Sequel: The Drew Code
Status: complete.

Sincerely Lovesick


“I cannot deal with this right now.”

It was Valentine’s Day, which meant I had to watch my best friends act like a bunch of lovesick little shits. Well, more so than usual because it was a holiday dedicated to being a lovesick little shit. I didn’t have anyone to be lovesick about, hence the bitterness. Don’t get me wrong; I was happy for them but I could only be an awkward turtle around them for so long. Yet somehow, I still ended up at a pseudo romantic V-day dinner at a fancy restaurant in a little black dress and high heels. We had been seated at a table in the corner; a cozy spot that wasn’t too far away from the pianist. After ten minutes of listening to Keaton and Lily as well as Wes and Emma laughing and whispering sweet nothings to each other, I had lost my appetite.

“You don’t want to pick at an appetizer at least?” A low chuckle from the only other single person at the table caused me to smirk and shake my head.

Drew Chadwick wasn’t at all fazed by our friends being wrapped up in their couple bubble. In fact, Drew never really cracked jokes about Wes or Keaton being lovestruck whenever we hung out. We’d look at each other sometimes and share a knowing look---sometimes he’d even wrap his arm around my shoulders and tell me I was his pretend girlfriend for the day. I’m not even going to lie and say I thought it was cheesy and I’d never be his girlfriend, pretend or not.

Because I’d imagined it so many times, it should’ve been a crime for a human being to occupy my thoughts that much.

But there was little to no indication that Drew reciprocated those feelings. He was a bit of a wild card; at the same time, he had those moments of hesitation. We had flirty, witty banter between each other but I was never sure. He talked to many people that way so I chalked it up to his easygoing personality. I didn’t look into it, fear eating away at me that I was overanalyzing something that wasn’t even there.

Fast forward to today where I was looking into his eyes that shifted from the colour of blue fire to a bright aquamarine, depending on how the light manipulated them. “Nope, it’s not even worth staying for an appetizer, Drew.”

His fingers drummed on the tablecloth, the grin on his face never wavering. “What do you wanna do then?”

“You’re bailing on us already?” Lily twirled a honey blonde curl, lowering her menu to reveal Keaton, his lips already tinted pink from her red lip gloss.

Wes rolled his eyes and sighed. “I’m just glad I didn’t bet on it.” His gaze slid over to Emma. “Otherwise you would’ve definitely won, babe. They should’ve gone out tonight.”

“They can still go out if they want,” Keaton muttered, pretending to be interested in the linen napkin on the table that was folded into a lotus.

“I’m two hundred percent sure that Char and Drew are dying of boredom and PDA overload,” Emma mused, flushing slightly as Wes took her hand in his on the tabletop. “You should both go out, really. We just thought you’d want to celebrate the track listing.”

How could I forget? The new Emblem3 album track listing had been finalized, and now the guys were free to work on any bonus tracks they wanted to include. They’d been so secretive of it though, none of the girls knew what the bonus tracks sounded like. Keaton had nearly blurted out information on the bonus tracks before Drew had clamped his hand over the younger boy’s mouth, effectively shutting him up. However, Wes had mentioned that one of the songs was an original by Drew though, which piqued my curiosity even more. Drew didn’t spend as much time songwriting as he used to; especially compared to Keaton, who had his own mini studio in his bedroom.

Drew spent a lot of time writing in his journal, reading up on Osho’s work, and embracing any experience that was new and potentially reckless. But he knew his limit and that was something I respected about him. He was a free spirit but reality was able to anchor him enough that he didn’t completely lose himself in the chaos of it all.

“We’ll have more than enough time to celebrate that, Em,” Drew said, fist bumping Keaton and Wes before turning to me. “What do you say, Charlie? Think you can stand to be around me for tonight?”

“I think I can keep up, Drew.” I ignored the warm fuzzies swirling around in my stomach as his grin widened into a megawatt smile.

“Feel free to call us if he ends up making you go crazy,” Wes said as Drew and I stood up, ready to bail on them.

Drew pulled me by the waist into his side. “Charlie will be just fine. She’ll probably call you because I was such a shitty wingman that I chased everyone away by my BO,” he joked. I knew better than to respond though; where I was nestled comfortably, I could smell his clean, uniquely Drew scent, and it wasn’t a bad scent at all.

“We’ll be heading out then. I’ll call ya if anything gets out of control.” I looped my arm through Drew’s, winking over my shoulder.

As soon as I felt the cool night air on my skin, I shivered and began to button up my coat. “Cold?” Drew looked comfortable and at ease, but his brow furrowed when he noticed how I wasn’t matching his stride.

“I’m fine,” I managed to say without my teeth chattering, “I shouldn’t have worn this dress.”

I knew that I didn’t imagine his eyes doing a quick once-over. “You look beautiful though. I have my work cut out for me.” He shrugged. “I don’t think I’ll be able to keep anyone away without pure physical force.”

“You’re Switzerland; what pure physical force would you be dishing out?” I bumped my shoulder into his playfully as we walked towards the nearest club.

Drew’s expression turned serious, his voice lowering to a whisper. “I’ll defend your honor; just you wait and see, Charlie.” Then he laughed, his gaze focusing on the long line outside of Signals.

I’d only been to Signals once with Emma; we would’ve brought Lily along but we hadn’t known her before she’d started dating Keaton. It was a club that was always full of people, always playing the best music, always a perfect place to find someone to hook up with. But as I glanced at Drew as the line inched forward, I couldn’t picture myself with any another guy once I was in there. I’d had my fair share of one night stands, courtesy of Signals but tonight seemed different. I tried to ignore the people here and there who eyed both of us, assessing if we were together or not. Carefully, I leaned in towards Drew, glad that I had the temporary gift of a height adjustment so he didn’t have to strain to hear me as much.

“We should have a round of shots together before we dance,” I said, resisting the urge to trace over the backwards treble clef tattoo behind his ear. I’d never had the guts to do it and I wasn’t about to do it now. Stop being a fucking creep, Char. Don’t make this more difficult for yourself. I shook my head at how I had to chastise myself. There was something about Valentine’s Day that had to account for my hormones running rampant.

If he’d noticed any indication that I was in deep contemplation, he didn’t let on. “You’re on. But just know that if I have to hold your hair back by the end of the night. . .”

I covered my face with my hands, a blush spreading across my cheeks. “Drew! Damnit, that was one time and I said I was sorry. I was young and dumb and thought I could drink you under the table.”

Drew hugged me briefly, kissing the top of my head. “I know, Charlie. You know I’m kidding. But I’m also warning you that I’m not your babysitter tonight.”

“I know! You’re my not-so-Switzerland wingman who isn’t afraid to use pure physical force and I’m your wingwoman.” My hands dropped to my sides as Drew navigated us through the crowd.

The shots went down faster than I expected, and soon we had parted ways, but we still stayed within range of each other.

After what felt like an eternity, Drew had managed to talk to a few girls from what I’d seen whenever our eyes met from across the room. He was always the one to be approached; the same was true for me. But every guy couldn’t measure up to Drew. They were attractive, could carry a conversation, and they didn’t try to put their hands all over me once we were off the dance floor. But it was a lost cause once I started to unintentionally compare them to Drew. One guy in particular was as close as I could get to him---the dirty blond hair that was styled to look deliciously messy, blue eyes, and a toned body. His name was Quentin, and he had more of a pretty boy model look as compared to Drew’s scruffy lumberjack look. He was rambling on about med school and I was forming polite excuses in my head so I could sit at the bar to wait for Drew. I couldn’t even discreetly check if Drew had chosen his girl for the night.

I sensed his presence before he said a word.

“Charlie?” His hand touched my shoulder and I knew confusion flashed across Quentin’s face.

“Hey, you.” I turned around, smiling apologetically at Quentin. I lowered my voice. “You’re ready to leave?” My question was loaded with hidden ones, the most obvious one being you’re not taking anyone home? because he’d been as social as I’d ever seen him in a club.

Drew bit his lip, his hand mussing up his hair. “Yeah. Unless you’re, uh, not ready. To leave.” He didn’t look me in the eyes. “You seem like you’re luckier than me tonight.”

“If you’re not getting any, it would be a damn shame if I do,” I murmured, shocking the both of us. Drew recovered quickly though with a shaky laugh.

“Hey, Quentin, I’m really sorry but I have to go. My friend over here needs a DD.” I hooked a thumb in Drew’s direction, trying to look genuinely crestfallen about the turn of events.

Quentin nodded, already scoping the club for another willing participant. “Sure. It was nice talking to you, Charlotte.”

Drew tried not to show how shocked he was but as soon as we were out of earshot, he pounced. “You gave Abercrombie your real name.”

I shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal. Usually I gave a fake name when I was at a club and didn’t intend on going back to the guy’s place. It was fun to be someone else, in theory, for the night. That was what I thought about it. “He’s harmless. Plus, he could keep the conversation going but not for too long, if you know what I mean. He’s like cold pizza.” I made a face at the thought of Quentin and how he’d barely asked anything about me, opting for “impressing” me with his credentials. As if.

“If you say so,” Drew mumbled noncommittally, his body language saying otherwise. His hands were shoved in his pockets, the distance between us as we walked out appearing like we were worlds away. I felt like a tool for some reason that I couldn’t figure out, and that feeling only intensified when Drew stopped at a convenience store for snacks.

Yes, Drew really did want snacks at nearly two in the morning. What can I say, he was a bottomless pit. He ate his feelings even more so than most people I knew.

“Did you want anything?” This was the first thing he’d said to me since the tense silence had settled over us. I eyed the chips, candy, and large bottle of water in his arms before clearing my throat.

“Can I share some with you?” A simple request; we usually had this sort of system going anyway. I would swipe a few chips and he’d take some sour gummy worms. It worked out well.

“Grab some snacks and I’ll consider it.” His tone of voice was lighthearted and back to how it usually was which made me sigh in relief.

Once we paid for the snacks, we went straight to the park and sat on a bench near the seesaw and swing set. “What do you think they’re doing right now?” I asked, thinking about our friends and how they were definitely done eating dinner.

“Wes wanted to go glow in the dark bowling or mini golf after dinner, I think,” Drew replied with a mouthful of chips. I was surprised I could understand his garbled speech at all.

I whistled. “Really? Lily and Emma didn’t mention that.”

“It was supposed to be a surprise, duh.” He twisted the cap off the water bottle, taking a long drink from it. He offered it to me. I took a few sips and put the cap back on. Then I leaned my head on his shoulder.

“How romaaaantic,” I gushed, making my voice overly high pitched on purpose.

Drew’s leg knocked into mine. “Well, aren’t you an anti-Cupid, Charlie.”

“Says the one who hasn’t had a Valentine for the past two years.” I chewed on a buttered popcorn jellybean and popped another one in my mouth for good measure.

“Hey, you haven’t had one in the past year so don’t be so smug,” Drew retorted, taking the bag of jellybeans from me before tossing a handful back, not caring about which ones he’d picked.

“We should’ve just been the anti-Cupid club and gone to every club. No. Every karaoke club. We’d walk in and sing a bunch of breakup songs or something.”

“We could still do that.” The glimmer of a challenge shone in his eyes.

“Are you crazy?” I lifted my head from his shoulder, laughing so hard that tears formed at the corners of my eyes. “We can’t do that. I don’t sing in public.”

“It wouldn’t be in public, Charlie.” I could already tell that Drew was set on the plan; I could picture the gears turning like clockwork in his mind. “There are ones with private rooms.”

I tried not to look alarmed at the thought of a private room with just us. Singing together. Possibly more. In my dreams, maybe.

“It’s just a stupid idea, I don’t expect us to actually do it.” I licked my lips, trying not to sound panicky.

“Wait a minute.” Drew stopped shoving chips into his mouth, realization sinking in. “Charlie. You’re scared. You really don’t want to sing. But. . .why?”

“I can sing around you and the others,” I said defensively, stealing the chip that was still between his fingers and eating it.

“Not really.” Drew’s eyes had that faraway look; the kind that meant he was really concentrating on recalling past events. “You always get so withdrawn whenever I’m the one playing the guitar or starting up the vocals. You’re scared. . .of something. Something about me makes you hold back.” He had the most perplexed expression on his face.

I shook my head vehemently. “You must’ve drunk more than I thought.”

“No, I didn’t and you know it,” he said, standing up and gathering all the discarded wrappers and empty bags. “We have to go to a karaoke bar right now.”

“Drew, seriously? We haven’t even sent any message to Wes or---”

He slid his phone out of his pocket, typed out a quick message, and offered me his hand. “Done. They’re now aware that I’m taking you out to a karaoke bar and we’ll meet up with them at their place.”

I took his hand and stood up. “Don’t tell me that you’re picking the songs too.”

He smiled, triumphant and so sure of himself. “I’m not taking you anywhere until you sing at least one song of my choice.”

“Then you have to sing one song of my choice,” I countered. “Really, Drew, you’re being pretty threatmantic tonight and I’m not sure why.”


“Romantic but threatening.”

“Right,” he said with a quick nod, flashing me another smile. “I’m a guy who knows what he wants, that’s all.” If he keeps saying stuff like that, I’m going to be even more of a mess than I already am.

All too soon, we reached the karaoke bar. Drew forked over the fee for a private room and he went straight for the binder with all the songs programmed into the machine. I picked up one of the microphones hesitantly, shifting it from one hand to the other. He was flipping through the pages calmly, as if we had all the time in the world to sing cheesy love songs to each other. Finally, Drew’s gaze met mine and he read the numerical code for his choice. I switched on the machine and entered the code, a groan tumbling out of my mouth at my fate. Drew had chosen Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden. It was super cheesy and V-day appropriate; it was probably on every lovestruck person’s playlist for today. I rolled my eyes as he took a seat, his phone pointed in my direction. He was going to record my humiliation so he could show it to the guys later. Lovely.

“If you’re recording this, I get to record you too,” I said pointedly as the song began to play. I was so nervous that I messed up the first few lines. I glanced at Drew but he didn’t seem to mind; he was as still as a statue, his expression unreadable.

Halfway through the song, the nerves were gone and I was able to relax and not focus on Drew. I sung the words as if I was really in love with someone and that I needed them to know it. I opened my eyes as soon as the song was over and Drew walked over to give me a hug. “You were amazing, Charlie. You never have to hold that back, ok? Don’t do that.” He planted a kiss on my forehead. “I always knew you had a beautiful voice to match your beautiful face, but it makes no sense to hide that.”

“You just make me nervous, Drew,” I murmured, burying my face into his shirt. “You just don’t get it.”

He held me tighter. “What are you talking about, babe?”

I inhaled that clean scent, savoring it for a moment before I responded. “I haven’t had a stupid valentine because I was trying to work up the courage to ask you to be mine. And not as a friend thing either, if that’s what you’re thinking. But I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. You’ve always been my best friend but I just started wanting more.” I sighed. “I’m probably making this so awkward aren’t I?”

He held me at arm’s length, tilting my chin up so our eyes met; blue collided with green. “Why didn’t you tell me this sooner then? You really psyched yourself out, Char.”

“I couldn’t even sing around you, what more ask you out, you goof.” I laughed to hide the nerves that returned, bundling up on top of each other.

Drew smiled at me, warmth spreading throughout my body as he cupped my cheek and leaned in closer. “Well, we’re kind of on a date right now. We danced, we ate, and now it’s almost the end of the night.” If he leaned in a fraction of an inch, we’d be at the point of no return. But this had been what I wanted all along and apparently he did too. “I really do wish that you’d said something sooner because I. . .I’ve felt the same way, Charlie. It was such a copout for me to wait on your move though, so now I’m not going to let you go.”

“Then don’t,” I said softly, hoping he didn’t change his mind about us as his lips pressed onto mine, soft and inviting and even better than I imagined. I liked how I didn’t have to lead the way as we kissed; he knew exactly how to leave me wanting more. I bit my lip as he trailed feather light kisses down my neck and collarbone that felt like a promise of much more in the future.

“Drew, we can’t---we have to go,” I said, a content sigh passing through my lips as he started to lift me up, my legs instinctively wrapping around his waist. “You didn’t even sing a song for me.”

Drew stopped kissing my skin, settling for my forehead and a quick kiss on the lips. “Charlie, I’ll sing you anything you want tonight. I don’t want to move this fast though, if that’s cool with you.” He lowered my legs, his hands settling protectively around my waist. “I’m not going to treat you like a hookup. We’re going to go on a date and I’m going to be a gentleman and the others are going to be out of the picture for that date.”

I blushed at the thought of our friends wondering what we’d done the whole night. “They’re going to freak the fuck out.”

He shrugged. “Let them. I just found out that the girl of my dreams is taking a chance on me.”

There was that grin again; I kissed him and then swatted at his arm. “Don’t even start. I should consider myself lucky that you’re taking a chance on me.”

“I guess we’re both lucky then,” Drew agreed, leading us out of the bar and back onto the street.

That was how I spent my Valentine’s Day that year. I did pinch myself at least twice to make sure I was really experiencing the whole thing because it all seemed so surreal. Drew held my hand the whole time, even when we got into his car to go over to Wes and Keaton’s. We both knew we had a lot to explain to our friends but just knowing that I’d have him beside me made it less of a stressful situation. Whenever the car was idle at a red light, he’d look over at me and shake his head as if he couldn’t believe it either. We didn’t talk a lot during the drive but the silence was comforting and gave us time to adjust to everything. At least, that’s what I was doing as I tried not to laugh as his thumb traced circles on my hand; tingles shot up my arm. Finally, we reached Wes and Keaton’s apartment complex, and we were sitting in the parking garage, not wanting to break the spell.

But I decided to break it anyway, knowing that we’d have to face them eventually. “I guess we can’t call ourselves anti-Cupids anymore,” I mused with a grin.

Drew sighed. “That is true, Charlie. For next Valentine’s Day, let’s do something like this though. No cliché dinner and a movie. I mean, we can have dinner but what happens after that has to be way more fun than what’s expected.”

I couldn’t help my grin from widening at the thought of next Valentine’s Day and how I’d be a lovesick little shit like everyone else in the world. “That’s a deal, Drew. Let’s seal it with a kiss.” I didn’t wait for him to lean in this time; I grabbed the front of his shirt and kissed him right then and there.

When we pulled away, he tucked a strand of hair behind my ear and smiled. “Like I said, you’re the girl of my dreams, babe.”

We both got out of the car, his hand holding mine as we went straight for the elevator. “Best Valentine’s Day ever, hands down,” I said with a content sigh.

Drew shook his head, lifting up our joined hands to kiss mine. “Just wait until next year. You’ll be eating your words.”

“I still expect my song,” I warned him as he pressed the button for the correct floor.

“What makes you so sure that I haven’t already written a song about you?” he replied quickly, effectively shutting me up.

“What do you mean by that? Hold on. . .the bonus tracks you guys have been working on. . .?” I stared at him, openmouthed and shocked.

Drew kissed away my shock. “You’ll be the first person to hear it, and rightfully so.”

“So you were going to make the first move!” I giggled, the beauty of it all making me smile so much that the muscles of my mouth ached.

“I would’ve given you the track right before its release, if that’s what you mean by a first move” was all he said before the elevator doors pinged and slid open.

“Ready?” His hand squeezed mine briefly.

I nodded. “All or nothing, Drew. Let’s go.”

We exited the elevator and rang the doorbell, still hand in hand as we waited for our friends to let us in. The nerves that I usually had were completely gone and I knew that I had to owe some of that to Drew. As I snuck a glance at him peripherally, I saw genuine elation in his eyes and knew that the same emotion was reflecting in mine.

Right then and there, I knew I really was a lovesick little shit but I didn’t even mind it at all.
♠ ♠ ♠
I think this is the longest oneshot I've written. . .ever.
Anyway, I wrote this to commemorate Valentine's Day and all things fluff-y. c: