A/N: Hi! New writer here. This is just my idea of what happened after the end of the series. There were really a lot of small issues that were left unresolved. So this isn't fluff, just a lot of discussion between Chase and Zoey. The first scene takes place near the end of the prom. Rated K for (a bit) of kissing.
[EDITED AND REUPLOADED 10/29/12]
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters or settings. I'm not sure why people put disclaimers because obviously this wouldn't be posted on Fanfiction.net if people did own them.
Lights, camera, action!
The band was playing its last slow song for the night when Zoey looked through the crowd over Chase's shoulder and saw a painfully familiar face. It was James, and he was with a nice-looking girl Zoey had never seen before. He locked eyes with her across the dance floor and saw who she was dancing with. With a brief word to his date, he casually made his way toward them. Chase let go of her hands and faced the stranger with her. One look at her face and he realized that Zoey was familiar with this blond-haired pretty boy who was headed in their direction for some reason unknown to him.
Zoey and James said a friendly hello to each other, ever the casual pair, but before Zoey had a chance to awkwardly introduce her date, James said, "I'm glad you made it to the dance after all. Wouldn't want you to miss your own prom."
"Yeah. It's great to be here." She smiled briefly and he smiled back. Then he turned to her date. "So you're Chase, right? I'm James - Michael and Logan's new roommate. I moved in after you left."
"Hey. Nice to meet you." He smiled politely and reached out to shake his hand. "How did you know it was me?"
"Oh, uh, Michael and Logan have a picture of you in their dorm on the computer. It's kind of hard to make out your face in it, because your hair" - he gestured to his own head - "was, you know, all mussed up, and you were lying at the bottom of some stairs, but I can tell it's you."
Chase cursed silently and made a promise to get back at the Logan for taking that picture. Then he replied, "Well, I'm glad that you've be keeping them company. I hope they haven't driven you too crazy with their wild antics."
"Yeah, they do get up to some really weird stuff sometimes."
He turned back to the girl at Chase's side.
"So, Zoey..." he began, quietly and hesitantly. "You broke up with me because of Chase. Am I right?"
She looked down and sighed. "Well...yes. I'm sorry, James."
"No, it's okay. I understand. I want you to be happy. You are happy, right?"
"I'm happy." She twined her fingers together guiltily and then glanced at Chase.
"That's good to hear. Michael told me about you two, you know, about how long he'd been waiting to see if you guys would get together. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my date. It was nice meeting you, Chase."
Chase nodded and smiled as calmly as he could manage. "You too."
And then James left, and the unease in the air lifted. Slightly.
After that little encounter, neither of them was in the mood for dancing. They both agreed that they needed to talk, so one of them took the other's hand, and with a quick word to Lisa, who had asked them where they were going, they left the dance. No communication was required between them to choose their destination.
They sat on the stone circle around the campus's fountain and faced each other.
Zoey related to him the story of how she had met James, and what had happened between them in the past week.
"Why didn't you tell me?" He said very simply after she had finished, as if he was willing to believe any answer she gave him.
"I didn't want to upset you."
"Why? We agreed that we could both date other people, right?"
She looked at him as if to say, really? "Yeah, but are you saying that you would be totally okay with me telling you about my relationship with another guy?"
"Well - " His mouth mimed words, but could not spit them out.
"Completely okay with it?"
He sighed. "No," he admitted.
"Then why are you looking at me like you stole my TekMate again and you're trying to explain?"
"Ah, it's just...that...that..."
"I know that if you'd dumped me for some other guy who'd been in love with you since you were like, I don't know, 5 years old, I wouldn't be too happy. But I wouldn't argue. I wouldn't be able to argue. It's just not fair, you know? James seemed like a really cool guy, that's all."
"He is really cool." Zoey was silent for a moment.
"What? What is it? Tell me what you're thinking."
She opened her mouth and struggled to find words; he tilted his head at her expectantly and waited. No matter how close two people were, it would always be incredibly awkward talking about exes.
He continued to wait until, finally, the words poured out of her mouth in a jumble. "See, it's just that James gave me this necklace that said 'I love you' on it a few days ago and that's kind of what made me realize that I didn't feel the same way about him so I broke up with him but he told me that I could keep his necklace so I did and I still have it and I just thought you should know..."
"Whoa, whoa, wait. Hold up. You have a necklace from James that says 'I love you' on it?"
"And you broke up with him right after he gave it to you?"
"Wow." He whistled quietly. "Poor guy. I almost feel sorry for him. But at the same time, I'm sort of thankful to him, you know."
"Oh yeah? And why is that?" She said teasingly.
"Because," he explained, "if he hadn't done that, you probably wouldn't be here with me right now. Maybe I should go thank the guy later."
She stared at him, disbelieving. "Thank him? You're joking, right?" She could only imagine how that conversation might go: "Hey James, I'm your ex-girlfriend Zoey's new boyfriend. I just wanted to thank you for giving Zoey that necklace. Because, you know, it made her realize that she was in love with me, not you. So, yeah, thanks!"
He shrugged. "Well, duh," he said, and her disbelieving stare became a disbelieving snort of laughter.
"So, anyway, do you mind?"
"Do I mind what?"
"If I keep it? The necklace?"
"Okay, I won't mind, but on one condition."
"If you promise to only wear it when you're also wearing mine."
"Oh, I probably won't even wear it at all - and - wait, I don't have necklace from you!"
"Well then, I guess then I'll have to get you one."
"Oh, so is this the necklace wars now?" She teased, stifling her giddiness. Then she made a promise to herself that as long as she was with Chase, she would never wear Jame's necklace. She would keep it, as a reminder, but she would never be seen wearing a necklace given to her by her ex.
"Technically, it's not a war if one side has already lost."
"Mm-hm." She rolled her eyes. Boys.
Her mind wandered. "It's made from gold," she said absentmindedly. "Eighteen carats. Or at least, that's what Quinn told me."
"Wow," he repeated, and whistled again. "I think I actually feel guilty now."
Zoey wasn't sure if he was joking or not.
"It's not your fault."
"Uh, no, it kind of is."
"Indirectly! Besides, you're not the one who broke up with him." Then she was silent. There was a slight smile on her face as watched him. Finally, she said, "You're a really good person, you know."
"Oh, I know." He smirked and she rolled her eyes again, still smiling. Realizing what he'd just said, he frantically added, "But - but it's nice to hear that you think the same!"
She laughed at him, and then said, "It's nice to hear my opinion counts."
"You opinion most definitely counts." He scratched his head. "Uh...so...why am I good person again?"
"Because, most guys wouldn't feel sorry for their girlfriend's ex, especially if she dumped the guy to get together with them."
"And most girls don't break up with their boyfriends just before senior prom, because of another guy thousands of miles across an ocean," he countered.
She laughed awkwardly.
"Yeah, about that...I think I should be the one who should feel awful. I mean, I dumped an awesome, funny, hot guy" - Chase raised an eyebrow - "for another incredible guy who's been waiting for me for four years. What kind of girl does that?"
"A very likable kind of girl."
Zoey looked slightly uncomfortable. "Well, I guess..."
"And did you just call me incredible? Wow...that's almost better than being called nice."
She smacked him playfully on the shoulder and laughed. He rubbed the spot where she'd hit him, putting on a pretend expression of hurt which only made her giggle more. Then he teased her with: "So, you think I'm incredible, do you?"
She feigned an exasperated look. "Would I be in love with you if I didn't?"
"I guess not."
There was a pause. His mouth quirked.
"You're incredible, too, you know, Zoey. And beautiful."
Suddenly the playfulness drained away from the space between them, in the same way it had before she had kissed him for the first time.
Zoey was studying Chase's eyes. In the one semester they had been apart, she had never forgotten the color of his eyes. Chase had green eyes, but sometimes the green tint was hard to see. In the few rays of golden light that pierced the darkness, they were better described as a dark gray. Zoey was so absorbed in the grey that she almost didn't see his hand reaching up.
She smiled and pressed the hand more firmly against her face. "Oh, come here," she said, and pulled him in closer.
When I think of Chase's personality, I can't help but believe he'd be the kind of nauseatingly nice guy who would feel sorry for his girlfriend's ex. So if anyone thinks that's a stretch, let me just say that people are rarely less complex than you'd think. It's also because that's the kind of thing I can imagine myself feeling if I was in that situation. And I consider myself a sympathetic person, like Chase.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed that! :J There's quite a bit more after this.