Status: Complete

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


Her cell phone vibrated again against the dark brown grain of the table in the cafeteria. Austin glanced down at the screen staring up at her. It flashed Matt Sanders. She rolled her eyes. This was only the thrid time in like five minutes. She finished off her drink and grabbed her phone. As if something went off in his head, he called again. This time she answered it.

"You ignoring me?"

"Trying...what do you want Matt?" she slid the strap of her purse over her shoulder.

"To talk."

"Now is not the time," she stood up and tossed the glass bottle of her drink into the recycling bin by the garbage can.

"Alright," he backed down pretty quick, "are you going to see Leana, she was asking about you?"

"Are you still there?" she asked him, she was serious about what she'd said earlier.

There was a pause before he answered. That was all the answer she needed.

"I told you I wasn't coming back until you were gone."

She could almost see the look on his face, and for once she was glad she wasn't there.

"Fine," he muttered, "I'm leaving now, I'll talk to you later."


She really didn't think he was going to leave. She hung out around the people in the hallways, debating between the stairs and the elevator. When the one nearest her dinged she stopped, hidden amongst the people, and watched as Matt stepped out and headed outside. She continued to watch as he climbed into a waiting taxi. Surprised, she jumped into the elevator and headed up to Leana's room.


The minute Matt stepped through the threshold into his apartment, he headed to the kitchen. There he debated long and hard on exactly what to drink. In the end, the Jack Daniels won over the Ice Tea. He was a few drinks in when the buzzer indicating someone was outside went off.

He wandered over to the wall and pushed the button, "yeah?"

"It's Val," came the reply.

He groaned but buzzed her into the building anyway. He propped the door open slightly and left it so she could get in. He sank down on the couch and stared up at the ceiling as he waited. His life was falling apart before his eyes.

"This place is a disaster."

He didn't have to look to know it was Val who entered the room. She pushed shoes aside and closed the door.

"What are you doing?" she asked him as he stayed stretched out on the couch.

"Having a drink," he showed her his glass, which was now half full. Or half empty. He wasn't sure how to look at it at this point.

Val rolled her eyes and snatched the glass from his long fingers, heading to the kitchen and dumping it down the sink.

Matt was amazed at how quickly he was able to leap up off the couch and follow her, "that's a little harsh don't you think?" he asked her as he went for the bottle.

"Harsh?" she snarled at him, "you want harsh? Alright," she reached around him, grabbing the nearly full bottle of jack daniels and turned around, dropping it into the sink. The glass shattered and the amber liquid slid down the drain.

He'd never seen Val this mad in his life. And he was glad. She was kinda scary.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" she yelled at him, "you have everything anyone could ever ask for, and here you are, drowning your so called sorrows."

She didn't even let him have a turn, "you have people who love you, a band that supports you, a daughter that needs you and loves you, hell I still love you Matt...and so does Austin. And right now, you're not being fair to her. Why should she have to deal with your bullshit?"

He sank down onto one of the chairs at the kitchen table, "she told me I'm losing her Val."

Val rolled her eyes, "you want me to look surprised?"

He glanced up at her. It was obvious she was beyond giving sympathy. Val was always the caring one.

"I's the whole James situation that really pisses me off."


"Yeah, James Hart. He and Austin are 'friends," Matt quoted with his fingers as he leaned back into his chair.

"And?" Val asked.

And that was all it took. Matt looked up at her. He didn't know what else. He didn't have any proof that Austin, had or would ever cheat on him. Only his own insecurities.

"The feeling sucks doesn't it?" she asked him after a moment, "karma Matt. I swore to you one day it would come back and bite you in the ass."

He ran his hand through his hair and down the back of his neck and sighed. He'd cheated on Austin with Val. Then he'd cheated on Val with Melanie. Then he cheated on Melanie with Austin. Yeah, karma had earned the right to take a big chunk out of his ass.

Austin wandered past the nurses station, smiling softly at the ladies watching her.

"Hey Austin."

Austin looked up to see Zacky, Jonny, Gena and Lacey making their way towards her.

"She's in room two oh five," Zacky smiled softly, "did Matt leave?"

She didn't want to admit that she'd watched him go so she simply shrugged, "I guess."

"What was his problem today?" Gena asked carefully.

Again Austin shrugged, "hung over, sad, mad. Not a great combination."

The others nodded solemnly.

"Umm, we're going back to the apartment," Johnny grasped Lacey's hand in his own, "Michelle and Syn are still here, but they're coming over later for supper, you should come too."

"I'll think about it," Austin smiled softly.

"It'll be alright," Zacky took her hand and squeezed it softly before releasing it as quickly. She watched the small group make their way towards the elevators then soon they were gone.

She continued on her way, hesitating just outside the door to Leana's room. She hated hospitals. It wasn't the sterile smell, or the unbearably white walls. It wasn't the grouchy nurses or the waiting rooms full of sad people. It was that people died here. People had to actually say goodbye to people here. Forever. Sometimes it was a quick, painless death. For other's it was a long and trecherous road. That thought alone gave Austin goosebumps.

"Hey, you gonna come in?"

Her head snapped up to see Syn looking at her. He was sitting in a chair against the wall. Austin stepped foot through the door, and was suddenly visible to Leana, Rev and Michelle.

"Hey," Leana smiled weakly, "I didn't think you were coming."

"Of course I would come see you," Austin moved to the bedside and gripped her friend's hand gently, leaning down to kiss her on the forehead.

"You should go see him," Leana smiled, "he's beautiful."

Austin glanced around the room.

Rev stood up, "I'll take her to see him, then we'll be back alright babe."

Leana nodded and released Austin's hand. Austin followed Rev out the door and down the hall a little way. New mothers were being pushed around in wheel chairs. Some of them holding their new babies. New fathers were peering through the glass at the many babies in incubators on the other side of the wall.

Rev took her around the corner to peek at an incubator away from all the others.

The doctor was right. He was completely quarantined. The only way to change his diapers even were to stick your hands in the gloves that were attatched to two holes in the side.

"He's so small," Austin smiled as she crouched down so that she was eye level with the baby, "oh Jimmy he's gorgeous."

"It's because he looks like me," Rev boasted proudly.

"I actually think he looks like Leana," Austin chuckled as she traced her fingertips over the glass, longing to touch the baby's super soft skin. She felt bad. If she wanted to touch him and hold him, how bad were Rev and Leana feeling it?

"I just wanna hold him," Rev whispered, like he was reading her mind. Austin grasped Jimmy's hand in her own as they stared down at his son. And it was at that moment, that she realised how precious life was, and how it's the little things in life that matter the most.


That night will forever be etched in Austin's mind. She stayed the night with Rev and Leana, and was glad she did when the morning came. Their baby didn't make it. It nearly killed her to see Rev and Leana.

Austin felt like crawling into a hole and dying herself.

She left the crying couple for a moment with a promise to be back. She made the long trek to the main floor of the hospital and then outside. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as she leaned against the wall, sliding down until her butt hit the grass. She dialed the only number that came to mind, no matter how mad she was at him. Matt answered after a couple rings. It sounded like he was still in bed.

"Matt," she sobbed.

"Austin? What's wrong?"

"He didn't make it," she cried, brushing her hand over her cheek, wiping away the tears.

"Oh god, babe, we'll be right there."

Austin nodded and rested her head against the wall, closing her eyes, forcing more tears down her damp cheeks. She just wanted to be in Matt's arms. The only place she felt safe.
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