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“Folks, here we are with Vash the Stampede! The humanoid typhoon himself.” Meryl held the mic with a firm grip as she smiled at the camera. “We’ve had a lot of questions roll in from fans just for you, Vash.” He could tell the false kindness was killing her, but the smile remained plastered across her face.

It was the fourth time they’d caught him. The fourth time they sat him down for an interview. After being chased for a solid month, he finally gave in and agreed to the interrogation. In return, they would stop chasing him. For any reason. Especially Meryl. Her feelings for him had become all too clear before the fight with Knives. He couldn’t have her following him into even more dangerous situations for him.

With the deal set in stone, he agreed to sit down at a café with them for one hour. “I’m glad to hear it, Meryl. So what did you want to ask me?”

She smiled. It was a smile too big for her face in his opinion. Fabricated for the camera, he was sure. Her fingers were shaking, making him wonder how long she’d been reporting to still be so nervous. “Uhm… Mr. Vash.” He directed his attention back to her as she read with a practiced calmness from the cards in her hand. “The first question comes from Jenna in June city. During the fall of the Ark, it became clear that you were more than human. So what are you?”

He can’t say that he was surprised by the question. The fight between him and his brother was and had been big news for the entire planet. “My brother and I are plants.” He said simply.

“Like the ones that power cities and keep us alive?” Meryl pressed on. These were questions she already knew the answer to, but the world wanted…needed to hear it from him.

“Yes. Like those. We are known as ‘independents.” Which means we can survive outside of a bulb. We have extended lives and powers beyond those of a human. Not all plants can become independent, but their lives could be longer than mine for it.”

“So you aren’t immortal?” Her eyes bore into him as he spoke. She never looked down at the list in her hand.

“Ah…no. Not exactly.” He laughed a bit and ran his hand through his hair. “This is kind of a sign of my mortality actually. Our life spans all depend on how much energy we use. Daily life doesn’t take very much. There’s no telling how long I could live an easy life. Healing takes a little more energy and has its limits.” He flexed his newest prosthetic left arm for the camera. “Things like my wings, the cannon—or my angel arm—those take a lot of energy. And the more energy we expend, the darker our hair gets. Even dependent plants can show those symptoms if over worked.”

“So if we over expend water and electricity, which the plants help us produce…”

“You’re expending the lives of the plants themselves. Humans made us. They gave us life so that we could return the favor by making theirs easier. And on this planet it’s the only way you can live. All the plants ask for in return is your gratitude.”

Meryl nodded knowingly. “So back to independent plants. Are there any others like you? How many have there been that you know about? And how did you become and independent?”

“Other independents? Well there was my brother, Knives. A girl before us, Tessla. She died before we met her. I believe there are a couple from earth as well but I don’t know them. I don’t really know a full history. And as far as how we became independent, your guess is as good as mine!” he laughed a bit, smiling at her. “Anything else?”

She hesitated. “You said “was” referring to Knives.”

He nodded. “He’s gone now.” Vash looked at the table, avoiding the eyes of the two girls watching him. “He used all of the energy he had in the fight and joined the planet. The last of his life…” he smiled softly. “He used it well.” He told them. The world didn’t need to know where his brother ended up.

Meryl was speechless. She knew the fight had been intense, however the news of his brother’s death still took her by surprise. “I…I’m sorry.”

“Thank you.” He motioned with as much subtlety as possible to the cards in her hand. “Did you have some more questions for me, Meryl?”

“Oh. Right, sorry.” She shook her head, turning back to the paper. The remaining questions were all things she already knew. Why he didn’t kill. The name of his gunsmith. A few women had even written in asking about his relationship status. Through clenched teeth Meryl had to ask him. “So Vash. The women of the world want to know. Are you seeing anyone?”

He could practically hear her brain steaming as a cat-like grin spread across his face. “Why yes, ladies. I’m currently single and as a hunter of love I’m completely available.” His eyes shone with mischief as he smiled into the camera.

“Well thank you for your time, Vash.” The short girl growled. “I think that about wraps it up for now. Cut, Milly.”

Milly peeked over the camera almost shyly. “That means to turn the camera off, right?”

Meryl rubbed her temples tiredly. “Yes, Milly.” She turned to Vash. “Thanks for helping us out.”

He’d already put his sunglasses on as he picked up his duffle, swinging it over his back. “Just remember the deal. No more following me around alright?”

“I know, I get it.” She sighed. “But I mean… you don’t have a bounty on your head anymore, or gung-ho guns to worry about…”

“Meryl.” He set his eyes on her through the amber lenses. “You made a deal. I expect you to follow through with your part.” He laid a bill on the table to cover his tab. “I don’t want to see you again.”

He could feel his eyes on him as he walked through the door. He knew it was harsh. He knew it would hurt her. He only prayed that in the end it would keep her safe.

One Month Later

He’d been running again—this time from the Earth defense group—when he came across the dusty home in the middle of the desert. He glanced down at his empty canteen. Maybe they’d let me rest here, he thought, knocking on the thin plank of a door. It eased open with a squeal on its hinges under his rapping knuckles.

Vash peeked his head just inside the entryway with caution. “Hello!” He glanced around slowly. “Is anybody home?” He pushed the door open all of the way as he stepped inside. “I’m just a lonely traveler in need of water, if you don’t mind.” The home was riddled with trash and books strewn across the floor. The couch was covered in dirty clothes and magazines and the sink was filled with dirty dishes, the food causing a smell that ripened in the heat. He made a face as he stepped closer to the source of the odor.

“Someone left quite a mess…” he told himself. The dishes were too high in the sink for him to even fit his canteen to the faucet. He sighed softly. The only way he was getting a refill, apparently, was if he worked for it. “Alright!” he said, tossing his jacket onto the dining chair behind him. “Let’s get to work!”

The suns were setting when he finally collapsed on the bed. The place still looked terrible, but he’d been able to find the bed and the couch, the dishes were cleaned and put away, and the table was clear for him to reward himself with a drink. He made a path from the door to the kitchen, the bed, the couch, the table, and the bathroom around all of the junk piled along the floor. He left the windows open while he slept, and by morning the smell caused by the rotting food had finally dispersed.

He knew he should have filled up his canteen and begun to head on, however the more he relaxed on that couch, enjoying the silence and peace of his newfound shelter, the more tempting the idea of a mini vacation there seemed. The small home was almost hidden in the nothingness of the desert, so it was unlikely that he’d be found there. And the amount of dust and grime that had gathered inside told him that the owner didn’t plan on coming back any time soon.
Vash rolled his head back and took a deep breath of the freedom he felt inside before hearing voices just outside the door. He turned his head to the sound, listening carefully to the possible intruders.

“Maybe there’s water inside!”

He dropped his head, holding back a groan. How had they found him way out here? Why? Didn’t he properly tell them off after the interview?

“Milly don’t be ridiculous.” Meryl’s voice was tired, as if her throat was dry. He listened as she scolded her friend with her worn throat and couldn’t help but glance over at the dripping faucet. He couldn’t deny them such a vital resource.

He made his way to the door, plastering a smile on his face as he heard the big girl’s hard knock against building.  He swung the door open just as the short girl was putting her hands on her hips, a frown settling on her cracked lips. He would have invited them in if she’d let him, but it wasn’t the Meryl he knew to wait for such an invitation, so it didn’t surprise him when she pushed her way inside.

He was going to offer her water, but her grateful smile was like a swift kick in the gut, reminding him of her feelings for him. He played it as a joke, but every nerve of hers he stepped on was another attempt at keeping his distance. He couldn’t help the small smile, however, at the fiery temper he’d come to miss.

Milly updated him on their new jobs, interviewing outlaws all across the planet. So it really was a coincidence… he’d realized, taking the paper the tall girl offered him. His eyes narrowed as he read over the page. Tyberius Sloan. His picture was no more terrifying than some of the bounty hunters who’d chased him down in the past. His smile, however, could send a chill down his spine. He had the toxic grin of someone who was happy to be called a murderer; as if he’d shoot a child if it stood in his way. He glanced up at the girls, and then back to the flyer in his hand. There was no way they could get a man like that to consent to some sort of civilized television interview.

Meryl flashed him her guns, as if to prove to him she could handle a man like that. He sighed, finally giving up trying to convince them out of the job. “You girls take the bed tonight.” He told them, eyeing the couch instead. He blew off the short girl’s complaints about the idea, making up some sort of reason to slow them down.

Come morning, he’d decided, he would already be gone. He would be in New Round hours before them, filling the heads of the townspeople with rumors of Longshot Sloan days away in the other direction. It should be simple enough. Enjoy some cards at the local saloon and enjoy some small talk with a few of the drunks. Pick up some rations at the market and gossip about it to the cashiers. By the time the two former insurance girls would make it to town, they’d be led as far away from the real Tyberius Sloan as possible.

He fell onto the couch, legs dangling over the arm. Might as well get a few hours of sleep at least…

His eyes had just closed when something feel loudly behind him, catching his attention. In one quick movement his gun was at the ready as he knelt in front of his make-shift bed. He narrowed his eyes, focusing in the dark room on the disturbance.

“Dammit Milly…” A voice whispered. Vash flipped on the light as he put his gun away. “Oh, Vash…” She looked up at him with a shy smile. “I’m sorry. Did I wake you?” She rubbed her side lightly, motioning to the blonde who had stretched herself across the bed. “She kicked me out…” She told him with a small laugh.

He couldn’t help but stare at her. She was only wearing an over-sized button up. It was long, but the lack of her usual navy tights made it seem much more revealing. “Vash?”
He coughed, turning his head away as his cheeks warmed. “It’s no big deal.” He told her. “I’m just a light sleeper is all.”

“I wish I could say the same about her.” She chuckled. “Anyways, sorry I woke you.” She sat on the floor, back against the wall and knees to her chest.

He frowned. “You aren’t going to sleep there, are you?”

Meryl shrugged simply. “I’ve slept in worse predicaments.” As if that were good enough reason to sleep on the ground. “Good night, Vash.” She said softly.
He shook his head. “Take the couch.” He didn’t have much more time to sleep anyways.

“I’m fine.” She laughed. “Get your beauty rest.”

“You need it more than I do.”

“Excuse me?”

Vash went over his words in his head, cursing himself as he lifted his hands in surrender. “I didn’t mean it like that. You’re beautiful!” Shit. He closed his eyes in defeat. First he insulted her, then he gave her a full on compliment that was sure to lead any woman on. Right?

She laughed. Vash opened his eyes slowly to find her covering her mouth in an attempt to muffle the sound.

“Uhm…”

Meryl stood up. “I’ll take the couch.” She was still smiling. “We’ll both fit if we’re sitting up.”
He gave her a half smile in return, his cheeks still a light shade of pink. “Okay but can you put some pants on first?”

Meryl looked down at her legs. “I…” her face turned the shade of his coat hanging on the chair. She tore the blanket off the back of the couch. “Why you…” She wrapped the thin cloth around her body tightly. “How long have you been staring!”

“I haven’t.” Or at least he’d tried not to. “Don’t you have sleep pants?”

“No!”

The two stood, both avoiding the others eyes. The only sound breaking through the tension was the snoring coming from the bed. Meryl sighed, climbing over the piles of junk, blanket held firmly around her bare legs as she made her way to the couch, falling into the seat.

“Uhm…Meryl?”

“You aren’t getting your blanket back.” Her cheeks were still visibly burning with a pale pink, and her grey eyes remained focused on anything but the man in front of her. “But you can sit down.”

He couldn’t help but chuckle a bit as he sat down on the opposite end of the couch, leaving a seat of space open between them. She was cute. He could never deny that to himself. But the red cheeks and irritated pout only made it harder to separate himself. He wanted to be close to her. He wasn’t sure if he felt the same as she did, exactly, but he wanted to find out. He only knew that he couldn’t take that risk.

“I…” Her voice brought him back from his thoughts. He glance down at her small form, wrapped up in the thin fabric as she looked up at him. “I’m sorry about your brother…”

He smiled softly, laying his hand on her head, ruffling her hair as if she were a child. “Thank you.”

“What happened?” She asked, her voice muffled slightly behind the cloth.

“Off the record?” He teased.

Her eyes narrowed, turning serious when she answered. “Of course, Vash.”

He sighed, dropping his hand to his side. “He saved me. Entrusted a father and son with my life.” He told her. “I’m not exactly sure what happened after that. When I came to he was gone and the son told me that he’d left an apple tree in his place.”

“An apple tree?”

Vash nodded slowly. “Had he wanted, he could have lived on peacefully with the last of his energy and in the end left nothing behind at all.” He smiled a little. “Instead he used the last of his energy to make something that could live on forever.” He chuckled lightly. “He won’t ever let himself disappear completely. It wouldn’t be Knives.”

Meryl smiled up at him. “So you saved him in the end.”

He shrugged. “I guess.” He ran his hand through his hair and laughed a bit. “I don’t really know what I did though.” Vash stretched, propping his feet on the table. “You should get some sleep. I’m sure you two will want to be out of here bright and early tomorrow.”

“You’re right.” She nodded, burrowing herself into the blanket once again with a yawn. “Goodnight, Vash.”

“Goodnight, Meryl.”

She fell asleep quickly, shifting slowly on the couch until her head laid against his shoulder. He smiled sadly before slipping out from under her, grabbing his coat off the chair and his duffle from the wall.

“Vash…”

He froze, turning slowly to the girl on the couch. Her eyes were closed, her bare leg uncovered by the falling blanket. With gentle footsteps he made his way back to her, tucking her in carefully. “Vash…” she mumbled, “You promised…” His chest ached as he made his way back to the door, trying to ignore her ramblings. “You said you’d come back…”

He slipped out the door, sliding his glasses on as he went. He turned his head to the moons above him. “I’m sorry, Meryl. I can’t keep that promise.” He whispered. “But I promise…I will keep you safe.”
Outlaw Insider 2
So this is my second installment on Outlaw Insider, a Trigun Maximum manga based fanfiction adventure. For chapter one you can either check in my gallery or you can visit me at fanfiction.net/~luckymeryl for more. I also update on my Fanfiction tumblr under the url luckymeryl. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment!
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“Great job on that ‘Vash the Stampede’ piece, girls. Really great job.” A large man laughed behind the oversized desk as he placed the pages of the report down in front of him.

“Thank you, sir.” Meryl straightened in her seat, chest puffed with pride. She’d been excelling at her new profession at the tv station already, along with Milly, and if there was anything Meryl loved, it was being the best at her job.

“When you two told me you were friends with the Humanoid Typhoon, I have to admit, I didn’t believe you.”

“Oh yes, sir!” Milly chimed in, “We’ve known Mr. Vash for almost five holy years!”

“Whole years, Milly.” Her friend corrected her. It was almost impossible to believe that much time had passed since their first meeting back in April city. She’d been with the agency just over a year when she’d been assigned to follow him, along with a coworker whom, at the time, she’d barely known. By the time she finally caught up to him, the nervousness and fear at following the human disaster had dissipated almost entirely, and instead been replaced by a sense of excitement at the adventure to come.

“Well you showed it. You know exactly what to ask him. That’s why we’re going to give you your own segment.”

“Our own…” Her gray eyes lit up. “Our own segment? Really?”

“Oh wow that’s so cool! My family is going to be so excited!” The taller girl clapped her hands together, giggling. “Thank you so much, Mr. Blitzer.”

“So. Here are your stories.” He carefully spread several pages in front of them as a grin settled over his red face.

“Uhm…” Meryl look down at the papers across his desk and back to her boss. “With all due respect, sir, what are these?”

“They’re Wanted posters.” Her friend cheerfully advised.

“I know that, Milly, but what do you mean these are our stories?”

Mr. Blitzer threw his hands in front of him. “The Outlaw Insider.” He moved his hands as if framing the title in his mind. “Your new masterpiece, girls.”

Meryl could feel her brow twitching in irritation. “Ex…excuse me, sir. But…” She took a deep breath before she allowed herself to speak. “Are you out of your mind?”

“Senpai…” the nickname stuck around, despite the fact that they’d started working at No Man’s Land Television Station at the same time. Meryl begged the girl to call her by her name. As time went on, however, the short girl finally gave up, accepting it as a permanent title.

“Well that’s fine. I guess I can give the task to someone else.” The round, red-faced man, leaned in, locking eyes with Meryl as he smiled. “If you aren’t up for the challenge, that is.”

That was it. That was the line to cross. The former insurance girl bolted to her feet, brow furrowed and hands on her hips. Her partner stood calmly behind her with a smile. Meryl frowned, grabbing the flyers off the man’s desk. “We followed Vash the Stampede for four years.”

“Actually for two years he…” Milly swallowed her words as the short girl raised her hand as a sign of silence.

“We were caught up in more fights and disasters than anyone besides the Humanoid Typhoon himself.” She slammed her hands on the table, unable to hide the smug grin as Mr. Blitzer jumped in his seat. “There’s no one,” she told him, “better suited for the challenge than us.”

“Fantastic!” Her boss smiled proudly, slapping his hand against the table in a grand gesture as he stood. “I trust you don’t need a bodyguard then, eh, Derringer Meryl?”

She gripped his hand as he offered it, locking eyes as they shook on the arrangement. “No. But you’re paying for the tune up. I haven’t touched a gun since the insurance agency closed.”

“Of course! I have a tab at the gunsmith down the road. He’ll take care of your gun there.”
She shot a smile over her shoulder as she turned to the door. “Guns, sir.” She corrected.

Two Weeks Later

Meryl’s back was finally getting used to the weight of her cloak after putting down her guns for so long. Nonetheless, she didn’t think her body would ever adjust to the heat that bore down on her and her poor thomas as they made their way from town to town, following rumor after rumor on their first official interview for Outlaw Insider

“Senpai…” Milly was leaned against the neck of her thomas, hair hanging over her face. “How long until the next town?”

The sweat was stinging her eyes as it dripped from her brow. “It can’t be too much farther. We’ve been out here for hours already.” She glared at the horizon, cursing its blankness.

“I’m so thirsty…”

Meryl sighed weakly. “I told you to ration out your supplies.”

“I did, ma’am.” Milly shook her empty canteen. “Now I’m all rationed out.” She groaned tiredly as she buried her face against the thomas’ neck.

“Here.” The dark haired girl thrust her arm out toward her partner, dangling the half full canteen in front of her.

“Oh senpai…” Milly took the canteen in both hands. “I couldn’t…but if you insist!” The cap clunked against the side of the container, only held on by a thin string to the canteen itself as Milly turned her head up to drink.

Meryl shook her head, fazing the horizon once more. Honestly her throat was burning with thirst, but she knew Milly’s whining had the potential to kill her much faster than the dehydration could have.

“Oh! Look there!” Milly flailed her free hand forward, causing her Thomas to jump beneath her.

“It’s a building!”

The dark haired girl squinted to focus on the small speck ahead of them. It was hardly a building at all, really, she’d realized. As they moved in closer, in fact, the four walls and a roof seemed to look even smaller. “It’s more like a shack.” She noted.

“Maybe there’s water inside!”

“Milly don’t be ridiculous. I doubt anyone even lives here, and do you see a plant or well nearby?”

“Well no.” Her friend mumbled with a pout. “But it doesn’t hurt to try!” She said, knocking on the thin door with a sing-song “Hello!”

Meryl rolled her eyes. “Milly I’m telling you, no one lives…”

“Oh! Hey girls!”

Her dark head snapped up immediately at the voice. Her brain was still rattling against her skull as she took in the thin frame and dark spiky hair in the doorway.

“Mr. Vash! What are you doing way out here?” Milly waved eagerly at the gunman while Meryl tried to gather her thoughts.

Vash laughed nervously. “Well you two made me pretty famous all of the sudden so I was hiding out in this little house you see.”

“You were pretty famous already Mr. Humanoid Typhoon.” Milly laughed. “So you live here in this rundown shack in the middle of nowhere?” She asked, cocking her head to the side with an innocent smile.

“Well I wouldn’t say I lived here. I’m just…borrowing it…sort of.”

“So you’re umm…” Milly bit her lip as the thought about it. “You’re a swatter!”

“Squatter, Milly.” Meryl crossed her arms with a firm glare. “It means someone unlawfully occupying an unused building.” She smirked cruelly. “Not surprising for a man like him.”

Vash scratched the back of his head and chuckled as Milly turned to her friend. “Because he’s an outlaw?”

The short girl’s grin only grew darker. “No. Because he’s a bum.”

The plant frowned. “So cold…”

“Just let us in, jerk. We could use a break.” She laughed, stepping past him without further invitation into the small house. There was only one room, which wasn’t much of a surprise, however there was enough junk laying around to have filled a three-bedroom. She recognized Vash’s black duffel leaning in a corner beside the twin bed. An opened bottle of whiskey sat on the table and a small shot glass lay empty beside it. And most importantly, “The sink is dripping.” She turned back to him. “You have running water way out here?”

The gunman merely shrugged. “Now that people are taking care of the plants, the plants are a lot more eager to help.” He smiled. “It also helps that the Earth team brought a lot of support.” He picked up a glass and filled it under the faucet. “Are you thirsty?”

Meryl smiled softly. “Thank you I’m par…” Her response was caught in her throat as he brought the glass to his lips, knocking it back with a smile.

“Glasses are in the cabinet. Help yourself.” He laughed lightly as her empty hand twitched in front of her. “So what brings you two all the way out here?”

Meryl grumbled as she dodged over the piles of trash and broken furniture on her way to the sink, leaving her giggling partner to respond to him. “We’re on a job! Another interview. In fact we got a promotion and now we have our own segment on TV! Isn’t that great?”

“Wow!” Vash’s airy laughter gave away his anxiety as he sunk down in his seat. “So they want a ‘Vash the Stampede’ weekly update, eh?” He shot Meryl his most dazzling smile over his shoulder. “Well I can’t say that I blame them for wanting more. However, I must humbly decline.”

“Don’t flatter yourself.” Meryl leaned against the counter, one leg crossed idly over the other as she savored the drink in her hands. “You were just a starting point. We got all we needed from you the first time.”

His brow quirked as he turned back to her, a devious grin making its way across his lips. “Oh really. Everything? But I have so much more to offer.” He watched as the short girl’s face flushed, chuckling. “What’s wrong?”

Her eyes narrowed. “You idiot.” She mumbled, turning back to her glass.

“Our newest assignment is another dangerous outlaw like yourself, Mr. Vash.”

“Oh?” He looked back at the tall girl as she pulled her face from the flowing faucet, wiping her face of the water she failed to drink. He thought for a moment. “Sounds kinda dangerous, don’t you think?”

Meryl scoffed. “Don’t worry about us, Mr. Human Disaster.”

“She’s right, Mr. Vash.” She shot the man a brilliant cheery smile and a thumbs up to match. “Meryl and I can handle anything after all that you put us through.” He was dumbfounded at her honesty. Especially since he’d practically begged them on multiple occasions not to follow him. Before he could respond however, he watched her pull out a page from her pocket. “Besides he doesn’t look so tough.”

He took the paper from her, unfolding it with care.

Wanted: Dead or Alive
Tyberius Sloan
Also known as: Longshot Sloan
Wanted for:
The murder of three women and one man in the town of Januar
The theft of an estimated $$20,000 in money and goods in the town of Januar
Destruction of a building by arson in the town of Januar
Bounty: $$125,000

“This might be a bit much for you girls. Are you sure you want to find this guy?”

“It’s our job.” Meryl set the empty glass on the counter. “Anyways we’ve been after this guy for over a week and the latest rumors direct us to the town of New Round just a few iles from here. We can’t give up now.”

Vash shook his head. “No I mean…” He sighed. “What makes you think he’s just going to sit down and answer a few questions for you?”

Milly smiled. “We at least have to try. You were wanted for a lot of things too and you never tried to hurt us not even once!”

The dark haired man sighed tiredly. “But do you really think that way of thinking is safe?”
Meryl slid her cloak open slightly, allowing him to catch a glimpse of the guns hidden. “I’m fine, Vash. Thank you. Really.”

He shook his head. “You girls take the bed tonight.”

“What?” Meryl looked out the window. “But it’s still daylight. I was thinking we could just keep going into town.”

“New Round isn’t a few iles from here. By the time you get there it’ll be night and cold.”

“Are you sure? The man back in Felton said…”

“Meryl.” His voice was tense, but his eyes were as gentle as they’d ever been. “Trust me?”
She sighed. “Fine. I’ll go get my suitcase.”

Milly cheered. “Oh fun! A slumber party!” She laughed as she sped past Meryl to the door, knocking over piles of magazines and books as she went. “It’s just like old times!”

Vash laughed as he picked up one of the books off the floor. “Yup. Like old times.”
Outlaw Insider
So first time I've written a Trigun fic in a while. It'll be VM in the end because it's my otp but there will be some adventure, new baddies, fight scenes. I hope you all stick around. Also it's based on the MANGA so if it seems a little confusing its because it's manga related. If you want some spoilers to make it more understandable feel free to message me and I'll update you on where they are.
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The first month or so of the semester remained voicelessly awkward as the two were forced to continue working together as lab partners. They attempted trading, asked the professor if they could work separately, but nothing ever came of it. The two were stuck together. After their attempts at changing partners and leaving class failed, however, things weren’t as bad as they had anticipated.

By mid March—over two months into the semester—they had progressed to small talk, mostly consisting of “that smell in the dorms the other day” or “the streaking guy on the campus green.” Every once in a while, however, they would stumble upon an actual conversation.

“Ruth. Isn’t she that sixth grader you had a crush on back in the day?” She remembered the scenario well. Especially since Arnold was two-timing her—well Cecille, but her as Cecille—in order to go on a valentine’s date with Ruth on the same night. “I thought you got over her because she was a snob.”

Arnold shrugged, looking down at the lab sheets, but Helga could swear she saw the slightest blush on his cheeks. “Well she’s different now. She grew up. I mean we all grew up. She’s a lot cooler now.”

Helga held an insult and a scoff in the back of her throat. Insulting the girlfriend does not a good lab partner make. She knew it was probably a bias talking, but she felt that he could do better. Ruth had treated him like a bus boy. Not to mention Helga’s irritation at her ignorance when Arnold told his friends she thought that “anonymous” was a real physical person. “Whatever. Just don’t come crying to me when she dumps you for a maitre d’ this time.”

Arnold rolled his eyes and filled out their lab paperwork. “That’s not going to happen. I told you, she’s different.” Before she could comment again, Arnold interrupted. “Will you hand me the sample?”

She clamped her mouth shut before the remark could leave her lips and passed him the lab sample. She knew Ruth was no good for him, but what was her reasoning in telling him that? She had never directly met the girl. Besides that, he was happy, and even though the elementary school Helga would have been driven crazy as the idea of him being happy with someone besides her, the college Helga knew a happy Arnold was a good thing, not matter the reason. So why ruin it with insults? It didn’t matter that the girl was a snobby rotten no-good…

“Helga?” Arnold was looking at her with concern and motioned down to her desk. “Are you okay?”

“Huh?” She blinked over at him and looked down at the pencil snapped in her hand. “Oh sorry. Old habits die hard, eh?” She laughed a bit and threw the two ends of the pencil in the trash as she excused herself to the restroom.

“Pull yourself together Helga.” She told herself, pacing back and forth in front of the bathroom sinks. You’ve spent two months sitting with this guy and it is going well. You’re almost there. You’re moving on. You can do this. She leaned on a sink and stared at herself in the mirror. She’d long since stopped arguing with herself out loud—Brainy made sure to finally break her of that habit—but she couldn’t help her thoughts from crashing around in her mind like an interstate pileup when she became frustrated. And nothing frustrated her more than that guy.
Arnold. She thought. What a loser. What a stinking pile of garbage. Who does he think he is coming in and ruining my life before I even got it fixed? Being so nice to me and making it even harder to just be a friend. She sighed, washing her hands in the icy cold water just to jar her from her thoughts. She couldn’t stay in the bathroom forever. Lab still lasted another 45 minutes.

He didn’t know what he’d done to set her off. She didn’t even seem like she was angry before that moment. It was obvious that when left to her own thoughts Helga could put herself in a bad mood, however Arnold couldn’t help but feel like he’d done or said something wrong. He cleaned up the experiment, eyeing the door for her return. As she fell back into the seat beside him, releasing a deep breath, he slid her his observation notes. “You want to type them up?”

She shrugged, unable to look him in the eye. She’d had enough of being a good lab partner for the day. She took the paper blindly, luckily avoiding his hand by a couple centimeters as she slid it into her binder before the group lecture began. She heard the light sound of a phone vibrating beside her and couldn’t help but glance over to the mild disruption. She knew who it was by the smile on his face as he slid his cell under the desk slyly.

“Criminy…” she muttered, rolling her eyes and leaning forward, leaning her chin in her hands.  She couldn’t wait to get back to her dorm.

The professor kept the class an extra ten minutes while he finished his lecture—an act that should be against every school policy. Arnold and Helga were both anxiously tapping their feet against the floor, as if a race were to start between them as soon as the teacher dismissed them. Arnold would have won. He’d already muttered a “Later, Helga,” and had his backpack slung over one shoulder before she even stood up. By the time she’d closed her satchel, he was gone.

Arnold shoved his phone in his pocket after sending a quick message to his girlfriend informing her he was on his way to meet her at the coffee shop on campus. He ran to the University bus that was parked at the end of the street and checked his phone again. She said she had news. He didn’t know what it was, but any news from Ruth was good news.

She waved at him from the table outside. Her hair was a little longer than when she was in sixth grade, reaching her shoulders. She’d kept her thin form and big smile he’d always liked even when he didn’t like her attitude. “You got here quick.”

He laughed and smiled, shrugging as he set his bag down beside him. “Got lucky catching the bus.” He looked at the table. “Did you order my coffee?”

“Oh,” she glanced down at the table as if surprised it wasn’t sitting there. “I couldn’t remember what you liked in it so I figured I’d let you order it.” She seemed to forget about the text with his coffee order in it. Two creams three sugars.

“Oh well. What’s the good news?”

Her smile lit up, just like always. “You’re never going to guess. Go ahead guess.” He opened his mouth but she continued before he could respond. “I got approved for the study abroad program!”
The initial reaction was that he was genuinely happy for her. She’d been hoping to visit Europe during the summer but she was worried her financial aid wouldn’t cover it. However that meant for the entire summer she’d be in another country. She would barely even be able to call since long distance was so expensive and he knew her calls would be more importantly to her family than to him. Nevertheless, he plastered a smile on his face and congratulated her. “That’s great Ruth. You’ll have to take plenty of photos while you’re there.”

“I will!” She reached in her purse—which was too big to be carrying around as it could have been used for a book bag—and pulled out the brochure for her trip. “I’ll go to Spain and the U.K. and England and France and Scotland and Ireland.”

Arnold wanted to remind her that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were part of the United Kingdom, but instead he just smiled.  “That’s awesome. I’m really happy for you.” But inside he was miserable.

Helga fell on her bed with a sigh, letting her books fall with a loud thump against the floor. She had another class in a couple of hours, but after all the emotional stress of chemistry, she was tempted to skip it. It was an easy class anyways and she was maintaining a solid A in it without even giving it her usual half effort. Her roommate was still in class, and would be for another two hours. It was ideal time for a nap or a music blaring diary session.
Her sister had given her a leather bound journal for her birthday; surprisingly one of the best gifts her Olga had ever given her. Her old diary had been filled up a few days before and so it was perfect timing. Since then she’d been using that one every night, religiously. Whether it be a four page story about the kid that followed her around campus because he didn’t know English and couldn’t find the counselor’s office, or a short paragraph because she’d went to her classes and came back to her dorm without any major event, there was an entry for each and every day of her life.

Helga pulled her laptop out of her backpack and plugged it into the stereo system on her bed. Before long her music was as loud as she could make it without getting a visit from the resident advisor and she was wrapped up on her bed with her journal and pink feather pen.  

Diary,
Why is chemistry so hard?
Helga.


That was all she could put on paper. She was stumped for words for the first time in her life. She stared, blinking at the almost blank page in her journal, but before her mind could wander further, she felt her phone vibrate in her pocket.

She was barely able to answer it at the last ring. “What is it Miriam? Did you lose your keys again?”

“Helga?” It was Phoebe. “It’s me, Phoebe.”

Helga smiled and sat up, leaning her head back against the wall and stretching out her legs. “Oh hey Phoebe, what’s up?” It’d been a long time since she’d heard that little voice. They’d been texting frequently as usual, and she was completely up to date with everything going on in her life. Despite the fact that Phoebe was dating Arnold’s best friend, Helga knew she could still trust her with all of her secrets, just like she’d always done.

“Gerald and I have spring vacation coming up next week at our respective schools and I was wondering if I could come visit you. Gerald was hoping to catch up with Arnold and I know you’ve needed a verbal outlet for your frustration for a while. Perhaps we could go out to dinner just us while the boys conversed.”

Helga let out a sigh of relief and smiled. “Phoebs, you’re a genius.”
They Call It Falling ch. 2 (A Hey Arnold Fanfic)
Chapter 2 of a previously unnamed fanfiction. It's not getting a lot of feedback on here so I've been posting it on fanfiction.net instead and it's up to chapter 3 there under a terrible name I have been meaning to change

So if you want to read the next chapter just tell me to post it on da or proceed to my ff.net site at this link: www.fanfiction.net/s/11005516/…
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She never intended to follow him to college. In fact, the plan was to start over while she was there, without him. Her childhood crush hadn’t eased up and ever since she told him how she felt, Helga found her feelings for Arnold to be nothing more than a burden. She’d tried everything to get rid of them. She’d had a few boyfriends –even convinced herself she liked them for a little while—and even took one of them on a double date with Arnold while he was dating Lila their sophomore year hoping that seeing him with that goody-goody and the fact that she had her own boyfriend would give her brain some sort of reality check and allow her to somehow forget her feelings.

Despite all of this however, that crush remained like a ghost haunting her from her childhood. Her final tactic was to lose him from her life all together in the form of the University system.
She listened to him talking to Gerald about schools during the last semester of their senior year. He had plans to go to a university just a half hour from home, so that he could continue living with his grandparents. The old coots were as agile as ever but he still felt better staying with them in case his grandpa’s back went out again or his grandmother went on another jungle expedition through the city.

Arnold’s college plans worked out well for Helga. Big Bob had been pushing for Helga to attend his alma mater ever since her summer job with him at the beeper-turned-cellphone shop, so getting him to help pay for tuition in order to go to college a good 4 hours away from home not only allowed her to move out and away from her family, but it was far, far away from that football headed blonde that she couldn’t get her mind off of otherwise.

So how is it there he was in the common room of her co-ed dorm? Why was it his dumb head bent over his cellphone with a goofy smile on his face and an open text book in his lap? How had she still not gotten away from him?

Ruth. That’s why he was there. During the summer he’d reunited with her while she was home visiting family. Sometime while Helga was busy packing her life away, ignoring her sister’s wonderful college advice and her mother’s drunken depression after realizing she’d soon be adding “empty nest syndrome" to her list of disorders, Arnold was bumping into Ruth on a trip to the mall. They caught up and chatted and started dating over the course of a couple of months between high school and college and he decided to start going to her school so that they could spend more time together.

Helga chose a coed dorm because she despised girls. The only one she ever appreciated having around was Phoebe, who had went on to college a year early and was currently attending some fancy university on a full scholarship and living with Gerald now that he’d graduated. Helga decided even though there were still girls in a coed dorm, at least there would be less of them. However had she known she’d be stuck under the same roof as Arnold, she might have chosen to deal with the nagging and the makeovers and the menstrual irritability.

When she first saw him, her initial reaction was that uncontrollable jump in her chest. The one she once lost herself in while hiding behind lockers or in closets and alleys. However the immediate afterthought was that of pure anger. How dare he? How could he? Following her like a curse she’d never deserved into her university. Her new life. And when that thought passed through her, she dropped a pink sock in his white laundry.

Arnold wished he were rooming anywhere but under the same roof as Helga G. Pataki. Literally. Anywhere. He attempted camping on the campus green until campus security made him leave. He didn’t feel like the streets were safe enough—though Helga wasn’t much less dangerous—and Ruth had already paid her tuition and her roommate was completely against him even spending the night, let alone living there. He’d asked Ruth about getting an apartment over winter break, but she was convinced he was moving too fast.

In the end he decided it wasn’t impossible to avoid Helga in the dorms. There was a lock on the door, and besides, his new roommate, a fine arts major named Duke from Kentucky, wasn’t that bad.  Not to mention, outside those walls, just across the campus green in the girls dorm was Ruth. And she made the torture endured during the time he spent in the common area of the dorms a little more bearable.

It wasn’t that Helga was as mean as she ever was to him. In fact, she’d changed a lot since elementary school, and her bullying became a lot less physical. She decided to rely more on pranks and insults and a few obscene hand gestures his way. Nevertheless, it definitely put pressure on his attempt at being civil with her.

Luckily there were no more “heat of the moment” confessions to make things more awkward between them than they originally were. When Helga first confessed her feelings—and admitting to most likely a certifiable amount of obsession—Arnold didn’t know how to handle the situation. They had both agreed without agreeing to pretend it never even happened and that it was nothing to begin with, but they both knew. They’d always know. Luckily since fourth grade it seemed to him as she had finally moved on. He assumed her harassment was just a longtime habit and he’d have to deal with it.

Other than the harassment, however, Helga had physically changed a lot. Helga had grown to be a bit better endowed, unlike her older sister who stayed a dainty thin form. Not only had she been able to fill out all of the Nancy Spumoni clothing she’d saved up her summer earnings on, but she began to possess more dominant features than her mother and sister, most likely coming from her father’s side of the family. She’d grown into long legs and a large bust and shapely hips typically shown against her clingy Nancy Spumoni jeans and pink shirt.

She’d left her pigtails long in the past but her pink bow was a dominant feature of her style whether it be in the form of a decoration on her pink flats, as a charm on a necklace or sometimes held the sides of her hair back out of her face. Thanks to her days of attempting to move on, she’d learned her way around the beauty section of the drug store and kept her eyebrows waxed and wore just enough makeup that she didn’t feel like she were wearing a second skin.

Arnold hit his growth spurt during freshman year, out growing many of his classmates except for Gerald and Stinky. He was tall and lanky and his sense of style hadn’t changed much, a pair of blue jeans and some sort of sweater or button up—sometimes both—pretty much summed up his every day since of style.  His pants typically had one or two holes in them—he never threw them away unless they were completely unwearable—but he pulled it off like one of the high end distressed jeans someone would get from a department store. He never spent money on new shoes, instead he wore the same pair every day, a beat up pair of sneakers he’d had since junior year.

Like most guys he never really changed his hair style. It didn’t keep it’s youthful form of spiked on top of his head and began to lay back instead, but he never put too much effort into how it turned out when he left his dorm and many times people would claim he was intentionally going for a bedhead look, but the true story is that he would only run a brush through it once a day and nothing more. He was just one of those guys that seemed to make a style out of not caring about his style.

Helga tried avoiding him as much as possible, and luckily the feeling was mutual yet unspoken. If they did pass each other in the halls of the science building or the caf, he would politely wave and she would greet him with a smirk, eye roll, or middle finger, depending on her particular mood. The second semester however, they somehow became lab partners, and vocal interaction became completely unavoidable.

“We never have good luck as lab partners. Did the professor just think it was funny pairing up the two from the same school?” Though both annoyed at the union, Helga was the first to voice her irritation. She worked while toying with the tongs, picking up pencils and balls of paper and dropping them while leaning her face against her hand with a total lack amusement.

“We’ll just have to make the best of the situation.” Arnold starting pulling together all of the items for the particular experiment and getting them situated. He noticed Helga’s eye roll as she shook her head and put the tongs down. She muttered something about his “damn  catchphrase” under her breath. “Look at least we know each other. And we know how the other works. So how about we just try to get through this semester without killing each other?”

She scoffed a bit under her breath but shook his offered hand in agreement. She couldn’t look at him when she did, though. Shaking his hand was hard enough without eye contact. The experiment began, they both pulled on their goggles, Arnold poured some sort of chemical into the beaker while Helga heated another chemical over a flame.  Every once in a while he’d bump her or she’d bump him, and they’d both pretend not to notice but silently agreed, this was going to be a long semester.
They Call It Falling ch. 1 (a Hey Arnold Fanfic)
I still haven't figured out a name for this guy yet but I'm open to suggestions. I have a pretty solid story I'm going for in the future and it's not all going to be at the college scene just the age group of around 18-19. 
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deviantID

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lucky-meryl
Kori
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
My name is Kori, I'm 22 years old, planning on becoming a psychologist. But I love writing, so lets see what comes of it 8D
Interests
~About you~
What's your name?: Kori
Why were you named that?: Because my mom though a boys name sounded pretty
Are you male or female?: Female
Would you rather be the opposite gender?: Every month for about three days, otherwise no.
How old are you?: 2
How tall are you?: 5'8
Are you happy with your height?: It's pretty average I think...
How much do you weigh?: HAHA no.
Are you happy with your weight?: Nope
What color are your eyes?: blue
What's the natural color of your hair?: Brown?  I think?
Do your dye your hair? If so, what color?: Usually a black brown, but I haven't in MONTHS.
What's your body type? (i.e.: triangle, rounded, diamond, etc.): Round? I think? I think Apple shape?
Do you know your blood type? If so what is it?: O-
Are you happy with your appearance?: nope
What is your sexuality?: Hetero
~What's your favorite...~
Food: Depends on my mood. Lately? Cheese.
Drink: Coke/Sweet TEa
Color: Purple
Animal: Cats
Book: Tough...I like a lot of them. Maybe Darkest Powers Series? or The Mortal Instruments?
Magazine: I don't read them...
Newspaper: Rome News Tribune/Polk Fishwrap (I wanna see someone I know)
Website: fictionpress/deviantart
Pen: Purple ink ones
Movie: Probably 27 Dresses
Holiday: Christmas
Myth: Greek ones
Childhood story: Cinderella I think...
Weather: Snow.
Eye color: Green
Music player: itunes
Flower: tulips
Sport: Eh, not really a fan. I watch football scores on my phone sometimes..?
Vacation spot: Anywhere my friends are.
Ocean: Hawaii
Shampoo: Honey I'm Strong Herbal Essences
Deodorant: I don't know. I think Suave
Computer/Laptop: Asus
Store: Cacique prolly... nice bras. But I like panties from torrid and clothes from catos
Clothing brand: Angels jeans, cacique bras, torrid panties, shirts...idk
Shoe: still trying to find out...lookwise prolly converse. Comfy wise I think I like new balance
~This or That~
Pepsi or Coke?: Coke
Water or Tea?: tea
Braces or Retainer?: both
Bed or Couch?: Bed
Past or Future?: Future
Woods or City?: Woods
School or Work (as in job)?: work
Sun or Moon?: Moon
Fire or Water?: fire
TV or Computer?: Computer
Shower or Bath?: Shower
Unusual or Normal?: Unusual
Predictable or Unpredictable?: Unpredictable
Explainable or Unexplainable?: unexplainable
Honesty or Deceit?: Honesty
Together or Alone?: Together
Sunny or Rainy?: Rainy
Cats or Dogs?: Cats
Reptiles or Birds?: Birds
Poltergeists or Demons?: Demons (I have bibles. I'll get rid of them)
Eating or Starvation?: Eating
Summer or Winter?: Winter
Night-Owl or Early-Bird?: Night-Owl
Peace or War?: Peace
God or Satan?: God
Life or Death? Life
~First Thing To Come To Your Mind...~
Blood: vampires
Nightmare: elm street
Clown: haha?
Squirrel:  lucas
Great: powerful
Royal: princess
Fangs: cat
Inside: outside
Outside: trees
Voices: loud
Darkness: falls
Light: dark
Snake: hiss
Bed: comfy
Ocean: woosh
Family: friends
Myths: gods
Demons: evil
Angels: love
Love: hope
Hate: sometimes
God: always
Satan: evil
Nothing: here
The Unknown: scary
~The What's, Who's, When's and Why~
What's your earliest childhood memory?: visiting my great grandmother
What's your worst childhood memory (that can be shared)?: I dunno, my life wasn't very terrible...
What's your new years revolution for this year?: health
What's your current pet(s) name(s)?: Cera
What's your relationship status currently?: Single
What's your current health (unhealthy or healthy?)?: Unhealthy
What's your current mood?: Happy
What's the nearest book to you?: City of Bones
What's the color of your nails/toenails?: Clean on both
What's the time where you're at?: 11:16 pm
What's the one thing you'd DIE before doing?: that's a weird question. Idk
What's the name of the person you love?: Mom, friends names, family names, thats a long list.
What's the name of the person you hate?: I don't typically hate people
What's the subject in school/college that you just hate(d)?: Science
Who's the bestest friend what you wouldn't trade for the world?: Ambarawr
Who's "that" friend who has a heart of gold?: HAHAHAHAHA have you met my friends?
Who's the person who you love but doesn't love like that back?: Not. Going. There.
Who's the person you would never hurt?: Anyone if I can help it.
Who's the person you'd confess anything to?: I dunno. Probably no one. I have secrets 8D
Who's the person you argued with? Everyone on my fb status the other day
Who's the last person to say 'I love you' to you?: Mom
Who's the last person you said 'I love you' to?: mom
Who's the last person to hug you (through the internet & in person)?: Marlon
Who's the last person you punched?: TJ
Who's the last person to help you out with something?: Cassarah
Who's the last person you called on the phone?: Mom
Who's the last person you saw?: Mom
Who's the last person you talked to?: Enpii!
When was the last time you just stopped and were happy for what you have?: I try to every day
When was the last time you hit something to take all the frustration out?: I don't do that. Charles does that.
When was the last time you wrote your feelings down?: about three weeks ago
When was the last time you spent quality time with your family?: last night
When was the last time you did something for somebody without asking anything in return?: I dunno specifics
When was the last time you thought outside of the box?: I hope every day I write
When was the last time you believed in yourself? Probably about a year ago.
When was the last time you confessed something to somebody?: idk
When was the last time you felt remorse?: I don't remember
When was the last time you felt pure joy?: Today
When was the last time you smiled and really meant it?: Today
When was the last time you cried yourself to sleep?: Maybe a few months ago? Maybe longer.
When was the last time you stood up for what you believe in?: Night before last.
When was the last time you stood up for someone who was hurt?: I dunno...
Why did you do this quiz?: just to put something new up there.
  • Mood: Lazy
  • Listening to: "Already Gone"
  • Reading: nothin'
  • Watching: nothin'
  • Playing: nothin'
  • Eating: nothin'
  • Drinking: nothin'

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:icontsuanimechan:
tsuanimechan Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015  Professional Filmographer
I am honored that you like my work ^_^ thank you very much for the fav my friend :hug:
Reply
:iconnakuru-nebelung:
Nakuru-Nebelung Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014
Thanks a lot for faving Soupicide 
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:iconlucky-meryl:
lucky-meryl Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Student Writer
no problemo!
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:iconrollingtomorrow:
RollingTomorrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013   General Artist
Hello!

:la: Welcome to :iconwriters--club:! :la:

:typerhappy: We're glad to have you as a member and look forward to seeing your contributions! :typerhappy:

:iconlaspinplz: We also hold a lot of contests with great prizes, so keep your eye out for them! We currently have our annual writing tournament underway. All the details can be found in the group blog. :iconlaspinplz:
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:iconjamasaur:
Jamasaur Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
Salutations, my name is Jamie! As you may be able to tell by the fact that I'm even sending this message I'm overly excited about highlands anime cub. More specifically, joining. I hate having to wait for club round up, but there were no names or contact info in the handbook. So, I went through the trouble of looking at accounts and videos on google and tracing user names and such. Luckily, I found you, the president! Right, you still are the president of the Georgia highlands anime club? O.o Id hate to get too carried away with the wrong person... *Sweat Drop*
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:iconlucky-meryl:
lucky-meryl Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Student Writer
sorry I never responded. Yeah I was but I now go to KSU but I hope you're still attending the club!
Reply
:iconjamasaur:
Jamasaur Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
Oh, its okay, I don't go to the right campus, but I was considering bringing up the idea of video conferencing and expanding the club...
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:iconcassiesn1:
cassiesn1 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011
Thanks for the fave on your own pattern bitchface :P
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:iconrhearain:
RheaRain Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2009  Student General Artist
Thank you for the favorite ^_^
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:iconrhearain:
RheaRain Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2009  Student General Artist
Thanks Bunches for the WATCH! ^_^
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