Sorry for the huge gap between updates guys, to be honest I haven't bothered much with fan fiction for a while -- focussing more on original stuff. The start of college also threw me a little off track as dealing with the Biology of Speech Production is a lot more heavy going than I thought. But, since I'm home for the holidays and have a lot of spare time I'm determined to finish this. The next chapter is already half done but I want to know if you guys are still interested or if you've moved on due to my apparent absence from the fandom.

Either way, here's the next part! I'm sorry it's shorter than I would have liked but hey, I'm a cliffhanger whore.

Voices in my head
By strawberrymiow

It was two days later that I finally got the chance to hear of - never mind see - the infamous Mister Paul. School had been nothing but a blur - English followed by History, doubled with Biology; dinner and bed. The same thoughts, the same distractions and the same damn should have dones taunting me every step of the way. I think we had pizza for dinner. I think it had pepperoni on it, I remember the slice idle between my fingertips, burning against my skin. I gagged as it touched my lips, wriggled down my throat and settled like a rock in the pit of my stomach. I hated pepperoni. I guess it could have been anchovies, they always gave me stomach problems. I passed on soda, passed on dessert and retired to my room for another long and lonely night.

Thinking about it, I guess the irony would have been pretty hilarious if it wasn't happening to me for a start. The first real boy I have a chance with - want a chance with - and he isn't a real boy at all. Only I would have my heart broken, cry endlessly and mourn over someone who was, effectively, never really there at all.

Too late for that now, I cried. Oh how I cried. Bawled, screamed, whimpered; abused adjectives! Enough of that. You get the picture, I was having a pretty bad time getting over it all. And what does a girl like me do when she is a tad depressed? Lock herself away from the world, of course.

For the first time in my life I told a ghost to "Go Away" in words less than appropriate for something my mom may end up reading someday. Father Dom would be ashamed of me - hell, I'm ashamed of me. But I can't take it back now. It happened, I'm still getting over it. End of story.

I went into school the day after, feeling not my best. My hair was hastily tied back and my clothes probably looking like something I had salvaged from a back street wreckage. Nobody said anything, nobody cared - so neither did I. Speaking of Father Dom, he seemed to be avoiding me. I'd damn near ransacked his office and he was nowhere in sight for a "Susannah! No!" or a lecture on the Quantum Physics of Non-Physical Presences. However that related.

I have to say I was a little disappointed. But mostly I just wanted to be alone. Except for Paul! I needed to speak to Paul! Now don't ask me why but for some reason my dreams were talking to me. I said don't ask for a reason. Ever since that one stupid appearance of him whilst I was (not so) happily snoozing away I couldn't get him or Jesse out of my head. So I had to speak to him -- sensible girl that I am, the conclusion was as obvious as night from day. And Monday from Saturday. Pepperoni from Anchovy -- enough with the getting distracted!

He'd smiled in my latest dream, a real smile. Teeth showing and glaring some stupid bright white. Jesse, of course, just laid there. Still on the ground, still outside and still in the rain.

Paul had been talking to him, I had been an onlooker. From the Far South as my Grandma always used to say, though by that she usually meant ten miles out of down in the opposite direction. She was a sweet lady, smelled of butter mint and ashtray.

"I'm sorry," the Paul in my dream has whispered, "I should have just let you have her. I should have just took her before she got so hooked on you. I should have, I don't know, been normal! And now, here she is, in love with a freaking corpse!"

And that word stood out.


I don't know why, I think I just gathered that the equation of Ghost plus Dead didn't equal a physical object lying like a rock. Or even that Ghost plus Now Dead could really work.

"But you'll see her again," he had continued, "You'll see her real soon, I promise" his voice dropping to a whisper as he bent down, pressing his cold battered lips to Jesses with one more whisper; "I promise".

Some sort of crazy right? He seemed to disappear at that and the damn book that I'd taken from Father Dom shivered through pages in the wind. My mind incanting the stupid rhyme even in my sleep.

I woke up, admirably, confused.

I ate breakfast and became even more so.

Catching Paul deemed a rather difficult job, especially when he didn't seem to want to be caught. I managed to spot him sometime between fourth and fifth period, sauntering down the hallway. Really, there was no other way to describe it. His hips had this jaunty angle about them, his steps neither long nor short but simply -- relaxed. Like I said, saunter.

I yelled. Echoing like a lie down the linoleum clad hallway, cheap lighting flickering like a disco ball overhead. And again, I tried, giving up as he all but smirked in his stride and carried on. So I ran, one foot in front of the other I told myself, do not trip, do not fall, do not think of more causes to embarrass yourself. But in all honesty, I didn't care. Jesse was my main concern and through Paul, I had some bizarre idea that I could come to the bottom of that.

I tugged on his jersey, one sharp, hard pull and he paused - turning to look at me with a vehement pout on his lips. I couldn't be bothered with his cocky attitude right then, I just wanted answers. I wanted -- hell -- I didn't know what I wanted, I don't even know why I expected him to know. I was even going to tell him about the embarrassment of him kissing Jesse in my dream as if that would explain everything. What was I thinking! Point is, I do imagine, I wasn't. Sleep deprived, hungry, sick and mourning. I was allowed to have my off days too.

I opened my mouth, ready to spit out some sharp witted sentence along the lines of, "Why is my boyfriend cheating on me with you?" Right. The in my dreams bit. Yeah. Or, "What happened to my Jesse you Mofo--" I didn't even know what that meant, so it was out of the books. Ignoring it, I glanced at him and my mouth suddenly went very very dry. He had Jesse's eyes.

Oh believe me, I was completely one hundred and ten percent assured it was Paul. But those were Jesse's eyes. I think I must have gasped too loud - out loud - gaped too long or something because the next thing I know the smirk I recognise all too well it forming on his lips, tinged with the whisper that changed it all:

"He's Alive".