A third night at Monica's bedside saw Andrew drifting in and out of sleep, his exhaustion, both emotional and physical, getting the better of him. But every time he woke up, he would talk to the little angel until he was hoarse, filling her in on their little baby girl, the candlelight vigil, Adam and Rafael keeping watch over their child. He spoke of his great love for her, their future together and their happiest times. Andrew would speak until he could no longer keep his eyes open and then with her smaller hand in his own, he would drop back off to sleep for a time though his rest was far from peaceful.
Walking out of her room for coffee or to force down a few bites of food was sheer agony and his only goal was to be gone for as short a period as possible. Rushing back from lunch, Andrew nearly collided with Greg Bartlett as the doctor came out of Monica's room. Andrew felt his entire world nearly come undone at the sight of him, "Greg…Monica…."
The doctor's eyes flashed with great sympathy and he put a hand out to steady his young friend, seeing how pale Andrew now was, "There has been no change, son, but Allie is awake and asking for Monica. I explained to her that Monica was unable to speak to her right now and she insisted I find you."
The angel's anxious green eyes looked past the doctor into his wife's room, the need to get back to her greater than anything he had ever felt before. He had been gone long enough and if on any level at all Monica could sense his presence, he didn't want her feeling alone, even for a heartbeat, "I…Monica…."
"Son, she's stable right now. I'll have Susie sit with her while you are speaking with Allie and if she moves a muscle, I will have her get you."
Andrew swallowed hard against his guilt at leaving for any time at all. Susie was his favorite nurse and they had spoken at great length several times about Monica and their baby, but it still didn't make being absent from the little angel any easier. He found himself nodding his head against the resistance that was building up in his chest, making it difficult to breath, "I won't be long."
He knew what room number was Allie's. Susie had told him, though he had not commented on it at the time. Walking down the long corridor toward her room, he knew he was struggling irrationally. He was furious with Allie; angry with her for getting so upset with Monica that it had consumed his wife, making her desperate to resolve her friendship with the woman who had taken her in when she had been all alone in the world. Had Allie just accepted Monica's many apologies, had she only stopped being so bull-headed about her privacy having been violated, Monica would not have gotten into the car with her that day. Didn't the woman know Monica at all? All this time, and she had clung to the idea that the angel had been meddling in her affairs instead of only longing to help.
He stopped short just outside of Allie's room, and rest his hand against the wall trying to get his emotions under control once more. Now was not the time for anger and he knew it. Now was the time to inquire on how Allie was feeling, force his way through any questions about Monica and the baby and then return as quickly as possible to her room.
As the door to her room opened, Allie' first thought was that Andrew looked like hell. His clothing, generally impeccable was rumpled and she was fairly sure it was what he had been wearing the night of the accident at the diner. His hair was disheveled and the dark circles beneath his eyes only seemed to accentuate the pure exhaustion in his green orbs. She knew what raw pain looked like; she had witnessed it in her own mirror many times.
She was sitting up in bed which surprised him, "How are you feeling?" He remained standing at the foot of it, unable to come any closer. Any more steps only took him further away from the one he loved.
"I'll be fine. How is Monica? They were unable to tell me anything."
Of course they couldn't. Human privacy laws were strict, even in small towns and he had to force the words out of his mouth, "She's in critical but stable condition right now in the ICU." He couldn't say the rest of the things Susie had told him; the possibility of brain damage, the fact that she could remain in a coma indefinitely, that he might never see those beautiful brown eyes smile at him again.
Her sharp intake of air brought him back to reality, "Oh dear Lord, Andrew….and the baby? The baby is safe?"
Again he had to put voice to the pain in his heart, "They had to take the baby the night of the accident to attempt to save her. She's tiny and fighting to survive." He stuffed his hands into his pockets and avoided Allie's eyes.
"Andrew, I am so sorry," Allie whispered, her voice choked with emotion, "That dear, darling girl….I hate that she has to suffer so…that you all do." Noticing instantly that he seemed to be staring at an invisible point on the wall, she drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly, "You're upset with me."
Andrew hadn't expected her to see through him so quickly and he wasn't sure of how to respond, "The accident wasn't your fault." He stated simply.
"No…." Her voice quieted on the word as she observed him for a moment, "But you are upset that she felt the need to get into the car with me to begin with."
Raising his head, he looked toward the ceiling and left out a deep breath, "I know it isn't rational, Allie. You certainly didn't mean for this to happen, but it's a fine line for me right now. I know I shouldn't be angry with you, yet I am. I thought you knew Monica well enough to know she was not trying to pry but only to help, but I was wrong. I thought she would be safe going with you to get the forgiveness she so desperately wanted, but I was wrong about that too. I know you are not responsible for what happened to Monica, but yet I cannot bring myself to absolve you of fault. It's not rational. It's only what I feel in this moment." His chest felt as if it might explode, "I have to get back to Monica."
"Andrew, please. Let me ask you one question before you go." For the first time since he had come into the room, his eyes met with hers. She could see his desperation to get back to Monica's side but she had to know the answer, "Monica….just before we were hit, she told me she knew where my daughter was. Do you have any idea?"
He took a step back, feeling as if the wind had been knocked out of him, "Your daughter? How would Monica have known that?"
Disappointment flooded her features, "She figured it out or something while we were talking about the accident my family was in. She was getting ready to tell me when….when it happened."
It. The horrible accident that stood to take all he loved away from him. The pull in his chest increased, wanting to propel him back to her side, "I don't have the answers for you, Allie. When….if Monica wakes up you can ask her yourself. I'm….I'm glad you are going to be all right." He turned on his heel and took long strides to the door.
"I'll be praying for all of you, Andrew."
Her words were the last thing he heard before he was back in the hallway and purposefully walking back to Monica's room. It only took him a minute to be back at her side, taking his chair next to her bed, and tenderly grabbing her hand in his own.
"I'm sorry I was gone for so long, baby." Andrew kissed her hand and held it next to his face feeling her warmth against his skin, "Allie is going to be fine. I know you would want to know that as I know you and how much you care about everyone else. But she will be fine so I don't want you worrying about her," He paused for a moment and reached up to stroke her hair with his other hand, "Allie mentioned something about you knowing who her daughter is. I'm afraid I couldn't help her with that one, angel, as you have apparently figured something out. But that doesn't surprise me as you are one wise little angel. You always have been."
His greatest wish was to see her brown eyes open. He knew there would be fear in them due to the respirator and the noise from the other machines, but he could reassure her about those things. But for her eyes to remain closed was nothing less than sheer torment for him and it had only been three days.