Disclaimer: I don't own anything!
Author's Note: Just watched this movie for the first time and I fell in love with Lenny's character. Is it sad that I got 98% of the references in that movie? This is my first shot at trying this four and one thing. Let's see how this goes.
"I say to you that she loves you more truly than me; for you she loves and knows, but in me she loves only a shadow and a thought; a hope of glory and great deeds and lands far beyond."
At first, Tyler hadn't thought much of it. The boys had more chances to be around Sydney; naturally they would know some things about her that he didn't.
Tyler looked around the Vortex's living room, phone pressed against his shoulder. "What's everyone want on their pizza?"
"Pineapples!" "Spinach." "Pepperoni." "Black olives." "Green peppers." "Just cheese." "Can I just get some garlic bread?" "Sardines."
Tyler looked over at Lenny, who was playing cards with Jeremy. "Aren't you allergic to sardines?"
Lenny blinked up at him. "Yeah. The sardines are for Sydney."
When Sydney came back from Blockbuster and saw her pizza waiting on the coffee table, George pointed at Lenny happily. "He got it for you."
Sydney hugged Lenny quickly around the shoulders from behind. "Thanks. How's the game going?"
"Your boyfriend's a pretty fast learner." Lenny told her. "He's actually not doing too bad."
"Well, next game, I'm jumping in." Sydney told him before going to get her pizza. She curled up between Lenny and Tyler on the couch, watching Gurkin of Honor and laughing when she heard Tyler's groan and accompanying "Isn't that cheating?"
Sydney and Lenny both grinned at him. "One of the rules of the game: It's only cheating if you get caught."
"What do you get a girl like Sydney for her birthday?"
"Cookies." George suggested.
"The new Uncharted that just came out." Gurkin said, not looking back.
"Flowers?" Jeremy said tentatively. "She's a girl. They like flowers right?"
"Yes, they like flowers." Tyler assured him. "But I want to get something that she'll really like, that she'll be able to use."
"I think that's, like, sacred girl territory, Embele." Spanky told him. "Why not get her a CD or something?"
"Great, except I don't know which ones she has. I don't want to get her one that she's already got."
"There's that new CD from Nickelback." Lenny mentioned as he came back from getting another pack of tissues from the kitchen. "Or Hinder's last one. What was it?"
"Take It to the Limit." Gurkin supplied.
Tyler found a notepad and wrote the two bands down quickly before he forgot. "Thanks, guys."
"If you do go for the cookies though," Jeremy said as Tyler was pulling on his jacket, heading for the door so he could get to Target for the CDs. "Get her white chocolate macadamia nut. Those're her favorite."
They were watching A Knight's Tale, Spanky's choice for movie night. Sydney and Tyler were on the couch, Sydney resting her head on his shoulder and George on the floor in front of them, leaning on her thigh. Tyler had long gotten used to how comfortable Sydney and the boys were about touching each other casually.
Sydney cheered when a rather dirty, naked man appeared on the screen. "What is it?" Tyler asked, laughing.
"That's Paul Bettany." She said, like it explained everything.
"Her movie crush." Lenny told him across the room. "She'll watch any movie he's in."
"You're just mad because I watched Wimbledon without you." Sydney shot at him.
"Well, I waited for you for the Da Vinci Code."
Lenny snorted. "Barely. And you almost forgot to call me to watch A Beautiful Mind with you and Terrence."
Gunkin leaned his head back over the top of his chair so he could look at Lenny properly. "Dude, we're trying to watch the movie."
They all shut up. Ten minutes later, though, Tyler leaned in to Sydney. "Any other movie crushes I should know about?"
"Who?" Tyler looked over at Jeremy.
Jeremy shrugged a little. "'S how I remember him. The guy from Chronicles of Riddick with the weird haircut? Like, braids and it was shaved on the sides?"
"Dude, you know he was in Xena first." Gunkin said.
"And he was Eomer." Sydney reminded them. "But that was really hard to spot."
"Oh, and that brings up Vin Diesel." Lenny said. "He was Riddick."
"Okay, okay, guys. My head's gonna explode if you keep going." Tyler told them, still smiling. "Who knew you guys were such movie dorks?"
All eight of them looked right at Tyler with raised eyebrows as if to say, 'Really? Us?'
Tyler didn't know that Sydney liked to listen to music while she worked on English papers. Just English papers. On any other topic, the music distracted her too much. But the music wasn't her usual. It was, according to the CD cases, Roger and Hammerstein's and movie soundtracks. Currently, it was the Lord of the Rings soundtrack—for the mood, she said.
"Tolkien was a revolutionary in literary history and has set the stage for fantasy authors since." Sydney read aloud from her laptop. "His famous trilogy, Lord of the Rings, made the mold for fantasy authors making their stories in three books. His works are…what am I looking for?"
"A…mixture of pagan and Christian mythology rich with his own unique brand of creativity?" Lenny suggested.
"Ooh, that's good."
"It's no Shakespeare, but…"
Sydney laughed and threw a bottle cap at him. "That's one too many literary references."
"According to Professor Moreau, you can never have too many."
"Yeah, but Shakespeare's too common."
"Use Hemingway or Joyce."
"Yeah, you're right. Much better choice."
Tyler hadn't known about Sydney's fondness for 1920's novelists. Somehow, it didn't surprise him that Lenny had.
Tyler knew that they weren't…physically intimate, but he also knew that they were physically intimate. He'd seen the hugs, the casual arms slung around shoulders and waists, the not-cuddling on the couch when they fell asleep because of a paper they'd left late because of procrastination. They were close. He'd always got that.
But then there were other things. Sydney smiled different around Lenny. Her entire face softened even as her eyes brightened. They managed to keep up a witty banter that was both strange and familiar half the time or a conversation that seemed to exclude the world.
Once, they'd been eating out together—all nine of them—after going to see Iron Man, who, the others had come to the conclusion, would get his butt kicked by Batman. It was a good day, full of laughter and arguing and taunting and it was familiar and Tyler found that, at times like these, it was very easy to see why Sydney blended so well with these people. Sydney had been drinking a chocolate milkshake with a small mountain of whipped cream—her favorite—and one of the sips had left froth around her mouth.
Lenny had laughed and gestured at his own face. Sydney had to reach across the table to get some napkins to wipe her face off—after George managed to snag a picture, of course—and she managed to get most of it save for a smudge. At that point, Lenny had leaned over and wiped it away with his finger. It was a small, but intimate gesture and, at the way that Sydney smiled at him, Tyler knew.
He knew that Sydney White was in love with Lenny. And the knowledge didn't surprise him in the least.