A/N: The lyrics below are not mine in anyway, despite the fact that I love this song - 'Somewhere Down Fullerton'. It's completely the band Allister's and The Killers are themselves, obviously.

Please don't go away

'Cause all I want is you to stay with me

She called him after hours of pep talks and going down the list of reasons why. And also after making sure he would be awake enough to understand what she was saying.

Though something inside her told her that he would never be able to comprehend what she was trying to tell him, never mind her motives.

"Hello?" a grumbled voice answered after four rings.


She could hear the smile in his voice. "Hello, beautiful."

"Did I wake you?"

"Just a little." He chuckled. She knew he didn't mind. She berated herself again. No use making his day even worse.

"You still there?" The concern in his tone almost made her want to take back all her thoughts from the past week and curl up in his arms.

"When's the soonest you can meet me at the pond?"

"How much time do I have?" he jested.

"Can you manage twenty minutes?"

"I'll do you one better. I'll meet you there in nineteen." He underlying message was not lost on her.

"I'll be there."

"See you soon."

She hung up before he could say anything else.

Arriving at their spot, she sat down on a large rock near the water and closed up into herself.

She went over her perfected lines and answers to questions she was sure he'd ask. Is there someone else? Is there anything I can do? Was there something I did?

She would shake her head and refuse to make eye contact. That would be the worst mistake she could ever make when in this situation.

A bit longer of bracing herself and wishing hopelessly he would at least wait until she left before looking at her, she felt his presence coming.

On cue, he nudged her shoulder gently and sat down next to her. She let her legs down and fiddled with the hem of her shirt. She had to resist looking at him. It would make it that much harder.

"Beat both of our time," he said lightly.

Yes, you did, she thought. She'd counted the minutes going by and it'd been almost eighteen minutes since they'd talked.

Taking her eyes away from the pond for the first time, she looked at him, breaking her vow.

Mussed up light brown hair that slightly covered his eyes. She skipped down to his clothes, not bearing to deceive herself again in the same minute. He was clad in dark jeans, sneakers, and a red shirt that hung loosely from his body. He hands were tracing the bracelet she'd given him months before but not nervously. It was just a habit he'd picked up.

He had a strong jaw and the smallest amount of stubble on his chin. His lips were full and a rosy sort of pink, almost feminine looking. But he pulled them off effortlessly; making her wonder if he would look the same if it were not for them. He nose was straight and proportional to his face, not looking as if it could take over nor was it ridiculously minute.

She looked at these features again before letting herself break her own rule. Her eyes drifted over to his and her breath caught, just like every other time.

They were the most intense shade of gray she'd ever seen. They were so light; at a quick glance you could say they were a sky blue. On rare occasion had she seen them change to a darker color, but only faintly. Then you could definitely tell they were only a light shade of silver. His eyes were unusually bright and almost always shining, even during the most unreasonable times.

Now was no different. She watched them twinkle as they scanned her own eyes. Could he see what she had planned?

The thought alone unnerved her.

"So my beauty, what brings us both together on a bright and early October morning?" he asked, snapping her out of her musings.

She swiveled her vision to the sand and rocks below them, convinced if he searched deep enough, he would find her purpose here.

Well, better than me having to do it, she said to herself bitterly.

"I needed to talk to you about something," she muttered but trusting that he'd heard her.

"And what subject would that talk be about?" Again, she heard the grin in his voice.

For once, she wished she could be transparent enough for him to know exactly what she was thinking at that moment.

Sensing he was about to put an arm around her shoulders, she strategically stood up and folded her arms in front of her.

"Us," she whispered.

His feelings were so strong and predictable that she could almost feel his shock.

To him, everything under that category was fine.

She heard him swallow. "Um, okay. What about… us?"

Was he really that dense today or was he just prolonging the inevitable?

She thought about the tactics she'd gone over. Should she be quiet and to the point? Cold and distant? Should she sweeten the blow?

No. She wouldn't do that to him. He didn't deserve that even if it gave him temporary unhurt. She decided on the first option. It seemed the quickest and less painful to both of them.

"It isn't working." She sighed and turned around to face him.

He was staring intently at her, trying to catch her gaze. She won't do that to him though. She knew what he would find.

The carefully masked distant version of her normally warm blue eyes.

She busied herself with trying to skip around her prepared speech. Might as well just get on with it.

"I don't feel the same way anymore."

He made a move to stand but she held up a hand in protest. "No, please, sit." He stayed obediently where he was.

"We'll be going off to college soon anyways. It's only practical." She winced as she said this. So much for not being cold.

He reiterated her feelings perfectly. "Practical?" he shook his head and stood up, despite her motions to stay put.

"Practical? I understand if you don't feel the same way or if there's someone else but don't give me this crap about a break up being practical." He spat out the last word as if it tasted foul.

She walked to the side a bit to give herself at least five feet's distance. Now that he was standing, it was even more difficult to shush the desire to wrap his arms around her and forget the world.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, doubting he even heard her.

"Is there someone else?"

She shook her head.

"Was it that party I took you to? I swear I didn't know it was going to be like that. I talked to Jim about it—"

She cut him off by shaking her head again. He was unbearably trite.

There was a silence that was used by both parties to gather their thoughts for their next words.

She let herself slip enough to peek up at him through her fringe.

Surprisingly, he was glaring hard at the horizon of the pond. She half expected him to be staring at her.

Thinking too soon, he fixed her with a gaze that almost (again) made her want to take back her words. In the words of The Killers, "How did it end up like this?"

He stared unblinkingly at her gorgeous blue eyes. The only eyes that had ever made his heart pound and his palms sweat. How could she be doing this? Had he been a bad boyfriend? He always let her make the big decisions. Had she wanted a more direct approach?

Something in his face made her say, "You did nothing wrong. This was totally my decision." She winced once more at how recycled the comment sounded and how cushioning it could have been interpreted. Seems he felt the same way.

"Oh, don't coddle me."

She shut her eyes and ducked her head. Another pause ensued and she desperately wanted to either comfort him or leave. Knowing she couldn't do the former nor speed this up, she concentrated on the ants below her, scurrying around.

After a long while, she thought it safe to look up again. He seemed like a lost boy, not knowing what to do. What could he do? He sent her a pleading stare, asking her wordlessly, "Anything? Anything to change your mind?"

She glanced down at the ants again, ridiculously oblivious to the scene playing above them, shaking her head miserably.

Hearing him sigh dejectedly, she figured it was time to leave.

She gently gathered her things (not really knowing why she had even brought her purse or jacket).

About to turn and leave, she was startled to find him right in front of her, gray eyes boring into her.

Only one message was there this time: Why?

She ignored the hurt stare and walked around the other side of the rock. She wouldn't, couldn't do that. Not to herself. It was selfish, yes, but she won't bring herself to that amount of pain.

As she started up the slight uphill track, she felt his gaze on her.

She didn't let allow herself the privilege to look back, to take in his expressive clear gray-almost-powder-blue eyes, rumpled copper hair, smooth skin.

She humored herself in patting herself on the back for following one of her rules, the most important one in a roundabout way.