Sorry for the cliff-hanger.. occasionally I must indulge myself at your expense. Here's the final chapter.

* * * *

"Wayne.. hang on.." Aunt Beth put a calming hand on his forehead. "Just try to breath in slowly.."

One of the interns rushed in and sized up the situation. "Move.." He pushed Jaye aside. "What were you doing to his chest tube?" He checked the monitor and then put the head of the bed down, planting a hand into the center of BeachHead's chest to keep him lying flat. "Just be still.. the tube is blocked and I have to clear it.. you're fine.. "

BeachHead struggled to breathe and reached towards his side only to have his hand pushed away. "Can't.. "

"You can't breathe.. I know.. just a moment and I'll have it clear.. stay calm.. you're doing fine.." For a student doctor the young man was very cool and collected and easily fended off the weakened attempts his patient made to grasp the chest tube himself. LadyJaye shifted a little closer to the bed but hesitated to do anything that might hinder the medical procedure. Flint put a hand onto her arm to reassure her although he was feeling more nervous the longer Beach went without breathing properly.

A minute of the intern poking and doing things with shiny instruments and Beach suddenly gasped in a deep breath. "There.. hang on." The intern pulled a oxygen mask from the wall and fastened it over the Ranger's face, twisting the vent slightly. "Breathe slow.. don't hyperventilate.. you're fine.."

Beach gave a thumb's up and continued to take deep breaths, coughing ever so often.

"Try not to cough.. I know it feels like you should cough.. try not to." Within minutes all was well and the Ranger moved to pull the mask off. "No.. leave it on for now. We'll give you some extra O2 for thirty minutes or so and I'll come back to check your blood/oxy levels. Alright? Don't roll onto the chest tube. That's probably what happened. Don't mess with it. See? This is why we don't let patients leave with tubes hanging out of their chests." He was glared at. "Try to rest. Do you want me to leave the head of the bed down so you can sleep?" Beach shook his head. "Alright.. but don't be trying to talk. I'm going to let your visitors stay but only if you're resting properly when I come back. Got it?" He raised up the head of the bed so the Ranger was sitting up more and checked all his vital signs and readouts one more time, received another glare and left, passing CoverGirl and Seth as they returned.

CoverGirl immediately knew something had gone wrong when she saw Beach with the O2 mask on. "What happened??"

Beach gave her an 'okay' sign and motioned to his side. Jaye filled her in. "He twisted the chest tube and couldn't breathe.. but he's okay now. Just a little excitement and a lesson to the stubborn Ranger about how he really isn't fit to leave the hospital." She was glared at as well. "It's true.. or are you just a really slow learner?"

"Bite me.." The husky whisper made his thoughts pretty clear.

Flint held up his wrist. "Hate to say it.. but if Beach isn't going to go die or anything, we have to get out of here." He saw BeachHead's eyes go to CoverGirl for just a flicker of an instant. "Courtney don't have to leave.. but Jaye and I have to get moving or we're going to miss the flight home. Duke will skin me alive if I delay getting back."

BeachHead made a few shooing motions at Flint.

"Yeah yeah.." Flint stepped another foot away. "Next time you're going to take a risky potshot at my girlfriend's head.. I hope you'd take a little more time to aim."

Beach sat up and pointed at him angrily, pulling off the oxygen mask. "Ness time leave you wit' no gun drawn.." He coughed and lost his voice for a moment, struggling to catch his breath. "..see you savin' no one.."

LadyJaye managed to look horrified at Flint. "Seriously? He didn't hit me.. it was a great damned shot! And he's right! He only had a few seconds to jump out after CoverGirl or she'd been dead! He was the only person with a weapon drawn to be able to use it at all. Don't EVEN go there Flint!"

"But he.."

"Shut up!" Jaye crossed her arms and waited for him to try to protest again. "I can't believe you!"

Flint swallowed and looked at her. "I'm sorry." She raised an eyebrow. "Oh geez.." He turned to BeachHead who looked remarkably pleased at Jaye's fierce defense of him. "I'm sorry. I appreciate that you saved Jaye and that you did so in a dramatic and skilled fashion that I would never have been able to pull off because I am nothing but a moron compared to the almighty Ranger BeachHead." His monotone delivery made Beach roll his eyes. "Happy now? Anyone ELSE want to try to humiliate me?"

CoverGirl's brows lowered a little more. "No. You're doing quite well all by your lonesome."

He leveled a finger at her. "I'm going to have that rank chat with you yet."

"Go for it. I'll have a chat about you respecting people under you." She scowled back at him.

He gave up. "Fine. Whatever. Nice to meet you Miss Beth and.. umm..Seth. CoverGirl please stay out of trouble and keep your Ranger on a short leash. Beach.. do whatever you want.. you're going to do it anyway. Duke can deal with the fallout. Jaye.. we have to go." He stalked out looking fairly low and Jaye gave Beach's leg a squeeze.

"Behave.. heal fast. The longer you're gone, the more stuff we're going to do to your PT course." She grinned as he booted her rear before she could hop off the bed. "Courtney.. glad you didn't die." She hugged the slender blond and nodded at Aunt Beth and Seth. "Nice to meet both of you. And thank you for the packages you sent. Don't think we're all like Flint.. and he's not a bad guy.. it's just.. well.. Beach here brings out the worst in him."

"I'm sure he's not all bad. Just rude." Aunt Beth watched her leave as well. "I suppose we should get out of your hair as well." Beach spread his hands out. "Seth has to get back to the house.. as do I. I can't leave the farm for very long, and now that I'm reassured that you are in good hands, I can leave again." She reached to replace the oxygen mask on his face causing him to make a face at her. "Leave that on until they say you can take it off." A quick hug and she turned to hug a startled CoverGirl as well. "You take good care of him."

"I'll do my best." She watched the older woman leave, trailed after by Seth who was simply too tongue-tied to say goodbye to her. "How are you doing Beach?"

He shrugged and tilted his hand side-to-side. "Hungry."

"Stop talking." Her voice was half-hearted at best. "I'm sure they'll bring you something soon." She settled onto the edge of his bed and reached to fiddle with his hair a little. He put a hand on her stomach and pressed her back to relax along the upright head of the bed, hitching the pillow over so she could share it. "Alright alright.. " Wriggling a little, she got comfy and let him settle in beside her, albeit with that careful measure of distance between them. He did tilt his head into her fingers, encouraging her to continue stroking his hair. "Are you feeling okay? Not too much pain?"

A heavy shrug of his shoulders but he shook his head, careful not to dislodge her hand from his head. Her fingers trailed lower to trace along the edge of the bandage on his neck covering the nasty gash. "I'm so sorry you got hurt."

His head shook side to side. "Not yer fault.."

"Shush. No talking. It's still my fault for being that close to the cargo door.. I shouldn't have been right there.. " He opened his mouth and she put her finger up. "Shhh. I know it's stupid but that's kind of how I feel. I know it's that idiot's fault.. he chose to kick me out.. but I feel like you risked your life to save mine and you got hurt and I didn't."

He reached to take her hand and smoothed his fingers across it carefully. Tracing along one of the many thin scarlines on her hand he put his own hand up and let her look at his own marring and gouges. "I know Beach, we've both taken some beating and all.. but this time it was just.. I dunno. It's stupid."

He smiled and touched his nose and pointed at her. "Oh shut up you. See if I get you more ice." The pitiful look out of the deep brown eyes made her smile. "Yes.. I'll get you more ice." He reached over to pick up the cup and showed it to her. "Oh geez.. NOW? How are you eating that much ice?"

"Hungry.." He gave her the soulful gaze again and she relented. "T'anks.."

"You know.. everyone knows I have a soft spot for big dirty hunks of metal.. what with me driving tanks for my MOS.. but who'd believe I have such a soft spot for big dirty hunks in general?" She slipped off the edge of the bed and took the cup. "I'll be right back."

He watched her leave and counted carefully to fifty before he tossed the blankets back and slipped out of the bed. Plucking the ends of the wire sensors off his chest, he removed the I.V. line easily, pressing his finger over the spot to keep it from bleeding. Once it stopped, he tugged his hospital gown around him more securely and padded out into the hallway.

One of the nurses caught him before he made it halfway down the ward. "Just where do you think you're headed?" He pointed vaguely down the ward while continuing to walk slowly. "No.. you go back to bed." Giving a vague shrug, he pretended to sign at her while just making random motions.. just in case she understood ASL. "I don't understand.. stop.. you can't leave yet." He stopped and signed very earnestly at her before waving vaguely down the ward again. "I don't understand.. wait.. I'll get Jenine.. she's good at sign language.." He nodded and stood still while she hurried away. The instant she was going through the door to the nurses' station he took off, almost managing a trot while holding his side tightly. Once he reached the elevators, he hit the up button and took the first car up. The nurses would all assume he was headed downwards.

Two levels up, he grabbed a IV pole left in the hallway and pushed it slowly along as he walked with his head down as if merely walking after surgery. Doctors were always after people to get up and walk as soon as possible. Working his way across the floor, he arrived at the east wing elevators and took THOSE down to the second floor. He left the IV pole behind and moved across that floor easily, headed for the stairs instead of the elevators. Walking down those two flights strained him greatly. Each step downward jarred his side and he gritted his teeth and took them as quickly as he could hobble down them. On the ground floor landing he paused to take a few breaths.

If he remembered the layout correctly, and this wasn't the first time he'd escaped Fort Benning's premier hospital, he was only fifty feet from one of the front exits. A casual walk and he was out. Slipping out of the stairwell door, he tried to look casual as he wandered across the lobby and reached for the door. The hand that clamped onto his wrist was large and meaty. "Crap.."

"Don't talk. We've been told you're not supposed to be talking. Come along, we'll get you a wheelchair and give you a ride back up to your floor." The huge orderly smiled as he muscled the recalcitrant patient along the lobby floor easily. BeachHead cursed both the guy who'd decided hospital lobby areas needed smooth tiled floors and the fact that sock-covered feet didn't have any traction on them. Struggling to get away just made him slide around in a very distressingly undignified manner. When he was joined by a second large intern, BeachHead sighed and let them drag him to a wheelchair.

"Can walk.." His weak protest went unheard as they smiled and took him to the elevators to ride back up to the surgical ward. Once taken back to his bed, he got up and climbed in to give them all sulky looks.

CoverGirl was seated in the chair, reading a magazine she'd gotten while downstairs in the cafeteria. "How far did you get?"

"Front door." He croaked out.

"Impressive. I heard the alert go out over the PA. You'd think they would have caught you before you got to the front doors." He shrugged. "You're getting sneakier. Maybe you've been hanging out with SnakeEyes too long?" That earned her a nasty look. "No offense."

"Whut'ver." He cleared his throat. "Salt?" He tipped his hand back as if he were drinking and CoverGirl stared at him. "Gargle?"

"Oh.. salt-water to gargle? I'll see about it. Are you just trying to get me out of the way for another escape attempt?" He shook his head but she looked doubtful. "Yeah right.."

He mimed looking with big eyes and shook his head at her again, then glanced at his wrist.

"Oh.. I see. Everyone will be watching you to escape now, so you'll wait until later on to try again." He gave her a thumb's up. "You're impossible." A fairly enthusiastic nod answered that statement and she sighed. "All right then.."

By the time the nurse brought in salt-water for him, the annoyed intern was stabbing his forearm for the eighth time trying to get his IV reinserted. "Hold still..."

"Stop stabbin' me.." The hoarse voice protested for the seventh time.

"Well, if you hadn't pulled OUT your other IV then I wouldn't have to put a new one in. So it's your own damned fault. So just BE STILL!" At this point the intern was frustrated and the nurse cleared her throat. "What? He's being very uncooperative."

"How about you let me try a couple times? He's had three IVs already and is probably running out of good veins." She stepped aside as the intern moved away, Taking up BeachHead's thickly muscled forearm, she felt along the lines for a good spot. "Make a fist." She hummed softly. "How many times did you stick him?"

"Eight. I had it in twice but he jerked and it blew out both times." The young man peered over her shoulder as she tapped up a large ropey vein. BeachHead struggled to hold still as she plucked up a large bore IV and inserted it smoothly. "Well heck. See?" He turned an accusing look on the Ranger. "If you'd held still for me, I wouldn't have had to stick you so many times."

"Bite me.." He rolled his eyes at them both as they shushed him.

The nurse taped his arm up and sighed at him. "IF you feel the urgent need to escape again.. please don't remove the IV. If it comes back out one more time, I'm going to bring the whole half-dozen trainees who haven't stuck ANY patients before and use you to teach them how to put in IVs, got it?" He sighed at her, trying to look pitiful. "Don't even think I'll fall for the big brown eyes. I've read your file, Sneeden."

He shrugged at her. Once he'd gargled salt-water a few times, he coughed and stretched himself out, rubbing at the incision in his side. CoverGirl had returned and gave his hand a pat. "Don't tug at the stitches."


"Don't talk."

He snorted derisively.

"Don't snort at me either." Before he could do it, she spoke up calmly. "No sighing dejectedly either. You lost all your brownie points by trying to escape. Now you can just rest a while."

"M'kay." He grinned when she shushed him again and swatted his leg with her magazine. He made a face and rubbed the leg and pulled the blanket back to show off one of the neatly taped gashes.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know you had a boo-boo there." She adroitly whacked his leg again higher up to miss it. "How's that?" His false hurt expression made little impact on her. "Suck it up, buttercup."

"Mean.." He coughed and pointed at her.

"How about you just rest? Stop fussing at me, stop talking and just rest? I'll go find something to busy myself with and get a shower. I'll come back later on to check on you." She ignored the rather forlorn look he tried on her. "You'll be fine.. without me to pester, maybe you'll get some sleep. I'll tell the nurse to bring you more ice in a bit too so when you run out you'll have more. Behave while I'm gone." She bent to press lips to his head quickly and smiled as he twitched away. "Rest.. and no talking."

He watched her leave and then laid around for a short while until he got too bored to stay put. Climbing back out of the bed, he looked at the IV and then decided to go with the safe bet and took the IV bag down to carry with him. Sensor leads got unplugged again and he wandered to the nurses station.

"What are you doing!? Don't you think you'll escape again!" He shrugged at the irate nurse and settled into the chair beside the desk with a sigh. "Go back to bed!"

"Bored.." He coughed and both nurses chastised him about talking. He held up his hands and one noticed the bag of IV fluids and fussed at him about that.

"Well at least he didn't pull out the IV this time." The second nurse pulled an pole over and hooked the bag onto it. "There. You can sit out here for fifteen minutes.. then it's back to bed. Got it?"

He nodded and watched them filling out paperwork and bustling around. "Pen?" He received a raised eyebrow. "Please?"

"Stop talking. No you cannot have a pen." At his spread hands query, she shook her head. "No, I give you a pen, you'll just use it to stab someone. Then I'll have MORE work to patch up whoever you stab.. and if it's one of the interns, I'll have to cover their work too. No pen for you."

He grunted and crossed his arms at her.

"No. No weapons for Sneeden. That's final."

He reached over and twisted the IV pole apart in only a few seconds, hefting the length of metal pole in his hand and showing it to her. Before she could panic, he reassembled it.

"Oh very funny. Yes you can make a weapon out of anything.. big scary Ranger. You are two seconds from me sedating your ornery butt, you get me?" He shook his head. "You try me. You'll wake up with the mother of all hangovers when I get done with you. If you give me an ounce of trouble, I'm taking your hospital gown too. You'll be escaping naked." He shrugged with a casual air but it was totally belied by the deep crimson blush. "Uh-huh."

Dr Bessette came by and dropped some files onto the desk then did a double take at his patient sitting there. "What's he doing out here?"

"He's sitting.. he has six minutes, then he's going to go happily back to his bed to rest for a while.. if he knows what's good for him." The nurse's no nonsense tone made the doctor smile.

"Well, as long as they have you well in hand.." He started to walk away and Beach stopped him with a raised hand. "What?"

"Pen?" He coughed softly and rubbed his throat. The surgeon took a deep breath and reached to his pocket to lift out one of his pens.

The nurse pointed at him. "No. We do NOT give Sneeden weapons."

"But.. it's just a pen." Dr Bessette looked from the harmless writing implement to the seated man who still held his hand out for it.

"Right.. Sneeden once opened up a intern's leg down to the kneecap with a tongue depressor." The nurse gave a quelling look at the grin that spread over the Ranger's face. "We do not give him already pointy things."

"A tongue depressor?? Good lord." Dr Bessette pointed at him. "She's right.. you cause too much trouble and you'll spend the rest of your stay here sleeping off sedation in heavy restraints. Oh.. and no more escape attempts."

A loud snort and BeachHead looked away tapping his fingers on the edge of the desk. The one nurse walked off with the surgeon discussing another patient leaving him seated to watch the other nurse. He motioned at her and signed carefully. *Food good.*

"Food? Maybe this afternoon." She checked a paper. "You're on the sheet for soup and juice.. and if you behave you can have tea. If you're very very good, I'll make sure you get some iced tea even. If you're not good, you're getting grapefruit juice and beef broth." He made a face. "Umm-hmm. Nurse Margie isn't the only one who knows how to punish trouble-making patients."

*Pain.* He made the sign a few times for her.

"You're in pain? Or we're all being pains?" He held up two fingers. "Yes, we're all pains in your butt. We only want you to get well so you can leave. Especially the 'leave' part. Trust me.. we don't want to keep you in here any longer than necessary."

He dropped his gaze to the floor and she relented. "Look.. if you keep it quiet.. I'll give you a cup of apple juice to tide you over.. but you have to go back to bed. You narc on me and I'll make sure you need a foley catheter." He held out a hand to shake on the deal and got to his feet with a visible effort, hobbling the first few steps before he straightened to walk slowly back to his bed. He rehung his IV bag himself and settled down with the magazine CoverGirl had left behind. He was lucky she didn't go for the stupid women's magazines about make-up and hair styles. Of course.. motors and muscle cars weren't exactly his thing either.. but magazines in general tended to bore him.

The nurse was true to her word and snuck him a small cup of juice and although he protested by holding up his fingers to indicate the size of the cup, he accepted it anyway. Once the juice was downed, he began to check the timing of the interns that passed by his bay. There seemed to be one hovering near the opening to the curtains all too often.

He waited until the guarding intern left on an errand and got up carefully to poke his head out. He looked into the nurse's face and tried a smile. She'd been waiting about two feet away.

"Go back to bed." Her unamused eyes told him it wasn't just a suggestion. He nodded and retreated. Timing was important.. since his trip to the nurses station had served as a quick scouting run and also a set of misdirection with his slow hobbling performance, he was decently certain he could make it out without too much trouble.

After a few minutes, as he expected, the nurse poked her head into his bay to check. She found him laying still, the magazine laid on his chest as the exhausted Ranger slept. She tiptoed in and checked his vital signs quietly without touching him and then left just as quietly. The instant she exited, his eyes flicked open and he started unhooking his wires. The IV took him a second as he figured out to detach the inserted catheter from the lines to the bag of fluids and meds. If he wasn't caught, he could always remove the IV itself later on.

Slipping out of the bed, he carefully laid down to peer under the bottom edge of the curtains. He saw the legs of the one intern where the guy was seated again only ten feet away. Cursing silently in his head, Beach looked to the side along the row of other bays, and smiled to himself. Crawling carefully along the floor, he easily moved along the length of the whole section of the surgical ward to the end, passing from one curtained patient bay to the next by going under all the intervening curtains. The few patients awake enough to notice him merely looked at him and let him pass without comment, one heavily bandaged sergeant giving him a thumb's up of encouragement.

Once he reached the end, he lowered himself to peer out from under the curtain and waited for the single nurse to walk away before he slipped out and stood up carefully, feeling the pull of the chest tube. Half a dozen of the gashes that had been taped shut felt like they'd opened and when he twisted to check, there was blood showing through a couple of the gauze bandages. As he tried to walk casually to the elevators they dinged and he had to move quickly to a closet to hide. Closing the door quietly, he turned and found a huge bin of laundry and happily rooted into it to find a set of scrub pants that would fit him. Shirts were all too small however and he settled for a lab coat. Tugged shut securely, he hoped it wasn't obvious that he didn't have a shirt on underneath. Peeping out, he smoothed his hair as best he could and walked slowly to the elevators again, heading back up to the upper floors.

Exiting, he continued the slow walk, plucking up a clipboard from a unattended desk. Pretending to flip through the papers, he walked past several interns and nurses who ignored him. The pen he tucked down into his sock for later just in case.

There was a loud triple chime over the PA system and his escape was announced again. An intern shook his head as he walked by BeachHead. "Danged Rangers.. I have to go try to help round him up again." BeachHead gave him the blandest look of disinterest possible, obviously very absorbed in his own work.

"Good luck." His hoarse voice didn't illicit any second look and he went back to walking down the hallway on his way to the stairs in a distracted fashion, pausing to compare the papers on a patient's board hung outside the room as a cluster of doctors and interns came by. When they passed into a private room, he turned back to head for the stairs again. His escape was going awfully well.

Finally downstairs and he cracked the door open to check the front lobby area. No less than ten interns loitered around looking way too alert for his taste. He bent and peeled one of the bloody bandages off his leg and tucked the tape in so it wasn't noticeable. Then he opened the door up and staggered out holding his bandage to his forehead hiding part of his face, waving at the nearest ones.

"Sneeden.. headed to roof.. tried to stop.." He watched nine of the ten rush through the stairwell door and waved the tenth one to follow. "I'm fine..go.." Happy his voice had held out long enough to get enough words out, he took only three steps towards the lobby to give intern number ten a chance to get through the door after his intern buddies. Then he turned and headed out the exterior door, tucking the gauze pad out of sight into a pocket. Walking down the wide entranceway steps, BeachHead smiled to himself and tried to look casual.. tired intern leaving his shift, nothing to be concerned about.. definitely not an escaped patient...

He sighed heavily when the hands seized his arms. "Crap.."

Two large orderlies.. with four approaching interns. The stocky black orderly attached to his right arm gave him a sad shake of his head. "Nice try Sneeden. Really.. I'm impressed. Back to your bed." He was patted down. "Where's the pen?" When Beach shrugged at him, the orderly snorted. "You have a clipboard.. you have the pen too.." A more thorough pat down netted one pen out of his sock. "I swear.. Rangers."

Hustled back inside and stripped of his concealing coat, BeachHead sat in the wheelchair as the all-clear was announced over the intercom. "How?" He croaked at the young man now pushing him through the hallways towards the elevators to take him back upstairs.

"I shouldn't tell you.. but I know you wily Rangers won't repeat the same trick twice. Most doctors leaving the hospital wear shoes." He grinned as BeachHead looked down at his socks. "Yep. Like I said.. nice try."

"Crap." Beach repeated.

"Don't feel too bad.. having you here is turning into a great training session on how to corral non-complaint patients." His orderly seemed rather cheerful. "Besides.. it certainly hasn't been a boring day. I'm pretty sure you won't have another chance to escape though. The nurses on the surgical floor take it real personal when patients manage to escape."

Beach grunted loudly. "We'll see 'bout that."

* * * *

When CoverGirl returned she stopped at the nurses station. "Is he still here, or has he managed to escape?"

"Oh he's in bed."

She grinned. "Are you sure? He might have snuck out since the last time you checked in on him."

The nurse gave a casual shake to her head. "No.. I talked to him and explained that it was important for surgical patients to rest for at least 48 hours after surgery, especially with chest tubes still in place. He understands now and assured me he's not going to make any more attempts. He's a very reasonable man when you take the time to talk to him." She smiled placidly at CoverGirl. The tank jockey was pretty sure she'd just lost her eyebrows into her hairline.

"Umm.. okay.. maybe you misunderstood.. I'm here for Sneeden.. big cantankerous Ranger? Lots of scars and messy brown hair?" She waved a hand vaguely. "Sound familiar?"

"Yes.. Sergeant major Sneeden. That's who I'm talking about. Quite a nice gentleman. Very reasonable and cooperative." The placid expression didn't waver and CoverGirl gave up and assumed that she was new on the floor.

"Okay.. I'm gonna go check in on him."

"You do that, tell him I'll be by shortly to see him."

"Okaaaay..." The leggy blond walked on down to the curtained bay and stepped in. "Hey Beach. Oh.. well. This explains it."

Beach raised his head up and wriggled his fingers at her. He couldn't raise more than his head with the heavy leather restraint cuffs locking all four limbs down securely. The chest strap passing across his chest and under each arm kept him from scooting around at all. "Hey.. ice?"

She shook her head. "Yes.. I brought you a fresh cup of ice. I see you've been behaving about as well as I expected." She settled the couple of magazines to the side and looked down at him.

"Been good fer hours.." His voice had improved slightly. "Throat hurts..."

"I'll give you some ice. Stop trying to talk. Of course you've been good for hours.. you've probably been very good ever since they strapped you to the bed with four point restraints." He shrugged and wriggled his hands at her to show he couldn't sign at her. "Well, you can't talk and now you can't use ASL either. That's your own fault. And here I even got some gun magazines that you won't be able to read either."

He tugged his wrists against the cuffs futilely. "Loose.."

"No way. Now you're stuck here. Give these nurses some piece and quiet. Little do they know how fortunate they are that you yanked that breathing tube out. Otherwise you'd be screaming your head off at everyone." She fished a piece of ice out of the cup for him.

He nodded. "Tried.." Opening up his mouth he took the chunk of ice to suck at it.

"Of course you tried. I can only stay for about ten minutes.. then I have to leave. You're now on restricted visitors." She shook a finger at him when he began to protest. "Your own fault. You don't behave, they don't give you privileges. You don't behave.. they put you in four-point restraints."

He shook his head. "Five.."

"Five what?"

He turned just the slightest bit red. "Five point restraints.." He coughed a few times and swallowed carefully.

"What the heck is a five point restraint system? You only have four limbs to tie down!" She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes at him.

"Foley catheter.." He blushed harder. "Not goin' no where."

She started to laugh and he glared at her. "Shut it, not funny."

"Oh nooo, that's real danged funny. I like these nurses.. I'm going to have them call Lifeline and give him tips." The glower she received made her laugh harder. "Don't worry.. it's just another day or so.. then you can get the chest tube out and we'll go back to the Pit."

"Long danged day with a foley in ya.."

"I bet.." She lost it to laugh all over again. "Sorry.. it IS funny!"

* * * *


I hope you enjoyed it.. and I hope to write up some new things quickly, thank you all for reading and especially thank you to the great reviewers!