Title: Break Me Apart to Fix the Shattered Pieces of Your Soul part 2
Please see Master Post
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Jared felt conflicted, on the one hand he wanted to stay where he was and keep an eye on his body to make sure that the nurses were doing everything correctly. Of course he had no idea as to what was right versus what was wrong and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it if they did something that didn’t sit right with him. But it was his body damnit!
But on the other hand, Jensen said he had to call Mike and his parents, which meant he was going to have to explain what had happened to him. If he was with him then he could find out what the hell was going on. Again, he didn’t think there was a damn thing he could do about it anyway but at least he would have his answers. Besides Jensen had stayed when he really didn’t have to so it only seemed right that he went with him to offer his support.
He rolled his eyes at himself, not that Jensen would know that he was offering it but he followed him out into the hall and towards the bank of elevators all the same.
Jensen seemed to be lost in thought, his head was down and his eyes were staring intently at his cell phone that he had pulled from his jacket pocket. It made Jared actually stick his hand out to grab his shoulder before he ran into someone waiting for one of the elevators ahead of them. It was habit, over the years he had gotten used to stopping Jensen from stepping off of curbs against the light, or bouncing off corners or the sides of trailers, so it was a well ingrained habit, something normal, usual. What wasn’t usual was how his hand disappeared through Jensen’s jacket or the tingle that rushed up his fingers and into his arm.
“Fuck.” He gasped and pulled his hand back, “That’s just fucked up.”
He was so busy shaking the feeling out of his hand and wondering if that made him more of a spirit than a momentarily misplaced soul that he almost ran into Jensen when he suddenly stilled. He actually ended up on the balls of his feet and his arms were pin wheeling madly to stop it from happening. It had felt weird enough when his hand slid through a part of Jensen, he didn’t want to even consider what it would feel like to walk through him.
Once he got himself back under control and wasn’t at risk of doing something that he was sure was going to give him nightmares, it was one thing to feel like they were one when they were being intimate but another thing entirely for it to happen, especially like that, he watched as Jensen powered up his cell before scrolling through his contacts. His lungs constricted when Jensen stopped on Jared and his thumb hovered over send.
He didn’t think he would actually push the button and not only because cell phone use wasn’t allowed in hospitals and he was pushing his luck just having turned it on, but because there was no reason to. It wasn’t like he could answer, hell he didn’t even know where his cell was.
“Don’t.” He impeached low, “Don’t Jen.”
It wasn’t like he thought for a minute that Jensen heard him but he could almost pretend when he continued to Mike’s name before he let the phone drop to his side.
“I’m right here.” He reached out but ensured that he didn’t actually cup Jensen’s cheek but he got as close as he dared. “Talk to me and I’ll hear every word, I swear.”
Maybe he had been harbouring a little hope that Jensen had heard him when he told him not to linger, but then again maybe he had been trying to get Jensen to notice him pretty much since he had come into his room to no avail. Still he couldn’t help the little flare of something, hope, elation or maybe just foolishness, when Jensen had continued to Mike’s name but it was there and he wasn’t sure how or if he should try to shake it.
But maybe that was why he was still there instead of being...he didn’t even want to think of the word, fear, irrational or otherwise, that he would jinx even this form of existence, making his thoughts stutter to a stop, elsewhere. Maybe he had been given a chance to try to put things right between them before...well just before.
It made enough sense, twisted or not, that he couldn’t deny the idea now that he had thought it. It was with a heavy heart but resolute that Jared followed Jensen into the elevator.
Jensen knew what was coming, he knew he deserved it but he wasn’t masochistic enough to let it happen so he ensured that his cell was a good inch away from his ear as soon as he knew that it had connected. He couldn’t hear it ring but he heard Mike’s bellow when his friend answered.
“Jensen you son of a...speak!”
At least Mike managed to rein in his swearing around Aden even if he was pissed off at Jensen. Worried sick. His mind helpfully supplied, He’s worried sick and you just left him there to stew and imagine one scenario after another.
He had been stopped by a security guard right after stepping off the elevator on the main floor and informed that the press had gotten wind of Jared’s accident and were waiting outside. Before he could let out the string of curses that started chasing each other around his mouth after that little announcement, the man informed him of a little room that could only be accessed by going through the security office and he was welcome to use
After extracting a promise of a guard being posted to Jared’s room and directions to find the security office, Jensen took a deep breath and made the call to Mike.
He moved further into the little room, closer to the back wall, putting the maximum amount of distance possible between himself and the door. It was hard enough knowing that the guy sitting on just the other side of the door knew why he was there, both because of what had happened to Jared and the reporters and he could speculate all he wanted to about Jensen’s frame of mind but he wasn’t going to make it easy for him to confirm his suspicions.
He hadn’t been expecting just saying those two simple words would take so much out of him. It wasn’t like he didn’t know what Jared was facing, what might ultimately happen if his condition didn’t start improving but admitting it to someone else made it seem more real. It stole the reserve of strength he had been running on and without consciously intending to, he ended up with his knees protesting as he collided with the tile floor.
“Bad? What do...?”
“The cab driver ran a red.” He continued, heedless of Mike trying to speak. Getting all of it out kind of felt like pulling off a band-aid, he was going to have to do it quick or not at all. “The car was t-boned on the left side and the driver was killed instantly. Jay...” He gulped a shuddering breath and forced himself to continue, “Four ribs broken, they had to remove a kidney.”
“Jesus Christ!” Mike hissed low, his voice choked and unsteady.
“His head, he hit his head and there was glass in his right eye. They don’t know if he’s going to be blind in it now and…and his brain…it’s swelling Mike and if it doesn’t stop or gets worse within the next twenty-four hours they’re going to drill holes to reduce the pressure. He’s in a coma and there’s all these wires attached to him and there’s an oxygen mask and...Mike what if...I can’t...this could...”
Jensen collapsed down, his upper body curling over his bent legs and pressed his forehead against his knees. The tears that had been threatening for hours finally began to fall no matter how hard he tried to resist them. He had been so angry for the last five months that it had gotten to the point that he had lost sight of his life. Between feeling like Jared didn’t really want to be around, feeling like the whole weight of their family had to be carried by him alone and that Jared didn’t give a damn about his feelings things had spiralled out of control, he had spiralled out of control. And now, now there was a chance he would never get to say he was sorry for giving up trying to talk to Jared instead of just yelling all the time.
“Jensen.” Mike’s voice pulled him away from the abyss he was teetering on the edge of. “Jensen, man, I...look it’s Jay and you know what he’s like. There’s no way that he won’t come out of this. And when he wakes up, he’ll probably be bitching about being hungry.”
That caused a watery but real laugh. It was just so Mike to take something this serious and find some way to make it lighter, if only for a moment. By the time Jensen’s character had been written out of Smallville he was just glad to be gone but he never regretted being on the show because it gave him Mike and Tom.
He took a deep breath trying to rein everything back in, there was no way he could do this to Jared’s parents, they were going to need him to be the strong one, but not the only ones. “Yeah.”
“Listen,” Mike said softly. “You want me there? I can call someone to come watch Aden and...”
“No.” Aden had already been pissed off because Jared was going to be home past his bedtime and Jensen had made him go to bed instead of allowing him to wait up. He was pretty sure their son had been furious when he woke up and both of them were gone and he had instructed Mike not to tell him anything more than there had been an emergency and that all would be explained later. He doubted Aden would accept someone else coming into the home if his frame of mind was anywhere near what Jensen figured it would be. Plus Mike seemed to be the only one that Aden’s attitude bounced off of. “You’re pretty much one of a very select few he likes. Is he around? I should tell him something.”
It took a second for Mike to respond, probably weighing his options of what would happen if he argued with Jensen but finally he sighed, “Gimme a second.”
He listened to Mike moving through the house calling for their son. By the background noise, Jensen guessed he found him in his room since he could clearly make out the sounds of some game running on his Playstation 3. “Aden it’s your dad.”
He sounded excited but Jensen was under no illusion it was because he thought it was him.
“Aden.” He started slowly, not really wanting to have to do this but knowing he didn’t have a choice. “There’s been an accident and dad Jared is hurt.”
He could be dying. He couldn’t, wouldn’t, say that because saying it made it too close to maybe being true. “He’s in the hospital...”
“I wanna see him. Make uncle Mike bring me!”
Jensen shut his eyes and bit his tongue to stop from reprimanding him for being demanding. It was to be expected, if someone had just told him that Jared was in the hospital he’d probably be threatening death if he couldn’t get to him.
“I’m sorry buddy you can’t come. He’s in the ICU and they don’t allow kids there.”
“I don’t care!” Jensen winced and pulled the cell back from his ear. “He’s my dad and I want to see him. You can’t keep me from him just because you want to yell at him some more. It’s your fault it happened in the first place because you wouldn’t take us to pick him up. All your fault, everything, all of it!”
“That’s enough!” Mike snarled in the background and the sounds of a short scuffle sounded down the line before it was his voice once again. “Jen, Jensen he didn’t mean that. He doesn’t know.”
“I want to see my dad!”
Shaking his head, letting the fabric of his jeans rubbing against his forehead ground him, he sighed. “Yeah he does Mike. He does.”
“I hate you! Do you hear me dad? I hate you for this!”
“Aden stop!” Mike yelled, “Jensen he didn’t mean...”
I’ve got to call Jay’s parents.” He cut him off, not interested in what his friend had to say. Mike didn’t really know what it had gotten to be like in their home and he was not in the right frame of mind to even try to start explaining it.
“I’ll call in a couple hours.” Feeling guilty but not prepared to deal with the problems with his family with Mike right then, he pulled the cell from his ear and pushed end.
Fighting down the urge to hurl the cell away from him, he gently set it down beside him before curling his hands into his hair and shut his eyes. He just needed a minute before he could face calling Jared’s parents, just a minute.
With his face pressed hard against his thighs to muffle any noise, he finally let go and started to sob.
It was nerve wracking to watch Jensen pace back and forth in front of his hospital bed. Before then, Jared would have believed it would have been harder if he had been able to communicate with Jensen but this was so much worse. At least if he could interact with Jensen he could grab him and force him to sit down and speak, instead of just leaning against the wall by the door, out of the way, and watching.
He had thought that going with Jensen and finding out what had happened to him had been a good idea and it was insofar as now he had a better understanding. But the other side of the coin left him wondering what had been said by those he had spoken to, what it was that had set Jensen off. That was without taking into consideration watching his husband curl into himself and have a breakdown. Jared was pretty sure that had been what hell would be like, watching his loved ones in pain and not being able to do a damn thing about it.
But then again, maybe he was...already gone, he still wasn’t even going to think the other word for what he could be, but maybe this was hell. Because he could think of no worse torture than the one he was experiencing now. It was masochistic but he couldn’t help but wonder who would be next to come through the door. Which loved one was going to come in and have a breakdown and he was going to continue being unheard, unseen and utterly useless to any of them.
“Jesus Christ Jared.”
It hadn’t been so much of a conscious thought, the turning of his head to stare out at the blue sky with just a speck of dark grey at the bottom speckled with still vehicles, as if he expected to be able to see whom of his close circle would be next to appear. But at Jensen’s low growl his head turned in time to watch him stalk to the side of the bed and glare down at his body.
“All I ever wanted was for us to be a family. I thought that was what you wanted too. Jesus but you had me fooled.”
Jared pushed off from the wall, “I did. I do. Jensen I swear it.” He moved to the other side of the bed trying to see Jensen’s eyes.
“You know I’ve become my aunt? My fucking aunt Jared!” He ran a jerky hand through his hair, “When I was little she was married to an alcoholic and the couple of times I was over at their place I learned when it was supposed to be the time he was supposed to be coming home from work because of how she changed. She would get short with us kids, we didn’t even have to be doing anything, just laugh a little too loud and she was on us. Bitching and snapping and basically being miserable. I never understood why she was like that but now I do. I’m like that with Aden, you know. About two hours before you’re supposed to be on a flight home I get like that. I hate myself for it but I can’t seem to stop. I’m so twisted up inside hoping that just once you’ll chose your family over your fucking friends that I can’t seem to stop it from happening.”
“Jensen.” He started to reach out but stopped himself, he couldn’t touch him and he really didn’t want a repeat performance from outside of the elevator.
“I don’t remember the last time you came home when you said you were going to, it’s been that long. But anytime I’ve ever said anything to you, you just brush me off. All I’ve ever wanted was for Aden and I to come first to you, and I’ve told you that Jared, I’ve told you. Why couldn’t you have come home on time yesterday? Then we wouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be like this and Aden wouldn’t hate me that little bit more.”
He clenched his hands into fists at his sides, guilt and anger building in him as Jensen slumped back down into the chair and turned to stare at the machines behind him.
“Oh fuck you Jensen.” He snarled uselessly, the old guilt and anger mixing with new doses of both.
Most of Jensen’s words were old rhetoric now, a refrain that never ended and rarely deviated from its course. But finding out how he had been treating Aden burned cold in his stomach. Jensen had no right to treat their son like that just because he was pissed with Jared and if he had had the ability he would have...even in his rage his thought stilled. Jared had never been a particularly violent man and the thought of lashing out at Jensen, even if he considered it justified didn’t sit right. Maybe it had to do with the ingrained belief that domestic violence was the worst cruelty that one partner could do to the other. But it was more than just that, it was also the little niggling in a dark corner of his mind that admitted some blame for Jensen’s behavior.
He shook the feeling off, choosing instead to insulate himself in his anger. The world was so much clearer that way, the feeling unconfused and focused.
“And I told you,” he growled as he leaned forward, his hands planting on the side of his body closest to Jensen so that they were practically nose to nose. Distantly it registered that he should have felt Jensen’s breath on his face but it was pushed away as unimportant for the time being. “That I am not choosing work over you and Aden.”
If there had been anyone watching that could possibly know that he was there, as if there was anyone, he knew how useless it would appear for him to be trying to talk to Jensen. He got that, but that was always what he felt like when arguing with Jensen in the past few years. And even with how things stood, he didn’t want to stop the flow of words. Even if he couldn’t be heard, it had to be better for his health to get it all out versus keeping it all in. Besides, there was that little spark of hope that flared with the thought that perhaps one of the machines his body was hooked up to would register the pounding of his heart or the rise of his blood pressure. Maybe, finally, his anger would result in something positive. But a quick glance in the direction proved the fruitlessness of his hope.
He may have needed to trace the wires attached to various parts of his body to the corresponding machine but he didn’t need any special training to know that his anger was not reflecting back at him as anything than the fine tremble he could feel in his limbs. He pushed the disappointment down; it had been a stupid hope at best and a fool’s errand at worst.
“I couldn’t just sit around the house doing nothing.” He continued as he turned to glare uselessly at Jensen. In a dark part of his mind a ghost of Jensen’s voice, from a not so distant argument, echoed.
Oh I get it. You’re just pissed off and jealous of my success. Well I’m so sorry Jay, I didn’t know you were so fucking shallow.
The words hurt as badly now as they had the night Jensen had thrown them at him. He wasn’t jealous, in fact he was proud that his husband’s production company had flourished and after only a couple years of producing television shows, had branched out into movies. But Jensen’s success had only made him more driven; he wanted to make sure that Jensen never wondered if perhaps Jared wasn’t taking better or more roles because Jensen had a steady and, mostly, reliant source of income. It wasn’t his fault that nothing he got was closer to home. He had tried to find parts nearer, he really had.
And in hindsight maybe he had agreed to help everyone who asked. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to go home but because he liked helping people, plus there was the benefit that people in Hollywood talked. It had been his hope that other producers would take that into account when considering him for parts, preferably parts closer to home.
“Your parents will be here early tomorrow morning.”
He glanced back up at the softly spoken words to find Jensen staring down at his body, his eyes softer and glassy and just like that, the anger drained from him.
This wasn’t one of their regular blowouts. There was no opportunity here for him to go upstairs and take solace in watching their son peacefully sleeping and remind himself that all the harsh words were for something. That hopefully sooner rather than later, all his ass kissing and being available to help at a moment’s notice would pay off and the three of them would be a real family again. But that had not happened yet.
There would be no opportunity to wait out Jensen and slip into bed beside him once he had fallen asleep. No chance for a truce in the morning, both of them glossing over the night before for Aden’s sake and their own.
“I’ll make sure that they don’t know anything is wrong. We’ll be the perfect family to them, just like always.” He didn’t sound angry anymore, just defeated. “If Aden says anything about hating me, I’ll just tell them it’s because he wants to see you and I won’t fight for him to be able to come into ICU. I probably should but I won’t...” he blew out a harsh breath and blinked rapidly a couple times before his gaze steadied on Jared’s silent body once more. “I can’t Jay. I can’t let maybe his last memory of...” he swallowed hard, “If...if something...I just don’t want him to have a memory of you...like this.”
Jensen’s sigh was softer this time and he scrubbed his hands over his face. “I shouldn’t have lost my temper, I’m sorry.”
Jared couldn’t stand it anymore, maybe he couldn’t touch him or hold him or even speak with him but he could be near him. He suddenly needed it and maybe, hopefully, Jensen did too. Slowly he moved around the bed and dropped to the floor beside Jensen’s chair, letting his back come to rest against the hospital bed behind him.
Right then, right there was all there was, maybe all that was left and if his darkest fear was correct and he had only been granted a little time to somehow make things right between them then getting angry wasn’t going to do it.
He just wished he knew what would.
Startled, Jensen looked up from staring at Jared. Not that he hadn’t been aware of someone entering the room but in only a few short hours he had become accustomed to the nurse coming and going so the almost silent swish of the door opening had become something of an non-event to him.
The nurse would come in, check Jared’s vitals, fiddle with the machines, shoot him sidelong glances and then retreat out the door all without uttering a word to him. To have someone breach the unspoken rule to leave him alone had his head turning to the foot of the bed where a doctor was patiently looking at him.
Something clicked over in his weary mind letting him know that he knew the man, he should know his name but the best he could come up with was that this was the doctor who had operated on Jared all those hours before. There should have been discomfort at the blank he was drawing on the man’s name, after all this was the man who had, for now at least, managed to keep Jared alive but he couldn’t raise the emotion. He was certain he would remember it later when, hopefully not if, Jared, was better.
“I’m Doctor Williams. I was the doctor who did the emergency surgery on Jared.” There was something close to pity in his eyes but not enough that Jensen could raise the energy to be angry. “We spoke earlier.”
The words could have been condescending or worse, angry because Jensen was still drawing a blank as to the point that the man had introduced himself but his tone was understanding. Still that didn’t mean that Jensen was ready to admit to being a complete ass for not remembering.
He nodded, “I remember.” Which was mostly the truth so he only felt a little guilty.
Something in his eyes must have given him away because the doctor hummed in a not completely convinced tone but didn’t press the issue. It probably had to do more with being in the exact same position many times over his thirty year career, but he moved forward without drawing attention to the lie.
“As you are well aware,” his gaze flickered from the file to Jensen before quickly returning but Jensen had seen amusement tinged with resignation in the man’s dark brown eyes. Apparently, Jensen’s flat out refusal to leave Jared’s side and his less than friendly attitude to Nurse Babyface had quickly made the rounds. Not that he cared since he hadn’t seen the young nurse since that morning when they had clashed which meant that Jared’s new attending nurse was experienced, if her finely lined features were anything to go by. But it wasn’t just that, or the fact that Jared’s new nurse didn’t bother trying to get him to open up to her or that the guard at Jared’s door didn’t dare make eye contact with him.
He was, if not happy, at least content that way. He didn’t want to hear empty cheeriness or forced hopeful platitudes from anyone. He just wanted Jared to wake up and be Jared and unless one of them could give him that then he wanted nothing more then their absolute attention on Jared until that happened. Because there was no way he wasn’t coming back, there just wasn’t.
Unless he doesn’t want to. A traitorous little voice whispered from the dark recesses of his mind.
Shut up. Shut up. Shut up! He forced the fear back into its corner and focused on the doctor. Now was not the time to show any of his inner turmoil, not that there was ever any good time. If he wasn’t ready to share anything with his friends or family, he sure in hell wasn’t going to share with a complete stranger. Especially when said stranger might decide it was best for Jensen not to be spending twenty-four seven with Jared if it could mean his mental or emotional health.
“I’ve been checking in with Jared’s nurse and thought it was best to come up and have a word with you.”
Ice slipped down Jensen’s spine. He never asked how the machines attached to Jared actually monitored him, even if he had finally found the courage to figure out for himself which monitored what. It wasn’t hard, all he had to do was to follow each set of wires from his husband’s body to the machine they were attached to. After that, it was like some form of morbid curiosity to stare at them and try to figure out what the blinking numbers and twisted lines meant.
Without someone explaining it all to him though he knew that his thoughts were all conjecture, but he had been pretty confident that there hadn’t been any real change of any kind, neither good nor bad. Finding confidence in the fact that no alarms had gone off nor had Jared woken up so he had thought that he had been holding the line somewhere between the two.
Now, he wasn’t so sure.
It couldn’t be said that Doctor William’s had been smiling, per se, but there was a sudden shift from the slight upturn of his lips to a small frown in the blink of an eye. “It’s nothing terribly bad Jensen, I assure you.” He was quick to clarify. “In fact, in the last nine hours there has been the distinct lack of any sign whatsoever to indicate that Jared’s brain is continuing to swell.”
Some of the cold slowly tightening his chest eased and he managed a deep breath. However it did little to settle the overall tension that he had been carrying around since the hospital had called him the night before. The doctor had said that Jared wasn’t getting any worse but he hadn’t said that he was improving either and Jensen wasn’t optimistic enough to believe that it had simply been an oversight, no matter how much he wished he could.
Yet it still didn’t stop him from throwing a quick glace over his shoulder at the machines, trying to see what the nurse had seen or something to indicate that he was being overly pessimistic and the doctor was leaving the good new to last.
“Would you like me to explain how each works?”
He had moved closer while Jensen’s back had been turned and his sudden proximity to his elbow made him nervous. He had gotten so used to the silence and being left to his lonely vigil that it was disconcerting having someone that close and speaking directly to him.
“No.” He shook his head, “No, thank you.” He would stick to his original decision, knowing himself and knowing that he would obsessively watch the damn machines if he knew what he was looking for. So long as they were doing what they were supposed to that was all he needed to know.
Which strictly speaking wasn’t necessarily anywhere near the truth. He was still harbouring the foolish hope that the doctor still had good news for him. Which would lead to finding out what he really wanted to know, when was Jared going to wake up.
There was more, he knew that, he knew that there were any number of complications that could arise from a head injury as bad as Jared’s but none of that seemed as important as just having Jared back. If, when, Jared woke up and if there was something different, some complication, that arose from what had happened to him, they would deal with it together. But until that point, he just wanted to concentrate on the most important point, Jared waking up.
“If you could just shift a little.” The doctor waved a hand between himself and the machines on the other side of Jensen’s chair.
“Oh.” He muttered, stood and slipped between him and the bed, moving until he was on Jared’s other side and could brush the tips of his fingers carefully across Jared’s hand, ever mindful of the I.V.
He hadn’t been expecting the doctor to want to take a close look at the machines, thinking that the man already had all the information he needed from the reports in Jared’s chart. In truth, he had been sitting there hoping for the big reveal of good news that he was certain wasn’t going to be forthcoming but he couldn’t help it.
“The brain is still mostly a mystery to us.”
He glanced up from staring at his fingers dancing around the surgical tape holding the I.V. in Jared’s hand. It took a moment of staring at the doctor and the doctor staring back before it occurred to him that the man was waiting for some kind of response. The best he could come up with was a raised eyebrow, not sure what kind of response the doctor was expecting. Was he supposed to say something along the lines of “Huh. I did not know that.” or simply leave it more open along the lines of “So what does that mean for Jared?” He didn’t know and he knew that he really didn’t care.
Maybe the doctor was trying to give him a sense of hope that no change was okay or maybe he wanted to get into an in-depth discussion on what Jared, and in extension Jensen, might be facing. He didn’t want either; he already had settled himself into choosing to believe that as long as things didn’t get worse that they always could get better. And as far as any difficulties they might end up facing he didn’t want a laundry list to consider. If the doctor couldn’t tell him exactly what they would be facing instead of guesses because someone else had suffered this and someone else had suffered that and some overtrained idiot with a PHD had recorded it all in a medical journal then he didn’t want to hear it.
After a long moment of silence as the doctor checked over the machines and continually referenced the chart in his hand, he turned back and gave another small smile. “There have been cases of such extreme injury that the attending physician and his team were positive that their patient would never come out of his coma.” He laid the chart of the bed by Jared’s limp arm before reaching for his wrist and checking his pulse. “Only for the patient to suddenly awake with no lasting effect of his injury at all.”
So it was hope that the doctor was offering then. Jensen could have told him that he could have saved his breath. There had been a show on sometime during Sunday afternoons that Jared had insisted on watching back when they were still in Vancouver. Some medical mysteries show and one of the episodes had been all about a guy surviving getting thrown through a windshield, hitting a tree head first and waking up three months later like he had only laid down a couple of hours before for a quick afternoon nap.
“Of course,” the doctor continued as he pulled a penlight from his lab coat pocket and lifted the lid of Jared’s left eye. “That happens very rarely.” He made a quick notation in Jared’s chart.
“I just thought it was something you should know.”
“Thanks.” He managed quietly and watched the doctor smile one last time before heading out of the room, more than a little confused.
If the doctor was trying to give him a semblance of hope he kind of sucked at it. If he was trying to get Jensen to understand that Jared may not wake up exactly as the Jared he knew, he kind of sucked at it. Basically, the man’s bedside manner just sucked, at least as far as dealing with the families of his patients.
But Jared was still alive because of him so Jensen let it go.
Jared watched the doctor leave the room through narrowed eyes. The man thought the brain was still a mystery? Maybe he should be in Jared’s position if he wanted a mystery.
He would really like to see the man try to explain how he could be standing there at the foot of the bed and be in the bed at the same time. Explain how he could see and hear everything and everyone around him but not be able to interact with his environment. Explain how, while that was happening everyone who came into the room, Jensen, could only see the him laying on the bed before him.
And why that had happened in the first place.
Jared shook his head harshly, no, explain how in the hell that had happened in the first place.
If the doctor could explain that to Jared then he would be more than happy to pull up a chair and let the man go on and on about how the brain was such a mystery. He would even make Jensen sit there with him and listen to the doctor until the man ran out of air or words or both. Because he knew the doctor telling Jensen that the brain was still a mystery was not what Jensen wanted to hear. Jared had seen the slight darkening of Jensen’s eyes and the way his face had hardened. Jensen hadn’t wanted to hear it, the thinly veiled hope hidden under the caution and Jared got that.
He hadn’t really wanted to hear the thinly veiled hope either. And even if the doctor couldn’t really answer Jared’s most pressing questions because, like everybody else, Jensen, he didn’t know that Jared was there, conscious and aware if not in his own body. If he couldn’t give any kind of straight answers as to what was happening with his body then he didn’t want any kind of hope either.
Maybe Jensen was clinging on to hope because that was all he had even if it wasn’t what he really wanted. But Jared couldn’t even hang on to that because he knew what everyone else didn’t. He wasn’t where he was supposed to be, he wasn’t in his body and hearing about how the brain was still a mystery really didn’t help him one bit.
Jared tried to ignore the ball of ice forming in his gut. Clinging to the thin hope the doctor had given Jensen wasn’t really going to do Jensen any good either if Jared couldn’t figure out how to undo what had happened to him. And that scared him most of all because he was letting down Jensen, once again.
Jensen paced the small room, trying to quell the urge to go after Jared’s nurse who had just left in a flurry, with Jared’s file in tow.
He didn’t understand it and he didn’t like it.
Nothing had seemed out of the ordinary, she had come in and he had moved over to the far corner of the room so she could go about her business. Everything had been standard as far as he could tell but as she had been comparing something from Jared’s chart to the readout on one of the machines, she had suddenly turned and rushed out without so much as a backward glance.
Something was going on and he didn’t have a clue as to what it might be.
He kept glancing over at the machines but nothing seemed different to him. The beeping sounded the same, the little digital readouts didn’t look different from the last time he had glanced that way but there was something.
Swallowing down the sharp metallic taste of fear at the back of his throat, Jensen made another circuit of the room. If there was something wrong then she would be going to get a doctor and the doctor would come in and tell him right? Right.
It was logical. It made perfect sense.
So why couldn’t he get his heart rate to slow down and his hands to stop shaking?
“Well this is good news isn’t it?”
Jensen spun and glared at the doctor, “What?”
Doctor Williams was smiling; a genuine smile that Jensen felt was out of place and confusing because what was there to be smiling about?
His steps faltered for a second but then he continued across the room and started comparing notes in Jared’s file to the machines. “Ah I see Judy didn’t tell you. But of course, it would have been cruel to say anything until I could verify her findings.”
It took all of Jensen’s patience not to grab the doctor and shake him until his words started to make sense. “What findings?”
Turning, he smiled at him again, “There is a marked improvement in Jared’s condition. The swelling is easing, quite well actually. I believe he is out danger in that regard.”
Jensen could actually feel his heart stop before giving a painful lurch and speeding up. That was good news, hell great news; it had to mean that Jared would be waking up soon. “So…so he’s going to be okay then. He’ll wake up soon, right?”
“The swelling is receding but that’s all we know at the moment Jensen.”
His gut reaction was to punch him so Jensen shoved his hands deep into his pockets to stop that from happening. “What does that mean?” He managed through gritted teeth.
The bastard tells him that there is good news and there is. But then he has to go and slap something like that on top of it without explaining what he meant. If he hadn’t been the one to save Jared’s life on the operating table, Jensen would have demanded a different doctor. He may not have been a diva when he had acted but that didn’t mean that he didn’t know how to act like one.
“I know I told you that this was the crucial time for Jared. And it is a good sign to see the swelling going down but don’t start thinking that he’ll wake up in the next five or ten minutes. His body has been through a lot and sometimes it just shuts down while it heals itself.”
“But he will wake up.”
Jared had to wake up now. Jensen needed him to wake up now.
“We’ll start running tests on Jared tomorrow but Jensen you need to understand, it could be hours, days, weeks,” the doctor sighed and for the first time looked uncomfortable. “Maybe years before he wakes up.”
There was nothing he could do but stare at the doctor, waiting for the punch line or trying to figure out what to say to a statement like that. The unexpected sound of a beeper saved Jensen from trying to decide if punching him versus demanding a more precise explanation was better.
Telling Jensen to just keep his hopes up but not to expect anything right away, the doctor had excused himself and rushed out of the room to, presumably, deal with whatever the emergency was. But the damage was already done.
Years? How was he supposed to accept waiting years for Jared to wake up when he could barely wrap his mind around weeks?
Lifting Jared’s limp hand, he pressed it to his lips, “You can wake up now Jared. I’m not mad anymore. I just want you, no I need you to wake up. Please.”