Who: Louis and Casey What: Bonding and such after Casey's accident When: After Casey's accident when he was in hospital! Where: ...The Hospital
Casey was in bad shape, but his face still looked pretty, so he had that going for him. He had taken a couple of days after the accident to gather his thoughts and contact his siblings, but he couldn’t have waited much longer than he did. He didn’t want to burden them with anything more than they already had to deal with - but he did want to keep in touch. So he’d made it seem a bit better than it was, and was doing his best to be upright in bed around the time Louis had said he would come to see him.
He was still nice and drugged, wearing a hospital gown, and sitting in his bed with his right leg elevated and covered in braces and bandages. They had changed things a couple of times and he had kept his eyes closed. He didn’t want to know what was wrong with his leg and his hip. Two very important parts of his entire career. He wasn’t ready to see the damage they’d all been talking about yet.
He was hooked up to an IV but not on any serious machines, and he was on the general surgery floor - in a private suite because he was willing to pay - and the care had been good. He was going home in a couple of days and he wanted to look as self sufficient as possible before he asked Louis if he could crash at his place. He would hire someone to help him out if he had to, but he wasn’t keen on being stuck at his own place either. He heard the door to his hospital room open and he tried, in vain, to sit up even straighter and gave a lazy (and slightly hazy) smile when Louis came into the room. “Hey, brother. It’s good to see you.” And it was, it was better than he thought it would be. As embarrassed as he was to be in this position it was good to see Louis up and around and out and about.
Louis entered the hospital room with a white box under one arm. He was thinner, if that was even possible, than when Casey had seen him last, and he looked worried in the same tired kind of way. That was just the way of the world, now. More and more damage to their family, and nowhere a break in sight. He was starting to get used to it, in a sick way. At least he didn't feel so much as if he needed to fix all of it as he had before.
He was doing his best to hide his guilt, but it was there, a little, on his face. Casey had done him an immense favor by driving around with him while he was at his worst, and the fact that he had been witness to that was both embarrassing and a relief, all at once. If Casey hadn't been there, who knew how much worse his eventual blowup might have been? At least no one was hurt. "Good to see you too, Casey," he said. He pulled up a chair to the edge of the bed, and he settled the box in his lap. Close up, he was struck with how unwell Casey looked, how gaunt, how washed out and hazy under the lights. He glanced to the sheet and the elevated leg and tried not to let how bad it looked show in his face. "I brought you something," he said, his eyes swinging back to Casey's face as he pried the white pastry box open.
Inside was a glistening dark chocolate cake, covered with ganache and piled into three layers. "I saw it at the bakery and it practically had your name written on it," Louis said, with a small smile. "So...I had them write your name on it." And there it was, in pink icing: Get Well Soon Casey
Casey had spent so much time being concerned with Louis to be sure he was well that he felt terrible being as laid up as he was. He knew it was useless to feel guilty for something he had no control of, but he knew what it was like to be a complete and utter wreck. And Louis had been a wreck. He didn’t judge him at all, he just wanted to be there for him and it was difficult with as laid up as he’d been the past few days.
He looked him over carefully he needed to eat something, he decided then that if Louis agreed to let him crash at his place while he recovered it would probably be good for both of them for completely different reasons. At least he hoped it would be, the urge to completely smother his brother was high, but he wanted to try to respect his space. Try being the operative word.
Though Louis had come to see him, and had brought cake, he smiled even as he teared up a bit (it had to be the drugs, obviously) and cleared his throat. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said dramatically wiping a tear. Of course he wasn’t crying over the cake, just the thoughtfulness of the entire situation and the fact that he had a visitor, and his leg hurt, and his back hurt, and he was tired, and injured, and may never dance again and basically everything. But he could pass it off as the cake. “You can’t just come in here and present a bloke with his name written in pink frosting and not expect dramatics. I feel like Miss America.”
Louis laughed. Just a little, mind, but it made him feel better to do it. If anyone could help him find something to laugh at when things were as dark as they'd been, it was Casey. "I thought it was the least I could do," he said. "And you would, no doubt, do better on the question portion than any of the recent candidates for the crown."
Louis had asked the nurse before he came in to get them some silverware and paper plates, and promised her a slice of the cake for herself if she complied, which seemed to get her very motivated indeed once he showed her what it looked like. "I promise not to ask too many questions other people will have been asking you," Louis said, "But do you know how long it will be before you can be released?" He didn't want to bog Casey down with thoughts and questions that would draw too much attention to his predicament, but there were some practicalities to consider. Where would he go? Would he be able to be on his own?
Casey was glad to see Louis the slightest bit amused, and it made him feel a little better. He sighed and cleared his throat, “I’ve only been practicing for it my entire life. I’ll tell you the first time I horrified mummy I was 5 and practicing an American accent so I could be Miss America. I was wearing one of her hats,” Casey had been a handful, and a ham even then. No wonder they kept adding to the brood.
Casey shrugged the slightest bit, but it wasn’t comfortable so it was half hearted. “I’ll give you the quick answers,” he said and took a breath, “I’m not going to die, I have to come back for a few more bloody operations on my ridiculous leg. I’ll go home in a few days, they’re giving me opioids like they’re going out of style and they’re going to send me home with a ridiculous gumball machine of a thing to make sure I don’t take them all at once,” sigh again. The door was closed, and it was Louis so he didn’t mind letting his own guard down a bit. “I haven’t had the guts to ask if I’m done with dancing.”
"I don't remember that," Louis said, with clear amusement. "I wish I did. I can imagine the shade of pale she must have gone." Casey had always been like that, a bright anachronism in that quiet, cold household. He listened when Casey ran down the list of facts about his condition with a mixture of concern and relief. Of course it was good news that there was nothing life-threatening about Casey's condition, though Louis hoped someone would have told him on the way to Casey's hospital room if there was.
When Casey mentioned being done with dancing, even Louis stilled a little. Now that was a sad and worrisome thought. He knew how much Casey cared about his vocation, and if something were to keep him from doing it Louis would worry he might drift back toward drugs again. The fact that the hospital was apparently prescribing a laundry list of opioids didn't encourage him much. "You can ask when you're ready," he said, firmly. "And whatever the answer, you can't take what any doctor says as gospel. It won't be fun, but people come back from accidents like yours, and I hear all the time about recoveries that fly in the face of doctors’ orders. Don't let what they might say discourage you." He paused. "Do you intend to go home on your own, when all this is over?"
“I asked her if she was going to get sick everywhere, she should have known she was doomed to always be disappointed,” Casey set a very low bar for all of the children that followed, a fact he was quite proud of.
He cleared his throat again and tried to sit up a bit straighter attempting to give the image of being nonchalant about the whole thing. “Yeah, brother, of course. And maybe we’ll know a bit more after a few operations, yeah?” Meaning he could wait for much longer to hear the verdict. Or even ask the question.
Casey chuckled at Louis’ final question and gave him a look that clearly asked if he thought he was crazy. “I intend on asking you to take me home with you when this is all over. I play the guitar at weird hours, and I may drink all your coffee and smoke every cigarette in sight, and you’ll definitely know I’m there because I’m highly irritating, but we’re family so that’s to be expected.”
Louis knew Casey well enough to know when he was only pretending not to care about something, so he simply nodded. Well, one never knew. Maybe after another surgery or two, the prognosis would change. Best not to speculate, and get hopes up or let them down.
"That it is," Louis said, a smile curling faintly at the edges of his mouth. "You may be required to keep the window open and smoke out of that, but otherwise, I think we can arrange something. I have too much space, anyway." That much was true. He'd been thinking about moving to a smaller place - and weaning off the money from his trust fund - for ages. It felt too wrong, taking any money at all from people he didn't even speak to anymore. Still, for now, while Casey needed a place, having the extra room would be helpful indeed. "I don't know that I'll be able to be at home all the time, however," he said. "Do you want me to get someone to check up on you? Dosages, that kind of thing?"
“I can dangle out windows with the best of them,” he said trying to be amusing but really he was relieved. And grateful. And more relieved than anything, he didn’t know if Louis would say yes, and he certainly didn’t have to. In fact he had expected him to say no, he had enough of his own to worry about without worrying about what bringing Casey home would entail.
He shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know, possibly. They assured me they would send me home with a gumball machine full of opiates that would only give them to me when I’m supposed to have them. But as long as he’s cute, it wouldn’t help to have someone come by and look in to make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed if I need help and to make sure I don’t feel guilty for asking you,” at least he was honest. “I promise I won’t get too comfortable. I’ll mostly be on the internet trying to find a new motorcycle.” And career.
"Let's not dangle," Louis admonished. He managed to find enough humor in the image of Casey throwing his upper body out an apartment window just to get his cigarette that he smiled, in a real way this time. "I don't know about hiring you an attractive nurse. A properly licensed granny sounds better for your recovery. Less distracting for you. And there's nothing to feel guilty about," he added, brusquely pushing that aside. "I just want to make sure you're comfortable and safe when I'm out of the house. Once you're better, you can get rid of them as you like." Louis spread his hands. "That's settled, then. I'll make sure there's a bed set up by the time they clear you."
Casey smiled a bit sleepily, the drugs doing another number on him. The automatic dispensing was great. “No dangling, but I draw the line at no attractive nurses, that is the only good thing about being here.”
Casey sighed, feeling a bit better, more comfortable, less worried. Things were coming together, he didn’t have to go home to his, admittedly, depressing apartment and wallow in his own self pity all alone. He could wallow at Louis’ place and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. “Talk to the doctor about when. She told me. I can’t remember.” He closed his eyes for a long moment almost dozing. He opened his eyes again after a bit and looked at his brother and sighed. “Thanks for the cake. For everything. I know it’s a huge favor to ask of you.”
"There's no need," Louis said. He reached out for Casey's hand and gave it a brief squeeze. Casey was obviously drifting back into sleep, and the last thing Louis wanted to do was wear him out when he needed all the rest he could get. "I'll talk to the doctor before I leave," he said, letting go of Casey's hand only after holding it for a moment. Their family had never been heavy on the physical affection side, so when Louis did express his affection for family physically, it tended to be brief, and reserved, but with an intensity behind it that still showed through. "I hope you like it," he said of the cake, with another small smile, and then he stood. "Now, you try get some rest."