Short Fics





Chapter 1

“What the hell were you thinking?” Chester half scolded the minute he saw Joe. The rest of the guys were sitting about the room, talking. Rob was flipping channels on the tiny television absently without paying attention to any of the programs.

“It wasn’t me! Remy made me do it!” Joe pointed out indignantly.

“Yeah, blame the only person who isn’t here. He’d be really disappointed in you, Joe,” Mike said from the window. He was keeping himself entertained with the going-ons outside the building.

“And who’s going to DJ for tonight’s show you prick?” Chester was still a little pissed over the whole situation, but he could feel a laugh escaping him as he watched Joe play with his fork and spoon. Joe coolly pointed towards Mike without even looking up from the plane he was trying to build with the plastic cutleries.

“What?! Dammit Joe! You had to go ruin the whole schedule with one of your stupid tricks,” Mike grumbled.

“But I TOLD you. Remy made me do it,” Joe looked up at them innocently.

“God, you’re never going to get a sorry out of him at this rate,” Brad said without looking up from the issue of National Geographic in his hands.

“Forget it,” Chester threw his hands up in the air in resignation. “We might as well just cancel tonight’s show.”

“I’m that important?” Joe asked in mock innocence. “You have to cancel a show just because I can’t make it?”

“Shut up Joe, before I beat your already bruised ass up,” Chester growled through his teeth.

“Yes you are. So you’re going to get as much rest as you need and rest that fucked up head of yours too.” Phoenix said as he tried to push Joe back down onto the pillow and tuck him in.

“Hey! But I’m not tired!” Joe squirmed away from Phoenix’s grip. “OW! SHIT!! Look what you did, you dumb ass!” He rubbed his chest where it hurt, pouting like a three-year-old.

“This is hopeless. I’m going to take a walk,” Mike sighed, heading out the door.

“And try to pick up hot nurses? Save me some, ya Mike?” Chester called after him, chuckling. The rest of the guys laughed.

“HAH! You wish!” Mike called back from the hallway.

“OW! See what you made me do again!” Joe complained still holding his sides as he tried to laugh. 

He, or Remy as he claimed, was in one of his weird moods when he decided to skate down the grand staircase of the hotel they were currently living in. He’d sped down the marbled stairs in fullspeed and lost control of the skateboard as it whizzed past the lobby, narrowly missing a few guests and a busboy and scaring the living daylights out of everyone with his screams. He had rammed head-on into the huge mahogany table with the heavy ivory vase in the middle. He’d laid there amidst the broken bits of vase and exotic flowers, dazed and absolutely proud of the stunt he’d just pulled.

“You’re damn fucking lucky you’re alive, dickhead,” Rob had said, his voice thick with concern and maybe just a little shock when he found him lying there with a stupid grin on his face.

Amazingly, he had escaped death with only a few broken ribs and a fractured wrist which was in a cast he was extremely proud of.

“Hmm... now tell me how you’re going to DJ with your hand in a cast, Einstein,” Mike had said with a grin on his face as they wheeled him out in a stretcher.

Joe had been getting endless teasings and the occasional outbursts of anger from Chester ever since. But he didn’t really mind. He was a little worried about the night’s show, but figured they could always make do with recorded stuff for one night. He’d shrugged off that thought and immersed himself happily in the green jello given to him for lunch.

He opened his eyes and looked about the quiet hospital room. It was dark, save the dim light from the light by his bed. The rest of the guys had left a few hours ago and he guessed they were probably onstage having fun without him. He pouted at the thought of not being able to stand behind his turntables and performing for his fans. His self pity only lasted about two seconds. He then took out a pen and started doodling on his already well doodled cast. Mike had drawn a little SD version of Akira pointing at him, laughing on one side. Joe had deftly added a missile heading towards Akira. He got lost in his world of cast cartooning, adding little gadgets and weapons to counter the last.

When he finally looked up, he found his tray of hospital dinner sitting on the table. He hadn’t even noticed when the nurse brought it in. He eyed his mashed potato wearily, half wondering if it would swallow his fork or not. Hunger was more powerful than his imagination and he wolfed down every single scrap of food in the tray. It wasn’t the best food he’d tasted, but he didn’t complain. All that sleep and medication made him hungry. It reminded him of cafeteria food from his high school and he scrunched his nose up at the memory of fish sticks day.

“Let’s go explore the unknown,” he heard Remy saying. He ignored the voice and flipped channels on the television, hoping to catch something interesting.

“C’mon! You’d start growing mold on your butt and mushrooms would start sprouting from your head if you don’t get out of this room.” Remy egged on.

“Oh fine, but if I get into trouble again, it’s your fault.” He argued with Remy in his thoughts as he placed his feet into the slippers and pulled the robe around him.

He watched the hallway through the crack in the door and poked his head out, looking left and right, making sure that no one was around. He ventured out slowly, skulking against the wall down the hallway towards the bend.

“Hey! What are you doing in here!” A female voice broke his train of imagination. Joe jumped, knocking down the elaborate fort he built with Lego blocks. The tiny plane he’d made skidded across the floor and bumped against the nurse’s white shoe. She picked it up, her other had on her hips and a stern look on her face.

“OH NO! Look what you did! Now everyone’s dead!” He wailed, scooping the broken fort up into his arms. The nurse was caught off guard by his reaction and didn’t know how to react.

  “Shh... you’ll wake the dragon,” he simply said in a whisper when she opened her mouth to speak. He gently took the plane from her hand and settled back into the small yellow plastic chair, grinning.

“This is the children’s ward. You’re not supposed to be here. You’re too old to be in here,” she said, wondering why she was whispering.  She shook her head and continued. “Besides, you’ll spread germs to the kids.”

“What germs?” he asked indignantly. “I only got broken ribs and a fractured wrist,” he held up his hand and continued playing with the plane.

“You have to get out now. Get back to your room,” She stepped closer to the table where he was sitting at. “Scoot!”

“But it’s so much fun here! I wanna play with the toys. It’s so boring up in my room. Look I’ve even ran out of cast to draw on. Besides Akira’s long dead by now,” he pointed to what was once Mike’s doodle which was now some black patch on his cast.

“Look, you’re going to get into trouble if the head nurse comes along,” she continued persuading to no avail.

“Don’t make me go back there!” He shot her a shocked look that almost scared her. She took a step back in surprise at the sudden outburst.

“OK. You can keep the plane, but you gotta leave now or you’ll get us both in trouble.” He looked at her for a moment and saw that she was genuinely worried and afraid that she would get into trouble.

“Ok,” he shrugged and pocketed the plane, walking out of the playroom as if nothing ever happened. The nurse simply stared after him, dumbfounded, before she started packing away the mess he made.

Joe whistled as he wandered around the pediatrics floor. The last time he checked, the clock on the wall said 1 a.m. He stopped whistling when he heard footsteps behind him. Spotting the nurse that caught him in the playroom earlier, he made a dash for the nearest door. He peeked through the crack and waited until the nurse was gone. Turning around, he stopped dead in his tracks. He wasn’t alone in the room.

He found himself staring at a tiny figure in the bed which stared back at him blankly. Sitting on the bed was a tiny girl with frazzled black hair and deep blue eyes. She blinked once and continued staring at him, wide-eyed. The doll she was clutching lay face-down on the huge story book on her lap. Her lips quivered slightly.

“Uh, hi,” he threw her a grin and waved, not knowing what else to do. She blinked and opened her mouth and started bawling. Joe jumped and rushed towards her.

“SSSHHHHH....” he tried to calm her down, but she didn’t stop. “Don’t cry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” he whispered to her, patting her head gently.

“I’m not the boogey man. Honest! See, I don’t have green hair or claws,” he tried to show her, but she ignored him.

“Shhh..... the nurse is going to come in and I’m going to get into trouble for something I didn’t do,” he looked at her forlornly. Giving up, he sighed and pulled out the plane from his pocket.

“Here. See, I got a plane for you. It’s all nice and it’s got all these laser guns and jet engines with super turbo power to boost it,” he hopelessly tried to stop her from crying.

She did, much to his relief, and took the plane from his hands, which he let go reluctantly.

“You’re going to give that back after you’re done, right?” he asked her, his voice hopeful as she turned the little Lego plane around, examining it carefully. She threw him a sideways glance and played with the plane.

Joe repeated his question, a hopeful look on his face which would have made most of his fans swoon. It didn’t budge the little girl. She stuck her little pink tongue out at him and continued playing with the plane, now involving her much mutilated Barbie doll.

He sat by her bed mournfully, hoping that she would fall asleep soon and he could get his plane back.

Fifteen minutes later, Joe found himself immersed in one of her thick fairy tales book while she was still playing with the plane. “Can I have the plane back now?” He decided to try his luck again. This time, she turned to look at him with her huge eyes and willingly handed the plane back to him. “Thank you!” he almost kissed her ruddy cheeks as he held the plane in his hand again.

“What’s your name?” she asked, watching him pocketing his plane.

“I’m Joseph Hahn. Ruler of the Universe and DJ extrodinaire,” he put on a superhero-ish kind of voice and bowed low. She giggled. “And pray tell what is your name, fair princess?” he asked, cocking his head to one side inquiringly.

“Christina Annabelle Shears,” she stated, proud that she could get her whole name correctly.

“Wow! That’s a long name to remember!” He exclaimed as she beamed. “Hm... I’ll call you Kiki.”

“That’s what everyone calls me here,” her little giggles were infectious and Joe felt himself grinning at the little girl.

“What happened to your hand?” she asked, turning her attention to his cast. She stared at the mess he’d made for a moment, her eyes wide.

“Oh! I did this really awesome trick with my skateboard...” he launched into the full story of his stunt as she stared at him in awe. “And I got these really cool bandages for my ribs too. Which by the way was Remy’s idea so it’s not my fault that I can’t play at the concert tonight,” he ended.

“Who’s Remy?” She asked innocently.

“My friend. He looks just like me and he does all the things that get us into trouble but no one believes it’s him because he’s always not there when they get here. But they can’t stay mad at me forever.”


“Cos I’m MR HAHN!”

“Who’s Mr. Hahn?”


“Then who’s Joey?”


“But you’re Mr. Hahn.”

Realising that they could go on for the whole night, he grinned. “I’m both. Now I think you should get some sleep.” He added.

He tucked her in as she slid under the thick covers. “Good night, Kiki.” He reached down to ruffle her mass of black hair. She grinned back and settled snugly into the huge pillow.

“Can you tell me a story, Joey?” He heard her voice as he headed towards the door. He turned to see her sitting up, looking at him with a hopeful look that he found he could not resist, but he was rather doubtful of his storytelling skills.

“You can read me this one,” she said as if reading his mind. She flipped her giant book deftly to the middle, an obviously well-read page. He glanced at the page and looked at her weirdly. “Cinderella?” he asked doubtfully, looking at the colorful drawings of Cinderella.

“It’s my favourite,” she told him with a sparkle in her eyes that could melt any heart. Joe licked his lips and rubbed his hands together as he pulled the chair closer to her bed.

“Alright. Just this once. But you’re not going to tell anyone I read Cinderella ok?” he warned good naturedly.

“Not even Remy?” she asked in a whisper.

“Shhh...! He’ll hear you!” More giggles.

“Once upon a time, there lived a girl called Cinderella. She lived with her evil step mother and stepsisters...”

As Joe read on with Kiki listening to him intently, he too got lost in the fairytale. Finally looking up from the book, he pouted. Kiki had fallen asleep and against the night light, she looked like a little angel. He closed the book and placed it back on the side table. He tucked her in carefully and brushed away stray locks of hair from her cherub face. He smiled. He had never seen any child this beautiful before. She reminded him of the little cupids in Michelangelo’s paintings he’d seen in the Louvre.

Stuffing his hands into the pockets of his robe, he walked back to his own room, sleepily.

Chapter 2

“Hey, where’d the mutherfucker go?” Chester asked, poking his head out from the bathroom door. The rest of the guys stood around the empty room, puzzled.

They’d driven to the hospital first thing in the afternoon. The show last night had tired them out, adding to the fact that Joe was missing. Rob had woken up first, glanced at the clock and groaned, rolling out of bed reluctantly. Waking the rest of the guys was almost as impossible as making the sun rise in the west. Rob had to tip Chester’s mattress to get him up.

“Probably off somewhere to pull some stupid stunt of his again,” Rob shrugged coolly.

“Yeah. He’s probably hanging head down from the roof or something,” Phoenix chuckled.

“We better go find that idiot soon before he does anything that would ban us all from this state.” Mike suggested as they headed out into the hallway. Rob had offered to stay in the room in case Joe gets back. He was sprawled on the bed, flipping channels on the television even before the rest could step out.

“Can I have that?” Joe asked, taking one of the chocolate cookies from her blue plate before Kiki could say anything. She frowned, but couldn’t say anything with her mouthful.

“Here, I made you something,” he offered in return, taking out a rolled up paper from his pocket and handing it to the little girl on the bed. He’d crept back up to her room the minute he could. He’d liked the five-year-old the instant he laid eyes on her. She reminded him of his sister when they were younger. They had the same dark waves with tousled bangs and the same spark of mischief in their eyes.

He was seated cross-legged on her bed in front of her, having a mock war with his remodeled plane and her Barbie doll when a nurse came in. She’d almost dropped her tray of medications when she saw him on the bed.

“Hey! What are you doing in here! I thought I told you to get out!” she glared at him setting her tray down on Kiki’s table.

“You told me to get out of the playroom. You didn’t ask me to get out of here,” he argued.

“Well, I’m asking you to now!” she was infuriated.

“But I was playing with Kiki.” He furrowed his brows, sulking.

“Nurse Joy, we were playing. Look. He’s got this really cool plane and he can kill godzilla,” she offered to demonstrate, smashing the plane into the doll.

“Kiki, you’re supposed to be resting and visiting hour’s off. Now take your medicine and get some rest.” Nurse Joy insisted, placing her cup of medication into Kiki’s hands.


“No buts, now. Go to sleep,” she leaned over to kiss Kiki on the forehead.

“You, Joey, right?” she asked.

“Nope, Mr. Hahn,” he grinned.

“Well, Mr. Hahn. You can get back to your own room before I get someone to lock you in your room!” she glared at him. He grinned when he caught a sparkle in her eyes.

“But Nurse Joy! He was telling me a story!” Kiki called from her bed as Joy pulled Joe out of the way by his sleeve.

“Go to sleep! You’ll wake the others!” Joy glared at Kiki lovingly as she walked around the room, taking a look at the rest of the kids who were taking their afternoon naps. Kiki pouted and turned to Joe who stood there looking at her. She waved at him, still pouting and sniffled. He waved back and sniffled too, which made her giggle.

“JOE! You nut! Where the hell have you been?!” Phoenix called out when he saw Joe walking down the hallway.

“Hey! Dave! Whatcha doin’ here, dude?” Joe grinned as he neared Phoenix.

“We came to see the Pope,” Phoenix replied sarcastically, frowning at Joe’s grin. “The guys are going to kick your ass when they get back.”

“Hey guys! Heard you were looking for me,” he smiled at the guys who were less than enthusiastic to see him grinning.

“We wasted half an hour looking for you. Where were you?” Brad grumbled, plonking down on the couch by the window.

“Do you know how many nurses out there have got their thermometer up their ass?” Mike frowned. “Ask them something and they look at you as if you asked them to go to hell. Hello! Isn’t this supposed to be some public institution for the sick and needy where everyone is ready to help with a smile on their face? They’ve all got their white thongs in a twist over nothing!” He went on grumbling as the rest started laughing.

“Dude, those are fast food restaurants you’re talking about.” Brad grinned. “These chicks are working their ass off around the clock with people like Joe around. You don’t expect them to smile and ask you if you want fries with that order, do ya?”

Mike chuckled. “Guess not,” he shrugged moodily.

“I’m not done with you though,” Chester gave Joe a light shove on his arm.

“Ow. I got bored! You don’t expect me to sit around in this room all day and channel surf do ya?” he rubbed the spot where Chester shoved and sat down.

“Well, get your butt packing. You’re getting out today and I can see why they let you out so soon,” Chester dumped his sports bag on the bed.

“Oooh... cool!” Joe rubbed his hands together and started packing.

“How’s that wrist of yours?” Mike asked eyeing the doodled cast. He had made a big fuss over the Akira business and wasn’t really please that Joe hadn’t appreciated his handiwork.

“Gonna be as good as new. In no time, this mutherfucker’s going to be spinning at the turntables like the kickass pro I’ve always been,” Joe grinned confidently.

“Good. Cos I ain’t doing your part any more. It sucks,” Mike shot back grumpily.

“What’s gotten YOUR thongs in a twist today, huh?” Chester teased, looking at Mike’s frown.

“Ah... Nothing. Just got into a fight with Anna over the phone. She hung up on me and I’m missing her like hell,” Mike pouted.

“Welcome to the club, dude,” Chester chuckled, draping his arm around Mike’s shoulder and giving him a noogie to cheer him up.

“Hey! Stop that, you dumbass! My HAIR!” Mike pulled away from Chester’s grip and shoved him. They clowned around in the room as Joe packed his stuff.

“Hey, let me go say bye to someone first!” Joe said suddenly remembering Kiki.

“What? You’re here three days and you’ve met someone already? Man, you work faster than me,” Rob smirked.

Joe just threw them a grin as he lead them towards the lift.

“Hey, these are all kids here,” Brad mused, looking around the room. The walls were decorated with soft pastel cartoons and the covers were covered with race cars and teddy bears in tutus.

“Uh Joe? Who’s the chick? How come we’re in the kid’s ward?” Chester looked around, suddenly feeling worried as Joe spoke to a nurse.

“I want you guys to meet someone. C’mon.” He said walking through the pink door. “Come on!” he poked his head out again when he realised the guys were still standing outside.

“Joey!” Kiki gave a shriek and dropped her toy, running towards Joe who stood there grinning at her. He held out his arms and she jumped into them as he enveloped her in a big bear hug.

“Hey Kiki! Look I brought more friends!” He said to her as he carried her over to the guys who were all dumbfounded. This was the least expected thing they’d expected from Joe, making friends with a kid.

“These are the guys; Mike, Chester, Phoenix, Rob and Brad.” He pointed to them as he introduced them. “Guys, this is Christina Annabelle Shears,” he grinned.

“Kiki!” she gave the guys an equally huge grin and waved.

“Uh.. hi..” Mike managed to mumble as the rest were still too shocked to respond verbally.

“And that there’s our evil arch nemesis, Nurse Joyzilla,” Joe quipped nodding his head towards the nurse who just walked in.

“She’s not evil! She’s nice!” Kiki giggled.

“Here, I got this for you,” He held out a bag of cookies the guys had brought for him.

“Hey!” Chester cried out indignantly. “WE!”

“OKAY! WE got this for you,” Joe said as she took it, with sheer joy on her face.

“Thank you,” she smiled up at the others.

“Where are you going?” she asked through her mouthful of cookies, noticing his blue sweater and baggy jeans instead of the hospital robe she normally saw him in.

“Well, I’m all better and the guys have come to take me back so that I can play at the concerts again.”

“Then you won’t be coming back here again?” her look of joy turned abruptly into one of disappointment.

“Well, I’ll come visit you as much as I can,” he offered, giving her a hopeful smile. She pouted.

“You be a good girl okay? And get well for me?” He knelt down so that he could look into her deep blue eyes. She nodded, trying her best to hold back her tears.

“Don’t cry, Joey will be back as soon as he can. Now he’s got to go save the world from pop music and crummy boy bands,” he joked, wiping of a stray tear that ran down her little cheeks.

“Now give Joey a beeg hug,” he held out his arms and she threw hers around his neck.

“No Joey, don’t go,” Kiki whimpered as she stood by her bed watching the guys head out the room. Joy knelt down beside her, holding her, half afraid that Kiki might rush over to Joe and not let him go.

“Kiki, Joey’s got to go back. He’ll come back to see you soon. He’s promised you that,” Joy tried to soothe Kiki as she watched the guys leave, giving Joe a small smile that meant “she’s going to be fine.”

The rest of the guys watched them in silence, not knowing how to react.

“Uh, Joe...? What was that all about?” Brad asked as they got into the rented cruiser.

“Kiki? Isn’t she an angel? Doesn’t she remind you of one of those Renaissance cupids? She’s so cute.” he rambled on, not really answering his question.

“Yeah.... what’s the deal with all that ‘No Joey, don’t go’ stuff anyway?” Mike asked, imitating a five year old’s voice as best he can.

“Shut up! She’s real sweet ok. And don’t make fun of her!” he glared at Mike through the rear view mirror.

“Oooh... Joey’s getting all protective over his little angel,” Phoenix teased, chuckling.

“HEY! Stop that you dickhead!” Joe reached over to shove him on the arm.

The rest were in fits of laughter as they continued teasing him all the way back to the hotel. They didn’t know how else to react to what they just witnessed.

“You guys are sick! You know that?!” he yelled and stormed off when they got to the hotel.

The rest just shrugged it off, knowing that it was merely one of his moods and he would have calmed down before he reached his room.

“Look who’s here, Kiki,” Joy whispered into the sleepy girl’s ear as she helped her sit up. She was paler than usual and the dark rings under her eyes were worrying her. But Kiki had seemed a lot better than she did two days ago and she had stopped vomiting. Joy almost hugged Joe when she saw him walk out the lift. She hoped that Kiki would feel better when she saw Joe.

“Joey!” Kiki managed to call out as she waited in her bed, her arms outstretched.

“How’s my little angel?” he asked, sitting down beside her.

“I’m all okie dokie,” Kiki grinned and hugged the stuffed bear he’d gotten her. Joy smiled down at her and planted a kiss on her head before stepping outside. She didn’t want to be there and get all sappy and start crying just because Kiki was being brave for Joe.

She knew how much Kiki had suffered just that morning when she threw up all her breakfast. She couldn’t bear the fact that there was a strong possibility that her sickness was finally rearing it’s ugly head. She’d grown to love Kiki as her own. And she’d been jealous at first of the affection and special bond she’d immediately shared with Joe, but she realised how much Kiki looked up to him.

As a brother, a friend and perhaps even a father. She’d shook her head and laughed silently at the thought of Joe as a father. His kids would be endlessly entertained, that’s for sure. She smirked.

“I made you something,” she pulled out a piece of paper from under her pillow and handed it to Joe who immediately unfolded it.

He held back tears as he looked down at the picture she drew. 

“That’s you... and this is me,” she pointed to the drawing of a girl in a pink dress with a crayon smile on it’s face. “Like it?”

“Is that my super booster triple power torpedo jet fighter plane?” he pointed to the drawing in the middle. She nodded enthusiastically.

“I LOVE it! Thank you so much!” He hugged her tightly.

Joe spent the rest of the afternoon with Kiki. He’d missed her so much over the past two days he could hardly contain himself. He’d driven over to the hospital the minute he was free from band practice and interviews. He was drawing a picture of Kiki as she instructed him through the process, ending up in fits of giggles as he tried his best to follow her instructions.


“Hmm..?” he replied without looking at her.

“Joey, I don’t feel too good,” Kiki pouted suddenly.

Joe dropped his crayon and looked at her. She was awfully pale and her skin was cold and clammy. His heart raced as she let out a little whimper and a tear escaped her eyes.

“Kiki! What’s wrong? Where does it hurt?” he asked, but she couldn’t answer. She’d started crying and curled up into a ball in pain.

“Nurse! Hey! Nurse!! Something’s wrong with Kiki!” He yelled, not wanting to leave her side. “Kiki, you’re going to be okay. Joey’s here.” He repeated to her softly to soothe her as he held her tiny hand in one and smoothed her hair with the other.

Joy’s heart dropped when she heard Joe’s yelling. She had dreaded the day this would happen and Joe would be a lot more than a handful to handle. She’d paged for the doctor and called the head nurse before rushing over to the store to get some equipment.

Please let Kiki be alright... she prayed silently as she sorted out the medical equipment on the trolley.

“What’s wrong with her!?” he asked, when he saw Kiki thrashing on the bed, her hair matted to her face with sweat and her skin pale. She was clearly in pain as she whimpered. The nurse calmly took her temperature as another readied her arm for an injection.

Joe gulped as he watched the nurses trying to stop Kiki’s pain. “What’s wrong with Kiki?” he grabbed Joy’s arm when she entered, almost spilling the equipment from the trolley she was pushing.

“Joe, get out of here. NOW!” She dragged him out into the hallway and stayed there with him, knowing well that if she left, he would have gone back in there again. 

“What the fuck’s happening to her?!” he asked, almost in tears. “Why’s she like that?” He tried to look through the glass window, but was blocked by the blinds. He had willingly read Cinderella to her more times than he would ever do even if someone paid him and he’d often watched her sleep, sitting by her side for hours. He couldn’t bear the thought of something bad happening to her right now. And he wanted to throttle anyone near him for not letting him know what was going on.

“Joe, JOE! Calm down!”

“How the fuck can I calm down? Kiki’s in there convulsing like she’s demon possessed and no one’s telling me anything!” he yelled at her. She winced, “Joe, calm down and I’ll tell you.” She sat him down beside her and waited till he calmed before she started.

“Kiki’s been here ever since she was born. She was born HIV positive and we’ve just found out that she’s got leukemia too.” Joe stared at her dumbly, unable to comprehend what she just said.

“HIV? Leukemia?” He repeated blankly.

Joy nodded sadly, tears brimming in her eyes as she watched Joe’s shocked expression. “Her mother was only 17 when she gave birth to her and she died a few months later of AIDS. We don’t know who Kiki’s father is.” she finished in a low voice.

“She’s going to be ok, right?” he finally asked, his voice trembling slightly.

“We don’t know for sure, but we’re hoping that it’s just another false alarm. Tha...”

‘ANOTHER false alarm?! What the fuck do you mean by another?” he glared at her.

“She experienced the same thing two days ago, but it was much less serious...”

“SHE GOT SICK AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME?!” He yelled, interrupting her. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?!! SHIT!!” He slammed his fist into the arm of the chair, oblivious to the pain.

“Joe, I didn’t want you to worry.” She tried to explain, looking into his eyes, despite the death stares he was giving her. “I’m really sorry for not telling you. What she had two days ago was nothing. And we still don’t know about this one. She may be alright. This may be her systems fighting the sickness, but we’ll have to wait till the doctor gets out, okay?” she slipped her hand over his when he slammed it against the chair again, trying to calm him down.

“Damn it!” he tried pulling his hand away. He was angry with everyone right now. At himself, at Joy, at the doctors, at the rest of the guys. He’d lashed out at whoever was nearest and Joy happened to be the one. He wouldn’t have done it if the situation was different, but fear and fury took over.

Joy held on to his hand firmly but calmly. He couldn’t sit down and wait idiotically for the doctor. He got up and paced the hallway, fists balled up tightly. He tried to ignore the ringing of his cell phone as he continued to pace, but the incessant noise almost drove him over the brink of insanity.

“WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?!” he yelled over the phone.

“DUDE! Where the fuck are you, man?! The show’s gonna start in like an hour and we gotta do some soundcheck.” He heard Mike’s slightly irritated voice over the phone.

“To hell with the show! Something’s wrong with Kiki!” he managed to say through his teeth without tossing the phone against the wall.

“WHAT?! Oh my god, what happened, man?” Mike’s irritated voice was now one of concern. “Joe. Joe? Hey JOE! What’s up?” he yelled when Joe didn’t answer. He heard noises before someone answered again.

“Uh hi, this is Joy. Joe’s a little unnerved right now. Kiki’s gone into a seizure and cardiac arrest.” She said in a shaky voice.

“Wha..?” Mike managed to reply. “I- is she alright? What about Joe? How’s he?” Mike’s voice was now worried and the guys had stopped what they were doing and was looking at him for an answer.

“We don’t know yet, about Kiki, but Joe’s really pissed off because we didn’t tell him about the seizure before this ... look, I better go calm him down before he kills someone.” Mike heard her sniffle.

“Wait! Try to hold him down. We’ll be over right away,” Mike said before he heard her hang up.

“Guys, I’m afraid we have to cancel tonight’s show.” He turned towards the rest of the guys who were looking at him expectantly.

Chapter 3

Chester opened the door slowly as they peered into the dim room. It was silent except for the beeping from the monitor and a low voice. They stood at the door and watched. Joe was seated by the bed where Kiki was lying in, tubes and wires running criss-crossed around her.

He rested his chin on the back of his hand as he ran his fingers gently over her dark bangs, singing silently to her. He knew how much she loved the song from Disney’s Cinderella. She’d watched the video he’d gotten her over and over and had insisted that he read to her still.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes

When you're fast asleep

In dreams you lose your heartaches

Whatever you wish for, you keep

Have faith in your dreams and someday

Your rainbow will come smiling through

No matter how your heart is grieving

If you keep on believing

the dream that you wish will come true...” [1]

His sad voice trailed into silence when he couldn’t remember anymore words.

He continued staring at her sleeping. She looked so tiny and frail and it was all he could do to stop the tears from coming. He felt a warm river forming on his cheek and he ignored the tears, sniffling every once in a while as he watched her rest. The doctors had managed to stop the seizure, and Kiki was finally resting peacefully. The only sign of her being alive was the beeping of the life support machine and the slight heaving of her chest.

“Dude, Joe’s SINGING,” Chester mused under his breath in disbelief. The only time they’d heard Joe sing was back up and that didn’t justify anything. The sadness in his voice brought tears to Mike’s eyes.

“Hey,” Rob whispered as they gathered around Kiki’s bed. Chester patted Joe on his back, letting him know that they were there for the moral and emotional support. Joe merely threw them a small smile as he continued watching her, half hoping that she would open her eyes and look at him with her deep blue eyes and give him one of her cherubic smiles.

Joe stared blankly at his Styrofoam cup of coffee as steam slowly wafted out of it. The guys had managed to pry him away from Kiki for rest. They had seen Joe being crazy and they’ve seen him being pissed mad, but this was new. There was an empty look in his eyes and he hardly responded to anything. They didn’t know what to do and were worried that they might make situations worse.

“Joe, Kiki’s going to be alright. You gotta be strong for her, alright?” Brad finally said with a strong hand on his shoulder. Joe moved, turning the cup around. Brad wondered whether that was a nod acknowledging his words or just a slight movement Joe made after being still for so long. Joe being still. That was worrying. Joe was never still. This was the same Joe who’d pulled that ridiculous stunt that got him in hospital. The same Joe that has the energy of an energizer bunny times three.

Mike and Phoenix had offered to stay with Joe as the rest headed back to the hotel to settle some stuff with the organiser. Joe, meanwhile had returned to his initial position by Kiki’s bed, his chin propped on his hand, staring at her. Mike sat cross-legged on the chair outside the ICU, chin supported in his hands. He watched silently, chewing on his lower lip as the nurses and doctors go about their usual business. Phoenix paced around, occasionally taking a peek through the glass window to see if Joe was alright.

“Do you think he’ll be alright?” Phoenix finally asked as he watched Joe.

“I dunno, man. I mean Joe’s never been like this before.” Mike looked up at Phoenix, shrugging.

“Yeah,” Phoenix sighed, stuffing his hands into his pockets and resumed pacing again. “Kiki’s really got to him hasn’t she? He’s totally nuts over that girl like she’s his kid or something.”

“Dude! Stop it.” Mike finally mumbled.

“Stop what?” Phoenix looked at him innocently.

“Pacing! You’re getting on my nerves!” Mike exclaimed and then chuckled. Phoenix stopped, realising what he was doing and chuckled too. They both stopped chuckling and sighed at the same time.

“Poor Joe.” Mike turned in his seat to peek through the window.

“Guys, here. Have something to drink,” Joy offered in a soft voice, forcing a strained smile. “Joe won’t be moving any time soon.” She handed them each a Styrofoam cup of hot coffee. The guys took it thankfully.

“What’s wrong with Kiki? We couldn’t get anything out from Joe.” Phoenix asked as he sipped his coffee. He glanced at his watch and almost choked on his drink. 2:35 a.m. No wonder his head had started to buzz. Mike looked at Joy, bleary-eyed as she explained Kiki’s condition to them.

“No wonder Joe’s so freaked out over it,” Mike managed to say after a long pause. Kiki’s story was a hard pill to swallow. It seemed that every possible tragedy that could befall a person happened to her. His heart broke, thinking about the tiny girl lying unconscious in bed.

“Joe’s an amazing guy,” Joy heard herself say. Mike and Phoenix both shot her a look of surprise. “Okay, so he maybe a little crazy at times,” Joy smirked when she caught their looks. “but he’s been so wonderful around Kiki. He really loves her and she looks up to him. I’ve never seen her smile or laugh like how she does when Joe’s around. And he’d do anything for her. She’s never seen her father before and being in hospital for all her life has never opened her to many people. He’s the closest she’s got to a father and a friend.” She sighed, throwing a glance at Joe’s back.

The guys looked at her, lost for words. The person Joy had just described was nothing like the Joe they had thought they knew so well. They’d thought that his weirdness and split personality was as deep as they could get into Joe, but this new side of him was totally mind blowing. It didn’t exactly fit the image of Joe they had created.

“Yeah. Amazing,” Phoenix finally mumbled after a long pause.

“Hey angel,” he smiled up at her from where he was sitting. Kiki’s eyes fluttered open and she smiled back when she focused on Joe’s face. “How’s my little angel? Is she okay?” he asked in a whisper, smoothing her hair back from her forehead. She nodded as her tiny fingers squeezed his.

It had been two days since the incident and Joe had refused to leave the hospital ever since. Joy had came in early that morning to tell Joe about Kiki’s condition. Her blood level had dropped suddenly and hence the seizures. They had managed to stabilize it much to the relief of Joe. The HIV virus was still passive and there were no signs of it proving otherwise.

Chester had returned to the hospital with news of their tour. He’d managed to convince the organisers to postpone the next venue. He didn’t exactly tell the rest that it involved some begging and sulking and tantrums. They didn’t have to know right now.

“Kiki’s going to be alright,” he crooned to her softly, kissing her tiny hand. She whimpered, her bottom lip quivering slightly in a pout. She was too weak to even cry. “Shh... Joey’s right here.” He stayed with her till she drifted back to sleep. Brad had signaled silently to him that the guys were outside. He’d reluctantly left Kiki to see them.

“Pheew! DUDE! You stink!” Chester pinched his nose, waving his hand in front of him in hopes to catch a smile from Joe. Joe simply stared at him, expressionless.

“So Kiki’s ok?” Mike asked to confirm. Joe nodded, letting out a small sigh of relief.

“That’s great, man. I told you she’ll be okay,” Brad grinned, cracking his knuckles.

“Yeah. So you can stop worrying about her and got get some rest.” Rob nodded.

“Get a bath first, though,” Chester pointed out. Mike chuckled silently and shook his head. Chester’s attempt to cheer things up was, he had to admit, a little lame. But he was glad that he did. It certainly lightened the situation for the rest of them. Mike glanced at the rest of the guys wondering what was going through their heads at that moment.

“Yeah. We’ll take you back to the hotel and you can come back here in the evening. We’ve postponed the next venue so you don’t have to worry about that.” Mike draped his arm around Joe’s shoulder and lead him towards the lift.

“Guys, I’m so sorry about all this.” Joe turned to face the rest of the guys solemnly. “I didn’t mean to screw up the whole tour schedule, but I can’t leave Kiki like this..”

“It’s okay, man. We understand.” Brad patted his shoulder.

“Yeah. No biggie. Everything’s settled. You don’t have to be sorry for anything.” Chester grinned. “Now can you PLEASE get that bath you so need?” he said in mock aggravation, leading Joe out of the hospital by his shoulders.

“NO!!” Joe glared furiously at the guys, jumping up the couch in all the fury. “I’m NOT going to leave!”

“Joe, you can’t stay here forever. We can only postpone the tour this long. We can’t possibly cancel the whole tour. There are fifteen more venues to play.” Brad reasoned.

“Then I’m gonna fucking quit the band!” Joe yelled, storming out the hotel room, slamming the door behind him.

They had sat him down to discuss the matters of the tour and Kiki. A big mistake they guys wished they didn’t make. Joe hadn’t been the easiest person to get along with all week long and they didn’t blame him for missing any of the practices. The organisers had given them an ultimatum and they had to leave for the next venue by Friday.

The guys exchanged looks quietly after Joe left. Chester sighed, “Damn it! What the fuck are we going to do?” He ran his fingers through his spiky hair in frustration.

“I dunno, man.” Rob shrugged.

“Give him time, guys. You all know what he’s been through the past few weeks. Giving him shit about the tour isn’t going to help. The last thing he needs is more responsibilities thrown at his face,” Mike said in a serious tone.

“Mike’s right. We’ve got a few more days to Friday. I hope that he’d have calmed down enough to think straight by then,” Phoenix pointed out from the corner he was sitting in.

“Damn. We don’t need shit like that happening, especially with Joe all worked up about the girl.” Chester mumbled about the shit the organizers had put them through. There had been a big argument between him, Mike and the organizers and they had conveniently dug up the issue of contracts and lawyers. Mike had to drag Chester out of the room before he kicked any of the organizers’ asses which would put them in a more difficult spot than they were already in.

“Chill, bro’. It’ll work out,” Mike patted Chester’s back to calm him down, but there was a tinge of doubt even in his voice.

Kiki had regained consciousness since her last seizure, but she hadn’t improved. Her condition has been flatlining and the tone of the doctor’s voice telling him about her condition just drove Joe nuts.

“They don’t tell me shit!” He’d grumbled to Brad. “All they do is give me all these vague comments that any crack can give and tell me not to worry. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

“Forget the doctors, man. They don’t know shit. Kiki’s condition is stable, so you don’t have to worry. Look, she’s waking up,” Brad nodded his head towards Kiki who was stirring.

Lyrics: Mack David, Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston. Just in case. I have no idea how it sounds like and when it was sung and who sang it in the cartoon, but the lyrics sounded nice. More appropriate than the bibbity bobbityboo song. :P [1]

To Chapter 4 >>>


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

TOP   |   Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).