Postgame, PreAC. Tseng, by Rufus' side in the hospital waiting for news on the President's condition. Starts from when Rufus was first injured and continues from there... R&R?
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A/N part 2: The Italics (except for the flashback obviously) are what Tseng is thinking.
Day 37 and he was starting to get antsy. Sure, he hadn't been sitting there for the full 37 days, but he had been sitting there long enough; 22 days to be exact. 22 days sitting here, with no change in the other's condition.
Doctors tried to be optimistic for the ragged looking man, even if they were holding onto little hope. 'He got hit in the head pretty hard by the falling debris sir and got quite a few other critical injuries as well. It is a miracle that he survived at all.' Hmph, if you call this surviving.
Tseng never quite believed in miracles, but at this point, that's exactly what he believed Rufus needed.
Thinking back to when he himself woke up was something Tseng didn't really like to do, but found himself doing often enough while sitting in the almost silent room. The sound of machines monitoring a heart beat and breathing for his boss were his only company and they weren't able to help him stop thinking of that day.
'Tseng-san! You're awake! We were so worried!!' Hmm? I recognize that voice... 'Elena? Yes, I'm awake thank you. I'm sorry to have worried you.'
'Do you need anything? Are you comfortable? Would you like me to get you some water?' Elena was sounding more like a mother hen by the second. 'No Elena, I'm fine. Just allow me a few moments to wake up please.' She blushed a little at his reply. 'Sorry Tseng-san, didn't mean to smother you.'
Tseng brought his hand up to his face, to try to rub the tiredness out of his eyes. He then lowered his hand to his chest and lazily let it trail down to his stomach where he then winced in pain at something.
What the hell is that?? It took him a few more groggy moments before the memory came back to him. Sephiroth. But how...? 'How am I still alive?' When he was lying in the Temple, he was sure that he was going to die.
'Well, we've concluded that you have a lucky chocobo shoe stuck way up your ass.' Reno laughed at his own comment. 'It's the only logical explanation for it as far as we can tell.'
He paused for a moment, then started talking again. "Hey Tseng, did you ever take Rufus chocobo hunting for target practice or something? I'm thinking you must have and you each kept a shoe. I'm 100% sure that Rufus has the other chocobo shoe up his ass. Well, maybe not 100% sure, more like 75%. I'll be 100% sure of that when he wakes up.'
Tseng's body tensed at the mention of Rufus. 'Rufus? Did something happen to him? What do you mean when he wakes up?' None of the three Turks wanted to be the one to break the news to Tseng. They really were at a loss for words at this point. How do you tell a person that someone one floor above you, that you know they are very close to, might die?
'Reno? What do you mean when he wakes up?' Tseng was met again by silence.
'Damnit someone tell me! What the hell is going on? Spit it out Reno. Now.' Reno wasn't at all pleased with being chosen to speak. 'Ah hell, why me?' 'Because you're second in command and were in charge when I got injured. Logically, it falls to you to explain what happened.'
With a sigh, Reno pulled up a chair and sat next to Tseng's bed. 'Weapon destroyed the Shinra tower, the top part of it anyway. That's not really a big deal in and of itself. The big deal is that Rufus was in his office when it attacked, so he got hit by the blast. Don't ask me how the hell he survived that, we have no clue. We caught up with him after the medics got him out of the building when they were putting him in a transport. We got in the transport with them and made our way to Junon. He hasn't woke up since then Tseng and that was 2 weeks ago.'
He allowed Tseng a moment to allow that to sink in. 'So, he's been unconscious for 2 weeks?'
'In a coma actually sir.' Rude continued where Reno left off. 'He got hit in the head pretty hard with some of the debris and has a few other injuries as well. I can go speak to the doctor and get the injury list from him if you want to see it sir.'
He nodded his head in agreement. 'Yes, that would be helpful Rude.' Rude bowed slightly and left in search of Rufus' doctor. He returned about 15 minutes later with a chart. 'Here you go sir. There's a couple of things there that aren't really relevant, but his injuries are listed in full.'
Tseng picked up the chart and reviewed it. Broken bones, burns, concussion (apparently severe enough for a coma), crushed leg, broken back, several deep lacerations, shock (obviously), internal bleeding...it went on to list a few more injuries as well.
'How did he survive all this?' The three of them shrugged, none of them being able to provide an explanation. Theoretically, Rufus should be dead. 'That's why we say he has a chocobo shoe up his ass. He should be dead. He's just too damn stubborn to know it.'
Tseng laughed a little at Reno's comment. 'Yes, he is stubborn when it comes to certain things. Luckily, he decided to be stubborn about this.'
Re-reading the list, he questioned a few of them. 'So what did they do about the bleeding and the back?' 'Surgery. One that he barely survived and that they shouldn't have done because he was so weak, but one that they had to do. It was one of those, "don't do it and he'll die, do it and he might die" kind of things.'
Reno sighed and tried to explain to Tseng what the doctors told them, but for once he was at a loss for words. He looked to Rude to finish the explanation for him. 'They don't know if he'll be able to walk again Tseng. The doctor said all they can do is wait until he wakes up and ask him to try to move his legs. They might be able to help him a bit later on when he's had more time to recover, but they can't guarantee he'll ever walk again.'
Tseng stared dumbfounded at Rude for a few moments. Can't walk again? Planet, how the hell is someone supposed to explain that to Rufus? He'll be crushed.
Attempting to rise from his bed, he was stopped by 6 sets of hands. Elena spoke up first; 'You can't leave yet Tseng-san. Please give yourself a couple of days. You just woke up.' He was growing impatient, he wanted to see him /now/.
'You can't see him now anyway Tseng, the doctor is in there checking up on him. We'll see what we can do about getting you out of here by tomorrow or the day after, but he won't let you check out before that. You won't be much good to Rufus still weak and tired yourself.' Rude told him, the voice of reason among the three of them.
Nodding in agreement with Rude, he lay back in the bed. 'Very well Rude. But have the doctor visit me tomorrow asap.'
A/N part 3: For those wondering why I put chocobo foot, I figured that would be a lucky charm where they are instead of a rabbit foot...
So...Good? Bad? Continue the story? Let me know!