Disclaimer: All Drake & Josh characters copyright their proper owners. I just wrote this.

A/N: You're kidding. It's been over a month since I posted anything here? Wow. Haha. Okay, this is connected to the trilogy I just finished. It takes place a few days beforethe trilogy begins. I liked this one, so I've been coming up with ideas for a second trilogy which takes place years later and one that takes place years earlier (although, I'm working on something completely different as well...hopefully I'll have that up within the next week). So, here we have two characters doing different things. Not much dialogue. If you get confused, I apologize. It will help if you've read "We've All Made Promises," "Truths Revealed," and "Life's Decisions."

Italics are flashbacks.

There was clothing everywhere. Notebooks with song lyrics were scattered around. This was the daily appearance of his side of the room. The boy was pretty carefree and happy. There was nothing wrong with his life at the moment. Well, he was failing math, but that didn't bother him in the least. In fact, he was sleeping. He had a gig in a few hours and decided to take a nap since it looked like it would go late. His mind seemed to be doing strange things, though. He just couldn't stop dreaming about a pair of green eyes.
Clothing was flung about the bed, books had been yanked off the shelves, and makeup was scattered on top of the dresser. Only this room was normally kept tidy. Packing was a pain, but the reason for packing was worse. Her room had looked like this a few years before but then she was living in San Diego, and there hadn't been any makeup yet because she wasn't old enough yet. Now she was old enough. She didn't wear a lot either, but she liked lip gloss and eye shadow. She should have been happy with her future destination, but she wasn't exactly given the circumstances. Sure, she'd see all the people she left behind before, but would it be the same? It wouldn't. Because things weren't the same anymore. The man she was supposed to be able to trust had just done something low. Who to trust now?
"Well," he said. "We just have to try and remember." He leaned over and softly kissed her on the lips. She looked surprised. He had never done that before. It was unexpected but nice. The little girl heard her mother calling her.

"I have to go inside now," she said. "It's not fair. I might not see you again."

"No," he replied. "I promise we'll find each other. Then we'll be together again forever and happy. We can even get married," he laughed.

She smiled at him.

"I promise," he said.

The boy had been dreaming about those green eyes every night lately. They looked sad now, but they weren't supposed to be sad. They seemed too familiar. They were supposed to be happy and shining, like emeralds. Where was that shine? Where was the happiness?

The boy woke up and sighed. He was trying to put a face to the eyes. It shouldn't be too hard. They were probably a girl's eyes, but who? Other features had begun to appear. He could now recall a pair of soft pink lips. Both features were familiar, but to whom did they belong?

The one good thing about the return to San Diego was her best friend. But would he even remember her? Did he recall the first kiss they'd shared together? It was the first kiss for both of them, and she couldn't imagine it having been better. She'd found no boys in San Francisco who gave her the same warmth when she kissed them. Maybe it was just the fact that they were such good friends that it meant a lot. Whatever the case, he might have forgotten about her.
The boy jumped off his bed. He decided to head to the Premiere. He grabbed his wallet in case his brother wasn't working at the candy counter. He checked to make sure he had some money. Inside the wallet, he found a small, woven bracelet, and it suddenly became clear to him. She was the one in his dream, but why was she sad?
She had to face it. Her dad had obviously forgotten her mom on one of his business trips, and he'd just seen her the day he left for it. Three months later, her mother had discovered he had done the worst. He'd ruined the marriage and ruined the family. You could still remember a person yet forget so much.

It wouldn't help that she wasn't a very social person either. In fact, if they hadn't met when they were very young, there was no way she'd ever have been friends with him. The girls had always had a thing for him. She heard the whispers and giggles during the bathroom breaks in elementary school. Some were about her, and she hated those. They were the elementary school version of high school gossip about what who everyone went out with and what girl slept with what guy. Since they were young, it was, "She only hangs out with him because he's cute. He must feel sorry for her since she doesn't have as many friends and he does." It was stupid to let it get to her, but she was very young at the time. How could she not let it bother her? She never told him, though. That wouldn't help any. He might just tell them to back off and they wouldn't listen. They just would have dug their cotton candy polished nails in even more.

If only she had known what he would have done, what he would have said, what he would do and say in the future. Actually, she did remember the times he stuck up for her. They never had anything to do with girls. That just wouldn't happen. She couldn't tell him about that. One moment she would always remember was when they were about six. There was a seven-year-old who lived next door to her, and he was mean. At least, to a six-year-old. Now, at seventeen, she would have classified him as a jerk.

"Gimme that ball."

"No," the little girl said. She wasn't going to give it up, especially to someone who didn't say 'please.'

"I said give me that," the older boy responded, yanking the ball from her arms. The girl fell backward. She felt tears form in her eyes. She was too little and too shy to try to get it back. She felt she might have to count this as a loss. She'd never see that ball again.

"Hey!" came a voice that was stronger than her's but smaller than the bully's.

"What?" asked the boy.

"Give that back," said the little auburn haired boy.

"Why should I?" said the bully.

"I'll tell," came the smaller boy's response.

"I'm not scared," said the bully, while a bit of fear was heard in his voice. He reached forward and pushed the smaller boy over.

"Oh, Drake," said the little girl.

"I'm okay," he replied, standing back up from the ground. "I said give it back."

"No." The older boy turned to walk away when Drake ran forward and yanked the back of his shirt. The older boy fell backward. He dropped the ball, and the little girl quickly grabbed it. The older boy was lying on the ground, tears in his eyes. Drake looked slightly ashamed, but he decided he didn't care. That bully had it coming. Nobody messed with Drake's best friend.

Drake ended up getting in trouble for the incident with the bully. He got a lecture about how you don't get into fights. However, when it came to his best friend, Drake wanted to defend her, but he never found out about the girls in the bathroom. What would have he done if he knew about it? Probably nothing. How wrong she was.
Drake turned the small bracelet over in his hands. They hadn't seen each other in years, so why was he dreaming about her? Because he couldn't forget about her. She made him happy when he felt he couldn't be. That was much more than anyone had ever given him.

Drake thought back to the small girl who was his best friend. She told him one day when they were eleven that she was moving away from San Diego. They were both upset, but Drake had promised they'd find each other again. At the time, he believed he could keep that promise. He had begun to think that it maybe wasn't possible to keep anymore. After all, they'd stopped communicating. They were very young and distance didn't help much. Drake was disappointed. It seemed that nearly everytime someone went away and he tried to stay in contact, it disappeared.

But why was he dreaming about her now? There had to be a reason. And why did she look sad? It actually made his heart ache. He wanted to help her. He wanted to protect her as he'd done in the past. He would have protected her against anything, no matter what it was. Was that possible now? Could he reach out to her?

While it seemed impossible at the moment, he'd soon find that she was about to come crashing back into his life, and he'd bring her the same happiness that she'd brought him all those years ago.

She carefully picked up her books and began to put them in a box. She enjoyed reading. She could get lost in a book and be somewhere else. And if a book was too depressing, she could close it and turn on her cd player to hear a song that would raise her mood. All this helped when you no longer had your best friend. Sure, she made other friends in San Francisco, but she felt she never got as close to any of them as she had to Drake. She didn't know if she'd ever find someone she could share her secrets with like that again. She'd never met a boy who was as sweet to her. Her mother often pointed out boys at school she thought her daughter could go out with. That was the problem with her mom being a teacher. She knew all the kids at the school and their reputations. She knew who the boys were already.

"Christine," called her mom, walking into her room. "Be ready by five o'clock, please."

"Yes, Mom," said Christine. She sighed as her mom left the room. She continued with her thoughts.

Maybe she would find someone else when she got back to San Diego. Did she really want anyone else? She was too depressed right now for a boyfriend. After what her own father did to her mother, could she ever really love that way? Did love really exist? It had to exist, right? Or else, what was there between a parent and child? Maybe that kind of love truly existed, but love between a man and a woman, at least true love, must only exist in fairy tales. Drake's parents had divorced and now her's had as well. She couldn't let that happen to her. She had to build a wall around her heart.

Yes, that was what she'd do. It was obvious that her father didn't love her mother anymore. It was better to have a good friend, but then, her's wasn't with her anymore. She picked up her diary. She slipped the small hand woven bracelet out of it. She turned it over in her hands. Why had they stopped talking? It had happened once long before she moved away, but that was a long time ago, and he had upset her. They were eight, and he'd accidently ruined the bear her grandfather had given her for her birthday the year before. She was angry and refused to speak with him for a while. He felt terrible about it. She had walked out onto the porch one morning to find a bear, much like the one her grandfather gave her sitting on the porch swing with an apology note attached. She soon learned that he spent the last of his birthday money on the bear and that he felt terrible. She forgave him. However, when you were apart, it was easy to stop writing and calling. There was a lot of space between you. At least with the fight, there was emotion connecting them.

Drake would have done anything at that moment to be where Christine was. He wanted to know what was wrong. They'd always fixed each other's problems in the past. Whether it was something as minor as sharing snack at school because the other forgot or as major as needing someone to just be a kid with because your parents arguing was too much. He wanted to know what was wrong now. He wanted to know what he could do to fix it.

Drake pulled out a small photo album that had pictures of the two of them together. She'd given it to him the day she left. She cried, but he hadn't. Not until he saw her parents' car drive away did he run home and toss the photo album under his bed, not wanting to look at the happy memories that would only bring tears because they would never share moments like those again.

He didn't know at that age, but they would share moments like that again. He didn't even know now that they would. He finally looked at the photos a few days after tossing them under his bed. He found he needed the happy memories, and he felt better after seeing them.

As he turned the pages now, he knew he would do anything he could to bring that smile back to her face. He wanted to see her eyes shine again. A picture couldn't capture what he saw when he looked at her. They were seventeen now. He could only imagine her appearance. He did know that she would always have those emerald eyes and her perfectly shaped pink lips.

He knew that a lot of boys didn't have crushes on her in elementary school. Maybe it was because she was shy. He'd always thought she was sweet and pretty, but she didn't act like other girls. She didn't paint her nails with the puffy pink polish. She didn't talk about who was the cutest boy. Then again, a lot of the girls thought he was the cutest boy. Maybe she found that awkward. He just wished one of the nice guys would like her. So what if she wasn't the most popular girl? Drake was Mr. Popularity. It only grew when Christine left. He still thought of her as the sweet, pretty girl he used to know, but he hadn't seen her in years. Maybe she had changed a bit. If she did, he could only hope it was for the better.

He had no idea that, in a short time, he'd be that nice boy he'd always hoped would come along for her. Except he'd be foolish and not do anything. Something that was rare for Drake Parker when it came to a girl he liked. But he wouldn't just like her. He had no idea he'd feel stronger emotions for her than for any other girl he'd ever met. He thought about their first kiss a lot. No other girl had made him feel that way. It was as if an adventure was about to begin. He felt pure happiness. He hadn't felt like that with another girl. He'd figured it was because they were friends. That had to be it.

At that moment, Christine realized Drake wouldn't forget her. They'd been through too much to forget.

Christine began packing her clothes in her suitcases. Her mind returned to why she and her mother were leaving. It was because her father decided to sleep with another woman. She hated what he'd done. Thanks to him, she wouldn't trust.

Maybe she knew at that moment she wouldn't trust, but she didn't know what would happen when she went back to San Diego. She'd fall in love. Drake already had her trust. She would tear down that wall she built to protect her heart and let him in. She had no idea what was going to happen. She didn't know he'd tell her he loved her. That was what was going to let her push away what her father had done.

She had no idea that she would be the one he would turn to when the stress became too much for him to bear or when his biological father died. Nor does she know that in the moments after that, her fears will return because she has no idea where life is going to go. She will begin to become afraid. Afraid that his dependence on her shouldn't last. Afraid that he needs something more than what she can give. She will be afraid she is in the way. She'll run away. If she knew what the future held, she wouldn't let it happen, but she didn't know. She just didn't know that she'd hurt him and make a huge mistake. But nothing is perfect, and even love needs work. However, Christine still did not understand this at seventeen. She had never seen a marriage that worked except her grandparents, and she had always attributed that to being the "old fashioned" way to do things, never divorce. She didn't know that she would be growing up and changing. She didn't know that she'd let him in and he'd do the same. She didn't know she'd hate herself for breaking his heart or that she'd hurt as well. The last thing she ever would want to do is hurt him. If she knew then what would really happen, she would never break up with him. But we live and learn. She had no idea that he would take her back willingly. She didn't know yet that she wouldn't understand why he would want to share his life with her. She doesn't know yet how much he really will love her. She didn't know quite yet how much she loves him.

Drake put the bracelet back in his wallet. He wanted to help her, but it seemed impossible. He had no idea how he could bring her happiness.

He had no idea that she would return. He'd help her through her parents' divorce like she helped him through his parents' divorce. He'd develop strong feelings for her that he didn't feel for anyone else. She'd convince him to see his biological father. He'd grow in a way. He'd cause himself pain by not telling her of his true feelings.

He'd spend nearly a year unhappy because she was with someone else. Then finally fate would open a door for him, and he'd take it. He'd tell her he loved her. They'd start a relationship that was beyond any other he'd had in the past. She'd love him back. She'd be there for him when his biological father came to San Diego, and Drake couldn't take the pressure. When his father died, she'd be there to comfort him. Maybe he'd cry, but she wouldn't care.

She'd become confused and scared and break his heart. He'd spend the time without her just thinking about her. He wouldn't date anyone else. He just wouldn't beable to look at anyone else. His brother and brother's girlfriend would put them in a position to save their relationship. They'd finally reach the point where they could be together again. And they would be together again. He'd learn that even when they were apart, she'd help him by doing possibly the one thing that would give him and the brother that he had no idea existed yet comfort. She loved him too much not to help.

Maybe she'd get scared again when he proposed, but with what her father put her mother through, maybe her fears were justified. He'd explain that she was important to him, that he'd make her realize that openness and honesty would keep them together if she'd only try.

However, he knew none of this now. For this was all in the future. None of it was predictable, not at that moment.

Drake tucked his wallet in his back pocket and left the room. He had no idea that in a few days, his world was going to change.

Christine and her mother finished packing their things in the car. It was crammed full. They were leaving. Christine slipped into the passenger seat and looked out the window as her mother started the car and began to drive. It seemed all the girl could think about was what her father did. But once in a while those thoughts would be replaced by the thought that she'd be seeing her best friend again. She'd be even happier when she realized a while later that he loved her as much as she loved him and the trust would return. She would forget about her father's betrayal until things began to become much more serious between her and Drake. She would run from life and love. There were things in life that you would do and not be able to fix. She didn't know that she would tell him he didn't need to be afraid to love when she herself would find herself in that situation and make the wrong choice, forgetting her own advice. She wouldn't know when she broke up with him that it would tear her up inside because she actually wanted to be with him for the rest of her life. She also wouldn't know that she'd get another chance but think it was over and believe she'd be alone always. She had no idea she'd begin a lifelong journey with him.

She sighed as the sun began to set. They'd pull into a hotel soon and finish the journey tomorrow. Maybe she didn't know what the future held, but for now, there was a wall around her heart and a hope that her friend would still care. She had no idea that the latter would destroy the former.