Stevie/Zander, AU of How to Rock Camping
Camping, you could say, really wasn't Zander's thing. Sure, he'd been in Scouts once upon a time, but that was 5 years ago and he really hadn't retained any of the knowledge. So that was why he just wasn't good at the outdoorsy kind of stuff, and that was why he thought it okay to eat the good-looking berries.
"Don't eat those, Zander! Those are poisonous!" Grace cried, bounding over to the boy, but it was far too late. He'd already consumed one, and the other was on the tip of his tongue, its juices coating his throat. He spluttered uncontrollably, feeling Stevie patting him on the back, as if she was trying to help him cough up the berries. It was too late.
He could feel his head pounding, his mind racing, and then all of a sudden everything was morphing before his eyes.
"Zander?" Stevie asked, gently pushing her best friend's shoulder. "You okay?" But there was no response. "Guys, get Mr. March." She could feel the rest of them scampering off to do as she said, but she stayed, planted firmly by Zander's side, stroking his hair. Moving her hand down to his chest, she could feel his heart, beating normally, if a bit faster than usual, which made her raise an eyebrow. Was something wrong? Was he going to die? He couldn't; he just couldn't. He was her best friend, her Zander, and maybe it was odd to see him that way, but it seemed like the wrong time to dwell on such things.
But as soon as Mr. March came back, worry etched on his face, Zander began to stir. A smile made its way to Stevie's face, but it was wiped away when he stuttered something along the lines of, "W- where am I?"
"You're camping, Z," Stevie told him gently, her hand softly running over the dark hair on top of his head. "Don't you remember?"
As if in a daze, Zander turned to face her. A dreamy smile took over his face as his eyes fell upon her. "You're pretty," he muttered, a faraway look in his dark eyes.
"Zander," Stevie said, forcing a fake laugh. "Are you - are you okay?"
"Yes, pretty lady," Zander replied dreamily, one of his hands coming up to rest on her cheek so that he was cradling her face. If she was being honest, she kind of enjoyed this. She could write it off as just being enjoyable because she was receiving attention from a male, an admittedly gorgeous male at that, but she knew that it had nothing to do with her craving attention. It was more the fact that the attention was from Zander, her Zander, and gosh where was this influx of feelings for Zander coming from? Since when had she developed feelings for her best friend? It wasn't possible, and even if it was, it wasn't like he reciprocated her feelings anyway.
"Stop calling me that," Stevie hissed through gritted teeth, gently (sadly) removing his hand from her cheek. "We're - you're my best friend, okay? You don't get to call me stuff like that."
"Why not?" Zander said sadly. "You're the most gorgeous lady I've ever seen! I should tell everybody!"
"Zander..." Stevie began, but she was cut off.
"You have hair that shines like a halo," Zander informed her, his hand resting on her cheek again. "And your smile - wow, your smile makes your whole face bright with beauty! I should... I should write a song about that, about you."
"I think he's delusional," Stevie muttered, but this time, she let him leave his hand on her face. "We've got to get him to a doctor." Everyone, who had been silently observing the shocking scene, immediately started walking off, obviously trying to find a trail back to where they'd set off from. Everyone, that was, but Stevie and Zander.
"Where are we going, beautiful girl?" Zander inquired, the dumb dreamy smile on his face.
"We're going to get you some medicine," Stevie retorted impatiently, biting her lip. "Come on, Zander, we've got to go - and stop looking at me like that!"
"I can't help it," Zander said - and oh no, he was moving closer, closer to her lips, but he wouldn't, he couldn't! It wouldn't help matters, matters being mainly the fact that she was slowly but surely developing a crush on him (though honestly, it felt like more than a crush). "Stevie," he whispered once he was close to her face, "you're the best girl I know." And then he kissed her.
The world was moving in slow motion, and for a second, a few seconds, it was just Zander and Stevie and the starry skies above, and Stevie forgot all about the poisonous berries and the fact that Zander was poisoned. Then someone screamed, immediately snapping Stevie back into reality, and Stevie pushed him away.
Zander, to his credit, didn't push her, even when he was high off weird berries. He just smiled at her and told her, "I'm gonna write a song about you, Stevie, really. And about that, and about us, and..."
"You won't either," Stevie interrupted him, "because you won't remember any of this. Now come on, Zander." She grabbed his hand, tugging him off to follow the rest of the group.
About halfway through, Zander complained of a stomachache, and they had to lift him onto one of the crew's emergency stretchers that Stevie, being the ever-reasonable one, had remembered to grab just in case. Feeling as if she was playing the role of the loyal girlfriend (and the worry, compiled with the elation over the kiss they'd shared, only served to exemplify that feeling), Stevie stayed with him and held his hand, while supporting his weight with the other hand. Absently, she wondered if he could transfer the poison through a kiss. She didn't feel any different, she thought, so that was a good sign.
After a short scuffle, Grace pointed out the way for them to get to the station, and Stevie immediately rushed over to get medicine for Zander. With a frown, she basically poured it down his throat.
Grace patted her back. "He'll be okay."
"I hope so."
Zander woke up, feeling as if he'd been awoken from a particularly long dream. Everyone was crowded around him, staring at him with wide eyes, and Stevie was holding a cup with red liquid. He swallowed again, tasting something strong and disgusting - medicine, he supposed.
"Please tell me you're okay now," Stevie said, putting a hand on one hip.
"I'm fine," he replied, rubbing the top of his head. "What happened?"
"You ate some poisonous berries, and then you ended up here!" Kevin exclaimed with a grin. "You were acting all loopy for a while there. Good to have you back, man."
"I was?" Zander inquired. "So why am I better now?"
"Stevie here got you some medicine," Kevin answered proudly, thumping Stevie on the back. "She was really worried for a while there." Stevie glared at him.
"Oh," Zander said sheepishly, smiling over at his best friend (bestfriendbestfriendbestfrie nd, he reminded himself, nothing more). "Thanks, Steve." She smiled at him, an adorable smile that made his heart rate quicken, and he hated how much his heart inadvertently raced around her. Yes, he was definitely at a disadvantage around her, all the time.
"No problem," she said, walking over and resting a hand on his shoulder. "Just do me a favor, Z, and never eat any poisonous berries again."
A week later, Stevie was resting on the couch in their headquarters, shoving gummies into her mouth and playing on her phone, when Zander entered. He shot her a grin. "Well, you're definitely early."
"You too," Stevie responded absently. "And y'know, you're only early when you've written a new song."
"Well, baby, it just so happens that you're correct," he answered, leaping onto the couch beside her and grinning. "This one's kind of special, though, so I'll wait until the others get here."
"Special meaning you wrote it for five-year-olds?" Stevie teased, elbowing him. "It's probably a song explaining the birds and the bees, am I right?"
"Stevieee," Zander moaned, elbowing her back. "No, it's not about that!"
By then, the rest of the band began to file in, and they all noticed Zander's presence on the couch immediately. Realizing that he had a new song, they settled down and stared at him expectantly. Zander groaned. "Has everyone picked up on the correlation between my being early and my writing a new song?"
"Yes," Kacey said in her 'duh' voice. "Now sing it for us before we get bored of you and leave!"
He rolled his eyes, but grabbed his ukelele and jumped right into his new song anyways. "You've got hair like the sun that shines in the sky / and it brightens when you smile, oh me, oh my..."
Stevie's eyebrows shot nearly to the tip of her hairline as he sang, but she couldn't help but smile slightly as the reality of the lyrics hit her. Everyone else looked just as shocked as she was. Could it be possible that he had been telling the truth? Did he actually think she was beautiful? Was he really in love with her... too?
"And even when you're tough and dirty, I know it's true / that I will only ever love you..." Zander finished, and then he turned to grin at Stevie. "Steve, you okay there? Something wrong?"
Stevie caught herself, and then she smiled back at him. "Nope, Z, nothing's wrong. Nothing at all."
And, as she spoke, she knew it to be true.
A/N: This was originally meant to be a drabble but, as you can see, things didn't turn out that way. It's what I wanted to happen in How to Rock Camping. Please read and review, and don't fave without reviewing. Thank you! :)