Always on My Mind
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Nothing Much to Do/Much Ado About Nothing.
A/N: This story is set in a universe where everything happens except Balthazar and Pedro getting together. The chapters will not take place in chronological order, so don't think you've missed anything if chapters don't match up with the ones before. Also, there'll be mention of a major character death, so yeah, there's that warning. Hope everyone enjoys this - I'll try to update as often as possible!
The drive home from the hospital was filled noise from the radio. The DJ and his guest laughed and joked, and Balthazar wanted nothing more than to reach through the car's console and throttle them till they shut up.
Ursula seemed to sense his anger and turned off the radio. She made no attempt at conversation.
They drove in silence until Balthazar couldn't handle it anymore. "She's terrible, Ursula. When you said she wasn't doing well, I thought - I don't know what I thought - but it sure as hell wasn't that. The tubes and the beeping and the fake smiles. How did this happen?" He stopped for breath. That was a stupid question. It happened the way stage four breast cancer always happens. Without thought, feeling, or humanity.
"I'm sorry." Why was she apologizing? She didn't do this to Bea and Ben. "I should have prepared you better. I've gotten so used to it." The heaviness in her voice didn't make Balth feel any better.
When they had walked into the hospital, Ursula had gone up to the nurse on duty at the desk, said something with a small smile, and led Balthazar down hallways she seemed far too familiar with. With the same familiarity, she walked into Bea's room and took a seat by her bed.
She had held Bea's hand and made small talk, like her friend wasn't lying in a bed with wires and tubes stretching from her body. She had shared glances with Ben and known exactly when to go and get water for Bea.
When Ursula had said she visited Bea everyday, she really meant she had been her nurse. It made Balthazar wonder who was taking care of her.
Before he could contemplate the matter, Ursula pulled up to the curb in front of his house.
"Looks like you have a visitor." A nod of her head had Balthazar looking toward his house. The familiar figure on his porch wiped thoughts of the hospital from his head. Pedro.
"So, how're you settling in. I mean, all two seconds you've been back…" Pedro scratched the back of his head, the familiar action pulling on Balth's heart. This was clearly the same Pedro he left years before, but - was he?
"Ursula took me to see Bea. She was doing well." Lies. "Well, not really, but you know."
Pedro looked up at the mention of Beatrice; Balthazar could see pain in his eyes. Everyone here had been carrying that pain while he lived it up at uni. The weight of his selfishness hit him again. Damn.
"Yeah, she's holding it together pretty well considering." Pedro didn't seem too convinced by his own words. At some point, they would both have to stop lying.
Silence fell - this time it was worse than in the truck. Pedro wasn't mad, but now they were both thinking about their sick friend.
"Ursula gave me your song a few months ago when I asked her about your music." Oh. Well that was one question answered. "It's really good. I mean, not that I'm surprised. Your stuff is always good. But, I mean, the lyrics were great. I'll never understand where you get your inspiration from." Seriously, Pedro? Where could Balth possibly get his inspiration for a song about unrequited love? Obviously not from his ex-best friend. Nope. Not at all.
"Ah, it just comes to me sometimes. No big deal." Cool, yeah, play it cool. "You asked about my music?" Okay, there goes the cool.
Pedro paused to kick at a rock. "Yeah, I ask about it all the time. I ask about you all the time." He looked at Balth and tilted his head. "Do you ever ask Urs about me?"