By: Jaded Image

AN:...I've developed a WandIan obsession. It's a little scary, haha. I think what really draws me to them is the fact that Wanda is so new to everything, and Ian's the perfect man who's patient enough to teach her and experience all her "firsts" with her. I have so many story ideas for them, oh dear...

Disclaimer: The Host is by Stephenie Meyer. She really knows how to write the fluff.

It had been a long and tiring day. The whole cave bustled with activity as the inhabitants took advantage of the post-rainy season. Everywhere I turned, I could see people focusing on their individual tasks: turning the moist soil and planting new seeds, collecting the water that gathered from openings for some non-sulfuric tasting drinking water, laying dry desert sand over the muddy pools to harden. This was how our family functioned, working together without being told, like oiled machinery.

And now, after the sun fell below the horizon and the stars began to twinkle with the activity of distant planets, I could feel the strain of my muscles from a day's worth of lugging dishes to the stream and back. It was a little pitiful that I was tired out from such simple work, but I was just glad I could help, even if it was just passing water to the field workers.

I will get stronger and take on my share of the chores, I promised myself and brushed a tangled mass of blonde hair behind my ear. But despite my attempts at cheering myself up, I was feeling a little unsettled. For a second, I couldn't understand why I felt that way.

Glancing around, I realized what I was missing. Ian. Blazing sapphire eyes. His comforting presence.

I hadn't seen him all day since he was assigned to patrol the cave and tunnels, making sure the rainstorm didn't cause the stream to overflow or parts of the tunnels to cave in. Normally, he'd take a break to come and see me, but this time, him and his group of men had been gone the entire day.

I blushed at the jitteriness I was experiencing. I was so attached to him and used to his presence, this feeling becoming more profound while we all slept in the game room. Today felt rather lonely.

Wanda, get a hold of yourself. Since when did you become so needy? I reprimanded. It was an old habit when Melanie was around, but I still found myself mentally conversing with nobody these days. But really, what's wrong with needy? And when was he coming back? How big could the caves be anyway for them to take this long? I was surprised at how whiny I was starting to sound.

Sitting in the kitchen, I fidgeted nervously with my hair and fingers, vaguely wishing there was a lump of dough in my hand so I could distract myself. Without thinking, I hummed tunelessly, my girlish voice drifting through notes precariously strung together. I didn't hear the footsteps approach me from behind and jumped when a gentle hand massaged my shoulders.

"You look tense." Ian said while his fingers did wonders for the knots in my back.

I felt a surge of happiness well up inside me at his voice, and blushed as a great urge to lunge at him came over this petite body. I couldn't stop the squeal though from slipping through my lips. "Ian! You're back!"

He laughed in delight, enjoying my reaction.

Clasping my hands together before my body could act on its desires to jump him right then and there, my eyes closed as I leaned into his touch. "You were gone for so long…Was everything alright?"

"Mm, yea. Some more of the floor broke off near the stream, and pieces of the skylights in the hospital and some rooms fell in, but that's about it." He stopped the massage therapy and ran a hand across my back as he took a seat near me, sliding even closer than the bench allowed. Gathering me into his lap, he nuzzled his face into my neck. I shuddered as I felt his breath against my skin. His proximity sped up my heart rate, and I felt much warmer than the normal temperature after a rainy season.

Ian chuckled as he felt the heat I was giving off. Sighing, he placed a kiss against my temple. "You have no idea how much I missed seeing you today." His breath caressed my ear and my head turned unconsciously to bring our faces closer together.

I couldn't help smiling as he echoed my thoughts. Running idle fingers across his arms, I whispered back. "I missed you too. You should've let me come, I could have helped you."

"Wanda, as much as I miss having you beside me, the unstable floor was too dangerous. Which reminds me," he paused to make sure I was looking into his eyes. They darkened to a brilliant shade of navy blue in the dim lights of the cave. "Don't go anywhere near that place unless you're with someone. Jeb thinks the ground should be stable now, but just in case."

His tone was so serious, I couldn't do anything but nod. Memories of me nearly being thrown into the churning waters were fresh in both our minds.

I felt Ian yawn even though he tried to hide it. Grasping his hand, I stood up and pulled him towards the entry tunnel connected to the living quarters. "Come on. You worked all day, and you need to sleep." Looking at him for the first time, I noticed the layers of purple dust and grime covering his body and how his shoulders seemed to slump. I should've been the one giving him a massage.

"Let's go to our room." Even as the words left my lips, I felt a blush rising quickly.

Ian grinned, his face almost glowing. "Our room."

"T-That is…I mean…i-isn't it?" I asked uncertainly. It had slipped out so naturally, claiming that room with the bi-colored doors as ours even though this would be our first night sleeping in it after the storm.

He couldn't seem to stop smiling, and my stomach churned nervously. "Of course it's ours, Wanda. Yours and mine." I could see that the idea really appealed to him. He let out an unexpected laugh and stood up. Before I knew it, I was in his arms, one of his hands tangled in my hair while the other stroked my side.

"Ours." He whispered, leaning his forehead against mine, and my eyes drifted closed as we both tested it out.

I felt a smile spread across my face. Ian looked so content, so happy, and it was all because of one little word. But that word held so much meaning. "Ours" meant sharing the rest of my life with this man. It meant being unable to live without him and his kisses, his warm touch and gentle gaze. The word verbally connected us, represented our relationship. We were a package now.

With my eyes closed, I felt Ian lean down and gently kiss one corner of my mouth, smoothing his lips gently across my cheeks until he reached the other corner and placed another kiss. My lips tingled before he even touched me, and when he finally did, the kiss sent my nerves into a frenzy.

Both my hands were curled around his neck when we finally broke apart. With our noses barely touching, Ian's words came out in a breathy whisper. "Say it again for me. Please."

My mind wasn't really thinking coherent thoughts as my body fought to regain mobility. My voice came out as a sigh. "Say…what?"

"Where do you want to go?" He prompted gently.

Oh. "I want…" I paused as a flush threatened to overrun my face. My voice dropped a few more notches. "I want to go to our room."

I ducked my head so that I was leaning against his chest. Ian chuckled quietly, seemingly satisfied with my announcement. "Alright. Let's go to our room." And I understood his enthusiasm because I experienced the same thrill hearing the word coming from his mouth. This was better than simply belonging within this group because it meant I belonged specifically with this person.

We walked down the tunnel hand in hand, not really in a hurry to reach our destination despite how tired we were. When we finally stopped in front of the door, Ian held it so that I could step through.

Coming in behind me, Ian announced, "Welcome to our room, Wanda."

AN: Not as much fluff as I had previously planned. Eh, I'll fix that for future stories. This wasn't even the fic that I intended to write! How did that happen?? Urghhh. Anyway, I plan to have a follow-up to this posted as a separate one-shot. Their first night together as a couple. Cute :)

Reviews are appreciated!