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13 August 2009 @ 09:43 pm
We're Dying For An Adrenaline Rush (Pop A Pill For The Quick Thrill)  
Title: We're Dying For An Adrenaline Rush (Pop A Pill For The Quick Thrill)
Rating: PG-13 (for discussion of attempted suicide)
Pairing: General
POV: First person
Summary: "Fading is the easy part, Patrick. It's staying bright that's always hard."
Disclaimer: I own nothing. This is fiction, nothing less, nothing more.
Original Post: Here (friend-locked)

You've known him for forever, so you know things about him that maybe no one else does. He wants a pen when his fingers twitch. He's hungry when he rests his chin on his knees. If he were to ever drum his fingers on his thigh in your presence, it would mean he disagreed with whatever you were saying. A smirk means, "Don't count on it.". A wide grin means, "Lets get in trouble."

(There's another smile too - a sad one. You never bothered learning what that one meant, because you never saw it... Until that day.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves.)

The point is, you know him better than yourself. You know that he always smells like eyeliner and grass, and, if he's been hanging out with Joe, cigarettes and something sweet. But he doesn't hang out with Joe too much. He told you once you were his favorite - and that if you ever told the others that, he'd have your ass on a platter.

You never said a word.

(You didn't need to. It was good enough knowing he liked you best. It didn't matter to you whether or not the others knew too.)

But you were his favorite, even if you never could figure out why. The other guys were certainly more fun - between the two of them, they could keep someone amused for hours at a time. Then again, he was amusing too. That was (only part of) the reason why you liked him.

You were boring.

You hated yourself, a little bit - you always were insecure. "You weigh too much," you'd tell the figure in the mirror. "You're sad. Pathetic. You're nothing without him."

What's odd is that on the other side of the wall, he was saying mostly the same things to the version of him caught in both the mirror and in his mind.

But you didn't know.

He was a very good liar.

Back to that smile - the sad one. It was just an ordinary day, you two sitting in the sun in your backyard, talking about life and love and music (and how the third encompassed the first and second). And then, out of nowhere: "Are you writing anything more, yet?"

He was drumming his fingers on his thighs, and even then you knew what it meant. You shut up. But he wasn't done yet.

It was quiet for a while, wasn't it? For the purpose of our story, that's where we'll stop. You're forever frozen in sunlight on a blanket, the smile on his face, the color of your jeans. This is where the story (technically) ends.

But should we guess what comes next?

You'll probably figure that he'll eventually step in with some clever anecdote from his life, a little story to calm your fears and make you laugh.

Instead, maybe:

"Fading is the easy part, Patrick. It's staying bright that's always hard."

With that he'll be up off the ground, turning to glance at you over his shoulder with that smile that you can't come close to placing. You'll have never seen it before. It'll be new, odd, a tad too sharp against his tan skin and tired eyes. You'll think, for a second, that he looks awfully fake.

(He is awfully fake. Haven't you been paying attention?)

When you ask him where he's going, he'll probably respond with something along the lines of, "Wherever, 'Trick. Anywhere but here.". And you'll wonder what that means as he walks away, with a somber grin plastered to his face and twisting his features into something not-quite sincere. But you won't follow him, will you? You'll stay captured in bright light, floating in the sun's warmth, while he walks and consequently drowns in the shadows just off screen.

You'll fall asleep in your backyard, drenched in comfort and complacency.

He'll fall asleep in a car in a parking lot, hanging up the (literal) lifeline he's holding in favor of the deathline that comes, oh-so conveniently, pre-packaged and perfectly measured out in a fatal quantity. The whole thing will be so perfect, so easy. Except -

He'll maybe make a mistake.

They'll say by the time they found him they were sure he was dead. They'll be ready to call it a great modern tragedy. But then they'll find him, still out for the count, barely breathing, but alive. He'll still be alive.

They'll shake him awake, and do you know what he'll say first?


Fast forward to long hospital hallways, with a medicinal scent that masks your favorite odor of eyeliner, grass, and (maybe) cigarettes. You'll think it's a sign, that the smell is gone - but then you'll find Joe and Andy at the end of a long hallway with a broken light, standing up and waiting for you.

"He's asking for you."

You'll nod, enter that dimly lit room, suck any fear or pity you're carrying back - and.

He won't look good. Are you ready?

He'll be pale, despite the tan, and his lips will be dreadfully limp without a smile to prop then up. The doctors will tell you they got him just in time. You'll look over at the bed, at his dark eyes flashing, flashing, and nod, saying you know. You'll know how close he was. You'll remember the smile.

You'll sit next to him on the bed, waiting for the doctors to leave, before you'll breathe unsteady breaths and gulp down your nerves.


And with that one simple word, you'll fold in half, burrowing your face in his chest as you (both) cry and breathe each other in. He'll still smell like eyeliner and grass, but now he'll smell of tragedy, too. He'll tell you later that you always smell of guitars and low self-esteem. You'll agree with that. It'll fit just fine.

You won't leave his side for five days while he sleeps and wakes and gets better. You'll sneak him the candy Joe brought, and you'll let him paint his face with eyeliner so "I'll look as goddamn morbid as I feel.". And when it's time for him to leave, to rejoin the real world, you'll fetch him water and snacks and fresh pens while he writes a song he'll tentatively name after Ativan.

But for now...

You're warm and pleasantly happy in the sun, allowing the rays to touch your face, tipping your hat back a bit so you can soak up more. And with any luck, he'll just laugh and tell you he's writing, smile and poke you in the side, smirk and say something along the lines of, "You worry too much, Lunchbox.". You'll blush and agree, passing off red cheeks as a reaction to the light and not a reaction to his words. You'll lay on your back and he'll join you, fitting into your side in that distinctly Pete-ish way, and you'll fall asleep in a totally fine and not at all dangerous manner. No disasters here.

If you're lucky.

No matter the consequences of later, the outcome of the coin toss, you'll at least have this moment to remember. The sun and grass and eyeliner. Guitars and self-loathing. You're both a mess.

Don't forget that. It's when we lose track of our own short comings that things like friends dying in parking lots while other friends sun bathe happen. And that's no fun for anyone.

(But you're his favorite. Don't forget that, either.)