so here it is! haha comment as always please!
"Good morning trooper." The familiar voice of nurse Abrams chimed. Kyle suspected in a half conscious morning logic that she must have procured some serious drugs from the hospital to be so peppy at such ungodly hours of the morning. He merely shifted slightly in the hospital bed away from the window so he could avoid being blinded when she flung it open.
Light still made his eyelids glow and the boy let out a groan, "That's no way to greet the morning, come on! You got a solid nine hours Lane," she joked. Kyle had flipped out on her the first night because she had called him by his first name and he had been in a sour mood, so she had taken to calling him 'Lane' as a substitute apparently unable to give him any formal titles, not even as simple as 'Mister.'
"I'm not a morning person..." Kyle grumbled, "Who wakes up at seven Am by choice anyway?"
"Patients with physical therapy do," she noted, almost too happy to be informing him he needed to go work out the only muscles he had left... Again Kyle almost suspected drugs. "Now hop to it trooper, you have a longer session today."
Kyle groaned again and resisted, but after much deliberation (and the removal of blankets from the bed), he finally sat up and very carefully. He had learned to hate the mornings in the hospital in his short time here; they were full of nothing but humiliation and early morning depression.
Kyle lay back down, thankful for once the most he felt of his legs moving was a little twitch in his bum and his stomach moving a bit as nurse Abrams lifted each leg. She removed his diaper and said nothing, having learned that in such moments of extreme humiliation Kyle snapped at everyone. Kyle had control of his bladder and bowels when awake, but the first morning he had woken to a little surprise. Despite his arguments and the emptiness of the damned things every morning the nursing staff insisted he wear them just in case.
He had been stuck at the hospital for a while now. Bullet wounds and physical therapy made it almost impossible to leave because most stretching at this point was painful, and any over exertion with weights or even in some cases just wheeling himself around re-opened his wounds. Abrams then moved him forward in the bed and fixed up his back with new Gauze and cream for the wounds to prevent infection. "Looking good back here trooper, I wouldn't be surprised if they let you out today it's looking so good."
Kyle highly doubted that, but thanked her all the same. It wasn't like he didn't want to leave; he just didn't want to have to live a new life after having the old one for so long. It was a painfully dependent existence, and like at school he even had a psychologist/counsellor to visit on a daily basis. Dr Salis was nothing like Mr Wilson, but his job title didn't make him the most loved person in Kyle's world, but he was growing on the boy. After Physical therapy most days Kyle went to see him. They would talk about what he could and could not do, he was asked to make a list of all the things he could still do and it helped a little, but against the man's orders Kyle made a list of all the things he couldn't as well. The latter was longer.
Kyle remembered Dr Salis' response to the negative list, that heavy sigh and pity filled look. His eyes were the opposite of Wilson's that day and it actually made Kyle feel a bit bad that he was making this man's job a bit more difficult. He didn't apologize though; he refused to even talk to the man the rest of that day which probably gave him the wrong message. Salis probably saw depression and angst, Kyle saw that talking about it might make him cry and he refused to do that at the moment. Tears would help no one.
His mother had finally showed up the next morning with nurse Abrams, the kindly women most likely forcing his mother to come for Kyle's sake.
His mother had sat in bed with him, asked how he was, showered him with attention. It was nice for a while, a bit of care, a strand of effort, a bit or recognition as someone she did love. Kyle had cried that day, his mother was there and it made him feel like everything would be okay. But not a half hour later she cried too; for Scott. She shed not one tear for her son, she had cried with screams not waterworks, but the mere mention of Scott's condition released the flood gates. With great effort Kyle told her he would be fine, that Scott was a big man and could handle it. She countered with angry yells about his mental state and what they were going to do without a single working man in the house anymore.
She had meant jobs of course, but her word choice cut deep. Working. He wasn't working anymore. He was broken. Kyle Lane was now beyond repair. He was broken. Useless to his mother, a hindrance, a problem, in constant need of attention from one who could not even feed herself. She went on to complain about the costs of hospitals and how they probably couldn't even afford his physical therapy when they left. Couldn't afford minor repairs...
Kyle sighed again in real time, the nurse slipping on some boxers and shorts he imagined. He never had his eyes opened when she messed with his legs, a bit out of shame and a bit out of fear. It was scary to see his legs get moved and not feel a thing. "Okay Kyle all set for PT, you wanna scoot yourself in to the chair again right?" She asked with a smile, wheeling the metal assistant over. It wasn't a monster anymore, now it was just a big shiny reminder. It wasn't kind, it was just doing a job in Kyle's mind, Dr Salis had commented it wasn't healthy to think of it as a beast, that even in that comparison he would be a hindrance to an object.
Scooting over to the side of the bed where she had brought the chair Kyle flipped himself around a bit and eventually, with a bit more ease now with practice, made it into the seated position. From there the Nurse waited with the patience of a saint as the boy who didn't work rolled away from the bed and positioned his lower limbs so they wouldn't get caught on anything as they moved throughout the hospital.
Kyle hated that on trips to anywhere, his official nurse Abrams wasn't allowed to let him wheel himself. Hospital policy for the sake of being on time and the sake of the hospital's flow. This led to another bit of guilt. On Kyle's choice the young nurse wheeled him around to the elevators the long way, the quick way was right down the hall but that involved passing Scott's room and on the first few days the asshole would yell at him if he saw him. Cruel words that cut deep no matter what the nurses asked. The first day they shut Scott's door so he wouldn't see the boy he had just started shouting around seven AM so that he was sure the boy heard.
Nurse Abrams of course never told him she minded, but it was extra work and Kyle hated it despite the fact that she had explained numerous times she understood and that Scott was indeed an ass who should learn a bit of compassion and courtesy.
P.T. was just the same as every other day he had been there. A few warm up stretches and some weight lifting followed by more stretches and some endurance with various machines, one looking simply like bike pedals but with various degrees of resistance. The various nurses he had been getting in his P.T. were often informing him of his great progress, but when you hear that a hundred or so times it's hard to find out where you actually stand. Improvements could still be infinitely off from where he would like to be, but he did like that he could not scoot into the chair.
One exercise that bugged him though were the 'push ups.' Simply from a seated position he would push up on the arms rests of his chair and move up and down. He could do that fine, but the other patients that popped in his counselling (Dr Silas said as moral support) said he could eventually lift himself into the seat from the floor. Kyle wanted to do that, though he wanted to replace the floor with the ground and do it outside where he could still sit in the grass.
Even though he shouldn't, and the various nurses would attest to it, Kyle often zoned out in P.T. But if anyone had a right to wander off in the recesses of their own mind it was him. Kyle had a lot to think about the last few days, a lot of people to deal with as well. In the multitude of days he had been there Quinn was his most attentive visitor. Despite being a town over she got rides often just to check on him and give him the schoolwork so he wouldn't fall behind.
Poor Quinn, somehow she still blamed herself for the shooting as much as Kyle told her quite the opposite. "But Duke had warned me," she would complain, "But I knew better." "But this." "But that." It was a tad bit annoying after a while but it was sad enough the despite his depression he always put on a smile for her and assured her as much as she tried to assure him. About the second week of visits he asked her straight up if she started cutting again, she had all the signs from quiet disposition to long sleeves all the time. After a long while of talking she had agreed to stop again, but Kyle wasn't as sure if she would actually stop this time. He didn't have much power anymore and the fact that he couldn't stop her if he wanted to, was the very reason she was doing it...
It had always disgusted Kyle, the idea of cutting that is. The idea that someone would decide to make themselves bleed in order to feel alive was both depressing and repulsive. It had been a while since she had stopped the first time and light scars still showed, marking her forever. Kyle only now imagined the worse situation. Quinn came from a family of drinkers and for that reason she was a very light partier. She always talked about fear of being in AA like her mom and aunts were. Both sides of her family had a history of alcohol addiction, and to be plain, liquor was in easy reach at her house, the bar completely unlocked for their one child to delve into whenever.
Then there was Alice Stone. She had shown up the second day much to Kyle's distress. His nurses wouldn't even let her in because she made Kyle angry, he had yelled at her in his rage asking how she could have just left, went to Finn, toyed with him. He had broken stitches and needed to have them re-done with all his motions. Fact was she wasn't supposed to be visiting him so soon but apparently no one checked to see if you were actually friends or family at St. Jude's hospital.
"Kyle I'm sorry, I panicked alright? And Finn was in jail and I didn't even know where you were! I'm sorry!" She cried out, her hands empty of any gifts, her eyes not even close to being damp let alone streaming with tears.
"You could have found out! Jesus Quinn found out, Duke wasn't even at the game at the moment and he found out! Alice don't sit here and lie to me." Kyle spat at her in a terrifyingly controlled voice.
"You are! You are sitting here trying to tell me that you weren't off to see Finn! You are here trying to convince me for some reason that you still like me!" Kyle raged, his arms being thrown around the air, he remembered a pain tickling his back.
She just looked back at him, "Kyle I'm so sorry..."
"Just leave me alone dammit!" And that's about when he fell over screaming with torn stitches.
So much rage bubbled to the surface it was disgusting. She was terrible; he didn't want to see her for another moment. And she still showed up before his mom did. Reaching that realization was even more painful than losing Alice had been. But to be fair, a lot was more painful than that, Kyle still had Duke.
Kyle blushed a bit in recollection of the kiss. IT had been real, there were no doubts about that, and at the moment, he really didn't care so much. Kyle dreaded the moment when he would see Duke again as much as he craved it. HE wanted to see Duke, to be with him, to be held by him again, yet he didn't want to show up in a chair, weak and broken. Moreover, he didn't want to actually be confronted about the kiss. As much as he wanted another one deep down, and he knew he did, it was strange to find yourself leaving a date with a girl, to sticking your tongue in the mouth of a guy.
Did that make him gay? Bi? Did he still find girls attractive? Did it even matter? Duke could just be the only guy so he could still claim being straight. Who was he trying to impress with heterosexuality anyway? It was senior year, coming out wouldn't be so bad, he'd only have a few months to deal with it, and who would honestly pick on the wheelchair kid with the gun wounds?
Still despite all these thoughts he was terrified and confused. Leaving P.T. in a sweat he was wheeled to Dr Salis' office, the two had talked about the kiss already; the man was older and had brown curly hair. He was pretty round but not exactly fat, his glasses seemed very big yet somehow because his eyes weren't magnified he seemed normal. Kyle liked Dr Salis, the man calmed him down, took his rage, let him be himself like Wilson never could. Kyle would never admit to liking a psychologist of any sort, but this man was...okay.
"Well hello Kyle." The man beamed like every other day, as if the kid was a surprise and not a regularly scheduled patient. He put some papers down and leaned forward in his own chair, room already made in the little relaxation area for Kyle's. Their sessions were usually over an hour so after a few days Kyle found himself being invited into the many chairs or couches around the room to get into and change at his discretion.
"Hello doc, how are you doing?" Kyle asked, already headed towards the black leather recliner and eagerly trying to lift out of his wheelchair.
"Aren't I the one who should be asking that question?" The man replied with a little grin, walking over to assist. With minimal assistance the boy was seated comfortably and with a notepad in hand so was Salis.
"I guess I beat you to the punch, I'm so sick of all the default bull-crap you have to ask every time." Kyle answered honestly but without any aggression towards the man himself. "I'm feeling fine; maybe a little better than yesterday it's hard to tell day by day. I feel much better than a few weeks ago that's for sure. The nightmares did not happen again. My back is a little sore. At least nine hours of sleep..."
"Okay okay, take it easy. I do have to handwrite all this you know; only the sessions are on tape." Salis instructed. "So you said you were feeling fine?" He asked, cracking a smile when the boy let out a distressed sigh, "I'm kidding!" he laughed, going back to the writing, "No nightmares..." He read aloud as he wrote.
"Minimal back pain and nine hours of sleep," Kyle re-iterated, "No headaches, and still no sign of Duke." Kyle stated, finishing off the mandatory questions for the hospital and getting right into a session topic.
The Doctor finished writing and took out a tape recorder. "Saturday October twenty eighth. Eight twelve Am. Case number 331-23-91. Kyle M. Lane." He rang off robotically, setting the tape down on a glass table between the two. "Kyle you were saying about your friend?"
"Well he still hasn't shown up since the first night when...all that...stuff happened." Kyle stated simply, "I know he said he wouldn't show himself until I had done his stupid tests, but I thought maybe after a week or two he'd take pity on me and at least show up, send a letter or a message with Quinn you know?"
Silas nodded and wrote things down in his legal pad, "This Duke character seems a bit troubled himself, but in a way what he asks of you is a good thing even if it is a bit on the extreme side...You know as a professional I can't use my views of homosexuality to effect the session, and they wouldn't seeing as I don't care either way, but you still seem distressed every day he or the kiss comes up. I'd like to tackle that today if you don't mind."
Kyle sighed but nodded, "You're the PhD."
That always made the older man smile, "Well let's begin with what we know..." he started, flipping through pages of notes, "Most days either Duke or the kiss are mentioned you seem to have a fight or flight response. In most cases in the beginning you were dead set for the kiss meaning something; I wouldn't have thought you were ever interested in the opposite sex to be honest. But lately you have been less convinced and for good reason. He isn't coming back here and apparently you won't see him until he wants to be seen. Let's start there, what do you think you will do if you see him again?"
It always took a lot out of Kyle to talk to anyone about his feelings before, but lately, or at least at the hospital, it was different. Kyle cried a lot in the early days, cussed the man out and threw fits. He honestly didn't know what he would do; he knew what he would want to do though. Kyle wanted to run up to Duke and wrap his arms around him. Kyle wanted to be as normal as he was before. The Doctor's often told him to avoid such words as 'normal' because they set bad vibes, but Kyle didn't care. Normal was what everyone else was for the most part. And he couldn't be that again...
At some point his session ended and Dr Silas wrapped it up on the tape recorder. "Maybe not as solid a solution as I would have liked, but progress all the same," he said with a smile.
"Same time tomorrow?" Kyle asked as if he had a choice in the matter and like he wasn't here at the same time every day.
Silas couldn't help but grin, "Oh yeah."
Kyle wheeled himself out and a nurse led him to his final necessary meeting of the day. The worst one...The one with the lawyers.
Lawyers in suits were by far Kyle's least favourite people, and unlike Dr Silas, they fit the generic all protocol mould as well as their own custom yet identical suits fit them. Lawyers always had a lot to talk about and nothing new to talk about. Every day was the same boring shit, question after question, a rehearsal of the actual court meeting, the matter of payment and turn out. Kyle always had a bittersweet moment when his mom showed up. She always seemed focused in the room with the suits, a strange focus she never had anymore, but in that time she also hardly managed to speak a few words to him.
It was a terrible bonding moment, as of late she wasn't even putting up a ruse of happy, or even partial to showing up. It bugged her and she groaned and pouted and shied away from questions. She showed up in pyjamas and spoke about the money they would need for Kyle's hospital bills like he wasn't in the room with them. She always made him sound like a pain and he always stayed quiet.
Then the suits would leave and she would drop her guard and smile a weak smile at her son, speak a handful of useless questions and update him on Scott's condition at home as if he cared. She did not once in all those weeks talk to him about his life at home and how it was going to be, or how it was going to be okay.
That part of the day was a blur, both in time and in emotions. Kyle still loved his mother, but such straight forward rejection of any motherly duty was painful. He was still her baby right? She had to still care somewhere...but not even crippling injury could bring them out of her.
Kyle was taken to get food after the lawyers, then back to his room. He had plenty of books to read and school work to do to keep himself preoccupied. Then the doctor came in on cue.
"Hello doc, any good news for me today?" Kyle asked, not even looking up from his book.
"I'm just going to need to check the stitches," The man said in a very passive voice, moving Kyle forward and slowly peeling off the gauze on the patients back. "Hmmm," he said carefully. "Well, in my professional opinion, you're good to go."
Kyle had to double take, "What?"
"I'm going to go ahead and give you the all clear," the balding man said again, "Tomorrow you'll be set for check out."
There wasn't much more than that, he had other patients and simply left, "Huh, what do yah know? Abrams deserves a medal..."