Daisuke rolled out of bed and sat down on the floor, pulling a hand through his dark red hair. "Shit," he choked out, wiping at his eyes with the other hand. He sighed loudly, rolling his head over to stare outside his window. His vision was blurry and twisted, but he could make out buildings illuminated by streetlights, brightened by their reflection from the river. His mouth felt dry and cracked, and he started twitching a little. It wasn't really twitching; it was more like shivering as if he was cold.

Except he wasn't cold – he was just high.

The blunt was intended to erase all the problems eating away at his mind, but instead, it only heightened them. And what's worse, now his perceptions were all twisted and he couldn't stop shaking. He ignored his dry mouth and refused to pay any attention to the hungry thoughts that were snaking around his mind. He felt like some kind of poster child for anti-marijuana campaigns: red eyes, the twitching, the munchies, the dry-mouth... and the paranoia that was biting away at his worries.

"Strung up. Fucking strung up," he moaned, slamming his head back against his mattress.

He stared at the ceiling, images dancing around and forming out of the designs dried into the paint. His mother. Smiling that little 'everything will be fine' smile she always gave, no matter what. Whenever his parents yelled at him, she'd give that little smile, even if she was still screaming. Whenever he'd have problems at school, such as kicking the shit out of somebody who deserved it, she'd push him into his room and ground him for a few weeks with that little smile on her face. When his parents split up and she told him to pick between living with her or his father, she gave him that little smile. It only wavered slightly when he picked his dad over her. And then it came back again, as if she was betting he'd come to live with her in a short while. He picked his dad to prove her wrong. He wanted to fix the relationship she almost took pleasure in watching break.

"Proved you wrong, bitch," he whispered to the dark room, pulling his legs up towards him and dropping his chin on them. "Fucking proved you wrong."

Pictures floated around on the ceiling again, and he searched for them, trying to pull something that made sense out of his drug-induced haze. He saw kids from school, teachers, the punk on the street he bought the nickel bag from, and the damned tobacco leaf he rolled the joint in. Shaking his head, he tried to remove the image of the blunt from his mind. It refused to waver, clinging to his brain the more he wanted to push it away. He gave a choked sob and pulled his hands across his head in an attempt to claw the picture away.

Takeru would be so mad.

Takeru didn't know he smoked a blunt here and there. At least, he didn't say anything about it if he did. More likely he knew but felt he couldn't do anything about it. Same with the drinking. Yamato drank. Yamato smoked pot. If his brother did it, why couldn't his boyfriend? It would be a double-standard either way. Takeru hated drugs of all kinds. He would mention it every now and then, but he never bluntly told Daisuke to never smoke weed or never drink. Or maybe he just didn't have the effort to fight with him anymore.

God, they fought so much. It wore them both out and Daisuke was sick of it. It was always screaming and fighting over stupid things. And then they couldn't get over them and let it go. They'd do a make-up fuck. Just sex and that would fix everything. But it really wouldn't fix anything, it would only tear them up inside.

Takeru was gone this week, off on a long fieldtrip with one of his classes. One of those extra, not required courses Takeru was taking to better his transcript for college that Daisuke couldn't care less about. The blonde stood there, shifting his weight from one foot to the other before he headed off on the bus. Daisuke was in front of him, hands jammed into the pouch of his dark sweatshirt, pretending he wouldn't miss him. Takeru shook his head at the darker boy, wiggling his fingers around the handle of his suitcase. "We have to talk, Daisuke. We really do. I woke up this morning and I realized we have to talk. But not now. I have to go now."

"I know," Daisuke shrugged. "So we'll talk when you come back."

"Yeah. Sure." The blonde blew out a long breath and shook his head. "That's what I mean."

Daisuke frowned. "I love you."

"I know. Bye." Takeru turned and got on the bus without another word. He sat down in his seat and gave a weak smile at Daisuke through the window. Then the bus was gone, leaving Daisuke standing there with a few parents of other kids and a cloud full of exhaust.

"He's going to break up with me," Daisuke moaned, shoving his weight to the left and falling over, legs still hugged up against him. "He hates me. He didn't say he loved me. He's going to break up with me."

Everyone would laugh. Everyone knew it. Hikari knew it, although she never said it. Whenever the relationship between Daisuke and Takeru came up, she'd get very quiet. Daisuke had a sinking feeling every time he looked at her that Takeru would tell her all sorts of bad things about the relationship, and she would mentally run through them all whenever it was mentioned. "She must hate me too," he whispered to himself, shivering on the floor of his dark room.

Ken would enjoy it. He wanted Daisuke. That's all he ever wanted. He'd glare at Takeru behind Daisuke's back, but thanks to Hikari's photography hobby it was often captured on film. Ken would take great delight in the two breaking up and use the opportunity to move in and be his comfort fuck.

"No more fucking when I feel bad," Daisuke swore to himself, wiggling until he was sitting up again. "No more."

Somehow everything would work out all right; the smile on his mothers face floated before him and promised that everything would be all right. Daisuke started humming Everclear's 'Wonderful' under his breath, then started over, thinking he was going too fast. No matter how slowly he hummed, the song always came out sounding fast and frantic. It was because of the weed, and he knew it. So he gave up on humming and just shivered there in the dark, dreaming of the way Takeru would dump him.

Two years seemed like two days. They'd been together for so long but it didn't feel that long. Daisuke couldn't decide if that was good or bad. Time went fast or time went slow. Nothing ever seemed to run at a true pace for him. "Fucking strung out," he whispered again. "Can't sleep. Too strung out."

Knowing Takeru, he would beat around the bush and make up some long story about how he'd been thinking about it for so long. Or maybe he'd be blunt and say he didn't love Daisuke and never had. It was all a lie. Or maybe Takeru loved somebody else now and Daisuke could never match up. Or maybe they wouldn't break up at all – the relationship would still last, but with a thousand added conditions that, if broken, would mean the end of everything.

End. End. End. This was the end. Takeru wanted to end the whole thing.

Was this how he would be for the rest of his life, without Takeru, sitting on the floor of his bedroom in flannel pants and plaid boxers, shivering and dry-mouthed, eyes red and mind racing, too rocked from smoking up to fall asleep?

If that was how it would be, he'd jump from the balcony. It wouldn't hurt when he hit the ground, and it wouldn't be too loud either. He was light, so he wouldn't make such a loud noise when he hit the cement. He wouldn't scream. He'd go out on the balcony, sit up on the railing, then shove off. It would feel like flying, and then he'd hit the ground and the lights would go out. He'd be dead and there'd be no more weed for him. Roust would have to find somebody new to sell to. But then again, Daisuke rarely ever bought more than a nickel bag. Only five dollars here or there. Roust wouldn't suffer too badly. Good dealer, he knows how to make up for people like Daisuke. Good old Roust. Always had some chronic. Good Roust. Good Roust.

Takeru would be so mad. He would know that Daisuke jumped because of him, and he might even feel guilty about it. But he'd be mad. He always said suicide was a cop-out. But it wouldn't be suicide; it would just be speeding up the process. If you smoke enough weed, your brain cells will all go into hibernation, and then you might die. Daisuke really didn't know. Either way, he'd die sooner or later. And if he had nothing better to do than smoke a blunt in his bedroom at 3 in the morning, why not just make it sooner than later?

Takeru would be so mad.

Everything's going to be all right. I promise. Everything's going to be just fine. Good old Roust. Too fucking strung up to sleep.

Daisuke woke up, a pile of dirty clothes as his pillow and sunlight burning into his eyes. He didn't remember falling asleep. He probably passed out only an hour or so ago. He still felt a little hazy as he shoved up onto his elbows and stared out the window. It was 6:30. He needed to shower and get dressed, then go down to the school. Takeru came home at 7:30.

Too fucking strung up to sleep.

Groaning and stumbling to his feet, tripping over himself a few times as he fought his way to the shower, vague memories of the thoughts haunting him the previous night crept into his mind.

"Shit," he whispered to the shower curtain as he turned on the water.

7:45 found Daisuke sitting on a park bench, waiting for the bus to return. It had started to snow and the air outside left his hair, still damp from his shower, feeling extremely cold against his skin. Shivering, he pulled the arms of his sweatshirt down over his hands as the bus rounded the corner. Freezing cold, damp and getting wet with snow, still tired from his lack of sleep, and extremely miserable in the face of an impending breakup, Daisuke sighed. "He's going to hate me," he whispered to himself, sitting on the bench and watching kids flood from the bus.

Takeru stepped off near the end of the flow, shrugging one shoulder to adjust the strap from his backpack. Scanning the parking lot, he frowned. At first, it seemed as though he wouldn't notice Daisuke's park bench, off on the grass, spreading left beyond the parking lot. But then his sharp blue eyes picked up the unmistakable shock of dark red hair, and his face lit up with a brilliant smile as he headed over.

Daisuke willed himself to stand up to greet him, but his body wouldn't listen. Apparently, the brain cells that were frozen from the weed were the brain cells that controlled body movement. So he didn't stand and instead stayed sitting on the bench as Takeru came up in front of him. The brilliant smile on his boyfriend's face melted slightly and his eyes filled with worry at his lack of a greeting. "Hi," Daisuke mumbled out, relieved his mouth still worked.

"Hi!" the blonde dropped his suitcase from his right hand and leaned forward, his fingers trailing against the darker boys skin as he leaned in for a kiss.

Daisuke shut his eyes and kissed back, but it was blank and automatic. He kissed the way he was supposed to kiss, not because he wanted to.

Takeru leaned back from the kiss and frowned. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. No. Everything." The darker boy shoved off the bench, his body finally working again, and grabbed Takeru's suitcase. "C'mon. Let's go home and then you can give me that talk you wanted." He shrugged and started walking, not really paying attention to if he was followed or not.

"Daisuke?" the blonde asked from his left. "What is it? What's bothering you? Are you sick?"

"No. I'm just... in trouble."

"Why? With your dad?"

He could feel those blue eyes burning into him, but he ignored it and kept walking, focusing straight ahead. "No."

"...With your mom?"


"Christ, Daisuke, then with who? What'd you do?"

Daisuke stopped at a crosswalk, waiting for the sign to flash walk. Heavily, he turned his gaze over to the blonde. "I got high last night."

Takeru's face went through confusion, anger, more confusion, then finally landed on disappointment. "Daisuke..." he sighed, turning away and studying the light. "I wish you wouldn't do that."

"I know."

"See, and you know I don't want you doing it, and you still do!" he whirled and glared at the boy next to him. "I can't believe you. Why would you do that to me?"

"To you? I wasn't doing anything to you, Takeru, I was the one getting high. I was the one who was fucking high, all right? Christ. Everything always has to be about you, you, you. Well cry me a river, because I fucking exist too, all right?" Daisuke stepped out into the street without looking at the light and crossed.

Takeru gasped and charged after him, shoving him roughly across the street in a hurry. "Don't fucking cross against the light. Stop it. Grow up, Daisuke; stop feeling sorry for yourself."

"I'm not feeling..." Daisuke stopped and dropped the suitcase, sinking to the ground and burying his face in his knees. "I don't want to fight anymore, Takeru. Just dump me and let me go."

"Dump you?" the blonde blinked, letting the backpack slide from his shoulder and dropping it next to the suitcase. He crouched down in front of Daisuke and peered at him curiously. "What made you think I was going to dump you?"

"You said we had to talk when you got back, and I know what that means. That means it's over. It's the end. So you told me before you left to give me time to get used to the idea and then, boom, it's gone." Daisuke's voice was muffled as his face was still buried into his knees. "I know how this works. I know how everything works."

"I wasn't going to break up with you, Daisuke!" Takeru raised one eyebrow, halfway between amused and incredulous.

"...You weren't?" The darker boy lifted his head slightly, glaring at the other suspiciously.

"No! I just meant we have problems to work through, and we really need to talk."

"So... you don't want to break up with me?" Daisuke's eyebrows furrowed and a hint of hope slid into his voice, no matter how much he tried to keep it down.

"Of course not!" The blonde reached over and rested his hands on Daisuke's face, lifting it with his thumbs. "Daisuke, I love you. I don't want to break up with you. That's why we need to get through everything. I know shit's been hard since your parents split up and all, and I'm trying to be patient and supportive... but sometimes you just get this grumpy attitude and I feel like I can't deal with it anymore. I hate the fighting and all the stress we have to deal with. I hate how we never say we're sorry for anything. I hate... a lot. And I can't take it anymore. We have to figure out what to do to make this thing work. God, Daisuke, I want it to work. I won't give up on you. I love you."

"I love you too," Daisuke leaned forwards and fell into Takeru's arms. "I'm sorry."

"What for?" the blonde rested his chin on Daisuke's shoulder and glanced around a bit, suddenly remembering they were on a sidewalk.

"For getting high last night. For... for being stupid about this whole thing. For everything I ever did to make you mad at me. For yelling earlier."

"No big deal. I understand now. C'mon, get up. Let's go back to my place and we'll fix everything, okay?" Takeru smiled down at the boy snuggling into his arms.

"That simple, huh." Daisuke sat back and sighed. "It's gonna take a long while."

"I know... but that's okay. I don't mind."

Picking up the suitcase and the backpack, both headed along the sidewalk again. "Hey, Takeru?" Daisuke tilted his head to the side a little.


"Would you mind if, maybe later, we could take a nap? Together?"

"Sure," Takeru blinked. "Why?"

"Because. I was too fucking strung up to sleep."