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1) sick sick sick
Troy’s not the one that’s supposed to be sick. Curt should be sick. Curt’s always the sick one. But Curt and Dayle are watching tv together, and Troy’s laying in bed waiting for his stupid body to stop working against him, like it always does. First the weight thing, and now this. Life sucks.

He can’t stop sweating. Even when he was cold earlier he was sweating. But now he just feels hot. Troy kicks the blankets off, which makes him feel not one whit cooler. When dad gets home he’ll tell him when it’s okay to take more meds. Until then he’ll just wait to die.

That’s when Curt comes in. “You want anything?”

“Come here.”

Curt comes close enough that Troy can grab his hand. Curt’s not sweaty. He’s cool. Troy yanks him down a little further so he can put his whole cold arm against his face. Curt lets him. It feels nice. Curt’s really nice. Troy lurches up until he can kiss him right on the lips. “You’re nice. And cold. And pretty.”

Curt nods his head. His pretty, shaggy hair flops around. “Pretty sure you’re delirious, man. But in case you remember this later, it’s up to you to make it weird. Because I don’t mind being kissed by boys.”

2) blink blink blink
“I don’t know how you talked me into this.” It’s a stupid thing to say. Troy knows exactly how Curt did it. He’s just running out of smart things to say. He’s been awake for entirely too long. This all seemed like a great adventure a week ago when Curt suggested it. Troy’s never been a big enough fan of anything to camp in a line for it. But Curt got him excited about it, and before he knew it he was asking Dad if they owned any lawn chairs.

Curt doesn’t look up from the pattern he’s scratching into his coffee cup with the point of a key. “You’re fine.”

“I’ve been awake for thirty six hours.”

“You could have slept.”

Troy shuts up. He can’t complain about how hard it is to sleep in a cushy sleeping bag on the sidewalk, not when Curt slept in the park the last time they fought. Instead he slouches a little, belly rolling over itself, so he can kiss Curt’s neck.

“In an hour and a half tickets go on sale, and we’re only seventh in line. Even after scalper assholes we should be fine.”

“Yeah. I’m just so tired.” Honestly, he’s not even sure that’s true anymore. His eyes feel like fire, and he can’t remember the last time he blinked. His body’s started to quiver with no discernible reason he can figure out. Troy’s pretty sure if he tried to sleep now he’d just stare at the ceiling and shake.

“You know what would wake you up? A handjob.”

Troy bursts into laughter. It trickles off when Curt’s braying doesn’t join it. “We’re sitting on a public sidewalk!”

“Unzip the side of your sleeping bag but keep the flap over your junk. Or don’t you want a pick me up?”

“Well, when you put it like that...”

3)trip trip trip
“Take Robitussin with me?”

“I thought you were over that.” Troy frowns. They’ve worked hard since the hospital incident to make sure medications aren’t misused around Curt.

“Yeah. I am, like ninety eight percent. But it’s how I’d always get kicked out of Mike’s house. We’d robotrip, and his mom would find him with sticky lips.”

Troy frowns harder. “You’re not getting kicked out. My dad wouldn’t do that. And Dayle wouldn’t let him.”

Curt shrugs. “So you say. But you leave in a week and I wanna robotrip with you before you go.”

Troy hates that he’s leaving. Hates that it’s so clearly an end, when neither of them want it to be. He can do this one thing for Curt. They walk over to the corner store and pick up two bottles. Apparently it’s the kind without acetaminophen or guaifenesin. Not that Troy even knows what that means. Curt says it’s important though, so Troy guesses it is. They crack the bottles right outside the store, because Curt says it takes a while to come up. It’s hard to chug, thick going down his throat. Once he’s swallowed until Curt says stop, they throw the bottles into a bush. It’s littering, yeah, but it’s better than leaving the evidence in the kitchen garbage.

“It’s by weight. You probably won’t get as messed up as I will. On the other hand, I have a tolerance. Or I used to. Might not anymore. But if you’re lucky you’ll get an out of body experience.”

Half an hour later Troy grabs Curt by the dick and the shoulder blade and pulls him in. Every time he closes his eyes the colours of the room go weird and pixelated, like he’s in an old Mario video game. If he’s going to go down a pipe he wants his boyfriend with him.

4) drift drift drift
Troy’s night clothes don’t look that much different than his day clothes. Bland tan pants are still the only thing that fits. Sleeping naked is so much more comfortable, but Troy doubts his dorm mate would like that. Oh well. He’ll go to sleep imagining what a solo room could be like. Next year he’ll get one, unless by then he’s managed to convince Dad that he doesn’t have to do university. Unlikely, considering he lost that argument about forty million times in senior year, but it never hurts to beat a dead horse.

About two blinks from being out cold, someone knocks on the door.

“You made friends already?” Troy slurs. He knew Victor was pledging, but really. They’ve been on campus less than a day. Fuckin’ skinny popular people.

Victor gets up while Troy heaves himself onto his side. With one ear buried in the pillow the noise should be halved. Hopefully he can sleep through it. He’s not pledging, he doesn’t have to stand at attention or impress anyone. Next thing he knows he’s being leaped on.

“Pining yet?”

It’s Curt who’s jamming his way under the blankets and the answer is most assuredly yes. “Uh huh,” is what comes out.

“Who the hell is this?” Victor demands, half freaked out.

“Boyfren’” Troy mumbles. He’s all of a sudden even sleepier. Before it was just miserable exhaustion. Now he’s feeling actually restful. “Kiss me ‘til I fall ‘sleep.” It won’t be long, but who know how long Curt’s staying? Troy thought he’d never see him again. He’s not wasting a second, even if he can’t open his eyes.

5)rock rock rock
Troy’s so happy he could puke. When Curt moved here he assumed with typical fat kid self-esteem that it would be a matter of weeks until Cut got bored and went back home. After all, the things Troy provides are orgasms, a solid drum line, and the ability to live in the real, vulnerable moment. All three are available in better quality at home. But Curt didn’t leave. Instead he’s washing dishes and he’s got a room.

More importantly, he started to develop contacts, the way he’s good at and Troy could never do in a million years. It’s their first gig out of New York state. They’re in a minuscule backstage room in a venue that can fit hundreds, because Curt is just that good.

Troy figures it’s worth saying out loud. “I fuckin’ love you. I’m so happy I could puke.”

“Save it for the stage. It worked last time for Rage/Tectonic.” But Curt’s grinning too. Troy knows he’s just as euphoric as he is.

“So what should I do now then?”

Curt leers. “I’ve got an idea, and it’s not air drumming timpani rolls.”

In about three second flat Troy’s crossed the room and he’s got one meaty hand down the back of Curt’s gross encrusted jeans. He’s just so fuckin’ primed. It took a decade of shit, but life is so fucking good.