Author's Note: SO. I've been away from this fandom for a while, but thought I'd give it another go. This is just a teaser chapter, really. Kind of me, getting back into the characters. The real plot will begin in the next chapter. Anyway, hopefully you all like it. If you read, whether you liked it or not, please take the time to give a quick note letting me know your reasons why! And thanks to Doks for the initial inspiration for the story. If anyone has anything they'd like to see me write, don't hesitate to drop me a message! I love getting free ideas. :)
Disclaimer: Nah, I don't own anything. Sad, but true.
By the end of Senior year, Kat & Patrick had broken up and gotten back together 3 times. The first was the infamous month in Junior Year where Kat had almost gone to Nepal just to escape the awkwardness. Then there was the summer break-up, which Kat did to appease her father, and which lasted all of 12 hours. Midway through Senior year, Kat had been the first to say "I love you", which freaked Patrick out enough to say "I think we should see other people" in reply. He took about a week to realize that other people suck and he only wanted to be with Kat. Since then, the two had been on pretty solid ground. Not that they didn't still fight constantly. But by the end of the summer after Graduation, they had learned to distinguish between a fight and a break up.
Kat was considering a fourth and final break-up the night before she left for Brown.
She had been packing all day, and her room felt foreign in its bareness. The posters that had littered the walls for the past two years, since they moved into the house, were either tossed out or rolled up waiting to take the trip with her. Her stacks of books were packed in now impossibly heavy cardboard boxes. She was just taking down all the photos that lined her mirror, which was what brought her to think about Patrick (because, naturally, almost all of the pictures featured Patrick, or were taken by Patrick, or were of something that reminded her of Patrick...).
He had been acting strangely for the past few weeks. Or, more accurately, she didn't know how he had been acting for the past few weeks, since she barely saw him. She was trying to give him space; she knew he didn't deal with change well, and especially so when change meant someone leaving. And besides, he had finished up the last of his vo-tech credits over the summer (thanks to the school's vocational program, he was now a licensed mechanic), so he was probably busy looking for a job. But they hadn't even talked about what it would be like to try a long-distance relationship. She was worried that it might be smarter to just end things now, rather than dragging it out over several long and uncomfortable months.
"Kat?" She was brought out of her thoughts by Bianca's timid voice calling from behind her closed door. "Can I come in?" Bianca had been tip-toeing around her sister lately, as if she were afraid to get in any fights before Kat left.
"Yeah, come on in," Kat replied. Bianca shuffled into the room, clad in a pink robe over her plaid pajamas.
"Wow, your room looks so...sad," Bianca said. Kat remained silent. "So..." Bianca continued, mustering up as much enthusiasm as she could, "Are you excited? You're finally getting away from Dad's insanity."
Kat smiled. "You know, I think I might actually miss his insanity...and yours too."
Bianca laughed, but then let the room fall silent as the two sisters sad on Kat's bed. Both knew that things were changing, and things may never be the same again. It was a heavy feeling.
Just then, Kat's window swung open and the two looked around to see Patrick, his eyes dark and his face even more solemn than usual. "Well..." Bianca said, "I should let you finish...packing. Have fun!" she left the couple alone, quietly closing the door behind her and heading downstairs to make sure her dad didn't get in the way of whatever may or may not happen next.
Kat remained on her bed, shocked to see Patrick. He hadn't showed up at her bedroom window in weeks (though for months before that, he had made it an almost nightly routine), and she wasn't sure what to think about him showing up now. He didn't wait for an invitation before he climbed through and joined her on the bed, a surprisingly chaste distance apart. For a long moment, neither one said anything.
At last, Kat broke the silence. "Hey, stranger," she said. Or, tried to say. It came out as a sort of throaty whisper.
"Hey," Patrick replied.
"So..." Kat tried again, "You managed to get out of helping me pack."
"I've been busy."
Kat could feel her rage beginning to bubble up. She stood up and looked down at where Patrick sat on the bed."You've been busy? I'm the one who's moving across the country tomorrow! I'm the one who's starting classes in a week!" She could feel a lump forming in her throat, and she fought hard to keep her eyes from welling up, "I'm the one who's leaving all her friends, and her family, and her boyfriend..." her voice trailed off, all her anger fizzling out with nowhere to go.
"You don't have to," Patrick said, matter-of-factly.
Kat shook her head, "Of course I have to, Patrick. Going to Brown has been my dream since...since when most kids dreamed about being astronauts! I'm going to Brown, and that means leaving..." again, she left her sentence unfinished, this time stopped by that stupid lump in her throat.
"No," Patrick said, standing up and stepping towards her. "That doesn't mean leaving me behind..." he hesitated as he let the impact of his words sink in. "I mean," he added, "not if you don't want to." She looked at him, speechless, not sure she was hearing him right. He continued, "Kat, you know...how I feel about you. And you should know by now that there's nothing keeping me here. At least, there won't be once you leave. I don't know about you, but I don't want to do the long-distance thing. So, if you want me to, I want to come."
Kat shook her head in disbelief. "Are you serious?" She loved that he was offering her this, but at the same time, the little voice of reason inside her said that it was a crazy idea. "I mean, I've got student housing. You can't stay with me. Where are you going to stay? What are you going to do for money? What about your mom? Would you come now? What about your stuff? And what if you get there and decide you hate it? And what if-" she was cut off by Patrick's lips pressing against hers.
When they breathlessly pulled apart, Patrick kept his lips close to hers, and whispered against her skin, "You talk a lot."
End Note: There you go, I hope you like it! Next chapter will be up soon-ish...the more reviews I get the more motivated I am to write!