Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: Please keep in mind that all my medical knowledge comes from watching Grey's Anatomy. Reviews are awesome, please review! :)
He'd been wondering what color her eyes were for months.
Ever since the paramedics rushed her in, pushing frantically at the gurney she was tied to, unconscious and with blood pouring profusely from her head, her nose, the cut in her bruised cheek. Her state was as far from good as possible, and he was the on-call surgeon that stormy night, so naturally he was the one to tend her wounds and perform life-saving surgery on her. With her skull fractured as it was, a miracle seemed to be needed. Good thing then that Killian Jones, MD, was one of the most renowned Neuro surgeons in the country.
He jogged beside the paramedics pushing the gurney through the hospital's halls as he heard their report on the woman's state. "...chasing someone down the street and hit by a car. License says her name is Emma Swan, 28, not an organ donor. Multiple fractures in skull, cheekbone, and wrist; all in the right side, which is presumably where the car hit her and had her flying on the street. Needed CPR on scene, we got heartbeat after about two minutes. Vitals are stable for now, blood pressure 40/85, heart rate weak, but steady. She's a fighter," the young paramedic added as an afterthought.
"That she is," he agreed weakly, his brain fully focused in forming a plan to fix her. He turned to Blanchard, the OR nurse that was following them, ready to assist the doctor. "Prep her and get her to OR One. Call Ortho and see if there's someone that can come and take a look at her wrist. Bring Smee, he's my most trusted anesthesiologist."
"Yes, Doctor," the small woman answered, rushing off to the other direction and disappearing around a corner.
Thirty minutes later, Dr. Jones was thoroughly scrubbing in between his fingers and up his arms and getting into the surgical scrubs and gloves with the help of a couple of nurses. Through the glass window, he cast a look to the middle of the OR, where this woman – this Emma Swan – was waiting for him to open up her skull, look for any internal damage and close her back up. He wasn't particularly nervous; he'd done this procedure hundreds of times, with a 97% of success. He was that good.
He stepped into the OR just as Dr. Smee was getting the last touches of the anesthesia ready, and looked down at the woman on the table. Despite his well-practiced clinical detachment, he couldn't help but be stunned by her beautiful features. Her face had been cleaned up of the dried blood, and even with the smashed cheekbone and the multiple dark bruises coloring her pale skin, Emma Swan was a true beauty. A rush of determination spread though him and he vowed to himself that he would not let that woman become part of the failed 3%. He would try his absolute best to save her.
He didn't know what possessed him to bend down but suddenly he was murmuring in her ear. "You're a fighter, Swan. Fight some more." He stood straight again to allow Smee to put a mask on her face. After a few seconds, his colleague nodded.
"She's ready, doctor."
"Very well, then. Let's see what we can do for her."
The procedure was not easy. At one point, he needed to do a craniotomy to relieve the swelling in her brain and her heart almost stopped right under his hands. He cursed, he pleaded her to stay with him, he ignored the startled looks of the OR staff, who knew him for his calm personality even in the most compromising situations. For some reason unbeknownst to him, he just could not fathom this woman dying. Not under his watch.
After nearly seven hours, he finished the final stitch on her skin and, exhaling heavily and rolling his neck to relieve the tension created from his stiff position. He thanked the doctors and nurses for a terrific job and left the room, throwing the scrubs covered with her blood in the nearest bin. He watched as several nurses pushed her gurney carefully to the ICU. Luckily, the skull fractures hadn't caused any neurological damage, but her brain had swollen during the procedure and that might carry some unwanted consequences. There was nothing left to do but wait until she woke up and see what had happened.
It was the early hours of the morning when he left the hospital and headed to his apartment after the long and exhausting shift. The first thing he did after shutting the door was grabbing the closest bottle of rum and practically draining it in one sit.
Apart from his natural gift, one of the reasons he was so good at his job was that he had the ability to be almost completely rational and objective in practically every situation. He'd operated on little children with congenital deformations and on mangled victims of shootings or terrible accidents; and despite how horrified he was about those situations –he was a human being with empathy, after all – he had never let those feelings interfere with his task. However, now he couldn't get the image of the blonde woman out of his head. He usually forgot the names of his patients after a while, but hers seemed to be hot branded in his brain. Emma Swan. The Swan girl. His eyes closed and he drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
"Good afternoon, Doctor Jones," nurse Lucas greeted him as she handed him the charts of the patients he had to check at the start of his round.
"Afternoon, lass. How are you?"
"Can't complain," she said with a wide smile. He liked her; she was a good friend.
"Any change while I was at home?" He asked, hoping that she would understand that there was one person he was particularly interested about.
"No, just Mr. Johnson finally agreeing to take his medication without any protest," she laughed softly.
"How about the skull fracture and craniotomy from last night?" It was easier to refer of her by her injuries and the procedures he did.
Ruby's features turned somber and his heart skipped a beat. "Vitals are stable, there's brain activity but she hasn't woken up yet."
"She should have. It's been almost twelve hours since the surgery."
"I know. I changed her IV half an hour ago, and she still hasn't reacted."
"I'll check on her at the end of my round. Has her family been contacted?"
"She doesn't have any. Her records show that she was a child in foster care, and left the system at sixteen. No family, no boyfriend, no friends. The poor girl is all alone."
Why did that hurt so much when he didn't know anything about the woman other than her name and the way her skull and brain looked?
That sounds creepy.
"Thank you, lass. See you later," he said, not wanting to deal with the strange emotions blooming inside him and going to check his patients.
After seven patients checked and two minor procedures done, Killian found himself in front of room 206. As immoral as it was, he had been avoiding that room and had left it as his last duty before his shift ended; which, as he now could see, was proving to be a big mistake, because it meant that he would probably spend yet another night thinking about the blonde woman.
A quick glance through the small window at the door indicated that she was still unconscious. It was a bad sign. Sighing heavily, he entered the room and grabbed her chart from the bedside table. No change at all.
He broke a tongue depressor in half and pinched her fingers and toes with the sharp edges. They flinched, reacting to the stimulus, which meant that at least she wasn't paralyzed. He tried lifting her eyelids but the eyeballs were completely white; the irises stuck at the back of her head.
I wonder what color her eyes are, he wondered crazily, as if that was the most important thing to focus on about Emma Swan.
Emma Swan, the orphan. The girl who was all alone in the world.
Just like he was. Like he had been all his life until Milah, and like he had returned to after Milah's murder by the hands of her jealous ex. Killian wondered if this woman also had someone who had marked her with love and loss like Milah had done to him.
Glancing a final look at his patient, he left the room.
Everything was the same when he checked on her the following day. And the day after that. And the week after that too. After a while, it was pretty clear that she wasn't going to wake up from her coma any time soon, yet Killian found himself drawn to room 206. Even though she technically wasn't his patient anymore as she had not required further surgical procedures, he couldn't help his growing need to know about her, about her state. So every night, right before his shift was over, he sneaked into Emma Swan's room and spent some time there. Sometimes checking her vitals, sometimes just standing by her and offering her his silent company.
It was stupid and he knew it, because it wasn't as if she'd ever know that he was there, and because maybe she wouldn't have liked that he was there, but for some strange reason he didn't want her to be alone.
As the days went by, he unconsciously started spending more time in the room with her. In a strange way, he found that the beep of the machines and her presence were soothing, so he gradually began to bring charts from patients to catch up on paperwork, or surgical journals to read. The minutes turned to hours. There were nights in which he didn't even go home, but slept in the armchair at the corner of her room instead.
In some of his visits he did nothing but stare at her, admire her beautiful face which seemed unaffected by the growing weakness of her body. He still didn't know the color of her eyes, and that unnerved him. Were they blue? Chocolate brown? Grey? He spent more time that he wanted to admit thinking about her and her life prior to the accident that got her stuck in her unconscious state. What did she do for a living? What was her favorite color? Did she like rock music or the hit pop songs on the radio?
"Come on, lass, wake up," he said out loud one night, his voice coated with defeat and frustration, about six weeks after she had been admitted.
His eyes shot up to the machines, and as soon as he did, her weak heartbeat and brainwave rate returned to the normal pace. Had he imagined the extra beep? The brain activity? Was he starting to lose his sanity over this coma girl?
He knew that what he was doing was beyond the boundaries of professionalism, that he could get in serious trouble if he got caught, but he didn't care. He was starting to grow obsessed with her, but couldn't stop visiting her. Deep inside, he had the feeling that his presence helped Emma. He was probably just projecting his own need for company or trying to ease his guilt at the fact that he had probably done something during the surgery that left her like this, but he truly had the sincere desire to help this girl get better. And maybe by spending time with her he would do it, sooner or later. That's why in his freaked out state, he left the room after imagining (Imagining?) that extra beep, desperately needing to clear his head.
And that's why he returned the night after.
"You know, lass, something tells me that if you wake up and find that I've been spending my nights here for weeks, you won't hesitate to punch me," he laughed, contemplating her peaceful sleeping form. "I mean, I know some things about your past. You had it rough. So you probably had to learn how to defend yourself from a very early age. Plus, you're strong. I know that. You've survived the accident, survived the surgery, you're struggling right here and now. I'd love for you to wake up, Emma," he added a couple of seconds later as an afterthought, and that time he didn't imagine anything.
He grinned widely as he saw how the lines on the monitor showed two subsequent peaks before evening out again. "You're bloody brilliant, lass. Amazing. Don't worry, you don't have to wake up right now, all in good time."
After that night, he started talking to her every time he visited her room. He talked about anything: his work, his lonely childhood in Ireland, how his mother's death due to a burst aneurysm the doctors hadn't been able to fix made him decide to become a Neuro surgeon. He also brought books from his personal collection of favorites to read to her. He chuckled when she reacted visibly favorably to his narration of Peter Pan, the beats of her heart becoming more and more frequent.
Soon enough, Emma Swan was the latest hot topic on the halls of the hospital. All the nurses were talking about how, out of nowhere, her state was growing slightly better, but she was unable to wake just yet. Everyone was wondering why that was, and, if Killian had to be completely honest with himself, so was he.
He'd been wondering what color her eyes were for months, until the day he didn't have to wonder anymore.
"You know, Emma, tonight is a...difficult night for me," he started, taking a seat next to her. "Today is seven years since Milah died." The machines registered two quick heartbeats, and Killian smirked bitterly. "I'm flattered by your jealous reaction, Swan. Worry not, you needn't be. I realize now that I let her ghost haunt me for too long, and, without my noticing, it was replaced by another phantom woman. You." He fixed his eyes on this sleeping beauty that hadn't given him a single moment of rest for months. "What is it with you, Swan? Why do I feel so irremediably drawn to you? Why can't you wake up, Emma? Please, wake up." His hand moved forward on its own accord, gently caressing hers, and everything changed.
Doctor Killian Jones was a rational man, a man of science, a man who didn't believe in miracles or such nonsense; but he found that he was unable to come up with any explanation for the shock of electricity that shot up from the place their skin made contact, the way the room was suddenly full of the deafening beeps from the machines, the way he felt her hand move ever-so-slightly under his, the way his heart hammered against his ribcage as he stared at Emma's face just as her eyes fluttered open and wasted no time in locking with his.
They stayed like that for a little eternity, and eventually he felt his cheeks hurt and barely registered that the reason for that was that he was grinning widely.
Her eyes were green. The most stunning and bright shade of green he had ever seen.
"Welcome back, lass," he said in a low, strangled voice.
That seemed to break her trance, as Emma blinked rapidly and scanned the room, taking everything in.
Her voice was raspy from lack of use, but it was still deep and musical.
"You had an accident. Got hit by a car and your head was pretty badly injured. I operated on you."
That got her attention back to him. "You're a surgeon?"
The incredulity in her voice was a little offending. "I know, lass. Most people mistake me for a fashion model." She lifted an eyebrow, not amused, and he chuckled. He had already figured she was a tough lass. "Dr. Killian Jones at your service. Now, you've been in a coma for quite a long time, so I have to make sure there's no neurological damage, although everything seems to be pretty normal," he smiled at her to soothe her unease, and was pleased to noticed that it worked. "Can you tell me your name?"
"Date of birth?"
"October 22th, 1983."
"What was the last thing you remember?"
She took a little longer before answering. "I was working. This bail jumper had run away from me and I was chasing him down the street. I don't remember anything else after that."
Killian nodded. "According to witness' reports, you were hit by a car then and brought here with several fractures."
"How long was I unconscious?"
He sighed and locked eyes with her, knowing this would not be easy. "Three months, lass."
She gasped and closed her eyes, a frown curling her pretty mouth downwards. His irrational need to placate her kicked in again.
"Hey. I know it's a hard blow, but you've come out of a very dangerous injury with no sequel whatsoever. Most people take a situation like that as a second chance. Everything must suck right now to you, but you've been very lucky. Plus, look at the striking guy that got to take care of you all that time."
He smiled when she smirked at him, shaking her head. "Are you always so conceited, Dr. Jones? Moreover, isn't that kind of remark unprofessional, seeing as you are my doctor?"
"You've got gumption," he appraised. "Right, I failed to mention that you are no longer a surgical patient, and I am a surgeon; hence, I am not your doctor anymore."
"Why are you here, then?" she asked, confused.
He scratched the back of his neck, suddenly nervous. "I just...didn't want you to be alone."
Those amazing green eyes searched his face, and Killian felt as if she was staring at his bare soul. After a few minutes, a small smile appeared on her face, warming his heart. "Thank you," she whispered, overcome with emotion. "Can I ask you one favor, please?"
Her smile grew wider as her hand, still encased in his, moved so that her fingers could intertwine with his. "Keep reading Peter Pan for me. It's always been my favorite."