This is for daisyduke80. Thanks for giving me a good idea! I hope you enjoy this short, but important, chapter.

One week later…

Riley slowly made his way down the hall and toward Ben's room. He was getting better at maneuvering around on his crutches, but he didn't want to take any chances. One broken leg was enough for him.

It was the middle of the night so there was no one around. He had finally convinced Abigail to go back downstairs and get some rest. Ben's parents had arrived six days ago, and they were currently keeping an eye Abigail.

Riley stopped as he reached Ben's room. With a little effort he managed to get the door open without falling over. He quietly crutched (AN: not sure if that's a word but it is now) his way over to Ben's bed and ungracefully plopped down into a chair.

He hadn't had a moment alone with Ben since the first morning they were here; he had been so exhausted then that he had fallen asleep within moments of arriving in the room. He really needed to talk to Ben. Even though he couldn't respond, the doctors said that Ben could probably hear whoever talked to him.

Feeling heartbroken and helpless after watching Abigail keep a constant vigil by Ben's bedside for the past week, Riley felt that he had to do something, anything, to bring Ben back.

"Hey Ben," he began quietly, feeling slightly weird talking to his unconscious friend. "I don't know if you can hear me or understand me, but I hope that some of what I say gets through to you. We're all really worried about you. Especially Abigail. She's a mess Ben. She needs you. Well, we all need you, but she needs you the most. She's going to have your baby. You're gonna have a kid for goodness sake! And Abi may be strong enough to raise the kid alone, but she shouldn't have to do that. The kid needs a dad, and I can't be that Ben. I can be the cool uncle who spoils his nephew, or niece, but you have to be the dad. Speaking of dads, what about your dad Ben? And your mom? They're here you know. And, just between you and me, I think they're gonna get back together real soon. I know they've been dating for awhile now, but I think your dad's gonna make the move. You don't wanna miss that Ben. And of course there's me too. I need you just as much as everyone else. I mean, you're like the older brother I never had…you're the family I never had…"

Riley paused for a moment.

"Damn…I didn't want to cry. Well, at least you didn't see that. I'd never hear the end of it. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is, you gotta make it through this Ben. There are too many people who love you and need you and would miss you terribly if you…you know. So could you please try a little harder to get better? Any sign of improvement would be nice…" he trailed off as he looked expectantly at Ben, waiting for something to happen.

Nothing did.

"I guess that's all I've got to say…" Riley said, sighing dejectedly as he slowly stood and began to leave the room.

Just as he reached the door, some of the machines attached to Ben started beeping at slightly faster rates.

Riley froze, afraid that something bad had happened. But then…


He spun around as fast as he could on his crutches to find Ben struggling to sit up. He immediately made his way back over to his friend.

"Ben! You're awake! You need to take it easy pal. Ok?"

Ben nodded and ended his attempt to sit up. He smiled tiredly up at Riley.

"Hey," he croaked out.

"Hey yourself," Riley replied, grinning happily. "Welcome back to the land of the living."

Ben started to laugh but ended up coughing.

"Crap," Riley said under his breath. "Easy does it Ben. I'm gonna go get the doctors. You stay right here. Don't go back to sleep or die or anything. I'll be right back."

Ben flashed Riley a thumbs-up as his coughing died down.

Riley crutched speedily out of the room, looking back at Ben when he reached the hallway.

He was still awake and alive. Riley couldn't have been happier.

OMG!!!!!!!!! BEN LIVES!

I hope you all enjoyed that. It's my Holiday/New Year's gift to you. I promise that Ben is alive and will stay alive. I also promise that the next few chapters will be very fluffy and happy! yay! So please review and I'll get the next chapter up ASAP!