KbN: Hello, dear readers! This is a bit of a random idea I've been having, and this is the first solid piece of it thus far. It will probably be a bit fluffy, but I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you have any suggestions! R/R please!

Summary: Kaede is stuck in a relationship that just doesn't spark her interest anymore. So when Tea suggests she come home to Domino with her for a week to get away from it all, she accepts. Who knew that a simple vacation and a boy with icy blue eyes would just complicate everything so much more?

Note: Kaede is my first real OC, so if you detect any of that dreaded Mary-Sueness about her, please, do not hesitate to tell me!

A Flash of Lights Chapter One: New York Fever
Author: KolaByNikola

Tea Gardner couldn't help but be confused by the knocking on her door. It was close to two in the morning and she was just getting comfortable on the couch with her Doritos and a trashy romance novel. Nevertheless, she resignedly tossed the book aside, stuffed a handful of chips in her mouth, and padded from her sofa to the front door, looking out the peephole to see just who was disturbing her at this time on a Wednesday night.

Through the warped glass, she could just make out the warm reddish brown of a young woman's hair. Rolling her eyes, she pulled the door open, and Kaede Iwate stormed through the doorway, her eyes dark green with anger.

"I'm so sick of him!" she screeched without preamble, throwing herself into Tea's spot on the sofa. She grabbed a handful of chips and began shoving them into her mouth, crunching on them angrily. Tea shut the door, crossing the room again to the armchair, and watched Kaede fume and plow through Doritos.

"Ken?" she asked simply, already knowing there was only one 'him' Kaede could be so sick of.

"He asked me to marry him!" Kaede exploded. Even Tea was taken aback, gasping slightly. Kaede had been dating Ken for three years, true, but lately their relationship had been fraught with constant bickering.

"I know," Kaede moaned, and threw her head back against the sofa. "And I didn't say no."

"What?" Tea said, astonished. "All you've been talking about for the past year is breaking up with him and you said you'd marry him?"

"It's not that I don't love him," Kaede answered carefully, smoothing the skirt of her green dress down. "And I didn't tell him yes!" she added quickly, seeing Tea's shocked eyes. "I do love him, I suppose, in my own way. But I'm not interested in settling down. That's our problem… Ken loves me so much more than I love him, and I keep thinking that maybe it'll grow in time. I told him I wasn't sure, and that I'd have an answer for him in a week."

Tea leaned back into her own chair. "Are you really going to decide in a week?" she asked, sure of Kaede's answer.

Kaede sighed, and shook her head. "No, and if I do, it's going to be one I regret," she said sadly. "I can't bear to break his heart simply because I'm not sure."

Tea rolled her eyes at that. "Kaede, it's your life too." Her best friend looked over at her. "You would be miserable the rest of your life if you married him just because you didn't want to hurt him. You'd be giving up your whole life to just a half-happiness."

Kaede sighed, and nodded. "You're right, Tea." There was a pause where the two women looked out Tea's window at the glistening lights of New York City below.

"I wish I could get away from this damn city," Kaede murmured, twisting a lock of her long auburn hair around a finger. "I'm so sick of New York." She half-smiled. "I'm so jealous of you, Tea, getting to go home."

Tea smiled at the thought of Domino. She had gotten a plane ticket and planned this trip home for months. All of her friends would be back from university, and deep down, her heart longed for her home. Her plane left at six in the morning, and that was why she'd been up so late. Her bags were packed and she was ready to leave in an hour.

Then an idea occurred to her.

"Kaede," she said slowly, "You're off this week, aren't you?"

Kaede nodded. "Rehearsal doesn't start for another week and a half. Why?"

Tea smiled slowly. "Do you really want to get out of New York?" she asked, a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"More than anything," Kaede groaned, abandoning the lock she had been twisting and throwing her hair back.

"Then come home with me," Tea said simply, grinning brightly now.

"What?" It was Kaede's turn to be shocked.

"Get a plane ticket, pack some stuff, come to Japan with me. Your passport's up to date, you're free for the next week, and you want to get out of here. Why not come with me?" Tea urged, leaning in and taking Kaede's hand in hers. Kaede twisted her lips, obviously wavering.

"What if there are no plane tickets?" she asked, trying to find a loophole in Tea's absurdly fabulous plan. It seemed too simple and easy when Tea laid it out for her.

"What if there are?" Tea pressed, her enthusiasm catching. Kaede sighed and grinned.

"Where's the computer?" Kaede asked, standing up. "I guess I have to get plane tickets."