Running with Hedge Clippers

"I want to use the hedge clippers!"

"No."

"Please?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Tai, what in our history together would make me trust you with a sharp object?"

"Aw, come one Matt. I want to help."

"If you want to help, then give me a boost."

It had been a few months since the incident with the minivan and 'Ishida's Crossing' had not become any safer. Tai, Matt and Izzy still found themselves stuck at the corner every morning, waiting for a driver to have mercy and stop at the crosswalk. The boys had finally had enough. Matt had pledged that he would find a way to make the stop sign visible. Tai and Izzy hadn't realized that he was actually serious until he showed up at the crosswalk with a pair of hedge clippers. Now Matt was trying to clip away at the tree's branches that hung in front of the stop sign.

"You want me to boost you up?"

"Well, I can't reach them from down here Tai…. Just get on the ground."

"What?"

"I'll step on your back and that will boost me up enough to reach up there."

"I'm not going to let you step on me Matt."

"Fine, then just put your hands together and boost me that way."

Tai looked unhappy but he laced his fingers together and lowered his arms in preparation of giving Matt a boost. Matt put one foot into Tai's hands and, carefully balancing with the hedge clippers in one hand, he leaned all his weight into Tai. Tai lifted him up, trying not to drop him into the street. Izzy stood by the whole time, looking worried.

"Perhaps we should consider what would be the safest way…" Izzy started, only to get cut off mid-sentence.

"Izzy, go stand over there and tell me when you can see the sign clearly," Matt grunted, struggling to maintain his balance without dropping the clippers. Izzy did as he was told, but he glanced worriedly to Matt to the street's pavement below him. Tai tried to shift his weight in an effort to not drop his friend. Matt grabbed Tai's shoulder with his left hand.

"Tai, what are you doing?"

"Trying not to drop you. You're heavier then you look you know. Maybe you should boost me up instead."

"I'm not giving you the clippers Tai," Matt said as he attempted to clip at the branches. After much struggling, a few leaves and twigs fell to the ground near Tai's feet. Matt took a deep breath. "…uh…. Can you see the sign yet?"

"What do you mean? You only clipped off two leaves. Of course you can't see the sign yet!"

"I wasn't talking to you, Tai."

Izzy tilted his head to the side, "It is not yet visible…" Izzy stated, "But there are vehicles stopping."

"What!" Tai and Matt asked simultaneously. They both looked over and there were actually vehicles slowing down and pausing at the crosswalk. "Do they see the sign?" Matt asked.

"I think they're just stopping to see what you two are doing," Izzy replied.

"Of course," Matt muttered. The clipping went on for a few more minutes until Matt actually managed to cut off one of the smaller branches.

"Matt… I'm losing my grip…" Tai said in a strained voice.

"Just one more minute…"

"Matt! I can't hold you anymore!"

"One second!" Matt yelled, struggling to cut off another branch. However the struggle with the tree had been waging for a few minutes now, and Matt's hands were sweating from the work. The clippers were getting difficult to hold on to. Suddenly, a whistle rang out through the air and Matt lost his balance as Tai lost his grip. As Matt fell the clippers slipped out of his hand and began to fall towards the ground. Matt made a desperate attempt to grab them in the air… his hand flew out and grasped the object. Half of a second later, Matt's back was hitting the grass and dirt that surrounded the tree. He was dazed for a moment, the wind knocked out of him. Tai had fallen over and was trying to catch his breath as well.

As Matt tried to breathe normally he became aware of two things. The first thing was that some stranger had just whistled at him. The second was that his hand was beginning to hurt… a lot. Matt swore and shut his eyes.

"Matt are you alright?" Izzy asked in concern. Matt didn't say anything... the hedge clippers… he had grabbed them by the wrong end. Good one Ishida…Matt thought.

"Matt… you're bleeding," Tai said with concern and panic beginning to creep into his voice, "Matt… God… Matt let go of them!"

Matt felt Tai hitting his arm in desperation and Matt loosened his grip. Somehow, that seemed to make it hurt worse. Pain shot up Matt's arm and he swore again.

"What-What do we do? What do we do?" Tai asked desperately, breathing quickly.

"We… we… need to get him to a hospital… Wait… no the school, we can take him to the nurse. She'll know what to do." Izzy was faltering trying to remain calm as it became apparent that Tai was acting as if he might hyperventilate or pass out. "He should sit up," Izzy added.

Tai leaned forward and helped pull Matt into a sitting position. Matt's eyes slowly opened and he looked at his right hand. He couldn't tell how badly he was cut there was blood just seeping out of his hand. He had never seen anything like it. He felt dizzy from hitting his head on the ground. Tai and Izzy were talking hurriedly about how to get across the street of death and their voices seemed far away as Matt reached up with his left hand and touched the back of his head. He jerked and pulled his hand back. There was blood on there.

"I'm bleeding…" he murmured in shock. Tai look at him and then at his cut up hand.

"I know Matt. You're bleeding a lot…" Tai said worriedly. There was a pause where Matt tried to fight the urge to pass out. He put his hand to the back of his head again.

"I mean… here… I'm hurt… there's… on my…" Matt was having difficulty not panicking and therefore wasn't finding it easy to finish his sentences. Tai's eyes widened as he realized what Matt meant.

"Your head is bleeding?" Tai and Izzy both shuffled around and looked at the back of Matt's hair. Amongst the blonde strands was a stain of red. Tai drew in a sharp breath and Izzy stood up.

"I'm going to the school, I'll bring the nurse out here," Izzy said in a tight sounding voice.

"Wait," Matt suddenly spoke up, "you can't. My dad will kill me."

"What are you talking about?" Tai asked concerned about why Matt would suddenly bring up his father.

"They're his hedge clippers…and… and he told me I wasn't allowed to use them."

"Why not?" Tai asked.

"He was worried I would get hurt," Matt said as blood from his hand spilled onto his pants.

"Oh," Tai choked out as he watched the stain spread across Matt's knee. There was a pause and then Izzy sighed.

"I'm sorry Matt, but you need help. I'll get the nurse. Tai will stay with you."

Before anyone could argue, Izzy dashed across the street. Cars honked angrily and Matt heard the screech of tires.

"That's the bravest thing I've ever seen Izzy do," Tai said quietly. There was silence for a moment as Matt bleed freely. "We should probably wrap your hand in something," Tai said.

"I have a handkerchief in my bag," Matt said quietly, motioning to his school bag that he had abandoned near the curb earlier that morning. Tai retrieved it and then set to work wrapping it around Matt's hand. The blood quickly seeped through and Tai looked like he was going to be sick.

"You owe me a new jacket," he mumbled as he noticed the blood that had dripped on his sleeve. Matt just sighed and shut his eyes. "Does it hurt a lot?" Tai questioned.

Matt opened his eyes and looked at Tai directly. "I think it looks worse than it is, but… yeah, it hurts a lot… What am I going to tell my dad?" Matt asked to nobody in particular.

Tai paused and tilted his head to the side. "Tell him you were running with scissors." Tai said with a grin spreading across his face. "Tell him you were attacked by muggers… or hit by another minivan."

Matt snorted, "I guess I could just blame you…"

"Hey!" Tai protested.

"You were the one that dropped me…"

"No, you're the one that lost his balance because some guy whistled at you."

Matt paused and looked at his uninjured hand. "It was a guy… the one who whistled?"

Tai nodded watching Matt carefully for a reaction. Matt sighed and rubbed his face with his left hand. Matt shook his head. "…Why me?" he whispered under his breath.

"You're too pretty for your own good…"

"I am not 'pretty', Tai."

"OK, OK… but of the two of us, you're the only one that has ever been mistaken for a girl."

"That was a long time ago! You know, you're lucky I'm in too much pain to punch you."

Tai then took off his jacket and used the sleeve to put pressure on Matt's cut hand.

"You don't have to do that, Tai."

Tai simply smiled back at his friend. He continued grinning until Matt smiled back. Tai then looked up to see Izzy coming their way with the school nurse.

"Here comes Izzy."

Matt sighed.

"Don't worry about your Dad, you can tell him it was my idea if that helps."

"Thanks Tai."

"Don't worry about it."

"No, really thanks."

"Don't be too thankful towards me, you still owe me a new jacket."

The end... or is it...?

A/N: Bleh… this kind of… wasn't good…. Wasn't what I wanted anyway. I'm so tired. I have been wanting to write some little continuation of Stop Light for a long time. Ever since Jedi Takeru said: "Why doesn't Izzy/Tai/Matt/Joe/TK/Kari/Mimi/Mr. Fujiyama/another student/Mimi get some hedge clippers? We have some around here, I'd be glad to donate..."

Thank you for that little bit of inspiration. I know Stop Light is supposed to be a one shot…. But the hedge clipper idea wouldn't leave me alone. I had to write something. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration everyone. I may write more to this. If I feel inspired enough.

Also note: you may have noticed that these little stories are pretty pointless… I ask you, why must everything have a point? They're meant to be little bits of writing with little to no plot. I had fun writing it and that is all I wanted.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I don't even own the hedge clippers… those belong to Jedi Takeru.