"I told you, I really don't need your help Mum!" Taylor said impatiently as he opened the door of his dorm room. It was three days before term started at Pearl J, Banister University, and Taylor was already wondering why he had decided to leave his parents home. It wasn't like they lived far from the school, and moving had always been something the young man didn't like. At all. Ever.

"I know darling, but I just have to see your room. After all, I want to make sure everything's just perfect for you," she said, her British accent thick as she pushed her way past her son, who had just opened the door of his dorm. He rolled his eyes as he heard his mother let out and excited squeal, but entered the room anyway, readjusting the boxes he was holding and shuffling the box on the floor through the door with his feet.

The room was about the size of his parent's living room, so it wasn't as big as he had hoped; that was the first thing Taylor noticed. He frowned, but then decided that he supposed he could make the best of it. After all, it could've been worse. He'd heard the stories of his sister's dorm. He supposed he should be grateful for agreeing to have a roommate.

The room was 'L'-shaped: when he walked in he found himself in a large square. To his left, a small hallway went on for about three feet where it ended with a door (which was bolted and locked, Taylor noticed) that led to the dorm room next door. He noted a second door on the wall; he assumed that led to the bathroom. He moved his attention to the rest of the room on his right, where his mother had already begun arranging some of his belongings on the bedside table on the unoccupied side of the room. It was a twin bed (made of a light wood, Taylor noticed, which went well with the light blue walls) with drawers underneath for extra storage. A matching bed was on the other side, which was made with simple white sheets and an orange comforter. At the end of each bed was a small desk--without chairs, Taylor noted, meaning he had to go shopping--and on the opposite wall were two dressers, separated in the center by a long table. Taylor immediately decided that was the perfect place for a television. Now he really had to go shopping.

"It's lovely, isn't it! Come on then, put those boxes down. Wouldn't want you getting hurt before classes started, would we?" Taylor heard his mother say, before he walked over to her and put the boxes down on his side of the room.

"Yeah, it's alright," Taylor said, his nearly American accent clashing with his mother's. Despite having lived in England for the first eight years of his life, Taylor had managed to somehow lose most of his accent. Not that some things had left; he still got odd looks when he said chips instead of French fries, or something silly like that. He had specifically made sure not to say "fag" instead of "cigarette" around people who didn't know he came from England and were either confused, angry, or both at his use of the word.

"Come on, unpack your things. Let's get you all settled in before your roommate arrives!" his mother said, smiling brightly, despite the fact that her eyes showed some sadness too. He was the middle child in his family; he knew that him leaving meant her children were almost all grown up.

"Alright, Mum, alright," he said, opening the boxes and removing clothes, who his mother immediately took from him to fold in his dresser. Taylor rolled his eyes but smiled, handing his mother the clothes as he took them out.

It took them only a couple hours to get him all settled in. Even Taylor had to admit that having his mum come along had sped up the process. It would've taken him forever, and, knowing how good he was at organizing, it wouldn't have been even close to how neat it was.

"Look at that! All done," his mother said when they finished, plopping down, tired, on his bed. Taylor smiled and sat down next to her. It was funny, how alike he and his mom were, though it was certainly not in appearance. She was petite, built small but still curvy, once blond hair streaked with gray and face wise with age; nowhere near weary. Her green eyes still shown with youth, and nimble hands still moved without the pains of age. The side of his mouth quirked as he thought of his sister. Rachel was the spitting image of his mother when she was younger, blonde hair slightly wavy, green eyes playful, her face dashed lightly with freckles giving her a playful look. His sister had an innocence about her that most strived to achieve, but few could accomplish. A naiveté that couldn't be hindered, even when she spoke seriously. She was like a small child, though her intelligence begged to differ. And then his younger brother, Peter, with a mop of wild strawberry blonde hair and the blue eyes of his father, built tall and already well filled out for sixteen year old. He was strong and competitive, but had a soft side that he rarely showed to anyone but family. He was a rough and tumble soccer player. He couldn't be sweet.

And then, there was Taylor. He was, to say the least, the odd one in his family. Both parents had blond hair, but Taylor's had come out a mousy brown, darker at the roots but slowly becoming lighter as it grew. His eyes were neither blue nor green, but a soft gray, clear and pure, untouched by any other color. His skin was light, but no freckles adorned his face like his siblings and mother, and he was built somewhere in between that of a petite boy and a strong man. He stood at five foot six inches, and he was neither gangly nor muscled, but somewhere in between. His face was not childlike, but it wasn't studly and manly either, settling for a mixture of sharp angles and soft curves, wide eyes in exchange for a pointed chin, full lips in exchange for a sharp and straight nose. He was not considered handsome by most, but he wasn't ugly either. He was average; and Taylor was just fine with that.

But where his sister was innocent and his brother was competitive, he was... well, it was hard to describe what he was. Flighty was a word his father had used; dreamy was what his sister had said. A big poof was what his brother had called him, but he really didn't care what his brother thought and merely tossed that aside. Taylor didn't care for sports preferring to cook or doodle (though he was much better at the latter) or write in his free time. His mother was the same: when his dad got caught up in some sports thing on television, his mother would hop off to the kitchen to concoct something strange (she liked experimenting) or would paint something in the backyard. Sometimes she would even sing when she thought no one was paying attention, but Taylor was always there, always watching. He loved his mother, and though he didn't always show it, she was his role model. In his eyes, she was the perfect person.

"I'm going to miss you, Mum," he mumbled, fidgeting with his hands in his lap. He was never good at these things, but then again, most boys his age weren't. In fact, most men were never good at this sort of thing.

"Oh, darling, I'll miss you too!" his mother said, pulling her son into a tight hug. Taylor patted her back, feeling strangely awkward being hugged so much by his mother, but allowed her to do it, only because he knew she was upset.

"I'll write and call, Mum, I promise. You know I wouldn't ignore you," Taylor said, pulling away from the tight embrace. His mother nodded, smiling at him.

"I know, sweetheart, but I worry sometimes, you know. I can't help it." She chuckled softly, sadly. "I'm going to miss having you as a painting and cooking partner. You know Pete won't have anything to do with that."

Taylor smiled. "Yeah, I know. I'll be home to visit soon. You know I can't stay away and I'm only an hours drive." She nodded and stood, Taylor following. "I'll walk you to the car."

"Are you sure? Don't want to see if your roommate comes?" she asked, unsure. Taylor shrugged noncommittally and walked to the door.

"C'mon. It doesn't matter either way, I'm meet him eventually anyway," he said smiling and she gave him a smile back. The walk to the car was silent and thoughtful; Taylor could feel his mom's grip on his arm tighten every step as they made it closer and closer to the car. He sighed, silently cursing the fact that he had to age. He suddenly wished he could he ten again, the year before his grandmother died, back when the three of them would bake cookies in the kitchen or tell stories underneath the huge tree in their back yard. Before cancer reared its ugly head, effectively crushing the happiness her moving in had brought. He smiled sadly at the memories, but his mother didn't notice. She was too wrapped up in her own memories.

Taylor pushed open the door that led to the parking lot form the dorm building, allowing his mother to walk through before he followed. Once they reached the car, both stopped, almost unable to speak.

"Mum?" Taylor finally found his voice, even if it was soft, and reminded him of a scared child. His mother let out a sob and wrapped her arms around his neck. He hugged her tightly, feeling the tears that threatened to break free. But he wouldn't cry. He couldn't cry. It had been seven years since he cried, and he vowed that he would never cry for a selfish reason again--even if it was leaving his home.

"Oh, baby, I'm going to miss you so much," his mother whispered in his ear, and Taylor found he couldn't do anything more than nod. They stayed like that for a minute, just hugging, one last time before he was officially gone from his old life. When his mom finally let go, Taylor was wondering if he should break his vow.

"I'll call you when I get back, so you know I made it safely," his mother said softly, a proud smile on her face. Taylor fought back the urge to chuckle; his mom still kept up tradition even when her mascara was running. He simply smiled and nodded.

"Bye, Mum."

She gave him one last look before getting into the car and turning on the ignition. With a wave and a smile, she pulled out of the parking lot. Taylor sighed. He was officially alone.

"That's the worst part there."

A voice shook Taylor out of his thoughts. He turned around and frowned. The boy--or young man, whatever--standing there was tall, taller than himself by about five inches, even when leaning against the wall like he was. His hair was dark, nearly black, but not quite, and obviously his natural color. It was cut so it fell across his right eye dramatically. He lip was pierced, right on the left corner; it had been the first thing Taylor had noticed. His skin was tan, tanner than Taylor at least, and his eyes were closed, sooty lashes ghosting against his cheeks. In his right hand he held a cigarette; Taylor cringed inside, and fought back the urge to rip it from his hand and smash it underneath his foot until it disappeared into the sidewalk. He was dressed casually: black and beat up Chuck's on his feet, tight jeans that wrinkled at the ankles and knees, black t-shirt that hung loosely on his frame, and a watch on his left wrist. Against the wall next to him was a skateboard that was beat up so much that the picture that had been on the bottom was reduced to nothing but random strips of color.

"You'll get over it in a bit. Probably won't even miss her."

Taylor openly glared at him. "What do you know about it?"

"Oh, British. Very cool," the boy said, finally dropping his cigarette and smashing it with the heel of his shoe. "You're obviously new here, so I won't comment on it. It'll only make me look like a moron."

Taylor snorted and rolled his eyes. "You already look like a twit," he said coolly, gray eyes locking with the boy's dark blue. He smirked.

"Look at that. Even your insults are British. Awesome," he said in an amused tone. "What's your name, kid?"

"Don't call me kid. And it's Taylor Bennett," Taylor said, obviously annoyed.

"Well, see that's the thing. You're obviously new here. So I'm guess you're eighteen. Well, yeah, I'm new here, whatever. But I'm nineteen. Therefore, to me, you are a kid," he said, fiddling with his lip ring before smirking in triumph. Taylor glared. "And I'm Sean Porter."

"Ass," Taylor mumbled, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "Do you enjoy bothering people with your mindless chatter? Because I for one find it quite irritating and would love it if you would get out of my face."

"I'm not in your face," Sean said with an evil grin. "Why, do you want me to be?"

Taylor's face nearly flushed at the innuendo, but he managed to calm himself down enough to glare at him. "No, not particularly." He knew his voice held more malice than it should have, but he honestly couldn't help it. This guy just didn't sit well with him. He couldn't place it, exactly. Maybe it was just his abrasive attitude in general.

Sean rolled his eyes, obviously finding Taylor boring, annoying, or both. "Look, there's no need to get prissy about it, Bennett, I was just making a joke."

"Well it wasn't funny," Taylor said, his tone of voice the same as before.

"Yeah, got that. Don't you have something better to be doing than coming up with bad retorts?" Sean asked, now visibly annoyed. "Because you really suck at it."

"Great to know really. I'll make sure not to do this as a living." Taylor could see Sean was getting mad him. He knew he was baiting the other man, but his mind seemed to have a mind of its own and refused to stop.

"You little--"

"Sean, back off," calm a stern voice, another male one, said from somewhere the right. Both boys looked over from their positions. The young man approaching appeared to be older than both of them, with a calm face and dark, almond shaped eyes, framed with black, oval rimmed glasses. His hair was dark too, and Taylor realized as he got closer that he was Asian. That explained his hair (though, not the hairstyle, that was a whole other question). His hair was layered strangely, slightly long on the top, bangs sweeping across his face, and longer on the back, reaching his shoulder blades, though some was pulled over his shoulder. He was, to put it bluntly, very pretty. His features were very soft, and his eyes were wide, giving him a very innocent look. In fact, Taylor noticed that he was wearing make-up. On his neck, Taylor could just see a bit of black--a tattoo. He had his lip pierced, just like Sean, but on his right side, and his left nostril and eyebrow were pierced as well. And his clothes, of course, were just as flamboyant as he was. He wore a light pink blazer over a white button down shirt with a black tie that was tied loosely around his neck. His jeans were tight and covered with black writing, all up and down the pant legs, in a gothic style font. He held a folder in one hand and a disposable coffee cup in the other.

Sean immediately brightened when he saw who it was. "Hey Momo!" Sean said happily, his whole demeanor changing. Taylor blinked, surprised, before slouching a bit, watching the two.

"Hey, Sean. Who's your new friend?" 'Momo' asked, nodding at Taylor.

"The Brit?" Sean scoffed. "Friend? Are you kidding me?" Taylor gave him an appraising look before turning to the other.

"I'm Taylor Bennett," he said, giving 'Momo' a light smile. "Pleasure."

"Momiji Murasaki, at your service!" Momiji bowed, holding his cup up and straight so it didn't spill. Taylor smiled again; he seemed nice. "You new?" Taylor nodded. "Ah. I've been here a year. Pestered this louse into coming finally. Told him he'd never be a designer if he sat on his couch all day and drew."

Taylor let out a polite chuckle, and Sean flushed a bit, looking away. Taylor didn't notice. "A designer, huh? Fashion or Graphic?" Taylor didn't address this one to either boy, assuming one would answer eventually.

"Fashion," Sean muttered, still flushed. Taylor just nodded. "Not that it matters."

Taylor rolled his eyes but didn't say anything. Momiji smiled. "Hey, Taylor. You want a tour of the campus? I've got nothing to do anymore, since my interview's over," Momiji said, raising the hand with the folder briefly, "and I like walks and making friends! So, you up to it?"

Taylor bit his lip, before shrugging. "Sure, why not. Can't be too bad can it?" Momiji laughed and nodded wholeheartedly, before taking a sip of his coffee.

"Awesome-tacular. Sean, you coming?"

"Nope. I'm heading up to my room. I'm beat," Sean said, giving Momiji a smile. "I'll talk to you later, alright, Momo?" He waved briefly at his friend, gave Taylor a blank look that said 'I'm admit you're here, but I don't like you' and walked into the dorm room.

Taylor rolled his eyes and Momiji laughed. "I promise he's not an ass. Well, all the time," Momo said, which made both boys laugh a bit. "Now come on! We've got a large campus to cover, which means I get to pummel you with questions! Away!" He slipped his the arm with the folder around one of Taylor's, before dragging the boy off.

The walk really was fun, even if Momiji asked every question possible, and Taylor had answered nearly all of them. By the time he made his way back to his dorm room, it was dark and Taylor really, really wanted to sleep. He walked down the hall to his room, running his hand along the wall, singing a song in his head, which was moving to the silent beat. He counted off room numbers until he finally came to lucky number 127.

He slipped the key in the lock, turning it and pushing open the door. He slipped inside and walked in, stopping dead in his tracks.

"Oh, bloody hell. There's no fucking way."

Taylor's eyes were wide as he looked at the boy sitting on the bed that had been so neat when he first came in. The first thing he noticed was that that side of the room was a mess, but that thought was quickly dismissed when he realized who had made the mess.

"Brit?" Sean asked, unbelievingly. He had the same 'caught in the headlights' expression on his face as Taylor did. Neither knew how many minutes passed as they just stared at each other, neither knowing what to, well, do. After something like eight minutes of silence, both boys started talking at once.

"You're my roommate?"

"This shit is yours?"

They froze again, and this time, Taylor broke the silence, Sean not saying anything.

"Why do I always get stuck with the prats?" he groaned, tilting his head back and massaging the bridge of his nose. Sean snorted indignantly, glaring at Taylor.

"Hey, this wasn't my choice! I wanted to live with Momo, but he said I needed to stay in the dorms for at least a year," Sean grumbled, sitting up and pulling off his headphones. Taylor could hear the music, a loud and obnoxious rock group, and winced.

"Turn that down," he said, walking over to his bed, grabbing the book he had left on his desk. Sean sent him another glare.

"Why should I?" he asked, obviously upset. "You think you're so cool, or, whatever, but I have rights too."

"Whatever. Just turn it down so I can read," Taylor said, rolling his eyes as if he thought what Sean just said was completely idiotic. He unwrapped his scarf, tossing it down to the end of the bed, before unzipping his coat and throwing it on top of the previous item. His shirt was simple--dark blue, short sleeved, with a single arrow pointing up, vertically, slightly off center in black. It was Taylor's favorite and his "lucky" shirt, hence why he wore. He flopped down onto his bed, and opened his book. Sean sent him a final glare before getting a wicked grin on his face.

A moment later, Taylor could hear the music clearer than before. Closing his eyes and sighing through his nose, he looked over at Sean, who was sitting, sketching. His headphones were around his neck, MP3 player on the bed, and the volume was, obviously, very, very high.

"Turn that down," Taylor said, upset.

"What was that? I can't hear you," Sean said, smiling brightly.

"I said--oh God, you're not even worth my time."