Title: Thanks to You

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Fox does.

Summary: Takes place after the "The Secret" episode that aired Nov.26, 2003

Rating: PG-13

Classification: S/S, S/A, R/M

Genre: romance; angst

Author's Note: A bit short. Foreshadows things to come. This is my first O.C. fanfic, and my first fanfic in years so be kind when reviewing!

Chapter 1

The doorbell rang and Kirsten yelled, "Seth! She's here!"

Seth came down the stairs and straightened up his blue silk tie. "You look so cute, honey."

"Mom…"

"I mean rad. You look rad, honey." Kirsten smiled and left the entry way so Seth could have his privacy when welcoming his date.

Seth sprayed his mouth with a breath refresher before opening the door. With a swing of the door, Summer began coughing. "Geeze, Cohen, easy on the eau de toilette."

"My mother was cooking some exquisite Indian dish and the house smelled a little funny after that, so I thought I'd actually be considerate and smell … normal… and you're looking at me like that –why?"

Summer laughs, "I'm not stupid, Cohen. Your mom doesn't cook."

Seth nods and looks away, caught in his own lie. "Right, you are. Shall … shall we go?"

--

"Blue Velvet. Nice. I've only been here once, with one of my ex-boyfriends. Although I really wouldn't consider him my boyfriend since all he wanted was you know. But you wouldn't know because you're Seth Cohen and what would you know about that stuff? Anyways, so after I realized that all he wanted was you-know-but-you-don't-know, he had already gotten what he wanted … and why am I telling you this?" Summer suddenly looked uncomfortable and sat herself across from Seth.

"Well, thank you very much for that 'What Seth Cohen Knows and Doesn't Know 101'. I was not aware that you knew more than I did about what I know and what I don't know."

"Cohen, stop. All these 'knows' are making my head spin. I can only take so much of one word." Summer picked up the menu in front of her and began to scan it.

Seth followed suit. "Almond mushroom pate with cream cheese, caviar pie, coconut crabmeat canapés –"

"What are you doing?" Summer asked.

Seth looked at her, baffled. "I'm just … reading off the menu."

Summer looked confused, "Why? I'm very capable of reading it myself, thanks."

"No, no. It's uh… It's a habit. I like to read my choices out loud. If it's easy on the tongue then I can effortlessly presume it will be easy on the taste buds."

Summer looked at him quizzically, "…Right. Can you just, not read so loud?"

"If it will make our date go much smoother then I won't."

--

After their waitress brought all the food to their table Seth proposed a toast.

Summer scoffed, "For what? This is silly. Let's just, like, start eating."

Seth shook his head around a little bit, "Well … Summer, I know sometimes you like to think that everyone gives in to your wants and whims but this is my date, too. And I would appreciate it very much if you just humored me a little here."

Summer smiled and raised her glass of water, "Go ahead."

Seth cleared his throat and began his toast, "This toast is for me and this lovely lady sitting across from me tonight. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that this would actually be happening to me. And it is. And I cannot express adequately enough how my insides are ready to burst from the excitement of it all –"

"Cohen, save the mantra. Some of us are starving."

Seth nodded, "Right. To us. May we not choke on this delicious gourmet meal before us." Summer gave him a look before they clicked their water glasses together and began to eat.

--

After their dinner, Seth and Summer found themselves standing outside the entrance of Blue Velvet.

Summer looked up at Seth, "What now, Cohen?"

"Well I actually … I don't… I don't have anything planned because truth of the matter is, I did not expect this date to go well and I estimated that halfway through dinner you would get irritated and leave. But as events would unfold you have not gotten irritated and you're still standing in front of me." Seth bit his lip and looked away.

Summer laughed, "Gee Cohen, I am glad you have so much faith in the two of us working out." She took his hand and they continued to hold hands as they walked along the boardwalk.

Seth inhaled the air deeply. "Hhhm. My favorite part of Newport: the air at the beach. It makes me so unbelievably hungry for French fries. But not just any French fries. They have to be Crab Shack fries. They have the best fries. Why am I rambling about fries? Summer, what should I ramble about?"

Summer shrugged and put her arm around Seth's waist. "Anything, Cohen. I like fries, too."

Seth looked down at her and smiled. "Can you pinch me? I feel like I'm dreaming. I've had thoughts such as this in my head all through the boring times in my life when I did not have anything else to think about and trust me, it happened a lot. I still can't believe I'm going on a date. With a girl. Not just any girl. But Summer Roberts!"

Summer laughed and pinched his butt. "There. Now do you believe that you aren't dreaming?"

"Actually … could you pinch me again? I was oddly aroused by that."

"Don't push your luck, Cohen!"

--

to be continued.