Two of Hearts

By RangerLou

Ted sat at his desk writing in his journal. Since he became a student at Lawndale High, a number of interesting things had happened to him. Today was one of the most interesting so far. Socializing with his fellow students was novel to him ,having been home schooled all his life. His encounter with Daria opened up a whole new world to him, one he had only read about in books.Surely, it wasn't what one would consider a real date, but the experience was enough to peak his interest in perhaps possibly trying again, maybe with a student who was not an upper classmen this time. The opportunity arose in a most unusual fashion this very evening. It began when, on the way home from the library, he ran into fellow student Stacy Rowe...literally.

He was absorbed in a book on medieval codes of honor, when the next thing he knew, he was knocked off his feet, glasses and books flying in all directions. Looking at the shape that collided into him, he could just make out a female form. When he heard the voice, he knew who it was.

"Ow, ow ! My hand ! Oh no, I'm gonna have a scar! Now I'll never be a model!"

"Stacy? "

"Ted? Oh my god, I'm sorry. Are you all right?"

"Help me find my glasses and I'll look at your hand."

They both searched the ground until she found them under one of the books Ted had checked out of the library. She paused to look at the title, "Chivalry in Medieval Society." ' That sounds so romantic." she thought, as she handed him his glasses.

"Thanks. Now, let's have a look at your hand." he said as he gently took her hand. Ex amining the wound, he saw that it was no more than a scrape on her palm, easily taken care of with a poultice he had read about in native American culture.

"This isn't so bad. All we need to do is clean it up and apply a bandage, with a natural healing poultice, and you'll be fine."

Stacy was still worried about scarring, and, as much as she wanted to have him help her, she was still a little shy around him. Sandi had always called him a Geek and said that even talking to him would put you in loser class. But she had been wrong before about people. Ted had helped her out in several classes they shared, and Stacy had fended off the wrath of Ms. Barch before she got a chance to confront him about being a 'male lowlife.'

"I should go home to take care of this."

"I live two blocks away if that's more conveniant . We could take care of your hand and you can relax and calm down before going home."

Here was an opportunity she had thought about for some time now. She had wanted the opportunity to talk to him and find out what he was really like despite what Sandi had said.It wouldn't actually be a date, but it was better than nothing.The fact that he was still holding her hand helped to make the decision easier.

"Umm.. okay, thanks. I live seven blocks from here and my hand really hurts. You're sure I won't have a scar?"

"Not enough to worry about," he chuckled, " It won't show as anything more than part of your palm print."

"Well, I suppose that'll be okay..if you say so."

As they walked along quietly, Stacy glanced over and noticed he was sniffing the air and had a confused look. She asked what was bothering him.

"It's nothing. Just that I catch a whiff of Lilac, and I know it's late in the season for it. Remarkable, that's all"

"Should I tell him I'm wearing perfume? Oh god, I hope he's not allergic to it!" Stacy hesitated before asking him. The last thing she wanted to do was offend him and possibly end a relationship before it even started.

"Are you.. that is're not allergic to lilac, are you?"

"No, not at all." He chuckled, "In fact, it reminds me of our garden in back of the house. Really pleasant and soothing."

Stacy was relieved to hear that and made a mental note to stock up on the fragrance for the future. For some reason, most of the other boys she knew didn't like lilac perfume.Before she could say anything, they were in front of Ted's house. When she saw his front yard, she stopped short at the sight of corn growing where a lawn normaly would be. "I guess riding with Sandi, I never noticed his yard before." She started to smile. "Cool yard."

"Thanks," he replied adding, "We keep the squash out back. Come on in."

The inside of the house was just as unusual as outside. Homemade furniture, kerosene lamps, books. Lots of books on every subject imaginable.She was looking around the living room and didn't notice that the couch she was sitting on was of most unusual construction, being made of solid pine.To her, it looked like the house was full of antiques. It wouldn't be until later that she would find out most of what she saw was handcrafted by Ted and his parents. On the coffee table, she saw some loose photographs that she recognized from the Homecoming parade. They were candid shots of various people, but the majority were of Quinn's sister and .. Stacy! She wondered why he took so many photos of both girls.Her thoughts were interrupted when he entered the room carrying a small bowl with something in it that didn't quite smell right.

"Okay, let's have a look at your hand. We'll clean it up first before applying the poultice and wrapping it up, okay?"

"Ew! You mean you're going to use that smelly stuff ? I can't go to school tomorrow smelling like that! Sandi will never let me live it down!"

"Don't worry," Ted chuckled, " the odor disapates in a few minutes. Besides, you can wash it off in the morning and no one will ever know it was there." As he was talking, he washed her hand and began to apply the remedy with a gentle touch that calmed Stacy's fear. She started to smile and decided to ask about the photos.

"Um.. Ted? I was wondering. The pictures you took at the homecoming so many of me..and Daria?"

"Oh, that. I know how you and the rest of the Fashion Club plan on being models and I noticed that you and Daria have similar attractive features. I was just thinking she might make a good model too if she decided to choose a career in fashion."

Here was news that shocked Stacy. Ted thought she was attractive. More to the point, he thought Daria was attractive too. How would the rest of the Fashion Club handle that? Wouldn't that shock them all! Then, another thought occured to her, one she hadn't considered before. "Daria and I have similar features? I wonder. Could it possibly be..It couuldn't be!" Her thought was interrupted when Ted said that he was done.

"There. By morning you should be fine. Just wash it off and put a regular bandage on."

"Thanks, I'll try to remember that." Noticing Ted smile at her, Stacy began to blush. Shy-ly, she smiled back and decided to change the subject to see what he would say. "May I look at the rest of the photos, or would you rather I didn't ?"

"Sure. In fact, you can have these for your portfolio, if you like." He handed her several shots he had taken, some from homecoming and others from differant locations. Each showed her that Ted was Indeed an artist when it came to photography. Stacy smiled as she looked at his work, but then a thought occured to her and she started to hand them back.

"Thanks, but I don't have a portfolio. I wish I did, but they're so expensive. Do you know what a professional photographer charges for just one sitting? "

Ted shrugged his shoulders as he gave her an answer that surprized her. "That's no problem. I'll help you build one. I need the practice, and you can have your portfolio. It's the least I can do for your helping me fit in at school."

"You'd do that for me?" she said breathlessly.

"Of course. I'd do that for anybody I like." Ted started to blush. "Oh no, I've done it again! When am I going to learn to think before I speak!" As he looked at Stacy, he saw she was not only blushing, but smiling.

" you too, Ted."

He was at a loss for words. Once before, a girl told him she liked him. This time he would be a little more compromising and not let his naivete end the relationship, something he regreted with Daria. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was nearly 5 o'clock. Should he invite Stacy to stay for dinner, or walk her home? He took a deep breath and decided.

"Uh, Stacy? Would you like to stay for dinner? We're having eggplant parmesan and fresh steamed vegetables from the garden."

Thrilled with the ivitation, Stacy accepted provided she called home first to let mom know where she was and with whom. Ted was crestfallen when he heard this, not because she wanted to tell where she was. That was the right thing to do. It was simply the fact that she couldn't call from his house. No phone. When he told her there wasn't a phone in the house, Stacy looked disapointed.

"I guess I'd better go home in that case. I'd like to stay, but I don't want mom to worry about where I am. Maybe I could come over for dinner some other time?"

"Sure," Ted smiled, "How about tomorrow ?"

"That sound's great!" she replied. Both of them were seemingly happy with the open invitation and just smiled at each other for a few moments.Then Stacy stood up, and Ted, courteously stood and walked her to the door. They paused for a moment while Stacy fidgeted nervously not knowing what to say.

"Um, thanks again for taking care of my hand.I really apreciate it. You're sure it's alright that I come to dinner tomorrow?"

"No problem.I'll let my parents know we'll have a guest for dinner." As he said this, he had a look of confusion. Stacy wondered what he was thinking.

"I just keep thinking there's something I'm forgetting to do."

"Maybe you'll think of it later. I'm sure it's not important enough to worry about." As Stacy went out the door, she added, "When you think of it, you can tell me what it is later."

Just as she turned to go, Ted realized what it was he was trying to think of."Wait!" he said, causing Stacy to stop short and turn back only to find him face to face with her.The next thing that happened was a pleasant and unexpected surprise to her.He kissed her, not on the cheek but on the lips! A full,sincere kiss on the lips! It was unlike any other kiss she had gotten before. Whereas the others were either quick or roughly given, this one was heartfelt. When they finally parted, Ted said to her, "Did I do that right? I've never kissed anyone before so I want to get it right."

Stacy couldn't believe it. If that was his first, what would the rest be like?

"I could help you practice, if you like."

"Great. We can also talk about your portfolio."

For a moment, neither one said anything, smiling at each other until Stacy said she had to leave. She kissed him, 'just for practice,' and started down the walk. As Ted watched her leave, he thought the same thing that she was thinking .


End theme: 2 in a Million
Daria is copyright MTV
Story copyright RangerLou, 2001