AUTHORS' NOTE: The Yesterday part is like a snapshot into the past, a parallel story line of what might have happened after Paro was taken into the BSD Headquarters by Rudra after the Baraat massacre. I'm fleshing out the questioning, the interrogation, even the torture Paro might have faced if that track had more details, and creating a different next chapter in their lives.
Tomorrow shows what might happen in the future, after everything is settled--when life has moved them beyond conflicts. Basically you'll see the same "idea" before and after! This one is about his AND her fears.
PS: You don't need to do it to understand this OS, but if you haven't read it, you might look at the OS: Yesterday and Tomorrow :Protector (http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3927326).
YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW: FEARS (PART SEVEN)
YESTERDAY: Rudra Pratap Ranawat was terrified of hospitals. There. It had to be said. As a commando in one of the most elite branches of the Indian Army, as a young Major known for his fearlessness and extreme strength, hell, as a soldier, there was nothing more embarrassing than that he was afraid of anything. And given his very career, there was nothing more guaranteed than that the hospital was one place he had to visit more than the general population.
Oh--he did not fear injury, he did not fear pain or death. Rudra, in moments of self reflection, had no doubts about his courage. He knew himself, and so he knew, in a detached way, that he was fearless, even fool-hardy in battle. He would take a bullet without thinking twice about the pain or the blood. He always put himself between danger and those he protected, thinking this was a very basic, normal part of his job. He was ready forfeit his life without a second thought--in fact it was frankly a miracle that he even returned alive from some of the missions he went on. But to go to the hospital after an injury, or to visit an officer admitted there--this panicked and disgusted him on the deepest level.
The smell of the medicinal tang in the air, seeing the sterile, white environment of the operating room or the private cabin, watching the liquids and pills and salves and bandages being used---all of this brought out a deep seated phobia in Rudra that he had since childhood. He disguised it by refusing to go for treatment, by doing field dressings on himself, or by simply ignoring medical care and pretending that he was fine. Being a frightening man with a very senior military rank, no one questioned him, so he usually got away with this.
This reluctance had earned him a reputation for laze-faire casual heroics, of being cool and indifferent to pain. The juniors under his command would boast to their friends about their invincible commanding officer, the jokes he made when he was wounded, the style with which he would drink his whiskey and then pour some of it over a bullet hole---the dabangg of Rudra Ranawat.
But the truth was--Rudra was terrified of hospitals, and no one could keep him within one with force, threats or torture. That is, of course, until the time when someone did--with love.
After the BSD won their long battle in the Thakur's Haveli, Rudra and Paro were found quite a few hours later. They had waited for rescue trapped inside the dungeon, where the Major had been held for three days of extreme torture. Held up in Paro's arms, unable to walk, Rudra had drifted in and out of consciousness. During his periods of awareness he had tried to convince Paro to leave the Haveli and save herself. Knowing the Jallad was half-delirious, Paro had smiled and told him she was perfectly safe, and to keep him calm, she pretended she was not terrified, and suffering from extreme reaction.
While he was unconscious, Paro had examined the Jallad carefully, with horrified eyes, shattering inside as she saw the extent of the damage that had been done to him---what he had tolerated to protect her---and what hell he could have avoided suffering by simply revealing her name to his torturers.
Guilt. It poured through her, bathing her with a horrible confluence of shame, worry and sheer desperation to right a wrong. As the hours passed, as Rudra groaned in pain, his body jerking whenever he moved, Paro's guilt gave way to absolute, mindless self-blame.
Paro, who had never seen such torture inflicted on anyone, who was feeling responsible for the Jallad lying in her arms, and who had been emotionally battered was now well beyond reason. By the time the BSD opened the door, Paro had gone into a state of shock.
He was in this pain, and she was responsible for his pain, somehow. Never mind the facts---delayed shock and fear was doing the thinking for Paro by now. She had wronged him, wronged herself, her people, the BSD. It was her fault, it was her sheer stupidity, her blind faith in the Thakur, her stubborn blindness that had landed him into this hellhole.
She did not know what her exact fault was, but this all had happened because of her. She was somehow responsible for the condition the Jallad was in. As the BSD arrived with a stretcher for the seriously wounded Rudra, Paro clung to him, and by now, she would not let him go. She had it fixed in her mind that he needed her, and she was not going to let anyone take him away. Bas.
General Singh, himself stained and battle-worn, recognized hysteria and post traumatic stress when he saw it shining from Paro's glazed eyes. The girl would have to go to the hospital, as well, if only to get treated for shock and stress. "Let them go together to the hospital," he declared to Aman, since Paro was still clutching the unconscious Major as if she was defending him from his enemies. Poor girl, she needed rest, and a quiet few days to recover from an overwhelming experience. "She should be checked out at the hospital before being taken back to BSD HQ." decided the General.
"And Major Ranawat?"Asked Aman, knowing exactly what would happen when the Major woke up in a hospital bed, even with these serious wounds.
"Let's try and keep Rudra unconscious for as long as we can. Tell the Doctors to hurry up and treat as many wounds and do whatever tests they can manage before he wakes up. Once he's up, no matter what condition he's in, he'll throw them out of their own ward, and force them to let him leave." said the General, sighing. This was not his first time dealing with Rudra Pratap Ranawat's insane reactions after he suffered an injury.
Knowing that Major Ranawat was in the capable hands of his immediate junior, Aman Mathur, The General focused on the fallout of the Haveli rescue mission. Dealing with politics, worrying about how deep the conspiracy stretched into Delhi's corridors and even the Army meant that four days passed before the General had a moment to focus on Rudra's health.
Feeling ashamed about how long it had taken to check up on the gravely injured Major, The General decided to first drive to the BSD Army Hospital and get the reports from his doctors. Knowing Rudra, he had probably recovered consciousness, thrown a few nurses from his room, screamed at the attendants for his discharge papers and made a dramatic exit from the ICU ward. The General thought, before he found Rudra at his assigned HQ quarters and checked on his health, he might as well find out exactly what the doctors had to say about him, and Parvati too. Rudra was probably long gone.
This had happened every time Rudra had been injured over the past eight years. Nothing, not his direct orders, not the doctor's begging, not even his own father had stopped Rudra from doing what he wanted to do in the past. So, General Singh was totally unprepared for the sight that greeted him when he was saluted, and escorted into the Officer's Cabin of the hospital, to meet with Dr Biswas, Rudra's old physician.
There he sat, the infamously difficult Major, wearing blue hospital scrubs, propped up on a bed with a nutrients bag attached to him. His scowling, ruthless face was visible, but his arms were covered with bandages, he had a proper saline drip going into his torso, and his chest showed signs of surgical tape, bindings and nursing care. His eyes, fierce as a hawk trapped in a cage, whipped around at the sound of the General's entry, and for the first time in the eight years he had known him, the General saw Rudra looking---hunted. Shielded with a cloth screen, but within a just a few feet was another hospital cot, where Parvati Vader was sleeping-- the General's star witness/prisoner.
Barely managing to cover his shock at the sight of the Major still in the hospital, General Singh nodded to Rudra and went into Dr. Biswas's office for a consultation. What he heard there was sufficiently startling enough for the General to immediately come to a few decisions of his own.
"Well, well! I guess I'm never too old to learn new tricks!" The General gleefully thought. Outwardly calm and impassive, he went to sit by Rudra's bed."How are you, Major?" asked the General, taking in Rudra's improved health and better color. He controlled his smile as he asked "And the prisoner, Parvati? I see she's right here, in the next bed. How are you feeling? Anything I can do?"
"You can get me out of here, General! I can only leave if SHE does, so get her released!" Rudra demanded, his voice hoarse with agitation.
"The doctors are saying she is still emotionally in a fragile state, Rudra. Do you think they are wrong?"Asked the General, feeling as cunning as a fox before a unwary hen.
Rudra looked deeply uncomfortable. Paro stirred in her bed, turning over in her sleep. Instantly, Rudra's laser gaze locked onto the girl. The General watched as Rudra's entire focus stayed only on Paro until she calmed, and only then returned to him.
"She cries!"whispered Rudra, as if afraid that Paro, lying and sleeping on the bed next to them, might overhear him."At anything and everything. She sits and stares at my face and weeps her eyes out. I tell her to get out when they are changing the dressings, she starts crying. I tell the nurse or doctor to go to hell, she starts crying. I demand to get another room, away from this damn cabin, and---crying.
The doctors are saying that she is working through some post traumatic stress syndrome, she thinks I am the one who is protecting her from her enemies and so she gets hysterical if she can't see me. As far as I can tell, she gets hysterical when she does see me, because she cries even harder at the injuries. I am being forced to let them treat me, do as much fussing as they like. I think Dr Biswas tells her whenever I try to leave, because she wakes up like magic, and then, of course--she cries."
Biting his lip, the General pointed out the Parvati was not acting, or doing any of this intentionally. This was simply how her unconscious mind was dealing with everything. Rudra looked mutinous, and oddly uneasy at his explanation. Clearly, he was desperate to leave. "Will she get released today?" Rudra asked, eagerly, and scowled when he was told that would take a few more days. The General soon understood that while Rudra was desperate to get discharged, he seemed unable to get up and leave, either, as long as Paro was still there.
The General had asked Dr Biswas about the prisoner. Dr Biswas had said that Parvati Vader was slowly getting better, but that she suffered from nightmares and panic attacks if she could not see Rudra, or know he was close-by. Whether she admitted it to herself or not, she thought of the "Jallad" as her protector. So it was a combination of seeing him injured, witnessing the Thakur's evil actions, and returning to the Haveli where so many of her past memories haunted her. She would be fine, it was just rest and time, but in the meantime, it hurt no one to let Paro stay close to Rudra, and ease her mind.
Also, the old doctor said, with a grin, Major Ranawat had never cooperated with the doctors like he did now that she was around. They found it easy to do their work if Parvati was close by, because the Major could not seem to tolerate seeing his prisoner upset. She watched over him, not really speaking, but she seemed to need to see that he was getting better.
She didn't say or do anything, really, but she observed him as closely as he watched her. And his health seemed to decide her own.
At first the Major had tried to resist treatment, like always, but this attitude had so affected Parvati, triggering a panic attack right in front of him, that the Major had immediately stopped fighting the medical procedures. After that, the doctors could do anything they needed to do for him, and he accepted it since she seemed to be calmer when he did. So the Major was recovering quite well.
The General had quirked an eyebrow, and Dr Biswas admitted that he was using the Major's protective instincts to get him to accept all the treatment they could force on him for his many injuries. Paro could technically be discharged, but since her staying here at the hospital meant that Rudra did too, the Doctor admitted he was delaying letting HER go so he could go on treating HIM. The General, remembering the severity of Rudra's injuries, had fully agreed.
Now, the General smiled as he refused Rudra's request to have Paro shifted to another ward---one preferably VERY far away. He reminded Rudra what the innocent, naiive woman had faced to get Rudra to safety, and what a shock it must have been for someone like her to be caught up, essentially, in the middle of a gunfight. She had shown remarkable courage, but she was a civilian, and she was someone to whom they owed the Major's life. Rudra scowled, and muttered something about women and their manifold stupidities, their weaknesses and innate ability to torment others.
The General, more stern now, said "If she needs to see you, to make sure you are alright to recover from the shock, Rudra, then it is your duty to let her have this small thing. I am surprised you are not considering her situation before your own comfort. She came to me, with the plan to save you. She risked her life to get to you, to keep you safe while we attacked. I would think you would consider that she is an innocent, young girl, and she still had the courage to help you. But maybe you don't want to help her. Ok. You come first. So even though it is against doctor's advice, if you insist, I can have her transferred to another BSD medical team and away from you...after all, she's just a prisoner."
Rudra flinched. He did not answer, but his silence was clearly a consent, so the General leaned back, satisfied. Rudra's eyes had gone to the sleeping girl on the next bed. Now that he knew what to look for, the General noticed that even when Rudra started to discuss other army business, the Major's eyes had remained fixed on Parvati. Soft whimpers had started to come from the sleeping girl. The General and Rudra watched as a nurse rushed in, pushed additional drugs into Paro's saline drip, and then left. The drugs did not help, as Paro got more uneasy, now tossing and turning in her bed.
Rudra's face had darkened, but he did nothing, though he was clearly upset and distracted by the sight of the agitated girl. General Singh--by now also silent--quietly watched them both. Rudra's fists were clenching and un-clenching on the bed-sheets, fingers drumming a beat in agitation. General Singh, not usually an imaginative man, thought it was as if the younger man was physically stopping himself from reaching for Parvati, checking if she was alright. Rudra now clearly wanted the General gone. The more restless Parvati got, the more agitated Rudra seemed to be, each soft cry increasing his desperation to soothe her.
The General did not need Rudra to say the next words""Fine sir. Do whatever you want, I am going to rest now, with your leave. Thank you for coming " to know that he was being politely asked to get the hell out of the cabin.
The General got up and had barely closed the door behind him when he heard a crash as Rudra's saline drip fell. A soft curse came as tubes and wires were removed from injured arms, and then there were the creaking sounds of a heavy weight getting onto Paro's bed. The sounds of Paro's anxiety immediately reduced, as she calmed and turned into Rudra's arms. Through the closed door, the General could hear the soft murmur as Rudra spoke to Paro, hushing her whimpers as he held her close.
The General could overhear just a few words--"Shant...chinta mat kar...teri Jallad...yaha hi hai...shant.." but the tone!! Rudra's tone told him everything he needed to know. General Singh walked outside to his jeep, whistling. "This is going to be an interesting, interesting development in this case!!" he thought, grinning.
It seemed that when it came to Major Rudra Pratap Ranawat, there was always something new to learn about things and people and situations he hated. Rudra was terrified of hospitals. But he had found something he feared even more----Parvati's pain.
THE YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW SERIES-ENJOY!
Edited by napstermonster - 2014-06-13T05:59:56Z
Topic started by napstermonster
Last replied by dprover