Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Saved by the Bell
Character/Pairing: Screech/Lisa, mild Slater/Jessie, very mild Zack/Kelly
Challenge/Prompt: fffc r17.18: Kernel
Word Count: 786
Date Written: 17 September 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Engel, not the author, and are used without permission.
As the rest of their friends and Lisa focus on the big screen ahead of them, Screech finds himself distracted. The actions in the film that cause Jessie and Kelly to scream, and Lisa and Slater to jump, go completely unnoticed by him. His gaze is riveted on Lisa, the woman of his dreams, the one great love of his life, the woman with whom he would do anything to spend the rest of his own life, the woman who still won’t even look at him.
Screech sighs and nearly crunches his styrofoam drink with his elbow as he rests his chin on his palm. They all paid good money to see this movie, but he couldn’t care less about the film. He didn’t waste his money on some silly horror flick; he spent it to be closer to Lisa. He watches her now, as she shovels handful after handful of popcorn into her big, luscious mouth, seemingly completely oblivious to his intent gaze.
If he was the man he would like to be, the man he often dreams of being, Lisa’s hand would come up suddenly with a diamond ring nestled among the popcorn kernels. She’d gasp and turn to him, eyes all aglitter. She’d be happy to wear his ring, happy to be his wife, but then he wouldn’t be the man he is. He’d be a much better man, a much cooler and sophisticated man. He’d be a man she’d deserve, a man she could be proud of being with, a man he’s never going to be except in his dreams.
He could woo her, if he was that man he dreams of being. He could turn her every angry word into a happy sigh, kiss away her fury, make her melt with his passion. He could make her want to be his, persuade her to choose him over every other guy in Bayside, over every other guy in the whole world. But he’s not that guy.
He’s not cool like Zack or strong like Slater. He doesn’t have the looks that turn her head. He doesn’t know how to be a hero like the guy on the screen protecting his girlfriend from monsters. He’s barely paying those monsters any attention, but if they were real and he saw them, he knows he’d go screaming either underneath his bed or beneath Zack.
He sighs again, unaware of Kelly gesturing to Zack to watch him, unaware of others in the theater beginning to stare at him staring at Lisa. He can’t be that man. He wishes he could with all his heart, but he’ll never be able that cool, that suave. He’ll never be worthy of the woman he loves.
But he can still be close to her. He can still be her friend. She won’t shut him out of her life as a friend. Her heart is too gracious for that, even if she neither knows or admits it. She’s a graceful creature, beautiful not only on the outside with her smooth, chocolatey skin; big, rich eyes; and perfectly manicured hands that seem somehow still delicate and graceful as they shovel popcorn into her wide mouth, a mouth made the perfect width for kissing and being kissed.
Screech sighs again and reaches out for her. Zack leans forward and kicks Screech’s foot underneath his chair. Screech blinks, realizing what he’s doing, and quickly moves his hand to Lisa’s popcorn. His fingers brush hers. “Hey! Get your own popcorn!” Lisa slaps him away.
Screech snatches his hand back with an “Ow!” He stares at her, genuinely hurt, but then begins to relax and let it go. Of course Lisa won’t share her popcorn with him. She’s a wonderful woman, gracious in every way except when it comes to sharing what’s hers. Of course she won’t share her food, especially not with him.
Unseen by Screech, Jessie tugs at Slater’s sleeve and gestures with her head toward Screech. Slater glowers. Jessie narrows her eyes and jerks her head again in Screech’s direction. Slater sighs but leans forward and hands Screech what remains of their bucket of popcorn. “Here ya go, buddy.”
Screech looks up, surprised but grabbing the popcorn container. “Really?”
“Yup.” Slater manages not to cut eyes at his girlfriend, but when Screech turns back around from them and settles happily in next to Lisa watching the movie at last, Jessie cuddles closer to Slater. He grins and wraps his arm more tightly around her. He’d rather have her than popcorn any day.
As for as Screech, he still yearns for Lisa. He always will, but Lisa is his unattainable dream. He’ll settle for popcorn and the best friends a guy could have instead.