A/N: Oh my gosh, I am SO sorry to all of you! I hate to leave you all hanging, I just lacked a serious motivation. To make it up for you guys a little bit, I made a banner for this story :) Check it out on my profile.
This chapter is dedicated to all of you guys - whether you'd reviewed, favorited, alerted, or even just read it, every one of you is the reason I write. It's your reviews or PMs that make my day, or motivate me to get up here and write *Thanks to Charlie Adams for this chapter :) I loved every sentence of your PM - P.S. I am one of those losers, too :)*. So, thank you. All of you. I really hope you guys will enjoy this chapter. Sadly, this is the last one :( I hope you've all enjoyed this story, and I hope that I give it some closure :)
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Sonny, for the last time :(
I watched as Chad watched me, wanting to laugh but in too much pain, as the nurse helped me out of the bed and passed me a pair of crutches, which she helped me carefully position them so that I wouldn't hurt my ribs.
"And if you experience any pain, nausea, or fainting, please either come down or call..." The nurse rambled off the mandatory sentence, and I pretended to listen. Like I was planning on ever stepping foot in here again! Not if I could help it. I'll deal with the 'pain', at home, and I'll hide it if I have too. Knowing Chad, I'd say 'ow', and he'd panic and rush me straight back to the hospital.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Chad asked, his eyes narrowing as I bit my lip, stepping forwards and wincing at the slight pinch in my side. Still, I nodded quickly, knowing that if I so much moved in the wrong way, Chad would send me straight back to bed and make me stay at this suffocating hospital another week, with or without the doctor's permission. After all, he was 'Chad Dylan Cooper', and no doctor was going to stand in his way. Or at least, those had been his words.
"Yes, can we please just go?" I asked, and Chad sighed, running a hand through his hair before nodding. Breathing a sigh of relief, I stepped forwards, frowning as I tried to adapt to the awkward movement and feeling of the crutches. All I knew was that it wasn't natural, and I still wasn't sure about them.
The minute I'd stepped out into the waiting room, a hush fell over the patients. I smiled uncomfortably, hoping that they wouldn't run over and try to trample me, or anything like that, because I wasn't too keen about being put backin the hospital before I even was able to get out. I tensed at all the stares, also highly aware of the crutches supporting me, and wishing I could disappear altogether.
I turned slightly as I felt a hand on the small of my back, and smiled softly as I realized that it was Chad. He gave a small nod, telling me to get out before the fans revived from their shock, and I obliged, awkwardly making my way towards the door. The small whispers, the shocked girls turning to scream at each other happened just as we left.
"Well, that was a narrow escape," I commented, glancing back towards the hospital, shuddering at the thought. I grinned at Chad, feeling like laughing. I was finally out of here!
"Sonny, watch your step!" Chad yelled suddenly, and I came to an abrupt halt, finally glancing down and biting my lip. Stairs. Crap. Hesitantly, I balanced my weight and carefully lowered the crutches down, making sure that they were firmly planted on the ground before slowly swinging myself down. One step conquered, seventeen more to go.
With Chad's help, I managed to get down the stairs without falling, which I was deeply thankful for. I could only imagine how painful it would be to land on my broken ribs, and not end up back in the hospital. I wasn't even sure if it was possible to avoid the hospital if that did happen. I'd rather not find out, though.
I stopped at Chad's car, noticing that he was watching my every movement. I sighed, knowing that he was just worried about me, but really, I was fine. Or at least I would be, once I healed.
"Chad!" I exclaimed as he opened the door for me (Thankfully, because I wasn't sure how I was going to balance both crutches and my weight and still be able to pull the convertible door open), "Really, I'm okay. I'm not just going to break or anything. Please, I'm fine." I begged, and Chad sighed, still looking unsure. Still, he hadn't argued back yet, so maybe I really was getting somewhere.
"Oh, fine, if you insist. But if anything - and I mean anything at all hurts, we're calling the hospital, and..."
"Chad, Chad, stop!" I shook my head as I placed the crutches on the floor, next to me, staring in his direction as the convertible's engine started. "Pain is normal. Pain is okay, as long as it's not extreme. And I'm sure this will be nothing considering..." I broke off, realizing what I was about to say, and quickly ducked my head before I could catch Chad's expression.
Thankfully, he didn't reply to my fumble, instead keeping his eyes firmly on the road and his expression blank. I sighed - okay, this was worse than him talking.
"Look, Chad, it's over. James is in jail - he can't hurt us anymore. Let's just pretend I didn't mention that, okay? Just forget what I was saying - it's fine." I kept my eyes on the crutches that were resting beside me, swallowing back my tears. This is all my fault. If only I hadn't been so horribly cocky about dumping James - if only I had been more cautious after his warning. Why hadn't I been able to see before that he was dangerous? Why hadn't it shown as clearly as it did now?
"Sonny." Chad leaned over, his piercing blue eyes staring into mine with concern. I glanced up in confusion only to see that Chad had pulled over, and now had his hand on my chin. "Sonny, why are you crying?"
The sticky, wet feeling of tears on my cheeks registered after he said it, and I frowned. I hadn't even realized that I'd been crying until he'd pointed it out - I really was much more upset by the whole situation than even I was aware of. I opened my mouth to reply, but found that I couldn't, because suddenly my body was shaking with sobs, and I had clamped a hand over my mouth to stifle the noise.
Chad took a deep breath, wrapping his arms around me, and I leaned my head onto his shoulder, unable to control myself. Why I was so upset - well, I guess it was just because this past week had been both emotionally and physically draining. I just didn't know what to do, and I had nothing left inside of me to give of anyone, even myself.
"I'm so, so sorry." I choked out, while Chad rubbed my back, catching his breath. I raised my head, wondering what was wrong, until I saw the tears in Chad's eyes also. Smiling softly at him, I engulfed him in a hug, both of us now crying open. It was better this way; we'd both feel better after we let all our emtions that we'd been holding back out.
"I won't let you out of my sight again," Chad struggled to compose himself (Chad Dylan Cooper does not cry) while I shook my head. "This is my fault - I didn't watch you closely enough. I didn't protect you like I said I would. Everything, all of this, is because..."
"Shut up, Chad." I snapped, watching as he stopped, his head jerking up in surprise. Of course, only he'd take what I just said the wrong way. "What I mean, is, no, it's not your fault. We've been down this road before, Chad, and I'm not going to change my mind. It isn't either of our faults - it's James, not us!" I continued, knowing that what I said was true, and also realizing that I couldn't go on blaming myself forever. I hadn't had any control over the situation, plus what's in the past, is in the past. It happened, and we need to move on. No matter how hard it is.
What's done is done, so let what's coming come. That's been my motto ever since the incident with James. Sometimes, things happen in life that, if you let them, could scar you physically, mentally, emotionally, forever. You have to step up and push your past into the past, and move on, even if it's the hardest thing to do, because I promise you, if you do this, it'll be the best thing you ever could do for yourself. A weight will be lifted off of you, and you'll discover things that you were too preoccupied to notice before.
Chad and I were married in August (We waited until I was twenty-three and he was twenty-four, of course. Sorry, guys, but we didn't get married that same year. We were way too young back then). Nico, Grady, Zora, and even Tawni and the rest of the casts of Condor Studioswere all there. It was everything a girl could've dreamed of, or ever wished for.
As you can see, I've moved on. James was released last September, and by that point, I didn't even care. Why should I? I've let go of that part of my life, he should've by now too. Of course, I had felt a flicker of fear and a momentary relapse of memories, but it had passed by the end of the day, and I'd moved on. I wasn't going to just sit around and dwell over something that I couldn't control. It wasn't healthy. For me or my baby, which was due in May.
As you can see, the pieces of my puzzle have finally fallen into place. Maybe everything wasn't right in the first place, but we've worked through our problems and in the end, created our own fairytale. And yes, to finalize the grand picture, Mom moved next door.
The only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes, and keep going. Don't stop, don't dwell on the negative, and don't skateboard with a sucker in your mouth, and you'll do just fine.
Chad and I survived, didn't we?
Sorry about the 'skateboarding with a sucker' thing... I couldn't resist ;P So, I left the ending open a little, because I'm thinking of doing a sequel... possibly. What do you guys think? It's just an idea, of course. Review? :)