Fandom: The Fall
Characters: Roy Walker, Nurse Evelyn
Disclaimer: Not mine. Non-profit organization.
Summary: Roy and Nurse Evelyn have a conversation.
Author Note: From a prompt by xmonalisa. Originally completed and posted in October 2008.
Roy lay awake, listening to the commotion that had started half an hour ago – or maybe an hour, now; time passed strangely at night – wondering what poor idiot had hurt himself this time, or who the doctors weren’t letting die tonight. He stared at the ceiling, and listened, and let himself wallow in the hatred he felt for everything earthly, everything that meant he was still alive.
He heard the footsteps enter his room, quick and determined, but he didn’t pay them any attention until the fabric that hid him from the rest of the ward was ripped away and the moonlit form of a nun loomed over him.
Roy jumped and started pushing himself into a sitting motion, the dead weight of his legs too normal now to even curse. Before he was fully upright, the nun moved, a quick flash of her arm, and her hand cracked across the side of his face. His eyes and mouth opened in a silent gasp of pain and sudden awareness.
“You bastard,” the nurse hissed at him, pulling her arm back for another strike. He caught her wrist, stopping her hand a few inches from his face, and pulled her toward him until the light from the window touched enough of her face for him to identify her.
“Nurse Evelyn?” he asked, his skull still ringing with the sudden violence of her slap.
She stopped fighting him, stopped trying to pull away, and instead lunged toward his face again. He had to use both hands to restrain her.
“You bastard,” she said again, louder. “If she dies, I swear to God, I’ll—“
“Whoa, whoa, what’s goin’ on?” he asked, still wrestling to keep her from scratching his eyes out. A small part of him, buried deep in the core of his depression and bitterness, laughed that a man so determined to end his own life would still instinctively fight to protect it from someone else.
Nurse Evelyn wrenched out of his grip and stomped away from his bed, her hands in fists. “Alexandria fell.”
Something in Roy’s belly plunged farther than he thought it could go, leaving in its wake enough dread and guilt to choke him. He knew what the rest of the story would be, and he didn’t want to hear it.
“She hit her head,” Evelyn continued, her tone sharp and merciless despite its waver. “Her skull— She’s in surgery. And if she dies…” One hand rose to wipe her cheek.
Roy tried to swallow. “H-how--?”
“They found her in the dispensary.”
Roy collapsed into his pillows and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes.
He wasn’t sure how much time passed before he heard the swish of Evelyn’s skirts and the soft tap of her shoe against the wooden floor. It couldn’t have been more than minutes, but he felt lost somewhere inside himself, and for all he knew, it could have been hours.
Her voice, when it came, was small. “She’s just a child. How could you?”
He shook his head without removing his hands. He couldn’t look at her.
The mattress sagged as Evelyn sat next to him, but from the sound of her voice, he could tell she faced the door.
“She told me you needed medicine to sleep, but I know…I know what you want, Roy.”
Exhaustion overcame him. He dropped his hands to his sides and stared up at the ceiling. There was no point denying it.
“Is she—” he tried, but the words got stuck. “Do you think she’s…”
“I don’t know,” Evelyn said quietly.
“Oh, God.” He wanted to curl in on himself and disappear, but half of his body no longer obeyed him, and all he could do was press the side of his fists into his forehead and try to hold himself together. “She wasn’t supposed to get hurt. Why would she—?”
Nurse Evelyn turned to look down at him, but he knew if he met her eyes, none of the kindness and compassion that made Alexandria love her would be there for him. He didn’t want it.
For the first time, instead of just wanting to die, he felt he actually deserved it.
“She loves you.”
The burst of air that left his lungs might have been a laugh once. “She loves the story.” That goddamn story.
“She doesn’t talk about the story. She talks about you.”
He didn’t have a response to that, but the sickened feeling in his gut grew worse.
Evelyn stood. “You’re broken, Mr. Walker, but it’s not here.” She tapped his legs; he didn’t feel it. “That’s getting better. You’re broken. You. And we can’t fix that.”
She moved toward the door, and he stopped her just before she opened it.
“Will you tell me, when you know?”
For a moment she just stood, one hand on the door handle, but then she looked over her shoulder and nodded.
When she was gone, Roy let whatever pieces were left of him fly apart.