I'm still angry when they drag me away from the fight in the yard. I'd break free of the guards' grip on me except that I'm all too aware of the sharp stabs of pain shooting through me right now. I might be able to stand up for myself and Nathan, but those guys really did a number on me.
They take me to the medical wing and I'm vaguely aware of Nathan also being escorted behind me. We're both abandoned with the doc who sends me straight off for some xrays, ignoring my yelling at him to let me stay with Nathan.
I sulk my whole way through the xrays and say as little as possible to the doc and the nursey dude. They stick me in a bed and inform me that I'm to stay over night because I fractured a couple of my ribs and they want to make sure I'm fit to go back to my unit. Nathan stays with me as long as he's allowed to, plastering my face in teary kisses.
Weeks pass slower than a snail through tar. The first visit that Kyle missed, I sat on my bunk whining about my ribs and asking Nathan why he wasn't here. Nathan didn't have any answers, surprisingly. The second time Kyle missed a visit, Nathan kept me wrapped in a careful, silent hug. By the third visitless week, I was convinced he'd given up on me. I paced restlessly in the cell, ignoring the dull pain still in my ribs.
Nathan watches me, this concerned look taking over his features every time I wince and rub my ribs irritably.
"Don't look at me like that," I growl a little, not even needing to look at him to know that his expression is.
"Sorry," he mutters. The weight of the word weighs on me, only serving to piss me off further. It doesn't take a genius to know that he's still apologising for me getting into that fight.
"If you apologise one more time for something that isn't your fault, I will eat your family."
He stays quiet after that, not even speaking when I climb into the bunk with him at lights out. He just wraps an arm over my waist and gently plays with my hair as I do my best not to cry into his shoulder.