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Corpse wasn’t at school the next day. Sykkuno expected that he would most definitely have to get stitches, but it was so hard to keep the events of last night away from his friends. They were wondering where Corpse was and Sykkuno had to play dumb and say he doesn’t know and he’s awful at lying so Rae caught on almost immediately. Luckily though, when he told her to just text him she let it go. 

But that didn’t stop Sykkuno from checking up on Corpse first thing in the morning. The second he woke up, the brunette opened his phone and clicked on Snapchat, taking a quick picture of his ceiling and typing ‘hey u okay?’   before sending it. He didn’t get a response right away, which was okay because he had to get ready for school. 

A snap from Corpse didn’t come in until halfway through the sixth period. It was a picture of his hand which was now wrapped in a bandage while he was sitting on those bench things in exam rooms. He wasn’t wearing a hoodie like Sykkuno was used to though he was wearing black sweats this time. The caption to the picture read ‘yes, ill be at school tomorrow’ which made Sykkuno feel a lot better. Glancing up to make sure the teacher wasn’t looking at him, he took a picture of his shoe and wrote ‘that’s good! I was worried :)’ before putting his phone away. 

He didn’t check his phone until after class was out, smiling at the notification bar announcing he had a snap from Corpsie (don’t judge). The picture this time was Corpse in the front seat of a car, the camera pointed at the closed glove box. ‘hey, can i talk to u after school?’ was the text and Sykkuno hated how that made his stomach do flips. Sykkuno took a picture of the green lockers typing ‘yeah sure!’ and he sent the snap before he gave himself a heart attack. 

The school day went by dreadfully slow, especially since he told his friends he couldn’t hang out after school. This was the first time in a long while where he actually canceled on his friends. And, admittedly, he did feel a little bad but after the day Corpse had yesterday, he needed Sykkuno a little more than they did. At least that’s what he told himself to feel less guilty about ditching his friends for someone he maybe has a crush on. 

When the bell finally rang to indicate school was over, Sykkuno essentially ran outside, pulling out his phone to make sure that Corpse saw his snap with his address. There was a text in their chat saying he had taken a screenshot. The brunette slid the phone into his pocket, holding onto the backpack straps on his shoulders. As his house came into view, so did the guy he was waiting for. Corpse was wearing black joggers, a white v-neck shirt, and his usual silver jewelry adorning his fingers, wrist, and neck. On his feet, he was wearing black vans. He could feel the blush on his face before he even reached his driveway. 

“Hey, Corpse!” Sykkuno smiled, feeling suddenly inadequate in the forest green hoodie and white skinny jeans. The raven-haired man looked up to meet his gaze, still wearing a black facemask but he could see he smiled back through his eyes. He stood from where he was sitting at the edge of his porch, signing ‘hello’ as Sykkuno came closer. 

“Sorry for keeping you waiting.” Sykkuno stopped in front of his friend, flipping his bag in front of him so he could dig for his keys. Corpse shrugged, using his hands to say ‘I didn’t wait long’ which made Sykkuno smile before he found his keys and unlocked the door. He invited Corpse in, closing the door after him as he tossed his bag on the couch. His parents weren’t home and won’t be for another three hours so he quickly shot them a message saying he had a friend over before heading to the fridge. 

“Do you want anything to eat or drink?” Sykkuno offered but Corpse only shook his head no, awkwardly standing in the middle of the living room. He giggled, grabbing a glass from the cupboard before filling it with water. He chugged the whole thing, hoping it’ll help him swallow his nerves before sitting down at the counter. Sykkuno patted the seat next to him and slowly, Corpse took it. Neither of them moved for a while, Sykkuno pretending to be more interested in the bag of chips he grabbed. Eventually, Corpse finally looked at him. 

‘Where did...learn...language’ Was all Sykkuno could get out of that one and he could only give him an embarrassed smile. Corpse’s shoulders moved in a way that would imply he was chuckling, the junior pulling out his phone and texting something, before turning it around so the brunette could read it. ‘Where’d you learn sign language?’  

Sykkuno felt himself heat up all over again, shoving a potato chip in his mouth to give himself time to think. He completely forgot he was planning on surprising Corpse with it later but it hadn’t even crossed his mind yesterday. He couldn’t understand everything he signed but it was definitely getting better at it. Sykkuno had to admit that while he could interpret sign language, he was bad at actually using it. 

“O-Oh uhm, w-well I just thought that, like, i-it’d be nice? U-Uhm, Sean’s been teaching me for a month b-but I’m still not good at it!” Sykkuno hid his nervous laugh behind his hand, not meeting Corpse’s eyes. “I-I can understand a little of it but, uhm, I’m really bad at actually using it.” He added, finishing the last of his chips. He didn’t hear the all too familiar sound of Corpse’s bracelets whenever he signed so Sykkuno assumed he was waiting for him. So when he was ready, he gave him his attention again. That’s when he signed again. 

“‘I can help teach you.’” Sykkuno laughed at the thumbs-up he was given, adjusting the hair across his forehead. He got up from his seat to throw his trash away, and to calm his nerves, before moving around the counter to stand across from him. 

“Okay, I’m ready.” Corpse pushed the hair out of his own face before he signed to ask Sykkuno what he knew. Sykkuno proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes embarrassing himself, messing up on simple phrases to the point where he had to hide in his arms before he exploded from inside. He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder, pulling him from his little cocoon of shame to be met by a maskless Corpse. 

‘You’re doing great’ he mouthed with an encouraging smile that was so blindingly amazing in every single way. Sykkuno couldn’t understand why Corpse hid his face, and he assumed it was because of the scar extending diagonally from his right cheekbone to over his lips, ending underneath his lips. It was uneven like it hadn’t healed properly, but Sykkuno thought it just added to his charm. 

“I-I  know you’re trying to be nice but I, uhm, I definitely made a fool of myself just now.” That pulled an even wider smile from Corpse’s perfect lips, making Sykkuno blush all over again. He definitely liked being able to see his maybe crush smile. Corpse relaxed slightly, the senior not knowing why he was tense in the first place, went back to signing using words that Sykkuno knew. 

‘Thank you for trying to learn.’ Sykkuno perked up at that, signing a very crappy ‘Of course’ back that was most definitely wrong in every way but hey, it made Corpse smile again so he was okay with it. They spent another hour trying to teach him but eventually, Sykkuno couldn’t take any more embarrassment. Corpse was sitting there, breathing in a manner that made it look like he was laughing. Sykkuno couldn’t even be mad because the man before him was so gosh dang cute. 

“Hey, what did you want to talk about anyway?” Corpse lost the smile and Sykkuno immediately regretted opening his dumb mouth. “N-Not that I don’t like hanging out! I-It’s really fun, I-I promise! I just-” Corpse shook his head, giving him a reassuring smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. 

‘I wanted to tell you what happened yesterday.’ The amount of anxiety that filled his expression hurt Sykkuno so much. He reached over to put a comforting hand on Corpse’s own, which did help him release some tension. Sykkuno pulled back after a bit, ignoring the look of disappointment that flashed in Corpse’s eyes because he definitely imagined that. 

“You don’t have to tell me if you aren’t ready.” Corpse shook his head at that, resting his elbows on the counter so he could sign clearly. 

‘I want to.’ He reiterated, pausing to play with a strand of his curly hair. Sykkuno just now noticed his chipped black nail polish. He pulled it off well. ‘Tell me if you don’t understand.’ He said, to which Sykkuno nodded so Corpse would know he understood that part. He offered a small smile, before beginning his story. 

‘Yesterday, while we were having dinner, my parents came to the house.’ Alright, one sentence into the story, and he was already lost. 

“But...your parents…” Sykkuno wasn’t sure how to phrase the question but with the confusion clearly plastered on his face, Corpse was able to piece together what he was trying to ask. But it became abundantly clear Sykkuno didn’t understand what he was trying to tell him so he resorted to his phone. 

‘I’m adopted’ And just like that, it all became so clear. Sykkuno felt so incredibly dumb for not realizing it sooner, Corpse, Mykie, and her parents look absolutely nothing alike. He then felt bad for assuming the people who adopted him were also abusing him. Corpse didn’t seem to be offended by the fact Sykkuno didn’t know and he instead continued with what he wanted to say. 

‘My real parents were abusive’ Corpse pointed at his head and then did a punching motion towards his ribs. Sykkuno was at least able to get that he was trying to say they were physically and mentally abusive (and he totally didn’t have to ask what abusive was in sign language). He then pointed at the scar on his face and pretended to be drunk. 

“So you got that scar when your parents hit you while they were drunk?” Sykkuno wanted to make sure he understood him properly. Corpse gave him a thumbs up before pretending to break what Sykkuno thinks was glass against the counter and then repeated the drunk motion. “Oh! You’re saying they hit you with a broken...beer bottle?” Sykkuno wondered why Corpse wasn’t just texting him but he guessed it was because this helped the other guy cool his nerves. Another thumbs up. 

‘Didn’t take me to get help’ He signed, waving off anything Sykkuno was about to say. ‘Mykie’s parents found out, called the cops’ At this point, the brunette knew he was communicating more through charades than sign language. He did appreciate it though because he didn’t have to interrupt as much as he thought he would. 

‘They showed up, tried to act like they care about me’ Corpse’s hands were shaking now, so Sykkuno moved to sit next to him again, offering him some back rubs. He pulled out his phone this time and from next to him he could see him typing ‘They called me the r-word’ and Sykunno began to wonder just how many times he’s gotten called that. Gently, he took the phone from his hands and set it down, wrapping Corpse in a hug that was almost immediately reciprocated. 

“I’m sorry Corpse. You don’t deserve that.” Sykkuno gave him one last squeeze before pulling back. The junior was staring at the rings on his fingers, before signing ‘But I do’  which upset Sykkuno more than anything. Just as he opened his mouth to ask what he meant by that, the sound of keys entering the lock of the front door caused Corpse to snap away, hastily putting the face mask back on just as Sykkuno’s mom entered the house. 

“Hi, sweetie. Oh! Hello there!” His mom had her black hair pulled back into a ponytail, wearing a professional pants suit for her accounting job. Corpse waved, his eyes squinting in a way that meant he was smiling. 

“Hey mom, this is the new kid I was telling you about.” Sykkuno gave her a hug and she shook Corpse’s hand with a smile that held some sort of devious momness behind it. His friend didn’t seem to notice and she just went on her way to the kitchen. 

“Oh, yes, he talks about you all the time. Corpse, right?” Sykkuno felt himself blush, hiding his face away from Corpse who was most definitely looking at him right now. Why did parents make it their mission to embarrass their kids? And why were they so freaking good at it? 

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It was oddly satisfying in a way to watch yourself get stitches. They numbed his hand so he couldn’t feel it but the way the needle and string sealed his skin together was enthralling. Or maybe Corpse was just messed up. Which was probably the more probable explanation. He had gotten stitches the same night he cut himself on a rock but when he woke up, he had completely forgotten he got hurt in the first place and was supposed to be taking it easy.  Corpse could even remember what he was doing, but all he did know was he fully extended his hand, which he wasn’t supposed to, and opened some of his stitches. 

Mykie’s mom had yet to go to work and ended up calling out to take him to the doctor’s, which he felt incredibly bad about, and they restitched his hand. And then, of course, his hand was bandaged up again and he was taken to a nice restaurant for brunch. Corpse insisted she didn’t have to do that but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was pretty sure it was her way of showing that she would always be there for him and it was so rare that she got time off anyway, he figured she would enjoy a nice meal herself.  

Then, Corpse had decided he wanted to tell Sykkuno about his past. Well, some of it anyway. It wasn’t because he felt like the brunette deserved an explanation. He genuinely felt like he could trust Sykkuno and out of all his friends, he was the most comfortable with him knowing. Though, he did receive a text from Rae earlier asking where he was at. She immediately knew something was wrong with his half-assed reply and he promised he would tell her. 

The talk had actually gone better than he expected. Sykkuno wasn’t put off when he removed his mask and he didn’t pity Corpse with what he went through. He had accidentally let a self-deprecating comment slip past his lips and was so thankful Sykkuno’s mom had gotten home at that time because he was not ready to explain himself to his crush. 

His mom was one of the kindest people Corpse had ever met. She had insisted he stayed for dinner, which he did, and she actually seemed interested in getting to know him. Corpse, for the life of him, couldn’t understand why Sykkuno kept blushing though. He thought it was funny the brunette talked about him enough for his mom to know his name without anyone introducing him. 

By the time Corpse got home that night, Mykie’s parents were already asleep. Their daughter was up in his room, waiting with the biggest shit-eating grin he had ever seen. He had told her where he was going and since she was most definitely some sort of psychic, she knew about his little crush. He hated how well she could read him. 

“How’d your little date go?” Corpse answered her with a middle finger, which she laughed at as quietly as she could. He decided to not bless her with an answer because that would add fuel to the fire. Mykie tried for about 30 more minutes before eventually giving up and fake sulking to her room. Corpse knew he wasn’t going to hear the end of it for a while. 

Corpse woke up an hour earlier than usual, his mind too active to actually allow him to get good sleep. He decided to take a shower since he accidentally forgot the night before and he just knew his hair was going to be extra poofy today. Did he spend a lot of time in the shower questioning his life choices? Yes, yes he did. 

By the time Corpse was ready for school, he was wearing a black t-shirt, black ripped jeans, and black leather combat boots. He finished it by throwing in a camo jacket and his usual set of jewelry. He might've put in a little more effort into his look today than usual and if it was because of a certain brunette, no one had to know. Mykie was already downstairs waiting for him, quirking an eyebrow at his outfit but he only shrugged. When he reached her, she was already circling him like a hawk, before standing on her tiptoes to adjust his hair with a smile. 

“There! You look bomb!” He rolled his eyes, their walk to the school was mostly her talking about the cute guy Anthony, but Corpse didn’t really know him. He was friends with Felix and Sean and he was funny but other than that, he had no clue. Corpse signed to her, saying she was simping hard to which she punched his arm but it made him smile nonetheless. It was a Friday, meaning they had all their classes today and Corpse especially looked forward to his fourth period Digital Art even though he thought the actual class was total bullshit. It was supposed to be a beginner course but their teacher acted like they were all experts at it. 

Just as he reached his first-period class, he was pulled by the arm into the corner where the lockers and wall met. Standing several inches shorter than he was a very upset Rae. Her ombre hair was pulled back into a french braid and she was wearing a black skirt with a wine red shirt that she tucked in. She completed her look with black booties. Corpse really could appreciate her style. 

“Where have you been? And what the hell happened to your hand?” She demanded, jutting her hips out as she held his bandaged hand in her own. For some reason, Corpse didn’t mind telling her. He trusted her, and he accepted this a while ago, but whenever he even thought about this in the past he would usually give himself a panic attack because he didn’t want to lose his best friend. But now, the idea of it barely made him falter. So, which quick thumbs, he texted out a simple explanation of what happened. Him being adopted, his real parents showing up, the abuse, them calling him two different slurs, running off and cutting his hand on a rock, though, he kept the fact that Sykkuno was there under wraps. He knew she would immediately question the poor guy for every little detail (and tease Corpse endlessly because she knew about his crush). 

Rae paused for a few seconds after reading, probably figuring out what to say before shooting him a genuine smile, standing on her tiptoes to ruffle his hair and ruin Mykie’s work which she will most definitely be offended about. 

“I’m glad you’re okay.” She hooked her arm through his and led them to their class, the pair taking a seat next to each other. Since Corpse ended up hurting his writing hand, Rae offered to just send him pictures of the notes she took for the classes they shared. Corpse told her he didn’t really care anyway to which she scolded him much as a mother would. Since classes were only 30 minutes, the first three flew by so quickly. He was actually jittery by the time the fourth period rolled around. 

He found Sykkuno standing outside their classroom down the art hallway, scrolling through his phone. He was wearing a lime green hoodie with white skinny jeans, looking absolutely adorable as always. He didn’t notice Corpse until the guy was right next to him, giving his side a poke which caused him to jump. 

“O-Oh gosh, Corpse, you scared me!” He hid a smile behind his hand and Corpse was really getting tired of him doing that. “Oh! I like your outfit, camo looks good on you!” Internally, the junior thanked whatever god there was that he was wearing a mask because he was most definitely sporting a massive blush. It took Sykkuno about 20 seconds to realize what he said before his own face turned red. 

“I-I mean, y-you uhm, it looks good! I-oh gosh-Its a com-” They were interrupted by an arm wrapping around each of their shoulders, pulling them down to be level with that of Sean himself. He was wearing his typical smile, his hair pulled back into a man bun which worked well for him. Felix pulled up behind them shortly after, Sean grabbing his arm to pull him into the huddle next to Corpse. 

“Banged up your hand there aye Corpse?” Felix gestured towards the hand dangling next to him, and he quickly signed that he hurt himself while doing yard work. He got a look from Sykkuno but they accepted his excuse and the four settled into their tables shortly after. They didn’t do much in this class, the teacher just giving them a rundown of their first major project. They were to create a piece of art, whether it be digitally drawn or photography, of something that inspires them. Pretty fucking stupid if you asked him. 

Unfortunately, Corpse didn't get much time to talk to Sykkuno. The class ended sooner than it started, and he had to go to his fifth-period class that he had by himself. Well, he shared that class with Jake who still held a grudge against him for breaking his nose. Something that he’s feeling less and less guilty about the more he thinks about it. Most of it was spent with him getting thrown things at him by said jock or getting shoved into lockers before and after the bell. He didn’t feel like wasting energy to fight back because he’d end up getting in trouble for it. Jake was the golden boy quarterback of their school after all. 

The rest of the school day had gone by uneventfully, Corpse not getting much time to talk to Sykkuno. It was usually just a few words they were able to exchange at lunch but they did often send snaps back and forth throughout the day. Corpse felt like Sykkuno just wanted to check on him while he kept the conversation going because he was 100% selfish. But he has yet been told to fuck off, though he knew Sykkuno was too nice to do that anyhow. 

When the bell rang to indicate school was over, Corpse met up with Mykie to head home. She was happier than usual, talking his ear off about how Anthony asked her out on a date this weekend and she was going to make him help her pick out an outfit. ‘Your eye for fashion is amazing’ she would explain but Corpse was pretty sure she just wanted to torture him. 

The two had decided to do their homework separately, his adopted sister having a lot more to do since she was doing concurrent enrollment. She was definitely going further in life than he was. Halfway through his math assignment, his phone buzzed to indicate he got a notification. His heart flipped when he saw it was from Sykkuno. 

‘hey! do u maybe wanna work on the art project tomorrow? i was thinking that we could take pictures together :D’ The picture was of Sykkuno’s legs, clearly laying on his bed. The wall he could see was decorated in posters of anime, something he found incredibly cute. Of course, Sykkuno liked anime, how could he be any more perfect? ‘sure :)’ Corpse responded, a large smile plastered on his lips as he suddenly had a new motivation to finish his homework.