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Sense Memory

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The rattle of the doorknob turning woke Richie and he tensed, fully expecting to hear Mark's flirty voice from the doorway. The nurse blob that appeared was not Mark,  he could tell because this one was obviously female even to him. She was petite and had dark hair. 

"Good morning, Mr. Tozier. I'm Miranda, I'll be taking over your care. Mark has been removed from your case by Dr. Baynes per Mr. Kaspbrak's request." Her voice was soft and sweet and she was 100% professional as she quietly opened drawers to retrieve items to help her take Richie's vitals. 

Slowly waking up, Eddie yawned and gave a full body stretch, body arching, t-shirt slipping up showing off his firm little belly. Hearing movement from the bed next to his, Richie turned, his eyes locked on Eddie's sexy little six pack and the trail of dark hair leading down from the bottom of his belly button into his track pants. Richie licked his lips, wishing he was licking all of that silky-looking golden skin and biting those perky little nipples he just knew were hiding just out of his sight beneath that soft t-shirt. He wanted to hear moans of pleasure falling from those pretty, thin lips,  to watch as Eddie's amazing body writhed beneath or above his. God, he'd settle for simply cuddling with the man, holding him close. 

He wasn't sure why visions of Eddie and his friends always popped in his head clear as day but others were blobs of color. Like Clay and Mark and even,  Dr. Baynes. In his head, Eddie was gorgeous, compact and delicious. 

Startled out of his lustful daze, Richie jumped when Miranda gently put the back of her hand to his head, checking for a fever. Her hand was cool and soft against his aching head. She grabbed a thermometer from her instrument tray and brought it up to his face. 

Eddie stretched again, groaning. His shoulder popped and he sighed. He sat up,  his dark hair sticking up adorably in wild tufts. He smoothed his hair down, watching the new nurse run a thermometer as gently as she could across Richie's forehead. 

"98.6, it's back down to normal. That's good news, Mr. Tozier. How's your pain on a scale of one to ten?  Ten being the worst."

"Seven? Maybe eight. It comes and goes. Right now,  it's kind of achy and throbbing. There's some pain behind my eyes. I'm still quite a bit dizzy and sometimes I have trouble with words. It's better than before but it's also been less than two days. Dr. Baynes told me not to rush." He watched Miranda make notes on the iPad,  nodding at his statements. 

"That's expected. You took a pretty solid hit to the head,  Mr. Tozier. It will be quite awhile before you feel 100%. How's your vision? Are you seeing double?"

"I'm blind as a bat,  honey. My eyesight is horrible. I hope some of it is due to this concussion." He looked over at Eddie, who shook his head. "My husband,  the pretty blob over there, looks like he is shaking his head so my guess is this is mostly my own bad eyesight. This might sound weird but I can picture things in my head and they're not fuzzy but when I look at them, they are. I can see my husband clear as day in my head but if I turn my head and try to look at Eddie right now, he's a colorful little blob. Is that normal?"

"OK, that sounds fairly normal. Your brain recalls what your husband looked like before the accident even if you don't remember every detail yet. Dr. Baynes will be coming on her rounds soon and she'll schedule an eye exam for you sometime before you're discharged. I don't know yet when that will be." 

 "His glasses broke in the accident. I haven't had a chance to get them repaired or replaced yet." Eddie offered, softly. "I might have one of the others do that while I'm thinking about it." Eddie found his phone and quickly typed out a message to the others. 

 "Any restrictions on sexual activity, Miranda?" Richie asked, shooting a look at Eddie, who he was sure had turned a beautiful color of crimson at the intimate questioning. 

"I'm afraid so, Mr. Tozier. Any strenuous physical activity could cause a set back. Your heart rate needs to stay in the normal range for as long as possible for your recovery. I would say to wait at least three weeks…"

"Three weeks?!" Richie exclaimed,  looking absolutely horrified. "That's forever! I'm a man with needs!" 

"Oh my God." He heard Eddie mutter. 

"I promise you that those weeks will go by faster than you think. You'll be focused on other things. Your husband will help you. And nobody said you couldn't kiss or be affectionate. Sometimes a TBI can cause a person to become hypersexual so be aware of that, Mr. Kaspbrak." She nodded at Eddie. "You may have to limit the bedroom activities if you think it could be harmful to his progress. He'll need help to the bathroom and taking baths or showers, as well as every-day activities while he recovers."

"Great." Richie pouted. Miranda shared a look with Eddie who still looked embarrassed. Eddie shook his head,  his lips turning up at the corners involuntarily at Miranda's amused smile. "Can I at least get this damn catheter out so I can use the john on my own some time today?" He gestured at his lap,  impatiently. "It hurts like a bitch."

"We can take it out,  but someone would still have to help you to the john. I'm sure your husband wouldn't mind." Miranda said. 

Eddie's eyes widened and he looked at Richie. Richie gave him pleading blue eyes and Eddie groaned inwardly. 

"Of course, I'll help you, honey. It would be good for your circulation to get you moving around." He conceded. 

"I'll have Scott come in and remove the cath right after breakfast. Your tray should be on its way up soon." Miranda promised. "Dr. Baynes should be by very shortly."

"Thank you. You're an angel." Richie smiled. 

"Yes, thank you." Eddie said,  standing up and coming over to Richie's bedside. He pressed a kiss to Richie's cheek. Miranda smiled at them and left. 

"You sure about this whole bathroom thing,  babe? I'm sure one of the nurses could…" Richie began,  knowing how squeamish his husband was of germy places like bathrooms. 

"I'm sure. Unless you want Mark to come back and shake it off for you." Eddie snarked. 

"Not a chance!" Richie made a face. 

"Good answer." Eddie pressed a kiss to Richie's hand. 

"Good morning." Dr. Baynes said as she came in the door. 

"Hi,  doc. Can I get a second opinion on this restrictive sex thing?" Richie said as soon as the doctor stepped in the door. 

"Jesus, Rich…" Eddie sighed. 

"No strenuous physical activity for the next three weeks. I'm sorry, Mr. Tozier,  but sex is considered pretty strenuous. Your heart rate should not be elevated out of normal range until your body has started healing. Miranda's notes say she covered this with you and your husband." She lifted the iPad. "She said you were still dizzy. Does that come and go like your pain or is that more constant?" 

"It comes and goes." Richie said,  in a slightly pouty voice. "Miranda said something about an eye exam?"

"We will do that before you are discharged. I need to see you up and walking a bit with assistance, of course, just to see where we are and you need to pee on your own. Miranda said you're ready to lose the cath. I don't blame you one bit. Scott knows that once you've been brought your tray, he's to be up within 30-40 minutes to remove it. Okay? Now,  let me check you out." She unwrapped her stethoscope and put the eartips in her ears. She pulled Richie's gown down a bit and warned him of the cold a few seconds before pressing the chestpiece to his skin. Richie hissed. "Sorry. Deep breath."

Eddie watched as the doctor listened to Richie's breathing and then take his blood pressure. She seemed satisfied with his vitals. 

"Any chance of me getting out of here today,  doc?" Richie asked, looking hopeful. 

"I'll answer that after we remove the cath and I get a report that you've peed on your own. Plus, I need to see how you're doing with your mobility. You need to walk the floor with your husband and show us how stable your movements are. Mr. Kaspbrak, do you feel comfortable in assisting him on your own?"

"Though he may be but little,  he is fierce." Richie grinned. 

"Beep beep, Richie. Yes,  I can handle him." Eddie rolled his eyes. 

"You can handle me anytime you want, handsome." Richie winked at him, smiling. 

"Yeah,  yeah. Three weeks!" Eddie pointed at him. Richie's smile dropped and he pouted.