The next few days were harder than anyone had really expected. Shane's physical recovery didn't take much time, but the mental aspects of it seemed to take forever, and Jenny could never be sure that it would ever really come. She stayed day and night, unwilling to leave no matter what the doctors told her about the bad sides to Shane's present and future ordeals. She didn't much care, to be perfectly honest about it. She knew it would be rough, but she was more than willing to grin and bear it for Shane's sake.
She was still angry, though. She hated it, but it was there no matter what she did to stave it off. Every time she looked at Shane lying asleep in the hospital bed, her first instinct was to protect her. But following immediately on the heels of that was a rage that lingered just below the surface of her consciousness, a somewhat irrational fury at the image of Shane and Niki that had left a permanent echo on her retinas.
She'd already forgiven her. It was pointless not to, Shane was already punishing herself enough for all the sins of humanity in their entirety, from the beginning of time to now. But Jenny wasn't sure she'd ever be able to forget. The fact that Shane hadn't done it intentionally to hurt her meant very little. In fact, the more she thought about it the less it seemed to matter, whatever reasoning Shane had used. She'd listened to her that night and had to admit that there was a point there, somewhere amongst all the insanity of the entire stupid thing. But it didn't make her feel any better to know that.
The others knew, now. All of them, and they didn't understand why Jenny was refusing to let them see her. She'd never have admitted to them that Shane had asked her to keep them away, at least for a little while longer. She was ashamed, and while Jenny felt awful for that, she couldn't deny to herself the feeling of intense satisfaction that she got from it, however buried and tiny it might have been.
She'd had a lot of time to comtemplate matters, sitting there next to Shane for days on end while the doctors waited for her physical state to improve. Jenny knew then that she loved her, that she always had. It was impossible not to know that, watching Shane sleep with the tubes running out of her nose and arm, looking extremely fragile. Shane always looked fragile when she slept. Still, despite all that, Jenny had no idea how they could possibly make their way back from what had happened.
She wanted to. She knew that Shane did, too. This bender of hers that had almost resulted in her death proved that. But Jenny knew it was going to take a lot of work. She did trust Shane, and the thing with Niki hadn't changed that. But she wasn't sure she trusted her in the same way. Before, she'd never doubted a thing about her, but now everything was different. The very landscape of their friendship had changed and she had no idea what to do about it, or if she should attempt to do anything.
The only thing she was really certain about was that she wasn't leaving Shane, although sometimes she thought it would be the best thing for both of them. In Shane's rare moments of visible vulnerability, generally right before she dropped off into a restless sleep, Jenny would hear her cry and it broke her heart. She didn't let Shane know that she heard this, having the instinctive knowledge that it would do nothing more than make her feel worse, but every time she heard it she knew that she'd do whatever it took to keep her around.
It wasn't an easy task, though. Shane was absolutely dead set against the idea of forced therapy, although she realized that it was a conditon of her release. She also knew that in the long run it would probably be a good idea, not that it made things any easier to swallow. She'd have told them all to fuck off if she hadn't known that Jenny wanted her to try. She knew she'd fucked things up with her, badly, and if this was the only way she could make things right she'd consent to it, no matter how horrible it made her feel to think about it.
The physical recovery didn't take as long as Shane had expected. It hurt and she felt like shit, but she knew she was pretty much okay before too long. That didn't mean a whole lot, however, since they wouldn't let her up for quite some time even when she felt more than capable of doing things normally. They kept her in bed, saying that after a heart attack one needed lots of rest, especially a heart attack brought on by a drug overdose.
She could see the sense in that, but it didn't make her stop trying. One day not long after the doctor had been in to tell her that she could leave after another week or so of mostly bed rest, she realized that she really needed to use the restroom. Jenny had gone up to the cafeteria at Shane's insistence that she get something to eat, mostly because Shane knew she'd been skipping lots of meals and it made her feel like shit. She could have called the nurse, as she'd been instructed to do when such a problem arose, but she saw no need to bother anyone. She pushed herself out of bed and tried to ignore the flash of pain in her left side as she leaned down to unplug her IV stand. She'd seen the nurse do it what seemed like hundreds of times over the past few days and figured it couldn't be too complicated. She wrapped the cord around the metal stand several times and wheeled it to the bathroom with her.
She fully intended to plug it back in and get back in bed before anyone was the wiser, but she had no such luck. While still behind the closed bathroom door she could hear Jenny making a commotion. Muttering under her breath, Shane quietly opened the door and told her to calm down, she was right there. Jenny looked incredibly relieved but pissed off all at once, and Shane would have laughed if the nurse hadn't come in then to give her a dressing down. She sat through it without a word, and although she didn't tell Jenny that she was horribly embarrassed and upset, she figured she knew since she never said another word about it.
She was so embarrassed by everything that she couldn't handle the thought of any of the others seeing her the way she was now. She knew they already thought of her as a loser and that this wouldn't surprise them in any way. In fact she was pretty sure that they'd been expecting something like this for quite some time now. She was sure none of them were in the least surprised at what had transpired between herself and Niki, and for as much shame as she felt about that she couldn't help but feel that at least she'd managed to live up to expectations. Even Jenny's. She never said it, but it was in her eyes.
She'd begged Jenny to send them away if they came. She wasn't even sure that they would, but once Kit left she was sure that at least a few of them would show up due to Kit's motherly nagging. Shane didn't mind when she visited; she made things seem a little calmer, a little more real. She knew Kit didn't judge her, and that was something she needed. Still, she couldn't handle the others right now, and Jenny seemed to respect that because no one else from the group showed up.
In any other case Shane knew she would have signed the waivers absolving the hospital staff of wrongdoing and simply would have left against medical advice, but with Jenny there constantly worrying over her like a mother hen she lost whatever desire she might have had to do so. It broke her heart to wake up to find that Jenny was still awake after a long night, watching her with deep circles under her eyes. Shane hated it and it made her feel so incredibly guilty that she silently vowed to do anything in the world that Jenny wanted if it would make her feel any better about the situation.
Aside from that, though, she was ashamed of everything that had happened. The fact that she hadn't meant for it to meant nothing. The heart attack was an incredibly stupid thing and she knew better, that was the part that killed her. Granted, she'd been really upset and didn't much care, but that hadn't given her the right to do what she'd done to Jenny. Especially on top of everything she'd already done. She had the distinct feeling that she'd carry the guilt for all of that for many years to come, probably the rest of her life. However long or short a time that turned out to be.
She didn't know how Jenny was able to sit with her. She's thought that after throwing a lamp at her, Jenny would want nothing more to do with her, heart attack or not. Shane wouldn't have blamed her for refusing to come to the hospital. Things had happened so damn quickly and she'd been so out of it that she'd forgotten that she'd listed Jenny as her emergency contact. It had been Alice before, but she'd changed it to Jenny. Still, she'd forgotten that bit of information and had been confused and immensely grateful that Jenny had been the one to show up, whether she deserved her presence or not.
Jenny was trying to make recovery as easy as possible for Shane, although she was still scared of the entire incident itself. She told Shane that and many more things during the nights, while she slept. Jenny was never able to until the very darkest opart of the morning just before the dawn, which she considered fitting. She knew it wasn't healthy, but somehow she couldn't say any of it while Shane was awake. At least not yet.
She told her about the note that Kit had found on the door from Molly, and Shane's jacket folded on the porch. Jenny hadn;t read it yet, instructing Kit to put it on the kitchen table, but said that it could be brought in if Shane wanted to see it. She knew that she really needed to tell her about that one when she was awake, but she didn't want to put any more pressure on Shane right now,
Which was why she told her how she felt while she was sleeping. It was cowardly but it was the only way she could stand to do it.
Little did she know that Shane heard it. Groggily and through a layer of sleeop, but she did hear it, and it made her resolve to foght and to get better even more so she could fix this. Whatever it took.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This is kinda short and choppy and I'm not sure it makes sense. I'm sorry for that. I don't have a computer right now so this thing was written as an email to myself. lol. I'll write some longer, better ones as soon as I get a computer to myself.
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