|My Silent Partner
Author: Elise Davidson PM
A deranged madman on the run, a psychologist with her own agenda, and two men desperately trying to piece their lives together again. Sequel to My Split Conference :slash JDCox: CH6 update.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 6 - Words: 42,292 - Reviews: 80 - Favs: 32 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 06-06-07 - Published: 04-27-07 - id: 3511294
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My Silent Partner
Warnings: Mentions of torture/rape, attempted self-injury, JDA, DCA, horrible psychologist (it'll get explained…:sighs: )
Pairings: JD/Cox, Jorliot, Turla
Summary: A lunatic on the run, a psychologist with her own agenda, and two men desperately trying to find themselves again.
Author's Notes: Here it is, folks. First chapter of the sequel. I'd originally planned a longer break for myself, but this seems to be the only thing I can write. I'd started a slight expansion of My Needs, but it just wasn't going well. :sighs: So here I am. :grin: I am still trying to stay along with the Discovery Channel ad, but I am having to ad-lib as there are only twenty-three "lines" from the commercial.
As far as Paige's faith go, I'm not going to actually classify it any more then she's not catholic the way I write her. I'm going along with Protestant, and also going with what my gut tells me she might believe. I'm probably going to tone the pushiness of it a bit more, mostly because I think rubbing anything in Perry's face right now would be a mistake. Suggestions and comments for her character are more then welcome, as well as Dan. I'm a bit sketchy on Dan's character, and I tend to write him a bit angry for some reason. I'm going to try and remedy that, so I hope I do his character okay. Thanks for reading!
Author's Note for Medical: I'm going to go ahead and say this now so that the damage to Perry's wrist is more apparent, not to mention to JD's ankle and side. The handgun used by Thomas was a handgun of .25 caliber. Having done some research on it, it seems the most likely attainable by Thomas, and the culprit behind the injuries I've already described to Perry's right wrist.
Chapter One-Fan The Flames
Dr. Stojanovich watched the quiet interactions between the two men with growing interest. The hand movements definitely spoke of intimacy, with something lying just underneath the surface that he hadn't yet been able to classify.
Still, it was difficult to tell how many of the injuries sustained to the older man were self-inflicted or not. He grimaced; it was difficult at best to ask a patient such a question, considering the delicate subject matter. Even so, the younger man clearly showed signs of clinging to the older doctor.
Dr. Stojanovich had pushed Dr. Taylor out of the room over an hour ago; her rambling about the case had only served to make the men more quiet. The older man with the hand injury had grown agitated by her presence, and more sarcastic in his movements.
Finally, Dr. Stojanovich pulled a chair to the bed, making sure to keep his distance as he balanced a clipboard on his lap.
"Hi," he said in a neutral tone. The younger man looked at him warily, the older man didn't look at him at all. "I'm Dr. Stojanovich." The psychologist watched with interest as the older man shot his companion a look and tapped his fingers across the dark-haired man's hand.
Dr. Stojanovich leaned back in his chair. "Dr. Dorian, would you mind if I spoke with Dr. Cox alone?"
JD shot a glance in Perry's direction, but the older man didn't look happy at the prospect. JD couldn't swear he liked the idea anymore then he did, but if either of them wanted to get out of here, some sort of interaction with the psychologist was going to be required.
And it wasn't Dr. Taylor they were speaking with, after all.
Perry wasn't sure he liked any psychologist at all by this point, but he was certain he didn't want JD out of the room. He glared in JD's direction, eyes still a bit red from lack of sleep and faint bruising.
JD shot him a look that clearly tried to get him to agree.
In the end, it wasn't their decision. Carla carefully approached them both to take JD to physical therapy for his ankle.
Dr. Stojanovich took the time to observe how the men interacted with the nurse, noting that JD didn't want to be touched by her, but seemed agitated when he'd lost contact with the older man.
JD looked up at Carla for a minute, and then shared another private stare with Perry. He waved a hand, indicating he'd be back soon.
Perry glared at him, lips drawn tightly as he reluctantly let go of JD's hand.
Carla wheeled JD out of the room slowly, careful to avoid the brighter lit areas of the hallway.
Dr. Stojanovich sat alone with the older man, hands balanced evenly on his clipboard.
"Dr. Taylor seems to think that many of your lacerations weren't inflicted by an outside party," Dr. Stojanovich finally said after a minute, deciding bluntness would be the best way to try and get the truth from the man.
Perry shot him a look that was clearly calling him an idiot. His fingers tapped against the sheets as he rolled his eyes with a sigh. No one understood the little looks and taps but JD; he was just fine with that.
"Without you or Dr. Dorian telling us otherwise, we have to go with what the psychologist who saw you thinks. Her initial assessments of you two indicate that you did endure some sort of mental trauma. Wouldn't you like to talk about that?"
Perry didn't answer to that either, fingers still running nervously over the sheet and facial features changing imperceptibly. He glared at his knees, wishing the stupid man would just leave him alone.
"It must be terrifying," Dr. Stojanovich finally said after a moment in an almost amicable tone of voice. "To have everything falling apart around you."
It may have been the voice that made Perry choke up in fear as his fingers stopped moving and his face stopped changing. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes to try and gather his thoughts. Hope was dim that the voice would stop; it never had before.
"And then to have someone telling you that you can't see the man you were held with." Dr. Stojanovich noted with slight interest that Perry's face had tensed, but kept talking anyway in hopes that he'd finally get the man to speak. "I imagine it's rather difficult for the both of you. But you understand though that if you don't tell anyone what happened, we can't know the truth? It's very difficult to understand what's gone on in the first place without you or your friend giving us a story first."
The calm, almost friendly voice was grating on Perry's ears like a thousand knives prickling over his face, sheer cold dropping through his body like icy rain. His stomach rolled once, then twice, threatening him with the unhappy prospect of turning itself inside out.
"We need to know that you were a victim and not the culprit in order to help you get better, Perry."
Perry clenched his teeth hard. The man was bluffing; no one really thought he'd done that to JD or himself. They couldn't think that. And even if they did, Carla knew better.
Dr. Stojanovich sighed, a bit of frustration working its way into his mind. Dr. Cox still lay tense in the bed, face drawn into a tight, angry frown.
For all intents and purposes, the man didn't seem to be listening at all, let alone act remorseful for what was going on around him.
With another sigh, Dr. Stojanovich rose reluctantly. "It was nice to meet you, Dr. Cox. I'm sure I'll be seeing you again soon." Tapping his own leg thoughtfully in a mime of the two men, he stopped at the nurse's desk where a heavyset black woman sat behind a computer on a phone.
Laverne looked up at him, wondering if she was going to dislike this man as much as she had Dr. Taylor.
"When Dr. Dorian comes back from physical therapy, make sure he's taken straight to his room," Dr. Stojanovich finally said after a moment, scrawling quick orders into the two clipboards.
Dr. Taylor approached him with excitement lining her face. "What do you think?" she asked.
Dr. Stojanovich slid his hands into his lab coat pockets as Laverne took the charts from him. "They're interesting, to be certain. I don't know if letting them sit with each other like that is psychologically the best route for their recovery."
"But you agree with my theory though?"
"I wasn't able to get anything from either," Dr. Stojanovich replied noncommittally. "And while silence isn't an affirmation of guilt, it doesn't necessarily explain the behavior either. I've ordered Dr. Dorian from the room for a while. It might incline one of them to talk." He looked at her warily. "Just remember the patient, Carol. I know that you're excited about the potential boost to your career, but keep in mind that these are human beings."
Dr. Taylor nodded defensively. "Of course I remember that."
Dr. Stojanovich nodded as he hit a button for the elevator. "I'll be back in a few days to check their progress." He left without another word as Dr. Taylor exited to her office.
Carla frowned as she looked at the charts when Laverne flagged her down. Maybe the psychologist who had come in with Dr. Taylor had finally talked sense into the woman.
Still, Carla felt like something still wasn't quite right. Sighing, she pushed JD into his room.
JD turned a fearful, questioning look to her face.
"Doctor's orders, Bambi," Carla said firmly. The hurt, scared look on his face didn't hit her quite so hard anymore, but she wasn't looking forward to taking Perry to his orthopedic appointment with Dr. Yancey.
She hated herself when she realized how much she wanted to get someone else to do it.
Paige entered the hospital the next morning, having settled in properly and caught up on some paperwork she had brought with her for her real estate job back in Pittsburgh. She had declined a quick breakfast invite from Dan, who, while a nice, charming man, seemed to have a bit of laid-backness about him that she didn't always care for.
She smiled politely at the nurse behind the front desk for a few moments, but when the nurse didn't look up, she rolled her eyes.
"Say, could I get you to look up or do I have to have a phone attached to my ear?"
The nurse jumped and looked up witheringly. "Can I help you?"
"I'm here to see my brother; he was in an accident. Dr. Perry Cox?"
The nurse behind the desk spouted off a room number and then turned back to the computer in front of her.
Paige rolled her eyes, wishing she had taken an extra cup of coffee with her as she headed for the elevator. The long bus ride had done nothing for her still tired body, and temper often got the best of even the most faithful.
Still, Paige took a few deep breaths on the way up, calming herself in a slow manner that had come with practice of the years.
When Carla saw Paige step off the elevator, she felt something shift uncomfortably in her stomach.
"Paige, I didn't know you were coming," Carla said in an edgy pleasant voice.
"Jordan's mother called; she said they'd both been in an accident," Paige replied with confusion. "Why wouldn't I be here?"
"Did Jordan's mother tell you anything about the accident?"
Paige frowned again, realizing Jordan's mother had skimped on details over what had really happened.
"I'll just ask Perry. It's nice to see you, Carla. How's that husband of yours?" Without really waiting for a response (or caring, as she didn't quite remember the bald man Carla had married), she headed for Perry's room.
Carla began to go after her when her pager went off. She whipped it off angrily, but groaned.
It was something she couldn't ignore; not when the hospital's most famous hypochondriac was asking specifically for her or he'd sue.
In the end, it was either her job or stopping Paige.
Perry lay fitfully in the bed, not able to sit still and not sure that really he wanted to. His fingers danced over his opposite arm, and his eyes remained shut against the sunlight that peeked through the blinds of his dark room.
Between Dr. Yancey's grim prognosis of what he could do for Perry's shattered wrist and JD's mysterious absence for the day and night, it was enough to put him on the edge of breaking off into another wave of mind-numbing screams.
He struggled to find a semi-comfortable position in the bed; it wasn't easy as his muscles had been protesting any position he'd found all morning. With a sigh, Perry finally settled for just lying still where he was at.
It would have been amusing to see the man sprawled over the bed had his face not been so tense and fearful at the same time.
Perry looked up as sickness rolled over his stomach when he heard the metallic turns of the door. He froze on the bed and stared frantically at the door, hoping JD's dark head of mussed hair would come through it.
While it wasn't JD, he still hadn't been prepared in the least for his sister to push open the door, flooding the room with light as she chirped a "good morning" to him cheerfully.
"Jordan's mother had called, and…"
Perry felt the screams stick in his throat as he backed into the bed, fear striking hard through his chest as the horrified look on Paige's face.
Paige felt as if she'd been thrown back thirty years, and suddenly, her big brother was ten years old all over again, looking terrified in front of her as he struggled to shove her out of the way of their father.
The memories weren't as sharp anymore these days, but as she watched her brother shove back into the white hospital bed, terror and fear rushing over his pale, bruised face, they suddenly slammed hard into her chest.
"Perry, what happened?" Paige asked immediately, rushing over to the bed as she dropped her purse on the floor.
Perry cursed himself a fool when he jerked away from her hands, and felt guilty because he wasn't sorry for the quick strike of hurt that flashed on her face.
"What happened to you?" Paige repeated, shoving a chair beneath her before her legs gave out.
The silence hit him roughly then. They had both already been through so much; this was only icing on the cake. Seeing her only made the memories from both childhood and his harrowing experience punch him sharper in the chest, and he could already feel the frantic sobs building in his chest.
Where the hell was JD anyway? He was supposed to be back by now, was supposed to be here to talk with him.
The sudden desperation to see the kid slapped him hard in his gut, and Perry looked fearfully towards the door past Paige's pale face.
Paige felt like someone had shoved a cotton towel down her throat, and then jumped up when Perry started to try and get out of the bed, making a grunting noise as he did so.
It was the first thing she'd heard from him since entering the room.
"Perry, stay down; you're hurt," Paige pointed out, and placed her hands over his shoulders to push him back down.
Perry shot her a wild look that Paige hadn't seen since they were children, struggling to get her to understand what he wanted. She only pushed harder. Using strength that made him feel guilty but determined, Perry shoved against her hands, and felt a bright shot of pain connected to his shin and wrist.
Paige backed off when she heard the sharp expulsion of pained breath explode from his mouth, and ran to find a doctor.
A middle-aged blonde woman was coming off the elevator, and Paige grabbed her.
"My brother needs a doctor; I don't know what's wrong with him," Paige said, catching the nametag as she half-dragged the woman down the hallway. "Dr. Taylor?"
Perry was halfway out of the bed when the lights were turned on in his room, and then a yell of surprise did escape his mouth when Dr. Taylor grabbed his shoulders and called for an orderly.
Paige felt frozen in the room as she watched Dr. Taylor inject his IV with a sedative and an orderly shove him back down to the bed. Then the restraints were back on, and Perry was struggling harder then ever against them.
Perry glared hard at Dr. Taylor as his vision grew fuzzy. His gaze flicked to Paige, whose blue eyes were glowing luminously in the harsh florescent lighting of the room.
He hadn't been able to help her then either, and cursed himself a million times over as the sedative knocked him into a world of faded unconsciousness, causing memories and dreams of fists flying towards his face mixed with the bloody streaks of a sharp knife to fill his vision. Screams and sobs that he knew no one else could hear rang through his mind as his eyes slipped closed.
Paige stood there, grasping her elbows hard as she looked at Dr. Taylor. "What the hell happened to my brother?"
Dr. Taylor gestured Paige from the room, leaving the lights out as she went. "You should speak with the police, Miss Cox."
Paige jerked from her hold. "What the hell happened?"
Carla finally came down the hallway from Mr. Corman's room. "Paige, let's get some coffee."
"I want answers; what's wrong with him?" Paige snapped, anger coursing through her veins under the worry and horror.
Carla still gently led her away from Perry's room and into the lounge. "No one is certain about what went down yet…but a few weeks ago, Perry and JD went to Arizona to attend a medical seminar."
Paige rolled her hand impatiently. "So?"
Carla hesitated, still fuzzy on the minor details herself as she sat down to hand Paige a warm cup of coffee.
"They were kidnapped together there," Carla finally said quietly. "They were missing for about three weeks, that we know of anyway. When they found them, they'd both been shot."
Another wave of emotions streaked through Paige's already shaking system. "Is he going to be okay?"
Carla shrugged. "We're not sure right now. Dr. Taylor is their psychologist, if you want to call her that. She's been handling the more…lingering effects of the time they were gone."
"You're not telling me everything," Paige pointed out, fists clenched to her knees. "Why isn't Jordan in there with him?"
Carla shut her eyes; there were some days where God didn't listen and decided it was the day to cut loose on everyone.
"Carla, where's Jordan?"
"She's a floor up in neurology," Carla edged out. "God, Paige…I'm so sorry you have to find out like this, but…"
"Why's Jordan there?" Paige felt a hand grasp the cross around her neck reflexively. "Is she okay?"
"Ah…not really," Carla said softly. "She was shot too."
Paige put the coffee down so hard that some of it splashed to the table and onto her pale hand. It burned the skin there, but she wasn't sure she registered it, let alone felt it.
Paige ignored her, and headed for the next floor.
"I'm staying here, Mom," Jordan said firmly, making sure that Jack's hands stayed away from her IV. Jack batted her hands away and went for her necklace instead.
"But the neurosurgeon in San Francisco said…"
"Then he or she can come here to treat me," Jordan snapped. "I'm not going anywhere; I want to stay here."
Jordan's mother pursed her lips. "Anything else you'd like, your majesty?"
"Oh, don't pull that old crap, Mom. I don't want to go anywhere; I trust the doctors here. They're doing everything they can. Jack's father is here, my friends are here, and I stand a better chance of recovery with their support then going to some overpriced fruitcake in a monkey suit in the next big city."
"She's one of the top neurosurgeons in the country, Jordan Ann, and I'd ask you not to take that tone with me."
Jordan winced; she hated that middle name, but she didn't back down. "I'm not going anywhere. You can't make me."
Jordan's mother opened her mouth to respond with something else, but a knock came on the door next instead.
"Paige, thank god," Jordan muttered. "Someone with sense." She noted Paige's pale face then, and the watered eyes and less-then-stable hands. "Mom, give us a minute."
Jordan's mother nodded curtly and walked out the door with a clearly unhappy look on her face.
"Royalty mildly displeased," Jordan muttered as she pulled Jack's hands from the IV tubing again. "She'll get over it." She studied Paige's drawn face. "You look like a ghost; what's wrong?"
Paige shook herself from the daze she had been in since she'd left Carla in the lounge a floor down.
"Nothing; I've just come from Perry's room." Paige sat down on the edge of the bed. "And you…sitting in a hospital bed and still ordering your mother around. Not much has changed."
Jordan shrugged bitterly. "Usually, I walk out on the fight. I can't."
"About as useful as a bar of soap at a hippie convention." Jordan sat back a little and noted that the color still hadn't returned to Paige's face. "You okay?"
Paige seemed to shake herself again and nodded politely. "Just something I'll need to think and pray on a bit." She looked up then and seemed to notice Jack for the first time since entering Jordan's room. "Hey, Jacky."
Jack turned, and held his arms out. She was familiar…wasn't she the one who had given him that really cool loud toy for Christmas last year?
Paige picked up an armful of four-year-old squirming child and kissed his forehead. "Who's he staying with?"
"Grandma Sullivan," Jordan muttered, and then looked up at Paige hopefully. "You wouldn't take him for a few nights, would you? I'm going to be home in a week, most likely, but I'll need help. Until then, I'd feel much more comfortable if you stayed with him at our apartment."
"Of course I will," Paige replied, mussing a hand over Jack's blonde hair. "I'll stay as long as you need."
Jordan sighed in relief, glad that she had finally managed to move Jack into a more amenable caregiver then her mother. She hadn't liked the idea of Jack staying with her mother, but it had been a far shot better then Danni, and she didn't know if Elliot would have appreciated the intrusion.
Elliot stood outside the door now, staring in at Paige Cox holding Jack on her lap. She sighed reluctantly, and walked away. She had been about to offer to take the boy for the time until Jordan's release date in a week, but if Paige were here, that meant Jordan had probably already asked.
She ignored the hurt that came with that, and continued walking for the corridor. It was when someone called her name that she turned.
"Dr. Reid, is it?"
Elliot turned to find herself face to face with Jordan's mother. "Um…yeah. Hi."
"I'm Ann Sullivan," the older woman said evenly, eyeing the blonde that had been spending so much time in and outside of her daughter's room.
"Elliot Reid, but I guess you already know that," Elliot replied a bit nervously. "What can I do for you?"
"You're the reason my daughter's elected to stay here?" Ann asked bluntly, folding her hands in a lady-like manner in front of her.
Elliot stuck her hands in her lab coat pockets to keep from fidgeting. "I wouldn't say that, Mrs. Sullivan, but…"
Ann held up a hand, expecting silence. She got it. "Don't think I haven't seen you outside of the room all week since she was brought in. I don't know the nature of your relationship with my daughter, but I'd appreciate it if in the future you wouldn't deter her from the proper choice of going to a different hospital to see a more…capable doctor."
"The doctors here are more than capable," Elliot replied a bit defensively. "She's getting the best care here that we can provide. If nothing else, you would know that her board position here ensures that."
Ann narrowed her eyes almost imperceptibly, but enough to see Elliot stiffen a bit. "Be that as it may, I would prefer her in a larger facility. She listens to you." The add-on to that was "for some reason", but the woman didn't say it. "You should tell her."
Elliot shook her head, flexing her fingers in her pockets. "I won't do that. Jordan's life is her own choice."
"Jordan doesn't know what's best for her right now," Ann replied, and it was obvious by her unwavering gaze and even tone that she thought it was Elliot's fault. "I was willing to indulge my son-in-law's choice to remain at this institution despite the better options available; I won't allow Jordan to do the same. She needs more efficient care."
"The care here is fine," Elliot replied stubbornly, but her insides shook as she wondered how much the woman really knew.
Ann still shook her head in an unperturbed fashion. "She'll listen to your opinion, Dr. Reid. I appreciate it in advance. I would imagine that Dr. Kelso will agree with me, so I think it's best if you let Jordan know the better choice. Wouldn't you agree?"
As Ann Sullivan walked off, Elliot felt the immediate box-in of the subtle threat. She stiffened in annoyance and anger, but settled for leaning her head onto her folded arms at the nurses' desk.
"Frick," Elliot muttered sharply when she realized her hands were shaking.
JD struggled to calm the nerves running through his system as he turned to ease the ache in his side. His ankle throbbed painfully at him, and he rather imagined it'd be yelling at him if it had the opportunity. His side wasn't too happy with him either.
Still, he looked up in the dim lighting of the room, wondering when Carla would come to take him to see Perry again. He had a building feeling of dread and fear pooling in his heart though, knowing that if she hadn't come in by now to do so, he probably wouldn't get to see him today.
JD adjusted his position again to lie flat on his back in hopes that the aching wound would stop hurting. It didn't. He wondered if Carla had finally convinced someone that seeing Perry so much wasn't good for either of them.
If Carla hadn't, maybe it had been Dr. Stojanovich, whom JD was now sure that he didn't like. With the black hoodie over his face again, he breathed the material in, still smelling the faint scent of sulfur, blood, and the bathroom.
It made him feel normal a bit, but the nausea was growing as the time passed by without having seen Perry. He knew it wasn't healthy, knew that it wasn't good for him, and knew that maybe it was better this way.
That didn't mean he had to agree with it, and JD steadfastly didn't. He was about to reach for the call button to try and question Carla with quiet eyes, but the clicking of the door started.
JD sat up too quickly, his side shouting at him that it hadn't been a smart idea as the hoodie fell from his face. JD clenched his fists shut to push down the fear and panic as light spilled thinly into the room, but it came anyway.
"Hey, little brother," Dan said cheerily as he backed in, holding a bag of take-out food. "I know hospital food sucks, so I brought myself some…good Christ, what the hell happened to you?"
JD looked at his brother with wide eyes, fingers tapping furiously against his thigh.
"Did you finally get into your first barfight? Aw, man, I missed it," Dan kept going, feeling slightly uncomfortable at his younger sibling's bruised face and terrified eyes. "So what was it over; a girl or a boy?"
JD didn't respond to him, hands flexing in the sheets of the bed as he pushed himself back into the sheets.
Dan didn't seem to notice and sat down beside of the bed. "Did they rip your vocal cords out or something, Johnny?" he asked in a voice that was trying for amused, but came out shrill and tense.
God, but JD didn't want to see Dan right now. He should have expected that someone would call Dan eventually, but he hadn't prepared yet for how to get Dan to just leave him alone.
It was bad enough that he hadn't seen Perry in two days, and Dan was only making it worse and harder to sit in a light-filled room. He leaned back and threw the hoodie over his face, and hoped that Dan got the idea.
Dan sat there for a few minutes, waiting for any kind of response from JD. None came. "That's real cute, Johnny. But seriously, what happened? Chris didn't tell me much."
Dan waved his hand over JD's face, noticing that his younger brother seemed to stiffen as his hand passed over JD's head.
"Come on, Johnny. It's not funny anymore," Dan went on, feeling something twist oddly in his stomach. "It didn't work when we were kids, it won't work now. You can't still be angry over that whole Elliot-thing, can you? What, did she break your heart again?"
Dan began to feel a bit angry by now at JD's lack of response, and stood as he slapped his knees.
"Whatever, little brother. I didn't spend hours on a bus just to get ignored. I'll just ask Coxsmith what happened. Christ, Chris said you were hurt or something."
Though Dan was curious about the bandages and bruises over JD's torso and face respectively, JD obviously wasn't talking to him. He slammed the door on his way out, missing the relieved look as the terror left JD's face when the darkness came back into the room and JD relaxed on the bed, fingers still moving around.
Dan stalked down the hallways, and finally found Carla coming out of the lounge room, looking tense and tired.
"What the hell's going on? Chris said he was hurt," Dan immediately snapped. "I just spent three days on a stupid bus coming down to see the kid and Johnny's just ignoring me."
Carla looked at him in disbelief, not sure if she was hearing correctly. "Didn't Turk tell you…?"
"Chris just told me he'd been in some accident," Dan replied, anger and worry pushing his voice to the brink of cracking. No matter how angry he was, he still knew something was terribly wrong with his younger brother. "That doesn't mean he can just sit in there and ignore me when I'm trying to talk to him."
Dan jumped when Carla unexpectedly burst into tears and ran off. He scratched his head as true concern and confusion seeped into his system.
"Has the whole hospital gone nuts?" he muttered as he turned to try and find Dr. Cox.
He didn't think it terribly odd when he didn't find him anywhere, but was relieved when he found Elliot.
"Hey, Elliot," Dan said, touching her arm.
Elliot jerked beneath the touch, and turned to look into Dan's face. "Dan? I didn't know you were coming."
"Chris called, said something about Johnny being in an accident," Dan replied casually. "I don't guess you'd tell me what happened, would you?"
"You mean you don't know?"
Dan scratched his head in bafflement, deciding that yes, the entire hospital had gone nuts.
"I already went in to see him for a few minutes, but he didn't seem up to talking," Dan finally decided on saying, trying not to let the worry show on his face. Elliot seemed frazzled as it was. "Want to eat some take-out?"
"I'm not hungry," Elliot replied with a shrug. "Come on, I'll tell you what happened in the cafeteria."
Dan frowned at the exhausted voice. Yeah, something was definitely really wrong, but no one seemed to want to tell him much. He finally just shrugged his agreement to join her, and walked to the cafeteria with the quiet blonde.
Paige sat in the chapel, staring hard at the crucifix that hung at the head of it. Her eyes were steady, but her hands shook in her lap as she held them together tightly. She hung her head quietly, thoughts running over in her mind.
It hurt to see him like this, of that much, she was certain. She truly hadn't expected that he would be hurt that badly. Something had obviously gone wrong during the time that he'd been missing, but she hadn't been able to get much from him the second time she had been in his room.
The second time she had visited, he'd barely been conscious, and when he'd looked at her, his eyes had gone cloudy and scared again.
Paige sighed, trying to find the answers for the desperate questions in her head. Perry and she had already been through so much, how could this happen as well?
The look on his face had been so sorrowfully familiar, that Paige had felt like she was eight all over again and stuck hiding in a cramped cabinet. The ache came back to her knees in the memory as she hid from the loud, angry man outside of them. The look on her face became tense, and she could clearly remember the ten-year-old face of her brother sending her a pleadingly desolate look to breathe more quietly.
Perry had always taken the brunt of their father's anger to protect her. She remembered that clearly enough, and the current bruises over his face were enough to make her bite her lip in forgotten memories that she had dealt with years ago.
Paige sighed and opened her eyes to look at the crucifix again. She always believed that God worked in mysterious ways, and that most of the time, bad things were only tests to be overcome and triumphed.
She wasn't sure what this test was for, though.
Paige kept staring at it in silence as she asked questions that she knew would go unanswered for the time being. God, after all, was often a divine comedian in the tragedies he put in place, creating a story and dealing the roles out for them to be played through.
She didn't think that God knew what would happen anymore then she did, as bemused as the actors upon the stage that he had put them upon.
The entire world was a stage, after all, and the actors had only to play out their assigned roles in the best way they could.
Paige questioned the crucifix with her stare, knowing there had to be a reason all of this was happening, but not able to find one yet.
Sighing, Paige stood and turned to walk down the aisle of the small, hospital chapel. She did turn again though to stare at the head of the small room.
Steadfastly reminding herself that everything was a question and part of a bigger plan, Paige headed for Jordan's room to retrieve Jack for the night.
Author's Notes: I know there was a lot going on and not much in the way of plot for this one, but I really did have to write out the reactions of the siblings, and things of that nature. I'm having a bit of trouble working with both Paige and Dan because I'm a little shoddy on their characters, but I expect that'll get better with time. I know there also wasn't much interaction between JD and Perry again, but that's part of the plotline for this particular installment. All will be explained eventually. I hope you enjoyed this chapter; I'll see ya in Chapter Two!