I still remember clear as day what happened back in grade school.

I didn't take any money. I'm sure some of the other kids thought I didn't take it as well. But only one kid stood up for me. Sure, maybe he wasn't actually standing up for me, per se, but it was still enough to make an impact on me.

Someone actually cared.

We became best friends after that day. Well, maybe not best friends, but friends nonetheless. I've always treasured that friendship, even after he unexpectantly moved away.

I missed him.

A lot.

Even Dahlia reminded me of him, in some crazy way.

It was hard for me not to think about him, and even after I saw him again after so many years, I still couldn't stop. In fact, I thought about him more.

I always figured it was some kind of worry, since he moved without saying anything and his father died. I always thought it was some sort of ramification that kept pestering my mind.

"I think it means you have a total man crush on the guy," Maya said over her burger the size of her head as it oozed with cheese.

I sat there puzzled. "'Man crush?' Do you mind explaining what that is?" I asked, not really knowing what the phrase meant.

"It means I think you're totally gay for Edgeworth. Heck, I think you're gay in general. You've only had one girlfriend, well, two, but both were totally using you. She tried to kill you too, remember?"

"Woah, woah, woah. Just because I've only told you about one doesn't mean I've only had one girlfriend. For all you know, I could have had a bunch of girlfriends!" I gloated, though I was praying and hoping she'd take my word for it and not ask.

"Have you?" she said nonchalantly, taking another bite.

Dammit.

"Okay, fine, I haven't. But just because I have a lack of charm with the ladies does not make me swing the other way! I just haven't gotten the opportunity to date recently because of work and such…"

"Oh please, you do four cases every year with monthly intervals. You have plenty of time."

Another round lost. It would of been a good time to bring up that year when I did five cases, but I had feeling I'd get shot down. Time to play the Let'schangethesubject Game! "Maya, you've been talking really strangely lately. You're not as upbeat as normal."

"Oh Nick, I'm still the same as I've always been," she said, smiling that goofy grin I've grown so accustomed to. "You see, there's this arc going on in the Steel Samurai. You see, he goes out on a quest and…"

I zoned out for a bit. It's not like I didn't want to hear my best friend ramble about a children's television show, but more along the lines "What the hell is Maya talking about with the man crush thing."

Sure, Edgeworth is one of my best friends, and I've grown used to his perpetual brashness. Although he does cherish friendships more than he used to and even drunkenly exclaimed "You and Larry are the bestest best friends in the whoooole wide world!"

But to pursue a relationship with the guy? Now that was something unfathomable. First of all, I am not a homosexual. My lack of female companions does not automatically point to "Oh, he must be gay," or anything of the sort. Oh no, my heterosexuality is far more than confirmed, but if I could only get Maya to see that.

"Nick, are you listening to me?" Maya pouted, finishing off the last of her gigantean burger. I looked down at my half-eaten burger. I suddenly wasn't hungry anymore.

"O-of course I was! Silly!" I nervously laughed for a bit, but then Maya shot me a death glare. "Okay, no. I wasn't. Do you mind repeating?"

She puffed her cheeks like she normally does when she's mad. "I was saying, I think Edgeworth plays for the other team, just like you."

Oh jegus. Not again. "I am not a homosexual, Maya," I said bluntly, hoping she'd take a hint.

"Uh huh. So anyway, I was thinking, let's make a bet. It's really simple. Listen, you fall for Edgeworth between now and the next two months, I win. You don't, you win. Simple, right?" Maya beamed, most likely thinking her proposition was genuine.

I sighed. "I thought you just said I had a crush him, so if that true, which it's not, then wouldn't you automatically win? That doesn't seem fair to me."

"Hey, I was going to take your word on it when you said you didn't have it in for Edgeworth. But, if you're going to back pedal, then okay, no problem…" Maya shrugged with a smug grin plastered on her face.

"No! I'm not gay and I do not have any sort of infatuation for Edgeworth," I defended, then a smirk tugged at my lips. "Fine. Let us make a bet. I can guarantee I will not lose. It's not possible. Name your terms."

"Hurray! I'm happy you're considering this, at least. Okay, so if you totally go head over heels for Edgeworth, I win and you buy me burgers whenever I want. If you don't then you win, and you get…what do you want Nick?"

"Wait, wait, I already buy you burgers whenever you want, so why don't you make your prize a bit more extravagant?" I said cockily, leaning back in my seat.

"Hm, that is true. Oh! I got one. Next time we go back to Kurain, I'll make you try on the outfit I wear! Then we can be twinsies! That would be A-MAZING. Oh, and you'd still have to buy me burgers," Maya giggled, then matched my smug look. "Well, Nick? Is there any sort of thing you'd like, even though you won't win and it won't matter?"

Damn, why is she being so strange today? This is becoming slightly aggravating. Does she really think I would lose?

"Mystic Maya, I'm back from the bathroom~," Pearls sang and took her seat back next to Maya.

"Pearly! I was just having a discussion with Nick. He's going to dress just like us for a whole week. Isn't that cool?" she made a quick smirk at me before going back to smiling at Pearls.

"You didn't say a week-"

"Really, Mr. Nick? That sounds like so much fun! Oh, don't tell me… is this some sort of bonding ritual you and Mystic Maya are doing before you get married? Oh wow! That would be so swell!" Pearls said in her normally innocent tone of voice, but the fact that she believed Maya was like a bruise on the tomato of my heart.

"Pearls, no that's not it-"

"Nick and I will talk about it later. Now, Pearly, are you going to eat all of your burger?"


Woah, something that's not some dumb short. Forgive me for the minor Homestuck pun. Please review.