"Are you sure there is nothing I can get you before I go?" Doug asked worriedly looking down at Tom who was resting comfortably on the sofa a coke in one hand and the television remote in the other.

"Doug..." Tom sighed running a hand through his unusually longer locks. "I'm fine man really..."

"Are you sure?...I mean I can stay if you want me too, you just got out of the hospital yesterday..."

"Listen man, I appreciate that your worried and all, but if you stay here one more night I- I might shoot you in your sleep or something..."

"That's not good." Doug shoved his hands into his pockets and bounced around a little on his feet... "If- if you need anything-"

"I'll call." Tom smiled kindly, "Now go on home to Dorathy before she thinks I'm holding you hostage or something alright."

"Yeah." He chuckled a little still having his reservations about leaving his best friend alone for the night...

"So I'll see you tomorrow ok?"

"Bight and early." Penhall nodded reaching the front door.

"Not to early..."

"This time off is spoiling you you know that?"

"Get outta my apartment Penhall."

"I'm going... I'm going."


And with that the door closed, leaving Tom for the first time since he had been home from the wreched place alone. Maybe it was to early, maybe he wasn't ready... But how would he know unless he tried? He loved Penhall, he really did, he was his best friend... but the truth be told, without meaning to he could become very over bearing and hovering... and it was enough to drive any person in sane.

"Flipping on the television he glanced up at the clock. "10:03" he mumbled, "The only thing on right about now is I love Lucy..." With an irritated sigh he flipped to channel 11 and kicked his feet up laying back fully on to the sofa. As long as he didn't think about anything he would be alright...Right?

Sure the fear was there and so were the thoughts... But he had to face them sooner or later, he had to fight back against the images and the emotions... and he knew that was something he had to do on his own, no one could hold his hand through this...

"Your gonna be alright." He told himself staring at the black and white images on his television and pulling the blanket up a little more to his chin as he exhaled slowly, "You're going to be just fine." As the words escaped his mouth for the first time in over a month he felt a smile pull at his lips... And he truly believed he would be...


Tom's eyes opened slowly as he streched himself out before realizing he had once more fallen asleep on the couch. He was beginning to wonder if he even remembered what his bed looked like... It had been so long since he had been in it.

Glancing around he smiled when his eyes fell on the clock. 9:13... He had survived the night. With a yawn he rose to his feet running a hand through his messey maine and heading into the kitchen to put up a pot of coffee.

"Nice day." He whispered poping his neck and looking outside as he walked past the window leading into the kitchen, the tiles were freezing against his feet as he leaned over the counter top and switched on the radio, Tom Petty's Latest hit filling the silence of the empty house just as someone began knocking on the door.

"Penhall." He mumbled under his breath heading for the front door. "Penhall listen man I know your worried but-" He stopped in mid sentance seeing Judy standing before him. "Oh hey..."

"Sleep well?" She asked holding up a cup of coffee.

"Very well." He grinned widely, "My Hero... I was just about to make some of this."

"Somehow I figured that."

"Come on in," He noticed the bag in her hand, "More gifts?"

"In a way." She nodded stepping into the front room, "So I take it from your greeting that Penhall is still playing father no?"

"I had one hell of a time getting him out of here last night..."

"He's just worried Hanson, we all are..." She added thew second part as an after thought looking him over carefully. "How was it?"

"It was fine..." He reassured her, "I think the worst part is over, now I just want to nail this asshole... Now what's in the bag?"

"Hair cutting scissors and a razor." She smirked, "I want to make sure Tom Hanson is still under there somewhere..."

"You think I'm going to let you cut my hair?" Tom's brows rose up slightly.

"You don't have a choice. I brought you coffee remember?"

"Coffee does not buy you buther time with my head!"

"You want to make a bet?"


"Oh come on don't you trust me?"

"No." Tom laughed taking the bag from her hand and running towards the bathroom Judy hot on his heels.

"Hanson get back here!"

"Haven't I been tortured enough? I'm not letting you near my head with a razor... or scissors!"

"If you don't openb this door right now, I-I'll tell fuller what you and Amy just so happened to do on his desk..."

"You wouldn't dare..."

"Open the door."

"You are an evil vendictive little woman you know that?" He pouted unlocking the bathroom door and opening it slowly.

"Shut-up and sit down... This won't take long."

"If you ruin my head..."

"I won't." She pluged in the razor and began snipping away with the scissors.

"Have you at least done this before?"

"No...but how hard can it be!"

Tom's eyes widened and he began to get up.

"I'm joking, I use to cut my dads hair all the time, now just relax..."

Two hours later there he stood in front of the bathroom mirror, his face fully shaven and hair perfectly cut as Judy's head popped over his shoulder and she smiled. "See what did I tell you... Good as new."

Tom didn't answer for a moment a smile pressing on his lips as he looked at his reflection and nodded exhalling, "Yeah I guess I am."


I wanted to end this on a light note so I thought this a good spot, thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!