Disclaimer: If I owned Danny Phantom, it would have a lot more drama. Kinda like a Spanish soap opera, lol.

/… ('.' ) ('.') ( '.') +twixxytink+ ('.' ) ('.') ( '.') …/

Fork in the Road

Chapter 3: Comatose Findings

"Danny, what the hell is going on?" Jazz frantically tried to lock in her seatbelt but with no avail. Danny's driving was out of control! She had only heard him mutter "hospital" before he ran out to his car, and of course she had followed.

But at the rate Danny's car was going, it would be a miracle if they got to the hospital without a speeding ticket. Or, at all.

His eyes didn't leave the road for a second. He wasn't concentrating either, it was more of a 'lost in his thoughts' kind of thing. She was worried, he wasn't responding to her.

"Danny?" she tried more sweetly, but nothing.

Who had called him to get him so shaken up? What did they want? And what did the hospital have to do with--

"Of course," she breathed, her whisper lost in the roar of the engine. Somebody was in the hospital and a doctor (most likely) was calling the patient's immediate family, which included Danny.

"Who is it Danny?" she tried, but in her mind she already had a clue of who it was. She didn't want to be right, yet at the same time...she didn't want to be wrong.

She gasped, her cerulean eyes widened with realization. ('Am I such a horrible person? To wish such a fate on anyone! It doesn't matter how much she's going to hurt my brother...nobody deserves this...') She looked out the window with misty eyes. ('How could I have thought that...I'm so sorry')

"A car accident Jazz." It took a moment before she realized who had spoken, his voice was so unfamiliar.

"A...car accident," he repeated as if willing himself to believe it; he was no longer talking to Jazz. "Fatal."

She shook her head, and the tears fell.

+Amity Charity Hospital+

"Are her parents contacted, Nurse Bell?"

"No sir, we can't reach them." The nurse punched numbers into the phone and waited for the phone to ring on the other end. She was trying to contact the family of all the others in the car accident. Four cars were involved in the accident, eight people, 2 had died instantly.

"Any other family?"

"Yes, Doctor Manx; her husband, Daniel Fenton, is waiting," the nurse swtiched her attention to the phone, "Yes, hello? Hi, is this Mr. Reynolds? Yes, well, I have some very important news..."

The doctor left the nurse to her work, and began walking away. He couldn't imagine taking over her job; telling the family that one of their own was just admitted into the hospital. Everyone always assumed the worst, it was human nature. They tried to prepare themselves any way they could, but it wasn't ever any use.

However, that isn't as bad as having to deliver the final news. He had that overwhelming responsiblity enough times in his career to know just how bad it really felt. When he had to tell a couple that their newlyborn had passed away because of difficulties with the birth, the man cried, but what was even worst was that the woman didn't.

He saw Daniel, he could tell right off which one he was. He had his head in his hands, and the company of a female, she was probably his sister. The waiting room wasn't as empty as it usually was, tonight there was an expected increase in family members.

He walked up to Danny with ease, "Excuse me..."

Danny looked up, "Doctor! Paulina...how is she doing?" He had bags under his eyes, it was almost midnight. He had been waiting there in that quiet room for hours. Jazz had kept him company, she couldn't bear to leave her baby brother alone, especially not in the condition he was in.

"We managed to get her stable...she was lucky, Mr. Fenton, compared to most. But the shock, I'm afraid...has also taken its toll."

"What do you mean Doctor?" Jazz asked.

"You see, the shock, and the trauma, along with some head injuries have forced Mrs. Fenton to fall into a coma. Her body was trying to stay alive the best way it knew how," explained the doctor.

Danny interrupted him, "Where? Where is she?"

"She's in intensive care and you won't be able to see her for another couple of hours. I'm sorry, Mr. Fenton, we did the best we could, but sometimes even that isn't enough."

Jazz's eyes were downcast as she remembered her murderous thoughts earlier, "How long?"

The doctor looked away towards the peach-colored walls of the waiting room. He hated that color, but not as much as he hated the nothingness of white on the hospital halls. They brought no life to the rooms, the people, it seemed like a cloud of death would forever linger where a hospital was concerned. He directed his gaze back at Danny. "We're not sure. The coma could last weeks, months...years."

Danny sat back down, his hands went back to his face shielding it from the world...from the truth. Jazz sat beside him again, and she held on to his shoulders. "Danny..."

Doctor Manx had nothing more to say. He didn't want to see another man cry, one was enough for a lifetime. He excused himself, and walked away. Things weren't good, but Danny had to understand one thing. His wife, Paulina, was lucky to get out of that mess alive.

The blonde man with her--during the car accident--had died. They couldn't get him out in time...but somehow, Paulina had freed herself; she survived.

+Waiting Room+

"Danny, hey, come on. Let's go home for the night, okay? You need some sleep. In the morning, you can eat breakfast, take a shower, excuse yourself from work, and then come right back," she waited for a response and when she didn't get one she continued, "remember what the doctor said, Danny. She's in intensive care, you won't be able to see her for a couple of hours, maybe even more."

He didn't budge, he was frozen to the seat. He stayed in the same position, his face unseen behind his hands. Jazz waited, her heart breaking in two at having to see her brother like this.

"I--I can't."

Her eyebrows furrowed in concern. "Why not?"

"What if something happens? I can't leave without seeing for myself that she's okay, Jazz. Please try to understand."

"I do, Danny." And she did; she was doing the same thing for him. She couldn't leave him alone until she knew that Danny was going to be o.k. Her cerulean eyes stayed on the ground.

She hugged his side, trying to prevent the tears from falling. This was destroying him, and all she could do was watch. Watch as this thing ate him up inside. Danny was too young to have to deal with something like this. He couldn't handle this.

She couldn't handle it, and she was supposed to be the mature one.

"Hey, I'm going to get some coffee, you want me to get you something?" Jazz kept her eyes focused on him, to note any movement. He only shook his head. She sighed at his response but stood up anyway. "Alright," she whispered, not even sure if he had heard her, "be back in a few."

A couple of minutes passed before Danny finally sniffled. Over the murmurs of the crowd in the room, it probably wasn't even heard.

"Daniel Fenton?"

Danny looked up, after he heard his name being said by an unfamiliar voice. It was a nurse at the doorway, a carrot-top with crazy, flyaway orange hair trapped in a bun, and soft green eyes. "Right here," he responded, meeting her gaze.

"Hi, I'm Nurse Bell," she walked over and they shook hands, "I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. Can you come with me?"

Danny looked around worriedly, what about Jazz? She would be back any minute. The nurse seemed to sense his worry and smiled, "Don't worry, it won't take more than a sec. I promise." The nurse held her hand up symbolizing Scout's Honor.

He forced a smile.

She motioned him to follow, she had easily shrugged off his frigid smile. They walked down the empty corridors, the nurse's heels' click-clack bouncing off the walls. As they finally arrived to the front desk she started typing furiously on her computer. "Hmm, o.k., Mr. Fenton, all I wanted was to confirm the information you gave us earlier, and to fill in some gaps."

He didn't look too eager, so she asked, "Will that be alright?"

Danny cleared his throat, "Of course."

She began asking typical questions, to which he answered quickly and without much thought.

It was over quickly and the only thing left was a quick 'thank you' so he could depart. But she stalled, reading a bright yellow sticky-note hanging from her black computer screen, "What's this?" she muttered to herself. Her eyebrows shot up, "Mr. Fenton...it seems that somebody else was in the car with your wife, did you know who it was?"

"Wait, wait," he paused as he tried to piece things together, "I thought my wife was alone."

She shook her head, "No sir, there was a male in the passenger seat with her. He...was burned badly when the car went up in flames, and they didn't find any I.D. or anything that told of his name. His face was marred by the fire, and we're waiting for someone to identify him."

His baby blue eyes narrowed. "I--I wasn't aware that she had a passenger..." ('Why didn't she tell me?')

"Oh, alright. Well, I was hoping you would know and place a name on the body, but if you--"

"No, no it's alright. If he was a friend of my wife, then I shouldn't have a problem recognizing him...right?"

She didn't understand why he was asking her. He seemed a little doubtful, maybe even scared, so she agreed. "Of course, Mr. Fenton. Please come this way," she added, encouraging him.

He nodded, trying to avoid all the questions that suddenly popped into his head. Questions that he didn't have time to think about before, and that he was too scared to face now. So he cast his eyes to the ground and followed once more the click-clack of her high heels on the tile floor.

/… ('.' ) ('.') ( '.') +twixxytink+ ('.' ) ('.') ( '.') …/

Twi's Notes: I thought about the title for this chapter, and I realized that some people might not understand what it means, so I'll give a little explanation. Comatose means something related to a coma (Paulina-in this story) but it also means "dormant". Together, Comatose Findings means findings (or truth (like Danny finding out about Dash in the passenger seat)) that are "dormant" or uncovered. So Comatose alone can relate to Paulina but together Comatose Findings relates to Danny figuring out the truth. So it works both ways, ha, see how clever I am? Lol.

P.S. Somebody asked me if Sam was going to be in this fic and well, yes! Of course she is! She's going to make her unnexpected (to the characters) entrance in the next chapter, so review!

Reviews make the world go round. Hehe.