I lay on my bed staring at the ceiling as if all the wisdom of the world were written there. It wasn't. I sighed yet again, throwing an arm over my eyes in despair. We had been so close. I had been so close to kissing Brooke. Kissing her! Damn Lauren ….. all the way to hell and all the way back again. I could still feel the whisper of Brooke's lips on my own. I shuddered as my imagination took the contact further, sensing the gentle press of the slim body against my own. 'One of your friends are here!' Argh, even my fantasies were interrupted before they got really interesting. Couldn't I get a moment of peace in my own room? 'Did you hear me? Your friend's coming up,' my Mother's voice called again. Apparently not, I answered my own question. I rolled off the bed, tidying the cover quickly. I wondered what Amber or Tash had to say, not doubting that it was one or other of my closest friends. I considered that for a moment, after today I was going to have to reevaluate the whole best friend thing. I had no idea how to describe Brooke, their relationship was so vague it was almost translucent but there was definitely something there. And I really wanted to know what it was. 'Knock knock?' The quiet voice barely penetrated the fog of my thoughts but once it had I turned to face the door in an instant. 'Come in,' I responded, nervousness colouring my tone. Brooke slowly pushed the door open, standing on the cusp for a few seconds until my waved hand drew her inside. Brooke smiled shyly at me, not sure what was the right thing to say but certain that she was in the right place. She just hoped that it was the right time too. 'Hi,' I returned her smile, 'come on in.' Brooke closed the distance between us, taking a seat next to me on the edge of the bed. 'Are you OK?' Brooke asked tentatively. 'Yeah.' I doubted that Brooke believed me but I wasn't sure how much honesty either of them could take at that particular moment. 'Did Amber say anything?' 'How did it go with Loz?' We began at the same time, laughing nervously as we each waited for the other to respond. There had been a buzz around school about the whole toilet episode. Rumours of Loz raging in the corridor, Jai breaking down the door and Brooke being held hostage had been rife. 'She didn't say much,' I filled the silence. 'Mel gave me a funny look then kind of ignored me. I think maybe they thought I was begging you to make me popular or something. What about Loz?' Brooke sighed, 'She thought the same thing, I got a lecture about being too softhearted and not falling prey to emotional issues.' "Emotional issues": Loz had no idea. Brooke wondered what would happen if - when, she correctly herself honestly - her best friend did get the idea. God, that was going to be a nightmare. Brooke didn't think that Loz was especially homophobic, she even had a suspicion that the acerbic girl had experimented a little. It was just that this would impinge on Loz's sense of how a high school popular should conduct herself. Brooke struggled not to roll her eyes at that, Loz and Jai hardly had spotless reputations but this would be unforgivable in their eyes. Or would it? Brooke allowed herself a moment of hope that they would prove her wrong. Either way it didn't matter, Brooke was sick of doing what she was expected to do and being who she was supposed to be. It was time to decide who Brooke really was. 'Are you?' I interrupted her musing, looking away as Brooke returned my gaze. 'Am I what?' 'Falling prey to emotional issues?' I whispered, not daring to look back at her. Brooke paused, wanting to answer as best she could, needing to be sure that I would understand exactly how she felt for me. 'Yes, I am,' Brooke reached across to gently turn my face back to her, 'not the way Loz meant but yes.' I looked deep in to clear blue eyes, there was worry and a hint of fear there but there was mostly affection and attraction. My breathing hitched, this really was happening and this time they were not going to be rudely interrupted. I was absolutely determined about that. Brooke watched me carefully, hoping that I would find what I was searching for in her eyes. She recognised the emotions reflecting back to her, understanding the look of determination that eventually settled on my features. I raised my hand, gently stroking Brooke's cheek then allowing my finger tips to trace over soft lips. Brooke leaned in to the hesitant touch, groaning as I replaced fingers with lips. The contact was gentle at first but Brooke deepened the kiss. She felt me begin to back away and moved her hands to the my shoulders, preventing my withdrawal. I acknowledged the gesture, moving in to the body beside me and wrapping my arms around the slim torso. 'Wow.' Brooke laughed, pulling me in to her arms and hugging me tightly. 'Yeah, wow.' I snuggled in to the lithe form, feeling the fragility of the body holding me. Suddenly I was very aware of the differences in our bodies. I stiffened, withdrawing from their embrace and turning away from Brooke's look of confusion. 'What is it?' Brooke straightened, 'Babe?' I sniffled, angrily wiping at my now moist eyes. 'Babe?' Brooke's voice became alarmed, had she done something wrong? I seemed happy when our lips had eventually parted, if my "wow" had been any indication I'd been very happy. We had kissed for some time, Brooke had no idea how long and didn't particularly care. We'd lost ourselves in the act of exploring each other, indulging in the tender connection between us until breathing became a necessity that could no longer be denied. Maybe I hadn't wanted to cuddle, maybe - like Jai - I wasn't that sort of person. Or maybe... 'Did you want to do something,' Brooke struggled for an appropriate word, 'more?' 'More?' I turned back. 'Yeah, you know,' Brooke waved her hand vaguely, 'more.' Realisation widened my eyes and painted my cheeks a healthy red. 'No!' I considered that 'Well, yes but not right now.' Brooke smiled at the honest response, relieved that she hadn't misunderstood the situation, 'So, what is it?' Now was the time to hang a few personal demons out to air, I decided. 'It's...' I sighed and started again, 'It's just that I realised how different we are.' 'Different?' Brooke had believed we were similar in many ways, even more so since the past week had begun to show us how we felt for one another. Had she been wrong? 'Different in what way, babe?' 'You're so beautiful, so perfect,' I indicated my own body with disgust, 'and I'm so not.' Brooke felt a wave of anger wash over her, jumping up from the bed to tower over the me. Brooke wasn't sure what annoyed her more, that I was allowed so little self-confidence in their ultra judgmental world or that I thought that she would subscribe to the same view. 'First of all, you are beautiful,' Brooke snapped. 'Second, I think you're perfect and, third, you should think so too.' I stared at the tall blonde presence looming over me, trying to take in what I had just heard. It wasn't exactly the most romantic declaration, there was too much anger in the tone for that, but it was amazing to hear. 'But,' I couldn't quite bring myself to believe it, 'I don't look like you, I'm sorry.' 'Sorry?' Brooke was working up a good head of steam, 'What have you got to be sorry for? I don't want you to look like me, I think you're more beautiful than I am. No! Don't you dare disagree with me. I'm in love with you, that's all that matters to me. Why should the differences in our...' I knew that Brooke was still talking and I should probably still be listening but I'd got stuck on that one sentence and didn't want to let it go. "I'm in love with you." Had Brooke really said that? Maybe I'd misheard. 'In love with me?' Brooke's diatribe ground to a halt, 'What?' 'Did you really say that?' Brooke replayed the words in her mind, shocked at much of what had escaped from her mouth but not that part. 'Yes.' I stood unsteadily, wavering slightly until my eyes locked on Brooke's and I found the strength needed to accept the truth of her words. 'Good,' a grin overtook her features. 'Good,' Brooke smiled back. 'Well, now we've got that sorted out,' she pulled me to her, 'we can get back to the good stuff.'