Every Little Girl's Dream
It was every little girl's dream to go to prom with the quarterback of the football team, but not Claire Simon's. Her dream was to go with someone else entirely.
But when Mac Reed had asked her, she had said "Um, sure". Claire had to admit that they made sense together. She was the head cheerleader. He was the starting quarterback. In the world of cutthroat high school ethics the two of them were two cuts of the same cloth.
Claire remembered watching the prom processional at the La Push High School ever since she was three years old, when they moved down to the Quileute reservation. She had always stared in envy and awe at the "big girls" in their large poofy dresses, how all their hair was elegantly put up into all kinds of hair styles, how they shone with the glitter of their make-up.
She had always thought of them as Cinderella's, all of them becoming beautiful princesses until the stroke of midnight, which was, incidentally, the time prom ended. Then they would become regular people again, just like her.
Needless to say it was one of Claire's favorite past times growing up.
And now it would be her turn to have the magic to change her.
It wasn't like Claire had never been asked before, because she had. She was asked when she was a freshman, even. Last year she was asked twice! But even though she loved watching everyone dress up and go, she had never wanted to go with anyone except one person.
And the sad thing was that person really couldn't even ask her.
So, because she was a senior and she really wanted to go, she was going with Mac Anderson.
Not that there was anything wrong with Mac, because their wasn't. He was nice, extremely fit and athletic, and he and Claire looked like two beautiful young people when they were together. They seemed perfect for each other.
But they weren't. Because there was one person that was even more perfect for her, she was sure of it. It just so happened that he didn't realize it yet.
Claire sighed as she looked at the mirror one last time as she put on her mother's pearls, her father told her her mother would have wanted her to wear them, even if she wasn't wearing them on her wedding day. Her mother, before she died, knew how much she loved prom and had weaved stories into Claire's head about going to prom with her high school sweetheart with her hair pinned up and wearing something special of her mom's since her mom wasn't able to go to prom herself.
She was going like she had wanted to all those years ago. She was wearing her mother's pearls, a pink sparkly dress with yards and yards of fabric all the way to the floor in such a way that it looked like she gliding on air when she walked.
Her make-up was done by her Aunt Emily, who was quite a whiz with a make-up brush for a person who didn't wear any, and Leah had done her hair. It was all up, done with all sorts of clips and things to keep the curled curls in her hair so that her stubbornly straight hair wouldn't fall down because of how heavy it was.
While they were helping her get ready Kim and Rachel were taking all sorts of "Before" and "After" photos to put in their Wolf Girl's photo album, which they updated every year, especially with pictures of Claire, since she happened to be the youngest, which created more opportunities to take more pictures.
Flash. A picture of Claire going to the first day of kindergarten. Flash. A picture of her holding out the first tooth that she ever lost, grinning in such a way to show off the missing tooth. Flash. A picture of Claire at her awkward years with her first boyfriend, Jimmy Roberts. Flash. A picture of her at her first football game with her cheerleading uniform on.
Sadly, they were all there open for anyone to see. Hopefully they wouldn't show Mac tonight. If they did, Claire was pretty sure that she would die a slow, painful death.
They were all downstairs, waiting for the first chance to ambush her with her "complete" look done. She decided to give them what they were all wanting and went down the stairs.
As she had expected, they had all been waiting for her. "But your date's not here!" Rachel protested when she had come downstairs.
"When he comes I'll hop back up the stairs and come down when you call my name."
"Fair enough," Rachel agreed and began taking pictures along with Kim.
Claire felt her brow furrow as she looked around. Someone was missing. Where was he? "He's just running a little bit late, honey. Don't worry about it, I promise he'll be coming. He wouldn't miss this for anything," Kim grabbed her hand and squeezed it. It was amazing how perceptive she was, Claire always noticed that. Kim is going to be a great mother, Claire thought with a glance at Kim's round stomach.
"Claire, I remember when you used to talk about going to prom. That used to be all you ever talked about when you were small. Most little girls talk about getting married and having babies, or being a princess, but not you. Oh no, you wanted to go to prom for one night. You said that you would turn into Cinderella on prom night, and here you are! Cinderella in the flesh. Well, minus the whole servant for her family kind of thing. You're just as pretty as Cinderella, anyway." Emily smiled at her.
She blushed and reached up to brush back a piece of hair out of habit, but then realized that there was nothing to brush back. It was all pulled back into an elegant hairdo.
"You would have made your mother very proud. You look so beautiful," her father's words caused Claire to blush redder, and she said a silent prayer of thanks that she had dark skin. She should have been used to all of the attention by know, these people had been her family her whole life, but she still wasn't sure if she liked all of the attention. She had always been a very private person.
The front door suddenly flew open and a very agitated person stood in the door way. "Did I miss her? Shit, I hope I didn't miss her. She's going to kill me if I miss tonight..." Quil's eyes finally grazed over the pink dress until her found her.
Claire couldn't help it, as soon as she saw him, she grinned. "There you are, I thought you were going to miss my big day," Claire couldn't help teasing him as he pulled her in for a quick hug, careful not to mess up her dress, even though she thought no such thing.
"I hope you didn't think that. You used to not be able to shut up about prom when you were small. I remember I had to pretend to be your date a million times. What kind of imprinter would I be if I missed the most important night of your life, so far." Claire rolled her eyes. Quil said that kind of stuff all of the time to remind her that she "still had her whole life ahead of her, and that she had better not waste it" blah blah. He was worse than her father.
Ah, the imprinting. Yes, Claire knew. Claire had known since she was thirteen. That was the year Claire had started her period, finished seventh grade, and found out that she was a wolf girl too.
Quil decided to tell her then so that she wouldn't be kept in the dark for too long. She remembered being relieved that he had imprinted on her and only her. That meant he wouldn't get a girlfriend. Ever.
Thirteen was also the year that she realized that she was in love with her best friend. Quil.
Even though he was a werewolf and had imprinted on her it was still like Quil didn't look at her like everyone else. To Claire, it felt like he still thought she was two years old.
But she wasn't, not anymore.
Quil had always been there for her, and had never asked for anything more than friendship. She wished he would already, it wouldn't be illegal for them to date anymore. But sadly, Quil didn't think like that, even though Claire had thought about it a million times.
Claire hugged him again, more tightly this time, forget the dress. "I'm so glad you're here," she whispered to him.
"Happy to be here," Quil whispered back looking into her eyes, which made her melt.
Leah, being the wonderfully obtuse person that she is, started to scold Claire about her not messing up her dress and shoved Quil to the side so that she could make sure that the front was still in perfect condition. Which it was.
Abruptly the door bell rang and everything suddenly turned into a flurry of activity. "Claire. Up the stairs. Now!" Rachel hissed, pushing Claire back up the stairs. "I want this to be like the movies." Claire had to resist the urge to roll her eyes. Rachel could be so weird sometimes, as she would willingly admit.
"Fine, I'm going, I'm going!" Claire raced as fast as she could in a floor length dress and high heels up the stairs to go to her room. She could hear the doorbell ring again and couldn't help feeling sorry for Mac. He probably thought they were all insane. She didn't blame him.
"Hello Mac, Claire will be right down," she could hear her father speaking over loudly so that she could hear. "Claire! Mac's here!"
"Coming!" she sang and looked at herself in the mirror one last time. She looked like she always thought that she was, except maybe she was a little bit less happy than she had thought she would be. She smiled at herself then decided it was time to face her family and opened the door to her room and went downstairs for the second time.
The flash of cameras blinded her, like she was at a Hollywood premier instead of her own home. But, instead of flinching away Claire took it all in stride and smiled at the top of the stairs and walked down.
Mac was waiting for her, but she wasn't looking at him. Instead, she was looking at the person she wanted to go with. Quil. He was smiling at her, but he inclined her head to make her look at Mac. She didn't care, she smiled at him one more time before looking at Mac again.
He looked like he always did, except he was in a tux in stead of jeans, and his hair was brushed better. He was smiling at her, and when she finished her trek down the stairs he took her hand.
"It's time for pictures!" Aunt Emily exclaimed, and once again Claire was bombarded with pictures. Did these things ever run out of film? "There, all done," Emily finally said after what felt like to Claire fifty-one thousand photographs. Before she could change her mind, Claire grabbed Mac's and they made a run for it to Mac's car.
He had cleaned it up, Claire noted. There weren't as many dirty napkins on the floor anymore, and there weren't crumbs anywhere. It smelled like car cleaner too.
The thing about La Push prom night was that while other high schoolers got limos and buses to drive them to prom, in La Push no one could afford them. Everyone just parked in the student lot and then walked to the gym instead of being dropped off, which was how everyone watched them in their formal wear.
"Thanks for taking me," Claire said after about three minutes of awkward silence. They never really had been alone before, and it was unsettling. Claire wasn't even really sure why he had asked her.
"It wasn't a problem. Thanks for coming with me," Claire could tell that Mac was just as uncomfortable as she was. Without thinking about it, Claire turned on the radio to her favorite station and turned up the music and began singing along. Alarmed she went to turn the radio off, but stopped when Mac began singing along as well.
They smiled at each other. Maybe things weren't going to be that bad after all.
When they got to the school her family, including Uncle Sam this time, was already there, camera's ready. Claire decided to just grin and bear it instead of sneaking in to the back the way she wanted to. After this, she never had to have a picture taken of her ever again.
Right before she reached her family a little girl who had to have been no more than four that had just been waiting on the edge of the pathway watching everyone ran up in front of her. "Julie!" a woman who had to be her mother scolded, "Come back here right this instant." Julie ignored her.
"You're a princess, aren't you?" Julie breathed, looking up at her with such hope in her brown eyes that Claire couldn't even imagine telling her no.
"Just for tonight," Claire told her, bending her legs so that she was at Julie's level. "But when it turns midnight, I'll go back into being a regular person just like you."
"Like Cinderella!" Julie crowed excitedly. "Will you sign this for me? I want everyone at school to know that I met a real princess." She got a crumpled piece of paper out of her pocket as well as a glittery purple crayon. "That's my favorite color," she announced to Claire while she gave it to her.
"It's a very pretty color," Claire agreed, and bent down on the gravel of the road so that she could sign her name. Princess Claire, she wrote as clearly as she could on the uneven pavement and drew a little heart at the end.
"Thank you!" Julie gave her a bright smile and ran back to her mother, who was just shaking her head in defeat.
"I told you to leave the big girls alone," her mother started when Julie got back to her. "Thank you," she told Claire over Julie's head.
"Oh, it's no problem. I used to be the same way. I never was quite gusty to get someone's autograph, though." Claire smiled.
"Yes, that is one word to describe her," Julie's mother agreed and grabbed her daughters hand. "Let's go now, Julie."
Claire could feel Mac's eyes on her, and she decided to begin following him again. "Sorry about that, I just had to give her an autograph. I've taken enough pictures to be considered famous anyway."
Mac laughed. "Okay Princess Claire. Let's go see if you get crowned for real." Claire groaned. She had forgotten that she had been nominated as Prom Queen, and she was hoping to forget. She didn't generally like going in front of people even if she was a cheerleader.
Claire took more pictures, "These are going to be the last pictures I'm ever going to take I swear to God," she mumbled under her breath, and Mac laughed.
She looked at Quil one more time, who smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up, and she took a deep breath and stepped into the gym.
When they got into the gym it she was shocked. Last year her class had done a better job of decorating the gym than this! There were streamers everywhere in blue and yellow. It looked as if there had also been a paper chain explosion, and the tables just had plain white table cloths, nothing special as a center piece.
Yes, it was a gym, but it wasn't supposed to look like one covered in paper products! Claire pressed her lips together in an effort not to say anything bitchy. It was hard, but she managed to succeed somehow.
"Nice decorating skills our underclassmen have, don't they?" Mac asked her, and she decided nodding would be the best choice, since she didn't know if he was serious or not.
She met her best friend Trixie over by the punch bowl, where Trixie's boyfriend David was already pouring vodka into the bowl. Nice. "You look amazing!" Trixie squealed.
"So do you," Claire returned, and she did. Her hair was down in big banana curls that she most likely did herself and her perfect body was shown off enticingly in a purple satin dress with a plunging neckline that probably didn't match the school's dress restrictions, not that she cared. She looked like a naughty débutante.
Some of their other friends came up to them, and started talking excitedly about what everyone was wearing, who looked like a ho and who didn't, and whether or not they thought so and so were going to stay together or not. On any other night Claire would have been listening with rapt attention (whether or not she cared, which was one of the reasons that everyone liked her), but she was let down and honestly didn't care. This wasn't going the way she planned at all.
Trixie noticed that Claire wasn't up for conversation and decided to break off the conversations short, much to Claire's relief.
"Thank you for getting me away from them," Claire told Trixie as Trixie grabbed her arm and pulled her away to a table on the other side of the gym.
"What's up with you?" Trixie whispered, since two infamous gossips were both right behind them. "You only get that look on your face when you think about Quil. Is it Quil?" Trixie asked.
Claire had told Trixie about Quil one drunken night, not the wolf stuff (God no, Trixie would think she was insane), but everything that Trixie had wanted to know and Trixie always brought him up in conversations now when Claire was down.
"No," Claire whispered back. It was true, partly.
"Well, I'm going to go party Do you want some punch?" Trixie just about yelled since the boys were in hearing distance now. Talk about subtle.
"No, you go ahead." Claire wasn't in the mood for alcohol at this point.
"Do you, Mac? I'm probably going to get some more," David asked, even though he already had a cup of the spiked red drink.
"Nah, I'm good," Mac called to David, who shrugged and started walking to Trixie who was already half way across the gym.
"Do you want to dance?" Claire found herself asking.
"Sure." The danced to every song that came on, and soon enough the first slow song came on and Claire put her arms around Mac's neck and they swayed back and forth. This happened for so long that Claire lost count of how many songs they danced to, and no one else asked Claire to dance, so for what felt like the hundredth time that night Claire was dancing to a slow song with Mac.
"Look, Claire this isn't working," Mac said suddenly and they stopped dancing.
"What?" Claire was confused. They were just dancing, and she hadn't even stepped on his feet yet. "What the heck are you talking about?"
"I have to tell you something." Mac grabbed her hand and pulled her to the table that they were sitting at before. "I apologize in advance for this." Claire was getting more and more confused. What the hell was he talking about? They weren't even dating, they had decided to go to the prom as friends. Not in so many words per se, but that's what Claire had thought of it as.
"Claire," he paused. Why couldn't he get to the frickin' point already? "I'm gay."
Claire thought it was a lucky thing that she was sitting down, or else she would have fallen over with shock. "What?" she whispered.
But Mac didn't hear her, he was already talking again. "I'm sorry, but this whole thing was a cover up. I didn't mean to hurt you, but my dad caught me and my boyfriend, and I needed to have a girlfriend, and you were so nice, and I didn't know what to do and..." he rambled. "I am so, so sorry," he tacked on at the end when he noticed that Claire was tearing up.
Claire didn't care so much that he was gay and had used her, but the fact that she had wasted her time on him even though she didn't even like him that much. She barely knew him.
"Okay, that's fine." Claire blinked away her tears.
"If it makes you feel any better they're about to call out Prom Queen and King, and I'll bet you win." He smiled at her as if that would make her feel better.
They were about to do something, because all of a sudden the music stopped, and the principal was on the stage.
It just wasn't fair that this was happening. It wasn't. First, the gym was decorated like crap. Second the guy that she really wanted to go with was probably at home having more fun than she was, probably not even thinking about her at all. And third she was supposed to act like this wasn't bothering her at all.
Claire knew that she was feeling sorry for her self, at her own prom no less, the thing that she has been looking forward to for years, but she didn't care, and she couldn't help it.
But Claire knew what the matter was. The question was; Did she really want all of this?
"Now, to announce this years Prom King and Queen!" she announced. "And Prom King is..." drum recordings started off the side of the stage, "Mac Reed!" Everyone applauded, but they were all ready to hear who was to be Prom Queen. That was what they were really waiting for.
All of a sudden Claire knew the answer. No. It was just that simple.
With a sudden jolt that shook Claire free of her thoughts, Claire realized that they were talking about her. "... and this year's Prom Queen is... Claire Simon!" Claire blinked. She couldn't believe it. This is exactly what she hoped would happen when she was a little girl.
A spotlight came on her and she blinked again. She was frozen. She saw Mac smile at her from the stage. "Claire Simon!" the principals face showed uncertainty for the first time. "Claire Simon!" she repeated for the third time. "Claire! Get up here. Now!" she finally stage whispered while Claire was deciding what to do.
Claire knew exactly what to do.
She turned around and left.
Part of her still couldn't believe that she did it. Claire just could not believe that she had just turned away from becoming Prom Queen.
Claire knew that in the scheme of things people wouldn't really remember who had been Prom Queen five years from now, she knew that she couldn't use the words Prom Queen at her future job interviews. She knew it wasn't that big of a deal.
But, she also knew that she would have a few words whispered about her at school, and a few confrontations to endure at home as soon as everyone in La Push found out, which would be pretty quick because the reservation was so small.
But the other part, the bare part of her feet that could feel each small stone and stick that was on the center of the road, which she was walking on barefoot because one of the heels on her shoes broke as she was walking out of the gym could.
But she knew that it was worth it. Claire just hoped to God that Quil, whose house was only a couple of blocks from the school, was at home. If not, she would have to walk home which was two miles away.
When she turned into Quil's driveway his lights were on. Yes, thought Claire as she rang on the doorbell. "I've got it," she heard Quil call. "Don't even bother getting up, Embry." Claire heard laughing in the background.
"Claire," Quil said, looking stunned. "Why are you here?" Quil looked so confused that Claire almost laughed. "Wait, did he hurt you?" he craned his neck back and forth as if looking for Mac.
"No." Claire felt her eyebrows mash together. "Why would you think that."
"Well, number one your here instead of at the school, and it's only eleven forty-five. Number two you're kind of sweaty. And number three, your dress is torn."
Claire looked down in surprise. Sure enough, the hem of her dress was torn. Thinking about what Leah's face would look like if she could see the state of Claire's dress made Claire almost laugh. At the very least it made her smile.
"Well he didn't. Don't worry about that. Can I come in?" she asked, already stepping through the door. She had been at Quil's house so many times that she even remembered what it looked like when Old Quil was still alive.
Her feet felt heavenly on the carpeted floor. Embry was on couch watching television and when he saw Claire he just waved his hand and continued watching people shoot each other. Claire came over so often that Embry didn't even bother to clean himself up anymore.
"Well, the place looks clean," Claire said the first thing that popped into her head. She couldn't really think of anything else to say.
"I guess." Quil paused, and then opened his mouth and took a deep breath. "So... why are you here?"
Claire loved this about Quil, there was no beating around the bush. He was just straight forward and honest. "Well, I was voted to be Prom Queen."
"That's cool, where's your crown."
"I just said that I was voted to be Prom Queen. That doesn't mean that I actually accepted."
"Oh." Quil looked about as stunned as everyone at prom did. This is what she had wanted since she was a little girl. "Then why are you here?"
That was a very good question to ask. Claire wasn't even really sure why she was here. "Because... because. Embry, could you leave for a minute, please." Claire knew he was listening to their conversation by the way he suddenly stopped moving, and how he had subtly lowered the volume on the television.
"Fine," Embry said out loud, and then under his breath he added, "I see how it is, no one wants me around. But I'll be listening anyway, super sonic hearing!" Quil rolled his eyes.
"Sorry about that. Now, what were you going to say again?" It was amazing how everything that Claire had perfectly planned to say had suddenly gone away as soon as he looked her in the eyes. But Claire swallowed and decided to say it anyway, although probably not as eloquently as she would have liked to.
"Quil do you remember the day that you told me that you were a werewolf?" Claire honestly had no idea why she said that. Maybe it was to ease him in, but then again that probably wasn't the case.
"Yes, how could I forget? That was the day that you ran around screaming like a banshee until I finally got you to sit down and listen to me." Claire grimaced while Quil laughed at her expression. She didn't think that he would still remember that, but of course he did. Quil remembered everything when it came to Claire.
"Well... I think that was the day that I fell in love with you." Claire could not believe she just say that. Did that just come out of Claire Simon's mouth? Of course it didn't!
But, unfortunately for Claire she couldn't really lie to herself that well. She totally just said that.
"Oh." Quil looked confused, like he used to whenever Claire used to ask him for help on her math homework before she discovered calculators. He seemed to think for a long time before Claire couldn't take it anymore.
"Well, aren't you going to say anything?" she exploded.
"I was going to, but you totally harshed my mellow." Claire glared at Quil while he laughed again. Why, whenever she was actually being serious he had to laugh?
Quil sobered up when he noticed Claire's expression. "Sorry about that, it's what I do when I'm nervous." Nervous, what did he have to be nervous about? "The truth is... I'm in love with you too." Claire was floored. This couldn't actually be happening, could it? "I have been for a long time. Every since you were sixteen and you started dating that awful Nick Geiger kid." Claire couldn't believe that he had loved her for two years and never said a word.
Then again, she had loved him for five and had never said anything either. They really were both a pair of wussies.
"God, I really hated that kid. He could piss me off like no other. I mean, really. I just wanted to punch him every time you brought him over to my house..." Quil looked like he was about to continue babbling, but when Claire saw that he was about to breath she took the initiative.
"Quil, are you going to kiss me, or are you just going to keep rambling like a fool on crack?" she asked him.
"Okay," he whispered, getting so close that his breath was on her face. She looked up and suddenly their lips met.
It wasn't passionate or anything, but it was sweet and lasting. It lingered for a little bit until they broke apart after hearing the applause.
"Finally," Embry whistled. "I thought that was never going to happen. Maybe now he'll shut up about you." Claire and Quil rolled their eyes at the same time.
"So, was prom everything that you wished for when you were small?" Quil wondered.
"No." Quil made a face at her. "It was better."
Because prom really wasn't the part that she dreamed about, that every little girl dreamed about.
The whole reason that little girls dreamed about Prince Charming, and Cinderella, and proms and balls was because every little girl's dream was this: To be surrounded by a love that makes everyone around you envious, one that you would walk through fire for. To have the kind of friendships that would never leave you no matter what.
But, then again, it did help that she was wearing her very own princess dress to meet her own personal Prince Charming, too.
A/N: So... what did you guys think? I liked it, it was my first Quil/Claire story, and I really liked it. I also have a question, what do you think that I write better in, first or second person? If you've never read one of my stories and you want to give your opinion, go read Breathe please, and then tell me. Oh, and please review!