*Biggest guilty face ever*
So sorry! Don't even want to check when i last updated this story. :|
Hope everyone had a great christmas and are already having a wonderful year! :) My new years resolution is to try harder to update quicker! No even kidding.
Disclaimer: Don't own Chuck. Is the movie out yet?
Two of the more frequent words that had floated around campus lately.
The last one was more of a hyperbole but sometimes it felt so real. So deadly.
Sarah agreed with her friends groan and let her forehead fall gently on the on the newly polished desk. It still smelt of peppermint chewing gum. "Same." She was so over it.
Everything just felt hard at the moment. It was nearing their thanksgiving break. Turkey, sweet potato, sparkling grape juice...oh and family, of course. The first real break where they could actually go home and see their families. Sleep in her room. See the neighbors annoying cat that she had formed a lovely love-hate relationship with over the past ten years. Sarah smiled dreamily at the word home. Home. It felt all toasty.
There was something different though, a different sort of 'I can't do it' not her usual high school 'I can't do it' because she wanted to go and hang out with her friends, or go to Martial Arts training, do something fun. This was something different she felt and she couldn't put her finger on what it was.
"I feel like we've lived here the past week," Zondra faked a few small sobs as she scanned the library sadly. She needed something, anything that would help her know she wasn't the only one suffering as much as her. Her scanning did help. Every table was now occupied by tired, sick and (exaggerating) dying students. She always believed in the theory of yawns being contagious and the older girl sitting at the table nearest them backed the theory up. Zondra stretched her mouth wide to yawn, the older girl just closing hers from letting one escape.
"My eyes are so sore."
Sarah dragged her hands down her face, stretching her skin down making her face look something close to a Halloween scream mask. Resting her hands in fists under her chin, she cringed. She had such a bad habit of that. She once read in one of those health and beauty mags that one of their "top tips" for clean skin was to never let your hands wander around on your face.
She felt like a shower anyway. The pressure of warm water descending down her skin, the conditioner, which she always used generous amounts of making her hair satiny and smooth. She needed to breakout of this library and find a shower. It was her goal and it needed accomplishing immediately.
I'm loosing my mind.
"I have another thousand words to write." She told Zondra as she argued with herself whether she'd have a sit down shower or a stand up one.
Zondra winced at that. She had a hell of a lot more than a thousand words to write and her stress levels were already at their peak. "I'm so stuck I can't do anymore."
"I'm just not interested." Sarah closed her book and escaped the programs on her laptop. The battery was dying and she didn't bring her charger. It was her lame excuse anyway.
"No money," Sarah chuckled. "I have an apple in my bag..."
"I have a mom who works at a restaurant and the boss loves me."
Sarah grinned. "You win. Let's go."
Zondra, amazed with Sarah's quick agreement, packed away her gear speedily. "Let's try to avoid Professor Arbuckle. I don't want him to give us that look."
"The look where he's judging us for not staying longer?" Sarah asked as she followed Zondras lead, packing her laptop in her satchel and pulling her phone out of her jacket pocket to turn on. It was not only the library's rule, but her own as well. If she had it on she'd just text Chuck and she couldn't get distracted...and she couldn't distract.
Zondra stayed silent as they passed the front desk and they both smiled politely at the young librarian. Sarah loved library's, usually. They were so calming, mystical and interesting. The books, the old newspapers filed away in the research center. You could learn about almost anything in a library and that was kind of exciting.
"Yeah," Zondra finally answered as she peeked out the door for any signs of their professor. He had hung around the library earlier helping out. "It makes me feel bad about myself."
They exited the building. Sarah wasn't sure how long they had been in there for but the blistering wind that greeted them definitely wasn't there earlier. She pulled her navy coat tighter around her and wrapped her red scarf around her neck, covering her chin. Blonde hair whipped her face as she stood shell-shocked on the sidewalk.
"It's so windy!"
Zondra pulled her hood over her head and looped her right arm through Sarah's. In fear of being blown away they did a light jog down the street, and crossed the road safely. Turning down a small side street they slowed down and un-linked arms. Now sheltered from the wind by the large brick buildings, although the dark rain clouds overhead were threatening.
"Brr," Zondra shivered and pulled the draw strings on her sweater making her hood tighten around her face.
Sarah laughed, "Can you even see?"
Zondra's cheeks were so squashed that her smile looked chubby. "Yes."
They spotted the pizza restaurant from a block away with the bright red flag on the sidewalk waving dangerously in the wind. "I think they need to wheel in the flag." Sarah raised her voice over the whistling wind.
"Yeah," Zondra replied as loud. They hurried along past the shops, the wind starting to whirl in around the corner. Zondra opened up the door and shut it as soon as Sarah had made it in. Pulling her hood off her head, Zondra exhaled taking in the relaxing atmosphere. "It's quiet today."
"Ah! Zondra and friend. Looking a bit weathered!"
Sarah smiled politely from beside Zondra and took a seat on a nearby chair as she got introduced. She remembered the man, Bert from her dinner with Bryn and Danny. He was bright and chirpy when they had arrived that night and he seemed exactly the same today.
"It's freezing out there. Is my mom here?"
"Sit down, I'll bring you guys a warm drink and something to eat." He gestured Zondra towards the table where Sarah was sitting. "Your mom is helping with prep. I'll go get her."
Zondra smiled gratefully and sat down opposite Sarah. "Free food," she whispered. "Score."
"I feel bad," Sarah whispered back.
Zondra shook her head. "He said I can come in here when I'm hungry! I'm like their food tester, it's sweet."
Sarah smiled back as the smell of something delicious lingered up her nostrils. "You know, I might change careers and become a chef."
"After the last few weeks count me in. I didn't know it was going to be this hard."
"Well I can't imagine becoming a chef is much easier," Zondras mom, Sophia spoke from behind them and took a seat. "How are you Sarah?"
"Good thanks. You?" Sarah smiled back. She liked Zondras mom but it did make her miss her own.
"No she's not. Mom it's so hard, we're dying!" Zondra curled her head into her moms shoulder and Sarah grinned.
"Of hunger, I hear. I'm great thank you." She looked back to Sarah and smiled warmly. "Bet your excited to go back home for a break."
"Yeah, kind of." Sarah nodded casually. When really she wanted to jump up on the table and scream out her great happiness of being able to go home for a week. "It will be good to see my parents anyway."
One of the young male waiters placed two steaming hot chocolates in front of them and if things couldn't get any sweeter they had been loaded with marshmallows. The waiter scurried away before coming back holding a wooden bread board with a large, margarita pizza in front of them. Zondra's and Sarah's eyes must have grown wide because not only did Sophia but the waiter laughed as well.
"You'd think they'd been starved,"Sophia rolled her eyes to the young man.
"Is this actually free?" Zondra looked at her mom. "It's huge!"
"I should have something on my card." Sarah said and shuffled through her pockets. "I'll pay."
"No, no, no." Bert walked out of the kitchen with a fresh apron on, drying his hands. "It's on the house. Come on eat up!"
Zondra and Sarah looked at each other. His smile was so genuine, excited to hear their thought. "Thanks!" They said in unison and reached for a piece of pizza each.
"Oh," Sophia placed her hand over her mouth as she looked towards the speaker connected to the wall above the entrance. "You remember this song Zee?"
Zondra chewed quietly and listened intently. After a few seconds a soft smile formed and she nodded and placed her pizza on the plate in front of her. "Van Morrison."
Sarah watched Zondra and her mother silently, feeling the need to put her pizza down. The mood had suddenly changed into something sombre, it confused her a little bit. She looked down at her napkin and tried not to intrude.
"This was one of Zondra's fathers favourite songs," Sophia smiled to Sarah and patted Zondra's hand. Sarah looked up. "Oh, I'm getting all teary." Sophia dabbed her eyes with a napkin and excused herself from the table. "Won't be a minute."
Sarah watched Sophia walk off quickly, then turned back to Zondra. Bert was going through his bookings for the night and looked up briefly at them.
"A great song," he smiled heartily.
"Yeah," Zondra cleared her throat and picked up her pizza again.
Zondra nodded quickly and took a bite of her pizza. "Yeah. My dad passed away like a year and a half ago."
Sarah swallowed, feeling a lump slotted in her throat. "I'm sorry."
Zondra waved her hand in front of her face as she chewed her pizza. "It's OK."
Sarah smiled delicately, not quite knowing what to say. She didn't want to pry but she wanted Zondra to know that she was there though. If she ever wanted to talk about her dad, about anything. She picked up her pizza and tilted her head so her ear faced the speaker. "Good taste in music."
Zondra looked up and her lips stretched into a delightful grin. "Micheal Jackson was his favourite. Mom and I listen to it every Sunday."
"Eh he he.." Bert did his best impression of Michael from the counter.
Sarah and Zondra grinned to each other, trying not to laugh. Failing miserably, they laughed out loud and turned to Bert.
"What!?" He shrugged back at them. "It was good!"
"What are you girls laughing at?" Sophia arrived back and sat down again.
"Nothing," Zondra smiled and shook her head. "When do you finish tonight?"
"Nine," her mom answered. "So you can have peace and quiet to study all night."
"Ew," Zondra shuddered. "I think I might have a rest night then go all out tomorrow and the next two days."
Sarah nodded along in agreement. "Same."
"Oh I have an idea," Sophia hopped up from her seat and walked behind the counter, reaching down she picked up her black hand bag and pulled out an envelope. "A customer gave me these," she handed the envelope to Zondra. "You guys and one other could go?"
Zondra pulled out three cinema coupons. "Sweet! Lets go see something."
Sarah warmed to the idea immediately. Relaxing in a chair and watching a movie sounded amazing. "Sounds good."
"You wanna bring Chuck?"
It was either the tone of her voice or the neutral expression on her face that made it sound so believable. Whatever it was Sophia's eyes widened abnormally and the 'wha!?' from Bert behind the counter was in a tone of pure shock.
"No!" Sarah quickly put them at ease. "He's not my fiancé! Are you serious? I'm like...young!"
Zondra was more than satisfied with the reaction and laughed through a mouthful of pizza. "Gee mom. gullible much."
Sophia swatted her daughter on the shoulder. "I thought you were serious!" She turned back to Sarah with an interested smile. "Is it a boy you've met in class?"
"Oh no," Sarah shook her head. "We went to school together, so we know each other really well. And yeah..." She smiled shyly. "He's my boyfriend."
"Oh that's wonderful," Sophia smiled. "How long have you been together?"
"Uh, like ten months." Sarah nodded.
"Oh you must be smitten with him then!"
Zondra laughed joyfully. "I only met him once but yes, she's definitely...smitten."
Sarah tried not to let the heat rise too much on her cheeks. "Yeah," she picked up another piece of pizza. "You can invite someone else if you want to?"
"I don't know anyone else," Zondra replied. "Or Carina if you want to?"
"Text them both and see who answers first."
Sarah nodded with a chuckle. "OK."
Within a minute her phone started ringing, Chucks goofy selfie brightening up her screen. Brushing her hands on her napkin she excused her self and stood a small distance away.
"Hey it's me."
She smiled and turned to stare out the window so Zondra couldn't see her 'smitten' look. "I know."
"Are you going to the cinemas tonight?"
"Yeah. Did you want to come?"
"Uhg," Chuck made a funny noise into the phone. "I would love to but I have heaps of work this week and I should probably get it done if I want to get home for vacation."
"We definitely want that," Sarah replied, thinking of all the fun they were going to have back at home. "That's OK though because Carina might take the free ticket."
"Oh hang on a sec," Chuck drawled out. "free ticket?"
She scoffed quietly. "So you want to come now?"
"Ah ha," Chuck sat down on seat just outside his lecture room. "Tricking with you. I would love to but I really shouldn't."
"Will I see you tonight?"
"Mm, of course," Chuck nodded to one of the other students leaving class. "Hey, did you see Morgan at breakfast today?"
"No?" Sarah thought about it for a second. "I thought he would have had breakfast with you."
"Nah," Chuck gave his friend, Dave from his class a thumbs up when Dave gestured to him their Professor was ready. "Hey, babe, I gotta go."
"OK, see you at dinner."
"Sounds good. Bye."
Sarah ended her call and made her way back to the table. Zondra had already demolished her half of the pizza and seemed to be eyeing up one of the last two pieces Sarah had left.
"Go for it," Sarah grinned as she sat back down. She could see Zondra's mom working back behind the counter as more people started trailing in. Somewhere to shelter from the weather.
"Really?" Zondra's eyes shone.
Zondra grabbed the piece. "Thanks! So is Chuck coming?"
"Na he has a bit of work to do I think."
"Oh dumb," Zondra replied. "I have barely talked to him before. I basically know him from ALL your talk about him though."
"Oh whatever," Sarah laughed. Her phone whistled on the table.
"Carina is also busy with Bryn," Sarah said. "Rejected twice, now this is getting sad."
"Hey! Ask him, ah, what's his name again?" Zondra was clicking her fingers towards the door of the restaurant.
Sarah swiveled in her seat, "Morgan!" She waved him over.
"Hey, hey," Morgan waved and took a chair from an empty table to join them. "Whadup?"
"Eating," Sarah smiled at him. "I feel like I haven't seen you in ages, you almost have a beard." She patted his cheek.
Morgan stammered. "Ah, yeah. You know, someone told me I should grow it out a bit."
"Looks nice," she nodded. "You've met Zondra right?" She said, looking at Zondra.
"Yeah!" Morgan grinned at Zondra. "How are ya?"
"Not bad yourself?"
"Yeah pretty good aye." Morgan responded. "I was just checking out prices here."
"Dinner," Morgan said. "It's nice in here."
"Yeah, and the foods great." Sarah replied. "You going out for dinner?"
"Oh, no." Morgan tapped his hands on the table as if he was playing the drums. He usually did it when he was nervous. "How do you get to the public library again?"
"Not this block but the next, then you cross the road and go down that alleyway by the bakery."
"Oh sweet." Morgan checked his phone. "I might head there. What you girls up to for the rest of the day?"
"Wanna come to the cinemas tonight?" Sarah asked.
"What are you seeing?"
"I don't know," Sarah said looking at Zondra, who shrugged. "We have free tickets though."
"Sick! How did you get them!?"
"My mom," Zondra grinned.
"Is, is anyone else going?"
Sarah knew he meant Carina. Or Carina and Bryn.
"Nope. Just us two. We have one more ticket..."
Zondra waved the ticket in front of Morgan. "You know you want to..."
"Aw, fine, fine. Since you're begging!" He swiped the ticket. "...And I can't pass up the great opportunity of a free ticket."
"Yay!" Sarah grinned happily. "I'm excited now."
"Oh for sure. Girls night out!" Morgan pulled his most girly face. "Right. I'm heading to the library. I'll see you at dinner Sarah? And are we meeting you at the cinemas?" He asked Zondra as he stood up and pushed his seat back in.
"Yeah. I'll get my mom to drop me."
"Sweet. I'm out of here. Laters!"
Zondra waited for Morgan to leave then turned back to Sarah.
"I forgot to ask. How's things going with the Carina thing?"
Sarah shrugged. "They kind of talk but I mean, Morgan use to treat her like a queen. Sort of. Like offering her things and giving her compliments and just you know, being really nice...as he is of course." Sarah said quietly. "But now, obviously, he doesn't do that anymore. It makes things a lot quieter but they still say hi and stuff. A little awkward sometimes but it's getting better."
"Did she apologise to him properly?"
"Yeah." Sarah nodded. "She said he was just like don't worry, and so on. I think it made her feel worse."
"Hmmm," Zondra nodded. "Gosh, I was just nosy as."
Sarah laughed. "I'd say." She joked.
Sarah snuggled her arms up the sleeves of her red, Nike jersey. Her black skinny jeans, black chucks and the jersey were the only items of clothing she could bring herself to wear to the movies. It was so cold.
She caught up with Jenny, Rebekah and another girl, Holly from their floor as she made her way down to dinner.
She smiled sympathetically when she spotted Chuck, his head down reading a thick book while busily writing and taking mouthfuls of food in between sentences.
Chuck lifted his head from his book. "Huh?"
Morgan leant back in his chair. "Want some help man?"
Chuck squeezed his eyes shut then opened them. Words and formulas were invading his brain. "Zoned out just then. I'm all good though, thanks dude."
His eyes fell shut again when fingers raked gently through his hair. He hung his head back and smiled up at her.
Sarah smiled down at him as the other girls sat down.
"Want to come get dinner with me?"
Chuck looked down at his books. He felt like he needed to ask them for permission to go and stop studying them. "Yeah." He hopped out of his seat. "Anyone want a drink?"
"I'm good thanks." Holly responded. "I'm going to wait for a bit then go up."
"Yeah me too," Rebekah agreed.
"No thank you. I'll just join these two," she smiled.
Chuck grinned. "Morgan?"
"Ah, thought you'd never ask! Orange juice thanks man."
"Coming up," Chuck nodded and let Sarah take his hand to lead them away.
"How's it going?" She asked him as they walked up to where dinner served.
"I'm stressed." Chuck responded honestly. "I feel like I'm the only one who has heaps to do."
Sarah felt for him. "You'll get it done."
"Thanks for the faith." He smiled down at her and grabbed a dinner plate. "You look nice...and comfy."
She smiled up at him with a dazzling smile. "I am comfy."
"Tell me when to stop," Chuck said as he dished up corn chips on to her plate.
Sarah let him stack them up pretty high as she knew he had finished his plate already and he'd probably try to pinch some.
He put the serving spoon back down and moved to the mince in the hot trays.
"So you're still going to the movies?"
"Yeah, Morgan..Stop!" She grinned, and rested her hand lightly on his lower back to direct him over to the salsa, guacamole and cheese. "Morgans coming," she finished.
"Oh that's good," Chuck replied as he spooned lot's of guacamole on the top.
"That's lot's of quock," Sarah commented.
"I thought you liked it?"
"I do," Sarah smiled. "I'll go get Morgan his juice. Do you want one?"
"No I'm OK thanks."
Sarah picked at the salad Rebekah had managed to bribe from the kitchen. Chuck was still working away and she kept staring at the creases on his forehead. She wanted to make them go away. She hated seeing him worried, overwhelmed whatever he was feeling as he struggled with his work load.
She rested her forehead on his shoulder for a moment. "Love you."
He smiled at her and her stomach fluttered when his skin smoothed on his forehead, even if only for a second.
"Anyone got anything planned for the break?" Holly asked. Sarah turned her attention back to the conversation, letting Chuck carry on.
She picked at the salad again.
"Home and eat moms meals," Morgan replied with a shrug. "Seriously."
"Jenny's the only one not going home," Rebekah pouted. "I don't want to leave my wee little roomie."
"Oh aren't you?" Sarah asked Jenny.
"Yeah, my parents are away." Jenny answered. "There's not much point going back. Although my grandparents are going to come and visit me so it's OK."
"Oh that's nice then," Sarah smiled at Jenny. "For the day? Or are they staying for a bit?"
"Staying a night," Jenny replied. "They're getting a hotel so I'll just go stay there."
"Saaaweeet!" Morgan wriggled his eyebrows in Jenny's direction. "Put the robe on, wear the free slippers, eat the mini bar."
Jenny laughed quietly. "I might just do that Morgan."
Chuck pushed his seat back noisily, accidentally interrupting the conversation. "Sorry guys, but I'm gonna head back up and try to get a bit more of this done."
"And three.." Morgan raised his eyebrows with a lopsided smirk in Sarah's direction. "Two."
"Why are you counting?" Holly asked him.
Sarah watched Chuck take his plate up and place it on the rack. He maneuvered his way through the busy tables and left out the double doors.
"OK maybe I'm wrong," Morgan gulped down the last of his juice as Holly, Rebekah and Jenny stared cluelessly at him.
"What are you on about?" Rebekah questioned.
Sarah turned back in her seat, oblivious to the confusion of the others. "I'll be back in a sec." She quickly hopped up out from her seat and walked briskly out of the dining room.
"There it is!" Morgan cheered, wanting to give himself a round of applause but refraining himself. Instead he let out a good jolly laugh at his obviously, secret powers. "I knew she was going to go after him."
Rebekah let out a loud laugh and shook her head. "That's what you were counting? To see if Sarah followed him?"
"It's a sixth sense I tell you guys." He nodded modestly. "I sensed it when there was no physical contact between them at Chucks farewell." He told them. "That was obviously not good enough for our young lass."
"I actually agree," Jenny giggled. "There's usually some sort of physical contact between them two. Either a hand squeeze.."
"A small hug," Morgan commented.
"You two are observant," Holly grinned.
"Or a kiss," Rebekah joined in with a grin of her own. "So cute. I love them."
Morgan shook his head. "You are such a fangirl."
"I'm such a romantic at heart!" Rebekah teased.
"Hey," Sarah caught up with Chuck and reached out for his hand before he started climbing the stairs.
He spun around, "hey?"
"I just wanted to make sure you were alright?"
"Yeah," Chuck took her other hand in his and they linked their fingers together. "I just have a shi-a lot," he smiled with an 'oops' grin. "A lot of work to get done."
She gave him a weak smile. "I can try help you?"
"No, no it's OK. And don't you still have a bit to do anyway?"
She had some to do. But not heaps. It was easily doable in the time frame she had. Motivation and interest, not so much. But she didn't want to boast about how she had almost finished, so she shrugged her left shoulder. "I still wanna help you."
"Thanks for the offer but I'll be OK. And you have the movies to go to so, you should do that."
Sarah reluctantly nodded. "OK." She stood on her tiptoes to bring his head down to her level. "Kiss me."
Chuck gave her a short kiss on the lips. "You could come over after your movie?"
"It'll be like a reward for me and all the hard work I do."
"Hmm," Sarah smiled. "I'll see what I can do."
"I'll try." She grinned. "Good luck."
"Who's daft idea was it to walk home?" Morgan shivered and hugged his arms around his chest.
Sarah pulled the hood of her jersey over her head. They had just walked Zondra back home, and turning down the offer for a ride from her mom they had another fifteen minutes ahead of them. Zondra's mom had only just got back from work though so they weren't to keen to make her drop them off. Even when she did try to insist.
"It was our kindness," Sarah replied. "So Zondra's mom could relax instead of having to drive through town for us."
"That's right, we are good humans."
"Man that movie was sickly sweet."
"You loved it!" Sarah laughed. They decided on a light-hearted Rom-com. "And you couldn't keep your eyes off the main girl. You were ogling."
"I was not ogling...OK maybe a little but she was hot!"
"Yeah," Sarah agreed. "So why have you not been down at breakfast lately? Hope you're not missing the most important meal of the day."
"I.." Morgan buried his hands in his pockets as they strolled past the last set of shops. "I've been getting up a little earlier instead."
"Oh?" Sarah glanced at him. "Going to class earlier?"
"Me? Going to class earlier?" He scoffed. "I don't think so."
"Hey, I don't know. Thought you might be really getting into this whole college thing."
"Are you?" Morgan asked, strategically trying to turn the subject on to her.
"Just OK? Come on Sarah you're like a chameleon!"
"Ha! Far from it. That's more like Car-Carina..."
"Yeah," he chuckled. "She's always been like that aye."
They turned down the street to their temporary home. "Pretty much," Sarah replied. "So are you trying to avoid my question or are you too embarrassed to say you have actually been starting class earlier. Because it's far from embarrassing it's really impressive!"
Morgan sighed. There was one thing about Sarah.
She gets information out of you.
"You really want to know?"
He sounded serious so Sarah backed off a little. "You don't have to but if you ever need to talk I'm happy to listen."
"I like someone! There! I said it!"
He didn't realise that Sarah had stopped walking as he strolled a head bracing himself for lists of questions. Finally noticing the empty footpath next to him he turned around. "That's all I'm saying!"
Sarah strode towards him. "Who!?"
"I don't want to say."
"What! Why? I won't tell anyone I swear." She felt like an older sister, pestering him about girls. Chuck always said Ellie had a tendency to do that. She wished she could be a fly on the wall in those conversations.
"Yeah I know you won't." He assured her and gestured for her to keep walking because they were nearly back. "It's just after everything that's happened I don't want to get my hopes up and I don't even know if I like her like, properly or if she likes me."
Sarah covered her hand over her mouth to suppress her smile. "OK," she muffled out. "My lips are sealed."
"So how are you and Chuck going then?"
Sarah let out a laugh, "what?"
"I shared something deep within me Sarah!" Morgan responded. "I expect something in return."
Sarah pulled her card out from her hand bag and swiped them in. She followed Morgan across the courtyard and he swiped them through the next door.
"Well what am I meant to tell you?" Sarah asked. "We are fine?"
"He's been treating you nicely?" Morgan rolled his eyes when she gave him a look. "What am I saying? It's Chuck. Are you treating him nicely?"
Sarah gave him an offended look. "Of course!"
"Guess I have to ask him that question anyway..ouch!" Morgan rubbed his shoulder where Sarah punched him. "Hope you don't hit him."
"I guess we can get a little rough.. If you know what I mean.." Sarah giggled when she watched his face drop in horror. "Oh my god! I'm kidding!"
Sarah laughed. "It was a joke!"
"That was-that was not nice I see you as a- you're like my sister now Sarah. You can't say stuff like that!"
Sarah hung her head back. "You and Chuck are always like that!"
"Yes but you can't! I'm going to have to talk to Mrs Walker."
Sarah kept laughing. After all these years he still called her mom Mrs Walker. "You do that!" She called as he turned down the corner to climb the next set of stairs to his floor.
She turned down the hall but quickly stopped when a big group of boys were huddling around in the middle of the hall way. The loud, beating music also couldn't be missed. It was all crackly and the words were unrecognizable the volume was so loud.
She wanted to squeeze past quickly but a blonde haired boy got shoved towards her. "You should probably come back later.." He warned her. "These losers won't turn their music down and they're getting angry."
"Really? That's music?" Sarah leaned in to speak over the noise.
"Apparently," the guy grinned. "I'm going back in. I think there's gonna be a fight."
"Are you sure that's-" Sarah watched him leave. "A good idea.." She let him go and planned her attack to get passed them. She could guess who the culprit was. She was picking the big, beefy guy standing in front of the door the music was coming from.
She walked towards the group carefully, wincing as the music got louder the nearer she got. She squeezed past him, narrowing her eyes at him when he looked at her.
"This is a guys floor." He spat out.
"Yeah.." She turned around. "Guysss...other people stay here if you have forgotten? Because your music is blaring out and it sounds horrible." She kept walking to Chucks door and knocked on it. She glanced at the guy who's look was almost frightening, almost. He was all talk, she was sure of it.
She knocked again on Chucks door. "Come on..."
"I'm pretty sure this is my floor and you can't tell me what to do."
Sarah turned to see the guy standing closely to her and she lifted an eyebrow. "It's you floor? I didn't realize." The door opened and Chuck seemed surprised to see Sarah, he popped his head out to see who she was looking at when his eyes grew wide. He pulled his head back in and started giving Sarah very extravagant hand gestures.
"DONT SAY ANYTHING!" He mouthed. "Crazy! He's freaken Crazy!" He reached for her hand and pulled her in, slamming the door shut behind her.
"Don't talk to him! He's a-he's a angry guy! Like seriously angry."
"Did you not hear his music?"
"Yes I know..you just, you don't talk to him OK? He's-i don't trust him." Chuck rested his hands on her shoulders. "Oh crap." He closed his eyes when pounding on his door started. "Don't say anything OK?"
Sarah watched him open the door and stick his head out. "Hi-woah!" he backed up when the door flew open. "What-what can I do for you guys?"
Sarah leaned around Chuck and frowned when it was the same guy, with two others standing directly behind him. Similar sizing.
She rolled her eyes.
"I think you need to tell your girlfriend here to shut her mouth."
"Get some freaken head phones and maybe I will."
"She's-" Chuck turned around and gave her a stern look. "She's a funny one this one..ha...ha.."
"Is she paying you to do her homework?" One of the other guys laughed at the back.
"What?"Chuck asked. He shook his head, embarrassed for the guy. He needed to get some better jokes.
"She can do mine or me anytime."
And again. "OK you can get out of my room."
"We're not in it."
Chuck pushed the guy in the chest lightly. "Well I can't shut my-O-"
Sarah jumped in fright as Chuck fell to his knees. Oh god!
"Oi man," One of the culprits friends shook his head. "Leave it man."
"Sarah?" Carina squeezed her way in to Chucks rooms. "Oh god! Chuck! Bryn!"
Bryn shoved his way through the door, and saw Chuck wipe his nose. Sarah quickly bent down and examined his face but Chuck waved her off.
"I'm all good."
Bryn turned to the guy. "Oh Darren." Bryn shook his head. "Very bad choice." He pushed him hard out the door. "I suggest you get out and start making appointments for those anger management classes. Your brother will be far from impressed."
Darren backed up. "I'm leaving."
"Yeah you are." Bryn nodded and turned back into Chucks room. He gave him a hand. "You alright bro?" He asked pulling him up.
"Uh- yeah thanks." Chuck nodded and held his shirt to his nose.
Sarah blinked quickly and held tissues up to his nose but he took them quickly. "I'm fine." He pointed out the door. "I'm just gonna go clean up.."
"No, no." Chuck shook his head. "I'll go by myself."
Sarah nodded and took a step back. She watched him leave then turned towards Bryn and Carina. "Thanks for that." She said to Bryn.
"Hey, no it's OK. They probably would have gone anyway." He shrugged modestly. "One hit wonders."
"What happened?" Carina asked.
"Um, I was just sort of, telling them that their music was annoying and you know-they came round, Chuck told them to leave and yeah.."
Carina shook her head accusingly. "You're never afraid to get into trouble. I like it." She winked to her best friend.
"Haaa-" Sarah nodded her head goofily. "You're so funny."
"I know!" Carina shrugged. "It's just who I am."
"Why are you guys here anyway?" Sarah wondered out loud.
"Oh, I forgot my key...left it in our room."
Sarah made a tsk noise as she shuffled through her handbag. "Here you go."
"Thanks. I'm going to show Mr lifesaver here my design board."
Sarah smiled. "She did a really good job on it."
"You would say that. But I did didn't I?" Carina strutted out the door dragging Bryn along behind her. "You staying here tonight?"
"Yep. I'll see you at breakfast."
"Hope Chuckys OK. Tell him I'll give Darren a slap for him oh," Carina stopped. "I'm actually going to go report him too. Serve him right."
Sarah shut the door behind them and pottered around Chucks room, wondering how he was getting on. She couldn't help the pang of guilt in the pit of her stomach as replayed the scene in her head.
If she had just said nothing Chuck wouldn't have gotten hit.
She lay on his bed and pulled his pillow against her. He had been gone for ages and the more she waited the more she felt bad.
After she watched her watch tick around another twenty minutes the door finally opened and Chuck strolled in. She sat up and stared at his face. The blue colouring staring around the bridge of his nose was already showing and for a horrible moment she wondered if it could be broken.
"You're still here," Chuck said evenly as he walked over to his desk and sat down.
"Yeah," Sarah answered and walked over to his side. "It's not broken is it?"
"Nah," Chuck shook his head and fired up his laptop.
Sarah stepped behind him and draped her arms loosely around his neck. "I'm really sorry. If I hadn't-if I didn't provoke them then you wouldn't have been hurt."
"No you weren't. It's all good."
"Well, still. I'm still sorry babe-I."
"Sarah," Chuck turned in his chair. "You don't need to say sorry."
"OK," she slowly smiled at him and he turned back around. "Is it sore? Maybe some ice?"
"Not really." Chuck lied.
It hurt like hell.
"Pretty tough huh?" She whispered and kissed him lightly on the cheek, making sure not to get to close to the bruising.
"Not reaaaaly, but OK."
Sarah unwrapped her arms from him and watched him type away on his laptop. "Well to me you are."
When he didn't reply she lent her back against his desk, and waited for him to look at her. When he didn't she asked, "what's wrong?"
"Nothing I'm just really busy," he opened his saved file and waited impatiently for it to load.
Sarah reached for his hand, the one tapping on the desk and entwined their fingers. "You should take a break. Like half an hour? It's late and after everything that's happened it might kind of be hard to concentrate."
Chuck swallowed dryly. "I really need to get it done."
"You've done it all day."
"So?" Chuck snapped. "It's because I need to do it. Everything is so distracting. I couldn't do it at dinner. I couldn't do it with that music before and now you're here-I, i just really need to get it done."
Sarah opened her mouth to say something then slowly shut it without saying a word. Now you're here. She dropped his hand and nodded, then walked over to his bed and grabbed her pyjamas and toothbrush.
"OK," she finally managed reply. "I'll go."
Chuck looked over his shoulder as she opened his front door. He knew he should say something but his nose started trickling with blood again, so he grabbed a tissue instead.
"Night. Love you." He decided to say last-minute.
Sarah wasn't sure if she was imagining it but his tone sounded bored. She tried not to let it mess with her. "Yeah, I love you too."
She slammed the door on her way out and it gave her a brief moment of satisfaction.
"Back already?" Carina asked when her friend walked in, dropped her gear on the ground and threw herself on to her own bed.
Carina gave Bryn a raised eyebrow. "Is everything OK?"
Sarah rolled over on to her side to look at them. "Yeah, he just has a lot of work to do."
"How's the nose?" Bryn asked her.
"He says it doesn't hurt but I think he's just saying that."
"Yeah," Bryn chuckled. "Guys tend to do that around the girl they like." He gave Carina a quick peck on the lips. "I should go. Lunch tomorrow? I've got a lecture from two to six."
"Uh huh, sounds good." She gave him a flirty wink. "Text me."
"I will. See you Sarah."
"Byeeee!" She called out lazily.
"Did you guys have a fight?" Carina stood up from her bed and flopped out on the end of Sarahs.
Sarah hummed. "Basically I was in the way of him doing his work and he didn't want me there. Which is fine. But it's not nice to hear. "
"He said that?"
"He said he couldn't do his work at dinner, not when that horrible music was on and now "you're here" Sarah said using her fingers as quotations.
"Oh what a looser!" Carina scoffed "I thought he might have just been embarrassed."
"Embarrassed?" Sarah looked towards the foot of her bed. "About what?"
"Yeah. Guys are all trying to act tough all the time! And then him getting knocked down in front of you. Trust me Sarah. I'm a guy expert."
Sarah laughed. "Sure you are."
"I'm serious though. Aw, he was probably trying to be your superhero..but it-it didn't work out.." Carina wiggled Sarahs ankle. "Go see him."
"He basically just kicked me out!"
"Oh true. What a jerk. Don't even bother. Wait until he comes to you."
"You're giving me mixed advise."
"I guess it would have ben kinda embarrassing. Especially when my Bryn came over and got them to leave."
Sarah rolled her eyes. "You know Chucks a lot tougher than you think."
Carina snorted. "He's smart and cute I'll give him that."
"He's taller than Bryn."
"But Bryns..bigger, muscles."
"Chucks lean and athletic."
Carina laughed so loudly that Sarah had to try to hide her own laugh. "Shut up!" She swatted Carina's arm. "He is."
"He hates any sort of exercise." Carina replied. "I thought he said he was taking up running? What happened to that? But don't get me wrong if I didn't have to do any exercise and stay that skinny I'd be loving it. It's impressive."
"So are you going to go see him?"
"No," Sarah answered. "I can't be bothered now."
"Fair enough though," Carina pulled herself off from Sarah's bed. "Should we go do our teeth and stuff? Can we flat next year. Seriously? The bathroom is too far away.
"Can you carry me?"
"I'll piggy back you there if you give me one back."
Sarah laughed and jumped off her bed. "Yes!"
The next day...
"What?" Jason, the guy seated next to Chuck asked.
"I need to stay for these lectures but I already booked my flights."
"Guts." Jason replied. "You could change them but it's gonna cost.
"Didn't you book them ages ago?" Jackie asked.
"Yeah Sarah did." Chuck dropped his head heavily on to the desk. "Arggggggggggg." Shit. Not good not good.
"I have to stay for them too," Jackie replied bleakly. "Can't be stuffed at all. Screw it. It ruins the short vacation we do actually get."
"I swear no one has finished. We'll all be staying." Jason responded. "I wasn't going home anyway but still. Far man," Jason laughed abruptly. "Your nose is ridiculous. It's so blue. "
"It's still sore," Chuck touched it with a grin. "I'm going to go call Sarah. I'll be back."
"That's how long the lectures are going for." Jackie replied.
"Oh yeah. Thanks." Chuck left the room and found a quiet space down the hall. He hadn't seen Sarah since last night and he had a feeling she wasn't too happy with him. He didn't really blame her either. And then he didn't text her all day which didn't help his case.
He dialed her number and he wondered if she was purposely holding off answering it. Finally after the twelfth ring she picked up.
"Hey it's me."
Sarah hated that she felt mad but he hadn't even sent her a text. It was five in the evening and he didn't even have the decently to text her. One text was all she needed and don't even get started on telling her she could have text him. Wasn't going to happen.
She wanted to say obviously but she stopped herself. "Yeah." Obviously.
"How are you?"
Sarah had finished her classes for the week so she was officially on vacation. She was on her way to hand in her completed assignment so she was feeling quite relieved. "I gotta go..I have to go to class real quick."
"Oh wait," Chuck replied. "I kind of have to change plans.."
Sarah stopped outside her Professors office. "What do you mean?"
"I have to change my flights till a few days later. My professors giving us support lectures so basically going over our assignment and stuff so we kind of know we have it all right."
Sarah sighed. Damn. "I'll ring up and change them for you."
"Really? Are you sure? I don't mind doing it. I finish here in half an hour."
"It's no problem."
Chuck smiled. "Thanks Sarah. Uh, my nose is incredibly sore."
"You should have iced it."
"I shouldn't have kicked my doctor out."
"Yeah. A little mean.."
"I'm sorry about last night and for not texting you today."
Sarah could see her professor packing up his gear getting ready to go home. "I really have to go." She quickly hung up and knocked on the door. Letting herself in she felt a sudden weight lift off her shoulders. When she handed over her folder she smiled and left as quickly as possible. It was so good to have it finished. She just wanted to get outside and breath in the fresh air. Even though it was so bitterly cold and any inhaling would probably sting her teeth, it was so worth it.
"Hot damn," Jason's eyes squinted to see if the blonde haired girl really was sitting by herself. "I'm gonna go talk to this chick. She could be lost."
Chuck turned to what had caught Jason's attention. "Wait! Jason."
"I'll be a second!"
"Hey there," Jason slid one of his hands in his pocket and lent the other one against the wall.
"Jason that-" Chuck quickly spoke up.
"That?" Jason held his hand up to the girl to apologize for the intrusion. "This is a beautiful woman man. Respect please. Hey did you need directions or anything?" He looked back at her and gave his cool, casual smoulder look. He had practised it in the mirror daily and had recently got it down to a fine art.
Sarah looked up from her phone. "Um.."
"It's Chucks girlfriend stupid." Jackie smirked.
"What!" Jason stepped back and spun around to face Chuck. "Dude! You just let me hit on your girl! What the hell is wrong with you?"
"I'm so very sorry." Jason looked towards Sarah. "Chuck just let me waltz off to seduce you and did not saying anything! I swear."
"It's OK," Sarah smiled awkwardly laughing a little. She hadn't met Chucks friends before and Chuck wasn't even expecting her and she just felt out of place.
Jason patted Chuck on the shoulder. "Sorry man. We all good?"
"We're good," Chuck grinned.
"What a kook." Jackie teased.
"Whatever," Jason brushed off Jackies quip. "It usually always works."
"Yet you're still single."
"Why do you wanna go out with me? I's this a sort of jealously I'm sensing."
"Yeah right." Jackie scrunched up her nose. "You're not my type." She waved at them and made her way down the hall.
"Oi! Wait, I need a ride! Jackie!" Jason called. "Sorry again. Nice to meet you Sarah."
"Won't happen again." He winked. "Later Chuck."
"Right, OK. See you tomorrow."
"I'm missing morning class," Jason called as he chased down Jackie. "Too much crap to do!"
Chuck turned back to Sarah and ran his hand through his hair. "Wow. Sorry about that."
"ha.." Sarah chuckled in the quiet hall. "Nice guy."
"Yeah, he..he thinks he's quite a hit with the girls."
"Yeah...yeah," Sarah nodded and puffed out her cheeks a little. "I can see that."
"So it's good to see you."
Sarah put her phone in her pocket and stood up. "I text you to see if you were busy but you didn't reply so I just turned up.."
"That's cool. I'm, I'm not busy. I'm banning myself from any sort of work tonight."
Sarah nodded and watched other students file out of the room she guessed Chucks class was in. "Are you going home now or?"
"Yes! Yes." He picked up his bag and swung it around his shoulder. "Do you need to do anything before we go back home?"
"No," Sarah shook her head and tried to keep her eyes looking at his. But his nose was distracting. It was a lot more multi coloured than when she had left last night. Yellow and purple had mixed in with the blue. "Do you?"
Chuck nodded. "I do need to apologize for acting like a total douche last night." He titled his head to look at her. "I just don't know whether I should apologize now or back home."
"You were busy I get it." Sarah said, slowly taking a step back to indicate that they should start walking. "I was distracting I know. So. It was fair enough."
"No.." Chuck took a few long strides so he could stop in front of her. "It wasn't fair enough. I was being such a dick." he narrowed his eyes. "Seriously? Like who makes their girlfriend leave? No one. I'm so sorry."
Sarah closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. She looked up at him. "Do you feel like we are always saying sorry to one another?"
"Um.. a little? Maybe? Is that a bad thing?"
"No, I don't know," Sarah breathed out. "Lets just forget it? Yeah?"
"Sure. OK. It's totally forgotten." Chuck slapped his head. "What were we talking about again?"
Sarah smiled at his silliness until someone caught her eye. She looked over Chucks shoulder at a middle-aged women locking the door. She seemed so flustered. Books and paper spilling out from the manilla folder she was grasping. Two boxes by her feet that Sarah wasn't sure how she was going to manage carrying.
"Do you need some help?" Sarah asked as she stepped beside Chuck.
"Oh would you?" The woman looked up so gratefully. "My car's parked right out front."
"Sure we can. Here," Chuck picked up one of the boxes and glanced at Sarah. "Can you manage that one?"
"Yup." Sarah picked it up with ease and waited for the woman to lead the way.
"Thank you so much Chuck and..?"
"Sarah," Sarah introduced herself with a smile. "It's OK. We were heading out this way anyway."
Once both boxes were in the boot the woman frowned and looked up at the dark clouds. "Where are you staying? I'll drop you home."
"Oh no," Chuck and Sarah both declined. "Don't worry. It's OK."
"It's no worry at all. Quick hop in."
Sarah sat comfortably in the back of Julie's, (finally found out her name) car. Chuck seated beside her much to Maree's amusement. "I feel like such a taxi driver with both of you in the back."
"It's a really nice car," Chuck smiled politely.
"It's my husbands," Julie replied as she indicated to turn left. "I've taken it a lot lately. Trying to hint that I need a car to myself." She glanced back at Sarah. "So where are you from Sarah? Chuck you're from Burbank if I remember correctly?"
"Yes I am," Chuck nodded. "Sarah is too-"
"Oh brother and sister are you? You know, I would have never guessed!"
"No, no no!" Chuck quickly corrected her. "We, we aren't related."
"Oh I am sorry." Julie laughed. "I didn't think you looked like siblings. So are you two an item? Is that what they call it these days?"
"An item..like we, are, yes-" Chuck nodded with a closed lip smile.
Sarah looked out the window with a smile. She loved it when he stammered. "We've been going out for over ten months now. It feels like it has gone very quickly."
"It tends to at that age. I met my husband at seventeen the years flew by back then."
"Wow," Sarah answered and caught Julie's eye in the rearview mirror. "That's so nice."
"Yeah," Chuck agreed. "We are just up here on the left."
Julie parked the car and thanked them again for carrying the boxes. "Have a good night."
"Thank you again!" Sarah smiled and hopped out. "Have a good night too."
Later that night..
Sarah lay between Chucks legs and rested her back against his chest as she checked her emails. They had managed to change Chucks flights to three days later with not too much extra charge.
He drew lazily lines on her stomach. "I can't believe my Professors name is Julie."
Sarah shut her laptop and turned on to her stomach, she looked up at him. "Here I thought you were going to say something about her and her husband being together since they were seventeen. "
"Oh and that of course," Chuck grinned and moved down on the bed so he could pull her on top of her. "I actually forgot her name and I was worrying I was going to have to introduce you to her."
"What do you normally call her?"
Sarah snorted lightly. "You're probably on first name basis now." She lightly touched his nose. "I can't believe he has to write you a letter of apology."
"I hope I don't have to get it from him. Maybe he'll just slide it under my door."
"Maybe," Sarah smiled. They'd been told at dinner by Morgan that Darren was moving in with his older brother and, demanded by his own parents to write Chuck an apology letter. Chuck wasn't too bothered by it.
As long as he didn't get punched again he was happy.
"It was so embarrassing."
Sarah raised her eyebrows as she shifted her wait on him. "Shouldn't he be embarrassed?"
"I got knocked to the ground in one punch. What if, what if it was like a serious situation and I needed to protect you! I was, I was terrible! I'm surprised I didn't scream."
"You weren't expecting it, how are you meant to protect yourself?"
"I should have expected it. I should have gotten into a defense position!"
"Chuck," Sarah shook her head. "No. It could have happened to anyone. "
"Morgan actually taught me a move today."
"What kind of move?" Sarah looked confused.
"The Morgan move," Chuck nodded. "I think it could have worked."
Sarah rubbed her eyes tiredly. "You're such a nerd."
"I'll be a strong nerd one day."
Sarah smiled. "You already are and you're super smart."
"You know how you said we say sorry too much?"
"What am I meant to do when I make you upset? I can't just not say sorry."
"Well you wouldn't make me upset in the first place..." She kissed him on the lips teasingly. "I don't know? Actions speak louder than words don't they?"
"What so I give you a high-five instead?"
Sarah dropped her head into his chest. "I will not be high-fiving you if I'm angry."
"Well what would you do? We could hand shake? Or we could-we could kiss..." He gave her the biggest of school boy grins, so proud of his idea.
"Yeah right," She laughed. "I will also not be kissing you if I'm not happy with you."
"Come on!" Chucked nodded eagerly. "Seriously, Sarah, babe, best person ever. This is a good idea. Imagine it. Imagine if I'm angry at you and then you kiss me right," he rolled her off him so he could sit up and look down at her. "So you kiss me as our 'sorry' then you know..who know's where that'll lead.."
"Uh, no. We are not having makeup sex at every sorry Chuck."
Chuck hung his head. "It was a good idea."
"Aw, well.." She tilted her head from side to side. "I guess we could try it...for a little while anyway.."
Chuck grinned down at her. "I knew you would like this idea."
"Mm," she reached up to pull him down. "You need to apologise for not texting me today."
Morgan knocked on the door and whistled quietly as he waited. He kept his head lowered and eyed up and down the hall way nervously.
Morgan looked up. "Rebekah! Hey, hi how are ya?"
"I'm good," She smiled. "What's up?"
"I uh, I actually have to run," he took a quick step back. "I just forgot I left my phone down, down there.." He nodded. "OK bye!"
"Um.." Rebekah gave a short, confused laugh as he ran off. "OK bye?"