AN 1: I want to thank all who have reviewed, alerted, and pm'd me. You guys are amazing. It really keeps me inspired to write and post new chapters. So read, review, and enjoy. Also I don't own MIOBI and I'm not making any money off the show. Although I kinda wished I owned Zane or Neil...
Patience was his worst enemy. In his twenty-eight years of life Sasha Belov never had an ounce of it. Watching his wife laying motionless in a hospital bed magnified his frustration and helplessness ten fold. He wanted so badly for Payson to just open her eyes, but knew that she wouldn't. Couldn't. At least not in this moment. Not when she was still trying to fight for her life.
Sasha slumped back in his chair and eyed the now familiar room. His eyes traveled the white walls decorated with only one picture. His lips twitched into a small smile when he noticed the purple flower in a silver frame hanging on the far wall reminding him of her favorite color and of his long ago instructions and compliments. He tore his eyes away from the picture to look at Payson's still form looking for any changes. He sighed when there was none.
He glanced up towards the clock and cringed at the time. At one-thirty the gym would be in full swing. Any other day he would be coaching them, trying to prepare them for the Olympics. Now he was hoping and praying to any power above that Payson would wake up and be okay. He sighed again and leaned forward to caress her cheek, wanting to feel as close to her as possible; even if it was only a soft brush of his fingertips on her smooth cheek. His hand traveled carefully from her cheek to her limp hand. He ran his thumb over her wedding rings and smiled sadly remember how beautiful she was on Austin's arm walking towards him on their wedding day. His hand went from her hand to where Tatia was. His heart clenched when he remembered the night that led them to this moment. He remembered the way she felt under and around him; the guilt and pain of boarding a plane to Romania only a few days later; the mix of pleasure and terror when he saw three of his former gymnasts in a small bar ready to do whatever it took to get him home; the relief and pleasure of his wedding and everything in between. He was pulled out of his thoughts by the loud shrill of his cell phone ringing.
He grabbed his leather jacket off the back of his chair and fished his phone out of the pocket. He glanced at the ID and cringed when Marty's name flashed across the screen. Sighing he flipped it open and hesitantly put it to his ear. "Yea Marty?"
He heard the heavy sigh and knew he was going to be playing a game of twenty questions. "How is she?"
Glancing at Payson he cast his eyes to the floor quickly before staring at Payson's limp hand. "The same as she was doing a day ago. No change in case I need to break it down for you."
He heard a deep sigh before Marty's voice came over the line softer than he expected. "I was just wondering. I told Austin I'd call and ask...even though I knew there was no change. I couldn't lie to the guy, not when he's so miserable. And all your other elite gymnasts are the same. They're barely focusing and worried."
Sasha growled lowly before shaking his head. Knowing that if he was in their position he'd be doing the same thing. Worrying and waiting. He pinched the bridge of his nose before speaking softly. "When you say they're not focusing you mean what exactly? Not doing routines right or actually not doing anything?"
He heard Marty cough before stalling. "Well, they're...uh...trying at least."
Sasha sighed again before grabbing his jacket. "Look I'll be there in twenty. I don't want any of them on any apperatus until I have a little chat with them."
Marty sounded hesitent before asking, "When you say all of them do you mean all of them or just..."
Sasha groaned before cutting him off. "I mean all of them Marty. Not Emily, not Kelly, not Kaylie, not Lauren, and certainly not Austin."
"So the elites. You know Sasha, you could have just been specific about it. Instead of saying all of them and all."
Sasha growled again before frowning. "Marty..."
"Shut up. Just tell them to go in the office." Sasha shut his phone before Marty could question him further.
He sighed before looking back at Payson again. He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her forehead softly. "I promise I'll be back love. I just have to go and kick Austin's ass and get him focused again." He paused before smirking softly. "Actually I have to go yell at everyone. I know it's hard on them because they're thinking of you...hoping you'll wake up and be okay." He paused before swallowing, trying to push down the emotions, but failing miserable as a tear fell from his eye and landed on Payson's cheek. "Actually love, if you open your eyes right now I could tell them good news. They'd work better then. Really Pay, I need you to wake up. I can't be without you, love. The day I finally locked eyes with after years of following your gymnast career changed me. You changed me Payson, for the better and I'm scared that I won't be a good man without you."
He wiped at his eyes before kissing her forehead again and stroking her hair. "I'll be back in a little while. I just need to go to the gym and then I'll be back."
With one last look at Payson he left the room and started down the hallway. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Mark and Kim walking down the hall. He sighed before shoving his hands in his jacket pockets. As they drew closer he felt his heart rate pick up its pace as it tumbled into overtime.
They met in the middle of the hall and stood in silence until Kim broke it with a soft voice. "How is she?"
Sasha sighed and shook his head. "The same. I was just going to go to The Rock for a few. I have to talk with the other gymnasts for a little bit."
Kim nodded and sighed. "I was just wanting to go in a see her for a few minutes is all. "
Sasha swallowed roughly before looking down at the floor. Knowing that Payson would love to see her mom if she were awake only nodded and tried to smile. "Sure thing Kim. You don't have to tell me or anything, she's your daughter after all."
He watched as she smiled before patting his shoulder. "I know now really isn't the time, but when Payson wakes up and is feeling up to I think we all should sit down and talk." She paused as if to collect herself. "Properly. The last time we were in a room together didn't end very well."
Sasha nodded, hoping that in the mess that everyone seemed to be in, this would bring them closer together. "She'd love that Kim. Quite honestly so would I. She misses you so much. I just want her to be happy."
Kim's eyes held regret with a small hint of anger before she shook her head. "I know I guess it's just so hard to understand and wrap our heads around. But we should definitely talk." She pauses before she pats his shoulder. "We'll call if she wakes up or anything changes."
Sasha nodded before walking down the hall, but stopped abruptly and turned towards Kim again. "You still have my number?"
Kim and Mark glanced at each other before Mark spoke up for the first time since running into him. "In spite of everything we were always hoping to talk with Payson again one day. We knew who to go to if we wanted to find her or talk with her."
Sasha nodded before hurrying down the hall towards the elevators.
He felt the smooth wooden rings in his hands as he brought himself high above the mats. As soon as he saw the bright lights hanging from the ceiling he closed his eyes trying to block out the heat. He opened them to see Payson staring back at him terrified, before shoving him out of the way. As the sound of body hitting pavement and glass breaking came to his memory, he fell, hitting the blue mat below. He punched the mat before growling lowly. He only picked himself up off the floor when he saw Kelly and Emily rush towards him with frantic movements.
Kelly reached him first and placed a hand on his shoulder."Hey...you okay?"
Austin shook his head before pushing himself off the ground and snapping a sarcastic reply. "Just great Parks. I can barely focus with bright lights everywhere. I just see Payson shoving me out of the way. Marty is here covering for Sasha for God knows how long and...and..." Out of frustration he kicked the mat and stormed out of the gym.
Emily and Kelly glanced at Austin's retreating back and bit their lip. Emily shrugged before taking off her grips and tossing them to the side. She glanced at Kelly again before walking towards the door. "I don't know about you, but I'm going after him. He may do something stupid."
Kelly rolled her eyes before falling. "Yea I may as well." She looked towards the office hesitantly before shrugging. "It's not like Marty will miss us."
They found Austin sitting under a tree across the street with his back facing The Rock. They each approached him quietly so they wouldn't freak him out. When they reached him they each placed a hand on his shoulder. Kelly being a little closer to Austin spoke first. "Hey, if you need to talk we can always listen. We got your back."
Austin sighed before shaking his head and standing to face his two friends. "I just can't stop replaying the accident over and over again. It's like a broken record...seeing her face, hearing her tell me to look out, shoving me out of the way. The sound of breaking glass and metal is sparked by the smallest sounds now."
Emily and Kelly glanced at each other and was about to comment when they saw Sasha's truck pull into the parking lot. They glanced at each other before racing towards The Rock. Austin sighed before glancing up at Sasha with worried eyes. He swallowed roughly before Sasha grabbed him by the shoulder slamming him against the side of his truck. Austin flinched only slightly knowing that whatever Sasha did to him, he deserved it. Austin's brown eyes locked with Sasha ice blue ones and knew what was coming. He felt Sasha's fist before he seen it coming. As soon as he was on the ground he stared at the sky until Sasha's shadow loomed over him. He blinked before being pulled up from the hard cement.
Sasha glared before eying Austin with narrowed eyes. "Now that I've given you what you think you deserve, ready to practice now?"
Austin sighed before staring at the ground. "Sasha, I just...can't."
Sasha growled before clenching his fists and pulling out the card that would get every single one of his elites to focus. "Payson would want you to focus on your dreams not worrying about her. Now get your ass back in that gym and start training." Sasha turned to Emily and Kelly and stared them down with hard eyes. "You two as well. I promise that if anything changes I'll call. I wouldn't not call, you're her best friends after all."
All three elites glanced at each other before nodding. Austin rubbed the back of his neck before wiping the blood off his lip. He motioned for the girls to get back in the gym before turning back towards Sasha. "If you want to punch me some more feel free."
Sasha sighed before clapping a hand on Austin's shoulder. "Austin...I know you think it's your fault, but it was just an accident. It wasn't your fault or Payson's. You guys were in the parking lot at the wrong time. No one thought that a car would be speeding through the lot."
Austin sighed before shaking his head. "You don't know the things I said to her though. I told her the next time she saw me not to talk to me." He sighed again before glancing at the ground again. "I didn't think she'd be unconscious in a hospital bed. I didn't even really mean it...I was just so ticked off."
Sasha eyed him warily before sighing. "Sometimes Austin, we say things we don't mean to the people closest to us. Trust me...I've done it to Parson before so you're not alone mate."
Austin tilted his head and gave Sasha a skeptical look. "Really? When?"
Sasha smiled wistfully and shrugged. "Do you remember when every one assumed that Pay and I were together...before we actually got together I mean?"
Austin nodded before shrugging. "Yea...a few weeks before you left for Romania right?"
"Yea...Pay and I got together a few days before my little impromptu trip, but yea basically. No one knows this, but before we got together she tried to kiss me and I pushed her away...well tried to at least. Obviously things didn't go as planned. I couldn't lie to her...not about something as deep and serious as my feelings for her."
Austin groaned before shaking his head. "See big difference between you and me. You told her how you feel. Me, I didn't and end up saying something stupid."
Sasha sighed before shaking his head and walking towards the gym. "Look you need to stop worrying about Payson during practice. It won't change anything."
Austin sighed before nodding. "I can try to focus as long as you promise to call when she wakes up."
Sasha smiled before nodding. "That I can do Tucker." He jerked his head towards the doors of the gym. "Now get in there and practice like I know you can."
Sasha watched as Austin nodded. He followed him into the gym before making a beeline to the office. He opened the glass doors to see Marty sitting at his desk with his feet propped up on it looking at ease and relaxed. "So this is what you do on your free time? Sit and be lazy as usual?"
He smirked when Marty jumped and stared at him blankly before shaking his head. "Damn it Belov, you scared me."
Sasha smirked before strutting towards the desk and pulling out a chair. "Good to see I can still scare you...if only a little."
Marty rolled his eyes before shaking his head. "Right, laugh it up Belov. I'll get you back one day. Some how some way I'll get you back." Marty picked up a pen and twirled it between his fingers before turning serious. "So I gotta ask: what's up with you and Payson? And don't lie and say you're just being her former coach and friend. That won't cut it for me."
Sasha heaved a sigh and stared at the ceiling before launching into everything that happened to lead him to be in the office at the very second. When he was finished he held his breath while Marty stared at the desk tapping his fingers.
Sasha barely jumped when Marty's voice carried throughout the office. "I had my suspicions months ago when Beals mentioned that Payson, Austin, Kelly, and Emily weren't in their rooms at Worlds. I thought it was kind of funny that you just traipsed in the lobby right when you did. It was a little too convenient. Not too mention your attitude towards her. You were a man in love, Belov. It was written all over your face whenever you looked at her." Marty paused before coughing slightly. "I gotta ask though...are you the father?"
Sasha growled lowly before scoffing. "Am I the father? Really Marty, really? Of course I'm the father. Who else would the father be? And if you say Tucker I smack you."
Marty tossed his hands up in surrender before smiling slightly. "Okay, alright. Calm down. You're the father and you love her. I can't talk when it comes to love because I know you can't help who you fall in love with...believe me." Marty paused before shrugging. "You fell in love with your gymnast and I fell in love with a married woman."
Sasha smirked before shaking his head. "Right we sure do make a pair mate."
Marty grinned before shaking his head. "Well you had the looks and I had the skills, yeah?"
Sasha shook his head before smirking and waving his hand. "Uh huh mate. I have four gold medals. How many do you have again?"
Marty scoffed before rolling his eyes. "I have Olympic medals. Maybe not gold medals, but Olympic medals just the same."
Sasha grinned before shaking his head. He was about to comment that gold was better when his phone went off. He fished it out of his pocket before flipping it open. He watched as Marty was looking back at him expectantly, but shook his head. He sprang up from his chair when the call ended.
He turned towards Marty with pleading eyes. "I need Austin, Emily, and Kelly to come with me."
Marty stared open mouthed before shaking his head. "Uh why? It's still practice and heaven knows they need it right now."
Sasha shook his head as he made his way quickly towards the door. "Not today mate. Payson's awake."
AN2: Yay Pay's awake. Now let's just hope Tatia's okay. So I had a little bromance with Marty and Sasha just to get a little into there friendship. The show didn't really get into it, but I like to think they were really close friends in the past. I had Sasha smash Austin in the face because Sasha thought that it would get Austin focused again. Austin is hurting...deeply because he's quilty. Don'tworry...he'll patch things up with Pay soon...hopefully. Mark and Kim are slowly making their way back in, but it's going to take time on Pay's part. Sasha's all for it, but in the end he's siding with his wife in this battle. So read and review letting me know what you guys think. I love hearing what you guys have to say and enjoy reading my reviews. On a side note...I'm student teaching this fall and I'm going to be crazy busy. I'll still try to write and post as much as possible. So click the review button and give Payson get well wishes...you know you wanna.