Flashing stars dominated the inky blackness. Sharp bursts of light stabbed into his scalp, his skull, his mind. He clutched at his hair, feeling a steady increase of pressure all around him, suffocating him, wrapping him in its dense confines, tearing at the very air he was breathing! Then, a dull, rhythmic thumping seemed to dispell the pressure. It resounded through his head, bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum…

Adrien purged water from inside him; his body seemed desperate to get it out as fast as possible. It poured through his mouth, only interrupted by the seizing coughs that racked him. The doctors and nurses all around him sighed a massive sigh, one of relief and astonishment.

Adrien lay quiet after that, for an interminably long time. For every second, the doctors did not move until a nurse got the sense in her head that she should alert the friends and family.

Several minutes later, Greg and Vicky barreled in, grasping for Adrien as if to tether him to life. But it didn’t matter. He was.

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