Disclaimer: If I owned it…I doubt I'd be here writing fanfiction…

A one shot, mostly angst, written for a challenge. Rated for slight abuse and much talk of suicide.


"Sometimes I'm not so sure about love."

I drew in a sharp breath. "Come on, Skitts, don't say stuff like that…"

Skittery paused, leaving a silence on the other end of the line for a few seconds. "Haven't you ever wondered?"

"Wondered what?"

"If true love really exists, or if it's just…I don't know, a thing for idealistic people to dream about."

"Of course it exists," I replied without hesitation. I would know…why else would I spend hours of every evening on the phone consoling you?

Another uncomfortable silence.

"Snitch…I don't know how I'm gonna make it through tomorrow."

"One minute at a time. You'll make it."

"Sometimes I wonder."

This time, it was my turn to stop and think. "You know my cell phone is always on, right? Even during class."

"I know."

"Call me anytime. Seriously. Don't do anything stupid, just call."

"Alright."

We said our goodbyes, and I hung up the phone with a sigh.

Every night. Every night for almost six months now, I'd been calling Skittery to make sure he was okay, and we'd discuss issues like love and hate and other deep social problems until one of us couldn't hold our eyes open any longer. I stole a glance at the clock; this had been a short conversation of only an hour and fifty minutes.

Not that our parents cared. Both his parents and mine were filthy rich, and they honestly didn't care about the late night phone bills…as long as both of us gave the excuse that we were practicing conversational Chinese for class.

Sure, we took Chinese, but never spoke it in our late night heart-to-hearts.

And I would've paid the phone bill in full to make sure that Skittery stayed alive. That was the whole point of the late night calls; to distract Skittery from the knives in the kitchen, the gun in his dad's desk and the numerous bottles of pills in the cabinet.

I didn't know what made Skittery so depressed, other than the fact that his parents were some really odd people. They viewed Skitts as bragging rights, talking to anyone who would listen about their "straight A, handsome, intelligent, talented son." And yet, they didn't even notice how distraught he was, how he walked around the school like Death's blade was about to come down on his neck. And every night, that was what he honestly believed; that he couldn't possibly make it through tomorrow.

But every day, he did. And he thanked me each evening for that before beginning to worry about tomorrow.

I tried to get him to tell his parents, or get some help from someone who knew what they were doing, but Skittery wouldn't have that at all. He was a very closed off person as it was- the only reason he confided in me was because we'd been best friends since we were little kids. Polar opposites, but best friends just the same.

I trudged over to my bed, flopping down on it and not bothering to change out of my clothes. I was dead tired, and had a test tomorrow, and I needed sleep to be able to talk Skittery out of suicide the next night.

But the next night was different.

"I'm doing it tonight."

I just about dropped the phone. "What?!"

"I'm tired of this. I can't do it anymore."

"Skitts, don't talk like this. You're scaring me."

A hesitation. "There's no other way out, Snitch. I've gotta do this."

"No, you don't! Just…just come over here, stay with me tonight, I'll help you-"

"There's nothing you can do."

"Yes there is!"

By this point, I was crying, hysterical, and angry, all at the same time. I didn't want to believe what he was saying- Skittery couldn't be serious. He just couldn't.

"Goodbye, Snitch."

"WAIT!"

I was surprised when he stayed on the line, but I didn't waste any time being shocked. I brushed a tear off my cheek with the heel of my hand, and then made a last ditch effort.

"You remember that night when you said you weren't sure about love? Well, you may not be sure, but I am. I am because I love you."

Silence.

Click.

I dropped the phone and leapt up from my chair, taking the steps two at a time down to the family room. I grabbed my coat and was headed for the door when my father's raspy voice stopped me, along with his vice grip on my arm.

"Where do you think you're going? It's almost midnight, Scott."

I looked up at my dad with a feeling of overwhelming dread, still able to feel the tears running down my cheeks. "I've gotta go to Skit…Isaac's house, Daddy. He needs me."

He only looked disgusted at this point. "What are you crying for? Since when did you start crying on a whim?"

"It's not on a whim, it's-"

"Isaac will be fine. You're not going anywhere this late."

"No, he won't! I've got to-"

"What you've got to do is get some sleep. Tomorrow is-"

"God dammit, Daddy, listen to me!"

Now his face contorted in anger. "Young man, I won't have that language in this household, do you understand me? You're not going anywhere, and that's final!" He snapped, dragging me away from the door and shoving me down on the couch.

"Dad, you don't understand!"

"I understand that you're going to stay right there on that couch until I tell you that you can move."

"He's going to-"

"He's going to be fine. Another word and you're grounded," he growled, staring me down. I shuddered at the icy stare, wondering how long I could get away with talking back before I got in some big trouble.

"Please, just let me go check on him."

He suddenly backhanded me in the face, and I raised my hands in defense with a yelp of pain. "You're officially grounded," he said, "Which means no going over there for the next month. And no phone for two weeks. You know better than to talk back to me."

"You can't do this!"

Another strong slap, this time with the palm of his hand. "Fine, four weeks without phone privileges," he said, as if the slap hadn't been enough.

I let out a shaky breath, my mind in turmoil. I could only pray that Skitts wouldn't try anything until I somehow got there. My father sat down on a chair and started talking about the respect that I was to show him, and going over the set rules of the household once again, but I wasn't listening. I pulled my knees up to my chest and hugged them tightly, my body shaking with sobs. I knew if I tried to make a run for the door, Dad wouldn't hesitate to give me a good punch or a kick and drag me right back.

Please, Skitts, I thought frantically, take the offer. Come over here, don't do anything stupid.

Ten minutes passed, and Dad was back to working on a report, sitting there in that same chair. I knew he wasn't stupid; he'd stay right there until he felt that I wasn't going to try anything.

Fifteen minutes.

Twenty.

I was so scared, I could hardly think straight. I just had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was horribly wrong.

I was just about to get up and try to make a run for the door, no longer caring about getting beating for it…

And then the doorbell rang.


R R!

Well…that turned out nothing like I thought it would. But hey, whatever the muses say, I write………so blame them if you don't like it.

- DJ