six

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after an hour of staying on the beach, only one more person was now on the beach, jack. the three boys sat there quietly. jack and zach held hands, while daniel moved his head to zach's lap, laying on the sand. with his free hand, zach was running his fingers through his soft hair, making him relax even more, making him feel like putty.

jack was only there really because zach texted him to bring out a bag of rice for daniels phone, and he ended up staying on the sand. not that he minded. (who has rice on a tour bus? why don't we.)

"guys! we gotta go!" jonah called out from the street. daniel shut his eyes, not wanting to move. and he would have to see corbyn, although he loves seeing him, he didn't want to see him right now.

slowly daniel sat up, rubbing his eyes tiredly. zach held out his hand for jack, the boy shook his head. "i'm gonna talk to dani really quick." he said.

"okay. i'll see you both on the bus." zach said, leaning down to peck his forehead. he grabbed the bag of rice and walked about.

jack scooted closer to daniel, taking his hand and laced their fingers together.

"i'm not gonna tell you what you already know. i overheard jonah and corbyn talking on the bus last night. i know you're hopelessly in love with him. i get that, believe me, i do, bubba. but it isn't healthy. not at all. i understand that you are in a depressed state right now. i understand that all you want to do is drink your life away. i understand. but all of us hate seeing you like this, and i know you aren't going to just snap out of this, you can't. but we love you, dani. we can help you." jack finished softly, cupping his wet cheeks. he wiped his tears away. he kissed his forehead, pulling him close to his body.

"i'm sorry." he gasped out, hiding his face in the crook of jack's neck.

jack shushed him gently, tangling his fingers in daniel's soft hair. "it's okay, bub. it's okay."

"i just- it's so much easier t-to just drink," he swallowed thickly. "to drink and forget."

"find other ways to do that, dani. ways that won't hurt you physically or mentally."

"how did you do it?"

"do what?"

daniel paused. he leaned away from jack to wipe his nose on his sweater sleeve before speaking. "when he was dating jorden."

"oh.. i hung out with my friends. i did everything to avoid him, until he caught on. he knew something was up because we're so close and all. point being, i want you to find other ways to distract yourself from corbyn. it's going to be hard. so hard, yes, but i would rather see you struggle with finding an easier, more healthy way of distracting yourself rather than alcohol, okay?"

when daniel agreed (he lied), the two scrambled to the bus. jack's phone rang. "it's my mom. give me like, two seconds." he said to zach. he nodded his head, and walked over to the bunks, getting comfortable before soundcheck.

daniel climbed onto jonah's bunk. the older set his phone down, smiling small at the sad boy. he took in a shaky breath before cuddling up next to him.

jonah gladly held him.

"dani? hey, it's time for soundcheck." jonah said softly to the tired boy. daniel opened his eyes and sighed. jonah left his bunk and let the boy have some quiet time before they had to go.

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