"Stiles, Scott, you have to pick up the pace, come on boys." They were lagging behind the group, Scott knew this, but they still had half the track to run, and he didn't think he'd make it. He pushed himself forward a little bit, but stopped, huffing and puffing a little.
"Hey, Scott, don't…don't push it. I'm Mr. Ray will understand. He knows you have asthma, right?" Scott shrugged, Mr. Ray probably did. That's something teachers had to know, right?,
"Boys, hurry up, or I'm telling your teacher to hold you in for recess." Stiles frowned as he jogged at an easy pace next to Scott.
Scott waved him forward. "You…go Stiles. I need to…stop." Stiles nodded slowly. He could tell Scott was reaching his limit, and maybe he could run ahead and tell Mr. Ray that Scott's asthma was getting bad.
Stiles took off, checking back once to see Scott bent over, hands on his knees, catching his breath. Stiles didn't see an inhaler, so that was a good sign, right? It was bad enough yet that Scott needed his medicine.
Scott watched Stiles leave; smiling a bit at how happy his friend seemed to be expending his near-limitless energy. Scott didn't realize how much he had held Stiles back, he shook his head and tried to work on catching his breath.
It didn't seem as bad as usual, he took one or two shaky, but deep breaths, and stood back up. "Good job Scott." He said, aloud, grinning slightly. He continued his slow jog down the track. A
Stiles let out a whoop of joy as he let loose and just ran. He was fast, faster than a lot of his classmates, even though he was far behind, for going at Scott's pace, he quickly caught up.
"Good to see you with us, Stiles. I didn't realize you could run so fast." Mr. Ray put his hand on Stiles' shoulder when they all stopped running. Stiles was out of breath, and grinning, running felt good.
Mr. Ray's follow-up question caught the boy off-guard. "What…what?" Stiles asked, his voice pitched high, even for a six-year-old.
"I said where is Scott, Stiles? You were with him, right?" Stiles nodded, and looked back behind him.
"I…I ran ahead to…" Stiles swallowed hard, and his voice got quiet. "To tell you Scott's asthma was bad."
Mr. Ray took off back down the track, looking back to tell the kids to stay put. Stiles didn't apply here, at least he didn't think so. Scott was his best friend. Best friends were exempt to rules.
Stiles ran after his teacher, his little arms pumping as hard as he could. He had to reach Scott. Had to make sure he was okay.
Scott had been doing good. He was pacing himself, and his lungs were only a little bad. But then he started coughing. And couldn't stop.
He patted his pockets for his inhaler, feeling a full on attack coming, but his pockets were empty. His inhaler wasn't there. Scott wheezed and coughed, trying not to cry. It didn't work. He just hoped Stiles and Mr. Ray found him.
"Scott? Scott can you hear me?" Scott opened his eyes, everything was blurry, he was still wheezing. When his vision cleared in a haze of black spots, he saw Mr. Ray's face. "I've called an ambulance. You're going to be okay Scott. I promise."
Scott nodded, or he thought he did, the black spots returned and swallowed his eyes. He fell asleep.
"I need to see him. Please. He's my best friend!" Stiles tried to push forward towards the ambulance, but an arm held him back.
"Buddy, you need to stay back and let them do their job, okay?"
Stiles started to cry. "He's dead isn't he? He's dead and it's all my fault cause I didn't…Cause I didn't tell Mr. Ray." He started crying harder.
Someone took his hand and led him away. Another person must have called his parents, because he was soon crying in his father's arms.
Scott was in the hospital, his breath too weak for the doctor's liking, so he had a machine doing his breathing for him.
He looked so small in his bed, surrounded by pillows and a tangle of tubes and the cards, flowers and odd assortment of plush animals that had already started rapidly accumulating.
There was no shortage of people in and out of his room, checking this, noting that, stroking his hair and whispering "My Scott…" There was a noticeable absence of Stiles, but Scott didn't notice, he was still asleep.
They told his parents that they found his inhaler a few feet away from where the attack happened, it fell out when his bent over to catch his breath, but they didn't know this, not really. It was all speculation. All they knew is that Scott very well could have died today.
"Hi Mr. McCall…is Scott—"
"No Stiles. Scott is still asleep," the man on the phone sounded exhausted. "He hasn't changed much since the last time you called…fifteen minutes ago."
Stiles opened his mouth to respond, but someone took the phone out of his hand. "Mr. McCall, I'm very sorry my son keeps bothering you. Would you do that? Maybe he'll leave us all alone then. Thank you. Bye." Stiles' dad hung the phone up and got down on Stiles' level.
"Don't bother the McCalls anymore, okay? Scott's dad agreed to call us when Scott wakes up and when it's okay for you to go visit. Do you understand? You just have to be patient. Okay?"
Stiles chewed on his lip, but nodded. Patience was hard for him. "Stiles, why don't you…I don't know, why don't you make him a card?"
Stiles nodded, excited, and grabbed a pile of papers and his makers. He sat down at the table and started coloring.
A few hours later, the phone rang. Stiles jumped up and ran to grab it, but his mother got there first. "Stilinski residence. Oh hello Melissa. How is he?" Stiles' mother nodded, smiling. "That's great to hear. I'll let him know. See you then. Thank you."
Stiles' mom knelt down and put her hand on Stiles' shoulder. "Scott is awake, and okay. They still are having him sleep at the doctor's¸ but tomorrow you can go visit him. Isn't that great honey?"
Stiles nodded ecstatically. "Mommy, can I get Scott a present?" His mother nodded. "I wanted to go get him batman and…well…I had another idea."
He leaned over and whispered in her ear. Her eyes lit up and she pulled him into a hug. "Sweetheart, that is a great idea. I'll talk to his mom, and see if we can do that."
Scott was sitting up in his bed, reading through his stack of cards. He sighed, he was bored. He couldn't leave his bed, and his mom had taken the TV remote, so he didn't rot his brain. Most of all he wanted to see Stiles.
There was a knock on the door. "Scott, there's someone here to visit you." Scott sat up straighter. He could hardly contain his excitement when Stiles walked in.
"Now boys, Scott is still recovering so…keep the craziness to a minimum, okay?" The two nodded.
Stiles walked over to Scott's bed, he was quiet, nervous almost. "Hi Stiles!" Scott exclaimed, with a grin. His voice was still a bit rough, but he was so happy to see his friend.
Stiles nodded a bit. "I have presents for you Scott. But I gotta know…do you hate me?"
Scott frowned. "Why would I hate you? Did you take my comic books while I was gone?"
Stiles smiled. "No. I…I left you behind, and you got hurt." Scott frowned and reached out his hand, Stiles grabbed it.
"It's not your fault, Stiles. I'm okay, see?" He took a deep breath, and only coughed once. "Now…presents?!"
Stiles nodded. "The first one is this…" he handed Scott a comic book-shaped package. Scott ripped it open and let out a whoop of joy.
"Batman! Thank you Stiles! Now what's the other present?" Scott couldn't see how it could get any better.
Stiles took a deep breath and reached into his pocket. "Well…this one you can't really keep…" Scott protested immediately. "Wait, wait. It's still cool!"
Stiles pulled out an inhaler. Scott made a face, "Um, Stiles I already have one of those. I like Batman more…"
Stiles stuck his tongue out. "This isn't for you. It's for me to keep. Just in case you lose yours again. This way you will always be okay. Cause I'll always be there to help you." Stiles put the inhaler back in his pocket.
Scott broke out into a huge grin. "I…You're my best friend, you know that right, Stiles?"
Stiles grinned back. "Yeah. I know. So…let's open up that Batman, I've wanted to read it all day!"
Stiles climbed into the hospital bed next to Scott and grabbed the comic, and began to