Tina Cohen-Chang had never been much of a workout type of a girl. Sure, she loved to dance, and she could appreciate a good run every once in a while. But fitness was never really the first thing on her mind. That's why it blew her mind how difficult raking the autumn leaves really was. She could feel the stitch in her side taunting her: Weakling, weakling, weakling! Exhausted, she drops the rake.
Mike is laughing. Something irrational inside her was already boiling from her own frustration over raking.
"It's not funny."
"I never said it was." His laughter clears right away but the damage had been done.
"You were laughing," she inches closer to him and pokes him in the stomach.
"I was laughing because you're adorable." He scoops her in his arms, nuzzling her neck affectionately.
"Am not." He picks up the rake with one hand, keeping his other arm tight around her waist. "But maybe I should take over."
He pouts his unfair pout that always makes her feel like crying. "How am I being sexist?"
"You think that since I'm a girl, I can't properly rake my own yard."
"Mmm not exactly. I think that since you're getting paler by the second and sweating up a storm, you deserve a break." He kisses her forehead before turning to the yard.
"You're lucky the view's good from here," she huffs, taking a seat on a lawn chair.
He doesn't turn to look at her, choosing instead to shake his butt for her. She rolls her eyes.
She had specifically told him that roses weren't really her thing. How could they be? They were sappy and generic and weren't even that pretty to begin with. He had nodded thoughtfully when she had asked him to promise not to get her any roses. That was never a good sign. Whenever Mike Chang's mind started reeling, she could always expect a surprise- whether or not it was a good one.
They liked to go out every once in a while for dinner or ice cream. That particular night, he suggested that they go out for Italian.
"Sure," she smiles, always appreciating a night out with Mike.
"I'll pick you up at seven." He looks exceptionally pleased with himself that day, which only causes her to be suspicious.
At seven, he arrives at her doorstep with a jar. A jar out of all the things in the world. She takes a closer look at it as she steps out of the house, closing the door behind her.
"Is that...is that origami?" She asks, bewildered at the colorful paper inside the jar.
"Yeah," he looks a little sheepish. "My mom taught me how to make them." He pushes the jar out to her like a kindergartner offering a crayon. "A lady should always get flowers on a date," he says softly.
All she could do is stupidly say, "I thought your family was Chinese."
He bursts out laughing, "We are Chinese, T. My mom's just really good with crafts. Do you like them?"
She opens the jar and pours a couple out onto her hand. They are made with paper with very adorable prints and she can't help but smile. "I love them."
"What are you doing?"
Mike's soft, familiar voice sounds from behind her.
"I'm studying," she says quietly, her hands protectively clutching onto a textbook.
"During lunch? We were all wondering where you were. And I felt like a horrible boyfriend when I said that I had no idea."
She laughs, "Is that all you're worried about? Your reputation as a boyfriend?"
"No!" He sounds genuinely hurt. "I like eating lunch with you. I was lonely." He kisses her cheek, pulling up a seat next to her and reaching for her book. "SAT Prep Book? T, are you serious?"
She frowns, "Yes, I'm serious. My parents say that if I don't do well, I shouldn't even consider dating anymore since it's 'clearly a distraction' for me."
This seems to hit home for Mike. His eyes widen immediately and he pushes the book back to her. "Well, in that case, could we be study buddies? Go on library dates together and nerd it up?"
Tina shakes her head, chuckling. "'Nerd it up'? Who even uses that expression?"
"I do! Now are we officially study buddies or not?" He grins, pouting his lips for a kiss.
She obliges. "We're officially study buddies."
The entire glee club is sitting sullenly in the choir room, cutting up pieces of fabric for their costumes. It's totally quiet in the room, except for the soft sound of snipping and the occasional cursing from Puck.
Tina hands Mike a pile of lace to shear down and he accepts them grudgingly. She hears him make a small noise in the back of his throat and she turns around to face him.
"Mike, you have to help cut," she whispers under her breath. "Don't try to get out of this."
"No, it's just that..."
She holds her index finger up to his lips to shush him but he pulls her hand away and leans into her ear, his breath soft and warm.
"It's just that this reminds me of a pair of your panties- my favorite ones."
She can feel herself blushing scarlet.
They sit next to each other during math because they like to play footsie under the desk and he likes to keep a protective hand on her thigh.
They are supposed to be learning about limits one day when he reaches over to draw a little heart on her notebook.
She rolls her eyes and tries to hide a smile because deep down inside, she thinks he's being cute.
His eyes rake over her notebook and he leans over slowly.
"You forgot the 'Cohen' when you wrote your name," he whispers, pointing at the front cover of her notebook.
She flushes because she didn't forget.
He is waiting by her locker after her chemistry class, just like always. He is smiling faintly, just like always. When she runs up to give him a hug, he breaks out in a full-out grin, just like always. But as she pulls back and scrutinizes him for a second, she realizes that something is different this time.
"Are you wearing my scarf?" She asks, gaping. He definitely is because it's her favorite white cashmere one with the gold trim.
"You left it in math class when you ran off to the bathroom," he shrugs. "It's warm and it smells like you."
"You're crazy," she laughs.
He narrows his eyes. "You always wear my jackets. I should be able to wear your scarf."
"Fair enough. Your jackets always smell like you," she pipes up. "I love them."
"See?" He sets his jaw, "I'm not crazy. I love the way you smell."
She shakes her head, chuckling, as they walk off to glee rehearsal together.
She drags him along with her sometimes, and he always pretends to hate it, but they both know he not-so-secretly enjoys it. He usually buys an iced coffee drink for them to share and they go store-hopping, usually to the ones she wants to go to, but occasionally to the very hipster stores he shops at.
They pass by Victoria's Secret and he stops dead in his tracks.
"Let's go in," he suggests with a coy smile.
"Mike Chang, are you saying you don't already like the underwear that I currently own?"
"No, I'm saying that that set would look unbelievably sexy on you," he points to the mannequin in the display case. It's sporting black lace with hot pink trim and even though she's not really a hot pink type of girl, the look on his face is worth way too much to give it up.
She taps his chin gently, "Come on, Mike. Pick your jaw off the floor." She pulls him into the store and he immediately goes to pick out a set in her size (how he even knows her size is completely beyond her but for some reason, she's not particularly surprised).
She reaches over to take it from him so she can pay for it but he marches right up to the counter and slaps down some cash to the very amused cashier, a blonde college girl who looks from Mike to Tina and then back to Mike again with a very knowing look in her eyes.
Her favorite flavor was cherry, and his favorite was grape, but cherry was his favorite flavor for her because after she drank it, her lips would turn a lovely shade of crimson and it made them that much more kissable.
One minute they're putting Tina's textbooks back in her locker and the next moment they've both got dye and ice and corn syrup dripping down their faces. She can vaguely hear the jocks laughing and high-fiving each other and she wipes the slushy away from her eyes, looking up at Mike.
"Sorry about that," she says softly, wiping some of the ice off of his face, then kissing him gently on the lips, tasting the sweet, artificial cherry flavor.
"It's not your fault," he shrugs. "You got grape, though. And I got cherry. Maybe we can trade?"
She laughs at the silly suggestion but nods, "Here, this will make it easier." She licks the red syrup from his neck, where it's dripping down. He follows suit, trailing his tongue around her mouth, where the slushy had landed.
"Get a room, you two," Santana rolls her eyes as she saunters by.
"Maybe we can go out for ice cream tonight," he suggests as they walk to where his car is parked.
"I can't," she says softly.
"I- I'm meeting up with Artie at the library for our history project."
He grows quiet, just like she knew he would.
"You're working with Artie?" he asks, his voice dangerously soft.
"Mike, please. I just don't know that many people in that class and we figured it'd be easier since our schedules our similar because of glee and-" she is rambling by this point and she cuts off, staring at him hopelessly.
"You know how uncomfortable he makes me," he says uneasily, opening the passenger door for her because that's just what he did.
She climbs in. "I know, Mike. It's just a project, it'll be over in less than a week."
He is silent the whole way to her house and she keeps reaching for his hand and even though he holds her hand in his, he is still stony.
"Do you want me to cancel on Artie tonight?" She asks gently.
"No," he says, his voice strained but he is doing his best to remain courteous. "It's okay. I have to go- I've got a doctor's appointment in fifteen minutes."
"Okay," she pouts a little but does her best to keep things okay between them. She kisses him carefully on the temple and he gives her a half-smile before driving away.
She walks home from the library that night, feeling accomplished for finishing the project but miserable because somewhere out there, Mike is sulking.
She doesn't have to wonder where, though, because she finds him sitting on her porch, his eyes downcast and his foot tapping.
"Mike? What are you doing here?"
When he hears her voice, he jumps up immediately and she notices a small white box in his hands.
"I'm sorry," he says simply, reaching out one hand for her to hold.
She takes it. "You don't have to be."
"But I am," he hands her the box.
"What is this?"
"Nothing really," he says dismissively, but she knows that usually this means that it's definitely something.
And in this case, she marvels as she carefully opens the box to find a blingy-looking pair of skull earrings, it is something. She tells him this.
"Okay," he agrees. "It's a peace offering."
She laughs. "We were never at war."
"Fine," he wraps his arms around her. "I just needed an excuse to be waiting for you when you got back from working on your project with Artie so I could be the last person you see tonight- not him."
"Aww," she smiles and plants a kiss on his lips. "But technically, my parents will be the last people I see."
"Yeah," he agrees, "but I'm not jealous of them."
She cracks up, standing on her tippy-toes for a kiss.
The new semester begins and they find themselves in the same health class, which Tina finds simultaneously hilarious and awkward, as the teacher describes contraceptives and STDs and other extremely uncomfortable topics and the whole time Mike is just waggling his eyebrows at her and she can't stop laughing.
They watch a video about teen pregnancy and Mike is aghast when they watch father after father ditch the poor teenage girl after finding out about the baby.
"Would you ever do that to your future wife? If you had to?" She whispers as yet another father declined to be a part of the situation.
"No, I would never do that to you," he says absent-mindedly, his eyes still glued to the screen and she secretly wonders if he noticed that he has just inadvertently called her his future wife.
A/N: Well, that wraps up this set of drabbles. :) Hope you guys enjoyed it, let me know what you thought/what you might like to see in future drabbles. :)