This, I suppose, is a companion to Addiction. I think I really enjoy writing in Anya's perspective. Possibly just because she's snarky and swears like a sailor. Reviewing is good. In case you were wondering.

Disclaimer: 'Tis disclaimed.


You just can't seem to shake the blurred edges of your vision away from your eyes.

Most likely due to the fact that you just couldn't sleep last night (or the night before that, or the night before that).

So now, you're dead to the world.

Sorta.

You're not feeling very well. Thankfully, Loo, that beautiful girl, can sense that and is letting you lean on her this fine morning. The rest of them are chattering away, stopping occasionally to send you a sympathetic look or ask if you're feeling better. Except for Loo because she's one of the few people who know you and your arbitrary moods, she's known you for so long after all, she doesn't even need to ask. Not like you'd answer anyhow, not with the way your eyes seem to be fixated on that curling tendril of smoke swirling 'round the corner.

Is that the reason you just can't seem to see straight anymore?

Despite being barely sentient your brain suddenly registers that the smoke, and the corner, are coming closer.

Moreover, you appear to be walking. (Walking? When the hell did that happen?) And you're walking and you're walking, then you stop. This whole stopping doesn't last long though, 'cause it seems Loo didn't get the memo and kept moving ahead. This all happens in enough time as it takes you to start tumbling down, thankfully without a deep dark rabbit hole to fall into, (Because who the hell wants that?), as you get some nice cushy grass. Your eyes open and it's like your life just burst into Technicolor 'cause instead of the gray concrete of the unforgiving school building, all you see are lush green treetops and brightness of a vibrant blue sky. Loo is smiling gently at you, her eyes understanding, as she pulls you up and lets you lean on her while you resume the trek to the first class of the day.

Suddenly it seems like all those sleepless nights just caught up to you.

You see him standing there, just standing and lighting his cigarette with that battered red BIC lighter you've never seen him without. His eyes become unfocused as some girl tells him off for smoking, and it seems like he just mumbles an apology to the wind.

Dumbass.

Can't seem to keep his shit straight all these years later (But then again, neither can you.). What the hell is he even doing here anyway? This isn't his place and he knows it. Gives you the feeling that you've finally despite trying so hard 'cause here he is, back in the same old spot acting like he was there all along.

Sometimes, it feels as though you just blinked for the smallest amount of time, let your guard down for one damn millisecond, and he was back, pulling that reappearing trick like he was Harry fuckin' Houdini, or something. Fooling you by the sleight of hand. You pass him and know he didn't see you.

Because you know him.

And you just can't seem to quit those old bad habits.

He still inspires the same reaction in you. A mix of pain, fear and resentment. Hurt you can still feel in that dark space behind your eyes. Occasionally you have to remind yourself that when he's apologizing he's only apologizing to the wind.

Because it was never about the hamster.

It was just the breaking point. The climax. The point where the music swells, the discord builds, and the protagonist is left to the Fates (Who seem to just love screwing you over.). All those angry feelings burst and you just couldn't do it anymore. It scared you, because you couldn't understand the damn reason why. Why he picked you to torment. (Why all your pragmatics crumble and your reason shakes whenever he's there.)

And you can't seem to forget what you never want to remember.

Every time you look at him now, you're assaulted with memories of taunting, teasing and crying. You used to think of him with such venom and awe, because he could do this, you still don't seem to understand why you'd just sit there, and cry, letting this go on.

So you changed.

You told yourself no, you won't let this happen, he doesn't hold that power over you anymore. Funny how you could only do this after you thought he was gone. You studied hard and got yourself into this school. You didn't take any shit from anyone who just loved to patronize you. Crybaby no more. You became confident, collected, strong. At least that's what you tried to project.

'Cause if you know anything it's that you can make a damn good mask to fool a lot of the people a lot of the time.

Then you saw him again and you felt stuck, under the lens of a microscope whenever he's around. An amazing specimen of a scared little girl. Because he could see you. No more hiding cause he knew. Knew your fears and weaknesses. Saw the façade.

Dammit.

Soon as you saw him again, you fell apart. Threw yourself into the team to prove to somebody, (to prove to fucking anybody), that you were not that little girl anymore. But the way he looked at you, you could tell he didn't believe a word of any of it. He just kept quiet, brooded, and then brooded some more.

Who the hell is he to judge you anyway?

It's not like he is such a great person, anyhow. Hell, in your eyes he's just a chain-smoking, womanizing jerk off that doesn't understand the fact that you just want your damn space. What the hell is so difficult about that? And, what's with all the girls chasing him? Its not like he's such a great catch either. If this is a school full of geniuses, why can't these girls see him for the jerk he is? ('Cause they don't know him like you do,) You're usually pretty indifferent towards Alexia (despite the inane shit she sometimes spews), but your rather disappointed that she wants him. Because, sure he has charisma, sure he acts like a bad boy, and maybe he's a heron in a flock of pigeons, but he doesn't have anything else going for them. But to each their own, right?

That and you don't care what he does anyway.

And you especially don't care about the goal he made during the test match. Everybody knows he was trying to prove something with his goal. You just don't know what the hell it was. Wasn't he just taking yet another opportunity to humiliate you? You don't understand 'cause everyone's looking at you like it had some higher meaning and something was supposed to happen. All that happened was that you ignored him even more, cutting him near seamlessly out of your life.

If you have to walk another step while thinking about him, you'll scream.

It appears that you and Loo have somehow managed to make it your first class, with Loo doing the walking and you doing the leaning, grumbling and whining for the both of you. Finally. Again, the goddess formerly known as Louise helps you into your seat and lets you be so you can resume your brooding. And godammit, why does he brood all the time? Just sits there and smokes, turning over that battered old BIC lighter in his hand. You just don't fucking understand.

The warning bell ringing causes a flurry of movement into classrooms as people walk in.

You smile at something Loo says, as you've finally become midway sentient.

You turn your head and then you see him. Just standing there. Just looking at you. Your eyes meet. Then, you're caught. It's a do-or-die situation. And you don't exactly what to do. Therefore, you do the only thing you really know how to do. Just put your mask on and turn away. So that's what you do.

The late bell rings.

Doesn't take a genius to know he's already gone.

You look over to window, effectively tuning out the teacher.

Looks like you won't be getting any sleep tonight, either.