Title: "Dana's Hero"
Author: Pirate Turner
Dedicated To: My hero, King, Knight, Captain, Muse, love, and light, my beloved, wondrous, and always inspirational and amazing Jack, and our darling babies - Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice, my loves! This is the sixth story in my 12 Days of Solstice/Christmas for my beloved Jack and our darling babies of the year 2011.
Rating: G
Summary: Dana's hero arrives just in time.
Warnings: Het, Established Relationship
Date Written: 12 November, 2011
Word Count (excluding heading): 590
Disclaimer: Rich Halke, Dana Foster, all other recognizable characters mentioned within, and Step By Step are ᄅ & TM their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission. Everything else belongs to the author. The song is ᄅ & TM Jimmy Buffet, not the author, and is used without permission. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

"CODY! CODY!" Dana yelled, having to shout to be heard above his raucous singing. "I KNOW WHERE I'M GONNA BE WHEN THE VOLCANO EXPLODES!"

Cody finally stopped singing; every one in the room breathed a sigh of relief at the welcome quiet that ensued for Cody sounded worse than a wailing tomcat. "Oh, yeah? Where?" he asked, grinning.

"As far away from you as I can get!"

Cody laughed. She tried to walk away from him, but he wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly to him. "You're funny, Danaburger. You'll be right here with me, and I'll be protecting you from the lava 'cause you're my little cousin!"

"Gee, thanks, Cody." Dana cringed as he scratched her head. "But, really, it's not necessary."

"Pshaw! That's what family's for! Come on, Dana; sing with me!" He resumed singing at the top of his voice once more. "WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHERE I'M AGONNA BE WHEN THE VOLCANO BLOWS!"

Dana shut her eyes as Cody bellowed in her ear, but then she opened them again as the doorbell rang. She watched as her step brother, shooting her an evil grin, opened the door and let in his best friend. Dana's eyes met Rich's rich, dark orbs, and suddenly she could no longer hear Cody's bellowing. She was floating on air as she and Rich gazed longingly into each other's eyes, and Dana finally truly knew where she'd be when the volcano blew. When it erupted, the house fell down around her ears, or she finally ran away from all the craziness that constantly accompanied her family, Dana would have Rich right beside her, and no matter what happened, how the world ended, or what any one else did or said, they'd be happy for they'd have each other.

"Cody, man," Rich said, jumping to his beloved Dana's defense, "it's cool you're singing Jimmy Buffet and all, but I need Dana's help studying." He took Dana's hand, and Cody reluctantly released her.

"Oh, okay," he grumbled sulkily.

"It'll be okay," Rich assured him. "We can sing another time."

"Sure. Yeah. Whatever. Hey!" Cody exclaimed, suddenly brightening. "Maybe I can help you with your homework?"

"I don't know," Rich said. "I've got a real problem. Three trains leave station A heading for station B. Train A is going 185 miles per hour, train B 200, and train C 190. Who arrives first, and how much earlier does that train arrive than the other two?"

"Duh!" Cody chuckled. "Ain't none of them gonna get there! There's only one track!" He slapped his hands together. "They're all gonna crash!" He laughed again.

Dana shot her crazy cousin a Look. "Actually," she said, "train B would arrive first, and if the others were . . . "

Rich smiled and, gently taking Dana's arm in his, walked her away from her cousin and up to her bedroom. "There," he said, shutting the door behind them, "you can stop all the mathematics now."

Dana blinked in surprise, and then a slow smile filled her brightening face. She shook her blonde head in amazement. "Now," he asked her, "isn't that better?" He leaned up on his tiptoes, his mouth angling for hers. "Do you love me?" he breathed his question against her pursed lips, and they both tingled inside.

"Oh, yes!" Dana cried in affirmation. "Always, my hero!" She kissed him, and their hearts soared. Wherever they were, whatever was happening, they'd always be happy as long as they had each other and their amazing, wonderful love!

The End