Beep... Beep...

The sound of the heart monitor's beep cut through the dead silence in hospital room 114. Aorta was lying on the bed, clearly unconscious. The Doctors kept rushing in, taking blood samples and checking on the patient. Fish was forced to stay in the waiting room; he was on pins and needles.

As soon as Dr. Oxford passed about the fourth time, Fish stopped him. "Tell me-" The goldfish blubbed "How is she?" Dr. Oxford lowered his horned head and mooed softly, "Its not looking too good. She's still in critical condition. Apparently, she met that truck head on, causing internal bleeding and permanent brain damage." He quickly cleared his throat and power walked back to the lab.

Fish was shocked; she couldn't leave him now. As soon as he finished thinking this over and over for about ten minutes or so, the doors of the waiting room opened. The football team from Oaky Oaks trooped in, Klutch leading. They all had looks of absolute terror or forlorn upon their faces, as if fearing the worst. They all took seats and remained silent; a few looked at Fish and attempted a smile as if to signal everything will be ok, but they faltered and looked back down.

After what seemed like hours, Nurse Stripes came out and announced,
"Aorta is avabile for visitors..." However, the way she said it, there was no joy or hope. Fish immediately got up, Klutch following. However, one of Klutch's team-mates gripped the captain's hand and pulled him back down, whispering, "Let the fish go first. He knew her best." Klutch was silent, and then nodded, his fur around his face white as a ghost.

Fish followed the tiger to the room, and she quickly ushered him in and shut the door behind him. Aorta was lazily watching him, her eyes glossy and lifeless. "..Fish..." She murmured. Leaving all dignity behind, Fish darted foreword and collapsed at the side of her hospital bed, aquatic tears in his eyes. His fins gripped her one hand that didn't have the IV needle in, and he looked into her eyes.

"Fish... do me a favor..." She asked, more wind escaping her mouth then words. She slowly signaled toward her backpack with her muzzle. "Open my backpack up, and pull out a folded piece of paper next to my pencil box." She coughed and watched him do it. The fish attempted to hand it to her, but she refused to take it. "It's yours. I only wish I got to finish the background..." She coughed again, a little bit of blood dribbling down her jaw.

"I... also want to... apologize... I believed you... but I couldn't forgive myself... for jumping... to conclusions..." She started to become fainter. Fish shook her hand gently. "Aorta! Stay with me!" He said loudly, his brown eyes wide. Aorta shook her head, "I'm sick of fighting a loosing battle. I'm only sorry I didn't stop before... things might have been different then..." She seemed to choke; the grip tightened on her hands, and she drew her terminal breath.

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

The heart monitor went flat. Fish stared in shock, watching the lifeless wolf laying in her bed, eyes still open and staring out to the heavens. Then the pain hit him. Fish began to weep hopelessly. He would stay here and perish with her, no matter how long it took!

The doctors rushed in after a few minutes, then hung their heads at the same signal the heart monitor read. A few nurses pried Fish off the bed, whose helmet consisted mostly of tears instead of water now. He fought, he wanted to go back, but it was no use. She was gone, and nothing could change that.

--------------------------

Later that night, Fish wept into the pillows upon his bed, when it hit him. The piece of paper she had given him still remained unopened. He crawled over to his bedside table and picked up the now wet paper. Inside was a drawing, a bit tarnished by the rapid flow of water around him, but it was still clearly visible what it was.

There was Aorta, looking happy and full of life, and right next to her was himself, grinning like a madman and... His heart skipped a beat. She had drawn a folf there, no doubt as a joke. He hiccupped, and smiled, eyes still streaming. It was hard to believe that this picture wasn't just a photograph, it was that good. He carefully folded it up, thinking what Aorta had said before.

A new feeling came over him, and it wasn't sadness. It was actually happiness and a little bit of joy. Aorta was in a better place now, and besides, she wasn't really gone... He eyed the necklace she had given him, floating around on the dresser... as long as he kept believing, she wasn't gone for good. 'Who knows...' he thought. 'Someday, we'll be together again...' And with that, he placed the picture into the drawer of the bedside table, to ensure it from being lost.

No one had to know...