"Trish, concentrate!" The raven-haired teenager shifted from her adoring stance at the reprimand and turned to bat her eyelids at the harassed girl sitting on the stool beside her.

"Riny, chill," Trish countered, stretching out her arms laboriously before settling them back down on the worn wooden lab bench. "That redhead over there is far more interesting than Wilson," she smirked, continuing to stare intently at the back of a boy's head, as if willing him psychic messages to turn around.

"I'm gonna fail my Physics GCSE…" Riny was now muttering, nervously twisting the front of her fluffy hair into knots with one hand and leafing through a pile of Physics worksheets with the other. "The exam is in two months… and I'm gonna fail it… and then I'm gonna fail my Double Science Award! I'll never get a job! I'LL NEVER GET MARRIED!"

The girl sitting on the other side of her deftly swiped the sheets from the babbling teenagers grasp. "Karlie…" Riny moaned, her hands literally shaking.

"Just hush and listen. You'll be fine," Karlie soothed, before returning to jotting revision notes. The girl beside her, on the very edge of the bench was staring dead ahead, a bored expression in her glassy green eyes.

"Blah blah blah hertz blah blah radioactivity gamma blah blah Mueller blah blah half life blah blah force times distance equals work done…" the gentle voice of the aging Physics teacher was so lulling that even the greatest Science-enthused would be drowsy. And as Mia was not particularly Science-enthused, she stood no chance. Her eyes drooped; she was relying heavily on her arm to keep her head up, and hoping that Mrs Wilson would not choose her to answer a question.

An eraser wrapped with paper whizzed past her face, startling her and sending her crashing chin-first into the bench with surprise. The small white package came to a stop in the centre of the desk, and the blonde girl sitting opposite Riny pounced on it with relish. She pulled off the elastic band holding the folded piece of paper to the rubber, and unfolded it.

"Erin – my mate fancies you," Rachel read, arching her eyebrow at the girl opposite her. Riny made a scoffing sound and twitched her fingers to show that she wanted the paper. In one fluid movement she had scribbled 'no time' underneath the original message, fwapped it back onto the eraser with the elastic band and lobbed it back at the boy's table from whence it came.

She was back furiously jotting notes before Rachel could bat an eyelid. Next to Rachel, Dana smiled and moved the front of her hair forwards slightly to conceal the earphones linked to her Mp3 player, currently on her lap.

"Rina…" Mia began, whispering as Mrs Wilson rambled on about beta particles, but Erin interrupted her with a hiss.

"I hate boys." No one dared argue.

"I love boys," giggled Trish, looking carefully at all the boys on the nearby table, wondering which one supposedly fancied Erin. Opposite Trish, Michelle was literally on the edge of her stool, having grown bored with making notes twenty minutes previously. She stared with wide brown eyes at the large circular clock above the whiteboard, practically salivating as the long hand edged ever closer to 3.

"C'mon one-fifteen…" she grunted to herself, formulating in her mind the quickest route to the chocolate machine in the canteen from their current position of S11.

"You know, I am here Riny," yawned Chris from where he sat opposite Mia. "I don't know why I sit with you lot if all you do is either moan about or ogle over boys." Mia snorted.

"Because we have to sit in benches of eight, and Ash, Brock, Gary, Richie, Shingo, Tracey, Travis and Todd are a cosy little eight by themselves."

"Don't worry Chris, we won't ogle at you," Dana added with a grin, as she scanned through her stored music.

"Although you're welcome to join us," Karlie teased. Michelle practically leapt from the stool in gratitude as a low buzzing emanated from the walls, signalling the end of period six, and the start of lunch.

"Come on, Eri," Dana soothed the only slightly shorter girl as she stuffed her large black Physics folder into her bag dismally. "Let's go buy lunch and you can forget allllll about ." Rachel giggled.

"That would be pointless since it's Double Physics today… we have it again after lunch."

~*After Lunch*~

Michelle and Erin ran breathlessly into S11 at 2.27, seven minutes late for the lesson due to their form-room being on the complete opposite end of the extensive school grounds. Mrs Wilson acknowledged this without question, and simply marked them present in her register while she continued talking.

Erin slid into a seat left for her next to Mia and pulled her large folder out of her bag again. She screwed up her eyes as she gazed at the whiteboard.

"Graphs?" she murmured. "What is this, year four?" Michelle plonked herself between Rachel and Karlie and grinned.

"Whoo, doss lesson!"

"We have to measure the lengths of our arms for an experiment," Mia explained, handing them both worksheets.

Soon enough, as any class will do if you give them something practical to do, the room erupted into noise and giggles. Random squeals of: "aw Riny you're so diddy!" and "standing this way really hurts…" issued from the back table. On the boys table nearby, the inhabitants were being… well, boys; deciding that the length of your arm was not the most important length a teenaged boy should bother himself with, they were measuring something else.

Chris stared over wistfully, before Karlie fwapped him on the head and told him that him gazing wistfully over there wasn't the best idea, and Michelle even called him something to do with mayonnaise, which he guessed from the reactions was an attack on his sexuality. Trish declared herself the only one allowed to watch, and proceeded to use her privilege.

The Physics lesson continued as planned, and even Riny had lightened up by the end, after discovering that Ash's arms were shorter than her own. Even Michelle was taken-aback at how fast the hour and fifteen minutes had flown by when the buzzing came again at 3.30.

"Homework is revision!" Mrs Wilson called above the general bustle as the students straightened their stools and packed their bags, chatting about nothing in particular. "Oh, and make sure you catch the Densetsu Comet this weekend! See you on Tuesday!"

"Free!" squealed Trish, taking the Science Block stairs two at a time in her hurry to get outside into the rare British Spring sunshine.

"You'd better avoid Mrs Bell with those shoes on, Trish," Karlie arched an eyebrow at the unsteady looking heels that Trish balanced herself perfectly on. Trish made a face.

"Patricia, if I catch you with heels higher than 2 inches once more, I shall send a letter home!" she perfectly imitated their Head of Year's desperate, but trying to sound authoritative voice, earning giggles from her friends.

"Mmm," murmured Mia as they poured from Science Block doors, feeling the warmth hit her as they left the overly enthusiastic air-conditioning behind them. She stopped dead in the middle of the Science Courtyard and tugged a pair of jeans from her schoolbag, which she pulled on under her navy school skirt before shimmying that down her hips and shoving it disdainfully into her bag.

"Only two more months of uniform Mia," Erin soothed, yanking the Upper School navy sweatshirt over her head and tying it around her waist. The weather being warm, none of them had the need to return to lockers to fetch coats, so they headed straight up to the bus-park, where their respective school buses came to collect them.

It was a veritable mash of children ranging from eleven to eighteen, from three schools. After struggling and pushing their way through the sea of bodies, Michelle scared some younger children away from what they considered 'their' area of Bay D, and settled down to wait. Michelle had tied the ends of her shirt up and was now trying desperately to tan her pale stomach.

The discussion turned to the comet due very early Sunday morning; it was actually quite exciting as this particular comet was one of the most beautiful specimens, and only appeared once every-

"203 years," a nearby boy informed, cheerfully. That was one of the nicest things about the bus-park – as long as you conceal the urge to scream GET A ROOM at the kissing couples, you can pretty much talk with anyone as you waited. Mia lazily realised she actually knew this boy though – it was Shingo, from their teaching group. Looking around, she saw that her group was intertwined with the boys, and nudged Dana silently.

Chris was in his element, Erin was scowling and had reverted to writing furiously in her Fanfiction jotter and Karlie looked like she was having an interesting talk with one of them, which included a lot of false laughter on her behalf, and touching his arm a lot.

"Heh, what if the comet came off course and hit England?" sniggered a rather nasal voice. Mia coolly looked up at the lanky Gary Oak. She was totally, undeniably and helplessly in love with him – she had been for years. But she also couldn't stand him. He didn't even make her blush. Which was quite lucky, considering.

"Thanks for that, I feel safe now," she sneered. Gary smirked at her.

"Anytime angel-face," he mocked, and Mia scowled at him, folding her arms.

"I'd take my favourite things and evacuate," Richie said seriously, swinging his tie at his side.

"Mmm I like this game," interrupted Rachel, waving her hands in an excited manner. "If you could take one thing, that isn't like, a member of your family with you, what would it be?"

There was a garble of answers, ranging between 'my mobile', 'Freddy', 'my dog' and 'I'd make my cat wear my boxer collection so I could take 'em both'. Gary however stood deep in thought. Mia sniggered, but inside wondered where her deep emotional need to tease him stemmed from.

"Heh, Oak can't think of anything." He frowned at her, and looked for once as if he didn't have a snappy retort, but suddenly a large yellow and blue Arriva Bus pulled up next to him.

"Oi Ash, bus is here," he covered with, pulling his bus-pass out of his blazer pocket.

"Let's all meet up and watch the comet, okay?" Tracey suggested, obviously quite smitten by all Karlie's disgustingly obvious flirting.

"What?" Riny suddenly snapped back into the conversation, glaring menacingly at Tracey who sweatdropped. "That comet is due at like, 4am-"

"Four-twenty…" Shingo interrupted meekly, then covered backwards when the short fluffy one glowered venomously in his general direction.

"I am not getting up at four-twenty am," she hissed, before turning on her heel and flouncing onto a double-decker Heyfordian coach. Shingo exhaled shakily, and looked up nervously at the non-plussed group.

"Was it something I said?"

~*That Afternoon*~

Logging on to MSN Messenger, Mia deftly switched her screen-name, and blinked at the large amount of people who were online – even for a Friday night. She did a double take when she noticed one particular screen-name, not even having to double-check the email to see who it was:

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

O.o Rina? I would have thought you'd be revising…

[4.20am? *snort* I would have only been asleep twenty minutes! says:

Am doing online tests at BiteSize. Hush.

Mia rolled her eyes and scrolled through her emails, humming along with an Mp3. Her computer pinged, as she was invited into a new MSN box, with:

"Goths are sheep" and "The clothes make the man – naked people have little or no influence on society"

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:


[Goths are sheep says:

yo angel-face ;)

[The clothes make the man – naked people have little or no influence on society says:

Hi Mia

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

I heartily repeat my 'meh'.

[Goths are sheep says:

it's gary and shingo u daft cow

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

I just didn't know Shingo, shut it Oak. Hey Shingo.

[Goths are sheep says:

ne way, can we meet up this evening?

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

Dear kami, why??

[Goths are sheep says:

cos my m8 has it bad 4 urs

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

Which and which?

[The clothes make the man – naked people have little or no influence on society says:

Tracey for I don't know what her name is. The one with the glasses.

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

Dana!? XD

[Goths are sheep says:

no he means karlie. besides don't we have 2 organise this comet thing on sun?

[Goths are sheep says:

btw who's legolas???

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

Um yeah okay, I'll get Kaz for definite, and whoever else is free. And Legolas is my boyfriend.

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

How about that chippie in town? Cos that's kinda halfway between all of us. At 7?

[The clothes make the man – naked people have little or no influence on society says:

That's a fifteen minute bus ride for me!

[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

Then you'd better get moving ^_^

[The clothes make the man – naked people have little or no influence on society says:

Fine then, cya in an hour

The clothes make the man – naked people have little or no influence on society has left the conversation

[Goths are sheep says:

c u then angel

[Goths are sheep says:


[Ack, Double Physics! (cuddles Legolas) says:

Drop dead Oak

Goths are sheep has left the conversation

Feeling decidedly ticked off, Mia closed the empty box, and stared a torrent of instant messages, phone calls and text messages to contact her friends.

Karlie was nothing short of ecstatic at the invitation.

~*At the chippie, the great British Institution*~

"Are we allowed to sit in here without buying anything?" Dana giggled, as they squeezed into a booth at the window.

"Gary bought a Fanta," Travis grinned, slipping purposely in next to Michelle, leaving a disgruntled Mia with no choice but to sit next to Gary on the other side of the table.

"This booth is only meant for six!" Shingo protested meekly, trying his hardest to ignore Karlie and Tracey as they sat opposite each other, staring intently out the window to conceal their blushes. He glanced around the seven others. "Wasn't… anyone else allowed to come?" he asked, trying to keep an air of innocence. Dana looked at him slyly.

"You mean, why isn't Riny here." Shingo coloured.

"I just wanted to apologise… I must have done something to annoy her cos she was so angry this afternoon…" Michelle waved her hand to dismiss the notion.

"Don't worry about it," she laughed, "Erin hates boys. It wasn't your fault."

"She what?!" Gary laughed, just short of sending his Fanta out his nose. Mia bristled protectively.

"No, Rina just… well…" she looked around at the others for help.

"Eri was pressured into a relationship before she was emotionally prepared," Dana explained, in an overly-serious tone, making Michelle giggle.

"Mmm yeah, and when it turned out the guy was a scum-sucking bastard…" Michelle continued, "it kinda… well…"

"She just doesn't trust guys any more," Mia finished, quietly.

"And she keeps banging on and on about how it 'tarnished her virtue'!" Michelle expanded, making sure her leg brushed past Travis's under the table. Mia giggled, despite herself.

"Yeah, and we keep on explaining to her that since she barely went past holding hands with said scummy ex… her virtue is still very much intact!"

"And it'll stay that way forever unless she quits with all this anti-bloke crap," finished Karlie, matter-of-factly. There was a silence until-

"Man angel-face, your friends are screwed up!" Gary snorted, but it was cut short when Michelle kicked him under the table. Small-talk returned to the table; Michelle and Travis were apparently getting on very well, and at this point Michelle was incredibly thankful that the overly moralistic Erin was not present. Tracey and Karlie blushingly moved to a booth of their own – pleading that the current one was far too squashed. Mia was relieved not to be so pressed up to Gary… maybe.

She liked to go places as a group like this – smiling slightly, she let herself loose in the moment, and sleepily pretended that she was here on a date with Gary. She let the gentle bickering between Dana, Gary and Shingo wash over her…

"Mia get off my shoulder."

She froze and sprung back to an alerted state. She blinked; Dana was looking at her knowingly, Shingo was smirking…

"You whaaa?" Gary exaggerated the movement of dusting down his shoulder.

"You were leaning your head on my shoulder." Mia gulped. Ack. Mortification. For once she felt a blush begin to rise.

"Oh. Oh. Sorry. Guess I'm tired. I should go home," she feigned.

"But your mum isn't due to pick you up for another half hour…" Dana teased, and Mia glared at her, actually feeling tired and light-headed.

"Then I'll go to Rina's. It's only about fifteen minutes walk. Besides, the air would do me good!" she insisted, desperate to get out of there. "I-I'll stay there tonight – I can get her off the revision books and back watching anime, like she should be!" she laughed. Her friends stared at her as she threw a 50 pence piece onto the table, feeling annoyed that she was tipping for no service.

"Fine, guess I'll head off too," Gary said, adding a 20p to the table and stretching out his arms. "How about anyone who can actually get permission meets up in…" he thought for a few seconds, "Dunstans Park, at 4am Sunday morning?"

Trying her hardest to ignore Gary, Mia bid farewell to her friends, sighed to herself when she realised that Tracey and Karlie were now most definitely a couple, and stepped outside into the quiet cobbled street. After a quick phonecall home to her mother telling her her plans, Mia set off, walking briskly.

It had gotten dark quickly – it had only been twilight when she entered the café, and now it was truly dark. Such was the beauty of a British countryside spring, and as Mia left the town and trudged down rural lanes, it seemed like all she could see was an endless infinity of silver stars.

I feel like Hitomi in the Escaflowne credits, she giggled to herself. The thought of Van in all his handsome glory cheered her, and she practically skipped down the track leading to Dunstans Park.

"Kimi wo, kimi wo, aiiiiiiiiiii-shi-ter-oooo!" she sang loudly into the silence, twirling around with her arms outspread.

"Stop speaking in Japanese," came a disapproving voice, startling Mia out of her skin.

"Jeeesus Oak, how long have you BEEN BEHIND ME?"

"I live in Pallet," Gary shrugged, matching his stride to hers as they continued walking, "I can get home walking this way too. And I thought it charitable of me to make sure you don't get raped or nothin'."

"Gee what a lovely sentiment," Mia growled, feeling embarrassed all over again. She reached cautiously for her mobile in her coat pocket.

"Although I don't know who would ever want a tomboy like you…" Gary continued flippantly. Mia's frown darkened as she blindly pressed keys into her phone without drawing attention to it.

"Hey, have you ever seen the anime Ranma ½?" she sneered. Gary shoved his hands in his coat pockets.

"No, I don't watch cartoons," he jeered. They were interrupted as Mia finally initiated the sequence that set off her ring tone.

"Oh, excuse me," she smirked, grabbing her phone out of her pocket and silencing the tinny ring tone. "Hello? Oh HI Rina!" she squealed into the phone, before launching into a full-blown conversation with nobody. Gary continued to walk silently, giving her sideways glances from time to time.

"Oh yes, mmm, Dunstans Park. Mmmm. Oh yes, Karlie and Tracey are together. No you did not. You did not!" Mia desperately feigned as they walked through the park, soaking their shoes as they took a short-cut through the grass. Just a few more minutes till Rina's house…

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring, bring, bring, briiiiing. Mia's phone rang. She almost dropped it in fright, and Gary guffawed with laughter. Feeling sick to her stomach she cancelled the incoming call from Dana and looked helplessly up at Gary, who was looking at her knowingly.

"Eh, three way caller?" she bluffed, sweatdropping. Gary rolled his eyes as they left through the park gates.

"Do I annoy you that much, angel-face?" he asked, quickening his step as Mia practically jogged the last part of the lane. She didn't speak until they had reached the corner of Erin's road – the red walls surrounding her house were so close they were even visible in the darkness. Then Mia turned to Gary.

"Thank you for walking me."

Kiss me.

"S'no big deal."

Kiss me.

"Anyway, I'll talk to Rina about the comet thing, and see you tomorrow."

Kiss me you stupid, stupid idiot bloke.

"Yeah okay, text me when you know who's coming."

Kiss me you stupid, stupid idiot girl.

"G'night then."

Mia stumbled into Rina's front garden, almost losing her life in fright when her movement set off the large motion-detecting porch lights. She smiled clumsily backwards over her shoulder… but Gary had disappeared. Feeling half relieved and half disappointed, she turned back towards the house.

Riny appeared from the side gate, having apparently come from the garden. Even thought it was barely 8pm she was already in her nightwear, and had a Maths revision book in one hand, and a mug of tea in the other. She stared at Mia's weary state.


Mia gazed at her short friend tiredly.

"Rina… can I stay with you?" Riny titled her head to the side, and beckoned Mia to the gate.

"Sure! But eh, why so scrunchy?"

"Gary walked me…"

"Ah…" Erin murmured tactfully, ushering her friend inside. "So is this an ice-cream call or what?"

Gary watched the two girls disappear into the shadow of the chalet-style house, and exhaled heavily.

Why didn't you just kiss her you IDIOT? She was beggin' for it!

Cos she may have gone mental and screamed rape…

Don't worry, Gary told himself, smoothing his hair down and starting the walk back to town, where his mother was coming to pick him up. Tonight was not your night. Tomorrow… tomorrow is definitely your night.

~*In Riny's bedroom, most wonderous of places*~

"And then it RANG!" Mia whined, shoving a spoonful of ice-cream into her mouth and collapsing backwards onto Erin's fluffy, pillow-adorned bed, hugging the tub of frozen delicacy to her. Riny winced from where she was sitting on yet more large pillows on the floor, cross-legged with a tub of caramel-fudge. Mission accomplished – the revision books were closed and Escaflowne was playing happily along in Erin's DVD player in the background.

"Omigod…" Erin murmured, unsure of what to say exactly, so instead followed Mia's lead and stared at the TV screen.

"I'll protect her!" Van thought, as he in Escaflowne kicked some Zaibach butt. Erin and Mia sighed at the same time.

"Why can't I ever find a Van…"

"Or a Syaoran?"

"Or a FOLKEN!" Mia teased. Erin smirked and gazed enraptured at the screen while shoving more ice-cream into her mouth; Hitomi was kneeling on some balcony and whining.

"No more! That's enough Van…"

"Shingo fancies you, ya know Rina." Mia saw her friend visibly stiffen.

"Much good may it do him," she said curtly. Mia rolled her eyes.

"At least come tomorrow night, and tell the poor bloke you don't hate him."

"Fine, fine. If I can get permission. The comet's interesting anyway…"

"I'm sick of all of this! Please, someone send me back to my world!" the TV boomed as Hitomi was engulfed with a pillar of light.

"SHE'S CRAZY! SHE'S LEAVING VAN!" both girls squealed at the same time.

~*One am – Sunday morning*~

Gary arched his eyebrow as he critically gazed in the mirror – first checking his appearance from one perspective, then from the others. He struck a pose, and, just to be safe, decided to add another glaze of gel to his hair.

"Gaaaaaaaaaary!" his older sister wailed, banging on the door. "It's dark! No one will see you!! Aw c'mon, I need to apply my facial mask before I go to sleep! Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaary!"

~*Three-thirty am – Sunday morning*~

Gary hurried along the road. He guessed she'd be there early, with some of her friends. Now, he could try the sensitive type…

*** Gary sidled up closer to Mia as she sat under the small tree.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" he cooed into her ear in awe. "It almost makes me want to cry…" Mia looked at him edgily.

"You WHAT?"

Okay maybe that wouldn't work, Gary grimaced. Well, there was always the romantic crap that Brock always pulled…

*** Gary sat down next to Mia as she sat under the small tree, and casually let his arm drop behind her.

"It's beautiful!" she murmured, staring up at the comet, but Gary stared intently at her face.

"What, are you looking in a mirror that I can't see, darling?"

Okay, maybe lose the darling. Okay, it was more than possible that that would also freak her out. How about the direct approach?

*** Gary plonked himself down next to Mia as she sat under the small tree, and possessively draped his arm around her shoulders. She flinched, and stared at him in shock.

"Listen Mia, I actually quite fancy you and wouldn't be opposed to dating you. And maybe one day sleeping with you. How about it?"

Oh there'd be a definite punch for that one. And then several slaps from the friends plus a reputation in school for being a pervert. Not good.

Gary was startled as he realised he was coming close to Dunstans Park. He was so close he could actually hear the girl's laughing… and talking about their stupid cartoon obsession. He could hear Mia's protesting voice, and then clear laughter.

He felt sick. But in a good way.

"Wow, I didn't think you'd all get permission to come out here this late," was his greeting as he emerged through the side bushes into the main park. Dana laughed.

"We're all staying at Eri's house!"

"Oh… whatever…" he murmured, sounding even stupider. "Wait, YOU'RE staying at Erin's house?" he asked Chris, who was sitting on the bottom of the slide. Chris grinned.

"Yeah. I'm allowed in for the anime but I have to sleep in her brother's room."

"Mother's orders," sniggered Rachel.

"We're going to watch Ranma," came Mia's cool voice, making Gary's heart leap up and

bang against his tonsils. "It's a story about a boy who's engaged to a tomboy… and he fall-"

"But the boy is also a girl," Erin interrupted. "Aaaand he has like, another two fiancés. And a psychopathic gymnast-"

"Yeah I was just trying to make a point that he falls in love with the tomboy fiancé!" Mia growled, folding her arms and leaning back against the netball post. Gary stared at her, hopefully appearing unruffled.

"Point taken then, Maria."

Within ten minutes, the park was bustling with neighbouring families. Mia and the others had moved from the play-area and had set up camp by the edge of the grass, where the park was separated from a churchyard by a tiny stream. They settled down, speaking in hushed excitement – Erin had packed a large picnic blanket and several thermoses of tea, and was currently pouring cups, whether the person wanted it or not. She glowered at Shingo as she sloppily poured the creamy brown liquid into a plastic cup and thrust it at him.

Gary sat down between Mia and Shingo, absent-mindedly scratching his cheek with his fingernail. Mia was encouraging Shingo to share his knowledge about the comet with the group, but Erin was carrying on a loud conversation with a sweatdropping Rachel about the subtle sciences of CLAMP's beautiful manga artwork, and totally and pointedly ignoring him.

Gary was growing more and more irritated at his apparent sudden inability to form coherent sentences, as the others chatted away. He was also getting irritated with the black-haired girl who kept shooting him glances and then giggly whispering into one of her friend's ear. Ah wait, that one was Trish; her ex-boyfriend Danny was in the football team with him – he remembered Dan mentioning that his girlfriend could sense things like this…

Things like what?

Things like…

Gary shook his head violently, prompting Mia to stare at him strangely, and then dismiss him as a lunatic as he stared into the darkness of the churchyard ahead of him.

Chat up lines… Mia wasn't all up-in-arms about feminism… surely she wouldn't be too opposed to a friendly line? The very worst it could do is make her laugh, and then at least the ice would be broken… and that way he could convey he liked her without actually having to damage his ego so by admitting his teasing was a way of dispelling the sexual tension he felt when he was around her.

Yikes. He'd better not say 'sexual tension' to her face.

Okay, okay chat-up lines…

Was your father a thief? Cos he stole the stars from heaven and put them in your eyes.

Good God no. Way, way too corny. And what if she said, yes, her father was a thief? Urg.

Hey baby, what's your sign?

No, that was stupid. He knew her sign was Virgo.

Hey here's 20p. Go phone your mum and tell her you're not coming home.

She wasn't coming home anyway. Plus there were no phone-boxes around and everyone had a mobile phone. And, knowing Mia she'd reply something along the lines of: keep it and buy yourself a clue.

Hey, do you have spanners in your eyes? Cos every time I look into them, my nuts tighten.

Punch-worthy. That or she wouldn't get it. A hush settled over the park, and Michelle and Travis stopped making stupid faces at each other with the torches. A low coo started from the crowds, as chins titled upwards and the comet streaked slowly across the inky sky.

"That is so cool…" breathed Erin and Shingo at the same time, making him blush and look away and her to look cross.

"Kimi wo, kimi wo, aishiteru…" Mia sung under her breath again, feeling again like she was in the credits of Escaflowne.

"Okay, WHAT does that mean?" Gary asked, irritated that she had been using Japanese terms with her friends all night, and the boys had no idea what they were calling them (Travis = eechi, Ash = baka and Shingo = kawaii; Dana had also giggled and asked Mia if she was having fun with her 'bish', making Mia hiss and blush).

"I love you," Mia answered simply, hugging her knees to her chest and keeping her eyes firmly on the comet. Gary's eyes widened.

"You…. you what?" Mia turned to look at him in puzzlement.

"Kimi wo aishiteru. It means 'I love you' in Japanese…" Gary sweatdropped – duh, you idiot.

"Oh. Oh right." Mia giggled as Dana started to waltz around with this random bald middle-aged man, getting him away from his telescope so Chris could have a peek. She suddenly realised what had confused Gary, and smiled.

"It's from a song."

"Yeah," he answered, watching the comet intently as it soared almost out of vision.

"Yeah, it goes: I love you, I'm gazing at you with my heart, I believe in you, even on the coldest nights."

"Aw how sweet," Gary sneered, as Erin came up, brandishing a large woollen sweater, and threw it at Mia.

"Put that on! It's cold tonight!" she tutted, and was gone before she could see what impact her innocent words had caused. Mia sweatdropped, and smiled as she unfurled the sweater from the ball she had had it clenched into her stomach as.

"Eh, I guess I am kinda chilly," she smiled, and Gary cursed himself – of course she was you idiot! You should have given her your jacket or something! Grr! Gary stopped abruptly when he realised that there were only four of the group left on the picnic blanket – him and Mia… and just about a metre away from them there was an extremely busy tangle of limbs that he guessed to be Michelle and Travis. Man, this was awkward – he sensed Mia was also trying hard not to look in their general direction.

Actually, what he didn't know was that Mia was staring warily at his shirt – a button upon which was attached to a loose thread of wool from her sweater.

Ack, ack, ack. Gary finally noticed that she was staring at his chest in dismay, and felt a bit put-out.

"C'mere," she murmured, leaning in and fiddling with his button, confusing him no end.

"W-wait, what are you-" he stammered, reaching down with his hands to stop her, from what he perceived as her trying to undress him. "Look Mia, I like you and all b-but…" Mia stared at him in total horror, ripping backwards from him in fright, and leaving a long strand of navy wool behind on his button.

"Rina I'm going back to yours!" she yelled in the short girl's general direction, before setting off at a sprint towards the gate.

"Whaaa?" came Riny's reply, from halfway down the park. As Mia fleeted, Erin jogged towards a shaken Gary. "What did you do to her?!" she demanded, actually going so far as to ball up her fist.

"She, she…" Gary mumbled, looking down at the discarded thread on his button. "…oh."

The comet was still visible overhead as Mia ran down the lane, her head screaming 'crap' with each slap of her feet against the ground. Well that was the most stupid thing she could have ever, ever done. She should have fwapped him around the head, laughed it off and then, she would be able to actually go to school again.

Oh Christ I'm going to have to change schools…

Slowing down and whimpering to herself, Mia rounded the corner onto Erin's road. She stopped, tiredly as she realised Gary was sitting on Erin's outer perimeter wall.

"How did you get here so fast?" she snapped, as he slid from the wall, and looked at her haughtily.

"Erin showed me a short-cut," he answered, "she even allowed me to cross over the dangerous railway, under the special circumstances." he laughed.

"Well, sorry but I don't feel very well, so I should get some sleep," she said, attempting to walk past him towards Erin's front porch. Gary grabbed her arm.

"Comet's not gone yet, make a wish."

"Why, what did you wish for?" Mia asked him, sceptically.

"Hey Gary!" came Erin's voice, and Mia whirled around, slightly embarrassed to find her friend standing in the shadows about a metre away. "Do you wanna stay over and watch Ranma ½ with us?" Gary smiled, arching his eyebrow.