Authors Note: I got this idea while watching What Dreams May Come today. There is a scene and a couple of exerts of dialogue that are similar in there, so be forewarned.

Also, this little drabble is set between seasons 4 and 5, sometime during the summer when they got to be really close.

Interlude

Thick blades of grass began to stick to the back of her neck, coated in sweat which helped it cling stubbornly, despite the wooly quilt that had previously been lain beneath them.

Maybe she had gotten rearranged after the tickle fight. She could still feel the skin covering her ribcage throb a little bit, and took note that her stomach still hurt from constant lurching.

She fought to keep a tiny laugh in her throat as she thought about it.

"What?" His voice was smooth, but a trace of humor remained. She ignored his inquiry and laughed a little louder in spite of herself. All she needed was to get wound up again.

She turned her head and found him staring straight at her with all that innocence buried in his eyes. She almost had to turn away because of it. But her smile remained as she turned her line of sight to the sky. Clouds loomed overhead, moving lazily, crashing into one another, mixing, mashing.

"Look," her finger pointed to a lonely puff eastward, "another rabbit, just like last week…"

"That's a rabbit?" He chuckled at her.

She looked at him for a split second and then back at the cloud, "Are you serious? Don't you see the ears, and the two puffs for the cheeks?"

"They look like boobs to me."

She gave a little slap to his chest, which he immediately covered in response, keeping her hand firmly underneath his. A sudden heat rose inside of her, and she didn't protest as he played with her fingers, twirling the ring on the middle one.

"So what's new? You think they all look like boobs," she couldn't help but laugh.

"All different kinds," he mused, smiling widely at her. He let her hand drop. Her stomach clinched.

"You're so gross, Manning," She sat up a little and propped herself on her elbows.

"Hey! Breasts are a very natural part of humanity, meant to be admired…"

She shook her head and looked down at her own, "You know, I never really understood the fascination…"

She then looked down at him, but his eyes were fixated on another part of her anatomy.

Ellie rolled her eyes, reached out and pinched his right nipple.

"OW!" She laughed at him, "What was that for?!"

"Your 'admiration'."

He lifted his shirt, uncovering the newly reddened skin. He rubbed it in tiny circles and then looked at her again, his bottom lip stuck out.

"You big baby." She laid back down on the blanket and laughed.

They both stayed silent for a while and Ellie felt the cold of the oncoming evening sweep over her body. It was getting late.

She sat up, and so did he, wiping spare flecks off of their clothes. She swallowed as she waiting for him to finish. "So, group next week… See you then?" she prompted.

He looked at her and smirked a little, and then dropped his head, "Yeah, about that…"

Her heart sank a little.

"I was wondering…what're you doin' until then?"

And there was that familiar heat all over again. She smiled wide.

"I don't really know…but probably something with my boobs…"

He gave her that incredulous look, that look that was so 'Craig', and she laughed out loud.

"Well, um," He coughed a little, "You know, we could..do that." She slapped his chest again and just like before, he grasped her hand and held it in his own.

And he left it there until they were out of sight down the street, the overused blanket stretched out across their shoulders.