A/N: Well, I thought I'd try one of these. It's really an excuse to post this, but there will be other things. Disjointed poetry, mayhap, and little scraps of things I've yet to finish. I won't bore you with a diary, because, really, I'm not that interesting. ;)


It started off uproariously, but I'm starting to think that I bring out the underlying depression in people. He's sitting there, across from me, leaning against the arm of the chair and resting his forehead on his wrist. Midbreakdown, murmuring about aimlessness and purpose.

I reach over and pluck the orange baseball cap off his head and put it on. He looks up and smiles, and now I have a route to take. "How's it look?" I fluff my bangs—turn the hat backwards—sideways—it's too big for me and I lean back a little bit so it can fall off in an amusing fashion—but then he leans back down and, with an inward sigh, I plunk it back onto his head.

Somehow our chairs have magnetized, pulling closer and closer as the hours pass. I'm within a foot of him now. He's still on his little tirade and I want to tell him that I know, that I've been there over and over and over—but I can't find the words.

So I ask him a question and carefully steer the conversation back over to lighter, nonsensical topics. Laptop on knees, he shows me his pictures—places I haven't been, old friends I haven't seen in years—and I lean on the arm of his chair to see. My hair falls across his arm but he doesn't move a muscle. Hilarity reigns again, for a little while, and he regales me with stories and I can't breathe from giggling, resting my head on his shoulder for support.

And then things go quiet, very quiet, and it's all whispered conversation. He tells me what he thinks of me and I call him a liar. We go back and forth—yesnoyesnoyesno—and then he says, "Well, that's what I think and it's not going to change."

I lean back then, and look up at the ceiling, and for a brief moment I let down the façade and say, "They always say that."

"What?"

"Nothing."

He's a sweet little liar—he heard. The whispers get softer and I know this is headed down a road lined with rose petals, but rose petals leave stains on the sheets, like spilled wine, like blood. I'm not a fan of bloody sheets.

It's getting late and I point it out to him. We get up. Stretch. I notice he smells good. I notice I'm cold. He puts his laptop back in his case and I wait with thumping heart, because I know what I'm going to do and I know it's going to be stupid.

He finishes and I hold out my arms. There's not a moment's hesitation on his part. He closes the distance between us. It's a hug. It's a sensory onslaught.

Heat. I can feel his warm skin even through his shirt. His arms are chastely around my ribs or thereabouts and he holds me tight. Is that a normal amount of tightness—between friends? How should I know? But I hug him back and I can smell whatever stuff he puts in his hair and it's comfortingly familiar, because they all use that around here—it's the scent of this town's male population under twenty, and I like it.

It's a quick, unassuming three-second hug, and then we slowly pull away and I'm not going to look him in the face. Still, though… I make a ridiculous go-forth gesture with my arm and giggle, "Get out of my house," but I can't resist a parting thump on the back that makes my fingertips brush down his side of their own accord.

And then we've left our little cave and we're back in the real world, and my dog snarls at him and he leaves, and now that the dewdropped, moon-glistening cobwebs have blown away, I know I'm seriously messed up.