summary : neighbor!jock!calum has a notorious stuck up persona, that is, until you catch him in his backyard with a pup and a very noticeable smile.
word count : 2k
warnings : adult content, swearing
FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED!
The last place you expected to be on your Friday night was the school’s football stadium, the loud rowdy student section giving an incessant headache and all the cheerleaders down on the turf stunting with fake and forced smiles on their dolled up faces only made it worse. It wasn’t where you belong, it’s not a comfort zone of yours.
You’d much rather prefer the comfy bed of yours back at home but you only came from the endless pining Calum had brought upon you that morning at school. His voice obnoxiously loud as he called you out in the middle of lunch and fake proposed on one knee, something behind his back that you couldn’t quite see but no matter what it was you hated where this had been going. He cleared his throat, the cafeteria calming down from it’s usual loud antics to hear him get yet another no from you. The whole school knows about your hatred of him, they all find it quite undeniably funny (minus Calum, of course).
But what really ticked you off was that you didn’t necessarily hate him that morning. When he got down on one knee you were blushing but quickly hid it with a cocked eyebrow and scowl on your lips but there was no denying the butterflies in your stomach when he let his palm show what he had been holding all this time.
“You’re giving me your jersey?” You had scoffed at the red and gold fabric clutched in his hand. Sure you may have been a bit harsh with that, but in your head a voice told you to take it and flaunt it in front every girl at the school. Every player gives their spare jersey to a girl for the home games, it was a cheesy tradition that you found rather overprotective and silly but all the other girls seemed to find it ‘charming’ or 'cute’.
“Will you do me the honor and wear it tonight? At the game?” He sent a hopeful smile your way, a few glances around the lunch room to show you how much pressure he was under. If you embarrass him under that big of a crowd, his reputation would plummet from the top of the class chain. Handing over jerseys is a way to show their school how important they are, getting rejected meant you weren’t important. As tempting as it sounded to diss him, the voice in the back of your mind beat you to it.
So now, here you stood. Very annoyed and cramped between all the classmates you hate, arms crossed along your chest trying to hide the fact his number was on the sleeves. You had kept your hair down, hoping that it’d hide his last name displayed across your back but it did no good with the ferociously wild wind tonight.
“Hood’s girl?” An all too familiar voice had you rolling your eyes. “In the flesh.” You didn’t try to hide the sarcasm as you snapped your head to stare at the punk himself, Michael Clifford. A feisty one, you had nicknamed him. His signature leather and denim jackets always his go to necessity for his outfits, a cigarette dangling between his lips despite the numerous no smoking signs around the stadium. He didn’t care about the rules, too rebellious and cool to follow any directions. You two had a bit of history, a casual fuck back at a party a year ago but nothing that mattered between each other. You had sworn the flame you two ignited that night as he marked you with hickeys and you left marks down his back with your nails had diminished months after. Nothing like that would ever happen again, he promised.
“I was hoping you’d say no.” Michael referenced back to the cafeteria proposal with a smirk on his cherry lips. The cigarette now in between his fingers to let some ash dust off and trail onto the metal stands you two stood on. “That kid needs a bit of sense knocked into him, you’re mine.” He was joking, of course. You’re always doing this to each other and often people take it too seriously and make up rumors that you and Michael were secretly dating but it’s not the skinny love romance that they all proclaim it to be, just a really close friendship.
A loud laugh left your lips, head throwing back in bliss as you let the smile remain on your cheeks, “In your dreams, Clifford.”
The sound of cheers had you turning towards the field to see Calum scoring yet again, a proud smirk on his face as their school was now in the lead 2-1 thanks to his help. You felt the bleachers shake as you saw everybody stomping their feet to make even more noise if possible. It was so supererogatory, they didn’t even win yet and every student feels the need to make some huge unnecessary noise thinking that’ll help with the team’s performance.
Michael’s arm slung over your shoulder once the crowd had died down, leaning closer so his chin could rest on top of your head. “He’s looking at you.” His voice stayed low so only you would hear it, a small snort from you as your eyes didn’t even bother to check. Calum’s been checking every chance he could get to make sure you were still in the bleachers.
“I don’t think he’s enjoying how close we are.” Michael added on with a smirk letting his face lean down so you two could stare at each other. That’s another thing, Calum is acting like you belong to him now.
Considering he tried to kiss you (yet again) from under the bleachers before the game had started but you were quick to deadpan a rushed out, “See you after the game.” and leaving him in the dust with those words in mind. You weren’t his, you’re only here because of that stupid voice in the back of your head that didn’t filter when he asked you to show up at this stupid home game.
“Wanna make him jealous?” Michael leaned in closer, using the side of his leather jacket to hide the two of your faces so it seemed as if you two were kissing behind it. You’d never actually let your lips touch his, that’d be breaking his promise.
After a couple more seconds you two pulled away, his leather jacket now back in place as he handed you his cigarette and let your lips take a drag from it before handing it back for him to finish. The smoke left your lips in a swirl, the wind picking it up and moving it off to dissipate in thin air. Something inside of you felt bad about what you had done but you let it pass. Your eyes fell back onto the field, Calum now furrowing his eyebrows at you as if silently asking 'what the hell?’ with the most unamused face. You didn’t even have to ask if he just saw what you and Michael did, sending a small smirk his way before nodding towards the coach who had been yelling at him to run for the past thirty seconds of him standing there dumbfounded.
The score had finished with a proud 4-1 and Calum hadn’t even spared a glance towards you after the stunt you and Michael had pulled. The final whistle being blown and his team heading off to the locker rooms to shower and try to freshen up after a sweaty game of soccer.
“Need a ride home?” Michael had stayed with you until everybody had left the bleachers, his feet trekking down as his combat boots clunked against the metal stairs. Haphazardly stepping backwards without a care just so he could look at you shaking your head, “I’m leaving with Calum.” You stood to give Michael one last hug before he headed off into the school parking lot.
“Great to know you think that jersey means nothing to you.” Calum was at the bottom of the stairs, catching you in the act and finally getting to talk to you after what he had witnessed. “It’s just a jersey.” You spat out, knowing fully well that it’s not just a jersey. It’s what the players give to girls to show them off as their own, their jerseys are their everything- giving it away is like a token of affection. Their relying on whoever it’s passed onto to understand that they trust them.
“You’re really oblivious, aren’t you?” Calum scoffed at your comment, he’s not only mad about the stunt you pulled. He’s ticked off over how you still don’t get what he’s trying to do. All the constant dates he tries to take you on, every single time you catch him staring at you in class, the numerous times he’s accidentally hit you with the damn soccer ball was all just to get your attention. Everything he had done over the past few years had led up to the same reason. “I like you, dammit.”
You laughed. You didn’t mean to but it was another unfiltered thing leaving your lips as you finally made your way down the bleachers until you reached him on the turf. The smirk on your lips cunning and full of disbelief. “You know nothing about me, you can’t possibly like me.” There’s a fine line between infatuation and love, they can be easily mistaken as one another. You could be completely infatuated with someone but that doesn’t mean you desire to be with them, it’s just mere curiosity.
“Oh bullshit, don’t try to make me rethink all of this so you don’t feel bad for not feeling the same way. I may not know your life story but I know enough to say I’m falling for you, y/n.” He let both arms fall to his sides in defeat, eyes burning into yours for a response but you had to take some time and process what he was saying to you.
That voice. The voice in the back of your head acted on impulse, your body lunging into his so you two crashed into a hug that he was quick to reflex against and keep you from hitting the ground with both arms around you utterly breathless with what you had done. After years of you hating him for all of his stuck up remarks and snobby comments, he never received anything like this from you.
“Can I show you something?” He finally let himself speak after breaking the hug, eyes searching yours for an answer as you gave a soft nod to let him take you wherever. It was so weird, the feelings you had about Calum last week would never compare to the feelings you felt right now; this suddenly happy sensation coursing through your veins. The smile on his face curving up as he tugged you out of the stadium and raced down the sidewalk till you two reached his house.
The boy was giddy, reminding you of the same Calum you had witnessed the day before in his backyard. His hands finally letting go of your wrists and giving you a small gesture as if saying 'stay there’ and unlocked his front door only to peek his head in and put his thumb and index finger between his lips, a whistle emitting from him as the sound of claws against wood grew louder and the door barged open as the familiar golden lab you can vaguely remember bolted towards his owner.
“Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.” Calum gave a pat to the dog’s floppy ears and let him circle around you a few times as it’s nose sniffed around your ankles before returning back to it’s excited antics. “He’s cute.” The dog jumped up as you spoke, it’s paws on your thighs as he sniffed the jersey on your chest and barked at Calum who was smiling like an idiot.
“I think he likes you.” Calum’s smile dimpled in his cheeks and eyes, letting the dog circle you two gleefully as he blushed nervously, “His name’s Champ.” It crossed your mind that he wasn’t aware you saw him playing a game of soccer with the dog yesterday and heard him talk to his dog and commentate the whole thing. So you nodded along pretending like it was your first time seeing the overly hyper pup.
“Even cuter.” You kneeled down onto your knees so you could pet the dog easily, it’s sloppy licks of kisses hitting your cheeks but you didn’t mind. Calum was in awe, he shared his favorite thing in the world to you and you were actually just as enthusiastic about Champ, he couldn’t help but realize he really was slowly falling in love with you and maybe you had a new soft spot growing for Calum.