Chapter 1: Who and What
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Yes another new story! I'd like to dedicate this one to onetreefan for asking me to update "Spellbound" because like the sporadic writer that I am, I created this LOL. So onetreefan, I owe you one chapter of "Spellbound" and a huge apology for not being able to stay on task. Also I go away for vacation on Monday, so don't expect an update on this or any of my other stories for a while. Aren't I evil?
The first thing he was aware of was the bright flashing red and blue lights. Where was he? A woman sat beside him. He saw tears in her eyes. When she saw that he was awake the tears began to fall. He studied her face and wondered who she was. She was obviously worried about him. Was she his wife?
He was being loaded into the back of an ambulance. The unknown woman remained by his side the whole time. He wished he knew who she was. She held his hand and whispered to him "It's gonna be okay Elliot," Was that his name? He wasn't sure. He wished he could remember. "Just hold on," she was pleading with him.
He still had no idea who she was but she looked so sad. He could see the deep compassion and concern in her brown eyes. He squeezed her hand and flashed a tiny smile to reassure her. The action succeeded in drawing out her own slight smile as the tears continued to fall.
He suddenly became aware of just how much pain he was in. Ribs, chest and head all ached. He closed his eyes tight. That simple action drew yet another plea from the mystery woman's lips "Elliot, honey, please open your eyes, please look at me?"
She sounded so scared. He forced his eyes open, concentrating on the woman who sat beside him. He squeezed her hand once more. He wished he could remember the name that belonged to that angelic face. He wished he had a clue as to what was going on around him.
The ambulance arrived at the hospital and the doors opened up. The harsh florescent lights forced him to close his eyes as he was wheeled through the halls. The stretcher left the mystery woman behind and he felt suddenly alone. There had been something comforting about her face, something soothing about the sound of her voice.
Doctors had explained his condition to him. Most of what they had said hadn't really registered with him. Only one word stood out in his mind, amnesia. When the doctor had finished explaining everything to him, he asked if there was a woman waiting to see him. He wished he could ask for her by name.
The doctor left the room to check and he was left alone with his thoughts. He closed his eyes and felt the pain killers that they had given him begin to cloud his mind. He tried to fight the sleep that crept over him in a slow wave of peace,
He wasn't sure how long he had been asleep when he began to come back into wakefulness. He blinked once, twice, his eyes attempted to focus for a few seconds and there she was. She looked as though she had been crying and hadn't slept in days. He wondered just how long he'd been in the hospital at this point. He was missing enormous chunks of his life and he hated that feeling. He wished he could remember her name.
"Hey," she smiled softly when she noticed that he was awake. She took the hand that he readily offered to her and held it in both of hers.
"Hey," he returned her smile timidly. His voice was raspy and full of exhaustion and he wondered if he always sounded that way.
"How are you feeling?" she asked gently.
He could tell by the way that she spoke that she didn't want to push him. He wondered if she was afraid of him. He didn't want her to be afraid of him. He wanted to know her name but he felt stupid for having to ask her. He was frustrated that he didn't know anything about this woman, yet he knew that he trusted her "I've been better," he began with a groan "At least," he added somewhat ruefully "I think I have."
She frowned "So you don't remember any of it then?" she questioned.
He nodded "I didn't even remember my own name until…" he trailed off 'Until I heard you calling to me," he finished silently in his mind.
She leaned closer to him and ran a hand down his cheek "I'm glad you're all right," she whispered before rising from her chair.
"Wait, where are you going?" he called out to her. Somehow he just couldn't let her leave. Nothing in his life made sense, nothing except her "Please don't leave?"
She faltered momentarily but didn't turn around "I think…" she began shakily "It isn't right for me to be here if…" she trailed off again. He could tell she was fighting against powerful conflicting emotions. She finally spoke again "I have to go."
"Please stay?" his voice held a note of urgency, desperation and something close to fear. He couldn't let her walk away not when he didn't even know her name. God damn it, why couldn't he remember her name?
She walked back to beside his bed and he grasped her hand almost too tightly at first. She sat beside him, keeping a distance that seemed self imposed. He was almost sure that she wanted to be closer to him at that moment then she was allowing herself to be.
"Thank you," he whispered as he rubbed his thumb over her palm in slow circles.
She was silent for a long time. Finally she spoke, choosing a trivial topic to end the silence "Are you hungry? Should I get the nurse to bring your dinner?"
"I'm not hungry," he answered her question. Somehow he thought at the back of his mind that the food was an avoidance tactic that he shouldn't let her get away with.
"You should probably have something to drink," she said hurriedly, attempting to rise from her chair once more.
"I'm not thirsty," he told her, although he released her hand. He didn't want to force her to stay if she really didn't want to. He watched her turn slightly in the direction of the door "I wish I remembered," he whispered remorsefully.
She turned to face him again. She took a step towards him. She bent down so that her face was near his "I know," she whispered and he could see the moisture gathering in her eyes.
He reached his hand up and caressed her cheek "I wish I remembered you," he whispered as his own tears began to well up.
"No," her voice was choked back by a sob that she wouldn't allow to escape "Its better that you don't," she turned and fled.
He closed his eyes and tried to fall back to sleep. Without her beside him, he would rather be lost in unconsciousness. As he drifted off, he hoped he would see her again. He just wished he knew her name.
"Elliot, call for backup!"
"Shut up you stupid bitch."
"Get away from her!"
"Don't you fucking touch her."
"I'll do what ever I want."
"I hope this bitch was worth dying for."
He woke up breathing heavy. It was still dark outside but he didn't think he would be able to get back to sleep. A nurse came in to check his vital signs and finished quickly with barely two words spoken between them. Once she had left, his thoughts had no choice but to return to the dream. It had only been the words; he couldn't be sure who was speaking. Perhaps that woman was right, maybe he didn't want to know. Dear God, what had happened to him?
He silently watched as the sun came up. Now he wished more than ever that that woman would come back to visit. He needed answers. He didn't know why but something inside him told him that she could give them to him.
"Good morning Mr. Stabler," a smiling nurse carried a tray of food in for him.
He nodded his thanks and the nurse left. He wasn't in the mood for pleasant, meaningless banter. He pushed the unappealing hospital eggs around his plate before ignoring them completely. He picked up the tiny cup of coffee and took a sip. He didn't even know if he liked coffee and after tasting the hospital coffee he doubted it.
The sound of someone softly clearing their throat caused him to look up. He saw her, leaning against the door frame, smiling sheepishly and holding a paper bag in one hand. He smiled when he saw her.
"Can I come in?" she asked nervously.
"Please," he waved her to the seat that she had occupied yesterday.
She entered cautiously, involuntarily grimacing at the hospital breakfast. She opened up the paper bag "Thought you might want some salvation," she gave a quick glance in his direction before turning her gaze to the hospital issue sheets that covered the bed. She handed him a large cup of Starbuck's coffee that she had concealed in the bag and a banana nut muffin.
He smiled politely, unsure that he would like these things but this woman seemed to know him pretty well and he trusted her. He only wished he knew her name "Thanks," he placed a hand on her forearm. She sat with him while he ate the breakfast that she had smuggled in for him. When he had finished he took one of her hands in his "It's good to see you again," he told her as he looked deep into her eyes.
She shifted uncomfortably under his gaze "I'm glad," she murmured.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Yeah," she answered far too quickly.
He knew she was lying. He couldn't explain how he knew. He seemed to know the strangest things about this woman but it infuriated him that he couldn't remember her name "Can you help me?" he asked suddenly.
She seemed taken aback "Help how?" she responded to his question with one of her own.
"I can't remember anything," he told her "Its… frightening," he let himself be vulnerable in front of her because he trusted her. He may not have been able to recall her name but he knew that he trusted this woman fully and completely.
"I'm sorry, Elliot," she touched his cheek gently "Your memory should come back on its own. Please don't try to rush it."
"Oh my God," he whispered after the flashback had faded.
"What's wrong," she was quick to ask. She had her hand on the call button "Is something wrong?"
"No, no," he quickly reassured her, covering her hand with his. The truth was, he wasn't sure but he did his best to hide that from her.
She relaxed slightly in her seat before rising "Umm… I should probably get going," she looked at her wrist watch "I'm gonna be late to work."
"Okay," he said hesitantly "Thanks again for breakfast."
"No problem," she answered in a voice that seemed tinged with guilt "It's the least I could do."
"Will you come by this afternoon?" he asked her before she could disappear out the door.
She stopped in her tracks, without turning around she replied "I'll try," and she left.
He listened to her footsteps fade down the hall and sighed. He wished he knew her name but she hadn't offered that information and he wouldn't ask for it. It had taken all he had to ask for help in general. He was being held back by stubborn pride that, although he couldn't remember much else, he remembered very well. She knew him so well. The breakfast she had brought him had been absolutely perfect. If nothing else he now knew that he liked banana nut muffins.
The doctor entered the room, interrupting his revelry "How are you feeling this morning Mr. Stabler?" he asked.
"Pretty good," he answered "When do I get out of here?"
The doctor looked at his notes before answering "Well, your injuries are heeling nicely. The only problem is the amnesia but since the best treatment for that is being in familiar surroundings let's say… tomorrow or the day after."
"Thanks doc," after a bit more conversation and explanation the doctor left the room. Elliot leaned back against his pillow. He hoped that familiar surrounding would indeed make his amnesia go away.
"I hope this bitch was worth dying for."
The words that entered his mind sent a cold chill through his body. What had happened? He couldn't wait to get out of the hospital and find some answers.
I know I've been cranking out the new stories lately but this idea just came to me and I've never written a mystery before. Please review.