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Ever Since

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The Clark family was fucking annoying.

Well, rephrase- The Clark KIDS were fucking annoying.

The oldest one- who was he, Leo? Lee? Lee.- was too sporty. The mom when their mom wasn't around. You could respect that. The next born Meg wasn't as bad, but she did have her irritating qualities. Like pushing everyone onto her vegan ways. That toothpaste she tried once? Rotten algae smell. You almost threw up! At least you could agree with her on the ozone layer problem. Tony, the baby, was a little shit. But at least he was funny. He played some okay pranks. Enough to make you chuckle every now and then.

But then there was Marc. Third born. Smart. Made you feel insecure and irritated in just one sentence.

He was your real problem.

When you both had been four, he stole your favorite Daphne Barbie doll. You'd loved Scooby Doo, and Daphne was pretty. You'd loved that doll with all your heart. The, the next week, he drew on your blanket in preschool! He was always picking o you, too! He managed to pull your hair, pinch you, and make fun of you every day! He stopped when you bit him.

His family had always been sort of against you ever since. The siblings, at least. Still, Meg would try. She wasn't so bad.

When you were sixteen, you witnessed them get WHOOPed for the first time. They didn't notice you'd seen it, but you walked away with your hands up in surrender yelling, "NOPE," as you left. It wasn't your business. You didn't even like them.

But when Marc tried "whispering" about it with his siblings one time while around you, you whipped around and said, "If you guys don't want anyone to know your secrets, you might want to learn to write notes or text. Y'know, things people can't really eavesdrop on. Things you'd probably be better at than whispering," before snapping back around and huffing.

Needless to say, they tried to get WHOOP agents to wipe out your memory. However, you managed to be WHOOPed with the group before anyone could try and grab at you.

You met Jerry and explained the situation, and somehow, by some miracle, was able to slip out of memory wiping.

At seventeen, you punched Marc for trying to talk to you about it.

"It'd just be easier for all of us if we could wipe your memory," he said.

"And probably forget something else in the process? No. This is your own fault. Learn to whisper or text," you said as you slammed your locker shut. He tried this every fucking day.

"I know how to text!" he whined.

"Oh, yeah? Prove it. Text me right now."

He stared at you with nervous sweat ran across his forehead.

"Why are you staring at me?" you snapped.

"I don't have your number," he mumbled.

You let out an, "uuugggghhhh," and took his phone out of his hands. You felt like you were going to regret it, but you put in your number.

You tossed it back in his hands and turned to leave. Before you got in five steps, your phone beeped.

He wrote the entire Bee Movie script. No. Wait.

"Copy and paste doesn't count, Marc! God!" you yelled. You stomped out the front entrance.

He called you though.

"What?" you growled.

"Come over sometime. I'll call you every day until you do."

You hung up.

On your eighteenth birthday, you didn't expect the revelation.

You'd been throwing a ball (one of those inflated ones you could find at the store. The small ones that only hurt if you whip them at someone) at your wall, rating about Marc to yourself again.

"He's a smart ass," smack, "He's a know-it-all," SMACK, "He's- he's-" SMACK!

Cute.

CUTE.

CUTE???

Everything for you stops. Your eighteenth birthday, and you realize this.

You liked him. How long have you liked him? You'd always liked redheads, but you never- him...? Out of EVERYONE? He STILL wasn't even nice to you! for the love of- God, why did this happen? You could have nearly anyone in just a few months, why now?

You let out a steady but low, "aaaahhhh," as you leave your room. And all the way down the stairs. And through the kitchen while passing an adult in there. and out the front door.

You kept it going as you climbed a tree to get into Marc's room. He always left the window unlocked for you.

He'd heard your weird yell from below the tree and turned in his desk to look at you, confusion clouding his face.

"What are you-? Do you need someone? Meg? I can get her, you know. Tony'll be back soon; maybe he-" you stopped him from talking more by grabbing the front of his hoodie. He tried to grab at you, to ask you what you were doing. You shut him (and yourself) up by kissing him.

Once you parted, both of you were silent. His eyes held wonder, curiosity, confusion.

Passion.

Yours were scared. No- terrified. Everything about you screamed terrified. However, a tiny sliver was begging. Begging to be let free. To live. To be allowed to feel this for once.

God, this was fucking awful. You never wanted to feel this way. Why did your heart suddenly decide to expand its wall around it to fit in Marc?

You started your sound off again, but before you could let go of him and let out a full on scream, he hushed you.

"Hey now, thee's no need for that. It's fine." his arms pulled you back in, gently cradling you to his chest. Every muscle was defined. Constantly doing gymnastics and acrobatics to catch villains had payed off years ago. No one ever held you with such strength. It was large and comforting.

Still, you beat your head against his chest for a second or two. When he tried to stop you, you pulled back to push him to arms length.

"This is so dumb. Why is this happening?" You asked no one in particular.

"Simple. When one spends a certain amount of time around someone they hate, it's usually because-"

"Sssshhhhh I don't care," you said.

"But you asked."

"Yeah. The air. Which means it's rhetorical. Therefore, shut up."

"Whatever. You still like me," Marc teased.

"Aaaahhhhh! Never say that AGAIN; it's like poison to my soul," you complained.

"Then you lllloooove mmmeeee~!" he teased even more.

"Shut UP nerd!" you exclaim before kissing him again. It was short lived, because, as Marc had said earlier, Tony made it back to the room.

"Aw, sick! C'mon, I share this room too!" he whined.

"Tony!" you and Marc exclaimed together.

"Fine, fine! I'm leaving," Tony turned towards the exit, but stopped to yell out, "Hey! We're all right! She DOES like him!"

"TONY!" you yell. You let Marc go in favor of trying to give Tony a noogie.

"WE KNEW IT!" Meg screamed from across the hall.

"What a lame birthday present, realizing you like our brother," Lee commented as he passed by. You still noticed his smile.

"SHUT UP!" you groaned out.

Yeah. Eighteen years and only now do you admit the little freak was boyfriend material.

Better late than never.