Summary: Day One: He made me smile. Day Two: He made my heart flutter. Day Three: I tingled at his touch. And six months later, he left a note that changed everything. DylEd. Happy Valentine's Day!

Mr Ethics

It all seems so silly now. I had honestly hoped it wouldn't come down to this, so I guess I'll just say it now.

I think I'm in love with Mr Ethics.

Don't get me wrong, it's not the kind of love where I get turned on by him studying in the confines of the room him and Nico share, or something creepy like that. No, it's not that I actually think he's fit, or anything.

No… it's something a lot stranger.

It was… Well, I suppose it was because one night I was sat outside, and he just came and joined me. I'd looked up, saw him standing there, and my heart skipped a beat.

Although at the time I told myself it was because I was expecting to see Geri standing over me rather than him.

"'Sup, Chino Boy," I said."Hey, Dylan." I cocked an eyebrow.

"What?" I remarked. "How come you're out here? Were Nico and Ketty getting too loved-up for you to handle?"

"Shut up," he grumbled. "I don't even like Ketty that way anymore."

"Ah, sure. Whatever you say, sir." He flopped down next to me, sighing.

"Do you always sit out here by yourself?" he asked. "You must get really lonely."

"I'm not lonely," I retorted. "I just can't stand sitting in the house with you guys listening to dumb indie music." He puffed out his cheeks.

"Well, gee, Dylan, that sure was polite." I frowned, not liking where this was going.

"You got a problem with my opinion?" I snarled. "Cause, jeez, buddy, I sure could find a lot of things I don't like about your opinion!" He raised his eyebrows.

"Didn't realise I'd struck a nerve." I felt my face flooding with red and looked away, making a show of disgust on my face.

"You're unbelievable! Look, why don't you just leave me alone?"

He shrugged, not turning to face me, but instead looking on ahead, as if he could see a thousand things I couldn't.

"I don't know… maybe you don't want to be alone."

It was that sentence alone that made me turn to face him.

He turned to look me straight in the eye, squinting ever so slightly to show he wasn't planning on breaking into my mind if he could help it.

"What are you talking about?" I snapped, coming to my senses. "That's really dumb. I like being alone. It's easier to think when you're not constantly being hassled by people trying to make conversation."

He looked slightly hurt. "Well, you should at least make an effort, shouldn't you?"

"What's the point? Nobody likes me anyway." That sentence came out more bitter then how I wanted it to and I shut up, folding my arms over my chest and glaring at my shoes.

"That's not true!" He sounded horrified. "We like you. Me, Nico and Ketty. We all like you. A lot." I snorted.

"Yeah, right. Face it, Ed, you're just saying that to be polite. Like a freakin' saint." Damn it, why did his name just have to slip out like that? "I know myself better then you guys do. I know that I'm prickly and mean and stubborn and spiky and snappy and hard to get along with…" I clenched my fists, squeezing them harder and harder as more harsh words began to come out of my mouth, until I was practically spitting the words out in anger.

"And I know that no one's gonna like me in the future either! I'm gonna end up a loner, just like Geri is!" I frowned at the window, making sure we were out of earshot. "I know none of you guys really like me, anyway. So just go back inside, okay?"

"Hey, don't be like that." He looked as though he were about to put a hand on my shoulder but decided against it, tapping his knee with his fingers instead. "Look, Dylan, I'm not giving up on you just cause you get pissed off every time I try and talk to you. You can't break me down that easily."

"What can I say or do to make you go away?" I asked, practically spitting venom out with my words. He tapped his chin, purposely ignoring my rude outburst.

"Talk like a normal person? Start trying to trust us? Show that you care when we talk to you?"

"Tall order," I muttered. He frowned.

"Look, I'm just tired of you wandering off by yourself all the time instead of sticking around to get to know us better! I thought maybe if we were alone you'd be less intimidated and actually open up, but… but you won't, will you?" The disappointment in his voice hurt. And that, though I hate to admit it, won me over.

"Fine! Guilt me, why don't you," I spat, folding my arms. "For ten minutes… for ten minutes, every day, outside… we'll talk like normal people." His face brightened.

"You mean that, Dylan?"

"Yeah, yeah, I mean it," I mumbled, rolling my eyes. I tried to ignore the dull rush of colour to my face, convincing myself it was cause I was fed up… "So, what kind of things do you talk about, Mr Ethics?"

"Uhh…" He screwed up his face, trying to think of a topic off the top of his head. "…Oh! Hey, Dylan, you used to live in America, right?"

"Right…" Couldn't he tell from my accent, or was he just asking to be polite?

"So, tell me what that was like! I've always wanted to go there."

"It's nothing special," I shrugged, wondering if conversation topics were normally this dumb. "Same as here, pretty much. Just bigger, with a lot more people, and a lot of fields."

"Sounds great," he smiled. "My kind of place."

"Not if you were living in my shoes," I replied bitterly. "My Aunt Patrice and Cousin Paige were awful. Cousin Todd was alright, but you know." I pulled a face. "Still totally sucked living there."

"Hey, maybe we could go to America one day, yeah?" he laughed. "You could show me all the good places, talk me through it, that kind of thing."

"…Sure, why not." Hey, he was not cracking me. It wasn't actually going to happen, anyway.

"Serious?" He perked up. "Cool! Thanks, Dylan!"

"Yeah, whatever." I tried to hide the smile creeping onto my face. Much as I hated to admit it, Ed had a pretty warming effect on people when he was trying hard.

"Right, that's been ten minutes, then," I murmured, standing up. He looked a little deflated at first but nodded, reluctantly rising to his feet before offering a tiny smile. As I began to head back towards the house again, he called after me.

"I'll be here tomorrow, same time! Don't forget, Dylan!"

The next day, we talked about relationships.

"So, how did it feel to kiss Luz?" I asked. Love had never exactly appealed to me, so I hadn't kissed anybody before. I was… kind of… curious to hear first-hand what it was like.

He tapped his chin in thought, a sad look in his eyes. "Hmm… it felt like it could last forever. She was really special, Dylan. I felt like when I lost her I would never feel again… but then, you guys came and brought me back to my senses again."

He flashed me a small smile, and I couldn't deny that it made my heart flutter; of course, the feeling could've been the emotion that wells up in your chest when you realise that you feel wanted.

"I guess that's love, though, right? When you feel like that person can't ever be replaced." With a sigh, he turned to me. "D'you know what I mean?"

"No," I said quickly, turning away to stare out upon the garden once more. But I do now, and his question is what landed me in this stupid situation.

"Well, maybe you will one day," he said, a hint of smugness and superiority in his voice, and it made my teeth grind.

"Hah! Love is a weakness," I said harshly, folding my arms. "No way is that ever going to happen to me." He looked sceptical.

"Your loss then, I guess," he said, shrugging.

The third day, we talked about Nico and Ketty.

"I guess I did feel like Nico was special when I first met him," I said, unwillingly opening up to Ed at last. "But he's my cousin, you know? Sort of, anyway. So it wasn't love, or anything like that. I just felt a little mad that Ketty was taking all of his attention away from what was important."

"Jealousy, then," he said, grinning impishly. "The mighty Dylan Fox can get jealous after all, then."

"No, of course not, I was just annoyed that he was getting side-tracked," I snapped, feeling my face flush. "So just shut up, okay?"

"Hey, don't get mad." He put a hand on my shoulder, and when I would normally shrink away or pull his hand off me, I found that I didn't have the heart to. He seemed a little pleased by that, actually. "I was only kidding, you know."

"Yes, I know." I still sounded sour as ever, but a new feeling began to settle in me; it was like a ripple from where his hand touched my shoulder, pulsating through my whole body. It felt nice… but scary, too. I shivered.

"Hey, you're cold?" Before I had time to protest, he took off his coat and draped it around my shoulders. It smelt like him, and that was what set me off further. Before I knew it, my face was hot and I couldn't look at him properly.

"There, that's better," he said, oblivious. "That okay?" He looked up as a droplet hit the top of my head. "Oh, it's starting to rain. I guess we should go in, then?"

"Yeah, it's been more than ten minutes," I muttered, huddling under his coat. Moments later, I found his face scarily close to mine.

"Mind if I share this for a sec?" he grinned, almost apologetically. I glared at him, face still red.

"Whatever, lets just hurry up before we're both totally soaked!" We made our way back to the house, slowly so we were in sync. By the time we were under shelter we were both dripping wet, anyway.

"Dammit, I'm gonna catch a freakin' cold!" I snapped, shivering as his coat fell to the floor. "I'm using the bath first, got it?"

"Sure thing, Princess Dylan," I heard him mutter as he bent down to pick up his coat.

Minutes later the bath was hot and I slipped into it, my mind ticking. Why was I getting so bothered by everything he did? I didn't even know… maybe it was because he showed an interest in me, when nobody else did? Maybe it was because I was beginning to realise just why Ketty fell… not in love with him, but in 'like' with him.

Maybe he was reaching through to me, further down than I ever thought he would.

I can't say that I was expecting, six months later, that one evening he didn't show up outside. By that point it had become kind of standard, so in anger I ended up storming back inside, slamming the door behind me.

What an idiot.

I poked my head around the door of the kitchen, where Nico and Ketty were sat. Ketty was sat on the table and Nico was rubbing her feet when I came in.

"That's so gross," I remarked sourly, not even bothering to hide my anger. Nico frowned.

"Good evening to you too, Dyl," he replied, raising an eyebrow.

"Freakin' shut up," I snapped. "You seen Mr Ethics anywhere?"

"Umm, he might be upstairs," Ketty shrugged. "He was holding something in a box when I was upstairs earlier. I asked him what it was, but he didn't tell me."

"Maybe he caught a frog or something," Nico snickered.

"You two aren't helpful at all," I huffed, leaving the room angrily. Stomping upstairs, I kicked open the door to the room him and Nico shared… and he wasn't there.

Stupid Ed.

Feeling tears welling up in my eyes, I growled, forcing them back. No way was I going to cry over something like this. People got stood up all the time. What made this stand out in particular?

…Maybe because I thought Ed was different.

Once I'd regained my composure, I turned the handle and opened the door to the bedroom me and Ketty shared, ready to flop face-down onto my bed and grumble to myself…

Only, when I got to my bed I saw a box.

The frog box? That was my first thought.

Irritably, I pulled off the lid, preparing to throw the frog right out of the window. But, instead, there was a daisy and a note; a note addressed to me.

Anger vanishing, curiosity got the better of me and I sat down on my bed, opening it up. There were five simple words on the note, and yet those five simple words changed everything.

You're so beautiful, Dylan Fox.

Moments later there was a soft knock on the door and he poked his head around the door, cheeks pink but eyes calm.

"…Hey," he said at last.

"…Hey…" I replied, softly. A smile crept onto my lips and I lowered my head, twiddling the daisy in between my fingertips.

"…Thanks for the compliment," I finally murmured, feeling my face grow warm under his gaze.

So, correct me if I'm wrong, I am in love with Mr Ethics. I was a little unsure at first of how I felt, but now I think I know. And that box, which is still in my possession two weeks later, is under my bed, just waiting for me to pick a daisy and add a note of my own.

I love you, Ed O'Brien.

A/N: Happy Valentine's Day! This is for all the DylEd fans out there who reviewed Picking up the Pieces. Sadly, the plot for me went out of control and I couldn't bring myself to write it anymore, so it'll be discontinued. Sorry about that. So, this is also an apology. :/

I've started getting into the spirit of things after reading the final volume… so good! I think I might start writing some Medusa Project fan fiction again, so please join in, guys! Everybody can write, so please do me a favour and contribute to the archive! Sometimes I feel like I'm writing to myself, because not many people have contributed to the archive… So, you know ^^

Anyway, review for DylEd! Please! Let their love last forever!