When I woke up, I was in the hospital. It was completely empty, aside from a nurse changing the sheets on the bed next to mine. She smiled at me when I opened my eyes and she waved.

"Hey, Quinn." She told me. "I'm glad you finally woke up. You dad is in the Cafeteria with Kim." She explained. "I'm a friend of hers."

"Hi." I croaked out, my voice hoarse.

"I'll call Kim now, if you want." She took out an iPhone from her pocket and texted something when I nodded. The sooner I saw my father, the sooner he could explain what had really happened. "Here's a glass of water." She passed me a cup that was sitting on the side table.

"Thanks." I said, downing it.

"Quinn!" Alex darted into the room, pulling me into a gentle hug. "Are you okay?" He asked, burrowing his head into my neck. I nodded, allowing him to hug me. A minute later, Dad and Kim followed into the room.

"How are you?" Dad asked, sitting down next to the bed, Kim sitting next to him. Alex held onto me, refusing to let go.

"In pain." I muttered, looking at my arm. It was in a bright green cast, and there were multiple bandages around my stomach.

"What even happened?" Alex asked, sitting up and clutching the hand that wasn't broken.

I thought for a moment. "From what I remember, some people from school threw paint at me, pulled me into a van, and then beat the shit out of me in a parking lot." Somehow, I ended up explaining what I knew .

"Who?" Dad asked, looking mad.

"I don't know. They had masks on." I had forgotten to tell him that important detail.

"Well we're going to find out who it was. They hurt you pretty badly." Dad told me, picking up the medical report hanging from the end of the bed. "Internal bleeding, concussion, broken arm." He began reading the injuries listed. Alex was silent for a second, then he turned to me.

"Was it Vince?" Alex asked, thinking the same thing I was.

"Maybe him. He may have been threatening me on Facebook." I looked away from the disbelieving stares of my father and Alex.

"Threatening you?" Dad asked. "You didn't tell me?!"

"You were still recovering from the stroke." I explained my logic and he snorted.

"Don't hide that from me! I could have helped to keep you from being here right now!" He was pretty pissed.

"Sorry." I muttered, attempting to roll onto my side and look away from him.

"You don't need to protect me, Quinn. It's my job to protect you." Dad told me and I just nodded.

"If you don't mind, I'm going to sleep a little." I lied, closing my eyes. No one left like I hoped they would; instead they just talked around me in hushed whispers.

"He'll be fine, Michel." Kim said softly. "You don't need to get so angry."

"If he had told me, I might have been able to help him." Dad whispered back. I felt Alex rubbing my back gently as he joined in the conversation.

"I don't know about you're take on this, but the mother fuckers who hurt him are going to die." I could practically feel the look Kim probably gave him. Dad laughed slightly, joined by Alex. "I'm serious though."

"Thanks, Alex." I said softly, actually tired. Alex laughed again.

"I thought you were trying to sleep." He pointed out and I nodded, not bothering to give a better response than that. "Then sleep." He leaned down and kissed the top of my head. "Love you." He whispered the last part into my ear, quiet enough for only me to hear.

"Good night." I mumbled, trying to listen in on what the other people in the room were saying. Sadly though, I fell asleep.


"How does your head feel?" Alex asked, gently moving my head so it was resting on his shoulder. "Do you want your pain medicine?"

"No, I took some twenty minutes ago." I pointed out. "I don't want to overdose."

"True." He laughed, wrapping his arm around my shoulder as we wandered through the park near my house. We sat down at one of the many picnic tables and ate our doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts.

"How's Greenfield?" I asked, referring to the town I had lived in previously.

"Good. That reminds me of something actually." He smiled. "I have about a hundred cards from people at school. Everyone made me tell you to feel better."

"The funny thing is I don't remember being close friends with any of them." I told him, earning a laugh.

"They all remember you though." He poked my nose.

A week ago, the six people who had beaten me up were arrested. They were out of prison now, but a lot of kids at the school I went to now were mad at them. Despite the fact that not many of them really supported gay people, they definitely disagreed with beating me up.

"That's good. I guess." I smiled at Alex and pulled him in for a kiss. "I love you so much." I told him as I pressed my lips against his. When we broke apart he smiled.

"I love you too." He told me, giving me his adorable white-toothed smile.

We sat there all night and into the next morning, swatting away bugs constantly but never being happier.