Nelson's pleas for Jamie to hold on had long since fallen on deaf ears. The only response from the ailing man was the trembling from the cold.
The Admiral knew his friend was unconscious but kept repeating the optimistic words. They were as much for Jamieson as they were for himself at that point.
The sound of voices reached the Admiral's ears and he turned to look at the entrance to the cave. Did he dare hope or was his mind playing tricks on him?
The voices got louder; not only voices but the crunching of snow under boots. There was something familiar about the voice. It was Lee! Lee had found them.
As gently as possible, Nelson lifted Jamie off of his shoulder and leaned him against the cave wall.
"Jamie, Lee's here. He found us. Just hold on a little longer," whispered Nelson.
The Admiral then got up and left the cave to find their rescuers.
Commander Nelson raced down the hospital halls in a frantic search. After receiving the emergency call he had caught the first flight out of Washington. He hadn't been looking forward to this moment and couldn't imagine how the family was dealing with it. He desperately wanted to sneak outside for a cigarette to calm his nerves.
The figure at the end of the hall broke his heart. He had never seen Will so run down before. Harry strode over to his friend and placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Jamieson needed a rock right now and that's exactly what Nelson was going to be.
With tear-filled eyes, Will said, "The kids are in with her right now. They don't give her much time, Harry."
"They're sure then?"
"It's just a matter of days now."
Will shrugged off Nelson's hand and stormed over to the wall. All the frustration of the last few months came out as he put his hand through the wall.
"God damn it, Harry. All my medical training and there isn`t a thing I can do. My wife is dying in there and there isn`t a single thing I can do!" raged Jamieson.
Nelson steered his friend back towards the hard waiting room chairs. At the very least he could keep his friend from harming himself further. Harry pulled out a handkerchief and wrapped it around Jamie's bleeding knuckles.
Will put his head in his hands.
In a quiet and defeated tone, he whispered, "I can't do this on my own. I don't know how to go on without her, Harry."
Nelson just put his arm on Will's shoulder.
"We'll get through this just like everything else, Will. You'll do it for her and you'll do it for those kids. You're stronger than you give yourself credit for."
Kowalski and Sharkey carried the stretcher containing the barely conscious Jamie. They made it to the chopper and loaded their precious charge; immediately one of the crew's corpsmen began tending to the doctor.
The Admiral climbed in with the aid of Lee and sat beside Jamieson.
"Stay with me, Will. You'll get through this just like everything else. You have to hold on for the kids, Jamie. Just hang in there," encouraged the distraught Nelson.
The Admiral was checked over and cleared with nothing more serious than a few bumps and bruises and a very mild case of hypothermia. Having been told to rest for the next few days, Nelson's personal assistant, Ryan, dutifully cleared his schedule for the next week.
Nelson let out a sigh when he saw Jamie was only hooked up to an IV, his arm had a cast and he was covered with several warm thick blankets. He sat down next to the bed relieved that Will was going to be alright. Dr. Jacobs said Jamieson could be released by the end of the week and put on light duty. Considering his arm was broken, that pretty much meant the only thing Will could do was dictate what he wanted typed in a report.
A groan from the figure in the bed grabbed the Admiral's attention. Slowly the brown eyes opened and looked around the room.
"You did it again, Harry," came the raspy whisper.
Nelson reached over and picked up the cup of water off of the side table. He put the straw to Jamie's lips and let the man sip at the cool water.
Putting the cup back, Nelson asked, "What did I do again?"
"You saved the day. You always save the day."
"We cut it pretty close this time, Will."
"I had faith. And for what it's worth, even if it didn't work out this time I want you to know it's been one wild adventure. I wouldn't change it, Harry."
The Admiral walked up to the reception desk and greeted with a bright smile. Nelson took a seat and waited for his page to be answered.
The phone at the desk rang and the cheery receptionist answered. After a few minutes, she put the phone down and leaned over the desk.
"He'll be down to meet you in a moment. If you'll just have a seat over there," explained the young woman.
Nelson sat down and waited. He could understand why Jamie gave up his career in the Navy for a permanent position at the hospital after Lillian died. It was better for him and the kids to have a permanent place to call home and a father with a set schedule.
The Admiral was nervous; he hadn't really talked to Jamie in two years. For the first year after Lillian's death they had both made the effort to keep in touch and support one another but when Will left the navy they just fell out of touch.
"To what do I owe the pleasure, Admiral?" asked Jamie as he moved into the waiting room.
The two men shook hands.
"Is there some place we can talk Will? I have a business proposition for you."
They sat in the cafeteria while Jamieson looked over Nelson's proposal.
"That's quiet the venture, Harry. Building your own sub and expanding your research facility."
"It is. But I believe it will benefit all mankind. At the very least it promises to be an adventure," added the Admiral.
"And just what do you require my services with?"
"My medical facility could use a good doctor Will. And I can't think of one better. When I get Seaview built, I'm going to need someone I trust to look after my crew. You have the naval experience and the medical training. What do you say? Will you join me?"
The doctor thought about it for a moment then nodded.
"Sure, Harry, I'll do it. What else am I going to do? Retire in a few years?" Jamieson ran his hand through his full head of hair with a smile, "You're option should prove to be a worthwhile adventure."
Thank-you for reading this story.
Thank-you to Red Aurora for another amazing beta job.
Thank-you very much to everyone who reviewed this story (especially AllTrekedUp and Nans who reviewed every chapter) it's really appreciated.