a.n; I started watching this show a few months ago, despite it being on Disney Channel, and I actually began to like it. I can't be the only C/L shipper out there. They're hilariously adorable and would make an extraordinarily epic couple. Anyways, I decided to write for them. Enjoy.
. . .
you wait for me, and i'll wait for you
spiraling out of the darkness,
emerging into the light,
you're gonna be my pillow tonight
They're both eleven, among the arches of green grass and blooming flowers outside their school, hearing the sounds of cars on the streets and feeling the warm rush of the faint sunlight on their cold skin as they wait for their friends.
It's October, it's freezing and Cameron can see Lexi shivering as she sits down. Her light blonde hair is straight, wavy at the ends, there is a gold anklet on her left mini heel, only wavy at the very ends, and her cold hazel eyes are a little terrifying as she glares daggers at him.
They're both sitting comfortably together in silence when he decides to suddenly speak up, "Have you seen Paisley?"
She turns to him, blinks, and she's astonished that he actually spoke to her. And he can't blame her. Cameron spends his time either speaking to Paisley or some of his other friends in kickball; he almost never speaks to Lexi, because, admittedly, she scares him.
She's an ice queen, her words are harsh and her stares are cold and unforgiving, and she's dangerous and intimidating. He never understood what Paisley saw in her, why she decided to accept Lexi's friendship, out of all people.
"I think she's still playing hopscotch with Michael," she marvels sardonically, crossing her arms and fingering her pristine white skirt. She grunts and sighs, running a hand through her blonde locks and breathing out heavily she leans over to play with her golden anklet impatiently.
"So... do you want to hula hoop?" he asks innocently, spiralling her out of her inner dialogue and causing her to stare at him incredulously. She opens her mouth to reply, and judging from the look on her face, it probably will consist of harsh words and cruel laughter, so he gets up and walks over to the iridescent hoops before she replies.
She raises an eyebrow, closing her mouth and drumming her nails on the ground below her, her mini heels sparkling in the ray of sunlight peering through the misty and dark clouds. He throws her a hoop, and she snorts incredulously.
"I'm not going to hula hoop," she states, crossing her arms. Stubborn as always, he thinks in his head, shrugging nonchalantly as he slides the hoop in his arms, spinning it in the air. She stares at him, the corners of her lips twitching, as if she's suppressing a laugh.
"Aren't you supposed to slide those hoops on your waist?" she calls out, laughing as she speaks. "I don't think you're doing it right." He flashes a smile, one that makes her bite her lower lip to avoid smiling back as he continues to look utterly ridiculous doing what he does.
From behind Lexi, Paisley arrives, looking a little flushed from the hop-scotching, but still as blonde and beautiful as ever. When she realizes what Cameron is doing, she begins to laugh, and then she smiles as she walks over. "That looks fun!" she exclaims enthusiastically, grabbing one of those hula hoops on the ground.
One by one, kids start running to the front of the schoolyard, dancing around with the hula hoops in absurdly ridiculous ways, carefree and happy. Music suddenly lingers throughout the schoolyard as carefree laughter rings in the air.
He turns to the side and sees her smiling at him, amused, and she turns around when it's her turn to double-dutch with her friends among the arches of green grass. She's laughing and her dirty blonde hair is swinging in the air gracefully and her skirt gets a little dirty, with smudges of mud lingering on the hem, but he leads her to Mrs. Lee who loans her a pair of sweatpants while she restores the skirt to its former integrity.
"Thanks," she says quietly, turning to him and dazzling him with another one of her beautiful, but at the very same time, immensely rare, smiles. It makes his stomach flutter slightly, and, before he knows it, she's turning on her heel and walking towards her mother's car.
His father comes and picks him up and all he can think about is Lexi's smile and laughter on his way home.
Both of them are lying on the grass, away from the treacherous team of fumbling and uncoordinated roommates in their separate bunks. Neither of them are sure why they chose to turn to each other during this time, when she could have easily turned to Paisley if she needed to cure her insomnia and he could turn to one of his friends from his other classes.
But she was near him, eyes sparkling with an intense boredom and needing to leave. Her eyes flickered to him and they both met, and they both realized that they needed more than anything to get away from the hype and endless chatting of their bunks.
She led him to the sparkling lake, leaning against the fresh oak tree and hugging her knees as she draped an aghast around her freezing shoulders. He propped beside her, watching the glowing stars and staring at the lake in admiration. Now, both of their minds are a million miles away, and their fingers are subconsciously intertwined.
"I'm so bored," she says, eyes staring up at the skies, searching frantically. He blinks, breathing in the fresh mountain air and breathing heavily, hands touching the fabric behind his back.
"I wonder what Lexi Reed does when she's bored," he humours her, breathing heavily. She turns to him, the corners of her lips twitching, a smile threatening to play on them, but the most she does is raise her eyebrow and put on her blank expression.
"What do you think?" she asks, a yawn escaping her mouth as she bends over, her eyes sleepily closing and opening as the overbearing moonlight shines down on both of them. He shrugs.
"Scheming, plotting, and devising a plan for world domination?" he replies, making her eyes sparkle briefly as she turns to look at him, smiling in amusement.
"That's a pretty accurate answer," she says, running her hands through her tangled blonde locks as she continues to stare up at the sky.
He thinks that this is maybe the value Paisley saw in Lexi—the honesty in her brown eyes, the way she's not afraid to voice out her opinion and isn't the least bit apologetic for being exactly who she is, how she doesn't take crap from anyone and how she's always dominant, sparkling, amazing.
He feels like he should kiss her, but he doesn't dare. Lexi may not be as terrorizing as she usually is now, but Cameron is fully aware of the dangers of getting too close. She's like a rose—nice to look at, but dangerous to touch. Her thorns are scarring and scathing.
That's Lexi Reed for you, Cameron concludes in his mind.
It's in the middle of the night, when the three of them are huddled in Lexi's room with mugs of hot chocolate cradled in their hands and flashlights shining below their chins. They all attempt to scare at least one of them among their circle with scary stories, but all fail miserably.
Paisley loses her focus before she even gets halfway through her story, and she starts to trail off subconsciously before ending the story with a, and they all live happily ever after. Lexi blinks at her incredulously, straight blonde hair falling into her brown eyes.
"Happily ever after?" she asks, chiding her wide-eyed friend gently. "What scary story has that as an ending?" Paisley looks seriously offended as she snuggles in her pyjamas, furrowing her eyebrows and blinking at her, looking just as incredulous as she is.
"My stories do," she replies, folding her arms in protest. "Besides, why can't ghosts live happily ever after? They have feelings too, Lexi. I mean, why can't they have a magical ghost castle with stardust and live happily ever after in a faraway land somewhere?"
Lexi just stares, exchanges a glance with Cameron, and then turns back to her wide-eyed friend. "Okay... But I thought ghosts don't eat anything."
"Well, actually—" begins Paisley, furrowing her eyebrows together in a rare moment of Paisley-seriousness, when Cameron suddenly decides that he can't take this anymore and voices out the ridiculousness of the current conversation.
"Are we really having this discussion?" interjects Cameron, to which Lexi raises a perfectly plucked eyebrow at. The two girls shrug simultaneously and drop the subject, moving on to another discussion about one of their teachers who has a bald head that disturbingly shines brightly under the light.
Soon, Paisley falls asleep, swathed in blankets over her pyjamas. It's only Cameron and Lexi that are still awake, the entire room pitch-black with only the light shining brightly from the TV to guide them. He makes out her face in the dark, sees her brown eyes sparkle intriguingly as she stares at the movie in captivation.
He likes moments like these—where both of them don't have to be anyone but themselves, where they don't have to talk at all, how they can just lean against each other tentatively and just relax while doing lazy things like watching TV or eating cereal or just doing absolutely nothing at all.
It's nice, he concludes, when they both fall asleep against each other. It's on her birthday; she kisses him for exactly three seconds in a flurry daze of music and dancing. He can't really remember much, but he recalls the feel of her lips against his and the softness of her touch.
He recalls her pulling away and smiling wryly, before turning back to her guests and acting like it never happened. No one even saw it. She's sneaky and sly and always will be.
He's thirteen—only a few days into being a preteen, and it feels good. She's still twelve, because her birthday is in December, months away from now, and he's in middle school and sandwiched between Paisley and Lexi.
It's weird having two completely different girls around you, one being dim-witted, innocent and carefree whereas the other one being ambitious, competitive, and obsessed with perfection. But it keeps things interesting—this way, he never gets bored.
Lexi's house is where Cameron and Paisley come over whenever they're bored and have nothing to do, usually ending up watching old sitcom reruns and listening to songs on the radio, singing along despite their being terribly off-key and laughing their way through the day.
Slowly, they start hanging out less. Lexi and Paisley join cheerleading and Cameron gets sucked into journalism, Lexi becomes head of the cheerleaders and soon rises to the top of the food chain in their loyally beside her and he starts to fade into the background.
It's March and they're both inside of the school. It's hard to look her in the eye now, when he can basically see her brown eyes melting into his and remembering nights when they used to lie down and watch the stars and laugh together.
"Hey," she says, a little begrudgingly, and all he can think is, well, this is awkward. But she doesn't look like she feels the awkwardness hanging in the air, because, well, she's Lexi, and she never shows weakness or uncertainty. She makes it look like she knows everything. And maybe she does.
"Hey yourself," he says, and then he wants to slap himself on the forehead for being so incredibly lame. She blinks, just stares, and then she breathes out and walks away without a backward glance, her eyes fixated on her destination determinedly.
He watches her retreating figure, feeling nostalgia surge into him.
You can only imagine the awkwardness that piles up in Cameron when his eleven-year-old sister, Chyna, comes to his school and starts a rivalry with Lexi.
She doesn't know what kind of friendship he and Lexi had in the past, and he doesn't blame her, because he never felt the need to talk about it at home.
Lexi sends Cameron an invite to her party via text message, and he's shocked to even see her name appearing on the top of his cell phone. He's more shocked that she even remembered his existence, let alone his phone number. Regardless, he still comes, but joins his usual group of friends instead of Paisley and Lexi.
The first time she walks up to him in months, years actually, is during the party, when Chyna tries to fix the mess she created by singing the acoustic version of Dynamite using Lexi's guitar. He vaguely remembers that guitar; when Lexi attempted to play it for Paisley during her birthday. It drew lots of laughs from all three of them.
He's swaying to the beat when she walks up to him, casually, nonchalantly, like they've always been friends and like nothing happened. She fingers the fabric of the couch in irritation and lets out an annoyed breath, "That girl stinks," she says, rolling her eyes as she gestures to Chyna.
He feels anger burning inside him. He's angry because she insulted his sister, yes, that's normal, but he's angrier because she came up to him out of nowhere, insults someone that he actually cares about, and expects to get concurrence from him when all he wants to do is punch a wall.
He also wants to make her suffer a little bit. So, Cameron turns to Lexi, looks her straight in the eye and says, "That girl is my sister, and I'm trying to hear her sing," in the most hostile voice he could muster.
For a brief moment, he swears he can see hurt flashing through the barriers of her brown eyes as she stares at him. But instead, she straightens up, bites her lower lip, and retorts, "Older sister?"
He grunts. "No," he says, hands flying up in the air. A brief smirk plays on her perfectly glossed mouth as she turns away in triumph, and he closes his eyes, breathes in, and realizes that no matter what he does, no matter what he says, Lexi Reed will always triumph.
He punches the couch in exasperation.
It shocks him, how they suddenly start falling back to their old ways and going back to each other more often, how despite she says she's going to pretend she never knew him she still comes back to him. It shocks him how despite the fact that she sends him on a wild goose chase, he still comes back to her.
At Prom, though, he's literally appalled when Paisley doesn't remember him and mistakes him for another A.N.T. He states, "I've known you since kindergarten!" and her face lights up, smiles.
After the whole fiasco is over, he finds Paisley sitting down on the floor, blue dress sparkly and glowing under the disco lights and her eyes are dull, filled with sadness and remorse. He plops down beside her, hands her a cup of punch, and she smiles sadly at him.
"Thanks," she says, drinking it down. He stares at her, blonde hair falling down gracefully, blue eyes sparkling and looking damp and shiny under the harsh florescent lights.
"Do you really not remember me?" he asks, surprised at how upset and disappointed he sounds. She turns to him, blinking, and her soft smile steals her glittering lips.
"Of course I do," she reassures him softly. "I'll never forget you. You were like my best friend, besides Lexi, of course." She brushes a strand of her hair out of her face and breathes in heavily, eyes flickering to the top of the ceiling.
"Then why didn't you say that earlier?" he asks, although the answer roams freely throughout his mind—Lexi. Paisley's solemn expression confirms his earlier suspicion.
"Lexi," she marvels regretfully. "She wanted me to pretend that I don't remember you. She said something about you learning your place or something like that. I'm not sure."
Silence speaks wonders. "She really did like you before... when it was just the three of us... you know," says Paisley quietly, like she's revealing some kind of deep dark secret. "She's just too proud to admit it. But she really does consider you as a friend."
Paisley's sudden seriousness is both comforting and startling. "Thanks, Paisley," he says, standing up. "I like your dress, by the way." She looks up and smiles at him, fingering the hem of her blue dress as he proceeds to walk out the door.
He finds her sitting at the edge of the schoolyard, eyes watery and hands shaking. Cameron sits beside her, not saying anything, the silence hanging in the air feeling overbearing and somewhat comforting. "Are you okay?" he inquires.
She gulps. "Never better, why are you talking to me, anyways?"
"Well, I saw you crying by the staircase and did the polite thing which is asking you if you're all right, and suddenly, you're mad?" he clarifies, earning an expressionless stare from her. He shrugs, brushing his fingers delicately against her cold ones, and staring up at the starry night sky.
"I'm sorry, are we friends?" she asks bitterly, raising her right eyebrow and lifting her chin high, as self-absorbed and self-consumed as she always has been, and always will be. He shrugs again. She toys with her expertly curled blonde locks. "Well, we aren't, if that's what you're thinking."
"Sure, whatever you say," he says, but takes her hand gently, hoping she doesn't notice. If she does, she doesn't show it, because her gaze is fixated on the stars shining brightly in the sky and her heels are sparkling and clinking on the stairs.
"Walk me home?" she asks quietly, and it sounds more like an order than a question, but he still stands up and helps her call a taxi and goes in with her, telling the taxi driver her address as she stares blankly outside the window.
She falls asleep on his shoulder on the way back.
It takes everything he has not to break into little pieces when he's around her.
She's aggravating, infuriating, with her know-it-all personality and how she's always right and how she's obsessed with being the queen, how she always wants to be the leader and how much she loves certainty and perfection.
She drives him nuts, makes him say things he never thought he'd say, sends him on wild goose chases and laughs when he comes back, defeated and furious, not only at her, but at himself for listening to her advice and going along with her plans.
Paisley is still sweet and oblivious, though, and everything seems to fall back in place. They're back to being Cameron & Paisley & Lexi, The Three Musketeers, like they used to be. Chyna is absolutely appalled when she learns of his friendship with Lexi, but accepts it slowly over time.
He loves and hates moments where he gets to see Lexi—those little moments where she's not a complete drama queen and the ambitious cheerleader he knows and loves, where she lets her guard down and shows him her sensitive side, the side where tears spill from her eyes and she displays insecurity and sadness.
It's rare, and they happen at the most unexpected times, but she makes him feel. She's spontaneous and an ongoing spiral of emotions, and she's always there by his side, whether his partner in (unexpected) crime or his friend.
He thinks, though, that he knows a little too much about her.
She tastes like cherries, he concludes, when they're lips are pressed against each other's in a flurry daze of laughter and sore tears. It's almost laughable, how he never thought he'd end up even being friends with Lexi Reed, and now, he's kissing her, eyes closed and thoughts scrambled.
Her hands are cold, shivering and shaking, but she still wraps her arms around his neck. They break apart, faces inches apart, and it only occurs to them now that they're both standing in the rain, soaking wet from the rainfall.
Her hair is straight and slicking onto her cheeks, her smile is glossy and her laughter is muffled by the rain, but still ringing in the air. He leans in and kisses her, slowly, gently, as the rain grows heavier and heavier and they both break apart again.
They lie on his bed, but all they do is sleep and they don't come close, any closer than her intertwining their fingers and him listening to the sound of her heartbeat for the rest of the seemingly endless night.
She's complicated and filled with uncertainty, her world is tainted by desire, fear, and self-consciousness, along with so much wanting, he realizes, when she's staring up at the starry sky on their schoolyard.
"I'm so tired," she says, hiding herself under the sheets as she lets out a yawn. He smiles down at her, causing her eyes to flicker up to him, a little nervousness beneath the barriers of irritation in her brown eyes.
"What's so funny?" she demands, crossing her arms.
"Nothing," he replies, without missing a beat, but his smile convinces her otherwise. They stay like that, trying to drown out the rest of the world from under their perfect little paradise world of laughter and innocence, and it's one of the most real things he ever had.
It's not always like this, though, because they're filled with anger and brutal words and fights sometimes, falling in love and in hate, because they're Cameron and Lexi, both stubborn and flighty and filled with fear. She's courageous and vicious and scary, he's the opposite.
He loves her. Goodness, he loves her so much he can't breathe. She leans over and kisses him and it's a rush and flurry as she intertwines their fingers, breathing in heavily, and he kisses her forehead. It's brief and rushed and he can't remember it in the morning.
Because Lexi Reed is a flurry of intense emotions and spontaneity, Cameron Parks is rational and looks at the consequences and actually cares, but somehow, some way, they complete each other in ways they never thought they could.
She leans against him and he holds her hand, realizes that he has everything he ever thought he'd want, everything he needs, right here beside him.