NOTE: takes place 2 years before Jay gets cancer and therefore meets any gargoyles.


For all those who have lost one of life's most precious gifts.... Know that it can be found again, though usually in the oddest places.



Loving someone means leaving yourself wide open to be hurt. Soul raped. Burned to- Past!- the bone, crucified, and hung out to dry like the old socks your dog has pretty much chewed to shreds.

What, you want me to be serious or something? How can you be serious when your heart is bleeding out of your soul? You're stuck, can either laugh or cry. Sure, I'm liable to do both, but why put down "sob, wail, my life sucks so much, moan" in a journal? If the shrink doesn't like it.....

Well, fuck him. Not my problem. It's the school that wants me in therapy, not me.

It's not like I'm crazy or anything.

I'm just different. I don't feel like they do. I'm not like them, period.

I've... always managed to fit in somewhere, wherever I am. Not the star, not the outcast, just... just there. I'm cool with that. Really. Throw me in a group, I can leave tolerated, if not totally accepted.

It just makes things lonely, after awhile. Never really get to totally connect with someone.

Ya know, shit like this reminds me of all the stupid worries adults have about kids watching TV. They spaz about us learning violence, how to use a handgun to commit the 8,000 murders we see by age 10 or some ridiculous statistic like that.

We pick up worse things. Geeks are outcast, but give them a makeover, and then when they're all pretty everyone realizes pretty and smart are good-

But ugly and smart still aren't worth shit. Jocks are cruel but misunderstood, and ignore the bullying long enough to connect, and you'll find a giant marshmallow inside that hulking slab of football tossing idiotic hormone.

And everybody but sometimes that pre-makeover geek has a Best Friend. Capitals intended. Needed, really. It's that important. You don't have a Best Friend, there must be something really wrong with you. It's a phrase thrown around all levels of elementary school, casual, careless....

Stupid, really. It's all about who you really like this week, who you want to get a favor out of, who you have to threaten with the worst possible scenario right now....

She used that a lot, probably at least once a week minimum. "I won't be your friend anymore!"

It always worked. I'd cave, play the game she wanted, go where she was looking, or just whatever. Friends, especially your Best Friend, aren't to be gambled on something a minor as personal preference or ideals.

Best Friend. Looking back, moving past the gaping wound....

I guess we really weren't. It hurts to say that. God, it hurts so damn much.

Friends.... Friends should be sacred. A friend should be someone where, if this big alien comes down and asks if you'd trust a person to hold onto your life, heart, soul, all that you are were and ever will be.... a friend should be someone who you wouldn't even hesitate to answer yes, you would trust them. Shouldn't matter how unreliable, random, clumsy, or insane they usually are, just the fact that you totally know without the faintest doubt that they will give all to keep you safe.

No questions. No hesitation. Just yes, right off the bat without even a thought.

I thought that about her. I'd have done anything for her. My Best Friend. Anything.

I'm stupid that way. I never saw, never guessed-

Or maybe I did, and just ignored it. Willfully blind. Choosing to be deaf out of stupid, juvenile need. To be normal, just like everyone else.

Not so horribly different that I didn't have a Best Friend- never mind even just a friend by my own definition.

I'm not that lonely by it. Like I said, I can fit in anywhere. It just means there isn't anyone... special. Close. Not sexual or anything. Just someone you can tell any and every secret, someone you're comfortable just hanging out with, doing nothing or just the same old thing you've done countless times before, and still be happy just because being with them is a good thing.

It's been awhile since anyone cared like that. I was just too damn stupid to realize.

It started back early as first grade. Kindergarten, she'd have to spend half the day at my place, since she had a working mom. It was almost like the old days, everything I remember and treasured. Except now she had new friends. It wasn't just her and me running between the houses and yards, Mom yelling at us for cutting through the bushes instead of going around or using the gate, we're just next door and a few extra seconds won't kill us, for crying out loud.

Them. Rose and Mary were the main culprits, with the occasional help of Anne the Blonde Bitch from Hell. Brats, all of them, always almost getting in trouble for stupid rebellious shit, except getting out of it by conning the teacher with sheer charisma.

I resented them then. Now....

Now, I absolutely hate them. I'm sure I'll get points off from the idiot who never got a psych degree yet somehow stays on as a school counselor, but like I said. I don't care. I do hate them. It's not like I'm gonna go out to get violent, but I'd definitely hesitate in throwing them a life preserver if they were drowning. I know in the end, it's not really all their fault. But I can't hate her.

She stabbed me in the back, twisting the entire way, but in the end....

I still love her. I would have given my life if it was needed. Best Friends do stupid shit like that. Or are supposed to, at least. It all goes back to the TV stereotypes, really. That one person who is the indirect center of your world.

I guess I got too secure to consider it had changed. We still got together every now and then. Same old games. I just didn't realize how much I was the one she was with just because it was convenient. Not until the Bitch Triplets shattered reality.

Started with a phone call, seeing if she was there. The shocked hesitation before my no was probably a pretty good clue about the truth. I just never thought even they would be so... rude... inconsiderate... gutsy... what's it, brazen, I think... as to come and knock on my door. And ask to see her. To join in on what had been one of our now rare days hanging out.

Then IT went down. I've known Rose lives across from the school for years. When she invited Her over to check a game out, I knew all I had to do was let Mom know, and we'd be there.

"No, you've been sick lately. You shouldn't risk getting worse. As long a walk as that, it wouldn't be good for you."

I've walked to school every single fucking day I can recall since they didn't require us to cram into that hellhole called a bus. She knows that.

She brushed me off. In just one second, all there clear as day. I'd been playing puppy dog for... 6 years, held for convenience until I wasn't cool enough to be tolerated anymore.

I wasn't even just there anymore.

It's... funny, almost. How you can be hurt so badly you can't even cry. Just numb. All shock. Able to lie, to pretend that the awful, bitterly cruel truth is peachy fucking keen with you. Just long enough to turn around, walk in and close the door, then run to your room.

Then the tears come. And you bleed. Your heart drains away, because the one person you would have given anything didn't even bother to ask you to fuck off. She just flicked you away. Some sort of booger on her life that needs to be removed to be socially acceptable.

It makes you wonder what you did wrong. How you weren't enough of a friend.

How you could fail so horribly. Weren't there enough, didn't try hard enough to fit in, didn't maintain enough individuality, didn't give enough, didn't help enough, didn't back off often enough....

The list goes on forever. Too little, too late. Too much to wonder and angst about. Because you'll never know. The most you can do is try to gracefully give in. Back off, drop out of her life. Pretend that seeing her and the Bitches together doesn't rip out your soul all over again and clog dance all over it in combat boots with cleats.

Pretend she doesn't make you cry still, when you think about all that she's done... and that you still can't hate her for it. That in a way, you still love her. She might actually be the world's biggest and most evil bitch, but that doesn't matter, because you love her.

Love doesn't die. It can't. It changes, moves, but never really goes away. Like a cockroach. You'll always have scars from it, if you ever recover from the festering wound. There's always a part of that other person staining your soul, all that you say and do and think and feel. There'll always be ghosts of what ifs and could have beens haunting you.

I think that's why I get so obsessive about helping those that I do consider friends... or almost friends, or whatever. Push them. Help them. Friends come first, last, always, above anyone else. I.... I guess I try to make sure I have an impact on someone's life, preferably for the better. To make them remember that I am here, that I am- or want to be- a good friend. I know it shouldn't be defined by Favors or material gifts, but I don't know how else to be. The other way didn't work. She left. I didn't leave a mark on her life, so she could just drop me like litter.

Gone. Nothing left to show what we did have, except for bitter memories.

It's not like I'm little miss altruist, or whatever. I do put me as a very high priority- according to my last boyfriend, too high, but he's a prick who just wanted an easy fuck, so whatever.

But I do put them right up there at the top. I have to. I have to leave a mark on someone's life. I don't want to spend my life as a little no one who never did anything, never affected anyone. If you help someone up, they have to remember you. It might only be in the dark of night, when they're all alone, but they will remember it was you that helped them get there.

Memories are so very important. It means you touched someone in their soul, their mind. Their life is the way it is because of you.

And maybe, just maybe..... If you do enough, push enough, help enough, are always there and always willing to give.....

Maybe they won't go away.

Maybe they won't hurt you, shun you because you lacked just once or twice.

Maybe they'll stay, and make you laugh, just because they can.

Maybe they won't make you bleed.

Maybe they won't make you cry.

Many thanks to Benjamin, for asking the ever important "Why", and MC for letting me know it wasn't all just me and my issues. And in a pathetic, idiotic way, thank you to the one who the Best Friend is based upon: for better or for worse, I am who I am because of you and what you did.

Um... I believe all of this is mine. Neuroses included.

Let me out of here!!!! A.K.A. Home

I wanna go back. To see more garg fic.

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