A/N: Late as always, and you guys are probably already so sick of me and my excuses. Sorry, just sorry. But I have good news! I finished my freshman year top four overall. That's fourth over two hundred fifteen students. :D I'm sure there are people there who are doing better, but I'm just so happy and contented with that. Also, my conduct grade's 100.18, which proved that, yes, card grades actually can go over 100.

I spent most of English and Theology of last quarter writing this on a notebook. I never typed it down because I didn't think it was finished, but apparently I had already written the whole chapter. How stupid can someone get, ugh. Okay, this is me shutting up and giving you chapter fourteen ~


No, no, it wasn't him. It couldn't be him. She was just confused, just imagining him standing there, his hair slightly dishevelled and looking absolutely handsome…Surely it was just a figment of her imagination…

…But he was coming closer, concern clouding his eyes. "Akira? Are you okay?"

His arms reached out to help her, and she pushed him away. He wasn't real, no…she ran to the cabinet, still open, as if welcoming her. Her hands were quick, looking for something, anything that would make her feel better…damn, she thought as she pushed through beer bottles (beer was something she had never liked), I must be really crazy or just really drunk to make Tadashi appear in front of me. It didn't surprise her that she was thinking of Tadashi; it just really shocked her to see her thoughts fabricated, right in front of her eyes.

Suddenly, there it was. A lone bottle of flavored vodka, and lemon flavored at that. It comforted her to know there was still one left, one to make the illusion-Tadashi go away…

She popped the cap open and took a swig, finding comfort in the burning feeling it gave her throat as she thirstily gulped it down. She was about to take another swig when someone took hold of her arm, keeping Akira away an arm's length from the bottle. She tried to pull away, but whoever it was had a vice-like grip. She turned to look at whoever it was, surprised to see it was still Tadashi. Her eyes bulged out of their sockets before she regained her composure, pretending to be unfazed of the fact that alcohol didn't make illusion-Tadashi go away. "What are you still doing here," she spat at him, rolling her eyes, and secretly feeling stupid for talking to something that wasn't real. "And when did you get so strong," she questioned as she continued her attempts at pulling away. Pulling away from something that wasn't real. She wondered how the hell an illusion could be keeping a hold on her. She continued to throw a fit, desperately trying to pull away, until she decided that, fine, she was defeated, and went for giving him an I'll-kill-you stare instead. She expected him to stare her down the same way, to have a staring contest with the guy, but instead he laughed softly, as if something was funny, slowly releasing his hold on her. She stuck her tongue out at him, secretly glad that he didn't make her admit defeat out loud. It would hurt her pride too much. She moved away and turned her back on him, taking another swig out of the bottle.

It was quiet for a few minutes. Akira, who hadn't even realized the silence that had settled over the room, pouted in surprise. Was illusion-Tadashi gone? She didn't know if she would be upset or happy that he was gone…

She looked back at her shoulder. Illusion-Tadashi was still standing there, in the same place he'd left her, giving him a cheeky grin, as if he found something about her laughable. She groaned in annoyance, turning back and cursing under her breath. The illusion gave off a short little illusioned-laugh, and it annoyed her more. She thought she would be sad if she didn't find Tadashi there, but instead he irritated her, from his smile to his obnoxious laugh, down to the way he stared and smiled at her. It was seriously getting on her nerves.

She took another swig of the bottle as he broke the silence. "Is it really right to be drinking like that after a panic attack?"

"And you care, why?" she turned around and leant against the counter, right across from him on the table, an eyebrow raised. "It's an attack, not…" she fumbled around with words, "well, not a disease where I'm not allowed to drink." He laughed again, and she turned an angle, just so that he didn't see the embarrassed blush that made its way up her face.

After calming down, she made a sudden turn, turning to the Tadashi who was still standing there. "Shoo," she said pointedly, pointing to the door, sinking to one hip. "Why aren't you vanishing before my eyes?" She raised an eyebrow.

"You don't think I'm real?" It returned to her, feigning hurt.

"No," she replied quickly, not skipping a beat. "So shoo, go away!" She took another swig out of the bottle, now almost empty. Tadashi didn't move, though, he just stood there staring at her, on his face an expression of hurt. His lips were pouted just the slightest bit. Akira put her bottle down and stared him down with the same energy, enthusiastically sending him dirty looks, hoping it would make him go away. It went on that way for minutes, until she finally got bored.

"Fine," she fake-sighed, dropping her gaze. She looked back at the illusion-Tadashi, a new gleam in her eyes. She stared at him viciously, and instantly he knew that he would regret what would happen next.

"Fine," she repeated. "If you're real… Drink with me."

"I don't think this is a good idea," Tadashi announced, scratching his head. Akira dragged him nearer to her side of the table by the hand.

"Of course it is! Get your own shotglass over there," she pointed to another cabinet, then went back to looking for more vodka. "And one for me too, of course." She emerged from another cabinet with two bottles of vodka, one lime flavored, and the other clear. He also noticed that she had a sachet of punch mix.

"Haven't you already drunk enough? And what's the punch for?" Tadashi asked, putting the glasses down and taking a seat.

"No. I believe one can drink as much as he or she wants," she smirked, then looked at the punch mix and back at him. "Chaser," she informed him teasingly, taking a seat beside him. "You might need it."

"What, you don't think I'm strong enough? To handle vodka? Really?" He asked, his eyebrows furrowed.

"I know you're not," she replied, unfazed by his displeasure and sticking her tongue out at him.

"Bring it on! Let me prove you wrong," he smiled, the same vicious gleam in his eye.

"HAHAHAHA!" Akira laughed, the sound of it reverbating around the house. "Why was that joke so funny? It wasn't that funny!" she contradicted herself, laughing some more.

"Then why are you laughing?" Tadashi laughed with her. She was just so cute.

"Because I'm drunk!" She pointed at him, a thin finger on his chest. "You, sir, are not." Tadashi laughed and poured himself another glass, gulping it down, not following it up with the punch she had prepared. He looked her straight in the eye, serious. "I'm working on it."

"No you're noooot," she slurred. She stood up and tripped on her own feet before she even got to take a step. "Whoa!" Tadashi caught her, and looked down at her concernedly. "Careful there," he told her, and she looked up to see his big, brown eyes, looking straight into hers. Akira continued staring, not listening to the rational part of her brain that told her staring was rude, not letting her gaze leave the depths of his brown eyes. Tadashi, in his head, compared her change in look to a look a girl would give a toy she really wanted. Was Tadashi the toy Akira really wanted?

Tadashi, stop with the nonsense thoughts! he mentally scolded himself, trying to look away, but he couldn't find the will in him to. He carefully sat her back down on her chair, their gazes fixed on each other. Why was she staring? Why couldn't he look away?

Suddenly Akira's hand was on his cheek, fingers grazing his creamy skin. "Akira?" He asked, unsure of what she was trying to do. His heartbeat fastened its pace, and he felt stupid for feeling so much. Akira's fingers continued to move past his cheek, looking into his eyes again. "You have beautiful eyes," she told him, her fingers moving upward to push the bangs out of his eyes.

"Umm, thanks?"

Akira laughed nervously, looking away and pulling her fingers away. Tadashi wanted them to stay on his cheek a little longer, but he knew he couldn't ask for that. Not while he could take advantage of her, not while she was drunk.

Akira folded her arms on the counter, laying her head on it, her eyes slowly closing. "I'm sleepy…" she whispered, trying to stifle a yawn with the back of her hand.

Tadashi stood up right away, standing her up gently. "Let's get you upstairs." He picked her up bridal style, and was surprised at how light she was.

He walked out of the room and toward the stairway. She unconsciously wound her arms around his neck. "You smell good," she drawled, snuggling closer to his chest. Tadashi found himself smiling. He started up the steps of the large, Victorian-style stairway.

"I wish it was always like this," she murmured against his clothes. Tadashi felt his cheeks redden, when she spoke again. "I wish I was always with you like this." He reached the final step of the stairs and turned right, where he knew her room was.

"I wish we were closer…" she drawled on, but he didn't hear her, distracted as he attempted to open the door. He successfully turned the knob and pushed the door open with his knee. He looked around him, taking in his surroundings. Her room looked the same as always. Large dresser. Large mirror on the wall. Walk-in closet to the right. A bulletin board of photos hanging on the wall. Her queen-sized bed, amidst all the things.

"I wish schools and airline companies kind of worked together," she said drunkenly in a voice higher by an octave. Tadashi looked down at her, laughing. He moved toward her bed. "What kind of nonsense are you spouting?"

"If they were, maybe I would be engaged to you instead." He laughed at the nonsense – then blushed as it sunk in. Engaged? But wait – instead? Akira was engaged? Instead?

"Engaged? Instead? What?" He continued to mutter incoherent words, unconsciously setting her down gently into her bed. Akira breathed in the scent of her bed, curling up into a ball. "Akira?" He tried again. "What do you mean engaged?"

"I – I'm promised to…" her eyes started drooping, and he hurriedly sat by her bedside. "Promised to what, Akira? Or rather… who?"

"Fe–Felicien…" Her eyes still closed, she held out her hand, placing it on Tadashi's arm on the bed. Her eyes slowly opened, Akira's eyes hazy and sad, but a slight smile on her lips. "I wish I was promised to you instead. I wish we were closer."

"Why, aren't we close enough as it is?" Tadashi nervously laughed, not knowing what to say. Akira was engaged…to some random guy he didn't even know. He felt like the thought hadn't really sunk in, like he was in a state of denial. He didn't know how to react to it.

"No, we're not…" she stirred, voice still quiet, only a little louder than a whisper. Her eyes closed once again. "I don't even know what kind of relationship we have. Are we even in a relationship?" she asked, seeming to ponder over her own words.

Tadashi looked down, replaying her words in his head and trying to make sense of them. They didn't sound like Akira at all. The normal Akira was the Akira who hated his guts, who hit and threw things at him all the time. He didn't know if he should believe her…She was drunk, after all. She didn't know what she was saying…

But at the same time he wanted to believe what he knew Akira was saying. He was torn, confused, especially since he found out she was engaged…

Or was she?

"I mean, you haven't even kissed me yet."

His thoughts stopped, and he looked at her innocent form, cuddling at a pillow and making cute sounds. Did she just…?

He didn't know what he was doing. It was like his body moved by its own accord. He moved closer to her, until his face hovered inches above hers.

Her eyes opened. Her eyes were large, innocently looking at him as she had not just said what she had. "What're you doing?" she asked, sounding genuinely curious. He breathed in her scent, a scent of berries and vanilla, and looked into her eyes sincerely.

"Kissing you."

A/N: The drinking in this fanfic is strictly for fanfic purposes. I strongly discourage drinking. It's not healthy at all. And it doesn't even taste good. Okay, maybe that's just me…I mean, I'm thirteen! But seriously, drinking's bad, okay.

Cliffy! Care to review?