Title: Broken Social Scene #4: Finish Your Collapse and Stay For Breakfast

Characters: Mac & Dick

Rating: PG

Note: Tag to the Mac/Dick scene in "Welcome Wagon", part four in a series of five.

o-0-o

Dick is an ass.

You know this.

He's not your brother, you don't have to duck your head and take it, blush or whatever before finally snapping back with a comeback made up of SAT vocab he doesn't understand anyway. You can kick him in the shins without worrying about him giving you a wedgie or tossing you over the couch.

Or you can slam the door in his face.

But he blinks when he sees you. His eyes are blurry with whatever the hell he's been sucking down but for a moment he looks like he did at the funeral (painfully, purposefully dry-eyed and really really…young) and that makes you stand there and wait, just as surprised as he is that the two of you are alone, face to face for the first time since… for the first time ever.

You stare at him and he stares at you and you don't really know what you're waiting for. The only thing that you and Dick Casablancas have in common is Cass-Beaver. And you don't want to talk about that, about him. Your mom has been paying, like, $100 dollars an hour for you to sit in some shrink's office not talking about it while contemplating the faded blue ends of your hair so like hell if your going to start now. With Dick. And if you keep staring at each other like this and you start to talk to each other like people which seems like a vague possibility since it's been about 15 seconds and he hasn't started making out with the door again and even more shocking hasn't said anything mean, it's a possibility that you will. Talk. And then Beaver will be there. In the hallway between you. And then he'll follow you into your room and you'll spend the rest of the night listening to Broken Social Scene and replaying that night over and over and over again while Dick tries to find some chick to bang or at the very least some bottle to french.

Best not to keep him from it. Best to get those headphones unwound because "Lover's Spit (Redux)" is already in your ipod queued up and waiting for another night of crying yourself to sleep.

So you tell him Parker's not here, you start to close that door and he finally says something and really, you shouldn't be surprised.

Dick is an ass.

You know this.

But it still hurts, it digs into you, that little lift of his eyebrows, the bitchy purse of his lips and that half shrug. You watch him go, his stupid "aw shucks" routine that makes your throat close up and your eyes sting because it's so fantastically pathetic and sad and you're glad when he finally leaves and you lock your door, crawl into bed, pissed at Parker because… because she invited this… this booty call… or whatever the hell… and you think of course, of course Parker hooked up with Dick.

Because it's been proven to a nauseating degree that God hates you and will use every opportunity to remind you of that fact.

"My brother never liked you, you know."

You put your earbuds in, turn the volume up till it hurts.

"You were just his beard."

You hate him.

You hate him you hate him you hate him.

You clench your fists, your short, bitten-down-to-the-quick nails sinking into the flesh of your palms.

And then you're yanking the earbuds out, you're flinging the covers back, you're shoving your feet into your Converses and storming out of your room and down the hall and outside and you're not entirely sure where you're going, but you need to be doing something because laying there night after night, listening to the same music you first kissed a boy to… first kissed that boy to… it's killing you.

o-0-o

You find Dick slumped over on a bench in the southeast quad and you stop, your shoes sinking into the damp grass, the canvas soaking in the wet and making your feet cold, your bare arms erupting in goosebumps as the late night wind blows around you and you stare down at him hard wanting him to wake up so you can…

What?

Slap him? Kick him? Scream at him that you lost someone too and you don't know which is worse, missing him or hating him and you hate Dick for making you feel like it's your fault somehow… like you weren't… enough. Enough to do what you have no idea, but when you think about that night, think about wrapping your naked wet trembling body in a stupid shower curtain because your clothes were gone and so was he and you didn't understand, you don't understand… you feel ugly and stupid and embarrassed… and Dick has a way of making you feel even more so and really, you don't need his fucking help in that department.

You swallow hard, blinking back tears as he snores.

That night… that night was supposed to be the best of your life. High School was done. Over. You never had to go back there again. You had your boyfriend back, Cassidy was yours again and things were good. Better than good.

And then you left the party and it was great for about 10 minutes before he started to… shut down. Freeze up. And he wouldn't touch you… he wouldn't look at you. So you locked yourself in the bathroom, took a shower, cried, and then you decided something. You weren't going to let him run away again. You weren't going to let him go again because you thought you loved him a little bit, or… that you could. Love him. A lot.

But he wasn't there when you came out. Nothing was there…

And then all of a sudden Cassidy was dead. And Veronica told you that he did things… horrible things… and then there was a funeral and you couldn't look at anyone but Dick and he couldn't look at anyone but Cassidy. Cassidy in a box as it was lowered beneath the ground and covered with dirt. He didn't cry then and neither did you and there was one moment in the buffet line when you were standing next to each other staring at the food that looked disgusting and distasteful like this was a fucking party or something and you felt his hand, just for a second, brush against yours and then it was gone and so was he after flipping his plate onto some weird fancy Jello-mold looking thing, muttering "fuck this shit" under his breath.

You haven't let yourself think about any of this.

All summer long you haven't let yourself think about Beaver (except at night when you can't help it, and then you give in, you wallow.) and Veronica hasn't tried to get you talk about it because she knows. She knows that you can't, that you don't want to.

But right now staring down at Dick's drunk-ass carcass you want to scream about it, you want to hit him, you want to make him cry. He's all that's left of Cass-BEAVER and you want to ask him why

Why couldn't we… what was wrong with me…Why couldn't I…

And a part of you knows it wasn't you. It was Beaver. Beaver was screwed up, Beaver was hurt. By pretty much everyone in his life. Including Dick (and here you resist the urge to start kicking). But you thought you were the one person he could go to, the one person he could be himself with… but he wasn't, and he didn't. He didn't trust you. He didn't love you. He didn't love anyone, least of all himself. He couldn't. And maybe that's why he did it. Leapt off the roof of the Neptune Grand and nosedived into the pavement while you were left alone shivering and crying in the hotel room where you were supposed to lose your virginity.

You're crying and shivering and all that's missing is the stiff plastic of the shower curtain, a makeshift dress.

You whisper I hate you as you watch Dick's hair blowing into his closed eyes, his open mouth, his head tilted back and his throat. You don't know who you're talking to. It could be either of the Casablancas brothers. It could be yourself.

You sit down next to him on the bench because you don't know what else to do at this point, all the fight in you has dissipated with his sleeping breath, with the wind, so you tuck your knees up under your chin and you watch him. He snores a little more. There's a bottle between his legs, placed strategically, typically. You reach over and take it anyway and chug it before putting the empty bottle back. It burns your throat and it tastes like ass but already you feel a little warmer and wish there was more.

You lean back like he has leaned back, stretch your legs out like he has stretched his legs out, and look up at the stars and you don't feel anything but tired. Tired of all of this.

Somewhere across the quad music is playing, some stupid pop song Parker loves and you close your eyes.

o-0-o

You wake up an hour later and Dick's head is heavy on your lap one arm flung across your knees. He's drooled on you. There's a wet spot on your flannels where his mouth is. The bottle is on the sidewalk broken, his legs are hanging half off the bench. He's still snoring. You drop your hand onto his head lightly. Touch his hair. It's long and softer than you expected. You close your eyes again, twist your body slightly and he groans, his hand finding your thigh and clasping it, pressing his cheek harder into you. And you lay your head down on the side of his waist, the belt loop of his jeans imprinting itself into your cheek and it's uncomfortable but better than being alone in your bed.

o-0-o

You open your eyes and it takes you a second to figure out where you are, the early morning sky, pale blue above you, is a surprise. It's quiet, so quiet you wonder what time it is and then you realize you're laid out on the bench and you remember Dick, you remember his head in your lap and you don't know how to feel about the fact that he left you out here alone when you're a girl and there's a rapist out there and then decide you shouldn't be surprised really.

Dick's an ass.

You know this.

You turn your head to work out the crick in your neck and find yourself looking at the back of his.

He's sitting on the cold ground, leaning back against the bench and his shoulders tense when he realizes you're awake. He turns towards you the slightest bit, his cheek still resting on his arms draped over his knees and his stupid too-blonde surfer-boy hair flops over his forehead so all you can see is one blue eye squinting at you.

Neither of you look away and you watch each other quietly until you open your mouth and he suddenly looks scared, shakes his head, no.

You swallow, nod.

You sit up and silently look out across the campus that's too quiet and it must be five in the morning or something and he puts his hand on your shoe, so light you can barely feel it, but when you look down he quickly removes it, pretends he was just reaching for the broken bottle. He picks it up, holding it hard in his hand before chucking it into the trashcan next to you making a low whistling sound between his teeth that's punctuated by the smash of it hitting the bottom.

And then suddenly he gets to his feet, swaying a little as he does, and briefly presses a palm to his forehead.

He turns and looks down at you and you can't read him at all.

He bites his lip, reaches out to you, his fingers brush your cheek as he runs them through your hair and you don't flinch, you don't move away, don't say a word.

He pulls out a leaf.

"You have shit in your hair," he says and flicks it away. He shrugs, "Later, Ghost World." And then he's gone and you sit there alone on the bench with your soggy shoes and cold t-shirt and pajama bottoms. You touch your knee where his mouth had been.

And you get up.

You slowly walk back to your dorm room. Parker's in her bed and it's 5:15 and you take your ipod and cell phone out into the hall and you call Veronica.

You leave her a message to meet you for breakfast and then you put your earbuds in, you turn it up, you lean back against the wall and look up at yours and Parker's eraser board where Dick has scrawled his name and number. You stare at it for a second, shake your head at his shitty handwriting, and then program it into your phone because...

Because...

Because maybe someday he won't need booze and you won't need Broken Social Scene to deal with this. And when that happens... When that happens you're going to need each other for a little while whether you like it or not.