"You're awfully calm," she said, seating herself solidly on the curb next to him.
"Not like there's anything to do," he muttered. She laughed weakly.
"Yeah, I figure if I was some chosen hero, I would've had some sign before now tell me how to stop this." She gestured to the panicking throngs surrounding them. He looked up sharply, suspecting her of mockery, but she had leaned back on her hands and was looking pensively up into the sky. "Still," she said, her wry smile fading, "I don't
There was a lot I wanted to do."
He watched as her eyes grew melancholy and glistened with unshed tears. "Like what?" he prompted in a mumble.
"Oh, all kinds of things. Join Cirque du Soleil, dance the Rose Adagio, see Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Sydney
Fall in love, kiss a boy
" She glanced over at him. He looked back at her with sardonic amusement.
"You've never kissed a guy?" he jibed. She sat up and her mood changed back to vaguely playful.
"No need to be so rude, but yep. Never have." Her gaze was suddenly challenging and almost flirty. "You got a problem with that?"
He shrugged and looked down at the asphalt. "Your choice."
She sighed and slumped. He could see her hands draped over her knees out of the corner of his eye. "Yeah, I know. I mean, what I really wanted was to fall in love, and then have the natural progression from there, but I guess
" Her voice dropped to a sad whisper. "I guess that won't be happening."
She was looking up at the sky again. The sunlight gleamed off of twin tear tracks that dripped down her cheeks. He watched her, abruptly shy, as her slender arms braced a lean torso and neck while her pixie face tilted up to the blue, blue sky.
What the hell, he decided. There's no reason not to.
"Hey." He nudged her shoulder. "If you've really never kissed a guy
She stared at him for a moment before breaking into a wet-eyed smile. "That's really sweet."
He shrugged sheepishly. "The world is about to end."
They regarded each other somberly. There was pain in her eyes, pain that she was trying to hide and ignore under her cheerful façade. She blinked and threw off the mood, and then she leaned toward him, suddenly blushing and bashful. He pressed his lips against hers and almost grinned at her tiny gasp.
She broke the contact. Her cheeks were bright pink, and she was out of breath. "Thanks."
She traced her lips gently with one finger, marveling at the lingering feel of him.
He glanced at her from beneath his roguishly long hair. She really was pretty.
Well shit. Now he didn't want to die.
She looked up. Their gazes locked for a second, and the world exploded into an inferno of white light.