(this is a sequel to THIS ‘I think there’s someone in the house’ fic!)
The paramedics hammer on the door, and Neil looks up, teary-eyed, from where his face is pressed into Andrew’s damp hair. He’s feeling for his breath with the back of his hand, waiting moment to moment for Andrew to die in his arms, silently like he does everything else. Urgency keeps stunning Neil all over again, hysterical defibrillators. The EMT’s are calling out through the wall, muffled but calm.
It feels unthinkably wrong, their absolute evenness and ease outside his door when his life is an exposed neck and Andrew’s death is the whirring blade of a saw.
He realizes that he has to get up to let them in, and it seems as impossible as it would be for Andrew to spring up and answer the door himself. He feverishly wants them to crumple the door to splinters and be inside already.
It’s a herculean effort to ease Andrew to the ground, like he’s gritting his teeth and cutting off his own leg. He touches Andrew’s clammy face briefly but he can’t bring himself to try and slap him awake. He props Andrew’s bare feet up on the rim of the bath so the blood will flood towards his head, at least.
He feels untethered to his body when he stands, a helium balloon with its usual weight passed out on the bathroom floor. He falls into the wall immediately, adrenaline neck and neck with exhaustion.
He finds his way to the front door without his mind’s help. His head is in the bathroom with Andrew, and he knows that no matter what happens it’ll be there for a long, long time.
The next time he blinks, a man in uniform is holding his biceps and peering down at him seriously.
“—sir? Sir, are you hurt at all?”
“No,” Neil says, lips numb. “Bathroom. He’s in the bathroom. He’s bleeding to death.”
He turns, easily slipping the paramedic’s grip. There’s a procession of them, hefting a gurney and a couple of kits, and they’ve brought all the cold from outside in on their heels. They’re such a foreign object in their warm, messy apartment — uniformed, official, and precise.
It’s deadly, walking in and seeing Andrew spread out in his boxers, blood oozing through his t-shirt from his loose stitches, pale enough to match the porcelain. Neil’s seen enough corpses to recognize what they look like.
He falls heavily to his knees and puts his head directly to his chest, listening, tears slipping hotly over the bridge of his nose.
“Please,” he slurs. His heartbeat is a tentative thud, a knock from an unexpected guest. “Help him. Now, help him now.”
“We’re going to try our best Sir, but you’ve got to get out of the way,” someone says gently.
He topples backwards onto his hands. It’s a cramped space, and he knows it would be easier if he waited outside, but he also knows he’d rather die than leave them alone with him.
The first guy kneels down and takes Andrew’s pulse, and Neil shakes his head. They’re too slow, time is feeding directly into a wide open drain.
“He needs an IV. He’s two litres down, at least. You’ve got to—“ A petite woman puts a hand on his shoulder and he shrugs her off violently. “No! You have to listen to me.”
“We know what we’re doing,” she says. “Are you an MD?” She eyes him doubtfully, gaze flitting from his scars to where her colleagues are taking vitals and cutting through Andrew’s clothes.
“Yes,” Neil says wildly. “And he needs an IV. Possibly two. Large-bore, normal saline. He’s not getting any oxygen, and he’s been like this for as long as it took you to gather your meager response team.”
She purses her lips, but she’s a professional. He can see her repressing her anger and it infuriates him. He feels like he’s crashing, over and over again, and he’s watching someone daintily pump the breaks.
“He’s right,” one of the EMT’s says distractedly. “We’re gonna need to get some fluids started, he’s in hypovolemic shock, sats below 50.”
“You want to tell me what happened?” one of the men asks.
“No,” Neil says as evenly as he can manage, reaching out to graze Andrew’s cold fingers.
“Did you do these stitches?” the woman asks, pulling at Andrew’s skin to get a better look at them. He suddenly sees how they must look to them, sloppy and angry red. Neil bends her arm away without thinking about it.
“Don’t touch him,” he snaps. He could break her arm and it would make him feel better. He drops her, disoriented by his own violence.
“There’s no need to be antagonistic,” the first man says. “We don’t want to have to remove you.”
“You really don’t,” Neil agrees. “You won’t succeed.”
Protip: Don’t tag an artist’s work with backhanded compliments. “I dislike/hate X but I like the art/etc.” is a backhanded compliment. The artist drew X because they like X. So to see people reblog their work of X saying they hate X is annoying and unwanted.
The problem is that some of you guys don’t even realize that you’re at fault. You’ll justify Sana being sidelined in her own story because you, as an audience and as fans, continue to sideline her in the show - in a season she’s the main character of - it’s nothing new to you. But Muslim WoC are angry, because we’ve waited for so long to be represented, we’ve waited for so long for our stories to be told and we’ve waited for so long for people to hear us, and when we were finally given that opportunity, our character (and ourselves by extension) were overshadowed by other characters and their story lines. To be frank, it’s quite disgusting. Especially when a clip about Sana struggling to put herself together, struggling with her faith, her friends, her identity, struggling to just exist without crumbling apart - and yet her entire life is basically glossed over. When all you can talk about is Even and Isak holding hands, you’re consciously choosing to ignore a story of equal relevance and importance in favour of your white male characters - their unique struggles don’t strip them of that privilege. This is fiction, it’s a TV show, and this is how we’re treated; white people’s stories still hold more value than our own, even within our own stories. Our struggles are tokenized and God forbid our sadness begins to interfere with the happiness of your favourites. We’re speaking to a greater issue at hand here. Because, we, as a community, as a group of women of faith, are continuously sidelined in our own stories, and you choosing to ignore our narratives, choosing to gloss over our pain, choosing to strip us of our identities and cultures when they don’t fit into your framework, and then justifying yourself and your characters. No. It’s unjustifiable.
I’m nicer than Dr. Grey. Ask anyone in this hospital. There are comparisons that you can make between myself and Dr. Grey, but in the contest of niceness? I take that one. I win by a lot. I am the nicest.