In The Palm of Her Hand

By Smiley

Rated: R

Copyright 2007

Summary: Some years after high school graduation, can Andrea save Brandon from his own mind? Is it really his own mind or does someone have a hand in his troubles?

A/N Kelly was never one of my favorite characters so she may be totally nuts in this story or I may reconsider and she may end up ok.

This fic is flavored with an out there plot.

Chapter One - Jumbled

Brandon Walsh's mind drifted back in time to the morning of the senior prom. He sat alone in his bedroom reflecting on a few things. He was thinking of the upcoming graduation and how much his life was about to change. Would Kelly stick it out with Dylan or chase after him again? Would Steve and he maintain their camaraderie or grow apart? More importantly to Brandon, would Andrea finally give up on their missed chances and find a lover who wasn't afraid of ruining their friendship? A sick feeling lurched through Brandon's entire body at that last thought. There were so many times that he and Andrea could have advanced forward with their relationship but something always got in the way. Whether it was their own fears or events that others had planned, something would stop things from moving beyond the point of no return. Either the timing was off due to one of them dating someone, or the opportunity presented itself at a time when one of them was worried about the friendship being ruined.

Brandon shook his head out of thought and hoped that Andrea would always be in his life in some way or other. He treasured the strong bond they shared but also ached deep within because he knew that he had probably turned away from his soul mate one too many times. "You're such a fool Walsh." Brandon said aloud and then jerked himself around to face the open door.

"Why are you a fool this time Brandon?" Andrea asked with a smile on her face. "I knocked for 5 minutes and got a little worried when I saw through the window that you weren't moving."

"Why aren't you getting ready for the prom chief?" Brandon asked with a valiant effort to regain his composure and avoid Andrea's question.

"Jordan is sick," Andrea replied dully. "So I guess I'm not going either unless you want to go with me." She smiled at her best friend who had been the object of her affection since he made an effort to befriend her with no matter that her social status was not up there with his.

Brandon's hands shook, as he lay motionless in a bed. His mind shifted from the morning of the prom to the image of him kicking his dresser, which caused a resounding thud to blast in the otherwise quiet room. He stood up from his bed and tried to clear his fogged mind. This was the morning before he and Kelly's wedding was to take place and so why was he thinking of Andrea Zuckerman now? He indeed had the chance to further things with her on the night of the prom but allowed those fears of ruining a friendship to stop him. That was his last chance because Andrea had moved on, had a beautiful daughter and got married. "Damn it Walsh!" He shouted and raced down the stairs to answer the door.

"Hey there Brandon," came the voice of Andrea Zuckerman from the other side of the door that he had just opened.

He looked at the woman who stood before him and couldn't help but smirk. The one thing that remained a constant throughout the years was Andrea's ability to show up when he was thinking of her. "Hey there chief." Brandon said and pulled her into a tense hug. "Wow, I haven't seen you since you left for Yale after graduation."

Andrea returned the hug, which was far too comfortable and long for a friendship hug. "I ran into Brenda in New York two weeks ago and she asked if I was coming to the wedding. I of course had no idea of what she was talking about so she told me that Kelly was supposed to send out invitations to everyone. She said that David had informed Kelly that he knew where I worked because I did a spread on him in the Times when he was doing a talent scout last year. Apparently she forgot to send one there."

Brandon wondered why David didn't tell him that he had met up with Andrea a year ago. He and Kelly weren't fully together at that time which would have made the coast clear for him to find Andrea and attempt to correct his bad choices in the past. He had learned from Donna that Andrea was having marital problems but didn't press the question of how she knew that information. "You've been gone far too long chief," he mumbled in a low voice as he still held her in a firm hug.

Andrea looked up into Brandon's eyes and he knew that she was wondering if her coming to this wedding was a mistake. He knew that she saw pure sadness in his eyes but quickly decided that she was deluding herself to believe that it was sadness as a way of justifying what she wanted to do at that second. She wanted nothing more then to kiss the love of her life and find out if both time and separation had removed their fear of losing a friend obstacle.

Brandon suddenly jerked his body violently and awoke in a hospital room. He knew that he was dreaming all of those things about Andrea but couldn't totally focus his mind. He wasn't sure what day it was or the year. He didn't know if he married Kelly Taylor or not but the one thing he did know was that Andrea Zuckerman still held his soul in the palm of her hand.

As his eyes darted from one corner of the room to the other, he saw Brenda wiping her sleepy eyes and stretching into the land of the awake. "You're awake," Brenda said with a relieved look on her face. "What happened Brandon?" Brenda asked with a hint of sadness in her voice. She had sat in his room for the last three hours with no real sign that he was going to recover but his constant mumblings of Andrea's name and his nickname for her, Chief.

He gave his sister a blank look and she shrugged her shoulders. "Did I get married?" He asked in a hoarse voice.

"I didn't attend the wedding," Brenda retorted incredulously. She and Kelly never were able to pick up their friendship on any level after the Dylan McKay triangle and she had no plans on watching the woman sink her claws into her brother. "You phoned me yesterday morning and said that you were coming here. We made plans to meet for lunch today."

As the door to his room opened, he recognized the figure that had walked in straight away and tried to get up excitedly. "Chief!" He said in a louder but still hoarse voice.

"He's really confused," Brenda said in a whispered voice as she sipped her tea.

"Hey there," Andrea said and walked over to Brandon. She looked at the machines and IV drip and then took his hands in hers. "You gave us a good scare Brandon. I'm not a chief yet, just doing my internship here at the hospital."

"Where am I?" Brandon asked with an overwhelming feeling of confusion and fear washing over him.

"You're in New York Brandon," Andrea said softly as she stroked his forehead with her index finger.

"You're a doctor? Why aren't you a writer?" Brandon asked as he looked pleadingly into Andrea's eyes for an answer as to what was going on.

A brief moment of far off pain creased Andrea's features but she recovered quickly. After she had realized that Brandon Walsh would never see her as anything but a friend, she left Beverly Hills and changed careers when she entered Yale. Anything to do with writing would have reminded her too much of Brandon and that wasn't good. She needed to forget him and put Beverly Hills far behind her. "I wanted to make a difference by doing something more than writing." Andrea said and removed her hand from Brandon's face.

"I thought that you told David you were getting a divorce and Donna told me. I thought that you did an article on David's talent show for the New York Times and came to my and Kelly's wedding?" Brandon's face looked frantic and his breathing grew short as he reached for Andrea's hand.

Andrea looked at Brenda who was fighting back tears. She had spoke to Brenda about Brandon's past condition briefly but didn't realize how bad it was. Brenda had told her that Brandon had been plagued with bouts of delusional states for the last two years and that his girlfriend, Kelly, tried everything she could to help him. Brenda hadn't any idea as to what his delusions pertained to but both women were now getting a good idea. "Is Kelly here yet?" Andrea asked as she allowed Brandon to grasp her hand. She wanted to comfort him and saw that that simple gesture seemed to work as he had calmed down tremendously.

"She went to the hotel to get some sleep." Brenda said and stood up with a sour look on her face. "I'll go get her." She took one last sad look at her brother and walked out of the room.

"Andrea," Brandon said in a frail voice that made her want to scoop him up in her arms and take all his anguish away. "Something is wrong with me and I don't know what. It's like I'm fighting myself in this dream world and can't stay in reality long enough to know what's really going on. I mean, the only things I can remember about reality are when I'm with Kelly and then my head gets all jumbled up and you always come to save me." Tears flooded down the man's face and he began to tremble as he spoke.

It was clear to Andrea that Brandon was having an infrequent moment of sanity as she leaned down and hugged him tightly yet carefully. "I'm really here this time Brandon." She said softly and kissed his cheek. "I am divorced and I did run into David in New York. I saw a spot on the TV about his talent search show and caught up with him eight months ago. He told me that you had been ill and Kelly was trying to get you well and that you were going to get married to her. He also told me that Steve was fighting her for power of attorney over you while you recovered. Unfortunately, Steve was injured in a car accident and had to give up his quest."

"Why would Steve have to do something like that?" Brandon asked with confusion thick in his voice.

"I don't know but David denied telling me that when I spoke to him late last night to let him know that you were brought here."

"Why was I brought here?" Brandon said with fear in his voice.

Andrea looked carefully at the man that she once knew as a well of strength, love and integrity. Gone were all those things and replacing them was a shell of a man who was filled with confusion and fear. "You and Kelly were in a car accident. She said that you had come to New York for your honeymoon and the car spun out of control. She has minor scrapes but is all right. Frankly, I didn't think you were going to make it." Andrea said and leaned down closer to Brandon. She wanted nothing more then to kiss him and fix his world but knew that it wasn't the proper time to do that.

Brandon heard voices in the hall and knew that one of them belonged to Kelly. His face paled and he began to tremble. "This is all a dream again! You're going to go away when she comes in here! Don't leave me again Andrea Please!" He shouted in a frantic tone of voice.

"I swear Brandon that I'm really here." Andrea said softly and watched the monitors begin to race. She knew that she had to settle him down fast and there was only one way that she could think of. She lifted his hand to her lips and gently kissed it as a tear trickled down his cheek.

As Andrea held Brandon's hand tightly, Kelly entered the room being trailed by Brenda. "Hello dr. Zuckerman," Kelly said in a bitter voice. "Do you want me to tell you what's wrong with Brandon?"

Andrea did not remove her gaze from Brandon as she continued to hold his hand with the knowledge that she couldn't let go if she tried. He had a death grip on her hand and the look in his eyes was wildly desperate, as if he believed she were the only one who could truly save him. "Tell us Kelly!" Brenda shouted angrily because watching her brother cling to Andrea's hand as if it was his lifeline was ripping her apart worse then any of her splits with Dylan ever did.

"It's you Andrea, you are the problem!" Kelly shouted with venom in her voice as she crossed the room to Brandon's bedside.