Title: Stranger

Series: Heroman

Pairing(s): Psy x Joey

Summary: Psy never considered himself to be conventional or cliché or anything like that, and yet, he's in love with his best friend. SLASH Psy/Joey

Warning(s): Boys crushing on boys. If this bothers you, please don't read.

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He likes to think of himself as man of action – the kind who rescues damsels and stranded children and gets cats down from trees (although the leg really complicates things…). It's not that he craves the limelight or anything like that, but what's a good conscience without the guts to prove it? Maybe that's why he was fearless when defending against the Skrugg, not for pride or fame, but because it was the right thing to do.

If life was simple, things would fit into nice little categories.

If life was simple….

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Joey has an annoying habit of catching Psy by surprise. Of course, he uses the word 'annoying' lightly because if Joey wasn't being completely selfless and comically inept then Psy would say there was something seriously wrong with him.

To this day, Joey still brings him soup when he's sick – always chicken noodle in a red thermos. About a year ago, Joey memorized the entire periodic table because he wanted to be quicker when helping Psy with chemistry homework – he forgot the whole thing a week later. When they first met, Joey made such an impression on Psy that he momentarily forgot that human beings needed to breathe – it seemed unnecessary at the time.

Of course, they were best friends, and to Psy, the thought of leaving Joey was pure insanity. They needed each other.

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It's not like he woke up one day and suddenly realized that he was head-over-heels in love with his best friend. If he was being honest, it all started with Lina.

Joey didn't talk about Lina that much, but he didn't need to. She would simply walk by, give him a slight smile and a wave of her hand, and Joey would turn to mush. Lina was a cheerleader, slim, blonde and blue-eyed; every teenage male in the vicinity had a crush on her, so why would Joey be any different? And more importantly, why did Psy resent him for it?

He used to hate himself. Joey deserved the best in life. He worked hard and gave and gave and kept nothing for himself, and despite the loss of his parents, he never acted out or lost hope. And so, every time Psy felt that bite of bitter betrayal, he swallowed his pride and did what was best for Joey: absolutely nothing.

If anyone deserved happiness, it was Joey. If that happiness was with Lina, then so be it.

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There's nothing wrong with Lina…except that she's not Psy.

She hasn't slaved away in eight-hour shifts just to buy Joey that new toy on the shelf he'd never admit to eyeing. She hasn't met anyone behind the gymnasium and punched their teeth in for making Joey cry. And the more Psy thinks about it, he wonders if she would really lay down her life for him. God knows Psy would.

Lina and Joey have their first date together, and Joey can't contain his excitement when he breaks the news. His smile is contagious, but it's not enough to mask the sudden pain in Psy's chest, the familiar pain, as Joey falls deeper and deeper for someone else.

If their roles were reversed, would Lina be able to weather the storm and hold her tongue and do what's best for Joey?

As he watches the door swing shut behind Joey, Psy wonders.

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