The Worst Kind of Pain

Written by Rachel

Author's note: This came from Kez' prodding and rereading "Patience" by the fine Beth. No one did any beta on it, so I'm sure there's some terrible grammar things in it. Let me know. I'll fix them.


I know I shouldn't be irritated with him, but I am. It was my night off and I cooked. I like to do this for us, I know he enjoys it, but tonight instead of a date I got a phone call. I should have known as soon as I heard about the shootings at the headquarters that our date would be ruined, but instead I had been totally focused on finding out if Tim was okay.

Thank God he was. He called me to say he was fine and warn me he would be late if he got there at all.

Well, now it's nearly 11 pm and the pasta is ruined.

The phone rings and I start for it. It's probably Tim saying he's on his way. He's very considerate that way. I know he felt terrible about canceling on me, but it was unavoidable.

Halfway to the phone, I stop. I have a bad feeling.


The trip to the hospital was a blur. I hope I parked somewhere legal. I really have no recollection of anything between the call and this hallway.

I ask at the desk for Detective Bayliss. The nurse points me down the hall. I start making my way to his room but stop when I see him ahead of me.

"Detective he?" I can't go any further.

Tim's partner points wordlessly to a small waiting area. It's deserted now, but there are definite signs that a large group was there earlier. The empty coffee cups and candy wrappers leave their mark.

"Thanks for calling me," I say as we sit down. I was actually surprised that he knew about us.

"He's in a coma," Pembleton said. "I think it's something with the medication, the surgery. Anyway, they say he'll be out of it for a day or two."

I nod. I don't know what to say.

"His mother is in there. I don't think...well, you should do what you think is right."

I know what he's saying. Tim's mom doesn't know. This might not be the best time to let her in on his change of lifestyle.

I get up and walk toward Tim's room. I know I can't go in and be with him, but I have to see him. I have to know that he's going to be okay.

I look in the window. I don't want to linger too long, but I can't help staring. He looks so weak. There are tubes and machines all over the place. His mother is sitting by his side as a nurse takes care of him. I would love to be in there, but I understand why I can't. Not now.


This is the worst kind of pain. I knew that Tim would be trouble for me. After Jeff, I swore there would be no more first-timers. I didn't need to be anyone else's guinea pig. I'm not sure why I went back to the police headquarters that day, why I asked Tim out. I didn't need to go through that period where he tries to decide whether he's really gay and I really did not need to be skulking around a hospital trying to avoid his mother.

I'm mad at you, Tim.

No, I'm trying to not be mad, to understand. I know what you did in that yard. I know that you put yourself between Pembleton and the bullet. I know that you sacrificed yourself.

Was I not worth it?


Mary, my co-conspirator just called me and said that Virginia was going to spend the afternoon at her granddaughter's high school graduation. I delight in this. Tim has been coming in and out of consciousness and I'm hoping I'll finally be able to talk to him.

I'll tell him that I love him.