Disclaimer: I own nothing.

AN: This is my first CeeCee/Adam fic so please be nice. This takes place after CeeCee finds out Suze is a mediator but she and Adam haven't actually started dating. I may or may not make this a two shot, but it will be nothing longer than that. Let me know if you want to see another chapter or not! Please review! Enjoy!

By the Light of the Fire

"You see that one there?"

"Yeah…" I leaned over to look at where he was pointing.

"That's Cassiopeia."

"The W thing?"

He looked at me incredulously and then rolled his eyes, "Yes, the 'W' thing."

I grinned foolishly at him and lay back down in my spot. We were at our school's first annual senior class camping trip. Everyone else was off playing Ghost in the Graveyard or something like that. Suze was probably off in an actual graveyard with real ghosts, but I didn't really care. I was right where I wanted to be; looking up at the stars with the man of my dreams.

Out of the corner of my eye, I looked at him. He was so handsome with the firelight dancing across his face, throwing his features into sharp relief. A contented sigh escaped my lips as I returned my attention to the heavens above.

Adam McTavish had been my best friend since third grade. He had always been kind to me and everyone else in the community growing up, but it wasn't until that fateful day at the end of second grade that I realized just how special of a guy Adam really was. I had come to school crying and everyone was making fun of me for being a crybaby. I spent recess sitting on the swings all by myself while my classmates were off playing kickball. As I sat there sniffling, someone sat down beside me. I turned to see Adam with his lopsided grin.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"No," I replied, looking away. I didn't want to let anyone see me cry anymore than they already had.

"What's wrong?"

I shuffled my feet on the ground, gently swinging myself back and forth. "My dog died."

Then Adam got up and gave me a big hug. He didn't know me all that well; we hadn't talked before that day. Yet, Adam was able to comfort me.

For the rest of the school year, and all of summer, Adam and I played with one another. By the beginning of third grade we were best friends.

"Earth to CeeCee Webb!"

"What, Adam?" I laughed.

"Oh, I don't know, it's not like I've been asking you the same question for about three minutes now."

I quickly reached out and lightly backhanded his arm.

Adam hissed and pretended to rub his arm. "Fine, see if I ever offer to get you a drink again." He slowly stood and started walking away.

Turning my head, I called after him, "Bring me another root beer." I smiled as Adam waved my request off without turning around.

Once we reached middle school, it was no longer considered cool for boys and girls to be friends, but Adam and I didn't care. While all of the other boys and girls were convinced that members of the opposite sex had cooties unless they were "dating", if it could be called that, Adam and I remained close. There was even a time in seventh grade where Adam and I were rumored to be "going out" just because we went to see a movie together.

"Here," Adam said tossing me my can of root beer.

"Thank you," I sat up so that I could safely open the can without spilling pop all over myself.

"Whatever."

"Oh, come on, you know I love you," I said, wishing that he could understand the duality of that statement and at the same time praying that he didn't.

Adam shook his head and took a sip of his Dr. Pepper but he had a smile on his face. He set his can down and I did the same. We leaned against a log and turned our eyes skyward. Suddenly, Adam reached his hand into his pocket and threw something at me.

I gasped as I picked the marshmallow up off the ground, "How dare you waste a perfectly good marshmallow that could have made an amazing S'more." I pelted it back at him.

"Says the girl who wastes a marshmallow."

"Uh, uh. You were the one who wasted it. By the time I threw it, it had already hit the dirt; I was just making use of the marshmallow you wasted."

Adam grinned, "Fine, if you won't let me use marshmallows…"

He pounced and began tickling me mercilessly.

All throughout high school Adam has done more for me than a female best friend ever could. Any time I started acting like "a girl" as he puts it, and let my emotions get the best of me, he would talk to me sensibly and bring me back to a rational state of mind. When I have good news, he doesn't just give me hug and say "Way to go girlfriend!" but rather puts on a truly sincere face and says, "That's amazing, Cee!" before taking me out for ice cream. Then, there are the numerous times where he would come over on a Saturday afternoon and watch movies with me.

What makes Adam such an amazing friend was the fact that he would watch chick-flick after chick-flick with me and only utter minimal complaints. Time and time again, Adam would spend an entire afternoon watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with me. Seeing as the BBC version is five hours long, I consider it a true testament of Adam's character that he only fell asleep once in the 25 times I've made him watch it.

It was during freshman year of high school that I started to realize that I had feelings for Adam--feelings that were more than just…friendly. Slowly those feelings developed into something deeper than words can express. I can't imagine a day without Adam by my side.

However, the chances of our relationship turning into anything resembling a romantic one are slim. I have overheard Adam telling his other friends that he and I are just friends. He has come to me telling me about girls he has a crush on. As if I needed more evidence that he didn't think of me in that way, Adam has said numerous times that I am the sister he never had.

"Adam, stop it! Stop!"

"Not until you beg for mercy!" he said as he continued to assault me with tickles.

"Never!" I screamed as I started to tickle back.

The tickling match soon turned into a mockery of a wrestling match. It ended when I had Adam's arms pinned to the ground and was straddling his chest. "Beg for mercy."

"Never," Adam replied as he struggled against me, but I held fast.

For some time, I had been considering telling Adam how I felt. It was getting to the point where I could barely keep from kissing him every time he gave me a hug in way of a greeting. It sometimes just felt like life would be easier if I were to tell Adam the truth. I was tired of constantly having to cover up my feelings and trying to make him think that I didn't like anyone.

Every time I came close to telling him, I would stop short and think about the friendship we had. I wouldn't ruin that friendship for anything in the world. Not even for his love.

Lately, I felt as if I could tell Adam and have our friendship. If I were to do that however, there would be no going back. Once those words are said, they will hand in the air forever. Adam is the kind of guy who might even agree to go out with me if I told him my feelings. The good and bad of that is the fact that he would never tell me if he agreed only because he didn't want to reject me or if he really wanted to date me.

I had considered all of the possible ramifications of the situation, now the only thing left to do was make up my mind.

There I was, pinning Adam to the ground. "Beg for mercy," I repeated.

"Never," Adam smiled.

I leaned down slightly. Now was my chance. I could lean down a little farther and do one of two things; I could whisper to Adam how I felt, or I could give him a kiss and let my actions speak for themselves.

Adam looked into my eyes, a slightly confused expression on his face. I sat, mesmerized by the firelight dancing across his face again.

"CeeCee?" he asked softly.

"Yeah?" I breathed.

"Are you okay?"

I sighed and rolled back to my spot, "Yeah."

I had my chance. I had my opportunity to tell Adam how I felt. I could have opened my heart. But I didn't. I couldn't. Once it came time to actually let Adam know, I realized that we could never be anything more than friends. Did I love him? Definitely. Would I have loved to kiss him? More than anyone could ever guess. Did I love him enough to risk our friendship? No. I loved him with all of my heart, but some friendships are too dear to give up, some bonds too pure. A kiss would have sullied that pure bond.

"CeeCee?"

"I'm good," I said as a silent tear rolled down my cheek. "Tell me more about the stars."

Adam shifted closer and began pointing at the sky once more.