Ashton awoke to the sun filtering though the curtains, only to realize that he did not have curtains. He sat up quickly, wincing at the pain that spread throughout his abdomen. He bit his lip hard until the pain subsided. Then, he kicked his feet over the soft bed he was on, and touched his feet to the cool ground.
For the first time that morning, he looked over to see a boy sleeping, his head resting on the bed, his body on the floor, Ashton didn't spend anytime looking at him, he knew that he had to get back home to Henry with the camera.
He only spent long enough in the room to locate his bag before he hurried out. He knew that he wouldn't be able to walk all the way home like this, so once he was about a block away, he phoned Henry.
On the third ring he picked up.
"Hello?" Henry asked, sounding panicked and relieved at the same time.
"Henry, can you pick me up?" He asked, he could almost hear Henry's shoulders relax at his voice.
"Ashton, what happened?" He asked worriedly, Ashton sighed.
"I'll explain everything later, please, can you just come pick me up? I'm at the park about a mile from home."
"Okay, don't move." He said, before hanging up the phone. Ashton limped over to one of the park benches, falling onto it.
He didn't have to wait more than five minutes before Henry was by his side, helping him into the car. Ashton was hoping to drive home in silence, but that hope was crushed when Henry immediately demanded he tell him what happened.
So, Ashton recounted the story of last night. He almost didn't want to tell Henry that he had been shot, but then figured that that would get him in even more trouble. So, he told him, and was almost killed by all of the worrying that Henry began.
As they pulled in the driveway, Henry rushed over to Ashton's side, helping him out and into the house. Ashton was carefully placed on the couch. And immediately told to lift his shirt.
He rolled his eyes, but did as he was told without complaint. Henry looked over the clean stitches, and nodded in approval.
"Who did this?" He asked, Ashton shrugged. All of last night, after getting shot was fuzzy. Ashton's eyes began to droop, and Henry decided that that was enough questioning, and to let him go to sleep. He kicked Ashton to his room, telling him to rest, and that he would call him out of school for the next couple of days.
Ashton opened his mouth to argue, but was cut off by the no nonsense glare that Henry gave him. He just nodded and carefully climbed the stairs to his room. He fell onto his soft bed, sinking into the clean, navy blue sheets. Before he knew it, he was asleep.
It was the next Monday, close to a week after the incident that Ashton was finally allowed to return to school, with a doctors excuse and threat to be careful.
Ashton was now sitting in the library, spending his free period catching up on his missed work. He was currently on a stumping math problem, and he tapped his pencil nonchalantly against the table.
He looked up as a figure stood above him, it was a tall, jock looking boy with deep black hair and even deeper blue eyes. Ashton cocked his head to the side, looking at him.
"Can I help you?" He asked, the boy looked as if he was caught doing something he shouldn't have.
"Ah, I was just wondering what your name was?" He asked, looking at him.
"Ashton." He answered, not thinking much of it. "But, if you don't mind, I really need to finish this homework." He said, looking back down at his paper.
"Do you need some help?" He asked, Ashton looked at him like he had suddenly sprung another head.
"Ah, if-if you don't mind." He said, gesturing to the chair across from him.
Michael walked into the library, feeling the cold air rush him. He had been sent here by his American lit teacher to get his assigned book. He found it, bringing it to the front of the room to the librarian. She checked it out for him, smiling.
Just as Michael was about to leave, he looked over to see a small boy in the corner table. He looked very small when compared to the other high schoolers, and he seemed to be deep in thought while staring at his paper.
Michael thought he looked an awful lot like the boy he had helped a week ago, and couldn't help but want a closer look.
Michael walked up slowly, as if the boy was going to bite him, or run away. It took the boy a second to look up when Michael had made it to the table.
They exchanged a few words, before Michael found himself offering to help the boy with a math problem that he seemed to be stuck on. He recognized it from what he had learned last year.
As he walked the boy through the steps, he kept glancing at him. The boy was obviously small, but now that Michael was close, he could tell that he maybe was too much younger than him, maybe 14 or 15. Finally, he decided he would just ask.
"Hey, this is some pretty complicated stuff," He said, gesturing to the paper. "How old are you anyway?"
The boy, Ashton, as he had recently been told, looked up.
"16." Was all he said, to say that Michael was surprised was an understatement. He really was not expecting him to be that old. He hid his surprise with a smile.
"I see, you must be pretty smart to be getting all of this, it's senior grade stuff." He said, Ashton looked back down at his paper, and if Michael didn't know better, he would have guessed that Ashton was blushing.
Just as Michael was about to say something else, the bell rang, signaling that the hour was over, and that they both needed to get to the next class. Michael had lunch next, and he guessed the boy did too when he saw him head downstairs to the lunch room.
When Michael finally had his lunch, he sat at his normal table, with the entirety of the football team. It was strange really, seeing as how he wasn't on the football team, but he seemed to have become an honorary member. He guessed it was because of his gym class skills.
He pulled his sandwich off his tray, taking a big bite and chewing. He glanced around the room, although not sure what he was looking for, he realized what it was when he found it. Or him in this case.
Ashton was sitting on the end of one of the tables, a bottle of water and an apple in front of him, and a book open on his lap.
Michael noted how he sat there, the whole time without saying a word to any of the other occupants of the table. When the bell rang, he watched how he stood, not looking up from his book, and threw away his whole apple, without even taking a bite.
He did, however finish off his water, before throwing the bottle away as well. Michael didn't have time to be worried though, as one of the blonde cheerleaders latched herself onto his arm and pulled him away, chatting about the party the next weekend.