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Struggle. - What We Dream...
...When We're Awake.

Ugh. I don't think any of this makes sense. So tired. Wanted to do a Dan/Hana since they're so snarky and it'd be so cute. BUT I HAVE NO SNARK! NO SNARK! Dammit.. well...yeah... Whee.

He struggled to help her up the turn style stairs leading to her own apartment. It wasn’t even that the brunette was heavy or that he was, by any means, too weak to support her, but all 118 pounds of her petite body was currently dead weight seeing how inebriated she was. Maybe he SHOULD have had Hans come along and help, but Dan had been so intoxicated that the situation was a mess in its own right. Sam, of course, was more worried about the brown-eyed beauty throwing herself at some random stranger in a bar than Dan opening his already dumb mouth and getting into another inevitable fist fight. His brash counterpart never seemed to quit.

By-passing the rickety step before the landing of her floor, Sam breathed a quiet sigh of relief, having made it up three flights of stairs through all of Arika’s drunken mumble-ness that ranged from ‘Wow, the stairwell is really spinny’ to ‘Do you think frogs could hop straight if they absorbed alcohol through their skin’? Honestly, of all the nights for the elevator to have been in repair.

“Woo, that was a doozy,” Arika said as they made a slow crawl down the hall way. She suddenly laughed, and it was like silver bells on Christmas that seemed interrupted mid jingle because of the small bursts that emit from her throat.

“Doozy? Who says that? Where did I get that? Dooo-zeee,” she questioned before testing out the word in elongated vowels and alternating consonants.

Sam took in a deep breath as he adjusted his hold on her, which was under-armed, as if he were a crutch to her metaphorical broken legs. He pulled out her keys, which he had confiscated before they had even entered the bar. Sam didn’t drink, so he was always designated driver for these types of things, and Hans had an occasional drink or two, but nothing heavy. Arika usually didn’t get drunk to the point of blatant stupidity since she had always been somewhat of a lightweight, but she did get more talkative with each sip she took.

“Sam, Sammy,” she prodded, “Who says doozy anymore?”

As the key chains, consisting of a metal acorn and leaf she got from a trip to the Wildlife Zoo, on the key ring jingled from him opening the door, Sam gave a half-hearted shrug.

“I don’t know, Arika. Those that are enthusiasts of Duesenbergs?” he said, speaking of an old automobile company.

“Sam, you’re weird,” she chuckled as the door swung open to the pitch black apartment.

The bespectacled twenty-one year old flipped on a switch, flooding the small but spacious area with light. He was very well aware of how much she repeatedly called him by his name, as if he were a trained pup needing to learn the new moniker it’s owner had given him. Yes, Sam had felt somewhat like an obediently trained dog when it came to the brunette’s whim, but this is one of those situations where he could let it slide - just this once.

“Oww, that’s so bright,” his companion groaned, before lifting herself from his support and stumbling freely inside.

“Aah,” he startled, caught off guard from the empty feeling he felt upon her separation, “Are you sure you can walk on your own?”
“Pfbt, Sam, come on. I’m a big girl,” she responded, before leveling herself against the wall to prevent from falling onto the wood floors, “Seriously, the light is bright!”

“Can you make it to your bed? I’ll bring you some water.”

“Yeah, yeah,” she sighed, “I’ll get to it.”

Moaning slightly, she lifted herself from her comfy spot on the wall and began the dissent around the corner to her room. From the hall, he heard her say ‘Sam! Don’t ever let me drink that much again! I hate the way the floor won’t let me walk!’

It was the most sensible thing the brunette had said all night and it made him chuckle.

Making his way to the kitchen, he effortlessly weaved his way around the island and opened the cupboard closest to the refrigerator that held all the cups. Pushing back his glasses, he squinted, his eyes still well adjusting to the light he had turned on moments before. He set the plastic blue cup against the water dispenser attached to the fridge and waited for the slow process of the liquid to fill up. Suddenly, a small jingle resonated from his side pocket. Resting the half-filled drink on the counter, he dug for his phone.

“Hello?” he answered.

“Hey, just wondering if you got Ari home okay.”

It was Hans. The young blonde was the only one who used a nickname for Arika. No one else could pull it off without sounding too weird or forthcoming. Dan always tried and failed miserably, possibly because his method of use ranged more into perversion than endearment.

“Yeah, we just got here, actually,” the auburn-haired intellect replied, “Have you and Dan left the bar yet?”

Picking up the cup, he resumed its fill as he heard cursing in the background from the receiver.

“Ooh yeah,” Hans remarked, “Dan’s sporting a shiner that sobered him up.”

“Such a….I was only…damn left hook!” Was what echoed in broken sentences from poor phone capture after Hans spoke.

“I told him he shouldn’t have hit on that redhead,” the blonde said a bit more cheerfully than deemed permitted.

“UGH. Just because she had a boyfriend. Just because there’s a goalie, it doesn’t mean you can’t score!”

Sam twitched, perfectly hearing Dan voice aloud his philosophies on his dating lifestyle.

“Yes, well, get home safely. I’ll try to be home soon.”

“Don’t worry about us or about coming home tonight. You should see if Ari’ll be okay,” Hans reassured, and in his own style the blue-eyed teen had a way of twisting innocent sentences that made Sam feel uncomfortable sometimes. As if he were hinting towards something much more, but Hans would never do that…

“If Sam, IF SAM SCORES-“ Dan began to yell and Hans immediately cut him out,

“Goodnight, Sam!” he chirped before ending the call.

The twenty-one year old stared at the blank screen of his phone before clicking it shut and scrubbing his face to regain some clarity.

“Good god,” he whispered, before re-adjusting his bifocals and heading down the hallway.

Even though the door was wide open, he knocked before entering, assessing Arika’s slumped form lying on the bed. She had managed to exchange her jeans with pajama shorts. They were lilac and covered in dark purple cat-like shapes and revealed much of her legs in a way that made Sam cough and wish he had thought to get water for himself because why did his throat suddenly seem dry?
Her eyes opened upon his entrance and he immediately apologized.

“Did I wake you?”

Setting the cup by her bedside, he stood slightly turned away so that he wouldn’t continue looking at how much skin she was revealing then.

“Mm mm,” she hummed in disagreement, “Sit down, silly.”

“Oh, uh, all right.”

He gingerly sat on the edge of the bed, feeling immensely odd about the situation. He had never had to bring Arika home under these kinds of circumstances. Never had been in her bedroom at three in the morning. Never had seen her in those shorts. It was a lot to take in when the concern of getting her home had been his main priority. Now that concern had dissipated, and he was left feeling these odd and awkward emotions about his good friend whom, okay, he honestly had had an attraction for.

She pulled on his right arm so that he faced her.

“M’sorry you had to deal with me tonight, Sam. That last drink really got to me.”

He gazed into her sorrowful looking glazed eyes and shook it away, “It’s quite all right.”

“Nooo,” she whined before taking on a definitive pout, “It’s not!”

The way she acted was so comical, so childish, so unlike Arika, he smiled.

She smiled back.

Her hands stretched upward and tugged at the glasses sitting precariously on Sam’s nose.

Turning them around, she slid them onto her own face and posed ever so noticeably.

“How do I look, Sammy? Do I look intelligent like you?” she pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes slightly while pinching the frames.

He laughed and brought her hand down to her side, “You are intelligent without the accessory of glasses.”

“Oh, I’m sure you really think that after tonight.”

“Well,” he said, “you had your ‘blonde’ moments, shall I say. But I will let them slide on strict account of intoxication interfering with intellectual judgment.”

“You know…” Arika remarked with a sly grin before becoming genuinely interested in something. Pulling the glasses off, she leaned ever closer to him, a movement which startled Sam imperceptibly, “I never really noticed how gold your eyes get. They’re usually hazel, but right now they’ve got these specks of yellow that… I don’t know…” she giggled.

Sam blushed ever so slightly from the way she stared intently at him. He felt vunerable without his frames to protect his eyes that began to wander.

“I, uh.. Maybe it’s just a reflection of the light.”

“I don’t think so..”

His heart thumped wildly.

“Well, whatever the matter, you need to rest. Drink your water so you don’t have a terrible head ache in the morning. And you probably should, uh, should tuck in before you get cold.”

The atmosphere had such a tension that Sam didn’t know how to cut it. His heart was beating wildly and he didn’t know what to do next. Thankfully, Arika wasn’t aware of any of what Sam was feeling.

“Yes, sir, Sam, sir!” the brunette saluted, pushing the covers back and sliding in before she took the cup sitting on the table and drank half of it.

“The more water you drink, the better you’ll feel,” he attested, patting the edge of the blanket as she lay down.

“You’re so sweet, Sam,” she said, her arms resting on top of the covers as he looked down upon her, “making sure I get home, bringing me water, tucking me in. Where’s my kiss goodnight?”

“Pardon me?”

Upon the last of her words, he thought his brain hadn’t quite relayed the message correctly through his sensors.

“Kiss me goodnight,” she repeated with her serene smile, and if in that moment Sam hadn’t previously known she was intoxicated, it would have been so very seductive what with the way her eyes curved with her lips and how her hair fell across her cheek with the tilt of her head.

He leaned down and daintily placed a kiss on her forehead.

“There, good night. Get some rest,” he placated before a quarter of his body turned away.

“No! Sam, I want a real kiss,” she argued, grabbing his hand before he could leave.

“Arika, I understand you’re slightly inebri-“ he began.

“SAM,” she stated, commanding his attention, “if you don’t kiss me, I’ll scream so loud it’ll wake the whole floor.”

“I think you’re exhausted. You’re speaking silly thi-“

In the midst of his sentence, Arika inhaled her breath and held it as if she were about to let it go in a yell.

Bending down once more, Sam’s lips found their way to hers and she exhaled ever so slightly through her nose. Pushing herself upward, her right hand gently grasped the side of his face. He could rarely taste the alcohol that seemed to permeate her system. All those midori sours and rum punches she had were nothing more than candied liquor. In fact, he tasted the sweetness more than anything. It made his heart pound, his ears ring, and his head cloudy. He pulled away, needing to breathe, needing the air of reality to come crashing down on him.

But there she was in front of him, slightly smiling, staring at him as if he were something new and interesting; a puzzle she didn’t quite have together.

“I like the way you kiss,” she murmured, leaning up again to capture his mouth.

He nearly gave in that time, but he couldn’t. His mind repeated over and over that he was a gentleman. He was honorable. And kissing the girl you liked for so long under intoxication was not honorific or gentlemanly.

“While I am, ah, quite enamored with you as well, you are in much need of sleep,” he responded, holding her back.

“Mm,” she nodded, pausing slightly, "enamored," she giggled before settling back down onto her pillow. Sam stood from the bed, running a shaky hand through his hair.

“Are you going to stay here tonight?” she asked, wiggling in her bed to settle in for the night.

“Unless you’d like me to go-” he said rubbing his eyes unconsciously.

“No, of course not, it’s late, Sam..”

“Indeed,” he agreed, noticing the clock blaring 3:53AM in bright red, “I’ll be on the couch if you need anything.”

“Blankets are in-“

“The hall closet, I know. Goodnight, Arika. Sweet dreams.”

“G’night, Sam.”

He shut the door and leaned against it, eyes closed. Letting out a shudder of a sigh, he struggled with the emotions bouncing against logic. No, he was not - by any means, weak.

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From:blondenough (Link)
Date: 6/26/09 - 03:20 pm
Oh...em...gee. This made me squee so much! SO adorable. I honestly think you characterized Sam better in this segment than I ever did. Ahh, so awkward and nerdy. Pretty much everyone is spot on in this I think. You've totally inspired me with Sam and I'm feeling horrible over slacking with Riley lol.
From:blondenough (Link)
Date: 6/26/09 - 03:22 pm
Oh, I forgot to mention, your phrasing is wonderfully diverse and Sam's verbosity was quite impressive for my sleep-deprived brain. I'm much in love with your sentence variety and structure.
From:mindbottling (Link)
Date: 6/26/09 - 08:58 pm
LOL. I think it just sounded great cause you were awake at six in the morning! I just re-read it and I like where you can tell in the beginning I was awake and raring to write and how it tapers near the end where I'm like 'I'm tired! End this fucking stoooorrry!' because it begins to lack a suitable amount of description.

Did Sam really sound okay? I kept going over his speaking parts and wondering if it was 'Sam' enough. Actually, I'm wondering where I pulled half these words from. Woah.

It's funny, because this started when I was going to try writing the coffee story, then I got distracted with textsfromlastnight and ended up writing about Sam instead. Like, who would pull Arika's drunk ass home? hmm.

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