“Text”= Japanese talking

“/Text/”= English talking

“+Text+”= American talking

“#Text#”= Australian talking

Festive. The friends were celebrating the return of Shawn and Casper at the Elephant Bar. Drinks were on Shuichi. He stood up at the bar.

“Here’s to having are friends back!” he cheered.

“Yeah!” the others cheered back. They all took another hard shot of booze. (Nicole and Lexie had club soda for their reasons.)

“Ah!” Kat yelled aloud. “This is the best!”

“Don’t drink too much, okay?” Ando asked.

“Loosen up, kid!” she almost shouted in his ear. “You’re not my momma! Be a man!” She downed another beer and she was gone. Her son sighed aloud.

“Oh boy…” he muttered. Shuichi shrugged as he gave him a goody grin. However, not everyone was in a celebratory mood. Nicole was still pissed at Shawn for running off in the first place. The look in her eyes at him was living proof. Her baby daddy pretended not to see it. Simon was still trying to connect to Casper. Both still couldn’t spark up their relationship with each other like the good old days. Plus, Fujisaki still couldn’t find Emma. Six months and it led to nothing. Seguchi wasn’t helping much either.

Nick saw all of this in the back corner of the bar with his drink. Cassie walked over to him with a smile. The boy rolled his eyes. “Oh great!” he thought. “More bullshite from the idiot!” Cassie sat down at his feet.

“/Hiya!/” she cheered. Nick let his eyes wander to the ceiling.

“/What do you want now?/” he asked. Cassie looked up in a dreamy way.

“/I like you,/” she said once again. Her crush sneered at her.

“/Shut up,/” he muttered.

“/But it’s true,/” she pressed.

“/When are you going to quit saying that?/” Nick asked.

“/Until you love me,/” Cassie replied. Her crush held back a laugh.

“/Good luck with that one!/” he replied. The bar maid came around with more drinks. Nick stuck his arm up in the air.

“/Oi!/” he called to her. “/Bring us more booze, would ya?/”

“/I some more booze too please!/” Cassie tagged on. The bar maid rolled her eyes as she walked over to them. Nick and Cassie took their drinks with smiles on their faces. The bloke downed his glass in one go.

“/Ah!/” he cheered. “/More, bitch!/” The bar maid wanted to choke him right about now. Did the boy care? The answer, was no.

Subject: Nick

The friends carried their party until morning. In the morning, Nick’s cleaning lady came by his apartment and locked the door. She always hated coming to number 313. Nick always made a mess in the apartment. Plus, he always made rude comments to her. Most of these were misogynistic. Oh, how she wanted to slap him so badly. But, she couldn’t hit a client. After all, Nick did pay her good money. So, why complain?

The cleaning lady walked into the apartment expecting more fear. She wasn’t disappointed. The woman sneered at the whole place.

“Pig,” she mumbled to herself. “He never cleans up after himself.” She got started in the kitchen. First came the dishes. Then, the leftover food off of the table and counter. Finally, the floor was swept. The kitchen was now spotless. Time to move further in.

“Lazy bum!” she cursed. “Doesn’t he ever clean up after himself?” The living room is nicely cleaned. All of the dirty clothes are in the basket. Nicely done results.

“What does he think I am, his maid?” she hissed. “So ridiculous!” The maid went down the hall and unlocked the bedroom door. The musty scent of English lad hit her nose. A sneer came onto her face.

“Ugk!” she said. “Disgusting!” The cleaning lady had to prepare herself before walking into the messiest part of the whole apartment. She looked around to find went part to clean first. The woman whistled as if trying to wake up the owner.

“Lazy bum!” she shouted. “Get up! You have school today!” No answer. The cleaning lady sneered again as she began cleaning up his room. She sighed again.

“I swear!” the older woman yelled. “You really should clean up more! Some days, I can’t come in and clean up your shit. You’re not a child anymore! And…” She happened to pause and turn around. It was then she noticed that the bed was empty. A puzzled look came onto her face.

“And… you’re not here,” she said. On a hunch, the cleaning lady went all the way to Wisteria House in the British slum. She knocked on the door. The cleaning lady tapped her foot as she waited. The door finally creaked open. The older woman stared dead-on at Cassie. The English pretender looked as if she had just gotten out of bed. She had sheets wrapped around her skinny body. The cleaning lady tried to stay neutral.

“Hello Cassie,” she said. The girl’s face didn’t change.

“/Hello Ryo,/” she replied. The cleaning cleared her throat some.

“Hello, have you seen Nick?” she asked. Cassie didn’t speak at first. Ryo’s face slowly dropped. A dead end? Then, the English girl tightened the sheets around her skinny body.

“/Follow me,/” she said. Cassie went inside the house. Ryo followed behind. They came upstairs to her room. Cassie went into her room and stood by her bed. The cleaning lady looked on with shocked, big eyes. Nick was out cold in Cassie’s bed. Cassie turned to Ryo with a smile on her face.

“/See?/” she asked. “/Nick’s just fine./” Ryo nodded.

“Right…” she said. “Uh… I’ll just leave you too alone.” The woman slowly backed out of the room and left the room. Cassie looked on at her.

“/Okay…/” she mumbled. Suddenly, something caught her ear. The English pretender looked up and saw Nick slowly waking up. Cassie gave him a little smile.

“/Hey,/” she said. The boy gave her an odd look on his face. He lifted his head and looked all around him.

“/This… This isn’t my room,/” he said. “/Where the hell am I?!?/”

“/My room,/” Cassie replied. Nick stared on at her.

“/What are you doing here in my apartment?/” he asked.

“/This is my apartment, Nick,/” she replied. The boy blinked at her.

“/Why?/” he asked. He didn’t enjoy the big stuffed Hello Kitty staring him down. Oh, that was only the icing on the cake. Nick happened to look down at himself.

“/Whe-Where are my clothes?!?/” he asked. His eyes turned to the little pretender with narrowed eyes. He noticed her in nothing but sheets.

“/And where are your clothes?/” he asked. Cassie looked on at him.

“/Your boxers are up there, your jeans are in the hallway, and your shirt is at the bottom of the stairs,/” she explained. “/My knickers are on Hello Kitty, my bra is on the telly, my socks are in the hall, and my dress is…/”

“/Okay, I get it!/” Nick cut it. That’s when it all started to make sense to him.

“/Cassie,/” he spoke up.

“/Yes?/” she asked. Nick couldn’t take his eyes off of Hello Kitty.

“/What the hell happened last night?/” he asked. Cassie pulled the sheets tighter around her body.

“/Do you want the short version or the long version?/” she asked.

“/Short! You enjoy spilling out bullshit,/” Nick said.

“/Okay,/” she said. “/You got wasted, so I tried to take you home. But, you insisted that you go home with me. I said no at first, but you insisted. When we got into my house, you turned to me and kissed me. Then you said, ‘Come on, Cass. I know that you fancy me. So, why hold back?/” Nick kind of smirked to himself.

“/Oh, my chat-up line to girls I like,/” he said. “/I would launch into pushing a girl to act on her kinkiest fantasies./” But then, he froze as his face dropped. Cassie looked on at him still.

“/What’s wrong, Nick?/” she asked.

“/Ace! You took advantage of me!/” he wailed. “/I was drunk and you… you… you took advantage of me./”

“/It was your idea,/” she said. Silence. Nick chuckled a bit to himself.

“/I remember,/” he said. “/I remember it now. Sorry about that vase on the fireplace./”

“/Oh don’t worry,/” Cassie said. “/Laura hated that thing anyway./” She sat down on the bed and put her hand upon his leg. Nick looked at her in an odd way.

“/Ace, what are you doing?/” he asked. She didn’t answer and kept rubbing on his leg on the sheets.

“/Ace, I’m sober now,/” he said.

“/I know,/” she said.

“/But…/” he said. Cassie only looked on at him. The boy went silent. Why bother fighting her? She won’t listen anyway.

Outside, Laura and Gavin walked up to the front door. Gavin looked around, confused.

“/Why exactly are we here?/” he asked.

“/Mum and dad sent us here to check on Cassie,/” she said. “/I don’t understand it myself. She’s eighteen now, but do they listen? They are too busy worrying about Lee and Cassie. It’s just dumb./” She pulled her keys out from her jacket pocket.

“/Anyway, let’s just get this over with,/” she mumbled. Laura unlocked the door and opened it wide. She and Gavin walked into Wisteria House. They made it up the stairs.

“/HOLY SHITE!!!/” Laura screamed when she walked into Cassie’s room. Her younger sister and Nick were in for a shock.

In one hour, they all sat in the living room, fully clothed. Cassie and Nick sat next to each other. Laura gave them a stern look.

“/What the hell was going on?!?/” she asked. The British teenagers didn’t speak. Laura sneered at them.

“/It’s disgusting!/” she yelled.

“/How?/” Nick asked.

“/Because…/” Laura began.

“/Because?/” Nick asked. The older sister stomped her foot.

“/Because it’s gross!/” she snapped. Silent pause all around. Nick burst into laughter.

“/What are you in fifth grade?/” he asked. “/Sex is normal! Get with it./”

“/He is right,/” Gavin said with a nod.

“/Shut up!/” Laura snapped at her husband. Gavin put up his hands in defense. Somehow, Nick found himself smirking at the hen-picked husband with a shrew wife. Suddenly, Cassie grabbed him by the hand. Everyone looked up.

“/But, I love him!/” she declared. Another pause of silence. Laura tried not to laugh out loud.

“/You in love?/” she asked. “/Don’t make me laugh!/” Cassie raised an eyebrow at her.

“/What do you mean?/” she asked.

“/You’re just a kid!/” Laura said at last.

“/I’m not a kid!/” Cassie argued back.

“/Yes, you are./”

“/No, I’m not./”

“/Yes, you are./”

“/No, I’m not!/”

“/If I say you are a child, then you are still a child./”

Cassie pouted in anger. Nick tightly held her hand. Everyone now looked at him.

“/She’s not a kid anymore!/” he cut in. Laura gave him an odd look.

“/And who are you to butt in?/” she asked.

“/Well, I’m her boyfriend!/” Nick said without thinking. Yet another pause of silence. Laura laughed aloud again.

“/You’re joking, right?/” she asked. “/Why would anyone want to date someone like her?/” Nick still gave her a serious look. Laura suddenly went quiet.

“/Oh…/” she mumbled.

“/Anything else?/” Nick asked. Laura kept her mouth shut. Gavin shook his head.

“/No,/” he said. “/We’re good./” He stood up and took his wife by the wrist.

“/Come on dear,/” he said to a stunned Laura. She still stared at them in shock. Nick and Cassie grinned at the older couple as they disappeared out of the house. Once they were gone, the little English pretender turned and glomped Nick. He tried to push her off.

“/Get off,/” he mumbled. Cassie gave him a starry-eyed look.

“/You said you were my boyfriend!/” she cheered. He sneered at her.

“/That was only to shut the cow up!/” the boy muttered.

“/So, we’re not…/”

“/No! And we never will!/” Then, Nick got off of the couch.

“/Where are you going?/” Cassie asked.

“/Home!/” Nick yelled. “/See you at school!/” Then, he marched out of the home and slammed the down behind him. Cassie blinked.

“/Okay…/” she mumbled.

Naturally, Cassie followed him to school. Nick tried to ignore her at first. Oh, but that grin made him clench his teeth ever so tightly.

“/Don’t you ever walk with anyone else?/” he asked. Cassie shook her head.

“/No,/” she replied. Nick sighed aloud.

“/Then, you know the rules,/” he said.

“/Yes, yes,/” Cas replied. “/No talking to you in public./”

“/Good,/” the boy told her. “/And about last night, it never happened./” Cassie nodded.

“/Okay,/” she replied. Her mate breathed out.

“/Right, as long as nobody knows anything, it’s all good,/” he summed up. The girl was about to open her mouth to speak when Nick put up his hand to stop her.

“/Don’t speak,/” he said. Cassie closed her mouth and nodded. However, when they made it to school, the plan was shot right out the window. No sooner had Nick opened their homeroom door, their classmates stood up and applauded them. Nick and Cassie looked around them. The boy figured out what had happened.

“/Oh shite…/” he mumbled. Yeah, that’s right.

For the rest of the morning, Everyone kept congratulating the new “couple.” Cassie took it all in while Nick wanted to set them all on fire. The people got contradicting answers and stories.

“Are you guys a couple now?” they kept asking.

“/Yes!/” Cassie cheered.

“/No!/” Nick snapped. By lunch, Nick sat in the yard in frustrated anger. A fag dangled out of his mouth fully lit. He shut his eyes and bit down on the butt. This Cassie-thing had become a mess. But, that wasn’t his only problem. “Why can’t they all just f**k off?!?” he thought.

“+Nicky!+” he held someone yell. The boy looked up and saw Lucas, Shuichi, and Hiro walking over to him. Nick rolled his eyes again. “Oh great!” he thought. "More useless chatter!” The boys came over and surrounded him. Nick puffed out some smoke.

“/This about Ace?/” he asked. The trio didn’t speak at first.

“Is it true?” Shuichi asked. “Did you really sleep with Cassie last night?” Nick rolled his eyes.

“/Yeah, what of it?/” he asked. Lucas, Shuichi, and Hiro all sat around him.

“So what are you now?” Hiro asked.

“/Nothing!/” Nick forced out. The boys all looked confused.

“Why?” Shuichi asked. His mate sighed again.

“/I’m a jerk,/” he said. Nick sat up on the grass. “/Look at me. I’m an asshole and she’s so sweet and Catholic. I’ll just crush her soul and make her miserable. I’d make a shite boyfriend./” The boys listened in silence. Nick puffed out his cigarette.

Nick was wandering around the campus when he noticed a familiar 2003 Toyota Echo parked in the driveway. He looked on, curious. “What the...?” he thought.

“/Nick!/” he heard a familiar voice yell. He turned and saw Effy walking towards him. Nick rolled his eyes. “What now?” he thought. But then, Nick noticed something else about his sister. “Did she get fatter?” he thought. His sister made it over to him.

“/Nick! I’m so glad to see you!/” she cheered as she tried to hug her brother. Nick backed up some.

“/What are you doing here?/” he asked as he looked her up and down. “/And when did you gain weight?/” Effy gave him a little smile.

“/I’m here in the city giving a conference,/” she said. “/And I’m pregnant./” Nick blinked for a moment.

“/What?/” he asked. Effy giggled.

“/And how are you?/” she asked. Nick sighed and rolled his eyes. Should he say it? Might as well, she’s going to find out anyway.

“/Okay,/” he said. “/Sit down, this will take a while./” Effy looked on at him.

“/Nick?/” she asked. Her brother walked her into Tokyo Cram College. He broke down and told her the whole story. Effy listened on closely.

“/Wow,/” she said at last. “/That’s just…/” She leaned in close to him. “/Do you use protection?/” the woman asked. Nick gave her an odd look.

“/I don’t know,/” he said. “/I can’t remember./”

“/Well, how do you feel about her?/” Effy asked. Nick went silent from there. He gave her a little shrug as he shook his head.

“/I see,/” Effy replied. “/How does she make you feel?/”

“/Really? Are we doing this now?/” he asked.

“/When do you want to do this?/” she asked.

“/Never!/” Nick exclaimed. Then, he got up and walked away.

“/You can’t keep avoiding me forever!/” Effy shouted. But, her voice seemed so distant to her brother.

Nick walked to class sneering at Effy’s question. How did he feel about her? Was she high? That baby has messed up her brain. Of course he didn’t love Cassie. She was the most annoying person on the planet. But yet, last night was rather good. Bits and pieces began to form in his mind. One of the best shags that he had ever had. Even better since Cassie was a virgin. Who knew that she could so vigorous. She might be a freak in bed…

Nick cringed at his train of thought. He wasn’t that desperate for some ass. Was he? His thoughts were interrupted when something caught his attention outside. Cassie was surrounded by a bunch of blokes. She was running her mouth off at them, no doubt. But, Nick didn’t like it one bit. He decided to fix this picture. The boy stormed over to the yard outside.

Cassie was still laughing and talking with her new “friends” when they all heard someone yell, “/Oi!/” Everyone looked up and saw Nick walking over to them. He grabbed Cassie by the wrist roughly. The boys looked rather confused.

“What’s your problem, man?” one of them asked. Nick shot a cold glare at him.

“/Listen here!/” he barked. “/Just because she lost her virginity last night, does not mean she’s not some hot piece of ass that you can tap whenever you want! So f**k off!!!/” The boys all went quiet and walked away. Cassie felt like flying high into the sky. She hugged Nick like crazy. He tried to push her off.

“/What the hell are you doing?/” he asked. Cassie looked up at him with a big smile on her face.

“/You love me!/” she cheered. “/You really love me!/” Nick pushed her off again.

“/Okay, let’s get something really clear here,/” he said. “/I sort of fancy you. Last night was one of the best shags ever. Yes, I would like more of it from time to time. But, that will be on my terms alone. And, we’re not an item. So don’t call me your boyfriend or get all lovey-dovey on me, okay?/” Cassie looked at him with glowing eyes.

“/Can we hold hands?/” she asked.

“/No!/” the boy snapped.

“/Just for today? Pleaseeeee?/” she pleaded. Nick sighed and rolled his eyes.

“/Fine, whatever,/” he said.

“/Yay!!!/” Cassie cheered. She grabbed onto Nick’s hand and led him to class with her.

“/This will not be an everyday thing, yeah?/” he said. Cassie didn’t listen; her mind was away in happiness. She never listens anyway.

However, Nick still had a smaller problem that was taking its time growing.

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