recovering from the accident
Haley woke up the morning after they got back to L.A. in her own bed. She smiled and stretched her arm out to the other side, only to feel it was cold and empty. “Pete?” she mumbled, picking her head up and looking around the room. She climbed out of bed and opened the bathroom door a crack. Nothing. She noticed his pillow was missing and sighed, shuffling out into the living room. She quietly crept to the couch and peeked her head over the back, coming face to face with Pete, his arm thrown over his face to block out the light. “Hey.” She whispered, poking him in the chest.
“Hm?” he grumbled.
“What are you doing?”
“Sleeping.” He moved his arm, blinking up at her.
“I can see that. But why are you sleeping out here, instead of in there with me?”
“I was afraid I’d roll the wrong way and hurt you.” He looked up at her sweetly, gently tracing his thumb over a bruise on her shoulder.
“Aw, Baby. You’re not going to hurt me.” She climbed over the back of the couch, landing directly on top of him. “You should be worried about me hurting you. I have bony little elbows.” She giggled, jabbing an elbow into his stomach for effect.
“And you have sharp nails, I have the battle wounds to prove it.” He placed his hand on the back of her neck, kissing her deeply.
“Do you have to do that in public?” Brendon groaned as he and Jon walked into the kitchen, followed by Hemmingway. They were all staying there for the next couple days before heading home.
“We’re not in public, I’m in my own damn house.” Pete glared at him.
“It’s ok.” Haley smiled.
“Yeah, I have to get to the studio, anyway.” Pete sighed.
“I should stop by the office.” Haley stood up.
“What are we going to do?” Jon pouted.
“You can hang out here or come with me. Whatever.” Haley shrugged.
“You could come with me, but it would be pretty boring.” Pete added. Brendon and Jon looked at each other, considering their options.
“No offense dude, but there’s no cute girls at the studio.” Brendon shook his head.
“Ok. I’m going to take a shower.” Pete headed into the bathroom.
Pete stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist, shaking water out of his hair. He walked into the bedroom to find Haley sitting on the end of the bed, pouting. “Baby, what’s wrong?” he asked, pulling a pair of jeans on.
“I need your help.” She looked up at him with puppy dog eyes.
“Of course, what do you need?”
“I can only pick my arm up this far,” she lifted her arm on the side with the broken ribs about half way. “and I can’t change my shirt.” She said in a tiny voice.
“Come here,” he laughed, pulling her up so she was standing in front of him. He slid his hands under her tank top, maneuvering it up, over her head and down her arm. “Shit, Baby…” he gasped at the bruises running down her entire side and across her stomach.
“Stop. Don’t look, it’s gross.” She turned away, covering the bruises with her hands.
“I’m so sorry, I wish it could have been me instead.” He kissed her neck and gently bit it, brushing her hair out of the way.
“Pete…” she groaned as he gripped her hips, half-heartedly pushing him away.
“The doctor said we could have sex as long as you’re not in pain.”
“But everyone is right out there, waiting for me.” She nodded towards the door.
“That didn’t stop you on the bus.” Pete smirked.
“They weren’t within earshot, on the bus.”
“You know…the walls in the bathroom are really thick.” He wiggled his eyebrows.
“I do need a shower.” Haley giggled, pulling him into the bathroom. She slid her pants off as he turned the water on.
“What’s this one from?” he asked, kissing her and running his fingers over a lighter bruise between her breasts.
“The seatbelt.” She breathed, wrapping her arms around his waist. “That tickles.” His lips moved down her neck. He stopped and reached up to touch a mark on her collar bone on the opposite side.
“Where’s THIS one from?” he wrinkled his eyebrows.
“Um…that’s not the same kind of bruise.” She giggled, biting her lip.
“Oh, right I remember that one.” He grinned, leaning her up against the wall. She shivered slightly as the cold tiles touched her skin. “Tell me if I hurt you.”
“What’s taking so long?” Brendon huffed, plopping down on the couch.
“What do you THINK is taking so long?” Spencer raised his eyebrows. Brendon thought about it for a minute.
“Oh. Eew. I didn’t want to think about that.” He made a face.
“I hope Pete doesn’t mind I’m eating all his chips.” Jon mumbled, with his mouth full as he reached into the almost empty bag.
“Can I sign your cast?” Brendon turned to Ryan, pulling a pen out of his pocket.
“Just don’t write on the pirate ship.” Ryan held his arm out.
“Hey guys, you ready to go?” Haley stumbled into the room with Pete trailing closely behind her. They were both breathing heavily and had flushed cheeks and wet hair.
“I don’t like this one bit.” Brendon shook his head seriously.
“Shut up and get in the car.” Haley shoved him in the shoulder.
“I’m going to be so late to the studio, Patrick’s probably freaking out.” Pete grinned, kissing Haley as the guys headed outside.
“Well whose fault was that?” she smirked.
“Hey! You begged me, with the eyes and the voice. How was I supposed to resist?”
“I asked you to pull my shirt over my head, not fuck me in the bathroom.” She scoffed, pulling away and grabbing her purse.
“Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?!”
“Yeah.” She shrugged, heading out the door.
“What about your sexy, talented, perfect fiancé?”
“Hm…description doesn’t ring a bell.” she smirked, running out to the car before he could catch up.
“How much longer?” Brendon whined from the back seat.
“We’re almost there.” Haley replied, turning a corner.
“We’ve been driving for, like, five minutes.” Spencer gave him a look from the front seat.
“You don’t have to sit in the middle.”
“I really hope you used protection.” Jon leaned forward, resting his chin on the edge of Haley’s seat next to her shoulder. “We really don’t need any tiny little Petes running around.”
“Yeah, with their little hoodies and eyeliner, breaking stuff.” Brendon added.
“I wonder if they make baby size Sidekicks.” Spencer laughed.
“If they don’t, Pete will probably find someone to get them made.” Ryan chimed in.
“With bartskulls on them.” Haley giggled.
“But what if they look like you?” Jon poked her in the shoulder.
“Ow.” She turned around, mock-glaring at him.
“That would just be terrifying.” Ryan shuddered.
“So anyway, how much farther is it?” Brendon asked.
“Right there.” Haley pointed to a building across the street as they stopped at a traffic light.
“Hellooo?!” Haley called as they stepped off the elevator.
“I said I was going to push the button. These guys even heard me, right?” Brendon scowled at Jon.
“I called it first.” Jon shook his head.
“It was in the car, it doesn’t count. It doesn’t count unless we’re at LEAST in the building.” Ryan added.
“Why do you encourage them?” Spencer sighed. They had been bickering the entire way up.
“Does anyone work here anymore?” Haley shouted, followed by a loud shriek and a stampede of footsteps.
“AH! You’re back!” Tim ran around the corner, waving his arms in the air.
“Timmy!” Haley smiled.
“We didn’t expect you so soon.” He rushed over and squeezed her.
“Ow. Ow. Ow.” Haley flinched.
“Oh my god. I’m so sorry, I totally forgot. Let me get you something. KAT!” he shrieked. A skinny girl with long straight black hair nervously peeked her head around the corner. “What are you doing?”
“You said I’m not to witness any personal interactions or displays of emotion.” She brushed her bangs out of her eyes.
“That’s only when I’m on the phone with the bf. Or my momma. Come over here. No. Go get ice, then come over here.” Tim shooed her away.
“So, who’s that?” Haley watched her scurry off.
“She’s my assistant.”
“But you’re MY assistant, why do you need an assistant?”
“You were gone, I was running the place and needed help. And now with the wedding and everything. It was in the budget, you said I could hire her.” He smiled innocently at her.
“You said we needed a secretary.”
“She does some secretarial work. And a little bit of everything else.”
“Just be nice to her. Wait, what do you mean ‘with the wedding an everything’?”
“Ooh, come look. This is so exciting.” He squealed, grabbing her hand. Haley motioned for the guys to follow as Tim led them towards her office. “So, I’ve been talking to your mom and Pete’s mom, she is a doll, and we came up with some good ideas.”
“How did you get Pete’s mom’s number?”
“From your mom.”
“How did you get my mom’s number?”
“From your brother.”
“And his number?”
“Pete.” Tim nodded. “Check it out, it’s wedding central.” He led her around the corner to her office.
“Whoa.” Haley stared blankly.
“Did something explode?” Jon whispered. Every available surface was covered in brochures, photos magazines and samples.
“Everything’s organized. This side is dresses and tuxes, over here is flowers, this is table settings and general décor, these are sample invitations, and this is all the other junk.” He waved dismissively at a pile on the chair. “LOOK ALIVE, WE’RE OVER HERE NOW!” he yelled down the hall to Kat, back by the elevator, looking lost, holding a bag of ice.
“Don’t be mean to her. I could have been mean to you, but I wasn’t.” Haley scolded.
“I’m not mean, it’s tough love. She’s only been here a week, I think she’s still in shock.”
“Yeah, ok. So how have you been?” Haley turned to Kimmy.
“Pretty good. I’m glad you’re back, Tim’s had me sketching brides maids dresses for the past week.” She rolled her eyes. “Most of them suck though.”
“As long as they have butt bows, I’m happy.”
“You want butt bows?”
“Oh, god. You’re one of them.” Tim placed his hand on his forehead dramatically.
“Sorry it took so long.” Kat jogged over, handing Haley the ice.
“It’s no problem. I’m Haley.” She stuck her hand out to shake.
“Hey, I’m Ryan.” Ryan stood up a little straighter, smiling at her.
“Hi, I like the pirate ship.” She gestured at his cast.
“Thanks.” He blushed slightly.
“Ok, I’m going to go make the rounds. You guys just do…whatever.” Haley said to the Panic guys, heading off.
“We’ve been working really hard on the fashion show. If there’s anything you need me to do, just say so. Is it ok for you to walk? I can push you in the swivel chair.” Tim started talking a mile a minute, following her.
“I’m fine. Just catch me up on everything that’s going on here.”
“Ali’s been cataloging all the items, putting together outfits for the show. We’ve got some choices for models, I can get you their headshots and you can pick them.”
They were all sitting around later that night, watching TV. The Panic boys were practically passed out from jet lag, and Haley wasn’t far behind. “Did you know that Tim’s been planning the wedding with our moms?” Haley glanced up at Pete.
“Huh.” He grunted, engrossed with the TV and absentmindedly running his fingers through her hair. “Wait, does he even know them?” he snapped to attention.
“Apparently, you gave him Bill’s number, and he’s just a fountain of information. He said your mom’s a doll.”
“That’s hilarious.” He chuckled, kissing the top of her head.
“I was thinking, we don’t have very much time, so we should probably start making decisions.”
“What kind of decisions?”
“You know, like invitations and a place to have it. Stuff that we have to book ahead of time.”
“Ok, maybe tomorrow or the next day.” He smiled down at her. They sat in silence for a while, until Pete noticed Haley staring into space, her eyebrows wrinkled in thought. “What are you thinking about?”
“I want a tattoo.”
“Really?” Pete raised his eyebrows, surprised.
“You mean another tattoo?” Spencer turned his head from where he was sitting on another couch off to the side.
“When did you get a tattoo? Where is it?” Pete asked, looking her up and down.
“A few weeks ago.” She slid her ring off to reveal a tiny black P.
“What does it stand for?” Pete smiled, taking her hand, looking at it closely.
“Oh, you know…puppies.” She shrugged, nonchalantly. “I really like puppies, and purple, peaches, um…” she trailed off.
“Pringles.” Jon added, laughing as Pete lunged at Haley, tickling her.
“AH! Stop, I’m ticklish!” she managed to wiggle away and jump off the couch. “Come on, let’s go.”
“You want to get one now?” he asked as she pulled him up and dragged him towards the door.
“It’s not too late, and I may chicken out in the morning.” She shook her head.
“Ok. I know a guy who’s really good.” He wrapped an arm around her waist.
“Oh! I almost forgot.” She turned around, rushing back into the living room. “Hey Ryan, can I talk to you over here for a minute?” she smiled innocently, waving him into the hallway.
“Ok.” He got up, following her naively. The other guys watched him go before jumping up, giggling.
“What’s going on?” Pete asked, confused as Ryan tried to run away when Haley opened the bathroom door.
“Are you coming?” Spencer asked as everyone squeezed into the bathroom while Ryan tried to push his way out.
“No. I think I’m good.” He scowled as the door shut in his face. There were shouts and scuffling sounds from the other side.
“You said I could!”
“No I didn’t!”
“Spence, grab his foot.”
“Ow!” Then there was some gurgling and splashing followed by a flush. The door opened, and everyone filed out calmly.
“Now we can go.” Haley grabbed Pete’s hand, pulling him towards the door. “Quickly.” She picked up the pace as Ryan shuffled into the hallway with water dripping down his face.
“What was that about?”
“I’ll explain later.”
Pete sat in the corner of the tattoo room cringing as Haley calmly watched the guy shoot needles into her skin. “…so I gave him a swirly.” She finished her story, making the tattoo guy laugh. “So how long have you known Pete?”
“Me and him go way back. We went to high school together.” The guy shook his head. “I used to work in Chicago, moved out here a couple years ago. I did his Nightmare Before Christmas tattoo.”
“Really? What was he like in high school?”
“Jock, blond, thought he was tough.” Haley laughed as he began on another color.
“How is this not affecting you?” Pete slid his chair closer to Haley, jumping slightly when the tattoo machine buzzed.
“Do you want to hold my hand?” she giggled, reaching her hand out to him. “You have so many, I would think you were used to it by now.”
“Are you kidding? Every time I work on this kid he starts crying.” The guy chuckled, nodding at Pete.
“Seriously?!” Haley laughed, looking over at Pete.
“I do NOT cry. It hurts.” He pouted.
“Oh yeah, just ‘let me take a break. I need some air’.” The guy mocked.
“It doesn’t hurt that bad.” Haley shrugged. “I think you’re just a baby.” She grinned.
“Whatever. I’m going outside.” Pete stood up.
“No, don’t leave. I promise I’ll be nice.” Haley grabbed his hand.
“Fine. So why are you getting a…” he craned his neck to see her opposite wrist.
“It’s a cupcake. It was my nickname when I was little, and Heidi and Giselle call me it. For a while, they were the closest thing to a family that I had.”
“There. Done.” The guy wiped off the tattoo, stepping away so she could look at it.”
“Awesome!” she smiled, holding it up for Pete to see.
“I like it. How much do I owe you?” he turned to the guy.
“No!” Haley jumped down from the chair.
“I’m paying and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Fine, then I’m going next door and getting a Slurpee.” She wrinkled her nose at him and huffed out the door.
“I won’t take your money, man. Just do me a favor and don’t fuck this up. I like this one.” He clapped Pete on the back.
“The girl or the tattoo?” they both laughed.
“Thanks, Steve. Hey, could you do something for me real quick?”
“What took so long?” Haley asked, leaning against the car when Pete finally exited the building several minutes later. Her Slurpee was already half gone.
“He owed me a favor.” He shrugged as they climbed in the car.
“What kind of favor? Oh, now I’m cold.” She placed her cup in the cup holder and wrapped her arms around herself. Pete turned on the heat, pointing the vents towards her.
“I figured if you did it, why don’t we match.” He lifted his shirt up to where he had ‘HALEY’ written over his heart.
“Aw, that’s so romantic.” She leaned over, kissing him.
“I can’t believe you didn’t even flinch.” He scoffed, pulling out of the parking space.
“I’m so pumped full of painkillers, it didn’t really feel that bad. And even if it did, I’m so pumped full of painkillers, I wouldn’t even care!” she laughed.
“So what do you want to do now?” he reached over, taking her hand.
“I don’t care. Maybe we should just go home, the guys fly out pretty early and they’ll probably wake us up at the crack of dawn.” She groaned.
“Speaking of which, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Well, it’s about the accident, and Ryan’s arm. I mean, he lives alone, and it can be tough doing stuff with only one arm. So I was thinking, since you two get along so well, and he’s one of my best friends, maybe he could stay with us for a few weeks. I’ll be at the studio a lot, and with your ribs, you could use some help too. You could help each other out.”
“Just so long as he doesn’t see you naked. I’m the only one who gets to dress you.”
“Eew, I didn’t even think about that.” She gave him a look, giggling.
“Cool, we’ll talk to him when we get home.”
“Maybe you should, I don’t think he’s speaking to me.”
Please review. There's only a couple chapters left. I'll try to update again this weekend, but I'm not making any promises.
btw here is sort of what her tattoo looks like: