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Loner: Talk

"So, what was that?" Dal asked.

"What was what?" Jas dodged the question.

"What did you do to make your friend get that angry? Why'd he run away like that?" Dal asked more specifically.

"I don't know. He needs to stop whingin'," Jas complained and took note of their surroundings. "Where are you driving us?"

"We need to talk," Dal answered, looking over to his twin.

"About...?" Jas rolled his eyes.

"You and Hunter eh. Is there—is there . . . something going on there?" Dal asked tentatively, and after seeing Jas's shocked expression he quickly added, "I mean . . . not like it's bad or anything. I just—well, we're twins and all. Aren't we supposed to be like the same?" He seemed to be asking himself more than he was asking Jas.

Jas didn't know what to say. He looked at his brother pleadingly. Just say yes, he told himself, but he couldn't find his voice. Dal picked up on that, "So, by your silence that means yes, right?"

Jas started to panic. He began taking deeper breaths. His eyes scanned all around the car and continually landed on the door handle. If only he could jump out. . . He damned the car for being in motion. Dal began mimicking his twin's behavior, breathing just as hard. He nervously filled the thick silence with more rambling.

"I wouldn't hate you, Jas. Like not at all. You're my twin. I wouldn't understand it. How you can like . . . guys. . . And sure it would take time to get used to it, but I would. I mean. I wouldn't embarrass you or anything or tell mum or dad. I kinda' suspected eh. Caleb said he had seen you and Tommy `being yucky' when we were like thirteen. I didn't believe the—"

"Little snot saw that?!" Jas exclaimed, referring to their younger brother. When he was little kid, anything involving hugs or kisses was "being yucky". Jas remembered Tommy being so bold as to "whip it out" when the two of them were alone, and then he boasted on how huge it was. Jas blushed remembering his first kiss, which was right after he gave Tommy the first of many hand jobs. It was in their basement while Dal was sick and quarantined to their bedroom.

Dal snapped Jas from his thoughts, "So you and he did—" He couldn't bring himself to finish and finally burst out with, "For how long?"

"On and off till we moved here," Jas whispered, surprising himself. He didn't think he had to courage to say anything yet.

Dal slammed on the breaks, jolting both he and Jas forward. "Who are you?" he asked Jas. A woman in the gray car behind them threw her hand onto the horn. A loud continuous honk lasted about 20 seconds before she drove by them and yelled, "DUMBASS!!! GET OFF THE ROAD!!!" out her window.

"Dammit, Dal, what's wrong with you?! You can't just stop in the street like that!" Jas chided his brother.

"What's wrong with me?" Dal repeated the question looking at Jas incredulously. "I'm not the one who's been fucking Tommy for the past three years!"

"We only went all the way twice . . . well once really cos I hurt him too much and—" Jas quickly shut his mouth. He didn't know where he'd gotten this sudden courage from, but it seemed to him that he was just telling Dal things he always wanted to tell him. Now that his secret was out, it was easier.

"Jas, I can be okay with you liking . . . guys, but please spare me the details of you and Tommy's sex life," Dal said much more calmly.

Jas laughed nervously, "I'm sorry, but I don't know. . . I've just kinda wanted to tell you about me, about Tommy, and about one or two other guys before this. I just . . . never had the courage eh."

"Just let me get used to it," Dal responded softly, and he meant it.


"I figured you'd be in here," Nokomis said softly after opening the door to Hunter's closet. The closest wasn't big enough to be called a walk-in, but it was long – the length of its two large sliding doors. Hunter sat in the corner farthest from the door of his bedroom. He hugged his legs to his chest, resting his chin on his knee.

"You gonna ask me what happened, right?" Hunter offered.

"Well I already know what happened between you two here in the basement. You told me about that, remember?" Nokomis asked, turning on the light in the closet, and sat down across from Hunter and closed the door.

"Yes," Hunter nodded slightly.

"So I can guess that Jas tried to confront you, you two had an argument, and he probably caught you with some type of question or something that you couldn't answer," Nokomis smiled at Hunter and continued, "I'm right, right?"

Hunter nodded and pouted.

"So for the past two weeks, you've avoided Jas like the plague because of the basement incident," she paused, not wanting to say what she did next, but she knew she had to bring it up, "And you've been lying to your mom and dad about taking all your medica—"

"I don't need it," Hunter implored, smacking a fist on the floor.

"Hunter, don't be stupid. You'll start having delusions again, and if you don't want them to take you over. Take them, please," Nokomis pleaded. Hunter didn't respond, but Nokomis knew she was heard. "So you gonna leave this closet and come back to my cookout? Or are you gonna have to make me spend the rest of the day with you in here?"

Hunter laughed and slid the large door next to him open. "Let's go back." He stood up and helped Nokomis up. The two walked out of his room and to the main area of the basement. Before they reached the doors leading to outside, Nokomis stopped. "You gotta do it right now, or we can just hang out in here all day," she told him.

Hunter went to the bathroom and opened the door to the medicine cabinet. He closed the door and looked at himself in the mirror. Salene was right in what she had said a few days ago. He did look like shit. He hadn't taken time to do anything to his hair which sat haphazardly on his head. Large dark circles lay under his eyes and his skin had taken a sallow color. "Damn," he said to his reflection, smiled wryly and swallowed the pills. He joined Nokomis back at the door. "Let's go." Nokomis smiled as they went to the door.

Another shorty. I think I'm keepin' up some suspense with these. I just used the list to tell everyone when I'd updated and I do hope that it got to everyone. If you didn't receive the email (and you requested such of me, or not), let me know so I can make sure not to make that mistake again. Thank you for reading. Your thoughts onegai-simasu (please give me). Thanks!