A blonde nurse with kind eyes had directed Annabeth to a waiting area, telling her that someone would be out to tell her how Rebecca was doing. They'd taken her into theater, but couldn't tell her how long it might be, or how badly she'd been hurt. Considering the accident had almost killed Annabeth, she could only hope that her mortal friend was much better off than she'd been.
She winced a little, feeling the pain of her insides still knitting together, putting a hand against the wall as a wave of dizziness washed across her. Being shot, it turned out, was much more pleasant than half a building collapsing onto you. Something had alerted her at the building site, and in a split second that had seemed to last an eternity, she'd been pushing Rebecca out of the way, taking the brunt of the collapse. It hadn't quite killed her, and she shuddered remembering pulling herself off the steel reebar that had impaled her. Thankfully, she'd managed to free herself before the rescue crew had reached them, or this life would be over and it would be time to move on. Annabeth wasn't quite ready for that just yet.
A few more hours passed, and she'd made all the required calls: to Rebecca's husband Stephen, back home in Toronto, telling him about his wife's accident. To Annabeth's dinner date, making her apologies. And to her hotel, to have the concierge send over some clothes that weren't covered in blood. Now, she was pacing in nervous tension, waiting for news about her business partner, and friend, hearing the crack of concrete, seeing the steel beam falling towards them over and over again.
Closing her eyes, she took a calming breath. Rebecca would be fine. She had to be. Then her stomach dropped with a sickening lurch as the presence of another immortal washed over her. Not here, not now -- she wasn't in any state to fight.
Maybe an unknown immortal intent on taking her head wasn't the worst option after all, she thought with more than a trace of bitterness. Of course they'd end up at I his /I hospital.
Opening her eyes, she turned to the voice, steeling herself. "Adam… Sorry, Daniel," she corrected. It had been nearly a year since their chance meeting in a London hotel lobby, a meeting that she'd done her best to forget in the intervening months. Nothing good could come from dwelling on the past. Pushing back her personal feelings for what was her primary concern, she asked, "Were you Rebecca's surgeon?" He nodded. "How is she?" She searched his face for some clue.
He was all composed professionalism. "It was touch and go, and she's still not out of the woods, but she's young and strong. I think she has a good chance."
Nodding, she pressed her hands together. "And the baby?"
He shook his head. "I'm sorry, there was too much damage."
She swallowed hard, fighting back the tears. Her little goddaughter to be. Silently, she said a prayer, consigning her soul to heaven. "I'll need to tell her," she said faintly.
"No, I'll do that," he said softly, his voice full of empathy. Now he stood right in front of her, his hands coming to rest against her arms. "How are you doing, Annabeth?"
Shaking her head sharply, she shivered in his gentle grasp.
"Annabeth," he prompted.
"Other than my insides feeling like a cocktail stirred with a reebar swizzle stick, I'm just dandy!" she snapped, instantly feeling remorse for her harshness. "I'm sorry—"
He shushed her. "Shhh, it's okay." His hand slipped down to her wrist, feeling her pulse."
"Isn't that a little pointless, considering?" she asked with a quirk of her brow.
"Not at all actually," he replied with a grin. "How much of that blood you're covered in is yours?"
She looked down at herself ruefully, then back up at him. "Probably the majority of it," she admitted.
"Reebar swizzle sticks not withstanding, massive blood loss takes the longest to recover from for one of us. Any dizziness?" His lips twisted with grim amusement as she nodded. "You need to be careful. If you faint, I won't be able to keep my minions from swooping down on you."
"Oh yes, one in particular. Ferreting out gossip and secrets is her specialty, even over surgery."
Laughing despite herself, she told him, "I'll be careful."
"Good girl." His fingers briefly brushed across her cheek, before he stepped back, catching the attention of a young redheaded nurse that was passing by. "Maria, could you please get Miss Avery a cup of coffee? Black, three sugars," he instructed.
The girl nodded enthusiastically. "Right away, Mr. Clifford."
"And find Dr. Young and tell her I'd like to see her as soon as possible."
"Yeah, sure!" She hurried off to carry out his instructions.
"One of your minions?" Annabeth swayed a little and she pressed her fists against her eyelids, fighting back a wave of exhaustion.
"More like a minionette." Taking her hand, he drew her back to the chairs that lined the wall. "I want you to sit here for a bit and get some of your strength back. I need to check on Rebecca, and then I'll be back to give you an update, okay?"
Sinking into the chair, she just nodded, not really having the will to argue with him, knowing he was right. "I won't move, promise."