UNDER A SINGLE FLICKERING LIGHTBULB stood Haruki, tense and thin, like a paper cutout of a raven-haired boy. The light made it so that he appeared translucent almost, and Dorian had the unsettling feeling that ghosts did walk among men at night. Like a terrified watchman in a horror movie he approached.

"Hey," Haruki spoke first. "How'd it go?"

"Fantastic. She's halfway to calling the local police department about the signs of murderous tendencies." Dorian was making an attempt at banter, but if anything, Haruki's eyes widened and the green undertones in his complexion became bolder. But Dorian did not ask if he were okay. Indiscretion is only appropriate if the result is excitement.
His mother's words, of course.

"Where are your friends?" The mere thought of his mother, strict in a pencil skirt and perfectly ironed shirt, looking down at him with impatience and contempt, drove Dorian towards a goal he was not yet sure was set for his own good.

"Oh, they're here somewhere," Haruki mumbled. His breath intake, shallow and forced, was a clear indicator that he was growing sicker by the minute. "I told them I'm getting some Imodium and I'll join them."

Dorian's nose crinkled, but Haruki was examining the floor with the precision of an intoxicated scientist. Not a single minute passed and the contents of Haruki's stomach found themselves splattered on Dorian's shoes. Thankfully, he kept the particular pair for strolls in the wilderness, the school's garden in this case, and the loss was not too great.

As much as he pressured himself to appear sympathetic, Dorian's eyes made a circular motion on their own accord. He stepped out of the miniature puddle and kneeled to meet Haruki's pale face.

"I think I need to lie down," Haruki mumbled for the second time that evening, before diving headfirst into his own vomit. Dorian caught his torso and held him upright.

"What are you two doing there?" Dorian could recognize that voice in his sleep, after spending a mere half hour with the dreaded woman.

"I can't go to the nurse's office, Dorian." Haruki's panic was as clear as day. Pupils wide as the heart of a poppy flower, Dorian had seen enough adults and minors indulge in narcotics to know the signs. Not to mention the consequences of being caught red-handed.

Without so much as glancing at the guidance counselor, Dorian hoisted Haruki's arm over his shoulders and began pacing as fast as he could towards the dorms. He knew the way well enough, just not to any dorm, only his.

The wooden door with the number 125 opened to reveal his perpetually distressed roommate. "Dorian, what the hell, we can't have people in here right now!" But  Dorian, determined as he was to reap the fruit of his kindness to Haruki when the time came, ignored the cries of protest and threw Haruki onto his bed.

The door was locked in a swift motion and the hall was consumed by silence. Martin Sawyer, Dorian's roommate, adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose. He sat on the floor next to his bed.

The dynamics between him and Dorian had not been yet decided. He knew nothing of the boy, and was not planning on having late night talks about how much he missed his mother, who, unlike Dorian's, had called three times the past few days.

Martin appeared to be the whole package; inhaler on his nightstand, Assasin's Creed: Black Flag in between his Chemistry textbooks and a Captain America action figure on full display. Dorian abstained from using terms like these in his daily life, but anyone else would have classified Martin Sawyer in the nerd category, as far away from fencing club boys as it could possibly go.

Yet here they were, an ambitious and corrupted boy, a drugged fencing club member and a good ol' fashioned 21-st century nerd. The beginning of an anecdote. The beginning of Dorian's plan set in motion by luck.

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