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Touching a Mirage

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Once again her back collided with the mat, the sound of it echoing throughout the room. When the hell did he get that strong? As impressive as it was it wouldn’t be enough for him to win but damned if it wasn’t close. Before he could read her movements she quickly swept his legs out from under him and pinned him to the blue vinyl.

“Say Uncle,” Vida said with a smile.

“No, V we’re not in school any more. Just let me up,” Chip replied.

“I hope you don’t have any plans then, cause if you don’t say it I’m not moving,” she sighed.

At this Chip tried to wrestle from underneath her to no avail.

“Uncle,” he intoned.

Immediately she was off of him and extending a hand to help him up. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“I’ve been in worse situations,” he said taking her hand.

“Not lately.” she snorted. “So we’re still set for later?”

“Yeah of course.Work, then we go dancing,” he said pulling on her hand to make her step closer.

“We’re not going dancing. We’re checking out a DJ... in a club... where there happens to be dancing,” she countered taking a step back.

He’d been pulling these sorts of stunts ever since the Ranger groupie he’d been dating dumped him. While she appreciated the interest in her passion it was becoming a little much at this point. Grinding with her childhood friend/ fellow Ranger was just not high on her to do list right now, perhaps her bucket list…

Shaking her head she went to turn and walk away from him, only for him to tighten his grip.

“You ok?” he asked, his brows close with concern.

“Of course I am,” she said like hadn’t been thinking about the prospect of grinding with one of her best friends.

“All right,” he said reluctantly. His hand sliding from her wrist and catching on her fingers.  

The action made her breath catch and subsequently piss her off, he gets one girlfriend and suddenly thinks he’s Xander.

~~~

Watching V stomp out of Rootcore was far more satisfying than he would have thought. It was a lot stronger of a reaction than he was expecting.

“When are you just going to ask her out?” Maddie asked, coming up behind him.

“Oh I don’t know, maybe when the idea of me being more than a friend doesn’t piss her off,” he replied moving around her to get to his towel.

“So not too much longer then,” she teased.

“So you saw that too?” he asked, thoughts of toweling off now forgotten. “That look wasn’t just my imagination.”

“Nope,” Maddie responded, shaking her head. “If I didn’t known better I would have thought Necroli got to her again.”

“What, Why?” Chip asked worriedly.

“Cause Sis was looking at you like Xander did the cheerleading team...hungrily with just a touch of ruthlessness.”

“Well, I did almost let her kill me when she vamped out. It probably be more enjoyable this time around,” Chip replied pensively.

“Aaand we’re done here,” Maddie said turning quickly and striding off in the opposite direction.

~~~

Watching Vida dance was was simultaneously the best and worst parts of his day. Her movements were fluid and graceful whenever she moved, but outside of the store they took on elements of the sensual. Her hips moving in ways that made appearances in his dreams on the regular. Sure, she would dance with him when they went out but she always held that part of herself back from him. If he didn’t torture himself by watching when she dance with other guys  he never would have known how much she was holding back.

Tonight though the goal was to get her to drop that wall at least once. As for how he was going to achieve that was anyone’s guess.

“I’m gonna go up to the front to check out his equipment,” Vida yelled in the general direction of his ear.

He nodded, watching her take off in the direction of the turntables. Honestly the list of thing he could do without V present was fairly small. Getting a drink was out because no one would actually believe he was 21 and it wasn’t like girls were asking him to dance.

“You wanna dance,” shouted a voice to his left.

Looking towards the voice he was surprised to see a girl about his age staring out onto the dance floor.

“Are you talking to me?” Chip asked looking around.

“Yeah I’m talking to you, Red,” she replied her eyes cutting toward him nonchalantly.

“I really can’t, I’m with somebody,” he said shaking his head.

If he hadn’t been in love with Vida most of his life this moment would have been seen as a real opportunity. You saw it happen in movies all the time, and while it was flattering any emotion besides that was beyond him. Not that she wasn’t pretty especially in dressed shorts that exposed miles of perfect brown skin, but even so she wasn’t Vida.

“The little firecracker up in the front?” she asked her eyes finding V with detached curiosity.  

“That would be her.”

“She doesn’t know yet does she?”

“Excuse me?”

“She doesn’t know you love her,” The girl said finally looking at him. The mischievous glint in her gaze had him both tense and curious.

“No. She doesn’t,” He replied easily.

“Oh this is going to be fun,” she said with a smile that only be described as wicked. With that she took him by the hand and dragged him to the dance floor.    

He wasn’t a bad dancer, even with a partner, but dancing so closely with someone for the expressed purpose of Vida seeing them just felt off. Perhaps he should have said no but a tiny part of him couldn’t help but hope that this was the push she needed to take him seriously.

Unfortunately, his back was to the stage so it was anyone’s guess if she could actually see them. Gearing up to beg off he pulled away slightly, only to have is partner grab the back of his neck.

While his first kiss with Nancy Shaw in the 6th grade was dare induced he’d tried to make the experience as pleasurable as a 12 year old could. Up until now he’d been convinced he wasn’t really missing anything. He knew an experience with V would be different but he still couldn’t help but imagine it from a middle school perspective. Oh boy, did he have a new frame of reference now!

Mystery girl’s mouth moved expertly over his, her lips and teeth alternately biting  and soothing. Outside of Mrs.Rocca’s german chocolate cake this kiss was the best thing to ever happen to his mouth. Just as he was figuring out just how to reciprocate her mouth left as quickly as it appeared.  

“That should do it,” she yelled looking over his shoulder. “Good luck, she looks pretty pissed.”

Her pleased smirk was the last thing he saw as she turned round and melted into the crowd. Spinning around his eyes located Vida easily, as she was standing on the stage right next to the DJ. The girl was right she did look peeved, he didn’t know if he should be pleased or afraid.

~~~

“I told you Chip, I don’t care who she was,” Vida said with an irritated huff.

“I know you told me that,” Chip replied warily.

Her attitude on the ride home however suggested otherwise. The stiffness in her shoulders told him that something was bothering her. So if it wasn’t the kiss, what was it?

Pulling up to stop Vida idled in front of his house and staring out toward the end of the street.

“V-” he sighed. “What’s wrong? You’ve been acting weird since we left the club,” Chip said breaking the silence.

“It’s nothing. I’m just thinking about stuff, plus I’m pretty tired.” she replied faintly.

Even though her words were reasonable her tone was completely out of character, which sent a little shiver down his spine. Vida didn’t do withdrawn, ever, she was loud, reckless, a bit of a hothead, but she never just pulled away. So whatever’s bothering her had her acting out of character and it’s worrying the hell out of him.

 

~~~

Was she living in a parallel universe? Did she get hit by a tornado and not notice? Go too far in the back of her closet?

Driving back to her her house on auto-pilot she contemplated someone finding Chip, her Chip, attractive enough to make out with.

Not that he was ugly, he was adorable, but she didn’t even KNOW him.

Someone who had no idea how kind hearted, and sweet, and funny he was just grabbed him by the face and went to town. It shouldn’t bother her, after all her can do whatever he wants, but whoever he ended up with needed to really see him.

Chip has the heart of a hero and sometimes someone else has to be the one to protect it. A job that was once shared between Madison, Xander and her. Only now the two agreed that he could look after himself and physically they weren’t wrong, he was a valuable member to the team after all, but when he commits to something he offers himself up completely. Someone had to make sure he didn’t commit to someone unable to do the same.

Turning off her engine Vida sat in the car a second, taking the time to shove away complex emotions she wasn’t ready to name. Composed by the time she gets to the door Vida answers her Maddie's questions about the club as per usual.

But in the quiet of her room however those same emotions bubbled back up with a vengeance. Eyes burning conspicuously Vida crawled into bed, unconsciousness being her only hope for relief.

~~~

Having to go to work after the night he had was playing dangerously with heart rate. Mystery girl seemed to think her shenanigans would help his cause and last night it looked like she could have been right. Today however was a day like any other and V was back to treating him with kid gloves. Honestly, he wasn’t sure which felt worse her being a shadow of herself last night or her now pretending like nothing ever happened. Not that he was completely sure what occurred in the first place.

“Can we talk,V?” Chip asked. His voice breaking the quiet of the stock room.

“Sure, what’s on your mind,” she said turning away from the stack of vinyl she’d been sorting.

“It’s about last night-” She exhaled in annoyance. “- something bothered you and now you’re acting like everything is fine.”

“I am fine, Chip” She exclaimed. “Sure, it was different watching you make with some girl in a packed club. But when you think about it, it was only a matter of time before someone else saw how awesome you are and decided to date you.”

She said all this in a tornado of words that left Chip immobilized. After the hailstorm of vocab cleared he was left with two words ‘someone else’. It was a bit of a stretch but her word choice implied she at least considered him datable and maybe thought about being the one to do it. This was it the sign he’d wished for on every birthday candle and letter to Santa since he was thirteen. His internal elation solidified by the mild look of panic on her face after her rant was over.    

“I don’t know if this helps or not but, she only kissed me to mess with you, ” Chip said calmly. His voice not betraying the fact that he could have been filled with helium with how much he felt like he was floating.

Confusion clouded Vida’s features. “Why?” she asked more than a little incredulously.

“Honestly? She just wanted to cause trouble,” Chip said with a shrug.

“For me?”

Chip though on it for a moment and replied, “Yes, but mostly in general I think. Pretty sure she thought she was doing me a favor.”

“What by kissing you?! You’re not a charity case Chip,” Vida shot back. Her ire and volume both coming back with a vengeance.

“Wha- V No,” Chip took a deep breath. “When you left to go talk to the DJ she saw how I looked at you... and suggested making you jealous.”

To say that Vida looked surprised would be a bit of of an understatement but it didn't last long. After that she just looked hurt, which was infinitely worse than any act of violence she could have inflicted on his person.

“Which, sounded like a good idea to you?” She asked studiously avoiding his gaze.

“Not good exactly, but different. V, I’ve been in love with you since I was a kid. I love being your friend but there’s never been a time I didn’t wanna be more,” he replied quietly.

“Why didn’t you ever say anything, then,” she scoffed softly.

“Cause you’re my best friend and I love that,” he said taking her hand.  

“But you’re also in love with me?” She asked frowning a bit.

“Yeah, there’s that too,” he replied stroking her hand with his thumb.

“I didn’t- I never-,” she started confusedly.

“I know. I know you didn’t,” Chip said quickly.

He didn’t want her to feel bad, that was never his intention.

“Um this is a lot, Chip. Could I just have a minute to… process,” Vida replied faintly

“Yeah, of course,” He said quietly letting go of her hand. Unable to stop his fingertips from caressing her palm.

An action he only dreamt of taking a few days ago and might have very well gotten punched for if he had.  

Her responsive intake of breath let him know that despite her confusion she wasn’t wholly unaffected.  

Still subdued in a way that he’d never seen her before, Vida drifted out of the stock room.

This is either the best or worst decision he ever made, only time will tell.

~♡~

As luck would have it, he didn't have to wait long. After the stockroom Vida left the Rockporium all together. The jeep’s tires shooting gravel at customers unfortunate enough to be near her as she drove off like a bat out of hell. Honesty he didn’t expect to hear from her for a couple of days but trust Vida to do the unexpected.

It was the flashes of color spreading across the glass of his bedroom window that woke him up. His eyes opening to an unfortunate shade of magenta, Chip then heard a familiar voice whisper-yelling his name.

There were few things he could deny her and a summons wasn’t one of them. Sliding into his slippers he quickly moved toward the window, pulling it up with an ease that should have been concerning. Vida wasn’t hiding, quite the opposite really, standing in his side yard with her eyebrows arched and [wand] in hand.

“Are you coming up or am I coming down?” Chip yawned.

“Up. It's freaking freezing out here,” V replied already going about climbing to the room via a near tree.

As she climbed he could see why she was cold. She was still in her pajamas! She’d ventured all the way here in sleep shorts and a tank. Army boots and a thick sweater were the only extra clothing she put on. While she finished maneuvering through the window Chip picked up a warm cloak he’d made last halloween (he still liked to wear it, sue him) and draped it around her.

“Thanks Chip,” she said pulling it tighter around her shoulders.

He knew better than to try and prod her into talking before she was ready. So as she situated his comforter around her legs Chip waited for Vida to speak first.

“I think I always knew,” She said after a while.

That definitely was not what he was expecting her to say.

“But you never said anything and were always there when I really needed you. On some level it never occurred to me you me you wouldn’t always be around or accessible… or whatever,” she said quietly.

“I would never not be there for you, V. Especially, if you needed me, no matter who comes along,” Chip protested.

“I know, but the idea of you dividing your time like that or introducing someone else into our group just makes me… UGH,” Vida growled out before tossing herself back onto his pillows.

For the first time since the club Chip felt hope surge in his heart, maybe he wouldn’t lose his best friend after all.

She was quiet for a moment. “Why are you still by the window when I’m trying to talk to you?” She asked irritably.

“Oh, sorry,” Chip replied quickly moving from the window to sit at the foot of his bed.

Before he even registered her moving Vida was inches away from his face, looking more nervous than he’d ever seen her.

“Can I try something?” She asked in a breathy voice he’d never heard from her before.

Her tone and the way she kept glancing at his mouth had Chip’s pulse skyrocketing to speeds not entirely healthy.

“Sure,” he squeaked out.

She gave a nod before bringing her face even closer. Her nose and mouth brushing against his before settling her lips firmly over his.

~~~

Whatever she’d thought kissing Chip would be like paled in comparison to the reality. It was the most natural thing in the world, like coming home after a long day and finally just being able to Be. The only thing that made it better was when Chip’s hands came up to pull her closer and his mouth started to move with hers in earnest.

Still it wasn’t enough, she needed more, before Vida knew it she was in his lap and wrapped around him. Their hips grinding together in a way she’d never done outside of a club. Even then for her it was dancing foremost and light sensual teasing last.

One thing was for certain though this time she definitely wasn’t teasing. If it were just a physical desire she could have gotten over that (ex: her brief attraction to Xandar). But with Chip she had these feelings and the combination was proving far more heady than anything she’d ever experienced.

Gasping when she felt Chip’s erection through her shorts Vida redoubled her efforts and went about placing a hickey on his neck.

With a strangled moan Chip grabbed her hips and pulled her close to keep her from moving.

“To be clear this is you saying you want to be with me, right?” He panted out.

“Yes, and if I see you kissing another girl you’re both getting punched. Not to mention magically tortured,” She breathed out.

“It’s only you, V. It always has been,” He replied looking straight into her eyes.

With a smile Vida moved towards him ready to resume their earlier activities but Chip pulled back.

“Look, V I don’t know how far you want to go, but I don’t exactly have protection on hand.”

“And I thought knights are prepared for everything,” She laughed.

“No, knights are prepared to deal with challenges head on. We’re heroes not boy scouts,” Chip said finally getting his breath back.

“Obviously not. Any boy scout past puberty would have condoms,” Vida muttered.

“Up until a few minutes ago I never expected to need any… but we could do something else. If you’re ok with that,” he said hesitantly.

“What, something like this?” she asked rocking their hips together. Making both of them pant anew.  

“That. Yeah, that works too. I was just gonna go down on you,” he breathed out.

“Later,” Vida returned. Her breath feathering out across his mouth before she moved to capture his mouth again.

As their mouths and hips moved together Chip’s room filled with the sound of their breathing. Vida was the one to come first, her breath catching and giving way to a whine she would later deny. With a moan Chip tightened his grip on her hips and ground into her even harder. Face pressed against her neck he breathed through his orgasm, still moving intermittently in search of friction.

Vida kissed him a bit longer before flopping back onto his bed with a contented sigh. Her absence from his lap left the damp spot in his sleep pants completely visible. Unlike the other times he’d come in his pants Chip felt no shame over the night’s events. Wasting little time he changed his bottoms and laid beside her.

Vida wasn’t ordinarily a cuddler so she surprised him when she laced their hands together and put her head on his chest.

“I’m sorry I didn’t see you sooner,” she said into his shirt.

Bringing his arms up around her Chip though about their friendship for a minute.

“I’m not sure you didn’t. You always got weird when you thought I made female friends. You remember Carly?” he asked thoughtfully.

“Of course I remember she was trying to copy your homework, so she she could focus on her beauty pageant,” Vida all but growled.

“Yeah but she only asked cause she was desperate and needed the pageant for a scholarship. Her dad had just been laid off, V ” Chip admonished.

“Still she could have gotten you in trouble, Mr. Kazi pretty much hated you,” She shot back.

“That’s not true. He was hard on everyone-,” He started only to be cut off by Vida.

“But.. you are right. I hated how close she would stand to you when you talked. So maybe on some level I did see you,” She said moving her head to look up at him.

Chip made no effort to reply verbally because to him it didn’t matter. They were here now and that’s what counted. Instead he leaned down and kissed her lightly. Trying to convey some of what he’s felt for her since he was a kid.

“You wanna go dancing next week?” He asked suddenly pulling away.

The change of pace was so quick Vida couldn’t help but giggle.

“Yeah ok, but know if you kiss anyone I’m going to murder you,” She said fisting her hand in his shirt.

“That doesn’t count if I’m kissing you ,right?” He asked looking intently at her mouth.

“Damn, you found a loophole,” she said fighting smile.

Soon enough she wasn’t fighting anything as her passions were otherwise occupied by something else entirely.