A/N: So I'd written this as soon as I'd finished reading the first book, but then I was like "Eh this is stupid" and didn't post it. And I was re-reading the book and just decided to go with it. I hope you guys like it!
Do tell me what you think!
SOME CONTEXT IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK: Peter tells Lara Jean that Josh likes her and would come swooping in the minute they ended things. She doesn't believe him. But when Josh is helping with the Christmas tree, he and LJ get into a fight and LJ calls him "predictable". He kisses her in response after he admitting he's jealous of Peter. She tells Peter the next day.
'Cause We're Just Pretending
Lara Jean seemed unusually distant today. It wasn't one of her daydreaming sessions, he could tell from the way she's worrying her lower lip and tapping her pen against the desk relentlessly.
They're in chemistry class when he feels a gentle and familiar tap on his back. Reflexively, he extends his hand, palm open upwards, without looking up. He feels her fingers brush his palm gently as she slips a piece of paper into his hand and he has the weirdest urge to close his hand around hers.
He snorts silently at himself and retrieves the note.
You were right about Josh.
He frowns as he stares at her note, back straight. Alert. Peter loved being right, but he had a feeling that this would be an exception. He has a feeling what he was possibly right about, but he wants to make sure.
Be more specific.
She takes the slip from him, and she takes longer than usual to respond. He can hear the clicking of her pen, and he can tell she is nervous.
Finally, he hears the sound of quick scribbling and seconds later, the note is back in his hands.
He kissed me.
Peter should've expected that, but he hasn't. He wants to start yelling, but instead he clenches his fists and decides not to respond right away. Oddly enough, his brain is not really forming any words.
He is… angry.
He impatiently waits for class to get over, and the second the bell rings, he whips around to look at her.
"What the hell?" he says in a low voice "How did that even happen?"
"He came over to help us trim the tree." she mutters.
"And then what? He kissed you in front of Kitty?" he asks incredulously.
"No! It was just the two of us at the house."
Just the two of them. At home. Alone.
The idea doesn't sit well with him at all and he's starting to get really irritated. If Sanderson was around right now, he'd probably tackle the guy to the ground.
"What the hell is he thinking, kissing my girlfriend?" he fumes. He misses Lara Jean's look of surprise. "It's fucking ridiculous. I'm gonna say something to him," he says determinedly and starts to stand up.
"Wait, what?" says Lara Jean, jumping out of her seat and blocking him. "No!"
"I have to, Lara Jean. He can't just get away with it," he says, but takes a step back.
She sighs and starts to pack her bag. "You'd better not say anything to him, Peter. I mean it," she says firmly, refusing to look at him.
An unpleasant thought, unpleasant for reasons he didn't really want to think about, crosses his mind. Before he can think about the implications and what it means, the words are out of his mouth.
"Did you kiss him back?"
He regrets the words immediately, when she looks up at him sharply, narrowing her eyes.
"What does it matter?"
Yeah, Peter. What does it matter? A nasty voice sneers at him in his head.
To top it off, she looks mildly annoyed and he's not even sure what about.
"Are you mad at me for something?"
"No," she says, but doesn't really look at him. "But I will be if you say anything to Josh."
Drop it, Peter.
"He kissed you, Lara Jean!"
"Yes, I am aware," she says, crossing her arms, and looks around. The classroom had emptied by now.
"I can't let him get away with that!" he says indignantly.
"Peter," she says, "It's no big deal. I will talk to Josh about it and-"
"Well, I'm coming with you, then," he says adamantly.
She stomps her foot in exasperation and shakes her head, her loose hair rippling as she did so.
He finds that just a little bit distracting.
"Peter!" she exclaims. "Don't you think you're overreacting just a little bit? I said I would-"
Peter huffs annoyedly. "Overreacting? Me? Lara Jean, you're underreacting ! The guy kissed you. When he knew you were dating someone else!"
"Yeah, but Peter you… Look, I'll just talk to him. I'm sure it was a mistake. He was being... impulsive. Besides, it's not like you need to play the defensive boyfriend because I'm sure no one really saw it so, I don't think it should be a problem-"
No one saw it? How did that even matter?
"Lara Jean, I don't care who saw!" he says angrily, and now he's towering over her. "He kissed my girlfriend! The least I can do is break his nose for it."
She tilts her head at him, blinking in confusion. "Peter," she says softly, but it's more of a gentle question. "We're not… I'm not… we're not really… I'm not your girlfriend, Peter. Not really anyway," she finishes with a mumble.
His mind clears just like that, with those words. He can feel blood rushing to his cheeks but her words are ringing in his head.
I'm not your girlfriend.
She probably sees the realisation cross his face because she laughs nervously as she takes steps back. "Wow, this game of pretend is getting a little too intense, huh?"
Peter blinks and tries to laugh. A feeble attempt. Suddenly, it's awkward and Lara Jean murmurs, "We're getting late to the next class."
"Oh, right, yeah," he mutters as he picks his books up and walks to the door. He holds the door open and turns to her. "Right after you, Covey," he says, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible.
She gives him a small smile as she walks by him and he's right behind her. He is still angry at Josh; how dare he kiss her. But after what Lara Jean said, he knows he shouldn't really be as pissed off as he was feeling at that moment. It was irrational, so to speak.
Lara Jean is still quiet, and he can practically hear her thoughts going a mile a minute. He feels the need to justify himself, somehow, because it was starting to feel weird and he felt like if he didn't say something, the distance would widen.
Lara Jean herself was no better herself. The game of pretend is indeed getting too intense. More than Peter knew. More than she would like Peter to know, in fact.
I'm not your girlfriend, Peter. Not really anyway.
It had been important, for her at least, to say the words out loud. It was the truth, and as much as being with Peter was easy, as much as she let herself believe it wasn't fake, she knows it has to end at some point. She was starting to think that the sooner it did, the better for her. She sighs inwardly, when Peter speaks again.
"I was just trying to hold up my end of the contract," he says, almost like he was trying to convince himself.
"What?" she asks, confused.
"Back in there, I… Well, part of the reason we're doing… this…. " he points between the two of them. "...is to have Josh off your back, right?"
"Well, it was actually for me to gather the remains of my dignity," she mutters with a rueful laugh. "But I suppose that's not going to be a problem anymore. I have the... other thing to worry about."
"Right," he nods, and before he can stop himself, asks, "So how was it?"
"Excuse me?" she says, raising her eyebrows as she looks at him.
He wants to hit himself for asking that, so he shuts up and doesn't say a thing, but she continues. "If you must know, I didn't really notice. I was too shocked, and I-"
"Well, he's the boy you like, technically, so…" he starts to say, and trails away because he can hear the bitterness in his voice. Where'd that come from.
She smacks his arm in response and glares at him. " Liked. In the past tense. And it doesn't matter, whether I like him or not. Whether he likes me back or not. I would never do that to Margot."
Liked. In the past tense.
He knows she's telling the truth. And just like that, he goes back to his easy-going self. "Yes, ma'am," he says with a smile.
Well, now he knows that once they end things, at least Josh won't come swooping in. He might try, but Lara Jean wouldn't allow that. So it was all good.
He was only concerned because Josh Sanderson was the worst, and Lara Jean deserved better than him.
That's all this is about.
At least that's what he tells himself.
A/N: [ In the book, I thought Peter sort of underreacted, and saw the potential for what could've been a "moment" of sorts, so I wrote this for myself ]
For now, this is probably just a one shot. For *now*. I might add a little something later, but I'm curious to see if this idea takes off at all... Please be kind, I haven't really proofread because doing that makes me hate my work even more
LMAO I do enjoy writing from Peter's perspective. I should make it a whole series, I think. :')