Okay so I dont know where I came up with the title... but I gues it was just because I was listening to CHasing Cars by Snow Patrol when I wrote it... theyre my new obsession... right after BTR lol
So anyway... When I wrote NOt Part Of The Plan... I became a bit more interested in Helena... and decided that I deprived Carlos of another oneshot o.o lol So I wrote one!
It's not that good... but read it anyway... tell me what you liked! Please!
The rain had just stopped, leaving the atmosphere of the outdoors humid and rainclouds floating overhead, threatening more rain to fall, giving people their five minutes to find shelter if they didn't want to be soaked.
Helena sighed and pulled the hood of her jacket over her head, knowing it wasn't going to do anything but not exactly caring. Her backpack sagged on her shoulder, and she added a light bounce to her step so she could push it back into place. The air around her was unusually cold for summer, but she was used to it. Her ice skates clashed annoyingly against her thigh with every step she took, and after a while she untied them from where they were hanging on the strap of her backpack and stuffed them inside.
Just as she was about to close the flab of fabric back over the pocket, her eyes caught a light yellow color, and she reached back in, curious as to what it was. She was one of those people who just stuffed random things into their bags without looking, and even though she kept promising to her sister that she would clean it out, she never actually did.
After a couple of minutes of digging around, she pulled out a crumpled paper flower, its stem failing to keep the flower up and flopping down to the side.
A smile pulled at Helena's lips as she remembered the little girl that had given her the flower after she had purchased a box of cookies from her and her little Girl Scout friends. Helena wasn't really trying to give money to charity or anything at the time; she was just really hungry and couldn't afford anything at the market. So after yelling at Kendall and her sister about not giving her some kind of discount she had stormed out and practically trampled the small five year old girl in her Girl Scout uniform selling cookies at the front entrance. After millions of apologies, the little girl had asked her if she wanted to buy some cookies, and Helena had told her that she couldn't afford them but gave the little girl's mother everything she had in her wallet at the time.
"It's okay," the little girl had assured her, flashing her small toothless smile and reaching into a box under the table. Soon enough, she pulled out a paper daffodil that she had made the day before, as well as a box of cookies. She offered the gifts to an awe-stricken Helena, who took them with a laugh.
A week later, Jade had come home to tell her that the little girl's mother had come to the farmer's market to thank Helena for her donation, because whatever money she gave had helped the little girl earn enough money to give her baby sister chemotherapy because she had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.
Now Helena held the crushed flower in her hand, smiling as she walked home from another day at the rink. The sky opened up above her and she felt the moisture of rain drops hitting her head. She picked up the pace, pulling her hood farther up onto her head to avoid the drops of water. Suddenly she regretted not calling anyone to come pick her up.
Conveniently, her phone started vibrating in her bag.
The rain picked up as she stopped on the sidewalk once again, removing her skates from inside of her bag as she dug around for the small electrical device, sighing in frustration when she realized how much junk she actually had in there.
"How can something so small hold so much?" she muttered to herself as she walked forward to a nearby trashcan and started throwing loose papers and gum wrappers away.
Finally, after tossing out at least three pounds of garbage, her fingers collided with something small and hard, and she flipped the cell phone open and pressed it to her ear before it directed whoever was calling to voicemail.
"Hello?" she breathed, blowing her dark hair out of her eyes as she stepped on forward, her free hand still curled around her flower.
"Guess where we are?" a grin broke out on her face when she was met with the playful tone of Carlos' voice. Carlos, who had been one of her four (or five, if you counted her sister, Jade) best friends since they literally collided on the ice in the rink almost nine years ago. And even though she loved James, Kendall, and Logan with all her hearts, Carlos always held a special place in her heart, and she didn't doubt she had a huge crush on him. Maybe it was his goofy smile or those big chocolate eyes that gleamed every time he was doing something totally irresponsible?
She looked down at her wrist, her hand folding in and her finger reaching for the small helmet charm hanging off of her bracelet, his personal mark.
She realized that whatever it was about him, she loved it.
"Hmm, let me think…" her tone was teasing, and she could almost see the huge smile on his face. "You're surfing with Dak Zevon in Malibu?" Ever since he and the guys had moved to California to become "Big Time Rush" (AKA: Gustavo Rocque's "Next big thing"), she always had the fear that they would get too famous and forget her and Jade, letting the fame and money and girls get to their heads and leaving the funny, down to earth guys she had grown up with behind.
But they always insisted on calling in at least once a week, and from what she heard, they were destroying Hollywood with their reckless plans and "awesome vocal chords" (James' words, of course), and hadn't changed at all.
"No," he laughed, and the sound of it made her realize how much she really missed him. "Guess again."
"Come on, Carlos. You know I hate guessing." The rain was full on by now, and her clothes were soaked, the flower in her hand drooping over sadly as the paper absorbed the water. She didn't really care by this point, she was talking to her best friend, and that was all that mattered at the moment.
"What did we say about walking home alone from the rink in the middle of a downpour?" he demanded, and there was a different sound to his voice, one that she couldn't really put her finger on.
She stopped, her head cocking to the side in confusion. "What?"
"I can hear the rain, Helena, and I'm sure you don't have an umbrella over your head."
She rolled her eyes and laughed. "How do you know that?"
"Why don't you tell me?"
Her smile fell and her face twisted into a mask of pure confusion. "Carlos, did you run into a wall without your helmet or something? What are you talking about?"
He laughed again, louder this time, and she suddenly longed to see his smile. "Turn around." Was all he said before the line went dead.
She looked down at the screen of her phone for a minute, not understand anything. Usually when he called they would last hours on the phone, him telling about his latest adventure in Hollywood and her listening and complaining about how she had nothing but ice skating to do in Minnesota anymore. That last conversation had lasted at least five minutes, and his last words made no sense.
She took a step forward to keep on walking, shrugging it off and deciding to call him when she got home, but the flower slipped from her fingers and fell with a low thump into a puddle by her feet.
Sighing, she bent down to pick it up, uselessly pulling up the sleeve of her jacket and reaching into the water, clasping her fingers around the stem and pulling it back up, where it broke and stayed where it was.
"Come on!" she groaned, her backpack dropping onto the sidewalk beside her. She knew that it was a lost fight already, and that the paper flower couldn't be saved, so she heaved a sigh as she yanked the strap of her backpack over her shoulder.
She froze when her eyes caught sight of the familiar sight of grey sneakers.
Her eyes slowly wandered up upwards, studying the sneakers before settling on the soaked jeans, slowly moving up, taking in the familiar dull orange sweatshirt, now a dark brownish with all the rain falling on it. She tensed when her eyes trailed over those familiar pink lips, that same beauty mark on the side of his chin, the well-known shape of his nose, then those dark chocolate eyes that she hadn't seen in months, still shining as brightly as the last time she had seen them, the same black hockey helmet perched on top of his head like always.
She stood up slowly, taking a couple of minutes to just take the sight of him in, trying to find a logical explanation to his presence before her. He didn't say anything, only smiled at her, but it slowly dimmed the longer she stared at him, her eyebrows slowly coming together in confusion. He noticed her caramel eyes growing wide, but not with happiness.
He had expected a different reaction, more like a squeal of happiness followed by a huge hug…
He didn't expect her to burst into tears.
She had come to the conclusion that she had gone insane.
She was dementedly crazy, that was it. Growing up with someone and getting used to them always being with you, only to have them randomly leave one day and never come back was hard for someone, especially if you had just realized you really, really, really liked them.
If not loved them.
She hadn't realized how much she really missed him until her subconscious had conjured up this image of him standing before her with that same smile, that same gleam in his eyes. She had gone bonkers, they guys' absence hitting her harder than she expected, and it came to the result of this torture.
Her eyes burned and a lump rose in her throat. And after a couple of minutes of just staring at the image before her, she rose a hand to her mouth and just burst into tears, allowing the tears to spill over and cascade down her face, mixing in with the rain that was now pelting against her face. She struggled to calm her sobs down, not that it worked well.
He stood there, shocked as she just cried, sobs ripping through her chest and tears visibly pooling down her face with the rain. What the hell was going on? She wasn't supposed to cry! She was supposed to be happy to see him! When he had left Minnesota, he knew that he was leaving something important behind, and it didn't take him long to realize that he had fallen for Helena, and that he really, really, really liked her. More than a friend. Maybe he loved her; he wasn't sure since he had never felt this way about anyone.
And he was starting to think she might have felt the same way about him, given the way she seemed to just light up around him and how she always laughed at his jokes, and how he was always the first one she would call when she was in the need of a friend.
He didn't really understand the whole "girl thing" or how they flirted. He honestly had no idea how to tell if someone liked him or not, so he went to James, who told him at once that he was probably the most clueless person on the face of the planet. At that time, Logan had jumped in and agreed, which ended in a bit of rough housing and shattering of Mrs. Knight's lamps, which led Kendall to yell at them the next day about how he was now grounded and his week's paycheck was going to buying his mom a new lamp.
So he had convinced himself that he liked her, and that she liked him, which made their friendship seem more than… well, a friendship. Because well, last time he checked, friends didn't hold hands while at the movie theaters, friends didn't let their friends sit on their lap when there were no seats in a room, friends didn't flirt as much as they did.
But that's what they were, just friends.
He planned on changing that.
Unfortunately, Hollywood happened at the same time, and Carlos suddenly found himself more preoccupied on the excitement of California and millions of dollars and millions of girls to focus on his confusing relationship with Helena. She was to stay in Minnesota as he and the guys flew to Hollywood to make it big, and they grew into a long-distance friendship, which he guessed was just as good as a long distance relationship, right?
After a couple of weeks in Hollywood, dozens of awesome adventures, a couple of singles here and there, and a few sort of fun dates with the no budget horror movie director, Stephanie King, he realized he kinda, really missed Helena. Of course he would miss her, she was his best friend just like her sister, Jade, and the guys, but considering how much he liked her, she seemed the one he always thought about.
So when summer came around, Jade had called them to say that she had gathered enough money for four plane tickets to Minnesota, and Mrs. Knight was more than glad to let the boys go home for a bit. It took a while to get Gustavo to approve, but after Griffin told him how much the record company loved Big Time Rush's new album, the fat man said yes to everything, including giving the boys a three month vacation and paying for their return tickets.
Helena was said to know nothing, and it was confirmed when they landed and Jade was the only one waiting in the Torres household, saying that Helena had decided to go to the rink for a while, which is all she was doing for summer while her sister worked. That's when James, Kendall, and Logan had practically pushed Carlos out the door, insisting he surprise the clueless girl at the rink with a kiss. Considering he had never done something like that, he hesitated, but soon found himself jogging to the rink, giddy with excitement.
And he had done it. He had set it up perfectly, a phone call as he hid behind a tree as she walked home, leaving her with a confusing set of last words, approaching her at just the right moment as she scoured a nearby puddle of water for whatever she had been holding in her hand before, standing over her and smiling as she finally saw him.
The guys would have been proud to know he did so well, only one thing had ruined everything.
He tried to understand why she would be crying so hard at the sight of him. How long had he been gone? Almost a year, actually, and his feelings were still as strong as ever, if not stronger. The sight of seeing her, walking home alone, the grin on her face when she realized it was him on the phone.
And yet, here she was, crying like someone had died or something.
A year was a long time, he realized. A lot can happen in twelve months. Look at him, in the course of a year he had turned from hockey player to one fourth of a practically famous pop band. His life had changed in an instant.
Feelings can change just as fast.
Did she not like him anymore? What if she never did? What if he and James and Kendall and Logan had just read her completely wrong and she only wanted to be friends?
He struggled to keep cool and not let her know he was secretly having a panic attack.
She was really going at it by now, her sobs mixing in with the sound of hiccups as she struggled to breathe, her eyes red and puffy. And the rain didn't really help. It seemed to add to the gloomy effect of seeing her so sad.
"Helena." He said her name quietly, reaching out and grabbing her hand.
She inhaled violently, trying to take a deep breath. It seemed so real, the feel of his fingers locking with hers. "Carlos?" she croaked, her voice thick with tears.
A small smile formed on his lips, and he gently pulled her closer to him. "Hey,"
Her free hand came up to touch his face, and her fingers traced every plane of his face; his smooth forehead, the perfectly imperfect shape of his eyebrows, the straight line of his nose, the indented shape of the dimples on his cheeks. He only watched her, not understanding what she was doing, it was probably one of those weird girl things that he never understood. It was almost like she was trying to memorize what he looked like, which he guessed was understandable.
Her fingers lingered on his lips, tracing the soft shape of them, and he resisted the urge to just kiss her right there. He still wasn't sure if she liked him or not.
After a minute, she gasped. "Carlos?"
He nodded, swallowing. "Uh, yeah."
She had stopped sobbing, and he wasn't sure if she was still crying or if it was just the rain. Her fingers curled around the loose strap of his helmet, and she pulled, causing his head to move to the side with the same motion of the helmet. "It's actually you?"
"Last time I checked…" he was so hopelessly confused, why did she seem so confused by his appearance?
"I'm not crazy? You're real?"
He stared at her for a minute, processing her words before that goofy smile broke out across his face and he laughed.
That explained a lot.
"You're crazy," he confirmed, nodding and laughing some more. "But not the way you think you are. I'm really here. Jade got us plane tickets back to Minnesota, Gustavo gave us the entire summer to ourselves." He lowered his voice and tightened his fingers around hers. "And I had to come back to see my best friend!"
The small smile that was slowly forming on her lips fell. Best friend. That's what he considered her. No matter how much it seemed to be more than a friendship, it was just that. Nothing more. The realization hit her harder than she thought it would. She didn't know she felt this strongly about him.
He noticed her reaction and frowned. "I said something wrong, didn't I?"
She heard a giggle around her, and it took her while to realize it had escaped her own lips. The rain was slowing down, now only a slight sprinkle. She sighed and felt herself nodding. "A little."
"What was it? Because whatever it was I didn't mean it! Well, except the part where Jade got the tickets, I meant that… oh, and Gustavo really did give us the entire summer off, believe it or not… and you are pretty crazy, but I love that about you… and—"
"Wait," she stopped him, and his mouth quickly shut, his lips pursing as he realized he was blabbering again. He wanted to kick himself. What stupid thing had he said now? "Say that again."
"Say what again?"
"That, what you just said!"
"Uh," he raised an eyebrow, trying to remember what it was exactly that he said. "You're crazy… but—"
"But?" she prompted.
"But… I love that about you?" it came out more of a question.
She seemed to throw herself into her thoughts and brought her hand up to rest at her chin, her eyes wandering up to the sky.
"Uh, Helena? What's so…"
"Do you like me?" the question was so blunt, so abrupt, that it shut him up at once, and his eyes widened, his brain trying to process her question.
"It's not really a hard question," she shrugged. "Just answer it."
"But… I… ha…" at that exact time, his helmet decided to malfunction and slump down onto his face, covering his eyes as he stammered nervously. His hands flew up at once, catching it and sliding it back in place, but it didn't behave, almost like it was urging him to just spit it out already, which is what any of the guys would be yelling at him to do. But his lips just didn't seem to be working, and he stuttered away. "Well, uh… I, um…"
With a sigh of frustration, Helena reached up and yanked off his helmet, dropping it to the ground by her backpack. Carlos no longer had something to distract him, and he shrank under the gaze of her light brown eyes.
"I take that as a no," she sighed, her shoulders slumping.
"No!" he exclaimed, grabbing her arm before she had a chance to turn around. "I mean, no as in, you're wrong. As in…" he took a deep breath and started again. "Okay," he exhaled slowly, thinking hard about how he was going to say it. "Yes, I do like you."
She looked up at him, meeting his eyes. "Like…"
"Like, more than a friend. Well, we kinda are more than friends already… considering all the stuff we do," he thought back to their almost-kiss back in freshman year. It was on the ice, in the middle of a girls' vs. guys' hockey game that Kendall and Jade had set up. Carlos had just taken the puck from Helena and passed it to James, hitting it too hard and causing him to bump into her, both of them stumbling forward until Helena was pressed up against the wall, Carlos leaning over her. Before anything could happen though, Logan had hit Carlos on the head with his hockey stick and the next thing she knew, Helena was watching them fight at her feet.
Shaking the memory out of his head, he looked back down at her. "But… well I want to be, ya know…" he trailed off, his shoulders slightly coming up in a shrug.
"So you…" she tried to find the right word for it, something that wouldn't sound too elementary school-ish. "Like me." She said simply, hating her outcome.
"I'm not exactly…" he closed his eyes and swore to himself this was the last time he was to restart a sentence. "I don't really know."
"How can you 'not really know' if you like me or not?" she demanded, crossing her arms.
"Well," he gulped. "Do you like me?"
"Of course I like you!" she threw her hands up in exasperation. "Of course I like you, Carlos! Isn't it obvious? I've been giving you signs for forever, and you ignored every single one of them."
"So you like me?" his eyes lit up, happiness gleaming brightly. "Like… really like me?"
"This is ridiculous!" she groaned. "No, I don't."
His face fell. "But you just—"
"That's because I'm not sure if I really, really just like you, or if I'm totally in love with you."
The world seemed to stop after those words escaped her. It wasn't raining by now, the only drops of water falling being those dripping from the leaves of the trees. Carlos gawked at her, his mouth hanging open in shock. She bit her lip, ready to face his response, which by the look of his face, was set to be a bad one. Her friendship with him seemed to wash away with the rain suddenly as he didn't say anything, only stared at her, trying to figure out what she had just said. Nothing would be the same now if he didn't return the feelings. He would probably just go back to California and find himself a pretty actress or model and forget about her.
After about ten minutes of just standing there, her clothes heavy with the water from the rain—she was sure they would both have colds in the morning—she sighed and broke the silence.
"It's okay if you don't feel the same way," she picked her bag up sadly, slinging it over her shoulder. "You don't have to…"
"Helena," her head shot up at the sound of her name, and she was met with those huge chocolate eyes she seemed to love so much.
It's amazing how much more you feel when you finally admit it.
He took a step closer to her, more nervous than ever. He decided to just be honest and admit everything he felt.
But as usual, his mouth didn't cooperate.
"I've never had a girlfriend." He blurted out instead, and as soon as he realized what he said his cheeks flushed and it took a lot not to just punch himself in the face right then and there.
She laughed. "I've never had a boyfriend."
"Yeah you have!"
"Okay, Logan losing a bet with James and taking me to McDonalds in the sixth grade does not count." She rolled her eyes.
"Well, I've seen you go on plenty of dates with guys." Carlos countered.
"Yeah, double dates with Jade and Kendall because my mom didn't let them go out alone."
"Well you liked one of them."
"It was middle school crush! And I didn't like him as much as I liked you."
That seemed to shut him up.
"The point is, Carlos. That I've never really experienced anything like this before, and it's all confusing to me too."
"But I still love you." He said suddenly, which caused her jaw to drop just as low as his did. "At least, I think I love you. I mean, I don't really know what it's like, because you're the first girl I've ever loved. And I just don't wanna mess up, because I just really—"
He stopped babbling and looked at her. "What?"
"Just kiss me." She whispered.
So he did, and he was pretty good at it too. He pulled her close and pressed his lips softly to hers, sliding his eyes shut and wrapping his arms around her waist, his hands on the small of her back. She smiled against his lips and slipped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer and kissing him a little harder, and he just went with it, both of them throwing themselves into their first kiss.
After a while though, they had to pull away, and both of them were beaming as Helena tightened her arms around Carlos' neck and hugged him tight. "I think… I just might kinda love you, Carlos."
He pressed a soft kiss to her damp dark hair and grinned. "I think I might sort of love you too, Helena."
They both chuckled quietly, their foreheads touching as they just stared at each other, and Carlos' smile widened as he felt her weave her fingers through his hair, the feeling better than he imagined.
Suddenly, a car pulled up and the window was rolled down, revealing a smirking Kendall. "Hey guys," he greeted casually, waving.
Helena raised her eyebrows, not bothering to unwind her arms from Carlos' neck. James then popped his head out and wiped away an invisible tear. "I've taught you so well."
Carlos rolled his eyes.
Just then, Logan rolled down the window from the backseat and wiggled his eyebrows, gesturing to their close embrace. "I see you can't physically get any closer."
"Oh, they can," a new voice joined them, and Jade popped out of the sunroof, where her finger came up and pointed at the Latino. "But he knows that if he gets any closer, he'll end up losing something very important to him."
Everyone laughed as Carlos eyed his helmet on the ground, making sure it was still present.
"And I don't just mean the helmet."
Carlos yelped and let go of Helena, hiding behind her small frame. Everyone laughed as Helena rolled her eyes.
And then, completely out of the blue, Kendall was holding a huge, round bullhorn. With a chuckle, he hopped out of the car and draped an arm around the new couple, his finger pressing against a button on the horn before he raised it to his lips and announced to the people now roaming the streets of their small Minnesota town, "Ladies and gentlemen," Carlos and Helena yelped and hopped away from the blonde, their ears ringing from the sudden loudness. "I am more than pleased to announce that Sir Carlos Garcia and Miss Helena Torres have just officially had their first ever make-out session!"
To say that Carlos and Helena's faces were red was an understatement as those who had heard either laughed at the good fun of being a teenager or cheered at the news. The three occupants of Jade's car were practically dying of laughter, as well as the announcer himself.
Carlos rolled his eyes and pushed Kendall back into the car, where he bowed dramatically before settling himself into the seat.
"I told you my plan would work!" Jade high-fived the boys.
Helena sighed. Of course, she was the object of one of her sister's wild plans. Carlos chuckled and draped an arm around his (it was so amazing to even think it) girlfriend, leaning down to whisper something in her ear.
"Race you back to the rink."
She looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. "Carlos… we're all wet."
"True, but I'll be whizzing past you so fast I'll be dry by the time I get there."
She snorted. "As ridiculous as that last line sounded… you're on."
He made a move to start running, but she grabbed his shirt. "Wait." Before he could realize what was going on, Helena had stolen a quick kiss and was sprinting ahead, leaving him there in a daze.
James rolled his eyes. "You are pathetic."
"That's not fair!" Carlos called, ignoring James' remark and running after her.