Chapter 58

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Harry

He sat by the bed and felt no shame at all to be seen there holding another man's hand and staring intently at him; watching in helpless terror as he laid there silent and still, tubes hooked up to his mouth; a machine breathing for him.

Meg had gone to the airport to meet his family and bring them back; Harry was determined to be gone by the time they returned. But just now he couldn't see himself ever leaving the Irish one; he was so fragile at the moment: he'd never needed to be protected more.

"I got here as fast as I could Harry."

She spoke softly as she came into the room, and brought warmth with her as she went to the other side of the bed and stood by Niall, running her hand through his hair before kissing his forehead. The look on her face as she stared down at him was exactly how Harry imagined his own must look; confused and very very sad.

Niall wasn't the type of person to sit down for any significant period of time, let alone to go that long without speaking. Even when he slept he was restless and talked nonsense. To see him so uncharacteristically still and quiet, with only the sound of his mechanical breathing to fill the silence, was more than Harry could bear.

"This is my fault." He shook his head slowly and never took his eyes off of the hand he held. "I don't know what the fuck I was thinking; I showed him the drugs and put them back in my fucking pocket like it was nothing. This is my fucking fault. I'm supposed to be in this bed; not him."

"Don't say that Harry."

"It's the truth. You don't know what happened but believe me -it's the truth. I was careless and now..."

He squeezed Niall's hand, hoping to transfer some of his own life into his friends body; to bring him back from this abyss, this nothingness, that the doctors had made it clear he had little chance of recovering from.

"Have they said what's wrong with him?"

She asked, and he shook his head no.

"He's in a coma. He isn't breathing on his own; I don't know about his brain and stuff but I imagine it can't be good. They won't tell me or Meg anything because we aren't family." It sounded absurd to hear and more so to say, when Niall was the closest thing to a brother Harry had ever known and the only best friend he'd ever had. Niall had given him a place to live and shared with him everything he had. Niall was his family; and now he was dying because of him. "I can't be here when they get back. I've got to go."

He stood, holding on to Niall's hand for as long as he could as he walked towards the door. She stood in front of him, blocking his path, and pushed him back into the room.

"Harry, you have every right to be here!"

"I'll see you at home Kitten."

He kissed her softly on the lips, and quickly pulled away before walking off without another word or glance behind him. There was nothing to be done in the hospital room and that was the reality of it; he knew in his heart that the blame was his but not all of it. There was someone else who shouldered even more of the responsibility than he did, and Harry was determined to make him pay. He couldn't restore Niall to health, but he was in a prime position to get himself and the Irish one a little bit of justice; he could take away what was important to Liam, just as Liam had taken what was important to him. He could not bear or fully understand the depths of sadness that he felt at just the thought of losing Niall and he had no H to turn to in his moment of need to forget. So he turned to his feelings of resentment and focused on his desire for revenge not realizing that it could lead him to places just as dark as H had.

And not caring particularly much either.

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