I've borrowed Mrs. Turner's name from Ecri's wonderful fics. This is unbeta'ed, so blame me for any and all mistakes.
The nurse at the night desk was startled by the sound of the main door opening. She checked her watch. 1:15AM, well beyond visiting hours. She looked up and saw a man striding towards her, a determined expression on his face. She rose as he approached the desk.
"I'm sorry, sir. Visiting hours don't start until 10AM. I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave."
He looked at her intently, and she could see the unspoken plea in his eyes.
"Please, I…I need to see my mother, Jacqueline Turner. It's an emergency."
She moved to pull the 'Restricted Visitors' log from its place, her eyes never leaving his face. Once the book was in front of her, she quickly flipped to the page for the patient in question. "And you are…?"
"Her son, Jack. I should be listed there with my father, Senator Harlan Turner."
She easily found his name on the nearly blank page.
"Yes, sir, I've got your name right here. Would you like me to walk you back or…"
"No, that's fine. I know the way, thank you."
He gave a small smile and turned to go down the hall. She spoke suddenly, not knowing why.
Jack turned and looked at her questioningly.
"I-I hope everything's all right."
He smiled again, a mixture of nervousness and hope.
"So do I," he replied, "so do I."
That night, he'd never been more thankful that his mother had a private room. His father had always been the one to 'take care' of things, with no consideration of how the initial event or the acts necessary in its concealment affected him, while his mother only concerned herself with that aspect of it. She was the one he told all his problems to, although after her breakdown he'd taken to telling her these things while she was asleep, and tonight was no different.
He watched his mother sleep in the dim half-light, snuggled like a small girl beneath the blankets. Watching her like this, he could forget about her breakdown, her illness; the illness he shared with her.
"Mom," he said softly, "Mommy, I'm scared."
He exhaled deeply. He knew that telling his mother, not knowing who might hear, could get him in serious trouble, but he needed to, especially since he didn't know when he might see her again.
He took a deep breath and started again.
"Mom, I-I did something wrong. I stopped taking my meds, 'cause I thought I had everything under control. Things were fine for a while, well, except for the part where I got thrown in prison on bogus fraud charges. I-Someone accused me of killing someone and I lost my temper. I hurt them, Mom, more than I thought I did. I'd only wanted to scare them, that's all. I called Dad, just like you told me to, but he wants me to do something I just can't do."
His gave moved from the easel in the corner back to the figure on the bed as it shifted position. "I-I have to go away, Mom. I don't know when I'll be able to see you again, if I'll be able to see you again."
He swiped at his eyes, trying to stop the tears. "I'm scared, Mom, I'm really scared. I mean, I've got someone that's coming with me, but I don't know what I'll do without you. You're my best friend and I don't know how to live without that."
He jumped, startled by the whisper.
"You do what you need to do to protect yourself. Don't worry about me."
"M-mom? I didn't mean to wake you."
Jacqueline turned so she could look at her son. Even now, she could see the eager little boy that he once was, ready to defend what he thought was right.
"My sweet boy," she said softly as she reached for his hand, "it's your time now. You need to go out and do what's best for you. The world needs to know what kind of man you are, not just because you're Harlan Turner's son, but because you're Jack Turner, someone who is a great man in his own right."
He squeezed her hand tight and didn't try to hold back the tears this time. He would miss her so much. She'd always encouraged him, no matter what he wanted to do.
"Now," she said with a small smile, "tell me about this person going with you. They understand about the illness?"
Jack returned his mother's smile. He knew that Daphne's coming with him would keep his mother from worrying.
"She's someone that works with me at LL&L, and yes, she does understand. She's out right now making sure that I have enough medication and that everything's ready. She's really great, Mom. You don't need to worry." She closed her eyes and sighed quietly. Her boy would be safe and cared for.
"When do you have to leave?" she asked softly, not wanting to know the answer.
Jack looked at his watch, remembering his law school graduation when his mother had given it to him. They'd all been so happy then.
"In about 10 minutes," he whispered, not wanting a limit on the time they had together. "Mom, I-I love you so much. I-I wish…"
"Shhh, sweetheart, it's all right. I love you, too. Just make sure that you always take your meds and take good care of this girl."
"I will, Mom, I will. I just wish you could meet her."
"I'll meet her soon enough, little bear."
He smiled at the nickname his mother used. She hadn't called him that since he was very little. "You just worry about making sure you're safe and that you take your meds. Now," she said quietly, "I want you to open up the drawer right there. There's a small box in there that I want you to take with you."
He did as he was asked. Shock came over his face when he saw what was inside.
"Mom, I-I can't take this. Dad would notice right away."
"Take it," she said firmly, "I know that you'll have use for it very soon. As for your father, I'll deal with him."
Jack closed the box and slipped it into his pocket.
"Thank you," he whispered tearfully, "I-I have to go." How could he leave her?
"I know you do. Just remember," she squeezed his hand tight, "no matter where you are or what you do, I love you very much."
"I love you too, Mommy. I'll miss you."
He hugged her tight and tucked her in, kissing her forehead. He turned to look at her one last time when he got to the door. She smiled at him and gave a little wave, mouthing, "I love you, little bear." He did his best to smile back, returned her wave and stepped out of the room, wiping his eyes quickly so the nurse wouldn't see his tears. He walked back towards thenight deskas fast as he could, knowing that Daphne was probably waiting for him.
He stopped, startled. The nurse that had been at the night desk when he came in stepped out from an alcove off the hallway.
"I'm sorry, but I heard your conversation with your mother."
Jack's face went white as he forced himself to keep his expression calm.
"What medication do you take?
"Why are you asking?"
She pulled a script pad out of her lab coat pocket. "I'll write you a script for them. What meds do you take?"
"Um…Clozafen, 500 mg twice a day."
She scribbled on the pad, then flipped the page up and scribbled some more. She pulled the sheets off and handed them to him. Looking at them, he noticed that she'd left the name and date blank. Suddenly, she gave him another slip of paper, this one folded.
"That's my home address. If you want to get something to your mother, send it there. If you need more meds, send me the bottle and I'll call it in for you."
Relief flooded Jack's face. "Thank you, um…"
"Marie. Now, you'd better get going. Don't worry, I'll make sure your mom's OK."
"But…why're you doing this?"
"You're not the only one who's far from home," she said softly.
Giving her one last grateful look, he turned and hurried down the hall towards the front entrance, where he found Daphne waiting for him in his car.
"Is everything all right?" she asked when he got in. She could tell that leaving his mom like this made him heartsick.
"What?" he said distractedly. "Oh…yeah, everything's fine."
She saw right through the false cheer in his voice, reached over and patted his hand.
"Just put your head back and rest, Jack."
As she put the car in drive and started to pull out of the lot, she heard his choked whisper.
In early December, Marie knocked on Jacqueline's door.
"Mrs. Turner, something came in the mail for you."
She handed Jacqueline the envelope and left the room so she could open it in private.
There was a picture of a woman's hand on top of a man's, both hands with wedding bands on the third finger, and the woman's hand also wore an engagement ring. She smiled while blinking back tears as she opened the folded note and started to read the clear, curling script that she didn't recognize:
We love and miss you very much.
2 little bears & their cub"