A/N: Okay, so, I'm sitting in my room, and it's rainy, and so I decided…Why not write a chapter? And so, I shall. Lol. I hope you enjoy!
Chapter Five: What Was I Supposed to Do?
Stavros returned home shortly before dinner. He had a lot on his mind. Today had been great; he got to spend time with both Quinn and his mother, and Quinn was actually going to stay. It saddened him, however, to think of his mother stuck in the hospital eating whatever the cafeteria provided while he and his friends enjoyed a great meal. It saddened him even more that his brother didn't seem to care at all.
Nikko was sitting on the couch, some music video show playing on the television. He seemed to have fallen asleep, his head lolling against the back of the sofa, and Stavros smirked. Quinn came up behind him, carrying some groceries for the pasta that she was going to help him make tonight.
"Something the matter?" she asked, noticing that Stavros had stopped. Then she spotted his little brother and a smile found its way onto her face. "He looks cute."
"Yeah. Guess it was a long day for him," Stavros said. He walked over to the kitchen and set what he was carrying onto the counter, then turned and took the load out of Quinn's arms as well. Then he sighed. "Too bad I have to wake him up," he said.
Stavros made his way over to his brother and reached over, attempting to lay a hand on his shoulder to shake him awake. He had scarcely reached the shoulder when Nikko shot awake, grunting and moving out of the way, promptly falling onto the floor.
Stavros held in his laughter. "A pretty intense dream, huh?" he teased lightly.
Nikko glared up at him from the rug and stood, dusting himself off. "Shut up," he muttered grumpily.
Quinn came over. "Hi, I'm Quinn," she said, holding out her hand.
Nikko looked momentarily surprised and decidedly embarrassed before he reached out and took her hand; he had to admit, Quinn was a pretty girl. "Sorry you had to see me take a spill there. Stavros's face just scared me so bad that I couldn't help it," Nikko said, sending a smirk towards his brother. Nikko one, Stavros one…they were tied.
Stavros, for his part, took the jibe with much grace and smiled. "Touché, little brother," he said and all of them lightly laughed.
A knock on the door got their attention and Nikko bounded down the stairs. "Probably Courtney," he said, flinging open the door. He came up short as he saw that it was not actually Courtney, but somebody he hadn't seen before.
"Uh…can I help you?" Nikko asked.
"Hi, I'm Dr. John Dresden. I'm the attending physician of your mother," the man explained, smiling tightly and offering his hand. His smile didn't really reach his eyes and Nikko was instantly wary of this man.
"Stavros, it's for you," Nikko said, ignoring the proffered hand and treading up to his room. Stavros watched Nikko go and shook his head, then turned to their visitor.
"Can I help you?" Stavros asked. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out why this man would show up at their home.
"Is it alright if I come inside?" the doctor said.
"Yes, yes, of course," Stavros said, and the doctor came in, closing the door softly behind him.
The doctor glanced around the home and spotted Quinn for the first time. "Oh…Miss McCarthy. I hadn't realized you'd be here," he said, truly surprised by her presence.
Quinn smiled at him. "Well, I am," she said.
The doctor laughed. "So it appears. Anyways," at this, Dr. Dresden looked back at Stavros. "You're probably wondering what the heck I'm doing here."
"The thought had crossed my mind, yes," Stavros said.
"It's about your mother."
"I figured as much. I'm sorry to be rude, but could you please just tell me what it is you want to talk to me about? Is she getting worse or something?"
"Quite the contrary," the doctor said. "She seems to be recovering quite remarkably. Which was why I came to you today. You see, she no longer feels like she needs to stay at the hospital and has told me, point blank, that she will no longer take her medication. She wants to stay here."
Stavros blinked. "Stay here?"
Dr. Dresden just nodded, not sure what else to say.
"And you think she's well enough to leave?" Quinn asked.
"I'm not really sure. You see, she is still plainly…disturbed. But she is more aware than she has been in ages, which leads me to believe that finding her family has given her the willpower to fight against the muck in her brain. It's amazing, really. This morning, she was barely responsive. Tonight, she was arguing with me," the doctor explained.
"She has improved that much? In one day?" Stavros asked.
"Yes. And that's why I figured I'd leave it up to you as to whether she remain in the hospital or not," Dr. Dresden stated.
Stavros was torn. He definitely wanted to bring her home, but Nikko…Stavros glanced at the door to his brother's room. Loud music was playing (as usual) and Stavros imagined that Nikko was trying to drown out whatever pain he was feeling with the sudden re-emergence of his estranged mother.
It occurred to Stavros then that maybe taking Nikko out of his comfort zone was exactly what he needed to finally face the demons of his past. Perhaps their mother wouldn't be the only one that would recover if she were brought home. It would be tough…Nikko would probably hate him forever. But he doubted very seriously that Nikko would permanently leave. It was cold world out there, and even if Nikko did leave for a while, he would probably get over it soon enough.
"Doctor," Stavros began, "I have to think about it. My brother…he has issues about our mom that he needs to face. Is there any way that I can get in contact with you?"
"Of course, Mr. Alexander." The doctor reached into his white coat pocket and pulled out a little business card. "Just call that number when you've reached a decision. Good evening to both of you." With that, Dr. Dresden turned and left the home and Stavros was left with a very difficult decision. He would definitely be talking to his brother tonight, and he didn't know how that was going to go.
Courtney had arrived for dinner just moments after the doctor's departure and all of them enjoyed a good meal. Quinn had offered to drive Courtney home, since it had started to rain and Courtney had reluctantly accepted; after all, she really didn't enjoy walking in the rain.
This meant that Stavros and Nikko were alone at last and Stavros still didn't know how he was going to talk to Nikko about this.
"Stavros, man, you're looking at me strangely," Nikko stated, eyeing his brother suspiciously. "Just say what I know you want to say and get it over with."
Stavros took a deep breath. "I want to bring Mom home."
Anger flashed warningly in Nikko's green eyes. "We already talked about that. You know what I'm going to do if you bring that woman back here."
"You said you'd leave, but where the hell would you go, Nikko?"
"I have friends."
"And they'd just accept you, without a second thought, and allow you to live with them? Reality check, bro. Your friends may care about you, but that doesn't mean that their families would be willing to take on another mouth to feed," Stavros said, arching an eyebrow questioningly.
"You don't know them; of course they'd take me in. They would never leave me out to rot, unlike my older brother," Nikko said, sounding somewhat petulant.
"Don't even play that card, Nikko! You're the one that's threatening to leave. I'm not forcing you into doing anything," Stavros said.
"You may as well be! You know how I feel about her and yet you want to bring her home? Well, fine. She can come home, but I'll be out of here."
"Listen to me. You are being selfish. Completely and utterly selfish. Yes, she left us, Nikko. That was wrong of her. But are you going to let her rule your life like this forever?"
"Rule my life? What the hell are you talking about?" Nikko said, sounding genuinely perplexed.
"You are letting her very presence be enough to force you out of your own home; you're giving her more strength than she actually has, Nikko. You know what I think? I think you're afraid. Afraid that you might actually love her, because you've hated her for so long and it would be too strange to suddenly care for her. You want to blame her for every bad thing in the world, because that's the convenient thing to do; but it's hard to blame her when she's right in front of you, isn't it? Hard to make everything her fault when you see she barely even recognizes her own children," Stavros said, a lot harsher than he had intended to be. But sometimes, harsh was the only thing that worked. What else was he supposed to do?
Nikko stared at him for a long moment. "You don't know me," he said, and turned away from him, locking himself in his room and drowning the world out through his loud music. The only thing it did was prove that Stavros did, in fact, know Nikko; he only knew him too well.
A/N: Alright, I'm gonna drop it off there. I shall update again as soon as possible. And please review! ^_^