Chapter   Twenty-Seven

A few days later....

Harold and Jackie Littrell, Harold III, VJ, Nick, Alisha, Nicky, Kevin, Ann Richardson, Gerald and Tim, Alexis, AJ, BJ, Howie, and Maria were all waiting in the private waiting room in the hospital, waiting for news on how Brian's surgery was going. Nobody really said anything. Alisha had her cell phone on, so she could call her parents with any news. Nick, Howie, AJ, BJ, and VJ were doing the same. The only one making any noise was Nicky. He sat on the floor by his mom and dad, playing with the toys they brought to keep him occupied. He learned to say other words to let Nick and Alisha know what he wanted when he wanted it.

"Dad," Nicky said, looking at Nick. "Water."

"I'll be right back," Nick said, picking up Nicky. "I'm gonna take Nicky to get some water. Tell me if you hear anything."

"We will, sweetie," said Alisha. Nick kissed the top of her head and walked down the hall.

"I think I'm gonna take a walk," BJ said, getting up from her seat.

"I'll go with you," said AJ. The two of them headed off down the hall as well.

"If they think they're fooling us, they're crazy," said Howie.

"Howie, they've been married for almost two months," Maria said. "The 'honeymoon' period isn't over yet."

Nick walked back over to where he was sitting and put Nicky down on the floor. He ran over to his mom carrying a can of Coke. "Mom," he said, holding it up to Alisha.

Alisha took the Coke and gave Nicky a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, sweetheart."

"I just saw AJ and BJ go into an empty hospital room," Nick announced to them. "I wonder what they're doing."

"I told you guys," Howie said. "I told you."

"I think I should find myself an empty hospital room," said Kevin. "I could use one about now."

"I don't think you should be saying that with your mom here, dear," said Alexis. Kevin looked at his mom and smiled innocently.

"Don't even go there, young man," said Ann.

"I was just kidding," Kevin said. "I wouldn't think of doing that now. If me and Alexis were married for two months now, it'd be a different story."

Just then the doctor walked in the waiting room. Everyone jumped out of their seats and started firing question after question at him. The doctor calmly waited for them to stop, then told them how everything went.

"Well, I'd like to say first and foremost," he started. "Mr. Littrell's surgery went throught without any problems and he'll be good as new. He's in recovery and still a little groggy. But I need you to remember not to get him excited and not to stay too long when visiting. He need all the rest he can get."

"How long is it going to take for him to recover?" Kevin asked.

"Four to eight weeks. Mr. Littrell will be doing physical therapy to strengthen his muscles again and is to remain the least active he can be. After a few weeks, he'll be allowed to take short walks and such to continue recovering completely. Now, he's in a private room and you can see him, but only a few at a time."

At that moment, AJ and BJ walked back into the waiting room. They practically ran back when they saw the doctor leaving.

"What did the doctor say?" AJ asked.

"Brian is going to be fine," Jackie Littrell said.

"Thank God," said BJ.

"He's in his room right now," Harold Littrell told them. "We were just about to go see him."

"The doctor said only a few at a time, so who goes first?" asked Howie.

"I think Jackie, Harold, and Harold III should be first," said Nick. "They're immediate family."

"We'll be out in a few minutes," said Jackie. Her, her husband, and Harold III went down the hall to see their son and brother.

A few minutes later, Harold III came out and said they wanted Kevin and his family in the room. Kevin gave Alexis a quick kiss on the cheek before heading down to Brian's room with his family. The rest of the group told AJ and BJ what the doctor said. None of them brought up the 'hospital room' thing. No use in embarrassing the newlyweds. Right now, anyway.

Soon, the Littrells and the Richardson's said Brian wanted to see VJ, Nick, Alisha, and Nicky. The four of them headed to his room. VJ was a little hesitant to walk into the room. She didn't know what to expect. When she saw Brian, he was hooked up to all these different monitors and he looked really tired. VJ walked over to one side of the bed and took his hand in hers. Brian looked at her.

"Here's my reason for living," he said. "The doctor said I was good in the operating room. Do I get a kiss?"

VJ broke into a little smile. "Of course." She leaned down and placed a kiss on his forehead. "I'm glad you're okay."

"Yeah," said Nick. "Soon the duo of 'Frick and Frack' will be up a runnning once again."

"I'm so glad you're gonna be all right," Alisha said, leaning down and giving Brian a kiss on the forehead. "Here's someone else who happy."

Alisha picked up Nicky and put him on the bed beside Brian, careful not to jostle any of the tubes hooked up to him. Nicky gave Brian a big smile.

"Uncle Brian," he said. Then he gave Brian a big kiss on the forehead. "All better."

"That's right, little buddy," Brian smiled. "All better."

Alisha took Nicky off the bed and held him in her arms. "How are you feeling, Brian?"

"I'm feeling tired, but good," he said. "Doctors said I should be in top condition in four to eight weeks."

"I'm glad," said VJ. "Did they say when you could check out of the hospital?"

"They said probably in two or three weeks. It all depends on how well and fast I'm recovering in here."

"That's good," Nick said. "I think we'll be going now. The others are impatiently waiting to see you, too."

"Come back soon," said Brian. "And I hope you enjoyed your visit."

Nick smiled and gave his best friend a hug, then Alisha and Nicky also gave him a hug. They left and VJ was gonna start to say goodbye, but Brian stopped her.

"What is it?" VJ asked.

"I just wanted to let you know that you being here made it so much easier for me to do this," Brian said. "Thoughts of you help me pull through and I thank you for being here for me. I really appreciate it."

Tears came to VJ's eyes. "I wasn't about to let you go through this alone. And I'll always be here for you, no matter what. I love you, Brian Littrell."

"I love you, Victoria Johnson."

VJ leaned down and gave Brian a soft kiss on the lips. "I better go so the other can come and see you."

VJ walked back into the waiting room and Howie and Maria went in, then AJ and BJ, then Kevin (again) and Alexis. When everyone had gone in to see Brian, they all left. Brian, Alisha, and Nicky were staying at the Littrells' house, Kevin and Alexis were staying with the Richardsons, while the rest of them were staying at a nearby hotel. VJ drove back with Nick, Alisha, and Nicky. Nicky was a little hyper in the backseat and kept bouncing up and down in his car seat.

That night, VJ slept in Brian's room. She looked around and saw something she had failed to notice before. It was a picture of her and Brian with Nick and his sister BJ, when they went to Universal Studios back when they first met. VJ picked up the picture and ran her fingers over it. So much had gone on since then. It seemed like a lifetime ago since that picture was taken. Her and Brian were engaged, Nick and Alisha have a son, and AJ and BJ got married. And apparently the newlyweds were getting it on in empty hospital rooms. VJ laughed at that thought, then put the picture back down on Brian's dresser. She smiled and thought of all that had happened in the past two years. VJ knew she wouldn't give up those two years for anything.


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