The fifth rule

Author's note: Okay… this is my very first Fight Club slash (except for "You are not your Very Secret Diary of Tyler Durden", which was a parody and awfully OOC, so it doesn't count. Hah.). So if you think it's stupid or inane, then don't blame me, 'cause I haven't had that much practice.
Also, if you're all going, "Huh? The fifth rule of what?" then I can inform you that it's the fifth rule of Project Mayhem, not the fifth rule of Fight Club.
This is a paragraph from the book:

'"Don't get any bullets," Tyler told the Assault Committee. "And just so you don't have to worry about it, yes, you're going to have to kill someone."
Arson. Assault. Mischief and Misinformation.
No questions. No questions. No excuses and no lies.
The fifth rule of Project Mayhem is you have to trust Tyler.'

So there.
Also, please observe that this is AU (alternate universe): TYLER IS REAL. Which means that, no, the Narrator is NOT having sex with himself.

Ooops. I think I've said too much… I'll shut up now.

Disclaimer: The characters belong to Chuck "God" Palahniuk. If y'all haven't read any of his books yet, I suggest you get on with it, because they're seriously brilliant.

It's Monday and I'm all alone on the bus.

Sometimes when I ride the bus I think the bus-driver is some deranged psycho who's hi-jacked it. He's transporting bodies in it by night, but by day he pretends he's completely normal.
Lately I've begun to feel like I'm not anywhere near normal anymore.
Thank God.

Once I lived in a condo in the worse part of town. Two rooms and a dirty pantry. I was pleasantly surprised every single day I didn't find a cockroach in the flour or a dead hornet locked in the freezer. By that time, I actually had food in the fridge, but of course I never ate any of it. It was more like a statement than a seriously meant attempt to eat. Back then I also lived under urge to fit in and build a carrier, and join the community. Be a productive member of society. The food in my fridge was my way of saying, "Look. Yeah, that's right, ass-hole, I'm normal. I'm a worthy representative of our get-rich-fast nation."

Now I'm trying to hit bottom and things like that, caring about what other people say or think, just start to matter less.

"Where are you heading?"
The psycho driving the bus throws me a bone. He wants a conversation. It's 1 AM and he feels the need to fill out the emptiness the silence has created. Some people are like that. They can't handle the silence because then they have to think and maybe realize things about themselves and the world that they don't want to. I turn my head and stare out the window. I'm not compelled to answer, not anymore.
I don't want acceptance, I want a mind.

During the trip he makes a few more feeble attempts to make me open up and entertain him with stories about my presumably pathetic life. He's like the bus-driver Dr Phil, his annoyingly curious voice penetrating my ears.
He wants to make my bruises his business.
I am Jack's want for a little fucking privacy.
Eventually, he gives up, and concentrate on maneuvering this metal-fashioned, road-treading, fume-spewing monster.

I'm on my way to purchase lye. The night is a dark tunnel I travel through toward the light.

When I'm halfway there, someone's suddenly standing in the headlights, arms out as if being crucified, efficiently stopping the vehicle. Psycho Dr Phil steps on the breaks and a screeching noise is heard. I fall forward and hit my head on the seat in front of me.

The psycho roars something, and I can't really make anything out of the cascade of swearwords. His mommy dearest really should buy him a dictionary for his fortieth birthday.

The doors open, and Tyler steps in. Indifferent. Grinning.

Near life experiences. I should have known.

Tyler never pays when he rides the bus. He says the government keeps track of people in so many ways it would be foolish to risk being registered and filed in some cabinet. Security cameras. You really thought they were there for your protection? To catch the bad guy? Well, think again, moron.
I'm not paying anymore, I decide.

The tiger bares its teeth. Dr Phil winces. By some fortune he realizes he does not want to mess with Tyler. He speaks not a word.
I am Jack's admiration.

"Hey," Tyler says, throwing himself down on the seat beside me. I notice he's got a lit cigarette in his hand. The same brand Marla smokes. Marla, Marla, Marla Singer. She's a poison my body won't be cleansed of.

"Hey," I answer. Calm. The calm little center of the world. "I didn't know you were coming."

He grins. The great thing about words is you can interpret them differently. "Just felt like getting out of the house." He puts out the cigarette on the back of the seat in front of him. The air fills up with the smell of burned plastic. It's just a small difference, but I notice it anyway. It's all about focusing, and right now, I'm focusing on everything that doesn't have to do with Tyler.

I'm wearing his kiss on my hand as a branding. Property of Tyler Durden. The minute he poured lye onto my skin I've been his, and days later, I'm Jack's desire to make things change back to normal again. Not normal as in, back to the office, but normal as in, I'm secure, I know who I am and what I want. Before he branded me I thought what I want was pretty simple. It involved Tyler only in a platonic way.

Now, sitting here with his mark on my hand and his entity right beside me, suddenly I'm not so sure.
Complications are what life seems to be made of.

"Ouch," he declares. He's stroking my forehead with a hand whose fingers have been chemically peeled. See, even water-blended acid burns cells off your skin. Makes you go soft like a flannel shirt. I wince and withdraw.

"That hurts."

"Bet it does, you're bleeding." He says this in a cold, matter-of-fact tone of voice. I get the feeling he would shrug if I bled to death in front of him. Casualties. If I die, well then, that's the law of the jungle, man. Only the strong survive.
Luckily, you can't die from a three inch cut in your forehead.

"You could at least say you're sorry," I say testily.

"You deal with a hole punched through your cheek, but an almost inconspicuous cut in your forehead concerns you?"

I am Jack's stupidity.


The psycho up front looks at us in the rear mirror. He's one of those people who have nothing better to do than to try and hack their way into people's lives and compare themselves, just to get to say, "hey, I'm pretty well adjusted after all."

Picture this: you're awake at 5 AM. You make yourself a cup of coffee, pull on your tattered clothes and head out to buy a bagel at the local supermarket. In front of the supermarket, a dog has been tied to the lamppost. You bend down and pet it for a bit. When you straighten yourself up to go inside, you freeze. Something's caught your eye. It's the headlines blown up to size gigantic and posted on the wall right beside the sliding doors.
Bold letters. Huge sentences. People stop beside you, staring at the headlines, going "oooh". All this makes you believe something big has happened. You take a closer look.
Underneath is a small column referring to another terror bombing in Israel, Palestine, wherever – and when you walk into the store and buy your bagel, all you can think of is, "who was the celebrity?"
To really get people's attention, war, starvation and poverty don't suffice anymore. What really makes people stop for a second and think is the twenty-second divorce of that Latin-American pop-singer.
You have to shock them, and the only things that really matter are celebrities, new and improved diets, plastic surgery and scandals.

Tyler knows all of this and has a devious grin on his face now. I start thinking, maybe we should get gone before he does something. The bus-driver is a sitting duck. He doesn't know it yet, but soon enough he will, and then it'll be all too late for remorse.

"So how did you know I was on this bus?" I ask. It's a legitimate question. And it takes my mind off the impending disaster. I can feel the atmosphere quivering from all the tension. At this moment, I'm certain something's going to happen. So ZEN. Someday I'll end up on a mountaintop with Buddhist monks, chanting, eating nothing but asparagus.

"I didn't." He's pulling his fingers to make them snap. The sound is like dry tree-branches breaking. "Lucky strike."

Lucky. Well, that depends on how you look at it, it's all a matter of perception. "Look. About the other day…"

"What other day? There have been so many."

He winks. I swallow. I'm not ready for this.

"When you gave me this." I pull out my hand from my pocket and shows it to him. It's bandaged now, white cloth wrapped around it. He grabs it and the pain sears through me. Then, he lets me go. My hand falls down limp and lands on his loin. I pull it back quickly and shove it down my pocket.

He's grinning again. His predatory grin. "Oh, that day. What about it?"

He's enjoying this, I can tell. Leaving me hanging, making me explain to him what was so obvious he must have understood it by now.
I am Jack's fear of disclosure.

You touched me and I thought I'd explode, Tyler.
You made me hurt like I've never hurt before and still I wanted more.
But it's nothing. Nothing is anything.
You set me free in more ways than you can imagine.

"Nothing. It's nothing." I stare out the window. Neon lights blurring, mixing with each other, and creating impossible colors. I am one with the darkness, travelling at sub-light speed. Stars collapsing, exploding, up in the sky where they won't be heard. Silent interstellar crashes.

I feel like I'm crashing and I can sense the shrapnel against my face.

He's looking at me now, watchfully, observantly. I imagine he'll rip open my chest any minute now and start digging for answers. "Nothing?" he says incredulously.

"Just forget it, okay?"

"That's impossible. You've got me intrigued, now." A smirk corrupts his bruised face. "Come on, Ikeaboy. We don't keep secrets, do we?"

Secrets. Slippery things that crawl beneath your skin and nest, and grow larger by the second they stay there. They sting you at night and they haunt you by day. Secrets. The kind you can't get rid of without discrediting everything you have, which isn't much materially but oh so much more spiritually, and spill your guts. Secrets like insects, eating away at your insides.
Those kinds of secrets, Tyler?
They're like a string of pearls around my neck, growing heavier and heavier.
My head's almost in the ground.

"It's really nothing," I argue, trying to sound convincing and sure of myself. "I just wanted to thank you for helping me realize things. Put things in perspective. You know."

"Things." He sniggers. The bus-driver is listening closely, watching us every time he stops the bus, as if to check if we're still there. I feel like walking up to the front of the bus and tell him, "we're not moving, you stupid fuck, and we don't need surveillance." But I don't.

"Things," Tyler says, "what sort of things?" And he's eyeing me from top to toe and up again, letting his eyes rest in every place imaginable and meeting my gaze resolutely.

"You know, the usual stuff." I start digging through my brains for something to say. His gaze locked on me doesn't help. "Purpose. Pain."

Pleasure. Want.

"Oh." His mouth is like a cave as he forms the almost soundless word. Inside are stalactites and stalagmites.
Step forward into your cave.

He tilts his head back and closes his eyes. His eyelids go down as blinds as he shuts me out.

I am Jack's desire.

The surveillance cameras are registering every move we make. Every word we speak, they catch in their digital nets. Paranoia. Paranoia.
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

I feel a sudden urge to smash the cameras, hit Dr Phil over the head and grab the steering wheel. Drive off to some place they won't even be able to find our bones, then live my life completely cut off from everything. I can see Tyler and myself collecting firewood. Eating raw fish with our bare hands.

"You know," Tyler says abruptly, "I bet we could make him drive down a ditch if we wanted to."

Provocation, pushing buttons, it's an advanced game, and it requires practice.
Tyler has had plenty.

Near life experiences. There's something special about risking your life, not knowing whether you'll survive or not. Granted, some days I just wish someone would blow my brains out, but right now, I want to stay alive.
I think.

"You have a plan?" I mutter, not so much out of fear of being heard, but because I don't really want to be involved. Not in causing someone's death, at any rate.

"Not really." He opens his eyes, stares up at the ceiling for a second, then turns to me. "I figured we'd just go with the flow."

Let the chips fall where they may. I remember.

Have you ever felt like time for just a moment raced on without you, and then suddenly you're in the middle of something you weren't even remotely prepared for? You're left behind and then suddenly you're in the eye of the tornado. Swirling around amidst debris that used to be supermarkets, business conglomerates, farms, pets, pretentious gift-cards manufactured JUST FOR YOU.
And then you can't get out.

I'm having a hard time breathing.

I can see the headlights of cars behind us on the highway reflecting in blue-greenish eyes. Opal, emerald, sparkling white. Once I tripped and fell into a fountain and the sunbeams created such brilliance I could barely keep my eyes open. That was way back and I was a kid living in suburbia. Now I feel like that kid again, and I close my eyes.

Tyler's like an intruder. If you look away, or if you misdirect your attention for a second, you're invaded by him. If you're not careful enough, he sneaks up from behind and scares the shit out of you. That's exactly what's happening now. I'm getting careless and I think he's domesticated.

That's about as far from the truth as you can get.

A predator posing as a house-pet. I see a flash of effulgence as he grins and then he's all over me. I'm twisting, I'm turning, I'm wriggling like a worm on a hook, but the hook's too sharp and I'm trapped, pressed against the window of the bus.

I recoil, squirm loose of his seemingly deadly grip and pant, "What the hell are you doing?"

A lopsided grin, his face all askew by it. My heart's racing and I think all of my arteries are going to explode. I'm going to drown in my own blood when it overflows and downs the system.

"Shut up," he says. "Shut up."

I'm cursing Tyler and his impulsiveness, this bus, Dr Phil. Silently cursing the highway and the fact that we're never getting where we're supposed to, and that the road there seems endless. But most of all, I'm cursing myself for wanting him to grab hold of me and make me swirl once again.

I am Jack's decision to give in and let the chips fall where they may.

I surrender, succumb to the gnawing desire and lose myself again to the pleasure of soft lips eagerly, hungrily pressed against mine. A raspy tongue in my mouth pressing back every possible argument, forcing them down my throat again. I can sense the vibrations of wheels thundering down the road from beneath me. Completely aware, I'm completely aware of every single small detail, and yet I'm totally lost in my own egotistical pleasure.

And then I freeze.

Tyler. This is Tyler, Tyler feeling me up, Tyler letting his tongue explore my mouth and his hands explore my body, making every little hair on it stand on end.

"Mmngh." A pathetic attempt to tear myself away from him, a muffled less-than-sincere protest. Failure at its worst.

I put my hands resolutely on his shoulders, trying to push him back for a second to breathe and to think about what the hell just happened, but that only entices him; his eyes aflame with an almost sadistic delight at my feeble, half-heartened attempts to break free from his tight embrace.

We look at each other intensely.
And I catch myself thinking,
Be in my eyes.
Be in me.

Almost without thinking my hands wander from his shoulders to his neck, around which they close their grip, like two serpents irreversibly entangled.

Yes, this is Tyler. My liberator and room-mate, my savior and on-again-off-again friend.
Deliver me, Tyler.
When I'm with you, caring about what other people say or think just starts to matter less.

I can feel his hands resting somewhere below my waist, and I wonder where my mind is. Nowhere in the area, I can say that for sure. Gone. Out of here.

Excitement is like a flame. All-consuming, all-devouring. Tyler wields it and I know it'll consume me any second if he continues on with this hands-on but otherwise quite immobile tango.
I'm at his mercy. There's something grim about his smile that tells me he knows this all too well.

I am Jack's protruding desire.

"Are you afraid?" Tyler asks me.

My fingers entwined at the back of his neck, my body quivering from anticipation. The willing prey. The hunted with its neck bared to the hunter. Begging, take me, take me, I'm all yours, now take me.

Tyler asks me, "Are you afraid?"

I'm at a loss for breath and shake my head mutely.

"I didn't say… I mean, I… never…" Stuttering. I haven't stuttered since grade school.

"The fifth rule." Tyler puts a stop to my stupid excuses and I shut up, knowing he could snap my neck if he wanted to, and that would probably give him satisfaction the same way that fucking me would. Just not in the same way. But it's all about the power. "The fifth rule is you have to trust me."

I nod. Yeah, trust Tyler. Sure. Okay, that's easy. Trust the man almost sitting with your dick in his hand. Yeah, just shut up and trust him.

He runs his index finger down my forehead, touching my quavering lips, further venturing my bared throat and across my chest, and when he's reached my belt-buckle, he stops, chuckling silently as he inspects me.

"Impatient, are we?"

What is this? What is it humans practice? What the fuck is this?

You have to wonder, is this all about temporary pleasure or is there something else involved. You have to wonder, is this a once-in-a-lifetime experience, or does Tyler plan to repeat the scenario?
As he starts to unzip my pants, I find myself hoping for the latter.

Maybe I don't need to label this.

I close my eyes and then suddenly Tyler's kneeling in front of me, pressed between seats, his expression mischievous and lustful. His hands on my loins cause the temperature in our small space, our private haven, to rise a bah-zillion degrees. And I try not to think too much about where Tyler's hands have been earlier as he moves them up to my hips and then down again, and oh God, I wish he could just stop teasing me and get on with it. But that's just Tyler.

Somehow this explains everything. This, why this feels so infinitely good, and why it has never felt remotely as good with any woman, it's all because I've been wrong-headed about myself and what I've wanted all along. I've been lying to myself my entire life. Doesn't that make me the greatest liar of all?

Maybe if my father hadn't… but I don't want to think about my absent father right now, as I'm about one second away from grabbing Tyler's head and pressing it down, down, down until his full lips and warm mouth enclose my softer, now harder and harder parts.

And then: kisses as light as the flap of soft butterfly wings. Just kisses, nothing else, starting at my belly-button and straying down a straight line, until… so careful, so softly, so skillfully, oh God...
As if we've got a world of time and can fool around for the full duration of eternity.

He's so self-conscious. He knows he's got me right where he wants me, and enjoys my more and more desperate expression. I'm trying so hard not to moan, I don't want to grant him that compliment, don't want to prove myself entirely helpless, but it's damned near impossible.

Almost as though he'd been telepathic, he gazes up at me and says, "What are you holding back for?"

"I-I-I'm not." I stare back at him, and as he licks his lips, those full, velvety lips, I'm somewhere between anger and pleasure, between shame and elation.

"Do you think I'm stupid? I know you're enjoying this, so would you do me the favor of stopping with this chaste-and-bashful act and let go of your inhibitions already? Jeez, with this playing coy I could easily think you've never thought about this, never wished this exact thing would happen. Well, I know better." He stares at me. "Well? Do you want this?"

He already knows the answer to that question. I just nod abruptly.
I never thought I'd lower myself to admitting something like this about myself.
Just don't torture me anymore.

I feel all the blood surge through my body down to my nether regions as Tyler continues. This must be what it's like to be on fire, the thought occurs to me as I tilt my head back. Through the slits of my nearly closed eyes, I can see Dr Phil staring at us, mouth wide open, through the rear mirror. His eyes are like a beetle's, shiny and small and tight together in his hostile little face.
Then Tyler lifts his head up and I could just kill him for stopping.

"What are you looking at him for?"

How did he know that?

I shudder, as much out of fear as anticipation.

"He's watching."

"No shit."

He doesn't seem upset. I lick my dry lips and look into his eyes. It's still the control, his madness shining through like a little light casting long shadows.

"I-it doesn't bother you?"

"If he wants to watch, let him. Let him have his little fun. It's not like his carrier is one of the more exciting ones. He'll never get to see anything like this on his bus ever again, guaranteed. He's still enslaved."

Glittering eyes. Glittering teeth. The tiger rocks its tail.

"Now shut up."

And before I can argue again, he reaches up and kisses me, again, and I'm wondering whether it's actually possible to drown on suffocate whilst kissing. I occupy my mind by thinking of every National Geographic I've ever read and digging through my archive of memories. Did any issue mention kissing someone to death?

Kiss me.
Kill me.
Whatever. Same difference.
Yeah, in a way Judas kissed Jesus to death, but only metaphorically speaking.
If you're really to trust the Bible, that is.

The warmth of Tyler's mouth, wet and slippery, encloses my formerly private parts and yanks me back to reality. If this indeed is what passes for reality – to me, it still feels like a dream. I pant heavily and let an almost inaudible moan escape my lips, and I'm sure Tyler heard it, and it's vaguely disturbing that he knows so well how much I'm enjoying this and how I never ever want it to end.

I remember having read about the various methods of torturing prisoners in foreign, "uncivilized" lands. No food, no water, no sleep. Excruciating pain. Shots loaded with near-lethal doses of various serums. Exposed to extreme light or complete darkness. Repeat until insane. I think those wardens might've liked making Tyler's acquaintance. Because right now, when he's nearly driven me into a frenzy of passion and pleasure and total submission, when he's almost sucked me utterly dry, he lets go of me completely, gets up from the floor and sits himself down on the seat beside me, wiping his mouth off on the sleeve of his jacket.

He's left his unfinished business out of my pants.

I am Jack's aching desire to be relieved.

"W-why did you stop?" I ask accusingly, breathing so heavily and fast that I'm getting light-headed and can actually see stars fluttering around in the periphery of my vision.

He doesn't even look at me. He just lights a cigarette and blows the smoke right up in the direction of the security camera. Oh, God, the security cameras. I had totally forgot about them.

"Jeez, you're such a loser sometimes," he utters, shaking his head. This is minutes later, when I'm just about prepared to jump him – for many different reasons – and have stuffed my dick back here it belongs, and zipped up my pants.

You're such a loser.

That's what he says, and then he just continues actively shortening his life span.

I'm so afraid.
I am so Jack's awful terror.

I want to ask him, did I do something wrong? Was I not adequate? But it's hard to see how I could have screwed this up. After all, he was the aggressor – I was just passive. I didn't do anything. I just hung along for the ride.
And yet I'm so afraid that I might've done something wrong.

"What the fuck do you mean by that?"

Fear can make even the nicest person go Mister Hyde.
And attack has always been the best means of defense.

"I mean –" He blows smoke right into my face and I've never been more content with being involuntarily polluted. "– I mean exactly what I'm saying."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Well, you said yourself that you wanted this. And then you're having trouble letting go of control, and you bitch and whine until I've finally got you to shut the hell up, but you still keep holding back on me. Don't you get it? Why do you always have to pick everything apart and analyze it? Why can't you just let go and trust me? That's the one fucking thing I've asked of you, but you can't even do that to oblige me."

Trust Tyler? Trust Tyler. Trust someone who's so obviously insane. Sure, that's easy. Yeah, and why not go throw yourself into the middle of the Pacific without a raft, while you're at it.

"It's… it's just, why did you do this? I, I mean, until the other day you didn't even give me a sign that you liked me, and then I got confused, and now… I just need to know, why did you do this?"

My voice is trembling along with the better part of my body, and I wish that I didn't have to sound so utterly pathetic.

He turns his head around 90 degrees and glares at me. Suddenly I feel very, very stupid.

"Why? You're actually asking me 'why'?"

"Yeah, so? I want to know!"

"What is it exactly that you want to know? You want to know if there was any thought behind this? If I… fuck, if I love you and shit?"

Oh, God, no. No, not that.
Don't call this love.

I look away consequently. The bus does a weird sort of jumping motion and somehow I just know we've hit some poor, defenseless animal and reduced it to a pile of minced meat and ruined leather scraps.

After a while, I hear him chuckle silently, and I know I've answered his question just by saying nothing at all.

"I felt like it," he says, putting out his cigarette on the back of his own hand, just below the scar, the scar almost identical to mine. His kiss. Any normal person did that, and I'd ask if it hurt, just for good manners. But with Tyler, things like that are so insignificant. "I just felt like it, okay?"

I am Jack's increasing heartbeat. Jack's desire to go find a nice, deep hole to hide in, and never come out again.

I am, more prominently, Jack's reddening cheeks.

And finally, when I'm beginning to think that the silence will kill me, the bus pulls up at the right stop and opens its doors. Tyler jumps up off his seat, walks casually down the aisle to the driver and shoves his middle finger in his face.

"Fuck you, hope you've enjoyed the show."

There's nothing hostile about this action, just a matter-of-fact sort of statement. A polite declaration of I-don't-give-a-fuck.
I can't tell from Dr Phil's expression whether he's relieved, scared or disappointed. Probably, it's a little bit of both. It would've been pretty awkward for him if he'd had to explain the origin of mysterious spots on the seats.

Seen from that perspective, it was probably for the best that Tyler didn't finish.

I follow him off the bus quickly, so as not to get left behind. He doesn't acknowledge me in any way, instead he heads for the store with giant steps, and I try to keep up with him.

"So, did you bring any money?" I ask him, because I hate the silence that's creating this huge void between us.

He stops, turns around and gives me a blank stare.

"What, you didn't?"

"Of course I did. Of course. But, but I've never bought lye before."

He shakes his head and makes a disapproving clicking sound with his tongue. I am totally in awe at his hidden talents. The things he can do with his tongue… oh, I remember, it was just minutes ago. But I thrust those thoughts away. Not now. I can't afford to lose myself down Memory Lane right now.

"Man, that's messed up," he says. "Okay, let me see."

He's obviously pretending like nothing's happened. I feel like punching his dubiously righteous face and wipe that smirk off it, but I don't, because I'm paralyzed, and I don't even know why.

But he moves up to me, and before I can react at all he's already wrapping his arms around my waist, grabbing my ass, letting his hands rest there a while and then wander up and down, back and forth.

And it takes a good few minutes before I realize this is actually Tyler's indiscrete way of looking for my wallet. Thank God I didn't put it one of my front pockets, or we would have a situation. I shudder and stare at him defiantly.

They say one gaze is worth a thousand words.
And then I realize, he hasn't removed his hands yet.
And the whole world is spinning when I feel his cigarette smoke breath on my face.
And I really, really thought I was stronger than this.

"What?" I ask as I stare into his greenish eyes. "What now?"

It's not that I don't want him do… whatever he's doing to me. But I'm scared that he might push me away again on a whim, or because he "just feels like it", and leave me hanging, because it hurts like hell. If he has to start with me again, then I need him to finish. Otherwise I'll go insane and maybe even kill him just out of frustration.

He grins, his teeth glinting toward me in the light of the lamppost.

"Nothing. Nothing at all."

But he doesn't let go. His hands almost feel glued onto me, and it's three in the morning, no one around, and I just want to go home.

I'm so confused.

Deliver me, Tyler, from feeling like nothing will ever be the same again.
Deliver me from this feeling of insufficiency and inadequacy.
But don't call this love.
Don't you ever call this love, because it isn't, at least I don't think so.
And even if it is, it's unrequited.
And I don't think I'll survive if you push me away again.

Tyler is holding me like he thinks I'll escape if he doesn't, and I have no thoughts of squirming loose, because – dare I admit it – I love feeling his arms around me, I confess, I really do, and I love the anticipation when I think he's going to lean forward any second and…

And he kisses me, but not nearly as aggressively as before. This time it's a soft, slow kiss, and I would never have guessed that he could be capable of being so gentle.
It's just a kiss.
It's just a kiss, and yet it feels like it's everything that matters.

"Now you listen to me," he breathes midst kisses. "We're going back. We're going home. And I want you to at least make an effort to trust me. Try to believe me when I tell you, I know what I'm doing. Try to ignore what you think you feel and what you think is real and not, and just… let… go."

Tyler, the disobedient delinquent. Tyler, the mischievous marauder. Tyler is caressing and fondling me. And he wants me to follow him home.

"What's at home?" I whisper. For whatever reason, I feel the need to hear him say it. I need him to specify what it is he wants me to do.
"Well," he whispers back, and I can feel his mouth contort in his Cheshire Cat grin, "we'll have to improvise."

The fifth rule about Project Mayhem is, you have to trust Tyler.
Any sane person would argue, how can you trust someone who's insane?
Well, it's all about letting go.
And then maybe, just maybe, everything will work out all right.