(2019-01-27) Stubborn Reality
Vic comes back to the hospital after being discharged to find Calvin being stubborn. They have a deep talk about the future and their options.
Players:
calvin..vic..

Sunday afternoon. It's been just over a week since that night. Vic was discharged Friday afternoon. A little early, her OB protested but they were outvoted. Insurance. It's not like much has changed, Vic left only to grab some important items, shower and change. She was back before the shift change.

As for Calvin, he was moved to a private room on a different floor. The same floor as the rehabilitation center. Funny that. He's been well enough to get out of bed with much assistance. He's still weak and have one hell of a back brace on. He's almost proud of it. First was the recliner but today, was supposed to be wheelchair day. Someone had a total meltdown and that chair sits out of sight in the hallway. Calvin requested his Electric-Acoustic guitar mid-week and his best set of headphones, so he's been occupying his time with songwriting, blocking out the world for a while.

The new room is smaller and private. It faces the sun as it sets. It has the whole room bathed in orange as Calvin sings softly to the song he's working on. Vic knows this song. It's about Dex but he's been stumbling on the hook.

*

Vic was not happy about being discharged on Friday. She's not happy about much because so very much has been completely out of her control, and that's not something the former cop is ok with. She is triply unhappy about being discharged, since Calvin certainly wasn't. She wants to be home, in her own bed, with her fianc? beside her and the ever-present threat of her assistant popping in on them. Like a normal Sunday. Coming back here, she's nervous. She's worried about Calvin, and his mental state, and his being drugged up so much after being sober for so long. She's worried about his obstinance with regard to the doctors and nurses. She's worried about the twins, and what her own medicated state might have done to the fetuses. She made them take her off the meds two days early, because her pain was manageable.

Vic eyes the wheelchair in the hallway, and further down, napping, her parents on a couch. They stayed nearby just in case of any news while she was home changing and getting her things. If they try to kick any of them out because of some arbitrary visiting hours, well, they can try to get Walt Carmichael to back down, and even then, they have to get through Lucy, who worked here her entire career. That ain't happening.

The pregnant PI steps into the room and gives Calvin a looking over while he's lost in his songwriting, just stealing herself a moment in time to watch him doing what he lives for, bathed in the setting sun. He's beautiful, even broken as he is, to her eyes. There is so much in him that makes her live, she just needs for him to see that for himself. "Hey," she greets.

*

Calvin doesn't hear her, at first, as his is very focused on his writing. When he stops to jot something down, he beams. "Hey, beautiful." He slips off the headphones and leans on the guitar. "How are you feeling?" Notably, his morphine pump is gone but given his cheerfulness, they probably switched something every few hours. "I talked to someonewell, it was the fucking Chief. Star fucker. Point is, I gave a modest list of people who are allowed here outside of visiting hours. It's just you, our folks, Wren, and Grant. Had to be small. Small wing. You get little arm bracelets. There are on the table over there for your folks." He gestures. "Oh, and they, want to transfer me tonight or crack of dawn to motherfucking Denver! For like, like…six week?!" He explodes with rage. "They just dropped that on me when I have the wheelchair tantrum. 'Mister Shay, you will be leaving us soon and it'd be nice if', well I cut her ass off there and found out the rest. It's almost too early to move me but the center in Denver is attached to a hospital so…fuck…" He just deflates and lays back.

*

Vic listens as she moves over to the table with the bracelets, putting on her own and gathering up the ones for her folks. She isn't going to wake them. They're too damned cute napping together like that, with Walt's arm still in a sling. "The place in Denver, is it more advanced than what they have here?" she asks, perfunctorily. She's not getting on him about his tantrum yet, not until she has all the information. She crosses back to his bed and slides herself up onto it to sit. "Truth." She doesn't want to hear his opinion on it, just the facts. That's a cop for you.

One hand reaches to smooth some of his unruly hair back from his face, tucking it behind one ear as her thumb smooths over his cheekbone lightly. "I'm pretty sure the Chief has a name that isn't Starfucker," she adds, with a faint smile.

*

"No, you're right. It's Dick Rider." He scoots over for Vic, an act he has mastered with hint of pride. "Truth? It's the one of the top centers in the fucking country. Part of a larger network of research hospitals and rehab center that devote everything to making a person with…" Mm. He hesitates. "An injury like mine would be very well-suited for it. With a focus of getting me walking again and being able to function in the meantime, I probably won't walk out of there but it's a great start. Truth. Just facts." He waits a beat.

"Grant, my mom and dad are currently trying to put together something…private. A team of specialists who can work with me out of the home. My uncle's a contractor and he's done work on accessible homes. They started work Thursday on ramps and stair lifts. So, that's the flip side."

*

Vic listens, curling up beside him, grateful she can still do that since she's not even showing yet. "Why not both?" she asks. "We go to Denver for a bit, get things started, while the team for home is put together. Then you come home and continue there," she suggests. "It's not forever, Calvin, just for a little bit. You were going to tour, you'd have been gone that much from here for that. Look at it that way?" she offers, glancing over at what he was writing.

*

The song's title is Elysian Fields. It's part of a trilogy of songs about Dex and losing him. One's recorded and the other two are in this phase. Writing and composing. He doesn't hide his work from her…usually. He has one secret song. It's clearly /her/ song but he holds onto it like it's made of gold.

The mention of the tour changes his demeanor and his breathe hitches. "Touring's different than sitting around with other cripples for six weeks." He says, quietly. "Or four or three or…whatever. I'm still going to need outpatient care so…someone's coming into the home. I have an album to work. You are pregnant! We gotta get married before you show. And twins know how to pop." He says, as if Donna hasn't told Vic allll about her pregnancy. In gory detail.

*

"Calvin, the ONLY thing I need in my life is you. Everything else is a bonus," Vic says softly, looking him in those blue eyes that still take her breath away with their intensity. "And some of the best people I know are in wheelchairs." She was a cop. There are so many former cops who were paralyzed in the line of duty. "They meet for poker once a month. I think maybe, maybe you might want to play with them. They've all been through what you're going through right now. Some of them walked again, some didn't. But they have that group of people who understand what no one else can. What only people who have been there can. Plus they were all cops and firefighters, so they won't have any interest in talking about you to the paparazzi, and won't give a rats ass you are a superstar."

*

Calvin sighs and rubs his face. "My incident is considered a domestic dispute. No heroics. No greater calling. No line of duty. My jealous ex tried to kill us." Beat. "I'm a terrible poker player. No bluffing skills but…support systems are important. You can's bear my burden alone. I can't ask you to. I'm running out of time. We need to marry on paper soon. Follow up with a ceremony of sorts..or just a party. No dancing allowed." He smiles a little. "You have the best idea. Denver until my home team is solid and vetted. I know that the more I fight it, the worse it gets. I've lost muscle in my legs already, it's crazy. And this back brace makes it all so much harder. So. Denver. I'll text Grant. Maybe we can rent some studio space, lay down some tracks. Keep working I want to work. Two things are going to happen this year. I'm releasing my double album and I am playing South By South West and Austin City Limits. Wheelchair be damned." He chuckles a little. "They are measuring me for a sleek chair. Titanium. Ultralight. Custom."

Calvin looks down and tears up. "Why am I so excited by that? I had a fucking fit when they brought me the starter in the hall. Ain't sat in one yet. I'm scared."

*

"If I can shoot two watermelon-headed babies out of my cooch, you sure as hell can sit in a goddamned wheelchair, Calvin Shay," Vic points out with a smirk. "We both get to be scared about things we've never done before and didn't think we'd ever do. But at the end of the day, we have each other and that will get us where we need to go."

*

Calvin pulls her in, sniffling. "We have done neither, to be technical. And twins are small and you are so old they are going to take them by c-section because your old, dusty uterus will fall out or something." He teases, gently. "They want to get me to Denver before the snow hits. I'm stable enough. Borderline, really. If I delay, I could miss my window of recovery. There isn't much choice is there? Fuck." He sighs and falls quiet. He's got his mind on something but he does spit it out. "What if I don't recover?"

*

Vic laughs wryly at the comments about her dusty uterus and faux slaps him in the chest for that, as light as a bird. "But they're your babies so they'll stubbornly refuse to come out until they're fully cooked, and I'll be 112 weeks pregnant before they make their grand entrance." Then she quiets for the rest of his words and lays her head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. "You're still Calvin Shay. The man I love, a singer and songwriter and the father of my children. Working legs are just a bonus," she points out, echoing her earlier comment.

*

Calvin's lip wobbles but he suddenly laughs instead. "You say that now, but you have no idea if my manhood is online. Whatcha gonna do about that?" He teases again. It's more half hearted but it comes with a close hug. "Somewhere, deep inside, I know whatever happens will be fine in the end." He whispers. "I'm scared. It's like the world is rushing towards me, faster and faster. Like, I just wanted to work on the album. Now, it's all derailed." He pauses and takes a breath. "Wedding. We gotta do it. Ideas. Go!"

*

In regards to his manhood she points out, "Your hands and mouth still work, clearly. Anything else? That's what batteries are for." Vic winks and leans up to kiss his scruffy cheek. "Wedding, at the ranch, after Denver, just family and close friends, more of a small party than anything. We can get a preacher or justice of the peace in Denver to do the official sort of stuff if you want that done yesterday."

*

"Oh, I see now. You got my seed and now you're through. Bitches ain't shit." Calvin grins. "Your plan is a good one. We'll go to the courthouse in Denver, no fuss. Just business." He pauses and looks at her with those soft, sweet eyes. "And I will come home and…my place is best. It'll be modified. It's still fucking winter. We'll clear the music room for a ceremony and party like the sober cripple and old pregnant lady we are."

*

"If we do that, we'll be in bed by eight. We'll have to serve dinner at four," Vic quips quietly, with a chuckle, just holding on to him with her head still on his chest. "It'll be just right. But your other ex-wife is NOT invited. Just to be safe, ok?"

*

"Faith?" Calvin grunts. "She called my folks after she heard. She filed for divorce after my meltdown and went to rehab. I was exactly 24 days sober, white knuckles still, when I was served. Faith is a peach." He says dryly. "Not crazy. Just liked to party. But Lydia's coming and that's the end of that one." A moment passes as he nuzzles her hair. "We had an annulment due to fraud. She didn't tell me when she talked me into marrying her that I was just going to be her beard for a while. She thought she was a lesbian. She's Bi but…I was heartbroken at the time. Annulled."

*

"Is that why she looks at me so funny? She wants to get into my pants?" Vic asks, tilting her head back to look at him with a small smile. "At the rate we're going, Evan's ghost will show up at the ceremony and yell at us during the 'speak now or forever hold your peace' bit." She snorts.

*

Calvin looks at Vic, squinting. "Mm. Probably. But only because she's jealous that I get the best ones." He kisses into her hair. "This is better than twin hospital beds, I'll say that. I didn't like being miles from you like that." Calvin is a cuddle bug, as it turns out. His mother was the first to crawl into bed with him at his request. "I wanted to check in with you…about Evan. It doesn't really matter how long ago it was. It had you in ruins for a long time. I worry. We have a long, hard road ahead of us and…" He trails off, shaking his head.

*

"Me either," Vic admits in regards to the twin beds that had separated them for a week. "I think I went without any touch of the romantic or even affectionate sort for so long, now that I've got that from you, I'm addicted. Plus, you're one hell of a cuddler, Calvin," she adds. She lets out a breath about Evan. "He was a good man, and he loved me. He is probably in heaven or whatever shouting at me for waiting so long to find love again. He wouldn't ever have wanted me to be alone. He never would have wanted me to waste away for him. He'd be happy for us, and frustrated it took me so long to get here." She smiles at the memory of him. He's innate goodness and love was what devastated her so epically when he was killed.

*

Calvin listens and leans on Vic. "I don't hang to regrets. Well, one…but I have been absolved." He starts slowly. "I only cared about two things for a long time. My career and Dex. My moon and stars, right there. Three years this spring, Dex died and I thought my career was gone too. I feel like I knew Dex better than myself and as my manager, he'd be livid. As my brother…it would have never happened. The meltdown. It was what happened when he wasn't there and I was hurting. Dex knew how to bundle me up, mentally, and control my sensitive, artistic nature. I was a raw nerve. We are going to have a life together in their memory. For Evan. For Dex. Who only wanted us to be happy…and when we failed apart, something pulled us together."

*

"I like to think their spirits had something to do with it," Vic admits. "The two people we loved the most and lost, helping us find our way to each other." She pauses and then adds, "Shit we should tell Grant that one, he'll sell that shit so hard to the press." She chuckles.

*

Calvin barks out a laugh. "Oh, man. Grant hired a whole fucking firm to handle this. He's flown out to L.A. and after the meeting, we had to talk and talk about our strategy." He pauses. "Oh, by the way, you think Grant is an optics guy? Dex Shay had a firm hand on my image too. Grant is just…not my brother and is wound extra tight. So, the publicity since this shooting has been crazy. The gun folks, locals, domestic violence advocates…they are all talking. He think I need to open up soon. Like, the second I am settled in Denver. He wants you, Wren, Mom, Dad, your folks." He pauses. "I forgot the—the main part. He wants to film a documentary. We have some footage from some recording sessions. The restaurant has a tape of the shooting. I think they haven't leaked it because we're hometown kids. He wants to get started when I start rehab and end it with South By South West, which is the only booking I haven't canceled. Seriously, text him that angle. He'll write it down."

"Because…I'm thinking about doing it. The doc. I'm writing something too. Something that'll earn me a Tony. EGOT, baby."

*

"A documentary might be good therapy for all of us. Force us to face what we've been through head on, work our way through it," Vic admits, though she wrinkles her nose a little. "Because I'm not going to lie, I'm having nightmares. I'm looking over my shoulder and around corners all day. Therapy is not the worst idea, even If it's our version of it."

*

Calvin nods, agreeing. "This place in Denver is full fucking service. Caregiver classes and support. Substance abuse groups. Group and single /and/ couples therapy on referral. Special PTSD treatments." He pauses. "I'm not sleeping still. I can close my eyes and the second it's quiet and still I hear the gunshots and I'm awake. They drug the shit out of me at night." He exhales. "I'll give Grant the go-ahead. He really wants to be able to release it for South By South West, next year, and wants to give the job to an up and comer. I know he's got a short list so…I'll see about Wren. She's growing and blooming before my eyes but…we'll see how she feels about being on camera. Whatever happens, it's a net gain. Just gotta get my credit in there…a second Oscar is looking mighty fine."

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