Status: Complete

Every Time You Fall Apart You Can Hide Here In My Arms

Sounds Like A Line

Austin rolled over and discoved she was tangled in the blankets. Kicking her legs free she moved onto her side and brought herself face to face with Matt. He was on his stomach dressed in jeans and socks, his face just inches from her own, snoring softly. She could smell the alcohol on his breath.

Wrinkling her nose in distaste she turned onto her back and looked at the clock on the wall. Just visible in the darkness due to soft light shining through the window, it read 5:00 A.M. She and Matt had only been in bed for two hours.

Last night had been hell. Matt got hammered, and proceeded to whine to her about how he didn't love Val, but it was in fact Austin and Mattie that he loved. That was it. And how he was doing his best to be a good father, but he was afraid that Mattie hated him, or that Val was making her hate him. Then he'd topped it off by asking Austin if she'd talk to Val for him.

"Yeah, right," Austin muttered and slowly sat up. She rubbed her stinging eyes before crawling out of bed, not caring how loud she was being. She knew for a fact that Matt wasn't hauling his ass out of bed any time soon.

Armed with that information, and a not so palatable smell, she headed to the bathroom, showered, dressed and let her hair air dry as she continued about the house, cleaning it up. She found Matt's car keys on the table out on the back porch and decided to load up his car before going back to the house for the rest of her cargo...Matt.

She found him on the bed in the exact same position as she'd left him.

"Matt," she leaned over him so she could look at his face, "babe, we've got to go."

He never moved. Austin leaned closer and discovered it was him who needed the shower. He smelled like he'd spent the last week in a dingy, smokey bar.

"Matthew," she shook him gently at first then a little more roughly. "I have to be to work in not too long."

He groaned and eventually opened his eyes. "What?" he muttered.

She repeated what she's already said, "I have to be to work in a few hours, I need you to get up."

"I'm so fucking tired," he rolled onto his back and Austin helped him into a sitting position.

"I should call Val," he whimperd as Austin helped him to stand.

She sighed heavily under his weight since she was holding most of him up. "You can't call her when you're still drunk, Matt."

He mumbled incoherently. She grabbed his t-shirt out from amongst the blankets. "Let's go."

She helped him walk to the car in his stocking feet then helped him into the passenger seat where he basically proceeded to pass out again.

"Jesus," she muttered as she slammed the door shut. When she took on Matt, she didn't plan on inheriting this side of him as well.

She drove the speed limit despite wanting to go faster. She made it to Matt and Johnny's apartment building by seven. She was going to be late for work. It was quickly becoming the story of her life.

"Alright, Matt," she grabbed some of his stuff, "let's get you up to your apartment."

He never moved. She used his keys to let herself into the building then into the guys apartment. Johnny, Lacy, Brian, Michelle, Rev and Leana were all sitting in the living room watching TV.

"Sorry," Austin appologized for letting herself in, "I didn't know if you would be up."

"We have a photo shoot today," Johnny offered up an explanation.

Austin rolled her eyes, "well that's fantastic."

"Why? Where's Matt?" Rev asked, concern growing in his voice.

"Matt, is passed out in the passenger seat of his car."

Syn frowned. That was Matt for you. "Here," he pried himself up off the couch, "I'll help you bring him up."

Rev stood up to. "Thanks," Austin ran her hands through her hair and smiled weakly. She knew there was no way in hell she'd have gotten Matt up all the stairs.

"Bad night?" Lacy asked the obvious.

"Yeah," Austin stepped towards her, meeting her in the middle of the living room. "I'll leave these with you," she handed Lacy Matt's keys.

Within ten minutes the guys had Matt in the apartment and in his bed. Austin bid everyone goodbye with a promise to show up later. She caught a cab home, changed into work clothes and headed to the office, if she even still had a job at this point.


"What are you doing?"

Austin looked up at the entrance to her office and offered her best friend a weak smile. "Eating your cereal and going over this proposal," she gestured to the papers in front of her on her desk.

Mica laughed and sat down across from her at the desk. "See, now you can't make fun of me for bringing cereal to work," she got comfy in her chair, "you look like hell by the way."

Austin rolled her eyes. "Gee thank you," she flipped a page over and scanned it quickly, "but if you had the night I had you'd look like this too."

"Why what happened?" Mica leaned forward, suddenly more interested, "when you called yesterday it sounded like you guys were having a blast."

Austin set down her small box of cereal and tapped the touch pad on her lap top, bringing the computer back to life. "Well," she began recalling the night's events, "that was before Val unexpectedly dropped in and blew things way out of proportion."


"Yeah," Austin shared the story of her night with Matt with Mica who's look was now one of concern.

"He drinks alot does he?"

Austin shrugged. "I don't think so. But I don't know how much he drank before. Maybe he has upped his intake considerably."

Mica nodded in understanding. "Well hopefully you guys can fix things. And I mean you and Val. You two need to make things work before he and Val can work again."

Austin watched her friend get up out of her chair. "Why do I have to fix things?"

"Because you're the middle man," Mica put it blankly before smiling and letting herself out of Austin's office.

Austin sighed. Christ. She was going to end up talking to Val whether she wanted to or not.


Mica was on the intercom again.

Austin laughed. It'd been a few hours since they'd seen each other, despite the fact that they were only seperated by double oak doors, but Mica had kept up conversation via the intercom. It was now noon.

"What's it going to take for me to get you to go out for lunch, I know that you're hungry."

She leaned across her desk and pushed he intercom button, "a hot date," she replied quickly.

The intercom went quiet again and Austin was sure she'd be at peace for the rest of her lunch hour.


James Hart was greeted by Mica who was on the phone. She directed him to the door that lead into Austin's office. He knocked softly before opening it. Austin was sitting at her desk staring at her laptop.

She looked elegant in formfitting white pants and a black cashmere sweater. Her blond, pink, and black hair shone with health and was held up securely with hair sticks. Her legs were crossed causing the bottoms of her pant legs to raise just enough to show off her tanned feet wrapped in black strappy sandals with four inch heels.

James grinned and leaned against the door frame. She was deep in thought, staring at her computer screen so intently that she didn't even see him standing there. He watched her silently until she swore and he began to laugh.

She looked up suddenly and grinned in embarassment. "How long have you been standing there?"

"A while," he entered the room the rest of the way and closed the door behind him. "You looked like you were deep in thought so I didn't want to disturb you."

She smiled slightly and leaned back into her chair. "I'm trying to get this design finished so I can get it circulating on the net, but I'm having a bitch of a time getting it right."

He smiled, "sounds like you need a break."

She looked at him skeptically. This had to have been Mica's doing.

"How about lunch?" he asked.

This was just the kind of thing to piss Matt off. She'd never pegged him as the jealous type before but she was fastly learning that that just wasn't the case.

"It's just for lunch," he sensed her skepticism and sat down in one of the chairs on the opposite side of her desk, "please, Austin."

She laughed and looked him over. He looked damn good but she expected he always did. "Wasn't going to your show last weekend enough?"

He shook his head and sat up straight again, "no. You see, I have this problem."

Austin leaned forward in her chair, resting her elbows on her desk attempting to act childishly interested in his problem, "and just what is this problem?"

He smiled back, "no matter how hard I try, I just can't get you off of my mind."

"That sounds like a line, Mr. Hart."

He smiled, "well it depends on if it's working?"

She leaned back into her chair and simply stared at him for a minute. There was nothing wrong with going for lunch with a friend right?

"Alright," she caved, "lunch."

He smiled and stood up, "all I'm asking for."
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