Gus Dickinson (thanksrainman) wrote,
Gus Dickinson


The first thing he notices when he wakes up is not actually that he’s awake. That’s rather a bit farther down the list of things he notices, actually. No, the first thing he notices is that he’d really very much like to gag, only whatever it is that’s making him want to is also preventing that very reaction. Slowly, as different bits of him begin to make an attempt at catching up with the present situation, he realises that there’s something shoved into his mouth, and whatever it is, it’s made the back of his throat quite raw and unpleasant. Right. He should do something about that, shouldn’t he? The plan is to pull whatever’s in his mouth right the hell out, but before his brain manages to send that message to his hand, he’s back asleep.

His second (conscious) go at waking up is accompanied with less of a feeling of choking, and more of a feeling that the room is spinning, and has been for several days. His throat is still dry, but whatever it was that was crammed into his mouth is gone. This just leaves him with enough awareness to notice an unpleasant, although not necessarily painful, sensation in the back of his hand. He tries to sit up, and when that doesn’t work, he tries to pull out whatever’s stuck in his hand. When even the simple effort of trying to move his hands doesn’t work, he’s completely run out of patience.

“Oh, fuck off,” he mutters.

“Welcome back.”

Gus hadn’t registered the presence of someone else, so the new voice causes him to jump slightly. And now he’s completely exhausted.

“What? No!” he says, looking over to see a woman standing beside him, doing something with some sort of machine. Neither of them seems to neither notice nor care that Gus isn’t making much sense right now.

The woman just smiles at him lightly and finishes up whatever she’s doing. “I’ll go fetch a doctor,” she says before walking away.

Gus is asleep again before anyone comes back.

”Has he woken up today?”

“For a few minutes this morning, but he wasn’t lucid.”

“He didn’t swear at you again?”

“No, I’m afraid he hasn’t done that since last Thursday.”

He’s not choking. That’s good. The room isn’t spinning any more, either. Also good. His hand? Starting to hurt, now. Ah, well. Can’t have everything.

After struggling with his arms to cooperate for some time, he finally manages to sit up slightly, but gives up when his vision starts to go grey. None of his muscles seem to be working, and the task of just raising his hand, let alone pulling himself up, feels like gravity has launched an all-out assault on his entire body. He wants to pull what he’s now figured out to be the IV needle from his hand, but the effort is far too tiring, and he can’t hold his hands up long enough to try, so he just gives up before he gets the chance to realise that his fingers barely work yet, anyway.

It’s not until now that it fully hits him that he’s in hospital, in a small ward that isn’t exactly quiet at all. The air is full of beeping and humming and hissing, and somewhere in all of it, buried under several layers of sound, the sound of hushed voices. He’s startled quite badly when a thin divider curtain is pulled aside, and if not for the fact that he’d used up all his energy just sitting up, he might have jumped clean out of bed. An older man, maybe in his fifties, smiles at Gus as he steps beside him as he picks up a clipboard from the side of the bed.

“Feeling better this evening?” he asks lightly.

Gus says nothing. He tries to give this man his best annoyed sneer, but can’t quite remember how.

The doctor raises his eyebrows curiously as he looks down at Gus. “Do you remember me?” he asks. “I’m Doctor Dan Miller.” He says it in a voice that gives Gus the distinct feeling that they’ve had this conversation several times before.

“Where am I?” he asks after a few moments.

Dr. Miller’s expression turns to a rather pleased one as he makes a note on the clipboard. “Saint Charles Medical Centre. In Bend,” he explains. “You’ve been here about nine weeks.”

Gus shakes his head slowly. “No, I was just in the bar,” he says, not managing to really hit any sort of tone at all, smart-arsed or otherwise.

That pleased look on Dr. Miller’s face changes slightly. What started out as something positive – and hey, a man that’s been unconscious for nine weeks has just managed to form a complete sentence without swearing – has turned to something a bit more concerned. “What bar was that?” he asks cautiously, making some more notes on the clipboard.

“Milliways.” He manages to hit a matter-of-fact tone, but only just.

Dr. Miller struggles with suppressing an odd smile. “One moment,” he says before walking off again, pulling the privacy curtain shut again.

”Beck, has Dickinson had any family in here at all?”

“Just that one friend, but she never stays long. Why?”

“Nobody’s been reading anything to him, then?”

“Nobody’s been here long enough to.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Gus listens to the conversation on the other side of the curtain, completely unable to make any sense of what he’s hearing. “I been at the bar about two years,” he insists when Dr. Miller returns.

“Mister Dickinson, do you remember what happened in January?” the doctor asks.

Gus is too busy being confused to notice what name he’s just been called. Instead, he’s shaking his head. “What? In January?” he asks. “It was just Christmas like, two days ago. Place gets crazy this time of year.”

“It’s the nineteenth of March,” Dr. Miller says gently. “You’ve been unconscious for about nine weeks. Do you remember anything of what happened?”

“Yeah. No. What?” He tries to sit up a bit better, and nearly faints from the sudden exertion.

“Okay, careful. Careful.” Dr. Miller helps Gus get situated and inclines the bed a small amount.

“Wait,” Gus starts, suddenly confused again. “What year’s it?”

“You don’t know?”

“I’m asking, aren’t I?” Annoyed tone. Hit it perfectly.

Dr. Miller finally returns the clipboard to the side of the bed. “2006,” he says simply.

He manages to bring his hands up to his face as a sudden, horrible reality comes crashing down from the ceiling. “Oh, for fuck’s sake,” he mutters. “Jesus, none of it was real.” He could almost cry right now. And then another reality comes crashing down on top of everything else. “Oh, fuck me.”

“Is everything all right?” Dr. Miller asks. Of course he’s concerned. He has to be. It's his job.

Gus just shakes his head. “Can I be alone?” he asks.

“Of course.”

With the doctor gone, Gus very nearly does start to cry. He’s home. It was all in his head, and none of it ever happened.

And now he’s going to prison for the rest of his life. Not exactly an ideal trade-off, that.
Tags: oom
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