The last slice of chocolate cake, one o'clock in the morning, and two people in love. Interesting? We'll see...
Carefully feeling his way through the dark room, his hand at last came in conatct with the refridgerator door. He pulled it open - slowly, so as not to rattle the jars on the shelves. The small area around him was bathed in soft light, though not enough to draw his attention to the figure sitting silently at the table behind him.
When a quick scan of the shelves failed to bring the desired result, Reed sighed. "Where could that last slice of cake have got to?" he wondered aloud.
He hadn't expected his thoughts to be answered in the same manner.
"It's right over here."
The result of twisting around suddenly, combined with the jolting shock of being startled from behind, was that his legs became entangled, and he fell - quite literally - flat on his face.
"Susan! I've told you before, do not ever sneak up on me like that!" Reaching easily across the room, he flicked on the lights. Easing himself gracefully from the floor was a slightly more difficult task. Regardless, he more or less succeeded. "What are you doing up so late?"
"I could be asking you the same question," she answered, cocking her blonde head slightly and gazing at him with her crystal-blue eyes. Indicating the chair across from hers, she slid a fork toward him.
He took the offered seat, clearly puzzled. "Have you been waiting up for me?" he asked.
After swallowing a bit of the "missing" slice of cake, she set her fork down on the plate and studied the man before her. His rich brown hair betrayed his youth, but the neat streaks of silver at the sides implied years of experience. His deep, dark eyes belied a complexity of character, while the simplicity of his calm personality was shown in the smooth and tranquil expression that most often graced his noble features. To gaze too deep and too long into his face caused her very heart to stop. Unable to answer his simple question with words, she merely nodded, tearing her eyes away lest she lose herself again.
A little uneasy himself, Reed ran a hand through his graying heair and searched for a way to break the strange silence that had fallen over them. "Was there any particular reason you were waiting up for me?" he said at last.
Sue cleared her throat once and forced herself to look at him again. "I've been meaning to tell you something," she began slowly. "I really appreciate everything you've done for us since the accident." When he tried to shrug it off, she moved quickly to interrupt him. "You didn't have to, you know. You could have left us all to fend for ourselves, like Victor did. But you didn't. You helped us work through everything, as a team. And you showed true leadership when it really counted. You're at least twice the man he was. I only wish there was some way to repay you, to show my gratitude."
Never before had he heard her talk like that, like she was somehow indebted to him. For the past several months, he had felt that it was him that owed her. Now was his chance to finally feel like the score was even. "Just tell me," he whispered, "that you forgive me for all the times I've messed up, for all the times I've hurt you. And one more time, just once more, tell me you love me... And that you'll marry me."
Satisfied, he leaned over, stretching his body across the table, and planted a gentle kiss on her nose.
A smile danced on her lips, and she laughed softly. "That's my nose again, genius."
He simply nodded. "I know."
It goes without saying that a kiss, deep and passionate, would surely have followed. But at that very moment, Johnny walked into the room. "What are you guys doing up so late?" he asked, sounding a little tired out himself. Catching sight of the unfinished slice of chocolate cake between them, however, his eyes lit up instantly. "Oh, hey! Cake!" With that, he swiped the plate - and the fork - and headed off to his room.
Reed and Sue said nothing. Instead, they exchanged a smile of pure amusement and started off to bed as well.