Don't touch me

ellina HOPE

Dedicated to my readers! Yay! Thanks for all the reviews on my other fics!

Disclaimer: I want Sam for sure, but I didn't get him for my b-day... (MEANS: I don't own Benny and Joon)


Sam knew. The very second he opened the door to their building, he knew. When Ruthie wasn't there to say hello, but her door was wide open, he knew. Every step down the hall yelled it. Every stair he ran up screamed it. And, Sam listened. That was what he was good at, after all, listening.

Something was wrong.

He mentally scolded himself. If he had left sooner, if he hadn't stayed after, if he had run home, if...

If he had been there, maybe it wouldn't have happened. Fear shot up his spine, electrifying his nerves. Sam doubled his pace; skipping stairs, praying Joon was okay. He almost tripped, but managed to fall to just one knee. The metal edge of the step bit into his leg, through his pants. He hissed, but didn't curse. That was another thing Sam was good at, not cursing. He brushed his hands off, ignoring the throbbing pain, and resumed his journey.

Sam pushed through the door of the stairwell, hopping slightly as he rounded the corner. He skidded to a stop, almost loosing his hat, outside their apartment. Ruthie paced a bit nervously. Her usually calm red hair was pushed up on one side, as she had been combing through it frantically. Her usually collected face was pale and there were splotches on her cheeks. She stopped, and turned to face him. She said the one thing Sam dreaded hearing.

"It's Joon."

There were many things Sam hated hearing. But, being told something was wrong with his Joon topped that list, easy. Ruthie kept talking.

"Benny's in there right now. He's trying to calm her down, but I don't know if that's helping any. Sam, you might want to talk to her..." She trailed off as Benny opened the door slightly, poking his head out. Sam shrunk back slightly, afraid of getting hit.

"Come 'ere." Benny jerked him into the familiar apartment by his shirt. Sam could hear Joon in her bedroom, crying. "See if you can talk to her." Nodding slightly, Sam padded to her room with a slight limp, peeking in. He knew she liked her privacy. On call of habit, he knocked softly against the doorframe, hoping to find a reaction to something familiar.

"Joon? Joon Bug?" The distressed girl rocked back and forth on her bed, silent, as she held her head. She didn't react, not an eyelid flutter, to the nickname. It was something she hated but loved being called. It was something only Sam could get away with calling her, because he understood. He knew what it was like to be different and teased.

So if one shy eccentric boy wanted to call her, a temperamental moody girl, after a bug found only in summer, Joon could deal. Kneeling on the floor, Sam crept to her bed and watched her, ignoring the complaints coming from his sore knee. "Are you okay?" Still wary, Sam climbed onto her bed, sitting across from her. He kept his voice soft and non-threatening. He hoped to pull her into his lap and stroke her hair. Soothe her demons, so to speak.

Joon scooted away from his voice. She glared at him from between her fingers before returning back to her distressed mantra of hums and whimpers. Frowning slightly, he reached out to touch her shoulder, hesitantly. She jerked away, as if burned, and hissed in a harsh whisper.

"Don't touch me."