There's so much I could do, but I should probably see how Wren's faring first. Maybe he knows something.
Nathan looked at his cell phone, then over at Lidia. As much as he didn't want to return to the hospital, it occurred to him that Wren was probably the only person who had had direct contact with the Sins (excluding himself and the angels) and had survived. Avery had only been possessed, but Wren had actually been separated from Ira at various intervals, and was able to witness some of her plotting with Gula. There was a chance he'd learned more than he was able to tell him before.
And Nathan really wanted to apologize for his arm.
Making sure he brought his cell phone with him this time, he slid it into his pocket before turning and smiling at the little girl sitting in his living room. "Would you like to go with me to visit a friend?"
Lidia's eyes lit up with excitement and she nodded enthusiastically. Nathan laughed and held his hand out to her while he moved to fetch his keys.
The meeting was awkwardly quiet for the first few minutes. Wren was awake in his hospital bed, but didn't respond to Nathan's greeting, barely blinking while he continued to stare up at the ceiling. He looked well with the exception of his missing arm; the sheet had been pulled up high enough that it covered the remaining stump, but he kept his other limb out and draped over his chest. Didn't change the fact that he was still totally silent.
Lidia had fallen asleep in one of the two guest chairs when Nathan finally decided to try again. "Hey Wren," he said to the teen a second time. "Glad to see you made it." He paused to give him a chance to answer, but all Wren did was sigh and close his eyes. Nathan frowned and ran his fingers through his hair, wondering if he should forget about asking questions and instead just try to comfort him. "I heard you're going to be let out soon, since your surgery went well. Maybe they'll even get you set up with a nice replacement..."
"I don't want a fucking replacement." Wren opened his eyes and slid his gaze over to him. His words weren't angry, but uncomfortably calm. Carefully, he propped himself up in the bed, leaning on his good arm, brows knotted while he adjusted to better see Nathan. "Why the fuck did I get stuck with the one that had to have her limb cut off?"
The writer offered him an apologetic smile. "It's not the worse that could have happened."
"No?" Wren shot back incredulously. "You don't think losing... losing a limb is worse than suffering from burns or getting fucking indigestion?"
"Well," Nathan said quietly, trying to remember what the other punishments were, trying to think of something, anything, to make him feel better. "How about being smothered in fire and brimstone instead of boiling oil? Or being broken on a wheel? Thrown into a pit of snakes?"
Wren closed his eyes again and sank back into his pillow. "Yeah, but at least they still get to be whole." He opened one eye and cocked an eyebrow. The thinnest glimmer of a smile graced his lips. "That's six punishments. What one did you leave out?"
Encouraged by that small expression, Nathan smiled and shrugged. "I figured you wouldn't be impressed by being submerged in freezing water. That one really can't compare."
To his surprise, the teen actually chuckled. "Yeah. That one's kind of lame." The smile wavered. "Still, it sucks that I've got at least two months of return visits to look forward to, even after they let me go home, and God knows how long learning to do things one-handed." Wren's brows knotted again. "I still wish it hadn't had to go this way..."
"Sometimes, things happen that we can't control." Nathan leaned forward in his seat. "If there had been another way, we would have tried it. We tried with Avery, and that went horribly wrong."
"I know." Wren became quiet again. After a minute, he let out a long sigh and rolled his head towards Nathan. "Ira was defeated, right? At least tell me you were able to kick her ass after we, um, cut her off from me."
Nathan smiled and nodded, but couldn't bring himself to tell him yes. As soon as he'd asked him, the writer realized that he really didn't know. Micah had looked in a bad way when he'd run into him again, and he'd assumed it was because he'd been fighting Ira, but he never asked. The Sin could still be on the loose, but with everything Wren had already been through, the last thing he wanted to do was worry him again.
Thankfully, the teen took his nod without question and sighed with relief. "Good. At least it wasn't entirely pointless then."
"Yeah." Nathan decided it was probably best not to linger on the Sins. As much as he wanted to ask him questions, it really just didn't seem like a good idea anymore. It was time for a change in subject.
What can we talk about that's not about the Sins? I bet he's been a bit lonely during his recovery...