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Sam Thomas looks out the window, hoping that the relentless raindrops have finally stopped. No such luck. It’s two in the afternoon now, and the rain has been coming down since eight. Sam’s afraid that if it keeps up, all of Bradford Court will be underwater.

He sighs, and attempts to go back to his homework. What a boring weekend. None of his friends want to get together, because the weather’s been so bad. Then, he had a slight cold yesterday, so he’s pretty much been stuck indoors for the past couple days.

“I’m bored.”

Sam turns around, smiles at his little brother. “That makes two of us.”

David Michael rolls his eyes. “Can’t you do something about it?” He scowls.

“Well, I don’t have the power to control weather, so no. This rain looks like it’s going to stay for awhile.”

His brother looks even moodier. Sam doesn’t blame him. David Michael often gets the short end of the stick, being the youngest. There’s lots of neighborhood kids for him to play with, but no one in the family’s close enough to his age. When the weather gets gross, David Michael’s often at a loss for what to, largely because everyone else is either busy or just don’t find Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all that intriguing. Sam thinks for a minute. He’s clearly not doing anything, and his math homework is so boring.

“You want to do something?”

David Michael’s face lights up. “Seriously?”

“Yeah, why not? What sounds fun?”

“Well, I asked Kristy if she’d make cookies with me, but she’s way too busy with her dumb club. She said she had to make more fliers.” He scowls again. “Ever since she got that idea, I never see her, because she’s always at Claudia’s. What’s so great about it anyways?”

Sam smiles slightly. Normally he’d agree that his sister is insane, but this club actually has some benefits. His smile becomes wider, as he thinks of the new girl that Kristy’s enlisted for her cause. Stacey. The one who’d baby-sat for David Michael the other day. She’s two years younger than him, but somehow, she seems two years older. Then, she’s got such pretty blue eyes, and that curly blonde hair--

“Sam!”

“Huh?”

“You’re so weird.” David Michael says. “What were you thinking about?”

Sam laughs. “You’ll understand one day, little brother.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh nothing.” He grins. “Come on. Let’s make cookies. I’m sure we’ve got ingredients somewhere in the kitchen.”

--

Sam is actually having fun making cookies. He would never admit it out loud, but secretly, he sort of likes babysitting. It’s not like he’ll ever join Kristy’s crazy club (he’s much more a fan of prank calling them and then seeing steam come out of his sister’s ears), but in moderation, kids can be a lot of fun.

“Okay,” he says, looking at the next step of the recipe. “So you need to put the floor mixture in with the eggs.”

David Michael nods, looking serious. They’ve managed not to make that much of a mess so far. There had been a slight mishap when an egg had fallen on the floor, and there’s sugar scattered on the counters, but Sam figures that if he cleans it up before his mom gets home (from yet another date with Watson), everything will be fine.

As David Michael begins to pour the flour into the bowl, a slight grin begins to form across his face. Sam knows that smile. It’s the one that comes across his face when he’s thought of a particularly good joke to play on Kristy.

“Do not even think about it--”

Too late. A second later, his shirt is covered in flour.

“You did not just do that.”

David Michael’s response is to throw more flour, this time in his hair.

“Okay little brother.” Sam raises an eyebrow, then lunges across the counter to grab a handful of his own. “You asked for it. This--” he throws the handful, laughing as it hits David Michael’s hair, “is war.”

Forget the rain. Sam thinks. The kitchen might as well be a miniature snowstorm. He’s definitely going to have to clean up now, but he’s enjoying himself way too much to really care. Flour is flying everywhere, and his shirt is caked in it. He cackles and throws another handful. It really amuses him when he notices that David Michael looks like he’s aged forty years.

“So,” he laughs. “Do you admit defeat?”

“Never!” David Michael shouts.

“Alright then! Prepare for--”

The doorbell rings. Sam pauses, mid-throw. Crap. It had better not be their mother. Something tells him he would definitely be getting a lecture about wasting ingredients and the expenses of groceries if it was.

“Sam!” Kristy screeches from upstairs. “Get the door! I’m busy!”

“I’m busy too!” He really doesn’t want whoever is there to see him looking like some bizarre snowman. It doesn’t exactly go with the vision of himself that he likes to think he embodies most of the time.

“I’m in the bathroom!” She screams even louder. “Get the door!”

Sam rolls his eyes. His sister has never been one to mince words.

“Fine!” He yells, heading for the hallway. It’s probably no one. Maybe he can get in a practical joke for the day, and scare some unsuspecting telemarketer. He sniggers at the thought, before pulling the door open, and oh no. This is not happening.

“Hi Stacey.” He manages to choke out. Damn it. She looks especially cute today, in a red and white striped shirt, complete with a matching red beret. So much for ever thinking that she would be interested in going on a date with him. She’s from New York, and probably not impressed with boys who still like flour wars.

Wait. She’s giggling. It’s not a mocking laugh either.

“It’s flour.” He says, hastily.

“I thought so.” She grins. “Flour wars? Always a good way to pass a rainy day.”

“Yeah.” He blushes, looking down at his shirt. “David Michael and I were making cookies, and it just sort of happened.”

“You were making cookies with your brother? That’s so sweet!”

“Oh yeah.It’s what the cool kids do.” Okay. He thinks. She’s not running away in terror, or making a “what a loser” face. Maybe there’s hope after all.

“No, I think it’s really cute that you spend time with him.” She smiles. “By the way, won any more games of Candyland yet?”

“Of course. I’m the Candyland master.”

“Oh naturally.” She laughs, and God, she’s so cute it’s ridiculous. “Anyway.” She continues. “I wanted to drop these flyers off that I made for the club. I was so bored, that I asked my mom to drive me over here. I thought I’d stop by Claudia’s too.”

It’s now or never.

“Why don’t you stick around here for a little bit?” He says, in a rush. “The cookies will be ready soon, and then you know, there’s always Candyland.”

“Oh!” She blushes slightly, looks down at the ground. Crap. He knew she wouldn’t go for it. For God sakes. He’s in high school.

“It’s not that I don’t want to hangout with you.” She says softly. “I do. It’s just that um, I can’t really have sweets right now.”

“Oh!” She looks so uncomfortable, he’s not even going to ask why. That’s more of Kristy’s department. “Well, we don’t have to have cookies. I’ve just got to put them in the oven and then we could maybe just you know, hang or something. I can tell you all about the sprawling metropolis of Stoneybrook.”

She starts laughing. “I’d like that.”

“And we’ve got plenty of non-sweet stuff in the fridge, if you want a sandwich or something.”

“Thanks.” Her smile is even wider. “And thanks for not asking.” She says.

“About what?”

“The sweets thing. If one more person started saying I was too skinny, I was going to scream.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Well, it means a lot.”

He tries not to blush again. “No seriously, it’s fine. Now why don’t you come on in.”

As she heads inside, he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Oh no.

“Um.” He says. “I’m going to put on a new shirt.”

“No problem.” She giggles. “Though the sheep look isn’t that bad.”

“A sheep?”

“Yeah. You know, your hair’s all curly, so with the flour, you sort of look like a sheep.”

“Oh God.”

“No, don’t worry.” She touches his shoulder slightly. “Sheep are in.” She grins at him. “Okay. I’m going to say hi to Kristy for a minute. See you soon!”

She rushes up the stairs, and Sam is left smiling dazedly below.

“You’re doing it again!”

Sam startles. David Michael is staring at him.

“Doing what?”

“That dumb grin. I bet it was that girl at the door, right? The one who babysat me the other day?”

“Yup.” He can’t stop smiling. “That was Stacey. Do you mind if she stays here for a little bit?”

David Michael rolls his eyes. “I guess not. She’s pretty cool. You should stop smiling like an idiot though. She’ll think something’s wrong with you.”

Sam laughs. If Stacey’s okay with him answering the door covered in flour, he doesn’t think she’ll mind a dopey grin.

“Come on,” he says, shoving David Michael back towards the kitchen. “Like I said, someday you’ll understand.”

David Michael’s response is to throw more flour at him, and Sam can’t help but throw it back.

Sheep are in, after all.