A/N: Why...hello there! Been a while! Voila! The Epilogue! Lalala, I don't really have anything else to say in particular about this. LOL

However! I do want to thank Em for her patience and persistence, because this would not have been completed without her (as always).

We also thought it would be cool to have a sort of Q & A Session if people are interested. Any answers to questions would basically be more story, or back-story, so if you have any questions or always wanted to know something about the conception behind a scene, idea, whatever, this is your chance. We can talk about this story 24/7 to each other (and do!), so it's more an opportunity to have that be shared with the readers. Anything is fair game. Ask via any medium you wish-Twitter, PMs, etc., and I'll post them all to Twitter.


Epilogue


TPOV

I liked our new apartment. Truthfully, the apartment itself hadn't mattered. It was home because she was in it. But it was sort of perfect for us. It was in Chelsea, which was closer for her to work and not any farther for me to get to school. We looked at eleven different apartments before finding this one, so in this case I guess the twelfth was the charm. It took less than a month for us to find it, and even though the initial thought of moving while in school was completely antithetical to basically everything, it fit us so perfectly that we had to jump on the chance. It was just one bedroom, but we didn't need anything more than that. It had a standing washer and dryer right behind the door as you walked in, which was awesome—I hadn't had laundry in the actual place I lived since I was at home. I wouldn't miss trucking loads up and down stairs to a basement facility. The kitchen was just to the left after the door. It was small but functional and Allison seemed to like it even if it was smaller than her old apartment. The cabinetry was black, which I thought was tasteful and the walls were white, but we could always paint them later if we wanted to.

The table/dining area was just after the kitchen; it fit a table and four chairs so that's all that was required. Beyond that was the living room space and further before the bedroom was probably the thing that sold us on the apartment (besides the bedroom that we both loved). It had this little nook with a desk, and she insisted that I needed a desk for school. I'd be lying if the nook itself didn't turn on my inner-geek; it had bookshelves and while it was a small area, it was the neatest feature of any apartment we'd seen. The living room was bigger than I thought it would be, and the bedroom rivaled the size of my old apartment. The coolest thing about the bedroom was that it basically filled the entire width of the apartment, had a decent-sized bathroom (no tiniest shower in the world here), had a big closet, two nearly full-sized windows that let in an amazing amount of natural light, and one wall of exposed brick. The living room actually had the same exposed brick, but it just looked way cooler in the bedroom. Tile in the kitchen and bathroom, hardwood floors throughout the rest that were really gorgeous—it was an incredible space. And it had a fucking window air conditioner unit. It really didn't get any better. It felt like home walking in, and I think she felt the same. It had a certain feeling to the space that the other ones we looked at didn't have. Some of the others would have worked, but they just didn't feel right.

Move-in consisted of everyone both of us knew, and anyone else we knew by acquaintance that we could con into carrying a box into an elevator and down a hallway. There was also no feasible way to jam a mattress or box spring into an elevator in case anyone was wondering. Not that we tried that or anything. Or that Aidan and I had to haul the fuckers up four flights of stairs. I would never hear the end of that one. There was also the matter of a coffee table that may or may not have gotten stuck in said elevator. It took four of us to figure out how to get it out, and by the time we did, I was about two seconds away from breaking the fucking legs off to just get it in the goddamned apartment. There was also snow. And frigid temperatures. All-in-all, I would not suggest a move in New York City in early March.

So new apartment: excellent. Move-in: completed. Unpacking: epic clusterfuck.

Somehow between the excitement over moving into a new place, and the Oh, shit, we have to unpack now, two really significant things occurred—midterms and a sick girlfriend. The two should be mutually exclusive.

They both happened really fast, too. Midterms were just suddenly there instead of looming, and it was safe to say I was pretty much freaking the fuck out. It had been a seriously long time since I had to worry about a midterm. The tests and the papers were bad enough, but grades tended to hinge on midterms and I was so not ok with that. What if I fucked it up? What if my mind went completely blank and I had absolutely no answers? What if I hadn't paid attention well enough? Then what? Why the fuck I let my advisor talk me into four classes that required a shitton of work, I'll never know. She should have known on sight that this was going to be hell on earth. Why hadn't she suggested a drama class, or music, or a fucking wellness class? Instead I was buried in Foundations of Everything Under The Fucking Sun, and writing. And writing. And more writing. And reading shit that wasn't even remotely relevant to anything ever.

Allison went from unpacking one day to laid up, flu-induced weakling the next. It seemed like it came completely out of nowhere but given that we'd moved in the middle of winter and she was exposed to god knows what while we were both severely stressed did not prove to be an agreeable mix. I was not well equipped to handle a sick girlfriend. I was not well equipped to handle a sick me, and getting sick before and in the midst of midterms was not an option at all. So I did the only thing that I knew how to do, and the only thing that seemed like a reasonable option. I called my mother.

Yup, I did the only thing a man stressed beyond belief while still needing to care for the person he loved could do: called in the parental cavalry.

In my defense, the second she got sick, Allison turned our apartment into a sectional quarantine zone. She stayed in the bedroom where all the germs lived, and I lived on the couch like any good college student should. I showered at Aidan's. I showered at school. I was forced to use Lysol spray like I was a complete germaphobe.

My mother was actually the one that made the diagnosis: high fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, look of death = flu.

Flu quarantine + midterms = Misery.

I wasn't sure how life went from the most awesome time ever of excitement and living together alone to hell on earth, but it fucking sucked. I was being overly dramatic. I wasn't even the one that was sick. But the fact that we had a nicer couch did nothing to discount the gloom and desolation of sleeping on it alone for the better part of a week. Life just blew. And not in the fun get blown way. I hadn't been blown in over a week.

At least my mother brought soup. I must have looked pitiful and stressed enough that I got some, too. Chicken noodle—comfort food of mothers everywhere and the pathetically sick or pathetically deprived and emotionally unstable.

The injustice of it all was sort of shattering. I anticipated moving and unpacking to involve a certain sense of adventure, of romance. Of swiping school books off the desk and fucking on it. Sex on every new surface. Sex in every room. Watching her make dinner in our kitchen. Eating dinner at our table. Fucking on our table. Testing the shower. I hadn't even seen the shower since we moved in.

Getting up and going to school was just depressing. This was definitely depression. Sick and sex-deprived depression.

After my second midterm, my trudge home seemed endless. And for the first time all week, the couch actually seemed appealing. I just wanted to melt into it and forget I had two more midterms, except I had a ton of shit to go over so that probably wasn't realistic. I was probably in for another night of cram and panic while looking longingly at the bedroom door. Maybe my mother left extra soup; that would be a happy surprise and an upturn to the otherwise dinner from a can I had planned. Allison would probably be sleeping, so I opened the door to the apartment as quietly as possible, and managed to shut it just as gently.

I plopped on the couch and put my head back. I think I deserved a nap before the cramming session. My head turned automatically towards the bedroom door, and I sighed.

"Tyler?"

I got up immediately, nearly colliding into the door. She still sounded awful, but at least she was awake. "Hey. You ok?"

"I'm ok, yeah."

"You need anything?"

"No. How was your test?"

I sighed, touching the door and running my finger in groove of the design, following the wood grain. I wanted to open it so badly. I just wanted to see her; talk to her like a normal person, not through a fucking door. I wanted to touch her. I wanted a hug. I wanted to feel her tiny hands and the way her head burrowed into my chest, and how everything was going to be ok regardless of midterms or anything else. I wanted to hold her because she was sick and bring her shit—all the stuff my mom was doing instead.

"Tyler?"

"Yeah, sorry. The test was fine I guess."

"You worried?"

"I miss you." I sounded so pathetic. More pathetic than she did all sick and congested and nasal.

She sniffled. "I miss you, too."

"I wanna open the door."

"You can't get sick, Tyler."

Maybe I didn't care about being sick anymore. Maybe I wouldn't get sick. I sighed, and turned, sliding my way down the door until I was sitting. My head thumped back against the wood. "How are you feeling?" I asked.

"I feel a little better, I think. Are you avoiding my question?"

"No, not really."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah."

"So?"

"I think it went ok. I dunno, it's over at least."

"How many more do you have?"

"Two."

"Halfway then."

Stop being so positive! Life sucks right now! "Did my mom stop today?"

"Yup. Like clockwork. Soup and juice and a resupply of tissues and more cough drops than all of New York City could use. And I finally took a shower today. That helped."

"That's good. I'm glad she's taking care of you." Because I'm not…

She knew what I meant of course without me saying it. "Tyler," she said, sighing. "I know you would."

"Yeah."

"So tell me about your day."

"Just the test. Sucky. Tell me about yours instead."

"Oh, I'm sure mine was much more thrilling than yours. I woke up to coughing and not being able to breathe through my nose. Then I proceeded to take a much needed shower because I'm disgusting, which totally wore me out, so I took a nap. Then your mom came and brought more wonderful soup and supplies, and I took massive quantities of over-the-counter medications. Then I fell asleep watching a movie. I felt a little less like dying and now you're here. Woo."

Just hearing her say that much was awesome. We hadn't exactly made a thing out of through-the-door-conversations, so that was probably the longest I'd heard from her in days. I was smiling like a fucking crazy man. "Oh, hey, you know that crazy lady that lives on the second floor? The one that, like, stalked us when we were moving in and looked all disapproving like we hadn't cleared it with her first?"

"Yeah."

"So I leave this morning and I get in the elevator, and she's already on it. Which is fucking weird already because she lives below us, right? So I dunno if she was just going for a little ride or if there was some purpose to her being on the elevator otherwise, but I had to ride down with her."

"Yeah. What did she do?"

"It wasn't really what she was doing; it was what she was wearing."

"What was she wearing?"

"A garbage bag."

"What?"

"Yep."

"Like, over her clothes?"

"Pretty sure it was her clothes."

"You're fucking with me."

"I'm not!" I pulled out my phone. "I covertly took a picture of the crazy for you. Just so I could prove that she did it." I texted it to her. "See? She made it into a dress—turned it upside down, cut a hole for her head and arms, and then cinched it on the bottom with the fucking drawstrings. They were red for Christ's sake. And she was just there like that was normal. To be wearing a garbage-bag-dress in the elevator of your apartment building."

"Holy fucking shit! She has tights on and everything! I'm afraid to ask what that hat is made out of."

"Yeah, I didn't ask."

"So did she get out with you?"

"Yep. I went to the door and she went down the hall. I think she might spend her days making trips all around the entire building. Like she's a hall monitor or something—with her special garbage-bag-dress uniform. She made the funniest sound when she walked with it on."

"Maybe it's insulating?"

"I don't fucking know, but I think we need to avoid her at all costs."

"I think you should have asked to take a picture with her."

"I think you should text me a picture of you so I can make sure she hasn't rubbed off on you. Maybe she had the flu once, too, and now she's all fucked in the head."

"I'm not taking a picture of myself, Tyler. I'm all gross."

"I wanna see," I whined.

"Then send me a picture of you first."

I complied immediately, my expression something completely unintelligible I'm sure, or one of those that looks incredibly intense when you try to take a self-portrait. "Done."

"Aww, you look tired, honey."

"Where's mine?"

My phone chimed and I pulled up the picture. It was of her hand only—flipping me off. I should have guessed that one. "Not fair!"

My phone chimed again and this time it was a picture of her boobs. "Mean!" I said quickly. "Better! But still mean!"

"Sick doesn't rock a lot of sexy."

"I'm sure you still look sexy. Is that my sweatshirt?"

"Of course."

"See, that's sexy regardless."

"Baby, I love you, but I'm getting kinda tired."

"Yeah, I should study anyway. And you should get back in bed instead of sitting on the floor with me."

"I'm glad we did, though."

"Me, too. Sleep well. Love you."

"Love you, too. Good luck with the studying."

"Thanks. Feel better soon."

"Think about what you wanna do when your tests are over. We should celebrate."

"Yes, celebrate my epic failure. Definitely."

"Just go fucking study and shut up."

I chuckled. "Night, baby. Lemme know if you need anything."

"Night."

~ooOoo~

Things to note for midterm studying:

Studying itself is a lofty and noble act. No one (or no one named Tyler anyway) can sustain focus for more than an hour.

"Breaks" can go drastically wrong, in which you wind up researching the merits of bananas as a super fruit that can be used for energy, and how that might affect one's sleep habits when mixed with Red Bull.

How does one decide to research bananas one might ask? The answer probably lies somewhere in the depths of sex-deprived depression mixed with girlfriend withdrawal, overdoses of mom-made soup and the need to find something to force oneself to stay awake.

…or it could have just been a random link entitled "Super Fruit: Bananas" that may or may not have been a suggested companion to CNN articles that certain individuals would be looking at as distraction from reality. (Focus can only be sustained for an hour or less).

Red Bull contains caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, B-group vitamins, sucrose, and glucose. Bananas are packed with vitamin A, iron, phosphorous, potassium and 3 natural sugars—sucrose, fructose and glucose. They offer a great source of natural energy. Research has proven that just 2 bananas can provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. Energy is not the only thing that bananas have to offer, they can also help overcome or prevent a number of illnesses, including: depression, hangovers, quitting smoking, ulcers, anemia, while also boosting brain power and reducing stress. Why didn't Red Bull just bottle bananas? Bottled Banana sounded like an awesome brand name at 4am.

The research and consumption of many, many bananas and Red Bull also probably contributed to the dream (or fantasy perhaps) that I had in my lone hour of sleep after my third midterm (I pretty much crashed in an uncomfortable chair in the library). I imagined I came home after the midterm, ripped the bedroom door off (Sickness be damned! Manly noises of exertion!) and proceeded to wield incredible sexual powers, my virility a thing of legend. I may have outlined an entire plan for a diet of only bananas for both of us coupled with sex on the fire escape because there would be no reason we'd even feel the cold and even upon arrest, the banana/Red Bull combination coupled with my aforementioned sexual powers would in turn mean that no cell could hold us, and there was some serious fucking gonna happen here. Maybe being called a fuck god had added something to this whole scenario…

So with that in mind, and my plan firmly in place, I busted into our apartment, ready to throw open the bedroom door in a fit of sexual frustration and sex-crazed rage and… she was already on the couch.

"Hey."

I didn't even say anything to her. It was sort of like one of those cartoon bubbles over a characters head that just pops suddenly. I couldn't have cared less about my crazy banana-induced/sleep deprived ravings. I kinda just fell onto the couch and into her lap and reveled in the fact that she was close and here and mine and I was hers.

"Are you feeling better?" I mumbled into the fabric of her shirt.

She chuckled, her fingers combing through my hair in a delicious way that made my neck tingle. "I am."

"Good."

"I have a question though."

"Mmm?"

"The fuck is with all these banana peels? The Red Bull cans I get. How many bananas did you eat?"

I meant to laugh, but it totally came out as a sigh instead. I didn't even want to explain. "Dunno. Super fruit."

"And your legs were broken? The garbage is, like, six feet away."

"S'not my fault."

"It's obvious I can't ever be sick again. You can't function."

"I can't. I need you. Badly." I meant it to come out much more jokingly than it did. It totally came out as a statement (and slightly pathetic at that).

"How was your test?"

I snuggled closer to her and hummed an answer but I was already sort of drifting. I had another midterm to study for, too, but that didn't seem at all important. I could rest now instead.

~ooOoo~

APOV

I felt like such an adult. That was an odd feeling because I thought I was an adult forever basically. I couldn't really recall much of a childhood; so adulthood as I imagined and thought of it was an existence that lasted a helluva long time and was usually filled with nothing but negatives.

This though…this was being an adult:

Choosing to be in a relationship with someone—an honest, open, giving relationship.

Choosing to have a job that did not require me to take clothing off, or sell myself for money.

Choosing to live with someone—to share a space, a home, a life.

Home. To have one at all and someone in it that I considered home more than the space itself.

These were quite possibly the best decisions I'd made in my life yet.

It was exciting; another level of new, another level of greatness in an ever-growing one with Tyler. He was going back to school, and I was so proud of him for toughing it out, for going to class, to actually doing the work that he was supposed to, for focusing so hard.

Moving when we did might not have been the best plan we ever had, but the timing was right for the apartment, and everything else sort of had to fall into line with it. I loved the space immediately; it was big enough for us and yet cozy and homey. And while I'd lived in other places, and had places that I considered mine, this seemed different. It seemed more mine. It seemed more like an actual place to make a home instead of someplace I just stayed. It made me think about what a home even was. What that word really meant at its core.

I loved and hated lots of things about him going back to school. I loved that he wanted to be serious about it, but at the same time, it really left much less time for us to be together. My getting sick had only made that worse ten times over. I didn't want him to catch anything—he couldn't. It wasn't an option to take finals with the flu. And the move-in when we did was stressful enough around that same time. So my hiding in the bedroom for the better part of a week was necessary for him to stay healthy.

I wasn't really the type to get sick a lot. I suppose over the years you build a tolerance to normal illnesses especially if you're exposed to everything under the sun in foster homes. Any places where multiple children sleep and live are going to be breeding grounds for germs. But usually when I did get hit, it came on hard. This wasn't any different. I hadn't felt this horrible in a long fucking time.

It was different this time to have someone take care of me. That was completely new, even in a foster sense. They simply didn't care enough or had too many kids to give special attention to one. They cared for basic needs only, or hell, sometimes not even that. Tyler's mom was both great and kind of a complete surprise. I certainly didn't expect her to visit me on a daily basis and make sure I was eating and getting enough rest and all the shit that moms were supposed to do. It seemed like the stuff of fairy tales. And I couldn't help but wonder if my mom would have been that awesome at it, too. Maybe she would have brought me soup, and made sure I had enough tissues and cough drops, and as much over-the-counter medication as could be purchased at one time without the Feds thinking you were making methamphetamines. Maybe she would have tucked me into bed ridiculously even as an adult (and how awesome it was anyway).

At the same time, I felt incredibly lonely. It was an incredibly unreasonable and silly way to feel given that Diane visited daily and Tyler was literally only through a door. But he was unreachable, and untouchable, and it was the longest we'd gone without any kind of contact since we'd met basically. It wasn't just sex—even though it was the longest we'd gone without sex in a helluva long time, too. It surprised me how much I just missed him being in the bed with me—knowing his solid warmth was next to me. I missed just lying near him, a leg or an arm thrown over each other. I missed sloppy kisses and random touches and the feeling of his skin pressed to mine. I missed the intimacy of him. I missed the smell of him in the bed, on me, on my clothes.

We should have been fucking in and on everything in this apartment, and instead we were separated by a door that felt like the brick wall in our room. It was strange how much I missed him when he was just through a door. It was probably pathetic how much I loved talking to him through that door. It made me feel less isolated, even if that was ridiculous, too.

I probably shouldn't have opened the door. I probably should have stayed in my isolation until his finals were completely done. But I was feeling better and I really needed to just get out for a while. I could always go back into hiding before he came home. I emerged from the germ-filled bedroom to find basically a complete disaster in the living room. There were papers thrown everywhere and books mixed in, all spread around an enormous pile of banana peels and too many cans of Red Bull. What the fuck? Did he spontaneously turn into a monkey in my absence? Didn't his mother leave him soup, too? He was a complete slob!

How he managed to study in this mess, I have no idea. Unless there was some system of organization here that made no logical sense to a girl…I hope he passed his finals. It was obvious he required constant supervision.

I so wasn't cleaning this shit up. That was all on him. I was still the sick one.

So I kinda vegged on the couch until he came home. It was probably mix of both lack of motivation to get up and go back to the isolation and a healthy amount of I just need to see him.

He kind of threw the door open, and he looked really determined, both of which fell from his face immediately. Not sure what that was about, but when I said "Hey," he said nothing back, falling onto the couch with his head in my lap, snuggling in. I think he missed me, too.

"Are you feeling better?" he mumbled into the fabric of my shirt.

I chuckled, combing my fingers through his hair. "I am."

"Good."

"I have a question though."

"Mmm?"

"The fuck is with all these banana peels? The Red Bull cans I get. How many bananas did you eat?"

I think he meant to laugh, but he sighed instead. "Dunno. Super fruit."

Dork. The fuck? Super fruit? "And your legs were broken? The garbage is, like, six feet away."

"S'not my fault."

"It's obvious I can't ever be sick again. You can't function."

"I can't. I need you. Badly."

That came out much more like I felt, than like I think he wanted it to sound. Me, too, baby.

"How was your test?"

Instead of answering me, he sort of hummed out something and just burrowed into me farther. I was pretty sure he had one more test to study for, but as I had him in my lap, and he was warm and here and mine, with the full scent of just…Tyler, I was home and I didn't really care at the moment. I'd wake him later to ask him if he needed to study. Right now napping with him on the couch seemed like a much better idea.

~ooOoo~

Napping was one of the best pastimes in the world. I was convinced. And waking up with him, even if my neck was all cramped from the weird angle I was resting my head at, or the fact that my arm had somehow wound up under his head and was now all numb and pins and needles, felt amazing. It wasn't new but it kind of felt that way, even if it had only been a week or so.

I yawned while trying to get feeling back in my hand, and smiled while he woke up. "Let's go to bed."

He nodded, still half-asleep anyway, and we shuffled to the bedroom. I stopped in the doorway. "Hey, do you have to study yet?"

He shook his head. "Don't care about it right now. I'll look over it in the morning. I wanna go to bed."

No complaints there.

It occurred to me when I was turning the bed down that he hadn't actually spent much time in our bedroom. We sort of got everything in a place we vaguely wanted it and then I got sick, and he was on couch duty. The first night we hadn't even set up the bedframe, and just slept on the mattress and box spring on the floor. The second night we were too tired to do much of anything and just fell into a state of sleep wherever we managed to land on the bed.

We sort of went through the motions of getting ready for bed in that trance-like state that happens when you're tired but still have to brush and putting on some pajamas would be more comfortable and practical than sleeping in jeans. Or in my case, a cleaner pair of less sick-warmed-over pajamas. Like a clean pair of his boxers, which I suddenly realized I'd worn nearly the entire time his mother had been here, and I'd just try to forget that.

I was pretty wiped by the time we got under the covers. I wanted to feel him closer, though. I wanted to sleep with more contact, so we huddled together in the middle of the bed, and it was wonderful just to have him touching me.

I could feel him getting hard the more we just laid there. I brought my gaze up to meet his, smirking.

"Sorry. I can't help it. You're just here and…yeah. How're you feeling?"

I really didn't want to turn him down. I knew what he was really asking me. It had double meaning. He missed me, too. But I really wasn't feeling up to the entire sex thing. "Um, I mean, I feel better…" I trailed off.

He smiled, nuzzling into my cheek. "It's fine. Don't worry about it. I shouldn't even have asked. That wasn't very sensitive. You'll have to forgive me. I've spent a week on a couch with nothing but bananas and Red Bull…and some soup, but still. I have to acclimate to being an awesome boyfriend again."

I laughed. "What exactly were you doing with the bananas?"

He blew out his own laugh. "Sadly nothing more interesting than eating them. But it's fine, really."

"No, I mean, we can make out. Mess around. Just don't think I'm up to sex yet. It would be really unfortunate if I started coughing in the middle of it."

"Could be kinda sexy. Probably a lot of pressure and clamping. I'm into it."

I shook my head. "Shut up already and kiss me before I change my mind and just pass out in exhaustion."

He nodded once and that was pretty much all it took. And it was nice. Really nice. Lazy and intimate and kinda sleepy, but it was the best I'd felt in a week. I missed everything about him. I missed the firmness of his chest under my fingers, even the feel of the cotton of his T-shirts. It was completely senseless to enjoy the feel of worn cotton, but it was just something I associated with Tyler, that it made it that much better. I missed the feeling of his lips on mine; the warmth. His lips had gotten chapped this week. The weather must have been shitty and he licked them constantly despite the fact that it made them rough and sore. And he smelled amazing. Even sleeping on the couch for a week and who knows where or when the hell he showered. It was so appealing.

I'm pretty sure we fell asleep while still kissing, which I thought was pretty perfect, and an awesome end to a day I hadn't thought would be that good when it started.

~ooOoo~

When I'd been sick, it was like time completely stood still, or it ticked by so fucking slowly that it seemed that way. The last three weeks though had been completely the opposite. More like a whirlwind—probably how it should have been if I hadn't caught the moving-plague.

Or maybe it just had more to do with being with Tyler again. That first night I felt decent enough to emerge from the pit of illness, we decided not to have sex…which lasted until I woke up in the middle of the night with his hand between my legs and then we had the laziest, most relaxing, spooning-sleepy-sex ever. He had one more midterm to finish and then he was free for an entire week and spring break was awesome. We did everything we should have done from the beginning that my illness had prevented: we unpacked, we argued over which side of the counter the toaster was going to go on—because we could do that kind of shit now. We put dishes away and bought kitchen gadgets we'd never use but obviously needed anyway. We debated over rearranging where we'd put the couch but then decided in the middle of it, we didn't care because fucking on it was way more important. We burned our way through every surface of the entire apartment and fucked the hell out of it. Tyler dorkily and typically called this a "Spatial christening." It was a really important step to apartment ownership.

We settled into a routine. Not that we hadn't been in a routine when we lived in his apartment, but it was still different. I stayed at his place then. We had a routine that revolved around me staying at his place. This was us actually living together, in our place. It was something I didn't really get when we moved in because I didn't have time to appreciate what it was when we were separated. It was different, though—completely sharing this space with another person. Not that it was a negative thing in any way, but there is no getting away from that other person. There was no other apartment to go to, and you have to adapt to this lack of independence without actually losing your own independence. It wasn't like I felt like I lost anything; it was just… there was no hiding anything from each other. No secrets, no mystery. It was sort of freeing in its own backwards way. After that first week, our routine was very domestic. It didn't revolve around just sex, and sometimes laundry was just laundry, we didn't fuck all over the washing machine. He made coffee in his boxers while I started breakfast. It was a comfort level I didn't think I'd ever really enjoy: the comfort of routine and familiarity, of security.

This morning, I was only half-awake in the warm cocoon of our bed, but it was like I could sense it before I woke fully. I wanted Tyler. I could smell him on the sheets, inhale the scent of his shampoo from the pillow, the way the softness of the sheets seemed magnified. There was just one problem: he wasn't in the bed. He wasn't here, and I wanted him.

Fuck if I wasn't going to go get him.

He was on the couch, just sitting there in a T-shirt and boxers, a video game controller wedged in his hand. There were schoolbooks and papers scattered and discarded on the table. It was a weekend, and that was obviously not as important at the moment. A Pringles container sat open next to a can of Diet Coke—breakfast of champions for a college student. At least it was better than Red Bull and bananas.

"Hey," he said, absently, eyes still on the screen.

I straddled his lap without any actual greeting, but I'm fairly certain I mumbled a "Morning," before I snuggled into his chest. He 'mmm-ed' back at me, and adjusted his arms to both snuggle with me while still keep playing. I inhaled deeply, the scent from the sheets so much stronger here, and sighed in this ridiculously happy way. He settled back more, resting his head on the back of the couch, and it gave me ridiculously easy access to his neck, and I didn't stop myself from kissing him there. His eyes were still on the screen, but his breathing changed, and I heard the game stop abruptly, like he'd pressed pause.

He hummed back at me, but I shook my head, pressing my lips to his mouth quickly. "No, you can keep playing." He tasted like cheesy salted potato chips, and like most things, it was oddly attractive, or maybe it was oddly endearing. It didn't really matter because I had already moved on, and getting him inside me was way more important.

The game started again, and I went back to his neck. He wouldn't be able to keep playing if I was kissing his mouth, and his neck was the next best thing. I started off with gentle kisses, lapping at the skin there, but the longer I was there, the more I got into it, and I was seriously sucking on his neck. We're talking hickeys of epic proportion—a mix of red and purple and I was totally burrowed in there. It was addictive. The smell, the taste of his skin, salty in a completely different way—everything I would have done to his mouth if I could reach it without him losing his playing power—lips, tongue, teeth.

He was so hard under me, and it was so easy to just slip him out of the boxers. It was even easier to get him inside because I wasn't wearing anything except his T-shirt. I didn't want to waste time this morning getting rid of clothing. Faster this way.

I couldn't really explain my mind frame. I knew two things: I wanted him and I was going to have him. Everything else beyond that was useless. The rest just amounted to and became about the way I felt, what I was feeling, what I was doing to feel it. Just moments of awareness and the rest all my senses processing what being with him like this felt like. Want, Have, Take.

The feeling of him stretching me as I sunk down on him. The way it sounded like the moans we both let out were competing with each other in volume. I smiled into his skin as he breathed out, "Aw, fuck it," and I think the game was forgotten. Sex wins.

My wetness coating his cock and thighs.

His fingers curling around my hip, the solidness of his body beneath me.

My head thrown back, my hands landing on his shoulders; the sound of our bodies connecting as I rode him harder.

My hands on his neck as I pulled myself closer to him, bouncing as he pushed deeper, further inside me.

Shifting to ride him higher, closer still, my clit grinding against him as I rocked back and forth.

Circling my hips until it felt like he rubbed every possible spot inside me.

I felt sexy. Truly sexy. It was so energizing and releasing.

I came quickly, and I think it surprised both of us. It was just so intense and focused, or at least I was.

Using his body to push myself there.

My whole body shuddered into him, my hands clasping on the back of his head, holding him to me, and the force of it was incredible. I felt like I was coming apart, but instead I think I was connecting together.

His hand moved to my back as he came, and I went back to his neck, licking over the marks I'd made on his skin. I'd been very thorough; he'd be wearing these for days. I nipped at his Adam's Apple and curled into him, breathing heavily. The controller was still gripped tightly in one of his hands. I loved that he was either too shocked or too invested that he hadn't even thought to let it go.

"Fuck."

"Totally."

"That was so hot."

I backed up. "Yeah?"

"You've never done that before."

"No? No, I guess not."

"Hot." He nodded.

"I am my own person, you know."

"Of course you are."

I giggled. "I totally fucked you!"

His smile was so amazing; like pure happiness and pride and love and awe and the tiniest amount of smugness all wrapped into one. "You totally did."

I sighed contentedly. "I think you died," I said, jerking my thumb in the direction of the TV.

"Who cares?"

~ooOoo~

TPOV

It's certainly not every day that you find yourself with a lapful of horny girlfriend right in the middle of playing a video game. In fact, it's never been that day until today. I've had plenty of lapful of horny girlfriend, but never the kind that was totally going to get herself off while I still kept playing.

I'm not sure exactly what prompted it or brought it on, but to say I was surprised would be an understatement. The fact that she still surprised me thoroughly was just testament to how much more I loved her every single day.

She looked so adorably peaceful that I couldn't bear to wake her once I couldn't sleep anymore. So I did what any 20-something college student should do on a weekend: wile away hours of what could be productive homework time by playing something incredibly pointless and violent instead.

I was all set up. I had my provisions and caffeine, and I was good to go. I noticed her coming towards me of course. It wasn't uncommon for her to plop down on the couch and watch me kill things for a while, asking questions about the game or joining in sometimes, so I wasn't actually paying that close attention to her.

I didn't need to though, because instead of the plopping next to me, she was basically making out with me from the second she was in my lap. And what's hotter than Allison wearing my boxers? Wearing nothing but a T-shirt, cuddling for half a second and then kissing my neck until I wanted nothing more than to throw the controller at the screen. Except…she told me to keep playing—as though me playing was completely tangential to anything she had planned. Or rather, anything I might have thought about was completely tangential to whatever she was going to do.

The girl had a plan.

Also focus on anything is pretty much nil when she's basically devouring my neck. We're not talking laving the skin with peppery licks and kisses—we're talking full-on serious devouring like she'd never had anything better. It hurt. And I couldn't get enough of it. I had no idea what the fuck I was going to tell people. The truth probably. Heh.

I think she must have been wet from basically the bedroom on, or at least it seemed that way. It wasn't like disjointed or hurried really. It was purposeful. I could keep playing while she just got off. She was just… She was taking me. She was doing this for herself. She woke up and she wanted this. So she was taking it. It was fine that she was so focused on herself, because I don't think I could have articulated at all what this meant if she was in a talkative mood. I don't think she was even consciously aware of the level she was reaching here.

If there was any remote possibility that playing was possible, it was over when the noises started. Because her face was lodged by my neck, they were incredibly concentrated right in my ear. It's basically like having horny girlfriend radio in surround sound. It started slow, and quiet, just small little gasps of air and exhales as she started to move on me, but it quickly spiraled to something much louder and much more involved. The faster she moved, the more pronounced her moaning got, mixed in with these needy kind of whimpers as she shifted herself on me to get the angles she wanted. She was loud in bed sometimes, and sometimes I think she was loud for me—this though, this was different—this sound was desire, indulgence, and gratification all mixed together, and it was for herself.

The noises really made me want to just pick her up and move this to the bed. But this wasn't about me right now, or what I wanted to do to her.

At the same time, I couldn't really help it—I grabbed her ass with the hand that was not still holding the controller and started kneaded. Part of me didn't want to upset any balance she had going on—I didn't want my changing something to change what she was doing. So I suppose I held onto the controller just to keep the field the way it had started but…there had to be some active participation here on my part. And the second I did, the more amplified her moans got, the faster and harder she moved on me—her hands on my shoulders, cupping my neck—like that simple action further spurred her on.

When she leaned back, her eyes were closed, and her hair was partially covering her face, but it fit—she looked untamed but completely natural, bare but completely uninhibited, enthusiastic but focused. It was incredible and staggering to watch.

She collapsed into me when she was finished, her breath hot against my neck, and holding her this way felt just as intimate as being inside her. As her breathing slowed, she started kissing my neck again, but softer and more languid than before, nuzzling and kissing gently over the skin until I turned my head and met her lips. I loved the feeling of her hands on me anytime, but at times like this, it was almost a surreal feeling—one tightening on the back of my neck while the other stretched the neck of my t-shirt. When she pulled back, she pressed her forehead to mine and I didn't really have words for how that made me feel. It was usually my move, and I considered it an incredibly significant piece of intimacy between us—a kind of connection that wasn't necessarily sexual, but loving and affectionate, tender.

I didn't want to patronize her and explain it away after, so I just commented and let it go. She could just revel in the idea of having what she wanted. Maybe at some point she'd realize exactly what it was, but she was just content at having conquered this want of hers. I think she was proud, though. Or she knew that I was proud of her for something. I didn't deserve credit for any of the things she had done while with me, but that didn't stop me from realizing that a lot of what I'd shown her about love was making an impact.

…and then like that damn cartoon bubble bursting again, she was just gone. And off my lap. Completely unceremoniously. I was halfway to saying, "Wha?" because she was putting a pair of my boxers on that were on the floor from God knows when.

"Get your ass up."

Well this was obviously an invitation. "Bed then, yes?"

"Pffft, no. Pringles and soda at 10:00 am are shameful, and should be illegal. We're making breakfast because I feel like you haven't truly eaten anything decent since the incident I'm referring to as Banana-Red Bull week."

"You're never going to let me live that down, are you?"

"It's not likely, no. 8-Ball indicates your changes are really fucking slim."

"If you're making breakfast can you at least lose the boxers again?"

"We are making breakfast. We. And no, that's not sanitary."

"Well it wasn't sanitary when I ate—" she covered my mouth with her hand. I let my eyebrows raise for a second before I gently pried her hand away, "—but we still eat there."

"Can you please get the eggs out of the fridge?"

I huffed, letting out a frustrated sigh. "I don't like this. Twenty minutes ago there was Mario and sex, and now you're all fully clothed and bossy. What happened? Where did I go wrong?"

She rolled her eyes at me as I backed up towards the refrigerator. "Eggs. Please."

The confidence and annoyance mixed together just compelled me to go over to her. I cupped her face and kissed her gently, but for long enough that both of our eyes were closed. When I pulled away, I caressed her cheek with one finger and asked, "Eggs?"

She smiled back at me, nodding. "Please."

We shifted around each other in the kitchen, me getting the eggs while she got a bowl and Bisquick. I grabbed a pan and started to melt the butter in the pan while she mixed the batter next to me. "Do you want to set the table?"

I shook my head. "You set it."

"Oh yeah? What are you going to do while I set the table?"

I nodded to the bowl with the batter. "I'm going to make the pancakes."

She laughed loudly. "Oh you are, huh? Ok."

"What? I've watched you like a hundred times."

She nodded. "Go for it." And slapped my ass as she moved to get dishes.

"That was so sexist. I could sue for sexual harassment."

"Go ahead and try. I'd love to see that one."

Let's just say she was done setting the table and I was sort of still attempting to pour the batter in the pan. She came back and stood behind me, her body pressing into mine, her arms slinking around my waist, fingers linking over my stomach, her head craning around my shoulder. There wasn't much to see except one sort of large blob of batter that was supposed to be several pancakes. Instead, I put way too much in and they all bled together. "Shit."

She didn't laugh or joke about it, just unlinked her hands and rubbed over my stomach. "It's ok. Just toss it and try it again. Little less batter this time. Or not as many pancakes. Start with just trying one."

So I did that, with her hands warm over my stomach, her tiny body just as warm behind me. I could tell she wasn't watching anymore, her face pressed into my back, and her breathing quiet. I covered her hand with mine, linking our fingers together instead while I finished the pancakes.

I almost didn't want to move when they were done. It was incredibly comfortable just being with her in our kitchen like this. It was certainly not the Saturday morning I had anticipated. I was with her completely, but she was with herself, too, and she wasn't running from it anymore, and even though I was pretty sure these pancakes were slightly burnt, and not at all like hers would have been, it didn't really even matter anymore. The experience was worth way more than the result.

I gripped her fingers tighter, pulling her out of her lull behind me. "You ready, babe?"

"Hmm?" She nuzzled into my back, sighing.

"I think the pancakes are done. Or they're as done as they're going to be with me making them. You ready?"

~Finis~


Thanks everyone!