IS:

"Axxxxxlleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Teresa sang as she burst through the door of his room. Axle gave a yelp and fell over; he'd been changing pants.

"Damn you, ever heard of knocking!"

"Oh shut up, you'll be hugging me in a minute."

Axle quickly buttoned up and zipped his fly, glaring at her and she plopped down on his bed. "Doubt it." He still didn't have a shirt on.

"How would you like to go on a double date with me and Kaye on Friday at that darling little coffee shop down the road?" she asked, bursting with a need to gloat, fighting the urge to smirk as she ignored his scorn.

"About that Kaye Sohma crap, who do you think you are-" Axle paused. "Double date? What?"

"You heard me," she said innocently. "Double date this Friday at-"

"Teresa, I'm not interested. I'm still after Tohru, you know that," he said softly, shaking his head.

"Yes, Tohru will be there," she informed him nodding. He ceased his head shaking and blinked.

"What?"

"You and Tohru are going to double date with Kaye and I, God, do I have to spell everything out for you?" Teresa leaned back on her elbows and rolled her eyes up at him. "Stop sitting there drooling and put a goddamn shirt on."

He absent caught The Used t-shirt she threw at him before shaking himself. "There's no way she'd agree to that," he muttered, sliding the shirt over his head.

"Well…" Teresa started, "we weren't really sure how she'd react, so Kaye figured it would be safest to leave out the fact that you were going to be there." Axle narrowed his eyes.

"I'm not going to trick her, no. You two have fun at that café by yourselves." Teresa flashed a smirk, thinking, 'Now why wasn't he so gentleman-like with me?'

"We were almost sure she'd have definitely accepted," Teresa said hurriedly, "It's just that she doesn't like to hide anything from those two Sohma boys – what're their names? Yuki and Kyo? Whatever, them, she apparently confides a lot in them and wouldn't want to sneak around behind their backs, but she definitely wants to talk to you."

Axle perked up. "Really? How do you know?"

"My new home-girl is really close to Miss Tohru. She wants to work things out with ya, Axle." Teresa winked, inside smirking something awful.

"Yeah, about that… How did you convince Kaye to date you? I mean, on your first day too… and she just… I mean did you blackmail her, or…?"

Teresa snickered. "Let's just say I'm very persuasive."

"But she's a hard ass!" he exclaimed. "She's like an egg coated in steel for crying out loud!"

"Jealous Axle?" Teresa sneered, standing and advancing. Axle backed away, confused. "Jealous that I'm on your turf now and already I'm having better luck with the ladies? Need a few pointers? Huh?"

"Thanks for the double date thing, Terry," he smirked. She gasped at the nickname, crossing her arms self-consciously. He walked over to her, tugging at the hemline of her shirt. "Desperate people shouldn't be offering pointers." He opened the door for her to leave.

"You know, you don't deserve that girl," Teresa growled as she passed him. She remembered how when she was leaving Kaye's house that afternoon Tohru had stopped her just before the door. 'Here Teresa, I baked some cookies. I hope you like chocolate chip!' she'd called sweetly, hurrying out with a little tin of them. "I almost feel sorry for arranging this meeting," Teresa growled at him, closing her eyes at the memory. She stalked away and Axle swung the door shut behind her, planning what he would say to Tohru on Friday.

"So, Axle's cool with it?" Kaye asked, leaning back further. She was bored with this position; it was homeroom and she was sitting on the heater with Teresa lounging in her lap. She had her arms behind her for support, but Teresa pulled her arms to lie atop her stomach and Kaye sighed. But, she played along giggling a little to give the others a show. She knew Axle was watching; Teresa knew, too.

"Of course he's cool with it," she muttered, trying to keep their conversation from attracting the others' attentions. "He had the dopiest look on his face as I left. Of course, he was being an asshole about it…"

"Yes, but were you gloating?" Kaye asked, leaning closer so she could talk lower.

Teresa shrugged in thought, reaching up to play with Kaye's hair. "Yes, I suppose I was…" she said absently, a small smile playing on her lips. She glanced over at Axle, who was still watching, and tugged Kaye's hair a little to get her to come closer. "Bite my ear, will ya?"

"EXCUSE me!"

"Just do it, Axle's watching," she muttered out of the side of her mouth, knowing he could read lips and trying to be conspicuous while keeping up their little act. Kaye sighed and did as she was told, chanting in her head, 'Do it for Tohru, do it for Tohru.' As her teeth met flesh Teresa giggled wildly, catching everyone's attentions. "Kaye, stop, that tickles!" She squirmed in Kaye's lap and Kaye, thoroughly embarrassed, pinched her a little secretly while on the outside laughing along with her. Tohru smiled. Kyo widened his eyes, and looked away.

"Girls, please, settle down…" the homeroom teacher called anxiously, twitching and dropping his glasses. That time Teresa and Kaye really did laugh; what was funnier than a middle-aged man being intimidated by a couple of teenaged lesbians?

"Don't ever make me do that again," Kaye growled in her 'girlfriend's ear once they'd stopped laughing a little. Teresa titled her neck back to look at her upside-down.

"Fine. I'll just lay down all the affection in this relationship, then." She smiled and tapped Kaye's nose, giggling and getting up off the heater to get her stuff for first period. Kaye reminded her about the no kissing rule and sighed as though worn out, but smiled after the girl. 'Yeah, we can definitely be friends.'

As the week progressed Teresa showed up at the house more and more. Eventually Shigure did get around to teasing them, though. On Wednesday Teresa came over for dinner and, to show her American heritage, she made burgers, hotdogs, and French fries for the Sohma family, bringing with her from home the condiments ketchup, mustard, and relish. She taught Tohru how to grill and everyone was laughing and having a good time; even Yuki and Kyo joined in the festivities. "We'll have to do this again with Uo and Hana! Hana loves trying new food," Tohru cried as she flipped her first burger.

"Ah yes, wave girl," Teresa nodded wisely, flipping two burgers at a time. "You're doing very good, Tohru," she complimented, grinning.

Tohru looked ecstatic. "Thank you so much! It's fun to try new things; I've never eaten any American food before, actually."

"Well then you're in for a treat, girl," Teresa laughed. She picked up a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup, and hugged it. "See this? I put it on almost everything."

"So… you said it was a condiment… like soy sauce?" Tohru asked innocently. Kaye laughed again, coming up from behind Teresa.

"Sort of. It's like American soy sauce, or teriyaki, you know?" she tried to explain.

"Aww hell, why do Americans have to make things so difficult?" Kyo growled from the kotatsu. They had the sliding doors open because they were grilling on the porch where Tohru first met Shigure.

"It's not difficult, just different."

"You need to get in touch with your cultural awareness, stupid cat," Yuki muttered, taking a sip of the soda Teresa had also brought over. His eyes widened and he took another sip.

"DON'T CALL ME STUPID YOU DAMN RAT!"

"Miss Stone," Yuki called to Teresa, ignoring Kyo completely. He held up his glass. "What do you call this?"

Teresa smiled back at him. "It's called Coca Cola, Mr. Sohma." Yuki blinked hearing himself being called that and Teresa giggled. "Just trying to make a point. Please, call me Teresa."

Yuki gave a little smile and nodded. "If you insist." He took another sip and a dopey grin spread across his face. "Anyone who introduces me to this I will call anything they want."

"Wow, it's amazing what carbonated syrup will do to an introverted student council president…" Teresa mused, shaking her head.

"Nah, I'm not surprised; very little can set Yuki off, but there isn't much Coca Cola can't accomplish," Kaye broke in, downing her fifth can. "Next time we'll have to introduce him to Mountain Dew." Both Teresa and Kaye shared a vision of Yuki dancing around the house in his boxers, wearing a lamp shade with a Mountain Dew can firmly secured in his fist. Hey both shared a laugh as well.

"Food's done! Pick your poisons guys, I'm serving!" Teresa called, telling everyone to sit. She waited for orders, but everyone kind of sat there skeptically until Kaye broke in with, "One of each, I'm starving."

"Let' give everyone one of each," Teresa suggested, loading up the plates and passing them out. "Just in case there are some 'defined tastes' here." She seated herself and passed around the condiments. "And everyone can just some of each on their plates and try them all out! This'll be an experimental dinner."

"A marvelous idea, dahhhling," Kaye complimented in her old-rich lady accent, causing a laugh to go around the table. Teresa put on her cute little grin and scooted closer to Kaye, leaning against her as she dug into her hot dog.

"Ahh, two young high school girls in love in my house, my my," Shigure sighed wistfully. "It must be lovely being lesbians," he mused with a smile. Teresa grinned back at him but Kaye nearly choked on her cheeseburger. "I mean, you two can do whatever you like and there's no complications. It's perfect for teenagers, don't you think? I think all teenaged females should be lesbians; it would take a lot of stress away." He sighed again, leaning on a fist and watching Teresa and Kaye dreamily, eyes glazed over.

"You mangy mutt! Stop imagining them!" Kyo shouted, pounding one fist on the table and another upside Shigure's head.

Teresa giggled, then put a finger to her chin in thought. "You Sohmas sure use a lot of animal influences in your insults…" she mused thoughtfully, curiously. Everyone at the table paused awkwardly, something that wasn't tactful in the least as it only increased her curiosity. "Any particular reason why?"

"No, not really," Shigure replied, keeping his cool with ease, "It's just a childhood thing that stuck. See, Yuki and Kyo always used to bicker and quarrel ever since they were very young, almost like a cat and mouse, Kyo being the cat always looking for a fight and Yuki the cunning rat always coming out on top." Kyo twitched in anger, about to yell something, but was cut short by Shigure's proud shout of, "And I am the dog, the one with undeniable power over both of them!" He cackled evilly until he was thrown back by both Yuki and Kyo who both wore intense scowls on their faces.

Teresa giggled again and she and Kaye asked how everyone liked the food. The Sohmas and Tohru all gave their praise and by the end of the meal Yuki was on his fourth can of Coke. "It really is delicious," Tohru complimented. "I especially like the cheeseburgers with relish." Teresa and Kaye gave each other side-glances, but shrugged it off; neither one had the nerve to inform her that relish was meant for hotdogs and the idea of it on a burger was actually quite painful to think about, to them anyways.

Kaye glanced over at Teresa, who was staring at her. "What? Is there something on my face?" Teresa leaned forward and licked the corner of her mouth then leaned back into position on her pillow cushion, smiling.

"Not anymore! You had a little mustard on her cheek," she explained briefly, smiling as she finished her cheeseburger. She'd had one of each too. Kaye glanced around the table to find Shigure and Tohru beaming and Yuki and Kyo looking wide-eyed into corners, at the ceiling, at their food. Her cheeks dusted with a light rose color and she damned Teresa in her head, but she merely winked at her.

After dinner Tohru insisted that Teresa and Kaye just relax and not help her clean up since they did most of the cooking. Kaye dragged Teresa up to her room and scolded her. "I thought I told you no spit swap-age!"

"That wasn't spit swap-age, trust me. I could show you spit swap-age-"

"No thank you."

"Hey, I'm just playing the part," Teresa said in her innocent voice, the one she saved for everyone but Axle, "Remember, I'm showing all the affection in this relationship?" She gave Kaye a quick hug.

"Heh, you're evil, girl," Kaye complimented, laughing as Teresa bowed. "I gotta wonder, though," she began thoughtfully, plopping down on her bed, "Why would Axle dump you? You're actually a lot of fun, and that means a lot coming from me. I normally kind of shut out… well, everyone…"

Teresa laughed softly and turned away. "Axle left me because he has a strict rule about dating drug addicts," she explained softly.

Kaye took a step back. "What?"

"Don't worry, I'm over it now. It's just, well…" Teresa sighed, testing her words, judging how much she should say. "Look, I don't want to burden you or anything 'cause we just met not long ago and stuff and I… I really don't want to lose you… But let's just say I didn't really have much luck with the guys in Boston. I always fell for the drug addicts, the sex addicts, the possessive, abusive guys. Every time I somehow got myself out I would vow not to make the same stupid mistakes, but, well… I could never stick with it. I was so convinced that the right guy would come along, always fighting my infatuation with females, denying it… I was so desperate to deny it that I went for anyone. A few of my ex's convinced me to get high with them a few times and when I met Axle I was dependant. He didn't know at first, and we lasted about a year, but when he found out, well… we were just over so quickly, just like that. I refused to be dropped so easily, like that year meant nothing, so I quit for him, went to rehab for him, and I followed him, but he just refused me again and again. So, this is where we are now."

"But… but that wasn't your fault…" Kaye was actually amazed that Axle wasn't a drug addict himself; she'd always suspected something of him. "That's not fair that he didn't even give you a second chance or anything… What's his anti-drug policy about anyway?"

"His dad was a drug addict and used to abuse him and his mother and sister," she said simply, her voice hollow. "He just refuses to be around people like that now."

Kaye watched her 'girlfriend' sadly, reached forward, and embraced her. She didn't pull away of course; Teresa enjoyed just being near Kaye and had since the first day they'd met. Then Kaye realized something and leaned back slightly so she could get a better look at Teresa's face. "Wait, so you're not a virgin?"

Teresa laughed softly. "I didn't really get a chance to lose my virginity. My first real boyfriend raped me when I was 12."

"Really? I was seven, and I didn't even know him." Teresa began to cry, but Kaye refused to. That part of her life was over, almost surreal to her now, so she let Teresa have her moment and just comforted her as best she could.

"We're so alike, you and I, Kaye," Teresa commented, wiping away her own tears. "But tainted young, both lovers of the American ways, both rebels to the core," she winked, "and both hate Axle."

Kaye laughed a little and thought a second. "Yeah, I guess we are very similar, after all." Teresa grinned and cuddled up to Kaye who sighed and rolled her eyes but didn't pull away. Teresa knew her limits, so, she was fine.