A/N: Okay, okay. If you've read 'Barely Together', the same chick who wrote those collaborated with me on this. Or, more like, she's on a writing hiatus so I finished this for her. So, please review, and thank you for reading!


"Hi."

The lanky boy looked up from where he was trying to salvage the crushed bits of his glasses. "What do you want?"

Edward shrugged. "Why do I need to want something?" he crouched beside him, tilting his head to the side. "How about a riddle?"

"Leave me alone," the boy muttered, gathering the rest of his things. He got up to leave but Eddie followed after him, jogging to keep up.

"How can a pocket be empty but still have something in it?"

"Go away."

"Just answer it! It's an easy one, an infant could solve it. I bet you're not even trying, I bet you're really smart but nobody knows because you never try, and those guys were hitting you because they think you're dumb and—"

"It's a hole, alright? The answer to your stupid riddle is a hole, now will you leave me alone?"

Eddie grinned. "See, you are smart! That's good, because I can't stand stupid people."

The tall boy stopped abruptly, causing Eddie to run into him. He spun around, glaring down at his red haired follower. "Look," he began harshly, "I want to be left alone. Whatever you're about to say to me, I don't care. So will you just piss off?" He stormed off without waiting for a reply, muttering something under his breath.


Edward turned in a circle, looking around awkwardly. Normally he'd go off campus for lunch, but today was different. He was looking for someone…

There. The brown haired boy from before was sitting behind a tree, his nose buried in a book. He seemed to be frustrated, squinting slightly. Eddie smiled to himself, walking quickly over to where he was sitting.

"Hi," he said cheerily.

"Wh—you again?" the other said angrily. He shoved the book into his black messenger bag, preparing to leave.

"Wait, don't go!" Eddie pleaded. "C'mon, just give me ten minutes to talk to you."

"No."

"Seven."

"No."

"Four?"

"…Three."

He grinned, his jade eyes lighting up. "Brilliant."

"Whatever. What do you want?"

"What's your name?" he asked, sitting down and crossing his legs.

"Jonathan." He hesitated a moment before sitting beside him.

"I'm Edward. Edward Nygma. But you can call me Eddie. Or Ed. What were you reading?"

"Poe. 'The Raven.'"

"Oh, you like poetry?" he questioned eagerly.

"I suppose." He frowned slightly, staring at the ground.

"Well, that's not a proper answer. You're not very social, are you?"

"Why should I be?" he mumbled, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Eddie shrugged. "People aren't so bad if you get to know them." Like me.

"I don't like people."

"I get the feeling you don't like a lot of things."

He stood up. "No I don't. That's more than three minutes."

"Just two more minutes? Pleeeeeeeease?"

"No," he snapped. "I answered all your questions. Now leave. Me. Alone."

Eddie watched him go, feeling slightly perplexed. Jonathan didn't like him… but that was stupid. Everyone liked Eddie. He was just so charismatic that you couldn't help but like him. Right?


Eddie walked home alone, feeling snubbed.

He's just an asshole. I don't need him; I don't know why I even bothered trying to talk to him. He's just a stupid—

"Jonathan!" Ed exclaimed, spotting him a few yards away.

Jonathan turned around, saw Eddie, and groaned. "Oh great…" he muttered, scowling. He kept walking, shoving his hands into his pockets.

Eddie, however, was not discouraged. He ran after him, matching his pace. "Hi Jonathan. Long time no see, huh? Well actually it's only been a couple hours, but you know what I mean. I didn't know you walked home, I kind of assumed you'd take the bus but then again, you don't like people so I guess this is more your speed and hey what happened to your… face?" Eddie trailed off, noticing the bruises that littered his pale skin. His lip was split and his left eye was swollen. "Are you okay?"

"Maybe if you stopped following me around I would be," he hissed, turning away from Eddie's line of sight.

"B-but… you're my friend."

"No, I'm not! We aren't friends, I don't like you, and I don't even know you. I told you to leave me alone and you've just ignored me every time! You seem like a relatively nice kid, but I'm not interested. I am not someone you want as a friend, so get that through your thick skull!" He shoved Eddie back on the last word, stormed away.

Eddie stumbled backwards, dropping his dark purple backpack. He stared after Jonathan, his feelings as bruised as the brunette's face. He sighed wearily, picking up his bag and heading home. Maybe if he hurried he could get there before his father and have some time to work on his crosswords. He shuffled slowly down the sidewalk, berating himself for clinging to his blue eyed companion when he clearly wasn't wanted.


Jonathan smiled slightly to himself when he reached school the next morning. He had left early, hoping to get an hour or two to himself before class. He turned a corner, heading towards his favorite spot behind the building. He stopped short when he noticed that it was already occupied.

Edward Nygma was sitting against a wall, his chin resting on his knees. He hadn't seen Jonathan yet, and was sniffling pathetically. Was he… crying?

He cleared his throat awkwardly, hoping that his suspicions were incorrect. Eddie's head swiveled to face him, his mouth open. "Shit," he mumbled, hurrying to gather his things. "I'm sorry. I didn't know anyone else was here. Sorry. I uh… I have to go."

Jonathan wasn't really listening, but was studying the shorter boy. Finger shaped marks lined his throat, most likely those of an older man. His usually glittering green eyes were red and puffy—he had been crying—and his red hair was spiky and unkempt.

Eddie scurried away, pulling his green hoodie over his face. Jonathan wanted to say something, but he held his tongue. He would not get involved.

We'll see how long that lasts.

He cringed at the rasping voice, still not completely adjusted to the idea of another consciousness sharing his mind. He wasn't sure that he'd ever get used to it.

Eddie sat unaccompanied, listening to his cheap mp3 player. Freddy Mercury, heal my fucking brain, he thought, switching to one of the slower songs in the playlist. The beginning chords of "Who Wants to Live Forever" drifted through the speakers in his earbuds, making him slightly calmer. He let his eyes flutter closed.

"You little shit."

His eyes flew open and he gasped, memories hitting over him like a blow to the stomach.

"Queer."

"You are a lying, cheating idiot."

"Faggot."

Eddie whimpered, curling into an upright fetal position. He squeezed his eyes shut to keep the tears from falling. He'd cried enough already.

"Weakling."

"I'm not weak," he whispered to himself, hugging his knees.

"I didn't say you were."

He looked up quickly, almost toppling over as he did so. He pulled the headphones out of his ears. "J-Jonathan?"

"Did I scare you?" he asked quietly, adjusting the strap of his bag. He didn't sound particularly concerned, just curious.

"No, you just startled me," he muttered with a huff. "You shouldn't creep around like that. You should make more noise."

"Excuse me for not parading around everywhere like you do." He glared pointedly at Eddie.

"Look, do you want something or did you just come over here to insult me?" he inquired snidely, crossing his arms.

Jonathan slumped. "I'm sorry," he said. "Can I sit here?"

Eddie eyed him suspiciously. "Why?"

He rolled his icy blue eyes, scowling. "I'm trying to be nice to you, alright?"

"Oh." He pretended to think about it. "Well, I suppose. But you'd better not yell at me or anything."

"I'll try to refrain from doing so," he said, sitting down beside him.

Eddie grinned. "Y'know, you're not so bad."

"Hm, thanks. Are you wearing a rainbow belt?"

"Yes, I am. And I have to say, I look fabulous."

"Good god, what have I gotten myself into…"


"This is tedious," Jonathan muttered, glancing around the crowded store.

"Oh stop complaining and help me pick something out." Eddie flipped over the price tag on a green jacket, frowning. "That much for this thing? I don't think so."

Jonathan sighed audibly. "Why did you drag me here?"

"Shopping's no fun alone. Besides, you said you wanted to get away from home."

"This isn't what I meant."

"Well this is what you got. Hold these," he said, tossing him several shirts decorated with every shade of green in the color spectrum.

"I'd rather be at home. Anything is better than this hell."

"Hm, next time I'll leave you alone with your grandmother." Edward plucked one of the shirts off the top of the pile. "What d'you think?"

"It's green."

Ed rolled his eyes. "Yes, I know. How does it look?"

Jon stared at him, a look of complete boredom upon his face. "Green."

"Oh, screw you." He thought for a moment before putting it back. "Okay, let's see… I'll get the two olive green ones on the bottom, then the forest green one towards the middle aaaand… the black one with the emerald green splatters." He looked expectantly at Jonathan.

"Ed, they're all just green. What's the difference?"

"You're hopeless. Here, hand them over." He obliged, thankful for not having to be responsible for the clothing articles. "This," he said, holding up a shirt, "Is olive green. These two are emerald, this is forest green, and this is lime green. Got it?"

"I couldn't care less about the different shades of green, Ed."

Eddie pouted. "Well I guess that explains your fashion sense. C'mon, I need pants. Purple ones. They have to be purple."

"Uh huh." He eyed a pair of combat boots on a nearby shelf, deciding to look at them later. He followed after Eddie, only to bump into him after a few feet. "What the hell, Eddie?"

"Shuddup," he hissed, his focus directed straight ahead. Jonathan followed his gaze, spotting Harvey Dent, a tall blonde boy who was in the grade above them. He was talking to Bruce Wayne, everybody's favorite orphan. They were both dressed impeccably, but Harvey appeared to be trying harder.

Jonathan hated them both.

"He's so adorable," he heard Eddie mumble.

"What?" Jonathan asked incredulously.

"What what? Nothing! Shut up!" Edward blushed profusely, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

The realization dawned on him. Ed was looking at Harvey. Blonde, blue eyed, innocent Harvey Dent. "Um, Ed are you g—"

"You can't tell anyone!" he snapped, glaring up at Jon. "Ever!"

"Calm down, I just—"

"No, you don't get it. Nobody can know about this, especially not them. No, especially not Mr. Millionaire over there. I have it bad enough as it is, okay?" His eyes were wide with a mixture of anger and terror. "You have to promise."

"I'm not going to tell, alright? I promise. Now shut up, you're making a scene. If you were any louder, people in Asia would know."

He flushed pink. "Sorry." He glanced back over at Harvey. "There really isn't any use in pining, is there? It's not like I have a chance." He sighed. "Well, why mope when you can shop? That's what I always say."

"You've never said that."

"Oh my god, what is that?" he asked, his eyes lighting up. He darted over to a rack of belts and hats. He grabbed a rainbow striped belt, holding it close against his chest. "Where have you been all my life?"

He is a lot gayer than I thought.

Quiet.

"And look at these! You should totally get these, they'd look awesome," he said, tossing Jon a pair of fingerless gloves.

He had to admit, he did like them. They were simple black gloves; they were practical.

"Are you gonna get them?"

"Sure, why not?" he muttered, mostly to himself.

"Great!" Eddie chirped, grinning. "Now come on. Purple pants."

"Right, the pants," he groaned. "I was hoping you'd forgotten about the pants."

"Nope! Let's go."

He started to walk away, Jonathan following reluctantly behind him.

"Hey Eddie," they heard Harvey say. "Hi Jonathan."

"Harvey," he said, scowling down at his feet.

"Hiiiii Harvey," Eddie said, smiling giddily. He turned around quickly, trying to hide his face which was tomato red.

Jonathan felt a pang of resentment towards the blonde. He hated those. Pangs. He hated the idea of not feeling an entire emotion at one time. He grimaced, tapping his foot impatiently. "Can we just get out of here?"

"S-sorry. I'll just be a minute; I need to find something in my size."

Jonathan nodded absently. Why was this bothering him? So Edward liked Harvey, who cared? It wasn't any of his business.

I'm not so sure.


"Jon?"

"What?"

"What do you do when you like someone?"

"I don't know. Tell them."

Eddie bit the tip of his thumb. "And what if they don't like you?"

He shrugged. "You kill them."

Eddie cleared his throat. "Maybe this is why you don't have a girlfriend."

"I don't have a girlfriend because I don't want a girlfriend."

Eddie grinned at that. "I think I'm rubbing off on you."

Jonathan grimaced, blushing slightly. "Not like that. God, sometimes I hate you."

"No you don't. But seriously, what if someone you really like doesn't give a shit about you?"

He sighed wearily. "I dunno Ed. You move on. No one person is that important. It's just a guy. "

Eddie scowled. "Geez, you seem like you were born forty."

"I'm only this mature because my current situation requires it. Now will you leave me alone? I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to pay for this." He drummed his fingers on the arm of the chair he was sitting in. They were currently in the school library, Eddie sitting on the floor beside him with an open book in his lap.

He waved his hand as if to say 'who gives a damn.' "Just work an extra shift or something. C'mon Jonathan, you're sixteen. You don't need to be an adult all the time."

"I don't think you understand, I do. It's not like I've got anyone else." He scowled. "Now shut up."

Eddie was quiet for about ten seconds. "Why do you hate Harvey so much?"

"He's a pompous bastard. You two really are perfect for each other."

Eddie frowned dejectedly. "Don't be like that. Honestly, you've been moody and brooding all week. And don't think I haven't noticed you popping pills every five minutes. What's going on?"

Jonathan looked away. The pills… Antipsychotics. It had been easy enough to forge a prescription. And they did help a bit. They didn't completely rid him of his "other half," so to speak, but they did numb him out.

But they numbed everything else as well.

"I'm fine. It's none of your concern what I take."

"I know your grandmother didn't get you those pills. If I recall correctly, she doesn't believe in doctors."

"She doesn't believe in a lot of things," he muttered, scribbling out an equation. "Damn it."

"Why are you worrying about college anyway?"

"Because, it means I can get away from her."

Eddie frowned. "But you can't yet. You have to wait till you're eighteen."

"No I don't. I've taken all the required classes. I just don't have the money." He sighed, frustrated.

"I thought you said you could get at least three scholarships?"

"Two. And even if I get those, that only covers about half of the expenses. Plus what it costs to leave the state. And then there's also—"

"Wait a minute, what?" Eddie began, his green eyes wide. "You're leaving the state? Why can't you go to school here?"

He rolled his eyes. "Oh come on Ed, do you really think I'd stay here of my own volition? I thought you were smarter than that."

"B-but… where'll you go?" he asked nervously. He crossed his legs, only to uncross and re-cross them the other way.

"Dunno. Somewhere big, where I can blend in. New York maybe." He shrugged. "There are a few good schools there."

"New York? You're going all the way to New York? Why?"

"I just told you why, Edward. Weren't you listening? Never mind. What's seventeen plus five-hundred and fifty? No, sorry, it's five sixty-seven."

"You can't leave!" Eddie snapped, outraged. "Who's gonna beat me at chess? Who's going to tell me that my outfit is stupid but still go places with me? Who's going to watch reality TV with me when I'm lonely?"

"I don't know Ed. You don't really need me for that, do you? Besides, you've got Harvey," he said, sounding more than a little bitter.

"I don't have Harvey. Harvey wouldn't give me the time of day." He sniffed pathetically. "I'd miss you."

"For a bit. Eventually you'd get over it. You'd move on. You're adaptable, Eddie. You'd be fine." He set down his pen, pinching the bridge of his nose. "What do

you want me to say? That I'm not going to leave? That I'll spend my whole life in this hellhole?" He scoffed. "Not a goddamn chance."

"What if I told you that I'd kill myself?"

"Like you even could. You'd quit before you even started. Face it, I'm not going to be here forever. You'll have to learn to cope without me."

"That's the thing though. I don't want to. You're my best friend."

"Shut up. I'm no such thing."

Eddie leaned back, looking hurt. "Of course you are. What makes you think you're not?"

"Edward, just stop. I don't need this to be any more difficult than it already is." He let his eyes slip closed for a moment, just listening to the sound of his own heartbeat. The beat he'd always hated.

"Well if you're going, I'm coming with you."

He opened his eyes. "No you're not."

"Yes I am. You can't stop me." He crossed his arms defiantly. "I'll be a stowaway. I'll—"

"Eddie!" he snapped. "That's enough."

Eddie shut his mouth quickly, recoiling slightly. He curled up, bringing his knees to his chin. Jonathan didn't take much notice of this, still working out some of the math. He did notice, however, when Edward started crying.

Jon wasn't exactly sure what to do. He was used to Eddie crying, he cried all the time. What he wasn't used to was these kinds of tears. He wasn't sobbing or anything, just crying quietly to himself, tears trickling down his freckled cheeks. Eddie was one for dramatics. The fact that he was keeping to himself didn't exactly fit.

"Ed?" he murmured.

"What?"

"…I'll stay. I won't leave till I'm eighteen."

Eddie sat up a bit straighter. "Really?"

He shrugged, a bit reluctantly. "I suppose. I guess school can wait." In the meantime I'll just have to make do.

Eddie grinned from ear to ear. "That's great!" He sat cross-legged, swaying back and forth slightly. "We can still hang out and stuff, right? Of course we can, I'm your best friend. You can even help me pick out an outfit for tomorrow."

"What's tomorrow?"

"I was going to… well I dunno, I'll probably convince myself not to at the last minute."

"Ed, just tell me."

He shrugged sheepishly. "I was gonna maybe… ask Harvey to… well, y'know."

"Oh." He scowled. "Great."

Eddie's face fell. "See, I knew I shouldn't have told you. Now you're mad at me."

"I'm not mad. I'm fine." He glanced at the clock on the wall. "Listen, I've got to go. I promised I'd be home on time." He began to gather his things, shoving them haphazardly into his bag.

"Oh. Okay. I'll see you tomorrow then?"

"Yeah, whatever. Sure. Bye," he muttered, stuffing his hands into his pockets.


"Hmm… What do you think? Should I wear the green shirt or the white?"

"How the hell should I know?" Jonathan muttered.

Edward rolled his eyes. "I dunno. You're a guy. What do guys like?"

"You're a guy too. And I don't like guys. Why do I even need to be here?"

"Because, you're my friend and I need you for moral support." He held one of the shirts out at arm's length, inspecting it. "Definitely this one." He set it down on his

bed, sifting through a pile of multicolored jeans. "And now, since I'm wearing a white top, I need a darker color bottom."

"Is that a thing?"

He sighed exasperatedly. "Of course it is. Don't you know anything about contrast?"

"Apparently not," he mumbled, flipping lazily through their English textbook.

"Why are you reading that?"

He shrugged. "'The Masque of the Red Death,' by Edgar Allan Poe. It's a good story, not one of his best, but good enough."

"Ugh, Poe. He's so grim."

"Well, he was insane. And you'd be grim too if almost everyone in your life had died."

"Hm, I suppose." He placed a pair of dark green pants beside the shirt, moving on to shoes. "You brought your boots, right?"

"Yeah. I don't know why you need them though," he said, handing Eddie his black army boots.

"Because they go with everything. And combat boots are sexy."

"Y'know what? How about we don't talk for a while."

Eddie laughed. "Not a chance. But don't worry; I'll take good care of them."

"Yeah, whatever."

"I'm gonna go change, 'kay?"

"Okay." He continued reading through the short story. He couldn't help but feel a tiny bit… angry. But that's completely illogical, he thought, scowling. You have nothing to be upset about; no one's done anything to you. Nonetheless, he felt pure fury bubble and churn inside of him.

You're just jealous.

Jonathan gritted his teeth, shoving his hand into his jacket pocket. He found what he was looking for and produced a small orange pill bottle. He shook it lightly, letting two of the blue, oval-shaped pills fall into his palm. He tipped them into his mouth, swallowing them with difficulty. He coughed a few times, trying to clear his throat of the uncomfortable obstructed feeling.

He stuffed the bottle back into his packet just as Eddie appeared, twirling in a circle to show off his new outfit. "Ta-daa!" He stopped, rocking back and forth on his heels. "What do you think?"

"S'fine, I guess."

Eddie pouted. "You guess? What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means 'I don't know anything about clothes now shut up I'm trying to read.'"

"Oh. Okay. I think." He grinned. "Look!" he said, pointing to his waist.

"Oh, you're wearing that damn thing?" he asked, noticing the rainbow belt.

"Yep. And it's not a 'damn thing.' It's a beautiful accessory."

"Uh huh. So, can I go now? I mean, I assume you're leaving."

"Yeah, in a little bit. Just need to finish up here, maybe do something to my hair, I dunno. It's probably fine. It's fine right? I don't look like totally stupid, do I? I hate having red hair; I can't do anything with it. Oh, I probably look like an idiot, don't I?"

"Ed, calm down. You look fine. Your hair is fine. Now quit worrying, you're going to give yourself an ulcer."

Eddie sighed. "You're right. I'm just nervous, y'know? I mean, I really want him to like me." He shrugged. "I dunno. I probably sound like a dumb white girl." He paused, his eyes wide. "Do I? Do I sound like a girl? I do, don't I? Oh, this is just great, I'm—"

"Eddie!"

"Sorry!"


Blood. Blood everywhere. The walls, the ceiling, the floor.

His clothes.

He shuddered, staring wide-eyed at the crimson stains on his pale skin. He didn't know whose blood it was or where it was coming from, but he couldn't care less at that moment.

He was focusing on the noise.

At first, it seemed like it could be music, a faint melody. But as it grew louder he could make out more jagged notes.

Ringing. That's what it was, a vehement ringing. The sound hit his eardrums harshly, the staccato tones pounding against the inside of his skull.

The scarlet spatters drained away slowly. And so did everything else. All that was left was the ringing.

Jonathan awoke with a start, lurching forward. The phone. The phone was ringing.

Four hours. All I need is four fucking hours. Is that too much to ask? He thought drowsily, fumbling blindly for the phone.

"What?" he snapped into the receiver.

"J-Jonathan?" a timid voice crackled through the speaker.

"Eddie? What do you want?" He reached for his glasses, even though he didn't really need them.

"I-I… Did you just wake up?"

"Yeah, I did. Look, if this isn't important—"

"I fucked Harvey."

Jonathan's jaw dropped. "You did what?" he choked.

"I slept with him and I don't know what to do. Jon, I'm scared. I'm freaking out, what do I do?"

"Calm down. Why are you scared?" He thought for a moment. "Do I want to know?"

"It's nothing bad. J-just, I think I might've ruined everything. Shit. Fuck."

"Ed, calm down. It's fine, everything's fine."

"But it's not!" he practically wailed. Jonathan winced. His head was pounding.

"Okay, what happened? And spare me the details," he added dryly.

"I don't know I just kind of… went home with him and… Fuck. I'm such a whore, what is wrong with me?"

"Nothing's wrong with you. You just weren't thinking."

"That's the thing though. I was. I mean I…" Jonathan heard Eddie sniff quietly. "Can you come over?"

"Ed—" he began, glancing over at his clock.

"Please?"

He sighed. "Fine. I'll be there in a bit; I just need to get dressed."

"Thanks," he croaked. "My dad's not back yet, so you don't have to worry about that."

"Alright. Bye."

"Bye."

Jonathan knocked once, tugging at the collar of his coat. It was early and it was, to say the least, freezing outside.

Eddie opened the door cautiously, relaxing slightly when he saw it was Jonathan. "Hi."

"Hey."

Edward motioned for him to come in, crossing his arms tightly. "Sorry it's a mess in here."

"S'alright," he mumbled, making his way into the house. He kicked aside an empty vodka bottle, watching it thump against the wall. "Didn't know your dad drank that."

Eddie cleared his throat. "That's actually mine…"

"Hm."

"You don't care?"

"Why should I?"

He shrugged sheepishly. "Dunno. Thought you might not approve."

"Don't be stupid. So, why'd you want me to come over here?"

"I didn't want to be alone," he mumbled, staring intently down at his feet. "Also, I have your boots upstairs."

"Oh, thanks."

They stood in awkward silence for a bit before Eddie decided to speak. "I'm an idiot, aren't I?"

"No. Why would you be an idiot?"

"'Cause, I put out on the first date. Actually, that doesn't make me an idiot, it makes me a slut. My mistake," he said bitterly.

"Oh, stop acting like that. I didn't come here to watch you feel sorry for yourself."

Ed slumped dejectedly. "Sorry. Fuck, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you up. Or to bother you this early. Or make you sneak out. I'm just a terrible person, aren't I?"

"Eddie."

"Yeah?"

"You're doing it again."

"Sorry."

"Look, self pity never got anyone anywhere. So you made a dumb mistake. That's fine, everyone does. You just have to move on, don't let it bother you."

"You don't."

"I don't what?"

"Make dumb mistakes."

He scoffed indignantly. "Of course I do; what makes you think I don't?"

Eddie shrugged, wiping roughly at his nose. "You're smart. And logical. And mature. A-and you kind of… do everything for a reason."

He rolled his eyes. "You have too much faith in me. I do dumb shit, just like anyone else. It happens."

"You've never done anything this stupid."

"God, you're just determined to feel bad, aren't you?"

Edward sniffled. "I'm sorry."

"Stop apologizing." He bit the inside of his cheek. "You still like Harvey?"

He nodded slowly. "Yeah. A lot." He looked up at Jonathan, his emerald eyes large. "Is that bad?"

"I don't think so." He scowled. "But then again, what do I know? Relationships are not my area of expertise."

Eddie smiled slightly. "I'm really tired."

"Okay. Then go to sleep."

"Don't wanna. Come watch Doctor Who with me until I do."

He smirked. "Fine. But not the ones with Matt Smith. He pisses me off."

"Mm'kay," he murmured, grinning. "Jon?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks."


"My head feels fuzzy."

Jonathan smirked. "Lightweight."

"Shuddup." Eddie grimaced. "How're you not feeling anything? You've had six shots." His speech was slow and slightly slurred. He was sprawled out on his bed with Jonathan beside him.

He shrugged. "I have a higher tolerance than you. Also I'm taller."

"But you weigh less." He scowled. "Bastard. You're a goddamn skinny bastard."

"Yeah, sure. I'm a bastard because you can't hold your liquor."

"Dick." He giggled slightly. "How d'you get 'Dick' from 'Richard'? Doesn't make sense, they don't even sound th' same." He reached unsteadily for the half empty

bottle, miscalculating the distance and grasping at air.

"Okay, I think you've had enough," Jonathan said, moving the bottle away before Eddie could get a hold of it.

"Nooo," he whined. "C'mon Jonny, I wanna drink some more."

"Don't call me that."

"Jonny. Jon-nay." He giggled again. "Sounds funny."

"Yeah, that's great."

"D'you think Harvey likes me?" he asked suddenly.

"I dunno, probably."

"Do you like me?"

"Sure. You're my friend." He frowned. It sounded so… "after-school special."

Eddie rolled his eyes. "S'not what I meant."

"What'd you mean?"

"Like, do you like me like Harvey does?" He continued without waiting for Jonathan to answer. "'Cause I like you. Lots. Maybe more than Harvey."

"Ed, shut up. You don't know what you're talking about."

"Yes I do. I always know. Everything. I always know everything 'cause I'm a genius." He grinned boastfully. "I'm smarter than you."

"I'm sure you are."

The grin faded. "You don't, do you?"

"I don't what?"

"Like me." His shoulders slumped. "That's…. S'okay, I guess. I get it."

"I didn't say that," Jon mumbled, glaring off in the other direction.

"But you don't. Doesn't matter if you said it, I can just tell."

"Well why does it matter? You like Harvey." You're screwing Harvey, he thought resentfully.

"S'not the same. I like you better."

"Ed—"

"Don't tell me that I don't or that I'm just a drunk idiot. Well, the last one's true, but still. I know what I'm talking about."

"Fine. You know what you're talking about. So what?"

"Sooo, you have to give me a good reason why you don't like me."

"Ed, that doesn't make any sense."

"Sure it does. So, one reason." He held up one finger, looking expectantly at his friend.

"Because I'm straight?"

"Doesn't count."

"Because you're my best friend?"

"Dumb reason." He tapped his wrist impatiently. "Tick tock."

"Fine, I don't have a reason. I just don't like you and that's it," he snapped.

Eddie looked hurt. Jonathan scowled. Oh, so now he was playing the martyr? Typical.

"Sorry," he mumbled, looking sadly at Jon.

"Whatever. It's fine." He glanced at Edward from the corner of his eye. "Sorry."

"S'fine." They were silent for a bit, Jonathan lost in thought. He wasn't thinking about anything in particular, just trying to string together words and phrases to form a coherent idea.

He cleared his throat awkwardly. "So… what now?"

No answer. He looked over at Eddie, only to find that he had passed out a few minutes ago.

He smirked. "Lightweight…" he muttered to himself.


"Jon, wait up!"

Jonathan turned around, blinking curiously. Edward was running towards him. "Hi."

"Hey," he panted. "Listen, can I come over tonight? My dad's pissed about my grades again and I kind of don't wanna go home."

Jonathan grimaced slightly, the tips of his ears flushing pink. "Uh, sorry. I'm busy tonight. I've got somewhere to be."

"B-but… what d'you mean you've got somewhere to be?"

"I mean I'm busy and I won't be home. Sorry."

Eddie pouted, crossing his arms. "So you expect me to just go home and take the hits? I don't think so." He scowled. "What're you doing that's more important than comforting me?"

"Look, it's not—"

"It is important! I want to know why you're not going to be home."

"Just drop it, okay Eddie? I'm busy and it's none of your fucking business."

Eddie snapped his mouth shut. Wow. This must be pretty serious. He never uses the fuck word, he thought nervously. "S-sorry. I shouldn't have asked. Sorry."

"Whatever. Stop apologizing, you're making me feel guilty." Jonathan pinched the bridge of his nose. "I have to go. I've got a math test."

"Oh, okay. I'll see you at lunch then?"

"Actually, I have to go to the library during lunch. I've got a paper due and I haven't even started."

Eddie gaped at him. "You. You're doing a project last minute? You never do anything last minute!"

He shrugged. "I forgot. I've been busy. Now I've really got to go, I'm going to be late."

Eddie sniffed reproachfully. "Fine. Whatever."

"Sorry, I'd ditch if I could but it's important, okay bye," he said quickly, heading off in the direction of his class.

"Asshole," he muttered under his breath.


"There's no way he didn't do an assignment," Eddie said to himself, turning a corner. He had come to the conclusion that Jonathan was just being a jackass and avoiding him. He had also decided to go to the library, just to see if he was even there.

"He's probably off alone somewhere, reading or something." He pushed open one of the double doors to the library, slightly disappointed when he saw Jonathan leaning over what looked like a textbook.

However, he wasn't alone.

He was saying something to a petite blonde girl sitting next to him. She pointed to something in the book and he nodded, scribbling on a pad of paper. Eddie could barely make out what they were saying, but it sounded scientific.

Jon said something quietly and the girl giggled, causing Jonathan to smirk—almost smugly, he might add. Eddie decided in that moment that he hated her and he wanted her dead.

He cleared his throat loudly and they both looked up. "E-Eddie?" Jonathan stammered, running a hand through his hair. "What are you doing here?"

"It's the school library, Jon. Anyone can come in here." His gaze flitted between the two of them, glaring stubbornly. "What are you doing?"

"Working. I told you, I'm busy."

"Who the hell is she?"

Jonathan rolled his eyes. "Well, aren't you polite? Eddie, Harleen Quinzel. Harley, Edward Nygma."

She waved brightly. "Hi." She had a slight twang to her voice, making her voice sound a bit nasal.

"Hi," he snapped.

He sighed. "Can you give me a minute?" he asked, turning to the girl. She nodded and he walked out of the library, pulling Eddie along behind him.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he demanded.

"What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you? What, are you replacing me with her now?" He crossed his arms defiantly. "You know she's totally a bottle-blonde."

"Ed." He inhaled sharply. "We're just working on a project. That's it. Now will you stop being a little jealous bitch and leave me alone?"

"I'm not jealous," he huffed. "Why does it not surprise me that you like blondes?"

"You like blondes too, Eddie."

"Blonde guys. Blonde guys are cute and innocent. Blonde girls are whores."

"And apparently so are red-headed boys," he mumbled under his breath.

"I'm sorry, what did you just say?"

"I said you're a whore. And I don't think anyone around here would deny it" Jonathan retorted, his eyes narrowing.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Do I need to dumb it down any more?" He sneered. "Face it. You're just jealous that I don't need you every second of every day."

Eddie shoved him, the backs of his eyes stinging. "I already told you, I'm. Not. Jealous!"

Jonathan stumbled backwards slightly, clenching his fists as if to hit Edward. "Then start acting like it!"

"Is that why you're not gonna be home? What, are you fucking her?"

"Of course not! Why would I fuck her?"

"I don't know, because she's pretty?"

"Ed, I don't even like her." He sighed exasperatedly. "Honestly, if you just took two seconds to let me talk this would've been cleared up a long time ago."

Eddie scowled, his blood boiling. "Then talk. You never tell me anything!"

"Because you never give me a chance to! Now shut the fuck up and let me explain."

"Fine. Explain."

"Fine."

The two stood in silence for a bit, Edward glaring daggers at Jon with his arms crossed and Jon pinching the bridge of his nose with his eyes closed. Jon was obviously pressed to the edge right now, evident through his tight jaw and the tendons visible in his neck.

Edward eyed him and sighed, still scowling as he looked past Jon to the library's door. "Whatever. Doesn't matter, anyway."

Jon opened his eyes, glaring at Ed. "Damn right. It doesn't."

Ed flipped him off, backing away from him. "Fuck you, Jon."

"Yeah, fuck you too, Nygma." Jon turned from the retreating ginger and went back into the library, to be greeted by Harleen.

She looked at him with concern burning in her bright blue eyes. "Hey, Jon. You and Eddie okay?"

Jon gave her a blank look. "Define 'okay'."

Harleen bit her lip and nodded sympathetically. She lifted up the paper they'd been working on with a smile. "Thanks for helping me with my paper! I'd have done it for myself sooner, but... Well, y'know Puddin'. What with his dad and everything, he's got me worrying non stop!"

Jon winced at the comment for whatever reason, but tried to play it off when the blonde's eyebrow furrow. "You know, that's a bunch of bull. His dad doesn't beat him. He tells that story for tail."

Harley scowled and her eyes narrowed. "Now I don't know what that Bruce has been telling you, but I trust my little joker. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't repeat such lies to me."

"If you trust him, why are you using me to get at him?"

She opened her mouth to retort only to close it again and settle for a death glare.

Jon returned her glare with a blank stare. "I'm already doing you two favors, am I supposed to shut up, too?"

Harley sighed and turned back into the respectable woman he knew, the one that wasn't obsessed over some boy. "You don't have to help me if you don't want to."

Jon shifted uncomfortably and shrugged. "I don't care. I have nothing better to do."

Harleen smiled and raised herself up to plant a kiss on his cheek, then pulled back to see she hadn't evoked so much as a small blush. Well, that was okay. There was only one man on her mind at the moment. "Thank you, Jonathan. I'll see you at eight?"

"Right." She exited the library and he let out a long breath.

He didn't feel so good.. And for once, he didn't think his unstable mind had anything to do with it.


Edward ran to the bathroom after the little... no, huge argument he had with Jonathan.

Sorry, what had the bastard called him? Nygma? Then Jon was Crane now. Last name basis and all.

Eddie sniffled a bit then froze. What the hell was he doing? Crying because he didn't get what he wanted?

Edward Nygma gets what he wants. No exceptions.

Edward gets what he wants, and he wanted Jon. Therefore, he would get Jon, whether he had to knock him out and drag him away or not.

Ed smiled and walked out of the bathroom, instantly in better spirits. He didn't care what Jon was doing that was so important, they were going to hang out while Eddie hid from his father and that was that.

"Edward!" Ed froze. He knew that voice, that voice was...

Eddie turned and saw Harvey walking up to him with a heavy blush and guilty gaze. Ed felt his cheeks heat and he averted his gaze. "Hi, Harvey."

"So... you never called or anything."

Edward looked up with a small scowl. "Yeah, well neither did you."

"Fair enough..." Harvey rubbed the back of his neck and looked away. "You know-"

"I really don't care. I'm assuming you're here to apologize for screwing with me. I don't accept." Edward turned and started to walk away, only to feel someone grab his shoulder. He span around with a glare and pushed Harvey's hand away. "Don't touch me."

Harvey smiled. "C'mon, don't be like that. It was fun. We both had fun."

Eddie snarled, "Yeah, but I don't generally like being told I was an 'experiment'."

"I did not say that," Harvey started to protest.

"Sure, but then again, that's not completely a lie, either, is it?" Eddie faked a smile. "Or did you have a change of heart?"

Harvey scowled and Eddie glared back. Talk about hard feelings.


Jon didn't like it. He really didn't like it. He was feeling... weird. His stomach was tight and his throat was dry and his mind kept conjuring up images of Eddie, mostly the way he was the first time Jon left him to fend for himself.

Poor kid can't throw a punch to save his life.

So they'd wander. Jon would be able to get away from his demon of a grandmother and Eddie would get away from his bastard of a father. It was a win/win situation. In fact, Eddie would often drag Jonathan to places he'd never go on his own, so sometimes it was a win/lose situation

Jon definitely didn't owe him anything. But if that was so, then why did Jonathan feel so damn guilty?

Because you have a fucking vagina, that's why.

Jon shuddered and pulled his bottle out of his back pocket. He opened it only to find it empty. "Damn... Maybe he's right. I do take too many of these."

Oh, right, sorry. You don't have a vagina, you're just a fag.

"You know, you can just shut the fuck up."

"I haven't even said anything yet." Jon turned at the voice and saw Eddie standing there with his brows raised in expectation. Ed gestured towards him frustratedly. "Well?"

Jon looked around, then back. "Well, what?"

Eddie sighed dramatically then shrugged. "Okay, I guess I can forgive you."

Jon rose a brow of amusement, but scowled slightly in irritation. He hated this, the conflicting emotions. "Excuse me?"

"It's fine. Don't worry about it. We're cool." Eddie smiled at him and held out his hand. "Now c'mon, I narrowly escaped my dad, so if I go back it'll be ten times worse than usual."

Jon looked down at his watch, out at the street he was walking to Harleen's house, then back at Eddie. "Well, that's your problem, isn't it? I already told you, I have plans."

Eddie rolled his eyes. "Okay, fine, I'm sorry. I was a bitch. Now can we go?"

"Listen, Nygma-"

"No. You listen. I am not letting you leave, I am putting my neck out on the line-"

"What's that?" Jon asked, pointing at a dark mark on Eddie's throat.

Ed reached up and covered it, averting his gaze. "I-it was nothing."

"Look, I have a previous engagement. Obviously, you can always go to Harvey's," Jon spat the name bitterly.

"What? Did you not hear me when I said it was a mistake?"

Jon rolled his eyes in aggravation. "What? Did you not feel him mark you with a hickey?"

Eddie rose his hands. "It was not consensual! He fucking forced himself on me! The two-faced bastard doesn't know if he's straight or gay now, and he blames me."

Jon clenched his fists and felt his teeth grind.

You're gonna just let that bastard get away with it?

"I'll fucking kill him!" Jonathan seethed. Edward was his, and for Harvey to something like that is unforgivable, unbelievable.

Edward took a few steps back, caught off guard by the show of rage Jon was putting on. "H-hey, Jon. It's fine. I kneed him."

Jon closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. When he was calm, he saw Eddie watching him cautiously. He rose a brow. "You need him? Or you kneed him?"

Eddie snorted. "What do you think? I kneed him where the sun don't shine."

Jon pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'm going to assume that you mean to say that you hit his balls with your knee."

Ed thought it over and his eyes widened. "Oh! Yeah, I meant that. I gave it to 'im good. Shit."

Jon stifled a groan and turned away. "Well, I have to be going, now."

Eddie whimpered and grabbed his arm. "No!"

Jon growled and pushed Edward away. "Look, I know you may think it does, but the world does not revolve around you. I have a date, now leave me alone. Go to... Hell, I don't know. Hit the Iceberg."

Eddie frowned. "You have a... date?"

Jon coughed and nodded a bit jerkily. "Well, I guess, yeah."

Ed scowled. "It's with that bottle-blonde, isn't it?"

"Well aren't your deduction skills impressive."

Ed's shoulders slumped. "You really don't like me?"

Jon's shoulders rose. "What do you mean?!"

"You're not... into me?"

He knows something you don't.

John wrinkled his nose. "You sound weirder than usual."

Ed pouted and turned away. "Well, sorry. I guess... I guess I had you pinned wrong."

Well, you could do it right.

"What the hell?!" Jon shouted.

Eddie growled. "You don't have to make such a big fucking deal, so I made a mistake, whatever."

"What? No, it's not that, I'm not-"

"You're not gay, I get it!"

Jon balked. "What?!"

Eddie glared at him. "Quit the attitude, jack ass."

"What are you talking about? I'm gay?!"

Just figured it out?

Edward scowled deeply. "Quit it!"

Jon rolled his eyes. "Can everyone just shut the fuck up and let me sort things out?!"

...

"Sort what out?" Ed's annoyance began to fade into concern and confusion. He reached out a hand. "Are you okay?"

Jon growled and shoved the hand away from him. Ed scowled again. He reached forward persistently, only to have Jon shove him back roughly. His back hit the wall and he gasped, both in surprise and from impact. Edward started to push himself off, but Jon trapped him instantly. "Don't do a thing. Just sit there and let me figure out what the fuck is going on."

Ed grabbed Jon and twisted them, catching the older boy by surprise and pinning him against the wall. "What the hell is there to figure out? I like you and you don't like me. That's it!"

Jon started to push Ed away, but the ginger pressed his lips to Jon's, pushing the taller boy's head back against the wall roughly. Jon froze and Eddie pulled back, breathing heavily. Jon straightened his legs and pressed himself against the cold stone of the wall, trying to ground himself.

Eddie's glare slowly dimmed and his eyes widened. He pulled Jon's head down and inspected the back of it, Jon too shocked to protest. "Holy crap! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you, I just-"

Jon pushed Eddie's hands away gently, he figured he was in a state of shock. "It's fine..."

"Jon, your head is bleeding!"

Jonathan reached a hand up to the back of his head and felt the sticky substance staining his hair. "Huh."

"Holy shit, you're in shock, how the hell did you get your head so hurt? I don't think I pushed you that hard. I mean, I know I'm pretty buff, I've been participating in P.E. more often lately, but-"

"Ed."

"What?"

Jon smiled slightly. "Just shut the fuck up and take me to the emergency room already."