Category: Strange Days at Blake Holsey High Author: Pibb Bear

Title: Heroes

Disclaimer: I do not own Strange Days at Blake Holsey High/Black Hole High. God help me if I did, everything would be a LOT more miserable and depressing. I feel kind of bad for writing this... Every other story I've seen for BHH so far has been so... pleasant. Eh. It was about time for some serious angst. Enjoy. I'm out. ~Talismaniac

Rating: PG-15 for dark themes, violence, and some language.

Prologue: General

Chapter One: Marshall

Chapter Two: Professor Zachary

Chapter Three: Corrine

Chapter Four: Lucas

Chapter Five: Josie

Chapter Six: Vaughn

Epilogue: General

"A true friend is the most precious of all possessions and the one we take the least thought about acquiring." ~ La Rochefoucauld

Prologue

Blood. There was so much blood. This was the sole thought running through Vaughn Pearson's mind as he stood there, hardly noticed, completely unaware of his surroundings. The only thing he could concentrate on was the crimson stain down the front of his shirt, his pant legs, and the sticky substance almost completely covering his hands.

Off in the distance, more sirens wailed, the droning falling into a sonorous rhythm with the one that was just now pulling up in front of the school. So close, yet always too far away... What was taking them so long?!

Vaughn couldn't move, paralyzed with fear and despair. He simply stared at his hands... they were still covered with blood... blood that wasn't his... blood that belonged to the person lying on the ground before him... the person that was still looking up at him with fear in their eyes far greater than Vaughn's own.

They're the one in pain Vaughn thought guiltily, slamming back to reality. They're the one who might die... A sudden terror seized Vaughn that stemmed from the hopelessness of the situation. What could he do to help? He needed to help...

People were screaming all around Vaughn, screaming and crying. The entire scene was utterly chaotic and made Vaughn feel lost and afraid. He almost wished his father were there... but then the paramedics had arrived and were checking on the victims and before Vaughn could snap out of his thoughts entirely, they were surrounding him and elbowing him out of the way so they could get to the person on the floor.

"Are you hurt?" Someone asked Vaughn.

"What?" Vaughn was too distracted watching the paramedics working on his friend to notice that one of them had spoken to him.

"I said 'are you hurt?' Are you injured anywhere?" He gestured to the blood covering Vaughn's clothes.

"I—Uh, no. I'm not... It's not my blood." With a nod, the paramedic turned back to check for more victims and Vaughn was once again ignored.

Snap out of it, Vaughn he thought to himself roughly. Your friend could be dying and all you can think about is your loneliness. Don't just stand there, do something...

Blinking furiously, Vaughn moved forward as the paramedics were loading his injured friend onto a stretcher and starting to wheel it out of the room past the rest of the frightened or wounded teenagers. "Wait! Can I come with you?" He asked quickly then added, "Please."

The older paramedic looked around the room quickly then at the arriving ambulances, before looking back to Vaughn. Meeting the teenager's eyes, he nodded. "Sure, you can come with your friend; just sit out of the way so we can work."

"OK." Vaughn nodded and rushed to catch up with the departing gurney, whose passenger was currently looking around anxiously, trying to sit up.

"What's going on? Where are we going? Vaughn—?"

"Don't move, kid. We got ya." The paramedic spoke to his charge. He reached for the radio pinned to his uniform just below the shoulder and called to the ambulance. "Tommy, radio in to Mercy, tell 'em we're bringing in a male, approximately 16 years of age, with one GSW to the abdomen. Have a room ready by the time we get there. Oh, and Tommy—there are more victims where he came from. Tell them to be ready."

As he pushed through the crowd of alarmed teenagers, shocked faculty, and busy police officers and paramedics, Vaughn tried not to get lost in the crowd again. Pushing his way next to the stretcher, he grabbed his friend's hand – also covered in blood – and grasped it firmly. "They're taking you to the hospital – and I'm gonna go with you."

Slowly, the teenager nodded, not fully comprehending the situation still. Vaughn watched his face carefully, looking away and letting go of his grasp only to climb into the ambulance after the gurney. The doors were slammed shut and the paramedics went to work, but Vaughn remained still, picking up his friend's limp hand again and holding it tightly with both of his while the ambulance took off in the direction of the nearest hospital.

"Everything's gonna be OK, Marshall." Vaughn assured the person lying before him.

Marshall Wheeler breathed deeply, grimacing from the pain it caused. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly. "I'm going to die, aren't I?" He gasped with difficulty.

Vaughn's heart leapt. "No. You're not going to die, Marshall. You're in good hands, I promise you." He held the teenager's hand a little more tightly. "Just stay with us, Marshall, and everything's going to be OK."

Everything was turning black now...

"Just stay with us."