Originally called "Independence Day" I decided to stick with "Hear You Me" when I remembered the former 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 ;)
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 yelled within the vicinity of Hank, who was just stepping out of the shower and cleansing himself from the busyness of the day.
Evan gave his cooking pot three small whacks with a wooden spoon, removing the rice from its hold. Placing a lid on the steaming food, he reached for his keys and began heading towards his phone lying on the counter when the sound of footsteps grabbed his attention.
"Where to?" Hank asked casually, stepping down the stairs with a towel encircling the nape of his neck.
"Just gonna run a little errand," Evan replied. He headed back to the kitchen to turn off the cooker.
Henry smelled the delightful scent of his brother's cooking, reluctantly asking, "Should I wait up?"
"Uh," Evan looked at his watch and stood by the door. "Ye…yeah. I'll only be a couple of minutes."
Hank nodded, even though his appetite disagreed. "Alright."
Ten minutes passed and the expansive spread of food sat on the table, untouched. The hot pot of Evan's latest recipe was placed on the centre and the plates opposite each other. Hank huffed in annoyance as he walked back to the table with utensils, taking a seat and staring at the clock for the fifth time in the past few minutes.
Henry reached for his phone and dialled his brother's number. Two seconds later, ringing filled the earlier silent guesthouse. Hank's head followed the direction of the sound and found that it came from Evan's phone, which had been left on the counter. He groaned and disconnected the call.
"A couple of minutes, my ass," Hank grumbled to himself. He didn't usually turn into Oscar the Grouch when he was hungry, despite Evan's claims, but today he hadn't had the chance to eat anything since breakfast and he'd been looking forward to this meal all day.
Twenty more minutes go by when Hank finally decided to give up waiting. The food was almost getting too cold to eat. He made a grab for the wooden spoon and dug into a pile of some rice.
Evan did not turn up during the meal.
Once Hank's stomach was satisfied, he put his plates into the sink and shoved the leftovers in the fridge; deciding to head to bed a few minutes later.
When Hank woke up the next morning he walked by Evan's room to realise the bed was empty. Thinking his brother was already up and about, Hank made his way downstairs to greet him. The guesthouse remained silent and Evan was nowhere to be seen.
"Evan?" Hank called out, no response following. "Ev?" The elder Lawson turned his head to notice his brother's phone still lying on the counter and the minivan's keys missing. "Weird," he thought out loud.
Divya walked through the door a few seconds later. "Good morning, Hank," she met him with a smile.
Hank partially turned his head and half-heartedly replied, "'Morning, Divya."
Still smiling, the physician assistant furrowed her eyebrows in amusement. "Everything okay?"
"Uh…yeah. I just…" He then fully turned to her. "Have you seen Evan?"
"When have I not seen him? I can't get rid of the guy." Then she mumbled, "Sticks by me like Velcro."
Hank chuckled slightly, grabbing his Gladstone bag. "I meant last night, or this morning." She shook her head. Henry then nods; Evan will probably turn up at some point during the day. "Okay, let's go."
The sun was setting when Hank returned to the guesthouse to find that it was still empty, and it seemed to have been that way throughout the day. Hank made a beeline for the fridge and noticed that not a single inch of food or drink had been moved since the previous night.
"Evan?" he called out afterwards, running up the stairs towards his brother's room, which also lingered without a sound. Walking back down the stairs, Hank pulled out his phone from his pocket and dialled 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. "Have you heard from him since last night?" He paused for an answer. "Oh…No, no, I'm sure everything's fine. I was just calling to check up. Okay, bye."
He hung up and began to play with his phone for a full minute before deciding to dial another number. "Hey, Dad…yeah I'm good." He listened to the other end of the conversation; trust his dad to dive straight in for a catch-up. He stopped him before it escalated. "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 disconnected the call and ran a hand through his hair.
Telling his father not to worry didn't stop him from worrying. All he knew was that Evan had to run for an errand and hadn't returned or heard a single word or note anywhere. It wasn't like Evan to do this, and it certainly wasn't him to forget his phone and not come back for it, not when he was serious about running a business. He was practically married to that thing, the business and the phone.
Hank sighed and headed outside towards his car. That was when one of Boris' BMWs made its way into the area. It came to a stop beside Hank and the tinted window was pulled down. Boris temporarily moved his phone from his ear to his chest.
"'Evening, Hank," he greeted politely.
"Hey, Boris. Can I ask you a question?" The German Duke put his phone back next to his ear. The silence from his landlord signalled Hank to continue. "Have you seen Evan somewhere between last night and now?"
Boris looked up at his doctor, slightly anchoring his phone away from his mouth, and distractedly replied, "Should I have?"
Hank shrugged. "I don't know. I can't seem to find him anywhere."
Boris responded to the person on the phone in another language and moved the device towards his chest. "Is it something I should concern myself with?" he genuinely asked.
"Uh, no, no. Just…let me know if you hear anything." Henry smiles.
Boris nodded and shifted his attention back to his phone. The tinted window moved back up and the car headed further into the driveway, leaving a slightly more worried Hank.
Henry pulled his Saab into an empty parking space outside Heritage Hospital. When he entered the building he found his girlfriend, Jill, discussing business matters with a nurse at the reception desk.
Normally, he would not disturb her when she was in the middle of work. Normally, he would wait. But today wasn't exactly a normal day.
Hank walked over to her. "Jill?"
The hospital administrator turned to him in surprise. "Hank?"
"Hey, can I talk to you for a quick second?"
Jill raised her eyebrows. "Sure." She pulled him away from the desk. "What's up?"
"Have you seen Evan?"
"Evan?" Jill shook her head and formed an "I don't think so" gesture on her lips. "No. Not since yesterday morning."
"Are you sure?"
She chuckled slightly. "I'm sure." She saw the concerned look 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 answered quickly, expecting the question.
Jill slowly nodded and began to understand the doctor's concern. "I'm sure he'll turn up, Hank. Don't worry."
He paused. "Do you mind if I ask the nurse?" he gestured towards reception. "Y'know, in case he was admitted?"
"You would've been the first to know if he was," Jill reassured him with certainty.
"Can I ask anyway?" he insisted.
Jill steps aside. "Go right ahead."
And she was right. Evan hadn't been admitted. There were no signs of an Evan R. Lawson anywhere in the hospital's computer database. Hank wasn'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 walked back out the door and headed back home, in hopes of seeing Evan there.
"Have you seen this guy?" Hank asked almost every shop owner in The Hamptons, using a recent picture taken from a formal party where 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 realised he was no longer just worrying, now he was panicking.
His will – or dedication, either one – was slowly starting to crumble. As he went to each shop, each coffeehouse, random bar, clothing shop on the corner, whatever, he started to feel a little...scared. He supposed he hadn't allowed himself to feel that emotion earlier because emotion is such a foreign object, honestly. Doctors couldn't afford to be scared. But here he was, clutching onto a photo of his brother and pleading for answers. He needed to make sure, before he did this, before he dove full force into this, that finding Evan on his own would not be possible. Fear was gnawing at his senses...but he had yet to allow himself to feel anything at all.
This almost felt 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 was 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 calming the nerves of worry, which Hank was in desperate need of right now.
Hank closed his eyes and breathed deeply to calm his racing heart. Everything was okay. He was sure of it. Evan most likely drove a little far and ran out of gas. Yeah. It was probably that simple. Hank was 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 was going on with Evan, after all? Maybe he should have looked closer? Maybe Evan was wandering some country back road right now, completely lost and starving? Maybe he was 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 knew he was just bleeding and bleeding and Hank was just standing there holding a photo of him, completely unaware?
Henry shook his head vigorously. He was being ridiculous, completely and utterly irrational. Despite his childlike demeanour Evan was not a little kid anymore. He was a fully grown adult, somewhat responsible, who was finding a way to get back right now because he knew how his older brother worried.
Hank shook away every last thought of his endless list of scenarios and turned on the ignition of his car. It was getting late. Maybe he should call it a night. Evan may pop up the next morning anyway.
At least he hoped.
By the third day, Hank could 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 were 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 went over. "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 replied.
"And he doesn't come back for his phone," Jill filled in. She turned to the doctor. "Is there anywhere you think he might've gone? Anywhere at all?"
Hank shook his head. "I…maybe the hotel suite I found him in last time?"
"Okay," Divya nodded. "Why don't you go and check there?"
Hank nodded in agreement. "Alright. You okay to cover for me again?" Divya smiled. "I'm really sorry about this."
"That's okay. You've got more important matters to deal with," she said kindly.
"And you will call me if an emergency-"
Hank gave her a small smile, only for it to disappear a split second later. He took off without a further word.
By the time he returned, with no such luck on finding Evan anywhere in that hotel, his father has already made his way. Hank walked into the dining area where the room was filled with HankMed members, again minus one member, and greeted his unusually non-smiling father.
"Hank! There you are," Eddie started when his elder son made 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 asked, hopeful.
Hank shook his head. "If I did, he would've been standing here with me."
Divya looked apologetic as she gently placed a hand on Hank's arm, hoping to reassure him, but he didn't seem to even register her touch.
It was as if Hank wasn't even registering that he was not alone as he said, "I don't know what to do anymore." It crushed him to physically say the words aloud. He had never wanted to say those 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 looked up again he was staring at concerned faces of his father and Divya.
"Son..." Eddie R. said gently. "I really think that it's time we involve the police." He hated to see his son like this, all weary and dejected and resigned in a way that had nothing to do with giving up. He gently eased himself in front of Divya, who stepped away politely, and said softly, "I want to know he's okay, too...but we can't do this on our own."
Hank clenched his jaw, wanting to argue back, but he couldn't. What information did he have to back up an argument? What facts did he have? What conclusions could he draw? He had no idea, none at all. Evan was as fragile as a thought, a dream, and all he had were empty leads and a twist in his stomach. His dad was right. He was just hoping he wouldn't have to launch into a whole new thought process.
Eddie R. gripped his son's arm, as if keeping him tethered to the kitchen floor. "Hank?" he said gently.
Hank's head snapped up. "Yeah," he said thickly, the seriousness of the situation finally gravitating onto him like a storm.
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?).
I'm just kidding! Truth is, I suck at uploading within a time frame. My writing's pretty sporadic. Hence my other RP fics…still calling me to finish them.
Anyway, 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 as dynamically close to canon as I can, but it's hard when Hank is barely showing any concern over Evan on the show anymore.
What do you guys think? Should there be something I should change? Or add? I welcome any constructive feedback.