Waiting was Hell.
It wasn’t the first time Copper had been forced to stay put in a hospital waiting room. If today was to be taken into account, then it most likely wouldn’t be his last either. Almost dying to save Tod’s life hadn’t upset him nearly as much as this was, being forced to sit in purgatory while his friend’s fates were hanging in the balance. But they told him that he wasn’t Trusty or Gos’ family and he’d have to wait to see them. They wouldn’t even tell him if they were going to be okay or not. He felt like he was being punished for not sharing blood with the people he cared about.
Waiting was Hell.
When Ro got up to check on a friend or perhaps just to breathe (he couldn’t be sure), Copper pressed his palms into his eye sockets. It felt like hours ago when he had left his last voice message on Gos’ phone, when he had checked with the front desk to see if she was here, when he had to be restrained by nurses from going to check on her. Dried blood still clung to his shirt, Trusty’s blood, and he knew he looked as awful as he felt. But he just…he just needed everyone to be okay. The last time he had waited like this, Copper had been met with terrible news. Please, please, please don’t let this be a repeat.
“Sir? Um…Mr. Slade, is it?” a voice snapped Copper out of his reflecting, causing him to look-up at the doctor tending to Gos. He was up and out of his seat quicker than his heart could take a beat.
“How is she? What happened? Nobody’ll tell me anythin’ an’–”
“She’s fine, Mr. Slade. Or at least she will be. She was shot in her knee and we did have to perform surgery on it but it’s nothing life-threatening,” the doctor interrupted.
“An’…an’ she’ll be able to walk?” Copper asked in a small voice that didn’t belong to him.
“The wound shouldn’t affect her motor skills so yes, she should be able to. Might have a little trouble at first but that’s to be expected.”
Relief flooded over him like he plunged into the ice-cold ocean headfirst. He almost felt like kissing the doctor for being able to help Gos but he settled for slapping the shorter man on the shoulder.
“She should be awake now and able to have visitors but Ms. Mallard shouldn’t be too excited. You can go see her if–”
“Nothin’ too crazy. Thanks, Doc,” it was Copper’s turn to interrupt as he gave one last grateful pat before practically running towards Gos’ room. All that mattered to him right then and there was seeing for himself that Gos really was okay. He wouldn’t really be able to believe it until he saw it with his own eyes.
Poking his head in first, Copper was completely unprepared to see Gos in a hospital bed like that, wearing that gown and looking that way. It was next to impossible to remember how to breathe properly but he did. If he learned anything in his life, it was how to shove down negative feelings and put on a brave face. Which is exactly what he did because Gos needed him to be strong, not weak.
“Hey,” he quietly said, walking up to her bed to grab her hand and place a quick kiss to her palm. “I…I’m so glad you’re okay. Ya are okay, right?”