The Solus shack wasn’t exactly homely, but for the time being it would do for shelter from the storm. Ben closed the door behind them and turned back to look at the girls.
“About time you three got here,” Alex tutted as she crossed her arms, “I bet you wished you had listened to me, huh?”
“Ugh,” Danielle grumbled as she tugged off her wet raincoat, “we should have waited a bit longer before coming here, if we had just-”
“If we had waited around, we probably wouldn’t have found that boat and actually been able to get here,” Skye snapped back as she tugged off her coat, she placed it on the back of a chair as Ben did the same.
“We’re here now,” Ben raised his voice, calming the pair, “so what could have been doesn’t matter, we’ll stay in here until the storm passes.”
“And who knows how long that could be,” Alex mumbled, taking a seat in the rocking armchair, “in the meanwhile, I’m good with napping.”
Danielle picked up a blanket from the sofa and wrapped it around her quickly, “for once, I actually agree with you,” she sat down on the sofa and curled up slightly so she could keep herself warm. Ben looked over from the table, and then turned to Skye who had wandered around to the other side.
“I know you’re upset about Sean not being here,” he bluntly stated, making Skye’s miserable expression somehow become slightly more miserable, “but he sent me here to look after you three, he really wanted to be here. You’d understand, wouldn’t you?”
“It’s just not the first time he’s let me down since his dad took over the lodge.”
“Sean’s a good person Skye, you know this. It’s why you chose him,” a silence broke over the two of them and they only looked at each other for a moment before Ben finally spoke up once again, “I think you two are amazing together, much better suited than you and I,” he let out a quiet laugh and looked around, “don’t let this put you off of him, he’ll make it up to you.”
Skye hummed and dropped her head, “I just sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had chosen you.”
Ben shook his head, “don’t think like that, please. You and Sean are perfect, believe me. I’ve got other stuff to look forward to, things to occupy my mind. I don’t want to fight over a girl with my best friend, we’re both better than that.”
Skye nodded slowly, “so?”
“So you and I work better as friends, don’t you think?”
Skye let a small smile play on her face as she looked at the boy, before she could say anything there was a loud knock at the door and the group all jumped. Alex rushed up from the rocking chair, picking up a brush from the coffee table, Skye grabbed a pan from the counter and Ben looked around and quickly picked up a walking cane. Danielle stayed wrapped in the blanket at the back of the group.
“There’s noone on this island,” Skye commented, clearly baffled by the knocking.
“Well, that definitely wasn’t the wind,” Alex replied in a harsh whisper.
The knocking came again, harder and faster.
“Is someone gonna open it?” Danielle demanded to the other three. Skye and Ben shared a look before Skye started to step forward.
”Wait,” Ben whispered, “I told Sean I’d look after you three, I’ll open it,” he made the decision and walked towards the door. He set his hand on the door handle and jumped again when there was another knock, whoever it was seemed desperate, he placed his ear against the door and could hear someone mumbling something - it was only just audible to him over the pouring rain. He made the quick decision to put the door on the chain before opening it slightly to look out.
He was surprised to see Sean with a raincoat on, hood up but his hair still falling down and sticking to his forehead, he didn’t speak back, instead he quickly closed the door and unchained it. He opened the door fully and the other boy rushed in.
“How on earth did you get here?”
Sean laughed as he pulled his coat off, not being able to answer before Skye reacted.
“Sean!” Skye dropped the pan she was holding, making Danielle squeal and jump back when it hit the floor. She ran over to her boyfriend and straight into his arms, he held her close and let out a chuckle.
“I am so sorry I missed the ferry.”
“Technically you didn’t,” Alex groaned as she moved back to the rocking chair, “well isn’t this just great? Skye’s got two of the gang now, she doesn’t need us.”
Danielle frowned and shuffled back over to the sofa, as she sat down Ben wandered over - clearly bored of the Skye and Sean reunion, “what do you mean?” He asked Alex as he took a seat next to Danielle.
“Well, there’s the gang,” Alex looked up at him, gesturing with her arms, “and then there’s me and Danielle.”
Ben looked to Danielle who was holding the blanket up to her face covering her mouth, “you two feel like you’re not… In ‘the gang’?”
Danielle shrugged, “well none of you lot actually like me, so-”
She rolled her eyes, “I’m used to it. I mean, Kaylee’s meant to be my best friend and I don’t even hear from her very often anymore.”
“I like you,” Ben whispered, “I count you as a friend,” he offered a smile and placed an arm around her shoulders, “maybe I didn’t like you in the past but… You’ve really proved yourself to me over the past weeks, you helped to save me from the cave - why wouldn’t I like you after that?”
Alex made a throaty noise and let her head fall back, “just kiss already,” she grunted, captuing not only Ben and Danielle’s attention - but also Sean and Skye’s, who knew the comment wasn’t directed to them considering they had already kissed multiple times.
“That’s uh-” Ben pulled his arm back from Danielle and laughed, “not going to happen.”
Danielle began to join the laughter, “definitely not.”
“Woah,” Sean rushed over to the other sofa and pulled Skye with him, “I can totally see that happening!”
“No,” Danielle grunted, “shut up, it’s not going to happen,” she turned to Ben who offered her an awkward smile.
“They totally kissed when they were in the cave,” Alex sat up straight.
”No we didn’t!” Danielle protested.
“What on earth gave you that idea?” Ben scoffed out a laugh.
Alex’s laugh was high-pitched, “you two totally got smoochy in the cave!”
“No we didn’t!” Danielle yelled in response.
“Ah, we wouldn’t blame you if you did,” Sean teased, Ben shot him a look and he then dropped his head. He cleared his throat and quickly changed the subject, “apparently the storm is going to last all night, possibly through tomorrow as well.”
“Fantastic,” Alex sarcastically commented, “so we’re stuck here overnight.” The group all groaned, whilst Alex jumped up and began looking around the small hut, “there’s got to be more blankets around here somewhere,” she opened a door to another room and sure enough found a shelved cupboard where there were some blankets folded up, she pulled out the two blankets from the top shelf and closed the door again, “we’ve got two more blankets!”
She held up the blankets triumphantly before dropping on onto the rocking armchair, she threw the second over to Sean and Skye, Skye unfolded the blanket, “thanks.”
“I’m not sharing, by the way,” she looked over to Ben who was sat next to Danielle, “so… Looks like you two will be.”
Sean began to laugh at his friend and his ex-girlfriend as he pulled Skye close to him, “you two look so grumpy.”
Danielle unwrapped the blanket from around herself and threw half of it over Ben. They both sat underneath the blanket, every now and then tugging it between them seeing as it didn’t reach them both fully whilst they were sat apart. That had been going on for a short while, the other three had all seemed to get comfortable already, they weren’t paying any attention and it seemed as though they may have even been asleep, so Ben moved closer to Danielle so the blanket would fit over the two of them. Danielle looked up at him and tried to hide a smile, “you know,” she whispered, “if the others see you getting close to me like this, they’ll think more of it.”
Ben laughed softly, “well, I kind of want to stay warm tonight so we’re going to have to put up with that.”
Danielle pressed her lips together and moved closer to Ben so that their legs were touching underneath the blanket, “Ben, what do you think we would be if anything did happen in the cave?”
Ben pulled a face, “why do you ask?”
“Well… I guess if I were to get ‘smoochy’ with someone, I’d be happy for it to be you.”
“Ah, thanks,” Ben laughed, “I guess I wouldn’t mind it with you either,” he leaned down to whisper, and once he went silent he stayed for a moment - lingering close to Danielle.
The pair made eye contact, hazel to blue, and in that look there was a realisation - perhaps they could work well together. Ben hesitantly put an arm around Danielle’s shoulders and pulled her close as he had before.
“I count you as a friend, Danielle. I like you. If you wanted to… We could end up as something more.”
“I’m not opposed to it,” she responded as she placed a hand on Ben’s chest, “I mean… You are kind of cute.”
Ben responded by holding Danielle close and placing a kiss on her forehead, “you are too.”
Danielle lifted her head to look into Ben’s eyes again and continued to smile up to him, she pushed herself up and pressed her lips against Ben’s for the first time, instantly it felt different from kisses with Sean. The butterflies in Danielle’s stomach were proof alone, she wrapped her arms around his neck and managed to pull herself closer to him. Ben’s arms were around Danielle’s waist by now - and perhaps they were getting carried away by it all, when Danielle pulled back, Ben examined her expression quickly. They were both grinning, it felt right, and it felt perfect.
“We should sleep,” Danielle whispered.
“Yeah,” Ben nodded, “goodnight.”
Danielle rested against Ben’s chest, happy that they had kissed - but the others didn’t need to know that.
Half way through the night Danielle had woken up due to a loud crack of thunder, apparently everyone else was able to sleep through it, she moved around slightly and then pressed a light kiss against Ben’s lips. The boy slowly opened his eyes.
“Sorry,” she whispered, “I just kind of…”
“Does this make me sleeping beauty?” He joked with ease.
Danielle giggled in response, “I suppose so. Sorry I woke you, the thunder kind of scared me.”
“That’s alright, I’ll be your hero for the night,” he responded before kissing her again, Danielle softened up after the first kiss, and then they continued to share several more kissed, laughing quietly as they did so.
“I’m glad I kissed you last night.”
“I’m glad I kissed you back,” he spoke quietly and kissed her once again.
After a few more kisses, Ben made sure to let Danielle get comfortable once again before they tried to sleep. This time her sleep wasn’t interrupted by any thunder, she was comfortable up against Ben and his hand was placed on her back in a comforting fashion. When the morning came, Ben and Danielle managed to wake up before the others, pulling apart from the position, knowing the other three would only have questions.
It wasn’t long until the other three were awake, Ben had made his way to the kitchen area by the time Sean let out a loud “good morning!”
“Shut up,” Alex grumbled, rubbing her head.
“Aw, does someone like sleep a little bit too much,” Sean faked a pout to her.
Alex scoffed, “I just didn’t get much sleep, I was woken up multiple times by the gross sound of two people kissing,” she glared to Danielle, who had now gone wideeyed.
“What?” Danielle called out in a high-pitched voice, Ben had dropped the pan he was moving. He quickly turned to everyone with a smile when their attention was drawn to him.
“You’re dreaming of us?” He bluffed quickly, “how cute.”
”No, I also heard it,” Skye whispered, a smile showing on her face, “oh Ben,” she mimicked Danielle, “save me from the thunder!”
“Shut up,” Danielle frowned, ducking her head once again.
“You two kissed?” Sean was grinning, “no hate, it’s kind of surprising though.”
Ben let out a fake laugh as he picked up the pan from the floor, “the amount of pressure you guys were giving us last night probably had something to do with it.”
“Hey,” Alex held onto the blanket as she began to grin, “do you guys want to know something?”
“What?” Danielle almost growled at the girl.
Alex jumped up from the chair and opened the door to the cupboard, she pulled out a folded blanket, “there was another blanket in there.”
Ben and Danielle glared at the girl whilst Sean and Skye tried to hide their laughter. Alex threw the blanket over to Ben, who just let it drop to the floor whilst he stared at Alex.
Alex’s laughter soon faded when she looked at the expressions on both Ben and Danielle, “you don’t look happy at all…”
Danielle threw her blanket to the side, “you made Ben and I share a blanket on purpose!”
“Because I had to do something to get rid of the tension between you two,” Alex defended herself, “you should be thanking me.”
Danielle turned around to face Ben who started to play around with the pan in his hands, he looked up to her. As they made eye contact their frowns turned into small smiles, perhaps Alex had been helpful - but that didn’t make her any less of a nuisance. They could look past it, at least now they had each other.