A/N from A.C.: Wow, I can say that this is the longest chapter ever posted on my profile ever. This is a collab between myself and kickcows. If you want to understand the 'prelude' to it, then you can click on my name up there *points* and read Hear The Sound. Thexi and Dr. Chan belong to kickcows.
The emergency wing of the hospital was overflowing with patients, overcrowded thanks to the war that was raging on the outside. Looking down at a chart, the pig-tailed nurse sighed. Too many...
Looking up, the nurse saw a doctor racing towards her. "Dr. Chan? What is it?"
"That man that was in here earlier this week is back again."
She let out a soft sigh. "Which one? There have been many repeat patient's, Doctor."
She felt her stomach drop when the doctor confirmed her worst fear. She had thought of that man often since she had stumbled upon him on the battlefield. Hearing that he was back again did not sit well in her stomach. "Alright. Give me a second. I need to go and take care of another patient first. What room is he in?"
Tseng stirred in the small cot he was lying in. He groaned low in pain, the fresh wound on his stomach pulsing with each beat of his heart. The Wutaiian bit his lower lip as his leg suddenly throbbed, the pain from his week-old injury returning with a vengeance.
Standing in front of the door, Thexi placed her hand on the door and opened it gently. Looking down at his chart, she saw that his wound had been treated, but saw that it had been done by one of the interns. Walking over to the small medicine cabinet, she grabbed some fresh gauze and a bit of rubbing alcohol. She made a soft noise with her mouth, not wanting to startle the man. "Are you awake?" She asked him in a soft voice.
Tseng cracked his eyes open, the deep chocolate met with Thexi's own worried eyes. "Yeah..." His memory was hazy and his vision was blurred but his heart swelled and he automatically knew who it was that was standing over him.
Rolling the small stool over to his bedside, Thexi took a seat. "I thought we had an agreement, mister." She lowered the bedsheet and took a look at the wound that seemed to refuse to close properly. "You and I were supposed to meet again in Midgar. Not back in here." She giggled quietly, trying to stay positive.
"I'm sorry..." He spoke softly, trying not to move too much, "I didn't mean to get hurt again..."
She shook her head, as she poured some rubbing alcohol onto the cotton, as she removed the soaked bandage from his stomach. "It's fine, soldier-boy. I understand that there's a conflict going on out there. But you're supposed to stay safe. How else are we going to go and get some coffee together?" She smiled for him, moving closer to him. "This may hurt a bit." She placed the soaked cotton against the wound.
He sucked in a breath through clenched teeth as the cool alcohol soaked cotton on his injury. His fingers dug at the cheap material of the cot and his eyes closed tightly.
"I'm sorry," Thexi was quick to say. "We ran out of materia here, so we had to go back to the old way of healing injuries. You were just lucky enough to get one of our fresh interns." She wiped at the blood, satisfied that the stitches were done with accuracy. "However, they forgot to clean you up. It's a bit chaotic here at the moment."
"It's fine... I don't trust materia anyway... Thank you for helping me..." He gave her a soft smile, trying his best to bare the pain.
Smiling down at him, she placed a new bandage to dress his wound. "You're most welcome. They told me that you were here again. How could I resist coming to see you?"
A faint blush painted the Wutaiian's cheeks and he closed his eyes, "They knew to get you..?"
"Considering the doctor I work under has heard me speak of you a few times in the last week, yes." She giggled quietly, gathering the bloodied gauze and cotton from his bed and stood up. "Rest now. You should be able to go back out in the morning." She cupped his cheek with her hand. "Promise me this time you'll avoid getting injured again?"
He leaned into her touch unconsciously and smiled softly, his eyes opening, "I'll try my best."
"Please do. I still would like to try and meet up with you in Midgar. You're lucky that I just happened to stay here another week." She pulled away from him, the smile never leaving her face. "Maybe we'll meet again under a less...dire situation, hmm?"
"I'd like that... But how... How will we stay in contact? What if something happens..?"
"We found each other again, yes?" She walked over to the door. "If the fates allow it, I'm sure we'll bump into each other again."
"I hope we do..." Tseng lay back in bed, eyes closing again, "Do you think... it's okay if I rest..? I can't keep my eyes open..." He let out a nervous chuckle, unsure of how to act when she was around.
"Of course," Thexi opened the door. "Sleep well, Tseng. And remember what I said. No getting hurt again." She closed the door behind her, letting the man get the rest she knew he needed.
He let out a soft, "I won't..." before sleep took over and he fell into a dreamless slumber.
Leaning against the door for support, Thexi wiped her eyes as discreetly as she could.
"Is the patient alright?" Dr. Chan appeared from the room next door.
She gave a nod of her head. "Yes, doctor. I fixed up his wound. He should be good for release tomorrow."
"And? How are you?" Dr. Chan looked at her knowingly. "This must be your dream come true."
Scoffing, she shook her head. "Right. Because the man I met last week is back in the hospital with another injury. That is exactly how I planned to see him again."
"Nurse Thexi? We need you down in the OR." A nurse called out from the OR room.
"Never a dull moment when there's a war, hmm?" She looked at Doctor Chan and gave her a smile. "Thanks for asking, though."
Dr. Chan placed a hand on her shoulder. "He'll be okay. And we should be back at Shinra Headquarters in Midgar in no time."
~ A Few Years Later ~
"Can you please add another log to the fire?" Thexi called out to the intern that was stoking the fire. She kept her eyes glued to her computer, filling out unnecessary paperwork. Glancing up, she saw that the snow was still coming down in droves. Out in the far distance, she could see the air practically catch fire. She stood up quickly. "Everyone! It seems that there's something going on outside!"
Veld jumped from the passenger seat of the helicopter and climbed into the back, "Tseng, hurry!"
Giving a silent nod, the Turk trainee followed his mentor. The two of them strapped on a parachute each and Veld slid open the door.
"Jump!" As soon as the order was shouted over the sound of the chopper's failing engine, the two leaped from the vehicle. Veld's parachute opened at the tug of the cord, but Tseng's, on the other hand, didn't. Chocolate eyes went wide and within moments everything went black as he hit the ground.
"Tseng!" Veld darted over to his subordinate when he touched the snow. He quickly scooped up the younger man and looked around. Lights! He saw what could only be a town on the horizon and ran as fast as he could toward it, praying to whatever God he thought of that Tseng would be okay.
Racing out of the building, Thexi ran as fast as she could to the specks she could see in the distance. She didn't bother telling anyone where she was going, as they all witnessed the helicopter explosion from the comfort of the office. Running on pure instinct, she came to a stop suddenly when she saw that a man was being carried.
"Help! Please!" Veld shouted when he saw someone coming towards him. "His parachute didn't open when our helicopter crashed!"
She looked at the man in his arms and felt her heart stop. No... "I'm a nurse! Can you carry him to our outpost? It's not that much further." She looked behind her and saw the staff running towards them, the intern and doctor carrying a stretcher. "Dr. Chan...this man's parachute didn't open in time."
They walked over to the older man. "Sir, you can place him on this. We'll take him to our station." Dr. Chan remained calm, seeing that the man was in a state of distress.
"O- Of course." Veld placed the Wutaiian down on the stretcher gently, "Will... Will he be okay?"
The intern held on to the stretcher tightly as Dr. Chan grabbed the other end. "We'll do our best." The two walked off as fast as they could without jostling the patient around and made their way into the make-shift trauma center.
"Tell me," Thexi said, looking at the older man. "What is that man's name?" She wanted to be one hundred percent certain it was the same man she had bumped into years before during the battle of Wutai.
Veld watched over Thexi's shoulder as the medical personnel took Tseng away, "His... His name is Tseng..."
All of her breath left her body, making her stop for a split second. Clutching her chest, she blinked back the tears that were threatening to spill. Taking a deep breath, she tried to find her inner calmness before turning to look back at the older man. "Don't worry, sir. We'll make sure that Tseng will be okay. Would you please follow me?" She began to walk back towards the building, acting as normal as she could, while her heart broke inside of her chest, praying that Dr. Chan could save the man she had dreams about night after night.
The Turk Director quickly followed the nurse, "Are you okay, Miss...?
"I am," Thexi nodded her head. "It's just...I've met this man before. I haven't seen him for years, but he looks exactly as I remember him." She turned and looked at him. "Please, stay out here? I'll let you know how things are soon. I promise." She headed into the trauma center, leaving the man alone.
"Okay..." Veld stopped where she told him to and watched her leave.
After what seemed like days, but only a few mere hours, they had wheeled Tseng into one of the rooms to rest comfortably. He had not sustained as serious as an injury as he should have, falling from the sky the way that he did, but there was just enough damage to make it unpleasant. They had used materia to accelerate the healing process, but kept him heavily sedated to make him as comfortable as possible. Thexi had yet to see the older man, for she did not want to leave his side in case he woke up. Sitting by his bedside, she held his hand in hers.
"You broke your promise," she whispered, squeezing his hand gently. "This still isn't Midgar..."
Tseng's head rolled to the side and he let out a soft groan, eyes slowly opening.
Her mouth began to turn upwards in a small smile. "Don't fight the drugs, Tseng. You need to rest." She let out a soft giggle, unable to keep her happiness at bay. "But I doubt you can accept that, am I right?" Thexi shook her head. "Why am I even talking to you right now? You probably have no idea where you are, or who I am." She kept her hand in his, refusing to let go.
The Wutaiian's foggy eyes zeroed in on the nurse's lips at she spoke. He mumbled softly, incoherently, trying to get a message across.
She stood up when she could hear him begin to enunciate something. Leaning over, she placed her ear next to his lips. "What was that?" She gave his hand another gentle squeeze, hoping that she wasn't hurting him in any sort of way.
"Wha'... 'appened...? I... what...?" He winced and let out a soft cry as he tried to move.
Pulling back, she shook her head. "Don't move, Tseng!" She panicked for a second, then became serene. "You were in an accident. But, we were able to fix you all up. You're just going to be very sore for a few days. Do you know where you are?" Thexi let go of his hand.
"Accident...?" He focused on her voice, "You... here...? In Wutai..."
She let out a soft giggle. "Well, we're not in Wutai, but yes. That would be me. Your helicopter met with a malfunction, I think...I'm not quite sure what happened. All we saw was a fiery mess from here. You jumped ship, but your parachute did not open in time." She took a shallow breath. "As soon as I saw you, I knew it was you, Tseng." She blinked back the tears as quickly as she could. "But we got you all fixed up, and you should be good by the end of the week. No permanent damage."
"I'm going to assume that was the man that was carrying you," she said. "And if that is the case, then he's fine. He carried you until we reached you. He's out in the waiting room. Our outfit is small here, as we were just stationed here to just do small odds and ends for Shinra. You're lucky we were here at all. We were supposed to be out of here last week, but complications arose with the weather, so we pushed back our return date." She sat back down, watching him. "You really should rest, Tseng."
"No... I... my job..." He tried to sit up once more, holding onto his shoulder as he did. He took in a deep breath. "I need to... get back to work..."
She shook her head. "You were just in a helicopter crash, Tseng. You can't just go back to work like nothing happened. We healed you with materia to accelerate the process, but still. You need to rest. That's the doctor's orders."
His eyes went wide, "You... what?"
"Please, you're fine now. You just need to rest, Tseng. If you don't cooperate, I'll have to sedate you again." Thexi said, looking him in the eyes. "If we didn't use the materia, you would have died. It's the only thing that saved your life."
"I- I hate materia..." Tseng's hands traveled down his body, "Am... I okay...? It... didn't fuck up...?"
She gave him a soft smile. "You're speaking, aren't you? Your body is fine, Tseng. It did not, as you said, 'fuck up'. Would you have rather we had not used it and allowed you to go into the Lifestream?" She shook her head. "No, I wouldn't have done that even if that's what you wanted. You still owe me a date."
"After all this time..?"
"Tell me, soldier-boy...What are the odds that your helicopter just happened to crash where I was stationed, hmm? I'd say that's the fates telling us that we're supposed to be in each other's lives. It's not my fault we have yet to run into each other." She giggled, pleased with his response.
Tseng let out a weak chuckle, "Will I always end up getting hurt...?"
A squeak left Thexi's mouth. "No! I hope not!" She shook her head. "But...if that's the case, I suppose it's a good thing I'm a registered nurse, hmm?"
"Yeah... If I keep getting hurt every time we meet... what do you think will happen when we dat- um... when we meet more than once in a week?"
"Get some rest, soldier-boy," Thexi said, standing up. "Let's get you well, first. Then we can talk about that date." She gave him a wink, and headed towards the door.
He felt a blush rise to his cheeks and gave a slight nod, relaxing on the cot. "Okay..."
"I mean it, Tseng. Get some rest. If you're well by the end of the week, you can go back to whatever it was you were doing prior to your accident." She flashed him a bright smile, her heart lighter now that he was awake and able to speak coherently. "Would you like for me to send that man in here?"
"Just... tell him that I'm fine... tell him to go to the President..."
She stood still at the door. "The President? You work for the President?"
The Turk trainee gave a slow nod, "Yes... he's going to be upset with me..."
"If he's upset because you survived what should have been a fatal crash, then he's an asshole." She crossed her arms and looked at him. "How will you get back if he leaves you here?"
"I... I don't know... He wouldn't leave me... I'm... I'm important to him.."
Chuckling softly, she uncrossed her arms. "Well, there you go. Just get well, okay? I'll go tell him what you said, but I'm sure he'll make the right decision." Debating internally for a moment, she walked back over to his bed and bent down, placing a soft kiss on his cheek. She spoke softly, "Get well, Tseng. Please? I really don't like how you keep ending up in my ward."
"I'll get better... I will..."
Thexi pulled away from him. "You better." She headed back over to the door. "Go back to sleep. Let the drugs work, Tseng." She didn't wait for his answer as she stepped out of the room, closing the door behind her.
A few moments after Thexi left, the Turk trainee slowly fell asleep.
She walked out towards the waiting room and approached the man that had been with Tseng. She saw that he was asleep, but felt that he would want to be woken up for what she had to say to him. Gently shaking his shoulder, she kept her voice quiet. "Sir? Sir, please wake up."
Veld yawned and blinked a few times, "Tseng..?"
"I'm afraid not, sir. But I wanted to let you know that he's okay, and he's resting right now. He really can't be moved for a couple of days. He said..." She sighed. "He said to just go on to the president."
"He said that..?" The elder man sighed and stood up, "Okay... I'll be back in a few days then?"
Thexi nodded her head. "That will be fine. He should be good as new by that time, and able to go back to work."
Veld gave a respectful bow, "Please, take care of him. He's like a son to me." He stood straight, turned on his heel, and left the clinic.
"Well, he did say he was important to him," Thexi mused.
The rest of the week was spent packing, and caring for the patient. However, when the time came for Thexi to say her goodbyes to the man named Tseng, he had already left. She stood in his empty room, and looked at the bed where he slept and she sat, keeping him company throughout the night.
"Here's hoping we'll meet again..."