Chapter Nine: -River

Sunday September 11

I had no clue as to where we were or where we were going. RJ had decided two days ago that he needed to find himself- apparently he was lost. So he spent a good couple hours convincing us to go with him. Lie was the first to cave and once Lie caved it was only a matter of time before we all did.

We piled into various cars and drove until we came to a random kid's park that was incased with trees. We unpacked the cars and left them to wander through the trees; RJ referred it as a forest but I refused and called them trees. I carried a backpack with food and B carried some tents. RJ and Breezy carried bags of our clothes and Gin was given the map; since his arm was broken. I watched B and Gin lead the group walking at a slow pace as Lie and RJ raced past me.

I flinched a bit when someone threw their arm over my shoulder. "River, why so quiet?" Dbs asked as I looked over at the skinny boy. "You, sober?"

"Sorta." I answered shrugging my shoulder which made Dbs' arm drop. "Just tried I guess."

Dbs looked at me for a second before shaking his head from whatever thought he had and ran to catch up with Breezy who was eating a brownie. "Breezy, is that a weed brownie?"

I smiled at the sight as Crazy fell into step beside me. "Riv, what's up?" I looked over at my best friend to see her smiling after her boyfriend.

"Nothing," I said making Crazy look over at me. "Shouldn't I be asking you that?" I asked with a cheeky smile and a raised eyebrow.

Crazy blushed smiling over at me when I started to hop in excitement. "I'm fine. No point in trying to hide from my bestie, eh Riv?"

I schooled my face into a scowl trying to hold back giggles. "You really should know better than that." I replied as we stopped walking and I turned to face her crossing my arms in front of me. We stood staring blankly at each other for a few seconds before I cracked and broke into a smile. I pulled the taller teen into a hug as she giggled.

"Aww, its good news." Backing away from the hug I pulled lightly on the gold chain around Crazy's neck. I pulled the chain from Crazy's shirt, smiling at the sight of the silver ring on the end. "When did he propose?" I asked marveling at Dbs' unusually good sense in jewelry.

"He didn't." Crazy mumbled rubbing her arm nervously as she avoided looking at me. "It's a promise ring. He gave to me on my birthday … during one of his lucid moments." I pulled away from Crazy dropping her ring in favour of holding her hand. We followed after our loud group who were tripping on just about everything.

"Aww, you guys are so cute. You have a date in mind?" I asked swinging our hands.

"Well I was thinking after March or when Dbs gets sober." Crazy said smiling wistfully as she swung our hands.

"I'm guessing he doesn't know." I stated knowing how Dbs could be.

"He's not sober enough to remember where we are half the time." I frowned as Crazy's smile turned sour.

"Enough of this," I muttered waving my hands in the air; like I was pushing Crazy's trouble away. "What about Lie?" Crazy looked at me in confusion and I rolled my eyes. "Don't tell me you didn't know she was ….?"

"Oh!" Crazy jumped like she was jolted from a dream. "Oh, no, I knew I just thought we did a better job at hiding it." Crazy said shrugging her shoulders as she smiled.

"She didn't gain much weight but she's been sober for a while and I just figured you were just support."

"You're a smart boy, River."

I stuck my tongue out at Crazy as she patted my head. I noticed the lack of noise from our group as Crazy said, "We must walk slow."

"So we better hurry up." I answered before pulling Crazy's hand, "Come on!"

Crazy and I tore through the trees. We jumped over roots and rocks and dodged branches as the wind blew in our face and ruffled our hair, the bag bouncing on my back. Crazy giggled and I laugh; I hadn't felt so good (without drugs) forever. And this felt nice. We dodged another branch not seeing a root we tripped; which sent us falling into a clearing. I ended up on my back with Crazy sprawled across me; lucky the bag softened my landing. We lay there for a while catching our breath as we laughed. Crazy pushed away from me until she was leaning over me, her legs on either side of my lap.

She laughed looking at me as her dark hair fell to frame her face. The sun shone behind her creating a halo above her. I lifted a hand to brush some of her long hair behind her ear. The wide smile on Crazy's face softened and she leaned down to hug me.

I hugged her back trying to comfort her. "It'll be alright." She muttered as I ran a hand through her hair. She pulled her head from my shoulder and I saw she was nearly in tears. I sat up taking Crazy with me as I cradled her close to me. "It has to get better, River." I nodded as I tried to sooth the crying girl.

"River? Crazy? How did we lose the loudest people in our group?" I heard Gin say as the sound of twigs breaking and the crunch of leaves grew closer.

"I can't believe I lost my girlfriend." Dbs said sounding near hysterical.

"Guys!" I called as Crazy's hand tightened around me, "We're over here! Fucking dumbasses."

I heard hurried footsteps and wasn't surprised that Dbs was the first one into the clearing. He paused when he saw us and B and Gin nearly ran into him.

"Why are you holding my girl?" The fear drained so quickly from Dbs' face and voice; it was like it wasn't even there. The anger was so absolute.

I barely even paused before lying (though there was truth in it), "She had a bad trip." I said smiling when I heard Crazy giggle. "You guys set up. Just give us a second." The rest of the group entered the clearing as I jerked my head to the empty area behind me. Everyone moved towards it, Gin dragging the reluctant Dbs and B with him. I shrugged my bag off passing it to RJ as he passed and smiling at Lie.

I looked down at Crazy- who was gazing at where the group just was. "Hey," I called softly bringing her attention back to, "It'll all be fine, Crazy. We aren't that stupid."

Crazy smirked up at me, "Sometimes I doubt that." I gaped at her in mock horror. Crazy giggled and I smiled. I kissed the top of Crazy's head before shifting her so we could both stand. Once we were standing I received another hug before Crazy went to be with her boyfriend; her normal smile was back in place and her loud voice calling to Dbs echoed through the clearing.

I sighed stuffing my hands into the pockets of my jeans. My fingers touched the cold metal of my lighter and I wished I had some weed or even a cigarette to ward of my growing headache. And like B was psychic he was beside me his hand warm on my back as he lead me back into the trees.

"Come on, River. We are on firewood duty." B said and I nearly mention the fact that it was noon when he pulled cigarettes from his jacket pocket.

"Thank god." I mumbled letting B guide me into the trees.

We were sitting on a fallen tree the weed cigarettes finished and a pile of firewood sitting in front of us. I took a drag from my normal cigarette, feeling relaxed as I leaned against B. "You're my best friend." I mumbled to him my eyes starting to droop as the weed dragged my body down.

"What, I thought that title went to Crazy?" B asked. I frowned knowing the smug bastard was smiling.

"If you don't want the title of being my friend, you don't have to have it." I muttered shifting as I dropped my cigarette. I put it out under my toe as I crossed my arm over my chest and closed my eyes.

"No, no. I do want the title and your friendship. Just checking is all."

I sighed knowing any other time B wouldn't be getting away with this. I'd probably threaten to kill him by now. "Crazy is my bestie. You're like my second bestie or my best guy friend; if you wanna do it that way."

"Aww, thank you. You're my second best friend too, after Gin of course."

There was a long pause the only sound was a gentle breeze moving through the trees. I started to drift into a dreamless sleep when B started talking again.

"So, you have any feelings for Crazy?" B asked.

I sighed again; trying to sleep was obviously fruitless. I leaned away from B yawning as I pulled myself from the tree. I stretched scratching my head before bending to pick up some firewood. "Of course I have feelings for Crazy." I turned in time to see B flick away his virtually burnt out cigarette. "Crazy's like a sister to me and I adore her and love her like one." I continued as B picked up the rest of the firewood.

B nodded at me letting me lead the way back to the clearing. I sang softly under my breath to myself, "We be falling to quickly. We be tripping to fast. We be tripping, we be falling. I don't think we'll last."

"That's nice." B said from beside me and I nearly jumped. "I haven't heard it before, who made it?"

I blushed speeding up as the clearing grew closer. I entered the clearing to see the guys sitting in a circle as Crazy spun in the middle- moving to the beat that was being clapped out. Crazy was laughing as she paused in her dancing (though it was more like spinning with scarves). "River!" she cried racing towards me. I dropped the wood on reflex, steadying Crazy.

"You drunk, Crazy?" I asked peering into Crazy's hazy brown eyes.

"Better question is why aren't you?" Crazy asked as she stumbled away from me. "Bu no me and Breezy got matching thongs." Crazy said her words slurring together as she feel onto Breezy. Breezy laughed as he fell backwards.

"You guys have matching thongs?" I asked loudly over the laughing group as a smile twitched onto my face. Crazy struggled from Breezy's lap and when she was finally standing she turned to look at me.

"No, no you dumb ass- matching bongs. With a B." Crazy cried as I moved into the circle. I lifted my hand with my index finger out. Crazy noticed this and back away screaming, "No, River! Don't fucking poke me!"

I followed after her smiling wickedly at our game of cat and mouse. Suddenly Crazy was falling and her arms flailed grabbing me and taking me down with her. We landed on the ground with a soft thud. Crazy groaned from under me and I lifted my head to look at her.

"I was always better at topping." I said grinning as Crazy burst into giggles.

"Tripping and falling cause standing's too hard." Crazy said in between her giggles.