Disclaimer: I don't own anything, and it mentions Karofsky's suicide attempt, obviously, so possible trigger warnings etc.
Dave Karofsky's last day in Lima Memorial Hospital is Quinn Fabray's first. Or at least it's supposed to be his last day. After his 72 hour watch, he was supposed to go home. However, home wasn't exactly home right now.
As his parents settled and adjusted, Karofsky voluntarily checks into the Psychiatric Ward of the hospital for some extended recuperation. He has a worker watching him 24/7, scheduled meals and vital checks, and group therapy sessions. The rest of the time he was allowed to watch TV, sleep, or simply hangout.
Surprisingly, it's nowhere near as crazy as it first sounded.
Quinn's first day is spent mostly in surgery. Due to the amount of injuries sustained, her doctors place her in a medically induced coma for a few weeks to allow her body time to heal itself.
When she finally wakes up, it isn't much different than being unconscious.
Karofsky is prescribed anti-depressants that have way too many side-effects for his liking. But they should help.
Quinn's doctors have her on a morphine drip. For a while, she's pretty much out of it.
Karofsky's ultimate prognosis is that he needs to stay in therapy indefinitely. Even after he leaves to go home in a few weeks, he'll still need to find his own private psychiatrist to talk to once a week. His dad is already making phone calls.
Quinn and her mom are bombarded with words like lacerations, contusions, fractures, ruptures, trauma, and other equally pleasant diagnoses. Everything is explained away and given an estimated time to recovery. After a couple of days of being awake and lucid, her doctors are able to run comprehensive tests on her back and spine. Partial paralysis and necessary physical therapy is what they come up with.
Aside from Artie and Mr. Schue, Quinn decides not to go into full detail with anyone until she can actually go back to school.
Paul Karofsky visits his son daily when the hours allow it. He's sure to offer his love, support, and acceptance despite the initial shock over his son being gay. He makes it clear that he doesn't want to lose his son. It eases one of Dave's fears.
Still, they try not to talk about home.
Judy Fabray sits vigil at Quinn's bedside for the first couple of weeks. They don't talk much about the reality of their new situation. Instead, they mostly talk about the mundane. Quinn uses the common avoidance for optimism. If it isn't big enough to worry about, then she should be more than capable of walking again for Yale.
Other than his dad, Karofsky doesn't get many visitors. He's short on friends at the moment so it's not too much of a disappointment since he doesn't expect otherwise. But one day, Santana Lopez drops by with Brittany. By now he's heard about Quinn Fabray's accident so they probably only came to see him since they were in the same building. Still, he appreciates it, and they continue to come by every couple of days just to talk.
It's easy unlike with everyone else. Santana tries to understand but doesn't ever get emotional, and Brittany can't actually understand so she looks at him like he's still a normal person.
Quinn gets visits from all of New Directions. Sometimes in pairs. Sometimes alone. Other times as an entire group. When as a group they sing of course. The God Squad comes by as well. They pray together.
It's all a nice distraction.
Kurt continues to visit him only now he tends to come with his boyfriend. Honestly, Karofsky kind of forgot Blaine even existed. It's difficult seeing them together. At first he thought it would be because it was a reminder that Kurt had no desire to be anything other than friends, but it turns out to be more because it hurts to see a happy and out couple in front of him. He doesn't have that, probably won't have it for a while, and doesn't even know how to go about getting it in the first place.
They're helpful in trying to find him a new school to attend, though. Blaine tries to talk up Dalton Academy as a school full of acceptance with a no-tolerance policy for bullying. It almost sounds perfect until Kurt reminds them all that Sebastian Smythe still goes there, and one Regionals turnaround wasn't enough to guarantee any actual changes.
The few times Rachel and Finn visit Quinn, it's always together. It was probably necessary seeing as how guilty the couple obviously felt. Quinn forgives them during their first visit after she finds out how they in fact did not get married due to her accident and have now pushed the wedding back to May as originally planned. They're thinking of maybe combining it with Nationals (despite how combining it with Regionals turned out).
It hurts. She doesn't understand why since it was driving to their wedding that led her here which means none of this should be a surprise, but she doesn't think too much of it. Instead, Quinn focuses on how Rachel's now the one with tears in her eyes basically every time they have a conversation.
In a brief moment, she's selfishly thankful for this shift in their relationship.
His dad eventually coaxes his mom to go see him again. Karofsky initially hoped this meant they came to an agreement, and he could finally go home. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. His mother couldn't look at him. Stand to be in the same room as him. There were tears and yelling and apologies until his dad was telling him he had nothing to apologize for. It was his mother who was wrong. Then his parents were yelling at each other, and the agreement they were finally coming to was a marital separation. His mother would be moving in with his aunt unless she changed her opinions.
He'd say he never felt so guilty in his life, but threatening Kurt's life seemed to trump this. He's scheduled for more therapy sessions after this visit.
Quinn has a father. And other than a couple of exchanges when her mother was divorcing him, she hasn't actually seen him or talked to him since he was throwing her out of their house. So his visit is unexpected.
Russell and Judy don't say much of anything to each other while he's there. Actually, nothing much is said at all. There's no catching up or talk of college or simple 'get well soons' or even their normal family icebreaker about what her sister has done with her life recently. The only thing that is said is his offer to bring in an orthopedic specialist and plastic surgeon for the healing gash on her forehead. It's all vaguely familiar, and really, Quinn doesn't even understand why he's there which is horrible considering it should be normal for a parent to check on their child when they're in a hospital after almost dying.
She still takes him up on the offer, though.
A much more shocking visitor came in the form of Sue Sylvester. She had sent him a boutique of flowers his first day in here. She claims it's all out of guilt and hormones. She explains the guilt is from knowing something was wrong last year and doing nothing about it or nothing to help him. She offers to help him now if he may need it. Karofsky has no idea how that would even work.
She doesn't, however, explain the hormones.
Sue finds the time to visit her once head cheerio as well. It's the least composed Quinn has ever seen the woman, and Sue curses her pregnancy several times throughout the visit. It's the first thing to make Quinn laugh since being here. Sue Sylvester is someone who should really consider being pregnant more often.
Given the turn of events, she offers Quinn a co-coaching position to replace her recently reacquired spot with the Cheerios. On a normal day, Quinn knows that this is the very last thing her former coach would ever want. So she declines to Sue's obvious relief. Quinn has too much else to be focusing on anyway.
He's been reading older textbooks available at the hospital. He doesn't have any defined school work or tests to study and make up for. Karofsky technically hadn't been enrolled in school the last couple of weeks so he technically wasn't missing anything. But he wanted to have some knowledge of what was going on in his classes. He had a reason to now.
Karofsky's dad finally finds him a new school to transfer to. It took a while because of district lines. But this new school seemed to take his situation into account and made some exceptions. Things were looking up. Now all he had to do was meet with one of the school's guidance counselors.
She has a mountain of school work to catch up on, and every day more is added to it. The workload is eased a little when she's given three weeks of excused work. Anything that was assigned during that time period does not count against her grade. She's smart, but it feels like too much. And when she gets back she'll be acquiring current assignments and tests on top of it.
Quinn figures, in the end, it will probably help prepare her for getting an Ivy League education better than anything else possibly could.
He has no idea what to expect. He has no idea how open-minded and accepting this new school will be, but he continues to remind himself of Kurt's advice. He doesn't need their acceptance to be happy and comfortable. Easier said than done, though, and the positive thinking does nothing to ease Karofsky's nerves of transferring. He still wonders if this school will assume he's a coward who's once again running away from a difficult situation or if he can expect any more spray paint on his locker.
Either way, it should be stated that it is a bit freeing to actually be out and to no longer feel the pressure to hide anything about himself. One bright side to having everyone know his business.
Quinn prepares to return home and then to school with Artie's help. He's already helped her get accustomed to her wheelchair, and now he's given her the rundown on ramps, entrances, pathways, and how to take the most advantage of their extra five minute pass. She's nervous until they talk possible glee performances.
He's been a lifesaver, really.
Dave leaves the hospital weeks before Quinn does. His dad tries to fill the silence and space now that his mom is gone. It mostly works until Dave needs to go unpack. Being back in his room immediately takes him back to that day. He had thought his therapy had been doing a pretty great job at helping him push forward and move along. He has been nothing but thankful and happy that he didn't succeed in taking his own life. He's even looking ahead to everything he wants out of the future now. But his room and closet and hanging airplanes have all been tainted as painful reminders.
Karofsky wonders if it'd be too much trouble to convert the basement into a new bedroom. Or maybe just move completely.
He can't be in this room.
Quinn finally returns home to nothing but more adjustments. She's grateful to be home and free of hospital food and regulations, but it's demanding. Her bedroom has been moved to the now converted study on the first floor since she can't get upstairs yet.
It's not the same. It's not her closet or her window or her view. There are no trophies or bookshelves or photos or mirrors. The temperature isn't even the same.
Quinn misses her room.