Hey folks, I am back. After six months in the US I'm back home. I still can't speak English (I took a college prep course there and they told me I could speak it, but then again they told that everybody who put up the effort of reading "The Catcher in the Rye", regardless of who understood it and who didn't). But hey, I'm in love with Iowa, Colorado, California and Minnesota! Well, I never wanted to write fanfiction again…but you get very creative when you are locked up in a plane for more than 10 hours. Bad for you. And here we go again...
Disclaimer: The characters of Diagnosis: Murder don't belong to me, but to CBS and Viacom. I don't intend to make any money with the story because then I'd be starving. The title of the story was the title of a "Pink" song, so it's not mine either. At least I can say I wrote it myself...
It was 11 o'clock at night in Los Angeles which didn't necessarily mean it was dark. Millions of advertisements, car headlights and street lamps made the city at the Pacific Ocean shine through the blackness that surrounded it. Looking at it from the Hollywood Hills, the City of Angels looked like a well-organized system which was sure of its own magic and fascination it filled people with, a glamorous glare whose attraction was similar to the one of a spider's net. If one had stood at the beach of Malibu instead, the view would have been a whole lot different: a series of light bulbs constructed to fit the end of the land and the beginning of the water, so that the fakeness of the human-made and the pureness of the eternal melted into each other, forming a strange modern kind of beauty.
In the parking lot of the Community General Hospital both of those views didn't matter a lot. There was nothing glamorous or post-modern or especially eye-catching about it; it was just a hospital parking lot like it could have been found anywhere in the United States, just as much as the Community General was hospital that could have been found any place in America or somewhere else on this planet.
The CGH parking lot was enlightened by a whole bunch of plain light bulbs of which some burned all night through, while other just reacted to motions in a certain range around them. All of them were shielded against potential attackers by steal cages and didn't add much friendliness to the dead flair of the lot. Obviously its constructors hadn't put emphasis on coziness when building it. Maybe they had been foreseeing that half of the people walking through this would be loaded with different problems than those concerning the lack of design and the other half would most likely be too tired to even notice.
The person who exit the door this very moment maybe didn't feel anything like the last mentioned or maybe both at the same time, who knew. The car keys banging expectantly between his fingers, he started for the walk to his car, always going close to the left line of cars as he wanted to make sure any car driving by wouldn't have trouble passing him as much as he was carefully watching for anyone pulling out in front of him.
The next second it was dark. Totally dark. The lights had shut off with a ghostly fizzing sound as though suddenly deprived of power. The man sighed and shook his head, though no one was there who would have cared. It was just an acknowledgement to himself that Los Angeles and a sufficient electricity system was definitely a contradiction in terms. But at the same time he grinned wistfully as he felt himself reminded of the blessings of technical progress and pressed a button on the small black remote which was dangling from his key ring. Seconds later the internal lamps of a car in the near distance were switched on by an invisible hand and he could hear the dull sound of the central lock undoing itself. Feeling how he had just tricked fate that obviously was intending to screw up the rest of his Friday night he smiled. Now he knew how the guy in "Knight Rider" must have felt every time Kid wished him a good morning in his sonic voice.
Although it was still so dark in the parking lot that he could hardly see where he set his own feet, the weak light from his car now filled his path with enough reluctant brightness that he had no doubt he would make it to his vehicle safely without tripping.
He had erred. However, he didn't even come close to tripping. The car, which suddenly sped up behind him, didn't leave him enough time for that. The sound of loudly squealing tires was hardly to dismiss, but as the man turned around and disbelievingly blinked into the blinding headlights every attempt of diving out of the way was basically bound to fail. The car never even slowed down.
No one was there to hear either the muffled sound when his body hit the metal or the sound when it lifelessly fell onto the pavement.
A few seconds later the automatic lock in his car reacted and –since no one had switched the car on until now- locked itself again. The last working light in the parking lot went off and left nothing but complete darkness.
Inside the CGH Dr. Mark Sloan entered the doctor's lounge with a yawn, met by an equally tired, yet even more bored expression on the face of his partner in crime. "Okay, I'm ready, let's go home!" he suggested very eagerly, to say the least.
Steve Sloan narrowed his eyes and scanned his father who was still standing in the door frame.
"Okay", Steve went off to put Mark on the wrong, meaning receiving, end of what the doctor knew would develop into a rather reproachful speech, "here comes the 1 Million Dollar question: Are you sure?"
Mark nodded, grinning wryly. "Yes, son, I am."
"Really? Because the last time you said so, you were off to the front desk to sign out which has taken you exactly 1 hour, 23 minutes and 57 seconds…but who's counting…", Steve retorted, sounding extremely annoyed.
The older man sunk his head like a little boy who'd just broken his father's watch. "I know, I'm sorry. I got called to the OR 'cause they needed some help there and I…"
"…you just couldn't bring yourself to say 'no'", his son finished the sentence for him and shook his head with a mix of anger and concern. "Dad, you're not the only doctor in this hospital and –and don't get this the wrong way- not the youngest either. You've been here basically for the past 24 hours. Amanda has already gone, God, even Jesse went home 20 minutes ago, I never thought I'd ever get to see that in my life!"
Mark held up his hands against all those good points overwhelming him. "I get the hint, Steve, you're in a bad mood. But give me a break, please, I feel like the last man standing."
"Maybe because you are", Steve mumbled under a last angry sigh, and then he finally let it go. "Good movie by the way, we haven't watched that one in ages. How about we get some pop corn, beer and the movie on the way home…" he had gotten up from his seat and exited the lounge, passing his father who only seemed half-conscious.
"Fine with me…" Mark murmured wearily and joined Steve on the walk to the elevator, "as long as we finally get out of here!"
"Hey, not my fault!" Steve snapped cockily.
Mark waved it away. "Yeah, whatever. But the two of us are gonna have some serious talk about that comment on my age!"
Steve rolled his eyes in mock frustration and pressed the button. "Yes, dad."
Both father and son couldn't help but giggle as they entered the elevator. They were like best friends. And truly they were like partners in crime. Crime solving, to put it better. Steve was Lieutenant at the LAPD and Mark was medical consultant of the police. Together the two had solved more murder cases than Quincy during his best days. But right now, none of them was interested in that fact. They just wanted to go home and at 11.30 at night they felt they needed a chance to come down from their slowly fading caffeine highs and just relax.
As they took the elevator to the parking lot, they met Hank the hospital janitor on his way down. Hank was aimed with tons of tools on his belt and if it hadn't been for his green uniform, he would have looked like a smaller, skinnier and older version of Tim Taylor.
"Hey, doc, Steve…how's it going?" Hank greeted friendly.
"No complains, and you Hank?" Mark asked back, smiling at the good-natured janitor.
Hank swayed his head. "Ya know, doc, places to go, people to see…" he scrutinized the pair of pliers in his hand and winked, "…stuff to fix."
Mark and Steve both chuckled and prepared to leave for the parking lot when also Hank got ready. "Be careful in the lot, guys…" he warned, "I'm just on my way there, someone told me the power shut off totally. You will have to wait or need a flashlight to find your cars…"
"That's weird…why would only the electricity on the parking lot shut off and not the rest of the hospital?"
"Oh, two different power circles. Maybe it's the fuses. Wouldn't be the first time that something blew them out for no reason whatsoever. I'll get it fixed" Hank assured them.
They exited the elevator and stepped into the last floor where they opened the door to the parking lot. That was lying, indeed, in absolute darkness.
"We're never gonna make it to our cars…" Steve groaned, looking into the spooky blackness.
Mark laughed out and reached into his pocket. "Always be prepared for any occasion, son", he reached into his pocket and pulled out two of those pocket flashlights he normally used for examining his patients. "What did they teach you guys at the police academy?"
Steve blushed slightly and kept silent while Hank put one wrinkled hand on his shoulder. "I tell ya, Steve, never underestimate the genius of your old man…it's a hard learned lesson, I know."
The tall Lieutenant shrugged. "You get used to it."
Hank laughed out and switched on his own flashlight to find the lock of the fuse box that was right next to the door. "Okay, let's see what's wrong with you…" He opened the box and pointed the beam of his flashlight into it, then started cussing. "Holy shit! Someone screwed them out!" he exclaimed.
Looking over his shoulder, Mark and Steve frowned at the damage. The fuses had been screwed out and lay tidily at the bottom of the box. "Why would anybody do something like that?" Steve asked.
"Some bastard got angry at his hospital bill or so…you wouldn't believe what kind of pointless stuff those people do all the time", Hank answered, snorting moodily. Then he all of sudden got very practical. "Well, I'll have to screw those back in. Might take a little while…you guys go and have a good night."
"Or what's left of it…" added Steve, feeling a smack from his dad on his arm.
"Have a good night, too, Hank."
They waved a good bye, switched on their little flashlights and started heading towards their cars or where they assumed their cars to be. The blackness soaked the damp air that was filled with the slight smell of gasoline. "I think I found mine!" Steve announced happily and pointed his flashlight at a black Ford that really could have been his, but in the instant when the ray of light struck the form of the car Steve grimaced and Mark pulled up his brows. "I seriously hope it's not."
A huge scratch in the painting ran all over the back side of that car trunk, accompanied by a dent that gave the impression someone had been trying to fold the trunk in the middle like a paper ship. Steve let the beam of light wander from the damaged part of the car down to the license plate and took a deep breath. "I'm afraid it is."
Both father and son stared for a second at the license plate, just to make sure their eyes weren't fooling them, when Mark's attention got drawn at something else. "What's this?"
In the flickering light something on Steve's trunk was glossing moistly.
"Don't know, it might be oil…" Steve suggested, while Mark simply stretched out his hand and pulled it back with a little bit of the indefinable liquid sticking to his finger tips.
The doctor pointed his flashlight at his hand and at the same time his eyes grew big with shock and he held his hand up to his nose and smelled, just to make sure. "I think this is blood, Steve!"
"Blood?!" Steve looked closely at his father's hand and for he was a homicide detective it didn't take him long to realize that his dad was right. "God…what happened here?"
Mark shook his head. "I don't know, but it may help if we get a bigger flashlight. My car's over there, I think I have a better one in my trunk." With that Mark rushed off, now really curious to know what they were dealing with. After a few yards, however, he felt his feet hitting some obstacle and since he had been in quite hurry he couldn't regain his balance. With a small cry of surprise Mark stumbled to the ground.
Steve frowned. "Dad?" he yelled into the darkness, "are you alright?"
"Yeah, I just stumbled over…something…" Mark pushed himself up from the floor and reached behind himself to find out what had been in his way. He stretched out his arm into the black and got a hold on something lying on the floor. It took Mark a few seconds to be sure that this didn't only feel like the limp form of a human hand. "Steve! Come over here, but be careful."
Steve didn't understand the world anymore. "What's going on?" He asked getting his legs in motion slowly.
"The thing I stumbled over was a human being. Point your flashlight on the floor, I can't see anything…"
"You stumbled over what?!" Steve repeated, feeling the urge to hurry to his father's side, but not wanting to step on anything…or anybody. "Is he alive?"
Mark had carefully found his way up the person's arm and had his hand now on what felt like a dislocated shoulder. He moved his hand further up to where he assumed the collarbones to be and finally got a hold on the neck where he detected a weak rapid pulse. "Yes, he is…follow my voice and give me some light over here, my flashlight broke when I fell" he ordered his son in a serious voice. God knew what had happened to this guy or how long he'd been lying here, hardly breathing and probably in horrible pain. And on top of it all Mark had tripped over him. The older doctor felt terribly sorry, though he knew that the bigger part of this mess was certainly not his fault.
Steve was finally next to him and pointed his flashlight on the body. The person laid crookedly on his side, unconscious, the only visible part of his face covered with blood that ran from a bad cut on his forehead. "Let me have a look at this…" Mark took the flashlight from Steve to have a better view at the man's head.
As careful as he could he padded the hurt person's shoulder and turned the body over a little bit, so he would be able to see more. At that second the older doctor gasped and almost felt like fainting himself as he finally recognized the young man's face.
From Steve who was still behind him he couldn't hear anything but a nauseous choking.
"Oh gosh, Jess!"