Heya readers. This is the author of the fic you're reading. So, you're reading my fic. That probably means that you're reading it on fanfiction.net. Great site, eh? Well, now that sucking up to the sponsor is done with, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this authors note. This is the ...-counts on his fingers- third (?) piece of this...well, I hesitate to call it a 'series' of short fics I wrote on lunch breaks and the like. Basically, they were all written in under an hour, they weren't beta read, and the only editing done was spell check and being read by me once to make sure that all the words I used were actually words (don't laugh... it happens.). The reason I'm writing such tiny little fics? Um... give me a minute... Actually, I have no idea why I'm doing this. I just am.

This fic follows (for those of you actually reading this in some semblance of order) 'Haruka's closet', which -of course- followed 'To hold back the shadows'. Anyway, enjoy.

Oh, and for those of you who've been paying attention to what inspired each of these little ficlets... I suppose this one is just inspired by me being lonely and depressed and absolutely enchanted by the idea of a candle lit dinner with the person I love. Yeah... so I'm a big ol' softy. -shrugs-

Candle lit dinner
By Michael Treiber

Haruka grit her teeth in irritation at the waiter checking her reservations.

"Ah yes... here we are Mr. Tenoh... right this way."

Michiru giggled softly before taking her arm.

"Oh Haruka... relax. You do look a bit... masculine in that tuxedo."

Taking a deep breath helped calm the tall blonde. It just wouldn't do to get snappy on her first date with Michiru. That is, if this even was a date...

"Haruka? Is something wrong?" Michiru frowned in concern over her dinner partner's distracted expression.

"Hmm? Oh, of course not. Just... thinking. By the way, you look great in that dress!"

Michiru's brilliant smile outshone even the candles lighting the restaurant.

"I... didn't think you noticed. To tell you the truth, I had no idea what you were going to make of tonight."

Before Haruka could answer, the waiter had brought them to their table. They quickly made their orders, and the waiter left.

Then came the uncomfortable silence part of every first date. Haruka was the first to break it

"Well, how could I not have noticed how much effort you took to look nice. New dress, um... ribbony... things... in your hair..."

With a soft laugh, Michiru took pity on her friend.

"You look good too Haruka. Is that a new tuxedo?"

Haruka nodded.

"Yeah... this is the first time I've actually worn it."

"Oh..." Michiru blushed and cast her gaze down.

'Say it... say it!' a tiny voice screamed in the back of Haruka's head.

"I... um..." Haruka took a deep breath and rushed on. "I wanted tonight to be special."

"Really? Do you mean... special as in, spending some quality time with my best friend special, or... something else?"

Once again, and interruption saved Haruka from having to answer an uncomfortable question right away. The waiter deposited their plates, and left with out saying a word. The two ate silence, neither saying a word until both had finished.

Michiru was the first to break the silence this time.

"You never answered my question Haruka... how did you look at tonight?" Michiru was starting to get a little agitated. Why couldn't Haruka answer a simple question? Then she noticed Haruka's hands. They were clenched against the table edge so hard the knuckles were white, and they were shacking like leaves in the wind.

Inside Haruka's head, things were even tenser than her hands.

If she said that tonight hadn't meant anything, she knew the lie would hang between them forever. But if she said she looked at this dinner as a romantic event... That road lead to some things Haruka just wasn't ready to deal with yet.

"Haruka?" Michiru's soft voice cut through the storm in her head. "Haruka, the restaurant's closing. We have to go."

Haruka silently followed her friend as she headed toward the exit, but inside... she was still battling herself.

The end.
26Nov01 -11:50a.m.

Ooh... things are starting to heat up a bit, eh? ... right... I know... I'm sure nobody will read this series, and other than the flames I'm sure Ill get over grammar (or lack thereof) I bet nobody really even cares. Oh well... anyway, as always, remember that if you feel like emailing me over this fic (loved it, hated it, want to shove the business end of a broken beer bottle up my nose for writing it...) I've responded to every email I've ever received about one of my fics.