Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but really, they're not. But to make it official: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Category: CC / Max centered – Post Graduation
Rating: YTEEN, for very occasional language
They don't know who he is when he's first admitted. And in the course of finding out what's wrong with him, they'll stumble with the fact that they also don't know what he is either. Saint Paul's Hospital medical staff has just received the biggest mystery of their lives, but what's really worrying them is that, between this man's friends and foes, time is running out for their unknown patient.
Saint Paul's Hospital is about to get chaotic.
Author's Note: This story happened thanks to watching too much House M.D. and reading Kal-El's Journal by clairecheaux, specifically the Resurrection part 2 featurette. If you ever want to read very dark, very angsty Superman fanfiction, that one is calling to you ;) Both links can be found on my profile. All medical details are fictional. Unknown wouldn't have happened without the extraordinary help of my betas, KathyW, Michelle in Yonkers and thetvgeneral, and the attentive eye of both jainga and ken_r, my continuity betas, so eternal thanks go to the five of them!
It all had happened so fast.
It had started like any other day, really. In fact, it had pretty much been like any other day for the most part, and Dr. Susan Lake had spent almost the entire last hour happily humming to herself as she had been stuck with paperwork. There had been no doubt in her mind that it was going to be a long night, even if things had been quiet, and comfortable, and all around normal. That's why it was so inconceivable to be standing right now at the entrance of the ER, the temperature barely reaching 25ºF, as snow lightly fell on the street.
She was tense. Every single doctor and nurse at the ready, light conversation going around in scarce whispers here and there, all of them waiting for the ambulances to come.
One minute she was reviewing the last charts of the day, the next all available doctors were being paged. Two minutes later she had understood why: A train had derailed. Some had said terrorism, some had said human error, but most likely, it had been related to the severe storm they had had just the night before. It hadn't helped matters that it had been snowing for the past three days straight either. Something on the rails had given up and the train had just plummeted to the earth. At rush hour, chances were hospitals were going to come short.
And Saint Paul's Hospital was the first in the line, so all critical patients were coming this way. All that they could manage, at least.
She could hear the sirens in the distance now. Somewhere, a radio or a TV was blaring with the news of the disaster. She cursed under her breath that it had to be tonight, for no other reason than the very terrible fact that at least 1/4 of the staff was sick with the flu at home. How many people were they going to be able to help? How many children had been on that train?
Susan had never been very fond of the ER, but here she was. All hands were needed, and she was more than ready to lend hers. Hadn't she become a doctor to help whenever she could? There was too much suffering in the world, and she had wanted to ease it just a bit. And children were the most cheated in that regard: They hadn't experienced life just yet.
Despite the fact that she had graduated second in her class, and her residency had been over three years ago, Susan had never found herself in a situation like this. Loosely controlled chaos was about to take up residence in the ER in just about two minutes, and she idly thought that she would kill for a cigarette.
She tried to think about other things. She was quitting the horrible vice, for crying out loud. She tried to focus, the reports from the crash site vague at best. She didn't think there were many kids in the train at this hour, and that somehow eased her fears. Children were her life, and she was regarded as one damned good pediatrician as well. The irony being that she had no children of her own, and frankly, she wasn't sure she wanted to be a mom either. Maybe she would just suck at it.
A screeching sound took her out of her thoughts about motherhood and her nicotine addiction. Ambulances were still on their way, the snow covered streets becoming a treacherous road, the rush hour traffic not helping any. The source of the sound was standing at her left, some 15 feet away; a taxi that had seen better days -way better days- had stopped, the driver hurriedly opening the door a second after.
"I need help!" the man yelled as he started to round the front part of his car, his moves admirably agile for someone who couldn't be more than 5'4", and was overweight by more than 50 pounds. Gray sweater, black pants and black gloves, the man's face was a total contrast to his monochromatic outfit as it flushed with worry, half skidding, half running to the other side of the car.
"Sir, you'll have to go to—" Dr. Alec Holt started to say as the man was reaching the passenger door. Susan understood Holt's words: They were waiting for critical patients, and every single bed was needed.
"Listen," the taxi driver said in a no-nonsense voice, "this guy practically collapsed in front of my car. I don't know what the hell is wrong with him, I don't know who the hell he is, but I'll be damned if I had left him in the snow to die a cold death. I had to re-route three times since the stupid snow hasn't been cleared, and the damned train derailment has paralyzed the goddamn city for the past twenty minutes. I don't think he can wait for the next hospital in the way, so either you take him in, or I'll just camp here until he dies inside my car."
He opened the door. Now the entire staff that was waiting outside was holding their collective breaths. Susan didn't know what to expect, really, but the taxi driver had made a pretty convincing act. Even if Holt was only a couple of years older than her, he looked like a kid that had been reprimanded by the principal about a very serious deed.
Holt almost imperceptibly snapped out of it, and with a move of his head, the nurses rushed with the stretcher as he came to aid the taxi driver. The first ambulance turned the corner, the reds and blues illuminating the snow on the sidewalks, the sound of the siren taking over her thoughts. Her and everyone's attention was diverted from the drama going on in the taxi to the one that was about to unfold in a couple of seconds.
Yet Susan still caught a glimpse of the young man that Dr. Alec Holt helped to get out of the passenger seat just as the ambulance parked. Of the short, dark hair, the slender -and most likely tall- figure, and the well-defined muscles of his naked chest. Gray, dirty pants and tennis shoes were all that protected him against the bitter cold. She could tell he was barely conscious, and just as she wondered why the taxi driver wouldn't have given him something to cover him up, she heard Holt exclaimed, "Damn! He's burning up!"
The ambulance doors opened up and the first victim came out, a little girl not older than 6, and all thoughts about the mysterious dark-haired man were forgotten. In fact, she wouldn't think of him again for the next two hours. A second encounter would happen then that was bound to ensure she would never forget him again.
It was going to be a long night indeed.