Disclaimer: I, in no way, shape, or form, own anything 10 Things I Hate About You.
(Also, this is my first 10 Things fanfic. The characters might seem OOC, but this was rattling around in my head for a few days, and it needed to get out.)
At that moment, Kat hated him more than anything. She wanted nothing more than to jump back in her car, drive straight to Rhode Island, start her first semester at Brown, despite the fact that she still had two weeks before it started, just to get away from him. She should have known that it would come to this.
She and Patrick's relationship had never been what you would call a conventional one. After months of trying to prove himself to her father, Walter had eventually realized what the Man-Boy, as he so was so fond of calling Patrick, meant to his oldest daughter. They had been together, in a relationship that neither of two was used to dealing with, for over a year now. Everything had been great. True, they were still the same two people as before, and fought constantly. However, it had only taken that one break up, back in junior year, when Kat had nearly fled the country, for them to realize that they were much happier together than they ever could have been apart. Their blowouts were now down to lasting a day, at the most, as opposed to the weeks that they used to. Patrick was still getting used to family dinners with the Stratfords, and Kat was still having the occasional want to go off on one of her women's rights rants when Patrick insisted on paying, or God forbid, opening her car door.
They worked, though. At least they had until the end of the senior year, when the first days of summer rolled around. Half-way through the school year, Patrick had started working part-time at the garage a couple of blocks away from his house. At first, he only worked a few shifts a week after school. Kat didn't think that it was odd when his workload picked up a bit after they had graduated. Naturally, since he had more free time, and they needed people to pick up more shifts, she knew that she wasn't going to get to see him as much as she would have liked. When he started to pick up extra shifts, on top of the days he was already working was when she started to wonder what was going on.
Patrick knew that she was going to be moving across the country toward the end of the summer. They had brief conversations about it, but neither seemed to want to dwell on the subject for very long. For the most part, it went without being discussed. As much as she hated to admit it, a part of Kat wanted for him to at least ask her not to go. She knew that it would make no difference, of course. Brown had been a dream of hers long before Patrick Verona had ever ridden into her heart on his motorcycle. She would never give up something like for a guy. Even if it was a guy who knew that when she was having a bad day, nothing made it better than just holding her while they listened to her Beatles records, or that when she got quiet during thunderstorms, she was thinking about her mother. Even if it was the guy that knew her biggest guilty pleasure was reading fanfiction for her favorite TV show that had been cancelled. (Even though she hadn't meant for him to find that out.) Even if it was the guy who had slow danced on the beach with her at midnight on her 18th birthday and whispered in her ear that he loved her. Even though she loved him back with all of her heart.
It still hurt, though. Patrick had slipped into a pattern of seemingly not caring that she was leaving soon. Being the strong feminist that she was, she had gotten very good at pretending that it didn't matter to her. She forced a smile, and said it was fine with her when he had to break plans in order to pick up someone else's shift. She said it didn't bother her that he was always too tired to go out, and that of course it was fine if they just watched a movie at his place.
So, when two weeks before she was due to leave for Brown, Patrick told her that he was going on vacation with his mom for a week, she bit her tongue and told him to have a good time. She told him that she would probably be too busy packing and getting things together for them to see each other, anyway. After he had kissed her goodnight on her doorstep, she had climbed the stairs to her room, closed the door, turned off all the lights, and cried until her head hurt. She spent the next week doing anything she could to keep her mind off him. She was Kat Stratford, for crying out loud. She did not wait around for a phone call from her boyfriend. She finished packing for her move, not really noticing until she was finished that she ended up with an entire box dedicated just to things that reminded her of, or were given to her by Patrick. She didn't cry that time, but put on Abbey Road, and wished that he were there.
When, on the day that he was due to get home, Patrick hadn't called her, she started to get suspicious. Something was going on, and she knew it. This feeling of paranoia was what had brought her into this situation. Around 6:00, well after the time that her boyfriend should have gotten back, she had jumped into her car, and driven to his house. Her heart sank into her stomach as she saw his mother's car in the driveway, and the noticeable absence of his motorcycle. He was home, and he hadn't even cared enough to call her. She hated herself for feeling so let down, for letting him to get to her the way that he had. However, when she continued down the street, and found his bike parked at the garage, her mood changed from one of sadness to anger.
Patrick was leaning against one of the cars being worked on, laughing with a co-worker, and covered in oil and grease. He had obviously been there for a while, by his appearance. Kat's knuckles turned white on the steering wheel, and before she knew it, she had whipped her car into a parking space, and jumped out, slamming the door behind her. She managed to make it half-way across the parking lot before Patrick had noticed the tornado of fury coming toward him.
"So glad to see that you made it home safely, dear," Kat's voice dripped with sarcasm in reply to the monotone 'hey' that he had offered her. "And it really was nice of you to call."
"Look, I was going to call as soon as my shift was over. Justin called in, so I thought I would cov-,"
"Cover, to earn some extra money," Kat finished for him, throwing her hands in the air in an exasperated manner. "Hey! Maybe you can take your girlfriend out with all that extra cash! Oh, wait… No, because she's leaving in six days, and, if this strange behavior pattern of yours continues, you'll be spending all that time avoiding her."
While her rant had started off so strong, Kat had felt her rage wavering less than half-way through. Her voice shook on the last sentence, and broke toward the end. Feeling the tears start to prick at her eyes, she turned on the heel of her combat boot, and started back to her car. Patrick had only seen her cry once, on the anniversary of her mom's death the previous year, and she'd be damned if he saw her cry over something that he had done. She already had the door open when she heard Patrick's voice behind her.
"Kat, wait," He said softly. She didn't want to, but she turned anyway. There was something in her voice that made her.
He stood there, less than a foot away, just staring above her head, into the distance. When he finally did speak, she could tell it wasn't going to be something that she wanted to hear.
"I'm sorry," He stated simply. Before he could go on, if he were, in fact, going to continue, Kat blew up again.
"You're sorry?" She threw her hands into the air. "That's what you have to say? How about 'I've missed you'? Or 'This is going to be really hard on me, too'? Hell, even 'Babe, the long distance thing just isn't going to work out for me, so see ya' would be better than 'sorry'! At least it would be honest!"
As the words tumbled out of her mouth, she couldn't help but focus on how beautiful he was there, with his arm resting on the door of her car, blocking her in. Even his smell was slowly intoxicating her, and she could hardly resist the urge to wipe the smudge of grease off his jawbone. She saw the familiar glint of disbelief in Patrick's eyes, though, and not knowing what it meant, allowed herself to get angry again.
"That's what you thought?" He leaned in closer to her, until she felt the back of her shoulders and calves hit the metal behind her.
"Well, it's sure as hell what it seems," She mumbled.
"Okay, well," He leaned in even closer, and continued in a low voice, "I have missed you. And this has been really hard on me."
Kat couldn't help herself. She found that she instinctually leaned in closer. Eventually, his forehead came down to rest on hers, and he ran his hands up her arm until it came to a stop on the side of her neck. She wasn't sure where this was going, but she knew that it felt better than where it had been.
"But," He said as he pulled himself away from her slightly, "the long distance thing really isn't going to work out for me…"
Katarina Stratford rarely found her self speechless, but that sentence had done it. She nodded in a quick, tight fashion, and turned to get back into her car again. And, again, she was stopped by Patrick as he made her face him once more. He held her wrists in his, and she felt the tears that had built up in her eyes finally start to fall. Since he had her hands, she was unable to brush them away, but couldn't find it in herself to care anymore. She hurt, and though she usually refused to let anyone know it, this time she knew there would be no sense in hiding it.
"Oh, god," Patrick closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. "No…. No, Kat, that's not what I meant..."
When he opened his eyes again, Kat bit her lip and averted her eyes. She felt that she could be stronger if she didn't look into his. Her body stiffened when she felt his thumb wipe a tear from her cheek.
"What exactly did you mean, then?"
"I meant," He said as he placed his hand under her chin, and lifted her face so that their eyes met, "that this long-distance thing isn't going to work for m-,"
"You said that already," She interrupted him, again feeling the anger start to rise.
"Let me finish," His face was stern, so she nodded for him to continue. "It's not going to work out for me, so I'm coming with you."
Kat felt her eyebrows go up, and her mouth drop open. She was apparently unable to find her voice, as well. She opened and closed her mouth for a few seconds before decided it was probably best to just keep it closed and wait for him to explain.
"That's where I was this week."
"You were in Providence?" Kat's voice made its reappearance. A smile began to slowly make its way across her face.
Patrick smiled back at her, and hers got even bigger.
"Yeah. I signed a lease on a place. It's small, but pretty cool. It has this great red, leather window seat. Perfect for when you want to curl up with a book. I filled out all the paperwork for my new job there…" He trailed off, his voice getting quieter as he went on. He stuffed his hands into the front pockets of his jeans, and looked somewhere over her head. He suddenly seemed the most unsure of himself than Kat had ever witnessed.
"Patrick," Kat said. "That's why you've been working all the time?"
He nodded, still not meeting her eyes, "Well, yeah…"
"Why didn't you say anything? Why didn't you tell me?"
Several seconds went by before Patrick said anything. When he did, his voice was low.
"I guess I was kind of scared that you wouldn't actually want me with you."
Kat didn't know what to say. She had never heard Patrick even hint at the fact that anything scared him. When she didn't reply, he started to speak again.
"I don't know, Kat. You've got that whole 'strong, independent woman' thing going for you. I don't know if you want your boyfriend following you across the country. I know that you would probably be fine without me, but honestly, Kat, I wouldn't be fine without you."
After a slight pause, Patrick looked like he might say more, but she didn't give him the chance. Kat attacked his lips with her own so viciously that she somehow managed to knock him off balance enough to reverse their positions, pinning him between herself and the car. He responded with just as much enthusiasm as he wrapped one hand around her waist, and the other on the back of her neck, bringing her flush against his body. She moved a hand to his head, and grasped his dark curls, eliciting a small moan from him. He was able to feel her lips tilt up into a smile, and broke away to get a look at it.
She stared at Patrick for a moment before leaning in close again. She looked up at him, and placed both of her hands on his chest, smile still firmly planted on her face.
"Seriously, Patrick, it's okay if you're obsessed with me. Just admit it."