Final chapter! It's been a bumpy ride, but it's finally here! :)
The picture of Sonny and Nathaniel sitting in the front booth of one of the most elegant restaurants in town, Sonny clad in her beautiful red dress while Nathaniel sported a classy tuxedo, was purely adorable enough to make any old couple in Hollywood coo and remember their golden days. Any given passerby on the street was guilty of stealing a glance at the young pair and thinking that they were perfect for each other – like a match made in heaven. Even Nathaniel had admitted to himself that they would make a lovely couple and had thought their date was going well enough to make the chance of that a highly likely one. Sonny had taken notice of the people watching them, feeling utterly flattered by the unspoken compliments.
"You know," Nathaniel smiled at his date, "if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were too beautiful to be human. Are you sure you aren't a robot or something?"
Sonny grinned at the compliment and said, "I'm most definitely not a robot. Or an alien, either."
"God must've spent a little more time on you, then."
"Did you really just quote Nsync?"
"I guess I did," he laughed with a shrug. "But I mean it. Really, I do," he gazed at her, admiring her. His eyes were rather striking, Sonny admitted to herself, dark brown pools that seemed to go on endlessly. And his smile was rather charming, his pearly white teeth looking like perfection while his lips seemed so inviting - kissable, even. His words were rather poetic, though a little bit cheesy, but Sonny admired even his failed attempts at flattering her. Any girl would be lucky to have him, she concluded.
But if she was as lucky as she assumed she was, then why was it that her smile seemed so forced?
And the shot changes to Chad Dylan Cooper – lonely, sitting in utter silence in his dressing room because returning to his house felt like too much of an effort. It was all the poor boy had in him to drag himself back to his current position. He was undergoing a foreign emotion he'd never experienced before, which after much thought and reviews of old and dramatic MacKenzie Falls episodes, he decided was worthlessness. Without Sonny, he was worthless. He had absolutely no worth. He was beginning to wonder if he could pull himself together enough to film his scenes the next day, and if he lost his acting abilities than he truly was a worthless piece of flesh and bones.
Before he knew what he was doing, he'd reached across the center table to grab the remote and turned the television on to channel twenty-five. Sonny was wearing some ridiculous maid costume, running around the stage frantically trying to meet Tawni's demands. Cinder-Sonny, the skit was called. Chad might have barked out a laugh had he been able to process the humor in it.
An hour and two episodes of So Random! later and there's a knock on his door that he chooses to ignore. He figures they'll go away soon enough, leaving the bruting Chad Dylan Cooper all by his lonesome.
A minute later, there's another knock that he doesn't attend to.
A few seconds pass by and there's two more knocks on his door, which he pretends he doesn't hear.
Two minutes go by and he thinks that the person finally left, like he was sure he knew they would. He was partly right because the knocking stopped, but the person responsible had walked into his room and sat down on the other end of the couch. When he pushed himself to see who it was, he found that he was face to face with Sonny Monroe, only a couch cushion separating them. His face remained unchanged, though his brain was furiously trying to process that she was actually in the room with him and his heart began to speed up wildly. And when she smiled at him, he felt the corners of his mouth flick up momentarily before returning to their statue-like position.
"So what are you watching?" Sonny gestured toward the television and grinned knowingly.
"Nothing," Chad fumbled around with the remote control in his hands and his face became hot as he tried to turn it off, as if it wasn't too late to hide the evidence. She reached out to him and grabbed the remote, placing it on the table and returning her gaze to him. It was then that he noticed that she was still in her red evening gown, makeup still applied and jewelry still worn as if she came straight here after her date. It was unlikely, though, considering they'd only left about an hour and a half ago.
"Can I ask what happened?" he finally spoke curiously, gesturing to her attire.
"Well, why be on a date when I could just stay here and watch So Random! with you?" she smiled with a shrug, furthermore confusing him. He decided not to further question it, recognizing that it was her way of avoiding the topic. It was fine with him, though, because she was there with him and at that point it was all that mattered to him.
"Listen," they said simultaneously.
"I'm sorry!" they apologized in the same instant.
Their faces both flushed as Sonny held up her hand and said, "You can go first."
"Okay," he let out a nervous laugh. "I just wanted to say that I'm sorry," he struggled, this being his first (sincere) apology, "about completely blowing you off after the other night and then preceding to continuously push myself into your personal life when it wasn't my place at all."
"I forgive you for blowing me off," she said, "but about you pushing yourself into my personal life?" Chad gulped audibly as she paused, but she sent him a reassuring smile and said, "I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Well, apology accepted," he replied. It was all so formal, so polite, so vague. Chad felt like he had so much more to say to her, but couldn't even begin to put it into decent enough words that would get his point across. But when she smiled at him, his thoughts and surroundings melted away to the point where all he could see was her.
"So we're good?" she asked, slowly pulling him back to reality.
"Of course," he grinned. At first it looked like she took this response as an acceptable one, but after a while her smile faltered. Chad's eyebrows furrowed and he tried desperately to read her – figure out what was going on in her head. Before he could properly try, though, she'd looked up at him questionably.
"But as what?"
He didn't understand the question, and when he saw vulnerability in her eyes his hands began to shake, his palms sweating as he realized the importance of this question to her. If she was going in the direction he thought she was, their relationship could change forever. Not forever as in the teenage forever that only lasts for two weeks, but the permanent forever that lasts a lifetime.
"What do you mean?"
She was nervous. Beyond nervous. She'd reached the point where her nerves had gone so wild that she couldn't even feel anything in her hands, a sweltering heat radiating throughout her body. Once she asked this question, she knew that there was no turning back for them. His answer to what she was about to ask could change them completely if she were to get the answer she'd been (secretly) hoping for.
"What are we Chad?"
His heart began beating erratically to the point where he was just about sure it was going to pop right out of his chest. There she sat in front of him, wearing the most beautiful dress that he'd ever seen and wearing such a perfect amount of makeup that he was nearly convinced she came straight out of a storybook.
And she was asking him to define their relationship.
At that moment, pictures of Sonny entered and exited his mind like wildfire. Still frames of her flew in and out of his head so quickly that he didn't even have time to process them all. There was one of her wearing that silly blonde wig, and another one where she was sitting alone at her lunch table. Another picture was one he'd seen not too long ago, the one of her standing alone in the parking lot as she waited for Nathaniel. All of these moments that he'd seen her, all of these moments where they'd interacted were flooding his every thought and they just came quicker and quicker until the last one – a picture of her smiling over her shoulder at him, carrying a hammer because they'd been building doghouses all day – exploded into a thousand little pieces that rained across his mind until the image of her looking at him now clouded his vision.
"I can't," he said softly, "I can't really put it into words."
"Try," she demanded quickly, quietly. "For me?"
"I," he stopped, "I – uh," he stuttered, "I like you," he finally said slowly.
"As what?" she whispered shakily, the vulnerability in her eyes shining stronger than ever before. He realized that she'd just given him the power to completely humiliate her, giving him endless possibilities to embarrass her not only in front of him but in front of the entire MacKenzie Falls cast had he told them the story. She'd just given him this power over her, but she trusted him enough to not worry about the consequences. She trusted him with her pride. She trusted him with her feelings.
She trusted him.
Chad had never felt such a thing before, from anyone. No one had ever given him so much. No one had ever treated him so real, like he was more than just Chad Dylan Cooper: movie star extraordinaire. No one had ever given him the power to break them. No one made him feel like Sonny, and he wondered if anyone could ever live up to the high he felt when he was around her.
Sonny didn't need a verbal answer from him anymore, because she got her answer from his eyes. And before she knew it, they had moved so close together that she could feel his breath against her lips. Her eyes were closed, trusting. He closed the gap between them and they kissed, soft and sweet – meaningfully.
She pulled away after a while, and he had to resist pulling her into him again because he felt like he could soar on that kiss for weeks. Leaning her head on his shoulder, she reached for the remote and switched the television to channel twelve.
"Let's watch some MacKenzie Falls," she grinned up at him as he slipped his arm around her shoulder and laughed.
She giggled against his chest, just above his heart, and he swore that it fluttered.
So it's no work of art, and it's a little (and by little I mean utterly) cheesy, but it's finally finished! Thank you all, again, so much for reviewing and sticking with it. You're the greatest!