38 - Reunited: Day Thirty-One

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The two bands had spent their entire day doing interviews and photoshoots and they were exhausted as they arrived back at their hotel. Ropes had already been set up from the street to the door of the hotel to allow the two bands to pass without being crowded by fans and paparazzi. The ten musicians followed their managers toward the door of the hotel, smiling and waving at the fans and cameras. Melanie squinted through the bombardment of camera flashes and clung to Geri. Emma came up on the other side and wrapped her arm around her to give her more coverage.

The noise died down as the group entered the hotel and the doors were closed behind them. A few of the hotel's patrons looked at the musicians with awe, but didn't approach them as the group crowded into the elevator. Melanie rubbed her eyes and wriggled uncomfortably in Geri's embrace as the elevator ascended toward their floor.

"You all right?" Geri asked. "Your head does hurt, doesn't it?" Melanie nodded and pressed her palms against her eyes. She whimpered and sank to the floor, clearly in a great deal of pain. She pressed herself into the corner and kicked at anyone that tried to get close to her. She began panting and sobbing, clutching her head uncomfortably.

"I'll call an ambulance," said Sam, grabbing his mobile from his pocket and dialling 911.

"Let's get her into one of the rooms," said Simon. "Who's room is this?" He turned to the closest door and waited for Howie to use his keycard to open it.

"Melanie, it's all right," said Emma. "Just relax and tell us what's wrong."

AJ and Vern nudged Emma out of the way and attempted to lift Melanie off the floor, but she began thrashing and blindly fighting against the two men. Kevin grabbed both of her hands and held them tightly as AJ gripped her from under her arms. Vern grasped her knees and lifted her off the floor, leaving her unable to kick free. She squirmed wildly and screamed as she was carried into Howie's hotel room and set on the bed.

"No!" she screamed, scrambling off the bed and dropping to her knees, still clutching her head.

Sirens could be heard outside the room and Mel looked out the window to see the flashing blue and red lights of the Emergency van. She quickly ran out of the room and took the elevator down to the lobby to lead the paramedics to Howie's room.

Melanie continued to scream while kicking and punching at the imaginary figures in front of her, making everyone back away to avoid getting hit.

"What's happening?" Emma whimpered as Geri wrapped her arms around her.

"I don't know," Geri replied softly, trying to remain calm for Emma.

AJ approached Sam, his eyes still glued to Melanie. "Do we let her keep going or do we try to stop her before she gets hurt?" he asked.

"I don't know," Sam replied, obviously shocked and at a loss.

"I'm going to try to calm her down," said Brian. "I might make it worse, but I can't watch her panic like this." Simon nodded and watched as Brian approached Melanie from behind.

He grabbed her arms to keep her from punching him and he squeezed himself in between Melanie and the bed. He sat on his knees, so Melanie was banging her head on his chest, rather than breaking his nose, then he crossed his arms over her torso, clutched her wrists tightly, and pressed them against her body in hopes that the compression would help her to feel calm.

"It's just me, Melanie," Brian grunted, barely audible through Melanie's screams. "It's Brian. I'm not going to let go, ok? I'm going to keep holding you until you start to relax."

Melanie dug her heels into the floor and pushed herself against Brian, trying to force him to let go of her, but he held tight. She was sobbing between screams and was panting heavily. She sat back on her bum and kicked her legs out, aiming for the images in front of her.

"There's no one there, Melanie," said Brian, still speaking calmly. "No one is trying to hurt you."

Melanie managed to pull one of her arms free as Mel led the two paramedics into the room. She had already given them the details of what had happened and one of them quickly set his bag on the floor to retrieve a sedative.

"We should let her calm down on her own," Emma whimpered. "We're scaring her. We just need to leave her alone and give her some space."

"She'll hurt herself, Em," Victoria explained. "She's too far gone right now. The doctors need to help her to calm down this time."

"She's not going to trust us anymore," Emma sobbed, turning to hug Geri and bury her head in Geri's shoulder.

"She will," said Geri. "There's just something going on in her head and she can't get out of it. She'll come around once the doctors have worked with her."

Luke, one of the paramedics struggled to grab Melanie's ankles and clutched them tightly to keep her from thrashing as Brian tried to grab her arm once more. She managed to dig her fingernails into Brian's arm, nearly causing him to let her other arm go, before he gripped her wrist and pulled her arm back to where he could hold it securely.

Melanie sobbed and continued to fight back in any way she could as the other paramedic approached her with a syringe. She caught sight of the syringe and twisted in Brian's grip in attempt to keep the paramedic from sticking her. She leaned forward and tried to bite Brian's arm, but he quickly pulled both his arm and hers out of the way.

"I'm not going to be able to get her," said Connor, the other paramedic, as he gripped Melanie's forearm and tried to hold her still enough to inject her with the sedative.

"I'll hold her thighs," Luke suggested. "Try the hip." Connor nodded and waited as Luke twisted himself around to sit on Melanie's thighs.

"Just relax, sweetheart," said Connor, softly. "Just a little pinch here and you'll start to feel better." Brian gripped Melanie as tightly as he could to keep her from moving as Connor pinched the skin on Melanie's hip and quickly injected her with the sedative. Melanie cried out and attempted to pull away, but she had little room to move.

After a few seconds, Brian and Luke could feel Melanie beginning to relax. Luke stood up and let go of Melanie's legs, but Brian continued to hold her. She kicked weakly at the two paramedics, but didn't have the strength to do more than push lightly against their ankles.

Brian loosened his grip slightly and rested his chin on her shoulder, speaking softly and trying to get her to calm down. Melanie cried softly and fought to keep her eyes open.

"Don't let them take me," she mumbled, her head tipping back against Brian's chest.

"They're not here," Brian assured her, kissing her temple. "They can't get you."

"They're right there," Melanie whimpered desperately, her eyelids growing heavy.

"No, they're not," Brian replied. "They're in your head, I promise."

Luke knelt next to Melanie and Brian and pulled each of Melanie's eyes open, shining a small light into each eye and watching Melanie's pupils. "She's fully dilated," Luke announced, looking back at Connor. Melanie pulled her face away and cried.

"What does that mean?" AJ asked as he sat on the edge of the bed.

"I can't say for sure what's causing it," Luke replied. "We'll take her in and do a few scans to make sure there aren't any lesions or swelling."

"Let go," Melanie sobbed desperately, weakly attempting to free her arms from Brian's grip. "Please." Brian nodded and let go of Melanie's arms and helped her as she attempted to stand. Connor pulled the stretcher into the room and over to Melanie, but Brian shook his head. He pulled Melanie around to face him and lifted her into his arms with her head resting on his shoulder and her legs wrapped around his waist. "I've got her," he said, knowing she was having flashbacks of her time with Otis.

"I don't want to die," Melanie whimpered desperately, tucking her head into the crook of Brian's neck and crying.

"Oh, sweetheart," said Brian, sadly. "That's not going to happen. You're going to be ok."

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