Dedicated to 'Echo' who quite frankly go rot in a hole somewhere hot full of big scorpions so the poison takes a while to set in and that they die of hyperthermia and dehydration. This is dedicated JUST to you, and if you don't like it, blow it out your ass. I have issues, I know, but you didn't have to be such an arse. And besides, I never asked you to read my stories in the first place! You never reviewed anyway, what does it matter?

Hot tears spilled from his eyes, but Richard just gritted his teeth and swallowed hard, keeping down a heavy sob. The empty ache of his heart only intensified as he clutched the small shard of glass in his hand. He knew that there was nothing else he could do anymore. If the world didn't need him, then he didn't need the world.

With a staggered breath, he dug the shard deep into his calf. He let out a sharp hiss of pain and felt little satisfaction as the water of the bath that pooled around his ankles was filled with a light scarlet mist. He wasn't emo, that was for sure, but he didn't want to have to face people anymore. Going emo seemed to be the only option here, the only thing he could do so he wouldn't have to face the music any longer.

He removed the glass from his leg and had to bite down hard on his bottom lip to keep from sobbing in pain. The puncture in his leg throbbed furiously and suddenly felt as if it was on fire. This wasn't right, this couldn't be human, yet it felt right.

Taking a deep breath and holding it, Richard dug the shard into his other leg, only deeper this time. He whimpered softly and his arms began to shake with the pain, but he refused to stop. The once clear water was now scarlet, even though only two one-inch wide holes rested in his legs. Staring at the water made him sick to his stomach so he turned his attention to the jeans on him that were rolled up to his knees.

He set a hand weak hand to his forehead, the tears coming faster and a silent sob coming to his lips. He knew that he had to be silent though. If Bruce heard, he'd break down the door and stop him, and that was the last thing he wanted. He took a ragged breath and bit down as hard as he could on his bottom lip. He felt the familiar stickiness and warmth of blood fill his mouth slowly, but he kept biting his lip.

He longed to throw the shard aside and crawl to Bruce and beg for help. He longed to be held tight and yelled at. He longed to be bandaged up and tucked into bed and fussed over. He wanted the blood to stop. But the more he longed, the faster his former best friend's words surfaced to his mind.

"You'll never be a hero! You aren't even a sidekick! You're a pathetic excuse for a human even! What kind of person doesn't have parents? Oh, so you're going to start crying? See, you're so WEAK! You're HELPLESS! Just go back home to the man that doesn't love you! See if I care! I hate you! Just- You know what? JUST GO! I don't need you anymore! No one here needs you anymore!"

Richard's sobs grew faster and it took all of his power to stay silent. If he died in the bathroom right there, he wouldn't care. He didn't want to ever here Wally's hate filled words again. He didn't ever want to see the stupid red head again as long as he lived. He prayed with all of his might that Wally would be hit by a snow plow or cut in half by a power saw or shot in the brain like an unwanted snapping turtle. Even better, Richard wished that he himself would die right there.

Tears blurring his vision, Richard dug the shard into his leg again and let out a soft cry of pain that he failed to muffle. His heart quickened and he covered his mouth as quick as he could, but he knew it was too late.

"Richard, are you okay?" Bruce's gravelly voice asked almost instantly.

"Yeah," he lied with the calmest voice he could manage, but he knew his voice was still shaking gently.

He could feel the fear from Bruce.

"Richard, unlock the door right now!" he ordered.

"I'm fine!" he yelled furiously, tears freefalling to the floor where they were absorbed by the towel.

A sob escaped his lips, louder this time and Richard made no move to mask it. He wanted it to be heard. He really wanted Bruce to come and get him, but he didn't want to stop. He wanted the pain to help him forget.

"Richard, I'll give you to the count of three! OPEN THIS DOOR," Bruce's voice thundered.

"NO!" Richard screamed back, digging the glass into his leg again.

He hissed angrily at the pain that didn't get any less painful the more he dug it into his flesh. The red water didn't help his nausea and the tears were starting to hurt his stomach even further.

"One," Bruce pounded on the door.

Richard let his sobs out as he further dug the shard into his skin. He let a cry escape his lips and it escaped his open mouth in something barely less than a scream.

"Two!" Bruce pounded harder on the door.

Richard finally let the glass slip into the water and he rested his elbows on his knees, burying his face in his hands to muffle the sobs. His legs hurt so much, and he still couldn't forget.

"I hate you!" Wally's words rang through his mind and the sobs racked his frame.

"THREE!" the door was knocked off its hinges and Bruce stood in the doorway.

Time stopped for him slowly. He took in everything slowly. His ward was in the bathtub with blood coating his legs. The water looked as if it was only blood. Richard seemed to be sobbing his heart off. Bruce felt his eyes widen and his lips part slowly as he fought to think of the words to say. But he couldn't think of anything. Instead, he just walked forward and picked up Richard, cradling him softly. He hugged the fully clothed boy to his chest, ignoring the blood that was now probably coating his jeans. His little boy was in trouble and that was all that mattered to him.

XxXxX

Richard traces a finger weakly over one of the many scars on his legs, looking at them weakly. They were now a light purple, clashing with the dark tan of his legs. It had been a year now and the scars had remained. Richard wasn't sure which scars bothered him the most though; the ones on his legs or the ones forever implanted in his mind. And as he sat there, he realized that as long as the scars remain, there is always some pain that remains. Not physical pain though. The physical pain fades as the skin heals. It's the mind that never heals. He knew that he'd never be able to forgive his now best friend completely, because duly and truly, words really do hurt.

So, if you liked this, thank 'Echo' for being a complete and utter asshole and breaking my heart… I can relate to Richard in this story. Believe it or not, this little 'ray of sunshine' is an emo. I have 22 scars on my left arm, 29 on my right arm. I'm too lazy to count my legs, but I know they have twice that just on the calves… So yeah, words really do hurt. My parents are just lucky that we don't have glass shards in the house…

So if you review, be nice. I'm serious. I'm close to leaving again until I can find a therapist… *bites lip softly* Luckily my Momma and my Dad aren't here to see me… This can't be healthy… not in the slightest.

-The Hatred of F.J. III