Tagging Hearts

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Summary

Rosaline (Rose) is a clean cut girl just dying for a better life; so Nathan (Nate) gives it to her. His art brings her to a new world full of adventure, emotions and excitement. The deeper she gets, the crazier things seem; but Nate won't let her wilt away on his watch. He opens her eyes, while she opens her heart. A look into the world of Graffiti and Love.

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Angelbutterfly
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
6
Rating:
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:
16+

1: Tagging

AN: Tagging Most graffit/street artists have a 'Tag' which is just a nick name they use to identify themselves when doing their work. You can use words or numbers or symbols. Tagging is just putting your Tag on walls in any form or lettering/material. It can be considered graffiti, but it's not street art.

~~~~

Her life is a dead end.

She has no way of controlling which way her life is going. Being controlled is no way to live; every day is the same old thing, over and over. She works so hard, trying to adapt to the life she's given and fit into this role she has to play but there's something missing. Something, something she can not reach; something she isn't allowed to reach.

This life is crap! All crap! Its crap and it's not enough, nothing is enough. Something is missing! But no one understands that!

So, what does she do?

She pulls a Rose from Titanic and runs away.

Where is she going? Who knows? This city is so big and she hasn't seen any of it, so she'll run. She'll run because there is no dead end on these streets none. There's no one waiting to push her into something or force her this way and that way. She can turn left she can turn right; she can go anywhere. This city is infamous; gang warfare, muggers, murder and thieves but she does not care.

She doesn't care because anything would be better than living how she was.

Rosaline (Rose for short) runs. She runs and runs. She runs away from this life that isn't hers, from these people who force their love and from this pain. The pain doesn't go away though, so she runs harder.

She runs. She runs. She runs.

"Watch it!" Someone screams just before Rose crashes straight into them.

They fall onto the cold concrete. The air is freezing and Rose slams onto the cold ground, her hands scraping on the hard floor. She looks around and the first thing she sees is the stars.

They're on a wall. S-Stars她n a wall?

"Are you okay?" Someone asks.

Rose doesn't really hear them. All she sees is the night sky on this wall, in paint.

Spray paint.

"W-What is this?" She asks aloud.

"It's graffiti."

Rose looks up and sees a boy with black hair. His eyes are so calm that she relaxes almost instantly. This guy, he's多e's

"Hot." Rose stares.

The guy gives her a weird look before reaching down to help her up, pulling her to stand by the arm. Rose stumbles to stand, blushing and looking at this amazingly handsome boy with her heart pounding in her chest. He takes a step back, looking her over. "Are you okay?"

"Huh? Oh. Yeah, I'm fine."

"What about me?!"

Another boy is lying on the ground, obviously the guy Rose crashed into. He gets up, brushing out his long hair and dusting his legs. Then he looks at Rose with a frown. "What's the deal?! You could've ruined my art!"

"A-Art?" Rose blinks.

"Yeah!" The blond boy pushes past her and goes to the wall that's covered in the night sky, bending down to grab a can of spray paint that had fallen in his collide with Rose. He then puts a cloth over his nose and mouth, lifts the paint can to the wall and starts to spray paint.

Rose watches him, completely thrown off guard. She's never seen someone do something like this something so adventurous, so rebellious, so illegal; so amazing. The painting looks just like the sky, just like the stars that twinkle and shine at the earth every night. The image, it's so perfect it's like a picture. Rose can't help but stare at the beauty that's unfolding in front of her.

"Sorry, he gets really crazy about his art." The handsome guy is standing next to her. He looks at her with those smoldering eyes. "I'm Nathan, but you can call me Nate."

"I'm R-Rosaline, but you can call me Rose." And you are the most gorgeous man in the world. Nate has to be the cutest, most picture perfect boy she's ever seen. His hair, oh! His eyes, God!

"That's Chandler." Nate says, gesturing to the blond boy spray painting the wall.

The only thing that's more captivating than this good looking boy is the art.

It's like nothing Rose has ever seen. The skill, the talent, is so obvious and so amazing. The building itself is a tall plain office max with nothing but brick walls and glass windows reaching up to the sky, no trees around and no color at all; except for Chandler's painting. The painting stands out so much, it's so beautiful. She can't look away.

As Chandler finishes the night sky, he paints tiny bright birds flying across the stars, flying over the wall in a perfect pattern.

The birds are so delicate and beautiful. At first you would think the sky itself was the main thing to look at, what with how wide and perfectly painted it is, but now it's clear the birds are the subject of this work of art. The birds look real enough to fly off the painting and through the real sky up above, the wings look soft enough to touch.

"Done!" Chandler grins, stepping back to look as his masterpiece. "What do you think bro?"

"It looks fine." Nate muses.

"You're too hard to impress." Chandler snaps, shooting a small glare. Then he looks at Rose. "What do you think?"

Rose is taken aback at first, but her green eyes look back at the once plain wall with a world of appreciation. There's a gleam in her eyes that twinkles as she looks upon this beautiful representation, and emotions are beating in her chest that push away the sadness which was there only seconds before. Never has she had such a reaction to a work of art before.

"It's如erfect." She whispers.

Nate stares at her.

Chandler claps for joy. "See! My art is the best; no one can resist the beauty of my work!"

"What are you doing here?" Nate asks, ignoring his friend.

Rose looks at him, fumbling for words. "I'm...I don't know anymore."

"HEY YOU KIDS! GET OVER HERE!"

They all look over to see two police officers running towards them from the other end of the alley. They look pissed off for some reason but why would they-

Rose gasps. "This is illegal!" She points at Chandler's painting.

"Uh, yeah!" Chandler is grabbing his spray cans and shoving them in his jacket pockets. "Let's get out of here!"

Rose panics, she has no idea where to go or what to do. The cops are getting closer and closer, they're going to grab her! They're going to take her to jail for being an accomplice or something! Oh god, what will her mom say when she finds out about-

"Come with me." Nate grabs her hand.

Rose looks at him, wide eyed. "O-Ok."

More running.

Nate is very fast, which helps. He's practically pulling Rose, she's in such a daze she doesn't question which way they're going. She doesn't dare look back to see if the cops are getting closer, she can hear them calling out and chasing after them. The city is just one giant maze, but Nate seems to know where to go because they don't run into one dead end.

Nate stops at a tall building, running up the stairs going along side it. He helps her climb up to the roof and then they're alone. The cops either didn't see them come up here or they got lost in the chase. They're safe.

"Are you okay?" Nate asks, looking completely fine after running a mile and a half, climbing seven flights of stairs and two walls.

"Fine." Rose pants, completely out of breath.

Nate lets go of her hand, walking to the side of the roof and looking down at the streets below. Rose watches him as she regains her breath, and it all feels like a dream. She woke up this morning as a perfect girl, brilliant and innocent, but just now she'd just escaped a police chase with a guy who takes part in the illegal activities or graffiti.

"Um, where are we?" Rose asks him.

Nate looks at her. "吃ou don't know anything about this city do you?"

She blushes.

There's a pause, then Nate gives a long sigh. "Where do you live?"

~~~~

Sooooo Rose has never been on a subway.

It's not because she's too rich to ever be seen on one, it's because they seriously freak her out. The germs, the horror stores, the muggings; who would want to ride a subway?

So yeah, she's avoided them her whole life. They're dirty and old and she has issues with being underground, going through long tunnels that could possibly collapse any moment. Not to mention she has an irrational fear of trains and roller coasters.

So yes, she's freaking out right now.

But no, she won't embarrass herself in front of Nate by refusing to get on the subway when he's offering to take her all the way back home and offering to pay for her ticket.

"Are you okay?" Nate raises an eyebrow.

"Fine! I'm great! Everything's fine!" Rose is hyperventilating.

Nate stares. "You've never been on a subway, have you?"

"Of course I have!" She looks scandalized. "I've lived here for years!"

The train doors slide open and Rose jumps back, giving a little shriek. Nate gives a little smirk. He steps in and looks at her expectantly. After looking at the sliding doors suspiciously, because those bastards could close on her any second, Rose takes a giant step over the doorway and takes four steps away from the doors, just daring them to shut on her.

"You're weird." Nate smirks.

Rose blushes.

The train starts to fill with people, Rose steps closer to Nate in the back. She tries not to touch anyone while retaining her posture, all the while Nate chuckles at her strange behavior; rich people are funny.

Nate looks around before pulling a fat marker out from his jacket pocket. He goes over to the back wall, which is covered in strange writing, and starts to write on it.

Rose stares. "What in the world are you doing?"

"Tagging."

"Tagging?"

"Yes, tagging."

Rose watches as he writes 'Artist' in weird, reasonably impressive, letters. Then she looks at the whole wall, seeing how there are so many different words in equally flashy lettering. Rose blinks, confused.

"What is all this?" She asks.

"It's graffiti." Nate answers, finishing.

"吃ou graffiti a lot huh?"

"It's art. I like it." There's definitely more to it than that, but Nate doesn't look about to spill his whole life story so Rose doesn't push it.

All these names put on one surface; there's a sense of unity. Rose looks at all of them, the skill put into the lettering and the confidence she's instantly jealous. Jealous of all these people who have something she doesn't, who have a unified strength and sense of purpose. These people, they probably don't know each other. Complete strangers who come together to show what they've got.

Rose wishes she could be apart of this宇his宇his thing? This something. This something that she does not have.

Nate watches her.

He holds up his marker. "Wanna try it?"

Her eyes widen at him.

This is illegal! This is vandalism! Never in her life has she ever done anything wrong, anything so completely rebellious!

She grabs the marker.

She looks as the train wall.

"名hat do I write?"

"Your name." Nate answers simply, though there's no simplicity at all. "What you like to be called."

Rose looks back at the wall.

She stares地nd stares地nd stares地nd-

"Do you need help?" He asks, looking at her.

"Maybe." She blushes, who can't write their own name?!

Nate opens the marker and puts it in her hand, then he puts his hand on the wall. "Write here, it's pretty clean. Why don't you just try writing your name this time?"

Marker in hand, she leans close and writes her name in the elegant script her family trained her to write everything in. So her tag looks completely different from the rest of them, because all the others are heavy or flashy or hardcore or in strange letters that are hard to read. Hers is very dainty and feminine; it sticks out.

"Like that?" She looks at him.

Nate looks at her name, running a thumb over the marker. "It's尖ou have a nice name."

He looks at her and for a moment their eyes meet and there's a certain understanding between them. She can see the experience and long life he has, and he can see the innocence in hers. She's so young and somehow, someway, he can see her life is very lacking. He can see the unhappiness in her eyes, the life that has not been lived.

Nate looks at her and feels sorry, but he is also very interested in her.

He's interested in her because, for a moment, her eyes did not look sad or lost.

That moment was when she was looking at Nate's tag.

When she was looking at Chandler's street art.

When she looks at art.

Rose looks at their street art and her eyes gleam, and he can see life in her. There are few people who have this kind of appreciation for art, and Nate hasn't met one of those people until now. So, yes, she's just some random girl who happened to be in the right place and the right time but Nate likes the way she looks at art.

Rose blushes, because they've been staring at each other for a while. "Uh, here."

He takes his marker back from her.

"Thanks." Nate watches her closely, his fingers brushing hers. "吃ou know, you're very-"

The train stops abruptly.

"WAH!" Rose tumbles forward, slamming straight into Nate and knocking heads with him.

"GAH!" Nate rubs his forehead.

Rose bounces off his forehead and falls backwards as the train rivets to a complete stop.

She falls slam on her back on the floor.

And she's in a skirt.

Nate's whole face glows the reddest red ever, even redder than Rose's hair, because Rose's skirt falls back as she hits the floor and she practically moons him.

Rose looks up at him and realizes what has just happened.

And then everyone else on the train looks at her and all Rose can do is

Scream.

"AHHHHHH!" She shrieks.

Nate looks at her, because what teenage boy with hormones wouldn't stare, but he realizes that there are other people looking at her. Nate shakes himself out of it and reaches down, grabbing her arms and lifting Rose straight up. Rose stops screaming, pushes her skirt straight down and hides her face in Nate's chest.

"Oh. My. GOD." She mumbles, freaking out.

"It's not that bad." Nate says, embarrassed for her.

He carefully walks her out of the subway, and no one really makes a big deal about it. Stranger things have happened in their city and stranger things will happen again. Nate tries not to think about how he just saw Rose's underwear, out of respect.

They were pink. With roses. Cute.

Nate looks away, the blush returning to his face.

They take a few more streets and soon Nate finds that it's his turn to be out of place.

Rose lives on the upper east side of the city, the richer side. The neighborhood is so quiet and peaceful, he actually questions if they're in the same city or not. The houses are all two stories, the front yards have flowers and the streets are clean as a whistle. There's no dirt or graffiti or paint anywhere, everything has a place and there is a place for everything.

Except Nate.

He feels completely out of place and can't wait to get back to the real world.

Rose walks next to him, finding that she knows her way now.

Though, this doesn't stop her from breaking her heel.

"Seriously? Why me?" She groans, lifting her foot and looking at the two inch heel handing off. "This is the worst day ever!"

Nate looks at her with pity, because she really has had a crap day and he can tell. Rose takes off both her shoes as she's forced to go barefoot for the rest of the walk.

"It's not so bad. I'm sure worse things have happened." Nate says.

"You have no idea." Her temper is getting the best of her now.

"Why're you so upset anyway?" Nate stops, looking at her calmly. He has this sense of calm that Rose envies. "I can hardly believe you ran so far from home"

It really is pretty unfair that he's helping her and she hasn't told him anything. They're strangers and Nate obviously has better things to do, but he helped her anyway.

"I just匈'm a complete mess and no one can see it." Rose sighs, looking up at her house. Her house looks so clean and perfect, she hates it. She hates living in this world where she has to be just what is expected of her, where she has no control and no life. She's walking a thin line and there's no way to get off.

It's a dead end she's walking straight into.

Nate, she can tell, sees she's in trouble.

"列ome here."

Rose pauses before stepping closer.

"Give me your arm."

Okay, red flag. He may be a nice helpful stranger but she still knows nothing about him. Nate eventually just takes her arm in his hand and holds it palm up. He pulls the marker out of his jacket pocket again and writes on her wrist gently.

Artist.

He lets go and she looks at his tag on her wrist, written in small letters.

Oh god, her heart is beating so hard she's scared he can hear it.

"There, now you won't be a mess." His thumb brushes over the letters gently, softly touching each one and giving her skin pleasant warmth. Rose's heart tightens. "Not with me pulling the strings."

That is both the strangest and most comforting thing Rose has ever heard.

Nate holds her wrist for a moment longer, then he lets go.

"I'll see you around." And then he smiles at her.

It's a small smile, but it's the first smile he's given her and for the first time in a long time she actually smiles too. She smiles at him.

"Good night." She waves as he walks back down the street, this man who just appeared into her life and somehow made her smile.

Rose stands outside, watching him leave until he disappears into the darkness. Then she takes a breath and goes inside.

~~~~

She puts on the pink skirt, pushes back her hair from her face, gets on some responsible shoes and grabs her books.

Rose goes to school, the school her parents picked out, and feels like she's been put back in her place. Last night is just a memory, she's back to living the life she has no control over. Her classes are too hard and she hates all of them, but her family wouldn't care. She has to do what is expected of her; she doesn't even question it anymore, it's pointless. Nothing she can ever say will get her out of this world that's forced upon her.

"What happened to you last night?" Nicole, best friend number one, asks. "I called, like, three times."

"I t-tried to call as well." Grace, best friend number two, asks.

They both looks just as prissy and perfect as Rose, but both of them are oblivious to the screams in her heart that are just waiting to burst out.

"I met a guy." Rose answers, blushing.

"What?!" Nicole grins madly, jumping up and down in excitement. "Who?! Where?! Oh my god!"

"I'm so happy for you!" Grace beams.

They walk around the corner, reaching the courtyard of the school.

"He's amazing; I just bumped in on him and he was just wonderful. He helped me get back home when I was lost."

"How sweet." Grace smiles.

"How mysterious." Nicole gushes.

"He has these soft eyes, they're so calming. And his smile" Her cheeks color.

"How cute." Nicole giggles.

"How romantic." Grace sighs.

"Who is he?" They both ask.

"He's-"

They walk through the courtyard to the first staircase up to the classrooms, and at the top step is-

"Nathan!" Rose's eyes widen.

Sure enough, it's him. That balck hair and blue eyes are so striking, it couldn't be anyone else. Nate turns around, sees her and his eyes widen. They go to the same school? The school is very big, and Rose has never paid mind to any of the other students she didn't already know. It's such a small world!

Rose rushes up the stairs, two at a time, and when she gets to the top she can't help but hug him. She thought she would never see him again, that he was just this man who jumped into her life just to jump out, but here he is. He's been here all along.

"I can't believe it's you!" Rose's smile is so wide.

"We go to the same school?" Nate smirks. "Of course we do."

He glances at her wrist, his tag is still there. "You圬idn't wash it off"

"Oh. N-No, I guess I didn't." Her cheeks deepen in color, she brushes a thumb over the letters that burn on her skin.

They look at each other and despite just meeting, there's a comfort between them. An understanding. Nate wants to reach out and help her, to protect this girl who appreciates the world he's given her a taste of and to show her more of it. Rose wants to give into him, to let him take her away like he did last night. For a few hours, with Nate, her world was calm. He makes her calm.

"Nate匈"

"Rose we should-"

"Get to class." Nicole jumps between them.

They both look at her like she's an alien.

"Come on, we're going to be late!" Nicole says, a giant ass fake smile on her face. "Gotta hurry now!"

"R-Rose" Grace tugs on her arm gently, looking very concerned.

Before she can eve say anything at all, give any resistance, they take control and pull her away. Rose looks back at Nate and gives a very apologetic look, to which he gives a dampened look of his own and then she's gone. No control at all

"How do you know him?" Nicole frowns, holding her right arm. "That criminal!"

"Criminal?" Rose blinks, shocked.

"He does that ridiculous, illegal art work all over the place." Nicole says, disgusted. "Just looking for trouble."

"Rosaline, you shouldn't go near people like him." Grace says frantically. "It's dangerous! He could hurt you!"

"W-What? He wouldn't hurt-"

"Thank god we were there to save you." Nicole says. "God knows what he would've done."

"I'm so glad nothing bad happened." Grace sighs.

Rose stays quiet as her friends banter on about how they 'saved' her. Her heart weakens, her mind knows what they're saying is wrong, but her voice will not rebuttal. She's been silenced yet again.

All she wants to do is scream.

"Don't go near him again Rosaline." Nicole says.

"He's nothing but trouble." Grace says.

Actually, all she wants to do is go back to Nate's arms.
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