Claimer: Mine. No takey.

All Falls Down


I sat in the dorm room, speechless for the first time in nearly twenty years.

"You want me to date Steve Goldberg?" I repeated slowly, staring at my best friend in disbelief. Beside me on the bed, Ethan shot me a hesitant grin.

"Not date, go on a date," he corrected, brown hair falling slightly into his eyes.

I snorted. "Where's he gonna take me,a Star Trek convention?" Seriously, Goldberg was the lamest kid I'd ever met. He was definitely one of those kids that got beaten up in high school on a regular basis. Hell, I was still tempted to smack him around whenever the little troll came fawning.

"Bryn." Ethan shot me a reproachful glare, but I would not be deterred.

"Why are you trying to set me up with Steve anyway?" I demanded. "I thought you hated him."

"I don't hate him."

It was my turn to cast the reproachful glare and I took a small amount of satisfaction from the way my best friend withered beneath it. Very few people can make Ethan Summers squirm, but that's exactly what he ended up doing. "Well, see, the thing is…" he hedged, rubbing the back of his neck ruefully. "I kinda lost all my money at Sam's last night."

I blinked at him. "Oooo-kay?" Like that explained anything. It wasn't the first time their Wednesday night poker game cleaned him out. Unless he kept playing. After all, some times they bet favors. Ethan bit his lip and it suddenly hit me.

Oh hell no.

"You didn't." I said darkly. Not even Ethan could be that stupid.

"I had a straight flush, okay?"

"So you bet me?" I screeched, bolting off the bed. He had the decency to look abashed.

"It's only one date," he soothed. "And Jen and I will be there." Unfortunately for him, the mention of his latest fling didn't make my mood any better, and my voice rose another octave.

"What the hell is the matter with you?!"

Ethan grabbed my wrist gently, pulling me back down beside him. "Look, he's harmless," he assured me, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear with a large, tanned hand. I smacked it.

"He's an overweight, sexually repressed pervert!" I sputtered.

"But he's a harmless overweight, sexually repressed pervert."

"And he reeks!"

Ethan's lips quirked. "I'll make sure he takes a shower, I promise."

Why was he talking as if I'd agreed to anything? "I don't care what he does, because I'm not going anywhere near him."

"Bryn, please," Ethan pled, those hazel eyes begging me to agree. I stared resolutely at the Audioslave poster above his desk, fighting the urge to punch him. He knew I'd end up caving, the ass.

"You so owe me." It was almost worth it to see the way his face lit up. Like I'd ever denied him before. Christ.

"God, I love you," he grinned, pulling me into a breath stealing hug.

"Yeah, well it's not mutual." I muttered, disentangling myself from his arms. "Call me with the details later. I don't even want to look at you right now." Because, as angry as I was, after a hug like that I might come dangerously close to melting in a puddle at his feet and, really, that would just be so undignified. I didn't want to ruin my reputation as the University ice bitch.

God, and they said college would be fun.

A/N: This idea just whacked me upside the head and would not die. Every time I sat down to write the next chapter for DSR something from this story ended up on the screen. It's been in my head for a while, but it's really fleshed out over the past few days. I'm hoping to make a bitchier yet weaker character than Chloe, one with a lot of growing up to do. Please don't kill me.

As always, feed back is appreciated (not that there's much to comment on yet).