It was a little while later, they were back on AAU. Bernie with them. Serena had rang ahead, got the side room opposite her office cleared.
Serena was just getting Bernie settled in the side room. Danny had gone into Serena office to talk to Cameron. Bernie hand hadn’t left Serena, needing to the fell her. To have the comfort that she was there.
“Bernie, I need to physically check you over. Is that ok? We can take it slow.” Serena asked.
“Only you. Slow.” Bernie whispered.
“I need someone in here my darling. So they get what I need. So we can do this as quick as possible. They don’t need to touch you. Can we do that?” Serena asked.
“Who?” Bernie whispered.
“Senior nurses on duty are Donna and Fletch? You tell me who you feel comfortable being in here?” Serena responded.
“Donna” Bernie whispered.
“Ok sweetheart, I’ll get her ok. I’ll be two minutes ok. I won’t be far, I promise.” Serena told her. Bernie nodded in reply.
Serena left the side room. Walking towards the nurse station.
“She ok?” Fletch asked.
“She will be.” Serena replied.
“Donna, are you free to give me a hand?” Serena continued.
“I’ve got to sort bed 2,3 out and then chase bloods.” Donna responded.
Fletch sensing that they was reason Serena had only asked Donna.
“Donna, tell me what needs doing and I’ll sort it. You can help Serena.” Fletch stated.
“Thanks fletch.” Serena said.
“Ok, I’ll be there in a sec.” Donna answered.
Serena went back into the side room. Not wanting to leave Bernie for every long.
A few minutes later, Donna entered the side room.
“Hiya” Donna directly to Bernie. Then “all sorted” to Serena.
“You ok, for me to explain to Donna. I didn’t want to with everyone out there.” Serena asked Bernie. Bernie nodded in response.
“Bernie’s not keen on being touched at the moment. So at the moment it’s limited people. Just me and you for the minute. She’s agreed to let me check her over. So I just need you to grab anything I need to treat at the moment.” Serena explained. Squeezing Bernie’s hands as she explained to comfort her.
“That’s fine. No problem, anything you need to start with.” Donna asked, as she pulled the bed curtain across to stop anyone seeing them from them.
“I want to clean anything that open so can you grab the stuff for that” Serena replied.
“Right sweetheart, shall we start with the cuts on your face.” Bernie nodded in reply.
“I’ve got a spare hairband, it will want to put your hair up out the way Bernie.” Donna asked towards Bernie.
“Yes please” Bernie whispered. Donna handed it to Bernie. Talking it gratefully, Bernie put her hair up.
Serena started clean the cuts on Bernie forehead and cheek. They were superficial, and should heal overtime.
There was bruises on Bernie’s neck. Size as some fingerprints. They were fading though, telling Serena that they were make a while ago. They was fade completely soon.
“Bern, I need to check your chest and stomach now. I need you to take your Jacket and T-shirt off now sweetheart. Do you think that will be ok?” Serena explained to Bernie.
Bernie takes a deep shaky breath. Before removing her jacket. And placing it to the side. Pausing struggling to keep her emotions hidden.
“Shall I have a look at your arms first?” Serena asks. Bernie nods.
Bernie forearms were the worse parts of her arms. There was raw red marks all round her wrists. Serena tried to get a better look, she tried to take Bernie’s wrists into but Bernie pulled away in pain.
“I’m sorry darling, I’ll try to be as careful as I can I promise.” Serena told Bernie.
Serena continued to check Bernie’s arms. Above her arms on her right arm was a large burn that seem to have started to blister.
“Bernie, is that sore?” Serena questioned.
“If I touch it yes, it’s tight. I was picking at it, I wanted to feel when they found me.” Bernie replied.
“Donna can you get me some dressings and burn cream please.” Serena asked.
“You’ll make it worse if you pick it. Try not to sweetheart ok for me. Do you know when it happened?” Serena continued asking Bernie.
“Uh, couple of weeks. Maybe a month. I not very good with dates at the moment.” Bernie replied.
“It’s ok sweetheart. I understand. Ok? I’m going to put some cream on the burn and dressing it and your wrists. Is that ok?” Bernie nodded in reply to Serena. Donna placed what Serena asked for next to them on the bed.
When the burn and the wounds were dressed and sorted. Serena squeezed Bernie trying to comfort the women she loved.
“You’re doing really well now sweetheart. Can we get this T-shirt off now?” Serena asked.
“I can’t. It’s the worse part, there is gonna be a lot of marks Serena. I don’t know if I can. I don’t know if I’m ready.” Bernie’s quickly said. Only just making sense. Chocking back the emotions now. Tears starting to fall.
“I know it’s hard Bernie. But we need to make sure your ok. That’s there is no infection. Your safe yeah. Just me, you and Donna. We can get a gown ready so, as soon as we done we can get it on you. Then I can check your legs with the gown on. Or we can take a break if you want sweetheart. Your terms ok?” Serena stated trying to ease Bernie a bit.
“Keep going, if I stop I don’t know it I can start again. Can we just get it done?” Bernie said quietly.
“Do you want the gown ready?” Donna asked openly. Looking for an answer from either women. Serena responded with a nod.
Serena squeezed Bernie hands again. “Do you need some help to get it off sweetheart?”
“I can do it, I just. Um I’m scared Rena” Bernie replied.
“ it’s ok bern, your safe here ok. Anybody is going to hurt you. Your pace remember if you not ready then we can wait ok. It still stands that we can take a break if you want. But it mean what you said about getting it done. The quicker we do this the quicker it will be done ok.” Serena explained.
Bernie thought about what Serena had said to her. Serena was right Bernie thought. The quickly she did it. Then it was be over. It’s a the reaction that Bernie was scared of. Scared that Serena wouldn’t look at her in same way again.
Slowly Bernie removed her top. Screwing her eyes shut as she did. She couldn’t face seeing the look in Serena eyes. Tears pooled in her eyes. No longer having the energy to keep the act up.
Serena breathe hitched as Bernie removed her top. Serena looked at Donna and they both had the same reaction. However, Serena heart ached seeing the happened to the women she loved. Noticing that Bernie couldn’t look at her. Made her sad and worried.
“Bern, you ok to continue?” Serena asked.
Serena started dealing with injuries Bernie had. There was bruising to her stomach in different degrees of healing. Small cuts around her sides and just under her neck. After dealing with Bernie’s front. Serena moved around the bed to check Bernie’s back. As her back came into Serena view. She had to grab the bed to steady herself. Her back covered in angry red whelps.
“Bern, I going to put some cream on your back. The skin very dry. It will heal better if we stop it from getting dry. You ok with that?” Serena asked.
Once Serena was done. She picked up the gown next to Bernie and pop it on for her. Bernie seem in her own world
“Sweetheart, can you open your eyes for me? Look at me please.” Serena said
“I can’t” Bernie responded in a whisper.
“You can sweetheart. You’ve been so brave. But I need to see eyes. I see your ok for myself. I know you Berniece.” Serena replied.
A little smile gave way at Bernie lips. She slowly opened her eyes. Lifting them to meet Serena’s. The tears falling quickly down her checks. Serena gave her a reassuring smile back.
“You can lay down on the bed now, bern.” Serena told her.
“I can’t my back tensed up, been sat down for so long” Bernie told her.
“That’s ok. Me and Donna can help you sweetheart. Then I can check you legs and then get you some pain relief. That ok?” Serena asked.
“Okay” Bernie whispered.
Serena and Donna helped Bernie to lay down on the bed. The Serena checked her legs. There was some more whelps on the top of her legs and then matching marks on her ankles to her wrists. Serena got the pain killers for her while Donna placed a blanket over Bernie to help comfort her.
“You did it bern. We gets some bloods done and some scans to make sure everything is ok. “ Serena explained.
“Can do that later. I need a break for a bit please Serena?” Bernie asked.
“Of course we can. Do you wanna get some sleep for a bit?” Serena replied.
“I can’t sleep. Don’t remember the last time I had a good sleep.” Bernie whispered.
“We get something to help you sweetheart. Let your body rest for a bit yeah.” Serena responded. Nodded to Donna. Donna left the room to grab something.
“Can you stay with me till I fall asleep please?” Bernie asked.
“Of course bern. I’ll be here when ever you want to me be ok?” Serena said. Her hands finding Bernie hair. Automatically playing with it, like she used to. Bernie didn’t tense or panic. Which told Serena that he was feeling more comfortable at least with her.
Serena continued to play with Bernie’s hair as she drifted into a peaceful sleep.