Kevin tried to push himself up in the bed, forgetting that his legs no longer worked. “Hi, Commissioner. What brings you here?” The Commissioner and Gwen walked into his room and sat down. He didn’t think he’d ever get used to his sister in that weird contraption that kept her head immobilized.
“We came to see how you are doing and if you have any news.”
Kevin shook his head sadly and lowered his gaze to his lap so they couldn’t see the tears in his eyes. His boyfriend, Perry, put his arm around him and spoke softly into his hear. Kevin just shook his head.
Perry turned sad eyes on everyone, his heart hurting over the words he was about to say. “The doctor was here about an hour ago,” ─ he paused to choke back a sob ─ “The paralysis is permanent. Kevin won’t ever walk again. Everyone looked stunned as the two boyfriends clung to each other and cried, Gwen joining them.
The Commissioner closed his eyes for a brief moment. Now more than ever he was glad he had a contingency plan in place. He waited until everyone was able to pull themselves together. He approached the bed and placed a compassionate hand on Kevin’s forearm.
“What am I going to do now? Being a cop was all I ever wanted, all I’ve ever dreamt of. Now that’s over.”
No it isn’t, Kevin.” Everyone except Gwen, who knew of the Commissioner’s plan, turned startled looks towards the Commissioner’s plan.
The Commissioner began to outline his plan. “Kevin, your career as a law enforcement official is not over unless you want it to be.”
Kevin looked at the Commissioner never expecting to hear those words. “Huh?”
“Ever since I found out the possibility of you being permanently paralyzed I started thinking of possible ways to keep you. I don’t like losing good officers, especially those who are just beginning their career. Here’s my idea. It’s one I’ve been considering for a long time.
“Kevin, you have exceptional computer and investigative skills. I’d like for you to become a researcher for the task force. That would entail researching criminal backgrounds, case histories, anything that would help everyone with their investigations. The benefits to the task force would be enormous.
“You would, in essence, be doing most of the leg work. You would also be free to help other departments as long as it won’t interfere with your regular responsibilities to the task force. That’s your number one priority. We’ll have an office built and furnished for you in the squad room. You will decide for yourself what computer system you want, whether it be a desktop or a laptop, which I personally feed would suit your needs better.
“Whatever you want. We’re also going to install a base radio for you to Communicate with everyone when they’re in the field. I’ll order a special car that will have the police logo on it and will be outfitted with all the equipment in the regular squad car.” When Kevin raised an eyebrow, the Commissioner knew immediately what he was thinking.
“You will be able to drive as the accelerator and the brake pedals will be replaced with levers on the steering column. The driver’s seat will be removed and space will be made for your wheelchair. A wide door with an extendable ramp will allow you to get in and out of the vehicle. So what do you say? Are you up for it?”
A stunned Kevin looked from the Commissioner to Gwen to Perry and back again. Finally finding his voice he addressed his sister. “Gwen, did you know about this?”
“I knew he was thinking about something along these lines, but I didn’t know all the details, which is why I didn’t say anything to you. I didn’t want you to get your hopes up in case his ideas didn’t pan out.”
“So what do you say, Kevin?”
Kevin glanced at Perry who said, “I know how much being a cop means to you. I think you should go for it. I’ll sleep better at nights knowing you aren’t out there on the streets.”
“But that’s exactly where I want to be. What kind of difference can I make sitting behind a desk?”
Gwen spoke up. “You can make a hell of a difference, little brother. How many times have we been tied up researching backgrounds and the likes while someone else is out there getting gay-bashed? Don’t you see? You may not be out on the streets as much as you like, but you’ll still have a hand in helping solve a case. You’ll still be part of the team, a very valuable part.” The passion in her voice was undeniable.
“I honestly believe we’ll be a more effective task force, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of times we’ll need you in the field with your powers of observation. Please say you’ll do it.”
“I don’t know, Gwen. It’s a lot to take in, a lot to think about it. Is it okay if I take a few days to think about it, Commissioner?”
“Of course. Any idea when they’re going to let you out of here?”
“The beginning of next week hopefully.”
“That’s good news. Well,” the Commissioner glanced pointedly at Gwen, who responded to his unspoken suggestion with a slight nod. “We’ll let the two of you talk things over. When you make your decision, Kevin, give me a call.”
“I will, Commissioner, and thanks.”
“You’re welcome. See you later.”
“Please consider it and say yes, little brother. This is a great opportunity to continue being a part of us, and speaking for the rest of us, we want you back. Love you!”
“Love you to, sis.”
After everybody left, Perry climbed up on the bed and stretched out next to Kevin. “So what do you think, baby? Please tell me what you’re thinking.”
“Honestly, I don’t know. When I was told that the paralysis was permanent, I kinda lost it. As I said earlier, all I’ve ever wanted to be is a cop. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I went ape-shit when I was assigned to the task force. It was my dream come true.
“We started making a huge difference. Ninety-nine percent of the gay bashers were caught, tried and convicted. The victims got the help they needed to deal with their attack. And it wasn’t just the gay bashed victims we helped. Whenever a gay teen was thrown out of their house after coming out, we helped them find a place to live.”
“I remember you telling me the stories. I was and still am very proud of you.”
Kevin’s voice hitched. “But now that’s all over, at least for me.”
“No, it isn’t.” Perry said softly. “The Commissioner has offered you a way to stay involved with the task force.”
“But it won’t be the same.” Kevin responded with sorrow in his voice.
Perry reached up and cupped Kevin’s cheek in his hand. “No, it won’t. It’ll be different, but you’ll still be a part of it. From what I heard the Commissioner say, I think it will be a very big part of it. Look at it this way, the Commissioner never said you wouldn’t be going out into the field again. Why else would he have a special car made for you?”
“I didn’t even think about that. But still, everyone will be out there helping people while the useless cripple sits behind a desk.”
Perry’s eyes flashed in anger. “I don’t ever want to hear you refer to yourself as a useless cripple again. Yes, you lost the use of your legs, but that doesn’t mean you’re useless. You still have a lot to offer to the task force.” A little quieter he said, “To me.”
“What do I have to offer you? We can’t even make love.”
“First of all, you have one thing to offer that I cherish more than anything in this world. Something that’s priceless to me.”
“Your love. That means more than anything to me. I don’t have to have my dick up your ass or your dick up my ass to show me how much you love me. I see it in your eyes every time you look at me. I’d rather live without sex than live without you.”
At first, Kevin’s shoulders started to shake then he was full-on bawling his eyes out. Perry pulled him into his arms and held him, not saying a word, just stroking his hair. Eventually Kevin fell asleep, exhausted. He finally let everything out. Perry tried to slip out of the bed, hungry, but Kevin clung tighter to him. He sighed and lay back down.
He’ll eat later. He glanced at his watch and realized that in an hour the trays were coming. He’d go down to the cafeteria, get something to eat and bring it back up.
Sitting in Greg and Dave’s room, Gwen told them all about the conversation with the Commissioner, Kevin and Perry. “So what do you think he’ll do?” Greg asked.
“Honestly, I don’t know. He’s so hung up on not being out in the field helping people. I don’t think he really understands how much it would mean to us to have him with us in any capacity. I’m hoping Perry will be able to talk him into it.”
“What would you do in his place?” Dave asked.
“Honestly? I don’t have a clue. I would like to think I would take the Commissioner up on his offer, but I just don’t know. I know when I was hurt I wondered if I’d ever be able to go back to the task force, so I kinda know what he’s thinking. I almost feel guilty about being back in full capacity.”
“Don’t, Gwen. Don’t do this to yourself. Kevin has to decide what’s best for him. We can’t decide that for him.”
“I know. I just want to keep him with us.”
“I know, Gwen; so do I.”
After a while Kevin stirred and opened his eyes. Seeing that Perry was still there he smiled. “You’re still here.”
“Where else would I be?”
“I don’t know. Somewhere else. Anywhere else.”
“I’m not leaving, so get those thoughts right out of your head. You’re stuck with me, like it or not.” Perry responded, his eyes moist.
Kevin tightened his arms around Perry. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“That’s something you’ll never have to worry about. I’m not leaving you. Not now, not ever. It’s you and me forever.”
Just then the dinner trays arrived. “I’m going to grab something from the cafeteria and bring it up here so we can eat together.” He left just as Kevin was raised to a sitting position to eat. While he ate he thought over what the Commissioner had offered him.
After about a half hour, Perry returned. “Man that cafeteria is a mad house. I knew it would be busy, but I didn’t expect it to be that busy. How’s the food?”
“It actually is quite good, considering its hospital food. Listen, I’ve been thinking about what the Commissioner said, and I’ve made my decision.”
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