"You know Parker, you could at least try to beat me instead of answering every text that Sloane sends you like a lost puppy"
Parker scoffed at Andy's teasing manner, picking back up his controller "Sloane is the only thing that matters to me," he clicked his tongue guilelessly "So no"
Andy smirked at his utter adoration for Sloane, nudging his shoulder as she continued to brutally murder zombies on the television screen in front of her "Gay"
The boy nudged her back, copying her manner to annoy her all the more "You're in love with someone writing you notes, shut up"
Andy thought back to how she felt this morning, a new note in hand and a rich blush caressing her cheeks.
'If all love is made up of chemicals,
Let me know what it is I feel for you.
Because no scientist could ever explain it.'
Vincent had watched her eyes sparkle and lips push a smile back into her mouth. She tried to hide it, really, how much she felt for inked words.
But everyone knew. And Vincent hated himself every day he lied to her.
Andy didn't know how much he hurt when she held his note to her heart and hid it from his eyes.
But for now, neither knew of each other's soft pain. Not as Parker spoke with his love, and not as Andy blew the heads off of the undead.
"Andy, Sloane said she wants to to do a stick and poke"
"Why?" Andy's mind cast to the girl who was hyper like no ones business, imagining briefly the pain which a stick and poke tattoo would do to the skin - especially with someone so inexperienced.
"She's drinking too much coffee at work." There was a ghost of a smile on Parker's lips as he thought of the girl making herself one too many caffeinated drinks "Says she saw a girl with one and wanted us all to have matching"
Andy shook her head, a chuckle leavibg her mouth "I love her but I'm not fucking doing that"
"You're the tatted man I thought you'd be down"
"Nah, the one I got for Sloane is my last."
"You got one for Sloane?"
"Yeah," the boy turned his arm to reveal a lightly traced golden sunflower dead centre of his wrist, covering a mess of scars that littered the way along his lifeline vein. He was quick to hide his wrist again, because if there was one thing he hated, it was people looking at those scars. Wondering what happened "She's my sunflower" he stated nonchalantly as he continued to play the game on the screen.
Andy almost didn't know what to say for a second, after seeing the cuts that she new bled strong when first opened. She didn't realise how much the two had really needed one another, how much he needed someone after Sam killed a part of him when she died. She didn't know that Parker had almost been in the same place as his older sister.
But looking upon the shaggy brunette now, you wouldn't know as a his eyes lit up each time he looked upon his love.
It made Andy believe in love, even when it was hard to "Awww, cutie pie"
"So if Sloane is your darling Sun and flower, what does this one mean? I've always tried to figure it but I have no clue." Andy gestured towards the line work which followed his left bicep, the symbols almost recognisable, but in a pattern she didn't understand.
"It's a long story-"
The girl would not let him brush the story away "We have a lot of time"
There was a moment of silent argument between the two friends, eyes locked with raised eyebrows to see who would crack.
Too bad for Parker that Andy had grown up with three older brothers. She would not lose.
"Fine. Well, I, um," Parker rubbed his hands together, a sigh escaping his lips as he let out a small chuckle "I've always seen myself as a, uh, catalyst, you know? When I spoke with Sloane, I'm this cynical fuckhead who speaks of doom of gloom, and I know I kinda ruin the party. Sorry, I also know I'm shit explaining myself..."
She places a hand on his shoulder, gently squeezing the muscle "Just breathe, Parker, I'm not asking if you killed someone"
The boy scoffed, rubbing the back of his neck "Right, right. Okay, well..." He blew out a breath, and Andy took her hand away to give him more room - or so to speak "I'm not dumb. I'm actually really damn smart, so I look into shit more than I should. It's... A math equation. A negative and a positive equals a negative. No matter the happiness of one, it can be subsequently ruined by the blackhole that is a pessimists mantra. Ergo, they buy into that idealism incidentally and become another broken star"
"Wow, that really is dramatic"
Parker scratched the back of his head sheepishly, coughing out a strained laugh "I get like that - all in my head about the same shit over and over"
"So, how about the flower?"
Parker figured this was there the conversation would go - to all the black ink he had on his body. The rose on his ribcage being one that pained him dearly.
He could not take back how little he had known.
"It was for my sister, Sam, when she died. She was a beautiful rose, tarnished by all that is wrong. All the poison she was fed by cruel people with nothing better to do than paint apples. Horrendous, horrendous evil of man destroying all that was good in her from the inside out."
"She was... um... the one who..."
"Killed herself, yes. November 9th. So long ago yet so present"
"Fuck, that's rough"
"It's not as bad as what I did. I left my family, my younger sister and my parents who were grieving as I was. But ,in my mind, I was grieving more, I was more sad, I was more hurt. We all hurt the same, I just was selfish about it. We fought - fuelled off this dangerous depression and I left them all. I even dared tell Anya that I loved her when I fucked off" He shook his head, running a shaky hand through his hair "But I said I would see her again. So the last was that. I would see her again."
He held a hand over his aching heart - one that stabbed him when he thought of what he had done before.
"And it burned in my chest- that promise I made to a crying young girl. So I made it scar into my skin forever"
She felt almost entirely of nothing as she stared at him, but in the absolute same sense, she felt everything he said. From the family she never saw, to the man who never let her see.
She didn't say it, though. Even if it could help him, even if it could help herself. Even if it would do nothing at all. Even if it was the worst thing tjat could leave her mouth.
She didn't say anything.
Until she smiled, her honest smile, that left a dimple in her right cheek, and a soft blush across her face. And she spoke;
"You're more than you think Parker"
Parker's face flushed as he ran a hand through his hair. He could never take a compliment "Yeah, yeah. Say that again and I'll kick your ass"
Andy scoffed, the number of victories she held over the boy bright on the tv.
"You can sure as hell try"