I thought I would post the final chapter today even though I've just posted chapter 2 – it is Easter after all. Again, thank you so much for the reviews. This is the final chapter, hope it's not to cheesy.
Too Close – Chapter 3
Frank Reagan, the father, strode purposefully down the corridor towards his son's room. He had arrived back at the hospital after taking his tired and anxious family, who had been there all night, home to rest with the promise that he would call with any news. His oldest son, however, had rather forcefully declined the offer to return home.
His long strides soon took him to room 332, where he paused at the doorway to take in the scene before him.
Jamie was still asleep after a successful operation to remove the bullet. Luckily it hadn't caused too much damage to the surrounding tissue so the doctor had been hopeful of a full recovery. He was expected to wake at any time. Meanwhile, the older son was sat in an uncomfortable looking plastic chair, leaning over to rest his head on the bed while holding his brothers' hand...asleep. Frank smiled slightly at the sight, but it soon turned to a frown when he saw his youngest move slightly, lines of pain creasing his forehead.
The movement caused Danny to wake – his gaze immediately drawn to the man in the bed. He got up from his chair, stretching to remove the kinks after being sat in the chair for most of the night. He adjusted the covers, and then smoothed the sleeping man's hair. Frank decided to make his presence know then, "Good morning son..."
Danny looked surprised for a moment, "Oh hey dad, everyone get home ok?"
"Yes the boys fell asleep in the car... Erin's already making bacon and pancakes for breakfast..."
Danny smiled a ghost of a smile.
"Any change?" Frank asked as he perched on the edge of his youngest son's bed. Danny ran a hand over his face, tiredness seeping through his body, as he glanced down once again at the slumbering form. He felt a shiver run through him as he remembered the last time he saw a brother laid out, "He's been a little restless...maybe he's going to be waking up soon..."
Frank noticed the change in his oldest boy, "You're thinking of Joe." It wasn't a question, more of a statement.
Danny looked at his father, his fear mirrored in the older man's expression, "God, yes..." Danny breathed, "When I saw him...he was drifting in and out...I...every day Dad! Every day when I go to work and I hear about a shooting or some other trouble, my stomach knots...I always think it's Jamie...that I'm going to lose him...like Joe..." he couldn't go on. Frank let out a shuddering sigh, looking from his oldest to his youngest, "I know...me too – when I got your call... it brought it all back..." He was stopped by the sight of the younger man shuffling in the bed.
"That bullet was meant for me dad! He took a bullet..." Danny's voice became a whisper as emotions began to look for an outlet.
"Yes Danny he did – and as hard as it is to accept...he saved your life and for that I'm eternally grateful!" Frank insisted.
"I'm the oldest Dad! It should be me looking out for him – not the other way round," Danny was looking at the floor now, unable to look his father in the eyes, "I screwed that up with Joe – now I nearly lost Jamie – bang up job I'm doing..."
"It was my turn...to protect you," a quiet voice broke into the conversation, "You're my big brother – and pain in the ass or not, there's nothing I wouldn't do for you..."Jamie finished as he ran out of what little bit of strength he had found. Danny jumped up at the glorious sound of his little brother's voice. He was now stood at the head of the bed with a hand on Jamie's head, tears threatening to pour down his face, "It's good to see you little brother..." he croaked.
Jamie smiled slightly, "You ok?" he asked as his eyes began to droop again.
"Am I ok? I ought to kick your scrawny butt all over New York for that stunt you pulled," Danny ranted.
"You're welcome," Jamie replied as he lost the battle against his heavy eyes. Frank smiled, relieved to see his baby wake and at the ensuing banter. He was surprised to see Danny place a gentle kiss on his brother's forehead. That was testament to how scared he'd been for the younger man.
Danny abruptly turned away from the slumbering form, stopping at the window. Even from where he was sat, Frank could see Danny's shoulders shaking. He made his way over to his oldest child, pausing to watch the man who worked so hard to keep everyone safe as the soft golden light of sunrise washed over his face, the tracks of his tears glinting in the soft light. The father's heart broke to see the pain on his son's face, "It's going to be ok Danny," he soothed as he took the distraught man into his arms, pulling him closer as sobs racked the younger man's frame, "It's ok son, let it out."
"God, Dad, it was close...to close..."
So that's it. Hope it was ok. Probably out of character for everyone, particularly Danny, but I tried. In my defence these characters are new to me so if it wasn't that good, hopefully I will get it right next time. Thanks for reading