let me be your sweetest
He closes his locker, and she's there, twirling a strand of white blonde hair around her finger. She's got a contemplative look on her face, and her teeth dig into her lower lip. "Hi, Matt." she says, and he swallows because she reminds him so much of Caroline and she's so sweet looking but she's kind of a train-wreck waiting to happen. And that kind of scares him.
But he can't help but say, "Hey, Rebekah." back.
She leans against the locker beside his, picking at her nails, and it takes him a second to realize she's nervous. Like, the girly kind of let-me-pick-at-my-nails-until-I'm-ready-to-speak nervous. Elena does it, Caroline does it, Bonnie does it, when his sister wasn't on drugs she'd done it. He figures it's pretty universal. "You okay?" he questions, peering at her with a curious eye.
Rebekah licks her lips, and he likes that they aren't full and plump. He likes how thin they are and how red they turn when she bites into them—
And woah, he's going to stop that thought before it gets him into trouble.
"Have you ever heard of..." she seems to struggle for the right word and he waits with bated breath, "of bowling?" she finally questions, the word seeming foreign to her.
Matt brightens, "Dude, I love bowling!" he cries, "It's awesome." his mood instantly skyrockets at the mention of his second favorite pastime, the first being football.
Rebekah toys with the zipper of her jacket, "Would you—I mean, will you teach me how to...bowl?" she asks, and he blinks because woah, this Original vampire chick has just asked him on a date. He doesn't know whether to be flattered or scared for his life.
She quickly backtracks, hands fluttering through her hair nervously, "It's fine. I shouldn't have asked. I just thought...you've always been nice to me."
And that's when he gets it; she's an insecure little girl, younger than him, even, stuck in a world that she doesn't understand, and the only way she thinks she can make it is by killing and maiming and—
He hasn't forgotten that she'd almost set Elena on fire, and that she's done a lot of bad things, but he feels sorry for her.
She's a thousand years old and she's never been bowling, for God's sake.
"Your brother's suck," he says, and she blinks in surprise, "I mean, seriously? They've never taken you bowling? That's completely lame." Rebekah's teeth dig into her lower lip, and he thinks she's fighting a big smile. He grins because, well, he had that affect on people.
"So you'll teach me?" she asks.
Matt nods, "Yeah, just meet me out at my truck after school."
She lets out a ragged breath he hadn't known she'd been holding in. Hell, he didn't even know vampires breathed. "Thank you, Matt." she murmurs, and then she's gone.
He stands there for a moment longer, wondering just what he'd gotten himself into.
She's waiting for him after school, bouncing on the balls of her feet, body vibrating in excitement. He wants to laugh because she looks like a little kid on Christmas, waiting for presents and cookies and all that holiday good stuff, but he doesn't because she'd probably kill him.
"Ready?" he asks, and she nods her head, clasping her hands against her chest. He walks around to the passenger side and opens the door for her before she can, and she stares at him, mouth twisted into an 'o' shape. He holds his hand out to her, because she's pretty short and his truck is pretty big. She takes it after a moment of thought, and he helps her into the cab. She stares at him as he walks around to his side and it occurs to him that nobody has ever done that for her before. God, what kind of guys does she know? he wonders, because what girl has never had a guy open a door for her?
Matt climbs into the truck, starting the engine and pulling out of his parking space before turning to her. She's staring off at something in the corner of the parking lot. Caroline and Elena are standing together, staring open mouthed at them as they coast by. She flicks her hair back over her shoulder and gives Caroline a smile that's something between spite and laughter. Elena's eyes widen, and Matt shrugs sheepishly while Caroline seethes, immediately whipping out her phone.
"Uh, oh," he mutters to himself, turning away from his friends.
"They'll get over it." Rebekah says flippantly as his phone goes off with multiple texts from Caroline. "God, I don't know what you saw in that little—"
"Hey," he says sharply, cutting her off, "no bad-mouthing my friends." her mouth falls open, like nobody has ever told her what to do, but he holds his ground, giving her a firm, stern Stefan look. "I'm serious, Rebekah. If you say one more bad thing—"
"Fine." she snaps, crossing her arms over her chest. Next, she mutters something that sounds like, "Little blonde vampire brat spoiling all of my fun."
"Nobody likes a bitter Original," Matt singsongs, taking the conversation away from his friends, because he's still not sure if she's going to kill him and them, and right now in the cab of his truck, she has a straight shot for his jugular.
She surprises him by laughing loudly, head thrown back against her seat, "You're funny, Matt." she tells him.
And it's the first time anyone's ever said that to him, so he smiles, reaches out and turns on the radio, purposely singing off-key to a bad Top 40 song.
Just to hear her laugh.
The only bowling alley in Mystic Falls, connected to his favorite arcade and pizza place, shines brightly in the fading light. Rebekah stares at it with wide eyes, as if she's never seen neon glowing lights, as if she's never hear the loud, cheerful clatter of bowling pins toppling over. Well, he guesses, she hasn't.
He opens her door for her and leads her towards the bowling alley, pushing her through the door and towards the counter. "Two games," he says, tells the clerk his shoe size and asks Rebekah what hers is. Her feet are tiny, size 6.
She's handed a pair of ratty pink and blue bowling shoes. She stares down at them in disgust, nose wrinkled cutely. "They're so...ugly."
"They're supposed to be. 'S part of the charm." Matt grins. Without thinking, he grabs her hand, dragging her towards their lane. He pushes her into a chair, kneeling down and pulling the shoes Caroline's been insanely jealous of the last few days off of her tiny feet.
Rebekah's mouth falls open as she stares at him. He whistles a cheerful tune, slipping the ugly shoes onto her feet and lacing them up for her.
"You ready?" he asks, because he doesn't do anything halfway. She'd asked to be taught, and dammit, he's going to teach her.
She brushes a strand of hair from her face, "Yeah," she says, eyes sliding to the rows of bowling balls behind them. "can I pick one?" she asks, eyes shining with excitement once more. Before he can answer, she shoots up, flying towards a sparkly yellow bowling ball. She lifts it gingerly, smile touching her lips as the sparkles flash in the fluorescent light.
"You want that one?" he asks, knowing the answer already. She steps towards him, eyes still on the ball. She beams up at him when he shows her how to hold the ball, how to throw, and the like.
He doesn't like to brag or anything, but he's pretty good. He picks his own bowling ball, keys in their names, and approaches the land. He's in the zone, man, he's zen right now. He bowls, and knocks all of his pins down. He turns to Rebekah, sees her struggling between cheering for him and confusion, and he explains that a strike is awesome. She cheers for him, then, waving her arms in the air and spelling out his name like a cheerleader.
Matt finds himself grinning, and he doesn't know why. He doesn't know what he feels around her, only that he's never felt anything like it before. Light and airy and carefree and it's like she's not a mass-murderer and a thousand years old. She's just a girl, a pretty one, who wants him to teach her how to bowl.
She tries to copy his movements, but fails. He snickers into his hand as she stomps her feet, yellow ball rolling into the gutter. "I can't do it," she whines, sounding like the eternal seventeen year old she is.
"You can." he says, standing and making his way to her. The ball comes back up the pipe, and he picks it up, holding it out to her. As she takes it, securing it in her hands, he places his own hands on her hips, directing her movements.
It's not because she's pretty or because he wants to make a move on her (okay, it's mostly not about that), he just wants to teach her.
"Bring your arm back," he says.
"Keep it straight," he says.
"Don't go past the line," he says.
"I did it!" she cries, jumping up and down, clapping her hands together as she knocks down ten pins.
Matt smiles at her.
He buys her nachos, and they sit together at a red circle table in the corner of the alley. Their hands brush together every now and then, and she's always the first to pull back, always the first to say sorry.
"Why do you keep saying sorry?" he asks, after the seventh time.
She blinks, wiping a hand over her mouth. "I don't want you to be scared of me." she mumbles after a moment.
"I'm not scared of you." he lies. Her lips tilt up into a smirk, and he figures she's probably got like, a built in lie-detector or something, so he relents, "Okay, maybe just a little."
Rebekah takes another nacho, "You don't have to be scared of me. I like you, Matt. You're the last person in this town that I'd want to hurt."
They finish their nachos in silence, and this time, when their hands meet on the plate, she makes it a point to pull away last.
The night comes to an end, and he wishes it hadn't. She's laughing and smiling and he likes this side of her.
Matt leads her outside, arm on her elbow, and they make it to his truck, laughing at something he'd said earlier. They trip over each other, and she's giggling. He opens the door for her, "I'll get you home." he says, helping her in. His hand tingles as she grips it, hoisting herself into the cab.
The drive to her house is quiet, and he taps his thumbs on the steering wheel. He remembers Caroline, afraid of silence. Elena, afraid of awkwardness.
Rebekah's not afraid of anything. She sits still, staring out her window, watching Mystic Falls whip by.
He watches her more than he watches than road. He can't help it. She's like...like a supernova, flipping everything he knows upside down and making him think that...that maybe she's not so bad. Not bad at all.
Too soon, he thinks, he pulls into her gravel driveway. Every light in her house is on, and she mumbles something about her brothers worrying. She turns to him, and before he can say goodbye, she throws her arms around his neck in a hug. His hand finds a place on the small of her back and he holds her there.
She pulls back after a moment, eyes falling to his lips. He'a hyper-aware of her every movement, and how close they are. He wishes she would just lean in—
"Thank you, for tonight." she breathes, eyes still on his lips. He nods, nose lightly brushing hers, and her eyes flick to his, tongue poking out to lick her lips. He's so close to kissing her.
His eyes slowly close, and he leans in, lips meeting—
Disappointed, he pulls away. She nibbles on her lower lip, "Your friends would hate you. Or worse, they would use you to get to me. You've seen how they've used that blonde one." she shakes her head, "It's not that I—"
Matt holds his hands up, pulling away from her, "I get it. I promise."
Before he has time to tell her it's okay, that he understands, her mouth presses up against his, and her slim hands grasp at the strings of his sweatshirt, pulling him closer. The moment is too perfect, too serene, and he never wants it to end. One of her hands slides up his chest to cradle his face, and his hands finally fly off of the wheel to hold her.
She pulls away as his mouth travels down her throat, gasping. He exhales against her skin, pressing a hand against her back and sliding the other under her shirt. Her skin is warm, smooth, soft to the touch—
A sharp knock on his window startles them both, and Rebekah scrambles away from him, staring daggers at her younger brother. "Kol!" she screeches, wrenching her door open. She jumps out of the cab, tearing after the laughing boy.
"I always knew you were a harlot, Bek, how much do you charge?" he hears, followed by her screaming and a loud thud. "Niklaus! Elijah! Bekah pulled my arm off!"
Matt turns a little green, and pulls out of the driveway as fast as he can. As he's turning off the lane, he looks back in his rear-view mirror, watches Rebekah lift a hand in goodbye.
He waves back, swallows roughly, and prays Caroline and Elena and Bonnie won't kill him for having a crush on an Original.
(Well, c'mon, she's hot.)