I'm glad that Slipping Through My Fingers got such positive feedback. I believe that we need more emotional fanfics on this site. They're good for you! So, I decided to write another one with the same intent. This one won't be a songfic, but its inspiration is a worthy one. If any of you have seen the movie, Secondhand Lions, you'll remember Uncle Hub's "What Every Boy Needs to Know About Being a Man" speech that he gave to Walter. If you haven't seen Secondhand Lions, I won't give any spoilers. Just make sure to go on Youtube and watch it! Enjoy. ^_^
"Six!" Rex jumped up from his seat and rushed over to the green-clad ninja, who was just walking out of the Emergency Unit. To the teen's horror, Six was sitting in a wheelchair. There was an odd look on his face. It was like...a piece of who he was was broken. "Are you going to be okay?" He whispered. Six didn't say anything. He just rolled past, staring straight ahead.
Holiday walked out of the room after him and stopped at Rex's side, her eyes clouded with worry. "He hurt himself pretty badly." She explained, refusing to sugar-coat anything. She knew that Rex would find out eventually. "It'll be a long time before he can walk again, if at all."
"No..." Rex shook his head slowly, refusing to believe it. "That can't be! It's Six! He can pull through anything!" He stared at Holiday with wide eyes, begging her to agree with him. When she didn't, he took a shuddering breath and asked: "How long before we know for sure?"
"Awhile. He's going to need to go into rehab for a few months. If we're lucky, he'll be able to start walking on crutches eventually." She wasn't meeting his eye. "But...even that is a longshot..."
Rex sank back into the chair he had previously been sitting in, staring at the floor. 'Four months...' He knew Six. There was no way he would be able to last that long without being able to move around as he pleased. And rehab... That was completely out of the question. "What do you think? Will he ever be...completely okay again?" He asked hesitantly.
Holiday placed a gentle hand on Rex's shoulder. "The chances are slim, like I said...but you're right about one thing." She smiled at him and squeezed his shoulder. "It's Six. He can pull through anything!"
Rex grinned weakly in reply before getting up and starting down the hall. As soon as he was out of Holiday's sight, he sat down against a nearby wall and started to cry. "I'm sorry, Six... I'm so, so sorry..."
"An Evo anteater..." Rex stared out the window of the jump jet. "We're fighting an Evo anteater..." He slumped back against his chair. "Bunnies aren't bad enough? Now we're fighting aardvarks..."
"Get ready, Rex." Six muttered, preparing his hoverboard and moving toward the door. "We're going out in ten seconds."
"Kay." Rex stood up and walked over to Six. "Say, Six? Can we go out for some Chinese food after this?"
"No." Six opened the doors and jumped out, zooming out of sight.
Rex breathed a sigh. "Of course not..." Morphing the Boogie Pack out of his shoulders, he followed Six toward the rampaging Evo. He made for the beast's back while Six kept it occupied from the front. He placed a hand on its back and closed his eyes, trying to seek out the offending nanites. After a few seconds, he pulled back. "Not curable, huh?" He drew the BFS. "I guess we're gonna have to take you out!"
At that moment, the crazy anteater spun around, flinging Rex from its back. Rex quickly ditched the BFS and created the Boogie Pack once more. Then, the creature's tongue lashed out.
The Boogie Pack was totaled! Rex could feel himself falling. He hit the ground. Hard. Very, very, very hard. Like, he was literally seeing stars dancing in front of him!
He could feel a thump close to where he was lying. He saw a gigantic foot looming above him. He felt something picking him up and throwing him to the side. Then...everything went black.
'It's my fault...' Rex choked on the rising lump in his throat. 'It's all my fault...' He looked up as the sound of rolling wheels came to his ear. More tears ran down his face as Six approached him. His face was still expressionless...but there was still that undertone, that part of his entire aura that told Rex that something was dreadfully wrong.
Six stared down at Rex for a long moment before turning his chair away. "Come with me." He murmured before starting to roll down the hall once more.
Rex quickly got up and walked over so that he was beside Six. He didn't walk ahead. He didn't offer to help. He knew better than to do something like that. Six paused to open the door to his room before wheeling the chair in. Rex followed and closed the door behind him.
Six rolled over until he was next to the bed. He didn't look at Rex. After awhile, he spoke. "If you still need to cry, go ahead."
Rex blinked in surprise. "What?"
"I wasn't going to let you break down in the middle of the hallway where anyone could see you. If you still need to cry, it's okay to do it here. I won't think any less of you."
Rex felt his eyes stinging with new tears. "I wouldn't blame you if you already thought less of me." He sniffed. "It's my fault you're in that. It's my fault that-" He cut himself off quickly.
Six turned to look at him, his face grave. "That I can't walk anymore?"
There wasn't any accusation in his tone. That made Rex feel even worse. He nodded his head mutely.
Six stared at the kid. Rex's shoulders were slumped and he wasn't meeting Six's gaze. 'He really thinks it's his fault.' "I don't recall you smashing my legs at any point in time." He said calmly.
Rex winced at Six's blunt tone. "You pushed me out of the way of that aardvark's foot."
"You're welcome." Six muttered dryly.
"You should have let it step on me!" Rex found himself snapping. "I've got the fast-paced healing! I've got the superhuman strength! I would have been fine!"
"You don't know that." Six glared at Rex sternly. "Nothing would have healed you if it had crushed your skull."
Rex closed his eyes, trying to keep the tears from falling. He knew that Six was right, and he hated it. "You're in a wheelchair, Six..." He whispered. "Holiday says that you'll probably never walk again... It just...isn't fair."
Six looked at Rex for a long moment before breathing a deep sigh. "Rex. Have a seat." He motioned toward the bed. Rex obediently walked over and sat down. "You know..." He started. "Back when I was with One, there were many times when he risked himself for my sake and I did the same for him. The first time he was injured protecting me, I nearly lost it. I was ready to quit the mercenary business so that I wouldn't endanger him anymore."
"Really?" Rex tilted his head, wiping some stray tears from his cheek.
Six nodded his head. "Yeah. Anyway, when that happened, One sat me down and told me something. Now, I'm going to tell you the same thing." He sat up straight and took off his shades, fixing Rex with his piercing black gaze. "It doesn't matter what the odds are of one person being hurt or killed over the other. There is no time to think of such things. It is my duty to protect you. If it comes down to a choice between your life and mine, I would die willingly. You shouldn't feel guilty for that and you should never give up on what you are meant to do because of that. I made the choice I did so that you could live on and grow." His mouth twitched as a tiny smile came to his face. "Don't screw it up."
Rex stared at Six, hanging onto every word, unable to blink, unable to speak for a long time. Finally, he managed to choke out the word: "Why?"
Six raised an eyebrow, as if the question had truly surprised him. Then, he was silent. He stared past Rex's face at the wall, trying to find the right words. "Because..." He muttered. "If I don't protect the people I care about, I'll die either way."
Rex's mouth dropped open. 'People he...cares about...' "Why would you die?" His eyes narrowed in concern and confusion. "You wouldn't..." He ran a finger across his throat.
Six shook his head impatiently. "Don't be stupid, Rex. That's the coward's way out. What I mean is that...the part of me that is...what I am would die."
"You could say that." Six looked down at the ground. "Whenever a person develops a strong attachment to some one else, he or she gives a piece of their soul to that person. The pieces vary in size and they can never be taken back. If the person dies, is hurt, or causes pain for that friend, the piece of soul may be wounded or killed."
Rex nodded his head slowly. This made sense. He knew that a part of him would die if anything were to happen to Noah, Bobo, Six, Holiday, Caesar...anyone. "I guess...that's why it hurts me...to see you like this..." Rex could feel his throat closing and his eyes welling with tears once more. All at once, he sprang forward and threw his arms around Six. The hug was complicated by the wheelchair, which made Rex need to stoop over and remain in a partial standing position. He rested his head on Six's shoulder and sobbed. "I'm sorry, Six... I'm sorry..."
Six rested a hand on Rex's back, angry that he couldn't stand up and hold the distressed teen properly. For the first time in a long time, he felt...completely worthless. A few tears leaked out of his own eyes as he tried to comfort Rex. "It's okay, Rex..." He murmured. "It's okay..."
After what felt like hours, Rex broke away, wiping his eyes and sniffing. He attempted to smile. "I'll go get you something to drink." He started to walk away when Six stopped him.
"I'm not thirsty, Rex. But could you-" He stopped himself suddenly, thoroughly ashamed of having to ask this question.
Six took a deep breath. "Could you help me get into bed?"
Rex's heart shattered at these words. It sounded as if Six had just thrown his pride and self-respect away when he said those words. Wordlessly, he walked over to the man who had been like his father for the past few years. Gently, he put his hands under Six's arms and pulled him out of the chair and onto the bed. Six adjusted his position on the mattress. Rex untied and removed Six's shoes as quickly as he could and pulled the blankets free.
Six shrugged his jacket off and lay back, wanting nothing more than to crawl into a hole somewhere and die. To his surprise, he felt the mattress sink. He opened his eyes to see Rex tossing his jacket to the side and crawling into bed. The kid wrapped his arms around his middle and closed his eyes.
"You looked after me..." He mumbled into Six's suit. "Now, I'm gonna look after you until you're better again."
Six, despite his internal pain, smiled softly at these words. Though, it was a sad smile. He couldn't bring himself to tell Rex what he knew to be true; that he would never walk again. "Thank you, Rex." Was all he said as he closed his eyes and rested his head in the pillows.
Rex was comforted by the sound of Six's breathing. The man would never be the same again...but he was still there. Still alive. And Rex would make sure he always would be. After awhile, he decided to ask one more question before the agent fell asleep. "Hey, Six? I was wondering... That one part of your speech about souls...when did One tell you that?"
Six opened one eye and almost smirked. "He didn't. Those are my own words."
Not of the same nature as Slipping Through My Fingers... That one was happy/sad... This one was... FREAKING DEPRESSING! *runs off to OD on sugar* Something's wrong here! NYARGH! Please review (once you can see the screen) but don't flame. I know the speech didn't have the same content as the speech from Secondhand Lions...but it was meant to be original and done by Six and One! Did you like it? Hope so! Peace out!