Giving the Homeless a Home

Events in this story take place sometime loosely during The Gang Gets Whacked Part II.

Rickety Cricket was gonna stay over at Deandra's place.

Of course it wasn't her decision.

Originally part of a scheme that never fell through, something (guilt possibly) kept her from kicking him out.

Here's how it went:

First thing she made clear was that she wasn't giving out any freebies. He had to work to stay with her. That meant any hard, manual labor she had to do would now be his job. Anything that required a toolbox or getting dirty would be his responsibility. But first….

He stunk.

UGGHHHHHHHHHHH. It was so gross just thinking about what kind of filth he tracked into the house after living for several months on the street. Dee sprayed copious amounts of air freshener as she led him into her apartment; face scrunched up in disgust as she eyed his pitiful bundled up belongings.

"You," she pointed at him with the end of a broom as if afraid that even pointing at him would get his gross homeless people germs on her, "get in the bathroom and don't come out until you don't smell like shit anymore." To emphasize her point she give him a couple of probes with the broom in the direction of the bathroom.

He wanted to thank her for letting her stay but she wouldn't have it. He wasn't here because of her choice. It was part of whatever messed up scheme that the guys had come up with, like the very scheme that had landed that poor guy on the streets in the first place- and of course it involved manipulating the guy's old high school crush on Dee.

Whatever the guys came up with really wasn't her concern (except it really was, she wants to be a part of their group so badly), her main concern now was getting him clean.

The idiot got sick anyway.

It was an infection. Some wound he got off the streets wasn't treated in time and now here he was, lying comatose practically on her couch while he burned up with a fever.

She growled to herself. Here she was taking care of a guy she'd rather just throw back outside on the streets than fuss over his illness. Currently, she had a wet cloth to his forehead. He was sweating hard, and his face was red with the fever.

She thinks she should be concerned by his high temperature, but instead she's more worried about having his gross sweat all over her couch. What if she catches some weird virus that he has? (she's not even sure how it really works… way to have a college education)

He whimpers a bit in his sleep, and she can't help but think how annoying it sounds to her (cruel, cruel bitch…). His whimpers become groans of pain, and she considers taping his mouth shut before he sits up suddenly.

"H-hey! …. You, go back to sleep, or something." Dee says, hands reluctantly on his shoulders, trying to force him back to sleep. Dee was never very good under pressure so if this turns out bad, she really doesn't know what she can do to help (she was sort of just hoping that he'd just lie down for a couple of hours and then get better).

He's breathing fast, and she wonders if it would have been better to just take him to a hospital (y'know, save herself the trouble of actually being nurturing for once), but he's not even looking at her. In fact, he seems fin-

Before she knew it, he ripping off his shirt, and an angry red gash fills her view. Automatically, she shies away from him, expletives falling from her mouth left and right as she stares horrified at a nasty, and rather deep wound extending from his solar plexus down to hip. It didn't look fully healed either, with some blood and pus oozing a little from his sudden movement.

She doesn't remember him telling her exactly where the wound was, or how he got it. (did he ever mean to reveal it to her after all?) She's panicking now, what should she do? She hurriedly went to her bathroom, nearly taking out a side table and lamp with her hast. Returning with whatever crap she had in her medicine cabinet, she hurriedly searched through the pile for some kind of antiseptic. That's what you do right? Gotta kill the germs?

Nothing she had though could help him. Acne cream, toothpaste, midol (for menstrual relief), and aspirin is all she had (she really should have more considering the crazy crap she and the gang get into) along with an assortment of beauty products, all of which she doubted would help him with his pain.

"Aaaaahhh…. What do I do? What do I do? WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO?" Dee didn't want to have ANYTHING to do with this sick homeless man, but thrust into a bad situation, she did what she usually does.

She drinks.

It wasn't a smart idea, but in pure Paddy's Pub fashion, she ran into the kitchen and broke out the vodka, took a couple of shots, stared at the bottle as if realizing something and then rushed over with a towel and bottle in tow.

"Rick…." She shook him gently. His skin burned, and she winced as her eyes trailed back down to the angry looking gash. "MATTHEW." She said this time, with force. His eyes opened slightly to mumble something unintelligibly to her. "Matt, I'm gonna try and clean up this wound for you. I-" She paused, but continued. "I'm going to disinfect it with vodka. It's all I have. Sorry, but this is going to hurt."

Dousing the towel with booze, Dee tensed herself as she carefully applied it to the wound.

Matthew Mara was in pain. Dark, feverish pain. He didn't remember where he was. It was warm, very warm. Different from how it is on the streets. No garbage smell. Dogs barking and cars honking in the distance. When he moved, newspapers didn't crinkled underneath him.

Where was he?

It was so hot. He remembered something. He was running. He thinks the guys were chasing him. They wanted to teabag him and they were getting close.

He has to hide! Where? Where?

A dumpster. He remembers he jumped and hid there. Glass cut him, but he kept quiet, screams of pain caught in his throat. He WON'T be humiliated again.

But the pain is still there. It's throbbing, oozing red all over him. It's hot too. Too hot for his shirt. He takes it off, but it still burns.

Then…

A different kind of burn. Cold and yet blinding white. He thinks he screamed, he's not sure, but there's a pressure on the wound now, and it stings hotter and hotter, scrapping at torn flesh and it intensifies, before it's gone.

He's sweating profusely, but he's still tense. Will the new pain come back? Time stretches on endlessly, before something breaks the heat: a cool hand on his face.

Matt fell into a dreamless sleep after that.

Once he was well enough, she made sure she cleaned him up. That meant getting a haircut, shaving all facial hair, wearing some of the clothes that she "borrowed" from Mac and Dennis, and FOR GOD'S SAKES brushing his teeth!

Ew. She just can't get the thought of how he ate that horse shit back in high school just to gain a kiss from her…. First, how desperate is he? It's not like she was that great of a girl to begin with, and no sane guy would do such a disgusting act, even for a girlfriend. Second, what makes him think that eating horse shit would make him want to kiss him anyway? It's not courageous, or romantic, and his breath would stink like manure. To Dee, telling him to eat a horse turd for a kiss was her way of telling him to get away from her (she didn't think he'd actually do it) with the added bonus of appearing "cool" to the popular kids.

She never had any intention of kissing him.

Never.

Maybe he thought that doing something stupid was what being in love was all about, but it wasn't to her.

Then again she's never actually been in love before. Hm…