Everything felt extremely heavy. The air, his body, his thoughts. Although disorienting, it was also relaxing. You could just drift away. Jeremy wanted this. It would be so easy. However, there was a muddle of voices that was bothering him, just out of reach that he could hear, and it was pulling him out of it. It would be fine if the voices were clear, but it was like he wasn't wearing glasses, but you know, for his ears. Try as he might, Jeremy couldn't tune out the noise. So he tried to tune into the noise.
He as he focused more on the voices, they became clearer, but he was pulled more and more out of the relaxation. He wasn’t comfortable with that in the slightest but it’s not like he could do much. His still felt unmeasurably heavy but he was getting the feeling back in him. Slowly. Jeremy tried to see if he could move. The most he could muster was a wiggle of the fingers. That was ridiculously exhausting. How the hell was he going to be able to move anything else? As he wiggled them, the voices raised, becoming sharp and clear.
“His fingers moved!”
“A-are you sure?”
Jeremy could almost hear the look the first voice must have given to the second; Do I look unsure to you my good dude? He focused again, pouring as much energy as he could muster and finding a hand by his, he just about managed to interlock his fingers into theirs, who he assumed was owned by the first voice.
“Michael holy crap,” the second voice breathed, “Do you think he's, uh, conscious?”
“I dunno, but I don't think you can interlace your fingers with someone if you're out of it,” Michael replied. If Jeremy hadn’t noticed the shake in Michael’s voice, he definitely did in his firm but lightly shuddering grip.
“That's pretty gay you know-”
“/Not/ the time and place for that Rich, and also, shut up???” Jeremy could /feel/ the stare Michael gave Rich, wow. “Jer, if you can hear us, tap twice.”
Was Jer his name? Or was it short for something? He assumed it was short for something. His finger twitched against Michael's twice. Michael let out a sob. Jeremy was conscious. Jeremy was back! He tried to hide how shakey his voice was. He was just so damn glad to had Jer back.
“How are you feeling? One for good, two for bad, three for ehhhh.”
He tapped three times. Jeremy would feel better if he didn't feel like he was weighed down by a ton of bricks. He had dragged himself to consciousness, but he was so damn low on energy now that he could pass out any moment. He had all the feeling back in him, and frankly he ached like hell, but he just couldn't move. Jeremy poured as much energy as he could into opening one eye.
He immediately regretted this. His vision was flooded with painfully bright light. It was so bright it made his head throb. He very slowly made himself to adjust to the light, forcing his other eye open as well. The pristine white walls didn’t help with the brightness, if anything it made the room seem even brighter. Jeremy gathered he was in hospital. Who he assumed was Rich had left at some point as there was only one person in the hospital room, a boy about his age in a red hoodie covered in patches and a pair of white headphones. His face was scrunched into a smile, tears streaming from his cheeks. He looked familiar, but Jeremy just couldn't recall from where. When he tried, he felt a buzz at the nape of his neck and was met with a wall of haziness.
When Michael saw Jeremy open his eyes and lock with his, he couldn't hold back another wave of tears. Oh boy oh man he was finally awake. He could see something different about Jeremy in his eyes. He didn't think anything of it as of course Jeremy was different, anyone would be if they had experienced the SQUIP's deactivating as had as Jeremy had. While most of the victims were out for a couple of weeks, Jeremy had been unconscious for over a month, not brain dead but not awake.
The fact that he was awake didn't stop Michael from being anxious. What if Jeremy blamed him for making him feel like his. What if he didn't want to hand out anymore. What if he didn't remember him at all. Michael gulped, forcefully suppressing this spiral of thoughts.
“Jeremy, do you...know w-who I am?”
Did Michael know that Jeremy didn't know who he was? He didn't want the boy to worry; he looked like he'd been through enough already. M-I-C-H-A-E-L. Relief began to spread through Michael's face.
The next events flew by like a flash. Obviously it spanned over hours and hours but Jeremy was barely keeping himself conscious so keeping focused was a no go. Nurses and doctors came in with who Jeremy assume must be his father, and sorted him out, discharging him surprisingly quickly (Newsflash; it really wasn’t that quickly at all). He was shipped off home and told to stay in bed for a few days to recuperate.
Jeremy couldn't remember anything about himself, and his room didn't reap a lot of results. From the hospital he knew he was called Jeremy Heere. He knew that he definitely had a preference for stripes and cardigans with a quick glance at his wardrobe. His internet history was from well over a month ago and was full of Google searches about…”SQUIPS”? What the hell was a 'SQUIP’? On his bookshelf was a mix of school material and an amalgamation of magical girl and shonen manga. That gave him a VERY vague idea of who he was. Vague wasn’t exactly helpful. He needed something solid to work from.
Most of his first day of 'resting’ he spent moping around his room. He had absolutely nothing to do, even blitzing through his manga collection didn’t take long. It just felt alien not knowing what to occupy himself with. Hell, all of this was alien to him. Jeremy assumed Michael and Rich were at school. Did he go to the same school as them? Were they his friends? The answers he wanted continued to evade him, following the buzz. He didn't like this stagnant feeling, neither did he like the lack of memory he had but he couldn't do much about it. At some point that afternoon, well after Jeremy had resigned himself to lying in bed, his dad knocked on his door.
“How you holding up bud?” He only had the door open a crack, poking his head in. Jeremy could hear a quiet scuffle behind the door. Jeremy was suspicious of the noise.
“Eh, so-so.” Jeremy shrugged, “I haven't had much to do since I'm bound to this room right now.”
Suddenly the door was kicked open, his dad tripping forward a bit.
“Good because we're here to cheer you up and have fun!”
“Michael!” Mr Heere chuckled, picking himself up, “You we're meant to wait!”
Michael just shrugged in response and came in.
The 'we’ he referred to was 6 other teenagers around the same age as him that followed Michael in. Jeremy had already assumed Michael must have been a close friend of his before he lost his memory by the way he reacted to him waking up, but he hadn't the foggiest idea of the identities of the rest of the rest of the group. We're they his other friends? He didn't have a clue, but they didn't exactly look like outcast need material. Was….he a popular kid?
He looked a little overwhelmed as they all filed and made themselves comfy in various parts of the room and as his dad left. He didn't know them. He knew that he couldn't keep up the facade that he was the same as before hospital with /this/ many people. Oh boy. He needed to tell them. Would he rather not tell them? Oh hell yes. But did he not want to look even more awkward by feigning knowing what was going on? No way.
“You alright Jeremy?” one of the girls bounced over, sitting on one of the bean bags by his bed. She was a little shorter than Jeremy and was definitely the most lively of the bunch.
He could trust these guys… right? He bit his lip and prayed that he could trust them.
“Mmmm honestly? Not really,” he responded, pushing his hair through his hand. All the eyes in the room turned to him, worried. Of course they were going to be worried. Jeremy didn't like the attention, but he couldn’t help it. “Hell, how do I put this… I don't know who any of you guys are.”
“What do you mean, you don't know who we are?” A short muscular guy frowned, which Jeremy recognised as Rich's voice from the hospital.
“I don't remember anything from before waking up in hospital. I know my name, the bare bones of some of my interests and that's it? And those things I got from paying attention to people talking to me, and from searching this room. Who the hell am I?”