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Derek and Scott - Part 6

Erik arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes later.  He had spoken to Scott's Mom who of course flipped out when she heard Scott was in an accident with the bike.  Erik tried to calm her down saying that the bike merely fell on him and that he was not involved in a 'driving' accident.  This made her feel better until Erik gave her a brief description of his injuries as described by the EMT.  She asked Erik where they had taken him and assured him that she and Scott's father would be there as soon as they could.

After he hung up the phone, he ran down the hall to wash the blood off his hands.  Erik got sidetracked for a few moments when several people asked him what had happened.  He told them what he knew and ran back to his room to change his clothes.

Derek emerged from the elevator only to find Erik exchanging 'pleasantries' with the same women at the front desk that he had screamed at earlier.

"Erik, I'm over here!"  He yelled.

Erik gave the women an evil look and ran over to his friend.  "How's Scott, have you heard anything?"  He asked.

"Nothing since I got here.  This really nice nurse named Leslie filled me in on his condition, but I haven't heard anything since.  They will not let me see him since I'm not family.  Leslie was helping me but I haven't seen her since I went upstairs."

"What were you doing upstairs?"  Erik asked.

Derek never answered the question.  He stumbled briefly and feinted.    Erik caught him as he was falling and was able to get him over to a chair in the waiting room.  Leslie had reappeared and caught the site of Erik carrying Derek over to a chair.  Derek was white as a ghost.

"I told him to lay down for 30 minutes!  I turned around and he was gone."  She said.

"What are you talking about?  What's wrong with him?"  Erik was questioning her as Derek started to come around.  He was still pretty out of it.

"Derek just donated a unit of blood and I told him to rest for 30 minutes before coming back down here.  I should have known he wouldn't listen.  I'll be right back.  I'm going to go get him some juice.  He'll be fine in a minute."

Derek had come back to his senses but was still flushed.

"What the hell were you donating blood for?"  Erik asked.

"Scott lost so much blood that Leslie said they would have to give him a unit.  We are the same blood type and I wanted it to be mine.  Leslie said they could type it quickly and use mine if we hurried.  I just hope they got it in time.

"Oh, Erik.  Scott has to be OK.  He just has to!  I don't know what I'd do if anything happens to him."

"He'll be OK, they got him here pretty quickly and the EMT told me that his injuries were not that bad."

"You're friend is right Derek.  I just checked in on him and spoke to his doctor.   Scott will be OK.  I want to talk to you boys for a moment.  Let's go someplace a little more private."

Leslie got up and started to walk back towards the little examining room where she and Derek had spoken earlier.  Derek leaned on Erik for support.  He was still a little woozy, and he did not have his cane to help him.  Derek was angry with himself for not remembering it.

"What's the matter Leslie?  Why couldn't you talk to us in the waiting room?"  Erik asked.

"Sit down boys and I'll explain.  First of all, Scott will be OK in a few days.  Neither of you are immediate family.  I don't want to get in trouble for discussing Scott's condition with you.  That's why I wanted to speak in here.

"Scott did need a unit of blood, and don't worry Derek, I made sure they used yours.  The gash on his head took several stitches.  His leg is another story.  Scott's leg has several hairline fractures.  It is not broken through but it probably would break if he were to put any weight on it.  Normally they would put a cast on it to prevent this, but the fractures are in the same place as the puncture wound.  The doctors cleaned the wound and stitched it closed, but it was fairly deep.  He should be able to walk normally in 5 or 6 weeks.

"The scarring will not be bad once it is healed.  The problem is that the wound needs to be accessible so we can change the bandages.  It will probably drain for a few days and that is why we cannot put a cast on his leg right away.

"He does have two broken ribs though, but they did not puncture his lung, so that's good news.  He'll be in a lot of pain for a few weeks as they heal.  Other than pain medication, there is not much we can do for that.

"There is some bad news however..." Derek gripped Erik's hand and squeezed tightly waiting for Leslie to continue, "Scott is still unconscious.  He has a pretty bad concussion and there are some additional abrasions on the other side of his head."

"So when will he wake up?"  Derek was beginning to tremble a little and you could hear it in his voice when he spoke.

"Well, that's the problem.  He should have come out of it by now.  He's no longer in shock, but his vital signs are still pretty weak.  I probably shouldn't tell you this, but the doctor has called the police.  He thinks Scott was attacked."

"What!"  Derek and Erik cried in unison.

"Well, the injuries Scott sustained are not consistent to what would have been expected when they found him.  The doctor attending to Scott's injuries normally works in the ER at County General.  He works one night a week here to supplement our medical staff.  Anyway, he is really good assessing the magnitude of people's injuries.  Scott is far more banged up than he should be.

"When the EMTs brought him in, they described the scene in which they found him.  Since it was a motorcycle accident, they grabbed his gear and backpack and brought it along.  The EMT said that Scott's motorcycle was undamaged apart from the side that fell on him.  They figured that he was not in a previous accident.

"Anyway, Scott's helmet was still hanging from the mirror and out of his reach when they found him.  There was blood INSIDE his helmet which means the gash was already there before he fell.  The blood on the vehicle's mirror next to where he parked indicated that he probably hit his head again when the bike tipped over.

"Apart from the helmet, the doctor cannot explain why the ribs on his right side are broken when they found him laying on his left side.  There is a small abrasion on the right side of his head too."

"Oh my god!  Who would do this to him?"  Derek started to cry.  Erik reached out and pulled him closer and offered what little comfort he could.

"Can I see him?"

"I'm sorry Derek, I wish I could you let you.   Have his parents been notified?"  Leslie asked Erik.

"Yes, I called them right before I left.  They should be here soon."

"OK, you two sit tight.  I'll let you know if anything changes.  Once Scott's parents get here, I can probably have them give you the OK to see him."  Leslie stood up to leave them in the room.  She turned before she opened the door and said "Scott's lucky to have you."  With that she smiled and walked out.

The police arrived and questioned the doctor about the injuries.  The officer spoke briefly to Erik and Derek too.  Neither of them knew where Scott went after dinner, so they didn't have much to offer.  The police left shortly after saying that there was not much they could do without a statement from Scott.  They would have to wait until he woke up.

Scott's parents arrived within the hour and Derek introduced them to Erik.  Pleasantries were exchanged and they went in to see their son.  About an hour later they came out and walked over to them.

"The doctor tells us you two have been here since they brought Scott in.  You must be exhausted."  Scott's mom said.

"That's OK Mrs. M.  Scott would do the same for either of us."

Scott's dad broke his silence finally.  "We didn't know that you'd be going to school here Derek.  It's good to see that you and Scott are friends again."

"Can we see him?" Derek asked.

"Well it is really late.  Visiting hours ended hours ago, but the doctor said that you'd been asking to see him so they said you could have 5 minutes.  We are going to go get a room at the hotel down the street so we can be here first thing in the morning.  You boys need a ride back to school first?"  Scott's mom asked.

"No, we both have our cars here thanks."

They said their goodbyes and went in to see Scott.  Erik went in first and Derek hesitated a bit.  Scott was lying peacefully.  He still had an IV in his arm and his head was bandaged.  His left leg was immobilized and the bandage on his leg was already starting to soak through with blood.  Erik made a mental note to tell the nurse it needed changing when they left.

There really was not much to say.  Both friends stood there in silence as they looked over their friend's battered body.  Leslie poked her head in to let them know that it was time for them to leave.  She assured them that she'd watch over Scott.  They turned to go.

"Can I have minute alone with him?"  Derek asked Erik as they were at the door.

"Sure thing little buddy, I'll be just outside the door if you need me."

Once alone, Derek walked over to the man he loved, the man he had always loved.  He whispered to him that he loved him and took Scott's hand in his.  Softly he said a prayer for his friend.  He leaned over and kissed Scott gently on the lips and said, "Come back to me Scott.  Fight to get better.  Fight baby please."

Erik knew that he should respect Derek's wishes, but something inside him  said otherwise.  He turned and watched through the small window in the  door as Derek gently caressed Scott's face and hand.  He was not at all surprised when he saw Derek kiss Scott on the lips.  A broad smile flashed across Erik's face.

When Derek came out of Scott's room he was crying softly.  Erik enveloped him into a big hug and reassured him that he would be fine.  Derek didn't fight it.  He was exhausted.

"Come on Derek, let me drive you home."

"But my car is here..."

"Nonsense, we'll get it tomorrow."


Neither friend said much on the way home.  Erik made sure to park well away from Scott's bike so as to not disturb Derek further.  Erik was in full-fledged protection mode now.  Sure, he was fond of Scott.   Scott was really turning into a great friend to him.  Derek and Scott however had much more, and he was more concerned about Derek's feelings than he was his own.

Besides, Erik had plans.

Inside the dorm, Derek started to wander towards his room.  Erik followed him.  Derek insisted that he'd rather be alone, but Erik was persistent.  He started searching through Derek's dresser for a pair of shorts.   Once he found them he grabbed Derek's hand and led him to the door.

"What are you doing?  I just want to be alone."

"Nonsense, you're sleeping upstairs tonight.  You don't need to be alone.  Besides, your cane, and your back pack are already up there."

"Where will I sleep?"  Derek began to worry.

"You can sleep in Scott's bed, he won't mind."

"Oh no I can't, that's just to weird."

"Then you can sleep in mine.  Look, I'm bigger than you are and I'll carry your little ass kicking and screaming if I have to, but you're not going to spend the night alone.  Besides, there is something I want to talk to you about."

"Oh OK." Derek said.  He was not in the mood to argue so he went along with it.  He was so tired anyway.  He took his time on the stairs.  He was still a little dizzy from giving blood, and he was emotionally drained as well.

Once they got upstairs, Derek changed into the shorts that Erik had grabbed for him.  Derek sat down on Scott's bed looking a little out of place.  Erik had gone down the hall to the bathroom to brush his teeth.  It was strange to be so close to Scott's things knowing that he was alone in the hospital.  Erik came back a minute later and turned off the overhead light.  Just the lamp on Erik's desk softly lighted the room.

"Erik, I don't think I can sleep in Scott's bed.  I feel really weird."

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about actually.  I need to ask you something personal and I don't want you to get mad at me.  You don't need to answer me if you don't want to."

"OK..." Derek looked a little nervous.

"I know I should have respected your privacy and I am sorry I didn't.  But I'm hoping that it will turn out the way I think it will."

"I'm sorry Erik, I'm really tired and you're confusing me.  If you have a point, please get to get it..."

"OK then.  There is no easy way to ask you this.  I saw you kiss Scott in the hospital.  You love him don't you?"

"Uhh, yeah I guess, Scott's a great guy.  I care a lot about him."  Derek began fidgeting and was clearly uncomfortable.

"That's not what I asked Derek."  Erik rose from where he was sitting and walked over and sat next to Derek and wrapped his powerful arms around his friend.  "I asked you if you were in love with Scott.  I guess I'm asking you if you're gay."

Derek didn't say anything.  He just started to cry.  He tried to run out of the room but Erik caught him and held him tighter.  They sat back on the bed together and Erik just held him.

"It's OK Derek.  I thought you might be.  There is something that I've never told you or Scott." 

Derek sat up straight and looked at Erik.  "What is it?"

"Caroline is not my only sibling.  I have an older brother who's gay.  When my family found out they kicked him out of the house.  I haven't seen him in over a year."  Erik began to cry softly, and Derek did his best to comfort him.

"I don't understand what this has to do with me."  Derek said.

"My brother confided in me that he was gay when he was 15.  I guess I always knew.  We were pretty close.  You are in many ways like my brother Tim.  When I saw you kiss Scott I guess I just knew.  Please don't be mad at me for asking.  I may not even be right."

"Actually you are.  I guess it is OK to admit this to you.  You figured it out anyway.  I love Scott with all my heart.  I've loved him since we were kids, and it hurt so badly when we drifted apart.  I knew that I could never be as close to him as I wanted to.  My dad really pushed me into gymnastics.  I guess I used sports as a diversion from my true feelings.  I pushed Scott away to hide my feelings for him.

"Towards the end though I was so miserable.  It didn't matter how good at gymnastics I was.  I was competing for the wrong reasons.  It was my father's dream - not mine.  I've never admitted this to anyone before, but my fall off the pommel horse that day was not an accident."

"What?"  Erik asked in disbelief.

"My father told me that a scout from the Olympic Committee was going to be there to watch my routine.  I was on the short list for the US Team, and I was to meet with him after the competition.  I just couldn't bear the thought of it.  I couldn't bear the thought of months away from home to train with the national team.  Scott and I hardly spoke much back then, but I guess I felt safe knowing he was there."

"What happened then?  I don't understand."

"I threw the competition."

"What!" Erik was shocked.

"I let go.  I fell on purpose.  I wanted to Olympic scout to see me fall and score low on the routine.  I also knew that he'd seen tapes of my performances and that everyone has a bad routine on occasion.  I had to make a mistake that only a scout would see.  I used the wrong grip and hand position for the entire routine.  I wanted it to look like I was inexperienced and using bad form.

"My hand position was wrong, so when I went into the flair it would almost guarantee me falling off.  The stupid thing was that I was trying so hard to make it look convincing that I didn't consider the position I'd be in and the speed at which I'd be moving when I fell.  I never meant to hurt myself - certainly not make myself a cripple.  I just wanted my life back.  I just wanted to go back to being friends with Scott again.  I guess I fucked that up.

"Ending up in the hospital and being paralyzed sent me into the depths of depression.  I was miserable for a long time.  I finally realized that a life sitting in that chair would kill me.  I used every ounce of strength in me to get better.  It was the only thing I could do to keep my mind off what I could never have.  It was the first true thing I ever did for myself."

"Scott was there you know.  He saw you fall."

"What! What was he doing there?  It was not even a home competition."

"He went to all your competitions.  He was your friend Derek.  He never stopped being your friend.  He didn't tell me very much, I just know that he went to your competitions.  He was very proud of you."

"Wow.  I never knew.  I though he hated me because I abandoned our friendship.  I'm so sorry for that, and now he's in the hospital and I cannot even tell him."

"He doesn't hate you Derek.  There is something else I need to tell you.  I'm going to break Scott's trust and tell you something.  I think it is time you both knew something."

"What?"  Derek looked uneasy with what Erik was about to say.

"Derek...  Scott is as in love with you as you are with him."

"What!  Don't play games with me right now Erik, that's not even funny.  Besides, why would Scott tell you that?"

"He didn't.  Scott talks in his sleep."  Erik laughed a bit.  "Besides, I figured Scott might also be gay when you started hanging out with Margie.  He seemed really jealous."

"I don't believe this is happening..." Derek said.

"Believe it little buddy.  I think you've got yourself a boyfriend if you want one.  All you need to do is ask him.  Scott is going to be fine.  He will be home soon and you can take care of him and nurse him back to health."

Erik leaned over and turned out the light.  They both crawled into bed.  Erik into his, and Derek into Scott's.  Suddenly the idea of sleeping in Scott's bed was a comfort him.  Derek lay there with a smile on his face.  He stared into the darkness and whispered "Fight baby, come back to me as fast as you can."

Erik heard Derek's whisper in the dark.  He closed his eyes knowing  he did the right thing.  Scott and Derek would be good together.   Erik's last thought before he fell asleep was of his brother Tim.  He  missed him terribly and hoped that he had someone too.