After the LONGEST time, I have returned to FictionPress, back to write silly stories once more. Lots of things have developed and changed but this isn't a blog so I will not talk about them. Anyway, the people who read these things know what's been going on.

I will probably be deleting Travels because it irks me. I doubt I will rewrite it, but I might use the plotline I have for it for something else. We'll never know.

This story is inspired by Isle of View who is finishing her absolutely remarkable story that gave my friends and I many many insane hours of laughter and fun. The characters are taken from that same story because we MUST NOT LET THE MADCAP GANG DIE.

Chapter 1 : Let's Start At The Very Beginning

I was slumped on the couch, channel-surfing after a long day. Why is it that there's NEVER anything good on television when you have the time to watch it? I flicked the TV off with a sigh, and sat up straighter, looking around the apartment. Nothing came to mind, so I settled back into the couch, my mind running through what I could possibly have for dinner.

The lock to the front door turned and I watched as it opened and Eric stepped in. "Heya," I said from my fairly comfortable spot. "How was your day?"

"Just fine," he replied in the typical straightforward Eric way. He shrugged. "Same as always."

I shook my head. You'd think, being a police officer, my cousin would have some pretty interesting stories, but he never told me anything. I had already given up on trying to puzzle out if his job was really that boring, or if he just didn't want to talk to me about stuff. One simply had to accept that he was Eric, and he behaved in this way with everyone. Except maybe Bel. Maybe he behaved differently when he was with Bel. I'd certainly never know.

I got up and shuffled along to the kitchen. "Is there anything in particular you would like for dinner or are you going to get that yourself?"

"I'm fine, I'll get it myself," he called from his room.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn't a big fan of cooking, and if Eric had wanted something I was going to have to be running around the kitchen trying to keep stuff from burning. But still I asked every time, just to be nice. And also because he'd ask if he were the one making dinner. It was no secret that my quiet, serious cousin was the better cook.

I emptied a can of soup into a bowl and popped it into the microwave. Eric came in and started boiling water to make some spaghetti. I tried to resist asking if he could make me some. He'd do it, but I hated the raised eyebrow and the tiny smile.

"Aren't you going to have with dinner with Damian?"

"Nah, not today. He's had a long day, and I think his aunt's over for dinner or something. I'm not really anxious to be a part of that meal."

"You scared of his family?" Eric looked straight at me and I felt my face turning bright red.

"No way!" I retorted.

Eric stared at me for a while, then shrugged and turned back to his spaghetti. He wasn't fooled for a second. My cousin and I weren't exactly close, but after being flatmates for half a year we knew each other well enough.

It hadn't really been a conscious choice, being flatmates. We were fresh out of college and had decided to make the move to LA, then couldn't really figure out where to stay. Finally I had found an apartment but couldn't afford the rent alone, and Eric had decided that it wasn't too bad an alternative to having to squeeze in with a bunch of friends, so that was settled.

Of course, Bel had gone ballistic when she first found out.

"Kiki! You can't live with your cousin!" she shrieked when I told her. "You two aren't even that close!"

"It's not a matter of whether we're close or not, it just so happens that we both can't afford to rent an apartment by ourselves, so we might as well share the cost. Anyway, it doesn't matter whether we're close; people even become flatmates with others that they've never met before that. It's perfectly fine. I'll mind my business and he'll mind his. It's no big deal, really."

But Bel didn't listen to me, and continued to rant on about how I couldn't possibly live with Eric, how I couldn't possibly want to live with Eric, especially with Damian's home being in LA and all . . .

"Bel, I am hardly going to fall in love and elope with Eric," I said, laughing. "We're just going to be sharing the apartment until we both can afford to live on our own."

"Why can't you just move in with Damian and leave your cousin alone . . ." Bel muttered, turning away. I just grinned and ignored her. Bel would never admit that there was something between her and Eric, even though everyone knew, and had known for about two years. But she just would never say it. And neither would Eric. It was almost as if they believed that if they didn't say it out loud it didn't exist.

The microwave beeped impatiently and I pulled my bowl of soup out as quickly as I safely could before my hands decided that it was too hot and dropped it. I sat at the counter and watched as Eric started heating up the tomato sauce for his spaghetti. The kitchen was silent for awhile; we didn't always have things to say to each other.

"Oh yeah, Bel called at my lunch hour today."

Eric paused in his stirring. "Oh?" he said casually. "That's nice. You haven't heard from her in awhile."

"Have you?" I asked slyly.

"No," he replied quickly. A little too quickly. "'We'. I meant 'we'. We haven't heard from her in awhile. How is she?"

"She's fine, doing really well. Everything's good. She might be coming over to visit sometime soon."

"Oh. Right, that'll be quite nice." He nodded and turned his full attention back to the sauce. But I knew he cared much more than he let on.

My phone rang and I practically dived for it, knowing with barely a glace that the screen would say "Damian". "Hey love!"

"Hey, so how was your day?"

"Ah, it was all right. It's been a long day, though. I was pretty glad to be able to get home and finally put my feet up." I lay down on my bed, smiling up at the ceiling.

"Yeah, same here. If I had to go through another meeting today I would have gone stark raving mad. Then home to dinner with the family and Aunt Donna!"

"Dinner with the aunt! So, how was it?"

"Let's just say I am fairly glad that Aunt Donna only visits once a year."

"That bad?"

"I guess she means well, but sometimes she forgets I'm an adult now."

"Are you an adult? Oh wow."

"Aw, come on!" Damian laughed. "You don't mean that, do you?"

"Well . . . I guess you have grown up in the years we've been together . . ."

"Yes I have."

"Right. So what are you doing tomorrow?"

"After today's hectic rush, I'm glad to say that tomorrow is probably going to be fairly quiet. Might have to go with Dad and some others to play golf, though," he sounded reluctant. Damian wasn't a big fan of golf, nor was he particularly good at it. Myself, I never understood golf. It was definitely just a good walk spoilt. What was the point of it anyway, and could it even be called a sport if you didn't break a sweat at all?

"Aw, poor darling. And I was thinking we could do lunch."

"Oh great, you've gone and made things worse now! I'm going to spend all afternoon wishing I was at lunch with you instead."

"I'm sorry. Well, maybe tomorrow night then. Let's just play it by ear, okay? I've got to go now, I'll talk to you again tomorrow."

"All right. Bye!"

"Love you."

"Love you too."

Unlike SOME PEOPLE, I do not fill the Kiki-Damian relationship with questionable content. ahem ahem