She shrugged; the mere gesture of lifting and then dropping her shoulders reflected so much more than just a physical action that represented carelessness and a non-verbal whatever – no, the shrug said things like why are you asking me and how should I know and I'm-just-so-tired; the shrug said all the things she;d never dare tell him. Frowning, he repeats himself (funny, he finds himself doing that often around her), asking about the boy she had so happily declared her boyfriend almost seventeen months ago:
"Where's you're boyfriend-."
"He's not my boyfriend."
A pause, silence rings through the air because she cut him off. Violently, passionately. And he might not be Sherlock-fucking-Holmes, but he can hears the way he voice fluctuates around the word boyfriend – it is italicized by bitterness, underlined by resentment, and caps locked by sorrow – and he can tell that something happened, and that something is that they broke up; it's even more likely that her boyfriend broke up with her. And even though he was always closer with her boyfriend he's struck with a immense sense of pity, and he knows she can see it because-
"I don't want your fucking pity."
Thrown at him, the sentence cuts like a knife, and he almost flinches. Almost, because he hears her voice crack, and suddenly, it doesn't matter that he's closer with her boyfriend (ex-boyfriend, ex, ex, ex) and that he never cared much for her- he never got girls anyways, with their petty manipulations and shallow ideals: it's doesn't matter because all of a sudden she is crying, sobbing silently between gasps for air that seem to increase the need for something every time inhaled. He gathers her up in his arms as she cries. Because her heart is clearly broken, shattered somehow because of his friend, so he owes her, right? He feels guilty – he thought it would be her breaking his friends heart, not the other way around (he never thought his friend could hurt someone this much, but he was wrong-wrong-wrong) and he was never prepared for this, but he has comforted his sister countless times after she gets dumped so he knows the drill. He runs his hand on her back in an endless soothing circle, whispering words, soft and smooth into her hair, taking note of how skinny and frail she is - she needs to eat more and for a moment he wonders if he could take control of some of the other aspects of her life, not just her not-love-life and emotional well-being, because god, she was so unbelievably breakable.
"You alright?" he asks, and oh, that's a loaded question, isn't it? Because this boy is friends with her first (ex)boyfriend, and the ex had been acquired when he had told her that she was boring and stupid and useless and i-never-liked-you-anyway and crushed her into pieces but she could handle it, couldn't she. She;s proven that to herself, once or twice before when she lost a friend and a mother; her mother died and her friend left her, and she survived, didn't she, so she can deal with some boy breaking up with her.
"Fine," she said in that sweet, wavering voice that made him want to wrap her up in a blanket and put her away somewhere she couldn't get hurt by all the evil jerks in the world (evil jerks who was now his friends, says a nagging voice somewhere in his mind: he banishes away the thought to a crevice in his mind- the thought confuses and messes and screws up his entire mind because, for him, it's always been the girl who are the bad ones, and now that a boy like him is the villain, he doesn't know what to think). Instead he takes her to the nearest Starbucks, buys her a drink, and lets her talk and talk and talk- a kind of therapy for her, but each thing she says fills him up with a blinding white rage (people are taught that anger is red, but their so so wrong- his vision blurs, in and out, a blinding white) to pound the crap out of her ex-boyfriend: her ex-boyfriend. He doesn't realize the subtle difference of his thoughts; his friend becomes her ex – he has discarded any previous ownership or friendship of him in his mind.
(he doesn't think to check with the ex-boyfriend, doesn't realize there could be more to the story, and never realizes that the villain might have been hurt just as much as the damsel herself: the so-called villain had been just as broken)