"Three whole day's of nothing more then Relaxation" Jeff Hardy exclaimed. Both he and his brother Matt had been touring, on the road, going from this place to that, for close to three month's without a break. If it wasn't a match or working out, it was then some public appearance. Three month's Vince McMahon worked them, straight to the bone. The two were really looking forward to the three day's he finally promised them.
"I know." Matt replied as he and Jeff pulled their luggage from within the car. "Can you believe it, it's finally here."
Jeff grunted a reply, Matt knew what that was about. When Vince told them he could give them three day's top's. Jeff nearly blew his own top, infuriated that after all that hard work, they were only given one day per the three months.
Together they brought in their gear, after unpacking Jeff fell down onto the living room couch, purely exhausted, after a few moment's, Matt to came and plopped down on the chair next to Jeff.
"Now that was a workout." Matt said.
"I didn't even know we had that many clothes!" Jeff proclaimed.
"We don't." Matt said with a grin as Jeff turned toward him, a look of confusion written on his face.
With that he rustled the younger Hardy's rainbow hair, running from the room, half expecting to have Jeff close behind him. Jeff however stayed on the couch, turning and twisting until he was comfortable enough, he slowly drifted of into a, much needed sleep.
A few hours must have passed, for when Jeff woke up Matt had the living room light's on, and a blanket thrown over top of him.
"Yea, I understand ... but." Matt said from behind him. Jeff turned to see Matt on the phone, his face twisted with anger.
"Who is it?" Jeff mouthed to him.
"Vince." Matt said back, Jeff leaned back onto the couch again he knew what was coming. "There goes my three day's."
"Isn't there anyone else?" Matt said close to pleading into the phone. "All right, all right. I understand, we'll do it."
With a sigh Matt hung up the phone dropping it back down onto the cradle.
"How long do we have?" Jeff asked.
"Well, it's not entirely bad." Matt said. "Vince wants us to do a hospital appearance. Apparently it will just be the kid's that are there, no press or anything. And get this, he said we have to stay at least three hours."
"Damnit!" Jeff replied. "What happened to the three day's, and what's not entirely bad about that?"
"Well, once we do this, we have a month off." Matt said walking around the couch to sit down on the chair again.
"A month?" Jeff repeated sitting up.
"Yea, I couldn't believe it either. This is supposed to be big for them I guess. Probably some charity deal."
"Where's this hospital at?"
"Pittsburgh, it's a Children's hospital." Matt replied.
Jeff slowly gathered himself and began to walk towards his room.
"Where you going?" Matt asked.
"To bed!" Jeff exclaimed and continued to walk.
Matt chuckled, getting up himself to go to bed. Not to sure of what to expect tomorrow, yet had a gut feeling something was going to happen.
The next morning Matt woke up surprised to hear the shower running. With a small smile, he stretched out in his bed.
"Maybe he's not going to take this to bad." He said.
A few moments later he heard the shower turn off, and then Jeff's electric shaver kick on. A groan escaped from within Matt, anytime Jeff groomed himself he always left a mess afterwards, rarely cleaning it up. Another groan escaped Matt's lips as he forced himself out of bed. Trudging down the stairs, Matt forced himself into the kitchen, grabbing the sunglasses that laid on the table.
"Damn it's to early!" he yelled.
"What?" Came another yell from upstairs.
"Nothing" Matt yelled back up. "Hurry up in there!
We've only got an hour!"
Hearing the water run again, Matt wondered if Jeff was re-dying his hair again. Lately Jeff seemed to dye it whenever he had the chance to. Matt had asked him once why he did it so often. The only reason Jeff would reply with is that it put him to ease.
An hour and a half later the two sat on an airplane headed to Pittsburgh, sitting in complete silence.
"Matt?" Jeff asked breaking the quiet.
"Yea bro?" came Matt's reply.
"We're going to a children's hospital right?" Jeff asked.
Matt sighed, each time they went to a hospital Jeff always had some type of problem. From the shakes to needing to use the restroom every five minutes, there was alway's something. Though anytime Matt would ask Jeff about it, Jeff would just shrug his shoulder's and walk away. He just hopped that maybe with Jeff asking him a million time's over was this time's problem.
"Yes Jeff, we're going to the hospital."
"Oh." Jeff replied and remained silent the rest of the trip, to Matt's surprise.
After the plane landed the two went to claim their luggage, being mobbed by the usual group of teenage women. All of them wanting something signed. Slowly but surely Matt and Jeff made it to the baggage claim, and then out to the limo which waited for them.
"This is WORTH the month off from that!" Matt gasped out.
"Yeah." Came Jeff's reply.
"Come on Jeff. Cheer up, were going to cheer these kid's up, the least you can do is look semi cheerful" Matt stated which got a small smile from Jeff. "That's better." Matt added with a laugh.
Five minute's later the guy's were at the front of the hospital, the Head Nurse Denise came out to greet them.
"Matt, Jeff! It's so great that you guy's decided to come." She said smiling at the two.
"It's our pleasure Miss." Jeff replied.
"Oh call me Denise." she said. "We've got them all together in the common room, now I know your schedule's are pretty busy, but if you could please just stay an hour. I'm sure the kid's would be more then pleased."
Denise then lead Matt and Jeff into the hospital, as they headed toward the room where the children were Jeff began to feel the familiar uneasy twitch in his stomach, without thinking he placed his hand over it. Catching Matt's attention.
"You all right Jeff?" He whispered to him.
"Yea." Was Jeff's reply.
"Now, I have to warn you. The kid's are big fan's of yours, so don't be surprised if you get the thousand and one treatment." She said with a small giggle.
"That's all right Denise. I think were just about used to it by now." Matt said laughing as well.
As they entered the room the boys got the thousand and one treatment to the first degree. Awnsering question's, signing this and that. Posing with this child or that child. Smiling here and there. Amazingly thing's began to die down after a half hour, some of the children had even went back to their room's. Only about eight were left surrounding Jeff and Matt.
"What's it like to be a pro wrestler?" One child with brown hair asked Matt.
"Well, being able to make people happy and enjoy themselves is always amazing." Matt said, pausing for a moment he looked over at Jeff who seemed to be watching someone himself. Following Jeff's gaze Matt caught sight of a young child who looked to be five year's old. Unlike the other children she stayed in the corner of the room coloring. Matt looked back at his brother, watching the odd smile come over his face. Then he watched as Jeff stood up and walked over to nurse Denise.
"Excuse me guy's." Matt said to the boy's he was talking to. He then got up and went over to the nurse and his brother. Catching the end of their conversation.
"She was brought here almost a year ago. Her parent's just dropped her on the check in desk and left. We checked her over and discovered that she had a brain tumor. Having less then two year's left to live. It's such a shame, she's such a sweet child." Denise said.
"What's her name?" Jeff asked.
"Alexis." Denise said. Jeff started to walk over to her, but Denise stopped him. "Jeff, be gentle with her, she's been through a lot. And rarely say's a word."
Jeff nodded never taking his eyes off of Alexis, he walked over to her and sat down next to her. She paid him no attention but continued to color. Smiling Jeff picked up another crayon and proceeded to color the page next to Alexis's, suddenly Alexis stopped coloring.
Matt and Denise kept their distance, when they saw her stop coloring Denise let out a small gasp.
Alexis looked at Jeff, her eye's seemed to be studying his face. With a smile of her own she turned her own page she was coloring so Jeff would be able to color one half and she could the other.
"Now isn't that something." Denise said to Matt.
"What do you mean?" Matt said looking at her.
"Well, Alex normally doesn't like male company. When one of the other boy children would come to play with her she would cry."
"Sound's like she's had it pretty bad."
"I think she has. She doesn't like to talk about it though." Denise said.
Matt and Denise continued to watch the pair, Alexis colored on. Once in a while she would offer her crayon to Jeff, who would take it and give her his.
"Look's like Jeff's made a new friend." Matt said to the nurse, who still stood dumbfounded at the sight before her. Smiling Matt left the nurse where she stood and went back to the boy's, leaving Jeff with Alexis.
"You have such a pretty name, Alexis." Jeff whispered to her while coloring.
"Nero." Alexis whispered back to Jeff's amazement.
"What did you say?" Jeff said stopping his coloring to look at the child.
"Nero." She replied simple enough and continued to color.
"That's what I thought you said." Jeff said smiling then went back to his own coloring. He remembered what the nurse had said about Alexis, about her not being able or wanting to talk. Yet here she was talking to him. Jeff was awestruck, he felt something inside his heart, knowing it had to be love for this little child.
An hour later Jeff was still coloring with Alexis, Matt to was still pretty busy with some of the boy's playing some kind of game. Both obvious to how much time that had actually passed.
"Ahem." Came an interrupting voice from the doorway, both Hardy's and the children looked up seeing Nurse Denise in the doorway. "I know you guy's are having fun, but I'm afraid visiting hour's are over."
A loud chorus of boo's were heard.
"Now children, thank Matt and Jeff for taking the time to come to visit you." She said sternly.
"Thank you Matt and Jeff." Came a chorus of voice's, Matt smiled at them until he caught site of his brother. He hadn't realized Jeff was still with that child. Jeff's head was down once again, and he appeared to be talking to Alexis. What he was saying though, Matt could not make out.
"Alexis, I have to go now. I really enjoyed this time we spent together." He said to the child, her head remaining focused on the paper, still she colored. Jeff began to get to his feet, feeling the slight pain in his muscle's from sitting in one position for a period of time. Frowning he looked down at Alexis, she had stopped coloring but her head remained down.
"Good-bye Alexis." He whispered to her then turned to leave, following Matt to walk out the door.
"Nero!!" A voice screamed out behind him. Jeff turned to see Alexis standing up, with tear's streaming down her face. Kneeling down he opened his arm's out to her and she gratefully flew into them, flinging her arm's around his neck...clinging. Jeff stood up, turning to look at Matt and the nurse who had come running when she heard Alexis cry.
"Where's her room?" Jeff mouthed to the nurse.
"Follow me." She said back and started to walk down the hallway with Jeff following her.
"Jeff..wait." Matt said stopping his sentence when he seen the look on his baby brother's face. "All right.
I'll be in the lobby."
Jeff smiled at his brother, then started to follow the nurse again with Alexis still in his arm's crying.
"Alexis we're going to your room, okay sweetie?" He whispered into her hear, only to receive a choked back "Nero" from her. Jeff felt his heart drop to his stomach, how could anyone hurt a child like this. Sighing he continued to walk to the child's room, once inside he sat on the bed, pulling the child into his arm's as though he was holding a baby. Alexis looked up at Jeff, her eye's wide with fear. Jeff quickly looked at the nurse, knowing that if she was there Alexis wouldn't speak to him.
"Could you leave us alone for a moment?" He asked her.
"Well..ah..I suppose so. But only for a few moment's" She replied hastily leaving the room closing the door behind her. Jeff turned his attention back to the child. "Alexis?"
"Nero." She whimpered softly, playing with a lock of his hair. Jeff looked down into her face, her hair was thinning due to the radiation, and her face..her face looked year's beyond what she really was. Inside the blue speck's of her eye's laid her pain. Jeff could feel the tear's raising to his eye's.
"Alexis..honey I really need to go..you need to get your rest." He said trying to calm her.
"Nero." She whispered again.
"You sure do like my middle name, don't you?" He asked smiling. Alexis nodded.
"Moore." She said more of a question then a statement.
"Where's Matt?" Jeff said looking into her eye's, seeing his awnser."He's in the waiting room, waiting for me so we can go home. Back to Cameron."
Alexis jumped from within his lap, falling onto the bed she curled into a fetal position and closed her eye's. Jeff placed his hand on her shoulder, and she instantly withdrew from it.
"I'm sorry Lexie..." Jeff whispered sadly. He stood and walked to the door, pausing to look back at her once more. She remained in her curled position, not chancing a look back. Jeff sighed again and left the room, he felt as though his heart was shattered in a million pieces. He had made an instant connection with the child, instantly falling in love with her. The pain of leaving now was intense, silently he walked down to the lobby where Matt sat waiting.
"Jeff! Jeff?" Matt said going to his side, sensing something was wrong.
"I left her." He said without emotion.
Matt shook his head, Jeff usually had problem's with hospital's but nothing as intense as this, he had never seen Jeff this heartbroken. And he had only been with this child for little under two hour's.
"Come on Jeff, let's go. Maybe we can catch an early flight home." Matt said pushing Jeff towards the door. Jeff went as he was pushed, in his mind million's of thought's ran through his head. Thought's of Alexis. On the way back to the hotel Jeff suddenly had an idea.
"I'm staying here." He blurted out.
"Whatcha mean bro?" Matt replied.
"We're off for a month. Right?"
"And?" Matt knew where Jeff was getting to, and he wasn't sure if he liked it.
"I want to stay here for the month. I think she need's me Matt. She really connected with me back there."