It began at three thirty in the morning.
Mikey was woken up by Braelyn’s thrashing. She was calling out in her sleep in a voice filled with so much fear and panic that Mikey was scared. He was trying to decide whether or not he should wake her up when Braelyn saved him the decision by sitting bolt upright, eyes wide, screaming.
It was a short scream. Braelyn seemed to realize where she was quickly and her scream turned into sobs.
Mikey had to admit he was a little freaked out by the screaming, but he quickly collected himself, sat up, and gathered the girl in his arms trying to calm her.
She jumped when he first wrapped his arms around her. Braelyn looked up at Mikey and a light of recognition glinted in her eye and she collapsed into him. After a few minutes, her panicked sobs slowed into steady breathing.
“See. It’s just a dream,” Mikey said, soothingly. “Everything’s fine.” He ran his hand through her hair.
“Sorry,” Braelyn mumbled.
“Nothing to be a sorry about.” He kissed the top of her head. “Just try to go to sleep?”
She swallowed and nodded, closing her eyes obediently. It was a testament to how exhausted she was because she was asleep almost immediately. Mikey noticed movement at the now open bedroom door. Frankie and Stacy were in the doorframe, concern on their faces.
“It’s ok,” he whispered.
The concern turned to skepticism, but Stacy figured that if it was something she needed to know, Braelyn would tell her. As long as she had told someone so someone could help her was all that mattered. She shrugged, blew Mikey a kiss, then towed a more obstinate Frankie back to bed.
Braelyn woke up several more times that night, but the screaming had stopped and she returned to reality much quicker. It was an improvement. She managed to get several hours of sleep and she felt much better when Topher came to wake her up to go to the doctor.
In the car alone with Topher, Braelyn apologized. “I’m really sorry about last night. The medics and all.”
He raised his eyebrows. “That wasn’t what was scary. The scary part was that this had been going on for days and we didn’t know it, or at least didn’t know the extent of it.”
Braelyn hung her head in shame.
“Now, none of that. It’s in the past.” He smiled to put her more at ease. “But seriously. You have to tell me stuff. I don’t need to know all the details. Save all that for Stacy or whoever you have your cutesy little girl chats with. But, I am your manager. I need to be able to watch out for you. To know what’s getting to be too much or when you need a little extra help. That’s my job. Ok, kid?”
“Ya. Well, I don’t forsee anything like this happening again. I’ve learned my lesson.”
“I know you don’t plan for it,” he said with a laugh, “but something will come up. You’ll lose your favorite eye shadow or something and all hell will break loose.”
Braelyn giggled. Topher stopped the car in the parking lot of Dr. Fillmore’s office. They were only in the waiting room for a few minutes before Braelyn was called back. A little while later, she emerged with two prescriptions and a page of ‘restrictions’ she was to give Topher.
She was quiet on the ride back to the hotel. Topher asked, “So do we need to fill those?”
She hadn’t given him the papers in her hand yet. She sighed heavily. “I guess. I’m supposed to.”
“What’s it for?” When she hesitated, he continued, “I’m just gonna read it on the sheet later.” She looked up at him surprised. “You’re not my first talent who’s had to visit a doctor while on tour. I know how this goes.” He winked. “So?”
“Diazepam and zolpidem,” Braelyn read of the page.
“He said they were for anxiety and sleep?”
“Sure.” Topher pulled into a CVS. “Give them to me. You wait here. I’ll go fill them. What’s your preferred alias?”
“Well I’m not going to use your real name.” He pointed out that the doctor had left the ‘Patient’s Name’ space blank on the prescription. “Lots of people would pay lots of money for that kind of information. So we’ll file under a false name.”
“Oh. Ok.” She thought for a second. “How about Izzy…Izzy Hudson?”
“Izabell Hudson it is. Hang tight.”
“Bro. You need to calm down,” Frankie said from the couch.
Mikey looked up. He had been pacing for a while. He didn’t know how long.
Stacy was now beside him, a hand on his shoulder. “She’s fine. If she comes back and you look like you’ve been worrying for hours, it’ll probably freak her out.”
He nodded and sat down next to his brother. Mikey let his mind wander.
“Hey everyone!” Braelyn said, bounding into the room thirty minutes later.
They all looked at her kind of shocked. She was bubbly. Not like someone who had only gotten maybe seven hours of sleep in the last four days.
“Oh. Ya. We should probably do explanation time, huh?” She asked, coming to sit on the arm of the couch, next to Mikey.
“That would probably be helpful,” Frankie said, wryly, grinning at his friend’s giddiness.
“So we all know now that I wasn’t sleeping. Right?” They all nodded. “Ya. So I wasn’t sleeping because I was having nightmares about Todd again. The dreams themselves aren’t important. The point is, I was staying awake so I wouldn’t have the dreams. Dr. Fillmore says I probably have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” They groups reaction was a mix of concern and sadness. “Stop that. He also said that I’ve had it probably since I stopped living with Todd in the first place. And because I was able to lead a normal life after that, he is confident that I will make another full recovery from this ‘reoccurrence.’ So, happy faces.” She squeezed Mikey’s hand. “I’m super peppy because he gave me diazepam to help me through the next couple of days while I get myself back onto a relatively normal sleep schedule. And zolpidem to take regularly for a few weeks then as needed. So everything is going to be ok. Ok? So can we go back to business as usual?”
“No more secrets,” Gerard said.
She raised her eyebrows at him. “No more secrets.”
“Acceptable,” Ray said from behind her. Then his arms were around her waist, picking her up. “Now let’s go eat. I’m hungry.”
“You’re always hungry,” Mikey pointed out as they all stood and followed him out of the room.
“You can carry me all you want, Raymond, but please get your hair out of my face,” Braelyn said from her perch as they moved down the hallway.
“Well if you’re going to be picky and complain, I won’t give you a free ride,” Ray replied, setting her down outside of the elevator.
A/N: Hope you liked it! Go review! Hearts, Corri