Disclaimer: Radah radah, rad rad rahdah radah! Ok!

A/N: Does anyone even read these? That's right! Me! Anyway I come with great news. During my temporary leave, (I didn't intend to be gone that long, honestly), but yeah I got two new story ideas! One of them is kinda messing with my head right now so I think you're gonna see it soon. Not too soon though. But anyway… Reviewers! Forbidden Romance, Onaqua, ToraChibiChan. Grateful thanks. Betas! Yes,t ask for one and I got two Betas Forbidden Romance AND ToraChibiChan... Grateful thanks! XD Onwards!

Chapter 6

Love Hurts

Pacing is a ridiculous thing, don't you think? You walk back and forth in a straight line repeatedly. It serves no purpose of getting anywhere and expendsenergy that could be doing something useful elsewhere. Back and forth, back and forth. It was pointless and endless. So then, why had Luke been doing it for the past half an hour?

"Luke, calm down."

"I'm fine, dad."

Oh that's right, because two hours ago, at 1:26 p.m, Luke found Noah, on a hill, about 85 miles outside Fairview. It turned out that Noah had only been 50 feet from the road, but he'd been so well hidden by the slope of the hillside it would've been impossible to see him if you weren't looking down, and the foliage didn't make it any easier.

Noah himself was in bad shape. He'd been in surgery for the past hour and a half, and Luke wanted to see him very much. Two bags of potato chips and a bottle of iced tea couldn't quell his nerves, and his father absolutely refused to give him any sort of coffee or caffeine. Couldn't think of why…

"Noah Mayer?" There came a light tenor voice from the swinging doorway. A male, about 40, clad in full green scrubs was calling out to the- "Family of Noah Mayer?"

"Here! We're here!" Luke ran to the end of the room, prying his father away from the vending machine. "How is he?" he asked once they arrived in front of the doctor. Dr. Kromer, as he introduced himself to be, motioned them to step through the doors. Upon doing so, Luke asked again, "How is Noah?"

"I'm sorry to say he's still in critical condition. I'll start from the least important things, if that's alright?" Seeing the two men nod, he began, looking at his chart.

"There are a few minor cuts and bruises along his arms and face, the unprotected areas. There is a particularly large bruise spanning from his left shoulder, diagonally across his thorax to the lower right region of his abdomen, just below the ribcage. We believe this was caused by the seatbelt and x-rays have shown three broken ribs and fracture in his sternum. His ribs had somehow shifted out of their proper position and this was causing pressure on his lungs. We're taking care of that, but he'll be in a lot of pain."

Luke bit his lip nervously. These were the least important? He knew what the doctor was saying, and he didn't like it. Damn, he was still going.

"From the way you described your conversation with him earlier, he may have a concussion. He was unconscious when they brought him in so we're a bit worried about that. He's suffering from mild dehydration and a fever as well. His left leg is the main area for concern, as it's broken in four places. Both the tibia and fibula have broken severely below the knee, cutting through muscle tissue and exiting his leg and the fibula has broken again above the ankle.

"There's infection, causing inflammation and possibly his fever as well. We're currently working on realigning the bones, and the surgery may take about five more hours. Though," the doctor inhaled deeply, preparing himself, "he's suffered a staggering amount of blood loss. At this point it's hard to say what the outcome will be. In fact, I'm surprised he's still-"

"Dr. Kromer," A nurse with auburn hair and a strange accent, also dressed in scrubs, came running around the corner, panting, "They need you back in the O.R immediately."

"Right. I'm sorry. I have to go now." With that, they were gone.

Holden glanced at Luke, who was looking pale and green at the same time. "Dad, if I faint right about now…?"

"I wouldn't hold it against you."

"Good… because I really need to lie down."

The sun greeted Noah pleasantly as he turned over on the bed. "Where am I?" he wondered aloud as he sat up. The room he was in seemed familiar yet strange, like it wasn't real. Maybe he wasn't real? "Right, like that makes sense."

It looked like it belonged to a little boy; this room painted in a pale turquoise. Miniature race cars and tiny action figures littered the wooden floor, a stuffed animal or two thrown in the mess. Natural light entered from a window to the left, illuminating a small desk.

As he made his way to it, Noah saw an open colouring book, stained by a fallen glass of grape juice. He had half a mind to start cleaning it up, before he remembered where he was, or wasn't. "Hello?"

"Hello, yourself." The voice made Noah jump slightly, and he turned to the doorway. The figure there startled him even more.

"Okay," he started, a laugh rising in him. "Now I know I'm dreaming." There was no way that this woman could possibly be standing in front of him, looking at him with those eyes.

"You're not dreaming," She replied, brushing her long blonde hair behind her shoulder. "But I'm flattered that you think such beauty could only be created in a fantasy."

Charlene Wilson aka Cheri Love aka his Mother was standing not three feet away from him. His brain just about stuttered to a stop. "Am… am I dead?"

"No…" It was a particular kind of 'no', the kind that always had a 'but' following. "But you're not exactly alive either." How he loved being right. She held out her hand to him, smiling. "Would you like me to show you?"

Feeling a bit off-balanced by the whole "not alive" thing, he took her hand without thinking. The room suddenly swam before his eyes, colours twisted and shapes melted; the walls became closer and longer. He was falling, and yet standing still. The toys, the furniture; itwas all swirling away, and then itstopped. He was in a different room now, one with white walls, and in front of him-

"I don't believe it…"

Noah was being kept in the Intensive Care Unit. Sometime in the final hour of surgery his fever had escalated, reaching 103 degrees before blessedly going back down.

'He's going to be the death of me, I know it.' Luke thought grumpily as they made their way down the halls to Noah's new room. He had cause to be. While Luke hadn't fainted, his non-existent sleep pattern had finally caught up with him and he'd pretty much collapsed in a waiting room chair. 'I mean, do they design those things to be hellishly uncomfortable if you try to do anything but sit?'

"Here we are," Dr. Kromer said, stopping the duo. Luke blinked at the metal door marked '207', suddenly unsure as he stepped inside. Noah hadn't woken up and Luke honestly didn't know if he wanted to hit him or hold his hand. The whole ordeal had done something to his emotions; he didn't even know what he felt anymore.

Oh, he loved Noah, that much he knew, but a numb tiredness was overtaking him, detaching him from the situation. It was confusing him, and he could feel his hands shaking. Maybe he could shake Noah awake and finally ge-

"Luke?" A hand gripped his shoulder warmly and Luke looked up.

Standing directly in front of him was his father, looking very concerned. Luke hadn't moved after he'd taken two steps inside. 'He's done this so many times hasn't he?' With his mom and him constantly taking turns at hospitalization, it's a wonder that he hadn't cracked yet.

And now with Noah… but his dad hadn't complained about anything. He never did. He was just there, being strong for whoever needed him. A small, sad smile chanced its way onto Luke's otherwise expressionless face, just to let Holden know he was okay.

He wasn't okay, not by a long shot, and he doubted he would be before he could talk with Noah. But the person lying prone on the bed in the middle of the sterile room was not the Noah of his memories. As much as Dr. Kromer had told them, as much he prepared them, the real thing was still upsetting. He just looked so… fragile, so young.

Ashen was his skin, almost matching the regulation hospital covers. Gauze and bandages covered him; tubes ran endlessly from him, connecting to numerous hanging bags; wires were attached to monitors measuring heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels.

The ventilator tube in Noah's mouth scared Luke the most. He couldn't even breathe on his own. Too much, too much. Luke could feel the moisture gathering in his eyes as he slowly made his way to the bedside, dragging the only chair in the room with him.

"God, Noah. What'd you do to yourself?" He asked softly, sitting down right at Noah's side. Shaking his head, he laughed bitterly. It didn't really make sense. Who was going to answer him? But maybe… maybe Noah could hear him.

"It's Luke, Noah. I'm here, okay? I'm right here," he continued on, gently grasping Noah's bandaged right hand. It felt so cold. Rubbing it gently as not to disturb the I.V., he kept speaking while trying to blink away the threatening tears, "And I'm not gonna leave you. I never will. Just… wake up soon. I want to see those bright blue eyes again and I'll stay right here until I do. Alright? Please, just wake up."

Noah stood stock still, watching as Luke spoke promise after promise to his body, afraid of disturbing the quiet scene. His hand felt warm, he could feel Luke holding it but he didn't feel anything else. No pain anywhere, not even his leg, bound and cast on the bed. He turned to Charlene whose eyes were already focused on him. "What is this?" he whispered.

"You, my son," That sent the tiniest tingle through Noah, "are having an out-of-body experience. Well, in the simplest terms. Part of you is free to roam anywhere you choose, and part is stuck, your link to life."

Noah didn't particularly feel like beating around the bush, especially with his body over there. "Am I going to die?"

Charlene finally lost her smile. "That is entirely up to you. Right now, your body is healing, so you can do whatever you want as a partial spirit. In seven days, there will be a window, an opening of sorts for you to enter your body again and become fully alive. If you choose not to use it, your body will shut down and I will take you back with me as a full spirit."

"I want to live." He stated factually, and Charlene's smile was back in full force. As the day turned to night, she began to tell him about her job now as a 'ferry' for recently deceased, guiding new spirits to the afterlife, about how she was working off the bad deeds she had committed during her life, and about how she was always watching over Noah and how proud she was of him. Her eyes had Noah unsettled though. They seemed sad, wanting to say something important. "What's wrong?" he asked, stopping the procession of stories.

"Noah, I want to tell you something," she began solemnly. "But you have to understand that fate has already been set into motion. That there is nothing you can do to change what is going to happen now." Noah just nodded, regretting that he asked but still wanting to know. Charlene sighed, "I'm not here for you, Noah."

"What? Then who?" Her eyes, eyes much like his own shifted to the boy now sleeping soundly on his arms near to Noah's body. It took him a second to realize what she meant, maybe because he didn't want to believe. He shook his head in denial. "No… You can't mean…"

"I'm sorry, Noah but, I'm here for Luke."

A/N Yasu: That's the end of Missing! gags Stop choking me…

Noah: strangling Yasu First you try to kill me. Now Luke… I have not yet begun to choke you…

Luke: Noah, if you kill the author, nothing will get done. This is the end but there's a continuation...

Noah: drops Yasu Just Review the stupid thing walks away dragging Luke

Yasu: Ja cough ne…