Alone on New Year's Eve. She hadn't thought about plans really. But now here she was, watching the ball drop, alone. Pathetic. Not that she could really complain - she'd had invitations, just not from the right people. But she was tired from being sad about it, exhausted from caring. And now it was raining (or snowing) and her dad had called, promising ribs from the party he was at, which somehow made her feel worse. And to top it all off she was out of chocolate.

And now, to make it all worse, there was someone in her fucking house. She clutched her phone in one hand and her TV remote in the other. And all she could think is how pathetic it would be if she died alone, in her house, on New Year's Eve, holding the TV remote. So she dropped it. If she was going to die, it was going to be with as much dignity as she could muster.

"Damn Vee," a voice said, "What did you think, 'Oh, there's an intruder! Better grab the TV remote'?" Veronica squinted into the darkness and out emerged the one and only Bobby Aguilar in all of his muscular glory.

"Holy shit dude," she scowled, "What the actual fuck? Did you just break into my house?" She could see his practically bleached white teeth against his dark, tan skin and without a moment of hesitation he engulfed her in a stifling bear hug.

Veronica took a moment to enjoy the security and warmth in his hug, to smell the bubblegum he was always chewing mixed with his aftershave; which was a surprisingly pleasant combination. Then she pushed him away with all the force she had and when he backed away it was calmly, and of his own choosing. She frowned, "Shouldn't you be off screwing some chick at some party?" she said it with more malice than intended, but figured she could hide behind her I'm-just-one-of-the-guys persona.

"Nah," he said, ruffling up her glossy black hair. "What are you up to, Vee?" Bobby was the only person on the planet allowed to call her Vee, and when he did her heart fluttered.

"Well, I was relaxing until you came along," she punched his arm; he showed no signs of having felt it.

"Damn, Vee, you hit like a girl," he said, walking past her and further into the living room. As he moved away from her she slapped him hard on the back of the head, and was proud at the little wince it evoked. She accompanied her violence with the phrase, "Hey douchebag, I am a girl!" and, so much for the I'm-just-one-of-the-guys persona.

He plopped onto the couch, and scrunched up his nose, waving his hands in front of him: "Ew, cooties!"

"Shut up," she said, sliding in next to him. Silence stretched between them as she curled herself next to him on the couch, watching the ball drop program that was playing on the TV. Five minutes to go.

Finally she said, "Why aren't you out screwing some chick?" She looked at him with big eyes, genuinely curious, putting her head on her knees. He shrugged and it was kind of an ordeal, at least from the way Veronica's heart reacted it was. Bobby was a big time football player at their school - he was the biggest player on the team, and he was more muscle than anything else. He was more than twice Veronica's size, who was a tiny little thing. And when he shrugged it was more like he was rolling his shoulders back, as though stretching every muscle therein. And it made Veronica's heart race as she looked at him.

She hid her reaction behind a tough-guy attitude and a scowl.

"I dunno," he said, "There's 'some chick' I'm more interested in, I guess." He looked at her sideways. Veronica hid the lump in her throat and the pit in her stomach by saying, "Oh yeah, that girl from the store thing…oh what was her name, she was with that guy, um, your math tutor…oh, uh…"

"Allison Brownstone?" he supplied.

"Allison! Yeah Allison! Tall and blonde and super white. Her?" she titled her head at him.

"I thought so…" he mused, a small smile playing on his lips. Veronica frowned ignoring the fact that Allison Brownstone and Veronica Juarez were completely different. Allison Brownstone was a girl, not like how Veronica was a girl because biology said so and boobs, but a girl plus skirts and makeup and general girly-ness. Veronica was small and compact, and was always bruised and always cursing and fighting and over compensating for her weaknesses. Veronica was one of the guys.

She wondered if this inner dialogue running through her was plain on her face. But all Bobby said was: "Getting closer." Looking at the TV it was less than a minute away.

"It's not Ally Brownstone, by the way," he whispered, so low that Veronica almost missed it. And she looked at him with her eyes wide and her heart fluttering and her breath quickened. He looked away from her and back at the count down clock on the TV.

"Five," Bobby was murmuring under his breath, "four," he was looking at his phone, "three," he peaked at Veronica, "two," she looked at him quizzically, "one," the number came out as an exhale. And before she could blink, he was kissing her, slowly, waiting of her to respond. "Happy New Year's," he whispered, his lips on hers.