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29 December 2006 @ 07:15 am
 
Sooo, at the start, this fic sounds kinda like phineas_gatsby's fic, as they both involve a car accident. But it's different. I promise. Just ask her! ;-D

Anyway, this idea has been floating around in my head since I wrote my last chapter fic, but it was really only recently that it developed enough that I felt comfortable writing it. So thanks to both audreyfamous and phineas_gatsby for letting me ramble through this and helping with suggestions/ideas. You guys were a big help and are a big part of the reason this fic is now going live!

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!! So. I'm not exactly medical-savvy. As in, I'm clueless. The only medical show I watch is Grey's Anatomy and seriously all they do on that show is have sex. So my only knowledge is really from Wikipedia, which is vague at best, probably incorrect at worst. So...please just go with it and don't mock me. If you wanna offer advice/suggestions if you ARE medically savvy, that of course is welcome. But cut me some slack, please. ^^ Thanks!

Title: Chasing Disaster (1/?)
Author: Juno
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine, never mine.
Timeline: S1 'Goodbye For Now'



Molly Franklin was beginning to accept that nothing interesting would ever happen to her, and she was doomed to an eternity of being shamefully, embarrassingly boring.

Of course, she knew she should be fine with that. Her husband was a good man, and her three young children were happy and healthy and for the most part, clean and well-behaved. Her neighbors were pleasant and her job relatively low stress. Both her parents were still alive; hell, her grandmother was still alive.

But, well, the fact of the matter was that Molly was boring, and when she drove down to the next township to visit her friends or into the city to visit her sister, she had nothing of interest to say. Her days were uneventful and it seemed that Molly had a remarkable talent for never being at the right place at the right time to witness something out of the ordinary.

And today was destined to be one of those days, in which she drove to see her friend Louise and Louise’s neighbor Abigail, and Louise would talk of the neighbor down the street having an affair with the mailman and Abigail would speak of the many evils of her boss and the wicked acts of sabotage that her and her fellow employees would pull, stories that made Molly glad that her life was simple and easy but bemoan the fact that really, she was terribly, terribly, uninteresting.

She almost didn’t see the car until it was right in front of her, running the red light at high speed and smashing into the side of the car in front of her, sending it spinning off the road and sandwiching it against the pole that held the stoplight.

A shriek of shock tore from her throat as she turned her car sharply to the side, feeling it bounce and bump onto the grass before she slammed on the brakes.

For a moment, Molly sat, stunned, staring out at the wreck in front of her with wide eyes and hands tightly gripping the steering wheel, because finally, finally something had happened and maybe this time she wouldn’t seem quite so dull. And for short moment, Molly basked in the image of Louise and Abigail’s expressions of keen interest—“and then the car just came out of nowhere, smashed into the car right in front of me, I’m just lucky it wasn’t me!”.

Then she took out her cell phone and dialed 911.

--

It had been a chaotic shift so far, to say the least, but Rex had to admit that he was glad to be back.

He had finally decided last week, even though his doctor suggested against it, to return to the hospital at least part time. He had patients in limbo, ones who insisted on seeing him. He had forms to fill out, releases to regulate, and, of course, surgeries to perform.

This morning had already seen, for Rex, a 10-year-old boy who had been vomiting profusely for the last three days, a woman with the onset of colon cancer, and a man with a tumor on his large intestine, as well as a motorcycle accident.

And now in the emergency room, he tried to get his bearings as his stomach grumbled with discontent, having gone the entirety of the morning and past noon with only a cup of coffee to sustain him.

But, he would admit to himself as the doors swung open and paramedics rushed in another patient on a stretcher, this was his profession of choice, and he had made the decision to come back.

“41 year old female, victim of a T-bone car crash. BP 90/50 and holding. Unconscious upon discovery, semi-conscious but disorientated,” the paramedic dictated as the attending doctors grabbed the stretcher and began rolling it towards the emergency room.

“Stomach’s distended, probable bleeding in the abdominal cavity,” Rex heard one of the doctors rattle off. He couldn’t see the patient in the mass of doctors surrounding her, but every so often he would get a glance of red hair.

She looks like Bree.

And he paused in surprise at the thought, because it had been a long time since those words had crossed his mind, since he’d allowed them to cross his mind.

It’d been a long time since he’d had a start like that, since he saw the faces of his family in the faces of his patients. When he’d been an intern it had happened quite often as he tried to adjust to the change in learning from doctors to being the doctor, and every woman with red hair was Bree and every little girl was Danielle, and every little boy was Andrew, and once he had been so sure that he wasn’t able to rest until he called home and had Bree put four-year-old Andrew on the line just so he knew that there hadn’t been a case of mistaken identity and his son was really at home and not hurt or in trouble.

But he had gotten used to it with the passing of time, and patients were just patients.

He tried to shake off the feeling of dread that had settled itself in the pit of his stomach. Perhaps it was just an effect of returning after taking so much time off to recover from his heart attack. Perhaps some of the professional numbness that had to settle over a doctor for them to make it through the day had worn off and he just needed to get his edge back. Hell, maybe the coffee he had had this morning had been off and that was why his stomach was twisting in knots.

Well, it couldn’t be that. Bree was Bree. Suggesting anything she made—from a cup of coffee to a full course meal—was less than perfect would be unheard of.

“Something’s off with her breathing, we’ll have to x-ray. Could be a punctured or collapsed lung or just a blocked airway.”

Redheads came through the hospital every day. It didn’t bother him anymore. It didn’t bother him, he told the building knot in his stomach. It wasn’t supposed to be unsettling anymore, because he was being foolish and stupid and most of all, paranoid.

“Dr. Van de Kamp?” Rex turned his attention to the intern addressing him, a folder in her hands. “Mrs. Jameson’s labs are in.”

“Oh, okay…good,” Rex replied distractedly, running a hand through his hand before taking the folder and opening it. Anita Jameson had had a tumor growing on her small intestines that he had had to remove, and her progress was good. The labs had come back clean for the last few days and soon he’d feel comfortable issuing a release.

But he only half paid attention to the labs in his hands and listened with half an ear and a heart that was, despite his attempts at rationalization, sinking.

“We have an ID?”

“Yeah. Uh. Here. Van de Kamp. Bree.”

And his head shot up from where it was bent over Anita Jameson’s labs and the intern looked at him curiously when his body tensed, the muscles in his shoulders and neck tightening like a taunt rubber band.

No.

No. They were wrong because it wasn’t Bree, because Bree had been bustling around the kitchen this morning as she always did and she had prattled off her plans for the day and he had listened with half an ear as he read his paper and drank his coffee and he hadn’t paid close attention, but car crash, car crash definitely had not been on her list. And he had dutifully kissed her on the cheek goodbye, like normal, and so it couldn’t be Bree because Bree was home and Bree was fine.

And suddenly the calls of the doctors across the room dropped to a whisper, as though they realized what this meant, and that seemed even worse. And pointless, too, because he had to have misheard because he thought he saw and thought he heard many times in the past, but the person on the stretcher was never his son, never his daughter, and never his wife.

“Dr. Van de Kamp?” the intern asked innocently, having tuned out the paramedics rushing by on the other side of the room as meaningless noise associated with the emergency room. Her voice sounded far away as he blindly shoved the folder back in her direction, watching the stretcher disappear behind double doors.

It wasn’t Bree.

“Dr. Van de Kamp?” the intern repeated, a hint of confusion and frustration in her voice. “I really need to you validate these forms for me—“ she trailed off as Rex started to walk in the direction where they had taken the patient—not his wife, not his wife.

“Rex,” Lee Craig caught his arm. “Why don’t we go to the cafeteria for some coffee? It’s been a long shift.”

“It’s Bree, isn’t it?” he asked. “They brought in Bree.” He was pretty sure he didn’t want the answer to his question, and yet he did, he wanted Lee to laugh and tell him he was being ridiculous and shouldn’t he have gotten over this phobia long ago?

But he didn’t answer, and Rex yanked his arm out of Lee’s grasp. “I have to go see,” he said, his voice raising in pitch. “I have to…” He trailed off. He didn’t know what he had to do. He just had to had to had to…

“Do you really think that’s a good idea, right now, at this moment?” Lee asked, his voice laden with that note of quiet sympathy that Rex knew he used with his patients and their family. Dr. Rex Van de Kamp, one of the most respected surgeons in this hospital and Lee Craig was treating him like a hysterical husband.

Maybe he was. He felt it, a bit. But it was different now. This was different. He was different.

Lee started to lead him away, even as he dug his heels in the ground in protest—they did not catch on the smooth tiled floor. “Let them clean her up,” Lee said soothingly, his voice rational. “You don’t know what shape she’s in. Let them clean her up.”

And he was saying ‘her’ because Lee knew it was Bree, but he could not admit it, would not admit it, even to himself, until he saw her with his own eyes. But Lee was pulling him in the opposite direction, and although rationally, as a doctor, he knew that Lee was right and he should get some coffee and calm himself and stay out of the way so the attending paramedics could take care of his wife, as a husband he wanted to see his wife.

And so he stood rooted to the spot, with Lee Craig giving him a sympathetic but frustrated look, until he felt another hand on his other arm, and suddenly he was being pulled in the other direction, towards the door, towards where they had taken Bree.

He wasn’t sure if he wanted to go that way, either. He wasn’t sure if he wanted, right at that moment, where he was helpless, that his wife was in trouble. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to face her and not break down.

But Dr. Anderson was pulling him now towards the door, his grip firm. “I have some bad news,” he said grimly, and Rex felt his stomach plummet. “Your wife’s been in a car wreck, Rex.”

Confirmation. But not as bad as he’d expected. He’d expected worse news than confirmation of what he had overheard, what the others had tried unsuccessfully, too late, to shield from him. And now they were hurrying, and they wouldn’t be hurrying if it wasn’t already too late. Rex stumbled after Anderson, his feet tangling uselessly up in each other.

“What…is she…?” he didn’t even know if he wanted the answers to his unasked questions. And he knew he was being as bad as Bree (God, Bree), trying to pretend a problem didn’t exist and if he closed his eyes and pretended it away, it was a good way to deal with it.

But he wasn’t ready, God help him, he wasn’t ready.

“We don’t know,” Anderson said, his voice level and for a moment Rex hated him for being calm when the world was falling apart. Except his world wasn’t falling apart. For Anderson, this was just another patient, just another accident. “We don’t know yet, we have to run some tests. But she’s going into shock. We think she has some internal bleeding. And she’s drifting in and out of consciousness and when she’s in, she’s scared.”

Anderson pushed through the door into the ER, pulling Rex behind him. For the first time, Rex really took notice of all the injured and dying people that filled the room. Because one of them was his wife. And it was all different and unfamiliar now and now that coffee he had had hours ago definitely was not sitting right.

Anderson stopped him and stepped in front of him before Rex could search the beds to find Bree. “Normally we wouldn’t make you come in here. It’s upsetting. It’s going to be upsetting. But you need to stay calm. She’s afraid and she’s in pain and she’s going into shock. Seeing you will be soothing. But you need to be calm and you need to get her calm. Otherwise she’s going to go into shock and then we have an even bigger problem on our hands, trying to deal with that without knowing the extent of her injuries.”

Rex was silent, and Anderson’s hand came to rest on his shoulder. “If you can’t do this,” he said, softly, his voice kinder as he changed from a doctor addressing a patient’s family to a man addressing a colleague. “If you can’t do this, no one would blame you. It’s…it’s the worst thing that can happen, seeing someone you love in pain. But you have to be calm. Okay? You have to or you need to leave now.”

He had to be calm. He had to look down at his wife and see her injured and in pain and pretend it didn’t bother him, pretend that he could brush it off as if she were just another patient, just another list of maladies. This woman who he’d always loved and wanted to keep safe, even when she drove him up a wall and he thought he couldn’t spend another day with her, only to learn that really, he couldn’t spend it without her. And he was supposed to be calm. How could he? What kind of man could?

But he needed to do it for her. She needed him, as incredible as it was because Bree never needed anything or anyone. But she was afraid and in unfamiliar surroundings and he could help her, perhaps too little too late, and he couldn’t stand that this was all he could do for his wife, but at least he could help her in what small way he could.

And so although everything screamed at him to run, run, run, he nodded heavily and Anderson stepped aside to let him pass, and he saw her.

Her upper body was covered with a thick wool blanket, one of the ones kept on handy for patients suffering the onset of shock. The blanket covered her down to her hips, leaving her legs bare, as one of the doctors tried to clean a large gash on her left leg that was bleeding profusely. Her right ankle, he noticed, was swollen and discolored, and twisted at an odd angle. Broken, and he forced himself not to react.

He had to admit, however, that he was glad he couldn’t see the rest of her. He didn’t know how much he could handle.

One of the doctors had her hands resting on Bree’s shoulders, gently pressing down as Bree struggled every so often to sit up. She spoke to his wife in a soft, soothing voice but Bree seemed to have none of it as she gasped for air and tried to move.

He took a deep, controlled breath and exhaled before moving to the front of the stretcher, gesturing for the doctor to remove her hands. As she did so, he replaced them with his own, gently keeping his wife pressed down onto her back.

“Bree.” Her name came out strangled and pained, and he cleared his throat and steeled his nerve, so that his voice was steadier when he repeated, “Bree.”

Her green eyes are hazy and unfocused, looking past him as she continues to push against his grip, her gasps punctured every so often with a weak cry of pain that broke his heart. Blood from a nasty looking cut on her head trickled down her cheek, as well as from a shallower one on her cheek.

He had to take a deep, steadying breath before he can continue. Do it for her. “Honey.” He moved one hand from her shoulder to rest it on her cheek, wincing as she flinched. But the touch on her cheek as well as his leaning over so that her view of the other doctors was obscured seemed to help, and she paused, her eyes seeming to go in and out of focus as she tried to concentrate on his face. “Stop it,” he told her gently. “You have to lie still.”

Her eyes seemed to finally connect with his, and her lips moved, as though she were trying to say his name. However, all that escaped was a soft whimper, and Rex felt bile rise up in the back of his throat. He forced his voice to be quiet and soothing, the voice he had used so many times but so rarely with his wife.

“I know it hurts,” he said softly. “I know, sweetheart.” He stroked her cheek lightly and her eyes continued to desperately search his face. Her right hand slid weakly from beneath the wool blanket, her fingers heavy and ice-cold gripping onto the sleeve of his scrub top.

Satisfied that she seemed calm enough to not continue to struggle against him, he moved his other hand from her shoulder to cover it on his sleeve. Her hand felt clammy and cold, and he covered it with his larger hand, hoping to warm her.

Her eyes shot down to her torso, and Rex moved again so that he was all that was in her line of sight. “You were in an accident,” he told her gently. “You were in an accident, sweetie, but don’t worry about that. Look at me, okay? Stay with me.” And hesitantly, her eyes returned to his.

“I need you to relax, okay?” he said as she continued to let her breath out in short gasps. He moved her hand from his sleeve to his heart, covering it again with his own hand. “Breathe like me.”

She squeezed her eyes closed, her fingers limp and hand heavy underneath his grip. He concentrated on keeping his breathing even and deep, and slowly he saw her body start to relax, and her breath come in soft, shaky sighs instead of the rough gasps from before.

“Good,” he said soothingly. “Just like that.” Impulsively he leaned over to kiss her forehead gently, feeling tears sting the back of his eyes.

No. Hold it together. Hold it together now. Do it for her.

“We’re going to take care of you, Bree,” he said firmly. “We’re going to take care of you, and you’re going to be just fine. Okay? You’re strong, you’re strong, and…you’re going to be fine.”

He wondered if he was trying to convince her or himself, but quickly forced himself to push the thought from his head.

Her eyes were still glazed with pain, but there was trust there. She believed him. She believed that he wouldn’t lie to her, and God, he prayed, just prayed that he wasn’t.

“Good, Bree,” one of the other doctors said softly, reaching for Bree’s free arm to inject a sodium solution to help balance her blood volume. Rex put his arm down so that she could not see the injection, to keep her focus on him.

“I’m here,” he told her, still pressing her hand to his heart even though her breathing was calming, though still unsteady and uneven, and though her fingers were warming up as the symptoms of initial shock started to fade. “I’m here, honey. We’re going to take care of you. I’m going to take care of you.”

He watched as her eyes started to flutter closed. “Bree. Sweetheart. Stay awake,” he begged, but in vain as her hand went limp in his grasp as darkness claimed her again. He felt a cry of anguish, of anger, of fear, work its way up his throat and he swallowed it before it could force itself free.

“Her leg’s starting to clot,” one of the doctors said.

“Good,” Dr. Anderson replied. “We need to run a CT scan and some chest X-rays. Plus an MRI to rule out any cranial damage.”

His hand came down to rest on Rex’s shoulder. “Thank you,” Anderson told him. “I know it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t fair to ask it of you—“

“She needed me,” Rex interrupted. It was all that mattered. He gently laid Bree’s hand down on top of the blanket, standing up and looking down at the figure on the bed.

She looked so small. She looked so helpless. Not Bree, not collected, perfect, in-control Bree, who did not bend nor break for anyone. She was pale and bruised and battered and looked as though a strong wind could knock her over, and that, that wasn’t his wife.

Don’t. Not here. Not right now. Keep it together. Just a little bit longer.

“Yes,” Anderson agreed. “And now we need to see what we’re dealing with here.” He gave Rex a small, sympathetic smile. “We’re going to take her down for a CT scan first. Why don’t you…clean up, and then you can come down.”

Clean up?

Rex glanced down at himself. His hands were bloody. There was a long streak of blood on his sleeve, and a bloody handprint over his heart. But it was just blood. He dealt with blood every day.

It was Bree’s blood.

God, he was covered in his wife’s blood.

And suddenly the bile he had been fighting down rushed back up and he knew he was going to vomit, which he did, right into the trashcan that sat outside of the large, unforgiving doors of the emergency room.











As always, comments are appreciated. :-)
 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: "Into the Fire" ~Thirteen Senses
 
 
 
zimbalist on December 29th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC)
awww!! :'[ let bree be okay, and poor rex.
Junojuno_chan on January 13th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
sorry to make you sad. ^^;; hope you liked it anyway!
sometimes you look like a dude.twentyplanes on December 29th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
I really, really like the way you started off the story and stuff. Keep up!
Junojuno_chan on January 13th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
thank you! ^_^ glad you enjoyed
(Deleted comment)
Juno: Brex together by allure_perfidejuno_chan on January 13th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm glad you thought they were in character, because of course that's always something everyone strives for.

PS: I really love what/how you write so don't knock yourself!

PPS: Your Christmas request is coming, I promise. I'm sorry it's so late!! I just put up Chapter 2 of this and next is going to be your fic, so stay tuned!
phineas_gatsbyphineas_gatsby on December 30th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Haha, I feel as if I were in on it, too! So exciting. Proper comment later, when I'm not on my grandmother's computer with *gasp* dial-up!

But for now, love the handprint on the heart business. The opening was very Mary Alice. I laughed when I read the part about Bree's having gone through her schedule for the day, and "car crash" not having been on the agenda.

Oh, and I must say, and this is a compliment so please don't get offended...I find your use of verb tenses very interesting. They really do conjure up different images.
Juno: collide by chargreyjuno_chan on January 13th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
Glad you find it interesting. ^^ When I write one-shots I usually write in present tense so that I can go with a more stream-of-consciousness feel. When I write chaptered fics I usually stick with past tense because chaptered fics have more action and therefore it's easier with past tense. But I do slip into the stream-of-consciousness kind of writing, especially when the character is feeling a frenzied emotion.

And I did strive for Mary Alice esque at the beginning so I'm glad you liked it. :-)
Toribreeza_babe57 on December 31st, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
Wow. That really was fantastic! Please let them both be okay :(
Junojuno_chan on January 13th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting. :)