Free at Last Ch. 02

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Nikolai woke up and felt the tight feeling in his arms. He looked down to see his arms in stitches. He sighed and tried to move his hands again. The same result occurred and Nikolai sighed. He was beginning to think he would never get the use of his hands back.

“Hi, Nikolai.” He heard from the doorway. He turned and looked to see the ever so beautiful Clark standing at the door.

“To what do I owe the pleasure of having a fine young man such as yourself at my door?” Nikolai rolled his eyes, he was feeling bitter today. Clark seemed to flinch but didn’t seem to hurt by Nikolai’s remark.

“I heard you were getting surgery the other day and wanted to stop by to see how you were doing.” Clark shrugged. Nikolai stared him down, eyes slightly squinted.

“Why?” He asked. Clark seemed taken aback by this and searched for an answer.

“Well… I consider us friends.” Clark said. Nikolai raised an eyebrow and thought about Clark’s answer. He eventually just shrugged.

“Where’s Ana?” Nikolai asked.

“She’s not feeling to well today.” Clark said. There was a shadow in his eyes that showed the pain he was going through.

“She’ll be fine.” Nikolai said. Clark suddenly burst into laughter.

“What?” Nikolai asked.

“That’s the first truly nice thing you’ve ever said around me.” Clark smiled, he walked inside and sat on the chair near Nikolai’s bed.

“So, I didn’t know you spoke Russian.” Clark said.

“My name is Russian. I thought it would be cool to at least speak the language.” He shrugged.

“I never learned how to speak a foreign language. I bet it’s cool.” Clark chuckled. Nikolai shrugged again.

“Do they hurt?” Clark asked, Nikolai saw he was looking at his arms. He turned his arms so they were palm down.

“Don’t make me go all Geico on you.” Nikolai said.

“What?”

“Come on, you’ve seen the commercials.” Nikolai said. When Clark stared at him blankly he sighed.

“You know, can you really save 15% on your car insurance by switching to Geico? And then guy says something stupid followed by a literal clip of what he just said. Like do woodchuck’s chuck wood, and is shows the woodchucks throwing wood into a lake. Or does the buck stop here and the buck just stops walking right behind him. Or does it take two to tango and it shows three people trying to tango and it just looks awkward. Or… what?” During his whole speech Clark was slowly laughing more and more until he couldn’t contain himself anymore.

“You couldn’t have just said yes?” Clark laughed. Nikolai looked down and a smile slowly spread across his face until he was really laughing for the first time in a long time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Can you tell me what happened?” Henstridge asked.

“Why, it doesn’t matter.” Nikolai said.

“Yes it does.” Henstridge pushed.

“Does it? Does it matter if it was one guy or two guys or a girl, or a fucking Popsicle stick. Does it matter what happened? Just that it did…” Nikolai snapped.

“Yes, it does.” Henstridge repeated. Nikolai sighed and rubbed his forehead.

“Why?” He whined.

“Because, if you cant even talk about what happened to you…”

“I cant do this. Someone get me out of here, please?” Nikolai shouted. A nurse cam in and began wheeling him out of the room.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.” Henstridge called out. Even down the hallway she could hear Nikolai groan. She chuckled to herself as she got ready for her next patient.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Hi, Nikky.” Ana sat down on his bed. He sighed.

“Hello, Ana.” He grumbled, though she seemed unphased by his grouchiness.

“Hi, Nikky.” Clark came bouncing into the room exactly like Ana had, sitting on Nikolai’s bed. Nikolai rolled his eyes and glared at Clark, who just giggled.

“What are you doing here? shouldn’t you be working or something?” Nikolai asked.

“I took the day off, it’s Ana’s birthday tomorrow.” Clark smiled.

“Happy Birthday, Midget.” Nikolai smiled down at the young girl.

“She wanted to come see you.” Clark had an apologetic look on his face. Nikolai nodded that it was okay and turned to Ana.

“I wanted you to come out for my birthday with us.” Nikolai raised his eyebrows and looked at Clark, who rubbed his neck while looking at his shoes.

“Don’t you want to spend the day with your dad? Just the two of you?” Nikolai asked.

“No! I want you to come.” Ana played with his hand.

“I don’t think I can, Ana.”

“Why not?” The small girl questioned.

“I’m allowed to leave.” Nikolai shrugged.

“But its only for a day.”

“I still don’t think I can leave, Ana. I’m sorry.” Nikolai apologized

“But it’s my birthday…” Ana was almost crying now. Nikolai felt his heart ache for something other then his own pain for once.

“Ana I’m sure Nikolai has other-“

“I’ll see what I can do, Midget.” Nikolai said. Clark looked up at him and they shared a glance before they turned back to Ana who was singing happily.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I need to leave tomorrow.” Nikolai told Henstridge. She looked up from her clipboard and stared Ankara bayan escort at him for a long moment.

“Why?” She asked. Nikolai fidgeted.

“It’s Ana’s birthday.” Nikolai muttered.

“Let me get this straight…” Henstridge had a smile on her face. “You want to leave the hospital… WHILE you’re on suicide watch, to go to a little girl’s birthday party.” Henstridge nodded her head.

“She has cancer. Are you going to deny a little girl with cancer her one and only gay depressed Russian? That’s just cruel.” Nikolai said.

“Doesnt she have another one that can come to her birthday?” Henstridge joked.

“I’m the one and only.” Nikolai said.

“I’ll see what I can do.” Henstridge said, making a note on her clipboard.

“Wait what? You’re seriously considering this?” Nikolai expected a flat no.

“Yes, I think it’s good that you’re caring about something. It shows that there’s still something left alive in there.” Henstridge nodded her head at Nikolai’s chest.

“Don’t get all shrinky on me. We were having a nice moment.” Nikolai glared at her.

“I’m sorry.” She laughed.

“No! It’s to late, It’s ruined.” Nikolai shrugged. “Oh orderly!” He called in a high voice. The orderly came in and began wheeling him out.

“Wait, you’re really going to leave before we even start talking about anything?” Henstridge asked.

“Ta ta!” Nikolai waived over his shoulder.

“Hold on just a second.” Henstridge chased after the orderly. She followed them down the hallway, trying to keep pace with the orderlies long steps.

“If I get you permission to leave tomorrow, I want two things in return.” Henstridge said.

“And what’s that?” Nikolai continued looking forward.

“I want you to promise you will come back.”

“Okay.”

“And I want you to stay for a full two hour session.”

“Hmm.” Nikolai thought about this.

“That’s it?” He asked.

“That’s it.” Henstridge nodded.

“Okay.”

“Really?” Henstridge stopped walking.

“Really really.” Nikolai called out as he was pushed into his room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“How did you do it?” The nurse asked.

“Do what?” Nikolai blinked innocently.

“How did you get the ‘okay’ to leave for the day?” The nurse buttoned his shirt for him.

“I have the bestest shrink in the world! Which isn’t really saying much. That’s like saying you have the best hermit crab in the world. No one cares.” He shrugged. The nurse tried not to giggle but couldn’t stop herself.

“You know, if you put as much energy into getting better as you do into being an asshole, you would be out of here by now.” The nurse said.

“But being an asshole is so much more fun.” Nikolai smiled. The nurse bent down to tie his shoes and when she was done, checked his bandages one more time.

“Now, no putting stress on your arms. Not even lifting up a drink, not that you would be able to. If you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded then come back. And if-“

“I know mom. If any of the other boys pick on me I’ll find an adult. And don’t get into the van with any strange men, look both ways before crossing the street, and never eat yellow snow.” Nikolai looked at the nurse who scowled and straightened his jacket.

“You need to be back by eight.” The nurse said.

“Yeah yeah yeah.” Nikolai rolled his shoulders, enjoying the freedom. He took a few more practice steps around the room and was doing well when Clark walked in.

“We just wanted to say goodbye before we head… Hey look at you go.” Clark smiled.

“Nikky!” Ana hugged his legs, nearly knocking Nikolai over.

“Happy Birthday, Midget.” Nikolai smiled.

“Glad you could come.” Clark smiled.

“Me too.” Nikolai looked away to hide the blush on his cheeks and saw the nurse smiling while she folded his hospital gown.

“What.” He snapped.

“Oh, Nothing.” She rolled her eyes and walked out of the room. “Have fun.” She called out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Oh my god! This is beautiful!” Nikolai shouted.

“It’s just pizza.” Clark laughed. Nikolai grew serious and looked at him with intense eyes.

“Have you ever had hospital food, Clark? Ask Ana. Ana, is this not the best food you’ve ever tasted?”

“Mhm.” Ana nodded her head with a mouthful of pizza.

“We gotta get you two out of that place more often.” Clark laughed.

“Quiet you! You don’t know our own personal hell.” Nikolai said with much remourse, holding Ana to his chest who was giggling.

“Why don’t you go play, hon?” Clark pointed to the play area.

“Mkay.” Ana said and ran off to play with the other children who inhabited the ball pit.

“So I see you’re getting use of your hands back.” Clark pointed to Nikolai’s right arm.

“Yeah. Just the right one, but it’s better then nothing.” Nikolai laughed.

“So spill.” Clark smiled, putting down the piece of cardboard pizza.

“What?”

“How did you get your shrink to let you out for the day?” Clark asked. Nikolai blushed.

“I had to promise her I would come back.” Nikolai laughed.

“And?”

“And what?”

“She Escort bayan Ankara doesn’t get anything out of that, there has to be more.” Clark smiled. Nikolai sighed.

“I promised her a full two hour session.”

“Oh you mean you’re going to stay the whole time?” Clark laughed.

“Yes.” Nikolai groaned.

“Come on it cant be that bad. She’s trying to help you.”

“You don’t know her. She’s just so…” Nikolai searched for the word. “Perky.” He growled.

“Misery loves company, right?” Clark smiled as he sipped his soda.

“I guess.” Nikolai shrugged.

“No one wants to be alone. Especially when they’re miserable.” Clark said seriously. The two men shared a look and Nikolai felt his heart surge. The sensation was strange to him. He forced the feelings down and took a sip of his soda through a straw.

“So, I start physical therapy tomorrow.” Nikolai said.

“Nice, are you excited?” Clark smiled.

“Nervous. It’s not supposed to be fun.” Nikolai grimaced.

“Yeah, back in highschool I jacked up my leg really bad in a motorcycle accident. I had to do physical therapy for awhile. Definitly not something to laugh at.”

“I didn’t know you rode a motorcycle.” Nikolai laughed.

“I used to, until my accident.” Clark shrugged.

“Did you like it?”

“I loved it. But after the crash…” Clark shrugged again.

“You cant let something like that ruin something that you love to do.”

“I don’t know. It just never happened again. I had Ana a few years after that and I hung up the leather and never looked back I guess.”

“It’s a shame. I bet you look hot in leather.” Nikolai enjoyed the blush that crossed Clark’s cheeks.

“So what about you. Besides her being perky, how is the therapy working?” Clark asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

“Are they putting you on any meds for the depression?” Clark asked. Nikolai looked up and smiled.

“Not very shy are you?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-“

“No, it’s fine. Most people don’t like talking about it. They get all awkward and fidgity.” Nikolai shrugged. ” They have me on a whole cocktail of meds.”

“And?”

“I guess they’re working. I feel… I don’t know…” Nikolai shrugged.

“Give it awhile. You’ve only been at the hospital for a month right? It’s got to take longer for them to work, right?” Clark said.

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Why did you do it?” Clark asked frankly.

“That’s going to far.” Nikolai answered honestly.

“I’m sorry.” There was an awkward silence for a moment before Nikolai spoke.

“Let’s just sum it up to boyfriend troubles.” Nikolai sighed.

“I see. Relationships are tough. But…” He paused and looked at Nikolai. “You cant let something like that ruin something you love to do.” He smiled.

“What is it ruining that I love so much?” Nikolai smirked.

“Living.” Clark said. Nikolai had no reply for that. The silence that came this time was not one of awkwardness but of thought.

“How do you know I love living?”

“I can see it in your eyes. Not now. But some other time, you loved life. You loved the beauty of it. The sounds, sights, smells. You loved people. I don’t see that anymore. But you can find it again. I’m sure.” Clark said.

“How do you do that?” Nikolai asked.

“Do what?”

“See me.” Nikolai said.

“I just do.” Clark said.

“Nikky!” Ana called out.

“Have fun, Midget?” Nikolai smiled.

“Yeah. Can we go home now?” Ana asked.

“Sure, we got presents.” Clark smiled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nikolai looked around the clean home and could easily picture Clark and Ana living there.

“Presents presents!” Ana bounced around the room.

“Okay okay okay.” Clark laughed and tried to walk around the excited little girl.

“Present number one!” Nikolai said as Clark handed Ana her first present.

They spent the next hour eating cake and opening presents until Ana couldn’t handle anymore birthday fun.

“Thanks for coming.” Clark said, as he helped Nikolai slip on his jacket.

“It was fun.” Nikolai smiled.

“Maybe you don’t need so much company if you’re not to miserable.” Clark smiled against Nikolai’s ear.

“A little girl and a studly guy should do it.” he nodded. Clark chuckled against his ear and Nikolai felt a shiver go up his spine.

‘What am I doing?’ He thought to himself. Nikolai and Clark spent the next hour drinking beer and talking about their lives until Clark looked at the clock.

“It’s time I take you two back to the hospital.” Clark scooped up Ana and began walking outside to his truck. He let Nikolai get in first and put Ana onto his lap.

“So do you really think the full therapy session is going to be that bad?” Clark asked once they were on the road.

“Yes.” Nikolai grumbled.

“Come on, Nikolai.” Clark smiled. Nikolai felt his heart speed up when Clark said his name. It sounded the way melted chocolate tasted.

“If you were a kind man you would drive me far far away from here.” Nikolai pouted.

“I guess I’m Bayan escort Ankara kind of cruel for wanting you to get better then.” Clark didn’t take his eyes off the road.

“Just a little.”

“It wont be so bad. Just open up, it will make things better for both of you.”

“Make things better in the way that it’ll be worse.” Nikolai nodded.

“Do you want to be miserable all of your life?” Clark glanced at him. Nikolai looked uncomfortable. He paused before answering.

“No.” He said quietly.

“Then open up.” Clark said as he got out of the car. He scooped Ana up and waited for Nikolai to climb out before closing the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“This is going to suck.” Nikolai stared at Henstridge.

“It doesn’t have to.” She smiled.

“Why did I agree to this?” Nikolai frowned, looking down at his lap.

“Because you do have a heart, and you care about Ana.” Henstridge said.

“False.” Nikolai frowned. Henstridge chuckled.

“A full two hour session doesn’t mean an hour and fifty-nine minutes of awkward silence and a minute of you being wheeled out of the room.” Henstridge said after a moment of silence.

“Okay fine. Go ahead.”

“What?”

“Do your shrinky thingy.” Nikolai waved a limp hand.

“It takes more then one person to do my ‘shrinky thingy'” Henstridge smiled.

“Okay, what do I have to do.”

“Open up.” Henstridge gestured. Clarks voice popped into his head.

‘Then open up.’

“Well I cant open up if we don’t have a topic to open up to.” Nikolai snapped.

“How about the rape?” Henstridge got serious.

“Ugh, could we start with something less awful?” Nikolai whined.

“How about your ex?”

“Okay.” Nikolai sighed.

“So basicly, he broke up with you because you were raped?” Henstridge asked.

“Yeah.”

“Care to elaborate?” Henstridge urged him on.

“I was a virgin when we met. He was my first.” Nikolai said quietly.

“Was he?”

“No.” Nikolai laughed. “He had been with a ton of guys. After he left I realized he was their first too.”

“So he had a thing for virgin guys?”

“I guess. When I was… after I was attacked the guy just left me on the street. I managed to get home and he was there. I told him what happened, I asked him to help me…” Nikolai felt tears coming to his eyes.

“What happened next, Nikolai?”

“He wouldn’t touch me. He was trying to pretend he was okay, but he wouldn’t even help me up off the floor. I asked him for help… and he just stared at me like I was disgusting.” Nikolai couldn’t stop the tears from falling this time and he felt the warm liquid trail down his face.

“Because you had been with someone else, he didn’t love you anymore.” Henstridge said.

“I don’t know if he ever loved me.”Nikolai sighed. “I was an idiot.”

“No, Nikolai. You weren’t an idiot. Everyone is looking for love and you thought you had found it. He let you down when you needed him most.” Henstridge said.

“I don’t need a man to make me happy. I was stupid to rely on him so much.” Nikolai said.

“You’re not stupid for needing someone. We all need someone at some time in our life.”

“Yeah? And who do you need?”

“This isn’t about me.”

“Come on tell me.”

“I’m married, my husbands a wonderful man. But we’re getting off topic.” Henstridge said. Nikolai nodded his head.

“Who can I rely on now, then?” He asked.

“You have Ana, and Clark. And I’m always here when you need me.” Henstridge said.

“Great, the only people I have in the world is a dying little girl, my shrink, and a drop dead sexy man who would never want someone who’s damaged goods.” Nikolai spat.

“Just because your ex was an asshole doesn’t mean that every guy who you’re interested in is.” Henstridge said.

“We met in the hospital. The hospital that his sick daughter is at and I’m in here for trying to kill myself.” Nikolai said like Henstridge was an idiot.

“That doesn’t mean you cant be loved.”

“Who would want to love me? I cant even use my fucking hands!” Nikolai nodded down at his arms.

“That can be fixed. You have physical therapy after this.” Henstridge smiled. Nikolai groaned.

“Why do you hate me?” He preteneded to cry.

“We got off subject.”

“It’s to late, we cant go back. You let me wander and now I’m done opening up.” Nikolai spat.

“Truthfully, it was more then I hoped for.” Henstridge laughed.

“CAREFUL!” Nikolai shouted. “I thought I saw a sliver of personality. Need to watch yourself now.”

“Okay, we’re done here.” Henstridge shut the notebook she had been keeping notes in, trying to hide a smile.

“Aw but we were just having fun, Henstridge!”

“Don’t call me that.”

“I told you that first day, it’s to late. You have been named!”

“Well I don’t like that name, change it.”

“Havent you ever read the bible henstridge? She who is named by suicide patient shall keep thy name until the end of days.” Nikolai said.

“I’m fairly certain the bible NEVER said that.” Henstridge got up, and began pushing his wheelchair out the door.

“You need to double check that.” Nikolai said.

“I’ll get on that.”

“Wait, where are we going?” Nikolai asked when they turned away from his room.

“I told you, you have Physical therapy.” Henstridge said.

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