- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Domestic Violence
- No Beta
- Alternate Universe
- Canon Divergence
- Challenge Response
House Rules: No White Walls
When Evan Buckley opened his eyes, he almost closed them again immediately in the hope that no one would notice. White was the first thing that he saw, and he wanted to throw a tantrum, because he knew what that color meant. Once again, he was in the hospital. It wasn’t fair. He’d done everything that he’d been told to do and yet he still ended up back in the hospital.
Glancing away from the white ceiling he’d been glaring at, Buck let his eyes roam around the room looking to see if anyone was in the room with him. He could hear the familiar sound of his sister’s voice out in the hallway, and just the tone made him cringe and want to hide. Every once in a while, he could just make out Eddie’s voice along with another he didn’t recognize and guessed that it was whatever doctor was handling his case.
“Buck?” He heard and glancing around the room again, saw Bobby standing in the doorway to what he could now see was a bathroom. Quickly the older man moved to the bedside as Buck tried to pull his attention away from the doorway leading out into the hall.
“I hate white walls,” Buck said, turning his gaze back to the ceiling, as he silently wished Daniel was there.
“I’ve hated white walls since I was a kid, because white walls mean hospital, which means Danny is sick again. Or, more importantly, Margaret thinks that Danny is sick again and therefore the world is ending. Which meant that suddenly her attention was focused on what I was doing and was I healthy enough to give whatever was needed for him. Of course, most of the time it was nothing more than a simple cold or the flu or whatever, but she refused to believe that. I think that she liked the attention that she got when he had leukemia. It wasn’t quite Munchausen, but it certainly was annoying. By the time I was 12 and Danny was leaving for college, I swore when I got my own place I’d never have white walls.”
“Doesn’t the loft have white walls?” Bobby asked carefully, and Buck huffed. “Yes, I hate them. It’s part of why I want to move out from there. They won’t let me paint them and I can’t stand seeing those damned white walls every day. I’ve just been waiting for Danny to decide if he’s going to move out here or not. If he does, then we’re getting a house together. He just isn’t sure about the difference in California building and design codes from New York. He says he’s been working on classes to get his license here, but… I don’t know.”
When Maddie’s voice grew even sharper and shriller, Buck couldn’t help but flinch. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bobby move away from the bedside, and watched as the older man moved to the door where he let the doctor know that he was shutting the door because the argument was bothering Buck.
While he appreciated the thought, Buck wasn’t surprised when not only did Eddie enter the room, but unfortunately, so did Maddie. “Evan, tell this doctor that there has been a mistake. There’s some error in their system and he’s not listening to me in regard to your care. You obviously can’t be trusted to make decisions for yourself, given you have landed yourself back in the hospital because of your recklessness. So, from here forward we’re doing what I want!”
Letting out an unhappy huff of laughter, Buck lifted his hands, pressing the heal of his palms against his eyes making white circles appear in the darkness as he tried to calm down. “You sound like Margaret,” Buck said ignoring what she’d said.
“It’s something else I hate along with fucking white walls. Everyone in the damned hospital could hear her make a fool of herself insisting that Danny didn’t just have a simple cold, but was dying again of some fucking rare disease only she knew about.”
“That’s… How could you say that to me?” Maddie shot back, the quivering sound in her voice told him without even looking that the tears had already come out.
“I can say that because it’s a truth,” Buck offered quietly. “You’re precariously close to being just like her, and I hate it. I wish Danny was here. Fuck, I need Danny to be here. Instead, I have you, and to be honest I wish you were the one on the other coast. I think we’d get along much better.”
“Evan Alexander Buckley! How dare you be so hateful.”
“I dare because I’m tired. I dare because I’ve had enough. I’m tired of you sticking your nose in my business, but keeping me at more than an arms length when it comes to your own personal life. You aren’t my mother, Maddie. I don’t like the one I have, and I don’t want another one. If I did, frankly, it would be Athena Grant or maybe Carla. You wouldn’t even make the list.
“There is no mistake. The first thing I did after I got out of the hospital after the bombing was to have a lawyer friend of Danny’s update all my legal stuff. You have no legal right to make any kind of decision for me, especially medical decisions. Eddie is my primary choice, with Danny being second choice. If neither of them are available, Carla is my third designation. Because of you, I had to take Bobby off the list because its clear that he’d rather take information about my life from Chim instead of talking to me. Thanks for that by the way, Maddie. Bobby meant a lot to me and you’ve done your best to destroy that relationship.”
“It was obscene! You have a father!”
“Madeline, that is enough.” Buck heard from the direction of the doorway, and almost cried as he recognized his older brother’s familiar voice.
“Yes, I agree,” the doctor said glaring at the room as he came in behind Danny with an older woman that Buck guessed to be a nurse closely behind. “Everyone out! If Mr. Buckley would like his two POA’s to stay, then they are welcome to, but I will have to ask Ms. Kendall and Captain Nash to leave. You were warned Ms. Kendall that if you pulled your antics in here when Buck was awake that you would be thrown out. Apparently, you didn’t believe me, so I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You can do so of your own will, or I can call security and have them escort you out of the hospital.”
Turning his attention away from the chaos that was his sister, Buck left the others to deal with making her go away. Feeling a hand touch his arm Buck glanced to his left to see Eddie standing there. “Hey,” his best friend said softly. “So, I vote we lock your sister and mother in a room with my older sister Adriana and my mother and make them fight to the death.”
Buck let out a shaky laugh and closed his eyes for a moment to try and calm down. “I’m sorry that you had to deal with her shit so soon. I swear, Eds, I did everything they told me to.”
“This wasn’t your fault, Mr. Buckley,” the doctor said, and opening his eyes, Buck looked to where the doctor was standing on the right side of his bed. “I was reviewing your medical information in our systems and noticed that some vital components of your recovery were left out when you initially went home after the explosion. It’s why your brother Daniel called me tonight and asked me to take over your care.”
Turning his attention to the end of the bed where Danny was standing, Buck lifted an eyebrow in question. He and Danny had always been able to have conversations without words. One of Danny’s friends in high school liked to joke that they must have included some of Buck’s brain cells with the bone marrow transfer because it was obvious the brothers shared a brain. As a kid, Buck fully believed it, and even as an adult liked to believe it was true even though logically he knew it couldn’t be.
“He has a younger brother that I went to college with.”
“Of course, you did,” Buck said with a snort returning his brother’s grin before looking at the doctor again. “So, what happened and how far did this set me back?”
“Well, you’ll most likely be in the hospital for around 5 to 7 days. It’s necessary because we need to add some blood thinners to your medication and we need to make sure that there are no other blood clots. I don’t have a for sure answer yet about what happened, but looking at the hardware they put in you, its possible the screws did it.
“There was recently a note in a medical journal I read that warned about possible blood clots being a rare side effect for that particular brand. While I was not your original doctor, I am offer my apologies that you were not prescribed blood thinners and an IPC device. While you are in the hospital I am going to order a series of tests and do a thorough review to make sure that nothing else was missed. As to how long this will set you back, that’s something we’re going to have to wait to see about. I just don’t know right now.”
“S’not your fault Doc, but I appreciate it,” Buck said closing his eyes briefly feeling tired. “If I’m going to be here for a week, can we limit who can visit? I just… It’s not just Maddie that’s an issue. I’ve gotten some comments from some others even before this that suggested I was being reckless with myself. Even though none of them know anything about my recovery.”
“Absolutely,” the doctor promised as he made a note on the tablet he was carrying. “Just let Nurse Haskins here know who you want to be allowed to visit and we’ll make a note in our systems. As to your sister though, I’m going to have her barred from visiting during your current stay. I just can’t allow her to upset not only you but the other patients around you.”
“Doctor, can one of us stay with him overnight? At least for a couple nights?” Danny asked moving to stand beside Eddie. “He’s had a lot of upheaval recently and I would feel better if someone was here with him.”
The doctor nodded, appearing to make more notes on his tablet. “I have put a note in the system that yourself and Mr. Diaz are not subject to visiting hours as his POA’s. I feel like it’s the least we can do at this point, and with all of our rooms being private rooms, it shouldn’t effect the other patients. That couch there folds out into a bed, and there should be some pillows and blankets in that closet over there. I will be back tomorrow afternoon and we’ll discuss your care going forward.”
After the doctor left, Nurse Haskins came over and introduced herself saying that she was the nurse assigned to his room. When Danny asked if they could bring him food, she checked her own tablet and advised he wasn’t on any special dietary requirements and therefore could have outside food. Then after a couple more questions, she left them alone, closing the door behind them promising to be back in about an hour to get the list of approved visitors.
“House Rule #1: No white walls allowed,” Daniel muttered as he moved to sit on the edge of Buck’s bed.
“Does this mean you’ve made a decision?” Buck asked as Eddie excused himself to go call and check on Chris for a moment leaving the brothers alone for a little bit.
“I did. I already sent Randy a note that I was moving up my timetable. I feel like shit because I should have done it already, but I’ve been letting him guilt me into delaying. If I’d been here from the start, you wouldn’t have had to deal with Maddie’s nonsense.”
“It’s not your fault that she’s turned into Margaret. It’s her own fault because she refuses to get any kind of counselling. She’s been jealous of how close we are for years, even though she did her best to ignore us the second she left for college. I mean she went to Boston and basically never came back, whereas you came back as much as you could until I left home. Even when you couldn’t come home you called me every day and we exchanged letters and emails as much as possible after we left home.
“I hate what happened to her with Doug, but its not our fault and we shouldn’t have to take her nonsense because she seems to think that magically all the mental damage that he did to her just poof goes away because she left him. Hell, if you hadn’t gotten him arrested for assaulting those prostitutes, the fucker probably would have tracked her down and tried to kill her. How long will it take you to move?”
“Probably at least a month, which… I need to ask a favor while I’m working on that.”
Buck nodded and waited to hear what Daniel needed. There was very little he would deny his brother, but it was always good to hear what he was agreeing to. “I’d like you to move in with Eddie and Christopher while I am gone. I don’t like you being alone, especially while you’re working through this blood clot nonsense, and let’s face it. We both know that the second I am on a plane, Maddie will be all over you trying to change your mind. At least if you’re at Eddie’s you will have backup. Maybe you can even man up and tell him how you feel.”
Buck huffed and glanced at the door that was still closed, before shooting Danny a glare. Of course, it didn’t faze his brother in the least, as the grin he was wearing reflected. “No matchmaking! Things with Eddie are complicated. His wife just died, remember? I do have something to ask you though about him and Christopher.”
When Danny nodded and made a go on motion with his hand, Buck launched into the idea he’d been noodling. “Would you be open to us getting a house that would fit him and Christopher, and maybe his Abuela, too? Eddie’s house is ok, but it needs some changes for Christopher and his landlord is being a dick about some of them. And his father is pushing for his abuela to move back to Texas because they’re worried about her living alone.
“Eddie says she would hate it, but there’s no one here that has room for her. So, because of that she’s seriously thinking about doing it. I’m not sure who would be more heartbroken if she left LA, abuela or Chris and Eddie. I was thinking that we could get something with a bedroom downstairs for Chris and maybe an in-law suite or a guest house that abuela could live in. It’s not like we can’t afford it and it would be nice to have so many people around.”
“I’m not opposed to the idea,” Danny replied after a pause to consider it. “House Rule #2: The house cannot be white either.”
Buck nodded and glared up at the white ceiling as his eyelids got heavy as he grew tired again. Feeling Danny press a kiss to his forehead, Buck rolled his head toward his brother and squinted at him as he tried to stay awake. “Go to sleep, Buckaroo. Eddie and I will work out a schedule so that one of us is here at all times. I told Randy I wasn’t coming back until you’re out of the hospital. So we’ll get it worked out. Rest, and don’t worry about anything but getting better. We have time to work out everything else.