Jo chooses truth; Lacey and Danny choose dare.

It's the way they've always been.

xx

the last thing he needs to be is a monster
especially one with two heads and four feet
with limbs entwined
fingers laced and legs tangled
lost within itself

you'd think having two hearts would help
but they (almost)
always
break
in the end -

so he's decided to stick with his demons instead.

xx

Hearts crossed and pinkies locked - a promise is a promise.

Whether it's five minutes, weeks, months, or years
a promise is a promise.

xx

Jo says nothing. Danny says nothing.

Lacey would have (could have) said nothing if Danny's mom didn't get there first.

When it gets out and she becomes an alibi, it feels like everyone in the hallways says slut, but the only person who actually says it to her face is Archie.

They end it after that.

xx

sticks and stones and words cut bone
but jump rope got aunt tara

xx

Danny chooses truth only when Lacey makes it a dare.

xx

Lacey's in the fort when she sees the necklace. She's trembling when she holds it in her hands, but tries her best to still when she hears the leaves crunching by the doorway.

"You better have a good fucking reason for this, I swear to God."

When he tells her, he tells her everything, and it's the only time she cries in front of him.

xx

"Does Jo know?"

"No."

"Why's that?"

"She doesn't need to know."

"And I do?"

"Yes. I wasn't planning on losing you again."

xx

the truth is
he wasn't supposed to do this.

(but then again, he wasn't supposed to do a lot of things)

xx

Lacey can feel Jo prickle at her presence, but she tolerates her for information on Regina's inner circle.

They're not friends; they're investigators.

xx

He never asks Lacey and Jo to come to his house at the same time.

It's his way of apologizing for the nightmares.

xx

She hears the way Jo says "Danny." Jo says it with a rush, like something exciting and unfamiliar, like something she's finally getting to see after years of anticipation. Lacey's not sure why it bothers her so much.

xx

Lacey knows his demons now; she can call them all by name.

She can feel herself slipping every time they meet.

xx

He wants to tell her that he's poison. that she shouldn't do this, she shouldn't go down this path with him, it's all dark shadows and decrepit buildings and red ropes and she deserves better.

Jo knows all of this, but she kisses him anyway.

xx

Lacey chooses truth only when Jo chooses dare.

xx

They're in the fort when it happens.

"So you two. Is that a thing now?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know what I mean."

"You honestly think I would try to mess our friendship up by doing that?"

"I don't know, Danny. You didn't seem to have a problem doing that before."

He looks at Lacey as she tries her best to make it sting. He leaves before he tries to do the same.

xx

whose friendship
what friendship were we ever
friends to begin with what did you
think when it started what
did you think when it stopped

you know if we start
again we're gonna have
to end you me us we

xx

He's on his sheets, staring at the ceiling when he hears the uncertainty of her footsteps against the carpet.

"Your mother let me in."

"I figured."

She lays down next to him and follows his gaze upward. She scoffs soon after.

"Seriously?"

He smiles. "What, you're not into glow-in-the-dark stars?"

"Yeah," she laughs. "Maybe when I was eleven."

Their eyes stay on the ceiling, tracing the paths of plastic stars.

"Yeah, well. Mom's not into change."

"Change is inevitable, though. Everyone's gotta move on at some point."

"I know. That's what you did, right?"

She closes her eyes and lets out an exasperated sigh. "I can't hold onto everything, Danny. It can't be like before."

"Right. You need to move on," he says. "But you haven't completely let go, either."

He turns his head to look at her. She meets his eyes.

"You know I wasn't supposed to miss you."

"Maybe it's time we stop doing what we're supposed to."

xx

They kiss under plastic stars and on top of plaid sheets. Every touch seems to say I'm sorry and don't leave me again better than their words ever could.

They're sitting up and she's on top of him, one hand gathering at the cloth on his back with the other tangled in his hair. He plants a kiss under her jaw and she sighs, eyelashes fluttering.

"I missed you too," he whispers into her skin and she leans into it, nodding, realizing he knew her truths all along, just as she had known his.

They meet each other halfway. It's actions over words, dares over truths, and promises that can never be broken.