The first time she makes him laugh, they're playing a game of Texas Hold 'Em.
It's hour six of the game, both of them entirely too competitive to admit it could have ended five hours ago. She's had a few too many shots of the tequila from the bottle sitting between them on the table. His collection of poker chips has dwindled considerably since the beginning of the game, having made a generous contribution to her ever growing pile with every hand she's won. He's a grouch because in spite of their alcohol altered judgment, she's still managed to snag most of his money - he now owes her fifty bucks, two songs and a steak dinner. She's pretty sure she can get at least one more song out of him though and that alone is enough to make his grumpiness tolerable. He's off of his game from the alochol - which she finds hilarious considering she has the same amount in her system and she's still managed to beat him.
"You know, either way you look at it, you still owe me fifty bucks." She's slurring her words; her gaze is glassy and unfocused when she manages to meet his glazed over blue eyes. "And two songs. Oooh and a steak dinner."
"Yes, because God-forbid you forget the steak dinner!"
"Touchy, touchy!" She slurred, giggling profusely; her body was swaying, bringing her dangerously close to toppling off of her chair.
He can't contain his growing amusement at watching his slightly drunk best friend. He loves the Asian dearly but she can't handle her liquor. Especially hard liquor. Tequila seems to be the worst offender. It seems to affect her senses in a way no other liquor has ever done. Without bothering to hide it, he probably burst into a fit of high-pitched hysterical laughter; it's something she's never heard from him and her eyebrows furrow together in obvious confusion.
"Jackson...are you giggling?" Melissa asked him, confusion registering clearly in her alcohol-addled mind.
His high-pitched laughter only gets louder and Melissa can no longer keep from laughing herself. She can't seem to wrap her head around the fact that her best friend is giggling like a little school-boy in front of his first crush. It's so weird and so high-pitched that she just can't keep the giggles at bay.
She'd have to make him laugh more.
She liked to hear him giggle.
The second time she makes him laugh, they're shopping. She needs a new dress for some ridiculous party that her parents are making her attend like the high society snobs that Melissa has said them to be. He's inclined to agree based on the few times he's met them. The only normal ones from that family are Melissa and her older brother, James. A few nights a year, she folds herself into a dress that's uncomfortable, hooks onto her brother's arm and lets him parade her around in her parent's mansion on the other side of town.
How, of course, they ended up sitting on a bench just on the perimeter of the food court eating tacos and dipping french fries in Taco Bell's Fire sauce is beyond them. Two of 7-Eleven's finest Big Gulp cups filled to the brim with diet coke sit between them on the bench.
"You know," Melissa grumbled, dipping a french fry in the puddle of hot sauce on the paper taco wrapper before biting into it with an angry ferocity. "My mother uses these parties as an excuse to introduce me all of her friend's single sons who need psychiatric help more than they need a girlfriend like me."
"Or perhaps, you need the psychiatric help more than you need boyfriends like them." Jackson retorted sharply, biting into his soft taco. He smirked at his best friend, who nearly choked on her taco.
"Shut your face!"
"Don't deny it, Mel." Jackson dropped his half-eaten taco onto the paper wrapper and stared at his friend, thinning his lips into a line to keep the amusement from exploding out of him in a loud burst of high-pitched giggles.
"You're a big meanie-head!" Melissa tossed a french fry at him, her jaw dropping in shock; her brown eyes dancing with a mixture of laughter and disbelief.
The fourth-grade level insult broke both of them. In the middle of the mall, their odd picnic between them, Jackson and Melissa promptly busted into hysterical laughter. His high-pitched giggle garnered a few stares but neither of them cared. Melissa wasn't sure if she was laughing with Jackson or at him because of his laughter.
Perhaps she'd fling those fourth-grader insults at him more often.
She liked his face when he giggled.
The third time she makes him laugh, they're playing around. What started out as a playful wrestle for the remote because neither of them could agree on what to watch - the man thought Rocky was a good movie choice - turned into something much more serious. Needless to say, how she ended up on top of him with their legs tangled together is beyond her, as not a minute ago he had, had her knee pressed painfully between their chests. Somehow, despite the fact that she all but tackled him to the ground, his grip on the remote control is holding steady and just when she thinks she'll have to resign herself to a Sylvester Stallone marathon, an idea occurs.
Luckily for her, her best friend was extremely ticklish and she knew exactly where too.
She lifted herself up and straddled her best friend, hovering above him so he couldn't throw her should he decide to thrash in an attempt to get away from her. Without warning, she let her fingers dance across his ribs and underneath his back, before bringing them back up and digging in the cotton-covered flesh. He gasped, his eyes widening almost comically as she mercilessly danced her fingers across his sensitive flesh.
"Mel! This is not fairplay!" He cried out, thrashing slightly in a half-hearted attempt to get away from her. "Stop it!"
Despite his pleading for her to stop, he can't help the giggles that threaten to erupt. He erupted into hysterical laughter and the giggles that Melissa loved so much filled the apartment. She'd tickle him a lot more if that's what it took to make him giggle like a little school-boy. His blue eyes seemed brighter and he seemed happier than she'd ever seen him.
She'd definitely be tickling him a lot more.
She liked the way his eyes lit up.
The fourth time she makes him laugh, they've gone on their first date. After ten years of not-so-blissful obliviousness, they had finally admitted what most people already knew. They were in love with each other. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out; although you'd swear it did with how long it took them to figure it out for themselves. They've just walked through the door after a perfectly imperfect first date - needless to say if he ever wanted to take her to another showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, he'd be more than welcome. She loved old horror movies and he had arranged their date around that small little detail about her that usually nobody bothered to remember.
"You do know this is going to kill my mother, right?" She giggled, flipping on the light switch, flooding the living room of their apartment with light. "She's only tolerated you as my best friend."
"Ah, she'll get over it." Jackson shrugged, sliding his arms out of his leather jacket. "Eventually...maybe...eh, perhaps we should just avoid her."
"She'll find us." Melissa retorted. "Then she'll rant on and on about how I should marry one of those 'fine young men' she introduced me too at her last party. Which is basically like becoming the permanent psychiatrist to an overgrown man-child, who still needs his Mommy's advice on every single detail of his life."
"Overgrown man-child?" Jackson chuckled questioningly.
"I just call 'em like I see 'em." Melissa shrugged, looking up at him.
She was surprised to find amusement sparkling in his blue gaze. She knew he found the most random things funny but she didn't really see the humor in calling her mother's idea of a good husband an overgrown man-child, all that funny. She laughed slightly as she watched him finally break down. His shoulders trembled and his eyes lit up, a sure sign of the impending laughter. Unable to help herself and finding his laughter infectious, she couldn't help but laugh with him.
She'd have to be more random.
She liked the sponteity in his laughter.
The fifth time she makes him laugh, they're dancing at their wedding reception. The ceremony had gone without a hitch - well, sort of but that was another story - and now she was married to her best friend. It hadn't been long into the reception before the DJ announced that it was time for the bride and groom to share their first dance as husband and wife. So with their song pouring out of the speakers and his arms wrapped around her, they swayed and waltzed around the ball-room, her father had rented for her reception.
"If looks could kill, my mother's stare should have you six feet under." She murmured in his ear, peeking over his shoulder at her mother. "I'm thinking if we run out of ice, we could just get her to look at the drinks. Cool 'em right off."
"Mel," He squeezed her affectionately, kissing the top of her head to his amusement. "She is your mother, babe."
"My mother hates my husband." Melissa looked up at him pointedly. "I think I have the right to have a little fun at her expense."
"If you're going to do that, at least make fun of that bottle of Pepto Bismol pink dress." Jackson mumbled in her ear.
"Oh you mean the bright pink dress that's so God-awful, Taylor, the girl who loves pink more than life, cringed?" Melissa grinned sweetly, kissing her husband's neck. "I mean honestly, we're standing in the back room getting ready with my mother and as soon as Mom left, Taylor zoned in on that God-awful thing my mother is calling a dress."
"What'd she say?"
"She said, and I quote, 'How many bottles of Pepto Bismol had to die for that to happen?'" Melissa giggled into his shoulder. "She's still in mourning over scarring her for life and subsequently ruining pink for her, so if she goes in the bathroom and comes back out in a black dress, we know why."
"Good to know," Jackson barely managed to keep his laughter at bay in order to get through the rest of the dance.
"Oh and my mother looks ready to start a bar brawl." Melissa grinned into his neck, knowing that the mental image that followed would set him off.
It wasn't a minute later, his laughter filled the room, drowning out the sound of the music and grabbing everyone's attention. The hysterical giggle, a sound that she had grown accustomed too over the last few years, drew everyone's attention and pretty soon every attendee was laughing right along with them. That's what she loved about his laughter. It was contagious. It was so infectiously wonderful that you couldn't help but laugh with him. She giggled into his shoulder and murmured in his ear; "I love your laugh."
"I know." Jackson grinned, kissing her head. "I hope that's not the only reason you married me."
She pretended to think for a second, watching as he grinned again and leaned down to kiss her. No, his laughter wasn't the only reason she married him. She truly was in love with him, more then he would ever know. Although, his laughter was certainly part of the reason she married him. She wanted to hear that wonderful laugh for the rest of her life. She wanted to watch his eyes light up, sparkling with amusement and she wanted to hear that lovely little giggle of his. She wanted to see him act like a little school-boy when he laughed simply because it was a side of him that few got to see.
Luckily for her, she would be privilege to that for the rest of her life.
And that, made her giggle.