A/N- Hi guys! This is a one-shot based on my long story, Chasing Mussolini, and to understand the characters and relationships well, it sort of helps tohave read (and reviewed! hint hint) that one. But I think you can understand this even if you haven't. It was fun to write, as I like writing as Ian.

Warning: Mild spoilers for Chasing Mussolini readers, though it's nothing you didn't already have figured out for yourself.

That Face

She's making that face at me again. The face where she's trying to be stern and disapprove of me, because whatever I've just said goes against the way she thinks and her parents think she should be, but really she thinks it's funny as hell. The look where she crosses her arms and taps her foot and tries to frown, but something keeps tugging the corners of her mouth up and her eyes are all lit up with laughter.

Not very good at hiding her emotions, our Tess.

She never has been, for as long as I've known her, and if the trend keeps up I don't suppose she ever will be.

I live for her faces. The mock-pissed ones, like right now, the thoughtful, dreamy ones she gets when I play violinfor her, the I'm-concentrating-extra-hard-on-the-lesson-and-ignoring-you-so-you-won't-make-me-laugh ones, the part eager, part scared looks she gets when she doesn't quite know what she's getting into, even the bossy, bitchy ones, because it's fun to watch her when she's mad.

But my favorite face is the face she make when she's happy.

I know this sounds dumb, like, of course that's your favorite face, as she probably uses it most, right?

But she doesn't. My Tess has a million faces, and she uses them all, all the time. She has one of those faces, is one of those people, who are as transparent as glass, who you can always tell exactly what they're thinking and feeling and why. I've seen her go through about ten faces a minute, a new emotion every six seconds and a new face to go along with it.

And what a face. Tess has a face that I would write about, if I had enough guts. I mean, I'm a pretty good poet, but I don't know if everyone would be able to understand Tess' face if I wrote about it. I'm not sure I could do a good enough job. I tried once, and as far as I got was "Her face is a million songs," which is really far to flowery and crap for my tastes, even if it is true. I would like to be able to tell people abot her hair, black and shiny and long, her smooth, ivory-bare shoulders, about her cheekbones and her cleft chin and her adorable ski-jump nose that turns up just enough at the end to make her look saucy and not enough to make her look like a stuck-up pig. I'd also like to be able to talk about how her shoulders fit just perfectly under my arms, and her perfect little body and the way she always smells like lemons.

But I can't.

Right now, she's given up on the pissed face and is laughing at me. I can't honestly say that I blame her. It's twelve-thirty, and I'm at her window with a ladder. I think it's pretty funny. Apparently, so does she, though she tried to pretend to be mad at me.

"Get the hell inside," she says, opening the window. "What are you on?"

"Only high on life, princess," I say, landing a kiss on her cheek as I come inside. "I wanted to come visiting."

Tess' hair is down and all mussed around her face. She looks cute and weary, like a rockabilly babe who's been moshing for too long. She pulls that shiny hair back into a knot at the back of her head with one of those hair-ties always present around her wrist. She's wearing a tight, long-sleeved red tee-shirt and pink sweat pants.

"You clash," I tell her, sitting down on her bed. "And the shirt makes your boobs look huge."

""I wasn't counting on anyone seeing me," she says, getting back into bed and crawling under the covers. "And thanks. But that's why I never wear this to school anymore. It shrunk in the wash."

"Good idea, princess," I say, crawling in next to her, on top of the covers. "You'd have random guys trying to hump you."

I can hear her amused-yet-disgusted face when she speaks. "Gross. And speaking of which, who invited you into bed with me? Perv. Get out!" She tries to push me out, but I latch onto the bedpost and refuse to move.

"But I'm so sleeeeepy,' I whine.

She relents, which suprises me, as she usually doesn't change her mind once it's made up. She must be really sleepy. I think about the week she's had, her intense studying for finals and Regents, the calammady with Mr. Johnson, and feel a little bad for depriving her of much needed rest.

I put my arms around her and she snuggles against me. Already her eyes are closed, and when she speaks, her voic is slow and thick with sleep. She slurs her words as if she's drunk. She's nearly asleep again.

"Why're you here?" she says, slowly, her eyes not bothering to make the collossal effort needed to open them.

I look down at her, at her shoulders, her collarbone exposed by the stretched out neckline of her shirt, feel her breath on my ear, her body pressed agianst mine with the blanket between us. The circles under her eyes. That face of hers, finally and for once completely still. But even now, in her sleep, her face retains an expression. A sort of resigned and happy restfulness. Like he expression on the face of the Virgin Mary you see on cards at Christmas.

"I missed your face, princess," I whisper against her hair, as a lover would do. "I missed you."

But it doesn't matter, because she's already asleep. Her little chest, crowned with thse fabulous knockers, rises and falls against mine, and when I get up off the bed, she grabs my arm and snuggles a little closer, making the little whimpers of protest people make when they're asleep.

I pull off my hoodie and slip it into the spot where I was, and she latches onto that again, the distressed expression at my leaving quickly replaced with her holy, asleep face one once more. I hover over her, watching her sleep and wishing I could stay with her and wake up with her in the morning. But I can't,or she'll get scared and bolt. She's like that.

Instead, I lean over and kiss her forehead gently. "Night, princess," I whisper. Then I turn around and make for the windowsill, something heavy sitting right over my stomach.

I've already turned, so I don't catch the flicker as her eyelids flick open, watching me leave,and the delectable smile that graces her face as she hugs the hoodie I left behind close to her chest.

Her face.

A/N- Yes, I know. Completely plotless, mushy, and boring. But hopefully,it was a good plotless, mushy, boring pice of work. Review, por favor!