Placed a few months after the season 6 finale. You'll know what's going on soon enough.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Of course, if I did, Crossing Jordan wouldn't have been cancelled! …What a shame. --
Thanks to a good friend of mine for listening to me complain about the cancellation, and then pushing me to write something for the best show ever. You know who you are, and, as always, this is for you.
Thick case file balanced in one hand, Woody knocked on the big red door of Jordan's apartment. A few papers threatened to fall, and he quickly grabbed them and shoved them back. After a moment with no answer, he knocked again. She was there. He knew she was there. He had just talked to her on the phone. "Jordan?" Still no answer.
He reached forward to knock again, and this time the whole file fell. Papers scattered everywhere as Woody scrambled to gather them all back up. "Jordan, I could use some help here!" He looked up at the door when there was still no acknowledgement from inside. The papers in his hand drifted back to the floor, forgotten, as he stood and reached for the doorknob. The door opened easily and he peered inside. Nothing seemed out of place. "Jordan?" And then he saw her.
"Oh, God! Jordan!"
She was lying facedown on the floor in her bedroom, a phone clutched loosely in her limp hand. Woody rushed to her, his hand immediately going to her neck to find a pulse. It was there, and way too fast for comfort. The muscles in her back were tense, twitching every few seconds. She'd had a seizure. Another one.
"Hey, Jordan, look at me," Woody muttered, almost incoherent with worry. "Look at me!" He pushed an arm gently under her abdomen and roller her over, resting her head in his lap as he fell to the floor beside her.
"Woody…" she mumbled, her eyes trying to open. "My head…it hurts…" Tears leaked from under her lids. Probably from the pain, he mused grimly.
"Shh," he quieted, cradling her body against his. He leaned forward and took the phone from where it had fallen when he turned her. "I'm going to call an ambulance."
"No…no, don't…" Her voice was pleading, frightened. "No hospitals."
"Then what do you want me to do?" He watched her, sick with fear. What if she was dying? After everything they had been through in the last few months, everything he hadn't told her yet…he wasn't ready to just give her up. Not even close.
"Bed," she gasped. "Get me to the bed."
Obediently, Woody scooped her up, careful to watch her head. But as soon as he was able to get to his feet, Jordan's breath caught in her throat and she sputtered violently. "Bed my ass," he spat, angry and frustrated with what was happening. "I'm taking you to the hospital." His worry tripled when she didn't argue again.
The ground seemed to fly beneath him as he all but ran from the building; the papers and file outside the door were completely forgotten. He had miraculously left his car unlocked – as he sometimes did – and somehow got the door to the rear open. With all the care he could manage, he crawled inside and placed her gently on the seats where she could lie comfortably. As he was pulling away to get in front, Jordan's hand shot out and grabbed his own. Surprised at the surge of strength, he glanced back at her. Her eyes were clenched shut is obvious pain, but she cracked them open and gave him a momentary smile. He reached over to cup her cheek in his palm. "You'll be okay."
And then he jerked into motion, pulling away from her and running around to the front of the car. Tires squealed as he slammed his foot on the accelerator. A blue flasher was on the top of the car before he was even on the road. The only two thoughts racing through his mind were save Jordan, get her help, save Jordan, get her help. It was a miracle in and of itself that he was able to get them to the hospital in one piece. He pulled up to the curb by the emergency room and didn't even bother turning off the car before he was out and pulling Jordan back into his arms.
"I need some help here!" he yelled as soon as the first set of automatic doors opened.
A blonde nurse he vaguely recognized ran over to him, her eyes wide. "What happened?"
"She had a seizure and she says her head hurts." When the nurse didn't move fast enough, he snapped. "Aren't you going to do something!? Call her doctor! Now!"
"H-her doctor, sir? Does she have a preexisting condition?" The woman puttered back to the check-in counter and picked up a paging phone, almost afraid of his rage.
"A meningioma. Now call the damn doctor!"
As she did that, a team of nurses came forward, pushing a stretcher with startlingly white sheets. "We'll take it from here, sir," one of them said, his tone almost bored. Two others walked over to Woody and tried to take Jordan from his arms. He resisted at first, but decided not to fight it. They got Jordan on the stretcher and pushed it back to the big swinging doors with a big red 'staff only' banner spread over both.
Woody took a few steps to follow, but a large male nurse came around and put a hand on his chest. Seeing the futility of his situation, he called, "You'll be okay, Jordan! I'll be waiting right here!" He stumbled backward, his eyes wide and lost. "Right here…"
The male nurse directed him over to the bank of chairs in the corner, motioning for him to take a seat and wait. Woody decided against the chairs and walked slowly back to his car, which was still running at the curb. He closed the back door and slid into the driver's seat, resting his hands on the wheel. The thought crossed his mind to call the others, but he pushed it aside for the time being. Instead, he backed the car away from the curb and found a legal place to park.
By the time he returned to the waiting room, the blonde nurse was gone; the male nurse had taken her place at the desk. The man glanced up at Woody's entrance and caught his eye, only to shake his head. Suddenly the chairs seemed very inviting, and without a second thought, Woody dropped himself into one in the corner and closed his eyes.
"I saw you come in," a light voice said after a moment, startling him. He opened his eyes and looked around. It was a young woman, no older than twenty, sitting across from him. "Is she your wife?"
"Oh, uh – no. She's…she's…" He fumbled for words, not sure what to say. "She's not my wife." Yet, he thought to himself.
"You two seemed quite close," the woman said softly, soothingly. Her voice ran over him like liquid silver as she gazed at him with pale green eyes.
Woody mulled over the statement, not sure what she was getting at. "How could you tell?"
"The way you were holding her." She leaned back in her chair, folding her thin arms across her chest. "And how upset you were. How upset you still are." She gave him a small smile. "What's her name?"
"Ah, yes." She let her head fall back as her eyes closed. "The River Jordan. Such a strong name. Gives a person hope. She helps people, doesn't she?"
Woody hesitated. The woman was strange, in a mentally-not-all-there kind of way, and he was slightly wary of what she might do. But after a moment's consideration, he continued the conversation. "Yeah, she does."
Those green eyes settled on him once more, stringy black hair that must have been lovely at one point falling into her face. "She's pretty. A lady that pretty needs a prince. Are you a prince?"
He avoided her gaze, swallowing around his discomfort. No one was paying the woman any attention, so she probably wasn't dangerous. And besides, he told himself, I can defend myself it I have to. "I'm a detective. Does that count as a prince?"
She smiled and leaned forward, her tongue sneaking out to wet her lips. A faint rosy smell drifted about her. "Do you help people, too?"
"I-I certainly try."
"Then you are a prince."
Woody glanced around, not sure what to say to that. "What's your name?"
"Selena." She put a hand to the side of her head, giving him another crooked smile as she tugged at her hair. She was able to tease a loose curl into a few strands.
"Why are you here, Selena?" The detective in him couldn't help but assume that something more was going on, and it was unsettling.
"I'm here to wait for someone. I'm going to take her home." The smile was still easy on her face. "I'm going to save her."
"Who?" She just kept grinning at him, her eyes sparkling with an oddly placid light. "Who are you going to save? Who are you going to take home?"
Woody stared, his heart suddenly pounding in his chest. "Wh-"
"Detective?" It was the nurse from the counter. "Doctor Cavanaugh has been moved to a private room. Come with me; she's asking for you."
He leapt from the chair, Selena nearly forgotten. "Is she okay? She's not in surgery?" The thought of Jordan back on the operating table, her skull open and her brain under a knife sat ill in his stomach. But she wasn't, and that was what was important. Right?
The nurse handed him a chart, knowing that the detective probably wouldn't understand a word. "No surgery was needed," he supplied, not in a rush to be helpful in the least. "Now please, follow me."
Woody complied, his heart pounding once more. As the male nurse led him away from the waiting room, he threw a glance over his shoulder to find Selena. To say goodbye, or maybe to thank her. But she was gone. Her strange green eyes flashed through his memory, only to be pushed away as Jordan came to the forefront. "This is the room," the nurse said abruptly, stopping in the middle of the hallway to point to his left.
"Um, thanks," Woody muttered, not sparing him another look as he opened the door and let himself in. Jordan was lying on the bed, a sheet pulled up over her stomach. She was gazing listlessly out the window into the darkness outside, seeming to be lost in thought. Her hair was dark against the white of the pillow, but her skin was pale. Paler than it should have been.
"Hey," he said softly, closing the door behind him and dropping the medical file on a table. Jordan slowly turned her head to look at him, a thin smile tugging at her lips.
"I thought I said no hospitals."
"Yeah, well, considering the conditions," he paused, relief filling his body, "I think you're full of crap."
Jordan gave a hoarse laugh. "Thank you so much for your support."
Woody walked over to the bed and sat down beside her. "God, Jordan…" He grasped her hand in his, afraid to let go. "You scared the hell out of me. I thought - " She cut him off mid-sentence, knowing what he was going to say.
"I'm not dying. Or at least not right now." The smile returned to her face as she settled her bright eyes on him.
He shook his head and pulled her hand to his mouth to place a soft kiss on her knuckles. His lips lingered against her skin for a moment before he lowered her hand back to the mattress. "What did your doctor say?"
Jordan sighed, turned her head away again. "A bunch of medical jargon is what."
"Seriously." She was silent. Woody put a hand on her cheek, forcing her to meet his eyes. "What did the doctor say?"
"My medication isn't working." He could hear her voice catch. "They started me on something new, but there's a chance it won't work either. Body builds up a tolerance, you know?" She tried to chuckle, but it came out as a choked sob.
"Jordan - "
"There aren't many medications out there for this, Woody. What if this one really doesn't work?" Her eyes were genuinely frightened as they focused on his again. That fear bore into him, striking him at the very core of his body. It was a fear of death, a fear of the unknown. She worked with death every day, but she had never been forced to face her own mortality in so unforgiving a manner.
"Then we deal with it when it happens. If it happens." He put his hand back on her cheek, wiping away a stray tear as it fell from her eye. "I mean, I'm not a doctor, but I'll be there for you. You're never gonna be alone again. You can fight this," he told her sternly. "And I'll help you in any way that I possibly can. I'll – I'll even move in with you. If you want," he added nervously, unsure of her reaction.
"Woody, I don't - "
"Don't need a babysitter. I know." He fumbled for the right words. "I just want to be with you. All the time. To help you if you need it, but mostly just to be with you. Because…because I love you, too, and we've been apart for way too long. I don't want to waste any more time."
Jordan just looked at him, the fear slowly bleeding from her veins. "How long?" she finally asked, quirking an eyebrow.
"How-how long? How long what? I mean, I don't have to stay long. I don't even have to move in to begin with. Unless you want me to. But if you don't want me to, I won't. But I kinda - "
"Woody." She reached up with her free hand and put a slender finger over his lips, stopping the mad rush of words. "You talk too much. How long…would it take you to move in?"
"Oh, uh…I could do it this weekend. Sunday?" His head swam, disbelief momentarily clouding his vision as he took her hand and moved it from his mouth.
"Sunday is good." She removed her hand from his again and slid it behind his neck, gently tugging him down. With great effort, she raised herself slightly from the bed, ignoring the IV in her forearm as she pressed her lips to his. Woody wrapped his arms around her, disentangling his fingers from her other hand so he could support her fully. Her mouth was soft and welcoming, and very warm. He could feel her eyelashes against his skin; it was the most amazing feeling.
Jordan pulled away a few seconds later, faint realization spreading across her face. "You called them!" she accused suddenly. "You called them, didn't you?"
"What?" Woody furrowed his eyebrows, confused, before he picked up on what she was talking about. "Oh! Oh, no, I actually didn't." He looked away sheepishly. "I…wanted your permission before I called anyone. I know how you get sometimes, and I didn't want you to get angry."
She smirked at him. "You know how I get? What's that supposed to mean?"
"That you're feisty - " he kissed the skin under her ear, "and quick to annoyance -" he moved his lips down her jaw, "and absolutely gorgeous." He kissed her mouth then, unable to get enough.
She pushed him away again. "Those three things are completely unrelated."
"What's your point?"
Jordan ran one of her hands through his hair and over his neck. "I guess I don't have one."
Instead of kissing her again, Woody lowered himself to the bed, situating himself so he was behind her. She sighed and leaned back against him, careful not to aggravate the tubes attached to her arms. "If we weren't in a hospital, this would be nice," he whispered into her ear, letting his breath tickle the dark curls that now hung down into his face. He wrapped his arms securely around her waist, taking small pleasure from the fact that she was actually allowing him to do so.
"You'll be okay, Jordan," he murmured. "You and I can fight anything, and we'll fight this."
"I really hate to burst your happy little bubble, but I don't know if that will be enough." She shuddered against him, both from the chill of the room and from that old fear as it crept back up on her. "It's gonna kill me, Woody. Unless I die from something else first, that is. I-I have a few years, sure, but it's going to win eventually. I just…"
Woody reached for the blanket at the foot of the bed and pulled it up over her to help stave off her shivering. "Just what?"
He felt her stiffen. "I just don't want it to hurt." That was all she could get out before her lungs heaved with sobs. "But I know it probably will." Tears poured down her cheeks as she turned her face into his chest, seeking comfort. "I know what to expect, and that only makes it worse. What happened today…it was only a glimpse of how bad this could get."
Woody wiped her cheeks with the back of his hand. "Shh," he soothed, holding her closer and running his fingers over her hair. "I know you're afraid. I am too. But worrying about it now won't solve anything." Her hair was chilly under his hand, but he kept stroking, trying to fill her whole body with warmth just from his touch. "You told me up on that mountain that you want to go to Africa. So let's go. Let's go on a safari. Let's see the sun rise over the Sahara. We can go in November. Escape the Boston cold." He smiled even though she couldn't see. "It'll be fun."
"The moon," she mumbled against his chest.
"Huh?" He glanced down at her, not understanding what she wanted.
"I wanna see the moon over the desert." She swallowed around the large lump still in her throat. "I wanna feel like Artemis. Or Selene."
"Selene. You seem more like a Selene than an Artemis." Woody's hand stilled as he remembered the woman in the waiting room. "Selene is a goddess, right?"
Jordan chuckled half-heartedly. "Yeah, Woody. She's a goddess."
"What do you know about her?" he asked, his interest spiked now.
"Why do you wanna know?" she questioned sardonically.
"Humor me," he begged, kissing the top of her head. "I'm just curious."
Jordan smirked again. "Okay then. She's a moon goddess, obviously. Stories say she had an affair with a human and birthed fifty daughters. But, since the man was mortal, he was destined to age and die. Selene, very much in love, cast a spell on him so he would simply sleep forever instead of actually dying. Rather sad, really."
"Why didn't she give him eternal life?" he wondered aloud, his hand moving along her hair again as she spoke.
"She was smart, see," Jordan explained, her voice growing thick with exhaustion. "She knew that giving him eternal life would ultimately turn into something bad. You never ask for eternal life; there are always strings attached."
"What else do you know about her?" Woody closed his eyes, hoping he wasn't pushing her too hard. Even though she was just telling a story, it had been a very upsetting day for her.
"I have no idea why you're asking me these things," she mumbled stubbornly. "But I guess if it'll stop you from telling me any more cheesy clichés, I'll do it." Woody couldn't help but grin at that. Jordan was her normal self again, and that spoke wonders. "She's the goddess of the full moon, and has influences in medicine and long, healthy life. And some myths say she smells like white roses. That's really all I know."
"Impressive," he whispered. "Where did you learn all that?"
"Books," was her simple reply. "I used to read a lot when I was younger."
A comfortable silence fell over them. Woody looked for the button marked 'lights' on the side of the bed and pressed it, sending them into that semi hospital darkness. Unbidden, a brief image of Selena, the woman from the waiting room, flashed through his memory. He mentally shook it away. Too much of a coincidence, he told himself. I'm sure it didn't mean a thing. His hand resumed its job of stroking Jordan's hair, and he realized with a small start that she was already fast asleep.
"Oh, Jordan," he sighed. "I love you. You know I do." She made no response, but he didn't expect her to. He leaned his head down against hers, not caring that he would most likely wake up with a sore neck in the morning. As long as he was there with her, he didn't care about anything else in the world.
The full moon outside cast its silvery rays over the slumbering couple, as though Selene herself was blessing them with all she could.