NEW NEW NEW NOTE: Most of these first chapters now have added content. I might suggest rereading, if you have the time.

NEW NEW NOTE: Edited so that Remy's backpack no longer mysteriously disappears and then reappears after the bullying scene.

NEW NOTE: I'm doing away with Sven's accent as far as typing goes because it's becoming a real pain and I can't understand most of what I'm typing most of the time, and I'm pretty sure most of my readers are probably getting tired of trying to translate what the hell he's saying, so you'll just have to insert you own terrible German accent yourselves. That is all. *crawls under desk* Also, there's been more editing and additions done to this chapter. Since it's been a long time since my last update, it might be beneficial to reread it all.

Well, howdy, y'all, to all who read this! Welcome to my first official male/male slash story!

Now, I know what y'all are thinking. (I'm from the South. I say y'all sometimes. Get over it.) Oh, God, it's her first male/male story, what the hell have I just clicked on, blah blah de blahbiddy blah blah. But take heart, my dear friends! For I have written small snippets of plenty of yaoi fanfiction, but nothing that really deserved (or was long enough) to be preserved forever on the wonder that is the Internet. (Everyone cross your fingers anyway, though . . .)

Summary: Story revolves around Remy, a typical poor, starving college student, and Sven, the object of his somewhat unhealthy affections. The victim of incessant bullying because of his size, and more recently his sexual preferences, and abused by a pedophile of a stepfather for most of his life, he spends most of free time hiding out in the school library with a bunch of dusty old books (and a dusty old librarian). When the old librarian finally announces her retirement, Remy quite literally runs into her replacement. Her MALE replacement. Her very good looking male replacement, actually . . . Stalkerish tendencies and an incredibly awkward and difficult relationship ensue for these young me after some very unusual circumstances bring out little protagonist together with his newfound crush.

Warnings: Well, if you haven't gotten the hint so far, it's a love story between two gay males. If that's not your cup of tea, GET OUT! Seriously, why are you still here? Go. Now. Go on, shoo! . . . Still here, eh? Well, don't say I didn't warn you. Now, for those of you who ARE still here, other warnings include language, probably a vague a lemon or two (C'mon, we all know why we're really here. *wink*), extreme overuse of the most cliché elements of most male/male stories floating around on the Internet, hateful and suicidal thoughts and actions on Remy's part, cutting and self-mutilation, mentions of rape, abuse, and incest(?) (It's with his step-father, so does it count?), and mentions of bondage/BDSM/a master/slave relationship, dubiously consensual sex, and consensual sex with a minor later (Does not appear in the actual story, so you don't have to squidge away quite as hard.). Well, I think that covers it all . . .

Anyway, needless to say, this ain't gonna be a fluffy, vanilla flavored, sugar-coated romance between two perfect people. There have to be some hurdles and bumps along the way. Maybe even a few crash and burns . . . Otherwise, it wouldn't be very interesting.

Well, by now I'm sure you're all getting bored and wondering when the story will start. Read on, little friends, to see if our dear Remy will actually be able hook our soon to be favorite librarian!

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The Librarian

Chapter 1

Pinned

~*~*~*~Remy~*~*~*~

I stumbled through the double doors of the campus library for the fifth time this week, sprinting between some bookshelves before Mrs. Galigsby could spot me and yell at me for running in the library again. Well, it looked like I would spend the next hour or so before I had to go to work in the library today, again. And all because it made some football players feel all big and manly to pick on someone who was over a foot shorter and more than a hundred pounds lighter than them, so they'd chased me in here. Again.

I was really beginning to wonder just how much crap one person was supposed to be able to take before they finally cracked . . . Whatever that limit was, I had a bad feeling that I was inching dangerously close to it.

Just push through it, Remy, I told myself. Remember, when you have a college degree and a well-paying job, where will they be? At home drinking beer and watching ESPN, wishing they'd done more in school than play ball. Yep. Just gotta keep thinking that.

Yes, I'll admit it, I was a little bitter. Okay, maybe a lot. I just got so sick of watching jocks get by on their athletic talents, while the rest of us work hard in school and still get stepped on while others climbed the social ladder. It just didn't seem right . . .

Once I was sure they weren't going to follow me inside (not that they ever did, but it was always best to be sure), I made my way to the steps leading up to the second floor of the library. Most of the books up here were old copies of novels that have since been reprinted many times over and replaced on the lower floor, so they were dusty from under-use. Very few people ever came up here, and I can't blame them. Old Mrs. Galigsby can't climb the stairs anymore, so it's never cleaned. With its thick layer of dust and cobwebs, poor lighting, and the musty smell of aging books, it's almost creepy up here. Which doesn't really bother me. I like dark, creepy places. They make excellent hiding spots in a pinch.

I walked up to a tall bookcase on the back wall, plucked a bluish-gray, leather-bound copy of Ivanhoe from one of its crooked shelves, and flipped it open to where I'd last stuck my bookmark. One of the good things about no one ever coming up here? You don't have to worry about checking out books. Just leave them on the shelf when you're done. No one will bother them.

I sat down with my back against the wall and began to read, checking my watch occasionally so that I wouldn't be late for work. I really wasn't looking forward to going to work after such long day at school, especially since today really was one of my long days with five hour-and-a-half long classes packed into one day with no real time in between for a lunch break. Which meant I was also starving . . . Well, nothing unusual about that, I suppose.

Around fifty minutes after I sat down, I decided it was time to go ahead and wrap things up. If I left now, I figured I might be able to grab some food before my shift and quiet my grumbling stomach. Besides I might run into those football jerks again and have to take a few extra corners on my way to work to get away from them. Such was the fate of being a gay college male under 5'6" in a school that is . . . less than hospitable to me and "my kind". (Actually, I'm barely pushing 5'4" . . . Okay, fine, 5' 2 3/4", and don't forget that three-quarters! Please . . .) If I could have gotten into any other school, I would have, but with my living situation in high school, my grades weren't all that impressive. I barely scraped out a C average . . . Not exactly the best thing when applying to collage.

I put my bookmark back in place and slid the old book back into its spot on the shelf before tossing my backpack over my shoulder and making my way back to the stairs, dreading having to walk back outside . . . There were days, most days actually, that I wished I could just move into the library and become a permanent resident, like the thousands of books that called this old building home. This dusty old place had become a safe haven around this hellhole, quiet and peaceful in amongst all the chaos. Sometimes I thought about just hiding out up here for the rest of my college life and only leaving for food or work. Since nobody came up to this part of the library, it was unlikely that I'd get caught . . . And Mrs. Galligsby never checked to see if anyone was still around before she left at night anymore. (I would know. She locked me inside once towards the beginning of the year.)

Now, keeping in mind that, once again, no one ever came up here, I was understandably surprised when I found someone else was actually heading up the stairs for once. Huh? Who would be-? Oh.

Okay, this is going to sound stupid, but you know those weird, cliché moments in bad romance novels when the two lovers first see each other, and one of them is totally mesmerized by the other? Well, this was one of those moments, minus the lovers part. The man coming up the stairs was, I'll admit it, no matter how cliché it sounds, gorgeous. He was tall, very tall (Like, really ridiculously, how is that even genetically possible tall.), and broad-shouldered, with gentle, dark brown eyes beneath dark auburn hair that he'd apparently tried to slick back, but had failed at doing so, so it hung over his forehead into his eyes. (Either that, or he'd put a lot of time and effort into getting it to do that this morning. Either one was possible, I suppose.) High cheekbones, perfectly shaped lips, a nose that was maybe just a little bit big, but that still fit his face just perfectly. Oh my God, he was perfect. Gorgeous. The kind of guy girls would literally swoon over. Like, actually gasp for breath and hit the ground in a dead faint kind of swoon. And, I'll admit, he was the kind of guy I would probably like. Except he probably wanted nothing to do with another man . . .

"Oh. Excuse me."

God, that voice. Leaning toward the deeper end of baritone, but not quite harsh enough to be a bass. And, it shouldn't have sent that shiver up my spine like it did. I've always loved the diversity of people's voices. You can tell a lot about a person by listening to their voice. Like if they're a nice person, a mean person, if they've smoked a few to many cigarettes in their life . . . And especially what part of the world they were from. This guy's voice held a thick accent that made it coarse, but still somehow warm and sweet and almost laughably gentle and shy for someone his size. It was really nice. He seemed really nice.

Okay, I'll admit it, I was kind of attracted to him, maybe a little more than was appropriate. But that was the nature of being human, right? He was good looking, clearly took care of himself. It was just natural that I should like him, right? Just nature doing what it had done best for thousands of years, making my brain register that he would make a good potential "mate". Granted, of course, that "mating" would be impossible for us, in the literal sense, but still.

Yes, that's how I was trying to justify the fact that if I wasn't gripping the stair railing I would have fallen down the stairs on my face because this guy was so gorgeous to myself. Nature and pheromones and all that fun, biological stuff that nobody really understands but everybody giggles at in class. Yep. Pathetic, right?

I guess I waited too long to respond, because he ascended a few more steps and spoke again.

"I didn't realize anyone still used this part of the library," he said, sounding almost apologetic. "Mrs. Galigsby asked me to move some of these old books up here." He motioned downward with a nod.

I'd been so busy just staring at him and trying to convince myself that the fact that I wanted to grab him and hug him, among other things, was okay and not weird in the least, that I hadn't even noticed the very heavy looking stack of books he was carrying. At least fifteen or twenty were stacked in his arms, all thick, leather-bound tomes, like the others that had been banished to the shelves of the upper library.

He started to get this odd look on his face then. Probably because I was still staring at him, totally silent, like a deer in the headlights, or a child who'd just been caught doing something they weren't supposed to be. He probably thought I'd planted a bomb or committed some form of vandalism or something . . . Great first impression, huh?

"Well . . . Excuse me, then." He slipped past me and continued up the stairs. Once he was gone, I bolted down the remaining stairs and out of the library, heart pounding and face flushed, earning an angry shout from Mrs. Galigsby on my way.

What the hell just happened?

Well, to top off my perfect day, after that whole incident in the library, work that night was an absolute nightmare. And no, that is not an exaggeration. Of course, that was to be expected when you work in a fast food restaurant in a college town. And you know somehow, I always seem to get that one crazy customer who seems to think they're better than everyone else and should get their hamburger first. Why, I don't understand. Granted, I don't understand why anyone would want to eat this greasy, nasty crap to begin with, so the fact that anyone would want it in a hurry just escapes me. And why do they always want to yell at the cashier? I'm not the one that can't seem to cook a hamburger in less than twenty minutes. I'm not the one they need to be yelling at. But try explaining that to them, and what do you get? Cussed out and told you aren't worth the person's time. Sometimes, there are people in this world that I just wish I could reach out and slap. In the face. With a chair . . . A heavy chair. But I needed the job, so there was nothing I could do about it other than try to calmly explain to the woman (Why is it always a woman, anyway? They aren't helping the stereotype. They realize that, right?) that there were other customers in line ahead of her and that if she could just wait patiently, her order would be ready in just a minute.

She ended up throwing her sandwich in my face.

Mustard, mayonnaise, and onions in your eyeballs always feels good. (Really, though, mayonnaise and onion? Ew . . .) And that wasn't even counting the hot, salty grease. Seriously, I thought they were supposed to wrap those things before they sent them out. And fuck, it burned.

After almost half an hour of rinsing my eyes with cold water didn't ease the burning in the slightest, the manager sent me home early, telling me to go straight to a doctor. I said I would, even though I had no intention of doing so. Did he really think I could afford to pay an emergency room fee on what he paid me? Because I definitely couldn't. Hell, I didn't even have insurance.

I didn't really want to go back to my pitiful excuse for an apartment yet, though, and since I didn't particularly care about the football game going on in the stadium tonight, as being bullied by the team on a daily basis will do that to you, I decided to go back to the library and hide out for a little while longer. I was still scrubbing at my burning, watery eyes with the back of my hand when I walked in, so I couldn't really see all that well. Still, I made my way to the stairs for the second time that day. I knew this path better than I knew the back of my hand. I could walk it blindfolded (which I more or less was).

However, I didn't expect to literally run into someone on my way up the stairs.

I let out a very undignified and very unmanly shriek as I started to topple backwards, along with an armload of books the person had been holding. I heard them tumble down the stairs behind me as I flailed and wobbled on the edge of one step, no doubt about to follow close behind . . . My heart missed several beats as I slung my hands out, hoping I'd make contact with anything solid that I could grab onto. 'Oh God, oh God, oh God . . .'

Firm hands suddenly caught me by the arm and waist, pulling me forward again before I could fall and most likely break my neck. My hands wrapped in the shirt of my rescuer and held on, unwilling to let go until my heartbeat settled. I leaned my head against what I'd quickly determined to be a man's chest as I tried, and failed, to slow my frantic breathing before my asthma kicked up. Because an asthma attack at this point would just be the cherry on top of this oh so perfect day . . . Ah, sarcasm. Just another one of the many services I offer.

"Are you all right?"

I froze, my still burning eyes shooting open. After a moment, I looked up at the man, into warm brown eyes full of worry and a hint of shock. (Even with my vision all blurry, he was still gorgeous.) And I do mean I looked up. He was standing a step above me, sure, but I almost fell backwards again just trying to meet his eyes. He almost seemed to sense this (or he just noticed me wobbling again) because the hand on my arm slid around to press firmly into my lower back and steady me.

"Are you all right?" he asked again, a little more insistent, and this time I managed a slight nod.

He eased us both down until we were sitting on the stairs, not an easy feat considering I was still clinging to him like a freaking leech. "That was a little too close," the man mumbled, running his fingers back through his hair to push it out of his face. "I can't imagine what would have happened if you'd actually fallen from all the way up here . . ." He cast a quick glance down the creaky stairs as he spoke. "Are you sure you're all right?"

I nodded dumbly, my body suddenly feeling numb. I didn't even want to think about what would have happened if I'd actually fallen backwards down all these stairs. I was a runt. I knew I would have been seriously hurt, or more likely killed. Hah, now wouldn't that have put a damper on the school's reputation? "Student Killed in Freak Library Accident", the headline would read . . . What a way to go.

"You're crying," the man said after another moment. It sounded like he was just trying to fill the silence.

"I-" I took a second to breathe. "I got hurt at work. A woman threw a sandwich at me. I got mustard in my eyes. It's fine, really," I babbled.

"Mustard?"

"Yeah . . . And mayonnaise and onion."

He made a face. "Ew . . ."

"My thoughts exactly."

He sighed and shook his head. "Didn't you try rinsing your eyes?"

I nodded. "Didn't help." What an awkward first conversation to have with someone. Well, okay, second conversation. Technically. I think. Does it count as a conversation if only one person was talking?

He picked me up suddenly, like I weighed nothing. So suddenly that all I could do was try to hold on (and let out a startled squeak, no doubt further emasculating myself), wrapping my arms around his neck and hanging on for dear life. He carried me down the stairs and through a door behind the reception desk marked "Staff Only", then through another door just off the long hall beyond that led to a small bathroom. A very clean little bathroom, might I add, though I'm not sure why that mattered. He put me back on my feet, leaning against the sink, and disappeared again, returning a moment later with a folding metal chair and some bottles of water. He sat the chair in front of the sink, motioning me over.

"Sit and lean your head back. And stop rubbing at your eyes. It'll make it worse." He kind of sounded like an angry mother . . . It might have been funny had the circumstances been different.

I sat down and leaned back, just like he said. He uncapped a bottle of water and cupped the back of my head, supporting my neck.

"Tip your head back just a little more, if you can. Keep your eyes open," he instructed.

I couldn't believe this was happening. How did I get into this situation?

I jumped a little when he tipped the bottle and water splashed into my eyes. It was cool, but not cold, and it helped sooth the aching burn from the mustard a little.

"There we go," the man cooed. "Blink a few times. There you go . . ."

Things couldn't get much more awkward, could they? God, I just wanted to crawl down the drain and disappear.

The man spent almost forty-five minutes carefully rinsing my eyes again, pulling back my eyelids to make sure there wasn't anymore mustard or mayonnaise anywhere, and massaging around my eyes with gentle fingers to ease the aching and rawness all my rubbing had caused.

"Are you all right?" he asked for about the twentieth time.

I nodded, patting at my face dry with a paper towel. "Thank you. We tried that at work, but it didn't help."

"Did you use bottled water, or tap?"

"Tap."

"Well, there's no way to tell how clean that water was or what kind of chemicals might be in it. With bottled spring water, you know it's clean." He cupped my face and turned it slightly. "It looks like the redness is disappearing. That's good. Does it still hurt?"

I shook my head. "Not really. Thank you. And, uh, thanks for catching me earlier." 'And, you know, saving my life? Yeah, thanks for that.'

"Well, I certainly couldn't let you fall." He stared at me for a minute, like he was studying me. "You're the boy from earlier, right? The one from the stairs."

I nodded. "I'm Remy."

He smiled, and I had another one of those weird, weak-kneed, mesmerized moments. Thank God I was still sitting down . . . It probably wouldn't look good if I suddenly passed out in front of this guy. "My name is Sven. Sven Hart," he stated, and I finally took the time to try to place that thick accent of his. I failed. A little too coarse to be French, and definitely not Russian . . . German, maybe, with the way he pronounced his w's? "Mrs. Galigsby hired me to help her run the library," he continued. "She's planning to retire soon, she said, so . . ." He shrugged. "A library has to have a librarian, right?"

"I guess so." There was an awkward silence for a moment before I stammered, "Well, I should get going. I have homework to do and, uh . . . Well, bye!" I jumped up and quickly bolted from the tiny bathroom before I could say anything to further embarrass myself, making my way out of the library, down the path, and into the campus courtyard. That stupid football game had let out not too long ago, but maybe I could make it off campus before-

"Hey, there's the fairy boy!"

Oh, God. The football jocks. Why is it always the football players who are so prejudice against guys like me? Seriously, that's such a freaking stereotype. Why couldn't it ever be the wimpy math nerd with the pocket protector who wanted to chase me and beat me up? I might stand a chance against him. Granted, not much of a chance, but still a chance. But no, I had to have the six foot four, two hundred and fifty pound walls of muscle and testosterone gunning for me. This was just great. I started running. What else could I do? I didn't want those homophobic freaks to catch me again. I was still bruised from the last time . . . And it wasn't like anyone was going to lift a finger to help me, even if they saw what was happening. They never did . . .

Just for the record, the one problem with being a short guy with asthma trying to run from any form of athlete is that the athletes tend to be faster than you. Especially when you're lugging a heavy backpack filled with books that weigh as much as you do. I'm just saying. Might want to store that away in your memory banks.

I was tackled and dragged to the ground by four of the football team's largest players, each of them nearly three times my weight, getting the wind knocked out of me in the process. I felt my bones creak with the strain, threatening to crush under the weight, and I was pretty sure that was my calculus book digging into my spine through my bag. I tried to squirm from under them, but they were way too heavy, pinning me to the ground. I felt like one of those poor butterflies, drugged and pinned to a cork board for a science display. Helpless and trapped and waiting to die, for the torment to be over.

I didn't even realize I was crying until one of the other boys laughingly mentioned it, asking me what was wrong in a sickly sweet but cruel tone that made my stomach drop.

"Please, just let me go," I begged. I wasn't above begging in this situation. Not if it meant I could get out of this with as little damage as possible. I'd learned a long time ago that sometimes that was all they wanted. To hear begging, to see how far you would lower yourself to avoid injury. To see if you were willing to press your face to the dirt for them. Sadistic bastards . . . "Please, don't hurt me. Just let me go," I repeated.

They started to get up, and I thought for just a brief, hopeful moment that they really were going to let me go. My hopes were dashed, however, when they dragged me, kicking and struggling, behind a nearby building. I didn't know what the building had been used for. It had been abandoned for some time, apparently. There were no pathways leading back here, just overgrown shrubs and trees and dead grass. Just like the upper floor of the library, no one ever came around here.

No one would come and save me.

I was pressed into the wall, harsh bricks biting into my back through my hoodie, my backpack taken from me somewhere along the way to this little building, and held in place by hard hands on my shoulders, the way the pin holds the butterfly. These hands were nothing like the firm hands Mr. Hart had used to catch me on the stairs just a little while ago, that he'd used to clean my eyes. These hands were only there to cause pain.

"Stop. Please, don't." My plea was ignored.

A strong fist collided with my stomach, pressing me further into the wall and knocking my breath away. I felt the air leave my lungs and for just and instant saw black spots before my eyes. I didn't have time to recover from the shock of the first blow before another found its mark, harder than the last. A third quickly followed, much more painful now that my abdomen was already starting to ache.

I closed my eyes after the fourth blow. I just wanted to tune it all out. The punches and kicks, the insults, the pain, all of it. Just think of something else, anything else. My mind drifted to the library on instinct. It was the only place I really felt safe anymore. The football boys never dared to follow me in there, for whatever reason. I thought about what would happen next with Ivanhoe, about what book I would find next, abandoned and unwanted in that dusty loft. Alone, like me. Maybe that was why I loved spending so much time with those books. They had been cast off and abandoned, no doubt after years of neglect and misuse by uncaring people. I understood how they must feel . . .

I suddenly felt myself hit the compacted dirt of the ground, flat on my face in the prickly dead grass, jarred out of my thoughts by the impact. My backpack was thrown down beside me, and I worried for a minute that my inhaler might have been broken, when I realized rather morbidly that I could taste blood in the back of my throat. They'd never beaten me so harshly before.

I lay still until long after the boys had gone, unwilling to move for a long time. When I did finally drag myself up with trembling arms and legs, I started walking, almost robotically, like I was pre-programmed to do so, in the direction of the library. I had to force myself to stop and turn around, to head back in the direction of my little apartment. It was after eleven o'clock now. The library was closed. I had nowhere to run to.

Walking hurt. Breathing hurt. Hell, at this point, even thinking hurt. The two mile walk back to my apartment building was agonizing. I kept having to stop and lean against something to try to catch my breath, which really only exacerbated the problem. I glanced at my watch when the building finally came into view. It was almost two in the morning. Had it really taken me nearly three hours to walk home?

I was glad the landlady never locked the front door. I didn't want to wake her up to let me in, and I definitely didn't want her to see me like this. I'd spend the night outside in the cold, first. She'd ask too many questions that I just didn't feel comfortable answering. If people started asking questions, it would eventually get back to those bullies, and then they'd really let me have it . . . And to be honest, I wasn't ready to die just yet.

My trek wasn't over yet, even after I'd dragged myself up the front steps. I still had nine flights of stairs to climb. Why did my apartment have to be on the tenth floor? I kind of wondered if the landlady would get upset if I just slept in the main hall tonight . . .

I eventually made it up the stairs. After a while, the pain had faded and a sort of tingly numbness had set in, which didn't seem like such a bad thing, until I undressed to inspect my injuries. I realized, looking in the mirror, that those football jocks had done more damage than I'd thought, which was actually pretty bad. My entire stomach and most of my ribcage was blossoming into an ugly shade of purple-green, and my shoulders weren't much better. The rough hands had left impressions of fingers bruised into deeply them. Despite the numbness, breathing still hurt, and I was pretty worried about the fact that nothing seemed to be able to get that bloody taste out of my mouth. My eyes began to burn and my vision started to blur, and I knew I was crying. I hated those boys so much, and no amount of telling myself things would get better or that I was the one who was going somewhere with my life was going to change that . . . It wouldn't change the fact that I'd been putting up with shit like this nearly every day for the better part of the past three months.

'Who are you kidding? You've been putting up with people like them your entire life, you idiot.'

My hand twitched; my wrist itched . . . Teeth gritted in anger, I snatched the barber's scissors out of the cup on the bathroom sink and pressed a sharp blade to my arm without any hesitation, dragging it across my wrist until red welled up around the sharp edge. It stung and burned and dripped red onto the bathroom floor, but it made me feel a little better. It always did. The sharp pain was a good distraction from everything else going on in my life, and the rush of endorphins it brought on helped settle my frazzled nerves.

This, I'm sad to say, was a horrible habit I'd picked up when I was only twelve. I'd heard an older student at school mention it, say it made them feel better when they felt like they couldn't take life any more. So while my mother and stepfather were passed out from drinking one afternoon, I had found my mother's old sewing scissors and hidden myself away in my room. Turns out that boy was right . . . The pain and the rush of endorphins were an excellent distraction. The rest is history. You can piece it together yourself, I'm sure.

Once the shallow cut had stopped bleeding, crusted over with a dark scab, I cleaned it up and wrapped my forearm, scarred from far too many years of this treatment, in gauze before dragging my feet back to my bedroom. I changed into a gray sweat suit and flopped onto my bed, not bothering to crawl under the blankets. I was too tired to anyway. My stomach hurt, my shoulders hurt, my head hurt, and I just wanted to pass out for a few hours. At least tomorrow was Saturday, and I didn't have to work for once. Maybe I could just go to the library and stay there all day . . . That sounded nice . . . Really nice . . . I dragged myself up a little higher on the bed, until I could put my head halfway on the pillow, and pulled my stuffed jellyfish out from where it was falling behind the bed. I held it to my stomach, hoping it would ease some of the pain that was coming back now. I wasn't really sure if it helped or not, but I decided to pretend it did. I stared across the room for a long time, at the poster of Blue Moon jellyfish hanging beside my closet, waiting for my eyes to get tired so I could sleep. My thoughts drifted, and for whatever reason I decided that I should really go to the aquarium in the next town some time soon and see the jellyfish . . . I really like jellyfish, okay?

At some point amongst all my fantasizing about jellyfish and old books and fictional characters and long days in the library (and no, I wasn't fantasizing about that new librarian at all - er - at least not too much), I think I fell asleep. Or I passed out and died and everything after this is heaven or hell or whatever. I suppose that would be okay too.

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EDIT: I did some editing on this chapter, added some things, revised some stuff, and I hope it made Remy's current mental and emotional state a little clearer. I realized after rereading it several times that Remy's character seemed a little flat and dead in a lot of places, or just plain weird in others, and that wasn't what I was going for. The problem I was having was that I, as the author, KNEW how he felt and thought without having to read it, so I had to come back, and read from the perspective of an outsider. Hopefully, it's a little easier to understand now.

Well, there it is . . . Not sure how I feel about it yet, but I guess it was okay. This is the first non-fanfiction story I've ever had the nerve to post, so the characters might seem a little random at first. Just bear with me for a little bit, okay? I'm hoping that SOMEBODY out there will like this and stick with me for the long haul while I flounder about with this . . .

And I don't know when I'll update this. Sporadically, I'm sure. Whenever I have free time to work on it.

Well, review, or don't. I actually don't care all that much, because I'm still going to enjoy writing this story whether people review or not. Why? Because I'm weird like that.

A final word of warning before I go. I am known for having extremely long author's notes, especially in the beginning of the chapter. Just sort of ignore them if you want . . .