The trio had only just made it into the courtroom in time, after a hurried register, all red faced and gasping for breath, except Mark who looked like he had been given extreme amounts of sugar and was rapidly whispering about painting one of the spare rooms in Dawn's house for the new arrival and names and... sweets?
"Child," Howard muttered under his breath and was rewarded with a sharp elbow to the ribs from Mark and a grin from Dawn.
"All arise!" Boomed a load voice, as the courtroom stood for the judge to enter. Howard examined the judge, he had a youngish face, probably late 30's or early 40's like Gary's age, he was tall and lean and was wearing... lipgloss? Howard concluded that this man was gay and thanked their lucky stars, because if he was gay, there was a bigger chance that he liked Take That in the 90's and an equally big chance of liking them now and would most definitely be more of a Gary fan than a Robbie fan.
Dawn examined the judge, not old- maybe mid to late 30's? But he had cute boyish features like Mark. She also determined one more thing, he was friggin' hot! Not Gary hot (because she considered Gary more beautiful and gorgeous than hot and sexy- (not that he wasn't sexy) but this guy was tanned, shaved chest, bleach blonde hair blue eyes hot and obviously gay.
Mark also examined the judge and his first thoughts (after calming down) was DANG! If Mark was gay and not married with kids, he would be all over this guy.
"Maybe if I sweeten him up and wink a few times, he'll be on our side." Mark muttered to himself, not loud enough for anyone but Dawn to hear and she smirked to herself and squeezed his hand,
'Bless 'im," she thought sighing. This was going to be a hell of a long court trial.
*With Uncle Ian*
"So what do you guys want to do?" Uncle Ian spoke for the first time during the long car journey.
" Is Dad going to die?" Emily said, not loud enough to wake Daisy, but he heard,
"No sweetheart, of course not. He may be a little hurt at the moment, but he has gotten a little better, don't you think?"
"Sure he has- we're just worried, that's all. I mean, Dad has always been strong; I don't even think I've ever seen him cry, but to see him so weak is... scary." My little sister explained.
She was sitting in the front with my uncle and I was in the back with D. I saw uncle Ian smile warmly at Em, and for a moment I saw something flash across his eyes, was it worry? No, it was fear- fear for his baby brother. But just for a moment, it was soon gone and he turned his eyes back on the road and randomly exclaimed:
"Let's go get some ice cream!" There was a sparkle in his eyes, that wasn't there before.
"You are so much like Uncle Mark, it's untrue!" I couldn't stop myself from blurting out. Uncle Ian let out a barrel of laughter that reminded me of Dad and a warm fuzziness filled the pit of my stomach. This was going to be a good day.
*At the hospital*
"So Gary, how you feeling?" Jason smiled as he entered the room, and bent down to hug Gary warmly.
"Not bad, did you see Ian?"
"Yeah he took the kids, they've been great, honestly. You're a lucky man." Jay smiley sadly, "Anyway, you're looking better, I mean you're a bit bruised and swollen, and there are the casts, but apart from that..." Jason trailed off, opting out of digging any further.
"Thanks, mate." Gary replied to his best friend dryly.
This conversation went on for a while, until a nurse entered the room and asked Gary if he was ready to take his first few steps. When Gary nodded eagerly, Jason helped the nurse prop him up. After about 20 minutes and a lot of agonised filled groans from Gary's part, they got him sitting up with a walking frame positioned in front of him.
"You ready, love?" The nurse asked soothingly.
"Yeah, I think so. Jay can you help me? This is going to hurt." Gary chuckled slightly and grabbed onto Jason's arm.
"Okay, ready Jason? On the count of three? 1...2...3." Jenny, the nurse, whispered.
"Arrrghh!" Gary screamed as he was hauled to his feet.
"You sure you're okay? We can stop now if you like. It's already a great achievement."
"N-no! I need to do this."
"Okay, well I will strap your bad ankle to the bottom of the frame so the pressure will be taken off of it and although it will make you move slower, it will be less painful. Okay?"
Gary nodded, his face a pale, sickly colour. Shakily, he raised his left foot for the nurse to strap. When the cast had been strapped into place, Gary took a wobbly step forwards and couldn't keep the grin off his face. After about 5 steps, Gary swore loudly and his legs buckled beneath him. Jason grabbed the falling man before he could harm himself anymore and virtually carried him back to his bed.
*1 hour later*
I had been sitting by my best friend's side for almost an hour, just watching him sleep. He was so handsome when he slept. The laughter lines on his face smoothed and the corner of his mouth turned upwards slightly, making the long, but faint and shallow dimples from underneath his manly beard appear in almost a cheeky way. I had always known that Gary looked up to Howard as an older brother and they were really close as they were with the rest of us. We were all best friends, but I had always understood Gary's relationship with Mark, as the older man saw the latter as a baby brother. I always closely observed Gary and Robbie, as they were more like natural brothers than that of closeness. The way that they fought constantly, made them seem genuine, even though Gary was closer to the rest of us and seemed to love us more. Despite all of this, I had always felt, in my heart, that myself and Gary were close enough to be twins, we think alike, we act alike, Gary may inherit Howards wit, but he had my brains and kindness. He may be adorable to women like Marky, but he has my charm. He may be cheeky and a bit of a bad boy at times, just like Robbie, but he is sensible, genuine and understanding like me.
Ian and Gary were close, but when Ian went into the army when Gary was just 20, we became his family. We loved and supported him through all the tough times, through his mother's illnesses, through his torment when Ian had nearly been killed by a bomb and through his heart break when his Dad died. Through all this, we were brothers and we love each other.
"Jay?" Came a hoarse voice.
"Yes, mate? I'm here- are you okay?"
"At the trial mate. She'll be a while yet though, Mark called earlier and said they are waiting upon a verdict. Do you need anything?"
"No- wait can you just hold me? It was another nightmare."Gary admitted, quietly.
"Sure thing mate, I'm here for you always. You can tell me anything-" Jason said as he calmed Gary, gently wrapping his strong arms around his fri- no brother. "Shh, it's okay, I'm here now."
And with that Gary snuggled into a blackened haze once more.