Head cheerleader with the body of a goddess and a personality to match. The way she strolled through the halls, her brunette hair caught the light; she just radiated confidence. It wasn’t a surprise she could get anyone she wanted.
If you didn’t know who Stacie was, you weren’t worth knowing.
Head of the student choir with an equally amazing body but lacklustre confidence. The way she shuffled through the halls, blonde hair shading her eyes; she radiated a certain shyness. It was a surprise she got as much attention as she did, even if it was from bullies.
If you didn’t know Aubrey, well, that was just fine.
Stacie was performing as usual for one of Barden High’s football games. She lead her group effortlessly, the enthusiasm she cheered with getting students and fans alike to applause endlessly.
Aubrey watched quietly from the side lines, grinning in awe as she watched the brunette pull off a backwards handspring, landing gracefully into box splits.
She’d never admit it, but Aubrey found Stacie enticing in so many ways. There was one day when they had been partnered up in Science to do an experiment. They had to mix various chemicals and heat them up to see what results it produced. Their hands brushed momentarily as Aubrey reached for a test tube and the blush that flushed her face was indescribable. She stammered an apology but Stacie just shrugged and said she didn’t mind, like it was nothing, but Aubrey was sure she felt electricity in that touch.
Ever since, Aubrey was hooked.
The cheerleaders had just finished their performance, and with a (completely graceful) punch to the air, Stacie sauntered off the playing field, the eyes of practically everyone following her.
She turned slightly before she left; blowing a kiss into the crowd which resulted in an uproar of whoops and wolf whistles, not much to anyone’s surprise.
Aubrey’s eyes also followed but they wavered and fell upon an unwelcome face.
There wasn’t any backing out now though, their gaze had been caught and now two males were making their way over to Aubrey. The blonde scrambled, stumbling backwards away from them in mad panic.
It was Bumper and Unicycle, once friends with the Aubrey; now they were mere bullies.
Aubrey turned and ran from the bleachers but it was pointless, they caught up in no time and soon had the quivering girl by the collar of her shirt, pinned to the wall mercilessly.
“Well, if it ain’t little Miss Posen” Bumper sneered, grinning as the blonde squirmed under his grip.
“How’s it going today, queer?” Unicycle added with a clear vexation in his tone.
Aubrey nodded stiffly.
“G-good.” She stuttered.
“Oh, that’s great!” Unicycle replied sarcastically.
He moved Bumper aside then dropped Aubrey to the floor. The blonde gasped at the jolt, breathing heavily. The two bullies stood over her for a moment, watching her helplessly lay there, smug grins on both their faces.
They went on without saying a word, seeing how long Aubrey would wait until she tried to get up. But the blonde didn’t move, she just curled up and blocked everything out, not even bothering to halt the scared tears that stained her cheeks.
“Jesus Christ, get a grip.” Bumper spat, his foot contacting Aubrey’s back with a sizeable kick. Aubrey yelped, arching her spine as the fresh pain seared through her body.
She heard a dark chuckle before another kick landed on her stomach in rapid succession of the previous. She grunted, her eyes squeezed shut and her fists white knuckled as she prepared for the onslaught of further violence.
“You’re pathetic, y’know that Posen?” Unicycle chimed, enjoying his moment of power whilst Bumper raided Aubrey’s school bag, taking the few valuables she still had left (They had been stolen from earlier attacks).
The boy knelt down, turning his head slightly so he could look Aubrey’s eyes dead on. There was always disgust in his expression whenever he looked at the blonde; as if her very sight was enough to make him sick.
He told himself he had good reason for being so hateful and of course, Bumper backed him up on that.
“You left me. And for whom? That weird alt girl Beca, who ended up being dragged away by her dad any way.” Uni’s voice was sour. Every word hissed, every syllable like a dagger.
Aubrey glanced away, tight lipped. Unicycle let out an angered exhale, gripping the bottom of Aubrey’s jaw with a claw like grip and redirected her gaze, making their eyes bore into each other; anger versus fear.
“Listen bitch, you look at me when I’m talkin’ to you.”
Aubrey said nothing but just simply stared.
“I might have accepted that you left me for another guy…but, you left me for a girl. You’re a fucking queer and you never told me!” As his anger grew, so did the level of his voice. He was nearly shouting at Aubrey as he continued.
“Fags like you don’t deserve to exist. You can go burn in hell for all I care!”
Before anything could be done to stop him, his fist raised and came back, slamming into Aubrey’s face.
Aubrey saw nothing but black for a moment and heard a distinct crack as the force of Unicycle’s hit caused her entire body to writhe with pain. She let out a guttural groan, doubling over as the waves of nausea followed.
She opened her eyes, seeing the duo standing over her with somewhat concerned expressions, though they instantly retracted back to their ‘cool’ complexions as they realised she wasn’t unconscious.
“Y’know, the ‘blood-dripping-down-your-nose’ look is a good one for you. You should wear it more often.” Bumper quipped with a smirk.
Unicycle looked as if he was about to add comment, but before he could, the sound of approaching footsteps followed by a voice was heard.
“What are you to dicks doing here?” That voice. It was easily recognisable as Stacie’s. She was coming towards them with an angered pace, Bumper and Uni barely having time to stand in front of Aubrey and attempt to cover her bloodied nose and split lipped face.
“Oh, h-hey Stace…how’s it goin’?” Bumper stuttered, blushing profusely. He looked at his feet, shuffling them a little to kick a golden lock of hair behind him before grinning innocently at the unimpressed brunette. “You were great out there” He added, gesturing towards the football field vaguely.
Stacie rolled her eyes and sighed.
“You’re not fooling me, Bumper. Whoever that kid is on the floor, you better leave them alone right now.”
“Wh-what? Me? Pssh, I’m not doing anything. We found her down there.” He lied.
“Yeah right. Just like how I just ‘found’ those pictures of your hilariously tiny dick.”
The boy gawped, looking at Uni for back up but his friend merely shrugged (whilst holding back his laughter at Stacie’s quick retort).
Bumper returned his gaze to Stacie before making a desperate run for it, Unicycle trailing behind moments later.
They were gone. Aubrey let out a relieved sigh and relaxed a little, uncurling from her foetal position on the floor though the complications of her injuries made getting comfortable impossible.
The blonde was about to reach for her backpack when an arm extended towards her and pulled her up to stand.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Aubrey glanced up to look at the source of the voice. She had entirely forgotten it was Stacie and the blonde almost jumped at the sight of the breath taking girl.
Aubrey stood there dumbly for a minute, just staring into Stacie’s eyes. They were laced with concern and caring, despite the fact they had never spoken before. Maybe this cheerleader was something more than a pretty face, Aubrey thought.
“Hello?” Stacie waved her hand in front of the other girls face in an attempt to gain attention. Aubrey shook her head, jumping back to reality. She grinned half-heartedly.
“Oh, uh, I’m fine. Thank you.” Aubrey mumbled, graciously accepting her bag back from the brunette who had retrieved it from the ground.
She began to walk away, wincing with every tentative step. After a few moments, she found an arm supporting her and Stacie’s voice once again right in her ear.
“C’mon, I’ll take you a doctor; you can’t walk there by yourself.”
Aubrey was in no state to protest so she just nodded and allowed herself to be helped.
She didn’t mind really, apart from the fact her heart was beating a million miles an hour at every touch Stacie gave and that every time the brunette smiled at her, she literally melted into a gooey puddle. Apart from those tiny things, she was completely fine.
Aubrey led in the medical room, an ice pack held to her throbbing nose. She was more than surprised to see that Stacie hadn’t left even after fulfilling her job of ‘helpful stranger’.
Instead, the brunette waited with the blonde, giving reassuring smiles and making small talk whilst Aubrey was cleaned up and given some quite potent pain medication.
The medication, whatever it was, had begun to set in a few minutes ago and Aubrey could already feel her grip from reality being lost. Another ten minutes in and Aubrey had begun to talk senselessly, her shy demeanour forgotten and replaced by a drugged up confidence.
“No no, I’m just saying-“ She gabbled, her words slurred slightly. “That you’re really pretty and that I think guys should respect you more, y’know?”
Stacie nodded politely, smirking a little at the blonde’s words. She was about to speak when Aubrey threw her fingers up to her lips, making a shushing gesture before giggling.
“J-just don’t even argue…because like, I’m totally serious, okay? This medication isn’t making any difference to how my brain works!”
Stacie snorted. “I can tell that…” she replied sarcastically.
Aubrey paused for a moment, her eyes narrowing as she glared at Stacie.
“You don’t believe me.” She suddenly sounded a lot more aware than she had previously, which struck the brunette oddly, why hadn't she acted like this earlier?
“Well…” Aubrey continued. “If I’m so impaired by medication, th-then I won’t remember asking you out on this date. Which makes it easier for me.”
Stacie’s eyes widened.
“What?!” The brunette choked, having to double take at the blonde. They had met merely 15 minutes ago and now she was being asked on a date. Stacie considered it to be the medicine talking, but she wasn’t so sure after the moment of seriousness that had preceded.
“You, me, date…say, tomorrow?” Aubrey reiterated her words slow and careful, though the slight slur still evident.
Stacie stared with her mouth agape for a moment. She knew Aubrey would forget this and she most definitely was sure that she’d be too shy to ask again (heck, the girl was reluctant to even get medical help after the beating she got).
Stacie eventually nodded.
“Sure, I’ll come find you after last period tomorrow and we can hang?”
Aubrey’s eyes lit up, a wide grin spreading across her face. The blonde grabbed a bit of paper, hastily scribbled a number down on it then passed it to Stacie. The handwriting was barely legible (most likely because of Aubrey’s state) but Stacie was able to figure it out. She gracefully typed it into her phone and upon realising the final bell had rung, she stood from her seat.
“Are you going to be okay?” Stacie asked with genuine concern hung in her voice.
Aubrey nodded and smiled (Her mom was coming to pick her up) so Stacie just turned back to the door. But then she paused and turned again.
“Hey, I never caught your name…”
Aubrey chuckled. “I’m Aubrey.”
Stacie nodded and then left, a certain bounce in her step.
It wasn’t conventional, but it worked for her.
The following day dragged for Stacie. Every lesson, every minute passed slower than it should have and as soon as the final bell rang, she sprinted from the room. She’d never been this excited to meet someone she barely knew this much, maybe it was just the unfamiliarity of the situation or what could come from it.
Admittedly, she had found herself giving Aubrey passing glances in the hall, to which the blonde responded blankly. Of course, most of their time in the medical room had been forgotten and Stacie was only being hopeful that Aubrey wouldn’t be too shy when she had to re-introduce herself.
Stacie vaguely remembered where Aubrey would stand after school - slightly down from the entrance to avoid other people.
Tentatively, the brunette followed the sidewalk, checking behind her for any of her ‘friends’.
Being popular only meant that she was judged harder when she did something out of the ordinary, but fortunately Stacie had avoided anyone and quickly found Aubrey stood by a tree, silently reading a book that was held high up in attempt to hide her bruised face.
Stacie cleared her throat, Aubrey didn’t even glance upwards. She stepped closer and Aubrey simply turned away.
The brunette sighed.
“Hey, Aubrey” Stacie said with a feigned casual tone. Aubrey lowered her book and stared at the taller girl, a scowl forming on her face.
“How do you know my name?” She asked quietly, her eyes shined with a questioning look.
Stacie shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.”
Stacie now realised she was uncharacteristically looking at the floor, suddenly nervous. She flexed her sweaty hand, wiping them on her shorts before she glanced back upwards, smiling warmly.
“Do you, uh, wanna hang out?” She asked, praying Aubrey wouldn’t run away from her forwardness.
The blonde paused, scowling once more.
“…Seriously? Who put you up to this? I bet it was Bumper.” Aubrey’s voice was bitter; she now faced Stacie and though she couldn't possibly deny that her heart was racing, she felt hurt that she was now being teased by the brunette.
“No, I’m being serious! Come on!”
Without another word, Stacie grabbed Aubrey by the hand and dragged her away. The younger girl tried mumbling some excuses but they fell upon deaf ears (not that she was entirely upset about that).
Stacie was determined to at least make friends with Aubrey; she couldn’t just give up because there were some confidence issues on one end.
After a few minutes of walking, Stacie had released her grip and allowed Aubrey to walk casually beside her. They said nothing to each other, mostly because Stacie was thinking about where to go and Aubrey was just too damn shy. She was hanging with the most popular girl in school for no particular reason other than because she had been asked.
Was this a dream?
They eventually stopped at a park, where they found a spot on the grass and simply sat. Stacie dropped her jacket to the ground and offered Aubrey to sit on it. The blonde smiled shyly and graciously accepted the spot, settling down comfortably on the garment.
“It’s nice out today…” Stacie mumbled passively, suddenly at a loss for words.
After a brief silence, Aubrey finally spoke. Her words were soft and gentle, though contained a sense of innocence that Stacie found adorable.
“…Why did you ask me to hang out?”
After asking, Aubrey began to pick at the grass nervously, awaiting an inevitably painful answer and she began to wince slightly as Stacie opened her mouth.
“It’s a funny story actually…”
Aubrey scowled in confusion, glancing up to Stacie who was smirking as she thought back to the previous day. Aubrey didn’t dare question it, and instead made a gesture for the brunette to continue.
“Well, basically, in the medical room they gave you some pain medication and it was quite strong. I was there because I got rid of those scumbags Uni and Bumper for you…Anyway, you started rambling about things and then you asked me on a date; which I accepted. Though, I knew you wouldn’t remember, so I took the liberty of re-initiating it.” Stace grinned, not realising how overwhelming the whole situation was.
Aubrey just stared in shock, her jaw moving up and down a few times as if she was to speak, but couldn’t find the words. She pursed her lips and sat there with a tight face for a few moments, a blush slowly creeping up her face.
“I-I asked you out?” She whispered eventually, her face breaking out into a surprised grin.
Stacie nodded. “Yeah.” She assured gently before continuing.
“I’m glad you did, I’m having a great time…sure, it’s not an ideal first date, but it works.” The brunette chuckled and at that, so did Aubrey.
The blonde began to relax, suddenly feeling not so stranger like to her polar opposite that sat adjacent.
Stacie pulled two juice pouches from her bag, chucking one to Aubrey.
“Here, it’s the finest crushed berries mixed with water and sugar.” She winked at Aubrey, chuckling again at the flustered blonde.
They drank from the pouches, and started up a conversation, ranging from classes to old relationships. They were vastly different in every aspect but they had never felt more comfortable talking to a near stranger before in their lives, especially Aubrey whom usually avoided people she knew, let alone ones she didn’t.
“So, you’re telling me that you’ve wanted to be friends for years?” Stacie looked in amazement at the confession from Aubrey, who just looked a little sheepish as she nodded.
“Well, why didn’t you just come over and say hi?” The brunette was now kneeling, leaning over towards Aubrey excitedly as she awaited the answer.
“Well…You’re popular and I’m not. Go figure.” Aubrey said downheartedly. She sighed, giving a meek shrug.
Stacie’s face dropped, having the realisation that it was simply her reputation that stopped her from gaining a friend (and possible love interest) for all this time.
“That shouldn’t have stopped you. I’ll be honest, I noticed you a couple of times around school…I felt bad because of Bumper and Uni. I should’ve stopped them earlier…”
Tentatively, Stacie took Aubrey’s hand in her own, giving it a gentle squeeze.
Aubrey gasped but didn’t break away, instead catching Stacie’s intense gaze. They held it for a moment, feeling a surge of electricity in each other’s touch. It was cliché and had happened way too fast, but for once Aubrey didn’t care and seemingly, neither did Stacie.
She planted a kiss on Aubrey’s hand, smiling as her lips touched the soft skin.
Aubrey blushed, shivering at the touch but she grinned nonetheless as she bit her lip nervously.
“But now, I can protect you from them all the time and I promise I will.”