Chapter 1: Soco Amaretto Lime
Koptsev was a partier, a guy that swore he’d never grow up and have such big responsibilities like the adults around him. He and his friends would drive through the streets of their small town like they owned it, radio blasting and tires shrieking, their voices and joyous laughter mingling and ringing through the town. Their drives, even if they took a different route every time, always ended at the overpass, where they parked and spent the evening hours laughing and mocking the adults that couldn’t understand them.
They were family, brothers and sisters in arms when their blood relatives turned their backs on them and marked them as lost causes. They sang, laughed, and cried together, promised each other they would never grow up and always stay together no matter what life threw at them. Even if their families abandoned them, Koptsev knew they would always have each other.
He didn’t need his family.
He didn’t need his emotionally absent mother or his disappointed father. He didn’t need his cage-like apartment with the too-low ceiling. He just wanted freedom, the star-filled sky stretching over him, as high as his dreams, and the steering wheel in his hands and the sound of the engine just barely heard over the laughter of the only people that mattered.
Sadly, the dreams ended, the laughter began to quiet down, and slowly their mismatched, rebellious family began to break down before his eyes. By the time he was nineteen, it was just him on that overpass, the others going on with their lives and with each laugh that left his side, he began growing up even if it hurt.
The stars, like his dreams, were too far away, just specks of light in the dark sky and eventually, he too left that overpass.
Chapter 2: The Once-ler's Traveling Madness
“Na na nanana~” Koptsev sang, tapping his foot against the floor of the car and drumming his fingers against the steering wheel. Boris was ignoring him - or trying to since it was really hard to ignore someone that was constantly shifting and singing to himself like he was on a road-trip rather than a stakeout.
The minutes ticked by, turning into hours, and after five hours, Koptsev had his head pressed against the steering wheel, mumbling more than singing now. “And then the worms will come out of the grooooooound…” His voice wobbled and cracked like a broken record, becoming pitchy and wheezy as he continued, his ears drooping the longer he sat there.
Finally, Boris snapped.
Maybe it was the scratchiness of Koptsev’s voice, or maybe it was the occasional violent smacking that barely passed as drumming on the dashboard. He turned and glared at Kopstev, a hand on the shotgun on his lap. “If you sing one more note,” he warned, gritting his teeth. “I will shot you.”
Kopstev stared at him from the corner of his eye. “Naaaaa—”
He didn’t get shot, but he did get the butt of the shotgun jammed into his side.
Chapter 3: Swing Life Away
Boris hung up on him.
Koptsev stared at the phone in confusion and shock, then hurt. He supposed the reaction was natural when the one responsible for letting the escaped prisoners escape tried calling you, but that didn’t make it hurt any less for him. They had been partners so long, but Boris still blamed him when they failed to catch up with someone, be it on foot or on the road. He wasn’t fast on his feet, and it wasn’t his fault that the psycho they had been chasing had literally picked them up – in their car – and then slammed it into the earth like it was a tent spike.
But then again, maybe it had been his fault.
He didn’t even know at that point.
All he really knew was that Boris was mad at him, mad enough that he hung up on him, and it hurt. Koptsev would be lying if he told himself that it didn’t bother him when Boris was upset, because it did. His disgruntled partner was the closest thing he had to a family and a friend after years of fucking up as a teenager and pushing his family away because he was afraid to face the consequences for his past. He sighed, running a hand through his periwinkle hair, knocking his hat to the ground as he kicked off his boots and began to strip from his uniform.
Minutes later, he was in his night clothes – fleece pajama pants and a tank top – and sitting on the fire-escape of his apartment, gaze on the stars and arms resting on the iron bars. His legs dangled over the edge, kicking his legs slowly. The stars were barely visible thanks to the glow of the city under them, but a few bright ones twinkled through the artificial light of the city.
Sometimes he wondered if he really was cut out for anything other than stargazing, something he had been good at even as a kid.
“I wonder if Boris ever looks at the stars and just relaxes.” He murmured to himself, sticking out his lower lip and pouting at the sky. Maybe if he relaxed he wouldn’t get angry so easily.
“I do sometimes.”
He jumped, looking around and finally tilting his head back to see the speaker.
Boris, still in uniform, stared down at him with a look on his face that was a cross between a scowl and embarrassment. After a moment, he moved, sinking onto the fire escape landing next to Koptsev, though he settled to fold his legs under him rather than let them dangle. “…It’s still your fault.” He grumbled, the hidden apology obvious to Koptsev even when Boris was focusing more on the few stars that were visible to them.
Kopstev stared at Boris for a moment, then smiled, settling his hand between them and following Boris’s gaze. “Yeah. I know.” After a moment of silence, he spoke again, shifting his pinky over until it was resting lightly over Boris’s. The simple gesture made Boris blush from his neck to the tips of the rabbit ears that poked out of tawny brown hair. “Let’s stargaze together more.”