Derik and I were sitting in a small diner down the street from my house. It was the middle of winter and neither of us had a vehicle so we just decided to go to the nearest place. It was a place that I didn't even know existed.

Three months into our friendship and he was still as timid as could be, "Derik, relax," I smiled across the table as he pulled his sleeves down over his hands, "We're the only ones in here."

He nodded as that pale gaze darted around the small area, "I-I know, but," his entire form stiffened as the door opened and two laughing men stepped into the diner, "It's j-just that," his slender hands wrapped around the edge of the table, "I-I don't," he shook his head as I noticed that his knuckles were white, "It's still hard."

I reached across the table and placed my gloved hand on his, "Hey," I offered him a sweet smile, "I have an idea," I paused to make sure that I had his undivided attention, "Why don't we both take self-defense classes? Together?"

Derik's gaze became incredulous. He couldn't believe what I had just said. He was completely against violence and I knew that, but I had a great counter argument planned, "I don't want to fight, CiCi."

"I know," I nodded as I began my debate, "but you don't have to fight. It'll give you more confidence and technically you can't fight if you get advanced enough."

Derik sighed as he looked down at the placemat sitting on the table in front of him, "You've thought this through."

I nodded as I beamed, "I have," I leaned forward, "I actually kind of signed us up for a beginner course. What do you say?"

"Fine," Derik let out a defeated sigh before he shrugged, "just remember that I'm only doing this for you."

"I know," I squeezed his hand before I let go, "Thank you, and I'm doing it for you."

I slid into the booth as I thought about that first time. It was really hard for me to not reminisce at this time in my life. I was finally with Derik and I was thinking about all the signs that I had been there and I was working on my greatest project yet. It was all I could do. Thinking about all that had happened to get to this point in my life was amazing.

"You've been quiet," I looked up at Derik's light voice to see that he was leaning forward with his elbows on the table, "You okay?"

I nodded, "Yeah," I sighed, "I'm just thinking about the first time we came here," I smiled, "How I convinced you to take self-defense classes."

Derik smiled, "Never would have done it if it weren't for you," he reached across the table and grabbed my hand, "Why have you been taking these treks down memory lane recently?"

I rolled my eyes as I looked around, "Well, haven't you?"

"Can't say that I have."

Of course he hadn't. He knew how long he had liked me. There was nothing for him to really think about, "Oh, since we're together and all. It's just amazing all the signs that I missed."

"Yeah," I glared at him and he just chuckled, "You know I'm playing with you. Sometimes it's the most obvious things that you miss. I do it all the time."

"With what!"

Derik laughed at me again, "CiCi," he shook his head, "it's things like this that people don't notice. They're too afraid to admit it and it just slips past them."

I sighed. He had a point. I had seen it happen more often than not. Two people would be obviously into each other, but they wouldn't really notice. Most guy/girl friends were all about it, but they never noticed it. Derik and I were a prime example, "Right," I shrugged it off as the waitress finally stepped over to us. The very same waitress we had had that day.

The woman, Maggie, smiled down at the two of us, "Hey, CiCi," she looked over at Derik, "Derik. How are you two today?"

I lifted my hand, the one that Derik was still holding onto to as I smiled up at her, "We're official!"

Maggie chuckled as Derik's grip tightened. I knew he hated it when I did such things, but Maggie was like a mother to both of us. After six years, she was the only other person that Derik seemed to be remotely calm around, "Well, it's about time you two," she shook her head, "So, how did it happen? Did he finally just sweep you off your feet?"

I laughed as I let our hands rest on the table, "No, it was kind of a slip up by me," I shrugged, "I wrote a short story for my creative writing class and he read it. Well," I looked down at the table as I thought over that night, "the story was about two people that had been friends for a little while and ended up in a romantic relationship."

"She didn't realize that she was really writing about us, but I did."

I stuck my tongue out at Derik as Maggie chuckled, "He asked me about it and then managed to find to courage to just kiss me," I looked across the table and I knew I had that dream look in my eyes. It was one hell of a kiss…

Maggie sighed, "You two are too cute," she shrugged as she stuck her hands in her apron, "Are you two going to want the usual?"

Derik and I both nodded as Maggie hurried away to place our orders, "Well," I looked over to see that Derik was looking down at the placemat, "you still haven't found that tenth spoon have you?"

My gaze narrowed on him a moment before I shoved my placemat to the side, "Oh, pooh on you," he chuckled as my mind started to drift again. That stupid placemat was going to haunt me for the rest of my life…

"Hey," I looked up from the placemat to see that Derik's pale gaze was locked on the door. Something had him spooked and I was just trying to take his mind off of whatever it was, "look at your placemat."

Derik blinked a few times as if he was coming back to reality. He had been my friend over nearly a year and we were at the diner again. We went to the place all the time before he got his car and then for some reason we just wouldn't stop. It wasn't that it was such a good place. It was probably because there was rarely more than half a dozen other people there at a time, "What about it?"

I looked down at my mat as I went to explain, "It says that there are ten spoons hidden in the different advertisements. I've found three."

There was a light chuckle from Derik a moment before he responded, "Found them all."

My eyes grew wide as I looked up across the table at him, "What! You spent, like, five seconds looking for them. There is no way you found them all!"

Derik looked up at me through his lashes, "Do you want me to point them out to you?"

I glared at him, "No," I sighed, "I want to find them myself. Don't even think about telling me. No matter how long it takes me."

"I still curse myself for telling you not to tell me no matter what."

Derik laughed as he leaned back in the booth seat, "It just makes for an amusing time," I sent a sharp look in his direction, but it didn't faze him. He knew that I wasn't mad at him. I didn't think I would ever be mad at him and he knew that, "So," his expression became serious, "we need to discuss what's happening."

My eyes grew wide. I knew that this was coming, but I didn't want to think that there was anything that was going to change between us. I should have known that things were going to change. Many things were going to change, "Okay…"

Derik sighed, "I know we've been avoiding this, but," he sat up straight, "we can't any longer," he glanced out the window behind me, "it's getting late and I know that you're going to pass out at my place if we go back there. We need to figure out exactly what's going to happen with that."

I looked over my shoulder out the window. He was right. There was a good chance that I was going to go back over to his house to spend some more time with him and I always fell asleep at his place, "What do you mean? I usually slept on the couch. Don't you think it's a little too soon to change that up?"

Derik nodded, "I do, but I was just making sure you felt the same way, though," he sighed, "I always felt bad making you sleep on the couch."

I rolled my eyes, "Not going to change," he nodded, "What else is there to figure out?"

He sighed, "So many other things," he looked past me, "First of all, kissing."

Well, that hadn't been what I had been expecting. What did he want to discuss about kissing. I didn't quite understand, "What about it?"

He gave me that impish grin of his, "I don't know the exact protocol on that. We've been friends for so long and we've never been afraid to hold hands, but what about kissing?"

I leaned across the table and grabbed the collar of his shirt, "Whenever you want," I pulled him to me and gave him a quick kiss, "Though, you don't have to be quite as forward as that."

Derik chuckled as I let go of his collar and we both fell back into our seats. It was so strange kissing him. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it was still weird. He was my best friend and usually people didn't think about kissing their best friends. Though, once I kissed him I could barely think about doing anything else.

He was my Derik and I really did love the man.