Hi guys! I'm back! Sorry it's been so long! I would like to take the opportunity to tell you that HSM3 IS AWESOME! I saw it on Friday night and it was absolutely amazing and I loved it! And now some words to those amazing people who reviewed the last chapter:
spamisthename: Thank you for reviewing! Glad you liked that chapter, sorry you had to wait so long for this one! Enjoy!
Fauna Greywolf: Thanks for reviewing! Sorry I didn't update for ages, glad you liked Chapter 11! Enjoy!
shana852963: sniff poor Mikey… I love him, he's my favourite character in the show xD And yup, Gus was a jerk, if I were Gretchen I'd have slapped him :P Thanks for reviewing!
Naoki Tsunari: Thanks for the review! Glad you liked the ending, I seem to like cliffhangers :P Sorry I couldn't update sooner!
Lilia-Rose: I know, poor Mikey! I love him so much, life would be sweeter if everyone was moor like him :D I love the Gretchen/Gus pairing, I think they're so sweet together :D Thanks for reviewing!
Trish: Why thank you! It was about time I got some TJ/Spin action in there :D I thought it would probably take something sad to bring the gang back together :) Thanks for the review!
aussiechick00: I'm so sorry it took 8 days to update :'( Hope you haven't died because of loss of patience, I'll try and get more chapters up this week! Thanks for reviewing!
SweetWildThang: Omg thank you for your review! :D Glad you like it so much, enjoy this chapter!
GreenandPurpleMonkeys: Thanks for your review! Glad you like it :D It was about time TJ and Spin kissed again! Sorry you had to wait so long before I put the chapter up, enjoy!
have-a-cookie: Yup, poor Mikey :( Pretty much everyone loves Mikey lol :D He really is like the BFG… except he doesn't have huge ears and eat snozzcumbers :D Gus is such a goon, haha new name, Gus the Goon :P Thanks for reviewing!
lozzard-wellard: LMAO the DVDs rock :P 'I'm a regular wedge of CHEESE!' :P We both laughed for about a YEAR at that :P I wanna be a cheese for Halloween :( OK I'm just rambling on now so thanks for your review!
Luvmusic: Thanks for the review! I like the Gus/Cornchip Girl pairing too, but it depends on which story it is. Sometimes I like Gus/Cornchip Girl and Gretchen/Vince, and sometimes I like Gretchen/Gus and Vince with someone else, maybe an Ashley. But I've brought Cornchip Girl into this chapter for you :) Glad you like the story!
Sarina Blade: Thanks for reviewing! Glad you like the story! Sorry I didn't update for ages, hopefully I'll be able to write more often this week :D Enjoy!
abby: I listened to one of her songs on YouTube, 'Love Story' and I really like it :D so thank you! And thanks for the review :D Yup, I'm a bit goal crazy, having goals keeps me motivated :D Poor Gretchen indeed :( Enjoy the chapter!
RedAsARose: LOL, I find it annoying when I'm reading someone else's fic & they end with a cliffie, so sorry :D Thanks for your review, enjoy this chapter!
Jayla Starlight: Thanks for your review! That was probably one of my more eventful chapters, probably because it was the longest… :) Jockasses are stupid! I live in the UK so we don't really have them (thank God) but they're probably like the American equivalent of chavs which we have over here and they are AWFUL! Stupid jockasses/chavs, Mikey doesn't deserve it :'( Kurst always seemed like such an angry person in the cartoon, like in 'The Girl Was Trouble' when she has that food fight with Gretchen, so I thought that wouldn't have changed :) And poor Gretchen, Gus was such an idiot! But he does seem sorry hmm… Bleurgh, the disgusting kid you know sounds annoying / And TJ & Ashley kissed! Muahahahaha… glad you liked that chapter, enjoy this one!
It's my half term week! WOOOO! I probably won't be able to get up anything in the second half of the week as on Thursday I'm at a sleepover, Friday is Halloween and on Saturday I'm going shopping and then to another sleepover :D I've got quite a lot of homework (damn teachers! Holidays should mean holidays!) but I'll try and fit in my writing around that because you are such an amazing audience and you don't deserve to be kept waiting!
TJ pulled away from the kiss instantly and looked hard into Ashley's eyes, searching for any trace of the person he had just been reminded of. But surely…? She wasn't…? She couldn't be…?
"I… I think I've kissed you before," TJ said, and Ashley looked into his brown eyes and saw the spark of recognition there…
"No, you haven't," Ashley said, running a hand through her hair. "It's… um… probably my style of kissing."
"It's not," TJ said, shaking his head. "I've only ever kissed one girl in my life… many, many years ago… but I can still remember the exact way she kissed me, and… well… it was so similar to how you just did…"
"Kissing styles," Ashley said, getting nervous. "Um… I read about it in a magazine."
TJ looked at Ashley, knowing that all this junk about kissing styles was exactly that- junk. Ashley was hiding something- and TJ now knew exactly what that something was. Suddenly all the pieces fit together.
"You're Spinelli," TJ whispered.
Ashley stood rooted to the spot, feeling like she was going to vomit any second now. She didn't know what to say. She couldn't lie to TJ- but she couldn't face up to the truth.
So she ran.
She ran all the way out of the hospital and down towards her house, not stopping, not even daring to look back.
She had no plans to go back to school. She was exhausted from all the running and all the drama of the day. Besides- what use was school anyway? What was the point in getting an education when it wouldn't belong before she was dead?
Back at school, it was free period. Rather than spending it practising basketball or making out with some girl, Gus Griswold was sitting in the library, pen in hand, deep in thought.
Suddenly, someone lightly tapped his shoulder. He turned around instantly, hoping to see Gretchen- but he wasn't entirely disappointed when he saw who it really was.
The girl nodded, smiling shyly. "Yeah… but I go by Annabelle now." (A/N- I don't know if that's her real name.)
Annabelle hadn't changed much since Third Street. She had grown taller since the last time Gus saw her, but she was still small for her age- she wasn't an inch over five foot. She still had a heart-shaped face and big, brown eyes- but she had grown out her silky, dark brown hair. Instead of the bob she wore it in as a child, she had it spilling down her back. She wore a floaty white dress with flip-flops.
"Well… hi," Gus said, not knowing what else to say.
"Why are you here?" Annabelle asked him, sitting down in the empty chair beside him.
"Well… I… uh… what do you mean by that?" Gus asked.
"You know… it's free period and the most popular guy in school is spending it in the library. Something's up." Annabelle said.
The truth was, Annabelle had been Gus's first kiss…
He was in sixth grade and she was in third, and it was the night after his father's funeral. He couldn't bring himself to go to the wake- he didn't want to hear people telling him what a great man his dad was, because he knew that already, and telling him his father was a great man wouldn't have brought him back.
Gus chose instead to sit in the park on a swing, alone, watching the sun go down and thinking about things, when Annabelle- known back then as Cornchip Girl- nervously walked up to him.
"Hi," she said, shuffling nervously.
Gus smiled but didn't mean it. "Hi."
"I… um… heard about your dad," Cornchip Girl said quietly, in a voice that was little above a murmur. "And… um… I'm sorry. I wanted to go to the funeral today, but my dad wouldn't let me."
"Um… thanks," Gus said, and then he kissed her. It was a brief kiss, but it had made Gus feel a little bit better.
"Well… I'm kinda… trying to write a poem for this girl I like… well, I love her, really," Gus said. "But… I made a mistake and well… I'm just trying to show her I care about her."
Annabelle's eyes nearly popped out of her head. "Wow… and to think just last week you couldn't take your hands off Ashley A's butt."
Gus smiled weakly. "Yeah… things have changed."
"Need any help with the poem?" Annabelle asked.
"That's very sweet of you, but… well… you're a freshman…"
"I take junior English," Annabelle said. "But you don't have to write her a poem to show you care. There's lots of other ways."
"Just talk to her… and tell her how sorry you are… from the heart."
"I'll give it a try," Gus said, knowing it probably wouldn't work- Gretchen wouldn't listen to him, and why should she? He didn't deserve someone like Gretchen.
"Who's the girl?" Annabelle suddenly asked.
Gus blushed. "Gretchen Grundler…"
Annabelle smiled, somewhat sadly. "I knew it," she said. "I remember in elementary school when you had that really big crush on her and you looked at her like a puppy… I remember wishing I was her."
Gus smiled- he had no idea his crush on Gretchen had been that obvious.
"Gretchen's a lucky girl," Annabelle said. "And if she turns you down… well… I think she's making a big mistake."
Gus smiled. "Thanks, Annabelle… for everything."
"No problem," Annabelle said, smiling. "Well… good luck," she said, turning around and walking straight into Vince.
"Oh… sorry," Annabelle mumbled, going bright red.
Gus grinned. "Vince? You remember Annabelle, right?"
Vince's usually blank, distant look had been replaced with an alert, excited look. "Uh, not really…" he said, surveying Annabelle with interest.
"She went to Third Street, used to be known as Cornchip Girl, remember?"
Vince's eyes were on stalks. "No way!"
Gus nodded, smiling- it was obvious that Vince was getting a fast crush on Annabelle, and she returned his feelings. Gus still cared about Annabelle even though he knew Gretchen was the one he was in love with, so he was happy for her.
"Vince, do you know where Gretchen is?" Gus asked him.
"She was in the science labs last time I saw her, have you seen Ashley Mills?"
"Nope, not since we left the hospital. She might still be there, she and Mikey seemed close."
"OK, thanks Vince!"
Gus grabbed his bag and his poem and ran to the science labs, where he found Gretchen, wearing safety goggles and a white lab coat, watching a blue liquid bubble in a test tube and scribbling something down. Gretchen was allowed to go down to the science labs and do experiments any time she had a free period.
Gretchen looked up, her eyes bubbling with anger like the liquid- she couldn't believe Gus had the nerve to even go near her.
"Hi," Gus said, smiling sheepishly and looking at the ground.
"What do you want?"
"I just want you to listen to me… to give me a chance."
"Why the hell should I?"
Gretchen wasn't even looking at Gus- her eyes were fixed on the blue liquid and the notes she was taking.
Gus got down on one knee. "Because I love you, Gretchen Grundler, more than anything else on this earth… and I mean that from the heart. I'm sorry I spoke to you the way I did on Saturday. I was just in shock… I mean, you told me I had a kid, and I'm seventeen, and I didn't think I was ready… but I am now. I would do anything for you, Gretchen, and I mean that. I want to be part of your life. I want to marry you and watch our daughter grow up and have more children with you and watch them grow up and grow old with you. I want to wake up beside you every morning and kiss your forehead and tell you every day how you are the most beautiful, wonderful woman alive, how happy being with you makes me feel and that I will love you until the end of time."
Gretchen was looking at Gus now. Both of them were in tears. Gretchen looked at Gus, not knowing what to say.
"Get up," she said. Gus got to his feet and she flung her arms around him, kissing him full on the lips.
"I- I take it that means I'm forgiven?" Gus said.
Gretchen laughed. "Of course you're forgiven! I love you more than words can describe."
Suddenly, Gretchen's cell phone began to ring. She took it out of her pocket and squeaked when she saw the caller ID. Her naturally pale skin seemed to get even paler.
"It's the hospital!" Gretchen whimpered. "They'll have news on Libby! And I… really don't…"
"Shh," Gus said, stroking Gretchen's beautiful, soft, silky hair. "It's OK… I'm here."
Gretchen answered her phone. "Hello?"
"Hi, is this Miss Gretchen Grundler, mother of Miss Elizabeth Grundler?" The doctor asked.
Gretchen said, "Yes, it is."
"This is Doctor Marshall, I'm just calling with your daughter's test results…"
"I'm very pleased to tell you that the tests were negative. Your daughter does not have leukaemia."
"YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" Gretchen screamed, jumping around like an elementary school kid whose team had just won a particularly challenging game of kickball. "Thank you thank you thank you!"
"You're very much welcome, Miss Grundler," the doctor said. "Have a nice day."
Gretchen pressed end call and flung her arms around Gus, who was smiling- he knew from Gretchen's happy response that the news was good, and that Gretchen cared immensely about her daughter. Gus lifted Gretchen into the air and spun her around as they both laughed- the happiest either of them had been for a long, long time.
TJ stood in the hospital, flabbergasted. A million voices were all talking at once inside his head.
She lied to me.
She's gonna pay.
I love her.
They repeated over and over again until he felt like he wanted to scream. It was making his head hurt; he couldn't think of anything else.
He didn't know whether to be mad or happy or relieved. More than anything, he was confused.
TJ cracked his knuckles and thought to himself; he needed answers. He needed to know why she didn't tell anyone who she was and why she went away. And then he was going to make her pay for all the heartache he had suffered…
He walked out of the hospital with fists clenched. He was going to find her and he didn't care how long it took…