AN: Hey everybody! I couldn't sleep yesterday and so this storyline came to my mind. A little drama again, hope you don't mind!


Hope

After the rainy weather it was finally sunny in Seattle again. Tess and Travis were on their honeymoon in Hawaii (which was a present from Doug and Carol), Kate was back at college for her second year to become a PT and the triplets flew back to their destinations two days after the wedding.

When Carol woke up that day she felt the sunbeams on her face. Doug must've opened the window shades when he woke up. Carol stretched herself but wasn't really ready to open her eyes. She turned around to Doug's side of the bed and soaked in his scent. Too bad he wasn't here right now. If he would be next to her right now, she would start to kiss his neck, his chest, his stomach and wandering down more and more…

Doug stood at the door to the bedroom and watched her. He chuckled when he heard her moan. Maybe she was dreaming? She looked lovely. Doug went closer and bent down to her. "Are you dreaming, my love?" he asked playfully, whispering in her ear. Carol smiled and turned around to him. "Come back to bed, Doug", she said and pulled him closer to her. She started to kiss him passionately and Doug crawled into the bed upon her. "Carol, you're wonderful, do you know that?" Doug chuckled when she finally opened her eyes and smiled at him. "Well, I just had a pleasant dream" she said and started to kiss his neck. "I see…so show me what that dream was about", he moaned and kissed her again. And so she did. She started to kiss his neck again, went down to his chest, played with her tongue around his stomach and wandered down more and more…

"Lovely…just lovely", he chuckled after they made love and Carol laughed. "I really like such mornings", she said and Doug chuckled. "Yeah, I could get used to it", he said and kissed her. "I love you", she then said. "I love you", he answered and looked into her eyes. "What do you want to do today? It's warm outside", he then asked and Carol shrugged her shoulders. "Just relax and chill. I cleaned the whole house yesterday…I just want to enjoy the sun, have a barbecue...you could drive out with the boat and catch some fish", she suggested and Doug nodded. "Good idea…but don't you want to come out with me on the boat?" he asked smiling. "Ah…the next time, I guess I'll stay on land today", she said and stroke with a finger over his arm. "I see…fishing is too boring right?" he chuckled and Carol nodded. "Right, but I want to have you here the whole morning", she answered and started to kiss him again. "I won't complain about that", he chuckled and fulfilled all her wishes.


Later they took a shower together, not able to keep their hands off each other. "So what do you say about that trip to Europe?" Doug asked. "Oh Doug, that's a wonderful idea…but maybe after summer? In September? I guess it's too hot in Europe for sightseeing in summer…" she answered stroking over his chest. "Good idea…so, what do you want to see in Europe?" he asked again, kissing her neck. Carol laid her head back and closed her eyes. "Vienna…you know…the castle…it must be…beautiful…" his kisses almost left her breathless. "Uh-huh…and what about Paris?" he asked, kissing her nipples. "God Doug…please…" she moaned in growing desire. "What? The Eiffel tower? Champs-Élysées?" he chuckled, not stopping to kiss her. "Shut up and make love to me", she almost begged and now Doug couldn't resist any longer.


Doug was outside, getting the boat ready. It really was a wonderful day and it also started wonderful. It amazed him, how she still could give him all those feelings. Carol was…even after all these years, his love for her grew and grew with every day he spent with her. She gave him the most amazing children in the world; he was so proud of them. Tess now was married, ready to start a family of her own. Kate was happy with Carey and finally becoming what she really liked. He was happy that she found something that made her happy. And then there were his triplets. Liam - he never thought that he would be so…grown-up in Harvard. When he visited for Tess' wedding, he almost seemed like another person. Mason, he was still the same curious young man he always was, ready to explore the world ahead of him. And Emery, his little bee, who wasn't little anymore, but a beautiful young woman who, he was sure about that, would be such a good nurse as her mother was. On some days he couldn't even believe that he was living this life. Everything was just perfect.

Then he saw her in the corner of his eyes. She was coming out of the house in her bikini, her eyes hidden behind her sunglasses, her hair was up in a high ponytail and her legs, freshly shaven, shimmered in the sun. God, this woman…looking at her, he almost forgot to breath. She grabbed her bath towel and went in his direction. "Are you really sure about that fish?" he asked, not wanting to leave her. Carol grinned. "Please Doug…last time they were soooo good on the grill, remember? You'll be only out for half an hour…tops ", she said, laying that bath towel on the dock. "And I already got the grill ready and I made a salad", she added, taking a seat. Doug chuckled and stroke over his head. "What?" she asked, looking over her sunglasses. "You're so hot", he murmured and kneeled down on one knee to her. Carol laughed and bent forward to kiss him. "Be patient, lover", she whispered and laid herself under the sun. Doug chuckled again and got up. "Alright then. Hard work…but I think I can do it", he said. "Really hard work though…" he murmured shaking his head. "We have the whole day left, Doug", Carol smiled and he nodded. "Okay…I'll get you that fish now", he chuckled and started the boat. Saluting to her, he drove away and she followed him with her eyes until he was just a little spot on that beautiful lake in front of her.

To be honest, she wanted nothing more than him by her side. He thought she was hot, but man, that morning and afterwards in the shower…she wanted to eat him up; she almost couldn't believe that he was hers. He was such a beautiful man, a beautiful soul. Nobody knew her better than he did and he for sure was her soulmate. The way he looked at her, the way he touched her, it amazed her every single time. He still managed to bewitch her, even after all these years. She loved him. She loved him more and more every day, never believing that the love for him could grow, but it just did. Just thinking of him at that moment aroused her. Today he was…she didn't find words. She couldn't wait for him to come back now, feeling hungry, but not for fish, hungry for him, always.

"Hey there, stranger!" Avery's words got her back to reality and she looked up. "Hey stranger yourself! How have you been?" she asked and sat up. "Want some ice tea?" she added and Avery nodded, taking a seat next to her. "Ah, thanks. Sorry I didn't call or show up. My mom's been sick, I was with her the last few days", Avery apologized and took a sip of the ice tea. "Sorry to hear that, is she okay? Do you need anything?" Carol asked concerned. "No, no…everything is okay again. I think she just caught the summer flu, she was really weak", Avery smiled and Carol nodded. "She's a lot better now", Avery added. "Thank God…so how are you?" she asked. "Good, thank you, can't complain…but we should meet up again, it's been too long…where's Doug anyway?" Avery asked looking around. "Oh, he's out with the boat, catching some fish to grill…you wanna eat with us?" Carol answered. "Thanks for the invitation, but I can't…Caley wanted to grill some hot dogs today", Avery answered and Carol nodded. "Ah, that's great…you still have your baby girl with you", Carol smiled, thinking of her own children. "Yeah, I wonder how long this will last…they grew up too quickly, right?" Avery said. "Totally…our house is so empty…it almost feels like being 23 again, me alone with Doug here", Carol laughed as she looked up to their house. "Oh, but you aren't complaining here, are you", Avery laughed and Carol shook her head. "Not at all, not at all", she answered. "Alright, I gotta go again. Why don't you two come over this evening, have some beers or cocktails", Avery suggested. "Sure, sounds good", Carol answered smiling.

It was a good idea to meet again. It's been too long since they had a nice evening together. She just had to postpone her date with Doug. Suddenly her cell phone rang; it was probably Doug, telling her about the good catch he made. Looking at the screen she didn't know the number. "Carol Hathaway", she picked up the phone. "Carol? It's Elizabeth", she heard. "Elizabeth Corday? Hi! Nice to hear from you, how are you?" Carol smiled. "Carol…" Elizabeth started and Carol immediately knew that something wasn't right. Emery.

"What is it, Elizabeth?" she asked, not really wanting to know the answer. "Carol, Emery was in a car accident…we treated her in the ER, she needs surgery, I'm about to scrub in."

"Oh God…what…why…is she awake? Why does she need surgery?"

"She has some internal bleeding. I'll do my best, Carol…but maybe you should fly over here", Elizabeth said. "Yeah…yes…Lizzy…please, safe her", Carol said and they hung up.

This was just a dream right? This wasn't real. Putting her cell phone down, she noticed that her hands were shaking. This wasn't real. She got up and looked out on the lake. She had to phone Doug. "Pick up, pick up, pick up", she begged as she only heard the damn ring. "Miss me already?" Doug chuckled, as he finally picked up. "Doug, you need to come back, quickly", Carol said and he could hear distress in her voice. "What happened, Care?" he asked calmly. "Elizabeth just called…Emery…Em, she was in a car accident and she needs surgery now…I don't know more Doug", she said, as the tears ran down her cheeks. "Shit…alright Carol…I'll hurry up. It will be okay", he said. It had to be okay.


How could a day, which started so wonderfully, become such a nightmare? They were so happy this morning, now they were sitting on a plane, not knowing what would wait for them in Chicago. Carol phoned Avery earlier, telling her that they wouldn't come that evening. She called Kate, who seemed worried too and wanted to come with her parents, but she knew that she should stay in Seattle to look after their house. "Maybe it's not as bad as it seems. Maybe she's okay already", Doug said, trying to calm down the whole situation. "Internal bleeding…she said she has to operate on internal bleeding", Carol said and sighed. Doug nodded and hid his face in his hands. It had to be okay.


Doug searched for Carol's hand when they entered the ER. It was calm, not too swamped that night. Mark saw them from the desk and went to them. "Mark…" Carol said and he guided them to the lounge.

"She broke her left arm and left leg. While we worked on her in the ER, she fell into a cardiogenic shock. We resuscitated her for about 20 minutes. She had a PE, also some bleeding on her left kidney and spleen. She's now at the ICU, she's stable, but in a critical condition."

The words didn't quite reach her. It didn't sound real. It felt like she was in a cloud, in a bubble that was about to burst any minute. "Is she on the ecmo?" Doug asked and Mark shook his head. "No…but she's on dialysis because of that kidney. She's going to be okay", Mark said and Doug nodded. "Can we go see her now?" Carol then asked silently. Mark nodded. "Of course. Elizabeth is with her", he answered and they got up from the couch.


"Elizabeth", Carol said as she entered the room where her youngest daughter was laying, intubated, on the dialysis machine, attached to a dozen of cables. Elizabeth turned around and hugged Carol who started to cry immediately. "Thank you for everything", Carol sobbed and Elizabeth nodded. "She's stable. I stopped all the internal bleeding, and she got Heparin immediately because of that PE, she's still getting lysis. She's on the respirator, still on PCV, as she's not yet showing breathing on her own. Her left kidney was damaged badly, but I got that under control. Nevertheless we had to start the CiCa because we want to release pressure from the kidney right now. She's sedated with Propofol, Ketamine and Sufentanil. The Epi runs with 25ml per hour, that's still high, but we try to ease it. We'll let her sedated today and tomorrow but then we can try to wake her up slowly. She's going to be okay", Elizabeth told them. "Thanks Elizabeth, thanks for everything", Doug said and hugged his friend too.

Carol went to the bed. "My poor baby girl", she whispered as she took Emery's hand in hers. "We're here baby. We're here for you. You stay strong baby", she added and wiped away another tear that was running down her cheek. Doug went closer and took Carols hand in his. "Are you okay?" she asked him and he shook his head. "It's awful…awful, seeing her like that…and…knowing, I wasn't there to protect her", he stumbled, as tears formed in his eyes. It ripped him apart to see his daughter laying there. He promised to God that he would safe his kids from anything bad in the world, but he failed. He wasn't there. "Oh Doug", Carol said and buried her head in his chest. "You can't save them from everything bad in the world…they have to learn to life on their own feet, save themselves", she said and he nodded. Of course she was right, but still it hurt. His little Emery didn't deserve this.


"May I ask how she is?" a young man in a wheelchair with a broken leg asked, as Doug and Carol left Emery's room. "And you are…" Doug asked as he turned around. "I'm Connor…I…I was…I was driving the car", the young man said, looking down ashamed. "What did you do", Doug whispered. "Doug", Carol said, trying to calm him down. "What did you do to my daughter?" Doug asked again, now a little bit louder. "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…we…we were on our way home from our shift…I…she was singing to a song on the radio and I looked at her, when my car came off the street and…I hit that tree…really bad…I'm so sorry. Please, forgive me…I'm so sorry…I never…never wanted to hurt her", Connor cried. Carol went to him, kneeled down to him and hugged him. "It's okay. She's going to be okay", she said and Connor nodded crying. Doug couldn't look at them. He turned away and left the ICU.

"How do you know Emery?" Carol asked, taking a seat at the waiting area next to Connor's wheelchair. "I'm a med student, currently on my ER rotation…I got to know her when she worked in the ER", Connor told her. "She'll be a great nurse", he added. Carol nodded smiling. "Are you…" she started and Connor nodded. "Sorry you had to find out this way…it's…it's still fresh…we're dating since three weeks", he smiled. "I see. Well, you should get your rest too. There's nothing you can do for her now. She has to recover. And I'm sorry for my husband…he's a little overprotective on her", Carol said and smiled a little. To be honest, she fell in love more and more with him over this. It amazed her how dedicated he was to his children. "Thank you, Mrs. Hathaway", Connor said and Carol nodded.


She found him at the ER, sitting at the desk, staring into nowhere. "Had a nice chat?" he asked as she touched his back. "C'mon Doug…don't give him a hard time now…he apologized. He's sorry", she said and he nodded, knowing that she was right. "I'm sorry. I'm such a jerk sometimes…but this…this reminds me so much of your accident back then", he said. Carol took a seat next to him and took her hand in his. "You're not a jerk. You're just her daddy…and I knew that it reminds you of that time. I just hope she comes out safer than I did", Carol answered and wiped away another tear. Everything was just overwhelming right now. "She will be okay", Doug said and Carol nodded.

"Hey guys…everything ok so far?" Mark asked as he came back from a patient. "Yeah…thank you for everything, Mark", Doug said. "No problem…but what is it with you girls and accidents here in Chicago? I don't want to do that again, ok?" Mark tried to joke and Carol nodded smiling. "Ah…Elizabeth and I suggested that you stay with us tonight. I'll be on for one more hour and then we can leave", Mark then said and both Carol and Doug nodded. "Thanks", Carol said, wiping away another tear.


Carol and Doug were in Emery's room again, holding her hand, stroking over her fingers, crying silent tears, hoping that she was okay; hoping that she didn't feel any pain; hoping that she would come out okay of this. To hope was all they could do…