Go to Chapter 14 and Epilogue
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Wish - Chapter 13
After a brief consultation with the doctors, Ianto's parents were sent out into the waiting room too. They saw Thomas resting his head against the wall as he wiped his eyes and their hearts went out to him. They sat across a small aisle formed by chairs.
“How is he?” Sarita asked since Thomas hadn't noticed them yet.
“The doctors say that he's stable now. He's supposed to rest quietly for at least an hour, and if he's still stable then, they'll let us see him,” his mom said.
The hour passed agonizingly slowly. Finally, a nurse came out to talk to them. She gestured for them to remain seated and sat in a chair she pulled out to form a half circle with them.
“He's doing much better. Still stable, and the color's come back to his cheeks. The doctors don't like the way his heart is beating though, so they caution you to remain calm at all times and not excite him. Can you promise to do that?” She was looking more at Thomas and Sarita than Ianto's parents.
“Yeah,” they both promised.
“Okay,” she murmured in acceptance. “Then I'll come for you in a few minutes. The doctors are having him transferred to a different room where he'll be staying for the next couple of days.”
They watched her walk away in silence. A few minutes later turned out to be a little more than 20 minutes. Finally, the nurse came for them with a cheerful smile.
“He's awake and waiting for you all.”
Just outside the room assigned to Ianto, Thomas stopped and clutched his sister's hand. “I just need a moment,” he mumbled.
Ianto's parents nodded in understanding, and then entered the room. Thomas listened to Ianto and his parents exchange hugs and kisses. He had to take several deep breaths, but when Ianto asked where he was, he felt more or less ready to face him.
Ianto lit up when Thomas entered the room. Thomas faltered again. He felt extraordinarily guilty. He felt like it was his fault that Ianto had nearly died!
Sarita let go of his hand and finished walking to Ianto. She took his hand and cast him her most brilliant smile considering that her eyes were full of unshed tears. She even let out a tiny laugh.
“You scared me!” She informed him.
“I know; I'm sorry,” Ianto apologized with a soft smile. He looked over to Thomas. Thomas looked ready to run! Holding out his free hand, he beckoned: “Come here.”
Thomas walked around the bed slowly. Stiffly. He wanted to be a rock, but it was hard not to burst into tears. Eventually, he took Ianto's hand.
“It's not your fault!” Ianto insisted.
Thomas got to his knees and rested his head on the edge of the bed, still clutching Ianto's hand. “Yes it is!”
“No it's not!” Ianto insisted, gripping Thomas' hand and shaking it. “It's my own fault and no one else's.”
“It's God's will,” his mother murmured, coming over to rub Thomas' back lightly.
Sarita was confused. “Why would you think it's your fault?”
“I shouldn't have; I just shouldn't have!” Thomas exclaimed fiercely.
“You are not responsible for me,” Ianto reminded him. “I make my own decisions!”
Sarita was definitely still confused, and it showed on her face. Ianto smiled at her softly and decided that it would be cruel to keep her in the dark at this point. He sighed lightly.
“I was born with a bad heart,” he confessed. “The doctors have always done their best to fix me, but...” He slid the robe aside to show her one of the the scars from when he'd had a heart transplant.
“Oh my God, I didn't know,” Sarita murmured softly.
“I didn't want anyone to know,” Ianto stated. “I didn't want to be treated like I was dying, even though I'm not expected to live much longer.”
Sarita let the soft tears flow. “That really sucks! I wish I could help you!” As she said this her power flowed into him, but she could tell that it hit some sort of wall.
“Hey...” Ianto murmured, trying to shake her via the hand that held hers. “Don't...”
“Why shouldn't I?” Sarita cried out. “What good am I if I can't help the people I love?!”
Ianto shook his head. “Don't think like that!”
Ianto's father put a hand on her shoulder. By sheer coincidence, he chose the shoulder that didn't have an invisible magic cat sitting on it. Very softly, he tried to comfort her.
“This is Ianto's burden to bear,” he murmured. “We've been blessed every single day. Rather than dread his death, we've chosen to celebrate his life. Each time he finds a little joy, we welcome that. Please don't think that you have any responsibility for him having a bad heart. You are a good girl; we know this for certain.”
“I just wish so badly for you to get better!” Sarita said even as she sobbed. Her power tried again, but seem to be rejected once more.
Thomas looked up at her hopefully for a moment, but then buried his face back in the side of the bed when he realized that her magic faded significantly when it touched Ianto.
“Hey...” Ianto murmured softly. “Stop that. Just you being here holding my hand makes me feel almost like a new person. I've always thought you were soothing.”
“Why won't it work?” Sarita asked Indigo, but no one else realized this. Thomas had sensed that the cat was there since he could see the magical glow, but he hadn't really thought about it. He had been far too focused on Ianto.
“This is one of those big wishes that Soirse warned you about,” Indigo whispered in her ear.
“Oh...” Sarita exhaled softly, giving up trying to use her magic on Ianto. Instead, she simply sat on the chair that Ianto's father pulled up for her, rested her head on the bed, and cried.
Ianto actually smiled. He looked up at his parents and shook his head wryly. “This would be a good time to have more than two hands. I need a third one to stroke her hair, and a fourth one to pat Thomas on the back!”
This prompted Thomas to pull himself together. “Hey! That's not right! You shouldn't be comforting us, we should be comforting you!” He exclaimed softly. A hand wiped away any evidence of the tears he'd refused to cry.
Ianto smiled at him. “If I could have anything I wanted, I'd want nothing more than for you to lie here next to me and sleep, but since this bed is clearly not big enough for the both of us, I think you should go home and get some rest.”
“How could I sleep? I'd be too worried about you to even close my eyes!” Thomas confessed.
Ianto was silent for a few seconds. He looked over to Sarita, who had her head rolled to the side so that she could look at him. Then he looked back at Thomas.
“I wish you a peaceful night's sleep,” Ianto stated softly but clearly.
“No!” Thomas protested, and then growled when he saw Sarita's magic flow into him. “That's hitting below the belt, don't you think?”
She sat up so that she could shrug. “I think a peaceful night's sleep is a good idea all around. I wish I could have one myself, and that goes for you too.” She leaned over and kissed Ianto on the cheek.
Ianto laughed. “I'll have plenty of drugs to knock me out if I need them!”
Sarita smiled at him. “Good.” Then she looked at her brother. “I think Ianto's right, we should go home and get some rest.”
Thomas sighed, knowing that he'd probably be kicked out by a nurse eventually anyway.
“Talya figured that you probably rode in the ambulance on the way here, so she had her bodyguards leave a car here for us to borrow so you could drive us home,” Sarita informed him.
“That's good,” Thomas grumbled, grumpy that he couldn't use that as an excuse to stay.
“Happy birthday,” Sarita said, squeezing Ianto's hand once more.
“Well, it was a very happy birthday up until I had to come to the hospital,” Ianto informed her with a hint of a laugh.
Sarita let go of his hand and got up from her chair. Ianto saw how rebellious Thomas looked, and smiled. He looked up at his parents.
“Could you all give me and Thomas a moment alone?”
“Sure,” his mother replied softly, guiding Sarita out of the room and beckoning her husband to follow.
“I guess I could use a cup of coffee,” Ianto's father remarked.
In the hall a moment later – after the door to Ianto's room had been shut – his father chuckled. “So I guess they're still in the stage where they aren't comfortable kissing in front of others.”
Ianto's mother giggled. “I think it took us being married for five years before I was comfortable kissing in front of my mother!”
Her husband kissed her on the cheek. “You want any coffee, Helen my love?”
“Tea,” she stated. She smiled fondly as her husband walked away. Then she put an arm around Sarita. “Thank you for being here. I'm sure it can't be easy after Ianto broke up with you and started dating your brother.”
Sarita sighed softly, a bit dreamily. “That's okay. I have another boy I like, and besides, I think I always knew that they'd end up together.”
Ianto's mom frowned. “Your shoulder sure is soft and furry...”
Sarita put a finger to her lip and winked mischievously. “Don't tell anyone, but I have my cat under my shirt.”
“Ah!” She exclaimed very softly, returning Sarita's wink. “Got it.”
A second later, Thomas opened the door. “I'm ready to go now...”
Sarita held out her hand without a word.
Thomas was allowed to stay home from school since he refused to go anyway. Ken was a bit upset that neither of them had thought to let him know what was going on, but he understood that they were preoccupied. He offered to let Sarita stay home too, but she shook her head.
“I'll go visit him after school,” she stated.
“Okay,” Ken murmured, kissing her on the temple.
Thomas basically paced the house in agitation for a few hours after his dad left for work, and then decided to cook. He made Ianto's favorite chicken and wild rice soup from scratch. When he was done, he grabbed some of the leftover cookies Sarita had made, and brought everything to the hospital.
When he arrived, Ianto was eating a very bland turkey sandwich. His mom took the insulated bag from Thomas and peeked inside. She rewarded Thomas with a big smile and a kiss on the cheek.
“You're such a dear! Making Ianto's favorite...”
“Please don't tell me that the doctors won't want me to eat it!” Ianto begged, eager to get some flavor in his mouth.
His mom laughed. “The doctors said you can eat whatever you want. They think you are a bit on the thin side.”
“Hooray,” Ianto cheered playfully. Over the years, he had learned to keep a good sense of humor no matter how many times or how long he was in the hospital.
“Are you planning to stay here?” Ianto's mom asked Thomas.
“Yeah. I don't want to leave his side a moment sooner than I have to,” Thomas admitted.
“Good, I'll just go run a few errands then,” she informed them. Normally, her husband worked when Ianto was in the hospital and she took time off. This was why Ianto's father wasn't here at the moment. In any case, she actually had a few loose ends to tie up with her current work project, and appreciated it that someone else could stay with Ianto for a few hours. “I'll be back around dinner time, and I'll bring something more savory than hospital food.”
“Thanks mom,” Ianto praised her with a warm smile. She kissed him on the cheek and squeezed his hand. “Love you.”
“I love you too,” she murmured softly, and then left the room.
Ianto gestured for Thomas to give him some soup already. When he took a bite, he moaned in pleasure. Thomas looked away to hide a pleased blush.
“You're a pretty good cook too,” Ianto complimented him.
“I know...” Thomas grumbled with a shrug.
“And you're pretty cute when you get all embarrassed like that!” Ianto stated with a laugh.
“Oh just eat your lunch!” Thomas insisted as he got comfortable in the chair next to the bed.
“Did you sleep well?” Ianto wondered just before he took another bite of food.
“Yeah, surprisingly. Or maybe not so surprisingly considering the wish you made,” Thomas stated, sounding like he was still mildly annoyed that Ianto had done so.
“I'm doing a little better today. The doctor's think I might have developed a permanent heart murmur,” Ianto informed him. “But if there's no change in the next couple of days, they plan to release me. There's not much else they can do, so if I do get worse, at least I'll be at home.”
“Please don't talk like that!” Thomas exclaimed softly. “You're going to get better!”
“Thomas...” Ianto murmured with a tone of sympathy. “Talking about such things makes me feel better.”
“Oh...” Thomas exhaled a sigh of understanding. “Well... What else do you want to say?”
“My ideal would be to die at home, in my own bed, rather than in the hospital. My parents have already taken care of all the arrangements. I'll be buried in a cemetery that allows for green burials, so there won't be chemicals inside me or a casket or anything. Just me lying in the ground the way nature intended.”
Thomas had to take a deep breath in order to remain calm. “That sounds... uh... nice.”
“I bought a casual suit to wear on dates a while back, and I really like how it looks. It's a sort of soft black and has a shiny dark blue shirt. I think it'll fit you pretty well and look good on you. Would you wear it at my funeral?” Ianto asked.
“Of course,” Thomas whispered. He had to look away and take more deep breaths. Ianto saw this and decided to stop talking for a while.
When Thomas looked like he felt a little better, Ianto grinned at him. “I think we're going to make our date this weekend after all. If the doctors haven't lied, they plan to let me go by Friday, and so we'll be able to go see that movie.”
“I'd feel better if we did something less strenuous. Maybe watch a movie at your house. I'll make dinner,” Thomas offered with a smile.
“That sounds like it could be good too,” Ianto murmured, happily. “We can snuggle up in my bed and eat popcorn while we watch Netflix.”
“Maybe that's a bit too much like tempting fate,” Thomas murmured.
Ianto shifted so that he was laying on his side up against the railing of the bed. He hadn't taken the railing on the one side down yet because most of his cords were wrapped around it for support. After getting comfortable, he patted the meager free space.
“Come here,” Ianto invited. “We're both scrawny, so you should fit.”
“I can't, the nurses will get mad,” Thomas protested.
“Oh let them!” Ianto insisted. “I need to hold you while I nap.”
Thomas twisted his lips suspiciously. “Hmm... You just want to prove to me that I can touch you without killing you.”
“Yep!” Ianto confessed cheerfully.
With a sighed of feigned aggravation, Thomas got up and stood next to the bed. “Fine, but the moment your monitors start making any sort of funny noises, I'm leaving.”
“That's fine,” Ianto assured him, patting the bed again.
Very carefully, Thomas climbed into the bed and slid an arm under Ianto's neck. Ianto shifted again so that he was half laying on Thomas. Thomas stroked Ianto's hair, loving the fact that Ianto's head rested on his shoulder. The fit was tight, but they both enjoyed the snuggling. Thomas reached back and grabbed the other railing to pull it up so that if they both fell asleep, neither would roll off the bed accidentally.
“I love you so much!” Ianto blurted out, clinging to Thomas' shirt.
Thomas kissed Ianto softly. “I love you too.”
Feeling far happier than he should, Ianto sighed dreamily and drifted off to sleep. Thomas smiled, glad for a chance to snuggle with the one he loved. His eyes closed, but he didn't fall asleep.
A while later, a nurse came in to check on Ianto, and when she saw them, she sighed in resignation. “I'll come back later,” she murmured softly. “Sleep is the best thing for him anyway.”
Without another word, she shut the door and left.
Over the next couple of hours, Ken stopped in for a visit, but also didn't have the heart to wake Ianto. Instead, he simply left a card and some balloons before leaving. Of course, that didn't stop him from taking a picture of his son cuddled up so adorably!
He met up with Ianto's mom on the way out of the room. She peeked in and took a picture of her own, then she came back into the hall to talk to Ken. The two were surprisingly cheerful as they stood in the hallway drinking coffee.
“I'm so glad that you are being supportive of our sons' relationship,” Helen stated with a smile. “I know that it's a bit unfair to Thomas, but one of my deepest wishes was that Ianto would get a chance to experience love before he died.”
Ken shrugged. “I wouldn't be any kind of decent parent if I didn't support them. My son is utterly in love too, and that makes him happy, so it makes me happy.” Then he sighed. “Although I will admit that I wish he had fallen in love with someone who he could spend the rest of his life with, but Ianto is such a wonderful boy. I really feel like he is a part of our family.”
Helen nodded in agreement. “And Thomas has become a part of ours.” She looked at the time. “Well, since they are obviously best left alone for now, how about we go get some coffee or something?”
Ken nodded in agreement. “That sounds good. It's probably long past time that we got to know each other.”
Helen smiled. “I agree. I'll call my husband and see if he can join us.”
“Perfect! So, where do you want to go?” Ken wondered.
“I know this wonderful little shop not too far from here,” Helen stated, and then led the way out of the hospital as they chatted.
Go to Chapter 14 and Epilogue
Go to Chapter 14 and Epilogue