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To Love or Not To Love

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There's a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;

There's a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;

And you never know 'til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There's a fine, fine line between love-

And a waste of time…

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Kazuha leaned back against her chair. The back of her head was stopped, uncomfortably, by the wall. She felt exhausted and cheated somehow. The sun shone in through the windows, bathing the room in that warm just before sunset glow.

Next door Shinichi and Ran were resting. Both had been caught in the fire fight that had occurred inside the dilapidated mansion. Heiji had gone after Ran when she had run after Shinichi. Kazuha would have followed as well if Heiji hadn't turned around and yelled at her.

"I DON'T NEED YOU TO STICK OUT YOUR NECK EITHER!! STAY HERE KAZUHA!!!"

Those words had planted her feet into the muddy ground.

She didn't even know what had transpired inside, but afterward Heiji had come out half dragging both Ran and Shinichi. Apparently Shinichi had been wanted dead by some kind of Yakuza gang and the mansion had been the location of the showdown. She didn't know all the details at this point.

Ran wasn't very talkative. She woke up first and whispered a few things to Kazuha, many of which surprised her, like Shinichi having been Conan. How Kazuha didn't know, but inside that mansion, whatever had happened, had brought Shinichi and Ran closer together.

The way that Ran gazed at the sleeping young man a bed away was much deeper than anything Kazuha had ever seen.

Ran was very much in love.

So Kazuha, once Shinichi began stirring, quietly took her leave and went to sit in Heiji's room. It'd been an hour now. The doctor had come in and out, leaving behind a few encouraging words. Either way, she still felt terrible. Why did Heiji yell at her like that? They yelled back and forth regularly, but this time, for some reason, she hadn't been able to.

What was she doing? Why didn't she just leave already?

So many thoughts were rushing around her mind and Heiji wasn't even awake to yell at.

She stood up and walked over to Heiji's bed.

"You jerk…"

Turning away, she was startled when she felt a firm grip on her wrist.

"And you're being stupid. Now what's with you?"

Kazuha stared.

"Was I dead or something?"

"B-Bu-But you were asleep-"

"Yeah, an hour ago, when you came in. All your sighing woke me up. You're really oblivious to your surroundings."

"Heiji…"

"Now what the hell was all that sighing for?"

"Nothing. I should go get your parents. They were worried when they came in…"

"My parents? Worried? Come on Kazuha, you know better."

Still Kazuha pulled away.

"Well they'd still like to come in I'm sure. I'll get them for you."

"Kazuha," Heiji said sternly, sitting up more that he should have.

"What?"

"What are you mad about? Was it that I didn't let you go in?"

Kazuha felt her face crack.

"Not let me… you did more than not let me! You yelled at me!! What the hell was that about!?

"But-"

"But nothing! I don't need you protecting me! I don't want you protecting me either!"

"Kazuha…"

"So you can't be doing things like that! Even if you were my boyfriend!!"

The room fell eerily silent. Next door, the chatter and the beeping of the machines went on.

"I'm sorry…" said Heiji, "But…"

"No! There's no "buts'" to this Heiji! You can't be doing this to me! Especially when you should have known by now that-"

"Look you're tired. We should-"

"Of course I'm tired! But I'm here for god knows…"

Heiji looked apprehensively at the calm face that fell over Kazuha.

"Kazuha…" Heiji pulled himself out of the bed.

"You shouldn't be doing that Heiji," she protested but made no effort to push him back.

"You're right Kazuha; I shouldn't have done that, no matter what the situation."

Kazuha stared. The room was quickly becoming colder. The florescent lights began to flicker on.

"You're speaking awfully fast…"

"But Kazuha…"

"We've been friends since we were kids Heiji… and for a long time now I've loved you… like really loved you… I don't know if that's ever hit home to you…

"But, I'm not waiting anymore."

Heiji's eyes widened.

"What do you mean…" he gripped her shoulder.

"I'd be sad to lose a friend like you Heiji, but I can't be like this. And I don't want to be more with you Heiji.

"I saw Ran and Shinichi a lot today. They have their share of problems, but I didn't see Shinichi yelling at Ran to stay back. I'm not saying that Shinichi is a better man but you could probably learn a thing or two.

"While it's probably very easy to stay like this with you," she took hold of Heiji's wrist and pulled her shoulder loose, "I'd rather not love you."

"Kazuha…"

"And I don't want to hear promises of how you'll never yell at me again or anything. And I don't want lies.

"I felt so cheated today, because today, very easily, could have been the day when you noticed all on your own. You could have fallen in love with me.

"But… you're not! All this time I've been hoping… it's been a waste of time… and I'm done with that."

Heiji didn't even know what to say or do as Kazuha kissed his cheek, and reached the door to exit.

"Kazuha, wait!"

He half-limped over, "Kazuha, I-"

"Just don't Heiji. Don't say you love me now, after that. Please."

She left and in those few precious moments in which he was weighing the option of going after her, his room was flooded with visitors who dragged him back to his bed.

I'd rather not love you…

The words played over and over in his head.

She's right though… I didn't love her… how stupid am I?

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AN: I've got no explanation for this one. If you liked it, yay, if not, don't worry you're probably not the first. This is what I get for liking one Avenue Q song too much -smile-