Through Thick And Through Thin

Chapter Six

"See y'all in two months!" Kevin was saying to the dancers.

Katie breathed in deeply. Two whole months of being around A.J. It had been almost a year since she had been able to be with him for that long. Same with Kevin, actually. But she was used to maintaining a long distance relationship with him. Katie slipped her hand into A.J.'s as they finished saying their goodbyes and went out to his car. A.J. cordially opened the door for her before getting in himself.

"So I get to hear your song when we get home, right?" A.J. asked when they were on the road.

"Oh yeah, I guess you do," Katie remembered.

"Will I like it?"

Katie rolled her eyes. "Is your name Alexander James McLean?" He got ready to talk in his British accent, but she cut him off. "Or John...uh, Something...Suede," she added.

He laughed. "You know me too well."

"I really do, don't I?" she agreed, breathing in the cool night air. "Like you don't know me just as well."

He laughed. "How long has it been since we first met? Eight years?"

"Yeah, eight years. G-d, when we first met, you were only fifteen--"

"And you were only thirteen."

"Kev was twenty-one," she pointed out with a grin.

"He was so quiet back then," A.J. remembered.

"That's because Daddy had just died two years ago," Katie murmured. She turned to look out the windshield.

A.J. glanced at her with concern but saw that she wasn't grieving, just thinking. A smile spread across her face, and she turned back to A.J. "I thought you were so weird when I first met you!"

A.J. laughed. "Didn't you like Nick?"

She giggled and nodded. "He was my first kiss."

A.J.'s jaw dropped. "For real?"

"Yup. We went out for a week. We would stay up till, like, two in the morning just talking on the phone. Then we realized that since we were so young, we would probably break up eventually, and that would make things weird, so we decided to just be friends."

"Best friends," A.J. pointed out.

She laughed. "Yeah, best friends."

A.J. smirked. "I'm gonna have to have a little talk with Nick about this whole first kiss thing."

Katie groaned. "A.J..."

"So tell me, was there any tongue?"

"Now I know what Linz feels like," Katie muttered.

A.J.'s eyebrows shot up. "What? Did you just say what I thought you said?"

Katie bit back a laugh and nodded.

"Okay, that's it. I'm mad at you."

She laughed. "Oh come on, A.J. No one, and I mean no one, could be as overprotective as my dear brother."

"That's a point," A.J. agreed, parking the car in front of her house. "Besides, I can't be mad at you. I mean, how would I get any play?" he continued, taking off towards the door.

Katie's jaw hung open for a second before she got to her feet and ran after him. She finally caught up with him at the top of the stairs and jumped onto his back.

"You run like a girl, McLean."

"So do you, Richardson."

"At least I have an excuse!"

A.J. took a breath as if to say something else but then stopped with a confused look on his face. Katie laughed and kissed his neck, running her hands down his chest.

"Ummm," he murmured, setting her down so that he could wrap his arms around her. "Damn it, you always have to do that," he mumbled into her mouth.

"Do what?" she asked, pulling of his shirt and kissing his chest.

He moaned softly and rested his hand lightly on the top of her head. "Get me into stuff when there's something else I wanna do."

Katie stopped kissing his stomach to look up at him questioningly.

"The song."

"Oh..." She smiled sweetly and let go of him. "Well we can do that now if you want..."

A.J. glared at her, and then down at his pants. "Yeah, right." He scooped her up in his arms and started to carry her into her bedroom. "You're coming with me."

* * *

"So how much of the show did you see?" Kevin wondered as he opened the car door for Linz and then got in himself.

"Most of it," she replied. "I came in during 'The One.'"

"Oh, that was the second song," Kevin pointed out as he started the ignition. "Thank you so much for coming, baby. It meant a lot to me."

"Any time," she said with a nod, staring out the window.

Kevin stole a concerned glance in her direction. "Did you get all of your stuff taken care of?"

Linz looked at him blankly and then smiled slightly in recollection. "Oh...yeah, I did. I'm really sorry about that, Kev--"

"No, it's fine." He smiled at her before turning back towards the road.

Linz swallowed hard and looked out the windshield. She had to keep her guard up; she had almost blown her cover. Instead of going to do "stuff," she had just sat in her car and cried.

Kevin stopped the car at a red light and turned to her. "Linsey, if something's wrong, you know that you can tell me, right?"

"Of course," she sad rather mechanically.

Kevin bit his lip. "I mean it, Linz. I have a feeling that something's bothering you. Am I just being an idiot?" He saw the playful gleam in Linz's eye and smiled. "Wait, don't answer that."

She grinned. "No, I was just a little distracted earlier. I'm fine, really." She pointed ahead of them.

"Huh? Oh..." Kevin saw that the light had changed and pressed down on the gas pedal. "What would I do without you, Linz?" he wondered with a grin.


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