Okay. Here plan:

0. All people not mine. Diana Wynne Jones'

1. You read story

2.You like story

2. You hate story

3. You review story

4. You write flame, I send Calcifer kill you

4. You write nice, I send Calcifer give present

5. We all happy

Got plan? Good. READ!

They had finally shooed everyone out of the house now. Everyone was exhausted; even Calcifer had settled down in his fireplace, as much asleep as a fire demon can be and Michael had already gone up to bed. The only people awake were Sophie and the newly heart-given Howl.

Sophie got to her feet with a groan; getting changed back didn't completely erase all of her aches at once, even if Howl had helped with them. She got the broom and began to sweep up all of the soot and mess from the battle with "Miss Angorian."

"Sophie, are you sweeping even now? You're not even the self-proclaimed cleaning lady anymore! Go to bed! And give those poor spiders a rest!"

"Cleanliness is next to godliness. And those spiders are going to make my life difficult, I see."

"When're you going up to bed?"

"Huh?" Sophie was completely thrown off track by this change of conversation.

"When are you going up to bed? Honestly, woman, you'd think all that dust has clogged your ears!"

"After all this mess is cleaned up."

"You can't be serious! Give me that broom."

"As if you know how to swee-"

In two strides, he had crossed the floor to her and caught her lips with his. Sophie's last coherent thoughts were that no matter how many times he'd kiss her, she'd still feel like starlight was bursting in her head. Reluctantly, he let her lips go so both could breathe. The broom clattered to the floor, forgotten. That's funny; when did my arms go around his ne- Howl smiled at her, a bit sheepishly, and he kissed her again, this time a little more demanding. She felt herself crumple against him and he hoisted her up the stairs to his room.

He rained down kisses on her and she kissed him back, both hungry for each other's touch. The apron he had managed to untie and drape over the banister.

In his room, his kisses became rougher and more urgent, his hands roving across her body, finally landing at the buttons. He began undoing them as Sophie's fingers found his shirt laces. Clumsily, she began untying them, pausing once for him to take her dress off and then another time to raise the shirt over his head. His torso was gently muscled, ridged, but it was natural muscle tone. Howl's kisses trailed down her throat and to the pale skin of her shoulder. She bit back a gasp, barely managing to say, "Wait—Howl—stop—wait—"

He stopped. "Why?" he asked plaintively, longing in his voice.

"Shouldn't this wait until we're, well, married?"

"Married? You want—you'd marry me? A heartless cad, a slither-outing playboy, a vain and arrogant brat who only thinks of himself?"

"You're not heartless, remember? I made sure that your heart went in perfectly."

"Don't change the subject. I'm not done with my melodrama. Me? You'd marry me? I-I thought you'd never-"

"Shush before you make me change my mind." As if to prove that point, she further silenced him with a kiss.

"Wait! I need to do this properly!"

Without further ado, he swept her up and turned the door to the flower meadow in the Waste. He placed her on one of the hills, and after searching his pockets, he went down on one knee.

"Sophie Hatter. Marry me," he asked as he opened the box, revealing a beautiful silver ring with three emeralds as green as his eyes set into it. "Please," he added on, as an after thought.

"Oh, Howl! Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes!" She took the ring and looked into his laughing eyes.

He rose, and in a completely unprecedented move, cried at the top of his lungs "I LOVE SOPHIE!"

Embarrassed, Sophie tried to quiet him, but she didn't mind. She giggled as he yelled this a few more times.

A wind rose up and she shivered.

Howl, noticing this, realized that he was only wearing his pants and Sophie was only wearing her chemise. He wrapped his arms around her as she leaned back into him. They stood like that until the wind began to chill.



"Can we go back in now? If either of us catches a cold, the other will be run so ragged we'd have to break our engagement."

His laughter rang out against the night sky and seemed deeper when her ears were pressed to his chest. She turned her face up to him. He bent down with a kiss.

"Oh yes, and Howl?"

"Yes, cariad?"

"No touching until we get married. You can look though."

That story. Leslie talking 3rd person, like stupid idiot. Leslie stop.

Okay, now that that's over with, PLEASE review... i've never had anyone read ANYthing i wrote (school assignments NO COUNT!) before, so be nice. Also first fic i haven't taken down in an hour.