Characters: Dee, Ryo, OMC.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Although mostly healed after getting shot, Dee is not having a good time with his physiotherapy.
Word Count: 1019
Content Notes: Some swearing.
Written For: Challenge 215: Stretch at fan_flashworks. Also fits 86: Health and Fitness, and 187: Shoulder.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The best thing about being injured on the job was having Ryo pampering him, helping with all the things he couldn’t manage on his own, like getting washed and dressed for instance. It was amazing how difficult the simplest tasks could become when you only had one hand to work with, especially when it wasn’t your dominant hand.
The worst thing about being injured on the job was a toss up between being stuck on desk duty and being subjected to physiotherapy at the hands of the most sadistic bastard on the NYPD payroll. No, scratch that; deskwork was a picnic compared to this nightmare. It was sheer torture!
“Come on, Laytner, you’re not even trying! You won’t get the strength back in your arm if you don’t work it! Now stretch! Arm out to the side, palm up, and bend that elbow until your fingers touch your head!”
“I’M TRYIN’ DAMMIT! IT HURTS!”
“Don’t be a wimp; try harder. You’re barely getting halfway! You can do better than that!”
Dee groaned. He’d only been here five minutes and already the muscles in his left arm and shoulder were burning as if he’d just done a hundred chin-ups.
“Arm above your head! And down! And again! Punch the air! Stretch those muscles!”
Beads of sweat popped out on Dee’s forehead. He was putting every ounce of effort he could muster into the exercises but that still wasn’t enough for the slave-driving sonofabitch! He just kept pushing Dee harder and harder; must have been a drill sergeant in a former life. Come to think of it, the muscle-bound tyrant might’ve been one in this life as well; he looked the part, and he had the attitude to match.
Still he demanded that Dee bend and flex his abused arm, stretching muscles that had tightened and atrophied while his injuries were healing. Dee wanted to punch the bastard just to shut him up. By the time the session was drawing to a close he was about ready to scream for mercy. Only his anger at the therapist kept him going until he was finally told to stop. Thirty minutes had never seemed so long.
“How did it go?” Ryo asked when Dee stumbled from the treatment area back into the waiting room, his face grey with fatigue and pain.
“It was torture! My arm feels like it’s about to drop off, but the sonofabitch has confiscated my sling, says I’m not to wear it anymore and I’m to use my arm as normally as possible. I’m tellin’ ya, Ryo, before I get through the full course of physiotherapy I’m gonna need a new therapist, because as soon as I can use both hands I’m gonna strangle this sadist, see how HE likes bein’ stretched!”
“He can’t be that bad!”
“You weren’t in there; you have no idea! I’d rather have Nurse Emiry in charge of my physio.”
Ryo glanced sidelong at Dee as they left the waiting room, surprised; his partner hated Nurse Emiry with a vengeance, but he looked completely serious.
“I mean it,” Dee insisted. “How about we go see her right now? Anything so I don’t have to go through another session like that.” He looked pitifully at Ryo. “Please don’t make me go back there.”
“It’s not up to me, Dee. You get the physiotherapist you’re assigned. I’m sorry.”
“You will be when he kills me!”
“That’s a bit overly melodramatic, isn’t it?”
“He’s a sadist! He enjoys inflicting pain.”
“Dee, physiotherapy hurts, there’s no getting around that, but it will get easier. You just have to persevere. You’ve got a list of the exercises you have to do?”
“Yeah.” Dee handed over the sheaf of papers he’d been given at the end of the session and Ryo browsed through them as they waited for the elevator.
“I can help you with these on the days you don’t go to therapy, but it does look like quite a punishing regime. I would have thought they’d start you off with some gentle stretches and less strenuous exercises, work their way up to stuff like this.”
“Not that guy. He’s the kind to throw people in at the deep end and watch ‘em struggle. I think he gets off on it.”
“Well, I have a few ideas of my own, so with any luck you’ll do better at your next appointment. And I mean real exercises, not sex.”
Dee slumped. “Bad enough that I have that guy workin’ me half to death and now you want me to do more exercises? I’m doomed.”
His partner just laughed.
Unsurprisingly, since Ryo was neither a sadist nor a drill sergeant, his ideas for physiotherapy were a lot less painful and consequently a lot more enjoyable than Dee had anticipated. The exercises he suggested consisted of a mixture of Tai Chi and some of the gentler karate movements, allowing Dee to improve his overall flexibility as well as strengthening his left arm and shoulder muscles. The exercises he’d been given by the physiotherapist still weren’t easy, but they were at least less painful after doing a series of warm-up exercises, and Ryo didn’t push him as hard with them, building up gradually over the week so that when Dee came out of his next physio session he looked a lot better than he had after the first one.
“How’d it go this time?” Ryo asked as they made their way to the elevators.
“Better. He’s still a sadist, and I still want to put him through the same hell he puts me through, but I’m startin’ to think I just might survive, as long as he doesn’t come up with a whole new bunch of exercises to torture me with. Might even be able to give up ridin’ a desk and get back out on the streets in a couple of weeks.”
“That’s good news. Just do me one favor?”
“Try not to get shot in future?”
Dee grinned. “I’ll do my best.” That was an easy promise to make; after this, he had no intention of ever needing physiotherapy again.