Sick Chapter 2.
First of all I'd just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who reviewed or added this story to your favourites or alert list. I don't think I've ever had that much interest in any of my stories especially so quickly and after only one chapter has been put up. I hope you like the second half just as much.
Also I have absolutely no medical knowledge at all so if there are any glaring mistakes in that department, sorry.
Taken down briefly and edited so that the thoughts Edward hears are in italics, I've not uploaded anything apart from Chapter 1 for quite a while and so I've forgotten how to use it slightly oops! Thanks to jueguini for pointing out that they weren't in italics.
The room started to grow lighter and I could hear Charlie moving around in his room. After a restless night Bella was finally sleeping fairly soundly. She still felt too warm and every now and then she squirmed and gave a small sigh but it was now close to 8 o'clock and she had been asleep since just after 3 o'clock.
Charlie stopped on the landing for a moment than the door slowly opened and he poked his head in. I didn't need to hear his thoughts to know he didn't like me being this close to Bella but there was no way I was going to move and disturb her now.
"How is she?" he asked quietly.
"She was sick twice during the night, the last time was around 3 o'clock, and she's been asleep since."
He does seem to care for her but what will happen if he gets bored and decides to leave her again? I don't think she'd cope if he disappeared again.
I flinched almost imperceptibly at his thoughts. Why did I ever think that leaving Forks, leaving Bella was a good idea?
Charlie spoke again, drawing me out of my melancholy thoughts. "I need to get to work. If you feel hungry help yourself to some food and if there's a problem give me a call," and then he was gone.
Around half nine my phone started ringing. Bella stirred in my arms and I untangled myself from her carefully, grabbed my jacket from where I had slung it over the chair and went out to the landing to answer it, closing the door behind me. It was Esme.
"Hello dear. How's Bella?"
"She's been sick three times since we left you and she's still got a temperature." I heard movement from the other side of the door. "I think she's waking up."
"I'll let you get back to her then. Give her my love. Oh Carlisle said he would pop round after his shift."
Suddenly there was an ominous thud from Bella's room.
"Esme I have to go." I hung up before she could reply and wrenched the door open with almost enough force to pull it off its hinges. Bella was lying in a heap on the floor, not moving. I picked her up and was shocked at how hot she was. She hadn't been that hot before I spoke to Esme I was sure of it. She started stirring as I laid her on her bed.
"Bella, Bella love can you hear me?"
Her eyelids fluttered open and she looked up at me with bleary eyes as I brushed her hair out of her face.
"Hey. What happened? Did you trip perhaps? Or faint?" I asked, trying to keep my voice low and soft in case her head was still hurting.
She looked confused for a moment and then lurched upright moaning, "Bin."
I grabbed the bin and held it in front of her and she brought up a little bit of water and then dry heaves wracked through her body.
"I think I fainted," she said so quietly I almost couldn't hear her. "And I hit my head." She put her hand to her forehead where there was a slightly red mark that was clearly visible to me eyes. "I really don't feel too good."
"Just hold on Bella, I'm going to ring Carlisle," I said already dialling his number with one hand while I stroked her hot, flushed cheek with my other.
Carlisle picked up on the third ring and before he could speak I said, "Carlisle it's Edward. I think Bella fainted while I was out of the room. She's also burning up and struggling to keep anything down, even water."
"I think you better bring her in," said Carlisle, his voice as calm as always. "I'll see you shortly."
I looked back down at Bella. "Carlisle wants me to bring you in to see him at the hospital, okay Bella?"
"Perhaps that's a good idea," she replied softly.
It worried me that she didn't try and argue her way out of going by insisting she was fine. I picked her up as gently as I could and carried her out to my car, grabbing the piece of paper with Charlie's number on on the way. The sooner we got to Carlisle the better.
Edward was trying not to jolt me too much as he carried me into the hospital but every step he took made me stomach lurch anyway. He swept straight past the reception desk, ignoring the receptionist's calls, and headed for the nearest elevator which happened to be empty. The speed of the elevator was clearly irritating him but when he looked down at me there was no trace of his impatience.
"How are you doing?"
"I've been better."
He smiled down at me causing my heart to flutter. "We'll be with Carlisle in a minute, don't worry.
The doors opened with a ping as a cool voice announced that we had arrived at level 3. The nurses' station was just opposite the elevator and there were a few nurses sitting around with mugs of tea and coffee in their hands. They all looked up as we stepped out of the elevator.
When they saw Edward their jaws dropped and from his irritated huff I could easily guess the direction their thoughts had taken. I glanced up at him, amused, and he just rolled his eyes and carried me over to them.
"Could you tell me where my father, Dr Cullen is please?" he asked. I could hear the slight strain in his voice as he tried to remain polite.
"I'm afraid he's with a patient right now," one of them replied in what I think was intended to be a seductive voice but just sounded stupid. I turned my head towards Edward's chest, partly because the lights overhead were blinding and partly to hide my grimace as the nurse fluttered her eyelashes at him.
Another voice spoke from behind us. "It's Edward isn't it and this must be Bella. Your father told me you were coming. If you'd like to follow me, a room's been prepared for Bella."
We travelled a short way down a corridor and then I heard a door open. Even though I had my head against Edward's chest and his intoxicating scent filling my nose it couldn't quite block out the horrible sterile, disinfectant smell of hospitals. When he put me down on the bed I realised how uncomfortably hot I was now that his cold body wasn't soothing me.
"I'm just going to go and call Charlie and then I'll be right back," he said, giving my hand a gentle squeeze.
Oh no! I hadn't thought about Charlie. "Do you have to tell him?" I mumbled, squinting up at him. "He'll just worry unnecessarily."
Edward chuckled. "Yes I have to tell him love. I'm already his least favourite person in the world right now. Can you imagine what he'd do if he found out you had been admitted into hospital and I hadn't told him? I won't be long, I promise." He gave me a quick kiss and then slipped out of the room.
I had forgotten that the nurse was still here and I jumped when she started speaking to me. "You need to change into this dear." She was holding up a hospital gown. "Can you manage on your own or would you like me to stay and help you?"
"I'll be fine on my own, thank you." I sat up and the room started spinning.
She must have noticed it because with a gentle smile she said, "I'll stay anyway."
As she helped me change I studied her furtively. She was older than the nurses that had gawped at Edward, probably about mid 40s with a kind face and laughter lines around her eyes. She managed to help me without being too intrusive or making me overly uncomfortable and she didn't try and fill the silence with inane talk like many nurses liked to do.
There was a knock on the door just as I was getting into the bed. The nurse opened the door and Edward came in.
"Charlie's on his way," he said as he sat down on the bed with me, settling himself against the headboard and hugging me to him.
"I need to get on I'm afraid but Carlisle will be along in a minute," said the nurse.
Edward nodded and I mumbled my thanks, closing my eyes.
I hated being sick and I hated hospitals. To my embarrassment I felt tears welling up inside me. I snuggled closer to Edward, hiding my face against his chest so he wouldn't see, hoping he'd assume that the room was too bright. For a while he just rubbed my back silently as the tears seeped from my eyes but when a small sob broke from me he pulled away a little bit so he could see my face.
"Oh Bella, don't cry." He dried my cheeks but fresh tears replaced them instantly.
"I'm sorry," I said around my tears. "I'm just feeling sorry for myself I guess."
He pulled me close to him again and continued rubbing my back. "I think that's perfectly understandable under the circumstances don't you?"
"Will you hum to me please?"
I couldn't help the smile that pulled at the corners of my mouth as his velvet voice filled the room and my tears began to slow down.
He began my lullaby for a second time when there was a soft knock on the door and Carlisle entered. Seeing him in his white coat reminded me of the day I first met him after Edward saved me from Tyler's van. It was only a little bit over a year ago but what with everything that's happened since then, falling in love with Edward, finding out about vampires, James and Phoenix, Edward leaving, everything with Jake and then Italy and being reunited with Edward, it seemed like a whole other lifetime ago.
"Hi Carlisle," I mumbled, wiping my eyes.
"Hello you two. I wish I could say it was nice to see you again so soon Bella but I don't think that sentiment's really fitting right now is it?" he asked with a wry smile. He put a cold, refreshing hand on my forehead very briefly before putting a thermometer in my mouth.
I curled back into Edward's embrace as much as I could with the thermometer sticking out of my mouth, and closed my eyes.
"What happened when you got her home Edward? Was she sick again?"
"Yes, four times. The last time she just brought up some water and dry wretched. That was this morning."
The thermometer beeped. Carlisle took it out, glanced at it for a moment and then looked down at me.
"When he phoned Edward said he thought you fainted when he wasn't in the room. Do you remember what happened Bella?"
I swallowed thickly as I tried to remember, it was all a bit blurry. "I woke up and got out of bed. I felt dizzy and then the next thing I knew Edward was lifting me onto my bed."
"She was only unconscious for a few seconds. I was out on the landing talking to Esme and I heard her moving around. She did hit her head though," Edward said, indicating the mark on my forehead.
I flinched as Carlisle's fingers carefully touched the sore spot on my forehead.
"Sorry. Is it a bit tender?"
"Just a bit."
"It doesn't look like you hit it too badly although I guess it's not helped your headache," Carlisle said, sitting down on the end of my bed.
"It really really hasn't," I muttered, pinching the bridge of my nose. "And I still feel a bit dizzy."
"Nauseous at all?"
I nodded. "Not as much as before but yes."
"Well from the sounds of it the events of the last few months have weakened your immune system which has then been unable to fight off the stomach bug. Your inability to keep any fluids down has caused your fever to rise and now you've become dehydrated. That's why you fainted and feel dizzy."
I felt Edward stiffen slightly behind me as Carlisle explained. I looked up at him and saw the calm, neutral face that he always adopted when he was trying to hide his feelings from me. I reached up and touched his cheek.
"It's not your fault Edward. Please don't start blaming yourself."
He gave me a small smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. It was obvious that he was blaming himself but I didn't have the strength to argue with him. Once I was out of here we were going to have to talk about this. He had to let go of his guilt. I didn't blame him for what had happened - he was only trying to do what was best for me – so there was no reason for him to blame himself.
Carlisle started speaking again. "What I'm going to do is give you something to lower your fever and get rid of your headache and then hook you up to an IV to get some fluids into you."
I groaned. "Not needles!"
"I'm sorry Bella but that's the only way and I really need to get your fever down. I just need to go and collect some equipment and then I'll be back."
Within minutes he was back pushing a small trolley before him.
"Will you be all right staying in here Edward?"
Panic coursed through me. I had just assumed Edward would stay with me, I hadn't considered that he might not be able to stay. He must have sensed how I was feeling because he hugged me tighter and said, "I'll be just fine."
"I thought you would be," Carlisle replied with a smile. He looked at me. "Ready?"
His calm demeanour reassured me slightly as did Edwards' presence. I nodded.
Carlisle took my left arm in his hands and I immediately turned my head the other way. An antiseptic smell filled my nose as he cleaned a patch of my arm and I suddenly realised my right hand had a handful of Edward's shirt in a death grip.
I winced at the sharp prick in my arm and Edward's cool breath tickled me neck as he asked, "Are you okay?"
"Mm-hmm," I replied, deciding it was safer not to open my mouth right now.
"I've nearly finished Bella," Carlisle said, wiping another antiseptic wipe across my clenched hand. "Can you try and relax your hand? It'll make it easier."
Edward started humming my lullaby again as I did my best to relax my hand. There was another sharp prick and then after a couple of seconds Carlisle spoke again. "There you go, all done. Now you're probably going to have to stay in overnight because I don't want to discharge you until your temperature is back to normal. And can I suggest that next time you stay away from the cliffs." His tone was light and teasing but his eyes had a hint of worry in them.
I suddenly remembered what Esme had told me at the baseball game about when she lost her son. "It broke my heart – that's why I jumped off the cliff."* I had completely forgotten about that! How must it have looked to them all when Alice 'saw' me jumping? Especially to Esme and Carlisle? What sort of memories must it have dredged up?
"I heartily second that suggestion," added Edward.
"No more cliff diving," I agreed.
My eyes were drooping shut of their own accord. I shook my head to try and wake up but Carlisle stopped me saying, "The meds will make you sleepy. Don't fight it."
"Kay," I mumbled already feeling myself slipping off to sleep.
Bella's slow deep breathing had me mesmerised. I'd never get tired of watching her sleep. That was definitely something I would miss if she were ever changed into a vampire. No! I refused to consider that as a possibility. There was no absolutely no way it would happen. Bella knew how I felt about the idea.
I couldn't help the sigh that escaped me. I might be determined that Bella would remain human but I wasn't the only vampire she knew. I knew about the conversation she had had with Alice on the plane as Alice had been dwelling on it when she hadn't realised I was around. And if Alice decided she couldn't do it I wouldn't put it past Bella to bring it up with Carlisle.
Suddenly I heard Bella's name being said in the corridor. It was Charlie asking where she was and he sounded very worried. After his reaction to seeing Bella and I together on her bed this morning I thought it probably best if he didn't find us in the same position now. I hadn't forgotten his threats from last night about keeping me away from Bella and while there was no way he could actually do that it would be easier for all of us, especially Bella, if we could get on.
I unwillingly got off the bed and sat down in the plastic chair next to it and waited for Charlie to come in.
"Don't worry I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere," I said to Bella, stroking her cheek as she whimpered softly.
I could hear Charlie's footsteps approaching the room and then he was there in the doorway, ashen faced. He barely acknowledged me as he studied Bella, lying there hooked up to the IV, pale and still. I silently stood up and moved towards the window to give him some space. He took one uncertain step into the room and then rushed toward the bed.
"Oh Bella honey," he muttered, sinking into the chair and taking hold of her hand. He kissed her forehead and I felt like an intruder seeing this rare display of affection from this man who was usually nowhere near this open with his emotions.
He slowly turned to me. "What happened?"
"Perhaps it would be easier if I got my father and then he can explain what's wrong and answer any questions you have."
"No need I'm here," said Carlisle from the doorway. I hadn't noticed him appear.
As Carlisle explained everything to Charlie I grabbed the chair that was next to the door and put it down on Bella's other side and sat down.
"So are you sure she's going to be fine and that there's nothing to worry about?" I heard Charlie ask.
"Absolutely. It was lucky that Edward was with her and able to bring her in," Carlisle replied, glancing at me for a moment. "Now it's just a case of waiting for it to pass."
At that moment his pager beeped. He gave Charlie an apologetic smile and looked at it. "I need to go but I'll be back to check on Bella soon."
"Right. Thanks Carlisle."
Charlie and I sat in silence after Carlisle left, studiously avoiding each other's gazes.
What's he still doing here? All right so he bought her in but can't he see he's not needed here anymore? But then again I suppose he does care about her and she obviously care about him. And Carlisle did say it was lucky he was there with her. Oh I just don't know what to make of him anymore.
I listened to Charlie's mental debate for a while and decided while we were both here I might as well try and clear the air between us.
He looked up from Bella to me.
"I want to apologise for the pain I put Bella through when I left and the pain it must have brought you. I thought that having a clean break from me would be the best thing for her. If I had had any idea that she wasn't coping well I would have been back in a flash."
Memories of Bella after I left floated through Charlie's mind and I saw each one in painful detail. Bella being carried through the forest by someone from the Reservation, pale, shivering, repeating "He's gone". Bella waking up night after night with a heart-rending scream while Charlie stands by helplessly, doing his best to comfort her. Bella screaming and shouting that she won't leave Forks before bursting into tears and sinking down to the floor, Renee at her side instantly. And lastly memories of Bella and Jacob just sitting around doing homework or joking around with each other.
Although she seemed happier in the memories with Jacob there was still a sadness in her eyes that hadn't been there before I left that tore at my cold, still heart.
Charlie's gaze had been drawn back to Bella as he remembered these events.
When he softly brushed a piece of her hair behind her ear I again had the uncomfortable feeling that I was intruding.
The silence stretched on as he considered what I had said.
"I won't hurt her again. I promise."
He looked up at me for a moment, eyes dark and piercing. "You make sure you don't."
Carlisle must have used his authority as a doctor here because nobody to came to remind us about visiting hours and usher us out. In fact the only people who had come in were Carlisle and the nurse that had shown us to the room this morning. I don't know if Carlisle had specifically asked her to keep an eye on Bella or if was just a lucky coincidence that it was her that popped in regularly to make sure everything was all right and not any of the other nurses because her thoughts were so much easier to hear than most of the nurses here, especially the ones that I spoke to briefly when we first got here.
After the first uncomfortable conversation Charlie and I managed to get on fairly well. We talked about a number of things including sport and my plans for the future throughout the day. At other times we lapsed into silence as Charlie read the paper he'd got from the shop downstairs but the silence wasn't as prickly as before.
Around 7 o clock, as the sky was darkening outside, Carlisle came in again.
I shook my head slightly.
"You're working long hours today," commented Charlie.
"Yes. There are quite a few doctors off sick today so I've been filling in for them. I've finished for the day now though. She's looking better," Carlisle observed looking down at Bella, taking in the colour that had appeared in her cheeks.
"Is it normal that she's been asleep all day?" Charlie asked.
"Yes, it's nothing to worry about. Her body just needs plenty of rest while she's ill," he replied as he took her temperature and checked her vitals. Everything seemed fine, just a temperature that was still too high.
"Her temperature is beginning to come down but I want to keep her in overnight just to be safe. You might as well head home Charlie, she's probably going to sleep straight through till morning now so she won't even notice you've gone. It's very unlikely but if there is a problem the hospital will contact you."
Same for you Edward. There's going to be nurses popping in and out all night. It'll be safer if you stay away tonight.
I frowned at his suggestion. I didn't like not being with Bella when she was well let alone when she was ill in hospital.
Carlisle sighed internally. Like I told Charlie she'll be asleep all night and won't even realise if anybody's here with her or not. And I know you'll hear the thoughts of anyone coming in but what if you're too focused on Bella and then someone comes in and surprises you? Awkward questions will be asked that we can do without. I'm back in first thing in the morning so you can come back in with me then.
Unhappily I nodded; again it was so slight that Charlie didn't notice.
At the same time Charlie said, "I suppose you're right. There's not much I can do staying here. And I should probably give Renee another ring and let her know what's going on."
I gave Bella a quick kiss on the forehead, murmured, "I'll see you tomorrow love," and went to stand with Carlisle by the door to give Charlie some space.
Edward she's going to be fine. There was a slightly amused hint to his thoughts. You have to stop worrying because if I can tell how worried you are what do you think it's going to do to Jasper when we get home?
I cracked a small grin at that and held open the door for Charlie and Carlisle to pass through. Glancing one last time at Bella before following them down to the car park I felt this night couldn't pass fast enough.
The black oblivion of sleep gradually faded away and I became aware of my surroundings. The lumpy mattress and pillows underneath me, the scratchy blanket pulled up to my chest, the sterile smell of hospitals, the dry itchiness of my mouth and throat, cold hands pressed against my forehead and then the inside of my wrist and the voices. One soft and musical and the other rougher but just as welcome to my ears.
I forced my eyes open and muttered, "Charlie," wincing as my throat felt like sandpaper.
The relief was clear in Charlie's voice when he said, "Hey Bells. It's good to see you awake again honey."
"How are you feeling?" asked Carlisle who was sitting on a chair on the other side of my bed.
"Thirsty," I muttered, coughing a bit as my voice caught at my dry throat.
There was a jug of water and a beaker on the cupboard next to Charlie. He poured some water into the beaker while Carlisle helped me sit up. I took the beaker from Charlie, took a large gulp of water and then promptly started choking.
Carlisle rubbed my back. "Slow down Bella it's not going to disappear."
I felt the blush rising in my cheeks and carefully started sipping the water. As I drank I suddenly realised that there was more than just the three of us in the room. Edward was leaning against the wall. When my eyes met his he smiled his lovely crooked smile and I felt my heart beat at double the usual speed. Of course Edward and Carlisle both heard that. Edward's grin deepened and a small smile appeared on Carlisle's face. My blush increased.
I passed the empty beaker back to Charlie. "Thanks."
"Do you want anymore?"
"No thanks," I replied, leaning back against the headboard.
"So how are you feeling this morning?" Carlisle asked.
"Much better. A little hungry actually," I answered as my stomach gave a small growl.
"That's a good sign. Any nausea?"
"It's just a bit sore where I hit it."
Carlisle brushed my hair away from my forehead, his cold fingers numbing the ache a little bit. "You've got a bit of a bruise forming there but it's nothing that some Tylenol can't deal with. And since you're temperature's back to normal you're free to go," he said with a smile. "Make sure you take it easy for the next couple of days, you still need plenty of rest. If you want to eat something when you get home stick to something simple like toast or soup for now to make sure it'll stay down."
I nodded. "Thank you Carlisle."
"I'm just glad you're better," he said gently. "I'm sure everyone at home will be too. They've all been worried."
The intensity of his gaze, which was so like Edward's in more than just colour, overwhelmed me slightly and for what seemed like the tenth time just this morning I felt the blush rising to my cheeks.
"Charlie. There's just a few bits of paperwork that need to be dealt with before Bella can go," said Carlisle standing up.
"Sure," said Charlie. He squeezed my hand. "I won't be long and then I'll get you home."
"Okay." I was only half aware of what he had said. As Carlisle had moved to the door Edward had moved closer to the bed. I barely heard the door shut behind Charlie and Carlisle as Edward sat down next to me and pulled me into a hug.
* From Twilight.
And there you go, my first Twilight fanfiction finished. It definitely won't be my last because I've got ideas for at least four more short fics and I'd much rather write them than do my essays for school which are starting to pile up!
Please review and let me know what you think and thanks again to everyone who reviewed/faved/added to your alert list.