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12 Days of Christmas #7: Reunited Friends

Title: Reunited Friends
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Saved by the Bell
Character/Pairing: Slater/Jessi, Zack/Kelly, Ensemble
Rating: PG-13/T
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 1,477
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Peter Engel, not the author, and are used without permission.




Kelly looks up as the doorbell rings. Hope shines in her eyes, and her breath catches. "Kelly, what's going on?" her husband asks, sliding an arm around her waist and pulling her protectively closer. "You look like a little girl who just saw Santa Claus."

"It's . . . " Kelly starts to answer, but then she just shakes her head as the bell chimes impatiently again.

"You guys want me to get that?" Screech asks.

Lisa rolls her eyes and pops another ball of white cheddar popcorn into her mouth. "They really want a doofus at their door," she murmurs.

Screech grins. It feels so good just to have her tease him again after all this time.

Kelly still hasn't answered her husband or his best friend. Instead, she calls to his other dearest friend, "Slater, will you get that?"

Zack looks at Kelly in surprise while Screech pouts. "I said I'd get it," he almost whines.

"Screech," Zack says out of the side of his mouth, "not now." He knows that special tone his wife just used. It's the same tone she uses to persuade any man to do whatever she wants, like when she wants him to put a conference call on hold to take out their household garbage.

Screech is still pouting, but he, Lisa, and Zack all keep their gazes riveted on Zack's front door. Kelly is tense in her husband's arms, her breathing coming shallow. She still hasn't answered him, and Zack frowns in concern as he watches Slater open the door. Every one but Kelly bursts into grins at the sight of the tall and pretty woman standing on the opposite side of the door.

"Jessi," Slater says, but then it's his turn to catch his breath. Is it possible? he wonders silently. She looks even more beautiful than she did when he last saw her at their friends' wedding. They shared one dance that day before she had to hurry away for her studies. He's followed her career and knows she's been doing quite well in Washington.

Lisa's grinning wide, her eyes lit up just as they used to whenever she caught wind of the latest and juiciest school gossip. Now she understands exactly what her friend was intending by having Slater open the door. "Hey, guys," she chimes in chirpily, "you know you're standing under mistletoe!"

Slater tells himself to move, but for all his usual savoir faire with women, he can't seem to make his muscles work.

"Are you going to let me in?" Jessi asks cheekily.

"Come on, guys," Zack calls, adding his voice in to Lisa's plea. "You can't ignore tradition!"

"Besides, what would the papers say," Lisa adds knowingly, "if they knew A.C. Slater had a chance to kiss a beautiful woman under the mistletoe and didn't take it?"

Slater finally manages to move the muscles in his mouth to widen his grin rather than say anything at all. He watches Jessi's eyes trail to his dimples, a feature he knows his many fans still go wild over. Lisa's right, he knows: He's a famous wrestler now. He had an image to uphold.

Finally managing to move, and almost feeling as though he's in a dream, Slater reaches out to his old high school girlfriend. He touches her cheek, and they both shiver in remembered delight as he gently and slowly trails his thumb over her cheek. The pads of his fingers touch the place on her neck that used to be her favorite to have him to suckle. "How about it, Momma?"

Something fiery and defiant shines in Jessi's eyes. She's never been one to back down from a challenge, and this Christmas is no different. Instead of backing away, she steps up, closing the distance between them in one smooth move. "Lay it on me, Poppa," she challenges.

Maybe it's the eggnog that somebody's spiked. Maybe it's the memories of all their times together in high school and how this wonderful, daring, intelligent woman always made him feel. Maybe it's because he does know he has that reputation to uphold, or maybe it's because he's tired of missing Jessi. He's dated other women, but none have ever compared to his teenage sweetheart. And maybe, too, it's just the fact that she represents a challenge, and he's never been any better at backing away from a challenge than she has been. Regardless, Slater keeps one arm on Jessi's beautiful, smiling face, wraps his other tenderly around her waist, and lays his lips on hers.

Jessi gasps in surprise, and Slater takes full advantage of the moment, slipping his tongue into her mouth. Hers meets his instantly, sparking a fierce but sweet duel. Her arms slide around his thicker waist; her fingers knead the small of his back. He lowers his head. She leans into him and deepens their kiss even more, her tongue slipping further into his mouth like a heated roll of silk unfurling.

He presses her closer still, and she goes willingly. Her teeth move against his bottom lip, bringing a gasp of desire and need from him that she uses to slide her tongue still further into his warm, passionate mouth. Her fingers on his back press him closer, and her hips welcome and cradle his rising bulge.

Several of the guys behind them are whistling. The girls are getting hot and fanning themselves with the cards Zack and Kelly passed out earlier. Screech squeaks as his breath gets stolen just watching the invigorating couple. Violet's glasses steam despite the distance between the door where Slater and Jessi are still making out and where she stands at the festively decorated table in the kitchen, munching on gingerbread men.

Zack's voice finally breaks through it all. "We've got an extra bedroom upstairs, guys, if you want it."

"Zack!" Kelly exclaims but then giggles and blushes as he reminds her, "Hey, this was your idea, sweetheart."

"It was," she admits, watching as their friends break apart and Jessi takes Slater's hand while he keeps one hand cupping her face. "It's good to see them happy again," she whispers.

Zack kisses the top of Kelly's head. "You always know what to do to make people happy," he acknowledges gratefully and hugs her from behind.

Jessi's face, meanwhile, is as red as Slater's Christmas sweater. "That was . . . revitalizing," she admits carefully. She hasn't been kissed that way since the night of their graduation. Her fingers entwine with his. She isn't ready to let go, and a part of her wonders if she ever should. Yes, she argues, she did what she had to in order to continue with her education and become the woman she wanted to be, but she is that woman now. She has her career now. There's only one piece missing from the puzzle of her perfect life, and she's looking at it now. She had to let go back in high school, but she never should have lost touch with him.

Slater's grin grows again, and Jessi's insides warm even hotter as she fondly recalls how much she used to love his smile and dimples. "I . . . didn't think you were coming."

"I wasn't going to miss this, but I had a last minute case."

"You won, of course."

"How do you know?" she asks, puzzled.

"You always win," he returns cheekily.

She grins. "Do I?"

He nods.

"We'll see about that," she says, leaning closer again and tugging his hand. "I told you you'd always be my Poppa," she whispers just before touching her lips onto his again. This kiss is every bit as long and even hotter than their first, but once again, they're finally interrupted by their friends' voices.

When they finally join their friends, Slater's arms are still around Jessi's. "That's some wife you have there, preppie," Slater jokes. "Always putting her friends first."

"I know. I'm a lucky guy," Zack beams, "and it looks like you are too."

Slater nods his agreement as Jessi breaks from him to hug Kelly. "Thank you," she whispers into her ear before falling back beside Slater and letting him take her hand in his again.

As their fingers entwine once more, Lisa pops up. "Does this mean you guys are back together?"

Jessi opens her mouth to answer their gossiping friend, but Slater beats her to it. "You and your readers," he says, "will just have to wait to know," but Lisa already knows as her sweet, chocolate eyes return to their entwined fingers and she watches them stand, smile, talk, laugh, dance, and live side by side for the rest of that Christmas night. She already knows, but her readers will have to wait. This Christmas has brought something special back into their lives, and she's not going to miss a minute of their friendships reunited.

The End

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