Chapter 8

When Josh returned to the bench with a glass of water in one hand and an altoid in the other, he saw Andy lying down on the bench with her eyes closed, her head resting on her hand. Her chest rose and fell slowly and Josh knew that she was asleep. He set the water down on the ground and sat down next to her. Carefully, he picked her head up and placed it on his lap. She stirred slightly, placing her hand just above his knee before settling back into a deep sleep. Josh looked down at her, wondering how he had gotten so lucky.

As he began to stroke her hair, he heard footsteps coming from the stairs. The man who had showed them where the bathroom was walked down the stairs and stopped in front of Josh and Andy.

"We'll be docking in…" he began to say. When he saw Andy sleeping, he lowered his voice. "A few minutes," he finished.

"Thanks," Josh replied.

"Is there anything I can get you or your girlfriend?"

Josh didn't respond. The word girlfriend sent his head in a whirlwind. Was she his girlfriend? Did she even want to be his girlfriend? Would there disaster of a date even turn into another date or would she be so upset about getting sick that she wouldn't want to see him again?

"Sir?"

Josh shook his head back and forth. "No, thank you."

"I hope she feels better."

"Thanks."

The man left. Josh continued to watch Andy sleep until he felt the boat slow and then finally dock. He watched as the other passengers filed down the stairs and got off. He thought about waking Andy, but he just couldn't bear it. Her face, although regaining its color, looked tired and he knew that she, of all people, could probably use all of the sleep she could get.

Josh slowly lifted her head so it wasn't leaning on his leg anymore. He slid his arm around her back and his other arm just above her knees, lifting her carefully. Trying his best not to jostle her, he walked slowly off the boat and to the car. He managed to slide his hand into his pocket to grab his keys. As soon as he was able to unlock and open the door, he sat her up carefully in the passenger seat. After buckling her seatbelt, he wrapped his jacket around her more tightly.

She moved slightly, burying her face against the back of the chair, but never opened her eyes. Josh started the car and began to drive off. Every few seconds he glanced over at her as he drove, making sure that she was still asleep.

As he pulled up to Andy's house, her eyes began to flutter open.

"Hi," he said.

Andy looked around, trying to figure out where she was. It wasn't until she saw her house through the window that she realized what had happened.

"How'd we get here?"

Josh pointed to the steering wheel. "Drove."

She rolled her eyes. "How did I get here? The last thing I remember is…puking."

"Well, after puking you fell asleep. But not before you asked for one of this."

Josh undid his seatbelt and reached into his pocket. He held out an altoid. Andy took it and popped it into her mouth.

"Thanks," she said, the cool mint filling her mouth. "Still doesn't explain how I got from a ship to my house."

"I carried you," Josh replied.

"You carried me?" She asked, shocked.

"You were sleeping."

"You could have woken me."

"You looked too peaceful to wake up."

Andy looked down at the floor. "So is this how it's going to be?"

"What?"

"You thinking you have to care of me?"

"Is that a problem?"

Andy shrugged. "I guess I could get used to it."

"Good."

Josh reached over and put his hand on top of hers and she smiled. Andy glanced over at her house and then back over at Josh.

"I should go. My moms'll be worried."

Josh let go of her hand, opened his door, got out of the car, and quickly walked to the passenger side of the car. He opened Andy's door and held out his hand. She put her hand in his and he helped pull her to her feet. As she stood, she realized that she still felt a little weak. Josh securely wrapped his arm around her waist and they walked up her front path to her porch together. They stopped in front of the door.

"Thank you for a great evening."

"I'm sorry that our first date was…well…a disaster."

"Oh Josh, it wasn't a disaster. It was wonderful. Besides, I'm the one who should be sorry."

"For what?'

"For what? For puking and falling asleep and…"

Josh silenced her with a kiss. His arm never left her waist while his lips pressed against hers. The kiss only lasted for a few seconds, but it couldn't have been more perfect.

"Will you by my girlfriend?" Josh blurted out, his face lingering only inches from hers.

"You kissed me," she stated.

Josh furrowed his brow, confused.

"Did you not want me to?" He asked, dropping his hand from her waist.

She immediately reached for his hand and put it back at her waist.

"No, I did…I do…I just…you kissed me."

"You said that already."

"I puked my guts out less than half an hour ago and you still kissed me."

"Well, you did have that altoid."

He smiled.

"You really do care," she whispered, looking into his eyes.

"Of course I do."

"Yes."

Again, he looked at her befuddled.

"Yes what?"

"Yes, I'll be your girlfriend."

She practically leaped into his arms and crushed her lips against his, kissing him in a way they had never kissed before. When they parted, she smiled.

"Thank you," she said.

"For what?"

"For…being you."

He leaned in for one more quick kiss as she grabbed her key out of her purse.

"Goodnight," she said.

"Goodnight."

Andy opened the door and began to walk inside.

"One more thing," she said before disappearing behind the door.

"Yeah?"

"Will you go out with me again tomorrow?" She asked.

"Shouldn't that be my line?" She laughed.

"So…will you?"

Josh put his finger to his chin, looking like he was contemplating her question long and hard. Andy hit him in the arm.

"Tell you what, as long as there are no boats involved, I'll go out with you tomorrow and the next day…" he tugged on her hand and pulled her closer to him. "And the next…"

They kissed once more.

"Goodnight again," she said when they finally parted, barely able to breathe.

"Goodnight again."

This time she walked into the house and shut the door behind her. Josh stared at the empty door before turning back towards his car, knowing that, despite what had happened, he had had the best first date ever.

Author's Note: Well, that's it. Thank you to all of my awesome reviewers who stayed with me even through my very long hiatus.