A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #18413  by Oliver Sanders
Location: Golden Wing Hospice Long Term Care Center • Date: September 28

Oliver stared at the bed.

He was sitting on the opposite side of the room because he couldn't bring himself to sit any closer. Sitting closer would remind himself who was lying in the bed, unable to respond to anything he did or said. Thankfully, he had managed to dig deep into his pocket and pay for a private room.

The past few days had been a whirlwind. From getting the news to putting in for emergency leave from work to travel to San Francisco of all places (because of course the best hospital had to be on the other side of the country) to finally finding himself sitting alone in a room staring at a bed.

He refused to speak to the nurses who came in, and had only volunteered the required information to the healers. All he did was sit, stare at the bed, and eat the sandwiches that were occasionally placed in front of him.

Was he in shock? Probably. After all, the news that his life partner had been in a terrible accident and was now in a coma was hard to swallow, especially since things had been going so well for them lately.

Oliver blinked, shaking himself out of his thoughts as he heard the door open behind him. It was probably another nurse here to offer him a blanket. He sat still as a log, staring ahead, adamant to continue ignoring the medical staff. They couldn't help him; the healer had already explained that there was nothing they could do but keep Anthony comfortable until he woke up on his own.
Last edited by Oliver Sanders on 28 Sep 2018, 23:29, edited 1 time in total.
 #18416  by Zeke Warren
The moment he heard what had happened, Zeke had immediately applied for a leave of his own. After all, an uncle was family, right? In any case, he needed to support his father, who was beside himself with worry. Who wouldn't be? Zeke was horrified by the news, and Anthony was his father's brother. And then there was Oliver to think about. Zeke couldn't say he was particularly close to the man, but he had spent enough time with him to know that he deeply loved Anthony. Even though he couldn't say he had ever seen Oliver emotional, he couldn't imagine what the man was going through right now.

The moment he arrived in San Francisco, he had gotten a hotel room booked for him and his father. His siblings had all stayed home, since they weren't as close to Anthony as Zeke was. He had always felt a special connection to his uncle, and with his recent revelations about himself, now it all made sense. Then, he had gone with his father to the hospital. His father said something about sorting out some financial information, and Zeke went off to find Anthony's room.

"Are you family?" the nurse asked when he said he was looking for Anthony Warren. Zeke nodded, his throat still feeling tight.

"His nephew," he replied, wrapping his arms around himself. The nurse smiled, then told him that his uncle was waiting in the room. Zeke frowned and went to the room she had indicated, pushing open the door. There was Oliver sitting in a chair, his back slightly hunched over. He stepped forward, reaching out and putting a hand on the man's shoulder. Technically, Oliver was his boss, but in this situation, he was comfortable to say that Oliver was certainly his uncle too.

"My dad's downstairs. He'll be here soon," he said softly, stepping around the chair and into Oliver's field of vision.
 #18417  by Oliver Sanders
Oliver started when he felt the hand on his shoulder. None of the nurses had dared to touch him after his behaviour the first night he had been there. One of these days he would have to apologise for that, but not now. Now, he was trying to hold himself together.

Then the familiar voice spoke and he lifted his head, glancing sideways at the hand on his shoulder. The figure stepped around him, and he finally recognized Anthony's nephew. His intern. The kid was smart, if a bit timid in the office. He had the feeling he had only applied for the internship because it had been available. Oliver had only hired him because Anthony had convinced him it would be good for the boy.

"Mhm," he grunted, glancing up at Zeke with bloodshot eyes. He had barely slept in the three days he had been in San Francisco. Sometimes the bold nurses tried to suggest he get some rest, and he glared daggers at them. There was no way he was leaving Anthony's side, even if he couldn't get closer than where he was now.

"No change since I've been here," he mumbled, surprised at how quiet his voice was. "Had to tell them I was his brother to stay here." That part was important. He didn't want to be asked to leave on account of not being family.
 #18419  by Zeke Warren
Well, Oliver looked terrible. Zeke would never say that to the man, but he could tell Oliver was running on little food and even less sleep. He wondered how long he had been sitting on that chair. His eyes wandered over to the bed on the other side of the room where Anthony lay, unmoving, and quickly refocused his gaze on the man beside him.

"O-oh, yeah," he stammered. He hadn't thought of that. It was a shame that Oliver had to make up a story just to sit in the room with the man he loved. "Okay, yeah. I'll remember that. You look like a Warren, anyway, so it works." He was rambling, but he really didn't know how he was supposed to react in the situation.

Just then, the door opened and Zeke glanced towards it, seeing his father walk in. Alexander Warren had quite the presence as he entered a room. Zeke made eye contact with the elder Warren, giving a barely perceptible shake of his head, and his father nodded in return, walking around the other side of Oliver.

"Arthur and Lily are on their way with the boys. We're going to split the bill and you can give us a third whenever you can," he said, extending a hand to Oliver. Zeke retreated to the corner, trying not to look over at the bed while the men discussed business.
 #18420  by Oliver Sanders
Oliver couldn't help the pang of annoyance. He knew Zeke was just trying to help, but he wasn't in the mood for silly comments like that, especially when he was dealing with so much right now. When Alexander entered the room, though, he slowly rose to his feet, accepting the hand. Then he shook his head. "No. I'll pay it all," he said, blinking away his blurry vision. Sleep was threatening to encroach on him, and he tried to keep it at bay.

"We agreed... we're covering our own medical costs, no matter how we have to do it," he tried to explain, glancing sideways at the bed. That did it. He squeezed his eyes closed, his chin dropping to his chest as his shoulders heaved. "I want to... look after it. Myself. Th-thank you. But I'll pay you in full."

The door opened once more and Oliver turned his back, not wanting the cheery nurse who walked in to see him. She pranced past him, and Oliver turned to face the wall, lifting his eyes only for a brief moment to make eye contact with Alexander.

The nurse passed a comment about Anthony being lucky to have two brothers with him, and Alexander must have smiled, because she continued chatting absently as she checked everything she needed to. Then she left.

"I hate them," Oliver said through gritted teeth. "So much."
 #18421  by Zeke Warren
Zeke watched the exchange from the other side of the room, wrapping his arms around himself. It was uncomfortable, but he had come to support his father and his uncle, so he would stay.

At least, until he was asked to step out, which his father immediately did after the nurse left. Zeke nodded tersely, then left the room, leaning against the wall. He hated hospitals. They always smelled funny.
 #18423  by Oliver Sanders
The moment Zeke left the room, Oliver began a whispered argument with Alexander over the issue of finances until finally Alexander acquiesced to his request to pay for everything.

"Thank you," Oliver said quietly, glancing over at the bed again. Alexander followed his gaze.

"Why don't you go get a coffee. Take Zeke with you. Take a break. I'm here now, he's not alone," he said, putting a hand on Oliver's elbow. Oliver glanced down at the hand, then his face crumbled.

"Okay," he muttered, turning to leave. Before he could, Alexander was pulling him into a hug. Oliver stood awkwardly against his... brother-in-law... and when he was released, he turned to leave the room. At the door, he turned back. "If anything changes--"

"I'll have you paged," was the response. Oliver nodded and stepped out of the room, glancing tiredly at Zeke. "You want a coffee? Must have been a long flight," he muttered, making eye contact with one of the annoying nurses who quickly ducked into a room to avoid him.
 #18424  by Zeke Warren
When the door opened, Zeke expected his father. When he saw instead the stocky frame of his boss, his eyes nearly bugged out. "O-okay," he replied, watching Oliver warily. He wasn't sure what he was expecting in the cafeteria, but with the way Oliver stood, as though he was ready to pass out, he was worried they might be getting a bed for him too.

He figured there was a reason Oliver was finally leaving the room, though, and he quickly regained his senses. "Yeah, it was pretty long. You look like you could use one too," he chanced, not sure how Oliver would respond. Maybe he would be the one ducking into random rooms to avoid the man.
 #18425  by Oliver Sanders
Oliver gave a tired chuckle. "At the very least it would help me stay awake," he said. Now that he was out of the hospital room, it seemed like he had gotten a burst of energy. Maybe it was the knowledge that he wasn't the only one there to watch Anthony. Of course, he still had no intentions of leaving the hospital, but at least now he was comforted by the presence of the other Warren men.

"Don't tell me I have to approve your leave when I get back," he said suddenly, trying to keep himself distracted as they walked down the hall towards the cafeteria. "And did you make sure someone covered your work?" Since the only other thing the two had in common was Anthony, he was using work as a way to keep his thoughts elsewhere.
 #18426  by Zeke Warren
Zeke gave a nervous chuckle of his own. At least it seemed like Oliver wasn't going to bite his head off. That was a plus. When the man started talking about work, he shrugged.

"I think Leroy approved it, so it shouldn't pass your desk unless I don't come back," he said, absently as they walked past one of the lounges. "And Fawn has my charting project." The other intern had been more than happy to take on the project. Sometimes Zeke wondered if she liked him. That would be awkward. "None of the other interns had time so Leroy said the lists could wait until I get back." If it was a distraction Oliver wanted, then Zeke was happy to oblige.
 #18427  by Oliver Sanders
Oliver nodded slowly. "Okay, good. The lists aren't top priority, anyway. Fawn seems more than capable to understand your shorthand," he said, glancing up as they finally reached the cafeteria. "You go find somewhere to sit. Black?" he asked, reaching into his pocket for his wallet.
 #18428  by Zeke Warren
Zeke hadn't expected that. "Uh... yeah. Black is fine. You sure? I have cash..." he said, digging out his own wallet. A hand was raised in response and he sighed. "Okay, thank you."

He looked around the room, searching for an empty table. Once he spied one, he made his way over and sat, watching Oliver in line. If he didn't know any better, he wouldn't have known anything was wrong. The man had a way of holding himself in public, even if he knew Oliver hated being in public. The only giveaway to his emotional state would be the slightly clenched jaw Zeke had noticed as they were walking as well as the bloodshot eyes.
 #18429  by Oliver Sanders
Oliver had no intention of letting Zeke buy his own coffee. It was the least he could do after the boy had helped distract him while they walked. As he waited in line, his gaze wandered over to the boy sitting at the table. It was remarkable how much he looked like Anthony. Oliver blinked, then turned to the counter when it was his turn to order.

When he had the coffees, he made his way over to the table and set the cups down before sitting. "Can I ask you something?"
 #18430  by Zeke Warren
Zeke had picked up his coffee cup and was in the middle of a long sip when the question was raised. His eyebrow arched in response.

"Yeah, sure. What's up?" he asked, setting his cup down.
 #18435  by Oliver Sanders
Oliver drew in a deep breath, preparing himself for what he was about to ask. It had been something he had thought about the previous day, when he had received word that Alexander was on his way. He had originally intended to send the question in a letter when Alexander inevitably returned home, but now seemed like a good time. He needed a sip of coffee first, though.

After lifting the cup to his lips and taking a long sip, he felt the caffeine rush through him, invigorating him. "So... the only other person who works at By the Book only comes in once or twice a week, and... well, I technically own it if anything happens to..." he trailed off, taking a gulp of his coffee. Then he said, rather bluntly, "You don't like working in the office." It wasn't a question.