Pain, and blood, and tears, and he had nothing left to give.

It was a fucking fairytale, everybody matched up, enjoying their happily-ever-after, and what did he have left?

Nothing, absolutely nothing, and no-one to notice.

Dilan would have noticed, once upon a time, but not anymore- not now that he had someone to love and to take care of and cherish, someone truly his to horde and love and keep.

It didn't matter if he was cold, and lonely, and hurt. He didn't matter.

And it was right, in a way.

He was always left out. Forgotten. Unwanted.

Why would this time be any different?

And they wondered why he was such an asshole.

They always let him down, hurt and in pain, and maybe lashing out was his only option, because he wouldn't break. He refused to break, to give anyone the satisfaction of watching him fall apart. He was stronger than that, and to hell with anybody else. He had always known trusting was for fools, and love wasn't for him. It had been stupid of him to lean on Dilan so much, so it was for the best, really. Now he didn't have to worry about slipping anymore.

He hated it. He didn't even have to run away; he had turned invisible enough that no-one noticed his presence anymore.

Dilan looking through him like he was nothing, no-one, hurt, burning across his chest with unexpected strength, but he could deal. He always did.

And if his soul died a little more, quietly, discreetly, the look in his eyes fading just a tiny bit more, well, it wasn't like anyone noticed.

'This is just great! I'm so happy we all managed to find our perfect halves.' Dilan had his shit-eating grin on -there was no way he'd say such a sappy thing without it- but it did manage to coax everybody else into smiling. She took hold of his hand and kissed his cheek with a shy smile, and he had to use all his self-control to keep from flinching. 'So, you guys want to catch a movie later, make it couples' night?'

Both Nick and Tommy hugged their girlfriends close and nodded. She snaked an arm around his, her dainty little hands taking hold of his bicep. His eyes wandered around, trying to find something -anything- to keep his mind off her.

It was through sheer force of will Dilan managed to keep his smile bright and happy. Not two feet away, a bit further into the queue, Ryan was quite obviously trying to ignore his ex-best friend and his cronies, namely Dilan and everybody else.

It shouldn't hurt so much.

Ryan had gotten a new haircut, he noticed, and it let his bangs cover his whiskey-colored eyes. His mouth was pinched in what probably was contempt, and his eyebrow was still pierced, though this time it was a simple silver hoop.

He tore his eyes away from him, and tried to concentrate on her. He shouldn't be eying his best –his ex-best friend.

'Honey?' It might have been easier if her voice had been less annoyingly high-pitched.

With an internal sigh, he turned away from him and tried not to let his irritation show.

'Well, if you're all in, what do you say about a little bowling before we get there?'