Derek was on his way to a surgery again. He was a professional hockey player, and it happens quite often in his trade, but no matter how many times he gets under the knife, he could not get used to it.
"Casey!" He bemoaned.
She looked up from the bags and bags of clothes and necessities she brought to the hospital and was assembling around the room.
"Yes, Derek?" The woman answers, in a rather crossed voice.
He raises his arms. "C'mere."
She steps closer to the bed and hovered over him. "Are you alright?"
"I am nervous about today." Derek took her hands on his and moaned.
"You will be okay, you big baby." The woman kissed his fluffy brown head as he sighed, throwing his head back. "You are in the best hands in Canada, I promise."
"I just hate it. You know I hate hospitals!" He moaned once more and Casey could not help but smile at his childish display.
Derek does hate hospitals. He was a terrible patient, having low tolerance for pain, no patience to speak of and absolutely despised the sight of blood and the prospect of taking medication.
Casey did not care for it, either, since she was a very anxious person and did not manage well the pained looks her husband threw her, and his shouts and grimaces broke her from inside. No amount of time as a hockey wife managed to beat it out of her.
Derek was getting old. After ten successful years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, they did not renew his contract. The man, ever the stubborn one, managed to find another team to play.
His first season at the Ottawa Senators, however, was marred with injury, and nothing of a clinical nature he tried was managing for the pain to go away and heal. His ankle was in so much pain and it was getting worse.
The team suggested, then, that he undertakes surgery on his ankle, for a more complete and speedy recovery. He was devastated that this was going to be ruling him out for a while, but he was resigned to the knowledge that it was very needed.
So, it came down to it, the two of them were at the hospital, waiting to be called down from his ankle surgery.
Casey hugged Derek's head against her midsection, patting comfortingly his hair, trying to distract them both from the impending procedure.
"Where are the kids?" He mumbled.
"I left them with Marti and Simon." She responded. "They were all too glad to babysit for a little money."
"You might regret that." He pointed out.
She giggled. "I most certainly will. Mom and George are coming home from Victoria Island and will be waiting for us at home. I asked Mom to make you some steak once you feel better from the anesthesia."
"I'm so sick I can't even enjoy the thought of it." He bemoaned.
"It'll be alright." She kissed his hair again.
Right then, they were interrupted by the doctor and two nurses.
"Derek Edward Venturi, we are ready for you." The doctor smiled as Derek kissed his wife's head.
"I'll be waiting when you come out of surgery." She smiled at him.
"I love you" He mouthed as he was wheeled down to the operating room.
Alone, Casey sighed, heavy-hearted. She was feeling rather lost, as she had no idea how long it was going to be, nor what she needed to do.
"Excuse me, ma'am." A nursed piped up from the door. "You can't wait here alone, but if you would like a coffee or tea, you can go down through this hallway to the cafe."
She got up and picked up her purse. "Thank you. Do you know how long the surgery will go on for?"
"For his operation, it is usually three or four hours. You can wait at the reception, but if you would rather, you may leave. That is okay, we know waiting around can be a little bit stressful."
Casey nodded, bitterly. "Yes, it is very stressful, but I prefer staying close, in case you need me."
"Very well." The nurse nodded. "Excuse me."
She smiled at the retreating worker and left to get a hot drink, intending to drink a cup of chamomile tea and some sweet snacks to keep up her energy and calm her nerves, as she prepares to be really nervous while waiting.
Four hours and a half had passed. Casey was allowed to return to the room, with the assurance that the surgery was, preliminarily, a success.
"So, he is doing well." The doctor had said. "The surgery went very successfully, and, as far as I could see, he should make a full recovery after a stint in rehab. He is still coming off of the anesthetic, so he should be confused and feeling ill, but overall okay."
The woman smiled at the information. "Thank you, doctor." She muttered.
She heard some commotion in the hallway, and soon enough Derek was wheeled in looking as groggy as when he got wasted at the afterparty on occasion of his first Stanley Cup title. She smiles, that was the night they conceived Lucas.
Casey grabbed Derek's hand. He looked so sleepy still when his eyes flickered.
"Hello, sleepy head." She leant over the bed as she stroked his face.
"Hello." He responded groggily and with a croaky voice.
"You okay?" She asked him softly.
"Yes, I think I am okay. Did the doctor say anything?"
She nodded. "He said it went very well, Der. Would you like me to wet your lips?"
The man nodded. Casey picked up some wet tissues and placed onto his chapped lips. He was very thirsty, but he could not drink any water until sunset.
"Thank you." He mumbled as his wife wetted his lips and stroked his face.
"No problem. I hope you are okay, I will be here for your recovery. We will get through this together" She smiled, comfortingly.
"Thank you, Case." He smiled as he kissed her knuckles and held her hands. "I love you."
"I love you, too. Bad ankle or not."