OK, so I was watching this REALLY hard try not to cry challenge type thingy, still crying a bit actually, and I got HUGE inspiration for this. Don't kill me, please, warning, it is sad as f*ck.
And it is DADVID, not Maxvid!
David took a deep breath as he stood in front of the camera. He wasn't sure quite what to say now that he had told the doctors that he would do it.
And for a kid he wasn't even related to!
But dammit, Max had been coming back to Camp Campbell for five years now, well, before he collapsed in the middle of a nature hike and was taken to hospital.
When David got the news that he wouldn't make it.
He remembered half hoping that someone, anyone else who cared enough, loved Max enough, would do it. But no, no one had stepped up and Max had been left in the hospital bed, unconscious and waiting.
Like he'd been waiting his whole life for the parental love that never came.
Until he met David.
Max had never admitted it, of course, but David knew he was the closest thing to a decent father that Max had ever had. His own parents hadn't even bothered to come up to Sleepy Peak general to say goodbye, never mind donate a vital organ.
Things at camp had settled down even, the kids had accepted that Max would die and that would be it. Only David had yearned to change things and then...
He had found out that he could.
But David didn't want to donate before saying goodbye. And since Max couldn't wake up now...
Well, Gwen would show him this tape.
David bit his lip and turned on the camera.
Just say what you'd say to your son.
You don't have a son.
Oh yes you do, David. Max is that son, and Neil, and Nurf, and Space Kid and... daughters too, Nikki, Nerris, all of them, all of the campers, they are like children to you, you definitely love them like so.
David hadn't told anyone what he was doing, not even Gwen. It would only make this so much harder for them.
David realised the camera had been rolling for a good three seconds, and took another breath, clearing his throat.
"Um, hi Max. You're awake now, I hope, no, you are, I believe in you. I want you to know, that, I erm, found you a new heart. But before I, erm, the donor gives it to you, I have to tell you a few things."
David realised tears were rolling down his face, and wiped his eyes quickly. He smiled, a great big cheesy smile, Max would hate that, but love it too, he knew.
"I know your father isn't the sort of person to give you the advice that I'm going to give you now, so, yep, keep this video with you and," David took a deep breath.
"Girls. You're too young for them now, obviously, but when the time comes, you've got to treat them right. Or they'll leave. And we dont' want that, do we? No, Max, you keep your lady friend in check, make sure she treats you right too. If she tries to take advantage, then she isn't worth your time, trust me." David grinned, not faking it this time, just imagining Max's eye roll.
"Oh, and when you get to the hardest parts of school, don't give in. You WILL get the honour role if that's what you want, because I BELIEVE IN YOU!" David felt his voice crack a little, and turned away from the camera for a few moments. "You'll make it Max, I know you're a smart kid. You can go to any college you want, Harvard, Yale, anything you want, you can get there with just a little effort." He smiled into the camera. "And every time when you're studying, at school, thinking you're not as smart as the other students, I want you to take this little clip of audio and play it again and again on your MP3, because you WILL make it, Max, because I, David, I believe in you, I believe in you, I believe in you..."
David cleared his throat, and heard a wild whoop from outside.
"Oh YES Neil, more gasoline!"
"You hear that Max? Your friends. Nikki and Neil, planning mass destruction no doubt." David chuckled. "Always keep your friends close, Max, because they may need you more than you need them. And when you're having a tough time, you can rely on your friends, always. One hundred percent of the time, because they LOVE YOU Max, even though you find it hard to believe that at times. And I know things will most likely be hard for you when you come out of hospital, but Nikki and Neil will be there for you, I know they will. And you must be there for them as well, because, well, they will need you, Max. I know they'd be devastated if you never came back, well, that's why, um, yeah, stick with Nikki and Neil and all the other friends you will make, because there will be more friends that you make, all through your life, because, if you really try, you can get out there and become one of the 'cool kids.'" David waggled his eyebrows because he knew Max always laughed when he did that. "See, now we're laughing together, finally. Took a while, but we got there in the end."
David checked his watch and saw that it was nearly half past four. He had to be at the hospital in an hour and it was a long drive. But he couldn't hurry his message to Max.
"Yes, and stay away from all the bad stuff, Max. Drugs and drink and whores and, yes I said whores, I can FUCKING swear you know." He gave a little pause for Max to laugh and tell him to suck a dick.
"But really Max, you're a good kid and you deserve WAY more than life offers you! If anyone, anyone tries to hurt you, I want you to stand up and be a man, defend yourself, like I know you can! Like... like I never could when I was your age. And if anyone tells you that you can't achieve your dreams, that you don't deserve to live, that no one cares about you, I want you to look them in the eye and tell them that you DO matter, everyone matters and that you have..." David knew his face was soaking wet with tears at this point, but continued. "You have a father who believes in you and will NEVER stop loving you, because, well Max, you were always the son I never had..." David began sobbing, but managed to get it under control. "And your real parents do NOT deserve a kid like you, they don't deserve any kids at all, because kids are amazing and funny and sparky and special and when, if, you have your kids, you must let them know that, don't be afraid, look after them. Like I tried for you, because..."
David took a deep breath and looked at the camera straight on. "I love you Max. And I know how weird and creepy that sounds, but I love you as a son, as my son and that is why I am making this video at the start!"
He smiled. "I have to go soon, go see, well, you, but I have to say, before I go..." More tears streamed from David's face.
"Never give up on your dreams. If you see the opportunity staring at you in the face to finally achieve your dreams and be happy, take it, make that money, get that diploma, marry that girl, because you are capable and deserving of all the happiness life can bring and I wish you that happiness!" David smiled into the camera.
"And always remember. David loves you for the cynical little seven year old who hopped off that bus and changed his life forever all those years ago."
David gave Max one last smile and turned the camera off. It was done.
Max wasn't in pain anymore. Well, not physically, not that tight squeezing in his chest that had been constant for three days, but emotionally?
Well, that was a different story.
When he awoke, he expected the first person for him to see would be David. But no, it was Gwen.
And she had been crying.
Gently she explained to him that they had found him a donor and he was OK now, going to be OK.
Max had asked after David. Gwen had given him the tape and asked if he wanted to watch it with her. Max declined. He knew what was coming, with a sick feeling in his stomach. And he had been gad to watch it alone because he had never cried so much in his life.
David cared, truly, without a doubt, beyond any level of caring Max had thought possible. And Max had watched thetape so many times in that little hospital room, sobbing with his knees drawn to his chest, crying because of all the things he had meant to tell David, but hadn't.
That he wouldn't be getting ladies because he was gay.
That he really wanted to go to Yale, and already had a part time job, saving up for the fees. Max wanted to study psychology.
And that, most importantly...
He loved David back. Just in the same way David loved him, like that father he'd never had to treat him right. And now David had done the best and worst thing a father could ever do.
Given his life for his son.
Max hugged the tape hard, still crying.
"I will David." He whispered. "I will, dad."