A/N- This is my entry for The Fireplace Challenge. You had to change an event in cannon. Since lately Jersey Boys is my newest obsession, I decided to dip my toes into the fandom. Since the story is based on real events, the names are those of real people I am just changing things within the context of the play.
Disclaimer- I do not own Jersey Boys or the characters from the play.
It was Friday night and Frankie Valli was sitting his latest hotel room, waiting. Every Friday night around ten, his daughter, Francine would call. It had become the highlight of his week. Being on the road all the time was very grueling and tiresome. He loved performing but as he was growing older, each performance became more taxing. His being gone all the time had destroyed his marriage and had an effect on his daughters especially Francine.
Francine had been Daddy's little girl as a child and always welcomed him home with a big hug. When she was younger she would get up on the table and start singing her father's songs. Frankie could not resist telling everyone he met that his little girl was going to be a star. Their relationship had grown strained over the years and had suffered several ups and downs but they were patching things up.
Frankie looked at his watch impatiently, it was a quarter to eleven and Francine still had not called. He became nervous, hoping that nothing bad had happened. Maybe, I should call Mary to see if everything is alright. He thought. No, he could not do that. Francine was twenty-two years old, she was not a child anymore, and she would call him when she was able to. Besides he really did not feel like speaking to his ex-wife. He would just have to wait.
Another twenty minutes went by before the phone finally rang. Frankie rushed to the phone, relived. He picked up the receiver not waiting to hear Francine's voice on the other end.
"Francine?" But to his surprise a male voice answered him.
"Hello, am I speaking with the father of Francine Valli?" The voice asked.
"Yes, this is her father."
"My name is Doctor Anthony Bruno and I am one of the attending physicians here at Bellville Community Hospital." The receiver began to shake in Frankie's hand. He waited silently for the doctor to continue. "Your daughter, Francine was rushed into the hospital about two hours ago. They found her in alley with a needle in her arm." Frankie could not speak. Please, just let her be alive. God, you can't take her away from me now. "We worked on her for an hour until she stabilized." Frankie finally found his voice.
"Is-is she-" He searched for the right word for he could not bare to think of the alternative. "al-right?" There was a pause which made Frankie even more nervous.
"Yes, she will be alright. We will keep her here for a few days but she should be fine."
"Oh, thank God!" He said with tears coming to his eyes. "When can I see her?"
"She can start having visitors tomorrow morning."
"I'll be there."
"That's good, because Mr. Valli, she is asking for you." The impact of the doctor's words caused more tears to fall from Frankie's eyes.
The next morning Frankie was escorted into Francine's hospital room. She was still asleep when he arrived, so he found chair and sat next to her bed. Frankie rubbed his eyes, he had caught a midnight flight out of Huston and he had not been able to settle down until three this morning and even then he could not sleep. He placed his elbows on the side of the bed and rested his head in his hands. It had been a long a night but it had been worth it to see his daughter, even like this. He moved his gaze toward his daughter.
Frankie gasped as he caught sight of her wrist and saw the many track marks running up the entire length of her arm. Oh, God, how could he have allowed this to happen? If only he had been there, he might have been able to prevent this. What was he doing? He should be thankful that Francine was alive not chastising himself. Frankie knew as soon as she was released that Francine would have a long road of recovery ahead of her. But he promised himself he would be there every step of the way; even if it met he would have to stop touring. Anything that would help his daughter.
Frankie reached out and grasped her frail hand which felt cold to the touch. He lifted her hand to his lips and laid a kiss on her knuckle. Tears, once again threatened to fall, Frankie tried to hold them back but to no avail. The tears slipped from his eyes and fell onto Francine's hand. It took a few moments to finally contain his emotions, but when he finally did, he saw Francine's large brown eyes staring at him.
"Daddy?" She said, her voice sounding a little hoarse. Francine was surprised her father had been able to get here so soon. Frankie stood and wrapped his arms around his daughter.
"Oh, Francine!" He said as more tears began to fall from his eyes. "You had me so scared. I do not know what I would do if I lost you." As he spoke, he held her tighter.
"I'm sorry..." Francine couldn't think of anything else to say. What do you say to your father in a situation like this? Frankie pulled back and leveled his eyes with hers.
"You don't have to apologize, you're alive, and that's all that matters." Francine was taken aback. She had thought for sure, her father would come in and preach to her about the dangers of drugs and how disappointed he was in her. Francine looked into his eyes and saw that he had been crying. She also noticed the dark circles under his eyes signifying lack of sleep. He was unshaven and his usually well groomed hair was messy and unkempt.
"What about your tour?" She looked away as she spoke. Frankie cupped his daughter's face and forced her to look him in the eye.
"Listen to me and listen good," He said in a serious tone. "none of that matters. I would give it all up for you and your sisters. You three are most important people in my life. No matter what you say or do, that will never change." That was not the answer Francine had expected. He had always told that the touring was for the good of the family, but ultimately it was what broke her parents apart in the end. Tears started to gather behind Francine's eyes as she realized for the first time how much her father really loved her.
"Aren't you mad about the drugs?" Francine asked almost afraid for his answer. Frankie's expression grew somber.
"As soon as you're out of here, we're going to get you help." He avoided using the word rehab for he knew that many addicts would protest at the mere mention of the word. Frankie had never got himself into drugs although many people he knew in the music industry had major addictions; he had always stayed away from it. Perhaps it was because he had been afraid of the implications it would have had on his family. Maybe, it was because he had known so many talented singers who had thrown their career away. But he never thought he would be dealing with one of his own daughters, especially Francine, taking drugs. "I promise and I'm going to be here for you."
"Oh, Daddy," Francine reached up and hugged her father tightly. The tears she had been holding back finally slipped down her cheeks. "I promise I am going to stop." Frankie was surprised at his daughter's sudden rush of emotion. He placed his hand on the back of her head and ran his fingers through her long brown hair. "I love you, Daddy."
"I love you, too, baby."
A/N- So that was my first Jersey Boys fic. I hope you enjoyed it. Reviews are always appreciated.