I See You
Morgan and Jax were sitting beside each other in the noisy school cafeteria chatting and eating lunch. The brunette loved it when it was chilly cheese fries day. Jax hated it. The redhead watched with disgust as Morgan scarfed down another mouthful.
"I don't know how you can eat that stuff," Jax commented.
"It's guud," Morgan spoke with her mouth full.
"That stuff is jam-packed with calories and grease, yet you still remain thin. You don't even work out."
Morgan shrugged and took another bite.
Jax sighed heavily. "I hate you."
A moment later, Keri and Dana came up to their table. Morgan did not notice because she was digging into her food.
Jax gave the two girls a polite smile. "Ah, Keri, Dana," he kicked Morgan under the table. "Don't you two look fetching today."
"Jax," Keri said, with a polite nod.
Morgan raised her head and sure enough Keri was standing there with Dana. The brunette loudly gulped down the food in her mouth.
"Morg, I meant to ask you. When is your car going to be done? It's been well over a few weeks." Keri asked, looking down at her sister.
"Oh, uh," Morgan's eyes glanced over to Dana. The blonde was looking at her with a small smile and Morgan tried her best to keep her speech under control. Her eyes darted back to her sister. "It …it'll be done this week."
"Are you sure? Because that's what you said last week."
"I'll work overtime," the brunette quickly retorted.
"Fine," Keri replied, pleased with Morgan's answered. "Come on, Dana. Let's leave my sister to her chilly cheese fries."
Morgan gave Keri a nasty look as the two began to leave. Her expression lightened however when Dana gave her an all-out smile. Morgan's insides melted and she softly smiled back and nodded her head. After they were gone, the brunette went back to eating.
Jax watched the silent exchange with astonishment. "Did that just happen?" he grinned.
"Don't you what me, missy. Dana Campbell was smiling at you like… like you're old friends or something."
"You're delusional, Jax."
"Is there something going on between you two?"
The brunette shook her head. "I just… I kind of ran into her last night." She took another bite of food.
"And?" Jax pushed.
Morgan took her time chewing her food and shrugged. "We talked."
"Where? About what?" the redhead gushed.
The brunette was relieved when the lunch bell rang. "Sorry, Jax. I have to go." Morgan slid from the table and picked up her empty paper plate.
"You're not off the hook, Morg!" Jax called behind her retreating form.
Morgan threw her trash away in the nearest bin and headed to class.
"Okay, we have time for one more poem today," Mrs. Turken said, looking at the class roster. Morgan closed her eyes, praying she did not have to go. "Ah, Mrs. Reed." The brunette dreadfully looked across the room at her teacher. "You're up."
Morgan stood from her desk and made her way to the front of the class. When she wrote this poem, she was not planning on sharing it, but at least she left Dana's name out of it. Morgan scanned the room and her eyes briefly landed on Dana. The blonde sat with her chin resting against her hand, looking at Morgan.
"Um, my poem is called, I See You." The brunette cleared her throat and looked down at her paper.
You walk by me everyday
I sometimes stare, but never look my way
I'm a grain of salt in your big world
Why would you notice me anyway?
You are a beautiful person, inside and out
Even though we don't talk, I know this without a doubt
One night I found the courage to speak to you
We connected, and I saw the real you
You are not the person I imagined you to be
You're so much more
Someone that makes my heart sore, more and more
In your own eyes you can't see
But just remember… you're special to me… I see you
The brunette shyly raised her eyes to the class, indicating she was finished. Her classmates began to clap as they did for every presenter. Morgan was too afraid to look towards Dana, afraid she may have known the poem was about her. The clapping soon died down.
Mrs. Turkin looked at Morgan. "That was quite good Ms. Reed. Thank you." The final class bell rang and everyone began to gather their belongings. "Remember to read chapters eight and nine!" Mrs. Turkin announced.
Morgan headed back to her desk to get her things. By the time she was packed up, the room was practically empty. As the brunette grabbed her backpack from the floor, she felt someone walk over to her. She looked up and saw Dana. The blonde was securely holding two books in front of her body.
"H-hey…." The brunette got out.
Dana gave her a polite smile. "I liked your poem."
"Oh," Morgan blushed and bashfully ducked her eyes. "Thanks," she looked back up into friendly green eyes.
"Dana, come on!"
Morgan looked over and saw two other girls from Dana's squad impatiently waiting by the classroom door.
Morgan turned back to the blonde and Dana smiled faintly. "I better go."
The brunette nodded and gave a small smile. Nothing would form out of her mouth.
"See you later," the blonde said, before heading over to her friends.
Morgan watched them leave and shifted her backpack on her shoulder. Dana coming over to her nearly scared her half to death. It was highly unexpected but nice. Morgan smiled to herself and left the classroom.
A few days later, Morgan sat behind the wheel of her Plymouth Cuda in her father's auto garage.
Nathan was under the hood, doing a few final adjustments. Morgan couldn't wait to get her baby back on the road.
"Alright." Her father stepped back and closed the hood. "Crank it up."
Morgan grinned and turned the key. The powerful engine rumbled to life and the brunette was ecstatic. "Yes!" she yelled triumphantly.
"It's purring like a kitten!" Nathan hollered with a smile.
Morgan pumped the gas, making the engine rumble even louder. "Can I take it for a spin, Dad?!"
Nathan came around the car and stood next to the driver's door. "You're all set. Go for it!"
Morgan shifted to drive and slowly pulled the muscle car out on the street. Nathan walked out to the car and leaned down on the driver's side window.
"Now don't push her too hard. Give the engine some time to warm up."
"Okay," Morgan smiled, anxious to drive off.
"Be careful kiddo." He patted the car door and stepped back.
Morgan shifted the gear and took off down the street. A few minutes later she pulled up in front of Jax's house. She took out her cell phone and hit the familiar number on her speed dial.
"Hey, loser. Quit jerking off to Captain America and look out your window."
"Excuse me. What I do on my Saturday afternoons is none of your business." Jax climbed off his bed and peaked through his window blinds. "Oh, hell yeah! The Cuda is back!"
"Damn right," the brunette grinned. "Let's go for a ride."
"I'll be down in a bit." Moments later, Jax was hopping into the passenger seat and the brunette took off. "So, where are we going?"
"Nowhere really. I just thought we would drive around."
Jax sat back in the seat and relaxed. "It's running great. Who knew you had these brilliant mechanical talents."
"I told you I would get it going again."
"My mom said I can only hang out for about twenty minutes. I have to help her with dinner."
"Oh, what a good little prince," Morgan teased, heightening the tone of her voice.
The redhead scrunched his nose in defiance and Morgan chuckled. "I'll have you back home soon."
Jax nodded and looked at his friend. The brunette felt his stare and glanced at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Dude, what is it?" Morgan finally asked.
"I'm still waiting for you to tell me about you and Dana."
"Oh, that. It was kind of by accident." The brunette stopped at an intersection and looked both ways before continuing.
"Well, enlighten me."
The brunette reluctantly told Jax of the event that happened with Dana in the park. Morgan got a kick out of Jax's reactions while she told the tale.
"So wait. You gave her your Dad's business card? That's pretty lame," Jax teased.
"It was the quickest thing I could give her," Morgan shrugged, feeling a bit embarrassed.
Jax noticed his friend's uneasiness and decided to back off. "Do you think she'll call you?"
"I don't know. Probably not. It's not like we're friends or anything. We only talked."
"Yeah," Jax replied. "Who knew happy little Dana was having all those problems at home."
"Nobody knows. And I promised her I wouldn't tell anyone, so don't go blabbing."
"Who the hell would I tell anyway?"
The brunette took a right turn and they went down a street that looked very familiar to Morgan. Suddenly, she was smacked in the arm.
"What?" the brunette asked.
"Look over there," he grinned.
Morgan looked out her window and her eyes widened in surprise. On the other side of the street was a blonde carrying a trash bag to the curb. It was Dana. No wonder this street looked so familiar. This is where she had walked the blonde home that night.
"Funny that we're driving past your dream girl's house isn't it?" Jax smiled.
The brunette glanced at her friend and then back at the blonde. "I didn't mean to." Morgan mumbled, unconsciously slowing down the car.
"Well, go on. Say hi before she goes back in."
"No!" the brunette shrieked discreetly.
"Oh, brother." Jax rolled down his window.
"What are you doing?"
"Yo, Dana!" he shouted loudly.
The blonde looked up in their direction and in a panic Morgan stepped on the gas. The barracuda sped off down the street. Morgan's heart was beating a million miles per hour. She hoped Dana did not recognize her. Jax on the other hand could not contain his laughter the entire ride back to his house.
Screeching to a halt, the brunette stopped her car in front of Jax's house. "Get out of my car, freak!" the brunette growled between her teeth.
"Oh, relax Morg. She couldn't tell it was us," he chuckled, before opening the passenger door.
Morgan sneered at him as he got out of the car and closed the door behind him. Jax leaned down into the window. "Thanks for the joyride," he smiled.
The brunette tsked between her teeth. "Maybe that was your last."
Jax chuckled. "Bye, lover girl." He stepped away from the car and headed towards his house.
Morgan shook her head at Jax's nickname for her and then pulled away from her friend's house. She had to get back to the garage.
After her father's final approval, Morgan was finally able to take her beloved car home. No more having to ride carpool with Keri. She happily parked the vehicle on the street and went into the house.
When she stepped through backdoor, she saw her mother preparing dinner in the kitchen. Annette looked up at her daughter and smiled. Morgan stopped in her tracks, wondering why her mother looked so happy.
"I just found out some marvelous news, Morgan," Annette said, as she seasoned some meat on the cutting board.
"Okay," the brunette replied.
"Your sister's cheerleading squad has qualified for Regionals this year!" she gushed.
Morgan rolled her eyes. She should have known this good news involved the 'favorite' daughter. "That's great," the brunette replied flatly.
"Great? It's fantastic news!"
The brunette nodded. "I finished the barracuda. I can finally drive it to school."
Annette looked her daughter up and down. "Honey, go get cleaned up. Dinner will be done in twenty minutes."
Morgan sighed heavily and headed up the stairs. She knew it was a waste of breath telling her mother about her own accomplishment. It took her weeks to fix up that car, but her mother could care less.
As the brunette let the water from the showerhead cascade over her, she tried to relax and let go of the anger she held against her mother. She just wished she could grab hold of her, shake her and say, "I'm here too!" Morgan closed her eyes and released a breath. Thank goodness she had her father. At least he acknowledged her existence. She rinsed the shampoo out of her hair and shut off the water.
The high school gymnasium was packed with students as they unhurriedly searched for a seat to watch the pep rally. Morgan and Jax were amongst the noisy crowd as they climbed the creaky bleachers all the way to the top. After finding a seat, Jax tapped on Morgan's forearm.
"Look over there. There's Jason. Did I tell you what happened today?"
"I swear, I think he smiled at me today in the locker room."
"Really? You think Jason smiled at you…" the brunette replied in an unconvinced tone.
"A boy can dream."
Morgan scanned the gymnasium and smiled lightly when she spotted Dana on the sidelines. She was in her perfectly fitting cheerleading outfit talking and giggling with one of the football players. The brunette's esteem balloon instantly deflated. She was sure Patrick was hitting on Dana. A tug of jealously pulled on her delicate heartstrings.
Soon the pep rally was underway. Music boomed in the large room and students clapped and cheered as the football players were announced one by one. The brunette leaned back, bored out of her mind. She hated these stupid rallies.
"And now your rowdy and beautiful cheerleaders!" a voice announced over the speakers.
Now, this she liked. Morgan sat up straighter and focused her full attention on the group of cheerleaders. Dana stood next to Keri as they took their positions. Smiles were plastered on their faces. The techno-pop music started and the team began their routine. Morgan had to admit, her sister was good at what she did and worked very hard. Even though she would be annoyed hearing Keri practice her cheers in the backyard, she can see the extra practice paid off. Her movements were sharp and precise and Dana was right there with her.
Morgan loved the way Dana's body would move. The brunette raised her eyebrows when the blonde suddenly did three back handsprings in a row. Seeing that the blonde was so athletic, Morgan often wondered how that body performed in… other situations.
When the routine was over, everyone cheered and there were a few boos of course. Morgan frowned, not appreciating it when people would hate on her sister and Dana.
Jax leaned over towards her. "Has she called you yet?"
"What? Who?" The brunette questioned.
"Who do you think? Dana."
Morgan shook her head. "She's not going to call me, Jax."
The red-head shrugged his shoulders. "What are you doing after school?"
"I have to work at the garage."
* * * * *
Later that afternoon, Morgan was talking to a customer at work when her father walked over to her.
"Hey, Morgan I can finish this up. You have a phone call."
"Who is it, Jax?"
Nathan shook his head. "She said Dana, I think."
Morgan rolled her eyes, unconvinced. She knew Jax was just messing with her again. The brunette went to the back office and picked up the phone. "Very funny Jax, you're not going to fool me again," the brunette smiled.
"Morgan?" A soft voice asked.
The brunette's heart skipped a beat, hearing the voice on the line. This was not Jax pulling a prank on her.
"Uh, um, yeah. Yeah, it's me."
The blonde sniffled and let out a shaky breath. Morgan heard this and was immediately concerned. "Are you okay?"
"Not really… I'm… I'm sorry to be calling you out of the blue like this…"
"No, no. It's okay. What do you need?" Morgan asked softly.
"Can you meet me? In the park… the same place we spoke before?"
Morgan's heart leapt with excitement to have another chance to be alone with Dana. Of course, happier circumstances would have been better. "Um, sure. I can meet you. When?"
"Is now okay? I just… really need to talk." The blonde's voice sounded so broken and helpless. How could Morgan refuse?
"I'll be there soon," the brunette promised.
After the conversation ended, Morgan told her father that she needed to meet a friend in trouble. He dismissed her from work and she drove her car over to the park. The sky was a haze of beautiful purple and orange. It was going to be dark soon. The brunette parked by a curb and exited her car. She approached the area where she and Dana had met before and saw the blonde standing by a tree. Dana was staring down at the ground with her arms wrapped around her body, hugging herself. As Morgan stepped closer, the blonde looked up at her. Their eyes met.
"Hey," the brunette said, coming to a stop in front of Dana. "I got here as quick as I could."
Without warning, Morgan was suddenly engulfed in a hug. Surprised, the brunette was hesitant to return the embrace. Dana's arms were wrapped around her neck and Morgan's body was practically vibrating with pleasure. It soon dissipated when Dana began to cry. Instantly feeling protective, she held the blonde to her.
"Hey…" she cooed. "It's alright."
"It was so awful, Morgan," the blonde whimpered.
They slowly broke the hug and Morgan looked at Dana with concern. She rested her hand on the blonde's arm. "Just calm down and tell me about it. Let's sit down."
The blonde sniffled and followed Morgan over by the tree where they were nights ago. The two teens sat next to each other on the grass. Morgan studied the blonde as she tried to compose herself. Even in simple blue jeans and a T-shirt, Dana looked beautiful to her.
"What happened?" Morgan asked.
Dana ran a hand through her hair and blew out a breath. Her eyes briefly looked into concerned blue ones before looking down once more. "When my mother came home tonight, my uncle, his wife, and my grandparents and I were all waiting for her. It was for an intervention, to get her help."
Morgan winced, knowing the outcome did not end well.
Dana shook her head solemnly. "But she didn't want it. When she realized what we were trying to do, she blew up. And before we all knew it… she yelling and everyone was yelling back. I even told her if she did not get help, I would move out and live with my uncle."
The blonde faced Morgan. Those usually bright green eyes looked soulless and empty.
"And you know what she said? She said…" The blonde took a shaky breath and looked upward trying to stop her tears. "She said I better start packing."
Morgan closed her eyes and slowly shook her head. That must have really hurt Dana. How could her mother be so rotten to the sweetest girl in the world?
"She actually cares more about a bottle of wine than her own daughter. I just can't believe it." Dana wiped the tears that streamed down her cheeks. "Then she just stormed out of the house. We don't even know where she is right now."
Morgan placed a hesitant hand on the back of Dana's shoulder. "Dana, I'm really sorry. That must have been really hard for you and your family."
The blonde sniffled and nodded sadly. "It was. I just didn't know what to do. I just had to…" Dana let her words falter.
Dana nodded. "Yeah…"
Morgan placed her hands in her lap and looked down. She began to think about her own relationship with her mother. "I understand."
The brunette looked up and met Dana's tearful eyes. The blonde looked like a little lost girl. "What if my mother doesn't love me?" She asked helplessly.
Morgan's heart swelled with compassion. "Hey… don't think that way," she said, placing a comforting arm around Dana's shoulders. "Dana, you are a wonderful, beautiful person. There is no reason in the world for her not to love you."
Dana met her gaze and Morgan felt her heart beat faster. The blonde gave a soft smile and the brunette felt her cheeks grow hot. She looked anywhere but into Dana's eyes and shrugged.
"I guess through all of your mom's grief about your dad … she just forgot that," Morgan finished, sheepishly.
She could feel the blonde's eyes on her for a moment, but she was too nervous to face the gorgeous girl seated next to her.
"Thank you," a soft voice replied.
Morgan gave a nod. "You're welcome." She reached in her jacket pocket, remembering she had a clean Kleenex, and handed it to Dana.
"Here you go."
"Oh, thanks." The blonde dabbed away her tears and they both sat in a comfortable silence.
The brunette could hear her heart pounding in her ears. With her arm still around the smaller girl, Morgan could feel the warmth of the blonde's body. The brunette shyly rubbed Dana's arm. It was actually more of a light pat than a rub. "Are you feeling a little better?"
The blonde slowly nodded. "A little." She glanced at the brunette and smiled softly. "I really appreciate this, Morgan. I know we don't really know each other."
Morgan shook her head. "It's no problem."
"I'm sorry I made you leave work," the blonde shrugged sheepishly.
"I don't mind, really. My dad said it was okay."
They sat there a moment longer. Suddenly, feeling a bit awkward, Morgan removed her arm from around Dana. It was feeling too much like a "dating" embrace than comforting.
"So, how about you?" the blonde asked.
Morgan pushed away her thoughts and looked at the blonde who had an expectant look on her face. "Um, me?" the brunette replied, locking her hands together in her lap.
"Yeah," the blonde brushed bangs from her own face and settled her gaze on Morgan. "How are things with you?"
The brunette shrugged. "Nothing different. Still same old, same old. I say hi to my mom and she asks me when Keri is coming home from practice." Morgan chuckled sarcastically. "That's about all I get from my mother."
The warmest, softest hand covered Morgan's and her skin began to tingle. The brunette slowly met Dana's sweet green eyes.
"I guess we both have screwed up mothers."
Distracted by the blonde's touch, it took a moment for Morgan to register that the blonde had spoken to her. She smiled. "Yeah, I guess so."
Just as quickly as the hand was there, it was gone and Morgan immediately missed its warmth. The blonde slowly climbed to her feet and Morgan did the same.
"So, how did you get here?" the brunette asked, rubbing the back of her neck.
"Oh, I walked here. Well, more like ran," Dana shrugged, hugging herself.
Morgan suddenly realized the blonde's body language. "Are you cold?" Morgan shrugged off her jacket.
"No, Morgan you don't have to-"
"It's cold out here," the brunette reasoned gently. She covered Dana's upper body with her jacket. "I'm wearing long sleeves."
Dana snuggled under the large jacket, enjoying the new found warmth. She sheepishly smiled at Morgan. "Thanks."
"Sure." Morgan shoved her hands in her pockets as they silently walked towards the parking lot. "Uh, congratulations on making Regionals this year?"
Dana raised her eyebrows with a smile. "Thank you. You heard about that huh?"
Morgan smiled. "How could I not?"
"Oh, yeah right…" the blonde murmured. "I'm sure your mom had a field day with that."
Dana laughed lightly and Morgan thought it was the cutest thing in the world.
"Can I give you a ride home?" the brunette asked, as they got closer to her car.
The blonde's eyes widened as she looked at the vehicle. "Wow. Is that your car?"
"Yep," Morgan smiled.
As soon as they reached the vehicle, Dana placed her hands on top of the car. "This is a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda," the blonde stated with a sparkle in her eyes.
"Uh, yeah, it is," the brunette smiled, surprised the blonde knew the make, model and year of her car. She watched in fascination as Dana inspected all sides of her vehicle.
"Wait a second. Was that you who drove past my house the other day?" the blonde questioned, a smile on her lips.
"Crap," the brunette muttered sheepishly. "Yes, it was. But that was Jax who yelled out to you like an idiot, not me."
Dana giggled. "I wondered who that was. Can I take a look under the hood?" the blonde questioned.
"Uh, sure," the brunette squeaked stupidly. She hustled over to the driver's side and popped the hood. She joined the blonde back in front of the car and lifted the heavy hood. Morgan looked at Dana to get her reaction. Her heart leapt when the blonde smiled brightly.
"This is a heck of an engine you have. It's a 340 four-barrel, right?"
"Uh, yeah." The brunette replied, shaking her head with astonishment. "How did you know that?"
Dana looked up and flashed a grin. "Not bad for a blonde cheerleader, huh?"
Looking at the girl next to her, Morgan could not help but think how interesting Dana was. The blonde was full of surprises. Morgan smiled back at her. "Not bad at all. I'm impressed."
Dana stepped back from leaning over the open hood and shrugged, bashfully. "I'm sort of a closeted car freak."
"There's nothing wrong with that," the brunette said, closing the hood. She turned to Dana. "So can I take you home?"
The blonde stood there unsure. "Technically, I'm not living at home anymore. I have to pack my things and go to my Uncle's house. I can't stand spending another night in my mother's house."
"Well, I can take you to the house, help you pack and then take you to your Uncle's place."
"Oh, Morgan I don't want to trouble you. I'm sure you have better things to do."
The brunette stepped over to the passenger side door and opened it. She looked at Dana with a small smile. "I can't think of anything else better to do."
Dana looked at Morgan with sparkling green eyes that made the brunette melt. Morgan could not help but think Dana looked like an angel from the parking lot lights shining from above them. It seemed to make the blonde have a beautiful glow about her. Then Dana smiled. Morgan's heart skipped in her chest.
The blonde stepped over to her and looked up into Morgan's eyes. "Are you sure you don't mind?" she asked.
Morgan was truly captivated by Dana's eyes, and truthfully would have jumped off a cliff if the blonde had asked her to in that moment. The brunette chuckled nervously. "Yeah, I don't mind," Morgan smiled.
Dana smiled back. "Thanks, Morgan." Then she slipped into the passenger seat.
Morgan smiled to herself and closed the door before walking over to the driver's side.