Title: Just Looking
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or situations that are familiar to you.
Spoilers: None, that I can see.
Summary: Oneshot. Patrick goes to the mall... and just might see something that catches his interest. Possible dubiousness if you're a rule follower??
He had a stalker. He was sure of it. 100% positive, with a margin of error being close to nil, nadda, bupkiss and all those other slang translations for a negative amount.
She was 5'7" with deep brunette hair and even deeper brown eyes. She was witty, she was smart, and she was beautiful. She was the bane of his existence, the desire in his soul and the burning in those lower regions teenage boys always thought with. She was a lover, fighter and sinner all in one...and she was clueless as to his presence from where she walked beside her sister, down the wide, ceramic tiled wing of the mall.
Yes, Katarina Stratford was his stalker, only she didn't even know it.
Actually, considering how smart she was, she looked like she didn't even know why she had paid a visit to the plaza, as she made to turn into a SportChek, only to be tugged on the sleeve by her sister and pulled towards the preppy, more girly retail outlets down the hall.
From where Patrick stood, skimming the jean racks out on sidewalk sale in the opposite wing, it was hard pressed to make out more than her person, but the body language she used, (yes, he had paid close attention to her body, more for it's language than it's actual parts, thank you very much), clearly expressed her lack of enthusiasm in the particular venture, and her disdain for entering any boutique with short skirts, pink, or frills on their mannequins.
Looking uncomfortable and darting her head around as if scoping out her surroundings for where and how fast she could hide, Kat fidgeted with one of her wrist bracelets and cautiously approached the store, like it was going to ambush her with floral print and vomit pastels over her.
Unfortunately for her, her sister... Brenda... Becca... Bertha...whatever... had other ideas and bodily yanked Kat to the entrance of the store, let go of her sleeve, and vanished from view.
For what seemed like minutes, Patrick watched Kat uncertainly eye the front racks of purple coloured halter-tops before jerking her head up like she was being spoken to. Seconds later, she squared her shoulders, lifted her chin high and marched into a Hollister Co., with acceptance in every step.
'More like 'Hollister Ho'', Patrick vaguely mused as he saw two bubbly 15 year old girls exit the store, dressed like they were working the street corners, both carrying bags pink enough to induce seizures, and giggling like a bunch of hyenas.
Interest piqued, Patrick slipped his hands into his pockets, made his way over to the store front and sat on a bench across from the entrance, the leather of his jacket sliding roughly against the back of the metal bench.
From his position, he could see a dash of blonde moving quickly though the rows like a woman on a mission, shaking her head vigorously at the brunette beside her, then scurrying across the store once something else caught her eye.
It was amusing, and Patrick momentarily flashed back to the few harrowing times he'd briefly dated girls such as the blonde. It was a painful experience to sit through the constant questions of 'Does this make my butt look big?' or 'Is this orange-yellow, or yellow-orange?', but he eventually got what he wanted in the end.
And from his position on the bench, it looked like Kat wasn't getting what she wanted, when it was her to turn to shake her head forcefully, only to be grabbed and shoved to the back of the store and disappear into the change area.
'Now there's an idea,' the teenage boy mused, scratching at the light growth of stubble at his jaw. Sweeping his eyes across the store interior, Patrick noted one cashier flirting with a male customer while his some-sort-of-significant-other browsed the shelves, one folding a stack of t-shirts on the far right, and a handful of customers and personnel flittering this-way-and-that throughout the store.
There didn't appear to be a sensor dinging with every entrance or exit, so skillfully, with ease, he entered the store, smirked lewdly at the girls he passed, covertly disappeared behind shelving units or racks when their backs were turned, and stealthily came upon the back changing room quicker than he anticipated.
"I don't see why we have to get this checked," he heard Kat say as he promptly entered the dressing room lobby unseen and mildly impressed with himself. It was almost as if he'd snuck into a woman's dressing room before, which for the record, he hadn't.
"You know Dad," he heard Brittany...Barbara...Briana...the sister say as he turned a corner (who knew a dressing room was so big?) and eyed a small sitting area, supposedly for the shopping partner, across from a row of eight or nine curtain covered stalls.
Kat huffed from behind the sepia curtain, "Dad being Dad is no excuse. I can understand dresses, but this is going too far, don't you think? It's just degrading... and a tad creepy."
"And urine tests aren't?" The cheerleader said sitting cross–legged in a cushioned chair in front of the stalls. That was until she saw him.
Gasping, she shot up from the chair and nearly called every dog within a 5 mile radius with a high pitched squeal of delight, until she noted the finger Patrick held up to his lips.
"Bianca, what's wrong?" (Bianca! That's it!) Kat asked through the curtain.
Still holding his finger up to his lips, Patrick shook his head before cocking his head in the direction of the door.
Understanding completely, Bianca threw together an excuse, "I..uhh… thought I lost a clip…in my hair."
"You know," Kat said in the stall, "for every hairclip you lose, you could feed a family in Ethiopia for a week."
"Yes, I know." Bianca placated before quickly jumping to something more her speed, "Are you done yet?"
"Gimme a second," Kat replied. And no sooner did the words leave her mouth, Bianca was out the door. Moving across the room, Patrick took Bianca's vacated seat and crossed an ankle over a knee.
From the other side of the curtain, he heard Kat sigh exasperatedly, before seeing her touch her toes together in a nervous gesture through the gap between the bottom of the curtain and the floor.
Kat cleared her throat, "Let it be known that the only reason I'm showing you this is because Dad makes us 'okay' this with each other."
"Mmhm..." Patrick murmured, channeling his inner Bee Gee with a horrible imitation of a falsetto. It came out more of a transvestite who was trying too hard, but Kat didn't seem to notice.
"Okay, I'm coming out," she said, from the sound of it, more of psyching herself up than anything, "And if you make a single comment, negative or positive, I'm shaving you head. Got it?"
"Mmhm..." Patrick said again, not completely sure what he was going to see, but knowing his presence in the change room was going to be enough to get a rise out of her either way.
She blew out a puff of air and quickly pulled back the curtain, as if wanting to get it over with as soon as possible.
She really should have peeked out first.
Kat Stratford doesn't scream, nor does she throw a fit or act irrationally. And for which Patrick was relieved, because he would sure be arrested for this if anyone of the cashiers found out, but she does hiss and bare her claws, and show her teeth like the Alpha female she usually is, and for which, she had good reason.
Of all the things she could have been trying on at a Hollister Co., from jeans to shirts to vests and hoodies, he never counted on a swimsuit.
A black, two-piece suit, with a camisole top and an knee length wrap, that was.
And going by the furious glare she was giving him, and the speed in which she turned around and chucked one of her combat boots at him before whipping the curtain closed, she wasn't pleased with his lack of mental aptitude, either.
"What the hell are you doing here?!" she hissed behind the curtain. "I could have you arrested on sight!"
"Yeah, but you wont," Patrick said, fiddling with laces of the boot she threw at him, "What's with the suit?"
"I asked you a question first!" Kat huffed. From the bottom of the curtain, Patrick saw her stomp her foot. "What are you doing here?!"
He shrugged, even though he knew she couldn't see him, "You know, went to the mall, looked at some clothes-"
"Verona, I swear-"
"Yes, the brown does go better with those jeans. I agree," Patrick heard a cashier say, from the increasing volume of her voice, moving closer to the change room. Nothing good would come of this if he was found.
Moving in front of Kat's curtain, he poked a boot in the bottom to alert her of his position. Turning back to the entrance, he saw two shadows grow progressively bigger, the closer they got.
"You better be decent..." he spoke lowly into the curtain (not that he cared if she weren't), and before Kat had a chance to reply, ducked in.
Instead of screeching, or slapping him like a normal girl would do, she moved to the corner of the stall, and glared fiercely at him. If he were any other man, she would have sent him quacking in his boots. But he wasn't, so he just smirked.
She was still in the camisole and wrap, but this time held her t-shirt up to cover of what little it did.
"What the hell?!" she hissed, sending mind bullets at him.
"Now, if you need any assistance, just call," the same saleswoman said.
Kat opened her mouth to say something, but Patrick brought his hand up to cover it, whispering, "Unless you want me to make some incriminating grunts and groans, I suggest you keep quiet."
Kat's eyes widened and she grabbed his wrist, removing his hand, "You wouldn't."
"Try me, princess."
Huffing, Kat stood still against the corner of the stall and tightened her hold of the t-shirt in front of her.
Satisfied that she didn't have a stun gun somewhere within her wrap, Patrick leaned in and boxed her into the corner, "So, what's with the suit?"
Leaning as far back as she should, Kat continued to glare, "Get. Out."
"Why? Do I make you uncomfortable?"
Like hell she'd give him the satisfaction, but also, there was something a tad exhilarating about being in a swimsuit, albeit a relatively covering one, in front of him, but he didn't have to know that. "No," she said, "But peeping Tom's are illegal in all 50 states."
Patrick chuckled lowly, "I'm not peeping, sweetheart," he said, looking her up and down like he'd never seen a female before (which all of Padua knew to be definitely not true).
Grunting, Kat curled her lip,"I can see that," she said tursly.
Patrick smiled, knowing full well he had just admitted to downright ogling. "What's with the suit?"
Kat sighed, exasperated, "Visiting grandparent's in Ohio next week. Told to bring a swimsuit. Swimsuit was old. Had to get a new one. The end. Get out."
Patrick nodded, still speaking lowly, "Grandparent's eh? Fun time."
"I haven't seen them in a year, so yes, I'm looking forward to it. Get out."
Patrick nodded again, like he hadn't heard her last two words, "Black, very nice."
Patrick Verona commenting on a colour choice is rather surreal. It amused her. And since her other method of spite wasn't getting through to him, she decided to play nice, hoping he'd get a clue.
"And what are you doing at the mall?" she said with false interest, "Other than sneaking into Girls' change rooms."
"Even us rebels need jeans every now and then...unless you want me to go pant-less, in which case, oh look, you already are."
"Mmhmm," Kat smiled fakely, " I-"
"Miss? Is there anything I can help you with?" a saleswoman said on the other side of the curtain, and Kat looked a tad panicked. If Patrick were found, the woman would automatically jump to unsavory events taking place.
Patrick smirked and raised an eyebrow as if to say, 'Now what are you going to do?'
Kat rolled her eyes for a brief moment, "Oh, I'm fine. Just weighing out my options."
The saleswoman was appeased, "If you need anything..." she tapered off, and Kat exhaled deeply at the retreating footsteps.
"That wasn't so hard now, was it?" Patrick said in a low voice again.
Kat so wasn't in the mood anymore, that she didn't care how pathetic she sounded. "What are you doing here?" she asked meekly.
Patrick seemed to take pity on the position he left her in, "Saw you with your sister, thought I'd drop in."
"While I was changing?"
"I admit," Patrick said, looking, maybe a tad guilty, "I never figured for swimwear."
Kat seemed happy that he actually admitted to his mistake, but blushed at his next words, "But I'm glad I did," he said looking very pleased, "Wow."
Kat was flattered, but fought not to show it, "Well, now that you have, do you think you could get out so I can change?"
Patrick smirked and leaned in a little closer, looking down at her, "Don't let me stop you."
Kat shook her head ruefully, "You never give up."
Patrick angled his head to nudge her nose with his, "You never give in."
And just like that, the mood in that small 4-by-4 dressing room changed. Kat's lips parted marginally in shock, and she berated herself when the only thought she could think of was what the slight stubble along his jaw would feel like against her skin.
Patrick, as it turned out, had the same idea and realigned his head so his jaw coasted lightly over hers and down her neck to her exposed collarbone. Hell froze over, and to his surprise, she turned her head at his own movement, allowing, both him to his devices, and a shallow breath to leave her lips.
While he couldn't tell along his chin or jaw, whenever his nose or lips brushed against the un-Californian-like pale skin, he could only silently marvel about it's smoothness, saved from the elements with Kat's standard t-shirts and jackets.
He was pretty sure he could stay buried in her neck for eternity, but as it was, he was cutting it close, getting friendly in a public changing room stall. Moving his head so his nose ran up under her chin to her cheek, he pondered his next move while taking in her parted lips and closed eyes.
She had never looked more beautiful, a flush on her cheeks and neck, and while he didn't have much, the stubble he did have, left small little burn marks against the column of her throat. All because of him.
He'd kick himself later on, for initiating something he knew he couldn't finish in such a place, but for now, it was better safe than sorry. Slowly, he nuzzled her nose with his until they were perfectly aligned, and he nearly groaned when her pink tongue came out to moisten her lips. Leaning in, he let his own lips hover just millimetres over hers, before brushing them together so lightly, it was as if they had of been miles apart, and backed away, making not a single sound as he ducked out of the stall and disappeared.
Standing in her stall, Kat waited a few long seconds before opening her eyes and finding herself alone. Letting out a huff of indignation, and maybe disappointment, she threw her shirt on the bench at the opposite side of the stall, and with a fierce growl, ran a hand through her hair.
By the time she was done with him, Verona was gonna be castrated, dead, or both.
Whipping around, she was about to remove her wrap, until she glimpsed herself in the mirror. She was all kinds of flushed, (arousal, rage or otherwise), and pink little marks dotted her neck and breastbone. Flushing an even more horrendous shade of red at the remembrance, she quickly yanked off her suit and changed back into her duds, that thankfully covered most of the evidence.
Exiting the change room, she spotted Bianca sifting through a jumbo rack of skirts and promptly marched over.
"Where is he?"
Bianca looked up and eyed her slightly agitated sister warily.
"Where's who-oh! I thought he was with you..."
"He left before I could give him a piece of my mind."
Bianca's brow furrowed, "Well, he's not here. I've been out here the whole time, and I didn't see him."
Looked around throughout the store, Kat then moved through the racks to the exit into the rest of the mall. He wasn't anywhere in sight. He couldn't have just disappeared into thin air. Someone would have seen him, at least leave the change room.
Coming up beside her, Bianca seemed impressed, "Spooky. But anyhoo, find a suit you liked?"
Glaring at her Kat was about to make a comment about how Bianca knew she hadn't exactly had time to find a suit, but thought differently, recalling Patrick's appreciation of the first suit she tried on.
Hoping to stave off the flush she knew was developing at the thought, Kat marched back to the change room, retrieved the suit still on the hook, and placed it on the counter at the checkout. Paying for her purchase, she waited for Bianca to do the same with some yellow frilly thing, and left the store.
She wouldn't never wear the swimsuit again without thinking of him and the way his eyes darkened when he looked her up and down. Was that bad? At the moment, she didn't really care.
Author's Note: I was ify about this. A guy sneaking into a woman's changing room is so arrest worth, but I didn't write this for me, I wrote it for Trifecta at Fanforum's 10 Things. They're pervy ;) ~ It sucks, I know. I don't like it. I've had this for months and I've wanted to get rid of it, so it's not entirely up to parr. ~ NO critique.
I am Canadian, and have never even seen a Hollister Co. (let alone, knew they existed.) I have no idea if they sell swimwear. I was more of modeling in the image of 'Lady's A Champ' here in Canada.