A/N: I’m too excited to post this on time since I’ve had this ready for ages. But I won’t tell you how early (I definitely didn’t finish the chapter on Monday). Oh, and also, as of right now, there might be a sequel. About what, you’ll just have to wait and see, but my brain is churning with creative juices (but knowing me, it’s not a concrete thing, so don’t get your hopes up). This chapter feels a little chunky, but I might just be rusty, so good luck I guess.
Want to read the story from the beginning?: You can read it here (on Wattpad) or check my pinned post!
Chapter Nine: A Friendly Outing
“There you are!” Fitz ran over to me just as I exited the whirlpool. “Where do you want to go?”
“Let me catch my breath for a second. Getting into Atlantis always makes me light headed.”
“Huh, that never happens to me, maybe you should be drinking more water.” Fitz has a point, water seems to evade me most of the time. “Do you want to go get food first? It’s basically that time anyway.”
“Sure, why not. Where to?”
Fitz looks thoughtful for a second. “Well, why not our usual? For old time’s sake.” The Undersea Cafe is definitely our most frequented place here in Atlantis. “Remember our first time? You were so nervous to talk to the waiter.” Fitz laughs.
“No, no, you’re remembering it all wrong. You were the nervous one. I had to order for you!” I answer indignantly.
“Oh, c'mon, we were twelve, and I’d been sheltered by my parents,” Fitz retaliates.
“Okay, okay, whatever. But let it go down in history that you used to be a scaredy cat,” I say, pointing to the sky as if making an important proclamation.
“Whatever, dude. I’m a changed man now.” Fitz rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling underneath the annoyance. It is good to just have a normal conversation. No talk of the Neverseen, Black Swan, or Sophie for once.
But, as if on queue, “So, are you going to make your move on Soph now that she’s single again?” Fitz elbows me in the side.
I sigh. “First off, ouch, that hurt. Second, I’m not into her anymore. Once you two started dating, I figured the whole thing was a lost cause, so here I am.”
Fitz laughs, presumably at my pain. “Well, any lucky lady catch your gaze lately?”
“Naw, no one. We’ve been so busy there’s not really time, you know?” I shrug, not really caring about my answer.
“No one at all?” Fitz sounds somewhat surprised at my response.
“Yeah, I’m sure. Why? Do you like someone?” It seems the only logical thing to assume. How though, makes no sense. Unless he likes Linh? I can’t see it though. And when Fitz just looks away, I jump on it. “Oh, really, my Fitzy boy already found someone new? Do tell.” I stop walking, now smirking, not really curious, but mostly messing with him.
“It’s no one! Trust me!” Fitz turns red and stomps off. “Hurry up, I’m hungry.”
I run after him. “Okay, I’m sorry! Didn’t mean to upset you though, sorry.” Why could he be so upset from such a small thing?
“Can we just not talk about it anymore? It’s sort of complicated and I don’t really want to deal with it right now.”
“Yeah, that’s totally fine, I get complicated,” I respond, thinking to Tam and I’s blossoming friendship. “Oh, and look, there it is!” I point to the aquamarine sign that reads, The Undersee Cafe in curly cursive font, the silhouette of a mermaid holding a seashell underneath.
We sit down at a table, and a waitress comes over almost immediately, and we order. Fitz orders a seaweed salad and I get a sandwich.
“How’s Biana doing?” I ask once the waitress leaves.
“She’s doing well, especially since you woke up. We were all really worried, so I think that everyone’s sort of in a relief stage right now. You’re okay and so nothing is bad. I bet that doesn’t even make sense, but it’s true. Even Tam seems better.”
“Well of course, Tam must be so guilty,” I answer, not sure if I should let Fitz know about what’s going on. “But I’m glad that you’re all doing well. What about Della?”
“Same, she’s just glad you’re awake. She also senses the tension between my dad and I though, and I think that’s wearing on her. I just wish, well.”
“Wish what?” I put my sandwich down.
“I don’t know. Nothing that will come true I guess.” He looks down, taking another bite of salad slowly.
“What do you mean?” Concern and confusion wash over me, and doubt from Fitz. A sneaky grey-blue thing, doubt is.
“I, well. A lot of things. I wish that the world would sort itself out, I wish that my dad could either see the error in his ways or my mom sees them, and,” he trails off at the end, looking out of the window.
“And what?” I lean in slightly, still worried.
“I don’t want to talk about it. How’s your new place?” His gaze stays on the window. He seems determined not to look my way.
“It’s really great. But if it’s bothering you so much, I want to know. But if you don’t want to tell me outright, is there anything I can do to help?” I put my hand on his, but he snatches it away.
“No, just stop asking about it. It really doesn’t matter, I can deal with it on my own.” Fitz is frowning out the window now, crossing his arms.
“And when has that ever helped anyone? We work better as a team, Fitz. We always have!”
“I, I just can’t tell you okay? Please?” He finally looks at me, and his eyes are sad as he whispers a final, “Please.”
“Okay, okay, but you’ll tell me when you’re ready?”
He looks down again. “I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.”
“That’s fine. How’s the salad?”
“It’s good.” Fitz’s words sound tired, which only makes me more worried, but I keep my mouth shut.
“You want to leave? I can pay at the counter.” I stand up, already knowing his answer.
“Sure, I’ll come so that I can pay my half.” He gets up too and follows me to the back of the cafe.
“No, no, I got you, don’t worry about it.” I nod at the cashier, and she taps a button on the register computer. I hand her the money, and she pushes more buttons, putting the money in the register.
“You two are so cute together!” she says, handing me over the change. Fitz is red again.
“Oh, no, we’re just friends,” I respond, shakily, smiling a little.
Her faces drops slightly. “Oh, oh, sorry, I just assumed, sorry.”
Fitz turns around quickly and walks out without a word. I sigh, and follow after him. What’s with everyone thinking I’m into boys? Whatever, it doesn’t really matter. I could be, for all I know. Unlikely as of now, but the future is far. I can’t picture it though, me with a boy.
“So where to next?” Fitz asks, pulling me out of my thoughts. He sounds a little more cheery now, at least.
“Um, I don’t know. Should we just walk around and find a park to sit in or something?”
Fitz nods, and off we set, in search of the best tree.