Dedication: To Carl. With you, I couldn't breathe. You are my ventilator.

Her name was Zoë. She had honey brown hair, that he swore was more honey than brown. Her eyes were a … John had no idea what color her eyes were. He just remembered streaks of blonde and brown. They were most likely figments of his imagination. Everything was blurred. He had no idea where his glasses were. She was gone. He would never get answers to those questions.

John probably wouldn't remember the questions himself in the morning. Or in twenty minutes. Both were on the condition that he would survive until then.

He could barely remember coming back to the apartment. Stumbling and still drunk. And since bringing a girl he didn't know and had an interest in his band, seemed like a good idea. Drinking even more seemed like an even better one. And then how could anything but sex follow?

He couldn't stop hearing the sounds of doors opening and closing. He couldn't move.

Well, maybe.

John fell off the bed, and onto his clothes. That was handy.

He was able to redress himself, too. Kind of.

He felt his glasses on the nightstand.

John opened the door and leaned against the frame.

"Stanny, I'm so drunk."

Stan looked up from the kitchen counter where she was making a sandwich. It was her post-bar tending ritual. Make a sandwich, watch Nick at Night and slowly pass out. Sometimes they played card games, if he was still up.

He had a feeling they wouldn't be playing games for awhile.

"So, I saw."

Stan took a bite of her sandwich.

"Oh." No matter what he did, he disappointed her. "I drank more than you gave me."

"I'd never give you this much to drink."

She was pretty untouchable at the moment.

He moved to step forward. He was stopped by the uncontrollable urge to double over and vomit. And so he did.


Someone's hand was on his arm, leading him away from the vomit. Well, okay both of those were probably Stan.

"I'm sorry." Except it came out as more of a cough than words.

She lead him into the bathroom, and set a towel down on the floor.

Stan kneeled down beside him. She still looked blurry with his glasses on.

"Johnny," she paused to pull his shirt off. "Are you okay?"

"No." She moved away from him. He felt worse. "I don't feel well."

"I know," Stan knelt back down beside him, and wiped his face with a towel. "But why did you drink this much?"

He sighed. He was tired. And probably more than mortified. "Because you kept pouring the drink." Oh. "And she thought it would be a good idea."

She moved away from again and he could hear the sound of running water. "Does she have a name?"

Didn't everybody? "I did learn it."

She pressed a cup of water to his mouth. He drank from it. He felt gross. And he didn't want to swallow. "Well, that's good." She pulled the cup away to wipe his mouth again. He prayed for this to all be blacked out. "You know, back in California, I'm sure there were at least a couple of boys where I didn't even get that much."

John rested his head against the wall, it felt cool. Everywhere else was too warm. "Good story."

Stan got up again. John felt sick.

The water was running again. A few moments later, there was a cool cloth placed against his forehead. This was probably better than the sex he had just had. Well, he could remember it more vividly at least.

"Don't be mean," She was frowning. Blurrily.

He wasn't really anything at the moment. Except sick. The wash cloth slid off his forehead before he leaned in to the toilet and… Well, at least this would be easier clean up.

Her hand was on his back.

"I'm not drinking again." But he mumbled it as one long word.

This was a promise. Seriously. Any other emphasis that could be placed on it.

She was rubbing his back. "Feel better?"

"Feel dead."

"No, sweetie, I won't let you do that tonight," she promised him, as he leaned back against the wall. "I promise."

"I'd feel better dead." He'd feel better if he stopped talking. He wasn't even talking. He was croaking. She fed him more water.

"I wouldn't," she cleaned his face with the towel once more. "And I think you owe me, for that mess in the living room."

"I should clean that up." It really wasn't fair for her to clean that up. He moved to stand up. But couldn't. Oh and she stopped him.

"If you move, you'll only make more of a mess," Stan warned him. He rested his head against her shoulder.

"Ok," he agreed. His body was exhaustion but his eyes wouldn't sleep. "Thanks."

Stan reached over for another towel, and opened it on her lap. He rested his head there, curling up on the floor. His glasses girl his ears.

She pulled his hair back. "You look like a little boy in those." She placed the washcloth on his head again, but it was no longer cold.

He felt young. Young and old and all the same.

"I'd take them off but I'd be blind."

"It's cute." So people kept telling him.

He was pretty sure there was no way he was approaching cute at the moment.

"I want to go home." Or coherent, either.

"You are home, Johnny," Stan reminded him.

"No, the other one." He sighed. "I want to live at home, and go to Church and date virgins, and be one."

"A church?"

He shook his head. Her lap felt nice. He was lying. "Celibate."

"Morrissey isn't even celibate anymore," Stan pointed out, and she removed the wash cloth from his head. He felt the same.

"I don't need to be on the grain." Or go with it. Or however that saying went.

She pressed her hand against his cheek. He didn't belong at home, he wasn't welcome there any more. Oh, his parents loved him. They'd love to have him back, certain conditions withstanding. But reverting back to his childhood wouldn't make him happy. He doubted it'd last two days.

(This was home.)

"I don't think you should make any hasty decisions right now."

John closed his eyes. His head hurt less for it. "You told me those were the best decisions to make."

"I don't know why you listen to me," she patted his cheek gently. "You know I love you just the way you are."

"Oh, Darcy." They really shouldn't fight. Or drink. They could lay on the bathroom floor together though. Except even that was uncomfortable. "I love you, too."

Stan snorted. "You're a funny drunk, Johnny Dixon."

"I don't feel hilarious." In fact, he felt quite humorless. And drained. And sore. "No more drinking over Allegra."


"You realize," he paused mid-sentence to sigh. "that over half my top five mortifying moments include sex. Or you. Or both."

"You don't even register on my top twenty."

He really needed to stop talking.

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay," She promised.

John sighed again.

It wasn't okay.

He fell asleep before he could do anything about it, though.

He woke up in his own bed.