Agent Christopher stood at the bottom of the steps, waiting as the door to the Lifeboat opened and the four-man crew began to emerge. Lucy was the first one out. Christopher met her tired brown eyes and asked, “What happened? Did you stop Rittenhouse?”
Lucy clutched her dirty skirts as she carefully descended the steps. Her shoes were caked in mud. “Short answer? Yes.” She dropped her grimy hem back to the floor, straightening out her skirt as she stepped aside, granting Rufus access to the floor where he quickly ran off to get an office chair with wheels.
Christopher furrowed her brows as she watched Rufus moving with purpose. She questioned, “And the long answer?”
Lucy was about to speak when a voice groaned above them at the hatch to the Lifeboat. “It’s complicated.”
Christopher lifted her gaze to the Lifeboat. Wyatt stood up with Flynn’s left arm tossed over his shoulders. Flynn’s right hand was holding his side. There was a dark red stain seeping through his blue shirt under his navy jacket. “What the hell happened?”
Wyatt and Flynn carefully climbed down the stairs. Once they reached the bottom, Flynn sighed heavily, grimacing in pain as he slumped into the office chair that Rufus had wheeled over. Wyatt stated, “We ran into a couple of problems.”
“Such as?” Christopher pushed, staring at Flynn to see if he was in serious need of medical care or if it was a graze.
“There were three sleepers there,” Flynn groaned. “Turns out there’s a reason they don’t teach kids about Sarah Tarrant.”
“Why is that?” she asked, looking between the four members of the team, clearly confused.
Rufus chimed in before anyone had a chance to properly respond, “She’s a bitch.”
Wyatt quickly interjected before Agent Christopher could retort, “She was very determined to start the Revolutionary War right then and there. Had we not managed to shut her up, it might just have started.”
Rufus added, “The things she said, I thought she was the sleeper.”
Christopher looked to Lucy for a simpler answer. Instead of delving into the history of the woman who almost jump-started the Revolutionary War by running her hot-tempered mouth, Lucy took this moment to state what was already on Christopher’s mind. “We’re going to need a doctor for Flynn. It’s pretty bad.”
Flynn shifted in his chair. “I told you, I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” Lucy retorted. “You lost a lot of blood.”
Flynn tried to wave it off, but everyone could see the color fading from his face before he passed out, crashing hard to the floor.
“I’ll get someone here immediately,” Christopher stated. “I know just who to ask.”
Agent Christopher sat in her parked car just outside the hospital. She studied the folder in her lap. It was the file of Dr. Tenley Levinson. It was a full background check and history on the woman. Included with all of the doctor’s information was a photo of the young woman. Denise studied the girl’s features, just on the off-chance she’d run into her in the hallways.
The doctor’s photo showed a woman in her thirties, dark eyes, light brown hair, and fair skinned. Reading over the notes made about the girl’s height, she was tall, above average for a woman. As Denise looked at the photo, she could see a familiar sadness within the girl’s brown eyes. There was no mention in the file as to why she would have that kind of sadness, but she knew better than to pry, should she find the doctor. She closed the file and dumped it into the center console as she climbed out and headed towards the entrance of the hospital.
The sliding glass doors to the hospital opened just as Denise Christopher stepped up to them. She knew where she would find her doctor of choice and headed towards the OR suites. One of the things that she loved about hospitals was how no one asked you if you needed help finding someone. She was able to navigate through without once having to stop to talk to someone.
As she neared the double doors to the Operating wing, a couple of security guards had raised their hands at her approach. The tall black man on her right asked, “Can I help you?”
Without batting an eye, she had removed her badge from within her inside coat pocket, showing them the credentials she had worked so hard to achieve. “I’m Agent Christopher with Homeland Security. I’m here to see Dr. Levinson.”
The two security guards exchanged looks. “What’s Levy done?”
“Doesn’t concern you,” Christopher stated. “Which way?”
They stepped aside and the tall man pointed down the hall. “OR 3.”
She nodded her thanks and headed down the hall towards the correct suite. When she arrived at the double doors, she peered through the window. The doctors were operating on someone so she waited until they were finished with their surgery. She wasn’t going to barge in, contaminate the surgery, risk the patient’s life, and have a lawsuit on her hands. She needed to be patient, which was something she prided herself on being.
It wasn’t a long wait - ten minutes - before the double doors opened and some of the nurses were wheeling the patient out of the operating suite and into Recovery.
Christopher watched as a group of doctors exited the suite and started to disperse. She approached them, recognizing the doctor she was after within the group. “Dr. Levinson?”
Three of the four doctors turned to face a young woman whose brown eyes were staring wide at Denise. “Yes?”
She raised her badge again, showing the spectacle that hadn’t left who she was. “I’m Agent Christopher with Homeland Security. I have some questions to ask you.”
“You a terrorist now, Levy?” one of the male doctors jested.
The other male doctor snorted. “That would explain so much!”
Dr. Levinson turned to the group of doctors who were still gawking at the scene before them. She nodded, turning her attention back to Christopher. “Of course.” She motioned down the hall and started walking next to Denise as they left the others speechless in the hallway. “What can I do for you, Agent Christopher?”
When they were out of earshot of anyone else, Denise stopped them. “I need your help.”
“My help?” the young woman asked, seemingly shocked. “With what?”
Denise stated, “I can’t tell you the details unless you agree to come with me.” She glanced up and down the hallway out of the corner of her dark eyes before speaking in a hushed tone. “You wouldn’t be coming back here if you choose to come with me.”
“Why me?” Levinson asked. She didn’t care about not returning to this place of employment. No one took her seriously and she had been looking for other jobs secretly anyways.
“I needed the best,” Christopher stated. “You graduated the top 3% of your class-”
Levinson laughed, shaking her head. She had connected the dots quicker than Denise thought she would. “You mean that you needed someone who was good at what they do, but also didn’t have family or friends who’d suddenly question their sudden disappearance?”
Denise fought back a smile. She already liked this kid; she was quick to pick up the subtleties. She nodded. “It’s a critical situation, one that needs the highest clearance. It’s a chance to change the world - make a difference.”
The young doctor didn’t blink. “Where do I sign?”
Denise seemed taken aback at the quick willingness this kid had. There weren’t any questions or fighting back on how she didn’t want to disappear. “That’s it?”
The girl licked her lips, tilting her head slightly to her left side. “I’m assuming that you came looking for me to pitch this crazy idea because someone in your unit needs medical attention, right?” When Denise nodded, the girl added, “Then we’re wasting precious time. Let me grab my things and I’ll come with you.” As they started to head down the hall, the doctor added, “You can fill me in when we’re out of here.”
Agent Christopher waited patiently outside the hospital sliding doors for Dr. Levinson. As she waited, she thought over the woman’s profile, trying to understand why she was so willing to uproot her life and disappear without so much as a fight.
What she could remember about the woman’s profile was that she was the youngest child of three. Her parents weren’t rich, nor were they living on welfare; they were living a pseudo-comfortable life. Her older brother was barely making ends meet, her older sister was married with five kids. Dr. Levinson had no romantic connections noted in her profile, and by how quickly she had agreed to sign up with Christopher, it told her that there wasn’t anyone or it was a freshly terminated relationship.
Dr. Levinson had been accepted into Pre-Med before she had graduated from High School, and was in Med School within half the time it took other normal classmates to finish Pre-Med. She was gifted. Levinson missed being in the top 1% of her graduating class because she had taken a semester off - undocumented by the school - to help refugees in third world countries who were in dire need of medical care. That undocumented absence had cost her Honors.
When Christopher had laid eyes on the girl, she realized that she was about the same age, maybe a year or two younger than Lucy. Levinson had seemed tough to Denise - or at the very least, thick-skinned. When she was being teased earlier in the hallway, she managed to ignore the comments and roll with the punches. She recognized that behavior in people who had been through the wringer. Whatever this kid’s story was, she knew that Levinson would be tough enough to handle whatever came at them. She was feeling more and more confident that she had picked the right one.
As Denise waited, a couple of doctors exited the doors behind her and started to light up their cigarettes, which is was something that Christopher hated. Why work in health care when you were practicing terrible health habits yourself? One of the doctors asked his friend, “Did you hear about Levinson?”
“No,” the other said as he took a drag from his cigarette. “What’d she do this time?”
The first doctor shook his head. “I don’t know, but Homeland Security came in and asked her a bunch of questions.”
“Doesn’t mean anything,” the second one pointed out.
“Maybe not, but Jameson said that Levinson seemed nervous,” the first commented.
“Nervous about what?” the second questioned. “You think she’s done something?”
“It’s Levy,” the first retorted. “Who knows when she’s involved.”
The second laughed. “You’re just mad at her because she’s rejected you three times, Roger.”
“You make me sound like a bitter housewife,” Roger said, blowing smoke from his lips.
“Well,” the second doctor started. “You kind of are.”
“Screw you,” Roger said, taking another drag. “She just doesn’t know what she’s missing out on.”
Just as Christopher was about to say something, Levinson walked outside. She inhaled before saying, “I’m ready to go.”
“What’d you do, Levy?” the second one asked. “Everyone thinks you’re being arrested.”
Levinson turned to face the two doctors. “What makes you think I’ve done something?”
Roger approached them. Christopher watched him carefully, waiting to see if she would need to force him to stand down. He stood inches from Levinson. “Levy,” he taunted. “You’re not important. So that means that you’ve done something wrong and they need to question you behind lock and key.”
Levinson had given a half smile, almost as if she was believing the things that were being said about her. “And you wonder why I’ve rejected you time and again...”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” he spat at her.
She shrugged. “Just about as much as what Homeland Security needs me for. It doesn’t mean a damn thing.”
Levinson turned and started to walk away. Denise looked at both of the doctors and ordered, “Put those things out. You’re doctors for crying out loud.” She followed Levinson into the parking lot towards her car, leaving two confused and slightly annoyed doctors behind her.
The drive back to the bunker was filled with questions, much like Denise thought it would be.
“Rittenhouse?” the doctor asked. “Like the park in Pennsylvania?”
“Something like that,” Denise mumbled. She had already gone through everything they had endured before Garcia Flynn stole the Mothership, how they were able to capture him, but he’s now a part - a vital part - of their team. She explained Rittenhouse and all they were doing, how history had been changed numerous times already. She had expected the doctor to be hung up on the fact that there was a time machine - a real one, not something out of science fiction - but rather, she found the good doctor stuck on Rittenhouse’s name.
Denise even explained every member of the team. She started with Connor Mason, the man behind the blasted machines that started this whole ordeal. Then she moved onto the next logical people to describe, Rufus and Jiya as they were the engineers who knew the mechanics of the Lifeboat, Mothership, and the software involved. After that, she explained Wyatt’s purpose and finally, she talked about Lucy Preston.
The doctor stared blankly at the dashboard of the car. Denise glanced over at her as they drove to the bunker. She asked, “Are you all right?”
“Yeah,” the doctor stated, blinking back to the present. “It’s uh... It’s just a lot to take in, that’s all.”
“Do you regret coming?” Christopher asked.
“Do you regret asking me?” Levinson turned the question back around.
Denise held the girl’s gaze. “Not yet.”
The doctor nodded slowly as they pulled into the security of the bunker.
They climbed out of the car, making their way deeper into the bunker. The doctor slung her bag over her shoulder as they entered.
The doctor seemed almost uncomfortable as she took in the dark and dingy state of the bunker. There was even a faint odor of wetness that she couldn’t place but said nothing. She followed Denise further into the bunker. It was quiet.
“Where is everyone?” the doctor asked. Denise shook her head. It was a question even she was asking herself.
As they rounded the corner, they bumped into Rufus and Jiya. All eyes fell on the doctor who stood behind Christopher awkwardly. “Where is everyone?”
Rufus couldn’t pull his eyes off Levinson. “They’re uh- Sorry, who’s this?”
Denise sighed. “Dr. Levinson, this is Rufus and Jiya.” She turned back to Rufus. “Where is everyone?”
Rufus motioned back down the hall where they came from. “They’re in there, trying to keep Flynn from moving around too much.”
Denise gave Levinson a short nod as they headed down the hall towards Flynn and the others. When they entered, Flynn was trying to sit up in bed, while Lucy and Wyatt were determined to keep him from standing up.
“I swear to God, if you don’t stop trying to sit up, I will shoot you!” Wyatt shouted at an annoyed Flynn. Levinson noticed the handgun in Wyatt’s hand, aiming it towards Flynn. Lucy raised her hand up at Wyatt, giving him a silent warning to stop antagonizing Flynn.
Christopher chimed in, “And then I’ll have you arrested for conspiracy.” Her voice had quickly gained the attention of the three members in the room. They turned their attention towards her; Wyatt quickly lowered his gun. She motioned to the doctor standing next to her. “This is Dr. Levinson. She’s here to take care of Flynn’s wound.”
Levinson approached Flynn and saw the amount of blood seeping through the gauze that had to have been days old. She observed how pale he was, which told her just how much blood he had lost. Quickly, she took her bag off her shoulders and got to work, pulling items that she stole from the hospital on her way out from her bag, and setting them on the edge of the bed. She pulled on a pair of gloves before reaching for his wound.
She concentrated on working the blood-soaked gauze off his side. She was careful not to yank too hard as she feared the pain she would inflict and the skin she might accidentally rip off along with the gauze.
Flynn watched the doctor silently as she worked. Her dark eyes narrowed in concentration, lips pursing occasionally as she worked deep in thought. He saw the faint outline of a surgical hat that she had worn when in surgery following along her dirty blond hairline. Her ponytail, which must have been neatly bound this morning, was starting to loosen, allowing some strands to fall around her face.
Feeling like she was being stared at intently, Levinson raised her brown eyes from Flynn’s wounded side to his face, meeting his intense gaze. He seemed intrigued and amused at the same time. Feeling slightly flustered under his gaze, Levinson turned her attention back to his wound. She was so focused on her task at hand that she didn’t realize that no one else was left in the room other than her and her patient.
When the blood-soaked gauze finally came off, she set to the task of cleaning the wound, feeling around for the bullet, which had already been removed by Jiya upon waiting for Levinson to arrive and sewing him up properly. When she was finished, she removed her gloves, grabbed a pill bottle. She opened it and withdrew a couple of tablets. “Take these.”
“What is it?” he asked, as he took them from her, examining them before taking the water she extended to him.
“Antibiotics,” she explained. “To help with the infection.” Once he swallowed them, she stated, “You need some rest. A couple of days before you can start your normal activities.”
He smirked. “It’s just a graze, Doc.” It was as if he was trying to convince everyone that he wasn’t in as bad of shape as everyone was making it out to be. She saw through it.
She pursed her lips. “Yeah...okay.” She started to gather up her supplies and set herself to the task of cleaning up the mess around her.
Flynn blurted out, “What are you doing here?” The tone of voice he was using was clearly one of interest, curiosity, amusement, and a dash of confusion.
“Excuse me?” she asked, not looking up at him as she continued cleaning.
He propped himself up on his pillow. “What’d Agent Christopher have on you that forced you to be here?”
“Nothing,” Levinson replied, matter of fact.
“Nothing?” Flynn asked, almost in shock. “She has nothing against you?”
“No,” she replied. “I came willingly.”
Flynn watched her movements carefully as he asked, “Who hurt you?”
The girl turned towards him, confusion was written on her face. “What?”
He was hoping that the question would have given something away but he was disappointed by the lack of body language she had produced by his prodding questions. “Who hurt you so badly that disappearing seemed like the right plan?”
“No one,” the doctor replied quickly, turning back to her task. She finished and said, “I’ll let you rest now and I’ll come back later to see how you’re faring.”
Flynn watched with intrigue as she left the room, closing the door behind her as she left.
Levinson walked up to Denise and the others who were waiting in the common living area. All eyes were on her. Christopher asked, “How is he?”
Levinson scanned the room, locking eyes with each member of the team before saying, “He’ll live. He needs to rest a couple of days, but then, he’ll be good to go.” The team looked relieved, even Wyatt, who seemed to hate the man seemed to let a relieved sigh out.
Denise nodded. “I’m glad you’re here, Doc.”
“Tenley,” she stated. “Call me, Tenley.” Awkwardly, she shifted in her place and mumbled, “Or Levy.”
Denise smiled. “Tenley. Welcome to the team.” With that, Agent Christopher took her leave from the group, leaving Tenley standing there with a group of people she had only heard about but didn’t know. An awkward silence fell on the room.
Jiya cleared her throat. “Well, uh...” she glanced at her fellow mates before saying, “Welcome...it’s not much, but it’s sort of home.”
Tenley smirked. “I’ve lived in worse. This is fine.”
“So, there are a few things you might want to know,” Jiya said as she stood up, approaching the doctor. “First, why don’t I show you to your room? I can fill you in on some of the nuisances around here.”
“Sounds good,” Levinson stated. “Thanks.”
The two walked away, Jiya leading the way. As they walked, Jiya pointed out rooms, who slept where, and then said, “This is the bathroom. There’s no lock on the door, so you’ll have to put the chair up against the door... that’s what we’ve all agreed to on how to have some privacy, especially showering.”
Tenley nodded. “Okay, easy enough, I suppose.”
Jiya walked them into a semi-large room. Tenley scanned about the room as Jiya stated, “This will be your room.”
“It’s huge,” the doctor stated. “All the other rooms you pointed out were smaller-”
Jiya admitted, “Well, unfortunately, you’ll be sleeping in what you’ll most likely have make into the infirmary.”
Levinson glanced about the room. It wouldn’t be a sterile environment, especially with the fact that she’d have to live in it as well, but she’s been to third world countries; she knew that this was a much cleaner place than most she’d seen. She’d make it work. She turned to Jiya. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
The two smiled warmly at each other. Just as Jiya was about to leave, she stopped at the door and said, “I know it’s not a perfect place to be, and it’s going to get somewhat lonely here at times, but... everyone here is good people. You won’t be short of friends.”
Tenley smiled. “Thanks, Jiya.” Jiya smiled again and left the doctor alone in the room to get settled and set up.
It took Tenley a few hours to rearrange the room into a proper infirmary that flowed easily based on what she could envision she would be needing to do. There was a specific setup in the corner of the room, furthest from the door, that she had set up with privacy blinds, in case she needed a place to do surgery. It was the closest thing that would work for a sterile environment she could come up with. She had a bed opposite the privacy blinds, closer to the door, for when someone just came in for a patch job. Above the sink, which was just next to the patch up bed, was where she had all of the medical supplies she brought with her, including what they already had on hand.
Levinson was genuinely surprised when she discovered a portable x-ray machine, blood pressure cuffs, syringes and IV bags with tubing, as well as a few other portable pieces of equipment that she wasn’t expecting to see in a bunker. With every item inventoried, the doctor felt like she could make this work incredibly well. She felt surprisingly confident.
Once the infirmary was set up, she focused on the opposite end of the room, which would be used as her personal living space. She had not much room to utilize for herself, but she didn’t need much. She pushed the dingy couch up against the wall and shoved what little she had personally for herself into the small nightstand that she pushed up next to the couch. The finishing touch was placing a small lamp with no shade on the table. The bulb, when turned on, was dim, but it produced a large amount of light once it had been on for a while. It would do.
Just as Tenley finished setting up her living/working room, a knock landed on the door. “Come in,” she called out.
The door opened and Agent Christopher walked in. She halted in her tracks for a moment, taking in all the work that Tenley had done. “I have to say that I’m impressed.” She turned her attention from the room to Tenley. “You did this all?”
Tenley nodded. “Yeah... I tried to set it up as much as I could to a real hospital but-”
“I think it looks great,” Denise stated, clearly impressed.
Tenley watched her, waiting for her to state the reason for her visit. “What’s up?”
The woman blinked back to the present. “Have you checked up on your patient?”
“I was just about to go there next,” Tenley started. “Why?”
“He’s been complaining about being laid up in bed,” she stated. “Swears that he’s able to get up.”
Tenley smirked. “Men.” Feeling the heat rise in her cheeks, afraid that she might not have been wise to say that out loud, she quickly looked at Agent Christopher, adding, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Doesn’t make it any less true,” Denise said with a chuckle. “However, best that you don’t say that too loudly next time.” Denise watched the girl nod. She added, “If you need to bring him here and restrain him, I’ll be happy to oblige.”
Levinson cracked a smile, relaxing from her earlier outburst. “I’ll take a look at him. He might just be ready to move around now.” Levinson took her leave from the room, leaving Denise behind, who was still marveling at the kid’s achievement.
A knock landed on Flynn’s door. He grimaced as he sat up on the edge of his bed, “Come in.” The door opened slowly and the young doctor poked her head in before fully opening the door to enter. “Ah, Doc. What brings you here?”
She had a disappointed look on her face when she saw him sitting up on the edge of the bed. To his surprise, she didn’t say anything about it. Instead, she asked, “How are you feeling?”
“Like a million bucks,” he groaned through gritted teeth.
She blinked at his comment. “What? Dirty money, million?” He chuckled, shifting in his place. She bent down and looked at the bandage on his side, feeling his eyes on her the entire time. She reached out and gingerly touched the skin around the bandage. “How’s it feeling?”
“It hurts,” he admitted. “I just need something for the pain.”
She glanced up at him. “You need to rest, but if you think meds are what you need, fine. I’ll be right back.”
As she started to leave the room, he asked in shock, “That’s it?” She froze and turned to look at him as he continued his questioning, “No reprimand for sitting up early? No ordering me to rest?”
Levinson released a defeated sigh. “You don’t strike me as the kind of patient who would listen to me even if I were to strap you down to the bed. Instead, I think you’re the kind of patient who thinks they know best, and there’s no reasoning with you.” She shrugged and added, “I’ve learned that with patients like you, the best way to handle it is to let them take control of their health, watch them suffer and struggle until they complain about how they’re not getting better and ask for help. Until you come to me to get better, I’m not going to bother telling you what to do.”
Flynn stood up and padded across the room towards her. He stopped a few inches shy from her. She could feel the heat that he emanated suddenly embrace her. She stared back into his gaze as he looked down at her. He studied her face for a moment before calling her bluff. “You don’t do that.”
She swallowed nervously. “You’re right. I don’t. But imagine what a difference it would make if doctors did that.” Flynn smirked. She took a step backwards towards the door. “Let’s get you some pain meds, then.”
They walked in silence down the hall towards the infirmary. When they entered, Flynn stopped only a couple of steps into the room. He had a similar reaction to the room as Agent Christopher had. He seemed shocked to see it organized in a short amount of time. The doctor didn’t waste any time settling in, he thought. He said, “You’ve been busy.”
She didn’t say anything, just nodded as she turned to the cabinets to the right of them. She opened a door and pulled out a pill bottle.
As she worked to get Flynn his pain meds, he had stepped closer to her, standing behind her, waiting silently a couple of feet away. She turned around with the pills in a small plastic cup and smacked into him.
Flynn saw the startled look on her face as she ran into him, causing her to drop the tiny cup with pills inside. He heard the cup and tablets plink off the floor. She stared at him for a moment, blinking away her embarrassment. “Sorry,” she whispered. “Didn’t realize you were right there.” She quickly bent down to the floor to search for the pills. Flynn lowered himself to his knee to help her look when she shook her head. “No, don’t,” she started. “You’re hurt, I’ll get them.”
He studied her again, ignoring her request for him to stand up. Instead, he picked up the small plastic cup and one of the tablets that were by his feet. “I’ve got one here.” He held it between his pointer finger and thumb, showing her the tablet.
“I’ve got the other,” she said, standing up again. When they were both on their feet, she handed him the other tablet in his open palm and said, “Thanks for helping.”
“Sorry for scaring you,” he joked. He popped the pills in his mouth. Before she could ask him if he wanted any water, he had swallowed them both with ease. He held out the tiny cup for her.
She gave him a half smile as she took the cup from his fingers, brushing her fingertips against his. She didn’t blink at the connection, but Flynn lingered for a moment before turning and taking his leave from the infirmary.
When he was gone from the room, Tenley watched as the door closed behind him before setting to the task of cleaning the cup and sterilizing it as best as she could with the tools she had for the next person.