The next morning is, in fact, hell. I'm slow to wake up and my whole body feels like it was hit with a semi. Holy shit... I glance down at my arm and blanch at the very thick ace bandage swaddling my arm. It's tinged red and I feel sick to my stomach. I could almost throw up. No... wait, I'm actually gonna throw up. I retch over the side of the bed and into a waste bucket just as the door opens, spilling light onto my face.
I feel fucking miserable as Rose lays a clammy hand against my forehead, reducing the ache there slightly. She lets out a soft breath. I really, really fucked up. I can't even get out a thank you as she hands me a wet washcloth.
"I almost called for an ambulance, you know. In all honesty, I should have. It took me an hour to clean up all that blood, Dave. There was a small puddle and it stained the tiles. I told John and Jade about what happened. There were pretty damn pissy when I couldn't give them a reason as to why you , however unintentionally, tried to kill yourself." My head jerks up at that, making my blonde locks sway.
"I wasn't tryin' ta kill myself! Damn, you people are all alike with this shit. Self-harming doesn't always mean intent to fucking die. I would think you of all people would know that considering how you always go on about how read you are in psychology!" I almost regret my words as her lips thin into a line and her fingers fidget with the waistband of her pajama bottoms.
"Well, David, it sure seemed that way as I was soaking up all of your blood with paper towels!" Rose takes a deep breath, trying to retain some semblance of control. "We were right there, Dave. Right in the same apartment finally. You've called me at four in the morning before over this. So why didn't you just come to me?" I can't think of anything to say to this. "Did you just want to? Is that what it was? You wanted to hurt yourself because you don't know how to deal with your emotions? Because you're good at hiding?" I chuckle grimly and stare up at her.
"You're one to talk about hiding,
Ross." She sucks in a sharp breath and hurt flashes across her face. I scoot back a little, feeling guilty. Why did I say that? God... I'm an asshole.
"I know what you're doing," she utters. "You're trying to hurt me because you don't want to face what you've done. Well, Dave, I am hurt. I am hurt, but It's not going to deter me from this." My shade-less eyes stare into her violet ones and I grip the covers tightly.
"Why haven't you told them? You trust them don't you? I mean, you're all up on me about confessing everything to you guys, but look at you. You can't even tell them about yourself. Does Kanaya even know? Or am I just special." Her purple nails dig into her thighs as she scowls.
"I told you because I thought you wouldn't hold it against me! But here you are throwing it back in my face..." She shakes her head and shifts on the bed, sitting cross-legged. " It's none of your business, but Kanaya does know. She supports me and loves me no matter what is under my skirts for your information. Now, let's get back to you. Why didn't you just come to me?" The silence stretches into something twisted and uncomfortable. "You know I can out wait you, David. If there's a department you lack in, it's most certainly patience." I huff and look out into the Texan sunrise.
"Fine... Maybe I wasn't actively trying to kill myself, but I wouldn't have cared if I had died. Heh, all over a stupid phone call." I see her tilt her head in my peripheral vision. "Gamzee woke up," I reply to the unasked question. Her violet eyes widen a fraction in surprise. "Yeah... all awake. Called me last night askin' for me to come visit. I was ok at first, but I kept havin' nightmares about... Uh, being at court. I just lost it I guess. I didn't even think about comin' to you. Any of you..." I bury my head in my arms and let out a shuddering breath. The bed moves, then dips again. Roses warm arms wrap around my shoulders and I lean into her. "I'm sorry for callin' you Ross. That was really shitty of me."
'Yes, it was... I forgive you, though. I forgive you because you're my family and family just can't help but hurting each other sometimes. I will be forced to smack you if you do it again, though." I look up and she winks. I laugh. Looks like things are ok between us for the time being. I know this isn't the end of this conversation, though.
Rose ends up bandaging my arm up again, still unhappy about how it looks. I only end up yelling once, when she pours peroxide all over it. Jade bangs on the door, but we ignore it. Once it looks like my arm is mummified, I get dressed, throwing a hoodie on for good measure. Rose and I make pancakes for everyone while Jade and John gives us looks they think we can't see. John won't stop looking at my damn arm.
I announce that I'm going to the St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital to visit a friend. We all jump into Rose's rental and she drives us this time. The drive takes about fifteen minutes will all the goddamn traffic, but honestly? The longer I stall this the better I feel. Rose says she going to take the rest of them to the mall while I visit. I promise to text her if the need arises.
I walk in, head held high and my knees weak. The nurse at the desk informs me that Gamzee's room is the third floor up. At least I can stall this by three more minutes.
My hand is on the handle of the doorknob and I carefully push it open. Gamzee looks about how I expected, so I don't gasp in surprise or whatever. He's skinny. Well... skinnier. Christ. His hospital gown hangs off his shoulder and he has no makeup on. His hair's mostly grown back except for this bald patch where he... shot himself.
Gamzee turns towards me, his eyes focused somewhere to the left. He chuckles. "Heh, that you up in here, Nurse Ratchet?" I carefully step in and close the door. 'Maybe he lost his vision? I knew there was no way he was getting out of that without somethin' fuckin' him up... Damn.'
"Nah, man. It's Dave." His scars stretch as his face lights up the fourth of July.
"Motherfucker! I knew you'd come visit. C'mere brother. Lemme all up and hug you..."
We do hug, for a long damn time. I ask about him not knowing who it was and he says that he can sort of see, but everything looks blurred. Like so blurred he can barely make out shapes, and kind of dark too. The doctors say his vision might get better over time and with corrective surgery. I offer to cover it, but he says that his dad's already got it covered. I'm pretty surprised by that. Like I said, I didn't even know he had any family left. We only get an hour before an orderly kicks me out, telling me that Gamzee needs a lot of rest. I comply and promise to visit him again an a few days.
The visit leaves me drained and I text Rose, telling her to grab some Taco Bell and come get me. They arrive in less than ten minutes and I hop in, grinning when Rose shoves a bag at me. We stuff our faces on the drive to see Bro and John asks if I want them to come in with me. I nod in assent and Rose pats my knee briefly. I have to stop myself from yelling at her about keeping both hands on the wheel.
John and Jade sit on the bench by the window and Rose takes the chair while I sit on the bed. We talk about school mostly, about college, jobs. I definitely wanna do something with music. Movies maybe. John wants to be a Paranormal Investigator, what else? Jade's just going to travel for the rest of her days and Rose says she hasn't actually decided. That surprises me. I thought for sure she would be the one who had everything figured out. Before I can grill her about it, I hear a deep groan from behind me. My head whips around and I see Bro's eyes twitch.
"Dave, wha-" I shush Jade and stare intensely. His amber eyes slowly crack open and I smooth the wrinkle in his brow.
"Holy fucking shit," I whisper. I can't believe he's waking up!
"Uggh, Davey?" He mumbles, exhausted and out of it. "Dave, what happened? I don't 'member comin' home last night?" I take his hand and squeeze it.
"Bro," I start. Shit, he wouldn't remember would he... "I know you don't remember, but you had an accident. Your truck rolled. A lot. It was real bad... I've been waitin' for you to wake up." He looks confused and hangs onto my hand tighter.
"Wh-What happened to Cal? Is he ok?" I look away.
"Um. He got burned when your truck caught fire. I brought him home, but... He's in pretty bad shape, dude. I'm sure he misses you, though." Bro's eyes water and I wipe away a few of his tears.
"I can always stitch him back up... Shit. Cal probably hates me." I shake my head at him.
"'Course he don't. Come on, Bro. How could Lil' Cal hate you?" He struggles to sit and I gently push him back down. "You shouldn't do that-" He grips my hand and I stare at his face. It's alight with fear. "Bro-"
"Dave! Dave, I can't- I don't feel my legs. I can't move them!" His heart monitor starts to go crazy and I don't know what to do. "Dave, Dave what the fuck! I can't feel my legs! What happened!" He struggles even harder to get up and I place my hands on his shoulders. 'What the fuck am I supposed to do? Oh shit I never thought...'
He can't feel his legs... Fuck.