Relief nearly set the tears off again as Kyle agreed to stay with me. Somewhere in my hazy mind, I decided that meant he was staying for good. I struggled my way over to the side of the bed he was sat at, trying to get a hug. I really needed a hug. He wrapped his arms around me, and I let out a hum, clumsily smushing my face into his neck. I felt at home, even though I was sat in the middle of a stinking hospital.
I couldn’t stay half sitting up like that, though, and I ended up flopping back into the bed. Except I didn’t let go of Kyle. I couldn’t. He chuckled a little, and snuggled me, lying down on the bed next to me when I patted the empty space. I clung to him, burying my head in his side and holding on for all I was worth as I snuggled into him. He played with my hair, and even though it reminded me of how it had ended up so short, it wasn’t so bad when Kyle touched it.
My eyes ended up closed, and I sort of ended up half asleep, listening to what was going on around me, but too sleepy and cosy with my Kyle to care enough to open my eyes. Cody was watching us carefully. I didn’t need my eyes to know that.
“What?” Kyle asked quietly, apparently trying not to wake me up.
“You really need to think about what you’re doing, Kyle,” Cody said. I heard Kyle sigh. “I’ve never seen him like this before... He’s always been kind of dependant on other people, but never this much.”
"What d'you mean?"
“He’s always needed some kind of support, someone to rely on, but he’s used to people coming and going. He’s never been this attached to anyone like this before.” Do you have to talk about me? Really? I wanted to tell them to shut up, but I couldn’t seem to do anything more than listen to them. Not that Kyle was really giving me much to listen to. He let out a long sigh of his own, probably pushing his hair back like he does, that frown on his face. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to emotionally blackmail you into staying with him if you really don’t want to, but you know how it is. I just want him to be happy.”
"I want him to be happy too. Which was why I left him. I haven't exactly been supportive of the whole drag thing and I know there's someone out there who's more willing to let him take control in the bedroom. As much as I love him..."
“Clearly, he doesn’t agree that he needs someone else. I don’t know how things stand with you and him in regards to bedroom stuff, but I’m sure he’s told you about our dad.”
"Yeah. I've even had the pleasure of meeting the guy."
“Poor you,” Cody said wryly, “to be honest, the fact he’s found someone he trusts enough to give him more than a hug is a miracle.” Kyle hummed a little at that. I really hoped my brother would be able to convince him to stay. “Anyway, like I said, the choice is yours, but I really hope you stay with him.” Kyle went quiet again, and my heart felt like it had stopped. My mind was still hazy, but not so hazy that I didn’t understand that he was staying just for now. He hadn’t decided, and it hurt. I held onto him a little tighter, feeling his lips meet the top of my head. “I’ve gotta go, Kyle. I need to get stuff ready for work tomorrow. You’ll stay with him tonight, won’t you?” I felt Kyle’s body move as he nodded, and Cody’s footsteps walked away, leaving me and Kyle alone in the ward.
At some point in the night, I woke up, my face drowning in tears and my throat constricted by silent screams.
"It’s okay, gorgeous,” Kyle’s soothing voice told me as he kissed my head.
“You know all those times I complained about wanting some variety in my nightmares?” I asked, hiccupping my way through the question, “I’ve changed my mind.”
"What happened this time?" he questioned, holding me in a cuddle.
“It was all dark, and you were walking away from me,” I sniffled and hiccupped again, “and I was following you, but you just kept walking, and ignoring me, and you couldn’t hear me.” He didn’t say anything and kept me cuddled against him. I put my head on his chest, trying to stop sniffling and hiccupping.
"It was just a dream, gorgeous."
“I know, but you don’t want to stay with me, do you?” Or you wouldn’t have written that letter and run off while I was asleep. He didn’t say anything to that, and I sat up away from him. “I need to pee,” I muttered, pulling the tubes poking into my skin out and swinging my legs over the side of the bed.
"I want you to be happy," he said.
“I was happy with you.” He looked down at the floor, and I got up, feeling kind of unsteady as I wandered off to find the toilets. I heard Kyle following me, but I locked myself in the nearest disabled toilet, pulling off that stupid hospital gown to inspect the damage. I hadn’t really seen myself since I’d got beaten up. It wasn’t pretty, to say the least. Quite a lot of my skin was bruised, a motley collection of yellowing, purple and black splotches, there was a neat red line all stitched up on the left side of my chest, a couple inches shy of where I’m fairly sure he’d been aiming, and the ugly, uneven mess of hair flopping over my forehead, doing nothing to conceal the bruises there.
I jumped as someone knocked on the door, looking over at it.
“What?” I called, hoping it was just Kyle and I wasn’t pissing off someone that was actually disabled.
"You okay in there?" he replied.
“Yeah,” I nodded at my reflection, knowing that both physically and mentally, I wasn’t really okay at all. I wanted a hit. I sat myself on the toilet to take a leak, and wondered how I could get myself some morphine.
"You've been in there for ages," he said, sounding kinda worried.
“I’m fine,” I said, washing my hands and slipping the gown back on. “Just wanted to see if I’d have a scar to show off or not,” I forced a smile onto my lips as I opened the door, looking up at him. He ran a hand through my hair, and I sighed, recalling that nasty mess I’d just seen in the mirror.
“I want a haircut. This mess is ugly.”
"I'll take you for one when you get let out," he smiled. I looked up at him, my eyes wide, sort of hoping he’d sneak me out for one today. “What?”
“It’s ugly,” I told him, quietly pleading with him.
"It's not that bad, gorgeous," he tried to reassure me, and I buried my face in his chest.
“It is though, becausetheycut it.” I had enough reminders as it was. I hardly wanted to put up with the disgusting mess on my head any longer than I had to.
"Just try and cope with it a little longer, gorgeous," he said, kissing my head. I whined. “Please, Rayn.”
“I want Scruffles.”
“Are you going to stay?” I asked quietly, not sure if I wanted to hear the answer.