A/N: So, this miraculously only took me three days to finish, with the majority of it written Friday night. That is very rare for me. I can type fast, but I still write slowly – go figure.
My main inspiration for this was the song "Today was a Fairytale" by Taylor Swift. I've been obsessed with it lately because it's such a happy song, and it made me want to write a fluffy little one-shot about my current favorite couple. The rest is history. :-)
Disclaimer: Well, for starters, I don't own The Troop. I also don't own Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, the song "So Close" by Jon McLaughlin, Tylenol, and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
Wouldn't Have it Any Other Way
That Friday morning found Jake in unusually high spirits as he entered the Science room with a big smile on his face.
"Good morning," Jake said cheerfully to a surprised Mr. Shezza and everyone else he passed on his way to his seat. He sat down next to Felix and gave him a smile too. "Hey, Felix."
"Hey," Felix said hesitantly. Jake wasn't usually in such a good mood early school mornings, even on Fridays. "Uh, no offense or anything, but did I miss something?"
"What?" Jake asked, still grinning like crazy.
"You're just not usually in such a good mood. Especially not when Mr. Shezza just announced the pop quiz we're having today."
Jake still appeared to be in just as good of a mood. He shrugged it off. "Nothing can ruin today."
Felix looked at him curiously and half doubtfully as well.
"Tonight's my first date with Hayley," Jake informed him proudly.
Now he nodded in understanding and smiled. "Ah, of course. I can't believe I didn't remember. So what are you guys doing?"
"Well," –Jake started enthusiastically– "I have it all planned out perfectly. See first I'm going to take her to this really great spot in that park by the water where we'll have a super romantic picnic. Then I'm taking her to see the local college's production of Romeo and Juliet – which is one of her favorite plays, by the way," Jake added matter-of-factly.
Felix nodded, looking impressed by how much effort Jake had put into this.
"Ah, but then, when the play's over, I'm taking her off to the side of the school where I got the drama department to build this fancy gazebo for us, where I will attempt to slow dance with her to one of her favorite songs, "So Close" by Jon McLaughlin," Jake finished, looking satisfied with himself.
Felix had been wondering why Jake had been looking so tired and worn out lately. Apparently all of this preparation work was why. And he had to admit, he was surprised. He hadn't thought Jake was capable of being quite so… romantic.
"Wow," was all Felix could say in response. "How did you come up with all of this?"
"I learned from the master," Jake said, reaching down into his backpack to pull out a worn paperback book. He held up the book to reveal the trademark pale hands holding a red apple on the cover, and "Twilight" spelled out above. "Stephenie Meyer."
Felix appeared doubtful again as he took the book from Jake. "Really?"
"Psh, yeah," Jake assured him casually. He lowered his voice as he angled his thumb towards the beat up book. "I heard a bunch of girls talking about it a few weeks ago, and they said that if their boyfriends would just read Twilight, then they would know exactly how to treat them the way they wanted to be, minus the almost killing parts. So I just read this," he said, returning his voice to its normal volume.
Felix idly flipped through the pages, skimming it over. "So, this is what gave you the idea for the picnic and gazebo?"
"No, not the gazebo; that part was in the movie."
Felix cast a look at him. "You watched the movie too?" he questioned in surprise. It wasn't very often that Jake did things even weirder and/or dorkier than him.
"Hey," Jake said defensively. "Edward won Bella over just by looking at her, taking her to a meadow for the day and saving her life. The dude obviously knows something about love."
Shrugging agreeably, Felix handed the book back over. "Well then, I'd say good luck, but I guess you don't need it."
"Not tonight I don't," Jake replied confidently. "Because absolutely nothing could ruin this date."
Two seconds later, Jake's watchcom beeped twice. It was probably Hayley trying to reach him.
He slid out of his seat to hurry before class could start.
As he did, Mr. Shezza sighed deeply before motioning back to Jake's seat. "Take your seat, Mr. Collins."
Jake looked from Mr. Shezza to the digital clock at the front of the room. "There's still three minutes before school starts, though," he pointed out, all the while trying to inch to the door.
"Be back in here before the bell rings or I'll give you detention," he warned him sternly.
Jake nodded hesitantly before he could finally hurry out of the classroom and into a deserted part of the hallway. He just could not win with Mr. Shezza, because for whatever reason, he just didn't like Jake. Not even when he turned in his work.
He pressed the button on the side of his watchcom to answer Hayley's call. What he saw on the screen made him wrinkle his eyebrows in confusion.
"Hi, Jake," Hayley said in a weird-sounding voice.
Of course, it could've just been because she had a large paper bag covering her face that was making her voice sound muffled.
"Uh, hey, Hayley. What's with the bag?" Jake asked with a laugh.
"Jake, I'm really sorry," Hayley said, shaking her covered-up head. She gave out two coughs afterwards.
"Hayley, where are you anyway?"
Hayley groaned and pulled back her watchcom a little so he could see the pink walls of her bedroom. "I'm at home because my mom wouldn't let me go to school since I have a fever." She paused and covered the two black Sharpie eyes she'd drawn in a rush on the bag. It would have been a comical sight since Hayley looked like a character at a theme park acting animated. That is, it would have been funny if she hadn't seemed so sad. "Jake, I'm too sick to go on our date."
His face fell disappointedly. "Oh."
"I'm so sorry," Hayley apologized again, sniffing loudly. "This wouldn't have even happened if I'd done what you did."
That was surprising. Almost admitting she was wrong and giving him credit for making a good choice in the same sentence wasn't something he was used to from Hayley.
"You know when I was trying to get you to volunteer with me a few days ago at that daycare center but you wouldn't go. Well, when I was there, one of the little kids sneezed right on me when I was trying to be nice and play with them." Her quiet groan came out muffled as she coughed again. "My mouth was even open."
Jake couldn't help but smile as he chuckled at Hayley's words. "Well… I'm sorry you're sick."
"I just can't believe I have to cancel our date tonight," Hayley said miserably. "And now I won't even know about this surprise you had for me you've been bragging about all week."
Jake rubbed the back of his neck and shrugged even though she couldn't see him through the brown bag. "Heh, it's not like I was planning anything we couldn't do any other night," he tried reassuring her, though he knew they wouldn't be able to have the gazebo or Romeo and Juliet for a different night.
"For sure we'll do something next week though," she said confidently with an exaggerated nod.
Jake nodded as well until he came up with a different idea that made his face light up excitedly again. "Hey, how about I come over after school and just hang out with you?"
"What?" she asked in surprise.
"Yeah, I could just hang out with you and hand you tissues. We could watch a movie if you want, eat ice cream. I'll bring you your favorite. Bubblegum flavored," Jake told her, the happiness and good mood he was feeling earlier returning.
"Jake, my favorite flavor is chocolate chip cookie dough."
Oh. Maybe that was someone else's favorite flavor he was thinking of. "Well, I could bring both," Jake covered in a grand tone.
"But, Jake. I'm all… gross. And I'm probably contagious. You'll just get sick too," Hayley told him, using her free hand while she talked for emphasis.
"I don't care," he assured her. "Do you want me to come over?"
After a short pause, Hayley laughed a little, followed by a cough. "Yes."
"Great. I'll come over right after school, okay?"
"Okay." Underneath the bag, Hayley was grinning widely at Jake's spur of the moment gesture.
"You won't be wearing the bag though, right?" he checked, frowning.
"No, I guess not. I just didn't want you to see me when I look so terrible," Hayley admitted, still not moving to take it off her head.
"I'm sure you look fine." Jake glanced back in the direction of the Science room. He was probably pushing three minutes now. "I have to go now."
"Okay. Bye, Jake," she said with a wave.
"See you after school."
Jake turned off his watchcom and hurried back to the classroom, barely making it through the door before the final bell rang.
Mr. Shezza gave him a stern look while he crossed his arms.
Jake held up his hands defensively while he made his way to his shared desk with Felix. "I was here before the bell rang, just like you said."
"Just take your seat while I pass out the quizzes."
"Okay," Jake agreed, hurrying to sit back down.
"What was that all about?" Felix asked in a low voice, having to take the moment to push his glasses back into place.
"That was Hayley calling," Jake explained at the same volume as Felix. "She's sick and can't make our date."
Felix grimaced. After hearing how much effort Jake had put into the night, he knew he must be crushed at the new development. "Gee, I'm sorry."
"No, it's totally cool. I'm still seeing her tonight. I'm going over to her house right after school so I can hang out with her while she's sick."
"No talking!" Mr. Shezza snapped, slapping down two quizzes in front of the boys.
Jake and Felix exchanged a look before sliding down in their seats, in hopes of not getting yelled at by the teacher again.
Jake had never been so glad to hear the last bell ring. All he had to do before he went over to Hayley's was stop by Troop headquarters and get the gift he'd been planning for Hayley out of his locker. The locker in HQ was a safer place for it than his school locker by far.
The present was a collage of a dozen or so colored drawings that he'd done of Hayley. It had taken him several weeks to finally finish it, and tonight was his perfect opportunity to give it to her.
No sooner had he taken it out of his locker, though, did Felix rush up to him, telling him they had a situation. Apparently, Felix had come across one of the most unfortunate and unlikely situations just outside the school. A Ratadon and Gibbering Troolis… fighting each other, of course. Yes, this was just what Jake needed, today of all days. The Troop Grid said very plainly that it was nearly impossible once those two monsters started fighting to stop the destruction.
Jake couldn't help wondering why this had to happen today as he narrowly avoided getting skewered by the Ratadon's humongous tusks. He took a shot at it and quickly caught a glimpse of his watch.
Great, he was already thirty minutes late.
"Call Hay- Oof!" Jake was interrupted in trying to call Hayley on her watchcom as the Ratadon knocked him to the ground with its tail.
"You okay over there, Jake?" Felix checked, firing a shot with his blaster at the Gibbering Troolis.
Jake rolled over onto his back and scrambled to get back on his feet. "I'm good. Running late, but I'm still good."
"Troop Grid said this would be nearly impossible," Felix reminded him.
"Yeah, well apparently 'nearly impossible' also translates to 'takes longer than a few minutes'," Jake griped.
Twenty-five minutes later, and they'd finally taken down the two monsters, plus the Verniculated Rasplort that the Gibbering Troolis had attracted.
"Jake?" Hayley said in response to Jake's call on her watchcom.
"Hey, Hayley, listen, I'm going to be a little late," Jake informed her after he and Felix had put the monsters away in three empty cells.
"I thought you were coming over right after school." She sniffed a little.
"I know. And I was going to until Felix found a Gibbering Troolis and Ratadon fighting by the school in the Tranquility Grove. But I'm on my way right now," he said reassuringly. "I'll get you your ice cream and come right over."
"Wait, wait." Hayley had to sneeze first before she could finish. "There was a Gibbering Troolis and a Ratadon outside the school? But the Gibbering Troolis is the Ratadon's worst enemy."
"No kidding. But don't worry, we had everything under control." Jake came to a stop on his skateboard outside the small grocery store that was located close to Hayley and Jake's houses.
Hayley didn't look convinced.
"I'll be there in ten minutes," he promised.
Ten minutes turned into thirty minutes when Jake had to wait in line behind someone who needed five items price checked and then got into a fight with the cashier about how they weren't letting them use their expired coupons when they were valid the day before.
Shortly after he got checked out though, thirty minutes turned into forty-five minutes when Jake accidentally skateboarded into a light post because he'd been too distracted. The reason for the delay wasn't an injury, though, but instead because he'd dropped the bag with the ice cream cartons in it. Said cartons had proceeded to roll right into the path of an oncoming truck, causing Jake to have to go back and pay for two more.
By the time he finally got to the Steele's house – barely in one piece – he was starting to wonder if perhaps he and Hayley were simply not supposed to see each other that day.
Hayley looked up when she heard Jake enter her room.
"Hi," Jake greeted cautiously. "How are you feeling?"
"Stuffed up and sore," she replied candidly. "So is my clock really slow or…?"
"Sorry," Jake apologized, hoping this was the last time he'd have to today. All he wanted to do was relax and spend time with his… girl-friend-type-person-who-he-was-sort-of-dating – trying to date anyway. "I got stuck behind someone who was taking forever to check out at the only line in the store, and then I lost the ice cream and had to buy more."
They really were quite the pair. Both, honestly, looked like varying degrees of awful. Jake looked like he'd survived a natural disaster with his hair and clothes all messed up from fighting monsters all day. And on the other hand, Hayley was pale with an almost bright red nose from having to blow it all day. On top of that, her hair had once been in a ponytail, but as the day wore on and she'd tossed and turned while trying to nap earlier, half of her curly hair now hung loose around her face.
Hayley softened and decided to just let it go. At least Jake was there now. "You can sit down."
Tiredly and gratefully, Jake didn't even hesitate to sit beside Hayley on her bed despite her cough and cold. "Here; your chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream." He gave her the carton and one of the spoons Hayley's mom had given him from their kitchen.
"Thank you," Hayley said appreciatively, immediately opening it up and taking a bite.
"I even got bubble gum flavored ice cream just like I promised." He took the lid off and dug into it since Hayley had said she wanted chocolate chip cookie dough instead.
It wasn't until a few moments later after she really got a good look at him that she noticed the thin scratch running across his cheek. "How'd you get that?" Hayley asked, showing him what she meant by tracing a similar line across her own cheek.
"Oh, yeah. Gibbering Troolis threw me into a tree a couple times," Jake explained away with a shrug.
"Oh," was all she said, realizing that now she was even more concerned for Jake's welfare than she was before she started considering him as someone she'd want to date.
Before either of them could say anything else, Hayley had to grab a tissue out of the box sitting next to her on the bed and sneeze.
"Bless you," Jake said politely through a mouthful of ice cream.
She sneezed again.
"Okay, could you stop that?" Hayley asked before blowing her nose for a few seconds.
"What? I'm just being nice." He smiled and shrugged his shoulders innocently, spooning in another big bite of ice cream. Part of his answer was true, as it started out as him just being polite and nice. But as she continued sneezing almost violently, it was somehow fun to keep saying it since he knew it would probably annoy her.
"Well in the future, don't bother, otherwise you'll be saying 'bless you' all night," Hayley pointed out.
"Fine. I won't say 'bless you' for the rest of the night," Jake promised.
"Thank you." She finished blowing her nose and then drew her arm back to attempt to throw her tissue so it would land in the trash can a few feet away from the end of the bed.
They both watched as it fell so short that it didn't even get past Hayley's blanketed feet spread out in front of her. Jake cracked an amused smile while Hayley just rolled her eyes at her missed attempt.
"You're sick, so I won't tell you how bad a throw that was," Jake said with a snicker.
Hayley weakly swatted him on the arm. "Ha, ha, very nice. Make fun of the sick and weak," she said good-naturedly.
"Hey, I wasn't," he insisted unconvincingly. "That was a… very good attempt."
She just shook her head with a small laugh and leaned back against the stack of pillows behind her, letting her eyes fall closed.
For a minute they were both silent and Jake took the moment to adjust himself so he was leaning back against all of the pillows stacked against the bed's headboard.
He directed his gaze to watch Hayley, who looked like she could fall asleep at any moment.
Jake finally broke the silence by asking, "Tired?"
"A little. I just have a little bit of a headache, which still isn't being helped by all of the Tylenol my mom's given me," Hayley said, sniffling a little.
"Oh. Sorry. It really sucks being sick."
Hayley sneezed once more in response.
"Gesundheit," he said without hesitation, in a completely serious voice.
Without saying a word, she used her right hand – the hand closest to Jake – to blindly feel along his arm.
"Uh, what are you doing?" Jake asked with a slightly anxious laugh.
"I'm trying to find your 'off' button," Hayley told him, letting herself grin as she said it.
They both laughed for a minute.
"Sorry, but I don't come with an 'off' button."
Two and a half hours later, and Jake was still there with her. He still didn't have any intentions of leaving yet.
"I'm glad you came over, Jake. I'm just sorry we didn't get to do whatever you originally had planned," she said regretfully in her stuffed up voice.
"Oh hey, that reminds me." Jake sat up and got off the bed so he could retrieve his present for her out of his pocket. He rejoined her on the bed and dusted it off before he handed it over to her.
"What's this?" Hayley asked, slowly unfolding the large piece of paper.
"Just something I drew for you. But it got a little… burned on the edges when I was trying to take down the monsters earlier," he explained, gesturing to the slightly singed parts.
A smile spread across her face. "That's okay…" She trailed off as she finally turned to examine his gift. Hayley let out a breath of shock. "You drew this… for me?"
"You like it?"
"Yes. I – I love it," she got out happily. She'd never had anyone actually make anything for her and then give it to her as a gift. And she'd especially never been made anything so amazing.
"More than the ice cream?" Jake checked, nudging her gently in the side.
Hayley nodded yes and smiled at him. "Way more than the ice cream," she told him, leaning over to give him a small kiss on the cheek.
Jake smiled back at her for a minute until he suddenly had to sneeze.
Hayley suppressed a laugh. "Uh-oh. I hope that doesn't mean something."
Jake casually draped his arm around her shoulders and gave her a cocky look. "Don't worry about me. I never get sick," he said right before sneezing again into the sleeve of his shirt.
"Uh-huh," Hayley said doubtfully.
It was surprising to no one but Jake when Sunday came around and he was running a fever and had a sore throat, leaving both Hayley and Jake bedridden.
"Well, at least we got to spend part of Friday night together," Hayley said to Jake through her watchcom.
"Yeah," Jake agreed in a nasally voice. He turned away to cough for several seconds before returning into Hayley's view. "Ugh, I can't believe you got me sick."
Hayley scoffed disbelievingly. "Me? You're the one who willingly breathed in infected air for five hours."
"Yeah, but you're the one who had to volunteer at that daycare center when you were already too stressed out," Jake pointed out.
"It is not my fault," Hayley insisted indignantly. Her voice was still a bit nasally, but Jake's was definitely worse.
"Yes it is."
"I guess we can share the blame," Jake finally said agreeably, deciding he didn't feel like arguing anymore.
"We're already sharing the virus," Hayley remarked.
They both were able to laugh for about five seconds before Jake had to stop and cough while Hayley sneezed three times in a row.
Both Jake and Hayley were feeling infinitely better by Wednesday and were capable of returning to school again – something that for Hayley was a positive and for Jake was a negative.
And that Friday, they were finally able to have their date. They went along with Jake's first plan by going on a picnic and then headed to the movies afterwards.
Halfway through their picnic it started raining and they were forced to find cover under a tree halfway across the park, and then when they were at the movies a Vespinox appeared right before it got to the ending. Felix had to be called, and they spent at least twenty minutes rounding up everyone afterwards to be Snarked. And when Jake and Hayley finally were able to get their first kiss at the end of the date, they shortly discovered that Mrs. Steele's entire book club witnessed it based on the chorus of "awws" they could hear from inside.
Overall, their first date was rainy, strenuous, and embarrassing.
And neither of them would have had it any other way.
A/N: There are parts of this that I love, parts that I still don't like despite the rewrites I did to them, and also parts that I wish could've made it in to the story but weren't working and were deleted during editing. Overall though, I think I actually do like it. Hopefully you all liked it too.
Also, all of the facts about the monsters came from The Troop website. The Gibbering Troolis, Ratadon, and Verniculated Rasplort were not made up by me. I found them all on the Troop Grid website. Trust me, I could never come up with names like that on my own. ;-)
On a side note, I included "So Close" by Jon McLaughlin partly because I've been obsessed with it lately as well. Not to mention, if you really listen to the lyrics, it fits the episode "Speed" very well, in my opinion.
"We're so close to reaching that famous happy ending / Almost believing this was not pretend / Let's go on dreaming / Though we know we are / So close / So close / But still so far"
Anyway, Twenty Six Lessons to Learn will be updated very soon, probably in the next couple of days. And the next chapter of Switched Up still has no definite date yet, but I've been working really hard on it in my free time.
Thanks for reading. Reviews are always appreciated. Happy Sunday. :-)