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
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
"Detective Pembleton...is 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
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.