Title: Being Nikki, Take Two
****CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BEING NIKKI****
Part Two: This follows almost exactly the same as the book but in Christopher's POV. However, once you reach the end, I have an alternate ending compared to Meg's version. So most of it is the same as Meg's version, until the ending. I hope that makes sense!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Meg Cabot is the author of Airhead and Being Nikki as well as all of the well-written and amazing characters!
First, I want to say that I never in a million years thought I would be making out with Em on Nikki Howard's bed…..or, well I guess, it was kinda her bed now. But, that's not the point.
Also, I definitely didn't think it'd be this amazing. I mean, yeah, once Em died (or at least when I thought she was dead), I definitely imagined a million different scenarios of how I would kiss her or what I would do if she somehow was alive again. I replayed them over and over in my head. Sometimes, I would even lie in bed and close my eyes and imagine she was there. And, ok, maybe that's a bit much. But, hey, I thought she was dead and I would never see her again. The only thing that helped me make it through was imagining that she was with me.
So the moment I opened the file that said Emerson Watts and realized that Em was still alive, just in another body, I can't even describe what I felt. It was definitely the best moment of my entire life, well until now, of course.
I literally shed a tear when I found out. And, ok, I'd never admit that to anyone, but it's true. Can you blame me though? I mean, I thought she was dead and I loved her. I had bargained with God over and over again. "If you'd just give her back to me, I wouldn't lose her again." Or "If I could have one more chance, I wouldn't screw it up. I'd show her how loved she really was. I'd make her mine."
Of course, at the time, it was futile. I never really believed that I would get a second chance with her. So, when I opened that file it was the opportunity of a lifetime:
"What?!" I shouted, jumping out of my chair as I saw Em's file. "A…br….brain transplant?" I asked in shock.
"Yep, that's what it says," Felix stated, looking shocked, but not nearly as shocked as I was.
"Wow, I didn't even know that was possible yet. I mean, I thought it was still years away from occurring. But to think that it's happened. And that's it's happened to Em….to my Em….." I said, still in a daze. It hadn't really clicked yet.
"Your Em?" Felix asked, raising his eyebrows and smirking.
"Well, she will be. Soon. Very soon, in fact. I'm going to see her tonight," I said, making up my mind.
"But, Chris. She's Nikki Howard now. I mean, she could have any guy she wants…."
"Thanks for the encouragement, cuz," I scowled. "But I don't care. I have to try. I told myself if I ever got another chance, I wouldn't miss it. Besides, she's still Em. Just because her body changed doesn't mean that who she is has changed…."
I finally remembered everything we had talked about while she was in Nikki's body. Playing Journeyquest and how she was shocked that I finally beat the Dragons of Pith. And The glow in the dark dinosaur stickers! It finally made sense! She was trying to tell me this whole time! But I was an idiot not to notice.
Although, I mean, what guy would really stop and say, "Huh, maybe the girl who was my best friend that I realized I'm in love with had her brain transplanted into this super model's body."
Yeah, I couldn't think of anyone either.
"I'm going to go for it, Felix," I said, smiling. "But first, I need to find out some more about all of this," I said, pushing him away from the computer.
"Hey, man. Careful. This is top of the line materials here," he said, offended.
"Whatever. I don't care. I have to do this for myself," I said, opening every file I could find that seemed related.
"Fine, whatever. Don't let me stand in your way," he said, backing off with his hands up.
I guess he wanted a reaction, but I didn't have time. I saw all the files. I saw exactly what happened with her surgery and all of the doctors who performed the said surgery. I saw all of the records of her recovery. I even saw files with audio recordings of her house………and…..mine? First, that's incredibly creepy. Secondly, no wonder she was acting so weird when she was crying in my room the other day. She knew it was bugged. No wonder she couldn't tell me the truth.
I saw the documents and contracts that her parents were forced to sign to keep quiet.
So they thought they were going to basically blackmail them to keep their mouths shut, huh? No wonder Em didn't come out and tell me. If she did, she knew they would overhear since my room was bugged. And if they found out, her family would be in a very difficult situation.
It was so like Em to suffer for everyone else. She was lonely and hurting, I could tell. But it didn't matter. All that mattered was keeping her family out of harm. At that moment, I fell even more in love with her, if that was even possible.
After I found out everything I could, I grabbed my new leather jacket and headed out the door. Yeah, I changed my look after Em died. But, well I didn't want to be anything like the person I was. I didn't want to remember her and be in pain. Plus, the person I had been was an idiot. I didn't tell Em I loved her, because I was too stupid to realize it. I was a fool and idiot, and I had lost her. But now that I had another chance, I refuse to lose her again. I walked out into the winter cold and headed straight for her loft.
But anyway, as I was saying, I never imagined I'd be making out with Em like this. And I mean I always knew that I'd enjoy it if I did, but I never thought I'd enjoy it this much. I was definitely having feelings that I didn't even know existed. The way her lips felt on mine and the way her body arched closer to me was pure ecstasy. Not to mention the way it felt when her lips met the spot above my collar bone. I thought I was going to die with desire. It was incredibly hard to keep my hands to myself. I definitely didn't want to, but I knew I couldn't push it.
I didn't want to scare her off. I mean, as far as I knew, Em hadn't had any experiences like this with other guys. I mean, she would have told me when we were friends, right? Plus, we spent so much time together, I'm sure I would have known. Thinking about her like this with another guy made me sick.
And then I froze. But the past few months, I hadn't been with Em all the time. Plus, Em wasn't exactly the same person anymore. Well, she was to me, but not to everyone else. Now, she was Nikki Howard, which was every guys epitome of beauty. I mean, did Nikki Howard have a boyfriend? Did Em make out with other guys like this now that she was in Nikki's body? Was I not the first guy she was like this with?
The thought made my blood boil and my insides turn. To think that some other guy could have had his hands all over my Em like this made me furious. I was having such a new feeling that I wasn't sure what it was. And then I realized. I was jealous. I was jealous of something that I wasn't even sure had ever happened.
I mean, she was in Nikki Howard's body. And Nikki Howard's tongue sure knew how to make me feel things that I had never thought I would experience. So, was this Nikki Howard's experience or Em's experience making her such a good kisser (among other things)? And if it was Nikki Howard, had Em taken part in any of this since she took over Nikki's body?
My mind kept racing with these thoughts and my blood was boiling with jealousy. But at the same time, I was filled with passion and desire and love and happiness to be finally kissing Em. I had way too many emotions inside to be able to fully comprehend anything.
But I realized that I didn't need to worry about other guys. Even if Em had been with this like other guys (I really hope not!), what she said to me changed everything. Em loved me! ME! Christopher!
Even though she was in Nikki's body, she still loved me. And she said that I am the most important person to her. Not was the most important, but that I STILL AM the most important.
I felt so relieved and happy in that moment, I just couldn't contain it.
Everything was perfect. I finally was able to be with Em. She told me that she loved me and how it was so hard for her to be alone, and I told her how I had felt. I told her she didn't have to worry that I would never let her go again. And I meant it.
Everything was perfect. Although, when Em sat up, I started to worry. But she assured me that she just needed to go check on Frida.
It's just like Em to worry about her sister no matter what's going on. She loved her family so much, but that's part of why I loved her.
So, I kissed her one last time, about to head out of the room, when the door opened, and someone called her name. Well, not HER name, exactly, but close enough.
"Nikki?" some guy asked. I couldn't see who he was. But at that moment, I hated him for interrupting us. As soon as he called her name, Em jumped out of my arms and ran after him.
"Brandon," she said, jumping out of my arms like I disgusted her.
What was that about? Just a minute ago, she was telling me how much she loved me, now this? What was going on?
Then I realized who it was. Brandon. Brandon Stark. Nikki's boyfriend, or well hopefully EX-boyfriend considering that she wasn't really Nikki anymore and that I DEFINITELY planned on filling the role of boyfriend now that I knew the truth.
I furrowed my brow and followed him and Em out of the room when he mentioned Frida.
I would have punched him for interrupting, but A) He was wasted, and that would be completely unfair, B) He had come to get Em to help Frida, and C) I didn't really know what his and Em's relationship was, and I didn't want to make her angry by socking some guy. I mean, yeah, even if his father was Robert Stark, I didn't want to make assumptions about his son. You can't pick your parents.
So I just followed them out of the room, annoyed, but I tried to hide it and be understanding. Plus, it's Frida. Which means, she's important to Em, which is definitely important to me. After all, I did sort of feel like her older brother after all this time.
Plus, so many guys were coming on to "Nikki" as we walked by. I had to go with and show them she was definitely not theirs to take. I gave every one of them a menacing glare as we walked past. I saw them slowly saunter off. I guess my new hair cut and leather jacket, mixed with a little bit of weight lifting, plus take into account my height and the fact that I'd become more of an angry person since the "Stark incident", I apparently came across as someone you didn't mess with. So I glared at all of the guys wanting to hit on Nikki and they walked away with their tails between their legs.
We ran into Lulu saying something about "Nikki's" brother, before she mentioned me. I said hi back, before I noticed Frida next to Gabriel Luna. We walked over and realized that Frida was vomiting out the window, due to, according to Gabriel, an open bar. Apparently, some guy named Justin had been telling Frida she was drinking fruit punch. This made me incredibly angry. After all, she was sort of like my little sister.
I realized that I've had a lot of anger recently.
We walked over to this tool, Justin, and Em demanded to see his cell phone. I wasn't really sure why, but I trusted Em. He handed it over, but he didn't want to at first. Plus, the comments he made had me fuming. I know that I shouldn't take my anger out on others, but I mean he practically just called Em a slut right in front of my face. What was I supposed to do?
So I did the first thing that came to mind, I put him in a headlock and made him apologize. Then I held him just a little longer. It felt nice to be in control and finally take out my anger on someone. But then Em said I should let go, so I did. I mean, I didn't want her thinking I was a supervillian or whatever.
Anyway, we forwarded some number to Felix, before he returned my call. I answered to have him tell me that it was coming from a Dr. Fong's house, who just happened to be a surgeon who had worked for Stark and had helped perform Em's surgery. I clenched my fists and asked Em if we could talk in private.
But "Nikki's" brother said no. I mean, he wasn't really her brother, anyway. She wasn't Nikki. She was Em! MY Em!
But Em seemed fine with it, meaning that obviously, he must have known something, so I reluctantly handed over the information.
We all managed to somehow steal that idiot drunk's limo, tossing him into the limo with us. Then we all headed out to Dr. Fong's place. But, of course, we couldn't use the GPS so I had to look up directions on my iPhone. The last thing we needed was Stark finding us for one little mistake.
Luckily, we managed to ditch that Gabriel Luna guy. And, ok, he seemed like an okay guy, but I was really uncomfortable with the way he kept staring at her, especially at her lips. He was staring at her lips as if……well as if his lips had been on hers previously. Which I definitely did not like. At all.
We finally reached the house and Em tried to climb over me and go in without me. I have no idea what she thought was doing, but after all of this, there was no way she was doing anything without me ever again.
So we all headed up to his door. When he finally answered, he was about to shut us out, if it hadn't been for Steven's swift and agile movements. Boy, was he fast! I'm glad I didn't have to fight him, since of course, he wasn't involved with Stark and he obviously wasn't vying for Em/Nikki's affections. I mean, granted, she wasn't his sister anymore, but it was still her body with her DNA. And yeah, well I don't want to think about it. It's way too weird. Anyway, I'm just glad we were on the same team.
Dr. Fong still refused to let us in, until I offered a piece of information that he couldn't refuse. But he looked incredibly scared. Then he went on to say that they killed to protect their secret. I knew we were in dangerous territory here. I felt Em tense up, and rubbed her arm to calm her.
After assuring Dr. Fong that we weren't followed, he went on to explain the Hippocratic Oath and he started to tell his story of what they tried to do to Nikki's brain. Man, Stark was more messed up than I had thought.
When Nikki and Steven's mother emerged, I could tell that Em felt really uncomfortable. I put my arm around her to help ease her tension before trying to comfort Mrs. Howard.
Finally, after what seemed like a long while, another girl came down the stairs. I was already sure who it was and it confirmed my suspicions when I saw her attack Em. I wish I had a faster reaction time. I could have separated them, but Steven and Mrs. Howard got to it first. I wish I had been able to protect Em, but I was still in shock.
So then, finding out that Nikki knew a secret about Realms and the Stark Quarks was another shock. But the fact that they'd kill for whatever that secret was, well it had to be HUGE.
Anyway, I tried to re-direct the conversation to the main point, and I asked if she sent any emails to anyone else. And then she said it.
She'd sent e-mails to Brandon Stark. The evil one who I hated with a passion. Besides the fact that his dad was Robert Stark. I might be able to forgive him for that.
But I couldn't forgive him for being "Nikki's" ex, because I knew what that meant. I mean, it's not like they could just break up completely after the accident. It would be way too suspicious. So obviously, something was still going on between them. I wasn't sure what, but there had to be something. Even if Em didn't like it, I'm sure she still played along to an extent, in order to protect her family. I'd seen it over and over. Em sacrificed herself to protect the ones she loved. It made me love her more, but it made me hurt.
I wanted Em to be able to be herself and be happy and not worry about everyone else. It hurt me to know that she was hurting just to help everyone else. But that's not who she was. She would always put everyone before herself.
So, as if on cue, she volunteered to go check on Brandon. I was still fuming, or I would have offered to go. Before I realized what was going on, I noticed Em walking out the door.
Oh well, it would only be a minute, and she would come back, say he was asleep and everything would be fine. Right?
I noticed that she was out there a little longer than I was comfortable with. I was just about to go check on her when I saw her come in the door. Even though I was trying to give Mrs. Howard advice, my mind never wandered away from Em and if she was okay outside. I had a bad feeling about something.
Finally, Em came back in, and Lulu asked about Brandon. Brandon walked in behind us, informing everyone that Em had told him everything.
My eyebrows furrowed and I fumed. WHAT?! Why would Em tell him? His father is the evil one! Even if he wasn't his father, it was still riskier with the son knowing the truth. What if it slipped? Or, what if he was like his father? This was dangerous and stupid. Em definitely wasn't that stupid, right?
And she couldn't really trust this guy that much, right? RIGHT?!!
Brandon then offered his solution of how the Howards would go away with him to South Carolina where they'd be safe. I didn't really trust him, but whatever, at least it was a plan, which was better than I'd come up with. I had thought of, well….nothing.
But then he said the one thing that made my blood boil and my heart freeze over.
"And we're in luck since Em has agreed to come with us"
My heart broke. It felt like the day that I had heard Em had died. Go with them? With the Howards? And BRANDON STARK? But….Why?!
Why would she leave me, if she loved me like she said she did?
I looked at her for an answer, but she wouldn't look me in the eye. She kept looking at the floor, and her face was pale as a ghost. Something was definitely wrong.
Please look at me, Em. Please. I'm begging you. Let me look into your eyes so I can know the truth.
But she didn't.
I finally regained composure enough to hear Brandon apologize for this "mess."
It took everything I had not to punch him just then! MESS! MESS?!!!!!!!!
He called this a mess?
They tried to have Nikki murdered. They put someone else's brain into her body? A family had to run to be safe from being murdered. A doctor's life was at stake. Em had to leave her family and ME and pretend to be someone else to save her family. And that was a MESS?!
I started breathing so hard, I thought I was going to hyperventilate.
Then I looked at Em, who still wouldn't look at me.
"You're not actually going with this clown, are you, Em?" I asked, my eyes and heart pleading that she would just say no.
"Do we have to discuss this now?" Em asked, sounding hopeful and scared.
What was going on?
But I was too angry to wait.
"Yeah. Right now would be good actually," I said, still fuming.
I heard Lulu talking about sending them their stuff, and I briefly mentioned that the package could be traced, still angry.
"Em, I really need to talk to you," I practically begged. I might as well have gotten down on my knees and groveled by the way this was turning out. I couldn't lose her again. She just couldn't leave me like this. Not after I finally got her back!
But Brandon wouldn't let me talk with her. I wanted to punch him so badly.
I noticed Em and Lulu talking, but I couldn't hear what they were saying, because I was still so vivid.
"Take care of her," Em told me, practically begging. I nodded. I had to show Em I could be there for her. I had to do at least one thing for her.
The Howards were ready and they turned to leave, but I grabbed Em's wrist. She could NOT leave me like this. Not after I'd just gotten her back!
I noticed Em glance toward Brandon and I saw him smirk. Something fishy was definitely going on.
"Em, what you are doing? Why are you going with them?"
"I have to," she said, without looking me in the eyes.
Why wouldn't she look into my eyes? What was she hiding?!
I knew she was hiding something, because she never avoided eye contact like this!
"Why? They'll be all right. Steven's with them."
"Because, Brandon asked me to," she said. Now THAT made me really angry. And why wouldn't she look me in the eye?!
"Brandon asked you to? Who the hell cares what Brandon Stark wants?" I asked, practically screaming.
Then Brandon interrupted.
"Uh, I believe she might. Tell him, Em." He said, still looking at us.
"Tell me what?" I asked, curious.
"Tell him. About us," he said.
I flinched. Us?! There was an us?!
So I was right all along? Em had kissed someone else and been with someone else. And in enemy territory of all places. This didn't sound like Em. I didn't want to believe it.
"Us? There's an us with you and Brandon? When did this happen?" I asked. I mean, when did this have time to happen? She was just making out with me not too long ago, and telling me she loved me.
She then went on to tell me that she tried to tell me before. But that wasn't possible. We had PLENTY of time in her bedroom. There was no way she had tried to tell me.
Plus, she still wasn't looking me in the eye. What was up with her?
But then the words came. The words that cut deeper than any pain I had ever felt.
"But you waited too long—you waited until I was someone else. Until I was with someone else."
I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Or stabbed a knife into my heart and ripped it out forcefully.
"What are you talking about?" I asked, as my voice cracked. I really thought I was going to cry.
"Maybe if you had just liked me the way I was before. But you didn't and now it's too late."
Too late? Too late. Those words echoed in my mind, haunting my soul.
It couldn't be too late. That was impossible. She just told me she loved me. She had to be lying. She had to, right?
But, if she was lying, why did it feel so painful? Why did it hurt so badly? Why did my chest feel tight with every word. Why did the blood drain from my face? Why did I think that it would be less painful to die than to experience this? If it was just a lie, why did it feel so real?!
"I'm with Brandon now. I….I love Brandon. And I'm going with him. So….goodbye. Good-bye, Christopher," she finished.
She went to duck into the limo. But I grabbed onto her wrist.
I had to know, just to be sure. I HAD to know.
"What are you doing?" Brandon spat at me.
But I didn't care. I had to know the truth. I couldn't bear for it to end this way.
I pulled her into a hug as I held her.
Brandon was about to move to pull her away, but I stopped him.
"Brandon, don't. Just please. This is the last time. I just wanted to hold her one last time to say goodbye," I said, my voice cracking again.
He glared at me and rolled his eyes, but sighed.
"Em, please," I whispered into her ear. I barely moved my lips and I tried to be as quiet as possible so no one could hear. I tried to blink it back, but a tear escaped my eye.
I felt Em tense as I said that.
"Please, Chris. You have to trust me. Please just play along," she whispered back, before pulling away. It was so quiet that I barely even heard it, but I did hear it.
The whisper came out in such agony that my heart broke again. But this time, for her. Play along?
So she didn't love Brandon, right? She's just acting.
But why? What happened? Why hadn't I follower her outside?!
But she asked me to trust her. I didn't want to. I didn't want to lose her again. But she had asked me to trust her. And I did trust her. So that's what I did.
"Goodbye, Em," I said. Even if I was playing along, the words felt like knives coming up out of my throat. "If Brandon makes you happy, then that's all I wish for you. I'll always love you. But I just want you to be happy. So Goodbye," I finished, choking back the tears.
I saw Em's shoulders start to shake, as if she was about to cry, and I saw Lulu's eyes practically pop out of their sockets.
Brandon, Mrs. Howard, and Nikki all crowded into the limo.
I glanced quickly at Steven, and mouthed, Please take care of her.
He nodded and climbed into the limo.
I looked back at Em, one last time. My heart was breaking, because I felt as thought I was knowingly letting her go. After I promised that I would never do so again. But I had to trust her.
She told me she loved me, right? She loved me, not Brandon. I mean, she said so herself. She had to love me, right?
I was still questioning this, when I looked back at her. Right before she climbed into the limo, she mouthed the words "I love you" to me.
It was so quick that I almost thought I imagined them, but I hadn't. I knew that I hadn't, because the look in her eyes told me otherwise.
Before I could respond, she climbed into the limo with everyone else.
The limo pulled away, but I couldn't move. I stood there staring at the limo retreating. Even though the windows were tinted, I had a feeling that Em was staring right back.
So I mouthed the words, "I love you too."
Finally, the limo was out of eyesight and I knew what I had to do.
I wasn't sure what had happened with Em and Brandon outside, but I was going to find out. I was going to find out what had happened between them.
I was also going to find out what Stark was hiding about the Quarks.
And I was going to take them down and save Em, even if I had to do it alone.
I was still staring, when I felt Lulu walk up beside me. The cab would probably be here any minute. It was cold standing outside, but somehow, the cold outside could not compete with the numb feeling that I felt inside.
"She loves you, you know. She told me." Lulu said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
I looked at Lulu. Then I remembered the way Em had looked before she got into the limo. It was the same look she gave me in her bedroom just a while back, which compared to all that had occurred in such a short time just now, felt like it had been ages ago. But I still remembered that look and I knew.
"I know," I said, sighing into the crisp night air.
"We're going to get her back," Lulu said.
"Yes, we are," I said, knowing that I was right.
I lost Em before, and I promised that I would NEVER lose her again. I would die before I would let her go.
At least, for now, she was safe with Steven while I found out a way to get her back without harming anyone.
But I was going to get her back.
I had never broken a promise, and I was not about to start now.
Brandon Stark, you'll be sorry you EVER messed with Christopher Maloney.
A/N: That's the end! I hope that you like it. Sorry so much of it was just repeat of the book, but I love seeing Christopher's opinion.
Please review?! It really makes me happy and it makes me want to write fics more frequently.
I want to write another Airhead fic but I'm not sure what to write? All of Being Nikki from Chris's POV? Or what happens with Lulu and Christopher after Em leaves with the Howards and Brandon? Or do you have any suggestions of an Airhead fic you'd like to see? If so, let me know!
But, PLEASE review?! Whether it's praise or criticism, just let me know what you think! =)
And Thanks for reading!