Title: Friends?

Word Count: 641

Summary: "So, are we friends?" "No." "Why not?" "Because I'm Roger."

Pairings/Characters: Maurice & Roger. Could be seen as a pairing. Could be. Not really. Kind of. I wanted it to be. It didn't work out that way.

Though the other boy had been annoying him almost ever since they met, Roger really didn't take any notice of Maurice until the island. To be more specific, until they had to watch the fire together.

Maurice was one of the largest boys on the island, despite being about the same age as Simon. Roger was on the smaller side, though being around the same age as Ralph and Jack. Maurice was a choirboy of his own accord, and Roger still couldn't quite figure out how he'd gotten stuck in choir. At least it landed him here. He was enjoying the island so far, even if Ralph was an idiotic chief.

Maurice talked all the time – if you were with Maurice you could barely get a word in. And if you were the kind of person that didn't talk all the time, Maurice would take that as a sign that you were 'just shy' and ask you as many questions as he could. Roger had known Maurice for a while and the other boy just wouldn't leave Roger alone.

So, when Jack stuck them together on fire duty, Roger couldn't have been more disappointed. But it was Jack, so he listened.

Maurice and Roger trudged up the mountain – well, Roger trudged, Maurice skipped – to relieve Bill and Robert of fire duty. They looked happy. Roger envied them. Why couldn't Ralph just do the fire if he wanted it so badly? Seriously, let Fatty and Ralph and Simon do the fire, then they could go hunt or something.

Even though the hunting had kind of failed so far.

Maurice was uncharacteristically quiet for the first few minutes of fire watch. He didn't even try to persuade Roger to go with him while he gathered more branches to burn. Roger thought he would've enjoyed silence, but, to be honest, he just found it kind of weird.

"Roger?" Maurice asked.

"What?" Roger asked, perhaps a bit more snappishly than he should have. But he was Roger, he didn't care about other people's feelings, so it was stupid to think that he'd said that a bit too snappishly.

"Are we friends?"

"I don't have any friends," Roger said. "I'm Roger."

Maurice sighed and poked at the fire. "Just because you're Roger doesn't mean that you can't have any friends. I'm Maurice-"

"And you get on with everybody. Because you're Maurice. I have no friends. Because I'm Roger," Roger said. After a bit of thinking, he added more names to his list. "And Jack should be chief because he's Jack. And Ralph is chief because he's Ralph. And Bill is forgettable because he's Bill. And Robert-"

"Okay, okay, I get it," Maurice said, grinning a little. "But… that doesn't mean that you can't change. You can be Roger – the person with one friend."

"I'm not 'suitable for company'," Roger said, quoting his parents. Maurice looked at him. "I shouldn't be around people."

"Why not?" Maurice asked. "People need other people."

"Because. I'm Roger."

Maurice sighed and poked at the fire some more. It was big enough now, but Roger decided that he'd go get some more branches anyway. He took as long as possible, gathering up a gigantic armload of wood. When he got back to the fire, Maurice was smiling and pushing something around in the flames. Roger dropped his load and walked over to look.

He was pushing around a lizard in there.

This was very un-Maurice-like behavior.

The younger boy looked very guilty, pulling the lizard away from the flames. "You're just like me," Roger breathed. "You just hide it better."

Maurice shrugged, a tiny half-smile on his face. "Aren't all boys like that? Except there are those that hide it well, those that don't, those that are girls…"

Roger snorted, looking at the burned-up lizard. "Yeah."

"Hm?" Maurice asked.

"Yeah. We're friends."

More people need to write for this pairing.