Jack managed to get Alex calm down without too much hassle. The older boy was not himself at all, but Jack understood why. He knew he'd find it hard to be jolly if he'd just been told he had five years to live. That would knock a person back a bit, right? Jack was seeing it happen before his eyes. The way the older boy was crumpled in on himself, curled up on Jack's bed with his eyes following his skinny fingers drawing patters on the bed with a taste of disinterest. He had no life in his eyes, just remnants of old tears and broken emotions. Seeing Alex so hopeless... it made Jack feel awful.
"Hey, Alex?" Jack murmured, sitting next to the blonde boy's head.
Not even Alex's voice sounded right. He sounded... tired. Lost. Broken.
"Have you told Alice yet?"
Alice was Alex's girlfriend. He loved her, and of that he was sure. He hadn't even thought of telling her. He didn't want to tell her. He wasn't prepared to break her heart like that. He couldn't bare to see tears swell in those beautiful, crystal blue eyes. He wasn't sure he was ever going to be ready to tell her.
"J-Jack, I don't want to break her heart," Alex almost pleaded.
"You don't have to, Lex. She's going to be there for you, too, just like I am."
"How am I meant to tell her that? Jack, I-I love her, I can't..."
Yeah, hearing Alex talk like that made Jack's heart snap in two. Jack knew how much Alex loved Alice, and he really didn't want to see him stressing over telling her something so serious.
"Hey, hey, it's okay. You don't have to worry about it now. You're with me. Think about that later."
"J-Jack, I don't know what to do," Alex's voice shook with fear. He really, honestly didn't want to let anything in his life go, but soon enough, he was going to have to face the fact that he'd have to let everything go.
"Look, I have an idea. I'm going to put on a film, your favourite film, and you're going to forget about all your worries, just for a couple of hours, okay?"
Alex nodded once more, and Jack left the room to grab two steaming hot mugs of freshly made tea. When he came back upstairs, he spied Alex putting a disc into the DVD player, and a few short seconds later, the menu for Batman came up.
"How many times have we seen this film, Lex?" Jack chuckled softly, and, eventually, Alex smiled too. Jack's heart swelled, because, well, he'd finally made the older boy smile. If he'd known it was that simple, he would have tried that earlier. What made Jack grin even more was Alex's response.
"About as many times as we've seen Home Alone, but you don't see me complaining, do you?"
The blonde boy's voice was still quiet, still broken, but he was trying, and that was all that mattered.
"That's true. Hey, here's your tea, but be careful, it's hot," Jack handed his best friend the beverage he held in his hand. The elder took it with great care, attempting to take a sip.
"Fuck!" he exclaimed, "It's hot."
"I just told you that, dickhead!"
For the first time since he'd been there, Jack saw Alex laughing. Not half-heartedly, no sadness in his eyes. Honestly, truly laughing with a hint of playfulness hidden deep in his orbs.
"Guess I should have listened."
"Are you not going to be sad anymore?" Jack pointed out, hoping it wouldn't send Alex back to how he had been that day.
"I-I... there's no point in moping around, it's not going to change anything, is it? I may as well live while I can, and if that means doing whatever the fuck I want when I want, then I will."