Just realized this is the first kissing scene I've ever written. Huh. Title of chapter comes from a dream I had where I woke up with that phrase in my mind. Original title of chapter was 'Bad Sun' after the Bravery song, which fits rather well.

Consider this my emphatic middle finger to shipping.

000

"Lonely, Angry People on the Edge of the World"

Chapter 8

They walked together for a while, and didn't hold hands. Gillian wasn't sure she wanted to, anyway. With him just there her binary star system was complete again; anything else they did was purely supplementary, and possibly really fun. Sex with Jude sounded like it had potential for vast quantities of lulz and snarky commentary. She wanted to come up with a nerdy nickname for his wang. Maybe he could name her tits something awkward.

Their feet had carried them over halfway to the playing fields when Gillian said out of the blue, "That house is fucking ugly," and pointed at a shabby domicile, the clapboard of which seemed to be made of unpainted plywood. The squat, square windows were barred; through their dirty panes Gillian made out faded cream curtains adorned with yellow flowers.

"HEY ASSHOLES," screamed Jude as he dipped to snag a rock and fling it at the house, overcome by the thrumming, subdued current of invincible euphoria building between them. "BUILD A NEW HOUSE. THE HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION IS GOING TO FINE YOUR BALLS OFF." The rock hit a tree branch on its way with a muted thock and fell short.

"We should set it on fire," agree Jill as they walked on, for the sake of adding to the festive atmosphere. "Or wait, that was Marty's gig. Nevermind."

Jude simply hummed in agreement. He was a presence at her side, familiar or frightening depending on what viewpoint she wanted to look at him from; a challenge daring her to be stronger and better and independent. Theirs would not be a relationship of fluff and romance. Gillian had never wanted that from anyone, nor could she even imagine the feelings necessary to promote that. But with Jude she was not lonely. He dammed the last feeling, that aggravating isolation, and sat with her in the storm cellar at the heart of the hurricane.

She wondered what madness they would together scrawl across its walls, or perhaps if they would forgo the walls altogether and venture out into the wind. Fuck the parable about weeds bending and trees breaking; Jude and Gillian were veritable goddamn mountains and they were going to do neither.

Cassandra Adrian called her lonely, called her angry, told her she was broken. She told the truth, but it was nothing Gillian did not know and accept about herself already. Two broken people walked that squiggly trail of crumbling concrete sidewalk winding to the end of a sad little suburb where road noise mingled with the far-off ping of aluminum bats on softballs.

They were two lonely, angry people on the edge of the world, but together they were whole, weren't they. Gillian grinned toothily. She liked this idea.

Joy turned into a sort of fevered euphoria and she strode out ahead of him, daring him to keep up as she increased pace and let new energy coax her into a loping jog.

They jaywalked across a small frontage road intersection, both howling "FUCK DA POLICE!" at the top of their lungs. Gillian cast a look back over her shoulder at a passive vehicle and then swatted at Jude's side to get his attention.

"There's actually totally a cop," she said with delight. "Run, dude!" He didn't spare a backwards glance as they both hurtled across a field into the strip of greenbelt which circumscribed the lacrosse field. Halfway through the greenbelt, she allowed him a head start and called, "I totally lied!" before running away in a patternless zig-zag, flapping her arms and making terrible approximations of crow noises.

"Bitch!"

"CAW."

He caught her just as they reached the outside, waist-high-weed-stricken edge of the deserted field; she was not very aerodynamic when being a crow, and he didn't let her go. She bit him on the arm twice, first soft, then hard enough to actually draw blood around the canines. He laughed, a bit of angry confusing something spiked through her, and she whipped her head around to bite at his cheek. It turned into a very messy kiss that involved more snarling and teeth than actual kissing. Beneath them, dampness crept up from the earth through the dry stalks of grass and made clammy brown dirt patches on their jeans. Gillian's arm had a bruise from where he'd grabbed her, his had visible bite marks. "You're shit at kissing," said Jude. And a second later, "What the fuck are you doing in my pants? Ow. You're also shit at…whatever you're doing right now."

"Pokey the Penguin," said Gillian vengefully. "Or maybe Peckard Cain. Yeah, definitely that. 'Stay a while, and listen!'"

The sun moved a little. Life went on a little.

"Ok then. Burt and Ernie," said Jude. "Do you have a Sharpie?"

000

THE END. Aren't they sweet? Tastes just like antifreeze!

Wrote all 12K words of this thing in one sitting; took about 8 hours. Add in another 3-4 for editing. Still tweaking my writing style; if you're familiar with my FFnet Fusionmix account, this is a thematic rewrite of a similarly angst-ridden Sailormoon fanfic I did about sixteen months ago, She Doesn't Look A Thing Like Jesus. Trying to learn to say more with less words. Not happy yet, but not infuriated.

Lemme know what you think