“Text”= Japanese talking

“/Text/”= English talking

“+Text+”= American talking

“#Text#”= Australian talking

Nick and Effy sat in the financier’s office. You see, they had a little problem. It all started Friday night. Their financier read over the records. Nick rolled his eyes. Effy tried to rub on his hand. Her brother quickly drew back.

“/So what is the problem, sir?/” Effy asked. The man didn’t speak. He kept his nose buried into the papers. Nick sneered at him.

“/Speak, man!/” he barked. “/What the hell is the problem?/” Effy stroked his hand.

“/Shhh,/” she whispered. Nick rolled her eyes. The man looked up at them looking grim.

“/What is it?/” Effy asked. The financier lowered the papers.

“It doesn’t look good,” he said.

“/What do you mean?/” Nick asked. The financier straightened his glasses.

“The bank that your parents invested in has come under some serious problems and had to close for an investigation,” he said. He waited for the siblings to speak. When they didn’t, the man continued to talk.

“As a result,” he said. “Most of the money is lost.” Nick and Effy looked on at him.

“/So,/” Nick said. “/What’s the problem?/” The financier sat back some.

“All of the money from the accounts is gone,” he said.

“/What?/” Effy asked.

“/How?/” Nick asked. The financier swallowed a bit.

“It seems there was some embezzlement involved,” he said. “As a result…”

“/We’ve lost all of our money?/” Nick finished. The financier nodded.

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

“/Is there any way to get our money back?/” Effy asked.

“No,” the financier replied.

“/Why?/” Nick asked.

“It’s just…”

“Just what?”

The financier clenched his fists. “You aren’t the only victims.”

“/What?!?/” the siblings asked.

“/Who else?/” Nick asked.

“Every big name in England from the ‘60s. Including your father,” the financier replied. “So if we recover most of the money from the victims…”

“/There will be no guarantee that the ‘little people’ like us will ever get our money?/” Nick asked.

“I’m so sorry,” the financier replied. Effy buried her head in her hands. Nick snorted and gritted his teeth.

“/Please stop lying, you asshole,/” he muttered.

Subject: Nick

“/What now?/” Nick asked. Effy shook her head.

“/There isn’t anything we can do,/” she said. Her brother clenched his fists and cursed himself.

“/F**k,/” he mumbled. Effy looked at him, stunned.

“/Nick!/” she gasped.

“/What?/” her brother asked.

“/You’re giving up?/” she asked.

“/Yeah, so?/” Nick asked.

“/You never give up on things like this,/” Effy pointed out. “/You usually fight things until the end with a tight fist./”

“/And what of it?/” her brother asked.

“/Why are you giving up?/” she asked. He didn’t speak at first. The young man finally sighed and lowered his shoulders.

“/This is bigger than us, Eff,/” he said. “/I’m not talking a local bank in our neighborhoods. I’m talking on a bigger scale./”

“/Nick?/” his sister asked. He shook his head at her.

“/No,/” he said. “/It’s not just us involved. It’s countless numbers of people. Face it, we’re screwed./”

“/I still have my practice,/” Effy said.

“/I know,/” he said. “/But, I would have to give up my apartment and find a job./”

“/You could stay with me,/” his sister offered.

“/That won’t work!/” Nick said quickly.

“/Then, what will you do?/” the woman asked. Nick clenched his fists tightly.

“/I’ll think of something,/” he said. Then, he walked all the way to the car.

Nick didn’t talk the whole time in the car. He kept his eyes out at the passing city. His mind floated into heavy thoughts. Effy dropped him off at his apartment. The young man looked at the building with a bitter feeling in his stomach.

I’ll have nowhere to go, he thought. It took steps to sink in. School, housing, food, utilities. Plus the housekeeper too?

F**k, Nick thought. He shut his eyes tightly.

“/F**K!!!/” he yelled. Yeah. That bad.

Nick sat alone in his darkened living room. The cigarette between his fingers slowly burned into nothing. He hadn’t told the housekeep yet. She won’t be in until three.

Heh! She’ll be happy to get rid of me anyway. Nick looked at the ceiling. But what to do until then? A slight thought crossed his mind.

No. I’m not that desperate, am I? Never the less, Nick picked up the phone and dialed one close number.

“/Hey Ace! You doing anything today?/” he asked. In an hour, Cassie buzzed the gate bell.

“/I’m here, Nick,/” she said. “/Do you want me to come up?/”

“/Nah, I’m coming down to you,/” he replied. Cassie fought to keep her excitement. In a few minutes, Nick walked out to the parking lot gate. He saw his f**k-buddy smiling at him.

“/What?/” he asked.

“/You heard the buzzer,/” Cassie said.

“/Yeah, so?/”

Cassie clapped her hands together. “/You can hear again!/” *Sweat drop on Nick’s head*

You’re happy about that?, he thought.

Nick told Cassie her out to a hidden bar near the red light distance. The smoke nearly blinded them along with the darkness. Cassie looked around them.

“/What is this place?/” she asked. Nick put his hand on her shoulder.

“/Just a little spot I found after wandering around,/” he brushed off. “/Nothing special. Nice and cheap./”

“/I see,/” Cassie said. Nick smiled a bit. They headed over to the bar. The bar tender looked up at saw the pair.

“Nick!” he said with a big smile. “Good to see you!” Nick waved him off.

“/Yeah, yeah,/” he said. The man noticed Cassie’s cute little face.

“Oh,” he said. “Who is this little lady?”

“/Hm?/” Nick asked. “/Oh./” Cassie stepped forward to the counter.

“/I’m Cassie,/” she said. The bar tender smiled at her. His eyes shifted over to Nick.

“Ooo,” he said. “Who is this, your girlfriend?” Nick looked away with his lips pressed together. Cassie grinned at the bar tender.

“/Yep!/” she cheered. Nick only sneered at that statement. He and Cassie got their drinks. The girl looked over at him.

“/Nick,/” she said.

“/What?/” he asked. She cuddled up close to his back. Nick rolled his eyes as he tried to ignore her. Cassie nuzzled his shirt. She tried to hold onto his body as if they had just had sex. Nick tried to shove her off. His girlfriend didn’t let go. Nick clenched his teeth.

“/What do you want?/” he hissed. Cassie looked up at him with sweet little puppy eyes.

“/What am I to you?/” she asked. Nick made a strange face.

“/What?/” he asked.

“/We sleep together and I’m always with you,/” she explained.

“/So?/” Nick asked.

“/Am I your girlfriend?/” she asked. Nick lowered his drink in shock.

“/WHAT?!?/” he snapped.

“/I love you,/” Cassie said. “/I want to be your girlfriend./” Nick put down his drink and walked out of the bar. His f**k buddy looked on, blinking.

“/Nick?/” she asked. “/Nick, what’s wrong?/” She paid her drink and raced after him.

Nick kept walking away with his fists clenched. Cassie kept following him behind. Her f**k buddy kept himself from screaming aloud.

“/Go away!/” he shouted.

“/What’s the matter, Nick?/” his f**k buddy asked. “/Are you ashamed of me?/” Silence.

“/Nick? Nick?/” she asked. The young man finally stopped in his tracks. Cassie stopped and looked on at him with a curious look in her eyes.

“/Nick?/” she asked again.

“/No,/” he said. His little “friend” blinked.

“/But…/” she began.

“/Can you not talk and listen for a change?/” he asked. Cassie closed her mouth with worried eyes. Nick took a breath out.

“/Thank you,/” he said. “/Now, I told you before, I don’t want a relationship./”

“/Why?/” Cassie asked. Nick breathed out in a hard way. He might as well say it; the truth will come out to Shuichi and them soon anyway. Besides, knowing her, Cassie won’t give up until she had the truth.

“/It’s not a good time for a relationship,/” he admitted. His girl still gave him an odd face.

“/What do you mean?/” Cassie asked.

“/I’m in a financial crisis,/” Nick fessed up.


“/The idiots that work at a bank in England screwed up on my family’s finances and now we have no money. Effy’s fine because she has her practice. But, I’m screwed on the other hand. I’ll have to move out of my apartment, find a cheaper new place, and get a job. So, I can’t be in a real relationship with you right now./”

Cassie stood in silence for a long time. She held onto her own hands. “/I’m so sorry./”

“/Don’t be,/” Nick replied. Then, he walked away. Cassie stood there alone, watching him. Somehow, Nick felt a little better for saying all of that.

That evening when Nick returned to his apartment, he found a note on the door. He took it down and read it to himself. He couldn’t help but to smirk to himself.

So she’s jumped ship after all, he thought. Surprise, surprise. He couldn’t blame her; he’d probably do the same thing as well. Speaking of which, that sounded like a great idea right now. Nick got right to work packing up his things and planning out moving out of that apartment.

“/This place sucked anyway!/” he shouted aloud in the semi-emptying apartment. Close to midnight, Nick finished up for round one and went to bed.

By morning, there was a knock on his door. The lad dragged himself out of bed in a half-asleep state. He didn’t enjoy waking up this early.

“/What the hell do you want?/” Nick mumbled as he opened the door. His eyes opened wide as he saw who had come to greet him.

“/Ace?/” he asked. Cassie smiled and waved at him.

“/Morning!/” she said. Nick blinked at her.

“/Uh… What are you doing here?/” he asked. She kept grinning at him. He did his best to stay pleasure so early in the morning.

“/Out with it!/” he demanded. “/Why are you here? Speak!/”

“/I talked to Effy,/” she spoke up.

“/You what?/” he asked.

“/She and I decided that you’ll come to live with me for the time being!/” Cassie announced with a big grin on her face. Never had the Snark King himself looked so shocked in his life!

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