A/N: This contains spoilers.
Alec Hardy walked slowly down the sand then stopped and turned to look at the water. He knew that coming back to Broadchurch would bring back a flood of memories, bad memories, but he had no choice in coming back. Walking closer to the water, he removed his shoes and socks then rolled up his trousers legs and stood up. A small pain clutched in his chest as he closed his eyes then took a deep breath and opened his eyes. He watched the water as he softly breathed and the pain in his chest slowly subsided. It struck him funny that standing at the edge of the water seemed to help him think, considering he was afraid of water, and he hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his trousers.
"So you'll think about it?" Ellie Miller asked as he looked at the pamphlet in his left hand then crushed it when he made a fist. It was about pacemakers and the surgery needed to install one, but he knew that he might not live long enough to have the surgery or survive it.
"Miller, for the last time, I don't think so," he has said then left the house. He drove his car to the beach and had sat there, looking at the pamphlet. He read the information over and over until he had it memorized, but a part of him still thought it was rubbish to put money into something if he wasn't going to be around to benefit from it. He was slightly startled when his mobile rang and his heart slammed hard and fast in his chest. He dug the mobile out of his pocket when he looked at the screen and saw that it was Miller's number.
"Yeah?" he asked after pushing the button and looked out at the water.
"I need you to come to Broadchurch General," she said and he frowned.
"Why, has something happened to Fred?" he asked, feeling a slight sense of panic. Fred was Miller's youngest son and they had become buddies over the last few weeks.
"No, he's fine. I just need your help with something," she said and he frowned.
"What's going on?" he asked then heard her sighing.
"Just get here," she said then ended the call and he looked at the screen. Curiosity was getting the best of him as he placed his mobile in his pocket and blinked his eyes a few times.
"What have I gotten myself into this time?" Alec says as he rubs at his temple then slowly reached down for his shoes and socks and headed down the sand.
Having been taken to Broadchurch General a few times since he'd been there, he knew where the hospital was as the car stopped in the guest parking area and he got out of the car. Placing his hands in his pockets, he walked by the cars and wondered what Miller needed to see him about. The sliding doors hissed open while he walked inside and glanced around the reception area with his eyes.
"I hate hospitals," he muttered when Miller walked closer and tapped his arm.
"There you are," she said while he turned to her and she saw the anger in his eyes.
"What are you up do?" he asked, wondering if she was going to make him have the surgery, like it or not, and crossed his arms across his chest.
"Who says that I'm up to something?" she asked with an innocent look on her face and he sighed, arching an eyebrow at her.
"Miller, I told you that I don't want this. It's a waste of time."
"Just come with me," she said as she took his hand and wrapped her fingers around his fingers. Reluctantly, he followed her down the hallway when they came to the lift and she pushed the button. He didn't look at her. The lift doors opened as they went inside and Miller pushed the button. Watching the lift doors closing, Alec balled his hands into fists and Miller sighed, pushing the button and hoped that he would forgive her for what she was about to do.
"He's in there," Miller said while they stood outside a room and Alec glared at her. "Go on. He's waiting."
"And if I say no?" Alec asked with anger in his eyes.
"You wouldn't deny a fan his wish, would you?"
"Fine," Alec growled as he walked in the room and the door closed behind him. Lying under the sheet was a blonde haired boy around seven years old and his eyes went wide when he saw Alec standing there.
"You're Alec Hardy!" he said with excitement in his voice and Alec sighed, nodding his head.
"And you're Frankie Keller, aye?" he asked while walking closer and stood at the side of the bed.
"Yeah, oh, this is so cool!" he said while Alec looked at the lights moving on the heart monitor and sighed, half closing his eyes.
"So, uh, what's wrong with you?"
"I'm not sure what it's called, but Mom says I need an operation. They're going to put this pace thingy in my chest," Frankie said as he looked at the lights and pouted. "I don't want it though."
"Don't you want to get better?" Alec asked then sat on the chair next to the bed and Frankie shrugged.
"You're scared?" Alec asked softly.
"Yeah," Frankie said and nodded his head.
"So am I," Alec said and Frankie looked at him with a confused look on his face.
"What are you scared of?"
"I'm scared of…Never mind."
"You're a fan of mine, eh?" Alec asked as he tried to change the subject, but Frankie looked at him with sad eyes and he sighed, brushing his fingers through his hair. "If you want to know, I'm sick, too."
"You didn't look sick on tv. What's wrong with you?"
"I've got heart trouble and need a pace thingy, too. The thing is I don't want it. Even if I did want it, I might not…," he said then sighed.
"Oh," Frankie said then went silent and Alec felt his heart aching from scaring the poor kid. Frankie looked at the lights for a few minutes when he smiled and looked at him. "Tell you what. You have your operation and I'll have mine."
"Uh…." Alec said then thought for a few seconds. Was it fair to promise something that could end with his death? Frankie still had his life in front of him. Maybe he could talk him into having the operation, but he couldn't come up with a good argument for Frankie to have the operation and not him. Then again, having the operation would stop his heart from going off and he would be alive. But there was still a chance that he might not survive. He silently argued with himself when Frankie tapped him and he looked at him.
"Well?" Frankie asked as Alec sighed, sat back in the chair and folded his arms across his chest.
'You won't have it if I say no?"
"Nope," Frankie said with a shake of his head.
"Even if I tell you there is a chance that I might not survive it?"
"You might…die?" he asked and Alec nodded his head. He hated being so blunt with the kid, but they were making a deal.
"It doesn't mean you might. See, my condition is a lot worse than yours and you're younger than I am. So, ok, we have a deal," he said then stood up and they shook hands. Alec smiled at him as Frankie smiled back and Alec ruffled Frankie's hair before leaving the room. The ride in the lift was quiet when Alec finally sighed and looked at Miller. "So, who is that kid?"
"He's one of Tom's friends. His mother asked me if you'd go talk to him and, well, here we are," she said then looked at him with a puzzled look on her face. "Well, are you going to have the surgery?"
The soft beeping sound brought him out of slumber as Alec slowly opened his eyes and felt something sticking up his nose. Blinking his eyes until they cleared, he looked up at the plastic bottle hanging from the metal pole to his left and a low clicking sound filled his ears. It had been two weeks since he was brought down from the ICU and every time he opened his eyes he was amazed that he was still alive. His chest felt funny, but didn't hurt as he slowly took a deep breath and let it out. He slightly smiled when he heard a knock on the door and looked at it.
"Do you want some company?" Miller asked after opening the door and he barely nodded his head. He watched as she went into the hallway and came back a few minutes later with someone sitting in a wheelchair and Frankie smiled at him. He looked as tired as Alec felt as Alec looked at the plastic bag hanging from the back of the wheelchair then at the gauze peeking out of the top of Frankie's dressing gown. Sitting on his lap was a light brown fur teddy bear wearing a brown suit, white shirt, brown tie, white sneakers and a light brown trench coat and Miller parked the wheelchair next to the bed. "This is for you."
Alec watched while she tucked the teddy bear under his left arm then kissed the top of his head and headed for the door. She turned to see Alec hold his hand out then wrap his fingers around Frankie's fingers and he softly smiled. Nodding her head, Miller left the room while the door closed behind her and tears gently rolled down her cheeks.