“I know what I’m doing, Kevin. I have to see him. I don’t care what she said.” Nick scoffed. He adjusted the strap on his backpack again and made sure he had everything. Part of him knew he was crazy too and he was possibly making a huge mistake but it was worth the risk. He had to try.
“I just think you are just walking into fire right now.”
Nick rolled his eyes and they all left for the airport, because they were each going their separate ways for a while until their show in Jamaica in a couple weeks. Nick had bought a house in Florida but was barely moved in and didn’t care. He just wanted to go and see Brian.
He didn’t care about the outcome.
Brian was eating his lunch at the hospital when Leighanne came to see him that afternoon the day after the surgery. He was happy to get out of the bed for a little while because the doctors said that he had to try and move around when he could. He knew he was in great care at the hospital but he missed the other guys, especially Nick even though they were fighting right now. He tried not to think about that because he was warned to control his emotions and that stress could make him not heal properly. It was so much all at once and Brian was feeling overwhelmed to the point he wanted to cry. He wanted to cry even when he saw Leighanne because he just kept thinking of how she was the reason he fought with Nick, and she was the reason Nick was angry at him in the first place.
“Hi, sweetie. How are you feeling?” Leighanne asked, leaning down to kiss him. He was picking at the tray in front of him but nothing looked like it was eaten.
“I’m okay, I was just having some lunch.” Brain said dully.
Leighanne sat down in a chair near him and they were silent for a few minutes.
“So my agent told me that there’s a good chance I might get a part in that one movie I auditioned for….”
Brian tuned her out halfway through what she said, he was staring at the food in front of him and thinking.
“What do you think?”
“Huh?” Brian asked. He had zoned out without realizing.
"Never mind. You should eat, keep your strength up." Leighanne chuckled softly.
"I don't feel like eating. I honestly don't feel like anything right now." Brian answered. He didn't understand it but while he was feeling a little better through the little pain he had, he felt overwhelmed and sad. He was told that depression could happen and that it was common but he didn't understand why he felt like this. He felt just overwhelmingly sad, like he wanted to cry. He knew this anxiety was not good for healing and tried to boost his own mood but nothing seemed to help. Something was missing. He should have been happy to see his girlfriend but even that wasn't helping. He wished he knew what would help him feel better.
Nick had landed sometime that evening and didn't even stay at his hotel long even though he was tired from the fight from Europe. It was a seven hour flight and he felt like crap, probably even looked like crap- but he didn't care. He stopped at a gift shop in the airport and got Brian a present and a card then dropped his luggage off at the hotel. All the way to the hospital he felt nervous. What was he going to say? Would Brian want to see him? Unfortunately that's not who he saw first.
Nick turned around and his heart sank because he was hoping he wouldn't run into Leighanne. She had spotted him.
"I-I'm here to see Brian. I flew here from France." Nick said, trying to sound confident.. This was the first time he'd been alone with her since she threatened him in the coffee shop in New York. Even now she stated him down with daggers in her eyes.
"Visiting hours are over for the day, and he isn't feeling well so he doesn't want to see anyone. He’s sleeping." she said icily.
Nick stared at her, trying to control his anger because he knew she was lying.
"I still want to see him." he said, moving past her to go to the elevator up to Brian's room.
"I'm telling you the truth, Nick…he doesn't want to see you." she called after him. He rolled his eyes at her and she grabbed his arm. Nick tugged it away and went for the elevator, ignoring her. He jammed his finger on the button and it closed before she could follow him inside. His heart was beating so fast that he thought it might jump out of his chest.
When the elevator opened, he went slowly down the hall, feeling nervous. He wasn't sure what he had to be nervous about but he was coaching himself until he got to the door of Brian's room. It was closed.
"You can do this." Nick whispered shakily to himself. He gripped the stuffed bear he'd bought Brian and took a breath before putting his hand on the handle of the door.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" a nurse called out to him, startling him.
“Oh, this is my friend’s room. I’m just nervous.” Nick smiled at her. She smiled back and went back to her rounds, leaving him alone. He went back to staring at the door. He took a breath again and was about to grab the door handle, before someone yanked him back.
“Stay away from him!” Leighanne shouted, pulling him away and making him drop the stuffed bear he was holding.
“I deserve to see him just as much as you do. He’s my best friend, Leighanne. You can’t keep me away from him.” Nick snapped, yanking his arm back.
“I am going to tell everyone what you did to him. You tried to make him...make him like you. You tried to turn him against me, he loves me.”
Nick laughed. Nobody was in the hallway, the nurse who’d questioned him had gone somewhere, into another room or something. It was just the two of them in the hallway outside of Brian’s room.
“Leighanne, I didn’t MAKE him do anything. Nothing he did with me was against his will. I don’t care if you tell anyone anything. I want to see him. You’re not stopping me, and I’d like to see you try.”
Leighanne looked like she was going to explode. The nurse that had addressed Nick before came back out in the hallway again, pushing along a little cart of medications.
“He doesn’t want to see you.”
“I don’t give a shit, I’m not scared of you. You seem to do a lot of talking for him. Does he know that? Why don’t we find out from him what he wants?” Nick almost shouted, his temper starting to get the best of him. He went for the doorknob again but he was interrupted by the nurse, who had heard part of the conversation and was now staring both of them down.
“Is everything okay out here? What is all this racket?” the nurse asked in concern.
“Can you call security and have this man removed? He’s harassing me and my boyfriend. I’ve asked him to leave Brian alone and he came back anyway.” Leighanne said, pretending to cry. Nick’s mouth fell open.
“You can’t be serious!” he shouted.
“I can’t have you disturbing the patients, young man. If you do not leave right now I will have you removed and you will not be allowed back.” the nurse said, her hands on her hips.
The nurse stood there waiting for Nick to make a move. Nick knew he didn’t want to get arrested and he didn’t want to be banned from the hospital.
“Okay, fine. I just hope he finds out you’ve been hiding him from everyone so you can keep him for yourself. Do you even love him? Or is he just a prize to you?” Nick snapped.
“Of course I love him. What kind of stupid question is that? I love him and he loves me.”
“I am just asking because anyone that already had love from someone wouldn’t go to these lengths to keep what’s theirs, that’s all. I just want him to be happy.”
“He’s happy. He has me. He doesn’t need you.” Leighanne shot back. Nick sighed, knowing he was not going to get into that room with Leighanne and the nurse there. He walked back towards the elevator and hit the button, feeling defeated as he went to call for a cab to the hotel.
Early the next morning, Nick decided to try again and went back. He had to talk himself into this several times because he was afraid. Why he was afraid, he didn’t know. He wasn’t afraid of Leighanne. He wasn’t even afraid of the nurse that threatened to call security. No, this fear was something different. He went down the hallway to Brian’s room and opened the door. He was hesitant to go inside at first but pushed himself to do it before Leighanne or someone from Brian’s family showed up.
“Brian?” he whispered.
He almost gasped when he looked at the bed, Brian looked so small. He looked different somehow. He was asleep but looked so frail that Nick was afraid he’d hurt him if he got too close. Nick didn’t know what to do because he was getting emotional, but he knew he couldn't stay. Brian stirred a little in his sleep and Nick panicked. He flung open the door and ran out, running down the hallway and back to the elevator. His heart was racing a mile a minute as the elevator opened and an angry looking Leighanne was standing there
“What are you doing here? I told you not to come here.” Leighanne asked. She was definitely not pleased.
“I-“ Nick stammered.
“Do not ever come here again. I’m warning you, Nick. You do not want to tangle with me, you’ll wish you hadn’t.”
“I’m not afraid of you.”
“You should be. Remember, I can take everything you love away just by making a single phone call to your manager. Or did you forget that?” Leighanne laughed.
“Fine. Can you at least give this to him for me?” Nick asked, holding out the stuffed bear and the card he’d written a letter in. Leighanne took them but rolled her eyes as she did so. Nick once again held back from decking her like he wanted.
As soon as Nick turned his back and had disappeared, Leighanne threw the card in her purse and took the bear with her to Brian’s room. She smiled because she had won yet again, and this time she was going to make sure Nick didn’t get what he wanted. Before she left the hospital that day, she made sure that Nick could not return.
She was determined to keep Nick away from Brian and was willing to do that by any means necessary.