DISCLAIMER: I don't own it, jeez, screw you Teletoon, they are all basically my best friends *sobs*, can't I just have them already?! *throws computer out window*

QUICK SUMMARY: Duncan/Cody, Pre-relationship story

WARNINGS: Heavily implied boy/boy, child abuse, sad themes, !sort of!gay panic, open ended. And I mean open...

NOTES: Lol... I know I'm pretty much in love with Duncan/Geoff (oh yeah, and Duncan/Courtney too)... but jeez. I love pairing him with everybody. :3 So fun :D Enjoy this story, I was practicing my angst writing XD Also added just a hint of implied Chrisney in there for my buddy I'll Cover Angel and Collins over at the TDW Forum, so if you're reading this, shout out to you homie :DDD Haha but seriously guys this story is kind of depressing in the middle even for my standards... Plus kind of cliffhanging, but that's where I wanted the story to end '^^ since I can't really write angst without crying forever T-T

Other than that, enjoy!




"Here. Take this." Cody looked up to his guardian who was smiling at him with warm brown eyes. She placed the item in his hand, and when he looked at it oddly she gave him a stare that left no room for argument over the meaning of it. "I used to have one when I was little, after my parents passed away. It helped a lot to settle out all of my thoughts and feelings, you know?"

Cody made a face. The fourteen year old still couldn't grasp why in the world Courtney would think it would do him any good. "Yeah, but you're a girl. It makes sense. You can have a diary- I can't." A notebook would do him no good- as though he wasn't already harassed at his school due to his small stature and girlish looks. He didn't need anyone figuring out he wrote in a diary to cause anymore ridicule.

But Courtney just patted him on the head with a firm smile. "Trust me, Cody. You're too cute to be so angry all of the time." He shrugged off her hand at the mentioning of the word cute but told her 'thank you' anyways before he walked off to his room. He really did like Courtney, she was just a bit overbearing sometimes.

Why the hell would he ever want to write in a diary of all places though? He remembered how when he was younger, all the girls in his school had diaries, and how they all tried to hide them in their desks and the boys would peek anyway just to be mean. He sighed, opening and closing his bedroom door quietly.

Since his dad had 'passed away' six months ago due to an unfortunate accident and his mother had been dead for six years, Cody had found himself living with his younger sisters, Dawn and Zoey, and godparents, Chris and Courtney. He hadn't even known that he had godparents until that horrid day when he lost his father. So far, he had been adjusting to the routine life they were trying to set for him. He loved his godparents; they were nice people (although sometimes he questioned their sanity) and they took good care of him. They were also two of the closest people to his lost parents, and that really meant something to him.

His room was pretty nice as well- Chris had let him keep everything he wanted to keep from his old room as well as take him out with Courtney to buy anything he wanted to decorate with. It had been very fun, but he had felt guilty. As though he was leaving behind his mother and father as he bought all this new stuff, laughed with new parents, and made a new life.

His old one had barely been fourteen years old. And yet he had been forced to abandon it.

Cody tried to forget about that- Courtney had told him it wasn't that good to think so darkly. He agreed with her completely. Whenever Cody was in a bad mood, the twins would get upset as well, and he didn't find enjoyment in torturing his younger sisters.

It was almost eleven at night when Cody rolled around on his bed, unable to sleep and flipped his desk light on. He looked to the diary sitting atop the wooden desk and felt himself heave a sigh. He couldn't believe he was doing this.

He picked up a pencil and chewed his lip as he flipped open the small notebook.

Dear Diary,

He quickly scratched that out. He was not one of the girls in school who wrote about stupid crushes and such. He was doing what Courtney said, settling out his thoughts and feelings… That's a lot like a diary… He shook the thought away and began a new line.

Dear Journal,

"No… that's not it." He scribbled it out.




And that was good enough for him. He figured he must be really stupid, spending five minutes trying to write an introduction.

My name is Cody.

He scratched it out, again unsatisfied. He stared at the piece of paper, which currently only read a one word greeting, and knew he was never going to get anywhere if he didn't just settle down and start writing. No more scratching things out. It wasn't like anyone else was going to see this.

I'm nobody.

Cody gasped at the words he had written. That wasn't what he had wanted to write… was it? No, definitely not, he concluded. Shaking his head, he slammed the notebook shut, rounding back over to his bed and flicking off the light before throwing the covers over his head and trying his hardest to fall asleep. He tried to tuck himself under the blanket as tightly as he could, breathing raggedly into the covers while he choked on his tears. He had thought he could make it this week without crying for once. He jammed the edge of his pillow in his mouth to keep from screaming and waking up his sisters like he so desperately wanted to. Someone needed to know what this felt like. Someone had to understand that this wasn't what he wanted. He couldn't be alone in this world.

I'm nobody.

He muffled another broken sob into his pillow as he thought that never had truer words been written.

Cody hadn't cried in almost a week, thankfully. Only one more day and he would beat his record. What a sad thing to keep a record for. He was currently in his desk at school; staring at the clock and watching the seconds roll by slowly. "Cody," he heard quietly from behind him, turning to look at his classmate Beth. "D-do you want to come with us to the park after school? Tyler and Noah are coming too." Cody had to admit that for a ninth grader, Beth was still as innocent as one of his little sisters. Her smile was always genuine and honest, and that was what made it hard to keep eye contact with her as he gave his response.

"I would, but I'm kind of busy. Maybe another day?" Beth hesitated but smiled none the less, even though it did seem a bit forced. He knew he must have upset her, since that was the same response he had been providing to her offers for the past six months. His excuses didn't even consist of actual reasons anymore- he found that it was a lot easier to just say 'I'm busy' and let it end at that. To tell the truth, Cody didn't hang out with much of anybody anymore. He still talked to his friends but that really only consisted of time inside of school, when he could get by with changing the subject to math problems whenever the air of a conversation started getting too thick or heavy for his liking. No matter how much time passed, people still seemed to look at him with a guarded gaze, as though not wanting to upset him or believing that he would turn into the Incredible Hulk as soon as they started treating him like any other normal person. They all treated him like he was some kind of bomb, waiting to explode from all the misery life had caused him. It was the same way people had treated him back when his mother had died- it was like a complete repeat of what happened six years ago.

The bell rang and the brunet got out of his desk and gathered his things quickly before walking toward the door. His first month of freshman year and already things seemed to be taking a turn for the worse. He rubbed his head in frustration, but soon found himself bumping into a large solid wall of chest. He almost fell back from the impact, but at that moment he felt an arm wrap around his waist and keep him from falling. "Ya okay, kid?" Cody nodded his head quickly in response, opening his eyes to find who the gruff voice belonged to.

He was amazed to be met with stunning blue eyes, a deep cerulean that made his breath catch. His t-shirt was blue as well, though a lighter shade, much like the sky or a robin's egg. A neck was tattered with bruises and a few cuts- probably got into fights a lot, Cody supposed. A sharp jaw lead to a shit eating grin which was currently directed his way. "Cat got yer tongue, buddy?" He mewled, and Cody somewhat gained a sense of all the other kids passing them by, who were paying this boy and Cody no attention as they pushed into them. Somewhat. It was really hard to focus on anything other than the boy in front of him.

"I-I'm sorry." He mumbled, backing up from the embrace and letting the boys hand fall, trying to ignore the absence of warmth there. "I'm just kind of… out of it today. All the time, really." He rubbed the back of his head, trying to ignore the boys prying eyes and picking up his things. He felt the teen kneel down beside him, picking up one of his folders and chuckling.

"What's so funny?" Cody asked.

The dark haired boy chuckled, looking to the name on one of Cody's papers. "Ah... 'Cody'..." He said, reading off of one of his papers, then grinning, "Yer an artist?" He held up a piece of paper where Cody had been doodling a dragon breathing fire at Princess Peach, who was screaming as she burned.

He snatched his folder from the boy, hurrying to get up and walk away. But he was right behind him the whole way down the hall, even as they approached Cody's locker. He leaned up against the side of the locker, facing toward the boy who was trying so desperately to ignore him and utterly failing. "It's okay, puddin'. I got weird hobbies too. Duncan, yer local jewelry maker, at yer service." Cody turned to look at 'Duncan' oddly. The boy chuckled again. "It's mostly just studs and gages, but still. I told ya so."

Cody rolled his eyes. "I get it, you've got odd hobbies too. You can go now."

At that comment, Duncan narrowed his eyebrows, leaning in closer to Cody, causing the latter to lean back away from the taller boy as well. "Yer hair is also really nice. What a cool shade of brown... Is it natural?"

"Is yours?"

Duncan barked out a laugh, catching the attention of a group of girls a few lockers away who proceeded to swoon. Duncan didn't even seem to notice, to Cody's surprise. He kept his eyes on the brunet only. "Ya wanna find out?" Cody blushed bright red, slamming his locker shut and taking his backpack to his shoulders as he walked away, only to find that Duncan was, yet again, trailing behind him.

After they had made it out of the building and Duncan was still following him, Cody turned to look with a death glare. "Why are ya following me?" He demanded.

Duncan shrugged his shoulders. "Bored." He looked up into the sky and acquired a dazed look, and that was when Cody realized he wasn't kidding or joking around.

His face was full of disbelief. "You are following me around… just because you're bored?" Who was this guy? Popping out of nowhere, knocking him down, making fun of his drawings and then making stupid jokes about his hair! He had basically just checked off every single box on the 'Ways to piss Cody off' list.

Duncan nodded. "Wanna go hang out?" He flashed the teen a cocky smirk, leaving Cody with his jaw ready to touch the ground.

"Wait, what?" Cody rubbed his head in confusion. He had never met anyone this incompetent- and why wouldn't he just answer his questions instead of going from 'I'm bored so I'll just hang with you' to 'Let's be friends'. "Who the hell are you?!"

Duncan rolled his eyes, looking to Cody like he had just asked the most obvious thing in the world. "I'm Duncan, ya idiot. Didn't we discuss this already?" The sarcasm was thick and made Cody's blood boil.

Cody growled. "Yeah, but… but w-we don't even know each other!" He hadn't even been around the guy for more than five minutes and he was already pissed off.

"I know you, yer Cody, and ya got brown hair, and yer a hothead." Duncan listed off the facts on his fingers.

"You don't know anything about me!" He shouted, throwing his hands in the air in frustration.

Duncan pointed at him accusingly. "I know we're both sophomores."

"I'm a freshman!"

"So now I know yer a freshman."


"Come on, puddin', let's go." Cody felt like his head really was about to explode from this guy. Even though Cody didn't have anything to do today and didn't exactly want to go home yet, what made this guy think that he was just going to leave and hang with him out of nowhere? Duncan was arrogant, he could already tell, and he didn't particularly like arrogance. But there was something different about him that he couldn't place. Something was very off about him.

But why was Cody being so stiff? He already felt bad for blowing off Beth for the fortieth time. Chris had been telling him recently that it would probably be good to hang out with his friends instead of being cooped up in the house all the time like he was now. Maybe hanging with Duncan would do him some good, like Chris said. And besides, it wasn't like they were going to go get married or something. If Duncan turned out to be an asshole, Cody could just leave.

So reluctantly, he found himself following the sophomore who smirked at him as he bumped shoulders with Cody. "Glad ya decided to join the party, puddin' pop." Cody rolled his eyes and suppressed a scowl. This was going to be interesting.

Cody and Duncan went over to Duncan's house to play video games- and Cody was impressed. He wasn't even able to afford these games, and half of them were brand new ones that he was still seeing commercials for on TV. Duncan was also pretty damn good at them, beating Cody over and over, but Cody managed to beat him a few times, smirking when Duncan muttered, "Beginners luck."

He was actually having a lot of fun with Duncan. They went out and passed a football in his backyard for a little while, and Duncan even told him that they should practice later on in the month. "Ya could probably make the team with that arm."

"Are you on the team?" Cody had asked, and Duncan had nodded, picking a piece of the football off and flicking it across the yard as they lay with their hands behind their heads on the back porch, sharing a Red Bull and staring at the sky. "What position do you play?"

"Quarterback." Duncan muttered.

Cody looked at him with disbelief, sitting up on his hands and smiling at Duncan. "No way! You're only a sophomore! How'd you manage to get QB?" Duncan shrugged. Cody was confused with his lack of enthusiasm. "Do you not like it?"

Duncan picked at the football some more, and for a moment Cody thought he wasn't going to respond to his question until he heard the quiet answer. "Not really." They left it at that, and Cody couldn't help but notice the way that Duncan's eyes looked when the sunlight hit them.

They went back inside later and went up to Duncan's room. Cody looked around the room and was surprised with how dirty it was, unlike the rest of the rather expensive house. "Clean much?" Duncan snorted but didn't answer, flopping on his bed and reaching to his desk drawer, opening it up and holding up a carton of cigarettes. Cody flashed him a frown, and Duncan turned to look at him.

"Ya want one?" Cody shook his head firmly. Duncan smirked as he fished a lighter out of his pocket, holding the stick up to his mouth and lighting up. "Pussy."

"Am not!" Cody protested, which only made Duncan's grin grow. "I just don't like smoke." Duncan gestured to the window and Cody got the hint, going to open it up so the smoke could filter out.

To tell the truth, he didn't know what to make of Duncan. He was sarcastic and crude, was quarterback for the school football team, and he smoked and was great at video games. They were just qualities that didn't really fit together. He was startled by Duncan's voice entering his thoughts. "So yer a freshman, huh?"

Cody nodded, sitting on the bed a few feet from Duncan. Duncan looked to him with curious eyes, cigarette leaning between his lips. He looked like he was examining him, as if he was trying to figure Cody out. Cody wondered if it was obvious that the situation was also vice versa. "Tell me… why is your name Cody?"

Cody rolled his eyes at the random question. "My mom liked the name." He said unceremoniously.

"Why's that?" Duncan muttered, taking a long drag and blowing it out through his nostrils.

Cody shrugged. "I don't know… I never asked her." He waited for Duncan to push it and was glad when he didn't. Most people tended to ask why, and that led to more questions, which led to 'my mom is dead' which then led to 'my dad is dead' which then led to a pity party for Cody. And he didn't want Duncan to pity him. He wanted Duncan to keep talking to him like they had been- like they were two normal guys. Like Cody wasn't the less fortunate one.

Duncan was quiet for a moment, running a hand through his dark hair. "Ya know, yer actually pretty cool once ya stop being all PMS." Duncan laughed as Cody punched his shoulder, the sour expression on the brunet's face too much for him. Soon, though, Cody started laughing with him, and they both laid back on the bed, their breathing ragged from laughing so uncontrollably. Duncan wiped a tear from his eye, but stiffened when he heard a door opening down stairs. "Oh shit."

Cody looked to Duncan with confusion. "What's wrong?"

Duncan ignored him and smashed his cigarette in the tray hastily, looking at the alarm clock next to his bed. "Dad's home… Oh my god, it's eight already, how the fuck did it get so late…?" It was like Cody wasn't even there anymore, Duncan's face was so lost and it was only making things more and more confusing to Cody. What was wrong with him? Suddenly, Cody was Duncan's only focus as the older boy grabbed his arm. "Come on!" He whispered, leading Cody across the room quickly and to his closet, where he pushed him in and came in as well.

"Dude-" Cody started in confusion, but was startled when he met Duncan's scared eyes in the dark of the closet. He could barely see, but the fear was evident in the taller boy's eyes.

"Keep quiet." He whispered so silently Cody could barely hear him. "If ya make a noise, I'll kill ya." Duncan didn't sound like he was joking, and Cody tried to keep calm as he heard hard footsteps on the stairs of the house hold. He gasped lightly when he felt Duncan wrapped his arms around Cody's waist and shove his face into his neck. "I'm sorry, man," Duncan said shakily, "But I'm afraid I might scream."

That was the last thing he said before Cody heard the door to Duncan's room slam open, and Cody immediately wrapped his arms around Duncan as well, clutching to him tight in the dark of the closet and trying to ignore the tingling feeling that rushed down his spine as he breathed heavily on his neck.

Cody heard a few more uneven, heavy footsteps and a grunt. He heard who must have been Duncan's dad. "Duncan." The voice was loud, booming, and sounded angry. Cody and Duncan both jumped when they heard something smash loudly to the floor, whatever it was breaking at the contact. His dad yelled his name again and again, louder and louder, and you could hear the frustration dripping from his voice. Duncan held Cody tighter, biting the younger boy's shoulder hard, whimpering softly. Cody felt his throat go dry and his face heat up and realized that Duncan was trying to hold back a scream.

He could feel Duncan shaking raggedly against him, his limbs limp yet his grip tight on Cody at the same time. Cody felt wetness on his shirt and realized that Duncan was crying. Hard.

His Dad was swearing like a sailor while still throwing stuff, he could hear it all smashing to the floor and crashing loudly, glass breaking and wood smacking the floor. "Ya fucking faggot. Smoking in my mother fucking house and running away like a pussy!" Cody felt Duncan tense even harder due to the harsh words. "If yer hiding in here, just know that yer mother was braver than ya, ya stupid little shit." They heard a few more grunts and then the door slammed shut, and the heavy steps on the stairs continued. Only when they heard the car start up outside a few minutes later and fade away slowly did Duncan start to lose his death grip.

Duncan slowly let go of Cody, and then he did the same. Duncan slowly opened the closet door, his breathing still harsh and his eyes bloodshot, cheeks flushed and stained with tear lines. He looked at Cody with something that Cody recognized. It was the same way he looked on those nights when he would look in the bathroom mirror. When he had just cried his eyes out and screamed into the pillow.

Cody opened his mouth to say something, but stopped when Duncan gulped harshly, rubbing his face and letting out sharp breaths. "I think ya should leave, puddin'."

Cody didn't know what to say, couldn't even make a comment about the ridiculous nickname, so he just nodded, walking over to Duncan's bed and picking up his backpack, trying to ignore the smashed alarm clock and tipped over desk laying on Duncan's floor in a heap. He tried to walk faster, trying to make his way out of the bedroom door but was surprised when he felt a hand grab his before he could. He turned to see Duncan staring a hole into him, asking him for something. Asking him for some type of… anything. He looked distant. Dazed. "We… should hang out tomorrow. Maybe at my house."

Duncan's face then turned into a light smirk, his attitude changing so quickly it scared Cody. "Cool. Then it's a date, puddin' pop."

Cody walked in his house quietly, ignoring Chris's cries of joy about how their 'dear Cody had finally come home to them!' Courtney asked where he had been and he had simply replied that he had been at a friend's house. He also asked if he could have that same friend come over to hang out tomorrow, to which Chris hastily agreed. Courtney and Chris had both exchanged secret glances at that, happy that Cody was finally crawling out of his shell again.

Dawn asked if he wanted to have some dinner, but he told her he was fine. He was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to stomach anything tonight. He made his way to his room, where he peeled off his clothes and looked at the mark on his shoulder given to him by Duncan. It was a fairly deep wound. His canines must have been killer- Cody had been looking at them earlier and wondered how they got so sharp.

He tried to sleep, but that was impossible. Everything that had happened kept replaying again and again in his mind. Duncan was like no one he had ever met before. His dad was crazy. But the way Duncan had acted… it was obvious that what had happened tonight wasn't a onetime thing. This had happened before. The bruises and cuts that littered Duncan's neck all made sense now. How could a football player be so into video games, how could a cocky person be so scared of his father?

How could such a humorous and sarcastic person cry like that?

The emotions were too overwhelming for Cody. He looked over to his desk once again and stared at the notebook.

"It helped a lot to settle all my thoughts and feelings."

He sighed, but found himself sitting up and flicking on his desk lamp anyway, sitting in his chair a leaning back as he flipped open a page.

I'm nobody.

Cody bit his lip but picked up the pencil anyway.

I don't fucking matter. What matters is that today, I met Duncan.

He then turned to look around the room and check that no one was there. He didn't need anyone seeing him writing this. Of course, it was his notebook, in his room, his private thoughts. And right now, he really needed to vent. So he sucked it up, gathered his courage, and took the pencil against the page.

He's definitely not a nobody. He's foolish. He is so stupid sometimes. I've only known him for a day and he's pissed me off to last a years' worth. He is quarterback but doesn't even give a shit. He likes Red Bull and has this odd obsession with Cheetos. He's a year older than me and acts like he's six. He plays video games pretty well but still cheats by trying to piss me off and make me look away from the screen. His laugh is too loud, his hair is too soft, his eyes are too damn blue and he fucking cried on my shoulder today. Sobbed his heart out because his dad is an asshole.

And he's my freaking soul-mate. And it sucks. Because I'm a guy nobody. And this guy is a guy. And it's wrong to say this after knowing him for one day; that I know he's my soul-mate, but he is. He probably shouldn't be but by some chain of fate I know I've gotta stay with him. Because I'm not nobody. I'm Cody. That's what my name has been since the day I was born, Cody, because that's what my mom named me and I don't know why she named me that.

But I want to know. I want to know so I can tell Duncan. Because when he was holding me in the closet, I wanted to kiss him. I've never wanted to kiss anybody, but when I finally do, it turns out to be a freaking guy. I'm gay, and I'm fourteen, and I'm writing in a mother fucking diary.

I'm too confused about everything. Duncan came in and fucked up my life. I was going pretty well, on the road to having a normal schedule once more, a normal life once more, and then he asks me to come over his house and completely fucks me up.

And I know he's my soul-mate for it. That look on his face is the same one I've been looking at for six goddamned months. And who knows how long he's been looking at it too.

Cody felt his heart pound as he dropped the pencil, staring at the words on the page. He hadn't wanted to admit it, but that felt pretty damn good. He thought of how Duncan had smirked at him so light heartedly when Cody invited him over his house and said, "Then it's a date, puddin' pop." The way he spoke as though nothing had happened in that closet. As though his dad had never come trampling through and broken everything in his sight. Like Cody hadn't just felt his heart burst into a million pieces.

Cody crawled into bed, and fell asleep peacefully. And for the first whole week, he didn't cry before he drifted into an uninterrupted sleep.

Cody wondered how he hadn't noticed Duncan before in the school. He knew he had only been there for a few weeks, but it was obvious that Duncan was a popular guy on school campus.

It had been that next day when Cody had been at his locker that he heard all the people talking about the guy. He guessed he hadn't noticed before because he didn't really care about gossip and tried his best to stay out of the dramatics of student life, but as soon as he heard Duncan's name pop up he was all ears. Cody found that he was actually pretty damn good at eavesdropping.

"Did you see the way he let me borrow his pencil during biology? I'm so going to the prom with him!"

"I mean, you should have seen the way he made that pass in practice yesterday. That dude was made for the pro's."

"He's really funny! He told me this joke the other day about…"

"What an asshole. He's just your typical rich kid. Everyone loves him, he has perfect parents, the ideal life."

At that, Cody stopped listening. He shoved his books in his locker and remembered that kids said the stupidest things sometimes. He knew that a lot of kids at school weren't rude or mean, but there were always some that were. And even some of the other kids who weren't verbally abusive still based their opinions off of fact that wasn't true half the time. For them to judge someone without knowing their home situation…

He stopped when he felt a presence beside him. Pulling the last book from his locker and shoving it into his backpack, he looked to Duncan with bright eyes. "Hey." He said quietly. Duncan simply smirked at him, leaning against the locker while he waited for Cody to finished packing up. He kept sneaking glances over to Duncan. So far, nothing seemed that out of place or different from yesterday, as though nothing had happened to him and he hadn't been crying his eyes out.

It was only when Cody stood up from his crouched position that Duncan made a comment. "Hey, before we go to yer house, can we meet someone? I have to drop off some homework that they missed." They both started walking out of the school, and Cody wondered exactly who they were going to meet. "The guy's name is Geoff and I excuse his rudeness beforehand."

Cody lifted an eyebrow and snorted. "So how do you know this guy?" He looked to Duncan who simply shook his head. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"So do ya have any siblings, puddin'?"

Ignoring the random change of subject, Cody nodded as they walked off of the school grounds and made their way down the streets of Wawaknakwa. "Yeah, two younger sisters, Dawn and Zoey. Zoey is the motherly one, and Dawn is… Dawn."

Duncan barked out a laugh as he pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his back pocket. "I never had any brothers or sisters." He looked over to Cody with a slight smirk that made the younger boy's heart flutter. "But I always had Geoff. And even though he's a little shit, he's better than nothing."

"So you guys are really close?" Cody said, feeling a tinge of jealously at the claim. He knew that he had only been in Duncan's life for a little over a day now and shouldn't expect them to be each other's best friends or something, but it still made him feel a little left out that Duncan had someone other than him to hang out with.

Duncan shrugged. "He'd never admit it. We don't talk about important things, don't really get into each other's lives, but he helps me out when I need it and I help him, so, ya know. A partner in crime, that's what he is ta me." Cody didn't like that comment at all. Partner? He felt so stupid. Why was he getting so worked up over this one guy he'd known for a day? Why was he so convinced that Duncan was supposed to be with him? He must be crazy.

But Duncan… his face last night kept reappearing in Cody's mind. The face of someone beaten, something near breaking. It was the way Cody felt all the time, underneath it all. As though no matter how high he could get, no matter how great things were going, something was always ready to pull him back down. That was why he believed in Duncan.

Because maybe, this guy would understand. On those nights when he felt like a nobody, when he sobbed and cursed himself in aggravation… maybe Duncan knew what that pain felt like too.

They arrived at the skate park after about fifteen minutes of walking. Cody had only been to the skate park once or twice to hang out with some of his friends, so he didn't exactly know anyone there. Not that he really wanted to. Most of the people who hung out there were stoners who couldn't actually skate.

Duncan was bombarded with greetings and yells of recognition as he and Cody walked through. He was amazed with how many people seemed to know Duncan. It was like everyone knew who this guy was. How come Cody hadn't heard of him before just yesterday? "Hey, who's that kid with him?"

"Could be his boyfriend. There were a few rumors that he's not the straightest crayon in the pencil box if you know what I'm saying."

Cody blushed at the hushed whispers and prayed to God that Duncan hadn't heard what any of those kids were saying, but was surprised when he felt Duncan's arm wrap around his shoulders. "Just ignore 'em." He told Cody.

Cody immediately shrugged Duncan's shoulder off, blushing brightly and glaring at him. "What's wrong with you? If you keep touching me, they'll think we're together!"

He sucked in a breath when Duncan leaned in close to him, making his heart speed up and his brain melt like butter. Duncan's eyes were that same radiant blue, his breath warm against Cody cheek. "What would be so bad about that?" And Cody realized that maybe Duncan really wasn't, as the kid had put it, the straightest crayon in the pencil box.

It would make enough sense. He wondered why it hadn't entered his mind before, especially after the lewd comments Duncan had made to him the whole time they were at his house, as well as when his Dad had been yelling at him while they were in the closet.

"Ya fucking faggot!"

He hadn't really taken in what his dad had really said back there, really just registering it as horrid things that were coming out of his mouth. He wondered how Duncan felt about his dad calling him that. He wondered if it hurt.

Duncan put his arm around Cody's shoulders yet again, and this time, although blushing and seething, he didn't push him away.

They headed over to a bench where three kids sat, and Cody vaguely recognized a couple of them. A girl with shaggy ebony and teal hair, pale skin and stoic dark eyes looked to them with a blank stare. "You haven't been around here since summer, Duncan." Her voice was a monotone, sending a shiver down Cody's back and causing him to lean back into Duncan's arm.

Duncan shrugged, huffing in another drag of his third cigarette. "I've had to keep up with school starting and shit. Besides, I hate it here." He gestured to the dirty skate park with disgust.

A sharp, deep laugh came from beside the pale girl, and Cody turned his attention to the odd looking guy. He was thin and had blonde hair, a toothy grin, dark blue eyes, and a bandana wrapped around his neck. His long arms were hanging loosely in front of him, and a stretched, slender arm was wrapped around his neck by the third kid. A long haired blonde with the same suspicious grin stood behind him, her green eyes twinkling. "Yeah, yeah, we know, Duncan-pumpkin." The blonde said, her voice a hiss as she cuddled up against bandana guy.

"Don't fucking call me that, whore." Duncan spat.

The pale girl sighed. "Stop being such a bother, Bridgette."

The blonde girl, who Cody now knew as 'Bridgette', scoffed in disbelief. "Geoffrey! Hit Gwen for me!" She said, pouting childishly. She looked somewhat younger than Cody, or maybe that was just the way she acted.

Bandana boy rolled his eyes. "Shut the fuck up, will ya, babe?" Bridgette stuck out her tongue but smiled and kissed the guy's cheek, laughing before noticing Cody.

Blondie's eyes flashed tremendously bright as she looked to the brunet with interest. "Well, he's cute, Duncan. Introduce us, will ya?"

Cody blushed and Duncan growled. "Hands off." Bridgette rolled her eyes but Duncan ignored her and continued. "This is Cody, he goes to our school. He's a freshman."

Bridgette lit up. "Oh, I'm a freshman too!" She ran toward Cody, throwing Duncan's arms off the boy and wrapping him in a tight hug. "The name's Bridgette, nice ta meet ya Cody-Brody! Yer too cute!" She giggled loudly, with Cody trying to squeeze out of the blonde's tight grip.

"I said hands off, ya little asshole!" Cody was thankfully saved when the tall skinny blonde haired guy pulled Bridgette off of him, the latter still waving at Cody with humor.

The thin one smiled his toothy grin. "Sorry 'bout that. She has ADD." Bridgette slapped the boy's chest but it didn't look like it affected him much since he continued to keep his eyes locked with Cody. "I'm Geoff." He pointed a long crooked finger to the pale chick. "And that's Gwen, the emo one. And ya already met Duncan, our little pumpkin."

Duncan let out a venomous hiss, glaring at Geoff. "Shut the fuck up, I bought you yer homework so ya better be happy, since Gwen wasn't gonna do it."

Geoff turned to give Gwen a raised brow but only received a shrug in response. "I don't do favors for people who skip school the day of our English Literature project. I hate doing presentations alone." Cody suddenly remembered where he recognized her from.

"Hey, you're the student body president! The one who gives all those boring spee-" Cody blurted out but was stopped but Duncan's hand on his lips. Cody realized his mistake and began stuttering in embarrassment. "I-I mean, those amazing speeches that make me hang off your every word."

Gwen just shrugged. "I'm vice president, and I don't write the..." at this point she took a breath, glaring at the brunet, "...boring speeches. I simply recite them. Trent, the real student body president, is the master behind the speeches." At the mention of the person, Gwen's eyes gleamed.

Duncan grimaced beside Cody. "Whatever. Master? More like poser. Why do ya think he only comes out of hiding to announce his annual pool party and leaves you to handle all the boring paperwork and speeches?"

Cody looked to them all in confusion. "Who's Trent?"

"Only the craziest bastard in the whole school." Bridgette smiled, while Geoff nodded beside her. When Cody gave him a raised brow, he only increased the speed of his nod.

"Bridge ain't lying, the bitch is off his rocker." Geoff took the papers from Duncan's hands, rubbing a hand over his face and grunting. "Quadratic equations in radical form, the fuck is this shit?" Bridgette chuckled at the thin boy's annoyance.

Duncan shrugged. "I don't know, I don't care, I just bring ya the stuff ya missed, dill-hole. Yer welcome. Now me and puddin' here are gonna take our leave ta his house." He then turned to glance at Cody. "That is, if he stills wants to hang out with me after finding out I hang with such dumbasses."

"Aww, Duncan-pumpkin, yer too kind ta me!" Bridgette yelled, running over to hug Cody randomly again and once again being held back by Geoff. "We'll see ya in school tomorrow, Cody?" Trying to hold back a laugh at Bridgette's wild antics, Cody nodded with a smile before he and Duncan turned to walk to his house.

Once they were away from the skate park and finally alone again, Cody spoke. "Your friends are very…" He searched for the right words.

Duncan snorted. "Stupid?"

"…A bit overbearing. But they seem like they know you, I mean, I have friends, but none of them are that close to me…" Cody scratched his head, thinking back to all of his friends. He had Tyler, but they didn't talk much, mostly due to the fact that he never really spoke. Noah was his friend, but he didn't really talk to him as much as he tried to get him out of his business. And Beth did nothing but blush whenever they got into a conversation; she was extremely nice but Cody didn't really talk to her about subjects that didn't have to do with school work. Now that he thought about it… he didn't really have a best friend. His heart felt heavy.

Wasn't that how it had always been? Cody wasn't that popular at school, he only had a few friends, and when he went home, he usually holed himself up in his bedroom and did his homework, and he only spent time with his 'family' at dinner. He then went upstairs, went through all his hygienic needs in the bathroom, looked in the mirror, cursed his life, went to bed, and if it was a good day, he didn't cry. His life was… it was nothing. Nothing happened. He stuck to the same schedule and routine. Cody felt his eyes start to sting. He shook his head, willing the thoughts away. He couldn't cry, not in public. He could save that for his pillow tonight.

"Hey." Cody turned to look at Duncan, who was looking at him with his normal shit-eating grin. "Ya got me now. We can be friends, puddin' pop, if yer feeling lonely." He said jokingly, and although it should have annoyed Cody, he actually felt his face brighten up instantly.

"I'm not lonely!" Cody said halfheartedly.

Duncan nodded, throwing his cigarette to the ground and crushing it with his shoe. "Sure ya are, Cody." Duncan leaned down a bit so he was looking him straight in the eye. "It's okay to be a little lonely."

"Whatever." Cody said, trying to dismiss the subject. Duncan just shrugged, and Cody tried not to think any more about the way his heart sped up while as they walked, Duncan's hand kept bumping into his.

"Oh, so who is this little guy?" Chris smiled from his seat at the kitchen table as Cody walked in his home with Duncan following close behind. The older man had his trademark necklace on but had ditched his usual outfit, settling for a t-shirt and some basketball shorts. He looked up at Duncan through half lidded eyes. "I see Cody-kins has made a friend~" He sang off key.

Cody rolled his eyes. "Chris, meet Duncan. Duncan, Chris McClean. Now we're gonna go up to my room." Cody grabbed Duncan's hand and they trudged upstairs, but met a sight neither were prepared for at the top of the stairs. "Courtney! I told you that you can't just walk around without a top on!"

Duncan blushed bright red, looking away as Courtney lifted her towel high enough so that things were back to PG. "Sorry, Cody, must have forgotten!" She laughed cheerfully, as though she hadn't just had the biggest boob slip Cody had yet to see.

"Dear lord," He muttered, dragging Duncan away from the naked lady who had apparently just come from the shower and into his room. Once they were in, Cody slammed the door shut, his back sliding down the frame as he let out a long sigh. "I am so sorry." He was blushing profusely, how would Duncan react when he learned he lived with a bunch of freaks? Cody was surprised when he heard light laughter from the other side of his room. He looked up to see Duncan holding back his chuckles behind his hand.

"Yer family is a riot, puddin'." He said, trying to calm his breathing after laughing so hard.

"More like a bunch of idiots." Cody mumbled, walking over to sit at his desk.

Duncan feel back on Cody's bed, shrugging as he look around the brunet's room. "Better than mine, that's for sure." With those words, the air grew much tenser and Cody felt his heart speed up. Did he say something wrong? He probably had, but Duncan didn't try to push the subject anymore.

He didn't know if that made him feel better or not.

Duncan grinned cheekily. "Told ya I could kick yer ass at anything, puddin' pop." Cody scowled, rolling his eyes but silently cursing himself in defeat. He had believed that the reason Duncan was able to beat him in all those video games yesterday was because he practiced with them for so long and played them all the time, but even with Cody's game that Duncan never had, he excelled in. "I just got the magic touch, and you don't."

Sticking out his tongue, Cody fell back on his bed. "Whatever! You just got lucky." Duncan laughed and Cody felt his scowl falter a bit.

"What time is it?" Duncan asked after a few minutes into another video game. Cody looked over to his alarm clock, grimacing when he heard his character on the video game die. "TKO, bitch! Take that!" Duncan cackled.

"I wasn't even looking at the screen, asshole! That doesn't count!" Duncan continued laughing but abruptly stopped when Cody told him the time he had asked for.

"Shit. I gotta get going." Cody watched as Duncan picked up his bag and, even as he joked with Cody about beating him and teased each other, Cody could still see that small sliver of something else; something scared, inside of Duncan. "So I'll see ya tomorrow, Cody?"

Cody felt something lodge in his throat. He should've said something to Duncan. He should've let him know that last night wasn't unforgotten. But the way Duncan was smiling, a cocky grin, bright teal eyes, posture knowing, familiar, like Cody was a good friend…

He didn't want to ruin that. Not yet.

"Yeah… tomorrow."


bonus diary entry

Duncan saw Courtney's tits.

He's most likely totally gay.

His friends are fucking weird.

He smells nice.

God my life is fucked up.