"Prop! Slow down!" Scipio yelled over the sound of the rain falling heavily all around him. He was trying to catch up with Prosper who was running just ahead of him.
'Why did he have to find out?' was all Scipio could think as he pushed his legs to work even faster, he needed to catch up to him and explain himself.
Prosper had started running the second that he saw Scipio dressed up in all those posh clothes, he knew that he'd been lied to, that they'd all been lied to. 'How could you be so stupid? To fall for this guy and his lies.' Prosper thought as he ran as fast as he could. He heard the sound of Scipio running behind him but he didn't turn around, he just ran faster.
'Shit' Scipio thought as he saw that Prosper was starting to pull away from him, 'How the hell can he run this fast?' Scipio sped up but he couldn't run too fast as the floor was so wet he was starting to slip all over the place.
"Prop slow down! You'll slip!" Scipio yelled as Prosper started to run even faster, which Scipio didn't think was possible at this point. "Prosper please!"
Prosper knew that he was slipping all over the place but it just didn't register properly, all he could think about was getting away from that liar. However just as Prosper tried to turn the next corner at speed his feet slipped out from under him and he started to fall. Prosper closed his eyes waiting for the impact with the floor, but it never came. Instead he felt himself hit a surface and then sink into it, surrounded by the wet and cold he started to panic.
"Prop!" Scipio screamed as he saw Prosper fall into the canal as his feet slipped. He skidded to a stop right next to where Prosper had fallen in and looked into the canal hoping to see Prosper. He saw nothing. He just saw the water in the canal. The cold, dark water.
Prosper started to flail in the water trying to force his way to the surface but it was all to no avail, Prosper could not swim. He knew that he should have learnt to swim at some point but he never got around to it. And now he was drowning for this oversight.
Scipio stood staring into the water for a few seconds before he started to realise that Prosper was not appearing at the surface of the water. There was only one thing for it. Scipio took off his heavy jacket and threw it to the floor not caring about the expensive clothing before taking a deep breath and jumping straight into the canal.
'Where is he?' Scipio thought as he tried to feel around in the water for Prosper, he could barely see in the dark water but he caught a glimpse of some movement just below where he was. Scipio pushed himself up and out of the water, took another deep breath and then swam down to the place where he saw the movement.
Scipio reached out his hand and it brushed past some fabric. He closed his hand around the fabric and pulled with all of his strength, Prosper's face came floating into sight as Scipio started to propel them both out of the water.
As their heads broke the surface of the water Scipio breathed heavily, trying to refill his lungs. Turning his head to look at Prosper he saw that he didn't seem to be breathing. A sense of dread started to fill Scipio as he swam as fast as possible to the nearest bank, dragging the unconscious Prosper behind him.
Reaching the side Scipio practically threw Prosper onto the land before dragging himself up the slope next to his friend. Scipio placed his head on his friend's chest and listened for a heartbeat, it was faint but still there. Scipio sighed with relief until he noticed that Prosper's chest wasn't rising and falling with breath.
Quickly Scipio turned Prosper on his side to try and help clear the water from Prosper's lungs. Prosper started expelling the water from his body almost as soon as he was turned over, Scipio rubbed his back gently, trying to comfort him.
When Prosper had finished throwing up all of the canal water he turned onto his back and looked up at Scipio. His eyes were a mix of emotions, there was still a hint of lingering anger from earlier but the emotion that was strongest in his eyes was gratitude.
"You...you saved me." Prosper said, his teeth chattering as the cold of the water in the canal and the rain that was still falling started to have an effect on his body.
"Of course I did." Scipio said as he tried to pull Prosper upright, he knew that he needed to get Prosper somewhere safe and warm as soon as possible.
"Where are we going?" Prosper said as they stood up, with Scipio taking most of Prospers weight, and started to walk up the bank of the canal. "Are we going back to the Stella?"
"No, it's not warm enough there. You are coming back to my house, I'll sneak us both in." Scipio said as they reached the pathway next to the canal and headed off back towards his house.
"But, your Father..."
"I don't care. He never cared for me and the feeling is mutual. My house is safe and warm and that is what you need," Scipio looked over at Prosper who looked like he was starting to get ill, "I don't want to see you getting ill."
"Thank you... Scip?" Prosper said his voice small and timid as he said Scipio's name.
"I'm sorry about earlier. I don't mind that your Father is rich, you are still the same person. I guess I just felt kind of..."
"Betrayed?" Scipio offered as Prosper went silent.
"Yeah, just hurt that you lied." Prosper said as his eyes closed, Scipio saw this however and tapped his face with the hand that was not holding Prosper up.
"Come on Prop, I need you to stay awake." Scipio said, fear started to creep into his voice as he saw that Prosper was not waking up and he tapped his face. "Prop, please."
Prosper however refused to wake up and Scipio started to move even faster. 'I need to get him to a hospital, now!' Scipio thought as he turned off down a side alley and headed towards the hospital as fast as possible.
It felt like hours before Scipio arrived at the hospital Prosper by this point was cradled in Scipio's arms as it was very hard to drag an unconscious boy in the rain. The doors to the hospital opened and Scipio stepped inside and immediately felt the heat of the hospital start to warm him up.
He carefully placed Prosper on one of the seats in the waiting room and walked up to the nurse who was sat at the desk. "Please, my friend fell in the canal. You have to help him." Scipio said, his teeth were not chattering as much now he was starting to warm up.
The nurse looked up from the computer that she was working on and looked at Scipio, "Please Signora, he needs medical attention!"
The nurse pressed a button on the wall and a few seconds later a doctor walked out behind the nurse.
"He says his friend fell in the canal."
The doctor looked over to where Prosper was. He was still in the seat that Scipio left him in, soaked to the bone, shivering and still unconscious.
"How did that happen?" The doctor questioned Scipio as he started to walk towards where Prosper was sitting.
"He was running and his feet slipped and he fell into the canal. He can't swim so I jumped in and got him out." Scipio said just as they reached Prosper.
The doctor extended a hand and reached to touch Prosper's face, just as he did though Prosper flinched away from the hand. The doctor turned to look at Scipio for an answer as to why this boy shied away from his touch. Scipio shrugged at the doctor and said, "He's an orphan, he doesn't trust anyone that he doesn't know."
Scipio laid a hand on Prosper's shoulder, which Prosper did not move away from.
"Well if you can bring him through to the examination room I can see what I can do for your friend." said the doctor as he turned away and walked off towards a door that lead off from the waiting room.
Scipio carefully lifted Prosper into his arms, made sure he had a tight grip and started to follow the doctor. 'Please Prosper, I need you to be alright.' thought Scipio as he walked through the doorway.
-Some hours later-
Prosper slowly woke up and opened his eyes only to close them again very quickly as the light burned his eyes.
Prosper turned to where the voice came from and slowly cracked open one of his eyes. His vision was blurry but he could just about make out the outline of the figure that was sat by his bed. He blinked a few times to clear his vision.
His voice came out very weak and it hurt his throat to talk. Prosper opened both of his eyes fully and allowed them to adjust to the bright light in the room before settling them on Scipio. He tried to remember how he got here but beyond getting dragged out of the canal Prosper could barely remember anything.
Scipio held a glass of water for Prosper to drink from having noticed that talking seemed to hurt him. Having seen the puzzled look on Prosper's face, decided to explain what happened, "You lost consciousness when we were heading back to my house. I decided that it would be better to bring you to the hospital, so here we are."
"Am I okay?" was the only thing that Prosper could think of to say. To him being in a hospital meant that something very bad was wrong with you but Prosper didn't feel too bad.
"Yeah you are fine, they just needed to warm you up and keep an eye on you in case something developed. It doesn't look like it though."
"Yes you seem to be very lucky."
Prosper turned quickly at the sound of this new voice. It was a man, very tall and wearing a white coat. The doctor Prosper assumed as the man moved to check some screens that were surrounding Prosper's bed.
"Everything is looking good here, you are back to a normal temperature and you aren't showing any signs of developing hypothermia, which is very unusual given what happened to you. I guess you are free to leave, if you start feeling ill then come straight here alright?"
Prosper opened his mouth to answer but Scipio beat him to it, "I'll make sure that he does doctor. Thank you for your help."
"Yes, thank you." Prosper said, it was still quite painful to talk but the pain had lessened since he had that drink of water.
The doctor left the room and Prosper swung himself around so that he could stand up. Slowly he heaved himself off the bed and stood on his two feet, after a few seconds Prosper tried to take a step but his legs were weak from the cold and collapsed under him. Within a second Scipio was there holding him up and helping him to get back on his feet.
"No problem. Let's go home yeah?"
"The Stella right?"
"Of course, that is more my home than that house is."
Slowly, with Scipio helping to take some of Prosper's weight, they started to walk out of the hospital and started making their way back to the Stella. They walked in silence for a while, both of them thinking about the previous night.
"Why did you lie?"
Scipio tensed slightly as he replied, "The others would never have let me help them if they knew. They would see it as charity and refuse my help, but I wanted to help them. If that meant lying to them I didn't mind as long as it helped them in the long run."
"But why lie to me and Bo?"
"Would you have let me help you if you knew that I was just some posh, rich kid?"
"I don't know. I just don't like to be lied to."
"No one does. But sometimes it is the only way to help people."
"I know Scip, I'm not judging you honest. I just wonder what things would be like if you hadn't lied."
"Well, I probably wouldn't have been able to help the others and therefore by extension I probably never would have met you and Bo and been able to help you." Scipio said not wanting to think about what their lives would have been like without his intervention. Riccio probably would have been caught by the police for stealing, Mosca might have starved to death, Hornet would still be stealing from tourists instead of reading her books and Prosper and Bo. Scipio shivered as he tried to imagine what their lives would have been like without the Stella, Prosper would have had to resort to stealing from people which is completely against what he believes in and Bo would probably be pickpocketing as well, half-starved and a thief at such a young age.
Prosper shivered next to Scipio, not from the cold but from the similar scenarios that had run through Prosper's head. He had no idea what would have happened to Bo if Scipio hadn't found them, the very thought of Bo stealing and living out in the cold and wet made Prosper want to cry. His little brother deserved more and he got more thanks to Scipio.
"You know, who cares that you lied. Your lie meant that the rest of us were safe and warm and fed." Prosper said no longer angry at Scipio but grateful and thankful for his lie, the lie that helped save all of them.
They walked on in silence for a bit longer, this time they were not thinking of anything in particular they were just content with the fact that no words needed to be said at this point. They had almost reached the Stella when a thought popped into Prosper's head that made him turn his head towards Scipio and stop walking.
Having noticed that Prosper had stopped walking Scipio stopped and looked at Prosper wondering what was wrong.
"The others, they don't know where we were last night. We just disappeared for a whole night and left them, all they know is that I ran out of your house and you followed all dressed up. God knows what they think happened. And Bo, he'll be worried because neither of us came back last night and..." Scipio stopped Prosper from talking by putting a hand over his mouth.
"We'll explain what happened. I'll explain about my Father and the running and why we didn't come back last night. It will be okay." Scipio said as he removed his hand from Prosper's mouth.
"You could lie you know."
"About why you were in that house and dressed up. They don't have to know the truth."
"They deserve the truth and hopefully if they let me explain then they will let me carry on helping them."
"I bet you that Riccio is going to punch you in the face the second you tell him that you live in that house." Prosper said as a smile spread across his face.
"Yeah he probably will, and then Hornet will hit me round the head with a book,"
The two boys walked away laughing as they thought of the reactions that their friends would have to this discovery. Once again no words needed to be said as they finished their journey to the Stella because they were both thinking the exact same thing.
'Things are about to get a lot more interesting.'
A/N: So this is a lot longer than I originally intended. I hope this is alright, if you think there is something I can change or improve then please tell me in a review. Anyway hope you enjoyed it :)