Tavros lay partially inanimate on his stark white bed. After three straight days surrounded by the high-pitched beeping of machines, the calm monotonous buzzing of the air conditioner was a glorious change; however, nothing seemed glorious to the black-haired young man after what had happened several days ago.
“[Name]!” He had to save you; he had to push you out of the way. He couldn’t just stand there and watch her run you over. He had to protect you!
The doctor came through the door silently, not wanting to wake the patient if he had been asleep, but once he passed the bathroom door and saw he was not, the elderly man announced his presence. “Mr. Nitram,” said young man turned his eyes towards the doctor in recognition. “I’m Dr. Egbert, I’m your friend John’s uncle.” He gave Tavros a small pause to register that he actually did know him before continuing; “Do you.. by any chance remember the accident?” Remember it? He was constantly reliving it.
“Oh God, Tav! Tavros! Please.. please be okay!” He remembered how beautiful and scared you were leaning over him, your hot tears cascading onto his paling face as your smooth voice faded away. “Please... don’t... die... I love you...”
"Mr. Nitram, it seems that someone is here to see you. I told her to wait outside until I made sure you were awake." As the greyed man semi limped to the white door, Tavros felt himself praying that it was you standing outside in the hallway, waiting to be invited in so you could see him. He wanted to screw his eyes shut to dull the disappointment if it wasn’t you at the door, but no matter what, he couldn’t seem to keep his eyes closed. He really wanted to see you right now, he really needed to know if you were okay. The moment he saw your worried face, his own smoothed out.
“Tav...?” Your soft voice was like the sweetest tinkling of bells to his sensitive ears, and for a moment, everything was fine. “Oh God, Tav! Why are your legs bandaged?” He hadn’t realized that they were visable below the blanket, but then again, he couldn’t feel whether or not the blanket was even still on his legs at all.. “Well... um..” He paused. How was he supposed to tell the girl that he was in love with something so depressing? “Uh... I kinda.. can’t move my legs anymore.” Broken. That was the only word that described your face when he told you. Broken, just like his spine. Only one thought ran through his mind: What if you didn’t love him anymore because of this cripple?
Walking over to him, you gently set your pale hand on his knee, allowing the new information to be processed. “So.. you can’t walk anymore?” Tavros shook his head, feeling the severity of the situation finally coming crashing down on him. “Uh.. [Na-]-- ” Cutting off, you placed your warm lips on his, hoping to convey all of your feelings through that simple act. Feeling his cheeks burn up, Tavros snapped his chocolate-brown eyes open in surprise. Pulling away from the tender kiss, you gave him a loving smile; the tears running from your brilliant [e/c] eyes as you leaned back down to lay a peck on the tip of his prominent nose. “Tavros Nitram, I love you. I love you more than anything. We’ll work through this, okay? We’ll get you a wheelchair, and you can move in with me so I’ll always be around if you need me and I’ll make sure that you always feel loved, does that sound alright?” Hot tears fell onto his pale cheeks as he struggled to stay composed. “You.. you really mean it?” You nodded, placing your warm hand on his cool one which was resting on the bright white sheets of the stiff hospital bed. “Tav, you pushed me out of the way and took my spot in front of a speeding car. Of course I mean it. This is the least I could do for you; I owe you my life.”
Blushing softly, Tavros tightened his grip on the underside of your hand, gently rubbing his calloused thumb on your smooth skin. Dr. Egbert felt a warmth rise in his weary old heart at the sight before him. He hadn’t seen two people so madly in love with each other since his wife was alive. “Ehem... I’m sorry to interrupt, but I had initially wanted to run this by you, Tavros. We think that we can fix your legs.” The look of shock graced Tavros’ face and you couldn’t help but smile widely. “When you were up in ICU we took some X-rays and it seems that you have a couple fractured vertebra that are catching the nerves that run to your legs in some of the cracks. We’re going to try to dislodge them so you can move again, but I have to warn you that this does not guarantee that you’ll be able to walk; this only tells you that we’re going to try to get everything right again.”
To be truthful, even just a chance at being able to walk again was more than enough for the brown-hued young man; he hated feeling even more weak than he already does. Throughout the whole duration of his relationship with Vriska, his weakness was prayed upon constantly. For some reason or another, she really got a kick out of making him cry and feel worthless, only to push him back up by calling him ‘cute’. After a while of the abuse, Tavros finally worked up the courage to call off the coupling with a little encouragement from you.
“Tavros...” The way your voice picked up at the end made him certain that you had seen them. “Tavros, why are your arms bandaged? Did something happen?” Nothing happened; well, nothing out of the ordinary. It had just been another ordinary day with his girlfriend, Vriska Serket. “Take off the wrapping.” You had noticed. “Now.”
For a while back then the teen only found solace in the mutilation and pain that a simple blade could give to his noted scrawny arms; however, after the day that you caught on, he was forced to stop and instead vented in the form of Rufio, an alternate personality who you had told him would help give him the courage to do what he wanted to, like break up with his blue-eyed demon of a lover (if she could even be called a lover.) “Hey, uh, [Name]?” He started, sounding a little nervous. “Can you, uh, take me on a walk? I want to see the blooming flowers..” You nodded, silently agreeing as you turned to the doctor, who was already grabbing a wheelchair from the closet next to the bathroom. With a soft smile you quietly thanked him as he helped you haul Tavros off of the high bed and place him on his new means of maneuvering.
Once outside Tavros couldn’t resist the urge to smile. The temperature was starting to heat up and the flowers that the cancer patients had planted were beginning to bloom, showing off their pastel-like colours and emitting their sweet scents to anyone who was lucky enough to be located down wind of them. In the garden he noticed many different types of flowers, the ones that symbolized hope and good health dominating the charts. “Uh, [Name]?” You turned. “Can you, uh, go and pick that orange blossom from the tree over there?” You nodded and hopped over the clusters of flowers by your feet, having to stand on your tip-toes to be able to reach the small off-white flower once you got to the tree. Walking back, you handed the small object to your boyfriend with a light smile playing on your face. However, you obtained a more confused expression when he handed the flower right back to you. “Why are you handing it back?” The blush on his pale face was enough to give you the answer, so he didn’t have to fully answer your inquiry. “[Name] [Last], after I get this surgery... I wanted to know.. if you’ll uh, marry... me?”
Bracing himself for rejection, his inner Rufio consoled him, urging him to think on the bright side; you had just went on a spiel about how much you love him and how you’ll do whatever you can to make him happy since he couldn’t walk anymore, so why would you reject him? The feeling of warm lips once again cut him off from his negative thoughts and brought warm, inviting ones in their place. “Of course I’ll marry you!” His negative thoughts vanished entirely, blown away by the intensity of your smile. He had never seen your face light up as much as it was doing right now. Once again he found himself struggling to stay composed as salty tears cascaded down his cheeks. “You... really mean it?” Your lips met his once more, your forehead gently lying on his as you pulled back, staring into his deep brown eyes. “I love you Tav, of course I mean it.” With a tender hug, you could feel your new fiance’s small frame shake as he cried into your bosom, your own tears falling into his thick black hair. “I... I know that I don’t have any... ring to give you or anything... b-but I’ll make sure... I’ll make sure to get you one once I’m better! And then I’ll be able... to get down on one knee and everything...! I’ll be able to... take you to some fancy restaurant.. and everyone will watch as I propose to the most beautiful woman... in the whole world...”
By this point your back was getting tired from leaning over Tavros’ wheelchair, so you pushed yourself back into standing position before wiping your tears away and changing the subject. “Hey Tav, let’s walk through the gardens, okay?” He nodded, feeling wonderful that you would remember his adoration of flowers and want him to have as much fun and see as many as he could before being bedridden for another month or two after the surgery, which Dr. Egbert had snuck in to occur tomorrow, unknown to all but him, his crew-mates for the surgery, and his boss. “Mrs. Nitram. God, that is something that I can’t wait to hear everyday. You know what, Tav? I’m going to come visit you everyday until you get better, and on the days that I can’t make it, I’ll make sure to send you flowers, your favourite’s still a white carnation, right?” With a nod of agreement, you could see the bright blush cover his cheeks at the mention of you gaining his last name. “I... I also can’t wait. It’ll be so great to be able to call you my wife in front of everyone; to know that I somehow got the most beautiful woman in the whole world to agree to marry me.”
Dr. Egbert glanced out the window of his current patient’s room and felt a soft smile grace his withered face at the sight of Tavros and you holding hands and pointing out the most beautiful of each type of flower in the garden. After tomorrow’s surgery, he would be able to see the brown-eyed young man walk back in the hospital several months later holding your hand lovingly as he went in for his monthly checkup. Everything needed to go well tomorrow; it needed to be successful no matter what. Silently, the eldest of the living Egberts promised that he would do everything in his power to make Tavros’ surgery successful.
As you walked back into the dull abyss of the hospital entrance you felt your heart swell in hope. Tavros may not have been disabled for long, but you knew that the both of you wanted him to be able to walk again; him for being able to be an ‘adequate’ husband for you, and you for being able to see him smile confidently for the first time in two years. After what Vriska put him through, he just wasn’t the same. Before he and she got together, Tavros was a normal teen. He enjoyed blaring his music from his sticker-covered laptop, hanging out with his best friends Gamzee Makara and of course, you. He also enjoyed making floral arrangements as a part time job at the local flower shop. While they were dating; however, he lost all of his previous confidence, he listened to much more depressing music, and refused to tell anyone about his job at a flower shop because of how feminine it made him out to be. And his lack of masculinity was something that Vriska never let him live down. Now, you would do anything to get him at least partially back to the level of happiness he had before she came into the picture. That was the Tavros that you had fallen in love with, and you wanted to see him twine flowers as beautifully as he entwined his fingers with yours.
With a strong pull, you got your boyfriend back onto his bed and called for Dr. Egbert to come back in to hook him back up to the several monitering machines he had been on before. A light knocking was heard on the door frame several minutes later, indicating that the old man was there. “Ms. [Surname], you do know that it is well after visiting hours, right?” No, you hadn’t at all.. it seemed like the several minutes had actually been over an hour of animated chatting between you and Tavros, who at this point was falling back asleep from the exertion that he put out to even stay awake for the entire visit. Once the words about you having to leave left the doctor’s mouth Tavros’ eyes widened and stared at the two of you with a saddened look in them, making Dr. Egbert’s resolution crumble. “Okay, okay. You can stay with him until he falls asleep. Tomorrow’s a big day for him and his surgery, so he’ll need as much as he can get!” You felt your own eyes mimick Tavros’ at that moment. You’d have to thank Dr. Egbert long and hard later, but right now you were focused on spending the last few minutes you had with Tavros before his surgery.
You kissed from his forehead to his nose, and finally to his lips before you whispered a soft “good night” in his ear, thinking that he was already deep enough in sleep to not hear you, but you felt a soft squeeze on the hand that he still held and you smiled, knowing that he had heard. After giving Tavros another tender kiss on his forehead and getting the time of his surgery, you went home. Holding your pillow tightly against you, you imagined that it was your fiance and felt your heart soar; Tomorrow he would be getting his life back.
It was an early morning surgery, so you made sure to wake up two hours before he was scheduled to go in so you could buy him his favourite flowers-- white carnations. Truthfully, you were never all that interested with the symbolic meanings of different flowers, but since you knew that Tavros was, you didn’t mind listening to his hour-long descriptions of every flower and what they meant. Stepping into the quaint flower shop, you were greeted by your boyfriend’s boss. The usually peppy old lady seemed melancholy and withdrawn as she asked you how her favourite employee was doing after the accident. “He’s actually going into surgery today. The bottom section of his spinal chord got fractured and he lost the use of his legs, but the doctor says he might be able to get them back during surgery today.” Her face fell significantly when you told her that Tavros was unable to move his legs anymore, but then she took in a deep breath and put up a fake smile. “Well, you’re here to get him some flowers, right? Getting some white carnations?” You nodded and she gave another, more sad smile. “Those have always been his favourite...” She began to trail off, making you believe that she was remembering the days before you knew Tavros. “[Name], I really must thank you. When he was with that witch, he never seemed happy, but once you came into his life he was all smiles again. He would talk about you for hours on end without taking a breath! It was so relieving.. it didn’t suit him to be so sad all the time, he’s a very handsome young man, even with the mohawk and the piercings..” You nodded and forced back the tears that had seemed to prick up since you awoke this morning. “Yeah, he really is handsome. Both inside and out.”
She silently wiped her own tears from her wrinkled face before leaning under the counter and pulling out a simple card with her and the other two employee’s signatures and get well soon messages on it. Handing it to you, the old lady was about to excuse herself to put together the bouquet when another familiar face walked through the door. “Hey Lady Grey. I came to pick up my motherfogging pack of flowers.” Seeing you out of the corner of his bloodshot eyes Gamzee trudged over and gave you what he liked to call a ‘bro hug’ for his best friend’s best gal. “[Name], you up and come to get your man some sweet scents?” You smiled. Gamzee was a really nice guy behind all of the facepaint, cussing, and bags of weed. “Yeah. He’s going into surgery this morning. I wanted to give him a little something so he’d feel confident going in.” A shocked face crossed his eyes. “Man! You’re not fogging me, sis? I was going to just go up and visit him in the white cell, but he’s going under today?” You nodded before recieving the flowers you bought from Lady Grey. Turning back towards Gamzee, you held the card out for him to sign while he waited for his bouquet.
“Hey Gamz...” You started. “Want to join me today? Tav will be ecstatic to see you before he goes in for surgery. I know that you were probably going in anyways, but I just thought it would be nice of me to ask.” He smiled one of his rare smiles before allowing his face to fall back into the apathetic stoned expression. “Of course ‘lil grub. I’d love to see my main bro with you.” A soft smile came to your face before nodding lightly. As you two were about to walk through the door to leave, Lady Grey’s peppy voice made you pause. “Hey [Name], Gamzee, tell my little Tavros that I’ll have him his favourite chocolate cake baked for him once he gets out! Tell him I say good luck also!” With a nod and a wave you and your new tagalong made your way through the bustle of early morning rush hour to reach the hospital before the check in time of 7am.
Just like you had thought, Tavros was ecstatic to see his best friend standing in the doorway. “Gamzee! You came to visit me!” Gamzee chuckled. “What, ‘ya think I wouldn’t come to see my best bro before his big day? Your little lovegrub over there told me that you’re getting your walkin’ legs back today, so I had to come give you some ups.” The look on Tavros’ face made your heart skip a beat when he turned his big brown calf eyes to look over at you. “[Name]..” Love. Pure love shone in those perfect hues and through his smile. “I can’t thank you enough... are those flowers...?” You blushed and nodded before handing your bouquet to him. As you were about to walk away, Tavros gripped your pinky finger making you turn back towards him. “I, uh, don’t get my kiss..?” You gave a soft giggle before walking back over to where Tavros was sitting up in his bed and planted your satin-like lips on his. The feeling of his warm lips moving tenderly against yours was intoxicating, especially when he transferred his large hands from your shoulders to digging in your hair and pulling your face harder against his. When he ran his tongue over your bottom lip and gently brought it between his teeth, you melted completely, causing Gamzee to stare intently with his stoned gaze.
Breaking apart for a second, Tavros whispered “I love you” breathily into your ear. “I love you too.” You whispered back before giving him a light peck on the nose and walking over to grab Gamzee’s flowers so you could put them on Tavros’ nightstand next to yours. It was after that that Dr. Egbert walked through the door with his pen scrawling on his white clipboard and a nurse with a wheelchair trailing behind him. Tavros looked up nervously at the doctor and the nurse, knowing that it was time for him to have to get prepped for surgery. “Are you ready, Mr. Nitram?” He was, but he wasn’t. He was ready to get his legs back, but he wasn’t ready for the pain that he knew would come from it. You saw his fear and gave his hand a tight squeeze for reassurance, making him look up at you with his nervous calf-brown eyes. “You’ll do we-”
Before you would finish... He kissed you before you could finish. Never before has he given you this passionate of a kiss; this desperate of a kiss. He had his lightly muscled arms wrapped around your neck, pulling you down to the level where he could smash your soft lips flush against his. You smiled into the kiss when it came to you that this was the most confident that you had seen him in years. Never before had he worked up the courage to kiss you without asking. “Tav...?” His smile was small, and his blush was heavy. “Yeah, I know. After this, there’ll be more of, uh, that Mrs. Nitram.” He gave you another kiss before being taken out of the room by the doctor. “I, uh, love you!” By the time those three little words left your mouth, Tavros was already down the hall.
The next three hours seemed to go by like molasses. Even the second hand was taking a minute to tick from one number to the next. Gamzee had left almost an hour ago to pick up some breakfast for the both of you while you waited because you refused to leave in case Tavros’ surgery was completed before schedule. To your surprise, it was. You and Gamzee had finished eating your breakfast burritos from the breakfast joint down the street and he was now holding your shaking, cold, and sweating hand in attempt to calm you down from your now crushing anxiety. When Dr. Egbert slunk out of the surgery room, you felt your heart drop. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. “Ms. [L. Name], Mr. Makara, he wants to see you.”
You rushed into the room with Gamzee in tow. If your heart had dropped before, it fell straight through the floor when you saw Tavros’ pale form. This couldn’t be happening. Not to you, not to him. He couldn’t be dying. He was supposed to be getting his life back, not losing it completely. Sweat began pouring out of your palms by the time your heated hands grasped Tavros’ cool, clammy ones. His normally bright brown eyes drooped open, revealing hues that were now glazed-over and dark. “[Name]..?” His soft voice cracked. “I’m sorry... I’m so sorry..” Tears fell from your [e/c] eyes and hit the top of Tavros’ tan hand before sliding down his long arm and hitting the.. oh god... the sheets had blood on them. Urgency rushed through your gaze as you looked at your fiance. The soft smile that had begun to adorn his ghostly-white face was marred with streaks of cold tears. His grip on your hand tightened only slightly as his worn eyes took in as much of you as he could before turning to Gamzee. “Gamzee.. thank you.. for being.. the best bro I have ever had..” More tears fell down his face and now he was full out sobbing. He turned back to you and beckoned you down for a kiss. “I, uh, can’t really... move my arms besides twitching my fingers...”
His sight was beginning to fade in and out and he knew the end was coming for him soon, so he took one last look at your brilliant beauty, noticing the fresh orange blossom that he had given you yesterday was laying between your ear and a tuft of your perfect hair. You must have either noticed his pupils dialating and contracting, or his already clammy skin going even more cold because you wiped the tears from your bloodshot eyes and kissed him softly, only leaning back to smooth your hand against his cold cheek. “You know...” He began, his voice holding a soft roughness, “It’s not... going to be that bad...” The glint in his glossy eyes confirmed your suspicions as to what he was talking about. A loud cough rumbled through his entire body, leaving bright red blood dribbling down his chin. “I’ll... be able to fly, [Name]..” “Just like Peter Pan...” You added to the end. A weak smile twitched onto his ghostly face, a barely audible “Yeah...” leaving his throat before his heart monitor made a high beeping noise. “[Name]... I love you... please, don’t... cry anymore...”
The beeping stopped as his heart flat-lined. You had stayed as strong as you could for him, but it was all over now, his bright chocolate eyes wouldn’t open if you started crying, which you did. Tears welled in your eyes and sobs ripped your throat with their intensity. Warm arms wrapped around you, pulling you up from the chair and into the shaking embrace of Gamzee’s chest. He was also crying. “It’ll be okay, sis.” The irregularities in his chest movements gave away his pain. “It’ll motherfuckin’ be okay, sis. He’s fuckin’ flying now, so he must be happy..”
“You know what a pink carnation stands for, [Name]?” You shook your head, making a bright smile light up your boyfriend’s face. “They stand for unforgettable love, and can also be used to say that you’ll never forget someone because they mean the world to you.”
“Just like you meant the world to me...”