Winter Storms

Summary: Rayne is excellent at being himself. He deals expertly with the bruises and the blows, and the lies are natural to his tongue. He can look after himself. Until Aedan Winter decides he would make a far better job of it…(SLASH)

Author's Ninja Note: Ladies and Gentlemen, I announce: the return of Winter Storms updates.

I do realise that it basically took me all summer to come up with this, but truth be told, it only took me several hours to get all of this written down. What took me all those weeeeeks and weeeeeeks was actually fighting my writer's block and getting my fingers to actually GET TYPING.

But it got typing, and this is the next Winter Storms chapters, for your enjoyment. This note will be kept short and sweet, so you guys can go straight ahead to reading. Will write more at the end of the chapter. I NEED YOU GUYS TO READ THE AFTERNOTE, BY THE WAY. PEOPLE WHO NEVER READ AUTHORS' COMMENTS, MAKE AN EXEPTION, WILL YOU?

Enjoy :)

Chapter Nineteen

Of Human Interraction and Other Fascinating Phenomenons

The arrival of winter break was announced by icy rain slashing through the streets, melting the fawn coating of fallen leaves into a wet, slippery slush. It made the journey to and from school hard and uncomfortable, but at least I didn't encounter Max in the streets anymore. Unable to haunt the clearing in the little forest anymore, Aedan's group had moved to the shelter of the library, and I'd followed them, spending my lunch hours sitting on the library floor in the unfrequented section for Foreign Literature. The, teachers started piling homework and revision booklets on our shoulders, the rain hardened to sleet, and the next day I woke up with the prospect of not having to go to school for the next twenty days or so.

Ever since the time when Aedan had performed his disappearance act on all of us, Sable had been making regular visits at my house, much to Aedan's annoyance. He would show up, usually in the afternoon, and sit with me on the couch acting immature, watching TV, rifling through the bookshelf, or sometimes helping me through my homework. He enjoyed pointing out the fact that he was a high school dropout and an academic failure, but he nonetheless never failed to help me in any subject I had homework for, and I began thinking that his so-called academic failure was just a legend to make himself sound like a desperate case. He was an attention seeker this way. But he was generally nice to hang around with, and when Aedan wasn't here he behaved almost like a normal person. He'd met my mother and she liked him too, finding him entertaining and bright and eccentric. I didn't tell her he was Aedan's ex-boyfriend.

This first morning of the holidays, as I lay in bed lazily moving my feet against the warm softness of my sheets and blankets and listened to the sleet whipping against the windows, the bell rang. I wasn't expecting it, but Aedan had promised me he'd come and visit me often during the holidays, and it would be exactly his kind of thing to show up on the first morning. He too had been visiting me often since his stay AWOL, but somehow it didn't feel like anything had changed, as though the kiss on Sable's bed had never happened. He still treated me with the same gentleness and caring, and maybe he tended to touch me more, caress my hair, trial his fingers down my cheek, trace my knuckles, sit closer to me, put his chin on my shoulder or head, brush his lips across my hair or forehead, but never more than this, never anything to suggest a greater intimacy, and I couldn't help wondering why. Was it because he wanted to give me time to deal with the fact that I now knew he liked me this way? Or was it because he wanted me to grow more used to being touched, like approaching a wild animal? Or had he lost interest? Or maybe he didn't feel like he needed anything more intimate than gentle caresses to show love? I couldn't tell and I couldn't ask him, so I just went along with.

Pushing the blankets aside, I stood up and walked out of my room, the linoleum of the corridor floor feeling cold against the soles of my feet, and into the bathroom to quickly splash water over my face. I picked up a towel off the radiator and walked to the door, opening it and peeking outside.

"Morning, ma fleur-de-miel!"

Sable was standing on the doorway, dressed in an old-fashioned blue silk shirt, skin-tight jeans, boots and a long, red velvet jacket. The tips of his long hair were dripping droplets of water onto his jacket, and the makeup around his eyes was beginning to streak down his cheeks, but despite that he looked worryingly cheerful.

"Did I wake you?" he cooed, pushing his way past me and into the apartment.

"Yes," I said.

I walked to the kitchen to make breakfast and he followed me, his gait bouncy, chattering brightly:

"It's so nice to be young. Oversleep, breakfast late, write loveletters. You ever wrote loveletters, doll-boy?"

I filled the kettle with water and warmed some milk while Sable whipped off his jacket and sat down at the kitchen table, on the seat right beside the window. His exuberant elegance looked strangely at odds with the homely décor of the kitchen, like a spot the object that doesn't fit in picture.

"No," I answered.

"I wrote a lot of them, in my youth. Sometimes I even sent them. I remember, I once wrote to David Bowie. My mother wrote a fan letter and she asked me if I wanted to put a letter in the envelope with hers and so I put a loveletter. I was thirteen."

He shook his head, looking lost in fond memories.

"Do you want some coffee or tea?" I asked.

He focused his gaze on me, lips stretching into a grin.

"Uh-huh, why not? Coffee, black, four sugars. So, how do you really feel about our little porcelain princess Aedan? No, no milk, thanks."

I poured milk into a bowl of cornflakes, and when Sable said he didn't want any, I sat down opposite him. He was sipping away at his coffee, and staring at me.

"Huh?" I said, suddenly aware that he had just asked a question.

"I said: how do you feel about Aedan?"

"Aedan?" I said

"No, the Pope. Of course, Aedan, who else?"

"I like him," I said.

Sable stared at me, blinking with exaggerated incredulity.

"Like him? Do you know how noncommittal that is? Do you even realise how many different kinds of 'like' there can possibly be? So what—do you like him as a friend? You like him as a senior who goes to the same school as you? You like him as a person? You like him because he's nice to you? You like him so much you want to spend the rest of your life with him? You like him more than anyone else? You like him like you like your dog? What?"

"I don't have a dog," I pointed out, because it was true, I didn't have a dog even though I wished I could have one. Unfortunately the building owner didn't allow pets in the apartments, but Mother said that when we would be rich enough to afford to rent a house instead of the little flat she would buy me a dog or a cat.

"It doesn't matter whether you have a dog or not!" Sable exclaimed, waving his hand dismissively. "The point is: how much do you like Aedan? That kid won't settle for a simple 'I like you'. I'm afraid I did a bad enough job on him to make sure that he won't let anyone get away with a simple 'I like you' in the future."

"What did you do to him?" I asked, remembering the bitterness in Aedan's voice when he spoke to and of Sable. I wondered if the bitterness wasn't just a proof of sweet love turned sour. I decided the bitterness probably was a proof of sweet love turned sour.

"I didn't do anything to him! I just played with him, is all. But he should have known, he knew me well enough to know it's not in my nature to actually have relationships with people," Sable sighed. He sipped at his coffee again and looked out of the window at the sleet, thinning and falling frailer now, pooling into slippery puddles on the streets down below. "He's a smart kid! He should have known better than to expect a lasting relationship with a guy seven years older than him!"

He sighed, ran his fingertips along the rim of his cup.

"Anyway, as the French say: ce qui est fait est fait. There's nothing much I can do to erase what's been done. But you can make things better for him and I'm not going to let you lead him on or hurt him like I did. You seem like a nice enough kid," Sable looked me over, leaning forward to flick his fingers through my hair and raise my chin so I'd look up at him: "Have your priorities sorted. Don't let him down."

I nodded. I had no intention of letting Aedan down in any way, but somehow the intensity of his eyes when he looked at me made me uncomfortable, his seriousness completely at odds with the personality he usually displayed.

The doorbell rang again, and I quickly stood up to go answer the door, glad to get away from Sable's soul-searching lecture. Sable stood up too and hurried after me, and when I opened the door, he'd linked an arm around my waist and plunged his nose into my hair.

"Hello, Aedan," I said.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Aedan hissed, glaring at Sable. Sable emerged from my hair, grinning and poking his tongue out.

"Oh, it's you, honey. I was just having a sniff at your toyboy. He smells sweet."

"Get out of here! Don't you have anything better to do? Any innocent loser to fuck up? Any orgies to organise?"

"Hey, you're making me sound like a slut, I resent that!" Sable pouted. He tightened his hold on my waist.

"Get out," Aedan snapped, stepping into the apartment and grabbing my arm. He pulled me away from Sable's hold and glared at Sable, pointing at the door. "Out," he repeated.

Today, Aedan's hair was completely black, devoid of its usual coloured streaks, tiny plaits weaving in and out of the mess of jet strands. He hadn't been cutting his hair for some time now, and it was getting quite long, falling into his neck and across his cheeks.

"I'm not getting out! I was having a coffee with toyboy Rayne here, and he was quite enjoying my company. So quit being an uptight spoilsport and let us all have fun."

Sable marched back into the kitchen, Aedan followed him, and I closed the front door and went in after them.

"Rayne doesn't want you here. I don't want you here either. You're not wanted. Go away."

"Nope. I'm taking Rayne shopping and to the cinema later. You're welcome to join, by he way."

"You're not taking Rayne anywhere. You're going straight back to the hellhole you spawned from and not ever coming back here. Rayne!" I started a little and muttered: "Uh-huh?"

"Go get dressed! We're meeting up with the guys for a trip to the Lakes!"

"Okay," I said. I took one last spoonful of cornflakes, and then left for my room, quickly doing my bed and then picking out clothes and running to the bathroom. When I came back, washed, teeth brushed and dressed in jeans and a woollen sweater, Aedan was drinking from the cup of coffee I'd made Sable, looking furious, and Sable was doing the washing up and humming cheerfully the tune to "We are the champions." Looking at them from the doorway, I tried to imagine them as a couple: Aedan headstrong and passionate, Sable flighty and flirty, Aedan elegant, Sable flashy, Aedan raven-haired and Sable with his long, pale locks…

"Ah, Rayne, you're here! Don't just stand in the doorway looking thoughtful and cute! Let's go!" Aedan dropped the cup into the sink, splashing washing up water on Sable, and rushed up to me, hooking his arm around my neck and dragging my head towards him. I thought I felt him drop a quick kiss against the top of my head but I couldn't be sure. In the corridor, I put on my shoes and picked up my coat, purse and keys, Sable following us and chattering cheerfully about the book he was apparently trying to write about natural aphrodisiacs.

"Fuck," Eva said. "My bag weighs a ton. Carry it for me, Jem, would you?"

Eva, Jeremy and Chloe were all waiting outside the train station, Eva looking glamorous in her long red and old gypsy skirt and red top and long, thick cardigan, Jeremy on the pavement sitting hunched up with his hands in the pockets of his coat and Chloe twirling around in the middle of the road, quickly dodging cars whenever they drove past, dressed in green and wearing a pretty, eerie Venetian mask, her hair surrounding her face in a cascade of red curls. They waved when they saw us walking down the street in their direction, and Chloe ran up to us and hugged me and Aedan.

"Hey, Sable!" she said, sounding surprised but pleased nonetheless. "I didn't know you'd be joining us!"

"He isn't," Aedan said quickly.

"Yes, well, I wasn't going to, but Rayne asked me, and he begged so prettily I just couldn't refuse," Sable said happily, hugging Chlo. "Why are you wearing this weird mask? It looks good on you but it might freak people out."

"Ooh, isn't it pretty? It was in a charity shop window, and I couldn't resist buying it!" Chlo said happily. She removed the mask and they kissed each other's cheeks like old women, and then Chlo linked her arm through his and dragged him towards Jeremy and Eva.

"Hey, Jem, Eva, guess who's joining us?" she called.

"What're you doing here?" Jeremy asked rudely. "Someone shoo him!"

"Hey Sable!" Eva said, getting up to hug Sable.

"Hello my marshmallow!" Sable cooed. They kissed each other's cheek like he'd just done with Chlo, and then Eva sat back down.

"Who else are we waiting for, then?" Sable asked.

"Fuck off," Jeremy said.

"Just J-girl, LP and Daisuke. Daisuke is coming, right, Aedan?" Chlo asked Aedan, and without waiting for an answer, she carried on: "Hey, Rayne honey!" she hugged me again and ruffled my hair. "Did you get a lot of homework?"

"It's alright," I shrugged. "You?"

"Oh, I got tons of them. It's like teachers think that winter break is a big gap of time during which they must cram as much homework as they possibly can and so I have tons of essays and projects to do. It's unbelievable."

"She's exaggerating," Eva scoffed as she hugged me and said hi. Jeremy just punched his fist against mine, which was his general manly greeting (Chloe said that he only used the manly greeting because hanging around with a gay guy and a lot of girls and not dating any girl made him need to prove his own sexuality to himself.)

We all ended up sitting down in a line on the pavement in front of the station, bottoms cold and humid from being on the wet concrete, but at least it'd stopped raining, and hard, pale rays of sunlight were drifting down through the pale clouds. Chiyoko arrived next, kissing and hugging everyone, looking completely at odds with the greyness of winter around her in her bright pink and black outfit, her only protection from the cold a long black jacket with crisscrossing laces running up the sleeves and back. She, like Chlo and Eva, seemed happy to see Sable, hugging him and tugging on his hair and immediately asking him to share the latest 'racy gossip'. Then LP arrived, headphones covering his ears, a long blue scarf wrapped around his neck and covering half his face, his usual leather outfit replaced by faded jeans, cowboy boots and a mackintosh over an old sweater. As soon as he saw us, he froze in his tracks, and pushed his headphones down around his neck, freeing his ears from the music and his face from the scarf.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he asked Sable, staring at him.

"Oh, hey Lovepeace!" Sable called airily "I'm joining you guys on your trip! Chaperoning ickle wittle Rayne and all. How's Mom?"

"Weren't you on the phone with her yesterday?"

"Yeah. I was asking you how she was this morning. Between the time I spoke to her and the time you left home."

"She's fine. You're an insensitive jerk. You shouldn't be here."

"Ouch, that hurt coming from my favourite little brother."

LP ignored him and greeted everyone, then pushed the headphones back over his ears and sat down beside Eva on the icy pavement. I leaned towards Chiyoko, who was sitting beside me, and whispered:

"Sable is LP's brother?"

"Uh-huh. Didn't you know? Even though LP dyes his hair and they don't act the same at all, they have the same mouth and the same hands, haven't you noticed?"

"Not really," I said, thinking that I would check when I next got the chance.

"Yeah. That's how Aedan met Sable. Sable was LP's brother, he started flirting with Aedan, then they got together, and then they broke up and everything."

I thought for a moment and asked Chiyoko: "Isn't this sort of awkward for LP?"

"Not really. Sable doesn't live with his family anymore and LP is withdrawn enough not to really care about the whole thing. And as I said: they're quite different in characters. Besides, LP likes Aedan too much to feel awkward over a thing like that."

"Oh," I said, because I couldn't think of anything else to say.

Daisuke finally arrived, fifteen minutes later, when it had just begun to rain. Under his beret, his black hair had been cropped short and he was actually wearing regular clothes for once. Firmly holding his wrist, he was dragging a reluctant and apathetic-looking Keane behind him. Keane's hair was back to the vibrant red colour he dyed it, but there were still bags under his eyes, and a cigarette was dangling limply from his lips.

"Gosh, Sable, long time no see, buddy! How are you?" Daisuke said happily when he saw Sable. "Thumbs up for sheltering Aedan. Mom will kill you if she ever sees you again."

"Hey, Die, my beautiful exotic princess!" Sable called flirtatiously, blowing Daisuke a kiss. "Peekaboo, Keane! I thought you'd quit?"

Keane ignored him. He greeted everyone tiredly, and didn't protest when Chlo leapt up, grabbed is cigarette and ground it beneath the heel of her boot. He just sighed and muttered: "Fuck."

"Right peeps, let's get going!" Daisuke called cheerfully, still dragging Daisuke along by the wrist. We all got up, wiping our coats and trousers, and then crowded into the station, queuing up at the cashier to get tickets. Sable paid for mine, and Aedan gave him a deadly kind of glare, and we only waited five minutes for the train to come. Then we all got on, and it got going, and our trip began. I sill had no idea were we were going.

In the train, the sitting arrangements went this way: I sat at the window, LP beside me and Jeremy beside LP, Aedan sat opposite me, Chiyoko sitting between him and Sable. On the other side of the aisle, Chlo had the window and Eva sat beside her, and Daisuke sat opposite Chlo with Keane slumped at his side. The various bags the others had brought along were piled at Chlo's feet.

"What's wrong with Keane?" I asked Aedan, feeling a little worried because I'd never seen Keane in such a state before.

"I have no idea," Aedan said, glancing at Keane. I noticed that his face immediately darkened with worry when I asked. He bit his lip and turned back to me: "He's been behaving really weirdly for some time. No-one knows what's wrong with him."

"What's wrong with Keane is really obvious if you care to look carefully," Sable pointed out, his tone unusually cold.

"Whatever would you know?" Jeremy sneered.

"Really?" Chiyoko and LP asked in unison.

"What is it then?" Aedan asked, leaning forward to look at Sable.

"You'll find out when he chooses to tell you."

"The truth is you have no idea," Jeremy said.

"Keep thinking that if you want," Sable shrugged. "Anyway, Chiyoko, to get back to the news about Lily and Jemima, well as I said, Jemima found out about Lily and Matthew, so she went to speak to How, remember, Lily's ex, and she told him about the whole story, so How, who actually knows Matthew because Matthew's sister once went out with How's best friend, Leonard, who's now going out with Alice—"

"Wait—I thought Alice was going out with Collin."

"Nope, not anymore, Collin ditched Alice because apparently she'd been cheating on him with Ricky, but then it turned out that she wasn't, he had just lied to hide the fact that he was cheating on her with Alice's cousin's best friend, Jay, remember, girl with the brace and the hair? But what Collin didn't know was that Alice had been cheating on him, except with Leonard, not Ricky, because Ricky was actually been having an affair with his Maths teacher, at that time."

"Ricky's gay?" Chiyoko gasped.

"Apparently he's bi. But my opinion is that he's actually just plain gay. He's just still in denial. Ah, whatever, anyway, to come back to Jemima—"

Aedan, LP and Jeremy were all staring at Sable and Chiyoko, who both looked completely engrossed in their conversation, and I wondered if they were feeling as utterly lost and confused as I was. I stood up and walked between the rows of legs and across the aisle, pushing Keane's discarded coat aside to sit beside him.

"Hello Keane," I said.

"Hey, kid," he replied, his voice slightly hoarse, a strained smile on his lips. He touched my hair. He smelled like tobacco. "How are you? How's things with Aedan?"

"I'm alight. It's alright. Everything's alright. Are you alright?"

"Yeah, don't worry about me. I'm fine," he assured. He rubbed the palms of his hands against his eyes, the gesture and the bag's beneath his eyes and the hirsute red hair making his words sound falser then they already did.

"You don't look it," I muttered, not looking at Keane, just focusing my gaze on his hands because it felt too awkward to meet his eyes.

"I'm fine, I promise," he said, and I could tell he was trying to sound convincing, but he was failing miserably anyway.

"There's no point in trying to get anything out of him," Daisuke said, turning away from the window and leaning against Keane to speak to me. "I haven't been able to find out what the hell's wrong with him, so I doubt anyone else will."

Keane's jaw hardened almost imperceptibly, and he pushed Daisuke off him.

"Be a good boy and don't interrupt conversations in which you have no place," he said quietly.

"Ooh, feisty," Daisuke said, teasingly yet gently.

Keane ignored him and Daisuke ended up by obeying him and turning back towards the window.

"Listen, Rayne. It's very sweet of you to be so concerned, but the shit that's happening in my life is my shit, and I'll deal with it on my own. Trust me, you look like someone's who gets his fair share of shit too, and I don't think you should use your break from dealing with your own shit to deal with the shit of others. Kay?"

I smiled and nodded.

"Kay. Hope whatever's bothering you turns out good in the end."

"I doubt you. But thanks for the thought. You're a good kid."

I touched his hand and then returned to my seat.

"Well?" Aedan asked. "Found out anything?"

I shook my head.

The train journey ended up getting really loud. Keane was still sitting sprawled with his face against the window and Eva sat opposite him reading a novel, but the rest of us were crowded towards our side of the aisle, Daisuke sitting on the floor at my feet and Chlo perched on Jeremy's knees. Earlier, Sable had decided to start a story game, and we'd reached a point were the story had become some sort of freakish mixture between a fairy tale gone wrong, a horror and an erotica. Daisuke, Sable and Chiyoko provided the perverted side of the story, Jeremy and Chlo to horror side of it, Aedan made up wildly bizarre characters, and LP and I contributed relatively regular paragraphs.

I liked being with them, watching how they interacted with each other. They all looked so close and perfectly at ease with each other, like they'd lived all their lives together. Even the animosity between Jeremy and Sable soon faded out in the heat of the game, and seeing all their faces lit up with smiles, laughter and grins, I wondered how I ever managed to survive friendless and lonely. There was something so beautiful, so important about human interaction, connection and communicating with others. For the first time I realised how much I really owed Aedan, for making me feel loved, for making me part of this group I used to fear, for showing me how much there was to be gained from being with others, how rewarding. I wanted to reach across the space between our sits and touch Aedan, his face or his hair or his hand or even just his sleeve, just to let him know how grateful I was, how happy I was at this moment. I didn't.

Eventually, the train arrived and we all piled out, Daisuke dragging Keane behind him, Eva forcing Jeremy to carry her bag.

"What the hell did you putting there?" he winced.

"Just some books," she shrugged.

"Just some books?" Jeremy repeated incredulously. "Don't you mean a dozen encyclopaedias? What the heck would you need a dozen encyclopaedias on a trip to the Lakes?"

"Don't be such a drama queen. They're not encyclopaedias. I just went through the library before coming, and they brought in some novels that I really wanted to read so I borrowed them. I couldn't risk someone would borrow them before me."

"Oh, yeah, sure, that would have been a great tragedy!" Chiyoko twittered.

"Shut up, Lolita," Eva said. "Some of us have an intellectuality they need to feed with more than Japanese cartoons."

"Poser," Chiyoko said, poking her tongue at Eva.

"Look who's talking."

"Girls. Cut the bitch-fights out for a bit, would you? It's first day of winter break, we're in the Lakes and it's not raining. Enjoy life right now, because that's probably as good as it'll get," Sable said, stretching out his arms and twirling around, the wind catching his flashy red jacket and making it flow around him like a scene from a movie.

"Not while you're here, it's not," Jeremy snapped.

"Jem, stop being so mean towards Sable," Chloe said, hitting him on the back of the head. "You sound like you're secretly in love with."

"Shut up!" Jeremy snarled, hitting Chlo back.

"Don't hit girls! It's dismally ungentlemanly!" Chlo squealed. She put her arm through Sable's. "Isn't it, Sable?"

"Absolutely, my dah-ling," Sable said, fluttering his eyes lashes.

"People, start acting your age instead of your IQs!" Eva called. "Come on, let's get a move on! Sable! Why is it that you're the only guy who isn't carrying anything?"

"I'm a flashy gay. I don't do carrying heavy stuff. Anyway: LP isn't carrying anything either."

It was true. LP was standing a little away from the group, not far from Keane, eyes unfocused and foot tapping the rhythm of his music against the platform cocnete.

"That's because LP has a special license," Aedan said.

"For what? Being an idiot?"

"For being the cutest of the two Jarvis brothers," Chlo grinned.

"Bitch," Sable pouted.

"You love me," Chlo smiled.

"Damn it, I do."

We finally started walking, getting off the train platform and heading left on to a gravel path stretching out and disappearing into the hills. It wasn't raining, but the clouds hung low and metallic grey, the hills rolling green and glossy with humidity towards the horizon, the impressive mountains of the Lakes rising towards the sky, their heads surrounded in misty clouds. The wind howled through the naked trees and the bushes, lashing waves into the grass and making our hair and clothes whips around our bodies. It was cold, but the air smelled wet and pure, beautifully different from the dirty taste of city air.

"Woo-hoo!" Chlo yelled, running ahead. "Smell this goddamn air! Mother nature, you're beautiful!" she screamed, her voice ripping across the sound of wind.

"Keane, put that stupid cigarette away!" Chiyoko commande. "You'll enjoy this trip whether you want it or not. You too, Rayne, stop looking so intimidated. Come on!"

Chiyoko hooked an arm into my left and one into Keane's right, and led us both after Chlo, already a small silhouette far ahead on the path towards nature. I thought about telling Chiyoko that she was far more intimidating than the soaring landscape, but I didn't, and just let myself get dragged along, and enjoy the experience.

Author's Atrocious After-note:

The reason for Keane's mood is that he's in love. If you guess who he's in love with, you get to make me write a fanfic oneshot featuring whichever your favourite Winter Storms 'ship is.

You don't get any clues, apart from what's in the story, the fact that the person he's in love with is a character that has been introduced in the story, and this message from me: "If any of you say Rayne, I will personally need to open your head with a blunt saw to check you haven't been lobotomised, and if you haven't, I will personally do it."

Give it a try. Good luck! :)

Apart from that: I know that this chapter is pretty uneventful, RaynexAedan wise. But more's coming later. We've just had one drama over. We need a pause before the next one XD

Now. I want at least every person who put this story on their favourite or alert list to review. Because I don't think it's very fair that I should brave my horrid writer's block to come up with a chapter for my readers (I don't think I would have bothered if it hadn't been the thousand and so people who have me on their alert list) and then not even hear from you people. So, please? Pretty pretty please? Tell me what you thought? Even if it's just a line or two. It doesn't take so long and your making a struggling author happy. Mkay? :3

Last (but not least) THOSE OF YOU WHO READ BUBBLES WOULD ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS SO SKIP BUT THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T PLEASE READ THIS: I want to organize this contest thing. Basically, the idea came from The SKOW awards. I think they're a really good idea, but since a bunch of people get to handpick the stories, I think some people who are reeeally talented or who stand a chance to get votes don't even get to enter, and I think that's kind of not fair. So I want to organize a mini-contest thing: basically, every month I'll come up with a oneshot challenge (which I'll put on my account.) you guys will get three weeks to come up with a challenge response, and then I get week to read and pick a winner, whose story will be put up on my account as challenge winner. It'll be cool, entertaining, and will give everyone a chance to have their stuff read by people. So drop in a word or two in a review if you're interested, let me know, kay? :) it'll be fun.