It is an old folk saying that if you hiccup one hundred times in a row, you will die soon after that, your soul devoured by wandering ghosts. Cody, didn't really put much stock in what he called "old wives' tales", but Seiji did.

That's why, when Cody was glommed onto by a hysterical soccer player who was babbling incoherently, he almost laughed himself to death.

"You-you're—" Cody wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes. He held his stomach with his other arm, trying calm down.

"It's no-hic-not funny!" Seiji grabbed Cody by the shoulders and shook the smaller boy frantically. "That was eighty-six! You've got to help me! I can't die now! I'm too young! I'm too -hic- good looking!"

Cody shook his head, his dark red-brown bangs straggling into his eyes. "For god's sake, Seiji. Get a grip on yourself. You are NOT going to die from the hiccups. Hell, there's a guy in the book of records that has had the hiccups for YEARS and he's still around." He tried to ease himself out of Seiji's grip, but the athlete was too strong for him.

"You don't understand! If it weren't true, then why would my grandma tell it to me? I can't take -hic- the risk!" Seiji released Cody finally, drooping like a pathetic puppy. "There's so much I wan-hic-ted to do! I haven't made the professionals yet. I haven't pla-hic-yed in the World Cup yet!"

"Seiji, you're not—"

"I haven't finished high school. We've never snuck into an adult film yet! Got caught playing hookey! Taken the college exams!"


"And what about love? I've never been in love before! Never even -hic- had a date! Never kissed a girl, given anyone chocolate and ro-hic-roses."

"Seiji!" Cody was starting to look annoyed.

"I'll never get married, have a family, a cat of my own, never see my -hic- grandchildren. Hell, I'll never know what it's like to have sex-"

Seiji was cut off in mid sentence as Cody grabbed him by the ears, hauled his face down and placed his lips firmly against Seiji's. Seiji froze, his eyes wide as he was well and thoroughly kissed by his best friend. When Cody released him, his legs gave way and he suddenly sat on the ground, staring at Cody in shock.


Cody grinned. "Stopped at ninety-two. Looks like you'll live after all."

Seiji blinked, then realized that his hiccups had stopped. He frowned. "You mean you...that jerk!!!"

Cody started to laugh again, backing away from his friend. "Hey, you wanted the hiccups to stop."

"But not like that!" Seiji scrambled to his feet and lunged for Cody. Cody dodged, laughing out loud once again.

Seiji chased him down the road, back toward their apartment building. "You perv! You asshole! Give me back my first kiss!"