'This is the happiest moment of my life. I see it clearly now. Dad has told me several times that I'm not like the other kids in my class. I'm different, he said. Now I see I'm not the only different one. Today I've found a friend… someone just like me.'
Troy sat down on his couch and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He didn't smoke… but the kids at school liked them over pills sometimes. Today, like a couple other days, Troy contemplated using one. His mother was having parties off and on. She was celebrating being single, she'd said. Troy frowned.
Sometimes he saw himself as no better than his father. He locked himself up in this separate room and sometimes didn't speak to his mother for days. He was no better than the man who'd married her, gotten her pregnant, and instantly divorced her to marry some hot twenty year old girl in Northern California. Troy tossed the cigarette pack up and down in his hands.
He hadn't seen Dean in days. Maybe the guy had finally been locked in his room to be kept away from Troy. No. It wasn't Troy's fault. If they'd locked Dean up, it was because of Mr. Stiffle. How long would it take that man to see that if he just let Dean off his stupid pills, the guy would be perfectly normal and happy… but no. The man wanted to see how the pills effected his son so he could write stupid books on how messed up in the head a kid could be. If they'd locked Dean up in his room again, Troy would go break him out… just like last time.
But that time had been when they were both only fourteen and Dean had been grounded for not taking the pills and throwing a tantrum. That time, Troy wasn't selling drugs to kids at school. Troy wasn't sitting in his room, feeling like shit and wondering if cigarettes could cure depression better and faster than his bag of pills. Troy smiled to himself. He knew what could cure his depression… he knew why he was feeling like this.
Dean's new pills were why he was feeling like this. They kept Dean all closed off and bottled up. When was the last time Dean laughed with him? Honestly. When was the last time Dean used an inside joke about someone in a conversation with him? Dean could make this depression go away… but Dean wasn't Dean right now. He was his father's little inspiration, and he'd stay that way until Troy found a way to steal his pills and sell them at school. He'd be like this until Troy helped him out… the way Dean always helped Troy.
There was a knock at the door. Troy planned to ignore it. He tossed the pack up once more. Then he heard a light clatter. He glanced at the door and saw the silhouette of someone leaning up against the door.
"Dean?" Troy called out. Dean raised a hand up and placed it on the glass. Troy tossed the cigarettes over to a pile of dirty clothes. Then he jumped up and opened the door for Dean. When Dean looked up at him, he smiled sort of goofily. Then he strolled in and sat numbly on the couch.
"Dean?" Troy asked again. He knelt by his best friend, concerned. Dean didn't reply. He just sort of stared. Troy waved a hand in his face.
"Y-you know what?" Dean mumbled out. He tilted his head toward Troy but didn't look at him. "M-Maybe I am… you know, crazy."
"Dean, you're not crazy. What's up with you? You didn't get into the pills again, did you?" Troy scolded. Dean shook his head.
"No… just prescription. But do normal people like… see things? Because I was sitting… in my room. I saw something shine and… when I looked, my window was open and I saw your house. Then I blinked and the blinds were down and I knew… or I thought it was some sort of sign telling me to come see you. My dad writes about shit like that. He says I don't have any magic in my life… that I don't know my divine purpose," Dean explained. He frowned then.
Troy cursed. "Damn it, Dean. I told you not to take so many pills. They're not gonna make you happy. They're only temporary things, and you're dad only tells you you're crazy so you'll take his stupid pills. Really. I'm telling you, I'll give you the good stuff for free. Just stop taking your dad's psycho pills. Dean, are you even listening?"
"Yeah. Yeah, sure," Dean replied and nodded. He finally turned to look at Troy. His eyes were staring straight at Troy but somehow, Troy knew they weren't really seeing. Dean was clouded. Troy was surprised Dean made it to his house at all. Troy cursed again.
He couldn't even help Dean. He couldn't keep Dean sane the way he wanted Dean to keep him. Why did Dean have to have a father like that? Dean was a good kid. He was smart… he was fun. Could his father not see that he had one of the most amazing sons in the world? Why couldn't he see that Dean never wanted drugs until after Mr. Stiffle started giving them to him? Why couldn't he tell that Dean had never gotten into much trouble until after he started wanting the pills? And… and why couldn't Troy do anything to help?
"Dean, I'm sorry," Troy murmured. Dean smiled.
"Why? I'm fine… I'm just crazy," Dean teased, but Troy could tell Dean hated thinking that way. Dean never liked thinking of himself as crazy. Dean wasn't crazy. Mr. Stiffle was crazy, and Troy was too. Troy was crazy because he was an idiot. He couldn't help the one person he really wanted to help. He made people at school happy, but it was a fake joy. He made them dependent. This all started because he wanted people to be happy, not because he wanted to get money and get people dependent on him. And Dean… Dean understood him and helped him all the time, so why couldn't Troy help Dean?
"Dean… Dean, stay here tonight. Let's have a movie marathon," Troy suggested. Dean nodded. Troy knew Dean probably wouldn't remember the movies, but it would keep Dean away from his dad the drug addict.
Dean nodded again and leaned his head against Troy. They were best friends… They were their only friends. They were two people who were so much alike, two strangers who found each other in a mass of people they didn't relate to. Dean was dubbed crazy… and met someone just like him, someone just as crazy.
Troy frowned. He looked out the window toward the house. He could see his mother inside with her party guests. She never came out here. She would never understand him the way Dean did, and if things didn't change, no one would ever know Dean like Troy did. Dean deserved to be seen by people other than Troy. He deserved it a hundred times more than Troy ever would. Troy was more tainted than Dean. He needed to keep Dean innocent… he needed to change Dean's fates.
Something needed to change in life to change Dean's fate. Something had to happen to give Dean the courage to tell his father to stop… to get people to look at Dean as more than just the crazy kid from those psychology books.
Troy smiled sadly. He grabbed the stereo remote beside the couch and turned up his music. He leaned his head on Dean's and sighed.
"I'm sorry, Dean… I just can't do it anymore… and you need this just as much as I do."
And Dean just kept on smiling.