A/N: This is an update! Get excited! I saved all of the babble unitl the end. Please read it. :)
"DATE?" They both repeated in unison.
Sydney looked around the restaurant because this could NOT be happening. After seeing no familiar faces, she turned to look at Gage. She suddenly felt nervous as butterflies, no, bats, appeared in her stomach. She felt like a teenager who was sitting in front of a crush.
"Wow, talking about a set up." Gage said while playing with a rose petal.
"I can't believe Mike did this." Sydney shook her head and took another sip of her water.
"Speaking of, who is he?"
"Mike is my stepbrother."
"Can't be. You said you were an only child. If you had a step brother, then you would've told me by now."
"I just never told you about him. We hated each other until recently and he just wasn't worth mentioning."
"Oh. Makes sense. Why did you two hate each other though?"
Sydney sighed. "It's a long story, but I guess I can tell you. Do you remember when I told you about my parents getting a divorce when I was little?"
"Well, my father was granted full custody of me with visitation from my mother . It didn't bother me since I was an extreme daddy's girl. I guess I took it quite well until my mom stopped visiting. It made me feel like she didn't love me anymore. I always blamed myself for the divorce since I was an only child, and when she stopped visiting me, I just took it as a confirmation to my belief. Then my dad started to date again. I met a couple of the women that he's dated, but then I noticed that I only saw one woman, Brandy. He started falling for her and eventually they started a relationship and that's when everything went downhill. Brandy had a son named Michael, and he was just a couple of months older than me. He was also an only child. We were getting along until my father started spending more and more time with Mike. You know, playing basketball, football, soccer, just the guy things. I got upset because I was close with my father and it felt like I was being replaced by a child that wasn't his. I felt like both my parents hated me now. My mom stopped visiting me and dad spent his time with Mike. Brandy didn't even care. She didn't try to get to know me. I felt invisible and just ignored. It was a tough time for me. To add to the injury, my supposedly best friend, Casey, became Mike's little girlfriend. She always blew me off for Mike and we grew apart to where we couldn't stand each other. Mike always defended Casey and that's when I realized how much I HATED Mike. He took my father away from me, and he then took my only best friend. We fought and argued to the point where when my father and Brandy got married, I was sent to live with my grandmother. I literally got sent away so my father could start a new life with his new family. I realized the reason why my mother stopped visiting me was because she had died. My father didn't care enough about me to even tell me. It was like he stopped loving and caring about me altogether. He betrayed me, and I was so close to him. He hated me enough that when my own mother died, he failed to tell me or take me to her funeral."
She closed her eyes and shook her head as a few tears streaked down her face. Gage reached across the table and wiped them away with his thumb.
Syd looked down, embarrassed that she let her tears fall in front of Gage. "I'm sorry. Here I am crying over my childhood while you had it much worse."
"I'm not here to criticize your emotions." He replied.
Syd smiled a little. She continued.
"But things got better. I stopped letting my father and Mike get to me and I moved on with my life. I surrounded myself with the things that I enjoyed. Fast forward a couple of years.. I was actually at a party with a guy friend of mine and we both had way too much to drink. We were talking about our plan for the rest of the night and apparently we were going back to his house and basically have sex. We both were young, hormonal, stupid and very drunk. I was getting ready to drive, but none of that ever happened. I woke up at a friend's house and she told me about how drunk I was and what I was about to do, but someone stopped us and drove me to my friend's. She never told me the name, and I wanted to know just to thank him or her. If he/she didn't stop me, then a number of things could've happened. I could've been dead, I could've wound up pregnant, anything. But this mystery person prevented that. About a year ago, I found out that it was Mike who saved me. Turns out he was at the party as well and just kept his distance until he saw that I was walking into a death trap. I called him to thank him and he apologized profusely for everything that he did to me back when we were even younger. I forgave him and we started over. He became someone that I could trust, despite our past. He kept in contact, and I realized that Mike wasn't the same boy who I hated when I was younger and he got a chance to meet Alex, but with him being in the military, I never saw him much. He called me that day you were over and told me he was due to arrive in town in about two hours. I stepped out of the apartment because I was just excited. He was planning on staying at a hotel, but I invited him to stay at my apartment since he was visiting me after all. So after I hung up, you left and I tried to figure out why you were upset. I walked to your apartment, and you told me to call my "friend," and slammed the door in my face. Gage, you really don't know how you made me felt when you did that. But Mike picked me up and you know what happened from there."
Syd drank the rest of the water and looked back at Gage.
"I'm sorry I haven't told you any of that. I guess it was just something I kept to myself."
"It's fine shorty, I'm so glad that you trust me enough to tell me."
Syd smiled as her stomach growled. As if on cue, a waitress came walking to their table.
Syd immediately caught Gage as he stared at her.
She was tall, had long blonde hair and with brown highlights and very blue eyes. She was really pretty and she also was very curvy. She smiled, showing perfect white teeth and began to speak.
"Hey, I'm Miranda and I'll be taking your order. I came by twice, you but you two seemed deep into conversation and I didn't want to interrupt."
She took their orders and walked away.
"She's very pretty Gage."
Gage sensed the jealousy and self-conscience in Syd's voice.
"And this table is wood, the floor is tiled, and I'm wearing a black shirt."
"What?" Syd asked confused.
"I thought we were talking about things that didn't matter. She is pretty… " Gage said.
Sydney's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to say something, but Gage stopped her by putting his finger against her lips.
"But you're phenomenally beautiful, inside and out. And tonight shorty, you look amazing." Gage said, not really afraid of what her reaction may be.
Sydney wanted to reach out and punch Gage, but instead she looked down and blushed.
"Especially when you blush." He added.
She let out a chuckle and their food arrived. While eating, they just held normal conversation. Gage paid the bill and they ended up in his car.
"Where to, Shorty?"
"Movie at your place?"
On the way to Gage's apartment, they passed by a fair. Sydney sat in the passenger seat and her eyes were glued to the flashing lights, rides, and the excitement of the fair.
Gage noticed and spoke up.
"Seems like somebody is interested in the fair."
Syd never responded.
"Well..do you want me to turn around?"
Sydney shook her head.
Gage shrugged and decided that they were going to go anyway.
He turned down the road in the direction of Sydney's apartment, but she was too caught up in her thoughts to notice and object.
When they arrived at the apartment, Gage told Syd to go and change into something more comfortable.
"'No, I told you didn't want to go to the fair."
"Come on shorty," Gage pled. "The fair is fun. It'll be better than a movie."
"Are you afraid of clowns or the rides?" Gage asked.
"No! I already told you, we're not going to the fair. Why are you so caught up in the idea?"
"Because I saw the way you were staring at it."
"So.. That doesn't mean I wanted to go. I'm content with the movie."
"Well fine then. We'll go to my place and watch a BORING movie."
"YES! I knew you'd see it my way." Syd kissed Gage's cheek . I'm going to change. I'll be out in a minute."
She got out of the car and ran to her apartment. She returned a few minutes later.
"To be fair you get to pick out the movie" She said.
Gage started the car and began to drive.
He struck up conversation hoping that Syd would not pay attention to where he was headed.
After about ten minutes, Gage arrived on the fair grounds and Syd was not happy.
"I'm NOT getting out of this car". She crossed her arms and put her feet on the dashboard in front of her and pouted.
"Awww, wittle Sydney is upset!" He mocked in a baby voice.
She shot a cold stare at him and rolled her eyes.
"Gage, if you don't start this car and take me home I promise you I'll get out and walk."
Gage shrugged. "Nope," He said, popping the P.
Syd got out of the car, slammed the door shut, and began walking. Gage was soon to follow.
She quickened her pace, but her height set her at a disadvantage.
Gage caught up to her and grabbed her arm.
"Not so fast Shorty." he piped up before lifting her off her feet and throwing her over his shoulder.
He carried her like that towards the park entrance ignoring Syd's protest to put her down.
She kicked and flailed her arms, but Gage kept walking.
"PUT ME DOWN! You're KIDNAPPING ME. If you don't put me down, I'm gonna scream and they're going to think you're kidnapping me."
"Yeah because I would totally kidnap you and take you IN a fair with hundreds of people around. Nice try." Gage retorted.
He reached the gate and paid for both their tickets. Once they were inside he set her down and she glared at him, followed by punching him in the arm.
"OWWW. SYD! Why'd you-"
Syd cut him off with a reply. "You better be glad it wasn't your face. "
"You're gonna thank me later. Follow me."
She reluctantly did.
The two spent the next few hours playing games, riding the rides and just enjoying themselves. It Syd a while, but eventually she just let her guard down and had fun. She even won a stuffed snake for Gage and he won a giant stuffed teddy bear for her.
It was getting late and the fair was closing until the next day. To end the night, a fireworks show was arranged. It was on a field behind a large lake and the spectators stood a bridge to get the effect of watching fireworks over the water.
Gage crept up behind Sydney and wrapped his arms around her waist, hugging her from behind.
"Having fun, Shorty?" He whispered in her ear.
Syd smiled and leaned back against Gage's chest and looked at him.
"Yeah, this was probably one of the greatest nights I've had in a long time."
"Does it beat a movie night?"
"So tell me why you didn't want to be here at first."
Sydney pulled away and turned towards him.
"Because my first time ever coming here was with my dad, Brandy, and Mike."
"Let me take a while guess. It didn't go well."
"Not at all. He proposed to her here. He had everything planned and set up. Lights, rose petals scattered on the ground, music, everything. When she said yes, I thought that things would change. But walking to the car, I overheard them talking about sending me to live with my grandmother when they got married. That's when I decided that my first time coming to the fair would also be my last."
"Why didn't you say something? If I had known that this place bought bad memories, we would've watched the movie."
"Trust me Gage, if I REALLY wanted to leave, I would not be standing here right now. And the moment we stepped on the first ride I forgot about my dad. You know why?"
Syd placed her arms on Gage's shoulders and slowly snaked them around his neck as she spoke.
"Because I remembered that I was on a date with the most perfect, handsome guy ever."
Gage was shocked by Sydney's bold move. "Okay what did you do to Sydney and where is she?"
"Shut up Gage! She's right here! She just decided to stop being stubborn and finally let her guard down."
"Wow I ju-"
"Shhh. I'm not done. Let me get this out.."
She took a deep breath. This was now or never.
"Gage, I've fallen for you. And I love everything about you. Your voice, your laughter, your sense of humor, EVERYTHING. When I'm with you, nothing else matters and I feel like I'm on cloud nine. Not even the memories of my father and brandy could bring me down."
Gage placed his arms back around Syd's waist and looked at the fireworks for a brief second. He returned his attention back to the lady in front of him and sighed.
"You know shorty, when I first met you I always thought that you were something special. Then I got to know you and my feelings got stronger and stronger. You're so beautiful and strong and stubborn. You not like everyone else. Words can't describe how much you mean to me and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you."
Syd smiled as a tear rolled down her cheek.
She didn't even make a move to hide it or wipe it away.
Gage continued." I was always afraid that the feelings weren't mutual. But I realized that we spent most of our time flirting with each other and we spent so much time together, we became too blind to see the obvious. So let's stop this game right now and quit avoiding the fact that we could be together. Sydney, we're meant for each other."
"I know. It was killing me that we were JUST best friends and JUST partners . Every day I wished that we could be more than that. I guess my wish came true."
"I'm pretty sure that was MY wish," was Gage's reply. "I wanted it more than you did."
"I'm pretty sure I wanted it more." Syd Shot back.
The mini argument ended with a kiss. It's unsure who initiated it, but it was a slow, sweet, long, passionate, intense , and REAL kiss. Air became a necessity as both rangers pulled apart.
"I love you." They both said at the same time , followed by a laugh.
"I love you with all my heart Sydney Cooke."
"And I love you more Francis Gage."
"Nahhh. Don't think so."
They kissed once more and Syd rested her head against Gage's chest as they watched the last of the fireworks show.
They then went back to their apartment to enjoy time as a new couple.
Welll... that's the end.
Sorry it took so long for an update. I actually had 3/4 of the story done for the longest but writer's block hit and I couldnt finish it. I could've had it done before this, but I've been so busy with stressful school and other things I just didn't have time to sit down and give this story's last chapter my full concentration. I hope I did alright. (: Thanks for the reviews and everything. Even though this is the end of the story, please.. still review?
They make my day.
Thanks again for reading my story.