A/N: Rewrite. Yay. Stuff's changing. Sorry for those of you who don't like it…*cough*CRYSTALYNN*cough*

Everybody thank Crystalynn for making me do this evenifshedoesn'tlikethechanges. ^^

The story's mine, please don't steal it. =]

Reviews are very welcome!


It was nice out. Not so hot that the ice cream cone I was slowly devouring melted all over my hands, but nice enough where I wasn't cold in the shorts and tee shirt I had on. Nice. Pre-summer heat. Even though it was like the end of May already. And school was out!

I licked up the chocolate ice cream drip that was heading dangerously close to my thumb, glancing over at my companion. That dark hair, those dark navy eyes… They all complimented him so well. Better than the stupid blonde-and-brown thing I had. Ugly. Even if my eyes looked like kaleidoscopes sometimes. They weren't anything that great, just a swirled-together brown and green. Hazel, whatever. I didn't really like them. But his…they seemed to stand out against his fair skin, the dark complementing the light. Even if I thought he was slightly insane, wearing a long sleeved shirt and jeans, both dark in colour, but it was what he always wore. Without fail. He wasn't looking back at me, which was kind of a good thing. It embarrasses me when he catches me staring at him. But I can't help it. He just takes my attention away from everything else.

I made myself look away. I had to. Or I'd just keep staring, and then I'd run into something and make a fool of myself, despite the fact that there was nothing in the road for me to run into. Or I would just trip and fall flat onto my face. "What do you want to do when we get back?" We'd walked from where we lived to a small ice cream shop that was in town; it took us nearly an hour each way, but I thought it was worth it. I did wish we didn't live so far back on the country road that led to our houses, though. And it was uphill on the way back. Oh well. I had ice cream and my best friend at the same time, and I wasn't sweating buckets because of the heat. Life was good.

The gravel road crunched beneath our shoes, rocks occasionally catching between my foot and sandal. My companion had been smart and worn Converse; at least rocks wouldn't get stuck in his foot. I, however, was slightly screwed on that aspect. Rocks managed to find their little way right between my sandal and foot, making me hobble and look ridiculous to get them loose. At least they didn't make me bleed. Bleeding…ugh. Just the thought made my skin crawl. Blood in general was nasty, but when it was coming from my own body…ugh. Totally repulsive. I wasn't afraid of it, it just…ew. It was thick and sticky and made me think that something horrible had happened. And diseases could spread through blood! I licked my cone again, shaking yet another rock from my sandal before continuing on my way.

Dareynn, my oh-so-wonderful friend, paused every time I did, waiting for me. He'd never leave me behind. He was amazing, really. …enough of that. I could truthfully spend hours thinking about him like that, but…with him right there, it was kind of embarrassing. More than kind of. Very. I'm not even completely sure he's…into guys. It's more of a hopeful hunch than anything. …a very hopeful hunch… Or maybe it's just wistful thinking. Though, wouldn't it be nice if he was? We could spend the days…and nights…together, just us…

No. No, no, no. Different thought pattern. I could feel my cheeks beginning to redden, desperately trying to drive my thoughts in another direction before Dareynn noticed my blush and asked if I was too warm or if I was feeling all right or something that would only make it worse. I focused on the cone in my hand, demolishing what was left of my ice cream. The cone crunched loudly as I chewed on it, licking the ice cream off my fingertips and from the corner of my lips. The cool ice cream did distract me enough to keep me from blushing, and I was grateful for it.

"It doesn't matter," he said, and I had to take a second to remember what I had even asked him. "I should probably tell my mom that I'm home when we get back, though…" I watched as he frowned before taking a loud bite of his cone, the ice cream nearly gone. He always ate his cones that way; as much of the ice cream as he could get first, then the cone. The last inch or so of ice cream that he couldn't get from the bottom of the cone was always popped into his mouth as a simple last bite, cone and all.

"You want me to just run in and tell her we're back?" His mom wouldn't really care who told her we were back, truthfully. She probably wouldn't even remember it had been me and not him telling her later. She just felt like knowing where Dareynn was every second of every day made her a "good" mother. Needless to say, they didn't have the greatest relationship.

"No. I'll do it. No need to drag you into the dragon's lair with me." He popped the last bit of cone into his mouth, dusting his hand off on his dark jeans afterward.

We continued walking, silence falling around us once more. I knew better than to argue with him; it wouldn't be worth it in the end, really. He was stubborn like that. All I could do was wait for him to finish talking to her. If it was a good day, it would only take him a second…if not, well…we'd be there for a little while.

After a few minutes his house came into view. It was like his mother had pulled their house right from a book, the old white farmhouse in near-pristine condition because she was a bit of a neat freak. There was a wooden fence separating the property from the gravel road on which we walked, everything on their side of the fence old and new at the same time. I had always loved the way their house was, even before Dareynn and his family moved in next door to me in the fourth grade.

In comparison to his, my own house was dull and drab, almost bordering on ill-kept. Well, perhaps that was a bit of an over-exaggeration. It wasn't horrible. It just didn't have the magnificent splendor that the Payne's house did. I could just see the worn blue paint of my house beyond the neatly trimmed hedge. Our houses looked so odd next to one another. Dareynn's, with only him and his mother living in it, and mine, with myself, my mother and father, and my two siblings. My house showed the wear and tear of children while Dareynn's didn't; his mother hated it when we horsed around in "her" yard. Supposedly, children made a horrible mess of everything, no matter how careful they were. At least, that was what she told us.

I paused at the end of my dark-haired companion's driveway, glancing up toward the white house. "Want me to wait for you here?"

"Yeah," he said quietly, hands automatically brushing over his clothes, knocking off any dirt and straightening them before he had to face his mother's critical eye. "Shouldn't take me long."

I leaned against the fence as he started trekking up the driveway, my eyes staying on his dark form until he disappeared through the front door. A few minutes ticked by slowly, and the longer I stood out by the gate, the more anxious I got. What if his mom didn't let him come back out? My stomach dropped, tightening into a knot at the thought. I wanted to spend more time with Dareynn. Unfortunately, I didn't think that was going to happen. The conversation with his mom didn't seem to be going well.