Chapter Seven

Zac stared at it. He wanted it. He wanted it badly. He wanted to get out of this horrible place, and he wasn't thinking about Starlight as he picked up the bottle of sleeping pills. He could do it, he knew he could. He was drunk, mind blurry and vision not quite right. He wanted to leave. And he was sure as hell going to try to do just that. With a deep breath and a kiss blown to his mother who was out to dinner with his father, Zac took a handful of the blue-tinted gelcaps and swallowed fast. He was going to get it right this matter what.

Starlight felt a sharp pain in her throat, and sat bolt upright. She nearly fell from her sleeping perch, several feet above Taylor's bed. She put her hand to her neck, feeling her flesh burning. She knew exactly what was going on, and shoved Taylor awake. He grumbled.
"Go get Zac," she croaked out with a rough voice, then started to fade away. Taylor stared at her as she disappeared, then heard the soft thump in the bathroom and crashed to the floor. Whatever the hell was going on didn't sound like it was good.

Diana Hanson slid on a wet patch on the hospital's freshly washed linoleum floortiles, nearly crashing into a doctor. He looked at her with a concerned tone to his gaze.
"Can I help you, Miss?"
She took a deep breath.
"Zachary Hanson...what's going on?"
The doctor nodded gravely, and led her to a room up the hall.
"He's stable. Not out of the woods yet, but stable. Do you have any idea how much alcohol and sleeping medication was in your son's system, Mrs. Hanson?"
Diana shook her head, tears welling up in the back of her eyes.
"Enough to kill a grown man. If his brother hadn't found him right away, he wouldn't have made it."
Diana felt a few tears slide down her cheeks. What had happend to Zac? Her sweet little Zac, who always knew how to make her laugh? "Where's Taylor?"
"With him," the doctor replied, turning curtly and walking down the hall without so much as glancing back. Diana fled to the privacy of the room, finding Taylor, curled up in a ball beside the bed. The chair he had curled up in didn't look all that uncomfortable, but Taylor looked as though he was suffering every pain imaginable to mankind.
Taylor looked up from hugging his knees and nearly burst into tears.
"I'm sorry, Mom. I should have kept an eye on him." The pitiful, torn sound to his voice ripped Diana in two. She knelt beside Taylor's chair, and ran her hand through his silky blond hair.
"Tay, it wasn't your fault. Promise. Zac just has problems."
Taylor's lower lip had begun to tremble noticably, and when the last words had slipped from her lips, he burst into sobs, wrenching himself into mild convulsions and drenching his face in tears. For Diana to watch Taylor torture himself like that was absolute hell. With every bit of strength she could possibly muster, she picked him up and pulled him into her lap, wrapping her arms around his thin frame. Taylor instantly buried his face in his mother's shirt and hugged her neck, missing the days when such an action was a normal occurance. Taylor loved Zac...and he didn't want to think of his little brother dead, or so depressed that he wanted to die.

When Taylor had finally regained composure and his sobs had ceased, Diana suggested they go home until the next day.
"No," Taylor stated. "I want to be here. No matter what."
Diana, knowing better than to make him cry again, respected his wishes, and left quietly at one-thirty in the morning. Taylor sat up holding Zac's cold white hand, praying that he wouldn't die. He was about to try and get some sleep when Starlight appeared, sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Tay," she whispered. He looked up. She was a mess. Her face was pale, her hair limp, and her eyes were dull and clouded with pain. She was wearing simply a black dress with long sleeves and a heavy sweater, trying to keep warm.
Starlight nodded, and crawled into his lap.
"Please keep me warm," she mumbled. "And safe...God, I knew this would have to happen eventually."
Taylor wrapped his arms around her and watched as she nuzzled against him, sick, tired, and cold.
"You're sick because of this, aren't you," Taylor asked softly.
Starlight looked up. She could barely see him.
"If he dies, I die. And I have a feeling I'm going to anyway. I misbehaved enough for He to punt me out with a kick in the ass."
Taylor's lip had begun to shake again, and he was afraid he was going to cry himself sore soon. He ran his hand through her soft dark hair, leaning over to kiss her.
"That won't do any good," she stuttered. "It's too late." She paused. "I can't die yet...I have to watch over him to keep him safe."
Taylor let her painfully get up and lean over Zac, and watched her touch his hair gently. She kissed his forehead and whispered,
"You'll be safe, Zac. You won't die, I know that much."
She collapsed on Taylor. "I'm losing strength," she mumbled, with tears in her eyes. Taylor's lower lip began to quiver. was all his fault. If he hadn't...but no, it was Taylor's fault as well. He had slipped the day before, he had gotten that awesome little high. It was just as much his fault as it was Zac's. Starlight started coughing, her body convulsing with each little explosion. When she finally stopped, she looked ready to welcome death.
"Oh, Star," Taylor whispered, running his hand through her hair. Her skin had begun to grow transparent. It was extremely slow in fading, but he knew that's what she was doing. Taylor looked up when he heard Zac moving, and they both watched as he drowsily sat up. Starlight smiled weakly, her colour returning for only a brief millisecond. Zac looked at her, his face falling.
She nodded, turning even more white than before. His eyes asked the one question she knew he wanted to ask but couldn't dare to.
"I'm dying, Zac," she said softly, knowing what the question was. He bit his lip. He would not cry. He would not. She felt tears slide down her cheeks.
"Don't you care?" Her voice was shaking. Zac looked at Taylor, who was busy with kissing Starlight's cheek and whispering into her ear. He didn't know what to say.
"Of course I care, Star...I just..."
"Can't do anything about it," she finished for him bitterly. She was almost completely transparent. "I'm sorry, guys, I tried. I tried to keep myself alive, I tried to save you so you could live the potentially great lives I know you've got ahead of you. I'm sorry I failed." She leaned over and hugged Zac. "I'll miss you, Zac." Starlight crawled back into Taylor's lap and wrapped her arms around his neck weakly. Taylor buried his face in her hair, mumbling,
"I love you, Starlight. I'm so sorry...I love you."
For a brief second, Starlight heard a distant voice scream, SHIT! and she started to lose all feeling.
"S-sorry, Tay..."
Taylor and Zac watched in horror as she closed her eyes and disappeared completely. They looked at each other, then burst into tears simultaneously. Taylor pulled himself up onto Zac's bed, and they held onto each other like there was no tomorrow. That was selfishness. That was the heavy price to pay.

"I don't think you're a fag...but this is pretty cool. I'm talking to one of the most famous chicks at William G!"

- Trevor Logan...who we won't get into the subject of...

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