so yeah here it is after a LOOONG wait which i sincerly apoligize for. :) and i want to say sorry to everyone who complimented my picture cause i kinda feel like a rude jerk for shutting you guys down like that...my confidence issues still get the better of me! so thanks...
umm, yeah without further ado here yah go!
Kyle gazed dreary eyed out the window of the hospitals transport van. It was the perfect day for a release; the sky was grey with storm clouds and the cool fall air was starting to become the cold chill of winter trying to sink its teeth into the air.
Kyle always loved the fall though. Despite his condition he still managed to enjoy the leaves drifting in the air, their many colours sprinkled everywhere they landed. It was nice to find he could appreciate little things again, for a while he couldn't even appreciate the big ones.
Inside the van were a handful of nursing home occupants from the Riverwood home a few blocks from the hospital. They all had visits with family, Kyle was the only one released from the hospital that day.
"Not every day we get someone so young," One of the larger women stated with a big grin, her lips covered in a little too much lipstick.
"Yeah really, what are yah in for kid?" Asked one of the older gentlemen.
It might not have been the mature response, or particularly the most kind but Kyle mostly shut them out. He gave one word answers for most of the trip until Ernie the large driver told the others of his accident and they left him alone. Last thing he wanted to be doing right now was explain himself to old people with too many questions and an infinite numbers of stories.
He did have to thank them though, their chatter made for excellent white noise. Kyle flashed back to his trip from the wake up in the ambulance to now. He remembered how Duke had been there and then just vanished; he was saddened to find the rumours about forgetting what you want to remember and remembering what you want to forget were true; Kyle could hardly recall the kiss anymore; he knew it had happened, but he could not remember the taste or the feeling.
That's what he missed the most really, those memories. He recalled Quinn and her panicked calls to Kyle's cousins. He remembered the pain of surgery and the pain of seeing his friend so sad. He remembered how his mom reacted and almost every word the lawyers had said. With a weak smile he remembered the settlement for the lawsuit would be established soon and how much they would get. Money was nice, but it wasn't quite the memory of your first kiss with someone you didn't even realized you cared for...that way.
The boy groaned a little to himself. What did he feel for Duke? He hadn't a clue. It was more than friends that was for sure, but it couldn't be confirmed because Duke was no longer around to do the confirming. Did Kyle like the kiss, with a guy no less? Or did he just like the comfort in his trauma? It didn't seem like the end of the world if he liked the kiss...the idea didn't appal him, but did that just make him tolerant or gay?
Gay...that was a weird word to just start sticking himself with, it made him uncomfortable. He shifted a bit in the seat and tried to think of models. Judging by the activity in his pants he concluded Megan Fox and Kate Upton were still indeed attractive. Did that make him bi? Could Duke just have been a fluke? Kyle blushed a bit from his memory; he had seemed really into it.
It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world though if he was attracted... Duke was attractive, but Kyle always thought he saw that in a 'my friend is clearly good looking' 'no homo' kinda way. What would people think? Quinn wouldn't judge but Scott would have a few choice words, so in extension so would his mom and the school would be interesting if he came out. But what would they really do to a kid in a wheelchair? Words didn't typically bother him...but would people still bully him because he was possibly gay...or bi or whatever, even if he was handicapped? The thoughts of such defencelessness terrified him and he went to watching the scenery pass by once again, drowning his head in sweet distraction.
Eventually the large van pulled up to his house. All of the other passengers had been dropped off already, he was the last one. It was kind of odd returning home, not that it was ever fun before. Everything seemed to be bigger, the house taller, the door larger, the grass over grown, and even the mailbox was comedic-ally over stuffed. His mom probably hadn't been there at all since Scott was in the hospital. Work, then Scott, then lawyers and then work again. And he was here alone, the key to the door resting in his pocket.
Ernie was a big guy, he teetered over to the large side door and lowered the little elevator with Kyle safely on it. He was mostly quiet though, asking only a few little questions while they were alone before. "This is it huh?" he asked, "Seems nice, your dads gotta get on those weeds though or they're just spread," he noted, wheeling the boy to the front door.
"He won't," Kyle said simply, his hands itching to take control of the chair again; it was humiliating to be pushed about...like he couldn't handle it, "I uhh, I can take it from here okay?" Kyle noted, "Thanks though."
"Sure thing, take it easy," Ernie replied simply, going back to the van and waiting in the street, most likely until he was sure Kyle got inside. The lanky kid readjusted the backpack on his lap and wheeled towards the door, noting with a bit of annoyance that apparently they lived on a slight incline because he had to apply breaks In order to get the key in the door to open it. There were little things he knew he was going to run into, but that one bugged him a lot.
He heard the van drive away as he got inside, the rooms dark in the house and, in no apparent way welcoming, even though it was. It was a space he knew, a comfort zone even if it wasn't, a sense of normality in the craziness that just happened. At least his mom had closed the shades, and at least it wasn't robbed or a mess.
The living room looked almost, preserved. His mom had obviously taken care to clean up before she left it. Dutifully he moved to the kitchen, on the way noting the pictures that had fallen and broken all those weeks ago when Scott hit him were in new frames. It seemed like a different life, a time when he thought about running away from home as a viable option...
He emptied his head of all those bad thoughts, and went to the counters in the kitchen. Looking up he saw another hindrance, he couldn't even put his drugs away in the cupboards. With a groan he just put his prescriptions on the table and went back to the living room. Everything was taller inside now too, it was a new perspective, the likes of which he hadn't seen since he was a child.
Unfortunately his back was still a bit sore so he tried moving to the living room to just relax and watch some TV. Going to his room at the moment would be impossible seeing as the stairs were his new worst enemy. Thinking back on the hospital experience he cursed a bit under his breath, "Gunna be hard to get mom and Scott to tend to my needs if they aren't here Duke. Didn't fuckin think of that did you?"
The room remained quiet, uncaring to his pain and cries; not that he was expecting an answer. Carefully he tried to ease himself onto the couch, and after a lot of effort, he finally made it, only to realize he was unsure where the remote was. More silent curses followed as he got back in the chair and looked around for it, finding it on the coffee table at one end of the couch out of reach.
He gave up then, his back in waves of pain, and just sat to watch TV, taking out his phone to text Quinn of his return. She would be right over after school in an hour, he was sure of it.
And she did, after only a few shows and with himself on the couch once again, Kyle heard a knock at the door and Quinn's voice.
"It's open," he called to her, sitting up a bit despite his back's pleas that he just sit still. She came in slowly, like she was intruding or something, a plastic bag in one arm.
"Hey there," she said quietly, shutting the door, and squinting into the dark, "You need to turn on some lights or you'll screw up your eyes." She noted, flicking some lamps on and opening the blinds around the room. She went off to the kitchen and put the bag down, returning to him on the couch with a weak smile. "How are you holding up there kid?" she asked, a bit of her usual pep in there somewhere, even if it was weak.
"Fine all things considering," he said with a grin, then pointed behind himself at the kitchen, "What was that?"
"Oh your mom called to tell me to get groceries because she said she knew you'd call me first." She said quickly, "Just some soup and bread and deli meat and stuff. Ramen too, you love that stuff," she noted with a smile. It was her lying smile, the voice complementing it. His mom didn't call her for anything, but he wasn't going to point it out. She knew that he knew she was just lying to help...lying to make it look like his own mother cared.
He wanted to just tell her. Tell her everything. Kyle wanted to yell about how he cared so much for Duke and how they kissed...he wanted to tell her about the deal and how he needed to go to school. Most of all he wanted to tell her it wasn't her fault. She had nothing to do with Finn's psychotic rage and to stop blaming herself. Straight forward was always his style but with Quinn he always took the time to be careful.
"Come on, take a seat," Kyle motioned, patting the couch at his feet with a hand, "You might have to move me but you'll fit just fine," he added with a smile.
Hesitantly she moved around the couch and looked at his feet. They were pale now, even with shoes and regular pants she could tell from the bit of exposed skin. Kyle saw her hesitation and lifted the feet himself so she could sit, deciding the floor was just as good a spot for them.
"How long have you been home?" she asked, eyes still on his feet. She wasn't taking it very well, seeing him out of the hospital and still like this was too real. It made it more than a dream.
"Only about an hour, I've just been doing this really," he added, pointing the remote at the TV. "I can't get to any of my stuff yet so it'll just be me and the TV for a while. How have you been?" he asked sincerely.
"Kyle I can get your things for you, you know," she noted, "And are your parents going to move your room down to where theirs is or what, because stairs tend to be an issue." She joked, her voice notably getting quieter, unsure if it was appropriate.
"I have no idea, I don't think Scott wants to give up the bigger room so I think we are applying to some sort of program and getting an elevator installed or something," he said, his mind racing with what to do. He stared at her hands; he wanted to check her wrists for any sign of new cuts. It was the long sleeves which set off an alarm in his head, but it WAS the fall...its normal to wear long sleeves then...but still.
"That's kinda cool I guess, at least they are trying."
"The law is trying," he noted, colder then intended, "Scott and mom just want to keep it so it doesn't look bad in a small town, and the law says they need to apply to this program."
"Haven't they had weeks to do that?" Quinn asked, shifting her arms and scratching at her sleeve. Was it just an itch? Was it scabbing skin?
"Only a few..." Kyle noted, defending his mom, "It's okay, it'll be in soon I think. How have you been?" He asked again with a bit more conviction, his eyes looking at hers, but she seemed to be avoiding their gaze...Guilt?
"I've been a wreck," She admitted, looking at him with a strange gaze, "I've been a fucking wreck Kyle." He flinched back a bit; convinced he would have had to press her for more information. "I blame myself for this, I yelled at my parents, I stole from their wine collection and I started cutting again." She finished, looking at him in tears. "You worry me Kyle, you're always so God damn innocent and you always get hurt...it sucks." She lifted her sleeves and Kyle found himself looking at a few red lines, shallow but existent.
"I'm not cutting deep; I think I'm more so doing it as a nervous habit," she admitted, "That's probably worse I think."
Kyle grabbed her arms gently and made her look at him, "Quinn you have to stop okay? I'm fine; this is what life handed me." He quoted Dr Silas, "I'll move on and you need to too. It's not even your fault to begin with got it? You had nothing to do with Finn's breakdown. You are Quinn, you are strong."
She pulled away and stood, "No I'm not okay? This happened two days after you were hospitalized!" She shot back, "I didn't last very long... No, I'm supposed to be comforting you!"
"Not out of guilt," Kyle reminded her.
Quinn flinched back, "Guilt? You think I'm only here because I feel guilty?"
"That's not what I meant and you know it." Kyle stated, looking at her. He didn't want her to be on the defensive.
"I know..." she conceded, "I just...I just want to help so you get better."
Kyle swallowed, watching wet marks fall down her cheek. His friend, his only real one in all his life was crying and he couldn't even stand up to hug her. Weakly he held out his arms, making her smile a little. She came in for a hug. "Thank you Quinn," he whispered in her ear, "So much, but please don't think I'll get better..." he dug deep down, it was for Quinn... "There's nothing to 'get better.' Okay? Nothing is wrong with me. I'm not sick, I'm just different."
He held on to her for a while, time passing slowly, but the moment still seeming too quick. Eventually she calmed down in his arms and pulled away, "Why are you always the one picking up my pieces?" she asked with a weak smile. "What will I do when you're gone?"
Kyle smiled a little, "I'm not going anywhere for a while yet so no need to worry." He comforted, "And you're my only childhood friend so when you're hurt you get ALL of my attention no matter what." Saying it was weird. He knew it of course but the words just kind of flowed out.
"Thanks..." she ran a sleeve under her nose and sniffed a bit, "So what should I get you from your room?" she asked standing, strength returning to her.
"Umm...some books from the left shelf, my video games and probably pillow and blankets," he said hesitantly. It sounded like quite the list when he just said it and he hated being a burden, "It doesn't have to be all at once..."
"Some clothes too right?" she asked, heading up the stairs already.
"Ehh, probably not pants but some shirts, I can't exactly change my pants easily," he admitted.
"Don't be ridiculous, if your mom isn't here tomorrow morning then I'm going to change you myself you dufus."
"Dufus?" Kyle asked, before immediately blushing once he understood what she said before that, "No you're not! That's weird!"
She cast him a look from the top of the stairs, "No it's not, and yes I am."
And that was that.
Duke flew towards the closet door, instantly burying himself under the garments on the floor. He was silent as the grave, but it didn't slow his heartbeat. He gazed out the closet through the shutters on the door and watched Quinn enter the room.
He had been there the whole time. Ever since his family took off on the 'traveling pack' road. To bide his time he cleaned or hunted...or got better at video games. When he could always be outside, Kyle was right, they could get a little fun, but nothing compared to the eventual transformation.
The smell in the clothes was a bit distracting, but Quinn being four feet away was even more so. She walked around the room, collecting the things Kyle had said he wanted. Ever since he'd got home, Duke had been watching from the stairs quiet as a church mouse.
It had been an agonizing couple of weeks away from his mate to be, but he needed to be true to his word, the pheromone reduction cleansing had to suck but it also worked. There was no way a broken boy would care enough about his friend to hug and comfort. The sight had made Duke tear up a bit; Kyle was still there...he hadn't screwed up again.
Well...kinda. Danny was still out there. The cocky little shit had made a point to attack the house a few times while Duke was away; even marking most of Kyle's stuff to the point Duke had to do laundry too. Thankfully Danny never approached the hospital...Duke hated why he didn't, but he was still thankful for the owner of the hospital's scent. It was very clear that the place was his territory and Danny wouldn't get near it again. After the two of them came together the first night of Kyle's hospitalization, the place was re-marked for emphasis.
Kyle smelled of the other Wolf, the house had a lingering scent of him, although it was lacking any pheromones, something only a really skilful wolf could manage; it would require a lot of mental and physical control that not even Duke's father could claim mastery of. But that was not the dilemma at hand! Duke watched Quinn leave the room with a bundle of stuff in hand. A few moments later she returned to collect a few more things and after the third trip she could be heard talking to Kyle and not re-ascending the stairs.
That was a close one.
After a lot of catching up and talking, Quinn left. It had been a long night and Kyle was happy she was there, but relieved she was leaving. He took his pills and fell immediately to sleep on the couch. He was relieved he wasn't kept awake by strange ideas and dreams, or even by the thoughts of Duke. It was good and bad; good because he needed to sleep, but bad because he wanted the thoughts sorted out and they never seemed to want to cooperate.
Duke snuck downstairs to the living room where Kyle lay napping in his drug induced slumber. He looks so peaceful, but he knew the boys mind was a mess even without reaching out to it. Carefully he tucked Kyle in more comfortably and kissed his mate on the forehead before leaving. He would need to guard the place, and doing rounds in full form would be all the easier to sense Danny's approach.