|CH04 Tempered Steel
Author: Miz Em PM
Followup to Dirty Laundry and So Still. Provides closure to the events at the end of Dirty LaundryRated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Colby G. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,420 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Published: 05-11-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2935240
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
They settled into a routine. Whenever he wasn't scrambling on a case, Colby would drop Hannah off at the jewelry store. Someone there took her to physical therapy, and picked her up afterwards. Then he'd pick her up after work. When he couldn't make it, he called Alan Eppes, who would either take Hannah himself, or if he was busy, would make arrangements. Colby was grateful for that, it was a huge undertaking on Alan's part. And for two people who weren't even related to him.
The physical therapy seemed to be helping. Although the improvements weren't as marked as they were initially, she rarely used the chair now, depending largely on the crutches. Colby hadn't wanted to get a car with hand controls. He'd been afraid that Hannah would get dependent on it and not focus on the physical therapy.
Then Don's team was pulled onto a hot case, and it was several weeks before it was solved.
Colby hadn't seen much of Hannah in that time. Vanessa, one of the assistants at the store, lived close by, and had offered to take Hannah to and from the jewelry store. They'd accepted so that they wouldn't impose on Alan any longer.
He was happy to see Hannah up and about in the kitchen, apparently cooking dinner.
She smiled when she saw him. "Lasagna," she said.
"Did Vanessa take you to the grocery store?" He hadn't been able to do the shopping while he'd been busy with the case.
When she didn't say anymore, he looked at her with a frown, "How'd you get the groceries?"
She hesitated, then said softly, "I got hand controls put on my car."
Colby sighed, "Hannah, we talked about this."
"I don't want to talk about it anymore. It's done."
He was silent for a moment. "I take it that you've been driving back and forth to the jewelry store? How long have you had the hand controls?"
She didn't answer.
"I said, I don't want to talk about it anymore!"
Colby struggled for a moment to control his temper. He was tired from working long hours, he didn't want to mishandle this. "Have you been going to physical therapy?"
She remained quiet, continuing to work on the salad.
"Hannah, it isn't like I can't pick up the phone and find out. Just talk to me, sweetheart. What's going on?"
"I just don't think it's going to get any better. I can't stand without my crutches, let alone walk without them. I'm tired of depending on other people to get me from place to place. The hand controls gives me independence and freedom. I don't see why that's an issue with you. Did you just want me dependent on you?" she was getting irritated.
"Fine, keep the hand controls. I just don't think you should stop the physical therapy."
"I don't want to. It's a waste of time."
"I want you to be able to walk again, Hannah. You can't get there without physical therapy."
"Why? Why do you want me to walk again? So you wouldn't be ashamed to be seen with me?" she was furious now.
"That's not it and you know it." Colby was implacable. "It's about not giving up. It's about making it despite the obstacles. Because you can. You know you can."
Hannah spun around in a fury and threw the salad bowl at him. He caught it easily but salad went everywhere. "Don't tell me what to do! It's not going to happen! Just stop harrassing me about it! I'll never walk or stand on my own feet again!" she shouted at him.
He held her gaze for a moment, then said softly, "What do you call what you're doing now?"
She looked down in stunned amazement. She'd knocked over the crutches when she'd spun around and never even noticed. She was standing. On her own two feet. Then her knees buckled, her leg muscles unused to standing. He caught her before she fell to the floor.
"Great. All I need to do is work myself up into a screaming frenzy and I'll be able to walk."
Colby laughed, relieved to see her sense of humor back.
She sighed, and started to cry.
He held her close. He always felt helpless when she did that, but all in all, he preferred it to seeing her give up.
"I feel a little silly, holding a crying woman in one arm and an empty salad bowl in the other." Colby said in a serious tone.
Hannah laughed on a sob.
"Come on, let me get this stuff cleaned up, and we'll have dinner. Talk about physical therapy."
She sighed, "You're not letting this go, are you."
In the end they compromised. She'd keep the hand controls on her car if she continued physical therapy.
"Rilla says she can get us field box tickets behind home plate when the Cardinals come into town to play the Dodgers." Colby looked at Hannah, a smile playing on his lips.
Hannah looked at the smile and sighed, "I suppose you want me to be walking without crutches before you'll accept those tickets."
"Damn, you drive a hard bargain." Hannah pouted.
"Is that the only hard thing you've got for me?" she asked softly.
He looked sharply at her, then said gently, "Not if you're ready."
She smiled, "I'm ready."
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
"Invictus" - William Ernest Henley