Green Eyes and The Parents
Xavier was an idiot.
An idiot with fucking gorgeous green eyes and the face of an angel.
But if Xavier was an angel, he'd gotten so irresponsibly lost on the way to heaven, that it just wasn't funny. Probably broken one of his wings flying into a power pole, slammed the other in a doorway and lost his halo on the roof.
Which was conveniently where I found him, so maybe all hope wasn't lost and we could somehow find that missing piece. Because something was definitely missing in those once vibrant eyes of his.
"Xavier, what the hell are you doing?" I called over to him, stepping carefully across the slanted roof, in his direction as the rain fell around me.
"Ffuc... of" He replied, voice almost unintelligible as he slurred.
He was laying on his back - don't even get me started on how dangerous that could be - his hair a mess, clothes torn and an array of bottles strewn around him. Jack Daniels, Jager and Absinth some of the brands sticking out like warning signals.
"How the fuck do you even drink like this?" I shook my head with a frown, moving to sit down beside him, the smell of booze polluting the damp air and mixing with the rain dangerously. "Xavier..." I trailed off, when he didn't respond, reaching over to brush a strand of damp hair off his forehead, but he flinched away like he'd been scolded.
"'s'd fuc.. of" He muttered drunkenly, emerald eyes closing against the stars, not that you could see them through the cloud cover anyway.
"You really do have a taste for your poisons." I sighed, picking up a discarded bottle of Smirnoff Vodka and twirling it around in my hands, there was roughly a mouthful left in the bottom and I upturned it carelessly. Watching as the clear liquid mixed with the rainwater seamlessly.
The rain was cold against my face, soaking my clothes effortlessly and I couldn't help but worry about how long Xavier had been up here. Soraya had gotten home roughly about twenty minutes ago and it had taken us some time to get Ashton settled in, so he could have been up here for well over an hour.
"Why are you up here?" I asked carefully, ignoring the spray bouncing off the tin roof from the rain.
"Fuc' you" Xavier hiccupped, throwing his arm out, assumedly in a drunken attempt to push me away, but only succeeding in hitting the slippery roof with a splash. However, the miss did nothing to stop the acidic feeling that settled in the pit of my stomach.
"Xav, tell me what's wrong" I pushed, reaching out to touch his arm, only to receive the same reaction have once again as he flinched away.
"Xav...." I trailed, masking the hurt that threatened to slip into my voice.
Le Flashback: 1 year ago.
"Zeke what are you looking at?" Melissa asked, tightening her grip around my arm, her fingers loosely twisted with mine as we walked down the hallway.
"Just everyone, nothing in particular." I replied easily, causing my gaze down to look at her with a small smile curving up my lips, "Why? Who were you looking at? Something I should be worried about, babe?" I teased, raising an eyebrow and tugging on a curled strand of her dark brown hair.
"No" She giggled, batting my hand away, "Stop being stupid, I've only got eyes for you" she pouted sweetly and I barked out a short laugh, ducking to peck her lips lightly, before straightening.
"And what beautiful eyes they are." I stated, watching in amusement as her tanned cheeks tinted pink. She really did have beautiful eyes, a light hazel that shone gold in the light, and it had only taken me a few minutes of knowing her to realise that all she had to do was look in my direction to mesmerise me.
"Gross, fuck you man" Someone abruptly shouted across the hallway, breaking the moment, and I – along with everyone else in the hall – immediately turned towards the source of the sound.
Standing by some of the lockers off to the side, were a group of guys, and I recognised them easily as Alistair, Ashton and Xavier. They were a year below Melissa and I but everyone knew them, Xavier and Ashton both played on the baseball team with me and Alistair was one of the golden boys that everyone fell in love with.
Right now, however, it looked like Alistair had stolen one of the frogs for dissection from the biology room.
"Dude, seriously, how the fuck did you even get that thing?" Ashton laughed, clearly amused by Xavier's grossed out expression as Alistair held the creature up by one of its legs near his face.
"I don't remember, but check it out, it's skin's so gross" Alistair laughed, holding it closer to Xavier, who in turn shoved his arm back, causing the amphibian to hit the floor with a splatter. Laughter broke out from the group, but Xavier looked unimpressed and I couldn't help but let my eyes wander over his face.
He was scowling, a small crease forming between his eyebrows, and his lips set in a line that strengthened the cut of his jaw. He narrowed his eyes at the frog, before looking up at Alistair and Ashton, lips breaking into a small smile, before a full out smirk as he shook his head in amusement.
By now, everyone else in the hall had already moved on with their lives, used to the antics of the three. But for some reason I found myself trapped staring at the green eyed boy across the hall, and it wasn't until Melissa tugged on my arm, that I realised she'd been talking.
"Sorry, what was that?" I asked, shooting her an apologetic smile, one she returned with a small frown.
"I asked if you were going to Kelsey's party this weekend?"
"Oh, uh, yeah, Saturday night right?" I queried half-heartedly, my eyes straying back across the hall, where they froze when I realised that I wasn't the only one staring. Forest green eyes gazed lazily back at me and I felt my cheeks warm with embarrassment.
End of Le Flashback
"Don't fooking t'uch m'" Xavier grumbled, his voice harsh, even with the alcohol swimming through his system. I flinched at the aggression in his voice, eye brows drawing together in a frown, as he pulled another bottle up to his lips. My hand darting out without my conscious effort to snatch the bottle from his grip, before he could take another drink.
"You're already plastered, I think that's enough for you." I snapped, my own grip on the bottle tightening around the neck. "It's time for you to go home."
Xavier's eyes flared, and the next moment he was reaching over to grab the bottle from me.
"Giv' t back." He shouted, his body draping half over mine as I held the bottle up and away from him.
"Like I'm gonna fucking do that" I hissed, wincing in pain when his nails bit into my waist as he attempted to pull himself up higher. He had a strong build, and I could feel the indent's of his muscles as he drunkenly fumbled for the drink, but I refused to let him win. Instead, reaching my own hand around his lower back and throwing him down onto the roof, dropping the bottle in the process and rolling over to pin him to the damp tin.
"Xavier, stop being a dick and tell me what the fuck is wrong with you!" I shouted at him, hands finding purchase pushing his arms down against the tin.
"Get off me!" Xavier snapped, his voice taking on a higher level of sobriety than I thought him capable of, "Get the fuck off of me!" He was thrashing now, his arm's straining against my grip and his body attempting to shake me off. The rain pelted down around us and the music could still be heard from downstairs, but neither of us were paying attention.
"I'm not a fucking faggot like you!" He screamed, and I froze, my whole body going ridged. I wanted to punch him, wanted to make him take it back, but I couldn't, the words were already said and I felt like it was me that had been punched. All the air in my lungs didn't seemed to hold any oxygen.
He took my pause in stride, pulling his arms free and shoving me back off of him, taking advantage of the shock that overtook me, stumbling to his feet on the slippery tin roof. It almost felt like it was raining harder at that point, drowning out the sounds of harsh pants for air.
"Xavier..." I trailed, my voice feeling unreasonably broken, and it wasn't until I saw him stumbling towards the edge that I was able to force myself to move. Necessity trumping pain, as I threw myself towards him, reaching out to grab a hold of his sleeve to pull him back.
"Leave me alone!" Xavier shouted, ripping his arm back, oblivious to how close to the edge we both were. But when I went to grab a hold of him again, my body was suddenly tilting away from him and I felt my stomach drop. It was then I realised that the situation had just gone horribly wrong. But it wasn't until I felt Xavier's fist ball in the front of my shirt that I realised exactly what had happened. The world seemed to move in slow motion then, rain drops taking on a level of clarity that shouldn't have been possible.
All feeling of metal beneath my feet disappeared completely, and panic ricocheted around me head. But the worst feeling was the fact that I could still feel Xavier's hand in my shirt, the fabric wrinkling under his grip. Because at some point, he must have realised just how close to the edge I'd actually been and now we were both plummeting the two stories towards the ground.
Wide, bloodshot, forest green eyes, were the last thing I saw before contact was made.
"Well that was eventful..." I stated casually, as Willow and I walked back inside after watching Ray drive off in Ashton's car, the pounding of music greeting us the moment we stepped through the door. I looked down at Will and saw the uncomfortable expression on her face, she didn't want to be here anymore. I leant down to her ear so she could hear me talk.
"Do you want to leave?" I asked her, shivers running down her spine at how close I was. She didn't answer verbally, well if she did I didn't hear over the music, but nodded her head. Putting an arm around her shoulders I pulled her back outside and towards my pick-up truck, I unlocked it and opened the passenger side door for her.
"Thank you." She said as she climbed into the car, I closed the door as soon as she was in. Walking around to the driver's side, tripping over an awkward bump in the road in the process and when I got in Willow was laughing at me. It was kind of beautiful.
"So... Where to?" I questioned, another giggle escaping her lips before she answered.
"Coffie Avenue." She said quickly before she burst into laughter again. Right, I know where that is, Xav lives on that road.
"What are you laughing at?" I played dumb with her, starting the engine.
"You may not have realised, but you tripped over... and it was a little hilarious." She answered with a smile, I tore my eyes away from her and started to drive to Coffie Avenue... jeez that street name is giving me some coffee cravings.
"I don't remember that... and that seems like something I would remember." I said, smirking as she started laughing again.
"You're an idiot." She responded simply, and I took a second to look over at her again. My eyes connected with her grey ones before she looked away with a blush on her cheeks, I looked back to the road, amused that I had caught her staring at me. I turned the radio up to fill the awkward silence that fell into the air, and a few seconds later I heard her soft voice singing along with the lyrics and I smiled yet again at the sound.
"Alice... you missed the turn-off." Will told me.
"Hmm?" I responded, I hadn't actually heard what she said, I was too busy looking for Coffie Avenue.
"You missed the turn-off." she repeated, her smile even bigger than before.
"I did? Holy shit, I did too." Realisation came over me as I remembered Coffie Avenue comes off of Phyto Street. I just drove past Phyto.
"Yeah..." she trailed off, not knowing what to say before I checked both sides of the road and turned around with a probably a bit too much speed, the only reason I say that is because of the scream coming from the passenger seat. When I looked over to Will I saw her grip on the arm-rest and the seat belt was strong, I chuckled.
"Did I scare you?" I asked rhetorically,
"Not at all." She said with a shaky voice, her knuckles almost turning white before she let go of the restraint and the door.
"I can tell." I responded, sarcasm clear in my tone. I turned the indicator on and turned left down Phyto street before seeing the sign stating 'Coffie Avenue' on the right. After I turned I looked at each of the houses, all of them seeming pretty upmarket compared to my below-average house. Every house was different, but all of them were expensive.
"The one with two storeys and the ugly water fountain out the front." She told me, stating that I needed to pull over at the next house. I parked easily and got out of the car to open her door, but she was already standing on the pavement.
"Well uh... see you later then." I said, rocking on my heels with my hands in my jean pockets.
"Yeah, I suppose so." She said with a smile, before she started walking away. However, the front door of her house opened before she reached it, the light from inside pouring over the grass and making the water in the fountain sparkle.
"You're back early." I heard her mother say, before she must have spotted me walking back around the front of my car. "Does your friend want to come inside?"
"Uh... Alistair, do you wanna come inside?" Willow asked me, stopping halfway up her driveway and making me stiffen next to the driver side door.
"I don't know Will, I should probably get home..." I stated, trying to turn down the offer politely. It wasn't working.
"No, please, I insist. Come in and you can get a drink, it's the least we could do for you bringing Willow home." Willow's mum told me, and I sighed as I realised I couldn't get out of this no matter what I tried, and I should probably get inside before Xav's parents spot me by some chance and ask where he was. The only sounds that existed were my heavy footsteps and my shaky breath.
I don't meet The Parents. I have never met The Parents. Never had I had a serious girlfriend to have to meet The Parents. Willow and I haven't even been on one date and I was already meeting The Parents. Holy fuck. I don't know how to do this... I generally avoid The Parents completely, I mean bumping into them when I leave their daughter's bedroom could be fucking awkward, but this is fucking new territory.
I never meet The motherfucking Parents.
"Are you okay?" Willow asked me as I met her halfway up the driveway where she hadn't moved from.
"I'm fine, why?" I asked, a forced smile somehow finding its way to my lips.
"Because you're suddenly really quite" She told me, she looked towards the still open door and found it empty, her mother had gone back inside so this walk of humiliation was less nerve-racking. She took one of my hands in her own, making sure that her eyes never broke contact with my own. "What's wrong?"
"I don't do this... like at all." I stated, and she laughed.
"Alice, calm down. You just have to make a good impression, and from what I know you're pretty good at those." She told me. "Look, just be the less arrogant version of yourself and they'll love you. If you got me, you'll win them over in a heartbeat."
"Are you sure?" I checked and she nodded.
"I'm absolutely sure. Now let's get inside before they start to wonder what the hell is going on." She said, pulling me along with our hands still entwined together. As we reached the front door I took another deep breath before walking in, feeling alone in this massive house as Willow let go of my hand despite the fact she was still right next to me.
"Oh, there you are. What took you so long?" Will's mother asked.
"Alice forgot to lock his car." Will stated.
"Don't be silly, there's no need to lock your car in this neighbourhood" Will's mother dismissed, her amusement clear.
"Sorry ma'am, habit." I apologised awkwardly, shuffling my feet self-conciously.
"Alice?" a tall man with brown hair asked as he walked into the room, his voice firm but confused.
"Alistair, actually. But everyone has taken a liking to calling me 'Alice'." I said, holding out my hand for a formal shake. Her father basically glared at me and then at my hand. "Nice to meet you mister..." oh my god what is their last name? Holy shit. What the fuck is their last name? The fuck? "Sir." I tried to save myself.
"Oh dear, just call him John. I'm Lee." Willow's mum told me, and that was the moment Willow's brother walked into the room.
"Well it's lovely to meet you, Lee and John." I stated, a comfortable smile somehow making its way onto my face through my still extremely present nerves. The way John was staring at me didn't ease the feeling of awkwardness that settled around me like a blanket.
"John, ease up, you can quit the tough demeanour." Lee stated bemusedly, and John immediately opened up his closed off stance, a small smirk taking place on his lips as he knew he had scared me.
"I was just testing young Alistair here." He said with a slight laugh. "Sorry if I scared you son, you seem like a lovely lad."
"What the fuck are you doing here?" Someone suddenly shouted, and I looked up to see Willow's twin brother walking into the room.
"Wilbur! Language. You should be treating our guest with some respect." Lee scolded, making me wince.
"He's never treated me with respect, so why should I?" he snapped, "He's a fucking dick."
"Don't be stupid, he seems like a lovely " John answered, and I had to stifle a laugh,
"Willow, can I talk to you in the hall?" Wilbur changed his attack plan.
"Uh... Wilbur-" she was cut off as Wilbur grabbed Willow's wrist and dragged her off, leaving me standing with the parents awkwardly.
"Would you like a drink, Alistair? The kitchen is this way." Lee told me, walking in front of me, I followed the naturally red haired lady suddenly getting the feeling that I was a prisoner as John moved to walk right behind me.
For the love of fucking god I still couldn't remember what their last name was.
"What would you like?" Lee asked next, her hazel eyes boring into mine with a little too much enthusiasm.
"Water would be fine, thank you." I answered uncomfortably, and she filled a cup with the clear liquid before handing it to me. I took a tentative sip as I felt both John and Lee's eyes on me. We were in an overly awkward silence, stuck with empty air weighing me down as if it was lead.
"Do you play any sports?" John asked, and I was thankful for conversation.
"I box..." I trailed off.
"You any good?" He asked next, earning a half-hearted hit on the arm from Lee.
"I'm pretty alright I s'pose." I half-answered.
"How'd you get into it?" John asked next.
"Quit interrogating him-"
"I'm trying to find out more about him, if he's going to be around my daughter I want to know as much as I can." John cut Lee off, both of their gazes turning back to me.
"Uh... well... first it was for self-defence, I live in a pretty terrible neighbourhood, then I stuck with it to do something other than school." I answered, a fake smile on my face.
"Did your dad help get you into it?" John asked next, and I shook my head. "Does he support it?" he asked next, and I felt my chest constrict and my throat dry.
"I don't know..." I managed to say, despite the tension leaking into my body.
"Because, um..." Fuck.
"Willow, what the hell are you doing?! He's going to drop your ass for the next blonde bitch he sees. That's what he does. It' what his whole group does. He'll aim to get one good fuck out of you then drop you in the dirt. How can you not see that?" Wilbur snapped, a little too over the top.
"I like him, and he likes me, okay? He-"
"He's already kissed you, hasn't he?" Wil asked, his voice in hysterics. I stayed silent as my cheeks heated up. "He has... and you haven't even been on one fucking date yet."
"That doesn't matter, people frickle frack without even going on one date so you can just leave me alone. This is my life not yours." I told him.
"We're twins, we used to say we'd always look out for each other and protect-"
"Wilbur, I don't need you to protect me. I know what I'm getting myself into." I cut him off before walking back to save Alistair from whatever awkward situation he was in. However, I was about to walk in when I heard how openly he was talking to my parents, I took an educated guess that the conversation took the turn towards his boxing.
"Uh... well... first it was for self-defence, I live in a pretty terrible neighbourhood, then I stuck with it to do something other than school." Alistair stated, and I stood behind the wall so none of them could see me.
"Did your dad help get you into it?" My dad asked next, Alistair must have shaken his head because Dad was asking another question. "Does he support it?"
"I don't know..." Alistair trailed off, and that was when I realised something was wrong.
"Why?" Dad asked, probably not hearing the tension staining Alistair's voice.
"Because, um..." I took the trailing off as an opportunity to enter.
"Hey, what are we talking about?" I asked, pretending I didn't hear how horribly the conversation was going. I stood next to Alistair and somehow managed to find his hand without looking away from my parents, I squeezed slightly to give comfort, and that was when Dad looked down at our entwined hands. His eyes met my own as if I had performed a ritual that would summon Satan into our home.
"I think it's time for me to go home, thank you for the drink, Lee." Alistair said awkwardly,
"That's alright dear, you're welcome here any time you want." Mum responded, keeping the cool while Dad started looking like a crazed man, glaring at Mum as if she was now the one performing the Satanic ritual.
"Okay, time for Alistair to go, bye-bye." I said, walking out of the kitchen and pulling him with me.
"Bye!" Mum shouted while there was a still hollowing and shocked silence from Dad.
"That was eventful." Alistair stated for the second time this night as we made it outside, walking down the driveway with our hands still joined.
"What were you talking about before I walked in?" I asked him before we reached his pick-up truck.
"Boxing." He answered with a confident smirk.
"You know what I mean, it wasn't just boxing." Was my quick retaliation, and he seemed slightly taken aback. "You sounded like you were really uncomfortable..."
"Don't worry about it, I'll be fine." Well that's a lie and a half.
"Tell me what's wrong." There was no room for divergence, he had to tell me... he just had too.
"Later, I promise, not right now and definitely not this early in our... relationship." Its not the response I was looking for, but his eyes were focused on his feet instead of my own eyes and it showed how vulnerable he truly was. A heavy sigh escaped my lips before I stood on my toes and kissed his forehead.
"Okay, fine, but you better tell me later. It's always better to tell someone, no matter the proportion of the problem." I told him, and he nodded. "Okay, goodnight then." I said, going to walk away but I was pulled back by my wrist.
"If I didn't make it obvious before... I like you. I like like you, okay?" He stated and questioned, gingerly taking both of my hands in his own.
"I like like you too." I responded, wondering where he was going with this. His hands released their hold on mine before wandering up my arms, resting them on my shoulders.
"Well I'm glad that's clarified, it makes this a little less awkward." Were the words he spoke before his hands again moved, this time to pull my face closer to his own. He gently placed his lips against mine, knowing I was pretty new to this whole 'kissing' thing.
The warmth I got from the affectionate action was strange, but addictive, and I was slightly disappointed when he pulled away leaving me with slightly shaking lips and a tingly feeling in my stomach and the tips of my fingers. I opened my eyes to find Alistair's boring right into my own, a small smile showed how I felt as my cheeks started to heat up.
"You're cute when you blush." He told me, probably trying to make it sound like a compliment but it made me laugh in the most unattractive way, my face still held between his hands. "Don't laugh, its true."
"It's really not, now go home, its cold and it's starting to rain again." I told him.
"I am going to convince you that you're cute, okay." He said before kissing me a little harder than before, making me crave his touch even more. I kissed back, trying to make him feel somewhat similar to how I did, wanting to be closer but being content with what little we were doing. We said our goodbyes after we broke apart, and he walked to get into the driver's seat while I stood in a daze.
I could still feel his lips against mine, but as he started driving away doubt kicked in. What if he didn't act like that at school? What if he was toying with me? What if Wilbur is right? What if he leaves me for some blonde idiot? Those thoughts washed away as I remembered how nervous he was when he was walking up the driveway before meeting my parents, how nervous he was at the party.
As Alistair turned the corner at the end of the road I realised something...
He may be out of sight, but he'll probably never be out of my mind.
Ice jarred through my bones, freezing me to the core, it was painful and harsh, but I'd expected worse. I felt Xavier's body crash fully into mine, limbs bruising flesh and air being cut off. And then we were encased in water.
Chlorinated liquid filling my lungs on a gasp, and stinging my eyes as they strained to make sense of the situation. The world was cold, colder than it had been out in the rain, but I hadn't hit a hard surface and now it felt like I'd been thrown into a turbulent ocean. My mind struggled to work through the panic, but by then I was already floating towards the surface.
My lungs burned for air as the surface of the water gave way, roaring sounds of laugher, cheers and music echoing into my ears. It was then I realised, that I'd fallen into a pool. The water weighing down my clothes and I immediately began treading water, rationality flooding my system as I scanned the surface for Xavier.
Dread beginning to settle in once again when I couldn't catch sight of him. My mind racing with a million possibilities, what if he hadn't landed in the pool? Immediately, I looked towards the edges, my movements becoming erratic. He could be hurt, seriously hurt, if not dead, and I couldn't stop the terrible thoughts from entering my head.
And then someone screamed.
The sound was shrill and high pitched, my eyes following it like a shot, searching for the source of it as my heart jumped into my throat. Eventually I spotted a group of girls standing on the edge of the pool, pointing towards the water with expressions of horror that made my blood run cold.
There was a shadow under the water, about 10 metres from where I was and it was with a blinding sense of fear that I dove beneath the surface. The figure was bobbing gently up and down with the movement of the water and I just knew it was Xavier. My mind working on over time as I forced my body to move faster, to get to him even just a little bit sooner. But it felt like I was swimming through tar, my movements in slow motion. My lungs burned even though I'd only been under for a few seconds, but I could see blood in the water and it was causing a sweltering sense of nausea to flood my system.
He had to be okay.
As I got closer the feeling of horror only grew, until the point where I thought I might explode. His face was pale and unmoving, green eyes open wide, but he wasn't blinking, his lips parted and purpling. He felt heavy to lift, water weighing him down and I got this bitter ideology that I was fighting against more than just the crushing weight of the water. Like something was working against me, trying to pull him back down into the depths.
But I shook off the feeling and pushed off against the bottom, the tiles slippery under my shoes and arms under Xavier's armpits. The surface was so close, yet so far away. It felt like hours before I managed to drag him up onto the solid edge of the pool.
"Xavier!" I shouted, hand's cupping onto his face as I shook him madly. "Don't do this, don't fucking do this." I knew it was stupid, but I just wanted it to work, wanted some miracle to bring him back. But I knew that wasn't going to happen, so I promptly gave up shaking him and rolled him onto his back, folding my hands together and pushing down against his sternum. Three times I did this, before pausing to block his nose and force air into his lungs. I felt useless, like this wasn't going to help, but I repeated the movements, my hands feeling numb as I continued.
He needed to live.
I was on my 7th repetition, lungs feeling bruised and my eyes glassy; when he moved. Body shuddering, before he choked, water, spluttering everywhere. It was horrific, but I couldn't bring myself to feel anything but relief as it drowned me, heart racing in my chest. I barely even noticed the ring of people circling us, rushing to sit Xavier upright as he emptied the alcoholic contents of his stomach, the gross liquid clinging to his clothes and causing an acidic smell to fill the air.
Sirens blared over the beat of the music, causing panic to burst through the crowd, but by then the ambulance vehicle was already in sight. It pulled up against the side of the road, visible down the side of the house, and then the paramedics were moving into action, a stretcher being pulled out the open doors. Everything seemed to blur together, Xavier's harsh breathing audible with the proximity as I leaned him against my chest to keep him upright.
He was clearly in pain, a small gash on the side of his head, letting out a steady stream of blood, and I doubted he could move on his own.
Shouts erupted around us, before the circle was pushed back, a break in the crowd allowing the stretcher to move through. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore, like now that help had arrived, my mind had decided to just let go.
People moved around me, voices distant and distorted. It felt like I was looking in through a closed window, nothing was making sense.
"Sir?" Someone called, but I couldn't even bring myself to blink, "Sir?" They tried again, but still I couldn't react.
And then someone was shaking my shoulders.
"Sir, we need to take him to the hospital." I looked up to see a paramedic, she was young, maybe in her late 20's and she was trying to get my attention.
"Okay." I spoke incoherently, but it seemed to be enough as I felt Xavier's body weight leave my chest and my arms dragged over damp fabric before they fell to my sides.
"Sir, are you coming with us?" The same woman asked, her voice rushed, but she looked at me with concern in her expression.
I was only able to nod dully back, the muscles in my neck rejecting the movement. She seemed to understand though, even if I couldn't, and helped me to my feet, her hand on my arm as she guided me through the crowd towards the ambulance.