Chapter two

AN: thanks for reading^^ please let me know if you likey! 3

I didn't know what twisted turn of fate was interfering in my life but I was unimpressed. Mason Greene and I had one class together. Just one class, and somehow I still got stuck with this.

"Mr. Lombardi? Do you have a problem with taking homework to your injured teammate?"

Knowing that I would look like a jackass if I did, I smiled and shook my head.

"Not at all, the hospital is on my way home."

I tried not to let the strained smile fall from my lips until after he dropped the pile onto my desk.

"Do you mind going to his other teachers to collect the rest?" he added.

Okay. There was no point. The smile had to go. at this point I probably looked like I had just been hit with a migraine anyway.

Don't ask me why, but for some reason the thought of seeing Mason again made my stomach twist. I don't know what it was. The hospital scene had been bad enough. In movies the first person you saw when you woke up in the hospital was supposed to be important. Moments like that lead to gushy tears and hand holding. Instead Mason got me. Granted I was holding his hands at the time, but that was completely different. I barely knew Mason. I wasn't supposed to see him in such a vulnerable state.

I was beyond distracted all through practice. The football literally slipped through my fingers for no reason during a run and finally Coach Evans gave up on me for the day and made me run laps for the rest of the hour.

It was a pretty hot day so the breeze cooling my sweat as I ran actually felt pretty nice. It made my head clear a bit, distracted by the sensation and the slight burning in my muscles. All I could hope in the end was that Mason was asleep when I got there.

After a quick shower I walked to the hospital. It didn't take that long this time, maybe because I was alone and my Ipod was on, prompting me to walk to the beat of 'Revolution'.

Inside, the lady at the front desk said I could go in right away.

If possible, it felt even weirder to be in here all alone. I had only been to the hospital a couple of times and never for anything good. Once when my little finger got slammed in the van's sliding door and I'd had to have the bone set and once when my mom had gotten food poisoning from some fancy Thai restaurant.

Both times had involved hours of discomfort on the waiting room chairs attempting to be entertained by the family channel playing on the small TV hung up by the roof. That's why it felt particularly strange to just walk through in relative freedom.

My heart skittered a little as I finally neared Mason's room as though to remind me why I was here and why I really didn't want to be.

The door was open again. I saw the bed straight away but it was empty this time.

Mason was sitting in a wheelchair this time his head leaned back against it, presumably gazing out the window.

I could only see the back of his head from where I was and could only assume that he had fallen asleep in the seat, judging by his stillness and position.

After a long moment I took a quiet breath and entered the room as silently as I could. If I was quiet enough, maybe I could just leave the homework on his bed. Luck wasn't on my side though because the moment I neared Mason turned and looked at me.

He looked straight at me and I froze so surprised that for a moment I was certain that I had been caught doing something wrong.

He frowned and only then did I realize how different he looked. He looked the same but well, worn out. Like a different copy of himself. His skin, though light to begin with was disturbingly pale now. Dark grey circles under his eyes made him seem even paler. He looked smaller than I remembered him. Heck even his hair seemed to lack the luster it should have. His eyes. They were the only part of him that still looked bright, like the old Mason. Sure they were a little unfocussed but the colour was definitely still there.

He opened his mouth and only then did I realize that I still hadn't moved, I'd been so busy staring at him.

I waited for a snappy remark as was his usual taste, instead I got this.

"Am I dreaming again?"

He asked it softly, as though he didn't expect an answer but it made my eyebrows shoot up under my hair.

"Uh, no," I said, quickly realizing that he was probably still high on morphine or something like it. Surprisingly comforted by that I dropped my bag onto his bed, unzipping it and placing the small pile of sheets between us.

"I'm just bringing you your homework."

He looked at the papers blankly and I wondered if he even remembered what school was, the way he was looking at them. Either that or he had just never done homework to begin with and now with the head trauma the thought of it was too confusing to figure out.

When he turned his confused gaze back up to me I smiled despite myself. It was surprising how comfortable I was with this now that I knew Mason wasn't in his proper frame of mind and probably wouldn't even remember any of this. What was even more surprising was that a small smile touched his lips in return.

Suddenly it was like the old Mason was back again. He looked almost vibrant and energetic. His eyes lit up ever so slightly and my heart was racing. I couldn't shake the feeling that I had to run.

It wasn't my fault. It was instinct.

Ever since that damned party last year every part of my body screamed at me to avoid Mason at all costs.

I tried to think of an excuse to leave. I already felt like an enormous asshole for wanting to run out on a sick boy while he was smiling at me all happy like that.

Trying to squash down those emotions I fiddled with the smooth fabric of the hospital bed and discreetly took a breath of air.

Half of the room was blocked off by curtains, supposedly blocking off another patient for some semblance of privacy. I could hear their TV running and the sound of the news broadcaster somehow calmed me.

When I looked back at Mason he was still looking at me. Or more precisely his eyes seemed to be glued somewhere on my chest. Either my shirt button or maybe my eagle necklace. Maybe he just liked shiny things.

Shifting awkwardly I brought my hand up, wrapping my fingers around the necklace in hopes of breaking his line of vision.

It worked after a moment and he looked at my face.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

I spluttered for a moment before remembering again that he was currently high.

"I—I'm giving you your homework, remember?" I asked.

He nodded mutely and turned his gaze back to the window. It over looked the parking lot, nothing exciting but he was fixated on it, almost like he had been with my shirt front.

"I should get going," I muttered. I'd stayed long enough.

He nodded, but didn't look at me. His profile looked somehow defeated and now, unlike a brief minute ago it made me want to linger.

I'd rather see Mason as the obnoxious jock than the deflated hospital patient any day, I realized.

At the door I paused, feeling like I shouldn't leave him like that. In some twisted way, he was reminding me of my mother.

"Hey, when are you getting out of here?"

He looked at me over his shoulder and shrugged.

"Soon I think."

I nodded.

"Well, take care then."

He looked at me for a long moment and for some reason I couldn't look away.

He smiled a little then and my breath hitched.

I officially hated it when Mason Greene smiled.

As I walked down the hall—that's right, walked, I didn't feel the need to run any more—a shoulder bumped me.

Belatedly I realized that the girl had been standing still and I had walked into her.

"Sorry," I muttered, turning to apologize. I froze.

Sabrina was staring at me, her eyebrows raised.

"I said your name like four times," she said. "Didn't you hear me?"

I shook my head.

"What are you doing here?" she asked slowly. She glanced down the hall to her brother's room, clearly guessing the answer all on her own.

I sighed.

"Just dropping off homework."

"Oh." She frowned. "I really don't think he's in a state to do homework right now."

I laughed.

"Definitely not."

Her smile faded and she looked up at me with her large blue eyes. The colour was almost the same but for some reason they looked different on her then they did on Mason. They didn't look as bright and full of—something.

"Thanks for coming," she said seriously.

I swallowed and nodded. She didn't need to know how much I had been dreading it.

AN: thanks for the read! XD