Pete insists on helping Patrick to hide his own isolation. And an old video tape is found...
"I'm fine, Pete." Patrick objected, quietly.
"No, you're not. You need plenty of rest and there's no way you can do that and look after Danni and Josh."
"I can manage."
"No! I won't let you." Pete said, adamantly. "Please, let me Patrick."
"Fine." He said, realizing he had no energy to object again. He allowed Pete to take him home, and put him to bed. He refused to actually let Pete undress him.
"I'm not disabled." He scowled, as Pete held up his hands in defeat.
"Hey, I just don't want you to hurt yourself."
"No, but I might hurt you if you keep insisting on doing everything."
"Fine. But if you need anything..."
"I know, I know."
"Okay. Now, you can sleep if you like. I'll go get the kids when it's time for them to come home."
"Thank you." Patrick said, gratefully. As much as he hated sitting and doing nothing, he had to admit that had no energy or strength to even drive.
Pete smiled at him and nodded.
"No problem." He said, before leaving the room. When Patrick lay his head on the pillow, it hit him how tired he was. He was exhausted, his back ached from having to lie on his back, and his throat was becoming raw.
When he closed his eyes, he slept for 9 hours.
/"Patrick! Stop it, I mean it. I don't like being on camera." Amanda laughed, playfully shoving Patrick as he followed her around with the camera.
"Neither do I." He chuckled. "It's okay - the camera likes you."
"Oh, yeah right." Amanda scoffed, raising her eyebrows. Patrick continued to follow her and put his arm round her as he aimed the camera at the two of them.
"Alright, look, here, give me a kiss on camera."
"Stop being such a moron." She giggled, as Patrick planted a kiss on her lips. She returned it and Patrick put his free thumb up to the camera.
"Score." He said to the camera. "Okay, here. Now say hi to Danni and Josh when they're old enough to watch this."
"Hey, you guys." Amanda waved. "This is what you guys looked like on this year." She said, leading Patrick into their bedroom, where Danielle and Josh were fast asleep.
"You're cute, huh?" She said, when they were back in the hallway.
"They're not the only ones." Patrick grinned from off screen.
"Stop with the lines, mister." She warned him jokingly. "Okay, I'm going to bed, shut that thing off!"
"Or we could do a Paris Hilton." He suggested, before shielding himself from her playful punch.
Patrick couldn't resist filming her while she was asleep. He smiled at the way she smiled in her sleep, and zoomed in on her face as she slept. He sat in the chair in the corner of the room.
"I love watching her sleep. Isn't she beautiful?" Patrick whispered to the camera. "Look at her."/
Patrick's lip trembled as he watched Amanda on his TV screen. He had completely forgotten about that video. He fumbled for the TV remote and switched it off while blinking back tears, burying his head in the pillow as he lay on the couch. After all, Pete had insisted that as soon as he'd come home from the hospital, he was to take it easy. Pete was upstairs giving Danielle and Josh their bath, and by the sounds of it, it was fun. A lot more fun than he was having anyways, lying in agony, both physically and mentally.
He knew he shouldn't have watched the video, but he already felt miserable and ill, so he figured he couldn't actually feel any worse. He sat in silence staring at the ceiling when there was a knock at the door.
"Pete?" Patrick called, as loud as he could. But his lack of energy meant his voice didn't carry very far. He sighed and sat up with difficulty, his neck was painful from lying down, and his back was aching even more than it had in the morning. He had no idea why he felt so ill, but it even hurt him to walk. The Doctor had put every symptom down to the fact he was stressed, overtired, and exhausted.
He rubbed his eyes as he made his way to the door, his blanket wrapped around him, and opened them to see Addison smiling at him, her head on one side.
"Hey, honey." She said, giving him a light kiss. He smiled, weakly, as she looked at him, concern in her voice when she next spoke. "Should you not be in bed?"
"Well, yeah. It's okay, I sort of am." He admitted, with a half hearted shrug. He waved her in. "Come in... Hey, Ri. How are you, honey?"
"Fine. Are you okay?" Riley asked, sweetly, concerned.
"I'm fine. Just a little sore, is all." Patrick told her, with a reassuring smile. "Pete's upstairs with the kids." He told Addison. "He's giving them a bath."
"Does he want a hand?"
"Nah, no, he's fine. Or so he said. He refused to let me help." Patrick said, re-entering the living room. "Is it rude if I...?" He indicated the couch, where he'd been lying, with Pete's insistence of having a blanket, in case he fell asleep.
"Not at all. You're meant to be resting anyway." She said, sitting down on the opposite couch as he gingerly lay back down.
"Ri, if you want to wait upstairs for Danni, you can play with the stuff in her room, if you like. Her bath won't take long."
"Is that okay?" Riley asked, politely. Sometimes Patrick forgot she had turned four years a few months ago.
"That's absolutely fine." He said, smiling. She returned it and left the room.
"Jeez. She's so polite." Patrick said, laughing softly.
"Yeah." Addison smiled. "So how're you doing? I mean, really."
"Really? I feel like shit." Patrick replied slowly. "It's like, since I came home, I've become this magnet for the cold, flu, whatever."
"Well, you have me to help you and look after you. And the guys, of course."
Patrick nodded gratefully.
"Can you remember anything?" Addison asked.
"I can remember standing up, and feeling dizzy. Then I could hear noises but they were too far away for me to distinguish them. Then the next thing I know, I'm waking up with you by my side."
Addison nodded with each point he made.
"It was terrifying, Addy. I had no idea what had happened. I thought I'd been mugged."
"You're just lucky the guys were with you."
"The kids didn't see it, did they?" He asked. Addison shook her head.
"Pete said they didn't. They were upstairs and Joe went up to find them when he'd called the ambulance. They were okay, but they were a bit scared when they heard Pete yelling. They thought you two were having another fight."
Patrick nodded and sighed slowly, his head throbbing.
"Riley kept asking how you were. She was really concerned about you. She kept saying to me; 'Mommy, you're a nurse! Make him better!', and I kept telling her I couldn't do anything for you, but, being four years old she didn't listen, or understand."
Patrick smiled weakly, and closed his eyes as Addison kept talking.
"She really adores you, you know. Sometimes she'll come through to my room at like, 3 am and be asking if we can come see you. I keep saying no, obviously, because it's 3 am, but she's adamant on seeing you. Just like me."
She looked up from where she had been watching her hands, and noticed Patrick, lying with his eyes closed, fast asleep. She smiled and stroked his forehead gently.
"Sleep tight." She whispered. She watched him for a few seconds as he slowly breathed in and out, before covering him with the blanket and sitting back, listening to the sound of Patrick's breathing.
"Relax, Addison, I'm looking after him." Pete soothed Addison as they sat at Patrick's kitchen table.
"I know, I just can't help but worry."
"I understand. Listen, he's in good hands. I know I'm not good at taking care of myself, but I can take care of my best friend."
"And Danni and Josh?"
"Yeah." Pete nodded. He laughed at the look on Addison's face.
"Oh, come on! I have them wrapped around my little finger."
Addison raised her eyebrows.
"Look, they're in safe hands. Honestly. They're worried about their dad - they're not going to be focused on pissing me off."
"Well, if you need me."
"I have your number." Pete nodded. "I get it."
"Okay." Addison said, standing up. "I'll come back tomorrow. Is that okay?"
"Sure, that's fine."
"Are you staying here?"
"No, I'm going home in an hour." Pete replied. Addison stared at him and he chuckled.
"I'm kidding. Of course I'm staying here. In the spare room." He nodded towards the stairs.
"Alright." Addison said, glancing in the living room where Patrick was still sleeping softly. She lingered for a moment and Pete joined her at the door.
"Y'know, he thinks you're really special." Pete whispered.
"Yeah. Oh, God, yeah. You can see it in his eyes. He's happy."
"He can't be very happy if he's having stress seizures."
"Well, that's including a lot of other..." Pete paused. "Other personal stuff."
"Got you." Addison nodded. "Well, I think he's special, too. I really care about him."
"I know you do."
Addison tore her gaze away from the man sleeping heavily on the couch, and turned to Pete.
"Please look after him, Pete."
Pete looked at her and nodded.
When Addison had left with Riley, Pete stood in the doorway of the living room watching Patrick. He still looked awful, but at least he wasn't hooked up to machines and wires anymore. He didn't realise that he constantly kept checking his phone for messages or missed calls from Rachel. Still, there was nothing. There had been nothing since the last phone call when Rachel had told him she would think about coming back to the USA.
"Hey." Patrick's voice shook him out of his thoughts, and he whipped his head round to see Patrick propped up on his elbows, looking at him sleepily.
"Hey." Pete replied, keeping his voice quiet. "How're you feeling?"
"Oh, I feel great." Patrick replied humorously, sitting up properly now. "Actually, I might go to my own bed when Addison's gone. The couch is making my back ache even more."
"She already left." Pete told him. Patrick's face fell.
"Well, she didn't want to disturb you. But, it's getting late and I guess she had to take Riley home to put her to bed or something."
Patrick nodded in understanding and shrugged.
"You should go to bed. Like, your proper bed." Pete told him. Patrick rubbed his eyes and nodded.
"Yeah." He swung his legs off the couch and pulled the blanket up with him as he stood up slowly, his face contorted in pain.
"Mm hmm." Patrick mumbled in reply. Pete stood behind him on the stairs as Patrick ascended them, making sure he got up fine.
"Where are the kids?" Patrick asked.
"Don't worry. It's all taken care of. They're at Joe's." Pete replied. He chortled at Patrick's horrified expression.
"Kidding. I put them to bed. They're sound asleep."
But Patrick insisted on checking that Danielle and Josh were "sound asleep" as he passed each of their rooms. He whispered goodnight to them and shook his head.
"They don't deserve any of this." He said, softly. Pete put his hand on Patrick's shoulder and squeezed it so he would look at him.
"You don't deserve any of this." He told him, before leading him out of the room and making sure he got into bed.
Later, Pete sat on the stairs and listened to the wind howling outside as it grew darker by the minute. His thoughts were everywhere but where they should have been. He stared blankly at the banister in front of him as he relaxed knowing all three occupants of the house were sound asleep.
By 8 pm, he hadn't moved. He had been in a dream like state for hours, and was jerked out of his trance by the sound of crying. He sat up and listened for the noise. He rose and followed the crying into Josh's darkened room, where he was sitting upright in his bed, tears falling down his face.
"Hey, hey, what's up?" Pete asked, gently, picking Josh up and hugging him. But Josh had reached the stage of crying that all he could do was gulp and gasp for air.
"Did you have a nightmare?" Pete asked him. He felt Josh nod and he hugged him closer.
"Don't worry, pal. It's only a bad dream. It's not real."
But Josh continued to cry and Pete rocked him back and forth. He was lousy at this. It just made Josh cry harder. He paused and thought for a second.
"Do you wanna hear something I wrote?" He asked Josh. Josh observed him and nodded slowly as he continued to let the tears fall.
Pete took a deep breath. This was going to be a long shot. When Rachel was pregnant with Petey he had written down a lullabye. He had had it all planned out, if Petey cried, he would have sung it to him.
But he would have to do the next best thing.
He closed his eyes, and, though he knew he was nowhere near as good a singer as Patrick, he opened his mouth and sang in a whisper;
"Honey is for bees, silly bear,
Besides, there's jelly beans everywhere,
It's not what it seems, in the land of dreams,
Don't worry your head, just go to sleep,
Doesn't matter how you feel,
Life's just a ferris wheel,
It's always up and down, don't make a sound,
When you wake up the world will come around,
It's just sweet weather and peacock feathers,
In the morning it'll all be better,
Don't worry your head, just go to sleep."
When he opened his eyes, Josh had stopped crying. He lay against Pete, although he was still awake, he was quiet. He didn't say a word as he stared up at Pete and composed himself. Pete ran his hand through Josh's tousled hair and lay him back down, kneeling by the side of the bed.
"It'll be okay, Joshy. Just go back to sleep."
As Josh fell back asleep slowly, Pete started as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He tip toed out of the room and fished his phone out of his pocket. He whispered into it as he made his way downstairs, away from where everyone slept.
"Pete? It's Rachel."
Pete steadied himself on the bottom stair and sat down in surprise.
"Wow, Rach... are you okay?"
"I'm fine. We're in Chicago."
I don't take credit for the lullabye. I read Pete's latest post on his blog where he'd written a lullabye, so credit goes to him!