A Note From Ben: Most of you probably don't recognize my name. That's because I've never written for Home Movies before. I probably wouldn't have if not for a fanfic/fanart challenge I posted on deviantArt. I promised oneshots to anyone who produced fanart for any story I have published on FFN. One of people who replied asked for a Walter/Perry oneshot, and finally it has arrived. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Dedication: For CartoonBlob/Anime Blob

by Ben Barrett

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

-100 Years, Five for Fighting

Walter sat alone in the quiet little hospital room, holding the hand of the one he cared most for in the world, the one who hadn't opened his eyes or made a sound in over a month.


He wiped the tears away from his eyes for what seemed like the millionth time since this whole ordeal had started. He hadn't forgotten that the doctors had told him the chances of his most precious one waking up were very slim, smaller than the odds of winning the lottery two times in a row, but he knew that Perry was strong. He'd come out of this, and when he did, Walter didn't want the first thing his beautiful eyes to see was him crying. He wanted to greet him with a smile.

"I know you're going to pull through," Walter said, kissing his hand, "and when you do, you and I are going to get married, just like we said we would."

Most people found the idea of two eight-year olds getting married completely ludicrous, and usually laughed it off when they heard about it, but they had been firm in their commitment to each other. Perry had proposed to him in front of a group of onlookers, unconcerned about the looks they received for it, and since then they'd talked about their future plans and the day when everything they dreamed of came to fruition. Sometimes they talked out loud at school, sometimes in hushed whispers after the lights went out at one of their many sleepovers, but hardly a day went by that they didn't discuss some aspect of it.

"That's why I know you're going to wake up," he said. "Because if you didn't, we'd never be able to keep all those promises we made to each other."

He sat back and rubbed his weary eyes. God, he was so tired. He got very little sleep anymore because he was afraid that Perry would wake up while he was dozing. Usually he only allowed himself to slumber if there was someone else there to keep watch. That way he'd know there'd be someone there to rouse him if Perry so much as twitched his finger. Lately, though, visitors had been coming less and less. He didn't hold this against Brendon, Jason, Melissa, or any of the others. He knew they had their own lives outside this place.

Not me, though. My whole life is Perry. I'm nothing without him.

He reclined in his chair and thought back on everything they'd been through together. He recalled with a sad smile the day they'd carved their names into the trunk of that old tree and put a big heart around it. When they'd found out that there were plans to take that tree down, they'd fought like hell to keep it there, not necessarily out of respect as they told everyone while they passed their petition around, but because they didn't want their engraving to be lost. They'd wanted that heart to be there for their children's children's children to be able to look at.

He didn't know how long he was sitting there, thinking back on the little memories he didn't even realize he'd taken for granted, but he suddenly found himself falling into a deep sleep and couldn't pull himself out of it. He mentally kicked and thrashed and ordered his limbs to move or do something to keep it from happening, but his young body had had enough and ignored all of it. It was time to sleep...

"Oh my God, Perry," Walter said, walking with Perry through town, "can you imagine what it'll be like to live together on our own someday?"

"Oh yes," Perry replied with a titter. "It's going to be so glorious."

"So glorious," Walter echoed in his typical fashion. "We'll get married and we'll have kids of our own and we'll..."

The smile disappeared from Perry's face and he made a shushing gesture with his hand, which caught his friend off-guard. They'd never shushed each other before, had they? He certainly couldn't remember it ever happening. They'd always been very open with everything about themselves. They didn't care who knew they were in love. They had even once shared a hug and then announced to everyone within earshot that they were indeed hugging and didn't care who saw them.

"What's the matter?" he asked, a little concerned (and a little hurt as well).

He pointed to a group of kids standing about twenty feet away from them, giving them some very ugly looks. Neither of them had ever seen them before, which meant that they were either new to town, were visiting from a neighboring town, or were "those types" of people who normally weren't seen outside of ghettos and gang-controlled neighborhoods. Both of them had this sinking feeling that the third possibility was the most accurate, and that meant that, considering the loathing they were shooting their way, they were in a very dangerous situation.

"Walter," Perry said, "let's go back home."

"Yes, let's," he agreed with a waver in his voice.

They turned and moved back down the block, seeking some kind of sanctuary. Perhaps if they could find a restaurant, a drug store, a church; some place where they could safely hide out until they knew it was safe to go home.

"Perry, I'm frightened," Walter said, reaching for Perry's hand.

Perry clasped it tightly in his own and they picked up their pace. They heard their pursuers begin to move faster as well and they broke out into a run.

"Faggots!" one of them screamed. "We're going to fucking kill your nasty asses!"

"Oh God!" Perry moaned.

They cut down a side street, desperate to get away, and in doing so made a near-fatal mistake. They had never looked behind them at the kids chasing them and had just assumed that they were all after them. They'd never counted on the three who had looped around the block to try and cut off their escape route, the three who were suddenly standing in front of them. Walter and Perry came to a dead stop, unsure of what to do next.

"We can try and fake them out," Walter said. "Remember the old bloodlust routine?"

"That was against one person," Perry said with a shake of his head. "It won't work against this many."

The gang descended upon them, many of them holding blunt objects they'd picked up along the way. The two boys had no idea what they had in store for them, really. When they'd said "kill", did they mean it as a euphemism or did they actually intend to take their young lives? With the hateful look in the eyes of each and every member of the mob, it was really hard to tell. Walter wanted to believe that it wasn't possible for one group of kids to actually kill two smaller and unarmed boys simply because they were different, but the fact that they'd chased them down and surrounded them with weapons told him that it was possible.

"Oh God," he cried. "This is my fault, Perry."

"No, no..."

"I shouldn't have talked so loud about everything..."

"Walter, don't."

"Perry, I love you."

Perry looked at him, then pushed him down to the ground. Walter fell back with a look of horror in his eyes. He didn't understand why Perry did it...until his best friend and lover threw himself on top of him and shielded him from the oncoming beating with his own body. Again and again, the clubs and bats came down, assailing Perry's body. Walter could hear his anguished cries and at one point even heard a bone break, but no matter what they did to him, he would not allow them to touch Walter.

"OhGodohGodohGod!" Walter screamed. "Perry!"

Finally, after what seemed like forever, one of them finally managed to hit Walter in the head, knocking him unconscious immediately.

Walter woke with a scream and looked around. God, it had been like living through it all over again. He looked over at Perry, laying there with most of his body casted up. His face had been swollen beyond all recognitionn at first, but that had gradually gone down to reveal the scars that he would bear for the rest of his life. He was badly mangled and missing several of his teeth, there was a slash in his cheek that had required over a hundred stitches to close up, and he would probably never see out of his left eye again.

"You took all of that for me," Walter said, smiling lovingly at him and feeling his eyes swell with tears. "You took every last hit to protect me."

He got up, leaned over, and kissed Perry gently on the mouth. He held it for a few seconds, relishing the feeling of their faces connecting, of being so close that he could breathe in deeply Perry's scent, could feel his heartbeat. He wished with all of his heart for Perry to return the kiss, even just for a brief second. It would mean so much to him, would do so much to help his aching heart. Of course, it was not to be. Not this day, anyway.

Maybe next time. Maybe the next time I kiss him, he'll wake up and kiss me back.

Some people couldn't understand why Walter still sat there day in and day out, waiting for something that they didn't believe would ever come. Well, he knew why. Perry had loved him enough to shield him with his own body. Therefore, Walter would wait for him until Hell froze over if that's what it took to convince God or Whoever was in charge to send him back.

Because he loved Perry that much, too.