From the Ravine, to the Cookies
Author's Note- There have been a lot of wonderful stories posted on this site, to fill in the huge missing scenes in the episode 'If You Could See What I See'. I have read them all, and am in awe at the talent of the writers in this fandom.
Finally, I've found the courage to tackle these missing scenes myself. I hope this story will be well received by the fans of this show and all the fanfiction readers. I've tried to take a slightly different approach than other authors… just some different points of view, and memories to consider while Milt waits during that long day and night in the ICU.
My story begins with Hardcastle finally finding Mark lying at the bottom of the ravine, and ends with Millie's leaving. It took me awhile to muster the courage to give this one a try, but I figured it was kind of a "right of passage". So, here is my story about these missing scenes.
Of course, these characters aren't mine and this story only exists to provide entertainment and hopefully pleasure for the devoted fans of this great show.
Ch 1 The Ravine
Milton C. Hardcastle felt the breath leave his body as he stood at the top at the top of the hill in shock. He'd found the kid, but he could see how bad things looked at the bottom of the ravine. It didn't look like McCormick had moved… all night long.
He steeled his feelings, unwilling to allow any emotion at all until he had his hands on his friend. He was afraid to go down, but at the same time he felt pulled toward the figure lying at the bottom. He started down the hill, not knowing whether he would find life or death, prepared for the worst, but needing to be there without delay.
As he knelt beside McCormick, the young man opened his eyes and whispered breathlessly, "whattookyousolong?".
Hardcastle took an unsteady breath, slipped off his jacket and spread it over the still form. He didn't look good, and Milt was struck by an incredibly strong need to comfort him.
"I'm gonna take care of you now, you're gonna be alright, just hold on," he said immediately... simple and direct was all he could think of to say.
Mark stared at the jurist, unable to gather enough strength to speak again, but so grateful to have the judge with him. If there was one thing he would bet his life on, it was that the judge would take care of him.
"I'm gonna go back up and send for an ambulance, I'll be back in 5 minutes kiddo," Hardcastle said, placing his hand over Mark's and squeezing. He smiled when Mark squeezed back.
Milt moved up the steep hill quickly.
"Millie, drive back down to where the police stopped Price, and tell them we need an ambulance. Get blankets or tell em to bring blankets up here," Hardcastle ordered as he rifled through the back of the truck, looking for anything at all he could use to cover McCormick.
"Take this and get back down there," Millie ordered, shoving her heavy sweater into his hands as she pulled the truck door open.
Hardcastle took it with a nod and hurried back to the edge of the hill and started down as Millie turned the truck around.
"Here's a good heavy sweater kiddo," he said as he spread it out on top of his jacket. "Millie went to call an ambulance, Frank's close by so it won't take too long." He paused, "I'm gonna stay with you, you're gonna be okay."
"Hurts...," Mark whispered, too tired to open his eyes.
Milt rested one hand on McCormick's head, while the other tucked the sweater up around his shoulders. "I know, not too much longer. I know you got shot," he'd seen the bloody spot on McCormick's shirt when he first arrived, and he knew there had been a lot of bleeding, the puddle of blood on the pool house floor was a testament to that. What he didn't know was whether there were any other injuries. "Are you hurt anywhere else?" he asked, keeping his eyes on his friend.
Mark blinked, trying hard to concentrate. "my shoulder," he answered.
"Where else kiddo?" Milt asked softly, as he gently stroked the kid's head with his thumb.
"Milt, I've got a blanket," Frank called out as he started down the hill.
Milt leaned down close to McCormick and whispered, "anywhere else?"
"Head hurts,... he threw me down the hill."
The judge glanced up at the steep slope and back down at McCormick, his anger flaring.
"Who threw you down here?" he asked.
"Pr Price," Mark stammered softly, "scary," he added as he began to shiver.
"Anybody'd be scared of that," he paused, "but you're safe now. Just hold onto me."
As if following orders, Mark squeezed the judges hand. Hardcastle smiled, "That's the ticket kiddo, just hold on."
"I know, I'm sorry, I'll get you warmed up as soon as I can," Hardcastle whispered, fear seeping into his gut at the one word answers and the grayish color of the skin. He could tell that Mark was close to death, but as long as there was life in him, there was hope and he was determined to save his friend.
He sat in silence then, holding onto Mark, anxiously watching him breathe.
Frank spread the extra blanket over him, then sat back and watched the scene. He could hear sirens in the distance, but his attention was on the two men before him. He had never seen Hardcastle like this. His thumb gently stroking Mark's head while he held his hand. The kid seemed to be unconscious now, his hand suddenly limp, but Hardcastle still held on and bent down and spoke to him quietly. Frank couldn't hear what he said and wasn't sure he would've wanted to. He suddenly felt a knot in his throat and coughed as he stood up and called to the officer standing above.
Suddenly, an EMT and Paramedic were taking up positions on either side of McCormick, assessing his injuries and planning his care. Hardcastle moved toward Mark's head so he could keep his hands on him while the EMS workers did their job.
"BP 76/30, Pulse 145, Respiration 30, O2 Sat 92%, skin cool and clammy."
The numbers blurred with other medical jargon and only put more fear into the judges heart. He watched in silence as they started an IV, placed an oxygen mask over Mark's face, a splint on his leg and arm, and lifted him into the rescue basket. He'd been so absorbed with comforting him that he hadn't noticed the leg injury.
He'd known that Mark was in bad shape, but had been afraid to move him. There hadn't been much he could do to help him, besides keeping him warm and getting him to the hospital as fast as possible. He wondered about infection, but no one had said anything about that. After being shot and thrown down into the dirt and leaves so many hours ago, Mark would almost certainly develop an infection. But first he had to survive the blood loss, exposure and shock. Unfortunately Hardcastle knew too much about injuries. This was one of those times that knowing too much was a disadvantage.
"Milt?" Frank asked uncertainly.
Hardcastle just stood staring at the basket as it disappeared onto the street above.
"You alright?" Frank asked, knowing it was a stupid question, but wanting to hear something from the jurist.
"He stopped talking…" he seemed unable to go on.
"We're gonna follow the ambulance to the hospital now," Frank ordered and motioned up the hill. Hardcastle started climbing.
The ambulance was pulling away as they reached the road. Frank grabbed Milt's arm and led him to a squad car and they both climbed in.
"He stopped talking Frank… what if …"
"Milt stop. He needs to rest, think of it that way. Or, maybe he doesn't have to force himself to stay awake because he knows you're taking care of things… let's just get there, okay?"
Hardcastle finally seemed to be more alert. "Yeah, you're right… thanks."