A/N: Finally got this one-shot to cooperate. I hope you like it. It's not very dialogue-happy and I'm wondering if it should be M-rated.... Not that it's too heavy on the sex or anything, but I don't know. I don't feel comfortable knowing there might be 12- and 13-year-olds reading it... Let me know what you think, I'll leave it T-rated for now. Oh, and it's a rough draft, mind you, so it's not perfect. Please feel free to point out any technical errors or anything you don't like. It's a generally known fact that I suck at one-shots. Thanks, leave a review!! :)
Here's Looking at You, Kid
He'd been around forever, taking on the big brother role and sheltering her from the evils of the world. Could one stormy night alone in her bedroom really change all that?
"So, alright, the vena cavae dump the blood into the right atrium. Then, the blood flows through to the right ventricle—"
"No, that's not right."
"Oh, I forgot. After the vena cavae, the blood goes from the right atrium into the right atrioventricular valve, and then into the right ventricle."
"Then, the right ventricle contracts and forces the blood into the semi lunar valve and through to the pulmonary arteries, right?"
Evan squinted at the textbook in front of him and then nodded slowly as he made out the words. The storm outside was raging strong as ever with the promise of a prolonged power failure. Reese's candles were fine to use if one wanted to bask in their soft light. However, reading by them was nearly impossible. He shifted his knees and leaned heavily over the edge of her bed. His position at the foot of it was uncomfortable, but Reese had said she didn't want to risk being able to see the answers.
No problem there, he thought ruefully, and squinted some more at the dark words and photos.
"Yeah," he said.
Reese sighed heavily, readying herself for more recitation but she stopped when a crack of thunder racked through the house. She shivered at the sound of the rain as the pounding and whistling at the windows grew stronger.
"Let's stop there," she said to Evan, who let out a breath of relief.
"Thanks, my head was starting to hurt," he mumbled, shutting her AP Biology book.
Reese had been adamant, in the beginning, that the storm wasn't going to stop her from studying. This Bio exam she had Monday morning was worth thirty percent of their quarter grade and she already had a 91 in the class. However, as the skies had darkened with both the hours and the storm, there was no sense in trying to go on.
Evan helped Reese clean up the papers and books that were strewn all over her bed and then settled down beside her against the headboard. Technically, he wasn't even supposed to be here but the storm had prevented him from leaving. Reese's parents were out of town and she'd been left home alone for the weekend with explicit instructions to behave. Essentially, that had meant Evan was not allowed to spend the night, regardless of their strictly platonic relationship.
Now, it was nearly eight in the evening, and Evan was still lounging around her room. Reese didn't care, of course, so long as her parents didn't find out. In any case, her mother would probably be glad that Evan had kept her company through the storm. It was common knowledge that Reese Carmichael hated thunderstorms almost as much as Evan Anderson hated cats.
"So, what do you want to do now?" Reese inquired, from her closet as she stuffed her books into her bag.
Evan leaned over the side of the bed and pulled out a couple of DVDs from Reese's bedside table. Even with the power failure, they always had her laptop and her portable DVD player to watch some movies.
"Let's watch Casablanca," he said, and moved off the bed to get her computer.
As he walked over to her desk, Evan noticed Reese in the closet from the corner of his eye. She was changing into her pajamas and hadn't realized Evan was staring at her. Of course he'd seen her change before; they weren't really as formal and closed off from each other as they should have been. But it was strange this time for some reason. His eyes remained glued to her long, trim frame as she pulled off her sweatshirt and then her blouse and jeans. She turned to grab her PJs from the dresser that had been situated in the midst of her enormous closet.
Evan peered at her unabashedly, not even aware of his actions, until Reese turned back around and found him looking.
She grinned, rolling her eyes, and moved behind the door to escape his prying blue gaze.
Evan rubbed the back of his neck distractedly. What the heck was he doing? He shook his head and then pulled her laptop off the desk.
Reese eventually came back out of the closet, wearing a tank top and matching lavender boy shorts. She'd pulled her wavy brown hair into a bun and was still messing with it as she took a seat beside Evan.
He'd just about got everything set up when she sat down, but they still had to wait a couple of minutes for the computer to finish booting up. Evan didn't let on about his Peeping Tom behavior and Reese decided to let him off the hook as well.
They settled back against the pillows of Reese's bed and watched the movie as they'd done countless times before. Evan would never admit to it in public, but Casablanca with his best friend was his one guilty pleasure.
Evan and Reese had been watching Casablanca for years, ever since Reese's mother Vickie had introduced them to it when they were eleven. Now, whenever Evan was over for long periods of time, they invariably pulled out the DVD and curled up to watch it.
As the storm raged on outside, Evan slipped an around Reese's waist and pulled her into his side like he always did. Reese automatically leaned her head on his shoulder and promptly fell asleep about twenty minutes into the movie.
Evan dozed off soon after.
Reese was startled awake at the sound of another clash of thunder. She wasn't really sure how late it was, but her laptop was almost dead and the power was still out. Luckily, her candles hadn't burned out yet so she wasn't completely blinded by the darkness of the storm.
She lifted her head and found herself curled into Evan's side, her arm wrapped contently around his toned stomach. He was altogether too tall for her bed at almost six-feet and three inches, but he'd managed to fit somehow. His long, lean frame was scrunched up beside her and Reese smiled softly at him.
Another crash of thunder snapped her out of her trance and she found herself wondering what time it was again.
Evan shifted under her as Reese leaned over him to get her cell phone. Instead of finding her phone, Reese's hand crashed into the picture frame on her bedside table. The frame swung off balance and fell loudly onto the wood of the table.
Evan moved around again, this time opening his bright blue eyes and coming face to face with his best friend's chest. She was bending across the bed in her attempt to right the frame and he was too startled at their position to do anything but stare.
Reese picked up the frame at last and glanced at it a moment to make sure the glass hadn't broken. It was a photo of her sixth birthday and her mother had snapped the shot right as Evan had decided to pop her a wet one on the cheek. He'd always defended himself by claiming that he'd been trying to lick the icing off her face, but Reese couldn't help the little grin on her lips every time she saw the picture. It was simply another testament to her long history with him.
And long it was, indeed. Evan had been around forever, or at least since before she was born. Reese was six months younger than her best friend but they were both in the same grade and had always been inseparable.
Evan had been the boy who'd bathed with her when they were kids. He was the one who had punched Bobby Jenkins in the nose when he'd thrown a mud pie at Reese in the second grade. He was also the only boy in elementary school whom Reese had been utterly convinced did not have cooties.
And when Cameron and Christian Carmichael, Reese's older twin brothers, had moved away to college the year before last, Evan had taken up the gauntlet of keeping an eye out for her.
Reese finally managed to grab a hold of her cell phone and leaned back. She found Evan staring blankly up at her and smiled softly.
His dark brown hair was matted to his forehead in the absence of gel, but that was just fine with her. She'd never liked that goopy stuff he used, anyway, and preferred him without it messing up his silky tresses.
"Hey, you," she murmured.
"Hi," he whispered. "What time is it?"
Reese looked down at her phone and found that it was nearly eleven o'clock already. But the storm didn't seem to have let up any.
"It's about eleven. I think you'll have to spend the night," she said.
Evan shrugged beneath her and then gently moved her aside so that he could sit up. They'd slept for something like three hours and he was now as wide awake as he could be. But the problem was that there was nothing for them to do in the darkness created by the raging storm outside.
"Fucking power needs to come back on," he muttered, irritated.
"Agreed," Reese replied. "Hey, maybe we could check the breaker?"
Evan shook his head. "If it wasn't working at seven, and hasn't come on yet, it won't work now."
Reese nodded, accepting his logic, and made to stand up. She needed some air; her room was getting stifling.
Evan moved out of the way to let her out of bed, and Reese walked over to the window to look outside. Sure enough, the rain was just as bad as it had been before they'd fallen asleep. There was no way she'd let Evan leave now; he lived almost twenty minutes away.
She sighed heavily, stretched, and then began making her way back over to the bed. But things just weren't meant to happen in their favor that day because Reese ended up slipping on a stray notebook and was sent sprawling across Evan's lap. He let out a grunt, barely catching Reese before her elbow landed on his crotch.
"Oh, God," she muttered, staring down at her best friend's jeans.
Evan blushed heavily and all but shoved her away. Reese's cheeks colored as well and she turned around to pick up the notebook.
"Shit, Reese. That was too close," he replied.
She blushed harder and didn't turn around until she had her face under control. Evan was staring at the ceiling when she sat back down next to him.
How awkward, Reese thought.
She started playing distractedly with Evan's white sweatshirt as her thoughts traveled to the strange atmosphere that had encompassed the room since the storm began several hours ago. It was like static electricity was slithering all over her walls and anything and everything had been electrified.
Evan grabbed Reese's hand a few minutes later when her fidgeting got on his nerves.
"That's annoying," he mumbled. "God, I'm bored. I hate rainstorms."
Reese laced their fingers together, but even that was awkward and overly warm so she pulled her hand away a moment later. Evan glanced at her briefly, not commenting, and stashed the offending hand into his pocket.
"Well, I think I'm going to try studying again. I'll light a few more candles," Reese said, slightly perturbed.
Maybe moving away from him would help. It was probably just their close proximity and prolonged time together that was making things so funny. But Evan wasn't one to give up so easily.
"Ah, don't be such a bitch. Why don't we try watching the movie again?" he suggested, pulling her towards him by the waist.
"Fine, but only if you'll get the DVD player from downstairs," Reese agreed. "My laptop's not going to last much longer."
"I'm so comfortable, though," Evan said, leaning against her headboard.
He pulled her closer, meanwhile ignoring the strange warmth that Reese's body seemed to emanate, and encircled her waist with his hands. Reese squirmed around, trying to get away, but eventually gave in to his persistence and allowed him to turn her around.
"Why don't you go get it?" Evan suggested.
"Or… not, and you could go get it. You're the one bored," Reese answered.
Evan rolled his icy blue eyes and sat up straighter.
"You're impossibly stubborn, you know that? It's cold and creepy downstairs and you're willing to sacrifice your best friend who loves you so much… all for a stupid DVD player?" he asked.
Reese grinned cheekily and nodded. Her wavy hair had come undone during their nap so she pulled out the hair tie and her silky tresses dropped around her mostly bare shoulders. Evan caught a strand and tugged at it gently.
"Nope, no dice. I'm not going," he said.
"Neither am I."
Evan sighed heavily and then grinned his million-dollar, evil-as-a-Cheshire-Cat smile. Before Reese could stop him, he'd glued his fingers to her ribs and tackled her in a tickle fight.
"E-Evan! That's—That's not fair," Reese giggled.
Evan straddled her hips, refusing to let up even when she started to squirm. He was only caught momentarily off guard when a crack of thunder and lightning lit up the skies outside. But that was enough time for Reese to flip their positions; living with three brothers and being constantly around star soccer player Evan Anderson had ensured that she was no fragile flower.
Evan leaned against the headboard with Reese in his lap and laughed heavily as she tickled him. Her position was unorthodox, at best, as she had one leg on either side of his thighs and sat chest to chest with him while she attacked his ribs.
Evan grabbed both of her wrists in one of his hands to stop her barrage. Reese was breathing hard, but still had a grin on her face. She peered up at her best friend with innocent green eyes and only then realized their position.
The electricity that had previously been coursing through the room, ironic as that was in a power failure, seemed now to be collected in the parts of their bodies that were touching. Reese resisted the urge to gasp but didn't fail to see the expression of surprise on Evan's face.
He immediately released her hands and turned his blue gaze down to his lap. Reese was frozen in place and made no attempt at moving off his legs.
The room grew hotter and hotter as they sat there, neither of them willing to break the moment. It was only by the light of the lightning outside that Reese was snapped out of her daze.
She made to slip off the bed and as far away from Evan as the room would allow, but her best friend again had different ideas. He not-so-casually curled an arm around her waist to keep her in place.
Reese couldn't understand his hot and cold behavior. One minute he was watching her change, and the next he was pushing her off his lap. A moment ago he'd released her hands as though they were burning him and now he wanted to get closer. Her face must have shown her confusion because Evan pulled her even closer.
Tentatively, she placed her hands on his chest—his soccer sculpted, Adonis-worthy chest. Even sitting down, he was still half a head taller so Reese was forced to stare at his vehemently bobbing Adam's apple when he wouldn't meet her eyes.
Her heavy and erratic breathing felt like sizzling steam on Evan's neck but he couldn't bring himself to look down at her. All he could see now was the top of her brown-haired head.
He had to remind his pumping heart and butterfly-ridden stomach that this was his practically-family best friend whom he had treated like a little sister for nearly eighteen years. He'd grown up with her and taken care of her for as long as he could remember and one night wasn't going to change all that.
Evan mentally shook his head, and then turned to look down at her at the same time Reese mustered up the courage to look up at him. Her nose collided with his chin and she winced.
"Are you okay?" Evan asked, carefully pulling away to look down at her.
Reese nodded distractedly, noticing at last their proximity to each other. Her lips were barely a centimeter away from his and she could feel his warm breath on her aching nose.
Barely a second too late, Reese tore her eyes away from his lips. Their gazes met, and she realized his eyes were as much gray as they were blue. Her heart began to pound steadily faster when Evan made no move to look away.
And when Evan brought his long-fingered hands up to her waist, Reese was forced to remind herself that this was her best friend she was gazing at. Her ribcage protested at the erratic beats of her heart and she was momentarily assaulted by a textbook diagram of the same organ.
Aorta, atrium, atrioventricular valves… Anterior vena cava, superior vena cava, pulmonary arteries, semi lunar valves… Reese thought dazedly.
Evan traced his fingers up and down her waist.
Reese bit her bottom lip to suppress the urge to sigh. She slid her hands up his chest and locked them around his neck instinctively.
Blood is pumped from the vena cavae into the right atrium…
The fluttering of butterflies at the base of her stomach was a new feeling entirely, and one that a girl should not be having when embracing her best friend. But the way that his eyes seemed to be looking straight through her was too intense to be a fabrication of her mind.
Evan ran his hands over her waist one more time, tugging at the bottom of her silky camisole. That piece of lavender-colored fabric was the only thing that separated him from her milky skin and such a thought made him blush.
The blood floods into the right AV valve and through to the right ventricle…
But Evan's hands were working of their own accord by now. His fingers had slipped beneath her camisole and rested lightly on the small of her back.
Reese managed to drop her eyes—at last—back to his Adam's apple, and watched as he swallowed over and over again. She mimicked his movements, gasping for air.
Evan trailed his fingers higher on her back, tracing her spine and reveling at the way it arched at his touch. They were chest to chest now. Reese could feel his heart pounding in time with hers.
The right ventricle contracts, forcing the blood into the pulmonary semi lunar valve…
She pulled her green gaze up to meet his again, bidding her sanity goodbye as it flitted out the door, and found him staring at her mouth. His fingers stilled on her back.
As Evan's mind screamed no, his pulsating heart urged him on. There was a faint light of wanting in Reese's eyes that drew him even closer and he finally allowed himself to sin.
Blood leaves the hea… Blood leaves…
Reese was mildly surprised that Evan's lips were cooler than the rest of his body. His hands clasped her waist beneath her pajama top but she could have cared less where they were at that point.
The parts of her that were disgusted by her momentary lapse in judgment were silenced by the other, much greater, parts that approved of her actions.
Evan pulled one of his hands out from beneath her camisole and placed it on her right thigh. Kissing Reese was so much better than he could have ever imagined. He'd had his fair share of experience with girls, but his best friend took the prize as the sexiest and best he'd ever had.
Reese voluntarily opened her mouth when his tongue began coaxing her lips open. She leaned up on her knees and Evan's other hand dropped to her left thigh. Now, she was taller than him and he was forced to lean up.
All coherent thought fled from Reese's mind at last and she sighed into her best friend's mouth.
They had to part eventually to catch their breath, but it was only long enough for Evan to tug Reese's camisole over her head. She shivered involuntarily, ignoring the feel of his eyes at her chest.
"G-Good enough for you?" she mumbled and looked down at his lap. Her cheeks colored immediately.
"You're more than I deserve," he whispered, and instead of clamping his hands to her chest as others might have, Evan pulled his arms around her waist and dropped his lips to her neck.
Reese moaned and clutched the collar of his shirt to keep herself balanced and in control. His mouth was cold and warm at the same time and sent shivers through her spine.
He pulled away a little while later, and she managed to slip his polo over his head.
Now, she'd seen Evan Anderson shirtless countless times before, but never had Reese been able to appreciate him as she did now. She dropped back down, off her knees, and allowed him to capture her lips again while her hands explored his chest.
Their feverish kisses began to dwindle after a while, when Evan refused to go any farther, and Reese was content to bury her hands in his silky hair while his mouth toyed with her lips.
The electric spark that had been stalking them throughout the day was still coursing around them, but its intensity had lessened and the unresolved sexual tension it had brought along with it had been diffused.
Evan and Reese's movements became increasingly languid until they were simply happy to be in each other's arms. This gave them both an opportunity to think things through.
Evan's mind still protested his actions. A previously platonic and familial relationship had been shattered in favor of teenage hormones, it argued. But Evan rather wanted to believe that a window had been closed so that a door could now open. Whether he was kissing his best friend didn't matter anymore. He'd always be there for her, in one form or another—there was nothing that could prevent that. And he was fairly certain, from the way she reacted to his touches, that Reese felt the same way.
And indeed she did. Reese had given up trying to convince herself she wasn't attracted to Evan. Their actions had proven to the contrary and she'd realized how happy she felt being in his arms. This, she wanted to think, would not be an end to their relationship as best friends. Rather, it was an opportunity to get to know each other, and be there for each other, in a way they never had been before. And while getting used to the idea of looking at Evan in a way different than she had been for seventeen years would take a while, Reese was most certainly up to the challenge.
Evan dropped an arm around her shoulder just in time for the power to come back on, and their small world was drowned in light for the first time in hours. In all their heated turmoil, neither of them had noticed the sound of the storm dwindling down.
Although the absence of light had fueled their electricity, Reese refused to think that the presence of it would change anything.
"Here's looking at you, kid," Evan mumbled, kissing the top of her head.
And in that moment, she knew she was right.