Disclaimer: Not mine, though I certainly wish RSL was.
Notes: Please feel free to correct any mistakes, since I'm not that used to writing in english.


At first, he thinks he must have missed the alarm clock ringing. Then he notices it's too dark outside even for a winter morning. It must be nearer midnight – why, then, are Neil putting on dressing gown and slippers, and nearly tripping over Todd's shoes as he hurries out of the room?

Todd sits up, rubs his eyes and decides to find out.

Finding Neil is easy. The door to the bathroom is slightly ajar, and light is trickling out in the dark corridor. Todd smiles at himself. Trust him to think something was wrong, to get all kind of stupid ideas, when the real case is as simple as this. But he cannot completely banish the feeling that something isn't right, so he walks over to the bathroom, wincing at the bright light and then again at his reflection in the mirror.

Still facing the mirror, he sees that the door of one of the stalls is wide open. Neil is sitting on the floor, with his face covered in his hands. Before Todd has time to work out what to do, Neil coughs and then leans over the toilet bowl to throw up.

Todd, who was about to turn around, stiffens. He tries not to watch as Neil-in-the-mirror heaves and retches. Then Neil stumbles to his feet. He doesn't seem surprised to find Todd there as he accepts the glass of water Todd hands him, rinses his mouth and washes his face. As a matter of fact, he doesn't seem to be really awake and on the way back, Todd has to stop him just walking past their door.


"Sorry I woke you up", Neil says as the two boys hurries downstairs the next morning, late for breakfast. Todd is a little bit surprised that he remembers it at all.

"Bad dream?" he asks and Neil nods, looking relieved.

"Yeah. Dreamt I'd forgotten all my lines. Found myself on the stage raving about you sweaty-toothed madman." He laughs. Todd laughs.

That day, Neil is a bit paler than usual, and not as loud. Even in class, he whispers lines under his breath. It doesn't sound like rehearsing, Todd thinks, more like praying. As if repeating Shakespeare's words could keep something frightening away.

Everybody assume Neil is just nervous, as any actor has the right to be the day before his first premiere.