Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters I have borrowed from MI High.
"What do you take me for ?" complained Stark. "I brought a helicopter. He's going to get the best we can provide."
Stark was true to his word. When Frank, Carrie and Rose arrived at the MI9 hospital, Oscar was in intensive care, hooked up to every machine the hospital possessed. At least that is what it looked like to his team looking through the observation window. He was only recognisable by the big purple bruise on his face.
A doctor approached them. "Agent London ?" he asked Frank, who nodded. "I am Doctor Omar and I am in charge of Oscar's care," he said shaking Frank's hand.
"Oscar is critically ill," he began. "We have put him in a medical coma, which is being maintained by drugs. Your early action in cooling his brain may well have saved his life. The cap you can see over his head is providing the cooling now and also monitoring brain activity. We are aiming to keep that activity to a minimum in order to allow his brain time to recover."
"How long is he going to stay like that ?" asked Carrie.
"We are monitoring brain activity to find a suitable time to bring him out of the coma, but we're estimating about four days," explained the doctor.
"Is he going to be alright ?" asked Rose quietly.
"I'm afraid I can't answer that until he wakes up," said the doctor. "We're giving him the best chance that we can." They thanked Dr Omar and left silently.
The next four days felt like the longest of Rose's and Carrie's lives. Finally, they got a call from Frank telling them to meet him and he took them to the hospital.
They looked through the window into Oscar's room to see a cluster of medical staff, including Dr Omar gathered around the equipment surrounding his bed. Dr Omar was shining a small light into Oscar's eyes. He glanced up and gestured for them to come in.
Oscar's eyes were open though he looked tired and sleepy. Carrie was crying as she took his hand and pressed it to her cheek. Oscar looked at her.
"What's the matter ?" he murmured. Carrie laughed out loud, crying at the same time. Then Rose and Frank had their arms round her and each other, hugging, crying and laughing.
They were asked to leave shortly after. Dr Omar wanted Oscar to get some natural sleep. Frank looked back at the already sleeping boy. He looked frail and battered. They had come so close to losing him. Frank decided that he was going to have a long talk with Oscar as soon as he was able.
It was two days later when he decided Oscar was well enough to talk for a while. Frank sat on a chair next to Oscar's bed. Oscar was propped up to half way sitting. He was still getting dizzy enough to be sick, so the staff were gradually getting him upright. "Oscar you said something quite odd when you were connected to the Professor's machine. I think you said 'I don't have anywhere to go'. Do you remember why you said that ?"
Oscar looked a little sheepish. "I remember," he said quietly. "I had a nightmare. You were telling me that I wasn't trying hard enough and you were going to throw me out of M.I. High."
Frank tried not to show how upset he was on hearing this. "Oscar, I know how hard you work. I am pleased with everything you do. You are one of the best language specialists in MI9 regardless of your age." Oscar looked up at this and his face brightened a little.
"You really are pleased ?" he asked.
"Yes of course. I don't expect you to deal with everything by yourself. You have a team and you have me to help. If your guardian is going away, you need someone to look after you. Who buys your clothes ?" he asked.
"Oh, I take some money out of my allowance and get them myself when I have time," explained Oscar.
"Your allowance is not supposed to be for the things that you need," said Frank. "It's meant to be for things that you want, like when you go on holiday." Oscar looked completely baffled. "You do go on holiday don't you ?" Oscar slowly shook his head.
"I can't go anywhere on my own can I ?" he said.
"Doesn't anyone take you ?" asked Frank. Again Oscar shook his head. He then stared down at his hands on the bed.
"It's OK," Oscar assured Frank. "I'm used to it."
Frank was horrified. He couldn't speak for a moment as he realised what kind of life Oscar had been struggling with quietly and uncomplaining. It wasn't a life. It was an existence. Then he started to feel angry. It just wasn't good enough.
"Oscar, when did you last go on holiday ?" asked Frank.
Oscar thought carefully. "Erm, I think I went away with Mum once."
There was silence for a minute, then Frank made a decision. "Look Oscar, I'm not happy with the way you've been treated. You shouldn't be taking on all this responsibility. You are already taking on enough with your job for M.I. High."
Oscar started to look worried. "I won't have to move again will I ?" he asked. "I can't face it again, please ?" he begged.
Frank took Oscar's hand in his and said, "Oscar, I promise you I will not do anything you are unhappy with, alright ?" Oscar nodded. "I am going to make things better though. I promise," he added. Oscar smiled properly.