Helping Hands

Doug was at the admin desk at the ICU, looking over Emery's chart. Her vitals were okay, but she still was on catecholamines and they didn't change the sedative medication. At least the dialysis was gone, she had a great amount of urine already. Carol helped washing her every day since they were here, it was like meditation for her, as she said. Emery got better day by day. Her lungs just didn't fully recover yet and therefor she still needed the respirator. Changing it to PSV didn't work, so they changed it back to PCV.

"Hey…everything okay?" Carol asked as she came back from Emery's room to find him. "Everything looks good, except of her lungs…she's triggering already, but not enough", Doug told her. "I know…it's just from time to time…but today I saw her blinking and her finger moved", Carol smiled, happy that her daughter was getting better. "That's wonderful to hear", Doug answered and Carol nodded. Doug was relieved that Emery, his little bee, was getting better…since they got here, he couldn't really sleep because he was so worried about her. It sucked that he couldn't help her. All he did was stand by her side, holding her hand, stroking over her soft cheek. Somehow he felt helpless. He had to give the live of his daughter to the other doctors. "Doug?" Carol asked, noticing that something was on his mind. "Can we go, get some coffee or something?" he asked, rubbing his head and looking at her. "Of course", Carol answered smiling, hoping that he would tell her his worries.

They went down to the cafeteria to get coffee and some muffins, which brought back some memories. "Thinking about Joi Abbott?" she asked and Doug nodded. "Ah…we should've gone downstairs to our room to bring back better memories", Carol chuckled and Doug smiled. "I guess it doesn't matter where we are going…too many memories everywhere", he answered and paid their coffees and muffins. "Now tell me what's going on", Carol then said as they took a seat. Doug sighed. "I don't know…I'm…I'm happy she's getting better…but…I feel so…helpless, there's nothing I can do", he said and leaned back in his seat. "Doug…that's not true", Carol said, shaking her head. "Being there for her…even just standing there, is something", she added. Doug didn't really think so. It wasn't enough for him. Carol saw, that he was still struggling with his thoughts. "Doug…I still remember how it was for me. The first time, after I took that pills…I knew that my mom was there, I knew that Tag was there…and I knew that you were there…you were there, right?" she asked and he nodded. "I was…when I was on the night shift, I sneaked into your room", he smiled a little, remembering this. "I felt that…I don't know, it were moments, smells…it's…you can't move, can't speak, but you smell and feel, maybe hear", she said. "Then there was the accident…I felt like being in a black hole what felt like an eternity. But then…I think I…I smelled you again, and I think I heard you, when you said that I can go…"

"I really didn't mean that…I couldn't let you go", he said and chuckled, reaching out for her hand. "I know", she smiled and stroke over his fingers. "So I really think that Emery knows, that we're there for her. And…just that, it helps so much, knowing that you're not alone, knowing that your loved ones are there for you. You know that Emery adores you…she loves you and you love her. I bet she's happy, inside, that you're there", she tried to cheer him up. "Thank you", he then said and smiled. "No, thank you, for sneaking in my room and for being there for your daughter", she smiled and leaned forward to kiss him shortly.

Later that day Carol and Doug sat in Emery's room. Carol was reading in a magazine, always glancing at her daughter from time to time. Doug was staring at Emery's monitor, following every Q-R-S complex of her ECG. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Doug got up from his seat and opened it. Connor was standing there with crutches under his arms, because his leg was still in a cast. "Hi…" he murmured, looking down to his feet. "Hi Connor…everything alright?" Doug asked and Connor was surprised to hear this. Last time he wasn't so…nice to him. "Yeah…well, except of that", Connor said, putting his casted leg up a little. "Well, I…I wanted…I…" he continued and Doug smiled. He could tell that Connor wasn't comfortable at all with him. "You want to see Emery?" Doug asked and Connor finally nodded. "Then come in", Doug said, hoping that Connor would loosen up with him. He knew that he was a jerk the first time they met, but it was such a tensed moment. "Thanks", Connor said and went in. "Hey Carol", he smiled when he saw Emery's mom. "Hey Connor", she answered and smiled back at him. Then he saw Emery…for the first time, since they were in the car. His face went pale as he saw her, intubated and attached to the monitor and the respirator, seeing her arm and leg in a cast. "Holy shit", he whispered, and slowly he put his hand on hers. "I'm so sorry, Em…so sorry."

"She's going to be ok, Connor", Carol said, who witnessed all of this. "It was my fault…I'm so sorry!" he started to cry and buried his head on Carol's shoulder. "It's not, Connor. It's nobody's fault. She's going to be okay. She was on the dialysis. She had a PE…but that's all better now. She's recovering and soon she will smile at you", Carol tried to calm him down, stroking over his back. Doug watched them and smiled a little at Carol. She was wonderful. "Talk to her, touch her…she'll know that you're here", she then said as Connor looked at her again. Connor nodded and wiped away his tears. "Sorry I cried on you", he said and then turned to Emery. Carol went to Doug and they left the room to give them some privacy.

"Emery…I…it's me, Connor", he started, as he put his hand on hers again. "I don't know…God, I'm so sorry this happened…please…please stay with me…I…I love you." Wow, he never expected it to say it this way…so early, but he did, he loved her, it was the truth. "I love you, and I want to be with you…you need to get better soon, I miss you." He missed to hear her beautiful voice; he missed to kiss her beautiful mouth; he missed to run his fingers through her beautiful curls; he missed her. "You know…I can't wait to be with you again, steal kisses from you down in the ER…everybody misses you, Em. Everybody asks about you…you need to get better. I love you." He kissed her cheek, her forehead, the corner of her mouth. "I love you."

Kate arrived at her old home after some course at the college. Somehow she shivered as she went inside, it felt cold. It was weird, being alone in this big house, with nobody there. Normally, her mother would come around the corner and hug her, or her dad would be coming downstairs smiling at her. This time she was all alone, knowing that her parents were in Chicago to take care of her little sister. Sighting, she went into the kitchen to clean out the refrigerator. It was so unfair…they were such a happy family all the time; they didn't do anything bad, never had a big fight, her parents loved each other and they always wanted the best for their kids…so why were they punished with such crappy things? First they had the accident back in Chicago, when nobody knew if Carol would survive. Then they had to go through a pregnancy loss; later Carol had to struggle with breast cancer, which thank God wasn't breast cancer and now Emery had this horrible accident…Emery, who was the nicest person in the world…why couldn't they just live happily without all this bad things? Kate knew that she wouldn't get an answer. She just missed her family. Tess was happy in Hawaii, at least she thought that she was happy. She needed to phone her brothers later, to see if everything was okay…and she hoped to get a call from her mom again soon, to maybe hear better news.

"Hey Kate…mind if I come in?" Kate then heard and turned around to find Avery in the room. "Hi Avery…not at all, come in", she smiled. "How are you?" Avery asked, taking a seat at the island. Kate sighed. "As good as I can be", she answered and Avery nodded. "Did you get any news?" Avery asked again and Kate shook her head. "I talked to mom yesterday…she told me that Emery still needs the respirator but hopefully will get rid of the dialysis", Kate said. "Okay…that's good, isn't it", Avery answered, hoping that everything would be ok again soon. "I think so", Kate said and smiled a little. "So how's everything with you? We didn't get together for a long time, right?" Kate then said and tried to cheer up the moment. "Totally right…everything is okay at home. You and Carey should come visit again", Avery smiled and Kate nodded. "We will…he's just so stressed at work since he's doing the news", Kate answered. "I see…but maybe he'll have some minutes for his mother left", Avery laughed and made Kate laugh too. "Well, I'm just cleaning out here a bit…I saw that somebody mowed the grass…Jason maybe?" she then asked and Avery nodded. "Yeah, he was mowing in our garden and thought he could do it here too", Avery answered. Kate nodded and tried to hold back tears. This was so overwhelming. "Thanks for your help", she managed to say before a tear escaped her eye. "That's what friends are for…we're here to help", Avery said as she hugged Kate, hoping that this nightmare would be over soon.

Later when Avery was gone already, Kate took a seat on the couch in the living room and got her phone out. She wanted to hear her twin sister's voice, so she dialed Tess's number.

"Hey there, stranger", Tess answered the phone and Kate could tell that she was happy there.

"Hello sister, how are things in beautiful Hawaii?" Kate smiled.

"Ah Kate…it's so beautiful here…but we can't really enjoy it with the thoughts of Emery in our heads…did you get any news?" Tess answered.

"Not really…I talked with mom yesterday…Emery is still on the respirator, but got rid of the dialysis", she told her sister.

"That's good…I think I'll call mom later. Did you hear anything from Liam or Mason?" Tess asked.

"They're both fine…worried…everyone is worried…" Kate murmured.

"I know…we just can hope that everything turns out ok. I know that everything will be ok", Tess tried to cheer her up.

"I miss you", Kate then said.

"I miss you too…but only three more days until we fly back…will you be okay until then?" Tess asked.

"Sure…I'm glad that I have Carey who I can annoy", Kate giggled a little bit.

"Aah, I bet he doesn't really mind", Tess laughed.

"Yeah well, I don't want to bother you any longer. Enjoy the rest of your honeymoon and tell Travis hello", Kate then said her goodbyes and they hung up.

Silence filled the room again, as Kate looked out to the lake, where the raindrops fell down to the water like her tears that fell down on her lap.

When Doug and Carol went back to Emery's room, Carol stopped in front of it. "Oh, I'll come back in some minutes, I just want to phone Kate…to see if everything is ok at home", she said. Doug smiled. "I'm sure she handles everything perfect", he said and Carol nodded. "Yeah, but I'm sure she wants to know how Emery is", Carol answered. "Of course…tell her hello then", Doug smiled. Carol nodded and wanted to go to the seats, when Doug grabbed her hand. "I love you", he almost whispered and smiled. "I love you, too", Carol answered smiling before she kissed him shortly. She was glad that she could cheer him up a little bit earlier, she could feel that he felt more relaxed already. She was amazed how worried he was about his daughter, about his children in general when something was going on with them. He was such a good father…she couldn't imagine another father for their children, she loved him even more seeing him with their children.

At the waiting area she phoned Kate.

"Hi mom", Kate said as she answered the phone.

"Hey baby…how are you? Is everything ok?" Carol asked, noticing that Kate sounded like she cried.

"Oh yes…everything is fine…I'm at the house…it's just…it's silent here", Kate said and wiped away the rest of the tears that were running down her cheeks.

"I can imagine…is everything ok?" Carol answered, knowing that Kate had to be lonely there.

"Everything is ok. I cleaned out the refrigerator, Avery came by to talk…Jason mowed the grass", Kate told her mom.

"Great, thank you so much, all of you", Carol said.

"No problem, mom…you know we help when we can", Kate answered.

"I know…so how are you?" Carol then asked. She missed Kate already.

"I'm good, mom…I'm studying for the next exam which will be next week on Monday, and Carey is busy at work..." Kate started, but her tears came back again, "…I miss you and dad…and Emery, is she ok?"

"Oh honey…we miss you too, hopefully we will be back soon…Emery, she's getting better every day. She's still on the respirator. They tried to wean her, but she's not breathing properly yet. But I'm sure she will be extubated soon…well, we hope", Carol told her daughter.

"That's good news, I'm really glad…are you ok, mom? And dad?" Kate asked, wiping away her tears again. She didn't want to cry, she just couldn't stop it.

"We're fine…I miss home too…but Emery needs us a little bit longer", Carol said.

"I know, and it's totally okay. I'm just a crybaby", Kate now chuckled.

"I love you", Carol said and smiled.

"I love you and dad too. Tell him I love him", Kate answered and Carol nodded.

"I will. Take care, baby. We'll talk again soon", Carol said and with that hey hung up.

Carol sighed. She really missed the house in Seattle and she missed her daughters. She knew that they could live on their own, but still she missed being there for them…and she knew that Emery needed her now the most. She just hoped that Tess was happy in Hawaii, that Liam and Mason didn't worry too much, but she was sure that they were strong enough to go through this without problems. Only Kate bothered her…she was always the weak one when there were family problems. She prayed to God that everything was going to be ok.

When Doug entered Emery' room, he sighed. It still hurt to see her like this, bruised, casts on her arm and leg, intubated. He went to her and took her hand in his. "Hey bee…it's me, dad", he said and stroke over her cheek. "I hope you're okay…I hope so much that you will get better…you're a fighter, aren't you", he said and took a seat on her bed. "I want to see you smiling and laughing again…I really miss it. I hope you don't feel any pain…you know…I got to know Connor. He's a nice guy…he's really worried about you, too. I was really mad at him at first…but…he's ok. You always find the nicest guys, I'm happy about that. So, you just need to get better…we can't wait to see you awake again. We'll be there for you." It amazed him that he could speak to her like that, it just came out of the blue. And then he smiled, as she squeezed his hand and as he looked at the respirator monitor, he could see that she was breathing on her own. He knew, that she was smiling inside; maybe she was happy, that her dad was there for her, too…