Tyler needs more love. That is a fact. Heck, he even acknowledged that in the show! He doesn't have enough fics centered around him. Therefore, I decided to create a one-shot devoted to him. :) Enjoy. This is written for the one year anniversary of the Total Drama Writer's Forum. Love you guys. :)
Nothing can compare to the feeling of a football game, when tensions and voices are highly raised, when the score is neck and neck. Adrenaline pumps through the veins of both the spectators and the gladiators themselves. Tyler was always at his happiest during a game. The sweat, the grunts, the pain, he loved it all. But most of all he loved winning.
It was "that" kind of game. His college, for the first time in six years, was in the championship. And Tyler Jefferson, famous for being "that one guy on Total Drama who got injured a lot" was on the team. At first, he'd jokingly been regarded as their "bad luck charm" or their "thirteen-leaf clover." Yet, as it turned out, he'd proven to be an energetic, powerful addition to the team.
And now, in the championship game, with the score tied 35 to 35, Tyler was in the clear.
His arms outstretched, he ran as the quarterback attempted to find an open man. Glancing around, he saw that the only available option was Tyler. Knowing firsthand his bad luck, the quarterback hesitated for only a moment, but seeing that he would be able to quickly and easily score a touchdown.
30 seconds left on the clock.
Instinctively, the quarterback chucked the ball into the air, spiraling through the air and landing in Tyler's arms. Tyler sprinted, thoughts running through his mind at a million miles per second. He couldn't slip up now. This was it. Yelling some strange war cry, he bounded across the field. An enemy attempted to tackle him, but only succeeded in making him stumble. The crowd was at fever pitch, yelling and screaming and cheering, or some combination of the three. A chant had taken hold in the audience.
"Tyler! Tyler! Tyler! Tyler!"
Tyler could feel his breathing begin to constrict, but still he pushed on. Another enemy player collapsed at his feet behind him. The in-zone lay ahead of him.
"Tyler! Tyler! Tyler! Tyler!"
Head held high, Tyler scored just before the timer hit zero.
The crowd was in chaos. The jubilant, triumphant kind of chaos. For the first time in years, they'd won the championship. Rushing to Tyler's stunned form, his team lifted him up onto their shoulders and doused him with water. Tyler grinned goofily and triumphantly as they continued chanting his name.
Years later, he considered it to be the happiest moment of his life.
Three days later, he still had the same goofy smile on his face. As a senior in college, he would soon be sent out into the world. He hoped to become a professional football player. That particular dream had been his since he was three years old. Almost nonstop over the next three days, he'd been congratulated, hugged tearfully, among other, stranger things. But he didn't mind. He was in heaven on Earth.
He filed into Biology. The usual praises and cheers erupted from his classmates.
"Awesome job dude!/Wicked!/You're my new hero!/I think I love you."
He grinned cheerfully at every one, but winced as all of his friends high-fived him. He'd gotten so many high-fives over the past few days, he'd had to soak his hand in water to ease the pain.
"Thanks, guys!" he said, grinning from ear to ear. "I...I feel like I'm in a dream right now. But this is AWESOME!" This elicited whoops and cheers from his classmates, and he sat down, leaning back his chair as he chatted with his best friend.
"How did Lindsay react?" his best friend, Darren, asked, waggling his eyebrows.
"She hugged me, screamed loudly, and we kissed for like five minutes!" Tyler told him, laughing.
"That's awesome," his milder friend said in his usual understated way, smiling. "Say, what's the secret to you two? How have you stayed together so long?"
"Well, there were those periods where she couldn't remember my name," Tyler laughed. "But really, all you have to do is be a nice person and hold her bags while she's shopping, and help her if she's having trouble, and it's awesome." He glanced around. His friends were gathered around beside him. "Also," he said, a little quieter, "she's pregnant."
"Awesome!/Nice, dude!/Wow, really?/Wait, with your child, right?"
He grinned, scratching the back of his neck. "Yeah...don't tell anyone else but I think I'm going to pop the question once we've graduated."
"Dude, that's awesome," one of his friends said, grinning, and clapped him on the back.
Then, it happened.
Tyler crashed to the floor, landing on his back, to general laughter from his peers, who were used to his accidents. But they quickly stopped when they heard a cracking sound, and Tyler's scream. Gasps erupted from the room as the teacher came rushing in.
"What the hell happened?"
911 was called. Tyler was escorted off the premises.
He found out the next day that he'd broken his spine.
He also found out that he'd never walk again. The injury had cut off his brain from his legs. He would never be able to play a sport for the rest of his life.
A cruel joke, really. When news leaked out that former Total Drama competitor Tyler Jefferson had been confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, there was an immediate and unanimous response. The same people who had laughed at his injuries while he had been on the show were now raising funds to help him get back on his feet. His former Total Drama competitors expressed their sympathy and sent gifts.
Courtney, who had threatened to let him fall to his death during the Island Special, openly apologized to him for her behavior and donated money. Some of his other enemies, Heather, Alejandro, and Duncan also sent their letters of apology, and wished him well.
Owen sent food. Noah sent a signed copy of Friday Night Lights. The day after he received Duncan's letter, Tyler was sitting in the hospital room when a giant toilet crashed through the roof, with a note attached.
Not surprisingly, it was signed by Izzy.
The summer after his graduation, his pregnant girlfriend invited him and his family to the beach. Lindsay had organized the entire trip herself, and Tyler knew that this was his chance. He rolled into a jewelry shop, looking around for a ring. Finally, he found the perfect one.
Lindsay was sleeping. Hair a mess, snoring loudly. Tyler rolled into her room, and gently shook her awake.
"Hey, Lindsay. Lindsay!"
"Ugggggghhaaaaghghhhohogh," was Lindsay's ever elegant response to being woken up.
"Come on! The sun's rising. We should go see!"
"But I don't waaaaannnnaaaa..."
Slowly, surely, Lindsay stood, but had to be forced outside under the grounds that putting on her makeup would take too long. Lindsay wheeled Tyler forward, absentmindedly caressing her stomach with her free hand. The waves lapped at the beach, and Lindsay knelt so she and her boyfriend could hold hands. Despite her vapid reputation, Lindsay had refused to leave Tyler just because he'd been permanently crippled.
Without a word, Tyler removed her hand, and turned to face his girlfriend, and presented the ring box.
You can guess Lindsay's reaction.
The couple was wed happily, like something out of a storybook. After their honeymoon in Paris, the couple settled down in a suburban neighborhood in Muskoka. Lindsay became a nurse, and was surprisingly good at the job. Her employment also led to an increase of patients, particularly in the adolescent male group. Tyler became a football coach, making up for his lack of mobility with pure enthusiasm. True, he still missed the use of his legs, but he was truly happy with his lot in life.
A warm, glowing summer day, the kind that felt pleasant on the skin. Tyler reclined in his wheelchair, watching a rerun of a football game, enjoying the nostalgia that came with the sport.
The small, ten-year old boy stood in the doorway. His platinum blond hair was the same texture and color that his mother's hair had been at the same age, until Lindsay hit puberty and she'd been forced to dye it.
Tyler smiled warmly. "Hey, Seth, what's up?"
Seth walked over and sat down next to his crippled father. "Some kids were being mean to me today. They said that I couldn't play sports because you got put in a wheelchair." He sniffled once.
Tyler nodded. "I see. But am I you?"
"Well...no." Seth laughed. "But they say you're bad luck."
Tyler placed a hand on his son's shoulder. "Son. I made a lot of mistakes in my life. Most of them were accidents, and weren't my fault."
"Yeah, and now you're in a wheelchair." He said the words in the naive insensitivity of a child, the kind that wouldn't be punished due to the fact that they knew no better.
Tyler chuckled. "Well, yeah. But I put myself out there. I did what I wanted, and it was just my bad luck that got me in this. And for a time, yeah, I was sad. Sports were my passion...are my passion. Nothing could change that."
"But...what if I'm like you? What if I end up getting hurt real bad?"
Tyler ruffled his son's hair. "We can't see what will happen. I've made mistakes, like I said. But that doesn't mean you should be looking over your shoulder your whole life. Have fun. Live life. YOLO, man, YOLO..."
"Um, what does that mean?" his son asked bemusedly.
"Oh, right, fad from when I was a teen. Sorry, my mistake. It means you should live life to the fullest."
Seth thought about it for a moment, then smiled, and hugged his father. "Thanks, Dad!"
"No problem, kid."
The blond child cheerfully ran out the door, reinvigorated. Tyler could hear the enthusiastic laughter, the yelling and shouting. Not the kind that was of any concern, but just the sound of children playing and having fun. His life hadn't turned out the way he'd expected it to, or how he'd hoped it to. Even so, he felt a certain contentment, a cozy security that kept him happy and kept him going.
A smile drew itself across his features.
Everything, for him, was in its right place.