Disclaimer: Umineko is not mine and I am not entirely finished just yet (so far, up to episode eleven); this is something I decided to write after noticing the amount of...tension...between Beatrice and Battler, heh-heh.

It was another day, another gruesome murder. And once again, Battler was fiercely trying to prove magic was not the reason behind it.

"So, Battler-kun," sneered Beatrice, "how do you plan on solving this one? Six of your relatives have been gruesomely murdered, and it is quite clear from the looks of things none of them can possibly be faking it."

"Lies!" declared Battler. "One of them could be using special effects make-up to fake their own death and then kill the others! We never took that into account, now did we?"

Beatrice smirked. "Battler-kun," she said, "allow me to make a certain point." To Battler's dismay, Beatrice's words were accompanied by the usual red text: "The people who have died last night died for real. None of them are faking it, and none of them are using any of this 'special-effects' make-up." She sighed and the red words disappeared as she spoke: "You are growing more pathetic with each passing case. When are you going to forfeit and acknowledge my existence already?"

"I will never submit to you!" declared Battler dramatically. "How can I submit to something that does not exist?"

"Ah," said Beatrice, raising a finger, "but if I do not exist, then how can you be talking to me? If I did not exist, I would not appear before you, and we would not be having this conversation."

"How can I be certain that your red text really speaks the truth?" said Battler, his hands on his hips. "How do I know you're not just bluffing?"

"The red text never lies," spoke Beatrice, the red text showing up as she spoke. "The red text always speaks the truth."

"So you say," scoffed Battler.

"In that case," said Beatrice, "there is only one thing I can do to prove to you the red text is true. For about five minutes, let us switch places—I will apply the text to you, and ask you to repeat a few statements for me. If the statements are the truth, the text will appear in red. If not, then you will have proven I am unreliable. Is that a deal?" She stretched out a hand.

Battler hesitated. Perhaps this was just another one of Beatrice's mind-games, perhaps she was just trying to play with his head even more. On the other hand...this could once and for all prove he didn't have to take everything Beatrice said at face value after all. He shook Beatrice's hand and said, "It's a deal."

"All right," said Beatrice, letting go. "I will now ask you to repeat the following statements, Battler, and we will see how truthful the red text is: The grass is green."

Battler blinked. That was it? He had expected her to say something harder, something that he wouldn't know the answer to...

"Say it, Battler-kun," repeated Beatrice in a tone that suggested she was asking a small child to read a report out loud to the entire class.

"The grass is green," said Battler out loud. To his amazement, the text that appeared as he spoke turned red. "Okay, that was a given," he said. "But that still doesn't prove anything!"

"What will it take for you to believe?" sighed Beatrice. "Repeat after me: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

"Since when did you become an American history expert?" scoffed Battler. He then said, "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Once again, the text was bright red.

"I prefer to study up on my history," said Beatrice nonchalantly. "It helps me stay one step ahead of my enemies."

She then went on to make statements that were obviously true, to Battler's dismay. So Beatrice was speaking the truth after all. He had no choice but to take her statements at face value when this was over. Still, he figured there had to be a catch coming up eventually...

"And now," said Beatrice after approximately four or three minutes had gone by, "here is a statement I think you'll be very surprised to learn the truth behind yourself."

"Whatever it is, bring it on," said Battler boldly.

Beatrice smiled and said, "Repeat after me: Battler-kun is in love with Beatrice-sama."

Battler blinked. "Would you care to repeat that?" he said.

"I will," said Beatrice, still smiling. "Battler-kun is in love with Beatrice-sama. Now repeat it."

Battler scoffed and said, "All right, but you're just wasting your time because it is absolutely not true: Battler-kun is in love with Beatrice-sama---WHAA?!?" he cried out when the text around him turned the colour his face was turning at the moment: Bright red. "But—no, it can't be true! You must've put some sort of charm around it to make it only tell lies when I wasn't looking! You must've! You must've!"

Beatrice cackled evilly. "No, Battler-kun, I did no such thing; the red text still speaks the truth."

"No, it doesn't!" said Battler, panicking. "Um, uh...the grass is green!"

The text turned red.

"No, uh—in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue! Dammit! Uh...two plus two equals four! ARRRGH!"

Beatrice cackled once more. "Stop trying to fight it and admit it already: Deep, deep down, you are in love with me. You will never admit to it, whether or not you defeat me in the end, but you love me."

"No, I don't!" said Battler quickly. "How can I? You drive me wild! Every waking second I spend is thinking about you! You're my first thought as I wake up and my last as I go to sleep! I'm always thinking of you, thinking of what you're going to say or do next, wondering what to say that would be appropriate! And when I see you, my face gets flushed and my heart beats wildly in anticipation of...of..."

"Of tossing me down onto the nearest bed and making ferocious love to me?" cackled Beatrice. "Battler-kun, you should listen to yourself; you sound just like a schoolboy with a crush. No one spends so much time thinking about someone they supposedly don't care for unless they do care for them, isn't that right?"

Battler was only aware now that his palms were sweaty and he felt an intense fluttering in his stomach. He shook his head. "No...it can't be...it just can't..."

"And yet it is," said Beatrice stepping in closer and closer until she and Battler were inches apart. "I have one more question to ask before you have to return my powers to me...and there is something I need to do first before asking you that question."

Before Battler could anticipate it, Beatrice grabbed him by the shoulders and firmly pressed her lips against his. His eyes widened and for a moment, he contemplated struggling...then he relaxed and let his eyes close, allowing his lips to move in harmony with hers, wrapping his arms around Beatrice, holding her tightly, not wanting to let her go.

The kiss ended much too soon for either of their liking, but time was almost up. Beatrice smirked at the look of stunned fascination on Battler's face and said, "And now, for your final statement...Battler-kun loved every minute of that kiss."

"That's a lie," said Battler. He grinned. "Battler-kun loved every second of that kiss."

And the text before him was bright red.

"So," said Beatrice, "do you admit to it now? Do you still think the red text lies?"

"No," said Battler, "but I'm still taking everything you say with a grain of salt."

"Very well," sighed Beatrice. "Before we part and I let you solve this mystery, I will now use my text to speak my statement."

As she spoke, the words flew red: "Beatrice-sama enjoys playing games with Battler-kun's mind. He looks beautiful as he tries to sort out the lies and the truth. And with that, I bid you good day."

Battler found himself back at the scene of the crime, his living relatives weeping around him, Beatrice now gone.

"Battler-kun!" cried Jessica. "How can you look so happy when everyone is dead?!?"

"Ah," said Battler, clearing his throat, "I...need some time alone. Allow me to take a little walk."

He turned on his heel and walked out of the dining room. He approached the portrait of Beatrice and sighed, "Beatrice...I will never give up to you. That kiss may have been satisfying, but it does not change a thing. I will not rest until one of us proves who is right!"

And the smile behind the portrait indicated Beatrice wouldn't have it any other way.