A/N: Tuh-duh! Hopes the length of this update compensates for the length of the previous one.


And now….

Fate's Fools


At the time, shutting the door on his sheepish grin seemed like a tremendously good idea. Just seeing him had caused the whole kiss incident to play in my mind, and since it was what I'd been avoiding to do for more than a month, I wasn't going to let that idiot ruin it all. I didn't tell anyone about him, and spent the next month or so trying to persuade my memory that the whole incident was a one-off and that I promised I would never ever think of the kiss again and please let the deal not be off! I had almost reached my peaceful balance of not thinking-not remembering when fate decided to play yet another dirty trick on me.

It happened on a Sunday, and it had been, quite predictably, El's fault.

'You are coming with me! I don't care what you say, there is no question of you staying here wallowing in anime and popcorn while the world is full of pretty boys for you to glomp!'

My protest was cut off when she yanked my old, bleach-stained, paint-splattered and much-used Rock Is My Brand Of Cocaine shirt over my head, leaving me standing in the middle of the room bare-chested, shivering and stuttering angrily.

'You—' I tried again, but this time she shoved a black shirt over my head, manhandling me into putting it on. It was thin, clung to me in a horrible way and had a roller neck. It looked—

'Perfect!' El said with an obscene amount self-satisfaction.

'El—stop it! What are you doing? Take it off! I'm not going, dammit!'

Ignoring me, she picked up another shirt and forced me to put it on over the clingy black shirt. It was my beautiful, precious The Black Parade t-shirt, and I was damned if I was going to damage it by trying to tearing it off, so I kept it.

'El—I'm not—damn you! I'm not coming, okay?' I protested.

She threw a pair of jeans at my face and said:

'Put it on, otherwise I swear I will knock you unconscious and do it myself!'

She looked frighteningly serious, so I complied, protesting all the while. The jeans were black and tight, and ripped in too many places, and I realised as I hitched it up over my hips that it was a girl's pants.

'It's a girl's pants!' I yelled furiously at El.

'No shit, Sherlock: all my jeans are girls' jeans, you jerk! And since when has wearing girls' clothes bothered you, rainbow boy?' she retorted coldly.

'I do not wear girls' clothes!' I protested indignantly, glaring at her.

'Um…hello? The blue pyjamas? The cute woollen hat? The mittens? The boots?' she enumerated cruelly, dragging my head towards her and brutally drawing lines of kohl underneath my eyes.

'Argh stop it! People will think I'm gay!' I yelled, not daring to pull away for fear that she might poke my eyes out with her kohl stick.

'You are gay, honey,' she replied smoothly, finishing my second eye and then smearing the lines with her fingertips.

'Fuck you!'

'No thanks. You know you'd rather fuck a cute boy with cat ears…'

'What the—'

She passed her pink hairbrush through my hair, and then mussed it all up (which seemed pointless to me.)

'Yeah, like I don't know you watch shonen-ai at every opportunity when you're alone!'

'I do not watch shonen-ai!' I protested, hoping the burning sensation in my cheeks wasn't a blush.

'You're blushing. And no straight boy actually knows the meaning of 'shonen-ai'. Your knowledge of what it is betrays your passion for it.'

She threw my pair of cowboy boots at me. No, they weren't girls' boots!…Well, okay, but it was an accident. I hadn't realised they were women's boots!

'Now put these on and get your coat, we're off. Go on making a fuss and I will tell everyone I know about the copies of Loveless between your pillows.'

I shut my mouth pronto, and decided to obey, cursing her, and cursing my choice of hiding places.

An hour later, we were standing on the threshold of a crowded and brightly lit house. I was looking excessively gay in my black shirts, girl's pants, black leather cowboy boots, crimson woollen cap and punk-grandfather leather jacket, and El was looking excessively glamorous in her gothic Lolita pink and black attire. Inside, people dressed in the most random and varied styles ran around, laughed, danced and drank, noisily circulating through the corridors and passing glasses and bottles along. I noticed that random couples would slink up the stairs from time to time, and, guessing that they were heading for the quiet places, I followed one of them, willing to do anything rather than stand beside El, who was introducing me to all her friends and kept giving heavy hints so as to my alleged homosexuality.

'I'm not gay, damnit,' I muttered as I opened doors along the upstairs corridor, looking for an empty room. The last one across the landing was a large, entirely dark room. The double bed in the middle was covered with a pile of coats, and all was quiet, so I discreetly slipped in, shutting the door soundlessly behind me.

Slumping on the bed over the pile of coats, I let out a long sigh, enjoying the silence. Vague echoes of the music downstairs could still be heard, but everything was deliciously muffled. I sighed again, this time in contentment. Then what looked vaguely like a hand holding what looked suspiciously like a joint between its fingers appeared in my field of vision, and a voice slurred:

'I think you should have a try…'

Mutely, I took the joint, and put it to my lips. It was slightly moist, so I guessed my companion must already have you used it, but I didn't care. Here, in the darkness and calm, it seemed like a good idea. We stayed like this for some time, passing the joint between us, gazing lazily up at the pale smoke dancing and wreathing in the dark. I felt myself relax and all the stress and annoyance went, leaving me feeling at peace with myself ad the world.

Dazed, mind fuzzy with vague happiness, I didn't realize when the joint had run out. I lay with a beatific grin on my face. My companion, whose face, features or even form I couldn't make out in the dark, rolled over the coats and scarves on the bed, body settling against mine. I wondered whether he was a she or a he, or whether she was a he or a she…I let out a vague giggle, the confused thoughts delighting me, and felt an arm being thrown across my chest. A head lay down over my shoulder, silky hair tickling my cheek, and I sighed in contentment, feeling warm and not really minding that the boniness of the chest which now lay half over mine betrayed a rather obvious lack of bosom. So she was definitely a he…but he was warm, and even though he was lean and skinny, the feel of the bony arm and chest against me wasn't a bad feeling, so I let him settle against me. He mumbled something vague that I did not catch, so I mumbled back something just as vague and closed my stinging eyes.

I woke up what seemed like a mere five minutes later, pale morning light tugging at my eyelids, a warm body tucked in my arms. Confused, wondering where the hell I was and what had happened, I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw as I did was a head full of bright crimson hair tucked beneath my chin. I froze, and then, catching up with the shock, I shoved the sleeping body away from me with enough force to send it crashing to the floor.

I sat up, breathing hard and glaring down at the head which popped up from above the bed and pile of coats, blinking blearily and looking sweetly confused.

'Oh,' he mumbled, when he saw me. 'You're the cute boy I kissed in the market.'

'And you're the freak that kissed me in the market! What the hell? Are you stalking me?'

'Why did you shut the door in my face the other day?' he asked, ignoring my question.

'Why the hell did you kiss me?' I asked, ignoring his question.

'I'm Art. What's your name?' he said sweetly, hauling himself onto the bed beside me.

He was dressed in baggy dark jeans, the great gaping ripped holes showing what looked like bright crimson tights underneath, a tight black silk shirt that was unbuttoned halfway down his chest, revealing the pale, hairless skin stretching over the bones, black leather cord necklaces hanging silver charms and feathers over his throat.

'Damn you! I asked a question!'

'So did I,' the redhead said, smiling agreeably. 'So let's do it in a civilized way. A question for a question. I start. What's your name?'

'Jared. Why did you kiss me?'

'Because you looked cute. Why did you shut the door on me?'

'Because I didn't want to remember about you kissing me. Are you stalking me?'

'No. Are you gay?'

'No! Are you?'

'Probably. Did you like the kiss?'

'No! Did you know it was me when I came in here yesterday?'

'No. Are you in denial?'

'No! What the hell kind of a question is that?'

'I don't know, but you pretty much wasted a question right there.'

'I don't care. I'm going.'

'Aw, don't go! You should realise that it's kind of a little frustrating for me, to have you repeatedly thrown at me and then taken away.'

'I haven't been thrown at you, you weirdo! And I am going. Goodbye. I hope never to see you ever again.'

A/N: Yeah, Jared is an evil jerk, I know, but the poor guy is confused! I feel kinda sorry for him. Anyhoo, hope you enjoyed. Now please, I beg you: reviiiiew! I'm on my knees. I'm begging you! And thanks a million times to Hegge and suicide girls and death boys. You two RAWK my WAWRLD