This is soooooooo not the first thing I wanted to upload but I feel I need to contribute to the SH fanfic community with my saccharine drabble/stories. I like to imagine Alex and Elle's lives pre-Homecoming, like imagining their relationship, etc. Obviously I lean more toward the they're-totes-in-love-ftw side but...whatev. I know SH and fluff don't mix...but who says they can't? And if you know me, you know I like to mess with characters and I lurve AU. Expect more of it. Until then enjoy this little...thing :D

V-Card

"If I had to pick one guy in the whole school—no the whole world—to lose my virginity to…I'd pick you."

I turn my head so fast I get whiplash. "Excuse me?" I knew this conversation—about sex and virginity and who has and who hasn't—would get me into trouble sooner than later. But I certainly hadn't predicted that statement.

Elle is lying on her back, her arms folded over her blue bedspread. "You heard me. If I absolutely had to choose…it would be you."

I'm glad it's dark and the only light in her room is coming from the window on the other side of the room from her bed. She can't see my blush.

I had decided just to spend the night in the Holloways' house since it was late and the only person who would pissed about me not coming home would be Josh. It isn't an unusual thing for me to lie in bed with Elle until she falls asleep and then sneak on home at about eleven or twelve at night. My parents didn't care.

Tonight we talked more than usual as we were falling asleep in Elle's big comfy bed with the blue bedspread and matching sheets. Everything in Elle's room matches although it seems more a stereotypical-small-town-girl's room than Elle's room.

I can't remember why we started talking about sex. I've done it. She hasn't. Maybe that's where we started. I tried to explain that I don't count my first time as under a table at a party where I was so drunk I didn't know my own name—much less the name of the girl I was doing.

Elle didn't say anything. Then she said that.

"Why me?" I whisper. I can hear her mother shifting in the other room and her father softly snoring. I don't want to have this conversation. Not here and not now in her little girl room with her stuffed bunnies staring at me. It's wrong. It feels wrong.

"Because…," she begins softly, thinking hard and choosing her words carefully. "Because I would want to lose it to someone I care about and who I know cares about me. And it would be…like a favor so if I happen to get drunk or something then it wouldn't be a big deal. It would've already happened."

She turns to look at me with her big blue-grey eyes and I can't respond for a moment.

"Wouldn't you rather it be someone you love?"

She blinks. Pauses. "I'm just saying if I absolutely had to choose, Alex. I'm not asking you to take my virginity."

I hope I don't look to crestfallen. That's the last thing your best friend needs to be thinking about when you're lying in bed next to her. As if the track team doesn't already think I'm a dirtbag.

"Besides," she continues, holding her covers a little tighter to her chest. "I do love you." My heart swells and it hurts because I know what's next. "You're my best friend."

Someone could shoot me in the foot and it would hurt less. I love you. You're my best friend. Best friend love. I hate it. And I hate that I can't tell her that I hate it. And I hate that she's so beautiful and I can't tell her. And that she's perfect and sweet and—

"I'm going to sleep now," she mumbles, rolling over. "Are you going to leave again?"

Does she sound hopeful? Or am I already asleep? "Probably. Josh'll freak out if I'm not home when he wakes up."

"Okay. G'night, Alex."

"Night, Elle."

I decide to doze since my eyelids are suddenly so heavy. I dream about her, though it's her six-year-old self giving me a Valentine's Day card she stayed up with her mother making for our class. She's wearing a pink dress with hearts on the sleeves and hearts on her hair ties that pull her light-blonde hair into pigtails. "Happy Valentine's Day, Alex!" She hugs me and her scent—apples and candy—lingers after she pulls away.

It's after I wake up that I realize I never said "thank you."

I look at her alarm clock. It flashes arrogantly at me that it's two-thirty. If I try to leave now, Elle will wake up and tell me to stay. That I shouldn't be wandering around this late.

I can't fall back asleep. I want to tell Elle thank you for that card. I can't figure out why since it was like eleven years ago. But I just do.

She rolls over in her sleep. Her hair is in pigtails and she looks so similar to her six-year-old self just not decked out in pink and hearts. Without thinking, I lean over and kiss her cheek. An innocent six-year-old kiss between friends. It's painful.

Her eyes slide open. "Alex?" She rubs them and props herself up a bit. "What are you still doing here? I thought you were going to leave."

"I fell asleep," I admit. "Um…." I'm going to thank her for the card but it suddenly seems stupid. The last thing she remembers is us talking about virginity and then I'm going to thank her for silly Valentine's Day card that she gave me because she had to, not because I was anyone special. It is stupid. I keep my mouth shut.

She touches her cheek where I kissed her and then opens her mouth like she's going to say something. She eyes me for a moment and then smiles, closes her mouth and lies back down.

She takes my hand and slides her fingers through mine. "Alex…," she begins slowly. "What if I wasn't really kidding about before?"

I knit my brows in confusion. "What are you talking about?"

"About the virginity thing."

It takes a moment for me to realize what she's talking about. Then, "Oh. Oh."

She traces the back of my hand with her finger, making it difficult to concentrate. "What are you saying then?" I'm almost afraid to ask. It's too good to be true.

"Maybe that…I want you to do me a favor."

Then she leans forward and kisses me, hard on the lips.

And I kiss back. Happily. It's like something out of my dreams, except a million times better because it's real. So very real.

Her hands move and I let them. I move mine too.

When they slide under her tank top and touch skin (soft, sweet skin), I come back to Earth and realize what I'm doing.

I pull her hands gently away and pull back away from her mouth. "Elle…." We're both breathing hard. "I'm sorry…I can't."

Her lips part. She wants to say something. She doesn't. She's thinking the wrong things. That I'm pulling away because I don't want her.

I climb out of her bed and hunt for my sneakers, half hidden under the blue bed skirt. I can't tell her why I'm pulling away—the real reason anyway. It's better for her to think I don't want her when it's really the hardest thing in the world to move away.

"Alex, don't leave," she pleads. "I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. Please, don't leave."

"I have to." If I don't, I'll regret it. I won't be able to pull away. "Josh'll be mad at me if I'm not home. I'm sorry." Sorry that I can't think about you as my best friend anymore. Sorry that I really am a dirtbag. Sorry for everything.

She doesn't say anything. She watches me leave.

I imagine her lying back down, maybe crying. She thinks I hate her or that I think she's a slut.

I slip into my house, creep up the stairs and collapse gently on the top bunk in me and Josh's room. Josh is curled up with his stupid rabbit doll, sound asleep. I pull my covers over my head and breathe out slowly.

I couldn't sleep with her. Not with Elle and not as friends doing "a favor" for each other. It isn't because I don't want her. It's because I would feel like I'd betrayed her by feeling so much…when it was obvious she didn't feel as much.

I decide to call her in the morning. Maybe we'll go for a walk. Maybe I'll grow a pair and tell her how I feel. Maybe she'll reject me. Maybe we'll live happily ever after. Maybe we'll have sex. I don't know. I don't care.

I just don't want to lose her.

Wheeeeee for experimenting with verb tenses! So what did you think? Be nice. This was one of my first fanfics after finishing Homecoming and I just realized that I made Alex waaaaay too sweet. Whatev. Anyone got any plot bunnies that they want someone to rid for you??? Leave in a review or PM me. I'm bored (even though I should be working on scholarships and such). REVIEW IF YOU FAVE PLZ!