Originally called "Independence Day" I decided to stick with "Hear You Me" when I remembered that title is closely associated with the movie. The story is nothing about aliens, don't worry. The title was supposed to be associated with the day that Evan-
Wait. That gives away the whole thing. You're going to have to read to find out ;)
xXx – Scene Change
Summary: At first, Hank didn't think much of it, but as more time went by, he began to worry a little. Then a lot. But that worry increased tenfold when his concerns became a reality.
Disclaimer: Let's just say the actors would be glad I don't.
Hear You Me
"I'm heading out," Evan yells within the vicinity of Hank, who is just stepping out of the shower, cleansing himself from the busyness of the day.
Evan just finished cooking and dinner is ready. He places a lid on the steaming food and reaches for his keys, before heading towards his phone lying in the counter when the sound of footsteps grabs his attention.
Hank steps down the last few steps of stairs, towel encircling the nape of his neck. "Where to?" he asks casually.
"Just gonna run a little errand," Evan replies, heading back to the kitchen to turn off the cooker.
"Should I wait up?" Henry asks, smelling the delightful scent of his brother's cooking.
"Uh," Evan looks at his watch while heading to the door. "Ye…yeah. I'll only be a couple of minutes."
Hank nods, even though his appetite disagrees. "Alright."
Ten minutes pass with the expansive spread of food sitting on the table. The hot pot of Evan's latest recipe is on the centre of the table and the plates sit opposite each other, alongside the utensils. Hank huffs in annoyance and takes a seat, staring at the clock for the fifth time in the past few minutes.
Henry reaches for his phone and dials his brother's number. Two seconds later, ringing fills the formerly silent guesthouse. Hank's head follows the direction of the sound and finds that it's coming from Evan's phone, which has been left on the counter. He inwardly groans and disconnects the call.
A couple of minutes, my ass, Hank thinks grumpily. He isn't usually a grouch when hungry, but today he hasn't had the chance to eat anything since breakfast. And he's been looking forward to this meal all day.
Twenty more minutes goes by when Hank finally decides to give up waiting. The food's almost too cold to eat. He makes a grab for a wooden spoon and digs into a pile of some rice.
Evan doesn't turn up during the meal.
Once Hank's stomach is satisfied, he puts his plates into the sink and places the leftovers in the fridge; deciding to head to bed a few minutes later.
When Hank wakes the next morning, he walks past Evan's room to realise the bed is empty. Thinking his brother is already up and about, Hank makes his way downstairs to greet him. The guesthouse remains silent, and Evan's nowhere to be seen.
"Evan?" Hank calls out. "Ev?" No response followed. The elder Lawson turns his head to notice his brother's phone still lying on the counter and the minivan's keys missing. "Weird," he thinks out loud.
Divya walks through the door. "Good morning, Hank," she says with a smile.
Hank partially turns his head and half-heartedly replies, "'Morning, Divya."
Still smiling, the physician assistant furrows her eyebrows in amusement. "Everything okay?"
"Uh…yeah. I just…" He then fully turns to her. "Have you seen Evan?"
"When have I not seen him? I can't get rid of the guy." Then she mumbles, "Sticks by me like glue."
Hank chuckles slightly. "I meant last night, or this morning." She shakes her head.
Henry then nods. Evan'll probably turn up at some point today. "Okay, let's go."
At the end of the day, Hank returns to find that the guesthouse remains empty, and it seems to have remained empty throughout the day. Hank then makes a beeline for the fridge and notices that not a single inch of food or drink has been moved since the previous night.
"Evan?" he calls out afterwards, running up the stairs towards his brother's room, which also lingers silently. Walking back down the stairs, Hank pulls out his phone from his pocket and dials a number. The other line picked up after a few seconds. "Hey, Paige…yeah, I'm fine over here…you mean he's not with you?" Henry waited a few seconds. "Have you heard from him since last night?" A few more seconds of silence flew by. "Oh…No, no, I'm sure everything's fine. I was just calling to check up. Okay, bye."
He hangs up and begins to play with his phone for a full minute before deciding to dial another number. "Hey, dad…yeah I'm good." He listens to the other end of the conversation. "Yeah, hey, listen, did Evan, by any chance, stop by from last night up until now? No? Oh, okay…no, everything's okay. Just let me know if you hear something from him. No, I'm sure everything's okay, dad, don't worry. I'll talk later." He disconnects the call and runs a hand through his curly locks.
Telling his father not to worry doesn't stop him from worrying. All he knows was that Evan had to run for an errand, and hasn't returned since without a single word or note anywhere. It's not like Evan to do this, and it certainly isn't him to forget his phone and not come back for it, not when he's serious about running a business. He's practically married to that thing; the business AND the phone.
Hank sighs and heads outside towards his car. That's when one of Boris' BMWs made their way into the vicinity. It came to a stop beside Hank and the tinted window was pulled down. Boris temporarily moves his phone from his ear to his chest.
"Hey, Boris. Can I ask you a question?" The German Duke puts his phone back next to his ear. The silence from his landlord signals Hank to continue. "Have you seen Evan somewhere between last night and now?"
Boris looks up at his doctor, slightly anchoring the device in his ear away from his mouth, and distractedly responds, "Should I have?"
Hank shrugs. "I don't know. I can't seem to find him anywhere."
Boris responds to the person on the phone in another language and moves the device towards his chest. "Is it something I should concern myself with?" the Duke genuinely asks.
"Uh, no, no. Just…let me know if you hear anything." Henry smiles.
Boris nods and shifts his attention back to his phone. The tinted window moves back up and the car heads further into the driveway, leaving a slightly more worried Hank.
Henry pulls his Saab into an empty parking space outside Heritage Hospital. When he makes his way in the building to find his girlfriend, Jill is discussing business matters with a nurse at the reception desk.
Normally, he would not disturb her when she's in the middle of work. Normally, he would wait. But today isn't exactly a normal day.
Hank walks over to her. "Jill?"
The hospital administrator turns to him in surprise. "Hank?"
"Hey, can I talk to you for a quick second?"
Jill raises her eyebrows. "Sure." She pulls him away from the desk. "What's up?"
"Have you seen Evan?"
"Evan?" Jill shakes her head and forms an "I don't think so" gesture on her lips. "No. Not since yesterday morning."
"Are you sure?"
She chuckles slightly. "I'm sure." She sees the concerned expression on her boyfriend's face. "What's going on?"
"I can't find him anywhere."
"Did you try calling him?"
"He left his phone back at the guesthouse."
"When did you last-"
"Last night. Hasn't been back since," he answers quickly, expecting the question.
Jill slowly nods and begins to understand the doctor's concern. "I'm sure he'll turn up, Hank. Don't worry."
Hank says nothing for a few seconds. "Do you mind if I ask the nurse," he gestures towards the reception. "Y'know, in case he was admitted."
"You would've been the first to know if he was," Jill replies with certainty.
"Can I ask anyway?" he quickly replies.
Jill's lips form a straight line. "Go right ahead."
And she's right. Evan hasn't been admitted. There were no signs of an Evan R. Lawson anywhere in the hospital's computer database. Hank isn't sure whether to be relieved or even more worried.
With a comforting shoulder gesture and a sure word from Jill about his brother returning, Hank walks back out the door and heads back home, in hopes of seeing Evan there.
"Have you seen this guy?" Hank says to almost every shop owner in The Hamptons, using a recent picture taken from a formal party, whereby Evan had his arm wrapped around him with a drink in his free hand, while Hank held a cocktail drink of his own, both wearing suits and smiling into the camera. He had folded the photograph in half to make it easier for people to focus on only Evan in the picture. Only, it didn't help. Every person he had asked either told him "Sorry, I haven't." or just shrugged a simple no.
When Hank woke up that morning, Evan was still nowhere to be found. After hopefully requesting Divya to cover for him for the day, he tried calling everyone Evan would have most likely been in contact with. But not only was it of no help, he opened a door of worry for each of them too. Only Hank realises he's no longer just worrying - now he's panicking.
His will (or dedication, either one) is slowly starting to crumble. As he goes to each shop, each coffeehouse, random bar, clothing shop on the corner, whatever, he starts to feel a little...scared. He supposes he hadn't allowed himself to feel that emotion earlier because emotion is such a foreign object, honestly. Doctors cannot afford to be scared. But here he is, clutching onto a photo of his brother and pleading for answers. He needs to make sure, before he does this, before he dives full force into this, that finding Evan on his own will not be possible. Fear is gnawing at his senses...but he has yet to allow himself to feel anything at all.
This almost feels like déjà vu. Only, the first time, Evan had left a note stating he was going to meet up with their father. It wasn't hard to track him down with that memo. It's amazing how such a small note on the fridge, or next to his Gladstone bag, could make such a big difference in finding somebody and/or calming the nerves of worry, which Hank is in desperate need as of now.
Hank closes his eyes and breathes deeply to calm his racing heart. Everything's okay. He's sure of it. Evan most likely drove a little far and ran out of gas. Yeah. It's probably that simple. Hank's probably worrying about nothing.
Evan probably stopped by a bar and drank so much that they took his keys. And he probably didn't have enough cash for a taxi because he'd spent it all on the alcohol. Although, why exactly he would just randomly pop into a bar is beyond him. Maybe something is going on with Evan, after all? Maybe he should have looked closer? Maybe Evan's wandering some country back road right now, completely lost and starving. Maybe he's passed out in a ditch somewhere. Maybe he was so wasted that he bumped into something and got a concussion and then just stopped, right there and for all Hank knows he's just bleeding and bleeding and Hank's just standing there holding a photo of him, completely unaware.
Henry shakes his head vigorously. He's being ridiculous, completely and utterly irrational. Evan was not a little kid anymore- IS not a kid anymore, despite his demeanour anyway. He's a fully grown adult, somewhat responsible, who is finding a way to get back right now because he knows how his older brother worries.
Hank shakes away every last thought of his endless list of scenarios and turns on the ignition of his car. It's getting late. Maybe he should call it a night. Evan may pop up the next morning anyway.
At least he hopes.
By the third day, Hank can no longer control his panic. The HankMed team, minus one member, had turned up that morning while the doctor had once again called every person Evan may have contacted, frantically conversing with Paige, his father, Miss Newberg, even Tucker and Libby. The latter three had sympathetically offered to keep a lookout for the younger Lawson in hopes of calming Hank's nerves. Paige and Eddie R., alarmed, decided they would make a return to The Hamptons after hearing the panic in Hank's voice.
Now standing are Hank, Divya and Jill, surrounding the kitchen table, discussing the current matter at hand.
"So he says he's going to run an errand?" Divya speaks. "Do you know what he meant by that?"
"It could've meant anything. He might've gone to the local shops for all I know," Hank replies.
"And he doesn't come back for his phone," Jill fills in. She turns to the doctor. "Is there anywhere you think he might've gone? Anywhere at all?"
Hank shakes his head. "I…maybe the hotel suite I found him in last time?"
"Okay," Divya nods. "Why don't you go and check there."
Hank nods in agreement. "Alright. You okay to cover for me again?" Divya smiles. "I'm really sorry about this."
"That's okay. You've got more important matters to deal with," the PA responds.
"And you will call me if an emergency-"
A small smile shaped Hank's features, only for it to disappear a split second later. He takes off without a further word.
By the time he turns, with no such luck on finding Evan anywhere in that hotel, his father has already made his way. Hank walks into the dining area, whereby the room was filled with HankMed members, again, minus one member, and greets his unusually non-smiling father.
"Hank! There you are," Eddie starts when his elder son makes an entrance. "I was beginning to think you went missing too!"
"Hi, dad." Hank sort of smiles, his face beginning to wear the exhaustion from the search.
"Any luck?" Divya asks, hopeful.
Hank shakes his head. "If I did, he would've been standing here with me."
Divya's expression looks apologetic as she gently places a hand on Hank's arm, hoping to reassure him, but Hank doesn't seem to even register her touch.
It's as if Hank isn't even registering that he is not alone as he says, "I don't know what to do anymore." It crushes him to physically say the words aloud. He had never wanted to say the words again, not after his mother's death - a time in his life where he was sure he had never felt more useless.
When Hank looks up again, he's not staring at Evan - just the concerned faces of his father and Divya.
"Son..." Eddie R. says gently. "I really think that it's time we involve the police." He hates to see his son look this way, all weary and dejected and resigned in a way that has nothing to do with giving up. He gently eases himself in front of Divya, who steps away politely and says softly, "I want to know he's okay, too...but we can't do this on our own."
Hank clenches his jaw, wants to argue back - but he can't. What information does he have to back up an argument? What facts does he have? What conclusions can he draw? He has no idea, none at all. Evan is as fragile as a thought, a dream, and all he has are empty leads and a twist in his stomach. His dad is right. He was just hoping he wouldn't have to launch into a whole new thought process.
Eddie R. grips his son's arm, as if keeping him tethered to the kitchen floor. "Hank?" he says gently.
Hank's head snaps up. "Yeah," he says thickly, the seriousness of the situation finally tumbling onto him like a landslide.
Annnnd that's the end of this chapter. The next chapter would be uploaded quicker if you guys can hit my 10 reviews mark (or more, I feed off of reviews!). Otherwise, prepare for a long wait (but not like a six month wait...or is it?).
For those who are wondering about my previous RP fics, I'm sure I'll get back to them...once I break through the wall.
As for this story, it took me quite some time to consider, and reconsider, Hank's reaction to all this. I try to keep it dynamically close to characterisation as much as I can, but it's hard when Hank is barely showing any concern over Evan in the show anymore.
What do you guys think? Should there be something I should change? Or add? I really need honest (brutally honest if needed be) feedback.