A/N: Amethyst G here. Another chapter, sorry, been a couple days, but I've got things to do, people to see...lol jk nobody to see but def things to do!


We'd ended up driving around aimlessly last night, since it was obvious Austin couldn't continue on without, well, continuing on. Nonetheless, I'd had a dreamy time, and I'd been able to push Will out of my head for almost the whole time. The next morning, Ruby was absolutely bubbly. Which was a good thing, I thought, because at the moment, she didn't seem inclined to stop and ask how my evening had gone.

Today, Will and I had arrived at our lockers at the same time. I watched at Ruby and Will kissed in greeting. Ruby whispered something in his ear, pecked his cheek, and flitted away to her own locker a bit further down the hall.

"I suppose Ruby and I should switch lockers," I commented lightly. Will looked at me with a surprised, and slightly hurt, expression.

"Why would you want to do that?" he asked, as if the reason was unfathomable.

"Not me," I emphasized, "Ruby? You know, you're girlfriend?" I answered snippily. Why did it seem like every time Will spoke to me, he forgot about every other girl I'd seen with him, up to and including my best friend?"

"Well, yeah," Will replied, as if what I'd just said was completely irrelevant to the conversation. "So? I like…you here." He finished, as if he didn't understand his own words. "The feeling's mutual, pal." I thought. I remained silent, wondering if he would bring up what I'd said to him the other day. Now seemed like as good a time as any, but he didn't seem inclined to talk anymore. But, stupidly, I sallied on.

"Do you like Ruby?" I asked bluntly. It really seemed, if he didn't mind me telling him I loved him, that he must not be very serious with Ruby. Ruby was my best friend; I couldn't let him be doing that. Will shrugged. Really. He shrugged.

"Sure," he answered indifferently, tucking his books under one arm and shutting his locker. I noticed, though, that he was spending an exaggerated amount of effort in scrambling his locker combination.

"Sure." I repeated, flatly. "Yes or no?" I had no idea why I thought I could be so direct with him. He could, by all right, tell me to fuck off. But he didn't.

"I…don't know." He finally replied. Will had always been self-assured and confident around me. This admission threw me off for a few moments.

""You…don't know?" Yeesh, was repeating him the only thing I was capable of? Will seemed to be of the same mind.

"I don't like her as much as I should like her!" Will nearly shouted at me, still not looking my way. He gave his locker a frustrated shove, which earned him a few strange looks, then stormed off for homeroom. I thanked my lucky stars that Ruby had gone straight to homeroom, and hadn't come back to my locker to wait for me.

"Ruby," I called to her after the dismissal bell had rung. She turned back to me impatiently. Will had invited her to go directly over to his house, and then to the air base, where he and some of his air force acquaintances hung out. She'd get to see all the aircrafts ready for tomorrow's air show. I have to confess I was jealous. I was going to miss out on the air show tomorrow, and now Ruby got a behind the scenes look? Sure, I had been invited, but it didn't seem right, so I'd declined, saying that I was busy. It wasn't a lie; I had plenty of art to do finish at home.

"What? This better be good." Ruby replied, detouring on her way to Will's car. I imagined now would be the time to commend my soul to God.

"Will. He's…he's not sincere with you." I finally said, unable to better phrase myself.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Ruby said, not in disbelief, or anger, or pain. Her face was emotionless.

"He hasn't been cheating on you," I assured her quickly. "Though he came damned close with me…" I thought, but continued on. "I hate to break it to you, but, I'm pretty sure he doesn't...care about you. Not enough." I finished quietly. Ruby was my closest, best friend. Why was it so easy to be frank with Will but not with Ruby?

Another silence. "Why?" Ruby finally asked, no longer in a hurry. "Why do you think that?" I could tell she wasn't angry at me. At least not yet.

"Well, um, because, I accidentally told Will I loved him, and he seemed fine with that." I spilled quickly before I could think twice. "Let's hope honesty is the best policy," I hoped fervently. Ruby stared at me, her mouth twitching, as if she wasn't sure what emotion to settle on. She didn't look surprised in the least, and that miffed me.

"Well? Aren't you upset?" I asked, rather rudely. She snorted.

"You accidentally told him you loved him?" she repeated incredulously. My cheeks burned.

"It was after –after I found out Haley had been Austin's girlfriend! And Will came to comfort me, and well, it was his fault dammit!" I said heatedly. Ruby began to look annoyed.

"Oh was it?"

"Yes, it was," I said firmly, because it was true. "I left, went outside and to the soccer fields. He followed me there, alone, and practically forced me to sit in his lap!" I explained defensively. "And we were talking, and I said I loved him, and then I tore myself from his hold and told him I was sorry! And his exact words were 'it's okay.' It's okay! And I left then! Because how could it be okay?"

"I'm not angry with you." Ruby interrupted calmly.

"You're not?" I asked, confused. "Well you should be," I informed her, like a best friend was supposed to.

"I'm not. Because, well, you didn't do anything, like you said." Ruby replied.

"Then you're angry at Will." I stated carefully, but Ruby shook her head again. "Well you definitely should be angry at Will."

"I should," Ruby agreed placidly. I stared at her in utter disbelief.

"Are you okay?" I asked her. Ruby rolled her eyes skyward.

"I'm peachy, thank you very much. And no, I'm not angry at Will. I suspected as much. I'm angry at myself for not telling myself earlier. Instead, you had to tell me. I'm smart enough to be able to tell whether a guy's into me or not, Fay. I guess I just hoped." She said, bleakly.

"I'm sorry, Ruby!" I said, hugging her tight. "Will…he's clueless. I don't know what his problem is."

"It's probably you," Ruby said. "Will's problem, I mean."

"No." I replied quickly. Too quickly, as always.

"Oh open your eyes Fay." Ruby said, exasperated. "He's had eyes only for you this whole time!" Whole time as in less than five days, I thought, but didn't voice aloud. "I thought, you know, after it was clear you and Austin were happily together, he'd notice me a bit more…but no. It's like…like he's in a freakin' dream he can't get out of his head. Like you're supposed to be with him, he's just, well, waiting. Not even making a move. Just waiting." Ruby paused, thinking. "And now that I know what you've told him, well, you just made him that much more convinced. Come to think of it, are you sincere? With Austin?" Way to take the bull by the horns. I flinched.

"I am." I replied truthfully. "I really like him. Austin is a fairy tale. I can't imagine how we could go wrong."

"Really?" Ruby questioned.

"Really," I affirmed. "In fact, I want him to be my first." I admitted, lowering my voice, even though no one was near enough to ease drop. Ruby's eyes widened excitedly.

"Really?" she said again, with a totally different meaning. "Our conversations are simply bursting with eloquent English." I thought sarcastically, but nodded. "I don't know when, yet, but soon, I hope. He's just that perfect."

"How can you be so sure?" Ruby breathed.

"Last night," I began, "when I went over his place, he totally made a move on me. It would have been then, but I asked him to stop, and he did. Just like that. No whining, no wheedling, just said, 'okay babe, whatever you want. We're going at your pace.'"

"Wow," Ruby agreed. "That's so…chivalrous of him! But still…because of that, you're going to go all the way with him? Don't you think, well, that it's a bit early?"

I failed to tell Ruby that the other reason was to completely convince myself that Austin was the one for me, to get Will, once and for all, out of my head. To erase the guilt, to give something Austin that Will would never get afterwards. It was wishful thinking, but that was the only type of thinking I had.

A/N: So this story's finally moving along. I know I'll have to end it EVENTUALLY, but I'd like to savor the moments :P So hang on tight!

-Amethyst G.