"Gods and Monsters" takes place between 'What Is And What Should Never Be' and 'All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One.'
All canon characters gratefully borrowed from Kripke et al.
The rating is for language, adult themes and moderate violence. Much kudos to my good friend and Beta, Lillehafrue.
The glass double doors all but contained the chaos erupting beyond them and concealed the noise of the busy emergency department. Outside in the ambulance bay the night was cold, damp and deceptively quiet. The city had long since put its daylight workers to bed and would normally have wound down into uneventful calm as soon as the sun sank under the horizon. But tonight the Brewers had wiped the astroturf with what remained of the Twins and the locals were nursing their wounded pride in bars throughout the city. And hence the broken noses and fractured hands that suddenly came flooding into the ER, bleeding onto the beige floor and impatiently demanding attention.
Evelyn folded her arms across her chest and shuddered as her breaths clouded in front of her face. She tucked her gloved hands under her arms and rocked on her heels, trying to keep warm and reminding herself that shivering out here was a vast improvement on remaining within the battle zone that had developed within the department.
Sudden shouts and groans erupted into the bay and she turned, watching the doors sliding open and smiling as one of the nurses made her rapid escape and jogged away from the entrance.
Evelyn's smile grew and she gave a brief nod in agreement.
"I'll never complain again about it being quiet!" The young nurse ventured in amusement, raising her latex-wrapped hands in emphasis. "Ever!"
Evelyn laughed gently and quickly glanced at the nurse's ID tag to read the name of the new team member. Sure they had been introduced, Evelyn felt a pang of guilt at not remembering and shrugged her shoulders slightly. "So, you're the one who jinxed us, huh, Bev?"
"Guilty." Bev's flushed cheeks creased as her smile widened and she sighed an apology. Mirroring Evelyn's pose to try and combat the chill of the air, she instinctively stepped closer to the relative shelter of the older woman and together they turned towards the approaching sirens.
Bev's smile fell from her face and she took a deep breath as she began to recite her immediate trauma management algorithms in her head and saw the first flickers of blue strobes on the buildings along the street from the hospital.
The high-pitched rhythm of the two-tones drew rapidly closer and Evelyn could feel her pulse stepping up a gear as she anticipated the imminent arrival of the bus. She took a step further away from the hospital and unfolded her arms as the ambulance turned the far corner of the street and skidded into view. Watching the approaching bus, she was aware of the junior nurse quietly reciting protocol and it made her smile fondly as she recalled her first few days in the department many years previously.
Evelyn quickly glanced at Bev and opened her mouth to offer gentle reassurance. It was then that the truck flew into the ambulance bay and screeched to a halt mere inches from the two of them.
Instinctively grabbing Evelyn's arm, Bev yanked the doctor away from the skidding truck and almost sent them both stumbling to the ground. Somehow keeping her balance and maintaining a tight grip on Evelyn's coat sleeve, Bev stared at the pick-up in horror and hardly dared breathe.
Evelyn patted Bev's fingers in gratitude and frowned in concern as she saw the driver's door flung open in a panic. A somewhat scruffy, mid-forties man scrambled from his seat and hurried to the passenger door, grabbing the handle and glancing towards her.
Nodding slowly and edging forward, aware of Bev following closely, Evelyn stepped closer to peer inside the cab and saw the slumped form being cradled on the wide front seat. Seeing the ambulance pull into the bay and steer around the still rumbling pick-up, Evelyn decided the paramedics would be more than capable of transferring their own patient and she spun to Bev.
"I'll get a gurney." Bev acknowledged, guessing Evelyn's thoughts and heading back towards the ER entrance.
Turning back, Evelyn saw the man had grabbed the boy's legs and was beginning to drag the seemingly lifeless body from the truck and she hurried forward. "Wait!"
"Please! He's been shot!" The man urged, almost angrily. "You have to help him!"
Beneath the shadow of his grubby baseball cap, Evelyn met terrified eyes brimming with tears. She nodded and eased past him, stepping up onto the plate and gripping the door rim for support as she leaned inside the cab. Blood soaked the shirt of the perhaps twenty-something boy and glistened on the leather seat, dark clots forming where the bright liquid had gathered. Grasping the hem of the sodden shirt and pulling it aside, Evelyn saw the entry wound a short distance above and to the right of his navel.
As if seeming to register Evelyn's presence for the first time, the woman cradling the boy's shoulders gasped and looked up at her. "Oh god. Please. Help him."
"We will, ma'am." Evelyn assured calmly. Getting her balance as she peered underneath the casualty, she saw the evidence of an exit wound in his back and placed her free hand against the boy's neck. Calculating rate and rhythm, Evelyn sighed and glanced out through the front windshield to see Bev and another nurse running out from the hospital, a gurney guided between them.
"Oh god, no!" The woman began to roll the limp form towards her, her composure long gone and her painful sobs shaking the car and its occupants. "We're too late!"
"No!" Evelyn urged quickly, reaching up to simultaneously give a brief pat of reassurance on the woman's arm and also carefully retrieve the patient from her grasp. "Come on. We need to get him inside." She paused briefly, waiting for the woman to relinquish her hold, and her heart sank as she then saw an unmistakable desperation and grief in the woman's bloodshot hazel eyes. Evelyn took a deep breath and then nodded slowly, trying to convey understanding and assurance. "Please, ma'am." She offered softly, "Let me take a look at your son."
At Evelyn's words, the woman closed her eyes and hung her head, releasing her tight grasp and letting the seemingly lifeless body roll from her. Supporting his neck and calling out instructions to ensure the careful removal of the casualty from the truck, Evelyn retreated alongside him and gave the elder man a brief smile before then hurrying after the trauma team into the ER.
As the doors slid closed, the emergency arrivals bay was suddenly still and silent. The open doors of both the truck and the ambulance hung wide, the vehicles suddenly empty and waiting close to the hospital as if in hope of some news of their former passengers. Much like the man who stood before the closed department doors and stared in stunned stupor at the people within.
And then something stirred him. Wiping a hand over his face and shaking his head in dismay, he turned and ambled slowly back towards the still running pick-up.
"One of us oughta go in there." He offered quietly, leaning on the edge of the door and peering inside. "And we oughta move the truck." Watching the silent passenger slumped in the seat make no response, he sighed and closed his eyes.
"What've we done …?"
"Huh?" Jerking his head up swiftly, the peak of his cap nearly catching on the cab roof, he frowned in concern. "Ellen?"
The woman tore her eyes away from her blood-soaked hands and swung her watery gaze slowly across to meet his confusion. "My god, Bobby … what've we done?"