Just the Girl

Chapter 1: Catboy and Stinkerbell

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream." - Jerry Greenfield

With the mid-August heat rush annihilating every living creature walking the streets of Tokyo, a small ice cream store in the middle of the garden square was sanctuary; land after months of being at sea; the place everyone crawled to. Only the strongest survived the walk in the heat and made it into the refreshing, air-conditioned building.

A teenage girl leaned against the cool glass that protected the ice cream from hungry customers. She watched through her pink bangs as another group of kids staggered their way into the parlour with their cheeks rosy, hair sweaty, and clothes sticking to their skin.

"Can't you just apologize to her?" She asked finally as she pushed off the cool glass and turned her attention to the older, much taller male standing beside her.

His deep blue eyes scanned the different flavours of ice cream in deep concentration, his brows slanting downwards. She never understood why he even took his options into consideration when they both knew he'd end up going for chocolate.

Ikuto slowly looked down at her with the most dead-panned expression she had ever seen. "I'm not going to apologize for telling the truth. Nadeshiko's nose is huge."

They took a few steps closer to the till after a boy and his mother finally got their ice cream.

Amu flailed her arms as she huffed in disbelief. "Doesn't make it right to say it to her face! Now she's going to plot revenge and it'll be terrible!"

"What do you expect me to do, then?" Judging by the tone of his voice, he wasn't even planning on listening to what her response would be.

Amu crossed her arms in front of her, then dropped them back to her side. "I'm sure she'll understand if you apologize and let her know that you weren't having a good day. I mean, everyone has those grouchy days that make you say and do stupid things." She thought it was the perfect solution.

"Ah, yes…" Ikuto replied slowly before sending her a pointed look. "I seem to recall you having plenty of crabby days once a month. Do you want chocolate?"

Amu flushed a brilliant shade of red before giving a small nod.

"You still joining us for the movie night on Saturday?" The pinkette asked once her blush had calmed down, though her anger still remained from his previous comment. She wasn't that horrible when it came to her period. Ikuto just always happened to receive the worst of it.

Ikuto gave her a wary look. "Do you want me to?"

"Why, yes, yes I do. Then I can smother you with a pillow!" Amu exclaimed, throwing him a dark look.

The old man at the counter sported a sailor-like paper hat, crinkles at the corners of his friendly eyes, and a welcoming smile. He reached over the counter and handed Amu her double-scooped, triple chocolate ice cream - in a waffle cone. Ikuto once made the mistake of ordering it to come in a bowl, like he preferred his own. After spending the day being ignored, he knew never to make that mistake again, having to learn the hard way just how attached Amu was to those waffle cones.

"Here you are, miss." The elderly man's attention caught briefly on the Disney character printed on Amu's t-shirt. He looked back up at her eyes and smiled again, "Or should I say, 'Tinkerbell'."

Amu blushed as she smiled bashfully and accepted the ice cream from the man. "Thank you, sir." Her honey-coloured eyes wandered down to the floor as she waited for her blush to subside.

Ikuto grabbed a spoon and stabbed it into his own iced dessert.

"More like Stinkerbell." He uttered, pretending he didn't notice the extra deadly death glare that was thrown his way.

Amu's eyes turned black while steam blew out her nose as she huffed and marched towards the exit after paying.

"Shut up, catboy! He was just being charming." She scolded as they exited the parlour, not seeming to mind the heat as much as they did on their walk over.

Ikuto stopped rigid in his tracks as a grin split on Amu's lips once she realized what she did. Last Halloween they had gotten together with a group of friends to watch horror movies, only to end up going trick-or-treating instead. Ikuto hadn't brought a costume so he borrowed some cat ears and a tail. The nickname stuck ever since.

He pointed his spoon at her dangerously. "Don't use that name in public."

Amu plastered on her perfected innocent expression before chomping her mouth around the spoon and pulling it out of Ikuto's hand. "You dare threaten me with such a utensil." She mumbled as they continued walking through the park.

Seeing as how he wouldn't be making any progress with his half-melted ice cream without a utensil, Ikuto snatched the spoon back and allowed Amu to change the subject.

"Can we watch Bambi later?" She asked eagerly before wiping her mouth with a napkin. "It's been too long."

"Wasn't there a character in that movie named Buttface?" Ikuto asked bluntly after swallowing a spoonful of ice cream.

Amu nearly choked as she arched an eyebrow at the boy. "You mean 'Bambi'?"

"No…I don't know, maybe it was Buttwipe." Ikuto dropped the ordeal and took a bite of his ice cream.

Amu narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "What's with you and butts?" Her honey-coloured eyes widened in accusation, pointing a judgemental finger at him as her jaw dropped. "You like it up the butt, don't you?"

Ikuto gave her an unimpressed glance and cleared his throat. "Knowing you and your kinkiness, I'm sure you like it." He sent her a mischievous smirk, enjoying her reaction. Of course only he would be capable of turning the tables so that she'd be the one supplying a reaction, even though she originally wanted to get one out of him. He was always so calm even when it came to uncomfortable questions. Just once she wanted to stump him.

"I'm sure I don't!" Amu exclaimed as her cheeks colored. "I firmly believe that nothing is supposed to go up there, as it's sole purpose is for exporting turd and not importing anything." Her face turned an even deeper shade of red once realizing that they were actually having this conversation. "J-just forget it! Never mind!"

"Oh, you're so witty." Ikuto commented in monotone. How could he resist teasing her when she blushed so easily? It was great. Of course not for her, but it was always entertaining for him to witness.

They strolled through the park until they reached a roundabout lined with benches. Amu slowly eased herself onto a hot bench, cringing as it touched her skin. Ikuto didn't seem to notice as he sat beside her and chucked his bowl and spoon into the trashcan next to him.

"You take up too much room, kid." He commented, poking Amu in the side to get her to budge over, which started them off on another round of quiet bickering.

An old lady shuffling past them paused a few feet away and leaned forward on her cane, smiling toothlessly at the duo. "How long have you been together?" She asked sweetly, her voice wavering.

Ikuto wrapped an arm around Amu's shoulders, pulling her close before sending the old lady a smirk. "About two years." He ignored Amu's feeble attempts of protest as she tried to squirm away from his hold.

The old lady's eyes nearly disappeared when she smiled. "Oh, how lovely. And before you know it, it'll be two hundred years." She commented, nodding eagerly as she shared her knowledge. She slowly continued her tread, using her wobbly cane to support practically all her weight. "You kids enjoy yourselves, now."

Once she had hobbled out of earshot, Amu started freaking out at Ikuto while he simply frowned and began to wonder how any couple could be together for two hundred years.

Amu pinched Ikuto's hand to get him to remove his arm from her shoulders. "You didn't have to lie to a nice old granny!"

Ikuto pouted and rubbed his injured hand. "You wound me. In my defence, she didn't specify if she meant how long we've been dating or how long we've been friends." He pointed out while continuing to rub his hand as he stood to his feet, turning around to face her. "You've been pretty aggressive today.." He commented slowly.

His expression dropped as he looked her in the eye and sighed. "It's that time of the month again." It was more of a statement than a question.

Amu smiled at him and stood up onto the bench so she could easily climb onto his back for the journey back to his house. He had promised her ice cream and a piggy back ride if she helped him clean the house and set up everything for his mom's surprise birthday party. The party would be starting in a couple hours, so they needed to head home.

She wrapped her arms around Ikuto's shoulders as he started their voyage back to the Tsukiyomi household. One thing that never grew old was a good piggy back ride.

"You know, I think you're the only one who can put up with my mood swings." The girl mused softly as she rested her chin on his shoulder.

"Don't get blood on my shirt." Was all Ikuto said in response, fighting a smile when she growled at him. Sticking his tongue out, he glanced over his shoulder at her.

"Bitchy Stinkerbell."