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Chapter 7

"I can't believe you dragged me out here." Kevin snapped as he and Brian walked to the elevator. His pace was brisk and Brian had a hard time keeping up with him.

"We are all worried about him, Kev. He keeps asking for you, he's acting so strange-" Brian stated, trailing off.

"Nick better have a good reason for all of this. I swear, if he starts a fight with me I am going on the first flight back."

"I know, Kevin. I know- but trust me he has been practically begging to see you. It's like he's someone else. He doesn't remember Marcus, he doesn't know Jenn. He didn't even remember Baylee." Brian explained.

"I am just saying there better be a hell of a good story behind what is wrong with him."

The two of them walked to Nick's room where they found him sitting on the floor in his underwear, looking through his luggage.

"Nick what's wrong?" Brian asked. Kevin waited just out of view.

"I can't find my Game Boy or any of my cassette tapes. Where is my Walkman?"

"Nick your music is on your laptop."

"What's a laptop?" Nick asked as Brian stared in confusion. He didn't even want to start this conversation again.

"There's someone here to see you."

Kevin made his way into the room, looking uneasy.

"Okay," Nick replied, standing up. His eyes went wide as they fell upon Kevin standing there. He looked almost as Nick remembered him...except for some gray hair and wrinkles near the corners of his green eyes.

"Kevin?" he said tentatively, not moving.

"It's me." Kevin replied with a smile. Nick walked closer and squinted at him.

"You got old." he said softly. Kevin glared at Brian, who gave him a shrug. Kevin decided today he'd play good cop.

"How are you doing, kiddo?"

"But I'm not-" Nick started, then fell silent, looking down at his bare feet.

"I know you're not a kid, Nick. Just an expression. Want to go out and have a talk for a bit?" Kevin offered with a half smile. Nick's face lit up....he looked happy...happier than Brian had seen him in days.

"I'd love that!!!" Nick said, taking some of his clothes and throwing them on in the bathroom.

"I told you he wanted to see you." Brian grinned as Kevin shook his head.

"Well he isn't throwing punches like last time, so it's a good sign." Kevin laughed. Nick came back out wearing jeans and a white tank top, smiling from ear to ear.

"Ready? I don't have my car, you can drive, right?" Kevin said, patting Nick's back. Nick's face went pale...he had not driven before, but he was sure he could wing it. He was shocked Kevin even let him behind the wheel at all.

"Sure...no problem." he thought as he followed Kevin out of the room, his head hanging.

"Nick...are you gonna start it? The car doesn't move itself, you know." Kevin snapped once they were inside of the car Nick apparently had rented. Nick looked nervously at the wheel and his heart was racing. There were levers and buttons he didn't even know the names of.

"Well, here goes nothing." he whispered as he turned on the ignition.

Driving seemed easy enough. They went down the road and Nick seemed calm. He was feeling pretty confident in his skill even though in reality he had never been behind the wheel of a car other than at an arcade. It couldn't be that much different, could it?

"This isn't so bad." Nick said, smiling.

"You act like you've never driven before. So how is everything? I know it has been a while." Kevin asked. Nick sighed. He wanted so badly to tell him what happened, but he knew Kevin would never believe him.

"Everything is so-" Nick began, but his eyes went wide.


"Nick, focus on the road!!!!" Kevin screamed as a little girl ran into the middle of the street, chasing a puppy.


Nick swerved to miss the girl and promptly lost control of the car. Kevin held onto the side of the car screaming as Nick swerved in and out of traffic, crossing the street. The car spun around and finally crashed head on into a storefront, glass flying everywhere. Nick was screaming as the windshield smashed in on top of them.

"Oh my God....Nick...are you okay?" Kevin asked when the airbags deflated. He felt like he'd aged ten years in an instant. Nick didn't answer...he sat in the driver's seat, his body shaking.

Kevin managed to get out of the dented car door and rush to Nick's side.

"Nick? Are you okay, answer me please!" Kevin said, before Nick let out a strangled whimper, his bottom lip moving slightly.

"I BROKE THE CAR!!!" he wailed, latching onto him. Kevin watched Nick burst into full on heaving sobs. He carried on as if he were a teenager, Kevin couldn't believe it.

"I am just happy you aren't hurt. The car has insurance." he said, rubbing Nick's back as he talked.

"I am in so much trouble..." Nick whispered. Kevin managed to bring Nick back to the hotel and Brian's eyes widened at the two of them covered in cuts and scrapes. Kevin kept insisting no harm was done aand Nick just went into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

"What happened?" he demanded after Nick had gotten out of earshot.

"He didn't remember how to drive apparently. Brian, I can't deal with him. He's like-"

"-a kid?" Brian finished.

"I'm out of here." Kevin snapped. He headed for the door, but Brian grabbed his arm.

"Please, I think you are what he needs to be himself again." he begged. Kevin stood there with his hand on the doorknob, thinking.

"I give him a week. One week."

"If you can't help him, then what?"

"I might have to stay."