So, I haven't reallly written or read anything in this fandom for the longest time. But then someone sent me a link to a Lily/James story, and I remembered quite how much I absolutely love this story, and was inspired. It's just a one-shot, when Lily finally realises that she can reciprocate the feelings that James has made blatantly obvious from day one. Yay!

This may be full of mistakes, by the way. I'm not very good at reading over my own stuff. I don't know why. I'm just...not. Enjoy, though! And review!

He lies there on the starched white sheets, unmoving. At first glance, he even looks... well, dead. But he's not. She has to keep reminding herself of that as she keeps vigil by his bedside; her little fingers wrapped around his entirely too hot, calloused and large ones.

She watches his face for some – any – kind of movement, but she's rewarded with nothing. He's only asleep, but his face is like marble.

She's vaguely aware of her leg muscles beginning to cramp. She's been sitting here for an awfully long time. But she's definitely not going to move. Not a chance.

Madame Pomfrey, on her usual rounds of the Hogwarts Hospital wing, pokes her head silently around the divide that separates the silent pair from all of her other patients. She's vaguely amused to see the look of utter tenderness on the girl's face. She doesn't look up, her bright eyes focussed on the boy, and Madame Pomfrey moves away once more, unseen.

The girl wills him to wake up. It's such a stupid thing. This stupid boy fell off of his stupid broomstick during his stupid Quidditch match. Trying to impress her. As always. Stupid.

But that was nearly eighteen hours ago, and he hasn't responded at all since then.

He's been trying to impress her for so long, but she's always spurned his advances. She's always hated him.

Why, now, of all times, does she find she's discovering all of these new feelings? This is such an inconvenient time to realise that she actually cares about him, what happens to him. Well, not now, exactly – but before, when she'd seen him fall all that way, and she hadn't been able to breathe, absolutely frozen, horrified and terrified. And then, when they'd carried his lifeless body from the pitch to the jeers of the Slytherins and utter silence from everyone else, and she'd thought he was dead.

She'd also known that, if he was, she'd regret every insult, every rejection, and every name she'd ever thrown at him. And that she'd never be happy again.

She feels the fatigue start to creep back over her once more, and the clock on the wall above her ticks incessantly as another hour or so passes. She isn't supposed to think these things about James Potter. James Potter. She's always despised him, right from the very first moment they met – when he and his friends had let off a dungbomb in her compartment on the train, where she'd been sitting with Sev, reading.

That's seven years ago, now, and to be honest, not very much has changed. In fact, just last week she'd entered her private room – there were perks to being head girl – to be treated to that same unmistakeable scent. And she'd given him hell for it too, marching across their shared common room to his room, throwing open the door to find he and Sirius Black rolling around on the floor, having a jolly old time.

No, nothing has changed at all.

With one hand still clasped around his, she reaches for the cup of coffee that Madame Pomfrey left for her a few hours ago. It's stone cold and bitter, but she swallows it down anyway. She doesn't want to leave, or even fall asleep.

Perhaps some things have changed though, she thinks, as she nurses her cold mug. People change and, like it or not, even Potter has grown up a bit. Mostly physically – he's still mostly as immature as a first year – but he can be caring, too. She can't ignore the way he always keeps a seat for her at breakfast, always makes sure she never gets shoved in the general hustle and bustle of the school in motion between classes. He's always just there, a dark presence at her back, and he's always got her back, defending her when she had a hard time with some obnoxious Slytherins. He even helps her with her least favourite subject – Transfiguration – which, annoyingly, has always come easily to him. He can be gallant when he wants to be, and is undoubtedly very brave. A true Gryffindor. And lately, she's even found herself enjoying his presence when they sit in their Common Room late at night, swapping stories of their respective childhoods and arguing over politics and other things which she never thought he'd like.

But then, she's grown up, too. She doesn't feel the need to tear her hair out and insult him to high heaven every time he opens his mouth to speak any more. At least – not often.

And her feelings have grown up too, apparently. Not that she meant them to. In fact, this whole experience is bizarre: a little scary, completely unexpected and a total accident. Ha. How ironic.

"For god's sake, James. Are you trying to make this as dramatic as possible? Would you please just wake up? I'm sorry. Look, I am. I know I'm an idiot. I won't be so mean any more. I know you think I hate you, but I don't, James – not really. Not for a long time. In fact, I've... never mind. Just... please wake up. It's bloody freezing in here... Hello? Come on, this is getting old, now. Please, come on. How long are you planning to keep this up? James—"

Her monologue is interrupted when he stirs slightly. His mouth opens, then closes, and then opens again. "Lil?"

"James..." She can do nothing but stare at him in relief as his eyelids flicker and he groans quietly. Madame Pomfrey had said that he'd be in a lot of pain, but that it would pass- eventually – and he'd be completely fine again in a few days.

But a few days are a long time when you've got nothing else to do but sit and wait.

In a moment she discovers the power of movement again, and her free hand reaches up to brush the matted hair from his forehead, her fingers practically scalded by his skin. "You're really hot."

Even in the midst of his fever, he manages to crack that infamous cocky grin that she's come to know and love. "Knew you thought so, Evans."

Wait, hang on... love?

Rolling her eyes, but unable to get mad for relief, she goes to move unwillingly away for a moment to find Madame Pomfrey. His grip around her hand tightens, cementing her in place. "Lily? Where are you going?"

He sounds so vulnerable, so childlike, that she finds herself physically unable to move from her hard wooden chair.

"Nowhere, James. I'm not going anywhere."

And she doesn't.

I really love Lily and James. I think it's so sad that their story has to come to so abrupt an ending, so early on, which I suppose I love reading fics about them in their youth, before everything else came along and screwed everything up. I dunno. Whatever. Thanks for reading. :)