Chapter 9: Questioning

Casturo POV

Right after I finished eating lunch with the gang, I change out of my sleeping attire into a casual black t-shirt and a pair of baggy dark blue jeans. They are my only set of extra clean clothes right now... I didn't have the chance to wash any of my laundry before I moved in here. I come out of the bathroom and I see Viruz on his phone, his fingerless gloved thumbs hammering away at the touchscreen. He's leaning against the wall in front of me. "Uh... Were you waiting for the bathroom?" I raise my eyebrows.

"Hm? Oh, uh, no. Just... Texting..." He pockets his phone rather quickly into his large hoodie pocket, his eyes fixated on my face. I get a heavy vibe from him now that I'm getting a good solid look at him. He had a look of distrust in his dulled orbs, not just of me, but of the entire world around him. I give a firm nod to his direction then proceed to walk away. "I have a question, if I may." I turn my head slightly.

"Yes? Something wrong?" He watches my face again, fixing his gloves in an absentminded way.

"Your relationship with Burn. What is it, exactly?" I blink. What's he getting at?

"He's a good friend, why?" His lips curl into a mild smirk, his hands going up to pull his hood up.

"Our charismatic leader may have a thing for you. He's homosexual, actually. It's on the down low, though... Whispers say that that's why he ran off from home. That his father caught him in bed with his at the time boyfriend." Viruz shrugs his thin shoulders... Why would he know that kind of stuff? He didn't see that close to him, more close to Check than anything else.

"Why should that all matter to me, exactly?" I question slowly. He looks me dead in the eyes, shrugs his shoulders again, then abruptly leaves me in that hallway. Why would Burn's homosexuality have anything to do with me? If he likes me, I gently turn him down... I'm not like that... Yeah. I get pushed out of my thoughts by the sound of my name echoing though the small corridor.

"Yo, Casturo! We're going to go tag up Highhill, you comin'?" It's Check again.

"Sure, just a minute!" I call back. I got to go find my newly acquired skates. I had gotten them from the gang as a welcoming present. I pull them on my sock covered feet then proceed down the hallway to meet up in the living room. Burn, who's properly dressed and his face shaven, Check, and Mouse are waiting on me.

"You take too long." Mouse mutters lowly, crossing her arms over her bust. Check flicks her cheek lightly with his gloved fingers, causing her to let out a frustrated growl at him. He snickers underneath his breath. "You're lucky Burn's here or I swear I'd eat all your ice cream." She hisses out.

"N-not my pint of chocolate chip cookie dough..." He whines.

"Especially the pint of chocolate chip cookie dough, you asshat." Check puffed out his pale cheeks while Mouse stuck her pale pink tongue out at him. "I'll pull you by your nose ring." His hand goes to cover his pierced nose, eyes mildly wide with a small 'meep' leaving his vocals. Burn looks at them both, rolling his steely green eyes.

"Kids, kids... You're both just awful." He glances right at me, giving a low sigh. "You ready to go, man?"

"Yeah, is Viruz going with us or no?" He scratches the back of his head, shrugs. Guess not, huh. Viruz... He's got a weird vibe about him, that oddball techie. His lime green hair and goggles, vibrant colors... I've never seen a person like him before. He couldn't have been born here in Slivervale, couldn't have. The way he talks and acts... It's like no one who lives here. People here have their secrets, they hide their dirty laundry underneath the bed with the monster. They've had to, being open with opinions gets you killed in the street, be it by a gang or by the government goons. But... He seems to be open as hell.

We tag buildings for a couple of hours. It's autumn now, so the wind has a pleasant cool to it and you can smell the chill in the air. Tickles your nose just a little bit, actually. We had almost been caught by Keepers during the whole ordeal but luckily, skates beat foot power. The sun is setting through the grimy window in front of me now that we are seated in the living room. Burn's seated on the couch next to Check with a whiskey bottle in his palm. They are sharing it, since they split the money on it. Mouse went up stairs to "Rock out to J-pop", apparently. Don't see the appeal in the stuff to be honest, especially since I don't understand Japanese but a couple of words from Shane.

Speaking of Shane... I hadn't called her since I moved out of my apartment. I shift in my seat in the recliner, grabbing my phone from my pocket. I ring her up, and she answers. "Hey, Shane, how are you?"

"Eh, I'm fine. Made big bucks yesterday after some DJ played at my weekend cafe... DJ Dura I think. I think he hosts Wildcard Radio or some underground station like that."

"I heard his broadcast earlier today. Taze aligned herself with the Skeleton Rangers." I hear her gentle sigh over the phone.

"Man, what a bitch, I swear. She's gonna get those bastards killed... She only cares about the glory and comeback of her gang, I know her well enough." I glance over at Burn, who had been staring intently at his half bottle of whiskey.

"Well... What's the worst that could happen?" I ask.

I can hear the audible pause in her voice. "I... You don't wanna know, Casturo. You don't wanna know."