Hey readers! :D

Well I've got another little drabble that came into my head today.

I am tactile to the point of having a serious problem (I need at least three hugs a day to not melt into a little puddle of sadness) and I decided to type this out based on a real life situation when I comforted a friend with a hug.

So I hope you enjoy this fluffy happy piece!

...

She ran.

It didn't matter why she was running, but she ran, streaking through the forest that she knew like the back of her hand, to the one spot where she would be safe.

Tears leaked from her eyes as her feet slapped the dry ground, kicking up small dust clouds as she weaved around trees and leapt over fallen branches and logs.

Just a little bit further and she would be able to break.

She finally skidded to a stop, breathing in the cold air and letting it shock her tired lungs as she smiled, staring at the view that was her little secret.

It was a small waterfall, running into a brook that flowed down through the trees until it was lost from sight, and she sat by it.

The chirps of birds filled her ears and her mind as she finally allowed herself to cry, thinking what it would be like to be a bird, to be able to leave the world and its troubles behind her as she flew to a new adventure.

Her body shuddered as she put her head in her hands and sobbed, muttering curses as she heaved and gasped for breath. Her hand sought a stone and she seized it, hurling it into the water with a cry, wondering if she could make a wish… just one wish.

She wanted to stop being so perfect. To stop holding herself to a higher standard than the rest of the world. She wanted to free herself from the pressure she had eagerly accepted and be normal for a change.

But wishes weren't real. They never would be.

…..

The pressure had gotten too much when she had decided to help a friend with a recording he was doing, they were both musicians so she relished the chance to work with him on a song.

He had arrived at her house armed with a guitar and a small camera, and they'd gotten to singing almost immediately.

Their voices supported one another and melded together to make the song perfect, and she was impressed with the way his guitar skills had grown over the years that she had known him.

She was also impressed how relaxed he was in terms of making mistakes. He'd mess up a chord or two but would just keep on singing, playing around the mistakes until he got them right. She noticed that his posture or his overall tone didn't change when he made them, he just messed up and moved on.

It was so unlike her it threw her for a loop.

With her music, it was her baby, and it had to be perfect.

If she missed a note or her timing was off she stopped and had to start again. Non-negotiable. She couldn't just pretend that a mistake wasn't there or that it would be ignored by the listeners. Each repeated mistake made her more and more frustrated, she was better than this!

When they started filming he assured her he would probably screw up and they'd have to do a few takes, and she'd smiled as he got ready.

They began singing together and everything went well… until the first chorus.

She missed a note and asked him for a re-do.

He'd smiled that understanding smile at her and paused the camera, deleting the mess up, and reassuring her that silly mistakes were all too common when you were being recorded.

They started again, and she sang the first chorus well… too well in fact, and she stumbled over the lyrics to the next verse.

She paused and he rose again, repeating the lyrics with her and chuckling as she slapped a palm to her forehead as he pressed record again.

Ten takes had gone by and they hadn't even completed the song due to her insistence on stopping and restarting. Still, he kept smiling at her, giving her encouragement, reminding her that his YouTube channel was small, and not too many people would be viewing the video anyway.

She shook her head and asked for a break, which he gave her, and she rushed into her kitchen attempting to calm down.

How was he doing it? She'd counted no less than thirty dull sounding chords or missed notes or gaps in the strumming pattern and still he was all smiles. How could they not bother him?

Tears of frustration welled up in her eyes as she took a deep breath. She just needed to practice harder and calm down, that was it… so why was calming down so hard?!

Maybe it was all the stress she was under. Her schoolwork had gotten much harder, her sister was back in town and breathing down her neck, and she was constantly getting pressured by her family, her friends, her teachers, to work harder, do better, and be more perfect.

She hated it, how she was holding herself to a higher standard with her music and making her best friend deal with her insecurities. He was a good musician, and seemed to take all of his mess ups in stride, so what was he telling himself that made it all okay?

After a few deep breaths, she composed herself and walked back into the room, smiling a smile that didn't reach her eyes.

As always he noticed "You okay?"

"Fine" She replied, letting the smile reach her eyes this time as she sat down. "Let's do this."

…..

They made it through the entire song before she messed up. The last note was a bit higher than she was used too, and her voice cracked. She turned and cursed softly, she was so close! They were so close!

He smiled and squeezed her shoulder tightly "We almost got this, let's try again."

They tried again, got through the entire song, and then she lost it. The same note, the same point in the song, screwed her over!

She had stood up then, cursing aloud as she swung her arms around in exasperation. "That stupid note! Why?!"

He had stood up, placing his guitar aside "Hey, hey, hey… it's okay we'll try again and you'll get it."

"No, I won't!"

Tears streamed down her face as she finally broke down, letting all the anger and the pain out as she repeated blindly "I won't, I won't, I won't!"

She had then turned and rushed towards the door, yanking it open and running away, running towards the one spot where no one would find her.

She blinked the last of the tears away as she shuddered, sniffling as the pain ended, she'd finally broken down and now she had to pull herself together and then apologize.

A footstep echoed behind her and caused her to turn around.

He was there, breathing heavily as he smiled at her. "Good gosh you run fast!"

She looked at him, torn between being angry at him finding her secret spot, and touched that he would run all the way to find her.

He sat down beside a tree and took in deep breaths "You okay?"

She took a deep breath "Y-yeah… I'm okay. Just stressed."

He patted her shoulder and pulled her into a hug, holding her close for a moment before letting her go. "You need to talk?"

His hand rubbed her back, coaxing her through her shudders, and she sniffed "Alright"

For the next thirty minutes, she ranted, yelling and crying and shuddering as she let all her troubles pour out of her mouth and into the open.

And he let her.

He nodded, smiled, rubbed her back, and didn't interrupt at all. He just kept listening, until finally, she ran out of things to say.

Then he stood up and pulled her to her feet. "I'm sorry that everything is going that way for you, I wish I could help."

"You have, you don't expect me to play a part or be perfect. You just see me for me, and that is a special gift. You can take your mistakes in stride, and you are not bothered by them. I wish I could do that my friend."

He blushed and smiled "Thank you, and just know that I love you for you, not how perfect you can be."

She smiled back "How much?"

He winked at her and spread his arms. "This much!"

She smiled "I love you more, this much!" She spread her arms, shaking her head as she noticed that her arm span was about a foot shorter than his.

His chuckle filled her ears as he noticed the difference "I win! I love you more!"

She blushed and smiled "Yeah yeah…." She looked up at him, once again cursing her height. He was a head taller than her, and he stuck his tongue out at her cheekily.

She smiled before looking at their open arms "So are we just going to stand here with our arms open?"

His eyes sparkled as he smiled "We have to hug, our arms are open so it's obligatory."

Stepping into his warm embrace, she buried her face into his shoulder, as his arms wrapped around her. His fingers caught on the back of her shirt, rolling the loose fabric between his fingers slowly.

She pressed her body against him, marveling at how warm he was, and how safe she felt in his arms. All the troubles she had felt small and pointless compared to the feeling that was rapidly rising in her stomach, a warm perfect feeling that she wanted to savor as long as possible.

He buried his nose in her long hair, twirling a strand of it around his finger as he took in her scent. She didn't wear a lot of perfume, but he always swore that she had a scent, and he drank it in.

She giggled as his nose tickled her cheek, and only clutched him tighter, not wanting this feeling to end. Her hands squeezed his arms as she rested her chin on his shoulder nuzzling his neck affectionately.

Until finally she had to let go, and regretfully they stepped back, sharing a smile that was only meant for them. Then he took her hand, lacing their fingers together.

"Come on, we've still got a recording to do sweetheart."

She squeezed his hand and smiled as they walked back up to the path to her home.

After a few quick explanations to her worried parents, they got back to recording and this time sang the song better than before. Perfectly on the first try.

After it was uploaded and finished, he rose to leave, and she caught his shoulder before he could step out the door.

No words were exchanged as they came together in another passionate hug, squeezing one another as tightly as they could, hands gripping, feet swaying, hearts thumping off of one another. The door slammed closed as she pulled him back inside, running her arms around his shoulders and her fingers down his back.

He accepted her eager embrace, knowing that this was her way of thanking him for being there, for having her back, and being the greatest friend he could be.

When they finally parted, blinking away blushing faces and jumping hearts, she squeezed his hand one last time.

He smiled at her, that knowing smile that reassured her, no matter what that he'd always be there for her, holding her close with open arms.

...

A bit of a quicker and fluffier story than normal, but I had to write it out! ;D

I hope you enjoyed this story and for all you musicians out there, the title is also a reference to the Journey song of the same name which I absolutely adore! I'll definitely be covering some Journey music on my Youtube Channel in the next few months, so be prepared for that!

As always leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, give a hug to someone special in your life, and have a great day!