Tricky

By Maria Szabo

Disclaimer: Not my characters. This is a work of fanfiction and the only profit being made is that of enjoyment.

"You so don't understand," he said, in that oh-so-superior way of his that always set her teeth on edge. "It's a question of digital vs. analog romance."

Yeah, right, Yamada thought. It was Ueda Jiro spouting off bullshit again, that was what it was. Oh, well, she'd take the bait. She always did. "Is there a difference?"

He ran his hand through that unruly shock of hair. "You. Do you even own a computer?"

"Do I look like I could afford one of those things?"

"No," he admitted, looking around her threadbare apartment. He'd shown up again, unannounced as always, and immediately began helping himself to her dinner. It was a miracle how that man always knew when she would be eating.

"Okay," he mumbled around a mouthful of takoyaki, "listen. Digital romance. It's like psychic phenomenon. It's ethereal. It can't be pinned down or proven. In which case, it's not real."

She noticed he was inching closer to her.

"But analog romance…" his hand reached out and began to play with her hair, "that is substantial. That you can feel." His fingers slipped over her ear and began to play in a suggestive manner. "It's reality."

Yamada yanked her head away. "That doesn't excuse what I saw on your computer!"

"That was…um…"

"Yeah?" her basilisk-like eye was upon him.

He coughed. "That was…"

"Hmm?"

"Research!" he lied, desperately. "Just research!"

"Do I need to pull out my cards and test you on that?" She held her deck at the ready. He gulped. Despite the fact they spent most of their time together debunking fake psychics, he still wasn't quite sure that Yamada didn't have something unusual going on.

"A mistake?" he amended. "That won't happen again?"

"Good answer." She flashed him a forgiving smile and he grinned back, leaning in to kiss her.

Of course she didn't believe him. She never did. Ueda was nothing if not consistent in his infidelity. But it was always worth it to watch him squirm when he was caught.

FIN