A/N: Heh. This took a while, huh? Oh, well. :] Enjoy!
He knew who had sent the blue roses into his room the moment he laid eyes on them.
Dark, moon-light blue, like her hair.
Wybie's face melted into a grin when his grandmother gently set them down on the table next to his bed. "Try to guess who sent these," she laughed. He chuckled in response.
"Would it happen to be a girl named Jonesy?" Mrs. Lovat shook her head and kissed the top of his.
"You should start calling her by her real name, dear. It's Coraline."
"I know, Gramma." he looked up at her from his place on the bed. "When did the doctor say I could run around and stuff?"
Mrs. Lovat frowned, sitting next to him and running her fingers through his head of rusty curls. It had been three days since the doctors had released him from the hospital.
The steel (or metal, she had no idea what kind) rods and screws that were now snuggly screwed into his spine with such caution required at least three types of painkillers for her grandson to be numb to the searing pain of it all. The side-effects of them were just as horrid – vomiting, drowsiness, the chills. She hated seeing him like that.
But when they had taken all of it away from him so suddenly, the withdrawal was just as pitying to watch. Oh, her Wybourne. Her poor little Wybourne.
He couldn't be called little anymore though, could he? Thirteen years of age, but the height and maturity of someone half of that number. She would always be her Wybourne, but the little part would have to go. She sighed, looking down at his dark green eyes.
"It will be awhile."
"How long's awhile?" he murmured, blinking. Even with the foul-tasting opiates the doctors sent them home with, they still made him act sluggish, always wanting to either sleep or eat or go outside.
"Not long. You'll be back outside in no time at all..." She smiled lovingly when her grandson let out a small sigh of content, face relaxing into a mask of warm comfort.
"I love you, Gramma."
"I love you more, Wybourne."
He opened his eyes once again, never one to submit to the medication's subtle effects, and she knew a question was on the way.
"Why... did you let them do this?" No, it didn't sound like he resented her for it, there was no tone of blame or hostility at the state he was in; he was just curious.
"It was for the best. You won't regret it, honey," she patted his hand above the green blanket, realizing just how elderly she had become over the years. Days ago it seemed like she was a little girl, shrinking back into the dark doorway of the luminescent kitchen and seeing her parents wail over the loss of her twin sister. She still woke up at night with the frightening call of that door, beckoning her into a web of well-strung lies.
She glanced at her grandson again, reminiscing over with, and saw that he was peacefully asleep. His stomach rose and fell under the covers slowly. He looked just as young as he acted in his resting state.
She remembered the nights when she would come home from the bingo hall and smile at the sight of her baby Wybourne asleep on the couch, the glowing screen of the television playing his favorite late-night show and a bowl of half-eaten popcorn on the table.
There were also nights not-too-long ago when she would come home to see not only one child, but two asleep on the couch. It was that time in her young grandson's life when the cooties were no longer evident in a girl's touch, and they suddenly were judged by not how fast they could run in the races on the playground, but by how they looked and dressed.
He was only thirteen and had fallen in love with his neighbor.
Oh, she was a feisty girl, nothing like herself when she was that young, with a temper and a stance to match. There was nothing too frightening for her, nothing too adventurous. She laughed in the face of danger, even when her Wybourne cowered in front of it.
She was there every morning until eight at night when visiting hours were over, talking about all of the adventures he had missed while he was in the hospital, and how she despised the fact that the black cat could not accompany her inside to see his friend.
She was with him every step of the way, and still came by after school to see how he was feeling.
He loved that girl, and she loved him as well. It wasn't just some meaningless one-week relationship like the children at their school went through. This was full-fledged love.
And even if they didn't work out by the time they were in high-school, at least she knew one thing.
They would always be friends, and they would either love each other as a couple, or love each other as a brother loves his sister.
No matter how many arguments they had, no matter how many punches she landed on his left (or right) arm, they would always laugh and joke and sit together on the bus and help each other with homework or pranks.
They were the definition of best friends and love both.
A/N: Short, I know. D: Give me a break guys. I have other stories to write. :3