It had been touch and go the first two days. Alex was having trouble believing that Jason was really alive. He had practically died in her arms after all. The paramedics said that she had gone into shock that day on the beach. They had been able to resuscitate Jason in the ambulance before they had even reached the hospital – or so Alex had been told. She had been taken to the hospital in a separate ambulance to make sure she didn’t go further into shock. It was for the best they had told her. If they had waited any longer to take Jason he probably would have died. For real that time.
Alex shook her head. She didn’t like dwelling on the past, even as recently as three days ago. Everyone was still waiting to see if Jason would wake up. He had lost a lot of blood and had endured multiple surgeries to repair the damage done by the gunman. The single bullet had thankfully missed his heart, but the damage caused had been serious. Jason had spent the first two days in intensive care, but now his doctors deemed him “mostly out of the woods” and had cleared him for a regular hospital room.
A hospital room Alex was now in, sitting at Jason’s bedside – waiting for him to awaken. Throughout the day other people had come in to visit and to see how Alex was holding up. The most surprising of the visitors had been the other two members from their team: Chris and Randy.
“Hey Al,” Chris said softly as he entered the room. Alex smiled softly at the nickname she had long since given up on fighting. If he wanted to call her Al and act like she was one of the guys, then who was she to stop him.
Randy lifted his right hand in a slight wave. He wasn’t much of a talker, but he was one of the most compassionate men Alex had ever known. “Hey.” Alex said in response. She knew the guys wouldn’t stay long; they weren’t off duty or on vacation, like she was. A vacation that had been forced on her by their boss.
“How you holdin’ up?” Chris asked, his green eyes filled with concern. Whether it was concern for her wellbeing, Jason’s or both, she wasn’t sure.
Alex smiled slightly, “Same as I have been the last few days.” Randy and Chris nodded. It wasn’t like Jason had been the first to be shot amongst them. Alex had a few scars of her own. They all knew what it was like to have someone they were close to be in the same position as Jason.
Alex wasn’t surprised when Chris and Randy left shortly after arriving. They had been assigned to figure out how Jason’s cover had been burned. It would be bad for the whole department if there were a mole. Hopefully there wasn’t, but there was always the chance there could be.
Sighing, Alex turned back to Jason’s comatose form. She shook her head sadly, “Please wake up,” she whispered, “Please.” She stayed alert all day; watching as nurses and the doctor came and went, giving her small, but sad smiles. Who would have guessed that she would have been on the receiving end of pity?
Somewhere around nine that evening, Alex finally fell asleep; she hadn’t wanted to, but three days of stress and not knowing had caught up to her. “I’ll just close my eyes for a moment,” Alex had thought, laying down her head on the side of Jason’s bed with her hand holding his.
Jason was aware of the pain. He had been since the moment the bullet had sliced through is chest. The sad thing was he had though he was dying. Now, he wasn’t so sure. He remembered talking to Alex – she held him as he lay bleeding out, but after that there was nothing. It was a big blank. Probably the biggest black out of his adult life and he hadn’t even been drinking.
As his consciousness came back to him, Jason realized he could hear the constant beeps of a heart monitor. His chest felt tight and while the sharpness of the pain had been dulled, there was still a deep seeded ache in his chest. He realized that just breathing was painful and the deeper the breath, the more it hurt. More importantly, he realized that someone was holding his left hand. That was a warm feeling and quite unexpected. He had never thought that he would be in a position where someone was at his bedside, holding his hand.
Slowly Jason opened his eyes and looked around the darkened room. Across from his bed there was a television turned on, but someone had muted it. To his right was an empty bed and beyond that he could see two doors. One must have lead to the bathroom and the other the hallway where he could hear faint sounds of sneakers on the floor and pages on the speakers. Lastly, Jason looked to his left. Alex was there, sound asleep, her hair falling over his arm as she held his hand. Just behind her was a window overlooking the hospital parking lot which was brightly lit by the many parking lot light posts.
Jason smiled to himself and reached his right hand over to brush Alex’s hair out of her face. It seemed a bit odd to him that she would stay with him like this. Last minute confessions of love aside, he would have thought she would be out looking for the person who had caused this mess. Or maybe, just maybe, she had been told to take a vacation. It was the only way for her to stop working after all.
Jason brushed his hand through her hair again, and Alex muttered in her sleep, shifting and blinking her eyes awake. “Damn,” he though, “didn’t want to wake her. Too late now I suppose.”
“Jason?” Alex asked blearily.
“Hey,” Jason said with a lopsided grin.
“I’m not dreaming am I?”
“I think I’m in too much pain for you to be dreaming, love.” Jason responded chuckling softly, but stopping quickly because it caused him further pain.
“Oh my god! I have to get a doctor. They said you would wake up, but they didn’t know when and I was so worried,” Alex’s rushed rambling confused him, but soon she was back to her old self. “How could you?” she asked angrily, “You practically died on me and I don’t think I could have handled it,” she rushed on, “Don’t you ever do that again! You hear me?” Alex looked as if she could punch him. Jason hoped that she wouldn’t. From what he could gather he had actually left the land of the living, even if it had been only for a moment.
Jason only smiled at her, which seemed to agitate her further. She was still holding his hand though, so he squeezed and looked her in the eye. “Obviously I’m fine now and I’m not going anywhere. I have something important to tell you.”
“If you say ‘I love you’ again, I’m going to hurt you.”
“Well, I would love to tell you that again and I love that angry look in your eyes, but what I have to say is about the undercover job.”
Alex gave him a droll look. “You just woke up from a medically induced coma after being shot in the chest at point blank range and you are worried about the undercover job?”
“When you put it like that you make me sound like an ass. What I have to tell you is the whole reason I was shot in the first place.” Alex looked confused at that. “There is a leak in the department. The man who shot me knew who I was, who I work for and all the names on our team. We can’t risk sending anyone else in.”
Jason watched as Alex’s eyes widened. “Shit,” was her eloquent response. Jason chucked again, then winced in pain. He really had to stop doing that. The hard look in Alex’s eyes softened and the corners of her mouth lifted a bit. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”
“Me too, that was a close one.”
“It was too close.” Jason watched as Alex closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“It’s okay,” Jason said softly, “I’m still here. Everything is going to be okay.”
“I know, just don’t scare me like that ever again.”
“Comes with the job description; I can’t help it if I get shot.”
Alex chuckled at that. “I’m going to get that doctor now. They’ll want to know you’re awake.”
Jason nodded, squeezed Alex’s hand one last time and watched as she walked out of the room. If only they had both known that things weren’t going to be how they thought…