Season five: Ben prays for Michael's recovery, while remembering past events.
With tears in his eyes, Ben knelt by the hospital bed where his husband, Michael, lay unconscious. Ben looked into his lover's face.
"Please God, bring him back to me."
Michael's face was still black from the explosion. He was bleeding and so still. Ben could only hold his hand and pray.
Through his daze Ben heard the doctor telling Debbie and Brian, "We have managed to stabilize him for now, but we need to get him to surgery to stop his internal bleeding. We may have to remove his spleen. I will give you another minute with him, then we have to start prepping him for the O.R."
Ben didn't want to let go of Michael for even one second, but he knew he had to let the doctors do what they needed to do, to save his life.
Debbie leaned over the gurney "You had better come through this, you little shit."
Ben stood up, barely feeling his legs under him, and kissed Michael on the forehead. He was silently telling his husband good-bye.
Ben and Debbie were taken to the O.R. waiting room. All they could do now was wait and worry.
Ben's head started to spin out of control. He thought back to a few months earlier, when Michael and he were so happy and had no worries at all.
Michael had just gotten partial custody of J.R. Hunter was doing really well in school. They didn't have a care in the world and life was great.
Ben and Michael had Jenny Rebecca with them a couple of days each week. Melanie was not happy about it, but after Michael, Lindsay and she had come to blows over whom got their daughter and when, the lawyers took over and settled it all. Ben and Michael were settling into a routine that was very comfortable for them.
Hunter had gotten on the swim team and Ben was helping to train him. The coach was pleased with his improvement.
"I knew he could do it." Ben said with pride in his voice.
"It helps when he has a parent, who works with him, Mr. Bruckner."
"Thanks! I'll see you at the meet, Coach."
At the comic book store, Ben and Hunter gave Michael a rundown on the upcoming meet. They both laughed when they realized how little Michael knew about swimming and sports.
The trouble really began the day of Hunter's swim meet. Things began all right. Hunter's race started OK but as he won, he hit his head on the side of the pool. He looked dazed and blood started to drip down his face. Ben and Michael jumped to go to him and Callie jumped into the pool to help. All Ben could hear was, Callie's parents yelling.
"Get out of the pool. He has AIDS."
Everyone in the stands heard them.
"Come on Pal, let's get that looked at." Ben said as he put his arm around Hunter.
After spending several hours in the doctor's office, they brought Hunter home. Luckily, he only had a slight concussion.
Hunter was still angry. "Thanks to Callie's father and mother, I can never go back to school."
"Pal, you need to go to school."
"You can stay home for a couple of days, but you need to go back soon." Michael added.
The two men finally convinced Hunter to go back to school a day or so later.
Things seemed to be OK for a while. One day the principle called Ben at his office, asking that he and Michael come to a meeting at the school regarding Hunter's accident.
"Sure we'll be there, what time?" Ben wrote down all the information so he could fill Michael in at home.
Ben also told Hunter about the meeting that night at supper.
"I want to go too."
"It's only for the parents." Michael replied.
"It's about me, isn't it? I have a right to be there."
The night of the meeting J.R. was at their house. Michael had gotten Justin and Daphne to sit with her. They left feeling everything was OK. The meeting was heated and lasted, longer than they had anticipated.
When they got home, Justin met them at the door. "I had to call Melanie. J.R. woke up with a fever. I tried to call you, Michael, but it went to voice email. I didn't know what else to do?"
"It's OK Justin. Where did Melanie take J.R.?"
"She took her to the hospital emergency room."
Ben and Michael left the house immediately. When they arrived at the hospital, Melanie attacked.
"We just got the message." Michael explained.
"Where? At Babylon?"
"No. Michael and I had an emergency meeting at Hunter's school."
Ben was cut off in the middle of his sentence, as Melanie continued yelling at Michael. The nurse came to finally take them back to see the doctor.
"I'm sorry, only one of you can come with the baby."
Melanie and Michael got into a tug of war over who should go. Finally, Lindsay stepped in and took J.R. out of Melanie's arms and went back to see the doctor as Melanie and Michael continued to argue. When Lindsay came back out, Melanie grabbed J.R. She refused to let Michael touch her.
"I'm out of this custody circus as of now." Lindsay said angrily. "The two of you should start thinking about what's best for Jenny Rebecca, not just what's best for you."
She stormed off leaving Melanie, Michael and Ben with their mouths open.
That night at Woody's, Michael confided in Ben. "Ben, I've been selfish. I've only been thinking about myself."
"Michael, are you going to give up custody of J.R.?"
"No, but I am going to do what's best for the baby. Melanie and I will have to come up with a new arrangement."
Ben leaned over and kissed Michael.
"Good thinking, baby. I'm sure the two of you can work out an agreeable arrangement for J.R."
Later that week, Hunter, started getting harassed at school. When Callie turned her back on him, he freaked out. He couldn't handle it at all.
The night after their house warming party, their lives seemed to fall apart.
"I'm leaving. I don't belong here with you."
"Of course you do, Pal."
"No, I don't. All I am doing is hurting and embarrassing you and Michael."
As Hunter rushed to the front door, Ben stopped him.
"Where are you going to go?"
"I don't know but I'll figure it out."
Ben handed him some money. "Let us know if you need more."
Ben had a look of confusion on his face as Hunter gave him back his house key. He turned to leave.
Michael stopped him and gave him more money. "Put this in your shoe for an emergency."
Hunter turned and walked out of the front door, leaving Ben and Michael in total shock.
Ben sat in the hospital trying to remember Michael's smiling face. He wanted to look lovingly into Michael's beautiful brown eyes. He wanted to feel the warmth of Michael's touch. He wanted to cuddle Michael at night in bed and to make tender passionate love to his husband. He was terrified that he was going to lose Michael that night.
Ben's thoughts returned to the days after Hunter left. He had become sad and unresponsive. All he wanted to do was sit at home and think about his son. He often wondered if he was OK. Not knowing was the hardest part.
Michael tried everything to cheer Ben up. He wanted to see him smile again, put his arms around him and make love again. That didn't happen. Instead, Ben withdrew even more. He even pushed Michael away without realizing what he was doing.
They asked Justin to stay with them while he looked for a place to live. This caused even more trouble. Brian barged in one night and all but attacked Ben, then Michael. That was not what they needed at that particular moment.
Ben had anger and worry building up inside of him. He was unable to express his feelings to Michael, even though he needed him now more than ever. He couldn't bring himself out of his depression over Hunter leaving. Ben just didn't understand why he couldn't convince Hunter to stay? He got angry when he thought Michael didn't feel the same way. They started arguing about everything. Ben felt very guilty about the entire situation. He felt his life was out of control and he didn't know how to stop it. Michael was always there for him, trying to help. All Michael wanted was for Ben to open up and tell him what he was feeling. Michael worried about Ben's state of mind.
One day they got a surprising email. It said, "Don't worry, I'm OK. Love Hunter."
Finally, Ben smiled and Michael had hope he would be all right again.
Things started getting back to normal when the Proposition 14 issue came up. Ben and Michael became involved with canvassing, phone calling and putting up posters for STOP PROP 14.
One day, while they were in the kitchen, Ben approached Michael with a loving grin on his face. Michael knew exactly what Ben had in mind and he smiled.
Ben put his arms around Michael's waist and pulled him close. He began kissing his husband tenderly on the lips and caressing Michael's hips. Their kisses became passionate quickly. Ben gently continued to arouse his passion for Michael. He pulled his husband even closer to him. He started to take Michael's shirt off. He managed to get it half way off when he couldn't control himself any longer. Ben took his tongue and parted Michael's lips. Michael totally surrendered to the emotion and passion he felt from his husband.
Ben began to trace his finger from Michael's lips around his jaw to his ear. He nibbled on his husband's ear, which sent Michael into a trance. He brought Michael back to reality by kissing him down his neck, until he reached his lover's nipples. Michael moaned with intense pleasure, he could hardly control himself. He started to kiss Ben on his smooth muscular shoulders. Ben felt as aroused as Michael. He couldn't even wait for them to get to the bedroom.
Ben reached for a condom and had Michael put it on him. He turned his husband around and nuzzled the back of his neck. With his tongue, Ben kissed his way down Michael's spine until he reached his hips. With a single motion from Michael, Ben found his opening and penetrated him with his finger. As Michael moaned with pleasure, Ben inserted his second finger and began moving it in and out until Michel begged for more. He took his rock hard cock and penetrated Michael slowly. As he felt Michael relax, he fully entered his husband with a slow rhythm. As their passion grew, Ben took Michael right there on the kitchen counter. Michael had missed his lover's touch so much and he responded immediately. Their passion intensified to the point of almost tearing the kitchen apart.
Ben continued his passionate rhythm as Michael begged for even more. He started getting the response from his lover he was looking for.
"Feel good Baby?"
With all his will, Michael managed to answer. "Yeah, right there, keep going, I'm almost there."
Ben continued, knowing he was giving them the long awaited pleasure they both missed. They were close to their climax when … the doorbell started to ring.
Michael said to Ben, "I'm coming." The doorbell rang again. Michael yelled, "I'm coming" Ben knew what he meant and then Michael yelled toward the door, "I'M COMING!"
Ben couldn't leave Michael unfulfilled. He plunged deeper until he heard Michael whimper with total satisfaction.
After they both came, Michael went to the front door to find two women standing, smiling at him. They explained that they were talking to people about supporting Proposition 14. "Are you married?"
Michael answered sweetly, "YES I AM."
"Well we would also like to speak to your wife."
Michael called into the house, "Sweetheart, there are two nice ladies here who want to talk to us about Proposition 14."
The ladies waited.
Ben appeared at the door, put his arms around Michael's shoulder and said, "Hello ladies, this is my lawfully wedded husband."
Michael smiled, "and this is my lawfully wedded husband."
"And we are going to do everything we can to STOP PROPOSITION 14. Have a nice day."
The women were stunned. Without saying a word they turned and just walked away.
The next day, as Ben and Michael were taping up a poster for the STOP PROP 14 Benefit with Cyndi Lauper, Michael said to Ben, "You know what, it was less than a year ago that we were getting married."
"I know." Ben said as he hugged his husband "And here we are fighting for our rights again."
They kissed passionately.
Debbie looked at her son with the man he loved ... "How can anyone object to that?"
"A lot of people do object, Debbie." Justin replied.
Just then a line of cars drove down the street shouting their hate slogans. Debbie lost it. "Yeah, and Jesus thinks you stink."
Later on that same day, Melanie, Michael, Ben and Emmett met at the place where the Benefit was to be held only to find out they could no longer use it.
Ben and Michael called every place they could think of, but all the places were booked solid. Ben turned to Michael, "There is one place we haven't called yet."
"I'm not going to ask Brian for a thing." Michael said angrily
"Michael if you don't ask him, we'll have to cancel the event."
Michael felt guilty about being so stubborn. He finally gave in and went to see Brian. Brian didn't make it easy on him. As he entered the office, Brian looked up and gave him that look that Michael knew so well.
Turning to Ted, he said, "Ted, you and your visitor can leave now. I'm busy."
"I'm here to see you, Brian." Michael said as Ted discreetly left them alone.
"Well, get to the point."
Michael continued, "We lost the La Montague for the STOP PROP 14 Benefit."
"And you want what?"
Michael kept his temper as he said, "Babylon."
Brian made Michael squirm long enough before allowing them to use Babylon for FREE.
Ben was barely aware of what was going on around him. He had been in the hospital all night and there was still no word on Michael's condition. He was burying his fear that Michael would not make it. He sat staring into space. With thoughts only of Michael, he continued to pray. "God, please bring him back to me."
Ben was in anguish, but he had to hold himself together. Tears kept rolling down his face and he hid them with his hands so no one could see how worried he was. He had to deal with Debbie's emotions all night and at the same time keep them both under control. He kept trying to be strong, but he felt himself slipping into a depression. He only wanted to be with Michael and he wanted more than anything to know that he would be OK.
Michael had been in surgery for hours and still no word. Ben stayed as calm as he could be more for Debbie then himself. His thoughts took him back just 24 hours.
The evening started out perfectly. Ben and Michael got to Babylon and talked with all the people they knew. As the concert started they began moving to the music. When Cyndi Lauper appeared, the crowd went wild. Everything seemed to be a complete success.
Ted tapped Michael on the shoulder.
"Michael would you go and get Louis some water? I don't want to leave him alone. He gets nervous in crowds."
"Sure be glad to." Michael kissed Ben as he moved to the bar.
Seconds later an explosion tore through Babylon. It was sheer panic. People were crawling over each other to get out.
Ben couldn't find Michael. He called out for his husband, but couldn't find him in all the chaos. After what seemed like hours, he found Michael unconscious on the floor. Ben dropped to his knees and cradled Michael in his arms. With tears in his eyes, Ben looked down at his husband's face. It was so still. Ben kissed him on the lips trying to get a response. Still NOTHING. He began to really panic. What if I lose this beautiful man, he gives me the courage to live every day to the fullest. I can't live without him in my life. Leaning down Ben whispered into his lover's ear
"Baby, Michael, please open your eyes and look at me."
When he didn't get a response, Ben called for help.
The paramedics came and started taking care of Michael.
"Is he going to be all right?"
"We don't know right now. We need to do our job. Please sir, step back and give us room to work."
Ben had to let Michael go so the paramedics could take care of him. All he could do was watch in silence.
Ben never took his eyes from his husband's face. With tears still running down his face, Ben walked out of Babylon beside the stretcher Michael was on. He never let Michael's hand go. Outside Debbie, Melanie, Lindsay and Brian found them. They were in total shock. Debbie was begging them to please hurry.
As they put Michael into the ambulance Ben begged, "I'm his partner, I want to go with him." They told Ben to get in and they closed the doors.
Ben sat watching the man he loved clinging to life. He was willing Michael to open his eyes and just smile at him. Still nothing. With Michael's hand in his, Ben raised it to his lips and kissed it. He could not lose his lover.
"I can't live without you, Michael, please come back to me. I love you with all my heart and soul. Come on Baby, I'm here with you."
With every moment that passed, Ben could only sit with his love hoping Michael would not leave him alone. The paramedics continued to tend to Michael but Ben refused to let him go.
The ambulance pulled up to the hospital ER doors. Ben had to let them take Michael away from him. He followed them into the ER in shock and silence. The doctors took over and rushed Michael into another room and started working on him. All Ben could do, now, was wait with Debbie and everyone else. He was staring into space, not really knowing what he was doing, or saying.
Debbie lost it, "What if I lose him, what will I do?"
Ben finally snapped, "You are not going to lose him and this is not about you, so sit down."
Brian came running into the hospital, wanting to give blood. He flipped out when the doctor said no because he was gay. Ben had to step in and remind Brian, "You couldn't give blood even if you were straight you had cancer."
Brian calmed down and went back to Babylon to look for Justin.
Morning came and Michael was still in surgery. Ben was going out of his mind with worry. The prayer was all he could concentrate on. "Please God, bring him back to me."
Ben pictured Michael at home again. He had not been hurt and everything was as it should be. Then reality set back in and he was in the waiting room with still no word about Michael's condition.
Ben felt he couldn't wait one more second. Finally the doctor appeared.
"Dr. Ryan, is Michael going to be all right?" Ben asked.
"We were able to stop the bleeding and we had to remove his spleen. I am optimistic that he will make a full recovery."
Ben felt he could finally breathe. "Can we see Michael?" he begged.
"He will be sleeping most of the day. Why don't you go home and get some rest?"
Ben refused to leave when Debbie suggested he get a shower and go teach his class. After a few hours, he finally agreed, but promised to come back later so that Debbie could go home and rest.
Before Ben left, he asked Dr. Ryan, if he could have just a few minutes alone with his husband.
Reluctantly the doctor agreed.
"All right, I will give you thirty minutes."
Ben was grateful as the nurse took him to Michael's bed.
He went to Michael's side and carefully kissed his lover. He climbed up beside his husband and cradled him in his arms. Sitting beside his love, Ben stared at Michael lovingly. He gently ran his fingers through his husband's dark black hair. He continued to tenderly kiss Michael's face and lips. His emotions took over and he wept uncontrollably, knowing that his husband and lover would be all right. He never wanted to leave Michael ever again. As Michael had been there for him when he was so sick, Ben was going to be there for Michael in the same way.
Ben was so tired. He fell asleep just holding Michael in his arms. The nurse started to say something but decided to leave them alone.
Ben made it to his class just in time to join in on the class conversation
"Lets talk about how we deal with hate crimes and acts of violence."
The class had a lively discussion until one of his students said, "But Professor Bruckner, you can pass for straight if you want to, you can't be touched, you live in a bubble."
Ben heard himself say, "My partner, my husband was critically injured last night and he nearly died. If I live in a bubble, it just burst."
Ben finally got back to the hospital to let Debbie go home. She didn't want to leave.
"Debbie, let me go and get you a cup of soup."
"OK Ben, chicken noodle if they have it."
As they sat together in Michael's room, Debbie told Ben a story. Michael had to have his tonsils out when he was eight years old and she got him a little flashlight. As she finished telling the story Michael stirred.
"Where is my flashlight?"
Ben's heart skipped a beat. He went to his lover and kissed Michael on his forehead.
"Hey Baby! The doctors said you are going to be fine."
Stroking her son's face Debbie asked,
"Ben, What about that soup you promised me?"
Ben kissed his husband again, "Be right back BROWN EYES."
He turned toward the door, flung it open and came face to face with Hunter. Now the family is complete he thought as he hugged his son.
Later Ben slipped away and went to the Chapel for a quiet moment. With tears in his eye's Ben said, "Thank you God!! I am so grateful to have Michael back. I promise to always love and take care of him from now on. You brought my love back to me."
Ben watched over Michael with much love in his heart. The man, who meant the world to him was going to be alright. Michael was his love, his soul mate and his very life. Ben would never be without Michael again.
Several years later after making love, Michael looked up at Ben with such love in his eyes and a tear.
"What is it Baby? You look upset."
"No Ben, I'm not upset. I'm so grateful to have you in my life."
"You'll always have me in your life, Michael."
"I'm thinking about the night I was injured at Babylon. I never thanked you for saving my life."
"What are you talking about Baby?"
"That night after the bomb went off, you were the one who found me on the floor unconscious. I heard you call my name. I couldn't answer you, but I heard you and felt you hold me as if life itself depended on it. I was floating. I saw you, heard you beg me to come back to you. At that moment I began to fight to get back to you. In the ambulance, I felt your kiss on my hand. I heard you say, 'Baby, I am here with you.'"
Ben could only look as Michael continued.
"I fought during surgery to stay with you. In the recovery room, you came in, kissed me and climbed up beside me. You just held me close to you and kissed my face. I heard you sob uncontrollably. I wanted to touch your face and wipe your tears away but I couldn't move. You slept peacefully. When Mom finished my flashlight story, I finally found my voice. All I wanted was to look into your clear blue eyes and never stop. I was truly with you again."
"I had heard your prayer, 'Please God, bring my love back to me.'"
"It's taken me a long time to come to terms with what happened that night. Now I can finally truly thank you for saving my life. I love you with all my heart and never want to leave you again."
Ben listened quietly. With tears rolling down his face he said, "You are so welcome and I would do it again and again if I had to. You are MY life. I couldn't go on if you weren't here with me."
Ben held Michael all night never letting him go. He had slept this way with Michael since that night Michael came back to him. His love knew no boundaries. He knew he would love Michael until the day he died.
End of "Please God, Bring Him Back To Me"