to be a pansy!

(a oneshot)

It's tulips and it's daisies, your favorite flowers lately - you think that I ain't listenin', but you know I do,

With your two lips on me baby, my head starts getting dazy - don't give me a flower, what I want is you,

It happened on the day you put your hand in mine - you went up to my head just like a glass of wine . . .

He ran a shaky hand through his hair in relief. Good. For a while there, he thought he may have loved her.

But if he loved her, would he have so shamelessly chatted up that redhead at work today? Would he have let that same redhead write her phone number across the arm that she—the girl he thought he may have loved, that is, not the giggly redhead—once admitted made her feel safe? (He thought that if he loved her, he would have tried to wash the ink off, at the very least. But he didn't love her, so instead he rolled his sleeves up so that anyone could see the bubbly numbers punctuated by a slightly distorted winky face.)

But most of all, if he loved her, then certainly he wouldn't have had the gall to show up at her doorstep three hours and sixteen minutes late for their dinner date with neither an excuse nor a drop of remorse. Yet there he was, knocking at the door to her apartment, smirk firmly in place.

Only she wasn't answering the door. What was her problem? He was using the secret knocking pattern and everything, even though he told her that it was a stupid idea ages ago. It was a good thing he didn't love her, because if he did, he'd be mighty hurt that she wasn't letting him in. He rapped at the door again, his hands coming down heavily in annoyance. Still no answer. He knew she was there, blast it. So he tried the doorbell, even though he hadn't done that since he learned from his boss that "friends knock; strangers ring the doorbell" when he'd sold cutlery back in high school. Well. She wasn't his friend anyway. He didn't even like her that much.

So why were his knuckles raw from rapping so hard against the oak? And why did he press down on that stupid bell so many times that he was humming the tune under his breath as his (still raw) knuckles continued their assault? Why did he kick the door in his frustration? Why was he calling her name? Why did he need to see her so desperately? Why—

"Okay, so this is getting really old. You're like three and a half hours late and I really don't want to see you right now so unless your sick grandpa who died two weeks ago and came back to life last week—so you could visit him in the hospital and miss our movie date—died again, I suggest you leave. Actually, even if he did die again, I want you to leave. So, go on, get leavin', buster—and my God, I'm serious, if you don't stop staring at me like that I will . . ."

"You look nice," he interrupted smoothly, but his voice was hoarser and softer than he intended, and maybe he should've brought her flowers. Some pretty tulips or . . . curses. What a pansy.

She was looking at him expressionlessly as she crossed her arms under her chest, and he really should've brought some daisies, too. He swallowed as he looked into those hazel eyes that he loved—just the eyes, he didn't love her—and he watched them try to regain the careful disinterest they'd lost somewhere during the course of her speech. God, he really loved her eyes.

And her dress. Her dress the color of his favorite wine—hey, why hadn't she changed out of it yet? Shouldn't she be cursing the inconsiderate arrogance of all men in her Hannah Montana or Pink Floyd or whatever pajamas? Shouldn't she be holding a tub of Ben & Jerry's and not a bowl of not-yet-soggy cereal? Shouldn't she have flicked perfectly good ice cream (not cereal! Was he not good enough for ice cream?) at him with that spoon of hers instead of tapping the cool metal absentmindedly against her pink, pink lips? She was so confusing sometimes. It was no wonder he didn't love her.

(But in his heart, he knew - and he knew because he - because she - well, all he really knew was that she was not the woman who cried over being stood up. She was the woman who made herself feel beautiful in her best dress because although she had hoped for it, she didn't need him to stare at her in dazed devotion to know how lovely she was. She was strong and good and he was not the man she deserved because he was not good. This is what he knew in his heart, but his mind was not so beautiful. And until he could get the two to agree . . .)

"Yeah, well," she cleared her throat and leaned against the doorway. "You said to dress up nice." It was not the jarring weight of accusation that altered her voice, but rather a wry kind of sadness that humbled him and made him clench his fists. She was supposed to be screaming, not saying things that made him wonder . . .

He didn't love her, right? Right. Ha. Of course he didn't love her. He hardly even liked her. Besides, he'd seen what love did to people. It hurt and it destroyed and it failed so that families built on it failed, too. But most of all—most frighteningly and most despicably—it made people pansies.

And he was not a pansy. In high school, people called him a pretty boy (which was practically a pansy, blast it) because his blonde hair was nice and his soccer body was lean. He didn't want to be a pretty boy because that was practically a pansy and pansies did stupid things like jump off buildings and hug trees and baby-sit and fall in love, which was worse than all those things combined. To prove that he was changing his pretty boy ways, he stopped wearing shirts that said "Life is easy when you look like this" and instead wore shirts that said "They wouldn't let me through security with these guns" with pictures of stick figures that had bumps on their arms for biceps.

She bought him that one, actually. And he was wearing it under his long-sleeved dress shirt. She didn't think he was a pansy at all. She even told him he had man hands once and—curses! When did she shut the door on him?

"I'm going to knock down this blasted door if you don't open up!" he finally shouted in frustration, and wanted to kick himself after the words escaped his lips. That was trite and stupid and she wouldn't believe him—

Oh. Worked like a charm. And of course it would. Because he wasn't a pansy and since he was such a manly man, of course he would follow through with his threat of knocking down a measly piece of oak. Ha. She better have believed him.

But now she was glaring at him.

"What do you want?" she gritted out, raising her brows in irritation.

"Um, can I come in?" he asked sheepishly, sticking his hands into his pockets.

"What? No! No way! Need I remind you that you were like forty-six hours late for our—" he cut off her rant by nudging her out of the way and plopping down on her couch.

After a good half-minute, he turned his head around to where she was still standing in indignant shock by the door. "Aren't you going to come in and sit?" he questioned, trying hard to keep the triumph out of his voice. She wouldn't be too happy about that.

She muffled a shriek behind her hand and turned around to face him. "Get out," she said. "Get out, get out, get out!"

"Look," he sighed. "I know you're super upset with me right now and - hey, I'm not going to feed you a silly story about my grandpa dying—nice catch, by the way, with the whole coming back to life and getting sick thing and . . . right," he rubbed his hands together nervously when she rolled her eyes in annoyance. She was listening, though, and that was all he could ask for at the moment. Now if he only he knew what to do with that . . .

"So?" she finally asked after a minute. "What is the story?"

"Well, actually, it was my, uh, great aunt Fanny that—"

"Fanny," she repeated tonelessly. "As in, the pack."

He smirked in spite of himself. "And as in, your fanny is looking particularly nice tonight—"

She looked away in disgust, her (very pink) upper lip curling derisively. He knew that she thought he really did have a good excuse this time and he felt a little bad that he disappointed her. "God, you're pathetic," she said quietly with a shake of her head. "I hate you. You're vile! I hate you so much it hurts!"

Something inside of him ached at that and as his heart and stomach twisted, he snapped back, "Yeah? Well I don't love you! That's right. I said it."


She looked at him as if he had sprouted a few more heads—mind you, heads that were just as attractive as the one he already had. That is, she looked a little weirded out but just a little pleased, too. "Um, yeah, we've only been dating for like two months. Was that really the best you could come up with? After I called you vile and pathetic and told you I hated you?"

He could feel his ears burning as she stared at him weirdly so he sunk deeper into the cushions as he fiddled with the buttons on his shirt. "Uh . . . yeah. Yes."

"You're such a freak sometimes," she said after a moment, and when he heard that telltale sigh of begrudging affection drifting along with the sentence, he pulled her down onto the couch with him.

"I'm sorry," he said in a way that sounded like no more redheads and I'm coming early next time and something else he wasn't quite ready to admit to yet. She shifted so that her head was in his lap and he was stroking her soft brown locks with something like adoration when she brought his other hand to her lips.

"I love your hands," she said in acknowledgment of his apology, and kissed his (still raw) knuckles in a way that made the room a little warmer.

He smiled an open and easy and content sort of smile and hoped that was not a pansy-type thing to do. "My man hands?"

"Yeah," she said, laughing, and he had to remind himself why it was he didn't love her (because he didn't, see - it's just that when she - well - God). She sat up and stared at his arm—his strong, protector arm. "Hey," she murmured with a wrinkled brow and the slightest tilt of her head. "What's that?"

Maybe if he'd played it off like it was nothing she would've left him alone, but instead he hastily tried to pull his sleeves down, feeling naked and ashamed. "Oh—uh, don't worry about that, it's just—" he trailed off, seeing the hurt that painted her eyes a shade darker and sunk her shoulders a little lower. His heart clenched as he continued lamely, "It's just whatever." Stupid redhead girl! This was all her fault!

"Right," she said quickly, already on her way to the kitchen (sometimes she just couldn't handle it, handle him...sometimes she was so afraid and - ), "do you want something to drink?"

"No!" He ran after her and slammed the refrigerator door shut just as she started to open it. He left his hand there because he needed that door to stay closed, as if by letting her get him something to drink he'd be letting her get away.

"Hey," he said thickly, wanting her to look at him with those eyes of hers. "It's not what you—I mean, it's—I don't love her!"

Her head snapped up and she gave him the hey-you-just-grew-three-more-very-attractive-heads stare again. "But you don't love me either," she said, and there was a startled sort of question in her voice, and she looked at him with wide eyes like if she saw more of him she would understand more of him; maybe she would feel a little less lost (because he was the only one who could bring her back) and—

"Oh, right," he said, scratching at his neck. "Ha-ha . . ."

"Because you're not a pansy—"


"—and we haven't even known each other that long—"

"See, you got this all figured out."

"—I mean, you hardly even like me—"

"That's what I said!"

"And there are so many women in your office who are like way prettier than I am," she trailed off, looking at his arm again before averting her gaze quickly. (She was still scared because sometimes he made her so scared and if he could just - a word of reassurance would be - maybe he really didn't -)

"What? No. No, that's just ridiculous," he scoffed before he could stop himself. "I mean, uh, it's just that—God, but you're beautiful," he whispered honestly.

Pansy? No. Only the most valiant of warriors faced up to the truth. "And I think I might love you," he continued with a shrug. Might as well go all the way, he thought.

Her mouth dropped in shock and his hand dropped from where it had rested on the fridge—it was that sweaty. Because real men sweat. It was part of that whole man stench thing that he was never too fond of. He wiped his hands on his jeans and watched her nervously. (He reasoned, he was not the man who was always wonderful but he could be the man who loved her if she let him. And in his mind he knew that this was good and she was good and if she taught him how, he could be so good, so good . . .)

"B-but, we've only been going out for two months!" she protested, shaking her head back and forth.

"I know, but—"

"And you show up late to half our dates!"

"Yeah, I know, not cool, but—"


"God, I know." Oh, did he ever know.

She stared at him wordlessly before bringing his head down to her level so that she could press kisses along his jaw and whisper into his ear, "My pansy."

She made it sound so sexy, too.

This ain't opinion - it's consensus from my heart and mind,

You make me happy to be alive.

author's note.

LOLOLOOLL – uhhh. Don't look at me like that. I love this pansy dude, whoever he is. And…this story is still all kinds of weird, I know. Shhh.

Hmm, I don't think I've ever written a one-shot like this -where it's all kind of one scene or whatever so -maybe it moved fast or something but I was dying for him to admit he loved her dang it!

…so that was fun while it lasted. Maybe I should take more time with these things so they can entertain me for a lot longer. next time!


p.s. review will be...good!

(yes, that means if you don't you will be...BAD!)

EDITED: July 19, 2009 - lyrics by jimmy needham (from the song "firefly") it's an awesome little jam. he's an awesome little man.