Sequel: Open Your Eyes
Status: Please comment if you like it.

Just Say Yes

Alone Again

After Erin's emotional departure, Brian found himself wandering the halls of the wing Corinne was placed in. He needed a moment to clear his mind from the harsh words she had thrown at him. Jimmy had offered to walk with him but Brian politely declined, telling the drummer he'd rather be alone. He had stopped during his third lap to talk to Corinne's doctor, being filled in on her progress and what had caused the sudden episode.

Mid way through his seventh lap of the wing, he passed by Corinne's room just in time to see movement coming from inside.

He hesitantly stepped inside, catching sight of a short, dark skinned nurse checking Corinne's vitals. The nurse smiled politely upon his entrance, he flashed a smile in return as she silently passed by him on her way out. Brian pulled the nearby chair closer to the bed, he inhaled a deep breath before sitting down.

He hadn't been sitting for more than five minutes when the woman laying in the bed in front of him began stirring. His posture straightened as he intently watched her eyes flutter open. A groan escaped her lips at the bright lights assaulting her sensitive eyes.

She blinked several times before she turned her head, noticing his presence. There was a faint smile on her lips as she brought a hand to her forehead, rubbing it slightly. “How long have I been asleep?” She asked groggily.

“A few hours,” Brian told her softly. He leaned forward, resting his elbows against the bed, only an inch away from her frail hands. “how are you feeling? You gave us quite a scare you know.”

A small laugh echoed through the small room. “I've been better and I'm sorry.” She answered before trying to sit herself upright.

Brian immediately reached out to help her, given her fragile state he didn't want her to hurt herself further. He position the pillows properly so her back had enough cushion support and made sure her blankets were pulled up so she stayed warm.

“So, where's everyone else?” Corinne asked looking outside of her door, only to see nurses and doctors passing by.

“Well, Zack, Jimmy and Lisa are in the waiting area.” Brian explained slowly, he glanced down as he continued. He didn't want Corinne to see the mix of hurt and guilt in his eyes. “Erin went to pick up Jon at the airport.”

“How is she?” Brian avoided eye contact with Corinne as she waited for him to speak. “Brian?”

Brian's jaw clenched at the thought of the events that had just occurred. “She knows everything.” Was all he could mutter.

A small sigh escaped Corinne's feeble lungs. “How did she react?” Brian laughed bitterly, shaking his head.

He steadied his gaze at the woman across from him with a tiny smirk on his face. “Let's just say that you and I won't be seeing a whole lot of each other after today.” Corinne's features softened at his words, her brows furrowed ever so slightly. He could see the tears start to form behind her eyes and before he knew it a few tears slid down her slightly pale cheeks.

“I'm sorry.” She mumbled, bringing a hand up to wipe underneath her eyes, ridding some of the tears that had fallen.

“For what?” He asked, taking her dainty hand in his large one.

“Burdening you with all this. It's my fault.” Several more tears fell as she turned her face away from him. He squeezed her hand tightly just as his other hand came up to her chin, forcing her to look at him.

“I don't blame you. I should've been smarter about this and said something.” Brian told her firmly. She sniffled softly before nodding ever so slightly.

“And hey,” He began with another squeeze of her hand. “you better not cry anymore. I swear if you do I'll bring Jimmy in here and he won't leave until every tear is gone and you're stomach hurts from laughing so much.”

Corinne smiled genuinely at him, her eyes held a look of penance. “Give her some time, she's stubborn like her mother and grandfather.” Brian nodded slowly, his lips curved slightly into a tight lipped smile.

“Sleeping beauty, you're awake!” Jimmy bellowed walking into the room with his hands raised high, one of them held a lush and vibrant bouquet of flowers. "Those aren't tears are they?"

The once demure atmosphere lingering between Brian and Corinne was lifted to one of contentment with the entrance of the highly energetic drummer. Brian sent a pointed look to Corinne at Jimmy's comment, causing her to laugh lightly as her tears were then forgotten.

- - - - - - - - -

After a long five hour drive, Brian tiredly stumbled into his house, not bothering to flick the light in the foyer on. He tossed his keys towards the small table that sat near the door. Maybe it was because of the long drive or it could've just been his lack of luck that day, but the keys missed the table. He groaned as they landed loudly on the hardwood floors.

“Just my fucking luck.” He mumbled as he removed his leather jacket, and kicked off his shoes. He ran a hand through his messy black hair before realizing that upon entering the house there was no fluffy white dog to be seen. Brian narrowed his eyes, searching around the darkened living room but not catching sight of anything that resembled his small dog.

“Pinkly.” He said gruffly, adding a whistle just in case he hadn't heard his call. Instead of hearing paws pouncing along the hardwood, he heard shoes descending down the stairs behind him. He glanced over his shoulder to find Leana slowly come down the stairs with a large black tote bag that he knew belonged to Erin. Leana's eyes met his, she sent him a sympathetic glance.

“Hey Bri.” She smiled meekly, dropping the bag to the floor when she reached the bottom of the staircase. It was then that he noticed several small plastic grocery bags also resting there, he couldn't tell what was in them but he already had an idea of what they contained.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Brian inquired, pointing to the bag even though he had an idea of what she was up to. He wanted to hear it for himself. If Leana were about to lie, her eyes were a dead give away.

Leana rested her hands on the small of her back, running her tongue over her lips. “Lisa called me and asked if I could pack some of Erin's things.” He sucked in a jagged breath before he pursed his lips together in a tight line and nodded his head.

“That didn't take long.” He muttered, almost inaudibly but Leana had heard him. She frowned slightly at her friend, shifting on her feet awkwardly.

“I, uh, I only grabbed stuff from around the house. I didn't want to go into your room until I asked first.” She tilted her head to the side, studying his saddened features. If she were anything like Jimmy, he figured she was probably thinking of a way to make him laugh. He didn't have the heart to tell her that he was in no mood to even think about laughing.

“So if you want me to go through her stuff, just let me know.” Leana concluded with a friendly smile. Brian mustered as much of a smile he could but it came across as more of a deflection of pain.

“I think I'll do it. Either I'll feel fucking worse than I do now or I'll feel a tiny bit better. I'm not counting on the latter.” Brian stated, heavy with sarcasm and ended the statement with a bitter laugh, mainly at himself. He leaned his lower body against the back of the couch, as he ran his hands over his face.

“Why am I such a fucking idiot.” He said aloud. He had been mentally berating himself the whole drive home, it was almost a miracle he hadn't crashed the vehicle. Brian crossed his arms over his chest and out of the corner of his eye he saw Leana's mouth open, preparing to speak.

“Don't answer that.” He stopped her, she smiled faintly before shaking her head.

“I wasn't going to say anything about you being a fucking idiot, Brian. It doesn't need to be said.” She teased lightly, before her features softened and she stepped closer to him. “I want you to know that while I consider Erin a friend, you're still my friend too.” Her small hand rested on his forearm as her thumb gently rubbed small circles.

“Thanks, Leana.” Brian smiled the first genuine smile he had in past few hours. Leana responded with a simple nod then flashed him a wide smile.

“Brian!” A small voice yelled from behind them, Brian turned to see Ben with Pinkly in toe, walking inside from the deck. Ben dashed over to them, smiling widely up at Brian.

“Hey bud.” Brian tried his best to act as if nothing were wrong, but found it difficult as the young boy only reminded him of some of the good times shared between Ben, himself, and Erin. He flashed the best smile he could at the moment.

Leana put a gentle hand on Ben's shoulder as he glanced up at her. “It's getting late, we should let Brian get some rest, okay?” Leana said softly to which Ben frowned then slowly nodded.

Ben turned back to Brian, taking a step forward with his arms reaching out to hug him. Brian gave in and embraced Ben in a lazy hug, he squeezed Brian tightly before pulling away and raced off to get his backpack. As Ben ran out of the room, Brian looked back to Leana who reached out to take one of his hands.

“I'm really sorry, Bri.” Leana rubbed his hand between both of hers before letting go and heading towards the door.

“Yeah so am I,” He nodded, rubbing the back of his neck. “I just wish that was enough.” He breathed wistfully, ending it with a bitter laugh.

Leana looked over her shoulder, a saddened look in her usually vibrant eyes. “If you need a friend, Jimmy and I aren't far away.” She offered with a meek smile, he nodded his head at her. They stared at one another for a moment before Leana scoffed loudly.

“Come here, Haner.” She demanded, briskly walking towards him with her arms outstretched. Before Brian had a chance to react, Leana's small body was pressed against his as she wrapped him in a tight embrace. “Just give her some time.” She whispered, rubbing his back lightly before pulling away to firmly look him in the eyes.

“You know Jimmy will be over here to harass you everyday, right?” Leana smirked, causing a faint smile of his own to form. He nodded affirmatively as she turned on her heels just as Ben returned with his backpack strapped to his back.

“I'll talk to you later.” She said opening the door for herself and Ben. Ben smiled and sent him a farewell wave, Brian halfheartedly returned it watching the two of them leave.

Just as the door was being shut Brian heard Ben innocently ask Leana where Erin was. However the door shut with a loud click, preventing him from hearing the answer she gave him. He sighed heavily, running a hand through his hair as he stood in the darkened silence that was now his home.

“Alone again.” He muttered to himself as his eyes settled on the pile of bags at the bottom of the staircase that held some of Erin's belongings.

Begrudgingly, he stomped his way up the stairs to his bedroom., Pinkly following close behind. Once inside his room, he took a moment to glance around the space. The bed was left unmade, a trait of his that she hadn't minded since she had a tendency to do the same.

Clothes were tossed askew throughout the room. The sundress she had been wearing the day he had tackled her into the ocean that eventually led to the steamy shower, was draped over the wooden bench at the end of his bed. The fedora she had worn to the concert was hanging off one of the knobs of his dresser.

He swallowed the lump in his throat and began gathering the objects in his hands, tossing them inside an old plastic bag Erin had kept from a previous purchase at Kohl's. He was just about halfway through the task when he caught sight of an all too familiar picture. It was the photo that both of them had purchased after their third attempt at riding the roller-coaster in Las Vegas.

His eyes were set on the picture as he felt his lips curve into a faint smile before a surge of regret pulsed through his body.
♠ ♠ ♠
So I'm going to keep this short since its two AM and I'm dead tired. Thank you to each and everyone of you, I'm still amazed at how much love you give me and this story. So thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate it more than you will ever know. This chapter wasn't the greatest but I'm saving my best for the sequel.

I'll post the final chapter within the next few days if things go according to plan. Please comment and let me know what you think. Also the summary for the sequel will be posted before I leave so watch out for that next update too! :D