more Amelia and Sebastian. this, chronologically speaking, comes about nine months before Disease. it was even written before that one, but Keeping It took longer to edit. thus, it is posted later. hope you enjoy. there's going to be a follow up chapter after this... maybe a few more, actually. i haven't decided. don't forget to tip your wait-staff... or review, which ever you prefer. :)

Amelia knew too much about her self and the world around her to think that she had been cheated out of anything. It was their last few weeks together; naturally they were going to spend every waking moment with each other. But, damn it, she wanted some time with him that wasn't with her. Amelia was beginning to get angry whenever she was around the two of them. In her mind, Amelia was able to understand the situation perfectly, but her pride kept her angry.

'Damn thing always was a bit behind the power curve,' she thought as she sipped her white wine and listened to her friends talk and tried, valiantly tried, to ignore Sebastian lavishing attention on Victoire. But jealousy ripped through her like a wild fire, making her have to force her hand to relax so she didn't accidentally break her wine glass. It was disgusting, watching them fawn over each other. She placed her glass down on the coffee table, trying not to slam it as she stood up and quietly excused her self. She needed some air, needed to get out of that house.

"Where are you going, Ame?" Sebastian asked, as if her departure rather than her presence was worthy of detaching himself from his girlfriend.

"Just stepping outside for a moment, sweetheart," she responded, trying, but not very hard, to keep the chill from her voice. Everyone, save for Victoire, could recognize the tone, though only Sarah could imagine the reason why. Mario looked as if he were about to say something, but quickly decided against making a comment when Sarah sunk her nails into his knee. Since Victoire didn't know Amelia as well, no one could really blame her for not simply allowing Amelia to leave. Except, of course, for Amelia.

"Are you feeling okay, Amelia?"

The others in the room could literally feel the temperature in the room drop, and it had nothing to do with the weather. Amelia levelled her icy glare on her best friend's girlfriend.

"I'll be fine once I'm outside, Victoire." Amelia's voice was hard and clipped, as cold as her deep blue eyes. Sarah took a breath and tried to divert the attention so that Amelia could leave without any real damage done.

"Amelia sometimes gets a little tense around crowds," she said, trying to give Amelia an out. "She just needs to be outside for a little while."

"That's not true," Sebastian protested as his dark brow lowered. "Amelia loves crowds. In fact, she searches them out when she can. Amelia –" He turned to his best friend, but the small blonde had already escaped out the front door. Sarah glowered at Sebastian and Victoire as she stood up.

"You're such an idiot, Bas," she sighed, shaking her head as she went out after her friend.

It was probably safest that it was Kat who went after her rather than any one else; Amelia probably would've killed any others if they had tried. Well, maybe not Mario , but he was inept when it came to girls mostly, and with Amelia's mood being how it was just then even his status of 'lovable brother-figure' probably wouldn't have saved him.

Outside, Amelia was standing in drive way, her thin arms crossed against her front being her only defence against the cold as she'd not grabbed her coat; a thin red blouse with the sleeves rolled to her elbows wasn't really the best for keeping warm in north-east winter weather. Her shoulders were tense as she took a short, aggravated drag from her cigarette. She didn't like smoking and hated that she wasn't able to calm down this time without one. In her defence, she only smoked when she was too close to the edge and it only took a few short drags to calm her nerves. She wasn't there quite yet though, and as she looked over towards the door when it opened, she was fully prepared to start bashing heads. But she stopped when she realised who it was.

"Are you okay?" Sarah asked her friend. Amelia's stiff shoulders gave a defensive jerk and she took another drag as she turned back to stare out at the street. Sarah shifted uncomfortably in the cold before moving towards her.

"You must be really wound up if you're smoking. Wanna talk about it?" Amelia shook her head, her soft, honey blonde hair swinging gently with the movement, and flicked the ash off her cigarette.

"Okay." Sarah knew when not to push. "Are you gonna come back inside any time soon? You don't have to if you don't want to. Mario and I wouldn't blame you if you left." Amelia shook her head again. She took one more deep drag, letting the nicotine burn her lungs and calm her nerves as she crushed out her cigarette before letting the toxic smoke escape through her lips.

"I'm not that much of a coward. But I think I will stick to the kitchen and the back rooms. In fact, I'd like to go in through the deck if you don't mind." It seemed best to keep interaction with Sebastian and Victoire to a minimum.

"Yeah sure; I'll go open the door for you."

"Appreciate it."

Amelia did think about just leaving as she rounded the house, about telling Sarah that she really wasn't up to being around anyone tonight, but that was the coward's way out. And Amelia hated showing weakness. Besides, it was Sarah and Mario's engagement dinner; she didn't really want to ruin it. She shook her head as she climbed the wooden stairs to wait at the sliding doors. She wondered idly how cold it was as she tried not to shiver. Thirty six degrees? Thirty two? Well, at least there wasn't any snow. She looked up as the glass door opened, the deck flooding with light when the curtain was pulled aside, and smiled, prepared to laugh off her mood and joke with her hostess.

"About time, Sar –"

But the plastic smile fled from her face as she looked up, the forced laughter dying in her voice instantly. Sebastian stood there, confused anger darkening his face with only the slightest hint of worry seen around his green eyes. The door was full, nearly entirely blocked off, with his broad shoulders and tall frame. Sarah came running up behind him, finding both of them glowering at each other.

"I'm sorry Amelia! Mario had a question when I got in and before I knew it Sebastian was gone and…" Sarah sighed as Amelia moved towards a crack between Sebastian and the frame, squeezing past both man and hostess. She didn't say a word as she glided through the kitchen and past the people in the living room. She stopped at the front door and grabbed her coat and purse, digging through it as she let Sarah catch up, not willing to see Sebastian behind her.

"I'm sorry I can't stay, Sarah," she said as she pulled her keys out. "I'll call tomorrow, okay?" She kissed Sarah's cheek and opened the door, not registering the fact that Sebastian was pulling on his own coat. "Congrats again."

The cold didn't bother her this time; Amelia was running on negative energy and stress and couldn't focus enough to suffer the cold biting her still bare arms. She had just gotten into her car and revved the engine when the passenger side door opened and Sebastian climbed in.

"Get out of my car, Sebastian," Amelia said as calmly as she could manage. She refused to look at him.

"No, I don't think so. We're going back to your place and we're going to talk about whatever has crawled up your butt. Victoire's not expecting me back tonight, so it doesn't matter how long it's going to take." He looked at her as he buckled his seat belt. "Drive." Amelia glared out the front windshield.

"I'm tired of being around you tonight, Sebastian. We'll talk about this tomorrow, now get out of my car and go back to girlfriend."

"I know you, Amelia; if we don't talk about it now you'll ignore it until the next time you get mad at me then toss it in my face. And I don't even know why you're mad at me this time. I haven't done anything."

'That's exactly the point, duffus,' Amelia growled to herself. "I don't want to talk about it right now, Sebastian."

"Which is why we're going to drive to your place in silence so you can calm down and we'll talk rationally about this there."

Amelia gripped the steering wheel hard and glared at Sarah and Mario's garage door before shifting into reverse and pulling out. She knew better than to argue with him when he thought he was right. She knew she'd stew about it the whole car ride, but if he wanted to talk about then she'd gladly stew away, chew on it until made her talk about every damn thing. Then she'd spit the whole thing back at him. Maybe after that he'd finally leave her alone.

They drove in silence, just as he had wanted it; it was almost as if Sebastian knew that any words he said now could and would be used against him in a court of… well, eventually. Amelia was already aware of what he was going to say anyway; that she was being irrational, confusing and obtuse. That she had no right to be upset at him. And knowing this only made her angrier. She knew that he thought that she shouldn't be angry with him, but she had waited four months to see the goon and he couldn't even give her the time of day?! He had all the time in the world for the girlfriend who was going to leave him, again, who he had already decided to break up with for the second time, but he couldn't spare five minutes, five measly minutes alone with his best friend who he hadn't seen in four fucking months?!?!

Amelia parked the car and grabbed her stuff from the back seat, then stomped her way to her apartment building and climbed the stairs to her door on the third floor. Sebastian was right behind her the whole way, glowering. He didn't even know why he put up with her moods. They had been best friends since high school and he still couldn't get a handle on her swings, not even after six years. Amelia, so angry she was shaking, couldn't get her hands to work; Sebastian just rolled his eyes and took the keys from her when he saw her fumble with them, opening the door himself. He shoved her inside before following her in and closing the door, flipping the lock behind him.

"What the hell is your problem?!" he demanded, dropping the keys onto the front table before he threw them at her.

"My problem?" Amelia hurled her purse and coat onto her couch. "I don't have a problem. You're the one who jumped into my car and demanded that I take you to my apartment. What's your problem?"

"You have been cold and distant all evening, then you snap at Victoire for no reason and Sarah says you're smoking?! Something must be wrong if you're smoking, Ame. And then you get mad at me without even telling me why!!! What has gotten you so riled up that you snap at Victoire, smoke of all things, and try to take my head off with your eyes?!?"

"It's nothing that can be changed so stop worrying. You can go back to your little girlfriend and tell her that the Big Bad Amelia is just having a shit night."

"Is this about Victoire?" Sebastian followed Amelia into her kitchen. "What's Victoire done to you? All she did tonight was ask if you were okay."

"It has nothing to do with Victoire."

Amelia didn't like lying but she really didn't want to fight with him about this, especially not right now when she was angry about everything. Amelia grabbed her tea kettle and filled it with water. Setting it to boil, she got down a mug and her tin of instant coffee, the cabinet doors banging open and shut as she released a bit of her anger. Under normal circumstances, Amelia would have offered to make him a cup of tea because he didn't like coffee very much, but right now she couldn't even look at him so being hospitable enough to ask if she could get him anything wasn't really an option just then.

"It has nothing to do with you either, so go away. It's just my inability to handle being alone coming back and biting me in the ass is all."

"Amelia, I'm not letting you hide behind that tired excuse again. If it were that, you'd be upset with Sarah and Mario too. But you're only mad at me and maybe at Victoire, so you'd better start telling me why."

Amelia gripped the counter and stared at the kettle without seeing it. Sebastian came up behind her, cautious and frowning; he felt lost. He wanted to touch her, hug her close until she wasn't upset anymore, but she was so tense, so stiff, that he was afraid that she'd break if he touched her.

"Amelia, you know that you can tell me anything. What's wrong?"

She waited, hesitated a moment, thinking if it was wise to tell him how she felt. She took a deep breath, trying to calm her jumping nerves without digging in her purse for her cigarettes again, and braced her self before answering.

"I am back for the first time in four months," she said, her voice low and just a bit strained under the pressure to keep calm, but she tried to keep it level. "I have missed you terribly, Sebastian. And instead of wanting to see me, who has always been there for you even when I have been three to four states away, you're off fawning over your girlfriend who you're planning on breaking up with in a few weeks anyway; your girlfriend who ignored you for three months, who doesn't like your mother, and who I can only describe as extremely selfish when it comes to you. That's why I've been cold and distant since I've been back, why I needed to smoke this evening and why I got mad at you. Because you're so dense you don't even see that she isn't good enough for you."

Sebastian sighed and Amelia knew that he felt just a little lost after all of this.

"Why couldn't you have just told me before it came to a head like this?" Amelia gave a gloomy chuckle; he really didn't know?

"Did you hear what I said? I basically threw a fit because I was feeling ignored, Bas." Self hate and doubt made her voice thin, hard, but she couldn't face him quite yet. "Do you know how incredibly selfish that makes me?"

"Well…" Sebastian scrubbed his calloused hands over his face. "You're not selfish, Ame; you're just…"

"Self-centred, self-absorbed, outrageously lame because I want my best friend to want to see me instead of his girlfriend."

"I was actually going to say that you were lonely." Amelia raked her blonde hair from her face snorted darkly before turning to face him. Her arms crossed in front of her body as she leaned against the oven door, her deep blue eyes cast to the floor.

"You know, all this could have been avoided if you had just told me that you wanted to see me when you first got home." Amelia snorted again and raised a sardonic eyebrow at her friend. "Don't look at me like that; you know you could have."

Amelia shook her head as the kettle started making angry noises. Sorting out her coffee, Amelia moved to the living area and took a seat on the couch, waiting as Sebastian followed. She wasn't expecting him to sit next to her, to sling an arm around her and gather her close, but the fact that he did warmed her. Narrowly avoiding spilling her coffee all over them and the couch, Amelia settled against his side, her head resting on his broad shoulder. She was glad that they weren't fighting anymore but she knew that they'd get into it soon again. With how she felt about Victoire, they were bound to.

"You have to know that you can tell me anything, Amelia," Sebastian murmured against her soft hair. "Best friends are called best friends for a reason."

"But I can't always tell you everything. I never really lie to you, but I can't tell you everything. It isn't… it isn't nice." Bas chuckled, the sound rumbling deep in the back of his throat, and planted a kiss on the top of her head.

"No one said that everything was nice, but you have to be straight with me, Ame. I can't keep telling you things while you tell me nothing; that's not a healthy anything, you know. And you know that I'm no mind reader; you're probably the worst person to guess about." Amelia nodded and sipped her coffee.

"I'll start telling you what I really think, but you have to let me know that you don't want the pleasant version of things or that's what you'll get." Sebastian grinned and brought her closer to his side, snuggling tightly.

"So, tell me straight… do you think the Red Sox have a chance this year?" Amelia hesitated then laughed a great body shaking laugh. Man, she almost loved him too much.

i can't seem to keep Amelia from being a potty mouth. i know that instant coffee isn't the best (i come from a family of coffee snobs) but Real Life Amelia doesn't own a coffee machine. Real Life Amelia actually yelled all of this at Real Life Sebastian (including calling him quite a few ugly names) at the grocers instead of in her apartment, but i think that if she could go back and change it, this is how she'd prefer it to have happened. she's still really sad about the whole thing.

again, tips and reviews are much appreciated.