Author's Note: well as it says in my profile i just wasn't happy with my other story so here it is again only 123x better (i hope) one of the main reason's i couldn't finish (besides the fact it was horrible) is my friend's friend was killed in a car crash. and Jill (my friend) is having a really rough time getting through this. i hope you all understand why i couldn't finish my other story. please keep her in your thoughts. anyway in my first story they were 16 but i think that ruins their innocence a little so in this version they're in eighth grade (it was on of my favorite years so i think it works.) so everyone sans tommy and jp are in 8th grade (i was 13 that year but most were 14 so it's up to you to decide what age they are). J.P's in 9th and tommy's in 5th well enjoy! (again)

When things get tough, just remember that this is a necessary
chapter in your life that's unfolding exactly as it should

"Everyone out," a stressed nurse motioned the group away from the boy's bedside. The group exchanged glances and sighed as they were escorted to the hallway. "Wait here; I'll be back if visitors are allowed. Oh, and we can only allow one visitor at a time." she finished as she went back into Kouichi's room.

"I get to go in first," Takuya said raising his hand enthusiastically. Kouji simply glared at his goggle-headed friend until he shifted under his gaze. "Fine, but I get to go next."

"What about us? Maybe I want to go next," Zoe said taking a threatening step towards Takuya.

"Calm down everybody. Let's draw straws or something, that'll be fair." J.P. said stepping between his friends as the nurse slowly opened the door.

"He's ready," she said holding the door allowing Kouji to enter the room with one last look towards his friends.

Kouichi was resting comfortably in his bed when his brother entered. "So…" Kouichi chuckled looking slightly worried.

"What the hell are we supposed to tell them?" said Kouji finishing his brother's thought. "I guess we could say we met on the subway." he continued deep in thought.

"I think we should tell mom first, she'll handle it better. Plus she's already here." Kouichi said staring out the window noticing his mother frantically running towards the entrance and he couldn't help but smirk. "Brace yourself" he chuckled.

"Kouichi, honey" she wailed as she ran to her son's bedside and sobbed into his shoulders. "Everything's going to be ok."

"I know mom, I know." Kouichi said, hugging him mom weakly. "Say something" He mouthed to Kouji who had backed up nervously into a corner.

"Mom?" Kouji whispered his voice barely remaining steady. Wide-eyed she craned her head to see if what she thought was true. For a moment she stared in regret at the boy who was fighting with all him might just to keep eye contact.

"I'm sorry," she choked as she engulfed her youngest son in a hug.

"I understand," Kouji muttered although he knew he never would.

"Don't, don't understand. I was wrong, so wrong. Kouji, my god you've grown up so much. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry," she mumbled, crying into the son's shoulders. Kouji wasn't sure how to respond. He had never truly had a mother and her love was almost overwhelming but it felt right.

"I forgive you," Kouji whispered which caused his mother to cry harder.

"That's all I could ever ask you to do," She said kissing him on the top of his head. "I'm so sorry." She repeated, trying to control herself until her cell phone suddenly began to ring.

"Hello?…I'm at the hospital…no it's my son…I can't…of course I understand…yes, I'll be there in ten." was all the twins heard of their mother's conversation. "I'll be back as soon as I can. I love you two." she said quickly leaving the room.

"Well I guess I should call my- our father." Kouji said hesitating slightly as he dialed the number.

Kouji hadn't explained to his father why he needed to come to the hospital so when he arrived he braced himself for the worse. "You bastard!" Kouji yelled as his father entered the room. The man was initially startled by this sudden outburst until his eyes fell to his oldest son who met his gaze with a hopeful intensity. "How could you?" Kouji cried. "Why isn't he saying anything" Kouji wondered as he glared at his father.

"I don't want anything to do with you," the man stated simply finally taking his eyes off Kouichi and walking from the room without another word.

"Go to hell!" a shocked Kouji yelled to his father's back, "Don't worry, I'll be right back" he added with a sad smile to his brother and ran from the room towards his father. Kouichi just stared at the place his father once stood.

"I don't want anything to do with you," he repeated in his head as his eyes began to swell with tears. He didn't understand what had just happened. He felt that maybe he was selfish for expecting what Kouji had just received.

"Kouichi?" Zoe mumbled as she peered her head into the room. "Oh, I'm sorry I'll leave," she said shocked by the look on Kouichi's face.

"No, I don't want to be alone," he looked at her, his eyes pleading. She silently took a seat next to her friend's bed as he continued to stare at the place his father once stood.

"Kouichi?" Zoe rested her hand on his, "I heard yelling is everything…" she said slowly as tears ran down his face.

Kouichi pulled his knees to his chest and buried his face in his blankets. "He doesn't want anything to do with me," he choked through sobs.

"Kouji?" Zoe whispered shocked. Kouichi chuckled into the tear soaked blanket and told her what happened without lifting his head.

"Oh Kouichi!" was all she could say as she rested a comforting hand on his shoulder. He turned to her and smiled weakly.

"I should have expected it," he whispered.

"Don't say that," Zoe muttered, pushing his hair off his face "He was wrong, he was probably just overwhelmed. You did nothing wrong, he'll come around I promise."

Kouichi lifted his head from his knees and inhaled deeply trying to collect himself. "Thank you," Kouichi whispered smiling ever so slightly

"What are friends for?" Zoe said leaning in and hugging him.

"Thank you," He muttered into her hair, with a slight sadness in his voice.

"You're welcome; I thought we already went over this?" Zoe said laughing softly once they pulled away; she had only barely caught the tone of his voice.

"I mean for being my friend," he sighed staring out the window. It was a beautiful late summer's evening. He longed to be able to feel the warmth of the wind and enjoy the smells of barbeques and cut grass.

"Why are you talking like this?" Zoe asked slightly nervous. She knew Kouichi was generally good at hiding his depression and the fact that he wasn't being as inhibited both scared and excited her.

"Zoe I thought I was never going to see you, you guys again." Kouichi said, still forcing himself to concentrate on the window.

"I don't get it." She muttered. She hated hearing him talk like this, but she hated not knowing how to help him more.

"You guys were my first real friends. I don't know, I guess it's good to know I didn't loose that." he said looking straight into her eyes causing her to, for the first time, shift under his gaze. She felt almost guilty that she was putting him through these emotions even though in reality it was completely out of her control.

"You'll never loose it," she said smiling weakly, and she truly believed it, she could only hope that he would too.

"But it was never real. At least not for me. I was never there. And I guess I thought that if I, well lived, that it'd be as though it never happened." He said turning his attention back towards the window. A part of him hated opening up completely to anyone but the other part yearned to.

"Kouichi," Zoe whispered sympathetically, her eyes misting with tears for her friend.

"I guess it's pretty stupid." he chuckled still concentrating intently on the window. His thoughts wandering slightly to Kouji and his father.

"Kouichi," Zoe said a little louder, trying to turn his attention back to their conversation.

"No forget it," he sighed, finally turning from the window.

"Did you know that my classmates hate me? You guys were my first real- well I guess only real friends. Tommy's been bullied his whole life. J.P.'s surrounded himself with superficial 'friends.' Kouji pushes the world away. And I'm not really sure what's up with Takuya but my point is we were all afraid to loose it, to loose this." Zoe's confession came as a complete shock to Kouichi who, for a few moments was unable to respond.

"I find it hard to believe that anyone could hate you," he chuckled, afraid of showing his inability to handle such vulnerability.

"Oh you'd be surprised," Zoe laughed bitterly.

"Well if it'll make you feel better I'll never hate you." Kouichi said smiling warmly.

"Ok, you're done" Takuya said as he barged into the room.

"What?!" Zoe said standing up to challenge him.

"We agreed on ten minutes remember and right now you're pushing fifteen" Takuya said pointing at the clock on the wall.

"Fine, I'll see you tomorrow, buono fortuna" Zoe said, hugging Kouichi once more and leaving the room.

"How are you feeling?" Takuya asked once Zoe had shut the door.

"Well, I can feel my pulse in my head, but besides that I'm good." Kouichi laughed, rubbing his brow.

"Thanks for, you know, everything" Takuya asked while fiddling with the IV to distract himself.

"Don't thank me. It was nothing," Kouichi said dismissively.

"But it was. I don't know how you did it. Thank you" Takuya said seriously, dropping the IV.

"Takuya, it was nothing. I'd do it again in a second." Kouichi laughed, in an attempt to lighten the situation. He had gone through enough drama, he needed Takuya's happy-go-lucky attitude but it looked as though that wasn't how this conversation was going to play out.

"I know you would, but weren't you scared? I mean with the whole 'only being there in spirit'-thing." Takuya asked, curiosity getting the best of him.

"When I first found out about it, yeah I obsessed over it. But during the battle the only thing I thought of was saving you guys. What happened to me wasn't important." Kouichi replied honestly, hoping his answer would suffice.

"You're too good of a person Kouichi. I hope you know that." Takuya laughed, slapping him lightly on the back.

"My turn Takuya," Tommy said bounding into the room.

"What? No way Zoe had a way longer turn." Takuya pouted, folding his arms.

"The nurse said that visiting hours are almost over and me and J.P. still need our turns," Tommy said sticking his tongue out at Takuya.

"Jeez, well see ya Kouichi," Takuya said as he left the room.

"Are you gonna die?" Tommy asked bluntly.

"I hope not," Kouichi said, chuckling at the boy's innocence.

"Do you think we'll ever go back?" Tommy asked as he too began to play with the hospital equipment.

"I don't know, Tommy. I hope." Kouichi said, shaking his head. He was slightly curious as to where these questions were coming from but he knew Tommy's attention span wasn't long enough to stay on the topic long.

"You hope a lot don't you?" Tommy said, dropping the IV and staring at Kouichi wisely.

"What?" Kouichi was taken aback and a little confused by this statement.

"Well you hope to live and you hope that we go back. I don't think it's healthy to hope that much. You should go out and try to achieve your dreams." Tommy said innocently, lifting Kouichi's charts to examine them.

"That was deep. No offence, but uh where did this come from?" Kouichi said, barely concealing a chuckle.

"Oh they're watching Dr. Phil in the lobby. Well, I'm gonna let J.P. have his turn. I'll sneak you something to do tomorrow. Bye." Tommy said, bounding from the room leaving Kouichi slightly confused.

"Hey J.P." Kouichi said as his older friend hesitantly walked into the room.

"Hey, how long are you going to be in here?" J.P. asked, keeping his focus from his friend's bed.

"They didn't say." Kouichi mumbled. He was beginning to pick up on J.P.'s unwillingness.

"That sucks." J.P. said while looking at the door hoping for an interruption.

"Yeah, but as long as it's soon I don't really care." Kouichi said, in a pathetic attempt to lighten the mood a little.

"I can't believe him," Kouji yelled as he came bursting through the door fuming.

"What?" J.P. and Kouichi asked in unison.

"He won't talk to me! He stared at me then just kept walking. I don't know what the hell his problem is." Kouji was absolutely livid and it honestly terrified both J.P. and Kouichi.

"Don't worry Kouji it's fine," Kouichi said with feigned indifference.

"It's not though!" Kouji growled, causing J.P. to back up towards the door terrified.

"Please no screaming. Visiting hours are ending. Let's rap it up," a frazzled nurse said as she rushed into the room.

"See ya Kouichi," J.P. said quickly as he exited the room.

"Bye J.P. and Kouji, it is ok," Kouichi said calmly. Kouji simply shook his head at his brother and followed J.P. out of the room.

Author's note: better? i think it was. well i hope you enjoyed it, i also hope you stick with me while i write this :)