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Mostly Products Created By Nature | Greta-centric high school AU
PG-13 | ~ 6,000 words | Greta/Bob Bryar (minor Brendon/Spencer, Brendon/Ryan, Ryan/Keltie, Frank/Jamia, Gerard/Lyn-Z, Gabe/VickyT, Greta/Singer, Greta/Chris, Greta/William, William/Lewis)
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Bob Bryar is not dreamy. Bob Bryar looks like the kind of guy who could fuck you up in a back alley, but doesn’t care enough about you to actually do it. Greta has had the most inconvenient crush on Bob Bryar since freshman year.

A/N: So this is basically het, but it’s mostly just a bunch of teenagers hanging out and driving around in cars, okay? It’s completely pointless, all over the place, entirely too short for the amount of characters I throw at you, and I’m sure you’ll all be completely horrified by my characterization of Greta. I sincerely apologize in advance.

Mostly Products Created By Nature


Greta is the sweetest, kindest girl in the entire world – seriously, Ryan tells her almost daily – so she doesn’t understand how she keeps getting into these fucking ridiculous situations.

“I’m not even a senior,” she says to no one in particular – because no one in particular is paying attention to her, slumped in a corner of the front office, squeezed between the concrete wall and Bob Bryar.

Bob snorts.

“I’m covered in egg,” she says. What she really wants to do is go home. She’s starting to smell.

“You’re starting to smell,” Bob says gruffly, and this is just great, fantastic, because when she’d gotten to school that morning, the one thing she absolutely wanted to have happen was Bob Bryar telling her she stunk. Perfect.

“Thanks,” she says, then narrows her eyes at the side of Bob’s head, because she doesn’t think Bob had been part of the masked crew that’d attacked the foreign language hall that morning, but it’s still a possibility. He’s a senior, at least. “If I find out you’re even partway responsible for this, Bryar, you’re dead meat.” As far as dire warnings go, it isn’t much, but Greta’s pissed off and the yolk’s starting to cake in her hair, and she’s hoping her eyes will convey the threat of painful death for her.

Bob turns to stare at her. “Crazy’s a good look on you,” he says finally.

Bob Bryar is not dreamy. Bob Bryar looks like the kind of guy who could fuck you up in a back alley, but doesn’t care enough about you to actually do it. Greta has had the most inconvenient crush on Bob Bryar since freshman year.

It’s the sort of crush that doesn’t go anywhere, though. It’s the sort of crush where Greta always puts Bob near the top of her Top Ten Laredo High Hot Guys lists – the ones that Ashlee makes her write in math – but it doesn’t make her grin vacantly at him or stalk him around school or anything.

It does, however, make her heart beat like crazy whenever he’s within ten feet of her. Being covered in goo and being mad as all hell had apparently dampened the effect, until he’d pinned her with his incredibly blue, awesome eyes. He’d recently gotten a lip ring, and Greta absolutely does not think body piercings – or tattoos, for that matter – are in any way attractive. Except on Bob Bryar.

“Uh,” Greta says. Greta has lost the ability to speak; awesome.

“Miss Salpeter,” the secretary says, “you can go on in.”

Greta lets out a long breath and gets to her feet and tries not to think about how there is seriously egg all down the side of her body – fucking senior prank day, what the hell? – and makes her way past Mr. Schechter and into Miss Ivarsson’s office.

Miss Ivarsson is kind of the most inappropriate principal ever. Greta always thinks maybe she’s going to get a flash of boob, because her shirts are loose fitting and cut all the way down to her navel, and she’s tiny but her legs go on forever. She doesn’t see how Miss Ivarsson can possibly keep students in line when they’re all scrambling to get a peek at her.

“Greta,” Miss Ivarsson says, tapping sharp red nails on her ink blotter, “clearly you are not under any suspicion here.”

Clearly. Of course. She’d just been waiting in the front office for fucking ever. Not like she minds missing class – she’s a good student, yeah, but she’s not gonna pass up a legitimate reason not to go – but she’s pretty sure they’re going to let her go home.

Miss Ivarsson smiles at her. She doesn’t have a particularly nice smile, either. “Greta, darling, did you happen to see any of the students who did this to you?”

Oh yeah, right. Tattling. Social suicide. Even if Greta could say for certain that Pete Wentz had egged her in the face – and Pete better fucking hope he hadn’t egged her in the face – there’s absolutely no way Greta is telling Miss Ivarsson that.

“They were wearing masks,” Greta says.

“I see. And you are sure you did not recognize anyone?” Miss Ivarsson looks skeptical, duh, but Greta knows there’s really nothing she can do about it. She’s not going to call Greta on lying.

Greta gets straight As and isn’t generally a troublemaker, even if she does have phenomenally bad luck - like getting caught in the halls during second period and getting egged in the face. Or like playing an entire orchestra concert with the back of her skirt tucked into her pantyhose, or getting an actual speaking part in the school musical, when all she’d really wanted to do was sing in the ensemble with Ryan, since she’s got stage fright so bad that she’s actually thrown up before, that one time when she’d had that solo in choir. She just—she tries to fucking disappear in school, which is the only way you can survive unscathed, Vicky always tells her, but it never, ever seems to work.

Greta nods. “I’m sure.”

“Right, well.” Miss Ivarsson sighs. “Please stop and get a late pass from Mr. Schechter.”

“But, I.” Greta gapes at her. “I’ve got egg in my hair.”

Miss Ivarsson wrinkles her nose. “There should be no problem with you wearing your gym uniform for the rest of the day,” she says. “And the locker rooms at the pool are equipped with showers. I suggest you make use of them before heading to your next class.”

*

Un-fucking-believable, that’s what it is. Greta drops into the seat next to Ryan and buries her head in her hands.

“There’s some sort of unpleasant aroma around you,” Ryan says, and Greta is officially having the worst day of her life.

Ryan is Greta’s best friend. She has no idea why.

“Seriously, what happened to you?” Ryan asks.

Greta’s wearing her uncomfortably short gym shorts and an ugly Laredo High bright yellow tee, and she hadn’t been able to find any shampoo, so her hair is sort of stiff, and her entire body still smells sour. “The universe hates me. Do we know any voodoo shamans? Because I’m pretty sure I’m cursed.”

“You’re not cursed.” Ryan nudges her arm. “Brownie?”

She looks up. “Depends,” she says. “Are you wearing a bandana around your head?” Ryan’s taken metrosexual to a whole new level. He’s into gay cowboy chic or something, and Keltie apparently loves it. It’s like he was going for a hippie vibe, but got distracted by neckerchiefs. Greta is continuously baffled by Ryan as a person.

“Yes.” Ryan slides a brownie over to her on a square of napkin.

Greta slides it right on back. “These are Joe’s,” she says.

“Joe’s finest,” Ryan agrees, and Greta loves Ryan, but Ryan is really fucking high. His pupils are huge. The last thing Greta needs in the entire world right now is to eat a pot brownie.

The last time she’d barely made it through chemistry without peeing her pants.

The chair across from them screeches as Brendon pulls it out, and Ryan says, “My friend Spencer’s growing a beard,” out of nowhere, and then he starts laughing.

Brendon pouts. Brendon’s a sophomore, but he sits with them at lunch anyway, because Brendon and Ryan used to date, before Ryan realized he wasn’t actually gay. It’d been an amicable breakup, but Brendon still gets pissy whenever Ryan brings up his mysterious friend Spencer – mysterious because no one has ever actually met him, since he’d gone to Catholic school, and then he’d moved away, and now he’s back again, but still going to Catholic school, and Ryan has this weird thing where he doesn’t like to share Spencer with anyone.

They all pretty much suspect Spencer’s a figment of Ryan’s pot-addled mind, but Spencer is the epitome of everything awesome to Ryan. Brendon gets a little jealous.

Brendon sniffs his I-don’t-care-Ryan-Ross sniff, then beams at Greta. “Why are you—”

“I’m not even going to ask,” Ashlee cuts in, tray clattering on the table. “Seriously, I don’t want to know why you’re wearing your gym clothes, Greta, and why you smell like old socks soaked in Raspberry Glace.”

Greta’s cheeks heat. She’d found an abandoned Victoria’s Secret body spray and gone a little wild. It’s not like it could make her smell any worse.

“Senior prank day,” Greta says. She tries to run a hand through her hair, but it gets stuck. Greta blinks away tears. “They egged the foreign language wing.”

“Oh. Oh, no, honey, really?” Ashlee pats her hand.

Greta is seriously going to start bawling at any freaking moment, right in the middle of the lunchroom. Fucking seniors. She can see a couple out of the corner of her eye, but they’re ones she’s pretty sure aren’t responsible. Gerard and Ray are as harmless as, like, baby rabbits.

“Why are you still here?” Ashlee asks.

“Because Ivarsson is pure unadulterated evil,” Greta says.

“We should totally cut.” Ashlee nods. “I’ll grab Vicky and we’ll meet out back and cut through the soccer fields to Manhattan Bagel.”

“Yeah, because the next best thing to being seen in school like this is, you know, being seen out in the general public.” Her gym shirt even has her name magic markered on it. Greta is the single coolest girl in the whole school.

“We could go to Spencer’s.”

Greta turns to stare at Ryan. Ryan’s eating the brownie he’d offered her and his eyes are the size of shiny nickels. “What?”

“Spencer’s. He’s got, like, oh man, wow, he has the best beard, seriously—”

“Ryan.”

“No, no.” Ryan flaps a hand. “He’s got a free last period, leaves early. We can skip math.”

“I’m all for skipping math,” Ashlee says. She breaks a corner off of Ryan’s brownie and pops it into her mouth, then makes a face. “Jesus, are these Joe’s?”

“Yep.” Ryan grins.

“I want to meet this mysterious Spencer,” Brendon says. He leans forward, whispers to Greta, “I didn’t think he was real. Did you think he was real?”

“Spencer is very, very real,” Ryan says. “Spencer’s, like, blood.”

Greta rolls her eyes. “Whatever, all right, fine.” She still has to sit through two more periods, but it’s better than nothing.

*

Lindsey Ballato is really, really weird. Like, really fucking awesome weird and Greta secretly admires her like crazy. She spends half of chemistry class drawing unicorns for Gerard’s younger brother, but she’s no slouch when it comes to their experiments. Plus, she totally covered Greta’s ass that time she came to class so very, very high.

“Okay, seriously, you need to stand at least ten feet away from me,” Lindsey says to Greta. If Greta hadn’t spent the past seven months as her lab partner, she would’ve thought she was serious.

“If you dump some chemicals on me I can go jump in the safety shower.”

“Trust me, I’m tempted.” Lindsey cocks her head to the side, watches her speculatively. “So I might’ve been told about your little run in with some douchebag seniors by an unlikely source.”

“What?”

Lindsey shrugs, opens her chemistry book. “Today should be easy,” she says. “I can handle it if, say, someone should happen to swoop in to rescue you.”

Greta has no idea what Lindsey’s talking about.

And then little Frankie Iero is bouncing in the doorway and telling Dr. Call-Me-Steven that Greta’s wanted at the front office again, and Greta shoots Lindsey a bewildered look as she shoos her out of her seat.

Frank says, “Wow, Bob was right,” when they get out into the hall.

Greta grits her teeth. “Right about what?”

“You got slammed, dude. That fucking sucks.” Frank shakes his head, and then sets off down the hall in the opposite direction of the front office.

“Are we—where are we going?”

“You and me, Greta. We’re gonna hang out.” Frank slants her this huge grin, and Greta’s no match for it. She has to grin back.

Frank’s a tiny little sophomore that always acts like he’s a mastiff instead of one of those yappy curly-haired miniature poodles – which he so clearly is. He’s seriously so cute Greta could put him in her pocket. His girlfriend might beat the crap out of her, though.

Frank leads her down past the auditorium, past the choir room and out the side-stage door. He leans against the dirty brick outside, and Greta mimics his stance, gazing out across the soccer fields.

“You smoke?” he asks, pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his jeans.

“No,” she says, and then holds her hand out.

He arches an eyebrow but taps two out of the pack, sticks them both in his mouth to light, then hands one off to her.

Greta has never smoked in her life. Not even pot, because whatever stash Ryan gets he insists on having it baked so his dad can’t smell it on him. Her eyes water at the burn in her throat, but she doesn’t cough. Win.

“Seriously, you’re hardcore, Salpeter,” Frank says admiringly.

Smoke stutters out of her mouth. “Thanks,” she rasps.

Frank keeps Greta company for over an hour and a half – he’d left to go to the nurse after lunch, apparently, and just never went back to class - and they circle the building twice to avoid the security guards and Greta smokes three cigarettes and feels like she’s licked an ashtray. It’s pretty awesome.

When she spots Ray, Bob and Gerard walking towards them, Lindsey hanging off Bob’s back, Greta squeezes Franks arm and says, “Last period. I’m meeting Ryan.”

Frank’s smile is crooked. “Sure.”

“Thanks for everything,” she says over her shoulder, walking off.

“Hey, I love rescuing damsels and shit,” he shouts after her, laughing.

*

Ashlee and Ryan are already at Vicky’s car when Greta rounds the corner heading towards the parking lot.

Ashlee pokes her in the side when she strolls up. “You weren’t in English.”

“I played hooky with Frank Iero.”

“No, really,” Ryan says. “Where were you?”

“Smoking.” Greta grins. “With Frank.” She’s such a kid, because smoking with Frank just sounds so cool.

Ashlee rolls her eyes. “Fine, don’t tell us. Oh, hey, there’s Vicky.”

Brendon shows up last, trailing after Vicky, and Greta says, “So we don’t look conspicuous at all.”

Vicky has a bright blue two-door Nissan and Greta’s stuffed in the tiny back between Ashlee and Brendon, since Ryan gets shotgun by dint of having the longest legs. Greta’s half on Brendon’s thigh with her shoulder jammed under Ashlee’s arm, and by the time they hit Route 3 they’re blasting Fall Out Boy and singing at the top of their lungs.

They drive past Spencer’s street twice, because Ryan isn’t paying attention, and it’s already after two by the time they pull into his driveway. Greta has a cramp in her leg, and she tumbles out of the car laughing, holding onto Brendon to keep upright.

Brendon hooks their arms together and says, “Are you excited, Greta Salpeter? I’m kind of excited. Seriously, I totally thought Spencer was Ryan’s imaginary friend. I mean, he’s sort of,” Brendon points at his head, “spacey.”

Greta nods, even though she thinks Ryan isn’t actually spacey. He sees a lot more than he lets on, and sometimes Greta suspects the stoner stuff is just an act – except when he really is stoned - and an excuse to rock tight vests and paisley shirts.

A guy with a pretty impressive beard opens the door when Ryan knocks.

Brendon tenses up, almost vibrating along the side of Greta’s body.

And then the guy smiles. He smiles, says, “Hey,” and he has, maybe, the best smile Greta has ever seen. It lights up his entire face, beard and all.

Brendon grips Greta’s hand tight. “Oh my god, Greta,” he says.

“What?” Greta asks, leaning towards him.

He whispers, “I know him.”

“All right.”

“No, like.” Brendon is seriously shaking he’s so excited. “That’s Hot Beard Guy!”

Greta giggles. Brendon’s been going on and on about Hot Beard Guy for weeks, this boy he keeps bumping into at Jon’s Starbucks. Like, literally colliding with, and he bemoans the fact that Hot Beard Guy thinks he’s a clumsy moron.

“Hide me,” Brendon says, ducking down around her back.

“Yeah, that’ll work,” Greta says, just as Ryan says, “And that’s Greta, and the dork hiding behind her is Brendon.”

Brendon peeks over her shoulder and waves.

Spencer nods, and he doesn’t seem to recognize Brendon at all, and he says, “Okay,” and “Come on in.”

*

Everyone knows Jon Walker, even though Jon Walker goes to Catholic school instead of public. Jon works at the Starbucks closest to their high school and he knows all the regulars’ names and sings songs with Brendon – and Greta, when she’s in the mood – and he’s generally really, really great.

He’s sitting in Spencer’s den, tie loose around his neck, white shirt unbuttoned at the top and one khaki pant leg pulled up to his knee.

“Jon Walker,” Brendon shouts when he spots him, then launches himself across the couch to land on his lap.

Greta covers her eyes with a hand, because she loves Brendon to death, but Brendon seriously has no self control, and sometimes that’s embarrassing. She hears Jon laugh, though, and then there’s a thump and Greta splits her fingers and watches as Jon tackles Brendon onto the floor.

Brendon’s breathlessly hysterical by the time Jon lets him up, and they’re both sprawled out on the floor, panting, with huge grins.

Beyond them, Ryan crosses his arms over his chest and cocks a hip and says, “So, Spence, do you think you can get Greta here something to wear?”

Spencer asks her, “Is that a gym uniform?”

“She’s got egg in her hair, too,” Vicky says, absently paging through a TV Guide. “My car smells like dead babies.”

“Classy.”

Vicky flashes Ashlee a grin. “That’s me.”

“Raw eggs’ll make your coat nice and shiny,” Jon says earnestly, and Brendon laughs into his shoulder, and Greta isn’t sure, but she thinks he mumbles something like, “But she totally has to eat them,” because all her friends suck.

“Seriously, I love you guys,” Greta says. Best day of her life, that’s what this is.

*

Spencer spends several minutes just staring at her when they get to his room. He looks a little defensive, and Greta understands this. Ryan’s been Greta’s best friend for the past three years, and Spencer’s been living at the other side of the country.

Spencer has been Ryan’s best friend since he was five. It’s difficult to say which friendship is more important, since Spencer’s technically known him the longest, but Greta’s the one who’s stuck by Ryan’s side through his riverboat gambler phase, his street urchin look, and the time the entire football team dressed up as him for Halloween.

Greta thinks it’s important for not-actually-imaginary-Spencer and her to get along, though. She says, “I can’t believe you’re real,” because she figures that’s as good an ice breaker as any.

Spencer’s brow furrows. “What?”

“Seriously, he’s been talking about you for years, yet there’s been no proof of your actual existence. I think Brendon’s a little disappointed,” she says, which is a lie, but not a total lie, because Brendon would’ve been fully behind imaginary-Spencer - they’d all long ago decided that Ryan having an imaginary friend was completely hysterical - but he’s probably ecstatic that Hot Beard Guy is someone he can get to know without always being a total spaz around him. Hopefully. Seriously, the stories; they’re tragic.

“Brendon’s—”

“Enthusiastic.”

“Yeah, um.” Spencer scratches his beard. “How do you feel about unicorns?”

*

Greta’s taken a firm brush to her hair and has it pulled back in a high ponytail. She’s got on this rockin’ airbrushed unicorn t-shirt with puffy letters that spell out Todd, and the gray sweatpants aren’t nearly as bad as the short-shorts, especially since it’d been kind of obvious that she hadn’t shaved her legs that day.

She is ready and willing to face the outside world again, so they all head out to Carmine’s for pizza.

And run right into Frank and Jamia.

Frank whistles. “Looking good, Todd,” he says, and Greta can’t catch a break. Frank’s nice and all, but it’d be great if he could lay off mocking her a little. She realizes it’s tough, but honestly.

And then something awesome happens. Spencer steps forward, and Spencer maybe isn’t the most intimidating guy, despite the ridiculously full beard he’s sporting – Greta’s sure he’s not even Brendon’s age yet – and crosses his arms and does a pretty kick-ass impression of Ryan’s bitch-look. Only it kind of works for him, since he’s got, you know, actual substance. Greta could even classify it as effective looming.

Ryan arches his eyebrows over at her, as if to say, Spencer wins, right, how could you doubt me? and Greta does not know. She just admits she’d been very, very wrong with a solemn nod.

Of course, then Bob Bryar walks up, and Bob Bryar could eat Spencer.

Spencer doesn’t back down, though, and then Brendon gets some sort of nerve and sidles up next to him - and beams when Spencer acknowledges his brave little presence – and seriously, it’s getting so stupid, because Frank hadn’t meant anything by it, and Frank has been pretty cool to her all day.

Before Greta can open her mouth, though, Jamia says, “Okay, wow, you’re all really fucking dumb,” and Frank giggles.

“Yeah, sorry,” Greta says finally. “I’ve sort of had a bad day.”

“I like your shirt,” Bob says, and Greta can feel her face turn completely red.

Bob Bryar is not dreamy, oh he isn’t, but she wishes maybe her heart knew that. Her heart is composing sonnets to his lower lip and slightly crooked nose. He’s wearing an oversized hoodie that he must be sweltering in, sleeves pushed up, and Greta seriously wants to snuggle right in.

Ryan jabs a bony elbow into her side, and she suddenly realizes that everyone’s being really, really quiet, and that she’s been staring at Bob for god knows how long. “Um.”

Ashlee swings an arm over her shoulders. “So we’re going to get pizza. Anyone else in?”

Greta can’t help the laugh that slips out, because, wow, things just keep happening. It’s almost not even embarrassing anymore.

Inside, they end up splitting into three booths, and Greta is squeezed in next to Jamia, across from Ryan and Bob.

“I’m fucking starving,” Ryan says, picking up a laminated menu. “Who wants lots of meat?”

“That’s really too easy,” Jamia says.

“Everything about Ryan is hilarious,” Greta says, and Ryan goes, “Hey,” but there isn’t any real heat to it. Or inflection.

Bob cracks a smile.

Greta has seen Bob smile, like, twice in her entire high school career. She’s sure his friends must see it all the time, though, since Jamia doesn’t even mention it – mention how his eyes twinkle just the slightest little bit to match – but it feels like maybe the sun just came out, and Greta thinks her crush just ratcheted up a few notches. It isn’t quite at Pete Wentz stalker level yet, but she’s sure it’s only a matter of time.

*

Carmine’s pizza is really greasy, but really cheap, so it’s the most popular pizza joint in town.

Greta didn’t think it was possible for her to feel any more disgusting than she already does, but after one slice of Ryan’s sausage, pepperoni, extra cheese concoction she’s, like, slippery. It’s completely gross. She’s so happy that Bob Bryar is there to witness it. Seriously, it’s great.

Watching Bob and Ryan trying to out eat each other is something else, though. Ryan might be pure skin on bone, but he can sure pack it away.

Jamia and Greta share amused eyebrow arches, and then Jamia tells her an almost unbelievable story about Frank, Gabe Saporta, and Gerard’s pet hamster. Before she even realizes it, the entire pie is gone.

Greta chips in five bucks – then puts another six in when Ryan gives her the wide-eyed look of penniless puppies everywhere – and they drag chairs over to where Brendon and Frank are having maze races with crayons and the paper kid’s menu. That burns up maybe another half hour - and it’s kind of awesome and surreal that Greta gets to rub elbows with Bob for a while - but Vicky starts making noise about getting home before her mom, and Greta knows Ashlee’ll bitch about missing TMZ, so the entire mob of them troop out into the late afternoon sunlight.

“Greta,” Bob says, stopping her with a hand on her arm right outside the front of the restaurant.

Greta tips her head back to look up at him. Bob is really fair skinned. Greta’s kind of fascinated by the way his neck flushes.

“Bob!” Frank comes flying out of nowhere and climbs up Bob’s back. “Bob, dooooo it,” he says, and Bob hooks his arms under Frank’s legs, even though he looks like he really wants to just drop him.

“Greta—”

“Do it, do it, doooo it—”

“I’m gonna fucking kill you, Iero,” Bob growls, and then Frank laughs and shimmies down and takes off across the parking lot.

Greta crosses her arms and wishes she had some pockets or something, because she doesn’t really want to cross her arms, but she has no idea what to do with her hands. “Um.”

Bob shifts on his feet. “Look, would you maybe want to go out with me?”

Greta blinks. Somehow, she had not seen that coming. At all.

Bob makes a face. It’s his get-that-fucking-camera-out-of-my-face face, and he says, “Never mind.”

“No, wait. I mean. Yes,” Greta finally spits out. She has to bite her lip to keep from grinning too wide. She’s totally giddy. Bob Bryar just asked her out and she’s got egg in her hair and she’s wearing sweatpants and, “It’s the unicorn shirt, right?”

There’s a little smile at the corner of his mouth. “It’s kind of irresistible,” he says.

Best worst day of her life, seriously. She is so serious.

Then Vicky leans on the horn, and Ryan yells, “Let’s go, Salpeter,” over the top of the car, and Greta twists around to see him waving impatiently at her, and seriously, wow, her friends still suck so hard. Can’t they see she’s having an important moment here?

“Yeah, um. See you?” Greta says to Bob, walking backwards.

Bob nods.

Vicky leans on the horn again. She starts honking out S.O.S.

Greta yells, “Oh my fucking god, quit it,” over her shoulder, and she can hear Ryan laughing, the bastard.

There is honestly no good reason why Ryan is her best friend. It’s just one of life’s great mysteries.

*

Jon drives a Dodge Stratus, and Brendon apparently thinks this is the funniest thing ever. Jon’s the kind of guy who likes to mix his Muse with ELO, so Brendon’s singing Xanadu and Jon’s tapping his fingers on the steering wheel with his foot heavy on the pedal, and Greta’s in the backseat holding hands with Ashlee and praying they make it back to Spencer’s alive.

“Oh my god,” Ashlee says, fingers tightening over Greta’s as they screech around a turn. “Red light, red light!”

Up until now, Ashlee has been the worst driver Greta’s ever been in a car with. Jon is so much worse.

And then the purple Pontiac of doom rolls up next to them and Gabe shouts out his window, “Jonny Walker,” and Jon yells across Brendon, “Gabriel Saporta,” and then Gabe grins this sly grin and says, “Oh, it’s on, fucker,” and Greta thinks oh, shit just as the light changes.

They race down Penn Ave. They lose. Mainly because Ashlee starts beating Jon over the head with her purse and shouting at him to slow the fuck down.

Jon doesn’t seem mad about it, though, just laughs and turns into Rita’s Water Ice behind Gabe’s Firebird.

Greta pulls out her cell and texts Ryan: ritas? gabe’s here

Five minutes later Vicky’s car pulls in and Gabe, ever the gentleman around Victoria, hastens to open her door and kiss all her rings before kissing her mouth, and Greta rolls her eyes, because they’re always like that around each other. It’s kind of sickeningly cute, even though Gabe creeps her out.

William slinks over to where Greta’s sitting on a bench and curls an arm around her and nuzzles her throat. “Greta, sweet pea,” he says, because William has this ridiculous idea that Greta will eventually succumb to his admittedly charming wiles. He’s been trying to seduce her for years. Greta suspects it’s mainly just habit now.

“Bills,” Greta says, then obligingly rubs noses with him.

“You’re adorable,” William murmurs. “I’d like to snack on your neck for a while. Eat you all up.”

“Bill, please,” Greta says, but it’s not much of a protest. William’s the only person she knows who can say something like that and not come off as a sleaze.

“Even though you smell like rotten cabbage.”

“Beckett.”

William stops trying to pull Greta onto his lap and nods at Ryan. “Ross.”

Ryan and William have some sort of ongoing blood feud between them. Their hatred of each other is second only to whatever’s going on with William and Jesse Lacey – don’t even get William started on Jesse Lacey – but Greta has absolutely no clue why. Ryan refuses to talk about it, but everyone agrees their blood feud is almost as hilarious as the idea of Ryan having an imaginary friend.

Ryan looks expectantly at Greta. Greta sighs, says, “You need to bring Keltie out more,” because maybe then she’d pay for him. She gets to her feet, though, and grabs his hand and tugs him over to wait in line behind Brendon.

Brendon looks like maybe he wants to burst out in song or hug everyone within three feet, and Greta’s sure the only reason he’s restraining himself is because Hot Beard Guy Spencer is standing right next to him. He sends Greta oh-my-god! eyes and Ryan snorts.

“Don’t even,” Greta says, poking him.

“Whatever,” Ryan says. He’s smiling a little, though.

*

Ryan and William are glaring at each other across the picnic table, and Greta picks around the cherry chunks in her water ice and hums a little.

Ryan says, “You’re in a good mood,” knocking their shoulders together.

Greta is in a pretty fantastic mood. Greta hasn’t been on a date since she’d broken up with Chris before Thanksgiving – because that thing with DeLeon totally hadn’t counted; he’s a freshman, and she’d honestly thought he’d wanted help with his Algebra homework and she’s never going to live that whole candlelit dinner down, she knows it.

She says, “I’d be happier if Brendon and Jon hadn’t started singing Kiss The Girl.” She’s ninety percent certain Bob hadn’t heard them, though, since he’d been halfway across the parking lot at that point.

William eyes her speculatively. “It’s a boy,” he says. “A boy that isn’t me, how could you?”

“I’m practicing for when you inevitably sweep me off my feet, Billy,” Greta says around a mouthful of flavored ice.

William points at her. “You joke. This is serious business, Miss Salpeter.”

“Oh, and that wasn’t you with Lewis at Harold’s last weekend?” Ryan asks flatly.

“Jenny. Lovely girl.” William beams. “I don’t suppose you’d agree to polygamy?”

“She’s going out with Bob Bryar,” Ryan says. He’s jabbing his spoon into his cup viciously. Ryan pissy is sort of as hilarious as everything else about him. He’s like a wet alley cat, sullen skin and bones.

“Bryar, eh? Not bad, Gretel. He’s sort of brawny, like a lumberjack.”

Ryan makes a face. Ryan doesn’t approve of flannel. Not that Ryan has any room at all to give fashion advice. He’d only recently given up the hobo gloves.

“Billiam,” Gabe shouts, jerking his head towards his car, “let’s roll. Cobra Crew, out!” He’s got his fangs up and even Vicky looks kind of embarrassed.

“The Cobra calls,” William says. He rolls his eyes a little, but Greta knows he loves the matching purple jackets.

Gabe won’t let any of them back in the Firebird until they curl their hands up into fangs – Nate does his with characteristic enthusiasm, and Alex, William and Blackinton follow a little more sloppily, like they’re really just humoring Gabe - and then Gabe dips Vicky and sticks his tongue down her throat in a totally unnecessary public display.

Greta’s maybe a little jealous.

*

By the time Greta gets home – she’d grabbed her bag back at Spencer’s, and then Vicky had swung by her house after dropping off Brendon and Ashlee - dinner’s over and her parents are watching TV and Greta yells, “I’m home,” into the den before taking the steps two at a time up to her room.

“Leftovers in the fridge,” her mom says, coming to stand at the bottom of the stairs.

Greta peeks back out of her bedroom, grins. “I ate, thanks.” Her parents are awesome.

Her mom still purses her lips and says, “Call next time,” but she isn’t upset, Greta can tell.

Greta takes the longest, hottest shower ever and shampoos her hair a grand total of four times, then slips on pajama pants and, after a very slight hesitation, Spencer’s unicorn shirt again. She’s being ridiculous, completely silly, but she’s okay with that.

She’s in the middle of IMing Chris and Darren when her cell rings, and she stares at the unfamiliar number for a second before thumbing it on.

“Hello?”

“So I got your number from Lindsey.”

Greta’s heart does that stupid speed beating thing it does. “Bob?”

“Yeah.” In the background, Greta can hear Gerard yelling about creative license and possibly the White Ranger and then there’s nothing, so Greta suspects Bob’s maybe locked himself in a closet or something.

It’s been, like, two hours at the outside since Greta’s seen Bob. She can’t help grinning. “Hi,” she says. “What’s up?”

“I’m on the verge of killing Frank.”

She curls her fingers in the hem of her t-shirt, bites her bottom lip. “I have a feeling you’re always on the verge of killing Frank.”

“Pretty much, yeah,” Bob says, and she could be totally projecting here, but she really thinks she hears his smile. That little one.

Greta is so gone.

“So,” Greta says, and she hopes he can hear the I think you’re awesome implied in that one little word, because she has no idea how to have an actual conversation with him. Not yet, at least.

“So, tomorrow?”

Greta forces a slight pause before blurting, “Yes.”

It’d been kind of an amazing day, really. Best worst day ever.

Comments

( 211 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )
Page 1 of 7
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ficsoreal
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
I want to be part of the COBRA CREW!!!!! Fangs Up! Skoosie, you treat me so well with these fics and Ryan and Spencer and Brendon. Ryan didn't know he wasn't actually gay!! I can see how he might have gotten confused.
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
COBRA CREW OUT!!! *g* thank you, hon!
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
Re: oh my god
yay! thank you!
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
*beams* THANK YOU!!!

and now I want the story of Brendon and the Hot Beard Guy. oh, me too! I'm going to see what I can come up with :)
iamsupernova
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
SEDRFGHUHYTV CANON PAIRINGS HELLO

Coherence to follow.
iamsupernova
Mar. 27th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
So I thought Just One Of The Girls was the peak of AWESOME HIGH SCHOOL AUS but evidently this has got to be added in. Akjzdhsfjdsf please continue writing for this verse? I would very much love to find out about Greta and Bob's date and how Brendon's massive crush on Hot Beard Guy Spencer progresses. :D
(no subject) - skoosiepants - Mar. 30th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I hope!
elucreh
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
That is so fucking cute that I am actually squirming with joy.

Purple jackets! Ryan's bizarre feud! Spencer is imaginary AND Hot Beard Guy that Brendon keeps falling into! Frank inducting Greta as a smoker when he rescues her! (And Frank's girlfriend would kick Greta's ass, OF COURSE SHE WOULD.)

And Frank on Bob's back making him ask Greta out was the awesomest. Thing. EVER.
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
*beams* thank you so much!
oneechan19
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Brendon and Frank the sophmores!

Fall Out Boy actually being a band! (and yet Ryan has Joe's brownies!)

Spencer as Hot Beard Guy!

Jon and Spencer in private catholic school!

Bob Bryar could eat Spencer. *gigglefit*

Purple Pontiac of doom!

Blood feud between Beckett and Ross!

Sooooooo much love for this. So. Much. Love.
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
*grins* thank you! (I keep imagining Fall Out Boy in this world is, like, them but with mustaches or something, hee!)
elucreh
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
I forgot to mention that Brendon and Ryan dated before Ry realised he wasn't actually gay.

And the football team DRESSED UP AS RYAN FOR HALLOWEEN. Just because the universe loves me, they did.
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
And the football team DRESSED UP AS RYAN FOR HALLOWEEN Yes! I want this to be REAL!
3wishesfreehugs
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
*fangs up!*
I want to be in te 'Cobra Crew' so bad. I have no shame. Greta is made of cupcakes, Bob must protect her with his life! Ryan... was veeeeeery Ryan about everything. I smiled so much I have face ache now xD
I loved it so hardcore, they're all adorable!
notshybutsly
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Hey that Ryan icon was made by me, would you mind crediting me so that other people can find my stuff. Thanks.
Sorry ;-; - 3wishesfreehugs - Mar. 27th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sorry ;-; - notshybutsly - Mar. 27th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skoosiepants - Mar. 30th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
*beams* thank you so much!
vixalicious
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, so sweet!
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
*g* thanks, hon!
hobbit_sexual
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
awwww, greta! I love that Jenny Lewis included in this. and more spencer's beard love! yay. he's totally not imaginary.
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC)
*g* thank you! I totally just kept adding people to this randomly - so much fun!
farwing
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
This is ridiculously awesome and wonderful and filled to the brim with magic puppies!!!!!

skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC)
*beams* thank you so much! (magic puppies!!!!)
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Mar. 30th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
*beams* thank you so much, hon!
mcee
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I have not read this yet but I just want to exclaim:

GRETA/BOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 :DDDD
mcee
Mar. 27th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
I have read now, and recced!

The reason I love it so much is BECAUSE nothing *happens*. Other than the greatest love story of all tiiiiiiiiiiems.

Just teens being teens :DDDD Which is all HS AUs should be, imo!

MUCH LOVE.
(no subject) - skoosiepants - Mar. 30th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 211 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )

....

“Stiles,” something says, low and mangled, and then suddenly the claw touching him is a finger, a full hand, and the next, “Stiles,” sounds kind of desperate, maybe, but still exactly like Derek Hale.

“Oh thank god,” Stiles says, and almost has a heart attack in sheer relief.

“Are you okay?” Derek asks, hand still cupped around the back of his skull.

“I’m awesome,” Stiles says, “but you’re going to have to carry me.”

- Show You What All That Howl Is For

....







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panic - pants to match ver. 3
skoosiepants
master of karate and friendship
pants to match

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