I hope you guys didn't miss me much! Well, nah I hope ya did but still, heres the final chap. Thanks for all my reviews, you guys rock! and, since i took so long to update, this goes with winter more so than autumn

DISCLAIMER: Screw this

Just a friend.

That had to be one of the biggest lies ever. And she believed it without question. But she didn't even know that this was a false answer, to an unknown question. Protection. She failed to realize that it stops being protection when there is nothing to protect the victim against. Friendship. Her mind, eyes, and thoughts always glazed over the possibility of anything the suggested more than friendship, which was evident because she didn't know that lingering stares, and a tugging at her chest whenever she saw him without her was anything but friendship.

Jealousy. That has to be the closest one to how she felt, even though it wasn't known to her. She didn't know what to think of him, or why she felt the way she did. Better yet, what were the emotions that he felt to her? How did he feel about her? What were the thoughts that popped into his head whenever he saw her? Did he think of her as she unintentionally thought of him? With his green eyes, brown hair and – No! These questions just raised her problems more and more to the point of a headache.

It was unknown to her why these problematic questions appeared to her and why she had such an annoying urge to answer them. Oh, but if she only knew why, then she would see what was invisible to her. He, thought about her nearly all the time. In the fleeting moments of quiet at school, in the eerie silence of the cold autumn nights, and on the peaceful days of the approaching winter. She dominated his full attention whenever there were just the two of them, alone. He relished the time always, even though it seemed to pass extraordinarily fast. She may have been smart, but she was still dense as he was. But now, she only knew one thing from all these stupid questions popping up in her head. She found out that things change.

Now, it might not seem like that was a big deal, which is what she thought, but she didn't have the credentials to even say that this fact was irrelevant in the slightest because it might not seem like she was head over heels for Ben Tennyson, it might not seem that her eyes found him fascinating and interesting to look at in all his moments, be it childish or serious. And it might not look like she saw him only as a cousin, and as a friend, and nothing more, but that would be an understatement. To say that it wouldn't ever be anything more, would be a lie. Why? They were all true. She was head over heels for him, finding him captivating and an idiotic wonder that she couldn't keep her eyes off. Gwen sighed exasperatedly and let her head fall to her desk in her neat room, not bothering to look outside the window at the clouds threatening to bring the first snow fall of the year. She was truly oblivious.

But Julie wasn't. Julie wasn't stupid, or dense, or oblivious to the fact that her boyfriend didn't have eyes only for her. That was a natural fact for most boys to look at other girls though. But Mr. Benjamin Carlyle (?) Tennyson gave into what seemed like a genetic pre disposition in all teenage boys without knowing it.. That was something that wouldn't bother with her, because she saw it everywhere. What got to her though was that she was unknowingly fighting a war with his cousin. A silent rivalry over him, that he was none the wiser to. Or, it could be that he did know, but didn't pay mind to it. And in all honesty, she really wanted to give Ben that credit, but the fact was that he just wasn't that attentive to notice. She did the only thing she could, so she wouldn't have to be his second choice, or get in the way of what he failed to see.

She broke it off. There was no doubt in her mind that he would be slightly confused, but if she read his looks right, he wouldn't be bothered by it as much. He was always confused about something, and it was so childishly cute that it would make most warm up to him. It was pretty cold out, the trees blowing softly and the smell of hot chocolate through her home. A tingle ran down her spine at the sight of the ground covered in leaves, and the sky dark and peaceful, like a sign that everything was going smoothly; and she knew that it wasn't a calm before the storm. "Uh, okay Julie. If that's how ya feel, I guess, I can't do anything really…"

Part of her regretted it, having to do this without explaining anything, but that part had been silenced when her now ex boyfriend started to speak again. "Well we can still hang out right? I mean you're the only person that can hold a candle to me when it comes to chili fries and sumo slammer!" That was the Ben she knew, the one that was excited over the most frivolous things at times, and made her laugh. "Of course Ben! If it weren't for you I'd still not know about either of them!" They shared a mutual laugh, before saying their goodbyes. "Happy holidays and Merry Christmas Ben." He chuckled on the other line as she heard the TV in the background. "You too Julie."

One call down, two to go. She dialed the numbers hesitantly, unsure. But when the desired person picked up, she spoke, and hung up. "You're welcome Gwen, and Happy holidays."

Now, what was the last one? She barely remembered to call him, it'd been a while since she spoke to him last, or even saw him. The excuses were lame as they could get, but he still kept them up. "Hello?" A rough yet patient voice on the other end called. Her eyes widened a fraction at the sound of the voice, and breaking away from her brief reverie, before a small hesitant smile found its way on her features. "H-hey…Kevin."

There were numerous things that he had realized after hanging up the phone. Albeit it lately he realized it was snowing out, the ground covered in a small layer of snow, and the light darkening outside while the street lights popped up. Another thing he realized was that it was nearly 8:00, which wasn't really relevant to the grand scheme of where his thoughts were leading him to, but he felt that it was worth mentioning anyways. And yet, the most important facts yet; he had no girlfriend, which should have been a bad thing, but it wasn't. Two, it was going to be a good night, that much he was sure about. It was not known why he would think this, but when he looked outside at the sky, something just told him, that it would be fine. He found himself staring at it for a few seconds, taking in the grey, and few white clouds that were left before the completely disappeared at night. Shaking his head, he put on a pair of jeans, and gave himself a little pep talk.

"Okay Ben. You can do this. Just- just say whatever comes to your mine man." Taking one look into the mirror, he said, "Gwen, I lo-"

"Ben! Ben! Honey?! Are you going to pick Gwen up soon? It's getting dark out and Me and your father are going out for dinner!" The shrill yell of his mother knocking on his door broke him from the rather cheesy motivational speak that he began, and scared the daylights out of him. "Dammit Mom! You scared me half to death!" The poor boy didn't realize his mistake before his mother (Lydia, or something?) did. "What was that Benjamin? I know you didn't just say what I think you did!" He grumbled under his breath and started to put on his shoes, still talking to her. "I said Flammit mom! Flammit!"

He heard her try to chuckle humorlessly before laughing, and peeked her head into the door. His mom wasn't ugly, or anything close to that in fact, her hair was dark red, and her eyes were a dark blue, and a delicate face (I never saw his mother…so yeah). "Yeah…Sure." She smiled at her soon who had a light pink shade to his cheeks, and with her natural mother's intuition, she knew what was up. "Well, we're leaving now. So, go and hurry and pick Gwen up okay?" He nodded slightly not looking her way. "And try not to think of her too much okay Ben? you're gonna get a massive headache from how fast the blood rushes to your cheeks!"

She winked at him as he gave a shell shocked, dumb struck, totally caught of guard look to her. Before he could even think of a way to get a defense or a word in, she shut the door laughing quietly to herself. Another fun fact about Benjamin's mother was along with knowing her son like the blank cover of a book, was that she was very subtle, or subtle at all. And it seemed that she knew more than she let on as well.

The walk to the other Tennyson's house was a brisk, and nervous one, with the cold air nipping at his fingers and exposed skin. But the uneasiness he felt drowned that effectively enough for him not to notice, although the boy did have to blow into his gloves every once and a while. Before he knew it, he had already gotten there, and taking a sigh of preparation, he knocked on the door. But the sight of Gwen looking as beautiful as ever took all thoughts, inhibitions, and negative occurrences out of his troubled mind, and replaced them all with, well, him staring at her stupidly.

Gwen was slightly unsettled by this, as she never got used to whenever his eyes were on her, and the fact that the lights were shining over his head on the alcove of the doorway gave off a celestial view to him, was even more unsettling, and made her heartbeat increase rapidly. "Are you going to let Ben in sweetie?" Her mother asked from the kitchen doorway, looking at them stare at each other like they were miracles. She smirked to herself in a similar manner as Ben's mother did, as they snapped out of it, and Ben and Gwen rubbed the back of their necks, and looked away, respectively. Avoiding eye contact with him, Gwen beckoned the green eyed teen in, and gave an annoyed glare at her mother who chuckled in response, and disappeared back into the kitchen.

Taking off his hat that he had on, and his rather bulky black jacket, Ben hung them on a hook right by the door, and smiled at his 'hostess' She'd been wearing a light blue turtle neck, and one earring that sparkled and reflected every single light in the room, with her intoxicating green orbs shimmering at him and her hair parted as well. The very sight of her sent butterflies throughout his body, and tingles down his spine. But another added bonus other than seeing his would be girl, was the extra confidence boost it gave him.

"Gwen, I have something to tell you."

Neither one of the noticed her mother on the phone having a very interesting conversation with Ben's mother, and hung up, before going upstairs.

"Huh? What is it?" They sat down on the warm couch, everything else quiet around them except for the Tv, but even that seemed to be above a whisper. "Julie and I broke up-" Before he could even finish Gwen blurted out, "I'm so sorry! How did it happen? What did you do?!" Only a small, fake laugh responded her before his expression got serious, and he ran a hand through his hair exasperatedly. "Gwen.. Come here." Seeing the curious look on her face, he pulled his finger toward himself and she got the idea. "Closer, Gwen." Shuffling over on the couch again, when he beckoned her closer, she shook her head clearly annoyed, but still curious.

"NO Ben! Tell me what you have to say! We're not six, and if it's a secret or you giving me a wet willy one more time, you'll regret i-!"

"Today is most likely going to be the first snowfall of the year, so turn on your heaters, get under those covers, and stay warm everybody, because its going to be cold tonight and lots of snow."

They both heard the TV in the background, but neither cared. His eyes were closed. Hers were wide open. His breath smelt like cherries, making her melt. Her breath smelt like pepper mints, giving him the energy to do anything. Her hair was orange and red, only adding to her inhuman elegance in his opinion. His hair was brown, warm just like his personality that she would never change. Her lips were tingling with the warm feel of something on them. His lips were on hers, gently, and patiently, wanting for something more. Both their hearts speeding like crazy, for different reasons. He was happy. And she was confused as can be. She pushed away, and ran out of the door, with tears from her eyes falling past him, glinting in the Christmas lights of the house.

"Gwen wait!" He yelled after her, only for the words to fall on deaf ears as she ran more. Her mother came running to the top of the stairs, yelling, "Go after her!" Not waiting or needing a retort, the love struck teen ran out grabbing his coat, and didn't bother shutting the door behind him. The wind rushed past him, sending his hair back rapidly, and turning his cheeks red from the cold, but that didn't matter, not now. Seeing her get closer and closer by the second, he grabbed her arm, and pulled her to him stopping her sprint. "Gwen wait! Please!" He expected anything from her at this moment. A slap to the face, a karate kick to the gut, or… a more uncomfortable place, or even for her to yell at him and say she never wanted to see him again. What he would never have expected from her at this moment however, out of all the negative possibilities, was a smile. But, maybe it had something to do with a minor paranoia complex on his part. Yeah, that was it.

"I want you." She whispered, tears falling down her face, the smile ever present on her features that were getting increasingly red with the cold. "What," he asked, not hearing her, and not sure if he wanted to, as there was still a possibility for a kick or slap to his body. She wrapped her arms around him, feeling his warmth slowly going away with the cold, and put her chin on his shoulder. The 14 year old boy listened closely this time as she chose to speak again in a whisper. "All this time, I just wanted you."

Well, those weren't exactly tears of sadness, or tears of anything bad. They were just a gift from realization, when it his Gwen right in the face. Or on the lips, so to speak.

"Its freezing out here. Come on, lets go back inside." He spoke, still hugging her. He heard her laugh, just a bit, before asking him innocently, "Can we stay like this? Just for a little?" He wrapped the jacket around her, putting it on as best he could, while breaking the embrace and smiled. "Nope." He said, as she smiled back at him, wiping a stray tear from her eye and kissed him gently on his lips as they started to chap from exposure. They smiled at each other, eyes open, and saw little white dots start to cover the street, and them with it. "Its snowing!" Ever the one to joke around, he put his arm over her shoulder and chuckled. "You were expecting giant french fries maybe?" Rolling her eyes she leaned against him as they walked back to the house. "Yeah." She snuggled slightly in his shoulder. "French fries."

Nothing more than friendship. Yeah right.

Such a lie.

A bit random at the end but that's just me. Happy holidays guys! OH, and I shall be editing this, so review while you can!