A matter of admitting it
By Ella Lavender
So ladies and gents this is my 8th one-shot for my favourite pairing, Rayella!
Hope you guys enjoy!
I don't own Lemonade Mouth or its characters
He hated her.
It was an obviously acknowledged fact.
Some people liked to think that beneath the surface, he actually liked her. But no. He hated her; hated her like Tom hated Jerry, hated her like fish and hooks, hated her like sharks and dolphins. He hated her.
All their verbal duelling, glaring contests and insult flinging was nothing more than that, petty attempts to get on each others' nerves.
Still. People liked to think that he, if not both of them, had a secret thing for the other. They liked to think that she was the beauty to his beast, the one girl who would succeed in taming the dragon and walking out with a prince, the girl would accomplish the impossible by turning a tyrant into a gentleman; everyone liked to assume that she, Stella Yamada, would be the girl to change Ray Beech into a decent human being.
Screw them all, he seethed as he stalked through the halls of Mesa High.
No girl would ever accomplish anything of that calibre. No girl had the time, the patience or the strength to handle the infamous player, and certainly not Stella.
She, a lowly sophomore to his junior, with a bigger mouth than a brain, more attitude than appeal and less talent than beauty; what was she compared to him, Ray Beech? Nothing; nothing at all.
Stella Yamada was a troublesome rebel without a cause, the girl that lacked support of her family and questioned everything about her self-worth. And what was he? The youngest soccer captain in Mesa history, the big bad bully of Mesa High, the guy that everyone wished they could be. Ray Beech had it all: From the girls, to the academics, to the athletics, to the virtuoso and even to the good looks. In comparison to him, Stella Yamada was nothing but a speck on his shoe.
Okay no, that was a bit too harsh. Honestly though, the girl wasn't all that bad.
Sure she may have a big mouth but at least what she had to say wasn't all stupid, and no idiot could form a successful band to challenge Mudslide Crush while pissing off Principal Brenigan at the same time.
True her attitude didn't exactly garner an immediate approval, but people would remember her; he certainly did.
He'd joined the crowd of students in entering the gymnasium for assembly and he found himself submerged and assimilated into his fan-club. Annoyed as he was, Ray said nothing as he recalled the memory at the school cafeteria as the corners of his mouth turned upwards at the thought of his sworn enemy.
The almost innocent smile as she tapped his shoulder, politely asked for a second before sipping her Mel's Lemonade delicately before making a Lemonade Mouth and spewing the yellow liquid all over him. The outrageous action was answered by yells of protests from Patty and Jules, and before Ray could even directly comment to Stella about what occurred, Brenigan appeared on his segaway.
Remembering the shouts of his two most loyal supporters and the astonished look on Brenigan's face made him chuckle softly.
As embarrassing as the whole affair was, it only proved and cemented the fact that Stella didn't like him and that her haughty manner of dealing with him was not because she was trying to play hard to get. Catching himself, Ray scoffed.
What difference did it make though?
Almost instantly he caught her eye a few rows down and to the left of him. The dark brown eyes he associated with her, flashed briefly in a challenging manner before turning towards her friends: Mo Banjeree, Olivia White, Charlie Delgado and Wen Gifford. Seeing all of them together, Ray could feel the frown deepening.
Stella wasn't completely talentless either, no talentless person could cause a total uprising of Mesa's underground and uplift a society of students trapped in the status quo of high school. No, he conceded, talentless Stella Yamada was not.
But she wasn't pretty either.
His clear, electric blue eyes ran over her profile with practiced ease. He'd never admit it, but he studied her often. This time it was for proof's sake.
She was of an average height, quite petite too for someone who was such a spitfire, dull brown eyes lined with short lashes, dark hair streaked with layers of blonde and green; today the teenage revolutionary was adorned with her usual pair of black skinny jeans, black and white converse, white v-top with a cartoon skull and a dark red blouse underneath – sleeves rolled up to her elbows to show off her tan skin. Stella was indeed different, and she succeeded in standing out when it came to her choice of clothes and hairstyles, but pretty she was not. At least that's what he told himself.
But if she isn't, then why do you stare at her so much?
Startled, Ray looked around.
Everyone was silent as Brenigan began his presentation for assembly. No one else was speaking, but no one was really paying attention either. Seeing that no one in particular called for his attention, the blond shrugged only to have a little voice in the back of his head speak louder: If Stella isn't smart enough, accomplished enough or pretty enough, why do you stare at her?
Furrowing his brow he silently responded: I don't stare at her. I glare at her. There's a difference.
You're still looking, aren't you?
Ray scowled again. What was there to look at? There was nothing but a completely average, normal looking half-Asian teenager. Stella Yamada was not remarkable in any way whatsoever.
Then why is it you can find her almost immediately in a crowd?
It wasn't that he could. It was almost like they were just drawn on each other's dislike towards the other.
Of course it is. The tone was sarcastic, but Ray pushed it away and leaned back against the bleachers so his back was against the wall. Beside him, Patty tapped his knee and nodded to where his phone was –in his blue varsity jacket. He shrugged and slipped it out.
You seem distracted
He shrugged in reply and slipped the phone out of the red head's view just as a new message appeared on the screen.
I know assembly's boring, but stop staring at me.
Raising his eyes, he caught Stella's. She was leaning against the wall beside her, her brow cocked and her lips in smirk. Ray rolled his eyes. The day the two teenagers found out about the other's numbers was a whole week filled with prank phone-calls and creepy you-will-die-in-two-hours messages. How they stumbled upon their enemy's digits was forgotten over the course of the past two months, but still used to annoy each other when necessary.
It kept the other on their toes.
If Ray was in Business, Stella would call from wherever she was bunking just so he'd get his phone confiscated.
If Stella was having a family dinner, Ray would call pretending to be her boss from Hooters just so her parents would consider sending her to a nunnery.
The knowledge of each other's numbers allowed that they could call each other at all hours just to piss each other off.
If Stella had a test the next day, Ray would call continuously in a span of two hours until four in the morning just to make sure she'd be half-dead, pissed and unfocused the next day.
If Ray had a match to play the next day, Stella would call every other hour asking if he ordered a custom made vibrator just to make sure he was so agitated in the morning that he snapped at anyone who dared to ask him what was wrong. It annoyed him even more because each time someone asked, Ray would shout, "Does it look like I need a vibrator to you?"
You're flat chested
What's there to look at?
Being so small, Ray wasn't generally surprised by her lack of feminine assets. But Stella wasn't entirely ugly. Sure her eyes were quite plain in comparison to his bright blues, but they shone with the glow and glitter of the New Year's sky. Her eyes, though a dull hue, would reflect every emotion she felt, lighting her face up like the Fourth of July. And her hair, oddly cut and dyed per her request, displayed her rebel image against her parents and authority figures like Brenigan. Her choppy hair of streaked blonde and green was proof of her desire to fit in, lack thereof, and to go against anyone who tried to hold her back.
Stella wasn't plain nor was she ugly, but pretty she was not. Nope. Not even when she smiled. At him. Nope. Not pretty at all.
Would you tell your heart to stop beating so loudly?
Ray shook his head. What just happened?
His blue eyes refocused and he found Stella, grinning at him, mirth dancing in her eyes.
What the - ?
You look agitated.
Aren't you using the present I gave you?
Despite himself, he felt the blush.
Ever since the little joke with the phone-calls, on his birthday, Stella surprisingly handed him a present, neatly wrapped with a card tucked inside. Surprised and suspicious as he was, Ray was reluctant to open it when he did, he was in his room alone and shirtless after a shower.
He'd stared at it for over an hour wondering if it was going to explode. He already un-wrapped it but didn't want to open the brown box that still remained. Finally the little box managed to piss him off, just as the person who gave him the box, and he threw the object off of his bed. The object inside tumbled and landed on the floor in front of the bedroom door. Surprised that the item didn't seem lethal, Ray picked it up, turned it over and examined it.
Ray was sure that he had no idea what it was and it was at that moment that his older sister Roxanne, walked in. Brow raised, Rox asked curiously, "What are you doing with a vibrator?"
Rox teased him mercilessly for weeks, Stella just about as much.
Later the card that Stella wrote was discovered, three words killed Rox and kept Ray red in the face for a week and a half: COMES WITH BATTERIES.
I'm surprised you gave me yours.
What? Didn't have enough money to buy me something that hasn't been used yet?
Assembly carried on in a dull drone with text messages whizzing from Ray's phone to Stella's.
That stupid voice in the back of his spoke up again: If you hate her so much, why can you reply to her messages but not Patty's?
He paused in mid-reply of Stella's latest and checked back to his inbox. He found twelve messages since he started texting Stella, all from Patty.
After clicking the icon, Ray felt his eyes roll.
The text messages Patty sent were of the same usual nonsense. The match next week and how he was going to beat them. The match that passed, and how well he beat them. The gig last night, how hot he was, the gig day after next, and how much he was going to kill it; all twelve of the messages to the same effect. Frankly it made Ray irritated just looking at it.
This was why he couldn't take girls seriously, especially girls like Patty.
To them it was all the simpering and smiling, the fawning and the giggling. At first, Ray found it was exactly what he wanted, girls who listened to him, praised the ground he walked on, sang praises for the air he breathed. That's what he'd wanted. But now it just annoyed him. But when did that happen?
Oh about a day after meeting Stella.
Ray felt himself twitch.
Okay yes, Stella didn't do the fangirl bit. She much preferred insulting him, playing her ridiculous word games and hoping to catch him out in his big bad bully act. To him, Stella never lied. When he was being a dick, she made sure he knew. When he was being a bully, she'd make sure he'd have hell to pay. When he actually did something good and right, she'd begrudgingly admit to it and thank him for growing up.
Even when she was wrong about him, she said so.
But that wasn't why he grew irritated with the girls that surrounded him, he paused again. Was it?
With the other girls that he was used to being around, they'd ooh and aah at whatever he said. Bowed to his will, agree to his word and cause as much drama as necessary to keep him.
Stella didn't do any of that. With her, he had weird conversations, familiar conversations. It wasn't one-sided like the others. And though Ray did have a big head, he liked intelligent conversation just as much as any other person.
I hate you
You know that?
He felt his fingers immobilize. Damn. What was wrong with him?
It's only a matter of admitting it.
Admitting what? That he liked her? Hah! As if. Sure Stella was pretty in her own way, unique in personality and strong in attitude, but he didn't like her, not at all.
I though you hated her?
Ray felt his eyes screw up into a glare, fierce enough to make babies cry. I do hate her. I do hate Stella. I hate her a lot in fact.
Oh do tell...The tone was once again sarcastic, but Ray brushed it aside and asserted his hate of the half-Asian revolutionary.
Stella Yamada was a know-it-all, everything had to be done her way, everything had to be stood up for, everyone had to care about everyone else. She was obsessed with it! Since when was that ever considered attractive?
Whoever said anything about finding her attractive?
The blush got hotter, but Ray wouldn't' give in.
She was stubborn to a fault.
So are you.
She was hardcore; she liked her music loud and strong.
Just like her.
She's got a temper like a firecracker.
So do you.
She's as blunt as a knife.
Sometimes there's nothing wrong with that.
She had to be smart, not bookworm smart, but street-smart. She was in possession of a tough skin and yet a soft heart. Her friends meant everything to her, her family's approval would mean just as much.
Just like yours does.
But I don't like her, Ray argued mentally.
But you don't hate her now do you?
He thought hard, trying and searching for a fault. Nothing. Nothing without justification. Nothing without virtue. Nothing. There was nothing to hate about Stella Yamada.
She was strong, passionate, caring, intelligent, blunt, loud, carefree, outspoken and fierce. Was there really much to hate? Yes. There was a lot to hate. Because Stella Yamada was all of these things, and he knew that acknowledging it now would just complicate things. That's how their world worked. He hated her. She hated him. That was the way of the world.
He swallowed. I don't hate Stella Yamada. Good. Now that you've gotten over your denial, care to try going a step further? Automatically his fingers flew over the keys.
I don't hate you
There was a mental sigh in the back of his mind.
Well...it's a start.
There was a silence in his mind, and Ray felt his tense muscles relax, an invisible weight disappearing, and he sighed as well. A matter of admitting it, huh...His phone flashed a new message again and his muscles tensed again. The irrational feeling of rejection gnawed at him. Sure it wasn't like he was asking Stella to marry him or anything, but rejection was rejection and Ray Beech had never been rejected. Even a refusal of a poor olive branch would be a blow.
I don't hate you either.
Another sigh came from the back of Ray's mind.
I told you. It's all in the matter of admitting it. Now all we have to work on is getting you to admit you like her...And please, don't try and visit denial again. Egypt's a hot place to be...
Yeah...I'm not sure where this came from, but there you go...
Uh...well, I hoped you enjoyed! Thanks for reading!