965 words

This piece is submitted for the contest Z's Slashtest posted on the FanFiction Flock group in the Maximum-X dot com website. The requirements are that it be slash (homosexual characters), 700-1000 words. Plus some other fine print kinda requirements. The due date is March 26, 2009.

The characters are based on the scene where Max flies down to Ella, who is being threatened by boys. While these are canon characters by name, very little is known about them. This gave me plenty of freedom to make a story without contradicting the MR narrative.

Dwayne adjusted the hospital bed, raising his back higher and folding his knees up a bit. If he had to stay overnight, at least he got to play with cool stuff.

A nurse's voice outside the room warned, "Visiting hours are over, young man!"

A familiar voice responded, "I'm a patient. I'm just taking a walk before they turn the lights out in my room."

"Better get back to your room soon, son. Your nurse will need to check your meds," the stern woman admonished.

Ortiz said in a good-natured voice, "Sure, ma'am."

Dwayne held his breath. He thought, Jeez, is Ortiz coming to my hospital room to rough me up?

When Ortiz didn't enter the room, Dwayne let out his breath in a long sigh of relief. He leaned over and grabbed the TV remote control. That's when Ortiz slipped quietly into his room and eased the door nearly closed.

The remote clattered when it hit the tile floor. Dwayne's eyes flitted to the nurse's emergency call button.

The kid wasn't dressed like a patient, Dwayne thought to himself. He was wearing a white t-shirt spilling over the waistband of his jeans and dirty, white canvas shoes that looked nearly black in some spots.

Dwayne, on the other hand, had been reduced to wearing a ridiculous hospital gown. He pulled a thin, white cotton blanket over his lap.

Ortiz looked like a mess. His left eye was ringed in yellow. His nose and cheeks were fading purple blotches with an aura of sickly green. Stitches on his lower lip looked black.

"What the hell do you want?" Dwayne whispered.

Ortiz sat on the empty bed across from Dwayne. "Heard you had a concussion."

Dwayne's lip curled up in hatred. "A concussion thanks to you. Jesus, where did you find the bitch-nazi you sent with Ella this morning?"

"Find her? I heard about it, but I didn't go looking for her."

Dwayne bared his teeth as he said, "You're a liar. You sent that feminazi to revenge Jose for beating your pathetic butt."

Ortiz scratched his forehead and revealed stitches there, too. He slid off the bed. "You don't know, do you?"

Dwayne glared at him but Ortiz said without flinching. "Jose told me that no faggot was going to be in his Hispanic community. He thinks that I will change after getting beat up."


"Like there's an on/off switch." Ortiz laughed sarcastically.

Dwayne's mouth went dry and his heart began to race. He wondered if Ortiz was setting him up.

"That's crazy, man. Beating someone up 'cause they're gay."

Ortiz's face softened. "Yeah, crazy."

The boys looked at each other. Dwayne looked away quickly and took a sip of water.

Ortiz picked up the remote control and put it next to Dwayne on the bed. Dwayne eyes drifted to Ortiz's hand, which had no scrapes or scratches at all. "Why didn't you defend yourself against Jose?"

Ortiz looked at Dwayne quizzically.

Dwayne sneered. "You knew all along that you'd send a butch to do your dirty work. You are a fag."

Ortiz leaned on the side rail of the bed. "Yeah, I'm gay. I thought …" Ortiz took a step back and looked down. "I don't know who Ella's crazy chick friend is."

Dwayne felt a panic surge in his chest. Before he could control his words he blurted out, "Jose's gonna beat the crap out of me if he finds out I'm …" Dwayne's face flushed red and his head wound throbbed underneath the wrapped bandages.

He felt Ortiz's firm hand on his shoulder. "Nah. Jose won't stick his nose into business outside the Hispanic community. He won't touch you."

Dwayne looked into Ortiz's eyes.

"I promise." He brushed his hand along Dwayne's forehead, moving aside a lock of sandy blonde hair.

Grabbing Ortiz's hand, he asked in a quiet voice, "How did you know about me?"

Ortiz leaned in closer to Dwayne's face. "I was mostly hoping."

Dwayne gripped onto Ortiz tightly. "Are you scared of Jose?"

"No. I'd be more scared of that weird chick who bashed your head in with your rifle."

Dwayne probed the bandages on his head. Ortiz let his hand drop to Dwayne's chest.

Leaning his head back on the bed and closing his eyes, he said "Hey, maybe we should go see Ella. Just to find out."

Ortiz lifted the cotton blanket up to Dwayne's shoulders and said softly. "Sounds like a plan. Get a good night's sleep."

Dwayne opened his eyes. Ortiz, hovering above him, winked so effortlessly that Dwayne wasn't sure he'd seen it. "Gotta go before Big Nurse comes back."

Dwayne liked the way Ortiz's smile was punctuated by a dimple on his right cheek. He watched the kid drift out of the room as silently as he had come in.

Then Dwayne stared at the ceiling. His stomach churned. Jose would kill them both, Dwayne thought.

A determined look came over Dwayne's face. He placed his hand on his chest where Ortiz had last touched him.