An Infirmary Lullaby

More terminal-Genta, my apologies... Thanks to Ninety-Six Smiles for your continued help and support. And for coming up with the title. If you hadn't, I would have called it... 'McKinley's Anatomy' or something ridiculous like that...


Nation's POV.

Frank is admitted after taking two whole bottles of extra-strength Tylenol in one shot. He's scheduled for a psych consult and Magenta is slowly beginning to lose it. Cosmo is on edge, Laura is running in circles wringing her hands and I honestly don't know what to think. Magenta and Brad are demanding enough as it is and with Frank in the hospital and my colleagues slowly going up the wall, they're about 300 times harder to deal with.

I put my magazine down on the sidetable of the On-Call room. Once again, I'm alone in here, Cosmo is doing an appendectomy on a six-year old and Laura is with Frank. Magenta's kidney dysplasia meds mixed with the chemo just creates an explosion of her either bitching or wanting to sleep so I don't see her so much, and I'm positive Brad is over the moon about Frank being hooked up to machines.

Magenta is awake when I enter her room, Brad is gone, from the looks of the note he left on Magenta's bedside table, he's across the street, getting a birthday present for his sister. She looks up from her laptop.

"Hi, Nation."

"You feeling okay?"

"Fine. How's Frank?"

"I'm not sure, he needs to be watched closely for the next week and he's still on oxygen. He's probably going to need a liver transplant."

"Shit."

"You know, this isn't your fault."

"I got him fired, didn't I?"

"Actually, no, you didn't."

"Bullshit-" Magenta slaps a hand over her mouth, blood begins to stream between her fingers and I pass her an emesis basin. "Fuck-"

"Don't say anything, just don't, you'll choke."

"Tell me how Frank is-" she starts to choke violently on the stream of blood.

"You'll find out tomorrow. All I know is he's on liver dialysis, the state of his kidneys is in debate and neither of you are in any position to be seeing each other, I'm not even sure Dr. Halminen will allow it."

Magenta leans back and looks at me"Screw Dr. Halminen, I need to see him in case I don't make it through the night."

I stare at her, "Imply that again and I'll cut you."

She shoots me a look. "At least take me there."

"I can't. You're too sick to be out of bed."

"Too sick, my ass."

"Magenta. Let it. GO."

She looks down at her lap, I see a few tears fall onto her blanket.

"I just need to know that he's alright."

I back up a step, "I'll go see him now, okay? I'll tell you everything."

She dries her tears.

"Fine."

...

I'm waiting outside of Frank's room when Cosmo comes up behind me.

"Hey, Nat."

"Hey. I was just about to see Frank, have you...?"

"No, not yet... Listen, uh, I kind of came to talk to Laura, more than to see Frank, I've been thinking about the way I talked about Ms Alvarado. And I feel horrible. You know, because of her sister and all, and what happened. I feel terrible about it, I mean, what if that had happened to you?"

"I'm really glad you came to apologize." I kind of whisper. "She's upset, Magenta, she thinks she's about to die. But really, she's been doing better. She's been doing well in her treatment. And I think she and Brad could- No, I've said too much, let's go see Frank."

Cosmo opens the door. Laura is sitting next to Frank's bed, along with a tall woman with black hair, a man who looks like Frank and two small kids. Laura stands up,

"Hi, Nat and Cosmo. Okay, I'd like you to meet Frank's parents, uh, AnneMarie and Dmitri. And his brother and sister, Sloane, she's 8, and D'Alessio, and he's 5."

AnneMarie stands up, "I should probably take the little ones downstairs, come on. Dmitri, you should come too, give Frankie and his friends some privacy."

Within seconds, everyone is leaving. I kind of mince over to Frank's bed. I don't know what to expect.

He's awake. Pale. He has the same tubes in his nose that Magenta has. But the look on his face is different. It's disdainful, kind of sad. I smile a little,

"So... you're awake...?"

"No shit." He whines. "I can't believe it."

"Why did you want to kill yourself."

He pauses, "...Magenta. I almost killed her."

"She's okay, she wants to know how you are."

Frank smiles a little, "She's the sweetest human being on this planet. Tell her I love her."

Cosmo glances at Laura, she gets the hint and follows him into the hall.

"So you're having a liver transplant?"

"Yeah. My mom is donating it. You know, because they only take a little piece of your liver. So we'll both be fine."

I glare at Frank, "Don't ever try to kill yourself again."

He smiles and starts to laugh a little, "I'll try, Nat. I'll try. Now go check on Magenta, tell her I'm doing fine."

...

Magenta is laying in bed sweating buckets when I walk into her room. Brad is sitting next to her bed tracing circles on her back,

"Is she okay?"

"She's just in pain, I'm guessing a lot."

"When did it start?"

"A little while ago, she threw up a few times because of it."

"Did she say where it was coming from?"

"No, no, she didn't."

"Ok, I'll call Laura, there's something I need to do."

"Oh yeah, Nation? What the fuck could that be?"

"Brad, I have a life."

"DOCTORS DON'T HAVE LIVES!"

"Listen, she is not going to die today, this is a painful disease, this is a side-effect. I need to go."

"WHERE? WHO DO YOU HAVE TO SEE?"

"I don't have to see anyone. I just- I... I have to go home. I'm sorry."

I run out of the room and down the hall. I don't even feel the tears until I'm in my car.