Title: Camp Out
Author: Janine
Fandom: Princess Protection Program
Pairing: Carter/Rosie
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Carter introduces Rosie to another American pastime.

---

Rosie was sitting in the bench seat in front of the window with her knees drawn up and a book resting against them when Carter rushed into the bedroom the shared. Rosie looked over at the tomboy's sudden entrance, her eyes widening partly in amusement and partly in confusion as Carter skidded to an abrupt stop when she realized Rosie was watching her.

Under Rosie's gently amused gaze Carter cleared her throat once, tugged three times on the bottom of her t-shirt and then slowly and deliberately continued further into the room, pretending that she hadn't been acting like an over-excited golden retriever moments before.

"You are plotting," Rosie declared, her eyes narrowing as she draped her legs over the edge of the bench-seat and leaned forward, her elbows resting on her thighs as she gazed keenly at Carter.

"What makes you say that?" Carter asked arching a dark brow in question at Rosie, even though she was most definitely plotting.

"You have been acting very suspicious all afternoon," Rosie replied putting her book down on the bench seat before she gracefully rose to her feet. "You have been sneaking around," Rosie declared moving towards Carter slowly.

Her movements were graceful and sinuous and as always captured Carter's attention, awing her slightly. There was a time when Rosie's elegance would have irritated Carter, a time not so long ago when she would have perceived it as the other girl showing off, but that time had passed.

Rosie came to a stop just in front of Carter and arched an imperious chestnut eyebrow at the young American girl.

"There have been banging and crashing noises that you insist are 'nothing'," Rosie continued, her eyes narrowing slightly as she gazed at Carter. Carter supposed the look was supposed to be intimidating, but as it was she had to struggle not laugh. "There are dirt patches on the knees of your denim trousers-"

"Jeans," Carter interrupted before Rosie could continue to rattle off examples of her suspicious behavior. "They're called jeans, not 'denim trousers'. We've been over this."

Carter's words were brusque, but her lips were curved up in a soft smile, and her brown eyes danced with amusement as she gazed at the impeccably dressed girl opposite her.

Rose observed the younger Mason quietly for a moment, and then began, "In my country we have a saying-"

Carter rolled her eyes dramatically and then flopped down on her bed muttering, "Here we go," before she dutifully angled her head to the side to meet Rosie's gaze.

"In my country we have a saying," Rosie began again, the straight set of her back letting Carter know that while Rosie was graciously continuing that she didn't appreciate her interruption. "Usted puede llamar un perro un asno, pero es todavía un perro," Rosie pronounced emphatically, rolling her 'r's' in a way that made Carter feel tingly inside to the point that she had to shift on the bed. "You can call a dog a donkey, but it is still a dog. However, if it pleases you, I will call your denim trousers jeans."

"It does please me," Carter declared. "Though when you put it like that, it really doesn't feel like a victory," she continued in a somewhat chagrined tone, mock glaring at Rosie for a few seconds before she sighed softly. "Just go back to telling me how suspicious I've been acting."

"Ah," Rosie said, moving over to Carter's bed and perching herself delicately on the edge of it, taking a moment to arrange herself so that the side of her body was pressed against Carter's resting thighs. "Where was I?"

"Dirt patches on my jeans," Carter prompted feeling the heat of Rosie's body against her jean clad thighs, but trying desperately to pretend that wasn't aware of the touch, let alone obsessing over it.

"Ah, yes. There are dirt patches on your jeans, and you did not come inside for your late-afternoon feeding and …"

"Snack," Carter interjected, earning a sharp turn of the head and narrowed eyes from Rosie, "my late-afternoon snack. Calling it a 'feeding' makes me sound like a moo-cow getting called in from the pasture for some nice oats and honey. But," Carter said quickly as Rosie continued to look at her archly, "pardon my interruption. Please, your highness, continue telling me what a crafty little devil I am."

Rosie regarded Carter calmly, her expression searching and thoughtful in a way that seemed to pierce and made Carter want to squirm.

"You have been acting very suspiciously all afternoon," Rosie began and finished with, the look in her eyes conveying unquestionably to Carter that the girl had more to say, but was unwilling to because she believed Carter would interrupt her again.

Carter smiled.

"I sure have," the American agreed easily, her smile widening as when Rosie looked over at her questioningly.

"You admit it?" Rosie asked surprised.

"I do," Carter replied, nodding her head to emphasize her words.

Rosie eyes glittered and Carter knew that she had hooked the other girl. Rosie had called her on her strange behavior all afternoon, but from the way the princess's brown eyes were shinning Carter knew that Rosie was more intrigued by her behavior than reproachful of it.

"Well, what mischievousness have you been engaging in?" Rosie asked leaning closer to Carter, making it easier for them to conspire.

"No tomfoolery I'm afraid," Carter replied, trying not to laugh when Rosie's face fell slightly, "only a surprise."

"What kind of surprise?" Rosie asked, her eyes lightening up again.

Carter laughed softly.

"That would be part of the surprise," the American replied smiling smugly she shimmied her legs around Rosie's body to throw them over the edge of the bed so she could stand. "So, are you ready?" Carter asked holding out her hand in a gentlemanly fashion to the other girl.

She hoped that her palm wasn't sweating.

"The surprise is for me?" Rosie asked, happiness suffusing her tone as she gazed wonderingly at Carter.

"Of course it is. Who else would it be for?" Carter responded rolling her eyes, as she gently took Rosie's outstretched hand into hers and helped the princess to her feet.

"Major Mason?" Rosie suggested, her heart skipping beat as Carter draped her arm around her shoulders, and drew her against her body in a half-hug. Carter didn't initiate physical contact between them much, but whenever she did it took Rosie's breath away.

"Oh ho," Carter laughed shaking her head. "Not likely. Dad's automatic reaction to being startled is a right front jab. Nope," Carter said shaking her head again, "no surprises for him … ever."

Carter's arm squeezed Rosie, and instinctively the princess leaned more heavily against her, sagging into the warmth and comfort of Carter's body.

"You on the other hand should prepare yourself to face the unknown," Carter began in a voice that was pronouncedly more gravelly than it had been moments before.

"How mysterious," Rosie whispered, a large smile slowly spreading across her lips as looked up at Carter.

"That's me. Carter Mason, International Woman of Mystery," Carter responded in an equally soft tone of voice as her simmering brown eyes bored into Rosie's.

They stood like that, pressed tightly against each other, Carter's arm around Rosie's shoulders as the princess looked up at her, for many moments, and then Carter shook her head as if to clear away cobwebs and smiled shakily at the other girl.

"Come on," Carter said drawing her arm from around Rosie's shoulder, much to the princess's unhappiness. "We're wasting light," Carter continued a second later as she reached for Rosie's hand and began to lead her out of their room into the unknown.

---

"Are you okay sitting on that?" Carter asked, watching with some amusement as Rosie gingerly settled herself on the trunk of a nearby fallen tree. When they first met she would have been irritated with Rosie making a production out of something so simple as sitting down, but she knew now that out in the Louisiana woods the princess was simply out of her element and trying to adjust.

"Yes," Rosie responded turning her head to face Carter, a bright and genuine smile settling on her face as she did. "It is not bad really. It's quite … firm."

Carter smiled at that. Rosie was always finding the good in situations. It was one of the things she had come to really appreciate about Rosie. The princess never complained about things, though by right of her birth and upbringing she could have all the time. Rosie always faced the world and obstacles thrown in her path with bravery and determination. She knew that Rosie struggled, that she wrestled with doubt and sadness like everyone else. She had heard Rosie crying softly at night when she first came to live with them, but in the morning Rosie was always ready to meet things head on and Carter respected and admired that.

"It's hard and unyielding," Carter responded, brushing her hands on her jeans before she rose from the crouch she was in before the fire pit and stood. She moved over to a large duffel bag that was resting a safe distance away from the fire pit and unzipped it, ruffling around inside for a moment. "Here," she said a few moments later as she pulled a blanket out of the bag. "Sit on this for now," Carter continued, crossing the small distance to the log Rosie was sitting on and holding the blanket out to her. "The fire will be up in a couple minutes and once it gets blazing we can sit around it," she continued moving back over to the pit and crouching again.

"Thank you," Rosie said softly, settling the blanket underneath her, a soft sigh emerging from her throat as she settled herself down on it.

Carter heard the relief in Rosie's voice as her royal keister was cushioned and smiled at the ground, keeping her head down so that Rosie wouldn't see her expression. She was smiling out of fondness, not meanness, but things were going perfectly at the moment and Carter didn't want to risk upsetting Rosie and ruin things. She just found it really cute that as giving and wonderful as Rosie was, she wasn't used to roughing it at all, and couldn't stop herself from smiling.

"It is extremely beautiful out here," Rosie breathed out a few minutes later, breaking the silence that had fallen between them as Carter worked on the fire. "Thank you for bringing me. I do not think that I would have ventured this far into the wilderness on my own."

"Good," Carter said looking up, the flames of the newly started fire casting strange and mesmerizing shadows over the planes of her face. "I mean, you shouldn't have come out here on your own. It can be dangerous if you don't know what to look out for. Don't worry though," she continued rising to her feet. "I promise we're safe. I won't let anything hurt you."

"I know," Rosie replied gazing trustingly at her companion.

Carter blushed and looked away. The openness of Rosie's gaze made her feel funny inside, and she never quite knew what to do with herself when the feeling came over her.

"I've got some more blankets," Carter began somewhat awkwardly as she moved back over to the duffel bag. "I'll make like … a little area for us … with them … to … sit on … and stuff," she continued haltingly, turning her back to Rosie as her cheeks flamed.

As she had been speaking she had been imaging lounging with Rosie on the blankets like it was a giant bed and holding the princess in her arms while Rosie pressed soft kisses to her skin and her flight of fancy was wreaking havoc on her ability to speak without sounding like a complete idiot.

Mercifully Rosie didn't comment on her verbal ineptitude. The princess simply murmured thank you, and Carter was able to set about getting her head screwed on straight and her thoughts under control as she got the blankets out and began setting them down on the ground.

"Come on over here," Carter said a few minutes later.

Rosie stood without speaking and made her way over to where Carter was kneeling on a bed of blankets. Rosie's eyes found Carter first, but when she shifted her gaze to take in all of the American's hard work, she saw a basket sitting in the middle of the bed Carter had created and smiled.

"Are we having a picnic?" Rosie asked, lowering herself down on the blankets.

"Kind of," Carter responded, Rosie's smile easing some of the nervousness she was feeling. "There's nothing with absolutely any nutritional value in there," Carter continued, "but it'll be delicious. Since this is your first camp out, I thought I'd stick to tradition and we could make s'mores."

"Some more what?" Rosie asked her eyebrows scrunching together as she gazed over at Carter.

"No," Carter said softly, shaking her head. "Not 'some more'," she continued smiling. "S'mores. 'S,' apostrophe m, o, r, e, s," the young American spelled out. "They're like, one of the greatest things ever invented," Carter went on excitedly, lifting the lid to the basket to begin unloading the supplies she had brought. "You take marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers, and sandwich them together. It's gooey, sticky, crunchy perfection."

Rosie looked at the supplies Carter had unloaded and then up at Carter herself, with a discerning and thoughtful expression, and for a moment Carter was scared that Rosie wouldn't want to make s'mores and she began cursing herself for thinking that it was a good idea to take the future queen of Costa Luna into the backwoods of Louisiana, make her sit on the ground and force her to eat with her fingers.

However, before Carter could begin to smack her forehead and mutter 'Stupid, stupid, stupid' under her breath, Rosie smiled widely at her and shifted closer to her on the blanket.

"How does one make s'mores?" the princess asked; her voice alive with curiosity and excitement.

"Come closer and I'll show you," Carter responded holding out her hand to Rosie, wrapping her fingers warmly around the princess's and gently tugging her towards here until they were sitting side by side on the blanket before the blazing fire.

---

"These are messy," Rosie giggled, popping the last of her s'more into her mouth.

"I know," Carter sighed happily, smooshing another treat together. "Isn't it great?" she asked, lifting her newly created s'more to her mouth and taking a big, gooey bit. "'is so 'ood," she moaned happily, grinning and chocolaty grin.

Rosie laughed softly at her antics and Carter continued to smile, feeling that funny feeling again as she looked at the other girl. She felt light-headed and tingly, and her stomach was clenching in a way that would have been uncomfortable if it hadn't also been making her feel so giddy and euphoric.

In fact, Carter was so tingly and euphoric and distracted that she didn't notice Rosie's hand moving towards her face until she felt the backs of the princesses fingers glide across her cheek.

Carter gasped, and Rosie's fingers stilled.

"You have," Rosie began a little breathlessly, her fingers hovering uncertainly by Carter's skin, "some chocolate on your face."

"Oh," Carter breathed out, her skin flushing as she realized why Rosie had reached out to touch her. "Where?" she asked, lifting her hand as her face continued to blaze with heat. Dear God, it was mortifying, completely and utterly mortifying. She was sixteen years old for the love of God! She was supposed to be able to eat without smearing food all over her face like an uncoordinated kindergartener.

"It is …" Rosie began, but she stopped mid-sentence and changed tracks. "It will be easier if I do it," the princess said softly, meeting Carter's eyes. "Is that okay?"

Carter nodded dumbly, and Rosie drew her hand back and popped her thumb into her mouth.

Carter's eyes widened perceptively at that, but she said nothing. She simply watched as Rosie pulled her glistening thumb from her mouth and moved it towards Carter's face.

Carter's heart pounded.

Her eyes dropped to watch Rosie's hand as it neared her again as her stomach tied itself in knots.

And then Carter felt the damp press of Rosie's finger on her chin and shivered. Carter's eyes closed in embarrassment, Rosie was touching her. She knew that the princess had felt the shiver, but Rosie continued to clean away the chocolate without commenting on it which Carter was grateful for.

The problem was that Carter was finding it hard not to tremble again.

After all, Rosie was using her spit to clean her face. If it had been anyone else, including her father, Carter would have been grossed out beyond belief and would have batted their hand away before it could've gotten close to her face.

But it wasn't anyone else. It was Rosie. Rosie's spit, Rosie's thumb, and Rosie's eyes on her, and because of that, instead of feeling grossed out, Carter felt … warm. She felt … special. Pulling away from Rosie was the last thing in the world that Carter wanted. She wanted to luxuriate in Rosie's touch for as long as she could.

"There," Rosie pronounced an immeasurable amount of time later.

The sound of her voice brought Carter out of the haze she had fallen into, and the American found herself blinking almost sleepily at the other girl as she tried to get her brain to engage once more.

"Thanks," Carter whispered, still feeling dazed.

Her skin prickled where Rosie's fingers were still resting against her.

"You're welcome," Rosie murmured, stroking her thumb up Carter's chin, the pad of her thumb just barely ghosting over the corner of Carter's mouth before she pulled her hand back and smiled shyly.

"Rosie," Carter said impulsively, reaching out for the princess's hand.

"Yes," Rosie responded, her wide, hopeful eyes meeting Carter's boldly.

Carter swallowed compulsively and licked her lips. She hadn't a clue what she wanted to say to Rosie when she spoke up, and she still didn't have an idea what to say now that she had Rosie's full attention. No, that wasn't true. She knew what she wanted to say, it was just that now that she had Rosie's full attention she was scared to say it.

"Thank you," Carter repeated, the words sticking in her suddenly dry mouth.

Her shoulders slumped slightly as she spoke. That wasn't what she had wanted or yearned to say. She was just filling dead air.

"You already thanked me," Rosie pointed out gently, though Carter could hear a trace of what sounded like disappointment in her voice.

"Yeah," Carter agreed softly. "Sorry," she added lamely.

She wanted to look away from Rosie then, but she found that she couldn't. She was powerless against the pull of the princess's honey gaze. She'd chickened out on saying what she really wanted, but she couldn't stop thinking about how nice it was to look at Rosie, and how nice Rosie smelled, and how warm and soft her hands were, and how much she wanted to lean forward and press her lips against Rosie's.

Carter's eyes widened at the turn her thoughts had taken and a shot of adrenaline rushed through her system.

All of the warning systems in her brain were going off.

Danger, danger, Carter Mason! Abort mission! Tactical retreat!

The thoughts she was having weren't new. As she and Rosie grew closer together she had been thinking more and more about the princess, and how much she liked it when they touched, and what it would feel like to touch Rosie the way she wanted to, and to kiss her the way she wanted to.

It had always just been a daydream in the past though, a flight of fancy. She had never been tempted to actually try and kiss Rosie.

But right then, sitting next to Rosie in front of the blazing fire, she was tempted. Oh God was she tempted. And it would be so easy. Rosie was so close to her. She would barely have to move. All she would have to do is lean forward ever so slightly and …

Danger, danger, Carter Mason! Abort! Abort!

Carter cleared her throat and straightened her back as her eyes slipped away from Rosie's.

"So uh, chocolaty mishaps aside," Carter began awkwardly, "you have to admit that s'mores are one of the world's artificially processed wonders, ri …"

Rosie's hand moved to cup Carter's cheek and immediately the American stopped speaking.

The princess held Carter's eyes for what felt like an eternity to the Louisiana native. Rosie's gaze was searching, probing, and then a determined look came into the princess's eyes and Carter felt tingly again and licked her lips.

"They are … lovely," Rosie breathed out.

Carter thought that was a strange way to describe s'mores. However, before she could about Rosie's choice of words any further, the princess leaned forward and pressed their lips together.

Carter's eyes slid closed and her hand squeezed Rosie's tightly as she leaned into the kiss.

Rosie's lips were soft and sweet, against her own. The kiss was light and undemanding, but it made Carter tingle and her toes curl.

The contact between their lips ignited a fire in Carter, and as Rosie gently continued to kiss her, Carter reached out for Rosie with her free hand and placed it on the princess's hip, using the little strength she had left in the wake of Rosie's lips to tug the princess closer to her until their bodies were pressed against each other as well.

When Rosie finally pulled away from Carter's lips long, breathless moments later, the American's eyes were still closed, and a small sound of protest escaped from her throat.

That desperate, wanting sound reaching her ears shook Carter out of the stupor she had fallen into and she forced her eyes open to find Rosie smiling at her and blushed, deeply.

"I have wanted to do that for a long time," Rosie whispered.

Her voice was shaky for the first time since they had met, and the sound of it sent a flutter of pleasant tingles through Carter's body.

"Me too," Carter responded softly, squeezing Rosie's hand again. "But I was scared," she admitted, the fuzzy feeling enveloping her body after Rosie's kiss making her more open than she normally would have been.

"Me too," Rosie admitted bashfully. "There were many moments when I wanted to, but I always talked myself out of it," she continued, remembering Carter leaning against her shoulder on the swing as a can of coke sweated wetly in her hand. She had wanted so very badly to lean down and press her lips to Carter's at that moment, but she had been sure that her kiss wouldn't have been welcomed then.

"Really?" Carter asked, smiling widely.

Rosie nodded, and this time it was her turn to blush.

"What made you this time?" Carter asked, unconsciously licking her lips again.

"The way you were looking at me," Rosie breathed out, that tremulous quality appearing in her voice again. "I just … knew that it would be okay this time; that you wanted to kiss me too. I felt it in my bones. We have a saying in Costa Luna for moments like it."

"What?" Carter asked softly, looking over at Rosie longingly.

"La razón es para eruditos, el sentimiento es para amantes," Rosie recited making Carter practically swoon. She had never told Rosie, and she probably wouldn't tell her any time soon, but it did pleasant things to her body when Rosie spoke in Spanish.

"And what does that mean?" Carter asked, her voice a touch gravelly as she smiled at the girl beside her.

"Reason is for scholars, feeling is for lovers," Rosie breathed out, her cheeks flushing slightly as the last word feel from her lips.

"I like it," Carter murmured, her cheeks colouring a little as well as she what Rosie must have been thinking about to make her blush.

"I like you," Rosie you replied, her gaze dropping to take in Carter's lips while her thumb stroked the back of the hand Carter was holding onto her tightly with.

"I could tell," Carter said softly, her lips curving up in small, teasing smile than sent Rosie's hormones into a maelstrom. "I like you too," Carter added a moment later, her voice cracking just the slightest bit as she spoke.

"I could tell," Rosie responded with a smile, her words making Carter's lips curve up as well.

They sat in silence, regarding each other for a little while until Carter finally worked up the nerve to speak.

"I really want to kiss you again," Carter whispered roughly. Her hand trembling above Rosie's as she spoke.

"I really want you to kiss me again," Rosie responded holding Carter's eyes steadily with her own.

Carter smiled, and then did as her princess wished.

The End