So... This update comes about ten months late. I'm really sorry, everyone. I definitely didn't forget about this, I just kinda lost motivation for a while and put just about everything before writing. I won't make any promises, since I can't tell how things will turn out, but the chapter's here now, so that's something.

Moving on to the chapter, Duncan goes on a date with Courtney! I hope you all enjoy!

Saturday seemed to come around quickly to Duncan. He put himself into his work and the time seemed to fly by. He hadn't recalled the last time he'd been so nervous for something. He knew Courtney was going to pull all the stops, because she wasn't one to do things halfway, so he knew he needed to be prepared.

That's why Duncan enlisted the help of Lara so he could prepare for the date. He didn't ask Zoey because he thought it'd be weird to ask a girl for help so he could go on a date with a different girl. The most 'formal' he'd ever been on a date was going to a basketball game, so he knew he would need all the help he could get to live up to Courtney's standards. They went to multiple suit stores to find a suit, nice shoes and a tie for Duncan, and so that he wouldn't be a burden to her, he paid for it all himself, putting a huge dent in his wallet.

Saturday night came around, and Duncan had just finished putting on his suit. It was a navy blue suit over a white striped shirt, with shiny black shoes. The mohawk seemed out of place, but there wasn't really anything he could do about that, so he just did his hair the way he usually did.

He checked the time to see that he still had a few minutes before seven. He tried putting on his tie, which was orange with a flame pattern, but he struggled, that not being something he'd had to do very often. Feeling embarrassed, Duncan went to Zoey's room and knocked on her door.

"Hey, Zoey? Can I get your help with something?" Duncan asked, still feeling silly that he needed help for something as simple as a tie.

"Sure, give me a second!" Duncan heard Zoey's reply, and true to her word, Zoey came to the door shortly. She opened the door and gave Duncan a smile. "What's up… oh." At that point, Zoey took notice of Duncan's attire.

"I need help with my tie. Stupid, I know, but I don't usually wear these." Duncan held up the tie, at which point he noticed Zoey staring at him. He started checking his suit. "Is there something wrong with the suit?"

"O-oh! No, nothing's wrong with the suit. It's just… You look good." Zoey replied, cheeks slightly pink. "Here, give that to me." Duncan handed over the tie absently, thinking about what Zoey said.

"Thanks, I hope this is worth it. It cost me my last pay check." Duncan said, offering Zoey a smile of gratitude as she tied the tie. Once she was done, she handed it to him, and he put it in place.

"There you go! You look really good, Duncan. I hope you have a fun date with Courtney." Zoey told him, smiling before going back into her room and closing the door. Duncan stood there for a few seconds. That smile seemed a bit forced… Is Zoey doing okay? Shaking his head, Duncan checked the time as he walked back to his room, seeing that it was almost seven. As soon as he put his phone in his pocket, it buzzed, and he got it out again to see that Courtney had texted that she was outside. Ha, trust Courtney to be early. And she's one of those people who text that they're around? I wouldn't have expected it.

Duncan went downstairs to leave, but before he could reach the front door, he saw Lara sitting in the lounge room watching TV. He thought it'd be courteous to show her how he looked in the suit, so he approached. She turned to see him, and a smile lit up her face.

"That looks really great, Duncan! Why, I'm almost jealous of Courtney!" Lara laughed, causing Duncan's cheeks to flush red.

"Th-thanks, Lara. And thank you for helping me pick it out, too." Duncan said. "Anyway, I'll probably be back late."

"That's only fair. Just be quiet when you come back, I'll probably have gone to bed. I don't know about Zoey, she might still be up." Lara told Duncan, who nodded. Lara smiled again. "Have fun on your date! You don't want to keep her waiting!"

"See you tomorrow." Duncan waved before he opened the front door to see Courtney standing there. To his surprise, Courtney looked very casual, and he suddenly felt very over-dressed. She'd shown up in a black hoodie over a red shirt and blue jeans. "Courtney?"

"Duncan?" Courtney replied, looking over his suit. Her cheeks flushed as she chuckled. "I'm glad you put in the effort for this date, but you won't need a suit where we're going." Courtney laughed again. "Oh, this is my fault. I should have told you what I would be wearing tonight." Duncan laughed as well.

"I guess so. I had no idea what to expect, but knowing you, I thought we'd be going to some fancy restaurant." Duncan ran his hand through his mohawk, feeling quite silly for everything he'd done for this date. "I should go change, huh?"

"Yeah, that'd be a good idea. I'll go sit in the car." Courtney turned to go.

"Hey, Courtney!" Duncan said, and Courtney turned around. "Come inside. I'm sure you'll be welcome to sit inside while you wait for me." Courtney came back to the door.

"Thanks, Duncan." Courtney smiled, and the two came back inside, to Lara's confusion, which was only increased upon seeing the difference in Duncan and Courtney's attire.

"Turns out we're not going somewhere fancy, so I'm changing. Is it okay if Courtney stays here while I change?" Duncan asked.

"Oh, sure, Duncan. Courtney, you can sit here." Lara pointed to the chair nearest the door, and Courtney sat down in the chair.

"Thank you, ma'am." Courtney said politely.

"You can call me Lara, Courtney. I've heard a lot about you." Lara told the CIT.

"I won't take too long, Court." Duncan told Courtney, who nodded and turned to Lara. Duncan went upstairs and entered his room. Wow, to think I'd be the one dressing formally… That's a real shocker. Chuckling to himself, Duncan got out of his suit and changed into a pair of black jeans and his skull T-shirt. Deciding it was too cold out to just be in a T-shirt, Duncan threw on a dark blue hoodie as well. He finished his look with his red high tops. Satisfied, he exited his room to see Zoey peeking out from her room. Seeing Duncan, she came over, a look of surprise on her face.

"Hey, what happened? Did Courtney cancel?" Zoey asked curiously.

"No, nothing like that. I was over-dressed. Courtney's downstairs talking to your mum, actually." Duncan replied, and Zoey seemed surprised.

"Really? That doesn't sound too good…" Zoey said nervously.

"Huh? Why is that a bad thing?" Duncan asked.

"You don't remember a few nights ago? Mum told you that she didn't like Courtney very much." Zoey explained.

"Oh. Let's go downstairs, then. At the very least, it doesn't sound like anything's going on." Duncan said, not hearing either of the females downstairs. Duncan and Zoey went downstairs to see Lara and Courtney laughing, to their surprise.

"Yeah, I can't believe I dated him, either. I mean, a shoelace ring? What a joke!" Courtney giggled before noticing Duncan and Zoey. She composed herself before saying anything else. "Hi, Zoey! It's good to see you again." Courtney smiled. Zoey smiled back.

"Nice to see you, too." Zoey replied. Courtney stood up as Duncan approached her.

"Well, it was nice to meet you, Lara, but we have to go now, or we're going to miss the start of the movie." Courtney waved to Lara before turning to Duncan.

"A movie? That seems too simple for you." Duncan commented, eyebrow raised. Courtney chuckled.

"I thought the classic dinner and movie would be fun. I did them in the reverse order so we can eat snacks." Courtney explained. "Anyway, let's go now. Bye, Zoey!" Zoey waved as Courtney left the house, but Duncan turned to her at the door.

"Hey, have you contacted Dawn about meeting up?" Duncan asked, and Zoey snapped her fingers.

"That's right! I meant to tell you that I have. She says she'd love to meet up next weekend." Zoey informed Duncan. Awesome! I'm sure Zoey will be happier with a friend around.

"That's great! I'll see you when I get home, okay?" Duncan said, waving as he left the house, closing the front door behind him. Courtney was already in her car, so Duncan got in and they headed to the cinema.

When they went inside the cinema, Duncan took a moment to look around at all the movie posters. He went up to one in particular, Courtney following.

"Wow, Blood Bath 3: The Carnival of Screams is out already?" Duncan questioned, inspecting the abandoned circus setting in the poster. "I remember the trailers for this movie playing before All Stars!"

"Yeah, it's been out for ages, so we should be able to get good seats for it." Courtney replied. "Most people interested in it have already watched it, and the reviews are mostly positive."

"Wait, we're going to watch it? Not some chick flick, like that one?" Duncan pointed to a movie poster showing Confessions of a Workaholic.

"No, I know that's not your style. I remember how bored you were when I put them on." Courtney sighed, thinking about the past. "Uh, anyway, I'm going to buy some popcorn, you get good seats." Courtney reached into her purse and got out a ticket, which she gave to Duncan. She then headed to the snack bar. Duncan looked at the ticket and headed to the appropriate cinema. True to Courtney's word, there were only four people seated, two couples, one young and one middle-aged. Duncan claimed two seats right in the middle of the cinema for optimal viewing. As the advertisements started playing, Courtney joined Duncan, handing him a soda and putting a bucket of popcorn between them.

"If we need any more snacks, just tell me, okay?" Courtney told Duncan, who nodded as he grabbed some popcorn. The movie started, and Duncan quickly got engrossed into the movie, Courtney not so much.

"Damn, they want to go on that ride? Terrible idea!" Duncan commented, eating popcorn at a rapid rate. He seemed to be oblivious to the fact that Courtney looked utterly terrified and was barely looking at the screen. Someone screamed and Duncan laughed. "Yeah! That's why it's a bad idea, you idiot! Isn't this great, Courtney?" He turned to Courtney, and that's when he saw that she was covering her eyes and shaking. "Court, are you all right?" Courtney looked over at him.

"Y-Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just… not a fan of horror movies, and clowns don't help." Courtney assured him, voice shaky. Duncan frowned slightly.

"Okay, Court. If you can't handle it, I get it." Duncan smirked, and Courtney rolled her eyes.

"Of course I can handle it! I was only pretending to make you worried." Courtney grinned, turning to the movie. She was clearly still shaking, however, but Duncan let it slide. He just focused on the movie. Unfortunately, he discovered he'd finished all the popcorn. Rats.

Coming out of the movie, Duncan was super excited and kept telling Courtney about all the things he enjoyed about it, to her displeasure. He continued to talk about it on the way to the restaurant and as they got their seats.

"And when the last guy took on the clown and killed him, damn, that was so bloody! What a great movie!" Duncan told Courtney, and she smiled back at him.

"The movie… wasn't to my tastes, but if you liked it, that's the main thing." Courtney replied, looking at her menu.

"Yeah, you were totally freaked!" Duncan laughed, and Courtney shot him a look above her menu. Duncan settled down to a chuckle.

"I wasn't that scared…" Courtney said unconvincingly, and Duncan only nodded, rolling his eyes playfully. A waiter came by and took their orders, and then left with the menus. At Courtney's request, he came back with a bottle of water and two glasses.

"Don't tell me we're just having water…" Duncan groaned, pouring a glass. Courtney scoffed at him as she took the bottle once he was done.

"Of course not, this is just for starters. We're getting drinks with our meal." Courtney replied. "And before you ask, I'm not buying anything alcoholic. I need to be focused on the road, and I'm not delivering you home drunk out of your mind."

"I guess that's fair." Duncan shrugged. "Wait, you're paying for the whole meal? At least let me chip in a bit."

"No, it's fine. I've got plenty of money, and you've only been working for a couple of weeks." Courtney shot back, but Duncan wasn't backing down. In the end, Courtney agreed to let Duncan pay only for the drinks. By the time they'd finished settling that, their meals had arrived. Courtney had ordered a sushi platter and Duncan a beef parmigiana. They were also presented with two tall glasses of cream soda. They dug into the meal, ceasing all conversation to eat, since both were hungry after the movie and because it was late. About midway into the meal, Courtney spoke up.

"Hey, Duncan… Can I ask you something?" Courtney asked, and seeing her serious facial expression, Duncan stopped eating.

"Yeah, what is it?" Duncan asked, curious. She's been pretty laidback this whole time, so I wonder what's got her so serious now. Courtney took a deep breath and a swig of her drink before replying.

"I… I guess I should just say it. Duncan… I never got over you." Courtney admitted, cheeks bright pink. Duncan was stunned into silence. He had no idea what to say, and sensing this, Courtney continued. "Sure, I told everyone that I would never get back with you ever, and I even tried to convince myself that I had gotten over you… But it's always been there, I guess? When you and Gwen solidified your relationship, I tried so hard to repress my feelings and my heart really only stopped panging when I saw you after World Tour."

"Wow, Court…" Duncan breathed, still having nothing to add. Courtney sighed.

"Yeah, I know, pretty pathetic, right? And then you popped back into my life by chance and… The feelings came back. I got you the job because I wanted to get close to you again, and I thought that maybe if Gwen wasn't around, and without the pressure of the competition… We could possibly try and make things work between us?" Courtney cleared her throat. "So I guess what I'm trying to say is, will you go out with me?" Duncan knew he had to respond now, so he took a small while to process what he'd been told. So this whole time, Courtney's still harboured feelings for me? This makes me feel awful for everything I've said about her. What the hell do I say…? Duncan finally looked up at Courtney, who was patiently waiting, a hopeful shine to her eyes.

"I'm really sorry, Court, but…" Duncan almost faltered when he saw Courtney's face drop. "I've moved on. If we're being completely honest, I had some feelings for you in All Stars, which ultimately led to Gwen dumping me, which I probably deserved." Duncan chuckled a little, but Courtney still looked crestfallen. His cheeks tinged with embarrassment. "But while I was in prison, I had a lot of time to think things over, and it took a while, but I finally got over you and Gwen." Duncan panicked internally when she saw a tear fall from Courtney's eye.

"Oh my god, please don't cry! I'm not worth it! I'm a troubled teen, been to juvie multiple times and now to prison, and I've been nothing but trouble my whole life." Duncan started to talk rapidly as he tried to prevent Courtney from crying. "If we got back together, you being a future world leader and me a criminal, I'd only get in your way and ruin your chances at anything. We can be friends if you can stand me after this, but don't throw your life away because of me. A rich man with a kind heart is the type of guy you deserve." At that point, Courtney started bawling, which made Duncan panic all the more.

"Just… Just give me a second, okay?" Courtney said as she quickly got out of her seat and ran for the bathroom. This action turned a few heads toward their table, and Duncan flushed red in mortification. He averted his gaze and, with nothing else to do, went back to eating his food. I ruined everything, huh… Courtney's probably finding some way to get me back in jail or at the very least planning to get me fired… Why does this stuff have to be so complicated?!

Courtney didn't reappear until long after Duncan had finished his parmigiana, and when she did, she looked completely normal as she walked back to their table like nothing at all had happened, a small smile on her face. She didn't even look like she'd been crying, though she clearly had been, and her lip quivered when she sat back down.

"Uh, are you okay…?" Duncan asked, watching Courtney closely. Courtney nodded, but it looked like she was barely keeping it together.

"I thought about what you said, Duncan, and… I think you're right. We're toxic to each other, and even though we were younger then, our whole relationship was honestly one big argument." Courtney replied, seeming to gain strength from her words. "Also, you turning me down the way you did felt like it lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I think I got closure from it, since you cheating hurt all parties, but didn't make things feel final to me. I'm finally ready to move on from you, Duncan." When she finished, Courtney's smile was genuine, even though the tears had started again. Duncan couldn't help but feel emotional himself, but he kept it down.

"I'm really happy for you, Court. I really am. I understand if you want me to leave you alone, and I'll-" Duncan started, but Courtney cut in.

"Don't be an idiot, Duncan." Courtney smirked, and Duncan was confused. "I'm willing to stay friends, and you can keep your job. Teasing as you were, our friendship way back when was something I really cherish. So, how about we start this friendship anew, putting all our differences and emotions to the side?"

"That sounds like a plan to me." Duncan smiled genuinely, and the two got up from their seats and embraced. I'm so glad that went well… Let's not screw it up this time.

Courtney pulled up to Zoey's house, and Duncan turned to her.

"Thanks for the night out, Court." Duncan told her, a smile on his face.

"No problem, but don't go soft on me. You usually hate dates." Courtney smirked. Duncan grinned.

"Yeah, that was old Duncan. New Duncan's trying to be a good human being. I'm trying to put my vandalising and thieving dates behind me." Duncan laughed, and Courtney joined in, remembering the times she and Duncan went on unusual dates. "I'm gonna go now, see you at work?"

"Yes, nice and early on Monday, right?" Courtney questioned, and Duncan nodded.

"See you then, if I haven't died from being up too early." Duncan joked, exiting the car and watching Courtney drive away. When her car was out of site, Duncan headed up the driveway and entered the house. No-one was in the lounge room, so Duncan quietly headed upstairs and into his room. As he was getting undressed, there was a knock on his door. Throwing a pair of pants on, Duncan answered the door to see Zoey standing there.

"Hey, Zoey. Thought you'd be asleep." Duncan greeted Zoey, who seemed to be distracted. He smirked as he flexed his bicep. "Yeah, I got a lot of down time in prison, so I mostly spent it working out." Zoey quickly looked up at his face, and Duncan didn't miss the heavy red blush in her cheeks at being caught out.

"D-Duncan! I wanted to tell you about the meet-up next weekend." Zoey said, avoiding what Duncan had said completely, her cheeks still flaming red. Grinning still, Duncan's interest was piqued.

"Oh yeah, what about it?" Duncan crossed his arms, and Zoey momentarily glanced at the movement before looking back up. Who knew such an innocent girl could be so flustered by a guy with no shirt on?

"I wanted to tell you that I invited someone else along, and they've accepted. I hope you're okay with that." Zoey told Duncan, who raised an eyebrow.

"Alright, spill. Who'd you invite?" Duncan asked, curious.

"Well… I might have invited Gwen." Zoey revealed, shifting nervously. Duncan's eyes widened.

"Gwen? And she accepted? Did you tell her that I'd be there?" Duncan asked, suddenly nervous. Two exes in two weekends… How crazy.

"I may have skipped over that specific detail… But, I think it'd be a good opportunity for you and her to talk." Zoey smiled. "Alright, goodnight, Duncan! You'll have to tell me how things went with Courtney tomorrow." Zoey turned and headed to her room, and Duncan retreated into his own. He got into bed and put his arms behind his head.

"First Courtney, now Gwen… Either the universe has it out for me, or the universe is trying to forgive me. I can't even tell." Duncan sighed, closed his eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.

And that's it for now! Interesting, right? I'd originally planned for Courtney to become bitchy toward Duncan again, but that's cliche, so I went down a different path. We might see her every now and then, so I hope you Courtney fans enjoy that!

Now it appears that Zoey's gone and gotten Gwen involved with this meet-up with Dawn. That should be interesting to see, right? If you have any guesses on what could happen, tell me in a review! I appreciate each and every review, so don't be shy. Thank you for sticking with this story!

Until next time, which should be a whole lot sooner!