David's the first to admit - he's not the kind of guy who knows a lot of stuff. But if there's one thing he knows, it's women. He knows them so well, he's got this whole system worked out. There are, as far as he can tell, five kinds of women in the world.
This is not as sexy a category as David would like. He's seen American Pie and shit, he knows how this is supposed to work. Anyway, it's not just moms. It's also grandmas, and teachers the same age as his mom - pretty much, any woman too old to be hot anymore.
Obviously, this category is totally off-limits, because David is David, not that guy from Twilight or whatever.
2. Girls With Boyfriends
As far as David is concerned, this is just unfair. They're always the hottest ones, too.
They don't count. Obviously.
4. High-Maintenance Hot Chicks
These are the kinds of girls that David really likes hanging out with, he's not going to lie. They're cute, and they always smell good, and they wear these little outfits that don't leave anything to the imagination (which is great, because David doesn't like to work too hard). But they're not really for dating, either. Because - well, David works in television. He knows how long it takes to smell that good and get into those little outfits, and David can only deal with girls like that for so long.
5. Other Girls, Like Selena
This is kind of a hard category to explain, but like - you know. Other girls. Girls he likes hanging out with, and sort of tries to prank every so often, and maybe he'd beat up some other dude if they ever tried to pull anything (especially if that girl was Selena).
The kind of girl that's basically his sister.
And the thing is, David knows women, and he's done a lot of thinking about this, and as far as David can tell he's going to be single forever. (Unless all the girls with boyfriends decide that they hate their boyfriends and call him, instead, but he's got a feeling that's pretty unlikely. David is David, not Zac Efron or whatever.) The right kind of woman just doesn't exist.
It's not like it happens all at once.
He doesn't start at oh, Selena, she's basically my sister and wake up the next morning thinking holy fuck, she's got a killer rack.
There are a couple steps in between - like, maybe he goes to one of her shows, to be supportive, and she turns out to be this absolute force onstage, all sequins and growling low notes and legs. Maybe afterwards, he goes backstage and she hugs him tight, pressing those legs and sequins up against his shirt and jeans, and maybe she's just the right kind of sweaty for it to be sexy, and her hair smells really really good in a way he never noticed before.
Whatever it is, something happened - David doesn't know what, but something - and now there's this sixth kind of woman, and that's Selena, who really doesn't feel like the kind of girl who's basically his sister, anymore. He's pretty sure she still acts the same. She still gives him lots of hugs and calls him a dork and gets really mad when Jake talks him into taking everything in her dressing room and wrapping it with plastic wrap, like she's basically his sister.
But it doesn't feel like it.
She still sits down next to him at lunch, wearing a Paramore t-shirt that he's seen a dozen times before, the one that's two sizes too big. But this time, he doesn't see his TV baby sister in her dorky band shirt - instead, he can't help seeing this banging hottie, wearing a top that clings at her shoulders and her boobs in a way that makes David want to start picturing her naked. That's the problem, right there.
Selena isn't supposed to be the kind of girl who has boobs that he thinks about, at all.
"Dude" she says, nudging him with her elbow. "Wake up."
David looks up - at her face - trying to figure out what expression makes it look like he hasn't been checking out her rack. She rolls her eyes and snorts, taking a bite of pasta salad. "What planet are you on, today?" She's talking with her mouth full. There's a disturbingly large part of David that wants to ask her if she's interested in making out. "We've got to be on set in like fifteen minutes."
"Uh," David half-grunts, like an idiot. But it's not make out with me, so that's good. "Thanks."
And then he starts shoveling food into his mouth, like an even bigger idiot, half because he's hungry and half because he's pretty sure that if he talks any more he's going to say something embarrassing. Selena just nudges him again, laughing in that way that makes her nose sort of crinkle up, all cute and happy. "Dork," she says.
When she touches his arm, David gets that feeling - the one he always gets when he likes a girl, (like, like likes her) and that's when he knows.
He's totally fucked.
So, this is how it goes. David meets a girl, and he figures out that he likes her. That's the easy part.
It's the other stuff, the bit where he's got to - okay, woo her is the wrong expression, it makes him sound like Cary Grant or something, but he doesn't know a better one. He's got to do nice things for her, and tell her she's pretty or whatever, because - well, because she is pretty, and he sort of wants to do nice things for her, but also because that's the kind of stuff that usually tricks girls into liking him back.
The thing is, it's Selena. She already knows him. She knows him better than most of his friends, if he really thinks about it. She's already seen all of his weird quirks, his ugliest shirts, the way he gets after a long shoot when he's more exhausted than anything.
David figures calling her pretty isn't going to make up for all of that.
So pretty much, David's stuck at he meets a girl, and figures out that he likes her. He's not even sure if he's qualified to take things further than that, because Selena isn't just some girl. She's also his coworker, and his friend. Flirting with her seems like the kind of thing that would take finesse.
David doesn't have finesse.
He does, however, have an XBox and a copy of Call of Duty in his dressing room.
The next time he's in there is during a break in filming, and David's all about getting his comedy zen back by sprawling across his two-seat couch and shooting Russian commandos in the face. After a while, Selena comes by, like she usually does. and sits on the floor beside him. She's learned by now that talking to him while he's fighting off enemy forces in the Siberian wilderness is pretty much useless, but she sits on the floor beside him and David takes a break to smile at her, the best hello he can manage while he's ducking machine gun fire. Her head's sort of resting against the couch cushion, but also a little bit against his knee, and it occurs to him that maybe it's not the most comfortable place in the world to sit.
And David's still thinking about her. Still thinking about finesse, and the best way to get her to like him, and how good her legs look in those boots wardrobe put her in today. So he pauses the game and sits up, feet on the floor and a whole extra couch cushion next to him, just for Selena.
"Thanks," she says, sitting on the couch and tucking her feet underneath herself, settling in. Her knees bump against his thigh and she smiles at him, as he starts his game back up.
David tries to keep playing, because he needs his zen (and, if he's being honest, because there's a secret part of him that's hoping that if he totally rocks this level, Selena will just leap onto his side of the couch and start kissing him). But her knees are really warm against his leg, and she smells pretty amazing this close up, and it's hard for David to focus on leading the U.S. Army when he's thinking about running his fingers through her hair.
(This is embarrassing first because it looks like he's bad at video games, and second because running his fingers through Selena's hair is, like, a total bitch thing to be fantasizing about.)
"Hey," David says, pausing the game one more time. "Did you want to play?"
Selena looks at him like he's grown an extra head. She's wearing this weird art-school beret, and her hair's spilling around it in perfect Alex Russo curls, but the way she shakes her head and crinkles her nose in distaste is all Selena. "No way," she says. "I hate these games."
Now it's David's turn to look at her. She's been watching him play this game three times a week for the past month.
"Seriously?" is all he can think to say.
"Why are you so weird today?" Selena says, nudging her knees into his thigh. "Keep playing."
Things kind of get worse from there. It starts with David tripping over his own tongue during rehearsals, the day that Selena's wardrobe involves a dress and he notices, for the first time, the way the lines of her shoulders and the curve of her hips look when she's wearing something that little and black and strapless. When Selena asks him about it, he tells her that she looks pretty, like he's pretty sure girls enjoy - and then, somehow, he keeps talking and ends up calling her an idiot. It's not his finest moment.
Then, it's David spilling his drink all down his own front at lunch one day, when Selena leans across him to grab a napkin, and he's struck with a horrible vision of his knuckles grazing the side of her boob. (Not that touching her breasts would have been a bad thing, at all. David's just pretty sure that finding excuses to grab her tits isn't the best way to win over a classy girl like Selena.)
Basically, it's like David's gone back to high school.
Except, it's even more awkward.
The day after David beats Call of Duty, he realizes he's got nothing to do when they break for a few hours on set.
Well. The obvious answer to this would be buy more video games, but he's not about to run out and do that right this minute.
He tries hanging out on set for a while, but after the third crew member makes a really pointed comment about how lucky he is to have a dressing room, he gives up and wanders half-heartedly towards his own room. Really, once the XBox gets turned off, there's nothing to do in there, and David's pretty sure he's going to find some other way to amuse himself.
Selena's door is open.
She's working on something at her desk, balanced cross-legged on her desk chair with her hair tucked behind her ears, one end of a pen pressed between her lips. When David knocks on the doorframe and smiles at her, she beams back and does something with her shoulders that suddenly makes her look relaxed, where David couldn't even tell she was tense to begin with. "Hey," she says, setting down her pen.
"You got some time?" David says, gesturing to her desk in this weird, awkward motion, like he suddenly forgot how to work his arms.
"Yeah," Selena says, smoothing down her hair in this fiddly, girly way that makes David pay attention to her hands. "It's just homework."
He shuts the door behind himself and sits down in the chair next to her, putting his feet up on her lap. It's pretty much the opposite of telling her she's pretty and wooing her, but that strategy seems to have been a total failure, so whatever. David's doing what he wants.
"So, what's up?" she says, shoving his feet off of her lap and laughing into her sleeve.
"Nothing," David says, letting his legs drop, spread wide on either side of her knees. He's slouched way, way down in the chair, in this way that's actually pretty uncomfortable, but he stays still like he meant to sit this way. "I just wanted to see your shining face."
Selena rolls her eyes, but she puts her homework to one side and gives him her full attention. "We see each other eight hours a day."
"Maybe that's not enough for me," David says, shrugging.
"I am pretty irresistible," Selena says. She's laughing, sarcastic, like that's the most unbelievable thing in the world.
She's also wearing a really little tank top, underneath her sweater - one of the ones that looks like she stole it from his mom's wardrobe, Selena's got at least a hundred of those. David can't help but let his eyes drop down to her bust, the way her tank top dips forward just the right amount and lets him see cleavage and the smallest hint of her bra. He can feel his palms getting all sweaty, like he's a stupid teenager, and he just can't help it. Fuck finesse, Selena's a total hottie. "Come here for a second," he says, scooting his chair towards her. "I want to try something."
Any other girl would probably be a little wary, but David tends to start conversations like this a lot. So Selena just rolls her eyes and scoots her chair over, leaning close. "What?" she says.
She's leaning towards him, elbows on her knees. Her feet are on the floor between David's knees, her hair is falling in front of her eyes in the most adorable way possible and David can see right down her tank top. He can't help himself. He grabs her by the face and leans forward and plants one on her, as fast as he can.
When he pulls back, a second later he sort of feels like he should run away. Or hide, or something. Selena's just looking at him, mouth half-open, and he's still grabbing onto her cheeks (with his palms even sweatier than before) and basically, David has never been less smooth in his entire life.
Selena breathes out, this noise that's barely a word. "Oh."
David can't decide if it'd be better to throw up, or scream just kidding at the top of his lungs.
Selena's hands move up to his neck, and she's watching him with this odd look on her face, one he can't read at all. He assumes she's planning on choking him, and it's not until she's grabbing his face like a big dork and kissing him, as fast as she can, that he realizes what's going on.
"Oh," David says, trying to fit every feeling he's ever had into that one syllable, and he actually kisses Selena this time, long enough that she has a chance to kiss him back.
Selena, it turns out, is a really good kisser. Even better than David figured she'd be. Her lips are soft against his, and she makes these little girly noises in her throat when he slips her a little tongue, like she's as stoked about getting kissed by David as he is about kissing her.
When they come up for air, David stares at Selena, and Selena stares back. They're still holding on to each other's faces, palm-to-cheek, and it takes them both a beat before they sort of realize it at the same time, and crack the hell up.
David's never actually had a girl laugh with him after kissing her for the first time. It's unexpected, but also really nice, in this way that just makes him want to hug her, or something lame like that. Selena leans forward, like she always does when she's laughing, and he takes her by the hand and she kind of tumbles into his lap, settling with her head resting against his chest. The curve of her waist fits perfectly into the palm of his hand, and when he squeezes her against him, she laughs even harder.
"Dude," she says, wrapping one arm around his chest to hold herself steady.
"What?" David says back.
"You should have just said something."
"Said something?" David asks, because it's all he can come up with.
"Yeah," Selena says, through a giggle. "Instead of acting all weird."
He's really glad Selena's got her head pressed to his chest, because he's totally blushing right now, from his neck to the tips of his ears. He feels like such a douche. "Next time, I will."
"Next time you've got a crush on me?" Selena says, teasing, in this voice that David's never heard before. It's really, really cute.
"Yeah," David says, and Selena laughs against his chest.
It occurs to David, as he reaches up to pet Selena's hair (it really is soft) and presses his nose to the top of her head, that maybe it doesn't matter that David's not Zac Efron or Robert Pattinson. Like, there are all those kinds of women, and they're all pretty great. But maybe it's cool if none of them are really David's-girlfriend material.
Maybe Selena is better than all of them put together.