"CARL!" A loud bang could be heard all the way to the next 2 blocks. She picked up another stone and threw it at his window. "CAAAAAARL!"

The window opened and he looked out just as she threw another stone.

"Ouch! What the hell?!" He rubbed the spot where the stone hit him and he squinted to see who threw it.

"Carl! Hey!" Rain waved up at him enthusiastically as if it wasn't 4:30 AM.


"Yeah, the one and only." She striked a pose and blew a kiss at his window. "Come on, get down here."

"Hold on, let me get dressed." He called down to her.

"How about no?" She winked at him even though she knew it was too dark for him to see.

"What?" He was completely bewildered... And yet, at the same time, sort of hopeful. Like 3% of him was hopeful that he heard her say no.

"I'm kidding! Come on, get down here, quick." She crossed her arms over her chest. "And can you bring an extra jacket? It's cold out here."

He quickly got dressed and grabbed two jackets out of his closet before almost flying down the stairs. He threw the front door open and she was standing there with a wide grin.

"Hey, it's nice to finally see you in person." She breathed and her breath condensed in the air. She raised her hand up to touch it. "Wow."

He thought it cute and smiled down at her as he wrapped his jacket over her significantly smaller frame.

"Yeah. Nice to finally see you in person." He let his hands linger on her shoulders then slid them down her arms to take her hands in his. "Do you wanna come in? I can get you hot chocolate and breakfast."

"Sure." She smiled up at him and followed him in, closing the door behind her. It looked sort of familiar from the video chats they used to have. He went in the kitchen and started the process of making hot chocolate.

"So... You didn't tell me you were going to NJ." He glanced up at her as he stirred the powder mix into the hot water.

"I wanted to surprise you, my flight landed a few hours ago." She grinned, gripping the jacket tighter around her. "I bought that house that you kept telling me about across the street. I live there now."

"Really? That's-" He let out a laugh and smiled at her widely. "That's great."

"I know, I'm finally living alone! I can decorate it myself, too." She looked thoughtful. "Wanna come with me when I buy my stuff?"

"Sure, that'd be great." He said, handing her a cup of hot chocolate and taking a sip from his own.

"Let's take a walk." She said, already heading towards the door.

"Where do you want to go?" He asked, catching up to her.

As soon as they got out, the wind blew her hair every where and she looked like a mess. A hot mess. In his over sized jacket, her messy hair and the way she licked her lips after every sip. She finished the cup and set it down on the porch.

"Nowhere in particular. Just around." She waved her hand in a general direction. She cocked her head to the side, something obviously catching her attention. "Hey, is that the tree you were gonna teach me to climb once I got to NJ?"

"Oh, yeah." He grinned. So she still remembered that, huh? He put his cup down, too and grabbed her arm, pulling her towards the tree.

"Hey! No." She seemed almost mortified. "Nooooo. I didn't mean now. What if we get up there and our butts gets stuck to the branch and we'll never be able to get down until spring?"

"Don't be silly." He grinned at her as he threw her over his shoulder. No, please keep being silly. It's adorable. She squealed, half out of surprise and half out of delight.

"Put me down." She giggled, hanging limply from his shoulder and with a REALLY good view of his butt. "Come on, let's just walk. Your butt's too cute to be frozen."

"Umm, what?" He almost dropped her. He heard her giggling behind him and he set her down on the lowest branch, which was normally out of reach for him. "Do you know how to... Umm... Climb a tree?"

"Nope." She was hugging the branch and looking down on him. She watched as he climbed to the branch above her.

"Let's just do it this way, then." He put his arm around the trunk and offered hand in her direction. "Jump on 3. 1, 2, 3!"

She jumped and felt him tug her arm toward him. Her feet landed right beside his. She looked up at him with bright eyes. "I did it!"

"That you did, little lady." He climbed up to the next branch and did the same thing until they were as high as they can go. Which really wasn't much, it was just an apple tree, after all. She stood on the branch with his arm around her waist to steady her.

"Look, just in time for the sunrise." She grinned, peeking through the leaves to see the sun paint the clouds pink and yellow and purple and red. She turned around to look at Carl but found he was right behind her.

"Pretty, huh?" She smiled at him, not at all uncomfortable having him only a few inches away.

He looked at her and smiled back. "Yeah... Pretty." But from the look on his face, she could tell he wasn't talking about the sunrise. "Remember why we wanted to climb the tree in the first place?"

"No, I can't say I do." She bit her lip.

"Cuz we wanted to make out." He shrugged and spun her around so her back was against the trunk. "May I?"

She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. He wrapped his arms around her waist to pull her closer.

He can feel her lips on his and they were impossibly warm in this cold weather. But like they said, he can feel fireworks. He can hear them, too.

...Wait, that wasn't right. He took a step back to balance their weight but forgot to look where he was stepping.

"Holy shit." He accidentally bit her tongue and then he was falling. "Ugh!" The ground was not very kind to him.

"Oh, my gosh! Carl!" A voice from above him called. Rain was hanging onto one of the branches, her feet dangling in the air and she was pretty high up. "Are you ok?"

"Fine!" He called up to her and got up slowly.

"Don't you think it's a bit early to be falling for me already?" She gave a nervous laugh. He winked up at her.

"Can't help it, Babe." He laughed. "Get down from there."

"I…" She swung her feet back and forth alternately. "I can't."

"Just let go, I'll catch you." He held his arms out. "On 3, ok? 1, 2, 3."

He saw her let go of the branch and she fell into his arms. The momentum was too much though so he fell over again.

"Ow, I bit my tongue." Carl let go of her and she fell to the ground.

"Serves you right for biting my tongue earlier." She poked her tongue out.

He grinned at her and rolled them over so he was on top. He had a lag on each side and was resting on his elbows so she wouldn't feel his weight.

He leaned in really close and whispered in her ear. "Don't you think it's too early to be falling for me?"

"No." She whispered right before his lips crashed down on hers again.

.rain cuevas.