The next day was quiet. No one could get over the events of the previous day. Things had been going so smoothly, and now the concert was off and John was in the hospital.

Ringo lit a cigarette and sighed. He seldom had any real hand in deciding things. He was used to having plans change without his knowledge. But when the changes started to hurt his friends...It was just too much. He slumped onto the sofa and tried to make conversation.

"Anyone want to play cards?" he asked hopefully.

"Shuttup, Ring." moaned Paul. "There's no concert, my friend's practically dead, I'm plauged with bad dreams, and you want to play cards!"

He left, his voice starting to break.

Ringo tried George next.

"Hey, George! Want to play cards?"

George wouldn't even look at him. He stormed out of the room with an angry expression on his face.

The whole group was tense. Without John around, no one could seem to function. They just lay around between visits to him and drinks. Not even Brian could think of a way to cheer them up. No one spoke, no one slept, no one ate.

It was a long three days before John could come back to the hotel. They would be returning to England the week after that. John, however, was starting to have different ideas. When he finally did leave the hospital, everyone noticed how preoccupied he was, but he told only Paul what was on his mind.



"D'you remember that nurse, back at the hospital?"

"Of course! The pretty one? Mary?"

"Yeah...the pretty one. Paul, the doctor said I might need someone to look after me for a while. I think I hit my head harder than anyone thought, or told me." he stopped.

Paul thought he knew what his friend was getting at.

"And so you want to take Mary with us? To keep an eye on you? John, are you sure you're allowed to whisk away a working nurse? Just like that?"

"No," said John dreamily, "but if I can't, I'll stay here with her."

"John, you can't do that! Even if...." Paul suddenly realized what was going on with John, and why he had been acting strangely.

"You love her, don't you?" He spoke gently. He knew what it was like.

John nodded and looked away sheepishly. He didn't see Paul's face grow dark. He began to talk again.

"You don't know, Paul. She was good to me. Usually...well, you know me, Paul...but she saw right through me. For once I felt like I didn't have to act, didn't have to be "John Lennon the Beatle". It's so wonderful to be able to go somewhere, do something, whithout people screaming at you. Even if "someplace" is the hospital and "something" is cracking your skull. She's just become a nurse recently, you know. I'm one of her first patients." He chuckled softly to himself. "Imagine that. You've just become a nurse and a Beatle shows up in your hands. I suspect the other nurses are jealous as hell!"

Paul was not laughing. Rather, he was looking at the floor with a hurt expression clouding his usually cheerful eyes.

The airport was a mob scene. Everyone wanted to say that they had met, seen, or spoken to one of the Beatles. It took an hour just to get to the takeoff gate, even with five security guards keeping back most of the crowds.

Paul was in his element, laughing and chatting with the fans, even signing some autographs every once in a while. George looked quietly dismayed, Ringo looked rather bewildered, and John just looked.

Someone had finally arranged for Mary to come with the Beatles, as John's nurse. She herself said that it was only until John's head healed well enough that it was no longer dangerous for him to walk around by himself, but John had other ideas. Totally oblivious to Paul's disappointment, he told his friend how happy he was that she was coming.

Paul could sense that this could become a major rift between them, and if there was one thing he did not want, it was for John to be angry with him. So he tried not to show how hurt he was.

"So she'll be stayin' at your house, then? What're you going to tell Cyn?"

"She's my nurse. That's what she's here for, as far as she or anyone else knows. Cyn...Cyn doesn't need to know more than that."

"John, I think you should bloody well fix up your own problems before you create new ones!" Paul was having difficulty controlling himself. John could be so damned self-centered at times! Didn't he realize what this sort of thing would lead to if Cyn found out?

John started to laugh. "I think you should create some "problems" of your own, before you start to want mine! You jealous, then?"

Paul stormed off in the other direction. He didn't want to speak to John.
Not about Mary or anything.

The plane ride was long and uneventful. John slept most of the way, and during the short intervals when he was awake, complained about how the altitude was hurting his head. Ringo and George busied themselves with annoying the other passengers in first class, who were mainly elderly men who had no idea who the "long haired freaks" sitting in front of them were.

After a long six hours the plane landed-bumpily-in Heathrow airport. The tarmac had somehow, once again, been invaded by hysterical Beatle fans. A squadron of policemen were trying to keep them in order. John was proudly presenting Mary with her first view of England.

She was not impressed.

Next Part

Written by The Walrus. May not be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. Permission may be obtained by e-mail.

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