ARCHIVE: Anywhere, just let me know so I can brag...hehe.
SPOILERS: Three Stories (1x21)
DISCLAIMER: All known characters and premises belong to their respective owners. So there.
SUMMARY: So I wait. I sit patiently, and wait for him, something no one else is willing to do.
NOTES: One shot, Cuddy's POV. I took a little artistic license and changed it a bit, because...well I can.
We think about our mortality often, and most of the time, it isn't our own peril that conjures up such morbid thoughts; it's the news of someone else's demise that instigates such pondering.
But as I sit here waiting, watching him with one leg into the abyss, I contradict my previous musing. His fragile life does nothing but force me to think of his existence as a whole - not of my own, not the millions of people dying every day from war, poverty, greed...no, just his. Every patient that enters the hospital is mypatient, but they have all disappeared in comparison to this patient, to him
It's selfishly generous, when you think about it: basing your whole existence on the outcome of one man. I'm not suicidal, but I know that if I lose him, part of me will follow. Physically I will function, as an empty vessel just waiting for its engine to expire, putting out smoke until there's no more fuel to separate me from the 'moving world'. I'll just remain deathly-still, in suspended animation, my body finally catching up to my state of mind.
But that's the outcome if he doesn't survive. He's a fighter, he's too stubborn to let Father Time decree when it's proper to exit stage left or if it's still his time to command center stage. And he remains true to his cryptic self, not letting me or any of the staff know when he'll decide it's time to come back to the conscious world.
So I wait. I sit patiently, and wait for him, something no one else is willing to do. I know Stacy is on her way out, I can see it reflected in her eyes. I can see the whole scenario played out as her mind's eye goes through the actions and reactions. So now it's down to Wilson and I, standing proud by his side.
Wilson joins me in his room some times, and we sit and discuss moments shared, anecdotes and hopes. We laugh about the antics made legend by him, and embarrassments that I mostly experienced, having been guilty of falling prey to such shenanigans. We know that no sincerity is present: his situation laying heavily on both our hearts. I smile, I chuckle and when Wilson leaves, I cry.
In his coma, I know that he can feel me crying and I know that if...no that when he pulls out, he'll tease me senselessly about it. About how the scary Dean of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital actually has a heart. I do have a heart, but what he doesn't know is, he has one hand on it.
I want him to tease me again, I want him to make me so angry that I can't see straight, I want him to make me smile again. I want him to make me feel alive again and he can only do that with his presence.
My guilt will be my downfall, I can feel it destroying me from the inside out, measure by measure. The reality of the situation still haunts me, knowing that he was clinically dead for over a minute. My ears had blocked out all sounds of the nurses and doctors that meandered about, all the panic and shouting...everything except my heartbeat not being in sync with his. As the heart monitor's wail turned into a single constant beep, I felt my heart slow down despite the adrenaline-driven moment. Paddles in hand, with all my might, I begged him silently to return to me.
And he did. He came back. Deep down, I'd like to believe it was for me, but Greg is a stubborn bastard who probably only did it to prove the heart monitor wrong.
And I wait for him. I remain hoping for his sake while ignoring the demons in my mind, the torturous thoughts blaming me for the pain he will suffer, both body and mind. Stacy knows I know of her departure, her intent still not clear. And I want to call her out, knowing that she's aware of the damage she'll be causing the man she supposedly loves. How can someone hurt someone they love?
But I'll be there, waiting for him. Patience my only refuge at the moment, as my hand grips his, refusing to let go. My thumb remains glued to his wrist, feeling the shallow pulse - my second comfort.
This is my ritual every day, for weeks on end. I've lost count of the days, of the hours, of the minutes...of the seconds I wish to see his blues again. My paper work is piling but I don't care. For once in my life, I've stepped out of my role as Dean of Medicine, for once in my life I've put my career on hold - the one thing that has been a safe constant in my existence.
I see him blink with closed eyes, mouth twitching slightly. I look down, but his hand doesn't respond to the pressure I keep there, the one that keeps reminding me of his existence and my own. His pulse is a little stronger, but I don't need the heart monitor to tell me that. I can feel it, influencing my own and breathing life into my own veins.
His eyes flutter open, squinting and looking at me through a blank stare. And I smile again, the feeling new and foreign.
"Wait for me..."
His voice is hoarse, and muted, but my ears still pick up on it with crystal clear accuracy. I nod as his eyes begin to close again, giving his hand a squeeze to which, this time, he actually responds, offering some strength back.