|These Broken Bones
Author: kaybee89 PM
After Courtney suffers from a horrific, unexplainable trauma, will Nikko be able to pull her away from fear and hold them both together? And will they be able, together, to uncover the truths of the night that everything changed? Please Review! :Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Nikko A. & Courtney - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,217 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 06-07-10 - Published: 05-24-10 - id: 5995316
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Nikko hated hospitals.
He hated everything about them, from the bleached white walls and strange, sterile smell to the squeak of the nurse's shoes on the shiny linoleum as they hurried up and down the halls, examining the charts in their hands. Even the plants, cheery and colorful in all their plastic fakeness were irritating and only reminded him of another trip to the hospital a long, long time ago.
C'mon man, he thought bitterly to himself. Don't think about that shit now. Shaking his head to clear it of painful memories that threatened to creep into his thoughts, he looked around the waiting room.
Disguised in a warm golden color to give those who sat there an optimistic outlook, the room was technically not even a room, but a large alcove off of the main hallway. Across the way was a nurse's station at which a line of frazzled people had formed, begging to know anything new about their loved ones.
The tense, nervous expressions on the faces of numerous people that had spread themselves out around the cool waiting room made him even more anxious, and he could practically feel the heavy weight of the unknown wrap its suffocating blanket around his broad shoulders. All of these strangers were waiting, just like he was. They were waiting for news, whether it be good or bad, and not a single person, Nikko included, could help looking up with hopeful expressions at the soft smiles or impassive expressions of the nurses and doctors who walked by.
She'll be fine, she'll be fine, she'll be fine, Nikko continued to chant to himself. She's Courtney for God's sake… she can't be anything other than fine. Any minute now someone's going to walk through that stupid door and tell me she's just fine, to give her some aspirin, and to take her home to her mom.
Briefly, for a moment, he lost himself in the images that had permanently branded into his memory from only an hour before. The sounds of her screams and pleas for help as he had sprinted down the darkened street, willing his feet to move faster toward her. Courtney's body, bloody and broken as he had held her, determined to hold her together for just a little while longer. Blue and red lights flashing off her puffy face, the weak grasp of her hand as her fingers slipped away from his and she was loaded into the back of the ambulance, her barely audible whisper, "I'll be ok."
As much as he would have liked to pretend otherwise, a couple of aspirin and some rest were not going to fix this.
Suddenly he felt small and lost the way a child feels anytime there isn't a parent's hand to grab onto or a teddy bear to clutch to their chest. A quiet groan escaped his lips and he leaned forward, his elbows on his knees and placed his heavy head in his hands and tried not to think. The less he thought about her, and the harder he tried to erase the past hour and a half from his memory, the easier it would be to pretend like she would walk right out this hospital with her 100 watt smile and bubbly walk, 100 percent fine.
Beneath the darkness his closed eyelids provided, he was aware of more footsteps hurrying down the hallway in his direction. Figuring it was just another frazzled doctor or tired nurse, he fought the urge to look up expectantly and kept his eyes firmly shut, squeezing them a little harder as if this action alone would block out everything else around him.
"Nikko!" A familiar voice called out to him.
Nikko opened his eyes, his head snapping upwards in search of the voice. A wave of relief washed over him as his brother's face came into view. Dark haired and green eyed in his ever present business shirt and tie, Stavros was, well… he was just Stavros. His forte was taking charge and taking care of anything that concerned Nikko. He would know what to do, how to make this whole situation easier. Nikko stood up then and began to cross the waiting room, pushing past the rows of cushioned chairs and the crossed legs of worried strangers toward the welcoming sight of his brother.
Stavros enveloped him in a hug the moment he reached Nikko, wrapping his arms around his little brother. "Thank God," he said his breath hot in Nikko's ear. "You scared the crap out of me! Are you alright?" He grabbed Nikko's shoulders then, pushing him away so he could look him up and down and form his own conclusions.
Nikko let him look for a moment before he broke, letting the emotion he had been trying so hard to keep pushed down leak to the surface. "Stavros," he began, his voice wavering. "Stav… Courtney, she… oh God…"
Stavros nodded and gently directed Nikko back to his chair as he tried in vain to form a coherent sentence. He knelt in front of his baby brother once he was seated, bravely facing the evident pain that was written all across his face, and began to speak the words of encouragement and reassurance that came to mind.
"I know you're scared," he said quietly, his voice firm and strong. "But everything is going to be okay, alright? Courtney will pull through this! She's made of nails that girl… this isn't going to stop her. I promise you."
Nikko glanced up, meeting his brother's steady gaze and frowned. "But you didn't see her Stavros. You didn't see… she was all limp and bruised. She could barely hold onto my hand!" Nikko whispered desperately. "She looked… God, she looked like someone had just run her over with a semi-truck for fuck's sake!"
"Nikko," Stavros said gently, lifting a hand and squeezing his arm in a reassuring gesture.
"I should have been there," Nikko said, slowly nodding his head as a tear fell from his eye and rolled down his cheek. "I should have been there to kick that sorry son-of-a-bitch's ass."
Stavros sighed then, shaking his head urgently. "No, Nikko. None of this is your fault. Do you hear me? You had no way to know this was going to happen, and neither did Courtney."
Angrily, Nikko reached up and swatted the trailing tear from his face. Clenching his hands into fists so tight his knuckles glowed white, he said nothing more, looking over his brother's shoulder instead. Stavros silently stood up and collapsed into the chair beside Nikko's with a weary sigh. From across the room, the brother's watched as a white jacketed doctor beckoned to a family to follow him, his face solemn and strategically composed. Nikko watched the faces of the dark haired woman he called to and her daughter turn from hopeful worry to blank despair. Their wait was over, and it was clear that their wait was going to end with bad news. Nikko shook his head again and looked away from the quiet, sad scene, determined to block out the negative vibes that were beginning to permeate the room's already chilly atmosphere.
Beside him Stavros, loosening the tie around his neck, also noticed the heart breaking scene. Glancing at Nikko's face, Stavros longed to reach out and take on the hurt of his little brother. He was only 17, he didn't need this kind of thing to weigh him down and break his heart.
"Is Courtney's mom here?" He asked, hoping to distract him from the sad faces of the two women across the waiting room that were slowly following the doctor who had come to fetch them hand in hand.
Nikko nodded before leaning back in his chair. "Yeah," he said, his voice rough with the pent up tears he refused to let fall. He coughed, trying to mask the pain with a clearing of his throat before continuing. "The police called her while they were loading Courtney into the ambulance. She met us at the doors."
Marion Lane's panic had been evident as the EMTs wheeled Courtney out of the ambulance and towards the white lights of the hospital doors. Still in her pajamas, she had run up, pushing her way through the silent and efficient bodies that were circling around her daughter, placing a shaking hand on her daughter's forehead. Gently, an EMT who had sat in the back of the ambulance with Courtney and Nikko grabbed her shoulders and pulled her away.
"We need to get her inside, Ma'am," he said, his voice low.
"But what happened?" Mrs. Lane cried her voice frantic. "Where exactly are you taking her?"
As the EMT began to answer, she caught sight of Nikko standing behind him and had pushed her way out of the EMT's grip. "Nikko!" She yelled. "Nikko what happened?"
But he hadn't said anything… he couldn't say anything. All he saw when he looked down at the concerned and frightened face of Mrs. Lane was a pair of bright green eyes, so similar to the ones on Courtney's face. She had asked him more questions, spitting them out rapidly and giving him no chance to answer had he been able to. They had started to wheel Courtney away before she had asked him the only question that registered, that he was physically able to respond to.
"She's going to be okay, right? I mean, she'll be fine?"
He blinked and said the first words that came to mind as he placed a hand on her thin shoulder. "Of course, Mrs. Lane… she'll be fine."
She had disappeared then behind her daughter, leaving Nikko to stand out in the cold and find his own way. He hadn't seen her or heard word about Courtney since.
For the next hour, Nikko and Stavros sat in the waiting room with the other frightened, shaken, and paralyzed-with-worry people who milled about the room. Some were restless and paced around the open aisles, some openly wept, clutching Kleenex and dabbing their red rimmed eyes. Some, like Nikko, were too exhausted to do anything but sit and breathe. Together, they watched as doctors and nurses came and went, bringing good news and bad to the families of their patients, each praying that their news would come soon if only to end the killer suspense.
No doctor came for Nikko, but Mrs. Lane did.
She came around the corner, the boots she had slipped on in a hurry before leaving the house echoing down the hallway. Her brown hair was uncombed and limp, and her face was drawn and tired looking. Nikko stood up and waited for her to walk the rest of the way, not wanting to bog her down with questions she wasn't ready to answer if that was the case. But he analyzed her every movement as she moved toward him and Stavros, comparing her actions and facial expression to those he had seen throughout the night on the faces of nameless strangers. She wasn't crying, nor did she look distraught or desperate, he noted as he took a deep breath to calm his nerves. He took these as good signs and for the first time in his life he prayed to God. He prayed that Mrs. Lane was bringing the good news that everything would indeed be alright.
When she reached Nikko and Stavros a small smile, or what Nikko classified as a smile considering the corners of her mouth turned slightly up instead of down, and nodded, her eyes filling with a fresh batch of tears.
"Courtney…" she said, as her voice was overtaken by a wave of emotion. She stopped and collected herself, taking a deep breath before continuing. "She's going to be alright."
A genuine smile lit up Nikko's face as the news soaked into his skin like warm summer sunlight. He looked back at Stavros who had placed a pleased smile on his own worn out face before turning back to Mrs. Lane, reaching down, and hugging her tightly.
She heard a small chuckle leave her mouth as he lifted her tiny frame off the ground with joy.
"Nikko," his brother scolded behind him. "Don't hurt her!"
"It's ok," Mrs. Lane said when Nikko had let go of her. She placed a gentle, motherly hand on Nikko's face, looking up at him with those green eyes. "I'm relieved too."
"Can I see her?" Nikko asked, breaking his promise to himself not to ask any questions. To his disappointment, Mrs. Lane shook her head, folding her arms across her chest.
"I'm sorry, Nikko. The doctor's don't want her to have any visitors until at the very least late tomorrow. She's been through too much… even the slightest excitement could ruin any progress she's made."
He understood. Really, he did. But the need to see her was becoming more than he could bear. "Well I'll just wait here then," he said with a nod, shoving his hands in the pockets of his black jacket and turning back to sit in the waiting room chair.
"Oh, honey no," Mrs. Lane said, a small but kind smile playing about her lips. "Go home, get some rest. She'll be here waiting for you tomorrow, really."
"Yeah Nikko," Stavros joined in. "I told you she's not going anywhere. Let's go home… I'll bring you back first thing tomorrow and wait with you then."
Nikko was prepared to argue, a dozen different pleas and excuses ready to be employed. But Stavros looked exhausted, and so did Mrs. Lane. Now wasn't really the time to be petulant and argumentative. Sighing, Nikko nodded his consent.
"Well at least tell me what's wrong with her?" He asked gently.
A shadow of discomfort passed over Mrs. Lane's tired features and she sighed a deep, world weary sigh. "Well," she started finally. "Courtney's suffered from some pretty serious internal bleeding in her stomach, a couple broken ribs, a fractured arm, and some nasty cuts and bruises all over. But she's responding well to the medicine, and the doctor's figure they'll be able to release her in a week or so."
Nikko nodded soberly, letting her horrific descriptions sink in.
"Nikko?" She asked after a moment. He looked up, knowing almost instinctively what was coming next.
"Did you see who was beating her?" She asked quietly, the ache in her voice clear as a bell.
He would have liked to say he had, that he knew exactly what monster had done this to the girl they all cared for so much. But he couldn't. The only thing he had seen as he approached them was the lean figure of a male sprinting in the opposite direction. He told both Stavros and Mrs. Lane everything he knew, but all three knew that what he had seen and heard wasn't enough.
But still, Mrs. Lane nodded and after a moment of quiet she opened her arms back up and reached to hug Nikko once more. "Thank you," she whispered in his ear.
"Your welcome," he answered just as quietly. When she pulled away, Stavros looked at Mrs. Lane and placed a friendly hand on her upper arm.
"Do you need anything?" He asked. "We can drive you home if you'd like."
"Oh no," Mrs. Lane answered hurriedly, shaking her head. "That's very kind, but I think I'm going to stay here. Just until she wakes up… I don't want her to be alone."
The boys nodded, understanding.
"But thank you," she added kindly, a grateful smile making its way up to her worn out eyes.
"I'll be back tomorrow," Nikko said as they turned to leave. He watched as Mrs. Lane nodded, lifting a feeble hand goodbye before turning back down the hallway she had come from, heading back to wait with her sleeping child.
Nikko and Stavros walked down the hospital, past nurse's stations, waiting rooms, and numerous people sleeping, crying, and laughing as they walked toward the parking lot. Stavros glanced over at his brother, pleased to see the vacant, lost expression that had taken up residence on his face for the past few hours had been replaced by a relieved smile. Nikko saw his brother looking at him out of the corner of his eye. Turning his head he felt a real grin leave its mark on his face as he said, "She's okay."
Stavros chuckled then, slinging his arm around his taller younger brother's shoulder. It had been a long night, and while not everything was well, they were a hell of a lot better than they had been three hours ago.