[Guezz what, kids? Iiiiiit's slash time! I'd also like to point out that this is the POV of Jay. Sorry to say, you must have seen at least part of the third season of Degrassi to know who he is.

I'd like to briefly mentioned that while I'm a US kid, I've downloaded most of the second half of season three. This sort of takes place around April or May of that year, so it would technically be towards the end of season three. There's just one major coupling that I mention, but it's like, unless you're completely living under a rock and you never watch The-N, they've made it so obvious that these two are about to hook up and it's all over the sneak peeks. (Dude, they even have their own commercial that they show, you know, at least 15 times an hour.) So don't worry, if you know that much, you won't be reading any spoilers.

But hey, if you really want spoilers, you can e-mail me at tumadrequierequesoyahoo.com. Just don't ask where I downloaded them. That's classified information. ;)

Oh right. Enjoy the story!]

I leaned forward, sitting on top of my car, resting my elbows on my knees. It was so damn hot these days. My air-conditioning was royally screwed, so this is how all of my afternoons were spent: sitting on the hood of my car, smoking a cigarette. Maybe I was silently hoping to have a heat stroke, or to get lung cancer and die out here. Didn't really matter either way to me. Life, death--it was all pretty fucking similar, in the end.

I moved out of my mom's house two years ago. My dad was the real asshole type, left us when I was only eight. My relationship with my mom got nice after that. You know, that whole, all we've got is each other' bull that I was fed for several years. She didn't even compare to my dad, but it took me at least six years to realize she was a complete tyrant. She had mental issues; I couldn't deal with that. I'd begun to build my reputation at this point in time. I couldn't just let my mom drag me down so quickly. So, one day, I just walked out. No big blow-up fight or any shit like that. Just...upped and left. Just like dad.

I was barely sixteen and looking for my own place. A couple kids in 12th grade took me under their wing and let me stay and their place. Comically enough, this was back when I still sorta cared about school. I'd never enjoyed school, but my mom had drilled it into my head the whole goddamn process: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids. I had tried to study but there were constant parties. If it wasn't a party, then it was music that was too loud, or people yelling or being rowdy and laughing. Finally, I just gave up and snapped. I joined the party. I stopped giving a fuck about the I did what made me happy.

I just got my own apartment over the summer. Same summer I met Alex. School came, and I was fully prepared to do no work at all. Things were smooth as hell for me for a couple months. Then, out of the blue, comes this kid--a grade nine, no less--acting so laughably angsty, with the whole Eminem pissed-off-at-the-world' act down to a cue. I just sort of laughed at him for a while. The first time he ever talks to me, though, he proves he's got balls. Then I just sort of admired him for a while. I mean, grade nine, pulling that kind of stunt--he's got to have something special about him.

Then, the little fight. I didn't think it was very damn cool at the time, but when I think back on it, the little punk gave me a black eye. A black eye, for God's sake. Black eyes aren't as easy to give as people think. It takes uncontrollable rage to intentionally give someone a black eye. And as we sat in the principal's office, awaiting Raditch to call one of us in, I kept glancing over at him and smirking a little. It was just like watching any cartoon where a small character tries to be a fighter. It wasn't so often these characters succeeded. But this kid had.

And by that, he'd ripped my world apart.

Out of my peripheral vision, I saw a figure move. I turned to my left and there he was, walking with his hands jammed in his pockets, his gray hood up as usual, and his eyes glancing towards the ground. He stopped a few feet from my car, and nodded vaguely.

I looked him over once or twice.

What brings you here, I questioned, nodding vaguely back. After all, the kid didn't come over often.

Nothing better to do, I guess, he said as he hopped up onto the hood of the car next to me. I wish he hadn't said that so damn believably. I let the pause linger before going on with my questioning.

Where's the goth chick? I asked, smirking. I could probably guess why she wasn't around anymore, but the kid was overly sensitive when it came to his ex-girlfriends.

We broke up, alright? The way he said it was so fucking adorable. All indignant and trying to hide the fact that he was even the least bit sad about it.

Why, she too creepy for your liking? I was still smirking at this point. Torturing him was far too easy. He just looked away and ignored my question. After thirty seconds of pause, he turned back around and questioned me.

What about you and Alex? I never see you with her anymore. Brilliant observation, I thought, as I brought the cigarette to my chapped lips.

She's off screwing some college guy now. Or several. I exhaled the cigarette smoke slowly. I don't give a fuck either way. She can get all the STDs she wants. The comment made the kid uncomfortable, and I could tell by his silence. I just smiled wryly though. I didn't really care if we sat there all day. I could use some company.

You really...don't care about anyone, do you? he asked me so, so naively. I shook my head and laughed. I just had to.

If you're still believing that, you know me worse than you think you do, I quietly explained. I wanted to pretend like it didn't piss me off that the one kid I'd thought got me was just as stupid as the rest of them. I care about people more than you'd think.

Then why do you do this? he shot back immediately. Why do you give yourself that whole gangsta' persona, and make people think you're some tough guy? I stared at him, and I was so torn between kicking his ass and gently explaining everything.

You think I chose this persona? You think I want to do this shit and act like this? I scoffed--bitter was always better than angry. The rumors did this to me. You think I actually put 10 bullets in some kid's head last year? I put my head down for a second, then looked back up, speaking more calmly. Fuck, man, the worst I've ever done was hijacked a car. I don't go out and try to hurt people. I started in 8th grade when my mom was laying on the couch and complaining about a headache. So I walked to the supermarket, shoved a bottle of aspirin in my coat pocket and walked out. I paused. I'd never told that story to anyone. Why the fuck do you think I did that? Because I don't give a fuck about anyone, right? The kid had his head down. Good. I hope he felt bad. Everything you've heard and seen of me is just a persona. So don't tell me I'm some unsympathetic jackass when you can't even keep a relationship stable for more than 2 weeks. With the last comment, though, he looked up at me with those raging eyes.

That's great, he said contemptuously, coming from a guy who just said he doesn't even remotely care what happens to his ex-girlfriend. He sighed huffily. At least Ellie and I are still friends. Yeah. See how long that lasts.

Alex was a bitch. She was for convenience's sake. I threw my cigarette to the ground. What the fuck am I supposed to do, walk around with just Towerz all the time?

What, are you afraid someone's gonna think you're gay? he asked, laughing good-naturedly. I hesitated. I shouldn't have hesitated.

Fuck you, I said quietly. I should've defended myself--I couldn't actually let this punk-ass find out. When he didn't say anything, I felt my pulse rising. I know you wish I were gay, but things can't always go your way. Still no response, and I felt my own discomfort fast approaching. I finally just turned to the punk and looked at him condescendingly, staring at me. What's your problem? I asked, trying to appear angry. He put his head down, having stopped laughing.

You said it yourself, he said, not looking up, but I stared at him. 'Everything I've heard and seen of you is just a persona.' I breathed heavily through gritted teeth.

Now you're calling me a fucking queer? I asked exasperatedly, trying to maintain a sort of bitter smile. You're putting me on the same level as Homochuk, and that goth chick's friend, and that fag Tom? I laughed fakely. Get real, man. He paused again. Damnit, stop that. Stop doing that...

If you...are, man, it's okay, he said quietly, comfortingly. I wouldn't tell anyone. And the offer was so fucking tempting. If I could just tell some random person about this, I think I would've told someone else, and much sooner than this. It was so naive to think this could all be solved if I just admitted it to one person. I looked over at him with no expression on my face. His face was just so damn innocent and yet, overwhelmed, as if he had a thing to worry about.

I grabbed the back of his head and pulled him to me. The feeling of his lips pressing against mine was more than I could bare. If this kid had but a scrap of innocence left, I'd savored the seconds as I buried it deep in the ground. His soft lips temporarily soothed the deep cut in my lip, the one he had made himself. It wasall so unnecessary and insane and obscene and wrong and beautiful.

I pushed him back towards the windshield and kept my expression blank. I didn't think before I pushed him off the hood of my car.

Just go home.