"Leo, I'm heading out!", Aeris called as she grabbed her wallet from the island counter.
The aforementioned gray cat was sitting at the couch, his eyes plastered to the television screen. He was in the middle of Mass Effect 2 right now, trying to create a new game in the vain hope that it would actually change something in the ending of Mass Effect 3. He responded to Aeris's call by saying, "Where are you going?"
Aeris smiled dreamily, "Derick's taking me out tonight. I don't really know where, but I'm sure it'll be good."
Leo made an indifferent sounding grunt, "Alright. When can I expect you back?"
"Probably not until after midnight.", Aeris guessed, "All I know is that he's taking me out to dinner."
Leo finally paused his game and turned around, "I'll be seeing you then. Be careful."
Aeris rolled her eyes. He was always telling her to "be careful" whenever she went on a date with Derick. It wasn't like she couldn't take care of herself. Besides, he was way too kind to even consider hurting her. Opening the door, she then noticed that Leo had resumed the game and that an interrupt flashed on the screen. A Renegade interrupt. Smiling evilly, she made her way quickly to Leo and pushed on the right bumper, causing Shepard to push a mercenary out of a window.
Shocked, Leo paused the game, gave a glare to Aeris, then shouted, "Aeris! You knew I was going for a full Paragon playthrough!"
To this, Aeris spat as though she were chewing on tobacco and said, "Renegade for life.". She then laughed as she left the apartment, closing the door behind her and leaving Leo alone. Leo sighed, then returned to his game, still slightly angry that Aeris messed it up by having him gain Renegade points. Still, it was a relatively minor thing, it probably wouldn't mean much.
As he continued to clear out the building he was in in search of an assassin, Leo's mind couldn't help but drift to his roommate. They were starting to grow apart. As much as he hated to admit that fact, it was true. Despite the small interactions that they had (that little incident earlier included), Aeris finding a boyfriend was driving them apart. He had nothing against the guy, whoever made Aeris happy made him happy, but she was spending more and more time with Derick than with him. It made him feel a little lonely. "Oh, well.", he thought, "No better way to get rid of loneliness than to play some video games.".
So he did just that. However, it did little to curb his lonely feelings.
Meanwhile, Aeris waited in front of the building for Derick. Eventually she spotted him coming down the road in his SUV, and he stopped in front of her. Rolling down the window, Aeris spotted the brown fur and brown eyes of her boyfriend, Derick. He smiled to her and said, "Hey Aeris. You ready to go?"
"Yep.", she responded, opening the car door and climbing into the passenger's seat. As they left, Aeris looked over to Derick, and couldn't help but notice a smile on his face. She then said, "You certainly look happy about something."
He nodded, "Yes I am. There's a reason, but it's a surprise."
"And you know how much I hate surprises.", Aeris said sarcastically.
He laughed, "I know you do, that's why I'm saving it for after dinner."
Of course, Aeris's instinctive curiosity caused her to pester Derick about the secret for a while, and each time she asked, he became even more tight lipped about the subject. She eventually gave up and they began the customary small talk of how their days went. Derick had told her that his job as a computer technician was just about as fun as it usually was (that is to say, not at all), and asked Aeris about what happened with her. Aeris rolled her eyes and Derick automatically knew the answer, "Leo at it again?"
She nodded. She had introduced the two of them before, and they seemed pretty indifferent to each other at first, but after listening to some of Aeris's stories about the gray cat, it seemed to her that Derick became more and more antagonistic toward him. Such animosity was shown when Derick said, "So, what did the retard do this time? Did he pretend to commit suicide or something? Wouldn't surprise me."
Aeris frowned a little. While she did like that Derick showed a little dislike for Leo, it could go a little overboard. She shook her head, "Nothing too bad, just the normal mom jokes and pissed in coffee."
"You still switch that?", Derick said with vague interest.
Aeris raised her eyebrow, "You think that I would enjoy drinking pissed in coffee?"
He chuckled, "Sorry. Just pulled a Leo there."
Pulling a Leo. Aeris never really did like the phrase, but she couldn't quite place the reason why. It was Derick who came up with it, something to describe a moment of stupidity. She knew it was an appropriate phrase, but still, something just didn't sit right with her whenever the it was uttered. However, it no longer mattered at this point, as they had arrived at the restaurant.
A Few Hours Later
Aeris stretched in the booth she was sitting at, satisfied by her recently finished meal. As she rested her arms on the table once more, she asked Derick, "Now will you tell me what this good news is?"
He smiled from across the table, grabbed her paws, and said, "Alright, I'll tell you. I just moved out of my cruddy old apartment."
Aeris was slightly confused. He was in such a good mood because he moved out of his old apartment? Aeris had never been there, but from what she could tell from Derick's stories about the it, it seemed to be a nice place, albeit a little small. Aeris voiced her confusion, "So? How is moving to a different apartment good news? Wouldn't that be more of a hassle than anything else?"
He shrugged, "Well, usually that would be the case. Although, I am planning on bringing in an extra fixture."
Aeris took her paws away from Derick's and asked while making a circular motion with her hands, "And that would be...?"
He laughed slightly, "Alright, I'll stop beating around the bush. What I'm asking is if you'll move in with me."
Aeris was surprised by Derick's statement, "You're asking me if I want to move in with you?"
He nodded, "In short, yes. That is an excellent summary.", he said in a slightly sarcastic tone.
Aeris leaned back in her chair. Derick leaned closer, trying to coax her into saying something, "So, what's the answer?"
"I'm...", Aeris paused, trying to find her words, "I'm sorry, its just that this was bought up right out of the blue. I... I need a minute to think."
"Wrong.", Derick said, somehow seeming a little off to Aeris, "You know you want to move in with me, I know I want you to move in with me, what's there to think about?"
"There's a lot of things.", she retorted, "Like location. Where exactly is it anyway?"
"Nowhere near a bad neighborhood, and it's only a few minutes drive away from your job and the local GameStop.", he fired off in stride, as if he had planned his response.
"Okay then, how about size?", Aeris pointed out, "Could it fit the both of us?"
"Taken care of.", he said, leaning back in his chair, "I've been looking for a new place for a while now. The one I found has enough space for the both of us to live comfortably."
Aeris paused, thinking of an objection. She then thought of this, "How about rent? A place supposedly that big would have a big price tag, wouldn't it?"
"Not as much as you might think.", Derick explained, "After looking around a lot, I found a place that actually cost about the same as my old apartment."
Aeris struggled to find another reason not to move in with Derick. She then thought of a rather important factor, "What about Leo? He-"
"Oh, come on Aeris!", Derick said exasperated, "You've been giving me pretty weak reasons before, but that one's the worst. I mean come on, he may be an idiot, but he can take care of himself, can't he?"
Aeris stammered for a while, "Y-Yeah, b-but-"
"Ya know,", Derick said in an accusing tone, "If I didn't know any better, I would say that you didn't want to move in with me."
"That's not true!", Aeris shouted defensively, gaining the attention of other restaurant patrons.
"Then why do you keep shooting the idea down?", he asked. He then noticed something, "That, and you bought up short, gray, and idiotic too. Some sort of crush?
"No.", Aeris said, somewhat softly.
"Wait, wait wait.", Derick said, raising his paw to stop her, "You didn't really defend yourself there.", he scoffed disbelievingly, "Oh my God, you do have a crush on him."
Aeris blushed a little. What the Hell was going on here, what happened with the Derick she was dating? After taking a deep breath, she then said, "That's not true. It's just that, you know, he's been my best friend for so long. He's been part of my life ever since I can remember."
Derick sighed and leaned back in his booth, "Oh, I see, I get the picture.", he then leaned forward, "Look, I know that your probably feeling that if you move out with Leo, that everything will change, am I right?", she nodded uncertainly, "Aeris, change is a good thing. Sure, the change may not be necessarily good, but when it does happen, let me tell you it will be the best thing that ever happened to you."
"How would you know about this?", Aeris asked, somewhat cautiously.
Derick sighed in a dejected sort of way, "Alright. A while ago, I lost my brother in a car accident."
"What?", Aeris asked feeling slightly offended that Derick hadn't told her this before.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you this before, it's just a sore subject you know? Look, the point I'm trying to get across is that, yeah, change hurts, and it can hurt for a long time believe me, but after a while it gets better. It even helps to make you stronger. I'm not saying that moving away from a friend is the same as having my brother die in a crash, but if I can adapt, you can adapt too."
Aeris looked meaningfully at Derick. She then sighed and closed her eyes, thinking deeply about her answer.
One Hour Later
Aeris opened the door to the apartment, unsurprised to see Leo still sitting on the couch in the living room, nodding satisfactorily as credits rolled on the screen. After closing the door, Leo turned around and smiled, "Oh, hey Aeris. I just destroyed an entire Collector base without losing a single squad member. How was your night?"
Aeris was a little hesitant, "It was... nice.", she then walked over to him and sat down next to him, "Hey, can we talk for a minute?"
"Sure.", said Leo. After grabbing the remote and muting the TV, he said, "What's up?"
Aeris was unsure of how best to proceed the conversation, so she just decided that the best way to handle it would be talking with Leo honestly. Aeris cleared her throat, "Well, during dinner, Derick bought something up that I think you should know about now."
Leo sighed, "Really Aeris? You're asking me if you can have sex with your boyfriend?"
Aeris shook her head annoyed, "No you idiot, he asked me if-"
"If he could do things to your nethers, right? All he's going to get is a hairball.", Leo interrupted
Aeris groaned, "If you would just let me talk-"
"Oh! I know! He asked you if you could have a three-way! Am I right, tell me I'm-"
"LEO! If you would just shut up for five minutes I'll tell you!", Aeris shouted, clearly no longer in the mood to deal with Leo's annoyances.
Leo shrank away from Aeris a little as she yelled, and when she finished, he said apologetically, "I'm sorry."
"I'm sure you are.", Aeris said sarcastically, "Alright, if your aren't going to interrupt me anymore, I'll continue."
Leo looked at her expectantly as she began, "So, after dinner, Derick asked me something that effects us both."
"Well, what is it?", Leo asked in a slightly impatient voice.
Aeris took a deep breath, and just flat out said it, "He asked me to move in with him."
Almost immediately, you could tell that this news changed something in Leo somewhat. His ears seemed to droop a little as he asked in a deadpan voice, "What?"
Aeris sighed. She knew that she was going to hate this part, "He asked me to move in with him."
"Why?", was Leo's next deadpan response.
"Leo, Derick and I have been together for about a year now. He felt that since we've been together for so long, we should probably move in together.", she told him, somehow hating every word leaving her mouth.
Leo shook his head, and he smiled and suddenly became his usual cheery self, "Well, at least I know that you told him off and said no, right?"
Each second of silence seemed to make Leo's smile turn more and more into a frown, "Uh, Aeris? You did say no, right?"
Aeris attempted to be gentle as she told him, "I said yes Leo."
Once again, Leo reverted to the deadpan, "What?"
"You heard me.", she said in an unintentionally harsh tone, "I said yes, and I'll be moving out in about a day."
Leo's voice became less deadpan and more sadly desperate, "But why? We've lived here ever since we both graduated high school. Why would you want to move in with Derick?"
Aeris sighed and placed her paw on Leo's shoulder, "Leo, I know that this is difficult for you. It's difficult for me too, and-"
"Oh, bullshit!", Leo shouted while standing up, interrupting Aeris, "This isn't difficult for you at all!"
"What?", Aeris scoffed disbelievingly.
"Don't treat me like I'm four Aeris.", Leo told her angrily, "Your moving out because you think that I'm annoying."
Now Aeris stood up as well and was starting to shout, "I never said that!"
"No.", Leo admitted, "But you've said it a lot of times before, so I'm just assuming that's one of the unspoken reasons!"
Aeris threw her hands in the air, "Okay, so maybe it was one of the reasons, but your just over-simplifying it as always!"
Leo scoffed, "Over-simplifying? Over-simplifying! You're accusing me of over-simplifying!? You've done your share of that too!"
By now, the shouting match was in full swing, and Aeris had decided to go in full force, "Oh really!? Name one time Leo! I dare you!"
"Okay.", he said nodding, "I found one. Its going on right now!"
"Yeah! You think that just because you're saying that it was 'difficult' for you it would help me out with not being sad!? Well, did you really think about how difficult it would be for me!? I've barely seen you for the past year, and that was hard enough, but now I'll never see you again!", he inexplicably started to cry, "You're my best friend Aeris! I don't know what I would do without you!"
Aeris started to sober up a bit from her anger, "Well, you would adapt. I would adapt. Derick adapted when his brother died in a car accident."
Leo was now yelling at the top of his lungs, "Here we go again! Derick this, Derick that! What about me!? What makes him so fucking special!?"
Aeris's voice was raising once again, "What are you getting at?"
Leo had started to absolutely explode at this point, "Well, let's think! I've been your best friend for ever since we can remember, and you've only known him for a year! All of a sudden, he asks you if you want to move in with him, and then you just say yes!? Why!? All I want to know is why!"
"It's because I love him.", Aeris said in a firm voice.
"Do you?", he asked, his words sounding more like a curse than a question.
Before she could snap at Leo, Aeris paused and gave his question some thought. Did she love Derick? It seemed like an easy question to answer. After all, they had been blissfully together for the past year without any sort of problem, but then Aeris noticed some things. Little things. Like at dinner earlier, she had tried desperately to get out of moving in with Derick, even going so far as to suggest that Leo should be a reason she should stay at her old place. It confused her to no end. Not only the part about not wanting to move in, but the part about Leo as well. If anything he should've been one of the reasons why she wanted to move out.
After it became clear that Aeris wasn't going to say anything, Leo sighed and turned his back to her, "I'm going to bed. I'll see you tomorrow... hopefully."
And with that, he shut off the Xbox and left for his room, slamming the door behind him. As he laid down on his bed, he just looked up at the ceiling, finding a small hole in it and focusing his attention on that. He remembered what caused that hole. He had purchased a Master Sword replica off of the internet and was messing around with it, pretending as though he were really a warrior of some sort. Of course, Aeris walked in on his power fantasy and startled him, causing him to jump and hit the sword to the ceiling. It was a small memory that Leo loved to remember (even if he had totally humiliated himself), simply because of Aeris.
He loved her. He had for a while now. He had never told her about his feelings, that would just lead to something awkward happening, and besides, even if it didn't, he knew Aeris would never feel the same way. All he could do was watch as they drifted further and further apart when Derick entered the picture. He wanted Aeris to be happy yes, but he never thought of her moving out. It nearly broke his heart when he heard that news. Now all he could do once again was watch, watch as the one he loved moved away from him, and more than likely never see him again.
As Leo was reminiscing, Aeris got to work packing, feeling emotionally drained as she did so. It was past midnight, and she was extremely tired, but she didn't want to have to deal with it in the morning, so this was what she planned on spending the next hour or so on. She walked out into the living room, her intent to grab the PlayStation 3 that sat on the shelf under the TV. It was her's after all, why shouldn't she take it? Well, it technically wasn't hers, Leo bought it for her after the Boxorz-o'-Roxorz thing, but still it was meant for her, and that was what counted. She unplugged everything, and took it into her room, putting it in one of her two suitcases. She then went back outside and took the two controllers that went along with the system. Touching them almost forced her into the memories associated with them: Gunning down zombies, Russians, aliens, and all manner of things in multiplayer just seemed to flash in her mind, along with the taunts, laughs, and all around annoyances that went along with it. It brought a warm feeling to Aeris.
She shook her head and placed the controllers the suitcase. Why did she keep thinking about Leo? She had never thought about him like this before, remembering all the annoying moments spent with him as though they were actually good times, even though while they were happening she hated them with the fiery intensity of a million napalm grenades. It was almost as though she thought that she actually had romantic feelings for the idiot. It was impossible though, she loved Derick. "Do you?". Leo's words still hadn't lost their sting. Did she? She shook her head, "Of course I do. I wouldn't be moving in with him if I didn't."
Still, something didn't feel right with that. It was as though every instinct was telling her to go with Derick, except that one niggling doubt in the back of her mind just screaming no. It was almost as if she wasn't meant to be with Derick. Sighing, Aeris continued packing, despite the one doubt.
The Next Day
As Derick put Aeris's bags into the car, she looked back at the apartment complex that she once called home. She still felt emotionally drained from last night, and not even Derick's cheerful banter seemed to make it any better. She stopped looking when Derick said, "C'mon Aeris, I got it all packed."
Aeris nodded, and was about to open the car door when she heard a shout, "AERIS! WAIT A MINUTE!"
Turning, she say Leo running out of the building and into the courtyard. Sighing, Aeris went over to him, careful about oncoming traffic. When she got over to him, she asked, "Leo, what are you doing here?"
He shuffled his feet a little as he said, "Well, I just wanted to say goodbye. I mean, who knows when we'll see each other again, and I didn't want you to leave with the memory of us fighting."
"This won't be the last time that we see each other.", she told him tears starting to well in her eyes, "Why would you even think that?"
It was then that Derick walked up, "Hey, is everything alright?"
Aeris turned to face him, "Yeah, it's okay. I'm just saying goodbye."
Derick made a noise of understanding, "Okay. Hey, Aeris could you go over to the sidewalk for a second? I want to talk to Leo alone."
Aeris nodded and left, and when Derick was sure she was out of earshot, he said in a hostile tone, "You stay away from her."
"What?", Leo asked disbelieving.
"You heard me.", He said harshly, "Can't you see that what your doing is making this harder than it should be?"
"What are you talking about?", Leo asked, confused.
Derick sighed, "Do I really have to spell this out for you?", he looked back towards Aeris, "Look, Aeris told me not to say this, but the reason she's moving out is because she can't stand to even look at you any more."
"What?", Leo asked, hurt.
Derick nodded, "I'm sorry, but it's true. She's sick and tired of you Leo. She told me that if she heard on more word come out of your mouth that she would kill herself."
Leo tried his best not to believe it, "But, she said that this wouldn't be the last time that we met."
Derick put a paw on Leo's shoulder in sympathy, "Well yeah, you would probably met her on the street or something, but its not like she meant in your place."
Slowly, Leo was being overtaken by this false realization, "But... but..."
"Leo.", Derick said, "I know this is hard to swallow, but its for the best if you would just leave. Look, your upsetting her."
Leo turned to look at Aeris and saw the tears starting to overflow. Was he really the cause of that? Derick then let go of his shoulder, "Just remember, it's what Aeris wants. If you really cared about her, that's what you would be thinking about."
And with that, Derick turned around and walked over to Aeris. They then started to walk across the street to his car as tears slid down her face, Derick walking slightly behind her. In a sort of feeling of desperation, he walked over to the sidewalk that Aeris had been standing on a few moments earlier, watching them go.
He sighed and turned around to go to his apartment, but as he did so, he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. Something was coming down the street, and it was coming down fast. And by the looks of it, it was about to hit the two cats walking down the street. Seeing this, Leo shouted at them, "LOOK OUT!"
The next few seconds contained many things that determined the fates of the cats. First, Derick turned his head to the direction of the car, seeing that it was about to hit him and Aeris. In his desperation to save his own fur, he ran as fast as he could, tripping up Aeris by knocking into her. He never stopped to look back or consider Aeris's well being. Second, Aeris fell to the ground, but she caught herself, helping her to stand up faster. However, by the time she did stand up, the car was already a few feet in front of her, meaning there was no escape for her. Third, by the time Aeris had caught herself, Leo was running toward her at full speed, and right now, come Hell or high water, nothing was stopping him. Finally, at the last moment, Aeris was shoved to the side by Leo. She was pushed a good few feet, and as she was her body turned just in time to see Leo get run over by the car.
That loud clunk was the most horrible noise Aeris had ever heard. It didn't come close to the loud screeching noise that accompanied it only a few moments later. All she could now think about was running over to Leo, to see if he was okay, to make sure he was still alive and not... she couldn't bare to think of it.
So, she ran over to him and sat next to his crumpled form in about point five seconds flat. She was horrified by the sight; there was so much blood. It had pooled around him and made her fur a darker shade of red. He had bruises all over his face. All his limbs were bent in ways that they shouldn't be bent in. And she couldn't do anything. All she could do was sit next to him and cry his name while she literally cried. It was then she heard a small voice say, "Aeris..."
Looking down at his face once more, Aeris was shocked to see that he was awake. Somehow, he was awake, and with a small smile no less. He looked at her and coughed, "Aeris. Are you okay?"
Aeris sniffed, "Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay."
His smile grew a little bit, "That's good.", he then coughed more, this time spitting up a little blood. His voice suddenly became serious, "Aeris, I know you probably don't like me anymore, but I'm glad that you're okay.", he was interrupted by a coughing fit.
Aeris was confused, "What do you mean? I never said I didn't like you anymore."
Leo coughed again, "But... but Derick told me that you didn't care about me anymore, and that was why you were moving-", he was cut off by a coughing fit.
Aeris stroked his blood covered face, only half paying attention to what he was saying, "Shh. Its okay."
Leo was now looking straight up at the sky, "No it isn't. I'm probably never going to see you again, this time for sure."
Aeris was nearly blinded by tears, "Don't say that. You don't know if that's true."
Leo took a deep breath of air and sighed the biggest sigh of his life, "Hey, Aeris?"
"Yeah?", she responded, her voice shaky.
"If I don't survive, I want you to know something.", he raised his head a little, "I love...", he never finished the sentence. He passed out before he could.
Aeris was thunderstruck. She knew what the last word was, and she was amazed by it. However, that was overshadowed by the fact that Leo was just lying there as good as dead. All she did before the ambulances came was sit next to Leo's body feeling numb. In the back of her mind she heard multiple apologies and sirens, but Leo was on the forefront of her mind.
The next sequence of events went almost unnoticed by Aeris. First, the ambulances came and took Leo into one of them, as well as Aeris. She vaguely heard sirens as they made their way to the hospital, but it barely registered with her. She just sat on the bench while the medics were doing everything they could to keep Leo alive. When they arrived, everything just seemed to smoothly transition from the ambulance to the ER waiting room. She just sat there for hours on end. Briefly, a human woman walked up to her and apologized up and down about how she had run over Aeris's boyfriend as she was trying to look for her cell phone. Aeris didn't even bother to correct her.
Time seemed to flow normally again after a cat with brown fur entered the room and sat down next to Aeris. Derick held her paw, "You okay?"
Aeris felt sickened by his touch. She wrenched her hand from his grasp and said, "Go away."
Derick then opted to rub her shoulder, "Aeris, it'll be okay. Let's go home, you'll feel better there."
She turned to face Derick with the glow of pure Hellfire in her eyes, "You will not take me anywhere."
Derick's claws dug into her shoulder a little, "And why's that?"
She grabbed Derick's wrist and threw it off of her arm, "Leo told me that you said I didn't care about him any more."
Derick laughed a little, "Come on Aeris. You know as well as I do that he was an idiot. It was probably something that he made up at the last minute to get you to stay."
"Oh, yes.", Aeris said sarcastically, "And I'm pretty sure that him saving my life and getting run over by a car was all part of his plan."
Derick tried to defend himself, "Hey, I was coming to get you too!"
"Bullshit!", Aeris spat, "You were the one who knocked me over! You were all the way to your car while I was still picking myself up!"
"It was all an accident Aeris!", he pointed out.
"Like Hell it was!", she shouted, "The shoving maybe, but you didn't even attempt to do anything! You didn't even call for help!"
"And how exactly would you know that!?"
Aeris pointed toward the door, "The woman who ran him over did, she told me. Funny that the random person who almost killed him did more than my boyfriend who almost killed me."
Derick looked around to see that they were drawing stares from the other people, "Look, lets talk about this back at our apartment."
"I told you.", Aeris growled, "I. Am. Not. Going. Anywhere. With. You. You're a creep, and an all-around douche bag to boot. I would never go anywhere with you ever again, even if my life depended on it."
Derick scoffed, "Why? Because some delusional idiot told you that I told him you couldn't stand to be around him? What makes him so special?"
Aeris glared at him, "He's been my best friend for ever since we can both remember. I've only known you for a year."
Derick was now certifiably pissed, "Oh, so that's it? Just because he has seniority you automatically believe him? That's just bullshit."
"No.", Aeris corrected him, "What's bullshit is that I even considered moving in with you."
Derick was fuming, "Look, all I'm saying is that you should leave the guy, and I was only trying to help you get away from him. He's a lost cause, you should cut your loses and just go. Odds are he won't even remember you when he wakes up."
Aeris's instincts were chomping at the bit to punch Derick, but she restrained herself, "Oh, he's a lost cause? Let me tell you something; he may be an idiot, but he's the kindest idiot I've ever met. You however, are an idiot of an entirely different kind. If you ask me, the asshole who tells my best friend that I hate him is the lost cause."
Derick had had it at this point, "Alright, that's it. You want me to go, fine. But let me warn you, it'll be the last time you see me."
"Is that supposed to be a threat?", Aeris asked him sardonically.
Derick threw his hands up in the air, "Fine! If that's what you want, you can have the retard! I've had enough of this!"
And with that, Derick left the waiting room, and Aeris's life, permanently. She watched him leave the room, and sat back down when he did, satisfied that she had told him off. No sooner had he left though, did other people she know walked through the door. Scott, Clarissa, Shannon, Ternaldo, Krug, all of their friends just walked into the waiting room. Spotting Aeris, they all walked over to her. Scott was the first to speak, "Aeris, what happened here? All we heard was that Leo got run over."
Aeris sighed, "I don't want to talk about it."
Clarissa sat down next to Aeris and placed her paw tenderly on Aeris's shoulder, "Come on Aeris, it helps to talk about these things. It's best not to let them fester, especially when Leo is so close to death and all."
That last comment earned her a slap on the back of her head from Shannon, who then said, "What I think Clarissa is trying to say is that if you don't talk about these things and if something does happen, emphasis on the if, that bad things will happen."
Aeris sighed once more and caved, "Alright, I'll tell you."
They all took seats around Aeris as she told them what happened the past two days; Derick's proposal, her fight with Leo, Leo getting run over by the car. It was at that point of the story that Krug interrupted in an angry tone, "You should not have left Pink Mean Thing. If you stay, Gray Stupid Thing still be okay."
"I agree with Krug on this one.", Scott said, "What you did, I mean, that was just cold."
"I think soh too.", Ternaldo agreed, "U not a very good besht friend."
"Yeah.", Aeris said, "I think we can all agree that I was a total bitch."
Shannon made a circular motion, "Yes we can. Now what happened next."
Aeris cleared her throat and felt tears in her dry eyes, "After Leo got ran over, I ran over to him. He was still awake, and before he fainted, he told me some... things."
"Like?", Scott asked.
"Like... like that he loved me."
All of the air around the group seemed to be sucked out. All that was said was an all-around deadpan, "What?"
"He told me that he loved me.", Aeris repeated.
Shannon seemed to be the first to break out of the trace of the deadpan, "That's... that is some pretty heavy stuff right there."
Clarissa was the next one to break out, "Yeah, no kidding. It also doesn't help that Aeris is seeing Derick."
For once this entire day, Aeris felt a glimmer of pride, "Not anymore."
"What does that mean?"
"Leo also said that Derick told him I was moving out was because I hated him.", she told them, "So, before you guys came in, I broke up with him."
"Krug never really like Brown Ass Thing."
"He waz a dork."
"I always kind of felt uncomfortable around him."
"I could take care of him if you want."
Aeris rolled her eyes, "Thanks for caring."
It was then that a doctor walked out of the ER and called out Aeris's name. She got up and walked over to him and asked, "How is he?"
The doctor pulled down his mask, "Your friend is lucky, I'll give him that. A head on collision with a car going at that speed would've killed most people, and the worst damage he got was a few broken ribs, limbs, and a few pints of missing blood. He should make a full recovery, but it will be a while before he can stand up again."
The group all released a collective sigh, relieved that their friend was going to be alright. Aeris then asked, "Can we see him?"
The doctor shook his head, "Sorry, I can't let you. Even if I could, he's still under some anesthetics, so he wouldn't even be able to see you anyway. He should be awake tomorrow though."
Aeris nodded and the doctor left. She then turned to the group and said, "I guess this means that we'll all be going home then."
They all nodded and stood up, but before they left, Shannon said, "Hey Aeris?"
"Hmm?", Aeris responded.
"What are you going to tell Leo when he wakes up? You know, about what he said?"
Aeris took a deep breath, "I'm going to tell him the truth."
The Next Day
Leo was more than a little frustrated by the way his body was. His torso, left arm, and both of his legs were in casts, thankfully his right arm being spared from the accident. However, that didn't make anything any easier. The nurses had to cut his food up for him, which in and of itself was humiliating. He hadn't had anyone cut his food for him ever since he was twelve (don't ask) and he didn't like it when they did it.
It didn't help that his parents insisted that he pressed charges on the woman who ran him over. He met her earlier that day. She was really nice, and she was the one who called the ambulance too. If she ran away he would've had no problems with this, but she didn't, so he had no hard feelings.
His thoughts were interrupted by knocking on his door. After telling whoever it was to come in, he saw that it was Aeris, much to his joy. He said, "Hi Aeris. How's it going?"
She gave a small smile, "Alright I guess. How about you? You look like Hell."
Leo chuckled, but this inadvertently hurt him. He then said, "Well, I guess that's what happens when you get run over by a car."
She chuckled as well. She then shuffled around a little and asked, "Hey Leo?"
She licked her lips, "How much do you remember about what happened?"
He shrugged as best as he could with his one good arm, "Well, I remember running over to you to push you out of the way, and then that's it. I guess I blacked out after I got hit."
Aeris paced a little, then decided to sit on the right side of Leo's bed, "That's not exactly what happened."
"What did happen then?", Leo asked curiously.
Aeris shifted around a bit, "You... didn't exactly faint right away. You were still awake for a bit. While you were awake, you said some... things."
Leo seemed to get a little uncomfortable, "What kind of things?"
Aeris decided it would be best if she just told him, "You told me that you loved me Leo."
"Oh.", was all that Leo said. There was an awkward pause for a while before Leo said, "Look, I understand if you want to tell me off. I know that your with Derick, and I don't want you to think that-"
"I'm not with Derick anymore.", Aeris told him in an upbeat tone.
Leo was surprised, "You aren't?"
Aeris shook her head, "You also told me that Derick said I didn't care about you. It made me realize how much of a prick he was."
Leo smirked, "Yeah, he was a prick wasn't he?"
Aeris laughed a little, and after she did, said, "Let's stop talking about him. I want to discuss something else."
"Okay. What is it?"
She smiled, "This."
She leaned in close and kissed him. He was surprised by this action, but after a while he wrapped his good arm around her to show how much he appreciated the contact. When they parted, Leo was smiling, "So... is that all you want to talk about?"
Aeris stroked his face, "Not really. It would be too early to talk about some of those things though. Although, I want to know something."
She smiled, "How soon until you get that other arm out of the bandage? I miss not having you around for multiplayer."
After a few more minutes of friendly banter between the two new lovers, a nurse came in and told Aeris that visiting hours were over and she had to leave. After sharing one more kiss, Aeris left the hospital and drove back to their apartment. She smiled to herself as she opened the door. She considered herself lucky that she didn't have to do anything to have Leo be in love with her, unlike Derick. She knew that his love was unconditional, and that it was the best thing that happened to her.
That was quite a one shot, wasn't it? I mean, this is over 7200+ words. That's the length of a normal chapter of Feral. Speaking of, this is meant to tide you guys over until my other stuff comes out.
This idea came from yayleo. I just incorporated it into a one shot. Also, I'm sorry if you considered the ending abrupt, but I just didn't know where to end it. Anyway, Read and Review!