A/N: Hey there! Hmm… Well, it seems like this fic is going to one of my few attempts to write an AU-fic! Because here, we get a view on the hard life of a teenager! Or at least how hard it is when you're Adam and Lawrence, and happen to be the angst-bitches of a sadistic fanfiction-writer. XD And also, even though I can't believe I'm saying this, there actually won't be any slash in this fic! …Or will it? Well, let's ignore my rants, read and find out!

Prologue: Worlds Apart

Your first day in high school should be wonderful.

At least that's what Lawrence has heard. Or, he hasn't even heard it, where he's from, you don't really tell high school stories, but… That's what it's been like in his head.

In his head, he wakes up right now, he discovers that he's late, but it's no big deal.

Because the Lawrence in his head doesn't get late. It's just plain impossible. If the Lawrence in his head wakes up late, it's okay, because if he has to, he waves his hand and makes time move slower. He turns day into night so he can get more sleep, or he could've done that, but he doesn't want to. He wants to go to school, because it's his first day in high school, and he's going to meet new people, ambitious people, and he will learn things so his dreams can come true, he'll…

He'll learn things, so that one day, he can get out of here.

But that's the Lawrence in his head.

The real Lawrence wakes up late, and he can't turn back time, can't even be excited, even though he was basically jumping from one foot to the other last night, because what wakes him up is the screeching wailing that seeps out between Louise's fingers when she covers her face with her hands.

And Lawrence will never get used to waking up to that noise.

So instead of waking up slowly and calmly, stretching himself and squinting against the morning light, his eyelids snap open a few seconds after his limbs have gotten a life of their own and started squirming out of bed, so he doesn't really have a choice but to adjust his pajamas and rush up Louise, force her hands apart and try to put on a concerned expression, even though right now, Lawrence hates her, hates her truly and fully because he knows what she's about to say and knows that it'll keep him from going to school at all today.

"Lou, what is it?" Lawrence asks and kneels down in front of her.

Louise looks up at him with eyes that melt every trace of hatred out of his mind.

At least the hatred towards her.

The hatred towards the person who causes this, on the other hand, is bigger than ever before.

"Mom doesn't want to make breakfast," Louise whines, her tiny face retracts in mournful wrinkles. "And… We didn't get dinner yesterday, and I'm so hungry… Lawrence, we're so hungry…"

Lawrence nods briskly and feels his heart sinking in his chest. Even though on some level, he knew that this was going to happen.

That that fucking bitch would never let him have anything that made him happy, anything that gave him a chance to get a life, a life that wasn't taking care of her, a life that wasn't shushing his little sister so she doesn't wake their little brother up.

Because if he did, he'd realize how hungry he was, too.

Lawrence has learned how to repress hunger. His little siblings haven't.

"Lou," Lawrence concludes and strokes Louise's shoulders so she actually does quiet down, before he grabs his mom's purse, rummages through it and finds a balled-up five dollar-bill on the bottom of it. "Here's five bucks, okay? Just go down to the store and get some Twinkie's for you and Daniel. You can do that, don't you? You know where the store is…"

Louise's eyes get big under the blond strands in her forehead. Lawrence understands her. She's never heard him disowning responsibility before, and neither has he.

"Can't you do it?" She whimpers, and Lawrence has to look away from those blue eyes, like little puddles of a faithlessness that she's too young for.

"I have to go to school, sweetie," he says, and Louise's whole face falls apart again, her hands go up to her face but still don't block out the sobs, and Lawrence hates that.

He hates that when Louise covers her face with her hands, he notices how bony they are, the knuckles like way too obvious lumps below her fingers.

Her fingers.

Lawrence has seen six year old fingers. Like they're supposed to be. In a magazine sometime.

And he still remembers that, since they were s different from Louise's that he spent the ten bucks mom had given him to buy cigarettes on chocolate for her and Daniel just to get their hands to look more like the ones in the magazine.

They'd been chubby and clean, soft and pink little ovals that closed around stuffed animals, without a care in the world, because that's what a world should look like at that age.

And now, he sees his little sister's fingers, grey from the dirt that puffs in from the fans in the walls of their trailer, thin and knotted like twigs, jagged and bruised from the times she's tried to use the can opener on her own.

And that's enough for Lawrence to really know that he won't go to school today.

So he takes those frail, frail little hands, they almost disappear in his, and looks into her eyes, embraces the guilt they beam into him without intending to.

"Lou, I'll go and get breakfast for us," he says kindly. "Just stay here and keep an eye on Daniel, can you do that?"

Louise nods submissively, and the modest little smile that creeps up on her face is enough to make Lawrence warm inside, and he has to lean forward and kiss her forehead.

"I'm so proud of you, Lou," he says and means it more than he even wants to acknowledge, what kind of damn home do you live in if you're proud of your sister for how long she can go without eating? "You've gone almost two days without food now, right? So you're a big girl?"

Louise nods again, and her smile is now just as cocky as Lawrence would've liked it to be all the time.

"I am a big girl," she says with a giggle.

"You are," Lawrence repeats proudly. "I'll be back in a few minutes, okay?"

He squeezes her hands slightly before he stands up.

He tries not to look at mom's bed when he walks out the door.

If he really looked at the disarray of dirty hair that sticks up over the brim of the covers, the hand that hangs limply from the edge of the mattress and that isn't dirty at all, since she hasn't worked in years, hasn't lifted a fucking finger, since that's what she has her kids for, he wouldn't be able to leave Louise and Daniel alone with her. He's sure of that.


Adam wakes up from Mary's soft hand on his arm, and already then knows that his day is ruined for no special reason at all.

So he grumbles, shrugs her hand off and buries his head under his pillow, and Mary doesn't remark that at all. That annoys him even more.

It's weird that he hates her. If he met her outside of this place, she'd be his only friend. He'd love her more than he's ever loved anyone, simply because he's never done that.

But as it is, he can't look at her without seeing that invisible label in her forehead, on her dress that's black in a way that makes it seem designed to blend into the walls, the label that says this is how much money they have.

For Christ's sake. She's his housekeeper. The girl lives in his house only to make sure that he stays as ridiculously spoiled as he tries so desperately to avoid.

So Adam hates her. And even if he wouldn't, he'd hate anyone who woke him up at this hour on his goddamned holiday.

"Mary, it's eight o'clock," Adam hisses and rolls over to his back when she tries to grab his hand to take the pillow away. "It's my fucking summer holiday. So would you please get out of here and let me sleep?"

And when she answers, her voice is as smooth and cool as his silk curtains, and God, that pisses him off more than anything.

"Adam, today is your first day in high school. You have to get up now, or you'll be late."

Adam moans something inaudibly, and his mood sinks even further, and by this, is on the ultimate bottom of the barrel. So if he goes to school, he'll say something to at least one of his teachers that will give him a definite F, he feels it all over.

So after Mary's taken clothes out of his closet, after he's thrown all of them back in and taken his own clothes out, Adam gets dressed and walks outside. Ignores the glances from the men that walk past him, pretends not to notice the movements that get jerky under the expensive suits, pretends not to feel the looks they give his too big, washed-down Sex Pistols-t-shirt, his worn, black jeans, the Doc Martin-boots he wears despite the warmth.

That's not true, though. He doesn't ignore a single one of those glances, he sucks them all in.

Because he knows he's expected to wear the same suit as them. And the evil little spirit inside him, the one that told him to dress like this, instead, feeds on these glances, they're its fuel. Its nutrition.

And since he gets those glances every day, the spirit has gotten pretty big by now.

Adam looks around the sidewalk. Well, if you look past the little rich man's punks that are on their way to school with their water-combed hair and their school books under their arms like nice little boys, today looks like it's going to be good. It's the end of August, that time of the year when the yellow sunlight from the approaching fall can't outshine the warm breezes from the remains of the summer.

It's that kind of weather that makes it utterly impossible to stay inside.

Because it reawakens that anxious longing for something else that Adam actually manages to suppress most of the time, sends little twitches out to his fingertips, wakes his dark heart up and makes the evil spirit swell in his chest.

So Adam walks away.

Not in the same direction as The Nice Boys, he just walks. He walks along the sidewalk, lights a cigarette and looks at the world around him through a mist of despise, and loves every second, because it's better than home.

By this, both Adam and Lawrence miss their first day in high school. Lawrence because he has to, and Adam because he wants to, and only this fact says something important about what will bring them together.

Lawrence needs the school to get out of his trailer, and Adam needs to get out of school to get out of his Nice Boy-room. And because of these differences between them, it will take them a while to notice the similarity.

Even though the similarity should outdo the differences right away, since it's bigger than anything else in their life.

The need to get out.

And that need is more important than anything, yes. But since Lawrence is too busy being reminded of the fact that what he'll most likely do all his life is to take care of his younger siblings, and Adam is too busy with his halfhearted attempt to a revolt, they won't get out today.

In fact, they won't get out for quite a while.

But by the simple act of not going to school today, they postpone the encounter that will, despite what it might seem like first, bring them one step closer to freedom a little longer.

Hehe… I figured Adam's had to play the poor card and Lawrence the rich one for so long, it's only fair the tables turn. They'll both still be unhappy, though, so all is well! Please review!