A/N: I saw Star Struck last night (technically, but it's after midnight and I'm still up on Valentine's Day, so...whatever you call it), and I thought it was very sweet. Thus, I had the sudden inspiration to do this for the sake of Christopher and Jessica's adorable relationship. Hope you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Struck or any of the characters mentioned here (or not). They belong to Disney and anyone affiliated.


Understood

"So, we understand each other, then?" Jessica was giving him that look again: the one where she dipped her head low and glanced up at him with her subtle, blue eyes, a happy, teasing smile being withheld by rosy cheeks. Oh, was she beautiful…

He smiled, his own blue eyes catching hers in that way that caused her composure to very nearly break, her lips quivering with the weight of it. "I would imagine so, yes. You've only been asking to go to this party for weeks, and I have been happily—" He leaned forward now, getting into her face with eyes wide and face one giant smirk. "—denying you all along!"

She shriek-laughed in protest and slapped his arm, removing herself from his invasion of personal space—one of their running jokes—as her grin finally came through, while he held the stricken limb in mock pain, a beam alighting his own countenance. They laughed together for a moment before sobering.

For an instant, Christopher just stared at her. Her smile shrunk, grew small with embarrassment and hued pink by the natural blush painting her cheeks, but he only grinned all the wider. He was mesmerized by her, body, mind, and soul, had been since they'd met, and this was nothing new to them.

Taking her hand in his, he looked down at their intertwined fingers before peering up at her. "You know, you really are beautiful."

She gazed at him, her eyes roaming to find the shining truth she knew to lay behind those eyes, and her voice was soft when she countered, "So are you."

He gave a quiet, one-breath chuckle and kissed her. It was sweet, slow, and there was nothing to bother them; they were on the sun-bathed patio by the pool at his house in Los Angeles, but both the Michigan and L.A. paparazzi had backed off considerably since each side of the romance's party had shown some backbone. They could be alone here. …Well, as alone as they could be with eight people practically staying in one household.

The kiss ended after a few seconds, and the staring started up again. Christopher's visage changed after a minute, into the one she had long come to know as his protective face.

"Are you sure you want to do this? There are rogue paparazzi in the business, and I don't want—"

"—Christopher!" she intoned softly, effectively getting his attention. "This," she squeezed his hand tightly, giving him a tiny, comforting smile, "has never been about what I want. It's about what I need to do for your career."

He looked at her, speechless, though he had heard this many times over the course of the past eleven months and thirty-one days—Sara was almost obsessively keeping track, nearly as much as she was the timeframe of her own celebrity romance with Chris's best friend. The two had really hit it off after she'd been aroused at the dance, and they had been dating for about nine months now.

Christopher swallowed. "Are you sure? Absolutely?"

Grinning, she issued payback, positioning herself so her face was little more than an inch away from his. "Yes. Absolutely."

Giving her quick kisses on the forehead and nose, he stepped back. Standing upright, Jessica giggled as he tugged her hand gently, and she proceeded to follow him upstairs to her bedroom. Her bedroom. He loved calling it that.

As Jessica only had less than two years of school left and Sara had decided to go to a Channel Islands university, the girls' parents had requested job transfers, which they'd received immediately. There were some perks to being with a celebrity musician, after all…

Christopher's parents, wishing to make up for their years of viewing their son as a money-maker and not as he was, had bought the house down the road for the family—the parents, at first, had protested at the cost, but were put to rest when they saw how happy it had made their daughters—and, considering Stubby practically lived there, the girls saw their respective boyfriends almost every day.

They were happy, all of them. In all honesty, what fans and paparazzi the two couples did meet had taken some getting used to, though on Christopher's part, he tried never to let the press get tooclose and always shielded Jessica from them when they did.

By now—actually, almost as soon as she had arrived on their doorstep—she had been given a room of her own, one which she had decorated herself and which held all of her more dressy clothes; she didn't think she could handle having so many extra clothes at her house, never mind she now had a walk-in, four-walled, three-shelved-on-all-sides closet.

Opening the door for her, he closed it and waited outside. Leaning against the wall, he thought about her, as always.

They had only known each other a short time, but already, he knew he loved her. Truly, beautifully, and serenely, he did. In reality, he had told her as much when he'd gone back for her, the day they'd gotten together at the dance, and while she never said anything about it, her heartbeat had changed since then. It had grown deeper, fuller, more alive, and he was content. It meant she loved him, too, in the only way she knew to speak: from her heart.

She stepped out then, wearing an orange blouse with sequins down the front to accentuate the ivory buttons, as white pants with gold trim around the edges and pockets hugged her thin legs comfortably. Part of her hair was gathered in a simple, though large, dark brown butterfly claw, and the barest hint of lip gloss and mascara had been applied.

He grinned. One thing he loved about her was her zest for what was real; all of those girls who donned themselves with the latest styles and gobs of make-up…inwardly, he shuddered. They were so…fake. What was more, none of them were her.

"You look gorgeous."

"Thanks." She smiled back and took his hand as he offered it, letting him lead her downstairs for a light dinner. They greeted both of their parents, who were there as well, Sara and Albert having already finished. The two Mothers' eyes met as they beamed: they were so adorable!

"I see you've decided to go to the country club this evening."

It was merely an observation on her Father's part, but the former agent beside him nodded in agreement. Christopher's parents were still getting the hang of being regular child-bearers—well, as regular as they could get when their son was a superstar—and were taking 'parenting lessons' of sorts from Jessica's Mom and Dad.

"Yes, Daddy, we have." She grinned widely when Chris pulled her into a one armed hug, and her Father returned the expression in kind.

"All right. Have fun." Then, he turned to the seventeen-year-old male and gave him a straight, pointed look; Jessica almost couldn't stop herself from rolling her eyes. "Take good care of her, son."

The protectiveness there was obvious, one only a Father of a teenage daughter knew, and Christopher would not allow that trust to break for anything. He nodded solemnly, eyes nearly gray and jaw clenched in his promise. "I will, sir. You have my word."

They made this promise every time, and though it was grossly repetitive, Christopher would bear it if he might continue to be with Jessica. He loved her that much—so much—and he would rather have her Father breathing down his neck than have nothing of her at all.

More so, though, he would make sure he stayed true to that promise, not just for her Father's sake, but for his own as well. If anything were ever to happen to her while in his care… He would never be able to look at himself, never be all right again. He knew that; somehow, in the very depths of his soul, he knew that blessed burden well.

Thus, he would be there, whether there was need for it or not.

He loved her that much.

So much.


She was well aware that this relationship wasn't going to be easy, but had long resolved to step back and breathe, for her, for him, for them both. To be with her, he had risked so much, had already done so much, and she could only watch in awe as he kept giving and never taking.

All the same, whether or not anyone else did, Jessica understood him, just as Christopher understood her. Such understanding had taken days, then months, to pour over, to polish and to perfect until all was right, and though there were the occasional splinters in their comprehension of one another, it never failed them in the end.

Hearts beating softly, steadily, perfectly in sync, there was only one thing to say of it:

It was the true definition of being real.