Gordon opened his eyes to realise he was lying on his front on what was presumably a hospital bed. The smell of hospitals was the same the world over, and one he would never forget. He was bare to the waist but seemed to have some sort of strapping across his back. He lifted his head to see his blond older brother dozing in a chair beside his bed. The movement, however, had been an unwise one, as a stab of pain shot through his back causing him to give a small groan. The sound caused John to open his eyes, and he smiled down at Gordon. "Hey there, kiddo, take it easy now" he said, softly, " How are you feeling? Thirsty?"
Gordon nodded, more cautiously this time. John helped him up and offered him a drink from a beaker with a straw.
Gordon smiled at his brother, thinking back to the time after his hydrofoil accident. "You know, I get this feeling we've been here before."
"Do you remember what happened?" asked John.
Gordon thought. "The river – the flood. How's Michael? Is he OK?"
"He will be, thanks to you. He's in the next ward. Zoe and the others are with him, but before you see them I'd better fill you in on what happened." Briefly, he gave Gordon an account of the rescue.
A couple of days later Gordon was already starting to feel constrained by the hospital atmosphere. At least the doctor had promised he could go home by the end of the week, though had warned him not to do anything strenuous for at least another month. John had left that morning, promising one of the others would drop in soon. Zoe popped in occasionally, but was spending most of her time, naturally enough, with Michael. He was pleased when he looked up to see Barbara and Stephen standing in the doorway.
"Hallo, Gordon," said Barbara, approaching the bed, "how are you feeling now?"
Gordon gave a wry smile. "It still feels like I've been run over by a truck."
"Don't worry, we got its number." said Stephen, cheerfully. "That's what you get for being a hero"
Barbara put a bag she had been carrying down by the bed. "We flew back up to the campsite this morning to retrieve our gear. A lot of yours was ruined of course, but we've brought back what we could salvage."
Stephen spoke "Vanessa flew us up there - I was telling her about how we were picked up by International Rescue. She was very impressed when she saw the cliff – she reckons they must have great pilots and machines to be able to get so close to that ledge. You don't remember any of that, do you?"
"No, I don't remember that at all," said Gordon, carefully suppressing a smile.
"Aw, it was really something. There was this huge great airplane, and then these two gorgeous looking girls came down out of it in an elevator, whisked you away, then Michael, and then came back for the rest of us. You must have been in some sort of sickbay, I suppose, because we didn't see you again until they dropped us all here at the hospital."
Just then the door opened again and Scott stood there, "I've brought someone to see you" he said, then moved aside to reveal Megan standing in the doorway.
Barbara saw Gordon's expression change. "Is this the one you were telling me about?" she asked, softly. Gordon nodded. She stood up. "Come on, Stephen, we'd best be going."
Gordon had a sudden wicked impulse. "Hey, Stephen, why don't you tell my brother Scott about those gorgeous girls from International Rescue? I'm sure he'll be fascinated."
With impish glee he watched Stephen begin an animated conversation with Scott, before turning his attention to Megan as she approached his bed.
She stood looking down at him, her hands on her hips. "Gordon Tracy" she said with mock severity, "what am I going to do with you? Do you have a thing about hospitals – or just a thing about nurses?"
"No," he said, smiling as he took her hand, "just a thing about this particular nurse. It's lovely to see you."
She took his hand in both of hers as she sat on the edge of the bed. "Scott came and picked me up. Your brothers are still looking after you. I got fed up of waiting for you to come back from New Zealand - honestly, the things some people will do to get out of making a phone call! - so I thought I'd better come here and give you my answer."
"It's 'yes'. Of course it's 'yes'. Did you ever doubt that it would be? Mind you, it looks like you're going to need me around anyway to look after you."
"But that will mean I'll be your patient again, which means.." his voice trailed off, but he grinned at her wickedly.
"I think in your case I'll make an exception to my rule." She bent forward to kiss him.
As Gordon put his arms around Megan to embrace her, he felt the pull on the damaged muscles of his back. The doctor had warned him that he might end up with a scar there. The thought didn't worry him. All the old scars were gone.
Author's note: this will be the last story in the sequence that began with Sight unseen and continued through the English symphony trilogy – unless, of course, my Muse has other ideas. Once again I would like to thank everyone who has helped me, and all of you who left me reviews.