Kellin can’t think. Nothing seems to be coming to the forefront of his mind, and goddamn is that difficult when trying to write an essay.

Maybe he just needs a little more caffeine. He reaches over and grabs the lukewarm can of soda and chugs it.

Nope, nothing. He’s going to need like six of these to even become slightly awake. It doesn’t help that he has school in less than an hour. Kellin makes a noise that can either be interpreted as a pterodactyl impersonation or as a noise of distress. At this point, either one is correct.

Solution: Call (harass) Frank. Yes. This is a good plan.

He puts his feet up on his desk and uses the leverage to push the chair backward with delight, until the chair hits his bed and throws Kellin off of the chair and onto the mattress.

Kellin pushes his hands under his pillows, searching for the rectangular object that would allow him to annoy his friend to tears.

He’d be lying if he said he doesn’t have a mischievous grin dancing across his face.

Fingers closing around the object, he pulls his phone out and selects Frank’s contact.

“You had better pick up, asshole,” Kellin speaks into the silence.

“Who’s dead what’s on fire where are the drugs?” Comes Frank’s sleepy voice through the receiver, speaking rapidly, but unclear. That doesn’t exactly matter, though, Kellin knows what he’s saying.

“Me. I died. And am on fire. I am also drugs.”

Silence crackles through the line momentarily.


“I am drugs! I am fire! I am death!” Kellin shouts, standing up on his bed and gesturing wildly to an invisible audience.

“Kellin, stop quoting Desolation of Smaug and write your motherfucking essay,” Frank says. Kellin can practically hear Frank’s hand glued to his forehead.

“What essay? I know nothing of essays,” Kellin claims.

“Kellin. Do the fucking essay.”

“Frank. What is an essay,” Kellin responds, imitating Frank’s serious and no-bullshit-motherfucker tone.

Frank groans. There’s a thunk, presumably Frank hitting his head against the wall or desk or something. Kellin flinches, hoping that Frank hasn’t given himself brain damage or something.

There’s the noise of a door closing, and maybe a jacket zipping.

“Don’t light anything on fire, I’m on my way over. Give me ten minutes. Can you manage to sit relatively still until I get there?”

Kellin jumps up and down on his bed. “Maybe. Maybe. My bed is bouncy,” Kellin says, drawing out the vowels in the word ‘maybe’.

“Jesus fucking Christ.”

“Jesus never fucked Christ! How dare you say that about our Lord and Savior! He would never commit a homosexual act! It’s a sin!”

“So how much soda have you consumed?”

“Ten inches.”

Frank groans again. “Okay, I’m almost at the bus stop down the street. Try to not break anything.”

“You take the fun out of everything.”

“Yup, that’s my job.”

Not more than a minute later, Frank’s voice fills Kellin’s otherwise empty house.



There are footsteps coming up the stairs, and Kellin does a weird flippy-rolly thing and hides under his bed. He has to contain his laughter when Frank opens the door and says, “Great. You little shit. Stop hiding, okay, come on.”

Kellin pokes his head out from under the bed. “Peekaboo!” He shouts.

“No, Kellin. Get out of there.”


“Kellin. Seriously.”

“Fine.” Kellin says, exasperated.

Kellin crawls out from underneath, his knees dusty.

“What’s the essay on?”

“Some loser bitches that said they ‘discovered’ America to cover up the fact all the really did was commit genocide.”

“So Christopher Columbus?”

“No, Loser McStockings and his crew of Hostages.”


Kellin leaps from the desk that Frank has drug him over to back into his bed, grabbing the blankets and burying himself beneath him before Frank’s brain can even really register what’s going on.

“Goddammit,” Frank grumbles, which receives a laugh from Kellin in response.

“Isn’t that due today?” Frank asks.

“Possibly,” The lump of blankets responds.

“We have school in less than an hour and you’re just doing this assignment?”

“Possibly,” The lump says again.

“Can you afford to fail this once?”


“If you say possibly one more time I’ll call Oli and let him shoot you.”


“Shut the fuck up and get ready for school. AND STOP DRINKING THE SODA,” Frank yells as he catches Kellin chugging the rest of the drink.

Kellin swallows the drink and sticks his tongue out at Frank.

“You’re not my mother.”

“Thank god for that.”



Mikey pulls his face off of the pillow with effort. He tries to become aware of everything around him; the room (which proves difficult until he realizes he’s a dumbass and isn’t wearing his glasses), the voices downstairs, but mostly the threat that had just reverberated through the house.

“What?” He calls back, stumbling out of bed, locating a mostly-clean pair of jeans and pulling them on.

“MIKEY! HE HAS A KNIFE!” Comes the response, more than likely from Pete.

Coming down the stairs, Mikey is met with a sight that causes him to wonder why the hell his brother and his brother’s friends aren’t doing something.

“What the everlasting fuck is going on here?”

Oli is holding Pete off of the ground by his shoulders, a good two or three feet in the air. Andy has a knife, and is poking the handle of it (the blade encased lightly in his palm) at Pete’s stomach. Gerard, Vic, Tony, Mike and Ashley are all sitting at the table, eating and carrying on a conversation, either completely oblivious or choosing to ignore the scene behind them. Mikey guesses it’s the latter and decides to address that.

“Gerard, get the fuck up and help me out here. Oli, give me him,” Mikey demands.

“Nope,” Comes the almost simultaneous response from Gerard and Oli. Mikey turns around and gives Gerard his best “What-the-fuck-do-you-mean-no” look until Gerard smiles and begins to explain.

“This little shit tried to escape again, except, you know, he didn’t scream about freedom this time. If Ashley wasn’t such a light sleeper, we would have to be explaining to Pete’s parents right about now that he is fine, and no, he wasn’t kidnapped, there is nothing wrong. Thank you Ashley for saving our asses,” Gerard concludes.

Ashley grins. “All in a day’s work. And then Oli said something about punishment, and that’s how I learned Andy is a sick fucker because he jumped up with this crazy ass grin on his face and said some code word or some shit because next thing I know Oli’s holding Pete in the air and Andy’s poking at him with a knife, as demonstrated over there.”

Mikey looks at the table and its occupants, then to the pair busied with nudging at Pete.

“I hate you all,” Is his final decision.

“Except me,” Gerard pipes up.

“No, especially you,” Mikey says, jabbing his finger at his brother. Ignoring Gerard’s pout, he walks over to Oli and Andy, shoving Andy lightly away (doing his best to avoid getting poked at with that knife) and making the grabby hand gesture at Oli as a signal to hand him over.

Oli smirks before gently lowering Pete to the ground, who proceeds to squeal and clamber up Mikey’s back with a lack of grace and bony knees buried in Mikey’s ribcage.

“I really, really hate you all.”

“Just keep telling yourself that, if it, you know, makes you feel better,” Vic responds. Mikey rolls his eyes and dumps Pete in one of the kitchen chairs, forcing him to sit still and eat while Mikey showers.


Mike is slowly losing his mind. Slowly, very, very slowly. It’s driving him up the fucking wall.

He needs drugs, now. Anything, at this point. It doesn’t even matter.

Tony had told him not to. Tony had made him promise.

Well, fuck that, how the hell is Tony gonna know if he did shit?

Mike looks around the school bathroom. Nope, no Mikey. No anyone. All he needs to do now is get his hands on some shit and snort or inject or inhale the day away. Fuck education.

He makes a crazy weird spin thing out of the bathroom to track down someone who he knows has something. There’s a total of maybe five, six people with good stuff that won’t tattle. The halls are beginning to fill with students from the classes that had been released early. He’s sure he looks like a maniac (god, he feels like a maniac) as he scans over the heads of the crowd, eyes alight, a face in the back of his mind, the face that carries the substances that can destroy him and bring him together all at once.

Mike relaxes visibly when his sight settles on a hyperactive kid with brown hair who’s bouncing around the hallways like the floors were made of rubber.

“JAIME!” Mike shouts, catching the smaller boy’s attention. He bounds over to Mike, enveloping him in a hug that more or less involves Jaime hanging off of Mike’s neck.

“Hey, buddy! How’re ya? I heard some people were trying to sober you up, that sucks man, that sucks real bad. ‘M sorry, anything I can do for ya, get for ya, if you catch my drift?” Jaime spouts rapidly.

“Yeah, yeah, just gimme something, anything. I don’t care,” Mike says, shifting his weight from one leg to the other.

Jaime pats his shoulder sympathetically. “I totally understand man. And because I love you, and also because I know that withdrawal is a cranky ass bitch all over your dick, I’ll cut my prices a quarter. Meet me behind the bleachers by the soccer field after school?”

“Sure. See you then, Jaime,” Mike says. Jaime gives a frantic nod, messing his already unruly hair up farther, telling Mike goodbye and disappearing down the hall.


“Mr. Quinn, did you do your essay?” The teacher inquires, a stack of completed papers clasped in her hands.

“Uh, well, about that. So I um. Did it. But. Well. Caffeine induced self-hatred. Yeah. Um. Have fun with this,” He says as he hands the paper over. She smiles. “I’m sure it’ll be a fun read.”

Thankfully, she’s one of the nicer teachers. She’s not the nicest, but Ms. J is up there, at least in Kellin’s world. She puts up with his crazy antics, something only Frankie has mastered so far.

Kellin can feel someone’s gaze on the back of his head. He doesn’t want to turn around, because if he does, he’ll surely do something stupid. And if the person staring at him so intensely is also attractive, he doesn’t want to look like a dumbass. Talk about shitty first impressions.

He settles for kicking at his friend Jack’s leg, and asking him to turn around and see who is staring.

Jack rolls his eyes and looks behind them.

“Some Mexican dude, okay? Calm your fucking tits.”

“No, my boobs refuse to be calm!” He shouts. Dammit, now people are looking at him. Let’s just fucking flush decent first impressions down the drain.

Ms. J turns from the lesson and looks at him, a look that is clearly one of questioning his sanity on her face.

“Kellin, do you have anything you would like to share?”

“Who is this Kellin, my name is Carlos.” He says, trying his best to hide the blush on his face as he sinks lower in his seat.

She simply shakes her head and continues on, the gaze still on the back of his head, if anything now it has intensified. Kellin takes a shaky breath. This is nothing to be acting crazy over goddammit. He needs to get a grip.

“So for this project, I want you all in pairs, but I’m choosing, because I know how well some of you work with your friends,” She says with pointed glares at Jack and his other friend, Alex. She looks down at the paper in her hand and begins reading.

“Fuentes, Quinn. Gaskarth, Ashby. Carlile, Stump...”

Kellin stands along with the rest of the class that is slowly shuffling around to meet their project partner. He’s completely still for a minute, not even anywhere near sure who this Fuentes dude is. The name sounds Hispanic, maybe, if he’s lucky, they’ll be Frank’s boyfriend’s sexy ass Mexican friend.

He shuts his eyes and made a quick wish to the Gods of Karma, arguing that he had been behaving for the most part and was wearing clean underwear, and therefore things should play out in his favor.

There’s a gentle tap on his shoulder, and Kellin’s point of focus shifts to the short, Hispanic, sexy-as-hell boy next to him.

“Hi, I’m Vic. I guess we’re stuck working on this together, huh?”

Holy shit. Kellin can’t tell if he even remembers English right now, and he doesn’t know any other languages, so he is beyond fucked. Just...Goddamn. Thank you Gods of Karma.

“Heh, yeah. I guess we are. So where do you wanna start?” Kellin replies at long last, his mouth dry and his heart pounding.

Vic’s eyes light up. Oh shit, that is amazing. “I have a few ideas...” He says, his voice wavering a little with nerves.

“Do tell,” Kellin implores with a smile.


Mike tries his hardest to not match Jaime’s hyperactive jumpy-ness when he climbs behind the bleachers. Jaime greets him with a grin, and then a caring word on how shitty he looks.

“So sorry bro. Goddamn. You know what, just take this shit. I never sell enough of it anyway. Have some fun kiddo, just like, don’t go out in public while on this. Trust me.”

“Yeah, I know the protocol. Acid tablets?” Mike asks, examining the product before him. Jaime nods.

“Like I said, careful. You’ve done this before, right?” Jaime says, concern suddenly painting his face.

“Yeah, yeah, a lot, actually. It’s just I thought there was usually a higher demand.”

“Nah, not around here anyway. On the other side of town, yeah, oh my fuck that shit goes fast. Anyway, take it and get the hell out, man, you look like hell and a half.”

Mike nods and gives Jaime a hug in his thanks, stuffing the drugs in his pocket and running around the school to the parking lot, hoping to catch Vic in time.

He does, and Tony grins at him, a pleased, happy grin. An ‘I’m-proud-of-you’ grin.

Mike feels a momentary stab of guilt before he locks it away and returns the smile.


“And oh my god Frankie, the way he smiled, he was so cute! And his laugh! Holy fuck his laugh is like fucking music to a deaf man who just discovered hearing aids,” Kellin spews to his best friend, tugging on Frank’s sleeve and grinning like an idiot.

“Uh huh.”

“Are you even listening?”

“Uh huh.”

“Say ‘uh huh’ if I can steal all the pop tarts and all the blankets and build a fort in the middle of the living room.”

“What the fuck?” Frank says, turning to look at the crazy-eyed Kellin.

“Frank, I think I love him.”

Frank groans.

“You’ve only known him for three hours.”

“Don’t judge our love!” Kellin exclaims, slapping a hand against his chest in mock offense.

Despite all the jokes, Kellin really has begun to feel something. It was terrifying and strong and he kept checking to see if Vic displays any of the physical signs he currently is.

He can’t tell, but he prays to the Gods of Karma that Vic’s feelings are there.

♠ ♠ ♠
one time my brothers and i lit off a fireworks display with an arrow that we lit on fire and the display went KABOOM and we decided that we probably shouldn't do that again because we exploded like three trees and half a tractor