Sequel: Put Your Flowers Down
Status: THIS STORY IS OVER? Wow! Thank all of you guys so much for your support, hope to see you at the sequel!

Never Lost a War

buy you a drink (or not)

The next few days pass fairly normally, or at least as normal as things can be for Jack and Alex, meaning that Jack manages to get through the week without getting punched by anyone and Alex manages to finish his French essay and his statistics assignment without developing a stress ulcer.

When Friday rolls around, Rian manages to get them into a bar a few blocks off-campus, because apparently his new girlfriend Cassadee has connections so of course they're going to take advantage of it. Cass is pretty, and she doesn't look like she belongs hanging out with Zack, Jack or Alex, but she somehow fits in fine with Rian.

Zack brings a girl along, too- one who he introduces as Maeve. She's a fairly tall redhead, and she's clad in a loose gray shirt and leather pants. Jack didn't know people even wore leather pants. It's actually kind of terrifying. He makes a mental note to stay away from her as much as possible. If there's someone who Alex should be worried about punching Jack, it's probably Maeve. Maybe Zack's into that.

Not that Jack cares. Because he doesn't care about the bet. He cares about changing societal expectations about sex and virginity. Obviously.

"Don't do anything stupid," Alex says. "You just got lucky with Keller," he mutters, and Jack ignores him completely in favor of watching a pretty brunette girl standing by the bar, talking to another girl. Alex follows his gaze and sighs dramatically. "That's one of Cass's friends, you cannot be serious," he whines.

Jack shrugs. "I'd say I'm pretty serious, yeah," he says, and winks at Alex before walking over to the girl.

"Hi," she says, and she smiles slightly.

"Hi," Jack tells her, before he cups her face in his hands and kisses her.

She's surprised, as she has reason to be, but she doesn't pull away, and after a few seconds, she starts kissing back, and she moves her hands up to the back of Jack's neck. He's been told before that he's a good kisser, mostly by Ellie, so he's pretty confident about it, and it may be closed mouthed but it's still good.

He counts it as a win that she doesn't punch him, and across the room Alex's eyes are so wide they look like they're about to fall out, which, ha, try being stupidly attractive without eyes, Alex. No, the girl doesn't look angry at all, just curious, and she stares at Jack wonderingly like he's a puzzle piece that doesn't quite fit.

"Well," she says, straightening, "Alright. Nice to meet you too, then."

Jack laughs. "Yeah, um, I'm Jack. Probably that should have came first."

She smiles. "Allison," she says, "And this is the part where you're supposed to buy me a drink." It's not a very subtle hint, and Jack isn't going to take it, part because he counts buying a girl a drink under 'bullshit and flattery' (which he's trying to limit), and also because he likes watching Alex's blood pressure spike (and you can totally quote him on that).

"Right, about that... I'm not going to do that," Jack says, almost apologetically. Almost. This is for the greater benefit of the world, remember.

She raises an eyebrow. "How about I'll just order a drink and all you have to say is 'put it on my tab'. There, hardly any effort on your part," she says.

"Except I don't have a tab," Jack says.

"Right. Okay," Allison says, and she looks genuinely confused at this point. "Am I supposed to understand what's going on right now, or are there hidden cameras and this is a reality TV show?"

Jack can't help it, he laughs. And immediately after, feels a little bad for her. "No hidden cameras," he informs her. "I'm just not going to buy you a drink."

"And why's that?"

"It's part of this... thing that I'm doing," Jack says. "I'm trying to create a different, more casual view towards consensual sex," he tells her, and immediately after there's a sound that's equally dismayed and shocked that could definitely be Alex. He smirks inwardly.

She laughs quietly. "How so? Are you just sticking up your middle finger to sex standards and chivalry and hoping that somehow that pulls chicks?"

"That's actually frighteningly accurate," Jack says.

Allison grins. Jack decides he likes her. "You're insane," she says. She doesn't make it sound like an insult. It just sounds like a fact. It probably is. "You don't really think I'm going to sleep with you just because you kissed me, right?"

"I don't know. Maybe. Would you if I bought you a drink?"

She shrugs nonchalantly. "I dunno. Maybe," she mocks, winking at him.

Jack blinks. Alright, so, he can kiss a girl with absolutely no preamble and it's no problem, but if he wants to get her into bed he can't do that without buying her a drink. Because that makes perfect sense. "That is insane," he decides.

"Alright. Bye, then," she says, laughing.

Jack bites his lip, thinking. "What if I kissed you again?"

She giggles. "Good try, but no."

Jack sighs. "Great, nice meeting you, then," he says, and backs away from her a bit before heading for Alex, who looks a little paler than usual and maybe a little worried.

"You can't just do that, Jack," Alex hisses, frowning.

"Can't do what?" Jack prompts, because Alex is flailing and really it's too funny to pass up an opportunity like this.

Alex sends Jack a withering look, which is really not okay because despite what Alex might think, he is not actually Jack's mother. "You can't just go up to random girls and kiss them!" Alex looks frustrated. "That might actually be worse than just asking them to have sex with you, oh my God, only you would manage to do something worse than that-"

"Didn't think you had it in you, Barakat," Zack interrupts from over Alex's shoulder, and he honestly sounds impressed. He has an arm around Maeve's shoulders, and she looks at Jack curiously. She is still kind of scary.

Jack nods at them, and smirks at Alex. Alex looks like he wants to smash the beer bottle he's holding on his own head. Or maybe Jack's head. Jack can't be sure.

"You're just getting lucky," Alex mutters, and Jack thinks he's probably not supposed to hear it, but maybe Alex should have been a little quieter, then.

Jack shrugs. "You may be right about that."
♠ ♠ ♠
Um, it's a little short, and so's the next one, but that's because they were originally written as one big chapter and I decided to break it up.

It's really not that important, but if you're like me and you're drawn to/slightly obsessed with having visual aid, then here you go:
And I assume you all know what Cassadee Pope looks like, so. You know. I didn't post a picture.

Special thanks to:
fame is dead
for commenting!
All of your kind words spur me on; you guys are my muse, okay? I apologize for my consistently long author's notes, I'm kind of a rambler. Not one of my best traits.

-- xoxo Carey