//Slash. I can't say that enough. Slash. And talk about hurting people, emotionally and mentally. Slash. Seriously. This is heavy stuff. And weird, too.

Gah!  Thank you, Shadow.  I didn't realize that the word got lost, somehow.  I fixed it!  ^_^  Thank you again!  And yes, they are two separate people- the narrator and Seth, I mean.  This isn't a "Fight Club" like thingamabob.  ^_^//

Desperately

I live on the top floor of the dorm, and sometimes when I look out the window on a cloudy day I feel as if the world is fog. Nothing is real and nothing can touch me. What I wouldn't give for that to be true.

I've taken to hiding out in here. I go out for classes and food; that's it. My roommate is something of a loner himself, but even he has ties to the outside world. He'll be watching TV, reading a book, surfing the 'net, going out for walks…

I hide. I know Seth is out there, and it scares me. He can't have changed. He never wanted to. He's out there still, hurting people because he can and fucking them because he has to and hating them in some hideous version of love because there is a streak of tenderness in him.

I know this because I've discovered a streak of cruelty in myself.

I sometimes dream his life. Seth is beautiful, smart, and powerful. He licks his lips and people lust after him. He's gay; he chooses boys who think they're straight or even those who really are and he fucks them up. Literally, figuratively… it's all the same now.

Black and white are the same goddamn shade to me, now.

It's even worse because I'm gay, too, and I get caught up in his lust. I can't even be sure where we're separate anymore. We have much the same tastes in appearances and in personalities… but I don't want to hurt anyone. He lives for it.

I met him once. He knew me just as I knew him, and I hated him so much I could have killed or fucked him right there. But the confusion that had gripped me from the first moment I was aware of him hit me full force, and I didn't move. I didn't talk. I didn't look away.

We were at a party. A frat party somewhere on this huge sprawling campus. I can't remember exactly where it was, but I remember how he had been coming on to this poor beautiful boy, some helpless victim, when I saw him and he saw me.

He let the boy escape in his surprise. That was the one good thing that came out of this. He let that boy go and he walked up to me, and I was frozen. Ice and snow.

He touched my face and I shuddered, trying finally to get away. He caught my mouth in a kiss that tasted of sweet poison and hot sex. I wanted him like nothing else, ever.

But I broke away and left. Quickly. I shouldn't have to be that strong, but I'm grateful that I was.

My dreams were torture. I had gotten a bit drunk, not as bad as I have in the past, but bad enough, and it sent me spiraling right into that state where his life overlapped mine and I was dreaming his pleasure. I recognized the guy he had in his bed from high school. Aaron.

I hope Aaron's all right now. Mentally and emotionally, I mean; Seth wasn't the type to really hurt someone physically. He didn't have to. I really hope Aaron recovered, though. Seth wasn't kind to him.

Or to me. He knew I was there and he made it ten times worse than usual. He made him scream, made him beg… he cracked his soul open and licked the husk dry. I don't know how he manages not to get yelled at by neighbors for the noise. I can't recall all the things he did to him because I was halfway out of my mind in disgust, pleasure, and pure sanity-breaking arousal.

When I'm caught in his life I sleep like a corpse. My roommate has no idea that I spend a good three nights every week wishing like hell I could scream myself awake.

Seth's my mirror image, my shadow, my darkest self taking wing. Or maybe I am the shame that was in him, escaping to build a different life. I think that if I went to him he'd stop hurting so many people, because through me he could hurt that part of himself that he hates more than anything. That part that cares.

And something in me wants to be hurt by him.

My roommate stirs and turns over. It's late, two AM, and I'm trying to keep out of my dreams. My eyes are wide and empty but I see when he stands up, looks at me, and starts walking over.

"You ok?" he asks, looking nervous. I nod, saying nothing.

"It's just…" he trails off, looking embarrassed. What a wealth of emotion he expresses. I want to reach out and touch his face-

No. I don't want that.

"I mean, you've been really quiet lately, and now you don't sleep. What's wrong? You can talk to me about it." He sounds sincere. I wonder if he'd still want to talk to me if I touched him through his boxers, letting him feel everything I've learned from Seth.

But I won't do that.

"Just answer me, will you?" He sounds angry. Upset. And still so innocent. I wonder what it would be like to fuck him-

I have to stop this. I do not think like this.

"I'm all right," I finally manage to say. My voice is hoarse and I doubt he'll believe me. "Don't worry about me."

"You're not all right!" he says forcefully, sitting down next to me on the bed. Got to stay in control. Got to.

"Forget about it," I say sharply, curling my hands into fists. I lick my lips nervously and he watches. Oh god, he watches and his cheeks darken, just a minute shade. God is cruel.

Rewind, stop. I don't want to watch this play out. I don't want to hurt anyone.

In the back of my mind I realize Seth is paying attention to this drama. His lust adds itself to mine and I almost cry in frustration. I will not hurt him!

It could have been different. God, I would love to be able to love him without fearing that I'd hurt him. It's not so easy for a guy like him, so smart and so shy, to find another guy to want. To love. To have a good relationship with.

I have too many problems to be his guy.

"I can't. I don't… I don't like it when people are hurting." He sounds too young and so damn unsure. Seth is practically licking his chops in the back of my mind. I suppose that's when my decision gets made. I can't let him fall into Seth's hands. No fucking way.

It was good, though. We were good together. Roommates shouldn't get together, especially not when they're under a room contract, because breaking up will bite. But it was very good. I can't say I regretted it.

But I do regret that Seth was in the back of my mind the whole damn time, and that I couldn't resist being just a little cruel. I've gotten so good at it, thanks to Seth.

Exhaustion allows me to fall swiftly to sleep, a dreamless sleep that even Seth can't penetrate. And god, it's good to wake up in someone's arms and know you haven't hurt him.

//Review if you like, flame if you have to, blink in confusion if you just don't get it.//