(young man)

(highly dangerous)

(eleven murders)

(delusional)

(do not approach, call the police immediately)

(monster)

(delusional)

(monster)

"Stop it."

The words, however sleepily muttered, make Kyle jump. His attention snaps to the young man - still a teenager, really - curled up on the other side of the couch. He has no idea who or what the words had been addressed to. Well, he has some ideas. Kyle, to turn off the television. The newscasters, to shut up.

The man - the boy - the newscasters are talking about. To stop.

Maybe even to himself. He has many things he could stop.

Kyle doesn't really think of those things. Just that the boy he once knew as Chum Chum has gotten far too scrawny. And now he's not even eating when he is hungry because of the idiot the newscasters are talking about. And his increased methamphetamine use can't be helping.

Kyle, carefully, utters his name. He doesn't respond. The young wizard comes far too close to trying to call him "Chum Chum" to get his attention. He hasn't answered to that in ages. Kyle must be confusing him with Fanboy.

He winces at himself. He can't believe he's let that nut mess with his mind in such a way, making him even naturally think of him as "Fanboy" instead of his actual name because of his insistence he be called that.

Kyle corrects himself in his mind, quite harshly. He repeats Fanboy's real name over and over again, gripping onto it. "Fanboy" should not seem like such a real, natural name to him. It shouldn't seem like Fanboy's because Fanboy is a real, living, breathing human being with emotions that could sometimes be considered normal, not simply a crazed lunatic still playing childhood games that have only matured by increasing in violence and the amount seeped into Fanboy's perception of reality.

Kyle stands, recognizing the abruptness of his action but not really caring. "I have to go."

He stays curled up, offering a grunt. The wizard assumes it's to communicate understanding, but he can't be sure. The teenager has been completely wasted for probably the past week or so. Well, the past few years, but it's gotten more severe recently.

"I'll be back. Don't do anything moronic."

He grunts again. Kyle figures if he can manage to get up he'll just scrounge up some liquid or powder that will return him to an immobile state. If not, he'll be there in that spot until Kyle comes back.

Oh well.

Kyle stops short at the door, searching his person for anything wizardly. He doesn't have the patience tonight to deal with another rousing game of "snap the wand," or give Fanboy even the slightest notion that he wants to "play wizard." He's mature enough in power to protect himself if he needs to, anyway. He smiles, remembering when he and Fanboy had just barely become teenagers and Kyle had discovered his beloved calming spell. He had used it so much that the two dolts started building up a tolerance for it and Kyle was plagued by headaches and nosebleeds from using too much magic. When Fanboy began blacking out every time Kyle used the spell, Kyle decided to cut down.

The November air greets Kyle when he steps outside. He's always liked the fall. If only because it had been Fanboy's least favorite when they where younger. Unfortunately, even though the actual things he disliked about the season - the start of school, the coldness without snow days, Halloween candy sickness - should technically not be of someone his age's concern, the feeling of agitation has been apparently ingrained in him. He's almost guaranteed to be difficult today.

"T- Ah, Fanboy?" He waits for an answer, a bit optimistically. When he doesn't get one, he steps forward, checking around the door for one of Fanboy's childish traps. He rarely thinks to lock it. "Fanboy, it's Kyle. Open the door for me?"

He's here. He has to be.

Cautiously, Kyle opens the door himself. A handful of spells jump to the front of his brain, and he hopes they don't get jumbled up if he needs to use one of them quickly.

Kyle holds in a sigh of relief. Fanboy seems pacified, sitting in front of the television. It's not on - Oz had been the one paying the cable bills as he had paid for everything before hitting the road when Fanboy turned sixteen; Kyle barely has enough to provide for bare necessities - but the mere action of sitting in front of it seems to comfort him.

Kyle wonders if he'll even notice him. It's not like he's come to talk to him, just to make sure he's eating and hasn't gotten his hands on anything dangerous and isn't dead.

Unfortunately, as Kyle is attempting to sneak toward the kitchen, Fanboy smacks into him.

"Kyle! You're here! I haven't seen you in forever!"

Kyle cringes in Fanboy's arms, the feel of his masked face against his own and his greasy soap smell seeping into all of his orifices. However Fanboy cleans himself, he isn't doing it correctly. Kyle decides he doesn't need to address such a problem any time soon.

"So what do you want to do?"

"Oh, I was just walking along and decided to pop in, nothing special. I actually need to be going in just a minute, so I really can't-"

"I know! We can-"

"Fanboy, unhand me." It's said quietly, almost unbearably so. Fanboy's been reacting negatively to yelling lately, when it's not his own voice.

Fanboy, miraculously, obeys.

"I, uh- Have you eaten recently?"

Fanboy's eyes light up for some reason. "Yeah, silly!" He pokes Kyle's stomach. "Have you?"

"No, not really."

"Well why not?" He grabs Kyle's wrist and drags him over to the kitchen.

"I suppose I just haven't been hungry recently." He wants to tell him right there that it's because he's apparently been running around killing people, but Kyle knows he can't be that direct with him. That's beyond dangerous.

"Maybe you should get some more exercise. One time Chum Chum and I were playing cops and robbers and he passed out! We were outside, so I dragged him inside and then I passed out too!" He laughs, loudly. Kyle manages a weak chuckle. They're standing in front of the fridge. There's a picture of the two - Fanboy and Chum Chum - on it, and Fanboy only takes his eyes off of it to look at Kyle every once in a while. "After that we ate this whole turkey and drank like two gallons of milk. And then we threw up! It was awesome."

Kyle nods, trying to look like he's paying attention while surveying the room. It's clean enough, and Fanboy's still washing dishes. Kyle thanks his lucky stars that Oz had been such a useless caretaker. Fanboy's been taking care of himself since before he could walk, as far as Kyle has gathered.

He notes signs of Fanboy having eaten things that could be considered food in some way and feels a bit better. Kyle knows Fanboy can take care of himself at least at the most basic level, but he's constantly afraid that something will be lost from Fanboy's mind. It's happened before.

Kyle's mind slides, dangerously, toward better times, when he and Fanboy were both stupid hormonal teenagers and Fanboy finally seemed to be maturing. When Fanboy had told Kyle his real name and had taken his mask off. When-

"That reminds me, you heard anything from Chum Chum?"

Kyle actively bats the memories out of his mind, saved from his trance by Fanboy's obnoxious voice.

"Oh, yes, he called me a few days ago. He's fine. Really happy." He's a miserable drug addict. Kyle will be surprised if he reaches twenty.

"It's too bad he can never call me. Maybe we can visit him! Or he can visit us!"

"I'll talk to him about it the next time he calls, I suppose." Kyle has no idea what will happen if Fanboy ever finds out that his Chum Chum's been sleeping on his couch for years.

"It'll be great! I haven't seen him in forever." He frowns. "I miss him."

Kyle waits a moment, tense but happy. Fanboy is not just a maniac or a murderer or some frightening caricature, or whatever they've made him out to be. He's a person who feels normal human things like missing people.

"That reminds me, have you gotten anything new lately?"

Fanboy lights up again. "Oh, you gotta see this!" He grabs Kyle yet again and scrambles up the stairs. "Check this out!"

It's a gun. It looks real. "Is it real?"

"Duh!" Fanboy seems to start to raise it, playfully pointed at Kyle.

Kyle stays as calm as he possibly can. "Watch where you point that, wouldn't want to blow my brains out, would you?" He laughs nervously. Fanboy begins tossing it from hand to hand. Kyle cringes. "May I see it?"

"You can see it right now!" Fanboy giggles.

Kyle's too nervous to be annoyed. "May I hold it?"

He seems hesitant, but hands it over without much resistance. "Don't break it."

"I think if anyone were to break it, it would be you."

Fanboy laughs. "Yeah, I like breaking stuff!"

He starts babbling about some vandalism he'd committed earlier. He doesn't even notice Kyle whispering a breaking spell and listening as something inside the gun cracks. He then stands there and listens to Fanboy's story, politely enough, though he had heard and been annoyed by it on the news earlier that week.

"You should be careful, someone might catch you one of these days."

"No way!" Fanboy snatches the gun back and tosses it onto his bed. "They know I'm just playin' around."

"Yes, I'm sure they do." Even if it's broken, Kyle doesn't like the gun being there. He needs to find a spell that'll make Fanboy forget about guns or hate them or be unable to touch one or something. Anything to get him away from them. "Of course, you wouldn't want to hurt anyone, right?"

"Hurt people? Pft." His glove-covered fingers dip under his mask and he scratches his cheek. Kyle tries to read his body language, deciding if he should press and ask what he means by that of just drop it and hope it means something positive.

He decides to drop it, instead looking over at the gun and wishing he had given that breaking spell a few more tries.

X

When Kyle arrives home and finds the couch empty, he immediately worries. His roommate can become quite the wanderer when he's a certain, rare sort of high. A high a Kyle had not expected due to his recent attachment to depressants and debilitating substances.

Kyle treks cautiously through the house, slow and tense. He calls his name, softly, but isn't surprised when he doesn't answer to such futile efforts. He hardly jumps when, after entering his bedroom and flicking on the lights, he finds him standing there, in the middle of the room.

"Well, hello. Nice to see you up and about for a change."

"We need to-" He stops abruptly and looks away, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

"We need to do what?" He doesn't answer or even acknowledge him. Kyle says his name, and it feels so wrong to say it.

There's an uncomfortable pause.

"About Fanboy."

Something inside Kyle jumps. "I don't believe there's much to say on the matter."

"Mostly about Fanboy and you."

Kyle's face slides into a grimace. "What ever could you mean?"

"I mean what I just said. It's crazy what you've been doing," says the staggering, junky teenager.

"I'm crazy? I go risk my life to take care of someone I don't even care about while you lounge around in my home and kill yourself, and I'm the crazy one? I believe you're confused."

"No, you're con-confused." He's struggling to stay upright, let alone speak. "All of our lives would be so much better if you would just turn him in. It's your fault all this is happening. It's your fault he's been running around killing people. You're like some crazy mother, protecting him the way you are, and it's sick. What happened to you?"

"What happened to you?" He misses his quiet, drug-addled mooch almost as much as he misses pudgy, innocent Chum Chum at the moment.

"I've just been thinking. It's weird that you've been taking care of him the way you are, and it's weird that you still pretend you hate him while you go running over to change his diaper or whatever you do over there.

"Responsible people don't just abandon those in need, moron." He knows it sounds crazy. It feels crazy.

He looks at him, as best as he can in his drug-addled state, like he is, in fact, completely insane.

"All those times when we were kids, when you said I'd grow up to be the normal one, I thought you were just talking about me and Fanboy. I never thought you were including yourself."

Kyle's face twitches. He licks his lips and looks off to the side.

"Out of the three of us, I believe I lay claim to the title 'most stable,' regardless."

"Stable, maybe, but not normal or sane. Drugs are sane. I don't mind dieing because of them. I sort of want to. But you don't want Fanboy to die, and you don't want those other people to die, but you're still doing what you're doing."

Kyle closes his eyes, and his mouth opens and closes as he begins to speak and immediately stops himself, over and over. He stops trying when he hears a gun going off outside, somewhere not far away enough. He's not quite sure if it's in his imagination or not.

"You guys, you really-" He attempts to walk forward, stumbles, and falls into Kyle's arms. When he doesn't attempt to move after that, Kyle assumes he's passed out and, with a bit of trouble, dumps him onto his bed.