Rating: PG.

Characters: Tony, Maxxie.

Prompt: 076. Who?

Disclaimer: Not mine, mate.

Summary: Tony wakes up from his coma.

Looking Through the Glass

The haze had lifted like an early morning fog, things slowly coming into view, yet still obscured by the dazzling sunlight and silhouetted against the horizon. If he concentrated hard enough, he could reach out and touch, feel, reacquaint himself with the here and now. The hospital strip lighting swam in and out of view on a regular basis, the pungent scent of disinfectant he had come to know as normal invading his nostrils and making his eyes water.

His first word had been childish, yet one of sheer desperation, a plea to feel safe and protected. Eyelids fluttering open, hands balling into fists, mind filled with an incessant beeping, he found his voice and uttered into the darkness, 'Mum…'

She had been at his side in seconds, stroking his face and whispering to him in tones he still couldn't make out. Her words were just noise, sounds that escaped him, so unfamiliar now but he clung onto them with every fibre of his being.

The first few days passed slowly, the doctors refusing to let any of his friends see him until he got his strength up. Effy had sat with him though. They'd played a ridiculous number of travel games; snakes and ladders, backgammon, checkers, chess and scrabble. One day she placed a pack of playing cards onto the table and they conducted a game of poker with a packet of polo mints. She didn't say much, but then, she never did. Her dark eyes were void of emotion and most of the time she simply stared at him, a sad smile on her perfect face.

When had his little sister grown up? He couldn't recall the exact moment…

An entire week had passed by the time any of his friends stepped foot inside his hospital room and even then they were hesitant. No one said much to him, still, they would skirt around the subject of how he ended up there, simply laugh and tell him it didn't matter.

Michelle's actions were the most difficult to define. When she came to visit, she would sit at the bedside in silence, merely rubbing her thumb back and forth over the back of his hand, staring into space and not looking at him. No matter what she wouldn't meet his gaze.

By the time Tony managed to convince himself things were getting back to normal and the doctors had discharged him, he found someone else stood in the doorway of his hospital room. He sank back down onto the bed, mouth becoming dry, and a moment later his mother too stopped her actions, placing the bag in her hands onto the chair in the corner of the room.

She rushed over to the newcomer with a frown etched deeply into her features, taking him by the arm and murmuring something. Shortly afterwards she escorted him out of the room, pulling the door to.

Tony stared after them, mind reeling, and then lifted himself from the bed once more, following the path they'd taken. He found them sat on the plastic chairs only a few feet from the door, talking in hushed voices, his mother's hand resting consolingly against the blonde boy's arm.

Closing his eyes, Tony sighed and leant his body against the doorframe, fingers curling around it as he listened to the whispers floating towards him.

It was difficult to make anything out through the din of the hospital and he soon gave up, turning his back to them and raking trembling hands through his hair, head falling back.

They obviously came to some form of agreement though because five minutes later Tony found the pair stood before him, giving him his first proper look of the boy who now accompanied his mother.

He could sense the boy's disappointment immediately when they looked at each other. His pale eyes darkened and then his gaze promptly fell to the floor, arms wrapping protectively around himself.

Tony didn't understand.

The blonde boy pressed his lips together for a second, forming the perfect line and then, quite hoarsely, he whispered, 'That's one way of doing it I guess.' He paused, almost thoughtfully, his eyes glistening like diamonds as they glazed over with fresh tears and then added, 'I'm so sorry.'

Tony stared at him, a lump forming in his throat as he attempted to form one very simple question.

He was beaten to it and the shorter boy extended a hand in his direction, obviously wanting to shake hands. Once Tony obliged a brief silence followed before the question he hadn't been able to ask was answered regardless.

'I'm Maxxie…'