Her mom springs for a new couch when they move into the apartment. She tells Holly J that the old one wouldn't have fit in the room, and that it was far more sensible to just buy a new one.

Holly J just rolls her eyes.


One good thing about the move, she thinks, is that Sav sometimes offers to drive her home after work.

"Your place is on my way home," he explains. "And these meetings run too long anyway."

She eyes the backseat when he parks. "Sometimes they run even longer."

They dive into the seats and they're laughing and giggling until she straddles him and his head presses against the window. She can see traces of a smile in the dark. Holly J rests her hands on his shoulders before covering his lips with her own.

He plants open kisses onto her neck and she sighs, her thumbs settling in the crooks of his elbows.

"Sav," she says as a warning, though it ends up sounding more breathy than she'd like. She feels him smile against her skin. He mumbles a reply and she tries not to arch into him as the breath of his voice grazes her neck.

"Sav," she tries again. "If you leave a mark, I swear to God…"

He laughs and meets her eyes with a mischievous grin before crashing his lips into hers. She's going to need to fix her hair before entering the apartment, but it doesn't matter because right now, they're making out in the backseat of his parents' car, and it's all hushed tones and grabbing at fabrics.

They'll stop before the windows fog up. It makes her feel like a teenager in the best way.


When Holly J tells him he might want to try stepping inside the apartment, he's a bit hesitant. He can't really help it - he didn't expect her to answer the door in pajama bottoms and a tank top, with her hair slightly mussed and gathered in a loose bun at the nape of her neck.

He's never seen her so relaxed. Sav needs time to process the image.

She stands in the doorway and squints up at him, partly because of the sun but mostly because she's annoyed.

"I didn't get up early on a Saturday so we could stare at each other," she says.

He nods and follows her inside, gripping the binders full of class budgets and fundraiser ideas. He sets them down on the dining room table and pulls up a chair while she grabs a plate with two toaster strudel pastries from the kitchen.

"Someone's supposed to come by and fix the stove soon," she says. "So I've been eating these for a week."

Sav watches as Holly J swirls the icing on top of the crust and he smiles at how unguarded she looks. She meets his eyes to offer him a pastry and he declines, deciding in his mind that he's content with just watching her.

Still, he makes an embarrassing noise when she squeezes some icing onto her finger and licks it. She doesn't make the connection and gives him a confused look before settling down next to him.

"So… the budget."

He gives her a sheepish grin.


The next time he visits her it's to study for the history midterm. He's hesitant again, but for different reasons.

"It's just my mom, Sav."

They plop their stuff onto the coffee table and settle into the couch. Her mom ends up being really nice, though she refills the snack bowl a little more often than necessary. Holly J sighs when her mom says she'll be stepping out for groceries and she should be back in half an hour or so.

Sav eyes Holly J tentatively after she gets up to lock the door.

"I think," he says as he closes his textbook, "we should break this couch in."

She raises an eyebrow. "And I think we should ace our midterm."

Holly J hands the textbook back to him before sitting down, and he tilts his head to the ceiling and groans.


They end up breaking in the couch that same day, though it's not the way Sav imagined it.

He calls his parents and ends up staying for dinner, and it goes pretty well - Holly J asks him to pass the plate, Mr. President, and he laughs. They're left alone in the living room and he's halfway finished gathering all his stuff before she asks him if he might be willing to stay a little longer, because the History Channel is airing a special on ancient civilizations, and it would only make sense to watch it while he's here, right?

He stays, and they keep the program on, but they don't take any notes.

Instead, he slumps into the couch and she rests his head on his lap and they end up talking. They go over their midterm schedule, then about the class reps who haven't been pulling their weight, and suddenly they've stumbled into college applications and graduation and how the future seems to be inching closer and closer.

Sav's arm settles near her chest. Holly J drags a lazy finger across his skin.

"You'll be the best at whatever you end up doing," he says softly. "I'm sure of it."

It's the same thing she's been hearing from everyone, but she can feel her breath catch when she hears it from him. She traces a slow, deliberate heart onto his wrist.

"You make me happy," is all she says. She traces another heart. "And you make me hate this couch a little less."

Sav laughs. "I guess that's one way to break it in."

Later, she hands him the remote and he changes the channel to watch an old Dead Hand concert.

She can't help but smile when his fingers tap a song onto her skin.