A/N:You know, on a totally random note, this was supposed to go up under my other account. I'm not sure why I just admitted that... Anyways: have no fears people – I was never discontinuing this story! I know I've done that with Micah and Hailee (which kind of haunts me to this day; one day their story WILL be written!) as well as Graham and Maggie (yeah...completely lost their story...I hate when computers breakdown and I do stupid things like delete stories...), but I wouldn't do that to Spencer and Willa. Jeez, this is my only drama free story: I'm not letting it go. I need something to write in between Thatcher and Nadine having trust issues, Javier and Rosaline just being themselves, and now (if I keep pursuing the idea of reposting it) Jonah and Remembrance's angst as well. Trust me here: I need the lightheartedness of this story. And yeah, I realize I left out my third R&J named couple – I'm writing them too, I just can't figure out if what I would consider what's happening with them drama yet...
Chapter Eight: We Probably Should've Taken a Rain Check...
Love is being stupid together.
- Paul Valery
"Am I dying?" I croaked, sitting up in bed and feeling goosebumps all up and down my arms. Goosebumps... I felt like I was on fire, I'm not sure what the hell the goosebumps were about. "I feel like it would be a welcome relief." I murmured.
"You're not dying and I had no clue that you were so melodramatic." Spencer rasped from somewhere near my feet. He had curled up into a fetal position (once again with his thumb closer to his mouth that I'm sure he would've liked me to have seen it) and had passed out a little bit before I had crashed. It may have been because he had been spending a lot of time with me while I felt like I was in death's door, but he wasn't getting any better. I think he was actually getting sicker as time wore on and since it was already Friday morning, that definitely wasn't a good thing.
"My dad's going to think you're a pansy." I managed to get out of my painfully scratchy/dry throat. "It's been three days and you're not any better."
"That's because I've been taking care of you." He replied in that same raspy voice, not having moved from his curled up position at the foot of my bed. He was reminding me of a dog and not in the usual "guys are just dogs" kind of way.
"You've been taking care of me?" I grumbled, "I've been taking care of you."
"Says the girl the can't even get out of bed."
"Says the guy that can't even get out of my bed." I pointed out, smiling because of my astute observational skills. Well...I was smiling with pride until I started coughing and sounded like I was hacking up a lung. And due to how sore my throat was and how swollen my lymph nodes were; coughing was a bitch. My God, it hurt.
And it's all karma's fault.
Which is just another way of blaming me, I guess.
"We're dying, aren't we?" I asked in a pretty pitiful voice, I'll admit.
He sat up and rolled his eyes, "And the melodrama is back." He muttered, but I was too busy noticing him to react to what he said. Which...had been happening a lot. There is something about unkempt guys that I find kind of totally attractive. Guys that look like they spent time putting their outfit together or spent an hour on their hair? Yeah, they totally don't do it for me. But bed head? Wowza. And I've been noticing lately that Spencer has some crazy bed head, take now for example: somehow his bangs are still falling into his eyes, but the rest of his head looks like a bird's nest. It's adorable.
He waved his hand in front of my face and then dropped his arm in what looked like exhaustion from the movement. "You're zoning." He murmured and then dropped back down on my bed, breathing heavily. "Okay, we should probably get ready to go."
I gave him a long look and then smiled, "How do you plan on getting ready to go to whatever diner my dad picks, when just moving your arm tires you out? How are you planning on getting back to your dorm room and changing your clothes?"
He groaned, "I'll manage."
I gave him a long look and then sat up a little straighter, "Spencer, take your shirt off."
"What? I thought that made you extremely uncomfortable." He said tiredly from the end of my bed; he didn't even move an inch.
"Yeah, well... I want to see if you can actually do it."
"I can so take my clothes off." He grumbled.
"Then do it."
"Let's see some skin, Romero." I goaded.
"I don't think you're ready for the skin you'll see." He said right back, still not making any kind of movement.
"I'm seriously not seeing that promised skin."
He groaned and after what sounded like a great deal of effort, sat up. He stared at me from the foot of my bed for a moment, before leaning down and laying back down. "I'll take my clothes off later." He murmured groggily.
"Spencer!" I exclaimed and tried to kick him, but found that my leg felt like it weighed a bajillon pounds, so I was unable to actually move it. Breathing heavily from the effort that it took to hurt Spencer, I laid limp against my bed frame. "We're not going to make it."
"We'll be fine."
"How do you figure? In order to actually make this whole fake relationship work, we have to actually show up for dinner!"
"Why not invite your dad to eat here?"
"Here? In the midsts of all our germs? Are you kidding me? What happens we he finds us in bed together!"
"He won't, I'll just...roll off the bed and onto the floor." Spencer suggested.
"Are you kidding me!" I exclaimed, "Then he'd want to know why your limp body was lying on the floor."
"I think you're purposely shooting down all my ideas because you're upset that I'm still dressed." Well that struck me silent. I stared at him in horror for a moment, before noticing the boyish grin on his face. "I'm kidding, Willa. Just kidding."
I threw a pillow at him and then felt like I was crossing the threshold of death's door. "Oh boy, this is going to be the worst lunch date with my dad ever."
"Gee, thanks for the confidence boost there."
"Is that what I'm here for, to boost your confidence?" I asked, before attempting to cough up a lung. After what felt like forever and a day, I glared down at him.
He sat up and pulled something out of his pocket—a cough drop—and handed it to me. He watched me unwrap it and put it in my mouth before checking his watch, "It's time for your next dose of medicine."
"Same to you." I murmured, grabbing my bottle of ibuprofen from my bed stand. I counted out a couple of little red pills and then handed them to him. He took them from my hand and then handed me a couple of ibuprofen from his stash and I took them. Yes, it was completely ridiculous that this is how we decided to medicate each other, you don't have to tell me, I know. After we both took our doses, we slumped back on my bed.
"Maybe we should cancel." Spencer said after a couple of minutes of silence.
"Dad will see that as a sign of weakness and begin to wonder about the state of our relationship."
"You know, he seriously sounds way too suspicious of everything."
"He's an agent, what do you expect?"
Spencer grunted and then sighed, sounding a little phlegm-y. "Maybe a little trust?"
"Trust has to be earned."
"And I bet you're going to say everyone is guilty until proven innocent." He muttered dryly.
I shrugged, "In my family, that's the case."
"That's so twisted."
If I thought I was strong enough, I would've thrown a pillow at his head. Alas, the mere idea tired me out. I can't remember the last time I was this sick, I'm not sure I ever have been this sick before. Okay, that was a little dramatic, but I really don't feel well. I feel weak, sore, and icky. I'm not doing well at all and I wish more than anything that I was better already. Not just because it would help with the whole lying to my dad thing, but because I'm just tired of being sick.
"Don't judge my family." I demanded hoarsely.
"Okay." He rasped, reaching into his sweatshirt pocket for something. He pulled out his cell phone and quickly dialed a number. I watched him with a quirked eyebrow, wondering what the hell he was up to. "Mikey? Could you run over some clothes for me? ...Yeah, I'm at her dorm... Shut up and just bring me something to change into." He hung up his phone and then groaned, "Stop looking at me like I'm an idiot."
I rolled my eyes—which, by the way, hurt—and considered mocking him, but then decided that it would take too much energy. "Where exactly are you changing? Because in case you haven't noticed, this is the girl's dorms and they are certainly not going to let you into the bathrooms."
"You're going to see that promised skin, Washington." He replied.
"—What time do we need to meet your father?" He asked, interrupting my brief moment of tongue tied-ness.
I glanced down at my Barbie watch and then cursed, "In forty minutes!" I exclaimed and then resumed my apparent goal to cough up a lung, before jumping out of bed. Well, trying to jump out of bed; it ended up more like slowly pulling myself out of bed, falling to a heap on the floor, crawling over to my closet, grabbing clothes (aka yanking clothes down by their bottoms and beaming myself in the head with hangers), crawling to my dresser and using the dresser knobs as leverage to pull myself to the top in order to grab some underwear, and then resuming my crawl out of my dorm room. Spencer watched all of this in quiet shock, before he cracked up. I reached back with one hand and flipped him the birdie before continuing on down the hall and towards the showers.
I don't want to even go into the trouble I had there. Let's just say that I was treated like I'm sure plague victims would be treated in this day and age, and I felt amazingly pitiful soaping myself up so near the drain. Yeah, I'm ready to stop being sick right about now.
When I stumbled (yeah, I actually managed to get to my feet) into my dorm room twenty-five minutes later, I found Spencer lying on the floor. He was fully dressed and splayed out on the floor, his arms and legs stretched far apart. He was staring up at the ceiling dully and breathing heavily; apparently dressing had taken a lot out of him. I leaned against the door frame for support and cast a eye over what Mikey had brought for him to wear. He had on a pair of black pinstriped pants, a fake tuxedo shirt (you know, the kind that look like they're a tuxedo but aren't; cheesy, but cute) that fit him perfectly, a white button up shirt that he had left unbutton, and charcoal gray zippered hoodie.
He look good, as usual. He wasn't dressed up, which my dad would take as a sign of strength and confidence, but he wasn't obviously dressing down either. Moreover, the cheesy/cute shirt kind of made fun of the idea of dressing up to meet my father, which would actually add more points in his favor. My father is big on the kind of guy that has confidence in himself and wouldn't feel the need to cower in dad's presence. Yet, he also wants a guy that fears him. It's confusing, but it's my dad.
I smiled and stepped into the room, which caught his attention, causing his eyes to flicker towards me. "So Mikey picked this outfit for you?" I asked, stumbling towards my bed.
He shook his head and I noticed his hair was wet, "No, Mickey brought me those." He murmured in reply, gesturing towards a pile of clothes on my bed. I glanced at the pile and frowned at the green and white stripped Hollister shirt and the pair of jeans that seemed expertly faded, frayed, and torn. Basically clothes that would never suite Spencer, ever.
"I had to go get real clothes." Spencer replied, "Sorry, I forgot to take his back with me to my dorm."
"And you took a shower?" I asked, kind of amazed. Seriously, how long had I been thrashing around pathetically on the tiles of the bathroom?
He shrugged and then coughed, clearing his throat, he groaned. "Where's he coming to pick us up again?"
"In front of our dorms." I murmured, still feeling slow in comparison to him. Maybe he wasn't as sick as me. Yeah, that's it, he was marginally less sick than me thus rendering him able to do tasks quicker. Ignore the fact that he had been sick and I had recently only made him sicker, making him twice as sick as before. Three days ago the only sign of his sickness had been his pastiness, raw throat, and hoarse cough. Now look at him: he was exhausted just by the effort it took him to walk over to his dorm, shower, change, and walk back to my dorm. Things he's done countless times before (for Ana, of course) without ever feeling the need to stretch out on the floor for a breather.
I've doomed him.
Dad is definitely going to mock him for this one.
"We should probably head down." I whispered, causing his eyes to once again flicker towards me. He nodded his head and it was at that moment that I realized that he was wheezing. Apparently his unbelievable speed at showering and dressing came with a price: wheezing. For someone so fit to be so tucked after doing something so mundane, filled me with guilt. Because yeah, I was definitely blaming myself for this. My sickness is making me soft.
He pushed himself up off the floor and used my bed to support him as he got to his feet. Then he made his unsteady and labored way towards my dorm door, me stumbling behind him. My God, we had to look ridiculous. The stairs proved themselves to be the challenge of a lifetime for the two of us, I actually suggested just falling down them, but Spencer thought that that would be a pretty stupid idea. Regardless of that fact, that is pretty much what we ended up doing. By the time we made it to the spot where my father was waiting for us, we were out of breath.
I've said it before, but seriously: being sick sucks. Sucks major ass, sucks.
"Should I question why the two of you are out of breath?" Dad asked, staring directly at Spencer when he asked this question and I inwardly groaned.
Here it goes.
"Would you call yourself "emo", Spencer?" Dad asked as he cut into his steak, causing me to almost spit up the diet Pepsi that I had just downed. There is honestly nothing weirder than hearing your parents use your own terminology back at you. If you've never had your mom ask if she was hip and down with it or asked if you liked her bling, then you will never understand what I mean when I say this. And I can only congratulate you for never having had the experience.
I think Spencer wanted choke on the Sprite he had been drinking like it was going out of style, but he had more control than that. Instead he set down his cup, swallowed, and then shook his head. "No, sir."
"Really? The way you have choose to cut your hair implies that you are emo, which lead me to wonder about it." Dad went on, looking up from his steak and trapping Spencer in yet another stare off. They'd only been doing that off and on for the last forty minutes; male fighting for dominance gets old quick. "I looked up pictures of emo boys, Spencer, and I found a lot of boys kissing each other. Is that what you're into, Spencer? Do you like kissing boys?"
I started coughing and it had nothing to do with my cold/fever/flu hybrid. It had everything to do with the diet Pepsi that I had been drinking until that moment. Fortunately I kept from spewing it all over my dad, but just barely. Instead I managed to swallow the liquid the wrong way and was once again hacking. Jeez, I'm getting tired of this, the hacking was seriously ripping my throat raw.
Spencer handed me my offending diet Pepsi and a cough drop, before turning back to my father.
"I haven't kissed a guy before, Mr. Washington, but I can assure you that I wouldn't like it."
"How am I to believe that when I have yet to notice you take any kind of sexual interest in my daughter?" He asked, once again just after I had taken a huge gulp of my soda. Spencer patted me on the back as I coughed. I was honestly beginning to wonder how close I was getting to drowning myself, and wouldn't it be just like me to drown while sitting in the middle of an Outback Steakhouse?
"Dad!" I squeaked.
He shrugged, "I'm not saying that I want him to be all over you, Wilhelmina. I'm just wondering why I've yet to see the two of you so much as hold hands."
I stared at him in shock for a moment and then realized the one thing that we hadn't really worked on over the last few days. We may have been asking each other as many personality quiz questions as we could, but other than his proving to me that touching him wouldn't make him cry, we hadn't worked on the physical stuff. We could maybe fool my dad that we were dating just by the sheer amount of knowledge we had on each other (although I doubt that we really touched base on anything amazingly important) but that didn't mean we were acting like a couple. I was treating him like my dorm mate's boyfriend who was doing me a favor and he was treating me like the girl he was doing a favor for.
There was no sexual tension between the two of us, there was no intimacy, we certainly weren't acting like a couple that was so into each other we could barely keep our hands to ourselves. No wonder Dad was picking up on it; I probably act more into Talon than I do Spencer. If only because I'm not disturbed by the idea of hugging Talon or leaning against him. If I were to be completely honest with myself, it's probably because I'm afraid of how he'd react. I can practically seem him tensing up beneath me if I leaned over to hug him. I can imagine the look of utter surprise if I decided to take his hand. God, it would be so uncomfortable.
Spencer and I shared a look, and then he shrugged, turning back to my dad. "I wasn't quite sure how to act around you, sir. Willa has told me a lot of stories."
He smiled, "I'm sure she has. Take them as a warning."
Spencer nodded and then gazed down at his steak. He and dad had had another one of those testosterone flare ups when it came to ordering. I'm not really sure what they were trying to prove, but they had both ordered the biggest steak on the menu. Dad was making a lot of headway with his, shooting Spencer these little victories looks every once in awhile. Spencer, with his raw throat and lack of appetite, was not making any kind of headway at all. By the way the two of them were treating it, I'm guessing that that was a major blow to his male pride.
Seriously, guys are just stupid.
I'm betting that the two of them are going to fight over the bill too. It's amazing how often it's easier being a girl; sure we have to deal with our periods and PMS every month, but at least we don't feel the need to gorge ourselves on a mass amount of cow just to feel like we're women.
"You going to need a doggie bag?" Dad asked and even I could hear how insulting the question was. "I hate to see good food go to waste."
Spencer rubbed his throat and then took a bite from his steak. It looked amazingly painful. I shook my head and went back to drinking my soda; also known as the only thing I had ordered. Seriously, who takes two obviously sick people to a steakhouse?
Again, guys are stupid.
"Spencer," I whispered and touched his hand. He turned to look at me as he chewed, "stop."
He slightly shook his head and then swallowed. The fact that his face didn't twist up in agony speaks wonders for his acting abilities. "I'm fine." He murmured in a voice raspier than I had ever heard it. I shook my head and turned to stare down my dad.
"Dad." I said in a threatening tone and he looked at me before sighing.
"I retract my previous statement." He muttered and then motioned for the check. Spencer reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. "No, I can pay." Dad declared, just as I had been expecting him to since we first sat down at the restaurant.
"It's okay." Spencer said in that same raspy voice.
Dad shook his head, "I've got it covered; you're in college, you need to hold on to your money."
I rolled my eyes (ouch) and as the check was laid down on the table, I snatched it up and handed it back to the waitress with my debit card. "I've got it." I announced as the waitress walked away. They both turned to look at me in surprise, sheepishness, and a little anger. "What? The bill got paid, right?" They shared a look and then both put their wallets away. I bit back a smile at their lost looks; maybe I can see the attraction in this little war of theirs.
Or I can at least see the attraction in beating them at the war that they don't even consider me a factor in. Jeez, like I can't pay for dinner, please.
"What's Willa's favorite Disney movie?" Dad asked out of nowhere, something that he had been doing since the beginning of the date. If I weren't faking a relationship with Spencer, I would be really offended by my dad's lack of trust in us.
My eyes widened momentarily as I realized that I had never told him my favorite Disney movie. I had told him my favorite movie, The Chumscrubber (a tragicomedy with Jamie Bell, what's not to love?), but I hadn't told him what my favorite Disney movie was. Crap, crap, crap! How can I pantomime Monsters Inc. without drawing attention to myself?
"Monsters Inc." Spencer replied in a raspy voice without hesitating for a second. I frowned, trying to figure out if I had ever told him that: I seriously couldn't remember having done so. Maybe Bethany told him when she was alone in his dorm room with him that one time? Though how/why Disney movies would have come up in their conversation is anyone's guess.
Dad nodded and then we all stood up, heading towards his car. "Favorite book?"
"Alice in Wonderland."
It went on like this for the rest of the drive back to our dorms. I was glad that Spencer had managed to ask all the right questions when we were trying to get to know each other. I was even happier that he managed to remember my answers. But my God, I was bored to death listening to them talk about all my hates and loves. By the time we got back on campus I was tired of hearing about myself and was debating whether or not I should break in with some facts that I had picked up about Spencer. Alas, I didn't have the chance to show off my memory skills.
"You'll be home for supper tomorrow, right?" Dad asked after both Spencer and I had climbed out of the car.
"Of course." I replied, smiling. It had been tradition for me to go home for the weekends during the school year. I had been doing it almost every weekend for the last three years and I was okay with it; I know it makes me a baby, but I seriously missed my family during the long week. So every Saturday I would head home and spend the rest of the night and most of Sunday with them before coming back to school.
Dad nodded and then turned his gaze to Spencer, "I'll expect you there as well."
A/N:Weird way to end a chapter, but it fits her. Well, I was kind of amazed at how many people thought I had dropped this story; I'm sorry guys, I was just focused on the drama (aka, Javi and Rosie & Thatcher and Nadine). I was trying to get those stories out of their dark, depressing spots and on to lighter things. Sorry I let this completely slide onto the back burner. But as I said in my first note: I am NOT dropping this story! I love these characters way too much and I've missed writing stories where no one had some epic problem with them.
Although if I were to be completely honest, this is kind of my first time writing a story without a troubled character. (I am now going to refer to a story that hasn't been on here for years and really won't appear again on this site, so it's stupid of me to refer to it, but whatever) Milo was in a gang and Ria did have an abusive father; but he was out of the picture by the time their story started, and I focused more on the lightheartedness. Roth has an amazingly vain family, but other than that, he's fine with them. Jane may have an absentee mother and no father figure to speak of, but she's quite content living with her aunt and doesn't dwell on it. Basically other than those couples, my stories have been full to the brim with angst.
But I'm not letting this one go down that route. I'm enjoying writing two characters that don't have bad pasts. Spencer's kind of my only truly non-messed up guy: he comes from a loving family, had a great childhood, and was given the chance to be his own person. Willa may have an overprotective dad and older brothers, but that's about it. It's refreshing to not be writing angst filled characters, I'll admit.
Okay, this was a long and completely useless note.
Thank you for reading! I promise review responses next time—at the moment I don't even have the Internet because my brother is playing Halo 3 online, but the second he goes to bed I'm posting this. Then probably going to bed, because idiot that I am, I decided to sign up for morning classes everyday this semester. It's like I temporarily forgot that I'm an insomniac/night owl. Anyway, thanks again! I really loved the reviews and the concern for this story! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Soundtrack to this chapter: "Here It Goes Again" and "Do What You Want" by Ok Go, "Follow Through" by Gavin DeGraw, "My Man Moon" by Feist, and "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service.