Sorry people, I know it's been forever. Forgive me?
"Shut up!" Morgan snapped, eyes blazing and wild, "Get the fuck out of here, Kyle, and don't come near us again or I'll finish you."
Spencer didn't look at Kyle to see whether he was complying, very much distracted by the fact that he suddenly couldn't seem to breathe, his chest constricting, painfully. Panic attack, he brain offered uselessly, hyperventilation. He forced himself to close his eyes and take deep clam breaths, trying to get his body under control again. Unsurprisingly, it didn't do much good.
The next time he looked up, Kyle was nowhere to be seen and there was only Morgan, kneeling next to him, talking to him…. He was pulled up from the ground, strong arms supporting him and didn't resist when he was pulled against a broad chest. There was the sound of something metallic hitting the ground and then a warm hand touched his face, gingerly ghosting over the cuts on his forehead.
He thought he heard Morgan's voice, mumbling hushed, apologetic words, but before they could make sense the night was suddenly filled with the sound of sirens and blue light flared up, making him cringe when it hurt his eyes. He felt Morgan tensing against him, but the older teen didn't move, not even when there were tires screeching close by and then heavy, hasty footsteps approaching.
Just seconds later it seemed, he blinked in utter confusion when he heard his father's voice yelling his name.
Jason, his brain supplied at a sluggish pace. Jason. His father was here and he sounded more scared than he ever could have imagined.
He looked up, trying to make him out but his vision was still blurry, hindered by tearing eyes and the bright, flashing lights surrounding them.
"Spencer!" his father called for him again, his voice drowned out this time by more people yelling.
"Chicago PD! Put your hands up where we can see them!"
Spencer blinked rapidly, tense and confused at the aggressive yelling. The police were here? Right…Jason worked for the police…so he hadn't just come looking for him…was he here because the neighbor had alarmed the cops to the raucous they had caused on the street by fighting?
Before any part of his brain could make sense of those puzzle pieces, there was sudden movement close by. The next moment Morgan's presence vanished from his side, leaving him struggling to stay upright.
Jason was on the ground next to him, steadying him in an instant. "Son, are you alright? Did he cut you anywhere else!"
With enormous effort Spencer pulled himself together then, realizing that this wasn't the time to space out while everybody around him was on such high alert and clearly highly tense…and coming to wrong conclusions?
He blinked again, fighting to finally see clearer. White and blue light was lighting up the night, two police cars parked in the middle of the otherwise empty street. Kyle and his friends were long gone, replaced by three police officers in uniforms. Two of them had seized Morgan by his arms, holding him still, while the third was fumbling with what looked like a pair of handcuffs.
And Morgan wasn't even protesting…wasn't trying to defend him or clear things up-
It was that sight that finally made Spencer snap out of his shell shocked state. They were arresting Morgan! But- he had protected him, why weren't they chasing after those other guys instead?
"No," he gasped, struggling to get to his feet.
Jason held him back, steadying him as he swayed. "It's okay, Spencer, you're safe. They're taking him into custody."
"No!" Spencer shook his head urgently, fighting his father's grip, "No! Why- dad, he didn't do anything!"
Jason frowned deeply, his worry obvious, "Spencer, you don't come home from work for hours after dark and just when I'm about to go look for you during my work hours, we get a call that- and then I find you in this neighborhood, bleeding and beaten up, and him with a knife next to you and you-"
"He didn't do anything, dad!" Spencer interrupted his father's anxious rant. He could feel the man's worry, understood it too, after all he was still a trembling mess even now that his attackers were long gone –but he couldn't let Morgan be blamed for his attack, and his father seemed far too ready to just jump to conclusions.
"I -there were these guys…" he said, wracking his brain to say the right thing, "…they…from my school…they had threatened me before and tonight they just came out of nowhere…and Morgan…Derek…he was…walking by and he ran over to help!"
He inhaled shakily, anxious as he stared at his father, praying that that had just sounded logical. Jason's eyebrows furrowed deeply as he stared at him in surprise, but before he could say anything one of the other officers looked over to them, "Is that true?"
"Yes," Spencer nodded immediately.
"So he didn't attack you with that knife?"
"No. One of the others shoved me and I fell on my head. They must've brought the knife, too. If Derek hadn't been there I don't know what would have happened."
The officer turned towards Morgan. "That true, Derek?"
Spencer looked at the other student intently, silently willing him to agree. After a sheer endless moment, he finally did nod as well, although he kept up an inexplicably somber expression and silence.
Jason looked at him, then at Spencer for a long moment.
He didn't seem convinced, like he didn't want to believe Morgan was innocent in this-after all he'd incarcerated him before for assault- or like maybe he could just tell that Spencer wasn't telling him the whole truth….
Spencer did his best not to waver while he was subjected to his father's stern gaze.
Morgan had saved him after all, helping him out now was the least he could do. Yes, that incident with the knife had been frightening –but he hadn't had a choice had he? He'd done the only thing left to protect them both.
But the cops wouldn't understand that, he realized. They only saw the knife and a kid from a bad neighborhood with one strike already…who knew, they might even throw him in jail for this. No, Spencer thought, resolved. Not if he could help it.
"Well, then," one of the cops finally said when Jason didn't move or say anything even after a whole minute of staring Derek down, "guess that means we owe you an apology, young man."
He waved for his colleagues to let Derek go which they did hesitantly. Derek stepped away from them instantly, rubbing his wrists. "Thanks," he bit out, poorly covering up his contempt.
He looked over at Spencer then, his expression a mix of warring emotions, gratefulness and guilt, and worry and uncertainty all shining in his eyes. It was obvious that he was already regretting having pulled out the knife, even if it had saved them. Spencer remembered his frantic apologies after he'd scooped him off the ground…gosh, judging by how he had felt, he had probably looked terrified during that part of the confrontation, he'd literally lost it to panic…
He could see clearly that it was that which Morgan was regretting most. And it was just that honest regret that made Spencer forgive him for the action on the spot.
He looked up and smiled at the other shakily, hoping the message came through despite his swaying and blood covered exterior.
He was glad to see that something like relief crept into the older student's expression at that; apparently he had understood that Spencer wasn't blaming or doubting him anymore.
Spencer wanted to step closer to him, to somehow say thank you even if he couldn't speak openly in front of these cops now –but his father stepped in his way immediately, seizing his elbow and redirecting him so that he was walking away from Derek.
"Come on, let's get you checked out," he said, pulling his son towards the car.
"But-" Spencer started to protest, but Jason kept on walking like he hadn't heard him. He didn't thank Morgan; in fact he didn't say a word, merely glaring at the student darkly through the windshield once he was in the car, a reproachful look on his face.
"Dad?" Spencer asked, irritated as he watched his father's reaction.
Jason blinked, then tore his eyes away and focused on starting the car.
"Let's get you to the hospital," he said, about to drive off when one of his colleagues walked up to his window, gesturing for him to stop. Frowning, Jason opened the window, looking out impatiently.
"Hey, Jason. Do you think you could take Morgan with you to the hospital to get him checked out? We just got called to an incident with looting at the other end of the city and since he's also a victim here and a classmate of yours son's-" the man trailed off, clearly becoming uncertain when he saw Gideon's expression.
Spencer looked between the two of them tensely. For a moment he thought his father would actually refuse and he cast a worried glance outside to where Derek was still standing. He wasn't nearly as bad off as Spencer –but he had taken a few hits as well.
"Please, dad," he asked quietly, "He got beaten up trying to make sure I would be okay."
Jason didn't say anything for a long moment, although he sure looked like he wanted to say a lot of not so nice things –finally though he just sighed heavily, nodding in agreement.
"Fine, send him over." the cop nodded and walked away quickly.
Spencer sighed in relief, glad that at least now he knew Morgan would get medical attention too if he needed it and he wouldn't have to feel guilty about just leaving him here now.
For that he could very well deal with a tension filled ride to the hospital.