~While You Wait~

It was getting dark. I was late. I rummaged through my drawers trying to find something decent that was still comfortable enough to sleep in.

"I'd better not hear any bad reports from your teachers," Mom said, through the door.

"You won't," I insisted back. Tonight was a parent-teacher night and my mom was more than a little freaked, though that wasn't uncommon.

When I found something to wear, I bolted out of my room and into the bathroom to grab my toothbrush. I knocked into Drew on the way. "Where's the fire?" he asked.

"I'm just late for meeting Eli," I said, quickly.

"You're looking pretty stressed for just Eli," Drew observed.

"Yeah, yeah," I said. Normally, he'd tease me further, but Drew hadn't really been his usual self since Vegas Night.

I rushed down the stairs, nearly tripping on my own feet as I headed for the door. "Where are you going in such a hurry?" Mom asked.

"I'm sleeping over at Eli's," I said, pulling open the door. "'Night!"

"Wait a minute!" Mom shouted, rounding on me. She was dressed in her best clothes and looked even more threatening than usual. I couldn't wait until she found out about the day I skipped with "the stomach flu".

"Whaaat?" I whined.

"You're staying overnight with Eli?" she asked with her hands on her hips.

"Yeah..." I said. "You know... Eli. My best friend, Eli. You've only met him a dozen times. Ringing any bells?"

"I know who he is, Adam, " Mom said. "But you are not sleeping overnight with a boy."

"What? Mom!" I snapped. "That's ridiculous. Friends stay overnight all the time."

"But Eli isn't just a friend, Adam," Mom continued. "He's a boy."

"And so am I, Mom!" I shouted. "Don't tell me you'd rather me stay over with a girl who I'd actually want to have sex with?"

Mom's face went scarlet. "W-well, you might not want to sleep with Eli, but that doesn't mean he-"

"Ew, gross, Mom!" I screeched.

"Men have only one thing in mind at that age, Adam," Mom insisted. "Believe me, I know."

"Eli's dating Clare," I said. "And he actually realizes that I'm a guy, just like him. Unlike you."

Dad turned the corner. "What's going on? Aren't we going to be late?"

"Adam wants to sleep over at Eli's house tonight," Mom explained in an irritated voice.

I could see the thoughts flying around Dad's head. He didn't say much, most of the time, but I could tell that there were many things he just didn't share. His face went from concern to acceptance in about 4 seconds. "Well, don't stay up too late."

Mom's eyes were on fire. She turned to scold Dad, and I escaped out the door. I ran with all of my energy for about 5 blocks before I realized I didn't want to get all sweaty. I hated that I didn't have a car yet.

I almost lost my nerve when I arrived in front of Fiona's apartment. I took a deep breath and went in. I knocked on the door and took another breath. The door glided open.

"You're late," Fiona said with a smile. "I was starting to worry."

"Sorry," I said. "My Mom was giving me a hard time."

"Well, are you ready to go?" Fiona asked. She grabbed her coat and draped it over her arm.

"Actually..." Deep breaths, Adam... "I thought maybe we could stay in tonight?"

My toothbrush felt heavy in my pocket as Fiona contemplated my suggestion. "I guess there wouldn't be anything wrong with that."

I tried not to let my joy onto my face too much. "Cool."

Fiona offered my entrance with her arm. I walked past her, and she closed the door and put her coat back. I sat on the couch, peeking over at Fiona. She smiled, when she noticed.

"So, I'm not much of a cook," she said. "Pizza?"

"Sure," I said. I was so nervous that I wasn't sure I could eat, but I had to keep up appearances.

"Let me guess, pepperoni and mushrooms on your side?" Fiona asked.

I nodded. She knew me well. Fiona ordered, then sat next to me. My heart was pounding.

"TV or music?" she asked.

"Music," I answered. It was more romantic. Hopefully.

Fiona picked up a remote and turned on her very expensive-looking stereo set. "Wow," I said.

Fiona laughed. "I wish that 'wow' was for me and not my stuff," she teased.

"Wow isn't good enough for you," I said, honestly.

The music playing was soft and sensual. I wasn't sure what language it was in, but I didn't understand a word. Fiona scooted closer to me, and I kissed her. She didn't pull away. I slowly pulled her into me. I ran my fingers up her arms, and she giggled into my lips.

The pizza came too soon. Fiona's side was broccoli and cauliflower with ranch dressing. It didn't really look like pizza to me, but I only laughed and shook my head.

"What?" Fiona laughed back.

"Nothing," I smirked.

Fiona leaned against me as she ate. I loved every second that we were touching.

"Soooo..." she said, looking my way.

I was in the middle of chewing; I swallowed quickly. "Uh, want to play 20 questions?"

"What's that?" Fiona asked, raising an eyebrow. "Isn't it some kind of electronic thing?"

"Not that," I said. "I just meant... we could ask each other questions to get to know each other better."

It was a stupid idea, but she smiled. "Sure. Ask away."

There were quite a few questions I really wanted to ask, but I decided to start out safe.

"Where's your favorite place that you've visited?" I asked.

"Oh, that's tough!" Fiona said, biting her lip. "Declan would probably say Italy, but I don't know if I could choose."

"It's okay," I said. "You don't have to."

"Well, ask another one," Fiona said, smiling.

"What's your favorite movie?" I asked.

"Favorite of all... or one you'd actually have heard of?" she asked.

"Your most favorite," I said.

"Let the Right One In," Fiona said, looking for my reaction.

"It sounds... kind of familiar," I said, thinking hard.

"It's a vampire movie," Fiona added.

"Oh, no," I muttered. "Not you, too. Sometimes Clare won't shut up about Twilight and Fort Night and Vampire Diaries."

"Ugh, sounds like Holly J.," Fiona said, rolling her eyes. "This is much different. I can't stand those pretty vampires either."

I laughed. "So, then, what's your favorite that I've heard of?" I asked.

"That's cheating," Fiona teased.

"Just one extra," I said.

Fiona sighed. "Okay, fine. It sounds cliché, but Titanic," Fiona said. "It's a special memory."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, I was too young to go, but my parents got invited to the premiere," Fiona said. "My Mom told me the story... an edited version, anyways, as a bedtime story when she got home. And honestly, I have a little obsession with tragic romance."

I didn't really know what to say to that. "Uh, well... your turn."

"What do you want to do with your life?" Fiona asked.

My mind went blank. It was a bit more of a serious question than what I'd asked so far. Maybe it was a simple thing for most people, but I really had spent most of the last few years just scraping by, trying to strike a balance between staying under the radar and actually living.

Fiona must have seen the indecisiveness in my face. "You don't... have any ideas? Not even a dream job?"

"Well, maybe..." I said.

"What, then?" She looked on the edge of her seat with enthusiasm, but I didn't want to tell her. It would sound too dorky.

"What's yours?" I asked, instead.

"Lately, I've been thinking I want to be a fashion designer," Fiona said. There was a wistful sound to her words. "I wouldn't really have to do anything. For a long time, I didn't know what I wanted to do, because no one really asked me. They just expected me to marry high up and just enjoy being rich and raising babies, I guess."

I frowned. "That's stupid!"

She looked hurt. "No, no... I didn't mean... not the part with your fashion thing. The expecting you to sit on your hands and raise babies for a living."

Fiona smiled, then shrugged. "I thought I wanted that, too... for a long time."

"Really?' I asked.

Fiona nodded. "But more recently, I sort of had that idea... smacked out of me, you could say. I know better now."

Somehow, my heart was racing. I thought I knew what she was talking about. Things that Clare had told me she heard. Fiona's recent past hadn't been pretty.

"So, won't you tell me what your dream is?" Fiona asked.

I sighed. "Alright, but don't laugh."

"Now, why would I laugh?" Fiona said.

"I'd like to be... a comic book artist," I admitted.

"Hm. Interesting," Fiona said. There was something going on in her head that made me nervous.

"Yeah, Eli and I talked about maybe him doing the story and me doing the art... but it's stupid, isn't it?" I said.

Fiona shrugged. "If it's something you enjoy, then it's not stupid at all."

A weight was lifted off me. "Really?" I asked, excitedly.

"Sure," Fiona said. "I don't know anything about comic books, but I do know a little about art. Most designers are good with sketches and such."

"Cool," I said. "I've been practicing... sort of. There's been a lot of drama getting in the way lately."

"I know what you mean," Fiona said. She smiled, then was quiet for a few moments. "You know what? I'm thinking about a scene in Titanic. Can you guess which?"

"Uh...?" I frowned. What did that matter? I knew Mom had made Gracie watch it with her at some point, but I really couldn't remember. "No... sorry."

Fiona giggled. "You've seen it, right? I bet it's the only scene you'd really remember."

"Well, what made you think of it?" I asked.

"I just thought you might want a model sometime," Fiona said. "For practicing purposes."

Something sparked in my head. Gracie sitting on the couch with Mom bored out of "her" mind, when there was a flash of naked breast on screen. I could feel the blood rushing to my face.

Fiona was laughing so hard, that she turned away covering her mouth with her hand.

"Y-you want me to draw you like that?" I asked.

"Hey, I wasn't going that far with it..." Fiona cautioned. "But maybe, if you're good, I'd let you see me in my nightgown."

"Maybe... we could do that tonight?" I asked, carelessly.

"Feeling inspired are we?" Fiona asked, tilting her head knowingly.

Yeah. Definitely inspired.

"Oh, fine, then..." Fiona said without a word from me. She handed me her sketch book, then floated off into her bedroom to change. I tried not to lose my cool while I waited. It wasn't working.

My mouth fell open when she came back into the room. Her nightie was blue and black... and short... and tight. I wanted to stare at her forever, but I didn't want her to think I was a perv. I forced myself to look away, resulting in a strange head jerk.

Fiona giggled. "Are you all right?"

"Y-yeah," I said. I wanted to rub away the blush that had - without doubt - invaded my face. I looked down at Fiona's sketch pad. "Let's, um, get started."

I hadn't taken any formal classes. I hadn't drawn any of my friends, either. This was my first try at representing an actual person. As I moved my hand across the page, I started to wonder if this had been a good idea.

I wasn't sure how long it had been when I noticed Fiona looking irritated. "Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yeah, but I think that's enough posing for tonight," Fiona said. "We'll work on it again next time." Then, she gave me a look. By now, I knew what that look meant.

I joined Fiona on the couch and our lips met again. I was a little more calm this time, though not at all less heated. My hand slowly moved upwards. Then, Fiona pulled away.

"I'm sorry," I said, automatically.

"It's not you," she said, shaking her hand. "Sometimes, I think there's something wrong with me. Beyond the obvious, I mean."

"You're amazing," I asserted. "Absolutely amazing."

Fiona smiled weakly. "So are you. So, why can't I...?"

I frowned. "Maybe it's because I'm..."

"No," Fiona said, at once. "That's definitely not it."

I didn't feel so sure. I must have started to gravitate away from Fiona, because she pulled me back and buried her head in my chest. My face was on fire. I felt her hand slip under my shirt and touch my bare stomach. I inhaled sharply.

It was killing me. There was a war going on in my head. I wanted her so badly, but I couldn't let her do what she didn't want to. "Stop," I said.

Fiona pulled away slowly. She looked more embarrassed than I'd ever seen her. "I'm trying," she mumbled.

I sighed. I took the hand that had gone under my shirt in one of mine and tried to think of the right thing to say. "You... don't have to. I... wouldn't want it that way. We'll wait."

"And what if I never want to, Adam?" Fiona asked, desperately. "What if I'm that weird?"

I took a deep breath. "It doesn't matter," I said, finally.

"You don't mean it," Fiona said, turning away.

I pulled her back. "Look at me, Fiona," I said, seriously. "Do I look like I don't mean it?"

We stared at each other for awhile, then she scooted as close to me as she could possibly be without being in my lap. Fiona was deep in my arms, and I heard her sniffle against me. When she finally pulled away, she wiped her eyes quickly.

"It's getting late," Fiona said, looking at the clock on her stereo. The music had stopped playing long ago. "Will your Mom be mad?"

"Actually..." I said, hoping she wouldn't feel pressured by my words. "I told her I was sleeping at Eli's."

"Oh," Fiona answered, quietly. She knew what I had intended.

"Don't worry," I said, standing. "I'll just actually go to Eli's. I'm sure he won't mind."

"You don't have to," Fiona said, suddenly. "You can sleep here."

"Oh," I said, hesitantly. "Thanks." My eyes naturally gravitated to the couch, which was probably really expensive, but it was still a couch.

Fiona giggled, and a sort of relief flowed into me. "You don't have to sleep on the couch. You can sleep with me."

"Are you sure?" I asked, trying to consciously slow the speeding of my heart.

"Yes, I'm sure," she said. And she looked it.

I sat back down, and we spent the next few hours watching TV. It wasn't overly romantic or exciting, but Fiona had her head on my shoulder most of the time. When I saw her yawning, I knew it was time for bed. I could have stayed up forever with her, but sleeping with her - no matter how literal - was bound to be wonderful.

We took turns in the bathroom. I brushed my teeth calmly, but when I came out and saw her in bed waiting for me, I couldn't help getting excited. I climbed into the other side of her bed and tried to slow my breathing before she noticed.

When I turned my head to look at her, she looked worried again. "Is this weird?" she asked.

I thought about it for a minute. "Not in a bad way," I decided. It was exactly the way to describe us - both singularly and together. We were definitely weird, but that didn't mean bad.

Fiona smiled. And when we lied back, she put her head on my chest and her arms around me. I sighed happily, and she laughed against me. "You know... you can stay over and sleep anytime you want," Fiona said. "While you wait..."

"I'll take you up on that," I said, as bravely as I could. Then, we said our goodnights.

As I stared up at her ceiling waiting for sleep to overtake me, I thought more about what Fiona had said, what she'd been scared of. In the end, I was scared too for different reasons. That didn't mean I didn't want to, but if she never could... how would I feel?

But feeling Fiona's weight against me, hearing her quiet breathing, I knew it really didn't matter. If this was as good as it got, that would be fine. I smiled to myself... I was a lucky guy already.