Lexi waited. And waited.
Rocking back and forth in the uncomfortable chair, slowly and persistently, she tried calming herself down. Surely Nana wouldn't die? Life wouldn't take her away as well, right? Not now, not when everything seemed upside down and so confusing. She needed Nana the most right now. She needed her grandmother.
Brittany, who sat beside the brunette, gently rubbed a hand on her back, up and down, in an attempt to help her friend's fears. Obviously it wasn't working, Law thought, eyeing the wide-eyed and blank expression on his host's face, but her friend continued nonetheless. He was willing to bet she didn't even realize she was still doing it.
Law could distinguish the minute movement of her body; she was shaking. Whatever adrenaline had started pumping through her bloodstream back at the house was slowly ebbing away, leaving her body in a state of acute exhaustion.
The other couple in the room had been called on and had been ushered into the emergency room together. Lexi's eyes had locked onto the open double doors of the E.R. wing. He saw a spark across her eyes, and guessed she was debating how far she could get if she ran in to find Nana. But the opportunity was lost as the doors closed again, leaving the three as the only occupants in the waiting room. Her eyes returned to the floor.
This wait was irritating, Law thought. He knew the surgeons were probably operating as they spoke, but wanted to confirm the diagnosis before informing Lexi. He was willing to place a guess as to the extent of her injuries, having seen and felt them firsthand.
As if reading his mind, the door opened and a fully-garbed nurse walked out into the lobby. Her eyes locked on to Lexi, and the brunette suddenly stood. Law watched the nurse approach, pulling off her face mask to speak.
"Your grandmother has suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, in addition to the fractured skull from the fall. It's not clear whether it was one or two arteries that ruptured." She said clinically. Apparently this condition was familiar to Lexi, who closed her eyes and pulled the hair back out of her face with a choked sob.
"Are they operating?" She whispered, and the nurse, trying her best to remain objective and clinical, nodded slowly.
"They are going to attempt to relieve the pressure from the blood buildup. Despite the fractured skull, it did not create an opening large enough for it to alleviate some of it." Breaking her stony appearance, she placed a comforting hand on Lexi's shoulder. "Every surgery has a chance of failure, but our team is doing the best we can."
Nodding mutely, Lexi swallowed with a dry mouth. The nurse had said all she had come to say, and promptly turned back around towards the door, disappearing into the E.R. wing after another moment. Lexi returned to her seat, leaning over and covering her face with her hands.
"It'll be alright." Brittany cooed quietly, not appearing to believe her own words. Law, being the trained doctor that he was, didn't either.
The nurse had said they were clear yet if one or two arteries had burst. One was manageable. Two, however, was almost certainly fatal. That much blood buildup in the brain was far too quick to be treatable in the timespan that it had taken to get Nana medical attention. One glance at Lexi, her face the epitome of hopelessness, confirmed she knew this as well.
They'd left the house a few hours after lunch, but now the clock showed it right after 4 o'clock. The three would alternate between sitting and standing, the waiting room chairs not really that comfortable to sit in for hours straight. Lexi rose once more, circling the room. They didn't speak. No one really wanted to break the silence, and there wasn't much to talk about anyways.
5:15 rolled around, and Brittany was beginning to doze off in her seat. The woman put up a valiant fight to stay awake for her friend's sake, but ultimately the hours of inactivity and the soft waiting room music being played overhead did their work, and she was curled in a ball in her chair.
Lexi looked as alert as ever, her eyes red from the lack of blinking. The shaking had stopped some time ago, but in its place came the paleness of her skin. The room was cold, but that didn't explain the amount of apparent discoloration of her skin. Law frowned, wondering just how slow her heart was beating to cause that decrease in pigment. He feared somehow that her circulation was being cut off.
"Lexi-ya." He said quietly, the first in several hours to speak. At first she didn't acknowledge that he'd spoken. Then, gradually, she turned her gaze to him. That hollow expression greeted him. "You should try to get some rest."
She opened her mouth, about to protest that there's no way she would be able to sleep in the current situation, but he cut her off. "It won't do any good if you pass out from exhaustion. I'll wake you up again when they give us news."
She stared for a moment longer, but finally nodded slowly. Crossing her arms, she leaned back in her seat, closing her eyes. It was a start, but he knew her mind was still working behind those closed eyes.
It was close to 6 o'clock and Brittany had woken up from her nap. She rubbed groggily at her eyes, gazing around at the room, as if expecting to see her bedroom and not the white walls of the emergency waiting room. Law heard her quiet sigh, before straightening up her back from her hunched position.
Lexi, on the other hand, had somehow managed to fall into a light state of rest. And in doing so, had sought out a better position to lay. Law's arm was sitting on the armrest of his chair, and Lexi unconsciously leaned her head against it in her sleep, snuggling up to him for warmth. He raised a brow but knew that if he woke her now she'd be unlikely to fall asleep again.
Then, finally, a doctor emerged from the doors. Dressed in standard medical attire, his face covered by a medical mask and a cap covering his hair, Law saw how tired his eyes were. This must be the doctor who operated, knowing that same feeling himself of exhaustion after a particularly difficult operation.
Brittany sat up a little straighter when he approached, and Law turned to Lexi. Nudging her gently against the arm, she stirred in her sleep.
"Lexi-ya." He called, for whatever reason brushing a thumb against her cheek. It was soft, just as her lips had been that night. He mentally shook his head. Now was not the time for such thoughts. "Lexi-ya." He said again, a little louder.
Her eyes cracked open, then widened a fraction when she remembered where they were. Stiffening up and sitting upright, she glanced around, finally noticing the doctor beginning to remove his face mask.
"I-is…she alright?" Her voice wavered, finally standing to face him.
He took his time unhooking the mask from behind his ears, finally revealing his face underneath. And he was not smiling.
…Why wasn't he smiling? That was her first thought. And her heart leapt into her throat, stopping her from speaking.
"My team did everything they could for her," He began softly, pausing at the choked sob that racked Lexi's body, "but unfortunately we were unable to save your grandmother." He finished, looking to the ground.
It started out with two uneven breaths, then several more, as she backed away. Her eyes drifted to the side, not really seeing anything at all. Then she was hyperventilating in full, panting in irregular intervals, and Law stood to catch her before she crumpled to the floor, unable to process the fact that Nana was no longer there for her.
Her cries echoed around the empty waiting room, muffled only by Law's hoodie as she buried her face into the material, needing some semblance of control. Brittany turned away from everyone, probably trying to hide her own crying. The doctor simply stood there, allowing her to let out her emotions. Apparently he had more to say to that, but decided to wait until she was calm enough to think clearly.
Law stood there, holding up the brunette as she clutched at his hoodie and cried into the fabric. Comforting crying people wasn't normally his thing, but as a doctor he was prepared for it. So he simply allowed her to cry.
It took several minutes, Law managing to guide her to a chair, and the doctor bringing over some tissues to save Law's hoodie.
Lexi's crying had decreased, simply because she was running out of tears to cry. She felt dehydrated, cold, clammy, and a wave of unimaginable sadness sweeping over her. But she couldn't cry forever. Eventually, it lessened enough for the doctor to continue talking again.
"There are some papers that need to be filled out before she is allowed to leave." The doctor directed these words to Law, seeing as he was of a better state of mind. He gestured to the uncomfortable-looking woman behind the desk. "Amanda will have those at the reception when she's ready."
"I can fill them out for her. So she doesn't have to worry about them." Brittany volunteered, sniffling still but otherwise gaining her composure once more. Her eyes were rimmed with red but her gaze dared him to deny her that task. She knew having to go through overly objective paperwork was probably the last thing Lexi wanted to deal with at that moment. And she was feeling utterly useless since Law had been comforting her.
The doctor looked stricken. "Unless you have written permission from the family or authorization-"
"Let her do it." Lexi interrupted, wiping her face with a tissue. "She can fill them out in my place, I give her authorization."
Wavering between protocol and being sensitive to the situation, he finally nodded, gesturing for Brittany to follow him towards the front reception desk. Brittany was grateful for him allowing tis exception, anything to help her friend cope with this loss. Giving her friend a quick hug before leaving, she followed after the doctor.
Law remained by Lexi's side, but looked up when she stood, grabbing another tissue from the box. "I need some time alone." She whispered, heading towards the entrance. He said nothing but didn't try running after her. This reaction didn't surprise him.
She walked through the automatic doors, her figure slowly getting smaller as she got further away. Lexi wandered aimlessly in the parking lot, her mind lost in her grief and confusion. He watched her, unsure of what today's events would do to her mental and emotional stability.
He grinned widely, watching as a distraught Lexi wove in and out of cars in the lot. His blood pumped faster, and he could feel his heart hammering in his chest. Oh, this was wonderful. All alone with no one around. His gaze flicked around at the top of the building, seeing no cameras or surveillance antennas. The perfect time the perfect place.
Opening the door to his car as quietly as he possibly could, he stepped out to the pavement, closing it equally as carefully. Tire iron in hand, he slowly approached closer to the hospital, a delighted grin on his face.
The shadows from the sun had moved, instead of remaining on the sidewalk, there wasn't a patch of sun to be seen. The sky was darkening, dusk slowly settling over the town. She didn't know how long she'd been wandering around aimlessly in the parking lot, picking strange and zigzagged paths on the concrete, her mind too jam-packed with nonsense to really make out any of it.
'She's gone…really gone…It's my fault I should have been watching her…Those doctors didn't try hard enough!…Law sat there and did nothing, even though he's a doctor…Was she in a lot of pain?…Oh, god…It hurts so much…I'm alone now…What am I going to do?…I can't do this…I…I can't…'
Her face itched, but no matter how much she scratched at it, the feeling wouldn't go away. Her eyes hurt, her chest hurt. Her legs felt like jelly, all wobbly and unsteady. She sniffled to prevent her nose from running. She'd much rather be sick, like she was with Law. She would have much preferred that.
A hand touched her shoulder, and she whirled around. Law retreated a step, watching her violently react to his touch. Eyes wide, she paused, seeing who it was. He raised a brow.
"You've been out here for awhile, you know." His soft voice said. She stopped pacing and crossed her arms.
"Yeah…I know. Sorry…" The weakness in her voice startled him. Usually so strong and clear, it was reduced to a defeated whimper. It was worrying, how easily she was this defeated. It made him question how, if she actually accepted his offer, she would fare with the constant threat of danger and death in his world.
"Perhaps you should come inside. Brittany-ya wants you to look over the paperwork and make sure it's correct."
She shook her head. "I don't want to go back there yet. Just give me a few more minutes…please…"
His eyes searched hers a moment, his expression unreadable once more, just as it had been before he'd kissed her. At the thought, she froze again. Because even though Nana was gone and she had nothing left, even though she'd convinced herself it was wrong, she wanted him to kiss her.
She wanted to forget, to be lost in good feelings instead of these depressing, morose ones. Oh, how she just wanted to be lost in some oblivion, numb, unable to really understand what was happening. She wanted to feel the heat of his fingers trailing her stomach, pressing her against the wall, his lips tugging at hers. To be so totally surrounded by her lust that she couldn't think straight.
She just wanted to be lost to her desires. There wasn't much to lose now anyways. Maybe her mind, but that didn't matter much now.
She took a step forward, arms reaching up to wrap around his neck. If he wasn't going to do it, she would. Her inhibitions be damned. But before she could fully bring herself up to him, he gently grabbed her arms, lowering them from his neck. Her confused face looked up to him, unable to understand.
"You aren't thinking clearly, Lexi-ya." He muttered, a soft but strained expression on his face. As if it were difficult to push her away. As hard as he tried to make it appear that he wasn't flat out rejecting her, simply finding it the wrong time, her emotions were still overloaded and couldn't seem to perceive this.
Her eyes watered with newly-found tears, and she resorted to wrapping her arms around his middle instead, pulling his body close.
"She's gone…" She sobbed, and he gently, if not hesitantly, rested his hands on her back. He felt her body shaking in his arms, and he unconsciously leaned his head on top of hers. Lexi's arms tightened when he seemed to accept her embrace. His close proximity seemed to help ease her tortured mind, because after too long of him holding her close she seemed to calm down again.
"Let's go back inside." He prompted again once her sniffling was less pronounced. She looked up, and he moved one hand to brush her cheek once more, pushing loose strands of hair away from her face. It was involuntary. Law didn't even know why he did it.
"Just a few more minutes. I promise." She whispered, and he finally nodded. Then, more out of impulse than anything, he leaned down and kissed her forehead tenderly. With one more glance he removed himself from her arms and walked back inside. Immediately, she missed his warmth.
He glared at the stranger's back, cursing under his breath at the small kiss he placed on the brunette's forehead. Watching with a disgusted scowl, he clenched his fist, fingers holding the tire iron tightening painfully. He ignored it, staring at the two as the man finally pulled away and went back inside. Lexi stayed put. His eyes narrowed.
Now or never. It was time to act.
Lexi didn't want to go back inside, she didn't want to look at those papers, or even see Brittany in a similar state of sorrow. It might just set her off again, might just make her break down and cry some more.
She sighed, rubbing her forehead to fend off the oncoming headache. This always happened when she cried too much. Her head felt light and dizzy. She resisted the urge to puke.
Footsteps on pavement slowly became louder, once she realized they were there, and she looked up, seeing a brown-haired man run towards her with a tire iron in his hand. She unconsciously took a step back. He looked down, seeming to realize what he had in his hand.
"O-oh! No, it's ok. I was changing my tire, sorry. Didn't mean to frighten you." He added sheepishly, holding up his hands in a defensive manner. She frowned, not sure what to make of this man.
His eyes were a piercing blue-green, but he had an honest face. He seemed to realize that she wasn't going to say anything and quickly recovered.
"Right, well. Um…are you the owner of that old truck on the street?" He gestured towards where it was parked. She glanced over but was unable to see it. She nodded, and he continued. "Well, I think someone slashed your tires."
"W-what?" She asked, frown deepening, automatically looking back towards the road as if she could see it happening right then.
"Yeah. I chased them away but they still managed to get to at least one of them." He cringed, rubbing the back of his head with his free hand. "Come on, I'll show you."
He began walking towards the truck, and in her anger, she followed. Just great. This was the very last thing she needed to deal with right now. If she saw whoever it was that had done it on the way there, she just might strangle someone.
They walked through the packed parking lot until the truck was in sight. Her eyes narrowed, not seeing any visible damage from this view. She glanced at the man but he wasn't looking at her.
"They don't look slashed." She commented, still walking with him to the car. He gave her a surprised look.
"It was the back tire, on the other side. Here, see?" They had approached the car now, and rounded to the opposite side facing the street. Lexi crouched down a little and inspected all the tires, seeing no damage to anything. Things were getting fishy.
Frowning, she went to stand. "I don't see-ARGH!" Something hard hit her in the back of the head, and that was the last thing she registered before her body crumpled to the pavement.
Oh, yes! This was wonderful! His smile returning in full force, he dropped the tire iron to the ground. Hands shaking from adrenaline and excitement, he let out a shaky breath. Turning to his car which was parked directly behind hers, he grabbed out his keys and popped open the trunk with a press of a button. He knelt down to pick her up, grunting at the weight. She was a lot heavier than he'd imagined, but no matter. He hadn't hit her hard enough to fill her, either. He'd made sure of it.
Licking his lips, he tossed her into the trunk, licking his lips with anticipation.
Suddenly, he could hear a female shouting her name, as well as hard footfalls, coming closer by the second. Knowing that it was time to go, he ran to the driver's seat, slamming the door behind him. He jabbed the key in the ignition and, without so much as a glance at the two figures approaching his car, he shoved it into drive, leaving the hospital behind with his stolen prey.ns 184.108.40.206da2