I was just minding my business, see. Well...kind of.

I was in my brother's room, at Dalton, waiting for him to detach himself from Kurt-his-perfect-shiny-brand-new-boyfriend long enough to drive me to physical therapy. It's not that I can't drive, trust me. I can totally rock the streets-That is, after another 8 weeks of recovery. Doctor's orders: Don't Drive, Don't Dance, Don't try this at home, Stay in school. Sigh.

In order to get here, I called in a favor with the twins. They flew me in right-quick, their chauffeur driving me the rest of the way here like the crippled man I've become. After some help hobbling up the stairs and taking a few shortcuts, I found Blaine's room empty...and his journal, sticking out from beneath his pillow, so very tempting...

I mean, come on. I may be only a few months his junior, but that's just it. I'm his junior. His little brother. It's kind of my job to investigate, right? Right. He only has himself to blame. Jesus, it was just laying there! It was like it was waiting for me, beckoning me to read into his dirty little secrets. It was calling me. My brother's journal was calling me. I was doing the right thing.

So...I may or may not have been killing my time here by inspecting my brother's misplaced belonging...you know. Checking it out. Making sure he's not gettin' into too much trouble here. (Including adding a few footnotes here and there, filling in the details he'd purposefully left out. "So Kurt...MY Kurt...God, I love writing that...My Kurt and I spent the rest of the night, into early morning, staring at the sunrise. Like a Cinderella story, right?" " Yeah, 'cause good 'ole Cinderelly spent the whole night of the ball mackin' on Prince Charming." For some, I even added illustrations. To help, with the more in-depth and varied-opinions now. I do believe my proofreading of his daily adventures/dirty little secrets was top-notch. In fact-It really is quite good...Maybe I'll pocket this...)

My inner musings were interrupted by the creak of a door. I jumped, shoving my brother's journal beneath his pillow again.

"What was that?" a soft voice carried from the doorway, curious. I looked up, preparing my excuse. It fell, open, onto the ground, you see, and I just had to read it, I didn't really have a choice-Illegal drug inspection? A hologram was being projected through the coffee-stained pages, It foretold a prophecy-I thought it was a map to buried treasure-

Oh. Oh.

Reed. My eyes finally focused on the space across the room. "N-Nothing," I grimaced.

"You were reading Blaine's diary, weren't you?" He'd come closer, now, closing the door with a soft click behind him. His light footfalls permeated the silent room on the hardwood, until he finally was standing next to the bed I perched on. Blaine's bed. Blaine's bed, that I was reading Blaine's diary on-correction, the bed I just got caught reading Blaine's diary on-I blanched, chuckling awkwardly and nodding twice beneath his accusing yet seemingly amused gaze. "You're such a little twerp of a brother, it's a bit of a stereotype." He sighed, a slight grin adorning his features. I frowned.

"If we're pointing finger's about little guys around here-" Reed gasped, swatting my torso with a light thwap. I howled with laughter, his quiet protests at the short joke muffled.

"You're a jerk," he grumbled, sinking onto the bed next to me and crossing his arms. "I should've sworn that word off a long time ago; it always gets the same reaction." he shot me a guilt-inducing pout before letting his head hit the mattress beneath him.

My guffaws slowed, "Oh, c'mon...It was just a joke," I chuckled still. "Wait-Why are you even in here? Blaine's off with Kurt." I looked down at him questioningly. He colored, the rosy tint flushing his cheekbones and collar.

"I...Charlie told me you were here," he whispered, "he says he helped you up the stairs?"

"Yeah..." I grinned. "You came here to see me?" He blushed again. Victory!

"Shut up."

"You missed me-"

"I said shut up!"

"You liiiike me-"

"You're ridiculous."

"You wanna kiiiiss me-!"

"Shane Anderson, I swear!"

He'd shot up, now inches from my face. I could faintly hear him scolding my childishness, his breath warming my jaw-but all I could think was dear god, he's so close.

And he was. Golden eyes ablaze, he was only a few inches from my face. Had we been the same height, we'd be...we'd be.

Then, he caught on as well.

"Oh!" he squealed. He jumped back in surprise, managing to catch the back of his head on the bedpost. I winced, reaching out to steady him. "Ow..." he groaned, touching the back of his head with two slender fingers. They came back, crimson. "Shit," he sighed. I gasped.

"I'm fine, it's just a scratch-"

"Reed Van Kamp, did you just curse?" I giggled. He rolled his eyes, getting up and attempting to storm out. That is, he managed to do fine until about the fourth step, when he caught a bedside rug and stumbled-

I reached out and caught the back of his sweater, standing to catch him. "Klutz," I laughed softly again. He whipped around, tearing my hand from him.

"Don't touch me!" he hissed. I flinched, taking a step towards his retreating form.

"Reed!" I yelled, concerned.

"Leave me alone; I should never have come here." I could hear the tears, and I gasped again, reaching out to stop him. He struggled against my grip on his shoulder, and I saw a trickle of blood fall down the back of his neck.

"What the hell, Reed? Tell me what I did to make you so angry!" he stopped struggling quite so fiercely. "Yeah, you should stop with that, the extra blood flow can't be good for that fresh wound, there..."

He finally wrenched my hand from his shoulder, turning to look at me, and my heart broke.

Eyes gleaming, the smaller of the two leered through heavy amber locks. Huffing, he looked up, swallowing thickly.

"What if I...?" He shook his head, looking at his feet. He worried the edge of his sweater, pulling out strands anxiously.

"What if you...?" I pressed, gently. He gulped, peering up.

"What if I did?" His eyes bore into mine, fierce, burning.

"W-What?"

"What if I did...want to...W-Want." He tripped over his own words, stopping mid-phrase and visibly biting his tongue aside his inner cheek.

"Reed...?"

"I just-" A new tear rode down his cheek, and he visibly shook. "You're so frustrating!" He sobbed, "F-forget it, you know what? I'm leaving-"

"NO!" I stopped him yet again. "I'm not...quite following you. I won't...I won't make fun of your height anymore, okay? It's cute, it really is, I'm sorry, I know it's all my fault and I screwed up-"

"Shut up, Shane." Now he just looked annoyed.

"But I-!"

"N-No. It's my turn, now." His voice was throaty, his words choked and fighting their way through the fear.

"What if I...What if I wanted, to..." he took a shuddering breath, and I almost reached out to steady the tiny body that shook far too much when he did that, but I just stood frozen, afraid of his reaction to my touching him right now. "What...if I wanted," he started again, voice stronger, "to be with you?"

"You are with me." I breathed. He glared. Damn.

"You know what I mean." My eyes widened. "Like...like you said. Before we got on the plane." I stopped breathing.

"Is that s-so bad?" He whimpered. "To want to be with someone that you almost lost? S-Someone that you-you-" I nodded, gaping at the wonder before me, "and me?" he bit his lip, fresh tears welling up again.

"Reed..." I breathed.

"I h-hate you," he choked out. I could feel my stomach tighten, the hot boiling rejection welling in my abdomen, my cheeks flushing embarrassingly and the hot salty tears coming up to my own eyes, now. He stopped me when I opened my mouth.

"I hate you for leaving me," he sobbed. "I hate that you were almost gone, because of me and my stupid painting." I held my breath, nodding morosely.

"I hate that you know how to make my life hell without even being around me half of the damn time," he hissed, " I hate that my life was made hell most of that time because you weren't here in the first place." My tears spilled over now, streaming down my face.

Reed...

"I hate that you make me care about you. I hate the way you just came in, one day, and changed everything!" he wailed. I reached for him. "No!" he swatted my arm away.

"I hate that you had to go and make me love you, and then you left! I hate that once we get you back, once I get you back," he's breathing erratically, finger poking into my chest and pushing me back toward the bed again. I follow his lead, his small form seeming so enormous in his tear-soaked rage and yet to tiny, afraid.

"-and then, once you're alive again, safe, he comes back and you're gone again, except it's worse! It's like he's here, and you might as well be on that fucking mountain again, because I'm so fucking far away when he's around! He's the one person I can't fucking stand right now, and I don't even know him! You know why, Shane? Because of you!" he shrieked.

The backs of my knees finally hit the bed frame, and my weak joints disallowed me to stand upright any longer. Reed seemed to notice what he'd done, and simply rolled his eyes and wiped his eyes with the back of his sleeve. When it pulled away, his eyes were still brimmed red. He leaned forward, and our faces were so goddamn close, again.

"I'm going to do this. So just-just hush, for a minute." I nodded jerkily, afraid of breaking the fragile soul before me.

He reached out with his slender hand, fingernails long stained by acrylics, and pushed my curls from before my eyes. "Shane..." he choked back a sob, and shook his head, before leaning in.

He was going to kiss me. Kiss me.

Reed. was going. to kiss.

ME.

Reed Van Kamp. Okay.

Okay.

And he did.

We did.

I was too far, too gone, to hear the door open once again; hear my brother amble in behind a stack of books, whistling.

"So Shane, sorry I kept you waiting-" A thud. "Holyshit."