Chapter 1; Tequila
Darkness had settled over the city, and electricity took the sun's place for the evening. Pepito walked towards the convenience store, his sneakers splashing in the new puddles that collected for the day, his hoodie covering most of his face, hiding his horns. His jeans were littered with holes, mostly self induced, and his pale skin shined the street lamps that had flickered on for the night.
He had decided not to drive that night, due to the fact that he was buying tequila, and danger wasn't really a problem to him in the streets. Being the antichrist had its advantages; powers beyond mortal comprehension had ensured his safety against the men that posed a threat to him, whoever dared to challenge him. He sighed, noting the mud on his new shoes, and walked into the store, the warmth of the room greeting him.
The store clerk was hunched over a magazine with a beer in his hand, eyes shifting to Pepito only for a moment, then returning back to the information splayed before him. The half demon noted the coffee stains all over the oiled paper, making it hard to see the cover clearly. He let the matter go entirely, walking over to the nearest shelf that was covered in assorted alcoholic beverages; he spotted the tequila quickly, and snatched three bottles of it into his arms, carrying to the checkout counter. he had plenty of bottles of it at home, even if the majority of them were only half empty, but his mother would throw a fit if he removed one of them from the liquor cabinet.
Pepito's mother was a very gentle and kind soul, one that he had always protected, even as a child. she was bright, with a love that she shared with every living creature; even with her son being the ender of the world, she loved him all the same, bringing him up in the kindest and most supportive of ways. He wondered why she had chosen his father as a husband, being the devil and all. Pepito had only seen his father's human form once; a tall and slender man, with broad shoulders and beautiful red eyes. His hair was slicked back, and his features looked chiseled, almost stone, like a Greek statue that he had once seen in a museum. Surely his mother had known then that his father was the prince of darkness; but she was so kind, and gentle. They seemed like such an odd mix, and it almost drove Pepito to question his mother as to why she had married him.
Pepito was snapped out of his thoughts when the clerk held out his hand, waiting for his payment fee on the tequila. The teen handed him the money that he dug out from his pocket, and walked out of the store, into the brisk air of the outside world. The night was cold to him, despite being summer; it had just rained, and being the antichrist, his temperature was a few degrees higher than most individuals.
Not that it mattered. Pepito sighed, walking in the rain spattered streets, with the brown paper back tucked in his arms. It had handles, but he didn't want to risk it falling and the tequila bottles shattering. It cost him over a hundred dollars for three bottles, and he had enough smarts to not risk breaking the glass.
The teen rounded the corner out of the parking lot, pulling his hood further over his forehead, covering the nubs of his horns as the rain began to pick up again. It was odd to have rain the summer, especially with such dry temperatures, but he figured that it was sheer dumb luck; it had rained on his school's graduation ceremony, almost ruining the entire event, but luckily it had stopped before the certificates had been passed out to each student. Pepito took his rather quickly, looking at his mother in the audience as she sat alone, clapping like all the other parents. His father didn't come; he never came to his sons' school events. Pepito almost wished that his father would at least consider doing so; he knew it was because of business in hell (literally,) but it didn't stop him from wishing different.
The half demon made it to a small, beaten up house in the middle of an old neighborhood. It was Todd's house. Pepito smiled, seeing as there were no lights on, and he stepped onto the muddy lawn, making his way to the back yard. The gate was locked from the other side, so with one arm and slick shoes, he climbed with the metal poles that lined either side of the stained wood. The boards were sharp, close to rotting, and as he hopped over (being careful not to drop the bottles in his arms,) he could feel splinters lodging themselves within the surface of his palm.
he made it to the bottom, ignoring the wood bits within his hand, and looked up at Todd's window; it was dark, and he knew that Todd was asleep- he could faintly see a fan rotating within, due to his incredible vision, and he smirked.
Pepito looked to the pool that dipped into the ground a few feet from where he stood, and cringed at the sight; it was half full, the water a sickening green, and he figured that most of the water was from the rainfall that they had that day. Todd's parents hadn't bothered to clean it since last summer, and it the lack of care was clearly shown. Pepito walked away from it, tearing his eyes away from the filthy water, and walked towards the backdoor.
It was dark inside, but Pepito could see the passed out form of Todd's mother in the old arm chair, with an orange prescription bottle in her hand. There were a few pills on the floor beside her, the majority of them crushed, and Pepito rolled his eyes at the sight. That woman was pathetic, and he wondered how Todd even lived with that woman, let alone called her 'mommy'. The young prince took hold of the door handle and gave it a sharp turn, almost scratching it with his claws, and groaned to the fact that it was locked.
He stood at the door for second, biting his lower lip as the cogs within his mind attempted to come up with a solution. He could use magic to unlock it, but that would alert his father, and he would risk waking up both Todd's mother and father (if he was even asleep.) If he broke the lock, it would be leaving evidence that he had been there, and Todd would get yelled at. He cursed under breath and walked away from the door, looking up at Todd's window from where he stood.
Lightning flashed in the sky, and a crack of thunder followed, rumbling and dying away as the rain began to fall harder. Pepito sighed, pushing back his hood and setting the bag on the ground; it had almost melted away from the rain, but Pepito managed to keep his grip on it during the trip over to Todd's house.
The half demon rolled up his sleeves, and removed his shoes, putting them in the shrubs at the base of the house. The concrete was cold and slick with rain water, and Pepito rolled up his pant legs partly, sighing as the rain soaked all his clothes. He was going to have to ask Todd for another set.
Red eyes shifted up the wall with uncertainty, and he reached down within the soiled paper bag and unzipped his hood pocket, placing the glass bottles within. It was a tight and almost impossible fit, but he managed to zip it up, the bottles kept safely within. With teeth bared, the antichrist lunged at the wall, his claws digging into the wood, sending splinters with his hands once again. He sat still for a second, taking in his position, and he began to climb. His toes could handle the stress, those claws being sharper than the ones on his hands, due to the fact he never used them, but his hands were beginning to bleed. It didn't bother him too much- but the healing was going to hurt like hell.
Pepito made it to the window safely, and peered into the glass for a moment; a large lump under the covers that served as Todd didn't move, signaling that he was asleep. Pepito undid the window's latch, and pushed it open with a mighty shove.
Todd stirred for a moment as Pepito climbed in through the window, his breathing hard, and he moved again. With wide eyes, he stared as the half demon pulled himself into the room, clawing at the carpet, and he rubbed his nose soundly. "Pep..? What are you doing here? It's so late.." he said, glancing at his alarm clock, realizing that it was almost two in the morning. Pepito hit the floor with a thud, breathing hard, his clothes soaked. Todd climbed out of bed, watching as the antichrist stood from his previous position on the floor, and smiled.
"Hola, Amigo." he said, running clawed hand through his dripping hair. Todd rubbed his eyes, blinking, not quite believing that his best friend was here so early in morning. He eyed Pepito's bulging front pocket, but decided not to question it; if it had anything to do with him, he'd find out eventually.
"Why are you here so early?" he yawned, stretching his arms forward, almost hitting his friend. Pepito scratched his neck, leaving red marks that disappeared seconds later; Todd remembered that he had incredible healing powers, and he sighed, staring as Pepito unzipped his pocket and pulled out three glass bottles of tequila, grinning wildly.
"Since we graduated today, I figured that we should celebrate." He said, setting two of the containers on his tattered nightstand, and he popped the cork on the other with one of his sharp nails. "Don't you think, Amigo?" he mused, taking a swig of the tequila; the taste was sour on his deprived taste buds, but they adjusted as the tartness settled on his tongue.
Todd stood still, completely in shock at what possessed his friend to bring alcohol to his house. "Are you crazy? You're going to get me in trouble!" he whined, watching as Pepito took another drink, licking his lips afterwards.
The half demon rolled his eyes, letting out a low scoff, and put a lazy arm around Todd's frail shoulders. "Amigo, do you honestly think that your parents will care?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow at his friend. Todd fidgeted with his sleeves, looking anywhere but at Pepito, and sighed.
"No…" he mumbled, finally meeting a pair of red eyes with a shy face. Pepito handed him the bottle, which he took with shaky hands, and eyed it cautiously. There was a pat on his shoulder as he raised the bottle to his lips, allowing the sour liquid to pour into his mouth, splashing out on his tongue. He made a face at the taste, but swallowed it down quickly as he handed the bottle back to his smirking friend. He coughed slightly, but he didn't complain. He looked over as Pepito took another drink, noticing his dripping clothes, which had soiled his carpet. He sighed, rubbing his eyes again, more so to the fact that it was something to do with his hands, and crossed his arms.
"Pep, you're soaked." he groaned, sitting down on the bed. "And you don't have any shoes on." he pointed out, eyeing his clawed toes.
"I had to leave them outside so that I could climb up here. And it's storming outside, if you haven't noticed." he said, and Todd could almost hear the implications of a growl in that tone.
"You need to change if you're going to sit. My carpet is soaked as it is, thanks to you." he said, raising an eyebrow at the half demon. Pepito rolled his eyes and muttered something inaudible. Todd sighed, switching on his nightstand lamp, and shuffled his way to his dresser, where he pulled out a t-shirt and jeans. He handed them to Pepito, who eyed them suspiciously, but took them with a silent gratitude.
"What, no underwear?" he said, almost serious, despite the grin on his face. Todd rolled his eyes, smiling as he took the tequila bottle from his friend, looking away as he changed. The switch of clothes was quick, and he threw his old pair into the hamper, sitting on the bed next to Todd. The jeans were a bit tight, but he didn't mind; they were better by far than wet clothes.
Todd forced himself to take another drink from the bottle, and maneuvered the foreign liquid to the back of his tongue and swallowed roughly, his face cringing at the taste. He passed the bottle to his friend, who took it with greedy fingers. He watched as Pepito drank some of it down, his eyes dazed, and he shook his head, making a face of distaste.
"How do you drink that?" he asked, surprised by the stiffness of his voice. Pepito shrugged for a moment, staring at the label of the bottle, and smiled, looking at Todd with hazy eyes.
"You get used to it." he said, chuckling. Todd rolled his eyes and nudged his friend in the shoulder.
"How?" he questioned, a grin making its way to his lips. It was almost like a game they played together; conversing about what they already knew.
"You just do. You learn to like it, I guess." Pepito laughed, sitting up next to his companion. He nudged him, and was rewarded with a glance. The half demon smiled, holding up the bottle, but not to offer. "Happy Graduation, Amigo." he said, taking a gulp of tequila and handing the bottle to Todd. He took it, eyeing the liquid, but drank a mouthful anyway, despite the taste and burning in his throat.
"Happy Graduation, Pep."
Two hours had passed, and the majority of the tequila was gone. Pepito held the last amount of it in his hands, staring at the wall, lost in thought, and he huffed. "Todd, I think I'm drunk…" he gurgled, looking over at his companion, who had only had a few sips of the tequila.
Todd looked over at him, smiling with a cockiness that was almost uncharacteristic, and let out a low laugh, shaking his head. He had been writing in his journal, ever since Pepito had become lost in his drinks, and had almost forgotten that he was there. "that's what happens when you drink three bottles of tequila, Pep." he said, looking back down at his notebook.
Pepito lifted a pointed index finger at his friend, his eyes hazy with alcohol, and licked his lips. "Excuse me, amigo, but it was two and a half. Jeez…." he spat, swirling the remaining contents of the bottle to emphasize the point. Todd laughed under his breath, eyeing Pepito as he sat up next to him, a look of concern on his face. "Todd?" he asked meekly, and Todd hadn't bothered to look up.
"You know I'm the antichrist, right?" he asked, cringing as he scratched the side of his face, tapping his foot anxiously. Todd looked up at him with concerned eyes, and closed his notebook, putting it to his side.
"Yes.." it sounded like a question, almost.
"Well… I've been thinking, amigo, and maybe… maybe it's not all that it's cut out to be." he said, almost breathlessly. Todd nodded, showing that he was in fact listening, and Pepito continued; "I've been thinking about it a lot, about what the antichrist is supposed to do, rain fire and hell over the earth and rule the world and stuff… and I don't want to.
"I like it here. I like the craziness, I like the weirdness and the stupid people and all the things that make this world disgusting. I like how you can see heaven and hell in one person and with the exception of a few, not whether they've earned either yet. I love this world, and all it's flaws, and I… I don't want to destroy it." he said, sniffling. Todd stared at him in surprise, watching as Pepito gazed at the floor, spilling his heart out to him. Pepito was not the one to confess feelings or thoughts, even when drunk. Todd considered the amount of bravery he had in order to tell him this. "I don't want to do this shit anymore. I don't want to be the bad guy who will make the world not pretty in all the weird ways. I don't… I don't…" he held, looking for the right words, and his eyes widened in realization. "Fuck, I don't want to be the antichrist." he said, heaving in a breath.
Todd nodded thoughtfully, staring at his friend, who refused to look at him. "Do you have to be the antichrist?" he asked after a long moment. Pepito looked up at him for a moment, almost as if he didn't know how to answer the question.
"Yes. No.. Maybe. I don't know." he whined, rubbing the lobe of one of his pointed ears. "I.. I've always been told what I'm destined to do, so I don't think I have the choice.." Todd stared at him for a moment, seeing the panic in the antichrist's eyes, the heat rising to his face.
"You've always been able to choose what you wanted to do, right? you chose to come to my house, you chose to bring alcohol, and you chose to get drunk." he breathed, placing a bony hand on Pepito's thin shoulder. "You can choose what you want to do with your life."
In all the time that he had been friends with the antichrist, Todd had never seen such a fearful streak in his friend. Pepito had always been the confident and sure one- he walked tall, almost proud of himself, with his chin held high. He was always certain of what he did. Despite the hatred that the other's had shown him in Hi Skool, he walked the halls as if he had claimed them as territory.
Right now, he looked like a frightened child, despite the fact that he smelled like booze. Todd sighed at his sorry state as Pepito took in a deep breath. "I… I guess you're right. I… I've never thought of it like that, but you're right.." he let out a long held breath, the tension visibly leaving him; his shoulders slumped forward and his eyes became hazy and content again with tequila.
"Pep, I think we should probably talk about this in the morning, when you're sober." Todd said, wondering if his friend was even going to remember the importance of the conversation.
Pepito looked at him in his drunken state, the tequila bottle on the floor, forgotten and discarded, and he smiled. "Thanks, mi amigo."
Todd sat still for a moment, as Pepito leaned forward, red eyes half lidded, and lips parted slightly. A cold chill ran down the teenagers spine, and his eyes widened as Pepito's lips met his own. It was a sloppy kiss that tasted like tequila, and Todd had little time to respond, as Pepito pulled away quickly, collapsing onto the bed.
His face heated up, and his eyes watered. His best friend had just…. kissed him. It almost made him cringe to think about; he hoped that Pepito wouldn't remember it when he awoke the next morning.
Todd sighed, shaking away the odd feeling he had, and laid down next to him friend, who curled up almost robotically in his arms. He made a sound of contentment, leaning into the intense warmth of the half demon's body, relaxing.
The rain tumbled outside, and Todd could hear it pattering on the roof. Thunder cracked outside, and a flash of lightning filtered through his window, illuminating his room. He yawned, nuzzling his face into the pillow, his chin rested on Pepito's head. Darkness took his vision, and he soon found himself lost within his dreams, feeling as though he was falling up.
There was an inconsistent tapping, he knew, and it was beginning to bother him. He stirred, noticing the heat that was in his arms, and realized that it was Pepito. He could smell tequila, the scent burning his nostrils, and he crinkled his nose, opening his eyes. The tapping continued.
"Pssst! Squeegee! Wake up!"
He knew that voice. It had haunted his dreams as a child, but the fear had diminished as he got older. Still, it made him nervous to know that his maniac neighbor was at his window.
He sat up slowly, dislodging the warm body from his arms, and stretched, looking at the window. A lanky armed figure waved to him like a madman, smiling hugely, and Todd walked to open up the window for him.
"Hiya Squee!" he said, leaning his elbows on the window seal. "How've you been?" he lowered his voice to a whisper, seeing the other sleeping body in Todd's bed.
The teenager sighed, forcing himself to smile for his insane neighbor. "I've been great, Nny. I graduated today. Or yesterday, I guess." he breathed, looking over at the sleeping form of Pepito, who stirred ever so slightly in his slumber.
"That's good. I'm glad you've been taking care of yourself; I came here to check up on you. I would have come over here tunnel-wise, but it's getting thick with body parts again." he considered, and Todd felt his stomach drop and go sour. "I'll need to clean it soon…" he muttered to himself, staring at something on the window seal, until his head popped up with anticipation.
Nny had become older with age, the bags under his eyes growing, and the lines on his forehead increased in number and shape. He was in his late thirties or so, and had yet to move away from Todd's neighborhood. Todd's fear of the 'scary neighbor man' had diminished a long while ago, back in middle school, when he realized that Nny had yet to kill him.
"Hey Johnny?" he mewled, eyes flicking over at the man.
"Do you think that someone can change their fate?" he asked, brown eyes flicking up to the ceiling, focusing on the cracks that tattered the poor paint job.
Johnny sat in silence for a moment, thinking hard, and finally made a small sound of optimism. "Do you think someone can avoid their fate? What fate is there to avoid?" he questioned, his voice just above a whisper. "You can't stop death, and when you try, you end up dead. And covered in blood, usually. When you don't argue with death, it might not hurt you. You'll simply slip away into darkness.
"Unless you annoy me, like your Shmee did, and then I'll be annoyed at death for you! And shove a cheeto through your eyeball!" There was a crazed look in the maniac's eyes as his voice increased slightly, and Todd took a step back, swallowing. "It worked on that fucking clerk in the checkout line and it worked on Reverend Meat, so it'll work on you!
"Death can come at any moment! When you're least expecting it! You could get killed by a swarm of rabid locus, or get stabbed in the face by a pirate hook! Death is everywhere! You never know when it's coming, and you never will! Not even that cocky bear of yours; sure, you can sew 'em back up, but it's never as good as Bactine, and that bleaches the hell out of 'em!" He spat, eyes going wide, and his breathing increasing, along with the pitch of his voice.
Todd sat still, watching as his neighbor seemed to calm down, his shoulders lowering themselves a bit. He looked over at Todd, who was frozen in his steps, his eyes wide with fear. "But if you mean changing what you want to do with your life, why not? But death- never. No one can change death!" he hissed, lowering himself from the window seal slightly. "Listen, Squee, I gotta go now, since I have some business to attend to. remember, you can never elude death, but you can definitely change your scheduale." he smiled, a laugh in his voice. Todd peered over the window as Nny dropped to the ground, waving at him. "See ya later, Squeegee!" he yelled, hopping the fence into his own yard.
Todd licked his cracked lips, and swallowed. He looked to the horizon, seeing the sun's rays peeking over the houses that littered the distant hills unevenly, and sighed. Pepito was going to be up soon, and Todd knew that not even his healing powers could cure the hangover that was sure to thrash within his head. With a yawn, Todd went downstairs to fetch some water. The least he could do was make his friend feel better, so that their inevitable conversation could be clear.
There was the distinct sound of rain, and it was enough to keep him awake; His head hurt. No, his entire body hurt; the pain was focused on the contents of his skull, and he groaned. It was a battle field in there.
With hesitation, he cracked open an eye, seeing a form hunched over something. It was Todd, scribbling something within his notebook. He looked to the curtainless window, seeing the rain falling from the grey sky. He pulled the covers up to his chin, smacking his lips together. He could taste bile on his tongue.
"Todd?" he squeaked, sitting up slightly, regretting it soon after. With shaky hands, he clasped onto his head, moaning. "Oh, my head…" he muttered, eyes watering.
"Here," Todd whispered, holding out a glass of water and a fingerful of pills. He eyed it suspiciously, glaring back up at his friend. "If you want to get better, I'd advise you to take the pills and water, Pepi."
"But… I hate taking pills. And I'm not thirsty." His voice was whiny and meek, and it was accompanied by large gazing eyes.
"I don't care if you like them or not, pep."
"Pepito." it was now a clear threat from him, and the half demon gave an overdramatic sigh, taking the pills within his mouth and swallowing down some water; despite what he had said, he actually was thirsty.
There was a deafening silence between the two of them, before Todd opened his mouth to speak in a shy voice; "Do you remember anything from last night?" he asked, holding his knees to his chest, looking over at the antichrist with concerned eyes. Pepito couldn't help but smile at him.
"All of it, Amigo." he said, taking another sip of his water, trying not to drink it too fast.
There was another long silence between them, and Todd made a small sound in the back of his throat, scooting closer to his friend. "Do you really not want to be the antichrist?" his voice was small and spineless, but there was a power in the words that made the young prince cringe.
"Not really, no." he said, cracking his neck, the sound echoing off the walls of Todd's room. "I don't want to destroy the world, or rule it either."
"You don't have to be, Pep, from what it looks like." Todd smiled hopefully, his eyes wide.
"I… I think you're right, Amigo. But it'll be hard. My dad is going to be pissed off about this." he sighed, running a hand through his hair and pushing the blankets down to his waist.
"What will happen?" Todd asked, crossing his legs on the bed and resting his chin in his hands.
Pepito sat in silence for a moment, thinking; his brow furrowed, and his sighed heavily, taking another sip of his water. "My dad will kick me out, and my mom will be as happy as ever. I'll become homeless… and… I don't know. I guess the world isn't going to end." he laughed, sitting up fully and placing the glass on the nightstand by Todd's bed. "I think I'm gonna do what I wanna do. If my dad wants to end the world, he can do it himself, damnit. Fuck being the anitchrist." he said, waving his hand in the air, brushing off the subject.
"You can come stay with me, if you want. I don't think my parents will notice, and I'm going to move out anyway, so you can come live with me, if you want." he said, grinning. "I'll suport you through this, Pep. You have my word on that."
Pepito looked to his companion for a moment, almost speechless. He swallowed, his mouth becoming dry suddenly, and he leaned over to pull Todd into a hug. "Gracias, Amigo…" he said, pulling away slightly. "You really don't mind?"
"Not at all, Pep. You know that." he smiled.
There was a moment of silence between them, something swirling in the air, and Todd blushed. "uhm… Pep? Last night… did you mean to, uh… kiss me?" he asked, tugging on his shirt sleeves slightly, nervously.
"Not while drunk, no." he said, giving an awkward smile. Todd blushed, looking down at his lap, shifting in his spot tenderly; Pepito could tell that he was uncomfortable.
The antichrist leaned forward slightly, looking at his friend in the eyes. "Was I unwelcome to do so?" he asked, his voice below a whisper. Todd swallowed, his eyes wincing almost, and he shook his head nervously.
"No, I… It was just unexpected, that's all… I shouldn't have asked… you were drunk, and I just thought…" he was rambling now, and Pepito didn't seem to hear his words, even with red eyes glued to to his friend's. "I should probably just shut up now, huh?" Todd attempted to laugh it off, smiling at something on the comforter, refusing to look at the half demon. An eerie quiet fell between them, and pepito licked his lips nervously.
"Kiss me…" he said, almost to test and see if Todd would actually do it.
The teen looked up, his face flushed red, and his eyes wide; he was frozen, at loss for words, and Pepito blinked. Todd scratched his neck, eyes searching frantically for something, anything, and Pepito sighed. "That… wasn't an order. You don't have to, amigo." he whispered, looking at the wall in disappointment. Todd made a shy sound in his throat, fumbling a little to sit closer to his friend.
"I… I know it wasn't." He said, leaning towards the half demon, but stopping unsurely.
Pepito looked at him for a second, leaning in to meet his lips with his own.
The kiss was soft, unlike before, when it had been rough and careless; it was incredibly warm on both sides, and Todd's face grew hot from an oncoming blush. It ended quickly, and the antichrist smiled, his pointed teeth shining.
"What does this mean, pep?" Todd mused, curiosity getting the better of him.
"What does it mean, amigo?" he asked, laughing slightly, but there were cutting nerves behind it.
"I… I'd like to think that it means that… you care about me as much as I care about you, if that's alright." he giggled, and there was a smile in voice.
"I think you've got that for you then, Squee." Pepito said, picking at his claws nervously. A silence was passed between them, but it was not awkward or undefined.
"Come on. Let's go down stairs. I'll make you some breakfast." Todd mused, knowing full well that Pepito couldn't cook to save his life.
"That sounds great, Amigo. Gracias."
Chapter one done. yay! My first Squee/Jhonen Vasquez fic! woohoo! I'm proud of myself. oh, btw, I haven't actually read Squee yet. I ordered it a few days ago, and I've read bits and pieces, along with a ton of information, and JTHM, but not the actual Squee comic. It should be here very soon! I can't wait! also, I have no idea what tequila actually tastes like, so I guessed. I may have missed a few errors in here, so don't get too mad! I'm tired! XD anyway, please leave a review- tell me what you liked and didn't like! I may or may not write a next chapter, depending on what you guys think. Thanks for reading!