I don't know what happened, he was doing so well, at least, I thought he was… and now this, complete meltdown, I'm seriously worried. He just reverted back into himself and didn't say a word, for hours, I didn't know what had changed, but I could see it in his eyes, those damn eyes of his, they're like windows into his soul, and once again, all traces of light had been extinguished.

It wasn't until just before the match, we were standing backstage and Ted appeared with his fucking million dollar belt draped over his shoulder as if it actually meant something, looking as smug as ever, and he goes sidling up to Cody, cocky grin plastered all over his face, shoving his phone in Cody's face, crapping on about love. Love? What the fuck? But the look on Cody's face said it all, as did the fist that smashed into the side of Ted's jaw, seconds before his music hit. As he disappeared through the curtain, not looking quite so cocky now, the fucker, I picked up Cody's hand from where he was resting it against the wall, forehead pressed to his arm as he tried to compose himself and I attempted to examine his knuckles.

"What happened?"

I had to ask, although I didn't really expect an answer, but he pushed Ted's discarded phone into my hand just before picking up his stupid red headgear and marching out to the ring. I looked at the screen, the page still there, reminding him, taunting him, and Ted's words now made perfect sense. Fucking bastard! Rubbing it in his face like that! And fucking bitch! I don't know who I hated more right at that moment. As if it wasn't hard enough for him without added shit like that to deal with.

I made my own way out to the ring after their little promo and I could practically feel the air sizzling between the three of us, I was out for blood, and I made damn sure I got it too.

It was after watching them argue back and forth, none of it scripted, and Cody walking off in fury in order to not smash Ted's face in then and there.

So I did it for him.

Ted never even saw it coming. He was flailing about like a fucking woman, blood pissing everywhere, he had to get his head stapled up right there in the ring, no anaesthetic, everyone watching.

It was a sweet moment.

Justice, if not delivered in full, was at least partly done…

Cody had no idea what happened, he hadn't seen a thing. He came back all intrigued to have a look, I could see his eyes darting up at me in question, so I just lolled back all cocky against the ring post and smugly blew on my knuckles, acting insanely bored. I saw him register what I did, and he raised his eyebrows at me in acknowledgement before he turned away, and I looked at my pretend watch for the umpteenth time.

But it was later on that things really started to go downhill. I took Cody out the back again after the show for a smoke before we got on the bus, and he'd managed to procure a bottle of scotch from god knows where. That on it's own is fair enough, I had a swig or two, sure, but it was the way he was downing it at a rate I've never seen him do before… And especially not neat, you know? That really had me concerned, and by the time we got on the coach he was well on his way to being smashed off his face.

But what could I do? He's a full grown man, it's not like I could just take it off him… tell him off… I'm not his fucking mother…

He's so much better than this… than her… he doesn't deserve this…

He continued to knock it back constantly the entire journey, and when we arrived at the next hotel he was outta that bus so damn fast he'd checked in before I'd even stepped foot on the pavement.

It took awhile before I managed to get past the fans and make my way upstairs, even in the middle of the night they were always there, every hotel, sometimes the same fans over and over… I'd already found out which room he was in and got myself a keycard, expecting to find him passed out or with his head in the toilet bowl again, but nothing prepared me for the sight that met my eyes as I opened that door.

He was on his knees at the end of the bed, slumped on the floor, surrounded by his bags, head in his hands and sobbing his heart out. I could imagine him staggering in and collapsing as soon as the door shut behind him, bags literally dumped where he fell, his body wracked with gut wrenching tremors that broke my fucking heart. It was so unfair, all his resolve, all his hard work crumbling at a few mere words from that callous bitch.

Instantly I was by his side, and I wasn't really thinking what I was doing, I just wanted to make sure he was okay, you know, like calm him down, be there for him…

But I guess that didn't go down too well… I'd kinda, well, I put my arms around him, it was just a hug, you know? I was worried for fucks sake! It's what you do when someone you care about is upset… isn't it?

Or maybe not.

Cody certainly didn't seem to see it that way and he immediately tensed up in my arms, and I dunno maybe I just thought he hadn't heard me come in and I'd startled him or something, cos I just held him tighter and patted his back and said it was only me, and it was okay, everything was going to be okay…

But he full on freaked out, like hardcore went crazy, looking at me in surprise with these insane eyes, then just pushed me away like a madman, jumping up off the floor, shouting and screaming, slurring and swaying to get away from me, hammering at my chest with his fists to let him go, calling me… things… calling me every name under the sun… he didn't really mean it, did he? He was so off his face… I mean I wasn't… I was only trying to help…


"Get your filthy fucking fag hands off me Randy! Fuck man what the fuck are you playing at?"

My words sounded harsh, even to my own inebriated ears, my voice wasn't my own, and neither were my words, I was just…

I don't know…

Because I know he didn't mean it, not like that, he was only trying to help… But I didn't want him to see me… like this.

I was just so fucking humiliated…

It's always the fucking way, isn't it? For me at least. Right when I'm at my lowest he comes in and sees it, that's the last thing I want, for him to know the truth, how weak I really am… I don't deserve his help, and he doesn't need this shit.

The look on his face as those words left my mouth, it made me regret it instantly, he looked, I dunno, hurt, and that only made me feel a million times worse, I just wanted him to go, to leave me alone.

"Just fuck off Randy…"


I sank down on the bed, reaching for the bottle tucked inside my duffle bag, what the fuck was I saying? I didn't even mean it, I didn't want him to go, not really… but I wanted him to think I did. I just wanted to die, alone, curl up into a ball and wallow in my own misery. Can't a man even do that? Please?

I felt a strong hand reach out and try force the bottle out of my grip as I fell back further on the bed, I fought for it, I really did…

It was all I had left…

and I think maybe I must've said something to that effect because he spoke again, "You've got me…"

His voice sounded hoarse, choked, and he wrestled the bottle free from my not so iron clad grasp and took a couple of huge swigs himself, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth before looking me right in the eye, "And I'm not going anywhere."

At that point I know I just lost it completely, the tears just poured down their already well worn tracks and I hid my face in my hands, my chest was heaving and my shoulders were shaking and I didn't care anymore, about anything.

I know Randy was just kneeling there beside me in the middle of the mattress, watching me, and I could feel the pity in his eyes, I just wanted to die.

I can't believe this is what she's reduced me to.

They've reduced me to. Them. All three of them.


This time when I felt his hand on my shoulder I couldn't help but lean into the touch, I know he was just trying to comfort me, and I was so far gone I needed someone else to pull me back from the brink… I turned my face into his chest as I succumbed, a fresh wave of grief overwhelming me.

"Let it go, just let it all out…"

This time, although I know I tensed, it was almost with baited breath, but I welcomed his arms around me, it felt weird, strong… I'm not gonna lie I had this weird sensation of regressing back to the womb or something, no one had held me like this since, since I was a kid I guess, it was always me doing the holding, you know, with… well, with chicks… with her

That thought just made me feel even worse… I still never found out what it was I did wrong, why I wasn't good enough, what made him better than me? And that train of thought only served to set me off again…

I'd tried to be so strong, I really had, to keep it all in, but I just can't do it anymore… maybe I should've just done this from the start? Got smashed I mean, not acted like a giant girl in front of Randy… I bet he's never had to be held, be comforted, he's not weak like me…

"We all do Cody, we all do…"

What? Had I seriously said that out loud? No… surely not… I sniffed, confused, "We all… what?"

"Want to be held…"


I don't even know how long we sat there as he cried himself to sleep in my arms. Or passed out, one of the two. I held him tight against my chest, I could feel the damp patch on my tshirt against my skin and I just really didn't know what to do, I was repeatedly swallowing the lump rising in my own throat and was having trouble fending it off as it threatened to overwhelm me. He was going to be suffering tomorrow… well, today, it was already five am, and I tried to lay us both down without disturbing him too much, though with the amount he'd drunk I think a hurricane could've swept through the room and he'd still be oblivious… but still, he was finally peaceful after a fucker of a night, and I'm not gonna pretend I wasn't exhausted after all that too.

I contemplated going back to my own room, but I really didn't wanna leave him on his own, I couldn't, not after everything he'd been through tonight… I didn't want him waking up and freaking out in the morning… though that could just as easily happen with me still here… possibly even more so… you know after all that stuff he was saying before...

But I still wanna be here for him, if he needs me, and fuck, I have to admit, I also just don't wanna go. I mean, what if something happened when I wasn't here? I'd never forgive myself. Never. And I can't help but worry that… I dunno really, I'm just worried. That's not a crime, is it? I mean, he could be dead right now for fucks sake, and that's killing me, just the thought…

Anyway, I'm still trying not to think about that, and as he moved closer against me in his sleep I didn't think twice about holding him tight, and rested my chin on top of his head with a sigh as I waited for sleep to claim me too. It didn't take long.

The next morning wasn't pretty, I didn't have to worry about his reaction to finding me still there as it turned out, I don't think he'll be remembering much of anything anyway. He could barely open his eyes let alone lift his head off the pillow, the only reason he even managed to move was to sprint to the bathroom in order to empty the contents of his stomach down the toilet.

I left him to it, he didn't need an audience, I know it would only make him feel worse. He came back looking decidedly green and somewhat sheepish, merely nodding and refusing to meet my eye when I asked if he was okay before he crumpled back onto the bed. He fell asleep almost instantly, and I lay there for awhile, stock still, staring at the ceiling as he curled back up against me like he had been before the urgent bathroom episode.

Finally, the call of nature roused me completely and I eased myself out from beside him, watching as he instinctively curled up against the cool air and loss of contact. I couldn't help but sigh, and instantly decided to hit the gym in order to at least attempt to clear my mind.

I'd already made sure he'd swallowed a couple of vitamin tablets and downed plenty of water earlier, so left him some protein bars on the bedside table before heading downstairs, besides, I figured he could do with some time to himself to wallow in his own misery.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I got back a few hours later, I stood outside the door for a moment to compose myself, clutching a bag of sandwiches in my hand tighter than was probably good for them, my heart still somewhat in my mouth when I finally opened the door, visions of the worst case scenario filling my mind. But I let out a sigh of relief when I realised he hadn't even moved, still dead to the world, slightly less green and sweaty than he had been before.

I went and opened the windows, drew the curtains back, but not even the warmth of the sunlight falling across his face was enough to rouse him, so I made myself comfortable on the couch in front of the tv to wolf down some food before it was time to head to the arena. It was Raw tonight, and Cody still wasn't booked for tapings after what happened at Mania so I figured it wouldn't hurt to let him sleep, and we were back here again after the show, so I wasn't in any rush to wake him up.

I was still enjoying the last of my coffee and rolling a few smokes for later as I lounged about on the couch in front of some lame old movie when I finally heard signs of life from his sorry assed self. His eyelashes were fluttering against his flushed cheeks as they strove to fend off the sun now shining bright across his face, and I couldn't resist a chuckle at the explicit murmurs of discontent as he struggled to avoid the harsh light in his sleep. But it wasn't much longer before he unwittingly cracked open an eyelid, wondering where the hell he was for a second by the look of him, and instantly buried his face under the pillows with a groan in a weak attempt to evade consciousness for as long as possible.


I took my life in my own hands as I attempted to remove the pillow, but was met with nothing more than an indecipherable string of expletives as he rolled over with an exasperated sigh. I didn't mean to, but I couldn't help but laugh as he peered at me with a frown of epic proportions, the tiniest hint of exhausted dull blue iris visible through his lashes.

"You okay?"


He narrowed his eyes even further and gingerly hauled himself upright, still glowering at me as I tried to stifle the smile when he reached out and grabbed my sunglasses off the bedside table and promptly hid behind them with a dramatic sigh of relief.

"I'm gonna need those in a minute…" I laughed properly this time as he downed the bottle of water I handed him before looking up at me in confusion,

"Already? What time is it?"

"Time for you to eat some food…" I handed him the still steaming coffee and pointed to the bag of sandwiches, watching him turn slightly green again as he peered inside, "…and get some rest."

I put the room service menu, tv remote and the Xbox controller within easy reach, pulled out my smokes and flipped the lid to show him the joints I'd stuffed in there for him before placing the packet inside the pocket of his jacket. Finally, I plucked my sunglasses from his face and put them on top of my own head as I stood.


"It's all taken care of, whenever you're ready, they'll get a car to drop you off at the arena, it's been arranged. Just make sure you're there before the show starts otherwise Steph will kill me, even from the other side of the world, yeah?"

He nodded at me hesitantly and opened his mouth again, "Randy…" but I cut him off as I walked to the door,

"Ring me if you need anything, and fucking behave. Get some sleep, you look like shit."


I just couldn't believe how amazing Randy was being, about everything. Literally everything. He was putting up with all my shit, whether it was screaming and shouting at him for no reason, or ignoring him completely, drinking myself into oblivion, he was still there, still watching out for me, still helping, still… caring. And I don't deserve it, I know that much. I appreciate it of course, more than I can ever express, but I can't really tell him, I'm too ashamed, too embarrassed that he's seen me be… like this. Like a useless, worthless idiot who can't even cope, can't even look after myself, can't even get over being dumped. I'm worse than a teenager. It's about time I moved on, grew up, got a fucking life.

So I'm going home.

I'm leaving the tour. I'm not needed here. Ted is doing just fine without me on Raw, so he can do just fine without me on the house shows, right? And Randy, well, he certainly doesn't need me for anything, I'm just more of a hindrance than a help to him at the best of times, he's put up with so much from me recently, I think he'd welcome the break of not having to look after my sorry ass. Not that he has to anyway…

I never asked him to, I don't know why he bothers. Again, not that I don't appreciate it, because I do, fuck, I really do, so much. It's just that he deserves better than that shit, dealing with my shit I mean. Why the hell should he have to put up with my stupidity? He shouldn't. So as a kinda warped way of saying thankyou I'm going to make sure he doesn't have to anymore, put up with me that is. And my shit. So I'm going home. I cleared it with Steph, she hates my guts, I didn't even think about the time difference… but she's cool with it, almost too cool, thanks to Randy's little chat with her earlier no doubt...

So I'm looking for flights outta here as we speak. I don't care how much it costs, I just want out.

Shouldn't be too hard…


Cody's leaving. As in, fucking off, he's actually going home. I can't believe him… just like, what, giving up? Too hard? Running away? He doesn't have to, honestly, he doesn't understand, he's not alone, he needs help! I can help!

I want to…

I'm worried. I don't want him going home, alone, to that house. Too many memories, I don't want him wallowing in self pity, reverting back to how he was, you know… on the brink of… I don't wanna go home to find out he's…


Apparently he managed to get a flight booked for later this evening. I really can't believe it. He's just going to go? Just like that? Has he even thought this through? Was he even going to tell me? I only know cos Steph rang me just now.

I wanna trust him, well, his judgement, I really do. But I just can't. Not after everything…

I should be glad he's making decisions and taking control of his life again, I know I'm being selfish but I just don't want his irrational decision making to lead to something… something that… that I can't control. I could never live with myself if I just let him go, in this state of mind, and something happened to him…


I'm not his fucking mother. What the hell is wrong with me? I'm acting like a total jerk. Am I smothering him? I am, aren't I? No wonder he thought that I… you know… I mean I know he was off his face, but no wonder he said… all that stuff.

I need to back off.

I'm only making things worse. He's a grown man! He knows what he wants to do, what's best for him right now, and he obviously needs time, needs his own space, to just get away.

He doesn't need me.


It was about eight hours later that I finally turned up at the arena. I didn't end up flying anywhere. Fucking volcanos. I'm on standby for tomorrow… fingers crossed I guess. We're still at the same hotel after Raw as we were last night, and luckily they still had my room… so when everyone else heads off for the next city tomorrow morning, I'll be heading off for home. I hope.

I was still hungover as fuck, even worse now than I had been earlier, probably because I was in such a shit mood, being fucked over like that. Giant fucking clouds of volcanic ash. I mean I'm trying not to take it personally, heh, you know, karma and whatnot… I was so excited too, to be going home. I almost felt like I was escaping. Like I was about to be free…

fucking volcanos.


I found Randy finally and he looked like he nearly fell over in shock when he saw me. His irises did that weird thing where they change colour, almost translucent, like ice, his pupils getting all big and dilated before his brow furrowed and his eyes narrowed in confusion. He was all 'What the fuck are you doing here?' Can't blame him I suppose. I mean I'd only just rung him saying I was leaving and then here I am. He was real weird with me on the phone too, like, he didn't sound shocked or anything, he didn't shout at me like I expected… he didn't say much at all really. Just, kinda, I dunno, he sounded… quiet? It was weird. He just said he'd see me when he got back then and that he had to go. And then he hung up. He actually hung up on me.

Fucking bastard.

Except he's not a bastard. I guess it just goes to show how much of a dick I've been recently, I mean everyone has their limits, their breaking point, right? He was probably all relieved that I was finally out of his hair, thinking of all the ways he can have fun on this tour now without my sorry ass to worry about, then here I am, back again, just when he thought he'd got rid of me. I know he feels this weird kinda responsibility for me for some reason, something my old man said to him apparently when I first came up… but yeah, he still must've been happy to see the back of me.

Which would explain this weird range of emotions that swept across his face when I walked in, I really wasn't sure what to make of it, for a second I really thought he was going to sweep me up in his arms and swing me around the room, he actually looked happy to see me! But he didn't. So I guess he wasn't that happy after all. Cos then he just kinda backed off and asked me what happened all nonchalent, and then he had to go.

Of course he did, I knew that, he had a match.

And you know, I knew I couldn't just expect Randy to like, care and stuff, about how fucked off I was I mean… And I know he probably thought it was a good thing we were grounded, even though he didn't say anything, but just by how quiet he'd been and how he reacted when he saw me… I think he was relieved maybe, but I felt, and this is so stupid, even though I was the one intending to do the disappearing act, I felt abandoned.

I told you it was stupid.

Cos when he came back from his match he was all,

"Oh I'm going to go have a drink with the guys before the coach goes, you coming? Hair of the dog, might help…"

And although I wanted to, I just felt weird about it, especially considering my toxicity levels from the night before still likely to be in the danger zone, I figured I probably shouldn't, but it's not like I was going to stop him from going, I mean, as if, so I was all like,

"Nah I'm cool see you later", but really, I felt fucking shit about it.

Then he's all,

"Well just come anyway, you don't have to drink," but by then I'd already said no and I was already feeling sorry for myself and besides, he was only asking to be polite anyway…


He wasn't expecting me to even be there so had already made plans, so he shouldn't feel obliged to include me in them, right? I mean I know it was no big deal, it was just killing time until the coach took us back to the hotel, right? So why then was I making it such a big deal in my head? I dunno.

Cos I'm a dick.

So off he went, and I stayed where I was, convincing myself I didn't really wanna be around people anyway. Which I didn't. Honest. Not other people at least.

I got out my laptop, stuck my headphones on, and literally just sat minding my own business. I found a quiet spot outside and finished the last of the weed Randy had given me earlier, and had managed to cheer up a bit by the time everyone came back. And then, I actually managed to put on a brave face and actually talk to people, I even took my headphones off! I was making an effort, for the first time in ages instead of just hiding myself away.

Everyone was pretty hammered, considering they hadn't been at it for long, though I guess some of them, like me, hadn't had the luxury of actually being on the fucking show so had plenty of time to 'kill' so to speak. And those who weren't quite so far gone seemed pretty keen to continue the evening back at the hotel, it wasn't often we got two nights at the same place, and even though the coach was leaving for the next city bright and early, that merely served as an opportunity for an extended nap.

When we got back, Randy asked me if I'd change my mind and join them in the bar, but I didn't really fancy playing catch up, and everyone knows how much it sux to be the only sober person in a room full of drunken idiots… so I was in the process of explaining myself to him, I mean not that I had to, but he was giving me this kinda, sad pout or something, not on purpose, though at first I thought he was making fun of me, giving me these big doe eyes like he says I always do to people, and then I felt bad cos I realised he kinda looked as though he actually wanted me to go… so yeah, there I go explaining myself again…

But anyway, he lured me outside with the promise of some amazing new bud he'd managed to procure from some dude at the arena, and it was good, real good. I felt great. I really did.

We stood out there for ages, the warm night air, slight breeze, it was nice, real nice. I leant back against the side of the building and closed my eyes as I inhaled, eager for the feelings that always washed over me so completely in these quiet moments we shared. The deep breath filled my entire body as well as my lungs with a sense of calm and peace.

I could feel rather than see Randy next to me, doing the same thing, I could feel the warmth radiating from his skin, feel him relax into the moment, hear his quiet, satisfied inhalation and murmur of content as he blew the smoke back out into the night air. I knew he was sore tonight, I knew he put up with a lot, yet he never complained, I knew how hard it'd been for him, and I admired his strength, his quiet determination, his total dedication, and I realised something in that moment, I realised as I turned my head to look at him, his eyes fluttering open as he seemed to sense my gaze, his face a picture of serenity as he turned towards me and smiled, putting his arm around my shoulders and pulling me in like he always did… asking if I was okay, like he always did…

I suddenly realised that it was him, it was Randy who made me feel better, it was Randy, not the weed, that made me okay, that helped me get through. Because I was, I was okay, because I was with him. I need him.

I nodded, realising I still hadn't answered his question and his eyes were patiently trained on me in expectation, and he smiled again, pulling me in closer, "Good," he murmured quietly, "That's good."

Why the hell was I running away, when I had all I needed right here?

So when we were headed back inside and he just glanced at me and raised his eyebrow, hesitating slightly as we passed the bar where everyone had gathered, merriment well underway by the looks of things, I just rolled my eyes and nodded.

"Atta boy," he rumbled at me, smiling and putting his arm around my shoulder, pulling me in before I had a chance to change my mind I suppose.

Anyway… then, out of nowhere, Sydal's behind me and starts roaring with laughter, saying I forgot my entertainment, no wonder I didn't wanna go out and have fun when I had such stimulating things to occupy me back at the arena, showing anyone who was within earshot what was on the screen on my Ipod, I mean, what the fuck? Where the hell did he get that from? He full on had tears of laughter pouring down his face almost, and I had no idea why, and Randy grabbed my headphones off him and told him to fuck off. But he was still almost bent over double cackling and saying I was the epitome of nerd and no wonder Beth left me for someone more grown up…

I didn't mean to hit him…

It just happened, an involuntary reaction you know, I mean I just couldn't believe he said that…

Randy pulled me back and everyone was just staring at Matt in shock, talk about a low fucking blow, you know? And I looked down at the Ipod to at least get some kind of inkling about what could possibly have provoked it, but next thing he was on me, literally jumped on me! Knocked me to the floor and started beating the shit out of me! He was yelling something about how everyone calls him a nerd whenever he wears his glasses yet there's me with my comics and GI Joe's and the full fucking series of Harry Potter yet somehow I'm immune… what the fuck??! But I'm not! I constantly cop that shit, constantly, didn't he see the new magazine? What Ted just said about me? Telling stories from when I was six as if they happened this fucking year! And even from Beth, especially from her… which I guess is what made it hurt so bad, what he said…

I have to admit, the sight of John picking him up off me like he was a rag doll, growling 'Fuck sake Sydal!' and literally chucking him at Kofi almost made me laugh, well it would've done if I wasn't so fucked off, I just couldn't believe what was going on, I know I was shouting, Matt was too, I know he was drunk, but what the fuck??! But I didn't have the chance to retaliate any further cos Randy literally just dragged me up off the floor and back upstairs. I was so fucking steaming, I think I might've been fighting him the whole way to let go of me, I think… cos maybe I kinda wanted to go back and find out what Matt meant.. or maybe just smash his teeth in, I dunno.

But anyway.

Randy just kept hold of me, pushing me back in the room and leaning against the door so I couldn't get back out, and I tried to calm down, I really did, I probably shouldn't have kicked that chair while wearing canvas Vans cos it really fucking hurt, but not as much as when I turned around and Randy was holding my headphones to his ear and fucking smiling. Smiling?! Was he fucking laughing at me too?

I literally saw red, I still didn't even know what the fuck was on there that everyone found so damn hilarious, but the fact that even Randy was laughing at me, it just killed me. I grabbed my Ipod back and looked at the screen… Harry fucking Potter?! The audio version?! Are you fucking kidding me?! I wasn't even listening to that! I haven't in years! I stared at it silently for a few minutes, that's what caused all this??! So fucking what? Did Matt actually go through it to purposely find something to try embarrass me?

I could hear Randy saying something, saying my name, trying to get through to me, then he put his arms around me, and for a split second, everything felt better, just like it always did when he did that…

then I came to my senses and just completely lost it…

I chucked the whole fucking thing across the room before turning on Randy too, literally grabbing him and trying to forcibly shove him out the door despite his protests. I was livid, so fucking livid…


I wasn't, I'm lying. I was embarrassed. Ashamed. In front of Randy. Again. As fucking usual. I could hear him outside as I slammed the door in his face and slumped against it, he was calling my name quietly, asking what he did wrong…

and I didn't know, I really didn't, but what's done is done. So I just sank to the floor, and sat there, my head in my hands, waiting for him to go away. To leave me alone.

Fucking volcano.

If I could've gone home like I wanted, none of this would ever have happened.

I don't know how long I sat there, back against the door, feeling like a prized jerk. I mean what the fuck was Matt's problem? I thought we were friends… I can't believe he said that… is that what people think?

Maybe it's true, maybe that is the reason. She never really gave me one…

I sat there deep in contemplation, thinking about everything and nothing, about Beth, about Phil, Matt… Randy.


I finally heard him leave. He must've been sitting with his back against the door the same way I was, I didn't realise he was still there. But now that he was gone, I could feel it. His presence. Or absence more like. And I didn't wanna sit here anymore.

My ass was numb anyway.

I slowly made my way over to the bed, and I let my clothes fall where I stood, I guess I felt a bit numb too. I was staring at nothing as I got in, my mind filled with visions of everything that had gone down recently, and I curled up under the covers, but I just couldn't wind down, couldn't relax, couldn't find peace.

I could hear my phone vibrating on the bedside table, but I didn't dare look at it. I just didn't wanna know. So naturally my arm reached out of its own accord and I looked anyway…

- are you ok? -

Three simple words.

That's all it took.

Three simple words and I found myself standing outside his door, feeling decidedly stupid in nothing but my boxers and trying to build up the courage to knock. I bit my bottom lip between my teeth when the door opened before I even got the chance…

and he stood there.

Neither of us said a word. I finally found the courage to look up and meet his eye, "I am now…" I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud but I wanted him to know, and I think he did, as he took a step back, opening the door wide to let me pass. The room was in semi darkness and I hesitated for the slightest second before heading straight to the bed and slipping under the covers.

It was still early when I woke, can't have been more then a few hours later, the sun was barely creeping in through the crack in the curtains. I shifted slightly in an attempt to ease the pressure on my straining bladder, not wanting to leave the comfort of the strong arms encircling me, the warm embrace. I didn't want to lose the peace I'd found here, the comfort, the strength. But my body refused to oblige and I was forced to give up my new found sanctury, and moved to ease my way from between the sheets. I felt the warm body behind me curling up closer, wrapping itself around me, light breath on the back of my neck making me shiver as mumbled words left his lips in his sleep, so light, pressing gently against my goosebumped skin,

"Don't go…"


He changed his mind.

For some reason Cody decided to come with us instead of flying home like he wanted to, and we've carried on travelling the length and breadth of the country for the past few days. Until today. Because now we're stuck. Turns out that volcano has grounded everyone, and we're not going anywhere.

But that's not so bad. All that matters is Cody stayed, because if he was on the other side of the world right now I'd be going out of my mind with worry. I really would. But things seem to have calmed down a bit, he's not so… volatile, he's calmed down, he's getting there. Slowly, but he's doing it.

In a way I'm glad we're stuck. We've finished the shows, well, had to cancel the last few cos we can't even get there, so I'm looking at it as a much welcomed enforced break. We're all exhausted, it's always this way at this time of year, we deserve a damn break, don't you think? Especially Cody. It's giving him a chance to relax, to recover, to regroup. No obligations, no stress. It's all good.

Some of the guys admittedly aren't taking it too well, feeling couped up in a foreign city, ranting about being held against their will, fuck man, we're free! Relax! I see it as release not captivity. But anyway, each to their own. I decided I may as well make the most of it. The room I've got, well, we've got, let's just say it's high up enough, and private enough, that we don't have to go up to the roof. This balcony is huge. Costs a fucking fortune too. But it's worth it. It's worth it to see Cody so relaxed, so happy for a change.


He just poured an entire bottle of water over himself, and lay back down on the sun lounge, not even caring that his shorts are now completely see through, picked up his comic and his beer and carried on as if nothing had happened.

Okay I admit it is pretty warm. But it's really nice out here in the sun. Doing nothing. Getting stoned off my face, drinking without having to worry about the consequences…

I rolled a new joint and lay back down on the lounge as I lit up, hitting play on Cody's Ipod and taking a deep breath, enjoying the first hit completely before holding it out to him. I had my eyes closed as I waited for him to take it, enjoying the sun on my face, but I suddenly felt the lounge dip as he climbed on beside me. My eyes flew open as he covered me in his soaking wet skin, the sodden material of his shorts drenching my own, rivulets running into my nether regions, but he just plucked the smoke from my fingers and took a drag as if he hadn't done a single thing, literally curling up beside me like…

like we do at night…

"What are you listening to?" he rested his head against my shoulder, seemingly oblivious to the fact I was frozen where I sat, blowing the smoke out languidly in my face before placing it precariously between my somewhat stunned lips.

"What are you doing?"

"Smoking," he reached over for the box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and put one of the headphones to his own ear as I gulped down a few large mouthfuls of scotch in quick succession, just in time to catch his eyebrow arch at me in question as he realised what was playing, chucking the headphones back at me as his mind instantly jumped to the conclusion that I must've been making fun of him. "What the fuck? Randy…"

I reached out to stop him before he could get back up, a hurt look crossing his face, those damn big blue eyes of his looking at me like I'd just betrayed him in the worst possible way. "I couldn't be bothered to carry around those huge books everywhere the way you do, and I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about…"

I pulled him back next to me, settling him against my chest and put my arm around him, trying to convince him that I meant it.



He put the headphone back in, picking up the box of cornflakes again and chewing thoughtfully for a few moments as he regarded me seriously. Finally, he must've decided he believed me, settling comfortably back against my chest and reaching for his beer,

"Okay, so what do you wanna know?"

"Actually, I've got a few questions…"

"Yeah, that'll happen when you start at the fourth book, dickhead,"

"Hey fuck you, you didn't have the earlier ones on here…"

"Don't blame me! But you do need the full back story, I know where you can download them…"

"Okay. But you can just fill me in as we go, for now, right?"


"So which is the one you've read five times anyway?"

"Oh that's the second last one…"


"Yeah, don't worry about that yet, you've got a lot to catch up on…"


"This is a really bizarre conversation I never expected to have."

"Yeah, tell me about it…"


And so it began. We sat there for hours, days even, waiting for the phonecall that would send us back to reality, send us back home. We lay there together, enjoying the sun, enjoying the company, enjoying the weed and the dulcet tones of the narrator as he took us away to fantasy land, passing the time in the relative comfort of sun lounges, beer, crunchy nut cornflakes… and each other.

I almost felt like I was on the verge of something big, something on the horizon that was going to take both of our breaths away, I just didn't know what it was yet. But these things take time, and only time will tell, but the best things are always worth waiting for.








"How's it going? Better?"

"Yeah, much better,"

"Good. You feel up to a challenge?"


"Good. Welcome to the blue team."