Something's telling me this will be the most controversial fic I've done; but I have my reasons for writing this. As everyone knows; the bros aren't mine, so anyone who thinks they are is nuts. I just hope at least someone enjoys this.

A thin layer of smoke drifted through the scoreboard; all the windows were sealed shut. The CD Player was surprisingly soft considering the level they usually had it at. Pieces of tin foil and small plastic bags were scattered around the floor; a lone box-cutter sitting on the table. A few packets of corn-chips and some leftover pizza were next to the sofa, and stretched out on the sofa, at least for now; was a very stoned and relaxed Throttle.

The tan mouse was about as relaxed as he'd ever be, only sitting up every few minutes to take another hit, before lying back down and drifting away on the waves of Pink Floyd coming from the stereo. His bros knew about his habit, and honestly they didn't really care. Very similar drugs had been legalized on Mars decades ago and nearly half the population were users. His bros had joined a few sessions, but neither had really felt anything from it.

Honestly, Throttle could understand where Modo was coming from. Despite all the medical papers published, he was still a bit nervous about the whole idea. After he'd done the one round, the grey mouse said he wouldn't be having any more; and Throttle had accepted that with no hesitation. Vinnie however was a slightly more worrying case, but not by much. The white mouse hadn't felt anything, but Throttle could sense Vinnie used a few things a little bit stronger then he did. All he could think was that at least he wasn't doing stuff as bad as Kevlar and Bullet had done.

Kevlar was a 5' 8'' mouse; whose black fur rivalled the midnight darkness. It also hid the bruises from the rough life he'd had. He was a joker, a smartass, but a decent, charming guy Throttle had spent many hours with, getting blazed in the black mouse's room while listening to heavy metal. His rare green eyes cut through the darkened room like a pair of spotlights and Throttle had always found them beautiful. The pair would frequently make out; gentle kisses and touches, and a handjob or two while they were still stoned.

Bullet, meanwhile, was the near opposite. He was a rare albino rat who stood 6' 2''; who's fire red eyes stared into your soul as he gazed at you from across the room. He was shy, timid, scared very easily and usually ended up in Kevlar's room so he wasn't alone. Contrary to popular belief; the two weren't sleeping together; as Throttle had noticed one night when all three were over. Kevlar would take the bed, and Bullet would take the couch at the other end of the house, leaving Throttle in the middle room.

The trio had found an odd, but workable pattern. After training; Throttle would pick up Bullet from his mechanics class on base and the pair would walk to Kevlar's. After getting stoned; they'd fall asleep, but subsequently miss the next days classes. The trio were such fast learner's, however, the teachers didn't really mind. After the war broke out, time for the fun they used to have dried up very fast. By the time the battle of the Tug Transformer happened; Throttle had been off the drugs for nearly a year. He wasn't really that worried for himself, as much Kevlar.

Kevlar was now one of the worst kind of living casualty: he had a horrific combination of survivor's guilt, after his platoon was ripped apart graphically before his eyes; and post traumatic stress disorder. In desperation he had gone several steps up the martian drug ladder to the narcotics rumoured to take away all pain. Kevlar had now gone from the cheery, bright eyed mouse he used to be; to a glassy eyed, paranoid wreck who screamed profanities at anyone who stepped in the door.

The next thing the tan mouse had heard; Kevlar was in the hospital. He'd pushed the boundaries of his body to the limit; injecting himself with two and a half grams of Mica.* It had left him brain-dead. The black mouse's will stated that everything was to be split between Bullet and Throttle; nothing was to be spared. After that, Throttle's drug use spiralled out of control. He was going through a staggering amount every day. No music to keep him stimulated; just the poisoned, tainted memories of the midnight black mouse.

The days and months ticked by as Throttle remained slumped against the wall; his mind still coming to terms with the loss. The drugs didn't help, and he'd managed to stop after a month; but the tan mouse still retained enough of his sense restart his drug habit while he was so desperate. He was determined to stay clean for as long as he could contain his stress levels. Finally 7 months after Kevlar kicked the bucket; and three months after the nightmarish surgery that had nearly left the tan mouse blind; Throttle reawoke his habit.

His friend had scored the stuff, but he was mentally struggling with himself. He knew with the stuff he was doing, he was safe; but he also harboured a fear that he'd turn into Kevlar, and climb the Martian drug ladder. A deep shiver ran down his spine at the thought of the now dead black mouse; his mind threatening to spin out of control again. Instead, the tan mouse shut his mind down; his tail placing the needle onto his turntable as the sonar-like notes of Echoes rang out through the room.

The mouse took a deep puff on the joint, then let it out through his muzzle, a little escaping his nose as he began to float away on the waves of the music; his mind crashing to a halt more pronounced then it had ever been before. Throttle was finally truly relaxing; his brain had nothing else to go on apart from the music throbbing in his ears. No war; no battle plans, no screaming bitch of a girlfriend; just himself and the music.

When Modo and Vinnie had found him nearly an hour later; they were slightly surprised. Their dorm was clean, everything was put away neatly; the kitchen was tidied up, even the bathroom was done! Both mice were in shock as a red eyed Throttle coasted past them like they didn't exist; the half smoked joint still in his fingers as he made their beds; a series of shrill rising notes coming from their stereo as he finished up, then sprawled out on his bed as he took another puff, his tail twitching occasionally as the music kept going. With glances between them serving as their conversation, both mice decided to tiptoe away and way for Throttle to come down.

The next few months were a whirlwind of madness. Not only did they get sent to Plutark, but after trying to come home; they'd had to ditch their ship on the big blue rock next door: Earth. It seemed like the ugly stink-fish were invading this planet too; and the population had no idea. It made the tan mouse's blood boil, and it was obvious. His tail was lashing back and forth furiously. It made their new human companion, Charlene Davidson, worry a lot, and she was not usually a worry wart.

She'd offered the tan mouse a variety of strategies of calming down, but Throttle always brushed them off, with the constant reply of 'I'll deal with it'. That had worked the first 3 times, the other two Charley wasn't so sure. It was the week after that she began to put the signs together. A faint smell of smoke in the scoreboard; Throttle disappearing late at night and acting secretive when he came home; the frequent snack binges at 1 in the morning and the tan mouse's legendary calmness. She finally cracked it; but it took a note from Modo to finally get her to see the light.

She watched the tan mouse sneak out of the board at 11 pm one thursday night; a small wad of cash in hand. He walked to a street corner; where he saw Joey turn up. Joey was your typical mid twenties guy blond hair, green eyes; easy going nature... he was also one of those legendary pot heads who grew great quality stuff, but didn't brag about it. After the tan mouse handed over his cash; Joey handed over what he'd promised. $50 for 15 grams of pure, naturally grown pot. The smile on Throttle's face could have lit up the street as he snuck back into the board with his next months supply.

Charley tiptoed back to the Last Chance Garage; not entirely surprised, but not entirely happy with this new revelation. She'd never had a problem knowing others smoked it, or even lighting up when she was around; but something about Throttle lighting up set her brain in motion. She sighed softly, resolving to ignore the issue unless Throttle himself brought it up. After all, it wasn't hurting her, so who was she to complain?

A few days later; the brunette mechanic had cornered Throttle before he could escape. She asked him why; how often, and how much; and he gave honest answers. She could just manage to tell he wasn't being completely honest with her, but she let it slide; letting him leave with a kindly phrased request that he be clean whenever he fought Limburger. The tan mouse had agreed; but he knew the Stink Fish's attacks were random, and he couldn't exactly purge the THC from his system within a few minutes.

The day she'd finally caught him was a dank, rainy day in March. She'd wandered into the Board; wondering where the guys had gone. Her nose began to itch as it picked up the scent of the smoke. She wandered deeper into the board; surprised at how quiet it was. Her ears just barely picking up the soft music the tan mouse had on. She could see biscuit packets and bags of popcorn strewn around the lounge, but all in a very neat and organized way.

She suddenly watched another massive plume of smoke rise; her brain stopping for a moment before it began to process the sight before her. On the couch was Throttle; sprawled out along its whole length; his eyes closed and his ears twitching ever so slightly. He looked more peaceful then she had ever seen him in her life; almost as if he was sound asleep. A tiny purr rumbled from his chest as the THC worked its way into his system, then; he slowly opened his eyes, looked dead at Charley and softly smiled. "Hey Charley-girl... how are ya?"

Charley had trouble getting her brain to work after that. His voice was barely a whisper, but it sounded a million times more inviting now. "H-hey tan and fuzzy... you ok?" Charley stuttered out as her eyes raked Throttle's body again. She still couldn't believe the incredibly vulnerable state she'd found the tan mouse in. "Charley-girl, I'm absolutely fine..." The tan mouse smiled at her; his brilliantly white teeth flashing in her eyes as smoke continued to lazily drift out his black nose. "I feel more relaxed then I have in a very long time..."

Charley couldn't help the smile that crept over her face at Throttle's award winning grin. "Just making sure, Goldie... What's in the stere-" She suddenly heard four notes; four legendary notes that sent shivers down her spine. "Heh, there goes my question... I'll leave you be, ok?" She turned to leave; but Throttle's strong tail slowly wound around her waist. "You sure you don't wanna stay?" the bionic eyes were hard to read; but she could have sworn there was a tinge of sadness in there at the idea of leaving.

Charley was now in a quandary. She didn't want to make Throttle unhappy, but she didn't like the idea of him smoking pot while she was here. Then again, if she had left earlier, she wouldn't have seen the tan mouse so unnervingly, yet, wonderfully calm. She couldn't decide, then the tan mouse's soft voice rang through the board, as though he was speaking normally. "Do what you think is right, Charley-girl... I know you don't exactly approve..." There was a smile there, but it was tinged with shame, as though Throttle had regretted being found like this.

Charley's soft smile spoke volumes. "Throttle, if this truly helps, I'll support you... and if you want me to stay, just say the words." Throttle's eyes were wide in disbelief, his mind slowly processing the words she'd spoken. "I-... it really does, babe..." The tan mouse took a slow hit from the improvised bong, his mind arranging his thoughts carefully. "It makes me forget my training... my past... everything that has hurt... changed... and corrupted me... The mask I hide behind... has its limits, Charley-girl..." He gently tapped the bong, his expression ever so slightly ashamed. "This helps keep the mask on..."

The music played on as Charley stared at the tan mouse in a mixture of wonder, disbelief and sadness. "You know I'm not one to pry, Goldie... but... what happened to you?" The brunette mechanic sat next to the tan mouse as he handed her a can of Woodstock and coke. She cracked it open and took a slow sip as the tan mouse arranged his thoughts again.

"The short version is... had some friends... and lost them. I mourned; stayed clean, then got back into things... when I was clean, though..." He looked away, unable to stare into her piercing green eyes without pain stabbing at his mind. "It was horrible... I was angry... I was quick to detonate... I kept shouting at everyone... I did keep my calm when I was needed to... but when I wasn't... let's just say I had my own demons to tackle..."

Charley felt numb as she mechanically sipped her drink; simultaneously wanting to know more, and wanting to leave as soon as possible. Her mind was struggling due to how ambiguous the tan mouse's words were, possibilities spinning out of control in her head as to exactly what Throttle had done when he was severely pissed. She put the can on the table and rubbed her temples, trying to relieve the pressure of the situations her mind was spinning.

"You ok, Charley?" Throttle's smoky whisper immediately shut her thought processes down. "Y- you'd better get out of here... I don't wanna hurt you..." Charlene just nodded dumbly, then made her exit; her mind ticking over. She would have nightmares tonight, no doubt in her head.

Throttle watched her leave, sensing the massive pressure build up the human was experiencing through his antennae. He'd winced visibly at the scenarios she'd unconsciously cooked up; most of them almost on par with what had really happened. He hadn't meant to snap at them all that time ago... He just couldn't control how much shit he had poisoning his mind. The tan mouse grunted as he cleared his mind; taking a large hit from the bong, then coughing a bit.

Throttle wiggled deeper into the overstuffed couch, sighing happily as he floated away on the waves of Have a Cigar coming from the stereo. He knew smoking pot wasn't the ultimate method of relaxing, but it was the best he could find; and if it isn't broken, you don't usually try fixing it.