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Second Chance

Live For The Moment

The most amazing sight greeted sleepy brown eyes as the strings extraordinaire shuffled into the kitchen. His wife was not only up and dressed, but she had breakfast going on the stove. Pancakes, sausage, bacon, and hash browns sizzled away to perfection in their own separate pans while eggs sat waiting on the counter for their turn. The kitchen smelled incredible and in that moment he couldn't remember the last time his beautiful bride looked so in her element (which was life in general). Strong arms wrapped lightly around her middle and soft lips meandered their way down her neck briefly in a series of tiny kisses.

"Good morning Mrs. Haner," he mused quietly in her ear before kissing at the lobe, which caused a tiny noise to escape her.

"Morning baby. 'Bout time you got up."

"It's only nine fifteen, love. I didn't expect you up for another couple hours." giving her one final little squeeze, he made his way over to grab a cup of coffee. "What happened between last night and today?"

"It was good to laugh, for both of us. That did help, but honestly it was you." she said with a shrug.

"Me? What did I do?"

"When I woke up this morning, I finally was able to grasp what you mean by living one moment at a time. Everything I'm feeling isn't going to go away overnight. I can either choose to live in each moment, or just exist. If I'm going to go through all these emotions and feelings, I might as well do it showered, dressed, and going about my day."

"No one expects either of us to power through this chapter of our lives like nothing happened. But I'm so glad you're out of bed today, baby." retracing his steps, he dropped a kiss to her cheek and left a cup of coffee next to her. As he moved to grab plates and silverware, he added, "It's good to see that little smile of yours, baby. I've missed it very much."

"Didn't know if I would be able to smile through any part of this. I guess a gathering of pirates and Toy Story characters was what I needed last night."

"Apparently I did, too. Laughter is the best medicine." he told her with a little grin. "Maybe we could bust out those costumes again sometime. You looked really good in that getup, you know."

"Alright Mr. Flirt, breakfast is ready." if her eye roll had been any harder at that comment she probably would have been in danger of straining them.

"Thank you, baby. I definitely appreciate it. Smells amazing."

"Hey, Woody. I've been calling you all day, man. Call me back." the rhythm stated via voicemail and the older man let out a grunt.

Somehow he knew it was a bad idea to show up to Johnny's impromptu party as Woody last night. The fact that Emily had chosen to be Bo Peep really gave him no other option, and with as adorable as she looked in the costume, he definitely had no mind to tell her no. And he supposed it would be better to be known as a character from a children's movie than "Paper Bag Boy", which is what he was called for six months following his most recent last minute decision.

"Finally. I've been trying to get you all day, Woody." Zack answered with a definite smirk on his face, Brian could tell.

"Go ahead and make your little jokes, Captain Morgan."

"The joke's on you, buddy. At least my getup came with a prerequisite to drink rum all night. Yours came with a plastic badge and the obligation to cry out ridiculous statements like, 'There's a snake in my boot!'"

"Okay, fair enough." he confessed with a tiny laugh. "What do you want?"

"What? Calling to mess with you isn't enough?" he snickered before his tone changed. "No, seriously man. I called about Monday."

"Oh. What about it?" he wasn't oblivious to the milestone approaching, he just didn't know what to say when faced with it.

"There's no easy way to approach this, so I'm just going to come out and say it. Monday marks a month since we lost Gray, and we don't want you guys to be alone. I was talking with Johnny a few days back, and then we discussed the idea with with Matt and Val," the green eyed man explained as gently as he could. "We all understand and respect your decision not to have a funeral when it happened, but we feel like you guys need some sort of closure now."

A long sigh left him now and he took a moment to compose his thoughts. "Uh, okay. I-uh, wh-what are you suggesting?"

"Don't get anxious on me, man. This is up to you guys. Talk it over with Em. We do have something planned for that afternoon, but it's all flexible. We have several places in mind, and several different ways it can go. If you want a full on memorial, we can do that. If you're more comfortable with just a small gathering at someone's house just so you aren't alone, we can make it happen. The entire point is we feel like you need closure,and honestly Brian, we all do. You know that this is a family. One big family. You have to know that every one of us are grieving with you over losing him. Obviously not to the depths the two of you are, but we all feel the pain of losing a family member."

A few tears snuck up on him and escaped now watery brown eyes and he took a moment to breathe again. He really hadn't taken time to think of it this way. Zack was right. In this family, when one lost, everyone lost. A wave of both guilt and pain striped through his chest and a hand came up to pinch the bridge of his nose.

"I know you guys didn't think about that," he said knowingly.

"I didn't, man. I'm sorry. I feel like such a--"

"Hey, nobody expected you to. No need to be sorry. We obviously can't imagine how you guys feel, but we don't want you to think you're alone in your pain. Can't tell you how many times I've watched Val break down, and Johnny said Lacey was a mess for three or four days afterward. All of us feel this, man. My heart breaks for you guys, and it kills me to know I'll never get to teach this little man how to play baseball. I can't dress him up in a shameful amount of VU gear. And I don't get to sit with you and help train up the next generation of killer guitarists."

A heavy obscenity left his mouth and a fist drove into the surface of the desk he sat at. Not for all of the things he wouldn't get to do with his son, he had come to terms with that as best he could. For the fact he hadn't realized how much this really affected the others.

"Look, man. Sitting here telling you this isn't going to help, and I know that. Just needed you to know how much we all care. Are you in any way open to getting together?"

"It does help, actually. It's good to know someone else feels it, too. I mean, I don't want anyone else to feel the heaviness we do. It's just nice to know that the world isn't blindly going on as usual when we feel like our hearts have been ripped out of our chest."

"That's another reason I wanted to talk to you."

"Yeah, as awful as that day is going to be, I think getting together is a good idea. Let me have time to talk to Em and I'll get back to you. Sounds like everything is pretty much planned, right? You have everything you need besides location and tone?"

"Yes. Just let me know if you want it to be just us, where you're comfortable having it- like one of our houses or somewhere like the beach, and whether you just want to it to be a normal gathering or a memorial type setting. We have food planned out and everything else covered. All we need is for you guys to show up."

"Okay. I'll get back with you once I talk to her." he hesitated a moment before adding a word of gratitude.

He may be in the worst imaginable position right now, but he had the best family in the world to see him through, and he was thankful for that. He wasn't ready to spring this idea on his wife just yet. She was only watching a movie, but there was a time for everything. Right now, they both just needed a day to be together in as normal setting as possible.


A small yawn left thin lips as the credits began to roll on the couple's second flick of the afternoon. Brunette locks fell around both of their shoulders with his wife's movement, and she lifted her head from its spot nestled against his chest.

"You fall asleep?" he asked casually, as if he hadn't just woken up from his own nap just two minutes prior.

"I did. I was super comfortable laying against you." she answered, and now stole a glance down at his lips. Sapphire eyes fell closed with the duck of her head and rather persuasive push of her lips against his.

His left arm wound around here waist while his right hand cake up to cup her cheek as she pushed a leg down on either side of his hips. This was definitely not the feeble kiss that he had come to expect over the last month. This was bold, passionate, and the look in her eyes when they parted told him in no uncertain terms that it was time to reconnect. It had been quite a while.

For a man of his fame and sex appeal, one would think that he was a very dominant overpowering man when it came to that department. While he definitely could be, he wasn't savage, nor was he as crazed as most thought him to be. He was still a gentleman when it came to timing, and he was never one to rush things. Of course he had desires over the last six weeks, but before everything happened she had been far too uncomfortable to make love. No reason to state why they hadn't since.

"Are you sure, baby?" besides, true love could always wait for the right time. It was always more special then. Yes, Brian definitely had a tender side. Especially when it came to his wife. Always had. That was definitely one of the ways he knew she was the one.

"I told you this morning I chose to take life moment by moment. And I choose you." plush lips connected passionately with his and her arms wove around him.

He maneuvered them to where he could stand and drew her up into his arms bridal style. Though he was confident he could carry her upstairs, things were already too heated to take that long to navigate safely. He whisked her into the extra bedroom there on the main level, laid her in the middle of the fire engine red sheets, and climbed up to join her. Long and slow bits of sentiment where exchanged for an extended period of time until the pair were rendered breathless by their passion. Only then did he advanced things.

It was perfect. It was special. Like their first time. And it was sorely needed by both. There was no better way to spend the rest of the afternoon than in one another's arms.