"Mommy, no. I don't want to go back in there, I refuse to! Where's Gregory? He won't make me go in there!"
"It's for your own good sweetie. You want to see Raleigh and Yancy soon, right? Well you're going to have to get better before you can see them."
"But I don't want to Mommy, I don't want to!" the little girl wailed, pigtails askew as she slide to the ground, back against the wall, tears coming in earnest as she sat there with outstretched little legs, becoming deadweight even as her mother tried to drag her to her feet.
"Get up, Jasmine, get up! This is no time for you to act like this."
"Get up. Get up!"
His eyes beseeched her to get up, but try as he may, the girl lying in the pristine hospital bed could not be bullied, pleaded or forced to wake up despite everything and anything Raleigh tried. Mako knew. She's been here watching her boyfriend pretty much stand guard over his younger sister since the past week, ever since the Nighthawk had barely managed to get rid of the Otachi, and only because the Golden Ambrosia and Desert Mustang had come to offer backup just in time.
Not that the Gipsy Danger wasn't going to help, but Mako knew it was either try and retrieve the wreckage of the Hellcat, or risk losing Raleigh to the drift. His panic had skyrocketed as the white feline-like Jaeger had collapsed in to the sea and sunk, after getting slammed and pierced by the Otachi.
The wreckage had been recovered, but the two bodies within its cockpit was barely clinging on to the threads of life. Chuck had been removed from the ICU ward just a couple of hours ago, after he managed to flicker his eyelids and down some liquid sustenance. He had suffered damage to his skull, half of his ribs and his hips were smashed once again, already weakened from before. It would take a while before he healed.
Jasmine, put simply, has yet to wake up from her injury induced coma.
Yet the news was not relayed to Chuck. Not as if the former Striker Eureka was awake enough to hear the news anyway, he was more often than not lucid instead of fully awake, but the few times Mako had been in to see him, she had occasionally heard he murmur of Jasmine's name pass his lips. She knew for a fact that it wouldn't be too long before someone had to break the news to him, that his girlfriend had yet to wake up from the many injuries now littering her fragile body.
Other than the broken ribs she suffered akin to Chuck's, she also sustained a fracture skull, internal bleeding, and a brain hemorrhage that the doctor's are suspecting is the main cause of why Jasmine is yet to wake up.
No one knew for sure why of course, but one thing they all knew, no one looked forward, nor wanted to tell Chuck what was going on. Least of all Mako and Raleigh. Herc was all for telling his son and getting it over with, but the doctor's had advised against it for now, at the very least till the younger male's condition stabilized a little.
"How's Jasmine?" Herc's voice came, as the door opened to admit the elder Hanson pilot. Raleigh barely moved from his seat, and it was Mako who turned to give a rueful shake of her head as Herc stopped next to the Asian Ranger, and both eyes turned silently to rest upon the two siblings, one motionless on the bed, the other just as motionless, but his grip almost pleading with his eyes all but boring holes in to his sister's sleeping form.
"Chuck just fully woke up for the first time in weeks. He's asking for Jasmine. I've been trying to distract him by telling him how the Shatterdome would hold up now that both the Hellcat and Striker Eureka are out of commission."
"Nighthawk is staying on here till Strike Eureka get's fixed, right?"
"Yeap. She should be up and running in a week or so. Jazzy left specific instructions just before she left to fight the Otachi."
Silence fell across the room again, no sound save for the beeping of the various machine's Jasmine was hooked up to, before out of the blue, Raleigh surprised everyone by speaking. "Tell him."
"What?" Mako and Herc simultaneously asked, surprised at Raleigh's almost monotonous request.
"Tell him. He deserves to know. And maybe he'll be able to wake her up. God knows, if your drift partner can't wake you up, I don't know who else could."
"Just do it. She has to wake up soon, or the doctor's say she'll be like this for the rest of her life. I…" he paused, almost as if his voice choked, before continuing. "I don't want my sister to be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. Chuck is my last shot at waking her up."
"Chuck!" Mako squeaked in surprise, swirling around to find a very battered, half tottering half limping Chuck being brought in supported by Tendo. He looked partly pissed and partly anxious, and it was all Tendo could do to keep up with him as Chuck hurried as fast as he could for a man in his condition, ousting Raleigh from his permanent space on the chair next to Jasmine, and wasting no time in picking up her lifeless hand.
"I can't believe you guys were planning on keeping this from me." He growled, breaking the surprised silence that still blanketed the other three. They blinked, and Herc looked over at Tendo with a scowl. "Did you-"
"I forced him to. It was either tell me or I was going to pull apart his control systems in the room."
"I don't think he's capable of that right now, y'know." Mako remarked sarcastically, to which Tendo gave a sheepish smile. But in short time, all of their attentions soon returned to Chuck and where he sat, silently caressing the fingers he laced with his own, wordlessly just staring at the sleeping features of the girlfriend he's come to love so deeply over the course of the past few months.
"Jazzy. You've been sleeping long enough now. I need to get in the Hellcat. I need you there with me. There's so much more about that special Jaeger of yours I still don't know how to utilize. So much more you need to teach me to be an adequate co-pilot of yours. So c'mon Jazz, wake up. I need you."
"Gregory?" Her surprised tone was obvious, turning in what seemed to be an empty room to be greeted by the familiar sight of her sandy haired cousin and former co-pilot. With a happy squeal, Jasmine all but ran and jumped on Gregory, who in turn laughed and caught her, swinging her around before putting her down. "Hello there squirt."
"I missed you!"
"And I you, but you really mustn't linger here any longer. Any longer and it's difficult to get back out."
"Where is here, exactly?"
"You're not awake Jazz. Everyone wants you to wake up."
"But you're here!'
"You don't need me anymore. You know that. You have so many people out there for you. And shouldn't you be telling me something?" At the elder male's cheeky grin, Jasmine flushed and bit her lip with a sheepish look. "Yeah, well…"
"You know what I mean now, right? He's waiting. And so is Raleigh. He's lost Yancy once, he can't lose you too."
"Listen to them. They'll bring you back."
"Get the doctor, quick!"
Chuck had spent the better part of the last hour holding Jasmine's hand, when the heart monitor suddenly went erratic. His own heart went crazy at that, and all sorts of negative possibilities ran through his mind. Tendo immediately shot out the door to do as he told, fetching the doctor in a split second. And all the time, Chuck's eyes never left his girlfriend's pale face, even as her eyelids twitched, and she begin to stir.
"Let me check her Mr. Hansen."
Moving aside to let the doctor do as he wanted, words could not explain his joy when the white coated professional move aside, and joy of all joys, the girl's familiar brown eyes, the very ones he's gotten so used to looking in to, was open. They were shuttered, half-focused and bleary, but at the very least it was open!
"Jazz!" Chuck shot to her side, and bit his lip as she managed a watery grin at him. "Hello Chuck."
"You've been sleeping far too long, baby."
"I'm sorry. I was tired."
"Jazzy, you're not supposed to be up yet!"
But whoever said Jasmine Becket was a good patient? Raleigh was up to his wits trying to deal with his younger sister's overzealous ambitions to get up and running again, when she was still nursing broken ribs and a fractured skull. The brain hemorrhage and internal bleeding had managed to be stopped at the very least, but at the rate Jasmine kept wanting to get out of bed, her bone injuries were unlikely to heal anytime soon.
"I'm growing roots in that bed, big brother. Cut me some slack, would you?'
"We've had to begin nightly vigils in her room, Mr Becket. Miss Becket would get out of bed in the middle of the night when no one is watching." One of the nurses reported, and Raleigh shot a scowl at his headstrong sister. "Do you want to get better, or not?"
"I'm going nuts sitting still. I can't take this idleness!"
"Take a leaf out of Chuck's book, at least he's staying put. I don't know how you still manage to walk with a broken rib." He muttered in disgust, placing the tray of food on her sidetable as Mako more or less 'wrestled' Jasmine back in to her bed. Raleigh noted how despite her protests, her body sunk gratefully in to the soft sheets, and he rolled his eyes at the younger Becket's impossible notions.
"That's it, you're switching rooms tonight. Can't have you wandering around and making the nurses lose sleep. I feel bad about causing them extra trouble, even if you don't."
So that was how that night, for some reason and much to both Chuck and Jasmine's surprise, they found themselves in a room together, the whole space dark save for the moonlight coming through the thin curtains from the window. Silence reigned, a comfortable one between two lovers, before Chuck broke it.
"I was worried to death."
"I felt like death." She replied with a chuckle.
"Don't joke about this, Jazzy. You need to be more careful, and stop taking chances while in a Jaeger. I can't… I don't think I can take losing you." His voice was raw, and surprised Jasmine with an edge of emotion she's rarely, if ever heard from the usually tough-as-nails Chuck Hansen. Pushing herself to slowly sit up, she winced from the pain in her bound up ribs, and then looked over at Chuck, who was already sitting up and looking at her with wide eyes.
"I love you, Jazzy. I can't lose you. Don't do anything stupid… or I might follow suit."
For a moment, she didn't know how to respond. The gruff yet genuine emotion she felt coming from the male couldn't be wrong. Biting her lip as she flipped her own emotions in her head, she thought back to that short prelude she had with Gregory while in her coma. She… could live for herself now. She's finally managed to get out of Gregory's shadow, but only thanks to Chuck's support and help.
"I… I can't lose you either Chuck. It's… I took so long to finally stop blaming myself for Gregory's death, and most of it is thanks to you. You've been an amazing help and support for me and… and I guess what I'm trying to say is that I love you too." She finished in a softer tone, and scowled when she heard Chuck chuckle.
"What was that?"
"Oh shut up you big buffoon, you won't hear it again."
"Only if you're lucky." She retorted cheekily, and both of them laughed, before reaching across the space between their beds to link fingers, drifting to sleep with only the barest of touch connecting them, but just enough so they never need to feel alone.