You guys, it's the final chapter of this! I just want to thank everyone who reviewed this story for their support and encouragement, it meant a lot. Please review this chapter, and tell me how you thought the ending of this turned out! Also please review my other stories! (Especially my Tuck Everlasting/Newsies crossover, I'm super proud of the latest chapter.)
Katherine was sitting on the couch in the living room of her and Sarah's shared apartment reading the day's newspaper or more accurately trying to. Her mind kept wandering, and she was forced to read the same sentences two or three times before her brain registered them.
She was still worried about Jack, it had been weeks since her last letter from him and she didn't think he was still mad at her. Jack didn't seem to be the type to hold grudges for very long, and anyway, the last letter she had sent him had had a strong tone of desperation which Katherine had hoped would motivate Jack to write back.
All this time without any word from him made Katherine fear that something bad had happened to Jack, something which would prevent him from writing to her for an extended period of time. Katherine tried not to think about all the gruesome injuries Jack could have sustained on the battlefield, but it was hard not to, especially because of the fact that she saw injuries like that every day in the hospital.
The sound of a key in the door startled Katherine out of her daydream, and she gave herself a little shake as Sarah walked into the room and set her purse down. No use in worrying without solid evidence to prove that her fears had a foundation.
"Hello," Sarah greeted as she made her way over to the couch and sat beside Katherine. "Enjoying your day off?"
"Mmhmm," Katherine hummed in reply, returning to her newspaper.
"That's good," Sarah remarked, opening the letter she had in her hand and beginning to read it. After a minute, she sucked in a breath.
Katherine looked up. "What is it?"
Sarah was silent for minute longer. When she finally spoke, her voice was soft. "It's a letter from David."
Katherine's heart began to hammer, even as she tried to remain calm and composed. "Oh? What does he say?"
Sarah swallowed hard. "He… he says that Jack was wounded a week or so ago."
Katherine felt like she was going to throw up. "Is he coming home?" she squeaked.
Sarah nodded. "He says yes. I think he tried to say when Jack was coming home, too, but they censored it." Sarah handed Katherine the letter as she spoke.
Katherine looked down at the words on the page. I'm sorry to tell you that Jack has been wounded. It doesn't look too bad, but he's being sent home. The next line was covered with a thick layer of black ink, so Katherine couldn't read it. She handed the letter back to Sarah, feeling numb.
Sarah began talking again, saying something about how she was sure Jack was fine and they were just sending him back home to be cautious, but Katherine barely heard her. She felt hot and cold at the same time, and the room seemed to be spinning. Finally, she held up her hand and gestured for Sarah to stop talking.
"I have to go," Katherine stated quietly, standing.
Ignoring Sarah's protests that she wasn't in a fit state to go anywhere, Katherine shrugged on her coat and quietly slipped out of the door, unsure where exactly she was going but needing to get out, to get away from the sense of dread that had enveloped her as soon as Sarah had told her about Davey's letter.
Katherine soon found herself in a deserted corner of Central Park, gripping the wooden slats of the bench she was sitting on so tight her knuckles were turning white.
Her head was spinning with the information she had been given that evening, and the emotions which had followed. Jack Kelly, her Jack, was somewhere far away, wounded and possibly dying. The strong rush of grief and fear she felt at this turn events made her realize that she cared for Jack in a way that was much deeper than friendship, in a way which might one day develop into love.
This realization made Katherine want to laugh and cry at the same time. Her body decided crying was more appropriate to the situation and suddenly she was sobbing, sobbing so hard it felt as though her chest might break apart.
Taking deep, shuddering breaths Katherine eventually managed to calm herself. Wiping away most of her tears, she gave herself a little shake. She had had her tears, and now it was time to move forward. Jack wasn't dead, he was coming home, and he would be better in no time. Katherine was sure of it.
The next week Katherine was standing at the nurse's station in the hospital, tucking stray wisps of hair behind her ears and enjoying having a brief moment to herself. It had been a busy week, and Katherine was eager for Saturday (her day off) to come.
Just then another nurse, Alice, walked over to Katherine. "A new convoy of patients just arrived," she explained, making a note on her clipboard. "Ward 3."
Katherine nodded and began to walk over to the ward Alice had specified, trying her best to ignore the excited voice in the back of her mind which whispered to her that perhaps Jack was among these new patients.
He most likely isn't, Katherine told herself sternly. He probably won't even be at this hospital, there are plenty of others in the city.
Reaching the ward Katherine began to make her rounds, bandaging and cleaning up dozens of injured soldiers, many of whom weren't even awake yet.
Finally, she reached the far corner of the ward, her last patient for the day. Barely looking at the man lying in the bed, Katherine picked up the clipboard hooked to the foot of his bed and began to read it.
Jack Kelly, male, age 22- she stopped. Jack Kelly.
Looking up Katherine saw, to her astonishment and elation, that the soldier lying in the bed was indeed her Jack Kelly. He was pale, his side and head were both bandaged, and he was unconscious, but that didn't matter. He was alive. He was here.
Katherine wanted to scream and shout for joy right there, but she controlled herself. She was still at work, she couldn't make a scene.
Still, as she began her work of cleaning Jack up and making sure he was comfortable, Katherine couldn't keep the happy grin off of her face. When she was finished instead of clocking out and going home for a well-deserved break Katherine pulled up a chair next to Jack's bedside and sat down. She wasn't ever leaving Jack again, she knew that now. He meant far too much to her.