Author's note: I apologize for the long wait; I had a really hard time writing this chapter. Anyway, here it is & I hope it was worth the wait. Also I don't own Glee or any of its characters.
It isn't much longer until a few nurses come and help move Finn into his room in the pediatrics wing on the seventh floor. While Carole gets Finn settled in his room, Burt walks out into the lobby and takes out his cell phone to call Kurt. "Hey Kurt, Finn woke up not too long ago and they just took him to his room. He's in the pediatric ICU, so as far as visitors go he's limited to family, but if you want to come down and see him now I'm sure he'd appreciate it."
"How-how is he?" Kurt asks. "Everyone from the Glee Club, Blaine and the rest of the Warblers keep asking if I'd heard anything more from you and Carole yet.
"I'm sure," Burt says, "and you can tell them the surgery itself went really well, but that's all we really know right now. Finn's still pretty out of it, so his doctor hasn't really had a chance to thoroughly examine him since the surgery."
"So in other words, we'll just have to wait and see," Kurt says.
"Yeah," Burt says. "Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that his surgery went well and I know Finn would appreciate it if you would come down and see him."
"Thanks, Dad; you can tell Finn and Carole I'll be down in a little bit," Kurt says.
A half an hour later Kurt arrives at Lima Memorial Hospital and takes the elevator to the seventh floor. He's always hated hospitals; between losing his mom to cancer when he was seven and then just a few months ago when his dad had his heart attack, well they just had a way of bringing back bad memories. As he gets off the elevator he takes his phone out of his pocket to text his dad to let him know he's there.
A minute or two later his dad walks out and meets him in the lobby.
"Hey Dad," Kurt says. "Where's Carole?"
"She's back in Finn's room," Burt says.
"So how is he?" Kurt asks.
"Like I said, his surgery went really well. They were able to fuse the broken vertebrae together, so we just have to wait and see if the damage to his spinal cord is permanent or not."
"Permanent? You mean as in paralyzed, like- like Artie?" Kurt asks his dad, thinking he must've misunderstood.
"Kurt, like I said we don't know for sure that the paralysis is permanent, so don't jump to any conclusions yet. But yes, that is a possibility."
It takes every bit of strength Kurt has not to break down crying right there as they walk down the hall towards Finn's room.
Burt can tell that Kurt is already having a hard time handling this and he hasn't even seen Finn yet. Knowing Kurt's history with hospitals and seeing how he's already struggling to keep himself together, Burt decides he better give him a heads up before he sees Finn, so he stops him outside of Finn's room. "Kurt, I do want to prepare you a little before you go in, Finn's hooked up to a lot of machines and has a couple of tubes too."
"Like what do you mean?" Kurt asks, not liking the sound of this already.
"Well, he has a couple of IV's, a chest tube, a tube in his mouth that's helping him breathe so he can't talk, and a catheter. He's got some pretty nasty bruises too and his right eye is a little black and blue from the accident itself. So yeah, it might look a little scary at first, but just remember all those machines and everything are helping him; he's going to be okay."
"Am I even going to recognize him?" Kurt says, unable prevent a few tears from falling from his eyes.
"Of course you'll recognize him; underneath all those tubes and wires, he's still Finn; he's still your brother," Burt says, trying to comfort Kurt. "You ready?"
"Yeah, I guess as ready as I'll ever be," Kurt says, trying to pull himself together as he follows his dad into Finn's room.
Kurt hesitantly walks into Finn's room. Stray strong, you need to stay strong for Finn he keeps telling himself.
"Hey sweetheart," Carole says, as Kurt walks over and gives her a hug. As he purposefully avoids looking directly at Finn lying in his bed hooked up to what looked like a hundred different machines and he could see that there was a plastic tube in his mouth that was supposedly helping him breathe.
"How's he doing?" Kurt asks, still not looking over at Finn.
"All things considering, Dr. Siegel says he's doing pretty well," Carole says.
"Kurt, you okay?" Burt asks, noticing Kurt has yet to even acknowledge Finn; that he's basically staring at the wall.
"Uh, yeah, I'm fine," Kurt lies; he's uncomfortable as hell but he finally looks over at Finn, lying in his bed with his eyes closed, completely still as all the machines connected to him constantly hum and beep.
"His nurse just gave him some morphine for his pain so he's pretty out of it right now," Carole says. "Sounds like if his breathing continues to stay pretty regular they might actually be able take out his breathing tube in few hours and just keep him then on a small dose of oxygen for awhile."
"That's great," Burt says. "Hey, Kurt, you can go over by him and talk to him if you want" he says. "He's can't talk back, but he can still hear you."
Kurt nervously walks over to the left side of Finn's bed. He doesn't even know what to say, it's hard for him to even look at Finn look this, so how the heck is he going to talk to him. "Hey, Finn; it's Kurt," he says hesitantly. "Everyone from Glee Club keeps texting me and asking about you; especially Rachel. And Blaine too," Kurt says. This can't be happening! How can this possibly be Finn lying here, looking so helpless," Kurt thinks to himself. While Kurt stands there beside his bed, Finn all of a sudden wakes up and opens his eyes.
Finn sees his family all standing around him; he doesn't understand why everyone is staring at him.
"Hey, sweetheart, look who's here," Carole says, as she puts her right hand on his forehand to try to comfort him.
Finn then remembers that he's in the hospital and he starts crying uncontrollably because not only does his back hurt again, but he still has that damn tube down his throat so he can't even ask them what's wrong with him.
Seeing Finn all of the sudden wake up and start to cry and whimper not only makes Kurt uncomfortable but it kind of scares him so he instantly runs out of the room and into the hallway.
"You go ahead and make sure that Kurt's okay," Carole says, knowing that Burt's torn between staying here with her trying to help comfort Finn and running after Kurt. "I'll call his nurse and have her help me with him,"
"You sure?" Burt asks, as Carole presses the "call" button on the remote beside Finn's bed for his nurse to come in and help calm him down.
"Hey, Kurt," Burt says as he walks out of Finn's room after him. "You didn't do anything wrong; he was just waking up and he must've been a little scared because he didn't know where he was or what was going on."
"Dad, I'm sorry; I'm so sorry, but I can't do this! I can't stand there and see Finn like that; with all those tubes and… it just reminds me of Mom when she was sick and in the hospital and I just can't…I can't…"
"Kurt, I know this really hard for you; it's really hard for me too and especially for Carole," Burt says. "I'm not gonna lie and say that being here, seeing Finn like this, doesn't remind me of your mom being in the hospital, but this is a completely different situation."
"I know, Dad. I just," Kurt says, as he finally gives in and just lets the tears fall from his eyes," I can't lose him. I know that sounds crazy 'cause we've only been stepbrothers like a month but…"
"Kurt, you're not going to lose him," Burt says, as he notices Finn's nurse, walk by and into his room. He motions Kurt to move out of the way a little, so they're not blocking the hallway.
"It just doesn't make sense!" Kurt says. "I mean, Finn's always been the stronger one and…"
"You're right; it doesn't make sense. No, seventeen year old kid should be lying in a hospital bed, possibly paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life, because some middle-aged drunk guy ran into his truck head on at almost 90 mph," Burt says. "But life isn't always fair; you and I both know that more than anyone. But sometimes obstacles and challenges come into your life that don't make any sense at all, but in the end they ultimately make you stronger."
"So you're saying that Finn's accident happened for a reason, then? That if he ends up being paralyzed that there's a reason why he's stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life?" Kurt asks in sarcastic tone.
"To be honest, I don't know that; but Carole and I cling to that hope. Personally, I think you have to have faith that God or Fate or at least some sort of Higher Power allowed this to happen for a reason."
"I wish I could have that kind of faith, but I don't; I can't, not after losing Mom," Kurt says. "
"I'm not saying you have to agree with me ; I'm just telling how I'm dealing with all of this."
"Look, Kurt, Finn is going to need us; all of us, to be there for him. This whole ordeal and his recovery is probably going to be the hardest thing he's ever had to deal with," Burt says. "We're a family, which means we're there for each other; through the good and the bad.
"I know," Kurt says. "Just like we were all there for you after your heart attack. And believe me I want to be there, but it's just not easy seeing him…like that."
"I know it's not easy," Burt says, "it's not easy for me seeing him like that either," Burt admits. "But just imagine how much harder this going to be for Finn once he realizes what happened to him and what the implications of his injury might mean for him. But the thing is, Finn won't be able to run and hide or ignore his injury like your trying to do; he's going to have to face it head on. So are you going to do that to him; the last thing he'd want is for you or anyone else to feel like they can't be around him because they feel sorry for him. You don't want to do that to him, do you?"
"No," Kurt says.
"So you think you can pull yourself together and go back and face Finn once his nurse comes back out?" Burt asks.
"I'd be a pretty bad brother if I didn't," Kurt says, finally able to smile just a little bit.
Anyway, I hope that was worth the wait! Please review! And I hope to have the next chapter up sometime soon.