Temporary Insanity

Chapter 18: Honestly Falling to Pieces

"Rodge, you can come out now."

He hears Christina whisper, but he doesn't come out of hiding. Crouched down in the corner of the girls' closet, Rodge has his arms resting on his bent knees and his back pressed to the wall. He's uncomfortably sitting on what he can only assume are shoes and the bottoms of coats and jackets drape over his shoulders. He's shrouded in darkness and his mind is racing.

"He should be proud of you…"

"You know how Rodge is…"

"Selfish? He treats you like crap, Silver, and you just keep going right back to him. What kind of relationship is that?"

"Do you love him?"

"Of course, I do."

Rodge just can't seem to get Phoebe and Silver's battling voices to leave his head. With the thin walls, he heard every single word. He heard Phoebe verbally castrating him and Silver trying to defend him when she obviously knew the truth backed ever single word Phoebe spoke. It was a real eye-opener and now Rodge knows exactly what he has to do.

He gets up and marches out, ignoring the way his eyes sting when he leaves the comforting darkness and walks out into the room where the sun filters in through the window at the far end of the room. He sees Christina with a look of relief on her face, but he can't stop. He knows she's only going to try to talk him out of what his impulses are tell him has to happen.

Thundering down the stairs, Rodge pays no attention to the weary man, sifting through a stack of mail and the little housekeeper woman trying to appear sober. He's searching for his girlfriend and sadly, it isn't something that happens very often.

About to turn a corner, Rodge hears her familiar, absolutely musical laugh and stops in his tracks. He sees that she's trying to be serious, but then there's Hunter who's smiling and swaying from side to side, having this almost childlike innocence to him. It's hard not to feel carefree in Hunter's presence and it seems Silver's finally taken notice.

Sadly, Rodge is about to ruin all of that.

He walks in and suddenly his throat's gone dry and his hands grown clammy. He flexes his fingers and tries to stand as tall as possible. He keeps his head up. He's going to do this. He needs to do this before he loses the fire that's been sparked by his eavesdropping upstairs.

"Hey you!" Silver shouts, being the first to notice his presence. She runs up to him, continuing to smile so bright, trying to kiss him. Rodge resists and turns slightly so she barely catches the corner of his lips. Her smile fades. Damn, already she's catching on. "Something wrong?"

"Can we talk outside?" he asks, hooking his finger into the collar of his v-neck and peeling the cotton material away from his hot skin. "You wanna go get some air?"

"Sure," Silver says, her cheery voice fading into one of doubt. "But wait–" she lifts her camera and focuses the lens on his solemn face, "–you never gave me your love."

Ambiguity is a coldhearted bitch.

"Not now, Silver," Rodge says, placing his hand over hers and pushing the camera away from his face. Now Silver looks absolutely perplexed and Rodge simply takes her hand and leads her out onto the front porch. He snaps for her to turn off the camera for once and Silver frowns, questioning why he's being so moody.

"We've been putting this off for a while now," Rodge sighs, not knowing how to express what he's feeling in words. He looks her in the eyes and already his face screams heartache. "Silver, I don't think this is working…"

"You're breaking up with me?" Good ol' Silver gets right to the point.

"Don't look so surprised. Let's face it. What we got ain't no relationship. It's a joke." Rodge almost laughs, but he catches himself, swallowing and forcing it back down. He reaches for her hand and their fingers brush, but she refuses any contact with him at all. Her eyes are practically praying for him to reconsider and he can hardly look at her.

"Rodge, no, you can't," she says frantically. Finally he's able to see what he's made her into, this desperate creature before him. This isn't Silver Silverberg who's known for being strong and stubborn and surely does not resort to begging. Rodge realizes that he's the reason she's like this and he's disgusted with himself.

"If we stay together we're going to be miserable," Rodge tells her calmly. "I'm going to keep you from all these big dreams you've got and that's no way to live, S. You'll be with me in this godforsaken town and you'll hate me for holding you back and you'll hate yourself for letting me. I can't sit by and watch this happen, Silver. I'm walking."

Despite his monologue, she looks ready to get down on her knees. Rodge refuses to see that.

"Rodge, I'm sure if we–"

"I cheated on you," he says painfully and sees Silver flinch the second he says it. "Sil–"


It's amazing how quickly she reverted to that badass everyone knows and loves.

Silver hits him so hard he curses aloud and the footsteps that echo through the old lighthouse let the two know that they'll soon have an audience. Silver's too blinded by her rage and Rodge is too busy thinking about the way his cheek is throbbing. He tries to say her name again, but Silver throws a punch and strikes him across the face.

"Christ, Silver, that hurt!"

"And you don't think I'm hurting?" she demands, absolutely livid. "How many, Rodge?"

Forget compassion. He's pissed. "What the fuck are you talking about?"

"How many sluts did you fucking cheat on me with? Do I know any of them?"

"No, you wouldn't know any of them. Apparently, Silver Silverberg is too good to hang with us common folk," Rodge growls, sure he's has a red imprint of her hand against his cheek. "I'm so sick of your high and mighty shit when it comes to Devin and our friends."

"Well, apparently, my opinion doesn't matter anymore." Silver turns up her nose, arms folded tight over her chest. "Go. I hope you and your little boyfriend and your harlots live happily fucking ever after, you bastard."



"And as long as we're being honesty here, Silver, really, the only reason I even asked you out in the first place is my dad," Rodge says with a laugh that sends a chill down her spine. She's never heard such bitterness from him before. He forces his eyes on hers, but Silver refuses, knowing she won't enjoy this.

Still, she butts back. "What are you talking about, Rodge?"

"Middle school. Brooke was already a cheerleader and you'd hang around practice. Good ol' dad could see that Hunter liked you and of course, in that fucked up mentality of his, a girl would surely jeopardize Hunt's precious football career so he basically asked me to be a human fucking cockblock," Rodge explains. "And in my pathetic need to please daddy, I did it. I asked you out."

His agreement to do this is also the reason Rodge gets away with so much. His parents ignored his horrible grades, his rude attitude towards everything and even every other weekend where Hunter has to drag Rodge home at three in the morning, loud and drunk. As long as he's doing his job and keeping Hunter away from Silver then basically he has the freedom to do whatever he wants.

"That's despicable," Silver spits, emerging from that shell known as Rodge's girlfriend. She moves forward, getting up in his face with eyes turned to slits of fury. "Our relationship was only a joke because that's what you made it. I cannot believe I wasted the last five years on you."

Rodge laughs, "that makes two of us, babe."

She turns away, blinking back tears. "God, Rodge, I can't even look at you right now."

He doesn't know what to say. Even if he did, Silver doesn't look like she wants to hear it. She doesn't even stay to hear it. It doesn't seem to matter that she's left her precious camera and even her acceptance letter into NYU. With her car keys in her pocket, Silver marches from the porch to her car, gets in and drives off without so much as a goodbye or a last glance.

Rodge slams his back into the side of the house and slides down to the ground. Absolutely seething, he replays the last five minutes in his head. That did not go how he originally planned. He planned to be compassionate and apologetic, but the moment she slapped him it's just like every other fight they've gotten into. He just snaps and it's as if he loses all control.

Now she's off somewhere, driving and probably blinded by her anger and her pain. There are about a million different things he would change about the way that conversation played out, but it's too late. There's no going back now.

Rodge brings out his cell phone and scrolls down his list of contacts. It isn't a name he calls often especially these days. He lazily holds the phone to his ear as it rings, still a bit dazed and in shock that he's finally ripped off that band-aid. Inwardly, he's conflicted. He feels lighter yet empty and relieved, but horrible all at the same time.

"Why are you calling me?" the voice on the other end of the line demands.

"It's done," he breathes shakily. "Silver and me…it's over."

The line goes dead and Rodge lets his hand fall at his side.

"You did it."

Rodge turns and sees Phoebe North looking down on him, one hand on her hip and such accusing eyes. He can't even stand to look at her, eyes falling to the scuffmarks of her sneakers instead.

"Happy, now?" Rodge snaps even though he knows it isn't fair to take his anger out on her. He gets up and stuffs his phone into his pocket, approaching the brunette like an animal ready to pounce. "No more Rodge to treat her like crap and turn her into Mrs. Cleaver."

Phoebe eyes him skeptically. "Where did you hear–"

"It doesn't matter. I'm out," he spits venomously and starts down the steps of the porch. He stops abruptly and spins on the balls of his feet, finding Phoebe once more. "And by the way, if you're still going with this battle of the bands gig, you might want to find yourself another bassist. Consider this my two weeks notice."


In his signature Rodge Montgomery way, he doesn't react to her shouting at his back. He simply throws up a crooked peace sight behind his head, jumps into his Jeep and drives off. Phoebe is left standing there, huffing and puffing, a bit glad that Rodge is gone, but also a little fearful of the prospects of the band falling apart.

Phoebe turns away once Rodge's Jeep completely disappears and violently shoves the screen door open, listening as it slams after her. Right when she walks in, she sees Dylan, Hunter and Christina waiting there with hungry eyes. They're exactly where she left them, with their ears pressed to the slightly cracked side window, trying to make sense of all the commotion.

Phoebe sighs, throwing both hands into the air. "They're gone. Both of them."

"Did he really mean what he said?" Dylan asks anxiously. "Rodge just quit the band?"

"Dylan, I'm seriously more concerned about Silver right now," Phoebe says and everyone's surprised. This coming from the girl whose number one priority lately (besides keeping her relationship with Dylan a secret) is the band.

"Relax, Pheebs," Dylan whispers, resisting the urge to take her hand in the presence of Hunter. "Silver isn't stupid. She isn't one of those girls that do drastic things when a guy breaks up with her."

Dylan flashes back to when Phoebe and Jason broke up and she was high on Insomnia and it lead to them nearly ripping each other's throats out over sheet music just as the sun was coming up. Their eyes meet and from the look she's giving him, Dylan's almost completely sure they're thinking of the same thing. He's so going to get it later tonight.

Hunter clears his throat, almost uncomfortably. "I should get home and check on Rodge."

"My money says he isn't there. You'd have better luck checking Devin's or even the closest liquor store," Phoebe says with the roll of her eyes. "And you don't know Silver won't do anything drastic. Rodge was her first boyfriend…her first everything. With their history and everything they've been through…she must be hurting."

"And you don't have a car, Hunt," Christina's sure to point out.

"You can take mine as long as you take care of her," Dylan suggests, plucking a set of keys from the key holder at the door. "She isn't much and you should avoid major hills, but she'll get you home."

"Why do guys insist their cars are girls?" Phoebe curiously inquires.

"Because they are," Dylan laughs, exchanging knowing looks with Hunter. "I'm just as worried about Silver and Rodge, but I'm supposed to be grounded and I fear the wrath of mom way too much to chance it these days."

"Frank is paying me to tutor Harry in math," Phoebe explains, looking rather reluctant, "but I can totally ditch it and go look for Silver with you."

"No, you could use the money especially with NYU in your future. Seriously, don't let the drama between those two stop you from celebrating," Hunter smiles that smile that just seems to brighten the entire room. "I've got this. I've been playing mediator between those two for years now."

Hunter says his goodbyes, hugs and kisses on the cheeks for Phoebe and Christina and a manly half-hug for the punk with the broken arm. The jock walks out with one last smile and Dylan goes with him, having to teach Hunter the way he needs to jiggle the key just right to get the car to start. It leaves Phoebe and Christina sharing a couch in silence.

"Now you've seen the real Rodge," Phoebe says, turning to Christina who's staring pensively across the room. "What do you think?"

"Honestly," Christina starts, wiping at her eyes, "I don't know what to think. He cheated on her and something tells me he wasn't talking emotionally cheating with me which means there was some other girl."

"As long as we're being honest," Phoebe sighs, shifting slightly closer to her stepsister. "There were probably more than one other girl. Christina, all those times we told you to stay away from Rodge it wasn't just out of respect for Silver. Rodge hurts girls and we didn't want you to be one of them."

Christina tries to smile and fails. "A little too late, don't you think?" She curls her legs beneath her and hugs the nearest throw pillow. "When we were eavesdropping…did you hear him? There was no consideration, Phoebe. No sympathy. He just exploded in her face. I don't even know who that was. All this time I've been defending a stranger."

Phoebe frowns, linking her arm around Christina's neck and pulling her close. Christina went from foot-in-door to door-in-face over the course of a conversation she didn't even have a voice in. It seems everyone's just falling to pieces today.

"Do you think Rodge knew what he was talking about or just pulling shit out of his ass?" Phoebe wonders aloud, rocking slightly as a means of comfort.

"Hmm," Christina takes a moment to think. "You mean about Hunter liking Silver?"

"Yeah," Phoebe quietly replies. "I mean, I've never really looked for it…"

"If he does, that's one twisted love triangle," Christina shakes her head.

"Don't you mean love square?" Phoebe asks, knocking into the blonde with her shoulders. Fighting a smile, Christina bumps right back into her and the two girls share a laugh.

As desperate as Christina is to crawl out, the Rodge-shaped hole she's dug is just too deep.

Hunter knows exactly where to find her and that kind of scares him.

His first instinct was to race home and bitch at his father. It's still hard for Hunter to wrap his head around the fact that his father's been using Rodge this entire time, coxing him into some fake, masochistic relationship with one of their friends just to guarantee there would be nothing to distract Hunter from football. It's vile and manipulative and wrong. It makes him sick, finally putting the pieces together and seeing the truth.

Hunter wants to tell his dad there's no way he's even considering Penn State anymore. He wants to find Rodge and apologize. He feels bad that his brother, who always appears so indifferent and uncaring, has actually been suffering through an obviously dying relationship just to keep up a stupid promise made to their father.

Instead of all that, Hunter goes on a search for Silver, the innocent one in this entire situation.

Hunter can't imagine what's going through her head at the moment. She's just been told that the last five years of her life was a complete lie. Hunter knows it isn't entirely true. He knows for a fact that Rodge cares about her to a certain extent, but probably not as much as Silver had thought he did.

Dylan's Mustang clunks and growls as Hunter speeds down the dusty streets. He struggles to keep control and not fly off the cliff, anxious to get to where he's going. The sun has just set a little less than an hour ago. It's a dark night, the sky being overcast, clouds completely shielding the moon. The streetlights are dim and the headlights of Dylan's Mustang are even worse.

His destination is another place, besides the old church and the lighthouse, which the kids born and raised in New London would claim as their playgrounds. The Ferris' driver would always take them every weekend when they were young. Once they hit middle school, the place went out of business and it became the coolest local party scene for a good couple years.

It's also Silver's hideaway.

Hunter isn't surprised to find the chains on the rusted gate, thrown off and a Silver Mercedes in the distance. He slowly drives into what was once a drive-in movie theatre and now appears to be a ghost town. The giant screens are still up, but are now practically falling apart and covered with graffiti. He shuts off the engine and pushes his door open, walking out into the warm Connecticut evening.

Just as he thought, there's Silver, sitting on the hood of her car and staring out at the dark sky. Her fingers are loosely wrapped around a glass bottle in a paper bag and there's already one that's been carelessly tossed to the ground in shattered pieces across the concrete.

It's impossible for her to not be aware of his presence, but she doesn't even react as he shuffles closer. Hunter hasn't really thought this far into his plan. He figured the hard part would be finding her, but now that he has won this little game of 'Where's Silver,' the hard part seems to be talking to her. He has no idea what to say.

"The world wins," Silver slurs and Hunter's pretty sure she isn't talking to him, but just talking aloud. It's more than obvious she's had more than a little to drink. "The world refuses me happiness and now I'm not happy. Ha. The world wins."

"How insightful of you," Hunter blurts out with little thought. He pushes himself up to sit on the hood beside her and Silver's glazed eyes slowly dart over to him, staring as if it's taking her a while to take in his appearance.

"Don't try to be cute," she warns, shaking a finger at him. Well, it seems she meant to simply point at him, but with the way she's slightly swaying she might as well be shaking a finger at him.

Hunter smiles pleasantly. "Who's trying?"

"Don't try to flirt with me either," she cautions him, eyes shifty and suspicious.

"I'm not flirting," Hunter laughs. "I'm just trying to make you feel better."

"How am I supposed to feel better?" Silver groans miserably, shoulders slumping and ready for another sip. "My boyfriend of five years dumped me."

"Yeah, I'm not going to lie. That hardcore sucks," Hunter sympathizes, scratching the back of his head. Silver groans irritably and takes another sip that's more like a gulp. She then extends the bottle to him and Hunter waves her off, but Silver only stares at him longer.

"Seriously, Hunt, you're going to make me drink alone?"

He sighs and takes the heavy glass bottle, lifting it to his lips. Vodka. He could have guessed.

"That's disgusting." Hunter's face wrinkles and he wipes his lips against his bare arm. Silver only rolls her eyes and reclaims her bottle, taking another sip. Hunter leans back with his spine stretched across the glass, arms outstretched. "How long have you been out here?"

"Dunno," she replies, barely coherent. "I got dumped."

"You're not dying," Hunter tells her, his finger drawing random patterns across her windshield. Silver falls back to imitate Hunter's relaxed, sprawled out form, the back of her neck rested on his forearm. She turns onto her side so she's facing him and their eyes meet.

"You have pretty eyes," she says with conviction and it makes him smile. "They don't remind me of Rodge's at all. You two really are the worst twins ever."

At the mention of his brother, Hunter has to look away. For some strange reason, he almost feels like he's betraying his brother, chasing after Silver like this, being with her now when he should be supporting his brother.

"Why are you upset?" Silver asks quizzically, awkwardly reaching out to Hunter, but forgetting that she already has her bottle in her hand. "Hunt, you have no right to be upset. I just got dumped."

"Yes, you've told me. Three times now," Hunter sighs, looking upward and wishing he could see stars. "Silver, I'm sorry. My dad and my brother…"

"You have nothing to apologize for, idiot." Silver almost laughs, but instead takes another sip of her cheap booze. "It's not your fault that your dad is a psychopath and your brother is a douche bag."

"Still, I want you to know that I had no idea…"

"Is it true?" she asks, leaning into him.

"Like you said, my dad's a psychopath," Hunter scowls, angered at the very thought of his father who's been controlling him more than he originally thought. "I wouldn't doubt he'd cook up some crack plan like that."

"Noooo," she slurs, letting the bottle in her hands slip from her fingers and shatter against the floor. She rests her hand on his shoulder and Hunter nearly jumps away. "Did you like me?"

Hunter wishes they still had that bottle.

"Pshh, it was the seventh grade, Silver. We were thirteen-years-old," Hunter tries to laugh off the awkwardness and the lowering of inhibitions that accompanies alcohol. "Yeah, I liked you, but, I mean, I liked B too. I wasn't too picky back then."

"Oh," she mumbles quite sadly, but recovers quickly. "So are you really gonna marry Brooke?"

Hunter shrugs, chuckling at the very thought. "Twenty years is a long time from now."

"I don't think she's your Lucille," Silver admits, trying to shake her head, but his arm is in the way. Hunter waits for her to continue, but Silver lets her heavy eyelids fall and sighs loudly.

"Well, I think it's time to get you home," Hunter says quietly. He tries to sit up, but Silver just won't budge. He carefully scoops her up in his arms, one strong arm supporting her back and the other hooked behind her kneecaps. He gets her into the passenger seat of Dylan's Mustang, struggling only with getting the door open and takes off once he's sure her Mercedes is securely locked.

Silver keeps her eyes closed for majority of the drive back to her house and Hunter doesn't know if she's faking it or has finally passed out. He tries to keep the ride as smooth as possible, but with Dylan's Mustang that proves to be a challenge. When he reaches her gigantic house and sees how every single light is off, Hunter feels kind of bad, leaving a brokenhearted girl all alone in a gigantic house.

Still, he knows he can't stay even if he ends up sleeping on her floor or even in one of the many other empty rooms. When friends break up, you aren't supposed to choose sides. You be Sweden and stay neutral. When the two friends who've just broken up happen to be your brother and your old crush, things are even harder.

"Silver, we're here," he whispers gently, shaking her to wake up. She groans and her face scrunches up and Hunter would never admit it, but he's rather amused. His knuckles brush her cheek as he tucks her dark strands behind her ear and gets a better view of her pretty face. "Silver, you think you can make it to the door?"

"Hmm, I can almost taste you," Silver says quietly, keeping her eyes shut tight. Hunter jerks away from her as if he's been shocked just by the sound of her voice. "Do you think things would have turned out different?"

"What do you mean?"

"If you asked me out first…just know I would have said yes," Silver says in that slurred way of talking she's adopted. She says it as if she simply can't keep the statement to herself and Hunter's frozen in his seat. "I think things would have been real different."

"Silver," he whispers her name.

She opens her cerulean eyes that are oh so tired and oh so bloodshot. She looks exhausted and though he doesn't say more, there's something about the way he's looking at her.

It's something like don't tell anyone because you're my brother's ex-girlfriend.

More like, don't tell anyone, but I still like you.

She leans in closer, but she doesn't kiss him. A fist against the window breaks the spell.

"Brooke," Hunter breathes and gladly gets out of the car. Silver only groans loudly and leans back against the headrest, shutting her eyes once more. Hunter runs his fingers through his hair and rounds the front of the car, embracing the brunette in a hug that doesn't last long.

"Hold on, hubby, were you just about to take advantage of my very vulnerable and very drunk best friend in Dylan's car?" Brooke interrogates. "Oh, the wedding is so off."

"Did you just refer to Silver Silverberg as your best friend again?"

"She may be a bitch, but no one should go through a breakup alone," Brooke recites a proverb from the Brooke Ferris' Guide to Life. That's one of the many things Hunter Montgomery loves about Brooke Ferris. She may get easily pissed off, but when needed, Brooke will always be there. "So what happened exactly?"

"Shit went down," Hunter sighs, leaning against the grill of the car. He looks to the sky, so lost and confused, Brooke can't help, but let her curiosity get the best of her. She sits up on the hood and Hunter recounts the events of the day, everything from Rodge hiding in Christina and Phoebe's closet to finding Silver at the drive-in.

"Rodge is fine. He's passed out on my living room floor," Brooke explains, remember how he'd called her right after the breakup and how he started drinking around the same time she started putting on her make-up. By the time Brooke was out the door, Rodge was already on the floor.

"Typical Rodge," Hunter scoffs, really having no idea what he's going to do with his brother. Before he can deal with Rodge, he has to tackle the obstacle of the girl passed out in the passenger seat. "So you ready to trade off?"

"You make it sound like comforting our heartbroken friend is a job or something," Brooke says, shaking her head in mock shame. "She scares you, doesn't she?"

"Less than Phoebe, more than you," Hunter says playfully. "What? She's Silver. Why would she scare me?"

"Because she isn't just Silver anymore, Hunt. She's single Silver and five seconds ago she was not just single Silver, but drunken single Silver," Brooke smirks knowingly, swaying from side to side. "Aw, is the temptation too much for you, sweetie?"

"What? Brooke, Silver isn't even an option," Hunter says strongly, shaking his head and Brooke can't help, but feel a little bit disappointed. "I'll, uhh, I'll help you get her upstairs."

"No. It's okay. I got this. I'll use my cheer muscles," Brooke says confidently, flexing her arms that are in no comparison to Hunter's. "You get some sleep, Hunt. You've got school in the morning. I'll take care of Debbie McDrinks-a-lot."

Hunter looks skeptical, but reaches for the door handle anyways and motions for Brooke to get to work. The brunette puts her hair up in a messy bun before she drapes Silver's limp arm around her shoulders, wraps her arms around her torso and hoists her from the car. Brooke staggers a bit and Hunter has to take Silver's other arm and lean most of the unconscious girl's weight on him for Brooke to find her balance.

Silently agreeing to work as a team, the two get to the front door with little issues and curse beneath their breaths as they make their way up the grand staircase. By the time they reach Silver's room that's as cold as Antarctica, they slowly lower her down onto her bed and high-five, feeling accomplished and breathing heavily.

"It's fucking cold in here."

"Yeah," Hunter agrees, running his palms down the bare skin of his arms. "It's just how Silver like's it."

"Well, I don't care. If I'm staying for the night we are turning this shit off," Brooke complains, reaching for one of the many controllers on Silver's bedside table, trying to decode the cluster of buttons. She glances over at her drunken mess of a friend who's lifelessly sprawled out across her unmade bed, mumbling incoherently into her pillow.

"I just updated Phoebe and Dylan, told em' I got her home safe and that you're staying with her for the night," Hunter explains, sliding his cell phone into the back pocket of his jeans. "Dylan says I have to video tape you solemnly swearing not to murder S."

"Dylan is full of shit 24/7," Brooke says with a bored yawn. "Even I'm not that cruel."

"I guess I'll just take your word for it," Hunter smiles tiredly. He holds out his arms, expecting a hug and Brooke mimics his arm movement, but refuses to cross the empty space between them. Giving in with a groan like he always does, Hunter swoops in and grabs her, hugging her tight. "You take care of our girl, okay, Brookie?"

"As always," Brooke whispers before pressing a quick kiss to his cheek. "Now get out of here."

"Alright. Goodnight, B."


Hunter's sure to lock up and punch in the security code upon leaving the mansion. Brooke watches from the balcony as Hunter leaves, speeding off in Dylan's Mustang. She then returns to the rather large room and looks down at Silver who's sleeping with her lips parted and snoring lightly. Sighing, Brooke tosses off her sweater and crawls beneath the covers beside Silver, feeling like they're eight-years-old again.

"Aw, S, what am I going to do with you?"

"Rodge," Silver mumbles in her sleep, shifting as she does so.

"He's gone, baby," Brooke mumbles even though she's certain Silver can't actually hear her. She gives her friend's hand a firm squeeze and whispers, "he's been gone a long time now and even you knew it, Silver."

It's quiet again and Brooke makes herself comfortable, snuggling with a nearby pillow.

"Hunter?" Silver mutters, sitting up suddenly and looking from left to right.

"He'll be back tomorrow," Brooke says soothingly, giving Silver's hand another comforting squeeze. A pleasant smile captures her features. Brooke's happy Silver said the other twin's name because having to repeat what's just been said in unconsciousness would just bring on more pain. "Knowing Hunt, he'll even bring us breakfast tomorrow morning."


"Yeah, it's me," she smiles and props herself up, pulling Silver into a hug when she finally notice how her best friend's eyes have began to water. Brooke hugs her tight as if her holding on could prevent the inevitable.

A sob pierces the air and it seems like the start of an avalanche. Brooke can feel the tears that start to soak her oversize Nirvana t-shirt and Silver's clinging to her as if her life depended on it. Brooke feels her throat start to close up when Silver goes into a rant of mumbles, asking what she did wrong and how she's supposed to pretend like she isn't completely internally shattered.

Brooke doesn't mention Rodge. She doesn't point out the fact that stone cold Silver Silverberg, who she's supposed to be pissed off at right now, is having a breakdown. All Brooke can manage is a repeatedly whisper in her ear.

"You've got me, S. You've got me."

Author's note: Hey everyone! I'm sorry this is taking me a million years, but I'm working on it. Itsi3, yes, Rodge seems to be a complex character and a Godawful mess right now. I'm glad you love Phoebe and Dylan together, but things might start to get rough for those two again with what happens in the next chapter. Aeralyse, I'm glad you enjoyed the re-write and yes, I worked hard to make it seem like my own word, building off the one-dimensional stuff the movie gave us. I can't wait to hear what you though about this chapter.

Reviews are always great early Christmas presents. :D