The Lakewood Troop enjoyed a late dinner in the hotel. Felix was surrounded by female fans from other troops the instant he entered the lobby so Jake and Hayley ate by themselves at a quiet table in the corner of the restaurant. Without Felix there to placate them they descended into their usual bickering.

'That's my ketchup. I asked the waiter for it' Hayley fumed as Jake helped himself to the sauce. 'It's for the table' Jake answered, rolling his eyes in her direction. She huffed crossly but didn't respond. They sat in silence for a few minutes before it started again. 'Hayley...stop tapping on the table. It's annoying' Jake snapped. Hayley bit her lip to keep from retorting, settling for flicking Jake's ear with her index finger instead. He whined in pain and shot her a baleful look. They couldn't seem to stop snapping at each other.

Jake sighed when they were finished eating and stood. 'You ready to go back to the room?' he asked Hayley. She nodded and stood too. The hotel lobby was busy and full of other troops arriving for the Convention. Jake placed his hand on Hayley's lower back absent-mindedly as he guided her through the crowd toward the elevator. Hayley blushed lightly at the contact, her earlier annoyance with Jake forgotten. He can be so sweet without even thinking about it, she thought.

They reached their hotel room and found it in darkness. Felix hadn't returned yet. Jake flicked on the light switch and held the door open for Hayley. She thanked him quietly and grabbed her pyjamas. She headed into the bathroom to change and get ready for bed.

Jake sat on the edge of the bed feeling nervous. His palms were sweaty and his mouth was dry. I'm about to sleep in the same bed as a girl. Not just any girl either. It's Hayley, he thought frantically. He tried to calm down before Hayley came out of the bathroom. He tried not to think about Mr. Steele and his large shot-gun, and the very real possibility that he would murder Jake for sharing a bed with his daughter. 'Damn Mr. Stockley's lemon-square addiction, he thought anxiously.

Hayley chewed on her lower lip nervously as she changed for bed in the en-suite bathroom. 'You can do this Hayley!' she encouraged herself mentally, 'It's just Jake, your buddy Jake. It means nothing'.

The mental encouragement wasn't working and Hayley sighed as she went to brush her teeth- again. 'Unless you want it to mean something, because you like him!' her mental voice continued. Hayley stared at herself in the mirror and considered it. Could she like Jake, as more than a friend? She looked confused, and then brushed it off casually. 'No way!' she thought emphatically, 'I do not like Jake romantically. The idea!' Here she gave her characteristic snort of amusement and finished up in the bathroom.

She stared at the bathroom door for the few seconds, and then mentally berating herself for being so silly, she squared her shoulders and resolutely opened the door and stepped into the bedroom. Felix had returned and was sitting on his single bed setting up his sleep apnoea monitor.

She was met with a blinding grin from Jake who was sprawled on the bed. 'There you are! he stated cheerfully, 'we thought you might have choked on your toothpaste you took so long!' Hayley's stomach did somersaults at the sight of him and she blushed at his words and teasing tone. 'Oh crap'she realized frantically, 'I do like Jake!'

Hayley tried to mask her reaction to Jake by snorting in false amusement, 'Oh ha ha', she responded sarcastically. She took his spot on the bed as he took his turn in the bathroom and tried, and failed, to ignore the triumphant chuckle of her inner voice, which had claimed all along that she liked Jake. 'What does it matter anyway, it's not like he likes me!' she scolded the inner Hayley who was cheering gleefully at the realisation.

Five minutes later Jake emerged from the bathroom with tousled damp hair and wearing plaid pyjama bottoms with a Lakewood High t-shirt. Hayley, who had assumed she would have her own room, had packed her favourite pyjamas- pink shorts and a cream vest top with pink piping. The shorts which showed most of her long, tanned legs suddenly felt inappropriate when rooming with two boys.

Felix seemed to remain oblivious to Hayley's attire and was currently fussing with his sleep mask. Jake, on the other hand, stopped dead in front of the bathroom door and stared at Hayley, his eyes widening. His brown eyes, normally so cheerful, now reflected more intensity than Hayley had ever seen him display. Hayley blushed and hopped off the bed where she had been sitting. 'So, which side do you want?' she asked in a cheerful voice, hoping to snap Jake out of his trance and to mask the effect which his intense gaze had had on her.

Jake shook his head slightly at her words and gave his characteristic grin. 'I'll take the left' he said cheerfully, though he didn't actually have a preference.

Felix emerged from the bathroom then and hopped into his bed, yawning widely. He fixed a large breathing mask over his face and lay down, bidding a muffled 'goodnight' to his troop mates. He leaned over and clicked off the light switch beside his bed, leaving that side of the room in darkness. Jake called out 'goodnight buddy' and climbed into the double bed.

Hayley was filled with apprehension as she approached the bed. 'This is so awkward!' she thought in embarrassment.

Jake watched Hayley walk slowly towards the bed. Her face was flushed and she looked hesitant. Jake, so used to the tough, strong persona Hayley portrayed daily in the troop, was surprised by her timidity. He decided to try to make the situation easier for her and pulled back the corner of the blanket on her side of the bed. 'Here you go Hayley, hop in!' Hayley smiled and climbed in, lying down and pulling the blanket up over her body. 'Thanks Jake', she responded as she switched off their light. They lay there in silence for a couple of minutes, a gaping chasm of space between their bodies.

The silence was broken by Jake. 'You know, this shouldn't be awkward at all. After all, we've already slept in each other's beds!' he stated quietly. Hayley laughed, remembering the cube monster which had switched she and Jake's bodies. 'It's different this time, we're actually in the same bed at the same time', she answered dryly, keeping her voice low so she wouldn't wake Felix who was now snoring softly. Jake smiled in the darkness, hearing the familiar bite return to her tone. This was his Hayley, smart and always sure about everything.

'I guess,' he replied, 'but it's not so bad. I'd still rather share with you than with Felix'. Hayley giggled, feeling more relaxed. She waited until she heard Felix snore before admitting, 'I'd take you any day over Felix'. Jake smiled happily, he had been afraid that Hayley might prefer Felix to him because Felix was intelligent like her.

'Thanks Hayley, that means a lot. I thought you might prefer him to me' he said hesitantly. Hayley was surprised by the genuine reply; she was used to Jake covering up his feelings with banter and snappy retorts. It was how they operated. Still if Jake could be sincere so could she.

She turned on her side facing Jake, who was laying on his back, ' I don't.' she answered softy, 'I definitely don't prefer him, okay?' Jake stayed still, gazing at the ceiling, his chest filling with relief. Hayley meant so much to him. He took a breath and then turned to face Hayley. She was a blurry outline in the dark room. He reached out and touched her hand. 'I'm happy to hear that' he stated sincerely. Hayley smiled and curled her fingers around his hand. Both were exhausted after a long day spent travelling and soon fell asleep.

Felix woke at six am and stumbled sleepily to the bathroom. On his way back to bed he paused beside the double bed. His fellow troop members were fast asleep. Jake was lying on his side with Hayley curled in close to him her head resting against his chest and Jake's arm placed protectively around her waist. Felix raised his eyebrows in surprise. He suspected that cuddling like this extended fat beyond the normal boundaries of friendship. He shook his head blearily as he climbed back into his bed and readjusted his sleep mask. His last thought before he fell asleep again was to wonder when his two friends would realise the feelings they had for each other. It had been obvious to him for months.