HUGE THANKS to : torrid-affairs (terribly long, as yet again proven..), One Desire (coincidences like that are always great!), Firebringer (people who bottle up always end up exploding, fortunately for the writer. Bittersweet, I like that!), Thorn's-girl (that's pure sweetness), Slinkygirl (haven't seen you in a bit, how have you been?), broken fedora (aw, I hope so too!), Rainbow-Brown (aw, I'm so late too..), Orange6ix (that made me smile) and Call Me Crimson (he seems to attract dramatic angst but I'll be nicer to him soon!).
Mass Descent: That was one of the most beautiful reviews ever. Thank you so much. And I hope you'll have great holidays! I read your lj entry only after I figured you had left so I'm saying it here to be sure you see it.. one day.
penglass: Aw, I'm really glad you liked it! More than I can express right now but you can fill in the blank with the flattering sentence of your preference. I honestly don't know why but please do it.
Aezy: Hahaha. If Kayley were normal, what would it say of the world? No, wait. I don't even want to know! ps. Bonding over Bright Eyes is seriously sweet! I don't know why people just don't belt out their love for them but then, I feel pretty lucky that practically no one has ever heard of them over here. Say what? Being for or against fads is pretty odd, either way. Let's break those closet doors! With an axe.
ohxperfectionx: -grins. Ask him, he may say yes, who knows. I'm not sure why guys like him don't exist but then, I know some persons who are eerily like him at Times. Didn't do it on purpose, though. Too bad they had to live through such shit when they're so amazing and deserve the best.
Tiff: You know, I was listening to that song exactly when I was reading your review when I got it –cough- some months ago. No fucking shit. How have you been ?! I'd love to know about your Saturday mess and your curveballs! Sheesh, lady. We should try to attempt e-mail or something, I update this thing way too sporadically. On this side of the world, life has had its ups and downs lately but everything is bound to be okay some day. Bright Eyes were fucking marvellous and brilliant! And really, I have so much to blab and not blab about that I don't know where to start. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in ages, I wasn't up to it but I got ridiculously alright all of a sudden this morning so there you go! Muaha! CLIMAX.
eug: Dude, you need to get online more. It'd be good for your skin and we'd get to talk, haha. Tristan is definitely going to pop in soon, if not in this chapter (you know how I never plan). He still kind of feels like an outsider so he doesn't think it's his place to say anything about anyone. Yeah, Dayin needed to be humanised a bit. Aw, no one seems to like Caden but he's not a bad guy, I swear! Nora vs Kayley? Ahahah. Maybe in a mud pit.
ANOTHER NOTE: First off, if you're reading this.. Thank you for your patience. Seriously. I know I've been lame with updates this past year but life can just death grip your nuts and never let go. And it sometimes prevents you from walking, even if they're imaginary balls. Down with the bad metaphors. I'm sure none of you guys remember what the hell you reviewed me about because my responses are so late but do know I appreciated every single one of your comments. I just haven't been able to write anything decent that was long enough to be posted so I held back from spamming you with utter shit. And I've had so many other story ideas, it's ridiculous how unfocused I am. Anyway, I'm not sure where this chapter will be leading to but surprises are always fun. And I'm feeling in a funny mood. Which isn't actually funny but you get what I mean. I know it was all dundundunnn in the last chapter but hell, this is Belmont.
Liv squinted to dull the impact of Nora's shriek, as if any other movement would summon her best friend's spirit of indignation. It was still enough to set her off.
- I can't believe Dayin ran off again! Nora repeated her protest. Seriously! What did he say? What did you do?
- I'm the one who ran, Liv retorted, grabbing her fork to stab a random piece of meat. I couldn't just stay there and stare at him like a moron.
She had actually left to hide the heroin somewhere and try to calm down, torn between anger and something else. She hadn't wanted to lose it. Not then or ever.
- That's gross, you two should really sit down and have sex. And he didn't try to stop you?
- He just brushed my lips with his hand.
- You should try to sort your feelings out and Dayin is way too weird. What the hell is wrong with him?
- Other than his wacky alter who would fuck a hole in the wall if it sweated lube? Caden chimed in, sitting down at the table.
Nora scrunched her nose at the image then grinned flirtatiously at the boy. Liv fired a spoonful of vegetables at him.
- Need advice? Caden proposed after getting peas out of his hood. I happen to know about guys because hey! I am one. So, from what I've heard by shamelessly eavesdropping, Dayin and Liv are acting like insecure little shits. Boohoo. What else is new?
- Piss the fuck off.
- Lily, get a whip and have your goddamn way with him! Stop collecting the emo points, there are better feats to claim fame for.
- Don't call me that, Liv impatiently stood. And I don't want to talk about this with you.
She walked out of the dining room, leaving her friends in a state of interrupted curiosity. Caden shrugged and started eating her untouched meal.
- Liv sure needs to get laid.
Nora made big eyes of agreement. They ate in silence for a minute but it wasn't like either could ever shut up so Caden spoke up again.
- Do you think we should tell her about us?
- Us? Nora giggled. Come on, we both know it's purely sexual and Liv doesn't mind if I don't tell her right away who I'm getting it on with.
- I'm not some nameless shag, Caden knowingly smirked.
- You give yourself far too much credit when it comes to Liv's ill-feelings, Nora replied, trapping his foot between her own. She barely mentions you.
- Are you two even close?
- Don't be an ass, of course we are. I know it doesn't seem like it because we're not attached by the hip and I'm constantly nagging her about everything. But that's how we work. She listens to me and never judges, I give her space when she needs some and we share what we love in whichever way we can. The arguments are just to spice things up.
- You like Dayin though, Caden coolly declared. It must be hard to not shake her around and scream some fancy expletives.
- I've given up on him, Nora frowned. Anyway, stop trying to mess with me. You won't manage to get me in a row with her.
- That's quasi impossible and it isn't my point. I've been wanting to figure out the dynamics of your little group so I'm merely filling in the blanks.
- What have you concluded so far? Nora inquisitively asked.
- Jehan, Dayin and Tristan all pine after Liv and mope like losers instead of doing something about it, Caden snickered. She's constantly in lala-land and Adrien and Aure are getting increasingly crazy. You're the only chill person left in the bunch.
- Are you saying that because we fuck?
- No, because you're a swell chica. Incredibly selfless.
- Do you have some free time right now? Nora brilliantly smiled in thanks.
He sighed at the girl who used sex in exchange of everything but deep down, he knew she was as sweet as she seemed and he wasn't going to start complaining when he was on the receiving end. Any sort of affection was good to him. Hell, even hatred was.
Groaning, Tristan rolled over on his bed and nudged his roommate's back with his foot.
- Gayley, I've got the bluest balls in the world.
A bit confused, Jehan shook his head and wrote down several notes on a music sheet.
- I'm horny, Tristan clarified.
- Thanks, I got that part. And there's nothing I can do about it, mate.
Jehan paused, looked up from his mini-keyboard then turned around to point his crayon at him.
- Wait, you haven't kicked me out for weeks and you've slept every night in your bed. Are you sick?
- My dick is being a stiff picky bitch, Tristan grimaced.
- How about your godly right hand?
- Too lonely.
- Oh, Jehan briefly attempted to sympathise. I guess you'll just have to wait for your cock to be open-minded again.
Tristan shot him a dirty look.
- I have needs, not everyone is asexual like you. Have you ever had a hard-on in your life?
- Is that your frustration speaking? Jehan glared.
His eyes softened when he noticed how tired and sad his friend looked, like a shadow of his former self. He had always taken care of himself but lately, his impeccable way of dressing had been sort of lacking and he didn't shave half as much as he should've. The girls seemed to love it but, for once, Tristan Ryder didn't seem to give a fuck about his social life and generally looked glum when no one was talking to him.
Tristan didn't reply to his sarcasm so Jehan neatly stacked his papers and shoved him in the shoulder, smiling engagingly.
- Liv and I are going to the centre in a few, what with that stupid holiday and all. We're probably going to shop for half an hour then go see my uncle. Want to come along?
- Good idea, Tristan replied, cheered up at the prospect of getting away from school. Let me grab my shoes.
Jehan nodded and finished putting his things away. Whistling, Tristan fixed his hair as well as he could and, although he knew he had to move on, couldn't prevent from secretly grinning at spending some time with Liv. Hope would kill him one of these days.
- Do you have a date for Valentine's? Tristan queried as he slipped into a jacket and followed his friend out of the door.
- Not really, Jehan grumbled, thinking of Neil. How about you?
- No, I never do.
- Yeah? Jehan raised an eyebrow. Lying fuck, you went out with some girl last year.
- I had sex with her, which is an entirely different matter.
- I don't know how you can do that with just anyone.
- Not anyone! I'm not a slut and I don't bang strangers.
- Lies! Jehan exclaimed, disbelieving.
- I'd prefer if you called them my gift for fiction, Tristan snickered.
- Whatever, man.
- I was never in love with them, though. That's disappointing.
- How sappy of you, Jehan cringed in mock horror.
- Don't you want love too? Neil suddenly crooned from behind them.
Jehan tripped over his shoelaces and was only kept from disgrace by Tristan steadying his balance.
- No, I don't want love, Jehan snapped. Where did you come from, anyway?
- You're always asking me that, Neil sighed, despite his glowing smile. You shouldn't be this surprised, we live in the same school after all.
He exchanged a nod of acknowledgement with Tristan but otherwise, didn't bother about handshaking. They used to hang out with the same crowd and could've been considered rivals of sorts when it came to popularity but they'd never felt more than very dull interest in the other, unless drugs were involved. Bored, Jehan shrugged off his arm and started walking away, Tristan following.
- Are you running away from me? Neil asked, picking up a faster pace to stay level with them.
- Got things to do, Jehan rolled his eyes.
- We're going in the centre with Liv, Tristan supplied more information.
- Is that so.. Neil trailed off with a purposely blank expression. Well then. I'll leave you to it but babydoll, you and I should have a little chat in, let's say, three hours? In the music room.
The younger boy refrained a groan and hastily nodded, gesturing at Liv who was waiting near the front door. She crushed her cigarette and shot the trio a quizzical look before vaguely waving back. Distracted from the two others' weirdness, Tristan straightened his collar while Neil discreetly slipped out of sight, figuring it wouldn't do to be around her after what had happened between them. It was already a damn miracle she hadn't told Jehan anything, Neil wasn't going to purposely ruin the little chance he thought he had.
- You're a fucking idiot! Aure scowled, whacking Dayin square in the head.
- Don't be mean, Adrien protested in a whisper. He's already down enough.
- What are you talking about? Aure exploded in frustration. Seriously! His indecision is sickening! How long are you going to dance around Liv and never do a schmuck about it?! How many times have you kissed her already before leaving like a wimp?
- Noooo, you kissed her? Adrien gasped. And you left like a wimp?
Dayin just stared through them, absently picking at the hole in his sleeve. Knowing he was tuning them out, Aure abruptly pounced on him and with a "hey!" and a thud, Dayin was sent sprawling on his back.
- She left and I didn't go after her, Dayin corrected, gritting his teeth over the shock.
He felt the pain settle behind his eyes and sat up, gently throwing Aure to the side. With a dejected air, his friends stared at him.
- Don't look at me like that.
- Liv could do something about it too, Adrien fairly pointed out.
- He's the boy! Aure angrily retorted.
Adrien threw his hands in the air then held them there, moving his fingers a bit before asking in one long breath:
- Living in a world where boys are like girls and girls are like boys, with everyone wanting anyone in one way or the other, do you think that really matters?
- Well, fine! Aure sheepishly gaped. But this is Liv we're talking about. She must have signed this sort of crazy contract with God for immunity. Immunity towards any normal human interaction!
Dayin refrained from interfering and enlarged the hole for his thumb, thinking of ways he could cut loose for a smoke.
- And you! Aure rageously faced him. Stuff a snake in your pants, I don't care what! Just let go of the insecurities!
- Stop freaking out.
- Why are you hesitating? Adrien wondered. She really likes you and you know that Jay has other priorities right now. It isn't like there's any competition.
They actually sat still when they caught the odd expression in Dayin's eyes.
- I don't think I'm made for her, he carefully said.
- Even if she's made for you? Aure completed enthusiastically. This is so soap-opera, all conflicted hero romantic. Oh, this is priceless!
- Ew, Dayin protested. Take that back.
- Are you blushing? she inquisitively peered at him.
- No. And you of all persons should know why I'm not doing anything.
- You are! You begin but never finish and you wonder why the girl runs away? Prick.
Dayin couldn't find an adequate answer to that. It was just so hard to figure out what was going on in that multiple mind of his, along with those multiple hearts. Fucking insane. It wouldn't be fair to subject anyone to that, let alone someone like Liv.
- You should text-message her, Aure offered her phone. To meet up later on.
- Does she even have a cell?
- Or a post-it on her door, same old. I'm not sure I like what I'm assuming from your expression. Try, for the sake of the planet.
- She's stronger than you think, Adrien quietly added.
Glancing down, Dayin bit his lip then shrugged a shoulder.
- Post-it, then.
If you have time, I'm on the roof.
- God, he could've made an effort, Nora commented as Liv peeled it off the door.
- I don't mind, she replied.
Letting Nora enter first, Liv turned the note and read: Please, I need to know what's going on. Got detention so I'm eating supper at eight, keep me a seat. However it goes, aye? She mentally promised him this then told Nora to not wait around.
However it goes, she pondered, walking to a window near the fire escape. What the hell. It was bound to go wrong if they tried dating. She couldn't bear being touched ever since that day with Neil. It had only been two months or so but Liv felt frustrated with herself for not being completely over it yet. She could avoid mentioning it but it was difficult to forget, even if she knew Dayin understood what she had gone through. She would be a terrible girlfriend anyway, the idea of being tied down to someone horrified her.
She looked up and realised she was already on the roof, with Dayin clearly staring at her.
- Hey, she numbly replied.
Fear, that was it. Liv stepped over to him, avoiding the melted puddles of snow and sat down, hugging her knees because of the cold. Dayin wasn't as calm as usual and she laughed at how he kept jiggling his legs.
- Why are you fidgeting like that, nervous? She easily joked.
Dayin cracked a grin and took a drag to hide it.
- Kinda, he conceded. I wonder why.
- Got cussed out too? Liv smiled.
- Yeah, Dayin chuckled. I did.
They shyly looked at each other, quietly enjoying the view.
- We're such teenagers, Liv humorously remarked.
- Cookie-cut stereotypes, Dayin agreed.
She made a face and he laughed.
- I don't know, Liv propped her chin on her hand.
- Would you like to go out? Dayin casually asked.
- Eh, you mean a lot to me but I don't think I want to date.
- I feel the same way.
Liv flashed him a smile which warmed his heart.
- Come here, Dayin beckoned after taking another shaky drag.
He held his hands cupped over her face and exhaled through the joint, his eyes boring into hers. Pulling back, Liv let the smoke settle at the bottom of her lungs and kept still, not knowing what to do. Dayin was steadily looking at her and she watched him swallow, parting his lips as if to talk. He looked so precious and pure at that moment, Liv couldn't help tugging him to her and place her mouth on his, blowing the smoke back into his throat. He tipped her jaw, letting his tongue dance with hers as he breathed her in.
Liv put her hand on his shoulder and softly pushed him. Opening his eyes, Dayin licked his lips then brushed a wisp of hair out of her face. The sudden rush of emotions scared him a little, apathy was so comfortable. He didn't know if he could stomach this. Liv and her beauty, how it will hurt when she'll realise how fucked up he truly was and end it all.
She was thinking the exact same thing. They were both growing defensive but attempted to fight the usual feeling back by urging themselves to trust the other.
- We can go on like that and see what happens, Dayin eventually said.
- You mean, randomly making out?
- Don't tease, we're more than that, he mumbled. I hope so, anyway.
A/n: Okay! I know this was a talky chapter but certain things had to be mentioned and I hope you liked it regardless. Bottle up and explode! dixit Elliott Smith. All the tension built is finally going to spew out, I wonder if I'm dragging this story too much but if you look at the Time lapse, it's pretty realistic. And baha, I know, Nora and Caden. It seemed to make sense at the Time. Even if most scenes are directly or not linked to either Liv, Jehan or Dayin; it doesn't stop the others from still having a life. Anyway, I promise you a nicer Dayin/Liv moment in the next chapter. They were still too awkward as hell to really let go this chapter. There'll also be way more Jehan! I'll try to post it before the end of the year because I sure need a fucking distraction. I also have a more serious story all decked out so that may pop up soon too. Anyway, it's almost six am and I exceptionally have to wake up in an hour so I'll see you guys around.