**I really do have a thing for alliteration. It’s why I wanted to do Flash Fic Fridays in the first place. The Admiral indulges me once again with fries, Fate, and fortune. Enjoy!**
“Fries? Really? You got fries? There’s, like, seven thousand things to choose from at the buffet and you come back to the table with a plateful of fries?”
I huffed out a breath as I sat down, and tried not to be grossed out at the food piled high on my best friend’s plate. Not only was everything touching—just the thought of that made me shudder—but there wasn’t a single item there that I would eat. Kyle had shoved just about anything he could on his plate, and I nearly gagged at the sight. I averted my gaze, and reached for a fry.
“Well,” I said quietly, trying for diplomatic. “You know I’m not a big fan of Chinese food.”
Kyle paused, a piece of chicken dripping sweet and sour sauce halfway to his mouth. “Shit,” he cursed, sounding truly remorseful. “I forgot you hate Chinese food.”
“Not hate,” I corrected softly. “Just don’t like very much.”
“Yeah, well.” Kyle shook his head, then put his bite in his mouth and chewed, swallowed, and shrugged a shoulder. “Man, I’m sorry. You could have told me no.”
I had, in fact, tried to say no. But Kyle hadn’t been hearing me, and when I realized that he had his heart set on it, I couldn’t say no. Besides, it was a buffet and while I really wasn’t overly fond of Chinese food, I knew there’d be at least a few things I could and would eat. Like the fries.
“Its fine,” I assured him, smiling wide and eating another fry. “I’m perfectly content to partake of the fries. And probably pudding. Maybe ice cream after. Oh! And I do like fortune cookies.” I reached for the two cookies on the table, and I closed my fingers around one.
Lightning fast, Kyle caught my wrist and squeezed. “Have this one,” he said gruffly, directing my hand to the other cookie on the table. I shot him a glance, but I couldn’t discern his thoughts from his passive visage. I shook my head, and picked up the cookie he indicated.
It only took moment to peel away the plastic and snap the cookie in half. I removed the slip of paper and tossed half of the cookie in my mouth, chewing while I read my fortune. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head, and I if I hadn’t chewed so thoroughly, I would have choked.
“What does it say?” Kyle asked, his voice low.
I shook my head, ready to crumple the bit of paper and shove it in my pocket. “It doesn’t matter. It’s not even a real fortune. Eat your lo mein.”
“Finn, come on. What does your fortune say?”
It was then that I noticed he’d abandoned his food, his regard fixed only on me. He had the other cookie clutched in his hand. He’d opened the wrapper, but he hadn’t yet broken into the cookie to read his own fortune.
I nodded toward his hand. “You tell me yours first.”
He blinked, surprised, and it seemed to take him a moment to get himself together. Then he shook his head, and his voice dropped an entire register. “Please Finn. What does yours say?”
He was so earnest, so intent, I knew something else was going on here. With his undivided attention, I was certain something else was at work. I didn’t need to look at the paper in my hand to accurately quote it, and even though I had to swallow hard to say the words out loud, I couldn’t deny him anything. He was asking, and so I answered.
“Your best friend is in love with you.”
Kyle’s breath caught, and he kept his gaze fixed on mine as he cracked open his cookie. He barely even glanced down at the paper, before returning his regard to me. “It’s fate. That’s what this is. Because my fortune says ‘you are in love with your best friend.’”
“I don’t think you understand the definition of fate, Kyle. Fate is—” I stopped short when I realized exactly what was going on here. My heart started to pound. “Kyle?”
“Okay, so. I love you, Finn. And I didn’t know how to tell you.”
Suddenly it all made sense. His insistence on this restaurant. Him directing me to a particular cookie. Hell, even the fact that he wasn’t wearing his ever present ball cap and dingy t-shirt should have clued me in. We spent all our time together, and I knew him better than I knew myself. I should have seen this coming.
But I’d been so caught up in my own feelings, and being certain they were unrequited, that I hadn’t seen the bigger picture. I took a deep breath, and then another. Then I reached across the table and took ahold of Kyle’s hand.
“The fortunes could have just as easily gotten mixed up,” I said softly. “And then would have been equally true.”
It took him a moment to work out what I was saying, but when he did, his smile was bright enough to light the entire room. I grinned back, knowing we were at the start of a new level in our relationship. And that this story was going to be a fantastic one to share when we were ninety and sharing a room in the nursing home.