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So this one is going to be a bit weird! :P This first chapter is probably a bit of a slow burner, just to set the scene... but I hope you like it!




Type of Fic: Long Fiction

Main Characters: Oscar, Evie, Josh, Matt, Maddy, Chris, Billie, Andy, and lots of other main characters.

Genre: Psychological Drama / Dark comedy 

BTTB Rating:  T/A

Does it contain spoilers: No

Warnings: Adult Themes and Sexual Content.



Summary: Oscar didn't die in the caravan park explosion. He was badly injured and he's been in a coma for nearly two months. Evie has been sitting beside his bed, day in day out, and he's about to wake up, but there's something just a little different about him. How will everyone deal with the new Oscar?



N.B. In this reality, Josh didn't kill Charlotte, so Andy and Josh are not in trouble. No-one knows anything about Jake Pirovic. It was Hunter who killed Charlotte, so he's been charged and is awaiting his day in court, not only for his mother’s murder, but also for arson and the theft of the safe which he has now admitted to. Zac knew that it was Hunter that killed Charlotte and covered for him, going to prison to save his son, but evidence was eventually uncovered, and they realised it was him. Zac was released and Hunter is now on remand.


Andy did fight with Tank, so the explosion still happened the way it did in the show, but Roo was held responsible and charged with gross negligence for failing to do the proper checks and using faulty equipment. She got a one year suspended sentence and a few weeks of community service because Morag swooped in and saved the day.


Hannah is still dead, and Maddy has still lost her arm, but in this world she's staying put with Roo and Matt, and doing rehab with a physio in the Bay.


Andy still blames himself for Hannah's death, and Oscar and Maddy's injuries, and is a shadow of his former self. He's keeping a very low profile and trying to make amends in any way that he can.


Oscar was crushed under debris, and it was touch and go for a while, but he didn't die. His heart stopped and he had to be revived so they're not sure what the extent of his brain damage will be. They've all just been waiting and hoping for him to wake up...



Chapter 1



Josh walked into the hospital room, that had become all too familiar at this stage, carrying two takeaway cups of coffee and a paper bag with some pastries in it. He shook his head sadly as he looked at Oscar. There he was, after all these weeks, still lying there with all those machines hooked up to him. He had a tracheotomy tube coming out of his throat, that was hooked up to a ventilator, whooshing in and out with a slow and steady rhythm. There were drips and urine bags, and all sorts of monitors attached, with tubes and wires coming out of everywhere. It was frightening to look at. He hated having to be here and having to look at this, day after day. It brought back a lot of bad memories for him and made him feel very anxious. He thought about all the time that he had spent in that same position, and wondered if this was how he had looked when it was him in that bed. Had he looked like a living corpse too?! Oscar had lost so much weight, not that he’d had much to lose in the first place. He was pretty much skeletal now. His hair had grown back to cover the scars on his head, so he was looking a little less scary, but he certainly didn’t look like the Oscar that they all knew and loved. It was a sad sight alright, and Josh felt terrible for Evie, having to see her brother like this. Evie was finding it very hard to cope with it all and you could see the strain on her face no matter how much she tried to hide it.

He turned to look at Evie who was huddled up in the chair beside Oscar’s bed. He gave a little sigh, and tilted his head at her in concern, when he saw how uncomfortable she looked. He could see from the way that her head was angled that she was going to have a really sore neck, and her foot would probably have fallen asleep if she’d been in that position all night! How she always managed to find the most awkward positions, he would never know! Sleeping in that chair was not a lot of fun though. He’d spent enough nights there himself over the last few months to know that! He didn’t understand why they couldn’t provide something a little more comfortable for family members to sleep on. Who ever thought an armchair with wooden arms was a good idea?!

He knelt down in front of her, and gently touched her on the knee, trying not to startle her. “Evie?” he whispered, giving her knee a little shake. “Evie, wake up.”

“Mmmm” she murmured, opening her eyes and rolling her head a bit to ease her stiffened neck. “Morning” she mumbled, stretching her arms above her head a little and giving him a little smile. She glanced past him for a moment at the body lying in the bed and gave a sad little sigh. “That for me?” she asked, brushing the hair back from Josh’s eyes and nodding down at the cups of coffee in his hand.

“Yeah, course.” he said, handing one to her and leaning in to give her a light kiss on the forehead. “You look shattered!” he said, giving her a look of concern. She had big black circles round her eyes and was looking decidedly pale. “I mean it… you don’t look good!”

“Thanks” she said, pouting at him a little mockingly. “Way to make a girl feel pretty!” she said, giving him a sarcastic smile and taking a sip of coffee.

“You know what I mean.”  he said, gently caressing the side of her face. “I’m worried about you, Evie. You look exhausted! You haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in weeks… You can’t keep doing this!”

“I’m not leaving him!” she said, shaking her head emphatically. “I can’t Josh! I just can’t!” She got up and walked over to the bed, lifting Oscar’s stiffened hand off the mattress and holding it in both hands. His chest rose and fell in rhythm with the suction of the ventilator but his face remained passive. They’d put some gel pads over his eyes to keep them from drying up and there were some swabs to soothe his sore and chapped lips. “What if he wakes up and I’m not here?!” she whined.

“Evie!” pleaded Josh, “I’ll be here! I’ll stay… and the moment he opens his eyes, I’ll call you and you can come straight back!” He looked at Evie and thought how tired she looked. It was taking everything she had to hold things together day after day. He could see that she was on the verge of a meltdown right now and he just wanted her to go home and get some much needed sleep. He reached out and turned her face gently towards him. “I promise, Evie! I won’t leave his side… Let me call Zac to come and get you.”

Her chin began to tremble, and she started to blink furiously, trying to stifle her tears. “Okay…” she said, wiping at her eyes with the sleeve of her top. “But just for a little while… I’m coming back in a few hours.”

He put his arms around her, and pulled her in to give her a hug, feeling her body shake as she started to cry. She fell into his arms and rested her head against his chest, starting to sob. “I’m just so tired!” she cried, holding him tight.

“You’ll feel better when you’ve had a proper sleep.” he said, kissing her on the top of the head. He took out his phone and texted Zac to come get her.




Josh sat in the armchair across from Oscar, watching videos on his phone with his earphones in, and desperately trying to ignore the sound of the machines whooshing and beeping. He hated this place. Those sounds were the stuff of his nightmares. He’d had to listen to those noises for days on end, locked in a world of isolation and darkness, and it wasn’t something that he ever wanted to have to think about again.

He glanced across at Oscar and wondered if he was listening. He knew that he’d been able to hear what people were saying, even when everyone else had thought that he was ‘unresponsive’. Maybe Oscar could hear them too? He pulled his chair over to the bed, and lifted Oscar’s hand, thinking about the number of times that Andy had done exactly the same thing. He took his earphones out and leaned in close to talk to him.

“Oscar” he whispered, giving his hand a little squeeze. “Oscar, it’s me, Josh.” he said, looking over his shoulder to make sure that no-one else was listening. “I don’t know if you can hear me… Maybe you can hear me and you can’t answer… That’s what it was like for me… If you’re in there… If you’re listening… Try not to panic… I know how scary it is, believe me! I know how frightening and frustrating it is… how you think that you’re going to go crazy… You want to scream. You want to shout! …But… we’re here… Just keep fighting… we’ll be here… You’re not alone.”

He jumped when he felt Oscar’s hand flinch a little. He looked down at it and said, “Oscar! Did you just move?!” Nothing happened. He stared for what seemed like forever at Oscar’s hand. “C’mon, Oscar, move again!” he pleaded with him. Nothing… then the hand squeezed his!

He jumped to his feet and put his hand on Oscar’s shoulder. “Oscar!” he shouted, gently peeling the gel pads off his eyes. “Oscar! Can you open your eyes?!” he asked, sounding excited.

Slowly Oscar’s eyes began to flicker open, and his breathing started to sound choked and strange, as he fought against the suction of the ventilator. “Help! I need a doctor in here!” shouted Josh, hitting the emergency call button. “He’s waking up!”




“Oh my God!” squealed Evie as she ran along the corridor towards Josh, with Zac and Leah lagging behind her. “I can’t believe it! …Is he talking?! …Is he okay?!” she asked, feeling a strong sense of deja vu. “Can I go in?!”

He caught her by the arm and said, “The doctors are in there with him… Nate said he’d let us know when we can go in.” He gave her a big smile and said, “He’s awake, Evie!”

She looked in through the glass in the door and saw that Nate, another doctor, and two nurses were fussing round Oscar’s bed, but she could already see that Oscar’s eyes were open and that he was sitting up a little. “Oh my God! He’s actually awake!” she said, turning to Josh and throwing her arms around his waist. “We can start to get him better now!” she said, giving him a huge smile with tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Okay, take a breath” said Josh, wiping at her tears with his thumbs. “Remember, we don’t know yet what state he’ll be in… y’know… it might take a while for him to be him again.”

She nodded and looked back through the door, watching as Nate, took the blood pressure cuff off Oscar’s arm and continued to move around the bed conducting other tests. Nate suddenly began to look quite worried, furrowing his brow, and glancing at the door at the worried faces outside. He walked over and pulled down the blind, shaking his head at them apologetically.

“What’s going on?!” asked Evie, looking up at Josh with big worried eyes. “What’s wrong?!”




“Okay, guys” said Nate, scanning the worried faces around him and then rubbing his own face in his hands. He wasn’t sure how to broach this with them. It was certainly the first time that he’d come across something like this. “Okay… so… Oscar seems to be in what we’d call a severe confusional state.”

“A what?!” asked Evie, sounding worried and frustrated. They’d been kept waiting for what felt like an eternity and Nate still hadn’t let her see her brother. “He’s like Josh was?! Awake but not talking?!”

“No, he’s talking” said Nate, tilting his head at her and giving a little half-smile. “I mean… he can talk when we cover the tracheotomy tube…” he said, motioning with two fingers to his neck to show how to cover the hole. “That’ll be removed in a day or two… It’s just…” he said, obviously struggling to find the right words. He ran his hand through his hair and blew out a big breath. “It’s just that he seems very confused. His speech is very delayed… and he’s not giving… ‘appropriate’ answers to the questions that he’s being asked.”

“What do you mean ‘appropriate’ answers?!” asked Zac, frowning at Nate. “You mean that his memory has been affected?!”

“It’s not just a memory problem, Zac.” said Nate. “More of an identity problem.”

Evie gave him a very confused look and said, “Nate! I’m stressed enough about all of this! Can you stop dancing around the issue and just tell us what we’re dealing with?!”

“Okay, well… One of the standard questions to establish level of consciousness is ‘what’s your name?” can you tell us your name?” he said, sitting forward in his seat to talk directly to Evie. “Oscar says that his name is… Evelyn Maguire.”

“What?!” said Evie, snorting a little. “Well, that’s just stupid!” she said, starting to get up. “He’s just asking to see me!” She started to move towards the door but Nate caught her by the wrist and stopped her in her tracks.

“No, Evie!” he said, gesturing with his head for her to sit down again. He glanced at the looks of confusion on everyone’s faces. “He’s not asking to see Evelyn Maguire… He thinks he is Evelyn Maguire. He got very distressed when one of the nurses tried to convince him otherwise… He… um… He identifies as female.”

Evie looked at Josh, and started to laugh incredulously, before looking back at Nate in anger. “This is ridiculous! It’s a joke, right?! Some kind of sick joke?!” She narrowed her eyes at Nate, wondering why he would do this to her, and said, “This isn’t funny, Nate! I just want to see my brother!”

“No, Evie… It’s not funny.” said Nate, shaking his head and looking at her very seriously. “We asked him to describe himself… He said that he has long dark hair and blue eyes.” He let out a slightly nervous laugh and said, “He’s asking to see his brother Oscar, and his boyfriend Josh.”

“He thinks I’m his boyfriend?!” exclaimed Josh, sitting forward and looking at Nate in shock. “What the…”

“Well he thinks you’re Evie’s boyfriend… and he thinks that he’s Evie.” said Nate, shaking his head in wonder. “So yeah… He’s asking for you.”

Josh looked at Evie, and they both started to laugh, more out of nerves than anything else. “It’s not funny.” said Evie, both laughing and crying. “…but it kind of is.”

“So…” said Leah, who’d been shocked into silence until this point. “So… what do we do now?” she asked.

“Yeah, can we go see him?” asked a very worried looking Zac. He wasn’t really able to take this in.

“Well, that’s why we kept you waiting as long as we did.” said Nate, looking at them all a little nervously. “I got Psychiatry to come down and assess him.” he said, clearing his throat and feeling very anxious about what their reaction was going to be. “Dr Delaney feels that this may be some sort of post traumatic psychotic episode and that within a few days, or maybe weeks, Oscar should return to normal. With a bit of luck… But she thinks that it could be very traumatic for him if we were to try to force him to accept his true identity…” He looked at Evie and said, “In other words… She wants us all to play along…”

“She what?!” said Zac, looking at Nate in shock and disgust. “How are we supposed to do that?!”

“We all have to treat him like he’s Evie… Like he’s a young woman… and let him come out of this in his own time.”

“Yeah, but…” said Josh, looking confused. “What happens when he goes to the toilet… and he sees… y’know?” he asked, motioning with his eyes to his own crotch. “I mean… don’t you think he’ll figure it out then?!”

“We’ll have to wait and see.” said Nate. “It’s possible that this is very temporary… and yes… he could snap out of it in a few hours… but we can’t force him.” He sat back in his chair and gave a heavy sigh. “We think his perception may be extremely ‘altered’ at the moment… The psychiatrist gave him a mirror and asked him to tell her what he saw… He said that he saw ‘a girl with dark hair, and blue eyes, that desperately needed her makeup kit’ and he wasn’t very pleased about having his hair cut short!” Nate couldn’t help laughing a little at the thought of Oscar in makeup but he managed to catch himself and disguise it as a cough.

“He really thinks he’s me?” muttered Evie under her breath as she stared off into the distance. She couldn’t understand what was happening. She was nearly sure that this was just a bad dream or a cruel practical joke.

“So you think he might not even notice the difference in the… uh…in the toilet department then?!” asked Josh, shaking his head incredulously. “You think he’s gonna look down and see… lady parts?!” he asked, giggling involuntarily. This was just too weird!

“Josh!” scolded Evie, giving him a dirty look. “That’s not funny!” She was starting to get really upset now.

“I know that” said Josh, tilting his head apologetically and giving Evie’s knee a little squeeze. “Sorry, Evie, I didn’t mean to upset you. It’s just so messed up!” She nodded at him, and took hold of his hand, feeling like she needed reassurance.

“What do we do now?” asked Zac again. “Can we go in there and see him, Nate?”

“Well, we’d like to see his reaction to you, Evie.” said Nate, reaching out and giving her a little pat on the knee, mainly to get her attention. She seemed to be lost in her own thoughts. “Would that be okay with you, Evie? We’d like to see if he can recognise you… or not… To be honest, we’re not sure what will happen. I think it would be a good idea if Josh comes too.”

Josh looked a little startled and began to shake his head. “But he thinks I’m his boyfriend! How am I meant to deal with that?!” He wasn’t sure that he could play along with something this screwed up. How could he pretend to be Oscar’s boyfriend?!

Evie turned to him and looked up at him with big teary eyes. “Please, Josh?!” she pleaded, “Please?! Do this for me?! …Just play along? Whatever it takes… I just really need to see my brother… and I need you with me!”

He looked at the desperation on her face and he knew that he couldn’t say no to her. He took a big breath and blew it out slowly. “Okay, Evie…” he said, smiling in a very nervous way and getting to his feet with her. “But this is so weird!”




Evie walked slowly into the room, with Josh trailing nervously behind her, and she smiled at Oscar, who seemed to be dozing propped up in a semi-sitting position. She let go of Josh’s hand, and made her way over to the side of Oscar’s bed. “Hey” she said softly, touching his hand gently and starting to tear up. “Hey, you!” she said again, a little louder this time.

Oscar’s eyes flickered open and he turned his head slowly to look at her. He opened his mouth to speak and jumped a little at the strange whistling wheezing sound that came out through his tracheotomy tube. He looked confused by the noise and stared all around him as though he wasn’t sure where it had come from.

Evie remembered what Nate had said about blocking the tube, so she put two fingers over the circular plastic opening in his neck, and nodded at him to try speaking again.

“Heeeyyy” he slurred, in a quiet whispery voice. “I’m… sssso… hhhappy to… sssee you” he said, incredibly slowly, as though he was speaking in slow motion.

Her eyes filled up with tears and she picked up his hand and gave it a little kiss. “I’ve missed you so much! I love you!” she cried, gently caressing the side of his face. “I thought you were going to leave me on my own!”

He started to move his mouth again, so she covered the trach tube for him. “Never” he wheezed, shaking his head a little. “I love you… Oscar!”

She gasped and took her hand away, glancing across the room at Josh, wide-eyed in shock. She pointed at herself and mouthed the word ‘Oscar’, shaking her head at him in wonder. Oscar thought that they’d swapped places! He was Evie, and she was Oscar! She wondered what on earth he was actually seeing?!

Oscar followed her gaze, and suddenly smiled from ear to ear when he laid eyes on Josh. He started making a loud whistling sound again, and tried to lift his hand to cover the tube himself, but he was too weak. Evie turned back, now with rivers of tears flooding down her cheeks, and plugged the tube in his neck again for him. “Josh!” he whispered, with a big smile and teary eyes.

Josh looked at Evie with eyes wide with fear. “Josh! …She needs you!” growled Evie, motioning with her head for him to come closer. “You’ve missed her, haven’t you?” she said in a very deliberate way.

Josh shook his head at Evie fearfully, but hesitantly made his way over to the bed, and reached for Oscar’s hand. “Hey” he said softly, giving him a little smile. “How are you feeling?” he asked, trying to pretend that he was talking to Evie, and thinking how he would speak to her, if she was in this bed. He glanced at her momentarily, and then looked back at Oscar, who was struggling to speak. He sighed and reached out to cover the tracheotomy tube for him.

“I love… you” whispered Oscar, gazing at Josh with eyes full of tears. He looked so scared and confused, and was looking at him with so much love, that Josh couldn’t help feeling incredibly sorry for him. This was beyond weird though!

Josh looked at Evie hoping for her help. She nodded at him insistently, and then motioned with her head at Oscar, making it clear to Josh that she wanted him to play along. He looked back at Oscar, and just about managed to get the words out, feeling that this really wasn’t right. On some level, it felt like he was making fun of him, and he didn’t want that. “I love you too” he said to Oscar, with his face burning red with embarrassment. He leaned in and tentatively kissed Oscar on the forehead, wishing that the ground would open up and swallow him. This was mortifying! What on earth was going on?!

Oscar smiled and closed his eyes again. He looked absolutely exhausted. Evie smiled at Josh, tilting her head at him sympathetically, and mouthed the words “Thank you”.

Josh shook his head, and went out into the hallway, crouching down outside the door. He wondered how he was going to play along with this? Evie wanted him to go along with it for Oscar’s sake and he loved Evie enough to do just about anything for her. But how far would she expect him to take things? This was just too weird, all of this!

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Thank you all so much for the lovely comments! :wub: Really hope you enjoy this chapter! lol!

Chapter 2



“I keep thinking that I’m gonna wake up and this whole thing will just have been a bad dream” said Evie, resting her head on her hand. It was the first time in weeks that both of them had left the hospital at the same time, and they’d come to Angelo’s in an attempt to do something normal together, but neither of them really had an appetite. “This is just too weird!” she sighed, prodding angrily at her uneaten pizza with a fork.

“Evie, I just kissed your brother!” said Josh, shaking his head incredulously and laughing nervously. “You don’t have to tell me how weird this is!” He lifted a slice of pizza and took a bite, but his stomach was full of nerves, so he set it down again. He blew out a big breath and reached out to take her hand. “What are we gonna do?” he asked her, looking genuinely worried. “I mean… I can’t really keep pretending to be his boyfriend, can I?!”

“I think you’re gonna have to!” she said, biting her bottom lip in a nervous sort of way. She reached up and gently brushed his hair away from his eyes and gave him a little smile. “I know this is really weird… and awkward… and messed up…”

“Yeah, it is!” he said, shaking his head again. Having to kiss Oscar like that had made him really uncomfortable and he really didn’t want to be put in that position again. He did feel very sorry for him, and he knew how upset Evie was, but he didn’t know if he could really go along with this. “I don’t think I can…” he started to say but Evie butted in.

“Josh!” she cried, “He really thinks that he’s me… and if he thinks he’s me, then you’re his boyfriend! And he’s scared, and hurt really bad, and he needs you!” She looked at him pleadingly, with big teary eyes, and said, “Please?! Please, Josh?! …I need you to do this for me! …What am I supposed to tell him? That his boyfriend just walked out on him while he was lying in a hospital bed?!” She ran her fingers through her hair and gave a sad sigh. “If that was me, Josh?! Do you have any idea how heartbroken I’d be?!”

“So… what?!” he asked, looking at her in an exasperated sort of way. “How do you see this working?! …I mean… How far do you expect me to go?!” He shuddered a little at the thought of taking things any further than that kiss. “Evie… What if he wants to, y’know?” he asked, grimacing a little.

“He just woke up from a coma, Josh!” she scolded, shaking her head at him in frustration.  “He can barely move! …He can’t walk …He can’t even lift his arms! …Do you really think he’s in any fit state to be jumping into bed with someone?!”

He shrugged at her, still looking very uncomfortable with the whole thing. “Yeah… but he might want to be… um… affectionate.” he said, wrinkling his nose in disgust. “What am I supposed to do then?!”

“Josh?” she said, holding up her hand with her engagement ring. “Did this mean anything to you?! We’re supposed to stand up in front of all our friends and family, and swear to stand by each other, for better or worse… Well this is the ‘worse’, Josh!” She reached out and caressed the side of his face, giving him a pleading look, and said, “Josh, I need you to do this for me… Can you please just try?!”

He looked into her big blue eyes, so full of fear and worry, and knew that he wasn’t going to be able to get out of this. “Okaaaaay” he growled, rubbing his face in both hands and then shaking his head at her in defeated sort of way. “I’ll try… but you have no idea how embarrassing this is, Evie! …Seriously! …I can’t believe I’m gonna do this!”

“Thank you, Josh!” she said, taking his face in her hands and leaning in for a kiss. “I won’t forget this! …I’ll make it up to you...” she said in a sing-songy sort of voice, giving him a mischievous smile, “I promise!”




“Okay” said Nate, smiling at Oscar in a kind and gentle sort of way. “That’s the trach out… and we’ve bandaged up the stoma, so why don’t you try talking? …Say something, Evie!”

“Whherrrre’s Josh?” he asked, slurring his words and looking back and forth between Zac and Leah with a slightly hurt expression on his face. “Whheerrrre’s Ossscar?”

Leah gave Oscar’s hand a little squeeze, as she sat on the side of his bed, and stroked his hair behind his ear. “They’re gonna come in to see you later” she said, “Don’t worry, they’ll be here!”

Oscar looked down at the hospital gown that he was wearing and took in all the wires coming out the neckline. He eyed the cannula in his hand with disgust, and lifted his hand with great effort to touch the bandage on his neck. His eyes started to fill with tears and he turned to look at Leah. “I looook awful, dddon’t I?! …That’s… w-why… Josh isn’t here, isn’t it?! …I sssssaw… how he… looked at me yesssssterday” Tears were streaming down his face and his chin was trembling as he tried not to cry. “Thhhhey… cut my hair, Leah! …and I look… dissssgusting!”

“No, you don’t!” exclaimed Leah, caressing the side of his face. “Honey, you’re not disgusting!” she said, tilting her head at him and smiling sympathetically. “You’re beautiful!”

Zac leaned on the end of Oscar’s bed, and glanced at Leah, looking very uncomfortable. She widened her eyes and him and motioned with her head for him to say something to Oscar. “Yeah, you look fine” he mumbled, giving him a little smile, “I’m sure Josh will be here soon.”

Oscar turned to Leah and whispered to her, “I nnneeeed… my… makeup, Leah… Can you g-get it …fffor me? …I don’t want… JJJosh to sssssee me like this!”

Leah laughed involuntarily, and then started to cough, trying to hide her amusement. “I’ll ask Oscar to bring it in for you” she said, giving him a little smile.

Oscar looked at his hands and tried to move his fingers, but the movements were slow and laboured, and incredibly clumsy. He gave a big sigh of frustration, dropping his hands again, and started to cry. “I’m…” he started to say, “I’m… ssssoooo… I can’t do anything!...”

“Hey” said Leah, putting her arm around his shoulder and leaning her head in against his. “You’ll be okay! …You’re just a bit weak! You’ve been asleep for a long time. Your muscles just have to remember how to do things… Look at Josh! He made such a good recovery… If he can do it… so can you!”

“I’m tired” he cried again, and Leah wiped the tears gently from his eyes. “Everything fffeeeels strange.”

“Do you want to take a nap?” asked Leah, giving his shoulder a little squeeze. “We can go away for a little while if you want some peace and quiet.”

He nodded and looked at Leah again with big teary eyes. “Can you get… me ssssome pyjamas?” he asked her, tilting his head at her with a pained expression on his face. “Ssssome… of my own clothes? …I just fffeel so… ugly in these!” He pulled at the gown he was wearing and looked down inside it. Glancing at Zac for a moment, and looking a little embarrassed, he whispered to Leah, “I nnneed some… underwear too.”

Leah glanced at a very disturbed looking Zac, and gave him a little smile. She just felt incredibly sorry for Oscar. “No problem, honey” she said, giving him a squeeze and a little kiss on the cheek. “We’ll go and get you some things and come back in an hour or two… okay?”

Oscar nodded and pressed the button to lower the bed. “Before… Josh comes?” he asked, giving her a little smile. “I wwwant to look …nnnice for… him.”

“Okay honey” said Leah, getting up to leave. She shook her head at Zac, wide-eyed in wonder, and motioned for him to come with her.

“Okay, bye…Evie” said Zac, finding it hard to get the word ‘Evie’ out of his mouth. He felt so strange calling him by that name. This just seemed so surreal! He was nearly sure that someone was going to jump out at any moment and tell him that this was all a joke.




Zac glanced around the small gathering of friends and family sitting in their living-room, and tried to gauge their reactions from their shocked faces. They’d asked Irene, Roo, Matt, and Maddy to come over to the house so that they could speak to them properly, and explain what was going on. Everyone just looked shell-shocked. The initial reaction had been one of laughter, which he supposed was pretty natural, but once that had dissipated, it had given way to pure shock and concern.

“Um… Can we go and see him?” asked Matt, looking at Zac and then turning to look at Evie “Or her… I guess?”

“Trust you to make jokes!” scolded Alf, giving him a very disapproving look. “I don’t find that very funny, young fella!”

“I wasn’t making a joke, actually!” said Matt, shaking his head and looking offended. “I just meant… If he thinks he’s a ‘she’, then we should probably start using female pronouns.” He looked around at all the other worried faces and shrugged his shoulders a little. “Shouldn’t we?”

“I think Matt is right!” said Maddy, squeezing his hand. “If the doctors want us to play along, then that’s what we have to do… It’s weird, but… If that’s what Oscar needs, then…”

“Is it okay for him to have visitors?” asked Roo, looking at Zac. “Maybe talking to people he knows and spending some time with his friends could spark something… You know, bring things back to him?”

“I think that’s probably a good idea” said Evie, nodding at Zac. She turned to look at Matt and said, “As long as you don’t think you’re going there to make fun of him?!”

“Nice!” said Matt, glaring at Evie and looking hurt. “Good to know what you think of me!”

“Guys, calm down!” growled Josh, getting to his feet. “Evie’s just stressed and tired.” he said to Matt, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. “We all are!”

“Well, Oscar’s my best mate!” he said, looking back and forth between them. “I want to see him… or her… or whatever… I want to help!”

“We all do” said Irene, speaking up all of a sudden, now that she’d shaken off her shock. “We’re all here for whatever you need, darl!” she said to Evie. “All of you.” she offered, smiling sympathetically at Leah and Zac.

Leah glanced at VJ, who was sitting with his face in his hands, and said, “What about you Veej? Are you okay?”

“Um, yeah” he said, lifting his head, and desperately trying to control his laughter. “I’m fine” he said, sniggering and wiping at his eyes. Leah thought that he was crying so she came over and put her arms around him, rocking him from side to side, but that only made things worse. He pulled away from the hug and tried his best to pretend that he was upset. The whole thing just seemed so ridiculous and everyone being so sincere and serious about it was just making it seem even funnier. He felt bad for laughing but he just couldn’t help it! “Um… I’m just…” he stammered, pointing upstairs, “I’m just gonna go to my room!” he said, barely able to contain his giggles. This was just too funny! They watched as he ran out of the room and bounded up the stairs, thinking that he’d taken it very badly.

“Maddy?” asked Leah, taking hold of Maddy’s hand, “Could I have a quick word please? We need you to do us a favour.”




“Hey, you!” said Maddy, giving Oscar a huge smile as she walked in the door with Evie’s flower patterned gym bag. “How are you feeling?” she asked, cocking her head to one side. She’d been psyching herself up for this for at least twenty minutes outside his room and Matt was waiting for her in the canteen. This was going to be so weird!

“Wwwhat happened?!” exclaimed Oscar, looking shocked, as he caught sight of Maddy’s amputated arm. “Oh god! …Mmaddy… I’m… sssoooo sorry!”

She shrugged and set the bag down on the bed by his feet. “It is what it is” she sighed, nodding sadly as her eyes filled up with tears. “I lost it in the explosion…” she told him, reaching out and taking hold of his hand. “The same one where you were injured.” she sighed, as tears streamed down her cheeks. “I’ve really missed you, y’know?! …It’s been so hard dealing with all of this without you.”

He nodded, already crying a little, and squeezed Maddy’s hand as best he could. He was still very weak. “I’m sssorry.” he said, slurring a little, “That’s ssssooo awful, Mmmads! …Does it… hhhurt?”

“Not anymore” she sighed again, letting go of his hand to wipe her tears. “A little… sometimes” she added, grimacing a little. “It’s really weird, actually…” she laughed. “Sometimes I get an itch on my hand and I go to scratch it… and then I realise my hand isn’t there anymore!”

He shook his head a little incredulously and looked down at his own skeletal semi-paralysed body, and said, “Wwwe’re quite… the pair… aren’t we?!”

She laughed a little and nodded in agreement. Turning to get the bag from the base of the bed, she set it down in front of her and started to try to unzip it, but with one hand she was really struggling. She looked at Oscar, and rolled her eyes at him in frustration, as she bent down to hold the material with her teeth while she pulled the zip back. “I’m learning new ways of doing things!” she said, giving a big sigh, “Lots of fun!”

Oscar smiled at her and glanced at the contents of the bag. He could see flowery materials inside but nothing that he recognised. Maddy reached in, and pulled out her own make-up bag, giving him a big smile. “Leah said you wanted to look nice for Josh coming in…” she said, smiling at him kindly, and stroking his hair back behind his ear. “Would you like me to do your makeup?” she asked, nodding at him and taking out a mirror from the bag as well.

Oscar’s eyes filled with tears, and he nodded, giving her a grateful smile. He hung his head a little and whispered “I just fffeel so ugly!”

She put her hand on top of his and tilted her head at him again. “You’re not ugly!” she insisted, trying her best to persuade him. “You’re not!” she assured him. Maddy thought this was probably the weirdest thing that she’d ever had to deal with, and while part of her wanted to laugh, another part could see that this was heart-breaking. He genuinely thought that he was a girl, and all he wanted was to feel pretty for his boyfriend. She could understand that.

She reached in the bag and pulled out the new pyjamas that Leah had bought for him. They were a pair of girly pyjamas, something similar to what Evie would normally wear, but obviously a good few sizes larger.

Oscar looked at them and gave a relieved little sigh. “Thhhank you” he said, trying to lift his hand to pick them up. He gave a frustrated little huff, and gave up, when his hand wouldn’t do what he wanted it to. “Can you… hhhelp… me put them on?” he asked, with a shy little smile.

Maddy looked decidedly worried, and said, “I’m not sure…  I think we’ll need to get a nurse? …Honestly …I don’t think I can dress you with one arm.”

Oscar peered down at his own body, looking very depressed at the realisation that she was probably right. “Yyyeah… okay” he said, nodding sadly. “Nnnever mind…”

“C’mon!” she said, opening the makeup bag and pulling out an array of tubes and tubs. She hoped this would cheer him up. “I might not be able to help you get changed… but I can do your makeup! Right?! Let’s make you feel a bit better, shall we?!” she said, smiling from ear to ear.




Oscar sat in the bed waiting for Josh to walk through the door. He was so nervous! Maddy had got a nurse to come in and help him get changed into the pyjamas that Leah had sent for him, and Maddy had done her best with the makeup. He’d had a look in the mirror and he’d been happier with his appearance, or at least, he didn’t think he looked as awful as he had when he’d seen himself this morning. He’d looked at his dark hair, and big blue eyes, lost in pale skin and freckles, and thought that he actually looked vaguely pretty. He just hoped that Josh thought so too.

Leah and Zac had popped in to bring him some homemade food and to check that he was okay, and Oscar had even come with them, which was nice. He thought that Oscar was acting a little strangely though, and was being a little standoffish, which he couldn’t quite understand. Oscar had kept staring at him, and he’d wondered if his makeup didn’t look right. He thought that Maddy had done a good job though, so it couldn’t have been that. They’d told him that Josh would be in at about 9 o’clock, so he’d been sitting there for the last half hour fidgeting nervously, and glancing at the door every time someone walked past. He couldn’t figure out why he was so nervous about this. Josh was his fiancé, and he knew in his heart that Josh still loved him. At least he hoped that he did! He just felt so unattractive and vulnerable lying here in this bed, and Josh seemed to have done a disappearing act since yesterday, which wasn’t doing much to build his confidence. He just wanted to see Josh again, and kiss him, and know that things hadn’t changed.

He looked down at his hand and wondered what had happened to his engagement ring. It hadn’t been a proper ring. He did know that. But it had meant a lot to him and he really didn’t want to think that it had just been thrown away. He’d ask Josh when he got here. He looked at the clock on the wall, seeing that Josh was already ten minutes late, and started to get very nervous. Maybe he wasn’t coming after all?! He wondered if something had happened in the two months that he’d been asleep and maybe that was why Oscar had been looking at him so strangely. Maybe Josh had cheated on him, and had a new girlfriend now, but everyone was too scared to tell him? The thought absolutely terrified him, and he stared at the doorway, willing Josh to walk through it to put his mind at ease. He needed Josh more than anything right now!




Josh stood in the waiting area just down the corridor from Oscar’s room and leaned against the wall trying to get his nerves under control. He didn’t know how he was going to do this! Evie had come as far as the entrance of the hospital but then she’d left him on his own and gone home! They’d agreed that Josh had to go in there on his own. Evie couldn’t be the third wheel in this messed up relationship if she was supposed to be Oscar. ‘Evie’ and Josh needed some time on their own! She and Josh had kissed goodbye and he’d made his way up to the floor that Oscar was on as slowly as he could possibly manage. Now he was stalling out in the hallway, dreading the moment that he had to walk in there. This was an absolute nightmare! He’d promised Evie that he would do his best to play along with this, and make Oscar feel that he had a loving boyfriend who wanted to spend time with him. He’d promised, but he really didn’t know if he could go through with it!

Nate walked past him, and raised his eyebrows at him a little knowingly, resulting in Josh blushing bright red with the humiliation of it all. He blew out a big breath, and pushed himself away from the wall, running his hand through his hair. “Okay, you can do this!” he said to himself, under his breath. “It’s no big deal… Just a couple of mates hanging out…”

He walked up the hallway and dithered outside the door again for a moment. “Okay, come on!” he growled at himself, “Get it together!” He blew out another big breath and walked through the door with a big smile plastered on his face, hoping that it wouldn’t look fake.

“Hey beautiful!” he said with a big smile, flinching a little bit as he walked through the door and saw Oscar in ‘Evie style’ makeup. It had to be said, Maddy had done his makeup quite tastefully and had even styled his hair into a very feminine pixie type hairstyle. Weirdly enough, he didn’t look unattractive, thought Josh. Sitting there in his girly pyjamas, he was even a little bit cute, in a slightly disturbing way. “How you feeling?” he asked, closing the door and walking over to the side of his bed.

“Josh!” exclaimed Oscar, smiling sweetly, and struggling to lift his hand to hold out to him. “I’ve… mmmissed you!” he said, tearing up a little, “I nnnneed you here.”

Josh took his hand and leaned in to kiss him on the forehead again. The words ‘This is so weird!’ repeated endlessly, over and over in his head, and it was taking everything he had to hold it together. He wanted to laugh. He wanted to run away.

He looked down at Oscar’s big sad eyes and tried to think how he would behave if this was Evie lying here. He needed to pull himself together and do this for Evie! No matter how ridiculous it seemed.

He lifted Oscar’s hand and kissed it. “I’ve missed you too” he said, pretending that it was Evie he was talking to. “You gave us all such a scare! Don’t do it again! I can’t lose you!”

‘This is so wrong, this is so wrong, this is so wrong…” repeated over and over in his head, as he looked at Oscar smiling up at him.

Oscar shifted a little bit to try to sit up straighter and said “Kiss me?”

Josh’s eyes widened as he realised that it had come to this already. How was he going to get out of this now?!

‘It’s just a kiss… just a peck on the lips… it’s no big deal… like an actor in a play’ he reasoned with himself, feeling a little sick at the thought. Surely this constituted making fun of someone with a brain injury? This just seemed so very wrong… but what was he to do?! He was here now, and Oscar was expecting it. His relationship with Evie hinged on this. ‘Oh God! This is awful!’ thought Josh, ‘Okay, Josh, you have no choice! Just do it! Do it! Just lean in and do it!’


As his lips connected with Oscar’s, he wondered what on earth he was getting himself into, and where this was going to end up. How could he ever untangle himself from this now without really hurting him? What kind of person would he be if he crushed him now?!

Oscar smiled at him as their lips parted and, much to Josh’s horror, he managed to shift himself over slightly in the bed to make room beside him. “Ssstay?” he asked, gently patting the bed and smiling brightly. “The nnnnurses said… it wwwould be okay.”

“Uh…” stammered Josh. “Uhhhhhhh…” he said again, completely lost for words. Evie’s words rang in his ears. She’d said ‘Whatever it takes’ and made it very clear that she wanted him to make Oscar feel safe and loved. Maybe he could lie in a bed with him? It wasn’t like Oscar was in any fit state to want more than a cuddle. He couldn’t even really move!

‘What are you doing?!’ he screamed at himself in his own head, as he climbed into the bed and lay down beside Oscar. ‘What the hell are you doing?! You’re not seriously doing this! …Seriously Josh! This is ridiculous! …What are you doing?!’ Oscar leaned his head against Josh’s chest, and closed his eyes with a contented little sigh, unable to really move much more than that. Josh looked down at Oscar, shaking his head at the absurdity of this whole thing, and laughing to himself a little. He wondered what Andy would think of him if he could see him now.

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment! :P Things are getting even more complicated! lol! :unsure:


Chapter 3


Josh woke with a start to the sound of someone loudly clearing their throat, and he looked up to see Matt standing in the doorway smiling at him. His face flushed bright red, as the embarrassment took hold, and he looked down to see Oscar’s hand resting on his inner thigh. He reached for it, and moved it away, before sliding out of the bed, and brushing his clothes down. He didn’t know where to look. He certainly couldn’t meet Matt’s eyes.

“Um…” he said, glancing at Oscar as he continued to sleep. “Um… Can we not tell anyone that you saw this? Please?!” he said, glancing up at Matt’s grinning face momentarily, before looking away. The humiliation of this whole thing was overwhelming. The looks on the nurses’ faces in the middle of the night had been bad enough, without Matt seeing this too!

“Hey!” said Matt, holding his hands up in front of him in a mocking kind of way. “What you two get up to in the privacy of your own hospital room is your own business!” He bit his bottom lip in an exaggerated sort of way to show that he was fighting the urge to laugh.

Josh glared at him and said, “What did we talk about at the house?! …About how you weren’t coming here to make fun?!”

He nodded, still trying to contain his own amusement, and said, “Yeah, sorry, Josh…” He nodded at Oscar in the bed, taking in the smudged makeup on his face and the sky blue floral-patterned jammies, and said “Maddy did a good job, didn’t she?!” He started to giggle. He couldn’t help it. This was all too funny!

“Seriously?! Matt?!” growled Josh, getting angry now.  “…If you’ve just come here to wind everybody up then you can turn around and go home… This is tough enough as it is!” He grabbed Matt by the elbow and led him out into the hallway. He ran his hand through his hair and dropped his voice to an angry whisper. “He’s seriously mixed up, and Evie is beside herself with worry… and I’ve been dragged into the weirdest most messed up situation of my entire life! Do you have any idea…? …I mean… I just spent the night in my brother-in-law’s bed, snuggled up like we’re lovers! He thinks I’m his boyfriend! …This is such a mess! …If he ever comes to his senses and remembers any of this… I don’t know how I’m ever gonna look at him again…” He rubbed his face in both hands and let out an exasperated groan. “Matt, I’m meant to be marrying his sister! …What the hell am I doing?!”

“Getting in close with the family?” blurted Matt, unable to keep from laughing. “It is quite the predicament!” he snorted.

“Matt, this isn’t funny!” whined Josh, glancing in an embarrassed way at one of the nurses from last night as she walked past. They all knew that he was with Evie, because the two of them had practically been living in the hospital for the last couple of months, so finding him snuggled up to Oscar last night had been a source of great amusement for all the staff. He knew that he was quickly becoming a laughing stock. His face burned with the shame of it all. “Oscar’s going to be mortified when he comes out of this…" he said, shaking his head in disgust, "If he comes out of this… That’s if I don’t die of embarrassment in the meantime!”

Matt could see how upset Josh was, and felt a little bad about teasing him now, especially after the discussion he’d had with Evie at the house. It was just that he was finding it really hard to hide his amusement. The whole situation was beyond ridiculous! “Okay, I’m sorry…” he said, giving Josh an apologetic look and patting him on the shoulder. “No more poking fun… I’ll be good, not a word to anyone.”

They walked back together to the door of Oscar’s room and looked across at the body lying in the bed. “He really thinks that he’s Evie?” he asked in a whispered voice, not really expecting Josh to answer. “This is so screwed up!”

Oscar opened his eyes and turned to look at the two boys standing in the doorway. “Hey!” he said, giving Matt a big smile, “It’s… rrrreally nice… to see you!” He managed to lift his hand and pick up the bed control, pushing the button to bring the bed into a sitting position. “Josh!” he called, tilting his head and smiling in a flirtatious way, “Don’t I get a good morning kiss?!”

Josh widened his eyes at Matt, going an even deeper shade of red than he already was, and stalled for a moment. This was mortifying!

“Yeah, Josh!” said Matt, enjoying his friend’s discomfort, and pushing him towards Oscar’s bed. “Give Evie a kiss!”

Josh glared at Matt, ready to strangle him as soon as they got out of there, and then turned around to look at Oscar with a forced smile. ‘Screw it!’ he thought to himself, and leaned in, tenderly kissing him on the lips. ‘That’s it! I’m a total laughing stock!’ he thought to himself, ‘I’m never going to live this down!'

Matt turned to look out the doorway as though he was just giving them some privacy but his whole body was shuddering and shaking with the effort to keep from laughing. This was absurd!

Oscar looked up at Josh as their lips parted, and said with a soft little smile, “I love you!” He managed to lift his hand enough to grip the front of Josh’s t-shirt, and pulled him down to kiss him again. This time with more passion, and Josh felt his stomach give a lurch when he realised that he was French-kissing his brother-in-law, in front of one of his friends! ‘Oh dear God!’ he thought to himself, ‘This is a nightmare! What the hell do I do now?!’




Evie walked out through the lift doors when they opened and was surprised to see Josh sitting in the waiting area on one of the chairs along the wall. He looked completely dazed and was staring blankly at the floor. “Josh!” she called, as she walked over to him, but he didn’t respond. She gave him a worried look and sat down beside him. “Josh!” she said again, tilting her head to look him in the eye. He continued to stare into space, as though he hadn’t heard a word that she’d said, and hadn’t registered that she was even there. He was beginning to scare her now. She reached out, and touched his knee, giving it a gentle little shake. “Josh? …Are you okay?!” she asked, looking at him with concern. When he didn’t answer her, she began to panic. “Josh!? What’s wrong?!” she cried, shaking his knee more violently and reaching for his hand. “Josh?! Look at me! What’s wrong?!”

He continued to gaze at the floor, looking dazed and confused. “I just French-kissed your brother” he said eventually, in a quiet and distant voice. “He just put his tongue in my mouth… and I let him.”

She gasped and covered her mouth, involuntarily starting to laugh, and tilting her head at him apologetically. “Oh my god!” she laughed, “Sorry, Josh… It’s just…”

“I let him do it…” he said again, shaking his head slowly and staring at a water stain on the floor. “You asked me to… so I let him… I prostituted myself… and Matt watched.”

“Josh, it was just a kiss!” she said, reaching out and brushing the hair back from his eyes. She couldn’t understand why he was making such a big fuss. Sure, it was embarrassing, but it was only a kiss at the end of the day. Actors did it all the time. No-one would think that he really wanted to! “It’s no big deal!” she said, smiling at him and fighting the urge to start laughing again. “You’re just playing a part, Josh! …It’s not like you enjoyed it!”

He turned to look at her and said, “I can’t do this, Evie! …I can’t!” He shook his head and wrinkled up his nose in disgust. “I just kissed my brother-in-law …on the mouth …with tongues!” The thought of it made his stomach turn, and he felt guilty for going along with it, as though he was making a fool out of Oscar.

“Josh!” she said, starting to laugh again. “You didn’t sleep with him! ...It was just a kiss!”

“I’ve never kissed a man before!” he snapped at her. “This is humiliating… and…”

“I know” she said, gently stroking his cheek. “I’ll never forget that you did this for me… or for Oscar.”

“What if he wakes up tomorrow and he realises what’s been happening?! What if he remembers that I kissed him?!” he asked, with a pained expression on his face. “He’ll be so embarrassed, Evie! How am I meant to look him in the eye?! …How am I meant to marry you now?!”

“He’ll know that you’re a good man…” said Evie, taking his hand and giving him a little kiss on the cheek. “He’ll know that you’re the man I want to marry… A man who’ll do whatever it takes to make me happy… because you love me.”

“He made me sleep in the bed with him” he said, shaking his head incredulously. “This is getting too weird, Evie! …Where is this going to end up?! …I can’t pretend to be his boyfriend forever, so what do we do then?! …I’ll be the scumbag that walked out on him when he really needed me… How hurt do you think he’ll be then?! This isn’t right, Evie! …It’s cruel! …Seriously, Evie! …I don’t think I can do this!”

“Yes, you can!” she insisted, nodding her head at him emphatically. “You can! …You have to! …You can’t just run out on him now!”

“But… in the long run…”  he said, shaking his head at her. “What if he never comes out of this, Evie?! …I’m telling you now… I am NOT sleeping with him!”

“You think I want you to have sex with my brother?!” she exclaimed, putting her hands on either side of his face. “Josh! It won’t come to that!”

“It’s bad enough as it is!” he scowled, feeling like he wanted to wash his mouth out. “It feels like I just made out with my brother!” he said, feeling a deep revulsion. This whole thing was just getting out of hand!  “It feels kind of incestuous! …I don’t understand why you’re so okay with this… I mean… You really don’t mind me kissing your brother?!”

“If you were running around behind my back in a gay relationship… and cheating on me…” she said, smirking at him a little. “I think I’d be pretty upset… but it’s not like that, is it?!”

He put his face in both hands and blew out an exasperated sigh. “I love you, Evie! …but this is beyond weird! …You’re asking too much!” he exclaimed.

“Just a little while longer?” she pleaded. “The doctors think he’ll come out of this soon, so maybe it’s only for another couple of days… Please?! Please, Josh?!”




6 days later…


“Okay, Josh, if you can just hold Evie’s ankle, like this” said the physiotherapist, finding it hard not to smirk a little. All the staff had been briefed on Oscar's case but it was still hard for people to deal with, and they all seemed to think that they could make jokes about it whenever they wanted to. “…and um… put your other hand here on the underside of Evie’s thigh…”

Josh blushed a little, and did as he was told, placing his hands a little uncertainly, and looking at Oscar as he lay limply on the bed, dressed in pink heart-patterned pyjamas. “Like this?” he asked, looking decidedly embarrassed.

“Yep, you got it!” said the physio, giving him a reassuring smile and guiding him in how to move Oscar’s leg. “Okay, so, we’re going to bend her leg up towards her chest, slowly and gently, like this… and then bring it back out into a straight position.” She looked down at Oscar as he winced in pain, and said, “Now, Evie, this will hurt a bit… at first… Your muscles are very stiff and it’s going to take a while to get them working again properly.”

The physio turned to Josh again, giving him an encouraging smile, and said, “Okay, let’s try that again…” Looking back at Oscar, she winked at him, and said, “What are boyfriends for, eh?!”

“He’s… my fiancé” said Oscar, wincing a little with the pain again, “We’re getting married… nnnext year!”

Josh nodded, and glanced at the physio, flushing bright red. “Yeah, that’s right.” he said, giving Oscar a little smile. Oscar was now proudly wearing his ‘engagement ring’ made from the wire from a champagne bottle. He’d seen Evie wearing it when she’d come to visit and assumed that ‘Oscar’ had taken it for safe-keeping. Evie had had to hand it over, and was still very upset about that!

“Well, then!” exclaimed the physio, “We’ll have to get you up and about so you can walk down that aisle! Won’t we?! …Have you picked a date yet?!”

Josh glanced at her sideways, still moving Oscar’s leg just like the she'd shown him, and gave her a look of disdain. “Not yet.” he said, “We’re not going to rush into things… We’ll decide when Evie’s better.” He really felt like this whole thing was getting out of control, and wondered if Oscar would remember these conversations, and feel that he’d been ridiculed. He didn’t like where this was going.

They’d had a family conference with Dr Delaney, the psychiatrist, to understand what the prognosis was, and to know whether they were doing the right thing. The party line seemed to be to play along at all cost. Josh had raised his concerns about the part that he was playing in this whole thing. He was worried that posing as Oscar’s boyfriend, and letting him think that his delusions were real, was simply setting him up for a fall. Reality was going to be all the harder to deal with, in his opinion, especially when he discovered that everyone had been lying to him. The psychiatrist had insisted that in the few documented cases like this, where patients had suffered severe identity crises following head injury, it had been better to go along with the delusion until the patient themselves came out of it. She’d asked them all to persevere for just a little bit longer and see how things played out. He wasn’t happy about it, but he’d agreed for Evie’s sake.

“I think we’ll try to get you standing, if that’s okay, Evie?” asked the physio, nodding at Josh to come round to the top of the bed. “I just want to see what your weight bearing is like. Is that okay with you?”

“I… guess so” said Oscar, looking very nervous and starting to breathe a little too fast. “Are… you sssure… I won’t fall?!”

“No Evie, you definitely won’t fall!” she said, giving him a reassuring smile. “Not when you’ve got this big strong boyfriend… sorry, ‘fiancé’…  here to help me hold you up!”

Josh threw her another dirty look, thinking that it was incredibly offensive, not to mention homophobic, for her to continually tease them like this. The attitude of some of the staff in this place, especially when they knew the circumstances of Oscar’s case, was incredibly unprofessional in his view. He was going to have to have a word with Nate about it.

Doing his best to hide the fact that he was annoyed, he turned to smile at Oscar again, and fixed his hair for him a little, tucking it behind his ears. “It’ll be okay!” he said, giving him a light little kiss on the cheek. Kissing him had started to get a little easier, even if it still wasn’t something that came very naturally. It certainly wasn’t something that he enjoyed, but much to his own surprise, it was starting to become a more normal part of his days with Oscar, and he was gradually becoming a little less embarrassed about it. ‘Like an actor in a play’ he kept telling himself, trying to forget how messed up and weird this really was, ‘Like an actor in a play!’  “We’ve got you! Okay?” he said, stroking Oscar’s arm reassuringly.

The physio pulled over a standing frame and placed it beside the bed in front of Oscar. She lifted both his legs and gently swung them round so they were hanging out of the bed to the side. Nodding at Josh to lift him up by the shoulders, they brought him slowly into a sitting position on the edge of the bed, with Josh and the physio holding him in an upright position and stopping him from falling forward.

“I’m… gggoing to stand up!” said Oscar, grinning up at Josh with an excited look on his face. He turned to look at the physio and said, “Let’s… do this!”

Josh and the physio lifted Oscar onto his feet, positioning his arms on the arm rests of the standing frame, and he stood there wobbling and swaying on shaky white legs. He’d lost so much weight since the accident that his legs had lost all muscle tone, and dressed as he was now in a pair of pink pyjama shorts with little red hearts on them, they did look almost feminine. Maddy had even shaved them for him yesterday and painted his toenails.

“Wooaaah!” he said, shaking his head a little. “I fffeeeel woozy” he slurred, closing his eyes and breathing heavily. “I fffeel… a bit sssick!”

“It’s okay, Evie!” said the physio, “That’s normal! You’ve been lying down for months now… Standing up can feel very strange… It’ll pass… Just breathe!”

Josh put his hand on top of Oscar’s, and smiled at him, when he opened his eyes and looked up at him. “It’ll be okay, Evie!” he said, kissing him on the forehead.

“Oh my god! This is amazing!” exclaimed Evie as she stood in the doorway. “I can’t believe you’re standing!”

“Hey” said Josh, suddenly feeling quite awkward. He didn’t like having Evie there when he was playing this part of the ‘doting boyfriend’. It just made the whole thing seem so much more fake. He’d had to kiss Oscar properly in front of Evie the other evening, and not only had he felt like he was cheating on her, but he’d seen the look of disgust on her face, even though she’d tried to hide it. Things had been a bit weird between them for the next few days. They were really only getting back onto an even keel now and he really didn’t want to mess things up again. This was all getting so complicated.

“Amazing, huh?!” said Oscar, smiling from ear to ear but clearly struggling with the strain of it all. “I’ll… bbbeee… wwwalking again soon!”

“One step at a time” said the physio, giving him a little wink. “I think that’s enough for today” she said, seeing how badly Oscar was shaking and sweating. It was taking an enormous amount of effort for him to stay on his feet. “Why don’t we get you into a wheelchair?” she asked, looking back and forth between Josh and Evie. “Maybe you’d all like to go outside and get some fresh air?”

Oscar nodded, shaking violently now with the effort to stay upright, and Evie pushed the wheelchair over for them to lower him in. He gave a sigh of relief and sat in the chair hyperventilating.

“I’m so proud of you!” said Josh sincerely, kneeling down in front of him and putting his hand on Oscar’s knee. “That was amazing!”

Evie glanced at her fiancé and her brother as they shared a tender little moment, right there in front of her. She knew that it was irrational for her to feel jealous, especially when Josh had made it abundantly clear that this wasn’t something that he wanted to do. And even more so because she had begged him to do it in the first place! But they just seemed to be growing very close, and that kiss the other night had been verging on indecent!  She was beginning to wonder if Josh was developing feelings for him. ‘You’re being ridiculous!’ she told herself, over and over. “Josh isn’t gay!” she told herself… but she couldn’t quite push the thought away.

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Thanks everyone for the very kind comments! I'm really glad you're enjoying it. :P Josh really is getting himself in over his head and even more so in this chapter! lol! Hope you like it!


Chapter 4


“Bet it feels good to be outside?!” exclaimed Evie, walking beside Oscar’s wheelchair as Josh pushed it through the hospital garden. “It’s so hot and stuffy in there!”

Oscar looked up at her and gave her a tired smile. “Yyeah… it’s good” he said, nodding and pulling Evie’s baby pink dressing gown around him. “I’m just… ssooo tired.” he sighed, tearing up a little bit and trying to blink back his tears. He seemed to cry so easily now that any little thing could set him off.

“Hey!” she said, getting Josh to stop the chair and crouching down beside him. “It’s okay! …We can take you back inside if you’re too tired?”

He shook his head, and shakily lifted his hand to wipe his tears away. “Sorry… I just…” he started to say, but began to cry again, “I’m… just… This is ssooo… hard” He gave a sigh and looked up at Josh with big teary eyes. “I’m just… so useless!”

“You’re not useless!” said Josh, coming round and hunkering down on the other side of the chair. “You’re getting better! Every day!” he said, glancing apologetically at Evie, and then gently stroking the side of Oscar’s face. “You took a really big step today!” he said, giving him a quick peck on the lips.

Oscar smiled, wiping clumsily at his tears again, and said, “Thanks… I’m just… a bit em-motional!” He glanced at Evie, who seemed to be staring at Josh, and gave her an embarrassed little smile.

Evie looked back at him, gently stroking his hair behind his ear, and fixing his little hairclips for him. She tilted her head at him and smiled, thinking that he actually looked weirdly pretty, despite his puffy eyes. “You’re gonna be okay!” she said, getting a little teary, “Look how far you’ve come already! You were standing today! …I bet in a week we’ll be out here together, walking around!”

“I hope …sssooo!” he said, nodding at her and giving a little sigh. Suddenly he looked past her to the other side of the garden, where he could see a young man and woman approaching with big smiles. “Is… that VJ and Billie?!” he asked, lifting his hand to point in their direction. “What are… they doing here?”

Josh and Evie stood up and waved at the young couple in the distance. VJ had told Evie that they were coming in for a baby scan today, but with everything that was going on, she’d forgotten all about it! VJ had explained to Billie what was going on with Oscar a few days ago, and she’d been very keen to come visit him, which had surprised Evie because she hadn’t known that Billie and Oscar were even friends. She’d seemed genuinely worried about him and said that they’d call in to visit him after the scan today.

VJ and Billie walked towards them hand in hand, and Billie cocked her head to one side looking at Oscar with concern. She was shocked to see how different Oscar looked, with his hair cut in a very feminine style, and clipped back with little pink hairclips. He looked like he’d had his eyebrows plucked as well, and the thinness of his face had given him quite high cheekbones. She thought that he’d actually taken on quite a feminine appearance, especially with his pink dressing gown and heart-patterned jammies underneath. She couldn’t help smiling at how cute he looked, even if it was a little disturbing. “Evie!” she exclaimed, reaching out her hand to Oscar, and crouching down in front of him. “I’m so happy to see you up and about! I’ve been so worried about you!”

Oscar gave her an anxious look and squeezed her hand. “Wwhat… about you?” he asked, glancing at the baby bump and looking back at her with a worried expression. “Are… yyou okay? …After?”

Billie glanced up at Josh and Evie and gave them a confused sort of look. “I’m fine, Evie” she said, in a questioning sort of way. She wasn’t sure if he was simply asking how she was because of her pregnancy, or if some of the real Oscar was starting to shine through, and he actually remembered that she’d confided in him before the explosion.  She pulled out the print-out of the baby scan and handed it to him. “We just had our second scan!” she said, smiling from ear to ear. “Look, this is our little baby!” she squealed, taking VJ’s hand and smiling up at him excitedly.

“Yeah, it’s pretty amazing!” nodded VJ, with a big goofy smile on his face. He desperately wanted to laugh, but he knew that Billie would not be impressed with him in the slightest, so he was doing his best to keep it at bay and pretend to be a grown up. He looked at Oscar and said, “Hearing that heartbeat! Man, it just blows you away!”

Oscar peered at the blurry black and white sonogram and looked up at Billie with tears in his eyes. “I’m… ssoo… happy for you!” he said, smiling through his tears. “You look happy… and th-that’s what’s important.”

Billie leaned in and gave him a hug, squeezing him tight, and smiling up at both Josh and Evie. “You gave us all such a scare!” she said to him, pulling back from him, and giving him a big smile. “I’ve really missed you.”

Oscar gave her a strange look and glanced up at Josh and Evie, wondering why Billie was being so over friendly with him. It wasn’t like they really knew each other that well, and after all the stuff with the house fire, it wasn’t like they were on the best of terms. She had saved Oscar though after the storm, so he thought that they all owed her a big debt of gratitude for that!

“Why don’t we all go sit over there?” asked Josh, pointing at a wooden picnic table in the middle of the garden, and smiling at VJ and Billie. “I could go get us some coffees and we can all have a proper chat.”

They wheeled Oscar over to the table and parked him at the end. VJ and Billie sat on either side of the table so they were closest to Oscar, and Josh and Evie exchanged meaningful glances. “Um… ‘Oscar’ and I will go get us some coffees and cakes, if you like?” said Josh, raising his eyebrows at the other two. “Can you look after ‘Evie’ for me?”

He knelt down beside Oscar’s chair and gave him a light kiss on the cheek, much to VJ’s shock and amusement. Josh caught the glance between VJ and Billie, and decided that he might as well go the whole hog. His embarrassment had reached saturation point many times over in the last few days, so a little more wouldn’t make much difference! Throwing VJ a defiant smile, he turned and gave Oscar a tender little kiss on the lips, and gently stroked the side of his face. “I’ll be back in a few minutes” he said, giving him a little wink, and walking off towards the coffee shop with Evie by his side.




“Evie! I don’t know what you want from me!” groaned Josh, rubbing his face in both hands. “I’m just doing what you asked me to do! You asked me to pretend to be ‘Evie’s’ boyfriend… I mean, Oscar’s!... God! This is so confusing! …Evie, you asked me to do that! …You did! …And now I’m doing it… And it’s weirder than anything I could ever have imagined… But I’m doing it for you!” He reached for her hand and gave her a really hurt look.  “You can’t get angry with me… for doing exactly what you asked!”

“I didn’t ask you to chew the face off him!” she snapped at him. “I didn’t ask you to paw all over him!”

“I’m not pawing all over him!” said Josh, wrinkling his nose in distaste. “I’m doing what I have to do to make it seem real for him… I’m not enjoying any of this, Evie!”

“That’s not what it looks like to me!” she said through gritted teeth. “Every time I look round you’ve got your hands all over him!”

“Okay… you tell me then…” he said, throwing his hands up a little dramatically. “What is it you want me to do?!”

“I want you to…” Evie started to say, but Josh cut her off mid-sentence.

“No, Evie! Really?! ...What am I supposed to do?! …Because I feel like I’m going crazy here! …I’ve been kissing your brother, day in day out, because I thought that’s what you wanted! …I mean… how weird and twisted is that?! …Kissing my brother-in-law! Sleeping in his bed with him! …I told you so many times that I didn’t want to do this and you made me do it!” He shook his head at her in disgust and said, “I would never have asked you to do something like this! Never! …And if I had… If I had, Evie?! I couldn’t get angry with you for doing what I asked …could I?!”

She blew out a big breath of frustration and stamped her foot as she spoke. “I didn’t expect you to take things this far! …It’s like …It’s like you have feelings for him!”

He let out an exasperated laugh and shook his head at her. “I have feelings for him?!” he asked, turning away from her and pulling at his hair. “I can’t believe this!” he said to himself under his breath, “This is unbelievable!”  Spinning back around and glaring at her angrily, he said, “You know what, Evie?! If I didn’t think I’d be hurting Oscar so much, I’d walk right out that door right now and not come back!”

“See?!” she shouted at him. “It’s all about him now! It’s just Oscar, Oscar, Oscar! …You don’t care about me anymore!”

He let out a heavy sigh and shook his head at her sadly as she started to cry. “Evie, I’m just doing my best here… This is the weirdest, most messed up situation… and I really don’t know what to do for the best. You’ve made me dig the deepest hole for myself, and I don’t know how to get out!”

“I just don’t want to lose you!” she cried out at him. “I can’t watch you with him anymore! It’s disgusting!”

“I’ll leave him then…” said Josh, nodding in a defeated sort of way, “I’ll break up with him.”

Evie looked at him with tears in her eyes and slowly shook her head. “You can’t do that” she said sadly. “It’s too cruel…” She wiped at her tears with the back of her hand and then hugged her arms around her chest. “I’m just scared” she said quietly.

He walked over to Evie and put his arms around her waist as tears streamed down her face. “It’s you that I love!” he said, gently wiping at the tears on her cheeks. “I want you, I love you!” he said, leaning his forehead against hers. “I miss you!” he sighed softly.

“I miss you so much!” she sobbed, hugging him tightly and putting her head against his chest. “This is just so weird… I feel like he’s stealing my identity… Stealing everything!” She held up her left hand and showed him her ring finger, trembling as she cried. “He’s taking everything away from me, but I feel like I’d be a terrible person if I put an end to this… He’s taking you away from me and I can’t do anything to stop it!”

“Hey!” he said, softly caressing the side of her face. “He’s not taking me away from you! I’m with you, Evie! …For better or worse!” he assured her, smiling and producing a picture of an engagement ring from his pocket. He looked at her apologetically and said, “I don’t have the money yet, but I was thinking maybe… something like this?”

She looked at it and smiled through her tears, nodding at him that she liked it. “I’m just so confused!” she sobbed, throwing her arms around him again and squeezing him tight. “I just need my boyfriend back!”




Josh lay beside Oscar on his bed, with his arm around his shoulder, and his other hand interlaced with his. Oscar had his head resting on Josh’s chest and looked up at him every now and then to give him a little smile. They were watching some stupid girly movie on Josh’s laptop, one that Evie liked to watch, and waiting for Maddy to arrive.

“Do you… really… have to ggo?” asked Oscar, looking up at him with an exaggerated pout. “I… don’t like… sssleeping here on my own.”

“I know” he said, giving him an apologetic little shrug, “…But Andy really needs me home tonight. He’s not doing very well at the moment… and I haven’t seen much of him lately.” He felt guilty lying to Oscar like this, especially because the part about Andy being in a bad way was true, and he was neglecting him, but he really needed to spend some time with Evie tonight. He’d promised her. They hadn’t slept in the same bed in months and things were getting very strained between them. That argument today had really only been the tip of the iceberg and they were going to need a lot of time to sort things out properly. Him sleeping in Oscar’s bed, night after night, certainly wasn’t helping things!

“I’ll be back tomorrow” he promised, kissing him lightly on the top of the head. “Besides, it’ll be nice for you and Maddy to have some girly time together, right?!”

“I guess” said Oscar, sounding a little down. He looked up at Josh again with big sad eyes, and said, “I just… I fffeel… I feel like…” His chin began to tremble and tears started to well up in his eyes again.

“Hey… c’mon!” said Josh, giving him a gentle little kiss on the lips. “I’m only going to be away one night!”

He shook his head, and said, “It’s not…th-that... I just …fffeel like things …hhhaven’t been the same between us …sssince I woke up.” He looked down at his own body, with what looked like disgust, and blushed bright red. No longer able to meet Josh’s gaze, he said, “You… just don’t ssseem th-that… interested …in me anymore” He started to really cry, staring down at his thin white legs resting on top of the covers. “I dddon’t …look like m-me anymore, do I?! …I’m so ugly! …I’m disgusting!”

“Oh my God! Evie!” he said, feeling truly awful for him in this moment. He just seemed so small and vulnerable, and his heart went out to him, but this was an incredibly awkward situation. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to do anything to convince him that he was wrong. If this had really been Evie, he would have taken things a lot further, to show her that he still found her attractive, but it wasn’t like he could do that with Oscar. He reached out and lifted Oscar’s face to look at him. “You’re not ugly, Evie! You’ll never be ugly!” He leaned in to give him a kiss and said, “You’re the most beautiful girl that I know!” Alarm bells were ringing in his head and there was an internal monologue telling him to stop, and that this was wrong, and that he was only digging himself a deeper and deeper hole, but he went and did it anyway. He went in for a proper passionate kiss, telling himself, ‘Like an actor in a play!’ the whole time.

Maddy stood in the doorway with her mouth hanging open. She knew that Josh had been kissing Oscar, and playing along with this whole messed up situation, but this was taking it one step too far! It didn’t look like much of a 'make-believe' kiss to her!

She cleared her throat really loudly, and Josh nearly jumped out of his skin, blushing bright red and looking as though he’d just been caught stealing.

“Oh!” exclaimed Josh, looking decidedly guilty. “Hey, Maddy, you’re um… you’re early!”

“I guess I am” said Maddy, furrowing her brow at him and then giving Oscar a big smile. She set a bag down on the bed and said, “Leah sent us some homemade food for dinner… and I brought some chips and chocolate too for later.”

“Thanks” said Oscar, giving her an embarrassed little smile. “Did you bring… the… things… I asked fffor?”

Maddy smacked her forehead in an exaggerated sort of way and said, “Oh my god! I am so sorry, Evie! I forgot them completely!” Oscar kept asking Maddy and Leah to bring him in some of his bras from home, or rather Evie’s bras, but trying to explain to him why Evie’s petite bras wouldn’t fit him was going to be a whole other headache. So far, they’d managed to ‘forget’ them on three separate occasions! “I’ll get Leah to bring them in the morning” she added, hoping that her guilt wouldn’t show too much.

A nurse walked in, glancing at Maddy, and at Josh in the bed with Oscar, and gave them all a bemused smile. She was new, and someone that Josh hadn’t seen before, so he really hoped that she’d been properly briefed on what was going on. She lifted the chart and ran her finger down it, raising her eyes to look at Oscar with amused interest. “Well, ‘Evelyn’, I’ll be back in to do my obs in a few hours.” she said, turning to go. Just before she walked out the door, she turned back and said, “Are you the one that’s related to that nurse that died? Um… Hannah Wilson? The one from the plaque out here in the hallway?”

Oscar’s face blanched white and he looked at Josh in a shocked and startled way. Josh closed his eyes, and gave a heavy sigh, shaking his head in exasperation. He opened his eyes again and gave Oscar a very apologetic look.

“Hannah died?!” cried Oscar, trying to shift up the bed to sit up straighter. “Yyou… lied to me!” he exclaimed, looking at Josh in horror. “Yyyou all…lied! … Yyyou said she was on a t-training c-course!” he sobbed. “She d-died and yyou didn’t tell me!” he stammered, pulling away from Josh as best he could.

The nurse gave a guilty little shrug and backed out the door quickly, like she’d tossed a hand grenade and then just scarpered.

Josh reached for Oscar’s hand but he angrily yanked it away. “I’m so sorry, Evie!” said Josh, stroking Oscar’s hair behind his ear. “We just didn’t think that you were ready to deal with it… I’m so sorry!”

“Get out!” shouted Oscar, pulling his arms around his chest and rolling over so he had his back to Josh. “Just get out!” he yelled, bursting into tears and sobbing loudly.

“Evie, I don’t want to leave you like this.” said Josh, leaning over and trying to put his hand on Oscar’s shoulder, but he flinched away from him again. “I’m so sorry we lied to you…“ he said quietly.

Maddy stood beside the bed, dithering, and totally unsure of what to do. “Evie, we didn’t mean to hurt you.” she said, tentatively sitting down on the edge of Oscar’s bed. “It was just a lot for you to have to deal with on top of everything else.”

“No-one wanted to hurt you” said Josh, shaking his head sadly. “Please? Evie?” he whispered, touching Oscar gently on his back. “Evie, look at me please?!”

Oscar slowly rolled back over and looked at Josh with eyes full of tears. “This… This is just…” he sobbed, “Yyou shouldn’t have lied to me… I’m a grown …w-woman… I don’t want people lying to me! …Especially nnnot you!”

Josh leaned over and tentatively put his arm around Oscar’s shoulder, pulling him in beside him for a hug, and leaning his head against his. “I’m sorry!” he said, lifting Oscar’s hand and giving it a little kiss.

“I can’t …bbbelieve Hannah …is gone!” he sobbed, with his whole body shaking as he cried. “Wwwhat else …aren’t you t-telling me?!”

Josh glanced at Maddy, and widened his eyes at her, wondering what on earth to do now. He thought how much of a mess this whole thing was, and how much he would like to just tell Oscar the truth, and go back to his normal life. He would have liked to not have to kiss him, to not have to touch him, and to not have to sleep in a bed with him ever again. He wanted more than ever to be done with this whole thing. Here was his opportunity, but it was all so very complicated, and he really didn’t know what the fallout would be. Landing it on him now could break him completely and he really didn’t want that on his conscience. He’d done so many things already that seriously made him question his own integrity, but he didn’t want to add this to the list of things that he was ashamed of. Looking down now at Oscar’s tear-stained face, gazing up at him in such desperation, he just couldn’t do it. He couldn’t rip away every tiny bit of security that Oscar had left. Everything that Oscar knew about himself might have been a total delusion, a complete and total lie, but it was all that he had to hold on to!

He pulled Oscar in a little closer, giving his shoulder a little squeeze and said, “No, Evie, that’s all.”

Maddy shook her head at Josh and patted Oscar lightly on the knee. “That’s it, really, Evie… I’m so sorry we lied to you about it.”

Oscar’s face just crumpled and he slumped into Josh’s arms, sobbing and sobbing as the realisation hit him like a ton of bricks. His whole body was shuddering violently as he cried. “I ...c-can’t …believe Hannah’s …just gone” he cried, struggling to get the words out between sobs. “Please… just h-hold me?” he pleaded, looking up at Josh with the biggest, saddest eyes.




Evie picked up her phone to check the time again and make sure that Josh hadn’t texted. He was twenty minutes late already and the waiter had been over to the table three times to check if she wanted to order yet. How many times did she need to tell him that she was waiting for someone?! Seriously?!

She was actually kind of excited about this evening, which she thought was a little sad really. She and Josh just hadn’t had much time to themselves since the explosion and it had been months since they’d done anything romantic together. Tonight was so important! She hadn’t even really fully realised that she felt that way about the whole thing with Oscar until she’d opened her mouth and the words had come spilling out. She was jealous! She knew that now. She also knew that she was being ridiculous, but it didn’t change the way that she felt. Josh putting his hands all over her brother and kissing him like that had turned her stomach, but the fact that he really didn’t seem to mind doing it anymore, had been the more disturbing thing. She realised that she was being more than a little unreasonable about it, but she couldn’t help it. Asking him to do this thing for her that made him incredibly uncomfortable, and then getting annoyed with him for finding a way to overcome his discomfort. Did she really expect him to torture himself day in and day out?!

She kept looking at the door and hoping that he’d walk in. The sooner she could get her hands on him, and show him what he’d been missing, all the better. Tonight was going to be an Oscar-free zone and all conversation relating to him was strictly off bounds. They’d already agreed that. Tonight was going to be all about them and their future together! Leah had sorted them out a van for later and she’d even strung up some fairy lights, and scattered some rose petals, trying to make it look a little bit more romantic. They even had a bottle of bubbly chilling on ice. It wasn’t fancy but at least they’d have some privacy for once!

The waiter came over again, and she gave him a dirty look, so he swerved and pretended that he’d been on his way to another table. She gave an exasperated sigh and looked at her phone again. “Seriously, Josh?!” she muttered to herself under her breath, “You’d better have a pretty good excuse!”

Suddenly the phone beeped and the name Josh flashed up on the screen. Her face fell when she read the text message: “Major crisis with Oscar, can’t come tonight. I am SO sorry! I’ll make it up to you, I promise! xxx”

She picked up her things and scurried out of the restaurant as fast as she could. She knew that she was going to start crying so she picked up speed and started to run down the stairs but her heel caught on the scarf that was tangled round her arm. She stumbled badly, and lost her balance, ending up in a heap on the floor.

“Oh my God! Evie?! Are you alright?!” asked Andy, crouching down to her level and gently touching her shoulder.

She looked up at Andy, trying to untangle herself from her bag and her scarf, and suddenly becoming aware of her badly twisted ankle. “Owww” she cried, as she realised that something was definitely wrong. She could see that everyone was looking at her now, and while she was in significant pain, the embarrassment was taking hold, and all she really wanted to do was go home. She tried to stand up, but as soon as she put weight on her injured leg a raw and visceral pain shot like a shockwave up through her body, and she collapsed back onto the floor, crying out in pain.

“Woah! Don’t get up!” said Andy, gently lifting her ankle to have a look. “I think it might be broken” he said, looking at her with concern. “You’ll need to get this x-rayed.” he said, nodding at her sympathetically.

 “Oh god!” she groaned, looking into Andy’s worried eyes, and bursting into tears. “I don’t think this day can get any worse!”

“C’mon!” he said, getting her to put her arm around his shoulder, and lifting her off the floor in his arms, “I’ll drive you to the hospital.”

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Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments! :wink: Sorry it's been so long since my last update! I've been very busy. Really hope you like this one! x


Chapter 5


“They said they’ll call you soon” said Andy, throwing Evie a nervous smile and returning to his seat beside her in the waiting room. “Do you need anything? Do you want me to grab you a coffee or a bottle of water or something?”

“No, I’m fine.” muttered Evie, staring at her phone and pretending to be engrossed in her Facebook page.

Andy glanced at Evie as she sat there all puffy eyed in the wheelchair beside him. She was clearly trying to ignore him and had made it clear that they weren’t friends anymore. The ride to the hospital had been incredibly awkward, with her biting his head off every time he asked a question, and giving him the silent treatment the rest of the time. Now she was sitting here, in considerable pain, with an ankle the size of a tree trunk, and still she didn’t want his help. He thought about how much time they’d spent together, sitting at Josh’s bedside, and hoping and praying that he would wake up. They’d grown quite close then, being each other’s support throughout that nightmare, and they’d even shared that kiss not so long ago. How had it come to this? He thought about Oscar and Hannah, and how much hurt and pain he had caused this poor girl, and wondered how he would ever be able to make things right between them. He hadn’t meant for Hannah and Oscar to get hurt, and he knew that it hadn’t really been his fault, but he couldn’t help blaming himself. He had knocked the tanks over, and even though they were faulty, he couldn’t help feeling responsible. Evie blamed him too, which didn’t help. He just wished that he could wind back the clock and change things, but he couldn’t.

“Are you sure you don’t need anything?” he asked again, tentatively touching her on the arm to get her attention.

She looked up at him with an icy stare and then looked back at her phone. He nodded, giving a heavy sigh, and turned away to watch the door for the doctors coming to call her in.

After a few moments, Evie looked up at him again, now that his attention was elsewhere, and was shocked to see how different he looked. She’d been so intent on making it clear that she was angry with him that she hadn’t really looked at him properly all evening.  He’d lost a lot of weight, giving his face a very gaunt appearance, and he had dark circles around his eyes. He really didn’t look well. She hadn’t noticed earlier that his clothes were hanging off him either, and he certainly didn’t look like he’d been spending much time in the gym or even getting outside very much. This wasn’t the muscle-shirt, tanned, surfer that she’d always known. There was something pathetic and broken about him now. He almost looked like a different person.

“You can go, y’know” she said to him quietly, suddenly feeling a little sorry for him against her better judgement. “I don’t really need you here.”

He turned to look at her with a wounded expression on his face and nodded at her phone. “When’s Josh getting here? I’ll wait till then.”

“He’s not” she said, staring back down at her phone and blinking back her tears. “He’s not coming.”

“What?!” exclaimed Andy, putting his hand on the arm of the wheelchair and giving her a very concerned look. “Why?! Where is he?!”

“He’s with Oscar” she said, pretending to be very interested in whatever was on her phone. “He’s upstairs.”

“Then why the hell hasn’t he come down here?!” asked Andy, sounding angry on her behalf. “We’ve been here over an hour, and you’re telling me that he’s just sitting upstairs and he hasn’t bothered to come see you?! What’s he doing?!”

“That’s a good question!” she blurted out, snorting in a frustrated and angry, fake laughter, sort of way. She wondered exactly the same thing, and shuddered, as a number of possibilities ran through her mind. Somehow, snuggling up to Oscar in his bed tonight, had seemed like a more appealing prospect than spending time with her. She wondered what they really were doing when no-one was watching. The thought that Josh might actually be falling for her brother just wouldn’t leave her.

“What do ya mean?” asked Andy, looking a little confused. He really didn’t understand this. Evie had told him that Josh had stood her up at the restaurant, so he figured that they must have had a fight, but he wondered what on earth Josh was doing upstairs with Oscar so late. Surely visiting hours were over now? And it just didn’t seem like Josh to leave his injured girlfriend sitting down here to deal with things on her own. Something didn’t seem right.

“I haven’t told him I’m here” she mumbled, looking embarrassed and blushing a little red. “I don’t think he’d care anyway…” she said in a childish pouting sort of tone. “He is where he wants to be.”

“Evie, I don’t understand.” he said, shaking his head at her. “What’s going on?”

“I wish I knew” she said, hugging her arms around herself and starting to cry. “It’s all such a mess!”




Andy stood stock still in the doorway of Oscar’s room, staring at the scene in front of him, with his mouth hanging open. He couldn’t quite process what he was seeing. This was just too weird. There they were in bed together! Oscar and his little brother! In the dim light streaming in from the hallway he could see that Josh had his top off and the two of them were spooning in the bed. Josh was pulled in close behind Oscar, with his arm reached around Oscar’s waist, and they were even holding hands. Oscar had a pair of pink and blue butterfly pyjamas on and the remnants of makeup on his face that looked very tear-stained. If he hadn’t known that Oscar was a man, he might have been forgiven for thinking that it was a girl with a strong jawline and a short little pixie haircut. There was a closeness between them like a couple that had been sharing a bed like this for quite some time. They looked very cosy indeed.

Andy went back out into the hallway to gather his thoughts. Evie had simply told him to go and have a look for himself so he hadn’t been prepared for any of this and he didn’t know what was going on. All he knew was that his brother, who had never expressed any kind of homosexual interest as far as he knew, was now in bed with Evie’s brother. Not only that, but he’d clearly chosen Oscar tonight, and stood Evie up in order to cheat on her with her own twin! This was all kinds of weird! He sat down on one of the chairs in the hallway and put his head in his hands. He wondered what to do… He began to run things over in his mind, wondering if there had been signs in the past that maybe he had missed, or maybe if Josh had ever tried to tell him that he was gay, and backed out at the last moment. He just couldn’t think of anything! Josh had been acting very strangely for the last few weeks though. He’d been very secretive and evasive, and he hadn’t slept even one night at the house since Oscar had woken up. Things were starting to make a bit more sense now. The thought that Josh had maybe been too scared to tell him made him feel a little sad. The one thing that he’d always thought was clear was that he loved him and that he’d always have his back no matter what. He was shocked that Josh was gay. That much was true. But he didn’t want Josh to ever feel ashamed or not be able to talk to him about things. Josh was all that he had. The most important thing in the world to him. The only thing that really mattered. He didn’t care if he was gay or not. He just wanted him to be happy.

He got to his feet, still really unsure of what to do, and walked back into Oscar’s room. “Josh?” he whispered, touching him gently on the shoulder and giving him a little shake. “Josh, wake up” he said again.

Josh opened his eyes and looked up at Andy, looking sleepy and confused for a moment and then staring at him in a startled way. “Andy!” he exclaimed in a shocked whisper. “What are you doing here?!”

Andy motioned with his head for Josh to follow him out into the hallway and went outside to wait for him. He really didn’t want to know if Josh wasn’t wearing anything on his bottom half.

Josh slipped quietly out of the bed and threw on a t-shirt, glancing back at Oscar in the bed to make sure that he hadn’t woken him, and walked sheepishly out into the hallway to face the music. This was mortifying! He could feel his face burning bright red already.

“Andy, I…” Josh stammered, sitting down in the seat beside Andy and staring at the floor. He glanced sideways at his brother but he was hardly able to meet his eyes. “I… it’s not…” he started to say.

Andy put his hand on Josh’s shoulder and bent down to look him in the eye. “It’s okay, Josh” he said, giving him a very sympathetic smile. “I don’t care that you’re gay …or bi… or whatever…”

“I’m not gay!” blurted Josh, looking at him in shock. “I’m not!”

“Josh” said Andy, tilting his head at him in a way that said he didn’t believe him.  “I just want you to know that I love you… no matter what.”

“Seriously, Andy! I’m not gay!” said Josh, shaking his head at him adamantly. “It’s not what it looks like!”

Andy shook his head at him a little sadly and patted him on the knee. “I just found you in bed with your fiancé’s brother… spooning… with no clothes on.” he said, giving him an embarrassed smile. He felt a little sad that Josh was this much in denial and still thought that he had to lie about it to him. “I’m not angry, mate. You don’t have to lie to me anymore. If you’re gay, you’re gay… There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Josh covered his face in his hands and growled out through gritted teeth. “I’m not gay, Andy! Please?! Will you just listen to me?!”

“Okay, talk” said Andy, giving him a smile and razzling his hair a little. “I think maybe I haven’t been listening enough… so, talk.”




“Evie!” exclaimed Josh, running into her hospital room. They’d just finished applying her cast and Nate had gone to get her paperwork so that she could go home. “I’m so sorry!” he said, taking in the large cast around her ankle and the cuts and scrapes on her knees.

She gave him a cold look, shaking her head at him in disgust, and said, “I don’t want you here”

“Please, Evie?!” he pleaded, sitting on the edge of her bed and reaching for her hand. “I am so sorry!”

“You chose him…” she said, shaking her head sadly and staring out the window. “Sorry… I mean her!”

“Evie, he just found out about Hannah!” he said, trying to explain. “Some nurse came in and just blurted it out… He just went to pieces!” he said, giving her hand a little squeeze. “I couldn’t leave him when he was so upset!”

“You didn’t have to leave him” she said, turning to look at him with a hurt expression on her face. “You could have told me to come here. You could have said, ‘Oscar found out about Hannah, maybe he needs his ‘brother’? …But you didn’t… because you wanted him to yourself! You chose to stay here with him… alone… in his bed.”

He hung his head and gave a heavy sigh. “I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, Evie… I really don’t” His eyes filled up with tears and he lifted her hand to kiss it. “I love you… but I guess… It’s really hard not to care about someone that you’re getting… so… close with every day… I’m not in love with Oscar, believe me… I’m in love with you.” He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “I just… don’t want to hurt him… He needs me and I guess, sometimes, it’s nice to be needed…. It’s just really confusing.”

“You think I don’t need you?!” she asked, furrowing her brow at him. “He’s not the only one hurting here, you know?! …I need my boyfriend!”

“I know you do.” he said, nodding his head. “But imagine if you were that Evie” he said, pointing to the ceiling. “Imagine if you’d just woken up in a hospital bed, hardly able to move, or talk properly…  Believe me, I know exactly what that’s like, Evie! …It’s terrifying!” He shook his head at her in a sad sort of way and said, “And then, on top of all that, your boyfriend just runs out on you?! How do you think you would feel?!”

“He’s not me!” she shouted at him through gritted teeth. “We should never have gone along with this whole crazy thing! It’s been weeks and he hasn’t come out of it yet! This is ridiculous!” She was breathing very heavily now and her face had flushed red with anger. “He can’t just keep being me!”

“I don’t know what we’re supposed to do about it” he said, staring down at the floor. He really didn’t see how this was ever going to resolve itself. At this rate he’d be marrying Oscar instead of Evie next year! “We can’t just go up there and say, ‘Eh, you’re not actually Evie! We’ve been lying to you all this time!’”

“Yeah, well, I can’t watch you do this anymore!” she said, shaking her head angrily. “I can’t!”

“What do you want to do then?” he asked, shrugging at her sadly. “What do you want me to do?”

“You can’t see him anymore… not if you want to be with me.” said Evie, looking at him pleadingly. “You’re going to have choose.”

“It’s not that simple, Evie.” he said, gently stroking her cheek. “I mean… how do we do this?!  …I can’t just go up there and break up with him, can I?!” he asked, looking increasingly worried. “After he just found out about Hannah?!”

“See?!” she whined at him. “It’s all about him!”

“I choose you!” he said, leaning over to kiss her on the forehead. “There’s no question… I choose you!” Taking her hand and giving her a very worried smile, he said, “But… how do we do this? Do I break up with him? …Just disappear? What?!”




“Why do …yyou have to go away?!” whined Oscar, holding tightly onto Josh’s hand and staring up at him with big sad eyes. “I don’t… un-understand!”

“I told you!” he said, giving him a kiss on the forehead and a little smile. “I have to go away for a Uni project… I’ve missed so much the last few months that they’ve said they’ll fail me if I don’t go!”

Oscar gave a heavy sigh and his eyes started to well up with tears. “But, I need you!” he said, pouting in an exaggerated way. “I ddon’t… think I can do this… without you!”

Josh sat down on the side of the bed and gave him a sad and sympathetic look. “Yes, you can!” he said, planting a soft little kiss on his lips. “You can… You’re strong! And you’ve got so many people to help you through it!”

“That’s right!” said Leah, giving him a big smile. “You’ve got me… and Zac, and Maddy… And ‘Oscar’ too… when he’s back on his feet.”

Maddy smiled and nodded at him from the end of his bed. “Yeah, we’re all here… Anything you need at all!”

Oscar nodded at Leah and Maddy, and gave them a half-hearted smile. “It’s not the same …th-though” he said, turning to look back at Josh. “You’re the one I want… I’m going t-to be ssso lonely!”

“Hey!” said Josh, putting his arm around him and pulling him in for a hug. “You can still call me… and we can skype.”

“It’s not the ssame!” he sobbed, as tears streamed down his cheeks. “I don’t want you to ggo!”

Looking at the hurt and anguish on his face, Josh couldn’t help feeling that this was incredibly cruel, and really wished that there was some other way out of this. It was so much worse than he’d thought it would be. Seeing how upset he was now, it felt like he was kicking a puppy.

Leah walked over and reached for Oscar’s other hand. “Sweetheart! It’s only for a couple of weeks… and you can still keep in touch!” She tilted her head at him sympathetically and wiped at the tears on his face for him. “You’ve still got all of us… and we’ll do some fun things! Won’t we Maddy?!”

Maddy nodded and flashed him a big white smile. “Girly nights and chick flicks! We’ll do manis and pedis! And I’ve had some fun ideas for your hair too… and Billie said she’d help!” she said, patting his foot softly. “Come on, Evie! It’ll be fun!”

“See?!” said Leah, nodding at him encouragingly and fixing his hair for him a little. “C’mon now, sweetie, chin up! It won’t be so bad!”

Oscar nodded and turned to give Josh a sad little smile. “Sorry… I’m just sscared.” he said, sniffling and wiping at his eyes with his pyjama sleeve. “This is so h-hard already… wwithout you going too.”

“I know” said Josh, throwing Leah a worried glance. “But I’ll be back soon. You’ll hardly know I’ve been gone.”




“You okay?” asked Andy, staring at Josh’s uneaten pizza in the box in his lap. “You not hungry?”

Josh looked up at Andy with a slightly dazed expression and then looked down at the pizza that had long gone cold sitting on his knee. He still had the slice, that he’d picked up and taken one bite of, held in his hand, as though someone had just pressed pause about twenty minutes ago. “Oh… um… I guess not.” he said, setting the slice back in the box and moving the box to the coffee table. “I’m just really tired.”

“You sure you don’t want to talk about it?” ventured Andy, tentatively trying to broach the subject with him. Josh clearly seemed quite rattled by the whole thing and he was worried about him bottling things up. Andy really wasn’t buying this whole ‘like an actor in a play’ thing. That bedroom scene had been far too cosy to be entirely make-believe, whether Josh realised it or not! He’d listened to the story that Josh had told him, and while he could maybe accept that something had broken in Oscar’s head, enough to make him think that he was Evie, it didn’t explain why Josh had gone along with it all and thrown himself into it with such commitment. The worry was what Josh actually imagined happening in the long run. Did he think that he could have a relationship with both twins? And if he was going back to Evie, was it a case of denial, and was he essentially locking himself in the ‘closet’ out of fear?

“No!” growled Josh, turning to glare at him for a moment. “I’ve already said all that I’m gonna say about it!”

“I just think” said Andy, running his hand through his hair, and trying to sound as patient and understanding as possible. “I just think that it might help to talk to someone… if you’re… you know… ‘confused’.”

“I’m not ‘confused’, Andy!” he said, narrowing his eyes at him. “Evie and I are solid! She’s coming over tonight and we’re going to get things back on track… and that’ll be it!” He got up and put his pizza box on the counter in the kitchen, and went to look for a beer. His phone beeped and he smiled to himself as he reached to take it out of his pocket. His face fell again when he saw that it was from Evie, and not Oscar. ‘Be there in 20’ it read. He leaned back against the counter, rubbing his face with his hand, and let out a little sigh of frustration. ‘What is wrong with me?!’ he asked himself, feeling a mixture of guilt and embarrassment. ‘Evie is your girlfriend… and you love her!’




Josh lay wide awake in the bed beside Evie, staring at the ceiling, and trying to ignore the gnawing feeling that he had in the pit of his stomach. He couldn’t quite figure out why he was feeling this way. Evie had come over and they’d done their best to have a romantic evening. He’d sorted his room out with lots of candles in the hope of making it seem a little more romantic, and he’d got them a soppy movie to watch, and a bottle of bubbly and strawberries as well. Things had gone okay, but there’d been a definite awkwardness about it all, as though this was the first time that they’d ever slept together. It hadn’t been bad exactly, but it really hadn’t been good either.

He looked down at her sleeping face as she lay with her head resting on his chest, and her hand on his stomach, and he thought how beautiful she looked. She was an absolutely stunning girl. There was no doubt about that. But, for the first time, there was something missing… When he looked at her before he used to feel like she was the only girl in the world for him. Like they were made for each other and like he’d never find anyone as perfect as her. His stomach used to do somersaults when he saw her, and he’d never been able to keep his hands off her. Now, he really wasn’t sure what he was feeling.

He realised that he didn’t feel comfortable lying in this bed. That was for sure! Being this close to Evie, especially with no clothes on, was making him feel anxious, and he couldn’t understand why. His stomach was busy tying itself in knots and he felt almost nauseous. He looked over and saw his phone on the bedside table, and reached for it as slowly as he could, to keep from waking Evie. His heart skipped a beat when he saw that there was a message from Oscar. How had he not heard it come through?! “Miss you so much! x” it read. He glanced guiltily at Evie, and started to type. “Miss you too! Love you! xxx” Setting the phone down again, he came to the awful realisation that the gnawing pain in his stomach was actually guilt. He may have been sharing a bed with his actual girlfriend, the woman he was supposed to be marrying, but the truth was that he felt like he was cheating on Oscar! He felt so confused! “Oh my God! What are you doing?!” he said to himself under his breath, “Get a grip, Josh! You are not gay!”

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Thanks again to everyone for the very kind comments!  You guys are great! :wub: Really hope you like this chapter. It's all getting so much weirder now!




Chapter 6


2 weeks later…


“I can’t believe how well you’re doing!” said Billie, walking beside Oscar down the corridor. “You should be so proud of yourself!”

“I’m getting there” sighed Oscar, shaking a little as he walked with his crutches and dragged his feet with great effort across the floor. “I think I need… to sit down now though” He was clearly exhausted.

“Okay, there are some seats right here.” she said, taking a seat and nodding for him to sit down beside her. She watched him sit down, noticeably out of breath and panting, and gave him a big smile and a pat on the knee. “Three laps, Evie! You did really well!”

“Thanks!” he said, leaning back and trying to catch his breath. “This is just so hard… It’s so weird… that you can just wake up… and find that something… you always just… took for granted… is suddenly really difficult.” The laps around the corridor had really taken it out of him and he was talking in short bursts as he tried to slow his breathing. “Who knew… walking… could be so… hard!”

“Yeah” said Billie, stroking her growing belly and staring a little vacantly at the floor. “Things can just change overnight. You can think that your life is headed in one direction… and then something happens… and you end up headed in a completely different direction …and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Yeah, life… can really …mess up your plans” he sighed, giving her a sarcastic little smile. "It sucks sometimes, doesn't it?"

She looked at him and thought for a moment that she could see some of the old Oscar shining through. There was something about the way that he’d just smiled at her that didn’t seem like this weird clingy Evie version of Oscar that he’d become. She wondered if it was just wishful thinking on her part though. That maybe she was just seeing what she wanted to see. He was one of the few people who knew what had happened to her and she just really wanted to be able to talk to him. She turned to face him and put her hand on top of his. “I wanted to ask you something… I was wondering what you remember from before? Like, what’s the last thing you remember from before the explosion?”

He furrowed his brow and peered down at the floor. “I don’t really remember much” he said, finally having caught his breath. “I think maybe we were taking photos? Like everyone posing together and I think everyone was really happy? …I don’t remember the explosion at all.”

“And what about before that?” she asked. “I mean, do you remember talking to me at all?”

“Did I talk to you?” he asked, suddenly looking a little worried, “What were we talking about?”

She looked a little disappointed and shook her head at him. “Oh, nothing really… it doesn’t matter” she said, patting his hand.

He stared down at the floor again, frowning a little, and said, “I feel like I’ve forgotten something… like there’s something I should be doing …or something I forgot to do.” He looked up at her again suddenly, with concern etched across his face, and said, “How are you dealing with everything? Are you okay?!” He took hold of her hand and gave it little squeeze. “…Billie, you can’t let that monster get away with hurting you like that! Did you report it to the police?!”

She looked at him in shock. Something had changed in his face and she was sure that this was Oscar and not ‘Evie’. He was looking at her with such kindness and concern in the way that the old Oscar would have. He seemed to remember! Maybe he was finally back?! “Oh my God! Do you remember?! Do you remember what I told you?!” she asked, sounding excited.

“Remember what?” he asked, looking back at her in a blank and confused way. “What did you tell me?”

“Um… about… what you just asked me?” stammered Billie, gazing at him quizzically. It was like for that one fleeting moment, Oscar had been back, but now he’d disappeared, to be replaced with this strange version of Evie again. She couldn’t help feeling sad.

He shook his head in a bewildered sort of way and shrugged a little. “I don’t know what I asked you… I keep forgetting things.” he said, hanging his head and looking a little upset. “I hate this!” he said, covering his face in both hands and giving a frustrated sigh. “I can’t remember stuff very well… and I keep losing track of what I’m talking about! …I just feel so… stupid!”

“You’re not stupid!” exclaimed Billie, shaking her head at him. “It’s just gonna take some time to get better, that’s all!”

He nodded at her and wiped at a few stray tears that had started to roll down his cheeks. “I think I want to go back to my room now, if that’s okay… I’m just really tired.”




"Josh is coming to visit tomorrow!" exclaimed Oscar, holding up his phone and smiling at Maddy, who was sitting at the end of his bed. "He just texted! Look!"

"Really?!" said Maddy, taking the phone from his hand to look at the message. Josh hadn't told her that he intended to come in, so she wondered if he'd cleared it with Evie or not. She hoped that this wasn't going to cause another big fight between him and Evie. All they ever seemed to do now was fight!  She looked up at Oscar and gave him a big smile. "That's fantastic, Evie! You must be so excited!"

He nodded and smiled from ear to ear. "It's only for the day... He says he can't stay... but I can't wait! ...Maddy, I've just missed him so much!"

"Yeah, I know" she said, nodding at him a little sadly. "Well!" she said, suddenly beaming at him and holding up some pink nail varnish. "Why don't we get you ready then? This colour?" she said, waggling the little bottle at him. Then she put on a silly voice, and asked, "You like?"

Oscar laughed and held his hand out for her to do his nails. "Thanks Mads! I really ap-appreciate all your help... I don’t know what I'd do without you!"

Maddy looked up from painting Oscar's fingernails and gave him a little wink. "What are friends for?!"

Oscar glanced at Maddy, looking a little embarrassed and then looked away again, staring down at the bed covers. "I was wondering..." he started to ask in a very sheepish tone and blushed bright red.

"Go on" said Maddy, too engrossed in painting Oscar's nails to notice how embarrassed he looked.

"Um... well..." he started again. "I was wondering if you had any ideas..."

Maddy looked up and saw how red Oscar's face had gone. "Evie, you can ask me anything!" she said, not entirely sure that that was true. She wasn't sure that she was really ready for whatever it was that he wanted to ask. If he was this embarrassed, it didn't bode well!

Oscar looked up, with tears starting to form in his eyes again, and said, "I just don’t feel like Josh sees me the same way that he used to... He doesn't seem to want to... to want to be..." He was clearly struggling to find the right word and the whole thing was proving highly embarrassing. His face was burning bright red. "When we sleep together, that's all we do... He doesn't seem to want to go... any further... He doesn't seem to want to..."

"To sleep with you?!" she blurted out, without meaning to sound as shocked as she did. "Sorry, I mean... to sleep with you?" she asked, correcting her tone and looking a little shamefaced.

He furrowed his brows at her for a moment, unsure of what to make of her reaction. "Uh... yeah" he said, looking back down at his bedsheets. "I mean... I've tried... but he just keeps pushing me away... and I mean… literally pushing my hand away!" He looked back up and tilted his head at her, with tears now streaming down his cheeks, and said, "Am I really that ugly? ...Is it the short hair?!"

"Sweetie! You're not ugly!" she assured him, giving him a sympathetic smile. She was finding it hard not to laugh, and she felt bad for thinking it was funny, but this whole thing was just getting weirder and weirder! The image of Josh having to fight off a frisky and over-amorous Oscar just struck her as incredibly funny. She couldn't help laughing! Staring back down at Oscar's nails and shaking a little from the effort not to laugh, she said, "Maybe it's just the hospital? It's a bit of a turnoff... and it's not like you have a lot of privacy in this place with all the nurses coming and going."

"That's what he says" muttered Oscar, looking a little depressed. "I just want things to go back to normal!" he whined. "I'm going to be stuck in here for at least another couple of weeks! ...I just want my boyfriend back!" He tilted his head at her, looking decidedly uncomfortable, and asked in a whisper "Do you have any ideas... of how to... y'know... 'reignite' things?"

"Umm... uhhhh..." stammered Maddy, choking back her laughter. This was just too much! How was she supposed to give one ex-boyfriend tips on how to turn on another ex-boyfriend?! The giggles were coming and she knew that she wouldn't be able to stop once she'd started! "Um, I'll be back in a minute" she said making a mad dash for the hallway, "Just need the toilet!"

Once out in the hallway, and far enough away that Oscar wouldn't hear, she collapsed in a fit of giggles. This was just getting too weird!




"Hey, lover boy!" called Matt as he walked in the door of Angelo's with a big grin on his face. "I hear you're gonna go visit Evie 2.0 tomorrow?"

"Funny!" growled Josh, narrowing his eyes and scowling at him, as he wiped down the counter.

"Nah, mate, just teasing..." said Matt, sliding onto one of the stools at the bar. "He's really excited to see you though..." he said, giving him a little wink, "Like, really excited...” he said, raising one eyebrow, “If you get my meaning!"

"Matt! Can you please just shut up?!" snapped Josh, turning away to grab a beer for the drinks order he was putting together. "You're not as funny as you think you are, y’know!" he said, coming back over to set the beer bottle on a tray.

"Ooh, touch a nerve, did I?!" teased Matt, pulling his face into a mock grimace. He knew that he was probably pushing it a little too far, but the whole situation was just so ridiculous, that it was difficult not to poke fun.

"I just don't think head injuries are that funny" huffed Josh, picking up the tray and walking off towards one of the tables on the far side of the room.

Maddy walked across the floor of the restaurant and gave Josh a little wave as she made her way to where Matt was sitting. “Hey!” she said, leaning in to give Matt a kiss as he put his arms around her waist.

"Can you tell your boyfriend that he's not funny?" said Josh, giving Maddy a little half-smile when he returned to the bar. "He seems to think he's some kind of stand-up or something!"

"What have you been saying?!" asked Maddy, giving Matt a very disapproving look. "I told you not to say anything!" she growled at him through gritted teeth.

'Sorry!" he said, holding both hands up in a mocking kind of way, "I was just telling him how much Oscar is looking forward to seeing him! ...If he chooses to see that as me making fun, then that's his problem, isn't it?!"

Maddy frowned at him, and pursed her lips, before elbowing him quite forcefully in the ribs.

"Owww!" yelled Matt, deliberately overreacting and making a big song and dance of how much pain he was in. He stood up on the footrest of his stool and pointed at Maddy, "Assault!" he yelled, making sure to get the attention of everyone in the restaurant, and laughing as he shouted. "I've just been assaulted by a kickass girl with one arm!... Somebody help!"

"Shut up!" giggled Maddy, grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him back down into his seat. "What are you on today?!" she asked him, tilting her head at him with mock concern. "Can you stop being such a jerk for like five minutes?!"

"Sorry" he said, giving her a guilty look. "I'll be good... I'll be good!" He turned to look at Josh and gave him an apologetic nod, “Sorry, mate.”

"How is he really?" asked Josh, opening a beer for Matt and giving Maddy a concerned look. "Is he okay?"

"He's really missing you... It's been a tough few weeks." said Maddy, giving him a sad little smile. "He's pretty tired, and a bit over emotional about everything… He just seems to cry a lot."

"He's walking though!" added Matt, smiling sincerely for once. "With crutches, and slowly, but he's up and he's walking... We've been taking it in turns to help with his physio."

"Yeah, we took him swimming yesterday!" said Maddy, blushing a little when she thought of how he'd looked in his red swimsuit. "Me and Leah, and his physio ...” she said, nodding and smiling happily. “He did really well! ...He just got a bit upset that you weren't there."

"I don't know what to do" said Josh, looking really unhappy and staring down at the countertop of the bar. "This is horrible! …I hate just leaving him like this."

Matt snorted a little but did his best to disguise it with an exaggerated cough. He picked up his beer and took a big gulp, trying to hide his amusement.

"You're coming in tomorrow, right?" asked Maddy, wondering if she should warn Josh about the amorous advances that Oscar had planned, or if she should just let him deal with it, if and when it happened. This was all getting very complicated. She didn’t want to betray Oscar’s confidence by telling Josh what Oscar was up to, but on the other hand, she didn’t want Josh to be ambushed and end up hurting Oscar really badly. This was all just getting out of hand.

Josh nodded and gave her an uneasy smile. "I just need to see that he's okay… I’m worried about him."

"And Evie's okay with you going in to see him?” asked Maddy, looking at him suspiciously.

His face flushed bright red and he stared down at the countertop looking decidedly shamefaced. “I haven’t spoken to her yet.” he said.

Maddy grimaced a little and glanced at Matt with a worried expression. “I think you owe it to her to be honest” said Maddy, reaching out and patting Josh’s hand. “It’s only for a few hours, I’m sure she’ll understand.”




“Hey Josh” said Evie, leaning her head over the back of the couch to look at him as he walked through the door. She had her foot up on the coffee table, resting on a number of cushions, to keep her cast elevated. “I’m glad you’re here!” she said, reaching out her hand to him to come and join her on the couch.

“Hey” he said, sounding a little uneasy, as he took her hand and flopped down on the sofa beside her. He wasn’t looking forward to this conversation and was pretty sure that it was just going to end up in an argument. He knew that she wouldn’t want him to go visit Oscar and would try to persuade him not to. Worse than that, she’d probably give him another ultimatum, and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to give her what she wanted this time. He needed to see him. He was going whether she wanted him to or not! “How’s the ankle?” he asked her, avoiding the issue for the time being.

“Itchy” she said, wrinkling up her nose and nodding at the wire coat hanger that she’d been using to scratch it, “It’s driving me mad!” She gave him a little smile and cocked her head to one side in a pleading sort of way. “Can you get me the tub of ice-cream from the freezer? I just got comfortable and I can’t face getting up again… please?!”

“Yeah, course!” he said, jumping to his feet and heading out to the kitchen. He was grateful to have a distraction from their car crash of a relationship and an excuse to get up and go hunt in the cupboards. Anything to avoid actually having to talk about things. “Anything else you need? Glass of water? Chips…?”

“No, ice cream is good” she said, flicking through the channels on the TV. “Hey, do you want to stay tonight?” she asked, trying her best to pretend that nothing was wrong and sound relaxed about it. Things hadn’t been good between them for the last few weeks and she was beginning to wonder if they even had a future together. He just seemed so cold and distant these days.

Josh walked back in, carrying the ice cream and two spoons, and sat back down beside her. “Uhhh…” he stammered, wondering how best to get himself out of this. “Uhhh… maybe not tonight Evie.”

She turned to look at him and knitted her brows together. “Josh!” she said, scowling at him, “How are we meant to get things back on track if you keep avoiding me?!”

“I’m not avoiding you!” he exclaimed, shaking his head and blowing out a frustrated breath. “Maybe I just don’t want to have everyone in your house listening to us in your bedroom… Did you ever think of that?! …You could come to mine?”

She shook her head at him a little angrily and said, “Last time I stayed, we had to have breakfast with Andy, and I’m not doing that again!”

“He’s my brother, Evie!” he growled at her, “Andy is really important to me… How are we going to get married and have a life together if you can’t forgive him? …I mean seriously, Evie?! You’ve forgiven Roo and she’s the one that’s really to blame!”

“We’re not getting into this again, Josh!” snapped Evie. “We’re never going to eye to eye on this…”

Josh let out an exasperated sigh and rubbed his face in both hands. “I give up!” he said, getting up to leave. “I can’t deal with you when you’re being this unreasonable!”

“Oh that’s right, Josh!” she called after him as he walked out the door. “Just run away from your problems! God forbid you might sit down and actually talk to me like a grown up!”




Josh sat huddled on the beach, staring out at the darkened water, and wondered what on earth to do for the best. His stomach was churning round and round as he thought about what was now happening between him and Evie. It was all so confusing. He and Evie just didn’t seem to be able to get on anymore, and the last couple of times that they’d slept together, it had all been really awkward.  He’d begun to feel that they were both just going through the motions, and that whatever had formed the foundation of their relationship before, it had now been shaken so badly that a huge fault-line had opened up, and nothing was ever going to fix it. They just didn’t seem to work anymore. Seeing Evie, and spending time with her, was just stressful now, and that feeling of guilt that was gnawing away at his stomach just wouldn’t leave him. He felt like any time that he spent with Evie was time that he was somehow stealing away from Oscar. He hated lying to him like this! It was just so cruel. And it certainly wasn’t doing much to make matters less complicated for him. He couldn’t stop thinking about Oscar, no matter how hard he tried to push him from his mind. Time and time again, he would find himself thinking about him, and worrying about him, and wondering what he was doing. He couldn’t stop checking his phone and hoping that there would be a text message from him. He just really missed him. Every time he thought about him he thought his heart was going to break.

“You okay, Josh?” asked Andy, suddenly appearing at his side and kneeling down beside him. “What’s wrong mate? …Are you okay?!”

Josh looked up at his brother’s worried face, and opened his mouth to speak, but before the words could come out, his face crumpled and he started to cry.

“Hey!” exclaimed Andy, putting his arm around Josh’s shoulder and pulling him into a hug. “It’s okay, mate! …What’s wrong?!”

“I don’t know what to do!” he sobbed, “I just don’t know what’s happening, Andy! …I’m so… confused!”

“I know, mate …I know” said Andy, holding him close and ruffling his hair a little. “It’s okay, Josh!”

After a few moments, Josh pulled away from the hug, and looked up at Andy with big teary eyes. “Andy” he said, breathing heavily and wiping at his tears with his sleeve. “I think… I think I’m…” he stammered.

Andy looked at him and gave him a sympathetic little head tilt. “Mate, it’s okay! Just say it!”

“I think… I’m in love… with Oscar!” he said, staring off into the distance and looking miserable. “But Andy! …He’s not Oscar! …He’s something else …I don’t even think of him as a guy. It’s like somewhere along the way he actually became a girl in my head… and I… I don’t know what I’m doing!”

“Mate!” said Andy, unsure of what else to say. This was so much more complicated than anything he could ever have imagined. “We’ll sort it out…” he said, regretting the words as soon as they left his mouth. How exactly were they going to sort any of this out?!

“How?” asked Josh, starting to cry again. “He’s a guy who thinks he’s a girl! …It’s not like he’s even transgender. It’s not that he wants to be a girl… he actually thinks he is a girl… He thinks he has girl parts!” He took a deep breath, trying to get his crying under control, and started wiping furiously at his eyes with the heels of his hands. “I mean… how do we… How…” he started to say, but he shook his head at himself in disgust, and hid his face in his hands.

“How do you what?” asked Andy, already putting two and two together and flushing a little red at the thought of what his little brother was about to ask him. As supportive as he wanted to be, he really wasn’t sure that he was going to be able to handle this with the sensitivity that it required. He just hoped that he wouldn’t screw things up too badly.

Josh continued to cover his face, feeling deeply ashamed of himself and unable to meet Andy’s gaze. “Even if it’s true…” he sobbed, “If it’s true… and I am gay… Oscar isn’t! …How would it even work?” He looked up at Andy with a confused and anguished expression on his face.  “I mean… He thinks he has girl parts, Andy! …But he doesn’t! …What would we even do?!”

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback! :P I really really appreciate it! ...Josh really is getting himself into a terrible mess now! :unsure: I do feel quite bad for him, lol! Hope you like this chapter! x



Chapter 7



“Okay, sit!” said Andy, pointing at the couch and going out to the kitchen to get two beers. “We’re gonna talk about this properly” he said, sitting down on the couch beside Josh and handing him one of the bottles that he’d brought back. “We’re gonna figure out together what you’re gonna do! Okay?”

“I don’t know where to start” said Josh, taking the bottle and staring off into the distance in a dazed sort of way. “I can’t really explain it.”

Andy shook his head and blew out a big breath. He knew that this was going to be an incredibly awkward conversation, and he really wasn’t sure that he was at all prepared for where this was going to go, but he knew that he had to try. Josh was all kinds of mixed up and he knew that he was the only person that he really had to talk to about it. “Okay” said Andy, reaching out and giving Josh’s shoulder a little squeeze. “So… You have feelings for Oscar?”

Josh nodded, and stared down at the floor, looking more embarrassed than Andy had ever seen anyone look. “I think so” he said, so quietly that it was hard to make him out. “I think I love him.”

“And you think he has feelings for you?” asked Andy, giving him a little half-smile and nodding encouragingly.

Josh frowned and continued to stare at the floor. “Yeah, he does…” he started to say, but then he looked up at Andy with a confused and worried expression on his face. “But… It’s not like he’s even really Oscar at the moment… He thinks that he’s Evie… and that he’s a girl.”

“What are the doctors saying?” asked Andy, leaning his arm on the back of the couch, and trying to look relaxed, in an effort to put Josh at his ease. “I mean, this isn’t normal!” he said. This had to be the weirdest situation that he could ever have imagined but he wanted Josh to feel that he could talk to him about it. No matter how weird it was. Despite his best efforts though, he hadn’t been able to hide his discomfort, and his face had given him away by immediately flushing bright red.

“They’re saying that we have to play along with it…” said Josh, shrugging a little and looking down at the floor again. This whole thing was beyond mortifying and he couldn’t believe that he was talking to Andy about stuff like this. His face was on fire with the embarrassment of it all! If someone had told him 6 months ago that he’d be sitting here now with his brother, discussing his homosexual relationship with Oscar, he’d have thought they were completely crazy. How had this even happened?!

“The doctors were the ones that said I should go along with this whole thing and pretend to be his boyfriend…” said Josh.

“And they’re just going to let this go on forever?!” asked Andy, shaking his head in wonder. “I mean… He isn’t Evie! …At some point, someone is going to have to tell him that! …Surely, the longer they let this go on, the worse it’ll be for him?!”

“I know!” said Josh, shaking his head in a despairing sort of way. He rubbed his face in both hands, and gave a frustrated kind of groan, wondering how he was ever going to make sense of this whole thing. “Andy! This is so confusing!” he whined, “…It’s like Oscar really is a girl. He acts like a girl, he talks like a girl, he moves like a girl… He thinks he is a girl…” He looked at his brother and shook his head at him sadly. “I think… at a certain point, I really stopped thinking of him as a guy… And yeah… I do know how weird that is!”

“Well” said Andy, feeling more uncomfortable than he’d ever thought possible, but trying to give off the impression that he wasn’t. “It kind of sounds like you might not be gay?” he ventured, giving a little shrug. He tilted his head at him sympathetically, and gave him a worried little smile. “I mean… I know you said that you have feelings for Oscar…” he said, pausing for a moment, and wondering how to phrase this, before continuing again carefully. “Umm…” he stammered, “So… when you… when you think of him… and you think about… y’know… maybe doing that…” He looked down at the floor and blurted the last part out as fast as he could before he lost his nerve. “Is it sex with a man that you’re really thinking about? Or are you thinking of sex with a woman that just happens to be Oscar?”

Josh shrugged, and shook his head, looking thoroughly miserable. “I don’t know anymore” he said, answering honestly despite his embarrassment. “At first, it was just a feeling of closeness, and I think maybe I just wanted to protect him… He seemed so lost… and so… I don’t know… vulnerable? ...He couldn’t move or talk properly… and I’m probably the only one that really knows what that feels like.”

“So you felt sorry for him?” asked Andy, furrowing his brows and wondering if this was more about some misguided protectiveness than any real sexual attraction.

“I guess so.” said Josh, staring at the floor again, and nodding his head slowly. “But then we started spending more and more time together… and he was really sweet… and funny… and he needed me.” He took a big breath and blew it out slowly. “…And we were sharing a bed… and… I don’t know… something about it started to feel… right… like this was where I was supposed to be… I started to like the feel of his body next to mine… and I started to think about taking his clothes off.”

Andy’s eyes widened and he couldn’t help looking a little shocked. He and Josh had never had so candid a conversation about sex before. In fact, he’d never talked to anyone so openly about sex before. He felt thoroughly out of his depth, but he was doing his best to be a grown up about it, and not start sniggering like some little schoolkid. This was all so weird! “So… You are attracted to him as… a man? …I mean, physically… to a man’s body… and stuff?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” said Josh, in a dazed and distant sort of way. “I really don’t know anymore… I think… maybe… I’m attracted to Oscar, so maybe I am.” He looked up at Andy and nodded his head in a way that was a bit more decisive, and said, “I never thought that I’d ever feel this way, not about a man… but yeah, I think maybe I’d want to try… If that was what Oscar wanted.”

“But Oscar doesn’t know what he wants, does he?” reasoned Andy, shaking his head in a worried kind of way. “I mean… Oscar isn’t really here… so he can’t really say what he wants, can he?”

Josh shook his head, looking even more miserable than before. “You’re right… And that’s what frightens me! …He doesn’t know that he’s a man! He doesn’t know who he is… or what’s going on… Maybe I’m just taking advantage of someone who’s ill… Maybe I’ve been molesting him all these weeks and he’s going to wake up some day and remember who he is… Maybe he’ll think I’m like some kind of rapist?!”

Andy grimaced a little at the thought and looked at Josh with a new level of concern. “You haven’t?!” he started to ask.

“No!” said Josh, looking startled and holding his hands up in a shocked kind of way. “I would never!”

Andy nodded, looking decidedly relieved, and said, “So… you haven’t done anything like that then?”

Josh looked a little guilty, and stared down at the floor again, flushing a brighter shade of red. “Um…” he stammered, “well… he put his hand… I was asleep and I didn’t realise what he was doing… but I woke up…” He looked at Andy a little pleadingly and shook his head. “…and I stopped him immediately!”

“Oh God!” sighed Andy, covering his face with his hand. “This is such a mess, mate!”

“He just can’t understand.” explained Josh, in a worried tone. “He thinks he’s Evie and that we’re together. He wanted me to… y’know.” he said, looking a little shamefaced. “When he looks down he doesn’t see… y’know… He sees himself as female… with all the… bits… So he thinks we can have a male-female sexual relationship… and we can’t! … He just doesn’t understand why I won’t!”

“Seriously, Josh, this is so messed up!” exclaimed Andy, running his hand through his hair and blowing out an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know what to tell you!”

They sat in silence, for what seemed like an eternity, while Andy ran the whole thing over in his mind. Josh really was getting himself into an awful mess and things might only get worse if and when Oscar came to his senses. No matter what way he looked at it, someone was going to get badly hurt.

“I’m gonna have to break up with Evie” muttered Josh, speaking in a quiet way and sounding really sad. “I can’t keep stringing both of them along… it isn’t fair.”

Andy turned to look at Josh, who was staring at the floor and seemed to be thoroughly lost in his own thoughts, and said, “Mate, I think you need to give this some serious thought before you go rushing into anything.” He put his hand on Josh’s shoulder and tilted his head at him in a pleading sort of way. “You haven’t seen him in weeks… Maybe when you go in there tomorrow, you won’t feel about him the same way?”

Josh shrugged and shook his head at him. “I know what I’m feeling… and I don’t think it’s gonna go away!”

“Okay, well… do me a favour then, will you mate?” he said, nodding at him in a supportive way. “Tomorrow, when you go in there, and you kiss each other… can you have a think about what’s really under those clothes… I mean… are you in love with the real Oscar, or is it some fantasy version of Oscar with female parts?”

Josh looked at him with a flash of anger, and then realised that Andy not only meant well, but that he had a point. He was confused about his feelings and he didn’t know how to answer that question right now. He didn’t know which version of Oscar he really wanted. Maybe he needed to find out? “Okay” he said, nodding and giving Andy a sad half-smile, “Okay, I will.”




Josh walked out through the door of the lift and was shocked to see Leah and Zac waiting for him in the hallway with Nate. “Uh… Hi?” he said, as he walked towards them. “What’s going on? Is Oscar okay?!”

“He’s fine” said Nate, giving him a little smile. “But we need to speak to you before you go see him.” He glanced at the other two with a slightly embarrassed expression and motioned for them all to follow him. “We can use this office just down here.”

Josh gave Leah and Zac a quizzical look, and shrugged, before following Nate down the corridor. They sat down in the chairs opposite Nate and fidgeted quite a bit as they glanced at each other. No-one seemed too sure what this was all about.

“Okay” sighed Nate, clasping his hands together on the desk in front of him and clearing his throat a little. “We’ve got a bit of a problem with Oscar.” he said, furrowing his brow at them, “So I thought it would be a good idea to get you all in here today and have a frank conversation about it. I think we need a plan of action.”

“What’s wrong with him?!” asked Josh, looking decidedly worried and turning to look at Leah and Zac. “Do you know what’s going on?!”

They both shrugged at him and looked back at Nate. “What’s this about?” asked Zac, sounding a little impatient.

“Well, Oscar spoke to me last night.” said Nate, giving Josh a strange look. “He wanted to know if we could arrange a quiet room somewhere that he and Josh could use for a romantic evening together.” He raised an eyebrow at Josh and asked, “Were you aware of this?”

“No” said Josh, widening his eyes and shaking his head. “I didn’t know anything about this!” He looked across at Zac and Leah, who were viewing him with deep suspicion, and said, “Seriously, guys! I didn’t!”

“Okay, Josh” said Nate, nodding at him in a relieved sort of way. “He did say that he was worried about your relationship and the fact that you hadn’t been able to be ‘intimate’ since his injury.”

Zac snorted a little and rubbed his face with both hands. “This is just getting out of hand, Nate! …I wasn’t happy about this whole thing from the outset but I bit my tongue! I really wish that I hadn’t now…” He glanced at Josh in a really disapproving way and said, “All of this… Everyone pretending like this?! Lying to him?! Josh playing along like this, climbing in and out of his bed?! …That boy is just so confused about everything! And it’s all our fault!”

“It’s what the psychiatrist advised” said Nate, shrugging at him. “I’m not sure that I would have advised Josh getting quite so involved… but…”

“I was just trying to help” muttered Josh, hanging his head and looking a little shamefaced. “It’s what I was asked to do.”

“No-one asked you to sleep in his bed!” snapped Zac. “We didn’t ask you to play your part so convincingly!”

Leah put her hand on Zac’s knee and shook her head at him in disapproval. “Zac, we’ve talked about this!” she said to him quietly through gritted teeth. “Josh is just doing what we thought was best.”

“Well, you’re all wrong!” growled Zac, glaring across at Josh. “Oscar isn’t going to get any better if we keep telling him that he’s Evie! And how’s he going to feel when he does come out of this?! Assuming that he ever does! How’s he going to feel when he finds out that we’ve all been lying to him?! Dressing him up like some sort of joke, and letting him carry on with his sister’s boyfriend?! Seriously?! How messed up is this whole thing?!” He turned in his chair to look at Josh and shouted at him, “What are you even thinking, Josh?! …I mean, what do you think you’re doing?!”

“I’ve been trying to help!” he shouted back, looking hurt and offended. “You all put me in this position! I just did what you guys asked me to do!”

“Okay, I think we all need to calm down” said Nate, putting his hands up in front of him in an attempt to pacify the situation. “We just need to be clear on what we do from here.”

“I want a second opinion from a different psychiatrist.” said Zac, folding his arms across his chest. “I don’t trust this Delaney woman. This can’t be the right course of treatment. It’s been weeks and he’s showing no signs of getting any better.”

“Okay, well…” said Nate, nodding at Zac in a conciliatory kind of way. “We can do that… I can arrange that for you.

“Yeah, please” said Leah, nodding in a grateful way at Nate. She reached over and patted Josh on the knee, giving him an apologetic look, and said, ”I know how hard this has been for you, Josh… Zac’s just a bit stressed with everything that’s going on with Hunter.”

Zac shook his head and rolled his eyes at her in an exasperated way. “Get it done!” said Zac, nodding at Nate emphatically. “We need to get Oscar back on track!”

Nate nodded at him and then turned to look at Josh. “We just need to be clear, Josh, that you can’t take things…” he said, coughing a little, and looking embarrassed before continuing. “…any further… You’re going to have to manage Oscar’s behaviour and I hope that it goes without saying… You can’t be ‘intimate’ with Oscar. Not in that way… He is what we’d class a ‘vulnerable adult’ and as such, he’s not capable of consent.”

Josh nodded, and looked down at the floor, flushing bright red. “Yeah, of course” he said, “I wouldn’t do anything like that.”

“As long as we all understand each other.” he said, sitting back in his chair and giving a relieved little sigh. “I think it might be best, Josh, if you don’t stay overnight from now on.” he added, giving him a decisive little nod. “Just to avoid any more confusion.”

He stood up and nodded to the others that the meeting was now over. “Now, Oscar’s waiting for you” he said to Josh, shaking his head in wonder and rolling his eyes a little. “We didn’t get him that room by the way, and he’s quite upset about it.”




Josh walked into Oscar’s room, still reeling from the meeting with Leah and Zac, and with his heart racing a little now that he’d realised what a big mess he’d gotten himself into. This was so much worse than he’d thought it could be. They’d just confirmed his own fears and made him feel like he was some kind of perverted sex offender preying on the innocent and infirm. He didn’t know what to do with himself.

“Josh!” beamed Oscar, sitting in the armchair by his bed, dressed in one of Evie’s tops and a pair of shorts something similar to what Evie would normally wear. He had his toenails painted pink and his hair had gotten longer and was styled in a pretty little pixie style with little pieces pulled forward and shaped to frame his face. His make-up was done very tastefully too and Josh thought that he actually looked quite pretty. He held out his hand to Josh, looking happy and excited. “I’ve missed you so much!” he exclaimed.

Josh looked at him and felt his heart swell. He’d been trying to tell himself the whole way to the hospital that he was just confused and that he didn’t really have feelings for Oscar. That meeting had terrified him too, and made him feel incredibly guilty, and he’d come out of that office repeating the words, ‘I’m not in love with Oscar’ over and over to himself inside his head. Now that he was here though, all he could think was that he wanted to put his arms around him, and hold him tight, and kiss him, and love him forever. Could he really pretend that he wasn’t in love with him?!

He walked over, kneeling down beside him, and giving him a big smile. “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you!” he said, leaning his forehead against Oscar’s, “I love you so much!”

Oscar put his hands on either side of Josh’s face and leaned in for a kiss. “I love you too” he said, smiling between kisses, “I’ve missed you so much!”

After a few minutes, Josh pulled back from the kiss, and looked at Oscar properly. He tried to see him for the man that he physically was, and to think about the body that was under this over-sized Evie style clothing, but all he could see was the person that he loved. He realised that he didn’t really care whether he was male or female. He was just Oscar.

Oscar gave him a coy little smile and waved for him to move back a little bit. “I have something I want to show you!” he said, gripping onto the arms of the chair and pulling himself up into a standing position. “I can walk now!” he said looking excited and smiling from ear to ear. He reached for his crutches and showed him how he well he could walk now by making his way from one side of the room to the other.

Josh watched him, walking with great effort, and couldn’t help beaming at him. “Oh my God! I can’t believe it!” he exclaimed, walking over and putting his arms around Oscar’s waist from behind. He leaned his head over Oscar’s shoulder and kissed him tenderly on the cheek. “I’m so proud of you! You have no idea how much!”

Oscar giggled a little, and leaned into Josh’s arms, turning his head to kiss him on the lips. Then frowning a little bit, he said, “I wanted to do it without the crutches …but I’m not there yet.”

“That’s okay” said Josh, “You’ll get there soon! Look how far you’ve come already.” He led him back over to the armchair and Oscar sat down in his lap. Josh gave a happy sigh and put his arms around him and Oscar leant back with his head on Josh’s shoulder. They sat sharing a set of earphones and watched some stupid videos on Josh’s phone, sharing little kisses and enjoying being in each other’s company for the first time in weeks. Josh kept glancing nervously at the closed door though and was secretly worried that someone might come in and judge him for what he was doing. This was all so complicated!

Josh leaned in to kiss Oscar again, when he turned his head to look at him, but this time Oscar pulled away from him and stared in a shocked and disgusted kind of way. “What?! What?!... What are you doing?!” he stammered, scrambling in a shaky and uncoordinated way to get off Josh’s lap. “What the hell is going on?!” he shouted, wobbling a little and looking down at the clothes he was wearing in confusion. He held his hand up in front of his face to look at his perfect pink fingernails and then glared at Josh in anger. “Why am I dressed like this?!” he roared at him, clenching his fists by his side and shaking badly.

Josh clambered to his feet with utter shock and horror etched on his face. “Oscar?!” he asked, tilting his head at him and giving him a questioning look. “Is that you?!”

“Where am I?!” he asked, struggling to stay on his feet as he turned around to look at the hospital room. “Why were you trying to kiss me?!” he asked, looking back at Josh with anger. “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

“I’m sorry!” said Josh, hanging his head and staring at the floor. He wished that it would open up right now and swallow him. How on earth was he going to explain this to him?! “Um… Things have been a bit… different.” he muttered, unable to look Oscar in the eye. “It’s complicated” he said, reaching out to him and putting his hand on Oscar’s arm.

“Get away from me!” shouted Oscar, looking at him with pure revulsion. “Get your hands off me!”

“Okay, okay!” he said, taking a step back and holding up his hands in front of him. “I’ll get the doctors” he said, trying to calm him down, “…and they can explain.”

Oscar shook his head at him angrily and snarled ‘I’ll go myself!” He tried to take a step to walk away, but without his crutches, he lost his balance nearly immediately and landed heavily on the floor with a bang.

“Oh my God! Are you okay?!” cried Josh, as he dropped to his knees beside him. “Are you hurt?!”

“Josh!” moaned Oscar, looking up at him with big scared eyes. “What happened?! Why am I on the floor?!”

“You fell” said Josh, looking at him in confusion. Something had changed in his face again and the angry Oscar seemed to have disappeared again. “You were really angry with me” he said in a slightly questioning way.

“I was angry?!” he asked, looking at Josh a little anxiously. “Why was I angry? What did you do?”

“Um… It’s not important.” he said, stroking the side of his face. “We just need to get you up… I’ll get a nurse to check you first, okay?”

The nurses helped Oscar into the bed and one of them went to get Nate to do a few checks. He didn’t seem to have injured himself but they wanted to check just to be sure.

“I’ll go and get us some snacks and things” said Josh, giving Oscar and the nurse a little smile. He nodded at Oscar and said, “I’ll be back in ten, okay?”

He walked outside the room and down the corridor a little bit, before collapsing against the wall and feeling like his heart was going to leap out of his chest. He began to hyperventilate a little. Oscar had been back for all of about two minutes, and then disappeared again just as suddenly. But one thing had been very clear! The real Oscar had not been happy at all about what had been going on! He certainly wasn’t on-board for a homosexual relationship with Josh, and had been absolutely horrified to find Josh kissing him and pawing all over him. Josh wondered what on earth he was going to do now! He was in love with someone who didn’t exist, and who was going to disappear some day without even the slightest warning. Not only that, but when the real Oscar got here, he’d be furious with him for what he’d done, and maybe even accuse him of molestation! This was a total nightmare!

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Thanks again to everyone for the lovely lovely comments! :wub: Very much appreciated. As I've said before, it's always so nice to see those little notifications pop up! Your feedback really means a lot to me. Hope you like this next chapter x


Chapter 8


“Haven’t seen Josh in a while” said Ash, sitting at the dining table and poking at his plate of food. “Has he moved out or something?”

Andy was sitting on the couch with his head resting on his fist and didn’t respond. He was miles away, lost in his own thoughts, and worrying about Josh. This whole thing was such a mess! He couldn’t help wondering how Josh had gotten on at the hospital today and whether he was going to have to pick up the pieces again tonight. It was hard having to sit by and watch something like this, like a car crash happening in slow motion, and not be able to do anything about it.

“Andy!” called Ash, a little louder, waving his hand in an exaggerated way to get his attention. “Andy! …Mate! You okay?!” he shouted, when he didn’t get a response.

“What?!” blurted Andy, nearly jumping out of his skin and turning to look at him in a startled way. “Sorry mate! What were you saying?” he asked, rubbing his face in his hands. He looked tired.

“Ah, I was just wondering where Josh is?” said Ash, looking at him in concern. “I haven’t seen him in a while… Does he even live here anymore?!”

“Uh… Yeah… He’s just been busy” sighed Andy, shrugging at him. “It’s all this stuff with Evie and Oscar… He’s been spending a lot of time at the hospital… Y’know… being supportive.”

“Oh right.” said Ash, picking up his beer and taking a gulp. He looked over at his friend sitting on the sofa and thought how tired and worried he looked. He hadn’t been looking great ever since that explosion, and he knew that Hannah’s death had hit him really hard, but this seemed like something new. “Mate? …Are you okay?” he asked, furrowing his brow at him.

“Yeah, I’m good” said Andy, getting up from the couch and walking out to the kitchen to get a beer from the fridge. He walked back over to the table, and sat down on one of the chairs opposite Ash, giving a tired sigh. “Just got a few things on my mind.” he added, when he saw how concerned Ash looked, “Don’t worry!”

Suddenly, Josh ran in through the front door and charged off down the hallway to his room. His door slammed shut with a loud bang and Andy glanced at Ash in a worried sort of way. He gave a heavy sigh and got to his feet. “I’d better go and see what that’s about” he said, shaking his head at Ash in exasperation.

Andy walked down the hall and tentatively knocked on the door. “Josh, mate, can I come in?!” he called.

There was no answer so he knocked again. “Josh, please mate?” he said, “Can you let me in?” He stood there dithering about what to do and listening intently for Josh’s answer or for any sounds of movement behind the door. He wasn’t sure what to do. He could understand if Josh wanted some time on his own to process things, but at the same time he wanted to be supportive, and to be his shoulder to cry on if that was what was needed. Josh had a tendency to bottle things up and that was never a good thing. He decided to try one more time. “Josh, can you let me in for a minute? ...I just want to know what happened, okay?!”

He heard the lock click and he slowly opened the door to see Josh walking away from him again. “Josh? Mate, what happened?” he asked, following him across the room to sit on his bed.

Josh sat down, pulling his feet up on the bed, and hugging his arms around his knees. “It’s all such a mess…” he said, shaking his head at Andy as he joined him, “I just don’t know what to do! …He came back, Andy! For a few minutes, he came back!”

“What?! What d’you mean?!” asked Andy, looking a little confused, “Who came back?!” 

Josh shook his head, looking down at the floor, and gave a heavy sigh. “We were kissing, Andy! …He was so happy to see me and we were… y’know?” he said, glancing at Andy for a moment and looking decidedly embarrassed. “Then he just came back!  Out of nowhere …he came back!”

“Wait a minute! You… you mean…?” stammered Andy, with eyes wide with shock. “You mean… Oscar came round? …He was like… the ‘real’ Oscar again?!”

Josh nodded and then looked up at Andy with a pained expression on his face. “One minute he was a girl…and we were kissing… and touching… and stuff… and then all of a sudden he was shouting at me and looking at me like I was some sort of perv!”

“Oh God!” groaned Andy, covering his mouth with his hand, and tilting his head at Josh in pity. “He actually called you that?!”

“No, but he might as well have!” exclaimed Josh, shaking his head at himself in disgust. “And I get it… I do!” he said, staring off into the distance and looking incredibly sad, “…A few weeks ago, I would have felt the same way! I would have freaked out too! …I can’t imagine what that was like for him… To wake up like that and not know where he was or what was happening! He was sitting on my lap and we were kissing and all of a sudden he was there and…” He rubbed his face in both hands and let out a frustrated sigh, “He must think I’m some kind of pervert!”

Andy put his hand on Josh’s shoulder and gave him a sympathetic little smile. “He’ll get over it!” he said, trying to sound convincing. He wasn’t entirely sure that that was true. “It was just kissing.” he said, wondering how he would feel himself, if he’d been in Oscar’s position, and found himself being kissed by one of his male friends.

Josh shrugged sadly, and said, “I don’t know what to do now… He was only back for a few minutes and now he’s Evie again… He even wanted me to stay the night!” He looked at Andy again with a pleading expression and asked, “What am I supposed to do? …I’m in love with someone who doesn’t really exist, Andy! …He could disappear at any moment and I might never get him back!”

“What have the doctors said?” asked Andy, “I mean… do they know what’s happening with him? Have you told Evie or the others?”

Josh suddenly blushed a little red and looked away from him. “I couldn’t tell them” he muttered, “I didn’t tell anyone… I just really needed to get out of there! …I ran away, Andy!”

“Wait… so no-one knows that Oscar had a… ‘breakthrough’?!” exclaimed Andy, raising his eyebrows at him. “Josh! You have to tell them! They need to know! They have to know!”

“I know that!” said Josh, hiding his face in his hands again. “I just can’t face it, Andy! ...I don’t want to have to tell them what happened… Once I say it? …Once I tell them?! …It makes it real! …He’ll really be gone and I’ll have lost him… and they’ll all be happy and I’ll be miserable… and when they realise how I really feel about him they’ll look at me the way that Oscar just did! … Evie’s gonna think I’m some kind of pervert… and so will he! …And maybe I am?! …He’s had no choice in any of this and maybe I have been taking advantage of him?! ...He was really angry, Andy!... Like, really really angry!” He looked up at Andy again and shook his head, “I just can’t do it!”

Andy nodded at him again, trying to be as understanding about this as possible, and blew out a big breath slowly. This really was a huge mess and he really wasn’t sure how this was all going to pan out. The one thing that he knew was that the family needed to be informed. If Oscar was on the brink of coming back, then he was going to need them around him. Someone needed to let them know! “I can tell them if you want?” he said, shrugging a little, “I’ll go tell his family and they can deal with the doctors… yeah?”

“Okay” said Josh, nodding and giving Andy a grateful little half-smile. “Thanks, Andy… I just can’t do it myself.”




“Anyone here?” called Andy, as he rapped his knuckles off the doorframe, and pushed the screen-door open. “Hello?” he shouted, standing in the doorway.

Evie appeared on crutches from out in the hallway and gave him a less than friendly fake-smile. “Oh, hi” she said, looking decidedly disappointed, “I thought maybe you were Josh.”

“Nah, sorry” he said, dithering in the doorway and looking noticeably nervous. “Is anyone else home?” he asked, looking around the room as though the others might be hiding, “I need to talk to you guys about something.”

“Zac and Leah are at the prison, visiting Hunter” she said, making her way across the room on her crutches and lowering herself carefully onto the sofa. She turned to look at him and rolled her eyes at him in an impatient way. “Well?!” she asked, sounding irritated, “What is it you want?!”

“Um…” he said, lingering in the doorway and looking very uncomfortable. “Uh… maybe…” he stammered, “Maybe I should come back when Zac and Leah are here?” He moved as though to leave.

“Andy, wait!” snapped Evie, looking at him over the back of the couch, “Just say whatever it is that you came to say!”

“Um… okay.” he said, gesturing to one of the seats to ask permission to sit down. She nodded and he came over and sat down, blowing out a big breath, and giving her a very nervous smile. “Uh…so…” he started to say, unsure of how to broach this subject, “so…”

“Andy! Seriously! You’re getting on my nerves now! What is it that you want to tell us?!” growled Evie, flushing a little red in the face with anger. She really didn’t want to spend more time in Andy’s company than was absolutely necessary and this was already more than she would have liked.

He let out a tired sigh and ran his hand through his hair. “Okay, Evie…” he said, looking very serious, “I just spoke to Josh and he had a bit of a… I don’t know… um… something happened at the hospital today and he’s a bit freaked out.”

“What do you mean, something happened?!” asked Evie, looking a little startled and annoyed. “What was he doing at the hospital?! …Josh isn’t supposed to be seeing Oscar anymore!”

“Um… well…” stammered Andy, wondering why Josh hadn’t mentioned that. “He did go in to see him, this afternoon… and while he was there, Oscar came back for a few minutes… Like the real Oscar…”

“He what?!” cried Evie, suddenly smiling from ear to ear. “He’s back?!” she asked, looking at Andy in a way that was almost friendly for the first time since the accident.

“No, he was back” said Andy, shaking his head at her a little sadly. “Josh says he was back for… like a few minutes… and then it was over and he was back to being… you again.”

“Oh my God! Andy!” she squealed, covering her mouth with her hand. “This means that he’s actually getting better! He’s coming back!”  She put her hands together in a praying position in front of her mouth and gave a sigh of relief. “I’m actually gonna get my brother back!”

“Yeah… you might” said Andy, trying to manage her expectations and not let her get her hopes up too much. “I think you guys need to speak to the doctors and see what’s going on.”

“Didn’t Josh tell the doctors?” she asked, still not able to stop smiling. “Actually, why are you here? And not him?” she asked, giving him a look of suspicion.

“He’s a bit freaked, Evie” said Andy, tilting his head at her in a sympathetic kind of way. “Oscar kind of woke up… when they were… um…” said Andy, struggling to find the right word and thinking how awkward it was to say this to Evie about her own boyfriend. “Um… they were kissing” he said, glancing at her in an embarrassed way and flushing bright red, “and Oscar… the real Oscar kind of came back and freaked out at Josh… Only for a minute or two… but he was really upset and wanted to know what was going on.”

“Oh my God!” said Evie, looking wide-eyed in shock. “He must have been so confused! …Oh God, Poor Oscar!” she cried.

“Yeah, he was pretty angry with Josh…” said Andy, nodding at her and grimacing a little at the thought of having that happen to you. “But now he’s back to being you again, and all he wants is for Josh to spend the night with him… and Josh is freaking out completely!”

“Yeah, well excuse me, Andy, if I don’t worry too much about my cheating boyfriend!” she said, scowling at him. “I think I might just worry a bit more about my poor confused brother who woke up to find your brother with his hands all over him!”

“Okay, Evie…” said Andy, shaking his head at her in a disappointed sort of way. “Let’s all just throw the blame at Josh, shall we? I mean… It’s not like you asked him to play along all this time and pretend to be your brother’s boyfriend? It’s not like you all pushed him into this weird ass situation in the first place?! Is it?!” He got up and started to walk towards the door, before spinning back around, and looking at her in anger. “I get that you’re angry with me, Evie… I do… and I understand that. If I’m honest, I think you’re right to hate me… But Josh hasn’t done anything wrong. You forced him into this whole mess …and if he’s confused now, is it any wonder?! …This is your fault, Evie! You pushed him into your brother’s bed! You did that!”

“I didn’t ask him to fall in love with him!” she blurted out, before covering her mouth in shock. She hadn’t fully formed the thought until it had come spilling out of her mouth, but now that it was out there, she couldn’t deny that it was true. If she was honest with herself, she’d known it for some time. She started to blink furiously to keep the tears at bay, and looked at Andy with a pained expression on her face. “He’s in love with him, isn’t he?!”

Andy nodded at her with a very worried look on his face, and came back over to kneel down in front of her. “I’m so sorry, Evie!” he said, giving her a sympathetic little pat on the knee, “I don’t know if he really knows what he wants… This is all so weird and messed up… He’s in love with a version of Oscar… who’s kind of him, and kind of you… and I think we both know that this isn’t going to end well for anyone.”

She nodded and gave him a sad little smile. “I want to see him.” she said, picking up her crutches, “Oscar, I mean… Could you drive me?”

He looked at her in surprise and jumped to his feet again. “Uh… yeah” he stammered, awkwardly trying to take her arm to help her. He was amazed that she was willing to accept his help this time and he was probably a little too eager to oblige.

She shook her head at him and rolled her eyes. “I can manage, Andy!” she said, “Just hold the door for me, yeah?”

They made their way to the front door and Andy held the door open for her, but before she could hop outside, he stopped her. “Wait, Evie! I have an idea” he said, looking a little embarrassed, “Do you have a photo album? Of like… old photos of you and Oscar… when you were little?”




“Hey you!” called Evie as she hopped on her crutches into Oscar’s room. “Anyone would think we were twins!” she said, laughing as she sat down on the side of his bed and waggled one of her crutches at him. She turned and waved at Andy, who was hovering nervously in the doorway, to come in.

Oscar turned to look at Andy and then back at Evie and said, “What’s he doing here?!”

“Andy gave me a lift here” said Evie, patting his leg and giving him a little smile. “He carried a few things for me too… because I couldn’t.”

Andy walked over to the bed and set down the bags that he’d carried for her. He looked at Oscar and gave him a sad half-smile. “I’m so sorry!” he said, looking a little teary-eyed, “I really never meant for you to get hurt! If I could go back and changes things…”

“Well you can’t!” blurted Oscar, with his face flushing red in anger. “Hannah is dead… and you can’t change that! …I’m in this bed… and I’ve lost months of my life… and I can’t even walk properly… and you can’t change that!” He gave Andy a look of pure hatred and turned to look out the window with his arms hugged across his chest. “Can you just go?!” he asked through gritted teeth, “I don’t want you here!”

Evie gave Andy an apologetic look and said, “Thanks for the ride, Andy… and for… y’know…”

Andy let out a sad sigh, and turned to leave, looking back one more time at Oscar in the bed.  He couldn’t help thinking how shocked Oscar would be at his own appearance when he finally did come round. Kissing Josh had obviously been a big surprise but having to look in the mirror and see this person that he’d become would probably be an even bigger one! He just looked so different! There was something so feminine about him now. Looking at him sitting there in that bed, dressed in those clothes, carrying himself and speaking in this very feminine manner, he could understand to some extent how Josh had gotten so confused. He wondered what was going to happen when Oscar woke up and saw that he’d slowly been transformed into a woman without any say in the matter.

“If either of you need anything…” he said, giving Evie a nervous little smile, “Anything at all, just let me know.”

Evie watched Andy leave and turned to look at Oscar, reaching for a heavy photo album from inside the canvas carrier bag that Andy had carried in for her. “I wanted to show you something.” she said, flipping the cover open and setting it down in front of Oscar on his lap so they could both see it.

There was a photo of the two of them when they were about four years old, and Oscar had his arm around Evie, and they were both beaming with huge smiles into the camera. “Tell me what you see” said Evie, pointing at it and smiling up at Oscar in an expectant kind of way. “Who’s this?” she asked pointing at Oscar in the picture.

“That’s you” said Oscar, looking at her in a confused sort of way. “Why are you asking me about old photos, Oscar?” He tilted his head at her and gave her a sympathetic little smile. “You’re afraid of losing me aren’t you? …I’m okay, Oscar! I’m not going anywhere!” he said, reaching out his arms for a hug.

Evie hugged her brother and gave a sad sigh. Andy’s photo idea had been worth a try but it just hadn’t worked. Nate had been quite hopeful, when Evie had spoken to him, that Oscar’s brief return today might suggest some kind of recovery. He was still in the process of arranging a second opinion as per Zac’s request, but this was certainly good news, and possibly a sign that the first psychiatrist had been right! Maybe Oscar was just going to come out of this in his own good time.

She pulled away from the hug and looked at her brother, smoothing his hair a little for him, and then gently stroking the side of his face. “I’ve really missed you, you know” she said, wiping at a tear that had started rolling down her cheek, “I need you!”




Nate put down the phone, and sat shaking for a moment in the chair in his office, trying to gather his thoughts. This was bad! This was very very bad! He loosened his collar and took a few deep breaths, trying to steady himself a little. His heart was racing in his chest. How on earth was he going to break this news to Evie, and Zac, and Leah?! Worse still, how was he going to break this news to Josh?! It turned out that Dr Delaney wasn’t really a psychiatrist. Or rather, she was, but she was a disgraced one and she was wanted by the police! She’d been struck off a number of years ago for gross misconduct, and had been under police investigation for running sick experiments on her patients, and filming them without their knowledge. Nate had put in a request for a second opinion, looking for a doctor to come from the hospital in the city. Once the Psychiatric department in the city had received the paperwork it was like a red flag had been raised. The name Delaney had sent alarm bells ringing everywhere, and Nate had just received a phone call from a detective in the city to say that Dr Delaney had a warrant out for her arrest. Police were going to be arriving shortly to arrest her, assuming that she hadn’t already done a runner, and to search Oscar and her other patients’ hospital rooms for surveillance equipment. It turned out that she liked to film her patients and was known to manipulate vulnerable people into doing things that were completely against their better judgement. Thinking now about the course of treatment that they had followed with Oscar, he couldn’t help thinking that he was most likely one of her victims. And in this case, Josh had most likely fallen victim too. He wondered how he could have been so stupid?!

Two psychiatrists were being sent from the city within the next few hours to review all of Dr Delaney’s cases and to try to implement a bit of ‘damage control’. He could only imagine how much trouble the hospital was going to be in when this became public knowledge, and he imagined that he would probably get his fair share of the blame too. Oscar was under his care after all, and he had allowed Josh, and everyone else, to behave in a way that would no doubt be considered thoroughly inappropriate. He’d be lucky not to lose his job… or maybe even his medical license! This was such a mess!

He thought that he’d better go and inform his boss and see if they could detain Dr Delaney before she got away. He got up and walked out of the room, feeling more than a little depressed, and stopped for a moment as he passed Oscar’s room. He could see Evie and Oscar lying side by side on his bed, watching something on Evie’s laptop, and he shook his head in wonder at the sight in front of him. There he was, with his plucked eyebrows, painted finger and toenails, a full face of makeup, and shaved legs. Dressed in his little top and shorts he looked every bit the slightly masculine girl. Dr Delaney had advised Oscar’s family to play along with this delusion and do whatever was necessary to facilitate it. They’d certainly thrown themselves into the fantasy with all they were worth, and Oscar was now barely recognisable! He shuddered to think what would happen if the newspapers got wind of this, and how humiliated Oscar would feel, when he finally came round, and found that he was a total laughing stock. This was a nightmare, and there was nothing he could really do to fix it.

“Could I have a word?” he asked, as he saw his boss walk past. “We have a serious issue and I think we might all be in trouble!”

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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it as always! :P Sorry it's taken so long for me to get this latest chapter up, been very busy! Hope you enjoy it!


Chapter 9



“He’s not answering my text messages!” whined Oscar, staring down at his phone and looking upset. “I don’t understand! He just left me… He said he was going to get some food and then he just sent a nurse to tell me that he’d gone. He was supposed to call me last night, but he hasn’t!”

“He’s probably just at work” said Billie, sitting down on the end of his bed and patting his leg. She cocked her head to one side and gave him a sympathetic smile, thinking how hurt and vulnerable he seemed in this moment. “I’m sure he’ll give you a call soon” she said, trying to reassure him. She glanced at the door, wondering when everyone else was going to get here and what the big emergency was. ‘Get here now’ Evie had text her, and she’d come straight away, but she hadn’t been told what was going on. They’d just asked her to babysit him and said that they’d put her in the picture later. It was all very cloak and dagger.

Oscar shook his head at her and said, “I fell over, Billie! …I fell over like an idiot …and Josh saw me …It was so embarrassing! You should have seen the way he looked at me! …He couldn’t get out of here fast enough! It was like he suddenly didn’t want to touch me or have anything to do with me!” He wiped at the tears that had started rolling down his cheeks and looked up at her with eyes full of hurt. “Now he’s not even answering my messages! And his phone is going straight to voicemail! He just doesn’t want to talk to me!” He wiped at his eyes with the sleeve of his pyjama top and his chin trembled as he tried not to cry. “…What am I supposed to think?! …Why would he do that?! I mean…Is it…is it… Is it that he doesn’t want a… a disabled girlfriend?!” He looked down and motioned at his own body with a pained expression on his face, “Maybe he just thinks all of this is too much!”

“Evie! Seriously?!” scolded Billie, frowning and shaking her head at him emphatically. “What on earth are you talking about?! Josh would NOT leave you because you fell over! Or because you can’t walk well! He wouldn't care about that! That’s completely ridiculous! …He wouldn’t do that!” she said, reaching for his hand and giving him a sad little smile, “He wouldn’t! …He loves you!” She knew that this was all getting into very dangerous territory, and she couldn’t help feeling guilty about lying to him like this. but seeing how upset he was about it all, she just wanted to calm him down and make him feel safe. Lying to him seemed like the kinder option right now. “He’ll call you!” she said, nodding at him in as sincere a way as possible.

She looked around the room and noted that this one was a bit more swish than the one he’d been in up to now. He had a flat screen TV up on the wall and his own little bathroom. “Why did they move you in here?” she asked, trying to change the subject and distract him a little, “Did someone pull some strings for you? Pretty fancy, eh?!”

He shrugged and wiped at his eyes again. “I don’t know… They just came and moved me late last night…” he said, gazing around the room. “Everyone’s been acting really weird and I’m starting to get a bit freaked out!”

“What do you mean?” asked Billie, looking at him with a mixture of concern and curiosity. “What’s going on?”

Oscar glanced at the door to his room to make sure there was no one there and beckoned for Billie to lean in so he could whisper to her. “The nurses keep talking about me… All they do is whisper! They’re always outside my room whispering and looking at me weirdly… I don’t know what they’re doing but it’s making me really nervous. It’s like there’s some big joke that I’m not a part of!”

Billie grimaced a little, thinking about the fact that Oscar was starting to pick up on the dishonesty of the people around him, and wondering how long it would be before he realised that his family was lying to him too. She thought how hurt he would be when he found out the truth. “I’m sure it’s not like that!” she said, starting to blush a little red but hoping that her guilt and discomfort wouldn’t show too much.

“It is!” he said, nodding at her in an insistent sort of way and looking noticeably upset. “They all seem to think that there’s something really funny!” He glanced again at the doorway as though he was worried that someone would overhear what he said. Keeping his voice really low, he looked at Billie with big worried eyes and said, “Some new doctor came to see me too… He kept asking me weird questions…”

“What kind of questions?” asked Billie, furrowing her brow at him. She could see how scared and upset he was and wanted to be supportive and put his mind at ease. “I’m sure it was just routine” she said, giving his leg another little pat.

Oscar looked down, flushing red in the face, and looked ashamed and embarrassed. He glanced up at Billie and tears started to roll down his cheeks again. “He kept asking me what I look like!” he said, unable to maintain eye contact with her. “He gave me a mirror and he asked me to describe myself… so I did… and the nurse that was with him just started to laugh!”

“Oh, sweetheart!” exclaimed Billie, biting her lower lip in a nervous kind of way. “I don’t think she’ll have meant anything by it!” she said, feeling a little sick at the thought of him finding out what the joke really was. This was all getting so sick and twisted.

He stared off into space with a very sad expression on his face, lifting his hand and starting to chew one of his pink manicured finger nails. “Maybe I’m just really ugly now?” he asked, talking more to himself than to her, and not really looking for an answer. “Josh seems to think so.” He turned to look at her and gave her a very sad little smile, “Y’know… me and Josh? …We haven’t had sex since this happened and …I don’t think he even wants to!”

Billie watched as he broke down in tears, covering his face with both hands, and she thought her heart would break for him. At the same time, she was finding it hard not to laugh, more out of nerves than anything. She moved up the bed to sit beside him, putting her arm around his shoulder, and leaned her head against his. “Hey” she said, in a soft and soothing voice, “I don’t think it’s like that, Evie… It’ll be okay, you’ll see!” She held him as he cried in her arms and wondered what on earth they were going to do now! Josh seemed to have done a disappearing act, and she didn’t know how they’d explain to a heartbroken ‘Evie’ the reasons for him not coming to visit. This was just so difficult for everyone involved!

After what seemed like an eternity, he seemed to have calmed down, so she gave Oscar’s shoulder a little squeeze and said, “Maybe we could watch a movie?”

He lifted his head and looked at her in an embarrassed sort of way. “Yeah, maybe” he said, glancing nervously at the doorway. He looked back at her and blushed a little red. “Could I ask you a favour, Billie? Please?” he asked, squirming a little and looking decidedly shamefaced.

“Yeah, course” she replied, wondering what this favour was going to entail. If he looked this embarrassed, she figured it wasn’t going to be something easy.

“Um… Could you…” he said, faltering a little and looking anxiously at the door again, “Could you help me go to the toilet?” He could see how uncomfortable she looked with the whole idea, so he added, “I just don’t want those nurses laughing at me anymore! …I really need to go! …Please Billie?!”

She flushed bright red and wondered if there was any way that she could get out of it. This was all just getting too weird! She’d never helped anyone on and off a toilet before, and certainly not a man! Looking at him now though, with his big plaintive eyes and wounded expression, she knew that she couldn’t say no. “Um… okay…” she said, glancing desperately at the door again and willing one of the others to walk through it and save her. No-one came! She got to her feet and dithered by the side of the bed feeling really unsure about what to do. “How… how do we?” she asked, with her face burning bright red with the embarrassment of it all.

“Just help me get up” said Oscar, pulling himself over to the side of the bed and holding out one of his arm to put around Billie’s shoulder. “I just can’t manage it with my crutches” he said, hoisting himself to his feet in a wobbly way.

She led him slowly into his private little bathroom and they stood in front of the toilet. “Um… okay….so, now what?” asked Billie, doing her best to sound relaxed about what they were doing.

Oscar bit his bottom lip and gave her an embarrassed little glance. “You’ll need to help me… with my pyjama bottoms” he said, motioning with his eyes.

She took a deep breath and did as he asked, pulling his pyjama shorts down, and then lowering him onto the toilet seat. She wondered at the fact that she was so uncomfortable with this whole thing. At the end of the day, she reasoned with herself, it wasn’t like it was anything that she hadn’t seen before! It was just a man with his pants down. Why was this all so embarrassing?! She figured it was probably more to do with the confusion of the situation. She knew that Oscar would never have asked her to do this if he’d been in his right mind, and that he’d probably be mortified if he knew what was going on. In some ways, she almost felt like she was doing something very untoward, and taking advantage of him in some way. She turned away, and listened to him pee, wishing that the ground would open up and swallow her completely. When he’d finished she turned back around to help him get up but she realised as soon as she looked at him that something was wrong.

He was looking down at the pink pyjama shorts gathered around his feet and holding his hands out in front of him as though he’d never seen them before. There was a look of shock and horror on his face and then he looked up at her. “What?! What?!” he stammered, as his eyes darted around the small bathroom and then back to her. “Where am I?!” he asked her, trying to stand up, “What the hell is going on?!”

“Oh God!” she exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hand as he struggled to stand up. In a flash she had put two and two together and realised that this was Oscar. It was amazing how much his face had changed in just a moment or two. He was still wearing makeup but his expression was undeniably male now and she could see how distressed he was to find himself here in this bathroom with her, with no explanation. “Um… I’ll need to help you.” she stammered, nodding down at his pyjama shorts so he’d see that he was in a state of undress. “You can’t walk well. I’ll need to help you.”

“What?!” he snapped at her, and gave her a dirty look. “Stay away from me!” he growled, taking his hand off the handrail beside the toilet and trying to stoop to pick up the shorts. As soon as he began to bend down, he wobbled badly and nearly lost his balance, before gripping onto the handrail again and righting himself. He shook his head, realising that he couldn’t walk, and gave a heavy sigh in a defeated sort of way. “Just? …Please?” he asked her, looking thoroughly humiliated and motioning with his head to the shorts around his ankles.

She pulled the shorts up for him, flushing bright red in the face, as he watched her crouch down in front of him. She thought she might never get over the shame of this, but from the look on his face, she wasn’t sure that he would either. Helping the Evie version of Oscar was one thing, but helping Oscar, now that he was fully aware of what was going on, was quite another! “I’ll help you back to the bed” she said, tentatively pulling his arm over her shoulder to support him as they walked. He gave in, looking thoroughly miserable, and they wobbled their way back out into the room and towards the bed.

“Billie, what the hell is going on?!” he asked, looking at her angrily, as though all of this was her fault. “Where are we?! Am I in hospital?!”

“Yes… this is the hospital” she said, lowering him onto the side of the bed and taking his hand in hers. “You were in an explosion, and you have a head injury.”

He put his hand on his head, and began feeling all over it, stopping when he found the large scar and the feeling of four little screws under the flesh. His eyes widened at her and he said, “They operated?!”

She nodded and gave him a sad little smile. “You were in a coma for two months… You only woke up a few weeks ago.”

“But… but I can’t have” he said, frowning and shaking his head at her. “I just … just woke up now… I haven’t…” he stammered, looking down at his feet and legs. “Why do I have pink toenails?!” he asked, straightening his leg out in front of him. “Why are my legs shaved?!”

She sat down on the side of the bed beside him and put her hand on his shoulder. “Things have been a bit confused.” she said, squeezing his shoulder and giving him a pitying little smile. “I think maybe I should go and get the doctors for you and they can explain?” she said, starting to get up.

“No!” he said, grabbing her hand and pulling her back down onto the bed beside him. “Please, Billie?! Just tell me!” he pleaded, with fear in his eyes. “Why am I wearing these clothes?! What on earth is going on?! …I need to know!”

She nodded slowly, and stared down at the floor, wondering where to start. “You thought you were a girl” she said, looking back up at him and tilting her head sympathetically. “You thought you were Evie!”

“I am Evie” he said, looking at her in a confused way, “What are you talking about?!” And just like that, Oscar was gone again.

“We were just talking about the explosion…?” ventured Billie, furrowing her brow at him and trying to figure out which one she was speaking to now.

“Were we?” he asked, looking down at the ground and shaking his head slightly. “I don’t remember what we were talking about.” His eyes began to fill with tears and he looked at Billie with obvious fear etched across his face. “Why is this happening to me?! I keep forgetting stuff! …It’s like I just go away for a while and when I come back people are being really weird! …What is wrong with me?!”

She put her arm around his shoulder again to comfort him and said, “I think we need to speak to the doctors about this, sweetie.”

“Okay” he said, nodding his head sadly and hugging his arms around himself. “I’m just such a mess!” he sobbed.




“So… where do we go from here?” asked Zac, still reeling from the latest revelation. A criminal investigation was underway and Oscar had been moved to facilitate the search of his room for cameras and recording equipment. It looked like she’d been filming them for some time. A new doctor had been brought in from the city to re-assess all of Dr Delaney’s patients and this was the first proper meeting with the man. “I mean… What do we do now?”

“Well” said Doctor Singh, sitting back in his chair and looking at the family gathered in front of him in a pitying sort of way. “I think the first thing I’d like to do is run a few scans and make sure that this isn’t a neurological issue… I’m beginning to think that it could be. From what I’ve seen and from what you’ve described, it would seem very unusual for a true psychosis to be of a transient nature.” Seeing the blank looks of confusion on their faces he realised that he’d need to clarify in layman’s terms. “If what you and Miss Ashford are saying is true” he said, clearing his throat and leaning forward with his hands clasped on the desk, “...and Oscar is really coming and going, then it seems unlikely that this is truly a psychiatric matter. I’m wondering if there could actually be an underlying physical problem that’s causing this… ‘confusion’”

“You mean like a brain bleed or something?!” asked Evie, looking shocked and worried. “Is that what you think is happening?!”

“Not necessarily a brain haemorrhage, no… Although, I couldn’t rule that out.” he said, giving her a sympathetic little half-smile. “It could be a number of things… I’d rather not speculate… We’ll know more when we get the scans back.”

“What do we do about…” asked Zac, glancing around the worried faces on either side of him. “What do we do about all this ‘Evie’ business? I mean… do we start making him dress like himself again? Stop all this nonsense?”

Dr Singh shook his head and tutted loudly. “That’s going to be more difficult” he said, turning and shaking his head at the two high-level hospital administrators, sitting to his left, with a look of disapproval. He looked back at the family and gave a heavy sigh. “He genuinely thinks that he’s Evie and quite frankly, your actions and those of the hospital, have created a situation that I have never dealt with before. We will need to tread very carefully from here on out… Oscar has a deeply developed sense of himself as a woman, cemented by the last few weeks of interactions with everyone around him, and stampeding in there now, and telling him otherwise, is unlikely to produce good results.”

“So what?!” exclaimed Zac, throwing his hands up in a frustrated kind of way and glaring at Leah as though this was somehow her fault. “We’re supposed to just keep on pretending?!”

“For now, yes” he said, nodding at him decisively. “As I said, I’d like to get a better picture of what’s going on before we take any further action… I’m ordering an MRI, a CT scan, and an EEG for today and tomorrow. That might give us a better idea of what the correct course of treatment is…” He gave Zac a sympathetic smile and said, “I can assure you, Mr Maguire… we’re going to do our best for your nephew.”




“No!” shouted Oscar, huddling up in the bed and glaring angrily at all the worried faces gathered around him. “You can’t make me!”

“Sweetie!” sighed Leah, sitting down beside him on the bed and tilting her head at him pleadingly. “Please?! It’s just a couple of scans… They’ll be over before you know it!”

“I’m not doing them without Josh and you can’t make me!” he yelled at her, shaking his head adamantly and pushing at her to get off his bed. “I don’t want any of you people poking and prodding at me anymore! I’m so sick of it! …I just want my boyfriend… Where is he?!” he shouted, starting to cry and wiping angrily at his tears. He caught one of the nurses trying to stifle her laughter and glared at her with pure hatred. “You all keep laughing at me too!” he cried, pointing at her and looking decidedly hurt, “This isn’t funny!”

Zac gave the nurse a withering look before turning back to Oscar. “We know it’s not funny!” he said, in as soothing a voice as he could muster, “It’s not funny at all!” Seeing Oscar behaving in this way was really getting to him and he was finding it hard to hide his own discomfort. He really just wished that he could have his nephew back and that they could move on and forget about this sorry mess. There was something so heartbreakingly pathetic about him now, balled up at the head of the bed, with a pair of pink pyjamas and a face full of make-up. He hated to think of him as the laughing stock that he was quickly becoming and shuddered to think what would happen if any of this crazy woman Delaney’s footage got out. What if it ended up on social media or YouTube?! Oscar would be so humiliated and they’d certainly share in the blame for going along with it. How was he ever going to forgive them?!

Leah reached for Oscar’s hand but he angrily yanked it away and shook his head at her again. “I’m not doing it!”

“Sweetheart, you have to!” said Leah, knitting her brows together and looking at him in concern. “We have to see what’s going on inside your head… You know that something isn’t right.”

He pulled his arms across his chest and pouted at her in a childish way. “I don’t care! …I’m not agreeing to any scans… or any tests… until I get to see Josh! I want my boyfriend! …I need him!”

Evie gave a heavy sigh and shook her head at Leah in exasperation. “I’ll try to get him to come in” she said, giving Oscar a little half-smile in an attempt to be reassuring, “I’m sure he’ll want to be here”. This had truly gone beyond the point of weird! Josh hadn’t been answering any of her texts either, and seemed to have done a disappearing act since yesterday. She really didn’t know anymore what was going on with him. He seemed to have fallen for Oscar in a big way, but that didn’t explain why he was suddenly off the radar, or why he was ignoring both of their text messages. Andy had said that Josh was freaking out so she wondered if maybe he was just taking some time to figure things out. It couldn’t have come at a worse time though, and he didn’t even know about Dr Delaney or what she’d done! That was going to make for an interesting conversation, alright! She really didn’t know where she stood with Josh anymore. Having to go to him now on Oscar’s behalf was going to be all kinds of awkward. How could she ask him to stay with her while pushing him at her brother again?! Were they even still together?! Did they have a relationship anymore, or if it was on the rocks, was it even worth saving?! “I’ll go and call him now” she said, giving her brother a little smile and making her way out of the room.

Out in the waiting area of the hospital, she took her phone out of her bag and scrolled to Josh’s number. Pressing call for the umpteenth time today, her face fell when it went straight to voicemail, and she left him another message asking him to call back. With a sudden wave of nausea, a terrible thought crossed her mind, and she began to wonder if he might have done something stupid. Maybe she’d pushed him too far with this whole thing?! She really hoped that she was being silly and paranoid, and just overreacting. With a sigh of frustration, she decided to call the only other person that she thought might be able to help.

“Andy?” she asked, as he answered within two rings. He seemed pleased to hear from her and she was surprised to find herself smiling when she heard his voice. What on earth was going on, she wondered to herself. “I really need your help.” she said, holding the phone between her head and her shoulder as she hobbled away from Oscar’s room on her crutches.  Heading towards the lift, she asked, “Can you come get me?”

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Thanks to everyone once again for the lovely comments.:P I really appreciate it! Lol! Sorry for the long delay in updating but I've been pretty busy. I really hope you like this chapter! (I'm a little nervous about it :blink:)




Chapter 10


Andy drove the car into the driveway and turned the engine off. He looked at Evie in the passenger seat and gave her a nervous little smile before reaching for the handle to open the door. She’d hardly spoken to him the whole way there and he’d given up asking her questions after the first few minutes. It was clear that all she’d really wanted was a taxi service. He was a little hurt by that but he figured the least he could do was give her the odd lift here and there. He could certainly do that for her! She was clearly worried about Josh, and now that he'd spoken to her, so was he.

“Wait, Andy!” called Evie, grabbing his arm and pulling him back into the seat. He turned to look at her and was surprised to see that she was starting to cry. “I don’t know what I’m doing here!” she sighed, putting her hand to her forehead and looking at him with a pained expression. “I mean… I know why I’m here but… I don’t know if it’s really the right thing!”

“You said Oscar won’t agree to his scans until he’s seen Josh?” he asked, giving her a little shrug. She gave a sad nod in reply, so he said, “Then I can’t see that you have any other option.”

“But I’ve spent the last week trying to get Josh to back off, and stop seeing Oscar!” she said, blinking back tears and shaking her head at herself in anger. “Now I have to go in there and beg him to go back to him… to go back to the hospital and be my brother’s boyfriend again!” She looked at Andy with a bitter scowl on her face and said, “This is sick, Andy! My boyfriend and my brother, together like that… kissing all over each other! …Poor Oscar doesn’t even know what’s going on and…” She gave a loud groan of frustration and kicked the glovebox in front of her with her good foot a couple of times.

“Woah there, Evie!” exclaimed Andy, reaching out and putting his hand on her knee to stop her from wrecking his car. “You’ll hurt yourself! Calm down!”

She glared back at him and growled through gritted teeth, “I’ve actually lost my boyfriend to my mentally ill twin brother! I mean… do you have any idea how ridiculous this whole thing is?!”

He looked at her furious little face, with her flaring nostrils and her mouth drawn into such an angry snarl, and he couldn’t help laughing. It was so ridiculous when you looked at it like that! Her indignation just made it all the funnier. “Sorry, Evie!” he said, bursting out laughing, “This is all just so messed up!”

"It's not funny, Andy!" she said, looking up at him with hurt in her eyes.

"I know it's not" said Andy, desperately trying to control his laughter but shuddering as the giggles overtook him. "I'm sorry" he managed to huff out in a breathless sort of way.

She scowled at him, wondering how he could be so insensitive, but the more she looked at him struggling so hard not to laugh, the more she felt like laughing too. He was right! This whole thing was insane! "It's not funny!" she said again, shaking her head at herself as she started to giggle too, "It's really not!"

"Not... funny... at... all!" panted Andy as the two of them sat there in the car giggling like a couple of schoolchildren.

"My boyfriend's in love with my brother!" blurted Evie, setting them both off again and Andy put his arm around Evie as they both shuddered and shook.

"And he thinks he's a girl!" added Andy, barely able to get the words out and holding his stomach in pain.

After a few minutes when the laughter began to die down, Andy wiped at his eyes and turned to look at the house. "Guess we'd better go in and see if he's in there." he said, sounding like it was the last thing he really wanted to do. Evie had put some terrible thoughts in his head earlier, and while he didn't really believe that Josh would do something like that, part of him was scared to find out.

Evie put her hand on his arm before he could climb out and looked at him in a sad and worried way. "Do you think...?" she started to ask, but then she looked away, blushing a little with embarrassment.

"Do I think what?" he asked her in a soft and sympathetic voice. He could see how upset she was about everything that was happening with Josh and he couldn’t help feeling terribly sorry for her.

"Do you think Josh is... do you think he’s actually gay?" she asked, looking out the window so she didn't have to make eye contact with him. This whole situation was just so strange.

"Uh..." stammered Andy, "Uh... Honestly, Evie, I really don't know..." He reached across and put his hand on her arm in a comforting sort of way so she would turn and look at him. "All I know is that he's really confused... I don't think he really knows himself"

"I've lost him, haven't I?!" cried Evie, covering her face with her hand and letting out little quiet sobs. "Oscar's taken everything from me, Andy!... Everything! ...and I can't even be angry with him..." she said with a bitter little laugh "...because he doesn't even know that he's the 'other woman' in all of this!" She'd said the last part while making inverted comma gestures with her hands and scowling angrily.

"Evie" said Andy, giving a sad sigh, "Maybe that's the point... Maybe it's not about being gay or not... Oscar's kind of like another version of you right now... I'm not sure that Josh even sees him as a man." He looked at the house again, and moved to open the door. "C'Mon! We'd better go check on him" he said.




Andy opened the door, with Evie following close on his heel, and looked around the vacant living room. There was no sign of Josh anywhere. Andy was starting to get a little worried now. Josh's phone had been turned off all day and he hadn't seen him at all since yesterday afternoon. The fact that he hadn't shown up at the hospital, or to work, was beginning to ring alarm bells. What if Josh had been even more shaken up by this whole thing than he’d realised?

"Josh?!" he shouted, leaning out the doorway of the living room and into the hallway, "Josh, are you here mate?!"

He grimaced at Evie when he didn't get an answer and motioned with his head for her to follow him down the hallway towards Josh's room. He looked at Evie nervously, and knocked on the door. He was beginning to wonder if Josh might have done something stupid, considering how upset he had been when he'd last spoken to him, and he was scared of what he might find behind this closed door. "Josh, mate?! Are you in there?!" he called, knocking a bit louder this time. There was no answer.

Evie shook her head at Andy in an exasperated way and let out a frustrated huff of annoyance. Pushing past him, and shoving one of her crutches at him, she turned the handle and flung the door open.

They were both surprised to see Josh sitting on his bed with his laptop on his knee. He had his headphones on and was obviously too engrossed in what was on the screen to notice that anyone had come in. "Josh!" shouted Evie from the doorway, leaning her free hand on Andy’s arm to balance on one leg, and throwing him a look of disapproval. With that, he looked up, clearly startled by their sudden presence, and blanching white in the face with shock. In one swift movement he slammed the lid of the laptop down violently and threw it on the bed. "What are you doing in my room?!" he yelped at them, unaware of how loudly he was speaking because of the headphones. He'd jumped to his feet to move towards them, in the hope of ushering them out of his room again, but the sudden movement had dislodged the audio jack from the side of his laptop, and the room was suddenly filled with the loud and enthusiastic groaning noises of two men having sex.

"Oh God!" exclaimed Evie, covering her mouth with her hand and shaking her head at Josh in disappointment.

She and Andy both looked past him to the laptop that he’d so carelessly tossed aside, and in that moment, as he took off his headphones, he became all too aware of his mistake. His eyes widened in horror, as the noises filled the air, and his face turned a dark crimson colour as the embarrassment took hold. He made a desperate grab for the laptop, frantically opening the lid again and pressing on the power button like his life depended on it. "Oh yeah! Harder!" came a loud gruff voice. "You like that?! You like that?! Take it!" said another. Josh glanced in shame at the other two, as they stood there, their mouths hanging open in the doorway. The laptop just didn't seem to want to power off! "Oh my God! This stupid thing!" he exclaimed, as the groans seemed to be getting louder and more excited, and the language much more explicit. He looked up at them with a face burning so hot and red that he could have fried an egg on it. "It just won't turn off!” he whined, pressing repeatedly at the power button and shaking the laptop as though it might make it respond better. “It's not what you think, guys, really! ...I wasn't really watching this, it just popped up!"

Andy and Evie glanced at each other with knowing expressions on their faces, and then looked back at Josh as he continued to struggle with his uncooperative laptop. They couldn't see what was on the screen, but the sounds reverberating around the room left very little to the imagination. They certainly weren't having any trouble filling in the blanks!

Evie stood there just inside the door, using Andy to balance, and shaking her head at him in disgust.

"Mate, just pull out the battery!" said Andy, starting to laugh. He couldn't help it. The whole situation was beyond ridiculous! He and Evie had rushed the whole way over there, worrying that Josh might have done something to hurt himself, or that he might even have done himself in. His disappearing act had seemed so out of character, and Andy had been replaying the conversation that they’d had over and over in his head the whole way over in the car. Josh had just been so upset that it hadn’t seemed outside the realms of possibility that he might have lost it completely and done something very silly. Instead they'd walked in on him indulging in a bit of a gay porn! It was certainly a much better outcome than he'd feared, but he definitely hadn't been expecting this! He looked down at Evie's angry little face, so red and embarrassed, and full of horror, and it just struck him as incredibly funny. He couldn't stop himself from laughing no matter how hard he tried.

Josh turned the laptop over on his knee and pushed the little clips to release the battery. “Oh yeah!” cried an excited male voice, followed by loud groans, just before Josh yanked the battery out of his laptop. Finally, it had stopped, and the room suddenly seemed so very quiet, even if Andy was doing a very poor job of hiding his amusement. He just kept snorting every so often and his whole body was shaking violently as he tried to hold the giggles at bay.

Josh sat hanging his head with his dismantled laptop on his knee, and wishing that the ground would open up and swallow him. He sat there with his eyes fixed on the floor and waited for one of them to speak. This was a whole new level of humiliation that he hadn't even known existed, and he wondered how he was ever going to look either of them in the eye again.

"Andy? Can you give us a minute? ...Please?!" asked Evie, giving him an angry stare and motioning with her head for him to leave.

He nodded, biting his bottom lip in an attempt to stifle his laughter, and handed her back her crutch. "Sorry for walking in on you, mate" he managed to say to Josh, before turning on his heel and heading back to the living room in fits of nervous giggles.

Evie shut the door and hopped across the room on her crutches towards Josh. She dithered beside him for a moment, silently scanning the bedcovers for used tissues, and then sat down on the edge of the bed.

Josh glanced at her out of the side of his eye but he really didn't know what to say to her. This was mortifying! They sat side by side in uncomfortable silence for what seemed like forever. He wondered if she was expecting him to speak. If so, she'd be waiting a long time, he thought.

Evie slowly reached across and took hold of Josh's hand. "Josh" she said, letting out a loud sigh and turning to look at him with a kind and sympathetic smile, "I'm going to ask you something and... I won't be angry, Josh... I just want you to give me an honest answer. I need you to be honest with me." She reached over with her other hand and gently turned his face to look at her. "Josh, sweetie... are you gay?"

He looked at her and his eyes began to fill with tears. "I don't know!" he said in a small quiet voice that was slightly choked with tears. "I'm sorry Evie, I really don't know!"

"Josh! You were watching men have sex!" she said, tilting her head at him and grimacing a little involuntarily at the thought. "I mean... If you're not gay, why were you doing that?!"

He shook his head and looked away from her again. Part of him wanted to lie again and pretend that it had just been some sort of pop up that he’d clicked on accidentally, but he knew that Evie wasn’t that stupid. There was no point denying it. It was time to be honest. Staring down at the floor, and looking decidedly shamefaced, he began chewing on his fingernail. "I've been..." he started to say, glancing at her momentarily before looking at the floor again, "I've been having... 'feelings' ...and I wanted to know..."

"Know what?" asked Evie getting a little impatient.

"Um... I wanted to know… if I wanted to... Y'know... with other men... or if it's just Oscar that I feel that way about" He turned to look at her and wiped at the tears flowing down his cheeks. "I'm so sorry, Evie! I'm just so confused!" he sobbed, “I don’t know why this is happening!”

She nodded slowly and stared down at the floor looking very sad. “So… you want to have sex… with… with Oscar?” she asked, trying to keep her voice calm and not sound like she was angry with him. It had gone so far beyond that now. What was the point in being angry with him when she’d clearly already lost?! Whether Oscar had won was another matter but it was clear now that whatever she’d had with Josh was well and truly over.

He covered his face in both hands and let out a heavy sigh. “I don’t know, Evie.” he said, in a voice so quiet that he was barely audible, “Yes… I …I guess so… Yes, I want to.” He took his hands away and turned to face her again with tears in his eyes, “I just don’t know what I’m doing, Evie! I really don’t! …I know Oscar isn’t really there… and we can’t really have a relationship… I know all that… But I can’t change the way I’m feeling… I can’t stop thinking about him!”

“We’re over Josh, you know that, right?” said Evie, putting her hand on his knee and giving him a pitying look. “And Oscar is coming back… I mean, the real Oscar… and I don’t think he’s gonna like what’s been going on!”

“I know! I know that!” he whined, smacking himself hard in the forehead, “But I just can’t get him out of here! He’s in my head all the time!” He shook his head at himself in despair, and then turned to look at Evie, taking her hand in his. “I don’t know what to do, Evie… I think I’m in love with Oscar… and the sad thing is… he’s going to hate me!”

“Well” sighed Evie, giving his knee a little squeeze, “I guess, we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it… Right now, Josh? I need your help!”




Josh trailed along behind Evie, looking scared and nervous, as they walked towards Oscar’s room in the hospital. He’d never felt so anxious! Evie had explained everything that was going on and he was still reeling so much from the massive Dr Delaney bombshell, that he hadn’t quite figured out what he was going to say to Oscar when he saw him. He knew what he wanted to say, and what he wanted to do, but he didn’t know which Oscar he was going to find in there. What if the Oscar that he loved was already gone?! What if this was the real Oscar?! How could he talk to him and explain what they’d been doing for the last few weeks?! How could he look him in the eye?! On the other hand, if it was the Evie version of Oscar, then it was his job to convince him to have the scans. Of course he knew that it was the right thing to do, but part of him was a little torn. He knew that once they knew what was wrong, they would all be one step closer to the real Oscar coming back for good, and if he was completely honest with himself, that was something that he really didn’t want. He was terrified of losing what they had together. All he really wanted was to climb into bed with him and forget that the rest of the world existed.

He stalled outside the door, and Evie turned to look at him, rolling her eyes a little impatiently. “Josh, we talked about this!” she said, frowning at him and reaching for his hand to drag him with her.

“I don’t know what to say to him!” whispered Josh, pulling away from her and leaning up against the wall outside the room. “What if he’s… him?!”

She glanced in through the door and saw that he was talking happily with Maddy and Billie, and Billie was flicking through fashion magazines and showing them to Oscar in an excited kind of way. She turned back to Josh, and said, “He’s not… It looks like he’s me right now.”

Josh pushed himself away from the wall again, running his fingers through his hair, and blew out a big puff of air. “Okay, c’mon” he whispered to her before walking through the door. “Hey you!” he called out to Oscar, giving him a nervous smile and making his way over to the bed. “I’ve missed you!” he said, leaning in and giving him a quick little kiss, “Like, so much!”

Oscar gave him a little half-smile but it quickly turned to a pout when Josh pulled away. “Why did you leave me like that?!” he asked, looking up at him with big sad eyes. “You just left me and I didn’t know what happened!”

“I’m sorry!” he said, sitting down on the side of the bed and taking his hand in his. “That was stupid of me… I just had some things I needed to sort out.” He lifted Oscar’s hand, giving it a little kiss, and cocked his head to one side in an apologetic way. “Can you forgive me?” he asked.

“You hurt me!” said Oscar, as his eyes filled with tears. “I didn’t know what to think…” He glanced at the three girls and gave them a sad little smile. “Can you give us a few minutes?” he asked, motioning with his head for the three girls to leave.

Josh watched a little nervously as the three girls made their way out and Evie gave him a knowing glance as she hobbled out the door. He turned to Oscar and gave a little sigh. “I thought they’d never leave!” he said jokingly, and gave him a little peck on the cheek.

“You can’t do that to me ever again!” said Oscar, starting to cry. “I’ve been going crazy here… stuck here… stuck in this bed with all these horrible people around me… I needed you!” He wiped at his tears and sniffled quite loudly. “Everyone is making fun of me!” he sobbed, looking absolutely miserable, “…and I don’t even know why!”

“Hey!” said Josh in a soothing sort of voice, throwing his arm around his shoulder and pulling him into a hug, “There’s no-one making fun of you!”

“Yes they are! They all are!” sobbed Oscar, leaning his head against Josh’s chest. “And I know you’re ashamed of me too!” he cried, starting to shake a little, “Please don’t leave me Josh, I need you!”

“I’m not going to leave you!” exclaimed Josh, caressing the side of his face and wiping away his tears with his thumbs. “I love you… remember?!” He knew that he was getting carried away again, and the thought that the real Oscar could come back at any moment still had his heart racing a little. What would he do if he was suddenly confronted with an angry hetero Oscar?! He shuddered to think, but looking at Oscar’s face in this moment, so full as it was of fear and hurt, all he could think was that he loved him and wanted to keep him safe.

“It didn’t feel like that!” pouted Oscar, looking at Josh with tears streaming down his face. “You just ran out on me… and you didn’t even answer my messages… Was it… Was it because I fell over?!”

“What?! No!” exclaimed Josh, gently stroking Oscar’s hair behind his ears for him. “How could you even think that?! …I love you! …I’m so proud of you!”

Oscar gave a sad little smile and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “I love you too,” he said, leaning in for a kiss.

They sat cuddling on Oscar’s bed, holding hands, and kissing. Josh looked deep into Oscar’s eyes, and thought how much he would like to stay here with him like this forever, but a sad sinking feeling in his stomach reminded him that he couldn’t. These were probably the last dying moments of his fledgling relationship with this weird version of Oscar that he loved so much, and within a short time, Oscar would be back to normal, and all of this would just be a distant memory. He couldn’t help feeling incredibly sad about that but he knew that he had to do what Evie had asked. There was every chance that Oscar was having a brain bleed, and if that were true then maybe he’d lose him anyway. He couldn’t take that risk!

“What’s all this about brain scans?” he asked, giving Oscar’s hand a little squeeze. “You know you have to do them, right?”

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