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the future is bulletproof

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“Kobra, get look at this,” Poison stuck his gun into his back pocket as he urged the other over.

Kobra walked across the street from the diner, desert sand crunching under his boots. “What is it this time, Poison?”

“Look at this,” he replied, nudging a gun and a box of ammo on the ground with his foot. “Who do you think it belongs to?”

Kobra nodded at the items and then crossed his arms. “We should tell the others.” He started to turn around.

“No, no, no, we could use this,” Poison picked the box of ammo up and dropped it into his bag. He slid the gun over. “Take the gun. Didn't the Dracs get your good one?”

“I couldn't,” Kobra's eyes widened, “I—”

“This one's better,” Poison interrupted, bending down and throwing the gun up in the air.

Kobra caught it just in time.

“Made in Battery City,” he continued, “only the rich people can afford this.”

“We're not rich,” Kobra said, holding the gun in his hands like it was a bomb that could explode any second, “this could belong to someone important.”

“Now it belongs to you,” Poison stepped closer to Kobra, closing Kobra's fingers over the gun. He took his sunglasses off so he could look him right in the eye. “Mikey.”

Kobra shivered at the use of his real name. Poison had told them to never use their real names unless it was important or a life-or-death situation.

“Take the gun.”

Kobra swallowed. He shoved the gun into his back pocket, biting his bottom lip. “I don't think this is a good idea—”

“Save it, Kobra,” Poison grinned at him, “you'll thank me later.”

Kobra Kid stared blankly at his brother before shaking his head and stalking back inside the diner. “Power Pup,” he observed.

Ghoul grinned, the canned food stuck in his teeth. “Hell yeah.”

“Gross,” Kobra muttered under his breath, taking a seat next to Jet. “What you up to, Star?”

“Dracs,” he said, monotone, “there's more of 'em.”

Ghoul spit the Power Pup right back into the can, the fork clattering on the table. A punk girl with bright green hair glared at him in disgust, to which Ghoul blinked at before turning back to Jet.

“More? Where?”

“A hundred miles back,” Jet replied, rubbing his temples, “but they’ll be here before tomorrow evening.”

Kobra had always been amazed at how Jet just knew when the Dracs would be coming. He had this, like, super sense or something. “So what should we do?”

“Leave town, obviously,” Ghoul replied, pushing the Power Pup to the side, “find a place to crash.”

“Yeah,” Jet yanked on his jacket sleeves to even them out, “hey where’s Poison?”

“I’m here,” Poison said from behind Jet. He was biting into an apple… what the fuck?

Ghoul’s eyes widened. “Holy shit, how much did you pay for that?”

“Did someone a favor,” Poison smiled devilishly. He took a huge bite of the apple before throwing it at Ghoul, who caught it with one hand.

Ghoul scowled at him. “What kind of favor?”

Poison just smiled.

Ghoul rolled his eyes before eating a large chunk of the apple. “God, I fucking missed these. I haven’t seen an apple in years.” He passed to Kobra, who took a bite, and then passed it to Jet.

“Nah, man,” Jet shook his head, “I’m full on Power Pup.”

“If  you say so,” Poison snatched the apple from Jet and chewed it down to the core. He threw the core into the trash behind him. “Jet, you said we’re leaving tomorrow morning?”

Jet nodded. “If we want to stay away from anymore Dracs.”

“Perfect,” Poison said, “we’ll set up camp behind the diner. Make sure you guys clean yourselves up here while there’s resources.”

By resources, Poison meant any lost things people tended to drop running away from the Dracs or just running away in general. They usually came to diners to collect themselves—to make sense of what they were doing. They often forgot things— little things like an old granola bar from 2010 or even a small handgun.

Kobra thought of the gun he and Poison had found out front. The gun suddenly felt very heavy in his back pocket. He shrugged, shoving the gun deeper into his pocket and standing up. “I’ll do a quick sweep around the perimeter.”

“Got it,” Poison gave him a thumbs up. “I’ll assign us things and then we’ll split up.” Poison pointed to Ghoul, “Ghoul—try to get as many Power Pup cans as possible out of the machine,” if you twisted the knob enough on the Power Pup Machine, you could end up getting at least ten cans for free, “Jet—keep watch and tell me if you hear anything weird. Also make sure all our backup guns are loaded.”

Jet and Ghoul both nodded.

“I’m going to try and reason with her,” he pointed behind him at the woman who owned the diner, “and see if she can get us anything. Alright, let’s go.”

The others ran in opposite directions, leaving Kobra to head outside into the orange evening. He walked slowly around the perimeter of the diner, picking up unfired bullets and bundles of rope. Kobra had almost finished around halfway when someone yelled.

“Hey! You,” footsteps neared Kobra. He turned around. A black haired man faced Kobra, face covered in dirt, sweat and scratches. He wore a somewhat-ripped leather jacket, white shirt and black jeans. His clothes looked absolutely filthy.

“You took my fucking gun, asshole,” the guy punched Kobra in the jaw before tackling him to the ground and trying to punch him in the face again. Kobra pushed the man off, rubbing his stinging jaw.

“Jesus Christ, what the hell,” Kobra mumbled, rubbing the side of his face.

“Give me back my fucking gun,” the guy folded his arms, breathing deeply.

Kobra pulled the gun from before out of his back pocket. “This one?”

“Yeah! Give it back,” the guy demanded.

Kobra suddenly became angry at Poison. Fucking Poison. He should’ve known someone would go looking for this gun.  “I’m sorry,” he handed the gun to the guy and stepped back, “I just saw it on the ground, I didn’t know it belonged to someone.”

The guy turned bright red. “Why the hell would a gun like this just get lost? Do you know how expensive these are?”

“Yes,” Kobra replied, “then why did you leave it unattended?”

The guy flushed again. “I was at the diner. I… I was gonna go back.”

Kobra squinted at him. “Whatever.” He started to walk away.

“Wait!” the guy blurted out, “thanks, uh, for giving it back.”

“No problem,” Kobra continued to walk.

“Wait!” the guy shouted again.

Kobra sighed. “What?”

“What’s your name?”

Kobra stared at him blankly.

“What do they call you?” he asked.

Kobra considered this. “Kobra Kid.”

“You—” the guy’s eyes widened, “you’re a Killjoy.”

Kobra nodded, rubbing the back of his neck.

“What’s yours?”

“Huh?”

“Name. What’s your name?”

“Pete. Pete Wentz.”

“Where you going to, Pete?” Kobra asked, checking him out (not like that, goddamnit).

Pete shrugged. “I’m just running.”

“Away?”

“More like to. I’m trying to find my family,” Pete looked down at his shoes.

Kobra’s face softened. “Oh. Well good luck then.” He started to walk away.

“Kobra Kid’s not your real name, is it?” Pete called.

“Nope,” Kobra yelled back. He turned the corner and disappeared out of Pete’s sight.

ONE MONTH LATER

“Fuck,” Ghoul pressed the dirty rag over his leg, pressuring it down onto his wound.

Poison ripped open a bandage with his teeth. “Stop fucking talking,” he mumbled, packaging between his teeth.

“Ger—Poison, it fucking hurts,” Ghoul turned as bright as Poison’s hair when he realized his fuckup, “shit, I almost—”

“It’s fine, just don’t get into that habit,” Poison ripped the bandage in half, shoving Ghoul’s hand away from his wound. “Thank God it just grazed you. Almost shot a hole through your leg.” He wrapped the bandage tightly around his leg. “There. Don’t fuck it up again.”

Ghoul brushed himself off and stood up, trying not to put too much pressure on his injured leg. “Poison, you’re a fucking saint.”

“Yeah, well,” Poison grinned, patting Ghoul on the back.  They met Kobra and Jet by the car.

“There’s a supply store nearby,” Jet mentioned, filing more ammo into his gun, “you know, Power Pup, batteries possibly.”

Kobra ran a hand over his hair. Batteries were hard to find nowadays, so they had been resorting to regular guns instead of the ray guns that do much more damage. He was a little disappointed, but at least he had a gun. He also noticed the Dracs were fighting with that expensive gun that guy had—Pete, was it?

“Unlikely,” Poison cocked his gun, “the last price I saw for batteries was 300 Carbons.”

“Damn,” Ghoul muttered under his breath.

“We should still check it out,” Kobra piped up.

“I agree,” Jet nodded.

Kobra smiled. Whenever Jet agreed with someone, it was automatic that everyone would follow. He was the smartest member of their team.

“Alright,” Poison shrugged, tucking his gun into his back pocket. “Let’s go.”

They walked together into the supply store. When they entered, the punk boy with spiky pink hair at the cash register stared them down before finally saying something. “You’re the Killjoys.”

“That's us,” Poison said, “where do you keep your gun stuff?”

“Back there,” the boy pointed to the right, still amazed. “You guys really are the Killjoys! I hear about you on the radio all the time. I’m gonna call Sara, she’d freak!”

“Whatever, kid,” Ghoul waved him off, trotting behind Poison.

Poison went straight to where the batteries should be and of course— “No batteries.”

“Shit,” went Jet.

“Yeah,” Kobra added.

Ghoul bit his lip. “Well, fuck.”

Poison shook his head. “Whatever, let’s get anything else useful, some Power Pup and get the hell out of here.”

“Yeah,” Kobra agreed. “I’ll look for some stuff and meet you guys up front.” He stuck his hands in his front pockets and went down the aisles, looking for anything that could help them.

At first he thought it was just some shoes skidding across the tile, but Kobra heard someone was sniffling—crying. He craned his neck to try and figure out where it was coming from. Kobra found himself turning around and staring right down the hall where the bathrooms and supply rooms were. He strutted down the hall and opened a closet door, finding a guy with his knees pulled up to his chest and head down.

“Uh,” Kobra suddenly felt like he was intruding, “hi?”

The guy looked up, eyes red and splotchy and cheeks stained with tears. “Hey… K-Kobra Kid, right?”

“Oh, yeah,” Kobra studied him for a second before realizing who it was. He didn’t recognize him without all those scratches on his face. It was Pete. “You’re Pete.”

Pete forced a smile, hugging his knees closer to his chest. “You remembered my name.”

Kobra furrowed his eyebrows together. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Apparently you’re pretty well known around here,” Pete explained, “I sort of guessed you met a lot of people during your travelings.”

Kobra scoffed. “Hell no. Poison tells us to try and not make any friends.”

“Poison?” Pete asked.

“Party Poison? He’s, uh, kinda the leader, I guess,” Kobra shrugged, crouching down to Pete’s level.

Pete smiled weakly, wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his jacket—the same jacket he had been wearing when Kobra had met him a month ago. “I guess I’m an exception, then.”

Kobra smiled back. He then got serious, running a hand through his own hair. “Why were you crying, Pete?”

Pete shook his head. “It’s nothing,” His face got red. “I don’t even know you.”

Kobra blinked, taken aback. “I’m sorry. I just—”

“My family’s dead,” Pete blurted out. “they’re dead. I went to find them and all I found were fucking corpses.”

Kobra’s hand instinctively went to his mouth. He felt a pit in his stomach and he didn’t even know the guy. “Fuck, Pete, I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Pete sniffled, wiping a hand over his face, “it’s been over a day. I’m pretty sure my body has stopped producing tears by now.”

Kobra slowly drew his hand out and cupped Pete’s jaw with his hand. “Listen—I know how you feel. Ger—Poison and I—our parents were shot in front of us, a couple years ago.”

Pete nodded, swallowing hard. “Well, I- I got to my parents’ house, unlocked the door and immediately, I sensed the smell of rotting flesh so that’s when I knew.”

“Where have you been staying?” Kobra asked, his hand still on Pete’s jaw.

Pete sat cross-legged and looked right into Kobra’s eyes. “Nowhere. I haven’t slept at all. I went into the store a few hours ago and the kid with pink hair doesn’t know I’m still here.”

“You should sleep,” Kobra mumbled, rubbing a thumb over Pete’s cheekbone, “it’ll get better, it always does.”

Pete’s eyes darted from Kobra’s eyes to his lips. “I—”

Kobra leaned forward, capturing the other’s lips in a soft kiss. Pete’s eyes widened before melting into the kiss and placing an arm around Kobra’s neck and drawing him closer. Kobra jumped at the contact and pulled away, shaking his head.

“Fuck, I shouldn’t have done that,” Kobra turned pale, “oh God, Poison’s gonna be pissed.”

Pete stood up, finally. “Kobra—”

Kobra frowned and turned around to face him. “I’m sorry, Pete.”

It was a good kiss—a really good kiss. Kobra hadn’t kissed anyone in what seemed like years and Pete tasted like sugar—some kind of candy, maybe. And, God, Kobra wanted to fucking kiss him again.

He rushed out of the supply closet, leaving Pete alone with the brooms and a flickering light bulb.

THREE WEEKS LATER

Kobra didn’t mean to do it.

He was just minding his own business when suddenly—bam! There Ghoul and Poison were, fucking right in the public bathroom, both of their jeans around their ankles. Kobra wanted to scream but, no, that would be inappropriate. He wanted to yell at Poison—his own brother— for keeping a secret like that. But now that Kobra had been thinking of it, God, they totally had been fucking. Possibly for as long as a year. All the touches and longing stares and times they disappeared for long periods of time suddenly made so much more sense now.

Kobra had a headache.

He slammed the bathroom door in Poison and Ghoul’s faces before sprinting out into the desert despite both of them calling after him. Kobra found himself in an abandoned office building, dimly lit in the afternoon sun. He scrubbed a hand through his hair before taking a few deep breaths.

Kobra felt like his lungs would explode—he had run fast and his lungs burned like hell. He put a hand on his chest as if it were to calm him down.

Kobra sank to his knees and leaned against the wall, feeling like he couldn’t breathe. His heart was pounding a mile a minute and he wanted to cry out but he couldn’t— his voice didn’t work.

He still felt like he couldn’t breathe.

Kobra felt his face get red from sweat. He felt like he would pass out any minute on the cold, concrete floor of the building probably infested with rats.

He was having a panic attack.

The sound of nearing footsteps startled him. Maybe he was imagining them. His vision blurred as a hand was brought to his face.

“Kobra?” the voice said. Kobra immediately recognized the voice and was snapped out of his trance.

He inhaled slowly and sat himself up closer to the wall of the building. “Pete?”

Pete smiled. “We always seem to meet at the weirdest times,” he moved his hand from his face to his hair, moving a few strands away from his face. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” Kobra shook his head, gently removing Pete’s hand from his face.

“What happened?” Pete asked, sitting down next to Kobra cross-legged. “It’s okay if you don’t want to talk.”

It was when Kobra was about to open his mouth that he realized the roles were switched this time. Last time Kobra had comforted Pete, but now Pete was comforting Kobra. “I—Poison and Ghoul. They were boning each other and I hadn’t even known. Poison’s my brother, you know. He could’ve at least told me.”

Pete’s face scrunched up. “I’ve never experienced anything like that. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Kobra shrugged, “I just need some time to myself.”

“Oh,” Pete pointed behind him, “do you want me to go—”

“Don’t!” Kobra basically blurted out. He covered his mouth and said, muffled, “I mean. You can stay. If you want.”

“Okay,” Pete said quietly.

“Where have you been? Since… you know, then.

Pete hugged his knees to his chest. “Here and there. Was actually staying in this building for a few days. There’s a huge stash of granola bars in the back.”

Kobra tilted his head. “You’ve been staying here a few days?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Can’t you… like find work in the city or something?” Kobra suggested.

“I don’t really have anything left.”

Kobra didn’t know what had become of him but all of the sudden, he was suggesting the unthinkable. “We could help, you know. Get you a job in the city. Jet probably knows someone.”

“Really?” Pete perked up. “You’d really do that, Kobra?”

“Yeah,” Kobra said quickly. God Poison was gonna kill him.

“Oh, God, thank you so much,” Pete got on his knees and wrapped his arms around Kobra’s neck in a hug. He let go and bit his lip. “There are some things I haven't told you. You know, from before you encountered me.”

Kobra frowned. “You don't have to tell me yet if you don't want to.”

“I guess when the time's right,” Pete felt guilty for not telling Kobra anything—Kobra didn't notice the look on his face.

They sat in silence for a few minutes—well silence besides the occasional gunshot or screech of a wild animal—which was completely normal.

Kobra broke the silence. “Do… do you remember last time? At the store?”

Pete swallowed, nodding quickly.

“I'm sorry,” Kobra mumbled, staring down at his lap, “for kissing you. It's just… you're different. I rarely meet anyone when we're on the road and I—”

“Can I kiss you?” Pete asked out of the blue.

“What?”

“I mean, I was fine with you kissing me last time,” Pete scooched closer to Kobra—he could feel the other’s breath on his lips. “Were you?”

Kobra closed his eyes and leaned forward, kissing Pete for the second time. He slipped his tongue into Pete's mouth, forcing an involuntary groan out of Pete.

Kobra soon found himself against Pete, with Pete's back pressed into the building wall. The cool breeze from outside made them shiver while they kissed.

They made out for several minutes like this. Kobra forgot all about Poison and Ghoul and focused his attention all on Pete and the way he was running his hand through his hair and how he kept rubbing a part of exposed skin on his hip.

A loud bang along with a yell pulled them apart.

Kobra stood up and eventually yanked Pete up with him. “I should check that out.”

“I’m coming with you,” Pete squeezed Kobra’s hand in his.

Kobra blinked and chewed on his bottom lip. “It’s not safe.”

“I know,” Pete assured.

Kobra knew he wouldn’t win in this argument. He sighed. “Fine, let’s go.”

Pete grinned and let go of Kobra’s hand before running out of the building. He followed Kobra as he ran towards one direction, towards a small public bathroom facility and an expensive looking car.

Kobra immediately strutted towards a man with curly hair. “Jet, what was that?”

“Kobra what the hell!” Jet dropped whatever he was working on and pushed Kobra. “Gunshot, nothing big. Poison and Ghoul have been looking all over for you.”

Kobra stumbled back. “I’m sorry, I needed time to myself.”

“Who’s this?” Jet folded his arms and gave Pete a glare. Kobra was thankful his didn’t ask why he was gone.  

“Pete Wentz. I mean no harm, I swear,” Pete put his arms up in defense, “pat me down for all I care. No weapons.”

Kobra thought of the gun. “You mean you don’t—”

Pete shook his head. “Not anymore.”

“Kobra, you better fucking explain this,” Jet gestured to Pete like he was an object. Pete felt somewhat offended, but more afraid than offended.

“He’s Pete. I met him like two months ago and we keep bumping into each other,” Kobra explained, “this is the third time I’ve run into him. He’s a friend.”

Jet looked from Kobra to Pete. “Poison’s gonna be pissed.”

“I know,” Kobra mumbled.

“Kobra, you said—” Pete protested.

“I lied, my brother’s not gonna be happy.”

Pete scowled at him.

“About what?” Jet interrupted.

Kobra nodded his head over to Pete. “Getting Pete into the city.”

Jet frowned. “I mean, I’m fine with it, but Poison’s not gonna like it. The city’s a two day’s drive away—and not counting the things we might run into.”

“I know, I know.

Jet grabbed the gun he was reloading beforehand. “Ask Poison.”

“Where is he?”

“Pissed. At you, at Ghoul,” Jet jabbed his thumb towards the public bathrooms, “behind there.”

“Pete, can you wait for me?” Kobra asked with pleading eyes.

Pete swallowed a lump in his throat. “Yeah, of course.”

“God, thank you so much,” Kobra wanted to, like, kiss his forehead or something, but it would cause more havoc. He smiled instead, jogging behind the bathroom facilities. He ran behind the bathrooms and found Poison sitting cross-legged on the ground, head in his hands and Ghoul pacing in circles, hands on his hips.

“Poison,” Kobra said softly, fiddling with the fabric of his sleeve.

Poison stood up immediately, his eyes red with tears. “Fuck, I’m sorry, Mikey.”

Kobra jumped at Poison using his real name. “That’s not—”

“I know,” Poison muttered, pulling Kobra into a hug, “I’m sorry. For not telling you.” He wiped his tears on Kobra’s shoulder which was kind of gross.

Kobra urged Poison away. “How long, Poison?”

Poison looked to Ghoul for help. Ghoul opened his mouth and shut it several times before answering. “A year, maybe? Yeah, ever since, um, he stopped me from killing that woman.”

Kobra remembered. Ghoul had been all “shut the fuck up revenge now” after his mother was taken captive by Korse and the Dracs and killed right on camera on the big screens in Battery City. Ghoul spent weeks—maybe months—tracking down the exact woman—Korse’s assistant—that had shot his mother in the head, expressionless.

Ghoul had found the woman  just outside the building and he strangled her, sending them to the concrete. Poison had seen the two of them and separated Ghoul from the woman, snapping at the woman to get back inside and never speak of it or they would find her. Kobra had watched from a safe distance, afraid that the two of them would both get shot any second.

“Oh,” Kobra whispered to himself. He created a distance between the two of them and himself. “I’m not mad you guys were doing it, just mad that you didn’t tell me.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” Poison chewed on his bottom lip, “I can make it up to you. Anything you want.”

Kobra stared at the sand. “I have this friend, er, I met a while ago. He needs help into the city.”

“What friend?” Poison asked defensively.

Kobra’s face got hot. “That same one you made me steal a gun from!”

“Oh,” Poison scratched the back of his neck, “so that’s why you don’t use that gun.”

Kobra ignored the last statement. “Can we take him into the city?”

“I guess,” Poison shrugged, “if you’ll forgive me… and Ghoul.”

Ghoul nodded, eyes wide.

“I forgive you guys,” Kobra rolled his eyes, “just don’t do it when I’m around.”

Ghoul flashed a grin at him. “Dude—thanks.”

Kobra later brought Poison and Ghoul to Pete, who he introduced. He then figured he should tell Poison about—well, you know.

“Uh, Poison?” Kobra asked as they drove into the night. Pete was sitting quietly in the front seat while Ghoul, Poison and Kobra (in that order) were squished together in the backseat with Jet driving.

“Pete and I,” Kobra watched Pete turn his body to get a look at him. Pete nodded as if giving approval to what he was going to say. “We—”

“You guys have been boning, haven’t you?”

“No!” Pete and Kobra blurted out at the same time.

“Only kissing,” Kobra wanted the car to run him over.

“Just kissing,” Pete added, his cheeks pink.

Poison chuckled. “I knew it.”

Kobra tried to figure out a way to say “???”. He furrowed his eyebrows together. “And you’re okay with that?”

Poison shook his head. “Of course.”

“I’m,” Kobra found himself tongue-tied, “I’m surprised.”

“Whatever, Kobra, I’m gonna nap,” Poison yawned and rested his head on Ghoul’s shoulder, “wake me when we reach the city.”

“Or when some Dracs start firing at us,” Jet mumbled from up front.

“Stop it, think positive,” Poison snapped.

Kobra could basically hear Jet rolling his eyes.

--

The first day whizzed by.

They stopped occasionally to piss and get food from a nearby diner, but that was it. No Dracs encountered them and no one seemed to question the car driving at like 100 miles an hour in the dead of night.

Poison had been demoted to shotgun after Kobra complained that he was getting too handsy with Ghoul (he really wasn’t, he just wanted Pete next to him). Pete and Kobra held hands and watched the stars out the window.

Ghoul pressed himself against the window, his face squished against the glass, snoring loudly.

Poison was busy rereading an old comicbook with his feet propped up on the dashboard.

Jet had the radio turned all the way up, Dr. D listing the day’s news.

Pete squeezed Kobra’s hand. “Hey, Kobra?”

Kobra blinked away sleep. “Yeah?”

“Thanks, for everything,” Pete rested his head on Kobra’s shoulder, leaning into the warmth of his body, “even at the store for, uh, comforting me.”

“It was nothing,” Kobra sighed, his eyes heavy. “I’m gonna sleep.”

“I should, too,” Pete yawned, cuddling closer to Kobra.

Kobra nodded, falling asleep to the steady sound of Pete’s breathing.

--

“Kobra, dude,” Jet said, shaking his shoulders, “wake up.”

Kobra shook himself awake, looking up at Jet’s face. “We in the city yet?”

“Yeah, just outside Brendon’s place,” Jet replied. Brendon was the Killjoys’ saviour, pretty much. He used his past connections with Better Living Industries to get the Killjoys out of  jail and anything else that broke the law.

“Can he get him a job?” Kobra whispered, careful not to wake Pete.

Jet nodded. “Just talked to him. He can get him a job at the restaurant and let him stay in his apartment for while until he can get his own place.”

“Just want him to be safe,” Kobra mumbled, stroking Pete’s hair.

“He will be,” Jet assured. He walked away and into Brendon’s apartment.

Poison was up front sleeping and Ghoul was getting stuff out of the car’s trunk.

“Hey Pete,” Kobra whispered into Pete’s ear, “dude, wake up.”

Pete wrinkled his nose and finally his eyes snapped open. “We here?”

Kobra smiled. “Yeah.”

--

Kobra didn’t want to think about it, he really didn’t. The first person he’s kissed in a over year was out of his life and Kobra was back to his normal life—fighting off Dracs and figuring out ways to get into Better Living Industries. He didn’t want to think about leaving Pete alone with zero friends or family and no way to keep in contact with him.

Pete met Kobra back downstairs in Brendon’s living room after taking a tour of his new room. “It’s small,” he had called from upstairs, “but nice view of the city lights.”

Brendon smiled at Pete’s excitement. “I’ll be right back.” He pushed the door open and dashed outside to talk to the other Killjoys.

“I’ll think of you,” Kobra said, “when I’m out there shooting all the Dracs and defending your honor.” He smirked.

Pete laughed, a genuine, hearty laugh. “I’ll think of you, too. While I’m waiting tables.”

Kobra smiled weakly, stepping forward and taking Pete’s hand in his. “Really—I’ll miss you. I already miss you.”

“I’ll miss you, too,” Pete said, his eyes stinging as he tried not to cry. “Kobra—”

“Mikey,” Kobra blurted out, his hand tightening around Pete’s, “my real name’s Mikey. Mikey Way.”

Pete swallowed hard.

“I’ve… never told anyone,” Kobra admitted, “besides the Killjoys.”

“Guess I’m an exception, then,” Pete grinned, repeating the same thing he’d said months ago.

“You are,” Kobra nodded, leaning in for a kiss. The kiss was quick and sweet, yet it was the best kiss the two had shared this entire time.

“Kobra, let's go!” Ghoul yelled from outside.

Pete frowned. “I'll walk you out.”

Jet already had the car started by the time Kobra and Pete were outside.

Kobra pulled a now crying Pete into a hug before hopping into the car next to Ghoul. “Bye, Pete.”

“I'll see you around, Kobra Kid,” Pete wiped the tears from his face with his sleeve.

Mikey forced a smile.

Jet stepped on the gas and Mikey watched Brendon and Pete get smaller and smaller as they drove back into the desert, back to their lives.