Huge thanks to OctoberSnow98, for giving me great ideas, and for encouraging me to keep on writing!I had run all out of inspiration on how to continue on with the story, but he/she (I'm guessing 'she', but I can't be so sure, so no offense intended if you're a 'he') gave some really good ideas, and got me out of my writer's block. You rock! This chapter is dedicated to OctoberSnow98, I repeat, this is dedicated to OctoberSnow98!

~ Ikuto POV ~

" Good morning, Tsukiyomi-kun, Souma-kun, and Fujisaki-kun." Kairi nodded as I walked through the school gates with Kukai and Nagihiko by my side. He was waiting near the entrance to the hallways of the school. Instantly, fangirls crowded around us, handing out chocolates and pink envelopes that I suspected were filled with love notes. I simply gave them my signature smirk, and continued walking. Once we caught up to where Kairi was patiently waiting for us, the crowd grew even bigger. Too bad Amu isn't in the crowd... wait, why am I thinking of Amu?

" Mornin'." I meant to say to Kairi, but when I looked at one of the fangirls while talking, they actually thought that I was speaking to them. The girl fainted, and Nagihiko rushed to catch her before she hit her head on the sidewalk. Slowly, the girl started to regain consciousness, and when she realized who had caught her, she blushed a dark red. Reminds me of how Amu would always blush...why am I still thinking about her?

" T-thank y-you. Y-you're v-very n-nice, F-fu-ji-fujisa-fujisaki-san!" she shyly smiled at Nagihiko, who helped her stand up again. Amu would usually stutter at embarassing moments just like that, whenever she doesn't act Cool N' Spicy. HOLD ON, WHY IS AMU STILL ON MY MIND?

" It's no problem, just be careful next time!" he flashed her a pearly-white smile, and she almost fainted again. Nagihiko sure is the charmer, almost as good a charmer as me. Too bad I couldn't charm Amu, yet. Amu... Amu... Amu... I wish she were by my side right now, just talking to me. Wait, NO! I don't! I just wish that I could charm her, and make her faint like the girl standing next to Nagihiko.

We continued walking down the hallways, until I finally reached my locker. Kukai continued walking to his locker, where his new girlfriend, Utau - my sister! - was probably waiting.

As it turns out, he and Utau went on a 'date' after rehearsals, and they 'got to know each other' a lot better. While eating some ramen at their 'date', he supposedly stood up to go use the bathroom, and 'accidentally' tripped, - the same way that I tripped onto Amu - landing onto Utau's lap. She blushed and giggled, while Kukai stood up and acted like he was sorry. He kept apologizing to Utau for the 'accident', (even though she probably didn't mind that he 'accidentally' tripped on her lap,) and later, when she 'forgave' him, he 'thanked' her by kissing her cheek. She also 'supposedly' tilted her head to the side, so that he 'accidentally' kissed her on the lips. Utau obviously didn't mind, especially since all she ever talked about at home, was "Kukai this, and Kukai that"... Now, they are officially dating.

I opened my locker, only to find more love letters fall to the floor from fangirls. I usually just throw the letters away, not even bothering to care who they were from. But if Amu wrote me a letter, I'd be sure to read that. Not again, she's still on my mind!

" Tsukiyomi-kun, I would like to inform you of my new relationship status." Kairi said, lightly blushing, while pushing his glasses up higher on his nose.

" Sure, sure." I said in an I-don't-really-care tone, although I was really curious to hear who's his first girlfriend.

" Well, I am currently Hinamori Amu's boyfriend." he said in a low and fast voice, I almost didn't hear him.

" WHAT! YOU AND AMU ARE A COUPLE! SINCE WHEN? WHY? HOW?" I yelled at him, not believing my ears. Amu would go out with Kairi, of all people, but not me? I didn't think he was serious when he said he would ask her out!

I sighed, trying to calm myself before I yell even more at Kairi. He never did anything to me. Except, maybe date the girl that I need to date to earn some extra cash. I suddenly felt the urge to punch Kairi in the face.

I should have known that when I met Amu, it would be just like France all over again. Only this time, I don't actually love Amu, not in the way I loved her. But, just like in France, she played my heart, then she snogged with my best friend. I can't believe it. My Amu, isn't mine. Amu played my heart, just like she did.

Hold on! Did I just think that Amu played my heart? I never loved her, so she can't play my heart! Besides, I'm the player. The prey shouldn't be able to frighten the predator.

Remember - you DON'T love Amu. You can't be disappointed! You can't think that what happened in France will happen all over again. You can't disbelieve in love, just because you think you've forever lost it. You WILL find love someday... just not with her. My conscience scolded me, or maybe I was just trying to reassure myself. I don't like Amu, so why am I upset?

" Ahem," Kairi cleared his throat, catching my attention.
" I see that you are deep in thought. What is it that you are concentrated so intensely about?"

" N-nothing." I snapped at him, still trying to cool my temper. " It's just that, why are you dating Amu?
I need to date her, remember? The bet..."

" My reasons for dating Hinamori-san are personal, and they are reasons that do not concern you." he said, pushing his glasses up his nose, again.

" Don't concern me? Of course they do! I need to know why you are going out with her!" I raised my voice. Something in my chest was falling apart, and hearing Kairi talk about dating Amu like it was no big deal was just making it worse.

If I were dating Amu, I would surely be by her side right now, caring for her. I would say "good morning" to her, because she would be the first person I'd want to see everyday. I would hug her, keep her close to me, and never let go. But of course, those are 'I would' statements; it's not like I actually want to do it. Although, I would definitely not be arguing with my best friend, while trying to make him jealous. Wait right there, did I just say that I was jealous? I am not jealous!

" I am dating him because he asked me politely, and he's been a good friend to me. He also wasn't trying to seduce me, and I know he won't keep bothering me if I told him I didn't like him. I am dating him because I feel an attraction to him, a feeling of adoration that you've probably never felt before."

Amu walked towards Kairi and I, calmly answering the question that I yelled at Kairi. Once she had finally reached an arm's length away from us, she grabbed Kairi's hand, and entwined her fingers with his.

Why do I feel so sick, especially after seeing Amu hold his hand? Why am I so bothered by Amu's harsh words? I've never let words like those bother me before, no matter who said it. Why am I so disappointed, so angry, so mad at Kairi? And why do I feel so awkward, especially with Amu? She's the only girl that makes me feel... special, different, alive. Because of Tadase, I was able to get closer to her. It's like, whenever we are, or were, together, she had the ability to make me forget about all the other girls that I should be flirting with. She even made me forget about her. Maybe, I'm mad because I'm so concentrated on getting Amu to go out with me, for the bet, of course that's it! Then, Kairi just made it difficult!

But, now that she's with Kairi, something just feels out of place. Maybe it's me, who's out of place. I don't belong in her life, and she clearly makes it obvious that she won't go out with me, and doesn't want to. She said she doesn't hate me, but she also said she doesn't like me. Does that make us friends? She's my friend, but what am I to her? Am I just another boy, one that she really doesn't give a care about his feelings? If she really wants to go with Kairi, then I might as well let them be, to make her happy. It's the right thing to do. But, I also can't give up! I can't stop what I started, just because of an obstacle.

' ... a feeling of adoration that you've never felt before'.

Her words repeated in my head. Who's she to say that I've never felt love before? Yet, at the same time, who am I to say that I have felt love before?

" But, I thought we were friends," I said to Amu, eyeing her hands which held a tight grip against Kairi's. She looked up at me with a sad expression in her eyes, as if she's just as confused about her feelings as I am. I turned away, avoiding her eyes, and looking intently at her grip on Kairi. The simple gesture boiled a fire deep within me, making my stomach want to

" Didn't you say you didn't hate me?" I asked in an almost begging tone, silently pleading to myself that her answer would take me out of my confusion. Then, I realized that my tone of voice sounded very desperate, very unlike how I would, or should, usually act.

" Amu-koi." I added in smoothly and smirked, just to keep my act together and in check. She can't know about my inner turmoil.

" D-don't call me Amu-k-koi!" she blushed, a blush that I caused her to make. I should be proud that I was still able to make her blush and stutter, but then I noticed that her grip on Kairi tightened.

"We are friends." Amu said, trying to fight her blush.

" Just friends, because I don't like like you. I mean, why would I like like you?" she finished, taking a quick glance at Kairi, who was staring down at his shoes. Amu's question seemed to be directed at herself, like it was a question that even she know the answer to.

~ Amu POV ~

When I woke up this morning, the first thought that registered in my brain, was Ikuto. His smirk which is almost always plastered on his face; his deep blue eyes that seem to glint with mischief and adoration at the same time; his hair, which is pretty messy, yet it suits his face perfectly; and his carefree, teasing, and attitude, that always gets on my nerves, but it also makes me smile, blush, stutter, and laugh. Why does being with him make me feel this way? Why am I so confused?

And that's why I went out with Kairi. Kairi (being the ever-so-smart boy and a close friend of mine), might be able to help me sort out my feelings. When Kairi asked me out after play rehearsals, my first thought was about Ikuto. What would he think about me dating Kairi? He probably wouldn't care, because he's got a bunch of girls surrounding him anyways. Kairi might the one to help me get back on track, to help me stay focused, and keep my mind from always thinking about Ikuto. Because Ikuto is my friend... nothing more.

But, I also went out with Kairi, becaue I know that there's something there. He makes me blush and stutter, and he's so kind to me. I know he'd never do me wrong. Kairi will always be supportive, and he'll never try to play my heart. Unlike Ikuto, who's most likely playing me like pawn in a game of chess.

" Just friends, because I don't like like you. I mean, why would I like like you?" I told Ikuto, who unconsciously winced. I wondered what he was thinking about at the moment, and how he was feeling. Is he happy for me? Or is he just as confused as I am? Does he think about me as much as I think about him? Why do I always think about him, anyways? I hope Kairi can help me out...

" Yea, friends. That's it. Nothing more." Ikuto said with a straight face. 'Nothing more' he had said. That expression was like a gunshot to my heart. I wanted to frown, but I didn't have a reason to frown. I mean, he is just my friend. Nothing more. Besides, I'm dating Kairi. I should be happy because I'm with my boyfriend, holding his hand, and having a simple chat with a friend in the school hallway. But why do things seem so wrong?

" Shall we head to class, Hinamori-san?" Kairi politely asked, making my heart skip a beat. Nevermind Ikuto. I've got Kairi, my Prince. He's polite, kind, handsome, smart, and sweet. He's not a fake prince like Tadase, and he's not a player, either, like Ikuto. Just like Utau described, Kairi is a person who I want to spend most of my time with, and I can't help but want to impress him. He's my Prince.

" We shall." I smiled at Kairi, who only kept looking down at the floor. I noticed that anytime he would look up, he would avoid my eyes, and look somewhere else.

" See ya." Ikuto said, with an expression that made it look like he was in pain. I wanted to ask him if he was okay, and why he looked so 'down in the dumps', until he flashed a smirk in my direction, and said in a seductive voice, "Amu-koi."

Heat rushed up to my cheeks. This is just another reason why I don't like Ikuto. He's always teasing me! My blushing is just another side effect, besides the stuttering.

I walked away with Kairi, still holding his hand, and heading off to our first class.

Just one glance, I thought to myself, as I turned my head around to take a quick glance at Ikuto. He was looking at Kairi and I, staring intently at me with a sad expression. Was he frowning? I almost felt sorry for him, but for a reason unknown. Why does he look depressed? When he saw me lock eyes with him, he instantly smirked. My eyes widened, and I snapped my head back, continuing to walk with Kairi to class, hand-in-hand.

Nevermind my sympathy. Nevermind that I worried for no reason! Ikuto will always be Ikuto.

After the final bell rang, Kairi was waiting for me at the door of my last class.

" Hinamori-san," he nodded his head with a smile on his face.

" Kairi!" I exclaimed, rushing out the door to give him a hug. Many people gathered, surprised by my sudden actions. Kairi hugged me back, and I enjoyed the warm feeling of his arms around me. Yet, somehow, it felt wrong. When we broke apart from the hug, Kairi left his right arm around my waist, resting his hand on the other side of my hip, while his left arm was dangling by his side.

" Are they dating?"
" No way! I thought Amu-sama and Ikuto-sama would end up together!"
" But, Kairi-sama and Amu-sama do make a kawaii couple!"
" I wonder what Ikuto-sama is going to do!"
" Whatever, Kairi-sama and Amu-sama look happy, so it doesn't matter."
" I'm happy for them."

I blushed as I heard all the comments made about my new relationship with Kairi. Psshh. Ikuto and I? That's impossible. I'm happy with Kairi, and he's happy with me. Why else would Kairi ask me out?

" Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" the crowd chanted. I faced Kairi, who had a faint blush on his cheeks. My first kiss. With Kairi. His arms wrapped around me, so that I was facing him, and his arms were on my back. He leaned forward, so that our foreheads were resting against each other.

" May I kiss your lips?" Kairi whispered so that the crowd could not hear. In the background, the chanting seemed to get louder, but I only focused solely on Kairi's breathing. He was breathing heavier, and I hesitated. He seemed to notice, and stared into my eyes.

My first kiss. With Kairi. Should I let him take it?

I leaned forward, so that our noses were touching. The crowd went quiet, and I felt all eyes on us. I closed my eyes, and slightly puckered my lips, unsure of my decision, but still willing to give Kairi my first kiss. Kairi would never hurt me, and he's my Prince. One of Kairi's arms held me closer, as he snaked the other one arm from my back to tilt my chin up. I won't regret this.

I leaned forward.

Suddenly, just before my lips touched his, I felt Kairi's arm slid away from my hips, and his hand left my chin. Disappointed, confused, yet relieved, I opened my eyes and saw Ikuto holding Kairi by the collar of his t-shirt.

" Ikuto! What are you doing!" I glared at Ikuto, who was throwing death glares at Kairi. Kairi, who was unusually calm, tapped Ikuto's hand with his fingers. Ikuto's grip slightly lessened, so that he wasn't choking Kairi, but it was still tight enough to lift Kairi off the floor.

Ikuto looked at me with the same sad expression as this morning, but, in his eyes, I also saw confusion and anger.

" Amu, I'm not letting you get into peer pressure." he said, trying to keep a straight face.

" Peer pressure?" I screamed at him, while rushing to Kairi's side. I clawed at Ikuto's hand, causing him to let go of Kairi completely. Kairi fell into a slump on the floor, but he still tried to keep a calm composure.

" Uh... yes. Your peers," he gestured to the even bigger crowd that had gathered, "were pressuring you to kiss Kairi. That's called peer pressure."

I scoffed.

" Really, peer pressure? That's your excuse?" Kairi said.

~ Ikuto POV ~

What else was I supposed to do?

When I was on my way to Amu's classroom, I saw Kairi already waiting by her door. I turned around and walked away, because what was I supposed to do?

When I risked a glance behind my back, only to see Amu running to give Kairi a hug, what was I supposed to do?

When I heard a crowd chanting 'Kiss! Kiss!' in the hallways, and I saw Amu about to kiss Kairi, what was I supposed to do?

When she closed her eyes, puckered her lips, and leaned forward, what was I supposed to do?

When I had a sudden urge to want to kill Kairi, and keep him far far away from Amu, what was I supposed to do?

When I acted on impulse, and grabbed one of my closest friends by the collar, what was I supposed to do?

When Amu asked me why I pulled Kairi away from her; when she was about to kiss him, what was I supposed to do?

When her hand grazed across mine, in an attempt to claw it off, and release Kairi, I felt an electric spark pass by where she touched. What was I supposed to do?

When I made up some excuse about peer pressure, what was I supposed to do?

I made a fool of myself, all because of her. She's making me so confused, and so mad! It's all her fault, yet I'm not angry at her. I just can't find myself being angry at Amu. Somehow, I find that all my anger is directed at Kairi.

She scoffed.

" Really, peer pressure? That's your excuse?" Kairi said.

Amu knelt down to where Kairi was laying on the floor, and grabbed his hand, helping him to get up. Once they were both standing, she hugged him, and glared at me from behind Kairi's shoulder.

"Are you okay?" I heard her whisper to Kairi. He nodded his head in reply.

" Why are you doing this?" Amu said softly to me once she broke away from the hug.

I looked at the crowd who had gathered. They looked at me curiously, but I sent them a glare, warning them with my eyes that they should mind their own business and stop staring. Almost instantly, the students backed away, but a few handful remained. Those few soon realized that it wasn't their place to be, and after a few seconds, they left too.

I honestly had no idea how to answer that. Why am I doing this? Why? Why?

So, I acted like I knew what I was talking about, and put on a smirk.

" Do you really want to know?" I asked, lowering my voice to add more effect, and make it seem like I wasn't bluffing. "Do you really want to why I'm doing this?"

She blushed, " W-why?"

" Hmmm... Nope. I'm not telling you." I made sure my smirk was still intact. Why am I suddenly so confused? Why don't I know what I'm doing anymore? Why do I want to act on impulse, whenever Amu is with Kairi? Why do I want to keep her far away fom him, and keep her near close to me? Why?

" Hinamori-san," Kairi said, making my smirk drop. The way he said her name, was just... he sounded so affectionate. Amu blushed, again. Could Kairi really be in love with the one girl I need to fall in love with me? Again, why am I so angry at Kairi? I just can't compare to him; he's smart, and he's got Amu.

" There are play rehearsals today. May I escort you?" he said, smiling at Amu while extending his elbow.

I clenched my fists at my sides, while turning around so that I couldn't see Kairi's face. While walking to the theater, thoughts of Amu swirled around in my mind like a hurricane of confusion. I have no idea what she's done to me. I met her only a couple of months ago, and already, she's turned me into a huge mess. Amu. That girl... she changed me. It's something I don't like.

But, I have to admit. That girl has been running thousands and thousands of miles in my mind, and I can't seem to get her to stop. She's invaded every single thought, and the last time that's ever happened was with her. Maybe, just maybe, I like Amu. Just maybe.