The Art of Being Tall

Summary: Alicia and David are sister and brother. They share one common trait – they are both over six feet tall. Alicia is searching for a guy who's taller than her, and David's trying not to seem so gawky. Can they deal with all the problems that their heights bring?

Author's Note: This idea mostly came to me because I'm tired of stories that include something along the following lines: "He towered over me by six inches…I fit perfectly into the crook under his arm…He could easily pick me up and carry me…" God! Is every guy in the romance world ridiculously tall and toned? I mean, that's every girl's dream, but it hardly is reality!

Plus, being a vertically gifted lady myself, I thought I would visit the mind of a girl who has similar thoughts to mine – I'm always checking if guys are taller than me before I have an interest in them! I don't think I'm ever gonna get over this like Alicia does…

"Oh, my God! Alicia, he's so cute!"

Alicia rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "Yeah, Alex. Absolutely adorable. And about two feet tall."

Alex slapped her friend on the arm. "Alicia! You, of all people, should know that height does definitely not matter in a relationship! I mean, really, just look at me and David…"

Alicia tuned out her friend as she babbled on about her now perfect love life. Alex just didn't understand. Sure, David was over a foot taller than her. But it's okay for guys to be taller than girls!

She knew it was slightly sexist, but in Alicia's mind, the girl is shorter. She is able to fit comfortably under the arm of her boyfriend. She is not six foot four, as Alicia herself was.

But love knows no boundaries, and no matter how much Alicia scolded herself, her little crush on Simon McAdams was not disappearing just because she happened to be six and a half inches taller than him.

She felt a little whiny, saying this – it paled in comparison to the difference in height between David and Alex. But really! The situation was entirely different. Plus, Simon McAdams (the Chris Abeley (1) of their school – you could never say the first name without saying the last) was not some regular boy. Simon McAdams was worshipped by the entire female population and admired by the entire male population. And he was also a basketball player.

Now, David had been on the receiving end of many solicitations – "You're so tall! You must be able to play basketball!" – but his overpowering lack of hand-eye coordination soon ended those. Alicia, on the other hand, was an avid fan of basketball and a dedicated athlete herself. Captain of the girls' team, to be specific.

Simon McAdams, however, was not spectacularly tall. He stood at five foot nine and a half. Average. He was also a huge nerd in middle school. But when he shockingly tried out for the basketball team and blew away all the competition (his claim of only having played in his driveway with a plastic net was usually discarded as a modest lie), Simon McAdams quickly grew to one of the most respected guy in the school.

And Alicia's rival.

And, as stereotypes are most often religiously followed, Alicia was in love with him.

She wasn't sure quite what it was – maybe it was the cute glimmer his eyes got when he won an argument with her, or when he made a basket.

Maybe it was the way she imagined running her hands through his silky black hair.

Maybe it was just that when Alex briefly liked him, her jealousy had risen quickly and had not backed down until her little friend moved on.

Whatever it was, it most definitely started in one moment at the girls' practice, when Simon showed up, like he often did – Alicia believed it was to watch them and laugh every time someone messed up. But one time, he challenged her to make a basket with him as a defender.

Alicia had laughed in his face. At that time, he was just an annoying little shrimp that thought he was the best in the world at basketball. She accepted his challenge eagerly.

As she dodged him to make a lay-up, he snaked an arm around her long, thin torso in a desperate attempt to knock her away. The ball flew into the net, just as Alicia knew it would. But it hardly mattered anymore. She could feel a stripe of flesh across her stomach that was burning with the aftertaste of his skin.

He had just grinned at her, and walked away, whistling slightly.

But that had been last year, in their freshman year. Now they were sophomores, and ten times more mature.

"Oh, my God, Alicia! There he is! Go talk to him!" Alex giggled furiously.

Alicia blushed slightly and shoved her friend. "Shut it, Alex. No way."

But before she could run off without Simon noticing her, he called out to her.

"Alicia! Come here!"

Reluctantly, she broke apart from Alex and stalked over to him, pushing her thick brown hair out of her eyes, adopting a sarcastic, indifferent face.

"What, McAdams?"

He grinned that little infuriating grin. "I have to talk to you. Captain to captain, you know."

She rolled her eyes, but followed him without protest.

He led them back to the coach's office, sat down in the chair in front of the desk, and promptly began to play with the toy basketball court the coach kept on her desk.

Alicia looked around warily. "What the hell are we doing here?"

He smirked. "We're breaking into the Coach's office – come on, Leesh, what do you think we're doing here?"

"Don't call me that," she snapped. "And I have no idea what we're doing. You're probably just using me as an excuse when you get caught stealing from Coach. Where is she? She's probably gonna walk in here in, like, two seconds, and we're—"

He laughed, his eyes doing that sparkly thing again. "Relax, Leesh. Coach asked us to come in here. I have no idea what we're doing here either."

She huffed angrily and pulled herself up onto the coach's desk, knocking down a couple bobble heads as she did so.

Simon made his big eyes even huger, mocking her. "Alicia, oh my God! What are you doing?! Coach is gonna bust us and we're gonna get in soooo much trouble!"

She scowled. "Shut up, asshole."

He fake-winced. "Ouch, Leesh. That hurt."

Alicia made a face at him. "I told you not to call me that."

Simon grinned. "Aww, Leesh—"

"Ugh, shut up, would you?"

"You are starting to sound repetitive, my dear."

"'Cause you won't listen, you idiot!"

He stood, leaning on the back of the chair. "Hey, I'm not an idiot. I just choose to ignore you."

She made a quick noise of annoyance. "I bet Coach isn't even coming. I bet you're lying. What the hell did you drag me back here for, anyway? I mean, what could Coach possibly have to say to the both of—"

But she didn't finish her sentence, as it was quite difficult with a pair of surprisingly soft lips covering her own.

Now, obviously, Alicia was dying to wrap her arms around Simon and kiss him back ferociously. But she still had her pride and her dignity to worry about, and he'd never let her forget it if she acted like an eager, elementary school girl with a crush.

His hands were resting on the desk behind her, so his forearms kept brushing her sides. His lips, no matter the lack of response, were continuing to move sensuously across her own.

Simon pulled away briefly, resting his forehead on hers, his huge gray eyes staring right into her heart.

He breathed lightly over her lips. "Alicia…" he whispered lightly.

Slowly, carefully, she brought her long thin hands up to rest on his cheeks, and tenderly pushed her own lips over his. He groaned as she twined her arms around his neck, finally being able to comb through those soft black locks. Since she was sitting, and he standing, they were just about the same size, perfectly fitting together.

Neither heard the door as it clanged open and the young coach stumbled in.

"What the hell do you two think you're doing?"

(1) Who caught the reference to The Clique?