This has been going on for a few weeks now. Yes, weeks. It's Saturday
night, I got home from work pretty late, like 11:00, and my friends are already
out doing something. I could probably try Quatre's cell phone, but I'm too lazy.
My aunt Helen is working a graveyard shift, so I'm home alone. My aunt is a
hospital nurse. She's my mom's younger sister. She wanted to have
her own kids, but she and her husband divorced and then she kind of got stuck
with me shortly after. She's been really good with me growing up and I love her
to death, I really do. She's the only family I've got.
I get some snacks and settle in front of my computer to waste some time. Hey,
it's Saturday night, why should I do something constructive? A couple hours
later I am interrupted by the roar of an engine, the squeal of brakes, and a
distinct 'crunch.' Shit! That came from my yard! I jump up and dash outside to
find out what the hell it was.
I find Heero Yuy's blue IROC-Z skidded-out on my lawn and the front part
stuck up on the big rock at the beginning of my driveway. He took out some of
our little decorative fence too, not to mention some of the bulb bed my aunt
planted. That moron!! Taking the corner too fast as usual! Especially when it's
slick out from the rain that fell all day. I'm tempted to just go back inside,
turn out all the lights, and pretend no one's home. But I don't. It's cold and
drizzly, but I neglect to grab a jacket before tromping over to the car. The car
door opens and he stumbles out to inspect the damage. He's swearing and
staggering and obviously hammered.
"What the hell did you think you were doing?!" I yell at him as I approach. I
clutch my arms and try not to shiver in the damp cold. He has a small cut on his
forehead. He probably wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
He looks at me like I have two heads. "What the fuck are you doing here?" he
"I live here!" I shout angrily, now clenching my fists at my sides. "Look
what you did to my yard!"
"Shut up," he hisses at me. Great, drunk and belligerent. He moves to get
back into the car, and something ticks inside me.
"You can't drive anywhere like that!" I shout frantically. I dart forward and
grab onto the door, not letting him close it.
"What the hell?!" he growls at me. "Just FUCK OFF!"
"You're too drunk! You can't drive!" I am nearly hysterical now. I grab his
arm and try to pull him out of the car.
"Get the hell off me! What's your fucking problem?!" he snarls, and pushes me
away. He pushes me a little too hard, making me lose my balance and fall on my
butt. The wet ground cushions my fall but I still land pretty hard.
"My family was killed by a drunk driver!" I scream at him all at once. It
just comes rocketing out of me. I don't know why I said it. It's like the force
of the fall just released it. I mean, it's true, but I don't usually go around
telling people that. Like I said, I am nearly hysterical. I don't know why. I
got so mad so fast. I don't understand. I'm nearly shaking. I immediately wish I
hadn't said it.
But he stops. Even an asshole like him can't argue with that. It starts to
rain again. For some reason, I'm still sitting on the ground, and we're just
kind of glowering at each other.
"Besides," I huff as I get up. "It's too muddy, you'll never get out." I wipe
my hands on my jeans.
Cussing under his breath, he gets out of the car and slams the door shut
again. He jams his hands into his pockets and starts walking, leaving the lights
on and the car chirping to remind him that the keys are still in the ignition. I
reach in to remove the keys and kill the lights and I realize he's not heading
towards his house.
"Where are you going?" I yell. I wonder why I even care.
He whirls around. "I don't know!" he shouts back in frustration, throwing his
"Why don't you just go home?" I yell angrily. I don't know why I'm yelling,
we're not that far apart. It's like I've snapped and I can't calm down.
Something has got him all pissed off and I think it's affecting me too.
"Hell no! There's no way I'm going back there!" he roars, like he should kill
me for even suggesting it. He turns back around and stalks off.
"It's way too cold!" I'm still yelling as I run after him. "You'll probably
pass out and freeze to death or something!!" April in Ohio is not warm yet and
it's raining harder. "Just go home!" I'm shivering and tense and my teeth would
chatter if I let them.
"Just leave me the hell alone!" he shouts just as he stumbles. He falls, but
doesn't get up or even move. When I get to him, I squat down to look at him. I
can't see his face, but it looks like he just wants to stay there.
He recoils when I try to help him up, and stands shakily on his own. I think
a few minutes in the wet grass did him some good. He seems a little calmer. He
looks at me, still pissed off, blue eyes flashing.
"Fine, then, I'll just stay at your house," he decides, and starts walking
toward my house.
"Hey! Wait a minute!" I argue as I scramble after him. "Hey, I'm not supposed
to have anyone over!"
"God, you're a dork," I hear him say as he opens my front door.
When I get inside, he's taking off his coat.
"Shoes too," I tell him. He glowers at me, but takes them off. I'm not
yelling anymore, which is good 'cause my house is so small and quiet. I feel
like if I yelled like I was before, my voice would fill it up, maybe break it.
And I feel myself calming down, although I'm still worried he's gonna go nuts
and trash the place or something. I don't really know what to do now. Am I
supposed to entertain him? He's really smashed, do I have to take care of him? I
want to go finish what I was doing, but there he is, on my couch, already
The only thing I know for sure is that my butt is all wet. I go and change my
pants quickly. When I return to the family room, I find him lighting a
"Hey! No smoking in the house!" I say. He looks directly at me, and cocks an
eyebrow and lights it. Ok, that pisses me off. "I mean it!" I snap as I snatch
the smoking cigarette from between his lips. He looks surprised, but doesn't
contest me further. I put it out in an empty mug on the coffee table. Feathers
still a little ruffled, I turn the TV on and toss the remote at him as I go into
the kitchen. Drunk as he is, he catches it.
"Are you hungry?" I ask from the kitchen. I don't know why I'm being so nice,
he doesn't deserve it from me. Maybe I'm just grateful or relieved he's not out
there behind the wheel killing someone. Have I mentioned that I'm incredibly
morbid? I can talk frankly about it because I never even knew my family. It
happened when I was a baby. The only reason I'm alive is that I was too little
to go with them. I was at home with a babysitter. So, I never mourned when it
happened. One year olds can't be sad.
I have pictures of them and me, though. Those make me sad. Especially the
ones of me and my older brother, Solo. Solo and Duo. Weird names huh? My parents
must have been pretty cool. Solo was three years older than me. He looked a lot
like me, same indigo eyes, but lighter hair. He's always smiling in the
pictures. I have all the photo albums and stuff, Aunt Helen lets me have a
closet just for that stuff. She misses them a lot too. I have the baby book my
mom made for Solo. Isn't that fucked up? My dead older brother's baby book? He
should be in college now, coming home to give me noogies and teach me drinking
games. It's been weird to grow up with the ghosts of three people with me all
the time. Three people who loved me very much, but I never got the chance to
love them back. All I could do was spit up on their shirts and cry at night and
keep them awake.
A non-committal grunt from the living room answers my question. I poke my
head around the corner to give him a dry look. I just get him a huge glass of
water and make myself a sandwich. I return to the living room and hand him the
glass of water.
"Drink this," I tell him. "All of it. You'll feel better."
He ignores the water and grabs my sandwich.
"Just what I wanted," he says, taking a bite. I just shake my head and go
back to make myself another one. He better remember how nice I'm being to him.
"Where were you going?" I ask from the kitchen.
"Dunno," he answers, swallowing some of my sandwich.
"Do you need to call anyone and tell them where you are?" I ask.
"No," he says.
"How about Relena?" I ask, figuring maybe he was going over there if he got
in trouble at home. Come to think of it, though, I really have no idea what he
"Nah," he answers with a full mouth. "Can't stand her whining."
"What?!" I choke, poking my head around the corner. Did he just say what I
thought he said?
"Sometimes I just can't stand her getting on my case," he grumbles.
"Did you have a fight? Is that why you're all pissed off?" I ask. Maybe
they'll break up!
"No," he answers, "that's not it. Just drop it, I don't want to talk about
it." I hear the couch squeak under his weight as he lies down on it.
Frowning at the stack of dishes in the sink, I run some hot water and squirt
some soap in. When I go out to get his plate, his eyes are closed. I hope he's
asleep. It'd be good for him. I grab his plate and notice he drank all the
water. I take both back to the kitchen and wash the entire stack.
Having had a lot of pop, I'm still wired and feel like doing a little
hacking. He's still sleeping when I head back to my room. I flick the light
switch and turn the TV off on my way.
About half an hour later, I hear him get up, bump a knee on the coffee table,
and swear. He's fumbling around in the dark. Worried about him yakking on the
carpeting or something equally vile, I get up and turn the hall light on.
"Bathroom's on the right," I stick my head out of my room and call to him. I
go back in my room and I hear him shut the bathroom door. No puking noises.
That's good. He's in there a while before I hear the sink running. But instead
of going back to the couch, he comes into my room. He stumbles over some of the
clutter, and flops onto my bed. Then he makes a face.
"What is this crap?" he asks, apparently referring to my music.
"It's Iron Maiden," I answer defensively.
"It sucks," he states.
"Deal," I tell him, putting the stereo remote in my desk drawer. He can just
get out of my room for all I care. It's not like I invited him.
He gets up, walks to the stereo, and turns it off.
"You're real shitty company, you know that?" I scowl as he returns to my bed.
I try to ignore him and continue what I'm doing.
"What are you doing?" he asks me after a few minutes.
"Nothing," I say from the desk. He gets up again and comes to see if I'm
telling the truth.
"Tell me," he demands, looking over my shoulder. He surveys my cluttered desk
a moment and looks up at me. I've got chemistry homework out, two novels, old
dishes which unfortunately didn't make it to the sink, a few comics, candy
wrappers, various CDs and floppies, scattered papers, and like five different
windows open on my computer.
"You A.D.D., or something?" he asks. I can tell he's diagnosing me, not
making fun of me. He's right.
"Not real bad," I say. It's pretty much the truth, I've gotten a lot better.
I was way worse as a kid, A.D.D. and hyperactive. As a little kid, my aunt used
to tell me stories to get me to calm down whenever I tweaked out. I was probably
bad enough to get medication, but I don't think she liked that idea much. With a
little effort, I grew out of it by the end of middle school. I don't have any
problems with schoolwork anymore, but I still do like a million things at once.
"What are you doing?" he asks again.
"I'm hacking," I tell him.
"Hacking? Show me how," he commands me. I look up at him briefly but his eyes
are fixed on the computer screen and keyboard. I show him a few things and he's
quiet as he absorbs it. He can't actually be learning this right now, can he?
He's plastered, as evident by the slight flush across his cheeks.
"Here, let me try," he slurs, nearly climbing into the chair with me. I jump
up with a yelp before I can even think to protest. Shit. Smashed, he still types
faster than I do! I'm speechless as he explores my computer's capabilities.
"Hn... could be faster," he mutters. He whips through a couple function
windows. Even I have no idea what he's doing. Before I know what he's up to,
he's made a few adjustments. "There we go...."
"Hey!" I exclaim, wondering if he just fucked up my computer.
"I just made it faster," he says, not looking at me. "I over-clocked your
processor so it'll work past the manufacturer's max speed. The machine will run
a little hotter, but it shouldn't be too bad."
I've heard of over-clocking, but I'm still suspicious. Looks like it's
actually is running faster, though. So he's a computer geek, too. Where does he
find the time, between detention, driving around in that gorgeous car currently
crashed in my yard, and doing god only knows what to the girl of my dreams? I hear his
fingers on the keys again and find that he's picked up the hack where I left off. He's a
bit clumsy, but he's doing it. He doesn't yet now how to evade detection
systems, so I don't let him go too long.
"Ok, we're quitting now," I say as I take the mouse and close the window he
was working in. "Don't want to get a government notice or anything," I half
He snickers, "God, you really are a dork."
"Hey, it happened to a friend of mine," I huff.
Bored already, he flips through the chemistry book on my desk. His eyes
flicker across the periodic table. He cocks his head and starts reciting,
"Hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen,
fluorine, neon, sodium, magnesium, aluminum..."
I just stare as he continues. He's doing it from memory because all that's on
my chart are the element abbreviations. I wonder if he knows the whole thing,
even the obscure ones. I stop him in the Lanthanides.
"Here, check my homework," I say, pulling it out of the folder. He scans it
"You balanced a reaction incorrectly in the third problem, but the rest of
the work is right," he says lazily and hands it back to me. I find the mistake
and fix it. I shake my head. Is this guy some sort of genius? Sometimes they can
be temperamental like he is. Why isn't he in any of the AP classes with me? I
think he hides it, probably on purpose.
He gets out of the chair and wanders over to the bookcase. He scans it,
judging my collection.
"Have you read them all?" he asks.
"Yeah," I answer.
He picks out Catcher in the Rye and settles back onto my bed. I sit back down
at my desk, glad to have it to myself. I open a game and, in time, realize he's
asleep. That jerk! He passed out in my bed! Now I get to sleep on the couch!
He's on his side, book resting on the pillow in front of his closed eyes, hands
still clutching it. His dark, tangled hair tickles his face and he twitches.
Without the concentrated glare, his features are softer. I gently pull the book
out of his hands and something catches my eye.
On the inside of his right wrist is a scar. About three inches long, running
vertically. I recognize it immediately. I freeze. Holy shit. I had a girlfriend
last year who used to cut herself back in middle school, but this is nothing
like that. The line isn't straight, it curves, following the... God damn, I
breathe out slowly. That is one serious scar. The mark is large, but it looks
old, the scar tissue well formed. And he's right handed. I'm willing to bet
there's a matching one on his other wrist. This guy hadn't been fooling around.
Almost unconsciously, I reach my fingers out to touch his wrist. I guess I
didn't notice his eyes open into blue slits. He jerks his arm away suddenly and
rolls over. Surprised, I jump slightly. He doesn't stir again. I turn out the
light as I leave and turn the bathroom light on for him. I go out to the living
room and make myself comfortable on the couch. The frickin' couch. I toss around
for a bit. I keep thinking about the scar on his wrist. I mean, come on, we've
all thought about it right? I know I have. Never seriously though. Things have
never been that bad for me and I could never do that to Aunt Helen, we've only
got each other. I'm just itching to get a look at his other wrist. Morbid,