Hey guys, here's another one-shot as part of my series of Spring Break updates. It's a bit of mild angst, and based loosely on a real life situation, but I hope you enjoy!

This story is also a present for the amazing Fanfiction author Everyl1ttleth1ing who has been a good friend to me and has helped me get through the breakup. I must admit that I took this story's title from her own amazing work.

She is an amazing writer in her own right. So if you like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and FitzSimmons romance stories please go check her out! Her work is much better than my stuff... that's for sure! :)

Also please check out my Youtube channel (directions in profile) for my full cover of Hello my Old heart by the Oh Hellos!

Please enjoy the story.

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"Are you dating?"

It's a question that has plagued you both for years, for ten years you and she have been best friends and as such did things that best friends did. You hugged, held hands, cuddled each other for comfort, and you both were incredibly tactile to begin with.

However, the people who see you interact on a daily basis automatically assume that the two of you are a couple, not even thinking that best friends are sometimes just as tactile as couples.

When the aforementioned questions were asked of you, she always laughed it off. The idea of you two dating was a big joke to her, and you didn't really care. You were ten years old and only saw her as a best friend.

When you both entered high school, about eight years later, you saw her in a different light. She'd suddenly become pretty. The girl you had played tag with and climbed trees with and collected bugs with had suddenly become a woman concerned with shopping and looking good and wearing makeup. She was changing and beginning to think about boys… and you were beginning to think about girls.

You started to ask her girlfriends what kind of traits she'd want in a boyfriend, and then you began to fit yourself into that mold.

She wanted a fit, risk taking, caring, helpful guy. As such you began to work out more, take a few more chances and risks, and volunteer more. You were already caring, but you became more attentive to her needs. When she talked about her problems you listened to her, you attempted to fix her problems, jumping like a frog at any chance to help her.

You were the greatest friend that she had, and like a prized bird you preened yourself in front of her trying to show her just how much you cared about her.

Despite the changes to both your lifestyles, your friendship remained exactly as strong as before, and your tactile nature never changed. However the question still came:

"Are you dating" and then "why not?"

She always had an answer for those people, although you always saw it as excuses: "We're just friends" "I'm too young to date" "I'm focusing on my schoolwork" "I don't want a relationship right now"

The excuses gave you hope, they were obstacles, but you understood them. You would always understand her excuses even if they hurt you.

It secretly hurt you every time she said no, or made an excuse, or laughed the idea of you dating off as a joke. You harbored a serious crush on her, and it was a crush that would never go away… you loved her for real, as unlikely as it sounded. That meant you would always understand her.

You took every single excuse and took it as a way to better yourself. You waited for her to be old enough to date and during that time you shoved yourself into the mold of the perfect boyfriend, you fixed every single problem she gave you and when you couldn't you listened to her. You were her brave knight, slaying every single dragon that reared its ugly head.

For years the two of you had been alone against the world, and you were confident enough that if you outlived her excuses she'd be yours.

….

Then the world came to a halt.

The day finally came when she could finally go out on a proper date, and you began to rehearse the best way to ask her.

Then he showed up, and asked her out to dinner like it was the most normal thing in the world, and she accepted.

Your heart skips a beat when you hear the news that she is going out on a date, but you weren't worried at all. Other guys had entered the picture before, but they'd never been a threat to you… mostly because she shot them down and made it clear she wasn't going to date them. This guy was no different.

You weren't scared at all, pretty soon he'd be nothing more to her than a forgotten memory.

…..

You should now that you are always wrong when it comes to her.

A day after the date she calls you to show that the earlier plans you had made had to be canceled, because she had a second date with him. The plans were tickets to the new Assassin's Creed movie, and you decided that you'd go alone. You preordered tickets, so might as well go right?

…..

You get to the theater, popcorn in hand, and prepared for hours of Assassin's creed goodness when your eye catches a sight three rows down.

You see two figures, a boy and a girl sitting down, with their fingers entwined and their other hands dipping down into the same popcorn bowl. The girl has her head on the boy's shoulder, and you know instantly that it's her.

The feeling of betrayal pierces your stomach like the swift jab of a hidden blade, and you struggle not to run out of the tight confines of the theater. You open the door to the outside, letting the fresh air fill your lungs, the movie was all but forgotten… your eyes wouldn't be on it anyway.

….

Weeks pass and for the first time in eighteen years, you find yourself drifting away from your best friend. She sits with him at lunch, chooses him to be her partner during school projects, and your once daily chats via email all but trickled down to a stop.

She seems indifferent to every attempt you make to pump life into a dying friendship. You've become a footnote in her life, but despite it all you try to understand.

She has a new friend, she's spending time with him, just like she did with you when you first met. You loved her, and the knowledge of that love was more than enough to keep you pushing through the emotional pain.

The two of you became strangers, reduced to saying a simple hello in the hallways before she goes to her new life… a life you aren't in.

You eventually learn to live with the pain, and soon become numb to it. She's happy with a great guy, going on at least one date a week, and you have no right to bring her down because of it. She's with a man who was able to do things you never could.

He could speak three languages, he had a fancy sports car, he was the quarterback of the football team, and ran a small business in his free time. He was everything she ever deserved, but he was also everything you could never be. Every time you saw her she was adorned with a new piece of jewelry or clothing that he had bought her, and you found yourself happy that she was with a boy who would provide for her… unlike you, who could barely hold down a job.

She was in love, she was happy, and he was treating her well. That was all that mattered to you. Because you could finally understand.

Because your sense of doing the right thing always overrode the notion of personal pain for you. If she was happy and comfortable, you could always sacrifice your happiness for her. Your own interest didn't matter, all you could do was hope she noticed the effort that you put into keeping the wreck of your friendship alive.

3 months later, she calls you.

The sight of her number on your phone is a shock, after all this time, and you pick up slowly, relishing the sound of her voice after all this time.

Her voice comes in shuddered breaths and you know she's been crying, your heart beats a bit faster and you clamp down on your instinct to instantly rush over to wherever she is and hold her. The pain cuts into your heart, with the dull blades carving into the wall of stone you've erected around it and somehow tearing it to pieces.

Between shaky sobs and breaths you hear that he dumped her, left her broken, and she needs you.

There was a time when you would have done anything to help her out, to make her see the good in you, but she had killed the white knight that had wanted nothing more than to guard her, to cherish her, to love her.

If you let her back in after she had spent 5 months without you, then who's to say she wouldn't betray you again?

You did everything you could to make her care, to show you how you felt and she refused to hear you or see the effort. She never cared about you, no matter how many dragons you slew in her name.

You clamp down on your rage and anger as the pain, oh so familiar, filled your heart. All the betrayal and hurt washed over you like a tidal wave. All thoughts of comforting her took a backseat as your brain short circuited.

So you tell her you are busy and with a heavy heart hang up her phone, cutting off her flabbergasted response. You can practically feel her shock, you've never spoken to her like that before, and it surprisingly feels good. Instead of numbing the pain you embrace it, and instead numb any feeling towards her.

You feel no regret about your unnaturally sharp behavior towards her, no pity for cutting her off midsentence, and you refuse to understand that she truly needs you now.

You never thought the hardest thing you'd ever had to do, was not be an understanding man.

...

Well that was a bit hard to end for me, took me a few days just to type out the last paragraph. As a side question; has anyone here played any Total War games?

Did I do a good job? Please let me know in a review!

As always please leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day!