Large blue-gray eyes stared back at me as I peered into the mirror.
It was 1:00 am in the morning and I was only half an hour away from finishing my shift in the pediatric wing at Baylor Medical Center in Garland Texas. It had been a particularly long shift, and I was more than ready to call it a night and curl up in my comfy bed at home.
Curly tendrils of cinnamon colored hair escaped the ballerina bun I had made earlier today before leaving for the hospital. I attempted to tuck some of the lose hair back into place, but finally just gave up when my efforts proved futile.
Exiting the bathroom into the hallway, I quickly made my way back to the nurses station situated in the center of the wing. Taking my seat I picked up a pen and resumed working on the charts that I had been filling in before my impromptu bathroom break.
'Have to get these done before the shift change.'
I was only one chart away from finishing, when Stacy Wright, a fellow Pediatric nurse tapped me lightly on the shoulder.
"Laura, room 308 is blinking." Glancing over my shoulder, I confirmed the flickering light before putting my pen down and rising to my feet. With a slight smile I said, "Thanks Stacy, I was hoping to talk to her before I went off shift."
Shrugging her shoulders she smiled lightly, "I know, she has a big day tomorrow."
I made my way down one of the adjacent hallways till I came to room 308. Walking into the semi private room I glanced over at the first bed. The lights were turned down low and I could just make out the form of the sleeping patient laying there, a 13 year old named Kelly.
Moving on I pulled back the curtain that surrounded the next area. This bed was was also occupied, but instead of finding the patient asleep, I found a very much awake ten year old sitting up with the overhead bed light shinning down on her blue bandanna wrapped head.
"Payton, are you having trouble sleeping?" I inquired as I moved to the IV stand situated beside the hospital bed. Double checking the drip rate on the IV machine, I waited for the young girl to answer.
Peering up at me with big brown eyes much to large for her pale face she said, "I guess I'm a little nervous about tomorrow..you know." Small, thin fingers pulled nervously at the tape that was used to secure the IV needle into the top of her hand.
Noticing that the edges of the tape were now curling back from the child's recently acquired nervous habit, I sat down on the edge of the bed and gently put a hand on top of hers to stop the motion.
Smiling as reassuringly as possible I reached into my uniform pocket and retrieved the roll of medical tape that I kept there.
I began the process of changing the IV tape not for the first time this shift as I spoke, "You do have a big day, but that's why you need to get as much sleep as you possibly can."
Glancing up at her, I noted that she was now biting her lip, a sure sign that the girl was nervous and had a lot on her mind.
"I know, but I'm kinda scared Miss Laura."
Just about done with removing the older tape I asked, "Why don't you tell me what your scared of sugar?"
Payton knew exactly what was going to happen the next morning. Both her parents and doctors had talked to her extensively about what to expect. Having been hospitalized since her diagnosis of stage 3 leukemia only a couple months ago, there was little the child had been spared in the way of hospital procedure since, but tomorrow was going to be a bit different and we both knew it.
"Mom and Dad said I was one of the first to ever have it done."
Nodding my head, "Yep sweetie you sure are, but not the very first." Keeping my eyes on down on the task at hand I continued, "But you know what? I think you're going to do great." Looking up, I flashed her a smile before I resumed my work.
A couple minutes of silence lapsed before Payton spoke up again.
"They say I won't become one of them..right?" She looked up to me with those huge eyes searching for reassurance.
As a nurse I knew that there were always risks in any operation or procedure, but it was not something I felt comfortable sharing with this thin sick child. Especially concerning this particular procedure.
Little was known about the affects of Vampire blood on the severely sick. V was a hot commodity on the black market, highly addictive, and responsible for spawning serious addicts everywhere once the affects of the blood were known to the public. Only recently had the medical community began to publicly explore the legitimate uses for vampire blood, of course sparking ethical issues in it's wake.
The opinions stretched from one radical opinion to another with plenty in between. Some believed that all vampires were evil and that any and everything to do with them, including their life saving blood, was a one way ticket to hell. Then there were those that held the notion that vampires were to be worshiped and revered, that all humans should aspire to become one of them.
My opinion fell somewhere in between with the majority of the population, not buying into either campaign. I didn't believe vampires were evil per say, but I certainly wouldn't seek them out purposely either. As a medical professional, I was excited to see what vampire blood could do.
Payton was a perfect example with stage 3 leukemia, her prognosis being bleak. This new treatment would be tricky with her type of illness, but at least it was a shot at saving her that wasn't available before.
"I won't become a vampire..right Miss Laura."
Realizing that she had repeated her question, I again gave another reassuring smile before answering.
"No Payton, you won't become a vampire. I'm pretty sure it takes more than a little vampire blood to turn into one of them. Your going to get just enough to see if we can get you feeling better."
Taping on the last piece of tape with a pat I took her small hand into mine noticing that my hand was not much bigger than hers. I'm a fairly small woman standing at only 5'1. I hated my lack of stature, but will admit that it's an advantage when working with most of the children in the pediatric ward. Being less physically imposing sometimes created an instant rapport with the younger patients.
Attempting to lighten the mood I said, "You have to feel better soon cause' you owe me a chance to beat you at bowling."
Finally a smile broke across the girl's face as she responded to my teasing, "I don't know Miss Laura, I told you I'm pretty good."
Giving her a mock glare I growled playfully, "Hmmm..I guess we'll have to see about that won't we?"
A few more minutes was spent relaxing the girl with a bit of light banter before I glanced down at my watch and noticed the time.
"Ok sugar, time for me to skedaddle." I was going to be late for the shift changeover as it was. "How about I send someone in here with a little something to make you sleepy?"
Nodding her head in accent she slipped down on her pillow as I lowered the electric bed so that the top half was in a better position for sleeping. Straitening the covers over her thin frame, I then reached down and touched her lightly on the tip of her nose.
"I'll see ya soon kido, your Mom and Dad should be here when you wake up in the morning."
Again nodding her bandanna covered head, which hid the child's slick bald head from view, "Night Miss Laura."
"Night.." I whispered as I left through her curtain and headed out of the room back toward the nurses station.
OK guys my first fanfic that I've actually decided to post. It's far from perfect and I appreciate constructive feedback and will take ALL the encouragement I can get ;) I decided to go ahead with a Godric fic despite his early demise on "True Blood". He's just much to interesting a character to forget about don't ya think?
BTW..this story will be one that builds a bit (not to much) before our main characters meet..so just hang in there with me.