A/N: I didn't proofread this. I just randomly wrote it in about forty- five minutes, just now. I'm sure you can all guess who it's meant to be about.


They had been friends for as long as she could remember. Well, that wasn't exactly true; she clearly remembered life with her grandfather before his death, and life in the orphanage before she was adopted. But all of that was sort of distant after all the years, and memories of their friendship were still clear. They had been kids together, and then they had been teenagers together. She had been a goof-off, but she always managed to scrape by with fairly decent grades after junior high. Of course, part of that was due to the fact that he let her copy his math homework half the time. He was the smart one, graduating at the top of his class like she had always known he would.

She had never expected him to just leave. When she had been adopted and moved to 537 Avian Way, he had become a part of her life. And he had stayed a part of her life right on up through high school. They went to the same college, although she got in on a soccer scholarship while he got a close to free ride through his academic prowess. They even ended up on different floors of the same co-ed dorm, purely by coincidence. And nothing changed, that first semester. They still spent most of their free time together, although she was often at soccer practice or at a meeting for one new club or another. She didn't neglect him, though, not that first semester. He still helped her a little with her homework, shaking his head at her when she gave him goofy answers as he quizzed her for her upcoming English exam. In turn, she talked him into going out and playing in the first snow of the season instead of spending that extra hour or two studying for his final exams.

They both went home often on weekends; it wasn't a long trip, and she never thought anything of it. Of course, she had heard that coming home a lot usually indicated that a student was unhappy in college, but that was a stupid idea to her. She came home a lot, and she LOVED college. It was everything she had wanted it to be. Still, she liked to be home when she could. Her younger brother and sisters missed her when she was away, and as much as she teased them, she missed them just as much. Family was important to her, especially after she had been without one. She didn't want anyone to forget her. She had plenty of reasons to come home...but she never stopped to think about why he did. She never stopped to wonder if, just maybe, that rumor that frequent trips home meant unhappiness in college might just hold true for him.

She did notice that he wasn't making any friends in college. That wasn't really that unusual; she had always sort of made friends for the both of them. He was a little bit of a nerd, but he had friends as long as he stuck with her outgoing nature. It was different in college; she had a whole different set of friends that she spent time with outside of the dorm, friends that he seldom even met. Still, he had her, didn't he? They had always had each other, even when she was the new girl in school and he was the shy kid who lived next door. That was supposed to be enough for both of them, because no matter what happened, no matter what plans backfired, they would be together.

Then, the unthinkable happened. She got a boyfriend. She had never dated boys in high school; she was more interested in playing sports and having fun. Then, suddenly, this college man entered her life and took her totally by surprise. He called her beautiful, which she had never really heard from anyone other than her father, and that was only in a few tender moments when she actually let herself be cleaned up to look like a lady. But this man...he called her beautiful, and she believed him. So she didn't think anything about leaving her best friend behind more and more often, spending more and more time with this new man who called her beautiful. She didn't stop to realize that maybe she was leaving behind a better relationship, because to her, nothing had changed. She still spent time with him when she was in the dorm. They even had a class together the second semester, and once again, he was quizzing her for history tests while she made faces at him around a mouthful of pizza. It didn't occur to her that she only saw him in class and once a week or so anymore.

Then one weekend, he went home while she stayed. Stayed because of the boyfriend; she wanted to spend more time with him. That was the weekend that he broke her heart and made her cry. She wasn't really sure which was worse...being dumped, or actually letting herself cry over a stupid man. So she waited that weekend for her old buddy to come back so she could flop down on her stomach in his dorm room floor and rant about how stupid men were. He wouldn't take offense; he knew he wasn't a male to her. He was her friend, and that made all the difference.

But he didn't come back that Sunday, at least not before she went to bed. She just figured he got held up in traffic and went to sleep. She didn't really think anything was wrong until she didn't see him in history class the next morning. So she called his house as soon as she was done with class for the day. Nothing could be seriously wrong, of course...if it was, someone would have told her. Someone would have gotten word to her.

Still, relief flooded through her when his voice answered the phone. First thing she asked him was where he was. First thing he told her was that he wasn't coming back to college. Two weeks into the second semester, and he wasn't coming back. He would be back in the middle of the week just long enough to move all his things out of the dorm, and then he would be gone. Plans were being made for him to attend a local community college in the fall, a two year business college that wouldn't get him nearly as far as the four year university he had been attending.

She was floored. She asked why, and he just said he felt it was the right thing for him to do. Graduated top of his class, had scholarships that very nearly paid for his college education, and he suddenly decided that the right thing for him to do was drop out and go to a community college? It didn't make sense.

It still doesn't make sense. Now, she doesn't come home quite so often on weekends, because as much as she misses him, she's not really sure what to say to him anymore. She can't help but wonder if there were signs that she missed along the way, things she didn't notice that she should have. She wonders if it isn't partly her fault that he wasn't making more friends; after all, she had always helped him make friends before. But it couldn't have been her fault, could it? He had to learn to do it on his own sometime. She wonders if she spent too much time with that boyfriend, the one that she later beat up because, after he said that he would date her if he felt like he could date anyone, she had caught him kissing the neck of a slim, pretty blonde. She wonders if she should have done a lot of things differently.

But now it's too late, and she can't go back. And there's this sudden gap between them, and nothing is different, but everything has changed.

And she wonders if, through all those years, maybe she had loved him all along. Maybe they could never be together, because they were best friends, and you don't date your best friend. That ruins something.

Then again, it got ruined anyway, didn't it?

And she can't go back.