-1SUMMARY: Rua finds a certain person's secret diary. Or something like it. Pure, pure crazy ensues when said person tries to get it back. I got enabled to write this, okay? I had a lot of crack discussions with some friends of mine and this is what resulted. I'm not entirely sure I pegged everyone as totally IC quite yet, but I certainly tried. In any case, feedback is nice for that purpose, yes?

WARNINGS: Lots of sexual references. Nothing too terribly dirty, but still, the correlation exists enough to make this a T-rated fic.

PAIRINGS: One-sided Carly/Jack. Possibly. The ending makes me wonder, though.

DISCLAIMER: None of the setting or the characters mentioned belong to me; I'm simply borrowing them and putting them back on the shelf when I'm done with them.

---

"Rukaaaa, look what I found!"

Turning her head to face her other half, Ruka blinked at Rua, who dashed up to her brandishing a small bag that he'd apparently gotten hold of somewhere between going to the water fountain in the park to get a drink, getting distracted somewhere along the way, and coming back with the object in tow.

"...Rua, where did you get that?"

"Found it on a bench over there," he said proudly, as though finding something someone had left behind was some sort of great accomplishment.

"You know that's someone else's, right? You should turn it in to the police," Ruka admonished, giving her twin brother a withering glance. Rua wasn't fazed, however, having gotten the same sort of disapproving look from her many times before.

"...Yeah, maybe, but what if there's something good in it?" he said excitedly.

"Rua! It doesn't belong to you! Go turn it in to security!"

"Aw, security won't do anything about it." Rua waved his hand at her dismissively. "Maybe I should just... hold onto it until someone around here starts looking for a lost purse or something?"

"Rua..." Ruka sighed exasperatedly. He did, however, have a point that security would likely not do anything about it, she had to admit, and whoever thought to check with the police when they lost something important? "Please make sure it gets back to whoever lost it if you see them. Don't pretend you didn't see anyone looking for anything, either."

"Hey, let's see what's in it!" he exclaimed suddenly, ignoring his wiser sister's warning. Without waiting for a response from her, he plopped the bag down on a nearby bench and started digging through it.

"Rua!"

"Oh, come on, Ruka! Maybe there's an ID in here that we can use to find the owner!"

She crossed her arms sternly. "But that's allyou should be looking for. Don't go digging for money or personal stuff, okay?"

Rua nodded, unfastening the flap on the front of the bag. "Yeah, yeah, okay." He opened it wide and scanned the items in it. Most of the bulk of the inventory was printed paper -- newspapers, hardcover books, a magazine or two, and a couple unmarked notebooks. There were a few pens and pencils that had fallen to the bottom, as well as a couple other small, insignificant items, and a small, disposable camera. There didn't seem to be a wallet or means of identification, though. No driver's license, no passport...

He skimmed through the books and magazines. Most of the published ones were on journalism, and the notebooks seemed to be just the standard issue composition notebooks used for school and other such things, but there was one that stood out -- it was baby blue bordered by pink and white tartan, in comparison to the rest of the black and white ones found just about anywhere for a dime a dozen, but it remained unlabeled. He carefully removed it from the rest of the print and looked at it, a grin forming on his face.

"...Maybe it's someone's secret diary!"

"Rua?"

He jumped suddenly when Ruka called his name again. "Wh-What?"

"Did you just say something?"

He had forgotten she had been standing a few meters away the whole time. Shaking his head, he tried to put on his best "I'm lying to you but you can't tell because I'm such a good liar" face.

"N-No, nothing!"

Ruka eyed him suspiciously, then turned away again without another word. The second she took her eyes away from him, he shifted his attention back to the book. Well, as long as he had it, he might as well go for it and find a juicy entry, right? Nobody had to know!

He lay his hand upon her cheek delicately, and their eyes instantly met. Silence hung over them, anxious and anticipating. Their pulses raced as they stared intimately into one another. He did not break the silence, but smiled a smile that somehow broke all her fears instead.

"Jack," she whimpered, bosom heaving with every breath. They moved closer to one another, and he continued to smile as he...

Rua stared.

"...Woah!" he cried out finally, after a long moment gaping at the page he'd turned to in awe.

"What?" Ruka asked again, this time taking a few steps to hover over his shoulder. "Rua, should you really be reading that?"

"But Ruka, it's awesome! Like something totally out of this world! Whoever wrote this could totally make a living off this stuff!"

She gave him a skeptical look as she scanned the scrawled, handwritten words on the lines in front of her, and then blinked. "It's... a fantasy romance novel? Rua, I didn't think you liked that kind of stuff."

"I don't! But the writing is really, really good!" he said enthusiastically.

"...Does that say Jack? Do you think they mean Jack Atlas?" Ruka questioned thoughtfully. Suddenly, Rua groaned.

"Oh, man, I wish you hadn't said that! Now I can't get that image out of my head! Jeez, that's disgusting! I don't wanna think about Jack doing... that!!"

"I'm just surprised you didn't think of that before," Ruka said, slightly amused at her brother's characteristic immaturity. "We should probably go back, anyway; the sun's beginning to set."

"But what do we do with this?!" Rua asked. "Maybe we could take it and I could say I wrote it?"

"No one would believe you," she stated flatly, knowing both Rua couldn't write that well, and that he hadn't grown up enough to start writing sappy romance novels yet. And so did everyone else, she was sure. Everyone except Rua himself, perhaps...

"Aww, come on! There's nothing in it to identify it!"

"Leave it where you found it, Rua. Maybe the person who lost it will come back for it once they realize it's missing."

Pouting, Rua turned as if to start walking back to the outdoor table where he'd found it, but as Ruka walked further and further away, he made a split-second decision to stuff it under his shirt and start running to catch up with his twin, holding the bundle together awkwardly with his arms, unable to suppress the sneaky grin on his face.

---

"Gone, gone, gone! Where did it go?! It's not under the table, it's not on the chair, it's not in the bushes! It's gooooone!"

Carly wrung her hands nervously as she searched high and low for her bag, which she was absolutely certain had been left on the table. By now, she'd scoured the entire park and had eyed every person who'd passed by suspiciously and thoroughly, but to no avail. She'd only gotten up for onesecond to get a drink from the nearby vending machine! Who could've made off with her stuff in onesecond?!

She pulled at her dark hair in frustration. "This is bad! What if someone found it?! What if they read all my upcoming articles and decided to plagiarize them?! I'd be kicked out in two seconds flat for publishing already-written material, even if it was my own originally!"

The only thing she had of hers were a couple increments of pocket change left over from the vending machine, stuffed into her back pocket. She felt at it absently, just to make sure that hadn't been taken too, and then chewed anxiously on her fingernails.

"Ohhhhhh! Jeez, what do I do?! Okay... stay calm, stay calm! Whoever took off with it can't have gone far!" She straightened, a wave of forced determination flowing through her. "Well, I'll just inquisition everyone I can find! Someone must have it, and I'm going to find out who! Starting with--"

"What are you doing, Carly?"

Carly nearly leaped out of her skin, jumping a full 180 degrees to face a very pretty blonde girl about the same age as her, dressed a bit more office-appropriate.

"Angela?!"

"Well, are you going to answer my question?" The fellow reporter raised a slender eyebrow curiously at Carly, who panicked.

"I-I lost my... bag..."

"...Did you?" Angela made a clucking sound with her tongue. "That's too bad."

"It is bad! All my stuff is in there!" Plus that other thing she'd been working on, but she certainly wasn't going to make that known for a long while yet.

A brilliant idea struck Angela, and she smiled demurely. "Well, what did it look like? Maybe I've seen it." A little practical joke couldn't hurt...

"Well, it's a smallish gray messenger bag with a long black strap!" Carly replied, making hand motions as though to better describe the object, its size and shape in particular.

"Oh... you know, I swear I saw a shady-looking guy with something like that over there..." She looked to her left at random, eyeing someone or other as though she was scanning for the person who she'd supposedly seen with it.

"Ah! Thank you so much, Angela!" Carly bowed, quickly and awkwardly, and then took off without giving the other girl a chance to respond.

Not that she really had anything else to say, anyway. Hook, line, and sinker, as could ever be expected of such a klutz. With a devious, satisfied little smirk on her face, Angela flipped her hair girlishly and continued on her merry way, hoping to send the clumsy girl on a harmlessly irritating wild goose chase. Maybe if she got lucky -- or if Carly got unlucky -- she'd be in for more than she could handle.

Unfortunately, there were plenty of guys in the region "over there" that Angela had pointed out, but no shady-looking ones. A few with facial markers, granted, but none of them looked especially terrible. Adhering to the description of "shady" without giving it a second thought, Carly approached the shadiest one she could find with a modest smile.

"Ah, excuse me, sir...!"

The man turned around to look impassively at Carly, followed by two other men trailing close behind him. One of them, the one who appeared to naturally slouch even while standing, laughed through his teeth in a way that she suspected would get under anyone's skin real fast.

"Shishishishishi... it's a chick!"

The tallest of the three, with short, spiked blue hair and a small, golden boomerang-shaped criminal marker on his right cheek, stared at Carly expectantly, and the intensity made her lose her nerve for a moment, but she quickly recovered from her falter and continued on. "May I ask if you've seen a gray messenger bag around here? I, erm, lost it around here, and I'm looking for it..."

"Sounds more like you're looking for trouble, shishishi..."

The taller man elbowed the slouched one hard, which shut him up real quick. The other sidekick, a heavier man with fairly nondescript brown hair and sunglasses, grinned unnervingly wide, but did not comment.

"Umm..." Carly smiled nervously, unable to utter much else at the time.

The blue-haired man froze, as though realizing something, then smiled roguishly while managing to avoid being too telling.

"Yeah, I might've seen something like that around. It belong to you or somethin', kid?"

She nodded with a slightly more encouraged smile.

"Okay then," he continued, "I'll get it back for you. Leave it to Uryuu... as long as there's something in it for me, that is."

"Umm... like what?" Carly asked, nervously twining her long fingers together practically into knots. Something about this guy made her instinctively uncomfortable, but she couldn't just dismiss his claim to be able to get it back for her; after all, what if he wasn't lying?

Suddenly the bigger, brown-haired man leaned into the apparent leader's ear and whispered something, causing him to grin uncontrollably and nod affirmatively.

"Oh, yeah. Y'see, there's this... thing I've been lookin' for, but I can't get my hands on it due to my probation terms, y'know?" Carly opened her mouth as though to protest, eyes a little wider than before, but Uryuu cut her off. "Hey, now, it's nothin' illegal or anything. I just can't get it myself unless I wanna get potentially hauled off to the penitentiary again. Security's already got their eye on me constantly, and the last thing I need is to get twenty questions about what I'm buying."

She thought about it for a moment. Well, as long as it wasn't illegal, how bad could it be...?

"...Okay, well, if you can get my bag back for me, I guess I have nothing to lose in that case, right? So, what's this 'thing' you need, anyway?"

---

Sometimes Carly was absolutely positive that some higher power somewhere just did not like her at all.

This was one of those times.

How'd she manage to get herself into this situation again? In retrospect, Angela just might have been leading her on, and Uryuu might have been doing the same... but it was far too late to go back and tell him no at this point. And besides, she was dealing with a shady character here -- who knew what he'd do or who he'd tell to go after her if she failed him?

The room was rather bland and reminiscent of an outlet store you might find in a mall, much to Carly's surprise; she'd always pictured these kinds of stores as being rather eccentric and colorful in an attempt to be eye-catching. She supposed there might've been some out there that were, but this wasn't one of them. It felt like your average, everyday street store, really.

With the exception that it was a sex shop, of course.

The windows were mostly covered by posters, but not entirely so as to let some light in. They were the kind of wavy glass that blocked the view to the inside of anyone who passed by. Inside, there were various tables with sale items on them, racks and shelves with magazines and a few books, and near the back there were wigs and costumes for, she assumed, those who enjoyed that kind of thing.

Luckily, Carly was not here for anything too embarrassing. She could probably get away with her reputation intact with a few porn magazines, couldn't she? And if worse came to worse, she'd say they weren't for her.

...Whether they believed her or not was an entirely different story, since it seemed Uryuu was into both guys and girls. It was more than Carly cared to know about him, but she supposed that if she was here and doing this, she might as well do a good job.

Strolling as casually as she could over to the section with the paper goods, Carly sat on her haunches and scanned the covers that were lined up on the rack. The contents consisted mostly of pretty girls, but there were a few magazines with some good-looking guys there too, probably just to please everyone. Tentatively, she picked up a magazine with a well-built guy on the front, hardly bothering to look at the name of the publication, and flipped open to a page in the middle, just out of sheer curiosity.

She stopped.

And stared.

Forgetting to breathe for a long, long moment, Carly gasped loudly for breath as she practically fell over, her glasses coming dangerously close to falling off her face. Dropping the magazine, she stared at it like it had jumped up and bitten her hand with animal teeth.

Was that... Jack?

Carly figured she couldn't just sit here for too long unless she wanted to be seen by someone or considered a weirdo -- a perverted weirdo, no less -- so she mustered the courage to take the magazine in shaky hands and look at it more thoroughly.

Her heart slowed down a little as she noticed some subtle differences in the facial structure of Jack and the man in the picture. He was blonde with violet eyes, yes, and had about the same skin tone, but he was just a little too short and a little too bulky to be Jack. The writing on the page made no mention of it, but it seemed to be an impersonator, probably from back in the days when Jack was King. It did make some sense, when she thought about it...

Staring in deep contemplation and rising temptation at the magazine, Carly jumped to attention when she heard the bell above the door chime as another customer entered the store, previously empty except for the shopkeeper and her, and hastily grabbed the magazines she thought might have looked most appealing to Uryuu. Placing the magazine with Jack in it under them, she stood up and nodded to herself with a more confident smile.

There, that wasn't so embarrassing. Now, all she had to do was pay, and she would be home free--

"--Carly?!"

Again she felt her heart stop temporarily at the familiar, feminine voice calling her name, and practically dropped the stack of magazines she was carrying in shock.

"A, A, Angela?!"

The blonde woman eyed Carly curiously for a moment, then didn't hesitate to smirk irreverently.

"What in the world are you doing here? Are you seriously--"

"No!" Carly shouted desperately. "I'm doing it for someone else!"

"That's what they all say," Angela said with an exaggerated roll of her eyes.

"What about you, though?!" Carly said more accusingly, pointing dramatically at her rival while clutching the material to her chest. "What are you doing here?!"

Realizing she had a toy in her hand, Angela trotted up to Carly, grabbed her by the shoulder, and started whispering in her ear. "I'm getting a scoop on this shop. I heard they're selling faulty or near-faulty toys knowingly to unwitting customers."

"R-Really?" Carly asked weakly, wondering if this was really the best choice to get Uryuu's goods from.

"Of course," the other girl said, pulling away and speaking in a normal voice again, although she still had a sense of cattiness about her. She started dragging Carly to the counter, thinking she definitely had this one in the bag.

"Hello, Angela," the store clerk greeted with a smile on her face, "the usual?"

The usual? Carly processed this quickly, and then cast Angela an irritated glare through the swirled surface of her glasses. "You--"

"Shush," Angela said, distressed suddenly. "You can't tell anyone about this. Or else."

"And what about me?! If you tell anyone--"

"Okay, fine, look, I'll make a deal with you," she offered frantically, "we both keep our mouths shut about this little... incident, and we both get to keep our reputations. Sound fair?"

Carly nodded with a rather troubled smile on her face, and not another word was said between the two while Angela paid for her items and then scurried out of the store.

---

Just her luck. Justherluck.

Of all the things to happen, her cellphone had to go and crack when she fell over in the sex shop, to top off her day. Maybe, just to make it that much better, it'd explode entirely and Carly could use it as a flare or something. Uryuu had been playing her all along, as she'd suspected, and the second he got his hands on the porn magazines, he'd taken off and made it clear he was just using her the whole time, much akin to blackmail.

She trudged into the garage she knew Yuusei hung out in so frequently around sunset, hand in her hair and looking more than a bit frazzled. At least maybe she could get him to fix it... that would at least be one less problem she had to worry about.

"Yuusei... help meeeeeee..."

Dragging her feet the whole way, she pushed the door open feebly to see Yuusei, sitting on a stool on top of his jacket and fiddling with his D-Wheel as he usually was, and being observed by the two green-haired twins in the background. He looked up briefly and offered Carly a faint smile, while Rua made his way over to her, followed by Ruka.

"Hello, Carly."

"Um... Yuusei, my pho--"

"Hey, Carly!" Rua interrupted, with Ruka appearing to be ready to reprimand him for being rude. "You'll never guess what I found today!"

She couldn't imagine what he could have to say that was so relevant to her. "What is it?"

"So listen! I was in the park today, and I found this notebook, and it had a love story in it about Jack Atlas, so I thought you might wanna read it! Here, I'll even show you!" Rua beamed, running towards his backpack placed off to the side to fetch the writing.

"...A... notebook?" Carly asked, almost uncomprehending.

"Rua! You were supposed to find the person who lost that! What are we going to do with it now?" his sister scolded with a sigh.

"Relax! It's better than turning it in to security where they'll never find it again! At least if we have it, it's safe, right?"

As he pulled out the gray messenger bag from his backpack, various alarms went off loudly in Carly's head, which may or may not have added to the existing headache she was experiencing at the time.

"T-That's my bag! I've been looking everywhere for it!" she exclaimed suddenly. Rua turned around, a little surprised, and then enthusiastically dragged the item back to Carly.

"This is yours? Seriously?!" he asked, gaping. Once he offered the bag back to Carly, she snatched it up and hugged it tightly as though it were a lost pet she thought she'd never see again.

"Yes! I got up to get a drink and when I came back, it was gone! I'm so glad you found it!" She smiled genially at Rua, who seemed quite pleased with himself.

"So you wrote that book about Jack?!" he asked.

Suddenly, Carly froze, realizing Yuusei was in the room. And if Yuusei was listening, there was a possibility he might tell Jack...

"Errrr..."

"That was soooooo good, seriously! I didn't like the romance parts that much, but it was really good writing! You could probably publish it and make a ton of money off it!!"

"Ah... ahahahaha..." Carly glanced at Yuusei nervously, who, she was relieved to find, had not yet looked up from his mechanical work. Perhaps he didn't care? That would be ideal, she thought...

Ruka frowned, a bit embarrassed that her brother was so oblivious. "Um, Rua, I really don't think..." she started, when all of them heard footsteps descending the cement stairs to the side.

Carly practically had a heart attack.

It was Jack.

Did he hear all that?!

"Um, um, um, ummmm..." Carly stammered, unable to get anything coherent out for the first few moments upon realizing he was there. Jack simply stared at her with his intensely indigo gaze, seemingly demanding an explanation of some sort with only his expression and posture. "Um, you see, I...! Ahahaha... well... oh, hey, Yuusei, can you please fix my cell phone?" She laughed uneasily, turning to Yuusei as if asking for help.

"Hmm?" He glanced up briefly, at Jack first, then at Carly and the twins. "Ah, sure. In a bit."

...Thanks, Yuusei, that wasn't at all helpful.

Jack continued his descent down the stairs, and Carly wanted nothing more than to shrink to microscopic proportions right about now. But she stood her ground nonetheless, smiling tensely and not daring to move either towards or away from him as he came closer.

"Carly!" he said finally as he reached the bottom, so loud it made her practically jump out of her skin. He didn't appear to be screaming at her, just speaking in his usual strident manner.

"Y-Yes?"

Jack skipped a single beat, and then continued. "If you are going to write a romance novel about the former King, you're going to do it therightway!! Understand?!"

"And... um, what exactly is the 'right way'?" Carly found the courage to ask.

"By writing from experience and not fantasy!" he shouted in response, practically glaring at her at this point, though not quite.

Carly practically passed out from sheer embarrassment as heat pooled straight into her face and humiliation paralyzed the rest of her body. It would take the entire remainder of the week to get the images spurred by the porn magazine out of her head enough to allow her to think straight.

Even then, she wasn't entirely sure she wanted them all out, anyway. And who knew? As long as Angela was obligated to keep quiet about their encounter that day, there was certainly no one to tell her not to go back and try to find more where that came from, was there?

This, Carly found on certain nights, was a very, very good idea.