II: KITKATS AND NICOTINE

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chapter two: kitkats & nicotine.

Ava was beyond upset.

The time was nearing midnight and she couldn't even get home in time for another day of responsibilities, let alone have enough sleep.

Her eyes drooped when she stepped onto the platform, her tiredness no longer being able to hide. She stifled a yawn as she gripped onto the inside of her warm jumper, hoping that the warmth would distract her from how (a) cold and (b) irritated she was. Her lips curved up into a slight grin when she heard other people complaining and threatening to file a report, amusement finding its way into her system. An old lady even yelled about her aggravation before the conductor stepped out himself and told her a short and blunt, 'Honey, calm down. Call yourself an Uber.' (To which the old lady replied, 'What on earth is a Uber?')

Not too many people stood around, fortunately for Ava since she absolutely hated crowded areas and they made her nervous, but there were enough that her amusement quickly transformed into annoyance and she let out a huff, pulling something out of her pocket. It was a slim, white box that had an opening on the top; Marlboro cigarettes.

Glancing inside to see that there were none left, she pouted before getting up to discard it in a nearby rubbish bin. Now that she was up, she looked around at her surroundings, contemplating whether or not she should approach a convenience stand not too far from her. She checked her pockets, searching through touch for her cash. She had a twenty dollar bill and few other tips from work plus some spare change, surely that would be enough. Either way, Ava needed a stress reliever.

Checking the the time on her phone, she muttered a screw it and headed towards the green fort-like booth. There was an old man behind the counter, most of his hair white and the hairs that weren't white were gray becoming white, and he wore a cheerful mien despite the circumstances. Ava's stature softened as she took in everything, pondering if she should buy anything other than her so-called cancer sticks (according to her disapproving mother and all her ex-boyfriends).

"Hello, young lady!" The old man - whose name tag read Gary - chirped, "What can I get for you?"

"Mhm," Ava hummed, still deciding, "Can I get one pack of Marlboros, and..."

"A kitkat," a voice interrupted.

Ava turned her head to the right to see Luke standing there, too busy rifling through his wallet to notice her glare. Gary gave a curt nod before beginning to scramble for the items, but she raised up her hand to make him stop.

"Uh, no. Just the Marlboros please."

Ava ignored Luke's offended expression and listened to Gary's question. He let out a heavy breath, "Okay, can I see some ID?"

In no time, Ava placed her ID down on the counter after fishing it (and a few gum and candy wrappers) out of her jean pockets. Gary stared at it carefully before handing it back to her, walking off to another part of the shack that was unseen to search for a new shipment of cigs.

"Smoking isn't good for you," Luke informed, serious for once, no longer trying to flirt.

"No, really? I thought they were making me healthier," Ava responded sassily, sarcasm dripping throughout every word. "What are you gonna tell me now, Dr. Phil? You gonna lecture me on why I should stop?"

Luke paused, opening his mouth and then closing it almost immediately after. The cute girl, Luke thought to himself since he had absolutely no idea what her name was, was right. Luke had every intention of telling her why she should think about stopping and he was even going to list ways to stop and health concerns. His face burned a bright red when Ava caught him.

"Sorry," Luke said suddenly.

"For what?" There was no sass or sarcasm in Ava's tone anymore. She genuinely wanted to know, and after all, she had nothing better to do than wait for her Marlboros while Gary fetched them.

"For what I said to you on the subway. It was so inappropriate, and kinda misogynistic. I'm sorry."

Ava searched the blonde haired, blue eyed boy's face for any signs of a smirk or anything that would lead her to think Luke was joking and/or lying. There was nothing.

"Oh." Was her response, considering she wasn't sure of what else to say. Awkwardness replaced how choleric she was. "Uh, thanks. I guess."

"Yeah. It was so, ugh, terrible first off, and," Luke would've rambled off in more embarrassment if not for Ava cutting him off.

"Revolting?" She laughed, sharing a look with Luke who agreed.

"Yes, revolting. I can't believe I had the nerve to say that to you, oh my god," Chuckles escaped his mouth in between each and every word, and quite frankly, Ava couldn't help but find it adorable and giggle with him.

If only he had been like this when they had their first encounter.

When Gary finally returned with a pack, she pursed her lips and shook her head, doubtful about what she was about to do. "Hey, can - can you actually add a kitkat to that please?"

"Sure thing, Miss. That'll be $17.38."

She handed him her twenty dollar bill, taking both the kitkat bar and her cigarettes, saying a 'keep the change' to Gary. The old man smiled. She then handed the candy to Luke, biting her lip while his face lit up with confusion. He furrowed his eyebrows as a way of questioning her actions and she simply shrugged. A big part of her didn't want to reveal the fact that she didn't exactly know the reason for her change of heart either.

"Thanks," Luke whispered, making no attempt to hide the surprise. She just shrugged again.

Luke blatantly stared at her and this time she didn't mind, instead just ripping open the protective plastic and pulled out a stick from her box of cigarettes rather than growing bothered under his gaze. She twirled a stick between her fingers before grabbing a shiny, white lighter from inside her jumper, that had something incoherent written on it in black Sharpie, and lit the cigarette. She began to smoke, the both of them standing in silence for a while. It was strangely comforting.

"Ava," Ava stated, breaking the silence and catching Luke off guard for what seemed to be the third time tonight.

"Huh?"

"My name," she explained, "is Ava. You asked for it on the train."

"Oh," Luke beamed.

He liked that name, he liked it a lot.

•••

i don't know what this update is and i'm sorry that it's complete and utter trash. this is completely unrealistic i know, but whatever it's kinda cute and fluffy. also pretty please done be a ghost reader, vote + comment or something (i especially luv comments, feedback is always gr9)!! p.s: the gif is kind of an example of how luke looks at ava so i hope that makes your heart feel things bc if it doesn't, i have failed at trying to make this story cute.

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