Chapter Two: Hospitalized

Grace quickly ran over to her beloved Tedd in half-Jeremy form. With her strength she moved the debris easily.

Elliot looked at Mr Verres "Call 911" he said as he ran over to join Grace in digging out his best friend.

My Verres ran back up the stairs to make the call, while Elliot and Grace continued moving large chunks of rock and pieces of metal. Soon everything was taken off of him, but he laid there not moving an inch. Grace slowly returned to her normal form. She was horrified to see him like this so she shook him a bit.

"Tedd" she said "Tedd wake up"

Tedd didn't answer so she began shaking him harder

"Tedd wake up" she repeated

But there was still no response. The tears started to flow.

"Tedd, please wake up" she pleaded still shaking him "Say something.....please"

He still didn't respond. Grace continued pleading with him to move, but he never did. Soon two men carrying a stretcher arrived.

"Young lady" one said "I'm going to need you to move so I can help him"

"NO" she screamed "He needs me, I won't leave him

Elliot gently gripped Grace by her shoulders and pulled her away so the men could place Tedd on the stretcher. Grace thrashed wildly, trying to break away from Elliot. But he was too strong for her

"Grace" he said harshly "Calm down"

"Let me go" she screamed "Let me go"

"Why" Elliot asked "Tedd's been hurt, Grace""There's nothing that either of us can do"

Grace turned around and looked at Elliot with pure rage in her eyes. But the rage was washed away by her tears as Grace completely fell apart in Elliot's arms, crying uncontrollably.

The ambulance sirens wailed as Tedd was loaded into the back. His father, along with Elliot and Grace, followed closely by car. Elliot was doing his best to calm the frantic shapeshifter, but to no avail. All he could do was hold her tightly as she cried. Soon they arrived at the hospital, only to be forced into the waiting room upon entering. Elliot looked down at Grace, her sobbing had slowed down but the tears were still flowing. He looked over at Tedd's father who had excused himself to another corner of the waiting room to make a phone call. He was sputtering angrily into the phone
"Dammit woman" he said under his breath "For once in your life pick up the phone"

He waited a few seconds, but all he heard was the voicemail message. He began to speak

"I know we've had our differences in the past" he said "But that doesn't matter now""Tedd has been in an accident" "He's in the hospital, and I thought you'd want to know""If you care about him at all, you'll come"

He turned his phone off and began dialing again.

"That must have been Nanase"s mom" Elliot thought. It was no secret that they didn't like each other. While he was lost in thought, Elliot's cell phone rang

"Hello" he said

"Where are you" Ellen asked "Dinner's almost ready"

"I'm at the hospital" Elliot said solemnly "Tedd's been in an accident"

Ellen was shocked "What kind of accident?" she asked "Like a car crash or falling down stairs?"

Elliot lowered the volume of his voice and whispered "An explosion"

Ellen dropped the phone in shock. She quickly picked it back up, her voice shaking "Did you say explosion?"

Elliot sighed in resignation "Yes" he answered

Ellen shook off the feeling of nervousness"I'm coming over" she said. And then she hung up the phone.

Elliot put his cell phone back into his pocket and went back to consoling Grace. As he calmed her, he thought

"I wonder what's going to happen to him"

Across town at the Martial Arts Dojo

Nanase, Justin and the other senior martial artists were training the new students. Nanase was sparring with a 7th grader named Blake. Nanase's superior speed didn't give him any chance to attack, but he still just barely managed to block her barrage of punches and kicks. The second he saw a gap in her defense he attacked and Nanase went down.

"Nice shot" she said rubbing her cheek where she got hit "You filled your hand with ki and smacked me with it". She moved her tongue around inside her mouth "I think you loosened one of my teeth"

She was about to resume sparring when she heard the ringtone from her cellphone go off in her bag
"I'll be right back" she told Blake as she went over to her bag. She pulled out her cellphone and pressed the "talk" button

"Hello" she said

It was Ellen on the other line "Nanase, I'm on my way to the hospital"

"Hospital?" she repeated "What happened"

"Tedd's been in an explosion" Ellen said

Nanase was quiet for a moment but the first silence gave way to light snickers, which in turn gave way to laughter.

"What in the hell are you laughing at?" Ellen shouted

"What you just said" Nanase answered "So Tedd's been in an explosion, what's the big deal? she asked

Ellen was shocked at what she just heard "Nanase, he's your cousin""Don't you care about him at all?" she asked

"Sure I do" Nanase said "I just don't understand why you're so worked up""Things like this have happened to him before"

Ellen was at the point of screaming at her, but decided to use a different approach. "Nanase" she began calmly "Can you tell me what I just told you?"

"Tedd's been in an explosion" she said "So why are you......"

"Hang on" Ellen said interrupting her "Now can you tell me the first thing that I told you?"

Nanase shrugged "You said that you were on your way to the hos....."

Nanase dropped her cellphone, it had just hit her. She had heard what Ellen had said, but apparently she wasn't listening. Tedd was in an explosion, and Ellen was on her way to see him. She immediately felt a wave of guilt at laughing at her cousins expense, especially considering where he was at the moment. The guilt became horror as the words replayed in her mind.

I'm on my way to the hospital

Tedd's been in an explosion

I'm on my way to the hospital

Tedd's been in an explosion
I'm on my way to the hospital

TEDD"S BEEN IN AN EXPLOSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nanase picked up her cellphone and said "I'm on my way"

She ran over to the mat and grabbed Justin "I need a favor" she told him "Can you drive me to the hospital?"

"Why the hospital?" she asked

"Tedd's been hurt" Nanase said "I need to get to the hospital"

A look of alarm appeared on Justins' face "Come on" he said grabbing his bags and heading out the door.

Nanase followed Justin into his car. She began to dial with great speed.

"C'mon Susan" she thought "Pick up"

At Moperville North High School

AAAAAHHHHH-CHOOOOOOOO

A loud sneeze, echoed down the hallway. It came from Catalina Bobcat, the hot-blooded member Susan's Feminist Group. She snorted a bit and wiped her nose on the back of her hand.

"You know" Sarah began "If you don't feel well, you can go home"

"It's fine" Catalina said "A stuffy nose, a couple of sneezes, its no big deal"

"No big deal?" Sarah mimicked "Didn't you put a dent in your locker with one of those sneezes?"

"No" Catalina said and then in a whisper "It wasn't my locker"

Sarah and Catalina were on their way to the club room. As they turned the corner, they stopped when they saw Susan outside the room, on her cellphone.

"I don't get it, what's wrong?" Susan asked

"Who do you think she's talking to?" Sarah asked Catalina as the went back behind the corner

"Let's listen and find out" Catalina said

Susan was obviously cross with whoever it was she was speaking to. Sarah and Catalina listened intently to what Susan was saying.

"I told you I had a meeting with my Feminist Group today" Susan said "I don't want to cancel on them"

Susan listened for the response and asked "What about Tedd?"

Sarah and Catalina looked at each other. How was Tedd was involved? The next thing they heard was a horrified shriek from Susan.

"HE'S BEEN WHAT?!?"

Susan had a strange look on her face, it wasn't fear, and it was anger. It was shock.....and concern.

"OK" she said "I'm on my way"

Susan turned off her cellphone and ran around the corner, only to bump into the two looked at Catalina

"Sorry about this" she said "But something's come up so I'm cancelling the meeting today". She proceeded to grab Sarah "Come on" she said

They ran out to Susan's car "What's wrong" Sarah asked

"Tedd's been in an accident" she said "He's in the hospital"

Sarah quickly jumped into the passenger seat "Let's go" she said

Susan was pulling out when a voice called out "Hey wait up" Susan poked her head out the window to see Catalina running up "I don't know what's going on, but Tedd's my friend too" she said

Susan smiled a bit "Get in" she said sticking her thumb toward the back of the car. Catalina hopped in and they drove off.

Back at the Hospital

Elliot was over at the soda machine, hoping that the illogical refreshment would help him take his mind off the accident. Grace had cried herself near empty and was washing her face in the restroom. As Elliot sat back down, Ellen rushed through the doors up to her brother.

"Sorry I'm late" she gasped breathlessly "How is he?"

"I wish I knew" Elliot said

Ellen looked around "Where's Grace?" she asked

The moment she asked Grace came out of the bathroom, her face soaked with water. Ellen immediately rushed over to comfort her. Elliot sat back down and began chugging down his soda. He threw the bottle away and finished with a satisfied belch. Ellen and Grace sat down beside Elliot and waited. After a few minutes, Justin and Nanase arrived.
"Where is he?" Nanase asked "Is he alright?"

Grace lowered her head in order to obscure her expression, and Ellen threw her a look which read "He's been in an explosion, of course he's not alright"

A few minutes after their arrival, a man in a long white coat approached them.

"Are you Tedd's family?" he asked

"Two of us are" Nanase said pointing to herself and Tedd's father "The rest of us are his friends and his girlfriend"

He introduced himself "I'm Dr Kevarkian"

There were a few gasps and looks of alarm until he said "Not Kevorkian, Kevarkian with an A"

There were sighs of relief "How is my son?" Mr Verres asked

The doctor looked at his clipboard and flipped through the pages "Your son is very lucky" he said "His injuries aren't as bad as they seem""He has a concussion, a broken arm, and a few bruised ribs"

They were beginning to feel better, but the doctor said something very troubling "But there is something I think you should know before you see him"

There were watching him intently "The injury to his head has caused him to fall into a coma"

This hit everyone like a ton of bricks, Tedd was in a coma. Grace asked in a quiet voice

"What's a coma?" she asked

"A coma is a deep, profound state of unconsciousness" the doctor explained "It's like being asleep only the person can't wake up"

Grace didn't like the sound of that "How long will it last?" she asked

"There's no way to tell for sure" the doctor said "Comas generally last a few days to a few weeks""They rarely last more than 2 to 5 weeks but some have lasted as long as long as several years"

They were all completely silent as this information sank in. Hot tears burned Nanase's eyes. She may not have said it out loud, but she did love her cousin. Elliot and Justin had the same look on their face, a mixture of horror and disbelief. Ellen swallowed the lump in her throat, trying to will herself not to cry. Grace spoke up

"Can we go see him now?" she asked
"He's in room 210" the doctor told them

Grace took off like a shot with the others following close behind. Within seconds, they reached Tedd's room. He laid in his bed, unmoving. Bandages were wrapped around his forehead and over one eyes. His arm was in a cast and his abdomen was heavily bandaged. Grace approached the bed and put one hand to his face. His skin was soft, but very cold. She fell on her knees and buried her face in his sheets, not making a sound. Nanase ran out of the room, her hand over her mouth. Ellen ran after her. When she caught up with her, she grabbed her shoulder.

"Where are you going?" Ellen asked "Your cousin is in a coma, you should be in there beside him"

Nanase was crying silently, she managed to choke out an answer "I can't" she said "I can't face him like this"

Ellen let go of her as she continued "I....I laughed at him""He's in a coma, he could die.....and I laughed at him""I'm so ashamed"

Ellen locked Nanase in tight hug. "He's gonna be ok" Ellen said "Tedd's stronger that you think"

Ellen pulled away to look Nanase in her tear-filled eyes "Back when I was still a part of Elliot, I.....he learned something""When he learned to sense Ki, he started reading the energy of people at school""Believe it or not, Tedd has just as much Ki as you do so he'll heal fast""Tedd is strong, and I'm sure he's strong enough to overcome this"

She brought Nanase forward to hug her again as she cried. Ellen rubbed her back sympathetically

"Don't worry" Ellen said "Tedd can get through this""I know he can"

Back in Tedd's Hospital Room

Mr Verres was talking to the doctor when a loud, and fairly obnoxious voice rang out

"WAH-CHOOO.....Hurry up and get out of our way you jackass"

"Jackass?" Elliot thought. He put his hand to his head "Oh no, don't tell me Susan brought...."

Catalina came in the room "Hey Elliot" she said "Susan said that something was wrong with.....OH MY GOD"

She shouted when she saw Tedd "What happened to him?"

"Catalina quiet down" Sarah said as she and Susan entered the room "This is a hospital you have to stop being so....."Sarah stopped mid-sentence when got beside Catalina

Susan's eyes widened and jaw dropped when she saw "What happened" Susan asked

"Tedd was working on some experiment" Elliot explained "It exploded and he got caught in the blast"

"You're telling me Tedd got caught in an explosion......and survived?" Susan asked

"Damn" Catalina said impressed "He must be pretty strong to live through an explosion"

"SHHHH" Sarah tried to silence Catalina "You'll wake him up"

Elliot took a deep breath "No she won't" he said "Tedd's in a coma, he can't hear you"

For once, Catalina was totally speechless. Tears began to fall down Sarah's face. Elliot walked over and hugged her. Susan held a hand to her heart and walked over to Grace who was still kneeling on the ground.

"Grace...." Susan began "I just....I..." She put a hand on her shoulder

"Don't touch me" Grace said in a hollow voice

Susan quickly recoiled "I'm sorry" she said

Ellen and Nanase returned to the room together. Nanase pulled a chair over to the other side of the bed and sat down. She took Tedd's hand in hers'

"He feels so cold" she thought. She rubbed his hand lightly trying to bring warmth to it.

"Nanase, I want you to call your mother" Mr Verres said "Let her know where you are and why you're here"

"I will, Uncle" she said. She stood up and walked out of the room to make her call

"Are you sure you want her to call her mom" Elliot asked "Tedd's told me that you two don't like each other"

"She's family too" Mr Verres said "And she may not like me, but I know that she loves her nephew""She deserves to know"

Suddenly, a thought struck Elliot "Hang on" he said "You mean it wasn't her you called when we were in the waiting room?"

"No" Mr Verres answered "I was calling someone else"

Elliot thought for a moment "Well, if it wasn't her he called, who was it"

Meanwhile in Italy

A beautiful, woman was lying on the bed of her penthouse suite, reading a romance novel and enjoying a box of chocolates. She paused when she heard a knock at the door.
"Come in" she called out

A boy with a wooden box entered the room "I have some wine her for a......" he stopped to read the slip of paper "Natasha Verres"

"I prefer Natasha " she said.

She grabbed her purse and paid the boy. She took the box into the kitchen and began looking for a wine glass. She removed the bottle from the box, poured herself a glass of wine and took it back to her bedroom. When she sat down on the bed, she glanced over at a picture on her table. It was of her and a newborn baby. Next to it was her cellphone, on which a small blue light was flashing.

"I have a message" she thought "I wonder who it's from"

She picked up the phone and frowned when she saw the number was that of her ex-husband. She was going to ignore the message, but she began think about it. It had been a long time since they had spoken, and if anything else she missed her son. As she picked up the wine glass, she put the phone to her ear and began to listen.

"I know we've had our differences in the past" he said "But that doesn't matter now""Tedd has been in an accident""He's in the hospital, and I thought you'd want to know""If you care about him at all, you'll come"

The glass was inches away from her lips when the message finished playing. She dropped the glass and it shattered the moment it hit the floor. She couldn't believe what she just heard, her son was in the hospital. At first, she tried to deny it.

"This has to be some sort of trick" Natasha thought "He's must be trying to get me to come back to him"

But her maternal instincts won over "No" she thought "I know he wouldn't lie about any matter that involved Tedd"

She began dialing one of her friends "Hello" a voice said

"James" Natasha said "I need a plane ticket to Moperville""Can you do that for me"

"I'll have it ready for you by tomorrow morning" James said

"Thanks" she said.

She pulled a suitcase out of her closet and began packing. She grabbed the picture on her bedside table and stared at it as tears filled her eyes

"Don't worry baby" she thought "Mama's on her way"