"Hey."

Shion snorted, jerked, and woke up. "Hmah? Whu?"

"I asked you a question. You know the word, right?" Nezumi's eyes were narrowed, maybe four inches from Shion's face. He was propped on one elbow, his other hand still trapped in Shion's grasp.

Shion tried to sit up, but found that his right arm refused to cooperate. He managed to detangle his fingers and Nezumi's in a haze, then sat up and rubbed his eyes. When he took his hands away, Nezumi was still glaring at him, massaging the life into his left hand.

"What was the question again? I'm sorry," Shion said.

Nezumi sighed. "Now that you know about Eve, are you gonna start calling me a fag?"

Shion immediately frowned. "Of course not. Why would I do that?"

"Because I wear a dress and sing sometimes."

"That doesn't mean anything about your, your sexuality though."

"Are you fucking serious."

Shion looked around the cab of the car. "Did the storm stop? Why is it warm in here?"

"Are you like, the politically correct fairy or something?"

"No. Did you use the CB radio at all to let Inukashi know where we are? What time is it, anyway?"

"Once again, I have got to question whether you're real or not."

Shion refocused on Nezumi, who was looking angry in a vague, directionless way. "I don't know what I'd be if I wasn't real," was all Shion could think to say.

Nezumi propped his head on his hand and smirked at Shion. "Then where the hell do you get your ideas about what's normal and what isn't?"

"Um." Shion thought for a moment. "A girl I used to date was a psychology major. Her grandmother knitted her clothes and she was the only friend I had in… in my life, really. She lived down the road from me, we went to college together, and she works as a dominatrix in San Francisco now. I almost died in college when I caught that weird disease. I was the only one who survived it and everyone stayed away from me after that. My mom apparently rented my room out to a pimp. I think I'm in love with you. I consider all these things something close to normal. For me, anyway."

"What was that last one?"

"Can you answer any of the questions I asked you before, about us surviving that storm and getting back home?" Shion was starting to blush and his stomach was squirming, but he kept his voice even. He hadn't said anything wrong.

Nezumi stood up. Shion stared up at him, trying not to look defensive. Nezumi leaned down suddenly and rested his fingertips on Shion's chin, as if to make sure he didn't move. Shion didn't think he could have moved if he tried. He was barely breathing. Nezumi's finger vanished from his chin, then reappeared on the scar on Shion's cheek. Those grey eyes were suddenly looking much softer.

"I don't know about love, but we can be trucking buddies," Nezumi said softly. "Maybe." Then Nezumi stood up and jumped in the front seat. He crammed the keys in and pumped a fist in triumph as the engine turned over and started on the first try. "Yes! Let's go. Buckle up."

"Right," Shion said, smiling. He felt a rat run over his hand, felt the truck purring under him, felt that strange warmth that came into his chest whenever he was around Nezumi and it was just the two of them. "Let's go!"

THE END