Title: "Token of Love"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: G
Summary: What could get Dana in trouble in class?
Disclaimer: Rich Halke, Dana Foster, and Step By Step and all characters within this story are © & TM their respective owners and are used without permission. Everything else is © & TM Pirate Turner. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction.

"Now, students," the nasal voice greeted the class as the bell rang, "please remove everything from your desk except for a Number 2 pencil and a sheet of paper." There was an immediate chorus of miserable groans around her, but the blonde sitting at the front of the middle row remained silent, perfectly hiding her frustration at being forced to endure a pop test first thing that morning, as she hurried to comply with the teacher's instructions. She quickly slipped her text book and notebook back into her bookbag, but she froze when she opened her pencil case.

Her blue eyes grew wide in shocked amazement, but a slow smile grew to cover her face. Her gentle fingers reached into her case and timidly picked up the small item; she carefully held it in both hands as she studied it in silent awe. In the middle of the intricately molded and carved item was a heart, and on either side of that heart stood a tiny figure, their hands gently grasping their side of the heart. She immediately recognized the forms of her beloved boyfriend and herself, and her heartbeat raced at the thought of all the trouble he had gone to just to bring a smile to her face and remind her that he loved her.

There were even tinier letters carefully carved into the heart, and as she brought it closer to her face, she read them: My heart is yours. Her blue eyes sparkled in not only awe of the object her hands held so carefully but also endless gratitude of all the hard work and countless hours he had obviously put into the small statue. Dana's smile grew to its brightest as she turned around in her desk to look towards the back of the class, and when her eyes met with her beloved's and she saw the way Rich beamed joyously at her, she completely forgot everything else. She blew him a kiss, which he instantly pretended to catch, even as she called to him, "I love you, Rich!"

Rich's grin grew, and then he realized what she had done as the rest of the class roared in laughter. For a moment, he looked apologetic that she should be so embarrassed, and then he realized that there was not a single trace of embarrassment in her beautiful face. His grin grew the brightest she had ever seen it as he realized that she didn't care who knew that she loved him.

However, it was then that the teacher again spoke. "Miss Foster, need I remind you that we are about to take a test," his nasal voice questioned angrily, "or would you like to take a zero?"

That one question was enough to make Dana whip back around as she hurriedly said, "No, sir! I'm sorry!" She swiftly but carefully returned the statue to her pencil case and breathed a silent sigh of relief to find that Rich had left her a single Number 2 pencil in the case as the statue took up so much room. Her fingers again brushed its delicate surface, and her heart swelled with love even as she reluctantly shut the case and slipped it underneath her desk. She rushed to scribble her name on her sheet of paper even as the teacher began rattling questions off of the tip of his tongue.

The End