Sorry, I Thought You Were A Terrorist
by Nara Merald

Summary: Note to self: Do not become actor... Suck at acting... Also broke Warren's finger… think Warren hates me now. Slash

Disclaimers: This story is mine, and I will fight you for it. I will specially grow my crap nails long so I can rake them down your face if you do attempt to fight me for it, and I am a pathetic fighter so I WILL be dastardly and underhanded. The point- don't tempt me Frodo! (I could beat people down just by making bad Harry Potter jokes and constantly quoting lord of the rings.)

Also, you are an absolute douche if you have not realised that this is Slash by now.

En route means, well, on route or on the way to. I'm pretty sure the term is acceptable in English like 'sans', both of which are French. 000 is the Aus equivalent of 911.

This chapter is dedicated to Beth, whose review was a pretty light in some rather shithouse darkness.


Chapter 25: Quoth the Barbie

Heath

I woke up this morning, tangled in the sheets- when I tried to free myself from their grasp I hit my arm on my bedside table. Shocked by the pain, I twisted suddenly and slid right off my bed. Satin sheets- not so easy to use, people. I feel like today will be an especially challenging day; this feeling only compounded by the black eyes peer at me from a darkened corner.

"Secretsss and Shadowssss… be warned, the darkness… comes… keeping secrets ensures all is lost…" croons the voice.

"Isaac, shut up and make yourself useful. Go walk the dog or something," Dan grouches at Isaac, who ceases looking at me creepily from the corner and walks outside to find the … wait, the Shaynes don't have a dog! Ah, that's why Dan is smirking.
But back to my approaching demise at Patrick's hands…

This is going to be downright painful; I can practically hear him whining already… or worse, screeching. Come to think about it, Adam is looking just as apprehensive as I am, sitting in the Shayne kitchen eating grapes and waiting for Patrick to finish his shower so I can be screamed at.

"Spill boys; what are you two pondering over?" Dan asks.

"I'm going to Scotland," I blurt out, taking Dan, Adam and Warren by surprise.

"What?" Adam gapes.

"I'm going back with Natalya to Scotland," I affirm, recalling how excited Natalya was last night, how she started explaining about her school, her sister, her parents, what restaurants we could go to... There was a whole lot of explaining, trust me on that.

"Patrick… doesn't know, does he?" Dan sighs, as if our conversation pains him.

"Nope," I sigh back.

"How long are you going for?" Warren asks.

"Two weeks… the whole holidays," I answer. Silence.

"And you two?" Dan asks as if he's expecting disaster to strike at any moment, playing with his ugly golden ring in his nervousness.

"Going back to stay with Dad," Adam answers dully.

"Patrick won't get quite as mad at you two, especially if you get in first…" Dan muses.

"Patrick?" I was worried about Emma's reaction!" Adam looks downright alarmed.

"Will Patrick be upset?" Warren asks Dan, and their faces sink as he nods.

"Sometimes you've got to treat Patrick like Emma; they share many of the same traits… like maturity." Despite himself, Dan snickers.

"Crap," Adam sums up our general feelings. I hear the noise from the shower suddenly cease.

"On that note, I think he's finished his shower and I've decided it's much safer at Shan's, ciao!" Dan promptly flees as the object of our apprehension appears, drying off his hair with a fluffy yellow towel. To further complicate matters, Emma is tagging along behind him.

"Lo Heath!" she offers me a greeting.

"Hello Emma," I reply, trying to hide a wince as they sit with us at their kitchen table.

"Patrick, Princess, we've got something to tell you…" Adam begins slowly, but Warren holds up a hand to halt him.

"Let's have ice cream," Warren suggests with a raised eyebrow.

"Before breakfast?" Patrick asks curiously as Emma chants "Ice cream! Ice cream!"
Warren returns, Patrick luckily not questioning why he and Emma are the only ones being bribed- ah, that is, eating the ice cream.

"Now we love you both very much, but we also love our Dad, who is feeling sick right now. So this holidays, we're going to go and stay with our Dad to cheer him up, ok?" Adam explains calmly.
Two smiles drop, two spoons pause en route to two mouths and two Shayne children look distinctly sulky.

"Adam!" Patrick protests, as Emma shouts "Warren!", banging her (thankfully small) fists on the table.

The twins pale. You know, maybe I don't need to tell Patrick… maybe if I just don't tell him and then leave, he will be so glad to see me when I get back that he'll forget about petty things like revenge…

"Heath's going to Scotland!" Adam shouts, pointing at me. What?

"Traitor," I mutter, as Patrick's head slowly swivels to face me, like a serial killer in a horror movie.

"HEATTTTHHHHHHH!" Two Shayne voices yell out in alarmingly high pitch; the only difference being that Emma is pouting and Patrick's face is screwed up in what I can only assume is distress.

"Patrick, it's only for two weeks…" I begin.

"The WHOLE HOLIDAYS!" Patrick yells.

"Patrick, for the first time in my life… I know my family. I have a sister!" I say quietly, and truthfully. Natalya has changed so many things in my life…

"But… but…" Patrick begins. Emma looks between us and silence falls for a second.

"Patrick… that's enough. We're going to go play Barbie now," Emma says firmly, dragging Patrick from the table.
Wait a minute… Did Emma just out-mature Patrick?

She drags Patrick outside with one hand, and returns with Isaac in the other.

"Come on Isaac, you can be Vampire Barbie and Patrick will be Ken!"

Warren, Adam and I stare. Honestly, with this family, sometimes it's better just to silently edge towards the door.

Heath

Patrick forgave me. It might have been an hour of enforced Barbie playing where "Vampire Barbie" quoted Edgar Allen Poe to "Ken" and Emma acted as chief overseer, or it might have been… no, I'd be willing to bet money that he only forgave me to get out of hearing the words "Quoth the Raven… Nevermore…" one more time. He does glare at me resentfully when he remembers to, but usually manages to forget why he's glaring after two seconds. Plus, he really wanted me to see his competition.

Speaking of competition, this is it, this is the theatre sports competition. After threat of Patrick running out of air… (flashback: "Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease-" "Aright Patrick! We'll go!") we decided to try and get back in his favour and now we're sitting in a theatre, watching as the M.C. approaches on stage. I have Adam on my left and Natalya on my right, both ready to prod me awake if I fall asleep. Theatre's never really been my thing.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, small screaming children and any extra terrestrial visitors we may have in the audience, I am your host for this evening, RUSTY!" The M.C. is a redhead, obviously getting his 'nickname' from his hair.

"I am here today acting as your charmingly irresistible host and my first task is to welcome you all to the 2008 Tri-School THEATRE SPORTS COMPETITION! We have three schools competing with six teams over a two day break! Please give us a warm round of applause for… RAIDO COLLEGE!… MT ISELLA HIGH! And last and hopefully least (no offence but you beat us last year and I've never forgiven you), DALIAIN HIGH!"

"Rusty" keeps yelling every few words, while talking in an increasingly loud and obnoxious stage voice that has Dan and Shannon glancing longingly at him.

"Can we keep him?" Dan strokes the golden ring of tacky with a wistful smile.

"No love, I believe we' be paedophiles. He's still in school…" Shannon replies.

Adam gives me a slightly alarmed look, before shuffling away from Dan, at which the two simply snicker.

"And the loveable Larrikins from Dalian High return to stage for their first act in TYPEWRITER! With serial offender St Nick at the helm as a typist narrating our story, what hope do our improvisers Wasabi, Sprinkles, Harry and Psyche Ward have but to play along with his words?"

Nick walks onto the stage and sits into the one prepared chair, the others following him. Going from what I know, I realise Wasabi is Warren, Harry is Sarah Lawrence and Psyche Ward is Patrick. I think Dan nearly runs out of air with his laughing at Patrick's nickname of choice.

"Once upon a time, there was a very successful magical school, where the hero of the world, a rather dashingly black haired boy was studying," Nick begins, as Lawrence stands up, strutting around and striking manly poses.

"He was often accompanied by his girlfriend, the large chested and incompetent Lisalee," at this point, Patrick steps up, feeling up some imaginary gigantic breasts and looking at them as if puzzled by their sudden non-appearance, "… and his faithful dog, Toto," Nick finishes, as Warren drops to all fours, panting with his tongue hanging out.

"I don't believe this…" Adam mutters. I blink, also feeling that this situation is extremely surreal. Warren as a dog called Toto? How could his pride sink so low?

"One particular day, this hero (His name was actually Heero, which was awfully convenient)," Lawrence is giving the audience the thumbs up and holding a hastily constructed sign saying "Hero Heero, Awwww Yeah!".

"…decided that he was going to save the world. He wasn't entirely sure how, because eradicating world poverty sounded rather difficult… and there didn't seem to be any sufficiently evil arch nemesis for him to fight…" Nick trails off.
Lawrence sits down to ponder, stroking Warren the 'dog'. She then starts walking back and forth, mumbling to herself.

"Lisalee! What can I do to save the world?" Lawrence demands of Patrick.

"I would have to say… World Peace!… what? Miss USA? Thank you! Oh Thank you!" Patrick mumbles, ignoring Lawrence. This is too creepy for words, watching Patrick pretend to be the ditzy buxom Lisalee. Natalya squeals with laughter beside me.

"But Lisalee was too entranced in her visions of world peace to listen, and even if she had listened, she just remembered she had dropped a Key in her cleavage three days ago, and it could take up to seven hours to find it…" Nick relates sadly, as Patrick obligingly lights up in wonder, looks at his non-existent breasts and then comically delves an arm downwards, biting his lip in apparent concentration.

"What could he do?!" Nick cries passionately, as Lawrence suddenly breaks down and starts shaking Warren shouting "What will I do Toto, WHAT WILL I DOOOOOO?!" Warren whimpers and crawls away, backing himself into a corner.

"Quickly, he decided to help an old lady cross the road!" Nick cries, and instantly Warren transforms from 'toto' the dog into a doddering old lady. But as Lawrence approaches, Warren starts beating her about the head with what seems to be an imaginary bag screeching "Get away you young hooligan!"
Nick laughs to himself before announcing "BUT! Unknown to Heero, our 'old lady' was actually a former pro-wrestler and decided to take him down right here and then!"
Right as Warren stands straight to let out an all-mighty roar, Patrick shrieks "Noooo!" and dives for Warren as he dives for Lawrence.
I think I hear Adam mutter "oh shit" before they collide. It looks painful. Patrick is flailing and shrieking, Warren has a distinctly pained look on his face and Lawrence is on the bottom of their pile trying to breath and/or claw her way out from the bottom.
"TIME!" shouts Rusty, and the audience roars with approval. I'm not entirely sure things were supposed to happen like that …

Meanwhile, the M.C. returns to stage amidst the applause for that segment, striking a weird pose.

"From Raido College, here is Doof Doof with the WORLD's WORST SLOGAN TO PROMOTE!"
As much as I watched all of the theatre sports segments… Ok, I admit, I tuned out. I really don't care about Theatre sports unless it's someone I know. I kept being shaken alert by Adam, who'd noticed I kept drifting off mentally. When the next shaking motion came, the M.C. was back onstage. The next segment is pretty much the same caliber: Insanity.

"For Dalian Team One, this is the last round, HISTORY LESSON! Due to an unfortunate injury, Dalian team mate WASABI has been removed from the line up! That's right folks, if you thought you heard a crack during their Typewriter segment, ten points to you for picking up Wasabi's FINGER BREAKING! Ouch! Luckily History Lesson is a four player game and St Nick, Sprinkles, Harry and Psyche Ward are willing to step in as our experts on THE HINDENBURG DISASTER! That's right, these surprising youngsters get to share all their expertise with us one at a time but when I clap my hands, each expert stops mid sentence and our next expert begins. I signal the end of the game by clapping three times. Are you excited? I am! So let's go!" With that, the M.C. claps and Harvano opens her mouth to begin.

"It was 1949 and I was in the trenches when I first heard of the Hindenburg. Ah yes, she was a beauty, all up in flames, flailing around bumping into things like an oversized balloon… the thing that struck me the most was…"
CLAP- Harvano changes to Patrick.

"The weird screaming! We have definitely proved that a strange chemical was causing random behaviour patterns from the people on board and they were just running around screaming eeeh! Eeeh! It was enough to…"
CLAP- Patrick changes to Lawrence.
"Make you want to eat! And eat was just what one young lady did! The Hindenburg was going down in flames and Jessica Schneider ran into the kitchen to make herself-"
CLAP- Lawrence passes over to Nick.

"A fat turkey sandwich! Of course, the fact that the turkey was still alive didn't help any. By the time the Hindenburg went down, the population of the onboard farm was decimated! They-"
CLAP- Nick passes back to Harvano.
"…finally, Adolf Hitler DIED." Harvano yells. Silence.

"Did she just say that?" Natalya whispers to me.
"Yep," I confirm, thinking the silence must be quite awkward for them.

"WELL HE DID!" Patrick yells at the audience, totally missing the point as Nick bursts into this weird, high pitched cackling on stage, and the M.C. practically drives them offstage.
"Only your friends could out-weird everyone else here," Natalya mutters, laughing a little. I want to protest, but I think she's right.
"Your brother's an idiot, love," Shannon tells Dan.
"Hey!" Dan protests, but they end up kissing and a way that has Adam shifting as far away from them as he can, and looking at me with a very awkward face. Yes, I'd be feeling pretty awkward too if there were that many limbs flailing around me…

Patrick
I broke Warren's finger! WHAT DO I DO?! SPLIT IT! Like when you fall out of a plane and land in a jungle and break your bones on the way down and you have to splint yourself and then search for fruit and try not to get eaten by tigers…
"I NEED BANDAGES!" I scream somewhat hysterically at some guy from Raido College.
"What man?! Fuck! I'll get the first aid kit! Hold on man!" he rushes off, ploughing into about six other people and yelling for someone to call 000.

"Oh my god! Is there a fire?" A girl shrieks.
"FIRE?!" her friend cries. Another guy from Raido runs in, hears the screams and pulls down a big red handle. Instantly sprinklers spray out water overhead. I hear screams in the room next door and wince. Uh oh…
I start to edge backwards, before the guy who pulled the handle yanks on my arm.
"Organise an evacuation! We need to make sure everyone is out before the fire takes hold!" he says urgently, and I hesitate.
"What are you waiting for? GO!" he roars, dashing off into another room, as Nick runs out and finds me.
"What the hell is going on?" Nick cries.
"Evacuation. Fire," I answer numbly.
"Sweet! Let's get the fuck out of here!" Nick grins, before dashing back in to gather Warren and the two Sarahs. Grabbing our stuff, we join the crush of people straining for the doors and get outside, even as we hear sirens wailing. From the corner of my vision, I see a flash of red as the fire brigade pull up, tires squealing, lights and sirens still on as the fire fighters jump out and begin attaching their hose. Then I see the guy I asked for bandages with the first aid kit, and I have another "uh oh" moment.
"SOME GUY IN THERE NEEDS BANDAGES! HE'S BADLY INJURED!" he screams, waving a mass of white.
"We have a severely injured in the building, I repeat, we have a severely injured in the building!" One of the Fireman says into his walkie talkie. The lead fire fighter curses, before loudly announcing to the other firemen "We have a code 103, I repeat, code 103, all firemen, be prepared to search and rescue! Gear up and proceed to enter the location! We need to find this fire fast!"
"Let's go find the others," I mumble quickly. Nick gives me a weird look, but Saral interrupts us.
"The others are over in the car park waiting for us. Everyone's ok," She said with a sigh of relief, and I realised guiltily that the others didn't know there wasn't actually a fire.

We make our way over to the others who are talking excitedly, before Nick starts snorting with laughter and I see the fire fighting hose up in the air, moving like a snake and getting water everywhere, some of the fire fighters looking sheepish as others leap into the hose to try and get it back down. One fire fighter is flat on his back on the ground, rubbing his head and I realise he must have been the one holding it. We did learn in school that the hoses are so high powered they have a kickback of…
"AH ha ha ha ha" Nick is almost crying with laughter.
Suddenly the crowd begins murmuring, and we see the other fire fighters emerge dragging a suspicious, crazy-looking guy.
"I'm telling you, I never even got to start the fire!" The guy cries, and the crowd gasps.
"If you're going to charge me, you better let me start the damn fire!" He struggles, lunging and cackling insanely in their grip as they drag him off. I blink. There was an actual arsonist planning to set the place on fire? What the?
Conspiracy! I have actually PREVENTED A CONSPIRACY! With a grin on my face, I resolve to say nothing to the others, but the look in Nick's eye tells me he suspects things are not quite as they seem.
With the others still chatting excitedly, we head home, stopping at the doctors to properly sprint Warren's fingers as I mumble an embarrassed "Sorry" and Warren mutters an equally embarrassed "that's fine," because everyone's crowding around him and I think he just wants some peace and quiet.
"When we get home… let's throw a going away party!" Nick decides in excitement.
"Nick!" A chorus of voices protest, most notably Dan's, Shannon's and mine, because after all, we get stuck with the cleaning up.
He whines the whole way home.


Heath, the next day

Adam and Warren are leaving, and we're out on the driveway with our goodbyes and well wishes for Vito.

"Have a safe trip!" Emma waves brightly, and Dan mutters "Take care of my car… or you're dead."

"Adam promised to drive responsibly," Warren smirks in the passenger seat as Adam mock-sniffs at him, the broken finger splinted and bandaged.

"Don't forget my chocolate!" Emma cries, thrusting a chocolate bar through the window.
"She didn't realise that was Turkish Delight, not Strawberry," Dan says to me quietly, watching as Adam and Warren thank her, and put the chocolate bar firmly to the side. I get the feeling they're not fans of Turkish Delight…

"Miss you!" Emma screams, and I can't stop my slight wince. Warren and Adam genuinely appreciate the ear-piercing screech, I can tell, and it makes me feel a bit guilty… but my ears hurt!
Lawrence kisses Warren and whispers something in his ear, as well as saying goodbye to Adam. I offer my own "See you in two weeks," and Patrick growls "You better come back." I think it's supposed to be comforting, but it's hard to tell with Patrick sometimes.
Finally, after Emma has to climb in through the window to give them another hug, with Dan firmly withdrawing her before she latches on too tightly.

"Buh-yyyy!" She waves sadly as Adam puts the car into reverse, and we all wave and keep waving until they've passed the end of the street.
"Two down, two more to go!" Dan says cheerfully, looking at me. Patrick sniffs.
"Where is Natalya, anyway?" Lawrence asks curiously.
"With Ness and Sarah H," Shannon answers, and I have a flashback to…

"TALYA!"
"TALYA!"
"NESS!"
"SARE!"
"SARE!"
"NESS!"

…which erupted in the kitchen downstairs at seven AM. Horrible. Of course, no mere mortal could sleep through the "excitement" of those three, who came to wish Natalya a safe trip home, and make triple sure they all had each other's phone numbers and emails and plenty of stupid photos. I really don't get girls and photos… Anyhow, the experience was somewhat unsettling.

"Heath?" Patrick pokes me.
"NOTHING!" I yelp. Everyone stares.
"I'm excited?" I offer nervously, remembering the flashing of the camera as it descended on me.
"Leave him alone, I know how 'Ness can be," Shannon smirks and I shudder a little.

"Patrick has brushed off on you," Dan says pityingly, and I think with some horror, he might be right.

We head back to Patrick's and just hang, watching TV, but to be honest, it feels weird without Warren and Adam.
"So…" Patrick begins into the silence.
Bzzt. Change channel.

"There's nothing on…" Dan grumbles.
We sit that way in boredom for a half hour before I announce it's time for me to go home. Two and a half hours to my flight means we should leave in 10 minutes for the 20 minute drive to the airport.
"I'm coming with you," Patrick announces, and with a smile, I just wave goodbye to Dan and Shannon (Emma and Isaac are upstairs playing Barbie and Vampire Ken this time) and we head over to mine. Of course, I packed yesterday afternoon after the theatre sports fire disaster, and Natalya and Cherie are ready to go. In no time at all, we're driving to the airport, Natalya in the front seat and Patrick and I in the back.

"I don't want you to go," Patrick whines, tugging on my pants. Cherie looks into the rear-view mirror and smiles.
"You two are too cute!" Natalya shakes her head with a smile.
Acceptance tastes sweet.

Patrick

"Are you really going to Scotland?" I ask, half uncertainly, half sulkily, staring at the airport in front of us. Natalya covers her mouth with her hand and makes a snickering noise.

"Yes Patrick, I'm really going to Scotland," Heath sighs, before smirking "miss me?"

"Maybe," I sniff disdainfully, promising myself that I'll have so much fun he'll…

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!" I see Trang chasing Nick across the airport trying to hit him with a metal ruler.

"What the?" Natalya looks gobsmacked.
"Trang's flight back is 15 mins before ours," Heath sighs as I hear Nick cry "Harder baby, harder!" and Trang lets out an incensed cry. I fear is she hits him any harder she'll seriously injure him. Unfortunately it reminds me that in 20 minutes, Heath and Natalya will walk through that gate, wait a half hour then fly to Scotland. SCOTLAND!
I can't believe he's going to Scotland! I once read this romance book where this English woman got kidnapped by this Scottish man and all of a sudden she fell in love and there were clan wars and … it was full of bearded kilted men being described as "roguish". What if Heath comes back with a beard and a kilt? Could I love a bearded man? What if he ages 30 years? They have witches in Scotland don't they?! What if he never comes back? What if I have to go to him like the girl in the book and I get kidnapped and the other clan tries to seduce me!

"Let's go for a walk," Heath suggests to me, as Cherie and Natalya settle down for a talk. I simply nod, preoccupied, falling into step as I think quickly. I have to give Heath a reason to return, for my own sake as much as Heath's. I'm not going to be kidnapped by some freakish Scot!

Thinking quickly, mumble that I need to pee, and drag Heath into the disabled toilets, thanking my luck that there's only a (now confused) 8 year old boy around.

"This wasn't quite what I had in mind you know…" Heath rolls his eyes. I'm going to make his eyes roll for an entirely different reason…

Heath

My boyfriend- it feels really good to say that- is a nympho. Airport toilet sex? Ooh, you know what else feels really good? Patrick's hand. Down my pants. Subtle, he ain't. I think my jeans are sliding off and there was some reason why I shouldn't be doing this or …

Oooh yeah.

Mmmm.

Patrick is kneeling on the floor, looking up at me smirking. He's breathing on my cock. Just breathing. Warm, hot breath, caressing my length, promising… DELIVERING!

I think I'm making a slightly strangled gurgling sound. He makes a laughing sound; I can feel it.

His lips around my cock. His tongue stroking my length. It would make a good song if I wasn't so busy getting a head job in an airport toilet stall. The cheap toilet paper litters the ground and the black texta graffiti blurs as my eyes close of their own violation. His tongue is tracing patterns on me as his hands grip my thighs, wandering around in teasing movements. I can't help but think of how unsanitary it is, (Do not sit on the toilet Heath, do not sit OOOOH yeah)…
I feel like all my senses are improved; I can feel, and oh GOD it feels good. I can see the Patrick's individual strands of curly chocolate hair, his dark brown eyes with the soft, girly eyelashes, the curve of his saliva shiny, activity reddened lips… I can taste my own blood, my lips tinged with a coppery tang from where I accidently bit them, hear my own breathing, almost insanely loud panting in a disused toilet and I can smell the harsh chemicals used to clean the toilets. A strange, not entirely wonderful mix but an incredibly erotic one when you add Patrick into the equation.
His hands grip my balls, squeezing, as he sucks harder, and I give up and thrust into his mouth. I think I choke him for a minute, and freeze, but if there's one thing Patrick is right now, that's determined and the hot, wet, suctioning sensation just keeps up until I feel almost dizzy.
I think I'll die if he stops now.

I'm almost aching with need, as everything builds up to a pinnacle of sensation, and for a second, I think maybe I can't feel anything. Then with a choked scream, I release, the sensation of Patrick swallowing just making me pant harder until it's all over and I realise I've been clawing at the toilet door, banging on it and whimpering. Patrick grins like that cat who got the cream, after I take a good 5 minutes to compose myself. Then we go for a fake walk to the café, and wander back to begin the goodbyes…

Patrick
There's been a lot of goodbyes. I've just kind of stood back, I mean, my work is done, not to be congratulating myself but… fucking hell, congratulations me, he'll never forget me after that! Yeah!
Finally, Cherie hugs Heath and Natalya tightly as if she never wants to let them go, before forcing herself to step back. I think she's mentally adopted Natalya.

"Have a wonderful trip you two," Cherie has overly bright eyes, and Natalya murmurs, "I'll miss you," and quickly hugs her again. Heath steps up to me and we just stare dumbly at each other, our moment of truth. Finally, Heath smirks and yanks me towards him, pressing our lips together as Natalya whistles and Cherie just laughs. Too soon he steps back, and it feels like there's an invisible line between Cherie and I, and Heath and Natalya.
"Send my love to your family," Cherie smiles and Natalya promises. I see Heath looks slightly nervous and remember for the first time that he's never met her family.
"Don't come back with a beard," I warn him, and though the other two laugh, I hope he realises I'm dead serious. With another second of everyone staring at each other- Cherie lovingly, Natalya excitedly, me awkwardly and Heath exasperatedly- Natalya grabs Heath's hand and cries "Let's go!"
With a last smile, Natalya tugs Heath through the gates, the two disappearing as if they'd never stood with us. I feel oddly alone, and wonder if Cherie feels the instant loss as well.
We wait in silence, simply because there's nothing that needs to be said, sipping our hot chocolate from the café, waiting to see their plane on the runway.
Finally, it appears, a gigantic metal beast of a thing, which honestly looks too fat to make it off the runway. Who builds these planes?
Despite my misgivings, my hot chocolate cools and our eyes glued to the plane, we watch the wannabe-bird-thing take off into the sky, straining to see it long after it becomes just a speck in the distance.
Nick joins us, Trang having boarded her own separate flight, and we quietly exit the airport.
And just like that, everything goes back to normal.


Patrick, Three Days Later

"Are you seriously going to sit there all holidays?" Dan asks me sceptically, from where we are sitting in the park. I can sulk if I want!

"You're like a love sick ABBA song, catchy enough that you listen to it/look at it once, but too much more than that and it becomes revolting! Show some spine!" Dan groans, kicking back on the grass as Emma makes a flower chain.

I am deeply offended at being compared to an ABBA song.

"Why! You! I!..." I kind of stop there, not really having anything much to say except the need to make sounds of indignation. Dan just smirks, knowing me way too well.
"Stop being a wimpy bitch Patrick!" Emma insists, as Dan and I freeze and turn to her.
"Where… where did you learn that language from?!" Dan asks weakly.
"Nick's been telling me all kinds of…" Emma begins before I interrupt "Oooook then...maybe we should limit Emma's exposure to Nick…"
Dan looks torn; confused between whether to laugh at Emma calling me a wimpy bitch or be horrified at the fact Nick is leading Emma so far astray.
"You shouldn't be using that kind of language, Emma! Stacey and Dad would be horrified!" I chide her.
"Where is mum and dad?" Emma asks us, curiously. Dan and I share a look.

"Where are mum and dad," Dan corrects her, before continuing with a smile "and I think they'll be coming home soon."
We share a look, because I think we both know in our hearts that something has to change with Emma's situation. It's not fair to Emma to live like this, dragged along in Dad and Stacey's wake.

Next term is going to bring a lot of challenges: one, Heath will be back. Will he have changed? Will he still want me? Two, Adam and Warren will be back, and Vito will hopefully get better. Three, the four of us will face mum and dad over Emma, and it won't be pretty. I can't remember the last time dad even said a proper "hello" to me without looking like a zombie.

And then who knows what other conspiracies I will unwittingly stumble into? Vampires, Gopher eating Foxes who turn into Unicorns every Wednesday… baby hedgehogs as pets… it's all out there. And I'll be ready!

But at the moment, all I have to do is be right here, right now, with Dan and Emma in the sunshine, as a family. Even though she accidentally kicked me in the face when she was swinging then made me wear "makeup" (mud) to cover up the "booboo" and Dan laughed so hard he snorted. Being kicked in the face and still having fun?

I guess that's love.

…The mud stings my eyes.


THE END. SERIOUSLY, THIS STORY HAS ENDED. FOREVER!! Zomg!


Author's Useless Interjections:

For an extremely long (I like to call it extended author's note), see my live journal which is linked to my profile page. (Let's face it, I only got a live journal for two things: unreasonably long author notes and to get into that sealed Chaser Slash community. Mmm, Chaser slash).

The author's note covers 6 main points: 1. SITYWAT book, 2. SITYWAT history, 3. Other Fiction, 4. Your Support, 5. Nara in the Twilight Zone, 6. Recommendations of Pants-Splendor and 7. Why I didn't update sooner. You can pick and choose what you want to read.

To those who can't be bothered, thanks for reading, and REVIEW! This is the last chapter. You can spare some two-sentence love.

hands DEFINITELY down your pants,
Nara Merald ;)