Guess who's back? Back? Back? Back again? That's right! This past week's valentines day episode pretty much inspired me enough to divert more attention to this fic. I have spent so much of my life leaving stuff half finished and I am not going to let that happen to this fic! It has taken a jump of a few weeks in order to make up a little for my leave of absence and to move the story along a little faster. There's only so much you can write about a guy stuck in a wheelchair after all. Don't fret though, I have plenty of great ideas for later chapters, the only issue is getting there :p So without further ado allow me to get to writing!
Chapter 24: Reflection
December 16th 2012
Leonard yawned lazily as he casually flicked through the channels on the TV from his bed. Was it really possible that boredom had become a pass time? His finger repeatedly pressed the next channel button on the remote but Leonard's mind was far from processing anything he might have been seeing. He was tired, he was bored, and he missed his friends.
The worst part was, being stuck alone in prison like environment left one with little else but his thoughts. Leonard had tried to keep himself busy. He was constantly calling Dr. Siebert at the university for any new potential problems to work on but he was no theoretical physicist. Without being able to play with the lasers he had spent his life building work seemed dull and dry.
He had his video games and comics, but being alone left him to the quiet solitude of single player games and always made him miss his friends. Halo nights, retro game marathon's, or all night gaming sessions, he couldn't wait to be apart of it again.
Leonard blinked his eyes rapidly and shook his head trying to clear his mind. His thoughts had ended up where they always seemed to go... to Penny. He glanced at the calender beside his bed and realized they were approaching a week since she had last been able to visit. The thought made Leonard sad but he understood as well as she did that there were things that came first.
He smiled as he remembered her last visit. She had taken him by complete surprise by showing up on the day of a new treatment he was supposed to be getting. The nurses had suggested an acupuncture therapy that was designed to trigger new nerve endings and possible revitalize old ones.
When Leonard had first heard this he was terrified. Needles were far from his favorite thing and throwing up on the working table would likely be frowned upon by whoever was jamming needles into his back. It turned out that his fear was unprecedented because 15 minutes before he was scheduled to go in, Penny had arrived.
He had only mentioned the new treatment to her in passing and he had tried not to make it sound like a big deal but she had seen right through him. Penny had known how scared he would be and had made a point to get to the clinic in time (which involved leaving work early) so she could hold his hand through the entire ordeal.
Leonard smiled again as he thought about the treatment. It went smoothly, with him staring into Penny's dazzling green eyes he hardly felt the numerous little pricks as pin after pin was stuck into differing parts of his lower back and legs. He had said it before but he knew at that moment it was true. She was his rock, his foundation when he felt weak, she was why he was here, he had given up so much so she would be safe and he would do it again in a heartbeat if need be.
Tears rimmed his eyes as he turned his gaze to a new picture frame above his head. On the day that Penny had surprised him she brought a present for Leonard as well. It was a picture, simple but with so much meaning. It had been taken at the Thanksgiving dinner, Penny was sitting in Leonard's lap, both of them squished into his wheelchair and both had what were likely the purest smiles either had felt on their faces since the whole ordeal began. They were together with all their friends, in their usual apartment, just like things had always been.
The picture was special, but the frame was just as important to Leonard. As he looked at it, he silently read the quote that was engraved around the outside of the frame:
Be strong now because things will get better, it might be stormy now but it can't rain forever.
Every time Leonard read those words he had to choke back tears. Penny, in her own beautiful way had given him something he could look at day in and day out to find the strength he needed to fight on. Whenever his treatments took their tole or his workout sessions left him sweaty and sore he could just look at the picture, read the words around it and find a within himself a roaring bonfire where before there might have only been a candles flame.
Leonard's smile was strong now, as was the liquid rimming his eyes. He looked from the picture to himself laying in his bed covered from the waist down by the thin hospital blankets that seem to occupy any recovery clinic or get well center. He was the reason that he was in this position, not being in the clinic, but being bored. He had heard of too many stories of people just giving up after they had landed in a wheelchair. Was he becoming one of those people?
He wouldn't let that happen. Not only for his sake but for the sake of his friends and for the sake of Penny. He would not let them see him broken and depressed. He knew that he wouldn't be able to carry on much longer if he continued hating the minutes slowly dragged by day after day. It was up to him to not only make the most of the situation but to get past it.
Leonard had been in recovery somewhere around three or four months now, he figured trying to do the math in his head. Which meant he could have up to another twelve of treatment. He likely wouldn't be in the center for that long he knew but he had a lot of time left and he was determined to be happy through it.
Without thinking, without worrying about it, Leonard climbed skillfully from his bed to his chair using just his upper body and began to wheel himself out of the room. Suddenly today seemed like a great day to take a little stroll outside. The court yard was always open and fresh air seemed to be calling his name.
Leonard smiled again, strong and true as he opened the door of his room, today was a good day.
Sorry its a little bit shorter, trying to get back into this whole writing business. Hope we liked Leonard's little reflection and self epiphany, this was hopefully just supposed to give a little insight into the past couple weeks and his continuing struggle of being alone. Hopefully we enjoyed it and as always thank you to those who are still following and who continue to read! :)