Well we all know they were going to have sex until Michael'smother decided it was time to have a little sex talk. The sure blew the romance out of the evening. Bet now, Sydney and Michael will remain celibate for the rest of the summer.
With time, Sydney was no longer suffering from an extreme case of sexual tension. Her extreme embarrassment quelled as well; it actually diminished quite quickly. Both she and Vaughn realized that getting back together in this intimate way, after technically being apart, was not something that they could rush into.
It was an awkward situation full of unknown territory. Although, like the first time, they both wanted to, it was very different than then. They’d been burned, charred, turned to ashes. The world and all its hurdles had tainted something so beautiful and innocent. Innocence was replaced with uncertainty. But, they hoped, wished, and dreamed that they could be like a phoenix and rise from those ashes.
A bright day in the middle of July was a very drastic one. For months, since getting back together, Sydney and Vaughn had been, more or less, in a dormant relationship. The love was there, an underlying theme all the while, but the passion was not present. It just decided to not show up for the meeting one day. There was certainty that passion was still alive and out there somewhere, but it just wasn’t planning to show up soon. And, soon afterwards, it became accepted that passion was taking a leave of absence, an unspecified hiatus.
The two of them were lying on the aged, gray-from-weathering hammock in the partial shade. They swayed to each side softly. Both seemed to be lost in their own thoughts. Physically, they were together, but mentally, they couldn’t be further apart.
“I can’t take it anymore,” Vaughn announced.
“Hmm…?” Sydney hummed, obviously not hearing anything he said.
“Syd, when are you going to stop punishing me?” he asked seriously as he kind of turned himself to face her.
Her eyes squinted in concentration. “What are you talking about?”
He just kept shaking his head, not believing she could be so oblivious. Vaughn stepped off of the hammock and stood beside it, his eyes focusing on her completely. “I’m sorry,” he apologized earnestly. “I’m sorry I needed time. I’m sorry about “the break.” I’m sorry I hurt you in the process. I’m sorry.” It was amazing how determined his voice sounded, how honest, and yet, at the same time, how he conveyed that he was severely annoyed with her.
Sitting up on the hammock, Sydney said, “Vaughn, we’re over this. We’re not on a break anymore. We’re together, and happy, and I don’t know why you’re bringing this up again now,” she countered.
To describe Vaughn’s facial expression at that moment is very difficult. He wasn’t angry or upset, per se. He wasn’t hurt, or broken up by her statements, either. Really, all it was is that he was surprised. Yes, he was surprised at her word choice. For a second, he pinched the bridge of his nose to ease pressure building up in his sinuses. Another few seconds passed before he finished. Finally, he asked, “Has your definition of ‘happy’ changed?”
All too quickly, she replied, “What? No.”
This was not intended to be a fight. In fact, it was intended to be a reconciliation of sorts. However, it seemed a good old fashion argument was needed to clear the air and bring along a new, blank slate for them.
Vaughn chuckled to himself in an ironic kind of way. He shook his head as well. “Sydney…,” he opened, “we don’t smile. We don’t laugh. We’re not relaxed,” he said truthfully as she stared back at him. “This – what we are now – it’s not happy. I know happy; we used to be happy.” Running a hand through his sun-bleached hair, he admitted, “I don’t know anymore, Sydney. I used to be positive, Syd, so sure, and now… I just don’t know anymore.”
Of course she knew what he was talking about. It was constantly on her mind how she and he were not how they used to be. They barely even said “I love you” to each other anymore. Their relationship was not as close or as open as it used to be. It just wasn’t. Almost, her mouth opened, like she was going to say something, but at that moment, she didn’t. She waited a little longer; she was collecting inner strength and courage to ask her question, although it terrified her. “W-what don’t you know anymore?” she managed, softly, only slightly louder than a whisper. All the while, she heard his voice in her head say things like: “I’m not sure this is love. I’m not sure this is working anymore. I don’t know if it’s worth it in the end. Maybe the break should have been permanent.”
This was a very difficult conversation, and Vaughn really hadn’t expected it to be. He didn’t realize how much energy it took to be one hundred ten percent honest when, for a given period of time, they were only about forty-five percent truthful with one another. Loosening up a little, almost in a nostalgic way, Vaughn began to speak. “I used to know… without… without seeing you, without hearing you say it, without any distinct expression in your face, that you loved me.” Sharing his emotions had never been difficult for Vaughn, especially since his mother was very open with expressing hers, and he learned from her. But, at this moment, it was very, very complex for him. “Now,” he cleared his throat, “now, though,” he shook his head, “I can’t read you,” he shrugged. “I don’t know what you’re thinking, what you actually mean when you say something… if you even want to be here right now… I don’t know anymore, Sydney.”
Pausing, he inhaled the fresh summer air. The sun had begun to set and the air was getting cooler. And it only seemed appropriate to him that darkness was due to come soon. He was scared to death that darkness was not only going to be outside soon, but within him as well.
Gently, she bit her lip, and tears welled in her eyes, tempting to cross the lid’s buttress. Her legs were now hanging over the side of the hammock, her feet touching the ground, because she needed something to ground her in this fragile moment. “Vaughn,” she said, trying to keep her voice steady. “I… I, um… after we got back together, I felt like… I thought… I don’t know,” she shrugged. “I had this mindset that I had to… that I couldn’t let you back in quickly. That I couldn’t… ignore what happened. I’d trusted you with everything I had.” She swallowed, so that saline drops wouldn’t leave her eyes. “I loved you so much… that it never even occurred to me that you, Vaughn, my Vaughn,” she emphasized, “could ever do something to… hurt me.” Swallowing again, she continued, “And then, when you did… I’d never been expecting it, so I was broken.” Vaughn, who’d been listening intently all the while, wanted to butt in, but she cut him off before he had the chance. “I’m trying –,” she said, but this time he did interrupt.
“Sydney,” he exhaled, “look, I really respect everything you just said. But you’re not kidding anyone when you say you’re ‘trying.’ You’re not trying at all,” he accused. “Everyday, I try to do the things you want me to do. I try to anticipate what you want but don’t verbalize, and I do that. I try to say what I mean instead of being ridiculously cryptic.” He raised and lowered his shoulders. “I’m sorry, but I really don’t think you try. I’m the one trying here, and, honestly, it makes me feel like you’d rather not be in this relationship. Maybe you don’t. For all I know, you might be trying to get back at me without knowing it and don’t realize it. Or maybe even you’re doing it on purpose. I just don’t frackin know. But, mostly, I don’t frackin understand how you can forgive so many people that’ve wronged you one way or another, like your dad and even Noah at one point, but you can’t forgive me, and I was always there for you. I frackin drove to your house and you didn’t talk to me, but I didn’t mind because you needed me, and I was happy to be there. I frackin ran all over the beach looking for you once, and you were home before I found you, but that was fine because we were together. I… I was frackin there for you. I just was.”
Both were silent, allowing Vaughn’s words to seep under the skin.
“Yes,” he continued. “I made a mistake – a huge frackin mistake,” he said, his green eyes flashing fiercely. Sydney opened her mouth to speak, but Vaughn spoke instead. “But I was there for you,” he said again, quietly this time, not knowing how else he could defend himself.
“I’m sorry,” she said, meaning it. “I’m so frackin sorry,” she said, unable to control the tears now. “I’m sorry,” she said with a stupid-looking quivering lip, except it was sincere. “I think there was a point where I must’ve realized that if I didn’t let you in as much, you couldn’t hurt me as badly if it were to happen again.” Wiping her tears off her face, she took time to catch her breath. Vaughn didn’t want her to cry. He felt awful about it, but, deep down, he knew they needed this.
He walked back over to the hammock and sat down. Their hands were about two inches apart.
Sydney, blotchy, tear-stricken face and all, turned to him. “I don’t want to be in a quiescent relationship where nothing happens, I don’t,” she shook her head, and wiped her tears again, “I don’t want to lose you. I can’t. I’m pushing you away, but you’re right: you’ve always been there for me when I needed you. Even when we weren’t together, you were there. And,” she was racked with sobs, “I’m sorry I’m not there for you.”
Vaughn sighed. Then, with his thumb, he brushed some tears away. “I’m not going anywhere, Sydney. I love you. This was never about leaving, it’s only about being forgiven and living again.”
“I love you, too,” she sniffed. “I do, I love you, I do, I love you so much, and I am so, so, so sorry,” she rambled as she went to touch his wrist that was connected to the hand that was erasing the signs of her crying.
And they kissed softly.
And they knew they would be okay, or better.
....but don't expect anything else soon. i only have 1 full chapter written left
Ahhh I was so nervous reading that, they seemed fine together and then they werent. All I can say is thank god Vaughn had the balls to bring up the situation before it escalated into failure. Truely amazing chapter I am s glad they are together again.
I'm so glad that Michael finally brought up the fact that Sydney wasn't trying to work on their relationship. Only one side trying to work things out isn't enough. Sydney finally realized if she didn't do her part, she was going to lose Michael for good.
hey! guess what?!
i wrote an entire chapter.
but the particular plot i'm working on isn't even done yet!
it's annoying. because my attention span seems to be shorter than a gold fish's
and for that i apologize.
sorry this is so late! it was storming all day over here and then i had to go to a family thing and i forgot a little bit!
BUT! it's not monday yet, so i kept my promise:
A violent knocking was rapping at Sydney’s door. She wasn’t expecting anyone, so at first she just assumed it was a deliveryman and took her time. However, the knocker seemed to have quite an agitated attitude, so she hastened to answer the door.
“Weiss? What’re you doing here?” she asked, surprised to see him.
“Good, you’re home,” he said as he pushed past her to get inside. He then proceeded to make his way into the family room in the back. However, he stopped in the kitchen when he saw a bowl of gorgeous green apples. He picked one up, sat down in a chair, and took a bite. “This is good,” he said.
“Weiss, what is the purpose of your visit?” she smiled as she sat down near him.
“You know, Syddie,” he crunched, “you don’t complain when Mikey stops by unannounced. And, you know, you might as well just admit now that you love me more for all our sakes, to lessen the pain for everyone.”
“Eric, come on, why’re you here?”
He took a few more bites, and only the core was left. “Looky, Syddie, are you doing anything today?”
“No -,” she began, but he cut her off.
“Marvelous!” he exclaimed. “I told him you weren’t. He told me you were, but I told him - I said, ‘Looky, her car’s in the driveway, I bet she’s not doing anything.’ But he told me I still had to go. But, Syddie,” he pointed at her, “Syddie, I said, ‘No, no, her car’s there, she’s home, and she’ll go with you, because of all that ‘for better or for worse’ felgercarb that you live by.’”
Sydney was completely lost. She didn’t know whom the “he” was, nor did she know why he kept saying “looky” nor did she know why he was calling her “Syddie.”
He scoffed. “And do you know what he said to me, Syddie?” Without giving her a chance to speak, he said, “You’d never guess it, not in a million years. So I’ll tell you, Syddie, he said, ‘Weiss, you’re crazy, and we’re not married, so there are no vows. Like it or not, you’re going.’” He looked at her in a way that was supposed to indicate that she was supposed to be incredulous at these words.
“Okay? Okay?! Syddie, do you know what I did after all this? Do you?”
“No idea, Weiss,” she responded honestly.
“Well, I ran over here, that’s what I did!” He looked her square in the eye. “You have to go with him. I can’t. I won’t! You can’t make me. Okay… well, maybe he could. But I puked like a dog last time. And I think he thought it was funny. And I think he thinks it’s funny to torture me like that. Either that, or he wants me to become bulimic.”
She chuckled. “Weiss, what the hell are you talking about? If I knew, I’d try to help you.”
“Syddddddd!” he whined. “I’m talking about Vaughn. He wants me to go canoeing with him, and I get really seasick. But he said he can’t go by himself. So, please save me and go with him? Please?”
She was just smiling at how Weiss put on such a theatrical performance for this small predicament.
“Sydney, I’m not kidding. You have to go with him, for the sake of my stomach if for nothing else,” he pleaded.
“Where is he now?” she asked, getting up and slowly making her way towards the door.
With pep added to his step, Weiss bypassed Sydney and led her by the hand to the Vaughns’ backyard, where Vaughn was hosing down a hunter green canoe. “Tell him, Sydney!” Weiss urged as he slightly pushed her towards Vaughn.
Vaughn rolled his eyes. “Weiss, you’re such a baby!” He turned the hose off. “Whatever he told you is probably only partially true,” he said, looking at Sydney.
“So that’s how you greet me?” Sydney said with a raised eyebrow as she neared him. “I haven’t seen you in, what? Three days? And you greet me with ‘Weiss is a baby’?”
He smiled sheepishly in an adorable manner that could absolve him of any guilt he ever had. “I’m sorry,” he said as he kissed her lightly and pulled her closer to him. “Hello dearest, how are you?”
“Sydney tell him what we talked about!” Weiss shouted from the driveway, standing behind the chain-link gate.
“What’s he yelling about?” Vaughn asked as he nodded to his best friend.
Vaughn’s back was to Weiss while Sydney could look at him if she looked past Vaughn.
They were now standing maybe five inches apart. “So what’s this I hear about you going canoeing?” she asked.
“It’s something we do at least once every summer,” Vaughn explained.
“You make that poor boy throw up at least one time per year? Vaughn, that’s horrible!”
He chucked. “Is that what he told you?” Vaughn turned to look at Weiss. “You’re such a liar, Eric,” he said. “Weiss threw up once last year because he ate too many Cheetos before we went. He just doesn’t want to go,” he told Sydney.
They were all quiet for a moment. “Well, where do you go canoeing, anyway?” Sydney asked curiously.
“This campground by a lake about a half hour from here.”
“A campground?” she asked, a hint of mischief in her eyes.
“Yeah… what are you getting at?”
“Michael Vaughn,” she sighed, “must I explain everything to you?” He looked at her quizzically. “I guess I do,” she said as her dimples brightened the sunny afternoon even further. “I have a tent and several air mattresses. You have a canoe. We both have friends. There is a campground by a lake a mere thirty minutes from here.”
He brought her closer, leaving his palms and fingertips to linger on the small of her back this time. “So, what you’re saying is we have to stop and get campfire food before we leave?”
Right when they were about to have a moment, Weiss shouted, “Did you fix it yet, Sydney?”
Sydney stepped out of Vaughn’s arms, although she didn’t want to. “You lied to me, Weiss. Which means you still have to go, sorry,” she said nonchalantly. “I’m gonna go pack and call Will and Francie to see if they can come. I’ll talk to you soon about details?” she said to Vaughn before kissing him quickly and departing.
“Okay,” Vaughn laughed. “I’ll get my stuff together, too.”
“Syd, what’s going on?” Weiss asked as he became her shadow on her short way home.
“Go pack some clothes and a sleeping bag and stuff,” she answered.
“Oh, hell no! You guys are NOT gonna leave me out in the woods all by myself!”
Sydney laughed. “Weiss, no. We’re going camping. You, me, Vaughn, and maybe Will and Francie.”
He stopped. “Camping, you say? I’ll get the snacks. What do we need?”
A few hours later all packing was done. It was official; all five of them would go camping for two nights. Unsurprisingly, Jack was not very fond of the plan.
“Dad,” Sydney said, “I’m sorry I’m the one to break this to you, but I’m nineteen years old now. I live six thousand miles away from here for about seven months of the year. I need freedom. You missed your chance to hold the reins tightly.”
Letting the words sink in for a minute or two, Jack had to reluctantly agree.
Sydney, Vaughn, and Weiss would drive there in Vaughn’s car and Will and Francie would meet them there.
This is going to sound pathetic but guess what I just finished reading for the eighth time TEoSN no joke!
Oh so camping huh... I think it's about time syd and vaughn got a lil lovin'
and with weiss in the picture its sure to be comical