On Platonic Relationships and Irony
Sometimes when they're walking down the hall, he throws an arm around her shoulders. It's a totally casual thing, she tries to convince herself, just like when he holds her hand in the classroom or leans against her during lunch or puts his head in her lap during band practice. Just a platonic sort of thing, she thinks.
She doesn't know when things changed.
It all really starts with Molly making a snide comment, which is normal. Just her comment is a little less ordinary. "Look," Molly says, staring at Zander's arm around Stevie's shoulders. "It's Lover Boy and his little lady."
And that in itself is enough to make Stevie try to go after Molly, but Zander's arm tightens around her, holding her back. The thing that scares her the most, though, is that he doesn't correct Molly. He just stands there, a small smile playing at his lips, and shakes his head as Molly walks off.
"Well," Stevie says after a minute. "Aren't you going to set her straight?"
"You know, I don't really want to," Zander mutters, wrapping both arms around her and hugging her to his chest. (Totally platonic, she tells herself, and then she stops thinking because he smells really good.)
After school later that day, Stevie walks over to him at his locker and finds herself placing a hand casually on his shoulder, which is completely normal for them. Zander doesn't seem to find it weird, at least. Grinning, she asks, "Smoothies this afternoon?"
"Sure," is Zander's casual response. "I'll buy."
She grins at him and then strolls back over to her locker, where Grace is waiting for her. This is also unusual. "Hey, Stevie," Grace chirps. "I didn't know you and Zander were dating. When did that happen?"
"Well, that's news to me," Stevie retorts, and when Grace looks confused, Stevie sighs. "We're not dating." (She doesn't add that she kind of wishes they were, because that's irrelevant.)
"Oh." This seems to confuse Grace, but she smiles again. "Molly thinks you are. I think you are too. Well, ta-ta!" She gives Stevie a three fingered wave and skips back off to rejoin Molly at Molly's locker. The confused look on Molly's face tells Stevie that this isn't some evil plot.
When Zander comes over to Stevie's locker so that the two of them can walk over to the smoothie place together, she asks him curiously, "Is this - is this a date?"
"Something wrong?" Zander inquires, raising an eyebrow, and she realizes that all of her worries are completely foolish. They've gone out for smoothies ten million times before without Kacey or Kevin or Nelson; why should today be any different?
"Nothing," she says. "Let's go." She has to admit, though, that her heart skips a beat when he hooks his elbow around hers.
"You know," Kacey tells her one day as they sit in her den, having a girls' night and watching movies. "I think I may have been wrong."
"You're wrong about a lot of things; what's your point?" Stevie teases, and Kacey throws a pillow at her in response, then shakes her head.
"I meant about Zander's song," Kacey explains.
Confused, Stevie stares at Kacey. "I thought Zander cleared that up already," she says, raising her eyebrows. "It was about his dog." And yeah, she'd thought that was kinda stupid, and yeah, she'd hoped that the song was for her, and yeah, she'd doubted that he'd actually originally written it for the dog, but still.
"Stevie." Kacey's voice is low, reprimanding. "Do you actually believe that Zander Robbins, wannabe stud, would write a song for his dog?"
When she says it like that, it does sound a bit ridiculous.
"What, you still think it's for you?" she snorts.
"No." Kacey stares at Stevie, then says in a slightly more perky tone, "I think it's for you."
Oh. That changes things.
Stevie just laughs, though. "Zander and I are just friends. He pretty much made it clear that the song wasn't actually for me. It was for.. his dog. Really, Kacey, give it up."
"Maybe you should give it up," Kacey retorts hotly. "It's totally obvious that Zander's into you and you're into him! Plus you're always all over each other. You guys might as well be dating already. Heck, maybe you are!"
Then Kacey storms upstairs, probably to scrub at her face incessantly like she always does when she's in a bad mood. Stevie just blinks, leaning back into the couch and wondering what has gotten into everyone lately.
(Most of all, she wonders what has gotten into her.)
Around that time is the annual dance, and Stevie kind of wonders if Zander will ask her to go - just as friends, of course, though she must admit that she's not opposed to being more. Thankfully, one day after band practice, Zander comes up behind her and puts an arm around her neck. "Me. You. Dance. Tell me you'll say yes."
"No," she responds teasingly. Zander does his mock-offended face, so she quickly follows up with, "I guess I'll say yes, but only because I haven't got anyone better to go with."
"Please, I'm the best offer you'll get," Zander retorts confidently, then he leans down and presses a tentative kiss to her cheek. "Thanks, Steve!" he calls as he dashes off, probably to get his stuff out of his locker before Nelson or Kevin can get their hands on it.
Speaking of Nelson and Kevin, they're standing in front of her with wide eyes. "How does he do it?" Kevin mutters bitterly under his breath.
"Do what?" Stevie inquires, taking a step forward, which makes Nelson and Kevin jump like, a mile. She finds it hilarious how both of them are terrified of her.
"Get girls," Kevin says at the same time Nelson says, "Get you." They exchange a quick look, both of them looking amused, and then stare back at Stevie.
"Please," Stevie chuckles. "He doesn't have me. We're just friends." She's not sure if she's trying to convince herself or them at this point, though.
"Yeah?" Kevin and Nelson exchange a look, then immediately descend into "You said they were dating!" "No, you did!", and all Stevie can do is roll her eyes.
"We're not dating, okay?" Stevie tells them sharply. "We are just friends."
"Friends who kiss each other's cheeks?" Nelson asks cheekily.
"Friends who ask each other out?" Kevin throws in.
"Ugh!" Stevie stomps her foot childishly, then informs them, "Sometimes you two are insufferable." Because they are, really, everyone knows that. (Especially when they're right.) "I'm gonna go now."
"You love us!" Nelson calls behind her.
"I think you and Zander would make a very nice couple," Kevin adds.
At the dance, Stevie and Zander aren't exactly the typical romantic couple, which is kind of a relief. They spend most of their time poking fun at the various romantic couples, and occasionally disrupting the most romantic of moments, then dissolving into laughter.
After they throw strawberries at two people who are practically eating each other's faces off, Zander sits down in a chair and Stevie practically collapses in his lap. She figures this is kind of an awkward position, but it's the way they've always been and Stevie's not going to change because of what other people think.
"Nice to see you, Cutie," Zander teases, flicking her on the nose.
"If this is going to turn into another conversation about how adorable I am, then I'm out," Stevie says, trying to wriggle off of his lap. His arms come up to encircle her, though, and she figures that there's no way out, so she relaxes into his touch. And what do you know, it kinda feels good.
Then the loudspeaker interrupts their moment of sorts. "It's time for our first slow dance of the night," the DJ calls. "Everyone get your special someone out on the floor!"
Zander releases her, and she immediately jumps to her feet. He follows close behind and holds out a hand. "Dance with me, Baskara?"
She nods silently and takes his hand, making faces at all the haters as he leads her to the floor. Immediately he positions them, then begins swaying back and forth, his chocolate eyes never leaving hers. "You know," he says at last, "this is pretty nice."
"You're such a romantic," she complains, rolling her eyes. "Pretty nice? Is that the best you can do?"
He leans closer, his nose nearly touching hers. "How about amazing, wonderful, terrific, the best night ever with the best girl ever?"
And then he's kissing her, pulling her close, something she'd never thought that she'd wanted until now. She smiles against his lips, wondering how this had happened - totally platonic, right? Except maybe not.
With a sigh, she pulls away. "What are we, Zander? I mean, are we dating?"
He laughs. "I kinda thought we already were." And then he kisses her again.
It just figures that when she finally gets a good boyfriend, she's the last to know.
A/N: Originally this was meant to be a drabble request for Kelsie but that didn't work okay shh. I blame Kelsie and Cassandra and Megan that is all. I'm sorry if it sucks; it's my first real Zevie fic.
Please review and don't fave without reviewing, thanks!