The Dating Pool

A/N: SKoW challenge! Yeah, I had a load of fun with this. I decided to make the recurring theme of this one, but I won't tell you what it is. You'll notice it pretty quickly, I'm sure. Anyhow, enjoy, and nominate me, please!

Member Challenge: Period Pieces Issued by Lily

Plot: Oh no! Our MC is on a date with Hottie McHott-Hott (aka, Guy of her Dreams). That's the good news. The bad news? It's her time of the month - and she's wearing white.

Requirements:
1) Main character must have an insensitive male friend/relative, who notices her moodiness and asks something along the lines of, "Is it your time of the month"
2) Said guy of her dreams is not the one she exits the (restaurant, theater, etc.) with.
3) Best friend who comes to the rescue with a jacket or extra pants, etc. Best friend can be male or female. wink wink 4) Female nearby (waitress, fellow moviegoer, whatever) who flirts shamelessly with main character's date.
5) This line or something like it: "Do you know more people die from coconuts than from being eaten by sharks?"

No:
- actual usage of the phrase "time of the month" by anybody. (I know, I've used it in the challenge details, but who cares. XD)
- profanity used by any guy. The main character and all her female friends can use as much profanity as they want. XD But not too much, please. :
- excessive ranting by main character. Sorry.

They say there are plenty of fishies in the sea. And then there's Rick, and none of the others have anything on this tuna.

It was by some twist of fate that I sat diagonally behind him in my English class. I spent most of my time watching the side of his face, and not paying attention to Ms. Perreti's lecture on Othello or whatever we were learning about at the present moment. Why should I care if it's the most amazing tragedy to ever be written? I have the biggest tragedy affecting me everyday: the fact that Rick was so close... and yet so far. It was like being in a fishtank, watching the outside world.

The bell rang, and I snapped back into reality. I sighed, realizing that my little daydream I had just had wouldn't be coming true anytime soon.

As I exited the class, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and my eyes widened to dead fish size. I quickly recovered, then moved out of the doorway as somebody bumped me. He followed suit.

"Hey," he said. "I'm Rick Waters," he held his hand out to me.

"Hi," my voice cracked up an octave, and I cleared my throat. "I'm Quinne Ferland."

"Well, Quinne," he purred the name, and I swooned a little, "I was wondering if you were busy tomorrow night?"

My jaw dropped in a manner similar to a guppy out of water. I flushed, and shut my jaw, then said, "No, I don't think so, I'm pretty sure I'm free."

"Then would you allow me the honour of escorting you to the movies?"

I nodded, not trusting my voice. He smiled, and I grimaced back. He then turned and sauntered off, and I watched him. Once I was sure he was out of range, I let out a small victory dance and a series high pitched squeaks resembling an excited. A couple people shot me disdainful glances, others just pushed past me, trying to get to lunch faster.

I woke up the next morning with that tell-tale gurgling feeling in my stomach. I hobbled over to the bathroom, sat down, and glared at the red stain on my panties. I sighed.

"Shit," I said, fishing a tampon out from the cabinet under my sink. After effectively "plugging the bloody hole," I spent the remaining time before school on applying my makeup to look more excellent than usual, styling my hair to show off my neck, and popping a some Midol into my system. My lovely older brother noticed the last action, and laughed. I glared at him as I slid onto the chair across from him with my toast.

"Watch out! The Red Sea is parting before me!" he said, shoveling another mouthful of Cocoa Puffs into his mouth.

"What does that even mean?"

Her motioned toward the bottle of pain relievers. I glared again, and reached over to smack him. He ducked out of the way, grabbing his Cocoa Puffs in a liquid motion as he moved to a safer location. I growled, finishing off my toast, grabbing the pills, and said, "You're giving me a ride to school; you'll receive your beating there."

I walked onto campus, slightly piffed at my brother, and made a beeline toward my locker. I slammed some books in, slammed some binders in, and threw the bottle of pills in at the last moment. I needed to keep them safe, after all, they were my only chance at being civil to people today. As I cursed at the lock for not doing its job right, I felt a tap on my right shoulder, and a poke into the left side my ribcage. I scowled as I turned to see my two closest friends grinning back at me. I sneered back, then said, "You know, you could just say hello, instead of cornering me at my locker."

"Yes," Matt, the male best friend, quirred, "But where's the fun in that?"

My scowl deepened, and I poked him hard in the side before stomping off towards my first period. Behind me Matt and Julie rolled their eyes before continuing after me.

"Hun, I know that your Aunt Flo is visiting at the moment, but try not to be so bitchy," Julie said, rubbing my back she knew lulled me into my personal Octopus's garden. Matt bobbed his head up and down in agreement, but I was too spaced out at the moment to care.

"So, I heard you're going on a date tonight..." Julie said, once she knew she had me effectively tranquilized. I nodded sleepily, and Matt steered me away from a gaggle of giggling freshman girls.

"With Rick," I whispered dreamily. Julie and Matt shot each other amused looks.

"Aww," cooed Matt, "I think our little seahorse has fallen in love..."

"Seahorse?" I said, blinking and centering my attention on him.

"Nevermind," he said.

"Wait, how'd you guys know about Rick's and my date?"

"Word of mouth," Matt said, as if it weren't a big deal. I groaned, and stomped my feet.

"What?" Julie asked, directing my stomping toward the door of our classroom.

"I was supposed to tell you, not someone who heard it from someone else, and so on and so forth." I slouched into my desk, frowning at the board. Julie rubbed my shoulder.

"Don't worry about it, hun. It's high school, things happen this way."

I nodded morosely.

"Want my to come over and help you get ready?"

I nodded again.

"Can I come, too?" Matt piped up.

I nodded again.

"Sweet!"

"But you're outside when I change."

"Aww,"

I stuck my tongue out at him, then turned to face the board just as the teacher walked into the class.

"Julie," I whined, "I look like a grouper."

I motioned towards the almost purple tint to my lips. Julie sighed, and handed me a tissue. I quickly wiped off the offending lip gloss, and replaced it with some minty balm. Julie shook her head and said, "You looked fine, you know."

I frowned at her, and said, "Julie, go help Matt choose my outfit. God knows whatever he chooses will make me look like a whale."

Julie chuckled and wandered towards my closet, where Matt had a lost expression on his face. Julie pushed him aside and said, "Go help Quinne look pretty."

Matt nodded as he entered the bathroom. I had my eyes bugged out and my mouth in an O as I applied a thin coat of mascara. Matt stifled a laugh, and I sent a small glare at him through the mirror. He sat down on the toilet and eyed the me as I got ready.

"What?" I finally said, capping the black beauty paste. Matt peered at me critically.

"Are you sure you want to do this, Quinne?"

"What?"

"Go on a date with this guy."

"Yeah, why wouldn't I?"

"I don't know, nevermind."

I gave him one last glance before facing myself in the glass once again, smearing eyeshadow onto my eyelid. Matt continued to watch me out of the corner of his eye.

Julie waltzed into the bathroom just then, drowning in various articles of clothing.

"Quinne, in this pile, is your outfit."

I turned around.

"Julie, that pile is my entire closet."

"No, it's not. Now, start picking."

I rolled my eyes, and pointed towards my bed. Julie shuffled out of the tiny bathroom and dropped all the clothes onto the water mattress. Everything rolled around for a while, as if surfing on the sheets, and I began poking around. I ended up picking out a white sun dress that came to my knees, a grey sweater, a thin red scarf, and a grey beret.

"What do you think?" I said, slowly pivoting to show her friends her stylish outfit. Julie gave her a thumbs-up. Matt just kind of gaped.

"What?"

"Nothing," he shook his head, "You look nice."

I smiled, and slipped on a pair of beaten up converse. Just then a car honked outside. I grabbed her purse and rushed to the door. Julie called after me, "Call me if you need anything!"

She sighed, then turned to Matt and said, "Why won't you ever do anything right? God, you little fuck-off!"

He flinched and said, "She'll find out eventually."

I closed the car door behind me and felt the wind tug at my skirt. I smiled, and turned to face my date. He approached me and wrapped his arm around my waist. I stiffened a bit under his grasp, not only because it was moving a little bit too fast, but because, oh my God, fucking Rick Waters had his arm around my waist. My face flushed over a rainbow of reds as we approached the line for tickets.

"Two tickets for How to Escape an Uninhibited Island in 30 Days, please?" he crooned in his velvet voice. The ticketholder happened to be a teenage girl, and she smiled and said, "Sure thing, honey. One for you and your sister."

I scowled. "I'm his date," I sneered.

She ignored me. She wrote something down on one of the tickets, then handed them to Rick. He handed me one, and I flipped it over. I saw, in overly curly handwriting, a phone number. It said, "Sherry, from the movies. 555-5482."

"What's that?" Rick said, moving his hand from my waist up to grab the ticket. And, a little something else, if you know what I mean. I gasped, and moved my hand away.

"Nothing," I said, pushing his hand down with my elbow. I looked over at him and put on a fake grin. He smiled back.

"Want some popcorn or something?"

"Sure," I said, and we veered towards the concessions stand.

I held the popcorn, and he held the money. I put it on the counter in front of the clerk. I looked up and saw her smiling at my date.

What is it with these people and trying to steal my date?

I scowled at her, but she couldn't see me. She was too bust ogling my boyfriend.

"Howdy there, cutie," she said, a thick Texan drawl spilling from her mouth. Rick smiled at her flirtatiously, and I had to restrain myself from hugging onto his side just to prove that he was mine.

"Hi," he glanced down at her name tag, "Janet."

Dammit, Janet! my angry mind screamed. The rhyme was just too perfect.

"What's your name?"

"Rick,"

"And I'm Quinne," I jumped into the conversation, "his date."

Janet sneered at me, then turned her attention back towards Rick, who still had that damn smile on his face.

"Well, pard'ner, do you want anything more than that popcorn there?"

"Nope, that'll be all, miss," he added a little Southern twang to his speech.

"$3.50," she said, printing his receipt. She ripped it off, and turned it over. Then she pulled a pen out of her hair, and quickly scrawled her number on the back too. She handed it to Rick, then said, "Enjoy your movie, sir."

Rick took the receipt, saw the number, then winked and purred, "You too, sunshine."

I restrained my growl, and instead stalked angrily next to Rick.

"What did you do that for?" I hissed.

"What did I do what for?"

"That!" I motioned toward Janet, who was still catching glances back toward Rick. He smiled back at her, then turned to me and said, "I was just being friendly."

"Being friendly, my ass..." I mumbled as Rick opened the door to the theatre and motioned for me to go in. I did, and I sat down in the back. He followed me, slightly disgruntled.

"If that's being friendly," I said, gesticulating angrily, "Then I am a piece of coral."

"Interesting metaphor," he said, facing the screen. My jaw dropped before I could stop it. I quickly gathered myself into an angry little bundle, and seethed while watching the movie screen.

"You know, more people die from falling coconuts than from shark attacks," a worried looking woman said on the screen, glancing up at the coconuts dangling precariously above her in the palm trees.

I snorted at the image before me. Rick glanced over at me, and I waved it away.

"I'll be right back," I said. I stood up and grabbed my purse.

I went to the bathroom to do a quick primp and to call my Julie and Matt and let them know how I was doing. Mainly: badly. The movie sucked, the date sucked, and all of the females around us felt the need to swoon over my date. No wonder I chose the seats in the back. I think Rick was slightly upset that he wasn't the complete center of attention. I mean, honestly, we're watching a movie. People should be watching the screen.

Whatever.

I was in the bathroom when I noticed the blood red stain on the seat of my dress.

"Shit!" I hissed. I dug my phone out of my purse and dialed Julie's phone number.

It rang twice before she picked up.

"Hey, hun. How's the date going? Has he mad any moves yet?

"Yes, but that's entirely not the point."

"What?"

"I bled through my skirt,"

"Oh, shit."

"That's what I said."

A group of women bustled in, and I quickly fled into the safety of a stall.

"Look, could you bring me a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt or something?"

"Yeah, I'll be there as soon as I can."

I flipped my phone closed and sighed. This night kept getting longer and longer.

My phone started shrieking at me as I sat on the toilet. I opened it and said, "Are you hear?"

"Yeah," Matt's voice said.

"Matt?"

"Yeah,"

"I thought Julie was coming to bring me clothes."

"She told me I should, just in case you were in trouble."

"Alright, I'll meet you outside the women's restroom."

"Okay, see you soon."

I shuffled towards the door, and waited until I saw him.

"Matt!" I called. He turned and smiled, walking over with a bundle of clothes in his hands.

"Thank you so much!" I said, hugging him tightly. When I pulled away, he was smiling broadly.

"Okay, wait right here, Matt. I'm going to go change."

In a few minutes I had a bundle of messy clothes in my hand, and the only thing that remained the same was my slightly off-center beret. I fixed my hair in the mirror before meeting Matt in the hall. He smiled and said, "Are you going to go back to your date now?"

I scrunched my nose, and he nodded. We started heading towards the exit when I heard a voice.

"Hey, where are you taking my date?" Rick called. Matt and I both turned around. Quickly, Matt wrapped his arm around me.

"I think you're mistaken. Quinne is my girlfriend." I glanced up at him, then leaned into his side and smiled at Rick. He looked like he might just explode, like a pufferfish or something.

"Well, she came on a date with me, so I guess she'd my girlfriend now," he said, reaching out for my hand.

"Rick," I said, tugging it away from him, "I was just being friendly."

I smiled at his aghast expression. Now who looked like a guppy...

Matt led me to his car, and I just smiled triumphantly.

"How do you feel about your self, Seahorse?"

"Please, don't call me that."

"Sorry," he said. Just then, he let go of my hand, and I realized that I didn't even notice that he had been holding it before. I frowned, and kept moving toward the car door. He opened it for me, and once I was in, shut it as well.

I leaned back against the seat, and recalled that evening. I realized that my favourite part had not been watching Rick's face fall, but rather the feeling of being so close to Matt. I looked over at him, and he quickly glanced away.

"Matt?" I said. He glanced over at me.

"Yeah?"

"I..." I paused, not sure whether I should tell him or not, "I'm hungry."

"Oh, well, wanna go get something to eat?"

I frowned at myself, then said, "Yeah, that sounds good."

Soon we found ourselves parked with In and Out burgers in our laps. I slurped at my soda, recounting the whole evening to Matt, and he laughed at the right times, and got upset at the right times. I leaned closer to him and said, "And I leaned into you, and it felt like magic," I said.

He glanced over at me.

"What?"

I blushed and looked away. He wiped his hands on his abused napkin and said, "Quinne, I know what you said, and I feel the same way."

I glanced back over at him, then before I knew it, he pulled me into his lap, and we were kissing, leaving our burgers behind.

They say there are a lot of fish in the sea. But, what they don't say is that there's only one fish for me, and that fish has always been right in front of me.

FIN

A/N: Okey-dokey, pretty much, I realize that I'm terrible and that I never update. So, please don't attack me too harshly.

Anyhow, my computer crashed, which is one reason why I haven't been updating. Although, it's really just an excuse, because I probably wouldn't be updating anyhow. But, the point is: I'm sorry. Enjoy this one-shot! It's my first complete story. Yay for me!

Read and review, and all that jazz.

love, .