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Caleb Holmes
Do Not Collect Da Monies
Mon Apr 4, 2005 03:38

Angelina Catherine Holmes…

It was the name that had been driving him on for the last three weeks, in his thoughts when Lucy wasn’t his main concern, or when he hadn’t been cornered by Rob. Well, he couldn’t really be cornered, Caleb thought with a derisive snort. It wasn’t all that difficult when a person had limited mobility!

“Come on, just one more for me, Caleb!” It was the occupational respiratory therapist on duty, urging him on. He didn’t want to do this bullshit for her; he did it for Lucy! Then himself. This particular therapist, who bubbly declared herself Summer upon their meeting, had been attacking him for the last two weeks once he had been removed from the oxygen. At first he hadn’t been able to do many of the exercises, even if the bullets hadn’t lodged themselves anywhere vital, they had still rent through muscle tissue in the typical savage manner. God, if he hadn’t had a weapon on him, he would have most assuredly been dead.

Summer had decided that they needed to work on his deep breathing today, and was gauging it with a small device. Really, he felt like he was taking the breath test! Right, do this and the perky blonde will go away and leave him alone. At least she was better than the psychiatrist that had tried to get him to talk several times. Now that man he hated with a passion. Deep breath, blow! The bullet in his abdomen had lodged just below the surface, powered by a weak firearm, and was healing quickly. The one in his arm was just as superficial, having gone right through in a clean break, and only needed to be stitched. Hell, it didn’t even pain him if unless he overexerted himself! It was the one in Caleb’s chest that had worried the doctors most, but apparently their concerns were not well founded. His lungs were still strong and healthy, though the muscles surrounding were weakened, hence this evil torture known as therapy.

“Good morning Summer,” a buffoon known as Greg managed cheerfully enough without leering at the woman in fatigues. Every single one of these bastards was stationed at Fort Hamilton, and they had given Caleb ‘the best’, supposedly. Which meant a lot of camouflage. He glared at Greg over the breathing device, forcing the breath from his lungs with his abdomen muscles as instructed, talk impeded. Yet another therapist come to take him away.

This was going to drive him insane.

“There’s going to be some scarring. Not like you didn’t already know that. Is it tender here?” Still Greg over an hour later in the physical therapy room. Within the last few days, Caleb had somehow managed to coerce the staff into removing his I.V. and allowing him to dress in track pants that were of the rip-away variety, and a wife beater. Being out of the hospital gown and into clothing that was relatively normal had raised his mood significantly. Never mind that he really hated this room, it was purely evil. After shaking his head in the negative, Greg tapped his thigh; still no real pain. Now it felt as if he had strained the muscle badly, but that was never an injury that had hindered him before. “Good! Why did you have stitches there, anyhow?” So innocently asked!

“I was shot, but the bullet fragmented,” Caleb said, giving a shrug as he refastened the leg of his pants. “Can I go back to using the cane now?” Hah! Imagine that, he was happy to be using a cane. That definitely signified a low point in his life.

“I don’t see why it would be a problem, but with your other injuries, I don’t want you pushing it, all right? No midnight strolls or frolicking on the beach.” Caleb snorted, shooting the man a ‘look’. It seemed like everyone knew about the relationship he shared with Lucy, and needled the man endlessly about it. What was wrong with dating someone?! Jesus Christ! “How much of the pain medication are you taking now?”

“Eh… Usually a dose in the evening after therapy, but that’s about it, and only if I feel like I need it.” Greg gave him a look, something that seemed to be akin to confusion, causing him to frown. “What? You said not to take it if I didn’t need it!” He could never make these people happy.

“No, no. Its fine Caleb, really. It’s just that I didn’t expect you to be able to do that for a few more weeks.” He gave a self-conscious shrug as Greg snagged the wheelchair. “C’mon. I want you to lay down for a bit and get some rest.” Rest? Rest?! That was all he had been getting for the last three weeks! Maddening.

Allowing himself to be pushed in the wheelchair, even trying to move himself a bit before getting smacked on the back of the head, Caleb frowned at the clean corridors and people that passed by. He was no longer a novelty to them, thank God. Neither was Lucy, though she still earned a bit of gossip here and there about her previous life; the one she had before meeting ‘Gino’. Not that anyone knew about what happened, or even that it took place, but still… Would she have been happier without him in her life? He couldn’t help but wonder about those sorts of things. Frankly, he believed he had been thinking too much, and longed to be immersed in something where his mental musings wouldn’t tear away at his insides.

“Caleb! I was just coming to see you!” Rob was in the hallway, with no Beth this time around. His furrowed brow must have given him away though. “She’s at the house, getting everything ready.” Sometime during the last two weeks, Rob had finally decided upon setting roots in New York permanently. Caleb couldn’t really fathom the reasons why he had done it, beside his wife refusing to be herded about like cattle any longer. Oh, that had been a grand argument, right in his hospital room, the younger couple watching avidly. It had been a learning process that was certain.

“Hey, I’ve got to run. I’ll see you tomorrow Caleb.” Greg practically threw him at Rob before speeding off down the hallway. Frowning after the man, he could only shake his head as Rob took up the slack and pushed him down the hall. But after only a few meters, Caleb put a halt to that, peering down one corridor that always looked rather dark and foreboding to his eyes.

“Rob, can you take me outside?” A motion down that hall and without complaint he was steered toward the darkness. Frankly, Caleb was waiting for the finger of God to come down and strike him aside, but it didn’t happen. The doors were clear, open and inviting, regardless of the fact that Rob had to enter a code on the punch pad by the door to allow them their exit. Oh God… His first breath of fresh air was invigorating; intoxicating! Somehow the sensation reminded him of Lucy. He hadn’t been able to hold her in over a month now, and he was absolutely furious because of it. Well, that would be rectified shortly, when she returned from wherever in the world she was.

“Over there…” Caleb’s eyes were drawn toward the neat and orderly markers past the arches, breaking the fence that held the dead in. Or was it to keep the living out? He could never understand that. Unerringly, Rob steered him toward the place he knew Caleb wished to go, down the small paths offered and around markers, until only one stood before them. It was not a large headstone, matching all the others excepting the text.

Angelina Catherine Holmes

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

A small footnote, nearly obscured by the grass noted the parentage, though it wasn’t right. Or at least, it wasn’t truthful according to the law. Parentage: Caleb & Lucy Holmes. Suddenly he drew a deep, shaky breath, not having realized he had held his breath through reading it all. Deliberately setting the brakes for the wheelchair, he rose with the aid of the cane, standing before the small grave. It didn’t feel right at all to be seated there, not when he could pay his respects properly. But this hadn’t been a brother in arms, or an innocent bystander. No, this had been his daughter; their daughter.

“Why does God do these things?” Caleb asked quietly, staring down at the slick white marble that taunted him. He was no theologist, had never attempted to debate the Holy Word. But this almost seemed anathema to what he knew, and what he tried to abide by in his life. Frowning, he shook his head and sat back down, staring for a few long moments before releasing the brakes. “Go.”

Almost every day was like that, though it was his first visit to the grave. But the questions had begun during the first hazy week in the hospital, Lucy visiting his side when she could. Once the fog had cleared from his mind, he had tried to console her by being aware, refusing the medication as long as possible, but it hadn’t helped. A few days later, Lucy had mysteriously entered his room in a suspiciously good mood, as if her spirits had been lifted by something he could not see. Whatever had done it, he was immensely thankful for, and didn’t even question her about it. What good would that really do? Though still in a black humor occasionally and rather subdued, she seemed to be clawing out of the darkness.

Which was exactly what he was doing, after being ordered to nap by Rob. Hmph! The lot of them were mother hens, which drove him insane sometimes, but it was touching as well. Caleb woke with a nurse checking his blood pressure and what not, which was only a nuisance to him at this point. Cautiously sitting himself up after it was all over, and once more refusing the offer of pain medication, he took the usual antibiotic, being left alone for the first time in days. It wouldn’t last long, but he cherished the silence while he could. It was broken by the click-click-click of steady footsteps, heavy and foreboding. That would be Rob!

“Good, you’re awake.” What, no hello? Frowning at Rob’s tone of voice, he raised the bed a bit and eyed the man. “We need to talk.” Now he really wasn’t looking forward to this. Making an impatient gesture with his hand for the man to go on, he was forced to wait while the fool composed his thoughts with obvious care. “This is solely about you, Caleb. No one else. I’ve seen tougher men give up after one injury, but you’ve gone through dozens over the years with little downtime. But this one…” Rob shook his head, gesturing to the visible gauze wound about Caleb’s arm, and the ones that bulged beneath the tank top. “You’ve taken a hard hit, and only three weeks later are you beginning to get around on your own two feet. I think its time you consider retirement.”

“What?” Caleb asked out of pure reflex, staring at Rob in shock. Retirement? He had already believed that he had been put out to pasture once, but this time it was real and all too tangible. He could fecking taste it! “It’s sort of funny. I always saw the vets get forced into it, but I never imagined that would happen to me.”

“No one is forcing you into anything, Caleb. But in light of recent events…” Rob snorted and shook his head. “All right. You want honesty? Ever since you portrayed Gino Maurizio, your first concern has been for Luciana, not the Agency.” Pausing, he gave the agent a hard look, wagging his finger. “I don’t want to lose you because of this, so we’re going to change things. I want you to be a consultant, Caleb. No more office work, no more traveling on short notice. Work from home and be with Lucy. Live your life.” Rob seemed awfully passionate about this.

“No more…?” Caleb tried to wrap his mind about the offer. Already he had been taken away from dangerous missions, having to protect Lucy. Sure, he missed the adrenaline rush it gave, but who wouldn’t? But he got a bigger rush from other things. “Why?”

“Because I know what it’s like, Caleb. And I’ll be damned if I let it happen to you too.”

  • Do Not Pass GoCaleb Holmes, Fri Apr 1 02:17
    I've heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don't really care for music, do you? It goes like this The fourth, the fifth The minor fall, the major lift The... more
    • Do Not Collect Da Monies — Caleb Holmes, Mon Apr 4 03:38
      • First StepsCaleb Holmes, Mon Apr 4 03:43
        “Caleb… Wake up Caleb…” Why was it that all he could do was sleep? Blinking the haze away from his eyes, he focused on the woman leaning over him with a mischievous expression in her eyes. It wasn’t... more
        • No Matter WhatLucy Avellino, Mon Apr 4 15:36
          [ No matter what they tell us, no matter what they do No matter what they teach us, what we believe is true No matter what they call us, however they attack No matter where they take us, we'll find... more
          • Misunderstood ManiacsCaleb Holmes, Mon Apr 4 19:22
            Lucy had agreed! Oh God, holding her in his arms against had felt like heaven, his mind filled with a blissful sensation that he hoped would never depart. Even if it hadn’t been all too proper to be... more
            • Innocent IngenuesLucy Avellino, Mon Apr 4 22:35
              “Jesus Christ, my hands won’t stop shaking!” Lucy glanced up from adjusting the hidden zipper on her Hannibal costume, watching Erik fiddle with the front of his costume. And he was Erik. Caleb had... more
              • Betters Homes and... Bugs?Caleb Holmes, Wed Apr 6 23:59
                “Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation… Darkness stirs and wakes imagination… Silently the senses abandon their defenses…” Caleb hadn’t had any difficulty with the script thus far, considering ... more
                • A Hell of a TownLucy Avellino, Sun Apr 10 01:38
                  “Oh my god.” It was too much to take in at first. Ben and Hugh, moving toward her in slow motion, as if in a movie. The view of Rob and Beth in a swing. The house itself was huge. Stately. Lucy could ... more
                  • Ingenues AboundCaleb Holmes, Sun Apr 10 02:51
                    “Son of a bitch !” Ow. Caleb slowly turned about, glaring at the carpenter that had the audacity to hit him upside the head with a wooden plank. He must have been glaring daggers, because the man... more
                    • Quiet SurprisesCaleb Holmes, Sun Apr 10 02:52
                      “I remember, there was mist… Swirling mist upon a vast glossy lake…” This was the third time through, and they had yet to get to the unmasking! Caleb wasn’t certain if Jenn was just nervous, or if it ... more
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