To Search for the One
Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the workings of W.I.T.C.H. - I leave that honor up to Elisabetta Gnone. Nor do I own Michael Jacobs and April Kelly's comedy-drama series,"Boy Meets World" (even though this story isn't even really related to the series. Just don't want to hear law suit claims, so thought I'd mention it once within this disclaimer LoL). However, I can and DO claim to own this story and its inspired ideas FROM said series.
Note: So, okay. So February rolls around, and naturally themes of 'love' and 'romance' and the like come about more frequently than any other time of year. And because of this, thoughts of old shows which used to air and I'd watch, including the usual Valentine's Day themed episodes popped into my head.
And after having received my Valentine's Day gifts from friends, family, and my husband, next you know, the show 'Boy Meets World' popped into my head, thereafter, and, more specifically, one episode in particular. 'I Love You, Donna Karan,' and then its concluding followup episode, 'Chasing Angela,' to be more precise.
GOD, do I forever love that (yes, non-V-Day related) episode, it being what made me earn a returned interest within the show at all at the time back then, honestly. It was just absolutely adorable and well written, as well as played out well by the actors. =)
And then, unfortunately, as it often happens, my muse had to go and reawaken itself where fanfiction is concerned (as I have admittedly been busy more so with my newest book than I have my fics, hence my long absence, sorry!), and wouldn't leave me alone about utilizing those episodes' ideas for a new W.I.T.C.H. story.
And so, well, here I am, back again, and here it is. While it will obviously follow some elements used within those episodes, it still won't be exact, so no worries. While I'm at it, I may as well throw in some concepts from 'The First Girlfriends Club' (which actually was V-Day related) episode, too. Probably won't, but meh. LoL
This story/chapter was created in February 2011.
"Sooo . . . what number is she, now?" a slightly flabbergasted Hay Lin ventured within inquiry from her usual seat at the large, rectangular wooden table that she and her longtime companions and fellow Guardians of the Veil would traditionally sit every other weekday after school, within the popular diner which was typically predominantly packed with fellow young adolescents wishing to burn off some academic steam.
The petite, gangly young Heatherfield High School Freshman gently cocked her frequently pigtailed, raven colored head to the side, as she continued to watch the pretty familiar sight in question, while her closest and longest friend, Irma Lair, promptly responded from her own place at the girl's left.
"Wonders never cease, Hay," the curvacious, short haired brunette began with a rather deadpan air in between bites of the basket of Sweet Potato Fries she had ordered several minutes before. "But then, one would think that at least you of all people, being his 'adopted family' and all, would have some kind of clue. Or, if not you, then maybe his first, 'lost love' over yonder, instead. Personally, though, all I really care for is a change of scenery suggestions for 'em, because always using 'The Daily Grind' as the 'Daily Grave' for his 'Three-Weekers' all the time is really starting to bum me out - And I'm not even the one he's dumping!"
The vaguely aforementioned, sole blonde of the group then emitted a generous scoff from her soft lips, and gave a great roll of her baby blue eyes, before turning around within her seat from across the sarcastic Water Guardian's own in order to properly affix her own gaze upon her premiere, as well as now former boyfriend.
"Oh, please, Irma! He and I have been over for ages, although we still have love for each other as the dear, sweet friends we are now," she remarked with a curiously false sweetness, before finishing with, "which is why, as my dear, sweet friend, I only want the utmost happiness for him . . . even if what he's been doing - For nearly a year now, I might add - is completely self destructive and asinine. . . ."
The remaining girl present, Will Vandom, who had yet to cast her own opinion upon the ongoing display before them within the near distance, lightly smirked at this after having taken a deep swig of her cherry soda, before commenting.
"If any one of us didn't know any better - Which, of course, we do, or should by now, anyway - I'd say that that sounds like the makings of a jealous ex-girlfriend. Of course, though, I suppose that it helps to have a new, ridiculously handsome and steady boyfriend within Taranee's older brother, Peter, who can help lull any possible sensation to that effect, too," she playfully teased, knowing that the mention of the currently absent Fire Guardian's only sibling in front of the serious girl would always cause her to blush.
Will then lightly nudged the tall Earth Guardian seated next to her, before then turning around within her own seat to partake within the spectacle, as well.
"At any rate, C does have a point, though. I mean, the remainder of the eighth grade, straight into the near middle of the ninth is a pretty long time to randomly date our fellow classmates for such a short amount of time. Pretty soon, he's gonna run out of ninth grade girls, since none of us would ever care to date him, which he knows, anyway. He'll have to take a chance on the sophomore, or even junior girls, instead, if he's lucky. What do you think he's trying to prove, anyhow?"
"Who knows? All I know is, the pickings must really be slim if Caleb actually bothered to give Courtney Grumper a go - Even if it's only for the usual hot minute he gives all of his 'girlfriends,' if you can even call them that. Hope he doesn't try for Bess, next, just so he can say that he's dated twins before, or something. . . . H-Hey! Does anyone even know why our darling Metamoorian chose three weeks as his dating duration, anyways? Always hated odd numbers, myself . . . they're just so . . . odd."
Cornelia, smiling quite slyly all of a sudden, eagerly took that as a prime opportunity to take a jab at her friend, slash enemy, or 'frenemy,' as Hay Lin would often refer to the blonde and brunette's tumultuous, yet nonetheless caring relationship.
"Huh, that's funny. Usually it takes one to know one, doesn't it? I mean, they're 'odd,' you're odd," she remarked a bit too proudly, looking about the table at her remaining friends in hopes of receiving a good laugh at what she'd thought to be a pretty clever jest.
However, there was only an awkward silence which greeted the now blushing Cornelia in turn, before she then promptly folded her arms across her still growing bosom, and sharply sucked her teeth.
"See? And you all wonder why I'm 'always so serious' and don't joke around as much as the rest of you. Everybody's a critic," she spoke within abashed bitterness, as both Will and Hay Lin softly chuckled within both familiarity as well as sympathy to the tallest girl's fairly common sulking.
"Well, with the lame ass jokes you try to tell, someone ought to be, Corny. But then, I guess it really would 'take one to know one,' as you say, given that your jokes are corny, and your name is Corny. Now, that's how you tell a good one, sister," Irma commented with a triumphant grin at the sight of the other girl's reddening face, both in upset and continued embarrassment. "But, anyway, moving back onto the far more intriguing issue that is our budding playboy, Caleb. He could be doing all of this due to some unknown, tragic befalling, and this is just his way of coping with it, who knows?"
This theory did not seem to sit well with Hay Lin, whose flax hued countenance instantly scrunched up into one of profound concern for the older boy in question.
"No, way! You don't really think that could be it, do you? I mean, there's like, a million other, better ways to deal with any sort of trauma! L-Like talking it out with one or all of us, for starters! We're his friends, after all!" she emotionally reasoned with a light frown, at the same time that Will reached out from across the table to gently rest a hand upon Hay Lin's own in comfort.
"Shhh, Hay. I'm sure that there isn't anything secretly wrong with Caleb - Well, in that way, anyhow. After all, he's always the one who likes to preach to us about 'the importance of keeping an open line of communication as Guardians, so there won't be any sort of strife later on.' And as an active part of the team, himself, I'm sure he wouldn't risk doing so on his own, either," the redhead quietly assured with patient eyes, giving the already calming girl a soft smile. "No, I think it's probably something much more simple, maybe even typical - You know, for teenaged boys to do. Maybe he's just trying to live it up and be reckless for a change - Well, no more than usual, anyway, and in a non-'Fighting the Scourge of Metamoor' kind of way - now that Guardian duties have been light as of late. 'Sowing his oats' and all that . . . er, well, you guys know what I mean."
It was then Cornelia's turn to become greatly affected by the current conversation, having nearly choked upon the half eaten Chicken Salad which lay before her and she had been eating with previous content.
"E-Excuse me? Ugh, T.M.I., Will, really! Like I, of all people, especially, would want to hear about the possible - Or not possible - exploits my ex-boyfriend might do behind closed doors -"
"- Or car doors," Irma craftily interjected from across the table, before she, Will, and surprisingly, even Hay Lin began to softly giggle at the furthered reaction of pure mortification being riddled across the blonde's face.
"God, I have so got to get some new friends this year, for sure. . . ." Cornelia muttered underneath her breath with a deep scowl while the laughter continued, doing her absolute best to block it out as she then began to sip furiously at her pink lemonade, its recognizable tartness effortlessly matching her current mood.
The first to calm down, Will lightly cleared her throat before speaking once more.
"O-Okay, we're sorry, Cornelia - I'm sorry, for that rather unpleasant visual. I was only trying to help throw out better, more possible reasons for Caleb's -"
"- Oh, geez! Shh! Seems like our boy's just finished reading Courtney's 'Last Rites,' because there she goes, crying her rejected, angry little butt right out the door, and here he comes!" Irma suddenly hissed, once again interrupting one of her friends, although this time for more important reasons.
Each girl then watched as the recently dumped and blatantly wounded Courtney did her best to shield her tear-stained, reddening face from view as she fled the scene as swiftly as she could, nearly taking out a random server who had been within her path of way as a result. And then, rather than turn their unanimous attention onto the gradually approaching Caleb, the four present Guardians did their best to give off an air of both casualness as well as obliviousness, which seemed to be rather familiar for each of them to during such times.
Sure enough, Cornelia, who currently had her sunlit colored head strategically lowered and lips carefully attached to the white colored straw within her water glass, softly murmured to her companions, "Now, everyone knows the drill: He sits down, we let him, and we just all talk about everything and anything else under the sun, unless he brings the hot topic up, all right? We didn't see anything, and we don't know anything."
"Pfft. Speak for yourself," Irma countered with a quick roll of her aqua tinted eyes, her own mouth currently obstructed by the two pieces of Sweet Potato Fries she had just then picked up and was about to eat. "We all know that he's gonna talk about it now, just as he always does every damned time he gets rid of another 'girlfriend,' before never bringing it up - Or dating the same girl - again. . . . God, I wish that at the very least he'd stop coming to sit with us after he does the deed if we're around, though. It makes the rest of us look like we're a part of his freaking harem, or something. . . . Again, I say that we need to find a new place to hang out!"
Realizing how true her statement honestly seemed, especially given the current stares they were receiving from some of their fellow schoolmates seated about the various, surrounding tables as the tall brunet continued to close the distance between he and his female friends, each of them could not help but to let out an exasperated groan before simultaneously sinking into their chosen seats.
"Hey, girls! Ooh, Sweet Potato Fries! Mind if I snag a couple, Irma? I'm pretty starved," Caleb casually stated with a genuine smile once he had at last made it to the Guardians' partially occupied table, before seizing the unclaimed seat at the corner edge of the elongated table nearest Irma and Cornelia and turned it backwards. He then, with a soft, satisfied sigh, sat down upon it before gingerly reaching out to claim a couple of the humorous Water Guardian's fries to eat. "Mmm, thanks for that!"
"Uh . . . sure, thing, Caleb," Irma replied with a weak smile, before curiously raising a balled up fist to her mouth as though intending to muddle an oncoming cough. She instead, however, merely wished to use it only to drown out her following comment, "I mean, I imagine repeatedly shattering the hearts of many a girl could build up anyone's appetite. . . ."
Although Caleb did not seem to catch this within the naturally noisy diner, Hay Lin, quite possibly due to the exceptional hearing her dominion over air granted her, or simply due to the fact that she was right next to her, swiftly reacted upon listening to this by blindly reaching out to sharply pinch her best friend's bare thigh from underneath the table.
"Yeow! What the fedge, woman?" Irma yelped within immediate pain, rubbing at the now throbbing area, while her sudden outburst startled the table's remaining occupants as a result. Seeing this, her naturally tanned cheeks growing rosy in accordance, she begrudgingly forced herself to come up with a lie, recalling the girls' continued 'pact' of sorts never to bring up Caleb's romantic 'hobbies' and actively get involved unless he brought it up, himself. "I-I, uh . . . cramps. You know, 'Aunt Flo' and all that. . . ."
While Hay Lin began to softly giggle behind the napkin she had then promptly reached for, and Will, in contrast, did nothing to hide the blatantly amused grin currently plastered upon her own face, Cornelia, with a soft smile of her own, then turned her attention onto her now visibly befuddled ex-boyfriend.
"So, Caleb! When did you get here? We would've invited you over, naturally," she did her best to play it cool, while attempting to sound as genuine and none the wiser as possible. She wasn't worried, though, as she knew that the young boy would effortlessly take the bait, much like he always would, to be the one to initialize conversation about his frequently recent breakups, just like Irma, herself, had previously stated prior to his arrival . . . which, in all honesty, was pretty much the only reason why Cornelia could personally stand to 'honor' the agreement to remain mum about Caleb's personal life unless he opened up about it first.
He pretty much always did, or, at least, did usually immediately following after said breakups, which the blonde interpreted as his way of acknowledging each happening and to just get it out of him in case he might have wished to dwell upon one or a lot of them, perhaps, before promptly moving on and never looking back.
Whatever the reason, Cornelia was always more than happy to listen to the latest gossip . . . even if said gossip was a bit too close for comfort, technically, and she still firmly believed that what the Ex-Rebel Leader was doing, carrying on in this way, really was pretty asinine.
Clearing his throat with a simultaneous nod of acknowledgment, Caleb swiftly chewed, then swallowed the Sweet Potato Fries he'd previously held within his hands, before responding.
"Yeah, well, I actually saw that all of you were here, and planned to come on over earlier, but I . . . had some unfinished business to first take care of with Courtney, you know," he explained, a bit too nonchalantly, before reaching out for another fry. "Needless to say, she didn't take it all that well. . . ."
"Ohh, has it been three weeks, already? Boy, time sure does fly by pretty quickly when you're having so much fun, eh?" Hay Lin suddenly chirped with a bit of overdone cheerfulness, her turn to feel rather bunglesome as her friends then gazed upon her with crooked smiles of wonder. "Heh, heh . . . j-just saying. . . ."
Caleb, seemingly undeterred by his 'sister's' excessively exuberant comment, merely gave a light shrug of his muscular shoulders, before broadening his smile into one of curious mischievousness.
". . . . You could say that again, Hay Lin," he began with a growing twinkle within his deep green eyes, as though privy to something his female companions were clearly not . . . although, judging by the look upon his face and the current topic at hand, none of them were quite sure they honestly wished to be. As though realizing this, Caleb then immediately dropped the faraway gaze and simper both from his face, before tentatively clearing his throat once more in order to continue. "B-But, anyway, all good things must come to an end, right?"
Wrinkling her nose for a moment, while doing her absolute best to shake the brewing, rather disturbing vision of Caleb and Courtney making out . . . among possible other things, Will forced a renewed smile onto her face before she spoke.
"I suppose, but she didn't really seem to take it with the same grain of salt as you, when she'd run out of here in tears - I-I mean, you know, assuming that that was the reason, anyway," she said with a recovered air, adding a quick shrug of her own shoulders for added emphasis.
Caleb merely smiled, himself, at the redhead diagonally across from him, before popping the momentarily forgotten fried treat he'd held in between his fingers into his still hungry mouth.
"Her crying was a bit unfortunate, true . . . and so was the punch in my arm she'd given to me before she left, although it didn't honestly hurt all that much, since she's kind of on the weak side," he began in between bites, raising his right hand to his left bicep momentarily, before removing it.". . . . But, Court knew what to expect and what she was getting herself into when I'd first asked her out three weeks back. She was no less informed than all the others, you know, as it isn't as though it's a secret, my 'three weeks only' rule, either. No . . . she'll be all right in time, I'm sure. She just probably didn't expect herself to get so emotionally involved, is all."
Caleb's comrades were then promptly met with strong discomfort, as per usual, admittedly, upon listening to yet another one of his tales of young teenage love gone awry. They each should have been used to it by now, of course, but it was perhaps mostly bothersome to listen to the boy's honest callousness, because he was their friend, and he was generally otherwise well mannered and polite.
A bit stubborn, crabby at times and occasionally rude or even sexist, true, but never anything too overboard.
And Cornelia, especially, could not help but feel the most affected by the alien male's behavior in secret, even if she really was always willing to hear about it straight from the horse's mouth. She couldn't help but wonder if that was how Caleb had felt while the two of them had dated, harboring the same sort of insensitivity toward her and her former feelings for him, the way he seemed to with the girls he would now randomly date.
She, of course, naturally did not hope it was the case, and it never seemed to be back then, either. . . . Still. Cornelia certainly hoped that however Caleb now felt about their long dissolved romantic relationship, he, at the very least, held it within some sort of respectable regard, the way that she, herself, still did.
Maybe it really is just about him having fun and 'living it up' like Will said, the blonde thought to herself in fleeting wonder, before Caleb's voice once again rang out into the immediate atmosphere and broke through her silent contemplation.
"Sooo . . . where's Taranee? I'd have thought that she'd be here with all of you, as well," he said within honest curiosity, evidently at last taking notice of the intellectual Fire Guardian's absence.
At this, Irma waved a hand within apparent dismissal, before smirking broadly, seeming to have already gotten over the previously awkward discussion.
"Meh! You know Taranee! Our little do-gooder stayed after school to help tutor that junior chick who's honestly as dumb as a post, sad to say . . . what's her name . . . oh, yeah! Rachel Nash," she revealed with a soft yawn, before finally resuming her previous consumption of her Sweet Potato Fries alongside Caleb, who'd just then curiously ceased within doing so.
Hay Lin, meanwhile, gently frowned toward her closest friend within obvious disapproval.
"Irma, that's really mean to say! You don't know that for sure about her," she defended on behalf of the young woman she honestly did not know all too well, herself, which did nothing to deter her natural compassion for others, regardless.
"Well, she can't be all that bright if she'd even need a tutor to begin with, though, Hay Lin," Cornelia chimed in with a light smile, surprisingly taking Irma's side upon a matter for a change, while Will couldn't help but to gently chuckle upon hearing this in spite of herself.
"Yeah . . . but she's still quite the looker, though, isn't she?" Caleb suddenly joined in, causing his surrounding female compatriots to once again unanimously return their attention onto him. His eyes were curiously misty with a renewed faraway, almost longing sort of gaze, as he stared at nothing and no one in particular.
None of them had to be absolute geniuses like Taranee, perhaps, to know what was already brewing within the male's adolescent mind right at that moment.
As Irma bestowed onto each of her girlfriends a knowing glance which almost said 'I guess Will was right that it'd only be a matter of time before he'd try to land him a junior!', Taranee had just then coincidentally walked through the front door to the diner, and, already spotting her friends at their usual spot, began to make her way toward them.
Caleb was the last to take notice of the girl's newfound presence, as his back was naturally facing the dual entrance and exit; however, each girl seated around him was secretly relieved by this, as they were well aware of what would follow as soon as he did realize.
Sure enough, the very moment Taranee came into view, having passed by him at his right in order to make her way to the remaining seat nearest Will and Hay Lin, and was directly across the way from him, Caleb was the first to eagerly greet her before she even sat down.
"Hey, Taranee! Listen, I heard that you're Rachel Nash's tutor! Any chance she came this way with you?" he asked as casually as he could, watching attentively as Taranee's soft brown eyes began to widen within unexpected surprise from behind her round eyeglasses a moment, before relaxing.
She then slowly took a seat at the table, after carefully setting down her school belongings onto the floor neatly beside her, before responding.
"Um . . . yes, I am, Caleb, and yes, she did come this way, actually, since she was nice enough to give me a lift over here after our tutoring session had ended," Taranee explained with an awkward smile, gently tilting her raven hued head to the side within mounting curiosity. "Why do you as -"
"- Thanks for that! Listen, I gotta go, you guys! I'd just remembered that there's something I gotta do! See you!" the native Metamoorian hastily interrupted with a large, undeniably hopeful grin, already standing from the table and snatching one last fry before then swiftly rushing out of the diner's doors.
None of the other girls seemed to be all that surprised that Caleb would have done such a thing just then, given what all of them had been previously discussing, and so the most any of them had bothered to muster by way of reaction in that moment was a simple, soft and defeated exhale.
Taranee, however, was now naturally perplexed, and reached up to blindly scratch the top of her head, as she spoke to verbally confirm the sentiment.
". . . . Uh . . . anyone know what that was all about?" she asked within growing befuddlement, looking upon each of her friends and fellow Guardians for an answer.
Irma, apparently done with trying to finish eating her small meal, as she then pushed the basket of unfinished fries away from her, looked upon them with faint disgust momentarily before responding.
"Honestly? In short, that was just Caleb's increasingly overactive libido committing furthered homicide to the remainder of his brain, my dear," she grumbled with a shiver, one which was immediately shared with the rest of the table's occupants, negating the continually confused Taranee.
And even though she honestly was still feeling as such, she did not bother to press the issue further, as it was quite clear that none of the other girls cared to divulge anything further.
The only thing left on the rest of the girls' minds was how long the next three weeks were going to be, yet again.
- End of Chapter One
(A.N. Yes, of course, 'Ranee is just as aware of Caleb's three week madness as the rest of the girls. Well, not as aware in the 'let's talk about it constantly, because I willingly wish to know all the details' way, but she does know. And yes, that will be delved into further in the following chapter, obviously, after the girls most likely crack and tell her about what had happened with Courtney and Caleb, anyway, I'm sure. =) Just figured that since she came in at the end, she'd be momentarily left out in the end, as well. Meh. LoL
Anyway! And yes yes, obviously our boy Caleb IS a teeny tiny bit out of character, although I honestly see him more so starting out as his cartoonverse, before eventually growing into a mixture between that and his comic self just a tick by the end of it all, so just deal with it. LoL Besides, there's generally a reason for everything, right? =) And also that I'm well aware that at times it was like, 'Well, if you don't want to know about it and hear the details and be grossed out, why ask or hope for him to tell you all about it?', tug and pull befuddlement in that way, but that was on purpose, as well. I mean, it's just honestly one of those disastrous car wreckage scenes which are completely gruesome and you know you shouldn't watch, but you do anyway because your natural curiosity is already piqued. Same thing here. =)
Oh, yeah! And it was pretty much a 'cold open,' or jumped right into there, this story or 'episode,' this time around and unlike the most of my other tales, as I'd honestly felt it'd be much more suitable to have you be as perplexed and 'Is he honestly serious about all this?' as the girls were. =)
Butttt . . . yeah! Guess that's it for now. Chapter two coming whenever! Well, soon, hopefully. HeHe)