"What's that you're going to tell me?" The doctor stepped into the room, chart in hand.
"He's going to tell you that I'm starving to death and that tapioca pudding makes me gag. Can I go home yet?"
"No, sir, I'm afraid you can't just yet. Your current injuries are too severe and we need to continue to observe you--for the head wound especially. We can get the stitches out of your forehead, though, and we need to get you down into physical therapy for that leg." The doctor came over to the bed and smiled down at him, looking for all the world like Howdy Doody in scrubs. "All in all, Mr. Russell, you are a very lucky man."
"I know. I do. Am I okay?" Head wound? He hadn't really asked if it was bad, but JJ'd have told him.
"Cracked femur. Bruised kidneys. Some torn muscles. The biggest concern is what the MRI revealed. Your hippocampus is still very swollen and it's causing some memory loss."
"Yeah, I can't remember the accident or how I got up here." Hell, the last thing he remembered was JJ and him sharing an apple pie.
"I want you to take a deep breath and listen closely, Mr. Russell. The date is October 24th, 2005. Best I can tell you've lost just over five years."
He blinked, shook his head. He must have heard that wrong. "Excuse me?"
"It's true, T." JJ came over and gave him a sad smile. "It's two thousand and five."
"Two ... Lord. I. We still live in the same spot, JJ? Still?"
JJ sighed and opened his mouth, but it was the kid that answered, stepping up next to JJ, all blond and sweet and blinky. "No, Thaine. You and Jerry aren't. You. You're with me now."
"What?" There was no fucking way. None. He didn't even know the kid.
"It's true. Me and you. For about three years. Tell him, Jerry." The kid glanced over at JJ, just begging.
JJ shrugged and nodded, a dark flush painted over those high, sharp cheekbones. "We called it quits about five years ago, T. I'm sorry."
"Oh." Oh, God, he must seem like all kinds of a pie-bald fool, having JJ called and shit. Thaine would give damn near anything to just sink into the ground.
"Are you remembering anything?" the kid asked, coming to stand next to him, reaching for his hand.
"No." He moved away, pulling the blankets up around him. Leave JJ? For real? That was deeply fucked. "When can I go..." Shit, he didn't even know if he had a home. "When can I get out of here?"
"I'd like to play it by ear," the doctor replied. "We'll see how you do on a bit of more solid food tonight. Maybe in a few days if the rest of your injuries clear up and the p.t. goes well."
"Thanks, doc." JJ shook the man's hand. "Can you both give me a minute with Thaine. Please?"
The doctor nodded. "I'll be back tomorrow morning to check up on you."
The kid though, he was standing there, looking stubborn. "I'm not going anywhere. He knows the truth now. I'm staying right here."
"Please, Drew. Two minutes and if T asks me to go I'll be out of your lives forever."
The kid's chin jutted out belligerently and then he turned on his heel and went.
He didn't know what to do, what to say, where to fucking look. He was a fool.