So it was my turn to be in the hospital. It was quiet. It invited deep thought. I had nothing better to do so I obliged.

What had happened over the past year? Or more accurately, what hadn't happened over the past year?

Jeez... two near death experiences, two car accidents, a hostage situation, a scandal, two suicide attempts, me and Claudia.... him... and Claudia... losing my best friend, and perhaps, regaining my best friend?

Our lives sounded like one big depressing love story cooked up by a bunch of depressing teenagers with a fetish for depression. And did I mention the depression?

But maybe that was all behind us now. I certainly hoped so. Could we make a few weeks without some nightmare-came-to-life scenario?

I sighed and let my head fall back to rest against my pillow. I wondered what Claudia and Lionel were up to. Then just as quickly I tried not to wonder. It wouldn't help me at all.

My parents had visited me an hour or two after Lionel and Claudia had left, so I wasn't expecting to see anyone. I guess it was safe to sleep a little more...


Half-asleep, I barely distinguished the door opening.

My bed shifted as someone sat down on it and a cool hand brushed the air away from my face.

"Hi mom" I mumbled, still trying to wake up fully. I was helped along by the pressure of lips meeting my own in somewhat tentative kiss. After a moment, the foreign mouth pulled away and whispered,

"I'm not your mom silly."

I blinked a few more times and was finally able to focus on the person sitting next to me.


"Lionel told me you were in the hospital" She said. "I was worried so I came to check on you."

I grinned, "You were worried about me? Aww that's sweet!"

"Well if you're going to tease then I might have to be somewhere else."

"No no! I'm sorry, I'll stop."

It was her turn to grin, "You don't want me to go? How cute!"

It probably would have gone on like that for a little while had Lionel not stepped in.

It was a Frodo and Sam moment. We just looked at each other, not saying anything, but knowing that we had ultimately won together.

Sarina caught the look and stood.

"Looks like you two have some things to discuss. I should probably be heading out anyway."

Lionel looked at her pointedly, then turned back to me and stuck a discreet thumb over his shoulder. Silently asking if I wanted him to leave instead. I shook my head and reached out to catch Sarina's head as she started to leave.

"Hey. Thanks for coming down. I really appreciate it."

She smiled, "Better not have been the only thing you appreciated" She said with a wink. "Call me alright cutie?"

"Sure thing!" I said, perhaps a little too eagerly, because I heard her laughing as she walked out the door.

Lionel didn't move to sit down so I patted the spot where Sarina had been sitting,

"Still warm!"

He shook his head and instead took a chair. He didn't say anything for a minute so I decided to end the silence myself.

"So. Thanks for letting her know. It was a nice visit."

"No problem. Just doing my duty."


"Wingman is more than just a title."

As he said that he looked up at me and waited for either confirmation or denial.

Slowly I began to smile and I stuck out my hand. Lionel grinned and stuck his out too. We sealed our friendship with the old secret handshake. Very fitting if you ask me.

"So the last few months..." I said, "Guess that was our first argument?"

Lionel laughed and after a moment I couldn't help but join him.

It was the first time in nearly a year... and I enjoyed every second of it.

The End

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