"Okay, Tony, I understand all of that," Robin said impatiently. She, Tony and Jagger sat across from each other in the lobby. Jagger was silent as he processed the doctor's words. Tony opened his mouth to speak again and Robin became irritated. She rose from the leather chair and began to pace behind it. "You've explained all of that to us before, but you won't let us see him. Why?"
Tony looked at the young woman before him. Her petite frame might fool a few, but as soon as she opened her mouth, they'd know...she was a force to be reckoned with. He leaned back against the chair and took his time. Looking at Robin and Jagger, he slowly and cautiously began to answer her. "I want to make certain that you're prepared. I can't stress this enough, but he will not be the same person you knew. "
"But how do you know that? How can you be so sure?" Jagger asked, sliding to the edge of his seat. He rested his forearms on his thighs and leaned towards Tony. His voice was quiet and hoarse, yet firm. "He only just woke up. Maybe if we gave him a few days...a couple of weeks..."
"Jagger's right!" Robin agreed. She moved to stand beside him. "You can't possible know that the tests you performed while he was in a coma are accurate. He's awake now! That has to make a difference."
"Robin. Jagger. You both love Stone and want the best for him. You want to believe that miracles can happen, and I would, too, if I were in your place. But the fact remains that the damage to his brain is reparable. No matter how much we would all like for it not to be true, it is. He will not be the same. He is not the same. I just spoke to him now and he didn't even recognize his own name. He won't recognize either of you-"
"Allow me to finish, Robin," he said, holding up a hand to silence her. "The two of you and everyone else who had a place in Stone's life need to realize that he won't remember any of you."
"That's not necessarily true, Dr. Jones," Dawn said, as she stepped inside the waiting area. "He remembered something."
"What?" Robin and Jagger asked simultaneously.
"He remembered Keesha."
"If I were ten years younger..." the woman murmured as she watched the quiet young man, pacing back in forth a few feet away from her.
"You'd still be too old for him," the other nurse chuckled as she nudge her coworker's in the arm. Her eyes followed the solemn young man as he knelt down to talk to one of General Hospital's younger patients. "But, I sure know what you mean, though."
On the other side of the room, Nikolas was oblivious to the women's interest. His thoughts were on another woman, even while he smiled at the little girl in front of him. "What are you doing down here, Missy?" he asked. He playfully tapped her button nose.
The little girl giggled. "I'm on a walk."
"Oh," Nikolas said with nod. "With whom?"
"With me!" Joe replied as he jogged towards them. "She saw you and she wanted to say hi. No harm, right?"
Nikolas raised his hands. "No harm at all. I was just surprised to see her here, that's all."
Joe offered Nikolas a tight smile before he looked down at the little girl. He extended his hand to her. "Are you ready to go back up?"
She lost her hand inside his much larger one. As she and Joe walked away, she waved at Nikolas. "Bye."
"Bye, Missy," he said, waving at her until she and Joe disappeared behind the elevator doors.
Nikolas glanced at his watch and saw that the dinner hour was drawing near. His uncle would expect him home and he was certain when he didn't arrive, there would be a discussion on tardiness and the like. Nikolas shrugged it off as he decided that continuing his conversation with Dr. Jensen would be worth it. She had given him a few smiles today and he knew that he was making progress. Pleasure lit up his brown eyes and brought a secret smile to his lips. He was certain that the next time he saw her, he'd-
"Hey, there!" came a deep masculine voice that was accompanied with a hard slap on Nikolas' back.
"What's your problem?" Nikolas asked, turning around to face Frank. The pleasure was gone from his eyes and had been replaced by annoyance and his lips had now thinned to a straight line.
"I'll ask the questions," Frank told him. His blue eyes traveled up and down the younger man. His arms folded across his chest and he clucked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "What are you doing on this floor? The kiddie ward is upstairs in case you've forgotten."
Nikolas bristled at the older man's condescending tone. "My business on this floor is of no concern of yours. And, in case you've forgotten the ambulances are kept through those doors," he said pointing, "not in here."
"Oh, really?" Frank said, moving to stand within an inch of Nikolas' face. "Why you pompous snot-nosed-"
"Frank!" Matt called out from nurse's station. "There's someone on the line over here for you, man."
"This will be continued," Frank warned as he stormed away to take his call.
"You can depend upon it!" Nikolas called out after him. He found his breath coming in huffs. He needed to calm down. He found himself pacing again, and soon the rapid movement wasn't enough. He decided that he would clear the air between him and Scanlon and get it over with. He went to the nurse's station and soon discovered that Frank had been called away. He decided to speak with the man behind the desk. "Excuse me...Dr. Harmon?"
"Yes?" Matt asked, looking up from a chart.
"How well do you know Frank Scanlon?" Nikolas asked.
Matt shrugged. "Well, enough I suppose. He's one of the best paramedics out there. I know that much."
Nikolas nodded. "Do you know anything about him and Dr. Jensen?"
Matt couldn't help himself. He chuckled softly. "Are you asking me if they're dating? She's like a little sister to him. And, before you ask, she's not seeing anyone anymore so she's fair game. Now, if you'll excuse me."
Before Nikolas could utter a word, Matt was gone. Nikolas stood there with his mouth open and a faint blush coloring his cheeks. His mouth promptly closed when the elevator doors opened and Dawn stepped out. He stood up straight and went to her. His intention of asking her to dinner was pushed aside as he noticed the expression on her face. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"Hi, Nikolas," she said, offering him a smile. The troubled expression didn't leave her face, but it did soften as she looked at him.
"Hi, Dawn," he said. "You didn't answer my question. Did something happen with your friend...Stone?"
"He's out of the coma and he spoke," she said quietly.
"I'm sure you're happy about that," he told her, "but you seem a little upset, too. Would you like to talk about it?"
"With you?" she asked.
Nikolas nodded. "To tell you the complete truth, I was here waiting for you. I would very much like to have dinner with you. If you'd rather not, I understand, but I have to tell you that you look as though you need to talk."
"I'd like to have dinner with you. Give me a sec to sign-out, okay?" she replied. Nikolas smiled and nodded. She returned his smile and quickly signed out. She removed her white lab coat and stuffed it underneath the counter. She grabbed Joe's jacket that was stored on the bottom shelf. Nikolas quickly moved to hold the jacket open for her. She shivered slightly as his fingertips grazed her arms. When she looked over her shoulder at him she saw that his cheeks were pink again.
Nikolas offered his arm to her and began to lead her outside. Her fingers closed over his arm and he could feel the slight pressure through the heavy woolen material of his coat. He told himself to not become too distracted and he decided that conversation would help. "So what happened after you went inside Stone's room?"
"He spoke. He called out for Keesha," she said.
"Keesha?" Nikolas repeated softly. "But isn't he engaged to Robin?"
"Yeah," she admitted.
"So, why did he call out for your other roommate?"
Dawn released a deep sigh before she answered him. By this time, they were outside and standing beside Nikolas' Jaguar. Snowflakes swirled around their heads and the air was cold and frigid. Dawn's breath blew out before them as she spoke. "That's what Robin wants to know. "
"Where's the fire?" Chris Ramsey called out to Keesha as she breezed through the emergency room doors and headed straight for the elevator.
"Huh?" she asked, frowning as she paused to look at him. She tapped her foot as she waited for the door to open.
"Jason's in surgery," he answered her with a smirk. He grabbed a clipboard from the counter and sauntered towards her. "Maybe I can help you."
Keesha shook her head at him. "You're ridiculous. By the way, Stone woke up not that you care, of course."
"Of course, I care. What kind of doc do you think I am?" he asked, feigning hurt. "Is that where you're going now? But, you're off the clock. Maybe I should just go up with you. I'm sure Dr. Jones would appreciate some assistance-"
"Too late," she said with a chuckle. "Dawn beat you to it." The elevator doors opened and she stepped inside. "Better luck next time," she said as the doors closed.
"Better luck with what?"
Keesha turned at the sound of Gina's voice. "You scared me. Did you forget to get off?"
Gina shook her head. "No, I remembered something I left upstairs."
Keesha pushed the button for the eighteenth floor. "Oh. I'm surprised to see you that you're leaving. Didn't you hear that Stone's not in the coma anymore?"
Gina slowly nodded her head. "I was there for awhile. Dr. Jones was telling us that we shouldn't get our hopes up and I really couldn't listen to him anymore."
"He's still saying that," Keesha murmured with a frown. "I don't know what to say. I don't want to believe it either. It's too hard to believe."
"Yeah," Gina agreed, her voice husky with emotion. She coughed to clear her throat. With a much stronger voice, she said, "Is that why you're here? Because he woke up?"
The other woman nodded. "Dawn called me. She said that he was asking for me."
"He was?" Gina asked, frowning. "Did he say anything else?"
"She didn't really say. I don't think so." The elevator car stopped on the eighteenth floor and the doors opened. Keesha stepped out and before the doors could close again, she asked, "Aren't you coming?"
"No," Gina replied, shaking her head. "And, if you see Jagger, please don't tell him that I was here. Thanks."
The doors closed and Keesha stepped away from them. She didn't think to stop in the waiting area. She went straight to Stone's room. She was surprised to see that he was alone. Pushing the door open with a shaky hand, she stepped inside the room. Her Nikes were almost silent as her feet moved across the clean, linoleum floor and took her to his bedside.
Wide, brown eyes gazed down upon him in wonder. He looked so pale and tired, she thought. She still found it hard to believe that he would be different when he woke up. His hand rested on his chest and she lightly rested her hand on top of his. A current passed through her and she quickly snatched her hand away. Baffled by the feeling that touching him had brought to her, she stumbled backwards. She bumped against the guest chair that was behind her. The chair scraped across the floor and the sound was loud in the very quiet room.
Keesha held her breath as she looked at him. His eyes fluttered, and she became consumed with fear. What if he opened his eyes? Her mind questioned her. What if he remembered that she was the cause of him lying there in that hospital bed for so many weeks. Shaking her head, she knew that she couldn't bear to face him. She turned on her heel and raced towards the door. She had almost made it when his voice called out.
Go to Chapter 5
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