Title: Dawdling on the Pavement Outside Your House

Author: Mizani Ashki

Pairing,Character(s): CxS

Rating: K

Word Count: 714 words

Spoilers: Entirety of Season One will cover you.

Summary: Chad is tired of running away from the inevitable. So he stops running.

Important Note: AU, doesn't take into account recent news and plot from the second season.

Chad Dylan Cooper is a coward when it comes to love.

He realises this as he stands outside Sonny's apartment block, leaning against the sleek exterior of his jet-black limo for support. He hadn't really come here with a plan, and had regretted it as soon as he'd set foot on the sidewalk.

Her apartment building has never looked more imposing.

He uncharacteristically ruffles his hair and scuffs his shoe on the pavement; clear signs of anxiety, a feeling he isn't normally familiar with. He's making too much of a big deal about this, he knows, because really it should all have been very simple. The cards had been laid out on the table, no need to pretend that he wasn't interested in her, because as it turned out, the feeling was very mutual. And with that out of the way, what was stopping them from dating?

'Me', was the answer to that rhetorical question he thought; Chad Dylan Cooper, so well loved by so many, so adored by numerous fans, and yet love . . . whatever it was that he felt for Sonny was scary beyond all belief, keeping him rooted to spot. He hasn't spoken to her since the incident, and has been studiously avoiding her for the past five days.

Instantaneously, Chad feels a change overcome him at that thought. He clenches his jaw in determination. The girl in the apartment above him probably hates him for taking so long, but he's a selfish guy and he's here now and he wants to stop running away from what seems like the inevitable.

'Man-up', He told himself firmly. Sonny had taken a chance when she'd confessed to him, and now it was his turn to take a leap of faith.

He propelled himself towards the building (ignoring his limo-driver's discreet cough that sounded a lot like 'about time'), and breezes into the building. He steps into the lift and smiles at the other occupant of the elevator, an old lady with a floral hat.

She takes his smile as an invitation for conversation.

"Where are you off to sweetheart?" She gives him a knowing smile, "Seeing a girl you fancy?"

Chad shoves his hands in his pocket nervously as the lift begins to move; he almost considers lying, because he's a little disturbed by her intuition. How did she read him, a total stranger, so well in just under five seconds?

"Right in one," He says bashfully, opting for the truth. He looks at the lady kindly, but brimming with curiosity, "How did you know?"

The lady taps her nose discreetly, "Couldn't get it past me," She clasps her hands together and smiles some more, "You looked like a man with some purpose about you, and when you youngsters are in love you can't help but have it written as clear as day all over your face."

Chad's stomach does a flip at the mention of love; he palms are suddenly starting to feel a little clammy.

"Love is a bit of a strong word to use . . ." He says hesitantly, because maybe the word isn't strong enough.

"Really?" The woman asks, "Think about how you feel next time you see her smile, sweetheart, and if your heart does the tango, then it's definitely love."

Chad doesn't know what to say to that and breathes a small sigh of relief when the lift door whooshes open to reveal Sonny's floor.

"Good luck," The old lady with the floral hat says cheerfully.

"Thanks," Is all Chad can muster before the elevator doors shut.

The hallway seems longer than normal, and the door to her apartment forbiddingly white, the number '24' stamped onto it in bold black.

Here he was, Chad Dylan Cooper standing at the door of one Sonny Monroe, and it feels more real than most anything he's ever experienced up until now. His heart skips as he presses the doorbell.

The door pulls back to reveal Sonny standing on the other side. She is staring at him like he has a third eye, bewildered, because he is probably the last person she was expecting. But then suddenly a warm smile diffuses across her face.

"Kept me waiting long enough."

There is no going back from here.

His heart does the tango.

A/N: A belated v-day drabble. It's very disjointed and I can't say I'm entirely happy with it, but the fluff needed to be written. A sequel from Sonny's perspective may arise, but for now this is a stand alone drabble.

Review at your leisure (and I hope you guys had a lovely valentines day!)