A.N. First Howl's moving castle fic! Yay me! I hope you like it, and remember to review!!!

Sophie fell down against the wall, she couldn't stand it anymore. He'd only kissed her once, once in two months of her returning to normal.

"I need to tell Howl, tell him how I feel. But how? I'm sure he can't love a plain girl like me, not a handsome man like him," she muttered to herself, holding her knees to her chest.

"Sophie!," she heard Markl's voice come from down the hallway, and the knock on her door seconds later. He came into her room. "Master Howl wants to see you."

"I'll be there in a moment," she said in a hoarse voice, "Tell Howl to give me a moment." Markl nodded.

"You called?," Sophie asked, poking her head in the door. Howl had his back to her at the desk. He motioned for her to come in.

"Come," he said flatly. She was quick to step in and close the door gently bend her, coming forward. "What would you like?"

"Huh? I'm not sure I understand, Howl. You called me here," Sophie said, now confused.

"No, I mean," he turned around to look at her, his blue eyes twinkling, dark hair falling in his face. "What would you like as payment? For cleaning this heap of junk, keeping Markl and I organized."

Sophie couldn't tell him what she really wanted, his love. "Oh, Howl! I already have everything I want! You've given me a beautiful bedroom, Markl is enough humor for a life time, and I've got lovely clothes. On top of all that, you're the most wonderful friend I could ask for," Sophie said, smiling sincerely.

She's gorgeous when she smiles. "The most wonderful friend you could ask for, eh?," he said, turning around again.

"What do you mean?," she asked him, afraid she'd offended him with her friend comment.

"Nothing, it's nothing. If you don't wish for something now, that's fine. But if you ever need something, let me know," Howl said, grinning at her. She could have sworn her heart skipped a beat.

"Howl, actually, I could use something," she said. She ignored what her head was telling her, and for once she listened to her heart.


"I need… a hug," she said faintly.

"A hug?," he asked, spinning around to look at her.

"Um, yeah. I'm sorry, I sound foolish, don't I, I'll just go, thank you," she said, turning to walk out.

"No, wait, why did you say that?," Howl stopped her.

"I guess nobody's hugged me for a long while. I don't remember what they're like. Could you just, please?"

"Sure, why not?," he asked, and got up and hugged her warmly. It felt good, and she wanted to faint in his arms, that were all that was keeping her from falling. After a minute or so, he asked;

"Is that good?"

"Yes, thank you. Thank you very much," she backed away.

"Anytime. Just say the word!," he winked at her, and then opened the door for her to leave.

"See you at dinner, I guess," she said. He nodded, and closed the door quietly behind her. Sophie couldn't believe what she'd just done. Hugged the wizard Howl Pendragon. She' never thought the day would come, but it had.

As she was cooking dinner, once Markl had gone outside to play with Turnip Head, Calcifer spoke up.

"Do you love him?," he asked. Sophie was startled and clasped a hand to her breast.

"Whatever do you mean, Calcifer?," she asked.

"Do you love Howl?," he asked. Sophie didn't respond. She waited for the fire demon to speak again. "He loves you, I believe."

"And how would you know such things?," Sophie asked him, stirring the soup.

"I can tell, and I can also tell you love him. So no need to deny it. We could use some love in this place," Calcifer told her, slurping up the fallen droplets of soup Sophie was spilling in her state of thought.

"Calcifer, do be quiet! I would appreciate it if you not mention this to Howl, either, since he's much to busy to be thinking of women, especially me," she exclaimed at the demon, whom would have shrugged, had it not been for the fact that he was physically unable to.

Little did she know that the wizard was standing on the steps listening, knowing she was wrong, and that it was almost impossible for him to keep Sophie off his mind….

A.N.2 Okay, I hope you all liked this. I loved writing it, so if you liked it, loved it, disliked it, or even hated its guts out, please review. Negative feedback is just as welcome as positive.