The Navigator

by Cynus

Chapter 17

"I hope Adelaide is going to be all right in the house by herself," Silas said as the elevator neared its destination. Ian had calmed down considerably since they had left the Wendy's, but he was still agitated, and Silas was doing everything he could to take Ian's mind off of the situation.

"I'm sure she'll be fine," Ian said coolly, but when Silas didn't respond he turned toward him and smiled reassuringly, "This is the first time you two have been apart since you left home, isn't it?"

Silas didn't get a chance to respond. Instead he was immediately accosted by Tara as soon as he stepped into the lobby on the third floor of the hospital, and she did not appear happy to see him. "Drake," Tara said as she grabbed his arm and pulled him closer to her. "Where the hell have you been? We haven't seen you since Saturday!"

"Tara," Amy scolded as she rose to her feet and stepped between them, looking up to Ian for support. "I don't think this is the appropriate time to get angry with Silas."

"Why the fuck not?" Tara asked as she kept her eyes on Silas. She was on the verge of tears and Silas knew that she must be feeling a great deal of pain. "If he had been there then she might not have done it."

"That isn't fair," Ian began, but stopped when Silas put a hand up and forced a weak smile at Tara.

"Tara, we could pass blame all day," Silas said as he reached out and touched her shoulder, "but for now I just want to see Chelsea, all right?"

"Whatever," Tara said as she shook his hand off and stepped away.

"I know that you're freaking out right now, but . . ." Silas began but she turned her back on him and he took a deep breath and began again. As he stepped after her and wrapped her in a hug, whispering soothingly into her ear, "Everything is going to be all right. We're going to get through this."

Tara tensed up under his touch initially but then relaxed and turned into him, returning his embrace as she whispered, "Drake, thank you. I'm sorry."

"Can we go see Chelsea now?" Silas said as he pulled away from Tara and looked up at Ian.

"Yeah. You two go ahead," Ian said with a nod and directed Tara to lead the way with his hand. "Jenny is with her now, but if you wouldn't mind sending her out to talk to us, there's a bit that we still have to cover."

"You've got it," Silas said as he started down the hallway, but then Tara surprised him by slipping her hand into his and giving it a squeeze. He smiled at her and they continued down the hallway without letting go of each other.

They remained silent until they arrived at the door to Chelsea's room, and Tara opened it to lead them inside. Jenny and Chelsea looked up at them from the middle of whatever conversation they had been having and Silas greeted Chelsea. "Hey there, Chelsea. How are you doing?"

"Drake," Chelsea said with surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"What do you mean?" Silas said as he led Tara over to Chelsea's bedside and glanced briefly at Jenny with a sad smile before returning his full attention to Chelsea. "I'm here to see you. Heard you had a bit of an accident. Glad to see that you're all right."

"It wasn't an accident," Chelsea protested as she hung her head in shame, "I tried . . ."

"Shush," Silas interrupted as he laid a hand on her arm. She looked up at him in surprise and he kept his face as supportive as possible as he continued, "There's no need for that. I know what happened. How are you feeling?"

"I'm okay," Chelsea said with a shrug, "Considering what happened."

Silas nodded and then turned toward Jenny. "Jenny, Ian said that he'd like to see you for a minute. Would you mind?"

"No, of course not," Jenny said as she smiled at Silas and nodded. "Don't talk for too long, okay? She needs her rest."

Silas and Tara nodded their agreement and Jenny left the room, closing the door behind her, though she seemed to linger for a moment in the small window of the door as she watched them. Silas didn't mind her being nearby, though he was glad that she was now out of earshot. He knew how difficult it was to talk as a teenager when there were adults around.

Silas pulled up a chair for Tara and then moved around to the other side of Chelsea's bed and pulled another chair up to that side and then sat down, taking Chelsea's hand in his own. "Hey," he said, "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Yes, actually," Chelsea said with a blush. "And, I need to apologize to both of you. Tara, I'm so sorry for blaming you for what happened. Drake, I'm sorry for dragging you into this."

"Don't mention it. I've had plenty of good things come from it as well, and I think all of us have," Silas said with a supportive smile, which faltered as Tara shot him a glare. "Hey, don't look at me like that, Tara. I really think that despite what happened today, you're better off because of getting away from your father."

"You know," Chelsea said quietly, "I didn't realize it until I started to feel the pills kick in and I started to die, but I do want to live. I started calling for Jenny as soon as I knew that I'd made a mistake, and she rushed me here."

"I'm glad she did. Life would suck without you," Tara said as he squeezed Chelsea's hand. Her voice started to break as she added, "I really do love you, Chels."

"I love you too, Tara," Chelsea said as tears formed in her eyes. "Thanks for sticking beside me even though I've been a b . . ." She stumbled over the word and then added, "A terrible person."

"Glad to see she's back!" Tara said with a nervous laugh as she wiped a tear from her eye. "Chelsea never could curse well."

"I'm really glad that you're safe, and that you're starting to fight through the darkness," Silas began, and the two girls looked at him with a myriad of emotions in their expressions. He didn't wait for any of those emotions to define themselves and instead plowed ahead with what he had been intending to say. "I have to tell you though, that there are still going to be bad days. A lot of them, actually. It's hard when you find out that your parents aren't on your side like you thought they should be. I know, because I was there not long ago, and I still have bad days."

"What do I do about it?" Chelsea said with a weak smile. "I mean, I really do want to live, and almost dying was the scariest thing I've ever been through. It was even more frightening than when my dad came home and started yelling at me."

"You've got to trust those close to you," Silas explained. "You can't afford to bottle that darkness up inside of you, at least not for long. It's going to find its own way out if you don't let it go. Tara and I will be here for you the whole time, and I think you need to trust Jenny, Ian, and Amy as well. They're all good people."

"Wait, you're staying?" Tara asked. "I thought that was still undecided, and that you might leave at any moment."

"Well, the decision was made yesterday, so I haven't really had the chance to tell you," Silas said with a shrug. "By the way, neither of you have said anything about either my hair or my clothes. Isn't that the first thing that girls are supposed to notice?"

"Well, neither of us really fits the stereotype," Chelsea said with a chuckle. "I'm glad you're staying, and I can't wait to hear about how you came to that decision, but back to other matters . . . Okay, I'll commit to talking to either you or Tara whenever I have a bad day, though you need to get a cell phone if that's going to happen."

Silas shook his head. "You really want me to be tracked everywhere I go? I'm not sure that I can do that. I'm too free to be constrained like that. Besides, I already know where you live; what do I need a cell phone for?"

"Drake, you're getting one," Tara insisted. "I'll make sure that Ian knows that as soon as I leave this room, and I am not taking 'no' for an answer."

"Fine, fine, whatever," Silas said, raising his hands in surrender, "If it means that you'll talk when you need to then I'll do it. But you owe me for this one."

"Oh?" Chelsea asked. "And how exactly would you like that repaid?"

"Stay alive, Chelsea," Silas said, growing serious. "Keep fighting, and never let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough, because you're one of the best people I've ever known."

"Oh, Drake, you're going to make me cry again," Chelsea said as she blinked back tears. "I've done enough of that today."

Tara sniffled loudly and drew Silas' attention to her, and she smiled at him and said, "Well, maybe I have something to take your mind off of what's going on, if only for a minute. Though now that I think about it, the song might make Drake cry."

"What are you talking about?" Silas asked, glancing to Chelsea who shrugged and turned her attention to Tara.

"This," Tara said simply, and then pressed a button on her phone.

Initially there was nothing but silence, but then a familiar voice pierced the nothingness; Jack. " This song is dedicated to our friend, Silas Drake. Wherever you are, we hope you find what you're looking for ."

And then the drums started in, leaving Silas to stare openmouthed at the phone as he listened to Brady play, and then soon realized that Stacey had already joined in with her guitar. Theo added the bass a few seconds later, and then as the intro ended Jack's voice picked up again, and Silas completely lost himself in the sound of his friends playing their heart out for him.

Cold winter's night, the sun was fallen
God knows it wasn't easy
Must've been some fight, to bring him callin'
To the lonely road out of town.
His lady at his side, he took up the fight
They must've thought him crazy,
But he hitched a ride, out into the light
The navigator wouldn't be kept down.

'Cause there's no rest for the wicked,
No home to call his own.
No there's no rest for the wicked,
He's out there all alone.
Been to a thousand places
Seen many friendly faces
But there's no rest for the wicked,
Navigator's never going home.

There can be no doubt, the kid's heart is pure,
You could see it in his eyes,
Something about his eyes made sure
He meant no harm to none.
Whatever it was, that drove him off,
A history of pain and lies,
We know 'cause that kid was tough,
Navigator will always find the sun.

'Cause there's no rest for the wicked,
No home to call his own.
No there's no rest for the wicked,
He's out there all alone.
Been to a thousand places
Seen many friendly faces
But there's no rest for the wicked,
Navigator's never going home.

The Navigator's always watching
But the signs are adding up.
He'll find the sun,
He'll find direction,
He'll find his way
His way
His way
His way…. Back

'Cause there's no rest for the wicked,
No home to call his own.
No there's no rest for the wicked,
He's out there all alone.
Been to a thousand places
Seen many friendly faces
But the Navigator's not wicked,
And the Navigator's comin' home.

As the song drew to a close Silas took what felt like the first breath he had taken since it had begun. He reached up to his cheeks and realized that they were wet, but then he started to get angry. "They had no right," he muttered, glaring down as the hospital bed in front of him and gripping the sheets beneath his hands with white knuckles. "They had no right."

"What was that, Silas?" Tara asked. "I thought you'd be happy."

"Well, you were wrong about that one," Silas snapped. He shook his head sullenly and looked her in the eye. When he saw her concern there he softened his tone and said, "I'm sorry. It's not your fault, but I'm a little upset."

"A little upset?" Chelsea echoed. "You seem completely pissed off."

Silas smirked and said, "Have you ever trusted someone and had them use that trust against you? Never mind, that's a silly question, considering what's happened. I feel like I just got slapped in the face."

"Because someone wrote a song about you?" Tara asked. "As a rock fan, I've always wanted one of my favorite bands to write a song about me. I'd be honored I think. So you knew this band pretty well then?"

"Yeah, sort of, I guess," Silas replied with a shrug. "I mean, I rode with them for three weeks and spent nearly every minute with at least one of them. I really enjoyed their company, but I never gave them permission to broadcast my story on the airwaves to everyone."

"What are you scared of, Drake?" Chelsea shook her head and reached out to touch his arm. "I mean, aren't you done running? Isn't that the point of you staying like you said that you were going to?"

"Yeah, but what happens if my parents decide to come looking for me once they hear the song?" Silas asked. "The last thing I ever wanted was to draw more attention to myself."

"You once told me that you were certain your family had never looked for you," Chelsea said with a shrug. "Maybe it's not that big of a deal? They wouldn't have intended to hurt you, ya know. You have to believe that they wrote the song because they felt something about the time they spent with you, not because they thought it would make you angry."

Silas watched her eyes for nearly a minute before he sighed and looked away. "You know, maybe you're right. I'll think about it, but I'm not promising anything. The last few days have been pretty eventful, and I think I just need to look at it with fresh eyes."

"That sounds like a plan," Tara said with a smile. "I'm sorry that I made you upset, Drake. I really didn't mean to."

"No, it's fine, but now that we're talking about emotional things I'm reminded of the conversation I was having with Adam right before we came here." Silas shook his head and sighed. "He's moving in the summer to go to college. When I started thinking about settling down here, I was hoping that all of the friends I've met would be sticking around too, but I guess he's leaving me now."

"Well, on the bright side, you have us," Tara said as she squeezed Chelsea's hand again. "And we're not going anywhere, right Chelsea?"

"That's right," Chelsea said with a firm nod. "I'm here to stay, and I'm glad that you are too, Drake. It sucks about Adam though. He seemed like a nice guy. I remember that he used to attend our church, but he stopped when he was in high school."

"Yeah, just after Daniel died," Silas said, and then noticed Chelsea wince. "I'm sorry, maybe we shouldn't talk about Daniel in light of what happened recently."

"No," Chelsea replied, "It's okay. That wasn't why I was wincing. I remember something about that time that just resurfaced. My dad was very smug after Daniel killed himself. I think he's always hated gay people, but it makes me wonder why."

There was a knock on the door and then Adam poked his head into the glass window and peered inside. Silas rose to his feet and crossed the short distance to the door to open it for Adam. As soon as the door was closed behind him again, Chelsea looked at him quizzically. "I have to admit that I'm surprised to see you, Adam."

"Well, I was with Drake when Ian came to get him, and so I heard what happened," Adam said, smiling weakly. "I wanted to see if you were all right. I know that you've been through a lot lately."

"You could say that again," Tara said with a roll of her eyes. "We were just talking about how you're going to leave Drake here all alone."

"Well, not alone. He has us," Chelsea said with a disarming grin. "Though it would be better if you were staying too. Congratulations on getting accepted into college."

"You seem to be in a really good mood for someone in your situation," Adam remarked, and then started backpedaling. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that."

"No need to fret, Adam," Chelsea said with a giggle. "I have a renewed perspective on life. We were just talking about someone else who, um, tried to kill themselves. Do you remember Daniel Winters?"

"Um, yeah, he does," Silas interrupted with a blush. "Sorry, Adam. I didn't mean to bring it up."

"It's okay. I've been thinking about what you said earlier, and I'd like to find out what really happened," Adam said with a nod. "I think you're right, Drake, and if you are . . ." he shot Chelsea a nervous glance and then stopped talking as Silas glared at him.

"What are you guys keeping from me?" Chelsea asked.

"Seriously, this isn't fair. You can't keep secrets from friends," Tara said as she crossed her arms over her chest and switched her glare between Silas and Adam. "It's not cool, and it always ends up hurting people."

Silas sighed after staring into Adam's eyes for a moment and nodded, and then Adam turned toward Chelsea and said, "We don't think that Danny killed himself. We think someone else did it and made it look like a suicide. To be honest, I don't even think there's room to doubt it anymore. Danny liked life too much, and he and I were progressing."

"Then who do you think did it?" Tara asked.

But the trembling voice that answered didn't belong to Silas or Adam, but rather to Chelsea. "You think my father did this, don't you?" When Silas nodded she took a deep breath to calm her nerves and then added, "If that's the case, we have to find out. I know how big of a sin my father considers homosexuality to be, but murder . . . there's no denying how bad murder is. How can I help?"

Silas looked between all the other eyes in the room and noticed that not a one showed a hint of hesitation. He nodded slowly and then more resolutely until he took a deep breath and said, "Very well. If we're going to do this, we need a plan, and I think I know just what we need to do."

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