Kukai's exact words were, "I'm sorry. Don't kill me."

Nagihiko's exact words were, "Why not?"

The latter was sitting on his bed, still fuming at the former. "You told my worst enemy who I liked, knowing full well that she was most likely going to use it against me. And you're supposed to be my best friend."

"I'm sorry! I had no idea you owed her fifteen thousand yen!"

"I didn't owe her fifteen thousand yen! She just said that, and what other reason would she have calling you other than blackmailing me?"

"Look, I'll make it up to you somehow, but it's your fault you got her pissed, okay? She asked me, I answered her. It's also your fault you decided to willingly start dressing as a girl again, all for Amu, and let yourself get into a load of trouble."

"I don't regret dressing as a girl to go to Amu's school at all, and we aren't talking about that. We're talking about whose fault it is that I now have to waste ten minutes of my life every day to satisfy Rima Mashiro."

"I keep telling you, I'm sorry. I have to go now. I lost in rock-paper-scissors, and I have to go buy my brothers a bunch of random stuff."

"Wait, I'm not done with –"

Kukai hung up, leaving Nagihiko feeling exasperated, to say the least. But the conversation also made him think a little.

"It's your fault you got her pissed."

What Nagihiko had said after that was true – he didn't regret anything. But now he had to think: What's the point of all this? Ruining Rima, embarrassing her… those things wouldn't gain Amu's affection. It was like he'd lost sight of his goal.

What was his goal, even? To spend time with Amu? So he'd technically accomplished his goal. Now he was with Amu, but he'd gained a new enemy. What next? Was his new goal to ruin someone he would never have met if he "hadn't decided to cross-dress"? And what was the point of that? What was the point of this entire fight they were having?

It was pride, he decided. Before he'd met Rima, he hadn't even realized that pride meant so much to him (besides the little things like looking elegant in public, table manners, and such). Rima was fighting for Amu. He had Amu (well, Nadeshiko had Amu, not him), so he was fighting for pride. He was still going to carry on his plan tomorrow.

With that, Nagihiko pushed one nagging thought out of his mind.

Am I going to lie to Amu forever?


Ants.

In her shock, Rima couldn't even muster the energy to shriek as she stared at the little black insects swarming all over her P.E. uniform. Then, she sprang into action. Thanking a deity she had never believed in that she had left her bag lunch from yesterday at school, she slammed her P.E. locker shut, ran out all the way to her normal one, and pulled out the empty paper bag. After reaching her ant-infested one again, she gingerly picked up the uniform, using the bag as a glove, and tossed it in the trash.

There. She'd ask her parents to buy her a new one later, saying she'd lost her old one. They'd be mad, yes, but either way, they had to agree.

Now for her locker. Trying to act normal in front of the other girls (they weren't even paying attention to her, but still), she painstakingly squished each and every little black body until she was sure it was dead. And she wiped her locker over and over again. By the time she was done, she was late.

In the end, Rima forged a sick note and made up an excuse even she couldn't remember. And it was just as well, because she wouldn't have been able to remember it anyway. She was too busy thinking of what to say to Nadeshiko.

The only one who could have done this.


Rima caught up with Nadeshiko as she was leaving her next class. "How could you?" she hissed.

Nadeshiko blinked. "How could I… what?"

"You know perfectly well what. Someone put ants in my P.E. locker."

Her eyes widened. "Who would do that?"

"You!"

She gave a little gasp, stumbling backward. "Rima-chan, I would never do something like that! How could you say that? Why would I do that to you?" She paused. "Do you need help cleaning your locker? It must be completely ruined. I'll help you, if you want."

Rima's eyes narrowed. Right. She'd forgotten that Nadeshiko was too much of a goody-goody to do something like that. For a tiny moment, she felt guilty, but she immediately pushed it away. "No need," she said dismissively. "And don't call me Rima-chan."

Rima left.

Nagihiko let out a little sigh of relief. Well, his newfound acting skills hadn't totally given up on him… yet.


"Hey."

So he hadn't been tricked. So Rima was actually there. "Hi, Mashiro-san," he said, a little awkwardly.

"Sit."

He sat. "Um… what do I do?"

There was a short silence as Rima pondered this. She had to lead him into the subject, and the quicker the better… "Ants."

"Huh?" He flinched, and immediately cursed his body for doing so.

She smiled at the look on his face. "So she did."

"Wait, what –"

"The ants. It's easy to tell from the look on your face. You knew about it, right?"

Oh, stupid, stupid acting skills. He decided that the best way to go was to defend Nadeshiko."Yeah, I did, but you cut her hair."

"Thought you hated her."

Why did she keep using that against him? "I do, but it's kind of unfair, isn't it? I mean, you can't do something to someone and expect them not to retaliate at all."

Rima had been wrong. Nadeshiko wasn't a goody-goody, and apparently, neither was Nagihiko. "Nadeshiko Fujisaki stole my best friend. You can't expect me not to retaliate."

"What about Amu-chan? If Amu-chan spends more time with Nadeshiko, that means she likes her more than you. Nadeshiko didn't steal Amu-chan. Amu willingly went over to Nadeshiko, and if you steal Amu back, you're destroying their friendship. Have you thought about that? That you might be hurting Amu too? The one you call your best friend?"

He noticed that Rima's expression had changed, and immediately realized he shouldn't have said that. "Wait – I'm sorry –"

Her eyes were clouded with anger. "I'm going," she hissed through clenched teeth. She stood up and ran, eyes blurring with tears, thinking,He's wrong, he's wrong, he's wrong…

He was right.


AWKWARD. I just realized that this story is really, really OOC, but the damage is already done, so I guess I'll keep it that way. And I'm sorry for not updating in so long. Guess I'll have to run through the list of excuses, and find one that fits.

Excuse: I was really busy updating my other stories. They're called Vanished and Switching, and they both involve action-/drama-filled plots (not really… more like random-stuff-that-could-only-come-out-of-my-amazing-head-and-two-billion-others'-filled LOL), which people seem to like nowadays as opposed to plain romance (I think. I'm no expert on what people like in stories), and they're WAY more popular than this story (the unit of popularity measurement I use is RPC, or reviews per chapter), so yeah, basically it's your fault you didn't review.

WTEII (why this excuse is invalid): I haven't updated those stories in weeks, and this story is actually EXACTLY as popular as Vanished when the unit of popularity measurement is FAAPS, which is "favorites and alerts per story", which is actually a much better measurement unit than RPC. I just really want reviews.

Excuse: School was killing me.

WTEII: It wasn't.

Excuse: I actually have a life now.

WTEII: I don't.

Excuse: I've started reading SC fanfiction instead of writing it.

WTEII: The fanfiction in the Shugo Chara archive still really really sucks, no matter how much I try to deny it, so I should be writing more instead of reading to help it get better. Because yes, some of the stories actually suck worse than mine (believe it or not).

Excuse: One of my friends invited me over to her house last week, and came to mine the day before.

WTEII: Wait, why did I even write that? Oh, right, to see if that friend is actually reading this, or if she blocked fanfiction from her email, because she still has this story on alerts and hasn't removed it yet, although she supposedly never goes on fanfiction anymore *coughcoughCrystalcoughcough*

Excuse: I forgot what was supposed to go in this chapter, so I had to rethink the scene.

WTEII: Why didn't you write it when you still remembered, you idiot? (Talking to myself here. Ignore me.)

Basically smash all these invalid excuses into one, and there you go. I would come up with more, but this author's note is getting too long.

About the actual chapter: I know it's really short and choppy and badly-written and overall just disappointing, but bear with me, okay? I haven't updated this story in a long time, and… (Insert approximately twenty more invalid excuses here)

The preview is short because (insert fifteen invalid excuses here).

Bye, and please review!


Preview:

"Amu," Rima snapped, losing her patience altogether. "Listen to me. Now."

"Yeah, yeah – did you see that? Nadeshiko scored another goal! She's so good!"

Her patience plummeted into the negative numbers. "I can't stand Nadeshiko anymore! I hate her!"