Disclaimer: Not my world, not my characters. I just love writing about them.
My first story, reviews welcome.
Lucy stood in the hotel bathroom, running tap water into a plastic bowl. She looked at the thawing bag of blood on the counter and tried to calm her racing thoughts. She took a deep breath, put the sealed bag in the bowl and walked out to find Emerson sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Tell me again why we're trusting Dr. Beauregard," he said.
"We're not. I ran the original tests on that blood only yesterday. The type is right and it's got silver in it. As soon as it's liquid, we can test it ourselves for the temperature change," she said, gesturing towards the pile of medical supplies on the table. They'd stopped at a medical supply store to get the things she would need to transfuse the blood, plus a thermometer.
She crossed to the bed, sat down next to him and reached for his hand.
"You don't have to do this, you know. It's a risk, Maxwell's studies were small. There may be some other risks besides the one we can look for. I don't... I don't want to lose you."
"You'll lose me if I don't do this. I'm old, Lucy. I feel like I've been running on fumes and willpower for the last six months. I know it'll be quieter where we're going, no more chasing '63s around catwalks, but how much longer can I have? If I keep healthy and get lucky, maybe 10 years, 10 years going downhill from here. Probably less than that. No, if it passes the thermometer test I want that blood."
She looked away and nodded. "It'll be a couple of hours," she said.
"It'll work, you'll see. Maxwell dosed himself, didn't he?"
"Yes, but Maxwell is crazy."
He put his arm around her and pulled her over to lean against his shoulder. Neither of them felt like talking any more, and Lucy tried not to think that this might be their last hours together.
The blood in the bag was body temperature, and Lucy picked up a sharp knife and a small glass. Emerson barely flinched when she cut his arm and let a little blood into the glass, and then put in the thermometer. She handed him a bandage and then let a little of the blood from the bag into the glass. She watched the thermometer closely, but didn't see even a tiny rise. Finally, it started to cool towards room temperature and she stood up. Emerson was already taking his shirt off. I can do this. We can do this.
"What was it like when I did this?" she asked.
"You were unconscious, it wasn't like much. Dr. Beauregard hooked up the blood, and a couple of hours after it was all in you, you woke up suddenly. How did you feel afterward?"
"Very... energetic. Like I could do anything, run around the world without breaking a sweat, fly maybe."
He narrowed his eyes and seemed about to say something, but stopped at a simple "Mm."
She got his arm ready when he was lying on the bed, and stuck a vein on her second try. They didn't have an IV stand, so she propped the bag up on the headboard of the bed. She could hear her heartbeat in her ears as she watched the blood flow into him, and at first he didn't react. A few seconds later, though, she noticed his jaw was clenched.
"What's wrong? What is it?" She reached for the IV, but he batted her hand away.
"It's fine, it just... hurts a little."
"A little? What kind of hurt? Does it burn?"
He shook his head. "No, nothing like that, it just... nnggg... just hurts. I can... taste metal." A sheen of sweat appeared on his forehead and his breathing became labored. She knelt by him, and put her hand in his, knowing that if the blood was going to kill him it was already too late. He squeezed her hand nearly hard enough to crush it, but she was determined to stay. If he dies, at least it won't be alone.
"If the last thing I do... is get you away from Alcatraz... that's the only thing I need," he rasped through gritted teeth. "Cash in the car, it'll..." His back spasmed and he could do nothing but pant for a long minute. "Take my phone when you go... call Nathaniel Brown once you get away from here..." She turned away so he wouldn't see the tears streaming down her face. She tried to say something to comfort him, but she couldn't trust her voice and there was nothing to say.
Lucy paced along the short distance between the hotel bed and the door to the room. Emerson had only been in pain as long as the blood was flowing into him, but while she was unhooking it from him he'd lost consciousness. She didn't know if it was sudden sleep or a coma, and she was afraid to try waking him in case it didn't work. He'd said that it was a couple of hours before she woke from her coma, maybe this was just how it worked. She paced, checked his breathing and his heartbeat every few minutes, and paced.
Lucy turned around to start back towards towards the bed, and Emerson was standing, looking at his hands and flexing his fingers slowly. Her heart leaped in her chest and she flew to him. Apprehension gripped her, and she asked, hesitantly, "How... how are you feeling?"
His eyes snapped to hers, and her heart quivered at the fire she saw burning in them. He reached for her, one hand sliding around her waist and pulling her close, and the other running up her shoulder, up the back of her neck. His grip was strong and when his lips met hers it was with nearly bruising force, but any mere happiness she felt at his having survived was consumed by the liquid fire that spread through her from his kiss. Her hands slid up his chest and encircled his neck. This was somehow different from what they'd shared after catching the warden – that had been partly relief and partly adrenaline, but this was pure desire, raw need. She could smell it on his skin and taste it on his tongue, and she moaned. He gripped her even harder and she thought of that rush of energy she'd had when waking from the coma, and pulled her head away just long enough to gasp "Gently!" in his ear.
He relaxed his hold just enough, and when he returned his mouth to hers her knees turned to jelly. He was gentler, but the kiss seared straight through her and plundered her soul, leaving her breathless and needing more. She started to protest that he'd pulled away, but it turned into another moan when his lips started leaving a trail of electric shocks down her neck. He lowered his hand to the zipper of her dress and, maddeningly, left it there.
"Please," she whispered.
The feeling of her dress sliding down to puddle at her feet was the last thing she was aware of before she let their entwined passion draw her into a world without words.
They lay on the bed, limbs tangled. Lucy's breathing had returned to normal, but her body still seemed to vibrate where Emerson was touching her. She wondered if it would ever stop, and hoped not. He'd been still for a few moments, but she was sure he wasn't sleeping.
He turned his head to murmur in her ear, "Yes?"
She smiled. "I just wanted to hear your voice."
All of the next day and the next night, they drove. They stopped when they came to a small mountain town that looked quiet. Emerson called Nathaniel Brown himself (his banker, it turned out - 50 years of an FBI agent's salary and not much to spend it on leaves a good deal of money) and they ended up owning a modern cabin on 10 acres of land. Lucy settled down to catch up on what had happened in the field of psychiatry and memory, and Emerson helped her sometimes with notes for a book she wanted to write. They both dipped their toes back into the world of music, and if anyone had managed to look in one of their windows on a cold snowy evening (impossible due to all the surveillance equipment Emerson had managed to get his hands on) they might have seen the two curled up on a couch in front of the fireplace while a nearby phonograph spun.
Ok, it needed an epilogue. All reviews welcome, good/bad/incoherent.