Three Roads Chapter 40: The Football Game


Cooper Hwang prided himself on not needing anyone to entertain him. While some people felt that things were never as good by themselves as they were with others, Cooper was not one of those people. He enjoyed sex like the next person, but he believed that no one could push his buttons the way he knew he could. He enjoyed watching movies by himself because he could fast forward and rewind the movie as many times as he wanted to make sure he got the full understanding of what was going on. Mostly though, he enjoyed the peace and quiet of no one telling him to behave or to shut up as he did whatever he wanted in the comfort of his own room. This Saturday night, however, was not one of those times for Cooper. As he refreshed his favorite website, bispace.com, for the umpteenth time, he pouted when he saw that he had no new messages. He plopped down on his bed and glanced at his clock.

"It's only six fuckin thirty." He mumbled to himself. Cooper was so bored that he would have considered going to bed, but he had enjoyed being able to sleep in on the first weekend since school had started and therefore didn't climb out of bed until noon. He thought about calling Mike to see what he was doing, but he remembered that Mike already had plans tonight. He stared up at the ceiling, huffing in frustration, and then suddenly had an epiphany about an event going on tonight at the campus. He leaped off his bed and ran down the short hallway into the living room where Eric was laying on his stomach on the carpeted floor reading a book and Toby was sitting upright on the couch. Both boys looked up from their studies when they saw Cooper glide into the room.

"You look really hot in glasses." Cooper said to Toby.

Toby had always been self conscious about the way he looked in his glasses, so he only wore them when he was reading and when he was around people he trusted not to make fun of him, "Fuck you."

"No really you do."

"What do you want?" Eric asked looking up at Cooper.

"I'm bored as fuck and I'm seriously about to wig out."

"Go study or something." Eric said returning to his book.

"Uhhh...I went to all my classes this week and paid attention in them. That's more than enough effort from me."

Eric shook his head in disbelief and Toby snickered, "What is your cumulative?"



"A 3.6." Cooper said nonchalantly.

"Bullshit," Eric said sitting up, "There is no way you have a 3.6 when you hardly ever study. Do you even take notes in your classes?"

"Um yes I do and like I said I go to almost all of my classes and I really do pay attention."

"What's your cumulative?" Eric asked turning to Toby.

"It sucks now because even though I withdrew from my classes before the end of term they count as F's until I replace the classes, but before that it was like a 3.3 something."

"Oh my God, I'm the dumb one." Eric said very softly.

"It doesn't really mean much as long as you get the degree." Toby said.

"Oh come on between the jock and and...Cooper who would think I would have the lowest G.P.A?"

"How low is your G.P.A.?" Cooper asked.

"It's not low...just not as high."

"And that would be..."

"I'm not saying now." Eric said bitterly.

"Well at least we know who's on the bottom of the totem pole." Cooper said to Toby.

"That is not funny." Eric said.

"I'm just messin around, we all know you're smarter than the both of us."

"Hey, I'm offended." Toby yelled in mock anger.

"You're a hot jock what did you expect?...anyway my reason for coming out here is because I'm bored and you guys look like losers studying on a Saturday night."

"And what do you suggest we do?" Eric asked impatiently.

"Go to the football game. It starts in like an hour."

"You actually want to go to campus on a weekend?" Eric said surprised.

"I want to do anything that doesn't result in me shooting myself in the face from boredom."

"Do you even watch football?" Toby laughed.

"Yeah, it's not played with your feet." Eric teased.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"If Eric is the smartest between the three of us, and I'm the hottest," Toby said smiling, "you're definitely the gayest."

"And damn proud of it. You know my motto: Life is like a dick. When it gets hard fuck it." Cooper said with a serious expression on his face,

"Ok, you so saw that on a billboard somewhere." Eric said.

"I sure did." Cooper stared off into space as if he remembering some special moment in his life.

"I've actually been wanting to go to one of the football games," Toby said, "I've heard our team sucks major ass, but that the games are still fun."

"I guess I've been outvoted." Eric said shutting his book.

"Oh come on, it'll be fun," Cooper recovered, "I was thinking we can call everybody else and see if they're up for going."

"Want to leave in like half an hour or so? I want to go jump in the shower." Toby asked his friends.

"Sounds good to me." Cooper said jumping up and down, "Yay, I'm so excited."

"Yep," Eric said looking at Toby, "Definitely the gayest."


"Hey bitch." Joey yawned as he answered Cooper's phone call.

"Hey ho, what you doing?"

"Oh, nothing just me and Brian are here hanging out in my room. Say hi Brian."

"Hey!" He heard Brian say.

"So how many times have you two fucked?" Cooper asked.

"Zero. You know it is possible for me to have friends that I don't sleep with."

"Yeah they're called girls." Cooper laughed.

"What are those?"

"I figured that. Anyway you guys should go to the football game with us." Cooper said getting back on track.

"Football? Who suggested that?"

"Actually it was me."

"Wow, and you're way gayer than both Eric and Toby."

"How about looking in the mirror asshole."

"You want to go to the football game?" Joey asked Brian.

Brian shrugged, "We're not really doing anything."

"Yeah we're in."

"Good should we meet you guys there?" Cooper asked.

"How about coming to pick us up?"

"The game is on campus." Cooper said.

"Yeah and I don't like to walk." Joey yelled into the phone.

"Fine lazy ass. I'll ask Toby to pick you guys up. See you in a bit."



"Hey Eric. What's up?"

"Hey, how are you?"

"Not bad, you?"

"I'm good. I was calling because me and the guys are going to go to the football game...

"No fuckin way." Jon said firmly before Eric had finished his sentence.

"Huh?" Eric asked confused.

"A football game? I thought you guys were gay."

Eric laughed, "Not much into football?"

"Um no. I'm not a fuckin breeder."

"What is that?"

"It's a derogatory term for straight people which means it's even worse for gay people!"

"There are plenty of gay people who like football...and not just for tight outfits."

"No respectable homo would go to a football game." Jon said firmly.

Eric laughed, "Alright, I thought I'd just invite you. What are you gonna do tonight then?"

"Probably hang out with Jack."

"Tim's friend?"

"A friend of Tim's is definitely not a friend of mine. I was referring to Jack Daniels."

"The alcohol?"

Jon laughed at how innocently Eric had asked, "Yeah. It's my best friend."

"I see." There was a silence between them and Jon wasn't sure if Eric had ended the call or not.

"You still there?"

"Oh, yeah. How was the first week of school for you?" Eric asked, not wanting the phone call to end.

"It was ok, I guess. You know, same old same old."



"Well I guess I'll let you get back to what you were doing. I'll see you later."

"Yep. Have fun at the game breeder." Jon teased.



"Hahahaha," Richard giggled into the phone, "Hello?"

"Richard, it's Toby."

"Hahaha, stop I'm on the phone. Hey Toby what's up?"

"Sorry to bother you are you busy?"

"Toby, you're not bothering me and no I'm not busy. The girls are over." Richard glanced back at them as he said it.

"Oh, Bliss and...I forgot the other ones name."


"Yeah that's right."

"So what's up?"

"Me and the guys are going to the football game tonight. I didn't know if you wanted to come along." Toby asked.

"Hey, you guys want to go to the football game?" Richard said putting his hand over the phone.

"Oh my God that would be so much fun." Bliss said.

"I don't want to go to no damn football game," Melinda said, "I got better things to do with my time."

"Sittin on your big ass does not count." Richard laughed.

"Oh, no you didn't!

"Come on Melinda it would be so much fun." Bliss whined.

"Fine, but I need to go home and change. I am not going to the game lookin like this."

"I want to go home and change too."

"You girls look fine." Richard said rolling his eyes.

"You're a boy what do you know?" Bliss laughed.

"So are you guys going?" Toby asked a little impatiently.

"Yeah, I think we are. They're going to go change clothes real quick so I'll call you when we get there."

"Alright, see you in a bit."


"Thank god!" Cooper said leaping out of Toby's car, "I was about to make my own kind of suicide device if I had to hear that song again.

Toby smiled, "It's a great song. Make Your Own Kind of Music by Cass Elliot is such a beautiful song. Would you change your mind if I told you it was in a gay movie I saw?"

"Mmm...no. Not even a little bit."

"I thought we were hear to have fun." Eric said looking at Cooper as he shut the car door, "So stop your bitching." Brian and Joey soon followed out of the back seat.

"You know when you add the g at the end it makes you sound really gay. It's stop your bitchin. Not stop your bitching." Cooper said.


"How did it feel being the bitch?" Cooper asked Joey who had been forced to sit in the middle.

"That's about the only time I don't like being in the middle of two guys."

"You're just so little," Cooper said trying to pinch Joey's cheeks before having his hand slapped away, "you could have fit in the glove compartment."

"Hey, you know I'm not so little." Joey smirked.

Eric turned and looked at both of them, "You guys have seen each other naked?"

"No," Joey lied catching Cooper's look of warning, "but I'm sure he's seen me naked in his dreams."

Toby had seen the look Cooper had given Joey as well and wondered why Cooper didn't want Eric to know that he and Joey had had sex. Toby felt himself getting aroused as he thought about just how close he was to them that morning in the showers.

"Nightmares are more like it."

Cooper and Joey continued to tease each other as the boys made their way to the gates that would grant them entrance into the football stadium.

"Oh look it's everyone's favorite receptionist." Brian said sarcastically.

"Who is that?" Toby asked.

"She works at the health center," Brian said, a hint of annoyance in his voice as he stared at the woman they were approaching, "She's bad news and I swear she's devoid of emotion."

"Yeah," Eric said, "I've had a run in with her and so has Richard."

"Maybe it's cause she's fat." Joey said simply.

"She's not fat," Brian said, looking at Joey, "she's like an average sized woman."

"Maybe in your country, but here in America, she's a cow."

"Ok, time to be quiet we're all most there." Eric whispered.

Toby was the first of the boys to reach the woman and he put on the nicest smile he could, "How are you this evening?"

"Where's your one card?" She said in her usual monotone voice.

"Figures." Eric whispered to Brian.

Eric began fishing in his pocket for his student I.D. card so he didn't see the appreciative smile that had formed on Brian's face. He took Eric talking to him as confirmation that Eric didn't have any ill feelings towards him. Cooper seemed to not feel the same way. Besides a very brisk hello, Cooper hadn't said anything else to him yet.

After checking both Toby's and Joey's cards, the woman let them both pass through the gates into the stadium. Brian did not even smile at the woman as his card was checked, "Why waste a smile on someone who won't appreciate it?"

"I can't find it." Cooper said as he turned his pockets out.

"Did you leave it at home?" Eric said looking on the ground around him.

"No, I remember having it in my hand."

"Check your wallet."

"Oh yeah, good idea."

The woman gave a loud frustrated sigh and Cooper smiled widely and held the card out in front of the woman's face so that she could clearly see his picture and his name.

"This is going to be really weird," the woman began, "but do you have a sister named Angela?"

Eric was wide eyed that the woman seemed to be speaking in a polite manner to Cooper.

"Yeah," Cooper shrugged, "Why?"

"You don't remember me?" The woman said breaking out into a smile.

"Can't say that I do." Cooper said walking past her.

"Put your wiener back in your pants!" The woman said pretending to be angry.

"Oh my God Monica!!" Cooper yelled throwing his arms around her.

Eric rolled his eyes, "Of course you know her."

"She used to baby sit me when I was like Joey's size." Cooper said.

"You're lucky I don't have anything to throw at your big ass head." Joey said, but Cooper didn't hear him.

"Oh my God, why did you move way out here?" Monica asked.

"I needed to get away and go to school, what about you. It's been so long."

"Yeah, well I got my degree a few years ago and then I ended up getting divorced and decided I might as well start over somewhere else." Monica giggled.

"That explains a lot." Eric mumbled under his breath.

Monica shot him a nasty look that reminded Eric of the Monica he knew who was not very friendly. "It was so nice to see you." she said turning back to Cooper.

"It was great to see you too. Hey when you're done letting people in we're going to be sitting on the home side you should look for us."

"I most certainly will." She turned back and saw that she had yet to let Eric in, "Oh shucks, go ahead." She smiled. Eric walked hurriedly through the gate as if he expected Monica to change her mind.

"The stadium is pretty small." Brian observed.

"What do you expect? It's Sunnydale University." Cooper said.

"Can we sit by the band?" Toby asked as they began to climb the bleachers, "I think it'll make the game more fun."

"Yeah, I think that's a good idea." Eric agreed.

"I remember when I was in band." Joey reminisced.

"What did you play?" Brian asked.

"The clarinet."

"Cool. I play the piano. I took lessons up until a few months ago."

"I play an instrument." Cooper said.

"Really?" Brian said trying to see how Cooper reacted to him speaking directly to him.

"Yeah, the skin flute."

"You're a dork," Toby said, "Is here good?" He asked his friends. No one complained so he sat down. They were sitting six rows up and were almost directly in front of the 50-yard line. All one hundred and twenty band members were a few feet away from them and to the right. The conductor, a large man dressed in a suit, was barking instructions to the band to begin playing.

"This is pathetic, where are all the students?" Cooper said looking around.

"There's quite a few people here." Eric said following his gaze.

"I guess, but not as many as you'd expect."

"Nobody gives a shit about this school," Joey yelled over the playing band, "I swear indifference begins here."

"Get on your feet Sunnydale fans!" A loud voice boomed. Everyone around them begin to stand so the boys did the same as they saw their team, dressed in green and gold, Sunnydale's school colors, run out onto the field.

"What is that?" Brian asked pointing to something that was running out onto the field behind the players.

"That is our pathetic mascot." Toby said all too familiar with the Sunnydale Hornet that sometimes appeared at the tennis matches.

"It looks like a bee that has no sting." Cooper said.

"It's a hornet actually." Toby said.

"You've gone to this school for three years and didn't know we're the Sunnydale Hornets?" Joey asked looking at Cooper in disbelief.

"Knowing that information brings me no closer to my degree so I don't give a shit." Cooper responded.

"Who are we playing?" Eric asked no one in particular.

"Montana State." Brian said looking up at the scoreboard.

Cooper began to laugh, "There are enough people in Montana to field a football team?"

"That's what I am saying." Joey agreed.

The boys made small talk and wasn't even aware the game had started when the crowd groaned in unison and Joey quickly turned his attention back to the game, "What happened?"

"It's only been 38 seconds into the game and we've already committed our first fumble." Toby said shaking his head.

"Is it just me," Brian started, "or are a lot of the people who are walking past us dressed very nicely."

"I've noticed that too," Eric said, "There are a lot of people dressing like they are at a club."

"They might be going out after." Joey said.

"Or they're just trying to show off." Toby laughed.

"Speaking of which..." Cooper said pointing to their left.

Looking in the stands as they passed, two women, that were seriously overdressed, were on either side of a guy that looked like he really was on his way to a club. The attention seeking trio slowly made their way towars the guys. Richard spotted them first and pointed out his friends to both Bliss and Melinda.

"Is this prom?" Cooper said looking at what Bliss was wearing, "I swear that is a prom dress."

"I'm too busy looking at the other one," Joey said, "That dress is so short I swear I see some cooch."

"Ew," Cooper said playfully punching Joey in the shoulder, "Fuckin sick."

"Hey guys." Richard yelled when he was in front of them.

"Hey boys!" Melinda waved.

"Are you guys coming up?" Toby asked.

"Can you guys make it up the bleachers in your heels?" Richard asked Bliss and Melinda.

"Are you trippin?" Melinda asked, "I can do anything in heels." she said as she began to ascend up the bleachers.

"I think I'll need your help." Bliss said as she hiked up her dress and extended her hand. Richard grabbed it and proceeded to help her up the bleachers. As they sat down, Richard looked behind him and smiled at everyone, but when he got to Brian he said a simple hello.

"Hi." Brian smiled. His stomach felt like it was doing backflips.


By halftime, the Hornets were down 7-17. The announcer came over the loud speaker to let the crowd know that the half time show would be starting momentarily. Unbeknowest to the group of friends, Tim had been been dispatched just a few minutes earlier to "tend to the audience" as the event supervisor had said which really meant he was to walk around with a huge bag like contraption straped to his chest while he yelled out to the crowd and asked if they wanted snacks. Tim had never been that social on campus and other than the times he was specifically meeting Eric or Toby or a classmate for an assignment, he never stayed on campus longer than he needed to. This made him breathe a small sigh of relief as he was sure he wouldn't run into anyone he knew. He spotted Toby and company well before he would approach them. He closed his eyes as if he that would cause him to disappear, but was jarred back to reality when a little kid came up to him with a few dollars to buy a 20 oz. soda. Tim debated if he should turn back the other way or walk past the guys and embrace the embarrassment. He decided on a third option; walk as quickly as he could past the boys and hope they were focused enough on the half time that they would not notice he had passed them by. He eyed them quickly as he passed and was relieved to find that all of them were either in deep conversation with each other or were focused on the sad looking mascot doing his dance in the middle of the football field. Richard casually looked around after having enough of the halftime show and saw Tim briskly walking past them.

"Hey peanut boy!" Richard said with a malicious smile on his face, "Hold up, I want a snack."

Tim immediately recognized the voice and took a deep breath before planting a fake smile on his face, "Hey Richard!"

Richard quickly made his way down the bleachers and Eric and Cooper exchanged worried looks as they didn't believe Richard had innocent intentions. Eric looked to Toby who was sitting to his left and Toby seemed to be having the same thoughts.

"Hey everyone!" Tim yelled still wearing a fake smile on his face, he turned back to Richard, "What do you want to buy?"

"Nothing actually," Richard said making sure his voice stayed low enough so the others couldn't hear him, "I just wanted to make sure the others saw you in your get up. Looks nice, did the judge pick it out for you?"

Tim didn't respond, but tried to walk past Richard, but Richard blocked his path. Their friends were watching this exchange closely and Eric nudged Toby, "Shouldn't you do something?"

"They'll be fine." Toby said unconvincingly.

"Yeah right," Cooper said, still eyeing the pair warily, "If they come to blows my money is on Richard; he would absolutely annihilate Tim."

Toby shushed him while still keeping his attention on what was going on below. A few more tense moments went by before Richard began to climb the bleachers again.

"Everything alright?" Toby asked.

"Yeah," Richard said turning around, "I changed my mind. I think I'll just eat later."

"Oh my god can we go get churros after this?" Bliss asked, "I so want one right now."

"Don't nobody want no damn churro." Melinda said, "I'm ready to go it's cold out here."

"Maybe it's because you're not wearing any clothes." Cooper said under his breath.

"I'm ready to go too," Joey said, "I know there are men in spandex tackling each other, but this isn't fun. Are you ready to go to?" He said turning to Brian.

"I will go whenever everyone else wants to leave." Brian said diplomatically.

"That's a yes for anyone who didn't interpret that correctly." Joey said, "You guys should throw a party at your house!"

"Um...hell no." Cooper said.

"Why not?" Joey whined, "You've lived there for almost two months now and you`ve only invited me over once."

As the group of friends discussed what they were going to do, Eric couldn't help but think about Tim. Tim had long sinced walk away and was still walking down the rows of bleachers looking for those who wanted to buy snacks. He couldn't shake the feeling that he should go after Tim so he muttered an "I'll be back." and raced down the bleachers.

"Tim!" Eric called to him as he walked towards him.

Tim turned around and again had the fake smile planted on his face, "Do you want to buy something?"

"No, I don't. I want to talk."

"I'm kinda busy here Eric."

"Are you ok? Really?" Eric asked sincerely.

"Yeah, I'm fine. It sucks having to do this, but hey those are the rules."

"We're probably going to leave soon," Eric began, "But you should definitely call me afterwards, at least swing by our place."

"I will if I can," Tim said somberly, "but I'll probably be here for a while after the game is over. I'm not free to go until the event manager says I can go."

"Well it doesn't matter. Just call me afterwards ok?"

"Ok. Thanks a lot Eric." Tim smiled weakly. Eric made his way back to his friends and when he sat down Cooper leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Hey do you care if everyone comes over for a little while?"

"I don't have a problem with it."

"Damn! I was going to use you as the reason to say no."

"What did Toby say?" Eric asked.

"He doesn't care as long as there is beer."

"I heard that." Toby grinned.

"And don't act like it ain't true."

"Oh my God look!" Bliss yelled. The boys looked to where she was pointing and they saw that the cheerleaders and the hornet mascot had bundled shirts in their hands. They followed suit with everyone in the crowd and stood up and began to jump up and down madly hoping to draw the attention of one of the cheerleaders.

"Are they gonna throw those to the crowd?" Brian asked.

"Yeah," Joey said, "I heard they do this every game."

"I so want one," Eric said excitedly, "Can you believe I don't have a school shirt?"

"It's all taken care of," Cooper said confidently, "I'll catch you one." Cooper saw it as if it were happening in slow motion. He saw one of the cheerleaders scanning the crowd looking for someone to throw the shirt she had to. He saw her eyes fix on their group and then lock on him. He saw her computing in her head just how hard she would have to throw it in order to make sure it got high enough to reach the sixth row, but he didn't doubt that she would throw it; she looked committed now. He saw the smile appear, the arm go back and the shirt began to hurl through the air. He could tell before it had even traveled half the distance that she had thrown it a bit too shallow for it to reach him. There was no one directly in front of him, but there were people in front of him and to the left and right who could grab the shirt instead. Cooper, not wanting to let Eric down decided to step forward a bit and take the shirt sooner than he had originally expected. This worked and when he felt the cloth catch in his hand he smiled and knew he was letting go. Unfortunately, he miscalculated just how far forward he had needed to move in order to guarantee catching the shirt and as his body continued to move forward, he knew he was going to fall. As he fell, he heard the gasps in the crowd before his body even came into contact with the bleacher surface. All of it sounded mixed and jumbled in his head except for the clear, "Oh My God!" that he heard Eric yelled. Before he finished tumbling down the six rows of bleachers, Eric and Toby were already on their way down to help him, while Brian, Joey, and Richard were not far behind. Cooper finally felt himself stop tumbling as he finally rested flat on his back looking up into the clear star filled sky. He could tell he would be sore in the morning, but as he mentally took appraisal of his body, he felt confident that nothing was broken or seriously damaged. Just as Toby and Eric reached him he jumped up on his feet and raised the shirt above his head and hollered, "WOOOOOOO!"

The crowd cheered and Toby gave a nervous laugh, Eric, however, had a very serious expression on his face, "You need to go to the doctor."

"Here you go." Cooper said handing Eric the shirt.

"Cooper, I'm serious, "Eric said sternly, "You need to make sure you don't have a concussion or something."

"I'm sure he's fine," Joey said, "though I hope that fall knocked some sense into you."

"Fuck you."

"See he's fine." Joey said.

"We need to go home." Eric said looking at Toby.

"Yeah, I think we should go too. You need me to help you walk?" Toby asked Cooper.

"Seriously guys I'm fine. It takes more than that to bring Cooper Hwang down."

"Um excuse me!" Bliss yelled. Her and Melinda were still standing on the sixth row, "We need some help getting down."

"No one told you to wear those skanky dresses." Richard teased.

"I know I look good, ok." Melinda yelled checking herself over.

"I'll go help the girls," Richard said, but we really do need to have that housewarming party, it'd be fun."

"For sure, we'll plan something."

"Sweet, good night guys."

"Yeah, good night."

"What are you doing?" Cooper asked as Eric went behind him.

"I'm going to walk behind you just in case you need some support."

"Eric, I am fine."

"Could you just be quiet and walk?" Eric said. He wasn't sure if he was annoyed, angry, neither, or both, but he wanted Cooper to let him do what he felt was necessary.

"Ok fine." Cooper said.

"Do you guys want a ride back to the dorms?" Toby asked Brian and Joey.

"No we're good," Brian said before Joey could answer, "It'll be nice to take a walk back, it's a beautiful night."

"Speak for yourself! We could get killed or kidnapped!" Joey said.

"You're just so tiny," Cooper said, "You'd fit right into some kidnapper's pocket."

"Man it's a shame you didn't hit your head and permanently lose the ability to speak." Joey said looking at Cooper.

"Then I'd just use my mouth for other things." Cooper smiled.


"But no we're good," Brian said, "I'll protect Joey here, plus he's gettinga little fat, he needs the exercise."

"Oh haha. You've got jokes now huh? We've already been a bad influence on you I see. Let's go before all the crazies come out."

"Be careful guys." Toby called after them as they headed towards the exit.

"Can we go home now?" Eric asked.

"Yeah let's go."


"Here," Eric said handing Cooper a glass of water, "and you have the Advil right?"

"Yeah," Cooper nodded showing Eric the two Advil in his hand. He popped them in his mouth, swallowed and then chased them with a glass of water. When he pulled the cup from his mouth he caught Eric staring at him and he smiled nervously, "All better now."

"Are you comfortable and everything."

"Yeah, I'm good really."

"You took a pretty bad fall." Eric said.

"I'm sure it looked much worse than it felt. It's so funny how your brain works in that moment; all I was thinking about was making sure I held onto the shirt so that no one else would get it."

Eric shook his head, but had a smile on his face, "It's just a shirt."

"I promised you I would get you one though."

"You're right though," Eric said tracing the pattern of Cooper's comforter with his fingers, "The fall did look really bad. All I could think was oh my God like over and over again. You could have been really hurt."

"I doubt anyone's ever been seriously injured from falling from the bleachers."

"You never know; strange things happen all the time. But yeah it was just really strange," he paused, "I don't know what I would have done if hadn't gotten up as quickly as you did."

"You were just worried about your shirt." Cooper smiled.

"No, I was really worried about you. I think..." the doorbell rang and caused Eric to pause, "I'll get it."

Cooper laid back with his eyes closed and hoped that their friends hadn't decided to show up and visit anyway. He knew if that happened that any chance of him and Eric continuing their talk would be pretty much non existant. Eric appeared in the doorway a few minutes later, "Do you feel like a visitor?"

"I guess." Cooper said not really wanting to see anyone but Eric.

"You don't want to talk to me?" Kevin said walking into room.

Cooper's expression said everything. He didn't realize how widely he was smiling and how happy he looked to see Kevin standing before him, "What...how did you know where I live?"

"Everybody in this city seems to have heard of you. It wasn't that hard." Kevin said.

"I don't know if that's good or bad." Cooper laughed.

"Me either."

"I think I'll let you guys talk." Eric said.

"Ok, good night." Cooper said before turning back to Kevin. Eric had expected that he would need to convince them that while he appreciated their offer to stay, he really needed to get work done instead. But since no offer had been made and they had already seemingly forgotten his presence, he walked out of the room closing the door behind him. He stayed by the door, unable to move for a few minutes listening to Cooper's laughter. As he went to bed that night, the only thing he could think about was how he had never been able to make Cooper laugh that way.