Chaos. Addena could see it reflected in Penny, Lion and Cade's faces as they stood along the wall opposite the cubicles in the triage area. She couldn't blame them for their stunned expressions. To the untrained eye all the activity around them had to look like no one knew what they were doing. Under different circumstances she would have explained that what they were seeing was actually a well oiled machine. That each and every doctor, nurse and technician buzzing around not only knew what they were doing but what each of their colleagues was doing as well. But she couldn't bring herself to move even a short distance away from her patients. Not until she knew the full extent of their injuries.
Her gaze swept over the people in question. Referring to them as patients seemed cold but if she didn't… if she thought of them as the love of her life and the man who was quickly becoming a father figure to her she would fall apart. The thin veneer of control she had would crack and the emotional train wreck lurking just beneath the surface would come roaring through. She might not be able to physically help them thanks to the cast on her wrist but she could damn well hold it together to oversee their care.
"Hi. I'm Dr. Coussin."
She nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the unfamiliar voice beside her.
"Sorry." The older man standing by Dr. Haskin gave her a sheepish look. "I didn't mean to startle you."
"It's all right." Addena assured him. "I'm…"
"Dr. Upland." He finished for her. "Dr. Haskin has told me great things about you. I look forward to working with you sometime." He glanced at her cast. "When you're back in commission."
"Elwin is the best neurosurgeon in all of Oz." Dr. Haskin saved her from answering. "We're very lucky to have him in the guard."
Dr. Coussin gave a curt nod. "I'm proud to serve my country."
"Neurosurgeon?" Cade swallowed hard. "Does that mean someone needs surgery?"
"Unfortunately yes." Dr. Coussin answered. "I have the Wizard's tests results here." He gestured with the chart in his hand.
"I asked Elwin to oversee his scans." Dr. Haskin had a grave look on his face. "What did you find?"
"He has a skull fracture that is causing bleeding between his brain and his skull."
"You mean he's bleeding in his head?" Lion gripped his tail. "That's bad. That's really really bad."
"If left unchecked it could be." Dr. Coussin looked at the feline. "Luckily we got the Wizard to the hospital quickly. If we do surgery immediately we should be able to relieve the pressure the bleeding is putting on the brain and avoid any permanent damage."
"Should be able to?" Cade frowned. "You're not sure?"
Dr. Coussin switched his gaze to the captain. "No one can ever be one hundred percent sure when they're doing a surgical procedure. Especially on something as delicate as the brain."
"But as I said before, Dr. Coussin is the best in his field." Dr. Haskin spoke up again. "The Wizard couldn't be in better hands right now." He looked at his fellow physician. "I'd like to assist. If that's all right with Dr. Upland," he was quick to add.
"Of course." Addena was relieved he'd volunteered. "Does he have any other injuries?"
"His head took the brunt of the impact when he hit the wall. He has some other minor bumps and bruises but nothing is broken or warrants being concerned about."
"I guess that can be seen as a silver lining of sorts." Addena sighed. "Please have someone come give us updates during the surgery."
"We will." Dr. Coussin motioned for Dr. Haskin to join him as they moved to join the throng of people around the Wizard's stretcher. "All right people, lets get him to the surgical ward and prepped for surgery ASAP."
In no time the Wizard was being wheeled down the hall away from them. They numbly watched as he disappeared around a corner, hoping everything would go smoothly with his surgery.
"What about Breena?" Lion's scared voice broke the silence. "She went for tests at he same time as the Wizard. Is she going to need surgery too?"
"Oh yeah." Another newcomer joined them, a female this time. "I'm Dr. Atley, head of ortho here at the hospital."
"Ortho?" Lion furrowed his brow. "What's that?"
"Orthopedics." Dr. Atley answered. "I fix broken bones. And Miss Breena has quite a few."
Addena tried not to let her worry show on her face. Dr. Haskin had warned her about Breena's injuries but that didn't make it any easier to hear about them. "Such as?"
"Her left humerous, the bone in the top part of her arm," she explained before anyone could ask, "is broken in three places. Her left shoulder joint is shattered along with her collarbone," she gestured at her own shoulder and collarbone. "We need to go in immediately and stabilize the bones. So I say we get her prepped for surgery and..."
Dr. Atley frowned at Addena's response. "Excuse me?"
"I said no." Addena repeated herself.
"I'm afraid I don't understand."
"Breena is a healer."
"I'm well aware of that but we need to stabilize the bones."
Addena shook her head. "She told me once that broken bones heal first."
"But until they do..."
"I'm not putting her through surgery unless I absolutely have to."
"I..." Dr. Atley was bemused. "Do you realize she could lose the use of her arm if we don't do something soon?"
"She could? We can't let that happen!" Lion was on the verge of panicking.
Penny put her hand on his arm. "Calm down."
"Addena knows what she's doing."
"She's right big guy." Cade tried to help out.
"I think this decision should be left up to the patient."
Cade looked at Dr. Atley like she was crazy. "What?"
"I heard Miss Breena has been coming in and out of consciousness since she was brought to the hospital." Dr. Atley continued. "I think we should wake her up and ask her about her treatment."
"That's ridiculous!" Penny growled. "Addena is her doctor and if she says no surgery then there will be no surgery."
"Maybe we should listen to her."
"Yeah." Lion did a double take when he realized what Addena had said. "Wait, what?"
"I think she's right." Addena repeated. "We should ask Bree."
Penny frowned. "But you said..."
"I know." Addena interrupted her. "But I was acting on instinct. I've never really had the chance to study Breena's healing powers. What if I say no surgery now and she has permanent damage to her arm because I was wrong? I can't be responsible for letting something like that happen to her."
"What if you put her through surgery and she has to heal even more because she really didn't need it?" Cade countered.
"She's the only one who knows her powers." Addena sighed. "If she tells us she doesn't need surgery then so be it."
"You're doing the right thing Dr. Upland. I wasn't trying to call your judgment into question. I just want what's best for our patient and..."
"Miss Breena, you need to calm down!" One of the nurses beside Breena spoke over Dr. Atley.
"Bree?" Addena ran toward her lover. "What's going on?"
"She's really agitated." The same nurse answered.
"She woke up just in time to hear Dr. Atley talking to you." Another nurse added.
"And no one would go get you for me." Breena glared at the people around her.
"So you were going to come get me yourself." Addena clucked at her.
"No surgery Addy. I don't need it. The bones will heal on their own."
"I don't think you understand the severity of your injuries." Dr. Atley spoke before Addena could. "These bones aren't just broken, they're shattered. If we don't stabilize them now you could…"
"I heard your doom and gloom speech just a few minutes ago. I'm telling you I don't need surgery."
"You're the one who said to ask me and I'm telling you I don't need it."
"Let me ask you this," Dr. Atley persisted. "Have you ever had to heal shattered bones before?"
"You're like a dog with a bone aren't you?"
"Bree!" Addena chastised her.
"Well she is." Breena defended herself. "And yes, I've dealt with shattered bones a couple of times before. Once when I was young and broke my leg by falling out of a tree and once…"
Addena furrowed her brow when the witch hesitated. "Bree?"
"Let's just say there was an accident at Colwen Grounds. Both times I had shattered bones and both times they healed just fine by leaving them alone and letting my powers take care of things."
"I still think…"
"Look, I appreciate your concern but I know what I'm talking about." Breena cut Dr. Atley off. "I'm not having surgery."
"Are you hard of hearing or something?" Lion snarled. "She said no surgery."
"Fine." Dr. Atley threw her hands in the air. "But I want it noted in her chart that I'm against this. None of you need to come crying to me if she loses the use of her arm."
"We won't." Penny assured her.
"Come back in about a week." Breena grimaced as she tried to get in a more comfortable position. "I'll arm wrestle you to show you how right I am."
Addena only half swallowed the chuckle that bubbled up in her throat. "Thank you for your consultation Dr. Atley."
The other woman mumbled, "Whatever," as she shoved the file she was carrying at another doctor and walked away.
"Hey, that's no way to talk to Addena. She's the head honcho around here." Lion called out after her. "She could get you fired!"
Breena grinned. "You tell her big guy."
"I'm not in charge and I can't get anyone fired." Addena corrected him.
She shot Cade a look. "You're not helping anything."
"Yes?" She returned her attention to her girlfriend.
"When can I take this stupid neck brace off? It's driving me crazy."
"It's staying right where it is until I'm sure you didn't hurt your back."
"She didn't." The doctor with the file in his hands blushed when Addena looked at him. "At least not according to these scans."
"Let me see." Addena took the file, quickly flipping through its contents. "Your neck doesn't hurt?"
"I was thrown into a wall Addy, my whole body hurts."
"I'm being serious Bree!"
"So am I. Please just take this thing off of me."
Addena took the penlight out of her fellow doctor's lab coat pocket and started examining Breena's eyes. "You are pretty lucid."
"That is super bright." Breena complained.
"And your scans don't show any damage to your neck or back." Addena hesitated a moment longer before removing the brace herself.
"Thank you." Breena moved her head from side to side. "That is so much better."
Addena handed the brace to one of the nurses. "Has she been this lucid before?"
"No." The nurse shook her head. "She was mainly in and out."
Breena turned her head toward the cubicle next to hers. "Where's Dad?" She didn't give anyone a chance to answer before she asked again. "Where's Dad?!"
"Oh Oz, he's dead isn't he?" Tears swam in Breena's eyes. "Isn't he?!"
"No." Addena answered before she could say more. "But he is in surgery."
"Surgery?" Breena repeated the word. "He was hurt bad enough to need surgery? I have to..." She started to get up only to fall back against the stretcher, her face paling in pain.
"What are you doing?!" Addena's anger quickly ebbed away when she didn't get a response. "Bree?"
"Still here." She spoke through gritted teeth.
"What were you thinking?"
"I need to be with him."
"No, you need to lay still."
"I could always let Dr. Atley do the surgery to set your bones so I won't have to worry about you hurting yourself worse."
"Then you're going to have to stay put until your shoulder heals."
Breena swallowed hard, more tears filling her eyes. "How bad is he? And be straight with me."
"I will." Addena ran her fingers through short raven locks, trying not to cringe at the dried blood she could feel. The butterfly bandages over Breena's left eye had stopped her gash from bleeding but it was going to have be stitched soon. "He has a skull fracture that is causing bleeding around his brain. Dr. Haskin and a neurosurgeon, Dr. Cousin, are going to repair the bleeder and remove the blood so it doesn't put pressure on his brain."
"Is he going to have brain damage?"
"We won't know until after the surgery."
"He could die couldn't he?"
"Yes." Addena captured a tear as it leaked from the corner of her lover's eye. "But he's in good hands Bree."
Breena closed her eyes as she nodded, her brow furrowed.
"You're in a lot of pain aren't you?"
"Liar." Addena looked up at the nurse closest to her. "I think it's safe for her to have something for pain now."
"Will it knock me out?"
"Then I don't want it."
"You might not want it but you need it."
"Baby, please don't argue with me. Just rest and get better."
"You'll wake me when you know something more about Dad?"
"All right. Give me the happy juice."
"Good girl." Addena motioned for the nurse to inject the syringe of pain medication she was holding into Breena's IV.
It didn't take long for it to take effect. Breena looked up at her girlfriend, struggling to keep her eyes open. "Doc?"
"Don't fight it Bree."
"Someone needs to let Elly know what's going on. Tell her..." Her voice started to trail off. "Tell her it's not her fault."
"We will." Addena placed a gentle kiss on the witch's cheek as she finally passed out. "Get things ready to suture her gash. I'll take care of it as soon as I get back from talking to Elphaba and Glinda."
"Uh, Dr. Upland." The young doctor who had given Addena Breena's file spoke up. "No offense but there's no way you're going to be able to stitch her up. Let me take care of it for you."
Addena started to protest but she knew he was right. "Thank you."
"And you should stay with Breena. Let us go talk to Elphaba and Glinda." Penny gestured between herself and Lion.
"What?" Lion frowned at her until he noticed the look he was getting. "I mean yeah. Let us take care of it."
"All of us." Cade piped in.
"If you're sure."
"We're positive." Penny answered. "Come on guys."
Addena looked down at Breena as they walked away, offering up a silent prayer to the Unnamed God that everything was going to be all right.