Beep… Beep… Beep… Beep
The sound of the Heart Rate Monitor was sending everyone on the edge; what if it stopped?
Brian gripped the arm of his seat as he gazed at Meredith's bruised face; Joey was sitting in another chair across the room with Lauren snuggled in his lap asleep; Dylan rested his body against the wall of the hospital room; Jamie sat on the edge of Meredith's hospital bed holding her bruised hand.
The sound of the door opening made everyone jump, even Lauren was stirred a little from her rest. Brian immediately jumped up from his chair and rushed over to the doctor entering the room.
"Doc, is she gonna be alright? Please tell me she'll be okay!" Brian was on the verge of breaking down.
"She'll be fine. I'm just here to check her vitals again." The doctor said giving Brian a reassuring pat on the shoulder. Suddenly, there was a loud gasp in the room.
"Oh my god, Meredith" Jamie shrieked as Brian looked over his shoulder to see an open-eyed and confused looking Meredith staring at everyone in her room.
Brian rushed over to Meredith's bed as Jamie got up and moved so he could sit closer to her. He gripped her hand warmly, eagerly wanting to soak up the chocolate color of her eyes as if he would never see them again.
"Hey Mere, how are you doing, sweetie?" He asked, rubbing her hands with his thumbs.
"Brian! M-my head really hurts," she said stuttering her words a little.
"I know baby, I know. We'll get you some more pain medicine," he said with a soothing voice as he leaned over to kiss her gently on her aching head.
The doctor walked over to a half asleep Meredith and injected a needle of some clear fluid into her IV tube. Meredith's grip on Brian's hand loosened.
"What are you doing to her?" Brian asked accusingly.
"Don't worry, it's just pain medication. She'll be out in about two minutes so you might want to start clearing out soon" the Doctor said as he started heading out the door, "Oh, and one more thing, she has to have someone stay overnight with her; just for tonight," the Doctor added as he paused at the door.
Everyone immediately looked at Brian.
Brian faced the Doctor, still holding Meredith's hand, "I'll stay with her tonight" he said looking back at Meredith.
"Alright, remember two minutes…" the doctor added as he left the room.
"Ah Meredith, I was so worried that you… well, that you wouldn't wake up! You're gonna be alright, honey," said Jamie as she hugged Meredith from the side of her bed.
"Morning Sleeping Beauty" Dylan said as he went over and kissed Meredith on the cheek as he hugged her.
"Mere, I would totally come over there and give you a hug if it wasn't for Lauren, but I'm so glad you're awake," Joey said trying to pry the half asleep Lauren off his lap.
"How long have I been out?" muttered Meredith looking around the room.
"You've been slipping in and out of consciousness for 6 days…" said Jamie quietly, rubbing Meredith's shoulder.
"Your parents have been visiting you as much as they could, and today it was our turn to visit," said Joey from his chair.
"How bad am I?" Meredith asked flinching at the IV needle.
"They've had you under strict conditions these past few days… you've got large bruises on you wrist from where Joe grabbed…" Brian winced at saying Joe's name, "and you had a big gash on your head that was stitched up," he said slowly.
Meredith's heart monitor speed up a little.
Meredith's began to hyperventilate. She gripped Brian's hand tighter.
"Mere, calm down. They've already taken the stiches out. Now there's just a little scratch that should heal up before you get out of here… see, look!" Brian pulled out his iPhone to show Meredith.
Meredith loosened her grip.
The pain medicine was starting to take its toll; Meredith's vision was becoming blurry, the room started spinning slowly.
She knew she only had a few second before she would pass out. She gripped Brian's hand tighter than ever.
"Brian, I think I'm about to pass out. Please don't leave me! Don't leave me here alone," Tears were forming in Meredith's eyes.
"Don't worry, Mere," Brian said leaning in close to her, "I'm not going anywhere! I'm gonna stay right here with you," he promised caressing her face with his familiar warm hands.
He pulled her in for a kiss, completely oblivious to the fact that he room was full of Starkid members. Time stood still as their lips moved together sweetly, making Meredith forget about the pain; nothing mattered anymore, not the numb pain jabbing at her forehead, not her heart rate, or even the Starkids corralled in her room. Brian was Meredith's and Meredith was Brian's. The last thing Meredith felt before passing out was Brian's soft lips. As the kiss ended and Meredith passed out, a silence filled the room. Their secret that they had been keeping since "Starship" was out. Nobody said anything, but each gave Meredith another hug and waved goodbye to Brian as they filed out of the room.
For the next few days in the hospital, Brian stayed with Meredith, who continually had gotten much better; her stich mark had healed up and the bruises on her wrist and face had almost completely disappeared. On the ninth day of her stay in the hospital, Meredith's doctor decided that she was alright to go home as long as she had someone to drive her.
"I'll take her home, Doc," Brian said jumping at the chance to be alone with Meredith even more.
As they left the hospital and began driving home, Meredith broke the silence.
"So, does everybody know now?" she asked shyly, as if another member from Starkid was in the car with them.
"Yeah," said Brian quietly, "But it's a good thing. No more secrets. We can be upfront about it now. Speaking of that, I have a welcome home present for you, Mere," said Brian with a little mischievous smile.
He continued driving into downtown Chicago, refusing to tell Meredith where they were going, until he reached close to the Chicago Harbor. Brian parked in front of a large, glass building with the words 'Sheraton Hotel' in large emerald lights at the top of the building. Meredith's face fell.
"Oh Brian, no! I can't. It's so expensive; you really don't have to do this," Meredith felt like the excited balloon expanding up in her stomach had just been punctured, "Besides, I don't even have anything suitable to wear. This is a really fancy place, Bri, and I look awful at the moment."
Turning off the car, Brian unbuckled himself and turned towards Meredith, "First of all, you look beautiful no matter what! And second of all…" he added reaching behind to grab a large bag the back seat, "you do have clothes!"
Brian handed Meredith the bag and she began looking through it. Inside was a bright orange, flowing evening dress, with a pair of high heels, bathrobe, and other various clothes and toiletries.
"Jamie chose the dress. I told her it had to be orange, since I know that's your favorite color," said Brian as Meredith took out the dress and looked at it in awe, "Lauren helped me pack all your other clothes."
"Brian, it's beautiful! Thank you so much," Meredith said leaning in to give Brian a hug.
"No problem! Tonight is all about you," he said grabbing her hand, "So, are you ready to have the best night of your life?"