A/N: I'm currently watching 'Trade-Off' for the second time. My personal quote for the end where they find Ben after Michael Crazystar runs away: "Hey, lookit. Benny-boy's in a box." Go Gwen! She might b a little OOC but she'd kinda hard to write for. The guys are so much easier! And Kevin's character is a bit off too, but he's probably closer. It's like an Edward Cullen moment for him…. Weird. So here's the next part!
"Running a Mile"
My shoes were sucked into the mud at my feet. Gross. Definitely gross. Stupid gym class. I didn't want to run. The mile. Every school kid's worst nightmare. Since I'd missed the first day we had to run it, I had to run it on the make-up day. Lucky me. It was raining and dark and windy and everything.
Plus, I'd been running late and Kevin was going to make fun of me this morning. That was the start of my bad day. So I'd slapped him and he looked kind of stung by it. Then I'd been trying to find his cure again last night and totally zoned out on my test today. Already, I was 90% sure I failed it.
Now the mile. Ugh. My day just keeps getting suckier. Then I'd been given a demerit for being late to homeroom. Never had I ever been late to a freaking class in my whole entire life. And it was only because Kevin had been distracting me the whole car ride. Not like he knows that though.
Then I'd spilled my books in his car. Then two hours later when I was at my locker, it occurred to me that one of my notebooks was missing. Suddenly, I was praying that he hadn't found it and that it was hidden deeply under a seat somewhere where it would never be discovered. Yeah, right. Like I could get that lucky.
Where is my Lucky Girl charm of Bezell when I need it? Oh right, I freaking destroyed it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The wind whipped at my face causing my eyes to water. It was cold outside. The clouds had blocked out any sign of the sun. You don't fear the mile. You only dread it.
"Okay, you'll all run around the soccer fields six times. Then I'll clock your times." I hate my gym teacher.
"On your marks… get set… go." She clicked the stopwatch in her fat hand.
I took off, the mud squishing beneath my feet and ruining my shoes. This sucks. It was raining hard. My hair was enough of a mess this morning. It was only getting worse as time went on.
After only a half first lap, I knew there was no way I was going to make it without any motivation. The water came down like a veil over my face. It stung like needles when it hit my skin. The wind made everything twenty times worse. Go figure.
Then I thought of him. Maybe my thoughts could keep me running.
Kevin's face obscured my vision. Why did I even think of him? He was annoying and difficult and illegal of all things. But he was charming and funny and hot. That last one didn't even make sense… I couldn't help but love him. Duh.
I wiped the water from my eyes so I could see where I was going. If I stepped inside the soccer field even once, my moronic gym teacher would find it as "cheating" and make me run the whole mile again.
Why does the world hate me?
The thought came to me by the second lap of it. A road surrounded three sides of the soccer field. I knew I was an idiot for pretending he was there and just waiting for me to jump in his car with him so we could drive away and live happily ever after.
But that's practically impossible with him on parole and me ditching school. Of course my fairy tale fantasy couldn't come true that easily. A girl can dream though. And my dreams come while I'm running through the rain with the wind pelting at my face, blinding me, and the muddy ground is ruining my favorite pair of ballet flats. Then Kevin's face decides to invade my brain as if he's not already almost all I think about.
Every night, I sit in my room trying to find his cure. So far, I'm getting pretty close to nowhere. I've found stuff to take his skin off and stuff, but I'm not sure if his skin has been turned into the rock or if the rock is just covering it and if it is it might rip his skin off and still leave the rock covering and he could die almost any way I try. He'll just have to be patient with me for now.
My hallucinations started coming. Well, I kind of created them myself as motivation because there's no point in running if I'm just going to run into something.
His car. His car was the symbol I knew of his newly found freedom. Even if he was on parole, he still had options with his life. So his car would sit on the street. He'd wait for me. He'd call to me and I'd tell him I had to finish the mile first. So he'd wait at every corner asking me if I was done yet and how many laps were left.
"I'm coming, Kevin. Just wait for me." Talking to myself. A perfect addition to my madness.
I rounded another corner, starting my third lap around the stupid soccer field. Why did they even make us run? We could be learning about football or something. Then I could join Ben and Kevin on the couch for Sunday tv watching. At least without feeling totally lost with the whole game.
"Come on, Gwen!" he was yelling. "Let's go!"
Now my hallucinations can talk. I must be going absolutely insane.
I started at that car with determination. I could finish this mile and I would finish it no matter what. Even if my imaginary Kevins were calling to me. This mile would be run so I didn't have to do it in the snow later in the year. Because that would suck even more than this already did.
Surprisingly, I found myself studying every detail of my imaginary Kevin. It was the human one. The one that I'd originally fallen in love with no matter how stubborn and maddening he could be. And somehow, he managed to find every illegal thing in the whole universe to get himself involved in. Arget. Darkstar. Vilgax. Freaking illegal Kevin. If he weren't so hot, maybe I could clear him out of my head for once!
This was going to be the longest freaking mile I would ever have to run.
My legs already felt like rubber. Each time they thrummed against the ground it sent vibrations through my whole body, making me ache more. When I pulled them out of the mud, it was cold when the water seeped through my shoes and I could feel the mud between my toes. Disgusting.
Kevin's hair was over his eyes, a deeper ebony color than I think I'd ever seen before. It must've been me imagining the details clearer than ever, still wanting the human version back. His eyes were that intense brown. They never showed much, but when they did, his emotions always came in torrents of pain and sadness with the occasional laughter that he restrained. He was so unpredictable. His muscled arms were stretched out in front of him as they rested on the steering wheel. "Come on, Gwen," he said softly as I got ready to turn another corner. And he smiled as I got closer.
I kept running and his car was waiting at the next turn for me. This time, I was tempted to run onward and jump into the car that I knew wasn't there.
Then he smiled and I forgot to turn again for the mile. I ran smack into the fence that was there, separating me and the road. Jeez, I am an idiot. I ran into a fence trying to get to Kevin. I fell backwards into the mud and heard something crack.
My day could get worse. I could be covered in mud and blinded by rain and have the fence marks on my face. And my face hurt. Like, bad. Then the rain was falling on me, making my uniform cling to me.
Great. Perfect. Thank you so very much.
No one seemed to notice my slight screw up. Running into a fence was apparently nothing important. Then I heard the car horn and Kevin's car was sitting, waiting for me once again at the next street.
At what point does motivation give up?
"Gwen," his sweet voice was calling to me. "Gwen!"
Woah. That wasn't fake. My fake Kevin sounded more fake-ish with that idiotic laugh and weird cheerfulness. The way I kind of wished to hear him everyday.
"Gwen, what was that?!"
That was definitely not my imaginary Kevin. If it was, why could I see him clear as day? Without his car. And I could see the ID mask taking effect at the last second. That was the real thing. No more hallucination Kevin. No more motivational Kevin. The real one was screaming for me, a hint of fear in his voice.
"Gwen!" he came to me just as I collapsed in the mud again.
What was wrong with me? Had I hit the fence that hard? Stupid fence.
His hand was on my shoulder. "You're alright." He'd gotten down to my level, his knees in the mud, and was looking me over intently.
I could see my pale skin caked in wet mud and little shreds of grass. My hair was covering my face, soaked. It looked more reddish brown with all the mud I'd fallen in. If only I wasn't so stupid. I knew there was a fence there and that's what bugged me the most. Stupid mud. Stupid fence. Stupid me. Stupid Kevin for making me run into a fence.
Then he did something unexpected. He hugged me real fast. It was only a second, but it was enough to make my heart flutter faster than it already was. "What was that all about?!"
Oh god, he was angry. Why was he angry? All I did was run into a fence!
"Why do you do stupid things, Gwen?" he asked. "That's what I want to know."
I was looking him over now. He was dripping wet now even though I knew his hair was only stone covered with a lame mask. His eyes. They always seemed to take my breath away. The brown was showing panicked worry like it was all he had on his mind.
"I… I don't know." My stuttering didn't make a good excuse for anything.
"Bad answer." Kevin stood up and reached a hand down to help me up. Now he was covered in grass and mud too. "Come on."
Gladly, I took his hand and he pulled me up. A searing pain ripped through my ankle. I let out a little yelp as I put my weight on it. I must've sprained something when I fell. Stupid ankle.
His arm was instantly around me. "What's wrong?" He was definitely worried, no question about it. "I'm here, Gwen. I'm here."
That was all the reassurance I needed. "I think I hurt my ankle." It did hurt. Not as bad, but it hurt.
And as if everything Kevin did couldn't get more unexpected, he picked me up in his arms. I thought my heart was going to explode. It was beating way too fast. "Kevin!" I squealed. "I've got to finish running or I'll have to start all over again, possibly when it's snowing outside!"
With an annoyed grunt, he put me down. He annoys me, but I never thought I could annoy him. Weird. "Gwen, you can't run."
Sadly, he was right. I couldn't run. I would have to limp the whole way. That'd suck. "So? I still have to finish this!"
"Then let me help." He took my arm and placed it across his shoulders. Kevin pulled me in a little closer to his warm, stony chest. "That's allowed, right?"
I only nodded. His kindness was a bit shocking. He's Kevin for crying out loud. Not exactly Mr. Nice Guy all the time. "Um… I think." Why couldn't I say any more? I should be totally grateful and glad for his help, but I was just so distracted…
He started walking and I limped along beside him. I was weak, he was strong. Strangely enough, we were somehow a great pair. A perfect team. Then add Ben in for comic relief…
"What were you doing here?" I asked, trying to remember how to breathe again. "Aren't you supposed to be in the garage fixing your car?" An even better question: Why was he staring at me when I hit the fence? Why didn't he come and stop me?
"You left a notebook in my car. I thought you'd need it." There was something he was keeping from me.
Oh god. My notebook. I cursed under my breath.
"Gwen, it's fine."
My eyes met his. "You read through it?!"
"You expected me not to?!" Although he made perfect sense, that didn't mean I had to like it. And plus, he was mocking me. Jerk.
"Point noted." I let out a tiny sigh. "You are an idiot. I hope you know that."
"Point noted," he said with a smug grin on his face.
Great. Now he's planning something. Why did I have to run into a fence? Why?
"So why'd you run into a fence?"
I should've expected that too, but I guess I didn't. Where did my brain go? The Bermuda Triangle? "I was thinking and got distracted. Kind of forgot there was a fence and everything." Lame excuses. Of course, he's the master of lying. We're practically opposites so I don't understand how I ever came up with the idea of possibly loving him. Somethings just happen. Like this. And me running into fences.
"Thinking of what?" Since when was Kevin so full of questions? He was looking at me, something hidden in his eyes. Why was he so secretive and hard to read?
I didn't want to lie to him. He's Kevin. I guess it's better for him to know the truth, right? "You." I was going to regret it. He'd hold it over me for days and weeks. My ultimate torture.
"So you want to go out sometime?"
When did the subject change?
"It's fun to bug you," he said with a little laugh. "I know. I'm an idiot."
"Why did you decide to ask me out now? Ben and I bugged you about it for months!" I was just staring at him with my mouth hanging open. We kept walking along the track like nothing was wrong.
"That's the point." He kept his eyes straight ahead, not daring to look at me.
"You are the most annoying-" I got cut off when he picked me up again.
He chuckled. "You don't have to tell me all the time." His arms cradled me like a child. "I already know I drive you totally crazy."
I surrendered the fight and buried my head in his chest. This was what I wanted for the rest of my life. Me and Kevin. Simple as that.
He smiled and carried me along further. "I think we reached a milestone today."
A/N: It's Gwen's other side that no one ever really sees. I could picture her running into a fence because she's thinking about Kevin. Actually, seeing Kevin's car was my motivation for running the mile at my school. He was at every corner just waiting for me and it was the only thing that really got me through. That and my friend collapsed after 3 laps so I was doing really good. No, I'm not obsessed. I just find it to be better because it was the first thing I thought of and it kind of stuck in my head. So anyways, hope you liked it! R&R!