companion to "you're the mistake i don't regret" but can be read as a stand alone. for a request on tumblr.

wc: 698

. . .

Kaz can absolutely attest to the fact that Jesper Fahey is clinically insane. He's serious.

Kaz is trying to do paperwork in the office one day when Jesper decides to just roll in and proclaim, "You need sleep!"

"Sleep is for the weak," Kaz replies without missing a beat.

Jesper rolls his eyes. "I'm serious. I haven't seen you out of this office for, like, a week. I'll drag you out if I have to."

"Jesper…" Kaz sighs.

"Nope, I refuse to give in to your propaganda —"


"— You're coming with me." Jesper is decisive. He won't be stopped.

Kaz is tempted to sigh again, but he doesn't because that would be repetitive and it would just make Jesper more concerned for his well-being — which is perfectly fine as it is..

"Fine." Kaz sits up and pushes his chair in, making sure it fits exactly because it bothers him when it doesn't. Jesper notices, and shakes his head. Kaz is too meticulous for his own good.

Kaz would probably argue that his penchant for detail is a very good thing. Given that, Jesper says nothing.

. . .

Somehow, Jesper has acquired a few flash bombs from Wylan — Kaz doesn't ask and he doesn't want to ask — and even some alcohol. Kaz doesn't need to ask about that one: it's Jesper, after all.

"So what are you doing?" Kaz asks. He could probably figure it out himself, but he doesn't have the energy for that. Sleep may be for the weak, but Kaz is weak. Albeit a little less than others he might name — but still weak.

Jesper gives him a withering look. It's a testament to how tired Kaz is that he doesn't already know.

"Well. We have bombs. We set them off," Jesper explains the way one speaks to a small child. "And we have alcohol. We drink it."

"Jes, that's stupid." Kaz shakes his head.

"You're stupid because you won't get sleep. At the very least this will make you," Jesper counters. "I think that makes me pretty smart, doesn't it?"

"Well played," admits Kaz. "You're still insane."

Jesper sighs. "Fine. But you'll have to" — he thrusts the bottle of alcohol at Kaz — "drink up."

Kaz grimaces, but his gloved hand grasps the bottle for some unfathomable reason. Perhaps it's because Jesper's being so commanding; perhaps it's because he wants to lighten up a little. It doesn't matter. The fact is that he holds the bottle and brings it to his lips, taking a long drag of the drink inside and feeling it burn his throat.

Jesper notes that the alcohol makes Kaz's rasp more pronounced when he says, "So why the hell do you have the bombs?"

"I figured we'd get bored." Jesper shrugs.

"Have I said you're insane?"

"You have indeed." Jesper's going to bet Kaz will forget everything by the time the first flash of red sparks in the sky.

Then again, Jesper's not the best with bets.

. . .

Kaz ends up smashed and Jesper ends up even more smashed and now they're just swaying everywhere. It doesn't even matter if Jesper really is insane, because he certainly looks the part.

A bomb lies haphazardly in Jesper's fingers, never detonated. His grip is unsteady. Kaz's head is spinning, and it feels like the bomb is riding waves in Jesper's fingers.

He tries to emulate the motion. "Wavelength," he tells Jesper, who doesn't seem to compute.

Jesper stops, then staggers, and in trying to regain his composure the bomb falls out of his hands —

It's like a supernova exploding in front of Jesper's eyes: red, red, red, and there are some orange flaming sparks, and oh crap I might be on fire is the thought that enters his mind as he jumps back like a squirrel.

Kaz's eyes are wide and confused, and the passerby look very strangely at them, but this is Ketterdam and so no one comments.

"Wavelength," Kaz repeats, because that's really all that's left in his vocabulary.

. . .

Kaz wakes up in his own room, feeling a little bit better but mostly like crap.

He can taste vomit in his mouth. He has swollen lips.