A/N: I got back from the ER and it turns out I have a rather nasty inner and outer ear infection, which can cause all of the symptoms, and my head hurt so bad I didn't know it originated from my inner ear. BTW... the collapse I described in part 1 colors swirling fade to black , very accurate. I also wanted to dedicate this part to Anne who's been supportive and praying for me. Thank you.
The first thing Peter noticed when he woke was the thunder pounding in his head. Next he realized he was in an unfamiliar place with things sticking to his chest, a BP cuff tight on one arm, and an IV line with saline in the other. He moved to remove the cuff and Neal came to his side to stop him.
"Hey, Peter, calm down. You're in the hospital," he said in a soothing tone.
Elizabeth pressed the nurse call button to let the doctor know Peter was awake.
"What happened?" Peter asked.
"You collapsed when you were going up the stairs and Neal caught you," Elizabeth explained her voice fixed with concern. "Honey, why didn't you tell me you've been feeling this sick?"
Before Peter could answer here the doctor entered the room. "Hello, Mr. Burke. I'm Dr. Lewiston," she shook his hand. "Your EKG and chest X-ray were normal. Tell me what else has been going on with you."
"I've been having really bad headaches and chills," he paused.
"For how long has this been going on? And what other symptoms have you been having?" she asked.
"I know he didn't eat lunch yesterday or today," Neal offered.
"And you are?"
"Neal Caffrey. I'm his partner. He's an F.B.I. agent," Neal explained.
The doctor nodded.
"About one week," Peter looked at El and Neal still not wanting to worry them.
"Mr. Burke, I can not diagnose you properly unless you give me all of your symptoms going in," she insisted.
Peter leaned back into the bed. "I've been dizzy, tired, upset stomach, and tonight I passed out," he sighed.
"Oh Peter..." Elizabeth drew in a breath, wondering how she'd not seen how this.
"And what is your pain level one a scale of one to ten, right now?"
"A seven," Peter groaned, the pounding in his head in agreement with that number.
Neal and Elizabeth hung back as the doctor listened to Peter's breathing, and looked him over.
Peter nearly jumped off the bed when she got to his ear.
"You have an inner and outer ear infection, Mr. Burke," she explained.
"That would cause all of his symptoms?" Elizabeth asked.
"Yes, ma'am. When the inner ear is affected it can cause a lot of problems. And if you've been feeling unwell for a week that just made it worse. You really need to see a doctor much sooner next time. Repeated ear infections can lead to a condition called labyrinthitis, which can cause hearing loss. And in your line of work that wouldn't be a good thing," she smiled at Peter. "I'll send the nurse in with some medication for nausea and pain, and some prescriptions including cipro, an antibiotic, to take home and we'll get you out of here, ok?"
"Thank you, doctor," Peter said.
Neal could tell Elizabeth was really mad at Peter right now, and he didn't blame her one bit. He was relieved that Peter was going to be ok. Before he could say anything the nurse came into the room.
"Ok, Mr. Burke, I have some medicine for you. You don't have any allergies do you?" she asked.
"Good. The first thing I have is zofran, for your nausea. This is going to burn a little," she pushed the medicine into the line.
Burn. Who was she kidding? It was scorching. He tried not to let it show on his face, but failed miserably
El could tell that the medicine was doing exactly what the nurse said it was. She raised an eyebrow at Peter that said 'Serves you right.'
"Ok, this next medicine is morphine, for your pain," she let the drug filter into the line. "Ok, I'll be back in 20 minutes to check on you."
Peter liked the morphine MUCH better. His head stopped hurt right away. Head. What head? And oooooo.... the walls were starting to melt. That was a cool effect. Now he was smiling.
"Feeling better?" El asked him.
"Much..." he grinned sheepishly.
"Good. Maybe you can tell me what you were thinking in not telling me or Neal about you being sick then?" she asked pointedly.
"Ummm.... I.... Neal help me out here..." his glazed eyes turned to blue eyes for help.
"Oh no, I agree with Elizabeth, here," Neal was more nervous of her than Peter right now.
Elizabeth handed Neal the car keys. "Neal, be a dear and bring the car around."
"Sure." Neal grabbed the keys and made a quick exit.
"You're trusting him with the car?" Peter blinked.
"More than I trust you, most of the time, dear. You really do drive crazy," she joked, while Peter dressed and they waited for Neal to pull up with the car.
"You're teasing me about this NOW? While I'm sick?" Peter groaned.
"You better believe it. And if you ever keep something like this from me ever again I'll put you in the hospital myself, understand?" she smiled wrapping her arms around him.
"Yes, ma'am," Peter nodded, hugging her back and then getting into the backseat of the car.
"Don't think you re off the hook, mister," Elizabeth's eyes gleamed at Neal. "Now, get in the car."
Neal gulped and lowered his head wondering what they would have to do to earn Elizabeth's forgiveness, and paused to note how eerily she sounded like Peter just at that moment.
Peter had to bite his lip to keep himself from laughing out loud.
The end... for now...
A/N 2: Labyrinthitis is a real condition, I have decreased hearing in my right ear because of it. Now... what has Peter learned from this... morphine is a good thing *whump* what else? It's not good to keep things from Elizabeth... yes, very good...