Somebody Needs You 1
His eyes lazily slid from the table of people around him and landed on the brownish liquid in the short clear glass in front of him. His tongue had been aching for a drink when he'd ordered the whiskey sour, but he had yet to sip the drink, choosing instead to watch the ice melt under the heat of his palm. His mind and his body had been disconnected all day and when they'd all settled into the huge booth for dinner he'd found himself drifting into some sort of half asleep, half awake zone that he hadn't been able to control.
He'd heard the conversations going on around him. Meredith and Justin eagerly using Joey and Kelly as a sounding board for baby advice while Chris and Dani discussed house prices with JC and Farzana due to Chris's decision to look for a place in California to add to the collection of places he owned on the east coast.
Lance on the other hand was alone that night. It wasn't a new thing for him lately. Carrah had been out and back to Orlando a few times, but as his schedule had picked up promoting FreeLance and some other projects she'd gotten bored with the scene and had decided to stay home in Mississippi, especially after she'd quit her job in Orlando due to what she called "creative differences" with her boss. That weekend Carrah had gone to New Orleans to see a friend leaving Lance stranded. It didn't matter much since he'd slept the day before away, but that day, sitting in the midst of all those happy couples it was hard not to see that he clearly stuck out in the crowd.
He looked up from where he'd been staring at his drink and smiled at where Dani was watching him across the table. "Hey Dani." He hadn't noticed in his slight misery, but the conversation had stopped and everyone was watching him as if a question had been asked and they were waiting for an answer.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Nothing," he said looking around. He lifted the drink to his lips and gulped down half of it before wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. He licked at the condensation on his palm and sighed then started to pull apart the edges of his watchband. "I'm just tired. It's been a long week."
"You sure?" Dani asked for everyone.
Paranoia set in. He looked around at everyone, fixed his watch back into place on his wrist, tugged at his collar. How could he tell his best friends that even sitting there physically with them he still was feeling completely alone? It was nothing against them, but his partners in crime for the last few years were now finding their own and he was sitting waiting for Mrs. Right to come along.
Maybe it was destiny and she was still out there, but sitting next to all of them now only put a focus on the fact that he was alone. It was enough to give a guy a complex about it. He should have had someone by now. He'd had them in the past, but he always had that one thing that kept them away. He was starting to think that something was seriously wrong with him. He looked around and saw people way worse off then him with someone and he thought that at least he wouldn't bring much drama to the situation, but clearly he was too complicated for anyone to need or love the way they needed and loved his friends.
"Maybe I should head home. I don't want to be a party pooper."
"Did he just say party pooper?" Chris said with a laugh.
Lance glared at the way Chris's arm was around his girlfriend. He didn't know that he had it so easy. Of course Chris was no peach when it came to getting along with people, but he had Dani's undying and dedicated love and that was something that Lance had never experienced, or at least he didn't think that he'd had.
"Chris, be nice."
Lance swallowed the rest of his drink, wiped a hand over his mouth again then pushed himself out from the booth. He pulled a twenty out of his wallet and threw it onto the table. Sliding his hands into his pocket, he looked at his friends one last time. "I'll give you guys a call before we head out to New York. I'm gonna head out. I've got stuff to do."
"I thought you were going to stay for dinner," Meredith commented.
"I was Mere and I'm sorry for backing out," he looked around and said, "I'm just--" He sighed. "I don't know. I just should get home."
Meredith shrugged. "If you're sure."
Farzana slid out next to him and hugged him. "I need to get a hug in because I'm going back to LA while you go up to New York and then I think when you're in LA I'll be in Hawaii filming that video."
His arms slid around her and he hugged her, a motion that broke his heart. He hated that, always having to hug everyone. It was those moments when his heart felt the void of what they all had. There were different types of love and while his family and friends provided a lot of one kind, his brain was more than aware of what his heart was missing.
"Have a good rest of the night," he said.
"Be careful." Meredith looked more concerned than normal, but Lance brushed it off as being one of those pregnant things instead of him being in real trouble.
"I'll call you when I get home," He said using the joke to ease the tension.
A few minutes later he left the restaurant and found his way to his car. He patted his pockets down for his keys and soon was driving down I-4 towards home. When he got to the condo his breath caught in his throat and he had to bite on the side of his mouth to keep from crying. He had wanted to be away from them, but now that he was home he wasn't sure that being alone was the best idea.
He made it inside to the couch and had kicked off his shoes and pulled off his socks before his tears spilled over. He felt his lungs collapse and soon he was laboring for breath as if he'd just run a mile. His eyes closed and he found himself sinking into the cushions as he cried himself to sleep.
When his eyes opened a few hours later he dug for his phone and realized that the battery had died. He rubbed his face and shuffled towards the kitchen to get something to eat. The whiskey sour hadn't settled well in his stomach and he was in need of something else to eat.
He stopped only to grab out his extra battery from the drawer and set the new battery in the charger before he plugged the fresh one into the phone.
The refrigerator was pulled open and he began to search for something other than milk to drink. The bachelor pad was perfect for him, but he had to admit that shopping on his own was something that he still hadn't gotten used to.
Sounds of his cell phone ringing caught his attention and he rushed to grab up the phone. "Hello?"
The voice on the other end sounded clearly worried. "Thank God!"
"What?" He rubbed his eyes and could feel the congestion left over from his crying earlier clogging his throat and nose. "Who is this?"
"It's Carrah." She sounded angry, but he didn't understand why. "Where the hell have you been?"
He looked around for a moment and found the calendar. He knew that he'd promised to call her, but he'd sworn that it had been only two days since his last call, nothing too out of the ordinary in that. "What?"
"Damn it Lance." She swore away from the phone some more. "You really know how to scare people."
"The guys have been calling your house for two hours and haven't been able to get a hold of you and you hadn't been answering your cell."
"My house phone doesn't have the ringer on. You know that I do that when I'm here." He looked back into the refrigerator. "My cell battery died a minute ago so I put in a new one."
"What's going on?"
"Nothing," he said, "What shit did they tell you?"
"JAMES LANCE BASS DON'T TAKE THAT TONE WITH ME!"
"Carrah, shut the fuck up ok?" He held the phone away from his ear as his anger raged inside him. He didn't mean to be angry with her. He shouldn't have been mad at her, but at the moment he just wanted to be left alone. "I'm tired of hearing your bitching." He flipped the phone closed and swore. "It's not like she fucking cares anyway." His voice echoed into the empty room and he remembered again why he was all congested and how being there alone wasn't what he needed.
Abandoning the thoughts of food he found his way up to the second floor. He stripped out of his clothes and stepped into a shower thinking that might help, but he found himself only feeling worse as the water spread over his skin.
His arm ached and his stomach hurt and his head was pounding as he stumbled half blindly into the bathroom. He flipped on the water in the shower then stepped in, forgetting to slide out of his boxers. His shoulder hurt. A piercing pain there that made the rest of his body feel weak.
Whatever pain he'd ever felt in his life paled in comparison to the squeezing feeling that invaded his chest that night. He'd pulled muscles, sprained ankles, even broken bones, but in no way could those bouts of pain hold a candle to this. As it seemed to take over every nerve ending in his body he slid down so that he was leaned against the shower wall and moved so that the water sprayed directly on his chest and shoulder. This hadn't happened in a while and he had forgotten how much of a pain it was to have this happen. The doctor had warned him last time to take it easy, but with his lifestyle there was no easy way to do things.
"I'm fine. It's nothing. I'm fine," he mumbled over and over again as he too his right hand and massaged his shoulder, going as far as to punch the skin to get some kind of pain that wasn't from whatever it was that had taken over.
"He-he-who-he-he-who. He-he-who-he-he-who," he repeated. He wasn't usually one to cry but the pain became too much. Tears streamed from his eyes as his breathing got more shallow.
He thought or a long time about getting up to all someone, he knew this was something to have someone look at, but anytime he moved it hurt more so he stayed where he was and tried to breathe through it. He would have laughed at himself for copying that whole pregnant lady Lamaze stuff but he found that it worked so he kept up with it.
"Damn it," he finally breathed out, "When was the last time you cried." In a strange way, the anger that he felt about crying was actually a good distraction. Keeping his mind on searching for a time that he'd cried kept it off the pain.
Time seemed to pass slowly, but soon his eyes began to droop and he thought that he drifted off to sleep for a while because soon he was being lifted into a standing position. Two people carried him into the other room after trying to help him dry off. Either the pain had faded or he'd become immune to it, but he didn't feel a thing as he was carried back into the bedroom and put to bed. He was so tired that nothing that they were saying or doing seemed to make it into his brain.
Pushing his way out of the shower he wiped himself off and went to find his phone. He dialed her number from memory but wasn't at all surprised to hear her voicemail come on.
"Carrah. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I snapped." He sniffed back tears that formed. "I didn't mean it. My nerves are just shot and--" His breath caught in his throat. "Anyway. I didn't mean it and I hope we can talk soon. Call me back when you get this."
Not having the strength to dress, he fell onto the bed in his towel, grabbed his pillow and pulled it up to his face and closed his eyes.
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