"You want me to what?" A tall blonde snickered, not bothering to hide it, while the rest of the group- - -a spunky brunette with long hair in a high ponytail, another blonde with shoulder-length hair, and a smaller blonde hugging a bear tightly- - -looked amused (and slightly scared, in the smaller blonde's case).

"You heard me, Roderich." He said, still snickering. "Ask Maria out."

"María." Roderich corrected absently, staring at the girl between the boys she was always with. After a few moments he shook his head. "You're crazy- - -why would María want to go on a date with me?"

"You'd be surprised." Lovina snickered.

"Yea." Came Vash's voice. Roderich glared at him. "Besides, you suit each other."

"Be n-n-nice, g-guys." Stuttered Matilda, hugging her bear tightly. Alfred jumped.

"Mattie!" He coughed out. "Don't sneak up on us like that!"

"I've b-been here the wh-whole t-time, Alfred." Matilda stammered. "A-And I d-don't think that it's a g-good idea, sending R-Roderich to do that."

"It's fine, Matilda." Roderich waved uncaringly. "How much to do it?"

"How much?" Alfred asked incredulously. Roderich nodded.

"Twenty bucks." Vash said suddenly. Roderich glared at him and he glared back.

"Count me in, too." Lovina called suddenly.

"Yea, me too." Alfred said, shrugging. They all turned to Matilda. She shook her head silently. "Oh!" They turned to Alfred. "And another ten from each of us if...y'know..." He grinned lewdly.

"Shut up, you git." Came another voice. "Don't be so interested in others' love lives."

"You ruin all the fun, Alli." Alfred whined. Roderich waved at her before standing up and approaching María's table. When he was close enough, he nodded a greeting at the boys beside her and cleared his throat. María whirled around to stare at him.

"Ah, Roderich." She sneered, making Roderich internally wince at the tone. "To what do we owe the honor?" Roderich coughed into his arm briefly, glancing to the side where Alfred, Lovina, Matilda, and Vash were watching with rapt attention as Alison attempted to eat a...rock?

"I was wondering if..." Roderich started, glancing to them again. Matilda shook her head negatively, but Alfred tapped her head to make her stop, motioning for him to go on.

"Get to the point." María's voice brought him back and he jumped, looking at her again.

"Right, right!" He muttered distractedly. "Sorry. Um..." He cleared his throat and, straightening, looked her in her crimson eyes. "Will you go out with me sometime?"

María stared at him with wide eyes. Gulping lightly, Roderich discreetly glanced at the other table again before refocusing on María.

"You want to go out...with me?" She asked suspiciously. Roderich stared at her, silently begging her to say yes. "No way in hell." She said, going back to her food. His eyes widened.

"Please?" Roderich asked, twitching when he realized he was reduced to pleading from this...girl. María shook her head firmly. "One date, that's all I ask, honest." María turned suddenly, glaring up at him and making him take a step back.

"No," she hissed. "I know people like you, Roddy." He cringed- - -there was no way she could know..."And people like you don't want to date people like me. Spare me the drama, and give it to someone who cares." Roderich stared at her, a bit surprised.

He then bit his lip, glancing at Francis and Antonio, silently asking for help, once again glancing discreetly at the group (and noticed Alfred laughing) before sighing.

"All right, María," he said solemnly, "you leave me with no choice." She gave him a confused look, but he simply stared back with a determined face.

"Oh, thank god that's over..." Roderich sighed, landing on his bed with a THUMP!

"Didja get her to agree?"

"No, Alfred." Roderich said tiredly, not moving his arm. There was a muffled curse, and then a sigh.

"Well, try again tomorrow." The blonde encouraged.

"I d-don't think- - -"

"SHIT, Mattie!" The loud exclamation made Roderich jump, looking around to see Alfred on the floor and Matilda by his desk, a slightly annoyed look on her face.

"I w-was here the wh-whole time, Alfred." She said firmly. "And a-as I was s-saying, this i-isn't a good i-idea. Wh-What if she finds out?"

"She won't, she won't." Alfred assured his sister. She shot him a look.

"J-Just like Mother didn't f-find out about y-you and Allison?" Alfred flushed.

"No, this is different!" Matilda rolled her eyes, relaxing her grip slightly on the bear.

"Be c-careful, Roderich." Matilda said softly. "D-Doing this, y-you could r-really hurt someone." At Roderich's confused look, she sighed heavily. "L-Look, you're m-messing with a g-girl's emotions." She explained softly. "A-And it really h-hurts when guys l-like Alfred or-or Francis do th-things like that."

"I know, Matilda." Roder said softly. Matilda shook her head, soft blonde curls bouncing across her face.

"I-It hurts m-more when boys l-like you do it, R-Roderich." Matilda said. "B-Because boys like y-you should know b-better."

"But this is María we're talking about." Roderich said. "If anything, she'll brush it off as if it were nothing."

Roderich winced when he saw María slam her locker door open. As she began shoving everything from her black backpack to her locker, Roderich turned away.

"I'll ask- - -"

"Now, Roderich." Vash hissed, pushing him forward. Alison raised an eyebrow, because Alfred was trying not to cry from laughter as Roderich hitched his bag more firmly on his shoulder and approached María. Before he could even open his mouth, her locker slammed shut.

"One date." She told him firmly, before turning and stomping away. He froze, confused, before looking at his friends. Annoyed, Vash stomps over and shoves concert tickets in his hand, pushing him after María. As he tries to catch up, Roderich reads the tickets. "What?" She asked, turning to stare at him. Roderich realizes with a start he doesn't know what to say.

"Well..." Roderich sighed, shoving the tickets in his pocket. "I heard that there was going to be a big concert in a couple weeks." María raised an eyebrow, making him nervous, so Roderich continued quickly. "I-I managed to get tickets to go, on Saturday and Sunday."

"Who's playing?" María asked suddenly. He blinked, trying to remember the names on the tickets.

"A lot of people." He said, stalling. A name came to mind- - -one of her favorites. "Um, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, and-"

"All right!" María interrupted. Roderich scowled, though a part of him flipped at the sight of María's lit-up eyes. "I'm in!"

"We will have to stay overnight." Roderich told her. She turned to him, eyebrow raised in a way that told him he wouldn't like what was about to come out of her mouth.

"Well, so long as you don't do anything, it'll be fine, won't it?" She told him before running down the hall. His jaw dropped as he watched her, a flush taking over his face even as Lovina grumbled under her breath about 'stupid potatoes'.

"Look who's about to get sixty dollars." Alfred muttered as Roderich sat down. He glanced at the blonde, an eyebrow raised. "Alli still doesn't know yet."

"Get your girlfriend off of Antonio." Lovina growled suddenly. They all turned to see Antonio hugging María tightly. With a sigh (and glare from Lovina) Roderich walked over to them, watching as they separated and following after María when she went to throw her food away.

"What happened?" He asked when she almost ran into him. When she glared up at him, he frowned at her.

"Tonio lost his phone." She said finally. "I'm gonna help him find it."

"I'll help as well." Roderich winced internally- - -why had he said that?

"All right, whatever." He was pulled out of his thoughts when María suddenly agreed, grabbing his arm and dragging them out of the cafeteria. She stopped for a moment by Antonio, Francis and Matilda (who gave Roderich a pleading look he ignored). "Hey, Tonio, me and this guy are gonna look for your phone, k?" Without waiting for an answer, María continued pulling Roderich out, away from the trio.

"I can't believe this!" María hissed suddenly, making Roderich turn to face her from where he was by the wall. "Where the hell did Tonio lose his damn phone?" Roderich sighed, shaking his head. He had given up on stopping María's cursing an hour and a half ago. At least it was better than it was earlier.

"We'll find it soon, I'm sure, María." He told her. She 'tch'ed, and Roderich shook his head, getting on his hands and knees. Crawling through the bushes, he searched the dirt for the missing cell phone. Glancing up abruptly found him face-to-face with the silver-haired teen. Crimson eyes met violet and he felt himself freeze suddenly.

"Why did you ask me out?" She asked quietly, her eyes searching his with an unusual seriousness not normally found on her face. Biting his lip, Roderich tried frantically to think of an answer for her. "Well?"

"I-" He struggled to answer, not sure what to say, when a loud ringtone went off, lighting up the space between them. With a slight scowl, María picked up the cell phone.

"OI, TONIO!" She yelled, pulling out of the bushes as Roderich sighed, slowly getting out after her. "EVEN LOVI'S RINGTONE SOUNDS PISSED AT YOU RIGHT NOW!"

Roderich groaned quietly at the mention of Lovina- - -he just remembered she was Antonio's girlfriend, and Antonio was friends with María.

All he needed was Lovina telling Antonio (though he didn't think she would, because Lovina probably wanted that twenty dollars from him, and she didn't cheat...)

"So, how long's it gonna take to get there?" María asked impatiently, for the hundreth time...in the past ten minutes.

"I already told you, at least four hours, María." Roderich said exasperatedly. How could anyone put up with this?

"Whatever." She said. "Just get us there as soon as possible." Before Roderich could say anything else, she fell asleep. He sighed in relief- - -finally, quiet...

Three hours later, he looked around, frowning as he pulled to a stop. Nothing looked right...it actually looked like...he groaned, placing his head on the steering wheel.

They were lost.

"What happened?" María asked, yawning, when he woke her up. "We there yet?"

"No." Roderich said nervously, glancing around as she woke up. There was no way they could make it in time to the concert, and the fact that he had gotten María's hopes up for nothing made something in his stomach turn.

"Then where are we?" She asked.

"I don't know." Roderich admitted, biting his lip as he awaited her outburst. She turned and stated at him with wide crimson eyes, making him wince- - -it's not really his fault he has a bad habit of getting lost...

"You got us lost?" She asked, a dangerous tone in her voice. Roderich opened his mouth to defend himself, but María pushed her car door open, slamming it shut so hard the car rattled slightly. With a groan, he was about to hit the steering wheel when his door opened.

"Ah?" She rolled her eyes.

"Get out." She told him. "I'm gonna drive if all you're gonna do is get us lost." With a slightly sheepish look, Roderich switched spots with María. Shaking her head, María somehow managed to get them on the right road.

"We're here!" María cheered happily, stretching as she got out of the car. Roderich got out in a slower pace than she did, feeling slightly shaky.

"Did you get lessons from Felicia in driving?" Roderich asked her, shaking lightly. María scowled at him.

"And if I did?" She challenged. "Felicia isn't a bad driver." Roderich shook slightly, but María ignored him in favor of getting the camping gear out. He snickered lightly when she couldn't get the tent up, biting his lip to make sure he didn't anger her too much.

"What are you doing?" She glared at him.

"We gotta get ready for bed at some point." She told him, turning her attention back to the tent. "Might as well prepare the place we're sleeping in beforehand, ja?"

"Here." Roderich sighed, going to her. "Let me help." He stood behind her, bringing his arms around her to help her with the tent. As soon as he did, he realized how close he was to her, her back pressing lightly against his chest. Flushing heavily, he took a deep breath to try and get his racing heartbeat under control.

"Did you bring a sleeping bag?" Roderich asked María a few minutes later. She rolled her eyes.

"Of course I did!" She snapped excitedly, pulling it out as he pulled his own out. "What kind of fan do you think I am? Although," she turned to peer at him. He paused, then turned to her when he realized she wanted his attenion. "I never pegged you as liking My Chem and Linkin Park, and all my favorite music."

"I'm more of a classical person." Roderich agreed, shrugging. María raised an eyebrow, and he rolled his eyes. Looking at her again, he started to explain. "However, I figured that this would be a perfect reason to ask you out. As such, I could put up with a difference in music." He glanced at her and smiled. "For your sake, of course."

He enjoyed watching her face turn red as she turned away, and was surprised to find that he meant every word he said.

María cheered with the rest of the crowd as another band got off the stage after their performance. Roderich sat by her, watching her more often than the bands playing onstage. When she turned to smile at him, excitement in her voice as she spoke, his heart fluttered a bit.

"This is great, Roddy!" She cheered, sitting down briefly. Roderich smiled at her, glad that she didn't seem to notice his face get redder than normal. "I'm glad." He yelled at her over the noise. The announcer started talking, and Roderich felt his phone vibrate slightly. "I'm going to get more drinks, ok?" Roderich yelled in her ear, a sinking feeling in his stomach. She waved him off, screaming as another band came on stage.

Smiling slightly at her, Roderich went to the drink stand and walked by it, answering his phone.

"Hello?" He yelled into the phone.

"Roderich!" Was yelled back, and he winced.

"Don't yell, don't yell." He said back. "What is it, Alfred?"

"You're on a date with her now, right?" When Roderich voiced his agreement, he heard Alfred yelling something. "All right, since you went to the concert who-knows-where, it's likely that you'll get somewhere tonight. Good luck!" Roderich felt something in his heart twist as he recalled, suddenly, the bet.

"There you are!" María cried when he went back with drinks and a pretzel he randomly bought (just in time- - -it seemed she was going to go look for him), grabbing his arm and dragging him back. "Took you long enough!"

"Sorry." Roderich called back as they got to their seats.

"Thought you got lost or something." María yelled at him teasingly, making him blush slightly. "I swear, only you would get lost buying pretzels and soda."

That night, as they got ready for bed (Roderich made sure he was facing the opposite way, as María just started undressing in front of him), María asked a sudden question.

"Hey, Roddy?" He grunted slightly in response and she continued hesitatingly. "Why did you ask me out?" Roderich froze as she finished, his mouth opened. He had expected the question after the first time she asked it, but so soon... "I mean, we're so different from each other..." She continued, and Roderich frowned lightly.

"That's not important." Roderich said, turning to face her. When she faced him, she looked slightly surprised, and for some reason, slightly vulnerable. His breath caught quietly in his throat.

"Roddy...?" She questioned softly. Roderich felt himself smile gently at her, touching her cheek gently to make sure her eyes stayed on him.

"You're special, María." He told her quietly, feeling the sincerity behind his words and hoping he was getting through to her. "You have this...this thing about you that draws people to you. It doesn't matter how different we are." Maria smiled, her eyes drifting shut as he slowly leaned closer.

Their lips met, Roderich forgetting everything but the silverette in his arms. It felt so strange, so right, to be kissing her.

"You're not that bad of a kisser." Roderich told her softly when they parted, and she stuck her tongue out at him. He stared at her, his violet eyes darkening, as she giggled lightly. "It isn't wise to stick your tongue out at someone." He told her firmly. "It's also very rude."

In retaliation, María did it again. Just as her tongue went past her lips, his went after it, rubbing up against hers. She gasped, opening her mouth more, allowing Roderich to ravage her mouth. Their eyes slid shut, arms tightening their hold. Roderich's hand trailed lazily from her face down to her waist, making María release a soft moan...

Roderich stared out the window, feeling thankful that he had the self-control that he had. It made stopping before they did anything easier, though they still slept together (just not in that sense...)

"Hey, Roddy." She said, catching his attention suddenly. He jumped lightly and turned to look at her.

"Yes, María?" He answered.

"You like me." She said confidentally, making him smile. "What else do you like?" He frowned at her, and she flushed lightly. "In a girl, I mean."

"Well..." Roderich trailed off, thinking. It didn't seem to surprise him that his 'type' of girl changed to fit María, but he decided to tease her a little. "I suppose...one who is proper and acts composed." María made a face, and he smiled softly. "Who likes to do girlish things and wear girl's clothes."

"So, basically, the opposite of me." María summed up, suddenly. Roderich chuckled, still unsure why she was asking this.

"No." He said softly, looking at her as she drove them home. "Because while I like that in a girl, I do rather adore you as you are. Acting and dressing that way does not suit you as well as it would others." María stifled giggles, and turned slightly red, which made Roderich smile even more as she focused on the road.

"That was corny." She informed him as a last defense. Roderich just laughed.

"Dude, you did it!" Alfred laughed, throwing his arm around Roderich's neck on Monday. Behind him, Lovina and Vash followed, both counting money. Roderich frowned at them, pushing Alfred off.

"Yes, I took her out." Roderich said, looking at them. "We're kind of planning to do it again." Alfred laughed.

"No need!" He said, clapping Roderich on the back hard enough to make him stumble forward a little.

"I know. You already took her out once." Vash said, putting his wallet back into his pocket.

"Yea, there's no need to go through that torture again." Lovina added, smirking. "After all, once is enough, yes?" Roderich stopped walking by a corner, turning to glare at them, but before he could say anything, Alfred cut across him.

"Ok, so you took her out." He said.

"All weekend." Vash added, making Roderich glare at him.

"And you expect us to believe that nothing happened?" Lovina snapped. "Not going to fly."

"Exactly!" Alfred said. "Obviously, something was gonna happen."

"And we know something did, whether you want to admit it or not." Vash said coldly, and Roderich clenched his fists.

"So!" Alfred said, leaning against the wall by Roderich. "You get sixty from us, cause we said you couldn't take María out on a date, and then you'll get extra from us later for, well, you know..." He winked at Roderich, but the Austrian pianist pushed him off.

"I'm serious!" He snapped, as Matilda joined the group, followed by Francis. "Just back off, all three of you!" Alfred blinked in surprise, while Matilda decided to make herself and Francis known.

"I t-t-told you." She stammered, giving Roderich a hurt look. Behind her, Francis looked confused.

"What happened?" He asked, as they all turned to fave them. "María ran past, and she almost look like she was crying."

Roderich felt his face pale and his heart drop.

Roderich ran in the direction Francis and Matilda said María had run in, looking for her frantically. Unsure of what to do, he looked in every direction he could. After a few seconds, he spotted Allison in the hallway. Desperate, he ran up to her.

"Allison!" He gasped out. The British student jumped in surprise, turning to face him.

"Ah- - -hello, Roderich." She said, touching her shoulder bag with her hand. "What- - -"

"Just..." He sighed. "Help me find María. Please." Her eyes narrowed lightly.

"Why?" Allison asked, crossing her arms. Roderich bit his lip, debating.

"Alfred, Lovina, and Vash paid me to take her out on a date." He said softly.

"Are you stupid, Roderich?" Allison hissed angrily. "I can't believe that Alfred would even- - -or YOU! I thought you, at least, had more sense than that!"

"I didn't mean for her to find out!" Roderich moaned. "But I think she did, and now I have to apologize."

"Damn right you do!" The British girl fumed a bit more before crossing her arms angrily. "Where is she now, Roderich?" Roderich shrugged, feeling slightly helpless.

"I don't know." He sighed. "Help me look?" Allison glared at him before turning around and marching into the girl's bathroom.

No doubt about it. María was avoiding him, and Roderich was feeling slightly more and more desperate each time it was obvious- - -when she wouldn't look him in the eye during one of their classes, and when she didn't even show up during lunch. More than slightly worried and upset, Roderich went to her house, knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell repeatedly.

By the fifth time, Ludwig answered the door, and Roderich trembled slightly under the younger brother's dark glare.

"Leave my Schwester alone, Roderich." He growled out. Roderich shook his head, trying to make Ludwig understand.

"No, please, Ludwig." He said softly. "Let me at least speak to her, please." Ludwig glared at him coldly.

"No." And with that, he slammed the door shut.

Roderich had been talking to Matilda when she suddenly turned.

"Look." She said softly. "T-T-There goes María, F-Francis, and Antonio." Roderich watched them walk past without doing anything, just watching her walk by. "W-Well?" He jumped slightly, looking back at Matilda, who rolled her eyes and clutched her bear tighter. "G-Go talk to h-h-her." Roderich smiled at her thankfully before going after the trio.

"María!" He called after them loudly. María froze for a second, but continued walking with Francis. Antonio, however, turned around and gave Roderich a glare that rivaled Ludwig's.

"Leave María alone." Antonio said coldly, continuing in Spanish. Roderich ignored him, trying to get around him as María walked ahead quickly. "María, I'm sorry!" He forced out over Antonio's Spanish monologue, making María freeze and giving Roderich time to move around Antonio (as the Spaniard had stopped talking in surprise) and grab her arm.

"Let me go." She hissed, not turning to look at him. Roderich ignored her, feeling that desperate feeling creeping into his stomach.

"María, please, listen- - -" That was as far as he got.

"THERE IS NOTHING TO LISTEN TO!" María screamed, taking Roderich by surprise when she turned and glared at him. He ignored the fact that her friends tried to help, focusing on grabbing her other arm when she tried to swing at him. "Let. Me. Go. Now." Roderich pulled her to him, sighing slightly when she tried to get away from him. He held her tightly, though, and after a few seconds she gave up. "You asshole." She murmured, and he felt tears on his shirt.

"Shhhhh..." Roderich said softly, slightly rocking her back and forth. Francis and Antonio subtly slipped away, and he continued to try to make María feel better. "I know, I know... I'm so sorry, María, shhhhh..."

"Why...?" She asked shakily.

"It was a bet." Roderich told her quietly, not even trying to put it gently, just trying to get it out already. "A stupid bet that stopped being a bet a while back, because I do love you, María, honest."

"You promise?" María asked childishly, and Roderich smiled, placing his head on hers.

"I promise." He told her gently.

Allison hit Alfred firmly on the head, making María laugh and Roderich crack a smile. "You stupid git!" Allison hissed. "Haven't you learned your lesson yet? Don't make foolish bets with other people!"

"It's not a bet, Alli!" Alfred whined, rubbing the back of his head. "I'm just curious!"

"Your curiosity will get you slaughtered." María announced firmly, making Roderich smile at her while she watched Allison hit Alfred again for calling her 'Alli'. "And find someone else to amuse you-I'm getting annoyed that you keep using Roddy for your stupid ideas." At Alfred's face, she rolled her eyes. "Alli, control your boyfriend."

Roderich tuned out the conversation (more like, tuned out Allison hitting Alfred) and watched María instead. After a few minutes, she turned around to face Roderich, threading their fingers together and flushing lightlly. Roderich smiled in response, tightening his grip on her hand for a few seconds.

Life was good.

I decided to do this from Roderich's point of view, which turned out (i think) longer than the original story, haha.