Prettyinpinkgal: Hello there! This is my first Shugo Chara story. It occurred to me while I was mowing, of all things. I've gotten around to episode 41 of the series, and I'm hooked on it. So even though it's 1:18 AM, I'm jotting this down before I forget. (I'm blaming the time if that's why my writing sucks ;))

This fanfic mainly follows the series, although some aspects are my own invention. There's some hintings at a later episode too that I saw bits of, I think it was an episode in the 60s. Amuto fans, I'm sure you'll know which episode I'm talking about ;)

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

JUST A KID

She was just some child who happened to have three guardian characters and the Humpty Lock. It seemed like it would be easy to just take what he wanted.

Of course, as she always did, Hinamori Amu proved him wrong.

She was not like the other kids at the little king's elementary school. She was mature somehow, with an inner strength she herself was yet unaware of; it must have been due to this strength that she was able to undergo a character transformation so quickly.

Even her fear was different than most girls' her age. In her situation, most kids would scream hysterically at the prospect of soaring onto a beam of a partly-constructed building in order to avoid a strange boy with cat ears and a tail to match. Well, she did scream a bit, which he found amusing.

But perhaps the real difference is that, when he took her two other guardian characters, her honey-colored eyes stared at him as though he had committed the most unforgivable crime when other children would have just cried and relinquished the prospect of becoming their would-be selves in a heartbeat if it meant for the strange cat-boy to go away and leave them be.

And she didn't just glare, did she? She bolted towards him; her character change had faded and therefore did not lend any athletic ability, which she had realized but did not think about. All she could think of was protecting those possible versions of herself, those fairy-like things which were not quite her, but still dearly important even though they had yet to be born.

That was another thing about her. Despite her stubbornness (which he would constantly bear witness to later), she clearly was caring and had a big sister, almost maternal, air about her. He had not expected this. She had grabbed the eggs so easily from him, only to plummet to what surely would have been her death had her desire to be her true self not been so strong.

And she soared. For a moment, he was captivated by her. Not because of Amulet Heart, who was so bubbly and cheerful, but because of the sides of Amulet Heart which he could see belonged to that strange girl Hinamori Amu. And he found himself wishing, for the first time, that he could be so open when he character transformed.

Tadase was a fool, he would later decide, for being so taken by Amulet Heart. He was the one who was supposed to be closest to her, so why did the little king continually hurt that girl by declaring his affections for only a possible side of her instead of trying to see all of her? Even he could see that girl's anger, her frown, her flush, her confusion, her uncertainty, her smile, and yet the little king remained perfectly unaware of these qualities except for the confident grin which occasionally graced her features.

But why should he care, as Yoru had asked on occasion. And why should he? It was no concern of his. He had enough to worry about, with Easter and his obsessive sister and the X eggs. He didn't need to fret over some kid's love life, or notice things about her which made him smile slightly, or try to come up with new ways to pick on her and tease her.

And he wouldn't, he told himself for the umpteenth time. Tsukiyomi Ikuto didn't need to think about anyone but himself. It was his way of life. He was the stray cat who would never dedicate himself to any one place or person.

She was just a kid.

So she should hurry up and turn into an adult.