|Their Not So Happy Ending
Author: Elise Davidson PM
JD/Elliot, Jordan/Perry. Major Character death. Implied Jordan/JD. Changes throughout the years sometimes force others together, if only becuase it's easier to deal with the loss.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Drama - John D./J.D. & Jordan S. - Words: 4,375 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Published: 12-31-09 - id: 5629060
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
No one was the same after the accident. Perry never expected they would be, however. No one was the same when a stupid drunk left your life in shambles, in broken pieces of memories that wouldn't last long enough to quell the pain of time.
They'd had a few good years, Perry tried to justify. Sammy was eleven now, and Quinn had just turned ten. That had been the only good part, was that Sammy was out with Jack and Duncan at a boy scout meeting when the accident had happened. But by god, Jennifer was with them too.
By the grace of god (the one Perry believed in every few years), Izzy had been sick that night, and hadn't been able to attend the regular ballet class that all three girls attended.
Elliot had been driving, chipping down the road at Quinn in the seat, talking about Daddy and seeing him at the hospital before driving home. Quinn, in all of her ten year old glory and fancy leotard, was chattering back about the upcoming ballet recital, her blond hair swishing in pigtails and excited, Jennifer piping in loudly and talking over everyone.
Then the drunk had swerved in front of them, doing well over the speed limit and far too reckless, broadsiding Elliot's car, sending it rolling on the street until it stopped at the tree head-on.
JD had wanted to help; he'd wanted to treat them both. Perry couldn't blame him; he'd treated Jennifer's scrapes and bruises, but had left the setting of her leg and hip to Dr. Stone.
Jenny had been far luckier than any of the other passengers, having only broken a leg and dislocated a hip. Her ribs were bruised and she had several contusions all over her chest and ribs from where the seat belt had caught her (nearly choked her before the EMTs had cut her out), and she was sleeping with Jack and Sammy watching over her protectively, as brothers do.
Quinn was still in surgery with the staff neurologist, however. She had taken the shoulder strap off, not wanting to wrinkle her new leotard and still acquiescing to the seat belt by wearing the lap portion. The lap belt hadn't held as well; she'd been wearing it far too loose, and when the car had rolled, she'd gone out the window, her back scraped raw with exposed nerves and vertebrae from where she'd been dragged on the asphalt.
Elliot took the brunt of it, air bag causing too much damage as the car finally hit the tree. Her head had slammed the steering wheel, hands broken from the impact against the dashboard. If she woke up, her kneecaps would be replaced.
JD was swearing and muttering how Elliot put the seat too close to the steering column; Perry recognized the denial straight away. He'd have to set the kid straight; this was no time for him to daydream about the nicer outcomes. He had to accept that the outcome wasn't nice.
Perry sat with him, Jordan watching with glazed eyes as he spoke with the younger man. She wasn't surprised when JD looked murderous and jumped to his feet, yelling and pounding at Perry's chest.
Jordan recognized the grief easily, knowing that there was little to be done but wait at this point for Turk to update them on Quinn and Elliot's condition. Turk had managed a hug for Dr. Stone for JD's benefit, and got in for the surgery on Quinn's back.
The staff neurologist, Dr. Singh, was doing Elliot's cerebral surgery.
Perry looked over in Jordan's direction almost helplessly as he stood. He walked over to her, leaving JD with his head bowed in his hands.
"He's not listening to me," Perry muttered angrily. "How's Jenny?"
"Shaken up, but fine. Annoyed that she'll miss her recital and worried about Quinn," Jordan replied, arms crossed. "Jack and Sammy are looking after her. Duncan's at home with Izzy and Carla."
"I'm going to go see Jen," Perry replied, kissing her quickly. "Make sure Beatrice doesn't do something stupid."
Jordan shrugged. "I don't do crying, so if he starts the water works, just know I'm coming for you."
Perry smirked weakly and kissed her again before heading for Jennifer's room.
Jordan entered the waiting room and sat down beside of him. "Hiya, DJ," she said carefully. "How's it hanging?"
JD shot her an incredulous look. "Did you really just ask me that?"
Jordan shrugged. "Well, I figured that'll be the most insensitive thing I've ever done. Takes the cake from when I stole Danni's prom date."
JD snorted. "I know you're not trying to cheer me up right now."
"No, just trying to talk," Jordan replied breezily. "You're on watch, and it's my turn. Perry went to see Jenny."
"It wasn't Elliot's fault—" JD began.
Jordan cut him off with a hand. "That wasn't where I was going. Jenny's fine, just…annoyed and on pain medication." She sat back in the chair uneasily. "She'll be fine."
"Wish I could hear that from someone," JD muttered, laying his head into his hands again.
Jordan peered at him cautiously, and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. "I'm going to hug you, DJ, because you need it and your big black girlfriend isn't here to do it, and Perry would rather gag. If you tell anyone about this…well, I don't think the threat needs finishing, does it?"
JD looked at her as if she were joking, but nearly jumped out of his worried skin when she slipped an arm around his shoulders and brought him to his feet, bringing her other arm around his waist.
"No matter what, you're going to be okay," she finally said so quietly that he wasn't sure he'd heard it.
Jordan ended up sitting with him for the next several hours, Perry calling off and on to check in. Carla texted here and there, and came after a while to pick up the children that could go home. Perry eventually set up camp in Jenny's room.
Turk finally appeared around midnight, his face grim and set. JD looked up, standing immediately to his feet and looking at his friend's face, unable to read what the grief and defeat was for.
He finally sat JD down, and quietly told him that Quinn was fine, except for the damage done to her spinal cord. If she ever walked again, it would be with braces.
JD didn't make a noise at that, his head bowed and eyes staring hard at the carpet.
Jordan listened helplessly then as Turk quietly told him that Elliot hadn't made it through surgery and they'd pronounced her half an hour ago. She finally left to tell Perry when JD began to sob in Turk's arms, unable to view the wrenching emotion, and not wanting to feel or accept it herself.
Instead, she curled against Perry's chest, letting him hold her and reassure her as she held Jenny's hand tightly. He only stood behind her, holding her shoulders comfortingly and wordlessly.
When Perry and Jordan saw JD next, it was Elliot's funeral. They had sat quietly behind JD, Sammy and Quinn, who was still in pajamas and a hospital robe. She still wasn't out of the woods completely, but JD and Carla watched over her carefully.
Perry thought morbidly that there were enough doctors at the funeral to cure cancer; they could take care of a neuro patient.
People filtered out slowly, eventually leaving JD by himself with Sammy. Quinn was taken back to the hospital quickly, her emotions taking a toll on her physical state more quickly than they'd thought. Sammy eventually left with Turk and Carla, which Perry thought was best.
Unsurprisingly, Molly Clock had turned up out of the woodwork, and was now quietly speaking with JD. He didn't look happy at the prospect.
A part of Perry wanted hard to go talk to him, and he shot Jordan a look.
"Now's not the time, Per," Jordan said quietly, her own grief apparent on her face. "Give him time. Nothing you say right now is going to sound right."
"He's a big girl. He can take care of this," Perry muttered finally, and took Jordan's hand. "Sammy, Jen, come on."
Jen hobbled up on her crutches, eyes rimmed with red. Jack looked unemotional. Being in his mid-teens, he wasn't entirely sure how to process the funeral or death. Jenny looked lost as well as they piled into the car and drove away, leaving JD alone by the grave with Molly.
The next time they saw him, it was almost a year later, and it was because it was Quinn's 'twelfth birthday party; she had insisted upon inviting Jennifer and Jack. JD had let her do it, because he found himself unable to deny her much of anything since the accident.
He had grown his scruff out again, Perry saw as Jack and Jennifer tore over to Quinn, who seemed to have adapted to her wheelchair with ease. Sammy punched Jack in the shoulder by way of greeting, while Quinn rocked back and forth in her chair in excitement, looking at the brightly-wrapped boxes in Jordan's arms.
"Hey Aunt Jordan," Quinn said brightly, reaching up for a quick hug as Jordan leaned down. "What'd you get me?"
"Quinn," JD admonished. "First thank them for coming."
Quinn rolled her eyes. "Thank you for coming to my birthday party at the park. Now, what'd you get me?"
Jordan laughed and rubbed a hand over her hair. "You'll have to wait and see." She watched as Jennifer took a hold of Jennifer's chair and they both began pushing over the bumpy grass, making zooming noises as they pretended to chase the boys.
JD rubbed his neck as Perry helped Jordan set the three gifts on the table. "Thanks for coming. Quinn really appreciates it."
"How are you holding up, Newbie?" Perry asked gruffly. "Quinn looks much better."
"Physical therapy is hard on her," JD replied, sitting on a bench to watch Jack and Sammy wrestle on the jungle gym for dominance. "And Sammy's gotten a lot more quiet. Elliot really knew how to open him up."
"You'll learn," Carla said, coming around the table with Quinn's birthday cake. "And you know we're here to help if you need anything, Bambi."
JD nodded quietly, but Jordan saw the annoyance strain over his hidden face. Apparently, he'd been on the receiving end of that speech a few times.
Jordan sat down with him next as Perry joined the boys and Carla went after Izzy, who had decided she wanted to push Quinn now.
"How are you really holding up, DJ?" Jordan asked. "And I'm asking about you, not the kids. Perry might believe that bull, but I won't."
JD sighed through pursed lips. "I'm seeing a psychiatrist, so don't worry about it."
Jordan rolled her eyes. "Fine. End up offing yourself for all I care." She got up in a huff, annoyed that she'd tried and failed. She glared at the back of his head as she chased down after Jennifer, who was recklessly driving Quinn's wheelchair like a drag car.
The next gap wasn't nearly so long. In fact, it was only a couple of days before JD was knocking on their door, having dropped Quinn off at a physical therapy retreat (she hadn't wanted him to come; it was for her kind, she said), and seen Sammy to a boy scout camping trip, of which Jack attended as well.
Jordan opened the door, having settled in for the evening. Jennifer had gone to Izzy's, Jack was at the overnight trip. She had deemed it a good night to relax and listen to mellow music and breathe a little bit.
And then the knock had come on the door. Perry was in the shower, so Jordan got up and answered it with some annoyance. What she didn't expect was to see a flushed JD standing there, swaying with inebriation and hardly able to stand.
Nor did she expect the outright rage on his face. The smell of liquor was heavy on his breath, and he weaved in her doorway like someone was dancing him badly on puppet strings. The absurd thought nearly made her laugh.
"Newbie, what in god's name is wrong with you?" Perry snapped, coming from the hallway with damp hair and wearing sweats and a hockey jersey.
"I'm drunk; you of all people should know drunk when you see it," JD slurred out angrily. "I'm trying to drink myself to death."
"Oh, DJ," Jordan muttered, standing aside as he wove into the apartment and flopped on the couch. "That never works. I know from experience." She shot a glare at Perry.
"Was your idea," JD pointed out, words hardly intelligible as he glared loosely at Jordan. "Tellin' me I should just off myself. What about Quinn and Sammy? They don't have a mother. Their mother fucking went and left us; that selfish bitch."
"Call Gandhi already, would you?" Jordan snapped at Perry.
"I can't; he's at a surgical conference," Perry snapped right back and took a seat in his recliner. "Newbie, I doubt she had much choice in the matter. For what it's worth, you know she would've stayed if she did."
That was when JD burst into sobs on the couch beside of Jordan, something bursting from him that obviously hadn't broken before. Jordan sighed and patted his shoulder awkwardly. It was even more strange when JD turned to the touch and threw his arms around her as his sobs turned dry and he hiccupped miserably into her shoulder.
Perry sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. This wasn't good. He hadn't expected JD to simply bounce back or anything, but this was intolerable.
The next time was only a few weeks later. Quinn had locked herself in the bathroom, refusing to speak with anyone but Aunt Carla or Aunt Jordan. With little option because Carla was at work, JD called Jordan over.
Jordan peered at him carefully. "Sober this time, are we?" she asked bitingly.
"Not now," JD hissed. "Just…I think she's gotten her first period. Can you act like you're human for like five minutes and help her through this? She won't talk to me and Sammy came out of it with a charlie horse on his arm. He went over to Duncan's before she could run him over."
Jordan snorted. "Good girl." She sighed. "I'll do it; Carla's not off until late. I'll need the practice for Jenny anyway. You just go to the store and get her some maxi pads."
"Already done," JD muttered, handing her a brown paper sack.
"Well, aren't you clever. Go for a walk; we'll be done when you get back." She shooed him off and headed for the locked bathroom door. She knocked on it quickly. "Quinn? It's Aunt Jordan. Would you open up?"
"Is Dad gone?" came Quinn's quiet voice.
"Yeah. I scared him off."
Jordan heard some rustling around before Quinn finally opened the door. Jordan offered her the maxi pads and gave her some privacy. A few minutes later, Quinn wheeled out of the bathroom.
"Do you really want this talk or do you pretty much know what's going on?" Jordan asked bluntly.
Quinn shrugged. "I read Mom's anatomy books a lot. I think I understand."
"Not really. Can't feel it from the waist down; Izzy says hers are terrible."
"Lucky you, girlie." Jordan gave her a wide track to wheel into the living room. "Well, you're a woman now. How's it feel?"
"Gross." Quinn offered up a weak smile. "Thanks for coming over. I mean, I knew Dad had already bought me what I needed…he says I get like Mom and he wasn't surprised that I'd gotten it."
"Sounds like your dad," Jordan said with a snort. "Why didn't you just let him give you the goods then and be done with it?"
Quinn looked very interested in her jeans suddenly, picking at her knees and then her ear.
"What's the matter, sweetie?" Jordan asked, noting that Quinn looked a bit guilty suddenly.
"Well…Izzy was telling me how she and Aunt Carla talked about it…and Jenny said she knew when it came time, she was gonna talk to you and stuff. And I—" Quinn stopped here, looking guilty again. "I just wanted to have a mom to talk to about it."
Jordan nodded. "That's understandable. But you know, even though your mom's not here, you can—"
"I know, I can still talk to her," Quinn interrupted her, fisting her hands against her knees. "But it's not the same. I talk to her all the time before I go to bed…about being in this stupid chair, how mad I am at her because I had to drop out of dance…I talk to her about a lot of stuff." She looked up at Jordan, piercing her with Elliot's wide blue eyes. "But it's not the same as actually having a mom to talk to."
"You're right, Quinn. It's not," Jordan agreed. "But I promise, if you ever need a mom for just a minute, you can call me any time."
Quinn looked a little happier at that, and leaned forward in her chair. "Can you do something else for me then?"
"Name it, kiddo."
"Help my dad be happy again?" Quinn asked quietly. "I know you probably can't…or even Uncle Perry. But he doesn't smile anymore. It's like when Mom died, she took all of his smiles and laughs with her."
"It's really hard for your dad," Jordan tried to reason. "But I'll do my best." She leaned back on the couch. "How about a movie and some chocolate?"
Quinn grinned at that, wheeling away to get the necessary items.
JD entered the hospital ER, panting and out of breath as he scanned the room. Jack and Jenny were already in the waiting room down the hallway, but Jordan was nowhere to be seen. Carla was sitting with the two.
Jack had grown into a slightly shorter version of his father, his blond hair shading to red in his late teens. He was a sophomore in college now, with Jenny finishing out her junior year of high school. They looked upset, to which JD damn well thought they should be.
"Where's Jordan?" JD asked Carla, who sat between the young adults.
"She went to the chapel," Carla replied tiredly. "She said she couldn't breathe in here with all the noise."
JD nodded and looked at the children's pale faces. "Hey guys, how you holding up?"
Jack didn't respond, but Jennifer shrugged quietly.
"Do you know how he's doing?" JD asked Carla, who shook her head.
Sighing again, JD took off for the chapel, finding Jordan sitting in the back row and kneeling on a prayer bench. He approached her quietly, noting the tired slump of her shoulders and the way she clasped her hands tightly enough to turn the skin white with stress and tension.
"Hey," he said quietly, sitting beside of her kneeled form. "What happened?"
"What I told you over the phone, stupid." Jordan breathed shallowly against her hands, head bowed and hair in a messy ponytail. "We were eating dinner; he wasn't hungry. He looked pale and he decided to try and get some fresh air. And that's when he collapsed and I called nine-one-one."
"That's what the EMTs said," Jordan said shakily. "He wasn't doing well."
"People survive MI's all the time, Jordan," JD tried, but stopped at the look he sent her. It was all too easy to remember being in her place, her exact place, not but several years ago.
The pain still cut like a knife.
He slipped an arm around her and pulled her to a sitting position on the pew. "No matter what, you're going to be okay," he finally said quietly.
And Jordan sobbed into his shoulder. He sat quietly with her, simply offering the shirt on his back for her tears, for her nose, for anything she needed. She clung to him then, letting the worry and fear drain out of her.
This time, it was Dr. Kelso who came in with grim features and his face set. He was wearing one of his usual Hawaiian shirts and mismatched khakis, the outfit hardly appropriate.
Jordan looked at his face, and shook her head no. But no sounds came from her mouth and she burst into dry tears all over again, choking against JD's shirt.
They'd pronounced him not more than five minutes ago. And her children needed her. Before Jordan realized she could even stand, JD was pulling her to her feet, arm around her shoulders as he led her out of the chapel.
The next time JD saw Jordan was at Perry's funeral. So many people had showed up; JD was almost surprised. Even Petey Fischer had managed to weasel in (before Jordan kicked him in the shin and told him in no uncertain terms to get the fuck out).
Petey had turned his beady eyes on JD, who had only told him it was really stupid of him to think others thought he cared.
JD sat with Jordan in the front row, Quinn and Sammy present on one side, Jack and Jennifer barely holding it together on Jordan's other side. JD held Jordan's hand, not tightly and not loosely, but just enough to let her know he was here.
And there he stayed till the very end, when the kids had left to grieve in their own way. JD still sat with Jordan, waving bye to Paige as she finally left too, giving a quick kiss and hug to Jordan and nodding to JD.
"You're going to be okay," JD said quietly as the diggers filled the hole.
"It's never going to be okay again, DJ," Jordan muttered bitingly. "Don't pretend like it's going to be."
"It never is," JD finally replied honestly, his own eyes stinging from the loss of his mentor, the loss of his wife; things flew from him faster than he could grab them, gone like shadows of the past. "It never gets better. You just get used to it."
Jordan leaned her head on JD's shoulder.
Later that night, Quinn announced Jack was taking her to Izzy's and that she'd be spending the night. Sammy was going with her.
JD nodded; Turk and Carla were more than capable of handling the teenagers. They needed that bond, that time together, the large family that they'd always wanted, but couldn't have after Duncan's birth.
So JD went to Jordan's instead. He knocked on the door, and frowned at Jordan's sallow skin and pale face. She had changed into one of Perry's hockey jerseys and a pair of lounge pants, tissues stuffed into the pockets. She wore little make-up, having cried most of it off, and it made her look much younger and more vulnerable than JD had ever seen her.
He walked into the apartment, still sensing and seeing so much of Perry around him. He knew how it felt; he had sold Elliot's house a year after she'd died. He couldn't take it anymore. He knew Jordan would probably the same, especially with Jennifer going off to college soon.
JD sat down on the couch with her, wordlessly pulling her into his arms.
"Why are you doing this, DJ?"
"Because I wanted someone to do it for me when Elliot…left." He still couldn't say that she had died, no matter how good Molly was at psychiatry. "And I was too afraid to ask."
Jordan let the arms surround her, let the warmth fill her up. JD's eyes screamed in silence, his hands trembling against her skin and back. Nothing was the same, not between them, not between the kids, nothing at all and everything had changed.
JD only gripped her tighter when she shook, and hated the tears that rolled down his own face before they hit Jordan's cheeks. He stretched them out on the couch, letting it all crash down around them in a flood of unshed tears.
"They're not coming back," Jordan mumbled, her voice hoarse from crying till there were no tears left to shed.
"No." JD's own voice was croaky too, and he stroked her hair. "They're not." He slowly got up, holding her hand still. "Let's go for a drive."
Jordan looked at him, head cocked to the side and the walls of the apartment suddenly closing in on her. She nodded, and left to change quickly. The point of getting out of the apartment was to get away from Perry's pungent memory. She couldn't do that in his jersey.
She came back out in jeans and a hoodie, and followed JD out the door. He blasted the music on high, a mixed CD that held classic rock and sappy country.
Jordan let the wind blast against her face, head tilted towards the window. It was an appropriate send-off, she supposed, and felt JD take her hand again.