Dean had no idea what happened. He was just sat at his desk completing paperwork that he was behind on. Michelle was in her office when it happened, talking on the phone to the minister, and the rest of the team were all out on a training course being run by Vince. They had left that morning and weren't due back for two days. Dean and Heidi were the only ones left behind as Michelle had excused them both from going. It was a call she made based on recent events that had taken place and she felt that she had no other choice.
While completing his paperwork, Dean was also subtly watching Heidi, and so he saw her get up from her desk unsteadily and make her way to the small kitchen that was near the bullpen. He continued to watch her as she got herself a glass of water, her hands shaking. After she had taken a sip she slowly put the glass down on the counter before swaying slightly and suddenly collapsing on the floor.
As soon as he saw Heidi collapse Dean bolted out of his chair and ran over to her, not caring about his paperwork which had gotten thrown all over the floor in his hasty attempt to get over to Heidi as fast as he could. When he reached her and saw that she was unconscious he shouted for Michelle who looked over in the direction of his voice, and upon seeing the situation, hurriedly ended her call with the minister and rushed over to Dean and Heidi.
Dean had already started to assess Heidi before Michelle arrived and had checked her breathing, made sure her airways were clear, checked her pulse and then tried to see if she responded to him by gently squeezing her hands and saying her name. She didn't react so he moved her into the recovery position and told Michelle to go downstairs and get a medical kit out of one of the trucks. While she was gone Dean started talking to Heidi, trying to get her to respond in any way, and telling her that she was going to be okay.
When Michelle got back she quickly attached an oxygen mask to Heidi's face in order to improve her breathing while Dean checked her blood pressure. He was concerned to see such a low reading, and swore in frustration when he checked her pupil responses and got nothing. She hadn't just simply fainted, she was deeply unconscious. Her pulse rate hadn't improved and she still didn't respond when this time Michelle tried squeezing her hands. By the time they had done all this Heidi had been unconscious for five minutes, which also confirmed to Dean that this wasn't a faint. He told Michelle they would give it a few more minutes and if she hadn't improved or regained consciousness then they would need to call an ambulance.
Dean was worried. He didn't show it too much to Michelle because he could see she was already worked up enough herself. But secretly he was worried and scared. It shouldn't have gotten this far. They had all known something was wrong with her, they had all seen her change right in front of them. Three weeks ago she had just shut down. She had stopped talking and had become distant with everybody. They had all come to Dean looking for answers as to why but he couldn't give them any. They lived together, but even he had no idea what was happening. Heidi hadn't even talked at home. Dean had given her space and hadn't pushed her to tell him what was wrong, thinking she would come to him eventually, but she never did. He had seen her almost faint before, a few times, but she had always been fine. This time however, she wasn't fine. And Dean couldn't help thinking that if he had done something earlier, they wouldn't be in this situation right now.
This was why Michelle had excused them from the training course. Dean had been excused because he lived with Heidi and so Michelle wanted him to get her to open up before the others came back. It had gotten more serious last week when she had asked Vince to let her stay behind on a rescue. It was one of the few moments nowadays when she spoke, and Vince had agreed, mainly because of the look in her eyes. He had told Dean later that what he saw was pure fear. She had stayed behind on three more rescues after that.
Nobody had said anything as they all knew that this training course was coming up, and they had all already guessed that Heidi wouldn't be coming with them. During this time they also knew that Michelle would want to speak to Heidi in private so as to try and get her to talk about what had been happening. They weren't surprised when Michelle told them this morning that Dean also wouldn't be going with them, and had looked at Dean with pleading eyes, silently begging him to bring her back to them. Michelle and Dean were planning on talking to her later on today, but the events that unfolded made them both forget all about it.
Dean and Michelle decided to check Heidi's vitals once more and if they hadn't improved then they would call an ambulance. As they proceeded Michelle noticed that Heidi had become very warm and flushed, signs of a fever, so she and Dean decided to take her jacket off and try and cool her down. Which is when they saw the bruises. They were on her forearms and her upper arms, and when they saw them Dean and Michelle looked at each other in surprise and concern. Dean carefully lifted up Heidi's t-shirt to look at her stomach and chest, and found the same thing. Bruises covered her lower abdomen and Michelle noticed some on her back. They looked to be a few weeks, maybe a month old. When they had seen the state Heidi's body was in they both looked at each other again, knowing that these bruises weren't accidental.
Dean: 'It looks like she's been attacked, severely beaten by somebody. How did I not notice?'
Michelle: 'She hid it well. Nobody noticed Dean, not just you.'
Dean: 'But we live together!'
Michelle: 'I don't think she wanted anybody to know, including you. Not until she was ready anyway.'
Dean: 'She could have told me anything. She knows I'm always here for her.'
Michelle: 'Shame, perhaps. Or maybe whoever did this to her is known to us. She knew that if she told us who it was then she was afraid you would do something regrettable. She knows you are always there for her Dean, and maybe that's the problem. She knew you wouldn't be able to let it go.'
Dean: 'You bet I wouldn't! But I don't know who would do this to her. She hasn't been seeing anybody that I know of. She would have told me if she was anyway.'
Michelle: 'She'll tell us when she's ready. We have to trust her to trust us. Right now though, we need to concentrate on getting her better. We need to know why she collapsed. She's been unconscious for just under ten minutes. What do we do.'
Dean: 'We don't tell anybody. Nobody but us knows about this, and it will stay that way until Heidi is okay with the others knowing. (Michelle nodded) Right how are her vitals?'
Michelle: 'Better. Her BP's gone up and her pulse is stronger than it was.'
Dean: 'That's good. Her pupils are also more responsive than before, they're reacting to the light which is a good sign. Her breathing is better as well, she's not as dependent on the oxygen anymore.'
Michelle: 'Should we call an ambulance?'
Dean: 'Not yet. We'll give her chance to wake up and see what's what. If she needs a hospital then we'll wait and see how she responds to that and see if an ambulance is required.'
Michelle: 'With these bruises, she needs a hospital. She needs to see a doctor. We don't know what kind of injuries she could have.'
Dean: 'I know. But if she doesn't want to go I won't force her until she's ready. I want to find out what happened first. If we go to the hospital without being able to tell them what happened then it will be labelled as a possible assault case, the police will be called and I will end up as number one suspect. You know how everything works. Besides if she had internal injuries she would have had symptoms earlier on.'
Michelle knew exactly that what Dean had said was true. They lived together so if Heidi couldn't tell the staff at the hospital what had happened they then would have no choice but to assume a domestic abuse case and Dean would become the bad guy in all of this. With the decision made to wait and see what Heidi had to say about everything, both Dean and Michelle watched over Heidi closely and waited for her to wake up. After a couple of minutes Dean felt her hand slowly start to move and saw her eyes flutter open. He smiled at her and told that she was okay, she was at HQ and he explained to her what had happened. He knew it was important to keep her calm, and wanted to find out why she had collapsed before allowing her to move too much in case it happened again.
Dean and Michelle moved Heidi onto her back and Dean took off his own jacket to use as a makeshift pillow, and he carefully slid it under her head. As she became more aware of what was happening Dean started to ask her if she knew what had happened and why she had collapsed. To his and Michelle's relief Heidi started talking, something they hadn't had much of lately, and she started to tell them what she could remember, pausing in between as more things came back to her.
Heidi said she had felt really dizzy and sick, and her balance had completely disappeared, so she couldn't stand up anymore. Her vision went all blurry and she remembered feeling like she wasn't fully present anymore. It was like she was really high on something and so spaced out she wasn't aware of anything or anyone and couldn't think clearly at all. Dean said it was a common experience people had before losing consciousness during a collapse, that they felt like they weren't fully there anymore. Almost like their mind and body had become separate. Michelle noticed that she was still quite warm and as Dean felt her forehead he noticed that she was running a temperature. He knew it could have been a side effect from her collapsing, or it could have been something more serious. Heidi said she felt fine and was okay to sit up, so cautiously Michelle had helped her to carefully move into a sitting position while Dean rechecked her blood pressure and pulse to see if they were holding. They both watched her extra closely for any signs that she could lose consciousness again, but Dean was happy with her vitals and confident that they wouldn't need an ambulance.
However he knew they had another problem when Heidi realized that she wasn't wearing her jacket and that her arms, and bruises, were clearly visible to them. She panicked and anxiously tried to move away from them, covering herself up as best she could at the same time. But Michelle laid a comforting but firm hand on Heidi's arm and stopped her, giving her a small smile that told Heidi that her efforts to hide were useless, they had already seen them. Heidi pulled away from Michelle's grasp and turned away from both her and Dean, but not before they saw the tears form in her eyes and start to fall down her face.
Dean: 'Heidi, its okay. You don't need to be scared. I know you want to hide it from us but we already know. Heidi, I'm just going to move a little closer. Can you look at me, please. (She slowly turned to look at him) We are here for you. I'm here for you. I want to help you but I can't do that if you don't let me. You don't have to deal with any of this alone.'
He held his hand out to her and she took it. He moved even closer to her and pulled her onto his lap, embracing her in a hug that made her feel safe, and told her that she could tell him anything and he would listen to her and understand. She couldn't stop the tears after that. She cried and he held her, promising her that he would be there for her every minute of every day and he wouldn't leave her for a second. When she calmed down, Dean asked her about the bruises and if whatever had happened had been about three weeks ago. She had nodded yes, but her silence had returned. She didn't say anything, instead choosing to stay in Dean's arms where she felt safe.
Dean decided that for today it was enough. She needed to rest and he wasn't going to push her any further. He made sure that she was okay and told her they were going home. Michelle helped him as he stood up, holding Heidi close to him at the same time as she wouldn't let go, and when he was sure she could walk downstairs to the car he slowly started to walk with her in that direction. At the same time Michelle quickly packed up the medical kit and supplies to take it to Dean so that he could take it home with him so, if God forbid, anything happened to Heidi again he had it there on standby.
Dean: 'I'll monitor her at home and make sure she's okay. I'll watch her fever but I don't think it'll come come to anything serious.'
Michelle: 'Let me know how she is. I want to know that she's okay. Oh and don't worry about coming in tomorrow. Take the day and talk to her. Try and find out what happened.'
Dean: 'I will. I want to hopefully find out before the team get back so we have some answers but if there's no progress tomorrow then I don't see any point in bringing her in to work anytime soon. If she collapses again in front of the team, they'll never leave her alone.'
Michelle: 'I understand. Call me when you know more. Don't worry about anything else either, I'll make sure your paperwork is taken care of, and Heidi's.'
Dean: 'Thanks Michelle.'
With that Dean got into the car to see that Heidi had covered herself up with her jacket. When he had started the engine and driven away from the station he watched her as she reached out her hand to him and he took it in his, holding it and gently stroking the back of it with his thumb. This small gesture was a huge measure of comfort to Heidi that she knew meant that Dean wasn't going anywhere and would be there for her no matter what. He felt her relax and guessed that it was the first time in the three weeks that she had kept this secret from them.