Disclaimer: I don't own anything. T for language. Two humans of the same gender have a relationship in this story. Don't like, then don't read.


Sometimes we smoke together.

It was how we first met, actually.

Well, talked, anyway.

They confiscated my lighter (like, the third one that week, god damn shit bags) and Fucking Clyde jacked my last book of matches to go blow something up or whatever.

I had this half a pack of cigs and no light, and he was just standing there, a mentholated one perched between his slim fingers. He held it up to his lips and inhaled. He stopped trembling for the moment and let the smoke fill his lungs. When he breathed out, gray swirling around his nose and lips, it was like a sigh of relief. He tapped the growing ashes to the sidewalk.

"Uh, hey," I said in a lame greeting. He jumped in surprise and quickly recovered, like I hadn't noticed. "Got a light?"

He nodded silently and patted down his pockets. A second later he produced a yellow bic. I held up the Marbolo to my mouth.

It took him a few tries, a couple of nervous clicks to finally get a spark. He cried out a frustrated nonsense word when he almost dropped it.

Finally, an ember was lit on the end on the paper tube, glowing faintly in the fading light. I took a breath and exhaled through my nose. "Thanks."

He just nodded and finished his cigarette, dropping it on the ground and snuffing it out with his heal. Then, he picked it up and threw it in a nearby trash can.

"Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter in the United States," he said evenly, pulling out his pack. He taped out another one, and without even hesitating, lit up again.

It was probably my third year of high school. I had seen him around, usually in the back with the rest of us behind the school lighting up and having a few between classes. I never really talked to him, though. There was never the need. It wasn't like he was wallpaper, though, I knew he was there, I knew his name, he had served me coffee after school and on weekends. I was aware of his existence.

I wish I could remember where we were, though, that first time. I think it was outside the coffee shop. He was wearing a green apron. And smelled like rich roasted coffee and smoke.

He still smells like that. It's my favorite scent in the world. Sometimes, I pick up his shirt from the bedroom floor and stuff my face into it. He's intoxicating. Everything about him. The way he talks and thinks and bites his nails and thinks he can smoke while sipping coffee at the same time, which usually involves a lot of coughing and sputtering and vowing never to do it again. It never lasts.

On days when it's not too windy, we still like to stand and smoke and make idle chitchat. Smoker's talk, about taxes and rising gas prices and flavored beer and how are those natural cigarettes? Oh, they're gross? I was just wondering.

Sometimes passes about who's quitting cold turkey, or who bought nicotine gum and who's back for more because the cravings got so bad.

We don't talk about quitting, though. I see the look on his face when those commercials come on, or when he passes those bus stops. Sometimes I think he would like to quit, to stop, but he never says anything about it.

I'm alright with it, though. Without our cigarettes, where would we be? Wasting our lives in some other way. At least, in this instance, we have each other. As long as we got our lights, our cancer sticks, and our company, I think we'll be okay.


A/N: Thank you for reading, reviews are appreciated but never mandatory.