Jerome absolutely despised Mick for stealing Mara. Well, not stealing her, since she…never technically was his, but for having her when he was supposed to. So he had made a plan. He was going to woo Mara with something Mick couldn't offer.
However, what was there that Mick couldn't offer? There were brains, but it was clear Mara didn't care for that. Mara was deeper than liking that, she based her lovers solely on personality. And Mick's personality was so…perfect. Sure, he had a temper, but it was so rare that he would lash at someone, and he would never dare lash at his precious Mara. Besides his temper, Mick was an extremely caring and nice person. Shit. If only he knew something personal about him, something Mara wouldn't like. Or maybe something that would drive her to himself…that's it! Jerome snickered and turned out the light next to his bed where he had thought the matter through. He had the perfect plan.
~The next day~
It was a Saturday, which gave Jerome time to sneak out at five in the morning to run down to one of the alleys in town. A few days ago he remembered them being there. He hoped they still were. When he got there, there was the stand and all it's glory. He put money in the pay-box, lifted one up carefully and ran back to the house with it. This was going to work, it had to.
~Noon that day~
Mara had taken her usual window-seat reading spot and iced tea and was sprawled out in the cushions when Jerome suggested she open the window and let the breeze in. She's accepted the idea and opened the window. A few minutes later, she heard a soft noise coming from outside. She pressed her ear against the screen and listened carefully.
"Jerome, did you hear that?" she asked, a puzzled look on her face.
"What is it, Mara?" he asked, walking over to the window.
"It sounds like a kitty!" she exclaimed, looking out the window. A small long haired-creamy orange cat looked up and mewed at her. "Oh my God! Jerome it's trapped!" She pointed at the kitten with it's paw stuck underneath a pile of bricks that were never cleaned up. "Shit," she muttered under her breath. Jerome almost chuckled out loud. He'd never heard her curse before. Her gasped when Mara opened the screen and jumped out the one-story living room window.
"Come on! Jump, Jerome!" she shouted, and lifted up some of the bricks. He jumped carefully and began helping her. Once they were done, she checked it for any damage.
"All clear," she said, wiping her forehead. "Hi little girl," she said, cooing the kitten. "I'm gonna call you…Munchkin! You look like a Munchkin. Hi Munchkin. Looks like you'll be staying with me and Mickey-Mouse tonight." Jerome smiled and laughed evilly in his brain, then gagged at the pet-name.
~11:00: weekend bedtime~
Mara crept into bed with Mick, Fabian crept into bed with Nina, and Alfie crept into bed with Patricia. Amber slept in the bed that was supposed to be Alfie's, feeling more comfortable there than in the same room as Patricia and Alfie-especially on a Saturday. Blech. Mara crept in with Munchkin sleeping in her arms. Mick seemed to be half asleep already, so she put the kitten on the end of the bed, where it curled into a little ball against Mick's feet. Mara got into bed and pulled the covers up, curling up against Mick, who put his arms around her sleepily. They began to heavily snog. Mara let out moans of pleasure as it got more intense. She was about to pull off her shirt when-
"ACHOO!" Mick sneezed openly onto her face. She gasped and eww'd and wiped off her face, sitting up.
"Mickey-Mouse!" she whined like a little kid. "You sneezed all over me. You better not be sick, cause it's midterms this week and-"
"Mara, it was just a sneeze, I'm not sick. Sorry, I'll try not to do it agai-Achoo! ACHOO!" he covered his mouth this time. Mara put a hand on his forehead.
"You're right," she said, pondering. "Why are you so sneezy then?" she asked, concerned. She heard a few sniffs and another sneeze before a reply.
"I –achoo!- I dunno. It must be just allergies," he said, sniffing. He took a tissue from the table next to the bed and blew his nose. "Uh, God. It feels like someone took a cat and rubbed it on my face." Mara froze. Oh…shit. She turned on the light to look her boyfriend in bloodshot eyes.
"I found a stray cat today and I brought her in, and I hid her from Victor in Nina and my room, and I brought her in here to sleep. I'm so so sooo sorry, Mick! I'll bring them somewhere else and get a new blanket. You go get those sneezes out of your system and blow your nose. Wash your face too." She was crying. I can't believe I did that!
"It's okay, Martian," he said, using his affectionate pet-name. "I –achoo!- I forgive you. –achoo!- You -achoo!- don't have t-to –achoo!- ap-pologize. –achoo!- How would you have kn-achoo!-known?-achoo!-" he sneezed multiple times as he got the words out.
"Thanks a lot, I love you, Mickey!" she said kissing him and dashing out of the room with Munchkin.
Knock, knock, knock. Jerome mischievously grinned.
"Come in," he whispered.
"Hey, Jerome?" Mara asked. She was wearing a tight-hugging cami and pajama short-shorts.
"Yes, Mara?" he asked, pretending to be 'sleepy but cute.'
"Can Munchkin sleep with you tonight?" she asked. His heart froze. Munchkin sleep with him. Munchkin. Mara was supposed to sleep with him. Munchkin was just a stupid decoy. He sighed.
"Sure, why not?" he said, making a space in the bed for the kitten. Mara dropped her gently and she curled into Jerome's chest and purred.
"Thanks a million, Jerome, I owe you one," Mara said, closing the door behind her and getting back to Mick and her room. She changed the sheets and blanket on the bed and sooner or later they were curled up in each other's arms again, snogging. And later on, sleeping in each other's arms. Across the hall, Jerome stroked the cat in his arms. He had given up on Mara. Mick loved her just as much as she did, but she loved him back. Mara didn't love Jerome back, so it wasn't true love. But she loved Mick, and he loved her. So that's why Jerome would let them be together.