Chapter 13: Finnegan's Wake
Mitzi took a 5 hour train ride that day, only to take a 5 hour train ride back to St. Louis. She'd heard about what had gone down, about Calvin's condition...how he'd lived, but just barely, and how they weren't sure when he'd be fully recovered. She'd heard that the next morning, no blood had been seen or anything like it. She knew that Mordecai was still in Defiance. And she knew that Ivy wouldn't be too pleased to hear about Calvin.
It was 1:45. She got to Ruby's door. She found Ivy, sitting out front. She'd phoned early in the morning. "Ivy...did I tell you everything?"
"Most of it…"
"Walk with me, sweetie." Ivy nodded and walked, still wearing Calvin's jacket. She smiled a little. "So he got him, right? You told me that?" Mitzi had splurged a little bit and had opted for a more luxurious train, a bit more spacious. Still, she whispered. "Well...he did, yes. But he...got hit."
Ivy's eyes went wide. "...he's alive right?" She gripped Mitzi's hand. "He's alive? And he's gonna be waiting for me at the station, right? He's gonna be there and...and I'm gonna hug him and give him his jacket back?" She started to tear up. She wasn't about to have spent 4 days away from every one of her friends and come back to a dead Calvin, was she?
"Oh, Ivy, dear...he's alive. But he's not holding on with very much. Apparently they had to put a lot of blood in him." She said. "They had to drain it from some random corpse they had lying around...at least that one died in a car wreck or the blood couldn't-"
"But he's alive?"
Ivy nodded and choked back tears. "Good...I was worried when he didn't call." She covered her mouth with her hand. "Is he in St. Louis?"
"Defiance, with the Arbogasts." She nodded. "I'll have Wick drive you as soon as you get back if you'd like? I would but I can't do so much travel in one day."
"I would love that."
Meanwhile, Elsa wiped her brow, washing a blood soaked rag in the sink. She looked over at Mordecai. "It's a miracle he survived." Mordecai nodded. "If that man hadn't died when he did we'd have a corpse with us."
"Poetic, isn't it? Death begat life. It rarely does."
"Hmm. What did you do with that body?"
"Oh, I dumped him in the swamp early this morning. Is Calvin awake?"
"No. But he's breathing. And his heart's beating. Best we can hope for right now."
Bobby came downstairs and looked at Calvin. "Well, Elsa, you did a good job on this one! Barely escaped, eh?"
Calvin was still shirtless. He didn't have one. He was wrapped in a large bandage that covered the wound, and under a blanket. He very groggily and shakily woke up, sputtering. "Ahhh….it...it's bright."
"Calvin?" Elsa asked, heading over to him. "Can you hear me?'
"Can you see me?"
"I can, yes." he looked over. Elsa spoke again. "Do you feel funny?"
"I feel...cold. And in pain. A lot of pain. In my side. It that the wound?"
"Yes...it'll take a while."
"How'd you do it? I was on the brink."
"You can ask Richard Parsons when you go to his tombstone as soon as you can walk." She pointed over to a body under a sheet. "b-." She looked over at him. "Blood had to go somewhere." Calvin sat up, rubbing his head. "I feel awful...is that normal?"
Bobby nodded. "You've been shot, son. I assure you it's normal." Mordecai got up. "You two keep him company. I have to get going." He left without even saying anything to Calvin. As far as he was concerned, the target was gone and the client was safe. He was done. Calvin moved his hands, and looked at the ceiling. "So...what now?"
"Well, when Mordecai called Mitzi, she said said she'd send someone around 7 o'clock. I guess a girl named Ivy."
"Ivy? Good." Bobby patted Calvin's head. "It's been a rough night for you, now, hasn't it? Did you get any sleep?"
The hours passed. The train chugged along, and got back to the station right on time, as was the nature of such things. The railroad was consistent. Ivy got off and went to the daisy and got right in the car with Wick. "Wick! I can give you directions." Mitzi kissed Wick gently and walked inside. Wick looked over. "Enjoy your stay in Kansas City?"
"It wasn't awful...but it was pretty boring. No Calvin, no Helen or Olivia, the bars there aren't even as fun." She said. She stretched and smiled. "I'm just happy to be back! Oh- take a left up here, will you?"
Eventually, they got there. Wick hadn't brought much...just some food and a spare change of clothes, figuring that he'd want something to wear that wasn't stuff he'd almost died in. Wick was tired, having attended long business meetings from 7 in the morning to 6 at night, but at least he was going to visit Calvin, and not to his wake. He walked out of the car, looking at the place. Abelard almost frightened him to death when he stood up. "Who're you? Oh...the child from before."
Wick pointed to himself. "I'm flattered, but I-"
"Not you, the girl. Just...go inside. He's in the basement."
"You and he have a history?" Wick whispered to Ivy as they walked in, heading down the steps to the basement.
"Not dating, just...it's complicated. Y'know how Rocky has that giant gash in his head?"
"Well, Ivy!" Bobby smiled and shook her hand. "He's this way. I know you're not possibly interested in little old me~" He joked. Ivy chuckled, but it all stopped when she saw the state that Calvin was in. Of course, he wasn't dead, but he was pretty rough looking. The fur around the bandages was matted and dark red, and his eyes were hollow. His fur was messy and his ears were drooping low. "Ivy." His voice, even, was shaking and weak. The sharp brogue he spoke with that warmed the room before now seemed to chill the air, sounding tragic and hoarse.
"Calvin...oh, c'mere!" She hugged him, careful not to touch the bandages. "You're alive...you're safe!" She kissed him deep and hard. She pulled away and smiled. "Well...you kept your promise, didn't you?"
"I guess so. Barely." He held her close and looked over. "Wick...nice of you to come."
"Nice of you to not die." He said. He patted his shoulder and put the clothes at the foot of his bed. "Who's the doctor, when're you out of here?" Elsa walked over and moved the clothes. "I'm the doctor. He'll be out in a few days I think. Until then we'll take care of him." Wick nodded. "And visiting hours are…"
"Whenever we're awake, I suppose. And whenever the Marigold personnel aren't around." She shrugged. Bobby put his hands on his hips. "They always liked exclusivity, but what they don't know won't hurt them." Ivy nodded. "Elsa? You gotta promise they won't find him."
"We're moving him upstairs tonight. He'll be fine."
"Glad to hear it." They heard another knock on the door, and some more feet down the steps of the basement.
"Of course, the syrups the most fun part, so you have to be-Well, if it isn't the hole-y one himself! Can't be almost dying like that too often, Freckle!" Rocky hugged Calvin a little...less carefully than Ivy had. Calvin winced. "Ahh...hi Rocky. Can you watch where yer...gripping?"
"Oh, the uh...the wound. Oops." He shrugged. "Anyway, I am very glad you're okay. I dunno what I'd do with myself if I found out you'd been shot based off of information I got!"
"I appreciate it."
"I also brought your friend here." Ronan peeked his head out from the stairwell and walked into the room. "Calvin." He said. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked over. "Thanks for all this. I dunno how to pay you back, really."
"It was both our problem, it's fine." Ronan teared up, and started bawling, hugging Calvin close. Calvin hugged back...he'd been getting a lot of those today. But whereas Ivy's was an 'I missed you so much' hug and Rocky's was an 'awkward relative hug', this was a much more 'I was horrified and I'm glad it's over' hug. "I'm so sorry I brought this to you, Calvin, this is my fault...I should've gone somewhere else." he sat back on the bed. "I wish I could find a good way to apologize, but-"
"Ronan." Calvin smiled. "There's nothing you could've done. I promise you. You did what you could to help." Ronan smiled, happy to hear his friend say that. "Alice is coming back from the station, I phoned her this morning. I have to go. Rocky, I'll leave it at the spot you said, aye?"
"Of course, my Irish chum." Ronan stared at Calvin for a moment, then kissed his forehead. "I'll see you someday."
"Aye. Someday." And with that, Ronan left.
Wick, Ivy, Rocky, Calvin, and the Arbogasts enjoyed a bit of conversation together. Calvin even got up and walked a little, going upstairs and standing on the porch. He smiled at Ivy. "Ivy?'
"I'm glad you're safe."
"I'm glad you're safe, too." She kissed him once more, that must've been the 14th time today. Neither cared. They were glad to be okay.
"Goodnight, Calvin...I'll visit tomorrow after classes!"
"Goodnight, Ivy. Tell the others I said hello."
They loaded up and left. Elsa watched them drive off. "You really love her don't you?"
"More than anything in the world." Elsa helped him inside. "I guess I was just afraid we'd be taken away from each other...I want to say thank you for helping me. I wouldn't be here without it."
"Truth be told, you weren't supposed to make it."
"We pumped maybe 7 pints of blood in you. 7 pints of a random person. Other than the blood type your safety was a gamble."
"I guess I'm just lucky then?"
"Blessed, I'd say."
"Blessed sounds nice." He smiled at her. "I'm gonna get some sleep."
"You do that. I will, too."
Calvin headed up to bed, staring out the window. The view reminded him of the pastoral view he'd seen in Ireland, all those years ago. He could see the stars. He hoped that he and Ivy would live in a little house in the country someday. Now that he was out of the woods of his biggest nightmare, it was much easier to dream about it. He thoroughly intended to.
And for the first time in days, he got a good night's sleep.