There was this one afternoon, Freshman year, when Hayner came up to him during lunch and proposed they all go down to see the local bands at the coffee house.

Roxas thought he was insane. Socialize? With other people? When they could all just get high and just ignore it all? Or would…if they ever figured out where to get some…

Hayner smiled widely, "Because the 'dude' is going to be there."

Roxas blinked, and then understood. Right, the 'dude'. "I guess. You have to get us there, though."

Hayner nodded. "Yeah, my mom can take us."

Then Hayner wandered away, off to propose the idea to Pence and Olette. Neither of whom could go, either stuck with grandparents or had to watch their sister that night.

So, when Friday rolled around it was him 'n' Hayner in the backseat headed to the town square.

There were a bunch of those emo kids and a few special-ed kids, and all of them were just so excited to see Hayner because they hadn't like, looked at him since third grade, and they wanted to know who Roxas was and one of them even got so far as to pinch his cheeks.

Roxas was kind of overwhelmed; he didn't even know half of their names, although he'd supposedly been at the school for years. Hayner blathered on blissfully with the girls and their one poor, emaciated, little bi-boy, a very important aspect to any emo-kid group. (From the Emo-kid Handbook, now in a special pocket sized edition.)

Eventually when one of them loudly declared she had pissed her self -- retarded attention whore aspect of the group. Very important, very important -- and the others laughed, they finally escaped.

"Hey, Hayner, let's sneak out the back, okay?"

And Hayner's about to piss himself like a puppy from the words 'sneaking' and 'out the back', because that sounded so badass.

And he noticed there was another café just on the other side of the ATMs and the bank. It was quiet there and there was no 'I'm a cat with my balls ripped off screamy music' band. What's more, when he stepped inside his eyes got kinda cloudy and he thought they were smoking pot and the hippy-circle inside was going to catch them and make sure they never lived tell the tale kinda thing and he needed to start praying to God. But it turned out to be cigarettes and some sort of frosty mist thing happenin' because it was fuckin' freezing outside! Why did they do that stupid 'sneaking out the back' thing?

Inside Hayner was getting all fidgety and staring out at the bank's parking lot, right across the street. There was a car over there and its lights would go out every time a police car went by, which was often because Friday nights always had those rowdy emo kids in the clubs, where clubs, here, is meant to mean 'little, tiny coffee shops with bad music'. So, that was obviously Dude's car.

"I'm ordering a green tea?" Roxas murmured because that was the first 'kind' of tea that came to him. Damn those coffee connoisseurs and their fucking types of tea. Find some leaves and throw some fucking water on them, rrrawr.

"I'll bring you your order when it's ready," the worker said looking all surly. 'Secretly,' Roxas thought, 'because you really did interrupt their pot smoking, they're just speedy ninja fast and now they're going to kill you, run, run, run!'

"Okay, we'll be back in a minute," and Roxas ran after Hayner and stood next to the Dude's car. It was real nice looking until one came upon the front bender held-together-with-duct-tape-and-rope. But the trunk was awesome it had a false bottom and some paintball guns… wait, what?

Well, Hayner got his shit, a little packet of cigarettes. Roxas didn't know why he bothered with the cigarette-and-cancer-frolicking-hand-in-hand sticks, but whatever. Then Hayner got all flighty, looking around and opening the pack with shaking hands. Roxas got impatient and opened it for him. Then Hayner couldn't get one out, so Roxas got it out for him. Then he finally got it lit after flicking the lighter a million god-jesus-I'll-do-it-for-you times. And his draws were shorter than one-- and he spit it right back out his mouth.

Roxas shook his head and walked away, back to the nice coffee shop with the crazy pot-cultists. His tea tasted awful, so, he convinced Hayner to drink it all. Hayner was still glancing around, wondering if he could smoke in there. Roxas sat there and felt too hot because this place had heating and he's in a coat… So, he got up and went outside, just in time to be shot by a paintball gun and propositioned by a drunk man in an alley.

Hayner followed him, for some reason, and began to lead their walkings to a certain spot. Roxas wasn't sure why Hayner was steering them toward the drunken man, but he made sure they both kept clear. Hayner was doing the I'm-a-puppy-pissing-myself thing again as they rounded the bank situated on the corner. The ATMs were closed and there were kids lurking in the shady area next to the emo-coffee-house-of-cheek-pinching-doom. They all had on nice coats and hats, except for the retarded-attention-whore girl, who looked like she hadn't let mommy pick her outfit this morning. She was crawling around on the ground eating glass and pavement. And they were smoking! Hayner got all excited and snapped his lighter in half, hah! Perfect excuse to ask for a light! Roxas just watched it all in disbelieving silence. He couldn't believe it.

Hayner and all the others kept shying away, hissing and covering their heads whenever a car went by and taking huffs shorter than a full seco-. What the fuck.

He started laughing. 'I couldn't help it, I swears to you, God.'

Hayner excused him as 'hey, the retarded part of the emo-kid group' and had to give a faint little smile.

Roxas kept on laughing. Dey thought dey was badazz. All secrety in their little cove of really lame old coats and shifty looks-ness. Roxas' grammar had gotten off and gone to hell, but they'd stolen their grandfather's old smoking jacket to wear out.

Later, many, many days later, Roxas recounted, that it was just so very, very lame. They were all smug and 'hah, I am scandalous' and they didn't even have the decency to be smoking pot. He was crushed! (read: laughing until his guts exploded all bloody and messy and all over the place.)

Laughable. Hah. Really, he never did let Hayner forget. (Ever.) (Never. Ever.)

standard disclaimers