Hey guys! I'm trying an AU take on Junkie Nat. I'm just shaking up from what I usually write, and I also wanted to give Dan some pay back for ignoring Natalie. Not that he really needs more to worry about, but... oh well. :) This is scary, but I hope you like it anyway.

Henry was tired. He was exhausted, and he was pissed off. The night before, he'd gone out at one in the morning to pick Natalie up- after she'd texted him, mind you- and received nothing but a "Go away, you're so fucking annoying." He found his girlfriend drunk and high and angry with him. When he finally dragged her out of the club, she told him she hated him.

He was so fucking done with this shit. He wasn't going to just fall at her feet whenever she asked him to, and then just ignore it when she said horrible things to him. Yeah, he knew she was going through a rough time right now, and that he shouldn't abandon her when she needed him right now, but enough was enough. If he was going to go out on the limb and sneak out of his house, risk getting caught by his parents, lose more sleep than he'd ever lost, and watch his grades slip percent after percent, he at least expected her to be nice.

So, at midnight, when Henry was going to bed, he ignored a next from Natalie. 'Cam u comd ge8 me?" His stomach seemed to drop when he read that, and he even started to hate her. How could she let herself get so messed up? There must be a part of her who needed him, because she called for him night after night, despite treating him like shit when he showed up. Still, that part of her was selfish and cruel.

But he couldn't sleep. He lay in his bed, tossing and turning, replaying all of the scenes he'd witnessed in the past few weeks. Nat passed out in his car, Nat being harassed by older guys on the dance floor, Nat throwing up, Nat collapsing, Nat's glazed and tired look at school. Henry knew she wasn't right, it broke his heart.

When he thought about what her mom was going through, and how her dad hardly even asked how her school day was, let alone noticed what was going on after school, it really made Henry pissed off. Not at her mom, really- she couldn't help it too much. Yeah, it sucked for Nat to know that her mom couldn't love her all the time, but that was just it- she couldn't. Her dad, on the other hand, just ignored her because it was the only thing he knew how to do. And that made Henry mad.

"Fuck this," Henry said, getting out of bed and already hating himself. He found his sweatshirt and put jeans on over his boxers and slipped into his sneakers. As quietly as he could, he picked up the car key (after so many nights like this, he'd taken his car key off the keychain with the rest of his keys, so as to not make any unnecessary jingling noises when sneaking out) and left the house. He was glad he and his mom's garage was filled with crap, and they parked their car in the driveway.

Without turning the lights on or slamming the door, Henry pulled away into the blackness of the night. It wasn't until he was around the corner that he shut his door properly and put his headlights on. To distract himself, he put on some Miles Davis and turned the volume up high. But he couldn't get over the guilty feeling he had. So he'd messed up on two counts. One: if he was going to give up on Natalie and not put up with her shit anymore, he'd bitterly failed in coming again tonight. He was so whipped. He couldn't stay away from her.

But that led to Number Two: if he was just going to go back to her anyway, why did he have to wait this long? Anything could have happened in two hours... What if...

He pressed the accelerator, glad almost no one was out on the highway at two in the morning.

Not even jazz could get his mind off Natalie. Seriously, ever since the sixth grade when he'd met her, he thought she was the coolest girl in the school. As he got older he realized she was more than that- she was the coolest girl ever. She was pretty, and smart, and seemed above everyone else. She didn't need to be obnoxious and flirty like the other girls, or giggle all the time, and he got the feeling she didn't talk about people behind their backs. She seemed... not nice, but good.

And then he got to know her for real this year, and she surpassed everything he'd imagined. She was amazing. She was the only girl he'd ever met- only person,rather- who he could debate music with, who could rival his knowledge. She was funny, and sarcastic, and had the same taste in movies, if not music. Like, what girl is totally ok with sitting through Final Destination, Pulp Fiction, and Ocean's Eleven without once asking if he'd want to see Legally Blond? He couldn't think of anything more he'd want more from her.

Except, like, for her to come back. And be his girlfriend again. Because, not the least of importance, he hadn't made out with her in weeks. Cause he wasn't gonna be the guy who does that kind of stuff with a girl when she's wasted- it's not cool. But seriously- Nat was somewhere far away, and this junkie party girl was in her place.

Finally, Henry made the last turn onto the street where the club where Nat frequented was... only he wasn't sure he was in the right place.

The street was lit as if it were daylight, and Henry blinked, trying to get a focus on what he was seeing. Flashing lights, blue and red...

An ambulance, squad cars, and various other lit vehicles were parked in the middle of the street. Henry's stomach dropped to the bottom of his feet.