The young man held the ice pack to his eye. He was not relishing having to talk about this one at home. It wasn't that he feared ridicule, though there would definitely be some good-natured teasing when they found out. No, it was his own reluctance to admit weakness that made him think about alternatives.

If only...but, no. As much as he would like to throw Gary into a wall, or at the very least turn him into a newt or something, he couldn't. It just wasn't in him, and neither had he been brought up that way.

He sighed as he adjusted the ice pack and leaned his head back against the wall in the high school nurse's office. Usually Gary and the Goats, as he liked to call them, for Gary's pack had the IQ of the small animals, confined their acts to well-placed verbal barbs and the occasional shove into the lockers or whatever else was handy. Today Gary made a rare escalation of his normal antics by making a particularly hard pass at him when he wasn't even looking. The warning shout from someone helped make it a shot to the eye, but the other option might have been to be knocked out cold. He was slightly surprised by the event. Gary and his minions usually didn't dare take it any further for fear of incurring the wrath of his older brother, but what they didn't know is if that happened, the young man would be ten times more mortified and humiliated than he ever was now.

For heaven's sake, he was a sophomore in high school, he didn't need his older brother to step in and defend him anymore. Or his mother, father, and aunts for that matter. No, he could take care of himself, and he wished his family would just leave him alone and concentrate their worries on the younger members of the family. Compared to some of them, he shouldn't even be a blip on their radar.

With only one eye, the young man looked out the window of the nurse's office and saw her walking by. He knew he was just a high school boy without any kind of experience in these matters, but to him she was perfect. To him, she was the only reason he had for continuing on in this pointless "normal" existence when he could be doing more meaningful tasks somewhere else. More meaningful to him at least. For him, reading, writing and arithmetic weren't all that important for what he planned on doing with his life, unless it meant reading the Book of Shadows, writing the latest spell, or calculating the number of adversaries he had left to kill.

But she did give him that reason to continue on here. And someday, someday when he finally filled out like he hoped he would, he would talk to her. He didn't even think about a goal as lofty as asking her out at this point. Just talking to her would be enough.

But for now he needed to banish thoughts of her from his mind. He had an important practice session with Wyatt this afternoon, and if he was too unfocused his older brother would get disgusted and give up on him and then he would never get the experience that he needed. With that, Chris Halliwell tossed the used up ice pack into the trash and headed out of the nurse's office, determined to work hard towards making his life worth something.