It's cold. The heavy kind of cold that carries weight and settles on shoulders like its tired of having to struggle.

Tonight, it settles on just one pair of shoulders; Kim's. Because the street is empty, the night is swollen, and everyone in their right mind is asleep at this hour.

Except Kim. Kim's not asleep. Kim hates sleeping, actually, because her dreams are always better than reality and waking up is torture. Reminding herself that her soft, cotton-fuzzy dreams were just that, dreams, was like ripping out a rib. Peeling her eyes open to the noon-high sun assaulting her with its stereotypical rays of happiness and unwanted warmth was a jolt to Kim's system; that sharp realization that the dreams of Sugar pressing her mouth to her own, of holding her hand in the middle of a crowded street, of slow dancing to stupid music - that they weren't real.

And they would never be real.

Kim is pretty sure her life is a big fucking bowl of suck arse.

Kim can feel the weight of the cold on her back. She doesn't mind carrying it. Really, it's nothing compared to the other shit she has to lug around; her parents' failing marriage, her psychotic freak of a brother, her slumming grades, her incredibly lacking social, love, and sex life, and her disgusting need to be around a particular girl named after fucking candy.

Fucking bullocks piece of crap life, really. Kim lives her life in Sugar and cigarettes. When she's out of cigarettes, she needs Sugar. When Sugar is being her usual bitchy, self-centered self, Kim sucks the rest of her cigarettes. It's a terrible fucking cycle and it doesn't matter what either of them do, they're always going to be stuck like that. Kim knows that Sugar needs her, but it's for all the wrong reasons, and even though Kim knows that, she's not going to walk away because Sugar is like a drug and you don't just quit.

She shrugs her coat closer to her body. She's not even sure where she's going - she just kind of left. It's two in the morning and she just up and left and she didn't even try to be quiet because it's not like her parents are going to care much if she leaves. She's Kim. She's going to do whatever she wants and no one with their false authority is going to stop her. Kim can at least appreciate the fact that her parents have come to understand that she's been on her own since she was a kid. She doesn't need nor want their guidance anymore. It's too late for that.

And Kim likes to think she's sane, but it's two in the morning, she's freezing her bloody tits off, and she doesn't know where she's going so maybe she's just as fucked up as the rest of her family. Maybe she's just as fucked up as Sugar, even, and Sugar is a whole new level of holy shit.

Kim stops. When she breathes out, her breath twists in front of her like a ghost before drifting away into the sky above. Kim looks up, not at the building because she doesn't want to know that that's where her feet have taken her, but at the sky.

The sky is loud and cold.

She falls against the wall's building and slides to the cement. Of course her feet brought her here. Her subconscious. Intuition. Fate. Whatever.

Kim lights a cigarette.

She smokes it, and then she lights another.

The ash falls around her knees like black snow. There's no wind. It's so cold, Kim can't feel her fingers anymore.

Kim feels like screaming. Just throwing her head back and letting her frustration spill out of her, raging along her vocal cords. She wants all of it to go away. She doesn't want to be gay, she doesn't want to be confused, she doesn't want to be in love with Sugar because Sugar is, in all honesty, the worst kind of person someone can fall in love with. Selfish, mean, stupid whores are not the kind of people that deserve love.

Sugar doesn't deserve her. Kim knows that.

But here she is. Right at the bottom of her apartment building, like she's just waiting for Sugar to have some kind of sensor go off and find her.

Kim hates her life, really.

She knows there's a side to Sugar that's heavily buried and severely guarded that isn't as bad as the rest of her. She's seen glimpses of it once or twice. Like when Sugar gives her the last drag of a cigarette, or brings her a drink without having to ask for one, or loaning her a cute pair of shorts because Kim doesn't have any. Sometimes Sugar is selfless without really thinking about it. Those are the moments Kim thinks it's all worth it.

But it's not. Not really. Not if you look at the big picture.

Kim smokes another cigarette just because it's the last one and what the hell, she's freezing and as soon as she's out of cigarettes she'll probably walk straight to Sugar's apartment. She's wearing a hat, but she's pretty sure her ears have lost all feeling. Fucking Europe.

Fucking cold.

Fucking Sugar.

Kim smokes until her frantic intake of air isn't pulling anything in anymore. Her lungs hurt and she doesn't know if lung cancer has finally started to set in or if it's so cold they can't contract oxygen. She flicks the third butt to the side and watches the last of the smoke twist away with her breath.

She stuffs her hands between her legs and just sits there and wonders how long it's going to take her until she goes up to Sugar's apartment. She bets ten minutes. Ten minutes, and when the tip of her nose goes numb, and she loses feeling in her arse, she'll get up and stagger to Sugar's apartment. She can see it all in her head; walking up the stairs, banging on the door, and stumbling inside. Sugar won't even ask questions, she'll just shove Kim into her room and collapse on the bed again.

At least Kim knows Sugar would never make her go home. That's a comforting thought.

Really, her even kind of liking Sugar's company makes her a fucking lunatic, doesn't it? Sugar is a total slag, an inconsiderate bitch, and the rare, few moments that Sugar shows kindness are hardly worth all of this suffering.

Sugar teases her. Touches her legs and neck, runs her fingers through Kim's hair, gets dangerously drunk and takes her clothes off. And Kim knows that Sugar is doing it on purpose, and Sugar probably knows that Kim knows that she's doing it on purpose. Sugar knows how Kim feels. She's known for a while.

Sugar's a bitch. Kim has already established that, but she likes saying it.

"Sugar's a bitch," she tells the cold, and the cold takes her words in and it makes itself heavier on her back. She hunches over and presses her forehead to her knees.

How long has it been? It feels like ten minutes. It feels like ten seconds. She doesn't know. It doesn't matter. None of this deep, bullshit thinking matters because in a few minutes she's going to lose feeling in her arse and lips and she's going to go up to Sugar's apartment and fall asleep on her bed. She's going to smell Sugar, touch Sugar, and Sugar is going to sleep a little too close just for the fuck of it.

Sometimes, Kim really hates her. A lot.

And sometimes -


Kim doesn't flinch or act surprised or anything, because only one person calls her that. She lifts her head and there's Sugar, wrapped in probably the fluffiest purple bathrobe in all of England with flip flops on. Her hair is a giant, chocolate mess, and she doesn't have make-up on, but Kim likes her best like this.

She looks so raw.

The sky is screaming at them.

"Well, get up then, you loon. It's freezing tits out here." She turns without looking back and Kim supposes she doesn't have to. Kim isn't going to go anywhere else.

She pushes herself to a shaky stand and she cant' feel much of anything except the weight of the cold on her back. She follows Sugar up the stairs and into her apartment and even though the warmth floods her, she still feels heavy. This is a comfortable place, a place she knows; Sugar's lumpy couch where she had her first blunt and the loo where she threw up after her first hangover.

Yeah, all comforting and shit.

Sugar stumbles to her bedroom and Kim follows numbly, tearing off her coat and letting her hat fall to the floor. Sugar's room is bright pink with various fluffy things lying around. Perched on the bedside table is a couple pictures of them, Sugar's arm looped around Kim's shoulders with her lips pressed to her cheek.


Sugar doesn't ask if Kim's okay, just falls back upon her mattress with her bathrobe still on. Kim sits on the edge of the bed for a moment, just staring at the wall.

It's stupid. Silly, even, that Kim spews all of this hatred for Sugar when she's the only one who hasn't left her behind. At least, not yet. Sugar's her only friend, the only one that listens to her pathetic, whiny problems. At least she gives enough of a shit for to let her sleep in her bed. At least, when Sugar found out that Kim was not only gay, but fancied her, she didn't completely abandon her.

Kim looks back at the sleeping girl, reaching out to smack her leg. "Shoogs."

The girl grumbles and turns her head to press it into the mattress. Kim hits her again. She can feel her hands and ears now.

"What, Kim? What do you want?"

"How did you know I was outside?"

There's silence for a time. Kim just watches Sugar's back rise and fall with her steady breathing until she realizes the girl fell asleep. Kim looks away, folds her hands, and stares at Sugar's purple walls. Who knows, maybe they are linked somehow, just not the way she wishes they would be. That time in London was all she was ever going to get from Sugar.

Kim closes her eyes and remembers chocolate flesh flexing over her own, Sugar's soft pants into her ear, the way she sounded and felt and tasted ...


Kim tears off her clothes until she's just to her panties and shirt and crawls into bed beside the sleeping Sugar. She turns off the lamp beside the bed and sinks next to the brown-skinned girl, pressing her forehead to her back. It's dark and warm, and everything smells of Sugar. Kim's addicted to the sweetest of candies and, really, it's not so bad. Not if she can have moments like this.

Hate and love aren't that different. To do either, you have to care enough, and Kim certainly cares. She cares enough to hate Sugar so much she loves her, and love her so much she hates her. It doesn't make sense.

It doesn't have to.

Kim's torn between wanting to hate every part of Sugar and loving every part, even the not-so-pleasant sides that Sugar more often than not sheds light on. When Sugar rolls over and curls under Kim's chin, Kim feels a little less heavy. And in the morning, they'll be nothing but friends, but at least she had this moment, right? At least she had this for now.