Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue. Own the idea. I don't own the song, The Wedding does.

A/N: So, I was listening to this song and I decided to write this. It's pretty depressing, but I like it. What else did you expect?

The song is "But a Breath" by The Wedding. Great band, check them out!


"One shot
Is all you've got

Jason Cross sat staring at the doctor, his face white and a look of shock on his face. He took a deep breath, calming himself before clarifying what he had just heard.

"I have-cancer?" he asked, his voice subdued and barely audible.

The doctor nodded, her face a mask of sadness as she looked at Jason.

"I'm very sorry, Jason. The tumor is inoperable."

"How long?" Jason breathed, steeling himself for the answer. "How long do I have?"

The doctor paused, looking at Jason kindly.

"Three months."

To make your mark,
To make your difference

"Jason? Jason, what's wrong? What is it?" Kelsi Nielson asked, opening the door to her dorm room, revealing her boyfriend of three years on the step.

"Kelsi, I'm dying."

Kelsi laughed, sure that Jason was joking.

"You're kidding, right Jase? This is a joke?"

"Kelsi, it's not a joke. I'm dying. I have cancer. A brain tumor. The doctor gave me three months."

"But Jason, you're only nineteen. You can't be dying. It's not possible."

"Kelsi, I-I need you. I'm scared, and I need you"

"Oh, Jason," Kelsi whispered, pulling him into her arms as he began to sob, her own tears cutting tracks down her cheeks.

One chance,
But you don't understand this

"Mom?" Jason asked, his voice cracking as he heard his mother pick up the other end of the line. "Mom, are you there?"

"Jason, sweetie, how are you? You haven't called in so long. How are your classes? How's Kelsi?"

"Mom," Jason repeated, unable to continue speaking, overcome with tears.

"Jason? Jason, baby, what is it? What's wrong?"

"Mom, I-I went to the doctor today. I-" he broke off, too upset to continue.

"Jason?" Mrs. Cross asked, her voice apprehensive as she tried to determine what her son was saying.

"Mom, I have cancer."

One shot
Is all you've got

A month later, Jason was forced to stop attending class, his body ravaged by his disease. He had suspended treatment, his doctor allowing it because his cancer was so far advanced. His last scan had revealed that the tumor had metastasized to both lungs, and to his liver. He had spent the last month in and out of the hospital for countless tests, scans, and treatments.

Jason began to pack his things into boxes to send to his parents. Looking around his dorm room, he threw his books, a few magazines, and his CD collection in before stopping. Sinking to the floor next to his bed, he held a certain book close to his heart, tears falling from his eyes. The book was Kelsi's scrapbook of their relationship, the one she had given him earlier that year for his birthday.

A soft knock at the door interrupted his thoughts, and he stood up slowly, wiping his eyes as he crossed the room to open the door. Kelsi was standing outside, holding a bag in her left hand.

"I brought dinner," she offered, holding the bag up. Jason stepped aside to let her into the room, taking the bag from her and setting it on the table he shared with his roommate.

"Where's Alex?" she asked, busying herself with setting the food out.

"Study group," Jason whispered, stepping forward to help her. "Why are you here, Kels?"

"I needed to see you, Jason. I needed to be with you."

To make your mark,
To make your difference

"Kelsi, I want to tell you something," Jason whispered into her ear later as they lay on his bed, holding each other close. They would often spend hours together, just talking or bonding, sometimes remaining silent as Jason held her, enjoying the moment together.

"What is it, Jase?" Kelsi asked, turning in his arms so she was facing him.

"Kelsi, I want-I want you to give my things to my parents. I don't know if they're going to make it up here, and I want them to have my stuff."

"Is that it, Jason?"

"No," Jason added, looking deeply into her eyes. "Kelsi, I-I love you. So much, it hurts. But I want you to move on. I don't want you to waste your life crying over me."

Kelsi listened to his speech, tears filling her eyes and threatening to spill over.

"Jason-"

"Kelsi, life is too short. I've realized that in the last month. I need to know that you'll still be living when I'm gone. I need to know that you'll be okay."

One chance,
But you don't understand this

"Jason, how could I be okay? You're dying, Jason, and I didn't even get to spend four year with you. You're nineteen, and you have your whole life ahead of you."

"I don't, Kelsi. I always thought I did, but I only have the next two months. I need to know that, after I'm gone, you'll be able to move on. I need to know that before-"

"Jason, please," Kelsi whispered, tears coursing down her cheeks as she pleaded with him. "Please don't do this."
"Kelsi, I'm dying. You need to accept that. I have. I need you to accept that."

"I can't, Jason. I can't."

Life is but a breath,
Don't waste it

Another month passed, and Jason was brought to the hospital after Alex, his roommate, found him passed out on the floor of their room. He spent several days drifting in and out of consciousness, the minutes dripping away into hours, hours into days as his time slowly dwindled down.

"Jason, babe, I'm here," Kelsi whispered several days later, holding his hand tightly and stroking his cheek. "I'm here, and I need you to wake up. I need you to hold on for a little longer, because I need-I need to say goodbye. Jason, I need you."

As if on command, Jason's eyes slid open, and he looked into Kelsi's, a small smile appearing on his lips.

"You've been crying," he whispered, reaching up weakly to brush away her tears.

"Jason," Kelsi whispered, kissing his hand. "Oh, God, I thought that was it."

"I'm not gone yet," he whispered, taking her other hand and kissing it as well. "I'm still here."

'Cuz your time is limited,
All you have is the breath
Already exiting your lungs

The next month was a blur for Kelsi. She spent her days traveling between class and the hospital, her nights spent curled in a chair next to Jason's bed, clutching his hand and desperately wishing she wasn't there. She had called his parents, and they were due any day. She had even gotten out Jason's old address book and looked up Troy and Gabriella, who had assured her they'd contact Jason's other friends.

Jason was nearing the end. It became clear with every breath, with every movement, that he was slipping away. He was in constant pain, and his doctors kept him on a steady morphine drip to alleviate it. Drifting in and out of consciousness, he was barely aware of Kelsi's continued presence at his side, or of Alex's when he came to visit after class.

He had survived the three months given him by his doctor, and it seemed he was going to surpass them, if only by a few weeks. He was holding on, even as he slipped away from everyone he loved.

If you won't live,
You might as well die.
You can't afford to lead that life

Jason died two weeks later, his parents and friends by his side. Kelsi held him close as his breathing slowed, his eyes slipping closed as his chest rose and fell one last time. His mother held onto his hand, tears falling uncontrolled down her cheeks, her other hand tightly gripping her husband's.

Alex was leaning against the wall, a few tears escaping as he watched his roommate and close friend die. He had known Jason for two years, the two years they had been roommates. He closed his eyes, silently remembering the times he had spent with Jason.

Gabriella Montez cried softly into Troy Bolton's shoulder, clutching his shirt for support. He held her close, rubbing circles on her back as he held back his own tears. They were all there: Zeke, Chad, Taylor, even Sharpay and Ryan. It had taken a lot of coordination and planning to get them there, but they were there.

Life is but a breath,
Don't waste it

Kelsi ran a hand along the wood of Jason's coffin, tears spilling from her eyes as she lay her rose on top. She had remained after the funeral services, after everyone else had gone on to the restaurant where the reception was being held. She had been granted a few more minutes there, a few minutes to gather her thoughts and say goodbye.

Wiping her eyes with a sleeve, Kelsi brought her fingers to her lips, then touched the coffin. Walking away, she looked back one last time, silently saying goodbye. Turning around, she set off toward her car, memories and thoughts flitting across her mind like a movie stuck on fast forward.

Hands down,
No regrets,
Life has its hands
Around my neck

"I can't believe we had to get together like this," Gabriella whispered, hugging Kelsi, who had just entered the restaurant. "I can't believe this happened."

"I know," Kelsi whispered, moving to hug Troy, then the others. "It's been tough."

"I can't even imagine," Sharpay whispered, shaking her head. "Thinking about it, about it happening to Ryan-I wouldn't be able to handle it."

"I don't know how I did," Kelsi acknowledged, fresh tears spilling from her eyes. "I feel so drained, so-so-" she paused, searching for the words. "So sad. I don't know if I can move on."

"Kels, we're here," Troy whispered, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "We're here, and we're going to get you through this."

Fight back,
No regrets,
Life has its hands
Around our necks

Five years later, Kelsi returned to Jason's grave, a bouquet of flowers in her arms. She set them at the foot of the headstone, sitting softly in the grass before it.

"I know I haven't been here in a while, Jase," she whispered, reaching out to brush her fingers along the letters of his name. "I've missed you, I've missed you a lot."

She sighed, a single tear running unbidden from her eye.

"I've tried to move on, like you wanted. I think I'm getting there. I-I met someone, Jason, someone really great. You'd like him."

She trailed off, smiling to herself. If anything, Jason had been a rather jealous boyfriend. The thought that he'd like anyone she'd meet was humorous.

"The truth is, Jason, you taught me a lot. Not only when you were alive, but also-also when you died. I learned that day, Jason. I've learned to live life to the fullest, to take everyday in stride. You left too early, Jase, but I've learned that I can't change that. I can only change me, and where I'm going."

Sighing, she wiped her eyes, standing up and looking back at the grave one last time.

"I love you, Jason," she whispered, turning and walking away, not looking back.

Life is but a breath,
Don't waste it."


A/N: So, that was sad, and cute, and Jelsi all the way. :D Once again, the song was "But a Breath" by The Wedding.

Reviews greatly appreciated, as always!