"Not sick," Fritz said in an uneasy tone. Jo watched him as he pondered what to say next. "Jo, we're not very similar."
She sputtered a laugh, "No, I can't say we are, Fritz."
"Oh," his voice was strained as he tried to straighten up again.
"Shit," Jo looked at him. "I didn't mean to laugh. You're being serious. Sorry. You should know by now that I do stupid stuff when I feel uncomfortable."
"No," she cursed herself. "Bad word choice. I just mean...Continue."
Fritz nodded then looked off, trying to piece together what he was going to say.
"Jo, we are not similar," he paused as if thinking she'd interrupt. "But we are alike in some ways." He spoke as though reading something he'd memorized. Jo wondered if he had written out something and memorized it. "You make me feel so full of life. I know, you probably think I'm old-"
"You're thirty two," Jo kindly said. Fritz smiled at her looking as though he'd lost his focus. Quickly, he tried to regain it.
"But," he continued, "you need to know something. Jo, you've completely wrecked everything I had planned for myself. You're loud and your forceful and you're insane. I didn't want any of those things in my life."
Jo raised an eyebrow, crossed her arms and studied him.
"But," he pressed, "you make me smile like no one else. I miss you when you aren't there and even though you changed everything I thought I...I...and..."
Jo laced her fingers in his. She wasn't sure why, it just sort of felt like the right thing to do. They were already so close that it hardly seemed like an invasion of privacy.
He finally met her gaze, "Jo, I'm in love with you."
It took her just a moment to register what he had just said. Okay, maybe longer than a moment because he was looking at her very expectantly.
"You love me?" Was all she could squeak out. "Me?"
"Yes, Jo," he said, smiling brightly. "I do. And I have for a long time."
"Really?" Jo smiled, forgetting she'd not really responded. "I mean, you too. Wait, I mean," she slowed herself down. "Fritz, I love you too."
"Really?" He beamed.
Jo laughed, feeling a fluttering inside of her. That was what she'd been feeling all along: love. How wonderful to finally say it. "Yes, yes." She put her hand on his face, something she never dared to do in the past.
And then he kissed her. Jo hadn't ever been kissed by a man. Really kissed, she meant. The quick kiss from Teddy was nothing like this one. This one was passionate and intense. Everything you think a kiss should be when you see it in a movie or about it in a book.
Jo was worried she wouldn't know how, but it actually came very easily to her. It felt natural. It felt right.
Obviously, neither of them had been paying much attention to anything else because someone loudly cleared their throat from the doorway.
"Marmee!" Jo jumped away from Fritz, plastering her hands to herself. "I didn't see you there."
Marmee looked at Jo, then to Fritz, then back at Jo. She used her keen, analyzing, motherly look, studying them with awareness.
"We're wondering where you would like to go for dinner," Marmee said in a very calm tone
"I don't know," Jo replied quickly. Brazenly, she took Fritz's hand. "Marmee, I'd like you to meet Professor Fritz Bhaer."
"Hello," he said very sweetly as if trying to make up for the fact that she'd just caught him making out with her daughter. "Nice to meet you."
Marmee gave a welcoming smile, "Yes, Jo's talked about you. Would you like to join us for dinner?"
"Sure," he gave Jo a smile.
Marmee patted her skirt, "Well, I guess I'll just leave you alone while I go get Meg and Amy."
When Marmee left the room, Fritz turned to Jo and laughed, "Your face in bright red."
She put a hand to her cheek, feeling the heat there, "They're all going to make a big deal over this. Especially Amy."
"Oh, you'll come up with some witty retort to make her stop," Fritz said, sitting closer to her. He looked off, out the front window, "So, will you be coming back to New York soon?"
"Yep," Jo nodded. "I've got class to take, books to publish, and Professors to bother." She nudged him playfully.
His thumb rubbed against her hand, "You can bother me any time you like. I was actually thinking that I could help you on your novel." Eagerly, he reached down and picked up the manuscript. "I feel like some parts are a but vague and others-"
"Are we seriously going to talk about this right now?" Jo said incredulously.
"Well," Fritz pressed, "what do you want to do?"
Without hesitation, Jo kissed him again.
Thanks for reading!
New LW fanfic out soon. Stay tuned :)