Title: Age of False Innocence
Rating: R
Pairing: Will/Jack

This chapter is a bit slow, but it's only to set up later events. This is a Will/Jack fic, so if you have any problems with that, don't read it. Reviews are my air, so please tell me what you think!


Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm sane
Maybe I need to go away, start over again
But if I went away, I'd be afraid I should have stayed
Maybe I'm afraid that maybe I love you


The bitter cold was rough against Will's chest. He coughed harshly and felt his breath dissolve around him in the cold air. And it was only growing more brutal by the second. The neighborhood was being blanketed by the hazy sky, and a light sheath of snow covered the ground. The crunching of the partially frozen puddles on the ground crunched under his feet, and instantly broke the stunning silence around the collage campus.

The envelopes in his hand struggled against his fingers, attempting to break free. But Will held them tightly; there was no way the invitations for his party were going to get ruined. Not when He had worked all night getting them just perfect.

"Please Will," Rob had mocked me before he left to deliver them. "You can hardly stay up past eight thirty as it is. Why do the invites say it starts at ten? And who gives out invitations to a collage party?"

He just ran out of there as fast as he could, saying he had to go hand them out. Something like that. Will didn't want to talk much about it. He already got enough comments about not being cool enough as it is. It's been that way for as long as he could remember, even since elementary school.

A breeze swept through the neighborhood, and held his jacket closed around him. He shuffled through the invitations, looking at the names printed neatly on the outsides of them. He had one for his friends Joe and Larry, one for Rob's girlfriend, Ellen, his own girlfriend Grace, and a couple of other people he had seen around campus. There were even a few unmarked envelopes just in case someone else wanted an invitation.

Grace would be so thrilled to go. He was glad, she needed to get out and meet new people. He did too, the only friends he had met since enrolling in Columbia was her and Rob. Joe and Larry were friends too, but they were usually too drunk to hold a conversation with. And Ellen was a friend of Grace's.

Man, I really need to meet someone else. Everyone here is so nice, but I'm so boring. I need a change. I need-

"Hey! Watch out!"

A voice came out of nowhere, shattering Will's train of thought. He looked up perfunctorily and noticed someone on a bike headed right for him.

He jumped out of the of the fast-approaching bicycle. While doing so, the invitations slipped out of his hand and scattered onto the ground, landing a few inches next to a puddle.

"Oh my God! No!" Will jumped for them, saving them before they could get dirty. A few others lay all over the place, and he worked fast to get them up.

"Oh, sorry about that. Here, let me help you."

It was the boy on the bicycle. Will looked up to scold him, but stopped. The boy stood above him, his helmet cradled in his arms. He looked young; he couldn't have gone to the collage. His dark brown hair, almost black, stood up in all directions, making him look even younger. Will noticed how pale and smooth his skin looked in contrast to the winter environment surrounding them. When he smiled, Will saw that his teeth were clad with braces, and just the sight of them gave him the impression that this boy was nowhere near his age.

The boy noticed Will staring at him and gasped. He took a little mirror out of his pocket and glanced into it nervously. "Oh man. I hate helmet hair. You must think I'm some kind of animal!" He let out a high pitched giggle and ran a hand through his dark-brown locks, trying to get the pieces in the back to lie straight.

Will came out of the haze the accident had brought him into and narrowed his eyes. He frowned and put his hands on his hips. "Are you going to help me or not?"

The young one snapped the mirror shut and stared at Will; his eyes wide. "Sure, sure. Keep your pants on. I'll help."

Straightening his clothes and smoothing his jeans of any wrinkles, the boy began to brush non-existent particles of dust off of his clothes. He ran his fingers over his eyebrows and adjusted his jacket. Will was not amused.

"Come on already!" he yelled, causing the boy to jump.

"Fine. You don't have to yell you know. Don't be so uptight."

With that, the two men began to pick up the invitations. Will let out an irritated sigh every time he saw a piece of dirt or melted snow on the envelopes. The boy helping him held up and envelope and smiled. "Are you having a kid's birthday party or something?" he asked humorously, raising his eyebrows.

Will rolled his eyes. That was exactly what Rob had said. "No." he pressed. "In fact, that's far from the truth. I'm hosting my first collage party tonight."

With a smug smile on his face, Will bent down to pick up more invitations. As he was doing this, he could feel the younger one's eyes on him. And Will didn't like where those eyes were looking.

"What are you looking at?" he said accusingly, jumping up and turning suddenly.

"Oh, nothing. So, your first collage party? And you're hosting? Well, I guess that's appropriate. Our kind is always the best for hosting, you know?"

"What are you talking about?" Will asked, bothered.

Jack smiled wide and gave out a giddy laugh. His cheeks turned pink as another gust of wind passed by them. "Oooh." he said flirtatiously, "I guess you don't know, then."

"Don't know what?" Will's eyes narrowed at the boy, obviously annoyed. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, but he was also intrigued. This boy was unlike anyone he had ever met, and he was curious to what he might say next.

"Oh, nothing. By the way, what's your name?"

"Will. Will Truman," he responded, stretching out his hand for the boy to shake it. "And you are...?"

The boy's eyes brightened as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a pink business card. "The name's Jack McFarland," he said enthusiastically, shoving the card into Will's outstretched hand. "Since nineteen sixty-nine," he added cheerily.

Will rolled his eyes and looked at the card. He noticed there was something at the bottom, probably recently added.

"Out since 1985?" he wondered aloud.

Jack smiled and responded enthusiastically. "You got that right," he winked, making Will's cheeks blush and him feel slightly uncomfortable.

The young man took an unmarked envelope off of the ground and regarded it closely. "You know what? I might just go to this party of yours. I'll make sure it isn't such a total drag," he smiled, nodding his head. "Is that okay with you?"

The look in his eyes told Will that he would be coming whether he wanted to or not, but he looked uncertain. "I don't know, Jack. These people aren't really the most open-minded one's you'll find."

"Oh, you mean like you are?" he raised an eyebrow and smirked.

Will furrowed his eyes and sighed irritably. "Come on, I'm not that—"

"Of course you're not," Jack interrupted, stuffing the invitation in his back pocket. "I'll see you tonight, ok sweetie?" he said, smirking again at Will.

Will watched as he stuck the helmet back on his head and pedaled away silently, looking back one more time to show off his marvelous grin.

Will looked on, shaking his head. That kid was weird. And just what on Earth was he talking about? 'Our kind of people? What the hell does that mean?

He just shrugged it off. He had to get ready for the party. He didn't want to think about it.


As Will walked down the street, He couldn't help but grow hot at the remembrance of that night's events. How could he ever even think that he could throw a decent party? Even with his fucking mothers help, no one would come and have a good time. Why did he ever think it would be different on his own?

The weather was as dismaying as ever, but Will still felt his hands sweating under the mittens covering his hands. Tears froze on his cheeks, and He brushed them away immediately. The only thing worse than people thinking He was a dull loser was them seeing him cry. As Rob would say, Will would be 'acting like a faggot.' And there was no way He was going to act like that. No way.

He yawned through the hurt he was feeling, and found himself laughing hysterically. His giggles echoed across the empty neighborhood, and he had to slow down to catch his breath. Rob was right; he did get really tired late at night.

The darkness of the night was almost unbearable. The silence alone was enough to make him try and pull his hair out by the roots. Why did everything have to be so damn quiet around here? It was so frustrating, especially since his thoughts were echoing louder than if they were being said through loudspeakers.

What were you thinking, Truman? A party? No one around here even knows you exist. Why would you ever consider throwing a party?

He sighed and tried to forget all that happened. It wasn't that bad; everyone was just so bored out of their minds that they left as soon as the beer was gone. Who was he kidding? It was horrible. All that consoled him was the fact that it was over.

Grace even left. She said that she was going to go and pack. In a way, Will was glad. Though he loved her more than he had loved any girl, she always made him so nervous. And Rob said he was spending the night over at Ellen's dorm room, so he would have the place to himself for the night.

The silence of the night was overbearing. It almost rained down on him just how quiet everything was. There was no breeze, and the snow didn't make a sound as it fell to the ground softly. No birds flew in the sky, and there were seemingly no people around for miles.

At least that one boy wasn't there, he thought to himself. I don't even remember what the hell his name was, but if he was there I probably would've killed him. He's so fucking annoying, and that's the last thing I need right now.

But still, there was something inside him that was nagging him, like there was something he knew that he was keeping from Will. He seemed to be snickering at him, or silently mocking him. And it wasn't like what other people did.

Other people were so open with how they thought about him. They thought that he was boring, obsessive-compulsive; he never heard the end of it. But with that boy, it was like there was something missing. Something that he didn't want to know.. Something that he wasn't entirely sure of..

What the hell are you talking about? Will asked himself, smiling slightly. You have no idea, do you?

"Nope," he spoke aloud to no one. He was about to turn back, when he heard a noise. Someone whimpering near him. The light was scarce, but Will dropped to the ground, feeling around him, trying to find the source of the noise. It only grew stronger as he crawled forward more.

A small yelp sounded a few feet to his left, and he felt his leg hit something. Something soft and fleshy, like a body. There, lying in the middle of the street, loosely covered in clothes too baggy for him, was a boy, covered in blood and scrapes all over his arms. Will gasped, surprised that he didn't have a coat on. It was winter, and nearly twenty degrees out.

Will took off his own jacket, gasping slightly because of the cold air on his skin. He covered the body with it, trying to keep him warm. He saw in the dim light protruding from the light post above him, he saw the boys face, a gash on his forehead, beads of blood dripping down. Will looked at him closer, the boy did seem vaguely familiar...

"Jack?"