, intrigued. That's the thing about Johnny, he may look thick as two short planks but there's always something going on up there, only he'll never let you know what it is. You kinda have to judge what he's thinking by his eyes. Sometimes, it aint too pretty.
"Stephanie, do you remember Davey's 17th?" Stephanie thought for a moment. "You mean when we broke up? Yeah, why?"
Johnny looked at his hands, fidgeting. Better to get it all out in one go than to take it slowly and drag the awkwardness out. "Well the reason I was in the jewellery store was that I was buying you a ring, the woman was a sales assistant helping me, I was gonna ask you to marry me. Looking back though, it was a rash decision. But since it is still technically your ring, I would like to ask your permission to give it to Paulette." There we go. Wasn't so hard, was it? Johnny looked up at Stephanie. Her eyes were slightly wider, but her mouth was still closed. She doesn't regret it, then, Johnny thought. Stephanie opened her mouth to speak.
"You… you were going to… to ask me… to marry you?" Johnny nodded.
"But I broke up with you before you could explain?" Johnny, again, nodded.
"And looking back, a part of you is glad I didn't because it was a rash decision?" Another nod.
"But, hold up, you and Paulette? You reckon you're ready for that?" Johnny looked back up at Stephanie. She was smiling.
"Yeah, ready as I'll ever be." Her smile got wider.
"Then why are you even asking me? Go for it!"
That was why Johnny had loved this girl. She was so, accepting.
"Actually, Steph there's also…"
"Ooh, hold up, foods here!"
Her accepting nature and huge appetite. What she put away on a daily basis would put most men to shame.
"Now, what were you saying?" Stephanie asked once the waiters left.
What was he saying? Johnny's mind had gone completely blank. "I… I can't remember. Why don't you talk for a bit?" he told her. "Erm, ok. Well, Michael and I are going to my parents' barbeque next week. You and Paulette are welcome to tag along if you wish." Michael! That's what he was going to say!
"Ok, so, I remember what I was going to say. You ready for this?" Stephanie looked up expectantly. She was ready.
"Steph, we were great together. I really loved you; still do, just not in the same way. I mean, I have Paulette, you have Michael. I only want the best for you, and since Michael is one of my best friends I feel this my duty. Stick with him, Steph. Don't mess this one up just because someone cooler comes along."
Stephanie coughed nervously. "Ok. First off, thank you, and secondly, I didn't fall for Michael because he was a cool rider. I fell for Michael because he's Michael."
To the impartial observer, that sentence would not make much sense. But to Johnny, it made perfect sense. Michael was, well, Michael. Hell, even Johnny would turn if it meant he got to be with Michael.
"Oh my god!" Stephanie's shrill whisper made him look up. "Check out Ms Mason and Mr Stuart!" Johnny turned, and his eyes found them sitting at a table in the corner. Looks like he turned at precisely the right moment, too, as Mr Stuart stood up, and got down on one knew. And from their faces, she said yes. This was the gossiper's idea of heaven.
After the commotion died down, Johnny turned back towards Stephanie. She smiled. "Steph, I need you to promise me something. I need you to promise you'll be serious with Michael."
As they left the restaurant a while later, they glanced at Ms Mason, trying on her ring, and kissing Mr Stuart. "Aww. Aint that just adorable?" Johnny mimed throwing up into a sick bucket. "Hey, shut up! You'll be doing that soon. Speaking of which, how are you going to ask her?"
A.N. Soooo? How Was It? Liked It? Hated It? Too Long? Too Short? Babbled On A Bit? Let Me Know!