What The Future Holds
Disclaimer: DOC does not belong to me. The show is created by the Johnson brothers.
Spoilers: "Happy Trails", "Till We Meet Again"
Summary: Missing Scene - Till We Meet Again: When Nancy and Clint go to the airport, Nancy may reflect on the last time she was on her way to the airport (in Happy Trails)...
Challenge: i2eye's 2nd Anniversary Missing Scene Challenge; Favorite DOC Missing Scene.
A/N: Well, here it is finally, one of the missing scenes I had planned to write. Timing with respect to the episode may be off, but I didn't have time to also go check for the timing of the episodes. Hope it doesn't distract too much. Thanks to Tracy for looking it over for mistakes. Hope you enjoy!
With respect to today: have a good Good Friday and a great Easter!
Finished: 18th of October, 2009
They turned the corner, and Nancy turned back from waving at their friends and co-workers. With a contented sigh, she looked at her fiancé. She smiled goofily. After all these years of being in love with Clint Cassidy, she could hardly believe she was now truly engaged to the ruggedly handsome doctor.
Had it really been only a few days ago that he had proposed? It had all gone so fast. A little over a week ago she had just been planning to go to New Zealand with a couple of friends, then the… accident… had happened, and then she had decided to go to Indonesia instead – to work there.
She had needed something completely different. For months she'd been feeling like she needed a new challenge. In addition, her relationship with Clint had seemingly been going nowhere near where she'd wanted it to go. Then the Accident had occurred, throwing her whole life upside down. She had been through an emotional roller coaster. She had tried to cope with what had happened, but every time she thought about it… how she was lucky to be alive… how the little girl that had been in her seat had died instead…
The thoughts still made her shiver.
Every one of her friends had been walking on egg shells around her, and it had made her feel suffocated. So when the opportunity to go to Indonesia to work for Compassion International had presented itself, she had felt that was exactly what she needed to do. There were only two things that had made her stop for a moment to think about the decision. Her father for one. She knew he could manage, he didn't need her there… but she knew she would miss him. She had always lived with the knowledge that he was only living fifteen minutes away. Now she would be moving to the other side of the world! How would she cope? How would he? Still, she may not know how they would cope, but she was certain they would.
The other point had been her friends, one friend in particular. Yes, she had felt slightly suffocated with their compassion, but she knew it was because they loved her. Even doctor Crane, in his own, typical manner – although she had to admit, that had surprised her. And she loved them. As she had gotten to know her co-workers, they had become her friends, and eventually she had found that they had become her safety net.
Although now that she thought about it, this shift from mere co-workers to friends had only occurred when a certain country doctor had joined the group, and had shook things up. Sure, she had always gotten along well with Donna and with doctor Hebert and his wife, but there had always been a professional distance between them. Yes, Clint Cassidy had been a blessing in cowboy-disguise when he had shown up four years ago.
The days after the Accident, Nancy had tried to pretend nothing was wrong, ignoring the comfort of her friends. Until she had read in the newspaper that there had been a twelve year old girl, sitting in the seat in which she was supposed to have been. It shouldn't have surprised her that it had been Clint who had come to sit with her. She had not told him – in fact, she had not even realised it herself until afterwards – but the fact that he had been quietly supportive had really helped her. So then that day she had finally broken down, she had found comfort in God's peace, and Clint's arms.
Of all the friends she would have missed, the thought of having to miss Clint's friendship had been almost unbearable. Yet there had been an emotional distance between them, and the prospect of never being able to cross the divide, that had made the decision both the hardest and the easiest. They were so close, on so many levels, that to be unable to make that next step towards each other, almost physically hurt. She hadn't been joking when she'd said, "One more hug and I might just be staying."
Now though, they were on their way to the airport. To start a new life together. Her eyes lost the faraway look as she focused again on the man next to her. Clint felt her gaze on him, and gave her a loving smile which warmed her heart. She smiled back, putting her hand on his knee, grateful the uninterrupted front seat of the truck meant she could sit close to him. Satisfied, she started paying attention to the scenery passing by. Suddenly, she froze. Her hands tightened, and her breathing increased rapidly.
Clint immediately felt something was wrong.
No answer. One look at her pale face, and Clint swiftly pulled over at the side of the road. Once there, he put the emergency lights on, in case of upcoming traffic, then turned towards his fiancée. With his hands on her shoulders, he half turned her so she was facing his way, and he tried to gain her attention.
Finally, her eyes seemed to focus on his face.
"Clint!" she breathed.
"I'm here. Just focus on me, and breathe," Clint ordered calmly, giving her a reassuring smile. He continued to talk to her until she had calmed down, and his thumb was making lazy circles on her hand. "There, you ok now?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm ok," Nancy said, feeling a little embarrassed. She was a nurse, she was supposed to calm people down, not start hyperventilating herself.
"You want to tell me what set you off?" Clint's gentle voice asked. Nancy looked down at their intertwined hands, trying for a moment to get her thoughts back in some kind of order. Then she looked up into his eyes.
"I… this… this was the road I told the cabdriver to take last time. The road he ended up not taking… saving my life, but…" Unable to finish her sentence, she swallowed, trying to get rid of the lump that had taken residence in her throat. She didn't need to finish the sentence though. Clint knew what she meant. The cabdriver had ignored her advice, which had led her to miss her plane. Instead, a twelve-year-old girl had been in her seat… and then the plane had crashed.
"Oh Nancy, I'm sorry. I didn't think of it." Why hadn't he? Of course she would have some doubts about taking this road. In the end though, he knew it didn't matter. Nancy and he had talked things through, more than once, about her doubts about going on a plane. He had expected her to be absent-minded, or scared to step on the plane. For some reason though, it had never occurred to him that the choice of roads towards the airport was bound to bring all her doubts to the fore again.
After a deep breath, Nancy hesitantly started explaining. "I… I'm sorry too. I didn't think it would… affect me this much… I just… I just keep thinking that, if we take this road, we will most likely be on time, and then the plane might crash… with us in it. But if we take another road, then we might not be on time, and then someone else would die in our place, and I couldn't bear that… not again." She sighed, and Clint waited, knowing she wasn't finished. "And I know there is no reason why our plane would crash. And I know it doesn't depend on which road we take to the airport. It's just… irrational… but there you go."
For a few moments, they sat in silence. Then Clint started talking quietly.
"You're right. There is no reason why taking one road or the other would make a plane crash. But the experiences you've had lately are still so… raw, and those experiences tell you that taking one road results in your death, and taking the other road results in the death of someone else. It is irrelevant whether that rationalisation is wrong. Of course you would be scared. And that's ok."
Clint smiled at the woman sitting next to him, brushing a strand of hair away from her face.
"We'll just have to remind your mind that there is another option. The one where we make it to the airport in time, and where we board the plane, and the plane does not crash."
"You don't know whether that's going to happen now," Nancy countered, a remaining fear still clear in her eyes.
"No, I don't know. But I do know this: God knows. Nothing takes Him by surprise. I know He had a reason for letting you miss the plane last time, saving your life. He has a plan for you and me both. I don't know what it all entails, but I trust that He does, and will guide us to do what He wants us to do."
Nancy closed her eyes for a moment, letting the words calm her nerves. Then she looked up, straight into those brown eyes she'd grown to love. "Thank you," she whispered.
"Any time, Nance, any time," Clint said gently, thanking the Lord for answering his prayers to give him the right words to speak.
"Do you think we can pray?"
Clint took both her hands in his, and they closed their eyes.
"Dear Lord, thank You for the blessings You give us. Thank you that we know we can come to You with all our worries. We're not asking You to remove them, but we ask You to help us through them. We may not see what is in our future, but You do, so we ask You to guide us, according to Your plan. Lord, please give Nancy the peace to get through the flight. Thank You. Amen."
"Amen," Nancy said quietly. She kept her eyes closed for a moment, letting the peace that had come over her during Clint's prayer wash over her. He was right. God had a plan, and even though she wasn't sure what exactly it was, she knew that as long as He was in it, it would all be for the better. And she couldn't imagine a better future than with Clint by her side.
"You ok now?" Clint asked again. Nancy nodded, and gave him a sincere smile.
"Yes, now I'm ok."
"Good," Clint said, squeezing her hands lightly.
"Now, I think we'd better hurry. Wouldn't want to miss the plane again," Nancy said. This time there was a spark in her eyes which told Clint that, even though she may still have some reservations, the paralyzing fear was gone. In its place had come a peaceful determination to see this day through, face whatever it would bring. Together - Nancy, he, and God. Yes, they would face this day together… and the rest of their future.