Disclaimer-I don't own HP

A Simple Question

Story by StormDancer

It is not light that we need, but fire; not the gentle shower but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

She was Done. Done with all the beating around the bush, the embarrassment, the subtle hints by their friends. Done with the fights and the reconciliations that could have been, should have been, so much more. Done with Ginny's teasing, Mrs. Weasley's obvious approval, the twin's lewd comments. Done with the unresolved sexual tension that followed them everywhere. Done with blushes, stolen glances, jealousy. Done. Just done.

Hermione stormed up the stairs of the Weasley house and slammed open the door at the top, jerking Ron out of his sleepy stupor.

"Hermione, what the-" he began, but she cut him off.

"I am sick and tired of all this, Ron. Are we or aren't we?"

Ron stared blankly at her for a moment. She should have remembered Ron could not comprehend anything when he just woke up. On second thought, perhaps this wasn't the best time to confront him. Rolling her eyes, Hermione rephrased that.

"Are we going to be a couple or not?"

"What do you mean?" Ron asked, but the question had shocked him fully awake.

"I mean I am finished with the unresolved sexual tension between us, Ron. I like you. You like me. We both know that, we've both known that for years. So I want to know: are we ever going to act upon these likings?"

"Bu-bu-bu-but..." Ron stammered.

"Merlin, Ron," she yelled, "Even now you can't think straight! I ask you a simple question, and you, like the idiot you are, can't even give me a yes or no answer!"

Ron surged out of bed, shedding his covers until he could stand, towering over Hermione. She only allowed herself a brief glance at his only boxer clad body before focusing on his eyes, but that was enough. He looked good. She wanted him, and both she and he knew it.

"You think this is a simple question?" he roared, "If it was simple, it wouldn't need to be asked! Instead you come raging up here and wake me up and expect me to tell you something I've been agonizing over for years!"

"You think I haven't?" Hermione screamed back. She knew the entire house was probably listening by now, and maybe a few of the neighbors, but she didn't care. "I'm done with it all. I can't take the suspense. Should I attempt to move on or not?"

"Bloody hell Hermione, are you trying to torture me?" Ron ran a hand through his shaggy hair, "I can't make myself say you should to that, however much I should."

"Why should you?" Hermione raged, "I want you. You want me. Is there anything simpler?"

"It's not that easy," Ron's voice dropped until it was a dangerous whisper. Hermione was almost afraid, now. When Ron raged she knew what he was going to say. When his voice got low and deadly serious like this, she couldn't predict him.

"It's nowhere near that easy," Ron repeated, voice still calm and quiet, "I want you. I need you. I may even love you. But you deserve better."

"I don't want better!" Hermione exclaimed, "I want you."

"But you shouldn't," Ron spat, "I'm poor and have no prospects for making more. I'm an idiot who can't follow what you're saying half the time. You shouldn't want someone like that, Mione."

"Why not?" Hermione challenged, eyes blazing, "Perhaps that's exactly why I want you."

"Have you ever lived like this," Ron gestured around his room, but somehow the motion took in his whole house, ramshackle and crumbling, "Have you ever not had enough for something? Have you ever wanted something with every fiber of your being but not been able to get it?"

"Not until recently," Hermione admitted, "But I don't care! I don't need a lot of money; I can make it on my own. I just want you."

She took a step forward until her body was flush against his.

"Only you," she repeated into his chest. Ron's voice gentled as he looked down at her.

"Hermione, we'd kill each other within a week. We fight more than we talk; both of us can hold grudges far too long."

Hermione took a step back so she could look Ron in the eye.

"Of course we fight, Ron," she explained patiently, "It's our thing. Harry and Ginny are all lovey-dovey; Angelina and Fred prank each other; Malfoy and Luna look soulfully into each other's eyes; we argue. The moment we stop fighting is the day the spark goes out of life, Ron, and the minute I start believing you don't care for me anymore."

"Don't worry, that'll never happen," Ron replied with a mock scowl. Hermione didn't laugh.

"I'm just so tired of all this, Ron," she leaned her head against his chest, "I want it to be over. I don't want to have to be jealous if you look at another girl. I don't want to have to suffer through more of your family's well meaning hints. I don't want my mother asking me if we've gotten together every time I go home. I just want the dancing around to stop."

"So do I, Mione," Ron admitted, stroking her hair gently, "So do I."

"Then why won't you tell me?" Hermione pleaded, "Are we or aren't we?"

Ron looked down at Hermione, self-doubt fighting tooth and nail with his need for her. As his silence stretched on, Hermione tried to extricate herself out of his embrace.

"I'm sorry," she said, taking his silence for a negative, "I guess it's done."

The broken tone drove out the doubt, the caution, the anger. His arms tightened around her.

"We are, Hermione," he murmured into her ear, "we always were."