"You realize that if you keep plodding away like that it's going to devour your soul and then eat you alive, right?"
Riley dogearred his page and closed the book, then looked up at Ana. He frowned. "Pardon?"
"Lo and behold, he actually heard me!" Ana's lips curled in her trademark feline smirk. She dropped her chin onto her forearms and swung her feet over her back. "I was saying that since it's Valentine's Day, we should go and make ourselves sick from eating too much chocolate, but it looks like Stedman's Medical Dictionary has taken my place in your heart."
Riley nodded seriously. "Well, obviously. I'll take incisions over chocolate any day."
Ana gasped. "Traitor. Oh, hey, does this mean that if the chocolates are shaped like actual hearts with red stuff to look like blood, you'll eat them?"
"Well, it depends on how realistic it is..." He leaned back against the tree trunk and set his dictionary down on the grass. He met her sparkling hazel eyes. "But as they are, the stereotypical heart is technically properly 'heart' shaped, in quite the romantic way, indeed."
Ana furrows her brow. "No, it isn't. A heart looks kind of like a fist. The typical heart shape looks nothing like it. But then, I guess it wouldn't have quite the same charm if they were shaped like actual hearts...."
"A heart does," he agrees, smiling. "But two hearts sewn together make the commercial heart."
"Oooh!" Her eyebrows shot up. "Wow. I didn't know that. That's cool!"
"Isn't it? But in answer to your suggestion, that sounds great, as long as we get ones without peanuts."
"Ah, yeah. We don't want any hospital trips, no no!"
"Your place or mine?"
He could literally feel Ana's enthusiastic mood drop down to bitter. The bright breeze suddenly seemed cool, her eyes hardened, and her lips twisted into a forced smile. She started tearing clumps of grass out of the ground, though her eyes went coldly distant. "No. Not my place. Mum'll probably be slutting around with some random guy, not even in her bedroom."
He placed one of his hands over hers. "My place then. And we can even watch Moulin Rouge, if you like."
The icy air vanished, and Ana stared at him in disbelief. "But you hate musicals! You say they're brain-numbing."
"Which they are. But I haven't seen that one, so I can't properly insult it, now can I?"
"Well, that won't do." Ana grinned. "As long as you're able to keep yourself from complaining during the movie, we could do that."
He wondered if she knew just how stunning her smile was. She released it in its full velocity rarely, but its sparkle increased her beauty tenfold. "Not to worry. Movie talkers are horrible."
"As are you."
"Liar! I don't talk during movies."
"No, you either fall asleep during them, or start humming and singing along with the soundtrack. Singing is musical talking."
"My voice is amazing though," she said arrogantly. "You ought to count yourself lucky to hear it."
"Well, yes, it is, but I'd rather hear the actors' version first, dear. You can sing all you like after the movie."
"Fine, fine." She pouts. "I won't sing if you don't talk."
They lapsed into silence, just enjoying the day and each other's company. They only held hands and didn't bother to move closer to each other, but that was alright. They didn't need to be physically close to feel emotionally close. Riley let go of her hand to pick up his book again and turn back towards the page he'd dogeared.
The atmosphere didn't change until Ana observed, "Our uniforms are getting grass stains on them."
Riley glanced at her white blouse and then his white shirt and shrugged. "They'll come out."
They sat that way until the sprinklers came on and sent them scrambling away to the sidewalk, screaming and yelling and laughing.
"My book!" Riley cried out in dismay, flapping its dripping pages desperately as his diaphragm started hurting from laughing so hard.
"That was classic!" Ana snickered, hands on her knees and catching her breath. At least, trying to. "Here, let me help."
She snatched it away from him. She held it up, out of his shadow, to the sun.
"Oh, yes, that's so very- Ai, no!"
An arch of water spurted over it from a sprinkler. Riley retrieved his even wetter book and grimaced when he saw that some of the ink was bleeding through the pages and sentences rendered illegible.
"Oh, no. I'm sorry, Riley. I didn't think that they reached this far."
"Not your fault," he said. "There's a Barnes and Noble near Blockbuster; we can stop by there and pick up a new one."
"And get chocolate on the way!"
"Can't forget that."
There was another moment of silence at they stared at each other, then a sprinkler spurted water over their heads and they started laughing again.
"I have got to tell Felix about that!" Ana crowed.
Riley agreed with vast amusement, and the two left the private high school's grounds hand-in hand, dripping water, and good-naturedly bickering, back on the subject of musicals, punctuated by Ana's randomly bursting out into song. Their quest for the medical dictionary proved fruitless, but Riley found it online. The quest for Moulin Rouge was also fruitless, so they settled for Twilight, which they could both rip apart quite happily while watching. The quest for chocolate, however, was a great success. The next morning found the two fifteen-year-olds cuddled on Riley's couch after an all-night movie marathon, neither one feeling a bit sick, and both feeling more than a bit content.
"I love you," Riley whispered into Ana's ear.
"I can't hear you," she said, and he could hear the smirk in her voice.
He kissed her proud jawbone. "What about now?"
He tilted her head back towards him and leaned in until his lips were just centimeters from her smirking ones and met her glittering eyes as he smirked himself. "What about now?"
She pretends to think about it. "Sorry, no."
"How unfortunate." After a long moment, he kissed her gently and carefully, and she returned it. When they broke apart, he propped himself up on an elbow and brushed her cheek with one hand. "What about now?"
"I can hear you perfectly."