*sighs sadly* This is the last chapter, I'm gonna miss it... *grins suddenly* Let me know what you think.


Even before I open my eyes, I want to cry.

The smell of antiseptic is strong and burns my nose, a slight pinching feeling in my right arm alerts me to a needle, and the constant beep, beep, beep, of the monitor to my right makes me want to scream because event though I am just coming into consciousness, the noise had somehow invaded my dreams and brought me back to reality. I don't want to be in reality, at least not this one.

My chest feels heavy and like a knife is being pushed deeper into it with every breath, my legs feel tired and sore, though I must have been laying down for at least a day. I can tell by the stiffness in my joints. My left arm stings like from cloth being pressed onto a cut that had recently been stitched up.

I reluctantly opens my eyes to white walls and a pale room. Again, I want to cry because I was so sure that I had really died and didn't have to deal with anything anymore.

There is a disturbance to my left and I turn to meet an angry glare from dark eyes. I don't flinch like I normally would, my body already feels dead.

I sigh and turn back to stare at the ceiling, something I seem to be doing a lot recently.

My eyes slowly close and I can still feel his hate filled glower. "Why." I croak. "Why couldn't you just let me die, I want to die. There is nothing left for me here." I squeeze my eyes shut tighter as I feel them sting with the threat of tears.

"So I'm nothing to you?" He finally snaps.

I sigh and turn back to him when the moisture finally dissipates. "You don't need me."

He scoffs and shakes his head in disbelief. "God, you're so selfish, you never even asked me if I do or don't. And in case your wandering, the answer is yes; I do need you."

"You don't, you don't" I shake my head in denial because he's starting to make guilt crawl up my throat. Beside me, the heart monitor's beeping increases.

He grabs my face in both of his hands and forces me to meet his eyes, shaking me roughly when I close them tight. Again I want to cry when I meet his fierce gaze.

"I do." He speaks sternly. "I need you Max."

I choke on a sob and my chest hurts. All I ever wanted was for someone to tell me they need me, that I'm wanted.

The beeping goes even more haywire and I realize that I can't breath, sharp stabbing pains in my ribcage. I gasp and sob at the same time and a man in a white lab coat rushes in.

He ushers Fang out with a disapproving expression.

He hovers by my side and puts a mask over my nose and mouth. He tries to calm me down and eventually I do and my breathing becomes easier.

When my heart monitor evens out, the white coat removes the annoying mask and speaks to me softly.

"You need to take it easy and try not to get to upset. You have a pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung, and it can get hard to breathe with an accelerated heart beat. The pneumothorax you have is only minor so the treatment you have is simple. Just 'watchful waiting' and bed rest for a few days. You also have a lot of bruising around your stomach along with various cuts that are not part of your obvious self-harm which we have a few questions about-"

A black head of hair pops through the door and my heart once again projects its acceleration through the monitor.

"Can I come back in now?"

The white coat shoots him a troubled look and back at me. "I don't know, you seem to cause Maximum a lot of distress which is bad for-"

"It's okay- thank you." I tell the doctor in a voice that means that he could go.

He relents and allows Fang to come back in as he departs. We sit in silence for several minutes. Then- "What's going to happen to me Fang?"

My voice comes out small and child-like. He studies me for a few moments before finally responding.

"The police have been hovering around and from what I gather, there is very little chance that you wont be found innocent from selfdefense... But they are going to keep a eye on you for a long time in suicide watch... They're also going to send you to a rehab facility to get better..."

He hesitates for some reason before continuing on in a hushed voice.

"They have Jeb in custody in suspicion of child abuse. They knew you didn't get all those injuries in your fight with Dylan, some of them are days, weeks, years old. They asked me some questions and you should know, I answered them truthfully. They're going to want to ask you questions too."

I close my eyes tights. I want to cry.

"How am I going to get through this Fang? How am I going to survive it?" I beg my friend for an answer.

"You have to try, really try. I'll be there for you, I promise."

Now I want to laugh. "Promises are always broken." I mumble bitterly.

"Then let's not call it a promise." He gently takes my hand, the anger he held earlier no longer evident in his tone or eyes. "Let's make a deal. I will always be there for you and in return, you will live for me with all you've got."

He sets something in my hand and when I look at what it is, the heart monitor gives one long beeeeeeeep until it stutters and continues it's racing pace.

I delicately finger the small plastic flower ring that was carefully glued back together by steady hands. I long to throw myself at Fang and hug him with all my strength but the wires attached to me hold me back.

"You know, I only lived as long as I did because of Ari. He was the only thing keeping me from killing myself long ago." My chest aches when I think of the small boy but Fang's hand in mine steadies and grounds me. Maybe this can work. Maybe I can not just survive, but live.

"Let me be your new hope Max; we'll get through this. Together."

I study him for any doubt but only find a sincere fire in his eyes. "No promises?"

"No promises." He agrees kissing the back of my hand in affection.

I close my eyes and lean back against my pillow in thought. "I thought I fell off the table, yet here I am still playing this torturous game." I murmur.

"Pieces might fall, but another player could just as easily scoop them right back up and put them back on the board." I hear a grin in his voice and my own smile breaks across my lips.

"Alright Fang, I'll take your deal. I'll play the game a little longer. Who knows, maybe my luck will change?" I close my hand around the delicate ring with a sense of strange excitement and a new determination.

-Fin


I know it was short, but I felt that it was best to just leave it at that. So the story is over... I want to cry...*sniffles*

I really hope you enjoyed this and I will be updating She's A Killer next week so check that out too. And the updates will be more frequent, just like this one. Please, please, please let me know what you think of my first ever finished multiple chapter fanfic!

Thanks for everything guy, you are all great. I guess I'll see you in my other stories!

-feather flyer