"So are you like... back together?" Ali asked over her toast and nutella.
"I don't know. I guess we're... working on us? She pretty much looked like she was going to ravage me after I told her why I didn't want her help."
"But she didn't?"
"She has remarkable self restraint. But in a way I'm kind of glad. I always thought I was the date lots before sleep together type. I mean Sam was my first, but that doesn't mean that I have to follow that trend. And I really think it would be good for us, you know, to learn about each other all over again."
"You two are seriously the most in love, meant to be, sickeningly adorable and cute and stupid pair I have ever met."
"You're in love yourself."
"Well yeah, but I don't go around being a dork about it."
"What about Anna?"
"She's a total idiot in other ways, and about love, but she and Megan have nothing on the adorkable mess that is you and Sam. Let's be honest, her and Megan have got things sorted. They're sickeningly sweet, like I want to throw up sweet, but they don't exactly do that thing where it's like 'everyone should leave the room, we're about to tear each others clothes off' thing."
"I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life." I groaned, hiding my head under my folded arms.
"I'm pretty sure you have. Or will be in future."
"Shut up. If you weren't pregnant I'd whack you."
"If I weren't pregnant I'd tell you to see if you can try."
"Woah, cat fight?" Liam appeared. Ali and I dissolved in to laughter and shook our heads. "Ah, fake cat fight. Got it. Hard to keep up with girls."
"Ahem, that's women to you."
"Yes Ma'am, apologies Ma'am. God that kid is going to either have the best, or the worst manners ever. I can't quite decide."
"I bet good, until it hits teenage and then it'll be like demon teen from hell." I put in. Ali slapped my arm.
"I'll take that bet." Liam grinned.
"You guys suck; betting without me!" Jak appeared, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "What's the bet, how much, and can I get in?"
"They're betting on the manners of our child you dolt!" Ali glared at him. He paused, blinking blearily at all of us, and shook his head.
"Nope, not awake enough for this yet. But I totally side with my future wife."
"Suck up." Liam coughed and I chuckled.
"So back to Sam almost jumping you last night..." Ali said, and I shot her a glare.
"OH YEAH?" The other two suddenly perked up.
"Ali, I hope your kid is ugly."
"It won't be," she grinned, gesturing to her face.
"Soooooo?" Liam said, looking pointedly at me.
"So nothing. We talked and it could've gotten heated but we're trying to hold back and do this sensibly, and learn about each other again..." I trailed off when Jak and Liam rolled their eyes at each other and made gagging noises. "What?"
"Oh please. You two won't last two weeks."
"I'll take that bet." Liam added, throwing a shit-eating grin at me. I tossed a toast crust at him in response. "Come on. I mean you two were basically making out at my birthday meal. You think you're going to last going on romantic dates, alone?"
"You guys suck."
"But you love us!" They chorused.
"Debatable." I muttered as I got up from the table, and headed upstairs to get ready for going round to see Mikey and Sam again.
"I want you to come, tomorrow. It can be the first... trial?"
"So what was this?"
"This was... fun. But now we both know what we're trying to do and we can be careful about it."
"I don't think anything about us was ever careful."
"Exactly." She smiled and brushed a hair from my face, her fingers trailing against my skin and making me flush. "See? We have to... control ourselves at the beginning this time." She removed her hand and I almost followed.
"Okay. If this is what you want, if this is how you'll trust me again, I'm in."
"I look forward to it."
"Brownie time!" Mikey announced as soon as Sam opened the door to let me in.
"Ah I see. You're only pleased to see me because of chocolate." I grinned at him. "And what about you Sam? Just chocolate, or more?"
"Definitely just the chocolate." She grinned, and hugged me gently. I melted in to her, feeling the smell of her surround me. She pulled back, and I saw that her pupils were dilated before she turned around, and escorted Mikey in to the kitchen to wash his hands. I slipped off my shoes and coat, and followed them in.
A half hour later and there was chocolate everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. I laughed and pointed to the large dash of it on Sam's face, where Mikey had caught her with a wooden spoon as he had celebrated the first tasting of the pre-cooked mixture. She gave a smug smirk back and lifted her finger, swiping it over my neck, and then licking the chocolate mix off of her finger. I stared. Choking slightly. And she threw me a 'gotcha' face and went to clean Mikey up. I started cleaning the surfaces, watching the oven carefully. I didn't want them to burn.
By the time they returned, it was almost clean.
"Your turn." Sam grinned, eyeing my face. "Thanks for cleaning up."
"No problem. Okay, are you two going to pick out a film while I go and wipe this sh-cake off my face?"
"YEAH!" Mikey grinned and ran over to the sofa.
Brownies, Maleficent and bowls of ice-cream. Mikey curled up between us, his feet on my lap and his head in Sam's. Sam's arm splayed across the back of her sofa, and, very occasionally, her fingers playing with my hair. I glanced at her as she did it again, and she smiled, contentedly, at me, and pointed down at Mikey. He was fast asleep.
"It's only two," I whispered. "How is he sleeping?"
"I found him with his books this morning. He must have stayed up late reading."
"Do... do you think he heard us talking?"
"No. Even if he did, it's not like we were talking about anything rude or bad..."
"True." I rested my head back against her hand, gently, and saw her smile get a little bigger. "I miss you."
"I'm right here."
"I mean I miss these little moments. You'd think it would be the big things, but I miss all the little moments the most."
She watched me for a moment, eyes unfathomable, and then her hand moved, not away, but to stroke my cheek gently.