Disclaimer: If it's illegal for you to be doing so, you shouldn't be reading this, but if you still choose to, don't get caught. There are still 14 people I haven't emailed back, but you'll get responses soon. Thanks for all the feedback. I got stuck at one point while writing this part. I'd like to give a special thanks to Terry, Steve, "The Jim", and Shabana. Feel free to continue to send messages to me at getitright10@yahoo.com. Enjoy!

Loner: The Basement

Jas thanked Helena for the ride home as the two of them got in the car. He hadn't really thought how he was going to get home when he invited himself over Hunter's house earlier that day. Helena kept the conversation going, and Jas found he didn't have to contribute much to it. She asked Jas the usual questions. "So, where are you from, Jas?"

"New Zealand originally," he answered.

Helena seemed very impressed by that, "Oh? Is this your first time coming to America?"

Jas shook his head, "No, we moved here to California when I was eight and stayed for two years before going back home. Now we're here."

"Why did you all—"

"Move so much?" Jas finished her question, "My dad's job is all. His company transfers him to different offices as he's moved up within it."

"Oh, well do you have any siblings?" she asked, peering over to him. She wanted to know all about Jas. He seemed like he'd be a good influence on Hunter.

"I have a twin brother named Dal and then there's my younger brother and sister," he answered casually.

"Oh you have a twin! Is he identical?" Helena's eyes twinkled as she asked.

"Make a right here," Jas told her. She eased the car around the corner, still eyeing Jas expectantly. Jas nodded, "We're identic—"

"Oh my God! I'm an identical twin too! My sister's name is Harmony! Till this day people can't tell us apart. Though in our teen years we went through that `we're-not-the-same-person' phase. Oh! You should've seen me. I went very disco while Harmony got completely bogged down in punk scene. She even started to talk in this British accent and went by the name `Harm'..." Helena continued on about herself and her twin, Harmony.

Jas didn't pay much attention, as he looked out the window. He only had to offer mmhmm's, right's and yeah's. That was enough for Helena to hear; to keep talking. He looked down at his hands, making him think of Hunter's episode earlier that day at lunch. Then he thought of the moments in the basement.

* * *

Once Salene and Nokomis had gone upstairs, he closed the curtains, making the room dark once more. He then turned the black lights back on and put Vista down. The tall cat sat in the spot where Jas had placed him and almost expectantly watched both Jas and Hunter. Jas continued to stare at all the markings all over the walls and ceilings, marveling at them. He grabbed Hunter by the hand and pulled him towards the far side of a wall away from the doors to outside.

"This," he said, pointing to words and symbols that looked like a flower, "Does it mean anything?"

Hunter didn't respond at first. All his attention was on the hand that held his. The hand that belonged to Jas, and the feelings that were bustling through him because of that simple contact. He yanked his hand out of Jas's none too gently. He shrugged, "I'm not sure."

Jas raised a brow, "So it does mean something?"

Hunter found himself getting annoyed. He hated being asked a bunch of questions. "I said I'm not sure. I just write them," he explained.

"But..." Jas began, "It's not just that, though, Hunter. It-it's how you've done it. Seems to me that thought and effort go into—"

"No! There's none of that," Hunter interrupted, his voice rising as he started becoming angry, "All you see on these walls aren't some thought out work of art or anything! They're like—like mind ramblings. That's all!" Jas opened his mouth to speak, but Hunter continued. "Crazy boy doesn't take his pills," he rolled his eyes referring to himself, "And he hears them. And they tell me these things, and I write them on the walls and ceiling because if I don't the others will get me." Hunter snapped his mouth shut. He had never directly told anyone but his mom and psychiatrist, Dr. Reed, about the voices.

Jas stood there as if struck physically by Hunter's words. As he started to respond, Hunter interrupted him again. This time his voice was low and defeated and sad. "So now you know why everyone at that school avoids me. I'm crazy, and all these things on the walls are ramblings of a crazy person. They're weird, strange, and stupid."

"No," Jas countered firmly. "They're quite nice. They're beautiful."

Hunter found laughter bubbling up in him and began laughing. Jas looked at him, bewildered. Hunter laughed, "Your accent came on really strong."

"What?" Jas asked him, scratching his neck lightly.

"When you said `quite nice'. I don't know if I can even do it, but it sounded more like `quoite noice'," Hunter explained.

Jas laughed to and put his arm around Hunter's shoulder, pulling him in close. He pressed Hunter into his side as tight as he could, not wanting Hunter to knock his arm away again. He pointed to the flower looking shape again, "You see that, Hunter? That is not weird, strange, or stupid. That's beautiful. I don't care what you hear or not. I just know that these symbols and words or whatever, are some of the most . . . uh—awesome things I've ever seen."

Hunter blushed at the compliment. Color rose up in his face all the way to his forehead. Jas was pleased with himself, happy that he could make Hunter blush like. Hunter turned his whole body away from Jas upon seeing his satisfied expression. Sure, part of his blushing was because of the compliment, but it being this bad was due to how much Jas's touch turned him on. Turning away proved to be a mistake too, for Jas pulled Hunter in closer thinking that Hunter was trying to break their contact. I'm not ready to give this up, Jas thought to himself.

Pulling Hunter in closer put him directly in front of Jas. The front of his body pressed into the back of Hunter. Hunter relaxed again, this time more so than before. Jas grinned and brought his other arm around Hunter and pulled him in tighter. He lowered his head intending on just resting it on Hunter's shoulder, but Hunter shocked him turning his head around kissing Jas.

At first Jas was surprised by the kiss, but soon he gave into it, turning Hunter's body around. As Hunter turned his body, their mouths stayed connected. Jas turned his head and slightly opened his mouth was shocked again feeling Hunter's tongue swiftly lick around his lips and dive inside. Jas moved forward, forcing Hunter back until he was pinned against the wall. He took his mouth from Hunter's, planning to nibble on Hunter's neck but found himself on the floor in the next instant. Hunter had pushed him away!

"But I thought you—" Jas began but stopped after seeing the accusatory look in Hunter's eye.

"Don't do that too me. He did that too me. Used me cos he knew how I felt about him. Paid me a compliment and suddenly I couldn't control myself. I'm not falling for it again!" Hunter stormed to his room slamming the door shut so hard it made Jas jump.

A large, burly man came quickly down the stairs, coming into the room. He went over to Jas and offered a large paw. A paw was exactly what this large hand made Jas think of. He looked up and easily saw Hunter in the large face which sat on an equally large and strong-looking neck. Jas took hold of the paw and was effortlessly lifted from the floor. "You must be Jas," came a very baritone voice that matched this man, Hunter's father. Jas nodded. "Sal," he said, shaking Jas's hand. The grip was one that aimed to crush, but Jas tried his best to match it. Hal grinned at Jas and clapped him on the shoulder, making Jas step forward slightly and looked up at Sal. I'm 6'2" and still have to look up into his eyes, Jas was awed with the sheer size of this man.

Sal's expression darkened and he looked squarely into Jas's eyes. "You didn't do anything to provoke him did you?" Jas figured that by `him' Sal meant Hunter. "Cos he's . . . y'know . . . not all there in the head sometimes," Sal continued and added under his breath, "Just like his mom."

Jas found himself suppressing a laugh at that last comment. "I didn't try to provoke him. I don't know what went wrong originally," Jas began and then began thinking out loud, "I mean I kissed him first, but he kissed me back and..." He stopped himself and fearfully looked at Sal. For a moment he panicked, not knowing if Hunter's parents even knew that he might be gay. He wasn't even sure himself whether or not Hunter was really gay.

Sal's fake broke into a toothy grin. "And you and he just met today? Damn, you kids move fast these days." Seeing the relief flood into Jas, Sal clapped him on the back again and laughed deeply, "We know Hunter's gay. It's no secret. . . So you kissed him?" Jas nodded. Sal shook his head from side to side, frowning, "Did you compliment him before that?"

"Yes," Jas answered.

Sal let out a long sigh, "I'll let Hunter get comfortable enough to tell you the whole story, but that's what a former friend of his did, and then that same friend `outed' him. He's kinda sensitive about it still. . ."

"Oh," was all Jas said. He looked back towards Hunter's door. "Can you or Helena give me a ride home?" he asked Sal.

"Helena can. I'm about to head back out. C'mon," Sal began to go back upstairs. He paused and turned back to Jas, "Just give Hunt some time. He'll come around."

* * *

"Jas? Jas, hon?"

Jas blinked a few times and looked over to Helena. She smiled at him, "Don't know where your head is. For a moment it was up in the clouds or something." She laughed at her observation. "Which road do I go down here?"

"Reston, on the left and then you make to more turns," Jas answered.

"Reston and then two more turns. You live in this area?" she asked slowly driving the cars through the neighborhoods filled with large houses with too much land.

"Yes, we do," Jas rolled his eyes. Why else would you be bringing me here? They made their last two turns ending at large cul-de-sac. His house was the second on the right. "This one here," Jas told Helena.

She stopped the car and peered through the passenger seat window. "What nice home," she commented. She put a hand on Jas's shoulder, "You have a nice day, Jas. Hope we'll be seeing more of you around." She beamed at him.

"Bye Helena," he opened his door, got out the car and jogged to the front door. He gave Helena one last wave before she drove off and fumbled around his book bag for his key, which he couldn't find. Just as he was about to ring the doorbell the front door opened. Before him stood the guy Nokomis had hit in the balls earlier that day. He remembered Dal calling him `Kraze'.

Krazy opened the screen door and laughed, "I've never known identical twins before. It's cool though. Dal just stopped what he was doing and told me to answer the door cos you were here. And here you are. It's just . . . weird, y'know?"

Jas just smiled, "Yeah, sure." Krazy stepped out of his way letting him in the house and closed the door behind him. Jas headed toward the kitchen, knowing Dal would be there. Dal was pouring water over the fruit already in the blender. He called over his shoulder to Jas, "Kia ora."

"What's wrong?" Jas asked Dal immediately, not returning his hello. Krazy gave him a bewildered stare.

Dal turned around and made a couple of facial expressions and glanced at the newly hung clock on the wall. Krazy stood their awkwardly, not knowing what was going on between the twin brothers. Jas just sighed, reading Dal's expressions: We'll talk later. "What did I do?" Jas asked in response to the silent command.

"Later," Dal said simply. Krazy stood there not knowing what to do, but he could sense the tension between the brothers. He attempted to make a dumb blond joke which got him the same bothered look from both Jas and Dal.

It was kinda difficult to know where to end this part, too. Thanks for the emails. I'll be waiting for more.