Sorry that this part took a while, but I had all of my end of the year projects and then exams! I was SO busy! Two weekends ago a worked all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to finish all of the projects and homework I had. The only breaks I had were each night when I slept for like six hours (and of course, to shower. Lol. That'd be really gross if I didn't XD ). I even did my homework while I ate. It was not fun.

But now school's OVER! WOO! I'm so happy! Although I still have like no time to write this summer... I'm surprised I even managed to get this part out. :P

On the bright side, this part's pretty long. I was going to end it sooner, but then I just kept writing and it kept getting longer and longer. Lol. I hope you guys enjoy it! ^-^

Ikuto woke up and rubbed his eyes groggily. He rolled over and winced in pain. His side hurt like hell. Where was he again...? Oh yeah, he was at Amu's house. And Amu was... standing with his back to him, wearing only a bra and a pair of jean shorts. She looked really hot too. Although if he said that, she'd kill him.

"Do you have a tattoo?" Ikuto asked, eyeing the little white dove on the back of her right hip.

"Eh?" Amu turned her head around in surprise. Her face turned bright red, which was rather cute. "I-I th-thought you were asleep! Don't look you freaky, messed-up, pervert!" she yelled.

Ikuto chuckled. "I'll close my eyes," he said.

"You're damn right you'll close your eyes!" she retorted. "Okay, I'm done. You can open them again."

He opened his eyes, just as Amu chucked a pillow right into his face. "Ouch. Hey, I am injured you know."

"And you saw me without a shirt on, so I'm not sorry," she huffed.

"Nice bra, by the way, very lacy," he snickered.

"I'm going to kill you!" Amu screeched. She picked up a pillow and smacked him repeatedly in the head as he laughed. After a while Amu plopped down onto the bed beside him, looking both embarrassed and tired.

Ikuto sat up slowly. He leaned forwards and blew softly in her ear. He wanted to see her spazzy reaction.

"Don't do that, I'm mad at you," she grumbled. "Plus it's weird."

Ikuto frowned; she wasn't being any fun. Maybe he should kick it up a notch. Ikuto lightly bit Amu on the ear, hoping for a better reaction this time.

She jumped up off the bed. "What's wrong with you?" squeaked Amu.

"I'm bored," he whined.

"If I kill you will that make it better?" She threatened.

"I don't know," he sighed. "Maybe." He reached out and touched his fingers to the palm of her hand. Amu looked down at their hands, blushed, and then jerked her hand away.

"W-what are you doing?" Amu asked.

Ikuto looked away, a little embarrassed. It was just a weird impulse. He hadn't really thought about doing it, he'd just done it. It was like second nature. "Nothing." A long awkward silence stretched out between them.

"About yesterday…" Amu paused. "Are you going to talk about it? Tell me what happened?"

"No." He had kind of been hoping that she wouldn't ask him about yesterday.

Amu sighed. "Okay, fine. Well, I'm hungry, so do you want some food?"

"I could go for some food," Ikuto answered. He felt like he hadn't eaten in forever

"I'll go downstairs and get some breakfast. There's probably something being made. If not, I'll just grab some cereal or something," she said. "Why don't you… put a shirt on or something while I'm gone?"

Ikuto gave her a little pout. "But I thought you liked me better like this."

"Yeah, right," Amu snorted. "You wish." She shut the door behind her as she left the room.

Amu walked slowly down the stairs, hoping not to make them creak and attract the attention of anyone else in the house. She turned into the kitchen and saw a plate of pancakes on the counter top.

She grabbed a plate and started shovelling pancakes onto it. She grabbed the maple syrup from the fridge and poured it over top.

"Good morning Amu," Rito said.

Amu jumped in surprise. She'd thought she was alone. She turned around to see Rito standing there with his own plate of pancakes. Ami was standing behind him, hugging his legs, and peeking out from between them. She was still a little nervous around Amu since the first day they'd met. And that suited Amu just fine.

"Wow, that's a lot of pancakes," Rito commented, looking down at her overflowing plate.

"Did you ever think that maybe I'm hungry?" Amu asked sarcastically. "I'm going to eat in my room."

"Really? Are you sure you won't eat down here with the rest of us?" Rito asked.

Amu just walked away, not bothering to answer. She made it all the way to her bedroom door before her mother had to come and interrupt her.

"Amu, I need to talk to you," said Midori.

"And what a coincidence, I'm standing here waiting for you to finish talking."

"I've never done this before, but I don't know what else to do," Midori stopped and took a deep breath. "Amu, you're grounded. You can't leave the house for the rest of the weekend."

"Yeah, sure, good luck with that," Amu said in an amused tone.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Midori questioned.

Amu rolled her eyes. "If you really thought that you would be able to ground me you would've done it a long time ago." Her mother really didn't get it, did she? She couldn't control her, no matter how she tried. Amu would do whatever she wanted. "I'll see you later. Probably."

Amu went into her room; opening the door just enough to let her through without letting her mother see Ikuto. She glanced outside to see her mother standing there with a dumbfounded expression on her face before closing the door.

"Hey, you like pancakes?" Amu asked Ikuto, who was now sitting up on the bed and wearing a shirt.

"Yeah, pancakes are good," he answered.

Amu sat down beside him on the bed and set the pancakes down between the two of them. "I forgot forks and stuff, so we'll have to eat with our hands, sorry," she apologized.

"That's okay." Ikuto grabbed a pancake and stuffed the whole thing in his mouth.

"Eww. You're such a guy," Amu observed, looking at him with a slight touch of disgust. You'd think a guy would act a little less gross when there's a girl with him.

"Really? Good, I was beginning to worry," he sardonically.

"Shut up," Amu said, though she had a small smile on her face. She grabbed a pancake and shoved it into his mouth. Most of it just crumbled and fell to the floor. Amu ate a pancake nice and slowly as Ikuto tried to swallow everything in his mouth.

Ikuto grabbed a pancake and, when Amu wasn't looking, stuffed it into her mouth.

"Hey!" Amu protested through a mouthful of food "Stop it!" Amu grabbed another pancake and whipped it at Ikuto's face. It hit him on the cheek. Amu started laughing, so Ikuto threw a pancake back at her, hitting her right on the nose. This just caused her to laugh even harder. Sadly though, they were out of pancakes.

"You have syrup on your cheek," Amu said once she calmed down.

Ikuto wiped the syrup off with the back of his hand. "You have some on your nose."

Amu rubbed her nose with her hands. "Did I get it?" she asked.

"No. I'll get it," he said. Ikuto leaned over and licked her nose.

Amu sat completely still for a second, completely in shock. Did he just... lick her nose? Her face turned red as her mind finally started to comprehend what had happened. "You just... licked my nose!" she exclaimed.

Ikuto shrugged. "Your face was dirty, so I cleaned it. Does it really matter how?"

"You didn't have to lick me!" Amu yelled. "It's gross. And now I have your germs all over me." Amu wiped vigorously at her nose with the sleeve of her shirt. "Blech, Ikuto germs."

Ikuto laughed. "What, are we back in kindergarten now?"

"No kid in kindergarten would lick another kid's nose," Amu disputed.

"I'd lick your nose if we were in the same kindergarten," said Ikuto, giving her a smirk.

"Don't make me punch you in the stomach," she threatened. "Speaking of, does your side hurt?" She hated to admit it to anyone, even herself, but she was just the tiniest bit worried about him.

"Yeah, but it's not too bad. It's manageable," he responded.

"That's good," said Amu. Now she had to bring up something that was a little awkward, because it might make him make that same sad face he had before when she asked him about last night. She didn't want to ask him, but she kind of needed to. "Um... Ikuto, how long do you think you're going to be staying here for?"

"Uh..." Ikuto said, completely caught off guard by the question.

"It's not like I want you to leave or anything!" Amu exclaimed. "You can stay here as long as you want. It's just... if you're going to be here for a while longer you'll probably need to go get some of your stuff, right? Clothing, homework, a toothbrush, stuff like that."

Ikuto took a long, deep breath. "I guess for the rest of the weekend, at least," he said quietly.

"So you need your stuff right? I can go get anything you want," Amu offered.

He visibly paled at what she said. "Amu, no. You can't go there, okay?"

"Well you certainly can't go," she scoffed. "And who else is going to go?"

"I don't need my stuff right now. I can wait until I'm feeling better, and then go get it myself," he said.

"Ikuto, I'll be fine, really," Amu assured him. She opened her closet and grabbed a pair of black converse to wear. "Seriously, you don't have to worry," she added when she saw his worried expression.

"Please don't go," Ikuto begged, grabbing her arm as she walked by. He looked so desperate that she honestly felt bad about leaving. "You can't go in there alone."

"Who said I was going alone?" Amu asked, giving him a mischievous smile. She snatched Ikuto's keys off her bedside table, and stepped out onto the balcony. "Don't worry, I won't be gone long. Oh, and if my mom happens to come in, try and hide okay?" she called out before she jumped onto the tree and eased herself down to the ground.

"Amu!" Ikuto yelled after her, but she paid no attention, she had places to be.

Amu took out her phone and sent a quick text as she jogged towards Ikuto's house. In about ten minutes she'd be there, loaded with backup.

"Yo! Amu!" Amaya called, jogging down the street towards Amu. She was followed closely behind by Chiyo, Kame, and Miyuko.

Amu got up off the rock she had been sitting on as she waited for them to come, and dusted off her shorts. "You're here, great," she said.

"Why are we here, Amu-chan?" asked Miyuko. She was bouncing up and down from leg to leg as usual, causing her blonde hair to swing around her face.

"I have a friend who's staying at my house, and I need to get their stuff," she answered. Amu didn't want to have to tell any of them that the person was a guy, because she didn't want to go through the embarrassment of explaining everything.

Chiyo rolled her eyes. "Okay," she drawled, "but why are we here?"

"Their father's kind of... an abusive jackass," said Amu. "So I thought I might need some help."

"Let's get going then," said Amaya, leading the group towards the house. "So how are we getting in? Is this like a break-in kind of deal or-"

She was interrupted when Kame picked up a rock and hurled it through the window on the front door.

"I have a key!" Amu exclaimed. "Oh crap, now I'm going to have to explain this..."

"Oh, sorry," she said, though she sounded as emotionless as usual.

"It's fine, let's just go in," Amu sighed.

The four girls entered the house to hear a man screaming.

"What the hell was that noise?" He yelled. He appeared from around the corner of the entrance hall. "Who... who are you people!"

"Does this mission include violence?" asked Kame.

Amu paused to think for a second. Then she shrugged and nodded. "Sure, why not?"

Kame swung her leg around and hit the man in the stomach, causing him to double over on the floor.

"Hey," said Amu. "We're just here to pick up some of Ikuto's things. We'll just go up and get them, and then before you know it we'll be gone."

"Don't you dare even try to go upstairs! Get out of my house you crazy-"

Chiyo put her foot on top of his back and forced him back down when he tried to stand up. "It'd be better for you if you just stayed down," she said.

"Amu and I'll go upstairs and get the stuff. You guys stay down here and make sure he doesn't try anything," Amaya directed them.

"Leave it to us," said Miyuko as she gave Amaya a salute.

Amaya and Amu went upstairs. Ikuto's step-father hurled insults at them as they went.

Ikuto's house is pretty nice, thought Amu. It's not huge, or anything, but it looked cozy. It looked like a place that you could create a lot of good memories in. Just like my old house...

"You know which room it is?" Amaya asked.

"No," Amu responded. "It should be fairly obvious which one it is though."

Amu walked down the hall and peered into the first room to the left. It was a bathroom. She continued on to the second. It was a bedroom with a dark wooden bed covered with dark blue sheets, a wooden dresser, and a wooden desk with a set of shelves on the wall on top that was filled with CDs and books.

"I think this is it," she said, stepping inside. It was surprisingly neat. She thought it would be a lot messier. "I need to find a bag first."

"Here's one." Amaya grabbed a sports bag from the corner of the room and threw it at her.

"Thanks," said Amu. She unzipped the bag then opened the first door of Ikuto's dresser and started filling up the bag with clothing. She grabbed a couple shirts, two sweaters, and two pairs of pants.

Amaya stood behind her, watching her fill the bag. "So, this person staying at your house is a guy," she commented.

"Eh?" she said, surprised. She was hoping that Amaya wouldn't pay attention to what she was putting in the bag. "Well, yeah. But not in the way you're thinking!"

Amaya didn't seem to have heard her. "That's pretty hot, hiding a guy in your bedroom."

"It's not like that!" Amu protested.

"Yeah, right," Amaya said unbelievingly, with a small laugh.

"It's not!"

"Okay," said Amaya. She still didn't sound like she believed Amu.

Amu went to the bathroom to get his toothbrush and other stuff, though mostly she wanted to avoid having Amaya see her blushing. She looked at herself in the mirror to see that her face was bright red. Why was she blushing so much? It wasn't like that! She had nothing to be embarrassed about. Ikuto needed a place to stay and she was helping. That's all.

As Amu searched for his stuff she found that it was all in one of those waterproof bags people use for their toiletries. She grabbed it and stuffed it into the sports bag.

She walked around the room looking for anything else Ikuto might need. She opened his closet and looked inside. At the very back she found a black case. Amu curiously opened it to find a beautiful violin. She gasped it awe. It was so pretty! And who would've thought Ikuto played the violin? She closed the case and slung it over her back. She also found his school backpack and filled it up with his school books and his laptop. Amaya grabbed the backpack from her and put it on her back.

"Is there anything else he needs?" Amu wondered aloud.

"How about underwear?" Amaya asked.

"H-huh?" Amu stuttered.

"Did you grab any?"

"Well, no..." she replied. "But I can't go digging around in his underwear! That's just weird!"

"You can't expect him to not change his underwear the whole time he's with you, can you?" Amaya asked, laughing slightly.

"No. But I can't go through his underwear either! And stop laughing, it's not funny!" Amu hissed.

"Relax Amu. It's just underwear, it won't kill you," said Amaya.

Amu continued to hesitate. If Ikuto knew that she'd gone through his underwear he'd call her a pervert.

"Oh fine, I'll do it," Amaya sighed.

Amu turned around so that she couldn't see anything Amaya was doing.

"Okay, it's done," said Amaya as she zipped up the bag.

Amu grabbed the sports bag and the two headed downstairs. Ikuto's father was still spouting out curse words, and Chiyo was still forcing him to stay on the floor by pushing her foot down onto his back.

"Did you get what you needed?" Miyuko asked.

"Yup," Amu answered.

"As soon as you leave I'm going to call the police and all four of you will get sent to jail!" yelled Ikuto's father.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you, because then I'd have to tell the police why I came here in the first place. And believe me, you'll be sent to jail for a lot longer than we will," Amu threatened. He just glared up at her in response.

Suddenly they heard sirens approaching from outside.

"Someone must've called the police. Come on, let's leave through the back," said Amaya. She shoved open the sliding glass door in the back and ran through. Miyuko, Chiyo, and Kame followed her.

"Remember what I said," Amu called back to him as they left.

Amu stopped in front of the door to her house. Neither her mom nor Rito should be here because they're both normally gone at this time during the weekends. They were either going somewhere with Ami, shopping, or putting in some extra work. It was never definite though, sometimes they stayed. She debated risking going through the front door, or trying to haul all this stuff up onto her balcony. Amu went through the door, knowing that there was no way she would be able to get all of Ikuto's stuff up otherwise.

She quietly unlocked the door and stepped inside. She didn't hear any noises, which was a good sign. Amu closed the door and hurried upstairs to her room.

"Amu!" Ikuto said in both shock and relief as she came in. He was still lying in her bed.

"Hey!" She responded, and laid all of his stuff down on the floor.

"Are you hurt? Are you okay?" He questioned as he slowly sat up straight on the bed.

"Yeah, I'm fine. See, I told you it'd be easy-peasy," she said jokingly.

His relieved expression suddenly turned angry. "I can't believe you went and did that!"

Amu frowned at him. His sudden change in expression shocked her. Why was he angry with her? She was doing him a favour. "What? I'm fine, and nothing went wrong. So it's fine, right?"

"No, it's not fine!" He hissed. "What you did was so incredibly stupid!"

"Why are you mad at me?" Amu asked in exasperation. "I was just doing a simple favour."

"It wasn't a simple favour. And I told you not to go!" He retorted.

"Well I'm sorry for trying to help," Amu said sarcastically.

"Goddamn it Amu! Why can't you see that what you did was extremely dangerous?" He yelled.

"I know it was dangerous, but I also knew I could handle it," she said.

"Well you know what, sometimes you can't handle it! You could've gotten hurt!" Ikuto was glaring at her, and his eyes seemed to pierce right into her. They made her feel bad for what she did. But she didn't do anything wrong! She was trying to help! Fine. If he wanted to be mad at her for nothing, then she could be mad at him too.

"Well a lot of thing can hurt people. I'm not going to live my life being afraid every single second about something that could happen!" She responded angrily.

"I'm not saying you have to do that. But you don't have to go out of your way to get yourself hurt!"

"I don't!" She yelled.

"Oh, yeah, because joining a gang was just for what? A little bit of fun? Do you like being in danger or something? Because you keep putting yourself in it, and it's really starting to piss me off!" Ikuto paused, and then turned away from her to face the wall. "I... I can't even look at you right now. You're just making me so mad."

Amu sprinted off into her bathroom, slamming the door behind her and locking it. She sat down on the floor and started to cry. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she wiped them angrily away. She thought that Ikuto understood her... He didn't understand, which meant that no one did.

Why was he so mad at her anyways? And where did he get off yelling at her like that? She'd had just about enough of it. Ikuto could just go to hell.

She wrapped her arms around herself and cried until she couldn't anymore. Then she sat there and stared at her knees.

Ikuto sat on Amu's bed, going over their argument in his head.

"Crap," he said silently to himself. He'd just gotten hurt to start to trust him, and then he yelled at her and ruined it. What she did was so stupid though! He had been so worried that she'd gotten hurt! And all he could do was sit there and wait. It made him mad.

Amu had run into the bathroom right after their argument. Up until recently he'd been hearing things coming from there that sounded like crying. Had she been crying because he yelled at her? No, she couldn't have, right? There was no way that she would be upset that he was angry at her, was there? In any case he had to try and apologize and make it better.

Ikuto slid painfully off the bed and made his way over to Amu's washroom. He knocked on the door but she didn't answer. He knocked again.

"Amu? Are you okay?" Ikuto asked.

"Ikuto..." He heard from the other side of the door.


"Go to hell," she told him.

Ikuto winced. "Amu, I'm sorry. I didn't mean the things I was yelling about. When you left, I had to sit and wait here, doing nothing except hoping that you were alright. It made me mad. I shouldn't have taken it out on you though. You were just trying to help, right? I'm sorry."

"Help? I thought I just liked danger, that I was stupid and suicidal, or something," she said bitterly.

Ikuto let his head fall against the door with a small thud. Could anything he said make this better? "I didn't mean it like that. You go out and do dangerous things a lot, and I worry about you. I'm always worried about you. I don't know what to do about it. I can't do anything about it, or anything to try and protect you. So I get frustrated, and then mad."

"I thought you understood me," Amu whispered.

"I'm trying Amu," he responded. "I'm trying really hard, but you're a girl and therefore very complicated and confusing."

He heard Amu sniffle and a stifled laugh behind the door, and then nothing else. She didn't say anything back to him.

"Should... I go? Do you want me to go?" Ikuto asked.

"No!" Amu exclaimed.

Ikuto sighed in both relief and frustration with Amu. She wouldn't come out of the bathroom, but she didn't want him to leave either. "Amu, if you don't come out I'm going to leave."

"Wait, don't go. Ikuto, you play the violin, right?" Amu asked tentatively.

"Huh?" He said in surprise. He'd never told anyone that he played the violin, so how did she find out?

"I found it in your room," Amu explained. "And I brought it back."

Ikuto realized that he hadn't yet looked at what Amu had brought back from his house. He'd been so wrapped up with worrying about Amu that he'd forgotten about it.

"I'll make you a deal," she offered. "If you play me a song on the violin I'll come out of the bathroom."

Ikuto hesitated. He'd never played for anyone before. No one even knew that he played. "Deal," Ikuto agreed. "But you can't tell anyone about me playing the violin, okay?"

He grabbed his violin case off the top of the pile of his things. He nestled the violin under his chin, took out the bow and drew it across the strings. The sound of the violin resonated through the room. Ikuto closed his eyes and he began to lose himself within the notes. When he opened them again Amu was standing outside the bathroom door watching him. He ended the song and put the violin back in the case.

"That was really pretty," Amu commented.

"Thanks," he said. "I'm glad you came out."

"Does no one know you play the violin?" Amu asked.

"No one knows."

"Why? You play really well," she said.

"I haven't told my friends because playing the violin isn't exactly cool, and I haven't told my mother because..." Ikuto hesitated. Should he tell her? It wasn't like she would tell anyone else. "My father plays the violin. That's why he left, to go touring with an orchestra. This violin is one that he left behind. I thought it might bring back some bad memories for her."

"So why did you start?" she asked.

Ikuto shrugged. "I always used to watch my father play. When he left I found this violin and just started playing."

"Do you miss your father? Or do you talk to him a lot, or visit?"

Ikuto shook his head. "I haven't seen him or talked to him in four years."

"That must be tough," she commented.

Ikuto shrugged. "You may have lost your father, but at least you knew that he loved you. You're dad wanted to be with you. Mine just left."

At first he thought that he might've upset her again, but she just nodded sadly. "Why does life have to be so complicated? So hard? Why can't it be easy? Why can't we be happy all the time, instead of sad? Why can't we just," Amu paused, "be free from it all?"

Ah! I'm finally done this part! It was so loooong (a bit over 12 pages). ...For me at least. Lol. It may be a little choppy, sorry! I kept writing this part in small bits of free time that I had (like 10-15 minute sections here and there), so I kind of lost track of where I wanted to head with things a couple times. Which is also why I guess it turned out to be really long. Haha! Oh well.

Sorry for the wait with this part everyone, but thanks so much for reading! Please review, and make me happy! ^-^