Being There

    Disclaimer: It all belongs to Tom, Ken, NBC, and Sony. Not me...

    Summary: Brady and Chloe build their friendship as it starts to take a different turn.

    Author's Notes: This takes place moments after the Last Blast Dance. It picks up with Philip standing outside degrading and hurting Chloe. And, in this John is Greta's father.


    "I can't believe I stayed with you this long, after what you did to me. You whore. Letting everyone see what only I should be seeing. We're over. And when you come crawling back, don't expect me to be there. You bitch, did you think making me look stupid, like a jerk, in front of everybody would be okay? How could you possibly do this? You disgust me, Ghoul Girl!"

    "Stop," Brady came hobbling up with his cane.

    "Get out of here, Brady. This is between me and Chloe," Philip yelled, his icy stare never leaving Chloe as she looked down at her toes. "See, even Brady got a peek. Seeing every inch of you. Feel good to get the attention?"

    Brady hobbled closer to Chloe, looked at her sympathetically, the glared at Philip with blinding hatred. "Go home, Philip."

    "I thought I told you to get out of here?"

    "No. I'm not leaving, someone has to stay here for Chloe."

    "What's it to you?"

    "She doesn't deserved to be spoken to like that. For someone who claims to love her, you have bad way of showing it. Now leave."

    "Love her? How could anyone love that?" Philip spit in front of them before turning to leave.

    Brady moved in front of Chloe, took his hand to her chin, and lifted it so she was looking at him. Tears were flowing down her cheeks. The look in his eyes confused her. This man she'd spent so much time arguing with looked at her like he was the only person in the world right now she could trust and lean on for support. Acting on that, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders in a fierce hug.

    "It's okay. You'll be okay, Chloe. I promise," he said to her, soothing her hair with one hand, holding his cane and touching her back with the other. "Do you want to go for a walk?"

    "What about Nicole," she said through sobs.

    "She's a big girl, she can find her way home."

    "Okay," she said, they walked away from the school, his arm around her waist.

    Inside the gym things were quieting down after the speech Mr. Woods had given. Belle and Shawn approached John, Hope, and Nicole.

    "Have you guys seen Brady? I haven't been able to find him since he ran out of the gym," John said.

    "I never expected to see him run after Chloe like that," Belle commented.

    "He seemed very concerned for her," Hope noted.

    "I guess I'll just call Victor's driver to take me home," Nicole told them. No one really cared what she did.

    Brady and Chloe reached the pier and sat down together. He noticed her wrap her arms around herself and shiver. He took off his coat and wrapped it around her shoulders.

    "I know you didn't do it, Chloe. And for what it's worth, I didn't see anything. I looked away the second those things came on the screen."

    "It means a lot, Brady. Thank you. For being the only one I can count on tonight."

    "I'm sorry for what Philip said to you. I know how much you love him."

    "Yeah, I guess."

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    "I shouldn't have said anything. Sorry."

    "Come on, Chloe. You can talk to me. Whatever you say to me tonight stays between you, me, and the fish nets," he smiled at her reassuringly.

    "Okay," she reluctantly agreed. "I never was in love with Philip. I have been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with him and I just am not in love with him and never was. I made myself into the type of person I thought Philip would be proud to have as a girlfriend. I was so in awe that he would actually pay attention to me. I think I stayed with him because I felt like I owed him. Those things he said to me, they hurt. Not his breaking up with me, I'm relieved about that, but he's supposed to love me. Not that I'm being self absorbed or anything, but he told me so many times that he loved me and I believed that he loved who I led him to believe I was. The whole time I was worried about breaking his heart and then he says these things I never thought he would. It's dumb, isn't it?"

    "No, no, it makes perfect sense. I don't get how he could possibly think you would sell yourself like that."

    "I told him and Shawn and Belle that I had this plan to make money this summer, so I could go to music school. He probably thought that was it."

    "It doesn't excuse anything he said. If he really loved you, he'd have faith in you no matter what."

    "Like you did. You believed in me when the person who should have more than anyone else didn't. That means a lot, Brady. I'll never forget it."

    "I'd like to think that through our arguing that I know you pretty well. I know that isn't your style. We have a connection, you and I." He looked into her eyes for what must have been the hundredth time that night. "So, what was your big, money making plan?"

    "Doesn't matter, it fell through."

    "What was it?"

    "I was going to give voice lessons to some of the kids at Salem Elementary. You probably think it was a bad idea. You think I have a terrible voice."

    "I don't think you have a terrible voice, Chloe. I think you're using it wrong. I'd like to help you with that."

    "You would do that for me?"

    "What are friends for?"

    "Is that what we are now? Friends?"

    "After tonight, I'd like to think so."

    "I'm proud to have you as a friend. Everyone should have a friend who believes in them completely."

    After talking for an amazing three more hours Chloe yawned.


    "Yeah," she answered lazily.

    "Want me to take you home?"

    "Do you mind?"

    "Not at all," he stood up, took his cane, and held his other hand out for her.

    They walked back to the school and got into his van. On the drive to Chloe's house she fell asleep. Brady occasionally glanced over at her and smiled. On the radio a beautiful song was playing, ‘Oh My Love', by John Lennon.

    Brady listened to the lyrics and smiled inside, realizing something.

    When they reached the Wesley house he stopped the van, got out, opened her door, picked her up carefully, and wobbled his way to the door which was promptly opened by Nancy. She was about the yell something, but noticing her daughter asleep in Brady's arms quieted her down. She stepped aside as he difficultly made his way up the stairs and gently laid her on her bed, covering her with a blanket, then collapsing in a nearby chair. He took a few minutes to recover. It wasn't that she was heavy, it was just that he wasn't at all fully recovered. This would set him back in his therapy, but he didn't care. He wanted her to sleep, she'd had a bad night. After watching her sleep, he felt ready to head downstairs to face the Wesley's and their questions.

    "Brady, what happened? Why did Chloe come home with you instead of Philip?" Nancy was trying her best to stay calm.

    "She and Philip broke up. The dance didn't go over so well. Someone posted some nude pictures of Chloe in the shower in the projector."

    "Oh my God, my poor baby. Craig, who would do something like this?"

    "I didn't tell Chloe, I didn't want to upset her, but I think it was that Jan and Mimi. I overheard them talking about something and I tried to figure out what it was."

    "Why did she come home with you? The dance ended hours ago," Craig asked.

    "She ran out of the gym and Philip followed her, he started tearing into her. He said some nasty things, really mean. That's when they broke up. He thought she put the pictures up herself. I came out and told him she didn't deserve to be spoken to like that and then she and I went and talked for a while. I just wanted to be there for her."

    "It's alright, Brady, thank you for taking care of her," Nancy smiled.

    "She's my friend, that's what friends do," he stated simply.

    "Yes, thank you, Brady. It's nice Chloe has such a good friend," Craig reiterated. "I didn't know you were walking on your own."

    "I'm not, my cane is in the car."

    "You're not fully recovered and you carried her in here and up the stairs? Brady, this is going to set you back at least another two months."

    "I didn't want to wake her up. She looked too peaceful and she really needs to rest. Anyway, I'm going to head home. If I wrote out a little note, do you think you could give it to her in the morning?"

    "Yes, of course," Nancy answered.

    Brady wrote the note, said his goodbyes, and painfully drove home.

    In the morning Chloe woke up, showered, got dressed, and went downstairs. She was not going to let what happened last night stop her. She had every right to mope in her room over this, but that was a waste of time.

    She found Craig and Nancy sitting on the sofa, reading different parts of the paper.

    "Chloe, good morning," Nancy greeted her.

    "Hi. Um, I don't remember getting up to my room last night and when I woke I was still in my dress and make-up."

    "Brady carried you in and put you in bed," Craig explained.

    "Oh my God, did he hurt himself?"

    "I'm not sure, he wanted to get home afterwards," Nancy replied.

    "Are you alright, Chloe?"

    "Well, the entire school has seen me naked, my boyfriend broke up with me, but other that I'm peachy."

    "I'm so sorry Philip hurt you like that, dear," Nancy said.

    "Yeah, well, it just opened my eyes to a lot last night. I'm not even really sad about it. I learned a lot about people last night."

    "Brady left a note for you before he left," Craig told her.

    "He did?"

    "Yes, it's on the table by the door," Nancy added.

    Chloe briefly left to go read the note. It told her if she wanted to talk he would be at Dot Com at eleven. She didn't feel like talking about last night, but she wanted to see him. She looked down at her watch, she had thirty minutes.

    "Craig, Nancy, I'm going to go out for a while."

    "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

    "Yeah, I'll be okay, Nancy."

    "Just be careful," Craig warned.

    "I will," she said taking her purse and walking out the door.

    Five minutes later the door bell rang. Craig went to answer it and found Philip standing there.

    "Philip, what are you doing here?" Upon hearing who was at the door, Nancy scurried in, scowling at Philip.

    "You have no right to be here after what you did to my daughter last night," Nancy growled.

    "I know, Mrs. Wesley. I was wrong, I have to let Chloe know I'm sorry and I'll never hurt her again."

    "She actually seems okay with your breaking up," Nancy wanted to let Philip know that her daughter didn't need him.

    "And she's gone out," Craig added.

    "Okay, thanks," Philip said. "By the way, she got home okay last night, right?"

    "Nancy gleefully smiled, wanting to dig the knife deeper. "Brady brought her home around three last night."


    "Yes, Philip, goodbye," Nancy closed the door and smiled, proud of herself.

    Chloe walked into Dot Com, but didn't see Brady. She was a few minutes early, so she went to look at a few CDs. The place was virtually empty, but the people who were there, looked at her and exchanged whispers. It was like everything before Philip. She didn't know what was causing it, but at that lonely, isolated moment, she wished more than anything Brady would show up. She browsed through some of the opera and classical selections before looking up and seeing Brady struggling with his crutches. She immediately noticed that he no longer had the cane, but needed extra support.

    She rushed over to him and opened the door.

    "Hey," he said.

    She let the door swing shut and stayed near him, not wanting him to fall. They sat at the nearest booth.

    "Brady, how could you do this?"

    "Do what? What have I done, Chloe?" He was so worried he'd done something to hurt her or upset her.

    "You should have woken me up and let me walk up to my room myself. Look at you, you've set yourself back God knows how long and you're back on the crutches. I'm so sorry, Brady."

    "Chloe, I didn't do anything I didn't want to. You looked to peaceful to wake up. You'd had a touch night, I wanted you to rest."

    "Thanks, that means a lot to me, Brady."

    "I'm glad you decided to meet me," he grinned. She smiled back.

    Philip came storming in, fists clenched.

    "What the hell are you doing with my girlfriend, Brady?!"

    Chloe didn't feel like putting up with this. She stood up and looked Philip in the eye. He could tell she wasn't happy. He was a little scared, actually.

    "You listen to me, Philip Kiriakis, and you listen good. Last night when I needed you, you insulted me and dumped me. We're over. You claim to love me, and then you stand there telling me I disgust you."

    "Chloe, I love you," Philip tried to tell her.

    "No, you couldn't possibly love someone and say the things you said," tears were stinging in her eyes. "I trusted you, a second time when I knew I shouldn't have. I tried, I really tried to be able to love you, but last night you should me that it wasn't worth trying."

    "So, what? You've been seeing Brady all along? I shouldn't have trusted you. I mean, he hurried out pretty quickly last night."

    "Because she doesn't deserve to have you talking to her like that. She deserves to be treated with respect."

    "I never cheated on you, Philip. Brady's my friend. A really good friend, and I'm not going to let you talk to him like that. Last night he was a much bigger person than you ever were to me."

    "Fine, I'm out of here. I don't need this," Philip began to walk out, but Chloe wanted to get the last word.

    "I don't need you," she huffed, sitting next to Brady and resting her head on his shoulder. "I was actually starting to forget last night when you got here and then he shows up and ruins it."

    "Leave it to Uncle Philly."

    "Well, not all of last night was bad. I really liked spending time with you, Brady."

    "Me too."

    "Brady, hang out with me today?"

    "I have a physical therapy appointment in about an hour, but after that I'm free," he said.

    "Can I come with you to your appointment? Maybe I can help you. I want to since I'm the one that caused your set back."

    "Stop beating up on yourself, Chloe. I did it myself, besides, I think with a lot of hard work, I can get back on track."

    "Okay, but I'm going to help you."

    "Fine, if you insist."

    "Insist on what?" Belle came up with Shawn and sat across the table from Brady and Chloe.

    "I'm going to help Brady with his physical therapy," Chloe answered.

    "Chloe, I'm really sorry for what Jan and Mimi did last night," Belle apologized unnecessarily.

    "So, they did it?"

    "Yeah, Mimi confessed to it," Shawn answered. "Are you okay?"

    "Yeah, I mean, I obviously can't stand the fact that the whole school has seen me naked. And I don't get what made Mimi and Jan hate me so much to do that to me. Part of me wants to crawl in a hole and not come out, but the other part of me knows they're going to pay for this and that I'm going to go on and be fine."

    "That's a good way to look at it," Brady told her.

    "Did you walk home last night? The last I saw of you, or Brady for that matter, was when you ran out of the gym," Belle asked.

    "Brady drove me home," Chloe answered. "Philip was saying a lot of mean things and Brady came to my rescue. You have a great brother, Belle. He came through last night, I'm really proud to have him as a friend."

    "Wow, you two became close last night, eh?" Shawn placed his arm around Belle.

    "Yeah, we did," Brady responded. "Listen, Belle, I have to get to my appointment, so we'd better get going." Brady took his crutches and began to hoist himself up, Chloe quickly went to his side to help him.

    "Brady, what happened? Yesterday you were using your cane," Belle was worried.

    "I fell asleep on the way home last night and he carried me up to my room," Chloe explained.

    "Brady, you should know better," Belle scolded him.

    "Relax, Tink, I already got reprimanded by Chloe."

    "And since he's been set back because of me, I'm going to help him get back on track."

    "Chloe, I know my brother, if he wanted to carry you upstairs, there is nothing you could have done to stop him."

    "Bye, Tink, Shawn," Brady turned to go, with Chloe watching his every step.

    "Bye, guys," Chloe said.

    At the hospital they went to see Carl. After about an hour of his exercises they got in the elevator to see Marlena.

    "How did your session go, Brady?"

    "Well," he answered.

    "Why are you on the crutches again? Did Carl say you weren't doing as well?"

    "He carried me upstairs last night when I fell asleep on the ride home," Chloe explained, again.

    "I heard what happened last night at the dance. I am so sorry, Chloe. If you need someone to talk to, I'm here."

    "Thanks, Dr. Evans."

    "Well, if you two have no plans I was going to take a coffee break. Care to join me?"

    "Sure," Brady answered. "If it's okay with Chloe."

    "Yeah, sure."

    Down in the cafeteria they sat with Marlena sipping her coffee and Brady and Chloe enjoying orange juice.

    "So, how is it Brady took you home last night, Chloe?"

    "Philip and I broke up. And Brady was there for me when I needed someone to trust. He's a great friend. He and I went and talked for a while, then he took me home."

    "Brady's an extraordinary person," Marlena smiled at him.

    "I know," Chloe agreed.

    "So, are you two going to be spending the day together?"

    "Yeah. And tomorrow morning I'm coming to help him with his exercises. Carl showed me how so I can be there for him," Chloe beamed.

    "We'll see you tomorrow morning, then."

    "What were your plans for today?"

    "We're not sure. Just sort of planning it as we go," Brady said.

    "Your father and I were thinking of having a nice dinner at the Brady Pub tonight since Belle will be leaving a couple of days. Shawn and his parents will be joining us."

    "Okay," Brady took a drink of his juice.

    "Chloe, you're welcome to join us. It'll be a send off for you too."

    "Actually, I'm not going on the trip."

    "What? Why not?"

    "I think it would be best if I stayed in Salem for the month they're gone. Just to let things quiet down. Plus, Philip is going and he's the last person that I want to see."

    "Looks like it's just you and me," Brady smiled.

    "Well, you're still invited to dinner tonight, we'd love to have you," Marlena offered.

    "Okay," Chloe said.

    Chloe and Brady left the hospital and had their day together, which included seeing a movie and sitting in the park talking.

    Dinner that night was chaotic, to say the least. Not that anything bad happened, just that there were so many people that it got confusing and loud. Belle and Shawn's families had both come, and there were quite a few of them. The entire time Brady and Chloe sat next to each other, talking, laughing, being themselves. This didn't go unnoticed by Marlena, who occasionally glanced over and smiled at them, seeing that they seemed to be genuinely happy together. It was a first for both of them. The casual observer would have thought them to be a couple.

    The next day at the airport they all said their goodbyes. Brady and Chloe took off afterwards to the gym at Salem High for their first singing lesson. There, she finally broke down and told him about her childhood, clinging to a teddy bear, much like one she had longed to have for what seemed like so long ago. Inside he yearned to hold her and never let go. He wondered where that feeling was coming from. She needed cheering up, he'd decided.

    "Hey, come on," he said. "Let's end for the day. I think you've emoted enough for the week. How about some ice cream? My treat?"

    "Thanks, Brady," she wiped the tears from her eyes. "You're always there for me when I need someone."

    "I can't imagine being anywhere else," he answered. "Let's get some ice cream."

    They got their cones, chocolate for both, and walked through Salem Place, reaching the park. There they found that the Salem County Fair had set up shop already.

    "I completely forgot that it was that time of year," Brady commented.

    "I've never been," Chloe said.

    "Let's go," he took her by the hand and led her to the entrance where they paid the man to get in.

    "I can't believe we're doing this."

    "It'll be fun, Chloe. Come on, we'll ride the Ferris wheel first," he said as they stood in line.

    After that they continued to ride everything they could find. After the rides Brady noticed the game booths and noticed one in the back. The prizes were teddy bears of different sizes. He took her by the hand and led her over to them.

    "Brady, what are you doing?"

    "Come on, Chloe. Where's your sense of adventure today?"

    He paid the man behind the booth and got the four softballs he'd paid for. This shouldn't be so hard, he was thinking. The object was to get the ball into the milk tin. He threw each of the balls, missing every time. He again paid the man. Within the next fifteen minutes Brady went through 24 softballs and forty dollars before finally winning the largest teddy bear they had, handing it over to Chloe. She smiled at him as they walked away and left the fair.

    "So, was it your male pride that kept you playing that game?"

    "Yeah, that's it," he lied. She seemed happy to have the bear. He'd given her something that she'd always wanted and couldn't have. It was a small gesture, but he felt it was worth the money.

    They spent the next three weeks together, getting close, seeing each other every day. Belle, Shawn, and the others would be back in a week, a big party was planned for them. John had sent Brady on an errand to pick up party supplies. He took Chloe with him, he felt weird when she wasn't there, he was used to her, almost like he'd be incomplete without her.

    She was feeling the same things. He was there whenever she needed him and she felt more comfortable telling him her deepest and darkest feelings and secrets than anyone in the past. When they weren't together, she too felt empty.

    They dropped all of their party favors and whatnot at the penthouse and he drove her to her house. They were going to have movie night. Craig and Nancy had gone to Chicago on a medical conference for the next two days and they had the house to themselves. Not that anything was planned. Both were confused and their friendship remained completely plutonic. Things were just easier than when Nancy was there and checking on them every five minutes. It seemed everyone but the two of them realized that there was something more than friendship going on. He would be staying the night, on the sofa bed.

    "So, I got movies last night," Chloe said as Brady made himself comfortable on the sofa.

    "What did you get?"

    "‘Interview With the Vampire', ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley', and ‘Bringing Up Baby'. What do you want to watch first?"

    "Let's go with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant."

    "You got it."

    They finished the movie, and ‘Talented Mr. Ripley', but before their last film, which Chloe had never seen, she decided to get ready for bed. She came downstairs in a light blue tank top and matching boxers, wearing no make-up. Brady looked at her. Without the make-up, she was even more beautiful and pure than ever.

    She shooed him off of the sofa and pulled it out, revealing a bed. She went to retrieve a few blankets and came back to find him gone. Remembering she'd forgotten to brush her teeth, she went into the downstairs bathroom to get her toothbrush. Upon entering she found a very naked Brady standing there.

    "Oh, I'm so sorry, Brady," she gasped. She wanted to look away, to give him his privacy, but he was beautiful, she couldn't take her eyes off of him. Finally, after a few seconds, she finally turned around and closed the door.

    He came out in a wife beater and grey sweat pants. She looked at him again, unconsciously licking her lips. He looked good, but then again, when didn't he? Still, she enjoyed the view from a few minutes ago much better.

    "Ready for the last movie?" He plopped down next to her. She pressed a few buttons on the remote and began the film. A while into it, she had completely forgotten about the little incident beforehand. During Louis' massacre of the Paris vampires, she held on to Brady's hand, a little unsure of what to expect. He laced his fingers into hers and gave her hand a gentle squeeze to let her know it was okay.

    When the movie was over, she was still holding his hand and had snuggled closer, laying her head on his chest.

    "That was good," she finally said, turning the TV off.

    "Yeah," he agreed. He looked down at her. He had a strong urge to kiss her, she looked beautiful.

    She felt it too, she wanted to kiss him. A lot more than she'd ever wanted to kiss Philip. She wanted to touch him too. She'd never wanted to touch Philip the way she did Brady. She wanted to explore Brady. Every inch of him. She acted on impulse, she wanted him. She brushed her lips against his, softly at first.

    He was surprised. She'd been bold. He'd liked the kiss, but wanted a bit more, so rather than just lightly brushing his lips to hers, he enveloped her in the most amazing kiss either had ever had, or ever would have.


    "What?" She moved over to him, straddling him. She moved her hands down his chest, underneath his shirt, feeling his tight abs, loving every minute of it. Her mouth never left his and without letting him answer, she pushed her tongue into his mouth.

    "Chloe," he said again. He moved his hands from her waist, up her back, finally reaching her hair, placing one hand on the back of her head, the other moving back down to her waist.


    "Chloe, if I don't stop..."

    "I want you, Brady. I want this. I've never wanted this before and if we don't stop know I know I won't be able to. And I'm hoping you won't either. Because I don't want to stop. I want to take this as far as I possibly can."

    He waited a few moments, still a little unsure. Her eyes told him everything and he moved his hands to take off her top, revealing no bra. He looked at her in wonder. She was a vision, the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.

    He flipped her around so that he was on top. He kissed her, starting from her forehead, down her face, to her neck, down to her breasts, licking one nipple with his tongue, fondling the other with his thumb. She arched her back into his touch, wanting more. She moved her hands and removed his shirt, running her hands down his chest, causing a slight groan. He moved his mouth back to her lips, but moved his hand down her waist, slipping it down her boxers, underneath her panties, reaching and dipping his fingers inside, causing her to moan and shiver at the same time. She stopped and let him do what he was doing, calling his name, every other word uncomprehensible.

    She finally came, screaming his name with her. Her reaction made him even more aroused. She looked at him, feeling a little drained. Seeing the desire in his eyes, she felt rejuvenated and pulled his pants off. She kissed him, massaging his tongue with hers and moving her hands down his back. She was new to this, she really didn't know what she should do, but she knew she wanted him inside her, now.

    "I want you, Brady."

    "I know."

    "I mean now."

    "I don't have anything, Chloe."

    She looked into his eyes and thought a moments.

    "Wait," he said. He reached over and searched his duffel bag. Finally he retrieved it.

    "Expecting something?" She winked at him.

    "Not at all. It's, it's about a year old," he explained sheepishly.

    "I don't care, Brady," she said removing his boxers. She looked at him. She remembered walking in on him earlier in the night. He was magnificent, perfect.

    He looked at her after he'd slid the condom on. She wrapped her legs around him and he pushed into her slowly, causing a sudden and sharp pain. That was soon replaced by immense pleasure. Their pace quickened and they came together. They laid on the sofa bed, sweaty, nude, and fell asleep in each other's arms.

Page Two

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