Summary: "Stop asking me if I'm okay...I'm tired of lying." Or, a boy on a roof, sitting a little too close to the edge, sees his wish come true. Part-Two

Warning: *Suicidal thoughts*


'Sometimes when I say "I'm okay"...'

-panic-

Eyes wide, unseeing. Heart racing

-Just a nightmare. Just a nightmare. Just a-

-but it wasn't because this was his life and he'd lived it and seen it and felt it and-

It was over. It was over. They couldn't hurt him now. He was safe.

-but that was a lie because they could and they would and they were still using him and hurting him and hurting him and-

Deep breaths.

In. Out. In. Out.

-can't breathe can't breathe can't-

Heart racing, hands trembling.

Fresh air. He needs fresh air.

-fingers trembling, fumbling with the latch on his window that he didn't remember because his room didn't have a latch and why was there a latch on the-

And then the window is open and he's crawling onto the roof and gasping in the air and there's something off about this but he can't figure out what so he ignores it and focuses on

-breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Deep breathes-

Until he has finally caught his breath and his hands stop trembling and his heart stops racing and the panic that ensnares him lets him go.

It is quiet up here.

Peaceful.

-lonely-

Serene.

His can see the ground below him, dozens of feet down and now that he is not panicking, he has too much time to think about it might be better for him if he just

-slipped. What if he just slipped off the roof and fell and didn't come back and then he'd be at peace and he wouldn't have to be scared anymore and he would finally stop hurting and he wouldn't be alone anymore and-

Oh god, he's so tired of being alone.

His legs dangle off the edge of the building and he feels oddly detached at the thought of death. He wonders about it. A lot. Wonders if it might be better if he just fell here and didn't get back up, and he wouldn't jump. He wouldn't. But maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't be so upset if he slipped.

He thinks that should scare him.

It doesn't.

He draws his knees to his chest and hugs himself tightly, as if he could hold himself together through sheer will-power.

He didn't bother to wipe the tears away, there was no one here to see him.

Or so he thought.

"Hey, you okay mate?"

His first instinct is to lash out, but he knows that voice and then he finally realizes what it is that is so strange about this house. It's not his. Not his room. Not his roof.

He discreetly wipes his eyes and sends his friend a smile. "Just needed some fresh air."

-lie-

"I'm sorry if I woke you."

-true-

"I'm okay."

-lie lie lie lie lie-

His friend tilts his head to the side, taking in his appearance, and he isn't afraid of him noticing how much he is falling apart at the seams because he won't

-no one ever does-

So he is prepared to pull on the facade of a happy teen and go on with life the way he always does

-because no one can see just how much he is falling apart on the inside and how much he needs someone to notice him and how much-

His friend meets his gaze, and dark blue eyes full of an emotion he can't place. "No you're not." His smile (fake) falters when his friend plops down next to him and

-telegraphing every movement because he knows how much he hates being touched without warning because touch is pain and hurt and fear and-

wraps an arm around him, drawing him into a hug. He is too bewildered to draw his mask back on, because the gesture is totally strange and foreign and (nice?) he'd almost forgotten what it was like to hug someone.

"I'm fine." He says, stupidly shocked at how easily his friend can discount the mask he wears over his pain that he wears so well

-his perfect mask that nobody could see through, the one that everyone falls for and-

knows. In one look, he sees past the barriers, and masks, and facades he has put up to protect himself. They don't even fool him for a second.

"No you're not." His friend says, like it's a fact, pulling him in closer and hugging him tight. "But that's okay because I'm right here, and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon."

-what?-

Eyebrows furrow, confused. He didn't buy it. For even a second. "But I'm fine." He reiterates dumbly. His mask has fooled everyone. For months. How can he possibly know that it's not real?

Blue eyes meet his and it's the sincerity in them that gets him.

"It's okay to not be okay sometimes. It's not a weakness, Al. It's just life."

His vision blurs but he is able to rasp out one question.

"How?"

Tom levels him with a look. "I'm your best friend, mate. You can't lie to me."

Alex crumples his face and weeps.

"...I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight, and say 'No you're not.'"