Disclaimer: I don't own anything, I'm merely borrowing, so thanks for letting me!

--

Need is a funny thing. I come to that conclusion while doing the dishes, of all things.

If you want to be real technical about it, there's few things in life you really need. Water comes to mind, followed by food at a close second. Health-wise, you're body has to sustain certain basic functions to be able to live, a beating heart and functioning lungs the most prominent ones of all. Add to that mix some form of shelter that keeps you safe from the elements and you're up and running. It won't be heaven on earth by a long stretch, but praise the Lord, at least you're alive.

Psychologically speaking however - and believe me, I don't do that often – a slightly different situation presents itself. You see, according to Abraham Maslow's much-cited hierarchy and all (think pyramid), the most basic of needs consist of those things too, but as opposed to my simple account, he doesn't stop at that. Long ago he came to the conclusion that there are actually five levels of need, the first four all being physiological in nature. Now don't go quoting me on anything - after all it's been some time between Psych 101 and my current position as a surgical resident - but if I remember correctly, Maslow states that the higher needs in his hierarchy can only come into focus once the lower-level needs have been satisfied.

And while I pour some more dish soap into the lukewarm water absent-mindedly, I consider the implications of that theory. Obviously my most basic needs are met, or else I'd have better things to do than stand here and rinse another coffee cup while considering Maslow's impact on my life in the grand scheme of things. The next level, the safety needs, are also not my problem. I have a job, a house (that I don't own, but you get the picture), a bank account, and on my last check-up, I was as healthy as anyone could be. But watch out, because here comes the third stage of the pyramid, and that's the one I have issues with. It's the love/belonging part that consists of the need for family, friendship and sexual intimacy.

Now take Alex for example…he was my friend first, my lover later, then a friend again, and now the steadiest relationship I've ever had in my life. I'm never letting him go again, I'm as sure of that as I'm certain of my existence on this planet, so he kind of falls into all three of those above-mentioned categories. Ergo, according to my dear friend Abraham, I 'need' Alex.

Now, you're probably thinking, 'she doesn't need Alex, she just wants him', but I'm telling you, that's not what it is. Anybody in their right mind would 'want' Alex. He's not bad to look at. He's smart. He's a hard-working guy with a big career ahead of him. He's funny when appropriate, but can be understanding and compassionate when the situation calls for it. He's fiercely loyal to those few lucky enough to be able to call him a true friend. He's amazing in the sack. I could go on and on and on with this. But are you starting to get my point? He's the complete package…who wouldn't want that? Sure, there are some things that drive me mad about him too, like his almost constant sarcasm or his stubbornness when it comes to an argument, but those are minor glitches that I've gotten used to and they can be overlooked in my analysis here today.

Of course, one might also argue that all of those needs that Alex fulfills in my life at stage 3 could be taken care of by anybody else and that Alex is just the one I want to satisfy them. Now, I know I'm starting to repeat myself, but this is a complex topic…No matter the angle though, what it basically comes down to in my mind is that I indeed need Alex – there, I said it. I can't even stress how dangerous that is for oh so many reasons, but here's the most important one: if you can't get something you desperately want, you're disappointed but eventually move on; if you can't get something you absolutely need you're not able to live…Catch my drift?

I'm so lost in my thoughts, now drying the meticulously cleaned cups, plates and bowls from dinner last night and breakfast this morning, that I don't even hear Alex enter the kitchen. I only acknowledge his presence once he places a lingering kiss on my left cheek. I turn around, spoons in my left hand, and smile at him fondly.

Several seconds pass before he breaks the serene silence that has enveloped me ever since I stepped foot into our (ok, Meredith's) house approximately an hour earlier. "What's up?"

"Nothing much, just thinking…"

"Anything in particular?" He seems genuinely interested, so I decide to hit him with a small part of the truth. Because honestly, was I really going to confess in detail everything that had just gone through my mind while doing basic housework? I think not. So I keep my answer simple. "Just how much I love you."

I'm graced with one of his most brilliant, heartbreakingly-honest Alex-smiles in return before he brushes his lips lightly against mine. Looking deep into my eyes, he replies.

"I love you too." And that's all I really need to know tonight.

--

A/N I was trying something new here, so let me know what you think…please?? Thank you!! Oh, and who else is excited for the upcoming season? I see good things in the future lol :P