It was a pleasant snowy day at the cul-de-sac, the snow neither overwhelming nor a simple flurry, it had been snowing a lot for the past couple of days and had accumulated a nice amount on the ground for people to play in.
Jamie stepped backwards into the snow to admire her completed snowman, feeling proud of herself. It had a black top hat, two big black buttons for eyes, a nice long carrot for a nose, a curvy stick smushed into it's face for a smiling mouth, a dashing red scarf wrapped around it's 'neck' (where the bottom of the head met the top of the torso), she had found two nice sticks for arms, so it looked as if it had one hand on it's hips and another holding something. She also used three nice round stones she had dug up out of the snow for buttons and she had given it a snow shovel to hold, as if it was shoveling snow out of the driveway.
She was pleased with how it had turned out, also that she had been able to stack the giant spheres of snow she had rolled, also without help, on top of each other to make it. She used to need Sam's help with it, but this time she decided to do it on her own and was quite pleased that she did so. She had made it all on her own, she couldn't wait to show Sam.
"Sam!" she called, cupping her hands over her mouth so Sam could hear her from his small snow fort five feet away, where he and Jay were having a snowball fight with Nate and Karen, who had (finally) started dating the day after Christmas. Sam didn't hear her, he was too busy laughing as his snowball exploded in Nate's face just as he was about to throw one at him. Jamie sighed and shook her head, as if to say 'boys…'
Actually, despite her pride that she had made the snow man all on her own, she had actually asked Sam to come outside to make one with her. Jay and An had met up between the cul-de-sac and the trailer park, since Nate was having a New Years Party later that night and they had planned to go on a date before going together, but since Tee had taken the pick-up to pick up Anny and take her to a New Year's Eve Party for the staff at the dance studio they headed to Double-N's house to see if they could borrow the retro van, they noticed the two of them and asked if Sam and Jamie wanted to do something with them and make it a double date just as they were about to start making the snowman, which Jamie thought was really sweet of them to want to include them. Then Nate and Karen came out and Sam gave them a hard time about not going out with each other sooner.
Nate made a snowball and tossed it at him, Sam retaliated, and soon the two were at it, then Karen joined in, then Jay, then Sam and Jay asked if An and Jamie wanted to join in, Jamie said she wanted to make a snowman and An said she'd make a snow dragon that Jamie's snowman could be friends with. The two boys shrugged, then the four of them tried to make forts while throwing snowballs at the same time, needless to say, it was difficult. So they had a cease-fire until they made decent forts then resumed their battle.
Jamie looked at An, she was artistic, she'd want to see Jamie's perfect snowman, she turned and opened her mouth, ready to ask An what she thought, only for her jaw to drop.
The snow dragon was huge.
It was sculpted perfectly, every scale carved out of the white powder, the fangs of the beast were collected icicles. The wings were made up of chunks of ice that An had probably gotten from nearby drains or the sidewalk, smashed into pieces and pieced back together to make them see through, yet sparkling. Jamie looked from An's winter masterpiece, to her plain old snowman and sighed, once again sad that An had out did her.
An glanced at Jamie's snowman and smiled vividly at it, "It's perfect, Jamie!" An said, impressed by her work. Jamie flushed at her undeserved praise, she wished she could be as creative as An was.
"Do you think you could help me?" An asked her. Jamie was taken aback, what would An need her help for?
"I can't figure out how to do the eyes…" An said, "What about carrots?" Jamie suggested, then took two carrots out of her pockets and stuck it between the top and bottom eye lid An had carved out, so it resembled orange irises. An smiled proudly at her and gave her a hug, "That's a great idea, Jamie!" Jamie hugged An back, pleased she had come up with something cool to help her.
Jamie actually had a lot of fun with An and was always happy whenever An would compliment her work or helped her when she was stuck on something. Jamie paused and thought about it, looking back, An had always been doing that for her. Just like she had always been so nice to Sam. (well, except that one time when there was a rock in her shoe, but she was fine once Anny and Double-N got that out.)
(Author: because having a New Years Chapter without flashbacks is like a jaw breaker not being bigger then your head, it's not natural and I will not stand for it.
Annnnnndddd I have way too much fun with these…)
~Jamie Age Eight ~
Jamie is painting Sam outside in his backyard. He's sitting on a makeshift unicorn holding one hand in the air, as if he was holding something, and the other holding the 'unicorn's' reins, he was wearing armor they had fashioned out of cardboard over his clothes and shifting uncomfortably from staying in one position for too long.
"How much longer, Jamie?" he asked, trying not to whine while scratching his itching hindquarters. Jamie looked from Sam itching his ass to her painting, in the painting, the unicorn had wings and Sam was holding a sword and wearing shining armor and looking like he had just triumphed over something, but there was something missing from the painting, but she just couldn't put her finger on it. Something that would make this painting go from good to amazing. She frowned, then called out to Sam, "Almost, stop moving!" since she didn't want him to get off their 'unicorn' and discover she forgot to paint a part of him or something.
"Well hurry up, it's getting hot inside this armor." He said, putting his hand back on the rein, a little annoyed. Jamie had started a while ago and he was starting to get cramps from sitting on the make shift mystical being and his arm was getting tired, he feared that in a few minutes he'd have to hold it up with his other arm.
Then An lifted up the fence, as only An could, and let her friends walk past her into her backyard, Anny telling them that, "This'll be our best scam yet! We'll have the kids eating out of the palm of our hands!" An then joined them on the other side, dropping the part of the fence as she made it into her backyard and making the fence land with a thump, making Sam's unicorn wobble from under him and Jamie's easel bounce. Jaime quickly grabbed her painting, making sure it didn't fall over or get smudged. Sam glared at his older sister and bellowed, "AN! YOU IDIOT! YOU ALMOST MESSED UP JAMIE'S PORTRAIT!"
The Ans paused and walked over to look at Jamie's painting.
"It's fine." Anny said dismissively with a wave of her hand before walking into the house, "Come on, you two, we've got work to do." Anny called back to them.
"It's a very nice painting, Jamie." Double-N said, "I do enjoy the play with light and shadow, very well done." Jamie smiled and thanked her before, she too, disappeared inside the house.
An stood there, staring at the painting, "Hmmm…" she mused, scratching the top of her head with one hand and putting a finger under her pouting lips as she squinted at it, almost looking, well thoughtful. Which on An was not a normal thing to see.
Jamie was a little unnerved that An was staring so hard at her painting, was it awful? Were Anny and Double-N just humoring her? Jamie then was surprised that she cared so much about what the Ans thought, they were the local outcasts, why would she care so much what they thought about her painting?
"AN!" Sam snapped, "Stop doing that, you're freaking Jamie out!" An let out a 'hmm?' as if she hadn't been listening to him, then looked over at Jamie, "It's missing something." She said, pointing behind Knight Sam in the painting, where there was still plenty of space on the back of the unicorn, "Right here." Jamie looked at the spot she was indicating and was a little relieved that An had found the pesky spot that had been bothering her and she was stunned that she and An had felt the same way and that she was able to find the one spot that had been bugging her.
"AN! LEAVE JAMIE ALONE!" Sam ordered, ready to hop off the stupid unicorn and give his sister a beating, only for Jamie to put her hands up in An's defense, surprising both siblings.
"No, wait, it's okay, Sam." She said, then turned to An, "I noticed that too, what do you think I should put there?" she asked, much to Sam's surprise since Jamie normally could be really moody when someone commented on her art like An had and that she had actually asked for and wanted an idiot like An's opinion on what to do.
"What about you?" An asked, "You and Sam could be riding it together going to a Kingdom of Peaches and Cream and save the Taffy People from the Evil Dentist Wizards!" An suggested cheerfully. Sam rolled his eyes and facepalmed at his sister while Anny shouted for her from inside the house, "COME ON, LUMPY, WE'RE WASTING DAYLIGHT!" An straightened with her usual goofy grin and dashed inside, "COMING ANNY!" she replied.
Sam scoffed at his sister as she left, then noticed that Jamie was staring at her painting, looking pleased. She looked up at him and smiled, "Okay, Sam, you can come down now." She said. Sam gratefully leapt off of the unicorn and began stretching his body, trying to rid himself of the stiffness that came with sitting in the same pose for a while. Jamie then quickly walked home and grabbed a hand mirror and returned to her easel and began painting as if her life depended on it, glancing at the mirror on occasion. Sam looked at her, confused as he watched her while lying down on the grass. Finally, she backed away from it, and smiled, looking pleased with herself. She then urged him to get up and revealed her painting to him.
Sam was surprised to see that Jamie had taken An's advice about the painting, and even more surprised that An had actually given her good advise, it felt complete and looked as if it was a page out of a fairy tale. Jamie smiled proudly at her work and silently decided to ask for An's opinion more often.
~Jamie Age 10~
Jamie sat on her front porch, holding a ruined powder blue dress in her hands, tears streaming down her face. She had made it in Home Ec. for her mom's birthday, but she and Sam had been chased by a dog on the way home and the dog had viciously attacked the dress, Sam had been trying to cheer her up, but it was no use, Jamie was too upset.
The Ans walked home, grumbling and covered in reddening hickeys, when An noticed Jamie's distress and walked over, making her friends turn and see Jamie crying and walk over as well, wondering what had happened.
"What's wrong, Jamie?" An asked. Jamie looked up at her, tears and snot streaming down her face, "A dog destroyed the dress I made for my mom's birthday today." She sniffled, then burst back into tears, "I CAN'T GIVE IT TO HER LIKE THIS! BUT I CAN'T GIVE HER NOTHING AND LOOK LIKE A BAD DAUGHTER EITHER!" she wailed then buried her face in her hands, the ruined gown on her lap. An looked at the dress and held out her hand, "Can I see?" she asked. Jamie looked up at her, confused, but she handed it to her, curious what An would do. An held up the dress and saw the holes the dogs teeth had made around the neck line and how it had ripped the bottom of it pretty bad.
"It's not so bad, all you need is some pink ribbon in the holes near the neck and you could trim off the ripped parts and poke holes in the bottom and sew some pink cloth on the bottom and some on the straps to give it matching sleeves." She said. Her friends rose their eyebrows, looked at the dress then nodded approvingly and patted her on the head, proud smiles on their faces.
Jamie looked at An, confused, "Huh?" An then pulled a pack of colored pencils and a sketchbook from her backpack and sketched it out for Jamie to see, pink ribbon was weaved through the holes in the neckline and tied in a nice bow in the front and pink sleeves making it look as if the holes were part of the original design and above where the ripped part was, there was another pink ribbon weaving in and out too with the ribbon being tied on the side of it, only for a pink bit of cloth to make up the rest of the skirt of the dress. An then tore out the sketch for her and handed it to her. Jamie smiled gratefully at her and gave her a big hug, "Thank you, An!" she cried, then dashed inside, the dress and An's drawing clutched tightly in her hands as she ran up to her room and got right to work, after all, her mother would be leaving work soon and she wanted to finish the dress before she got home.
"Looks like I'm rubbing off on you, An." Anny said with a laugh.
"Jamie's mother will be very pleased, you did a wonderful job helping Jamie, An." Double-N agreed.
Sam just looked at the girls, confused, "What just happened here?" he asked, a little annoyed that he had spent all that time trying to cheer her up only for An to do that in a few seconds with a drawing.
Jamie had done the adjustments An had suggested and presented it to her mother when she came home with a cheerful, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!" Her mother loved the dress and put it on right away, then snuggled Jamie and thanked her for the beautiful gown. Jamie smiled and hugged her mother, grateful that An had been there to help her.
~Jamie Age 12~
(the week before An went on a date with Jay)
Jamie looked at a blank page in her notebook, trying to write a romantic short story for a contest that her favorite magazine was having. She sat on a swing at the playground, annoyed that she was stuck and started banging the eraser of her pencil against the blank page, as if she could beat the story out of the paper. She had the characters pretty well laid out in her mind, but she couldn't think of a good enough obstacle that the lovers could overcome. Then An walked by, alone, which wasn't unusual since it was Wednesday and she had Video Game Club, although usually her friends picked her up. Judging by how An looked that day, she seemed as though she needed a little time alone to think.
Her backpack hung over one shoulder and she looked a little down, confused, and concerned as she stared at her dragging feet and was sighing over and over again, occasionally stopping, her face bright pink as she shook her head as if she was a wet dog, then kept dragging herself along. She seemed to be quietly debating something with herself as she walked, repeating, "No! Bad for An!" but then muttering something in response, only for her to say that it was bad for her again.
Jamie watched her for a moment, wondering if she should bother her, then she saw that An was getting close to tears she decided that An could use a distraction from her troubles, then called out, "An!" An stopped in her tracks and looked over at her, then brightened, "Oh, HI JAMIE!" An cheerfully greeted with a wave.
"Hey, An, can you help me with something?" she asked. An seemed to process her words for a moment before breaking out into a huge grin and replying, "Sure, Jamie!" then hopping onto the swing beside her and asking, "What do you need help with?" as she began swinging her legs back and forth so she could start flying through the air on the swing.
"I'm trying to write a story for a contest and I can't think of a good obstacle for the characters to overcome. Can you help me think of something?" An smiled broadly and stopped pumping her legs so the swing would slow down to a stop and nodded eagerly, "Okay!" she then stopped, skidding her feet onto the ground so she was sitting in a still swing and her face became serious, her mouth in a thoughtful pout.
After a few minutes, she blushed and she began to speak in a quiet voice, almost as if she was hesitating a bit to say it aloud, "How about… a boy used to chase a girl when they were little because he liked her but she didn't like it and became scared of him. So now he acts nice to her to show her he cares only she's still scared of him?" Jamie thought about it, then brightened and gave An a hug, surprising her, "THAT'S PERFECT!" she cried, then pulled away and said, "The obstacle is that they both have to overcome their past for her to come to terms of her feelings of love and for them to live happily ever after!"
An's face turned crimson, "Come to terms? Love?" she repeated, confused. Jamie nodded joyously and gave An another hug before starting to write, the words seeming to pour out of her pencil onto the page, her smile getting bigger as she filled page after page of words, An silently sitting beside her, looking at her feet looking completely confused.
Jamie was almost finished when An asked, "Hey Jamie?" Jamie looked up from the page, "Yes An?"
"How does the girl find out how she feels about the boy?" she asked her.
Jamie tilted her head, confused as to why An asked when she had been the one to suggest the scenario she was now writing about, "She goes out on a date with him and sees how much he really cares about her and then they start going out." Jamie said plainly. An thought about it for a second, then smiled at her, "Thanks Jamie." She said, gently ruffling her hair as she got up from the swing and walked towards the cul-de-sac, a bit of a skip in her step as she went home, "Good luck in that contest!" she called from over her shoulder, then started humming to herself, obviously feeling better. Jamie watched as An shrank into the distance, wondering why An had asked that, it's not as if she had anything like that going on in her life like that…
Then Jamie's eyes widened in shock.
There was no way…
Could An be considering…
Going out with Jay Kanker?
Jamie quickly shook the thought out of her head and went back to writing, deciding that she didn't want to know the answer to the question… but she then found herself looking up at An and calling out, "GOOD LUCK, AN!" An smiled back warmly at her and waved, then turned back to her route home.
End of Flashback
As Jamie recalled that day, she wondered when An had started going out with Jay.
"Hey An?" she asked.
"Yeah Jamie?" An replied, making a snowball, for what, Jamie had no idea.
"Remember that contest I was writing a story for that you helped me with?" Jamie asked her, "It happened a few months back, you remember?" An thought for a minute, then brightened, "Oh yeah! Did you win?"
"Oh, yeah, I won. I got a trophy and some money and they put my story in the magazine, I have the issue if you'd like to read it."
"Okay!" An said cheerfully, "I was wondering how you did in that contest, I'm glad to hear you won!"
"And I was wondering why you seemed so glum about that day." Jamie said, "I mean, you seemed really confused and you were arguing with yourself." An paused, then her eyes lit up in recollection, "Oh yeah, I was, wasn't I?" she said, sounding a little embarrassed at the memory.
"Can you tell me?" Jamie asked, trying not to seem to eager. An nodded shyly and quickly made a snow bench for them to sit on and sat down. She then pat to the seat next to her, indicating that she wanted Jamie to sit with her. Jamie hopped over and sat down, her eyes wide with anticipation as An fiddled with her fingers, "It was right before Jay asked me out, Jenny had asked me why I was still scared of him since he had been much nicer to me then he had been before. It got me thinking and I knew I wouldn't finish figuring it out by the time Anny and Double-N would pick me up and I didn't want to get distracted so I told them I'd walk home by myself and that I had some thinking to do…"
(Author: yes, again, this chapter will have a lot of these but they will explain so much about everyone's relationships and I only did, like, one for the Christmas two parter chapter, therefore I earned a chapter filled with flashbacks.
I EARNED THIS!)
~An Coming to Terms~
"Sheesh, you're gonna have to do some laps then, huh, Lumpy?" Anny teased playfully over the phone.
"Anny!" Double-N scolded, then said, "Alright An, but if you're still having trouble, just let us know and we'll be there to help."
An smiled warmly as she spoke into her phone, "Thanks guys."
She then said goodbye and waved at them, even though they weren't there and hung up.
Jay, who was getting picked up by his brothers, noticed that the Ans retro van was nowhere in sight, he looked over at her, concerned, since the other two Ans usually showed up if not right before Video Game Club ended, a few minutes after it was over to get her. "Hey An!" he called, waving his arms so she'd find him, "You need a lift home?" he asked, indicating the pick up beside him. She shook her head, "I'm walking home today, but thanks anyway Jay." She said, giving him a small smile and a wave good bye as she turned and started to walk home, not knowing that he turned bright red at her smile and began floating beside the pick up with a huge goofy grin on his face. Tee and Larie then sighed, a little annoyed and really jealous that their younger brother got along so well with his An, and had to get out of the car, grab their floating brother and shove him in the backseat and buckle him in so they could go home.
As their pick up passed An, Jay dreamily waved good bye to her with a goofy grin on his face. An couldn't help but smile at his expression as she waved back, making his face turn even redder and for steam to start coming out of his ears, making his brothers have to lower the windows so they could see where they were going and so that they wouldn't roast in the car on the way home.
An let Jenny's words from club earlier sink in as she watched the Kankers drive away:
"Jay has been really good about not jumping you as much anymore and honestly, it's really obvious how much he likes you. So why don't you give him a chance?" she had asked after Jay left them for a minute to go to the bathroom.
"Because I'm scared." An replied, then lit up a bit and pointed at the screen, "Oh! Stab that guy in the chest!"
"Got um!" Jenny cheered, the two high fived, then her tone became serious again, "An, are you scared because of how he shows his feelings for you when his brothers are around or are you afraid of how your own feelings for him are changing and you don't know how to address them?" Jenny asked her. An sat there silently as Jenny fought through the last level then eventually KO'd the boss of the game, she squealed and bounced up onto her feet and began to dance.
"FUCK YEAH! WHO'S THE QUEEN, FUCK FACE? WHO'S THE QUEEN?" she asked, pointing to the boss of the game only to then flip him off and continue to dance around the room. "CAN'T USE YOUR FUCKING MAGIC ASS STAFF ON ME WHEN YOU'RE DEAD, CAN YOU, BITCH?" (Author: … Yeah…Jenny gets really into her video games)
An just sat there, feeling numb as Jenny's questions echoed in her mind as she danced, leaving Jay, who had just returned from the bathroom to see Jenny dancing around the room like an idiot and flipping off the TV and calling it names while An sat there with a stunned look on her face, leaving Jay to wonder what the fuck had happened in here while he was taking a dump.
Jenny's questions were still echoing in her mind as she slowly walked towards the forest so she could cut through there to the playground and then head home from there.
She thought about Jay for a bit, Jenny had been right, he had been pouncing on her less often, and when he did, he'd usually be pretty gentle when holding her and stuff. She shook her head, it was Jay Kanker, for gravy's sake, the guy had been attacking her for unwanted kisses for years, while she would be begging him to stop…
Recently An hadn't really hated the kisses he gave her like she used to.
Now, don't get her wrong, she never asked for them or anything, she was still being hunted and attacked for them and she'd still usually shout 'KANKER!' or 'NO KISSES FOR AN!' when she'd get caught and Jay would cover her in hickeys, but…
Actually, she kind of… well… she kind of… liked the kisses a little bit now.
Not a lot, but a little.
She didn't dare tell her friends that, though, she knew they wouldn't take it well, but she couldn't help how she felt. She stopped dead in her tracks and shook her head.
"No." she told herself, "You do not like Jay Kanker." She paused for a moment, then murmured, "but he is really nice and sweet in Video Game Club…" she shook her head again, "NO! BAD AN!" she cried, "JAY IS NOT NICE, HE'S A KANKER! KANKERS AREN'T NICE! ESPECIALLY TO ANS!" she stomped a bit as she made her way through the forest while she declared this, then instantly regretted her words and stopped dead in her tracks and sighed.
She knew that wasn't fair or very nice to say that, no matter what the Kankers had done to her and her friends. And she knew that, deep down, Jay was really sweet and nice and probably really did care about her and his brothers probably really cared about her friends too, but when she was running for her life to avoid getting caught by him and getting kissed against her will, it was kinda hard to remember that.
An kicked at a loose pebble on the ground, feeling confused and conflicted, Jay wasn't a bad person, she knew that, but he had done bad things to her in the past and present, like today when he had tackled her at lunchtime on butterscotch pudding day, knocking her onto a table with about four cups of the stuff and getting it all over her and making her break out in a rash and blow up like a balloon because of her allergy…
But he had freaked out after her friends informed him about her horrible allergy, their voices pitched with panic, still pinned to other tables by their own Kankers, who didn't really know what to do at that point and stood frozen in shock staring at An, pinning their 'girlfriends' to the tables and not really helping the situation at all.
Jay had helped get her up onto her feet, which she could barely stay on at that point, fear bright in his eyes as he wiped as much of the pudding off of her as he could, then carried her to the nurse's office, princess style, crying out, "I'M SO SORRY, AN! I DIDN'T KNOW! I'M SO SORRY! I AM SO SO SO SO SO SORRY!" as he dashed through the halls.
He then sat there with her, looking completely ashamed of himself while the nurse gave her an epi-pen to help with the swelling and the rash and the lack of air coming into her lungs due to the swelling in her throat that was slowly blocking her wind pipe. He then sat there clutching her hand and apologizing profusely for knocking her into the pudding while she slowly returned to normal. Then the lunch bell rang again, informing everyone that lunch was over and Anny and Double-N walked in and took her to class, leaving Jay still sitting down by the bed, looking upset and ashamed at what he had done. He then looked at her and said something An would have never expected to hear from him:
"Please don't hate me."
He spoke so soft that he was almost mouthing it to her, but she heard it as clearly as if he had whispered it into her ear.
'Please don't hate me.'
Just remembering how hurt and upset he had sounded when he had said it made her chest ache. He looked as if he was about to cry when he had said that, it was almost as if he had been pleading with her to just please, please...
'Please don't hate me.'
"I don't hate you." An had told him at Video Game Club, while Jenny was setting up a game she had brought from home. Jay had been looking down at his feet and twiddling his thumbs and not speaking at all, he barely made eye contact with her and for some reason, and that annoyed An that he was doing that. She knew he didn't mean to have her undergo a horrible allergic reaction, she knew he had no idea that she was allergic to butterscotch pudding and she knew that he was really sorry for making her go through that, she may not be the brightest potato in the bread box, but you'd have to be really, really stupid to not see the sincerity in his eyes when he had been saying sorry over and over again while carrying her and holding her hand in the nurses office.
Jay looked at her as if he was surprised that she was even talking to him after what he had done earlier. Honestly, he was surprised that she had sat down beside him in the first place, he had moved to get up but she grabbed his arm so he couldn't walk away and leave her alone, which made his eyes widen in surprise and his face turn bright pink, hearing that An didn't hate him made it turn red.
"I didn't like what you did, but I don't hate you." She finished firmly, then she let go of his arm, allowing him to do what he pleased once she had said her piece.
To say that Jay was relieved that An didn't hate him would be the understatement of the century.
His eyes were watering with relief and joy that she didn't hate him, a big grateful smile curled up his cheeks and to her utter and complete surprise, he hugged her.
And this one wasn't like the constricting hugs he would give her so she couldn't get away while he was covering her in hickeys. Oh no, this one was loving and warm, like a hug was supposed to be. Which, for some reason, made her heart pound wildly in her chest and her face feel like it was on fire, her head feel light, as if it was high up in the clouds and her hands began to sweat like crazy. "Thank you, An." he managed through his tears of joy, "Thank you." Then Jenny teased them a bit and Jay let go and began acting like himself again, the nice Jay that An had come to enjoy spending time with at Video Game Club.
She kicked another loose pebble on the forest floor, "So if I don't hate him," she wondered aloud, "Then how do I feel about him?"
An struggled between not liking Jay and liking Jay, arguing with herself and dragging her feet, finally making it to the playground where Jamie was sitting on a swing with a notebook and a pencil in her hands, not that An noticed since she was trying to sort through years of emotional trauma and memories to figure out how she felt about Jay Kanker.
It wasn't until Jamie had called out to her that she even noticed she was there. She brightened when Jamie asked for her help, grateful from the distraction from her own warring thoughts and emotions as she sat down beside her and started to swing on the swing, letting the warm nostalgia and the joy of flying through the air temporarily wiped her heart clear of any worries and doubts.
"I'm trying to write a story for a contest and I can't think of a good obstacle for the characters to overcome. Can you help me think of something?" Jamie asked her. An felt joy flood through her veins as she stopped the swing, she loved making up stories, mainly stories with monsters or ninjas or mutants and cool things like that, hearing that Jamie wanted her help with one just made her feel overjoyed that she'd want her input, "Okay!" she cheerfully replied. She then stopped and thought about it for a bit, trying to think of some sort of obstacle for Jamie's characters.
Now, normally, An would come up with some random monster that would spew forth and rampage a city or some demon would come after someone to do something really random and stupid and the characters would have to send back to it's own twisted dimension. But today, her situation with Jay kept popping into her mind. An hesitated, she didn't really want anyone to know she was having confusing feelings about Jay, and risk getting made fun of or, even worst, having Jay find out about it when his brothers were around and pounce on her, but she really wanted an outside opinion and this was one of those rare times when she couldn't turn to Anny or Double-N for help.
An finally spoke, her voice soft, "How about… a boy used to chase a girl when they were little because he liked her but she didn't like it and became scared of him. So now he acts nice to her to show her he cares only she's still scared of him?" Jamie thought about it, then brightened and gave An a hug, surprising her, "THAT'S PERFECT!" she cried, then pulled away and said, "The obstacle is that they both have to overcome their past for her to come to terms of her feelings of love and for them to live happily ever after!"
An's face turned crimson, "Come to terms? Love?" she repeated, confused.
What did she mean by that? She wondered.
Then she remembered how she had felt earlier when he had hugged her, how her heart raced and her head felt light, how her face flushed and her palms became soaked with sweat. Then there were those kisses that she was starting to enjoy and now that she thought about it, he was kind of cute when he smiled, his buck teeth and button nose making him look kind of like a cute little bunny rabbit…
Oh Good Gravy…
Was she in love with Jay Kanker?
An's head felt like it did when she had hopped in to the dryer and put it on spin, (she had only done that once, but still, it was hard to forget that ride) she looked over at Jamie to ask what she was talking about, but Jamie gave her another hug and then was in the zone, her pencil zooming across the page while she was lost in her own thoughts. And leaving An alone with her own.
As Jamie's, Jenny's and Jay's words bounced through her head, she suddenly remembered snippets of times where Jay was really nice and sweet to her. Where they would be laughing and joking around and having fun.
An bit her lip, unsure what to do and how to address this new view of a boy who pretty much tortured her with affection when they were younger and, honestly, still kinda did today.
An was curious to know what would happen if she put the unpleasant parts of their past aside and gave a relationship with Jay a shot. But the fear that had grown from years of constant harassment was overpowering, crippling her nerve to get to know the buck-toothed blonde better.
Ughh! All this drama about Jay was giving her a headache and probably a hernia!
She looked over at Jamie, desperate for any kind of answer to make the splitting headache she was getting over this whole thing go away.
"Hey Jamie?" she said, catching her attention, and making her look up at her, "Yes, An?" she replied.
An nervously avoided eye contact with her and wiggled her toes in her shoes, "How does the girl find out how she feels about the boy?" she asked her softly.
Jamie tilted her head, as if confused by An's question, "She goes out on a date with him and sees how much he really cares about her and then they start going out." Jamie said plainly.
An paused and thought about it, remembering something Anny had said once when they were talking about a rumor about a new couple at school, "They're just dating." She had said with a dismissive wave of her hand, "Until one of them declares themselves the other's boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever, nothing's official. Dates are like free trials for potential relationships, you test it out, you see if you like what you've got, if you do, get it, if not, don't. But that's how you figure out if you've got a keeper or not. Ya don't know unless you try it out and a date's a good way to do that."
"Well, you certainly have an interesting analogy about dating, Anny." Double-N had teased.
"Doesn't mean I'm not right, Sockhead." Anny had said with a triumphant smile.
"I never said that you were wrong, Anny." Double-N replied coolly.
An smiled, that's just what she needed to figure all of this out, a date with Jay! How could she not have seen that before? She ruffled Jamie's hair, "Thanks Jamie!" she said cheerfully, pleased that she had a plan to figure out how she felt once and for all for the blonde Kanker brother, "Good luck in that contest!" she called back to her, then she began humming as she skipped home, feeling much better. Almost as if a weight had been lifted off of her back, and it must have been a really heavy one to make her feel it that much, after all, she could lift houses without even breaking a sweat.
"GOOD LUCK, AN!" Jamie called back. An looked back, smiled and waved, grateful to the little girl for helping her get one step closer to having an answer.
(End of this part of the flashback )
(Author: but it will continue later, I promise, you'll learn about An and Jay's progression into a couple. You have no idea how long I've been waiting to reveal this to you all.)
"So, wait," Jamie said, disbelief in her voice, "So I helped you decide to go on a date with Jay?" An nodded happily, "Uh huh!"
"Excuse me." A woman said from behind them, the two girls turned to see two women, one with half of her black hair shaved off and the other was a curvy latino woman, the latino woman was holding a blonde toddler who smiled cutely at them, making them both go, "Aww." And the woman with half her head shaved had a baby bag in her hand, the little boy had a tiny backpack on and babbled happily at them.
"Do you know if Ann's home?" the woman with half of her head shaved asked them.
"You mean Double-N? Yeah she's home and Larie's with there with her, why?" An replied. The women paused then chuckled a bit before thanking them and walking to Double-N's house. An and Jamie looked at one another, then shrugged.
"Hey, want to make a snow village?" An asked Jamie.
"Okay!" Jamie said excitedly. The two then started making the snow people by rolling snowballs on the ground, chatting about how they could make the village and how big the buildings should be and such, having a blast.
Larie was in heaven.
Well actually he was in Ann's living room, but they were making out shirtless and Ann was sitting on his lap, but to Larie, it was pretty much the same thing as heaven.
Ever since Christmas he'd been enjoying this kind of thing every once in a while when he came over to hang out with Ann, oh sure, they'd start out studying like always and then head downstairs and work on a project they had going on, like currently they were trying to see if Ann's hair was like spider silk, they were still comparing samples they had gathered from Ann's spiders downstairs to a strand of her long black hair, there were similarities in the structure of the strands, but no definite matches yet.
They would work for maybe an hour before, for whatever reason, they'd start kissing and end up making out on her couch on the first floor again.
Not that Larie minded at all, he enjoyed this time with Ann immensely. Especially now that she was comfortable with second base, it just made their time making out all the more fun and wonderful for Larie.
He smiled as he slowly explored her chest with his fingers, making mental notes where he touched when she moaned cutely and pulled him closer, when they finally parted for air he smirked at her, "Man… you even… sound cute… when you're… moaning… Is there… anything… you do… that's not… completely… and utterly… adorable?" he asked her through ragged breaths, gently pushing back a few stray hairs off her face. She flushed and shrugged, embarrassed by his praise. They leaned in once more to continue, but just as their lips were about to touch…
The doorbell rang.
"Shit." Larie groaned, who the hell could that be?
Then whoever rang the doorbell pounded on the door, "Ann! It's Aunt Miranda and Aunt Fiona, we need your help with Luca, it's an emergency!" The teens looked at one another and frantically dressed themselves, Ann threw on her bra and quickly hooked two out of three of the hooks on the back before pulling the top of her dress back up and slipping her arms through the straps, that slipped off her shoulders and revealed the pink hickeys on her neck and a few on her upper chest, she hastily buttoned up her dress shirt making it look disheveled and she had missed a button hole on the bottom, so it was uneven. Her hair was messy and her lipstick was a little smudged. Larie's shirt was wrinkled and his own lips smudged with lipstick too, his hair was messier then usual and he had some hickeys of his own on his neck, face and upper chest with rusty red lipstick kiss marks overlapping the pink hickeys.
They dashed to the door, concerned about what could be the matter with Luca and threw it open to Ann's stunned aunts.
"What's wrong?" Ann asked her aunts, fear and worry clear in her voice.
Her aunts looked them up and down, smirking, "Sorry to interrupt." Fiona chuckled, Miranda was a little more discreet with her laughter, but not by very much. The teens looked down at their clothes and then at each other and blushed furiously.
'Busted.' Was the first word to come to Larie's mind, then he silently prayed her parents wouldn't spontaneously return home and see them too. As much as he enjoyed what they did, they both preferred having the more risqué (as Ann had so cutely put it) parts of their relationship to be private and stay that way. He was still longing for his relationship to go from risqué to sexual, but even then, he still planned to keep most of what they did to himself. (After all, no one likes a braggart.)
Miranda placed Luca in Ann's arms and Fiona handed Larie the baby bag as Miranda explained that, "I got called in to cover for someone at work and there's no one else in the shop who can handle this kind of work and this potential client of Fiona's decided to have a meeting today without telling her before hand, but he came here all the way from France so she can't just blow him off…"
"We were gonna take him to the Aquarium today but we both got the calls on the way there, you mind taking him there for us? We already bought the tickets and it would be a waste not to use them." Fiona said, shoving them into Larie's free hand.
"Oh, uh…" Ann began, but before she could finish, her Aunts kissed their son on the cheek in unison and they then pecked Ann on the cheek and dashed back to the car, "Thank you two! We owe you one!" they called back to them in unison as they hopped in, then they pulled out of the cul-de-sac wildly and drove at top speed onto the main road, tires squealing on the pavement in an attempt to move faster then they already were.
"Did we just get roped into babysitting Luca at the last minute?" Larie asked his girlfriend, trying to process what just happened, little Luca with his fist in his mouth, drool dripping down from his mouth onto the sleeve of his shirt with a train on it and smiling at Larie and Ann, completely oblivious to the fact that his mothers had basically ditched them. He had a little blue backpack on and overalls and tennis shoes, his little puffy coat was half zipped (Luca had discovered how to use zippers and liked playing with them) and he wore a little hand-knitted hat and matching scarf (made by Ann and give to him when he had first arrived in America).
"I believe so." She replied, shocked that her aunts basically abandoned their child with them with no warning or any information as how they might contact them in case anything happened.
"Uh, what do they do again?" Larie asked, wondering what could be so urgent that they'd leave them with Luca like this.
"Aunt Miranda is a tattoo artist and Aunt Fiona is a wedding planner." Ann said. Larie nodded, wedding planners had to deal with crazy bridezillas and such so he could understand why she'd have to leave immediately, but for a tattoo artist? Then he remembered she said that she was covering someone at her shop, so maybe someone had gotten sick or something and didn't tell the client and no one else could take that person? He didn't know, but to be honest, he had felt a little better when he knew that the guy he had gotten to do his tattoo was a very skilled and experienced tattoo artist, he'd bet the person coming in for their tattoo at Miranda's shop would probably want to feel the same. He then looked at Ann, "Wait, seriously? I mean, if you looked at them you'd think that they'd have the other's occupation. Especially since Miranda doesn't have any tattoos like most tattoo artists."
"Most people do." She replied, "Actually, my Aunt Miranda has several tattoos as well, only she covers them up with her clothing, I know she has one of Jormundgard, the World Snake on her upper left arm, and monarch butterflies that soar around her right leg, but as for the others, I have no idea. Only my Aunt Fiona knows the answer to that question and quite frankly I don't really want to intrude." Larie nodded in understanding, then looked at her, "How did those two even meet?" he asked, a little curious how a tattoo artist and a wedding planner crossed paths.
"Oh, Aunt Fiona met Aunt Miranda when she was getting that tattoo of my face on her arm, she was her tattoo artist and became a good friend and wonderful moral support for her when she was in rehab, they started dating when I was three and got married when I was five, right before I moved here, in fact." Ann informed him. He rose his eyebrows in surprise at the new information he then picked up the strap of the baby bag and adjusted it on his shoulder, "Uh, wanna go to the Aquarium?" he asked, holding up the tickets, "I mean, we do have free tickets and all."
She smiled, "That sounds lovely, however, I believe we should clean up a bit before we do so." Larie nodded and the three slipped inside and the teens cleaned up a bit before hopping into the van, Larie in the driver's seat, Ann beside him in the passenger's seat and Luca strapped to a child's seat in the back (which Ann had installed at An and Jay's request back when they were taking that parenting class back in chapter 3, all you have to do is push a button and it comes out of the wall of the van, you push it again and it goes back into the wall) with his little backpack with the stuffed polar bear Ann had made for him, Magnet, and the toy car Larie had made him (his favorite toys, according to his mothers) and driving to the aquarium. When they entered the lobby they saw that they had several options to start with; the dolphin show, the food court and the entrance into the main tanks, there was also a jelly fish exhibition near the food court that was in town for a bit as well as a gift shop.
In front of the entrance to the main tanks, where all the fish were, there were tubes filled with water with air bubbles that would go up in one tube before swapping to another that had caught Luca's eyes.
He squealed and reached for it eagerly, leaning forwards and almost falling out of Ann's arms, luckily Larie grabbed him before he managed to squirm out of her arms and hurt himself and said, "I don't think you want to do that, buddy." Then put the little tyke down and he quickly waddled over to the tank, laughing at the bubbles and jumping up and down when more came up, making his cousin and her boyfriend chuckle at his cute actions. Then when the tube stopped releasing bubbles, Luca stopped jumping and looked at it, confused. Then his lower lip quivered when he realized that there would be no more bubbles and he looked as if he was about to cry.
Ann quickly rushed over, scooped him up and pointed to another tube with air bubbles coming up, "Don't cry, Luca, look, see? There are more bubbles over there." She said, bouncing him in her arms as she made her way to the other tank and Luca began laughing again.
It wasn't until Ann looked over at him, with Luca happily bouncing in her arms and squealing every time more bubbles came up and reached for the tank, and smiled at him that he wondered if, in the future, he and Ann would be doing things like this with their own children.
Larie pictured the eldest of their future children, Allbert, as a little two year old, being held in his mother's arms, where Luca currently was, bouncing and squealing with delight at the bubbles and then looking at him and smiling vibrantly, he'd probably have a little mop of blue hair on his head and maybe even a gap inbetween his brand new teeth. The thought made him smile widely and feel pride and joy surge through him as the image of his future son faded back to little Luca.
He joined them over at the bubble tubes and said, "Hey Luca, you wanna see the fishies?" Luca smiled vividly at him and nodded vigorously, then he held out his arms and cried out, "Brat! Brat!" kicking his little legs as if he was running towards Larie instead of just making it harder for Ann to hold him. Larie scooped him out of Ann's arms and put him on his shoulders, pushing the baby bag further up on one shoulder so he could hold on to the toddler's legs and make sure he didn't fall off. Luca laughed as he grabbed two handfuls of Larie's hair to help him stay on and upright. Ann smiled at him and wrapped her arms around one of his as they entered, all three smiling as they entered the main part of the aquarium.
Needless to say, Luca enjoyed looking at the fishies immensely, he watched everything with eyes wide with wonder, amazed by everything from the tiniest fish to the biggest shark and anything and everything in between. Larie and Ann would point out any fish that was sort of hiding from him and Ann went on and on about the different creatures they were looking at through the thick glass.
A few kids were intrigued about what Ann had to say and started asking her questions, which made her light up with joy that they wanted to learn more, and answered them cheerfully. Larie would contribute every once in a while with what he knew or to translate when they couldn't understand the big words Ann was using to answer them. Soon the two of them had a rather large group of people asking them questions, the favorite one seeming to be, "Where do they go to the bathroom?" since many of the children were the ones asking questions and would ask about that for almost every creature they could find in the tanks. Shouting, "EWW!" Then bursting with laughter every time they informed them that they went to the bathroom in the water that they lived in.
When they had seen everything and made their way back to the entrance, many people thanked them for the lovely and informative tour and told them that they had an adorable child.
Then they all left before Ann and Larie could tell them that Luca was not their child, and that they were just babysitting him and that they were not tour guides. They sighed and shrugged with flushed faces, deciding that they could correct them later if they saw them again and also to figure out what they would do next.
Luca began squirming on Larie's shoulders, obviously uncomfortable and began to fuss. Larie lifted him off of his shoulders and began bouncing him like he had seen Ann do when he was upset, "What's wrong, buddy?" he asked the child, then a fart sound came from the two year old and he looked as if he was about to cry.
"I believe he needs a diaper change." Ann said, she went to take him from Larie, but he held up his hand, "Jay made me change 'Sheldon's' diaper a few times at school, I know how to do it, Ann." Ann looked surprised, then smiled. "Alright, I'll pick up a schedule for the dolphin show in the mean time, why don't we meet back here and then go get some lunch and figure out what to do from there?" she suggested. Larie smiled and nodded, giving her a peck on the cheek before heading to the men's room with Luca.
He hadn't been lying about Jay teaching him how to change a diaper, back when Jay and An had taken that parenting class, Jay had made him and Tee change 'Sheldon's' diaper a few times, much to their annoyance, "Imagine how impressed they'll be when they find out you already know how to change a diaper!" Jay had said to them. Tee and Larie had muttered some nasty things in response, but knew that Jay was right, besides, they were gonna have to learn how to change a diaper sooner or later, especially Larie, he and Ann were gonna have five kids in the future after all, maybe even more, he was going to have to become a master at changing diapers.
That and the diaper bag was probably way too heavy for Ann to lift in general, let alone all the way to the girls restroom. When he had finished changing Luca and washed his hands thoroughly (he was dating Ann, after all) and he and Luca made their way out of the restroom and into the main corridor to see Ann looking at the schedule for the dolphin show in the meeting place. Larie smiled and was about to call out to her when a nasally voice called out to her instead, "Well, if it isn't Ann, the dainty damsel of the science fair?" Ann winced at the sound of the voice and groaned, "Oh, drat…" she then slowly turned around to see a gawky teenager who was maybe a head taller then she was, he wore square rimmed glasses and had braces on his rather large teeth. His blonde curls were tight to his head and he wore a letterman's jacket that had an LBH embroidered on it, meaning he was from Lemon Brook High, although, it wasn't like the one for the football team, which made sense since this guy was obviously not a football player, so it was most likely a mathlete jacket. The guy smiled as if he was so suave with the ladies and reached for her hand, then Larie couldn't give two fucks who the hell he was, all he knew was that he was trying to hit on his girlfriend and he wasn't gonna let that shit happen.
"It's such a wonderful surprise seeing you here." He went on to say, making Larie begin to grind his teeth together and increase his pace.
Luca had no idea what was going on, all he knew was that Brother was mad and Ann looked unhappy, but not at him or one another, but at the boy who's hand Ann swatted away. This wasn't right, they shouldn't be mad or sad, Luca wanted both of them to be happy again, he liked it when everyone was happy. 'I should give Ann a big smile.' Luca decided, 'Ann likes big smiles and Brother likes it when Ann is happy so everyone will be happy again.' He smiled, pleased by his plan.
"Wonderful is not how I'd describe it, but yes, it's quite a surprise, Derek." Ann said sternly at the boy who was still trying to grab her hands, making her swat at them as if they were giant flys, nearly spitting out his name as if it was toxic.
Larie's scowl deepened, he knew this jackass. He had first met him at his first science fair at Peach Creek Jr. High.
The rival schools would have a combined science fair and have their brightest students square off for top prize. Naturally, Ann won every year, but every year Derek would come over and hit on her, pissing him off and annoying her.
~The Tale of the Science Fair Maiden and her Kanker~
(Author: I warned you I'd have a lot of these.)
Larie wandered around the science fair in Peach Creek Jr. High's gym, looking for Double-N. He and his brothers had taken shifts to look for their girls, since each project had to have one of the people who worked on it there to explain it to whoever wanted to know about it, but the Kanker's project was a paper maché volcano with lava made out of baking soda, vinegar and red food coloring, so it wasn't exactly rocket science.
Anyway, Jay and Tee already had their turns with their Ans, and now it was Larie's turn. He wandered around, eagerly searching for his 'girlfriend.' That's when he had first heard that nasally voice, "Well, if it isn't Ann, the dainty damsel of the Science Fair, so we meet again on the field of intellectual battle!" Larie dashed over and saw Double-N, An and Anny along with a younger, but still pretty cocky, Derek smiling at Double-N in a flirty way that made Larie's short temper flare up like his volcano had when they put the vinegar in with the baking soda for the judges.
"And how is the delicate blossom of Peach Creek doing this lovely day?" he asked, trying to be suave. Anny and An (who were still covered in hickeys from his brothers' 'visits') scowled at him, annoyed, while Double-N just groaned.
"Get lost Derek." Anny snapped.
"Go away, Jose!" An agreed.
"I don't believe I was speaking with either of you… ladies." He said, saying the word 'ladies' like one might say 'colonoscopy'. The two Ans snarled at him, but Double-N held up her hands, stopping them. She then looked over at him and nodded curtly, "Derek." She said, straining to be polite while just saying his name. Larie paused not five feet from Double-N's table, where the Ans were enduring his obnoxious flirting attempts, which housed several plants and a unique looking flower, the display board behind her explained that she had crossed germinated two rare flowers into a new species of flower, that she had already sent to some flower specialist people and had named it and everything and how she had cross germinated them could actually double crop outputs and help lessen world hunger. He wondered how that was even possible, but then again, his girl was a genius. He smiled a bit at that as he (although he'd never admit it) admired the flower, wondering how she had cross-germed it or whatever it was called and how it could double crop outputs before Derek's voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Oh, look, some trailer trash is getting close your project, Ann, better get rid of it before something bad happens." He said, indicating Larie, obviously trying to make himself look cool by talking smack about him, the judges had commented on his living conditions earlier so that's probably how Derek knew he lived in a trailer, because there was no other way he could know anything about Larie without knowing that he was one of the most feared kids at Peach Creek Jr. High and that making fun of him was a really stupid thing to do.
Larie glared at him and clenched his fists, but before he could take a swing at him, Ann snapped, "How dare you!" She then angrily jabbed her finger at him as she went on to say, "Larie has no control over his living conditions and it's awful of you to make fun of him for it! And calling him trash? Who do you think you are? He has the same right to look at my work that you do and quite honestly, I'd prefer him around to look at it and wanting to understand it then you standing around, hitting on me and insulting anyone who actually wants to learn what my project is, only to make yourself look like a bigger discourteous buffoon then you did last year with that ridiculous pudding bomb project of yours that backfired and covered all of us in Tapioca pudding!" Larie's face felt as if it was on fire as a smile grew on his face. He was used to being called trailer trash, he didn't like it, but he was used to it, but what he wasn't used to was anyone defending him, so he was loving this, and the fact that it was Double-N who was doing it? Well that just made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside… then he wondered why the heck anyone would want a pudding bomb for and why anyone would make something as stupid as that.
"I rather both of 'um leave." Anny muttered under her breath, she would have said it louder, but she didn't want to stop Double-N in the middle of her angry rant, finding her scolding of others amusing, especially when compared to the scoldings she and An had to listen to on a normal enough basis, which she thought were annoying.
"If you have a problem with him wanting to expand his knowledge here then you can go elsewhere!" she finished, then she turned on her heel with a 'hmph!' and walked over to him, then gave him a kind, albeit, nervous smile, "Do you have any questions, Larie?" she asked politely, a little fear in her voice but it just made her seem all the cuter to Larie.
He nodded eagerly, "Yeah, can you do that again?" Anny and An burst out laughing at his request, which was an unusual sight since normally they only screamed and ran away at the sight of a Kanker, but Larie saw that as a positive that they thought what he said was funny.
Anny then pointed to Derek and shouted, "BURN!" He stuck out his tongue and gave her a raspberry before he stomped off, giving Larie a nasty glare as he then asked Double-N about her project, which she cheerfully explained to him in great detail.
Later, after Double-N had won (again) the Lemon Brook students packed up their projects and shuffled back onto the bus to go home while the kids from Peach Creek would leave them overnight at the school and pick them up the next morning with their parents.
Double-N held her head up high, her chest puffed out with pride, making her gold medal with a big number one on it shine with glory and victory. A blue ribbon adorning her display, indicating that it won first place. Derek's potato powered miniature ferris wheel taking second, a smaller red ribbon on his project.
An carried Double-N's, rather large, trophy out the door when the trio left, with Anny rubbing in her brainy friend's success in the Lemon Brook nerds' faces as they walked out of the gym, Karen, Jenny and Tee joining in to mock their rivals.
Larie normally would join in on the mockery, but he instead decided to take one last look at his girlfriend's award winning work before heading home, when he spotted Derek reaching to grab her special flower, his angry scowl indicating that whatever he was gonna do, was not good.
Larie dashed over and grabbed his arms with one hand, crushing them in his grasp. Derek looked up at him and scowled. But that scowl quickly shifted into a look of pure terror once he saw how angry Larie was that he was trying to destroy something his girlfriend had worked so hard on.
"Don't. Touch. My girlfriend's. Work." He hissed.
"Girlfriend?" Derek scoffed, "Yeah right, why would she go out with an idiot like you when she could go out with a genius like me?" he asked, annoyed, trying to sound tougher then he really was and failing.
"Because I would never mess with something she worked so hard on because she beat me at a stupid science fair!" Larie snarled as he then grabbed his legs with his other hand and twisted him like a pretzel and then kicked out of the gym onto the bus right before it pulled away.
"WHO'S THE TRASH NOW?" Larie shouted triumphantly at the bus shrinking in the distance. He then brushed himself off and smiled, proud of himself for defending his girlfriend's honor as well as her work, "I guess that's the end of that." He said cheerfully as he quickly caught up with his brothers and headed home, making sure to snag a few kisses of thanks from his girlfriend for protecting her hard work.
But it wasn't the end of that.
Every year after that, Larie would find Derek ready to mess with Ann's work only for him to get messed up by Larie. And every year Larie would tell him not to touch his girlfriend's work and Derek would ask why she'd chose to be Larie's girlfriend instead of his, Larie had different answers each year he had caught him:
Age 13: "Because she has taste."
Age 14: "Because you're a total ass."
Age 15: "Because, unlike you, we both have brains."
Age 16: "Because she likes guys with the balls to not break her stuff when she beats them at something." (Smirks) "And the dick to match."
Then at the last science fair, which was a few days after they officially became a couple, the two of them showed their jet boots and taser gloves and special helmet to the judges, they had Larie flying through the air and having arches of electricity spark between his fingers while Ann explained how the different pieces worked, winning them first place and leaving Derek once again with second.
They received a large trophy, a blue ribbon, a gold medal for each of them and, to Larie's surprise, a check for five thousand dollars. He looked at her, surprised at the large amount of money written on a check with his name on it, "Whoa, looks like education does pay."
Ann chuckled, and smiled, "Well, they needed some sort of encouragement so more students would want to participate, however, the prize money isn't a very well known fact." She explained.
Larie looked at the check, "Seriously, though, if I knew I could've gotten ten grand from winning this thing, I would have tried to beat you, too."
"The prize money is only five thousand dollars, Larie." Ann said, confused as too why he thought it was more. He looked at her, realization and surprise brightening his eyes, "I can't accept this…" he said, holding the check up to her, but she stopped him with a finger to his lips and a gentle shove of the check towards his chest, "This project was your idea, Larie, you built it with your own hands, and you even risked your own safety to test it. I may have assisted you, but you earned this. Not me. You." She said proudly. He opened his mouth to say that they had worked together so she deserved half of it, but knew just by the look on her face that she wasn't gonna take a single penny of that money and that he was accepting that check whether he liked it or not. He looked down at the check, "Well, maybe with this money, I can be the first Kanker to go to college." He said, looking up at his girlfriend with a small hopeful smile on his face, Ann smiled back at him and gave him a hug, "That sounds like a wonderful way to spend your well earned money." She said, giving him a peck on the cheek and making him blush as he shoved it into his wallet. They accepted many words of praise for their work, although it was clear that the nerds didn't like that he was there with Ann, but Larie felt pretty good about himself, last year these people had been snickering about his seemingly lack of brain power, and this year, not only was he working with the girl who beat them every year, who would always insist on working on her science fair project alone and beat them with ease, and was very pleased to be working with him, but that he had beaten them.
After they were rewarded for their work and given loads of praise, Ann left for a moment to use the restroom while Larie was packing up the last of their things to put it in the van, so they could take it back to Ann's house where it would be safe, when Derek stomped over to him, infuriated.
"How?" he demanded, "How did she beat me when she had trailer trash like you working with her?" Larie put the last of their hard work into a box and turned to him, smiling triumphantly, "What's the matter, Derek? Mad that you got outwitted by a girl and 'Trailer trash'?" he asked. Derek grinded his teeth together, making Larie feel even better about winning this thing with his girlfriend.
"You think you're clever, don't you?" Derek snapped at him, "Because you're not, the only reason you're here is because she needed a test monkey for those things and you were the closest she could get!"
Larie looked at him plainly, "Test monkey or not, she still chose me and not you." He said, then smirked at him and asked, "Jealous?" Derek's scowl deepened, but before he could reply, Ann returned back from the bathroom, and thanked Larie for packing everything up so quickly. He smiled at her, "Ready to go, Muffin?" he asked her as he wrapped one arm around her waist and the other around her lower back as he pulled her into a kiss that, to Derek's shock and horror, she happily returned as she wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers gingerly threading through his hair. Derek wasn't the only one horrified, many of the nerds from both Peach Creek and Lemon Brook had frozen in place, watching the two kiss with wide, stunned eyes.
When they finally parted, their faces pink and with wide smiles on their faces, she nodded cheerfully and he scooped up the box with one arm so they could leave, slipping the other around her shoulder, smiling as she leaned closer to him, her face still pink and covered in a wide smile as her arms looped across his chest into a side hug. Ann was telling Larie that on her way back to the gym that she had gotten a text from An asking if they wanted to join her, Jay, Sam, Jamie, Anny and Tee for dinner at Selina's that night, when Derek stepped between them and the exit, obviously upset and angry, "Why… why would you kiss… this guy, of all people?" he demanded to know. Ann looked surprised that he'd ask that, since for one thing, that her relationship with Larie was absolutely none of his business, and two, that it was really obvious. Despite both of these facts, she still answered his question:
"Because I like kissing him."
The gym silenced as soon as she said those words, the nerds hanging on her every word as she then, with a red face, added with a soft voice "And he is my boyfriend…" As soon as the word boyfriend left her lips, most of the nerds fell to their hands and knees and shouted, "NOOOO!" A few of them ran around shouting, "The Science Fair Maiden has fallen for the Trickery of the Wicked Kanker Brother! Oh, the horror!" Larie held Ann closer to him, defensively, concerned that one of the nerds might come after them, not that Larie would let them even lay a finger on his Ann without him ripping it off before they even got close, but still, it was better to be safe then sorry, Ann sure as hell wasn't complaining as she nervously pulled herself even closer towards him, scared at their reaction to her words.
After a few minutes of chaos, the nerds turned to them and one of them shouted, "WE WILL HAVE OUR REVENGE! VENGENCE ON THE ANS AND KANKERS!" Then they shouted 'Excelsior!' and ran around the gym like crazy people.
At that point, both Ann and Larie were completely weirded out and quickly backed out of the gym and drove to Selina's with a foot flat on the gas, glad that this was their last science fair with these weirdos and that they would soon be with better company.
(End of Flashback)
"So," Derek asked, looking Ann up and down, making her feeling uncomfortable as well as annoyed, "Are you here with that Neanderthal boyfriend of yours?" he asked, "Or did you come to your senses and dump that moron?" he suggested, leaning closer to her, much to her distaste. Larie was steaming with fury as he stomped over to them, Luca in his arms and the baby bag over his shoulder.
Ann crossed her arms, annoyed, "First of all, my boyfriend is not a Neanderthal, in fact, he's far more intelligent then you think you are." She said, matter-of-factly, making his cocky grin falter, "Second of all, I am here with Larie." She said.
"Oh, then where is that blue-haired buffoon?" he asked, putting on a tough act as he glanced around the room, not seeing that Larie was right behind him. Ann smiled knowingly as she replied, "Oh, I am so glad you asked," her smile then softened as she waved at the two behind Derek. Luca laughed cutely and called out, "Ann! Ann!" reaching for his cousin, pleased that she seemed to feel better now that they were close to her and Larie gave her a warm smile before Derek turned around slowly, realizing that Larie was right behind him, Larie looked at him with cold eyes and a snarl while the toddler in his arms was still calling out Ann's name and reaching for her.
Derek looked at Larie, then his eyes widened in horror at the sight of Luca, he looked back at Ann, concerned, "Did he force you to produce his demon spawn?" he asked, indicating Luca. Ann scowled at him, outraged at the accusation. "Luca is my cousin!" She snapped as Larie let the little boy down so he could waddle over and hug her legs and snuggle them while he angrily cracked his knuckles.
Did Derek just call his and Ann's future kids DEMON SPAWN?!
Larie was ready to beat Derek to a bloody pulp and toss him into the shark tanks, but Ann looked him in the eyes and shook her head ever so slightly, as if to say, 'he's not worth it', as she bent over and gently kissed her younger cousin's forehead.
Ann then further explained that, "His mothers both had something come up at work and couldn't take him to the Aquarium today, so they asked us to do it in their stead." She then scowled at Derek, "And Larie hasn't forced me to do anything, not that what happens in our relationship is any of your business!" she said sternly. "Now if you'll kindly excuse us." She said, taking the little boy's hand in hers and walked towards Larie, who took Luca's other hand and the two teens lifted him up and began gently swinging the little boy between them in the air, who began laughing and happily swinging his little feet in the air, enjoying himself immensely.
Once again, Larie couldn't help but wonder if they would do this with their own children. His parents had certainly never swung him between them like how he and Ann were swinging Luca right now, but it seemed like a natural thing for them to do. And, again, he imagined a little Allbert swinging between them like Luca was at that moment, laughing loudly and enjoying every moment he spent with his parents, his mop of blue hair flying behind him and his incoming teeth showing in his wide smile, revealing a gap between his growing two front teeth in his little mouth. He glanced up at Ann who was smiling warmly at her little cousin, then glanced back up at him, and her smile grew a little larger, the cute gap between her teeth finally showing as she looked at him, her eyes twinkling with love and pride. He felt his face turn red as he smiled back before they both looked down at little Luca, who was loving every moment of their current activity.
"So, I read that the next dolphin show is at two, and it's noon now, why don't we eat lunch and then check out that jellyfish exhibit that's in town before heading over there?" Ann suggested as they swung the joyful toddler between them, Larie nodded in agreement, "Sounds good to me, Ann" he said in a tender tone, his eyes soft, gentle and loving as he looked at her, making her flush.
Derek looked at the three of them, feeling confused and, to his disgust, that what he was seeing might become a common sight soon enough. (Author: roughly six years from now, when Allbert is born, but they'll still do things like this with Luca in the mean time, so he's not wrong.)
"So, An, after you decided to go out with Jay, how long did it take for you to go out on a date with him?" Jamie asked An as they finished up their fifth snowperson, this one a little girl, so they now had a little snow family and a giant snow dragon and a snow bench.
An paused, thinking, "About a week later he asked me out on a date."
"Oh!" Jamie cried, "How did he do it?" she asked eagerly. She loved hearing these kinds of stories.
"Well, we were in Video Game Club and Jenny was out sick that day…"
"Hey!" An and Jamie turned and saw Sam and Jay walk up, they were soaked and looked tired, but they obviously enjoyed themselves. Nate and Karen were heading inside Karen's house, probably to warm up.
"Hey!" the two girls replied cheerfully as the boys admired their handiwork. "Nice job." Jay said, giving An a peck on her cheek as he put his arm around her shoulder. An beamed with pride as she hugged him back before thanking him. Sam looked at Jamie, "So, what else did you guys do while we were having that snowball fight?" Sam asked. He had seen them talking, he just hoped that it wasn't about him, An and Jamie would often trade information about his life and after An asked about his bad test that he had been trying to hide from his parents and Jamie asked about this rash that he'd had on his back for a week in the cafeteria just as it got really quiet, he was starting to really feel wary of their new found friendship.
And, needless to say, their conversations about him was something he wanted less of.
Jamie brightened, "An was telling me how she and Jay started dating!" she said excitedly, "She was about to tell me about how he first asked her out!" Sam looked at Jay and An, "actually, I've been curious about that too." He said. An smiled at her little brother and looked up at Jay, "You wanna tell them the story?" she asked him. He nodded eagerly, "Okay! But why don't we do that inside over a cup of hot cocoa?" he suggested, indicating everyone's wet clothes. They all nodded in agreement and headed inside An and Sam's house.
Once they headed inside and dried off a bit and snuggled into the living room with mugs of hot cocoa warming up their hands, An rubbed where her chin might be, (Author: IF SHE HAD ONE!) "Now where was I?"
"You two were in video game club and Jenny was out sick!" Jamie reminded her. An smiled at her and said, "Oh yeah! Thanks, Jamie!" Jamie blushed a bit as An went on to say, "So it was just Jay and me in video game club…"
~The Question That Changed Everything~
~IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME YOU TWO!~
An and Jay were playing Super Smash Brothers on An's old Game Cube, they were playing against two characters in hard mode in a team match, both silent as they mashed buttons, only grunting or let out a snort of laughter as they played.
Normally they'd laugh and joke around, but today was not a normal day at Video Game Club for a few reasons.
The first reason was that Jenny was out sick, so they were all alone in the club room. Now, they had been alone in the room before and would be fine, but ever since An decided to give a relationship with Jay a shot, she had been a little nervous around him, well, more then she usually was outside of this classroom. But she would flush a bit when he kissed her, her knees went weak when he held her close and smirked, her heart beat like crazy whenever she saw him and she began sweating like crazy and whenever they touched, even if their skin had barely touched, the place his skin made contact with hers would tingle as if he was tickling her.
Simply put, she was more aware of him and it was really obvious, luckily it had been a very hot week, so her friends assumed that her blushing, sweating and weak knees were from the heat and, concerned, made her drink more fluids that week and made her sit in the shade often and would spurge on ice cream on the way home from school to cool her down.
Now as she sat next to him, jamming the buttons on her controllers with her thumbs, she felt her face burn, her heart race and her palms sweating like crazy, making the controller harder to hold onto. She wondered if she should just step up and ask him out herself, after all, this was the twenty first century, a girl could ask a guy out without it being a big deal.
Except, when she tried to open her mouth to do so, nothing came out.
If Jenny had been there, she could have gotten a conversation going and clear the air a bit of the romantic tension that was stifling the room and making it hard for An to breath, or maybe that was just because she was now overly aware of him next to her since she kinda sorta liked him back now and everything, she guessed that it was just a little overwhelming. But she was determined to act like she normally did, to play it cool so maybe Jay could manage to ask her, because she couldn't do it, heck she was hardly able to even greet him or talk normally with him when he came in and told her that Jenny was sick today so it would just be the two of them. She shouted all her responses nervously back at him and smiled awkwardly when she was done talking.
Oh, man, did she wish that Jenny could be there, to either talk about her new feelings and ask for advice or at least to joke around and lighten up the mood, both she and Jay were rigid as boards and hardly taking their eyes off of the screen, only glancing at the other every once in a while and turning pink when they'd get caught staring and quickly turn back to the screen.
Jay had noticed her reactions to him this week, he hoped that it was her slowly starting to like him too, but after hearing her friend's concerns that she needed to be more careful on such hot days like the ones they'd had recently, he resigned to the fact that it probably was the heat. But he still held on to a sliver of hope that she might, just might like him back. After all, she had said that she didn't hate him last week.
That was something, right?
He glanced over at her again and bit back a lovelorn sigh, he had no idea why it was so awkward between them today, it hadn't been if it ever been this awkward before Jenny joined them in the Video Game Club, back when it was just the two of them (since the other members had graduated), so why was it so awkward without her now?
Probably because An had been acting so weird around him since she told him that she didn't hate him last week. He wondered what was going on in her head. He wanted to ask, but when he had tried, nothing came out of his mouth.
Finally, after about ten minutes of awkward silence, they won the match and both let out a cheer as they jumped into the air, the silence aside, it had been a difficult battle, since they had been doing a ten stock (lives) match and they both only had one life left and had high damage, if it had come down to it, they both could have been easy knocked out of the stage and beaten, but they had somehow pulled through and hugged as their characters did a victory dance on the screen while the other characters clapped for them. They then quickly released each other once they realized that they had been hugging for five minutes straight, their faces bright red, 'It's now or never.' Jay thought, he then opened his mouth, and with everything he had, managed to let out a squeaky, "HeY An?" She looked at him, a small, self-conscious smile on her face, making his heart beat even faster then it already was as she replied, "Yeah, Jay?" her voice surprisingly soft and almost soothing to him, making him calm down enough to close his eyes and take in a deep breath before crying out, "W-Would like to go out on a date with me?!" his whole body shook after his inquiry left his mouth, his heart going a million miles a minute as he waited for her reply and he kept his eyes shut, not wanting to see any pity in her eyes if she turned him down.
Jay's eyes snapped open, his face so red it was glowing as he looked at her, her cheeks were pink and her smile was warm, her eyes were bright with joy. Jay pinched himself in the leg to make sure that this was real.
'ow.' He thought after he had pinched himself in the rear, then he thought: 'this is real, she really agreed to go on a date with me, this is really happening… HOLYSHIT!THISISREALLYHAPPENING!'
"Really?" he asked, just to make sure.
She nodded, "Uh huh!" she turned a deeper shade of pink and glanced down at her shoes as she began to trace shapes with her feet. "Actually, I've been kind of hoping you'd ask me out for a little while now…" she said shyly, giving him a small embarrassed smile, making steam scream out of his ears, due to his body was overheating from the cuteness of the pose and the joy from that statement. She chuckled at his red, steaming face, when he finally cooled down and could process what just happened, his mind reeled, "So uh, when is good for you?" he finally asked. An put her hand where her chin would be, "Hmmm," she mused, after a few minutes, she brightened, "How about Saturday?" she suggested.
"Uh huh…" she then paused, and quickly added, "Unless you're busy that day…" Jay threw up his hands in front of him and shook his head vigorously, "No! Saturday's perfect for me too, I just wanted to be sure." After he said that, he then put one arm down and rubbed the back of his head, "Uh, is it okay for me to pick you up at your house at eleven?" then when he noticed An opening her mouth, he quickly clarified, "In the morning." She nodded happily in agreement, "Okay!"
They both stood there, broad smiles on their pink faces until a honk was heard outside and made them both jump, it was from the retro van.
They knew that because after the horn had been honked they then heard, "COME ON LUMPY! LET'S GO!" Followed by "Anny! That was completely unnecessary!" then "Whatever, COME ON AN! WE'RE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER OUT HERE!"
The two quickly unplugged everything and put her Game Cube and game in her backpack, then they stood by the door.
"Uh, I'd say I'd see you on Saturday, but since we have school tomorrow and Friday I'll see you then too, so…" An gave him a hug, making him stop talking and making his mind go blank as his face glowed red and steam poured out of his ears again, his hands were soaked with sweat, his head felt light and his heart was beating faster then a hummingbird flapped its wings (Author: the fastest recorded is eighty flaps per second. So his heart is beating pretty damn fast). She let go and waved to him as she skipped towards the door, "See you soon, Jay!" she called back to him sweetly. Jay could only smile dreamily and sigh happily in response as he waved back deciding that today was probably the best day of his entire life.
An hopped into the van and closed the door behind her, "What took you so long, Lumpy?"
"I was talking to a boy," An said vaguely, not wanting to reveal who, "Can we go to the mall today? I want to get some new clothes."
Her friends looked surprised at her brief reply, but then smiled knowingly at her request to go to the mall. "Gonna dress to impress, An?" Anny teased. An blushed but nodded, "Uh huh." Double-N started up the van, "I don't suppose you'll tell us this mystery gentleman's name?" she asked her.
"Nope." An said, she then looked at her friend's faces in the rearview mirror, she could tell that they were curious, but would leave her be, they were really good about that with her, mainly because she had gone on a few dates with some of Rachel's livestock over the years and were pleased that An was finally going on a date with a boy, of her own species no less!
An was grateful for their acceptance of her silence on her mystery crush's identity, since she knew her feelings for Jay would not be well received.
Meanwhile, Jay finally made it outside, looking pretty pleased with himself as he floated to the pick up, where his brothers were waiting for him.
"What are you so happy about?" Tee asked him.
"I got two hugs from An today." Jay said dreamily. He wasn't lying, but he didn't want his brothers to know about his date with An. Although they'd be ecstatic for him and he really wanted to, they might accidently inform Anny and Double-N about it before Saturday, and that could end badly.
So he would keep his mouth shut about their date to his brothers, at least for now.
The information about hugs from An made his brother's raise their eyebrows, impressed. Although a hug wasn't much, it was rare for any of them to receive any form of affection from any of their Ans, but An had hugged Jay before, always after they had beat a really hard game together, but her doing it twice in one day had never happened before, so they could understand why their brother was so happy.
"Hey, can you drop me off at Grandma's? She'll want to hear all about it!"
"It's two hugs, Jay, Grandma will want more then that." Larie said, rolling his eyes.
"Aw, it's fine," Tee said with a wave of his hand, "It'll keep her off of our backs about not progressing with our Ans for a little while." He said, sounding a little sad about that statement. Larie winced, but nodded.
It wasn't like they were trying to fail so much at wooing them it was just… they just liked them so much that their common sense would just spontaneously throw itself out the closest window and let them go after the Ans with everything they had and just made the girls like them less.
His brothers dropped him off at their grandma's house and told him to call them when he was ready to come home. Jay nodded and waved good bye to his brothers, playing it cool until they were out of sight. Then he dashed to the door and began bashing on it with his fists, "GRANDMA! GRANDMA!" he cried, unable to keep in his excitement and glee any longer. He needed to tell somebody about the best thing that had ever happened to him, and since he couldn't tell his brothers, his grandma was the only person he could confide in.
Gladys Kanker opened the door, panicked, "Jay? What is it? What's wrong?" she asked, worried by the way Jay had basically did a drum solo on her door, thinking that something was wrong.
"I got a date with An!" he cried happily. She relaxed a bit, pleased that he was fine then lit up and ushered him inside, ordering him to tell her everything and "Don't you dare think about holding a single detail back from me, I want to know everything!" Jay nodded cheerfully as he entered her house.
After settling in on the couch and telling her what happened, in very great detail, she gave him a big hug, "I'm very proud of you, Jay. It must have taken a lot of courage to ask her out."
"Yeah, it did." He said, his grandmother released him as he started to bounce up and down in his seat, "I still can't believe she said yes! This has to be the best day of my life!" he gushed happily as he began bouncing on his couch cushion.
"Do you have a plan to sweep her off her feet?" she asked him. He nodded eagerly, "Yeah my plan is…"
"AN? SAM?" a voice interrupted An and Jay's flashback.
(flash back interrupted?)
An and Sam's dad came inside, "I'm home!" he called in, then was surprised to see them sitting in a circle, "What are you guys talking about?"
"An and Jay were telling us how they started dating!" Jamie said cheerfully. Jay turned pale as the man narrowed his eyes at him, "Oh, and what happened so far?"
"An agreed to go on a date with Jay!" Jamie said, "It was cute!"
The man looked at Jamie, trying to decipher if that meant that it was cute in a normal way or not. After all, this was Jamie, the girl who thought that when the Kanker brothers had pretended to marry the Ans when they were twelve and parade them around for everyone in the cul-de-sac to see was 'so romantic!'
So the man was cautious to know what she meant by 'cute'.
"Jay was at the part where he was telling his Grandma, Dad." An explained, "He was about to tell her what he was planning to do for our first date."
"Which was...?" Her father asked, taking a seat next to Sam.
"Well…" Jay said, blushing.
"Well, my plan is…"
"An, Sam? I'm home!" their mother sang.
(Flash back interrupted. AGAIN?!)
(Author: SON OF A $%&*#! CAN'T I GET THROUGH THIS FLASHBACK WITHOUT SOMEONE INTERRUPTING $$%&*&^%&*$^%$^*$^$ %#^$%! * takes a deep breath* okay, it's okay… you just need to breathe, go to Anny and Tee, just go to Anny and Tee and don't destroy anything… (Author suddenly grows to enormous size and finds herself randomly in Tokyo, she shrugs) Well since I'm huge and here, I might as well… (Author goes on to rampage through Tokyo for about ten minutes before randomly shrinking back down and randomly back in her house) well that was random, but it worked, I'm not as angry anymore. Now, to Anny and Tee!)
The studio's New Years Eve party was a small one, but it was full of energy.
Most of the teachers were older women (the rest were in their early and mid twenties, Tee's pretty much the only guy instructor there), had saw Anny on the news last week during that horrible hostage situation at the mall and recognized her as Tee's teaching assistant and wanted to know what had happened in the mall on Christmas Eve, and much like Gladys, they liked their stories with as much back story and detail as possible, Anny was happy to oblige while Tee helped himself to snacks and piped in every once in a while to give them more information.
After Anny was done, the women clapped for them, joking that they should probably teach 'That's My Horse' to others as a self defense class as well as a dance.
"Hey, we liked it and it worked for us." Anny replied with a laugh. Tee then excused himself to the bathroom, leaving Anny alone with the other women.
Anny waited until he was out of ear shot before looking at the women and asking, "Okay, I need to know, how did Tee start dancing in the first place?" the older women looked at her for a minute, confused, then they started to chuckle.
"He started because he and his brothers wanted to impress you and your friends after a Sadie Hawkins dance didn't work out the way they had hoped…" (Author: see 'May I have this An' for details, it's as fun as a bun on a rug in a jug… (pauses) I've been writing in An's perspective for longer then I should have…)
~How Tee Got His Groove~
(Author: Yeah, I know, I'm super original with these titles)
The three Kanker brothers were waiting in the lobby, bored out of their minds. Since the school was completely destroyed after the dance last week, they had been bumming out in the cul-de-sac almost every day, harassing their girls, bullying whoever picked on them and basically enjoying their time off.
Today their Dad wanted them to spend some time with their grandma, but since she had work, they had to come too. The brothers groaned and flushed with embarrassment as countless girls passed, pointing at the them and giggling.
"This. Sucks." Larie huffed, his arms crossed as he leaned against the wall.
"Why do they keep laughing at us?" Jay asked his brothers, fiddling with his fingers nervously.
"Aw, don't pay attention to 'um." Tee said dismissively with a wave of his hand, "We have better things to do."
"Like what?" Larie asked, "In case you haven't noticed, there's nothing to do here, unless you wanna cause trouble and make Grandma mad." The three boys shivered at the thought of angering their grandma. They had only seen their grandma angry once, and it was at an old teacher of their Dad's who hadn't really liked him that much, they were at a grocery store when the teacher spotted them and made a comment about their Dad being a bigger screw up then he thought. Gladys Kanker went on to trash him and the entire store before calmly checking out as if nothing was wrong.
Needless to say this demonstration lead to them being on their best behavior around their grandma, not that they weren't doing that already, but still, it was better to be safe then sorry.
"We can come up with a way to get our girls while we're stuck here, I mean, it's not like we have anything better to do." Tee said, indicating the lack of stimulation around them, Larie shrugged in agreement. Jay then lit up, "And maybe we can ask these girls for advice too!" he suggested excitedly, indicating a new group of giggling girls that just entered the studio.
One of the older girls heard him and walked up to him, "Advise about what?" she asked, catching them by surprise and making them jump. After a quick recovery, Jay smiled up at the girl and said, "We like these girls and wanna impress them, do you have any ideas on how we could do that?" he asked hopefully. His brothers motioned for him to stop talking, their faces bright red, but it was too late, the deed had been done. There was nothing left to do but hear what she had to say. Tee and Larie looked at her with embarrassed crimson faces and Jay looked up at her with eyes filled with eager excitement.
The girl thought about it, trying to hold back a smile at how cute it was that these boys were trying to impress the girls they liked and how embarrassed Tee and Larie were to ask for help, after a moment, she finally replied, "Well, personally, I think it would be impressive if a boy would dance with me." She said.
The Kankers looked at her, as if concerned. "Like ballet?" Larie asked, as if it was something gross. Tee and Jay pretended to gag and barf at the word, clutching their stomachs and letting their tongues hang out of their mouths.
She laughed, "No, no, no. I mean like waltzing or doing the conga with someone, you know, like those dances the princes and princesses do at the end of a fairy tale? Something that would make me feel as if I was being swept off my feet and romanced without much need to say anything. That would impress me." She explained. A few other girls came up and agreed, listing a few other dances as well.
The brothers processed this a moment, if they knew how to dance in a way that could sweep the Ans off their feet, maybe they could impress them and make them more affectionate and less teasing (although they did like their little games, recently it was becoming a little stale, and they wanted more kisses and less chases). It would also ensure that the next school dance would not end like the last one, although the destroying the school part was kinda nice, since they were off of school now for a while until they finished repairs. The fact that they could do that without saying a lot of mushy words was an added bonus, since they weren't really all that good with that kind of thing.
But here was the thing, how could they learn how to dance it wasn't like they were in a… oh wait… they were...
"So you're saying we should learn how to dance to impress them." Tee said. The girls nodded. "We could teach you!" one of them said cheerfully.
"Yeah! It'll be fun!" another giggled.
"We'll help you make those girls so impressed you might even get a kiss from them!" Another girl assured.
The brothers' faces turned pink and large smiles crept up their faces at that guarantee, they could get kisses from their Ans by learning how to dance? That they could be on the receiving end for once? That maybe they could even, ~gasp~, MAKE OUT?
"We're in!" they said in enthusiastic unison, making the older girls giggle as they lead them into a classroom and started teaching them how to dance, making them blush when they told them to hold one of the girl's hands or to put their hands on their waists, even Larie, who tried tearing off Double-N's skirt at almost every chance he got, was hesitant and bashful when he was told to put his hand on a girl's waist, but he later explained to his brothers that he only felt comfortable touching a girl's waist was when the girl was Double-N, any other girl and it felt wrong to him, like he was betraying her or something.
Tee was able to quickly learn how to do every dance the girls showed him, based entirely on observing them do it only once or through very brief instructions.
Larie and Jay were not that lucky, Jay more then Larie since he was so clumsy, but they all managed to at least learn how to waltz before the girls had to leave for their classes. They giggled and waved good bye at the boys and told them that they hoped they'd see them soon. The brothers waved back, pleased to have learned a skill that would help them get their Ans, until they saw their grandma smirking in the doorway, then they flushed with embarrassment and pulled their shirts over their heads.
"I can still see you." She teased.
"Can you close your eyes?" Jay asked hopefully.
"No." she replied.
"Please?" he asked nicely, using a word that the Kanker brothers hardly ever used.
"Not a chance." She then walked into the room, "So what are you three up to now?" They looked at their toes as they made shapes with them on the floor, after a few minutes of awkward silence, they finally looked up at their grandma with a sigh, "We thought if we learned how to dance then maybe at the next dance we can impress the Ans and they'll wanna dance with us." Tee finally admitted.
"And not Nate." Larie added bitterly, still miffed about Nate dragging his girl onto the dance floor last week and getting to dance with her when he had so desperately wanted to do that himself.
Their grandma looked at them for a minute, "Your schools still a wreck, right?"
"Yeah." They replied.
"Well, how about you come here every other day until it's fixed, the girls will be happy to teach you in the mean time and hopefully at the next dance, you can dance with your Ans instead of having to sit on the sidelines while someone else does." Gladys said. The boys lit up a bit, excited that they could learn more dances to impress the Ans with. Because, in their minds, the more dances they learned meant that there would be more kisses they could earn.
"Okay!" they cried in unison.
"Yeah, but we didn't have anymore dances while we were in Jr. High." Anny explained, "After that dance, they waited until my friends and I and the Kankers were gone before having another one." She then rubbed the back of her head, "I guess they figured if we went to another dance we'd destroy the place again."
"We know." The women replied in unison.
"They were so crushed when they graduated middle school that they didn't have another chance to dance with you three."
"And in high school too, we heard that another one was cancelled due to budget cuts!" (Author: see chapter 5 for details)
"Yeah, we really didn't learn about their dancing skills until the beginning of this school year." Anny said sheepishly, not noticing Tee standing behind her, "So how did Tee start working here anyway?" she asked. Tee made cutting motions with his hands in front of his throat, silently pleading them to stay quiet. The women simply smiled defiantly and one of them began to speak, "Tee had always been a good dancer, probably got it from his Mama, so he'd usually have to help Larie and Jay learn new dance moves and styles. You've met his brothers, you know how hard that must have been." Anny nodded, Larie could be a bit stubborn and proud and Jay was klutzy and overeager, they probably had been a handful to teach.
"So one day, Linda got sick and couldn't teach her class, the boys were about, hmm, fourteen or so, anyway, they were practicing in an empty studio when this happened and no one else could really teach them since they were so picky about their teacher, so Gladys begged Tee to help out. He agreed and we got to work, we pulled his hair back so the girls would listen and pay attention to him and quickly went over what they were supposed to learn that day and told him to let them hit on him." Anny's eye twitched with annoyance at that part. The women noticed that and gave her a guilty smile, "Sorry, darling," one of the teachers said, "but we were desperate and wanted them to pay attention to what he had to say and well, you know how well those eyes of his work on women."
"Yeah, I know." She said, annoyed. His fan girls had relented with the tacks in her shoes and laxatives in her water bottles and such, but they had since moved onto hate mail, which would now pour out of her locker whenever she opened it. She mainly dumped it into the recycling bin, but sometimes there would be sharp things inside and she'd open up the note and dump it into the trash before tossing it into the recycling. She had a lot of paper cuts on her fingers because of this, but luckily Tee was good about kissing them and making them feel better.
"Anyway, he was a big hit with those girls and soon they were all asking for him. And then we kept getting more and more girls asking for him to teach them so we offered him a job."
"He refused at first, said it was embarrassing, but then his Dad lost one of his jobs and they needed some sort of second cash flow to stay a float until he found another one, so Tee took it and he's been here ever since."
Tee face palmed, he didn't want Anny to know about any of that stuff, it was embarrassing! Anny turned to look at him, "That's pretty cool how you stepped up for your family, Tee." She said, impressed. He blushed at her words, much to his co-workers amusement, "Someone had to do it, and Larie's not good with customer service and Jay's a klutz so…" he shrugged, "it's not like it's a big deal."
"It is a big deal, you should be proud of yourself, not a lot of people can take on the responsibility of helping provide for their families without it effecting other parts of their lives, but you did." She said, irritated that he would try and down grade his noble act. She then strolled across the room and grabbed some food to munch on, leaving Tee at the mercy of the older women alone.
He pouted at them, embarrassed, "You guys are as bad as Grandma." He said flatly. They smiled and shrugged, "We get our kicks where we can." They replied, then one called out to Anny, "So what happened at that dance in middle school to destroy the school?" Anny walked back with a smirk and said, "Well, let's see, you want me to start from when me and my friends found out about that dance or…"
Tee sighed and went to grab some more food, this was going to be a looong party.
An and Sam's parents were now sitting with the teens, eagerly awaiting to hear the story of An and Jay's first date. (Author: so was everyone else, UNTIL THEY WERE INTERRUPTED!) "So, what happened the day of your date?" An's mother asked, doing everything she could not to bounce up and down in her seat.
"Well…" An said, "On the day of the date I got up really early to get ready…"
(Author: *takes a deep breath * okay, I'm gonna try this again and if someone interrupts me again, I'm gonna go either King Kong or Godzilla on something... Actually, I already went Godzilla on something, so maybe King Kong for the next one.)
~The Date ~
(Author: it was a long date, okay?)
An glanced at the clock in her bedroom, it was almost eleven am, when Jay was due to arrive and she was nervous, but in a good way. She glanced at herself in her mirror, she had taken a real shower with water instead of gravy and scrubbed her skin with a washcloth, (Author: yup, she really wanted this date to go well, but don't worry, she 'forgot' to use soap) and was wearing the cute outfit she had bought at the Mall with her friends' approval, it had a v-neck black and white stripped blouse with a nice brown belt that wrapped around her stomach and a red skirt that went down to her knees and she wore cute black boots to go with it. Her hair was pulled back into a pretty twisted bun with some old chopsticks that she had painted black and white stripes on and wore a red necklace with a matching bracelet that Anny and Double-N had given to her for her sixteenth birthday last year.
She checked her make up again, mainly because she hardly ever applied it on herself, normally when An had make up on, Anny would apply it for her, however, An doubted that Anny would help her look nice for a date with Jay, so she did it herself. She felt that she did pretty well with the application of it. She had applied some faint eye shadow and blush to accentuate her features, like how Anny had taught her, she also put a little mascara on, somehow managing not to poke herself in the eye like she normally did, nor did she forget to take off her glasses when she was putting it on and smear the black gunk on the lenses (AGAIN), and she had red lipstick on her lips.
The lipstick was something new for An, she had bought it a long time ago, but hardly ever wore it, (mainly so it wouldn't end up getting smeared onto Jay's lips when he'd force them onto hers) she looked at her red lips for a moment, wondering if she should go without it, since it made her lips more noticeable and with Jay, that hadn't really ever been a good thing in the past.
She was about to wipe it off with the back of her hand when the doorbell rang.
An snatched up her purse and dashed up the stairs, shouting, "I GOT IT, I GOT IT!" mainly so Sam (who was the only one home at the time since her mom had gone grocery shopping and her dad had gone out to play basketball with some co-workers) wouldn't open it up and see Jay there and freak out.
Sam had been about to open the door when he heard his sister dash up the steps, shouting that she 'got it', when she finally made it onto the first floor, his jaw nearly dropped, she actually looked, well, nice. Her hair was pulled back and her clothes were clean (gasp) and neat (double gasp), she was wearing make up (triple gasp) and she looked as if… did she bathe in something other then gravy? Sam was stunned, An never did that. What the heck was going on here?
An looked at her brother with nervous eyes, "I got it, Sam." She said, sounding a little out of breath.
"Are you going somewhere?" Sam asked, confused as to why his slob of a sister was all dolled up.
"Yeah, I'm going on a date." She said cheerfully. Sam looked at her with flat eyes, "Are you going on a date with Winifred again?" he asked. An shook her head, "No, I'm going out with a boy from school today." It wasn't technically a lie, but she knew Sam and Jay didn't have that great a history either, so she decided to leave out as much information about her date as possible other then that he was a boy and they went to the same school.
"A boy." Her brother repeated in disbelief, "From school?"
"Yeah, I'll tell you about it when I get home, okay?" she promised as she passed him, quickly dashing to the door, opening it a bit and sliding out of the house and closing it behind her, insuring that her brother wouldn't see who her date was, leaving him standing there, stunned. He then shook his head, "Rachel probably got a new goat or something…" he murmured before heading over to the kitchen to make himself an early lunch before going over to Jamie's house to hang out.
Jay stood at An's doorway, anxiously biting his lip with his buckteeth, he glanced back and forth, he knew that most of the inhabitants of the cul-de-sac had slept in and were all probably just getting up for the day right around now, the only exceptions probably being Rachel, Jenny and Double-N, but Rachel and Jenny wouldn't really care what he was doing there as long as he didn't cause trouble and Double-N usually stayed on her own property and do her chores and homework and stuff until Anny and An were awake, then they would hang out or study or do whatever they wanted to do that day.
But still, Jay wanted to be sure that they weren't seen. The last thing he needed was someone to sound an alarm that a Kanker was in the cul-de-sac and get chased off by An's best friends before An got out of her house. He nervously tugged at his clothing, which was a nice light blue polo and tan slacks. His toes wiggling with anticipation in his tennis shoes, which he wore due to the fact that he out grew his more formal shoes and hadn't had time to go get new ones.
He looked at the daffodil in his hands, was the flower too much? He certainly hoped not, he had nearly lost his hand when he plucked it from his hook-handed neighbor's garden as he left the trailer that morning to pick An up for their date. (Author: he then decided to buy flowers for An from that moment on, it would leave a dent in his wallet, but it was much safer)
Was his hair neat? Most of it was in his usual ponytail and he didn't have any awkward hairs sticking out anywhere, at least he hadn't when he had left the house earlier, he couldn't say anything for sure about that now.
Was he under dressed? Was he over dressed? Should he have put on more cologne? Less? More deodorant? Less? Did he shave well enough this morning? Did he remember to use toothpaste when he brushed his teeth this morning? Should he have showered this morning instead of last night? Would she be mad about his shoes? Should he have called about this stuff first? Did he even know what he was even doing?
He felt like a mess as he stood on her front porch, these questions and more popping into his head while he sweat like crazy, he then took a deep breath and pushed the doorbell and shook as he stood in a pool of his own nervous sweat, waiting for An to open the door so they could go on their date, the flower's stem slowly getting crushed in his hands as the milliseconds passed by.
"I GOT IT, I GOT IT!" he heard from inside, relaxing a bit that it was An's voice, then he stiffened, was someone else home with her?
He hadn't considered that, panic began to bubble in his belly.
What if her parents were still home? He wasn't ready to officially meet her parents (since he had seen them a few times over the years and vice versa, but they were never formally introduced), especially since this was their first date, he was anxious enough already just waiting at her front door for her, he had no idea how he'd manage if one of her parents opened the door. Oh God, would he have to sit inside with her dad for a bit before An was ready to go? Jay had heard horror stories from the other football players about some of the things their date's fathers would say or do to threaten them, it sounded terrifying.
Or what if her friends had been there ahead of time to see her off on her date? He could see Anny or Double-N taking one look at him, shouting "KANKER!" and slamming the door in his face and forcing An to take shelter inside or take her out the back, leaving him standing here like an idiot with the daffodil still clutched in his hand.
Or worse, what if her brother was home?
He began to shake harder. It wasn't because he was scared of Sam, oh no, he wasn't scared of An's brother, Jay wasn't really scared of anyone, it was a benefit of being a Kanker, people feared him, it was never the other way around. (except maybe An's dad, but being scared of your date's dad was normal, especially since An and Sam had such monstrous strength and there was a fifty-fifty shot that they had gotten that from their dad.)
It was just that he and Sam weren't the best of friends nor on the best of terms, mainly because Jay had beaten the snot out of him more then once, usually because the kid had deserved it, but still, there was a chance that Sam could slam the door in Jay's face and not let An go on a date with him, after all, Jay had kinda harassed her for a few years, and since An was very loving to her little brother and often did as he asked, that could be bad, at least with Anny and Double-N, he could make them think that his brothers were nearby and scare them off so he could take An on their date, but that wouldn't work on Sam, not in a way that could be to his benefit anyway. Jay shifted from foot to foot, he couldn't blame Sam if he did slam the door in his face and tell An not to go out with him, if he was in Sam's position, he probably wouldn't let An go out with him either, he'd want to protect his sister from the guy who had been pouncing on her since they were kids. So Jay silently prayed that An would answer the door and they could go on their date with no problem.
The door opened and Jay's eyes widened.
Evidently his prayer was answered and then some.
An slipped through the door and quickly closed it behind her, then gave him a big, sweet smile, "Hi Jay!" she said cheerfully.
Jay tried to say hi back but all that came out was air as his jaw dropped and he looked her up and down, trying not to pass out from pure joy of how nice she looked for their date.
To say she looked beautiful would be the world's biggest understatement to Jay Kanker at that moment in time.
His eyes seemed to bounce up and down in his eye sockets as he tried to take everything in without pouncing on her and sending her scurrying back inside, her red lips seeming to catch his attention most of all. An, in the whole time he had knew her, hardly ever wore lipstick, except that time when the Ans were trying to use reverse psychology on them when she had asked him to 'dial her for love!' as Tee lifted up the phone to call the cops and get the girls out of their trailer until he could think up a way for them to regain control over the situation, only to pick up the receiver and her head, her lips smeared with bright red lipstick. (Author: A Twist of An, the first converted episode I ever did, read it, review it, love it.)
After a few minutes of ogling at his date, he blushed, ashamed that he was acting like a perv and held up the flower for her, "Hi An, uh, here, this is for you." He said, his voice a little shaky and nervous, but sincere. An carefully took the flower and smiled as she tucked it behind her ear and slipped it past the red temples of her glasses (Author: temples are the thingys that hold the glasses up to your face) so her glasses were holding the flower in place. "How does it look?" she asked. A big goofy grin crawled up Jay's face, "You look great An." he said dreamily. An blushed at his compliment and gave a shy smile back, "Thanks, you look nice too." She replied shyly, swaying from side to side cutely.
They both stood there for a minute, allowing themselves to adjust to the other's company, their faces red, then Jay slowly offered his hand, "Uh, ready to go, An?" he asked bashfully. An's face lit up with a big smile, "Okay!" she said cheerfully as she took his hand. Both of them paused for a moment as their hands began tingling like crazy at the other's touch, the feeling quickly shooting up their arms and making their hearts beat like crazy while also managing to make them feel warm and fuzzy and safe, as if nothing could hurt them as long as they were together.
They both turned pink and let the feeling overwhelm their senses until they both realized that soon the others of the cul-de-sac would crawl out of their homes and spot them, so, with fluttering hearts and flushed faces, Jay lead her towards the woods, the light dimming a bit from the shadows of the trees and it becoming darker as Jay lead her further into the forest, but An didn't mind that it got darker or that she had no idea where they were headed, because she had the warm tingling feeling of Jay's hand intertwined with hers, making her feel safe and making her heart feel warmer and lighter as Jay lead her into the unknown.
The unknown was actually a lot brighter then An had thought it would be as Jay lead her through the forest and up a hill with a single large tree on the top of it, when they arrived on the top, An saw a checkered cloth with a basket on it, Jay motioned for her to look ahead, and her breath caught in her throat.
The hill oversaw a field of colorful and beautiful wild flowers that An had never known about, despite living here her whole life and her and her friends exploring most of the areas around their homes for years while setting up scams and going on adventures. Butterflies and bees seemed to frolic through the field, fluttering from one flower to the next.
"This is my special place!" Jay announced, as he then took a seat on the checkered cloth, he smiled and patted on the spot beside him, indicating that she could sit down and suggesting a nice spot to do so.
An eagerly sat beside him, placing her purse next to the basket, "Special place?" she asked, curious as to what he meant by that.
"Yeah, it's where I go when I need some peace and quiet to think away from the trailer." He gave her a sheepish smile and a shrug, "It's home and all, but it's kinda loud and there isn't really much space for any of us to have some privacy or a place where we can go to be alone, so we each found one in the woods."
"Is it okay that I'm here?" An asked, a little nervous for encroaching on his special place, Jay laughed, "An, I wouldn't have brought you here if I didn't feel comfortable with it, besides, I don't mind sharing this place with you. But you have to keep it a secret." He said, putting his finger to his smiling lips so it rested on his buckteeth, "Okay?" he asked her. An smiled and nodded, covering her mouth with both hands.
"Good." He said, then he fell back so he was lying on his back, a large smile on his face as he did so. An thought about it for a moment before deciding to lie down too, only it was a bit uncomfortable with her hair pulled back into a bun on the back of her head and the chopsticks poking her, so she sat up, frowning with annoyance, Jay noticed her expression and sat up, concerned about why she looked a little angry, only to watch as she tugged the pins out of her hair and the strands of scarlet gracefully fell down her back and bounced on her shoulders, almost as if in slow motion, her face melting from one of annoyance to one of relaxation and relief.
Jay felt his face burn and his heart rate speed up, 'is there anything that she does that isn't graceful and beautiful?' He wondered.
But her grace, as well as her beauty, were two of the billions of reasons he loved her so much. His movements were clumsy and awkward, he had known that since he was a young child, but An, even when falling on her face, had an air of grace to her that Jay could only watch with longing, and then run over to see if she was okay and sometimes trip and fall on his own face in the process.
An then noticed him staring and flushed, "it's hard to lie down comfortably with these," she held up her hair accessories, "poking your head." Jay nodded in understanding and she put them in her purse and the two laid back down and felt a soft wind gently brush past them.
It was pleasant and relaxing, just lying there together, they didn't say anything or even keep their eyes open, they didn't really need to. The cool breeze on this warm day and the sound of the bees and butterflies fluttering through the flowers, along with the sound of the other's breathing, was all they needed for a while, which was surprising to An since normally to have a good time like this she needed constant stimulation or her best friends nearby. But for some reason, being with Jay calmed her, which was really surprising to her since normally Jay invoked the opposite feeling, but she was just fine laying on the checkered cloth alone with him, without talking or thinking about anything in particular, but simply enjoying his company.
An suddenly felt Jay's fingers slowly and gently slip between her own, she felt her face burn, but didn't get up to witness it and risk ruining the good time she was having with him or spook him so he'd let go and cut off the sweet tingling sensation that was crawling up her arm and warming her heart. So, instead, she gently closed her hand, with Jay's fingers still stuck between her own, and gently squeezed, letting him know that she was fine and enjoying this quiet time with him.
Until the silence was broken when both of their stomachs growled. The two teens eyes popped open, their faces bright red with embarrassment, they both turned to one another to apologize for wrecking the silence, only for them to see the other with their mouth open probably about to say the same thing. Then they both started to laugh, letting the small bit of unease that had built up after their stomachs both growled slip away.
"It's a good thing I packed us a lunch." Jay said as he sat up, a little laughter still in his voice, he then opened up the basket and began pulling out sandwiches, An sat up as well, still chuckling. When he finished pulling out all the food from the basket, An looked at the food and then at him, "Did you make all this yourself?" she asked him.
He flushed, "How did you know that?" An shrugged, "You made lunch for me before, when we first met, remember?"
That statement took Jay a moment, since he remembered their first meeting in the museum when they were six, and the Ans had bought the six of them lunch, but then remembered that the Ans considered their first meeting with them when he and his brothers had moved in and they had awoken in their trailer. He remembered he and his brothers making the Ans food after finally introducing themselves (like they were supposed to in the first place but didn't) and explaining that they had 'found' them in the mud and that their clothes were drying outside. He cringed a bit at the memory of he and his brothers making the Ans food and shoving random items inside of it, in retrospect, he could see why they'd had trouble paying attention to them, after all they were trying to eat something that had non-edible things inside of them and had to pick those things out or else risk choking on them.
"Oh, yeah." He said, rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. An looked at him and then she remembered how rude she and her friends had been to them after they had made them food. "I'm sorry about that, by the way." An said quickly, "we were kinda rude..."
"An, you three apologized for that already, remember?" An nodded, but still looked a bit ashamed, "We still should've treated you guys better then." She said sadly.
"An, we got over that a long time ago." Jay said softly, "And besides," he held up a sandwich, "Unlike last time, you don't have to pick random things out of your teeth when you eat this." An chuckled a bit as he handed it to her.
"Do you like cooking?" An asked him before taking a bite. Jay nodded as he helped himself to a sandwich, "Yeah, I wanna go to cooking school and be a chef." He said proudly as he took a bite. "What about you?" he asked her. An swallowed her bite and thought about it for a second, then said, "I like watching movies so I wanna be a part of them some day." She said softly.
"You mean like acting or filming them?" he asked. An shrugged, "Anything, really, although…" she flushed, "Even though we stopped doing scams, I'd always liked it when Anny, Double-N and I made cool places and stuff for them, that was fun, and I liked it when we made costumes too, so maybe doing stuff like that." Jay smiled as he recalled all the cool stuff the Ans had made for their scams, as much trouble it got them into, he thought they were cool too. "I think you'd be good at that stuff, An." She blushed, "Thanks!" she held up her sandwich, "And this is really good! I think you'll be a great chef!" It was Jay's turn to blush, "Thanks, An." he replied bashfully as he took another bite.
"How did you get into cooking?" An asked him as she enjoyed another bite of her sandwich.
"Uh, my mom liked cooking, only she hardly ever got to do it, she was a model and they're supposed to be skinny and stuff so she didn't get a chance to do that kinda thing very often, and she'd always be really happy when she cooked for us. I liked helping her cook and soon I wanted to learn how to too, so I started watching a few cooking shows and writing down recipes and stuff, Larie and Tee thought it was stupid, but since I can make dinner out of whatever we can scrounge out of our fridge, they let me do as I please with it." Jay explained, he then turned pink, "And since I'm clumsy and usually wreck stuff, it's nice to make something that people can enjoy for a change." An gently patted his hand, "I wreck stuff too, don't worry about it, most broken things can be fixed." She assured him. He nodded and looked out onto the field below with An, both enjoying their lunch and looking out onto the sea of wild flowers below.
End of Flashback
(Author: at least this part of it.)
"Well isn't that romantic!" An's mother cried, and then stood up, "Well, I'm going to get started on dinner, you two can tell us the rest of the story during dinner."
"Rest of the story?" An's dad and brother asked in confused unison.
"Well, yeah." Jay said, "We were out most of the day for that date, that was only the beginning of it."
"I'll help, Mom." An volunteered, "The faster we get dinner done the faster we can go back to telling the story!"
"Great idea, An!" Jay exclaimed, making An blush, "I'll help too!" he then looked at his girlfriend's mother bashfully, "If that's okay with you, ma'am."
An's mother pouted and waved her hand, "Please call me Angela." She said plainly, "or Miss Angela which ever you decided, either one is better then being called 'Ma'am'."
"Yes ma'- I mean Mrs. Angela." Jay quickly corrected himself and gave her an apologetic smile.
Jamie grabbed Sam's hand and rose them both into the air, "We'll help too!" An and Sam's mother smiled and ushered everyone (including her husband, who hadn't volunteered for this but she had dragged him along by the ear with a 'Come on, Tim!') into the kitchen and started giving out instructions as they all pulled out all the things they'd need to get dinner started. Angela then wondered if she could get An and Jay to tell them more about their date while they worked on dinner…
Larie, Ann and Luca had a fun day at the aquarium, after dealing with Derek, they had lunch and went to check out the jellyfish exhibit, admiring the floating creatures as they seemed to pulse towards in any direction that the water wanted to take them, Luca wanted to touch them, but was upset when he learned that there was a wall of glass keeping him from doing so, Ann had to explain that jellyfish could sting and it could hurt, so they didn't want him to touch it and risk injury. They then went to the dolphin show, making sure to sit up out of the splash zone, and Luca squealed with delight as the dolphins did tricks for fish. He clapped like crazy after each trick, crying out 'Snova!' after each one, making the teens chuckle. He wanted to get splashed by the water from the tank, but Ann didn't want to return him to his mothers soaking wet, so Larie scooped him up and walked closer to the splash zone, getting his hands wet and a few drops of water on his shirt. Luca laughed and bounced in Larie's arms, and, for a second, he saw a little boy with blue hair and a gap-toothed smile looking up at him, holding up his wet hands for Larie's inspection. Larie smiled as Allbert's smiling face faded back into Luca's and lifted him up and carried him back to Ann, who Luca showed his wet hands to as well.
After the dolphin show and Ann wiping his hands with a wet wipe, (because, like the fish in the aquarium, the dolphins went to the bathroom in their tanks too) Luca yawned and rubbed his eyes, while he was having a blast, he was still only two and was in need of a nice nap, he was drowsy when Ann and Larie carried him into the gift shop and bought him a stuffed dolphin that he clutched close to his chest as they walked toward the van in the parking lot, Magnet and his car in his backpack. He fell asleep in his car seat on the way back to Ann's house, still holding the dolphin. Where they accidently woke him up and dealt with a grumpy Luca when they had arrived back and were trying to remove him from the seat without waking him, after realizing of their failure, they then quickly scooped him up, grabbed their things and headed inside.
Luca fell back asleep with his head on Ann's lap while she gently stroked his hair off his forehead and Larie had retrieved a blanket from a chest in the living room to drape over the snoozing child, which he quickly snuggled into with a small smile on his face, and put his dolphin into his toy filled backpack on the floor by Ann's feet.
Larie looked at the two for a moment, his face pink as he, for the upteenth time today, imagined a little Allbert in Luca's place, grasping at Ann's skirt with his little pudgy hands and drooling a bit on her with a gap-toothed smile on his face as she would gently stroke stray blue hairs off of his forehead while he slept.
It seemed natural that Ann was doing something so motherly to him, her own smile was tender and loving as Luca curled up closer to her, his hands relaxing a bit as she hummed to him. Larie sat down with them and just enjoyed watching them be, they were like that for an hour before the doorbell rang and jolted Luca from his sleep and made him start to cry. Ann began comforting him while Larie went to the door and opened it to Luca's anxious mothers, "What's wrong?" Miranda asked. "Is Luca okay?" Fiona asked.
"Everything's fine. Luca was taking a nap when the doorbell woke him up and scared him." Larie explained as he ushered them inside. A softly sobbing Luca looked towards Larie as he came into the room with Miranda and Fiona behind him, Ann smiled and gently took the toddler's hand and said, "Look, Luca, it's your mothers!" Luca reached for them, a small, quivering smile on his tear-stained face at the sight of his mommies.
Larie saw a little Allbert again in Luca's place, so it looked as if Allbert had missed him and was happy to see him home, he resisted the urge to run to his girlfriend and her cousin, what he would even do when he reached them, he had no idea, but he had a feeling that it would be strange to everyone else, luckily neither Ann nor her aunts noticed him become stiff as a board and bite his lip. 'What's going on with me today?' Larie asked himself.
The two women dashed towards their little boy, lifted them out of their niece's arms and began covering him with kisses, making him laugh vibrantly and wiggle around as they began ticking him.
"Thank you both again for watching him on such short notice." Miranda said, obviously tired. Fiona nodded in exhausted agreement, "Yeah, today turned out to be a cra-"
"Fi…" Miranda warned.
"poo shoot for us." She corrected, "So did you three have fun at the aquarium?" They nodded.
"Luca's favorite part seemed to be the dolphin show." Ann said cheerfully.
"Oh really?" Fiona asked as they put their son down so he was standing on the floor, "You liked the dolphins, huh? Did they jump through hoops?" Luca nodded vigorously and ran to his backpack (where he figured the teens had put his new toy) and pulled out the dolphin stuffed animal Ann and Larie had gotten him, he then held the toy up to his mothers and hopped into the air, making them chuckle from the cuteness of his act. "Wow! They jumped that high?" Miranda asked him excitedly, Luca nodded and jumped again, giggled, and basically acted too cute for words.
He then walked over to his mothers, held the dolphin up to his mothers and said, "Snova!"
"I believe he means he wants to go back there with you two soon." Ann translated. Her aunts pulled their baby into their arms and cuddled him, their eyes misty with un-spilt tears of absolute joy. Larie slid beside his girlfriend and stood with her, both smiling at the happy family. After a few minutes, the group hug was disbanded and Fiona looked at the teens, "Have you three eaten dinner yet?"
"No, not yet." Ann replied.
"Then grabs your coats kids, we're all eating out, unless you two have plans…"
"We're going to a party later, but it doesn't start until about eleven, so we're good." Larie explained. "I should probably call my parents, though." Ann said thoughtfully.
"You can call on the way," Fiona said as teens grabbed their coats and followed them out to their car, "I'm starved and the bas…"
"Fiiiiii…" Miranda warned.
"Jerk I met with today picked to meet me at one of the most expensive restaurants in town, ordered before he even called me, ate enough food to feed a small country, so I basically was left with water to enjoy while he complained about the food and demanded I do something about it."
"Did you do something?" Larie asked as they hopped in and buckled Luca, then themselves in.
"Yeah, I got up and found our waiter on the other side of the restaurant and told him to get the whole staff to spit on his food more." Fiona explained as she started the car, making Larie chuckle and Ann and Miranda look stunned that she would do such a thing, "He then gave me his bill, said that I should cover his tab since he came all the way from France to meet me. It was six hundred bucks! Who eats six hundred bucks worth of food and expects the person they called to meet, without any kind of warning, to pay for it?" she asked, outraged.
"Are you not going to do the job?" Ann asked her aunt.
"Oh, I'm doing the job, the pay for this is huge, and he said he'd send his private jet to pick up twelve of my staff as well as my family and take us to France and put us up at his five star hotel in the heart of Paris and use any service we wanted, free of charge, and we'd arrive a week before the wedding and stay there until the couple is off on their honeymoon, then the jet would take us home. It's a big job in a short period of time, but it's nothing I haven't done before. I'll send the 'happy couple' various options on flowers and such in the mean time." Fiona said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
"But what if they decide to cancel?" Larie asked, "After all, you said this guy was a piece of work."
"He's contracted to take us there and back via his private plane and to put us up at his hotel for a specific amount of time, so if one of them decides to cancel, he has to let us stay and do whatever we want for the rest of that time, and he's not allowed to throw us out at midnight or anything either without breaking his contract." Fiona explained.
"Whoa." Larie murmured, impressed. Fiona smirked, "Kid, I planned one of the best lawyers in the world's wedding, so she's very good about making sure I can't get screwed over by people like this guy."
"Yes, well, that should be very nice, Aunt Fiona, and I'm sure you three will have fun there after work, there's an abundance of amazing things in Paris!" Ann said cheerfully, excited for them. One of her biggest dreams was to travel around the world, and Paris was such an exciting and beautiful place, she was actually a little envious of her aunt's good fortune. She then looked at Miranda, "And how was your work today?" Miranda groaned, fatigued, "Where do I start?" she asked.
The meal was a pleasant one at a small diner not too far from the cul-de-sac, Miranda told them all about the twenty small tattoos the client had wanted all over their body, and how much detail they wanted in each one. She had done it and it was to the client's and her own satisfaction, and she had been paid handsomely for her work, but after all that, she decided to give herself tomorrow off. After that, Larie and Ann told them all about the aquarium and how much fun Luca had, they didn't mention how after the 'tour' they gave all those other people had said that they had a 'beautiful child', the last thing they wanted was for those two to make fun of them.
When Larie mentioned Derek and what he had called Luca, both women went from exhausted to enraged.
"I'm gonna castrate that little…"
"I'm just saying, look at him!" she pointed to the two-year-old in the booster seat in the middle of their booth, who was currently sucking on his spoon and drooling all over himself, "Who would call a child that utterly adorable something like that?"
Luca pulled his drool covered spoon and banged it on the table, accidently knocking his cup of milk all over him and Ann's skirt. "Oh dear…" Ann said, luckily she had put her napkin in her lap, but it was a thin one so it barely stopped the milk from starting to soak into her skirt. Luca began to fuss from the cold milk absorbing into his once warm and dry clothes.
"Sorry, Ann!" both her aunts said in unison, frantically grabbing their own napkins and either handing them to her or dabbing their son, Larie handed her his as well.
"It's quite alright," she said, dabbing at her skirt with the thin napkins, "it was an accident, however, perhaps we should get Luca and I cleaned up in the restroom." Ann suggested. Miranda quickly scooped Luca up and they walked to the bathroom.
Larie and Fiona were silent for a moment in the booth as they asked the waitress for some paper towels to soak up the rest of the milk, then Larie said, "I've beaten that guy up once a year for trying to wreck Ann's science fair projects since we were about twelve years old…" he flushed, "And for hitting on her." Fiona didn't look surprised about that kid hitting on her niece, but the part about Derek trying to trash her science fair projects made her snarl, "the only reason I didn't beat the living shit out of him at the aquarium and toss him into the shark tanks was because of Ann and Luca, but next time I see him I'm gonna rip him in two." Larie finished, the last words he said were filled with rage and hatred. Fiona tapped at the table-top with her fingernails, "That kid musta busted the ones before then, Miranda and I went to help pack up her projects, from fourth grade to sixth grade, her parents were barely able to manage to come to the first three ones to help her with that, but we'd find her project trashed and her friends would hold her as she cried that it had happened 'again'."
"Again?" Larie angrily repeated, violently banging his fists onto the table top and wishing that Derek would walk through the door so he could bash his face in.
The waitress nervously handed them the paper towels and dashed off, fearful of the angry faces at the table. Larie and Fiona took a moment to cool down while wiping up the spilt milk on the seats and the floor before continuing their conversation.
"Yeah, apparently it started in second grade, the prick probably figured she won the first time because she was the only girl who signed up for it. When she won again, he probably broke it to make himself feel better. When she kept winning, he probably did that as a way to feel more powerful, that even though she had won, he still had the last laugh." Fiona explained, "Miranda had to hold me back when I saw her little super magnet that she had been so excited for us to see smashed to pieces on the floor when she was in fourth grade, I was shouting at the Principle about how the heck that could happen if the school was all locked up and how when I found who did it, kid or not, I'd kick his ass." She paused, curious, "How did he do it? Did he break in, or…?"
"He'd do it before the bus would take them back to Lemon Brook, after she won and would be leaving to go home." Larie explained, "The only reason I know that was cause I went back to look at her project one last time when we were twelve and he looked angry and was reaching for her project like he was gonna smash it."
Fiona smirked, "And what did you do to him?"
"Twisted him like a pretzel after telling him off and then threw him into the air so he crashed inside the bus as it left." Larie replied proudly. Fiona chuckled, then she glanced back at the girl's bathroom door, then leaned forward, "Does Ann know…?"
"No, she just knows him as an annoying flirty asswad, nothing more, nothing less." Larie said firmly, "I had no idea this had been happening before, so I figured that if I told her, she might not believe me. Plus, she obviously worked really hard on it, I wasn't gonna let him break her things and make her cry."
"You realize you could have started dating her sooner if you told her who had been doing it." Fiona pointed out. Larie shrugged, "Well, there's nothing I can do about that now, and, in my defense, I kept thinking he might smarten up enough or at least grow up enough that he wouldn't try to do something as stupid and cruel as that again, I mean, I'm no angel or anything, but I'd never break someone's hard work just cause they beat me at something." He said coldly, "Especially if you supposedly have a 'crush' on them." He added angrily, shaking a bit with anger at the way that guy had hurt his girlfriend before he moved here.
"Yeah well, next time you see that punk, give me a call, I'll help you get rid of the body." Fiona said. Larie smiled impishly and held out his hand, "Look forward to it." he replied. Fiona took it and shook it, "Same here, Larie, same here." Smiling at the fact that he had no idea that her phone was on and that her wife, son and niece had just heard everything he had just said in the women's bathroom.
Ann stood there, frozen, unsure what to say about this new information, but, as she thought about it, it should have been obvious who had done the deed, however, normally she was so upset about her project being destroyed that she couldn't even register blame, honestly she left that to Anny, who would rant about all the horrible things she'd do to the guy who broke her things, while An would hold her sobbing friend close and gently pat her on the back, not saying anything and just listening to her sobs of 'why would someone do this?'
She remembered the day after that science fair when she was twelve very clearly, she had been so wrapped up in her victory the day before that she had forgotten about the vandal who would destroy her work every year, she had hardly slept a wink that night and had come back to the school the next day with her aunts, her stomach feeling like lead as she pictured her special flower she had worked on for months, torn to shreds in a shattered pot on the floor. The thought made her want to cry.
But, to her shock and joy, her project was still in one piece. She was delighted that her project had made it out in one piece this year, An and Anny had run over to her project as soon as they arrived, to start the ranting and comforting, all to see her show her Aunts her registered and homemade flower, "I call it a Blue Wedding Bell." She told her aunts proudly and held up an official Horticultural Foundation as well as several scientific botany community approved packet of seeds, she then flipped it over on the back to show the words on the back with her picture, "I'm the youngest person who has ever created and named their own flower!" Her aunts clapped proudly at her, only for her to hold both things out for them, "Here, this one is for you! Happy Anniversary!" she had said, watching her aunts' expressions go from surprised to touched in a matter of moments, they hugged their niece and thanked her for her sweet gift.
"I might need to start putting this as an option for my clients." Fiona said, "After all, how many wedding planners' nieces have made a flower? Not to mention the name has the word 'wedding' right in it, I'll need to get my florist right on this." She said, holding up the seed packet.
"And I might need some sketches to display in my shop, I bet this could bring in plenty of new female clients." Miranda said cheerfully, holding up the plant. Ann beamed with pride that her creation could be used to make so many people happy. Her friends dashed over, "Glad to see that your project was left alone this year, Sockhead." Anny said with a smirk, "The jerk probably heard what I'd do to him if I caught him and ran scared! Ha!"
"I'm glad your flower is still okay, Double-N." An said cheerfully, "Its really pretty!"
Ann smiled at them, grateful that she had such wonderful friends, however, looking past them she saw the Kanker brothers walking past a few other projects not taken down yet with their volcano, Jay and Tee hadn't seen them, but she saw that Larie had noticed her presence, stopped and looked right at her and her table, however, his look seemed to be stern, as if he was inspecting something, but as to what it was, she really couldn't say for sure. Once he seemed satisfied, he relaxed a bit and smiled, relieved, then seemed to finally notice her staring and gave her his classic, up-to-no-good-grin and a small nod and continued on his way out behind his brothers, looking pleased with himself.
Ann had wondered what he had been so relieved about and why he didn't attack her, but since he was leaving her alone, she figured she'd let him be.
He did that for the next couple of years, always signing up for the science fair when he clearly did not really care too much about it or really want to bother with it, and being interested in her project and basically warding off some of the more… flirtatious of her competition, and always inspecting her still intact project the next day from afar. Ann had been cautious of this behavior, but again, since he didn't attack her (at least during the fair near her project) and basically was helping her out, she never questioned his actions or behavior.
But now she understood exactly what he had been doing:
He had been making sure no one messed with her or her project and punished anyone who did.
She felt guilty for being ignorant of his kind acts back then and a little stupid for not realizing that earlier, but at the same time, Larie never warned her or said anything about anyone trying to destroy her work, he'd never offered to protect her projects for her, nor had he ever told her about how he'd beat Derek up for trying to break her things. He had just done it.
Her Aunt Fiona was right, if she'd had known how he had been helping her, it was very possible that they might have started going out sooner, but Larie had said nothing and silently acted as her guardian angel. Ann then began to wonder how many other times he had protected her without her realizing it.
Ann smiled, feeling truly blessed to not only have wonderful friends and family, but a very sweet and caring boyfriend.
Dinner had been finished in record time and the table set in a flash. They then sat down at the table, piled food onto their plates and dug in.
Sam then looked at his older sister and her boyfriend, "So after the picnic, what did you two do?" he asked.
The two teens paused mid bite and looked thoughtful for a moment before An said, "Well…"
~An and Jay's Date Part 2~
(Author: I warned you that this was one long ass date)
After an hour of admiring the flower-filled meadow below their picnic spot, they finished lunch quickly (since the food was really good) and chatted for a while, talking about anything and everything on their minds, not minding if they sounded silly or not. After the hour had passed, Jay hopped up to his feet and stretched, once he was limber once more, he held out his hand for An, who frowned sadly at the gesture, "Aww, is our date over?" she asked, upset that their good time together had been so brief and fleeting. Jay smiled at the fact that she was disappointed that they would have to part, and cheerfully replied, "Nope, this date's just getting started!"
An instantly brightened and snatched up her purse and eagerly grabbed his hand, after how well their date had gone so far, she was excited to see what Jay had in store for her next. Jay pulled her up to her feet and then lead her through the forest, both of them smiling at the tingling sensations they felt at the other's touch.
To An's surprise, Jay lead them out into the main part of town and towards a movie theater, where they started having one theater show old movies, the film would change every week or so and today was a double feature of Godzilla and Godzilla 2. An began bouncing up and down on her toes, she hadn't seen those movies in ages, she'd seen all the other Godzilla movies plenty of times, but the first two weren't played all that often on TV.
"Come on!" Jay exclaimed as he pulled her inside, "I already have our tickets!" he said, pulling out two pink tickets out of his pants pocket with his free hand and handing it to the man taking them inside after grabbing a medium popcorn and two small sodas that were served in two large popcorn containers with really long straws.
They then sat right up in the front row, which was empty so they got to sit in the center, giving them the best seats in the house, the theater wasn't too crowded but it wasn't empty either. An and Jay cheered for Godzilla and would mimic the monster noises and screams of the poor citizens of Tokyo who fled the giant lizard destroying their city. The other occupants of the theater started telling them off, only for Jay to pop up from his seat and glared at the people behind them with the scariest and angriest face he could muster, the light from the projector making the feared Kanker look even scarier, it didn't hurt that Godzilla was roaring behind him.
After that, An and Jay were allowed to do as they pleased during the film, since everyone else fled after seeing his angry face.
"What's with them?" An asked as she heard the other occupants of their theater get up and leave, fearful of what the Kanker might do to them if they protested his and his date's fun.
"Maybe it's too scary for them." Jay suggested with a shrug, not able to hide his smile that not only could they enjoy themselves without any interruption, but that now they were all alone in a dark room.
He then shook his head, his face flushed. Larie was rubbing off on him more then he would like to admit, what next, was he gonna watch her change through her bedroom window too?
While he wondered if perversion was contagious, he reached into their popcorn to grab a handful, not noticing An reach inside at the same time, only realizing that fact after their fingers touched and feeling that warm tingly feeling shoot up their arms and making their hearts race. They both jerked their arms back, surprised, then looked at each other with flushed faces, not that the other could tell very well in the dim glow from the movie before them. They then awkwardly looked back up at the screen, letting their nerves get the better of them.
They had spent the rest of the first Godzilla movie being super aware of each other, getting flustered and flipping out for no reason, making both of them glad that they were the only ones left in the theater.
It was ten minutes into the second movie when Jay decided to make his move, he slowly and carefully, as to not startle his date, moved his arm so it was up in the air, as if he was stretching, then he nervously lowered it so it was draped over her shoulder, his face turning pink the moment he felt his arm make contact.
An stiffened at his touch, surprised by his actions, she had managed to re-engross herself in the movie, letting herself relax and calming back down, she glanced over at him to see him staring at her, giving her an awkward buck toothed smile, as if to ask, 'is this okay?' An let herself relax and smiled back, assuring him that she was fine with this. They then both looked back up at the screen and watched the film.
After a little while, they both reached for more popcorn at the same time again, with Jay using his other hand since the one he had used before was now wrapped around An, and, like the last time, their fingers touched. Only before Jay could pull his hand back and apologize and ask if she wanted some (which was a stupid question when one actually thought about it, but when on a first date, most people are nervous as hell and just trying not to screw up) he felt her fingers slip through his and gently close. His face turned scarlet and his heart throbbed excitedly in his chest, his hands began sweating like crazy. He looked up to apologize for it, since he really didn't know what else to say, only for him to see her looking at him, almost hurt, then quickly turn back to the movie. Jay was barely able to make out the pink in her cheeks due to the dim light, but he saw her quickly glance down at their hands before looking back up at the screen, then he finally understood what she was thinking.
She wanted to know if he wanted to hold hands again.
He quickly closed his fingers over her hand and gave her hand a gentle squeeze and smiled at her when she bashfully turned to face him again, silently letting her know that he'd always want to hold hands with her again. Her face turned so red that it was easy to see, even when it was mostly dark in the theater, she faced the film again, trying to hide her blushing face, only for the film to have mostly light tones in it and reveal her ruby red face to him. Jay accidently let out a chuckle, making An turn back at him, curious and a little hurt that he was laughing at her.
"Sorry, you're just so cute when you're all shy." He said, feeling himself become more and more timid as the words left his lips. By the time he had finished the sentence, he was so embarrassed that he wanted to just dig a hole and curl up in it and hide.
"You think I'm cute?" An asked, sounding pleasantly surprised by his statement while Jay was more surprised by her reaction, then shyily replied, "Well, yeah, who wouldn't?" he asked. An frowned slightly and rubbed her arm slowly, as if trying to make herself feel better, "you'd be surprised." She said softly.
Jay frowned, "An, have people been picking on you?" he asked, determined to crush anyone who made his girl feel insecure about herself.
"No… not anymore…" she said in a quiet voice, "It was before I moved here, before I met Anny and Double-N. I used to get picked on for everything, they used to say that I was ugly and stupid and…" tears began to well up in her eyes at the memory of the bullying she endured as a child. Jay pulled a napkin from his pocket and carefully wiped at the ones starting to fall, "That's a bunch of bunk, An." he said firmly, "You're pretty and nice and graceful and caring and strong and they're the idiots for making fun of ya."
An looked up at him, stunned that he was saying such nice stuff about her after her basically running away from him for years, she felt a rush of guilt, sadness, and anger at herself for not trying to let such a nice person in before. She pulled him into a tight hug and buried her face in his chest and began to cry, catching him by surprise, his arms out on either side and his face frozen with dread, fearful that he had messed up.
"Thank you, Jay." He heard her whisper, she looked up at him with a bit of her make up running down her face and that a little bit had smeared onto his shirt. He didn't mind, in fact, his mind was kinda too busy processing the next words out of her red lips, "That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me." She then buried her face back into his shirt, "Thank you." She murmured as he felt her hot tears soak into his shirt, his face was glowing red as he carefully held her close.
After about twenty minutes of An's crying, she then got up and went to the bathroom to wash off some of the make up that had smeared, leaving Jay to sink back into his seat and reflect on his date so far.
They'd held hands a lot.
They had a nice romantic meal and fun conversations.
He'd managed to put his arm around her shoulders.
And then he inadvertently made her cry. He had also gotten a hug for telling her something that to him was completely obvious but apparently, wasn't well known to her.
At that moment, Jay decided that he should compliment her more often. Not just because of the hug, (although he had to admit that he had thoroughly enjoyed that little perk) but because An was so wonderful and perfect and she deserved to know that, she deserved to know that all the time.
An then came back into the theater and sat down beside him, and, to his complete shock and ultimate joy, she wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder before looking up at the screen.
Jay turned bright red and steam flew out of his ears, his heart began pounding against his chest as if to say, 'AN, COME HERE! LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH JAY LOVES YOU!' It took him a minute to finally wrap his arms around her and lean his head against hers. He wasn't really paying any attention to the movie anymore, he was too busy enjoying her company as well as her embrace, breathing in the scent of her (freshly roasted chicken and gravy) and hoping that the second Godzilla movie was a really long one.
End of the second part of this flashback
(Author: I told you it's a long ass date.)
After dinner they took their plates inside to wash up and An asked her mother if it was okay if she showed Jay how to make monkey bread and if that could be their dessert that night. Angela nodded cheerfully as she watched her daughter drag Jay into the kitchen.
"But I want to hear how the rest of this date went during dessert!" she called to them.
"Me too!" Jamie cried cheerfully.
Sam and his dad looked at the two females, stunned, "The date's still not over?"
"No." they replied, as if it was obvious.
"Now long is this date?" Tim asked.
"We have no idea." The women replied in unison.
"Then how do you know it's not over?" Sam asked.
"Cause they haven't said anything about what happened when Jay took her home." Angela said plainly.
"Yeah, we haven't heard anything about why he was screaming around midnight about how that was 'the best day of his whole life'." Jamie agreed, "You two seriously didn't remember that?"
Sam and Tim both shook their heads, Jamie and Angela looked at one another with half-lidded eyes and rolled them backwards at the same time, "Men." They scoffed in unison.
After a loooong party at the Studio, Tee was glad to be driving back towards home, with Anny in the passengers seat beside him.
Anny and the other instructors quickly became pals, swapping stories about him, much to his chagrin, honestly, he needed to start pulling for more male teachers or sign those women up for dating sites or something, cause he was the only one at that party with a Y chromosome, so he ended up hanging near the snacks while the women went on and on about his life and feeling like a total idiot for coming and an even bigger total idiot for bringing Anny with him. He should have known it would end up like that. He needed to stop thinking that any female in his life would go easy on him, he was getting really tired of being proven wrong.
Although, the fact that she came in a slinky black dress that hugged her curves in all the right places gave him at least something sexy to look at while he was mindlessly shoving food in his face to avoid being teased by the flock of women before him.
A familiar song started playing on the radio that made Tee's lips curl up his cheeks and glance at Anny, who was smiling as she recalled all the facts she now knew about her boyfriend. "If you wanna try me on, don't think we're together, I change like the weather…"
"Hey, Anny." He said, trying to keep the laughter out of his voice, but failing, "Do I know this song?" he asked, trying to sound as if he was innocently inquiring instead of instigating a little revenge for her blabbing about all his screw ups to his co-workers. She looked at him, confused by the question, then saw the smirk on his face and realized what was happening, "I dunno, do you?" she quickly replied, looking out the window to avoid further eye contact, her face pink with embarrassment as she recalled when they had last heard this song together.
"You know, I think I do." Tee said, still pretending to be innocent, he glanced at her, a devious glint in his eyes, "I think you do too."
"No I don't!" Anny snapped.
"Yes you do." Tee teased, abandoning his ploy and just starting to prod at her with his taunts, he hadn't done anything like this in a while, and, although Anny normally had always blown up at him for it, he had to admit that he had missed being the one who could, no matter how much she tried to hide it, push her buttons like no one else could, making her explode with rage, but he always somehow was able to win an argument or tease her while she had no other recourse other then to sit/stand there and take it.
He got to watch as she scrunched her face up into a pout and when her eyebrows bounced a bit on her face before she would shout at him at the top of her lungs. He was the one who could poke and prod with no regrets or retribution, since he normally pinned her or managed to make her so angry that she'd charge him and make it that much easier to grab and smooch.
Anny frowned, she knew exactly why he was doing this, she knew this was payback for all the stuff she had said at the party, but she didn't want to apologize for telling the other women all the things he did as a kid, mainly because it allowed her to learn more about her boyfriend. Because, unlike him, she hadn't been stalking her-now-significant-other for the past four-five years, she had actually gone to great lengths to avoid him, not that it did much, but still, before they started dating, she was blissfully ignorant in the ways of Tee Kanker.
Once she had started going out with him, she realized that, besides a few random facts gleaned from her interactions with him and the bits and pieces Gladys had told her before hand and, she knew very little about her boyfriend.
She knew a lot more now then she did when she had first started dating him, talking to his dad and grandma had helped a lot, the fact that her best friends could get anything out of his brothers was also a huge help, but still, she knew that his co-workers would at least know something about him that she could learn…
That and it was nice to be the one who got what they wanted despite the other's discomfort for once. She had enjoyed watching him squirm while she told the women about the Sadie Hawkins dance fiasco, he was actually kind of cute like that, wincing and pouting and his left eyebrow twitching slightly when she'd mention how he was a part of that fiasco, even though he did get an angry and jealous Larie away from her, which she did tell them, but still, he wouldn't have had to sort of rescue her if he hadn't taunted his brother in the first place (information that she had gotten from An, since she was still woozy from Karen's punch at that time).
"I do not." Anny insisted, her face now bright red and her face pulled into a pout, Tee felt his heart begin to pick up speed, he had almost forgotten how cute she was when she was when she did that.
"Do so." He then smirked at her, "Don't you remember?" he asked her, enjoying being the one telling the embarrassing stories instead of being the one they were about.
(Author: I couldn't think of a better title for this one so leave me alone. This flashback happens during their junior year of high school)
The Kanker brothers were stalking through the halls, looking for their girlfriends, it was after school, but during one of Larie's trips through the vents above the girl's locker room earlier that day, he overheard them talking about staying after to continue to work on Double-N's newest project (Author: that she would go on and win the science fair with, Derek would try to break and Larie would beat the shit out of him for trying to wreck it).
They had started their search at the science labs and classrooms, then they moved on to the math classrooms, the gym, the courtyard, the football field, the baseball field, the cafeteria and the music rooms.
Then they went to the theater doors and saw a handwritten sign on the front that said, 'Please Refrain from Making too much Noise, Performance in Progress.' Larie smiled, "That's my Muffin's handwriting." He said eagerly, although, the fact that it said to 'please refrain from making too much noise' instead of just telling them to shut the fuck up was just as obvious a sign that she had written it as her handwriting was, although she was the only one in school who actually wrote in cursive.
They silently slipped inside and lurked in the darkness, where the seats were, while all the stage lights were on, revealing that the Ans were setting up a bunch of equipment on several tables on stage. On the tables were several different colored water glasses placed with a camera and a weird looking gage pointed at each one. After they had set everything up, An and Double-N hopped off stage while Anny stood in the center of the stage where a Q sat (Author: Double-N had found the middle of the stage and had asked An to put an X on it, but instead, like the episode where she tried to summon Evil Jim, she put a Q there and made both of her friends face palm when Anny shouted that she couldn't find the X and An complimented Double-N on her X, saying that 'it looks just like a Q') and called out, "Whenever you two are ready, just give me the signal!" An and Double-N nodded, not that Anny could see with all those lights in her face.
Now the Kankers had no idea what the girls were doing or what Anny was talking about, all they knew was that they were all alone with their girls in a dark place and that was enough to make their faces break out into devious grins.
Anny stood on the stage, ready for her friends hands to pop up from the edge of the stage and then squat there until she finished one round, then look at the results, then keep going.
She decided that now was a better time then any to start warming up. She took a deep breath and started to sing a song that had been stuck in her head last night from a commercial, she and her friends had looked up the lyrics so she knew the song pretty well now.
"If you wanna try me on." She sang, "Don't think we're together, I change like the weather. If you wanna try me on, stop the conversatin', don't cha keep me waitin'…"
Tee, who had climbed up on the side of the stage and slipped under the curtain and had been making his way towards Anny, froze at the sound of her voice.
He had no idea that Anny sang in general, the fact that she sounded like an angel when she sang just made it all the more shocking and sent his heart pounding in sync with her song, as if she was singing to the beating of his own heart. He wanted to pounce on her so baaaddd, but he was frozen in place, he couldn't move, she had mesmerized him with her voice and now he was standing behind her on stage, gaping at her, his jaw hanging down from his face.
"You've got my attention!" Anny sang, getting into it and enjoying herself, "If you wanna try me on, stop the conversatin' , don't cha keep me waiting...!"
"KANKERS!" she heard her friends cry from the sea of darkness beyond the stage.
Anny's eyes widened and she glanced back and forth, trying to see where her friends were, but kept getting blinded, then she realized that since she was on stage, it would be a lot easier for Tee to find her and tackle her to the ground. She bit her lip, if he tackled her and knocked her into one of the tables, the Kankers could wreck Double-N's whole project, and they had been working on this for weeks, although Double-N had been working on it for much longer then that, designing the tests and how they could measure everything and such, and they were so close to being done testing her theory so she could see the results and finish the stupid project and take a break already, Double-N was so close to passing out from exhaustion from this. Anny couldn't let all their hard work get wrecked.
She glared out into the lights and hissed, "Come out, Kanker! And do it quietly, cause if you or your stupid brothers fuck up Double-N's project, I'm gonna…"
Tee snapped out of the spell he had fallen under and remembered that he was here for one reason, and one reason only, and as much as he liked hearing her sing, he liked kissing her more, but still, he was curious by what Anny meant by, "Project?" Tee asked loudly from behind her, Anny jumped and turned around, scowling at him.
"Double-N's science fair project, dumbass, we're helping her out." Anny growled, "And keep your fucking voice down!"
"Why should I?" he replied, speaking louder then he had before on purpose.
"Cause you're gonna fuck up her results!" Anny whispered harshly, "This project is about sound, I don't know much about the details, ask Double-N, she can explain this shit better then I can."
Tee nodded and motioned for her to follow him, she did, begrudgingly. They then separated the other two pairs so Double-N could explain her project. (Tee was just gonna separate Larie and Double-N, but An was crying and he could tell that she was close to wailing and that could mess up Double-N's project so he had Jay get off of her too.)
"The premise of this project is to see at what pitch and what volume a particular sound has to be to make a certain material shatter or break." Double-N explained softly, "Sound waves bounce off materials and sometimes can cause damage, if we know what particular volume and pitch, we can evaluate what kind of materials to use for particular places and items and study how sound waves effect different materials."
"So we need to be quiet and careful or else we might screw up your results?" Larie guessed. Double-N nodded, "Precisely."
"So what kind of things have you done so far?" Tee asked in a soft voice, wanting to know when this whole thing could be over so he and his brothers could get a little lovin' from their girls without messing up Double-N's project.
"Well, over the past three weeks we've tested several kinds of sounds a few times and we're almost done." Double-N informed them, "We just need Anny to sing one more time and then we're done." Then, after noting the gleam in Larie's eyes and seeing a glimmer of light flashing across his upper lip, which she knew for a fact was the silver stud in his tongue, she then added, "Although, we'll have to secure the data the cameras and machines have picked up and put away the equipment and clean up and such before we're technically finished…"
"We'll help." Tee said quickly. The Ans and his brothers looked at him, confused.
"And why would you do that?" Anny asked, suspicious and wary of Tee's words.
"Cause the faster this gets done, the faster we can have some fun without wrecking Double-N's project." He said plainly.
"And you care about her project all of a sudden because…?"
"Because we're not total assholes who would wreck something you girls made."
"Never stopped you three when we were kids." Anny pointed out.
"You made those scams in a day, and you hardly really cared that much about 'um, this is different. You've been working this apparently for three weeks and obviously would get really upset if we wrecked it, we're not gonna mess this up." Tee said, a little annoyed that he had to actually say that out loud. Anny glared at him for a moment, then let out a sigh, "Fine. A lot of this equipment is heavy anyway. But if any of you screw this up…"
"Trust me, Anny, we make Double-N cry and Larie will be kicking all three of our asses for you." Tee assured her. The Ans seemed surprised by this news but said nothing. The six of them stood there, avoiding eye contact for a moment and letting an awkward silence settle over them before it was blissfully broken.
"So, what do we do now?" Jay asked.
"Well, Anny will go up on stage and sing, and we'll be sitting along the floor over there monitoring the glasses via the wireless link the cameras have to my laptop." Double-N said, pointing to the end of the stage where there were several hard hats, like the kinds at construction sites and a laptop on the floor of the theater.
The Kankers nodded and followed Double-N and An to the end of the stage and sat on the floor while Anny walked up to the stage and stood on the 'Q' again.
Double-N handed them hard hats, "a few of these glasses have exploded so far, so we've been wearing helmets so we don't have shards of broken glass rain down on our heads." The Kankers took them with grateful nods and strapped them on, Double-N put one on herself as well, An put a turtle with it's own little hard hat on her head instead. They all sat down, Double-N on the far left, her laptop in her lap and her fingers tapping at the keyboard as she made sure all the cameras were working properly, Larie to her right, smiling lovingly at her as she worked. Oh how he loved watching his girl when she was doing something complex and clever.
An was on the far right gently tapping her knuckles on her turtle's shell, making sure it was solid enough to protect her head, Jay was sitting on her left, "Hey An," he whispered, "What's with the turtle?"
"Don't ask." Anny and Double-N instantly replied, surprising all three brothers.
Jay sat there silently for a moment before asking, "Does it have a name?"
An looked up at her make-shift reptile helmet and scratched at it's shell, "Hmmm…" she then looked at him and shook her head, "It's just a turtle, he doesn't have a name."
"She." Double-N corrected, not looking away from her work. An looked at her funny, "She is a weird name for a turtle, Double-N." she said.
"I meant that your turtle is female, An, it's a girl, not a boy." An looked up at her turtle, "Ohhh."
Tee sat between his brothers and wondered how the fuck Double-N knew that when her eyes were glued to her computer screen and why An even had a fucking turtle on her head in the first place. Double-N then looked at the brothers and An, "We'll begin momentarily, we can't make a sound during Anny's performance or it will alter the results, so An…" An looked at her brainy friend, "if you are quiet during Anny's performance, I'll make you a pudding skin when we get home." An lit up and opened her mouth widely, but Jay quickly put his hand over her mouth and shook his head, reminded her that they had to stay quiet. An then nodded and Jay moved his hand, both of them blushing.
Double-N then rose her hand, signaling Anny to start. Anny took a deep breath and began to sing once more, this song had a different tone then the bouncy tune she had been singing earlier and yet she still sounded amazing to him, "In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came. That voice which calls to me, and speaks my name…"
Now, Tee wasn't into this opera-y kind of music, he was a fan of old hard core rock (and okay, Tom Jones and Barry White, ever since he listened to them so he could try to talk to Anny about something he knew she liked, he ended up becoming more of a secret fan, since he never had the guts to actually try to have a conversation with her, he could argue with her all day, he could kiss her all day, but he could hardly carry a conversation with her without feeling as if someone was pouring ice down his back and his tongue slowly tying itself into a knot similar to how he'd tie Anny's.) but when he heard Anny sing it, he decided that she could make any kind of music sound good to him, he felt his heart became a drum again and she was singing to his beat, he was about to let out a content sigh, but bit it back. Not because he would probably mess up the project, but because, well, it was embarrassing.
He and his brothers were raised to never show their softer side, to keep it locked up behind a wall of snide remarks and violent outbursts, but still, they had no idea why, but the Ans easily made it difficult for them to do that. Those girls somehow slipped through the kinks in their armor and made them feel lighter and happier and as if they could be as soft as they wanted around them and not feel as if it was wrong to do that.
Tee closed his eyes and lost himself in the beauty of her voice, it wasn't until she sang these really long and really high and loud notes that he finally remembered why they were wearing helmets, when two of the glasses shattered and the five of them (and the turtle) winced at the sound. Larie and Jay were stunned and opened their mouths to speak, only for An and Double-N to quickly, but gently cover their mouths with their hands, motioning for them to stay quiet. They did, but they took some kisses in exchange for their silence.
Anny took a breath and walked towards the side of the stage where their stuff was, and grabbed a bottle of water and chugged it. She then walked back and, after Double-N gave her the signal again, Anny started a new song, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen…"
Tee didn't know anyone's voice could go that low besides his, the fact that it still sounded wonderful just made him want to sing along, but he didn't, because he didn't sing. Ever. He closed his eyes again and let himself relax to the sound of her voice, he wished they had found out about this project of the Ans when they had started it, he hadn't felt so serene in a long time. Another glass broke and they winced again, then Anny finished the song, drank some more water and then, at her friend's signal, sang another song.
Anny did three more songs before Double-N declared that the test was over and that after she compiled all the data, they could start packing the equipment up and start cleaning up all the glass. They did, after everything was done and before the Ans could even thank them for helping out, the Kankers each grabbed their girl and covered her in hickeys, although, Larie was careful with his girl since she had her laptop full of data in the satchel that hung from her shoulder and he didn't want to wreck it and ruin all her hard work.
"Anytime you three ladies need help again, just let us know." Tee said with a smirk, "We'll be happy to help." Larie and Jay nodded eagerly in agreement, then the brothers strut out of the theater as if they owned it.
End of Flashback
Anny looked at Tee, who was still smirking, "Remember now?"
"Yeah." She replied flatly, "I remember."
They were both quiet for a moment.
"How come you never sang at a talent show or anything?" Tee finally asked her, "I mean, you've always wanted to be admired and noticed, with a voice like that you could be a star easy." Anny flushed at his praise as he asked, "so what gives?"
Anny sighed, "You know that my sister was a dance prodigy, right?"
"So, she actually wanted to be a pop star, but she can't sing worth shit." Anny said, then looked out the window, "she worked so hard to get better at singing, but it was no good, she just wasn't getting better. Then I started singing with her, since she was my idol at the time and I wanted to do everything she did," she glanced back at him, "You're an older brother, you know what I mean." Tee nodded and Anny turned back to the window, "That's when my family found out about my great singing voice." She shifted a bit in her seat as she said, "Double-N thinks that my sister got jealous because I could be a star without really trying while she had been working for years to do that and had gotten no where, she could dance, sure, she was an awesome dancer, but if you can't sing, how can you be a pop star? I can sing, so I can be a crap dancer…"
"You're not a crap dancer." Tee interrupted. Anny smiled at him and gave him a peck on the cheek, making him blush "Thanks, but I mean that, I could be the worst dancer in the world…"
"You're not." Tee interjected, earning himself another kiss, "but since I could sing, no one would care, I could act in music videos while other people danced, I could walk around a stage giving high fives while singing my lungs out, as long as my singing was good, I was golden. My sister only had dance, so Double-N thinks that's the reason she said I was a bad dancer when I was a kid, since I had the one talent she didn't have, she wanted to make sure that if she couldn't be a star, that I couldn't either."
"Bitch." Tee muttered.
"Yeah, but in her defense, she worked to get better at singing for ten years, Tee. I sang a song perfectly on my first try, I mean, wouldn't you be crushed if something like that happened?" Tee nodded, it made sense but he still didn't like it.
"It doesn't excuse what she did, though." Tee said.
"No shit, and it's not like I forgive her for it or anything, I mean, I already kicked her ass in dance, but…" she frowned a bit, "What's she got now?"
"She's got you." Tee pointed out. Anny gave him another kiss and smirked, "Smartass."
"So what happened next?" Jamie asked eagerly as the two teens came back in with a platter of monkey bread, a cake knife, six plates and forks for everyone. An began passing out the forks while Jay sliced into the odd looking treat into slices and placed them on the plates for An to pass out once the utensils were all in place.
"Well... then we went to the arcade." Jay recalled.
"Then the zoo." An said, "And the petting zoo and petted the kitties and the puppies and the baby chicks and the fluffy bunnies..."
"Then we had to get An a epi-pen because she petted the bunnies." Jay interrupted.
"Jay doesn't let me pet them unless I have one now." An stated, getting a nod of approval from both parents and a look of confusion from Sam, "You're allergic to bunnies?" he asked her.
"Your sister is allergic to a lot of things." Angela replied, "Butterscotch, eels, bunnies, dandelions, the list goes on, but you get the point." (Author: oh come on, I can't be the only one who noticed that Ed/An hardly ever gets hurt physically and basically lives in a toxic waste dump, but is allergic to so much random crap) Sam nodded, shocked that he had lived with her all his life and didn't know she had allergies at all, let alone was allergic to things like bunnies and butterscotch. He felt like total ass for knowing next to nothing about his own sister.
"Double-N made a list a long time ago, she and Anny have it memorized." An explained.
"Yeah, they gave it to me while we were taking the parenting class." Jay said with a nod.
"Those two even found a few more things she was allergic to and told us." Tim said matter-of-factly.
"That's how we know about the bunnies and the eels." Angela explained.
Sam and Jamie sat there, stunned. The Ans were much better friends then they thought they were, especially since they made a list of her allergies and memorized them.
"After that we went out to dinner at a nearby diner and then Jay brought me home." An said.
"What happened at the step?" Jamie asked, trying act nonchalant while barely being able to hold back the desire to know every detail of what happened at the step when Jay brought her home.
~DATE PART 3~
"Uh, well, here we are." Jay said bashfully, indicating her front door. He was sad that their date had to end, but he had spent most of the day with his beloved An and he had enjoyed holding her hand and hugs and cuddling and getting to know her better as a person.
An smiled at him and said, "Thanks, Jay, this was bestest date I've ever been on!" she then gave him a gentle kiss on the cheek, leaving a red lipstick kiss mark on it and making his face glow red, steam scream from his ears, his ponytail began spinning like a helicopter blade (Author: those go crazy fast), a big goofy smile curled up his cheeks and his heart beat so fast that it would seem as if it was standing still if anyone could see it.
"You're the best boyfriend ever!" An happily announced.
Her words began to bounce thorough his body as it began to shake with the rush a hormone fuelled teenage boy gets when he hears what, at this moment in time, is the best news he'd ever gotten in his entire life:
'You're the best boyfriend ever!'
'Best boyfriend ever!'
He then rocketed into the air like a firework, screaming, "YEEEEAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!" surprising An and making her step back in surprise as she watched her new boyfriend shoot up into the air, he then hovered in the night sky, the full moon behind him, his arms out and his hands curled into fists, "THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIIIFFFEEEE!" he shouted happily. "WOOOOO!"
Then Sam opened the front door behind An, barely awake and obviously annoyed, "who's making all that racket?" Sam groaned, rubbing his eyes.
"My boyfriend." An instantly replied, she then quickly covered her mouth as soon as the words left her lips, making Sam look at her funny, since the words had barely registered in his mind as something that was new or shocking, but just as noise that kept sleep just a little farther at bay.
"Boyfriend?" he echoed, the meaning not registering in his tired brain, his voice raspy from exhaustion, "What are you talking about?"
An hesitated for a moment, then took in a deep breath and straightened herself, she needed to tell someone about Jay being her boyfriend, and since Anny and Double-N would probably not be happy about An dating a Kanker, her baby brother was one of the few people who she really wanted to tell and actually could right now (Author: the others besides her friends and brother are her entire family and Jenny). "Jay Kanker." She managed to say in a confident voice, "I'm dating Jay Kanker." She told him, then winced in anticipation of his shouts of complete and total shock and rage that she would date someone who tormented them as children.
But instead she heard, "that's nice, An." in a gruff voice of one who wasn't exactly awake. An's eyes popped open in surprise at her brother's response, she watched as Sam drowsily walked back inside the house, hanging on the railing as he pulled himself back up the stairs to his room.
"Really?" An asked, feeling her chest fill up with glee that her brother was so understanding of this whole thing, it was really unlike him, but An wasn't complaining.
"Yeah, whatever floats your boat." Sam yawned. An didn't know what to say, she had expected him to kick and scream and ask if she was the world's biggest moron for dating Jay, but instead, he let her be since she was happy with him. Then, with a huge smile and joy in her heart, An hugged her younger brother from behind, "Thanks, Sam, it means a lot that you're being so nice and understanding about this!" she squealed.
Sam weakly shoved her off, annoyed, "Get offa me, Stupid." He grumbled, then made his way to his room to go back to sleep. An smiled as she hopped back down to the first floor and walked to the front door.
"He took that better then I thought he would." An said happily as she closed the door.
End of Flashback
Sam sat there as the information sunk in, so that's when An told him that they were dating, no wonder he didn't remember, he had hardly been awake at the time, and now that he thought about it, she had been cheerfully telling her chipper mother and her 'don't bother me until I've had my coffee' father something that morning that made the two women squeal with delight and the half awake males of the family wince from the sound. An must have told them about her dating Jay that morning, not that her father or Sam had been really awake enough to register the information at the time.
"Well, that was a sweet story!" Angela replied as she picked up the dirty plates, An and Jay went to help her, but she held up her hand. "You two have a party to go to, I'll clean this up, Sam, it's late, you should walk Jamie home. Tim, help me with the dishes?" she asked in a sweet voice with a loud undertone of, "Do it or else".
An and Jay were off to Nate's house, arm in arm with large smiles on their faces.
An and Jay were the last to arrive, all the rest of their friends were there; Ann, Larie, Anny, Tee, Jenny, Patrick, Rachel, Conner, Karen and Nate. They playing soda pong (since Nate's parents had been home all day and he had no time to get any beer, they used soda), 'Never have I ever' (with soda), video games, seven minutes in heaven (the guys' idea but none of the girls protested it), poker (using cookies instead of chips, but they had chocolate chips in them so that had to count for something.), the boys finally saw the dance the girls were going to do on the float and then the girls had to try to snap them out of the stunned dazes they had fallen into, until Jenny discovered that a quick slap to the ass was a great wake up call.
Although, she and Patrick both disappeared until a minute to midnight, and by that time, both their hair was a mess and both looked pretty pleased with themselves.
Then the count down began, "TEN!"
Then Nate's basement became make out central as each couple kissed in honor of the new year. Conner and Rachel, who had had maybe one kiss before, gave each other a peck on the lips that made their faces turn crimson, then looked around at the others, looked at each other, then shrugged and gave each other another kiss, enjoying themselves as it slowly turned into the first make out session either of them had ever had.
After they all had stopped, mainly because it was starting to get kinda awkward making out in a basement with lots of other people. They all thanked Nate before they headed home, many of them holding hands while dropping the girls off, getting a nice good night kiss before the girl would head inside, giggling at her floating boyfriend on her front step.
The Kankers floated all the way home, lipstick smeared all over their mouths. Their dad was halfway up the stairs when they came in. He took one look at his sons faces and smirked, "I'll guess that you had a good time at that party?" he teased.
"Uh huh." Tee replied, hardly paying attention.
"We had a good day in general." Larie informed him, dazed.
"It's going to be a good year." Jay said dreamily, his brothers nodded in agreement as they all hovered to bed and fell asleep.
Author's End Notes: oh, you know it, Jay, you know it. Hey guys! I finally finished it and I can start on the Valentine's Chapter! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM FOR THIS CHAPTER! I also had a An, Ann 'n Anny romantic story contest up for it, but you know, since I'm only getting to the valentine chapter now, I'm gonna extend the contest. The details are up on my profile, and the winner will get an OC in the chapter after the Valentine's day one instead, don't worry, that chapter will be awesome and have big foot in it. So yes, it will be epic. The directions are on there, I'll announce the winner when I put up the Valentine's day chapter and pm the winner for details on the OC. I will put any stories of any participants on my favorites list so I can spread the AAnA love.
Happy really late new year everyone, peace, love and bubblegum.