|Tarnished Silver Lining
Author: jaded river hussie PM
With Josh in a coma, Drake and Mindy find that they have little choice but to lean on each other. AURated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort/Angst - Mindy C. & Drake P. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,431 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 01-26-12 - Published: 01-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7773709
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Tarnished Silver Lining
Pairings: Josh/Mindy, Drake/Mindy
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters; just playing in the sandbox.
Notes: for hc_bingo prompt: unconsciousness; reviews are love! :-)
There's an accident and Mindy blames Drake because he was driving and because he walked away with a few scrapes and bruises, and a concussion; it doesn't matter that the other driver was at fault, that he flew through the red light and slammed into the passenger side of Drake's car. She blames Drake for Josh's body being so broken that he's being kept in a medically induced coma. She blames Drake because he kept Josh out late with the intent of making him late for his date with her. If Drake wasn't selfish and immature and hateful, Josh would be awake and healthy and whole.
Mindy visits Josh in the hospital every day; Drake's normally there when she arrives. His guilt is written all over his face and sometimes she almost feels bad for him. Drake misses Josh more than she does.
She holds Josh's hand, always still but warm in hers. It pains her to admit it and she says it so quietly that she's not sure that he hears her at first. "It wasn't your fault."
"You don't believe that."
Her smile is sad and bitter. "No, I don't but it's the truth. The accident wasn't your fault. The circumstances—" she pauses, swallows, squeezes Josh's hand. "Wrong place, wrong time."
Drake walks over to the window. "I don't want him to blame me when he wakes up."
"He won't. Josh will understand and there will be no reason for him not to forgive you."
He looks at her out of the corner of his eyes. "What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Are you going to forgive me?"
She shakes her head. After all this time now he takes her, her feelings and her thoughts, into consideration; if only he'd done so the night of the accident. "You don't need my forgiveness, Drake. This isn't about me."
"It kinda is. It's been days, Mindy. We just sit here, not talking to each other or Josh until I leave. We can't avoid each other."
"We're talking now, so, I'd say that's a start; wouldn't you?" She can avoid saying that she'll forgive him; it's enough to her that she's admitted that it's not his fault. That doesn't mean she'll stop blaming Drake. Luckily, for him, she is multi-talented and skilled at multi-tasking; she can hate him and converse with him at the same time.
He shrugs. "I guess."
The days turn into weeks that turn into months as Josh's body continues to heal and Mindy is surprised to realize that she blames and hates Drake less and less. When school starts back up, they leave together and go straight to the hospital. Mindy reads her class notes aloud to Josh so that he doesn't miss anything; Drake finds himself actually learning as he listens to her talking to Josh and much to everyone's shock, he starts bringing home B's and C's.
Drake stops dating as frequently as he used to since most of his time not spent at home or school is divided between the hospital, band practice, and doing homework.
It's hard for Mindy to not feel proud when Drake's grades rise because clearly it has been due to her influence. She's genuinely happy for him when he pulls his average up from a D+ to a C-.
She never thought she'd enjoy spending time with Drake and she feels pangs of guilt because she still misses Josh and she wonders how quickly things will return to normal when he wakes up and after he's released. It's not a pleasant feeling knowing that she's going to miss spending time with Drake in a few weeks when the doctors plan to wean Josh from of his coma.
Everything changes on a Tuesday afternoon. After the final bell, Mindy's at her locker packing up her book bag and Drake shows up, smiling and breathless, holding up a test he'd taken the week before. There's a bright red A- circled in the upper right hand corner. All he says is, "Dude, can you believe it?"
"Honestly? No," she says, half-serious but there is still humor in her tone and her eyes and she feels a weird sense of accomplishment as she bounces on her toes and gives him a congratulatory hug. It takes her a second to realize why it feels so odd because they're not really friends and they don't intentionally engage in physical contact with one another, as a matter of fact, they avoid it.
She's standing flat on the ground as the hug is ending and it should be over except out of nowhere Drake's kissing her and she's kissing him back, sliding her arms back around his neck. She knows that she should end the kiss because her boyfriend is lying in a hospital bed and she should not be making out with anyone, least of all his brother. But she misses Josh and she misses kissing and cuddling and feeling wanted and it's not so wrong when her tongue darts into Drake's mouth, is it? And they've been spending so much time together, yes, this kiss is completely justifiable.
She feels like the kiss could last forever or at least until they need to come up for air. It doesn't and it can't because the noisy hallway quiets, voices hush, footsteps die down and lockers stop slamming. She knows without opening her eyes that they're being watching, that everyone will know by the end of homeroom tomorrow, and that if they're lucky, a teacher isn't about to catch them and give them detention.
Mindy holds her head high, pretending that they haven't done anything wrong, that she has nothing to be ashamed of, as she and Drake make the unbearably long trek past their classmates to his car.
While stopped at a red light, Drake asks, "Do you think Josh'll understand?"
She snorts. "I don't even understand; do you?"
"Well, there's your answer," she says tersely. It's always so easy to blame Drake.
He's defensive. "It didn't mean anything; I just wanted to thank you."
"Maybe next time you could try to be a little more articulate, more verbal." She pauses. "You're welcome."
"So what does this mean?"
"I have absolutely no idea." Mindy looks at Drake, his eyes are focused on the road. "Do you even like me?"
He gives her a half shrug. "Maybe. Do you like me?"
"I don't know. I like Josh." She stares at the window and sighs. "It's complicated. Maybe we should stop spending so much time together until Josh wakes up."
Two weeks later, the last dosages of the drugs keeping Josh in his coma have been administered and they wait. The doctors say that it could be a few days or a couple weeks. They keep waiting. And waiting until the doctors conclude that Josh has slipped into a coma, possibly from the accident but there's a chance that the medications caused it; there's no way of knowing when, or if, he'll ever wake up.
Drake and Mindy start spending their hours together at the hospital again, hoping and waiting, hidden feelings blooming. One evening when he drives her home, she leans over and kisses him. As much as she cares for Josh, she can't keep her life on hold; they're teenagers, they were dating, not about to get married. Drake's logic that she can't very well date Josh if he's not conscious nor can she break up with him, so it's not really cheating makes perfect sense to her because she wants it to. And it's not like they don't tell Josh, they just don't know if he hears them.
Nearly a year after the accident, the day that Josh finally awakens is the same day that Mindy wakes in Drake's bed for the first time.