"Video games."

"Video games? Really?"

"Yes, really."

"Okay, well, that answer fails."

"You can't judge--" Todd was cut off.

"Nope. I win." Pepito said with his eye brows raised.

And, in a puff of smoke, 3 hours of monopoly went up in smoke.

"Tell, me, why is it, that every time I'm close to winning any type of game, you burn it up? You'd flip if I burnt every game you ever won." Todd glared at Pepito from where he sat.

"Yeah, because if YOU sent anything up in flame like I do, I would wonder when you signed a deal with my dad."

"That's not what I--" Cut off again.

"Tss." Pepito held a finger to his lips, and proceeded to 'tss' the conversation over. Todd, fuming, flipped his dear old friend off, and stormed into the bathroom, grumbling all the way.

After years and years of strained friendship, Todd still wondered why he even choose to play any type of competitive game with him. When they were little, it was funny when Pepito decided to burn things, but as Todd got older, he started getting annoyed that he had to go out and buy new games every time his friend came over. Not only that, but Pepi had began to make his own rules, and though fun they were, they almost always worked out in his favor.

Monopoly, for instance. Like his father, Pepi had inherited a love of words-- puzzles, riddles, mind games, tongue twisters-- all of them struck his fancy in a way quite peculiar to Todd. Pepito's favorite words, however, were words of truth. Now, this obviously came from the job he had inherited from his father. (He would always rule as "Prince of Darkness," because Diablo never really died, but he still worked very hard.) Truth could make or brake someone, he always said. He liked that power of judgment, so, he changed the rules in monopoly. (Todd never got the connection either.)

In order to make a trade their house cards and such, whoever was trading had to answer one question, and truthfully. The questions usually pertained to "Who do you like," or "Have you ever stolen something;" simple questions, ones that were easy to answer. The only problem was, that when the Prince of Darkness didn't like the answer, the game was over. Todd didn't have that power, apparently, because whenever he didn't like an answer that Pepi gave him and he tried to stop the game, the other man would throw a fit until he started playing again.

The Prince of Hell certainly had the most annoying sense of entitlement.

The question Pepito had asked Todd today was very hard to answer, however.

"What do you think keeps us connected as friends?"

He really couldn't answer it. Too many things, Todd thought to himself. And so, he thought of the next best thing, and both of their answers to life, video games.

Sighing, the still frail Todd looked at his reflection in the bathroom. He had tried his best to look happy, and healthy throughout the years for the sake of Pepito, but he didn't know how much longer he could keep this up-- it was getting more and more painful to breathe, let alone laugh. Taking some pills out of the medicine cabinet behind the dirty mirror, he popped two of them in his mouth before inspecting his deteriorating visage.

He looked better than he felt, but that wasn't very good. His once pale complexion was now just an off shade of white because he never went outside, his hair, once very ordinary and thick, was lank and dry. It didn't shine in the sun like it did long ago. He'd lost… Well, he supposed his innocence. Never promiscuous, mind you, but having an expiration date did that to people. And Todd was about to go bad-- very, very soon.

He laughed harshly at his own reflection-- only he would think to compare his life to some dreary food substance. Todd, the kumquat? Oh, dear no, he was much more of a pear if he did say so himself.

His laughter stopping suddenly, he readied himself for finally telling Pepi what was wrong-- terminal cancer.