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When it turns out that Felix is the reason that they’re stranded here, Sam doesn’t know what to think, betrayal? Sure, that’s his first instinct but Mia always reminds him to take a deep breath and think of the second and third emotions, so he doesn’t quite cloud his own judgement.

The emotions gradually reform into anger and amalgamate into some ugly form of hatred. Why? Why would he do something like that?

Something within him, rising ever so steadily reminds him that Felix has a penchant for blaming himself when things go south. Which leads him to Felix’s brother, his brother who had been in a wheelchair for so long.

The anger and hatred dissipate like smoke in the air of one particular camp night and he feels like he’s just been physically sucker punched, “Dude, did you know we’d get transported to an alternate reality?”

Felix looks so defeated when he quietly responds, “No.”

“But you’ve been looking for ways to get back, right?” Andy asks, anger colouring his tone.

Felix purses his lips, teeth gnawing on his chapped lips, catching and tearing until he’s bleeding.

To some extent, Sam can understand why Felix doesn’t want to go back, but if it turns out that they’ve got to go back together well… he’s certain that the goth dude will pull through. After all, the boy’s selfless, even though the whole decision to remain here is to some degree, selfish.

It’s weird to think about, because it’s both selfish and selfless, selfish because Felix is the one that wants to remain with an alternate reality’s brother, but selfless because all he wanted was his brother to walk again.

“You should’ve told us sooner, dude.” Jake doesn’t sound nearly as pissed as Sam thought he would be, and Sam remembers that he was the first to even suspect the abuse.

Because, neglect is abuse, Sam isn’t dumb, he’s an airhead and he’s never dealt with abuse but it sure as hell sounds like child abuse, and if Felix is desperate enough to remain in an universe whee his family doesn’t even know him, then Sam can guess.

Andy, for all his smarts is the last to get the implications for the true reasons why he’s remained behind.

“It doesn’t matter, we’d have to go back sooner or later, right?” Felix sounds sniffly and wipes something that suspiciously looks like a tear from his eye, “What with this demon coming after us and all.”

Sam has always been a touchy-feely guy, hugs came freely to his mum, his brothers – when they had their heads out of their asses – and his friends whenever they needed them, so he hardly hesitates to hug his goth idiot of a friend.

Felix stiffens for a moment, awkwardly patting his back but seems to get the message that Sam isn’t letting go and allows himself to melt into the hug like ice-creams on most Australian days.

“Jake was right, you’re not alone my dude.” Sam asserts, feeling something suspiciously wet land on his head, he doesn’t snitch though.

 

When they get back to their world, it takes too long for them to meet up, bags are under Felix’s eyes, but he seems happier, “Figures it would take me almost dying for them to start noticing me.”

Of course, they don’t really get a chance to relax, what with Andy acting like a jealous school girl, and accidentally getting himself sucked some other place.

They still look out for him, Jake and Sam, they sometimes slip him some lunch – though it’s mostly Jake, because of Sam’s ridiculously high metabolism, he can’t really give away much. Of course, sometimes he snatches an extra extra bar for goth dude.

But the absence of Andy weighs on them all, and with the police on their tails all the time, it’s just not fair.

Sam wanted to be normal, he still does, but he doesn’t mind the wicked new powers, as long as the police could stop following them.

They weren’t the ones that took Andy.

“Man, fuck this, let’s go have our lunch somewhere else.” Sam complains as he glares at the unrepentant stares of their schoolmates.

Felix and Jake both look uncomfortable at the excessive attention as well, and when they relax, far from prying eyes, Sam feels himself lose some of the tension that seemed to always follow him around.

“Your parents are going to kill you.” Felix says, biting into an – ew vegemite – sandwich, courtesy of Jake.

“Dude, I couldn’t stand it. Why are they so interested anyway huh? Bear Grilles survives for that long without many supplies and yet we can’t?” Sam asks in exasperation.

Jake snorts derisively, avoiding Sam’s accusing eyes.

“We should have a dinner sometime, whenever Andy gets back.” Sam elaborates, “Or go down to the club house to drink.”

“Dude, don’t call it a club house.” Felix says, offense clear in his tone.

“That’s basically what it is.” Jake laughs. “What?” He says at the look Felix sends him.

“Besides, who the hell would buy us alcohol?” Felix asks.

“My brothers. Duh.” Sam says, a grin stretching across his lips.

“Trust me, being drunk isn’t that fun.” Felix comments, eyes glued to the sandwich.

“Oh?” Jake asks, trying too hard to come off as casual.

“It’s a lot of crying and vomiting and regretting all of your life decisions in the morning.” Felix says.

“What? You knicked a couple of beers or something?” Sam asks, disbelief in his tone.

“My dad had a bottle of sherry tucked away in where my room is, he probably forgot about it knowing him.” Felix says. “I drunk the bottle dry and before I knew it I was hunched over a toilet.”

They’re both quiet at that.

“I’m sure it would be better with company.” Sam pushes.

“You’re probably right.” Felix says.

Sam wishes that he could have done something, then they wouldn’t have gone to the alternate universe, because Felix wouldn’t have needed to.

He wishes he could have saved him from the neglect that ties him so roughly to the earth.

But he can’t, and the most he can do is remain present so he doesn’t have to go through that again.