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It was warm. The blood - his blood - burned against his skin. It seared. It hurt. The pain had yet to stop raging through his body and it hurt it hurt and he couldn’t even describe it he couldn’t even think of anything to compare what he felt with this it hurt it hurt and he could barely think about anything else he could barely feel anything over the pain of the gun. But it was dulling. Fading. Going away. It was still there and oh god it hurt it hurt but it was leaving him. It was going away. Was this what they felt like? Was this how they died? He didn’t know. His body was warm and hot and in pain and he was scared and he could barely think and he didn’t think it’d be like this he thought it’d be better he thought it’d be a good think but it wasn’t and he was hot and in pain and he could barely think and he didn’t want it to be like this he didn’t want to go this way.

But he wasn’t cold, anymore. His body no longer felt the numbness spreading.

Because there was something - someone - touching him.

It felt warm.

Gentle. Nice.

And he could ignore the pain, for a moment.

He could ignore the feeling of the blood on his body.

Because there was someone. Above him. Looking at him. With a look on her face. An expression in her eyes. What was it? He didn’t know. He wasn’t sure what the name was. But there was something there. On her face. In her eyes. They were longing. She was smiling. Weakly. Her face was strained. Wet. He didn’t know what the word for that was, but he knew something. She cared. He was dying in front of her, and she didn’t want him to. She wasn’t like anyone else. Not like Min-jae. Isaac. Jonathan. Lily. Scout. Matt. Michael. Maria. Irene. Serena. Melanie. Aidan. Not like any of them. She liked him. He knew that now.

And she cared about him. She was comforting him.

He had to say something. She was like… a customer. She was being nice to him.

He had to pay that back somehow.

“Thank… you.”

Maybe she was lying to him.

Maybe her feelings weren’t genuine.

But he wasn’t going to question it. He didn’t have to. She was there, in front of him. Holding his arm. Smiling.

He didn’t have to be scared anymore.

The pain had gone, by this point. It had been growing duller and duller as time went on, until he could barely feel it anymore. His sight had also vanished. Colours, then shapes, then everything else as he had closed his eyes. His blood had cooled. Stopped burning against his skin. He wasn’t really sure what caused that, whether it was the numbness or time passing or whatever else could have caused this.

But it didn’t matter. Even after the pain had gone, even after he had closed his eyes, even after the feeling of the heat had gone from his body, he could still feel her hand, against his arm.

Maybe this wasn’t how they died. Maybe he’d been better off than them.

Maybe if he got the chance to see them again, he’d apologise. Say sorry. For everything he did.

Maybe they’d accept it. Maybe they - him, Barry, Jasper, Irene - could be friends again.

He’d just have to find out, at this point.

Breathe in, breathe out.


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If That's Who I Am, Then I'll Fight Who I Am · Group Therapy