That's What Friends Are For
Chapter 10
by kie

When I woke up, I was alone in bed. I almost panicked, but I could smell eggs frying in the kitchen, and since I was fairly certain Sooty couldn't cook, I figured it was Steve.

I walked down to the kitchen and stood in the doorway, unnoticed, watching Steve cook. He was signing a Madonna song and dancing around as he turned what was actually a really good looking omelet. As I watched him, I felt my love for him swell, and I wondered how I could have been so oblivious. I guess it didn't matter. I knew now how I felt, and that's what was really important.

"It's hard to make you breakfast in bed when you aren't in the bed," Steve said. He didn't look up, so I asked how he knew I was there.

"I've just sort of always been aware when you're around. Sort of like a sixth sense."

"I'm not dead, am I?"

He smiled as he dished up breakfast. We sat down and dug in.

"This is delicious," I said, trying to cut a thick strand of cheese that trailed from my plate to my fork. I finally managed and took the bite, savoring the fluffy eggs, the gooey cheese, the crisp onions and peppers.  "How long were you up?"

"Long enough to go to the store and do some shopping for you. There was absolutely nothing to eat. Well, except for the macaroni and cheese crap."

"Hey, I'm quite fond of Kraft Dinner, thank you. It's cheap and easy to make."

Steve looked at me over the top of his glasses as he chewed. Once he swallowed, he said "You can't live on that alone, you know. It's not healthy. It's not even real cheese!"

"But it's good."

"What kind of argument is that?" he asked.

"The best one I've got," I said, smiling.

"You really need to take better care of yourself, Ahnka."

"I haven't killed myself so far, have I?"

Steve gave me that look that I thought only parents knew. The one that says 'Just wait, you will' When my mother started harping on me about these things, I generally fought her. But with Steve doing it, I actually felt the need to change my ways.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I eat at work, though."

"Grease and fat, you God, I sound like.."

"A responsible adult?"

Steve shuddered, and I laughed. Things weren't the same between us. I knew there was no way that they would ever be. But I was pretty sure that they were going to get better. It was just a matter of getting them there. I guess Steve was thinking the same thing, because he said "Where do we go from here? What's next?"

"I don't know," I said. "There are so many possibilities..."

"There's only one possibility I want," he said, looking at me in a way that made my insides melt into a warm puddle somewhere in the vicinity of my stomach.

"What's that?" I asked, pretty sure my eyes were telling him I wanted the same thing. If what he wanted involved many, many years together.

"To be with you always."

If it had been physically possible, I would have been a puddle of human goo on the floor of my kitchen. And he knew it, too. That smug grin of his crept across his face, and I could only think of one way (well, two really, but the other one was SO drastic, and I think banned by the Geneva Convention..) to get rid of that look. I stood up and walked to his side of the table, straddling his legs with mine. I ran my finger down the side of his face, tracing his stubble-covered jaw line for a moment before leaning in and kissing him lightly. Our lips toyed with one another for a moment, then I pulled back. The smug grin was gone, and looking into Steve's eyes, I could see his love for me. I only hoped that my love for him was so prominent.

"I'll be yours forever," I whispered, then added "but I'm keeping my Kraft Dinner."

"Well, we all have our faults," he said. "You'll just have to look hard to find mine."

"Smartass," I said with a laugh as I leaned in for another kiss. His put his hands on my knees and gently squeezed, then releasing and scooting his hands up, repeating the process to slowly creep up my thighs. It was more sensual than sexual, but I think it was mostly due to the kiss. Steve's lips caressed mine, much in the way his hands caressed my thighs. He sucked gently on my lower lip, catching it between his teeth for a gently nip. His tongue lightly skimmed across my lips, so gentle that I wasn't sure whether I truly felt it. I completely lost myself in the kiss, relishing every slow gentle moment of it. I placed my hands on either side of his face as his tongue gently slid into my mouth. Steve's hands moved to the outsides of my legs and skimmed up my back, one going up to the back of my head, holding me to him to deepen the kiss. I could have stayed like that forever, completely wrapped in that kiss, but the adage that all good things must come to an end was all too true, and I regretfully pulled away. I traced my thumb over his lip while I gazed into his eyes.

"I need to go to work," I said.

"I know. Can I get a ride?"

"Yes. Need to stop by your house?"

"Yeah, if you don't mind."

"Not at all." He caught my thumb with his lips and started to gently nibble.  I closed my eyes and moaned softly. He took my hand in his and turned it so that he could nibble on the fingers.

"This is probably very cruel of me, isn't?" He asked as he sucked on the end of my index finger.

"Mmm-hmm," I murmured, enjoying the feel of his warm, moist mouth on my index finger.

"You have such nice hands," he said, moving to the middle finger. "I like your hands. You have so many body parts I like." He moved his mouth to the palm of my hand and softly kissed and licked. "And I plan on kissing each and every one of them tonight."

I knew right then and there it was going to be a long night at work.