Glass and Roses

DISCLAIMER: I do not own JTHM or any of its characters. I do not own Jhonen Vasquez. I do not own anything.

CHAPTER VII

Johnny almost fainted. "You...you would?" He choked, struggling to remain on the bed, his hands spazzing violently. Devi nodded bashfully. Johnny grinned. Before he could say anything, her hand took his, caressing his thin fingers.

"I can tell already how much you love Bryker. You'd never...you'd never do anything to him."

Johnny was quiet. "I don't want to leave him up to you- but I don't want him to be like me." Devi smiled.

"I can stop that." She said, nudging him jokingly. There was a second of calm, and then Devi cleared her throat, turning his attention back to her.

"Look, it..." She bit her lip, at a loss for words. Finally, they came blurting out faster than she could stop them. "It was really hard for me to trust you, Johnny. I mean, you scare the fuck out of me. I kept thinking back to that date-but you've changed...at least I think you've changed. You seem a little more...stable. I don't know...I..." She watched him closely for a second.

"Johnny..." Her lips parted and she leaned forward, her voice a breathless whisper. "I..." She didn't finish her sentence, however. Without warning, she pressed her lips against his, her free hand wrapping around to the back of his neck. Johnny was too shocked to respond at first but then slowly draped his thin arm around her waist

They stayed like that, lost in the moment until Devi felt Johnny's hand slowly creep up her back, over her neck and coming to rest on her face. She felt his pale slender fingers brush against her cheek so softly it felt as if she were being tickled with a feather.

Without thinking, Devi sunk until she felt the cool satin sheets against her back. Johnny followed obediently, his out of control heartbeat thumping loudly against her chest. It was then she noticed how much he was shivering. She put her hand against his throbbing heart and broke the kiss.

"You're...you're scared." Devi gasped breathlessly. She meant to say it like a question, but it came out a flat statement. Johnny nodded, panting slightly. "Why?" She asked, her brow furrowing in fear of his answer.

"I'm..." he paused, catching his breath. "I'm afraid it will all happen again. I don't want you to run away." Devi shook her head.

"I...I won't. I...I want this." Even as she said it, Johnny shook his head.

"But..." Devi captured his lips in hers, cutting him off abruptly.

The kiss only lasted a second, just to get her point across. "I want this." She insisted once the kiss broke, "I really want this." Johnny peered her, as if looking for some sign of a lie. She smiled at him, stroking her fingers airily against his face. As if on cue, Johnny leaned down, drawing a breath before touching his lips to hers.

Devi had been waiting for this. For a moment she let the kiss stay sweet and simple, but then she started to tease his mouth open with her tongue. He hesitated at first, causing Devi's heart to stop. Then he parted his lips, allowing his own tongue into her mouth. Devi felt a tremor down her spine. Her hand snaked around to the back of his neck and held him closer, running her free hand down his back. Johnny shifted in ardor as he felt her soft hands slip under his shirt and warmly touch his back.

It all seemed to go by in slow motion. Devi gently slid his shirt off of him as he inexpertly pushed the silk fabric away from her neck. His hand rested on her bare shoulder, and they kissed briefly as she unzipped his pants. She felt him tense up slightly in her arms. In a move of reassurance, she took his hand off her shoulder and kissed it as well. This seemed to relax him enough to sensitively untie her robe.

Johnny's face suddenly flushed with colour. Devi snickered. "It's okay, Nny...It's okay." He slowly smiled back at her. He opened his mouth to say something, but Devi took advantage of his silence and kissed him again. Johnny kissed back, relieved for once that he didn't have say anything. He felt her fingers trace sweetly over his chest and shuddered. Devi hesitated, and then pressed her hand flat against his skin at the feel of his entrance.

A feeling deep inside the pit of her stomach started to grow, slowly at first and then much more rapidly. She felt her face burn childishly as she realized what it was. Desire. Everything flashed in front of her as if her life was nothing more than a shoebox of old photos. Pieces of her childhood zoomed past her eyes, quickly making room for slightly more recent memories, like Johnny's visit when he received the news that he was a father.

Devi took his free hand in hers and laced their fingers. Why did this feel so right when she knew how wrong it was? She tightened her grip on his palm and sighed. There was a sudden flash of normalcy, so out of place and yet it fit-as if they were two completely different people with no secrets to hide.

He was being so gentle, almost afraid-as if he were holding a wilting rose in his hands. He bit his lip for a second before leaning down and taking her lips in another kiss, his hand brushing her stomach faintly to pause for a moment over her chest before reaching the curve of her neck and settling there.

She kissed him delicately and let him lay against her chest. For a long time, they laid there contently, Devi's arms wrapped somewhat protectively around him, trying hard not to finger sympathetically at the scars that were still there. Devi suddenly felt as if she were holding on to glass. He just seemed so fragile now-she even would have thought him innocent without access to his history.

Bryker got up from the sofa and set down his old fairy tales book. He was never interested in them anyway. He had always thought them stupid and unrealistic. He walked carefully up the stairwell. He crept to his mother's bedroom door and cracked it open as quietly as possible, holding his breath.

Johnny was propped up on one elbow, brushing a strand of dark purple hair from Devi's calm sleeping face. The white satin sheets covered them like a thick cloud, warm and cool all at the same time. Johnny was whispering something softly to himself, his fingers absentmindedly tracing her jaw line. Bryker leaned forward ever so slightly to hear what he was saying.

"I love you, Devi..." his voice sounded broken. He inclined his head and touched his forehead to hers. She smiled drowsily.

"Have you been watching me this whole time?" She asked softly. Johnny nodded. Devi snickered, balancing her hand calmly on the back of his neck. "I love you too, Johnny." She'd obviously been feigning slumber long enough to hear his confession. Bryker grinned.

"Does this mean he's staying with us?" The two jumped, Devi groping insecurely for the sheets and clinging them to her already covered chest.

"Bryker! Holy fuck, you're just like your dad! Have either of you even HEARD of knocking on a bedroom door?" Johnny turned his head, his cheeks flushed. Bryker beamed.

"Does this mean he's staying with us?" He repeated. He seemed very determined for an answer.

"Bryker! Do you mind?" Bryker shut the door, his grin still plastered on his face

"Christ...I'm sorry-I...I guess I need to get a lock for...He wanders around the house when he gets too bored, and-what are you smiling at me like that for?" Johnny stroked back a strand of her purple hair.

"I dunno...You're just...I can't describe it. I just-I just feel so normal when I'm around you. I..." His voice trailed away airily, his stomach flitting with butterflies. He moved his head slightly closer to her face, his lips almost brushing hers as he continued to speak. "I just can't describe it..."

He closed the distance between them, bringing his lips to hers. Devi leaned into him, feeling his mouth open slightly and his tongue flicker cautiously against her lips. She invitingly opened her mouth bringing him closer around her. Johnny felt her hand brush against the inside of his leg and shuddered, feeling crimson burn into his face like a cigarette lighter. Devi nuzzled her head into his shoulder, feeling the blush from his neck.

"It's okay, Johnny...you don't have to be embarrassed..." She felt him nod, as if reassuring himself he was human. She kissed his neck softly, as if to kiss the blush away. Surprisingly, it worked quiet well, and the scarlet in his face faded to a dull pink.

He put a hand to her face and looked meaningfully at her. "I'll protect you." He said plainly, "I know...I'm aware of what happened last time-but now...I promise...I'll protect you, Devi. You and Bryker."

Devi nodded, feeling a girlish shiver dance over her spine. "I...I know." She answered, shocking herself at how the words came out of her mouth. She nodded again, confirming it. "I know." Johnny's eyes lit with something Devi hadn't seen since he'd last walked into the bookstore all those years ago. True Happiness.

Bryker sat at the foot of the stairs. They'd been quiet up there for long enough. They had to be dressed by now, and Bryker had left his favorite book up there from the other night-not to mention his question still needed a response.

He looked angrily at Bub. "Do you think they're done yet? I at least want to get my book." For the first time in Bryker's life, no response came from the small plastic doll. "Bub?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. The doll sat idly, not saying a word. Bryker shrugged. He must be asleep, He thought confidently.

"Mom?" Bryker called softly, ticking his knuckles almost silently against the door. There was no answer, which Bryker took as an invite to open the door. "Mom where's my..." He trailed off at the sight of his parents.

Johnny lay, sleeping for once, with a slumbering Devi draped over his bare chest. An angular arm was wrapped around her back and his face was resting in her hair, which had fanned out around them both. The sheets billowed over them like snowfall, shimmering in the sparkles of light from the window.

Bryker smiled and shut the door with a gentle click. He could get his book another time. As for his question, that was pretty well answered.

FIN

A/N: Weird, yes? Most of you are probably looking at the ending confusedly and thinking 'Whaaaaaaaaa?' If you are one of these people, please let me try to explain...

UNDERSTAND GLASS AND ROSES FOR DUMMIES:

Okay, you probably don't get the Bub thing. See, In my story, at least, Johnny's inanity was fueled by his lack of happiness. That's...at least what I gathered from 'The One That Got Away' he was all spazzy when he was happy and freaked out then...well, you know. But since Psycho D-Boy is now dead and he had no weapons with him, he was able to give in to the happiness. Understand? I hope you do. As for Bub, he was fueled by Johnny's insanity, as was Johnny's insomnia. Therefore, when Johnny was happy, it eliminated his insanity and also his sleeping disorder and Bub's voice. Thus, the ending consisted of him asleep with Devi in his arms and Bub falling silent to Bryker. Understand, now? With my luck, I probably made it more confusing. If this is the case, ignore this message and say 'Aww. That was a sweet story.' (also compatible: 'damn, that story sucked ass.' Or 'This story just isn't my style') If by some miracle, I made it clearer to you, Smile and say 'Oh.' Then choose one of the above comments. Bye, now.