well wouldja lookit that! i've updated something!

okay, it's not a continuation of "being moody" (i'm working on it! seriously!) but it popped into my head after reading a college story. so yeah. it's a college story involving. . . take a guess? the little green people.

no, those are aliens, not people. i meant buttercup and butch. but i guess they're not really people either. they're 22, b/c it wouldn't make sense for 5 year olds to be going to college and experiencing angsty-lack-of-love-life related problems.

and that brings me to my next point. it's a semi-romance (buh, no kidding?!) but isn't very romantical at the moment. this is just the first part, and it focuses mainly on establishing buttercup's character and pretty much just introduces us to the story. the good stuff doesn't come until i post the stuff i haven't written yet ^^;

told from buttercup's pov, as will the second part. i'm not gonna split into doing something from butch's pov b/c his character's supposed to remain very VERY ambiguous.

uh, please review! more authors'notes at the end ¬ ¬ don't kill me. . . .

and i love the title!

-jen



*A Skirt for Sunday Evening*
~songbirdjen~

***

Even now it is unfathomable to me why any girl in her right mind would care to shop in places as atrocious as the mall.

You'd have thought I would've outgrown my contempt for the wretched place at the ripe age of 20+. But alas, here I am at 22 and have yet to disprove my former teenage self by admitting the mall is a decent place. Because, quite frankly, it isn't. There's just something about it too. . . "mall-y" for me. The entire acreage of it reeks of hairspray, food court grease, and allergy-inducing body mist that's supposed to make you smell like a basket of random produce. Honestly. Who has ever actually eaten honeysuckle kiwi? Does that flavor--or scent, rather--even exist? I'll bet it does here.

So yeah. I hate the place. I'd probably sooner be shoved into a bank vault with about five minutes of oxygen left and thirty flesh-craved weasels to keep at bay.

But if I hate the place so much, then what the hell am I doing here?

. . . Good question.

I've only been here roughly three minutes and already I'm getting dizzy. If the aerosol or grease hanging in the air doesn't choke me first, I know I'll suffocate on the hawaiian-cinnamon-olive tea-cranberry scent seeping into my pores. I'll end up being a martyr for the minority of sensible women worldwide.

Sometimes I think I should've been born a boy. And it's pretty much basically what I am, minus the physical aspect (it's crazy. Genetics happened to bless me with larger than average breasts, things I would gladly rid myself of if I could without doing bodily harm to myself). So here I am, a boy trapped in a girl's body, with a chest size every woman (except me) wants. Seriously. I talk about it sometimes with Butch, BUTCH of all people, to which he always responds, with an impish grin on his face, "So does that mean you prefer women over men?"

In turn, I firmly reply, "NO."

Eventually we both reached the conclusion that I would make a GREAT guy. A great gay guy.

I don't know where the whole "I hate men" thing got started. I don't. I hate women who voluntarily submit themselves to the will of the male gender. I swear, every woman's main goal in life is to

a)go to the mall
b)buy clothes at the mall
c)wear clothes from the mall
d)attract members of the opposite sex with said clothes from mall
e)marry member of opposite sex in a dress they get from a place like a mall only smaller and more expensive, and
f)live life at home doing little else except cooking, cleaning, and making babies.

Wow. Can we say, meaningless existence? Men suck, it's true, but women don't do much to help. After years of standing around watching females stumble blindly in a mindless stupor, it's easy for me to say I prefer the company of men. I'm basically one of the guys: just smarter. And attracted to them. Yeah.

I've never had a best female friend. Apparently I'm supposed to. But I don't. Girls used to look at me and say, "Weird," when they heard it. I had no problem telling them that maybe they were probably too stupid to try and be more polite.

When I told Butch this he said he wasn't very surprised I'd never had a best female friend. Girls tend to not like being told they're complete idiots.

"What, so guys aren't idiots?" Butch asked after i offhandedly made the comment the other night in our dorm.

"No, men are idiots too. They're just more willing to accept it," I'd stated matter-of-factly.

Butch made his confused face then, a look he knew I found incredibly adorable because I'd told him so. Nowadays I think that was one of the stupidest mistakes I'd made in my life.

"You know you shouldn't try to make me think too much after midnight," he whined, pursing his lips and cocking his head.

I snorted. "As if you think during the day."

He dropped the confused look and put on his "Shut up dumbass" face. I found this expression cute too. I just hadn't told him yet.

"Someone's asking for it."

I saw it coming miles away. "Oh shit!" I cried out as I scrambled to my feet and dived for the door.

I obviously hadn't scrambled fast enough because he hooked me around the belt loops on my jeans and brought us both crashing down to the floor, promptly digging his knuckles into my ribs.

He knows I'm extremely ticklish there.

I immediately started cackling maniacally until tears came into my eyes and vainly tried to shove him off. This didn't get me anywhere fast, and I finally pressed my feet against his stomach and managed to kick him off. Sides splitting, I shot throught the open window like a sex-starved teenage boy who had just spotted Britney Spears winking at him from the opposite street.

"Hey!" Butch hollered as he took flight too. "I thought we agreed NOT to use our powers on campus!"

I turned around and made a slightly rude gesture involving my right hand and chin.

For several minutes it went like that. We zoomed past the trees and buildings, sometimes skimming the sky, other times the grass, the wind whistling as we accelerated and decelerated.

Neither of us admitted it felt as if we were acting like kids again, but we both knew what happened next. I'd finally slow down and Butch would tackle me around the waist, and together we'd spiral down towards the Earth. We'd lay there trying to catch our breath, chests heaving with exhaustion, sweat pouring off our skin and dripping off our hair. Then he'd finally roll over on top of me, still exhausted, and smirk. "I win."

Only this time he didn't say that. He propped himself on his elbows and leaned over my face. "I think I deserve top bunk tonight." He still hadn't caught his breath.

I didn't want to argue. I hadn't caught mine either. "Knock yourself out."

He smiled. It was his genuine smile, too, a smile he reserved specifically for me. Not even his girlfriend knows about his genuine smile. It's a secret only we share.

I like that word. "We."

"You're such a doll," he cooed, and leant over to kiss my forehead, sweat and all. Then he took off back in the direction of our dorm, leaving me with my back to the dirt and my face to the stars and my heart drumming like crazy for no particular reason at all.

***

My heart's drumming like crazy now, too, but that's out of general fear for my life.

Yes, me. Buttercup. I am scared. Scared I will be overtaken by this army of teenybopper 12 year olds and be dealt my untimely death. . . well, maybe not really, but quite truthfully, my feelings for the mall haven't changed in the past minute.

For some odd reason, though, I must admit it was feelings that drove me to come here in the first place. Ask me what feelings and I'll draw a blank. I just don't know.

At this moment I've chosen to enter one of the heathen department stores and am now being filled with an immediate sense of disgust. The stereos are blaring some horrid cracker ghetto music while scantily clad young women mingle around even more scant scraps of fabric I'm assuming are articles of clothing. I'm not religious, but I'm praying to some ethereal being right now asking why he/she/it deigned it necessary to give crazy girls like the ones here "free time." They're wasting it anyway.

Evidently I've been standing here too long, because now all eyes are on me critically assessing my college sweatshirt, torn jeans, and oversized schoolbag. I smile sardonically at the disapproving faces, proudly accepting the label they're basically handing me right now: freak.

I feel so honored.

And did I mention I don't wear makeup?

Don't that beat all.

***

I wander throughout the store, picking disinterestedly at random clothes, if that's the proper name of whatever the hell I'm looking at. People are generally avoiding me, which I CERTAINLY don't mind. In fact, I favor it.

I emerge from yet another rack of clothing, strangely satisfied that I have found nothing of interest to me. Too bright. Apparently this store totally dismissed the dark side of the spectrum when picking their colors. Candy apple reds and electric yellows pretty much dominate the manufactured goods they have to offer.

One of the store clerks has bravely drawn the short straw and is making her way toward me, smiling nervously. I put on my sunglasses to avoid being blinded by her unnaturally white teeth.

"Um, hi. May I help you?" she asks politely. Almost TOO politely. I'd hate being a store clerk. Being polite to others just isn't my forte.

I smile and open my mouth to reply when something catches my eye. I blink and remove my shades to make sure I'm not hallucinating.

I'm not.

Very indistinctly, hidden in the folds of some garish orange top, I can make out a black article of clothing.

I walk past the confused store clerk and reach the sales rack, reinforcing my assurance that the black thing does, in fact, exist.

Lifting the piece--more like rescuing it, actually--I scowl.

A skirt.

Go figure.

And I thought there would've been hope yet.

I'm just about to place it back in its designated area when the nervous smiley store clerk graciously steps in. NO store clerk can resist the profit of a sale. "That's a lovely piece," she explains, and proceeds to go into the details of its craftsmanship and tailoring, none of which I'm interested in, but feign amusement nonetheless.

"Would you like to try it on?"

I almost burst out laughing. It'll be a cold day in hell before you put me in something with one opening for BOTH legs.

"Actually--" I start to protest, but she's already taken my elbow and leading me to the fitting rooms. I guess she thinks the sooner I get out of here the better.

Heh. I smile. I'm probably bad for business.

***

"That skirt looks quite stunning on you," smiley store clerk says. I manage a grin and glare darkly at my reflection in the mirror.

The skirt's not bad, as far as skirts go. It stops at a modest length above my knees with slits about an inch from the hem. The material stretches, making it easy for me to move, and in any other case I'd find it comfy.

But a skirt's a skirt.

Smiley store clerk is now obsessed with the idea of finding me matching shoes, since my grubby sneakers aren't very flattering.

"You really have very nice legs for it," she comments before disappearing into the nether regions of the store for those shoes. A guy, probably someone's boyfriend, must think so too, since he hasn't taken his eyes off the lower portion of my body since I stepped out to inspect myself in the mirrored wall. I ignore him.

'What am I doing here?' I wonder for the 'n'th time. Butch would probably be curious too.

"So unlike you," he'd purr, pinching my cheek.

I almost wish he was here so we could point and laugh at random people like we always do at the mall. We could make some crack about the overpriced merchandise and have him walk around in the lingerie department while I rummage through a bin of boxers.

We don't come to the mall often, but when we do, we make it count.

I sigh. I'll miss him over the summer.

***

"I'm flying to Long Island for the summer with Kendall," he'd admitted last night after our high-speed chase and we were lying in bed.

I immediately felt lonelier. "Oh." Kendall. That's his girlfriend.

"I'm not sure how long I'll stay." His voice wafted down to the bottom bunk where I was lying.

"Take your time."

His head appeared upside down at the foot of the bed. "What about you?"

I shrugged, even though he probably couldn't see me. "Meh."

"I'll stay if you want me to."

He has really bright green eyes. They're very pretty in the dark. "You do what you want."

He blinked a few times. "Why don't we do something this Sunday?" Neither of us went to church.

I shrugged again. "If you like."

Now his eyes rolled. "Quite the decision maker, aren't we?"

"Only with you."

He stuck his tongue out at me and rolled back onto his bunk. The springs above me squeaked faintly. "Sunday it is, then." He sighed, settling into sleep.

I only stared past the springs, trying to see beyond them.

***

Looking down at my faded Nikes, I can't help but wonder if he would think I have pretty legs, the way I think he has pretty eyes.

***

Outside my dorm I stuff my purchases into my schoolbag, with little regard for wrinkling the skirt or scuffing the shoes despite their hefty price tag. I feel like an idiot. I spend roughly $20 a year on clothing. Literally. A skirt ON SALE for $31 isn't a sale; it's highway robbery. The shoes I picked up at the discount outlet on the way home were at least a moderate price. I just couldn't bring myself to spend another $40 on the boots smiley store clerk attempted to pawn off on me.

I'm just zipping my pack up when the door flies open and Butch nearly collides headfirst into me. He barely touches me, but my pathetic sense of balance prompts me to stumble backwards and land rather unceremoniously on my butt.

"You twit," I grumble as he laughs and pulls me up. "Where's the fire, anyway?"

He licks one of his hands and wraps his other arm around my waist, making a sizzling sound as he lightly touches my rear. "I just put it out." Insert grin and cock of head.

Half-repulsed, I shove him back into the dorm, sidestepping him into the entryway. "Keep your hands OFF my ass, thank you."

Shrug. "If you say so." He steps up and kicks it instead.

Chain reaction ensues.

I whirl my pack toward him, aiming for his head. Instead he grabs it with his hands and yanks it out of mine. He starts hopping backwards out of my reach. "What DO we have here?" he wonders, starting to unzip the pocket. "Presents for me?"

In turn I tackle him, somehow managing to wrest it out of his grasp after a minor scruffle, and childishly curl my body around it, hugging it to my chest and assuming the fetal position.

"No," I pout stubbornly and jut out my lower lip.

Unimpressed, he picks me up by the waist, hugging my back to his chest and lifting me off the ground as I kick and yell rude things at him. Each time I speak the comments get ruder and ruder, and as they do so he starts laughing.

"Come on, Buttercup." His breath is cool on my skin. "Aren't you my buddy?"

He drops me on the ground and turns me to face him. I wrinkle my face. That's the second time I've fallen on my butt today, and it's his fault for both. No way in hell I'm forgiving him.

He puts on his confused face.

I melt. Thus, I relent. Slightly. "I will be if you treat me to an ice cream."

Now HE wrinkles his face. "$3 for your friendship. What a gyp." He peers curiously at my bag. "Do I get to see what's in there?"

Pft. Hell no. "Hell no."

"Then no deal." He straightens and starts for the door, shoving his hands in his pockets.

Not wanting to get up I scoot toward the closet on my butt to hide my stuff.

All of a sudden he tackles me again, knocking the bag out of my hands and under the bunk bed. Another minor scuffle ensues, me cursing, him laughing. In the end he grinds his knuckles into my ribs, much like last night, and I start shrieking with laughter. "You CHEAT!" I manage to growl at him, and attempt to swing at his jaw, but he grabs my hand and pins me to the floor, and we end up in a rather. . . less than innocent position.

Being an extreme prude about my body, I start blushing, only adding to the humiliation. He leans forward, crushing my chest against his, and that certainly doesn't help.

"Your friendship for your privacy," he crows.

I almost mutter "What privacy" but I can't seem to breathe right at the moment. It feels as if I"m suffocating. So I only nod.

He smiles the genuine smile I love so much and hops to his feet. "You really ARE a doll," he says as he heads for the door again. I continue to lie on the floor, watching him leave. He turns. "Well? You want ice cream or not?"

I lift my head and squint at him.

Smirk. "I'll wait in the hall." And he walks out, shutting the door behind him.

I roll over onto my stomach, facing the bunk bed. My pack lies under there, quiet and still.

"Idiot," I mumble.

I don't know who I'm talking to.

***

Final exams are officially over. Term papers are a thing of the past. In a few days summer will officially start. In a few days Butch and Kendall will officially leave. In a few days I will officially be bored and lonely.

We while away the few days we have left packing for his trip. Thrilling, I know. But I'll take what I can get.

"You don't REALLY need to help," he says Saturday morning with the TV blasting cartoons and the two of us stuffing his clothes into his suitcase, packed and repacked several times already. "I mean, I'm SURE I'll have enough clothes to tide me over."

I stood up straight, buckling the latches. "Yeah, but I wonder how good you're gonna be at keeping them on." I looked hastily at him for a reaction. He only grins. Sometimes it amazes me that he's still a virgin. At least with me you can visibly tell. My prudishness gives me away.

"You're not the only one," he says mysteriously. "We still on for tomorrow?"

"Huh?"

He hefts the suitcase onto the floor easily. "Tomorrow's Sunday. Our date." Taking long strides toward the front door, he swings the luggage back and forth, bringing it dangerously close to the walls.

"If you dare make a dent in the walls, Butch. . . " I threaten. Naturally he pays no attention to me.

"What do you wanna do?"

"Do what?"

"Tomorrow." He tosses his stuff onto the floor where it emits a heavy thud. I wince at the noise, wondering what the folks downstairs must think we're doing.

I shrug. "Up to you."

"You know better than to leave the decisions up to me."

"Yeah. I do."

His eyes brightened mischievously. "So does that mean you trust me?"

My head shakes. "No."

He just rolls his eyes and sighs. Funny how it makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

***

Two a.m. Sunday morning. Butch is asleep. I pull out my pack from under his bunk, careful not to wake him. It's been under there for roughly a week now, and I had totally forgotten about it until two minutes ago as I lay on the top bunk listening to Butch's soft breathing. As I reach for my bag his arm flops over the side, stroking my cheek as I shift to stand. That spot on my face tingles and burns.

I float back up to the top bunk and quitely unzip the bag. The skirt topples into my lap, looking brand new and suspiciously unwrinkled. Good. That saves me an ironing job.

I smooth out the fabric and tug out the shoes too, plain black boot-ish things with little-to-no heel. God forbid I ever stick my feet into things higher than an inch off the ground.

'As if it matters what you wear,' a little voice inside my head says. 'As if something will change. As if anything will happen.'

"Nothing will happen," I murmur softly as I gently refold the skirt and place it back in my bag, hanging it on the bunk bed post. The shoes I place by my pillow on the bed itself. "So why not?"

Not having an answer to give myself, I lie down, inhaling the scent of leather from the shoes by my head and listening to the dead air, save for Butch's breathing.

*end of part I*

a/n: bwah, i feel evil :) i must get to work on the second part. i'm really proud of this so far, i haven't really tried my hand at non-vignette stories where the character just talks a lot and that's the story. i like the mall scene and end of their scuffle scene ^^ prom was last night and i just kept thinking about how i was gonna continue this while i was dancing and drinking punch and taking pictures *whee! no i'm not drunk, and i wasn't last night either ¬ ¬. . . * for those of you here for the romance. . . um, maybe next chapter?

you don't know what i'm gonna do with the story! hahaha! fate is in my control! will butch leave with kendall? will he stay with buttercup? will BUTTERCUP leave with kendall *that's a whole other genre O_o*?! will smiley store clerk, upset at her minimum wage salary and tightly fitting clerk-y outfit go crazy and deal doom upon the mall with the allergy-inducing freesia-strawberry-beehive honey body lotion and mist? (say, that actually wouldn't be a bad ending O_o) and for those of you who love the mall, i love it too (when you can get stuff for under $10), but i imagine buttercup wouldn't, haha. um. . . 's it! hold out for next part, b/c that'll be out sooner than the "being moody" series *sorry!*

and if you have an account here and really really wanna know when i come out with stuff, just put me on author alert. mine's turned on too, but 2/3 of the people i have on it don't have theirs on, which makes me all sad-like ;_;

wai, i go now.