Note From Author:

This is my first 'Saving Francesca' fanfic. It is actually written for a school short story assignment. We had to fill in a gap or silence in the text. Mine is about Thomas Mackee and Tara Finke. I'm glad they're finally together in 'The Piper's Son'. I really do love this book.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Melina Marchetta. This was for a school assignment that I hope to get a good grade on. :)

Petruchio Is Kated

I walk into detention and something makes me do a double-take.

Tara Finke is in the back corner. I pass Mr Brolin who is standing near the door and take a seat two from Finke. She gives me a glare. The seat is hard and I pull my ever trusty Discman and notation paper out, until I think of something more useful to do with my time. Something much more interesting…
I decide to throw a piece of paper at her head. She tries to ignore me, so I do it again.

"What'd you do to get into detention?" I ask.

"I told Mr Brolin exactly what I thought of his point of view, and where to stick it," she replies indifferently. She has a pen and a notebook out. In large capital letters at the top of the page are the words 'THE NEW AND IMPROVED LIST'. I'm sure Francesca will be delighted to see Tara's work tomorrow. Tara is scribbling down dot points. She has the messiest handwriting for a girl I've ever seen.

Mr Brolin shoots Tara a scathing look before leaving for the teachers' lounge, it's almost as if he thinks she's going to burn down the classroom as soon as he leaves. However, this was Tara Finke and she'd probably think it would make a good 'statement'.

I get up and sit on the seat right in front of her desk, making a big deal out of leaning over and reading what she's writing.

"Is the whole world obsessed with tampon machines or is it just you?" I tilt my chair to a 180 degree angle I reach across and write on the top of her page, 'You're not that bad Finke.'

She glances up, "Oh Thomas Mackee, my heart's pounding a million times a minute because of your confession. I would never have been able to survive if you hadn't just given me the approval." A roll of her eyes concludes her sarcastic statement and she continues her list.

"Siobhan said something the other day about you being like Katarina from that movie, uh, 10 Things I Hate About is it… Her? No, wait, um, Him? No, that wasn't it… The one with Heath Ledger in it," I tell her, ignoring her attempt at stopping me from talking. I know Finke, probably better than she thinks.

Not even looking at me this time she says, "It's 10 Things I Hate About You, Thomas. And I doubt that Siobhan would say that. She's never seen it."

"Hmm, maybe you're right. Maybe it wasn't Siobhan," I mutter.

There's another moment of silence. She puts down her pen and shoves the list away from her, but she doesn't restart the conversation. The sunlight streaming in from the window next to her makes her hair seem an extra rich kind of brown and rather soft. I start to wonder what it would smell like. And then I stop myself. It's Tara Finke. TARA FINKE!

"So if I'm Katarina from 10 Things, who'd this mystery person say was Patrick?"

I stare at her, racking my brains to figure out who Patrick was.


"Patrick… you know, the character Heath Ledger plays?"

"I don't think they mentioned a Patrick," I say. In my head a little voice is screaming, 'I'll be Patrick!' but I quickly banish the little voice.

"'And that which spites me more than all these wants, he does it under name of perfect love'."

"Huh?" I ask, completely confused.

"It's from 'The Taming of the Shrew' by William Shakespeare," Tara tells me but my expression must have remained puzzled because she continued, "The play that 10 Things I Hate About You is based on? Petruchio from the original became Patrick, and Katharina became Katarina nicknamed Kate? You're so ignorant!"

"'Oohh, see that, there. Who needs affection when I have blind hatred?'" I whisper before I can stop myself, and inch towards her, shortening the space between us. I notice that deep down I'm cursing the stupid desk that's between us.

"Ahh, Patrick's line', seems as if you've seen that movie more times than me," she says leaning forward a little. Our gaze holds a little too long and I find myself realising just how glossy and pink her lips are. She has the intoxicating smell of lavender. I can't tear my gaze away from her beautiful eyes and I slowly close the space between us. Her expression is slightly perplexed, as though she can't work out what's happening and whether or not she likes it. She starts to tilt her head and she's coming closer and closer. I can see myself reflected in her eyes, and there are small freckles on her nose that are only visible this close up. I can see her eyes flicker to my lips and back up to gaze into the depths of my own as if she's hoping to see something and…


The door slams shut behind Mr Brolin. It wrecks the mood and makes us jump away from each other. I half curse him because I almost kissed Tara Finke and then the thought does a flip. I almost kissed Tara Finke! What's wrong with me? She infuriates me, drives me insane, and annoys me to death and here I am about to kiss the chick? She's refusing to look at me, writing something else in her notebook.

"Ms Finke, the principal wants to see you," Mr Brolin says, irritably.

Tara tears the paper from the notebook and the amount of force she uses to stand up makes me half expect the desk to break. Her eyes find mine and I suddenly realise, that one day when the detention room door doesn't interrupt us, Mackee and Finke might actually kiss.

And then she kicks my backpack on her way down the aisle, and I notice the small smile on her face as she strides out the door. But I guess that's Finke for you, never able to show an ounce of vulnerability.

On the notepaper she left behind are the words, 'I warrant him, Petruchio is Kated'.

I wonder what on earth they mean.