A/N: This is part of the "missing scenes challenge" where you get different writers vision of what happened at a particular point in EH episodes. This is my version of what happens after Jacob passed out in the episode H2O.
Disclaimer: Do we really need these anymore? Looks like we're the only ones who care about these characters.
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"Goddamn it." The paramedic swore freely as the foot he was attempting to bandage was yanked out of his hands. He tried to grab the legs of his now conscious patient who was thrashing about on the bed.
"Mike, watch out," his partner, a petite Hispanic woman, yelped. She abandoned her efforts to get the guy's vitals as she threw herself across the patient's chest, trying to contain his arms.
"Get away from me," gasped Jacob Hood. He had regained consciousness, but was still in the grip of a hallucination. "Don't touch me, they told me about you, that you would try to hurt me. Get away from me. What did you do to Rachel?"
"We could use some help here," Mike bellowed, as it became clear that he and his partner were losing their grip on the disturbed man on the bed.
Rachel Young came out of the bathroom, hurriedly peeling off the rubber gloves she had put on while cleaning up glass and blood from the bathroom floor. She crossed quickly to the bed and held the agitated man down by his shoulders.
"Hood, calm down, you're hurt. You have to let them help you."
Unfortunately Rachel's presence, her words, didn't have the calming effect they had hoped for. His agitation increased.
"You're with them! You're helping them. They were right to warn me about you," Jacob shrieked.
Rachel captured Hood's face between her hands. She hoped she would be able to once again break through the delusions that were haunting him. Forcing him to look into her eyes, she spoke clearly and calmly.
"Jacob, it's me, it's Rachel. You're hurt; you need to let these people take care of you. Do you understand me?"
Jacob stilled, he stared into Rachel's eyes, a look of confusion on his face. "I'm hurt?"
She gave a sigh of relief; she had been able reach some small core of sanity. "Yes, you cut your foot; these people are here to help you. You need to let them help you."
"You're here, I'm not alone." Jacob murmured as he collapsed against his pillows.
The paramedics quickly took advantage of their patient's unconscious state as they resumed their duties. They were just finishing up when there was a tentative knock on the open hotel room door.
"Agent Young, Dr. Hood, is everything ok here?" Captain Lorigo asked hesitantly. He came into the room followed by a tall blonde man who was carrying a black doctor's bag.
"Captain Lorigo," Rachel looked up in surprise, "What are you doing here?"
"I've been trying to call you," Lorigo explained. He indicated the man beside him, "this is Dr. Chad Wilson. The state sent him out to replace Gill. We've been following up on the latest outbreak. We've had three more cases of people behaving erratically."
"Four," Rachel stated flatly. "Dr. Hood's been affected. That's why I didn't answer my phone; I've been in here with him."
Wilson looked over at the paramedics. "How's he doing?"
"Not too bad." The female paramedic spoke up. "His blood pressure is elevated and his pulse is fast and thready. Respiration is ok, but his skin is clammy. He seems to be sweating, even though his temp is normal."
Her partner continued. "He cut his foot on some broken glass, didn't even feel it when I pulled the glass out, bandaged it, and gave him a tetanus shot."
The doctor looked around, assessing the condition of the room, the overturned furniture, a laptop on the floor along with what looked like some lab equipment. "Was he violent, delusional?"
The paramedics looked at each other and shrugged. They looked at Rachel.
"He wasn't exactly violent," Rachel began reluctantly. "I mean, he wasn't trying to attack me, he seemed to be thinking he was defending himself." She didn't go into details about Hood's delusions; they were too painful and private for her to share with these strangers.
Jacob began twisting about on the bed, but weakly now. "Whitten was wrong. But does that means … unknown…." He once again subsided into unconsciousness.
"Who's Whitten?" Lorigo wanted to know. "What's unknown, haven't you made any progress?"
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Rachel couldn't help but grin. Trust Hood to have delusions that only a scientist would understand. "No, that's all part of his delusion; he's freaking out about the nature of the universe."
Rachel's face turned grim. "We hadn't made any progress, but this might be the connection we were looking for. It has to be the water."
The others looked at her in surprise. "The water?" Wilson raised his eyebrows. "How could that be? Surely if it was the water more people would be affected?"
"I don't know," Rachel replied simply. "But it's the only thing that makes sense of what happened to Hood. I left him here to run his tests and he was fine. A few hours later, he's behaving erratically. He didn't eat or drink anything but when I came in here the shower was still running. It has to be the water."
The paramedics finished packing up. "We've done all we can for him," Mike announced. He frowned at Rachel. "You'll need to keep an eye on him, he seems to be over the worst of it but you can't be too careful. His foot should be ok in the morning, have him put some padding in his shoe."
Rachel looked at the doctor for confirmation.
He shrugged. "According to the paperwork, our vics have been fine in a few hours. Whatever this is, it passes through the system pretty quickly. I don't think you'll have any real problems with him tonight; he needs to sleep this off. He should be fine in the morning."
She escorted everyone from the room, promising to call Lorigo in the morning to update him on Hood's condition. She quickly grabbed a sweater from her room and returned to keep a vigil over Hood.
She pulled a chair close to the bed, in case Hood woke up disoriented. Her nearness seemed to calm him and she wanted to keep him from hurting himself further. But she became bored after a few minutes. Hood was out cold so she decided to tidy up the room.
Rachel has only been cleaning things up for a few minutes before Hood once again became restless, tossing and turning in his bed, as if he sensed she was no longer near. She quickly returned to his bedside as he looked around in confusion.
"Rachel, where are you? You didn't leave me?"
"No, I'm right here." Rachel sat in her chair and reached out to put her hand on his shoulder. Jacob relaxed at the touch of her hand and stopped moving.
"I'm not alone anymore."
"No, you're not alone."
Jacob looked at her sadly. "Maggie left me. I was all alone. But it was my fault; I should have paid attention." He closed his eyes and slipped back into unconsciousness.
'Maggie? Who the hell…' Rachel's brow creased in confusion for a second and then her eyes widened. Of course, Maggie must have been his wife's nickname. But how in the world could Hood think it was his fault that she had died? That he could have prevented it?
She had done some discreet digging into Hood's past when she discovered that his official file contained the bare minimum. She had been amused, but not at all surprised, that her reticent colleague had resisted having his personal details laid out for just anyone to read. It had taken a while but she had finally hit pay dirt when she found an article published in the StanfordDaily.
It was written when Hood had left Stanford for the job with the Bureau. It contained not only a summary of his academic career but also details of his personal life. It explained why she hadn't been able to find any information on his wife's death. His file, under marital status, had read merely "wife Margaret, deceased." She had been searching for information on Margaret Hood.
But according to the article Hood's wife had been Dr. Margaret Cain, a professor in the medical school at Stanford. That made sense to Rachel; after all, the woman had been friends with people like Anna Yang and Calvert Rigdon. Her area of research was immunology and she was considered to be as brilliant in her field as Hood was in his. Rachel thought that made sense too. That Hood would be attracted to a woman like that. One who was as smart as he was; who could understand and share in his work. Rachel figured it had been a match made in heaven.
Once she had the correct name, it didn't take her long to discover the cause of death. She had known from what Hood had let drop that his wife had cancer, a brain tumor. But that was putting it mildly. Hood's wife didn't have just a brain tumor; she had a glioblastoma multiforme grade four tumor, the most aggressive type of brain tumor. From what Rachel had read getting that diagnosis was the same as getting a death sentence. The mortality rate was 100% and the life expectancy was from three months to two years. Hood's wife had died in six months.
She had figured that was why he was still grieving over her death. Because it had been so quick and unexpected. Now she wondered if Hood also felt guilty, that he should have been able to do something to prevent it. But that didn't make sense. Even if he had noticed that something was wrong, had gotten his wife to the doctor sooner, it wouldn't have made any difference.
She reached out to push his hair off of his face but jerked her hand back as Hood's eyes opened again.
"Maggie left me. She left me alone."
Rachel felt a pang. "It's ok Hood. Maggie didn't mean to leave you. I'm sure she wished she could have stayed with you."
"No, she left me. I let her go, I wasn't paying attention."
"Shhh, it's ok, you couldn't have done anything."
Rather than calming Hood her words seemed to increase his agitation.
"You don't understand. I failed her. I didn't pay attention. But I won't make that mistake again, I promise."
Rachel sat on the bed next to Hood, put one hand on his shoulder, the other on his face and looked into his eyes. She had to make sure she had his attention.
"Hood, listen to me. You didn't fail Maggie…"
Jacob reached up and grabbed her hand, pressed it to his cheek.
"I promise Rachel, I'll pay attention, promise you'll stay."
"Promise me Rachel, promise. I don't want to be alone."
Rachel's heart broke at the anguish in his voice. "I promise Hood, I'll stay right here."
A look of relief swept over Hood's face. "Good. I'm not alone anymore." He closed his eyes and she began to rise. Hood caught her by the arm and pulled her back down beside him.
"Don't go. I want you to stay with me. Forever."
Rachel looked down at him in shock. 'Forever? What the hell does that mean?'
Over the months she and Hood had been together things had slowly changed. She no longer considered him her responsibility, they were partners. When he had received the offer to join DARPA she had been startled to realize that she had been holding her breath until he said no. She hadn't realized how much she had come to value their partnership, how much she had come to enjoy working with him.
It wasn't just their working relationship she valued. She valued his friendship. They were slowly learning each other's quirks and foibles. She was even becoming comfortable sharing bits of her past with Hood; letting him get to know her as a person. She was also starting to acknowledge to herself that she enjoyed spending time with him. But she never allowed herself to wonder what it would be like to have a more intimate relationship with Hood. Even if he wasn't still grieving for his wife anything other than friendship between them was out of bounds.
Eyes still closed Jacob murmured, "You're my best friend, I don't want you to go."
"I'm not going anywhere Hood; I'm just going to sit right over here, ok." Rachel smiled gently. Of course, that's what he meant, that he considered her his BFF. She had been foolish to think that he had meant anything more. Foolish to feel a flicker of hope that maybe he had meant anything more.
Hood's regular breathing told her that he was now sleeping naturally. That the effects of whatever it was that caused his hallucinations was wearing off. Rachel got up from the bed to settle herself in the chair and considered the man in front of her. While she had always felt a trace of sadness in him, she had never thought that it ran so deep; that he felt so isolated, so alone. That he blamed himself for his wife's death.
'Surely he doesn't think he should have been able to cure her cancer? Shit, he must know better than most that kind of tumor is un-curable.' Knowing Hood that was probably exactly what he did think. That between his scientific knowledge and his vast network of colleagues; that he should have been able to save his wife. 'Damn, he always thinks he can fix anything.' She wondered if his wife's death was the first time he had come up against a problem he couldn't solve.
She leaned forward to pull the comforter over Hood's shoulders. She brushed the hair off his forehead and was relived to feel that his skin was cool and dry. Running her hand down his cheek to his throat, she checked his pulse; it was strong and steady. Obviously whatever had infected Hood was out of his system.
Rachel sighed as she leaned back in her chair. Pulling her sweater tighter around her, she closed her eyes willing herself into a light doze. If Greg Fillmore's account was reliable, Hood wouldn't remember much of what happened tonight. But Rachel didn't think she'd ever forget the glimpse she had of the pain that had scarred Hood's soul.