(A/N Sorry for the delay in updating!! My computer dropped dead and I lost everything and like a fool, I didn t back anything up!! Shameful!! Well after a few long months I finally got the problems fixed and am back up and running. Thanks to all the reviews and readers, the next chapter will be the last and I hope you all forgive me. I won t let you down again and hopefully my new computer will last me a long time. Side note, I can t seem to upload any word with an apostrophe, so I took them all out to post the chapter. Also I had to replace all the quotes with brackets, hope it s not too confusing.

Shawn lay silent, staring aimlessly out the window. The steady snowfall continued to drop from the sky; day was slowly turning to night. Jon anxiously gazed at the weary child before him. Their earlier conversation endlessly looped through his mind. It was hard to read Shawn, his expression was blank, his eyes were drawn, and he looked as though he may have slipped into a trance. Jon was beginning to get alarmed, Its been hours since he spilled his guts to the kid, laid it all on the table, asked Shawn to choose him as his only father, asked Shawn to make the toughest decision of his young life. And now, it seemed Shawn has withdrawn deep into himself. Not a word spoken, not a hint of movement, the whole situation deeply disturbed Jonathan, his insides began to shake, as he subliminally begged Shawn to give him a sign.

Jon was terrified to push any harder, opting only to be silently available to the catatonic child. His mind swam with regret, maybe this is too much, maybe I was wrong, what should I do, how can I help him? The questions kept coming, like waves crashing into the uncertain man, paralyzing him with fear and panic. The room was so silent; Jonathan swore he could hear the pounding of his own heart from all corners. The clock struck seven, Jon couldn t take it anymore, and the silence was tearing him to pieces. Jon stood and slowly moved closer to the boy, leaning in he stroked his hair, {You don t have to decide this now} Silence was the bitter response, Shawn closed his eyes and exhaled, a single tear rolled down his cheek.

Jonathan reached up and pulled the chain on the overhead light, filling the room with sudden darkness, Shawn sat bolt upright, his eyes wide with fear, {NO JON!! NO DARK!! I HATE THE DARK} Jon scrambled to restore the light, his shaky hands fumbling for the chain. The light flickered and took; Shawn immediately grabbed the shocked man by the collar and weakly pulled him close. Jon wrapped Shawn in a hug and breathed a sigh of relief as the boy buried his head in Jon s shirt. Jon could feel Shawn give way in his arms as he began to release the pent up anger and frustration within. {Don t you ever leave me Jon!! Everyone I try to love leaves me, why should you be any different?} Shawn sobbed, gasping and choking uncontrollably. Jon gently rubbed the boy s back, trying to calm his fears, { I m not going to leave you STUPID!! Because I m selfish!! I can t stay away from you!! You see Shawn I need you as much as you need me.}

Shawn pulled his flushed face away from Jon, his eyes gushing with tears. The boy shook his head in awe, {I just can t believe this is happening, nobody ever chose me, I don t know what to do with this Jon!! I can t understand why you would want me, I can t do anything for you, I just mess up your life over and over and over again, I m no good Jon!! You just don t know it yet, but Ill bring you down and if you adopt me, your stuck with me, you cant throw me away, why the hell would you want to put up with THAT!!} Shawn s voice was getting loud and hoarse, his body shaking uncontrollably. The weak child wavered as he gasped for air. Jon grabbed his shoulders and pushed him back into the pillows. {Calm down Shawn, please just relax!!}

Shawn struggled to catch his breath, his eyes wide with fear as he clutched his side. The boy could no longer speak, as Jon fumbled for the call button. A few minutes later the summons brought Beverly quickly into the room. She pushed past Jon to tend to Shawn, {What is going on in here, I thought you had strict orders to rest and keep your trap closed!!} Beverly wrestled Shawn s arms away and opened the protective bandages about his midsection, exposing the rather unpleasant incision beneath. {Well, you pulled on it pretty good, and aggravated the hell out of it, but it doesn t look as though anything is torn away.}

Beverly continued to care for Shawn as Jon paced about nervously; wracked with guilt he silently chastised himself for allowing the boy to get out of hand. Beverly gathered various items from the trolley and continued, while assessing Shawn s appearance. He d managed to regain control of his breathing, but still looked pained, his eyes were moist with tears and swollen, his nose running profusely. Shawn sniffled aimlessly, wiping his nose with his arm. Beverly sneered as she reached up and removed the oxygen line from Shawn s nose. Gathering two tissues she handed them to him, {Here, blow gently!!} Shawn gingerly blew his nose, as Beverly dawned her trusty stethoscope, placing it upon his chest she listened intently. {Just as I thought!! It sounds like you ve been running a marathon in there!!}

She turned her stern glare toward Jon, he read her thoughts and shook his head, {I m so sorry, we just got a little carried away, it wont happen again.} Beverly re packed Shawn s chest tight and disconnected the oxygen line, rolling the tubing she disposed of it into a yellow bin and began to unwrap another mask, hooking it into the wall, she tested the oxygen flow with the palm of her hand. Shawn weakly protested, {Please no, I wont talk I just} Beverly motioned for Shawn to zip his lips as she placed the mask over his mouth, adjusting the elastic straps tightly. {You want to run that mouth, run it through here.} Beverly pulled the drawer of the medication trolley open and chose a small vial, piercing the top with a needle she drew a small amount and injected it into Shawn s IV, {You cant relax on your own, we have ways of making you.} Beverly adjusted the line wide open and Shawn felt its effects almost immediately. Shawn rolled his eyes and tried to blink them back into focus, {oh man} He whispered as his arms and legs began to feel like lead.

{Now I just have to remind you two, this is the ICU, leave your baggage at the door, once you move down to the wards you can carry on all you want, but while your up here with me, you behave yourselves. I don t want a single word outta you for the rest of the night!!} Beverly wiped a stray tear from Shawn s cheek as she punished him. Shawn was already looking quite looped as she dimmed the light. Jon followed her to the doorframe. {I do apologize again, I just wasn t thinking} Beverly cut the man off and patted his arm, {Look Jon, don t apologize, just try to keep his mind off of things, he cant afford to get upset and over exert himself, Shawn is in a very touchy place right now, the only thing he should be concentrating on now, is getting better, he s come a long way, but he s not out of the woods yet.} Just as Beverly was about to leave, Mr. Matthews, Cory and Topanga entered the room.

{Hey, how s it going in here?} Alan asked as Beverly pursed her lips, {ICU rules are only three visitors at one time!!} Cory melted away behind a smiling Topanga, {I m not here!!} He whispered. Beverly glanced about the room and smiled, {Oh It s a shame you didn t bring Cory with you tonight, well when you see him give him this.} She handed Topanga a roll of lifesavers and smiled, with a wink she was gone. Cory popped up again with a giggle, {She s delightful.}

Everyone settled into the room as Cory and Topanga peered at Shawn. {Oh my GOD!! He looks so sick.} Topanga observed, whispering softly. {He is!!} Turner answered as he plopped into his usual seat, Alan joined him, hoisting himself onto the window ledge. {What s up Jon? Is everything okay?} Alan asked worriedly as Jon stretched his legs out in front of him. {No its not okay, this room is closing in on me!!} Alan jumped from the ledge and placed a hand on Turners shoulder, {Look why don t we take a walk and leave the kids to visit, I think you need to get out of here for a while.} The two men left Cory and Topanga with explicit instructions to leave Shawn rest and not touch anything while they took a small stroll to the cafeteria for some coffee, not trusting his son, they also left word with the nurses station.

Cory pulled up Turners chair and leaned in to study Shawn s sleeping face, {Hey buddy, I m here!} He whispered as he grabbed Shawn s hand. With that Shawn opened his tired eyes and smiled, {You guys are a sight for sore eyes.} He greeted, obviously under the influence of heavy sedatives. {How are you feeling?} Topanga asked as she leaned in and smiled to her good friend, {Woozy!!} Shawn responded, {they gave me this stuff earlier, I feel like my body weighs a ton, other than that I m doing better. Beverly says I may be moved outta here day after tomorrow if I behave myself Which I haven t been doing all day.} {What do you mean?} Cory asked as Shawn lifted a heavy arm, struggling to lower the rail to the bed. {Leave that alone, Shawn!! Its there for a reason!!} Topanga hollered.

{Please, I m not a baby, this thing is on my nerves anyway.} Cory jumped up and helped Shawn release the latch to lower the rail. {Its okay, I m here, and I wont let anything happen, now what gives?} Cory stated as he sat back down, fidgeting into a protective position by his best friend. Shawn smiled at the obvious gesture. {Well Turner and me kind of had words and I flaked out on him, it wasn t pretty, I really lost it!} Topanga pulled up her own chair as Shawn continued, {He wants to adopt me, he wants me back with him, my dads gone up the river for this, so that opens the door for Jon to adopt, and he signed the papers, what an idiot!!}

Topanga furrowed her brow in confusion, {I don t understand, that should make you happy, isn t that what you wanted all along.?} Cory nodded in agreement. {Yeah, I did but I see now that I m killing him, having me in his life is ruining him, I have to get away from him and fast.} Shawn explained as he rubbed his eyes. {SHAWN!! Are you sure your brain wasn t damaged!! Turner is spa zing because of almost losing you, he loves you, and you should have seen him this whole time, ever since the night you left his house he s been lost. All he can think about is how to get you back, and deep down you know that s what you want too, so why are you giving him a hard time??}

Topanga couldn t take her eyes off the purple ring around Shawn s neck; she could almost imagine how horrific it must have been to go through that ordeal. Shawn noticed her glances and quickly covered the bruise with his collar. {Look Cory, lets be honest here, The only thing that s prompted Jon to move forward with this is what happened, if he really wanted me for a son he would have signed when he had the chance, I know that, and he knows I know. I m a jinx, I cant hold onto people because I don t know how to, I end up hurting everyone, Jon is better off without me!!}

Cory wrinkled up his nose with disgust, {You are a piece of work Shawn, case in point!! How long have we all been friends??} A silence came over the room as Shawn looked to Cory with confusion. Topanga also shadowed Cory s sediment. {Really Hunter, how long have the three of us been together?} Cory questioned with intensity as Shawn s eyes shifted from him to Topanga and back. With hesitation, he sighed, {Almost all our lives, I guess.} Placing his hands on his hips, Cory smiled broadly, {Are we hurt, are we miserable?? No way!! I couldn t pick a better best friend if I had my choice of anyone on the planet. Do you have any idea what your friendship has given me over the years? If it wasn t for you Id still be the goofy, no confidence, lonely kid I used to be. I never would have had the guts to ask Topanga out, or stick up for myself or do half the things I ve done. I can t remember a time where you haven t been there for me. So don t you ever feel like we d be better off without you?}

Topanga grabbed Shawn s hand and squeezed tight, smiling and nodding at Cory s words. {Maybe when we were kids you were a little mean and teased me, but I think we ve grown as good friends too. After that fiasco with Little Cory the pig It made me realize what a good person you are and how much you deserve to be happy…Well, heres your chance. Turner is a wonderful guy, you two make a great team, he needs you as much as we do and he really wants you back with him for good, it would be mean to deny him this chance, just because you re a little scared and unsure of the future. Maybe you don t have as much confidence in yourself as we do, but Cory, me, Jon, Mr. Feeny, we all took a vote and it was unanimous, your stuck with us whether you like it or not, your loved Shawn, by a lot of people, for once in your life let go and see what it feels like to let someone care about you.}

Just then Jon and Mr. Matthews entered the room, Alan patted Shawn on the head, {Hey kiddo, how you feeling?} he asked with a smile. Shawn grinned groggily as his eyes shifted to Jon, {I m feeling pretty lucky right now.}