A/N: Alright, peeps! We've got a new story. This one's being written for Jeromeninalover, who requested a JeromexNina story, since there wasn't one to be found. So here it is! Now, let me explain. I am a devout Fabina and Jara shipper. Don't let this confuse you. I'm writing this as an exercise of sorts - to see if I can pull off writing something I don't necessarily support/agree with/etc. It's to try and make me a better writer. And it's going to help me focus on other things. I don't mean to offend any Fabina or Jara shippers out there - this is for Jeromeninalover, who's really nice, and for me to work on my writing. I hope you all enjoy it anyways!

P.S. - For the sake of the story, I switched the Sibuna members up a bit. Jerome knows everything, but he was never directly connected to Rufus, and Alfie's in the dark. Mara and Mick are still as clueless as ever. Everything else is explained in the story.

Disclaimers: As awesome as Eugene Simon's hair is, I don't own anything HoA related. Sorry.

"I always hate the first day of a new term," Jerome complained to Alfie.

"Why? Man, it's a new start! New grades! And most importantly, new classes to prank!" Alfie nearly fell over in a peal of laughter, but Jerome merely sighed.

"Perhaps. But nothing exciting ever happens here. I get bored with the mundane routine."

Alfie looked around. "Am I supposed to know what that means?"

Jerome shook his head and didn't answer. Instead, he walked off, leaving a confused Alfie behind. As he walked, he passed Mick and Mara. Once upon a time that picture would've bothered him. Not anymore, however. He figured that if Mara wanted to choose a pighead like Mick over him, then she wasn't truly worth is time. It'd hurt, at first, when he thought of it that way, but it was the truth.

No, his short-lived crush on Mara was long gone, and he was quite over her. He'd even moved on to a new target—Nina.

Contrary to what he told innocent Alfie, exciting things did happen, and happen they had! The whole prom night ordeal was one proof—Sibuna the other. It was during those meetings and near-death/dangerous situations that his sights started to land on the American. She was smart—though Jerome didn't want to know if any of those brains were contributed by Rutter—, she was tough, and she didn't panic easily. No, she was perfect.

Except for one little problem—her science nerd of a boyfriend.

Most everyone in Anubis House had been happy when Fabian and Nina "FINALLY got together!", as Amber had put it. But Jerome wasn't. No, his plan had been riding on the fact that Rutter was too insecure to try and ask her out. Now that little Fabian had finally grown some muscle, Jerome was having to regroup.

Before, he was planning on Nina being heartbroken about Fabian not doing anything, and he'd be the gentle moral support as the only other male member of Sibuna. Then they'd get closer, and Jerome would be able to let it escalate from there on its own.

Now, he was still in the brainstorming process of a new plan. He'd thought of setting Rutter up on a false accusation that would make her mad enough at him to end it, but he couldn't find a good, plausible something to say Fabian did. Jerome wanted it to be believable, after all.

While he was figuring out his for-sure plan, he'd decided he was going to try to get closer to Nina, as friends for now.

Which is where he was headed—the student lounge, where he knew Nina would be while Rutter was in his silly advanced sciences class.

Why do I always fall for girls who read? Jerome thought to himself as he spotted Nina, her long hair draped over her shoulder as she was leaned over a book. Jerome stood back and watched her for a moment, then walked over to her and stole her book.

"Hey! Jerome, what are you doing?" Nina protested, standing up and reaching for her book.

"Livening up your life a little. Why are you reading on a free period anyways?" he asked, making sure the book was still held out of her reach. That wasn't hard to manage, with his height, though Nina wasn't what you'd call short herself.

"Jerome," Nina said, giving him a look. When he just smirked back, she looked around and lowered her voice. "That's a Sibuna book. Now give it back!"

Jerome thought about keeping it, but upon realizing the repercussions for him for keeping a Sibuna book from their unofficial leader, he handed it over. "Fine, I surrender. Sibuna needs it more than I."

Nina smiled as she took the book from him and stuffed it in her satchel bag. "Thanks. And you're right—we all need it. I think it might hold information about that other clue we found. I need to talk to Fabian about it when I see him next."

Jerome, who had been in a fairly good mood up to that point, felt his spirits sink. Why did she always go running to Geek boy? It was about as bad as Mara was with Mick. But Nina and Fabian had been good chums since she got there, so Jerome was more used to it.

Didn't stop it from hurting, 'course, but the principle was still there.

"Well," he said, mulling it over in his mind. "Are you going to call a meeting soon? Sibuna isn't made up of just you and Fabian, you know."

Nina shot him a look at that—one that was puzzled, and a bit insulted. Jerome tried his best to hide the smirk he got from getting a rise out of her, but he had a feeling it was still there.

"I know Sibuna's bigger than the two of us—there's you, Amber, Patricia. And I'm not sure about the meeting—I need to see if there's anything to call a meeting about."

"Hmm." Jerome shrugged. "Whatever you think best, American." He knew calling her something like that would make her mad, but he wasn't in the best of moods anymore, so he figured it was okay.

"There's no need to be rude," he heard Nina say under her breath. He was going to ask her about it—catch her in the act—but he waved it off, walking away.

"Dumb, dumb, dumbarse!" He said to himself. "Why do I always do this to myself?"

"Why do you always do what to yourself, mate?"

Jerome rolled his eyes as Alfie's voice registered in his brain. He had just came out of the school, and supposed Alfie was there waiting on him, or milling about time during break.

"Nothing, Alfs. Nothing of consequence, anyways."

"Yeah, right. I can tell something's up. What is it? You can tell me, you know." Aflie jumped off the wall he had been sitting on, and stood in front of Jerome.

In reality, he knew Alfie was just worried—he was a good friend that way. But Jerome really didn't want to talk to anyone just then, and sincerely thought about being polite when he ditched his roommate. When he couldn't think of anything nice, he gave up. "I know I can tell you. But I'm not going to. See you."

He saw the mild hurt look on Alfie's face before he walked off. He'd apologize and give him one of his DVDs that he saw Alfie eyeing, and all would be fine.

I'm a bad friend. Huh. It just hit him. He wasn't the best of friends. Maybe if I were nicer, Nina would like me more? I wasn't exactly eager to be her friend when she first came—even started that food fight. . .

It was that realization that really made him think it through. Maybe, just maybe, if he paid more attention to what he did, he'd have more of a chance. And he planned on getting that chance.

A/N: Soo. Hopefully not all the chapters will be this short, though they're easier to write this way, so maybe that'd be best. I'm not sure yet. Please tell me what you think in a review! As this is an experimental story, I'm very nervous. And it's unbeta'd as of now - I have a beta for TNGA (next chapter will be up soon, promise!), but I don't want to overload her with two chaptered fics at once. So any mistakes are mine, sorry. Reviews make me happy. :]