Bianca Statford was a woman on a mission. She moved as quickly as possible through the crowded halls of the high school, hoping to catch her prey before he left for the day. She knew she had to hurry. He wasn't one for sticking around longer than was absolutely necessary and each passing moment increased the chance that she wouldn't find him like she wanted him, alone.

Her pretty blond hair flounced around her shoulders as she turned her head frantically looking both ways, perusing the crowd for a head of black curls that stood well above most of the other students. He was hard to miss.

She finally spotted him leaning casually against his locker talking to some girl disinterestedly. Bianca couldn't help but smile at the thought of what her older sister, Kat would have thought at finding him in such a position. It was almost worth waiting for her to show up just to see the tough guy try to talk his way out of that one. Bianca could almost see the scene play out in front of her. Kat would say she didn't care what or who Patrick Verona was talking to or trying to hook up with, but the anger would be unmistakable. Patrick would run after her, all the while pretending like it didn't matter to him whether Kat was mad or not. After all, Kat spent seventy percent of her time mad at Patrick for some reason or another. The only reason they actually did get along was that there was the rare thirty percent that she wasn't angry. For Kat, thirty percent was a lot of time to spend not angry at someone.

She glanced around and realized that if she was going to get him alone, she had to move quickly. If it came at the price of having to run the skank off he was chatting with, so be it. She couldn't live with Kat finding out that she had sought him out like this. It was exhausting trying to sleep with one eye opened, wondering all the time when the retaliation would come. Better if she didn't know a thing about it.

She walked over and gave the girl, some junior with platinum colored hair, a low cut shirt and slut practically written across her forehead, a withering glare. She was good at the withering glare. She had learned it from her sister. " I need to talk to you. I have something to discuss alone."

The girl stuck her lip out in a ridiculous pout at Patrick and he paid it no attention at all. " Will you call me ?" She asked, desperately. " You still have my number, right ?"

Patrick gave her a pained look. " Honestly, I don't know if I do or not. And I'm most likely not going to call. I'm kinda seeing someone."

" Of course you're seeing someone, silly." The girl giggled. " You're looking right at me."

Bianca tasted a bit of bile in the back of her throat at the pathetic creature's antics. " This is important, Patrick." She insisted trying to get rid of her.

" I'll tell you what, if something changes and I'm suddenly single again, I'll look you up." Patrick offered.

" Are you saying you aren't single anymore ?" The girl asked shocked.

" It's complicated, but I guess not, really." He shrugged.

The girl's entire face dropped and she suddenly wasn't near as pretty since she wasn't trying so hard. She walked away muttering loudly. " Patrick Verona isn't single anymore. How is that even possible ?"

He shook his head as he watched her go. Then turned to Bianca. " What's up ? Is something wrong with Kat ?"

Bianca eyed him for a moment, planting her hands on her hips and giving him a disappointed stare. " Do you know what kind of trouble you'd be in if Kat had found you just now instead of me ?"

He chuckled, " Wow, that just runs in your family, doesn't it ? I thought Kat was the only one that could do judgmental, disproving so well. And as for trouble, I stay in it, it's not a new thing for me. I can handle myself. But thanks for the out. She was starting to really annoy me."

" I'm not here to help you fend off the harpies. I need to talk to you and don't want Kat to see us."

He chuckled again. " Then you better disappear because here she comes."

" Call me tonight." Bianca told him quickly as she shoved a piece of paper with her cellphone number on it in his hand. " It's really important."

Patrick shoved the paper into the front pocket of his worn jeans and gave her a nod before she took off down the hall away from him.

" Was that Bianca ?" Kat asked as she came to her locker and opened it quickly.

" Yeah, she just wanted to know if we were hanging out today. She and Donner have some kind of plans I guess." He lied easily.

" Oh," Kat muttered as she threw a few books into the locker and retrieved a few more in their place. "What did you tell her ? Are we hanging out today ?"

Patrick lowered his eyes and looked up at her with that stare that he knew got to her every time whether she wanted to admit it or not. " I was about to ask you the same thing."

" That would explain why you are leaning against some stranger's locker, waiting for me." Kat nodded.

" Yes, it would." He agreed.

" I find you here quite often. Does the person that owns that locker mind that they can never get into it because you're always on it ?" She closed her own locker and locked it securely.

He shrugged disinterestedly. " I don't know. I've never bothered to ask."

Kat took off down the hall after slinging her backpack over her shoulder without waiting to see if he was planning on following or not.

Of course, he fell into step with her without missing a beat. It was their way. No need for extra words or gestures. Both of them were at their best when they seemed to not care if the other cared or not.

" So, am I getting an answer or is your lack of an answer all I need to know ?" He asked, wanting very badly to take the overloaded backpack from her shoulder to carry for her, but knowing better than to actually do it.

" No," She nodded. " We can hang out if you want." It was less of an answer than he normally got and he noted her tone wasn't as enthusiastic as usual either. Even her snappy retorts and cutting insults were missing and it caused him to take notice immediately.

" Is everything okay ? Have I done something once again that I'm completely unaware of that's totally pissed you off ?" He asked as they reached the double glass doors of the school and pushed through them.

" No. Why have you done something I haven't found out about yet ?" She glanced over at him.

" Not recently." He answered. " I missed you at lunch today."

It was her turn to shrug. " I worked right through. Trying to get the yearbook together. I can't believe I signed up for that crap. If it wasn't for the fact that it looks really good on my college application I would have quit a long time ago."

He laughed as he turned and leaned against her beat up old car. " No you wouldn't have. You don't quit. You might hate it, but you wouldn't have quit."

She huffed and tugged a wayward strand of long, dark hair back behind her ear. " I suppose you're right. Damn my sense of ethics and high moral standards."

He reached out and gently pulled her into him and was surprised that she let him without too much resistance. " I've been damning your high moral standards for months now." He whispered as he kissed her chastely.

He noticed the attractive blush that rose in her cheeks when he let her go.

" What are we going to do today ?"

" I have a history test tomorrow. You can help me study." She suggested.

" Oh, happy day !" He announced with dramatic flourish. " I'll meet you at your house."

She nodded as he got off her car and turned to leave. But he turned back and grabbed her quickly, pulling her into his arms and kissing her much less innocently. Her arms automatically went around his neck and one hand came up to play in his hair as she sank into him. God, he loved kissing her.

" I really did miss you at lunch today and we are going to talk about those morals again, soon." He whispered into her hair before letting her go and walking quickly away before she had a chance to protest.

" Are you ready yet ?" Bianca asked from the other side of the car where she had witnessed the entire incident.

" Just get in." Kat rolled her eyes at her before getting into the car herself.

" This has been going on for a while now, huh ?" Bianca asked once seat belts were secured and Kat was pulling out the parking lot.

" What ?"

" You and Patrick. It's kind of a thing now."

" It's not a thing. I don't have a thing." Kat protested.

" Is he coming over again today ?"

" He just told you he was. What are you and Joey doing this afternoon ?" She glanced at her sister as she pulled up to a red light.

" Joey has football practice tonight. I'm studying for a french test." Bianca answered offhandedly.

" I thought you were just asking Patrick if we had plans because you and Joey had plans." Kat asked, confused as her eyes shot to the rear-view mirror and she spied a motorcycle pulling up behind her, the driver's face safely hidden behind a dark helmet. She couldn't help but smile at that, knowing he was wearing the helmet for her sake, normally he would have left it off.

" Oh," Bianca cleared her throat. " No, I was just wondering if you had plans today. I was thinking about trying to talk you into taking me to the mall."

Kat's eyes snatched over to her sister. " What were you really talking to him about ?" She demanded quickly.

" That's what I wanted to know. I swear." Bianca insisted.

" You are the worst liar I've ever known, except possibly Dad. Now tell me the truth."

" That is the truth, Madam Paranoid. What else would I want to talk to your boyfriend about ?"

Kat pulled into the driveway of her house and turned off the engine before yanking out the keys and cramming them into the front pocket of her jeans. " Okay," She answered, suddenly less angry. " If you won't tell me, he will. I have better ways of making him talk."

Kat was gone before Bianca had a chance to protest further.

"You lied to me." Kat stated as soon as the motorcycle's engine died and Patrick tugged the helmet off his head.

He was running his hands through his wild hair to try to tame it as he watched her standing there looking at him with her hands on her hips and the same look on her face as her sister had given him only minutes before. He fought off the amusement he felt at how similar the seemingly world's apart sisters really were.

" What did I lie about ?" He asked as he got off the cycle and came to stand in front of her.

" What did Bianca really want earlier ?" She demanded.

Patrick caught the younger sister's eyes over her shoulder and she shook her head at him helplessly.

" She wanted to know if we were hanging out today." He told Kat slowly as if she were too dense to understand.

Kat eyed him for a few more minutes, not saying a word, thinking he would no doubt crack under her terrifying stare. He came a step closer and put his hands on her waist as he brushed a strand of hair from her face. " You are so hot when you're mad." He told her before kissing her once again.

If Kat thought she knew how to work Patrick it went the same way for him. They played each other perfectly. He knew she could rarely stay mad at him when he was so close to her. She knew if she teased him by making him think more was going to happen she had him. It was a constant power struggle and they played it almost everyday.

Bianca just shook her head as she retrieved her backpack from the backseat of the car and went inside, leaving them to their war in the driveway.

" Are you sure nothing's wrong ?" Patrick asked as he looked up from Kat's history book to find her staring off into space.

She shook her head, coming out of her self induced trance and forced a smile in his direction. "Everything's fine. Why ?"

" You aren't even paying attention to your book. You have a test and you're too distracted to study for it." He raised up from where he was leaning against her couch cushions and gave her his best seductive smile. " See, I don't mind you not studying when I'm what's distracting you, but I have nothing to do with this and I want to know what's on you're mind."

She shifted beside him and let her thigh come to rest against his. " It's nothing really. Just a headache."

He moved closer and put his arm around her shoulder. " Now who's lying ?"

She chuckled at that albeit a touch unenthusiastically. " I'm just having a bad day, I guess. Nothing's wrong."

He lowered his eyes and looked up at her from beneath his dark lashes. " Kat ?"

" Okay." She said finally, before turning to look at him square in the eyes. " What exactly are we doing here ? Are we a couple ? Do we have a thing ? See, I don't know and I'm really confused."

He huffed and shifted a little as well, pulling himself away from her. " That's what's bothering you ? We're back to this old argument ? Couldn't you find any fresh material to throw a fit about ?" The minute the words were out of his mouth, he regretted them, but it was too late to take them back.
Her eyes were already dancing with fire and her mouth was set in a firm line that said she was angry enough to punch him any second.

" I'm not throwing a fit!" She nearly shouted at him. " I'm just looking for a little clarification. I guess it was too much to expect from such a commitmentphob."

"I'm not a commitmentphob. I just don't think it's necessary to label everything like that. Why do we have to dissect this thing all the time ? Can't you just be happy that we both like hanging out together ?" He countered just as loudly as he got to his feet. He really wasn't in the mood to fight with her, but if an argument was what she wanted, he was happy to oblige. He couldn't ever back down from a fight.

" Maybe I'm starting to think there might be someone else I want to hang out with more." She fired at him, throwing him completely off guard.

His teeth clenched at what he perceived as a threat from her. He didn't do ultimatums and that was certainly what that sounded like to him.

" So you're saying I have to either stake my claim on you like you're some piece of land I've just conquered or you'll find someone else to plant his flag on you ?" He spat. " Is there someone you have in mind, or is this just a hypothetically someone else ?"

She grunted in anger and got to her feet, her hands balled into fists at her sides as she began to pace around her half of the room restlessly.

" There isn't anyone specific, no." She answered. " If there was what would you do about it ?"

That threw him off as well and he plopped back down on the couch and rested his head in his hands for a moment trying to stave off the headache she was causing. Then he looked back up at her. " I have no idea. I know I wouldn't like it." He told her honestly.

She came to sit beside him, close enough that her leg was once again touching his. " That has to mean something, right ? Because I know I wouldn't like it if you found someone else to hang out with either."

" Okay so it means something. Do we really have to know what ?"

She turned so she was looking at him. " What happened to you to make you this messed up ? I mean you're only seventeen. You shouldn't have this much baggage already."

" Me ?" His eyes widened in surprise at her words. " And I guess you're just perfect, despite the fact that I never know from one minute to the next whether I've inadvertently said or done something to send you into orbit. I spend all my time walking on eggshells around you because I never know what's going to set you off."

" I'm not like that. I don't get angry without a reason." She insisted her voice raising in volume again and here he thought that this one might be over with.

" No, there's always a reason. Although half the time I think that reason is nothing more than you're bored and need something to scream and yell about." He shouted as he got to his feet again.

" Oh, no, Verona. I never have to make up reasons to scream and shout at you." She stood up as well. "You make sure I'm never lacking for material."

" Why do you have to be so angry all the time ?" He yelled, his chest practically brushing against hers as he took in every breath.
" Why do you keep giving me reasons to be angry ?" She shouted back.

" I don't give them to you, you look for them, constantly." He countered, stepping away and pulling his hand through his hair. " I'm so fucking tired of fighting with you."

" Yeah ! I'm tired of fighting with you, too." She spat.

" I guess there's one sure fire cure then." He answered in a low dangerous voice. Then he stalked to the couch and grabbed his jacket from the back of it. Tugging it on, he turned on his heel and headed for the door. She stopped him for a moment with her next words.

" See, I knew it. I knew you'd walk away eventually."

He glanced over his shoulder at her momentarily. " Of course you knew it. You've been trying to make it happen for months now. I guess you really can't stand not being right all the time, can you ?" He turned back, but stopped at the doorway. " I just want you to know that I wasn't planning on going anywhere. You made this happen. You've been begging me to leave for so long I'm finally giving you what you want. You win. I concede the victory to you. Nicely played."

Then he left, letting the door slam behind him.