chapter four: the date

The next morning, Nick ran into Amanda's room. Amanda was still sleeping considering it was still 6AM. "AMANDA!!!" he shouted.

Amanda jumped awake and said, "What?! Who?! What?!"

"Help me pick something to wear for tonight," he said, rather panicked.

Amanda gave him a very cold and annoyed stare. "Boy, I know you did not just wake me up on my day off at 6AM just to ask me to help you pick out clothes for your date tonight," she said.

"Um, yes I did?" said Nick.

The next thing that happened was things started flying at Nick as he ran out of Amanda's room fearing for his life. "DON'T YOU DARE COME BACK IN HERE TILL ABOUT AT LEAST 8AM!!" yelled Amanda. At about 8AM, Nick came back and cautiously woke Amanda up. Amanda looked at her alarm clock and sighed, "Nick… did you have to come back at exactly 8?"

"Yeah, Amanda, I'm serious. I really need your help," said Nick, really desperate.

Amanda sighed again and sat up in her bed and got the hair out of her face. "Squeaker, it's not like you haven't been on a date before. What's the problem? Just do what you usually do, damn," said Amanda.

"I want everything to be perfect though," said Nick.

"Nick, just chill out. It's just a date. Just be yourself… Okay, no wait. Just, don't try too hard. I think that's what your problem is right now. Where are you going to take her anyways?" asked Amanda.

"A few places. I was thinking like, maybe a movie, and then something fun like the arcade or bowling or something, or even maybe skating. Then, I thought I'd end it with a walk in the park, do you think that'd be okay?" asked Nick.

"Nick, that'd be fine. Quit worrying," said Amanda, making sure she remembers all the places he planned on taking her.

"Okay, now help me pick out something to wear," said Nick.

"You know Nick, you're worse than a girl. Girls don't even get up this early to get ready for a date, well, most of them don't," said Amanda, finally getting up and leaving the room with Nick. They headed up to his room and Nick took out about five tshirts and jerseys and laid them across the bed. "Here," said Amanda, picking out a green Fubu t-shirt, "Just wear this with your jeans. How hard was that?"

"Are you sure it looks okay on me?" asked Nick, still slightly paranoid.

Amanda rolled her eyes and said, "Yes, Nick. Nick, you can have your hair going every which way, wear big glasses, and wear a ugly green suit and still manage to look cute. It's disgusting. I promise, you'll look fine in this."

"...Are you sure?" asked Nick again.

"Ask me one more time, Nick. Just try it," said Amanda, lifting up her hand.

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry," said Nick.

"Nick, what are you going to do the rest of the day? I mean, you have hours til the date," said Amanda.

"I'm gonna make sure everything is perfect," said Nick.

Amanda rolled her eyes and said, "Fine, fine. Meanwhile, I'm going to get dressed."

Finally, 4PM came around and Nick waited in the living room anxiously wearing his green fubu t-shirt, semi-baggy jeans and his hair was perfectly parted in the middle and he was holding a small bouquet of flowers. He leaned against a wall so he wouldn't pace around the room. Finally, Emma came up wearing a black tank top and cargo shorts. Nick looked at her and blushed and slowly walked up to her. "I…um, here," he said, giving her the bouquet while trying to think of more things to say.

Emma blushed slightly and took the flowers and said, "Thank you. You look really nice."

"Um, thanks. I uh…I like your outfit, it's really cute," said Nick, wishing he could think of something more to say.

Emma smiled and said, "Thank you. So, where are we going first?"

"Um…uh," said Nick, knowing the answer but not able to spit it out.

"The skating rink, right Nick?" asked Amanda, coming into the room.

"Yeah, wait, how'd you know?" asked Nick.

"You told me earlier, you idiot," said Amanda, walking up to him. She then whispered into his ear, "If you want this date to go perfectly, calm down. Emma's nervous too but she's trying her best to be calm. Just be yourself and everything will be fine."

Nick nodded, took a deep breath, and then walked up to Emma and said, "Ready?" Emma smiled and nodded. "Alright, let's go," he said as he led her out to the car. He got in and they headed off. "Are you hungry? If you are, we can go eat first."

"No, it's alright. I'm not hungry right now," said Emma.

"You sure?" asked Nick. Emma nodded. "Okay," said Nick, heading to the skating rink.

Meanwhile, Amanda hurried to the living room and looked around for a phonebook. Aaron came in and asked, "Whatcha doin'?"

"I'm looking to see how many skating rinks there are around here," said Amanda.

"Nick went to the one downtown," said Aaron.

"Thank you, sweetie," said Amanda, grabbing her keys and heading out.

As they pulled up to the skating rink, Nick grabbed a green Fubu cap and a pair of AJ's sunglasses. "As Kev would say, 'I'm on the DL'," he said with a cheesy smile as he put on the glasses and the cap on backwards.

Emma cracked a smile and said, "Yes, very clever disguise, Nick."

"Well, let's hope so," said Nick, getting out and opening the door for Emma. He then held out his hand and she took it and they walked in. "Are you going to get skates or rollerblades?" asked Nick, trying to keep a conversation going as he paid for the both of them.

"Um, skates," answered Emma.

"Okay," he said as he got the tickets and walked her over to the other booth. They got their skates and put them on. Nick was amazingly graceful in rollerblades. Emma managed to stand up but was a little wobbly with her skates on. Nick took her hand and led her out onto the rink carefully. "Don't worry, I won't let you fall," he said with a warm smile, making Emma blush slightly but she returned the smile. He skated backwards while holding onto her hand and leading her. They skated for about an hour and Emma was getting more and more comfortable skating. Amanda sneaked into the skating rink so Nick and Emma wouldn't spot her. She went over to the video games and started to play. She had her hair tied back and a fisherman's hat, and a pair of sunglasses on so she wouldn't be too suspicious.

She had her back turned to the rink when she heard people saying, "OMG. Doesn't that look like AJ from the Backstreet Boys?" Amanda froze. She slowly turned around.

"Oh hell no, he is NOT here," said Amanda, trying to convince herself. But there was no point because there was AJ, right in front of her eyes on the rink. His "disguise" was a baseball cap, a pair of his usual sunglasses, and a sleeveless jersey, showing off his tattoos. "OMG… that idiot!! He's gonna ruin everything!!" She went to the side of the rink and flagged him over, taking off her sunglasses. AJ saw her and glided over.

"Hey, Amanda. What's up?" he asked.

Amanda smacked him on the head and asked, "What in the hell are you doing?!"

"Skating, like most of the people here are," replied AJ.

"You just happened to feel like skating today, in the exact spot that Nick and Emma have a date?" asked Amanda.

"They're here?" asked AJ, pretending he didn't know.

"Like you didn't know. What the hell are you doing here?" asked Amanda.

"Like you can talk. What are you doing here?" asked AJ.

"I um, just came to skate…" said Amanda.

AJ smirked and said, "Uh huh, 'you just happened to feel like skating today, in the exact spot that Nick and Emma have a date?' Yeah right. You don't even have skates on."

"Well, I came to play video games," said Amanda.

"Then why didn't you go to the arcade?" asked AJ.

"…Just get off the rink!! You're gonna get spotted with what you're wearing you idiot," said Amanda.

"I will not," said AJ.

"AJ, no one in the world has arms with those exact tattoos in the exact same place! Just come on!!" said Amanda, pulling him up.

"Aw, you're no fun," said AJ.

"Look, I want this date to go perfectly," said Amanda.

"That's why you're spying on them?" asked AJ.

"Yes, exactly. Why are you here?" asked Amanda.

"Same thing, and I was bored," said AJ.

"Well they're gonna spot you if you're dressed like that!! Here," said Amanda, taking off her huge jacket and giving it to AJ. "That should fit you."

AJ began to whine, "But it's hot!!"

"Shush! Quit whining like Nick, just put it on!" said Amanda.

AJ stuck out his tongue at her and did what he was told. After Emma and Nick were done skating, they headed off to get some lunch. AJ and Amanda decided they'd spy on them together and they both took AJ's car and followed them but kept their distance from them. Nick went through a drive-thru of McDonalds and ordered some food for them. In the car, Nick took off his sunglasses and cap. "Sorry, I know this isn't that romantic. I just don't want to get interrupted by anything," said Nick.

"It's alright, I understand. I'm sure it'd be trouble for you if some crazy photographer caught you with some girl alone," said Emma.

"Huh? No, that's not it, I just really want this date to go well, that's all. Besides, I wouldn't mind if I got pictures taken with a girl if the girl was you," said Nick.

Emma blushed slightly. "You wouldn't?" asked Emma.

"No, I mean when some stupid photographer gets a picture of me with a girl, they're gonna start rumors that that girl is my girlfriend. Well, if it was you…it'd be true…or I mean, um…I hope it'd be true…sometime soon…?" said Nick, trying to ask her out.

Emma turned bright red and asked, "Nick, did you just ask me out?"

Nick turned a little red and said, "I was trying to…did it work?"

Emma nodded and said, "I'd love to."

Nick almost swerved off the road and said, "Really?!"

Emma managed to laugh, "Yes, just please don't get us killed on the first date?"

Nick blushed and said, "Oh, sorry. But you seriously mean it? You'll go out with me?"

Emma nodded and said, "Nick, right now I'm the luckiest girl in the world. The cutest guy I have ever seen just asked me to go out with him. Do you think I'm going to say no? I don't think there's any girl in the world that would refuse, even Amanda."

Nick was now red and said, "I'm not cute."

Emma looked at him, "Nick, sweetie, do you not hear all those girls yelling "I love you!!" to you? Your personality has to do with that but your looks help too. You're very cute."

"And you're beautiful…" said Nick. Emma looked down and turned red. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass you. It's just what I think."

"…Thank you," said Emma, looking up slightly and smiling. Nick smiled back and held her hand with his free hand. They then headed to the arcade. AJ just had to stop at McDonalds for a second so they ended up losing Nick and Emma for a little bit but managed to find them at the arcade. AJ kept trying to talk to some girls and Amanda kept pulling him away and told him to stay out of Nick's sight. Nick managed to get enough tickets from the video games and got a big teddy bear for Emma. They then headed to the bowling alley and got a lane. Amanda and AJ got a lane on the other side and watched them from there. Nick kept being a complete goofball while bowling making Emma laugh and he helped Emma bowl. On the otherside, Amanda was trying to watch them while AJ kept bowling and every time he'd get a strike he'd try to scream and yell until Amanda smacked him on the head. Nick and Emma seemed to be having fun and everything was going perfectly. Finally, the last stop on the date was a park. They walked slowly through the park holding hands and talking. The other two kept spying on them from a distance. They finally sat down and Nick still held her hand.

"So… I know it wasn't really romantic or anything, but…" he started babbling.

Emma smiled and said, "It was perfect, thank you," she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. He blushed and looked down, that completely taking him by surprise. By this time, AJ and Amanda were hiding in a bush behind the bench they were sitting on.

"I'm glad you had fun," Nick managed to spit out.

"Come on you idiot, stop babbling and just kiss her," mumbled Amanda, as quietly as possible.

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence then finally Nick took a daring move and kissed Emma on the lips. She closed her eyes and kissed back. Amanda breathed a sigh of relief.

AJ, without thinking, yelled, "YEAH!! Go Nick!!!" Amanda's eyes widened and she smacked him hard on the head.

"You idiot!!" she whispered.

Nick and Emma jumped and stared at the yelling bush. Nick was now completely embarassed. "AJ…?" Nick asked rather ticked off and rather red.

AJ stuck his head out of the bushes slowly and smiled innocently, "Um…hi?" Nick glared at him like he was going to kill him.

Emma was still in shock but she managed to smile and say, "OMG…"

"AJ…" said Nick, still very pissed off.

"I um… I um, am on a date too. Yeah," said AJ, laughing it off, "What a coincidence. WE were at the same exact place."

"Then where's your date?" asked Nick, still glaring at him.

"I um…lost her in the bushes?" said AJ, "That's why I'm back here." He glanced down at Amanda, who was shaking her head frantically.

Nick rolled his eyes, "You lost your date in the bushes?" he asked.

"Um, yeah. Oh look, I just found her," said AJ, pulling up Amanda by the back of her shirt. Amanda came out wide-eyed. Nick's jaw dropped.

Emma managed to laugh and asked, "Amanda?!"

This only made Nick more furious. "Aha, um…" babbled Amanda, smiling innocently. She then turned to AJ and said, "Get off of me!!" She struggled out of his grasp. Nick was way beyond pissed by now that he was shaking.

"I can't believe you guys… I thought you guys were my friends. Thanks a lot for ruining the best date I've ever had," said Nick, walking off. Silence.

"…You idiot!!" said Amanda, smacking AJ on the back of the head, "This is all your fault!!"

"…Ow!!! My fault?!" asked AJ.

"While you two are arguing, I'm gonna go talk to Nick," said Emma, rushing after Nick. "Nick, wait."

Nick stopped, sighed, and turned around. "Emma, I'm so sorry. I wanted everything on this date to be perfect…but it just got ruined. I'm so sorry. I really tried…" he said, looking like he was about to burst into tears.

Emma just smiled sweetly and touched his face gently and said, "It wasn't ruined. It was still the best date I had ever gone on. I got to go on a date with you. It was perfect."

"…Really?" asked Nick.

Emma nodded and said, "Now, do you want to try that kiss again or do I have to do it for you?"

Nick finally managed to smile and kisses her again. Meanwhile, Amanda and AJ were still squabbling.

"This is all your fault!! I can't believe how stupid you are! First, you almost get us caught at the skating rink with your stupid tattoos, then you end up doing this! We could have gone without getting caught, but no~ you just had to yell. OMG you are so stupid!!" said Amanda.

"You're just as bad!! You're the one that wanted me to go with you," said AJ.

"That's because I didn't want you to ruin it for me! But you just did a great job of doing that right now," said Amanda, way too frustrated.

Nick and Emma watched them in amusement. "Should we stop them?" asked Emma.

"Nuh uh, I am so getting them back for this. This is just too funny. Well, if they almost kill each other, I guess we should stop them. But until then…" said Nick, hugging her from behind and kissing her cheek. She smiled and snuggled up against him.

Chapter 5a