DISCLAIMER: I still own nothing in this story except for Kelsey. She's a product of my twisted little mind.
Matt stood at the window watching Kelsey and Mark. He remembered when she used to hug him and look at him that way. Seeing how she felt for Mark for himself, made the fact that he had ruined it for them, all the more real.
He turned away from the scene and sat back on the couch. He leaned his head back and thought about him and Kelsey. He remembered the time Jake and Tiffani got together for the first time and how he and their friends had been against it. The only one that wasn't, was Kelsey and she'd nearly broken up with him for meddling Jake and Tiffani's relationship.
"A little birdie told me you're taking a cooking class to meet girls? Why would you ever want to do that," Kelsey asked Matt.
"I'm not doing it so I can meet girls. Tony and Sly had the bright idea to do it and they told me I had to do it with them. Besides, what if they get in trouble," Matt asked, looking down at his petite girlfriend.
Kelsey smiled at Matt. "Well, then you won't mind that we'll be sharing the class," she said.
"No way! I'd love to share the class with you. It's Sly and Tony that might have a problem," Matt said, kissing Kelsey.
Kelsey turned back to the soda in front of her and took a sip. She turned her stool around to face away from the bar and noticed Jake, Tiffani and Sam entering Sharkey's.
"I just found the perfect way to meet guys," Sam said, sitting down at the table in front of Kelsey. Kelsey and Matt got up off their stools and sat across from Sam.
Jake and Tiffani sat across from each other at the table while Tony took a chair from the table and flipped it around to sit. Sly stood behind the group.
"And what would that be, Sam," Kelsey asked.
"Auto shop," Sam said, a mischievous gleam in her eye.
"Just what we need, a babe in auto shop," Jake said.
Tiffani glared at him. Kelsey glared at him. Jake looked from one woman to the next. "What," he asked.
"What's THAT supposed to mean," Kelsey asked.
"Come on, Kels, girls don't belong in shop class," he said.
"Come on? You and I work together on your bike all the time. What makes you think that women can't be good in auto shop," she asked, glaring at him.
"You're different, Kels. You're related to me. It's only natural that you'd be good in auto shop," he said.
"Yeah, you have to be pretty smart to be in shop. 'Duh, do I hit this with my screwdriver or my head,'" Tiffani said.
Both Jake and Tiffani stood up from their seats and, nearly touching foreheads, faced each other while arguing the finer points of women in auto shop or not. Kelsey elbowed Matt.
"I'll bet you dinner, they'll be kissing by Friday," she said.
"You are so on. There is NO way that's going to happen," he said.
"We'll see," she said, shaking his hand and turning back to Jake and Tiffani who were still facing each other.
Matt remembered how later that week, Friday to be exact, he and Kelsey had nearly walked in on Jake and Tiffani kissing. Matt had been shocked. He then remembered the fight they had when everyone was thinking it was a bad idea for Jake and Tiffani to be together.
Matt, Kelsey and Sam rushed into Sharkey's. Matt was about to reveal his big secret to Tony and Sly when Sam spilled the beans.
"Sam that was my story," Matt whined.
Sam shrugged her shoulders. "My mind wanted me to let you tell them, but my mouth just wouldn't."
"Remember, talk faster," Kelsey said.
"Oh man. That's the worst thing that could happen," Tony said.
The four talked about why a relationship between Tiffani and Jake was a bad idea.
Kelsey, tired of hearing them badmouth the idea, spoke up.
"Guys, this is a great thing for Jake and Tiffani. I can't believe you would act like this about two of your friends. Jake is a great guy and Tiffani is the calming influence he needs in his life," Kelsey said.
They all stared at her, but turned back to their conversation. Kelsey, now angry, tapped Matt on the shoulder. When he turned around, she grabbed him by the collar and pulled him down to her level. "You listen here, Matthew Garrison, if you do anything to interfere with Jake and Tiffani's relationship, I'll quit," she said.
"Quit the band? Well, it might be nice to have you in the audience cheering. I'd have my own groupie," he said.
She tightened the grip on his collar. "It won't be just the band I'll quit. I'll quit being your girlfriend, too. How does that strike you," she asked.
"I'll leave it alone," he said.
Kelsey smiled, kissed his cheek and let go of his collar. She headed out the door to cheerleading practice, figuring she had gotten Matt's attention with her comment.
When she was out the door, Matt turned back to the group to plan.
"I thought Kelsey told you to stay out of it or she was breaking up with you," Tony asked.
"She did, but she's not serious. Besides, she's not here and no one's going to tell her," he said.
They all stuck their heads together to figure out a game plan.
Later, when Sam saw Tiffani, she told her a story of a convertible that was left by a macho motorcycle.
Kelsey went to Matt's house to help out the guys with their cooking projects when she heard Jake's motorcycle pull into Matt's driveway.
"OK, guys, you know what we have to do," Sly said.
The rest nodded in agreement and Kelsey got angry. She walked over to Matt and pulled him down to her level by his shirt.
"What are you going to do, Matthew," she asked.
"Nothing. Just showing Jake how he's going to soften from dating a girl like Tiffani," Matt said.
Kelsey took a deep breath and closed her eyes.
"I warned you," she said.
"Kelsey, be reasonable. You can't quit because of this. Can't you see how things could get really weird if Jake and Tiffani start dating," Matt asked.
"Matt, remember how everyone reacted when we started dating? Did we listen to them? No, we worked it out between the two of us without listening to them. You don't honestly think Jake was a fan of our getting together, do you. Remember how everyone else thought we were making a HUGE mistake? Remember how Jenny told you she hated the idea of you dating one of her best friends. Remember how upset we were that our FRIENDS were deciding what we should and shouldn't do. Isn't this the same thing," Kelsey asked.
"I know he wasn't happy about it, but he and the rest of our friends came around to the idea. And look at us. Jake and Tiffani aren't us. Jake and Tiffani can't date. It has nothing to do with us," Matt said.
"You don't understand. I can't be with someone who doesn't respect my wishes. Now, please, at the risk of losing me, will you stay out of it," she pleaded with Matt.
She waited a beat and let go of Matt's shirt, having gotten the answer from his lack of one. The tears started slipping down her cheeks before she could stop them.
She grabbed her backpack from the table and fled out the door.
She passed Jake as he entered the kitchen. He noticed she was crying and a protective nature came out in him. Thinking he could handle Matt better than his emotional cousin, he went inside.
Slamming the door he asked, "What the hell happened with Kelsey? She just ran out of here crying. Now I know Winkle does some stupid stuff, but the only person that makes her cry like that is you, Matt. What did you do, Garrison," Jake asked, approaching Matt.
"Jake, chill. Matt and Kelsey are always mad at each other about something. I think they just like fighting so they can make up," Tony said.
"I don't want to know," he said, looking at Matt.
"We had a disagreement, but I'll straighten it out," Matt said.
The guys then started talking about how much Tiffani would change Jake and his tough guy image.
The next day, after their encounters with the rest of the gang, Jake and Tiffani broke up. Some how, Sly had convinced an old girlfriend of Jake's, who he had dated once, to act like she was still hung up on him. Tiffani and Jake ended it and Kelsey knew her cousin was miserable, but wouldn't admit it. She was too upset with Matt to worry about making Jake feel better.
After an unpleasant encounter during Dreams practice, Jake and Tiffani had stormed off.
Suddenly, the four of them realized what they had done and felt awful.
Kelsey had told them they should figure out how to fix it since Jake and Tiffani wouldn't have broken up, had they stayed out of it.
Sly, Tony and Sam left the garage to figure out what to do.
Kelsey sulked on the couch in the garage and Matt kept glancing in her direction.
Finally, he took a deep breath and sat down next to her.
"Kels, will you talk to me," he asked her.
She looked at him, arms folded across her chest.
"I'm sorry. You were right. We shouldn't have interfered with Jake and Tiffani's relationship. They should be able to make decisions for themselves," Matt said.
"Glad to see you agree with me. It's just like what happened with us. Did we listen to everyone about how wrong it was," she asked him.
"No. We did what we wanted. I get it, Kels. Please forgive me for being a big, dumb guy," he asked.
"Well, when you put it like that, how can I not," she said, smiling at him.
They shared a kiss and Matt gave an audible sigh of relief.
"What," Kelsey asked.
"I've been crazy without you and then I was also worried about Jake killing me if we broke up and you were upset," he said.
"You're more afraid of Jake then me? Something's wrong with that picture," she said.
Matt smiled at they went off in search of their friends to find out how to fix Jake and Tiffani.
Their friends had gotten back together and broken up again, but it looked like they were back on track. Matt had always thought Jake and Tiffani made a good couple, despite his initial apprehension.
Kelsey and Matt had become a stronger couple after that fight.
Seeing Kelsey and Mark together, did make Matt happy. He wasn't happy about Kelsey not being with him, but Mark seemed to care a great deal about Kelsey and she about him.
He headed off to the lab to get the necessary tests completed so he could help save Kelsey.