Kay guys, this is probably my fastest update for this story. I KNOW I've been neglecting my other stories and I apologise to all those of you who read the rest of my work. I think I probably lost my reputation as a fast updater. But I've seriously been busy (we have guests staying at home, millions of deadlines for coursework, art, now they're making us look for Unis…so much work, so little time)

All this to say thanks to you all for sticking with this story and the others, sorry for being such a slow updater, and MILLIONS OF APOLOGIES TO ALL those of you who reviewed, I'm so sorry I don't get time to reply to all your reviews, but I swear that whenever I have time on internet I try to reply to a bunch of revise, and I READ AND ADORE EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL REVIEW and ALL YOUR REVIEWS ACTUALLY HELP ME, whether by giving me advice, constructive criticism or encouragement. ALSO a special supa-dupa squiggly huggly to those of you who said they actually read en enjoyed Zen's PARAGRAPHS OF RAMBLENESS. You cannot imagine how much that made me happy and warm and squishy in the heart.

Okay, I'll stop here and let you enjoy this chapter.

If you can. Love you all million times and then some more.

Warning: slash, boyxboy love, shonen-ai, whatever. If you find it offends you I suggest you don't read.

Rating: uh…T. Might go up if I get past the whole being too shy to write racey stuff thing, or, alternatively, if I find someone kind enough to write it for me…we'll see.

Summary: Ethan loves his nice, neat, tidy, lonely, monotonous little life-until Zen decided to show him the 'beauty of shared love.'

Those Stupid Butterflies That Mess Around In Our Stomachs

Chapter V: Day Four

I emerged from sleep feeling numb, warm, and aching all over. I opened my eyes and blinked, finding myself in a very awkward position: it seemed that I'd fallen asleep against my new flatmate, and during the night we'd both moved so that he lay curled up on the couch with his head on the armrest and I was more or less on top of him, my head resting on his bony hip, one of my arms thrown over his legs and one of my fists pressed against the exposed skin of his stomach. It might have been an awkward and painful way to sleep, but at least Zen was warm…

I jerked up into a sitting position, shaking my head of its idiotic thoughts, and stood up, leaning on Zen in order to do so. He let out a tiny grunt when I crushed his thigh, and mumbled what sounded suspiciously like "Go to hell" but as soon as I was safe in a standing position he flipped over in the couch, let out a deep sigh and went back to sleep.

Stumbling slightly, my neck and back killing me, I went to my bedroom to get some fresh clothes and then into the bathroom to take a nice warm shower calculated to relax my aching muscles. When I was done and dressed, I slung a towel around my neck and went to wake Zen up.

I poked him in the side and snapped:

"Zen. Zen! Wake up!"

"Go to hell," Zen muttered again.

I poked him again and didn't get any response, so I went to the kitchen, filled a glass with cold water, and poured it over Zen's face and neck. The result was immediate:

"Flipping mushroomfudger son-of-a-bottle hecking fudge!" Zen yelled, jumping to his feet and rushing to the bathroom. He slammed the door shut so hard the flat trembled, and I couldn't help a satisfied grin to bloom on my face. Zen had an interesting vocabulary when he was angry and startled.

I went into the kitchen and made myself some coffee and toast. It wasn't really time for work yet and anyway I wasn't going to leave the flat without making sure Zen was off on his way to school, so I went into the living-room and switched on my computer to read the news. I was in the middle of reading them when Zen emerged from the bathroom, one of my towels wrapped around him, his skin pink and a cloud of steam following him from the bathroom.

He stopped when he saw me and stared. His multicoloured hair was dripping wet and fell all over and around his face, long strands sticking to his forehead, temple and neck. The eyeliner or whatever crap he'd been wearing around his eyes the day before was smeared around his eyes, which were wide with reproach. I looked back down on my computer screen.

"You're so mean," Zen declared in a way that could have been comical if it hadn't been so heartfelt. "You're so, so mean."

"Yeah. I know. Deal with it," I snapped.

"If you weren't my soulmate I'd hate you," Zen informed me.

"I'm not your soulmate, so feel free to hate me as much as you want."

Zen didn't reply and walked towards his narrow bed, kneeling by it and pulling one of the boxes out from under it. He rummaged in them, throwing various articles of clothing on to his bed, and then reached for a large, bright purple toilet bag sporting the pink words "Just call me…Mrs Farrell" and went back into the bathroom without a word.

By the time he finally emerged, I had done reading my news, tidying up the living-room, washing my empty cup and I was in the corridor putting on my coat and looking for my wallet and keys.

Zen's hair was still wet, gathered at the back of his head in a messy ponytail, but he had applied bright green eyeliner around his eyes, painted his nails green, and dressed in large jeans covered in zippers and straps, a tight, striped green and white shirt, two tank-tops over it, and two or three belts hanging loosely round his hips.

"What time do you start school?" I asked him as he walked past me and into the living-room.

"Uh…eight," he said distractedly, looking underneath his bed and reaching for a large backpack.

"How long does it take you to get there?"

"Bah…around an hour?" he shrugged, and opened the backpack.

"You do realise it's almost seven, right?" I asked, frowning.

"Yeah?" he said distractedly, taking a large, fluffy dog-shaped pencil case out of the backpack and picking up a pen.

He walked towards me and handed me the pen. It was a green ink fineliner.

"Draw something on my cheek," he said, turning his head to the side to expose his left cheek fully.

I frowned.

"What? No, come on—we've got to get going," I snapped.

"Draw an alien," he said.

I opened my mouth to protest, but then decided it wasn't worth it, so instead I uncapped the pen, and drew an alien on his cheek. A large, oval head with large eyes and a gaping mouth and pointy limbs and two antennae. It looked quite freakish when I was done. I handed the pen back to Zen, who rushed to the bathroom and squealed:

"Aw! So kawaii!"

He came back in, tossed the pen and the pencil case back in the backpack, and began preparing himself to go out. He untied his hair and combed it and then tied it back in the exact same messy way as before. Then he put on a green woolly cap that almost covered his eyes. Then he wrapped a long, stripy scarf around his neck. Then he tied an oversized sweater around his waist. Then he slipped on stripy fingerless gloves. Then he put on a pair of green suede boots that were almost definitely women's boots. Then he pulled on a long, thin, black coat with torn hems and zippers all over it. Then he put his guitar in its case. Then he gathered a bunch of books and dropped them into his backpack. Then he slung his guitar case around his chest. Then he picked up his backpack. Then he asked me for a chewing gum.

"Fuck you," I told him.

"Yes please," he replied with a cheeky grin, and I ignored him and walked out of the apartment, waiting for him to come out so I could lock the door behind him. Then I remembered something.

"Hang on a second…Zen?"

"Yes, ballerina?"

"Have you been out of the flat at all while I was out?"

"Just a couple of times, cupcakes."

"You don't have a spare key of the apartment," I announced.

He looked at me as though I was an idiot.

"Yes, I know."

"Then how the fuck did you lock the door while you were out?" I snarled.

He frowned. Then he gave a guilty smile.

"Oops-a-daisy…I guess I forgot," he said.

"You mean you went out and left my door open and didn't even tell anyone?" I yelled.

"Hey, it's not like it's a big deal, honey. I mean, nothing got stolen, and we'll have to go get a spare made and then everything will be fine!" Zen said peacefully.

"No, it's not fine! Someone could have entered my flat! And stolen anything in there! They could have stolen my laptop, or my DVD player, or—"

"Yes, but they didn't, so there's no reason for you to shout," Zen said calmly.

"I've just had my DVD-player and laptop and everything valuable in my flat potentially stolen, I've go every reason in the world to shout!" I shouted.

"Why, hello Zen, hello Mr Bleake, what's all the shouting about?"

I frowned and turned around. A plump, elderly woman was standing at the open door of the flat next to mine, holding a cat in her arms and the warm smell of cooking bread floating out. I had no idea what her name was, I had no idea how she knew my name and I had no fucking clue whatsoever as to how or why she knew Zen's name.

"Hello, Miss Larker!" Zen twittered happily, skipping towards my neighbour. "Hello Mr Fluffywinkles!" he continued, patting the cat she was holding and kissing the tip of its black nose. "How are you this morning?"

"I'm perfectly dandy, thank you very much, my dear. I just made some bread, it's all warm and crusty and soft. Would you like some?"

"Nothing would please me more than taste your wonderful bakery again, ma'am, but I've got to drop Ethikins off to work and then I have Uni so I should really get going," Zen said.

"Ooh, alright, then. Pop by when you get home, I'm making French apple pie tonight!"

"Will do! Pleasure talking to you, ma'am!" Zen called, waving at the elderly woman as he hooked his arm through mine and dragged me away.

"You too, my boy! Have a nice day! Have a nice day too, Mr Bleake!"

I called back vaguely and hurried down the stairs.

"How the hell do you know her?" I asked Zen.

"Well, the day before yesterday I noticed there wasn't any sugar in your apartment, and I couldn't be bothered buying some so I knocked at her door and she is so lovely and she asked me if I was a new tenant and I said I'd moved in with you and she said really? I would never have thought Mr Bleake would have the patience for a flatmate and I told her I was your soulmate and she said it was time you found one and I was as good a soulmate as any and then she made some pains au chocolat and it was delicious and oh my God Ethikins she has the most amazingly adorable neko, called Mr Fluffywinkels and you would love him and I was thinking maybe we should buy a cat? I nice little black and white kitten and we'd call him Nyx, which means Night in Greek or Latin or something which is also the name of one of my favourite authors ever oh my God Ethikins you would totally love his books, right, because they are so good and the heroine of the second book, which is called Lirael, the heroin is called Lirael, by the way, because the book is about her, you know? Anyway, she works in this library which is so flipping cool, right, because when you go in it, first of all it's so incredibly huge and it's shaped in this weird way, well—that's how I picture it anyway and so she works there, right, and—"

"Why are you following me?" I snarled, whipping around to face Zen, who was trotting to keep up my brisk pace.

"I'm dropping you off to work," Zen said, in a tone that suggested it was perfectly obvious.

"I don't need you to drop me off at work. You're supposed to go to school."

"Yeah, but I want to see where you work!" Zen whined. "You never tell me anything about you're life or work…"

"That's because you're always so busy talking!"

"That's because when I'm not talking you're either telling me off or giving me the silence treatment!"

"Well then, if you want me to tell you things then ask instead of going into one of your fucking annoying pointless rambles."

"Okies. What's your job?"

I halted at the bus-stop, and turned towards Zen, frowning.

"Are you sure this is a good time to have a conversation?" I asked sarcastically.

"It's as good a time as any," he replied, completely ignoring my sarcasm and frown.

"I work as an advertising executive," I snapped.

Zen looked suddenly disappointed.

"That's all? Where do you work?"

"Hermes Sports Inc," I snapped.

"Ew! You do advertising for chavs' clothes?" Zne exclaimed in horror.

I rolled my eyes.


"I thought you'd be one of these jazz players, or, or…I dunno, a lecturer or an expert in English poetry or something!"

"Oh, really?"

"Yes, really!" he replied earnestly, once again completely ignoring the sarcasm.

The bus pulled to a stop and I climbed in. Zen climbed after me.

"Stop following me!" I snarled, as quietly as I could so as not to attract unwanted attention.

"I want to see where you work!" he whined, clutching my sleeve.

I shook him off and went to sit on one of the single seats so he had no other choice but to seat away from me. Instead of going according to my plan, however, he plonked himself down on my knees. People were beginning to glance at us.

"Get off," I snapped, trying to push him off me.

He twisted around on my knees so he was almost facing me and whispered against my ear:

"If you don't let me sit on your knees and go with you to work I'll make a scandal!"

I thought I felt his tongue briefly darted out to touch the lobe of my ear, but it could juts have been his hair brushing against my skin.

"You wouldn't dare."

I tried to shove him off again, and this time, to my surprise, he got off me. He whipped around to face me and yelled: "You loved me and used me and now you're rejecting me!"

Every single person on the bus stared at us, and I literally felt the blood leave my face.

"What the—"

"How can you be so cold? So cruel? When you promised me you'd love me forever?" Zen carried on, clutching his fists to his chest and giving me a heart-wrenchingly reproachful look. The other passengers were beginning to frown in my direction.

"Shut the fuck up!" I hissed at Zen.

"No, I won't shut up! Always you try to shut me up! Even when we have sex I have to be gagged! You always have to have all the control! I'm fed up with always being the one tied up and used! You always take and take and take and never give anything in return.

The bus stopped and a couple of persons stumbled out, tripping over the steps in their haste. The rest of the passengers were now decidedly glaring at me.

"Zen, I swear, stop this right now or I'll—"

"Or you'll what? What can you do to hurt me that you have already done, Albert?"

An old woman got up from her seat and walked up to Zen. She glared at me over her shoulder and began to pat Zen's back, muttering:

"Hush, hush darling…never you mind…it'll get better."

Zen, theatrically, threw himself into the old woman's arms, sobbing loudly and yelling between sobs: "I-I-I t-tried so-so-so hard-d and-d-d-d it's n-never g-g-good-good enough f-for-for him!"


The bus stopped again, and I rushed out of it, running down the street without bothering to spot where I was or which direction I was taking. When I finally decided I had run long enough to be able to start thinking clearly and begin plotting my terrible revenge against that hideous little son-of-a-bitch, I stopped, leaning my back against the cold, ripped posters-covered wall of a obscure alley between a tiny bookshop and I charity shop.

I breathed deeply for a few moments, trying to gather my composure, but I soon heard running footsteps coming my way, and a second later Zen burst into the alley beside me, his face flushed pink from running, his eyes wide and bright and dazzling. He was choking on his breath, and at first I thought it was from the exertion.

It wasn't

"Oh…my…God! I-I-oh God, oh Eth, did you-did you see that? That was-oh m God that was flipping hilarious! That was-was one of the best things in my-my life!"

He collapsed against the wall beside me, panting, his breath wheezing and spluttering incoherently as he laughed and attempted to catch his breath simultaneously.

"Don't even think about living in my home again. From now on, you've officially been kicked out. I never want to see your face ever again. I hate you completely and utterly."

Zen propped himself off the wall, patted my head patronizingly and grabbed my sleeve.

"Don't be such a drama queen. It was awesome fun and you know it. Now let's get you to work."

I tried to stop him. I tried very, very hard, but in the end it was either I caved in or I sat in the middle of the pavement and risked damaging my monthly wage because of my lateness. I used threats, tried to reason him, offered to bribe him, and even, as a last resort, made an attempt at his own puppy-eyes technique, and failed miserably.

When we reached the main building where my office was situated, I stopped in front of the large entrance and turned to Zen. He looked awed and happy and pretty as hell. I hated him even more than before, if that was possible.

"Alright. You're not actually allowed to go in, so now you've seen where I work get the hell off to whatever school has the extreme and terrible misery of having you as a student."

"It's a University and my professors and lecturers love me, I think, and I'm sure the people here will make an exception if you tell them I'm your soulmate and I'm just taking a healthy interest in your work."

Zen gave me and angelic smile.

"I'll tell them if you're too shy to do it," he proposed generously, crossing the glass entrance and marching determinedly towards the main reception.

"Wait! Okay, fine! I'll show you my office but then either you get the fuck out or I'll call security."

"Okies!" Zen chirped happily, clutching my sleeve with unnecessary affection.

"Let go of me, leech," I snapped distractedly, walking towards the lifts.

Thankfully, the first one that came was empty, and we reached floor 6 without curious looks or awkward questions. It was only when I walked out of the lift with Zen still clutching at my sleeve that I remembered.

I froze.

The Stupid Blonde Bimbo.

She'd never let me live this down. I needed to think up a plan, and fast, and—too late.

Zen was bouncing happily into the office, twittering as he went:

"Is this where you work all day, then? Where's your desk? Did you make it pretty? Can I decorate it? Are you allowed to have music on? Are these your colleagues or are they your assistants? Are—"

"Why, good morning, Romeo-Ethan!" the dreaded, hated voice rang out merrily across the entire office, drowning out Zen's frantic questioning. "And who have we here, exactly?"

Fuck. I was backed into a corner. I had no choice but to do something.

"Um—morning everyone!" I called, making a desperate attempt at cheerful airiness "This is my young nephew Zen who just wanted to have a look at the office because he's interested in working in the advertising department later!"

"Hello!" Zen said happily, waving around and flashing his dazzling angelic grin around like a lighthouse over a stormy sea. "Obviously I'm not actually interested in the advertising department. But he likes to think that, and we all know our good old Ethikins, don't we?"

"We sure do, kiddo," the SBB smirked, giving me a look that clearly indicated years of emotional torture to come. "Well, come here. I'll give you a mini tour and then you can be off to school, how about that?"

"Ooh, yayez, okies!" Zen exclaimed, looking overjoyed and bouncing over to the SBB. It felt weird and uncomfortable having him leave my side to go off with my sworn enemy. Not that it meant I didn't consider him my worst enemy too. I guess it just made sense that my two worst enemies would ally…

I rubbed my forehead briefly, trying to ignore the curious glances of my co-worker and walked to my desk. I'd only be reading various messages and memos for thirty minutes or so when the unbearable tick-tacking of the SBB's heels from hell returned, accompanied by the twittering flow of words that characterized Zen's general presence in any room.

"Well, I'm glad to have met you. Come again sometime, we could go have a drink with the guys, yes?" the SBB smirked.

"Sure!" Zen replied, completely unaware of her evil leer in his naïve innocence.

"Now, go say goodbye to Ethikins," the SBB shot me a smirk that foresworn enough evil to make Attila the Hun sound like a cute teddy bear.

"Goodbye, Ethikins! Thanks for bringing me! See you later, okies?" Zen said, walking up to me.

"Yeah, whatever. Get out," I snapped.

"Right. Love you too, cupcakes."

Zen leant forward suddenly and dropped a rapid kiss over my cheek. Then he ruffled my hair. And then he skipped out, calling brightly: "Bye, Ethikins! Bye, everybody! Bye Chaz!"

"Bye!" the general call responded.

And then he was gone.

Staring at my computer screen with my face feeling hot enough to fry an egg on, I made the solemn vow never, ever to meet the gaze of any of my co-workers unless they were dead on the floor, and even then…only I their faces had been blown off by a bazooka.

When the seemingly interminable work day was finally over, I rushed out to a chorus of "Bye Ethikins! See you tomorrow!"s. At this moment, I realised that killing Zen would probably be completely worth the life-time imprisonment that would follow. Jail had to be better than living as Zen's designated soulmate.

I didn't return straight home. I didn't feel the mental strength to face my turbulent flatmate and his antics. Zen would probably blabber something about karmas and chi or some of sort of crap…one more reason to go have a little walk in the park, actually.

When I reached the park not too far from where I worked, a tiny, cramped city sort of park, it was filled up with squawking and screeching schoolchildren, their bawling parents and hormonal teenagers, so I gave up the idea and instead walked back to the bus-stop. The seats were all full and I had to stand. I looked out of the window and tried not to see the inside of the bus. Too many horrible memories assailed my mind whenever I did. I was probably scarred for life and would never be able to climb into a bus again without feeling slightly sick.

"Well, well, well…if this isn't Albert. And what have you done with the poor child? Raped him and left him bleeding and crying in a back alley?"

I started and turned around to face a spiteful-looking elderly woman. She looked bizarrely familiar, and was glaring at me, apparently under the impression that I was someone named Albert.

"Excuse me, Ma'am. I think you've mistaken me for someone else," I said, politely as I could so as not to enrage her further.

"And you deny it?" she squeaked furiously, apparently not appeased at all. "I was there, this morning, you little scumbag, I was there and holding the sobbing boy!"

Painful images suddenly flooded my mind. A few seconds later, painful heat flooded my face.

"Oh that!" I said as casually and offhandedly as I could. "Sorry about that. My flatmate was just playing a prank on me!"

The lady stared at me, eyes wide with shock. And then the forces of hell were unleashed upon me with the force of the apocalyptic tsunami.

"How dare you joke about it! How dare you dismiss it like that and lie! Liar! Liar! All men are liars and you are their king! You scum! Have you no heart? Not a scrap of conscience? Morale? You animal! How dare you!"

As I hastily rushed off the bus, insults following me, my mind was made up once and for all: I was going to cold-bloodedly murder Zen as soon as I got home.

Killing him with a knife would be messy, but it seemed to me like the best option I had, so I turned the key in the lock of my apartment door with my plan fresh in mind: I'd go to the kitchen, grab the largest meat knife I had, hunt Zen down wherever he was in the flat, and stab him violently and repeatedly, in the head.

I pushed the door open, but as soon as I'd taken three steps into the apartment a colourful little blur hurled itself at me, two skinny arms immediately locking around my neck and a mouthful of silky hair shoved into my face.

"Welcome home, Ethikins!" Zen squealed ecstatically. "Guess what I'm making tonight?"

I shoved him off me and removed my coat.

"What?" I snarled, heading for the kitchen.

"Sushi! Real, delish Zen-made sushi!"

I stopped in my track. Maybe I could postpone my homicidal plan for an hour or two…

It was quite obscene, really, how well Zen could cook. Such an annoying person should never have been gifted with the talent of cooking—it was wrong. Good cooks should have been like hoovers: noisy while you needed them and then quiet and immobile and unnoticeable in a corner as soon you were done with them. If only I could have done this with Zen: plug him in when I needed him and then unplug him and shove him in a closet as soon as the delicious food was ready…

After dinner, Zen put on some "Kill Hannah, totally the most underrated band in the world—I mean, no one's heard about them and they are, like, genius! Trust me, when you'll hear their songs you'll understand. They have the singer with the sexiest voice in the history of music, well—maybe with the exception of Bill Kaulitz (from Tokio Hotel, another awesome band, by the way, actually, I'll put on Schrei as soon as Kill Hannah is over) and Billie Joe, obviously, and Matt Bellamy and—" and we did the washing up in what could more or less be considered a state of quiet and calm. Zen was actually much easier to live with when he wasn't speaking: he picked up each wet piece of washing up and dried it and put it carefully in its proper place, glancing up at me to meet my gaze form time to time, his face lighting with a sudden and bright smile. It scared me a little how sweet and unguarded his smile was: so open and vulnerable and goddamn genuine…

When we were done with the washing up, I picked up my laptop and made my way to my room, but Zen stopped me by standing in my doorway, hands crossed behind his back, looking down on his feet, which were bare, toes scuffing at the floor. His toenails were painted a bright jade green.

"Ethan…?" he said, drawing out the 'a' and looking up at me with a sweet little insecure smile. I frowned suspiciously.


"May I ask you a favour, please?" Zen carried on.

He raised his right hand to his face and began twisting a blue strand of hair around his index.

"What?" I repeated, my suspicion increasing by the minute.

"Well…may I please, if you don't mind, and that's alright it you do, but would be so, so kind as to, if you don't mind, that is, I'll understand if you don't, okay, but could I, maybe, if that's hundred percent okay with you, borrow your laptop?"


"I'll understand if you don't want to," Zen carried on, ignoring my answer. "Only, I wanted to try out this Korean recipe that my friend told me about…but I need internet to look for the recipe…of course, if you mind, it's fine, I mean, I'll just not try it, is all, but if it's what you want…"

He raised his head, peeking at me sweetly through his bangs. I handed him the laptop and went to take a shower to refresh my mind and body.

When I emerged from the shower, I walked into my room to get a shirt only to find Zen spread out flat on his stomach on my bed, my laptop balanced on the pillows, his feet crossed midair and kicking the bed every so often. He looked up when I entered, and exclaimed excitedly:

"Oh my God, Ethikins, you'll never ever guess what I found!"

"The recipe you told me you needed the internet to find?" I asked sarcastically.

"Oh no, I remembered I had it scribbled down somewhere," Zen said dismissively, once again completely ignoring the sarcasm. "No, I found the best ever thing on Youtube! Come have a look!"

Reluctantly, slinging my towel around my neck, and went to sit on the edge of my bed and looked at the screen over Zen's shoulder. A Youtube page was open, and he clicked lay on the video.

I frowned.

The video seemed to have been taken from a mobile, and though the hand holding it must have been a little shaky, the quality was quite good. It was the inside of the bus, filming a heated and heart-wrenching argument between a swarthy-looking young man and a pretty, hysteric girl. She was yelling, her voice tinny because of the poor quality recording:

"What can you do to hurt me that you haven't already done, Albert?"

"What the fuck?"

"I know! Apparently some chick recorded our little conversation on her mobile and she's just put it on Youtube! How much do you want to bet that tomorrow Youtube will be flooded with our pretty little drama?"

Zen looked up at me with a dazzling, ecstatic smile.

"We're going to be stars of the Youtubedom!"

I asked myself: was there actually any end to how stupid, childish and annoying this kid could be? I rapidly reminded myself that I was supposed to be the calm, reasonable one in the whole thing and said:

"Whatever. Get off my bed."

"But I love your bed! It's comfy! Oh, Ethikins, can I sleep here tonight!"

I stared at Zen.

"In my bed?"

"Yeah, in your nice, cute, comfy bed! I'll even tell you a story before we fall asleep and then we can share your pillows and—"


"Please! Come on! Ethikins! Please!"


"Please pretty please with sushi on top!"


"But, Ethikins, we're soulmates! We're supposed to share each other's bed and pillows and plushies and—"

"Listen. Open your ears wide and listen attentively and hold it for said: I. Am. Not. Gay."

Zen stared.

"What has being gay got to do with it?"

I sighed.

"We can't be soulmates if I'm not gay," I explained.

Zen gave me a look that suggested that I'd just admitted to being an alien from outer space seeking to rape every gerbil on Earth. He closed my laptop and sat up so that we sat more or less facing each other. He took my hands and said, very calmly:

"Ethan. My son. Love and soulmates are not about being gay. They're not about being gay, or straight, or being asexual, or being mad or being a tomato or a horse. You could be the world's most cold-fish-like asexual in the world and yet still be deeply connected to your soulmate. Love is not all about sex, Ethan, you know. It's about so many things: it's abut holding each other's hands and enjoying each other's companies and understanding each other and staying by each other whatever happens and forgiving each other and—"

"Yeah, whatever." I shook Zen's hand off mine and stood up. "You're not sleeping in my bed and that's that. Now go get into your pyjamas. If you're a good boy I'll play chess with you and then we'll watch anything you want."

Bribery seemed to be the only thing that worked with Zen, so I would ruthlessly use it to get whatever I wanted. Zen walked right into my subtle trap and threw himself in my arms, hugging me hard and ruffling my hair and squealing:

"Yaye thank you Ethikins I promise I'll be mega super shiny-nice and I'll be quiet as a mouse and I'll even make you coffee, okay?"


I sighed with satisfaction as he bounced out, quietly closing the door behind him…I was definitely starting to get the hang of the whole controlling Zen thing.

Yep, Ethan is blind and stupid and he's fooling himself to the point where it's impossible, this guy has to be an utter MUSHROOM.

He is. But then again…we all blind ourselves, don't we?

Please please please review, each review is as a drop of water from a stream in paradise to the dry, dead garden hat is my writing.

There. Poetic or what? XD

Love you all to bits.