The two young men were sitting on the bed, playing a game of double solitaire. Everything in the room was white and bare, the only life in the room emanating from the dark raven locks of the smaller man and the sunny golden hair of the other. The blonde was young and glowing with life, the brunette slightly older and pale, but in possession of a smile which seemed to light up the stark room.

 "I win!" the blonde, named Christian announced proudly, slapping down his last king.

 "You so cheated," giggled his friend, Sean.

 "So did not!" Christian insisted.

 "So did!" Sean gathered up the cards and tucked them back into their case, fixing Christian with an especially broad grin. "You know what today is, right?"

 Christian's face lit up. "You remembered!"

 "Of course I did!" Sean pulled a brightly wrapped box out from behind his back. "Happy birthday Chrissy!"

 "Woohoo!" Christian snatched the box, holding it up to his ear and shaking it.

 "Stop that, you're gonna break it!" Sean objected. "Just open it, dumbass."

 "Ok." Christian quickly tore away the wrapping paper and opened the box, cooing in delight when he found a pretty crystal globe inside. "It's gorgeous!" he exclaimed. "It's absolutely perfect!"

 "Glad you like it." Sean beamed. "I made it myself. It's my first big project. What do you think?"

 "It couldn't be better!" Christian lifted up the breathtaking globe, which sparkled in a thousand different colors. "You're getting so good Sean! This is soooo much better than that first little ash tray you made. Remember that?"

 "Of course I do," Sean replied. "I gave you that too, cos you're my best friend, Chrissy."

 "You're my best friend too." Christian sniffed, wiping a tear from his eyes. "You're really giving me this?"

 "Yep. I really want you to have it," Sean insisted.

 "Aw, Sean, I love you so much!" Christian set down the globe, leaning forward and pulling Sean into a tight hug.

 "I love you too," Sean whispered, sniffing as he pulled back. "We'll go play in the forest later, ok? I've got another big birthday surprise for you!"

 "Can't we go now?" Christian pressed, his eyes wide and excited.

 "Not now." Sean rolled his eyes. "I've gotta go. They're here to see you. You know, those weird crazy people?"

 "Oh man!" Christian made a face. "Them again? Why?"

 "I dunno." Sean shrugged. "But they just got here, and you know I hate being here when they're around, they're just creepy."

 "Will you come right back as soon as they're gone?" Christian pressed.

 "You know I will," Sean assured his best friend, leaning in to give Christian a quick kiss on the lips before standing. "Bye!" he called brightly as he floated up through the ceiling, disappearing through the stark white surface.

 "Pooey," Christian pouted. "Figured I'd have to see them on my birthday! I hope they don't stay long!"


 Christian glanced up, seeing a dark blonde head peeking in the door. "Hi," he grumbled.

 "Hi. Can I come in?" the tall blonde questioned.

 "Yeah, I guess," Christian said with a shrug.

 The taller man came in, sitting awkwardly on the bed. "Can I have a kiss?" he asked hopefully.

 "I dunno," Christian replied, frowning slightly.

 "I am your boyfriend," the taller man urged.

 "I know. I guess you can." Christian leaned forward, about to deliver a chaste kiss to the other man's cheek when he was caught up in a pair of strong arms, his body pulled against the bigger man's, his lips captured in a passionate kiss.

 "I've missed you," the other man murmured as they drew apart.

 "I can tell." Christian wiggled around, trying to get away from the hardness pressed against his belly, but the other man held him tight.

 "You've gotta get better so you can get out of here," his boyfriend murmured. "It's been six months, Christian."

 "Well I like being here, and there's nothing wrong with me!" Christian insisted, frowning at the other man. "And if you say that again, Hunter, I won't even talk to you anymore! I hope you're not staying for long, Sean said he won't come back while you're here."

 Hunter sighed. "Christian, baby, you've got to stop talking about this Sean. He's just in your mind, baby."

 "Yeah, uh huh." Christian rolled his eyes.

 "But that's not what I came to see you for, and I don't wanna fight again," Hunter continued. "I wanted to wish you a happy birthday! You're 19 today, baby!"

 "I know how old I am!" Christian snapped. "And Sean already wished me a happy birthday, and he gave me this beautiful globe he made! Look!" He pointed proudly to the globe.

 Hunter looked to where Christian was pointing, sighing heavily. "Baby, there's nothing there."

 "There is!" Christian sighed. "It's right there Hunter!"

 "Honey, you've gotta stop treating these hallucinations like they're real!" Hunter exclaimed.

 "They ARE real!" Christian snapped. "They are real and I know it! Sean just doesn't want you to see him, which is why you can't!"

 "The world doesn't work that way, honey," Hunter sighed.

 "It does!" Christian crossed his arms over his chest, scowling at the tall blonde. He was about to say something further when a pale form floated down from the ceiling, settling onto the bed behind Hunter and holding a finger up to his lips for silence. Christian giggled, biting his lip as Hunter frowned.

 "Baby, this is no laughing matter!" the tall blonde insisted.

 "Why not? I think your pigheadedness is pretty funny!"

 Hunter whirled around, his eyes growing to the size of saucers. "Holy shit!" he dived off the bed, backing up until his back hit the wall. "You - where - who - " He shook his head, his mouth hanging open.

 "This is Sean." Christian grinned, giving his best friend a huge hug. "I'm so super glad you came back! Can we go now? You promised I could go live with you full time once I was 19, remember?"

 Sean grinned. "I was just waiting for you to ask, baby."

 "You're real," Hunter managed to gasp.

 Sean stuck his tongue out at the tall blonde. "Yeah, I am! And Chrissy's coming with me, so you can forget about ever touching him again!" He took Christian's hand, pulling the pretty blonde to stand next to him on the bed. "Ready to go, Chrissy?"

 "You bet!" Christian was bouncing with excitement, his face filled by a beaming smile. "Lets go Sean! I wanna go live with you!"

 "No!" Hunter was staring at them, looking both frightened and horrified. "Christian, you can't go! I love you! I've loved you since we were kids!"

 "You can come visit me if you want to," Christian offered. "But only if you're nice to Sean every time you come!"

 "How will I find you?" Hunter gasped.

 Christian gave him a funny look. "Just think that you want to, like I do when I really wanna visit Sean."

 Hunter swallowed and nodded, turning his eyes to the dark youth. "Are you an angel?"

 Sean laughed, shaking his dark head. "Come on, do I look like an angel? Shyeah!" Both he and Christian giggled.

 "Bye Hunter!" Christian called as both he and Sean started to rise through the ceiling. "Come visit me soon! I hear sex where Sean lives is way way better! Or so he tells me anyway, I haven't tried it. See you later!" With that, he and Sean were gone.

 Hunter was left staring up at the ceiling, his mind spinning. Everything he thought he knew seemed to have been knocked off kilter, everything now different. He jumped as a knock came at the door. Another blonde head peeked into the room. "Hunter? You done?" questioned his best friend. The pretty blonde looked around, gasping suddenly. "Oh my god, is he ok?" The smaller man rushed into the room, running over to the bed, where Hunter suddenly say Christian lying.

 "Shawn?" Hunter whispered, his throat feeling very tight.

 Shawn looked up, tears in his eyes. "Hunter, he's gone! Did he take pills or something? He - he must've!"

 "No," Hunter breathed. "No, he left, Shawn."

 "I know." Shawn took a deep breath, walking over to Hunter and taking his friend's arm. "We should go Hunter. We've gotta tell the warden. God, Hunter, I'm so sorry!"

 "But he's not dead," Hunter murmured. "He just left."

 "Hunter it'll be ok," Shawn whispered. "I know you loved him, but he's not coming back. He's gone."

 "I can go visit him." Hunter swallowed. "He said I could."

 "I suppose you can, once he's buried." Shawn sighed. "It's so sad, he was so young! Come on Hunter, we shouldn't stay here. Don't worry, I'll be here for you."

 "Thanks," Hunter whispered, pausing to take one last look back at the room before letting Shawn lead him from the room. I will visit you, Christian,' he thought to himself. I'll figure out how. And I'll make it up to you for thinking you were crazy. You can't have been, unless I'm crazy too.' He took a deep breath, shaking his head and following his friend out.


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