Disclaimer: We do not own these characters. They belong to Lifetime Television. We only own the plot.

Author's note: This story was written by Erin(RosaBlasiFan) and Rena. We have never met, but have become friends during this writing project, which wouldn't have happened if Erin hadn't written to me after reading my SM story "The Nightmare Continues," asking if we could write a story together. This project has been great fun, and we have others planned. Hope you enjoy it.

Summary: While Lu is fighting for her life, Dana struggles to find answers as to why her partner is so ill.



Chapter 1: Lu's Law---Patients First



Lu Delgado squinted in the early morning light as she reached over and pushed the button on the alarm clock, turning off the annoying sound that had awakened her. 6:45am. She sighed as she laid back down, closing her eyes again. She had worked late the night before, and was still feeling the effects of working in the fast paced emergency room.

As she got up to go into the kitchen, she felt dizzy, so she quickly sat back down and waited for it to pass. She got up again and went into the kitchen, where she found her son Marc eating breakfast. "Hey Ma, what's up?" Marc asked.

"I'm fine, Marc." Lu replied.

"You look kinda tired." Marc observed. Lu poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down at the table. "I'm fine," she repeated. "I'm just tired. The ER was busy last night."

"Oh. Okay, Mom. I was just curious." He said as he was cleaning up his area where his breakfast had been. "I'm going to school now. I'm meeting Danny and Tony early."

"All right, Marc. Have a good day. I'll see you later tonight." Lu answered. Marc kissed her on the cheek. "Bye, Mom. See you later." Lu nodded as she took a sip of coffee. She leaned back in her chair. "I need to get moving," she told herself. But still she felt as if she were glued to her chair. Lu rubbed her eyes, willing her headache to go away.

Finally, she knew she couldn't stall any longer. She had to get ready for work. She finished her coffee, then went into the bathroom to take a shower. As she stepped into the shower, she felt a wave of dizziness. "What is wrong with me this morning? Am I that out of it?" For a brief moment, Lu considered not going to work because of the dizziness and nausea, but immediately erased the thought, not wanting to let her patients down.



Lu arrived at the Rittenhouse Women's Health Center a short time later. "Morning, Lana." Lu greeted the receptionist. "Is Dana here yet?"

"Yeah, she's in her office." Lana Hawkins answered.

"Thanks, Lana."

"No problem, Lu." Lana answered as Lu headed down the hall toward Dana's Stowe office. Lu took a deep breath, then knocked on the door. "Yes? Who is it?"

"It's Lu, Dana. Can I talk to you?"

"Sure, Lu. Come on in." Lu went into the office, sitting down in a chair near the desk. Dana closed the file she was reading and folded her hands on the desk. "What's…" Dana paused when she looked at her partner. "You don't look very well."

"I hope I don't look as bad as I feel." Lu answered. "I'm sure I'm just tired." Lu said before Dana had a chance to answer. Dana walked around her desk and sat down on the desk in front of Lu. "Are you sure you're okay?" Lu wasn't quite sure what she should tell her partner. Normally, she was never one to admit when she wasn't feeling well or to ask for help when she needed it.

"Lu, you don't usually come to my office without a reason. So what's up?" Dana questioned.

"Well…" Lu started, then stopped, wondering if she should continue. Dana raised her eyebrows, an indication that she was waiting for Lu to continue. When Lu didn't say anything, Dana spoke. "Come on, Lu. You didn't come in here just to sit. What's on your mind?"

"Well…" Lu started again. "This morning I was a little dizzy. And…" Dana interrupted. "Dizzy?" Lu nodded.

"Yeah. I don't know what could have caused it. And I've got this headache."

"And you came to work this morning?" Dana asked. "Of course you did." Dana answered her own question, knowing perfectly well that Lu would never stay home unless it was absolutely necessary.

"Well, Dana. What do you expect me to do? Let my patients and everyone else in the clinic down?"

"I realize that, Lu. But sometimes you need to do what's best for yourself." Dana answered. "And if you're not feeling well, how can you help your patients?" Lu was silent for a moment, then stood to go. "I've got patients waiting. I'll see you later." Dana watched in silence as Lu left the office. She knew it wouldn't do any good to try to persuade her to go home for the remainder of the day, as the young doctor would insist she was okay and didn't need to go home.



A few hours later Lu walked into her office after spending several hours in the ER. She was surprised to find Dana sitting at her desk. "Dana, what's up?"

"Well, Lu. You still do not look good. Are you sure you're okay?" Dana asked.

"Dana, I'll be fine. Okay? I'm just tired." Lu said with confidence. She sighed as she laid down on the couch, closing her eyes. Within minutes she had fallen asleep.

Dana quietly slipped out of the office, returning seconds later with a thermometer, knowing the only way to take her temperature was when she was sleeping and couldn't object. Moments later she looked at the thermometer. 102. Dana sat back down at Lu's desk, deciding to stay until she woke up.

Lu slowly opened her eyes, trying to focus. She was surprised to see Dana sitting at her desk. She struggled to sit up, but immediately lay back down again when she felt dizzy. "Dana, what are you still doing in my office? Don't you have a patient or something to take care of?" Dana folded her arms across her chest.

"Well, right now you are my patient." Lu sat up.

"What are you talking about?" Dana sat down on the couch beside her.

"Look, Lu. You are clearly not well. You have a temp of 102."

"Why?" Lu wondered.

"I don't know, Lu. I was wondering the same thing. I know you don't want to tell me what's going on with you, because you think you're fine. But Lu, you are sick. What do you think the high temp means? Or all the dizziness and tiredness you've felt?" Lu just sat there quietly, knowing Dana was right but not wanting to admit it. "Okay, so I have a temp." Lu finally blurted out. "So I'm a bit dizzy. So I'm tired. What's the big deal anyway, Dana? I'll just take some Tylenol and I'll be fine."

"Lu…" Dana started. Lu went to her desk and pulled out a bottle of Tylenol, then poured herself a glass of water. Dana shook her head.

"Lu, please consider taking the rest of the day off."

"Look, Dana. The day is half over. I can surely finish out this day. And by tomorrow, I'll be just fine."

"No Lu. You need to rest here for a few hours."

"Dana, I have patients." Lu argued.

"Why can't you just admit when you're sick?" Dana asked. "You tell your patients the same thing."

"You know what they say," Lu answered. "Doctor's make the worst patients." When Dana didn't say anything, Lu continued. "I know, but my patients come first. You know that. Everyone in the clinic knows that. I just can't let my patients down. I'm sorry, Dana." Dana sighed, exasperated.

"Well, just promise me that if you start to feel worse, you'll let me know."

"Okay, Dana. I promise."

"I've got a patient in a few minutes. You rest here for awhile and I'll be back in a little bit." Lu nodded as Dana left the office.

Lu had just poured herself a cup of coffee when her pager beeped. She glanced at it, then groaned when she quickly realized that she was being paged to the emergency room. "Dana is going to kill me for this," she said under her breath as she ran from her office.