Status: Sorry I haven't been posting again.... I'm hoping in the next 2 weeks to have time to get one out!

Take My Hand, Just Hold On

Chapter 35: Lean On Me

Robert allows me to pull him out of bed easily. I pass him his pants and his shirt to change into before going to my dresser to pick something out to wear. By the time I turn around he’s just finished buttoning up his shirt and thrown the t-shirt he was wearing on my bed. He walks out silently, letting me change quickly.

I walk out of my room to find him sitting on my bar stool, slouched over the counter with his head resting on his arms. He looks up at me without lifting his head as I walk into the kitchen. I lean down and rest my own head on my arms and give him the best reassuring smile I could muster. “We should go now so we’re not too rushed… Come on, Robert, I’ll drive,” I whisper. I don’t know why I whispered, it just seemed like the right volume.

I stand up and walk to my door to slip on my shoes. I turn around and see Robert slowly following suit, “You know you don’t have to come with me. Booking the flight was help enough.”

“Of course I have to come with you, Robert,” I say, as if it’s a matter of fact.

He flashes me a quick half-smile. “Thanks,” he says, barely audible as he bends down to tie his shoes.

I grab my keys and my bag, “You got everything you need from here?”

He feels in his pants pockets, “Yeah, got my wallet and mobile.”

I nod and unlock all my locks, open the door, and let him shuffle out before me.

The drive to the hotel – L’Ermitage again – was completely silent. I didn’t even turn on the radio, in case Robert wanted to say something. My mind was reeling. I didn’t know what to say to help him. I don’t know anything about heart attacks or what the statistics on them are. Or what can be done to help his dad now. I can’t even imagine what he’s thinking right now.

I parked in the underground lot and got out of the car. I waited at the end for Robert to slowly make his way to me, and then we proceeded to the elevators. He seemed to be wandering in a complete daze and all I wanted to do was give him a hug. But, of course, with my issues, I also didn’t want to. While we were waiting for the elevator I settled for linking my arm with his, my hand giving his upper arm a quick squeeze. This seemed to jolt him awake slightly. He pulled his arm – and me – closer to his body and breathed heavily as we stepped into the empty elevator together.

As we make our way to the top floor, he suddenly asks, “Whatever happened with you and Ruby?”

I let go of his arm and look at him, “Er, after everything that happened… I guess I just cut her out. She was a lot easier than you were.”

He frowns, “You two seemed pretty close.”

I shrug, “I don’t know. She stopped calling after a couple weeks of not hearing back from me. It doesn’t really matter.”

Robert nods, “Okay.” We step into the hallway and make our way to Robert’s suite, the quiet making its way back to us.

I was preparing myself for the worst as Robert opened the door, and was pleasantly surprised at how tidy his room was. “I haven’t had much time to make too much of a disaster,” Robert explains as he sees the look on my face.

I smile, “Well, what should we start with?”

He shrugs, “I have a small duffle bag here somewhere… I don’t need to bring too much, as I still have a lot of older stuff at my parents’.”

“I was thinking… I mean, you don’t know how long you’ll be gone for. Maybe we could just pack everything up and you can check out,” I start suggesting.

“I don’t really want to have to bring everything with me… I intend to come back soon. If… Well, if it’s possible,” he explains.

“I know… I was just going to suggest that maybe you keep most of your stuff at my apartment. I have enough room to store a few suitcases, and that way you aren’t wasting money on a hotel you’re not staying at.”

“Oh. Well, sure… If it’s really not a problem,” he responds, looking at me briefly.

“Nope, not at all,” I tell him. I walk around picking up everything I could tell was definitely his as another silence fell between us. I could tell he was agitated as I watched him throwing clothes and random knick-knacks into suitcases.

By the time we had double and triple checked the room for any miscellaneous items it was 3:30. Robert took two of his suitcases and went to checkout, while I took the other two and his duffle bag straight down to my car.

We drove, again in complete silence, to the airport. About half way through the drive I glance over to see Robert with his eyes closed, opening and closing his fists; trying to relive tension, I assumed. I reach over and take his left hand in mine, giving it a light squeeze. I wanted to add some encouraging or reassuring words, but I literally could think of nothing to say.

Robert wordlessly rearranged our fingers until they were completely intertwined and let our hands drop back to his lap. We stay like this for the remainder of the drive to the airport, where he reluctantly let go and we step out of my car.

I take his hand again on the walk and he pulls me in close. “What’s on your mind?” I ask, leaning my head on his arm.

He sighs, “I just… wish I had a bit more information, you know?”

I nod, “Well, you can call your mum back after you get your ticket. Hopefully she has some more information for you by then.”


I’d left Robert to go grab us a coffee while he made his call to his mum and by the time I came back he had already hung up. “Well?” I prod, as I hand him his coffee. He didn’t look any worse than when I left him, so it couldn’t have been terrible news.

“She was able to see him finally, and talk to the doctor. But dad still hasn’t regained consciousness so they aren’t completely sure how… I don’t know, how well he is I guess. They have to run some tests, but they think it was caused by coronary heart disease… Something where there’s like plaque built up in his arteries. So once they run those tests they’re planning on doing bypass surgery. They probably won’t be able to do that until at least tomorrow, so at least I will be there for it.”

“Well it’s a good sign that they’re already talking about surgery. It means he has to be fit enough to get it done, right?”

Robert shrugs, “Yeah, maybe.” He pauses, taking a sip of his coffee. “This is why it fucking sucks being so far away from home…”

I nod in agreement. “Shall we make our way to security?”

“Sure,” he answers, picking his bag up off the ground and following my lead. Once we make it there he says, “Want to just sit out here for a bit? You can’t really follow me through and we have loads of time before I have to leave…”

“Yeah, of course,” I say, sitting on a bench just in front of the security gate.


At 5:15 a short line started forming at security, so Robert and I decided it was probably time for him to leave. We stand up from our seated positions and face each other. Robert smiles shortly, “Thanks for… Everything tonight.”

I give a short laugh, “I think it was the least I could do after everything you’ve done for me.”

He shrugs, “I needed no repayment.”

I look into his eyes and am overcome by an urge to hug him. I decide to give into it and stand on my toes to wrap my arms around his neck tightly. He seemed surprised at first, but soon let his bag fall on the bench beside us and wrapped his own arms around my waist. We stayed like that, silent, for a minute. And I am ashamed to admit, I selfishly wanted him to stay. I didn’t want him to get on that plane; I was afraid of what would happen with me after he left. I was afraid of that temporary solution I thought he might again be for me… I’d just have to try harder this time, because I knew he had to go, and I had no right to ask him to stay.

I sigh heavily into his shoulder and he loosens his arms around me, bringing his hands to rest on my sides. I unravel my arms from around his neck, taking his lead, and back away slightly. He brings a hand up to the hair that had fallen across my face and brushed it behind my ear. I watched as his face came slowly toward me and didn’t move away, his lips landed on my forehead. “Thanks again, Brenna,” he whispered, his lips brushing against my skin the entire time.

I closed my eyes the entire time, wondering how this boy does this to me. As I felt him pulling away, I open my eyes again and look at him, giving me a despondent look, ready to leave. I don’t know what possessed me – likely his lips lingering slightly too long on my skin – but I reach my hand underneath his chin and run my thumb over his soft lips. He’s giving me a curious look, and before I know what I’m doing, our lips are locked.

Robert responds quickly, one hand flies to my waist, and the other to the back of my head. He opens his mouth slightly and gives my lips a light lick before I allow him access. The hand that was under his chin found its resting place on Robert’s chest, feeling his racing heart, and the other hand found its way to his slightly exposed side. The heat from his skin sent its own form of fire through my body as his tongue retreats back to its own mouth and the kiss softens.

I bring my other hand up to his chest and slowly push our bodies apart, letting our lips gently part company. Robert’s hands fall to his side as I look up at him and smile, I try to find words to explain but can’t seem to come up with anything. I settle for a one-armed shrug and a slightly confused smile.

Robert shakes his head and grabs his lips quickly with his hand before running it through his dishevelled hair. He also shrugs, reluctant to say anything.

“Well, you should probably get going… Try not to dwell on your dad too much during the flight, okay? Just watch a bunch of movies or something. Or try to get some sleep,” I suggest, like it’s possible for him to think of anything but his dad right now.

He nods, “Yeah, I’ll try that. Uhm, I’ll call you when I land… Or after I know a bit more about how he’s doing, okay?”

“Thanks, I’d appreciate that,” I respond honestly; I’d hate to be wondering what’s happening for however long he’s going to be over there for…

“I might not call from my mobile, so if it’s a weird number… It’s probably me.”

“Alright. You should seriously get going, the line isn’t getting any short and you have,” I pause to look around for the time, “half an hour before your flight.”

“Right,” he says, picking up his bag. “Er, I’ll… talk to you soon, then. Thanks again.”

I lift up a hand and wave, “Bye, Robert.”

He starts walking by me and grabs my hand as he’s leaving, giving it a quick squeeze, “Bye, Brenna.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Song: Lean On Me by Bill Withers!

Notes: This one took a bit longer to write than I originally anticipated :P My chapters are always way longer than I intend. I think I add way too much description to some things, lol. Ooooh well! Hope you're enjoying! The next chapter might be a Rob POV chapter, I'm still not entirely sure if that's the way I want to go, but... maybe :D
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