Summary: How do you leave it all behind? The killing, the savagery, the excitement? Easy. You don't. Slash

Reading Lord of the Flies, I thought it was pretty kick ass. =D So I wrote this. It's not an English assignment, and it's not the cliche I noticed on this fandom. So there. Enjoy.

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"What happened?"

These words, simple and easy, made Ralph cringe each time he heard them. What happened? Really, he wanted to know the same thing. When had everything gone wrong? Why had two of his friends died? How could this be fair, that the two decent people of the island died, but time kept going? It should've stopped, the fighting and killing should've stopped when Simon died...Poor, little Simon, with his eccentric attitude and odd personality, and Piggy, who, even though he was kinda annoying at times and it was fun to get him riled up, still held Ralph to the rest of the world, his link to civilization.

What happened?
"There was a crashed-"

"Stranded on an island-"

"We did what we had to-"

"Made a tribe-"
"Wanted to go home-"

"We had to do it-!"

Ralph shook his head, elbowing his way through the crowd of boys and away from their lies and manipulation. That was only how it had started, the brats! They were dodging that they had killed Simon, that they allowed Piggy to be killed, and that they had attempted to kill Ralph. Why? Because it was fun? Exciting? It was a heat of the moment? No matter what excuses they told, Ralph would know. He would always know. He had seen the horrid, gleaming darkness of their hearts, just below the surface. He had seen what they could become, and how easily others could be seduced by it. He had almost given in, but he remained untainted. But, even if he hadn't joined in their savagery, he wasn't "pure". He wasn't "clean". And he doubted he ever would be.

"Pitiful, isn't it?"

Ralph jumped, turning to see Jack, his face still painted, leaning against the rail of the ship. The fair-haired boy scowled, abruptly turning on his heel and marching the opposite direction, not wanting to look at Jack, much less wanting to hear what he was going to say.

"Sad, how they all go flocking back to their prim little lives as soon as someone bigger, stronger, shows up to take care of them." Jack continued, though he raised his voice so Ralph could hear him. "A bunch of little nancies who can't take care of themselves. Their just like the rest of the world."

Ralph snorted. "Is that why you wanted to make your own world?"

The red headed boy grinned, his eyes flashing. "It might've been one of the reasons, yeah. What about you, Ralph? What did you want to go back so badly? I mean, you're smart, you should know that the rest of them are just like us. The adults are actually worse."

Ralph stopped to consider this, despite wanting to ignore Jack and get back to fuming alone. "I have a better chance with them than you and your island. You almost killed me, Jack. You killed Simon and Piggy, and what for? Because it's okay then? What about now?! What about their families?? We'll be seeing them when we get home, and then you're gonna have to face it. You and your little tribe are murderers. I hope you die, Jack Merridew. I hope you suffer before you die, just so you know how Simon felt when you clawed him till he died!"

"...I didn't want Simon to die." Jack admitted, sitting down on the metal floor of the ship. "I didn't mind him, even if he was a little batty with his 'we are the beast' nonsense. But Piggy had to go, don't you see that? He was getting in the way."

"How?!" Ralph demanded. "All Piggy did was try to keep us away from becoming monsters! Simon was right, we're the only beast on that island. Being stranded and alone with no rules, it brought out some kind of monster in us. We killed our friends, we killed our humanity....What did they do to deserve that?" The light haired boy was embarrassed as the tears came, but he didn't stop them. "How can you explain to their families....?"

Jack looked surprised at the tears. It unnerved him that after all that they all had been through, Ralph still had something in him to make him cry. What was there left to cry for? Anger boiled in his stomach, making him stand and pace up to the shorter boy.

"He was in the way. Simple as that."

"Of what!?" Ralph demanded. "Piggy didn't do anything to you, and yet you hated him!"

Something was coiling around Jack's stomach and his chest. It felt like he was going to be sick, but all that came up was, "You let him get away with anything! Just because you found him first, that makes you such great friends!"

"Piggy never got away with anything because he never did anything unless I asked him to!" the blond boy argued, showing Jack that he was intimidated by his painted face by closing the space between them. "All you ever did was try to challenge me! You had to be better at everything, and you hated it that the others picked me to be Chief!"

Jack shook his head. "That's not it. You're so.....controlled by your little morals that you don't see...."

"What am I supposed to be seeing?!" Ralph demanded, now beyond angry. "Huh?!"

Something in the red haired boy snapped. "I like you! Goddammit, I really, really like you! Don't you see?? On our island, we could make our own world, a place where adults and their lies wouldn't judge us!"

"...What?"

"From....from the first time I talked to you, I liked you." Jack just seemed to be spitting the worlds out in a rush, hands running through the tangles in his hair. "I wanted to be next to you, I wanted us to be friends. And I wanted for you to like me back. I tried to impress you, and..." His tone changed, along with the gleam in his eyes. "And it was never good enough! None of it! Piggy spent more time with you than me! Simon was closer to you! But then....I remembered something my Dad told me...he said that if you wanted something bad enough, you had to take it. You had to do anything you can to get it, if it's that important to you."

Ralph seemed frozen. All these words, these sentences, they didn't fit. Jack....liked him? After all the things they had been through, that Jack had done, his reasoning was that he liked him? The blond's eyes narrowed, fists clenching.

"You're insane." he hissed, shoving the older boy away. "You wanted my attention? For me to like you? And you thought that I would by killing my friends?!"

Jack hesitated before shaking his head, face cleared of any emotion. "Look, it doesn't matter anymore. I just...wanted you to know." He made his way towards the tip of the ship, but paused. "As soon as I can....I'm going back."

Ralph frowned. "...'Back'? To where? The island?"

"Yeah. I....can't go back." Jack smiled, and some of the mud and paint on his face cracked. "It's like...you've been living in a cage your whole life and then you get to go outside for a few days, just enough to get a taste of freedom before you're back in the cage. I can't go back, Ralph...." More of the paint cracked and fell off. Ralph gulped down some air, feeling trapped. "I can't face it."

The blond didn't want to go after him, but he couldn't leave it at this. "Because you're afraid?"

"Yeah...that's some of it." Jack said easily, surprising the other boy. "Sure, I don't want to face the families...and you heard those traitors. They'll probably say that I threatened them into killing Simon and Piggy. That's just how humans are." Half of his face was visible now. The paint was fading. "But I can't go back in the cage and hear about how the outside isn't right. It's not moral. I can't go back and say that I was your friend, because I'm not. And it makes me so angry..."

"We were friends." Ralph corrected, blushing slightly. "Before...I really wanted you to like me, but....but not like that."

"Are you going back to the cage?" Jack asked, lowering his head so his hair fell into his face.

The fair-haired boy shrugged. "I'm going home. Call it a cage if you want, but I'm going back home. I'm going to see my mum and dad, and I'm going back to Davenport."

Jack nodded, sitting at the head of the ship and making it obvious that their conversation was over. Ralph sighed, slightly in relief, and went to go back inside, suddenly thirsty and wanting to be alone in his room. Something came over him though and he found himself stopping. Was he really thinking this? Considering it, no less? He felt something rise in his throat and he tried to fight it back down. No, he was better than this....He was, he had made it this far....

"Jack?"
The red haired boy looked up, smirking. "Thought you had left, Ralph?"

Ralph hesitated, refusing to get any closer to Jack then where he was; with a escape route right behind him. "Maybe....maybe, after awhile...I'll go outside with you. When I get sick of the cage."

Jack's eyes widened, shock etched onto his face. He stared at the other boy and there was absolute silence. Soon, the red head grinned, the rest of the paint on his face falling off and he laughed. Ralph couldn't help it; he laughed too. Soon, they were out of breath and they stopped, the tension gone, the heat that they had between them from the island fading away.

"I'll wait for you, then." Jack said, still grinning, and Ralph was happy to see his whole face, not the mask. "I'm just glad that I'm the one who gave you the key."

"...See you outside then, Jack."

And with that, Ralph left, making sure to avoid Jack, the children, the lies and stories, even the truth, for the rest of the ride home. When he ran to his parents, ("Son, I remarried while you were gone. I hope it's okay.") he noticed a man with Jack's eyes, and a women with Jack's hair waiting. They were searching through the crowd of children, and obviously they didn't see who they were looking for.

Frowning, Ralph walked over to them. They seemed to look past him, until he spoke. "He's not here...Jack didn't come back."

"What?!" the woman's face was puffy and red, obviously she had been crying. "Why? Jack, he's....he's not dead, is he?"

The young boy considered lying and saying he was dead. But he knew that it wouldn't help her understand. "Jack couldn't come back....he told me he was too scared. He couldn't face anyone. He would rather be a King of Darkness than a caged peasant."

"Face anyone? Why would he have to face us?" the women asked, voice shrill and getting the attention of the other parents. Some of their children looked scared and pale. "Jack's a good kid, he wouldn't do anything-"

"He killed someone." Ralph said, cutting her off. Now everyone was staring and a couple people began crying. Ralph had a feeling he knew whose parents they were. "We were being careful at first...but I think that the darkness started getting to us. The island was like freedom, like...like, being out of a cage. We were happy to still be alive. We had things to survive....but then, something happened to us." Ralph looked up, at some of the others. Roger looked back, blank and pale. "Order didn't make sense. There were a few people that just happened to be there when it fell apart."

Jack's father shook his head. "No, our son wouldn't kill anyone!"

"It was just Jack though." Roger said, not really seeing anything as he stared at the ground. "We all fell apart. We all lit that fire and we didn't keep track of people...then we were angry and we were scared that the beast had gotten to us...and Simon....he was there, lying on the ground and there was blood. I didn't really think he was dead until the next day, when he had been washed away...."

A women sobbed, falling to the ground where her husband tried to console her. Roger snapped out of whatever he had been thinking, and looked around in shame. Ralph gulped down what seemed like his tongue.

"It's almost...funny." Ralph attempted a laugh, but it came out as a gasp. "I...never found out Piggy's real name. He tried to tell me, but...He died after Simon. He was trying to keep us together, but we were all so caught up..." He shook his head. "But Jack couldn't face it. He couldn't leave it all behind him...I don't think any of us can, but if we just paint our faces, and pretend to be someone else...we can pretend that it was someone else that killed those people, our friends."

Ralph opened and closed his mouth, trying to find words to express what else he had to say, but nothing came. Instead, all he could manage was, "I'm sorry." before walking away, not waiting for his parents to follow.

We didn't have to kill them, he thought. We didn't do only what we had to, but what we felt like doing. Because without rules, without order, everything falls into that darkness. It crumbles. And then people can see what they're really made of, deep down, when you take away their rules and order and morals. But even now, with those things, their judgment and morals are skeward. Because, now that Ralph could really open his eyes to his cage, that's all it was.

He was sitting in a cage, waiting to take the key.

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Parts of it I like, others not so much. Criticism is appreciated, but I'll just shrug off flames. I also don't have spell-check, so any errors, I'm sorry. But I hope you liked it anyway.

R&R