Title: A Player Piano

Summary: You don't want ask Miles to pull over, but you know you have to, or otherwise the situation will get indefinitely worse. Gen, on the car trip up to Barafundle.

Disclaimer: I wish… Third Star is sadly not mine.

Warnings: Rated K. Nothing bad. References to pain and prescription drugs I guess, and perhaps a little bit of implied Davy/James, though completely up to how you view their relationship.

A/N: First 2nd person perspective fic, hope it works. Please enjoy and drop a review if you can!

You don't want to say it, but you know you have to, or otherwise the situation will get indefinitely worse. It's gotten quieter in the car, for a short time. The ride to Barafundle Bay is only about three hours long, but in the last hour you have gotten tired. You're not used to doing anything near this much activity in one day, even if all you've done is sit in a car with your mates. With your self-induced quiet, the whole conversation has hushed.

You wonder if this is what it means to be loved, or to be missed; what it will be like to be missed.

"Davy," you murmur weakly to your best friend, the man sitting next to you.

He looks at you with immediate concern and worry in his eyes, and you hate that the look has become almost permanently etched into his expression when he looks at you.

"What's the matter?" He asks, ready to get your med bag out at the slightest wince.

"I've got to piss," you whisper back, slightly embarrassed. You'd made sure to go to the bathroom back at home, right before you left, but the meds make you have to go to the washroom constantly.

There's a bit of relief on Davy's face when you say this; he was probably thinking it was something worse. There were a lot of things that you could have said that were so, so much worse, after all. That you have said to him before.

"Bill, pull over!" Davy bellows up front. There's really no need for shouting, you think, but he seems rather keen on it anyways. You're lucky that you're already in a small village, not the highway, because you're not so sure you could hold it in for very long.

"Why?" Bill asks, but is already slowing the car down, looking for a parking space. He's good like that; he doesn't ask questions too much. You appreciate that casual allowance of anonymity enormously.

"James here's gotta' piss," Davy answers him, and though these men have always been your best friends, you're still a little self-conscious.

"Davy!" You complain.

"He asked!" Davy cries out in defense. You grumble until Bill completely stops the car.

Miles jumps out onto the pavement easily, but Davy has to help you get out of the car. It's slow and it hurts like hell when you swing your legs over, when you touch the ground, when Davvy grabs onto your arm to steady you. Everything always hurts these days.

You are getting looks from people as Davy helps you stumble into your shop until Bill hands you your cane. You wonder what they think: ill, drunk, crazy? Perhaps you are a bit of all of them. After all, with all those drugs, you're barely you anymore.

You make it through the store and into the back where the bathrooms are. There is only one family restroom, not multiple stalls.

Whenever you go somewhere, you always have to piss. Davy has to help you do it. Two things can happen during this time.

One is that the shop owners simply ignore, don't see him, or assume Davy and you are a couple going for a quick one in the loo.

The second option is worse: the shop owners are homophobic and nosey and call the two of you out on it. Thankfully that's not what happens today.

Finally you emerge from the small room, nearly five minutes later, because it takes forever for you to get your pants down and then wash your hands. Ever patient Davy stands there holding your cane for you, reaching out to you when you need an arm to steady your wobbling self up. He doesn't watch you though, as the two of you have made a rather mutual agreement that James' cock was not to be stared at.

While you're there, you and your friends mess around with the random knickknacks in the shop; you have Miles try on stupid, unbecoming hats and you bounce a ball with your cane, which Bill tapes. You're glad there's going to be some of you on the tape, aside from your voice, so your parents understand easier - they will never fully get it though, you know - and find it quicker to let go of the past if they can see just how much fun you had, during these coming days. Your last days.

Your friends help you back in the truck, and you're sleepy. You try not to think about how exhausted you'll be at the end of a day hiking. Drifting off, you dream of meadows and your sister and worst of all, the ocean. You wake with a gasp. You take a swig of morphine that only Davy notices you take and does not comment on. Nearly there now, carry on.

You look down at your hands, the skin dry and taught with sickness, bones fragile with the poisonous blood that runs aside them, quick streams of red.

"I used to play piano," you say quietly to yourself, and only Davy hears, because he's next to you and Miles and Bill are arguing in the front seat. You doubt you could even play a convincing rendition of chopsticks anymore. "And flute. I was brilliant."

"You've still got fingers," Davy says to you, looking away and out through the window at the meadows you're rushing by. He doesn't make eye contact when he speaks to you like this – things that carry an unspoken, underlying tone of death – not usually, "You could play again. When you're strong you will."

You huff a breathy sigh out laced with disguised laughter, because unbeknownst to Davy, or anyone, he alone has the knowledge that he will never see a piano or a flute or any other instrument ever again. The last one you saw was Bill's guitar. You're glad of that.

You don't make a sound when Davy puts his hand on your rough ones, gently strokes the center of your palm with his thumb.

A/N: I really hope you've enjoyed this little fic; it took me forever despite its shortness, because I had a lot of alternate endings planned out. Thanks for reading and please review!