AN-Ah, not sure what to put here other than I do not own FFC, which is where Joe and his vivos are from, so let's get on with it!


Chapter Eleven-A Stressful Day

THE NEXT DAY...

Joe enters his class, sitting at the station he and Sarisa were assigned to, she already sitting at it.

"..." They both sit in silence, the only noise the chatter of their classmates around them.

"...So...your school has a dance just for the seniors?" Sarisa asks, breaking the awkward silence between them.

"Uh...yeah." Joe says, both of them sit looking down at the counter in front of them. "It's fer them ta celebrate graduatin'. It's this Friday night."

"The same day that we graduate?" Sarisa asks, looking at him, making Joe tense, seeing her emerald eyes out of the corner of his light blue ones.

"Y-yeah..." He says.

"Ah..." She says, then looking back at the counter. They sit in the silence, only to have it broken by the bell and Mr. Khem coming into the classroom, shutting the door.

"Good morning class!" He says, smiling. "Now, today..." He starts reviewing different things they learned, whether it be from science, history, English, or math.

After a bit...

Joe sits there, completely spaced out and watching Sarisa out of the corner of his eye, thinking only of her. She sat with her back straight, attentive.

It's hard ta imagine she's th' same age as me... Joe thinks. She looks eighteen wit' 'er height, but she almos' reminds me of someone who's-

"JOE!"

"FOURTEEN!" Joe yells, falling out of his stool.

"Why, that's the correct answer Joe!" Mr. Khem says, happy. "Dividing 126 by 9 will give you correct answer: X=14! Good job!"

"..." Joe sits there for a second. ...Right...I meant ta do that.

'SUUUUUURE you did.' Ptera says, rolling his eye.

'Oh, shut up.' Joe tells him, getting back into his seat.

LATER...

Joe walks down the hallway, heading back to the classroom after taking something the front office for Mr. Khem. The hallway was silent and deserted, his footsteps muffled echoes.

"Hey." Joe stops as Pine, Wolf, and Shay suddenly dart in front of him from around a corner, making a wall. Joe knew what they were thinking of doing, and he knew he couldn't take all three of them, so he instead keeps a poker face, looking at all of them.

"Yeah?" Joe asks, his voice blank.

"Since you keep trying to keep Sarisa from us, we're gonna have to teach you a lesson." Wolf says.

"...Well, in that case..." Joe starts. He then rams right into Shay, who had been in the middle, aka, right in front of him, Joe's shoulder hitting the other boy's stomach, causing Shay to fall down, and allowing Joe to make a break for it, running as fast as he could, being able to hear the triplets coming after him. He runs around a corner, spotting a bathroom, then running into it, hoping the triplets didn't see him.

'Aw, you could've let V-Raptor after them!' Ptera says.

'I don't need ta get in that kinda trouble.' Joe says, leaning against the wall. '...Then again, they'd just run off scared outta their skins, so-'

"GEEEEYAAAAA!" Someone suddenly screams, making Joe jump and yell with surprise as well, looking to see Sarisa had just come out of one of the stalls. "WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING HERE?!"

"What're YOU doin' here?!" Joe asks, his face heating up.

"This is the girls restroom!" Sarisa says, obviously confused.

"..." Joe stands there, then realizes that she had to be right due to the fact she walked here no doubt while Joe had been running.

He then smacks his forehead as hard as possible, then burying his face in his hands.

"Who's ever in charge up there, please take me now." Joe says, his voice holding nothing but misery and embarrassment.

'Tsk, tsk, tsk.' Ptera says, mentally shaking his head. 'Joe, and you said I was the pervert!'

'PTEEEEEEEERAAAAAAAAAAAAA!' Joe roars, mentally strangling the vivosaur.

"Why...did you run in here though?" Sarisa asks.

"..." Joe looks at her between the fingers that covered his solid red face, then looks back down at the ground, still having his hands over his face. "Th' Robertson Triplets tried ta start'a fight, so I went runnin' and tried ta hide."

"Ah..." Sarisa says, understanding.

"L-look!" Joe says suddenly, his face red with embarrassment. "I-I'm real sorry 'bout walkin' in here! I-" He and Sarisa suddenly hear footsteps outside the door, making Joe run into a stall that had an 'OUT OF ORDER' sign on it, shutting and locking the stall door, then having to perch on the toilet so no one would see his feet. His hands braced the walls on either side of him for balance, he hears an exchange of "hi's" from Sarisa and the other girl that just came in, then the shut of a stall door.

After a few minutes.

'PLEASE KILL ME NOW, PLEASE KILL ME NOW, PLEASE KILL ME KNOW, PLEASE KILL ME KNOW.' Joe thinks repeatedly, still trapped in the stall due to the fact that eve MORE girls had come in, each one that left replaced by two more or so.

'Ah...I'm enj-'

'PTERA YA PERVERTED LITTLE DINOSAUR!' Joe roars, mentally strangling Ptera.

'Not THAT!' Ptera says. 'I mean you being miserable!'

'...' Joe says and does nothing. '...PLEASE KILL ME.'

After a bit...

Joe practically runs down the hallway, the last girl having finally left the bathroom, allowing him to make a break for it. He was so happy with his new freedom, he just thought that he was going to cry with sheer glee.

'I'M FREE!' He thinks, imagining the hallway was a wide open field that he was running through.

After school...

Joe sits down on the steps in front of the school, relived that he made it through the day.

"Hey Joe." He looks up to see Sarisa sit down next to him, two feet of space between them.

"Hey..." Joe says, sitting up straighter. "Uh...Could ya do me a favor?"

"Don't worry." Sarisa tells him, smiling. "I won't tell a soul."

"Thanks." Joe sighs, relieved. "Ah...ya wanna ride home on Ptera?"

"Ah! That would be nice, thank you." Sarisa tells him. Joe lets Ptera out, allowing him and Sarisa onto the Pterosaur, flying off to where Sarisa and her parents were staying. The vivosaur lands outside the house, Joe hops off Ptera, then turns and helps Sarisa off.

"Thanks Joe!" Sarisa tells him, smiling. Joe smiles some, then watches her as she walks up the steps, to the door, his eyes watching her braid, which swished back and forth slightly as she walked.

"Uh...Sarisa?" Joe asks, taking a single step forward.

"Yeah?" Sarisa asks, looking back at him.

"Ah...I'd...like ta talk to yer pa 'bout somethin'..." Joe says, looking at the ground and rubbing the back of his neck.

"Alright." Sarisa tells him. "I'll get him!" She heads into the house, Ptera going into his medal which Joe catches, then putting into his inside coat pocket.

"You wanted to talk to me?" Joe looks up to see Mr. Eastward standing there on the porch, holding his cane in one hand.

"Uhm...Yes sir." Joe says, going up the steps to the porch. "I...wanted ta ask ya somethin'..."

"Alright." Mr. Eastward says, nodding, then sitting down in one of the rocking chairs. "But sit down. I'd like to ask you a question too."

"Yes sir." Joe says, sitting down in the other rocking chair next to him, Joe's hands on his knees and sitting up straight.

"Now," Mr. Eastward looks at Joe. "what were you going to ask me?"

"..." Joe sits there a second, then looks down at the floor in front of his feet. "...I was wonderin' if it'd be okay with ya if...w-well..." He grips his knees, unable to find the words.

"Well?" Mr. Eastward asks, raising his eyebrows.

"..." Joe sits there, starting to get tense, his grip on his knees getting tighter. Jus' spit it out! "I was wonderin' if it'd be alright if I...asked...Sarisa to...go...to th'...senior...dance...with...me..." Joe says, his voice trailing off.

"...Is that all?" Mr. Eastward asks. Joe nods, his face warm and still tense. Mr. Eastward just nods, sitting back in his chair. "Why did you ask me that?"

"...Well...yer 'er pa." Joe tells him. "I know that ya jus' want what's best fer 'er and fer her ta be happy, and I thought it would be rude to ask her without yer permission first." Joe looks back at the man, to see him staring straight forward. "I...jus' wanted yer approval."

"...I see." Mr. Eastward says, nodding. He sits silent for a minute, only adding to Joe's nervousy. "Well." He looks back at Joe. "Then I have one more question."

"Yes sir?" Joe asks. Mr. Eastward sits forward, his hands on the top of his cane.

"Why do you love Sarisa?"

"SIR?!" Joe asks, so shocked that he jumps out of the chair, only to succeed in tripping and falling on his back. Mr. Eastward laughs, making Joe quickly scramble to his feet. "Uhm...I...Sir?!"

"I wasn't expecting that reaction, but it was still humorous." Mr. Eastward chuckles, amused. "But you heard my question." He looks back at Joe. "Why do you love Sarisa?"

"..." Joe feels his face turn red at the question, making him look down at his feet. "I...!" Joe looks away, at the front yard. "How...? How could ya tell?"

"The look in your eye." Mr. Eastward says simply. "When you were helping her off your vivosaur just now, you just had that look in your eyes."

"..." Joe says nothing, but feels his face heat up more. "...She...She's jus' different from everyone else...Like...light jus' emits from her, an' she light up th' world an' spreads color...It's...kinda hard ta explain..." Joe tells him, his face getting a bit warmer still.

"Mm-hm..." Mr. Eastward hums, nodding. "...Very well."

"...Sir?" Joe asks, looking up at the man some, to see him smiling at Joe.

"You have my permission to ask Sarisa." Mr. Eastward tells Joe, making Joe face light up with a huge smile.

"Thank ya Mr. Eastward!" Joe tells him, grateful.

"You're welcome." Mr. Eastward tells him, still smiling. Joe then suddenly notices a silver ring on the cane, about three inches below the handle.

"Ah...pardon th' sudden question, but...why's that ring on yer cane?" He asks, making Mr. Eastward look at it.

"Oh." He says. He then does something to it, making it unlatch, then pulls on the handle of the cane, making a long blade come out of the cane, causing Joe's eyes to widen in amazement. "It's not just good for hitting someone on the head with."

"..." Joe blinks, still amazed. "...So it's practically gotta sword in it?"

"That's right." Mr. Eastward says, sheathing the knife and clasping the ring back.

Later...

Joe walks into his house, shutting the door behind him.

"I'm home!" He calls.

"Hey Joe."

"..." The said teen stands there a second, then hitting his head against the door. "Hey cuz."

"Why you so down, uh-hunh?" Joe just looks at his cousin, a twenty year old with black hair and side burns, the hair done into a spike that stuck out over his forehead, a gold colored trench coat, a white shirt with ruffles on the chest, black pants, black shoes, and a brown belt.

"Why ya here, Billy?" Joe asks, hitting his head against the door again.

"Ah, jus' thought I'd come by for a visit." He says, shrugging.

"And I just think I'll go fer a-" He opens the door, only to walk right into another person.

"Ah! Sorry!" They tell him, Joe recognizing the voice.

"SARISA?!" Joe exclaims, jumping back, allowing him to see her standing there, holding a brown leather square object in her hand.

"Sorry...but..." She holds the object out to him, which turned out to be a wallet. "Pa said this fell out of your pocket, so I brought it to you."

"Oh...uh...th-thanks." Joe stammers, accepting the wallet which he then puts back into his pocket.

"You're welcome." Sarisa tells him, smiling some.

"WELL, cousin Joe." Billy says, his elbow on Joe's shoulder.

Please kill me now. Joe thinks, knowing right where this was going.

"Who's this?" Billy asks, smiling.

"She's a friend of mine." Joe tells his cousin between grit teeth, trying not to punch him.

"Aw, c'mon." Billy says, his tone playful. "Someone as cute as this?"

"YES!" Joe yells, looking at his cousin, who jumps back, knowing Joe could beat him in a fight. "...Like I said, I'm goin' fer a walk!" He steps out onto the porch, then looks back at Sarisa, who had an unsure of how to react look on her face. "...Er...th-thanks fer r-returnin' mah wallet." Joe tells her, then hurrying past her.

"Ah...okay." Sarisa says, making Joe look back at her. "I'll see you at school tomorrow!" She then goes down the steps, going back over to a small evergreen car, gets in the driver's side, then starting up the car. Joe waves, turns, then starts walking off.

Ah, I'm an idiot. He thinks, mentally kicking himself. I could've asked 'er then! I could'a done SOMETHIN', but nooo...I had ta go an' not do a thing. He keeps walking, and eventually come to the river, then turns and follows it down stream, eventually coming to a point where the slope rose to where it fell at a ninety degree angle. After a few feet, he turns, looking into a small cave. It was about fifteen feet long and fifteen feet wide, and five feet tall. The opening was about four feet in diameter, causing Joe to duck down to enter it. Sam, Pablo and him had played in there several times as kids, and the still occasionally came out to it just for old times' sake, or when trying to hide from angry parents.

He walks over to one of the smooth walls, sitting down with his legs stretched out in front of him.

How in tarnation am I gonna ask 'er? He wonders, staring at the top of the cave with a blank look on his face.

"Joe?"

"GEYAAA!" Joe yells, jumping to his feet, only to succeed in hitting his head on the low ceiling, causing him to crouch down, his hand on the back of his head.

"Ah! I'm sorry!" Sarisa says, hurrying over, forced to bend over from her height of five feet ten inches, then crouching next to Joe. "I'm sorry! Are you alright?"

"Uhm..." Joe racks his mind for words, only to find none as his face heats up, due to Sarisa's hands over his on the back of his head.

"Here, lemme see it." She tells him, Joe trying to keep his hands over where he hit his head, and his eyes looking at the ground between his knees. He shirks back, suddenly shy. "Joe!" Sarisa says, on her knees, her hands still over his. "I need to make sure you didn't get a knot on your head!"

"I-I'm okay!" Joe tells her, scrambling back some, still unable to get her hands off of his. Sarisa then suddenly pulls Joe forward, stepping to the side making him pass her, allowing Sarisa to wrench his hands from his head, she being able to look at where he hit his head.

"Now keep your hands down." Sarisa tells Joe, releasing his hands, allowing Joe to grip the middle of his lower leg while he sat with his legs crossed. His face grows warm as Sarisa feels the spot on his head, her fingers going through his thick, dark strawberry blonde locks of hair. They were thin and gentle, bringing a soothing feeling to the pain where his head hit, making it quickly leave. He found himself steadily increasing the strength of his grip in his legs, his shoulders hunching more, his face continuing to grow warmer, and his heart pounding harder. "Well, it looks and feels alright, so I believe you should be fine." Sarisa tells Joe, her hands leaving the back of his head as she puts them on her knees. "But if your head still hurts, I could get you to the hospital or something."

"...I-I-It don't hurt..." Joe tells her, struggling to keep his voice even.

"You sure?" Sarisa asks, getting next to him, Joe just quickly nodding in response. They sit in silence for a moment, Sarisa then wrapping her arms around his neck, hugging him and making Joe blush more. "That's good."

"...Ah, uhm..." Joe feels Sarisa hug him tighter, Sarisa resting her head on top of his and Joe's foot starting to twitch. He felt like something was coming up into his throat; something that just wanted to be shouted out. "...S...S...Sarisa?"

"Yeah?" Sarisa asks.

"..." Joe could feel his heart pounding, the sound thudding in his ears. "...I..." He suddenly sits up, then whirling around to look at her. "I was wonderin' if ya'd wanna hang out after school tamorrow!"

"..." Sarisa blinks, looking Joe in the eye, making Joe look down at the floor to hide his red face.

"Well...okay." She tells him. "Where should I meet up with you, Sam and-"

"Just us!" Joe blurts, looking up at her. "...J-jus'...you an' me..."

"..." Sarisa's face gets a light blush and her eyes widen some, making Joe look back at the ground again, having to fight down whatever it was trying to make him yell it out. "...I-I'd love to." Sarisa tells him, making Joe look up at her, to see her awkwardly smiling, Joe then suddenly hugging her. She says nothing, but relaxes, letting Joe hold her.

"...So...I'll see ya after school tomorrow?"

"Hm-mm." She tells him, her head nodding, it resting on his chest. Joe smiles, hugging her tighter.

THE NEXT DAY...

Joe shivers, pulling his coat around him tighter.

'It's always th' coldest mornin'a May when we do this...' He tells Ptera. He wore a white t-shirt, red jacket with two white stripes going down the sleeves, black pants white two white stripes going down the pants legs, and white shoes, just like all the other seniors around him. Every year, the school had the students have to do a mile run, in which they had to get up at dawn and come to school, change into their gym clothes, and then wait till the coach gave them the signal to start.

"Ugh...Why can't we do this before spring break?" Pablo asks, yawning, while Sam had his forehead on Pablo's shoulder, sleeping while he stood up.

"I dunno..." Joe tells him, sleepy as well. Turning, he looks around the crowd of half-asleep students, then spotting what he had been looking for: a red baseball cap that had golden hair coming from under it.

"Good morning!" Sarisa says, walking over, bright-eyed and wide awake.

"How are you awake at this time of the morning?" Pablo asks.

"I'm a morning person!" Sarisa tells him. She wore the same gym clothing, only she had on shorts that stopped at the midpoint of her upper legs. They were long, smooth, and slender; strong-looking legs. Joe quickly looks away, heat rising to his face.

'What's wrong?' Ptera asks. 'Back before the War of Oppression, men looked at a woman's legs all the time.'

'So?!' Joe asks. 'That don't give ME an excuse ta do that!'

'Alright, alright. Sheesh.' Ptera tells him. 'But, have you told Sam and Pablo that you asked her out?'

'IT AIN'T A DATE!' Joe yells, getting mad. 'We're just gonna hang out!'

'Suuuuuuure...'

'Oh, shut up.'

"Okay! Get ready!" The coach yells, making the students get along, or near, the starting line. The coach fires a blank, making the students take off. The quartet of friends ran alongside each other, Sam half asleep, Sarisa smiling pleasantly, while Joe and Pablo had blank looks on their faces.

'Well, either way, the past twenty-four hours have been kinda stressful, eh lover boy?' Ptera asks.

'DON'T CALL ME THAT!' Joe yells, but still acknowledging the fact the past twenty-four hours had been a handful.


AN-FINALLY...

mysterydude123: Well, that's good to hear. :D

1T1S1T: Actually, only Red was supposed to come in, but then I felt like I had to put Xavia in there. XD

Icy Metal and Frost Blue Roses: ...I think you're a bit TOO enthusiastic...I LOVE IT! :D :D :D

Gunsandgames: I figured this would be a fun chapter to write. XD

Tabithia6000: YAY! :D

Ptera: Whelp, next chapter Joe and Sarisa go on that date!

Joe: IT AIN'T A DATE!

Magma: Only in your opinion, Joey. Only in your opinion.