4 yr old Daniel Parks coughed, calling for his mother.
"Sweetie, lie back down. you need to rest." Adelina Parks chided her only son gently as she came into the room.
"Is Erin coming over today? She said she would." The end of his words were warped as he succumbed to another fit of coughs.
Adelina pressed his slight form down against his bed, a smile gracing her lips. She was so happy that her new neighbors had a daughter Daniel's age. "Ms. Dawn said she'll see. But until then, you relax. It's time to take your medicine." A light beeping sounded from across the room, drawing their attention to the medication.
"I hate taking that stuff Ma. It's nasty." His face twisted in obvious distaste as she paid him no mind. He grimaced as the vile clear fluid slid down his throat and frowned at his mother. "When can I stop taking it?"
"Whenever your doctor gives the okay." she sighed, a somber expression creeping over her features. The strength of the medicine quickly made the child drowsy as he tried to stay awake just a while longer.
Adelina left and returned with her laptop, typing away as she waited for him to fall asleep. There was still so much she had to do today, but she couldn't just leave Danny alone-he needed constant supervision. It was just the two of them, and none of her neighbors would get anywhere near her son. She failed to understand why however, he wasn't contagious nor was he spewing blood. They were just quite awkward around children, she supposed. No one else in the vicinity of the block had children, or if they did, they were grown.
"Danny..." She called softly, waiting to see if he responded. When no answer came she stood and smoothed the hair from the sleeping face of her son.
No sooner than Adelina closed his room door did the doorbell ring.
"Dawn, Erin, I didn't think you'd be coming today. Come in, Danny just went to sleep Erin."
"Hi Ms. Lina, we went to..." the four year old brunette glanced at her mother, "get aquinted with the neighborhood."
"I think you mean acquainted sweetie." Lina smiled. "Dawn, I know its not the best time but could you watch Danny for me. I really need to get some things done."
"Sure, you must wear yourself out taking care of him everyday. Take a couple hours to yourself."
"Oh thank you so much. My cell number is on the fridge if you need me and so is his med schedule but that shouldn't be a issue. I'll be back by then."
"Lina go, we'll be fine. Danny's sweet and Erin likes him, I'm sure everything will be alright. Go." Dawn gently pushed the other women towards the door.
Lina knelt before Erin, who had watched the exchange in polite silence. "Do you think you can watch over Danny for me, Erin?"
"Yea, I'll go check on him now!" She promptly excused herself and padded down the hallway.
Erin opened the door to his room carefully before slipping in. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she brushed a lock of his naturally brown blond streaked hair from his face.
"Erin, let him sleep."
"But Ma, I didn't even do anything to bother him." she protested softly.
"Lets go young lady. In the Living Room."
Erin pouted but slid down gently and froze.
"Stay." the sleep tainted voice filled the room as his hand dropped from her wrist.
Dawn sighed and nodded at her daughters questioning glance.
As her mother left the room, she stretched beside him and he threw an arm over her. She sighed in comfort and turned into his embrace. "Danny?"
"Umm?" he answered, drowsily.
"Danny, wake up." Erin shook the still sleeping child beside her. "Danny." Drastic times calls for drastic measures, she thought rather seriously as she slipped her index finger into her mouth. After a moments pause she stuck it unceremoniously into his ear.
The startled boy sat up with a yelp, rubbing his ear. He threw Erin an angry glare, "what was that?"
"Wet willy." she stated quite cheerfully.
"Everything alright?" Dawn questioned, sticking her head in the door.
"Wet willy," Erin repeated immediately.
With an understanding 'Ah,' and a close of the door, she was gone.
He sat in silence, confused at what had just taken place.
"Come on, lets do something." She bounced on the bed.
"No," he snapped, sighing when she pouted. "Fine, I've got some games somewhere." He strolled to his closet and took out the first game he touched: a trivia game.
They played until Lina came home, only having been interrupt a few times by Dawn to check in on them and give Danny his medicine.
"Did you two have fun together?" Lina questioned coming into the room.
Danny nodded. "I won Ma. Twice."
Erin pouted. "I beat you once, that second time you cheated though."
"Did not. You're just upset cuz you lost."
Erin wrapped herself around Lina's leg. "He's being mean to me."
"Am not! Hey!!" Danny whined when his mother picked Erin up.
"I'm sure he didn't mean to be Erin. He liked playing with you very much, didn't you Daniel?"
He was quiet for a moment. Then, staring at his bed he answered softly. "Yes."
Erin jumped onto the bed and threw her arms around him, planting a kiss on his cheek.
Danny looked up at his mother, wide-eyed and blushing, who simply looked amused.
"Danny, I've got good news."
Danny looked up from his spot on the floor where he'd been play wrestling with Erin. Though pinned, she looked up too.
"You're going to be starting school this fall with Erin; your doctor just gave the okay."
"Really?" Erin was the one who spoke first. "That's great! We'll always be together."
"Yea," he said quietly. "I can't wait."
A black haze passed across the room then. Danny now sat on his bed, Erin on the floor.
"Erin," he said softly, drawing her attention.
"Whats the matter?" she questioned as she climbed onto the bed to sit beside him, taking his hand in hers.
"Erin," he began again as he turned to look at her. "No matter what, you'll be with me forever, right?"
She was quiet for a few moments; a thoughtful look on her face. Then, she kissed his cheek and smiled. "Forever."
Danny sat in the living room window, impatiently awaiting Erin's arrival. She'd spent the weekend at her Aunts house so he hadn't seen her in two days-the most time they'd spent apart since meeting.
Just as he was set to voice his complaint again, his expression brightened then became bemused. his features darkened as he watched Erin pause, then leave his yard. She ran up to a boy around their age and spoke to him momentarily. Even through the closed window he could hear her laughter, ringing clearly through the air.
The other boy held out something to her and she took it with a smile. The pair looked down the block and Erin wave before throwing her arms around her counterparts shoulders and kissing him on the cheek.
Lina stuck her head out of the kitchen; she hadn't heard her son complain in ten minutes--something was wrong.
Her eyes widened in fear as she caught sight of her pale trembling son whose gaze was fixed on something outside. She pulled him away from the window, "Danny, baby, whats wrong? What is it?"
He didn't answer, just kept staring out the window a furious look in his eyes.
Lina calmed slightly, reassured that it wasn't some new symptom of his illness. But something had upset him enough to leave him like that. "What happened? Danny, talk to me."
Sighing as she left the room to answer the door, she let Erin in, hoping she could break his mood.
"Hi, Ms.Lina!" She heard as a small blur raced into the living room.
The energetic young girl froze when he yelled. "What?"
"I said get out!!" He roared, his face flushed with anger.
She didn't move, "why?"
Lina heard a thud that spurred her into movement after having been shocking into stopping.
Erin sat on the floor, staring disbelievingly at her best friend.
"Daniel, what are you doing?" Lina could almost literally see the words bounce off of him. Her only child only had eyes, and ears, for the girl before him.
"What did I do?" she stood, then caught sight of the crushed flowers beneath his foot. "What are you doing?"
"What's going on?" Dawn stepped into the room, having heard the commotion from next door.
"I haven't the slightest clue. He was pretty much like this when she got here..."
The two adults looked at each other, troubled comprehension breaking on their faces.
Erin reached for his arm but he pulled away. "Get out," he repeated quietly though somehow he seemed more infuriated now.
"Why don't--just--argh!!" He lunged at her suddenly, knocking them both into the wall. Neither attempted to hit each other however; they just sat there, glaring. "I hate you. Get out of my house and stay away from me."
Danny watched her eyes mist over as she blinked at him. Her expression hardened before his eyes.
"Get off of me then."
He growled and as he pulled his fist back he was pulled off of her.
Lina struggled with her son while Dawn lifted the vacant Erin into her arms.
When the front doors had shut, Danny wrenched himself from her grasp and ran to his room, slamming the door.
He sank to the floor in the corner, crying.
16 year old Daniel awoke, the only remnants of a quickly fading dream were the tears on his face. He cursed as he coughed and turned over, trying to get back to sleep. He hated it when this happened.
No conscious memory of a dream that left him feeling betrayed and irritated. The whole crying thing sure wasn't making it any better.
He cursed again and pulled the sheet over his head.
One house over 16 year old Erin roused suddenly, her arms reaching out in front of her, tears in her eyes. She swiped a hand across her face and looked at her clock. 3:21 am. She groaned and buried her face in her pillow, hoping she'd be able to get back to sleep.
One thought ran through both of their minds as they tried to drift off again;
Stupid, stupid dreams...
Hopefully ppl will actually read and review this -crosses fingers-