One-Shot

Jason Street pulled up outside the Riggins' house around eleven pm. He couldn't get what he'd said to Tim out of his head and if he wanted to get any sleep tonight, he knew he'd have to apologize.

Wheeling himself up to the front step he called loudly, "Riggins... Timmy. I gotta talk to you." There was a muffled curse and the door opened to reveal Billy.

"Hey, Jason." He said. Billy was still dressed, Jason noted with surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"I need to talk to Tim."

"He's asleep. Has been since about eight." Billy looked slightly confused and concerned as he stepped forward. "I'll help you in."

He pushed Jason up onto the ledge and Jason wheeled himself inside. Billy closed the door quietly behind him and motioned to where Tim was asleep on the couch. He looked peaceful if not a little pale. Billy sat on the table in front of the couch and Jason wheeled up next to it.

"I came home around seven to get some clothes and he said he had a headache. It's just so weird, Jason. You know Tim, he never sits still. He's always fidgeting, doing something. He hasn't moved since he fell asleep. What's going on?" Billy asked. Jason thought he saw a hint of fear in his face before Billy looked away, watching Tim as he breathed softly.

"Tim didn't tell you what happened today? At practice?" Jason asked, though he could guess the answer. Tim wasn't the type to complain or tell anyone he was sick. He'd rather suffer in silence.

"No. What happened?"

"Tim passed out from dehydration. He went into shock and had to be taken to the hospital. I don't know how he got home but I was here earlier and I said some things I need to apologize for." Jason explained.

Billy sat in silence as he took it all in. Jason watched a parade of emotions cross his face, the most prominent being fear, concern and anger. "Oh God, what have I done?" He put his head in his hands.

"Billy?" Jason was confused by his reaction.

"My little brother's alone in the hospital and I'm too busy with a girl to come get him. I chose a girl over my baby brother." Billy said breathlessly. He sounded horrified. There was a pause. "What happened exactly?"

"Coach MacGregor's been working him hard. Yesterday, Tim mouthed off and Coach made him run the bleachers until he puked. Today... today he made him run back and forth across the field with a tire above his head. He collapsed and a trainer called an ambulance." Jason said quietly. "MacGregor wouldn't let anyone go with him."

Tim shifted and opened his eyes to blink blearily at them. "Hey, Six." Tim mumbled. "What're you doing here?"

"Jesus, Timmy. Why didn't you tell me?" Billy asked.

"Was still pissed at you for not coming." Tim said softly. His words were slurred slightly and his eyes half-lidded.

"I'm so sorry for everything." Billy brushed a strand of hair off of Tim's forehead.

"No worries, Billy." Tim fought to keep his eyes open.

"Go to sleep, TIm. We'll talk tomorrow." Billy waited until Tim's breathing had evened out before he stood up. He pulled the blanket off the back of the couch and gently covered Tim.

Jason stayed silent as he studied the brother. They both cared about each other so much but they didn't know how to show it. He thought about his own life, pondering his decision to go to Mexico for the surgery. If he died, he'd never see the Riggins or his family again.

"I'll stop by tomorrow." Jason said. He backed up towards the door.

"Hang on. Thanks for telling me about Timmy." Billy said. Jason nodded.

"I figured he'd tell you himself." He said.

"We're going to have to keep a closer eye on him." Billy said.

"Yeah, he's not the best at taking care of himself." Jason said.

"I haven't been the best teacher." Billy sighed.

"It hasn't been easy for you either." Jason said simply.

"If I wasn't so worried about him, I'd kick his ass for not telling me he was hurt." Billy said. Jason nodded. They sat for a moment.

"I'll see you tomorrow." Jason wheeled back to his truck. Billy waved him off before going inside.

Billy sat a glass of water and a bottle of aspirin on the coffee table and sat down in the recliner. He turned on the TV and muted the sound.

Tomorrow he would have a talk with Tim and then Jackie. It was time he started taking better care of his little brother. After all, they only had each other.

End.