I'm not pathetic.

Really, I'm not. And anyone who says that I am is just a big fat liar.

Only pathetic losers stand around in a women's lingerie store waiting to be thrown out by the feisty cashier. I, on the other hand, am standing around in a women's lingerie store to bring despair and misery to Ms. I-Hate-The-Entire-Male-Species-Except-For-Danny-Mullins, aka, said feisty cashier. See? Two totally different situations.

And if I happen to be thrown out in the process, it will most certainly not be executed by some little girl with long, wavy, brown hair, big, soft, brown eyes, and rather nice lips. No, I'm so tough that, if she does have to throw me out, she'll have to call in mall security. Only I'll be too dangerous for them, so mall security would have to get the cops. Then the cops will realize the situation at hand, and they'll call in the FBI, and I'll be taken away, eerily quiet like the Joker in The Dark Knight.

God, I'm such a badass.

"Here to try on some bras?" a snide voice asks. I don't have to look down to figure out who it is: the lovely Kari Harper, the little cashier who'd be too weak to throw me and my badassitude out, the girl who hates me just because I wanted to touch her stupid soft hair in kindergarten.

Just for the record, I did not pull it. My hands were sticky, so it only seemed like I pulled it. I merely wrapped my hand around her unnaturally soft brown hair and tugged just a tad. She wasn't paying attention to me. What was I supposed to do, throw a Lego at her head?

Okay, so I did that a week later. But if I slightly tugged her hair every time I wanted her attention, she'd be bald by now.

"Or would you like to try on some thongs? They're on sale, five for twenty dollars," she adds, holding up a pink one.

"You'd just love to see me in that, wouldn't you?" I smirk, crossing my arms across my chest.

"Luke, don't flatter yourself," Kari rolls her eyes. Then she widens her already giant eyes in mock sympathy. "Why don't you just buy some of these fabulous thongs and tell your mommy that you're giving them to your girlfriend. She doesn't have to know that this so-called girlfriend doesn't exist. Maybe then she wouldn't have to cry herself to sleep every night over her little boy, who's obviously going to join the ranks of the Future Pedophiles of America."

"Oh, Kari," I say, waggling my eyebrows and invading her personal space, "you don't have to degrade yourself like that. If you want to be my girlfriend, you don't have to pretend. I know it's hard for you to resist my sexy bod."

She's leaning against the display of thongs and I step up and lean my hands against the display, caging her in. My heart starts to beat kind of fast – but not too fast, because badasses, like me, are just so cool – and for a second I panic and think that it's doing that because of Kari. But, you know, the sexy underwear is in my view. Obviously, even badasses have their manly urges.

I'm waiting for her to respond snidely, as she always does, but instead of insulting me, her eyes glaze over, as though she's daydreaming. I swear to God, if she's dreaming about Danny Mullins –

"Kari," I try to snap at her, but all I can do is murmur her name softly.

For a fleeting second, I realize that if I just lean down a little more, I'd be kissing her, and I kind of feel like doing just that. But then I remember that she's Kari Harper; the same Kari Harper who kicked me in the balls in the third grade – she still claims that she didn't realize it was such a sensitive spot – just because I wouldn't let her play kickball with me; the same Kari Harper who would probably sic that weenie Danny Mullins on me if I touched one strand of her stupid hair.

Not that I'm afraid of Danny Mullins. Danny Mullins is this idiot jock whose existence relies on the oh-so-sacred basketball court (I'm serious about that. Some idiot decided to draw a big penis on the gym floor, right underneath the hoop, in a red Sharpie marker and Danny Mullins just about had heart palpitations when he saw it. Though now that I think about it, he might not have been reacting to the vandalism of his beloved court, but instead realized that the sight of other men's parts turned him on).

But if it comes down to a fight, I'll win. Badasses always beat the jocks. I know; I've seen the Breakfast Club. John Bender would've cut Andrew Clark if the movie wasn't supposed to be all self-reflective and stuff. I would cut Danny Mullins, since, you know, I'm so badass that human life has no significance to me. I just don't want to start yet because then I'll end up on the run (please, I'm too badass for jail). But I have to go to college first, or my parents will kill me. So after college I'll start slitting people's throats. Really, I will.

"God, Ardmore," Kari pushes me away after a few seconds, "keep it in your pants, you horny asshole."

"Young lady, is this rapist bothering you?" asks the epitome of The Cat Lady.

See that comment right there is exactly why she's Cat Lady. She can't go around assuming things like that. What if I went around assuming that she was a freakish lady who sat around next to her window all day stroking her squashy faced cats?

All right, so I already did assume that. But at least I didn't say it to her face. The difference is that I'm making fun of an obvious loser who ate lunch in the smelliest bathroom stall by herself because she had no friends. Cat Lady, on the other hand, is making fun of an incredibly sexy beast who can murder people with his toes.

Okay, so I can't murder with my toes. Yet. It's something I should probably practice on Kari, in a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of thing.

Besides, aren't cat ladies supposed to welcome people they could potentially kidnap so they can have conversations with life forms other than Mr. Buttons?

Kari looks up at her, startled. "Oh, uh, no, I –"

"Don't worry! I'm going up to mall security right now," Cat Lady says, bustling back out of the store in her too-small-for-her-fat-feet Chinese slippers. Then she adds with a scratchy voice that makes me wonder if she had smoked an entire pack of cigarettes before coming in here, "Kick him in the balls if you have to!"

"Nice job, Kari," I say dully, my voice drenched with sarcasm. "You put up a superb argument. I'm sure the stuttering really got to her."

"Oh, shut up, I wasn't thinking straight," she snaps. With a toss of her flowery scented hair, she flounces away. "Wait here."

I lean against the counter and call out, "Did the love handles do it for you? After all, such beauty could make Angelina Jolie bat for the other team. Ah, if she only laid eyes on Cat Lady."

Kari gives me a sarcastic look before turning around and calling out to her manager. "Hey, Aunt Lena."

"Hm?" she responds distractedly. Kari's aunt doesn't face Kari, but instead stares the cash register perplexedly.

"Aunt Lena, are you listening to me?" Kari asks, rolling her eyes.

Lena's eyes snap up and focus on Kari. "Yes, Katherine?" she asks, shaking her short brown hair out of her eyes.

"Don't call me that," Kari mutters distractedly. "Listen, can I take my break now? I have to escort the delinquent out before he gets taken downtown."

Ha, see? Even Kari thinks I'm a badass.

Lena focuses her large brown eyes on me then, and they light up in delight. "Is this your boyfriend?" she asks, sounding oddly excited.

"What?!" Kari sputters.

Lena looks from me to Kari for a moment, while Kari mutters profanities under her breath. Then she smiles and says, "You two make an adorable couple."

"Aunt Lena!" Kari cries, as if her aunt just committed the ultimate betrayal. I start to grin maniacally.

"Katherine, why didn't you tell us?" Lena asks, still beaming. "Your mother thought you might have been a lesbian."

"Oh my God," Kari groans, her face turning as red as the sexy lingerie in the store.

Then, as I'm laughing and Lena is still beaming at me, it happens: Lena insults the badassitude that defines my very being by cooing and going,

"Oh, you are just so cute!"

She said that. To me. As in the badass, Luke Ardmore.

"I'm not cute," I protest, slightly horrified. I'm a cold-blooded, killing machine, I want to add after, but I don't because I don't want to scare Lena. She's a nice person, after all.

"You have the most adorable dimples!" she says patting my cheek. I feel my cheeks burn and I hear Kari snickering. Her snickering stops abruptly when Lena, with her hand still on my cheek, turns to Kari and says, "You're lucky you have such an adorable boyfriend. I'm surprised you haven't scared him away with all your sarcasm and cynicism."

"He's not my boyfriend," she glares at her aunt.

"Sure, sure, I believe you," Lena says in a tone that screams just the opposite.

"Ugh, you're unbelievable," Kari growls at her aunt, before turning around prissily and stomping out of the store.

I grin and walk out after her, shoving my hands into the pockets of my jeans. "So," I say in reference to her aunt's little 'boyfriend' comment, "you have a little crush on me, huh?"

I don't ask that because I care about her feelings or something mushy like that. I don't care if she likes me or not. I'd actually be a little repulsed if she did. I mean, why would I want to look into her stupid eyes up-close? It would make them seem even larger.

And what about that stuff on her head that she refers to as hair? It just looks way too soft. And it smells good. Really good. I think it might be nice to run my fingers through it. But then again, I would look like a wimpy bastard who lives in a world of fluffy bunnies and unicorns if I went around playing with her dumb hair.

The only thing I remotely like about Kari is her lips. They're all soft looking and pink, and they just have a really nice shape too. But that's all. I hate everything else about her. And I don't want her at all, not even her lips. I'm serious.

Besides, she likes her beloved Danny Mullins.

"Do you really think you should be teasing me when I just saved your ass?" she retorts with an eyebrow raised and a hand on her hip.

"Oh, please," I wave a hand dismissively, as we weave our way through the mall. "I could have taken a mall cop and an overweight Cat Lady."

"Right," she glares. "Until Cat Lady sits on you and breaks your neck."

"Aw," I mock, "do you actually care for my well-being?"

"No," she says hotly. Then she flicks her hair over her shoulder casually. "I just want to die before you so that my spirit can come back and haunt you."

"Well, what if I commit suicide when I go home so I can haunt you before you kick the bucket?" I stop walking so we can argue face to face. It's natural instinct by now.

"No way," she protests as we stand in front of a toy store. It has this annoying display with those electronic dogs that walk and bark. There's this little brown one who keeps yapping like some broken record. I really feel like throwing it against a wall. "You can't commit suicide and then come back and haunt someone."

"And why not?" I demand. "Who are you? God?"

"Maybe I am," she says indignantly, putting her hands on her hips. "And with the way you've been treating me, well, you're going to hell, buddy."

"Yeah," I agree sarcastically. "Because I'm sure that God definitely goes around kicking third graders in the balls."

"I told you," she cries, sounding frustrated, "that I didn't realize it would hurt that badly!"

"I'm also sure," I continue, "that God likes kissing twelve year old boys."

"What?" she shrieks. "You're the one who kissed me."

"Oh, like I did it voluntarily," I scoff. "It's called a triple dog dare."

"You are so infuriating," she says, rubbing her temples before storming away.

We're walking next to each other again in silence. Even though it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable, it makes me wonder if Kari stopped arguing with me because she has a headache. Maybe we should go buy some Tylenol. Or Advil. I keep forgetting which one is better.

"What are you doing?" I ask when she stops walking. What if she's having a stroke? Or a seizure? It would be my fault, because I stressed her out! What if she dies?!

Not that I care about her, really. I just don't want her to die right now, because in my future plans, I am going to torture her before killing her. That's why it seems like I care, even though I don't. Care, I mean.

Kari, instead of falling to the ground and twitching, nods her head towards the food court and says happily, "You're buying me lunch."

"I am?" I ask stupidly.

"Frozen yogurt in exchange for your life," she says cheerily. "You're welcome."

"Aren't you the one with the job?" I argue, but I'm already reaching for my wallet. My acquiescence only came so easily because I was shocked that she didn't start seizing, not because I don't mind. I most certainly do mind. She's mooching lunch off me, and we're not even dating.

As if I even want to. Ew.

A few minutes later, we're silently eating our yogurts. And just for the record, eating yogurt does not make me a wimp. I just didn't feel like going hunting for some rats to roast. I mean, when I'm on the run, I'll definitely be preying on fat, juicy rats because I'm so tough.

Plus, I didn't want to gross Kari out. She doesn't have firsthand experience with a pure badass like me. My gruesome actions might scar her for life. I'm only being all civilized and stuff for Kari and her well-being. I don't have a preference. Frozen yogurt, rat brains – same thing.

"You know, you're not as tough as you think you are," Kari says quietly as we eat.

I raise an eyebrow. "What, because of the dimples? I can always just be like the Joker in The Dark Knight and cut my face up."

"That's called a movie, as in, it's not real," she says dryly while frowning.

"Whatever," I roll my eyes. "But I can still do it."

"You can, but you still wouldn't look all that bloodcurdling scary," she says casually, as if it's not a big deal.

Only it is a big deal. I mean, what else am I going to do with my life? Get a job? Uh, I don't think so. I'm not even good at anything. Other than science, that is. But my crazy awesome science skills are supposed to cause terror and destruction by creating horrible bombs and whatnot. I'm not supposed to help humanity and become a doctor or some animal rights advocate.

I mean, it's common sense. If you had to choose between a career as a super-madman-serial-killer and a doctor, I think we all know the obvious answer: super-madman-serial-killer, duh.

"And why not?" I ask, frowning.

"You're too much of a pretty boy."

"What?" I cry, my mouth dropping down in horror.

"Oh, come on, look at you. You have those stupid blue eyes of yours, and your teeth are straight and white," Kari says, with a mouthful of chocolate frozen yogurt.

"Okay, all I have to do is stop brushing my teeth, so they'll get all yellow, and I won't look like a pretty boy anymore," I point out proudly.

"Yeah, you will," she argues. "Luke, you have a beauty mark on your jaw. Pretty boys have beauty marks. Serial killers have moles."

"So I'll just get the beauty mark removed," I say triumphantly.

"Your name is Luke," she states flatly. "Serial killers have names like Clyde or Victor or . . . or something ominous! Luke is not an ominous name!"

"But –" I try to argue; only Kari stabs her spoon back into her frozen yogurt cup rather viciously, which is still half full. I wonder if she's going to finish that.

"You have dimples!" Kari interrupts, eyes wide. "You can't kill anyone because you have dimples, and murderers do not have dimples."

"I can murder someone!"

"Oh, really? Who?"

"You," I point at her, a little wildly.

"Keep your voice down, will you?" Kari whispers fiercely after a pause, as a family of four bustles quickly away from the food court, throwing suspicious glances back at us.

That's right. Be scared.

Leaning forward, I narrow my eyes and say in what I hope is a very menacing voice, "I know where you live."

But Kari only rolls her eyes. "Duh, you were over my house two weeks ago because you had to borrow my summer reading books, you moronic procrastinator."

Then I scowl at her. She's cramping my style. That was the part where she's supposed to stare at me with a horrified expression. Then, shortly after, she's supposed to start calling me a psychopath and running away, while I eerily disappear in the crowd.

Kari's going to be my downfall. She's going to be the reason why I end up discovering the cure for cancer instead of going Sweeney Todd on the human race. She is such a bad influence.

I don't even know why I'm sitting here with her. I should have been hunting for some delicious rats for my lunch. Who cares if I scar her for life? I don't. Not one bit.

And I especially don't care about her dumb lips that she keeps licking the frozen yogurt off of. I wish she would just use a napkin or something because every time she licks her lips I kind of feel like kissing her. I bet Kari would be a good kisser since she has such nice lips (That kiss from when we were twelve hardly counts, because it only lasted for like three seconds. Not that I wanted it to last longer. Because I didn't. I hated that kiss. A lot).

Oh my God, what the hell am I thinking? Nice lips?! Kissing her voluntarily?!

I'm a badass, not a potential future husband! I should be thinking about cutting people's lips off, not kissing them because they look really soft!

"By the way, did you finish reading my books yet?" I hear her ask offhandedly. She's licking her lips again . . .

Oh crap, I was just blatantly staring at her lips. And this little voice inside my head was all, Kiss her, you fool!

That's just wonderful. Now she's pursing her lips. I wish she'd just stop moving them altogether. "Luke? Are you okay?"

Obviously, that was my conscience's voice. That was my conscience's last futile attempt to make me see the light and stay on the side of all the is pure and innocent. My conscience was not saying that because I actually want to kiss Kari. No, my conscience just doesn't want me to go to the dark side, and it thought that a kiss would make me see the light. Sorry, conscience, old buddy, but the dark side has cookies. I don't see the light side offering me any cookies. I bet the light side only has oatmeal, and we all know that oatmeal is the suckiest cookie.

"Luke," she sounds annoyed now and she's waving her hand in my face.

"I hate you!" I bark defensively, as if she accused me of feeling anything but hate towards her.

She gives me a questioning look before going, "I hate you, too?"

"Good," I say, bobbing my head up and down enthusiastically.

Because I can't feel anything but hate for her. I can't be a total weenie and fall in love or something moronic like that. If I did fall in love with her I might want to start a family somewhere down the line. And you can't have a family when you're a badass serial killer.

I don't love her. I just have a healthy obsession. With her lips.

It's totally normal, okay?

"Hey, you guys," Tina Horton, a girl who takes band with Kari and me, chirps as she approaches our table with her friend, who has pink streaks in her brown hair.

"Hey, Tina," Kari and I say simultaneously.

"More shoes?" Kari asks, pointedly looking at the several bags of shoes in Tina's hands.

"I'm trying to find the perfect outfit for the Fall Ball," she says wearily, referring to the school dance our high school holds at the beginning of every year. At the end of every year, it holds the Spring Fling. Both dances are just lame excuses to get some more money out of the idiotic students.

"Tina, school hasn't even started yet," Kari points out exasperatedly.

"But the Fall Ball is two weeks after the first day of school!" Tina's pink-haired friend says, waving around a shopping bag in frustration.

"Besides, Mitchell Myers already asked me to go with him. We're going to match, obviously, but we haven't decided what color scheme we want to go with," Tina prattles. "What are you guys wearing?"

Kari rolls her eyes, but in a good-natured manner, unlike the eye rolls that I usually get. "You know I don't go to those dances, Tina."

"Come on, T," I say with a roll of my own eyes. "Do you even dance at those things?"

"Well, it's a dance, what do you expect me to do?" Tina pouts indignantly.

"Make out with your tool of the week?" I suggest and we all burst into laughter save for Tina.

"Ha, ha," Tina says dryly. "You're lucky I love your dimples so much, otherwise I would really hurt you, Luke."

"Don't talk about my dimples," I grumble, rubbing at my cheek roughly.

"No! Smile," Tina commands, so I roll my eyes and give her a fake smile. "Aw, Luke, your dimples are too adorable!" she cries, poking her finger in one.

I think I might have to add Tina to my hit list.

"Tina, stop raping his dimples," Pink Lady laughs. Then she turns to Kari and me. "But seriously, we're seniors now. You have to go to the Fall Ball. Just go together."

Kari's widened eyes meet mine and we stare at each other for a split second as if we're both actually considering it. But that's stupid, because Kari's probably waiting for Danny Mullins to ask her.

That guy should really just take a swan dive off the top of the Empire State Building.

"No," I sneer, suddenly angry. "Kari's probably going with Danny-boy."

"What?" Kari snaps, glaring at me now.

"Come on, Kari," I start glaring, too, "we all know that you're just totally in love with Danny Mullins."

"What the hell are you talking about, Ardmore?" she asks, genuinely astonished.

Pink Lady starts to fidget, while Tina just lets out a tired sigh.

"Listen, guys," Pink Lady tries to amend, "I didn't mean –"

But Tina just rolls her eyes. "Let's go, Marie. Once they start, they get wrapped up in their own little world and don't notice the little people anymore."

Then Tina says something else, only I'm not sure what it was since I'm busy arguing with Kari.

"Why would you even think that I liked that jerk?" Kari asks, outraged, as Tina and Pink Lady leave.

"Oh, let me see," I say, pretending to think. "All last year in English? Did that douche just happen to lose his pen everyday? And I'm so sure that he needed help catching up with the work. We were reading Shakespeare – it's called Sparknotes."

"You think I'm in love with someone because I let him borrow my pens and I helped him with some class work," she states flatly.

"That's not all," I say heatedly. But before I can continue, she's up and storming away. And besides, she always gave Danny Mullins really nice pens to borrow. I asked her for one once, and she gave me one with hardly any ink. Coincidence? I think not.

"What's the matter, Harper?" I ask scathingly, following her quickly. "Are you in denial?"

"I would never go to the Fall Ball with you," she seethes, whipping around in front of a candy store to face me.

"And who says I want you to go with me?" I ask as my heart pounds frantically in my chest.

It's obviously because I'm so very angry. Not because we're about to kiss and confess our undying love for each other. Besides, I'm not in love with her. And I'm definitely not going to kiss Kari, even though I've backed her into a wall and am now staring at her very enticing lips.

Okay, I stopped. I finally dragged my eyes away from her lips to stare into her eyes. Which was a huge mistake, because I feel like her eyes are sucking me in, drawing me closer and closer to her lips.

"You –" but Kari never finishes. Because just as she's saying that, someone walks past us. The air shifts and the scent of Kari's hair wafts in my face. With absolutely no control over my actions, I look down at her lips again, and she licks them.

Then I find myself whispering, in a husky voice that I don't recognize (and one that would most certainly make me lose my coveted title as badass), "Kari," before closing the small space between us and kissing her fiercely.

Her eyes flutter closed and one of my hands blindly buries itself within her hair, while the other is at her waist, pulling her close to me so that her flowery scent envelops me.

But just because we kissed doesn't mean that we're going to confess our "true feelings" for each other. I know this for a fact because a) we hate each other, end of story; and b) as we're kissing Kari's cell phone rings, so she tears her lips from mine to answer it. Confessions of love don't get interrupted. So it's obviously not going to happen.

"That was my aunt," she says breathlessly, looking down at her feet. "I have to go back to work."

"Okay," I say quietly, because I'm too busy trying to disentangle my hand from her hair, only my hand seems perfectly content there and refuses to move.

"I hate you," she says softly, in a tone much different than the one used at the food court.

I smile a little. "I hate you, too." See? I told you. No confessions of love here. Just a reassurance of our extreme hate.

Kari smiles and goes up on her tip toes to brush her lips against mine. "Good."

Then she pokes one of my dimples, but for some reason I don't mind.

"I have to go," she says more insistently, even though she's still smiling.

"I'll, uh, I'll see you," I say, finally moving away.

Kari nods and turns to walk away, but she turns back and looks at me with her giant brown eyes. "Ardmore?"

"Yeah, Harper?"

"I don't want to go to the Fall Ball with Danny Mullins," Kari says, grinning, with her hands shoved in her pockets.

"So I guess you want me to ask you," I say wryly, but I hope that my tone conveys the message that if anyone else asks her and she goes with them, my head just might explode with anger.

She shakes her head laughing softly and turns around. Then, in a total badass move, I say, "So I'll pick you up at eight, then, for the Fall Ball."

Kari turns around with a brilliant smile and cocks her head to the side. "But it starts at seven."

"For weenies."

"What?" Kari laughs.

"The Fall Ball starts at seven for weenies," I clarify.

"And what are we, then?" Kari asks, thoroughly amused.

I cross my arms over my chest lazily then, arch one eyebrow perfectly, and say in my sultry voice (I'd been practicing it, for my romanticizing moments),

"We're badasses, sweetheart."

Oh, God, I love myself.

Yay! Another oneshot!

This was actually ready yesterday, but FP was being a humongo jerk, and wouldn't let me upload it, so I started another oneshot, hehe. But that's nowhere near ready, since my short attention span made me abandon the story and go watch Kit Kittredge. I don't even know why I watched that, of all movies. But I thought it was pretty cute.

Yeah, I'm in a rather giddy mood, because I usually don't use words like humongo. Nor do I usually go hehe. It's more like mwahaha. LOL. ROFL. LMAO. Ha. Ha aha.

Okay, I'll stop. I don't know why I'm acting so weird though, and I'm really not sure why I added in all that chat talk-stuff.

And if Luke seems a little inconsistent, he's supposed to be that way. He's supposed to be subconsciously caring for Kari. Then consciously, he corrects himself, because he thinks he hates her. I didn't feel like being mushy in this one and have him realize his true feelings for Kari. I'm actually kind of tired of that big moment where you have your jaw-dropping epiphany. Also, I'm not sure if I should have had Luke look into this kissing thing with Kari more, since he just kind of accepted it. But I didn't really know where to put something like that in, since I thought about it after I wrote the ending. Oh well.

Anyhow, tell me what you think! It's so hard for me to judge since I re-read my stories for editing so many times that I literally get sick of them.


Adios, amigos,