Crossing Borders

Stevie/Zander, AU.

Prologue.

It all started with a prank call.

Stevie Baskara was having a sleepover with her best friend, an airhead named Grace. Of course, Grace was the one to originally suggest it. "Let's prank call some people!"

Now at first Stevie was firmly opposed to the idea, but she had spent most of her life hanging out with guys, mostly her two best friends – Kevin and Nelson – and Grace was fairly popular, so she kind of craved Grace's approval. So the two of them prank called Kevin, Nelson, and then some popular guys, like Justin. By that time, they were both fairly hyped up and in no mood to stop.

"I gotta go to the bathroom," Grace told Stevie through frantic giggles. "But I'll be back in a minute! Think you can, um, entertain yourself while I pee?" Grace grinned at her conspiratorially, like they were suddenly best friends, so Stevie couldn't do anything but nod.

"Course I can," Stevie said, glancing around. She supposed she could find other people to call, though it was much more intimidating when it was just her on her own.

But then she picked up her phone and realized that most of the popular guys only knew Grace, not loser Stevie. So she angrily punched a bunch of random numbers and then hit the send button.

She didn't realize what she'd done until the person on the other end picked up.

"Hello?" said a guy's voice. "Um, is someone there?"

Stevie's eyes widened. At last, she came out with, "Is your refrigerator running?"

"Yes, but I'm not going to go catch it," the guy replied dryly. "Now did you want something? Wait, is this Kacey or Molly? Because if so, I'm going to – "

"No," Stevie said sharply. "It's Stevie."

The guy seemed confused, because he didn't reply for what felt like ages. "I don't know anybody named Stevie, sorry."

"Well, now you do," Stevie said impatiently. "Who are you and where do you live?"

"Hang on, Stevie," the boy retorted. "You randomly call me – as a sucky attempt at a prank call, might I add – and then you expect me to tell you my name and where I live?"

"Yes," Stevie replied, her voice flat, showing that she meant business.

"Well, fair enough." There was a hint of amusement in the boy's tone, and Stevie thought that maybe he'd been just as bored as she was (Grace and the other popular girls took ages in the bathroom, after all, so she probably would've died of boredom if she hadn't called him). "I'm Zander, and I live in New York City. And you, Stevie?"

"Well, I told you already that I'm Stevie," Stevie informed him. "And I live in Los Angeles, California. Wait, that's not long-distance, is it?"

"It is a long distance," Zander chuckled in response. "But no, they don't charge for it, I believe."

Stevie paused for a moment in thought. "So let's hypothetically say that I want to maybe talk to you some more. They wouldn't charge me extra, since you live across the country?"

"Doubt it," Zander replied after a moment. "So you hypothetically want to talk to the guy that you randomly prank-called more?"

"Only if he hypothetically wants to talk to me too," Stevie said hesitantly.

"Then your answer is yes," Zander replied. "A word of warning, though. I randomly break out into song, even if I'm texting."

"I hum constantly and tend to use sarcasm more often than not."

"Sarcasm is my second language."

"I don't think sarcasm's considered a language."

"I don't think you should be prank-calling random people."

"Touche," Stevie said, laughing quietly to herself. "So, Zander, I'm assuming that you're a musician."

"I'm assuming you are too," was Zander's response. "But yes, I am. I sing and play the ukelele."

"Well, that's a rather random instrument," Stevie remarked, smiling to herself at how weird the word ukelele sounded. She doubted that she could even spell it, really. "I play bass guitar, and occasionally I sing. Not often, though, seeing as I sound like a dying cow most of the time."

"Your speaking voice is pretty, so I'm sure that's not true," Zander offered.

After 3 minutes or so, Stevie could already peg exactly what he was like. "Let me guess, you're a serial flirter. You know, the type that flirts with anything that's female. Though my name is Stevie, so I guess maybe not only females, either..."

"I can tell you're a girl," Zander jumped in. "Your voice sounds, like, really feminine. In the good sort of way, I mean. It's pretty."

"Yeah, keep that up and you might just have a chance," Stevie replied, finding herself smiling slightly again. She checked her watch – what was Grace doing in the bathroom that was taking her so long? Not that she was complaining, really; she couldn't have had a proper conversation with Zander if Grace was in the room. Grace was kind of ditzy, to say the least.

"A chance at what?" Zander inquired, sounding cutely confused. The fact that she found his voice attractive was quite alarming, Stevie decided.

Stevie shrugged, then realized he couldn't hear her over the phone. "I dunno, me actually liking you. You know, as a friend." She could hear footsteps then, so she hastily whispered, "Look, Zander, I gotta go, okay?"

"I'll talk to you later?" Zander offered warmly. She felt her heart skip a beat, much to her dismay. She didn't know him. She'd only been talking to him for like, five minutes, after all. And he was some random creeper in California.

"Yeah, yeah, talk to you later," she answered lamely, then hung up the phone. As Grace slipped in the door, she saved his number to her contacts as "Random Zander", then smiled silently to herself.

"Did something happen?" Grace said eagerly, plopping down beside Stevie. "Did you like, call a really hot guy? Did he ask you out?"

"No, of course not," Stevie replied, biting the corner of her lip.

"Then who were you talking to?" Grace prodded, her eyes wide.

She felt her phone vibrate, and glanced down to see that the screen read One new message from Random Zander. Glancing up, she informed Grace, "No one. No one at all."

/

Hey Stevie. Hope that you meant it when you said you wanted to talk to me more, cause you seem funny, and my parents have been buggin me to get a penpal anyway. I'm sure this would qualify. Anyway, yeah, hope to talk to you soon.

Hey, Zander. Of course I meant it; I'm not a liar. And are you using me so that your parents will get off of your backs? Tsk, tsk. I hope you can sense my non-approval through the phone.

I don't think you're a liar. And yes, I'm a rebel; can't you tell? (Even if they say no, I'd keep talking to you, so I'm not using you!)

Right, right, I totally believe you on both counts.

Is that sarcasm?

I thought you were fluent!

Well... I might have exaggerated a bit.

I figured, Random Zander.

/

A/N: well, there we have it; i'm doing the most idiotic thing ever and starting a new multichap, but it's zander/stevie so hopefully I won't be hated. I ship them so harddd. (Yes this chap is really bad, I'm sorry, but the rest will be told in texts/dialogue of phone calls so.) Anyway, this is kinda similar to Playing Yesterday, but mostly a lot different, which you will see as the story goes on. Please review for a soon-ish update? :)