Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I hold no claim to NCIS or any of the characters/actors involved. I'm just a poor college student with a hobby.
Author's Note: While I highly doubt this is what'll actually happen post-Aliyah, it's an idea that stuck in my head and would not go away. I am most certainly not too proud to beg for reviews, so go ahead and leave them, whether you like the story or not. Leave lots of them.
Annnnnd on with the show…
"-iss? Can you hear me? Miss?"
It wasn't the insistent voice that woke her, but the constant pulsing in her head. Lub dub. Lub dub. Lub dub. Pounding. Pulsing. Steady. Strong.
"There you go," the same nagging voice continued. "Almost there. Just open up those eyes for me."
Despite the part of her that wanted to keep them closed just so the voice would go away, her limbs were already beginning to tingle with the feelings of awareness. The scent of lemon cleaner and latex overwhelmed her senses as the same pulsing that awoke her began to radiate deep inside her. Her limbs were heavy, laden with an unknown burden as her eyes flickered open and closed, squinting as they adjusted to the harsh lighting.
Soon, her entire body began to ache, a dull sensation that quickly ascended to stabs and stings and burns. Crying out, she tried pulling herself into a ball, but the motion was too painful. She only managed another weak whimper before the voice came closer, injecting a milky fluid into one of the tubes connected to her hand.
"Just give it a minute, that'll help," the voice assured her, but she just clenched her eyes shut, waiting out the pain as a deeper, drowsy feeling began to take over.
"Okay, can you blink your eyes for me?"
"Alright, and wiggle your toes?"
That request was a little harder, but with a touch of effort, she was able to feel the cool air moving around her foot.
"Good, that's a great sign," the same voice continued, and she moved her eyes to the right, trying to focus them on the blurry figure beside her. "I'm Dr. Watson. You're at the hospital. Can you understand what I'm saying?"
Her eyebrows scrunched together, though the action made her forehead sting again. Slowly, her eyesight began to clear and she took in the man standing next to her--sandy brown hair, light eyes, tall, and in a lab coat.
She nodded once, trying to speak. Her tongue felt like carpet in her mouth and all she could manage was a small squeak before her voice cut out.
"Don't talk yet, here," the man said, grabbing a white cup from beside her and holding it in front of her. She instinctively pulled away until he continued, "It's just water. It'll help your throat."
He held the straw toward her once again and this time she accepted it, sucking down as much of the refreshing liquid as she could manage. After a moment, she pulled away, swallowing again and clearing her throat lightly. It was still sore, but manageable.
"Where am I?" she asked, wincing at the rasp in her voice.
"The rasp and sore throat are normal," he assured her. "Unfortunately we had to intubate, you weren't breathing on your own for a while. I imagine it feels a little funny to talk at the moment."
He offered her a smile and she could only nod. He was right; it did feel funny.
"And to answer your question, you're at a military hospital in Egypt," the man continued, still smiling at her. "You were airlifted here from Somalia. You're a Jane Doe to us. Can you tell me your name?"
She opened her mouth, but this time it wasn't dryness or pain that stopped her from speaking. She just… couldn't answer. Her name? What was her name?? It was such a simple question, but she just couldn't. She looked up at the man with wide, alarmed eyes, one of the machines next to her beeping faster as her heart rate began to climb.
"Alright, alright, just take a deep breath," the man said, stepping closer to her. "There's no need to panic. A little memory loss is completely normal, given what you've been through. I'm sure it'll come soon enough."
Taking several deep breaths, she forced herself to try and relax, listening to his words. What other choice did she really have? She couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong, however. Very wrong.
"How about we start somewhere else, hmm?" the man asked, catching her attention again. "I'm David Watson, a physician with the British army. Given your accent, I'm going to assume you're from the Middle East, though I'm not accustomed to the area enough to be more specific."
He gave her an apologetic grimace, but she didn't notice. At the mention of his name, the hair stood up on the back of her neck and butterflies settled in her stomach.
"Day-vid?" she said slowly, the pronunciation sitting oddly on her tongue.
He nodded. "Yes. Do you remember something? Someone named David?"
She tried to search her memory for something, anything, but once again she came up blank.
"No," she answered quietly. "Not David. David is wrong. It is something else…."
David smiled at her. "Don't try to force it. Your brain recognized something, that's a start. It'll come when it's ready."
She frowned, the hair still standing on her neck and spreading gooseflesh along the rest of her body. This was wrong. She wasn't safe like this. She couldn't even remember what she was supposed to be safe from, but she could tell that she wasn't.
"Why am I here?"
With a long sigh, David pulled the chair from beside her and sat, bringing himself level with her rather than looming over her.
"You were found unconscious outside a medical center in northern Somalia," David said, his voice quiet and solemn. "There was severe bruising and lacerations covering most of your body. You had several broken ribs, as well as a dislocated patella. Not to mention you were severely dehydrated and missing a great deal of blood. You're very lucky to be alive."
She realized that she should probably be horrified at his description of her condition, but she wasn't. She didn't feel anything. Just numb.
"The clinicians were able to stabilize you before you were transferred here," he continued before nodding to her arm, which she noticed was in a cast for the first time. "We set your wrist as well as the ribs and kneecap. Some of the deeper lacerations needed to be sutured, but luckily there was no internal bleeding or hemorrhaging. The facial swelling and bruising is superficial. You had a mild concussion which can account for the memory loss, but now that you're conscious again, there's no reason you shouldn't make a full recovery."
Still, she felt little emotion at his descriptions. In her mind, she recognized the signs of someone who was quite nearly beaten to death, and in this case, 'someone' meant her. Yet still, she couldn't come up with a why, or a name. Her name. And if she was honest, that bothered her more than learning how badly she was injured. It bothered her almost as much as the feeling of unease that she couldn't seem to shake. Slowly, almost instinctively, her hand went to her hip, feeling for something that wasn't there.
"Is something wrong?" the doctor asked, noticing her odd movement and scrunched facial expression.
"No. Yes. I… do not know." She shook her head a few times, trying to clear it. "I feel as if I am… missing something."
David watched her for a moment before shaking his head. "You weren't brought in with anything. I can check with the clinic in Somalia to see if anything was left there, but I wouldn't bet on it."
She considered his offer but shook her head once again. "No. It is not there, either."
Once again, David offered her his smile, full of acceptance. "As I said, it'll come. For now, you're safe and we will try to make you as comfortable as possible."
She wanted to question about her current safety, but a large yawn erupted from within her causing David to laugh and her to blush.
"I am sorry," she began, but David cut her off.
"No, it is my fault," he said, chuckling. "The pain killers should knock you out for a few hours. When you wake, if you press the red button, one of the nurses can help you, or you can ask them to page me."
Looking down, she noticed the little red button of the side of her bed and nodded, yawning again as the doctor began making a few notes on his clipboard and gathering his stuff.
"Thank you," she mumbled, hardly hearing his reply as her eyes flickered shut. Drowsiness slowly drifted over her, submerging her in a slumber that was full of fleeting images and feelings, all linked by the lingering concern that she was not safe here. She needed to get home, and soon. If only she could remember exactly where home happened to be....