SUMMARY: It's Kat's 21st birthday, but Patrick seems to have forgotten about it. Kat is VERY angry with him...
I hope you can enjoy this one-shot. Please, read and review. Reviews are always greatly appreciated.
NOTE: Kat and Patrick are from Tacoma near Seattle, the state of Washington because in the movie (1999), Stadium High School in Tacoma was used for Padua High. Also, it was never said so in the movie, but Kat's favourite band is Letters to Cleo. I used their name in this story; I did not refer to them only as Kat's favourite band.
WARNING: Some profanity.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Katerina Stratford and Patrick Verona, or any other characters from this fandom. I only own this one-shot. I do not write fanfiction for profit, only for pleasure.
She was so angry with Patrick, so very angry. She wondered if he was actually extremely talented for being able to irritate her so much at times.
This time, she decided, he was in for some very serious trouble. How could he have forgotten? She looked at her wrist watch; it was thirty-two minutes past four in the afternoon and he hadn't remembered her birthday yet. She huffed in annoyance. Two months ago, she didn't forget about his twenty-first birthday. She surprised him in his dorm room; just as he walked into his room, she was in the middle of packing the clothes he would need for the trip into his suitcase. And then, she grinned and screamed,
"Surprise, you're finally going to Graceland, for four days, and no is not an answer, Patrick."
The look on his face was priceless and was definitely one of the most beautiful, confused, happy things Kat had ever seen in her life. She knew all the planning and trouble had been worth it. At that moment, he looked like a five-year-old who had just met the real Santa for the first time.
"But...who's paying?" he replied in confusion, convinced there was a trick to follow.
She had always been the practical one, but she rolled her eyes at his practicality.
"Me and your mom. No more questions, you are twenty-one only once. Now it's legal for you to drink in every state and country. You coming or not? We have a plane to catch. Oh, wait, I never asked but, are you, by any chance, afraid of flying?"
She hardly finished the mocking question when she was, literally, swept off her feet by a very ecstatic Patrick, his wonderful grin stretching from ear to ear. He gave her a big kiss and, in his usual style, afforded her with the usual "You are fucking insane, you know that?" rhetorical question.
She laughed at that comment, resting in his arms like a princess. "But you said you wouldn't have me any other way! Remember?" Her lips assumed a fake pout.
"Yeah, I know, you silly girl. Your insanity is only one of the many reasons why I'm in love with you."
Kat blushed, but ignored the carmine hue in her cheeks by rolling her eyes at him again. "Are you going to go all sappy romantic on me or are you ready to fly to Graceland?"
Patrick closed his eyes briefly. "Thank you, God, for Graceland."
Then, they both laughed and were soon on their way to the airport; after a few hours, they were finally in Graceland, all smiles, Pat gushing over every rock that might have been trodden on by the King. They bought (too many) Elvis Presley sunglasses for Pat – just in case they break you know, Pat said – and visited every possible tourist destination there was. They had a fantastic time in Graceland. Patrick assured her that it was the best vacation he had ever had in his life.
And now, here they were, basking in the warm, spring sunlight of a beautiful April afternoon, reclining on a blanket under "our tree" in Central Park, as they called the oak they always sat under. When Patrick called her to meet him under "our tree", she was sure he had prepared the usual surprise picnic for her. He always organised a romantic picnic for the two of them for her birthday, but this year, there was just the usual, now slightly worn blanket stretching over the grass, no picnic basket or any other sign of the romantic picnic tradition in sight.
Kat was leaning against the familiar trunk of "our tree", trying to read A Clockwork Orange to indulge Patrick, as it was one of his favourite books and she had made him read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights since January – part of their eternal process of getting to know each better. They knew each other perfectly by now, every nook and cranny of the other's mind, and body, Kat mused with a delighted blush. But as Pat's head was resting in her lap, the music of Rage Against the Machine buzzing loudly in his ears, a half-read Bell Jar waiting on his stomach, and his eyes closed, Kat felt more and more angry with every passing minute.
He forgot about her twenty-first birthday. He forgot.
She took him to Graceland for his twenty-first birthday and he forgot about her important day? The indignation of the situation screamed "Injustice!" to the sky. How could one forget about the birthday of the person they loved? Had he begun to love her less?
When they met under "our tree" today and kissed, and she noticed there would be no picnic today, she asked him, as nonchalantly as she could, if he happened to know what was special about this day. He seemed to ponder the question for a short while, frowning a little, and then responded with a confident smile.
"I know. Will Shakespeare died on this day. Big day for Mandela," he winked.
His reply surprised and stunned her so much that she could not even scream at him. Her dad, Bianca and Cameron had called her; Mandela, as was the tradition, called her first, with Michael screaming "Congrats, oldie!" in the background; all of her friends from Tacoma and Seattle had called her, or posted early birthday cards and presents to her.
She was a bit sad that she could not see dad for her birthday. She wanted to go to Tacoma for the weekend, but dad told her he had to go to Los Angeles for an Obstetrics and Gynaecology seminar, and Bianca and Cameron were going with him because Bianca had pestered him about it for ages. She wanted to see Hollywood.
That wouldn't have been so bad if Patrick had not forgotten all about her important day.
"Hm?" he murmured, opening his eyes. "You say something?"
Her glare sent daggers into his eyes. She jerked her knees upwards, making him remove himself from her lap with a confused look.
"I called you a dill-hole," she snapped. "Dill-hole. Dumb-ass. Douche-bag. Jerk. Idiot!"
"What's the matter with you?" he snapped back. "I thought we were having a nice day, and here you are, calling me names."
She got up; it seemed to Kat that even the material of her jeans, T-shirt and cardigan crackled with anger.
"Don't get me started, Patrick!" she replied with an accusing look. She threw his book at his chest and snatched her Bell Jar from his hands.
"Okay, what did I do this time?" he sighed with the tone of faux theatricality, which she could only translate as What the hell is this crazy chick rambling about this time?
She threw her bag over one shoulder, then she removed her long hair from her face. "Of course, you couldn't know, since you forgot."
"I'm sorry for...forgetting whatever you think I forgot. Jesus."
He got up himself, shoving his book into his bag angrily, flung his bag over one shoulder and proceeded by folding the blanket.
"You know what, Pat?" Kat pushed the words through her clenched teeth. "I'm going back to my dorm. Do not follow me. I don't want to hear from you or see you for a few days." She finished by jabbing one index finger in his chest.
Patrick rolled his eyes. "Okay, I know it's not that time of the month, but with you it's always that time of the month. What the hell are you PMS-ing about?"
Kat's jaw dropped. "What? With me, it's always that time of the month?"
She narrowed her eyes and she was very sure that if her eyes could kill, Patrick would be so very dead at that moment. She reached into her bag, pulled out a bottle of water, uncorked it and poured the liquid over Patrick's curly head without hesitation, a satisfied smile of sweet revenge gracing her lips.
"Screw you, Patrick," she added, threw the empty plastic bottle at his chest as well and stormed off.
On her way to her dorm house, Kat's eyes were brimming with tears, but she would not let them fall out of spite. She would not cry because of Patrick, she would not, especially not on a subway train for everyone to see.
Various pleasant memories flashed through her mind, but she stomped them out, like fire. She really hated him at the moment and imagined elaborate, colourful ways for kicking his sorry ass. Every time he hurt her feelings, he knew what he did wrong. He would apologize sincerely and feel appropriately guilty. Then, she would melt and forgive him; she could not stay angry with him for a very long time. Besides, she knew she had her own whims that could irritate him, and she had hurt his feelings, too. She was not a saint and neither was he; they were only human.
She remembered the end of high school, when they became a couple. She hesitated until the end of the summer to tell him that she was going to study Women's History and Writing at Sarah Lawrence, which meant they were not going to see each other much. The very thought of not seeing Pat for months on end felt like her heart was breaking. But then, he surprised her so beautifully.
"That's okay. I'm going to Briarcliffe College in Long Island, to study Criminal Justice. Don't be so surprised, Kat. Okay, girlie, you're staring at me, it's weird. I know you had no idea I want to become a private investigator one day, but your reaction is a bit over the top, eh?"
It was just like Patrick to keep her in suspense for so long. He told her at first that he was not going to college, that he would move to Seattle and get a job. Then, he announced, so matter-of-factly and in his it's-no-big-deal way, that he was going to college; he said he always knew he was going to go to college, the little liar. She could have smacked him senseless for not telling her the truth sooner, but she was so happy. They would be able to see each other every day! And, a private investigator? She laughed in disbelief, as she had never imagined the "rebel without a cause" to want to study Criminal Justice. He punished her with a tickling attack and by the end of it, they were both laughing like crazy. They were both extremely happy.
That night was the first night they made love. Kat remembered that night as one of the most beautiful and overwhelming moments she had ever experienced in her life. She would not confess this to anyone, not even to Patrick, but she felt absolutely complete with him, on that night and on all days and nights afterwards, and in her heart she suspected that he was the guy she was meant to spend her entire life with.
But today, it seemed that he was not that guy anymore. Perhaps she had over-reacted, and Pat had often reminded her of her explosive nature, but precisely because he believed that she was prone to over-reacting, she would remain stubborn and unwavering. On any other day, she might have been fuming less, but not today. He forgot about her big day entirely and even insulted her in a way she just could not let pass. PMS-ing, was she? She had not even started to rant properly, at all.
When she eventually reached the campus, she allowed herself to shed just one tear. She was not happy about it, but she was too overwhelmed by negative emotions to not cry. She would not forgive him so easily, if she would forgive him at all, ever.
She wiped the tears away angrily and started to walk towards the Marshall Field dorm house. Twilight had descended and she imagined how nice it would have been to watch the sun go down with Patrick. They would just stand on the grass; she would be in his arms, her back splayed against his chest, his chin resting on one of her shoulders, and they would watch the orange light disappear.
She huffed in annoyance. Didn't she have any memories anymore that did not include Patrick? Apparently not.
She reached the door of her room that she shared with two girls, Rosie and Daphne, and stopped abruptly. There was a piece of paper attached to the door, saying Dear Kat, go to the roof. Rosie&Daph. P.S. Seriously, you need to come to the roof. Kat tore the paper off the door and smiled to herself. Sometimes, students would have parties on the roof terrace; in secret, of course, although it was hard to keep such parties a secret for long. Kat thought that the two girls had a surprise for her and although she really did not want a surprise party at this point, she decided to go to the roof regardless.
She opened the door to the roof and gasped in surprise.
In the middle of the roof terrace, there was a small table. On the table, there was a big crystal vase filled with perfect crimson roses and a big chocolate cake with, Kat guessed, twenty-one burning candles. There were also two champagne glasses, and a bottle of strawberry-flavoured champagne. Kat's hands flew to her mouth and she walked to the table, noticing a letter propped against the vase. She took a card from the envelope, with the image of bright balloons of all colours gracing the front of the card, and read Surprise! Make a wish and blow out the candles. There's 21 of them. No one signed the card, which made Kat frown in confusion. However, she made a wish – for Pat to be more considerate – and blew out all of the candles.
Suddenly, a pair of arms snaked around her waist and pulled her against a warm body.
"Did you really think I forgot about your birthday?" Pat's voice whispered in her ear.
Kat turned around immediately to face Patrick. "What? How did you come here so fast?"
"I have a car." He chuckled and removed a stray tress from her face lovingly. "I also wrote the note on your door. Believe me, it was not easy to pretend I forgot, and it was definitely not easy to engage you in a quarrel, but I really wanted this to be a surprise. You had to believe that I forgot." He tugged at his left earlobe, one of his subconscious gestures. "Sorry 'bout the whole PMS thing. The truth is, you only PMS one week a month."
"Ass," Kat replied and punched him in his right shoulder playfully. She was suddenly embarrassed. "So, you didn't really forget?"
"Nope! Have I ever?"
Kat hid her embarrassed face behind her palms. "Sorry."
Patrick pried her hands from her face and kissed her deeply, making her forget about everything immediately. She could forget herself so easily with him.
Pat broke their passionate kiss and waved at the table. "What do you think?"
Kat smiled. "It's beautiful. I love the roses."
Pat pointed at their usual blanket stretched over the ground behind the table. "So, I thought we'd get drunk on chocolate and the gross strawberry champagne you like," he chuckled and received another playful punch from Kat, "and then, uh, we could gaze at the stars a bit and I could seduce you with my astounding knowledge of where the famous Orion for romantics is located."
"Wow, Casanova," Kat grinned, "sounds like a great plan."
"But before I seduce you," Pat announced, "I need to tell you about the plan for this weekend. Tomorrow morning, that's Friday, we are flying to Seattle."
"Wait, let me finish. We are going to spend the weekend with your dad and sister. I know you wanted to spend your twenty-first birthday with them."
"But they won't be at home."
"Of course they will be! We planned this together, so we all had to lie. Shh, don't interrupt," Patrick smiled. "I happen to have two tickets for the Letters to Cleo concert that's tomorrow in Seattle, and the tickets are for the two of us. Sure, it's sold out, but I've had the tickets for a while. On Saturday, we are having a "surprise" party for you at Mandela's house; all of your friends are coming. And on Sunday, we are going sailing with Bianca and Cameron. We return home in the early hours of Monday."
"Oh, my God!" Kat screamed and jumped into Patrick's arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. "Oh, my God!" she screamed again and kissed him. "You are the best boyfriend in the world!"
He chuckled. "You didn't think so this afternoon, huh?"
"I am really sorry about today."
"You are forgiven, girlie," he replied and brushed his nose against hers.
"Wait, what about our classes?" Kat couldn't get out of her mould of practicality.
Pat simply rolled his eyes. "You're twenty-one only once, woman! Forget about the classes."
"Okay," Kat agreed. "But, who's paying?"
"Me and your dad. Hey, this conversation is strangely reminiscent of my own birthday."
Kat chuckled and they kissed. "Thank you so much, Pat."
"You're welcome." He set her back on her feet. "Now, can we eat the cake fast, so I can seduce you under the star-lit sky?"
Kat pursed her lips. "I don't know. I thought the chocolate cake could wait, but if you want to eat first –"
She did not have the chance to finish her sentence. Before she could blink, she found herself immersed in Patrick's warmth.
This was going to be the best star-gazing adventure ever.