A/N: Well, here ya go, another chapter. Hope it's up to par; I'm not too sure about it myself. Anywho, enjoy! The plot'll hopefully move along a bit faster in the next installment.
Pulling into Albright's driveway was made ten times harder by the fact that Albright's car took up the entire space, Albright having parked it on an angle for some unfathomable reason. So Sally took the liberty of smashing into the side of it. She knew she'd pay for it later (literally), but right now she was still struggling to keep this weird emotion under control. Maybe Albright would know what it was. She stepped out of the Rambler and hopped over Albright's car, then practically busted the door in with her knocking. Why was she so angry? But, it wasn't really anger per say, it was like a deep rooted feeling that made her angry and sad, worried and vengeful; it made her feel like both a mother and a soldier at the same time.
Dick swung the door wide, causing Sally to hit him in the face with her fist as she brought it down for another knock. Her commander recoiled and held a hand to his nose.
"Dick!" They glared at each other for a while, until Albright came up behind Dick and looked outside.
"Hello Sally," she said in that annoyingly pleasant voice of hers.
"Hi, Albright. Let's go." Sally said bluntly, grabbing Dick by the collar of the suit he'd evidently just thrown on. To her chagrin, Albright followed. Oh well, she had a right to, she was part of the family now whether Sally liked it or not.
"Sally, we've been through this. She's not 'Albright' anymore." Dick complained.
"Whatever. Get in the car, Albright." Sally shoved Dick into the passenger seat and climbed into the Rambler herself, waiting impatiently for the high commander's girlfriend to get into the back.
"Oh my God!" Albright exclaimed, noticing for the first time that the side of her car was dented in completely. "My car!"
"Very nice, now let's go!" Sally practically shouted. Her patience was already worn thin, broken, and tossed out the window, and she didn't have time to listen to Albright's complaints.
"But you ran into my car!"
"Don't you have insurance? Tommy's dying right now and all you can think about is your car! Seems like a pretty trivial matter at the moment! Now get your ass in the car or I'm leaving without you!" And she gunned the engine a couple of times as the terrified Albright scrambled into the back as quickly as she could, then took off down the road. It took her a couple of seconds to notice how Dick was looking at her, a mix of emotions fighting for dominance across his features.
"What?" she said.
"I-is that true? Is Tommy really dying?"
"I don't know! It's hard to tell with these bodies, they're so... weak and unpredictable. He didn't look too good when I left, but he could talk, anyway."
"I hope he's all right," Dick said meekly. Sally willed the Rambler to go faster, and three and a half blocks later they were pulling into the driveway. Before Sally even had the chance to turn off the engine, Dick had leapt from the car and bolted into the apartment. Sally was very tempted to do the same, but she had to keep her composure. She was a military lieutenant after all. Parking the car carefully, she waited until Albright had exited the car before she followed her into the building. Coming to the top of the stairs, she saw Dick in Tommy's room, kneeling beside the bed. He looked more worried about this than she'd ever seen him. He must have that strange feeling too.
"Sally! I think he's dead!" Dick exclaimed when Sally walked over.
"No, Dick, he's sleeping," she answered. "Leave him be." Albright walked over a minute later.
"Oh my God, what happened?" She put a hand over her mouth in shock.
"Don't know," Sally answered. "Hey Albright, what's this weird feeling? I haven't felt it before."
"Is it like a mixture of shock, anger, vengefulness, and an excess of worry?" Dick asked.
"Well, I feel it too! It's so strange..."
"Well, you summed it up nicely, Dick," Albright said. "It doesn't really have a particular word to go with it, it's just a feeling you can't quite describe."
"Well that helped," Sally said sarcastically in return. She pulled away the sheets to check on the cuts and various bruises that had begun to blossom about his stomach and face, as well as show Dick what they were dealing with. Dick's eyes widened as the nature of the cuts were revealed.
"Someone tried to vivisect him..." he said in a near-whisper.
"Someone knows, Dick." Sally said.
"How am I supposed to know?" she said. She couldn't fathom why she hadn't asked Tommy when he was awake. She wanted him to rest, maybe. And he was in a lot of pain... He'd been through worse than this before, though. Then again, the bodies they'd been inhabiting at the time were stronger and had a much higher tolerance for pain than these.
Tommy woke up moments later, a bit disturbed to see them all standing around and staring.
"Uh, Dick, when did you get here?" He asked in not much more than a whisper.
"A few minutes ago. What happened?" Tommy glanced around at the question. He looked as if he were about to answer, but Alissa entered the room, rubbing her eyes sleepily. Sally quickly pulled the sheets back up over the incisions, and they all turned around to meet her eyes. Alissa looked taken aback at the gesture.
"I'm, uh, I'll just... okay..." she mumbled as she sidled back into the living room.
"Dick, can we tell her?" Tommy asked. It took a moment for Sally to realize what he was asking.
"No, definitely not!" She said quickly before Dick could answer. "It's bad enough that Albright knows! No offense..." Albright rolled her eyes in answer. Tommy sighed, wincing slightly, though he quickly tried to cover it up. Sally was expecting him to attempt an argument, but he remained silent. In fact, he looked as though he was going to fall asleep on them again. Sally forcefully ushered everyone out of the room before walking around to the other side of the bed to fluff the pillow propping up Tommy's broken ankle. She had only managed a makeshift splint for it, and she wasn't quite sure if that would be enough. No matter how much Tommy tried to hide it, he really needed to go to a hospital, but they couldn't chance it.
"Tommy?" she said quietly. He glanced up at her with half-closed eyes.
"I'll think about it." He half-smiled in response before closing his eyes completely. She laid a gentle hand on the less sensitive part of his forehead to check his temperature, but he didn't seem to be developing a fever. She stroked a hand through his hair before leaving the room.
She was very pleased with this body's nurturing nature; in her usual form it was simply a job to treat the wounded and there was little to no emotional connection between her and the patient, whether it was one of her own men or someone she didn't know. In this body, however, Sally felt as though she was actually doing something important, that she wanted to as opposed to it being a necessity.
Wandering into the living room, she noted that everyone had found a spot and sat down, whether it was in a chair or on the floor. Everything was silent for a while apart from the droning dialogue emanating from the television. Alissa was carefully watching everyone's expressions, Dick was staring wide-eyed at the floor, Harry was watching Dick, Albright was looking at Sally questioningly, and Sally herself was trying to think of a strategy to counteract this unknown foe that had caused her fake nephew so much pain.
"I can't stand it, Doctor, this suspense! Tell me what's on your mind and I'll try my best to prove to you that I can be strong and see the patient through!"
"He should be in a hospital," Albright said into the relative quiet.
"I know, but we can't," Sally interjected. Alissa piped up.
"Why not?" Everyone was quiet. Sally didn't know how to answer without giving anything away.
"For certain reasons that you don't need to know," Sally said. Albright looked up at her.
"No, Alissa's got a point. Why can't he go to a hospital?"
"You saw! Don't you think people would get a bit suspicious?"
"No, I don't! Is that what you're worried about? The people at the hospital would be too appalled that someone would even think to do such a thing to start questioning if the reasoning behind it was valid," Albright explained. "They would simply think that person responsible was sick in the head and the notion that you're... y'know, wouldn't even cross their minds!" Sally thought this through as she glanced in Alissa's direction, evaluating the girl's reaction to what was just said. She looked completely and utterly confused. Good.
"Oh, Doctor! Will the patient live?"
"Well," Sally said, "then I guess he's going to the hospital."