Somewhere Only We Know

By

LindsayR

Pairing: Ray/Stella

Spoilers: Takes place after the movie

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I just play in other people's sandboxes.

Author's Note: My entry for Its Ella Inspired's Just Between Us one shot contest. This is also only my second foray into this pairing/fandom. I hope I did it justice. The title of this fic belongs to the band Keane. My inspiration for this story was the song All That I'm Asking For by Lifehouse. The lyrics are at the end of the story.

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He's not the most aware person on the planet. If it doesn't have to do with him directly he kind of tunes out the world. Which is why he's surprised by the fact that it takes him nearly six months to notice that his enemy, the biggest loudmouth pain in the butt he's ever known, is living in the house right next door. Maybe it's because her house looks unlived in most of the time. It's not until two weeks after her band has played Madison Square Gardens that he looks out his bedroom window just in time to see the guitarist of Lemonade Mouth, Stella Yamada, half naked in the bedroom across from his. She's wearing nothing but a matching set of pink and white striped boy shorts and bra. The sight causes his mouth to go dry and his heart starts to pound in his chest.

He'll never admit it out loud and certainly never to her but she's starred in his dreams on more than one occasion. Just never like this. Admittedly, the boy shorts are very much what he's always pictured her in, the color though, well, he never pictured her in pink and white stripes. Ever. It's just so girly.

Vaguely, he hears the sounds of Three Days Grace through the clear glass of his window and he can tell that her window is wide open. She's singing along to the music, dancing and bouncing around her room wildly, her hands thrown in the air. Her hair is in short, kind of spiky pigtails and he can tell that she hasn't got a care in the world at that moment. And he can't resist the desire to open his window.

He watches her for a few more moments briefly wondering if she'll ever realize that she's being observed before he finally calls out to her unable to remain silent any longer. "Hey, Yamada! Love the outfit. And those are some kickin' moves. Any chance I could get a personal dance?"

She screeches slightly, her head whipping up and eyes locking on his for just a moment as she trips over her own feet and falls to the floor. He can't contain his laughter as he hears her cursing loudly. But then the curses subside and it's quiet for a while. He can't see her and he wonders what's going on. "Yamada? You ok? Come on, it was just a joke! Where'd you go?"

She finally reappears and he almost wishes she hadn't because the black satin robe that she's slipped on over her underwear only reaches to her mid-thigh and still dips in a deep V between her breasts, revealing just a hint of the pink and white of her bra. This image of her is definitely the stuff of his fantasies and he memorizes every inch of her, even though she's glaring at him as she curls up on a window seat.

"What the heck are you doing Beech? Since when do you live next door to me?" she asks, voice rough with anger and a bit of shock.

At least he's not the only person who doesn't pay attention to things. It makes him feel better about being so oblivious until now. "Since you moved here apparently." The sarcasm drips from his lips. "I've lived in this house since I was four years old."

Her eyebrows draw together slightly. "And you never said a word to me about it? I must not be the only one who doesn't pay attention." She smirks at him and it makes the corners of his mouth twitch with the urge to smile. She sees him fighting it and immediately pounces on it. "Oh dear god, please don't. The great Ray Beech wants to smile at something I said. The world must be coming to an end."

"Definitely. After all, who would ever guess that I almost smiled at something you said, that we'd actually have a normal conversation, or that Stella Yamada, tomboy and revolutionary guitar player for Lemonade Mouth, owns something as unbelievably sexy as that robe. The apocalypse must be tomorrow." He almost regrets saying it, but it's true and he watches as her cheeks flush slightly and she bites her lower lip softly. She just keeps doing these things that make him want her in ways he never considered (while awake) before. He always kept her strictly in his dreams. A glance at the clock shows that it's almost ten o'clock and he still has a pile of homework left to tackle. "I gotta go. Homework." She just nods, looking at him like she's trying to figure him, and this weird interlude, out. "See you tomorrow, Yamada."

He hears a soft "Goodnight, Beech" reach him as he's standing up. He watches her get up and glance back once before disappearing from view. Neither of them shut their windows.

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He's not sure what he expected but the next day goes as all the others since the day they met. They still trade barbs and put on one hell of a show with their arguments but there's a new undertone to them that only they can hear. The venom that once filled their words is gone. Instead they're both fighting against the smiles that threaten as they argue. She's never more beautiful than when she's fighting for something or someone and she knows it. She can tell the effect it has on him and uses it to her advantage, usually leaving him sputtering for a comeback. Then again, she's always had the upper hand when it comes to their war of words.

That night they talk again, this time for longer, until she's starting to drift to sleep leaning against the window. And thus, their nightly ritual is born. It continues for weeks, building up this strange friendship that neither of them expected or wanted but cannot live without. And no one else knows. It's theirs alone, like the world stops just for them for those few hours. They never mention the want and desire that builds between them with each revelation, each nightly conversation.

A month and a half into their nightly ritual and he has a soccer practice that runs late and then coach makes him run laps for daydreaming when he's supposed to be concentrating on the ball. So when he gets to his house he's in a hurry to grab a bite to eat and get upstairs to talk. He never expects him mom to waylay him in the kitchen as he's hurriedly eating a hamburger left over from dinner.

"Ray, sweetie, that nice girl Stella from next door is up in your room. She said that you were supposed to work on some project together. With you running late I told her she could wait up there. Your dad and I are going to a movie. We'll be back late."

He can hear his mother laughing lightly as his eyes go wide. He shoves the hamburger into the trash, and runs out of the room, taking the stairs two at a time. He concentrates on getting to Stella instead of thinking about the fact that his mother knows what he wants, what might happen, and gave him permission, going so far as to get his dad out of the house.

He stops outside his door, running a hand through the spikes that are still damp from his shower after practice. With a deep breath he opens the door, slipping through and shutting it behind him. And loses his breath. She's wearing pink underwear again, only this time it's lace all over and her black robe is hanging from her shoulders, but open, revealing her to him. She's biting her lip and there's a nervous look in her eyes, like she's expecting him to reject her. He knows that Mo and Olivia are the ones who are considered beautiful by society standards, but not to him. People gush so much about the other two girls' beauty that he knows it has damaged her self-confidence some, though she doesn't let it show. To him, though, she's gorgeous, and everything he's ever wanted. And she wants him too.

Determined to remove any and all doubt from her eyes, her heart, and her mind he strides right up to her and cups her face in his palm loving that her eyes drift closed at the simple touch. And then they're kissing; mouths fused together as all the passion, the heat, build and explode between them. Stella's hands are fisting in his shirt and she's pulling herself up on tiptoes to mold her body against his. His hands push the robe from her shoulders, her hands releasing him long enough to let if fall to the ground. His hands continue to skim down her back until he's cupping the round globes of her butt in them. She moans into his mouth and he's briefly drawn out of the haze they're in.

"Are you sure, Stella?" he asks, his forehead resting against hers, his breathing harsh. "Be sure. Cause there's no going back. We do this and it means you're mine and I'm yours. Tomorrow at school, here, out in the world. It's not just us anymore after tonight."

"Jeez, Beech, who thought you'd be the wordy one. Yes, I'm sure. I've been sure for two weeks." Her eyes soften, as does her voice. "Ray…I…I…"

Running his thumb over her lips, he stops her stutter. He knows what she's trying so hard to say. They both can use words as weapons but when it comes to softer emotions they both have trouble speaking. So he stops her attempt, looks into her eyes and says instead, "Me too, Yamada. Me too."

Suddenly there's no more room for words. Instead they use their hands and mouths to communicate. A brush of fingers here or a press of lips there and they're speaking in a language that only the other understands. Neither have done this before, gone this far, but its perfect, not hesitant or awkward at all, as if the universe planned this moment for them. Each kiss is a revelation, a sacrament, almost divine. And when he finally slides slowly into her there's hardly any pain, just a connection so deep it takes their breath away.

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They're sitting in his car the next day at school. "You ready to do this?" he asks, her hand clasped in his.

"Damn right I am," she says with a smile, but he can see the hidden fear of her friends' reactions in her eyes. He kisses her softly, lets go of her hand and gets out of the car, going around to open her door for her.

He keeps her hand clasped tightly in his as they walk toward the front doors of the building that suddenly seems miles away. People stare as they approach and he can hear Jules and Patty whispering viscously as he leads Stella past them. The other members of Lemonade Mouth are all watching from where they're sitting on the lawn of the school. Mo and Olivia are all smiles while the guys just look confused. Stella glances at them all, worried. Mo and Olivia's bright smiles reassure her though, and when they nod in approval, she's grateful. Because it means the others will be okay with her and Ray too. Really that's all she wants. She smiles up at Ray as he watches her and her band. Once she gets the silent approval he's kissing her unashamedly, letting the whole world in on their secret. Ray Beech loves Stella Yamada. And in some weird twist of fate she loves him back.

***** FIN *****

Gravity pulls and

We fall from the clouds

We prove to each other

That we're both human now

The time that we spent

Trying to make sense

Of it all

All that I'm asking for

Is that you need nothing more

And nothing comes in between

Our love and it's fragile, see

All that I'm asking for

You're all that I'm asking for

Now we walk together

Knowing where we've been

Knowing mistakes are being mistaken again

It's in the past tense

There is no making sense of it now

All that I'm asking for

Is that you need nothing more

And nothing comes in between

Our love and it's fragile, see

All that I'm asking for

You're all that I'm asking for

In the still of your hands

Anything can happen now

With every beat of my heart

Love speaks in silence

In the still of your hands

Anything is possible

With every beat of my heart

The time that we spent

Trying to make sense, of it all

All that I'm asking for

Is that you need nothing more

And nothing comes in between

Our love and it's fragile, see

All that I'm asking for

Is that you need nothing more

And nothing comes in between

Our love and it's fragile, see

All that I'm asking for

You're all that I'm asking for