They cut off the skate, his ankle swollen and just nasty looking. Chester oohed and awwed, asked Erin if he could touch it. Gaige hated kids. Erin scolded Chester and took him back home since Brad was there. But Adonis stayed. Despite the looks Brad or the doctor gave him. He worried his lower lip between his teeth, his eyebrows pulled together as they performed tests and x-rays. 

And took Gaige and his father into his own independent room. 

And Adonis stood outside, trailing his fingers along the outside of his lense, switching the weight between feet. Inside, Gaige sat ontop another tall bed, with a crinkly white paper that bunched up under him, and a brand new, ugly white cast all the way up his calf. The doctor had a tight, concerned look, and so did Brad. Looking between the medical provider and his son. 

They weren't there for Gaige's ankle anymore, that was all sorted out. Tests, x-rays, and lingering eyes fucked up Gaige's carefully hidden secret. None of the test were right, Gaige's body was too thin, and Brad didn't understand.

"Mr. Carson, I think it's best if your son stays inpatient for a few days on an IV. All his levels are low, it's evident on his body he needs more nutrients," Brad's face screwed up in confusion. 

Adonis tapped his foot on the white linoleum think of all the reason it was taking so long for Gaige to go home for a broken ankle. It had broke in two places, but it couldn't be that bad, right? His lip slipt and he could taste metallic from the blood.

"I don't understand," Brad uncrossed and recrossed his arms while looking back at his son who sat like a lifeless body on the tall bed in the too bright room. What was the point in an IV? It wouldn't last long, it wasn't like real food. Gaige still felt disgusting knowing his father was slowly figuring out his favorite obsession. His disgusting body. His ultimate demise.

And of course, Brad didn't understand. The only wrong Gaige could do was breaking laws or bad grades. Hurting himself? Nah, that can't be real. Can it? Gaige was the little boy Brad took for ice cream for two weeks every other year. Who would tell his dad stories of the baskets or plays or hits he had done in his games. Who grew too much every time Brad saw him. Who suddenly wasn't the little boy Brad kept a picture of on his desk whether Gaige knew it or not. How -how could his son be...deprived? 

Could Brad hear the accusations in the doctor's voice?

Adonis hated himself for even suggesting they go skating, what was he thinking? He knew Gaige was easing up, letting down walls and letting in Adonis. Each talk, each day the spent time together, Adonis felt like it was a monumental step forward in...everything. And here he had gone and fucked it up by whatever was happening in the room he was standing outside. 

"Mr. Carson," The doctor's eyes seemed scared to make contact with Gaige. But Gaige had long passed emotion, cold black pupils, stone soild muscles in his face, and thin, straight lips. Even if you weren't accusing the boy self-destruction, you'd still be scared shitless. The grown man looked away quickly, back the parent, "I..I hate to be the one to tell you this but I believe your son is having problems with food. And because of that, his health is declining. Honestly, he should have been imitated weeks ago. Now he needs impatient to try and improve his decreasing health."

Brad didn't say anything to his son as Gaige was set into his own room, with a small TV, scratchy sheets, an IV drip in his arm, and a food tube up his nose. Brad didn't ask questions, or look at the cuts on his sons wrists. Brad didn't offer to stay longer in the room with Gaige. And that was all Gaige expected.

It was humiliating. He felt like some fucking lab rat all hooked up to machines and tube to feed him up his nose. Adonis stayed. He stayed and saw it. Saw his friend, the boy he got to know more and more over the months bound to a hospital bed by an IV and feeding tube. A sick twist in his gut told Adonis he knew Gaige was going to end up here eventually, that it was only time until it happened. But a bigger part wanted to pull up a chair, grab Gaige's hand, and squeeze until he could restart Gaige's will to live. 

"I know you want to," Gaige scrunched his nose around, the tube tickled and bothered. Adonis stood at the end of the hospital bed, wide exponentially wide behind the frames that were sliding down his nose bridge. But his trusty camera still hadn't left his tight, sweaty grip. Gaige lifted a weak finger to motion to the camera, "Turn it on. Get your shots. I bet I look fucking amazing in this hospital gown."

Adonis blushed, eyes darting down at his shoes, avoiding the withering skeleton in the bed in front of him. He had been caught. He was fucking concerned, don't doubt Adonis on that. Hell, when this whole thing started months ago, if Gaige got stuck in a hospital, Adonis would have been worried yeah. May have asked Milton at school if he was okay. May have chewed his nails down, and fell down a Google rabbit hole. 

But now? Now Adonis was scared to leave the hospital, despite the fact, all the neon lights blinking, sterile smells, and lack of overall color were making his hands sweat a little bit more. He felt sick too, made him wonder if he needed a matching bed with Gaige. His head was spinning with questions, concerns, and the desperate need to make Gaige better. In any way better. 

But he had been filming Gaige and all of the shit attached for so long. Months of the most awkward things caught on camera, always looking through the viewfinder. Hell, a week ago, face timing Gaige's two friends to tell them their best boy was shrinking. He had his camera, he had a monumental moment happening in front of him, and now he had Gaige's permission.

"Ar-are you sure? It feels kind of inappropriate-"

Gaige scuffed, shifting to push himself in more of a sitting position, "I think the whole point of my life is to lack appropriateness. I got myself in this situation," Gaige didn't seem phased by the fact he was basically locked up for who knows how long in a white bed. He had limp shoulders, a barely noticeable pulled up left corner lip, and overgrown, but increasingly thinning hair, "Come on, Adonis, I know you too well. You want to film this, you want to know what happened in that room. I'll tell you. Just, sit down, please."

Gaige picked at his hospital band, reciting with humor everything he never thought would happen in one day. Adonis tried to hide his face behind his camera, which made Gaige smirk. He knew his family wasn't going to visit, and he was grateful for that. He didn't want to see anyone. Luckily, Adonis was coasting smoothly on the last of Gaige's patience. He always was. 

Adonis stayed too long, it was dark out with stars in the sky when he walked out the sliding doors of the hospital. To think he planned this day to be fun. And now the boy he spent most of his time with was stuck in bed with a broken ankle and a suspicious father. 

Adonis couldn't help but wonder what Gaige would do going bed that night. He almost thought to bring him a book. 

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