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 Syl's Short Stories

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PostSubject: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:09 pm

Yeah, on those rare occasions when I write, it doesn't *always* fit into that book I'm never going to finish or into roleplays.

So.

---------

This I wrote earlier today because, after my last drawing, my friend said that she ships JoeyxZakuro and there is nothing I can do to change her mind. Now I can't stop thinking about it even though it probably wouldn't ever happen ever, and I wrote a short story for the lulz.

Rated PG-13 for a strategically-placed F-word at the end.

-----

“So some guy told me we should be dating today.”

Zakuro gave Joey an incredulous look. “Seriously? Who?”

“I don’t even know.” Joey shoved his hands into the pockets of his hoodie, then immediately began playing with the zipper at his throat as they crossed the school parking lot. “Some guy in AP Bio I hardly ever talk to outside of class. I can’t even remember his name. Don’t remember what we were talking about but he just suddenly goes, ‘Hey, so are you and that one girl going out or what?’”

Zakuro laughed a bit. “Wow,” she said in mild amusement before looking down at her shoes, seeming interested by the dirty red converse.

“Yeah, it was pretty odd. I asked him who he meant, ‘cause maybe he meant someone else and he says, ‘Oh, that Zakuro girl. The black-haired on you’re always with. Are you going out?’” Joey shook his head. “Told him now and he says we should ‘totally be dating’ because I guess we’d look good together. Wouldn’t listen when I explained we were friends, either, he was just completely convinced. Barely even know this guy.”

“Wow. I’ve never heard that before. People who know us better have joked about it, but that’s new.” Zakuro smiled lightly and began fidgeting with the strap to her guitar case, slung over her shoulder.

“Yeah, what with Chris being the dumbass that he is, it isn’t like I haven’t heard it a thousand times. I don’t even know.”

They walked in silence for a long moment, pausing once when Joey couldn’t quite remember where he’d parked his car that day and stopping again when they finally found it.

“Can you imagine, though?” he added with a chuckle while digging in his pants pocket for his keys. “If we actually did go out. I bet we’d freak out everyone.”

“Heh, yeah . . .” Zakuro trailed off thoughtfully, suddenly seeming uneager to make eye contact. She slid her guitar case off her back as she waited for Joey to unlock the doors.

“I take it I’m driving you home.”

“Mm-hm.” Her smile had gone.

“Alright, I suppose, but I wouldn’t be used to it much longer.” Joey pretended to examine one of his keys while Zakuro halfheartedly tossed her guitar into the back seat. “Once I get my motorcycle I’m not gonna-“

He cut off as Zakuro suddenly grabbed a fistful of his jacket. He glanced down, then at her. “Zakuro, what are you-“

She forcefully yanked him forward and kissed his lips.

Dumbstruck, all he could do was stand there, neither kissing her back nor pulling away.

Zakuro let him go after a couple of seconds. She looked suddenly ashamed, a heavy blush spreading across her face.

Feeling a similar burn warming his cheeks, Joey stared at Zakuro. He tried to speak but no sound came out, his mouth opening and closing uselessly.

After a painfully long moment, Zakuro made a sort of squeaky noise, then cleared her throat. “I-I’m-I’m just gonna . . . just gonna walk home today, actually,” she said awkwardly, taking a step back.

“Um, yeah . . . alright.”

“S-see you later.” Zakuro took a few more steps backward, but she had barely turned around before she started sprinting out of the parking lot without a look back.

Joey watched her go until she had run down the street and out of sight. He dropped himself limply into the driver’s seat of his car, still too shocked to do much else.

Did she love him, then? He hadn’t a romantic thought in his head concerning his best friend. Considering it now it didn’t seem so bad, but this certainly wasn’t the way one should go about it.

The only thing he was sure of at that moment was that he wanted to go home and not ever speak to Zakuro again for fear of bringing the day’s events up.

He grasped weakly for the handle of the car door and managed to slam it shut after a few seconds of groping at the air. As he fumbled with his keys he glanced at the rearview mirror, catching sight of Zakuro’s guitar case in the back seat.

She would want it back.

That meant he would have to give it back, which meant seeing her and most likely speaking with her.

He dropped his head against the steering wheel.

“Fuck.”

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:24 am

*fist pumps* Woo! Lucky guy! I like this a lot...
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:13 am

Lucky? Heh, his brain probably broke completely after that.

And thank you. c:

-----

'Nother story. I've been writing a lot lately.

So this involves Joey and one of my friend's characters, Chris.

. . . Yup.

A fair bit more swearing than in the last one. They are teenage boys and they are angry so there is a lot of that.

I'm not as sure about the writing in this one . . . The beginning feels kinda rushed, but if I'd made it much longer, I wouldn't have been able to illustrate how sensitive Joey is about the subject of his ex-girlfriend, so . . . yeah, I guess.

I am so bad at writing fight scenes

---

Joey was unusually silent, staring blankly downward at the sidewalk as he and Chris walked. Neither of them knew exactly where they were going, but Chris wanted socialization and Joey had run out of patience for being in the same house as his younger siblings. He was beginning to regret going out, though. Socializing was really the last thing he wanted.

"Someone's quiet," Chris remarked.

Joey made a sort of grunting noise in response, indicating he'd at least heard Chris speak. He shoved his hands in his coat pockets and didn't lift his gaze.

Chris was quiet again too, looking around awkwardly.

"You're not much fun to be around when you're being all emo," he said, trying again to earn some sort of reaction from his friend.

"Sorry." Joey lifted a hand and rubbed his eyes under his glasses. "Just . . . tired. With shit that's happened and all . . ."

"Still upset over Dani." It wasn't a question, but a statement. "I've never seen you so torn up about anything."

"Shut up," Joey hissed. He suddenly tensed, his hands clenched into fists in his pockets.

"I'm serious, though, it's odd," Chris continued as though he hadn't heard Joey. "Who would have thought that a girl of of all things would make the tough guy break down--"

"I said to shut the fuck up!"

Chris looked at Joey now, appearing surprised by the angry reaction. "What? I'm not trying to be an ass, I know it sucks, I'm just saying that you're not exactly handling--"

Joey whipped around and slammed a fist into Chris' face.

Chris reeled back, sputtering as blood flowed freely from his crooked nose. Joey scowled, standing defensively.

"You hit me," Chris stated in disbelief, sputtering little droplets of blood as it ran down his lips.

"I told you to shut up about her," Joey growled. "I don't want to hear about it anymore."

For another moment they glared at each other, until Chris stepped forward, fists curled at his sides. "You shouldn't have hit me for it," he said darkly.

"Shouldn't have been an asshole when I told you to stop."

Chris' next reply came as a defiant yell as he leaped forward, swinging at Joey. Joey tried to sidestep but, surprised by the sudden reaction, couldn't move quickly enough. The blow clipped his jaw and made him grit his teeth in pain, but before he could nurse the first wound Chris' heel slammed into his chest, knocking him flat on his back in the street.

The wind had been knocked from his lungs. Joey rolled onto his side and pushed himself up on his hands and knees, wheezing and feeling the panic tighten his chest when he couldn't breathe. Someone, a bystander, gasped. Another yelled something about the police.

Chris kicked him again, wrenching a pained cry from Joey's throat. He fell back and looked up at Chris, who towered over him.

"Don't get why you're trying to beat the shit out of me when you're the one who deserves it," Joey spat with what little breath he could gather, again pushing himself up.

"Still trying to be tough," Chris observed dryly as Joey sat up on his knees, then slowly got to his feet.

"Fuck you," Joey hissed before launching forward, driving a fist into Chris' belly before the other male could react. He grasped a handful of Chris' shirt and yanked him down. "I don't know why you're pushing it, but I'm not going to lose to a cocky son-of-a-bitch who doesn't know when to quit."

Chris lunged for Joey's throat. Joey barely threw aside his hand and drew his knee up sharply into Chris' stomach again before shoving him away. Chris grabbed a handhold in Joey's jacket and sent both of them tumbling back onto the asphalt.

Several people started to gather around the fighting teenagers, unsure of whether to intervene or not. Neither one noticed.

"You're the one who overreacted!" Chris accused as he shoved Joey to the side and immediately leaped at him again. "Being the little bitch, can't handle your own fucking emotions and take it out on everyone else!"

"You never know when to quit!" Joey yelled back before being cut off as Chris punched him in the jaw. He swallowed past the pain and caught Chris' fist before he could land another hit. "You keep going just because you think it's funny or you're too much of a dumbass to realize when to stop even when someone tells you to!"

Chris replied with another indecipherable cry, wrenching his hand from Joey's grip. Before he could attack again, Joey managed to get his leg up and plant his heel solidly in Chris' chest, kicking him back and following with another kick in the side. His vision was fuzzy--his glasses had fallen off, but he didn't care. He shoved Chris back down and punched him again, repeatedly, trying to get in every hit he could before he was hit again and nearly thrown.

The fight continued another minute, neither of them appearing to be relenting despite of the obvious exhaustion and injuries each was sustaining. They kept yelling, screaming insults that would get cut off by another blow.

Chris suddenly threw Joey back onto the ground. Joey's head slammed into the asphalt; he tried to get up but a hand wrapped around his throat and shoved him down. Joey was quickly seized by panic when again he could no longer breathe; he pulled uselessly at Chris' hands, trying to somehow loosen the grip or squirm out from under him, all while Chris just glared, eyes wild.

Suddenly the hold loosened. Two police officers grabbed Chris by the arms and yanked him backward off of Joey. Chris cried out in defiance and fought to reach Joey again, struggling against the hold.

Joey was likewise dragged upward off the ground, and overcome again by rage. He lunged at Chris again but the policeman held him back, shouting directions to stop moving, put his hands behind his back and not to fight.

He wasn't winning, he realized, and reluctantly surrendered while his hands were cuffed and he was pushed into the back of a police cruiser. He watched out the window as two officers had to wrestle Chris to the ground as he tried to reach the car, fighting the officers as he tried to reach Joey. Threats to use tasers were given, though it didn't seem to affect Chris at all.

Joey sighed heavily and hung his head, finally tasting the blood that had been leaking from the inside of his torn cheek for several minutes.

-----


Neither of them had wounds deemed worthy of emergency attention, so after being cleaned up a little Joey and Chris were placed in a cell at the precinct for an overnight stay. Chris took up residence in the corner, knees drawn to his chest and his face hidden in silence. Joey sat on the floor against the wall, staring blankly across the way.

He rubbed lightly at his jaw, where a dark purple bruise was beginning to spread up his face. Everything ached from the various bruises and cuts he had sustained--he was surprised he didn't have any broken bones. At least the officers had been kind enough to give him his glasses back.

He looked to Chris, who hadn't moved in the couple of hours they had been there. Chris had tried to kill him, but now the other male, huddled in the corner, didn't even look remotely capable of such an act.

Joey shook his head. What had he been thinking, anyway? He regretted having punched Chris in the first place. There were better ways of handling it. If it hadn't been about Dani then he would have ignored it like anything else, like he should have done.

He swallowed thickly and once again looked at Chris.

"I'm sorry," he said, his voice cracking a bit.

Chris didn't respond.

Joey sighed and ran his hands back through his hair, not knowing what to do. He had gotten out of control and regretted it. There was nothing he could do now except hope things would work out for the better.

"Me too," Chris mumbled unexpectedly. Joey looked over. Chris lifted his head long enough for their gazes to meet; Joey saw tears in his friend's eyes before Chris slouched over again.

Joey exhaled another heavy breath and slumped against the wall. It would be a long night.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:11 pm

Nice.
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:24 pm

I'll just write about Joey and Zakuro forever and ever and ever and ever

Teehee, fourteen-year-old Joey.

-----

Zakuro didn't step off the school bus so much as she leaped, hitting the ground hard and taking off sprinting down the road. She heard a friend yell "See you later" behind her but she didn't even have a chance to respond before she was gone. Her backpack thumped against her back with every stride, though she hardly noticed. A grin spread wide across her face as she tore off toward her home.

Uncle Zack had promised to visit today.

He hadn't visited in what felt like forever and hadn't explained why even over the phone. Today, though, he promised he would be there when she got home. The walk to the house, scarcely a minute away, was far too long.

Zakuro flung open the front door; it rebound on itself and slammed shut again as the excited girl bolted into the living room, expecting to see her uncle's excited grin and hear a demand for a hug.

There was none of that.

Her parents were the only ones in the living room, seated side-by-side on the leather couch. Her mother was hunched over, her face hidden in her hands. Beside her sat Zakuro's father, who was unmoving, staring stoically at the opposite wall.

Zakuro's smile fell. "What's going on?" she asked slowly. "Where's Uncle Zack at?"

"He's not coming today," replied her father bluntly.

"Why not?" The grin disappeared entirely. "He promised he would 'cause he hasn't even been here since Christmas . . ."

"He's dead, Zakuro."

-----

Joey stretched out across his bed, giving a content sigh. He disliked school. The people were annoying. He had a few friends who made the eight hours of wasted time somewhat worthwhile, but other than that he would rather be doing almost anything else. Home, where he could lock himself up in his room with some books and games, was better than ninth grade.

He reached over the edge of the bed to dig through his backpack until he came up with the paperback novel he had most recently borrowed from the library. He had just opened to his next page when the phone on his desk rang. He groaned as he rolled over and grabbed the phone--a glance at the caller ID told him it was Zakuro.

"You have this uncanny ability for interrupting me," he said into the phone, flopping onto his back again.

He didn't receive an immediate response. "Hello?" he said uncertainly, before checking the phone to see if had been hung up by mistake.

"Joey, can . . . can you come over? Please?" Zakuro's voice was faint, almost strained. It wiped the amused smile from Joey's face immediately.

"I don't know, Mom might not want me to . . . But what's going on? Why the sudden need?"

"I just . . . I just need to talk to someone." Her voice dropped in volume again. "Please. I know it's short notice and everything and your mom might argue but I just . . . I don't want to be alone right now. Please, Joey."

"I . . . shit, um, yeah, I'll be there." Joey sat up on his bed, somewhat surprised by his own use of profanity. He never felt the need to swear. "I'll be right there, okay? I have to ride my bike 'cause Mom's not home but I'm going to be right there."

"Okay." The line went dead. Joey felt his chest seize up with panic. Why wouldn't she tell him what was wrong? Was she okay? It wasn't likely she was hurt, seeing as she had called him from home, but he was still scared. He tossed the phone on his bed and stumbled over his own backpack as he tried to run out of the room, nearly hitting the door frame on the way out.

He barely stopped to pick up his bike, tripping a bit as he tried to run and climb onto the seat at the same time. After a moment of fumbling he tore off down the road, pedaling as fast as his legs would allow.

The ride was only fifteen minutes, but that was fifteen minutes too long. As he rode, once nearly toppling as he took a corner turn too sharply, his fear intensified. He had no idea what was wrong and he couldn't remember the last time, if there had been one, that Zakuro had sounded so distressed.

When he reached the house he jumped off his bike before even coming to a complete stop and burst through the front door without knocking. He expected to be yelled at but neither of Zakuro's parents said a thing as he ran up the stairs.

-----

Zakuro heard the pounding footsteps on the staircase announcing Joey's arrival. She glanced over when her bedroom door opened and Joey stood there, breathing heavily and looking scared.

"What's wrong?" he asked immediately.

She tried to answer, but found the words stuck in her throat. She looked down at her hands, fidgeting. Joey crossed the room and sat on the bed beside her.

"Sorry," she finally said when she could get her voice to work. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"It's fine, I guess. At least you're not dead. But what's going on?"

Zakuro was quiet again, staring at her hands.

"Uncle Zack died yesterday," she whispered.

"Oh . . . god, I'm sorry. That's . . ." Joey trailed off, unable to think of a word to express himself.

Zakuro nodded slightly. "Mom and Dad just found out," she continued, "and told me when I got home. He was supposed to visit today . . . God, I don't even know what to do."

"How are you doing?"

Zakuro wasn't sure how to answer. She thought she should be in tears then. She had expected to be, but so far she simply felt numb. It was as if the news simply hadn't registered. It was all she could think about--her father's words kept flashing in her head. He's dead, Zakuro. She couldn't remember much of the last twenty minutes since she had heard it, but she simply couldn't feel anything. It was blank.

"I don't know," she finally replied. "I don't know how I should feel. I mean, I feel like I should be crying my eyes out right now, but I just can't."

Joey sighed heavily. "I'm sorry," he repeated softly. "I liked him too. He was a cool guy."

"He was more than that," Zakuro mumbled. "He was the only family member I even liked. He was my best friend, besides you . . ."

She inhaled a long, deep breath, continuing to stare at her hands as she fidgeted. Her hands started to feel raw from rubbing them together, but she couldn't stop.

A long moment passed before Joey spoke. "How did it happen? I mean, if you don't mind me asking."

"The doctors said suicide."

Joey was silent again,unable to respond.

"Nobody knows why, either," Zakuro continued. Her voice began to quaver. "He's always been so happy. They did a test or something and found a whole bunch of drugs in his blood, and they found an empty bottle of painkillers in his apartment . . ."

Still Joey was quiet. She wanted him to say something, but she didn't know what she expected to hear. Tears began to sting at her eyes.

Her chest tightened. The reality of his death was beginning to sink in.

"Mom said they found antidepressants, too," she added as she began to shake. "She didn't even know he was depressed. I didn't even know and he told me everything. An-and now he's gone and I couldn't do anything because I didn't know."

The tears spilled down her cheeks, dripping onto her shirt and leaving dark stains. "Why would he kill himself?" she choked. A sob escaped in spite of her efforts to hold it down, followed by another. "Why wouldn't he tell me? Damn it, why wouldn't he tell me?"

She hid her face in her hands as the sobs took over, forgetting Joey was there. Zack was dead. It was all she could think. He was gone. Every afternoon would be like today's--she wouldn't get to run home and see him after school again. He was gone.

She tensed as something touched her. Joey placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder, seeming hesitant. Zakuro looked up at him through her tears. He gave a slight smile, trying to say it would be alright even though he couldn't gather the words to speak it.

Zakuro threw her arms around his middle, hiding her face in the shoulder of his jacket and embracing him as though her life depended on it. A few seconds later, she felt his arms wrap loosely around her as she continued to cry.

She wasn't sure how long she was there. It felt like hours before the sobs began to subside. After a few shuddering breaths, she was quiet, though she still shook. A few more silent minutes passed that felt like more hours. Joey only moved enough to hold her a little tighter.

"Joey?" she mumbled, barely coherent through the cloth of his jacket.

"Yeah?"

"Am I just . . . not trustworthy?"

"What?" He looked down at her.

Zakuro turned her head to the side to speak. "I don't know why else he wouldn't tell me," she said quietly, reaching up a hand to scrub at her eyes as more tears threatened to come. "He never mentioned being depressed."

"No, no," Joey said softly. He gave her a gentle squeeze. "It's just one of those things. He probably didn't like people knowing. It's not your fault."

"But he always told me everything . . ."

"I know," he responded, "but it's not your fault. You can't blame yourself for what happened."

Logically, she knew that, but Zakuro couldn't help but think of how she might have have been able to help, if only she had known.

"He should have told me," she repeated hoarsely, "and now he's gone."

More tears started down her cheeks. She didn't bother trying to stop them anymore, simply sitting there listlessly. She heard Joey sigh as he shifted a little bit and feared he wanted to leave, but he stayed, still holding her.

At least he was still there.



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Last edited by Syldoran on Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:01 am

So Friend and I have been doing a Left 4 Dead roleplay despite neither of us having played the game.

Though this isn't what happened in the roleplay (yet), I decided to extrapolate after a conversation about what might happen.

Joey's friend becomes infected and goes crazy, killing their other two friends, Joey can't pull the trigger to kill Infected Friend, and a rock makes him go crazy.

-----

Joey heard a skittering noise and stopped walking.

The parking lot was silent again. His car sat twenty feet behind him, the store another few paces ahead. He needed more food--ammunition too, but it wasn't likely he would find that in the neighborhood Wal-Mart.

His pistol hung heavily in his right hand. Where had the one in his left hand gone? Had he left it in the car? The thought of being without one of his weapons in this wasteland, riddled with Infected, should have made him uneasy.

He looked down. The source of the noise lay a few feet away: a small rock he had accidentally kicked. He hadn't even felt it bounce off the tip of his worn black converse.

Joey had almost hoped it had been an Infected. It would have been another living thing, at the very least.

How long had it been since there had been anyone else? Hours? No, it had been longer than that. Days, weeks? Something like that. Nothing but Infected had been around, and it was difficult to define those things as living, the bloodthirsty beasts. They never lived long, anyway. Most were dispatched with a few bullets to the rotting brain.

Pitiful existence, he thought blankly. I shouldn't be used to killing things.

He sighed heavily and looked back up. The store. He still needed to get the food and get out of here, before another swarm of Infected found him. He took another step forward.

The skittering noise again. He instinctively threw up his pistol, tight in his grip, toward the horizon, expecting another Infected. Silence again.

He glanced down, breathing between his gritted teeth. He had kicked the stone again.

"For fuck's sake." He shook his head and rubbed his eyes with his free hand.

As he tried to make the trek to the store again, the rock clattered along the asphalt parking lot.

"God fucking dammit!" he screamed suddenly, snatching the stone off the ground and launching it away. It sailed over some abandoned cars and out of sight. He froze then--his shouts were bound to attract more unwanted Infected. But there was nothing. Even after several minutes of listening to his heart pound on his ribs, there was no horde scrambling down the street.

There was nothing.

A dark flicker in the corner of his vision made him look suddenly to the side. A Hunter on the rooftop of the store?

A smudge on his glasses.

Joey swore again. Nothing. There was nothing there.

Nothing.

He looked around. He almost wished he had attracted more of the zombies. Then there would have been something. Something besides him. He would have had to kill them all, but there would have been something. The parking lot was completely empty. No cars going back and forth as they would have only a short time ago, no pedestrians fighting their way through traffic. A few groceries, long rotten, were scattered near the door.

"Going freaking crazy . . ."

Joey glanced up and looked over his shoulder. That had sounded like Chris' voice. But that was impossible. Chris was gone, he was long gone--

The thought made him tremble. Chris was gone; he had let Chris go free instead of killing him. Let another monster run free.

Chris was gone. He had killed Zakuro and Michelle. All three of them were gone now.

Joey's hands trembled. His pistol slipped from his grasp and clattered to the asphalt.

They had been gone. He knew that. He hadn't heard their voices in weeks now. There was nothing he wanted more right then. Michelle scolding him for something pointless, Zakuro trying to maintain that positive attitude--he would have even settled for one of Chris' tired insults, just as long as it meant that there was someone else there with him.

Joey rubbed his eyes again. His fingertips came back damp as tears trailed down his cheeks.

Alone.

His chest constricted tightly. It was hard to breathe. Joey felt his knees give out and he collapsed, hitting the ground hard. He kept himself upright on hands and knees as a sob wrenched itself from his throat.

Nobody told him not to worry. Nobody told him that it would be fine, to just give it time and not allow himself to panic as he often did. The only sounds came from him as he gave way to the despaired cries. There was no point in restraining himself. Nobody would see him.

He didn't know how long he went on. After some moments he forced his eyes open again and sat up, still shaking. Beside him, through the tears that blurred his vision and left streaks down his dusty face, his pistol lay.

Joey swallowed thickly and reached for the gun. Nobody would stop him, either.

His hand trembled as his fingers closed around the grip. He seized the weapon and shoved the barrel under his chin, the steel freezing against his skin. Though his hand continued to shake violently, there the gun stayed. He slipped his index finger into the guard, against the smooth metal tab of the trigger that he had pulled so many times, fighting for his own life.

One more time and it would have been a waste.

He swallowed again and tightly shut his eyes. Tears continued to pour from underneath the closed eyelids, trickling down his jaw and disappearing into the folds of his jacket's hood.

A minute passed and he still sat there. There was still nothing there but the sound of his own little whimpers. His finger came down on the trigger.

A click.

Joey hesitantly opened his eyes. The harsh sunlight nearly blinded him as he looked up into the sky.

The chamber was empty.

He dropped his hand into his lap, then hung his head, staring at the mottled ground. He swallowed--his mouth was dry.

He needed a drink. He looked up to the store ahead. He was still ten feet away from the automatic front doors.

Shaking, he stood and trudged toward the store, each step heavy and lifeless, but still carrying him forward.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:11 pm

Oh, that was very nice Syl. I quite enjoyed it. And also, L4D is a tremendous game.
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:50 pm

Why thank you. c:

I've always wanted to play L4D but I just haven't been able to get my hands on a copy. I don't have an income, so . . . yeah. XD Not a lot of disposable money for vidgamagames.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:34 pm

Nice work Syl. I noticed in the third one uncle Zack turned into uncle Mark.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:54 pm

Yeah, I actually noticed that too and fixed it in my hard copy, but not everywhere else. *flounces off to edit*

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:23 am

One day, I will write something that doesn't involve Joey at all. Today is not that day.

Based on an L4D roleplay Friend and I are doing.

Suddenly, Joey is twenty-three-ish.

And this really isn't my greatest writing, but I've been trying to get the idea out for days and it's finally done, so I can't say I care much. XD

----------

"Do you ever plan on getting up?"

"Eventually," Joey replied listlessly from his bed, lying with his back to the rest of the room.

Michelle frowned. "You're starting to worry me," she said from where she sat against the opposite wall. "All you've done is just sleep or lay there for ages. Most people don't do that unless they're sick."

"Well, I don't have anything better to do."

Michelle let out a heavy breath and shook her head.

After a few more minutes of silence, Joey rolled over in bed and sat up. He looked around the room, ran a hand back through his messy hair, and sighed.

"Hate being stuck here," he muttered.

"We all do. Unfortunately, this is the only safe place we have."

"I know." Joey looked toward the wall, where, in a normal building, a window would have been situated. Fortified military bunkers, however, couldn't afford the luxury of an opening in the wall.

After another minute of quiet, Joey said, "Wonder if we'll ever get out of here." His voice lost its bitterness, becoming toneless.

Michelle shrugged halfheartedly. "They're just trying to be safe," she said, "even if they're doing it in a piss-poor way."

Joey shook his head. "That's not what I mean," he said. "I mean, just . . . locked up. Until things over all are 'safe.' At this point, I don't think there's even going to be a time like that."

Michelle dropped her gaze to the floor uncomfortably; she purposely hadn't given a lot of thought to the future of their situation.

"I've been trying not to think about it," Joey continued, slumping his shoulders in defeat, "but it's pretty hard to avoid. Now that we're not moving, just sitting here, waiting."

"Well . . ." Michelle hesitated, uncertain. "Maybe we just need more time. It's not like solutions are easy to come by right now."

"We've been here for two weeks, though," Joey replied. "Others have fled the country, fled the damn continent to find a safe place. We're here, in the middle of nowhere, sitting on our asses while we wait for something. Are we just gonna be here forever, or will we just get overrun by Infected?"

"We might not," Michelle interjected. "They're always looking for ways out of this . . . thing. We have to be free again eventually. People like Robinson, even if he was an ass, were trying to find ways to fix it."

Joey sighed and was silent, leaning on the wall and dropping his hands listlessly into his lap.

After a minute, he tried to speak, stopped when his voice caught in his throat, and tried again. "I just don't wanna be stuck like this," he said softly. He hung his head. "I don't know what to do or what's going to happen from here."

"None of us wanted this to happen."

"No, I know . . ." Joey rested his head back against the wall. He chuckled a little bit, a sudden change in emotion. "Y'know, I keep thinking about the crap I didn't get to do or I wanted to or meant to. That whole cliché thing. Backwards priorities and what-have-you."

Now Michelle couldn't help a little bit of a smile, too. Any change in the mood was welcome. "Maybe you'll get to catch up."

"Hope so." Joey stared upward at the ceiling for a moment, frowning again, before adding, "Sorry for the angst. Not being on meds for several weeks and generally shitty circumstances don't help my positive thinking." He rubbed his eyes under his glasses tiredly.

Michelle's smile widened slightly. "It's okay," she replied. "Frankly, it's good to know you actually have emotions regarding the matter."

Joey got to his feet, prompting Michelle to ask, "Going somewhere?"

"Just gonna check up on Chris.

"Alright." Michelle stood up as well. "Tell him I'll be by soon, too."

"Can do." Joey cast a glance around the room. "Where'd my jacket go?"

"Think you threw it . . . yeah, here." Michelle picked up the beaten black hoodie that lay against the wall and held it out to Joey.

"And try not to panic again," she said as Joey slipped on his jacket. "You do that a lot. Can't promise things will be perfect, but . . ."

Joey hesitated to respond, looking thoughtful as he zipped his coat. Then, without warning, he leaned forward and kissed Michelle on the cheek before turning to leave.

Michelle blinked once, blanking at the uncharacteristic and unexpected display of affection. She felt her face immediately burn and could only imagine how red she must look.

When she could gather some sort of coherent thought, she managed to stutter out, "Wh-what the hell was that for?"

"Change in priorities," Joey replied before closing the door with a quiet click behind him, leaving Michelle in confusion and embarrassment.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:42 am

Thats it!!
Ronnie is going to be so shitty!!!
Lol.

I can just imagine how that would come out in a multiverse setting....

Ronnie "What the heck are you blind?"

Joey "What do you mean, she isn't ugly, even if......."

Ronnie "Once again, off in you own world, just wake up for a minute and look around, look at me!"

Joey "Ahhh.... Why am I the one people think should be on meds?"

I cant match your characters but you get the idea.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:48 am

XD Joey does end up being a player of sorts just because I use him for so many things, though. He has Dani as part of his past (though I debate whether to actually let her exist), Zakuro briefly, Michelle, Ronnie . . .

Thankfully, each roleplay is its own continuity, so there will be no breaking of hearts. XD 'Tis okay, Ronnie.


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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:10 am

Syl your writing is nice. I love Joey, and how he is in the stories. Keep up the good work.
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:26 pm

Thank you~ C:

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:52 pm

Your welcome. Can you please comment on my stories, thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:13 am

I swear to god the next story I write will be about Devon or Taiju or somebody who is not Joey. UGH. Though in all fairness, he's more like a cameo in this one . . .

Anyway.

I keep a file in my writing folder called "Scribbles~" (including the tilde) where I write out just crappy things. Sometimes I get a page and a half of writing, sometimes just a sentence. Usually it's not worth its own file because the writing's bad or I was just trying to get some words out onto paper, so to speak. I think 99% of it is fluff, because usually my fluff writing is absolutely atrocious and completely derivative, so I don't show it off.

But I was flicking through the things I'd written and found this, which can't be more than a month old, and figured it wasn't too god-awful.

Pretty short and silly but eh.

I stole Ronnie again I am sorry I hope these italics will suffice as penance.

-----

Veronica idly stroked the remaining petals of the flower with the tip of her finger. Perhaps half of the petals remained; the rest were strewn halfheartedly in the grass around her. One had fluttered down into her lap without her noticing.

She didn't put any real faith in little games like this. Still, there was no harm in it.

"He loves me not," she mumbled as she plucked another yellow petal and dropped it to the grass. She sighed heavily. No, he probably didn't love her, did he?

Another petal came off and was discarded like its siblings. "He loves me," she said before pulling off another petal. "And he loves me not, and he loves me . . ."

This continued for another minute or so, until one lone petal dangled from the flower's center. Veronica's lips turned downward into a slight, dismayed frown as she gently tugged the final petal away and sighed, "Loves me not."

Veronica shook her head and looked up. Joey had returned to the camp, she noticed, and was trying to start the fire before night came too quickly. She watched him fumble around with the arrangement of some dry logs before dropping her gaze again.

She noticed a tiny little petal still stuck to the flower's head. It was only partially grown and small enough that she hadn't even noticed it at first, but it was still a petal.

Perhaps it was cheating, she mused to herself, but who really cared? She pulled away the little petal and smiled to herself, letting her eyes flicker back up to Joey.

"He loves me . . ."

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:57 pm

And yet more Joey writing.

I hate myself sometimes.

Aaaanyway, this was kind of an explanation on something with Joey, and I managed to work it into a setting to do with that same L4D roleplay again. I've been trying for awhile to find a proper disorder that really explains Joey's mild neuroses. I've rolled through a couple but none of them seemed right, so I decided to see if an anxiety disorder would work at all.

And then it became a bit fluffy.

This is basically what happens to me every so often. >_> But Joey has it a bit worse. I THINK I'll be able to keep it like this, since it fits a little better than other disorders I've researched.

But whatever.

-----

Joey swore and ran his hands back through his hair, turning his gaze up toward the sky as if he would receive some sort of help. He blinked rapidly, trying to stop the frustrated tears beginning to sting at his eyes. His heart pounded against his ribs, racing as though he were sprinting, and he felt light-headed, dizzy. He dropped his hands and wrapped his arms tightly about himself, digging his fingertips into his skin through the sleeves of his jacket.

"Fuck fuck fuck," he spat between his teeth, rubbing his arms as he felt the anxiety creeping in. This wasn't the time. He had managed this far without having a nervous breakdown.

He tried to lean against the motel wall but misjudged the distance and fell against it before sliding down to the floor, drawing his knees up to his chest. His entire body trembled. Thoughts raced through his head as he rocked back and forth, feeling foolish and childish and entirely helpless.

They were going to die--he was going to die--

Why couldn't he find a way to fix this--

Goddammit, why did he take over like a leader, he couldn't do shit and they kept looking to him like he could help them--

What was he supposed to do--

He couldn't do anything, why was he trying--

Joey hung his head, trying to shut out all those thoughts. He curled up as tightly as he could, his arms still pressed tightly around himself, overwhelmed by the sudden fear and despair and the helplessness that came with being unable to do a thing about it. The dizziness intensified--it felt like his head was stuffed full of cotton and he might pass out, but his heart kept slamming against his ribs, pumping all too fast the blood and adrenaline, leaving him utterly incapacitated. He inhaled shuddering breaths between his clenched teeth, only to let them out crying, the accompanying tears streaking down his face with no effort made to stop them.

The door to the motel room squealed on its hinges as it swung open and footsteps scuffed across the carpeted floor. He didn't hear them, wasn't aware anyone had even entered the room until a young woman's voice gasped, "Joey?"

Damn it, damn it, he didn't want her to see him like this.

"Joey, what's wrong?" Michelle demanded fearfully. He could just hear her cross the room in three long strides until she knelt at his side.

"I-I-I'm f-fine," he stuttered, not even lifting his head. "I'll be fine, just . . ." He coughed as he tried to withhold a sob.

"Joey . . ." A hand lay tentatively on his shoulder. "I've never seen you like this. Did something happen?"

"I said I'll be fine," he replied thickly. "Just freaking out over fucking nothing and being useless like I always am, because I can't do a goddamn thing--"

"What are you talking about?" He expected her to sound angry but her voice was only soft, concerned, if confused.

"I feel like I have to do everything and I can't, I should be helping Chris and I can't, I still haven't figured out what to do and if I don't we're all just going to wind up dead . . ."

He trailed off, continuing to shake. He wanted to stop, he tried to stop, but his body wouldn't listen to him, and now Michelle probably thought the worst of him, and why shouldn't she? Maybe she always had. And now he was quivering on the floor, crying like a child, not even able to speak a full sentence to tell her what was wrong because he was too busy panicking and feeling sorry for himself. God dammit, why couldn't he just stop this?

Beside him, he could sense Michelle move closer, hear her shuffling as she moved. It didn't dawn on him what she was doing until he felt her arms rest loosely around him, gently pulling him to her. Instinctively he tensed, but he didn't even think to push her away. It helped in a way he couldn't quite explain, unexpectedly comforting, though it wasn't quite enough.

Michelle held him in silence without protest while he desperately tried to calm himself without any luck. After some minutes, the panic began to subside, the tears and adrenaline rush ebbing with it, until the crying was reduced to mere shuddering breaths and his body gradually stopped shaking. Soon he was entirely quiet.

"Are you alright now?" Michelle dared to ask after a minute or so.

"Yeah . . ." Joey slowly lifted his head and took off his glasses, scrubbing his eyes and face dry on the cuff of his jacket. "Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry."

She shook her head. "You don't need to be sorry," she said softly. "I just want to know what happened. You're the last person I would ever expect to see like that."

"I know, I know . . ." He sniffed, coughed, and started cleaning his glasses, now smudged beyond all hope, on the hem of his t-shirt. "I just started freaking out. It's happened before. Kinda surprised it's been so long since the last time it did."

Michelle gave him a questioning look. "It's happened before?"

"Yeah . . ." He sniffed again and replaced his glasses on his nose. "Anxiety attack, basically. I start thinking about something that I'm worried about, and then it's like my brain just overreacts and shuts down entirely and then . . . that happens. I start thinking about everything else I've basically ever been worried about, panic, et cetera. It's not exactly fun but I can't do anything about it."

He checked his watch and gave a wry attempt at a smile. "Fifteen minutes this time," he remarked dryly. "Better than half an hour."

"So you'll be okay now?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine. Once it's done, it's done. I just need to eat something and try to keep myself distracted for awhile." Joey tried to stand, but he had barely put his feet under himself when he swooned and reeled back. Michelle quickly grabbed him by the arm before he could fall and helped him stand steadily.

"Damn it, now I'm all dizzy and shaky," he said. He smiled a little bit. "Fun."

"Need me to get you anything?" Michelle asked, watching him warily in case he started to fall again.

"Nah. I'll be fine in another ten minutes or so," Joey said with a small shake of his head. He carefully sat down on the bed--when he felt he wouldn't nearly black out again, he reached down into a paper bag on the floor and produced a candy bar and his energy drink of choice to tide him over. "Just . . . don't tell Zakuro. It's been awhile since the last time that happened, and every time it does she worries about me for the next three days."

"Can do." Michelle hesitated a moment, while Joey fumbled to open the tab on his drink with still-shaky hands. Then she, without warning, embraced him again.

"For the record," she said with a small smile, while Joey found himself caught entirely unawares, "nobody thinks you're useless. You've done everything anyone can in our situation, so don't beat yourself up, okay?"

Joey didn't respond for a couple of seconds. Then he smiled as well and managed to return the embrace with one arm.

"Thanks."

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:34 pm

You know I'm not even going to bother complaining about the fact it's Joey again. I have come to terms with the fact that he is infinitely more interesting to me than any of my other characters to write about.

:<

This is just kinda silly. Not quite the L4D roleplay, but it's the same continuity, meaning Joey's older and Michelle exists. Normally I write about Joey being angsty or dead serious when I roleplay with this friend (and I don't know why) so I figured I'd make an effort to show him being a little dorkier than usual, because he is kind of dorky and awkward around people, especially in relationships, and probably will be forever.

-----

Joey frowned at the TV on the opposite wall. His reflection, although dim in the screen, frowned right back at him.

You're not very romantic, Michelle had told him that morning.

I'm sorry?

I mean, I love you as you are and all, that whole thing, but . . . I dunno, it'd be nice if I weren't always the one to kiss you first and everything, y'know? Just . . . a little more outgoing. Spontaneous, maybe.

When he'd given her the same annoyed frown that he wore now, she'd just smiled in amusement and kissed him before going out the door, happily unaware that her words, hardly meant as anything more than musings, would stick in his brain for the remainder of the day.

He exhaled a heavy breath, shifting his stare to a nick in the paint on the wall next to the television. It had been there since he moved into that apartment; he had no idea where it came from at all.

"Not my fault. She knows I'm not naturally affectionate," he muttered, glaring at the nick as though it were the cause of his problems. "Not like I'm just straight-up ignoring her, anyway . . ."

Still, he had to admit that even he noticed. He always felt foolish when he tried to show affection no matter how much he cared for her, so he was always reluctant to kiss her or even do so much as put his arm around her shoulders when they sat together unless she initiated it. It wasn't out of disinterest, just . . . it was difficult.

"Hmph." Whatever. It really wasn't that big of a deal. If it bothered her that much, she'd say something serious about it.

Some time later, the front door opened, the hinges giving a little squeak as a sort of forewarning. Joey glanced up from where was now sprawled across the folded-up futon that served as his bed when Michelle came into the room and gave him a sort of amused smile.

"Enjoy your day?" she asked teasingly.

"Meh" was the only real response he could think to give.

"I see." She giggled a bit and walked over to stand at the edge. "Nothing productive, I take it."

"Nope."

She just shook her head and sat down at the bottom of the futon by Joey's feet. "Sounds like a boring day."

"Yeah, but better than working." Joey shrugged and sat up, drawing himself into a cross-legged position and giving Michelle a tired smile. "Better to do nothing on my day off, anyway."

"I suppose so." Michelle rested against the back of the futon tiredly, thinking nothing else of Joey's apparent laziness.

Joey looked over at her, thinking again of what she had said that morning. It wasn't that big a deal and he knew it, but he couldn't help but think of it anyway.

He thought about it for another moment or two, debating, before thinking "screw it" and making a decision. He scooted closer to Michelle, and when she looked at him expectantly to see what he wanted, kissed her without warning. She seemed surprised by the sudden move, but didn't protest, taking a moment before responding in kind. Prompted onward, he advanced forward, forcing her to lean back until they were both stretched nearly across the length of the couch.

It was a minute or so before they separated. Michelle looked up at him, her face flushed, and gave a small smirk. "The hell was all that about?" she asked.

Joey shrugged in an attempt to be nonchalant. "Do I need a reason?"

"You do, yes, considering that you never do anything like that."

"Yeah, well . . ." Joey couldn't think of a decent enough response and looked away with an annoyed frown.

Michelle was silent for a second, then laughed. "I get it, you're still pissed because of what I said this morning," she said.

"What--I am not," Joey protested.

"Yes you are. I know you. You'd let something silly like that bother you because you don't like being not good enough."

Joey looked away, his cheeks burning with an angry blush. "Shut up," he mumbled halfheartedly as he sat up.

Michelle laughed again, making Joey's frown deepen further. "You really can be a dork sometimes," she said, sitting up and kissing his cheek. "But I appreciate the effort."

She got up and left the room, presumably for the bathroom. Joey refused to look at her, almost pouting, until she was out of sight.

"Could you make that sound a little more condescending?" he called after her, eliciting one more peal of laughter before the door clicked shut.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:44 pm

Aaww this is a cute story of Joey. He is dorky in his own way, but I still like him. ^-^
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:44 am

Why thank you. C:

Yeah, Joey's kind of a dork, but I guess that's one of the things people like. He can't be angsty or all srsbsns all the time.

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:38 pm

True, but Joey will not be him without those moments. ^-^
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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:11 pm

Nice. Sweet and oddly miroring...

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:01 am

Okay, guys, this is just a huge wall o' text basically.

It ended up being six pages long when I only anticipated maybe three. It's been awhile since I've written anything quite this long. XD And it still only took me two days . . . Still, pretty long.

Another Older!Joey thing.

Basically, I was doing my anatomy homework, and I read about punctured lungs, and this made me decide that I had to write a story in which Joey gets terribly hurt right freaking now.

Sorry, characters, I'm too abusive and I know it.

On another note, I'm not really thrilled with the last page worth of writing. :T But oh well.
-----


A new internship at the local hospital--that called for celebration. His savings account had been accumulating funds since he was seventeen. Between his monthly donations for five years plus the accumulating interest, he had enough to make at least a fairly hefty down payment. He'd taken the mandatory classes, gotten his special license, and everything else. All that remained was to choose the motorcycle he liked.

At the dealership, Joey settled on a newer model, sleek black and modern. It was neither the fanciest nor the most expensive one, but it certainly caught his eye. Now to see if it handled as well as it looked.

He grinned under his plastic helmet as he tore down the road, heading straight for the freeway. The wind whipped at his clothing and stung at his hands, but he didn't care. There was a freedom in speeding down the road, one he couldn't enjoy in the claustrophobic confines of a traditional vehicle. Even though he wasn't usually one for the outdoors, he loved the fresh air rushing past him and the sunlight warm against his skin. The motorcycle handled beautifully, offering no resistance to even the sharpest turns, accelerating smoothly with hardly even a thought.

This would be it.

Although he was reluctant to end his ride after only ten minutes, Joey turned off onto the next exit and made his way back into town, toward the dealership to finalize the purchase. After spending his entire time on the freeway at seventy-five miles per hour, the town's limit of thirty seemed like a snail's pace.

Still, it wouldn't be much longer. A bit of haggling and some paperwork and it would be his. He smiled again as he entertained ideas of how Michelle would react--most likely she would mock him teasingly for the purchase at least once. She did that every time he was excited about something, whether it be fresh art supplies or his medical studies or anything else. Apparently she thought it was cute when he was excited--he didn't understand why.

Joey stared ahead at a stoplight, willing it to stay green until he reached the intersection. It did, much to his pleasure, and he started through. Not a block ahead he could see the dealership.

From the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of movement, a streak of red.

The impact came first; he felt his body violently displaced, his vision exploding into white. His mind briefly registered the sounds around him next--metal crushing and screeching against metal, tires squealing against the asphalt, someone screaming. He slammed into the asphalt. The wind was blown from his lungs. There was a split second where he could feel the panic and pain overwhelm him before everything went black.

-----

Michelle sighed and hung her head back, resting against the couch. Joey had sounded so excited about something that morning but he hadn't told her what, exactly, was making him so happy. He promised to "show her" that afternoon, but here it was, approaching five o' clock and she hadn't heard a word from him.

She bit the inside of her lip in worry. It was probably nothing, she told herself. Probably just busy doing whatever it was he was talking about to start with. Maybe it was taking longer than he had expected and he just didn't have time to text. Or maybe he hadn't thought to--he often became so engrossed in work or some other distraction that he could even ignore basic bodily needs until he finished what he was doing. That was probably it.

Her phone rang in her pocket. All too eagerly she picked it up, hoping to see her significant other finally checking in. Instead it was a number she didn't recognize. Confused, she flipped it open and answered with a questioning, "Hello?"

An unfamiliar voice responded. "Am I speaking to Michelle?"

"Um, yeah, that would be me." Michelle raised an eyebrow. Who was this man?

"Ma'am, my name is Dr. Allan. I work down at the Valley Memorial Hospital, and I have some unfortunate news."

Michelle's heart leaped up into her throat.

"Your friend Joseph was admitted to our hospital a short while ago. He was in an accident about an hour ago and has only just reached a stable con-"

The phone slipped from Michelle's hand and clattered to the floor. She was out the door before the doctor could even finish the sentence.

-----

When Michelle got to the hospital, she found Zakuro already waiting outside. She was sitting in one of the waiting room chairs, her hands over her mouth. She was still now, but it looked like she had been crying mere moments before.

Catching sight of Michelle, Zakuro got to her feet. She opened her mouth to say something, but Michelle cut her off. "Is he okay? Where is he?"

The black-haired woman shook her head. "They won't let me see him," she replied, her voice thick with tears. "I tried to make them let me go but they told me I have to wait." She sniffed and rubbed her eyes, trying to keep from trying again.

Michelle bit her lip again, looking toward the double doors that lead into the emergency rooms. "Did they tell you what happened?" she asked as she felt tears stinging at her eyes as well. Forcefully she blinked them back; crying now wouldn't help anything.

Zakuro nodded once. "H-he was driving a motorcycle and a car hit him," she said quietly. "The driver was speeding and ran a red light. Joey didn't even h-have a chance to see it, and since he was on a bike it hit him straight on. They didn't tell me all his injuries but they said it was really bad and that he probably had a bunch of internal ones . . ."

Motorcycle. Was that what Joey had been so excited about today? Michelle swallowed hard and sat down. She wanted to burst through the doors and demand to be allowed to see Joey right away, but if she tried that, they likely wouldn't let her in at all.

"I guess they found his cell phone and that's how they got a hold of me and you," Zakuro continued, likewise taking her seat again. "Think the doctor said someone working here knew him and I guess Joey told him about you and me, at least, so he knew who to call . . "

"Oh, right . . ." Michelle looked up at the ceiling, inhaling a heavy breath. "This is where Joey got his internship the other day. Guess it makes sense somebody would know him." She turned back to Zakuro. "Has anyone called Chris?"

Again Zakuro nodded. "I called him in the cab on the way here," she replied. "He hung up practically as soon as I told him Joey was in the hospital, so he should be here soon."

Michelle nodded once and turned her attention to the floor. How long would they be forced to wait before they could see him?

The hospital doors opened again and somebody ran through, drawing both the girls' attention. Chris had arrived, and he looked frantic, but as soon as he caught sight of the two, he seemed to straighten up and try to contain himself. Neither of them truly believed that he was as composed as he tried to act as he approached them, but they weren't willing to say anything about it.

"Any news?" he asked after clearing his throat. They both shook their heads, leaving all three of them to sit and wait.

Half an hour later, two men dressed in white coats exited from the corridor beyond the double doors and walked toward the small group. The older one, a man with dark blond hair that held some streaks of gray, lead the way over, tailed by the younger male, who appeared to be about the same age as them.

The blond man looked between the girls. "You two are the ones I contacted about Joseph's condition, right?" When he received nods, he continued, tucking his clipboard under his arm. "I'm Dr. Allan, the one currently in charge. I take it you would all like to see him?"

More nods. He gave a sigh. "He isn't conscious at the moment," he confessed. "A concussion among many other things. But he is stable, and given time and no complications, he should heal. Come with me."

The three exchanged glances before following Allan down the hall. The younger black-haired male hesitated in his step, walking beside Michelle.

"You're Michelle, right?" he asked, giving a smile.

"Yeah," Michelle replied quietly, uninterested in conversation.

He kept smiling anyway and offered his hand. "I'm Marshall," he said pleasantly. Michelle uncertainly shook his hand. "I met Joey when he came in to start his internship the other day. He talked quite a bit about you."

Michelle forced a small, strained smile but didn't otherwise respond. She understood his good intentions, but her worry overwhelmed everything else.

Allan lead them into a room near the end of the corridor. Zakuro gasped immediately at the sight and covered her mouth with her hands. Michelle had a similar reaction and Chris grit his teeth, looking like he wanted to swear profusely.

Joey lay in the hospital bed, unmoving. The blanket was drawn up under his arms, hiding the majority of any bodily injuries, but he was still a mess. A long cut traced a line down from the corner of his eye to his chin, accompanied by several bruises and an inflamed rash on the other side of his face. An IV needle was taped to his wrist and a bandage encircled his upper arm. His leg was set in a cast and propped on a small stack of pillows at the foot of the bed, just visible from an upturned corner of the blanket. Despite his injuries being cleaned up, he still looked completely broken.

"Several of his injuries were internal," Allan said, stopping by the edge of the bed and looking again at his clipboard. "Several ribs on his right side were fractured, one of which punctured and collapsed his lung. A concussion, naturally, and a laceration on his temple from when his helmet fell off and he slid on the road. He's lucky he was wearing that helmet--he would probably be dead if he hadn't been."

Zakuro visibly winced at this description.

"His leg was broken as well. The front of the car would have hit that first and pinned him between his motorcycle and the car, leaving the bone shattered into several different pieces. But we were still able to set the bone and place a cast on it, so it will be fine, as will everything else." Allan briefly flipped through the papers on his clipboard before looking back at the group. "His vitals are all finally stable. Given time, he'll heal. Punctured lungs tend to fix themselves after you get the air out of the chest cavity and we've done everything else we can."

Neither Chris, Michelle, nor Zakuro were particularly relieved by the news. Allan looked between the three before coughing lightly.

"I'll leave the three of you here," he said, "but I don't think he'll be waking up for awhile now. Not until tomorrow at the very least. You may be better off returning later on."

"He will wake up, right?" Zakuro spoke up suddenly.

Allan hesitated a moment before replying. "There's a chance he won't. You never know with things like this," he admitted. "The severity of a concussion is hard to judge when the patient is already conscious. It could be awhile, and when he does, he probably won't be himself for a day or two."

"He will," Chris interjected flatly. "I'd have to kill him if he didn't."

Zakuro shot him a dirty look.

"What? I'm not really--"

"Chris, this isn't the time for that kind of joke, okay?"

His face sobered and he looked down at his shoes, choosing not to reply.

"As I was saying," Allan continued after clearing his throat, "he isn't likely to wake up tonight. You're free to stay for awhile if you wish. We'll keep you updated if anything changes." With that, he started out the door. Marshall cast a glance back before following.

Zakuro stood at Joey's bedside, watching his chest rise and fall shallowly. Michelle and Chris hung back a little bit, unsure of what to do. The silence in the room was broken only by the steady, high-pitched beeping of the heart monitor, mapping out the beating of his heart.

Chris was the first to speak after a couple of minutes. "We should go," he said quietly. "Waiting around here isn't going to help anything. If I could, I'd find the guy who did this, but . . ."

Reluctantly, Zakuro nodded her agreement. "I can't see him like this," she mumbled, turning away. Tears welled up in her eyes again. "It's not fair. Some stupid asshole broke the law and Joey had to get hurt for it. He never does anything wrong and now he's hurt."

Chris sighed heavily and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "C'mon, we should go," he repeated. Sniffling, Zakuro wiped her eyes and headed for the door with Chris.

Michelle waited an extra moment, stepping up next to Joey's bed. She watched him for a moment as he lay there, feelings tears start to sting her eyes, too. She inhaled a deep breath to steady herself and leaned down, gently brushing Joey's matted hair away from his face.

"Please wake up," she whispered.

-----

The next few days passed uneventfully. Like the others, Michelle anxiously awaited any news, wanting desperately to hear that Joey was awake and well. No phone calls came. Sometimes Zakuro would call, only to ask if Michelle had heard anything when she and Chris hadn't. The answer was always the same: no, she hadn't. Michelle kept having to resist the urge to return to the hospital, knowing that making repeated trips would help nothing and only remind her that Joey was still injured and still not getting any better.

The third day after the accident passed in the same way until late afternoon. Michelle was sparring in her living room, trying to distract herself with the exertion of martial arts and only having minimal success, when her cell phone went off. Zakuro's number lit up the screen, and as soon as she answered, the other young woman's voice blasted in her ear.

"He's awake!"

Michelle winced and yanked the phone away. Then the words sank in. "What? Joey?"

"Yeah! The doctors called me awhile ago so me and Chris went to see him and he was awake and he was okay! Still hurt and everything but since he woke up the doctors said that he'll be fine--"

"Wait, wait. You went to see him and didn't even tell me?"

The other end of the line went quiet for a moment. "Sorry," Zakuro said sheepishly. "I didn't mean to not tell you. I was just really excited and Chris was with me, so we went as soon as we could. I guess I just didn't think to call you."

Michelle scowled.

"But you can still go see him!" Zakuro added quickly. "The only reason I left is because I have to go to work really soon but visitors are still allowed, and he said he really wanted to see you before we left, so . . ."

Michelle gave a sigh, but then smiled. "Alright," she replied. "Thanks for telling me, even if it's a bit late." Before Zakuro could respond, Michelle snapped the phone shut with a grin.

-----


Joey groaned quietly as he drifted back into consciousness. He'd woken up that morning for what the doctors told him was the first time in three days, and since then he found himself drifting in and out of consciousness. He would rather stay asleep--he couldn't feel anything when he was.

He tried to open his eyes, only to screw them tightly shut again as the bright hospital lights overhead burned into his sight. After swearing under his breath, he grit his teeth and propped himself up on his arms. The fractured ribs and bruises across his torso immediately sent pain stabbing through his body, making him gasp, but he pushed himself up until he was in a sitting position. He couldn't stand to lie on his back. He couldn't sleep on his side or stomach without agitating his injuries, but he would not stay that way while he was awake.

Blithely, he wondered when they give him more morphine.

The door to his room opened and a figure stepped in. Joey blinked a few times, but without his glasses (which he imagined were lying in shattered bits on the road somewhere) he couldn't recognize the blurry form until it stopped beside his bed.

"Shouldn't you be resting?" Michelle asked with a soft smile.

Joey smiled in relief. "It's not like I'm trying to stand up," he replied.

She put her hand on his shoulder and tried to give him a gentle push back, but he brushed her hand away. "Don't. It hurts just as much to lay on my back and I nearly passed out just trying to sit up."

Michelle gave an aggravated sigh, but didn't argue with him any further, to his relief. She pulled up a nearby chair and sat down.

"So . . . Stupid question, but I have to ask. How are you feeling?"

"Rather like I was hit by a car that was going forty miles per hour in a thirty zone. So, y'know, painful."

Michelle gave him an annoyed look. "Yeah, I'm aware," she replied dryly.

Joey laughed quietly, then immediately winced and drew a hand over the side of his chest. Michelle looked on in worry until the pain passed and he cleared his throat. "Right. The whole 'four fractured ribs and half a functioning lung' thing makes it hard to laugh," he muttered. "Or breathe, really, which is rather great for a guy who already has asthma."

He noticed Michelle's frightened expression and forced a small smile. "Oh, I'm fine. It hurts and I am going to bitch about it, but I'll heal and be out of here soon. I'm sure the doctors have told you that, too."

"I know . . ." Michelle looked down and the bed. "I was just . . . well, I was worried. That's a lot of injuries and the doctor said the other day that there was a chance you might not even wake up because of your concussion. You were out for three days, after all." She bit her lip and reached for Joey's hand, resting on the bed. "And it's not easy to have a doctor call and say that your boyfriend's in the hospital and there's nothing you can do about it."

Joey was quiet a moment. He had naturally assumed everyone would be worried, but he still wasn't sure how to respond to it. What was he supposed to say? "I'm sorry that someone slammed their vehicle into me and made you worry?"

He sighed lightly and interlaced his fingers with hers. "I'm fine," he repeated. "Don't worry yourself too much. I have no intention of dying. I didn't even get to buy my damn bike yet."

Michelle managed a smile. "I can't believe you're still thinking about getting a stupid motorcycle after all this," she said.

"Well, yeah. I've wanted one for several years and the money's still in my account. It's gonna have to wait a couple more months, but yeah."

"You're not freaked out after all this?"

"It's not the bike's fault I got hit by some asshole, so no, not really. I'll probably be anxious on the road for awhile, but I need to drive and I'll get over it." Joey made a face. "Kinda pissed that I have to find a new motorcycle, though. I really liked the one I was testing."

Michelle gave a disbelieving shake of her head. "You really can be such a dork at times," she said. "You were so excited, get hit by a damn car, and still manage to be all excited."

"Yep."

"You do that with the weirdest crap too. Even art supplies."

"You wouldn't understand, given that you try to use my brush pens to write phone numbers."

Michelle laughed, and Joey had to settle for another smile to avoid causing himself more pain. Then they both fell silent, having run out of things to say.

"So when do you think you'll be out of here?" Michelle asked.

Joey shrugged, then winced again. "Dunno," he responded tiredly. "A few more days, I would guess. My lung's mostly re-inflated by now and there's nothing they can do for my ribs other than give me a buttload of vicodin for them and tell me not to move around too much. Which will be fun, considering I'll be on crutches for six weeks, maybe more."

"Guess that gives me an excuse to come bother you every day and help you with things whether you like it or not," Michelle said.

"No," Joey replied flatly. He reached for a manila envelope that lay on a table on the other side of his bed. "I already have Zakuro panicking and trying to get everything for me."

"No, you're going to let me help you." Michelle's voice took on a sudden sharp edge. "You're a med student. You know you can't just run around when you're as beaten up as you are. So whether you like it or not, I am going to go home with you and I am going to help you until you're healed."

Joey stared at her for a few seconds, surprised by her forcefulness. "Fine," he muttered, focusing his attention on the envelope he had pulled into his lap. Michelle still held his other hand, so opening the thing proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Michelle rolled her eyes. "I know it's hard for you to wrap your mind around, but people do love you and want to help you," she said with a teasing sort of smile. "It's going to happen."

"Yeah, yeah."

"Speaking of which, is there anything I can get for you now?"

"Not really. Zakuro already insisted on getting a bunch of my art supplies, so . . ." He gestured at a sketchbook and some pens on the table. "Unless you wanna get me a burger or cast Heal but I don't think you can do either of the two."

"No, I can't, sorry. Magic's a bit beyond my abilities and I'd get yelled for the food, probably."

"Damn, then what good are you?"

"Well, I can do this," Michelle said before leaning in and kissing him, to which Joey happily responded.

"Good enough, I suppose," Joey remarked when they broke apart a few seconds later.

"I see how it is." She flicked a piece of hair away from his face, to which Joey made an annoyed noise, and looked down at the envelope. "So what is that, anyway?"

"Oh, my X-rays. They left them here after showing me how busted I am. Which is one of the crappy things about being a med student--if you get hurt or sick, you know exactly what's wrong with you." He pulled one of the dark plastic sheets out, and held it up to the light, revealing a pale image of his leg bone broken into several separate pieces. "I think my leg was broken into four pieces. Wanna see?" He smiled pleasantly at Michelle.

". . . No, Joey. I really don't."

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PostSubject: Re: Syl's Short Stories   Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:36 pm

This is a wonderful story, it has it sad parts and it silly Joey memonts to the end. I can understand writing something that comes from a weird things. -hugs- You are a wonderful writer.
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