OMG. I haven't posted anything in a reaaaaaalllllyyyy...long time, man guys, I'm really sorry. I still love writing this fic, and I'm sorry about the short chapter I'm giving you here. So, um, yeah...sorry (looks guilty).

Um...new song. Yeah. But it's also Paul Simon, so, it's all good!


The problem is all inside your head, she said to me

The answer is easy if you take it logically

I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free

There must be fifty ways to leave your lover

"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon


I REALLY owe Yukiko. I would have never figured out those pink roses. Eri and I just don't talk about that sort of thing...

Eri...

I still don't know how I'm going to tell her.

How will she react?

What will she do?

There's some times when I think maybe she...I mean, like that time we were interrupted by those teachers...

It was like she was WAITING for me to say it.

I almost did, too.

We seem to have 'communication problems'.

...It's weird, though.Most of the time she acts like I'm the pond scum of all boys. What am I? 'Rude, vulgar, stupid, lazy, and atotal flirt.'

Gee, complimentary.

On the other hand, she does emphasize the word 'total'. Does that mean...

Nah.

It couldn't.

Ericouldn't be jealous.

...Okay, maybe she could. A little.

Fine.

A LOT.

But once she knows it's her that I'm interested in, that won't matter.

Nothing can go wrong.

...Right?


How can you hate someone and love them at the same time?

You can't, right?

Good.

I. HATE. KOGORO. MOURI.

...Damn.

I don't.

I really wish I did, though.

I really wish that I liked Tokoro .

He's popular, bright, and intelligent...

But I don't.

In fact, I think he's...

Well, Yukiko told me about some, erm, EXPERIENCES she had with the guy. He used to really like her, apparently, and he tried to...force himself on her.

But WHY THE HELL SHOULD I CARE WHAT YUKIKO SAYS?

...I'm calm. I'm fine.

...What have I gotten myself into? Why did I have to say YES?

Better yet, why do I have to love an inconsiderate jerk like Kogoro Mouri?

Ever since the first day I met him, there has been so much FRICTION between the two of us! All we've ever done is fight! Where is the love?

Fighting with him is my passion. It's an addiction.

I love every moment of it. I relish it.

...God, there must be something wrong with me.

But I CAN'T forgive him. No. It's not that he asked all those girls to go with him...it's that he didn't have the decency to tell me that he was going to.

Did he not want me to know because he...didn't want to hurt me?

Could he possibly...KNOW what I feel about him?

No. That's too much to expect of him.

I am a stupid girl.

He should be more of a man. This is HIS fault. I will be immovable! I will fall out of love as quickly as I fell into it...!

Damn.

I can't.

I hate this.


Kogoro walked up to Eri after class, expecting a 'hello', 'hi', or at least a 'why were you so late, baka?'. He did not expect her to ignore him entirely.

Which is what she did.

This perplexed him. It was not as if he was notused to her ignoring him, in fact, it was practically a daily occurrence. However, usually when she ignored him, she would sniff; hold her head in an absurdly high fashion, and 'accidentally' step on his toes every two minutes.

Right now she wasreally ignoring him.

Like she did not actuallywant his attention.

He was very, VERY perplexed.

"...Eri?"

"...Yes?"

Kogoro's theory of her becoming mute was kyboshed. Moreover, her tone was not the usual clipped, irritated voice she used when angry. On the contrary, it was rather detached and unemotional, as if she were speaking with a teacher and not her friend of many years.

"Um...are you sick?"

"No, I am perfectly fine, thank you."

What was that

Kogoro was getting more confused by the second. This morning he had been quite pleased, after learning Eri's favorite flowers he had tried to talk to her all day. Strangely enough, though, every time he had attempted to she had disappeared, as if she were avoiding him on purpose.

But WHAT purpose?

He hadn't done anything wrong of note, no terrible fight, no drinking or skipping or any of the other things he...did.

"You're acting really strange...I thought things were okay between us. Whatever it is that you think I did-"

"Things would be okay if someone wasn't always lying and keeping secrets." interrupted Eri, softly.

Kogoro sputtered.

"What are you TALKING about? I haven't been keeping anything secret between us...well, at least not anything bad."

She sighed.

"So you admit that youhave kept something a secret?"

"Well," he grinned, "Nothing that you won't find out...sooner or later."

She lurched to a halt, words caught in her throat.

I don't need to find out about it...I already have.

"Well, in that case," she said, voice strained, "I won't detain you further. I know you probably have some place to go and meet-I mean, and go and do something or another."

He stopped, and she with him. He really had NO idea what was going through her mind, but whatever it was, he hoped it would stop, cause' it was freaky.

"I'm not meeting anybody! What, you just insanely paranoid, or something?" He snapped at her, annoyed. Kogoro Mouri didn't like baseless accusations.

"I am NOT paranoid! I can see what's going on!" she answered, voice quavering.

"Well, if you know what it is I've 'done', why don't you tell me? Come on, Eri, let me have it! Tell me just what the heck you think I've done!"

She opened her mouth, and then froze.

Eri was unable to say the words. Saying them would make it so...final. Unsaid, there seemed to be a shred of hope...something to hold onto...a small portion of her heart still willing to believe that it might all have been a bad dream.

"Well?" He asked impatiently, "Don't you have athing to say about this terrible deed I've committed?"

She opened her mouth again, but nothing came out.

"Well? What IS it?" He gripped her arm, taking care to be firm yet gentle.

"Mouri, if you know what's good for you, you will let go of that arm right now."

Turning, Kogoro found himself face to face with Tokoro. He had a rather pompous expression on his face, as if Kogoro was a small child who had done something wrong, and he had been sent to correct it. Annoyed as he was, Kogoro let go of Eri's arm. She looked very alarmed.

"That's much better."

"I don't really care who you think you are." Kogoro said in a low voice, "But this is between her and I, so keep out of it." as an end note, he added, "If you know what's good for you."

Tokoro laughed, much to Kogoro's annoyance.

"What the hell's so funny?" He asked bluntly.

Tokoro stopped.

"You. Why do you presume this isn't any of my business? Hm, Mouri? Or has Kisaki not informed you yet?" He turned on Eri, who looked shell-shocked. "If he is bothering you, Kisaki, I will gladly...dispose of him."

"What haven't you told me?" Asked Kogoro, looking at Eri, confused. "What's he talking about, Eri?"

"I asked Kisaki if she would accompany me to the Valentine's Day dance, Mouri, and she accepted. Naturally you'll understand my concern for your manhandling of my date, as I would prefer her...undamaged."

Under normal circumstances, Kogoro would have punched Tokoro for his last comment, referring to Eri as if she was an 'object', but he didn't even hear it.

All he had heard was... '-and she accepted.'


I've never wanted to disappear more in my entire life.

The expression on Kogoro's face...well...he looks like someone just slapped him.

"He...asked you out? And you said yes?" Kogoro's voice is unnaturally calm.

I nod. The movement is so jerky...it seems difficult to do.

"Well, now that that's settled...everyone clear off!" I'm not looking at Tokoro, but I can guess what his expression is. He takes a grim satisfaction out of everything.

I'm looking at Kogoro. I've never seen him look so...betrayed before. He's staring as if he's never seen me before in his life. How can he look like that when he already asked my best friend out?

"See you around...Kisaki-san."

'Triumph' never felt so hollow before...


AHHHhhhHHHH! That was so BAAAaaaaaDDDDD! Well, anyway, a chapter is better than no chapter, right?

Review please!