By evening they learned that Devin could not dress or undress himself. He couldn’t figure out how things went on or fastened. Kane stepped in, taking care of it before Devin could realize and be upset. This was something simple he could protect him from.
Devin let Kane take him out of the room for a walk through the hallways. His hand remained in Kane’s the entire way. He still walked as if he were learning, making their progress very slow. It chafed Kane to have to move so slow. He had enhanced his own speed and wanted to see what he could do. But he couldn’t. Wouldn’t. It would come later. He had to get Devin up to a point where they would let them leave.
Kane talked as they walked. It helped to keep his mind off of his growing frustration. He praised Devin for working so hard to get out of the hospital. When Devin startled at an oversized teddy bear on the volunteers gift cart, Kane teased him about it. Kane was aware they were being watched, but said nothing. When Devin started to tire they returned to the room. Albert was waiting with pizza.
Devin greeted him shyly. Over time, maybe, Devin would learn to be comfortable with the older man. He could hope so, anyway.
While they ate, Kane boasted to Albert about how well Devin was doing. He was doing so well that the doctors were going to release them in the morning. Albert was suitably impressed. Kane wondered again if they’d be sent back to where Devin had almost been killed. He’d find out when they were released. He didn’t know if he wanted to go back there or not.
Once the pizza was gone, Kane took Devin into the bathroom and changed him into pajamas that Albert had brought. When they returned to the main room they found another doctor wanting to perform a test. Kane was not pleased to see the woman, who acted as if she did not notice Devin trying to hide from her. What the hell was it with the doctors in this place?
“Come on now, Devin. It’ll take only a few minutes.”
“He’s tired,” Kane said. “What kind of test is it?”
“I show him pictures and he tells me stories about them,” the woman huffed, reaching out for him. Kane blocked her attempt. A psych. He hated psychs. They twisted and turned everything you said and did until you didn’t know yourself.
Finally she caved in and explained. “He also tells me whether certain images are real or imaginary. Come on, Devin. You are my last patient. I would like to go home.”
“Anybody ever tell you that you suck at getting the patient to like or trust you?” Kane demanded. The woman turned scarlet. “Can’t you see he’s scared? You think talking to him like that is gonna help? Go over there.” He waved to indicate the door. “I’ll get him calmed down and ready.”
She stomped to the door, muttering under her breath. Albert tried very hard to keep a straight face as he got out of the way. Kane pulled Devin into an embrace.
He wished he could send the woman away. Devin had been through enough for one day. They both had. But he wanted to get out of this place. Find out where they were going to be living. Who they’d be living with. Test out his new enhancements. Start planning his revenge on Shyla. That meant dealing with the damned psych tonight.
“One more test and you can sleep. I know you’re tired and scared. It’s been a long, hard, scary day, but it’s almost over. You know I won’t let her hurt you.” Devin nodded.
“So. Last test and then sleep. You can do that. Can’t you? Of course you can.” Devin nodded again. “Then my good, brave boy can get some sleep.”
Devin asked something so quietly he had to lean in to hear it. Without a word he went to the chair and pulled Devin into his lap. Once he was satisfied with the positioning he informed the lady they were ready. She strode over, snarling that it was nice of him to let her do her job.
Devin had no trouble discerning the real images from the imaginary. The stories he told were sad and more than a few were hopeless. He told them all calmly and simply, with no hint of any emotion. As soon as the lady said they were finished, Kane tucked Devin into bed and told him to sleep.
“I’m gonna talk to Albert a bit. Then I’ll get in. You sleep now. You earned it.”
He ruffled black hair, now a long crew cut length. It already looked better than it had even yesterday. That was good. Showed Devin was getting better. Come to think of it, he overall looked better. He still looked like he’d been abused, but like it happened weeks ago rather than hours. His cheek felt soft and almost full. Like a cheek should feel.
Whatever had been done to help Devin was working. The people he’d been talking to, whom he assumed were Agency, but realised they could as easily be Government; were keeping their end of the bargain. Another reason for him to keep his. Besides the fact that keeping his end of the deal and working for the Agency when he grew up meant he’d be able to find out what happened to his father.
Kane and Albert went out into the hall so Devin could not overhear. Devin didn’t need to know the extent of the damage Shyla had caused. He was having a rough enough time dealing with the troubles he knew he was having.
Kane filled Albert in on the test results he knew. He was sure there was a lot the doctors weren’t telling him because he was a kid, but there was nothing he could do about that. Legally, anyway. Albert said he would see if he could find out any more and promised to pass the information on. He went on to say that the two single beds had been removed and replaced with a queen sized bed with a bookcase headboard.
“Do you know what time Master Devin will be released tomorrow? I would like to have the staff notified and readied.”
“Uh…no. They haven’t said. They just said tomorrow. Hang on a sec.”
He ducked back into the room. Devin, he saw, was not quite asleep.
“I’m gonna go down to the nurse’s station and try to find out when we can get out of here tomorrow. You okay?” Devin nodded, yawning. “Okay then. Go back to sleep.”
The nurses had no idea when Devin was to be released. Dr. Nelson had to be paged for that information. When he called in he told them it would be during morning rounds, sometime between and 8:00 and 10:00. Kane was displeased with this and tried to insist on a more exact time, eventually accepting with ill-temper that there was no way to get one.
“I will arrive between 8:00 and 8:30,” Albert told him as they waited for the elevator. “There is a transmitter I can use to notify Steve we are ready. He will bring the car around once he receives the signal.”
“Yeah, okay, I guess that’s what we’ll have to do. You’d think they’d be able to tell you a little more specifically, you know? It’s frustrating as hell, not knowing when I can take Devin home.”
“At least you know it will be tomorrow,” Albert pointed out. “They could have said he would be here indefinitely.”
Kane shuddered. “Don’t even joke like that.”
The elevator arrived. Albert got in and pushed the button. As the door closed he spoke again. “I wasn’t joking.”
Devin stirred when Kane re-entered the room. Kane changed into his pajamas and got into the bed. As he got comfortable he wondered how long it would take for him to adjust to his enhancements. He’d forgotten to ask. Oh well, a couple days of extra rest wouldn’t be a bad thing, and it wouldn’t take longer than that.
So, they were being sent back to that place. That was weird. Maybe there was nowhere else for them to go? Depending on the size of the experiment there would only be a limited number of places they could set up to monitor, right? Even the Governments only had so much power and money to spend.
The big house made sense. So did the servants. Each Government involved was going to want their own person on the inside, keeping track of what was going on. It was difficult–not impossible, but extremely difficult–to put cameras and bugs into a home without their being noticed. Living space was too precious a commodity for most people not to pay attention to something out of place.
Using a block of homes would work too. The Government people could be neighbors to the kids in the study. Of course, then the study kids would all interact. Most bullies and thugs ran in groups, so putting them in proximity would incline them to form gangs. Which wouldn’t do much for either the abused kids or the reformation of the thugs. So that ruled out housing blocks.
Well, Kane decided, as he felt himself grow tired, at least Shyla wouldn’t be there. Hopefully Devin wouldn’t have a bad reaction to returning to the house. As long as Shyla wasn’t there, he could make things work.