livefortoday: (006)
Hunter Todd Alexander ([personal profile] livefortoday) wrote in [community profile] muserevival2017-04-21 02:03 pm

145.4. Drabble


Hunter could feel himself going through the grief process. No two people went through it the same way, and even though it was called a 'process', the stages could come at any time, in any order. He was going to need some sort of therapy for all this. He thought he had more strength because he was a counsellor himself, but you needed more than strength when the person you loved was in danger and had been hurt. He was barely keeping it together. And worse, he was on the opposite side of the country, hundreds of miles away from home.

He had been up all night, angry that something like Coachella existed, and maybe Cruz could have dodged this horrific bullet of attempting suicide if the temptations hadn't been there right at his fingertips. It was misguided anger, though. It was anger that had no reason, and anger that wasn't really stemming from anything but complete and utter helplessness. Anger that he felt like he had failed Cruz. At least he could rationally keep reminding himself that addictions were senseless, yet destructive.

Now, the depression was setting in. It was saddled up with that sensation of being useless and knowing he contributed to pushing Cruz to the edge. Not intentionally. At the end of the day, he had to still protect himself. If he didn't, Cruz would have dragged himself down with him. They both would have crashed and burned. Hunter could risk everything for that. That wasn't what love was really about. It was about caring for each other, protecting each other. But if you began to lose yourself in the fiery mess, it wasn't really love at all, but possession.

Today, walking through the doors of the ICU without issue now, a bouquet of roses nursed in his arm, he felt sad. Sad, alone, lost, aching all over. He had just spent the last half hour with the doctor Cruz was admitted under, and finally got the full story. It was easy now they thought he and Cruz were married, even if it was a complete lie. A lie Hunter would accept, because without it, he wouldn't have even been allowed in, let alone privy to any information on Cruz's prognosis. Now he could see Cruz, but with a deathly heavy heart, because the doctor told him to prepare for the worst. They weren't expecting Cruz to pull through. For the second time in his life, Hunter could be poised to lose the person he loved to suicide. It had to be his fault.

A nurse was coming out of the room he had been directed to. "Hi, um... is it okay if he has flowers in with him? I know sometimes you can't with infection control and such..." he asked. His voice was scratchy and broken. The every day reality of life was intermingling with a grief that starting to set in with a vengeance. The only reason he was being given access was because the doctor thought Cruz was going to die. How the fuck could you begin to deal with that?

"Yes, that's fine," the nurse told him with a kind smile. "I'll get you a vase."

"Thanks," Hunter mumbled, and watched her walk away. Then he was alone with the door he had to go through and face this. He had seen countless people in the ICU before. He had done training in trauma units for his job. But this environment couldn't feel more foreign to him now. He didn't hesitate. He just went in. Hesitation would achieve nothing, it wouldn't change how he felt. Cruz already looked dead. There was no colour to him, and no life. Just a shell, shackled to machines pumping artificial life into him.

The worst part of all for Hunter was knowing that it was Cruz who did this. It was the drugs. Sober Cruz wasn't suicidal. Those urges diminished as the poison began to drain from his system. He had been depressed and down-beaten as far as anyone could be. He was shellshocked and battle-weary making it through detox. But he had been doing better. It was like a substance had come along and tried to murder the man he loved, and he had no way of stopping it. Because he had walked away.

He put the roses down on the end of the bed by Cruz's feet and then stepped up to him, touching his face softly. His skin felt cool. It was confronting. He carefully took Cruz's lifeless hand, lifting it to nurse against his chest, and leaned over to kiss his forehead. As useless as he felt, he was going to still try. It was just cutting so close to home to finding his best friend dead in the past. There was no way for him to understand how to cope with this.

He stayed there, holding Cruz's hand and rested his cheek against the top of his head, using his other hand to tenderly stroke Cruz's hair. "Please try and hold on. We'll get through it together, if you just keep holding on. I promise."

hunter alexander | original character
( cruz appears here with love and permission )