author's notes: i love good omens. everyone should love good omens because it is a work of genius. that being said, i'd like to point out that there aren't nearly enough fanfics about the them. guess i have a penchant for weird pairings.

warnings: pepper/adam, and implied wensley/brian. they're hormonal teenagers, okay?

disclaimer: they are the brain-children of terry pratchett and neil gaiman. i'm just having fun. the title of the story comes from a song by bonnie pink.

[Private Laughter]

1/ He'd been listening to the same song for three hours, but Pepper wasn't complaining. It was really very hard to be annoyed with Adam; he just gave you this look, and you forgot whatever it was you'd been annoyed about, and then you felt very stupid and irrelevant.

He popped a jelly-bean in his mouth and offered her the bag. "The cappuccino ones're the best," he advised generously.

"Thanks," she said, and took a handful. She was disappointed to find that most of them were bubblegum pink. Her least favourite.

"I kinda like apple, too. Very tart, you know."

Pepper discreetly flicked the pink candies into the grass. "Yeah?"

Adam fiddled with the knob on his old, scratched cd player, causing the volume to go up, then down, then up again. He hummed softly, absently rubbing his left calf with the toe of his right shoe. He looked like someone with absolutely nothing on his mind except for maybe lunch and sleep.

Bloody animal, Pepper thought (affectionately, though she would rather have died than admit it).

"Where'd Brian an' Wensley get off to?" he asked lazily, not because he wanted to know--he already did--but because there was nothing else to ask.

"Not sure," said Pepper. "You know how they are."

Actually, she wasn't sure if Adam did or not. Wensleydale had told her earnestly months ago, after a long and surprisingly unsurprising confession, that Adam wasn't good at reading between the lines. This was not strictly true; in fact, Adam was very good at reading between the lines. He just didn't do it often. And even when he did, it might be ages before he actually said anything about it.

"He'll never figure it out on his own," Wensley had insisted. "And I don't want him to know."

"Well," Pepper had pointed out, "I know, and I don't hold it against you. Or Brian."

"Adam's different." Wensleydale's eyes had narrowed, and he'd raked a hand through short, clean-cut hair. "He's not like us, Pep. Sometimes I think there's this--this hole inside my head, and there used to be something filling it, but now there isn't, and it's because of Adam . . ." He'd trailed off, looking lost and very un-Wensley-like.

"Don't," Pepper had said, punching him playfully in the arm, though her tone was serious. "Don't think about it too hard."

Because it hurts. She chewed a fingernail thoughtfully, watching Adam in her peripheral vision. He was golden-haired and dark from too many hours in the summer sun, and so familiar it was almost like looking in a mirror. Because I feel that way all the time, and it drives me spare, but there's nothing to be said to Adam. He just smiles and doesn't change.

"Love this song," Adam said dreamily, his eyes closed and fingertips tapping.

"I can tell," said Pepper, laughing.

2/ She couldn't tell if he was asleep, but he sure as hell looked it. The sun had crawled halfway down the sky, and the empty lot was infested with disformed shadows.

"Adam?" she hissed. No reaction. "It's late," she whispered, mostly to herself.

He snorted and turned his face away.

He was just like a little boy, smooth featured and peaceful, and Pepper couldn't help but love him--she could hear her blood cry out to him, her bones shake with wanting him. Other people faded next to him, even Wensley and Brian, even her mother, even Pepper herself.

That empty place inside of her smarted painfully. Adam was always near, but sometimes it seemed as if he wasn't, and then she was so lonely she could die.

"What're you keeping from us?" she asked softly, not expecting a reply. She smoothed messy curls away from his forehead, wrinkling her nose in self- disgust. She'd become such a sap.

Suddenly his hand darted out and grabbed hers. His eyes were blue and piercing and her heart plummeted into her stomach. "A-Adam--"

I thought you were asleep, she meant to say, but the words dissolved in her mouth. His eyes were eating her, like she was all he was seeing, oh, that was mad, he was just. Just something. His palm was hot against her wrist, and she tugged a little because his grip was so tight.

"There're answers, you know," he said in a voice like private laughter in an empty room. Pepper didn't feel like she should be hearing this, any of it. She shook her head, prying at his fingers which dug painfully into her flesh. "But you can't have 'em, Pep. They aren't yours."

"Adam, you, you're hurting me."

He jerked her violently, causing her to tumble on top of him; he pushed her to the ground, breath coming in harsh little gasps. The world spun for a second, and he was feverish and heavy and blurry because he was so close. His lips were a breath away. He's going to kiss me, she thought.

But he didn't. He kept looking at her in that queer, consuming way, his heartbeat loud and her heartbeat louder and their noses just touching. He smelled vaguely of grass and jellybeans.

"I don't want to," he said. "Hurt you, I mean. You bring out the worst in me."

She grinned weakly. "Only part of you worth being with," she said, but the words came out more sincerely then she'd intended. He noticed.

"Is it?"

He didn't let her answer, but stood up ungracefully, the evening sun painting him a vivid red. He shoved his hands in his pockets and walked away.