Disclaimer not mine#
Just so you know, this is probably the hardest chapter I've written on this story. I have re written it at least three times. Still not sure I like it. Oh and this is the penultimate chapter.
Ros marched along the corridor behind Mike, unable to think about anything else than the man in the room ahead of her. She knew what ITU involved but it still seemed so alien to her. Mike paused as they reached the end of the corridor.
"Ros." He turned to face her but Ros refused to meet his eye. The last thing she needed was to see the sympathy there.
"Mike, I just want to see my husband."
"I know, but I feel I should prepare you for what Lucas may look like." Ros narrowed her eyes as she listened to him.
"He has a chest drain." Mike began. "The surgeon put a drain in the wound in his stomach to drain fluid away. There is a machine controlling his breathing, but all being well he wont be on that for very long."
"He's on a life suport machine. I get it." She stepped past Mike as he sighed heavily, he knew she had no real comprehension for just what Lucas and her still had to go through.
Harry marched towards the entrance to the Grid aware that the more junior members of the team had no idea what it was like to lose a colleague. Jo's death had been before the majority of the team had returned. Zoe, Dimitri, Beth, Erin and Calum hadn't been there when Jo had stepped in front of Ros' bullet or when Ben had got in Connie's way. Those that had been there still acutely felt the loss of the bubbly young blonde and he knew he would never forget the look in Zaf and Adam's eyes when they had returned to Section D only to find their friend had essentially killed herself. He knew Adam still blamed himself, as did Ros. He just hoped the team could hold things together should the worst happen to Lucas. He forced himself not to think about Amy and James growing up without a parent.
"Harry." He paused as he heard Adam approach. He schooled his face so that only those that really knew him would have any idea what was going on.
"I trust certain people have been dealt with in my absence."
"Tessa has been taken to a secure prison. Charged under just about every section of the Act." Adam watched as Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Aren't all prisons supposed to be secure?"
"You know what I mean. Sasha has confessed to his part in all this and is currently being assessed by psychaitrics." adam watched as Harry scoffed.
"Apparently he is on medication for anxiety following Elena's death."
"Bloody Hell. Some of us should have been on that when she was alive." Harry scoffed before walking through the Pods. Malcolm and Tariq looked toward him as he stepped through the Pods. Adam shook his head slightly before jogging down the steps behind him. Harry marched over to Zaf who was staring at the computer screen.
"Boss." Zaf looked up at him.
"Ruth is staying at the hospital with Ros."
"I think she'd appreciate a clean shirt. There's a denim one in the back, the only thing that will cover her in her current condition. I also think she and Ros could do with a friendly face." He watched as Zaf smiled slightly. "That isn't me."
"Ok." Zaf pushed his chair away from the desk. "What about Hayley and Sayeed?"
"They'll be ok." Harry smiled slightly. "If there is one thing I know about teenagers is that they are incredibly resiliant."
Zaf got to his feet and began gathering his things. He didn't hear Harry mutter that it was the older ones he worried about the most.
"Lucas." Ros stared at the prone body of her husband. Mike had been right, there were tubes everywhere and she hated it. She sat beside his bed and touched his hand as she watched him for any signs that he was really there with her. "Lucas, come on. What the Hell do I tell the kids? You know Amy is going to have a million and one questions."
"Just like her Mum." Ros froze as she heard the familiar voice of her friend behind her.
"Well, Amy is exactly like you. Harry told the doctor that I am Lucas's sister. I really couldn't just leave could I?" She sat beside her as Ros turned her attention back to her husband.
"For what?" Ruth raised an eyebrow.
"If it wasn't for you I'd have lost him." Ros looked at Lucas' impossibly pale face. "I might anyway."
"I have two kids at home. I'm being realistic."
"Lucas is going to be ok. And you have nothing to thank me for." Ruth swallowed hard. "If it wasn't for me and my big mouth."
"Ruth, that self pitying BS does nothing for me. Were you carrying the knife? Did you push it through Lucas' skin? No. Therefore stop it. Stop blaming yourself. It does you or Lucas no good at all and honestly it just pisses me off."
"Sorry." Ruth rested a hand on her abdomen. "Seems your goddaughter agrees with you."
"Course she does. Sensible kid." Ruth raised an eyebrow as Ros smirked. Shaking her head Ruth tugged the faded denim shirt tighter to her as she stood up.
"We've got Sasha and Tessa isn't getting out of this one."
"Makes a change." Ros held Lucas hand in hers, glad that it still felt warm. "What about?"
"Harrison?" Ruth stared at her. "Zaf and Dimitri spent ages interviewing him. He was only too happy to sell his friends down the river. Look Ros, he even told them what happened when you were alone with him. The day we were abducted." She watched as Ros remained as stoic as ever. "I think it was a good job Dimitri was there or Zaf would have killed him. Do you remember anything?"
"Only what I told you." Ros tensed slightly. If Ruth hadn't known her better she would have sworn Ros was telling the truth.
"Ok." Ruth watched her for a moment. "Harry said he will never let any of the team hear the tapes. Zaf and Dimitri wont discuss it. When it goes to court none of Section D will be present when or if it is submitted as evidence. Do you want to hear it?"
"No." Ruth touched her shoulder before turning and walking out of the room.
"Well?" Zaf pushed himself away from the wall as Ruth closed the door. She shook her head.
"No change as far as Lucas is concerned. Carrie and Adam have agreed to keep the kids for tonight, I can't see her leaving him."
"What did she say about the tape?"
"She doesn't want to know. She can't remember and she is ok with that." Ruth shook her head as Zaf pulled her into his arms. "Harry."
"Is going to sort something out for the kids. It seems this is over. For now at least."
The rain had finally abated when Harry parked the 4x4 in the quiet side street. The corner shop was closed but that didn't bother him in the slightest. Somewhere the sounds of dogs barking broke the silence. Harry sighed heavily, hoping Nick or Catherine had taken Scarlett for her walk. He jogged towards the closed door, dodging the puddles as he went.
"Ahmed." He smiled as the door opened.
"Is it safe for my boy?"
"Yes." Harry smiled. "Sayeed is safe. So is Hayley."
"The poor girl. In. Get in, Harry before you catch your death." Harry smiled slightly, knowing Ahmed would never know how close he had been to doing exactly that in the last few years. He followed the older man into the corner shop while a young girl no older than Nick appraised him.
"Sunita, go and tell mum that we have a guest. Sayeed will be home soon."
"Tonight." Harry watched the little girl's face light up.
"Yes." Harry couldn't help but return her smile. "Tell Gita her son will be home before the morning."
"You mean this? Gita has been worried. She knew what I did, how our friendship started but my boy." Ahmed shook his head.
"Is a brave young man. You should be proud."
"I am." Harry nodde as Ahmed spoke. "I am proud of all my children."
"For once I agree with you." Harry looked away as he thought of his daughter, son and step son. "A member of my team, Elizabeth will drop Sayeed home tonight."
"What about Hayley?"
"A foster family? Her placement is still unknown." Harry shrugged before turning away. He knew Ruth had been right all those weeks ago. Children rarely came out of these things unscathed.
"No." Ahmed paused. "She is 16. A young woman. She may stay here. For as long as she wishes. A guest of my family."
"Thank you." Harry shook his hand warmly before walking out of the shop, glad that at least one family were being put back together rather than being torn apart.
"The money all went back to Sasha." Calum frowned as Erin handed him a coffee.
"Explains the black Saab that followed me a while back and how Dimitri and Erin were chased halfway around London by a black Saab too." Beth grabbed a biscuit as she spoke. Erin nodded.
"Is it over?" Tariq asked as Malcolm sighed heavily. "No more chain bombs? No more people trying to kill us. At least for today?"
"Yes." Malcolm sighed. "I believe it is."
Beth pulled the car up outside the shop Harry had given her directions to. Sayeed opened the car door as he spotted his mum and sisters on the doorstep. Ahmed walked towards the driver's side of the car as Sayeed jumped out and engulfed his youngest sister in his arms.
"You must be Elizabeth."
"Beth." She corrected as she watched the scene in front of her. "This is Hayley." She motioned to the young girl sat next to her.
"Hayley." Ahmed nodded. "You are very welcome."
Ahmed nodded once more before walking back to his familu. Beth sighed.
"You will be alright."
"So everyone keeps telling me. How the Hell do they know?" Hayley looked away. "I have no siblings, my parents and grandparents are dead."
"I know." Beth tuned to face her. "Because I've been you. You will be alright, and if you want." She handed her a piece of paper. "Call me."
"I might just do that."
"Ok. Just don't think the world is as bad as it seems right now. You will be fine." Beth smiled slightly as Hayley let out a breath.
"If you say so."
"I do." Beth frowned. "I do say so."
Ros ran a hand over her face, absolutely exhausted but knowing she would never be able to sleep. She stood up and brushed a strand of Lucas' hair away from his face. He was as pale as ever, the ink of his tattoos stood out more than ever against the alabaster skin beneath.
"Wake up." Ros kissed his forehead. "That is an order."
She rolled her eyes when there was no response. "Since when did I expect you to obey an order? Typical." She huffed before sitting back down. Lucas heaved a breath in front of her as the alarms on the various machines began to sound. The sense of dread in Ros' gut increased as the nurse bundled her out of the room.
"Lucas? " Ros almost whispered as she found herself engulfed in a bearhug. "What?"
"Ssh." Zaf mumbled. "You are my mate, thats why I'm here." She clung to him as machines and voices of doctors and nurses merged into one. Zaf held her tightly to him as she shook, the only outward sign that anything was wrong.
"Mrs North?" A young nurse popped her head out of the doorway. "Mrs North." Ros closed her eyes, not wanting to hear that her husband had died. She didn't need to be told what she already knew.
"Yes." Zaf answered, pushing Ros to arms length. He knew under normal circumstances she would have him posted to Egypt or Syria for merely holding her.
"Your husband is awake, breathing on his own and I think he needs to see you."
"What?" Ros frowned as Zaf smiled.
"Go on," He turned Ros away from him. "Go and see your husband." She nodded dumbly before stepping back into the room to see Lucas looking directly at her. She shook her head and smiled slightly before walking back to his side.
"Hi." He held her gaze as she took her seat next to him. She took his hand in her own and stared at him, unable to believe he was actually talking to her, even if his voice sounded horse with the removal of the ET tube that had been there.
"See?" He croaked. "I do follow orders sometimes." He smiled at his wife as he moved his thumb and brushed a stray tear from her face.
"Makes a change." She smiled slightly. "For once."
A/N ok I really do not like this chapter but I couldn't bring myself to kill Lucas off, hence the rewrites. Should I add an epilogue or go straight into the new fic? Provisonally called To Have and To Hold?