Yay, another story! I'm excited about this one and I hope all of you guys like it too. :)
Summary: Maxie's life is turned upside down after she is rescued from the burning hospital. A Jason & Maxie story.
Author's Note: A few details of the fire have been changed to make the story more interesting. Italicized parts are flashbacks.
Please R&R! I appreciate every and all comments, good or bad.
Broken & Burned
He heard the labored, terrified scream and recognized the trembling voice. Shielding his face from the thick smoke, he braved the flames to rescue her.
Maxie awoke slowly in a darkened room. The smell alone told her where she was. The hospital. She groaned softly and looked around, letting her eyes adjust to the dark. After just a few moments, the lights came on.
"Miss Jones, how are you feeling? You gave us quite a scare." The doctor, one she had never seen before, walked in and gave her a small yet positive smile.
"Scare?" She asked him, only able to manage a soft whisper. Her voice was hoarse and she was a little confused about all that had happened. She took a moment to survey the room and her petite body. IVs dripped into her slowly, something she was accustomed to.
The doctor nodded his head and made a quick note on the clipboard he was holding. She assumed it held her chart. "You've suffered some light head trauma and major smoke inhalation, both of which are doing much better, thankfully. Do you remember what happened?"
Maxie closed her eyes for a moment and tried to remember. Only a few small tidbits of information came to the surface. "The fire…there was a fire at General Hospital." She told him softly. She remembered the flames vividly; she remembered the heat.
"That's right." He pulled over the rolling chair in the room and sat down, clutching the clipboard to his chest. "You've been in a coma for about two days. Everything seems to be in working order, but I would like to run a few more tests in the morning. Don't be alarmed if you can't remember portions of the events that happened; that's completely normal." He assured her, his voice calm and oddly soothing. "But if you struggle with other everyday things, please let a nurse know. You're in good hands here at Mercy."
She managed a small nod. The doctor excused himself and told Maxie to rest. Doctors always told her to rest. Sighing, she closed her eyes, trying to remember more.
The next morning came much too soon. Maxie opened her eyes, feeling a little more alert than she had before. She managed to sit up slightly and noticed a large bouquet of flowers beside her bed. A smile formed on her face as she looked at them. They were clearly an expensive arrangement. Many times, Maxie had sent flowers out for Kate Howard, her boss and sometimes mentor. She knew the variety of flowers alone would cost a pretty penny, not to mention the gorgeous vase they were in.
She reached over and gently touched a petal of one of the dark pink orchids. There was no sign of a card around, so Maxie wasn't sure who they were from. She considered the options: Mac, Spinelli, possibly Kate. But Maxie knew Mac would never spend that much for a bouquet and Kate probably wouldn't have sprung for such a large arrangement for her assistant. That left Spinelli.
Lately, they hadn't been on speaking terms. The fair and beautiful Maximista had reverted back to her old self momentarily and Spinelli had been deeply hurt by her actions. It hurt her to even think about her night with Johnny. The sex had been beyond amazing and it was what they had both been fantasizing about for months. But deep down, Maxie knew it was wrong and it should have never happened.
She sighed softly and laid back down. She felt horrible, but that's how she deserved to feel. Maxie had ruined her relationship with her best friend for good. He had made that perfectly clear.
"Oh, you're up!" An annoyingly cheerful nurse appeared in her room, a huge grin on her face as she eyed the flowers. "Take a look at those beauties. Wow! You are one lucky woman, I'm jealous." She laughed softly and admired them as she moved closer.
"Is there a card somewhere?" Maxie asked, hoping there was. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to send them to her and she wanted to be able to thank them.
The nurse took a few moments to look around on the table and in the bouquet itself. "No, I don't see one. I can ask around at the desk, maybe one of the other nurses knows." She offered and grabbed Maxie's chart from the end of the bed.
Maxie nodded and smiled slightly. "Thank you, I'd appreciate it."
"Who knows, maybe it's a secret admirer." She giggled and made some notes as she looked at the monitors. "Whoever they are, they sure do have amazing taste."
"They really are gorgeous. I've never gotten flowers like this before." She tucked her hair behind her ear, still a little preoccupied with hating herself.
"Is everything all right, Miss Jones? You seem troubled." The nurse seemed genuinely concerned and Maxie was touched by that, but she didn't want to get into it with a stranger.
"I'm fine, yeah. Just not such a fan of hospitals, you know?" She commented softly before she noticed a familiar face appear in the doorway. "Jason?" Maxie wasn't sure why Jason Morgan of all people would come to visit her. Then she realized there must have been many other people here at Mercy who were also at General Hospital that night. Maybe he had just walked by and spotted her.
The nurse took a quick look at Jason before giving Maxie an approving smile. Maxie shook her head slightly knowing what the nurse was assuming. Jason and Maxie were not together. He tolerated her at best only because of her friendship with Spinelli. It didn't go beyond that.
After the nurse excused herself from the room, Jason walked in slowly. Maxie sat up a little, pulling the thin blankets up as well. "What are you doing here?" She asked weakly, her voice still hoarse. It was difficult to talk, but that wasn't going to shut her up. Maxie liked to talk and it would take a lot more than a sore throat to change that.
"I was visiting Monica down the hall and I noticed you were here. I thought Spinelli might want an update on how you're doing." He spoke quieter than normal and Maxie wasn't sure why. Maybe it was just the hospital atmosphere that softened him.
Maxie sighed and looked down at her hands. "I doubt Spinelli will care too much. I'm sure he's told you that we're not really on speaking terms anymore."
He cleared his throat a little. "He mentioned that, yeah. But he still cares about you."
"Do you know if he's the one who sent the flowers?" She asked, glancing over at them.
Jason rubbed his shoulder with a bandaged hand. Maxie noticed the bandage and others. He was obviously in some pain. "No, I don't know. He could have."
Maxie shrugged a little. "Well I appreciate you checking in on me. It's nice of you." She said softly before coughing a little. It was nice to have a visitor, even if it was Jason of all people.
He nodded a couple times and took a deep breath. "No problem. Can I…do you need anything?" He wasn't sure how to act. Although he got along with Maxie, things weren't comfortable between them.
She was taken aback slightly, not expecting him to offer any sort of service. He hadn't before, but she figured it was probably all out of pity. She knew she must have looked horrible. "Uh, no, I'm okay. Thank you though." Maxie smiled weakly for a moment and then looked Jason over, focusing on his bandages. "Are you okay? You look like you're in worse shape than me."
Jason shrugged. "I'll be all right."
Maxie nodded. Typical Jason. He never wanted help, but she wasn't going to push it. "All right, well take care."
He smiled slightly and nodded as well. "Yeah, you too."
She watched as he walked out of the room, not sure what to think of his visit. She looked over at the flowers again and sighed, wondering about the mysterious sender.