College by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or any of its characters.
Author's Note Unlike on the show, in this story Sue and Cindy are friends, not sisters. I'm not sure if they're Japanese, Chinese or from another country, just that they're international students. I don't know what the year was when they died, so I just made it 1978.
After I'd written it, I had a thought: Perhaps they're from a well-to-do family, perhaps their English is very good, or somewhere in Hong Kong where the English were? Oh, well, I guess. (I don't mean to offend people whose English isn't the best.)
The room was big because it was empty, and dusty because it was old, creaky because it creaked.
The room sat over a fast food shop. It always woke him early in the morning, someone down there in that shop, moving about, knocking into things; sometimes he thought they were very clumsy, but perhaps it was only that the shop was very small.
Jan stared up at the ceiling and couldn't sleep.
Sue was older; Cindy younger. Cindy laughed a lot; Sue, too. But Sue was older. When she laughed it was attractive, when Cindy laughed it was dumb; dumb little girl always laughing at the wrong time and nobody knew why.
Sue was smart. She wore smart clothes. Cindy liked tee shirts that got baggy in the wash with acrylic slapped across the front. She was always laughing at the wrong time.
Jan walked into her and she got coffee all on her tee shirt.
Sue laughed and put a hand over her mouth, disapproving. Cindy for once didn't laugh. She exclaimed loudly in Japanese in lament over her rotten luck and her favorite tee shirt, and then she remembered to apologize, feeling too silly for not remembering it first.
Oh no, it hadn't been her fault, Jan assured her, he was just very inattentive today, not paying attention.
Cindy laughed. She was the same, no matter how much she wanted not to be.
He apologized again and offered to buy her and her friend a coffee.
Cindy laughed because Sue was not often her friend, Cindy was that girl who went around with Sue. Of course she said yes, and Sue went along.
Cindy took one of the same classes it turned out.
Jan hated taking notes. He drew pictures instead. Cindy told him off, and so he wrote down: My brain hurts. Cindy laughed. Of course it did, she exclaimed, he was writing all wrong. You wrote with the other hand. He was so silly.
He called her Cindy-Ray and she gave him a look. He always said her name wrong. He was a very silly boy.
Cindy meant moon, he told her, and she was like a little ray of moonlight.
Sue wasn't very impressed.
Cindy stood in the aisle with Jan, Sue scanning around for a book some way up the aisle.
Cindy grabbed his hand and held onto it, grinning.
"Why are you holding my hand?" he asked quietly, because people weren't supposed to talk loudly in the library. Cindy had said so only yesterday, pointing insistently at the notice proclaiming: QUIET PLEASE.
Cindy shrugged. "I stop you go."
He shook his head at the silliness and smiled.
"Look at all of this book," she said, admonishingly.
He sighed and shook his head. "'All of this book!'"
Cindy smacked him on the arm. He was making fun of her. "Don't make fun of me," she told him in Japanese because she didn't know the words in English.
"What?" he said, smiling.
"You do it again," she said, a little bit angry.
He shrugged. "What?"
She growled and turned away from him, started off in Sue's direction.
"Ow!" he said, laughing, because she had tugged on his arm.
"Why do you hold hand?" she said.
He shrugged and followed after her.
Sue stood by the shelf, book in hand. "Tell him, 'Let go Cindy hand'," Cindy asked her.
Sue looked up from the book briefly. "Quiet please."
Cindy stomped her foot. "You is bad as him!" she said. She turned to Jan and rolled her eyes in Sue's direction. "She read. She good student." She huffed. "Do you think where to drink whiskey?"
"She make me do it!" Cindy defended.
"I think so," he said, nodding.
Cindy laughed, scrunching up her eyes. That was disgusting.
Jan leant forward and patted her leg. "I think someone's had a little too much to drink," he said, "and I think we should go."
Cindy shook her head emphatically. He stood to go. Cindy, in effort to stop him, lurched off the bar stool and was lucky he caught her.
"Oh, I'd definitely say someone's had too much to drink!"
Cindy laughed, feeling sick. "You live this?" she asked.
Cindy laughed some more. "I think you bad deal. It move much." She waved her hands in front of her face in imitation.
They sat down on the bed.
"Where girlfriend?" she asked suddenly and very loudly.
He smiled and shook his head. He didn't have a girlfriend.
"You play game!" she laughed.
He shook his head again.
Cindy frowned. "You no talk. You think Cindy know lie if talk."
"I don't have a girlfriend."
She watched him. "You say again."
"I don't have a girlfriend," he repeated.
She frowned. "You not normal!" she told him, smacking him on the arm, and flopped onto him.
He took hold of her arms and she laughed. He rolled his eyes and held her against him. She might just fall off the bed if she wasn't held on to.
They lay back on the bed and he stared up at the ceiling, hummed something he didn't quite remember.
Sue didn't talk to Cindy that day. She was mad at her.
Cindy acted just as if she didn't know Sue. Who was she anyway? Plus, her head hurt very much.
Cindy couldn't stop smiling. Jan spent most of the lecture time with his head on the desk.
The lecture theater cleared in dribs and drabs. "You no feel well?" Cindy said to Jan. "Do you have problem? Do you need doctor?"
Jan pushed himself away from the desk and sat up. "I'm super!" he told her excitedly, with big eyes.
Cindy looked away for a moment and looked back again.
Cindy collected up her things, thinking that as much as alcohol and she didn't agree, she did far better with it than he did. He was very scary right now.
"You have sibling?" she asked, sitting opposite him on a subway train.
"Big sister? Small sister?"
"Older sister. We don't talk."
"I have no sibling," Cindy told him.
He watched her, bored.
"Do we friends?" she asked after a moment.
"We're friends," he confirmed.
Cindy smiled and moved out of her seat so that she could sit next to him.
"I go off," she said, standing for her stop. "I miss but I see tomorrow. Not miss much, just little bit." She showed him how little with her fingers.
He frowned and grabbed her and pulled her onto his lap with a squeal. "Come home with me?"
Cindy watched him carefully.
He smiled. "Say 'yes'."
She screamed suddenly. "I miss my stop, you silly boy!"
She crossed her arms stubbornly. She was not happy.
"I die now!" Cindy declared, out of breath, and flopped down in front of the door. She was no good at running.
"Up you get," he said, pulling her to her feet.
She shot him a cross look. "Boy brainless," she said. She bent to retrieve her shoulder bag and dumped it on the floor inside. "What her name?" she said.
Jan was leant against the closed door.
"Sister? What her name?"
"I bad feel for Missy to have for you brother."
He grinned and shook his head.
"No big eye," she warned.
He stepped away from the door.
She backed away.
He dashed forward, grabbed her around the middle and spun her around. "Can I kiss you?" he asked, kissing her on the nose. "Cee?"
He dropped her, glaring, onto the bed. He sat down beside her and fell back, staring up at the ceiling.
"Cindy-Ray?" He turned and shot her a cute look, awaiting her reply.
She narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
He pushed himself up and trapped her beneath him. He leant forward and kissed the side of her face, placing his fingers over her lips. "Here?" he whispered close to her ear.
She lifted her chin to kiss him. He drew back abruptly and watched her with those too big eyes. He was teasing her. Smiling, he dipped and kissed her on the lips.