Her eyes were heavy and fought opening, but slowly she forced her lids upward, and after a few seconds, her vision focused on the man sitting at the edge of her bed. He smiled at her.
"Welcome back, Jaime."
She felt tears sting her eyes, and she reached her arms around his neck. "Oh Rudy..."
Wells held her tightly against him, gently rubbing her back. "It's all right, Jaime, you're going to be just fine." She shook slightly, and he tightened the embrace. "You're okay..."
"How did I get here?"
He pulled away from her, gently lowering her back to her pillows. "Russ and Hansen found you." He looked down for a second, then stared into her eyes. "Russ said it looked like you pulled your own power pack out and smashed it." She nodded and looked away. He brushed his fingers against her cheek. "You must have had a good reason..."
Tears filled her eyes again when she looked into the depths of chocolate brown. "It was the only thing I could think of to do, Rudy. They were going to sell me to the highest bidder, and we both know what would have happened from there."
He brushed her hair back out of her face. "And you figured that without the power pack, they'd never figure out how to successfully recreate a cyborg..."
She nodded. "Something like that."
He leaned in and kissed her cheek gently. "Sounds like a last-ditch move to me..."
"I was pretty desperate, Rudy." Her voice choked with a sob then, "It was the last thing I could do for Oscar, and I figured I owed both of you at least that..."
"Last thing you could do...? Jaime, what are you talking about?"
Tears streamed down her face. "They killed him, Rudy. Oscar's dead..."
She wrapped her arms around him again, sobbing into his neck. Rudy pat her back tenderly.
"Shh, Jaime, Oscar's not dead. They didn't kill him..."
She pulled away to look into his eyes. "But they told me--"
"--I don't care what they told you. They didn't kill him..."
Jaime's face dissolved into a smile. "Where is he? Oh Rudy, get him in here!" The sullen look on the doctor's face caused Jaime's heart to flutter. "Rudy? What is it?"
He held her hands tightly in his. "He's alive, Jaime, but he's in pretty bad shape."
"Then they did shoot him."
"No. It's his heart. The stress of this whole thing has just been too much for him."
"Rudy, can I see him, please?"
Wells nodded. "I think it might be the best thing for him."
Rudy pushed Jaime's wheelchair through the door, and stopped it near the bed. Gently he helped her out of the chair, sitting her on the edge of Oscar's bed. Rudy stood near the headboard, carefully checking Oscar's pulse and his pupil response. Satisfied that his patient was stable, he put a caring hand on Goldman's shoulder.
"Oscar? Hey, Oscar..."
Goldman's eyelids fluttered, and he looked up at Rudy, then at Jaime. And a smile lit his pale lips as he reached his hand out to her. Jaime clasped it tightly in hers.
"Hi babe, yourself." She smiled at him. "Heard you've been a mess without me..."
He chuckled slightly, the heavy meds causing his reactions to be slow and slightly sluggish. "Yeah. Nothing went along too smoothly..." He glanced at Wells. "Did it, Rudy?"
Wells pat his friend's shoulder. "No. You were a pretty tough customer there for awhile."
Jaime leaned down and kissed his cheek. "Everything's going to be okay now, Oscar. You just concentrate on getting well, all right?"
He nodded, worn out from the effort. Rudy put a hand on her shoulder.
"I think we'd better let him rest, Jaime."
"Okay." She kissed Oscar's lips warmly. "Get some sleep, and I'll see you later."
Impending slumber filtered into his voice, "Okay, babe..."
Rudy helped her back into the wheelchair, and then leaned over Oscar, giving him another cursory check. He brushed a hand over his friend's brow.
"How's the pain, Oscar?"
"Hurts a little, Rudy."
Wells nodded, and reached into his lab coat, extracting a clean syringe and small bottle of morphine. He loaded a little into the syringe, and injected it into Goldman's arm, gently rubbing the skin where the needle pricked him.
"That's gonna help. You go back to sleep now, Oscar. You need a lot of rest."
Goldman grabbed Rudy's hand as the doctor started away. Frowning Wells held it, returning the pressure.
"What is it, Oscar?"
"Thanks, Rudy. Thanks for keeping your word to me."
Rudy nodded, and squeezed the hand in his before letting go. "I want you to rest now."
He rubbed Oscar's shoulder lightly until Goldman's eyes closed and his breathing evened out a little. Then quietly he pushed Jaime's chair back out of the room, closing the door behind them.
"What was Oscar talking about?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"About keeping your word to him. What was he talking about?"
"Yes, Dr. Wells, that."
"It was nothing, Jaime."
"Sure sounded like something."
"Maybe your doctor should check your bionic ear..."
He stopped pushing the chair, and leaned over her, putting his hands on both of the armrests. "Now you listen to me, young lady, there are some things that are just between me and Oscar."
"And this is one of them, huh?"
"Yes." He gently touched the end of her nose with his finger. "And that's enough out of you for one day, you need some rest too."
He began pushing her down the hall once again.
"Is he going to be all right, Rudy?"
"I think he will now, Jaime. I certainly think he will now."