Read this as if the 90210 spin-off had never happened…

Chapter 1

Washington, D.C.

Brandon Walsh looked up as the door to his room popped open and his twin sister scooted into the room, carrying a stack of magazines she had obviously purchased from the gift shop downstairs. "Morning, Sunshine," she greeted him immediately with a bright smile.

Brandon smiled. "Hey," he said. "Pull up a seat." He started to pull over a chair but Brenda quickly shook her head.

"Hey, don't," she chided him lightly as she grabbed the chair out of his reach and slipped down into it. "You need to be resting."

Brandon sniffed. "That's all I've done for the past six weeks," he complained as he jangled his leg in the traction hanger pointedly. "I am so ready to get the hell out of here."

Brenda nodded. "I bet you want out of here really badly. I don't blame you but until Keith says it's okay –"

"Oh its 'Keith' now, is it?" Brandon said with an obnoxious grin.

Brenda shook her head. "Don't look at me like that," she said with a little smile of her own. "You've been here for six weeks. It seems only appropriate that I would get to know the doctors on a first name basis. I've practically been living here after all."

Brandon nodded and shifted on his pillows. When he couldn't get comfortable Brenda stood and fixed them for him. "Thanks … For everything," he said. "You've been a real trooper through this whole thing."

"Of course. I know you'd do the same for me." She looked away but not before he saw tears darken her familiar eyes.

He instinctively reached out and squeezed her hand. "You were scared," he said. It wasn't a question.

Brenda nodded. "Yeah of course I was, Brandon. When I think how close you came to …" She couldn't seem to say the word "die" - even now, when Brandon was out of the woods. "All because of some damned drunk driver too." The memories of the agonizingly long hours and days waiting for news, wondering if Brandon would wake from his coma, the praying, the fear, the regrets... It all came flooding back to her in frightening, Technicolor-detail and a tear slid down her face. "I am just glad you're okay now." His broken leg was the last thing that needed to heal before he could return to his life.

"I'm better than okay," Brandon said, trying to soothe her fears. "I'm all good to go back to reporting." He looked down at his lap for a moment then - just long enough for Brenda to see the look of uncertainty in his eyes.

"Hey, hey," she said. "What was that look?"

He shifted again on his pillows. "What look?"

"The look that said 'I'm not sure I want that anymore'."

Brandon sighed. "You know me too well."

"I'm your sister. Your twin in fact. I know you well."

"Better than anyone," Brandon admitted. His expression drooped a bit though. "I still want to be a reporter. I still love my job but seeing all of you these past few weeks … I guess I just miss home… You, Mom, Dad, Val, David, Donna… Kelly … everyone. Almost all of the old gang was here at one point or another to make sure that I was okay and I realized, there really is no place like home."

Brenda nodded. "Okay so, Dorothy, are you really thinking of returning to Beverly Hills?"

"Yes," Brandon said. "This whole life-or-death thing really put things in perspective. I realized what matters most, you know?" He reached out and squeezed her hand. "Tell me going back to California is the right thing to do."

"You already made up your mind it seems," Brenda said. "Besides, you know what you want and once you make up your mind, no one can change it."

"Are you calling me stubborn?"

"The stubbornest," Brenda said with a laugh. "But seriously you know what's best for you."

"I guess you'll be heading back to Europe then…"

Brenda nodded. "My life is there now. I can't imagine walking away from it …"

"You have that look in your eyes too, Bren," Brandon said.

"What look?"

"The same one you accused me of having – the 'I'm not sure that's what I want anymore' look. Maybe you should come back to good old Beverly Hills with me. It could be the Walsh twins against the world once again."

"I don't know…"

"Come on, Brenda at least think it over. There are tons of acting opportunities in California anyway. We'd be right in the heart of Hollywood - the entertainment mecca of the world…"

"I don't know," Brenda said again.

"What can I do to make you say you'll come back with me?" Brandon asked. He then smiled. "What if I said I'll need lots of help convalescing after this terrifying accident?"

Brenda punched his arm and he cried out in surprise. "Hey! What was that for?"

"It was a low blow to use your accident against me," she said.

"Did it work?"

Brenda rolled her eyes. "You're not going to quit with this, are you?"

"No, I'm not." He grinned. "So are we west coast bound?"

Brenda slowly nodded. "Oh hell… why not?"

"Great," Brandon said.

"The truth is I missed Beverly Hills too – or at least some of the people there," Brenda said. She may be making a huge mistake but she was going back to Los Angeles…