Billy feels nothing but guilt when he sees Max leaning over him, tears streaming down her face as she screams for him. His chest hurts, and his lungs hurt, and everywhere hurts, and he can feel his blood pooling under him against the cold hard floor of the mall, and Max is crying over him and he doesn’t deserve that. He was nothing but an asshole to her, and he doesn’t deserve her tears. He tried to protect her, tried so hard, and he’s hoping she’ll be okay without him. He can feel her hands gripping his shoulders, and he swallows blood to get out the words he desperately needs to say.
“I’m sorry.” He spits out, more blood filling his mouth as tears fall from his eyes, and she starts sobbing louder, yelling his name. It’s the first time in years that he’s heard her say his name without hatred or anger or fear of him, and he desperately wants her to know he regrets it. Regrets being a dick; Regrets being like his father. As he feels the pain all over his body, overtaking him, he just looks into Max’s eyes, praying she gets it. Gets how sorry he is. He’s vaguely aware of other people walking over; he knows the girl he saved is near him now, and the wheeler boy is with her, and there’s other people here too, but Billy is focused on Max. She’s the one thing he would try and survive this for. But there’s nothing like bittersweet death to fill you with regret and question the what if’s and the could-have-been's, and Billy thinks, as he drifts off, eyes falling shut, that maybe Max is better off without him anyway.