First thing posted in in a long time.

For those of you who know what Ranebow is, then you must've read CP Coulter's Dalton - she's amazing!
I wrote this after chapter 19, when I was flailing over Rane. I hope you like it.

I was alive. That was why he was crying. Not because he loves me or anything, right? Oh, I should just stop thinking about Reed and what's going through that mind of his. I simply didn't know anything anymore. The only thing I could make out of his crying while hugging me tightly around the waist was that he didn't want to lose a friend, that he was glad I was alive. But, heck!, he cried harder than Mother! Would it be wrong of me to think of it as 'something' more? I truly didn't know.

Almost a week had passed since then, and I was resting at Dalton, Windsor House, to be more precise. Of course no one was to know about it, since they thought I was at home, by myself. I was staying at Blaine's bedroom, despite of his and my complaints. It was supposed to be a plan not to make Charlie notice, but I think it was a plot made by the Twins, as Reed's and Kurt's room was just across the hall. Not that I'd complain! I just had to deal with the proximity and the fact that there were two walls between us.

Reed would come see me everyday. Well, everyone who knew about me did, but I was particularly happy when I saw the strawberry waves flow past the door. He always started his visit asking me how I was and when I would take the stupid bandage off my head. That day was different. I was laying across the bed, my feet dangling off the edge as I tapped them on the air in the beat of a song. Reed came over quietly and sat beside me, leaning back and holding himself up with both his arms. I expected the usual questionary, but he made no sound at all. He was staring blankly at the ceiling.

"Reed. Is something wrong?" I asked, sitting up, trying to figure it out just by watching his gorgeous features. He looked at me, smiling melancholically and shook his head, his hair dancing in front of his face. Of course I didn't believe him, so I just kept watching him.

"Don't worry. There's nothing wrong, I just wanted to come here and hang out a bit." he gave me a warmer, but still fake smile.

"You do know you can tell me anything, yeah?" said I, laying down again, this time with my feet to the bedpost, my head almost touching Reed's legs. He nodded, not looking at me again.

Silence. I wouldn't dare to break it, and Reed had barely spoken since he got in the room. I didn't actually mind; I knew he didn't feel the same way for me, and wasn't sure if he'd ever feel, but, for now, just his company was enough. Just knowing he was there, sitting next to me because he wanted to 'hang out a bit' made me feel on the top of the world. Still, his usual glow wasn't there. He wasn't as giggly or embarrassed as ever. And I could not help but to let my terrible curiosity feed itself off of my thoughts. Something must've happened for him to be that way. I was on the brink of saying something when he opened up his mouth and let a whimper come out.

I stared up, grinning as I saw his glow come back with a pink shading on his cheeks. "I… I finished my painting. Last week." he said. I replied something along the 'That's great!' lines, but I can't recall my exact words. "It was a painting of you." he continued, and I noticed he had closed his eyes, frowning as his face was flushing redder. "The first one I could actually finish." After a moment or so, I asked if I should make something out of that sentence.

"I don't know." was the answer.

I asked if I could see it, but he refused promptly. Shrugging, I tried get a permission, but he put his foot down on the matter, saying I would have the chance to see it, only not at the moment. Right after my eyes shut close, humming the song that was still stuck in my head, I felt a tiny hand run through my hair, and smiled. "How are you?" he asked, finally.

"I'm great. Totally awesome." I replied, trying not to smile so widely like I knew I was. "I was talking to Blaine about returning home, since I'm better and all." Reed's hand suddenly disappeared. As I stared up again, he was looking at me with a surprised expression. "What? You don't expect me to continue skipping classes while hiding here with you guys, do you?" I put both my hands behind my head and averted my eyes to the ceiling. "Besides, I should just leave you alone for a while. I know I can be a little too forward and I apologise for that." Reed opened his mouth, then closed it again, frowning once more.

An uncomfortable silence followed, and I knew not what to say next. The mattress moved underneath me, but I ignored it. Then, out of nowhere, everything went dark and the softer lips touched mine for a second. It was barely a kiss, our lips just brushed lightly, but it was more than enough to send shivers down my spine. I sat up slowly, trying to regain full control of my flailing body, and held the hand that had covered my eyes, explaining the darkness. Reed was stretched across the bed, covering his own eyes with his free arm, pursing his lips; ears and cheeks red as cherries.

I pulled him up, but he kept his eyes shut tight. A sob was followed close by nonstop tears as he fell forward, landing on my chest. I really shouldn't be thinking he was so cute while he was crying his eyes out, but I couldn't help it! I patted his hair, resting my chin over his head, but he soon released me, wiping the tears with the back of his hands. "I'm sorry for crying." he tried to giggle, sobbing. "And I'm sorry about that."

"Well, I'm certainly not." I grinned, unable to contain myself.

He had something to say, that was pretty obvious. After struggling with his own head, he spoke softly, almost whispering: "I don't want you to go. I - -" his voice faded, and he gazed up, looking straight into my eyes. I had to control myself not to tackle him right then and there. Reed probably had no idea what that simple lack of words meant, and what they were doing to me. It meant he felt something. Even if that something could mean a vast list of feeling, it was good. It was great! And he had no idea.

Blushing furiously - which made me chuckle -, Reed sat closer to me, as close as he could get, and held my face between his small hands, our noses inches apart, in a way that it was almost possible to feel the heat leaving his cheeks. He just held me there, staring at me, making my heart seem as if it wanted to be freed from my chest. "Shane," he started, looking something close to angry, though Reed was just really embarrassed. "I… I-I…" he dropped his head. "I can't do this."

I took his hands and kissed them, making him look up. Grinning, I pulled him to a hug, both of us now on our knees on the bed. "I think I love you." he whispered in my ear, tightening the hug.

For the first time in a long time, I felt myself blush. I was not expecting that at all, and I couldn't believe he'd just said that, I really couldn't. He loosened the grip on my shirt, but I just held him tighter because of that. "Not yet." I whispered back. 'think', was that what he had said? Think as in not sure. Maybe I shouldn't get so overexcited with that statement. The boy was confused, especially by me, by my rushed actions. How was I to know if I hadn't practically forced him to give me an answer like that?

Reed certainly was not just another crush. Not this time. I felt my heart beat so hard it almost hurt. What if he was wrong about his own feelings? I don't think I'd be able to handle it. Unsure, I let go of him, kind of embarrassed of myself for thinking so deep into it, and also for blushing as much as Reed usually did.

But he was smiling. The overbearingly adorable shy smile he gave me. He didn't look away, like so many times before. That was driving me insane, I had to know. I pulled him towards me, making our foreheads bump into each other not as lightly as I'd planned, and I controlled myself to keep looking into his brown eyes, concentrating on his irregular breathing, and the flutter of his eyelashes. Reed was looking back, and we stayed like that for a moment or so, before he said "Please don't do that."

"Why is that?" I breathed, brushing his hair behind his ear.

"Because my heart feels like it's going to explode." he replied, closing his eyes. The perfect
moment to steal a kiss, but I was afraid that it could scare him off, so I retracted a bit. "This is a weird feeling." he smiled.

"I'm in love with you." I blurted out without even thinking properly. Reed only opened his eyes, suddenly turning crimson. And then I chuckled. "But I think it was already pretty obvious."

"Still, you never said it out loud before." he clutched his red Dalton vest, gasping. "Oh, God, I think I forgot how to breathe."

I really wanted to kiss him properly. Like, re~ally wanted to. And if he gave me any sort of sign, I wouldn't be one to miss the chance. Just as I was thinking of it, he glanced at me and leaned in just a bit. Just enough. Enough for me to do the same and run a hand over his cheek, trailing down to his jaw and bringing him closer as softly as I could possibly manage at that stage. He closed his eyes, the half-wiped tear tracks still visible. I pressed my lips against him, and felt Reed flinch, relaxing right after and running one of his hands back over my curls. I have imagined how Reed's lips would feel, how they'd taste, but I've never thought about my own chest bursting with sudden heat, or how aware I was of our every movement. And he was responding. Truly responding, because he wanted to.

I could die right there, but I tried to keep my cool and pulled back, looking at the parted lips I'd just left. He looked disappointed, but I just laughed. "So, you think you love me?"

He didn't answer. Sighing, he put both of his hands on each cheek, hiding the evidence of embarrassment from me. "If you are really going home, when will I see you again?"

"Don't worry, I'll make it work." I smiled, tempted to invade his personal space. There was no way I'd leave like that. Not when I finally had him. Blaine would have a lot to complain after that.