Alec drove grimly, his hands fists on the steering wheel and his heart hammering in his chest. He reached forward and turned on the radio, adjusting the dial until he found the station broadcasting the tournament.
“My, my! That was a spectacular bout!” A female radio host exclaimed. “Caleb Muran was pretty amazing tonight, beating his opponent with only one functional leg!”
“Yes quite amazing but the prodigy didn’t have a chance to celebrate before falling unconscious. The people nearby claimed he was determined to go someplace.” The second host, a man, reported. “Something about a promise to someone... Probably a pretty girl.”
Alec grit his teeth and drove faster, his knuckles going white. He slid into the arena parking lot and leapt from his car, running inside, not caring about his terrible parking job.
“Get out of my way!” He shouted as he pushed through the mass of people leaving. He ignored their insults and frustrated curses, making his way inside and running up to Delacruz when he saw him leaving a group of reporters.
“He left,” The instructor said curtly, his eyes dark and tired.
“W- Where’d he go?”
“An ambulance took him to the hospital. I was going to head over there now.”
“Can I follow behind?”
“Of course... I just need to grab the trophy for him.” He said as he started walking towards the winner’s table.
Alec crossed his arms and nodded, staying still before Delacruz grabbed his arm.
“You better come with me in case any reporters find you.”
“Okay...” Alec said slowly. “But... why would they want to talk with me?”
“Because you’re with me.” He answered dryly.
As they made their way towards the inner strip, Delacruz froze, his shoulders stiffening as he made eye contact with the fencer who lost to Caleb, standing by the trophy case with his girlfriend and a man who was obviously his coach.
“Don’t do anything stupid...” He muttered to Alec.
“I have half a mind to choke that little fucker to death!” Alec hissed through clenched teeth as he ripped his arm from Delacruz’s grip.
“Stop!” The Asian demanded, grabbing his shoulder. “We’ll take the trophy and go, alright? Don’t taint Caleb’s victory.”
“Fine...” Alec mumbled, clenching his hands into fists. “Just... hurry up.”
“Stay here...” Delacruz gave Alec a narrowed look before walking over and shaking hands with the man who had been refereeing the match as he handed Delacruz the trophy.
When the Asian turned to walk back, Ethan opened his mouth.
“Sorry about your student there, Mister. I don’t mean to break my opponents but if they’re that weak, maybe they shouldn’t be fencing in the first place!”
Alec’s face turned red with anger and he had to bite his tongue to keep himself from insulting the bastard.
“In case you didn’t notice, young man...” Delacruz retaliated. “My ‘oh-so-fragile student’ beat you. Fencing is a game of strategy... NOT strength.” He said firmly before grabbing Alec’s wrist and stomping away regally. Alec looked back at the large fencer and his coach who looked stricken by Delacruz’s words.
“Ignore them. There are more important things to see to.” The Asian said sharply as he pulled Alec into the parking lot. Alec relaxed a bit at the thought that they would see Caleb soon and he took his keys from his pocket.
“So I’ll follow you out...” The blonde said as he branched off toward his car. The Asian only nodded in response.
Alec jumped into his vehicle, not bothering to buckle up as he started it, driving slowly and cautiously through the parking lot, weaving through the crowd of people before coming up behind the SUV.
Delacruz pulled out of the centre, not looking to see if Alec was following him, driving as quickly as he dared to the hospital. Alec was hot on his trail, never losing sight of the dark car. Alec parked next to Delacruz and pulled the keys out of the ignition, climbing out and running up to the Asian, who had the trophy in hand. They nodded to each other and briskly walked into the hospital, stopping at the front desk.
“Caleb Muran came in unconscious from overexerting a partially torn tendon...” The instructor said, waiting anxiously as the receptionist typed, Alec a few feet behind him.
“He’s in surgery,” The receptionist said, looking up. “You can stay in the waiting room and the doctors will inform you of his condition when they’re done.” She gestured to a room with a viewing window to the hallway and smiled softly.
After about an hour, Alec paced the room, impatiently, rubbing his temples and mumbling agitatedly to himself. Delacruz watched him blankly before looking up and noticing the doctor walk in, rising to his feet.
“Well...?” Both he and Alec, who had come up behind Delacruz, watched the doctor with curious eyes.
“He’s lucky he’ll be able to fence again,” The doctor spoke with a frown. “He should have been brought in immediately. He could have damaged it permanently. He’ll need to stay off his leg for a few weeks and no driving, running, fencing or walking for long periods of time for a while after that.”
“Can we see him?” Alec asked, hopefully.
The doctor nodded.
“He’s in a single room but he won’t wake up for a few hours.”
The blonde looked over at Delacruz.
“I’d like to see him. I don’t care if he’s asleep.”
“We’ll stay with him,” Delacruz nodded. “At least until he wakes up.”
The doctor led them to Caleb’s room and let them in. Alec immediately ran to the bed, sat down in the chair next to the slumbering brunette and exhaled shakily. The Asian sat the trophy down on the table next to the bed and stepped outside to speak with the doctor. Alec glanced at the door then turned his head to stare longingly at the unconscious fencer.
“I’m sorry...” He whispered, quietly, putting a hand on Caleb’s, his eyes watering. “I never wanted to leave you...”
“I’m sorry I didn’t stop him,” Alec could hear Delacruz speaking in the hall. “He was good at hiding how much pain he was really in...”
The hazel-eyed boy looked down, sniffling and wiping his eyes with his sleeve then held Caleb’s hand tighter, rubbing it gently with his thumb.
“It won’t happen again, I promise...” Delacruz said before shutting the door to the room, thinking to give Alec some privacy.
Alec stood and kissed Caleb’s cheek then collapsed backwards into the chair, keeping his hand intertwined with the fencer’s as Delacruz walked back in the room, sitting down across from Alec, staring at the brunette.
“What?” The blonde asked, releasing Caleb’s hand and looking up at Delacruz.
The instructor glared at Caleb.
“He’s an idiot for not stopping during the bout.”
“He’s not an idiot...” Alec retaliated.
“He is. He could have really hurt himself. I don’t know why he didn’t want to stop so badly.”
“I know why...” Alec whispered, playing with Caleb’s fingers, lifting his legs up and resting his chin on his knees.
“Why?” Delacruz asked, looking up, startled.
“Because I left him... he wanted to win for me.”
“Don’t be silly.” Delacruz smirked.
“If you don’t want to believe me, fine. But I know what his goal was.”
“Then he really is an idiot if he thought winning the bout would get you two back together...”
“It got me running back to him, didn’t it?” Alec interrupted. “So I would say it worked.”
“I doubt this was how he planned it...”
“Well yeah but--”
“I’m going to call his parents.” Delcruz sighed, standing up and walking from the room.
Alec frowned and looked down at his hand in Caleb’s and exhaled, feeling stupid for ever leaving him in the first place.
Delacruz walked into the room and sat across from Alec, rubbing his temples.
“I’ve contacted everyone I could think of. I also saw his doctor... he said he should be waking up soon...” Alec nodded as the Asian spoke. “His parents aren’t coming and I have to pick up my daughter. Can I leave you here? I can come back if you want.”
“It’s okay,” Alec replied. “I’ll take him home when they release him. Thanks for everything.”
Delacruz nodded and left, closing the door behind him as Alec turned his attention back to Caleb, using his free hand to gently brush some of the curls out of the brunette’s eyes. Caleb turned his head under Alec’s touch, his lips parting slightly.
“mm…” His eyes stayed closed but his face flinched when he felt the slight motion in his knee, not enough to wake him though.
“Caleb…?” The blonde whispered so quietly, he barely heard himself say it and he cleared his throat. The brunette remained motionless, his breathing soft.
Alec sighed, putting his arms on the edge of the bed and resting his head on them, closing his eyes. Caleb’s hand twitched and his eyes moved beneath his lids while he dreamt. Feeling the subtle movements of the boy, Alec lifted his head, examining Caleb.
“One more point… mnn…” Caleb murmured quietly, his hand twitching as he parried a blow in his mind.
“You won…” Alec whispered soothingly, rubbing his arm. “You won the match…”
“mmnm…” The fencer shifted again, nuzzling his cheek into the pillow, Alec’s cheeks darkened as he bit his lip.
“He’s so cute…”
The brunette’s hand twitched for a third time and he moved it so it was near his face.
“You won…” Alec furrowed his eyebrows, tempted to shake him awake. “You won, Caleb…”
“Stupid… move… work mndamnit…” He growled, murmuring nonsense.
“Caleb?” The hazel-eyed boy raised his voice a bit as Caleb shifted again, his eyes squeezed shut.
“C’mon… one lousy point…” The brunette clenched his teeth.
“No…” Caleb flinched away from Alec’s voice. “Gotta win… can’t waste…”
“Waste… waste what?”
“Stupid… mmnm… useless if I lose…” He murmured his voice drifting.
“Lose what?!” Alec questioned, aggravated.
“Mmn… prove… you…”
“Caleb!” Alec, running out of patience, put his hand on Caleb’s shoulder, shaking him gently. The brunette swatted limply at his hand and winced as his leg moved.
“Jstify… you… fncing…”
“Caleb, wake up!” Alec shook him a little harder but still carefully.
“Ugh…” Caleb grumbled, squinting up at Alec. “What?”
Alec’s eyes widened and he pulled his hands away, resting them on his knees as he stared at the ground.