(2019-01-21) Waking Up Is Hard To Do
Vic and Calvin wake up in the hospital two days after they are shot by Calvin's ex. They get news of their conditions, both good and bad.
Players:
calvin..vic..

It was finally quiet. It seemed like a stream of endless noise from the moment Astrid walked into Troy's Steakhouse with ill intent. Screaming, crying, sirens, shouted orders, shrill alarms and So. Much. Beeping. And then nothing. Days? Hours? No way to tell here in this hospital room. Security was tight, despite the death of the perpetrator. They were still dealing with a celebrity, after all, and news trucks were outside of the hospital. Their reporters huddled in the vehicles as snow fell on Calaveras, awaiting statements. There was only one. A representative from the hospital stood in a small room on this snowy morning to say what everyone was praying for.

Calvin Shay and Victoria Grey were alive. Critical but expected to make it.

A whole wing was cleared and locked down. Even though there was a decision to place both patients in the same room. The waiting rooms are full and that's just the family. The Shays. The Carmichaels. The band. And, of course, Willow. But no one has been allowed in yet but parents and even then, briefly. And information is being kept held close to the medical professional's chests. No one really knows anything. But, at least, it's quiet.

*

Vic has been in and out of surgery. The way she'd moved at the last moment before she was shot resulted in the bullet going in at an angle, clipping a hipbone and ricocheting up and through the bottom of her right lung. The lung collapsed but was repaired and re-inflated. She has a long road to full recovery and being able to belt out songs again, but it's a pure miracle that deflection kept the bullet away from her uterus entirely. She is still pregnant, and everything about that is stable. She lost a lot of blood, but the supply didn't divert from her womb, miraculously.

She's been on a ventilator for the last two days, unconscious, and needing to maintain her oxygen levels. But now she stirs and the nurse and doctor are there right away to extract the endotracheal tube she was intubated with. She coughs it out and gasps, "Calvin?" with wild, worried eyes that have trouble focusing from the various medications she's on. There are IVs in her arms, monitors stuck to her skin, and a fetal one as well.

*

The curtain is drawn on Calvin's side. It's all very ominous until a weakly uttered and raspy, "Yeah?" is given in reply. He came off his vent just a short while ago from the sound of him. Calvin was hit three times, center mass. He's been on the move the most since arrival. From tests to surgery to bed and back twice more. One was in the chest and took out a lung, similar to Vic. That wasn't the worst of his problems. Two were in the gut and those are the most dangerous. One bounced around, seemingly happy to rip around his liver and kidneys. The other was lower, making a mess of his intestines. He lost a lot of blood in the process. He's on the strongest antibiotics they have from the infectious gut wounds. And when the nurse pulls the curtain back, he is one mass of tubes. Drains. Catheters. IVs. He looks so pale, even his natural ruddy complexion is drained. But, he is alive. "Vic? They told me something." He speaks softly, slowly. "I woke up and asked about you. They said the babies were fine. Babies. Plural." Beat. "I don't remember anything after that. Maybe I fainted."

A nurse chides Calvin, "Shhh, Mister Shay. Rest now. If you get upset or combative again…" Calvin cuts her off. "You guys weren't telling me shit. Aren't. Are not. Still. So…yeah. I was combative." Maybe still is. His wrists are restrained to the bed. "Have I earned my freedom yet?" The nurse shrugs. "No new orders. But with you both being awake, I expect that to change." She says, sweetly, as she goes over Calvin probably endless vitals.

*

Vic stares at Calvin for a long moment, taking in the state of his medical condition, barely registering her own. But then the word sinks in, 'babies'. "Babies? Twins?" she asks him, looking surprised and almost hopeful. "They're ok? They're both ok?" she looks at the doctor in a panic.

He assures her the twins are indeed fine, and everything about the pregnancy is stable, in the context of her still being 45. "Pretty much a miracle. The bullet that hit you ricocheted off a bone. But managed not to break your hip or go through it. You had a punctured and collapsed lung, but it's been repaired. It'll take 6 to 8 weeks for that to fully heal, so no singing on stage with your fianc? before that, understood? We're keeping an eye on your liver. It was lacerated but the repair is holding well. You're on antibiotics but we're going low dose on the pain meds because of the pregnancy."

"Stop the pain meds," Vic says firmly. "I'm an addict, and I don't want to endanger the babies." She gives him that look Calvin knows brooks NO argument.

*

"You heard the lady." Calvin mutters, laying back and looking upwards. "They have to give me pain meds though. I tried that 'No meds, I'm a fucking dope fiend' shit. I didn't last very long." The nurse snorts. "Mister Shay, you suffered immense trauma to vital areas. We need you comfortable while you recover, that's all. You have a long road." She regards Vic now, unshaken by her expression. "Similar for you. Your comfort is as vital to your health as well as your children's. A stressed, pained mother-to-be is no good, especially considering your high risk status." She returns her attention to Calvin. "The neurologist was informed that you were awake and he will be here to speak to you soon. He's probably outside fighting through the press. Calvin just nods a little and looks towards the snowy window. "How bad? Press?" The nurse smiles softly. "It's getting better. Down by over half since the first day." She's on a second page of checklist items. "Oh, Urine's good. Almost blood free!" She says, cheerfully, with an edge of gallows darkness to it. "That's everything I need from you, Mister Shay. I'll check on the restraints for you." She pats his arm and breezes on out.

*

Vic looks upset that she has to stay on the pain killers. "At least reduce them to a level that won't hurt the babies, please," she requests as the doc and nurse depart. She grimaces. "Is my dad all right?" she asks Calvin, turning her head on the pillow to look at him. She has one of those nasal oxygen cannulas in place of the breathing tube now, to make sure her oxygen levels stay correct while her lung heals.

Walt Carmichael took a through and through to the shoulder and was treated and released. His a hard man to take down.

*

Calvin nods. "Yeah. He's tough as fuck. I…think they released him that night or morning? Bullet went clear through his shoulder. Last I saw him—well, heard…they kept the curtains closed. I was awake a lot. I've always been uh…hard to sedate. So he was here last night, talking to you. He's fine, Vic. You're fine. Our kids are fine." Beat. "Yeah, I probably fainted from the news." He finally looks at her, just turning his head. He takes a deep breath. "Vic, if I had known Astrid was somewhere, flipping out, I would have hired security. I should have after the rodeo. A video of that performance hit a million views and when Grant told me, he said I needed to consider a security team. But I hated having bodyguards. That was selfish of me." His voice cracks. "I should have protected us better. I'm so sorry. I'm probably going to pay for it every fucking day for the rest of my life now." He sniffles and reaches to wipe his face but the restraints stop him. "For fuck's sake. You tear out your IV a few times and they get like this…assholes."

*

"H-how did Astrid even find out about the pregnancy?" Vic asks, grimacing as a hand moves slowly to her still flat stomach, as if to protect the children within. So many damn wires on her. She glances at two of the monitors which are for fetal heartbeats and her own heart swells. "And yeah, that sounds like my dad, It'd take a herd of charging rhinos to take him down if his family is in danger." She looks back over at him. "Stop fighting them, Calvin. You are not leaving me to raise twins by myself. I'd have you brought back with a Ouija board for fucking diaper duty," she points out with a weak smile at her attempt at humor. "How do you feel? I feel…like there's a fifteen pound cat sitting on my chest making breathing uncomfortable. But the pain meds must be good because I'm not hurting yet."

*

"Lydia, supposedly." Calvin replies after laughing at Vic's Ouija board joke. "I don't know the whole story yet. My folks know it was Lydia because the band kicked her out of the hospital when she arrived. They are /pissed/. If I were to venture a guess…Lydia, probably thought Astrid and I were still speaking. We were until, uh, not terribly long before we reconnected. We stopped because I knew she was self medicating again and I told her I wasn't going to remain friends with her like that." He sniffs. "She was troubled, even when I met her. But I thought love and money and fame and drugs could fix anything. Married her. I loved her but I was never faithful on the road. My addictions made me mean. We fought. But, even after it was over, she was still someone I wanted in my life." He shrugs a little. "Astrid and Lydia were still friendly so…" He trails off and takes a moment to just breathe.

"Yeah. A cat on my chest is a good way to put it. I think you got winged in the lung harder than I did though. It's like…a ten pound cat." He sighs. "Otherwise…" He lifts his arms a bit and looks at himself. "I'm not hurting, no. I almost lost a kidney. I can't remember how many bags of blood I went though. It was a /lot/." He almost looks embarrassed. He looks up at the ceiling again. "There's something else though, Vic. A bigger problem. A scary one." His voice wobbles. "One of those bullets ended up partially in my spine, lower back." His speech speeds up, as if he can outrun this news. "I have rods and shit in there now. And I haven't spoken to the neurologist yet but—but…right down? I can't feel shit from about my belly button on down. Can't move either." Beat. "So. Tour's canceled. Grant will have a stroke."

*

Vic listens to the explanation, frowning about Lydia's part in it all. She lets out a shaky sigh. "Shit. What, what happened to Astrid. I didn't see anything after I hit the ground. I passed out I think, from the blood loss." She has no idea it was an attempted murder/suicide. At the words about the spinal injury she looks stricken, but she keeps her shit together. "Don't even think that. It might not be permanent, Cal. Even if it is, there's so much tech out there now, I'm pretty sure you can afford to go bionic." She shaken up though. Paralysis would be really tough on him, and life was already tough on a recovering addict.

*

Calvin tenses up so hard when Vic speaks of permanency, it's clearly visible. "B-Bionic…" He whispers and shakes his head. "I don't know enough about my injury to know…what the future looks like right now. The Shay side, the rodeo side…I've seen a few broken necks and backs. Some walk out the hospital. Some people end up bedridden and in pain." He cracks again. "I'm just scared. That's all. Very, very afraid. I…" He shakes his head. Just then, Calvin's nurse walks in. She moves to his bedside, quickly and looks up at his monitors and then him. "Ah. You're upset. Do you want something to calm your nerves?" She asks, as she releases his wrists. Calvin declines, at first, then changes his mind. "Wait, no…please, yes? A little something. We're talking about…my back." The nurse simply nods and promises to return, with the comment. "Heart rate. Keep it steady, hear me? And no more IV pulling." She's only gone a moment. Only two patients on the floor, after all. While she injects something into his IV, he says to Vic, "Astrid's dead. I watched her blow her brains out with the last bullet in the revolver. So, no messy trial. Upsides." The nurse pats Calvin's shoulder. "Hon, just do exactly what your doctors tell you to do, you hear me? I'm not the neurologist but the harder you work, the better the outcome." She smiles at the both of them, serenely, and leaves again.

*

"You have everything to get better for now, Calvin. I love you. Your babies are going to love you so damn much. Wren and Willow love you. My parents love you already. And that's the greatest medicine in the world." Vic looks exhausted, despite having been unconscious for a couple of days. "They really need to move our beds closer. I don't like not being able to touch you," she murmurs with a frown.

*

Calvin reaches over and gives her a goofy, helpless little reach. "Yeah. I know." He sighs as the sedative takes hold. "You are probably going to go home before me so…I'll have a place waiting for you. Right here." He pats the edge of the bed. "Whatever the neuro's prognosis is…as long as I can make music, be with you and have my kids. Wren and the twins? Any life is better than none, right?" Beat. "Twins. I didn't want twins." He admits suddenly. "Because…one has to die before the other." He starts sniffling again and turns to look out the window. "Oh, Dex. Where are you, man?" He murmurs before falling silent and then, asleep, from the sound of his heavy, rattling breaths.

*

Vic watches him for a long, long time, until she's lulled to sleep by the gentle rapid beeping of the fetal heart monitors.

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