A/N: In this Ciara is not with Tripp and Ben still lives in the loft.

Ciara walked into the loft and slammed her purse onto the island, "UGH!" Ben looked up from the couch, "Bad day?"

Ciara jumped, "Oh, Ben. I didn't know you were home." Ben asked again, "Bad day?" Ciara nodded, "You could say that. Why are guys ugh, such JERKS?!" Ben smirked, "Oh yeah, we're the worst."

Ben patted the couch, "Come here." Ciara sighed and plopped down onto the couch.

Ben turned to face Ciara, "So what happened?" Ciara sighed, "You know that guy Lewis from class?" Ben nodded and Ciara continued, "He's been wanting to get a cup of coffee, so I finally said yes…" Ben face fell slightly. Ciara continued, "…and it wasn't 10 minutes into it before he was asking to take me back to his dorm so we could be 'alone'. What is it with guys?! It seems like every guy I see is only interested in one thing, SEX. Is there NOTHING else that crosses their mind?!"

Ciara plopped back resting her head on the back of the couch. Ciara sat straight up, "I mean I thought that it was just Tripp, but it seems like every guy that I'm even considering, all they want is sex. Sex, sex, sex. Is that ALL that there is in a relationship?! God, what happened to conversation?"

Ciara sighed and rested her head on Ben's shoulder. "Why can't more guys be like you, Ben?" Ben smirked slightly to himself.


The next day Ciara told Jordan the prior day's events. After venting for the second time she had started to feel better.

Ciara sighed, "I-I just don't get why more guys can't be like your brother? When I talk to him, he actually listens to me. He doesn't just stare at my chest and just wait for me to finish talking so he can talk. I guess that's why he's my best friend."

Jordan shrugged a shoulder, "Or he's in love with you." Ciara looked at Jordan confused, "What? In LOVE with me?"

Ciara let out a chuckle, "Ben's my best friend." Jordan shook her head, "You two don't act like 'friends'." putting air quotes around friends.

Ciara arched an eyebrow at Jordan, "What are you talking about?" Jordan sighed and started counting on her fingers, "Friends don't flirt and tease each other like you do. Friends don't get all tight and upset when they find out that their friend is 'hanging out' with someone else. I could go on."

Ciara put her head in her hands, "No, that's enough. You really think that Ben's in love with me?" Jordan nodded, "I've known that boy all his life. And I know when he is in love, and he IS." Jordan chuckled under her breath, "Ciara, when he looks at you he is the LITERAL definition of 'heart eyes'."

Ciara sighed and got up, "I have to go." Ciara left Jordan's apartment without saying another word.


Ciara walked into the loft and saw Ben at the stove cooking. Ciara shut the door behind her and Ben said, "Hey, I'm almost finished dinner. You hungry?" Ciara sighed, "Are you in love with me?"

Ben's eyes widened at Ciara, "Wha..? Wha-what are you talking about?" Ciara closed her eyes and sighed, "Jus-just answer the question Ben. Are you?"

Ben took Ciara's hand and guided her to the couch. Ben sat on the coffee table. "Ciara, you are my best friend…" Ciara smiled, "And you are mine." Ben continued, "And I couldn't take it if something happened to you."

Ben took a deep breath, "I care about you Ciara, so much. And… I guess somewhere along the way, it changed. It went from friendship to something more. You changed my life in so many ways, Ciara. You gave me a chance when no one else did. You stood up to EVERYONE for me and that means SO much to me." Ben smiled, "So, yeah. I am. I am in love with you. I am completely and utterly in love with you."

Ben looked up to face Ciara, "What does that mean for us now?" Ciara looked at her hands and sighed, "I don't know. You are my best friend, Ben. I was talking to Jordan and she said-" Ben nodded, "Ah, Jordan. Of course. She was the one person that I told. Or more saw it."

Ciara chuckled and took one of Ben's hands in hers, "Ben, why didn't you tell me?" Ben shook his head, "I-I was having trouble wrapping my head around it myself. I, uh, I never thought after everything that I did, I would be as lucky to have someone as amazing as you as my friend, let alone anymore. I-I guess the truth is I was scared that if I admitted the truth to you, I would lose you. And I would rather be friendzoned forever than risk losing you, even if it meant I could never have you."

Ben looked up at Ciara and saw tears glistening her eyes. Ben wiped them and Ciara sniffed, "Where do we stand now Ciara?"

Ciara shook her head, "I don't know Ben. I know that you are my best friend and that will never change." Ciara sighed, "Jordan said that the way that we act toward each other isn't friendship, it's something more. And on the walk home, I started thinking; you're the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep." Ciara swallowed hard, "Whenever something happens good or bad, you're the first person I want to tell. If it's good, you're the person I want to celebrate with. And if it's bad, I know that you'll know just want to say and do to cheer me up. With all that I realized, yeah Ben. I AM in love with you. I fell in love with my best friend. How did I not see it before?"

Ciara looked up at Ben and smiled a small smile. Ben asked, "Are you saying that…?" Ciara nodded, "Yes, Ben. If I wasn't clear, I feel the same way you do. I'm just sorry that it took me so long to see it."

Ben took Ciara's hand and stood up and brought her up. Ben put a hand to Ciara's cheek and Ciara licked her lips. Ben leaned down and as soon as Ben's lips touched Ciara's, she pulled him in close. Ben sucked in a breath as he deepened the kiss. Ben gently picked Ciara up and carried them over to the couch. Ben sat down and Ciara put her knees on the couch, on each side of Ben's legs. They didn't break the kiss until the door closed which was followed by a high-pitched scream.

Ciara got off of Ben and wiped her lips and saw Claire standing there covering her eyes. Ciara let out a chuckle, "It's okay, Claire. You can look now."

Claire looked through her hands and then dropped them when she saw Ciara was standing and Ben was sitting on the couch.

Claire started walking toward them. "So, I take it by that…" gesturing to Ciara and Ben, "That you two finally admitting that you're in love with each other?"

Ciara nodded, "Wait, you knew too?" Claire shook her head, "It was OBVIOUS! By the was Ciara, congratulations. You were officially the last to know."

Ciara chuckled and took Ben's hand. She looked down at Ben, "Yeah, I guess I was. But the only thing I'm sorry about is how long it took me to see what was right in front of me."

Claire smiled a bit, "And with that note… I'm gonna retire to my room for the night. All I ask is PLEASE, no sex in the kitchen. That's where I eat." Ciara took a throw pillow that was on the couch and threw it at Claire. As Claire went into her room she shouted, "Love you!" Ciara turned back to Ben and they couldn't help but laugh.


A/N: I am really hoping for a Jordan/Ciara friendship when she returns.