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Slushie Buddies

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It was a lazy Saturday morning and Michael was bored. He laid face down on his bed, groaning into his pillow to himself about just how bored he was. Jeremy told him he was sick, too sick for videos games even! Michael thought it was bullshit ("Dude, if you wanna spend the day jerking off, just tell me!" "MICHAEL!") but he didn't push (much). But now he was left with nothing to do. Apocalypse of the Damned was too difficult without a second player, he wasn't in the mood to masturbate (unlike his best friend/totally-not-gay-crush), and he was all alone in the house, as usual.

He flips over, staring at the ceiling and trying to decide what he should do for the rest of the day. He could play video games but it didn't feel right without Jeremy cheering him on or playing with him, pathetic as that sounded. Jeremy was his best (and only) friend and Michael's basement felt just a bit too big and lonely without him. Which was really gay, when Michael thought about it, but then again-so was he.

"..I want a slushie." Michael announced to the empty room as he sat up on his bed. He stretched, feeling his back pop and groaning in relief. He rolls out of bed (literally, he rolls off the bed and nearly breaks his glasses as he falls face first into the floor) and searches for some clean clothes. ..Or at least ones that don't reek. He makes a mental reminder to do the laundry, which he'll likely never remember. He shrugs and puts on his favourite hoodie and a pair of jeans that were wrinkled but otherwise fine. He slips on his headphones and grabs some cash, leaving behind the car keys. He'll walk today, just for the hell of it.

The walk goes by quickly and soon enough, Michael is standing in front of the automatic doors to the only slightly shitty and run down 7/11. They creak slightly before sliding open and Michael is blasted with almost too cold air conditioned air. He steps inside and gives a small smile and wave to the bored looking cashier, who gives him a nod before going back to her magazine.

He slips off his headphones as he walks towards the back, where the all-mighty slushie machine was waiting for him. He could hear it now, calling out to him.

However, the slushie machine was not the only thing waiting for him at the back of the store. Standing in front of his beloved Martha (so what if he'd named the machine? There were weirder things to do.) was a kid who made Jeremy look tiny. He was almost worryingly pale, with dark eyes with even darker bags under them. His hair was shoulder length and shaggy and held back in a loose ponytail. He was decked out in a black trenchcoat, dark grey shirt, and black wornout jeans and equally beat up shoes.

He was also giving a very frustrated/pissed off look to the machine. Which was confusing until Michael looked at it.

'OUT OF ORDER, WILL BE FIXED SOON. MAYBE.'

Ah. That would explain it.

"Aw man. I was really hoping to get in on some sweet sugary trash today. I came all the way out here for nothing." Michael complained, walking up to stand next to the kid with a semi-serious disappointed pout. "Sucks, right?"

He cranes his neck up to look at the kid, who barely acknowledges him. He gets a brief glance and a raises eyebrow but that's about all he gets out of the guy. They stay there standing at the broken slushie machine in silence for a little longer.

'Well, this is painfully awkward.' Michael thought, biting the inside of his cheek. 'Might as well make it worse.'

"So.. You come here often?" Michael asks, grinning up at the kid.

The kid just nodded, leaning against the counter with a huff. But Michael figured he had nothing better to do that day, so he might as well bother this guy for a while.

"I'm Michael. I think I've seen you around here a few times but I've never gotten your name. Mind telling me what it is?"

More silence, though he did get a glare for his efforts.

"Not much of a talker, huh? That's cool, I'll talk enough for the both of us. ..Nice clothes. It's a bit too dark for my tastes but it's a neat aesthetic you've got going on. I mean, I think the whole dark and mysterious bit is kinda overdone but it works with you."

Another glare and some quiet grumbles. Hey, that was progress! Least Michael knew now he wasn't mute.

"So, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet, you like sushi? I think it's great. Lately I've been digging negimaki rolls, they're just so good y'know? And they work surprisingly well with slushies! You wouldn't expect it but-"

"Do you just, never stop talking? Ever?"

"Ah! So you do speak! ..So you were just ignoring me. That's real rude you know, man. You won't make friends with that kinda attitude."

"And who says I wanna make friends?" The kid said, leaning down and looking pissed in an attempt to intimidate Michael.

But Michael never did have any self-preservation instincts.

"I just did. Right then. You're lucky I'm such an easy going person! Anyone else would've thought you were a dick, Edgeman."

"That's not my name."

"Well it's not like you've told me what it is."

The kid looked like he was considering punching Michael in the face before he left out a frustrated sigh and ran a hand down his face. "If I tell you my name, will you leave me alone? Or at least be quiet?"

"Sure! I only came here for a slushie anyway. Bothering you was the only real reason I deciddd to stay." He grinned.

"JD. My names JD. Now go away."

"Fine fine. Nice meeting you, JD~! Try not to burn a hole through the floor with your flaming edgyness."

As Michael walked away, he heard the kid-no, he heard JD sigh with relief. Michael grinned as he left he store. He may not have gotten a slushie, but he got something better.

He was absolutely going to bother the /fuck/ out of JD next time he saw him.

Chapter Text

Another day, another failed test. Well, a most likely failed test. Math was never Michael's strongest subject, but then again nothing really was. Unless you counted lunch. Too bad that never counted for a grade.

'How would they even grade lunch?' Michael wondered, wandering down the street. 'Would we have lunch tests? How would that even work? Would it be, like, who can eat the most? Or the fastest?'

While pondering on these truly life-changing and vital ideas, Michael nearly ran into the wall of the local 7/11. He was back again, for two things. Thing one: a cup of red frozen sugar. And thing two: to see if that JD kid was back. He hadn't seen JD in a while, almost a whole week-to be exact. He was getting worried that he'd lost his only source of slush entertainment. If he didn't count the abnormally large rats that lived in the walls that came out everynow and again to fight over dropped chips and spilled drinks. They were fun to watch. Not as fun when they lept at your face, screeching and foaming at the mouth, trying to defend their territory and steal your food. Michael still had scars from the last time he accidentally got to close to the rat's nest.

Michael rubbed at the scars on his cheek from his last rat attack as he walked through the creaky automatic doors. Martha had been repaired a few days ago, so hopefully Mr. Hot Topic was back. But even if he wasn't, he'd at least get a slushie. Which was almost as good as annoying some random kid who looked like he wouldn't hesitate to knock him flat. Almost.

Walking to the back of the store, Michael became extremely happy at what he saw. The kid. Mr. Edge. JD. He was here (finally), sipping at a..

"That's fuckin gross man. Everyone knows blue slushies are trash, the only acceptable flavour is red."

JD jumped, looking towards Michael in surprise before the look of shock was replaced with annoyance.

"Didn't you say you would leave me alone if I told you my name?"

"That promise was valid for that interaction only, sorry Gothman."

"Still not my name, asshole."

"Might as well be. Who wears trenchcoats anymore, my dude? You ain't a grizzled old detective, far as I know."

JD just glared at him, taking a long sip from his horrible, disgusting blue slushie. Michale gagged at the mere thought of the taste of that blue abomination.

"How can you drink that shit?" He asked, grabbing a cup and filling it up to the brim with the all-mighty and much tastier red slush. "It's actual poison. Not even the rats would touch that shit."

"I have actual taste. Unlike you and the rats. Which fits, you kinda look like a rat."

"And you look like a reject Hot Topic model, my dude. At least your horrific taste fits your awful fashion sense."

"Says the asshole in a red hoodie, shorts, and obnoxiously big headphones."

"I'm not the one wearing a fucking trenchcoat. A /black/ trenchcoat, of all things. Don't your parents worry about you smuggling drugs in any of those pockets?"

"Well seeing as how my mom's dead and my dad couldn't give a damn, I don't think they do."

"Oh. Shit, uh. Sorry man. Didn't mean to bring that kinda thing up."

JD just gave a hum, refilling his slushie and trying his damn best to get the world's worst brain freeze. Which he succeeded in, if the sudden wince of pain was any indication.

The light atmosphere that had been building between them had taken a sharp dive and crashed into the canyon of awkward silences. They both drank their slushies in silence, not looking at each other. Which wouldn't do at all. If it continued on like this, Michael would get all nervous and sweaty; like Jeremy when he tried to do..anything.

'But what can I possibly do to get me outta this..' He wondered, gnawing on his straw.

"..Hey. Wanna see a rat fight?" Michael asked, pulling a bag of chips off one of the shelves.

"..Sure. Why not."

Michael grinned, tearing the bag open. He beckoned JD over and shook the bag in front of the rat nest to try and draw them out. Once he heard the signature (horrifying) scratching of their tiny demon claws, he dumped about a quarter of the bag out in front of hole. Almost instantly, two far too large scruffy rats shot out of the hole and immediately started screeching and clawing at each other to try and claim the pile of chips for themselves. This was very entertaining for around 5 minutes.

Until one of the rats realized that the bag Michael was holding held many more chips than were on the table and lept at him, screeching with fury, much to Michael's horror. He fell back onto the floor, screaming and flailing in an attempt to dislodge the tiny demon from his face. JD seemed to find this hilarious, making no attempts to help Michael as he was cruelly attacked by a tiny fury monster and laughing his edgy ass off.

After finally tossing the rat into a wall, along with the bag of chips to keep it satisfied, Michael sat up and panted. He winced as he felt the fresh scratches on his face, which would most certainly leave at least a few scars. Again.

Finally deciding to be a decent goddamn person, JD offered a hand, still giggling-like an asshole. Michael glared up at him but took the hand and let himself be pulled up.

"Does that happen often?"

"Often enough.. I try not to fuck with those tiny demons too often. ..Usually because they keep trying to attack me."

"Was the first time not indication enough that you should leave them alone?"

"Fuck off, JDick. Don't kick a guy while he's down."

JD snorts, though wether it's at the nickname or at the fact that Michael got his ass (or face rather) kicked by a rat-he's not sure.

"You poor thing. Did those big mean rats bully you?" JD asked in a sarcastically concerned tone.

Michael pouted, trying not to smile. "Yeah they did. While you kiss it better?"

JD gives another snort. "And catch rabies? No thanks, man, you'll have to kiss yourself better. I'll buy you bandaids, instead."

Michael groaned, throwing his head back in a very overdramatic way. "Fiiiiine.. But they better be Iron Man."

"You'll get Hello Kitty and like it, you ungrateful fuck."

"Asshole."

"Takes one to know one, dick."

Michael walks out of 7/11 with a red slushie, a box of bandaids, and a face covered in aforementioned Hello Kitty bandaids. He grins as he takes a sip of his mostly melted slushie. He's getting JD to warm up to him. Which is almost as good as flat out annoying him. Almost.

Chapter Text

Michael hummed along to the absolutely kicking jams that were Bob Marley songs. He was, yet again, heading to 7/11-this time not for a slushie. Which was definatrly a shock. He was actually just hoping to see his friend(? acquaintance? fellow teenager?), Mr. Trenchcoat, so he could have someone to talk to. Michael would've just hung out with Jeremy but he's been.. Off. He's been more distant lately and hanging around other people who would've never wanted to acknowledge his existence before. It was..weird. And kind of concerning, seeing how easily he blew Michael off (and seemed to talk to someone that didn't exist) but whatever. He'll come back eventually. Hopefully...

'Well, shit. There goes my good mood.' Michael thought, pulling his headphones off and letting them hang around his neck. 'So much for that, I guess.'

He huffed, hurrying inside the 7/11. No time to dwell. He'll just do what he always does: shove the feelings down and deal with them later* (*never).

As soon as he entered the 7/11, however, he was greeted with terrified high-pitched screaming and the familiar and horrifying sounds of attacking rats. The cashier seemed completely uninterested in the murder going on in the back of the store. ..Then again, Michael is pretty sure at least one person dies in this place a week. So it's not that much of a shock.

Calmly walking towards the source of the noise (with a very smug smile growing with each step he took), he came across a wonderful sight: JD, screaming and flailing on the floor inna puddle of spilled blue garbage getting attacked by rats.

"Hey buddy! How ya doin'? I see you made some new friends!"

"JESUS FUCK-H E L P ME YOU A S S H O L E!"

"Aww but you're having such a fun time with your new pals~! I'd hate to ruin your fun."

"I WILL SHOOT YOU-F U C K!"

Michael laughed, pulling a bag of chips from a shelf. He popped it open and threw the bag at the opposite end of the isle, the giant mutant rats immediately squealing and scurrying after the food. JD laid on the floor, groaning in pain and bleeding from multiple scratch marks and bites.

"You should treat those, my guy. Those fuckers have some mutant strain of rabies. Probably anyway." Michael said, grinning and offering JD a hand. He got a glare in reply but JD did take his hand and pull himself up.

"Fuck.. Thanks for laughing, asshole."

"What're friends for, man?"

JD gave him a look, seeming a bit off put.

"Are..we friends?" He asked, tilting his head slightly.

Michael paused at that, pursing his lips as he thought about it.

"Well.. I guess we are. We insulted each other, laughed while the other got mauled by demon rats, and we meet here to bask in Martha's (JD winced at the name, Michael filed that away for later.) beauty pretty often so.. I don't see why we wouldn't be friends." He finished with a grin, which made JD somehow simultaneously relax and tense up. How did he even do that?

"..Yeah. Friends. Alright." He mumbled, sticking his hands in the trenchcoat pocket. And almost immediately taking them out with a disgusted look on his face. His hands were wet, covered in quickly drying and sticky horrible blue slushie residue from the puddle on the floor. His entire coat was damp, now that Michael got a good look at it, and the clothes under it were probably in a similar state.

"..Hey, wanna drop by my place for a bit? At hilarious as it would be to watch your emo ass waddle around smelling like blue vomit and sticking to everything you touch, I don't want you to attract flies. You can wash your clothes and take a shower or something if you need to.. Y'know. Just offering.." Michale shrugged, trailing off towards the end as he began to feel awkward. JD and him were friends, kind of, but they'd still only recently met. Wasn't that kinda weird to offer? Was he going beyond what was okay?

"..Yeah, sure. That'd be nice, thanks.." JD said, giving Michael a vaguely suspicious look-like he was planning on jumping him as soon as they arrived at Michael's house. (Which was hilarious, given Michael's short height, piss poor physical strength, and inability to walk five steps without stumbling.)

After paying for the slushie, much to JD's displeasure ("Didn't even get to drink the goddamn thing-why should I have to pay for it?"), they began their trek to Michael's house. The walk was awkward and silent, neither of them having much to say. It seemed to last a lot longer than usual, likely due to the awkward silence.

Once they finally arrived and entered the house, Michael led JD to the main bathroom.

"..Just drop your clothes like. Outside the door, I guess. I'll put 'em to wash for you and I'll try and find you something that'll fit."

JD just nodded, avoiding eye contact and hurrying into the bathroom. As he heard the water start, Michael ran off to his room to try and find something that would fit his beanpole of a friend. He had to dig deep within the bottomless pits that were his drawers but eventually he found an old, stretched out green t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. He came back downstairs, dropping the clean clothes in a pile in front of the door and taking the dirty ones to wash.

Ten minutes later, Michael was dabbing the cuts and bite marks on JD's face and arms with rubbing alcohol and sticking on various My Little Pony bandaids (which he bought at the 7/11, purely for the purpose of getting revenge on JD for the Hello Kitty bandaids. ..Even if he liked them.)

"Hold still, you big baby, it doesn't hurt /that/ bad."

"Bite me, asshole."

"No thanks, the rats did enough of that."

"Ass. Did you have to buy those?" JD asked, gesturing to the box of pony themed bandaids. "They're dumb."

"You're dumb, so at least you match."

It took another two minutes to get JD completely patched up. And now with that done, the two were left in an awkward silence. Again. Michael chewed at his bottom lip, trying to find a topic to talk about. He couldn't really think of anything, though. But he didn't want JD ago leave, at least not yet. Right now, he was his only source of entertainment-seeing as how Jeremy was..preoccupied. He needed something time consuming. Something that would keep JD entertained enough that he'd want to stay over. Something like..

"..So. Wanna play some video games?"

Chapter Text

Michael and JD were huddled up on old, worn down beanbags in Michael's basement. Michael was curiously the tapping buttons on his controller, tongue stuck out in concentration with his eyes laser-focused on the tv screen. JD, while not playing the game himself, was just as engrossed in the game as Michael-possibly even more than Michael himself.

"Fuck! Nonono, come on you piece of shit! RUN FASTER!"

"Reload, dumbass! You're out of ammo!"

"You think I didn't notice?! FUCK."

"There's a health-kit over there, just fucking grab it!"

"If you hadn't noticed, I have a zOMBIE HORDE ON MY ASS, JDICK."

Around an hour or so had passed since JD had came over and most of that time was spent exactly like that. Screaming, grunting, and various creative curses all directed at the pixelated zombies chasing after Michael's character. They were likely going to lose their voices after this (well, JD would, probably. Michael had grown used to this over many years of playing games with Michael).

JD grabbed onto Michael's arm and shook it, pointing enthusiastically at the screen.

"It's fucking-ITS RIGHT THERE! JUST GRAB IT!

"I NEED TO HEAL FIRST-STOP SHAKING ME, ASSHOLE! YOU'RE GONNA GET ME-!"

A scream came from Michael's character as a zombie took a giant bite out of his neck, a game over screen popping up almost immediately. The screen flashed for a few seconds, with both Michael and JD staring at the screen in silence before..

"DAMNIT!"

Michael groaned, flopping back into the beanbag. He had been so close!! ..Relatively. He hasn't been able to beat level nine just yet, as even with co-op it was difficult. Solo was even worse, and despite playing for almost an hour, he had yet to make it much farther than the midway checkpoint. He looked over at Jeremy's (he used it so much, it might as well have been his) controller and felt a pang of sadness. Or maybe it was bitterness. ..Maybe both. Jeremy had lately been integrating himself with the more popular kids, somehow, and had been avoiding Michael because of it. Which stung, a lot. He could sort of understand it. Jeremy was moving up in the world, /somehow/, and wanted to spend time with his more popular peers. That wouldn't stop Michael from being bitter, though.

"..chael? Hey, asshole, you there?"

Michael jumped slightly, sitting up and looking over at JD who was staring at him with an eyebrow raised in confusion.

"Oh, sorry. What's up?"

"You spaced out. You gonna try again or are you sick of video games?"

"First of all, bitch, I will never be sick of video games. But I'm sorta tired of failing at the same damn level over and over again."

"..You said this game had, like, a two player mode right?"

"Yeah, I did. Why, you wanna play?"

JD shrugged, and turned towards the screen. "As much fun as it is watching your useless ass fail at basic tasks, I've had enough watching. I wanna give it a try. I mean, it can't be that hard, right?"

It was, in actuality, that hard. It was incredibly hard. And made much harder given the fact that JD could barely get his character to move, let alone so do anything even remotely useful.

"JD, YOU FUCK, HELP ME!"

"Uh, which button is shoot again?"

"I'M DYING, JD."

"HI, DYING. I'M JD!"

Taking a deep breath, Michael aimed the gun in his character's hands carefully..

And shot JD's, killing him with a headshot and immediately causing a game over.

"What the fuck, Michael?"

"This friendship is canceled. I will not tolerate dad jokes. Not in my good Christian home."

"We were doing so good!"

"We died twelve times in under seven minutes! You could barely move!"

"..It's progress."

"Your /face/ is progress."

"What does that even mean?"

"It means fuck you, that's what it means."

JD snorted, fiddling with the controller in his hands. "So aggressive, how will you ever make friends with that attitude?"

"Seemed to work well enough with you. But I'm not sure if renegade Hot Topic models count as friends."

The two of them laughed at that, relaxing further into their beanbags. Michael dropped his controller and stretched, groaning as his back popped.

"..We should talk."

JD raised an eyebrow, flopping onto the beanbag. "What about?"

"I dunno, man. Like. Anything. What's your favourite food? What kinda music do you like? How the fuck can you drink blue slushie and not wanna jump off a bridge in disgust and shame?"

"Fuck you, you red trash bitch, blue is so much better. Red tastes like sugary vomit."

"Fight me, you bitch, red is the best!"

JD just laughed, gesturing at Michael. "You're like three feet tall! I could just step on your tiny ass and you'd die."

"Say that shit to my face, you tall asshole."

"I don't think I can bend down that far, shorty."

"I'm not short! Five three is a perfectly reasonable height!"

"You're so fucking tiny. It's pathetic."

"Watch your ankles, asshole. I'll fuck 'em up."

"I'd be surprised if you could even reach my ankles."

Michael glared silently at JD for a few seconds before he broke and started laughing, JD quickly following his lead.

Once their laughter finally died down, JD seemed to realize something. "Oh shit, what time is it?"

"Uh.. Fuck, I don't know, man. Like, maybe seven thirty-ish? Why?"

JD groaned, getting up from the beanbag. "I should head home. It's sorta late. Where's the laundry room?"

Michael frowned, feeling a little disappointed at having to have their hang-out session cut short (and surprised at just how long they'd been messing around). But regardless, he led JD around the laundry room and let him change back into his now clean ridiculous clothes. Michael walked with him to the door, opening it up for him and seeing him out. He gnawed at the inside of his lip, hesitating only for a second before he grabbed the back of JD's trenchcoat. JD turned around looking curious and slightly confused.

"..So, like. You wanna do this again? Cuz' I had a real good time and I wouldn't mind spending some more time with you, y'know?"

JD's look of curiosity turned to surprise. "Uh.. I mean, yeah I guess so. ..You want me to start coming here or..?"

"Nah, we could just meet up at the 7/11. ..Oh shit, wait. Lemme get your number. Y'know, so I can send you pictures of cats and the bee movie script twenty times a day." Michael said, grinning at a JD's eye roll and groan (despite that, he handed over his phone almost excitedly).

Michael waved as JD left, shutting the door once he was off the porch. He found himself excited to meet up and mess around with JD again. It was nice, having another friend outside of Jeremy. Especially since Jeremy seemed to be avoiding him now. Michael shook away those thoughts and stared at JD's number.

Michael immediately changed the contact name to 'JDick' and added four 'edgy' emojis behind it.

Chapter Text

Optic nerve blocking on. Optic nerve blocking on. Optic fucking nerve blocking on.

Those three words had been plaguing Michael for the past day and a half.

The SQUIP was real. And it apparently worked. It worked a little too well. Jeremy had abandoned him, for his new friends and Brooke. Michael was hurt. A lot. A real fucking lot. His best (and only, well, ex-only) friend of twelve goddamn years just tossed him aside like he was yesterday's trash.

'Maybe that's because I am.' He thought to himself. 'Maybe I'm just not good enough for him anymore. ..Never be too cool for video games my ass.'

Michael rubbed his eyes (which were red because of weed and not because he cried for fifteen minutes in the bathroom) and groaned. His chest felt tight and it hurt. He really should've expected this to happen. Why would he ever think he was worth /Jeremy's/ time? Jeremy, who was smart and nice and an absolute dork who had been on Michael's mind (in a less than heterosexual way) for years now. Jeremy was everything Michael wasn't and it was his own fault for thinking Jeremy would stick around him when he could have so much cooler and better friends.

"Whatever. Who needs him? I-I don't. I don't need that f-ucking asshole. He can have his popularity, I don't fucking ca-re." He sniffed, clearing his throat to try and stop himself from having anymore pathetic voice cracks.

He was fine. Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. Who cares if his closest friend abandoned him without hesitation? Who cares if he did the exact thing Michael had been dreading he'd do-that Jeremy promised he'd never do? Who cares if he feels like Jeremy tore Michael's heart out of his chest and stomped on it? Not Michael. He didn't care at all.

"..F-fuck.."

Michael hiccuped, scrubbing at his eyes as a fresh tidal wave of tears sprung up. But because the universe hates him, it only seemed to make it worse. He whimpered, roughly pulling his hood up to try and hide the tears that were now following freely down his cheeks. He sped up his pace, speed-walking in the direction of the 7/11. He needed a distraction, just something to keep him from thinking about how he was just abandoned by his best friend (and crush) of twelve goddamn years.

Once he got there, Michael leaned against the wall, breathing deeply and trying to call himself down. He didn't wanna let JD know he'd been crying. That'd be weird and awkward and he didn't wanna deal with that right now. He just wanted to drink slushies, watch the rats fight, and hang out with his (now only) friend.

After he wasn't about to burst into tears at the drop of a hat, he walked inside the 7/11. He hurried towards the back, sighing half in relief and half dissapointment seeing that the slushie machine was unoccupied.

'Guess JD ain't here yet. Heh. Maybe he left too. Got sick of me already.'

Michael bit lip hard, grabbing a cup and shoving it under the nozzle. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He needed to chill the fuck out. Jeremy. Left. It's done. He needs to get used to being alone.

"Fuck-!"

The slushie had overfilled, spilling down the sides of the cup and over Michael's hand, dripping onto the floor. He set the cup down, licking at his fingers and grabbing handfuls of napkins. He began wiping up his mess when he heard a familiar voice call out to him.

"Nice job, dumbass. You trying to summon the rats to come kick your ass again? Didn't you learn last time?"

Michael gnawed at his lip, hesitating before answering. "Hah, guess not. Bet you'd like to see that, huh? You found it /so/ hilarious before. Dick."

"What can I say? Watching you get beat up by a rat the size of a small loaf of bread was fucking hysterical."

Michael hummed, grabbing his cup and gulping it down by the mouthful. His thoughts drifted to Jeremy and JD. Sure, JD was here right now. And maybe he'd stay for a few days. But what if he ended up like Jeremy? What if Michael became not good enough for him? Would he leave too? Would-

Michael gagged, slamming his cup down and grabbing his head. His head throbbed and hurt like a bitch. It was hard to concentrate, his precious thoughts just faded away to the pain of the brain freeze.

"Nice job, idiot. That's what you get for drinking red slushie."

Michael just groaned, flipping JD (who just snickered and filled up a cup for himself) off and waiting until the brain freeze faded.

"So.. There anything you wanna talk about? In a more serious sense?"

Michael paused in refilling his cup, slightly surprised, before raising an eyebrow up at his friend. "What'dya mean?"

"Well. When /I/ chug slushie like I'm dying, as you just did, there's shit going on in my life. Bad shit."

"So what? So you just chug slushies?"

"Not like I got the money for drugs. This is cheaper and is infinitely better. Who needs cocaine, right? But like. You good?"

"..Yeah. I-I'm fine. Just some shit goin' on at school, y'know. It's nothing."

JD gave him a look but shrugged. "Whatever man. I'm not gonna push. But like," he looked down at his cup and swirled the contents with an awkward look on his face ", I'm here if you need to talk or.. Whatever." He took a swig of slushie, trying to seem less awkward than he felt.

"..Yeah. Thanks man."

They continued to stand in silence for a minute before Michael tugged on JD's arm.

"Hey, lemme taste yours."

"Don't you fuckin' hate blue?"

"Yeah, shut up. I wanna taste it so I can affirm that I'm right and that you have shit taste."

"Go get your own, you fuck!" Despite this, JD titled the cup towards him. Michael leaned forward and took a sip, making JD whine.

"Leave some for me, asshole! ..Lemme try some of yours."

Michael nodded, offering JD his cup as he took JD's. They stood, sipping at each other's slushies in a comfortable silence.

Michael hummed as he finished the drink and went to refill it as JD did the same.

'Blue doesn't taste half bad.' He thought, not that he'd ever admit that outloud out of pure spite.

Chapter Text

Another text sent.

Another text ignored.

Sent.

Ignored.

Sent.

Ignored.

After the tenth text went unread, Michael gave up. He sighed, staring up at Jeremy's name (embarrassingly surrounded by various hearts-he should change that). It's been almost a month since Jeremy had started ignoring him in favor of his new super computer brain and new popular friends. Yet despite being abandoned, Michael still had hope. He'd come around eventually, of course he would! Michael's his best friend! He'll be back soon enough.

Michael swallowed down his sadness and the understanding that Jeremy probably wasn't gonna come back ever. He didn't need to think about that. He didn't want to think about that.

He dropped his phone down on his bed, turning and laying down face first down on his pillow.

'It would be really nice if I could just. Not exist. That'd be nice. Not like anyone would miss me anyway.'

His thoughts were interrupted by his phone buzzing away on his bedsheets.

'Maybe it's Jeremy.'

He nearly fell out of bed in his mad scramble to grab his phone and check his notifications. The excitement died only slightly when he realized it wasn't Jeremy, but JD.

“hey can i come over im bored and feel like fucking around in your basement“

And his excitement was back at full-force. He was already clinging to JD, who had sort of replaced Jeremy. They hung out most of the time either at 7/11, Michael's house, or just wandering around. Sure he felt sort of guilty for replacing Jeremy (even though he really shouldn't), but Michael felt it was at least a little fucking deserved. He deserved at least one friend, right? Right.

“you can fuck my basement anyday babe ;)“

“question: how do i delete our friendship and also you“

“fucking rude“

“<3“

“just get over here you emo fuck also bring snacks or you're fired“

Michael was left on read and he finally got his ass out of bed and made his way to the basement to get it ready. Not like they would actually play any games, though. Least not properly or together. JD was absolutely pathetic at all games (except Animal Crossing. He managed to 100% New Leaf in around 45 minutes. Somehow) and any attempt to teach him usually ended with JD laughing as Michael nearly burst a blood vessel due to pure frustration.

After 20 minutes of totally patient waiting (in which Michael absolutely did not stare out the window waiting for a sign of JD), JD arrived. Nearly flinging the door open, Michael welcomed him inside.

"Took you long enough, asshole. Where the hell are my sna-"

Michael's sentence was cut off by a pack of his favorite chips being tossed at his face. He didn't even get a change to respond to it before JD dumped an entire plastic bag full of snacks on him.

"You're a dick, you know that?"

"And you love me. Now pick this shit up so I can watch you scream at pixel zombies."

After almost an hour of screaming, furious button mashing, and nearly beating JD for spilling a bag of chips (and all of the crumbs) on Michael's favourite controller, JD and Michael simply sat on their beanbags, listening to some random Bob Marley song Michael had put on. JD was apparently taking a nap while Michael was sending more texts to his (ex) best friend.

"You texting your boyfriend or something, Mike?"

"Don't call me that, Jason Dean. And no, I don't even have a boyfriend."

"Well who is it then?" JD asked, sitting up on the beanbag. "You cheating on me or something? And here I thought we had something special. How could you do this to me, baby? I thought you loved me!"

"I'm not cheating, you fucking emo slut. I'm just. Texting a friend is all."

"You seem awful fucked up over this friend if your facial expression is any indication."

Michael furrowed his brow, not looking at JD. Jeremy wasn't even reading the texts anymore. At least before he knew Jeremy cared enough to bother paying the bare minimum of attention to him but now..

"Just goin' though a rough patch. He's..being a fucking dick."

"..Wanna, like, talk about it?"

Michael sighed, running a hand through his wild and curly hair. He let his phone drop on the beanbag and he flopped back as well.

"His names Jeremy. He's been my best friend for about twelve years. And recently, he got a.."

'Well shit. I can't exactly mention the SQUIP, right? He'll think I'm insane or something.' Michael though, biting his lip.

"..He got real popular. And he's been avoiding me. Like a lot. Like, so much so that I basically don't exist to him anymore and I'm, like, 95% sure he hates me. And I have no idea what to do."

"..That's rough, buddy."

"Wow. Thanks. I really appreciate your wise, comforting words. They made me feel so much better about being abandoned by my best friend."

"Well, I mean, what do you want me to say? This Jeremy guy sounds like a real fucking asshole."

"He's not. He's just.."

'Being guided by a possibly malicious supercomputer AI who's only mission is to make him more cool.'

"..I don't know. It's complicated. I don't wanna get into it."

Michael sighed, rubbing at his eyes. The music had ended a few seconds ago, leaving them both in awkward silence. This seemed to happen a lot between them.

"..Well. If you don't wanna talk about that. What do you wanna do? I mean, we could light some shit on fire or something."

"And ruin my perfect reputation? What kind of teenage hooligan do you take me for?"

"The kind that has Princess Peach pajamas and wears them unironically."

"They're comfortable! And pink looks good on me!"

"Whatever you say, princess."

"If I'm a princess that means I rank higher than you. So I order you to go get me a coke."

"And since when did I become your servant? I don't remember agreeing to this."

"It was in the contract I made you sign when we first became friends. Sorry, babe. Shoulda read the fine print."

"I'll read your fine print."

"Kinky."

JD got up with an extremely overexaggerated groan. "Whatever. I'll go get your stupid coke. Try not to get kidnapped while I'm gone, your majesty."

"No promises~!" Michael laughed quietly as JD left the basement. Curling up on the beanbag, he picked up his phone and opened messages up again. Jeremy still hadn't read his messages. His mood dropped once again, frowning as he stared at his screen. He sent one more text. Just this last one, then he'd give up for the night.

“Jeremy?“

“Are you there?“

“Come on man at least read my fucking texts“

“Please?“

“I miss you“

Michael deleted the last text and waited for JD to return. He was fine. He didn't need Jeremy. If Jeremy wanted to ignore him, fine. He'll ignore Jeremy right back. Who needs him anyway?

Michael shoved down the inner voice that said 'I need him' with zero mercy or hesitation.

Chapter Text

JD was not a great person. He wasn't a good person, hell, one would be hard pressed to call him a decent person. Or an average person. Or even a person who's not as big of an asshole as he could be.

He's a piece of shit. He knows it, everyone does. Everyone who used to know him does. The entirety of Westerburg High does. Veronica does. Especially after everything that went down.

He moved away after the whole..nearly dying and blowing up the school thing. He was in the hospital for a long ass time and was questioned by he police even longer. It was a miracle he wasn't arrested.

Well no, it wasn't.

It was Veronica.

She convinced everyone it was a suicide gone wrong. He wasn't arrested, only sent to a psyche ward. Which was, arguably, worse than being arrested. But it beat 30+ years in a cell, so he took it. He went to the sessions, got meds, went to therapy. All that bulllshit.

He never talked to Veronica again. She avoided him while he was still in Ohio. It hurt but I mean. It's not like you could just forgive your boyfriend(?) for nearly killing everyone in some weird moment of grief and love driven bloodlust and insanity. So he understood.

They'd moved, sort of had to, after he got out. To shithole New Jersey. It was..different. But it was nice. In a very disgusting 'filled with trash and incomprehensible accents' way. He wasn't going to school, not in the traditional sense, anymore. He took online courses. It was.. Odd. But it worked. Sort of.

It was really fucking weird to not have Veronica. Veronica, who was his rock and his everything. She deserves better, far better than him and doesn't he know it. Anyone other than him would be better. But he still relied on her. She kept him grounded. And without her around JD was.. lost.

Not in some bullshit regretful romance song kind of way. He wasn't missing his other half or a complete wreck. He just felt sort of empty. Hollow. Like he was drifting through life. Which, to be fair, he was doing before-but now it's more prominent. More..obvious.

He was lonely. Something JD didn't deal with very often nor did he handle well. Being (basically) homeschooled in a new state with no one to talk to didn't help either. He was miserable, well-more so than usual, at first. But only at first.

Then he met Michael.

A pint-sized pipsqueak who wore a hoodie that was two sizes too big (covered in various ridiculous patches), drank disgusting red slushies, was obsessed with old video games, and who attached himself to JD the second it was deemed okay. He was loud, sarcastic, and clingy. He laughed when JD got attacked by the mutant rats at 7/11 and covered him with My Little Pony band-aids. He constantly insulted him and was a little shit.

He was JD's best and only friend.

The little asshole had wormed his way into JD's good graces and had decided to make a new life there. Michael talked to him, valued his opinions, wanted to hang out with him and laughed when JD insulted him. It was nice. Michael was nice-their weird friendship was nice.

He made JD feel less lonely.

It felt wrong at first, like he was replacing Veronica. Which, looking back, was fucking stupid. It wasn't like he liked Michael in a romantic sense, they were just friends. But even still, Veronica wasn't just his girlfriend(?), she was his friend. She made him smile and laugh and she made him feel grounded and happy. He loved her-as a person, as a friend, as a lover. It didn't feel right to replace her like this.

But it didn't feel right to think that way either.

He didn't want to think of Michael as a replacement. As a 'well, if I can't have her, I /guess/ he'll do' kind of thing. Weird as it was to admit, he enjoyed Michael's company. Enjoyed hanging out with him and playing games and just talking. Michael made him laugh and smile, brought him out of his bad moods. JD got..attached. And he didn't get attached very easily.

(Then again, it took Veronica one half-date and listening to him whine about slushies and his weird vaguely masochistic coping mechanisms for him to fall in love with her so. And it took two meetings with Michael at the 7/11. Maybe he did get attached easily.)

Michael was like Veronica. Not exactly like her but he was similar. They both managed to secure spots in JD's heart, made him feel wanted and happy, made him let us guard down and drew him out of his shell. But they were different.

Veronica was more direct, more about tough love than anything else. She knew how to work him and what made him tick. She was no nonsense when it came to his slumps, forcing him out of them with tough love and reality checks. But she was gentle with him when she needed to be. She gave him love and kindness and had him wrapped around her little finger. She showed her affection through kisses and gentle touches that made him melt. But she mainly showed it through her words, through quiet 'I love you's and rants about why he needed to stop laying in bed all day and go let a dog or something.

Michael was more subtle. He didn't make him talk or anything. He let JD do as he pleased, however he pleased. Which wasn't saying Veronica was controlling, she just didn't bother with his 'I'm wallowing in my own misery' bullshit. Michael let him mope but not without teasing him to hell and back for being a 'renegade Hot Topic model'. His affection was shown through light shoves and insults. He was less about words and more about actions.

They boy had their own way of making him care about them. And he loved them both. In different ways, of course, but it was still love. An undeniable fondness that didn't seem to fade nor did it seem like it would ever. Even with his..past with Veronica, his love for her hadn't faded. He'd fucked up what he had with her and it cost him their relationship. Along with the lives of 3 of his peers but he couldn't say he really cared about them. He missed Veronica but had accepted that he ruined everything and he wasn't gonna get her back.

He only hoped that he didn't fuck up with Michael too. He genuinely liked Michael and wanted to keep this friendship alive. But JD wasn't a good person. He'd screw up, at something or other. And he'd hurt someone. Maybe Michael, maybe himself, maybe someone else, and Michael would see just how fucked he was. Or maybe he'd find out about what JD had done, how he'd killed 3 people because they messed with his girlfriend(?). And he'd leave JD alone again (and he didn't want to admit to himself just how much that thought terrified him).

JD wasn't a good person. But he'd gotten pretty goddamn good at pretending to be one. He convinced Michael, at the very least. As far as he knew, JD was just a weird kid who had a thing for trenchcoats and dark clothes. He had no idea what JD had done. He had no idea who JD was outside of his friend who liked the color black a bit too much and who liked the 'radioactive trash' blue slushies. To him, JD was a friend. Someone who he liked and wanted to be around. Someone who couldn't kill anyone because to Michael, JD was a good person.

And JD was determined to keep that image.

Chapter Text

Michael was extremely frustrated.

Not just with JD's absolutely horrific attempts at playing Mario Kart (it was on the easiest fucking track, JD, get your shit together) but at his own self.

See, after Jeremy had properly abandoned him, he had started to do some research on the SQUIP. Where it was from, why it was built, who built it, ways to shut it down, anything. Something to use against the evil diet siri that was taking his player one away.

And he had found fuck all. Not a single goddamn thing.

How was he supposed to help Jeremy if he couldn't even figure out where this fucking floppy disk was built?!

"..ael?"

No matter what he searched or where, it was like the fucking thing didn't exist.

"..chael."

But it had to exist! He'd fucking seen the thing and its effects! The internet usually had everything about everything, why couldn't he find one little tidbit of information on that god awful, motherfucking-

"MICHAEL!"

"FUCK-!"

Michael absolutely did not let out a pathetically high pitched scream, nearly flinging his phone across the room as JD screeched in his ear. After calming down from his mini heart attack he shit JD a glare.

"What the fuck?!"

"Mike, I've been calling you for like two minutes. I know you're not playing music on those obnoxious fucking headphones of yours, so what's up?"

"/Nothing/ is up, man, I just-"

"Bull-fucking-shit nothing is up. You're usually talking my ear off and making me go deaf with your unholy screaming about how bad I am at Mario Kart. You've been silent for like half an hour and that's basically a year for you. So what's going on with you? For real?"

"..." Michael sighed, flopping back into the beanbag chair and rubbing his eyes. "It's Jeremy."

"Ex-best friend douchebag?"

"Harsh but yeah. Him. He's been..acting really weird lately and I've been trying to see what I can do to help. I /know/ what's wrong with him but I don't.. I can't find any information on it. And it's fucking bullshit! Because this-this thing is going to get him in serious trouble! It's dangerous! And he now has literally blocked from his field of sight, I saw him seize up like he was being /electrocuted/ twice today, and I know it's all because of that motherfucking SQU-!"

And Michael froze.

He shook his head, biting down on his lip and taking a deep breath. He had to calm down, if he didn't, he'd spill a bunch more shit that needs to be kept under wraps. Like the fact that his (ex)best friend is being controlled/possessed by a weird demented Japanese AI that no one knows anything about.

"Uh. Because of what did you say?"

"Nothing. Just forget about it."

"I mean. It sounds kind of really important, like, main plot device important so-"

"JD. Please. I don't wanna talk about it. I wasn't even supposed to mention it."

"..Alright. How bout I just forget you said anything at all?"

"That'd be preferable, yeah."

"So you wanna keep talking about this or are you going to repress your thoughts and feelings with video games, as usual?"

"Gimme the latter. Hand me the controller, I wanna kick your ass so I can feel better about myself."

"I'll fight you right here and now, Mell, don't test me."

"Yeah yeah, save the bitter shit for when I mop the floor with you."

And Michael, as usual, kicked the shit out of JD in Mario Kart. As they continued to play, Michael relaxed. He was happy to finally get his mind off the whole abandonment thing, at least for a little while.

"So," Michael says, practically throwing himself side to side as if that would make his turns sharper, "I heard there's gonna be a Halloween party at Dillinger's house in a week."

"Yup. A bunch of sweaty horny teenagers getting shitfaced to loud migraine inducing music. Sounds like one hell of a shindig."

"Who the fuck says shindig anymore?"

"Me, so go fuck yourself. Anyway, your point?"

"Hm? Oh yeah, I was wondering if you wanted to-MOTHERFUCKER HOW DARE YOU!!" Michael screamed as his first place position was destroyed with a welltimed blue shell while JD laughed like an asshole.

"Eat shit, Mell."

"Go fuck yourself, JDick."

"Love you too, babe.~"

Michael ignored him, opting instead to lean forward in his beanbag to focus entirely on getting back in first. Like hell he was getting beat by fucking AI. ..Again.

"Anyway. Party."

"Don't fuckin' interrupt me again, asshole, but do you wanna go?"

JD looked surprised and very confused, looking away from the screen to give Michael a look.

"Why would we wanna go?"

Michael bit his lip, pausing Mario Kart to turn and face JD completely. "I dunno. Usually parties have weed and I don't wanna go track down my dealer for more yet, so I was thinking maybe I could smuggle some? Plus, I dunno, it could be kinda fun?"

Sure, that would work. JD didn't smoke but he didn't seem to really give a shit that Michael did, he only complained about the smell. The /real/ reason Michael wanted to go, of course, was to find Jeremy. He didn't have much information on the SQUIP but goddamnit maybe he could just talk to him. Try to make him see what a fucking idiot he was being and maybe everything would go back to normal! ..It wouldn't. But wishful thinking never hurt anyone.

"..You think going to a mini rave would be fun. You, Michael Mell, nerd extraordinaire and king of all introverts. Sounds fake but okay. So why would I have to come if all you wanna do is get more weed?"

"Because you're my friend and you care about me~?" Michael grinned, leaning close to JD and fluttering his eyelashes (and ignoring that this felt horribly familiar to a conversation he had about 'favourite persons').

"Mmmmmnope. Try again, fucker."

Michael groaned, flopping down onto JD's beanbag and pouting. "Because I'll buy you Slushies for the next two weeks if you do?"

"Four weeks."

"Two weeks."

"Three weeks."

"Deal."

"Yesssss!" He fist pumped, making JD roll his eyes and shove him off the beanbag.

"Does this mean I have to wear a costume?"

"Absolutely. We're gonna go shopping for them tomorrow, motherfucker. And you already agreed to the unholy contract, there's no escape!"

"I could throw you it a goddamn window, I'm pretty sure that would let me escape."

"What're your opinions on matching costumes? Couple style?"

"Goddamnit, I hate your stupid ass."

"I love you too, babe~!"

Michael laughed as JD curled into a ball, groaning and whining about the torture he'll have to endure tomorrow.

As Michael rambled off different ideas for costumes, he thought about the party. He knew in all likelyhood, he wouldn't find Jeremy. And even if he did, he'd probably just be blocked out. As usual. But if nothing else, he could have some fun messing around with people with JD. And possibly score some free weed. Sick. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe his luck will finally turn around and he'll have a decent time for once.

..It couldn't hurt to hope, right?