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she's so sweet, so cold, so fair

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Spinel’s latest fascination is with movies.

She’s gone through a lot of those lately. Fascinations, hobbies, but they usually didn’t last more than a week or so. Steven can’t exactly fault her– earth is figuratively and literally a whole new world for her, filled to the brim with things she’s never seen, or experienced.

He’s quick to support her, no matter how odd some of them were (the week she discovered that humans had a thing called a heart had been a ride. Spinel had her head plastered to his chest nearly 24/7, giddy when she’d say how fast the pitter-patter of his heartbeat was) and frankly, her new fixation is one of the easier ones.

As simple as sitting in front of the TV while some movie he’d seen countless times plays, feeling the familiar weight of Spinel leaning against him. She didn’t speak much, if at all, while they were watching, but her face tends to convey her emotions, so he’d found himself watching her more than the movies themselves.

Confusion, when a character tells a joke she doesn’t understand. Sadness, when the ten minutes of drama that all comedic films tended to have goes down, and then the unbridled grin of happiness when everything is resolved perfectly by the end.

As soon as the movie ended, they’d take the time to talk about anything she found interesting about it, or he’d answer whatever questions she had.

She could ramble for hours, but he found that he never really minded. Seeing her so passionate was endearing.

This is their fourth movie.

They were all similar, if he was being honest– he doesn’t want to show her any horror movies, or worse, sad movies, so their only options are really just comedies, or heartfelt family flicks.

The movie is about halfway through. He snuggles more into their shared blanket (Spinel couldn’t exactly feel chilly, but he’d feel bad if he hogged the whole thing) and she scoots closer.

Their knees were already touching before, so now she was practically halfway in his lap, her thigh on top of his. He doesn’t react, because it’s something he’s grown used to. Spinel...she needed constant reassurance. Usually via touching, whether it be a hug out of nowhere, or hand-holding, or even the odd tackle after he’d been away all day.

She needs it, so he doesn’t protest. It became nearly comforting, once he grew to expect it.

Again, even endearing.

Steven only recalls that it’s a romcom when the kissing scene happens. It’s tame, yet also overdramatic, and completely out of nowhere. The main character slings both arms around the stupid-but-lovable male love interest, dipping him back to plant a kiss right on his unsuspecting lips.

Steven averts his gaze, feeling somewhat awkward– alien gem or not, watching kissing scenes in movies with someone else is always gonna feel weird. She’ll probably ask about it after, so he needs to go ahead and think of what to say–

“Steven? What’s that?”

He nearly yelps, looking over to find Spinel already staring back at him, her pink eyes nearly glowing in the dim light of his room. This is the first time she’s talked before the movie, credits and all, ends.

“What’s what?” He feigns confusion. Very poorly, nervous laugh and everything, because Steven is not a good liar.

“When they did the–“ She smashes her fists together, in what he assumes is a very odd imitation of a kiss. “The...the mouth thing! Was she feeding him?”

“Well...wait, was she what.”

“Like birds do for their babies! The mama pukes in their itty bitty mouths,” She informs him helpfully. “It was in one of the movies we saw, and you told me, remember?”

“I...I do.” He manages, expression queasy. “But no, she was not feeding him like a bird.”

“Darn. Thought I was onta somethin’.” Spinel says, pouting. “Then what was happening?”

He shifts, scooting away to put some room between them, because explaining this while she’s so close is just weird. Any effort he makes is squandered when she’s immediately sticking to his side again, her arm wrapping around his middle while she waits.

He sighs.

“They were, uh...kissing.” Great job, Steven. She understands everything now, surely.

“Oh!” She says brightly, and then, “...Whassat?”

“A kiss is...well, it’s an expression of romance?” He tries. She has somewhat of an inkling on what that is, at least.“But not always! Sometimes friends do it, like on the cheek, and– yeah.”

Why is he so bad at this.

Spinel stares at him silently, head cocked. He sweats.

“Why?” She clenches and unclenches the hand wrapped around his waist sporadically, but she doesn’t even seem to realize she’s doing it. “What’s the point?”

He’s maybe the least prepared person for this question in existence. The silence lengthens, and he finally decides to go with the first thing that comes to mind.

“Being so close with someone you love…it feels nice? I mean, I think it does?”

He and Connie had only gone as far as a few chaste pecks on the cheek, during the few months they dated. Those had definitely felt nice.

Spinel blinks, letting out a faint oooh. Just when he thinks that her curiosity is sated, she grins suddenly. Wide, almost unsettlingly excited, incisors poking against her bottom lip. “Let’s do that!”

“Haha, oka– huh,” He chokes on air.

“Kissing. Let’s do the kissing!”

“But– the movie?” That was still playing!

“I don’t care about it anymore!” She states happily.

“It’s– kissing, it’s something really personal, and–“

We’re something real personal, doll.” She’s quick to say, smirking, like she’s already so sure of what she wants.

She probably is. Steven can’t say he’s exactly opposed either, even as doubt and guilt begin to pool into his thoughts. Oh, gosh.

“Y-you really want me to?” He asks, hesitant. “It’s not some amazing thing…”

“Steven,” Spinel says. She’s smiling, and it’s so earnest, it breaks him. “Anything I do with you is gonna be amazing.”

He coughs, gnawing at his lip to distract himself from the oh god oh god and she’s so cute and what is wrong with me flooding his thoughts. Clouding his judgement, probably.

He can’t– no, he doesn’t want to– say no. So he doesn’t.

“...Okay.”

“Yay!” She cheers. Her tone goes honeyed, “There’s my best friend.”

He leans in, so they’re closer than they’ve ever been before– he’s already going pink in the face, but Spinel just looks excited. She’s always been shy about the weirdest things, and completely lax with the stuff one should be flustered with.

Without warning, his mouth presses flush against her cheek. It feels different, considering she doesn’t have a body temperature, but not bad. He lingers; she’s deathly still.

When he pulls away, he keeps his head low, trying to hide his blush. “See? It’s really not all that...that…” He trails off mid-sentence, because he spots her expression.

Her wildly excited, even-pinker-than-normal expression.

“Do it again.” She practically demands. The hand at his waist curls into him, possessive. Warmth floods into his chest, almost nauseatingly sugary.

Dumbfounded, he can only obey. One kiss to the cheek turns into two, and then three, and four.

She’s the first one to go for his mouth. It’s awkward, a mess of over-eager inexperience, definitely not something that best friends do, but it still makes his heart beat wildly.

The movie continues playing, casting glowing light over their pink-faced forms. It’s nothing more than background noise by now.