A trio (the very same trio that had been best friends from birth, and most likely before birth) of friends walked to their tables, calling out to others as they sat in their seats.
Laughing, they sat down.
"Oh, oh, María, I have a new ringtone for you." One of them, a tan boy with emerald eyes and messy brown hair, said excitedly to the silver-haired girl sitting across from him. She raised an eyebrow at him, crimson eyes darting up to meet his before refocusing on her food.
"What was wrong with the one I chose, Antonio?" She asked, still shoving food in her mouth. To her right, the other boy, a blonde with shoulder-length hair, winced.
"María, cherì, manners!" He scolded. María swallowed and glared at him out of the corner of her eye.
"Screw manners, you perv." She snapped easily. "Tonio, what was wrong with the one I picked out?"
"Nothing, María, I gave everyone new-" Antonio was cut off when a throat was cleared. Instinctively, they all turned to face the new addition to their table, María raising her eyebrow again.
"Ah, Roderich." She sneered, glaring critically at the brown-haired, violet-eyed, well-dressed male even though she felt her heart flip. "To what do we owe the honor?" Roderich coughed into his arm briefly, glancing to his right quickly before pulling down his arm."I was wondering if..." He trailed off nervously, glancing to his right again and not speaking for a few minutes. Annoyed, María moved to see what was so interesting and came up with nothing-only Vash, Lovina (Antonio's girlfriend), Mattie (short for Matilda), Mattie's brother Alfred, and the supposed 'love-of-his-life' Allison (commonly called Alli by María and Alfred).
"Get to the point." She snapped. It made Roderich jump slightly, and turn his attention back to her.
"Right, right!" He muttered distractedly. "Sorry. Um..." Clearing his throat again, Roderich locked eyes with María. "Will you go out with me sometime?"
María felt her whole world freeze. Even Antonio stared at him with startled eyes. For a few minutes, María could barely keep her jaw from hitting the floor.
"You want to go out...with me?" She asked suspiciously, peering up at the boy through silver hair. Roderich nodded slowly, biting his lip nervously. María's eyes narrowed. "No way in hell." She said, going back to her food.
"Please?" Roderich asked, a pleading look in his eyes. María shook her head firmly. "One date, that's all I ask, honest." María glared at him.
"No," she hissed. "I know people like you, Roddy." She ignored his cringe. "And people like you don't want to date people like me." Refocusing on her food, María waved him away. "Spare me the drama, and give it to someone who cares."
Roderich bit his lip, glancing at Francis and Antonio, silently asking for help (though they were so surprised that they offered no help), before sighing.
"All right, María," he said solemnly, "you leave me with no choice." María stared at him again, confused.
A tall blonde male looked up from his papers when the front door suddenly slammed shut, followed by a loud scream.
"Schwester, calm down." He called out, looking at his papers again. A hand suddenly slammed onto the table, making him look up again with a raised eyebrow.
His big sister's hair was messier than usual, with small twigs and leaves sticking out of the layered, shoulder-lengthed silver hair. She was panting slightly, with an annoyed look in her eyes, making them a slightly darker than usual.
"What happened this time?" He asked, placing his pencil onto the table and looking her over, noticing that her clothes were more rumpled than usual as well.
"Stupid Roderich!" She hissed, pulling out a chair and collapsing into it. "He's been following me all day, to all my classes and everything. He even followed me home! Who the hell knew he could be so damn persistant?"
"Persistant about what?" Her brother asked curiously, about to return his papers.
"Going out with me." She muttered, hiding her face in her arms. He coughed suddenly, staring at her with wide blue eyes.
"Seriously?" Shrugging, María looked to the side.
"Yea, what of it, Ludwig?" She asked quietly. Ludwig shook his head.
"Nothing, nothing!" He said hastily. "Just...you should say yes." María rolled her eyes. Ludwig took it as his initiative to continue. "You like him, don't you?" María bit her lip.
"Yea..." She admitted reluctantly. Ludwig smiled.
"Then there shouldn't be a problem." María scoffed lightly.
"That's what you think." She muttered. Ludwig pretended to ignore her.
María pulled her locker door open, shoving her black 'American Idiot' backpack into it. Slamming it shut, she turned to glare at Roderich.
"One date." She told him firmly, before turning and stomping away. After a few moments, she heard him following her. "What?" She turned, hands on her hips.
"Well..." Roderich sighed. "I heard that there was going to be a big concert in a couple weeks." María raised an eyebrow as if to say 'yea, and?', so Roderich continued quickly. "I-I managed to get tickets to go, on Saturday and Sunday."
"Who's playing?" María asked suddenly.
"A lot of people." He said. "Um, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, and-"
"All right!" María interrupted, eyes lighting up, making Roderich scowl. "I'm in!"
"We will have to stay overnight." Roderich told her. She turned to him, eyebrow raised.
"Well, so long as you don't do anything, it'll be fine, won't it?" She told him before running down the hall.
"MARÍA!" Antonio wailed, latching onto the girl's arm. She didn't even flinch, just continued eating.
"What, Tonio?" She asked. "And don't cling to me, you'll make Lovi get all jealous and I don't have time for a jealous, already pissed-at-the-world girlfriend coming after me cause her boyfriend's so touchy-feely." Antonio obediently released her arm.
"I lost my cell phone." She turned to look at him, hiding snickers.
"Again?" She laughed. "Lovi's gonna kil you~~~~"
"Díos, I know!" Antonio smiled dreamily (most likely thinking of his girlfriend, not what she was going to do to him), before turning his attention back to María. "Help me find it!"
"Ah, fine, fine." She stood up, throwing her plate away, and turned to follow Antonio...
...only to run right into Roderich.
"What happened?" Roderich asked, frowning lightly when María glared up at him.
"Tonio lost his phone." She said. "I'm gonna help him find it."
"I'll help as well." Roderich offered. She looked him over before sighing.
"All right, whatever." Pulling him out of the cafeteria, they bypassed Antonio (who was telling Francis and Mattie what happened). "Hey, Tonio, me and this guy are gonna look for your phone, k?" Without waiting for an answer, María continued pulling Roderich.
"I can't believe this!" María hissed angrily. It was several hours after school, and they still haven't found the missing phone. María was ready to kill Antonio, friends forever or not. "Where the hell did Tonio lose his damn phone?" Roderich sighed, having giving up on stopping María's cursing an hour and a half ago. At least it was better than it was earlier.
"We'll find it soon, I'm sure, María." He told her. She 'tch'ed and crouched down., knees in the dirt, to look through the bushes, feeling slightly thankful that she had decided to wear her baggy jeans that day. Sighing again, Roderich did the same, and somehow ended across from the silver-haired girl. Looking up, he jumped to find María staring at him, an uncharacteristically serious look on her face.
"Why did you ask me out?" She asked quietly, her eyes searching his. He bit his lip, but didn't turn away from her or answer. "Well?"
"I-" He was cut off by a bright light and sudden ringtone that came from between them. Roderich jumped while María picked up the phone.
"OI, TONIO!" She yelled, pulling herself out of the bushes to yell triumphantly. "EVEN LOVI'S RINGTONE SOUNDS PISSED AT YOU RIGHT NOW!"
"So, how long's it gonna take to get there?" María asked impatiently, rolling down the window to hang her hand out of it.
"I already told you, at least four hours, María." Roderich said exasperatedly. María shrugged.
"Whatever." She said. "Just get us there as soon as possible." Before Roderich could say anything else, she rolled up the window, placed her head on the glass, and fell asleep.
She was pulled out of sleep by Roderich shaking her.
"What happened?" She asked, yawning. "We there yet?"
"No." Roderich sounded nervous, making María wake up even more. She sat up fully, frowning as she blinked at him.
"Then where are we?" She asked, looking out the window confused.
"I don't know." Roderich admitted. She turned and stated at him with wide crimson eyes.
"You got us lost?" She asked, a dangerous tone in her voice. Before Roderich could say anything, she opened the car door and stepped outside. Without another word, she stomped away from the car, pulling the driver door open.
"Ah?" She rolled her eyes.
"Get out." She told him. "I'm gonna drive if all you're gonna do is get us lost." With a slightly sheepish look, Roderich switched spots with María. Shaking her head, María somehow managed to get them on the right road.
"We're here!" María cheered happily, stretching as she got out of the car. Roderich got out in a slower pace than she did.
"Did you get lessons from Felicia in driving?" Roderich asked her, shaking lightly. María scowled at him.
"And if I did?" She challenged. "Felicia isn't a bad driver." Roderich shook slightly, but María ignored him in favor of getting the camping gear out.
"What are you doing?" Roderich asked, trying not to laugh as María tried (and failed) to set the tent up properly. She glared at him.
"We gotta get ready for bed at some point." She told him. "Might as well prepare the place we're sleeping in beforehand, ja?"
"Here." Roderich sighed, going to her. "Let me help." He stood behind her, bringing his arms around her to help her with the tent. María flushed.
"Did you bring a sleeping bag?" Roderich asked María a few minutes later. She rolled her eyes.
"Of course I did!" She snapped excitedly, pulling it out. "What kind of fan do you think I am? Although," she turned to peer at him. "I never pegged you as liking My Chem and Linkin Park, and all my favorite music."
"I'm more of a classical person." Roderich agreed. María raised an eyebrow. "However, I figured that this would be a perfect reason to ask you out. As such, I could put up with a difference in music." He glanced at her and smiled. "For your sake, of course."
It was the first time in her life María's face got as deep a red as it did then.
María cheered with the rest of the crowd as another band got off the stage after their performance. Sitting next to her, Roderich sat. She turned to smile at him, excitement in her voice.
"This is great, Roddy!" She cheered, sitting down briefly, not noticing the red that stained his face. Roderich smiled at her.
"I'm glad." He yelled at her over the noise. Just as María opened her mouth, the announcer began talking. "I'm going to get more drinks, ok?" Roderich yelled in her ear. She waved him off, screaming as another band came on stage.
When Roderich didn't return after ten minutes, María rolled her eyes.
"Figures the pansy would get lost looking for drinks." She told herself. Shaking her head, María went to find him, muttering about the band she was missing to find Roderich.
She almost ran into him by the enterance to the seats.
"There you are!" She cried, grabbing his arm (after she grabbed the pretzel from his hand) and pulling him back to the crowd. "Took you long enough!"
"Sorry." Roderich called back as they got to their seats.
"Thought you got lost or something." María yelled. "I swear, only you would get lost buying pretzels and soda."
That night, as they got ready for bed (Roderich facing the other way with a furious blush on his face, and María doing the same, but with less blush), María finally asked what had been bothering her.
"Hey, Roddy?" He grunted slightly in response and she continued. "Why did you ask me out?" There was a moment of silence as she finished pulling her brother's shirt over her head. "I mean, we're so different from each other..."
"That's not important." Roderich said. María's breath caught as she turned to find Roderich directly behind her, violet eyes staring into her crimson ones intently.
"Roddy...?" She questioned softly. Roderich smiled at her, a gentle smile, his hand rising up to cup her cheek.
"You're special, María." He told her quietly. "You have this...this thing about you that draws people to you. It doesn't matter how different we are." Maria smiled, her eyes drifting shut as he slowly leaned closer.
Their lips met, and María pressed herself closer to Roderich, wrapping her arms around his neck as his other arm wrapped around her waist. After a few seconds, they pulled away.
"You're not that bad of a kisser." Roderich told her softly. María stuck her tongue out at him. He stared at her, his violet eyes darkening. "It isn't wise to stick your tongue out at someone." He told her firmly. "It's also very rude."
In retaliation, María did it again.
Just as her tongue went past her lips, his went after it, rubbing up against hers.
She gasped, opening her mouth more, allowing Roderich to ravage her mouth. Their eyes slid shut, arms tightening their hold. Roderich's hand trailed lazily from her face down to her waist, making María release a soft moan...
The drive home on Sunday made María feel more than slightly unhappy (even though they didn't go any further that night). Glancing to her right at Roderich, she bit her lip to stop the smile that threatened to bloom on her face at the feelings (the ones stronger than the ones she already had) for him that came up.
"Hey, Roddy." She said, catching his attention.
"Yes, María?" He answered.
"You like me." She said confidentally. "What else do you like?" At Roderich's questioning glance, she flushed lightly. "In a girl, I mean."
"Well..." Roderich trailed off. "I suppose...one who is proper and acts composed." María made a face. One against her. "Who likes to do girlish things and wear girl's clothes."
"So, basically, the opposite of me." María summed up, making a slightly annoyed face at the thought. Dammit. Roderich chuckled.
"No." He said softly, a dreamy undertone to his voice. "Because while I like that in a girl, I do rather adore you as you are. Acting and dressing that way does not suit you as well as it would others." María rolled her eyes, trying not to laugh and blush.
"That was corny." She informed him as a last defense. Roderich just laughed.
María pushed down the ends of the black jean skirt she wore with one hand while the other played with the collar of her dark red v-neck. In her hair, she wore a black headband with a couple of red flowers on it, and it was styled neatly.
Francis looked like he was having a heart attack.
"María?" He gasped out, staring at her with wide eyes. "Cherì, what are you wearing?" She flushed.
"Shut up!" María snapped, looking utterly embarassed. The things she did for Roderich... "It-It's an experiment, ok? Leave me alone!" Francis shook his head.
"You look very beautiful, non?" He told her. "Completely opposite of what you normally look like."
"Hey..." María's eyes narrowed. "What's that supposed to mean?" A movement caught her eye and before Francis could answer, she darted after it, glad that she wore her black sneakers.
Smiling and biting her bottom lip nervously when she realized it was Roderich and a couple of other people (namely, Alfred, Lovina, and Vash), María took a deep breath...
...and froze when she heard Alfred open his mouth.
"Ok, so you took her out." He said.
"All weekend." Vash added.
"And you expect us to believe that nothing happened?" Lovina snapped. "Not going to fly."
"Exactly!" Alfred said. "Obviously, something was gonna happen."
"And we know something did, whether you want to admit it or not." Vash said coldly (María wondered why Vash and Roderich were even talking - they hatedeach other with a passion).
"So!" Alfred said. "You get sixty from us, cause we said you couldn't take María out on a date, and then you'll get extra from us later for..."
Alfred kept talking, but María tuned it out as realization swept over her.
Biting her lip again, this time to stop it from trembling, María felt her shoulders start shaking. She felt something warm on her cheek, and she reached up a shaking hand to wipe it away. As soon as she did, she realized that she was crying.
Unable to stop herself, María pushed herself off of the wall and in the direction she came from, passing Francis and Mattie without stopping.
María couldn't help the tears that fell, although she tried to stop them. Sniffling slightly, María curled into the corner of the bathroom she was in, trying to keep quiet, and feeling extremely foolish.
The door opened and suddenly, there was a hand on her knee.
María lifted her head after a few seconds passed and the hand remained. Emerald eyes stared back at her - Allison.
"What?" She ground out, rubbing her eyes. "Stop looking at me like that, dammit, Alli."
"Alfred told me what happened, all of it, just now." Allison told her, her accent making her sound more friendly than usual even as she ignored the nickname she despised. María bit her lip as it trembled again. "Roderich's been looking for you."
"I don't care." She insisted, burying her face in her knees as she felt tears coming up again. "Let him look, for all I care. Stupid fucking pansy can do whatever the hell he wants." Allison seemed to hesitate, understanding from María's words that she knew, but then the question came out.
"Alfred insists you guys did something over the weekend." Allison said. "Did you?"
"We saw a concert." María said firmly. "That's it - thank God." Allison didn't say anything after that, merely placed her arms around María's shoulders in a hug and pulled her head to rest on her own shoulder, glaring at anyone who came in and stated at them.
María refused to tell the blonde how much that actually comforted her.
She heard the doorbell ring for the fifth time, and Ludwig finally stood up. As he went to answer the door, María curled up more around her pillow as more tears leaked out, as Ludwig's angry voice began to fill the house.
It finally sunk in - actually sunk in - that Roderich never wanted to take her out. The whole time, she had thought they really clicked despite being so different. María thought they really had something. And it made her really happy, made her feel as if she were a part of something special, as cheesy as that sounded.
But evidentally, Roderich needed money.
María cursed herself for having any feelings for him in the first place, hating the fact that she had agreed to go out with him against her better judgement. Because she had been right-people like Roderich didn't want to date people like her. She hated him for giving her hope and then breaking her heart.
But, god, she hated herself even more for still having feelings for him.
María took a deep breath, wearing her usual black baggy pants with a too-big My Chemical Romance t-shirt and her 'American Idiot' bag on her shoulder, strolling into school between Antonio and Francis.
"María!" Antonio turned to glare at Roderich, allowing María and Francis to get ahead of them.
"Leave María alone." Antonio said coldly, continuing in Spanish even though Lovino was the only one who understood him (and even then, his translations were extremely vauge). María walked ahead quickly.
"María, I'm sorry!" Rang out over Antonio's Spanish monologue, making María freeze and giving Roderich time to move around Antonio and grab her arm.
"Let me go." She hissed, not wanting to look at him. Roderich ignored her.
"María, please, listen - "
"THERE IS NOTHING TO LISTEN TO!" María screamed, taking Roderich by surprise. Francis moved towards her, but Antonio had caught up with them and pulled him back when María started swinging. Roderich grabbed her other arm. "Let. Me. Go. Now." Roderich pulled her to him instead, making tears come to her eyes again.
She struggled to push him off, but Roderich was stronger than he looked and he just held her until she gave up.
"You asshole." She murmured, tears falling slowly.
"Shhhhh..." Roderich said softly. "I know, I know... I'm so sorry, María, shhhhh..."
"Why...?" She asked shakily.
"It was a bet." Roderich told her quietly. "A stupid bet that stopped being a bet a while back, because I do love you, María, honest."
"You promise?" María asked childishly, making Roderich smile softly.
"I promise." He told her gently.
Allison hit Alfred firmly on the head, making María laugh and Roderich crack a smile.
"You stupid git!" Allison hissed. "Haven't you learned your lesson yet? Don't make foolish bets with other people!"
"It's not a bet, Alli!" Alfred whined, rubbing the back of his head. "I'm just curious!"
"Your curiosity will get you slaughtered." María announced firmly, a triumphant gleam in her eyes, as Allison hit Alfred again for calling her 'Alli'. "And find someone else to amuse you-I'm getting annoyed that you keep using Roddy for your stupid ideas." At Alfred's face, she rolled her eyes. "Alli, control your boyfriend."
"There's no way I can do that, sorry." Allison apologized. "Alfred's an idiot."
"Oh, I see how it is." Alfred declared dramatically. "She can call you 'Alli' and I can't!"
"She isn't a moron like you are!" María shook her head in amusement, before turning away and, with a slight flush, threaded her fingers through Roderich's.
Life was good.