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Avery usually didn’t particularly enjoy the drive from Surprise to San Diego. It was long, lonely, and boring, no matter how many road trip-esque songs she listened to during it. The anticipation and excitement to see Vic didn’t help make the drive feel any less long, either.

This drive was different. She was experiencing the usual anxious flutter in her belly and she was excited to see Vic, but she was also dreading their reunion. She was nervous that he would send her away, just like she had done to him, and their relationship would be broken beyond repair.

Along with these worries, having Mike with her made the drive different. For once, she actually had someone to talk to. Luckily, she and Mike were rather good friends and got along well. Because of this, the last four and a half hours had been surprisingly fun. There was still a nagging worry about how things would work out with Vic in the back of her head and she couldn’t seem to get rid of the nauseous feeling in her stomach, but other than that, she was having a good time.

Setting down the Big Gulp she had made Mike stop off at 7-11 to get her in a cup holder, Avery reached for her iPod to change the song. Mike had also been kind enough to let her plug up her iPod to the car’s stereo and blast One Direction, her guilty pleasure.

“Can we please listen to something else now?” Mike whined.

Avery turned up the volume on ‘I Want’ a bit and chuckled to herself. “What, you don’t want to listen to One Direction, Mike?” she teased.

“Fuck no.”

“Aw, you’re no fun.” Deciding that she had tormented Mike enough, Avery scrolled through the artists on her iPod until she found Mayday Parade. She picked her favorite song from their self-titled album and glanced at Mike when it began to play. “Better?”

He nodded. “Much.”

Avery set her iPod down on her seat before picking up her Big Gulp again and taking a long sip of Pepsi. Now that they were getting closer to San Diego, her uneasiness was getting worse. Soon, she would be face to face with Vic after nearly two months. They would either talk things through or make things worse. They would either get back together or continue to stay apart. This realization made the nauseous feeling in her stomach get worse.

“Shit,” she mumbled, clutching her stomach. “I think I’m going to puke.”

“Not in my car you’re not!” Mike exclaimed.

Avery rolled her eyes before squeezing them shut. “I can’t do this, Mike. Take me back home, please. I cannot do this.”

Mike turned his attention from the road ahead of them to the whimpering girl in the seat next him. She was hugging herself while she rocked back and forth, and her eyes were squinted shut. It did look like she could blow chunks at any second.

“You need to do this, Ave. You’ll feel a lot better once you do.” Mike took one hand off of the steering wheel and placed it on Avery’s shoulder. “Trust me, okay? If I thought you couldn’t do this, I wouldn’t have put up with your crazy bitch of a friend to plan your kidnapping.”

Slowly, but surely, Avery calmed down. She stopped rocking, released the hold on her midsection, and blinked her eyes open. Then, she took a deep breath before speaking again, “You promise you think I can do this?” She turned to Mike and when he nodded his head, she took another deep breath. “Nat is a bit of a crazy bitch, isn’t she?”

Mike shook his head and snorted. “A bit? She was downright psychotic toward me at one point! I don’t know how you pu-”

“Mike! Pay attention!”

Bright, almost blinding headlights flashed, causing Avery’s eyes to squint shut, tires squeaked and squealed on the road, and a high-pitched scream that Avery barely recognized as her own sounded. Then, the sickening sound of two cars colliding drowned everything out.

- - -

Hospitals never really bothered Avery. Oddly enough, the fact that people’s lives began, changed drastically, and ended in the freakishly clean buildings had never fazed her enough to make her dislike the facilities.

Until now.

As she stared at the wall of the waiting room opposite to her, she compiled a list of every reason that she hated hospitals. The lights were too bright; the smell of cleaning products was too strong; the temperature was toocold; ...Everything was just too much. It was almost as though hospitals were trying to compensate for all of the lives that were ruined and ended within their walls.

With a sigh, Avery uncrossed, then recrossed her legs. On a small table next to her chair sat a foam cup of now-cold black coffee that a nurse had brought to her when she first arrived to the waiting room.

While the nurse had meant well when she brought out the drink, the gesture angered Avery, which was why she started her mental list of reasons that she hated hospitals.

Quick footsteps and voices sounded from the hall outside of the waiting room, and Avery tore her gaze from the wall ahead of her, curious as to what was going on. Through the room’s entryway ran in Vic, followed by a slower-paced nurse. Before she even realized what she was doing, Avery rose from her uncomfortable chair and met Vic in the middle of the room.

“Shit, Ave...” he said quietly as he examined her injuries.

Fortunately, Avery had escaped the crash with minimal injuries. The break in her arm was clean, which resulted in her simply needing a cast, and the cuts and scratches on her face and arms were nothing too serious. Only one cut on her face, right above her left eyebrow, had required stitches. But from the way Vic was currently looking at her, with his eyes widened and filled with worry, one would think every bone in her body had been broken.

Vic lifted a hand from his side and gently stroked Avery’s cheek. She flinched at the contact and inhaled sharply. The two froze, staring into the other’s eyes, until Avery broke their eye contact by looking down at the ground. She then reached up to grasp Vic’s wrist and pulled his hand down from her face.

“Don’t,” she whispered, bringing her gaze back to his face. The hurt and confused look on his face made her stomach turn. “I can’t right now, okay?”

From behind them, the sound of someone clearing their throat interrupted their little moment. Looking over Vic’s shoulder, Avery noticed the nurse standing a few feet away, looking like she wanted to be anywhere but there. Realizing that she and Vic weren’t the only ones in the room, Avery stepped away from him and turned her attention to the nurse.

“Are there any updates on Michael?” she asked the older woman.

The nurse shook her head and frowned. “No, sorry, dear. He’s still in surgery...but the fact that there aren’t any updates most likely means that the surgery is going well.”

Avery sighed, running her free hand through her messy hair. She knew that the nurse was trying to help her stay positive about the situation, but really, how positive could she be with her friend in surgery for such a serious injury? Because the collision happened on Mike’s side of the car, he had sustained much more serious injuries than she had. One of those injuries included several broken ribs, one of which was broken in such a way that, if not operated on, there was a very good possibility that it would end up puncturing his lung. To avoid that, he had been rushed into surgery.

“When there is any news on him, you two will be the first to know,” the nurse promised, still hell bent on trying to be helpful.

Too distracted to even bother responding, Avery walked back over to her previous seat and slowly lowered herself back into it. She vaguely heard Vic say something to the nurse before she left the room, but wasn’t able to make out many of the words. Next thing she knew, Vic was in the chair next to her.

“Wanna tell me what’s on your mind?” he asked after a lengthy silence between them.

Avery stared ahead of her, not really focusing on anything, and mumbled out a quiet “no”, to which Vic responded with a sigh. A few minutes passed, then Avery heard a creak and another sigh from Vic.

“I’ll be back,” he said before heading out of the waiting room.

Avery watched as he walked away, silently scolding herself the whole time. This was not at all how things were supposed to turn out, especially not after the accident. The horrible feeling of guilt filled her conscience. Mike was currently lying on an operating table because of her and this was how she repaid him? By giving his brother the cold shoulder and making him run away from her because she was being so damn frigid?

“Good going, Ave,” she grumbled under her breath before standing up from her chair and heading out of the waiting room as well. When she turned the corner next to the large doorway of the waiting room, she bumped into a hunched over body. “Vic?”

Vic lifted his head from his hands and glanced up at her. The same hurt and confused look from before was on his face, and had the same effect on Avery’s stomach. Which was why she gingerly slipped her hand into his and led him back into the waiting room. Once they were both sitting down, she tentatively rested her head on his shoulder. She could feel him tense under her, but he made no move to push her away.

- - -

A firm shake of the shoulder of her cast-free arm woke Avery with a start. When she blinked her eyes open, she found the nurse from earlier crouched down next to her. She also felt a head resting atop hers, which she quickly realized was Vic’s. For some reason, this made her heartbeat accelerate.

“Michael is out of surgery now, dear,” the nurse whispered as a small smile spread across her pretty face. “You two can go see him if you’d like.”

Avery quickly sat up, knocking Vic’s head out of its comfortable position, which woke him up instantly. He blinked his eyes a few times, appearing confused as to where he was or what was going on.

Avery, who was already out of her chair, grabbed his hand and tried to pull him out of his chair. “We can see Mike now, Vic. C’mon, lets go!” she exclaimed while tugging on his hand again. “C’mon!”

“Okay, okay,” he chuckled as he allowed her to pull him to his feet.

Once he was, Avery continued to cling to his hand and even as the nurse led them to Mike’s room, their hands stayed intertwined.

“Now, he’s still a bit groggy from the anesthesia,” the nurse warned when they reached the room that Mike was staying in. “But he should be able to visit with you.”

“Okay,” Avery chirped.

Excitement to see Mike and make sure he was doing well after the accident coursed through her veins as the nurse turned the door’s knob and pushed it open. She entered the room, followed by Avery, then Vic.

“Hello, Michael. You have some visitors,” the nurse said while she adjusted the blanket that was across Mike’s legs. Then, turning to Avery and Vic, she smiled. “If you need anything, just give a holler.”

“Will do. Thank you,” Avery called out to the nurse before she pulled the door closed.

When Avery was able to get a good look at Mike, she felt as though the wind had been knocked out of her and she could hardly breathe. Laying in the hospital bed, he looked so much smaller than he should have. His skin, that was usually a nice tan color that Avery was insanely jealous of, looked extremely pale under the fluorescent lights of the room.

“Oh my God...” Avery mumbled under her breath, shaking her head slowly. “Mike, I-I, you... Oh my God.”

Apparently sensing her shock, Vic stepped in front of Avery before she could stammer out anything stupid. If he was surprised by Mike’s current condition, he didn’t let it show as he plopped himself down in the chair next to his bed.

“Thanks for scaring the shit out of me, man,” Vic said.

A small grin tugged at Mike’s lips as he turned his head to look at his brother. “No problem. Gotta keep you on your toes, y’know,” he chuckled, then broke out into a coughing fit.

Avery watched as he struggled to catch his breath. She had known he was going to be in a lot of pain, but she definitely hadn’t been expecting him to end up like this.

“Yeah, well, keep me on my toes again and I’m kicking your ass,” Vic threatened.

The grin returned to Mike’s face before he let out a snort. “I may have just gotten out of surgery, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely helpless. I can still take you, bro.”

Vic narrowed his eyes, but Avery could see that he was struggling to keep a smile off of his face. Mike burst out laughing, but his laughter soon turned into loud, hacking coughs. Vic looked on with concern, while Avery completely freaked out.

“I-I-I have to go... Use the bathroom. I’ll be back,” she lied before fleeing the room.

Once in the hallway, a few doors down from Mike’s room, she leaned heavily against a wall and took several deep breaths. Seeing Mike in his current condition and hearing that hacking cough every time he laughed was traumatizing, to put it simply.


Avery looked over her shoulder and found Vic standing a few feet away, watching her with a concerned look on his face.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

Avery wanted to be truthful and tell him that she was not okay with seeing Mike like that. But with his younger brother in the hospital, Vic had more important things to worry about than his silly ex-girlfriend and her inability to be strong. So, instead of telling him what was really on her mind, Avery simply nodded her head before turning away from him.

She hoped he would believe her lie and go back to Mike’s room, but, of course, he didn’t. Instead, he appeared in front of her with a stern look on his face.

“You’re lying to me,” he said matter-of-factly.

Avery rolled her eyes and nodded again. Did he honestly expect her to just spill her guts to him? They were no longer together and not even friends at this point, so she saw no reason for him to expect that from her.

“Something is obviously bothering you,” he said in the same all-knowing tone of voice.

Again, Avery responded with a single nod of her head.

Vic sighed and shot her an annoyed look. “Would you just tell me what’s wrong?” he asked angrily.

“Why do you even care?” Avery shot back, mimicking his annoyed look. “I’m not your girlfriend anymore, so you don’t have to pretend to care about my feelings.”

The coldness of her voice must have surprised Vic because his eyes widened and he took a step away from her.

Figuring that he was finally going to leave her alone, Avery turned away from him and closed her eyes. She was already drained from earlier’s hectic events that landed her in this hospital, and the conversation that Vic seemed to want to have was only going to make things worse for her.

“I never pretended to care about your feelings and I never will. When I ask you what’s wrong, I genuinely want to know. I can’t believe you would think that I would pretend to care about you or your feelings,” Vic spoke quietly from beside her. "Course I care about them...”

“You’re full of shit,” Avery snapped as she opened her eyes to glare at him.

His eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as he gave her a flabbergasted look. “E-excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

“How am I full of shit?”

Avery shook her head and chuckled humorlessly. “You cannot be serious right now,” she said. When Vic made no attempt to convince her otherwise, she let out a soft scoff. “Unbelievable. You are unbelievable.”

“How am I unbelievable and how am I full of shit?” Vic asked, throwing his hands up in frustration. “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

Normally, Avery didn’t like to cause scenes with Vic out in public whenever they got into an argument. She didn’t want to be that couple that made everyone around them extremely uncomfortable while they screamed at each other. But his obliviousness made something inside of her snap.

“You don’t care about my fucking feelings!”

The level of volume in Avery’s voice and her use of profanity caused several people to zero in on her and Vic. The fact that he shouted right back at her didn’t help detract any attention from them.

“How can you even say that, Ave?”

Avery shook her head and brushed past Vic. “I’m not having this conversation right now,” she snapped.

“You can’t say something like that and just walk away without explaining,” Vic complained, chasing after her.

Avery bit back a sarcastic laugh. He had no right to be upset over her lack of explanation. After all, him and his lack of explanations were the reason their relationship was in the state it was now.

“Oh, but you can?”

The snarky question slipped past her lips before she could stop it. The footsteps following her stopped abruptly and when she glanced over her shoulder, she found Vic frozen in the middle of the hallway. The look on his face told her that asking that question hadn’t been the best idea.

“That has nothing to do with what we’re talking about now,” he hissed, narrowing his eyes at her.

“Oh my God!” Avery whipped back around and stomped over to him until they were chest-to-chest. “It has everything to do with what we’re talking about now. Everything! Why do you think we’re here in this hospital right now? Why do you think Mike just got out of surgery? Why do you think we got into the accident in the first place? Huh, why do you think?”

Surprisingly, Vic kept his mouth shut.

“It’s all because of this stupid break up that you sprung on me out of nowhere and for no reason!”

Finally, Vic found his voice and protested, “I had a reason for breaking up with you and I-”

“That bullshit you said about you not being perfect for me doesn’t even count as a reason,” Avery scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Did I ever voice any complaints about our relationship to you, Vic?” When he shook his head, she continued, “Exactly. So, like I said, it was bullshit.”

She shrugged her shoulders and stepped back from Vic. Maybe he didn’t have a real reason for why he broke up with her, but she wasn’t going to let him try to convince her that the load of crap he had dished out to her that early morning was a legitimate reason for breaking her heart.

“I felt that it was a legitimate reason at the time,” Vic mumbled, ducking his head to stare down at his shuffling feet. “From the beginning, I always kind of had this thought in the back of my mind, like ‘Holy shit, this perfect girl is interested in me. How the hell did that happen?’, and sometimes I just couldn’t understand how or why you picked me, y’know. Then I heard Natalie say all that stuff about me neglecting you and I just... well, you know what happened next.”

“And what did I tell you to do about Nat’s dumb comments?” Avery asked. “I don’t understand why you paid attention to any of the crap she said.”

“That’s because you don’t understand what it’s like to have your boyfriend’s friends hate you. All my friends love you.”

Avery couldn’t stop the smile that played at her lips. She loved that Vic’s friends loved her because, even though she wasn’t able to see them as often as she liked, she loved them too. They were a lovely bunch who accepted them as their own as soon as they met her and, for that, she was extremely grateful.

“Nat hates pretty much everyone! She hated me when we first met, but I didn’t let it bother me. You should have done the same. Then maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Vic finally looked up from his shoes and met Avery’s gaze. “Yeah, I know. I’m dumb,” he grumbled.

Avery rolled her eyes at the understatement of the year. At least he realized that he was dumb.

“I was on my way to see you. Mike kidnapped me and was bringing me back with him so I could talk to you and try to work things out,” she admitted as a small smile found its way to her face. “Apparently I pissed Nat off enough with my moping that she actually teamed up with Mike to plan my kidnapping.”

Vic snorted, “So that’s who he was talking about when he was complaining about someone being a bitch.”

“Good ol’ Nat...”

The pair stood in the middle of the hallway, shyly glancing at each other and waiting for the other one to make the first move. The whole thing reminded Avery of when they first got together. Vic had been nervous to make the first move, so she ended up having to do it for him. Apparently some things never changed.

“Well, since you won’t do it, I guess I’ll have to.”

Vic parted his lips, most likely to ask what she was talking about, but the question never made it out. Avery took three small steps to close the distance between them, stood on her tiptoes, and pressed her lips to his.

Another thing that Avery usually didn’t like to do out in public with Vic was be overly affectionate. PDA was normally a no-no, but hell, she was being a rulebreaker today.

“I’m sorry for being such a dumbass,” Vic apologized when the kiss broke.

Avery draped her arms over his shoulders and smiled up at him. “Yeah, you should be sorry! Do something stupid like that again and I’m kicking your ass.”

“Fair enough.”

Vic pulled Avery into him by the belt loops of her shorts and planted another kiss on her lips. Unable to stop herself, Avery grinned like a lunatic into the kiss. She had missed this so damn much.

“I love you, Vic,” she murmured against his lips before pecking them. “Even though you’re a dumbass sometimes.”

Vic stuck his tongue out at her, then smiled. “And I love you, Ave. Even though you’re mean to me sometimes.”

Avery scoffed and playfully slapped Vic’s shoulder before slipping her hand down to his. With their fingers intertwined and matching grins on their faces, the couple headed back to Mike’s room.


I'm so sorry that this hasn't been updated in a while. Honestly, I forgot about this site until a few minutes ago when I saw that I had a comment on this story.

Thank you so much for all of you who subscribed to, voted for, or even just read this story. And an exta special thank you to eliseypoo and clairephernelia for your kind comments. I really appreciate it!


aw this was lovely. <3
eliseypoo eliseypoo
Congratulations for effectively sending my emotions on a roller coaster! Haha sad it's over though but nice writing style :)
clairephernelia clairephernelia
i'm super excited for the next part!
this is really well written and well set up, and i'm sad not only because of the plot but because it's only three parts! but good job!!
clairephernelia clairephernelia
I love this. I'm sad that it's only three parts. It's written so well and I love the characters already! Can't wait for the third part :)
eliseypoo eliseypoo