Sweethearts

By:Tryx Email: lectryx@yahoo.com

Rating: PG

Pairing: Sam/Zane

Summary: The annual Glory High Sweethearts Dance approaches—causing Sam and Zane to make a choice.

Author's Note: Thanks so much to my beta Ras, you've been a huge help—to everyone else: enjoy!

Disclaimer:  I don't own Glory Days (or anyone in it), the nice people at the WB do.

1

*****

Zane rolled over onto his back, not taking his eyes off of the TV, and began to reach blindly for the open pizza box that lay on the ground by his side.  It was really late, and he was tired, but he couldn't fall asleep.

A soft noise came from beyond the closed door in front of him, and his blue-green eyes shifted from the TV screen and then back again.  He turned his head towards the ground beside him, as he had been unsuccessful at reaching the remains of the pizza without guidance from his eyes.  He reached out again and snagged one of the few remaining pieces, bringing it towards his mouth.  Vegetarian with extra cheese and sauce-Sam's favourite. 

Zane glanced up again as the object of his affection pushed open the door and walked into the room.  Sam was dressed only in a towel-which was pulled snugly around her slender-and in his mind, perfect-form, and her long blonde hair hung dark and wet around her shoulders.  She had emerged from the bathroom, and the leftover steam from the shower had basked her in a misty glow.  She looked like and angel. 

Zane began to have difficulties breathing…again…

Why do I do this to myself? He thought, trying desperately to tear his gaze away from his best friend's body and back towards the television, so that he could withhold some semblance of sanity.  In all honesty, he shouldn't even be there-he was grounded.  His mother had grounded him again after he'd gotten in trouble at school, and the principal had called home about it. 

"So why'd you do it?" Sam asked as she pulled open the drawers of her dresser, and began rooting around in them for something to wear to bed.

"Do what?" he asked innocently, his face flushing redder as he watched her move.  This was torture, pure and simple.  No male could be expected to live through something like this and still be sane afterwards.  And yet, Sam took no notice of her near-nudity, and pulled out a white tank-top and a pair of dark blue flannel pants out of the drawers, before closing them. 

She turned to face him, her big brown eyes narrowing on him.  Zane gulped.

"You flashed the cafeteria…again!" she said, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.  And it probably was…to all those who weren't currently…um...distracted…

Oh, yeah, he thought, that.

"Well, if you've got it, flaunt it," he said, smirking at her.  Sam rolled her eyes and threw a rolled-up pair of socks at his head.  They hit him square in the forehead before he got a chance to duck and bounced onto the floor.  Sam laughed and went back into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.

She reentered the room a moment later, wearing the tight tank top and the dark pants, rubbing her long, dripping wet hair with a towel.  

"Hey, Sam, aren't those pants mine?" he asked, suddenly realizing why they looked so familiar-and why they were so long on her.

Sam stopped drying her hair and her eyes widened and she looked at him before staring down at the floor.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Zane," she muttered, guiltily.  Zane grinned.

"Yeah, sure you don't."  He was enjoying watching her squirm.

"Don't worry about it, Sam," he said, shaking his head a moment later.  "You can keep them."

Sam's gaze lifted off the floor and met his, and she smiled sweetly-almost shyly.

"Thanks."

Zane turned his attention back to the television as Sam started picking up the empty soda cans that were strewn around her bedroom-remnants of their earlier junk food binge.  It was a common occurrence-Zane staying over at her house at night-it had been ever since they were little, when their moms had still been friends.  One of them would camp out in the other's house just about every two or three weeks-staying for a couple days at a time-or, more recently, whenever Zane got into trouble with his mom.

Zane lifted his arm to look at his watch-wondering what time it was, and how much trouble he would get in for taking off without telling his mom-only to find that his wrist was bare.  He pulled his lean body into a sitting position, turning his head one way and the other, searching for it.  His gaze caught on the edge of the loveseat cushions-where he was currently sitting-where they met the back.

It probably fell in there, he thought, shoving the old blue blanket off and pulling himself off the loveseat.  Standing beside the old black contraption, he started pulling everything off the surface-the blankets, the chip bags, and the pillows-and pried the cushions away to get a closer look.

What the hell…

"Sam," he said, not turning around to face her-instead, continuing to stare at the cushion-less seat before him.

"How long has this thing been a pull-out?"

Sam just looked at him.  "What?"

"How long," he said, spacing out his words so that she'd understand, "has this thing had a bed inside it…one that folds up and pulls out when Zane needs to sleep?"

Sam shrugged.  "Uh, forever, I guess."

"And you didn't inform me of this, why?  I've been scrunching my body into a tiny loveseat for the past how many years, and I wasn't told, why?"

Sam smiled, running her hands through her now-only damp-sandy coloured hair.

"Zane, you were informed.  You were told when I got the damn thing, about two years ago…right after your growth spurt."

Zane gave her a blank look.

"You know, when your legs got too long to fit in the old loveseat?"

He sent her yet another blank look.  This is news to me.

"Drawing a blank here, babe."

Sam rolled her eyes, clearly starting to get exasperated with her friend.

"Oh, come on, Zane.  You were here when they unloaded it-you helped me and Sara haul the damn thing up the stairs."

"Yeah, still nothing."

"God, Zane-it was the time a made the mistake of leaving my underwear drawer open, and you spent the entire afternoon snooping around in it.  You thought it was a huge accomplishment or something."

Zane grinned, memories flooding back to him.

"Yeah, I remember the underwear thing…nice…

"But, for the record, I was never told about the bed inside the loveseat."

Sam threw up her hands in exasperation, before yanking an overstuffed pillow off of her bed, and hurling it at his head, laughing.

*****

Zane slammed his locker shut, and hauled his now-full backpack up onto his shoulder-just in time to see Sam talking to a guy not fifteen feet away.  He was close enough that he could hear what was being said between them, but only managed to catch the last of their conversation.

"Sorry," Sam murmured, "but I really have my heart set on going with someone else.

The guy nodded, dejectedly, and Zane glared at him.

The Sweethearts Dance… he thought.   That guy was asking Sam to the Sweethearts Dance…

The dance was Glory High's annual tradition.  It was a stupid mating ritual, held on the night before Valentines Day, to which only couples-or desperate people with some semblance of a date-could attend.  In Zane's opinion, it was the dumbest thing Glory had ever come up with.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I'd ever not go if Sam asked me, he thought, and then mentally kicked himself.  Sam didn't want him-she'd made that almost painfully obvious.

Especially since her heart was 'set on someone else.'

Sam turned away from the guy and walked over to Zane, leaning her tall, thin body against the locker next to his.

"Ready to go?" she asked, as if nothing was out of the ordinary-and why should it be, stupid, she gets asked out all the time. 

But it was different… usually he was the one asking her out… and now he knew that he didn't have a chance…

"Yeah," he said, tugging on the lock one last time, making sure it was shut properly.

"Let's go."

TBC.