John woke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. He could tell he wasn't in his bed because his sheets were cotton and not flannel.

The sound of a woman softly singing could be heard outside the bedroom. He recognized the song as one his mother used to sing when he was a little boy.

A wave of nostalgia swept over him leaving him disoriented.

For a moment he longed for the days of his boyhood when his mother still remember who she was and his father was still alive.

He choked back a remorseful sigh.

Life was so much easier then.

Right was right. Wrong was wrong. Black was black. White was white.

He slowly opened his eyes, but instantly regretted that decision as bile rose in his throat as his stomach made its displeasure known. He squeezed his eyes shut and silently cursed himself for getting drunk on an empty stomach.

Calling on his stubborn Irish will, John opened his eyes again and took in his surroundings. He was in a small bedroom tastefully decorated in nautical fashion.

He glanced down and was glad to find that he was wearing his boxers and t-shirt. He had had a tiny moment of fear upon waking in this strange bed that he had gone and done something stupid because Janice had broken his heart.

He groaned as he pulled himself up to lean against the headboard. It echoed in his head causing the unnoticed nagging pain to escalate a notch.

The singing stopped.

Mel had heard movement in the bedroom. She stopped singing and went to check on John. He had really been shattered the night before and she didn't want him running away before they could talk.

She opened the door and leaned on the doorframe. She studied John as he took in his surroundings his brow creased in painful concentration.

She walked over to the bed and sat down. She leaned close and whispered, "Morning, Sparky," in his ear.

"Mel?" John hazarded. It came out sounding like a croak then a question.

"Yes," Mel replied with a smile. She pushed some stray locks of hair off his forehead and gave him a gentle peck there.

"Wha… what happened?"

"You really tied one on, honey," she explained.

"Well, that explains the run down feeling," he tried to quip.

"Apparently, that wicked sense of humor of yours can't be killed by large quantities of 98 proof alcohol," Mel teased.

"I'm of good Irish stock," the redhead retorted. "Andy swears I'll be cracking wise as I tumble through the gates of Hell."

"Of that I have no doubt."

"Did we?" he asked the question that was pressing on his mind.

"No," Mel answered. "You were too far gone."

"Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm glad we didn't. I need a friend more than I do a lover, if that makes any sense."

"I will always be your friend," Mel vowed and saw that it gave John the relief he needed. "Now, how do you feel about breakfast?"