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Trying to be Normal

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CHAPTER 00: NORMAL=JAVA LAVA

11:00 MONDAY. FINALLY FOUND RAN'S/KUDO'S APARTMENT BUILDING. KUDO CAN'T WRITE DIRECTIONS TO SAVE HIS LIFE. TAKE THAT ADVICE AND MARRY IT.

I toss the piece of paper with Kudo's crappy directions in the trash bin before walking toward the apartment building. I'm actually extremely excited. It's been a couple months since the three of us graduated college in America. When we all came back to Japan, Kudo and Ran decided to move closer to Osaka so we can see each other more often. Haha, I bet they finally got married. They've probably been dating since they were fetuses.

I dunno know about you, but things like this make THE REST OF MY LIFE. When I was a kid, not a lot of people really liked being around me since I have the worst temper in the world and I have an unhealthy joy for telling people's flaws and I like being egotistical and, well you get the point...but anyway, having friends that actually want to spend time with me is amazing! Whoo! Of course I'm sure you're wondering, 'Heiji what about Kazuha? She's like your best friend! What happened to her?' Well...I accidentally ruined our relationship...heh, but I'll tell that terrible story later. First I must address the fact that Kudo did not lead me to his apartment building but a FUCKING COFFEE SHOP. GOD DAMMIT KUDO. LET RAN WRITE DOWN DIRECTIONS.

I send a text to Ran, the smarter one between the two of them-direction wise at least, she's bad at Pictionary-and angrily wait for a response. I look up at the café sign. Cafe Bake. Fun name. Extremely literal, but fun. My phone vibrates and I read the text Ran sent me.

Shinichi told you the cafe entrance. sorry! XP The apartment entrance is on the other side of the building. You'll see us waiting.

Alright then. It's reassuring that I'm not too far away. I look back at the cafe. ...one cup wouldn't hurt. Shouldn't take too much time, and Kudo and Ran understand how much coffee means to me. Coffee is like the best thing that ever happened to the universe. Like if I could marry coffee, I would. Her name would be Java. Java Lava. She would have to live in like...a cup or something...MOVING ON.

The sign reads 'CAFEBAKE'. Wow what a literal title. No one couldn't think of anything clever? But I guess being this forward is helpful too. You wouldn't want to walk in a coffee shop that has the sign 'DEAD CHILDREN AND ALSO POSSIBLE COFFEE'. I walk inside and luckily enough there's no one in line. It's actually bigger than what I thought it would be. The color scheme of the place is white and blue and are those birds on some of the tables…? Maybe they're little figurines or something. Either way, the people inside seem to be enjoying themselves. Another good thing to take account of when you enter a coffee shop you don't know. Yes, I could write a 9000 page essay on the things to look for in coffee shops everywhere. Honestly I should get on that…

Currently there's two people working at the machines, a girl with pigtails, and a girl at the register. The cashier, who is kinda cute heheh, is cleaning her nametag. She mutters to herself and pushes her hair back behind her ear. I rather like her bob haircut, but I'm a long hair dude. She looks up as I reach the counter and gasps loudly. I look around in case there's Frankenstein's monster behind me. Nope. No one. I look at her again and she still looks like she's internally screaming at something. Woah, what if I'm so attractive, it scares people.

"I know I'm like the hottest guy ever, but I never got a reaction like that." I lean on the counter grinning. Oh yeah I'm turning the charm on 100%.

She rolls her eyes frowning. "God, you're still egotistical." WELL. WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?

"You're the one reacting to my amazingness!" I get off the counter. Charm is totally down to -10000.

"I WASN'T FLAUNTING OVER YOUR LOOKS! I'M IRRITATED BECAUSE YOU OF ALL PEOPLE CAME IN HERE TO MAKE MY DAY EXTREMELY MISERABLE. THANKS." She angrily gets a plastic cup and glares at me. "What do you want," she snaps.

Wow, she's such an asshole I'm surprised she's not transforming into a donkey's ass as we speak.

I glare back. She's not cute anymore. I mean she is, but now is not the time for flattery. "Latte." I hand her my credit card. She snatches it from my hands and reads it carefully.

"OH GOD," She says loudly. She reaches over the counter and pinches my face. "OH GOD THIS ISN'T A DREAM!"

"WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?" I rub my cheek. "DO YOU NEED LIKE A THERAPIST? OR A STRAIGHT JACKET?" There are people staring at us now, and I'm regretting my love for coffee.

Her pigtailed coworker looks up from making my drink and walks over to her. "It could be the screaming, but something is telling me to see if you're alright," She says, pushing up her glasses with her free hand.

"Keiko, remember the guy I was telling you about when I first moved here?" Crazy cashier says before pointing at me. "HE'S FUCKING HERE."

Keiko gasps loudly. "No way!" She gives me a once over and hums in disapproval. "I'm a bit underwhelmed." EXCUSE ME?

OH FOR THE LOVE OF JAVA LAVA. "I'M NOT IN THE MOOD FOR COFFEE ANYMORE. GIVE ME BACK MY CARD." The crazy cashier happily gives it back to me. I'm sure she's happy to have me leave AND I AM SO READY TO GO. Suddenly, someone runs out from what I guess is a small kitchen. He has messy hair, and is covered in what I hope is flour. For all I know I could've walked into a meth lab.

"WAIT NO! YOU GOTTA BUY SOMETHING!" He rubs his hands together. "DOVES!" he opens his hands and several doves fly out of nowhere. I notice some of the doves from the tables fly toward him. Is that even sanitary? The customers clap, and I look around completely confused. WAS THAT A DISTRACTION!?

"What the fuck is with this place..." I mumble. NEVER GETTING COFFEE AGAIN. DAMN YOU JAVA LAVA.

"So it was a latte right?" He asks, reaching for my card. The crazy cashier watches me carefully. She seems a bit calmer now. Dare I say she looks even sad?

"Uh...yeah..." I say after a while. I guess they're going out of business or something since they want me to buy something this bad... Crazy cashier takes over on making my coffee and Dove guy rings me up. I make sure I get my credit card back cause THESE GUYS ARE TOO SHADY IF YOU ASK ME... "Sorry about that." He smiles.

"Yeah...sure..." I still have no idea what the hell just happened. LIKE REALLY. WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED.

"My name is Kaito!" He says.

I didn't ask.

"That's great." I say. He nods, waiting for me to introduce myself. "I'm Heiji."

I notice Crazy Cashier play with her hair behind him.

"Heiji?" He raises his eyebrows. "That name sounds familiar..." Crazy Cashier bites her lip as she continues working. What's with her? Have we met before? She used 'still' when she said I was egotistical.

"I'm sure," I say, looking around. I want to leave this place. I regret all of my life choices.

Crazy cashier hands me my coffee and our fingers brush against each other. She quickly moves her hand and looks at the floor. She better not turn this into a shoujo manga and fall in love with me. SHE BEST TO NOT. NOT DOWN WITH LOVING CRAZY FOLKS. I quickly walk out and go around the block to meet up with Ran and Kudo. They're standing in front of the apartment building like they said they would be. I feel the goofiest smile forming on my face. Man, it really has been too long since we last saw each other. They're laughing about something and as I get closer there's another person with them. Oh no is this one of those 'we want you to meet our new best friend/your replacement in our circle of friends' kinda meetups?

"You'll love being around Heiji then," I hear Ran say. GOD IT IS ONE OF THOSE MEETUPS. DAMMIT. TODAY IS NOT MY DAY. She looks over her shoulder and squeals in excitement. "HEIJI-KUN!" She runs over to me and gives me a big hug. "It's been forever! I'm so happy to see you again!"

"Watch out for his beloved cup of coffee, Ran," Kudo laughs walking over to us. "Is that why it took you so long to get over here?" When Ran lets go of me, Kudo gives me a HUG. WOAH. OKAY. SO. KUDO RARELY HUGS PEOPLE. AND HE HUGGED ME. WE'RE SUCH GOOD BESTIES. "Stop smiling like that," he says when he lets go.

"Awww, can't I be glad my darling Kudo finally showed me affection?" I ask, laughing. Kudo rolls his eyes, smiling. Ran giggles behind her hand. I quickly check for a ring. Darn...would've lost that bet. BUT NO MATTER-THE DREAM TRIO'S BACK!

"I feel awkward," A voice says. Oh yeah, the other person they brought along. Totally forgot he existed. I look past Kudo to see a teen who...creepily looks like Kudo. Oh my god. OH MY GOD.

"DUDE YOU GUYS HAD A KID WITHOUT ME KNOWING." I point at the third. Ran laughs loudly. The third flushes.

Kudo swiftly slaps my head. "IT'S ONLY BEEN TWO MONTHS, HATTORI. WE CAN'T RAISE A TEENAGER LET ALONE HAVE A KID IN THAT SMALL PERIOD OF TIME." He calms down and gestures to the third. "This is my younger cousin Conan."

"We're looking over him for the summer." Ran smiles.

"Oh..." I say. Kudo's family must have like amazing genes or something to look FREAKISHLY SIMILAR like that...I mean all genes help your family look similar, but you get what I mean. "Nice to meet you." I put out my hand.

"Same, I guess." He shakes it. Ugh, teens…

"C'mon, c'mon-I have cookies waiting for you that'll go well with your coffee!" Ran grabs my hand and leads me inside. Kudo and Conan follow, side by side with their hands in their pockets. They must be clones. THEY MUST BE. Ran presses the button for the elevator and we all wait.

I give Kudo a sly look. "Ran made me cookies. I'm special."

He doesn't miss a beat. "They were the ones I didn't eat last night."

"And the ones I didn't take this morning," Conan adds. Kudo gives him a weird look. "Was I not supposed to get them?" Conan says angrily. "Not everything she makes is for you, you know. EVERYONE LIKES COOKIES SO EVERYONE EATS THEM," he exclaims, waving his arms for emphasis. We all stare at him, and he flushes from embarrassment. "I'm going to the cafe..." he mutters, quickly walking away.

"Uhhhh...what-" I start, but Kudo cuts me off.

"It's nothing," he says, getting on the elevator.

I glance at Ran. She lets out a sigh and forces a smile. "Shinichi and Conan-kun are very similar. They like the same person." She whispers.

...oh…OH.

11:20 A.M. IN KUDO'S/RAN'S/CONAN'S APARTMENT. SO SPACIOUS. MAYBE I COULD LIVE HERE.

"You can't live here," Kudo says. He's sitting across from me in a chair, and I'm lying on the sofa. Ran's getting my cookies~

"Dammit." I look at the ceiling. "You know me too well." I look over to him and he's smiling. I'm proud to say that I'm one of the few people who can make Kudo laugh a lot. "I guess you're right though. Four people in an apartment is too much."

"You can stay in the building though." Ran walks over and puts the plate of cookies on my stomach. Heh, she also knows me too well. "Kaito-kun said that he wanted a roommate." She sits on Kudo's lap. Ran's more open with her affection now than she was in college. The thought of sitting on Kudo's lap would literally keep her frazzled for a day or so.

I almost drop the plate when I sit up. "I remember 'Kaito-kun'..." I mutter, remembering the terrible cafe experience. "...and the rest of his cafe circus..."

Ran claps her hands. "You met Kaito-kun already?" She smiles. "Isn't he nice?"

"In the random apparition of birds kinda way, sure." I pick up my coffee from the floor and take a sip. For some reason the feeling of touching crazy cashier's fingers come back to mind. It's kinda weird…I feel like I met her somewhere before, but that's crazy. Like 'vegetarians pigging out on pork' crazy.

"He lives below us." Kudo rubs his forehead in frustration. I guess Kudo thinks of him the same way I do, and I only talked to Kaito for like five minutes.

Someone knocks on the door. "Ran-chan~" a voice says on the other side. Kudo's face contorts into sheer horror.

Ran, however, is as happy as a peach. "Amuro-san!" She goes to the door and unlocks it. Kudo quickly gets out of his chair and sits next to me.

"What's with you? Who's 'Amuro-san'?" I ask.

He shushes me. "Amuro is our landlord and he's the creepiest person ever. Don't make eye contact with him-" He whispers, and stops when Amuro's hand pats his shoulder. I look up to see a tallish tan guy with dyed hair and all black clothes. Is he some kinda gangster or something?

"Shinichi-kun~" He smiles brightly, leaning down to see him eye to eye. "You shouldn't gossip." He turns to me and I kid you not I almost screamed. His eyes are like lightning bolts! ZAP YOU'RE DEAD. OR LIKE REALLY INJURED. Eyes cannot be that terrifying. "Who is this?"

Kudo shrugs Amuro's hand off. "An innocent bystander that should leave for safety." Kudo glances at me and jerks his head to the door. ROGER THAT. I start to get up, taking my cookies and coffee with me.

Ran laughs. "Shinichi, you're so shy when Amuro's here." DOES SHE NOT FEEL THE IMMENSE AXE-MURDERER VIBE FROM THIS GUY? "Heiji-kun, you can't leave without introducing yourself." I slowly sit back down and Kudo pats my shoulder apologetically. I'm sorry I couldn't leave either, buddy.

"Heiji-kun?" Amuro stands straight. "I like that name. Not as wonderful as Kogoro though," he tells this to Ran. She nods happily. Side note-Ran's dad name is Kogoro. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HE'S HINTING AT. "Anyway, since Kaito-kun is busy with the cafe downstairs, I was wondering if either of you knew how long Aoko-chan was going to be away."

Ran taps her chin, pondering. "I think until the end of this week." She looks at Kudo for confirmation.

He nods. "Yeah, she's coming back Sunday."

"Oh alright." Amuro pulls out a notebook and jots something down. Probably the perfect time to kidnap a small helpless animal or something. "Every time I ask Kaito-kun he gets really tense."

"Maybe it's because he thinks you're gonna murder him in an alleyway." I clap my hand over my mouth immediately after saying it. SHIT. I DIDN'T MEAN TO SAY THAT ALOUD. THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MY THOUGHTS. OH GOD, I'M THE NEXT VICTIM. Kudo gives me a small wave goodbye. I'M GONNA MISS YOU TOO KUDO.

Amuro gives me an odd look before laughing loudly. "YOU'RE FUNNY HEIJI-CHAN. SO FUNNY!" He walks to the door. "Anyway, that was all I needed. It was nice meeting you Heiji-chan!" And with that the devil is out of the room and hopefully out of my life.

"HATTORI." Kudo grabs my shoulders. "HE CHANGED YOUR HONORIFIC."

"I KNOW." I grab his shoulders. "I'M GONNA DIE!"

Ran scoffs at us. "You two are so mean! He's not going to kill anybody. Amuro's as harmless as a doll."

Kudo and I let go of each other. "They said that about Chucky," I say.

"And Furbies," Kudo says.

Ran rolls her eyes. "You're just not used to him, yet. He does seem to like you a lot Heiji-kun. Maybe it's because you both have tan skin?"

I knew my luxurious skin tone would be the end of me one day. FUCKING KNEW IT.

1:00 P.M. IN CAFEBAKE AGAIN. CELEBRATING MY VICTORY OF BEATING KUDO IN MARIO KART WITH MORE COFFEE.

And, believe it or not, I want to see crazy cashier girl again. There's something about her that seems oddly familiar, and I want to get to the bottom of it before leaving this building today. I might not visit Ran and Kudo all the time so this might be my only chance. I wait in line impatiently, and try to look over the people in front of me to see if she's still there. For some reason though, every tall person in the world decided to have their coffee at this time so I can't see a thing.

"HI! I MEAN UH—hi…hello…what would you like?" Another cashier, who is just as odd, greets me once I reach the counter.

I sigh. "Nothing. I wanted to see someone else." Oops. Didn't mean to say that aloud.

The cashier starts tearing up. "I'M SORRY. I KNOW IT'S ME. CAUSE I CAN GUESS WHAT KINDA DRINK YOU WANT AND IT'S REALLY CREEPY." She removes her glasses to wipe her eyes. "I'M SO TERRIBLE AT THESE THINGS!"

Oh geez. Ohhh geez. "Wait, wait! Don't cry!" I check her nametag. "Terumi! I'll buy something from you! Just don't cry!" I really hate seeing, much less being the cause of, a girl crying. Ugh, I'm remembering the day Kazuha and I stopped talking to each other…she was crying a lot then…ANYWAY back to Terumi here.

"Okay…I'm sorry to start crying…I'm just really emotional…all the time…" She gets out a hanky to wipe her glasses with before putting them back on. "I think it's the buildup of being afraid of everyone's thoughts, you know?"

"…I don't." I say after a while. "Is that what girls are calling the time of the month now?" I snicker at the thought.

"What? No. It's not that—I'm irregular anyway…" She tells me. TMI TERUMI. "But you know what I mean, right? Like people expect so much out of us coffee makers! IF I GET ONE THING WRONG THEY'LL HATE ME FOREVER."

"I think you're thinking too hard about it," I say. "I mean it's just coffee. What else can they do if you do something wrong?"

"…complain to my boss and get me fired…" she mumbles.

Hah, actually forgot that point. "Either way, you can always make another coffee. It's not that big of a deal."

She nods, more sure of herself. "Right! I can always try again!" She smiles. Awww she's adorable! Like the younger sister I never got! "What would you like today?"

"Mocha, tall, and a little whipped cream." Because I'm worth it.

Terumi grabs a cup and a sharpie and asks for my name.

"Heiji."

Her smile drops. "Oh no. OH NO. OHHHHH NOOOOO." She covers her mouth, shaking her head. "I'M SO SORRY. I DON'T THINK I'M SUPPOSED TO LIKE YOU—I MEAN TALK TO YOU." She quickly hands me a random cup of coffee. "It's on the house-I'm really sorry."

I walk to a seat in the corner of the cafe in complete shock. Is there some ax murderer that looks exactly like me walking around and everyone else knows he exists but me? WHY IS EVERYONE FREAKING OUT ABOUT MY EXISTENCE? Maybe I'm in a dream or something. Maybe Leonardo DiCaprio is sleeping next to me with one of those dream machines and just fucking around in my dream. I pinch my cheek and wince in pain. Damn.

"Oh is the inside of your mouth itching?" A voice says across from me. Ah, the wonderful Kaito is back. He happily sits across from me with a slice of cake.

"There aren't going to be anymore birds randomly flying out of one of your crevices are there?" I ask, protecting my cup of coffee.

He laughs. "No, no. They're away. Plus, the crowd can only be distracted a few times with that trick." He bites into his cake and hums to himself. I take a sip of my coffee "You're Heiji, right? I've seen or heard your name before…must have been in the Hell Hole," Kaito replies AS IF IT WAS THE MOST NORMAL SENTENCE TO SAY.

I spit out my drink. "WHAT!?" I quickly get a napkin and wipe the table. "Uh...sorry..."

Kuroba lets out a snort. "Nah, s'fine. I probably should've expected that. It always surprises people. Anyway, the kitchen is the Hell Hole. I'm one of the bakers." He wipes the remaining coffee off his shirt and face. "Anyway, what brings you here?"

"I was visiting my friends Kudo and Ran," I tell him.

"HEHEHEH..." is the first thing that comes from Kaito. I'm honestly not sure if I should even bother asking. "They're great fun." He grins. Nope. Not gonna ask.

"Yeah, they're nice. It's a great apartment too. I think I might move myself," I say.

Kuroba grabs my hand, excitedly. "No way! That's, like, the greatest thing I've heard all week!" What. "My girlfriend—" Someone's dating him!? "—is away at the moment—" I hate that I'm not surprised by this. "—and I'm kinda bored being by myself. You seem pretty cool and you seem to like it here, so it's perfect!" Wait…what? Whaaaaaaat? "Come on, I live upstairs. We'll take the elevator!" He pulls me toward the elevator near the back of the restaurant. Once the doors open he pushes me inside, not listening to my protests.

"Dude, I barely know…" I trail off when I see the crazy cashier again. She's serving coffee with Terumi and laughing at something. I said this before, but man she's much prettier when she's not being freakishly crazy. I let out a sigh when the elevator doors close.

Why does she seem so familiar though?

1:20 P.M. UPSTAIRS. KAITO'S LEADING ME TO HIS PLACE. I WONDER WHO'S IN THE HELL HOLE.

"Here we go," Kaito says, jogging toward his door. "The apartments here are super spacious for two people, and Aoko already knows I want another roommate so you're not gonna be in the way." He opens the door and lets me in.

"Why are there doves…everywhere?" I stand in the doorway, watching the flock of doves fly around the room. This guy has too many surprises. Next he's gonna say there's a dragon in the bedroom and it's my roommate.

"Oh, I'm a magician by trade," he says, lowering his voice to sound impressive, which makes me chuckle. "Aoko just asked me to bake for her while she's gone." Kaito walks inside, and doesn't flinch when the flock flies in his direction. "I was practicing a trick earlier and after releasing them downstairs I let them stay here for a bit." he replies turning to me with all of the doves on his shoulders.

Dare I say he looks kinda angelic like that?

"Huh," is the only thing I say as I look around the apartment. It's actually cleaner than I thought it would be. I guess you don't judge someone from their bushy hairstyle.

"If you move in, your room would be the one at the end of the little hallway." Kuroba points, giggling at his doves.

I walk through the main room to the little hallway and find the guest room. I sit on the bed and think about what I want to do. Moving out of my parents' place would be nice, especially since they've been dropping major hints lately. Yesterday Dad taped a piece of paper on my bike with GET OUT on it. Yeah.

And hey, I can talk to Ran and Kudo all the time and try to get on crazy cashier's good side. It's a win/win! No, it doesn't take much to convince me to do something crazy. I should probably take more caution with my actions but life wouldn't be as fun.

I walk back to the living room to see Kuroba putting the last of his doves in their cages. "Oi, I think I'll take you up on your offer after all." I say.

Kaito laughs, winking at me. I guess that's the most he can do without scaring his doves. "Sweet! New roommate!" His excitement slowly fades. "Drat…we gotta talk to Amuro…"

I know that feel Kaito. I know that feel.

5:50 P.M. IN MY NEW ROOM, ORGANIZING MY CDS. YEAH, MOVING IN WAS FAST FOR ME TOO.

Today is like convenience day or something because not only do I have a new room and roommate, moving in my things was a breeze! All I had to bring were my clothes and cds and other personal things since Kaito has this place completely furnished. Like really, where is all his money coming from? Being a magician for some nightclub shouldn't bring in THIS much money. HE HAS MAHOGANY TABLES. MAHOGANY.

"Why do you have a Power Rangers jacket?" Kaito asks, looking through my closet.

"Because it's amazing," I say, taking the last few cds out of a box.

"But it's the most random thing—"

"I DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR ADULT PURCHASES." I turn to him dramatically.

He snickers. "Man, you're weird." Says the guy who prefers chunky peanut butter. "Oh! We should meet your new neighbors! I'm sure they would love to meet you."

"Just like a cat would love to meet a fast vehicle…" I mutter, following him out of my room.

"What?"

"Nothing~"

We walk out of the apartment and go to one across from us. Kaito rings a little jingle with the doorbell and you would never guess who opens the door.

CRAZY CASHIER GIRL AND HER EVER PRESENT GLARE.

"Hi-Hi!" Kaito waves. She smiles at him. Of course they're friends. OF COURSE. "I wanted you to meet my new roommate, Heiji!" She frowns again when Kaito gestures to me.

"I know who he is." She grimaces. "AND HE'S DUMBER THAN I THOUGHT HE WAS!"

"EH!?" WHAT THE HELL!? "WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW ME!" I step in front of Kaito. I'M SO PISSED OFF AT THIS GIRL. WHY DID I WANT TO GET ON HER GOOD SIDE?

She gets close to my face. "I DO KNOW YOU AHOU!"

AHOU!? HOW DARE SHE CALL ME-

wait.

She takes a small step back and crosses her arms.

But no...

wait...no...wait..NO...WAIT NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

"KAZUHA!?"

She rolls her eyes. "Took you long enough..."

Kaito gasps loudly. "THAT'S WHERE I HEARD YOUR NAME. YOU'RE THE HEIJI THAT RUINED KAZUHA'S LIFE!"

What?! That's my title!? "I didn't ruin your life!"

"You made me feel terrible for a couple of months that counts for ruining my life." She says, leaning against the doorframe. "Anyway, you should go since I actually need to ask Kaito something."

"I DIDN'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU EITHER!" I yell.

She points at me, extremely agitated. "I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO MOVE HERE!"

"I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO LIVE HERE EITHER!"

"Wait…what do you need to ask me…?" Kaito mumbles.

"FINE!" She goes inside her apartment.

"I'M FINER!"

"IM FINEST-I GOT BOOBS AND A VAGINA NOTHING CAN BEAT THAT!"

"IM THE FINEST OF THE FINE BECAUSE I GOT A PENIS!"

"WELL YOU CAN SUCK IT CAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL!"

"IT'S PHYSICALLY," I flinch when she slams her door. "...impossible..."

Kaito and I silently walk back to our apartment, not really feeling up to meeting the rest of our neighbors.

"...I think she won that one," He replies.

I sigh loudly. "I know." I go back into our apartment, ruffling my hair.

"Uh...you wanna…talk about what happened?" He asks, closing the door.

"Nothing to talk about." I walk to my room and close the door. I plop on my bed, and groan loudly.

This is sucky and awesome at the same time—like a lollipop that's been on the floor too long—GEEZ.

I hear Kaito open the door to his room. I guess he's gonna hang out in there for a bit. A couple minutes later, I hear him knock.

"Guess who's the kinda roommate who likes checking to see if everyone is okay?" He laughs nervously on the other side of the door.

I sigh and get up to let him in.

He beams when I open the door. "Do you like magic?"

"Sure," I say, following him to my bed.

He waves his hands and makes a deck of cards appear. "Then allow me to show you a mind boggling trick." We sit across from each other and he begins shuffling the cards. "It's a trick that actually stumped me for a bit after one of my magician friends showed it to me, and now it's one of my favorites. It's called oil and water."

"Magic tricks have names?" I ask. "I thought they just existed…"

"Everything has a name! If it didn't things would get kinda hairy," he chuckles. "I will now pull out three red and three black cards. What I'm going to do is keep them separate just like oil and water, hence the name. I'm going to stack the cards, alternating between black and red."

I watch him carefully as he does this. I've seen magic tricks before, and I've been able to see the trick…

"Alrighty! Now all I will do is wave my finger around the stack and…" he picks the cards up and shows me that the red and black cards have separated again.

"No…" I gasp. "I was watching so carefully!"

Kaito laughs again. "I'll do it again." He repeats the trick and I watch his hands. I still don't see anything! How is he doing that? Once again the cards are separated. "Third time's a charm, right?" I nod and he does the trick AND IT WORKS AGAIN. WHAT IS HE DOING?

"I'm so mad that I can't figure this out…" I say. "There's something happening here…"

"You'll be more peeved then," Kaito says as he reaches for the rest of the deck. "You'll see that the rest of the deck is the same way." He shows me the cards and I'm almost speechless.

"That's crazy! How did you do that?" I give him a mini standing ovation. He bows and begins putting the cards away.

"Magicians never tell their secrets, Heiji." He winks at me. "But if you ever need to talk about anything, I'm close by."

Kaito leaves me alone again. It was nice of him to distract me for a little bit, even though I'm a bit more peeved that I couldn't figure it out, but it was still really nice. I let out a sigh. I know one things for sure—I'm really glad to see Kazuha again. Sure she hates me, but seeing her in person is like the best present ever.

I cover my face when I let out a groan. There's something else that's bothering me though.

"KAITO DO THE TRICK AGAIN. I SWEAR TO GOD I'M GONNA FIGURE IT OUT!" I yell as I run out of my room.

He did it three more times and I still couldn't figure it out. We both were cracking up by the end of it though, so I guess that's what really matters.