Status: Complete

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

Sick To Death

"Dude," Zacky spoke up, "this just isn't cool."

Matt and Rev stood beside him on the sidewalk in front of the Sanders' house staring into the backseat of Zacky's car. The car seat that Val had left for Mattie was now sitting in the middle.

"I agree," Rev admitted, taking his sunglasses from his blazer pocket and placing them over his eyes. "Though I guess I should get use to it."

"Uncle Zacky, what isn't cool?" Mattie tugged on the loose end of Zacky's belt.

He smiled down at her and Matt scooped her up. "Maybe I'll take Amy's car, or mom's car."

"Mom's here?" Mattie turned slightly in Matt's arms to see down the street.

Matt shook his head. "No babe I meant Grandma's car."

"Oh," Mattie whispered softly and sadly before turning back around.

Zacky glanced at his car again before sighing. "Matt don't worry about it, get in."

Matt smiled at his friends before climbing into the backseat, putting Mattie in her car seat and letting her buckle up herself as he sat down beside her and closed the door.

"Where are we going?" Maddison asked as she raised her arms in the air, letting Matt check her over to make sure she was indeed secured.

"Where do you want to go?" Rev turned around in his seat to face her.

She thought long and hard for a moment, holding her hands in her lap. "I wanna go home," she whispered finally.

Matt sighed and looked at his daughter. She'd been having a hard day and he didn't blame her. He hadn't even so much as talked to her in the last six months, and now she had to spend the entire day with him. She looked so sad sitting there beside him, and that made his heart break.

Some dad he was.

Zacky glanced in the rearview mirror and noticed Matt and Maddison with the same expression plastered on their faces. He felt sorry for them both. Sorry for Maddison because she has no idea why her parents act the way they do, and sorry for Matt because the dude was clueless on how to look after a kid. Not that he'd ever say that to Matt though, because he'd feel the same way about himself in that situation. However, he did know of one sure fire way to cheer the girl up a little bit.

"Hey, babe," Zacky glanced in the rearview mirror again. Mattie looked up and he glanced back at the road. "You're mom isn't home right now, but how about we go get supper, because I know your dad can't cook."

Mattie giggled slightly and nodded. Zacky glanced at her in the rearview mirror again and smiled, "and then, I'll take you for a big, big, big, big, big, big, ice cream cone."

"Okay," Mattie's small smile turned into a huge grin. "Can I get the pink kind?!"

Zacky laughed and stopped the car at the red light at the intersection. "Sure, we'll get you the pink kind."


Leana had to set down her glass of water to keep from spilling because she was laughing too hard. Her, Mica and Austin were now situated at Mica's kitchen table enjoying dinner and laughing about old times.

"I looked like an monkey with orange hair," she smiled at the ressurected halloween memory.

"Man I wished I could have grown up here," Mica giggled, dipping her fork back into her salad, "it seems like you guys had so much fun."

Austin swished her ice water around in her glass. "Well, it wasn't all fun," she glaned up at Leana who was nodding in agreement.

"Growing up together and never really leaving our circle of friends created alot of tension," Austin looked over at Mica. "There were days when no one would speak to each other because of an altercation between only two of us. Though, after a day or so, we'd usually realize how stupid that was, and we'd be back to normal again."

"Another problem within the group," Leana spoke softly, "was dating within the group. That's when the fighting really started."

Austin couldn't agree more. "Yeah, and god forbid one of us dated someone outside the group."

"Why's that?" Mica asked curiously.

"It happened...once?" Austin more or less asked Leana.

"No," she swallowed her little bit of salad, "twice, remember Johnny?"

"Ohhhh right," Austin glanced back at Mica. "Johnny and Michelle both tried to date someone outside our group. It didn't turn out well. We were just stupid kids and we thought by them hanging out with their significant others and spending less time with us meant that they didn't wanna be our friends anymore."

Mica laughed. "Yeah I guess that'd be as bad as dating within the group."

Leana nodded. "Mm-hhmm, absolutely. It was a lose, lose situation." She glanced over at Austin and smiled. "I remember when you were with Syn," she giggled, "and he wanted to beat the shit out of Matt when Matt finally got enough sense to tell you that he loved you."

"You dated Syn?!" Mica squeaked.

Austin laughed, "and Johnny."

Mica rolled her eyes ang glanced at Leana, "did you date more than one band member?"

Leana smiled and nodded, "yeah I was with Zacky for what like five or six days?" she took a sip of her water, "but you have to remember we were like twelve to fourteen years old."

A cell phone ringing signaled the end of their conversation for a moment. Seize The Day poured out into the atmosphere as Leana reached for her purse which was situated in one of the unoccupied chairs. She appologized and answered it.

Mica and Austin took the moment as an opportunity to finish their salads.

Leana finished her call and returned her cell to her purse.

"That was Jimmy," she offered before either girl could ask. "He, Zacky, Matt, and Mattie are going for ice cream and they wanted to know if we'd like to go to?"

"Ice cream sounds really good right now," Mica smiled.

Leana nodded in agreement, "I have to admit, ice cream has been one of my cravings."

"Have any other weird cravings?"

"Oh absolutely," Leana laughed, "ketchup, I have to put ketchup on just about everything. Rev thinks I'm losing it."

Mica laughed, "I heard somewhere that if you can hold off, cravings for anything, only last about tweleve minutes."

"Until the next craving hits," Leana grinned.

Austin was stuck on the words Matt and Mattie. She wasn't even really paying attention to Mica and Leana's conversation. She'd spent most of the night laying in bed trying to tell herself that everything that had happened was indeed real. She was no longer the little seventeen year old girl in love with Matt Sanders. And he was clearly no longer the nineteen year old boy she'd assumed was in love with her.

"I'd have killed him if he'd kept the ketchup away from me any longer," Leana admitted to Mica.

Mica was laughing, "he hid the ketchup on you to see how bad your cravings really were?"

Leana nodded, "but all this talk about cravings, is bringing one upon me," she looked at Austin who hadn't spoken since the phone call. "Sweetie are you coming?"

Austin snapped out of her thoughts and looked at her two friends who were now busy cleaning off the table. "Yeah, I guess."


"I know it's far away, but do we have to drive for fifty hours just to get there?" Mattie asked in frustration.

Zacky laughed to himself and followed the instructions Rev had scribbled down onto his cigarette package. Soon he was stopping in front of a small house not too terribly far from the beach.

"This it?" Zacky asked as he shut the ignition off.

Rev shrugged and opened the passenger door and reached for his cell phone. "Yeah that's Leana's car."

"Ughhhh what are we doing now Uncle Zacky?" Mattie sighed in boredom.

"We're waiting for the girls," Matt told his daughter. He was busy watching the front door out the car window. Rev was standing on the sidewalk talking on the phone.

"What girls?" she asked her father, her gaze fixed intently on him. "You already have mom."

Time for a subject change.

"We're going for ice cream right away, Mattie don't you worry," Zacky assured her, in all truth, he was interested in seeing Austin too.

His distraction worked because Mattie was now scowling at him instead, her arms folded firmly across her chest.

"Good, because I am sick to death of driving," she stated matter of factly. Zacky couldn't help but laugh. God help Matt when the girl became a teenager.

Matt sucked in his breath and Zacky heard it. He glanced out the window and watched the front door open and the girls emerge.

Leana hurried across the lawn and into Rev's arms. They spoke for a few moments before Rev returned to the car, and Leana and the girls climbed into her car.

"Where are we going?" Matt asked as Rev slammed the door shut.

He put his sunglasses on again and looked out the window. "The Ice Cream Parlour near the beach."

Zacky started the car again and pulled away from the curb.

Mattie huffed in frustration and Matt glanced over at his daughter, "what's wrong, babe?"

"I wanna see Aunt Leana, she knows where mom is."

"How about I call mom and when she's done she can meet us at the Ice Cream place?"

He figured that would do the trick. However, he knew Val would be enjoying her day with the girls, so he doubted she'd be home right away. And he was right. As Zacky parked the car Matt's cell rang. It was Val. Gena was taking her and Michelle out for a few drinks and she wanted to see if Mattie could stay the night.

Matt glanced nervously at Mattie who instinctivly knew he was talking to Val.

"I wanna talk to mom."

"Great, she's like four and a half and she already wants to talk on the phone," Rev laughed and climbed out of the car.

Matt held the phone to his ear with his shoulder as he undid Maddison's car seat before climbing out of the car with her right behind him.

In the end, they'd decided that once Val got home, he'd drop Maddison off. There was no way that Mattie was going to willingly stay the night, and he sure as hell wasn't going to be the brute to make her.

"Hey, toots."

"Aunt Leana!" Mattie giggled and ran to her just like she hadn't been upset with the world a few minutes earlier.

Leana picked Maddison up carefully and managed to balance the small girl on her hip. "Hey guys."

Mica caught up with Leana and was quickly introduced. Autsin however, took her time. Crouching down beside Leana's car and looking in the tiny side mirror, she collected her blonde, black and pink hair into a loose messy pony tail and tucked her side bangs behind one ear. She wasn't entirely sure why, but she was nervous as hell to see the guys again, especially Matt. Standing up she brushed her hands over her jeans and nervously adjusted her t-shirt. It was time to get on with the show.

She turned and headed towards the group who seemed preoccupied with the little girl Austin knew in her heart was Maddison. Even Mica was in there like white on rice.

Her flip flops snapped against the pavement as she moved towards them. Unable to decide what to do with her hands she stuck them into the front pockets of her jeans.

Matt saw her first and grinned as she inched closer.

"Hey," she greeted the group casually and softly, even though she was only looking at Matt.

"Hey," he replied as if she'd only been talking to him.

"Austin, whoa man," Zacky stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her. She couldn't believe how different he looked, and felt. She smiled at the memory of all the playful hugs from years before, but everyone had changed so much now. They'd really defined themselves.

She grinned bigger, "hey, Baker." She had to admit, he still smelled very good.

Zacky let her go and immediately she was lifted off the ground and embraced in a tight hug. She hugged Rev back tightly and burried her face in his neck. When all the shit had went on before and after she moved to New York, he was the only one who made a point to check up on her, despite the fact that she had Matt with her. Well, he called up until Matt left, but she guessed the only reason he never called after that, was because Matt really hadn't wanted him to.

"Hey, Jimmy," she whispered near his ear.

"Hi, sweet heart," she could hear his voice soften. "Long time no see."

She nodded and he set her down and she smiled up at him before turning to Matt. She couldn't stop herself now, soon she found her arms wrapped around him to the best of her abilities. It was very evident that he was much more into working out and staying fit because he was all muscle underneath her arms.


Austin abruptly let go of Matt and turned. Mattie had a puzzled look on her face and she was now reaching from Leana's arms for her dad.

Austin could almost interpret the look on Maddison's face. It screamed loud and clear, what the hell are you doing near my dad? And who the fuck are you?

Matt reached out for Maddison before she caused Leana to topple over. "Are you ready for ice cream?"

Mattie nodded and glared at Austin before burrying her face into Matt's neck and wrapping her arms around him.

"She's so sweet," Mica spoke mostly to Austin as the group moved into the ice cream parlour.

"Yeah," Austin replied sarcastically as she walked beside Leana and behind Matt, holding Mattie's glare with her own eyes.

Real sweet. God help the woman who wanted to get into Matt's pants, let alone into his life.
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