Author's Note: I can't take all the credit for this one. My friend, Westerburgrebel/Lokisprideandjoy/westerburgbonnieandclyde helped me come up with some of the ideas for this, and I knew I had to make this into a fanfic. This is dedicated to her, and to our muses for being as awesome and wonderful as they are. I do not own Heathers. Enjoy.
When You Were Young
When he first saw her, he was leaning against the jungle gym of the playground. He was wearing a jacket that was a few sizes too big from him and sucking a candy cigarette between his lips that were upturned into a smirk. She, on the other hand, was walking around the playground, careful not to step in any puddles and dirty her new patent leather Mary Janes. Jason Dean squinted at her as he continued to watch, confused and mesmerized and annoyed by her.
"It's just water," he raised an eyebrow and the little girl turned on her heel and turned to glare at whomever had spoken to her. When she spotted him, her eyes narrowed in on him, and stormed over to him, her arms crossing over her chest.
"What are you talking about?" She asked, rolling her eyes, "These are my new shoes and they can't possibly get wet from the puddles."
"It's just water," Jason dean repeated himself, mumbling this time. The little girl scowled and he added, "Well, it's not like you're gonna melt or something," after a beat, he narrowed his eyes in on her, "or maybe you will."
"Candy cigarettes are not allowed."
"Sue me," he raised his eyes pointedly and bit his bottom lip, "What's your name anyway?"
"None of your beeswax," she stood on her toes as if trying to stand him down, but finally gave in, "It's Veronica. Veronica Sawyer."
"Veronica Sawyer, I'm Jason Dean."
"You're obnoxious is what you are. I'm going to play on the swings. Don't follow me."
"I wouldn't dream of it."
Veronica scowled and slowly started to walk towards the swing set. She turned back around and pointed at the boy still leaning against the jungle gym, "Don't follow me."
"Hey," he held up his hands in surrender, "I'm just standing here. But if I did want to go over and swing too, I could. It's a free country Veronica Sawyer, and I can do what I want."
"Ugh," Veronica stamped her foot, "Just leave me alone."
"Nope. I can't. You're too much fun. I move around a lot with my dad, so making friends isn't exactly easy. Recess is usually pretty boring, but you? You entertain me."
"Something tells me it's not the fact that you move around a lot that causes you not to make friends."
"You're real funny," Jason Dean scowled and followed her over to the swings.
"You're following me."
"I bet you have cooties."
"Cooties?" J.D. laughed and raised an eyebrow, "You really think I have cooties?"
"You seem like the perfect person to have them."
"Hell, Veronica…" J.D. rolled his eyes, "I don't have cooties."
"How do I know? And you...you said a bad word."
"You could ask the girls I've kissed. And hell is not a bad word."
"You've kissed girls before?" Veronica's eyes were saucers and she stopped in her tracks, unable to make her way towards the swings after that little confession.
"Of course. It's fun."
"Fun? To you maybe. To the girls you've kissed…"
"They asked me to kiss them. Girls always ask me to kiss them."
"It's true," J.D. smirked, shoving his hands into his pockets, "You could ask me to kiss you right now, and that'd solve all our problems. You'd know I'm a good kisser and that I don't have cooties."
"Oh please," Veronica rolled her eyes, "I do not want to kiss you."
"Sure you do. All the girls do."
"You just said it's hard for you to make friends, but you kiss girls like it's nothing?"
"Just because they want me to kiss them doesn't mean they want to be my friend," J.D. kicked at the gravel, his eyes falling to his scuffy sneakers.
"I'm sorry," Veronica said, and she was.
"It's okay. Hey, 'Ronica?"
"Truth or dare?"
"Is this a joke?" Veronica shook her head, "I don't like this game."
"Why? Because you're too chicken to actually choose dare?"
"I am not chicken!"
"Fine. Prove it then."
"I don't have to prove anything…"
"Bwak bwak bwak bwak!"
"You're so immature."
"You're so chicken," J.D. stuck his tongue out at her.
"Fine," Veronica glared at him, "Dare."
"I dare you to kiss me."
"Oh you horrible thing! I am not going to kiss you! There is no way I'd ever…how dare you…I can't believe you'd dare me to do something so…so gross…" Veronica didn't have time to finish her sentence. J.D. grabbed her and kissed her right on the lips. She shoved him away from her and gaped at him, not quite sure if she was just imaging things.
"I-I can't believe you!"
"Now you can join the many girls that I've kissed before."
"Maybe," J .D. grinned, "Are we going to swing or not."
Veronica was determined not to have any contact with him after that. She was angry and wanted nothing to do with him whatsoever. But J.D. was determined, and as they swung next to each other, he tried very hard to get her attention. He wanted to get her to notice him. For whatever reason, he hated that she was ignoring him.
It didn't take long, but as they were swinging together, Jason Dean said something that made her laugh. It wasn't important what he said, but what came about because he said it. She laughed a genuine laugh and her head titled back and she had this huge smile on her face and J.D. was certain he'd never seen anything so beautiful. That confused him as well.
It wasn't long before they were attached at the hip, and that also was confusing. They knew they couldn't be seen together like they liked each other – there would be rumors and ostracizing galore – but that didn't stop them from stealing glances at each other and J.D. doing whatever he could to get her to laugh like that again, or smile when it was safe to do so. They never sat next to each other in class, but they'd swing next to each other every day at recess.
One time at lunch, Veronica was in line talking to her friends and J.D. was behind her. He had his nose stuffed into a copy of The Outsiders he had stolen from the middle school library and she was busy talking and laughing with her friends. Her hand was on her lunch tray and his was on his. He scooted just a little too close, just so their hands were touching. She didn't pull away, nor did she acknowledge what he had done, but she did smile a little wider.
A few days later, J.D. asked if he could walk her home from school. She didn't live far – he did, but she didn't need to know that. He just wanted to walk with her and talk with while away from all the other students. Veronica agreed, and soon he was walking her home every day.
As they walked, they would shove each other slightly or bump into each other. He constantly teased her about fussing over getting her shoes dirty, but he would always gently move her out of the way of the puddles.
He enjoyed being with her, and she enjoyed being with him as well. It was a different type of friendship. Girls and boys weren't supposed to be friends, not in the third grade anyways. But they were different. They were always different. Veronica found that she loved when he called her 'Ronica, and J.D. found that he loved to hold her hand when they were far enough away from the school. She also realized she wanted more than anything to have him kiss her again.
She just didn't know how to go about that.