A/N: I'm just editing this so that it's easier to read.
Summary: X-Ray doesn't want to be leader anymore, he feels like he's failed a member of D-Tent. Set about two years after Holes.
X-Rays room was so dark. So dark and quiet. When I asked his Mum if he was home, she said that he hadn't been out in ages. Said she was worried about him.
"X?" There was a sudden movement in the corner of the room, a black shape moved.
"Zigzag?" his voice asked quietly.
"Yeah, it's me." My eyes had adjusted to the light now and I made my way over to where X-Ray sat, huddled in the corner. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah." I bit my lip, "X-Ray, what's going on? You're the leader-"
X-Ray snorted, "Some leader I was, look what happened."
"It wasn't your fault."
"Wasn't it? You said it yourself. I'm the leader. I let him down."
"He's dead, Zigzag!! DEAD! And he wouldn't be if I'd been a better leader!"
I raised my hand and smacked him. He looked at me in shock. I'd never hit him before and didn't think I ever would. "X-Ray, I know you miss him. We all miss him, but there's nothing you could have done. There's nothing anyone could have done."
"If I'd just been there for him... If I'd noticed that something was wrong..." X-Ray was now crying quietly, I felt tears sting in my own eyes.
"You think I don't feel the same sometimes? You don't think I regret being so mean to him when he first came to Camp Green Lake? God, I made his life a living hell for the first week. Regret the way I only called him once after leaving Camp, the way I never asked about the bruises, the way I noticed the cuts up his wrist but didn't tell anyone?!" I took a few deep breaths, "It's been almost three months. You have to forgive yourself, there's nothing you could have done."
"I found him! Remember that? I found him in his room with his wrists all slashed up! If I'd just got there half an hour earlier Squid would still be alive!"
"X-Ray, Squid didn't kill himself because you failed him. He killed himself because... well, I don't know, because he was hurting inside and he wanted it to stop, maybe? Because he didn't want to keep being the boy without a father whose mother spends all day passed out on the couch? You didn't force him to kill himself! He did that, it was nothing to do with you! Nothing to do with anyone but him!" I wiped away my tears.
The coffin was slowly lowered into the ground.
Zigzag looked around him at the poor turnout. All of D-Tent was there, and Squids cousins... that was all. His mother had been there earlier, but had left halfway though. Zigzag saw her drinking from a wine bottle in her car. She didn't cry. In fact, no one was crying. They just stood there, staring down at the coffin. Shocked, still and silent. Squid was only 16, only 16. Too young for a coffin.
I put my arms around X-Ray and let him cry on my shoulder. Later, we went out, to the cemetery. Stood there for a long time just looking at the grave. I smiled, when I saw that someone, probably Armpit or Magnet, and crossed out 'Alan' and written 'Squid' over it.
"...but I'm the leader... I should have been there..." X-Ray whimpered.
I shook my head, "You were there, he just didn't let you in. He didn't let anyone in."
We were both quiet for a while.
"Did you hear about his mother?"
"No, what 'bout her?"
"She's in jail. Child abuse and neglect."
"Good, that bitch deserves it," X-Ray said through clenched teeth.
"Yeah... but you don't deserve what you're putting yourself through. If you wanna blame someone, blame his mum." X-Ray looked at me for a minute, "Man, when did you get so smart?"
I shrugged, "You know that tube thing Caveman found in his hole at camp?"
"Yeah," X-Ray looked at me funny.
"I was talking to that dude in my math class, it ain't his." X-Ray laughed, shaking his head in disbelief. I'll bet it was the first time he'd laughed in months.