Less Than Three

"Here I am, sitting alone in my bedroom and talking to my computer screen," I tap my fingers on the side of my desk staring at my best friend's name. "But where are you? Where have you been for the past two weeks? "

The computer doesn't make a sound of a log in noise or pop out a random conversation box. It has no idea where he is and neither do I. Internet friends are different than real friends; when they disappear off the face of the earth you have no idea what's going on and there is no way of contacting anyone to ask.

Sometimes you don't talk to them for a year, sometimes they don't return at all.

I really hope Nurse isn't like that.

My stomach twists and I rub it, trying to shake off the negative thoughts and envisioned bashings, car accidents, emotional break downs or that he might have...my skin crawls to even suggest... gone and gotten a life.

Obviously as tragedies go it's the most appealing - but is it wrong of me to wish him an eternal social exile?

Let's just hope his computer has broken down or something.

Clicking on my 'start' button I hover my mouse over WoC with a sigh and wrinkle my nose.

WoC or World on Crack is a MMORPG we met on and have played for quite some time; it's basically like the world we live in only another dimension all the princesses, monsters, soldiers, mages, etc. kind of ended up escaping. So there's all this evil, normal people WTFing over having a giant troll invade the supermarket and these soldiers rolling their eyes and wondering what their problem is.

You can choose out of all these interesting roles from the humans and the people from the other dimension like a shop lady trying to defend her area and collect things to keep up with the demand of new types of customers and your regular mages, soldiers etc. you'd get in most others.

I'm really quite fond of it most of the time.

It's a little depressing to play now because it's our thing.

My little avatar looks a little sad where she sits in the lounge staring out the window because she's 'game married' to Nurse's character and needs interaction. His avatar is pacing back and forth around the house aimlessly because he's offline.

Moving her towards him her face lights up and I give him a gift to make her happy. We haven't really made them make out or anything because it feels weird, these little versions of ourselves making out with each other when...

Well, you know, we have a completely platonic relationship.

By that I mean I pine for him in a way that freaks me out and secretly when he's offline I do make them make out.

Like a lot.

But he could log in at any moment, if he hasn't been run over or found friends.

I stare at the screen, twitching a little bit and trying to think of a quest I can start or things to do to make money. All the while my mouse hovering over his character; threatening to do dirty, dirty - well okay, the game's relatively g-rated 'making out' just means I clicked the 'peck' option multiple times - things to each other.

MaconBacon:3 has logged in.

I click on my game chat box and click on his name.




I'M ALIVE I'M ALIVE or am I? Have I been sent to hell or did you really change our curtain pattern to that hideous shade of chartreuse?


They're CHRISTMAS TREES remember and YOU changed them? I didn't have the heart to get rid of it...



Oh right, looking at it from my non Christmas Spirit addled mind you are quite right about them. They really do look like malformed starfish instead of trees.

I make my character run over, strangle his and then give him a hug.



You always always explain when you're going away or busy or something but you didn't



Hey hey hey no need for the virtual violence I'm getting there!

But I'd like a drum roll please


Dedededededdeddedede DEH


Thank you ;)

You know how I was maybe planning on moving to Melbourne to go to RMIT this year?

I nearly choke on my spit as an excited thrill runs up my spine - he couldn't be serious? Could he be serious? Is my best friend really moving to Melbourne, just a one hour train ride away?

My heart starts to beat like crazy and I lean back in my chair.


I take the lack of response as a 'yes' and I raise you a WELL GUESS WHAT BABY? I'M ALREADY HERE AND TERRORISING THE MASSES or trying to set up my internet connection; but what future overlord doesn't utilise his resources?

Staring at my screen in an overwhelming feeling of elation I try to think of something to say that doesn't sound really creepy. I mean he's moved to Melbourne, I can just get on first bus and meet him for the first time in person right now. I could. I totally could.

He is so close yet not right in front of me to touch and hold and smell his hair which - according to him - smells really god.

How do I get that across?


Anyway it's set up :) hi...did you miss me? Are you peeing your pants right now?


I'm a girl. Girls don't pee or poop. I think they do regurgitate their innards all over the floor though

Have you seen my lungs anywhere?


I hope that's happy regurgitating


Oh no, having you an hour away is THE WORST!

Of course it's happy regurgitating!


Is there any other kind?

AN HOUR AWAY? YOU FREAKIN' SERIOUS? What is your address? I'll drive there right now

Sucking in my breath I hold a hand up towards his message and praise it, hoping it's not too good to be true. Please do come kidnap me Macon. Please kidnap me and have your way with me or you know, just let me bask in your presence that I'll pretend not to like.

It'll make me eternally happy. After that I can just go die.

Well. Unless he's into the whole me marrying him thing that'd be nice.


Just keeeedding! I wish! Got unpacking to do .

My heart dives into the deepest depths of the ocean and gets eaten by an underwater monster shark.


Speaking of which I better get to that but...you know ANIMEAVENTURE look it up, see if next Saturday suits you and it's a date. Be prepared to be backed into an alley and murdered ;D you know how it is with us charming internet people


The shark coughs up my heart and travels up a rainbow riding on a unicorn straight back into my chest. I can't help but let out a little squeal and kick my legs around excitedly, pumping my fists high in the air.

His little avatar hugs mine and waves.

MaconBacon:3 logs out.

I get onto google and search 'ANIMEAVENTURE' prepared for some ticket buying, day dreaming and researching in that order.



People walk past giving me strange looks in my cardboard spraypainted soldier costume and I tilt my helmet over my eyes awkwardly. Come on train, hurry up and get here so I can pretend to be asleep. Little kids are pointing at me and calling me weird. And their mother's are agreeing with them.

Biting my lip I am then distracted by a buzzing in my rucksack.

From: Macon Hamilton

So are you coming? ARE YOU COMING?

Ooohh I'd forgotten he'd given me his number.

To: Macon Hamilton

Coming to see you? Heck no. I just like train rides and if I happen to see you I MIGHT stop and say hello I GUESS! :D

From: Macon Hamilton

Please don't; I mean, I just got here you'll absolutely ruin my potential street cred.

To: Macon Hamilton

RUIN YOUR STREET CRED? Oh I guess there's no avoiding it I can't miss that kind of opportunity

From: Macon Hamilton


To: Macon Hamilton


I hug the phone to my chest and bounce up and down when as the train pulls in; in an hour more or less he'll be standing right in front of me. And not in cartoon form either but real live completely pounce-able human form. With his pretty hot pink hair - he says 'it's red, it's red' - and brilliant green eyes.

Lay on all the adjectives you like the boy is gorgeous.

Everyone starts heading towards the train as the doors slide open and I race past them all like 'if I get on the train quickly, I'll see him sooner' and then 'if I get the best seat, I'll see him sooner' and all these dumb exciting rules.

I lay back and kick my feet up on the seat opposite me, my euphoria fuelling mild rebellion. Will totally remove them if someone needs a seat but for now?

I'll put my feet where I want.


The train slows to a stop and I get up, bringing my straps higher on my shoulders and marching behind everyone out of the train.

My knuckles are white on my shoulder straps and I feel so busy like completely full of energy but powerless to do anything with it. Eyes darting around the area my knees are weak and it feels like pins and needles only not as intense.

Where are you? I scan the station and nearly fall over when something comes bounding into view.

"Whoa there, Soldier," Nurse's bright green eyes are right in front of mine.

I gasp and my knee's would have buckled had his hands not been on my shoulders.

"Nurse," I jump and wrap my arms around his neck, pressing my face into his cheek and delighting in his presence. He smells like...strawberries, oddly. I lean back from him a bit and joke weakly. "Already found a lovely young woman in which to steal bathroom supplies from?"

"I don't know, what flavour body wash do you use?" He winks at me and I near swoon.

"Ha," I laugh awkwardly and hook my arm through his. "Shall we?"

"Oh shall we ever," He begins walking speedily and I nearly trip over, legs still wobbly - wobblier, even. His hand slips down my arm and fingers entwine with mine as he shakes his head at my clumsiness. "Your avatar would never be as clumsy as this, Soldier, you're so lucky I find it incredibly endearing."

"Ew gross," I stick my tongue out and fight the overwhelming feeling to fling my arms around him again.

Nurse sticks his tongue out and squeezes my hand in response, making me feel faint.

Ew gross is the opposite of what I feel with his hand around mine.


"Okay so after following two different crowds that were going in the wrong direction, we're finally here," Nurse swings our hands as we walk through the crowded convention centre, high pitched squeals and interesting chatter going on all around us. "What do you want to do first?"

I look around, grinning like mad; so many happy making things going on like there's a ton of different merchandise stores, people selling art, a karaoke room, signings, anime, manga and just the people - the people were roleplaying with each other, having mock fights and being generally mental.

"I love this," I bounce up and down on my feet excitedly. "I want to do everything."


"Everything," I affirm, spreading my arms out and spinning us around. "Everything, everything - everything!"

Nurse laughs amusedly and tilts his head at me, bumping his hip with mine.

"So what are we going to start with?"

His eyes get twinklier and twinklier, the longer I pause. I feel frozen in his gaze, my mind coming up with unhelpful question marks. Start with? Start what? Nurse is looking at you? In a not unpleasant way? Wheeee?

"Um," I look around, red faced and the epitome of intelligence.

For once in your life Charlotte act like a normal human being.

"How about you close your eyes, spin around three times and wherever you point we'll go?" Nurse suggests, saving me from myself - kind of like he does when we're playing actually; I have a brain dead moment, charge into battle and he furiously casts healing spells behind me.

"Sounds like a plan," I nod and close my eyes. "Ready, set - sppiiinn!"


Forcing my helmet to cover my whole beet red face I feel like dying of embarrassment. Spinning around and picking any place did sound appealing, you know before it caused me to go out in front of a room of people and completely butcher one of their favourite anime's theme songs.

Nurse skips back in step with me, laughing.

"Not funny," I moan and hold my hands away from him as he tries to capture one.

"You know the lyrics were projected on the wall beside you," He informs mischievously and my jaw drops.

"You jerk, you could have told me," I smack him with my battleaxe and he grabs his side dramatically, eyes rolling into the back of his head. "Don't you get all melodramatic and unserious on me you made me angry."

I smack him again and he falls to the ground, groaning and gasping.

"Oh please, have mercy on me; you look so cute when you're all blush-y," Nurse rolls around , coughing and spluttering.

God will he please, please stop flirting with me?

I like it too much.

"You look so cute when you're dead," I give him one last whack and look around for where to go to next; might as well do the spin thing, can't do any worse.

"Mmm, zombie Macon," He gets up and grabs my head, mock chomping on it. He's getting drool all over my hair and I like that too. Frowning at my lack of being mad at him conviction I figure I can try and clone a nicer version of him with it when I get home, 'cause I'm secretly a mad scientist and all. "Brraiinnsssahh brainnnsahh om nom nom you do have nice body wash."

"Shut your face and spin before I chuck one of your limbs into a blender," I push his head away and do a twirling motion with my finger.

"Okay," He nods and begins to spin. "Round and round and round I go, where I stop nobody knows..."


"They're so cute, I want to hug them," I tilt my head in awe, watching as a bunch of girls and boys roll around the floor in cat suits; licking their paws, mock fighting and pouncing on each other for the cameras. "I want to take them home."

"Darn," Nurse gestures down at his healer costume; dark red flowing robes fringed with black and white sequins, black skin-tight jeans and platform leather boots. "Should have came as a cat."

"No this way we match," He stares at me, me being in cardboard armour and him in sequinned robes and all. "I mean in the sense that we're from the same game and well...we know we match."

My eyes linger on the jeans. I'm not sure how he walks in them but they look really nice on him, certainly not tight in the bad way.

I bite down on my pocky we'd just bought from the Japanese snacks store and try to avert my gaze. No staring at his jeans even if he looks hot in them; look at someone's face when you're talking to them; don't let the overwhelming urge to pounce someone sink your Best Friend Ship.

Listing rules to try and tame my wild mind I hear to my mortification - god am I ever just full of that today - my body, more specifically my stomach, turning against me by letting out a loud growl.

"Whoa, seems like someone wants some real food," Nurse sticks the box of pocky back in his rucksack and looks around while I dissolve in inner turmoil.

Sure I've probably said some demented things to him in the past and even today that go against my, er, girlish nature? But good grief he doesn't have to hear the more physically disturbing side of me.

"Oh, I've got an idea," He taps his head and arches an eyebrow at me in question. "Do you like hot dogs, Soldier?"


"Oh then you'll love this."


Shoving a hot dog into my mouth furiously I feel about to puke and look around at the other contestants, wondering how they're doing it. How they've already gone through about six of them when I'm only on my fourth.

When I – well, my stomach – said I was hungry this isn't exactly what I had in mind.

Nurse looks like he's swallowing them whole.

He catches my eye and looks indicatively to my three-thirds eaten hot dog like go on, eat, eat and I shake my head. Instead I pump my fists and mouth encouragements at him. Everyone around the convention centre is cheering them on, some poor girl looks like she's going to hurl just watching.

Her boyfriend however is one of the contestants and she feels it her girlfriendly duty to watch. I saw her kiss him before he went up.

My lips twist into a pout; Nurse and I only bumped fists before we went up.

"Okay, ladies and gentleman; get ready for the ten second countdown," The announcer cries enthusiastically, wiggling his eyebrows.

A moment later everyone begins screaming with him and all contestants aside from me beginning shovelling as much as they can in. I watch in fascination as bread sticks all around their mouths and tomato sauce dribbles down their chins. It's all a horrifically disgusting sight to behold.

I look back to the crowd and see the girl is now covering her eyes.

A resounding ZZERROOOOO is heard and all leftover hot dog is dropped.

Nurse cleans up his face and looks smug as the judge panders to the crowd, building up the suspense although the winner is pretty clear.

"And now, who'd a guessed it, the pretty boy Macon "Nurse" Hamilton has stripped his competition of their dignity with his scrawny self," Nurse raises his eyes at this description and mock puppy pouts at me, like I'm not a scrawny pretty boy even though he completely is.

I clap my hands together as he gets given a voucher to use in the stalls.

He bows for the crowd, some of whom cheer outrageously and others too busy already walking away.

I walk over and give him a congratulatory hug and he squeezes me to him.

"Let's go buy you something pretty," He winks.


"Oh my gosh, hey, they're cosplaying from World on Crack," Someone points to us and I get excited, having my point proven and also finding fellow players.

"See, they know too," I wrap my arm around his waist and grin, posing for them as they gesture with their camera.

"Might as well be in character then," Nurse says vaguely.

Just as the camera pre-flashes for red-eye and I'm sure my smile is neither my mentally challenged or serial killer smile he leans down, pulling at my helmet, and kisses me on the cheek. My eyes bug out and I drop my battleaxe in shock; the two girls taking our photo giggle their faces off and hold up their camera with a thumbs up to thank us.

I feel like I'm going to die of shock as I look up at him, slack-jawed.

"What?" Nurse shrugs, picking up my battleaxe and placing it in my outstretched hand. "We are married in the game after all, what's a kiss on the cheek between a fake husband and wife? Oooh look over there they're getting zombified."

He darts way ahead of me to step in line, staring over people's heads and seeing what the guy is painting the latest customer like.

I hold my hand to my furious beating heart in confusion.

Nurse just kissed me.


We're sitting on the bench at the train station, waiting in silence.

I'm silent because he kissed me not too long ago, he's silent because he's trying to see how awkward he can make me before I explode I'm sure.

I glance at him sideways and he's looking right at me.

My cheeks again betray me and he tilts his head.

Quickly turning my eyes to the heavens and biting my lip I hear the train coming in and get to my feet, quite ready to escape this torture.

"Bye," I smile at him weakly and he waves.

Sighing and feeling incredibly angry at myself for the way the day's ended - me, seeming angry at him and for something I liked - I drag my feet across to the train, thumping my feet down on the step miserably.

Who even knows if he'll ask me down again after this?

I look down the aisle and sigh again,

"Hey," Someone says loudly behind me and I step aside, mortified at blocking everyone and confused when they grab me by the shoulders.

"What are you – "

Nurse spins me around, pushes up my helmet and kisses me on the lips.

I gasp in shock, completely rigid as he eyes me fondly.

"I know we're best friends but I don't know if you've noticed...from all my flirting, all your blushing...we also kind of have the hots for each other. I'd really, really like to go out with you, waited to ask you in person, stupid effing internet nearly didn't pull through on time for me to ask you to this and - and now I am so are you okay with this?"

Am I okay with this? I can barely form words I'm so okay with it.

"A-as if you had to ask!"

"Didn't want to ignore the formalities."

He drops his staff and wraps his arms around me, pulling me out of the train and pressing his lips against mine again. I feel my insides turn to mush and kiss him back, enjoying all the nice tingles running down my spine.

After a while and as the voiceover beeps and a lady says the train's about to depart in two minutes he lets me go, fixing my helmet back on.

"Come see me soon okay? Or I'll find out where you live and stalk you," Nurse taps me on the nose and pushes me gently back on the train. I notice with mortification everyone's been avoiding getting on where we're standing and diverting to all the other entries.

I shake it off and beam at him; this is too good of a moment.

"I'll come see you tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next and the next and the next and the next and the day after the next and -"

A train security guy clears his throat and I step away, not even sure I'm joking about the promised stream of visits.

I go find my seat, closely tailed by the guard and sit down, pressing my face against the window; he blows kisses at me and I continue to mouth and the next, and the next until the train pulls away.


MaconBacon:3 logs in.

I click immediately, sending my avatar over his and make her peck him on the lips.

His avatar has a little heart appear above his head.


I used to see you doing that sometimes as I logged in you know.





Sorry for deserting you, went on a making picture rampage trying to win my one true love (Danisnotonfire) on tumblr and posting them on his facebook, then I was on vacation and all I ever did was watch Scrubs and THEN I was writing this which was super important and for a contest called "Less Than Three" only I AM AN IDIOT and screwed up the submitting time but am kind of glad because it's like now Kristina and Hayley G Hoover aren't reading my writing and judging it.

That Hayley can be scary. I've read her tweets.

Also I get to show it to you guys and I miss you and feel guilty for leaving you and am going to update my stories and have another nearly written one shot in store for you that involves a little Christmas and New Year times because I felt super bad for not uploading anything.

And I feel like death because I was up all night trying to finish this because I'm a sucky procrastinator, then decided to leave submitting to the morning - stupid, stupid Amy – and then played Dragon Age to like 5AM and then got up at 9AM to submit and well you know that story.

Imma stop rambling. I miss you. I love you. Goodbye.

(Also freakin FP is being a poop and whenever I try to edit this and put the little dividery bars in it's like HAHA WE'RE GOING TO SHOW UP IN HTML :D)