A/N: Whoo! I finally updated Hunter :o the chapter's really short though, oh well.

After Spanish was over, Casey found herself lagging behind her group of friends on their way to lunch. Alex was absent, but there was still a tension laying over them all and they didn't question her mood.

While the other four went to go get their lunches, she headed over to their normal table - not feeling very hungry at the moment. She looked around the lunchroom for a moment, looking to see if Alex was anywhere in sight. Casey couldn't locate her and came to the conclusion that she was with Nick.

The very thought sickened her and she set her head down on the table. How could Alex be so blind? They all knew what kind of guy he was, why Alex was even attracted to him was beyond her.

"Cheer up Hunter, you're depressing me." Came Micheal's voice and she looked up, startled to find him standing at the opposite end of the table.

She shrugged and put her head back down.

"Still not talking to me?" He asked, but once again she didn't answer. "You seemed keen enough to talk to Ryan." He added, and the tone in his voice made her look up.

"Oh please Micheal," she sighed, "I don't need your drama too."

"It's not drama," he said crossly.

She looked over to where the others were getting food, "Not going to eat anything?"

He watched her for a moment before turning sharply around and leaving her there.

"Wait, Micheal - agh," she sighed and fell back, laying on the lunchroom table's solid seat.

A minute or so passed by before she heard the clattering of two lunchroom trays on the table. She sat up and found both Ryan and Rachel watching her oddly.

"What?" Casey asked them crossly.

Ryan put his hands up in his defense, "I said nothing,"

"What's wrong with Micheal?" Rachel asked skeptically.

Casey shrugged, "Not sure," she answered evaisivly.

Rachel turned around and watched Micheal sulk slightly at another table, absently listening to other guys talk. Rachel sighed half-heartedly, why did he have to sit at a whole other table just because him and Casey were arguing?

"Something's been bothering me," Casey began and drew Rachel's attention back to her own table.

"What?" Ryan prompted, concentrating more on his food than her.

"Do you think Xela was - right about what she said? I mean, the part about Micheal always just 'being there'," Casey began, staring at her hands in a uncharateristically thoughtful way. "He wasn't, right? I mean - he's stuck around since freshman year because he's our friend, not because he. . . wants some,"

Ryan laughed, "If he's stuck around for three years without making a move - I'm thinking the answer to your question is 'yes'."

"Yeah," Rachel continued, "I mean - you know how impatient he is,"

Casey nodded with a crooked smile, "So y'all don't think he likes me like that, right?"

Niether of them could come up with an answer.

Casey watched them with wide eyes, "Are you serious?"

"I for one have only been here a day and frankly, Casey, I have only one thing to say. . . Are you blind!" Ryan cried, "It's obvious!" His statement was greeting by a sharp elbow in his side and he looked to Rachel with mixed surprise and pain. "What the he - "

"I don't know, Case. If he liked you, wouldn't he have asked you out by now?" Rachel prompted, cutting Ryan off.

"I guess," Casey began unsurely and then let out a small laugh, "That would be so weird - me and him dating. Could you imagine?"

"Nope," Rachel said with a smile, "So what are you going to do Mr. Ship's project on?"


"I can't believe they still went," Rachel sighed after she waved to Casey and Micheal as they drove out of the school's parking lot.

"I can't believe you tried to kill me at lunch," Ryan added sourly. "What was with that anyways?"

Rachel shrugged, "You weren't helping any,"

Ryan stared at her aghast, "I wasn't helping any! That's a lie! It's so true and you know it!" He paused as though a thought had just occurred to him, "Unless you don't want to believe it! Ah! You like Micheal don't you? RACHEL LIKES - "

She slapped a hand over his mouth and looked around them uneasily, "Shut up Turner," she hissed. "Now I'll let you go, but you need to shut up, ok?" He nodded meekily in consent and she slowly took her hand off his mouth.

They watched each other for a moment before Ryan started running, "Rachel likes Micheal!" He shrieked as he tore down the path.

"Ryan!" Rachel screamed and started running after him. It was no use though, his long legs took him way too fast and soon she gave up the chase. He stopped where he was a few meters down the path and waited for her with a bemused smile.

"So you /do/ like him, eh?" he asked with a cocky grin.

She sulked and didn't answer him right away, "No. . ."

He pouted and slung a lazy arm over her shoulders, "C'mon Rachel, you can tell Dr. Ryan,"

She shyed away from his touch and crossed her arms tightly against her stomach, "There's nothing to tell," she murmured gloomily.

"Tsk - we'll have none of that," he chided and was careful not to swing his arm around her shoulders again. "We need positivity; you're failing miserably. So Micheal likes Casey, you like Micheal, but the real question is - does /Casey/ like Micheal?"

Rachel nodded quickly, "Yes - she just doesn't know it,"

He raised his eyebrows, "Dare I say I detect hope in that statement?"

"Knowing Casey, she'd never figure it out - at least would never admit it. She's told me he's just like a brother so many times it makes my head hurt,"

"But you can't date your brother here, right?"

She slapped him in the arm, "Of course you can't stupid,"

"Ouch! Fine - but why was all that in past tense?"

"Did you hear nothing of what Alex said today? Casey was already re- analyizing it in lunch, and by dinner-time tomorrow, she'll have decided that Micheal /does/ like her and that she likes him too,"

"And all hope is lost," Ryan sighed, "Wait!" He cried and she looked to him hopefully, "What if I use my irresistable charms to make Casey like /me/? Then Micheal will have no hope and he'll be yours!"

Rachel shook her head, "That wouldn't work,"

Ryan gasped aghast, "And why ever not?"

She looked to him, "Micheal would kill you,"

He opened his mouth to protest and then shut it, raising his eyebrows in an understanding mannor, "True,"

There was a long silence until both their neighborhoods came into view. "Guess I'll see you tomorrow, Ryan," Rachel said almost shyly, which Ryan found exceedingly odd seeing how they had just shared such a conversation.

"Yeah - bye Rach. And don't worry, I'll get down to the bottom of this real quick,"

They parted ways, Rachel silently cursing herself for Ryan's discovery, and Ryan already beginning to form a plan in his mind to help out his new found friend.


"Micheal!" Casey cried, half choking on her milkshake as she fought to stop laughing.

"Hunter!" Micheal retorted, laughing hysterically aswell and began turning an interesting shade of red.

Casey was first to regain control and slapped him on the arm, "That's horribly mean - " She scolded.

"Yet funny," he added quickly and burst out laughing once again only to be silenced by her stare. "Ok then, where were we? Oh yes, Alex. How do we seek revenge . . . that doesn't involve plastic wrap?"

She shrugged, hiding a smile, and waved the subject off lazily, "It's no matter anymore. I don't give a damn about her and she doesn't give a damn about me,"

He nodded, stuffing a few fries into his mouth, "I would have payed to be there today,"

Casey laughed, "Poor Turner - he was right in the middle of it,"

Micheal's face darkened and Casey scowled at him, "Not this again, please Micheal, there's already enough animosity with Xela. What can you possibly have against Turner?"

He opened his mouth to speak but quickly clamped it shut, as if knowing better. He watched her closely for a moment and then let out a weary sigh, "I just don't see why you talked to /him/ all spanish and wouldn't even spare a word for me."

She rolled her eyes, "Like hell I wouldn't talk to you! What am I doing right now? Turner's just a neutral zone. He's been here two and a half days and so he's content in listening to a girl's ranting. At least he will be until her friend's a total asshole to him." Micheal grunted and she hugged his arm pleadingly, "Please Chasler? Give the kid a chance,"

He sighed and looked away for a moment, smoothing his messy hair down with his free hand. This was a signal that she had one and she beamed at him, "Thanks Chasler," she grinned, hugging his arm tighter.