DISCLAIMER: Not mine; you know the drill. ^^
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Up to 1x03/1x04ish.

The Plate of Vegetables
By TheAgonyofBlank


She was cute.

I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed her until then, but I guess that's what happens when you don't actively look for cute women-chefs in the country club kitchen. I mean, it was a country club – how was I supposed to know there are cute women there? I look around quickly, just to make sure. Nope; the rest are all aging men. Or just men in general.

She sent me a little plate of vegetables, all arranged nicely – which I thought was cute and original. Because, you know, girls usually send other girls flowers, or yummy little things like chocolates. A plate of vegetables was… new. Although I did find it a little bit strange. According to the waiter, she was the soup chef. What was a soup chef doing, giving me a plate of nicely-arranged veggies? It was nice, of course, and I admit I was flattered, but the matter certainly perplexed me.

Not just because I was being given a plate of vegetables, but also because I didn't know what to make of the entire deal. I liked her from the moment I saw her; a teensy crush, if you will. And she might just be trying to be friendly; this plate of vegetables might not mean anything at all – she might have seen me on the tennis court or something, and decided that a nutritious meal was the way to go. But the thought reminded me of my mother – or at least something very motherly, so I put it at the back of my mind.

After all, Lara Perkins, the soup chef, was not my mother.

And then I talked to her. Or more like stuttered around for a bit. She just came into the locker room after Conrad told me about my Subaru ad campaign. I was already nervous; the ad campaign was something big – and she came in and added to that nervousness! I'm sure I made a fool of myself; I even forgot my bag and had to go back for it. At least I get to look forward to another plate of vegetables later; she's promised to send them.

I consulted Alice and Shane later on, and before I knew it, all of my friends had come to the country club restaurant to "ascertain the disposition and intent of one Miss Lara Perkins" for me, seeing as (I had just found out) I had no "gaydar," as Alice called it. But basically, whatever things they tried – from Bette and Tina kissing to having Shane hit on Lara, it all boiled down to a no: Lara was not gay.

I was disappointed, needless to say. Did the nice plate of vegetables mean nothing? And what about the talk/stutter with her in the locker room? My friends had to admit that no, neither of those really meant anything.

But they were wrong.

Because she kissed me.

I can still feel her lips on mine as she pushed me against the lockers and kissed me. I can feel the happiness and silliness well inside of me – and it's not because I got the Subaru campaign today. I can feel the stupid grin forming on my face right now as she walks away.

And right before she leaves, she turns and says, "Just in case you were still wondering."

My friends were definitely wrong.

Because you know the little plate of vegetables? It definitely meant something.

The End

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