To See if I Still Feel

(A/N: Explanations at the end of the chapter, just a little disclaimer here that I do NOT own Grey's Anatomy or Alex Karev, I do kinda own Claudia Neilson but she is an insignificant character whose name I made up in about two seconds :P PLEASE ENJOY! OH, and title of this chapter taken from that Hurt song by Johnny Cash AND WARNING for bad language whichI'msureyou'reusedtobynow)


Throb. Throb.


Throbbing was the first thing Alex could feel. A horrid, heavy, white-hot throb emanating up his fingers, through his wrists and along his forearms. It really fucking hurt. A lot.

The next, the God-forsaken beep that was shrill and high-pitched next to his left ear. That annoying beep that was too loud, too close and too much of a reminder that hewasstillaliveandhehadfailed.

He could feel the little heart-rate monitor patches on his chest. One was a little far down his ribs, another on his collarbone (although why it was there, on that particular spot sitting right on the bone he would neverknow); they weren't scratchy but they made him itch. They made him itch so badly that he thought his skin would go bright red and positively drip off of him if he didn't remove them.

With his eyes still closed (they must have injected his eyelids with lead), he tried to raise an arm up to his chest to peel off one of the tiny squares.

He could hardly feel any of his fingers (had someone given him local from the elbow down?), but as his hand collided with something smooth and cold, he knew he had missed his target.

A loud crash and the sound of smashing glass scattering across the floor, that just confirmed it. The sound of sloshing water, now that alerted the nurse, who he could hear bustling into the room, as nurses were known to do when it sounded like their patient was re-attempting to die.

"Oh! Mr. Karev!" an overly cheerful voice rang out, stabbing at his eardrums and making him wince, "You're awake! Now, let me just call someone on up here to clean up this little mess, then I'll have a closer look at you."

He heard the clicking of her heels against the linoleum floor growing quieter as she headed down the hall, and back to the nurses station.

Alex really wanted to open his eyes, now. He'd be damned if he was still lying here like an idiot, not knowing who was who and all that when the nurse, and most likely, a bunch of cleaners returned. 'Okay,' he thought, 'on three: one, two…'

Somehow, he managed to crack one eyelid open. The sensation was absolutely excruciating. Okay, maybe not that bad, but the light stabbed at his pupil like a million tiny knives. Alex found, however, that with each bleary blink, the number of knives decreased. This was a good thing.

So he lay there for a little while, blinking his teary eyes in an attempt just to see, and to make sense of his surroundings and what the hell he was still doing there, breathing, blinking…living.

Finally, he went to clear his throat.

He paused.


A large tube had been inserted into his mouth.


It's funny how there are actually quite a lot of things that you don't feel until you see them. For Alex, seeing that tube resting on his chest allowed him to feel the tape over his lips, the scratchiness in the back of his throat and the heaviness as it rested on the blanket on top of him. It did make him slightly uncomfortable, but not unbearably so.

Well…either he could feel it because he sawit or the local was wearing off.

Alex knew what the tube meant. He'd been intubated as his body couldn't breathe on its own. Funny how lungs react to freezing cold water being breathed into them for a few hours straight.

He guessed, at worst, a mild case of pneumonia. He didn't think it'd be that serious, so maybe just a slight chest infection like bronchitis. Nothing to worry about, and certainly nothing that couldn't be fixed in what he guessed would be a anything but a short stay in the hospital.

All of this musing allowed the nurse to slip in unnoticed, accompanied by a burly looking man holding a mop.

"Hel-lo! It's so good to see your eyes open and looking about!" With each exaggerated, high-pitched word, she tapped Alex with the hand that had come to rest on his right shin. Alex watched as she tilted her head down towards the mess on the floor, and the cleaner set to work cleaning up the remains of the water jug. The nurse walked over to the machine next to Alex's bed, grabbing the clipboard from under her arm as she walked.

"Now, Alex," she said, smiling sweetly and looking down into his eyes as she opened his charts, and plucked a pen from the pocket on the front of her blouse, "My name is Claudia Neilson. I'll be your nurse during your little stay here with us!" She was positively dripping with happiness and mirth as she looked up and copied some numbers from his IV and heart monitor machines onto his charts. Alex thought he was going to explode. Surely so much positivitywas too much for one single person to handle alone?

"I'm sure you've noticed that you have a big old tube stuffed down your throat!" Claudia laughed, and motioned down towards the tube trailing out of his mouth and down his chest. "That's just a bit of a precaution, now Alex. I wouldn't be too worried about it, okay? If it really bothers you, though, you just press that button and we'll see what we can arrange!"

Alex squinted and tried to pull of a shrug, putting all of his energy into his eyes and trying to get Claudia to understand that he wanted to know whyhehadthisstupidthingshoveddownhisthroat. She pursed her lips. Good!Sheseemedtounderstand!ThankbloodyGod!

"Like I said, Alex, it's just a precaution. You've developed a little bit of pneumonia from the cold water we found you in, but I cannot stress enough you shouldn't worry about it! Just lie there, relax and focus on getting better!" She gently tapped him on the shoulder, snapped the clipboard shut and started walking towards the door.

"Don't be afraid to push the nurses button if you needanything Alex, I'll be right on in."

And with that, Claudia Neilson was finally gone. Alex sighed internally, suddenly tired after dealing with the noisy ball of positive energy that was his nurse.

As his eyes became too heavy to hold open anymore and he allowed them to close, Alex's thoughts suddenly diverted to her. He wondered where she was, and what she was doing. He focused on the blonde hair, her blue eyes and that voice that seemed to make him feel alive.

He could've sworn he heard her before; now it was just a matter of waiting for her to return. He hoped she would. He didn't understand whyshe would (whothehellwouldwanttocomeandseeadeadbeatloserlikeyou?) but he knew it was just a matter of time before he would have a hell of a lot of explaining to do.


I am not really happy with the ending of this one. I'm getting a bit tired and I kinda rushed it so I could get along to bed. But, if I feel like editing and making it better later, I think I will.

I suppose I should apologise for taking so long for this chapter. I don't really have any good excuses to give, apart from life just getting in the way of my writing. I'm studying full-time, competing in my sport and an international level full-time, and when I'm having some down time I loveeeee sleep! As good as sleep is, it's not a productive writing environment :P

BUT A GOOD NOTE: My mum has been waiting for a kidney transplant for 8 ½ years – she got a transplant exactly a week ago! She's being discharged from the hospital tomorrow (which is good, because it's 3 ½ hours away and I can't see her ) and she has to live with my aunt and uncle for a few days, as they live close to the hospital and if anything goes wrong she can go back straight away so the kidney isn't a waste. Anyway, she should be home after the weekend…sooooooooooooooo excited! :D As personal as this, she is actually peeing for the first time in 6 ½ years, which she is stoked about haha And she can finally drink fluids again! Woo hoo!

Enough of my excitement, please, if you are not too annoyed at me taking so long (I get so frustrated at authors that seem to abandon their work, and here I am being a complete hypocrite!) review I love everyone that has reviewed so far, you guys are just so nice! I hope this lived up to expectations