A/N: Well this is it. As promised, it's a happy ending and one that leaves it open for a sequel. For those that have asked, YES I do plan on writing one especially if people wish to see more of Natalie. She's a character I do enjoy writing. I hope that you enjoyed the fic and that you come back for my other stories. I shall be posting a new Jack and a new Bobby story in the next few days (the start of my new Bobby by tonight or tomorrow hopefully). Thank you for all the great feedback and see you soon.
Another week passed and Natalie pushed away the conversation with Bobby from her mind with double shifts. She ignored Melissa's concerned jabs and the nurses that fussed at her. A firm arched eyebrow and threatening of a pink slip caused them to quiet down but she found even that was short-lived as they simply waited several hours before trying to gang up on her again.
Natalie slid the notebook into her desk, checking to make sure all the files had been piled in a careful, neat fashion. She didn't look up as someone knocked on her open office door. "Yes?"
"There's a delivery for you at the front desk Dr. Hamilton."
She nodded coming around the desk. "Thank you. I'll be right there." Natalie glanced up as the nurse turned to leave. "What is it?"
"It's a large package." Laura shrugged. "Melissa said you had to sign for it."
"Oh okay," Natalie stopped, a racking cough halting her, and she placed a hand against her chest as she leaned on the desk.
"Dr. Hamilton? Are you okay?"
"It's nothing." She nodded clearing her throat. "I'm fine, thank you."
Laura eyed her hesitantly but nodded. "I'll inform them you're on your way."
"Thank you." Natalie recollected herself, taking a sip from her water bottle before she headed towards the nurses' desk. Her mind scanned through the list of options for what could be waiting for her. She hadn't ordered anything recently and no packages for the hospital had been billed to them in her name.
More than likely, it was Melissa pulling yet another prank and she had willingly once again fell for it.
Natalie continued up the hall, getting closer, and she nodded at a passing nurse who smiled, winking as she walked by. Natalie frowned but kept going. Maybe she forgot that she-
She stopped several feet away from the desk, her eyes wide at the sight of Jack Mercer standing there.
Jack was leaning against the counter, laughing and smiling at Melissa as they chatted away. He was dressed in ripped jeans, a black shirt with different colored skulls that was covered partly by his open black leather jacket. Jack said something else that made Melissa laugh and he smiled, the expression lighting up his face.
He shifted at that moment catching sight of her standing there. Jack moved away from the desk, hands at his sides as his eyes stayed locked on hers. He moved forward at the same time she did, both ignoring the people bustling around them and the eyes of several nurses including Melissa that began to watch.
Natalie stopped a foot away from him, tucking her hands into her lab coat pockets so he wouldn't see that her shaking. "Mr. Mercer… It's good to see you back to good health again."
"Jack," He whispered. "I like it better when you call me Jack."
Natalie shifted on her feet and nodded. "Jack." She cleared her throat, "What brings you to my floor?"
"I finished my last session today." He scratched at the back of his neck. "I wanted to see you again before I left."
"You've seen me."
"I have." Jack nodded pursing his lips together momentarily. "I'm sorry about you and Bobby, about what I did. I told him what happened."
Natalie paused, lifting a finger towards him to excuse herself, and coughed, covering her mouth. She cleared her throat again as she turned back to face him. "I'm aware of that Jack. Bobby came in to see me about a week ago during one of your sessions."
"Are you…" He stopped starting again just as suddenly. "I hope things can work out between you."
"There is no Bobby and me, Jack." Natalie shook her head. "There never really was. I just hope that he's moved past whatever he thought he was feeling and found someone else."
"He tried but it was impossible. What he thought was a crush ended up being something else instead."
"Why do I get the feeling you're not talking about Bobby anymore?"
"Cause I'm not." Jack whispered. "I'm a horrible liar…" He chuckled. "I have my final session today but I wanted to see you more than anything. I haven't gone to my session yet, I'm late." Jack gestured down at his watch. "My last one and I'm late for it."
"Jack…" She shook her head as she swayed slightly and lifted her hand to rub at her temple. "I really don't have time for this. I'm on a double and I've got a ton of patients to get through before twelve."
"I won't waste your time but please hear me out." Jack pleaded taking a step towards her. "I was an idiot for acting so jealous over Bobby but I knew from the day I woke up and saw you holding my hand that I cared about you. And that feeling hasn't gone away. I've tried and it just hasn't!"
She kept her eyes down as he grabbed her wrists and slid her hands into his.
"I tried to forget you, I did. I even acted like such an asshole to try to push you away but as crazy as it sounds, you just kept appearing in my dreams. I couldn't get you out of my head. I love you Natalie. God help me, I love you."
Natalie squeezed his hands back. "Jack, I…" She paused as another cough caught the end of her sentence and she pulled back as her shoulders shook. Natalie pressed her hand against her chest as the coughing continued.
"Natalie?" Melissa shoved back from her desk. Several nurses looked towards them at the sound of Melissa's alarmed tone and she stepped away from the counter.
"Natalie?" Jack spoke softly. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." She waved her away, "Give me a minute." She shot him a soft smile. "I'll be fine after one…"
Her eyes rolled up in the back of her head, body crumpling and Jack reacted instantly, catching her just before she fell to the ground at his feet.
"Code D, Doctor down! Code D!"
Melissa burst past the counter followed by several nurses. "Place her down gently Mr. Mercer." Melissa moved around him as they began to lay her flat.
She looked up, spotting the look in Jack's face. "Don't worry Mr. Mercer. Everything's going to be fine, you'll see."
She snapped her fingers. "I need a stretcher! Prep a room! Let's go." She ordered watching as the nurses all went in different directions.
Something was beeper loudly next to her ear but it became less irritating as she noticed the comfortable warm sensation slowly crawling up her hand. Natalie groaned as she regained consciousness, blinking against the bright lights of the hospital room. She turned her head, her eyes meeting Jack's as he sat beside her, her hand in his.
"Welcome back Ms. Hamilton."
She smiled weakly. "This kind of looks familiar."
Jack chuckled reaching out to stroke the side of her face. "Kind of." He smiled. "Dr. Stewart says you're going to be fine. Seems you've been a very busy bee lately and haven't been taking care of yourself young lady."
"You know me, I'm always looking out for everyone but me."
"That's why you need someone to do it for you."
"That's what I've been telling her!" Dr. Stewart announced as he strode into the room. He glanced down at his clipboard then focused on Natalie with a look of simmered annoyance. It disappeared as he saw she was fully awake and he smiled, the action making him seem human once again. "Glad to see you back with us Natalie."
"Glad to be back Thomas." Natalie waved with her free hand weakly. "So what's the story doc? How long do I have?" She winced as Jack squeezed her hand and shot him an apologetic smile. "Just a joke."
"Not funny." He grumbled.
"I second that." Dr. Stewart shoved his folder under his arm. "Seems you have a mild case of the flu Natalie."
"Give me some time and I'll be back on the floor in a week."
"I know, that's why I'm suspending you for three."
"What?" She tried to sit up but her head spun out of control and she fell weakly against the pillows. "Are you crazy?"
"I told you if you ran yourself down, there'd be consequences." He smiled. "You'll of course be paid for the days of non-excused absences." Thomas glanced over at Jack before returning his attention to Natalie. "I sincerely hope you have someone to look after you while you recover."
"She does." Jack spoke up. "A whole family of people."
"Now, wait just a –"
"Good." Dr. Stewart nodded then shook his head at her opened mouth. "This isn't open for discussion." He smiled. "There are some prescriptions waiting for you at the front desk along with some papers you'll need to sign before you leave. I suggest you take this vacation seriously and regroup." He glanced over his shoulder. "And speaking of regrouping, I think you have some people here to see you."
Natalie looked over to see Angel and Sofi enter her room, Bobby following behind with Jeremiah and his family in tow. They surrounded the bed, each of their hands full of flowers and balloons.
"We thought you could use some cheering up."
She smiled, blinking away tears as she felt Jack squeeze her hand. "I don't know what to say."
"How about thank you, you ass." Bobby grinned. He waved around the pink Get Well balloon. "This cost me a couple well-earned dollars, not to mention some macho points with some of your hot nurses."
Natalie smiled as everyone chuckled, and she nodded. "Thank you."
Bobby winked. "No problem."
"What do you say we get out of here and get you better?" Sofi patted the bed by her feet. "I'll make some special soup just for you."
"We're trying to get her well again, not kill her Loco Ono."
Sofi rolled her eyes but grinned down at Natalie. "Let's give her a moment to get dressed." She began to shove Angel out of the room, the rest following.
Bobby cleared his throat, placing the flowers and the balloon down on the tray next to her bed. "We'll wait for you at the front desk."
Natalie nodded again. "Thanks."
"No problem." Bobby ducked out of the room, shutting it behind them.
Natalie cleared her throat, glancing down to find her hand still in Jack's.
"Does this mean you love me too?"
Her eyes found his.
"You don't have to say anything." Jack smiled raising her hand to his lips. He pressed a soft kiss on the palm of her hand. "I told you I already knew the answer to that question."
Jack rose from his seat. "I'll give you a few minutes to yourself and go wait outside your door."
She nodded, watching as he strode towards the door, and swung it open. "Jack?"
He hesitated looking over his shoulder. "Yes?"
"I love you."
Jack grinned. "I know."
The door shut behind him and she laid back, smile on her face. "I love you." She whispered. Natalie looked towards the windowsill, spotting the vase of wildflowers one of the nurses had delivered. Her fingers touched something on the bed and she glanced down to see the single wildflower Jack had placed beside her hand. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.