Title: The Colours of Pain caused by a Comic Book (7/10)
Word Count: 1,574
Beta: erynnbeth Thank you so much for your help and patience :)
Summary: Well, I felt like writing some hurt/comfort and it involves Ryan, Seth, worried Sandy and Kirsten, the rover and a cliff!
Author's Note: Thanks also to beachtree who gave me some very useful medical information on head injurys. I just hope I used it correctly...
For previous chapters click on the tag.
Sandy jogged down the corridor, mumbling an apology to an old woman who he had almost knocked down in his rush. All he could think about was pulling the car up to the hospital entrance.
Finally, after a week of Ryan being in the hospital, he was coming home.
Sandy waved at a nurse that he recognised, who was coming in for her shift. She waved back at him, smiling at his rush.
It was hot outside with the sun beating down on him but a cool breeze tussled his black curls.
It was a perfect day for Ryan to come home.
It had been such a surprise the day before when the doctors had told them Ryan would be able to leave with them the following day. Ryan had been improving well. He still got terrible headaches but they weren’t as bad as before and they were able to control them with medication. His trouble concentrating also seemed to be receding slightly, although sometimes he’d forget what he was saying in the middle of a sentence. Not to mention, occasionally they’d find him switching off and looking out the window whilst they were talking to him.
It was hard but they were all pleased with the progress he was making.
Sandy could see in Ryan’s eyes that he didn’t see his progress as progress. Whenever he forgot what he was saying, he’d look so sad, so lost and confused.
Sandy didn’t blame him, he knew he’d feel the same but it was awful seeing someone usually so strong and brave, looking so weak and lost.
He knew it was going to be a long road ahead of them.
Kirsten hovered with her back to Ryan’s bedside, trying not to turn around and help. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do. He didn’t want her to help him get dressed but she could hear him struggling. He’d agreed that she wouldn’t leave the room, just in case something happened but he’d made it clear if she began helping him into his pants, he’d feel like he was dying of embarrassment.
A nurse was hovering around but she was also respecting his boundaries. She simply stood to the side, watching to see if he needed assistance. Kirsten breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the nurse quietly offering to assist him.
“Okay sweetie, let me just help you with your jeans.” The nurse’s voice was soft and Kirsten felt surprised when she didn’t hear a response from Ryan. He was such a private person and for him to agree for a stranger to help him get dressed was so out of character. She fought back the feeling that Ryan was still too sick and wasn’t ready to come back home with them.
Kirsten waited patiently, watching out of the glass window at the people going past. She saw a young child being carried by her mother, sobbing, and Kirsten winced at the thoughts that came to her mind of what could have happened.
“We’re all done, Mrs Cohen.”
Kirsten turned around and smiled at the two of them. She saw the redness in Ryan’s cheeks and his eyes were cast down to the floor. The humiliation he was feeling was obvious.
“Thank you,” she said to the nurse, and the nurse nodded politely.
“I’ll just go and get you a wheel chair. I think your dad said he was bringing around the car. Are you excited about going home?” she asked Ryan enthusiastically, and he gave her a small nod in return.
“Great,” the nurse patted his arm gently before turning to walk out the room.
Kirsten followed her out into the corridor.
“Sorry, I just wanted to make sure that you think Ryan will be okay at home. I mean, he only just came out of the coma a couple of days ago.” She could hear the nervousness in her own voice, and the nurse gave her a reassuring smile.
“Don’t worry. Everyone gets a little anxious when they take someone home from hospital, especially after such a severe accident. I’m sure he’ll surprise you. Ryan’s doctors have been amazed how quickly he has bounced back since waking up from his coma. His doctor has prescribed some pain relief for Ryan’s headaches, and he’ll need to take it easy. You’ll need to help him do things that consist of a lot of movement, as his ribs will be pretty sore for a while…” she broke off and rubbed Kirsten’s arm gently. “Try not to worry,”
Kirsten tried to believe that there was nothing to worry about, but she still couldn’t quell the feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
She’d called her dad the day before, asking for some time away from work and he’d begrudgingly agreed. She didn’t care that he’d muttered about reducing her workload permanently, she just needed to be there for Ryan. Besides she knew he was just talking nonsense.
She just hoped that Ryan would allow her to help.
She watched as the nurse hurried off to grab a wheel chair and she slowly went back into the room.
She tried to catch Ryan’s eye but his attention was back out the window again. She winced at the sight of the bruises on the side of his head that were now visible.
Before leaving, the doctor had given her a leaflet of what to look out for in case Ryan displayed any new symptoms. She had looked through it briefly and had been terrified by what she had read, especially the part about seizures.
“Ryan!” she called and he turned slowly towards her.
He gave her a brief smile, and she sighed at the sad expression in his eyes. She moved forward and sat on the chair by his bed.
“So, Seth’s preparing the guest room for you. He’s really missed having you at home. He’s prepared a little ‘Welcome home’ pack for you... but don’t tell him I told you.”
She gave a nervous laugh and he ducked his head, a shy smile on his lips.
“So how are you, seriously?” she asked, and he looked up at her through his bangs.
He shrugged. “I’m fine,” his voice was gravely and he cleared his throat self consciously.
“I’m sure you are,” she said sarcastically but immediately felt guilty. “How do you feel about coming home? It’ll be a nice change from here, that’s for sure.”
He nodded. “It will be cool.”
She sat down in the chair to wait, knowing that she wasn’t going to get much mor conversation out of him.
Ryan listened half heartedly to Sandy and Kirsten as they drove him back from the hospital.
His head ached dully but he was used to that now. He tried not to show the pain that each bump in the road was causing to his ribs. Although, he knew the gritted teeth were a big give away.
“Ryan, are you okay?” Kirsten’s voice and concerned look, drifted into his consciousness and he nodded.
“Yeah, fine.” he said, trying to sound stronger than he felt.
“We’re nearly home kid, then we’ll get you into bed.” Ryan gave another nod at Sandy’s words even though he knew Sandy couldn’t see him.
He gave an involuntary shudder as the car drove over the last bump before they entered the gated community.
His hand rested lightly onto his ribs as he tried to reduce the pain with short breaths. They’d taped his ribs at the hospital but they still hurt like hell.
He’d always thought that Sandy was a safe driver but after that ride, his foster father had lost that title in his mind. He gave another shudder as he thought about how much pain Trey used to cause when he drove him home from the hospital after rib injuries. It’d always driven Ryan to almost tears.
When the car finally came to a stop outside of the house, Ryan took a moment to compose himself before undoing his seat belt.
He frowned when the door opened seemingly by itself, but then he looked up to find Sandy watching him anxiously.
He allowed Sandy to help him get out of the car but couldn’t bite back the whimper as a shot of pain went through his ribs.
He felt Sandy freeze, and he couldn’t help gripping onto his foster father’s jacket in response to the pain.
He squeezed his eyes closed as Sandy continued to manoeuvre him out of the car and held him up. He steadied himself onto Sandy as he felt the world spinning and the nausea began swirling around in his stomach.
Gradually it passed. He loosened his grip and slowly opened his eyes. He found two concerned faces watching him and he tried to give them a small smile to reassure them, but judging by the looks on their faces it failed.
He allowed Sandy to half-carry him over to the house.
He couldn’t believe how much pain each movement was causing him. He just hoped that the pain wouldn’t last. Right now though, all he could think about was cuddling up into his nice cosy bed with a gloriously fluffy pillow cradling his thudding head.
Thanks for reading :)