From Friends to Brothers At Madison Square Garden, The Hardyz, and Adam are involved in a six man tag match against Jason, Kurt Angle and Andrew.

Matt has Kurt in a corner and a blasting away with punches. Hard, stiff punches, which has caused a cut to open above his left eye and his right has started to swell.

Jeff has distracted the referee and Andrew is trying to interfere, but Adam spears him.. Jay enters and Adam is about to punch him but he holds his hands up in surrender.

"What the hell is going on with Matt?' He asked watching Matt pound away.

"Wish the hell I knew!" Adam answered very concerned. "Never seen him like this!"

Jeff enters the ring while the ref tries to pull Matt away.

"Not since we've known him. Oh, he's thrown a few stiff ones but......." Jay said

"But not to this extent." Jeff finished.

The ref called for the bell, awarding the match to Jay, Andrew and Kurt. But, he can't seem to stop Matt.

Jeff tries to help but is thrown back, Jay and Andrew also try but they too are thrown off. Adam has had enough. He reaches around Matt, pinning his arms to his sides. Matt growls and snarls, fighting to get loose but Adam proves too strong and he is pulled away. Jeff pushes him back.

Matt's eyes are dark with rage

"I hate to do this, brother." He said.

Knowing what Jeff intended on doing, "Just do it!! He's wearing me out!!!" Adam shouted.

Jeff clenches his fists, and cold cocks Matt, using both fists. Matt slumps in Adam's arms.

Andrew and Jay have helped Kurt to the back.

"Jay, what the hell's wrong with Matt?" Andrew asked as they walked into the trainer's room.

"I honestly don't know. I asked Adam and he said he didn't know. Jeff neither."

They laid Kurt down on the table. They looked at his bruised and bloodied face, shooks their heads

Jeff is cradling Matt's head in his lap. Adam is pacing the floor, never taking his eyes off Matt who has started to stir.

"Matt? Can ya hear me?' Jeff asked softly. "C'mon, wake up."

Matt's eyes flew open at the sound of that voice. They were dark with rage.

"Get your hands off me!" He screams. He jumps up. The room spins from light headiness but he refuses to show it. He storms for the door only to find it blocked by Adam. For every glare he gives, Adam returns it ten-fold.

"Matt-what's wrong?" Jeff asked hesitantly. The staring contest between his brother and one of their best friends making him extremely uncomfortable.

"There's not a damn thing wrong, Jeff." Matt spat out. "Except, someone thinks they can keep me prisoner here."

"You're not a prisoner, Matt." Adam said softly but not softening his glare.

"Then let me out!"

"Talk Hardy" Adam demanded.

Matt continued to glare defiantly.

Jeff hund his head in defeat. He knew all too well by his brothers stance and silence that he would not talk. "Let me go Adam.'

Adam stepped aside. He too Matt was not ready to talk. "Matt, we just want-- ----"

Matt has grabbed his bag and storms out the door pushing through Andrew and Jay. Jeff sat down dejected, ran his fingers through his hair.


Chapter 2

Ric Flair has ordered Matt to take a week's vacation but has secretly approved more time if needed. He, as well as most of the roster wanted Matt back 100% and not until.

During this time, all Matt has done is workout to the point of exhaustion, eat and workout some more. Even as exhausted as he was, he did not sleep. He would get into fits of rage and destroyed his house and his cell phone. He was tired of it ringing knowing who it was and did not want to talk to anyone.

At night, he would leave his house dark but with a few candles lit giving off an eerie glow in the living room. When he got into town, he left his car at his dad's house and ran to his knowing people would think he was at his dad's and not at his new house.

Knowing his brother was deeply troubled and would not open up to him, he turned to his good friend Adam. For some reason, Matt opened up to Adam more than any other person.

So, on the fifth day of Matt's ordered vacation, Adam flew to Cameron after telling Ric what he as doing. Ric gave his approval and hoped that Adam could get through to Matt. Using the key that Jeff gave him, he let himself into the house to find it ransacked.

'Now i KNOW something is wrong. Matt is a neat freak and would never allow this.' Adam told himself. He slowly made his way through looking for any sign of his best friend but found none, only each room as destroyed as the one before. Panicked, he ran back to the living room, every nerve on sensitive alert. Slowly, he made his way out back where he found Matt wrapped in 3 afghans and lying on the porch swing. He immediately knew something was wrong since it was a warm night and Matt was wrapped in blankets. He reaches the swing in two long strides, he puts his hand on Matt's forehead only to snap it back quickly from the heat that radiated there.

"Good Lord, Matt! You're burning up!" He exclaimed

Matt opened his eyes a little, his vision blurry but he knew who was there with him. He knew even before he heard the voice. "A-a-adam?" he said weakly.

"Yeah buddy, it's me." He replied smiling slightly.

Matt returns the smile weakly. "I-i-i don't---"

"Yeah, I know. I've got to get you some help."

He wanted Matt to save his strength. Besides, he knew words were not needed. They actually didn't need many words, their eyes relayed more than words ever could.

"No." Matt whispered.

Adam started to walk away not hearing him.

"NO!" Matt said louder. "A-a-adam!"

Adam turned around after hearing that.

"N-n-no hospital. J-j-just get me inside." Matt was shaking, barely able to speak.

"Matt, you're sick. You need----" Adam was ready to argue.

"No. J-j-just get me inside." He pleaded

Adam knew he should just pick him up and take him anyway but hearing the desperate plea, he picked Matt up and carried him inside. Matt moaned when he was picked up.

"That's it. I'm taking----" Adam stared to tell him.

Matt opened his eyes, lifted his head, faced Adam.

"Adam, please. Just get me to my room. I don't want a hospital."

Adam was torn. He was deeply concerned for his friend's health. He knew Matt needed medical attention but the look in his eyes told Adam that Matt was hiding something. Sighing heavily, he nodded relunctantly.

Matt smiled weakly. "Thanks, Adam."

"You know, you are a stubborn cuss."

"Mm-hmm. But, you love me anyway." Matt replied.

"Yeah, I must. I don't understand, Matt, but for now, I'll keep you here but if you get any worse, then I'm taking you to the hospital even is I have to tie you down and gag you to do it!"

Matt chuckled. He could imagine Adam doing just that. "That's the most you have said to me in a long time, buddy."

Knowing that he was right, Adam smiled. "Yeah."

Adam put him in the chair while he pulled the covers back. He laid Matt down gently, fussing the whole time to ensure Matt's comfort.

"I'm fine, Adam. Thanks."

Adam rushes into the bathroom, fills a basin, retrieves 3 wash clothes and the Tylenol. He rushes back to Matt's side to find him asleep. Only when he places a wet cloth on his forehead does he stir. Adam uses another cloth to wipe the sweat off Matt's face trying to cool him off and bring that fever down, knowing he was just starting a very long night.


Chapter 3

Adam stayed by Matt's side dozing in the recliner he brought in from the living room. Matt stirred often during the night but once Adam placed a fresh cool cloth on his forehead, he settled. Adam felt the sacrifice of a sleepless night well worth it for a friend like Matt. He awoke with a start, why he didn't know. He sat on the bed and felt Matt's forehead, the fever down ever so slightly.

When he looked down, he saw a pair of brown eyes staring at him through half-lidded eyes.

"Hey, buddy, how you feeling?"

He got no response.



"MATT! Can you hear me?"

He looked closer and what he saw shocked him. Matt's eyes looked devoid of life.

"That's it! I'm getting you out of here and to the hospital!"

He picked Matt up, blankets and all and raced outside where he put him down in the front seat, rushed to the driver's side, cradled Matt's head in his lap, and sped off. Matt's eyes were still slightly open but no recognition there.

"Hang on, Matt. For Jeff's sake and mine, hang on." He implored.

When he reached the hospital he skidded to a stop, raced around, picked him up and raced inside. He looked around and seeing no one was acknowledging his presence, he saw an empty stretcher and placed Matt gently down.

"I need some help here!" He shouted. When he got no response...."ARE YOU PEOPLE BLIND, DEAF OR BOTH! I SAID I NEED HELP HERE!"

An older man, Dr. Anderson, stepped up to him. He had medium brown hair with a reddish tint to it and graying at the temples. "Sir, no need to shout."

"I think otherwise." Adam retorted. His patience very thin. He glanced at the name tag. "Doctor, huh? Weellll----about time."

"What's the problem?" Dr. Anderson asked.

"My friend needs medical attention. He's very sick." He stands by Matt's side. "High fever, his eyes slightly open but he doesn't respond when I talk to him."

Dr. Anderson steps up, pulls the blanket down and gasps sharply. "My God! MATT!"

"You know him?"

"Since he and Jeff were in diapers." He pushes the stretcher into the trauma room. "I need help here, STAT!" He orders.

Adam is amazed at how quickly his orders are followed. He is pushed out of the trauma room and paces the floor in long strides, running his fingers through his hair. He retrieves his cell phone andis about to dial Jeff's number.

*No, Adam, please don't.*

He hears Matt's voice calling him in his mind, pleading with him.

*Why not?*

*I don't want him here.*

*What's going on?* Adam was confused. One, why didn't Matt want Jeff there? And two, how the hell did Matt get into his mind?

*Nothing. I just don't want him here*

This further confuses and deeply trouble Adam. but also makes him more determined to find out what is going on. What is Matt hiding from everyone? He replaces his cell phone as a portable x-ray and ekg machines race by him. He strides over to the room and stares at the team working on Matt.

"Don't leave us Matt." He pleads. *Don't leave me.* He sends mentally.

Suddenly, he feels another presence and his heart is filled with warmth and strength. He knew Matt would not leave him. His absolve to find out the truth does not waiver.

*Let it be, Adam. For now, let it be.*

*You WILL tell me.*

*Yes, but not now. Please, leave it alone.*


Matt's condition has left him in a coma. The nurses who don't know the Hardys have asked Adam who the next of kin is. Knowing Matt doesn't want Jeff there

"That would be me." He lied. "Matt's my brother."

"Well, Mr. Har---"

"Copeland." Adam corrected.

"I thought you said you were brothers?"

"Different fathers." Adam couldn't believe how easily the lies came.

Dr. Anderson overhears the conversation. His eyes widen at the apparent lies.

"Nurse, I'll take over now."

The nurse nods and leaves. The Dr. stares at Adam who is determined to stand by his lies.

"I know for a fact you are not Matt's brother. Care to explain?"

Adam takes a deep breath, his eyes never leaving the Dr.'s "Matt doesn't want Jeff around and more than likely he doesn't want his dad here either. Some one has to sign the release papers and such and it has to be a member of the family, so I adopted Matt..for now." He takes another deep breath and holds it, hoping the Dr. wouldn't argue. Not with Matt in this condition.

Dr. Anderson studies Adam, he realizes that Adam is doing what he needs to do so he smiles. "You are indeed a true friend, Mr. Copeland."

"Adam." He says releasing his breath in relief.

"Adam---or is it----Edge?"

"Adam, please. I'm not working tonight."

"In a way, you are."

Adam looks at him concerned.

"Matt has a lot of problems and since it appears he trusts is one thing that is hard to get from have to help him through it."

"Anything, doc, I'll do anything. For my brother."

"Let's go into the family consult room and I'll explain."


At the hotel in Las Vegas, Jeff is pacing the floor like a caged animal. Jay and Andrew watch from the couch.

"Jeff, Please!" Jay pleads. "Sit down!"

"I can't! Adam should be there by now and he hasn't called!"

"Maybe he doesn't have anything to tell you." Andrew suggested.

"He could've at least called and tell me Matt's alive!"

"Jeff, wouldn't it make sense that if Adam hasn't called, that they are alive and well?" Jay reasoned

"Unless, they're somewhere that they can't!" Jeff knew something was wrong. He felt it.

"Dude, you need to chill." Andrew stated. He stood and waited for Jay to follow his lead which he does. Together, they drag Jeff out of the room.

"What are ya doing?!" Jeff shouted, fighting them.

"We are in Vegas!!!" Andrew said. "WE are gonna do the town!"

"But---but---" Jeff tried to argue.

"Jeff, we all have our cell phones, If Adam calls, we'll know about it. For now, you are gonna chill for a little!" Jay told him firmly

For the rest of that night, they didn't leave Jeff alone. He wasn't the only one who felt like something was wrong, but each were determined to distract if they actually thought they could!


Chapter 5

Adam was allowed to stay in Matt's room. He was very distraught at what Dr. Anderson told him. He knew Matt was hiding something and now that he knew what, he could understand the difficult position it put Matt in. He sat by the bed and studied him. Then, he reached for his hand.

"What in the world possessed you to keep this bottled up, Matt? From everyone. I can understand you not wanting to tell Jeff, but you could've at least told me. I would've been there for you like I will be now. You are NOT getting rid of me!"

Adam remembers the times when Matt would just sit and stare off into space, something weighing heavy on his mind. Even when they all went out after a big ppv, Matt would somewhat listen but hardly talked when he had a lot to chew on. Adam would take him outside to talk, away from the scrutinizing eyes. After a little prodding, Matt would open up. Oh, the others would take a turn and try to get him to talk but to no avail. It was so much easier to open up to Adam than anyone else.

So, that's why Adam was so concerned now. He knew Matt was way to quiet and wouldn't talk..not even to him. Time and time again, he would try to get him to open up, but Matt would just retreat into himself even more.

"What would make you think this would be so bad, you couldn't tell me? Whatever your reason, we will come through this together. I won't give up on you. Not until I get my old buddy back. I'll stand by you through the whole thing."

He reaches for his cell phone, even though he know you are not supposed to use them in hospitals, he also knew someone was waiting for his call. But, he could not bring himself to call that one just yet. Not when he was losing control of his emotions like this. So, he called another friend.


"Jay, it's me." Adam said, trying to maintain his composure.

Jay knew from the sound of his voice something was not right.

"Talk, Adam." He demanded.

Adam lost his battle and broke down. He told Jay what the doctor told him between sobs.

Jay's jaw dropped. He sat in silence for a few minutes trying to get his mind to digest what he just heard.

"My God, Adam. How long has he known?"

"Don't know. Doesn't matter. He still doesn't want Jeff to know or want him anywhere near here."

"But Jeff's his brother! If anyone needs to know, it's him!" Jay couldn't believe Matt refused to tell Jeff or to even see him.

"I know. He just wants me here. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna let him down!" Adam's anger was rising. Why? Why not let Jeff here?

"I'm glad to hear you say that. If he doesn't want his flesh and blood brother there, then his 'other brother' needs to be."

Adam was shocked. His anger momentarily forgotten. Was that how Matt saw him? As another brother? And he just told the nursing staff he was his brother!

"What are you so shocked Adam? Why else would Matt open up to you and no one else? Not even Jeff? You two are so much alike in your thinking sometimes, it's scary. Matt knew he could trust you and you would understand."

Jay's insight sometimes astounded Adam.

"My God, Jay. Don't think I'm crazy but....."

"You can hear him in your head? Yeah, I figured as much. Think on it, Adam. It'll come to you. I'll call Ric and tell him you both need more time off."

"If you have to tell him the truth, do it. But make sure he knows this is a private matter and to keep it out of the media."

"Will do. What are they gonna do, Adam?"

"They're not sure yet."

"Keep me posted will you?"

"You bet."


Adam closed his phone. He studied Matt, closed his eyes. *Matt--can you hear me?*

No response.



*It's alright. You rest and get better. Plenty of time to talk later*

He encouraged Matt to get well. Though he knew Matt would argue with him on that point. And he was more than ready for an argument. In fact, he looked forward to it!


Jeff has snuck Jay's cell phone out and checked the caller I.D. 'Just as I thought, Adam called. Well, maybe it's about time I pay my "dear old brother" a visit if I'm gonna get any answers'

They have completed another round of tests and determined their next course of action. Dr. Anderson is consulting with Adam in Matt's room.

"So, Adam. It's up to you. From what you've told me, Matt has not said anything about this to anyone. Some would say that he doesn't want to do anything about it."

*Like hell I won't!* Matt's mind screamed.

Adam smiled slightly.

"But, I know him and judging from that smile, you do too." Dr. Anderson stated.

"Better than most people do." Adam replied.

"He's a fighter. And stubborn as all hell. Always has been. So, if you would sign the surgery release, I'll schedule the operation. The sooner we do this, the sooner he'll be on the road to recovery."

"Will he make a complete recovery?"

"Yes. He's in good shape physically. I'm counting on you to keep him in shape mentally. It won't be easy. But by what I've seen, you are strong enough yourself to do it."

Adam sign the papers and watches as Dr. Anderson leaves.

*So, you're not gonna give up?* He asked Matt

*Never said I would.* Matt replied.

*They're gonna operate and remove that tumor on your brain.*

*I know. I heard. What about my back?*

*That comes later. The removal of that tumor comes first.*

*Great. Just more to worry about...Adam? I'm..*

*I know.* Adam knew Matt would never admit his fear. After all, the Hardys have always said 'Fear is only a four letter word'

*Will you still be here?* Matt asked

*I'm not going anywhere.*

Matt smiled and opened his eyes. "I knew you'd say that."

Adam returned the smile. "You know me all too well."

"Hell, you ain't hard to figure out. If you didn't want to be here, you'd be gone by now."

"I don't leave a friend in need. Never have. Never will."

"What did Jay say?" Matt knew Adam called Jay like he always did.

Adam searched those eyes for any hint of anger and found none.

"He said he hoped everything turned out alright, which it will, of that, I have no doubt. and he's there if we need him."

Matt nodded, then frowned.

"What?" Adam asked, thinking maybe he was in pain.

"Jeff's coming."


"He's coming to Cameron. Only a matter of time before he figures out where we are."

*Jay, don't you dare spill it!* Adam thought.

"He deserves to know."

"I know." Matt looked away. He didn't want to explain his reasons for not telling Jeff.

"Want me to explain it to him?" Adam offered.

Matt looked at him. Eyes full of hope.

Adam smiled, nodded. Matt offered his hand which Adam quickly took but not just the hand. He clasped the forearm.

Jeff sat huddled in his plane seat, hiding. He knew Jay and Andrew would follow him and try to talk him out of going. His nerves were fried and he was consumed with fear. He dreaded finding out but he had to. He would never admit it to Matt, but he did get afraid sometimes. Afraid of something happening and they would be separated for a long time. That's what he was afraid of now. He was afraid that something was so wrong with Matt that he would not see his brother walking this earth again. That made him even more determined to get to his brother and give him not only a piece of his mind but a rock to lean on for strength and courage.

"Are you gonna sit like that the entire flight?" Jay asked.

Jeff looked up and both he and Andrew stood there in the aisle.

"You're not gonna change my mind."

"Wasn't even gonna try." Jay said as he took the seat next to Jeff. Andrew lifted Jeff up, placed him in the middle and took that seat.

"We know how worried you are." *not to mention scared out his mind* Jay said. "And, we knew you would find a way to go anyway you could. So, we decided to join you."

"You don't have to."

"Yes, we do." Andrew stated. "Matt is our friend and right now, he needs our strength."

"As you will too."

"What's going on Jay? PLEASE tell me!" Jeff begged.

Jay sighed deeply. "It's bad Jeff. I'm not going to lie to you. It's very very bad. Matt's gonna need a lot of support from you and from all of us."

Andrew hung his head. Jay told him what Adam said and he wasn't looking forward to Jeff's reaction in the least. It was going to be a very LONG flight.


Chapter 7

Adam sat in surgery waiting. Matt had just been taken back. He thought of the lost talk they had. He made it a point to encorage Matt to be strong and he'll see him when he got otu. He remembered how Matt tried to keep it together and drew strength from him. Adam only hope that he could be that strong when he saw Jeff.

Jeff sat still...shocked beyond words. He tried to let his mind digest what Jay had just told him. Jay and Andrew sat ready for the inevitable outburst they knew would come. After a few tense moments, Jeff got up and calmly walked to the bathroom and locked himself in.

"He's way too calm, Jay." Andrew observed, wondering how Jeff could stay so calm.

Jay nods his agreement and follows Jeff. He knocks on the door.

"Jeff? You ok?" He quietly asked.

No response.

"Jeff? Come on, Jeff. Talk to me. Matt will be fine. You know that."

Jeff stared at the mirror. At the sound of Matt's name, he lost it.

"MATTIE!" He screamed slamming his fists into the mirror, breaking it into pieces. "MATTIE! NO!! PLEASE GOD!!! MATTIE!"

"Jeff! Calm down!!" Jay shouted as Andrew ran to him. "Mattie will be fine! He's strong and he'll pull through!"

Jeff continued pounding, and kicking the walls.

"MATTIE!!!" Suddenly drained, he slid to the floor and broke down sobbing. "Mattie, don't leave me! Please, don't!"

Hearing the pain in that voice broke Jay's heart. He turned his own pained filled eyes to Andrew who called Adam.

Adam was pacing the floor. He couldn't take sitting any longer. His phone rang. and even before he could say hello, he was blasted by Jeff's pained filled screams. He too cried when he heard those screams as they shared a common bond.

"Hand him the phone." He said trying to regain his composure.

Jay knocked on the door. "Jeff? Adam wants to talk to you."

Jeff opened the door, grabbed the phone and quickly relocked it.

"Adam?" He said softly trying not to cry.

"Hey, Jeffy." Adam too struggled to maintain a calm voice. He knew he had to be strong for Jeff.

"How is he?" He could barely speak, he was crying so hard failing to stop himself.

"They just took him to surgery." Adam replied softly

"OH GOD!!! I wanted to say good------" Jeff shouted

"JEFFREY NERO HARDY!" Adam shouted. "You listen and listen well kid. Matt will be fine. You hear me? HE WILL BE FINE! Now, I don't want to hear any more of those defeated words coming out of your mouth or any one else's. Do I make myself clear?"

Jeff sat still, shocked to hear his friend shout at him like that but he realized he was right. "Hell, Matt's too stubborn to die."

"That's more like it." Adam answered. He could hear Jeff calming down and so he too found himself calm. "And you're right. He is stubborn."

"Who's the doc?"

"Dr. Anderson." Adam said calmly

Jeff smiled. "Matt'll be fine. He's in good hands." He remembered ol' doc Anderson.

"Jeff, you know I----" Adam wanted to apologize to him for keeping this from him.

"I know. And believe it or not, I understand his reasons."

Adam was shocked again. Just what is it about these Hardy brothers? Matt kept this from his brother and that very brother understood?

"Mind explaining it to me? Cause, I don't have a clue!"


Matt's surgery went well. The successfully removed all of the tumor that showed up on the MRI but the X-ray taken before surgery revealed another small tumor so they had to try and remove that one as well, which they did. His prognosis was guarded. The doctors were unsure about any damage caused by the tumors.

Adam was warned of this possibility. He was told that Matt may have trouble with coordination and other fine motor skills. But, there was one question that he had wanted to ask for a long time. So, as he and Dr. Anderson was discussing these by Matt's bedside in recovery, he knew now was the time to ask.

"Doc, is there any chance those tumors could have been the cause for his fits of rage?" He asked as he moved a lock of hair out of Matt's eyes.

"Without a doubt. Did he hurt any one during these episodes?" He studied Adam's tenderness and knew he was right. The relationship these two shared went beyond friendship.

"No...he didn't.....Wait....yeah...yeah he did to....he beat the crap out of another wrestler. Broke his nose and his jaw."

"During a match?"

Adam nods

"Well, the stress of a match combined with the headache he undoubtedly was suffering probably caused him to lose control."

"Not to mention this guy has been a real pain in the ass here lately....he's fast becoming the most hated boy backstage."

"I wish he would let Jeff be here?"

"He's coming."

Dr. Anderson was stunned.

"Matt told me."

"He 'talked' to you?"

"Yes." Adam was unsure how Dr. Anderson would react if he was told how but after thinking on it decided to take the chance. "We can communicated without speaking."

"You two share that kind of bond?"

Adam nods and was surprised the he understood what Adam was talking about.

"Son, the first time I saw what you're talking about was when I went to Denver for a medical convention. I went to Mercy General to visit and old friend and she told me about this patient that she had. When she described him, it reminded me of one particular person." He points to Matt. "Stubborn, iron-willed, determined and mule-headed."

"Yeah. That's Matt alright." He said chuckling.

"Describes him to a tee."

"Indeed, but she also said that the only one who could actually get him to listen and do what he was told was his boss....who also happens to be his best friend. All they would have to do is look at each other and anyone could tell they were having an entire conversation with out anyone hearing it. I didn't believe it at first until I saw it with my own eyes. There's no scientific explanation and no documented proof that it could happen. I've heard of a few other cases of it though. It is to be considered something very special and not to be taken lightly. So, if you two share that, you are indeed fortunate."

Adam thought that through and realized that was what Jay had told him. 'Think on it, Adam. It will come to you.' he had said. And he realized it was true. The bond he shared with Matt was indeed something special and Adam treasure it more than any other friendship he ever had.

"He is special doc. You have no idea how much."

Jeff, Jay and Andrew arrived at the hospital. Jeff was hard to keep up with and it wasn't until they reached the information desk that they finally caught him.

"Matt Hardy. Where is he?" Jeff shouted.

The receptionist stared dumb-founded.

"Are you deaf? Matt Hardy!! Where is he?" He demanded through gritted teeth.

Jay and Andrew walked up and she could tell by the looks on their faces that they were not going to take anything less than what they wanted to know.

"He's in recovery.. That's down......"

She didn't get to finish. With Jay and Andrew right on his heels......Jeff ran off for the elevators He didn't need directions. He needed to see his brother and NO-ONE was gonna stop him!!!!!!


Chapter 9

Adam was prepared to face Jeff. But, the Jeff that greeted him, he was not prepared for. Jeff's face was distraught, but determined. No sign of the fury Adam was waiting to see. Jeff had very large, dark circles under his eyes. Sure signs of fatigue and tears. But, he also did not show any sign of malice toward Adam and for that, Adam was grateful.

"Adam, how is he?" Jeff asked rather curtly.

Jay and Andrew walked up.

"He made it through the first surgery. They were-------"

"First? First surgery?" Jeff asked surprised. He thought they would take care of both problems at the same time.

"Yes. They removed the tumors."

Jay caught the s on the end of that word. He turned to Andrew and mouthed. "S". Andrew caught it then.

"How many more surgeries are they gonna have to do?" Jeff asked still trying to recover from the shock.

"First, he needs to regain some of his strength before they attempt to repair the damage on his neck and back."

As shocked as Jay and Andrew were to hear about the damage to Matt's neck. They paled in comparison to Jeff.

"His neck?! What's wrong with his neck?"

"The MRI showed 2 herniated disks in his neck. The one they are concerned about is at the base of the neck and is laying on a nerve which causes his right arm and hand to go numb."

"How the hell did he do that?"

"From what I understand, it's not hard to do. If you step off a curb wrong, it can happen."

"How long are the gonna wait?" Jeff still couldn't believe they were willing to wait if it's as bad as it sounds.

"They want to give him time to recover from this first. This was the most serious and life-threatening."

Jay couldn't stay silent any longer. "Adam, I heard you say tumors. There was more than one?"

Jeff was shocked. How much more was there?

"Yes, right before they did the surgery, they did an X-ray and it revealed another small one.

"They got it all though, right?" Andrew asked.

Adam nodded, staring at Jeff.

"Are they sure?" Jay asked

Again, Adam nodded. He was trying to ensure Jeff that they did. Jay laid a hand on Jeff's shoulder

"Told you Matt would be alright." He said

Jeff nodded, smiling slightly. Adam read the question in Jeff's eyes.

"No sign of brain damage, Jeff. They'll know more when he wakes up."

"CODE BLUE---RECOVERY! CODE BLUE---RECOVERY!" Came over the intercom

They all rushed through the doors but were stopped at the recovery entrance.

"Is it Matt!" Jeff asked loudly

The nurse didn't answer. She made a path for the crash cart, then closed the door, leaving 4 very concerned men staring, waiting panicky.


Chapter 10

Jeff was crying, sitting against the wall across from the recovery room. Jay sat on one side, Andrew on the other. Adam was pacing the floor. He knew by heart how many steps it was from the entrance to the recovery room. Jay watched him closely, he'd tried to console him, get him to calm down but he was just too worried. So, Jay tried to keep Jeff calm, which wasn't easy, but at least he was stationary and not wearing a path in the floor.

Dr. Anderson walked down the hall and was taken aback when he saw the men.

"What are you doing out here?" He asked walking over to Adam who stopped to meet him.

"How is he?" He asked sharply.

"Last I checked, he was fine. Why?"

"They called a code blue." Jay explained.

"Yes, for a heart patient." He realizes what they were afraid of. "Oh Lord, you thought it was Matt?"

"MATTIE!!!!" Jeff screamed.

Dr. Anderson knelt in front of him and took his face in his hands.

"Jeff, it wasn't Matt. You hear me?"

Jeff stared at him. "What?"

"It wasn't Matt. He's doing fine."

Jay and Andrew sagged against the wall, completely relieved. Adam dropped to his knees, thanking God, weak from the frustration leaving him like the world had been lifted from his broad shoulders. Jeff hugged Dr. Anderson, breaking down with tears of relief instead of fear and desperation. Dr. Anderson comforted him.

"Shhh----Jeff. It's alright. Matt's alright. Let it out, son. Let it all out."

He reached over, touched Adam's shoulder in support.

Matt has recovered enough to be moved his own room. Adam demanded for a large semi-private room with the condition that Matt's only room mates are to be one or more of them.

Amazing what happens when people are faced with the feral glare of one Adam Copeland. Most people bend and do what he wants. The only one who it doesn't affect is Matt. Adam has yet to figure THAT one out.

A roll away bed has been brought to the room. Adam ordered Jeff to bed and gave Jay the key to Matt's house and ordered him and Andrew to go get some sleep. Jeff fell asleep after he got Adam to wake him if anything happens.

Adam sits by Matt's bedside on the roll away. Matt's eyes were slightly open.

*Well--you made it buddy. You're gonna be fine." Adam told him mentally.

*Thanks for the support Adam*

"Anytime. Just don't make this a habit.*

He replied, smiling.

*Jeff lost it, didn't he?*

*Not too bad. Mostly on the flight here when Jay told him.*

*Jay's here?*

*Jay and Andrew.*

*They'll get in trouble with Vince.*

*Hey, Ric said as long as they show up on the house shows and at Raw and Smackdown, he had no problem. Forget what Vince thinks.*

*They are true friends. As are you.*

*Couldn't stand back and do nothing.*

Matt smiled and offered his hand. Adam quickly took the forearm and returned the smile.

*This is only for us. No one else. Just you and me, buddy.*

Matt nodded, fell asleep. Adam watched over him. He was grateful his best friend made it and was going to be alright. Now to get through the other surgeries like this. Then and when they got Matt home would he be happy.


Chapter 11

It was a few days before Matt was able to stay awake and alert. He was sitting up, talking to Ric on the phone.

"Yes sir, it was scary." Matt said answering Ric's questions.

"Matt, you are not at work. You call me Ric unless you want me to call you MR. Hardy."

"No, no. That's my dad. That's alright."

"Ok, then. Now that's cleared up. I have arranged for you to have paid medical leave."

"Ric--you don't-----" Matt was shocked. Ric knew how long he would be out and still he was going to get paid for it.

"You put your life on the line every time you step in that ring. You have worked your ass off for this company long enough. The least we can do is this. Linda agrees. And you know she doesn't take no for an answer!"

"Thank you." Matt was stunned, a loss for words. He knew how stubborn Linda McMahon can be and knew she would force this on him.

"You're welcome. Now, what's next?"

"Well, in a couple of weeks, they're gonna repair the damage to my neck and back."

"Titanium and bone fusion?" Ric knew what they did today for ruptured disks. Enough wrestlers have had to have it done.

"Yeah. I've got 2 in my neck and 3 in my back."


"Tell me... Especially the ones in my neck. The one they are most worried about is between the vertebraes 6 & 7."

"That's the base of the neck. Is it laying on a nerve?"

"Uh-huh. If I don't have it done, I'll lose complete use of my right arm."

"Not to mention, if you don't have your back repaired, you won't be able to walk either. So, there's no choice." He knew Matt was not looking forward to it. Hell, who would? So, he had to make him understand there was no other option.

"Nope. I'm just gonna go crazy having nothing to do!" He laughed. He was trying to keep his spirits up.

Ric laughed. With your brother and Adam there? Oh, I think you'll be anything but bored!"

"You're giving Adam time off too?" Matt was confused. He expected Jeff to take time off but Adam?

"He and Jeff will alternate weeks. You won't be alone. It was their idea."

"I can't believe Adam." He said softly.

"He wants to help. He WON'T take no for an answer. In fact, he threatened to quit if I didn't agree to this. Something he didn't have to do." He tried to encourage Matt to accept the offer.

"I need to talk to Jay and see if I can do something for him." He whispered.

"Good luck, Matt. I'll stay in touch. Let us know if you need anything."

"Will do. Thanks, Ric."

He hangs up, grabs his head, squeezed his eyes shut, trying to get rid of the migraine headache that assaulted him totally unaware that Jeff was watching. Jeff hits the call button and rushed to his side, holds him close, rocks him.

"Can I help you?" Came over the intercom.

"My brother needs something for a headache!"

Jeff screams which makes Matt groan in pain. "Sorry, Mattie."

"Yes, Sir!" Came the quick reply. The nurses were under strict orders from Dr. Anderson to give Matt anything that he or any of the others asked for or in some cases, demanded. Like the others would take no for an answer. Ha, not likely.


Chapter 12

Matt finally got some relief from the headache and fell asleep.

Adam and Jeff are talking to the Dr. outside his room

"Gentlemen, I can assure you. We got all of both tumors." Dr. was insulted by the looks of both men. Menacing and angry.

"Then, why the headaches?" Jeff asked through gritted teeth. He did NOT like the idea of his brother enduring more pain at this time.

"Please understand, the brain is still healing. After having that blockage for so long, it has to re-adjust to it no longer being ther. It just takes time. If Adam here hadn't told the nurse's he was Matt's brother, they wouldn't have done the surgery until you got here. Or would they allow him to stay in the room."

Jeff turned to Adam. "YOU? Lie?"

"Not really." He answered, shaking his head.

"They needed next of kin to sign the papers, so...."

"You 'adopted' him." Jeff finished.

Adam nodded. Jeff was unsure of what to feel. Anger, jealousy, hatred or relief. He chose the latter.

"You probably saved his life. Thanks."

"Anytime." Adam said, shaking his hand. He was worried how Jeff would react to that fact. He was ready for an argument but was relieved when it didn't come.

Dr. Anderson nodded. He was proud that two boys he watched grow up had been fortunate enough to make such a good friend---no---not friend---brother.

"How long until these headaches are gone?" Jeff asked.

"I don't know. Everyone is different. It depends on Matt's own healing abilites."

"Won't be long then." Jeff replied. "Matt bounces back faster than anyone."

Adam nods his agreement. He can't help but wonder is Matt could or already has developed and addiction to pain medicine. That was one problem he didn't need. In his weakened state, it wouldn't be hard. And he also has another surgery to go through.


Chapter 13

Matt kept asking for pain medication. He knew what could happen if he kept it up but he couldn't help it. He remembered seeing the anger and pain etched in his brother's face that morning when Jeff and Adam stood outside his room. He knew he was the cause of that and it hurt him deeply. This was the only way he knew to ease his pain.

To keep suspicions from being raised, he only asked for it when he was alone. Which was more and more often now that he was better after surgery. But, he also knew it would be harder to get without people knowing after his next surgery, so he started stashing it. His thoughts kept going back to that morning when Jeff and Adam were outside his room.

Jeff's face was full of rage and pain.

"Jeff? Hey, man, you ok?" Adam asked concerned.

"Remember when I told you I understood his reasons for keeping this from me?" He asked through gritted teeth.

"Yeah. I asked you to explain them to me."

Adam knew where this was going and he didn't want to go there.

"I lied. I didn't understand then and I don't now. How in the hell could he do that? How could he keep something like this from me?"

Right then, Matt had woken up and saw the pain and anger in his brother's eyes.

"I'm sorry, Jeff. So sorry." He said softly. He turned on his side and let the tears flow freely. 'Damn, I tried to keep him from hurting and I did anyway. Only one way to end this. Only one.'

"Matt and I never have kept secrets from each other. Honesty is very important to us. At least, I thought it was."

Knowing Adam could read his thoughts, Matt put his barriers up.

Adam briefly sensed Matt's anguish and flinched when that connection was broken. He turned to the window, worried.

*Matt? you Ok?*

No answer. Adam bit his lip.

"Adam, how could he? Why would he? There's absolutely no reason! Sometimes, I want to hate him. But, I see him lying there, pale, weak and hurting. I can't hate him. What should I do?"

Knowing Matt was going to do something drastic and dangerous to stop Jeff's pain, Adam turned a very stern face to Jeff.

"YOU are gonna support your brother. YOU are NOT let him know of your anger and bitterness." His tone invoked no arguing

Jay and Andrew walked up.

"WHAT? What makes you say that?"

"Matt is vulnerable right now. He just went through a life saving surgery and he has at least one more to endure. This makes him weak and susceptible. If any of us give him even the slightest hint of our anger toward him, he won't want to go through with it."

Jeff studied him. "You know something, don't you?"

Adam shakes his head, turns away. Refusing to answer that question.


Chapter 14

Adam shook his head, turned away. Refusing to answer Jeff's question

"Adam can hear what Matt's thinking." Jay tells him. "He knows what Matt will do given these circumstances."

Both Jeff and Andrew are confused.

"What are you talking about? That's impossible!" Jeff exclaimed, refusing to believe what he was being told.

"Afraid not. Matt and Adam have a connection that is rare, unique and very special." Jay replied. He read something in Adam's eyes that he has only seen once before. And he was happy for his best friend.

"I don't believe that!" Jeff exclaimed.

"No? Then tell me, how can Adam get Matt to open up? To talk to him when no one else can? Not even you?" Jay asked.

Andrew thought it over and realized it was true.

"He's right."

Jeff looked at him in bewilderment.

"Jeff, whenever Matt is in a somber mood and won't hardly talk, Adam is the one who can get him to talk. And he does so willingly. No one else can get him to do that. No one but him." He points to Adam.

Jeff chewed on his lip thoughtfully. He also realized that when he should be jealous of Adam, instead, he was grateful. He laid his hand on Adam's shoulder.

"I'm sorry. I should've realized this was hard on you too. I want to thank you."

"I'm not trying to take your place, Jeff. No one could do that. I just want to help. I NEED to help." He said still looking at Matt. *MATT?*

No answer.

*Don't you even think about it, Hardy. You do anything stupid and I'll kick your ass. It'll have to wait until you're healed, then I'LL put you back in here!*

He vowed to make sure that his fears don't become a reality. All he had to do was stay in the room 24/7. It was a sacrifice he was more than willing to make.

And make it he did. One morning, he found Matt's stash and he came unhitched, waking Matt up.

"MATTHEW MOORE HARDY! What the hell do you think you are doing?! Are you TRYING to get hooked on these things?" He shouted walking over from the closet where he found the pills in Matt's duffel bag.

"What's it matter? Jeff is pissed at me. I've hurt him. Which is something I didn't want to do. But, I did any way. If I'm out of the picture, I can't hurt him anymore."

"Oh, I didn't know I had an invitation to a pity party." Adam replied sarcastically.

"Knock it off, Hardy. All you have to do is be open and honest with us. Especially Jeff.

He has been extremely worried about you for a long time. If you had just told him the truth, none of this would've happened."

"Adam, you don't understand."

"Then, make me understand." Adam challenged.

Matt sighed heavily. How was he going to do that?

Jeff quietly walked in.

"Adam, I'm the older brother. To me, that means I have to be strong. Both physically and mentally. I wasn't strong physically. I knew of these problems and did nothing for them. I didn't want to seem weak in front of Jeff."

"You wouldn't have been weak, Mattie." Jeff said softly.

That startled Matt.

"You would've shown me how strong you really are. Don't you get it? I know no one is invincible. Not me, Not Adam.....and not you. I was scared for you, Mattie. Do you know how that made ME feel? You were hurting. You were in danger of losing your life! Don't you think that would've hurt more if you had died when something could've been done if you had only swallowed you DAMN foolish pride?"

Matt looked away. He couldn't take the fear and pain in his brother's eyes anymore.

"I'm sorry, Jeff." He said softly.

"Just promise me, Matt. Promise you won't keep anything like this from me again. You have a problem, come to me. Come to Adam. Just talk to someone, PLEASE!"

Matt looked at Jeff after that hearfelt plea. He held his arms out and Jeff quickly went to embrace his brother.

"Promise me, Mattie."

"I promise." Matt replied.

As Jay and Andrew walk in, Adam has an idea. He motions for them to take their places on the other side of Matt's bed. Jeff stands up. Matt watches questioningly. Adam holds his hand out over Matt. Jeff follows suit, then Jay then Andrew and finally, after Adam looks at him, Matt follows.

"We pledge to give our unwavering support to each other." Jay said.

"To be there when we stumble." Andrew said

"To help build up strength and confidence." Adam said.

"To be a rock to lean on for support or a shoulder to cry on." Jeff said.

"To forever be friends." Matt said

"No. Not friends." Adam said. He looked at each one in return. They each nod.

"BROTHERS!" They all say.