Surprised to be hearing from me over here, huh?
I can't really say why I wanted to write this; I was just struck by inspiration, and why fight inspiration, right?

So this is a little different then what you're all used to reading in Fill In The Blank. This is told in first person from Courtney's point of view, taking place after the whole 'Basic Straining' incident goes down. Let me just tell you: Courtney's VERY contemplative (but you all already knew that!)

Enjoy everyone! Maybe a change of point of view will do us all some good :)

Disclaimer: Total Drama Island is not mine.

I do my best not to doubt myself. And my best is very good.

I take pride in all of my actions and the results of each. Everything I do is given my maximum effort and completed with my utter satisfaction. I long ago learned that uncertainty is the first step to becoming insecure, and that is something of which I have not and will never allow myself to become. Self-doubt is not an option—I've never questioned it.

But now, sitting alone, having recently stolen, puked, kissed, and been kissed (all rather rare occurrences in my life), I'm starting to wonder if I'm in the correct mind-set, which I find to be a completely unwelcome response to the situation.

All my life, people have said, "Courtney, take a break!" "Courtney, you're too busy!" "Courtney, why don't you just relax for once?" Obviously, I never listened to any of them; if I'm going to be running for office when I'm older (and I certainly will), I don't have time to take a break. I don't have time let loose, chill out, set everything down for a day! Again, it's not an option.

And if I'm going to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not one of those people who is constantly on the phone, texting, 'hanging out'. I don't have that desire for continuous companionship. Quite frankly, being completely surrounded at every moment of the day would annoy me. I'm not a very patient person.

Now, at this point you're probably thinking, "But I thought politics was all about connections!" And it is. If you ask anyone, I have dozens of 'friends.' Everybody knows Courtney! She's such a sweetheart! But friends and acquaintances are two very different things, and that is the subtle difference of which people cannot see. I have hundreds of acquaintances. On the other hand, I have a very small pool of friends, so small I can count them on one hand. Bridgette has recently joined that list. I'm sure she'd be happy to know that.

But as I was saying before I went off on my tangent, people are always telling me how I'm living my life incorrectly. And, of course, I've taken each piece of advice with about a truck-load of salt (which is to say I've completely rejected all of it), and I've never thought of it again. Like I said, no doubts.

And yet here I am, sitting up against the single random tree growing behind the Bass cabin, wondering. I'm wondering why I'm not feeling any guilt for my atrocious lack of self-control and responsibility, why I don't feel bad about having removed about half the contents of Chef's fridge. And I'm wondering, Why did I enjoy it so much?

I suppose if I really wanted to, I could make circles around the center of this whole situation all night, never addressing it because I severely don't want to. But that would be weak and pathetic, so I'm going to admit it to myself, right now: this is about Duncan. All, completely, 100%. My stomach flutters a bit as my mind conjures up his face in perfect clarity, and I want to punch myself in the gut just to make the feeling go away. This is not what's supposed to be happening!

It's his fault that I'm sitting back here, my pants dirty and hair relentlessly snagging on the tree bark behind my head. My butt hurts from sitting on the hard ground, and I'm tired of staring at the grimy wooden planks making up the reverse side of our cabin. I've already promised myself that I'm not leaving this spot until I get to the bottom of all this, though, so I'm not moving. After what happened earlier, I've decided that I must, without a doubt (there's that word again), sort everything out with myself.

Sadly, I'm not having much success.

I suppose I've already come to terms with the fact that I like Duncan, as much as it hurts my pride to admit it. If I think about it, I've liked him for a while by this point. It came on slowly and subtly, and I can't say when I made the change between intense dislike for him and internal affection.

Wait, affection? With the exasperated groan that everyone has come to know me for, I bury my face in my hands. Affection? That doesn't even begin to cover what I'm feeling for him, but I don't think a word exists complicated enough to describe my emotions right now. Love is obviously too strong at this point, as is hate. Like seems far too frivolous, while dislike is definitely not what I'm looking for either. Fondness makes me think of a parent/child relationship, while friendliness obviously doesn't begin to cover it. I kissed him tonight!

Giving up on my search for a suitable adjective, I turn my efforts toward answering the question, Why him? What makes Duncan so freaking special? Is it his punk appearance? Beastly attitude? His lack of motivation and complete disrespect towards everything vital to our functioning world?! The way he's always telling me to loosen up (though in far less formal terms)?

No, I decide firmly. If that was all there was to him, I'd have tossed him off a cliff within my first days of meeting him. I consider the idea that I've kept him around because I want to be the girl who 'changes his ways', since that's what always seems to happen in those unrealistic yet somehow heartwarming romantic comedies. But again, I decide that's incorrect; I've never cared about society's black sheep before. The way I've always seen it, if someone is too unmotivated to do anything productive, they deserve any and all disrespect they get, and they definitely aren't getting help from me.

I think that I'm drawn to Duncan because I can tell there's more to him. Whenever I'm ready to write him off as just another worthless teenage boy trying to get attention, I remember the 'Bunny Episode', as I've come to call it, and I'm always brought back to square one. I've talked with Bridgette about it, and Leshawna as well, but I can't figure it out. Whenever I think I have Duncan totally pinned down, he does something to merit a reassessment of his character.

Proud of myself for forming a hypothesis explaining my whatever-it-is I have with Duncan, I take a moment to stop. Twisting around my tree stretch my back, I can see the last quarter of sun hanging over the outline of the forest, the sky pleasantly lit up in mild pastels. There's pink and orange in the first layer over the sun, fading to green, and then the last bit of blue before nightfall. That's funny, I think. I've never seen a green sky before.

Then, upon instantly connecting that green to Duncan and his signature color (Hello? Is this some sick sign?), I flop down onto my back, allowing my head to hit the ground slightly harder than was strictly necessary. Little reverberations spread up from the crown of my head and serve to jar me back to reality, where my analysis resumes. My feelings can be summed up in one easy question: What is wrong with me? The Courtney who arrived on the island didn't take breaks while in the middle of intense psychological scrutiny! She didn't care about sunsets! People told her to relax, but she never listened. She didn't care. It wasn't worth it.

But she cares now, I realize. I care now. And even worse, the reason behind this new-found insight is painfully obvious: I care because Duncan was the one behind it. He was the person telling me to loosen up, lay back, take a risk, have some—quote-unquote—fun. Maybe it's the fact that he never attempted to pursue the topic further that caused me to pursue it myself. That seems logical, I decide. Like the way he'd tell me to (ugh) pull the pole out of my butt, but then drop it soon after the first sign of protest on my part.

When I stop and think about it, Duncan didn't ever really try to make me do anything against my moral code, until tonight. However, whatever it was that spurred my hasty agreement is still unknown to me. I suppose it's because I wanted to see if there was any justification for his constant jibes aimed at me, a prime example of 'curiosity killed the cat'. More like curiosity killed about half of the moral standards that I'd previously set for myself and consistently abided by.

Example 1: Stealing is wrong. Even though that's true, I have absolutely no remorse for having stolen from Chris and Chef Hatchet. After a moment, though, I decide the example's faulty since both Chris and Chef are terrible people. I cast off that train of thought.

Example 1B: Don't go into empty fish cabins with boys who've been in a juvenile detention facility. I laugh sharply to myself as I realize the magnitude of what actually went on today. Laid out in front of me, it seems so much stupider than it felt at the time. And yet I never once questioned my safety while I was with Duncan.

Example 2: If you do go into an abandoned fish cabin with a boy who's been in a juvenile detention facility, don't let him flirt with you. …I don't really know how to back up that example, so I just stick with No Comment.

Example 3: If you do go into an abandoned fish cabin with a boy who's been in a juvenile detention facility and let him flirt with you, don't let him talk you into risking 100,000 dollars to go steal food out of a psychotic chef's refrigerator, sneak around in a bush, steal said food with him, leave a raw fish next to the 2% milk, run like maniacs back to the cabins, share the loot with the rest of the campers, eat said loot until you have to throw up, throw up, and then kiss the previously mentioned boy who's been in juvy!

Duncan seriously screwed up something in my brain, because I can't imagine that my former self would have carried out Example 3. Even Example 1B! Then, after a moment of words echoing around in my head, I realize that I referred to a former self. That obviously implies I believe I've changed while I've been here, which must be what I've been avoiding admitting all along. Dammit.

Duncan changed me. For the better? Right now I'm not so sure. What I did tonight was completely unacceptable, but…I had fun. Was it worth it?

By this point, it seems that I've come back full circle because I'm back to asking myself, What makes Duncan so freaking special? Why, of all the dozens of people who've attempted to alter my standards, attitude, personality, was Duncan the only one who made any difference? Why do I value his opinion, when it's his that I should care about the absolute least? I'm starting to wonder if I'll figure out the answer.

Pulling myself up from where I've been lying on the ground, I return to leaning against my tree. I feel it necessary to release a long-suppressed, aggravated Ugh! as an unseemly expression forms on my face and my brows furrow. I settle back against the trunk, uncaring of the bark scratching at my back. This whole thing is just so multifaceted; I can't seem to wrap my mind around it.

I hear the sound of footsteps from in front of the cabin, quickly followed by, "S'that you? Princess?"

Gee, I wonder who that could be. At least my capacity for sarcasm is one thing that Duncan has been unable to affect; then again, he's incredibly sarcastic himself, so perhaps that example is faulty as well.

A second into my mental dialogue, his green Mohawk pokes around the edge of our cabin, a pleased smirk forming on his face. "What's with the hiding place?" Making his way toward me, he off-handedly says, "I've been looking for you." His voice suggests a joke, but his face says otherwise.

As hard as I try to prevent it, I feel a smile coming over my face as well. I reply with a standard snappy remark expressing my annoyance at having been discovered, and he counters by associating my Ugh! with the sounds of a dying elephant. I respond by associating his personality with that of a dying elephant, to which he doesn't fail to remind me that I kissed him.

Breaking the promise I'd made to myself, I move from my place below my tree and breeze past Duncan, no doubt in my mind that he'll follow. I still haven't figured out what makes him so freaking special. I don't know why he was able to change my established, stable, up-until-this-point unwavering standards. All I know: (1) He did and (2) I don't think there's any going back. That knowledge will have to be enough for now.

Duncan takes a few steps to catch up to me a wraps his arms around my waist from behind, accompanied paradoxically by another insult. This is not at all out of the ordinary. What really surprises me, though? I don't push him away.

It's funny how one person can make all the difference.

Awwwwwwwww. Hopefully I got Courtney's thought process right; I figure that's about how it would go down. But who knows? I'm obviously not inside Courtney's brain!
I understand that this wasn't quite as...gripping as my other oneshots. But, with any luck, you all were able to enjoy this as well. I think it's sweet, but it also helps that I'm a diehard DxC fan!

Requests? Comments? Complaints? Then please review or PM me and let me know!