The moment Nick heard the guns go off, Walker getting a shot to the forehead and then seeing Greg fall to the ground, his heart thudded to the ground, his entire body going cold. He didn't know what to think...and then when he saw the blood pouring from the side of the kid's head, he knew...
"NO!" He ran as fast as his legs could take him until he slid to the ground next to his little brother, picking up his upper body into his lap. "Oh god...oh no. Greg! Get me a damn medic!" He started sobbing and placed his hand over the wound. The kid had been shot in the fucking head; his body was so limp, his head lolling and arms flopping. "Greg, please...please answer me!" But the blonde's eyes were closed and he wasn't breathing. "Greg!" There was so much blood and he couldn't staunch it all.
"Where is that fucking medic?!" He shouted at the top of his lungs, burning his throat. He looked back down at his little brother and ran his fingers through the curly hair with the hand that wasn't currently trying to stop the young CSI from bleeding to death.
"You gotta make it, bud. You can't leave me. You made it out...you escaped so you can't fucking give up now. Please, God, Greg don't give up on me."
All of a sudden, Greg's body was taken from him by the paramedics and when he refused to move back, Russell put a hand on his shoulder and he reluctantly obliged. They both watched in fear as they plastered bandages on the bleeding wound and wrapped thick gauze around his head to keep it tight. They also tended to his other major wounds as well; when they removed Greg's shirt, Russell sighed and Nick swore. There was a stab wound on his side along with scattered bruises, burns and cuts. His hand looked like shit and they could tell that he had been stabbed there, too.
"God," Nick shuddered. Greg had been tortured for whatever Walker and Doyle wanted. If Walker wasn't dead he would've put a round in him right now. Five minutes later, after the medics took care of the most life-threatening injuries first, they moved him onto the stretcher and then lifted it up into a gurney, wheeling him towards the awaiting medevac. Nick wasted no time following them, not wanting to lose sight of the kid in case...in case it would be the last time he ever saw him alive.
"Wait, Nick," Russell called out.
The Texan just turned around, staring at the white haired man with a 'just try and fucking stop me' look."
D.B sighed. "Keep me updated. I'll get Sara and go to the hospital when I can. I'm gonna go with Morgan in the ambulance, but then I'm going back to the lab to deal with Doyle."
Nick nodded and ran to catch up to the gurney. Seconds later, the helicopter took off from the ground, carrying a barely hanging on Greg. Russell watched anxiously, praying that he wouldn't be losing a valuable member of his team...his family.
"Jesus Christ, Greggo," Nick whispered as he looked over the CSI's battered body after the medics removed his shirt. He knew Greg was strong, but how did he survive this? He just wanted to wring his hands around Doyle- now that Walker was long gone.
"We have a male, 31 and barely stable bp 50 over palp, pulse is 48. Gunshot wound to the right mastoid, multiple contusions, possible internal damage, burns marks, and stab wound to the left abdomen and left hand. Little brain activity." The medic calmly said into the radio. "Have an emergency surgical team on standby and Dr. Pam Michaels." When he was finished, he shouted over the motor. "Get that I.V in!"
"Oh Greg," Nick whispered.
The medic put a stethoscope to Greg's bruised chest, listening intently to his almost nonexistent breathing. "Water in the lungs; possible pneumonia."
Water? Had they...had Greg been drowned? "What the hell did they do to you?" He grabbed the kid's cold, uninjured hand and squeezed it gently.
As the medics put the nasal cannula under Greg's nose, the CSI groaned weakly, his eyelids fluttering.
"Greg?" Nick sat forward. "Greg, can you hear me?"
However, when his lids opened, Nick could only see the whites of his eyes. He groaned again, but it came out more as a gurgle, blood dripped down the side of his mouth.
And then that monotone that everyone had been dreading.
Nick bowed his head, feeing sick. "Oh god. Greg, come on buddy. Don't give up on me here."
"Kathy, start on CPR and I'll get the paddles ready."
Kathy nodded and leaned over Greg and Nick watched fearfully, still having a death grip on the kid's hand, as she started compressions and hearing the sickening crack of Greg's ribs. When she finished, she placed an ambu-bag over his mouth and began pumping oxygen into Greg's lungs.
"Anything?" Mark, the other medic questioned.
"Still no pulse."
"Alright, charging to 200. Sir, you're gonna have to let go of his hand."
It took a second for Nick to realize that Mark was talking to him and he unhappily let go of his little brother's hand, watching it fall limp to the side.
"Clear?" Mark shouted.
The paddles were brought down on Greg's chest and Nick heard a thump, watching as the young CSI's body jerked.
Nick choked, his heart was pounding and he nearly felt petrified.
Mark inhaled. "Again. Charge to 400."
Mark glanced up to Nick with an expression of defeat. It really wasn't looking good. The Texan shivered as silent sobs wracked his frame. He couldn't lose his little brother. Not when they just found him. His blood was starting to run cold as he nodded to man. "Keep going."
Mark tried again and again and again, but the tone was still buzzing in their ears.
Kathy shook her head after Greg went down for the sixth time. "It's been nearly eight minutes," she said.
Nick frowned. Had it really? It only felt like two. Time must go by fast when your best friend is between life and death.
"Should we call it?"
Nick's rage shot up. "What!? No! Don't you dare stop, you can't give up!"
The medics looked at each other before Mark gave the woman a nod. "Start CPR again."
Kathy started compressions again and Nick swallowed thickly. "Greg! Come on, please don't do this. I can't lose you, buddy." He grabbed the man's hand again and brought Greg's fingers to his chin, his bottom lip quivering. "G-Greggo..."
Another two minutes went by and Kathy wiped the sweat from her forehead. They were getting nowhere. The kid was still dead. And then it came to her. She stuck out her hand towards Mark.
"Give me an amp of inter-cardiac epi!"
Mark's eyes widened and he quickly filled a syringe before passing it to Kathy. Nick watched in in silence as Kathy pressed two of her fingers over Greg's breast- right over his heart- before bringing the needle down and stabbed it into his chest. Not even seconds later, Greg inhaled hungrily, shooting up from the gurney, his eyes as wide as saucers. He slowly receded back down, eyes fluttering close and chest heaving
"He's back," Mark breathed in relief.
"Okay we're almost at the hospital; let's stabilize him..."
The rest of Kathy's words faded out as Nick let out a weak laugh. He looked at the steadily beeping heart monitor and then back down at Greg who was trying to get his breathing back to normal. "You're doing good, G. Just keep breathing. Don't quit now." He rubbed the blonde's hand with both of his, trying to warm it up a little. "Just keep breathing." Greg was okay...they got him back. But Nick gulped nervously. How long would that last? How much longer would it be until he lost his little brother again...for good this time?
The second they touched the helipad, they were met by a doctor and a bunch of nurse's wheeling an empty transport stretcher towards them.
"What do we got!?" Dr. Michaels shouted over the helicopter's loud blades as Greg was lifted and put onto the awaiting gurney.
"Gregory Sanders, 31! We tried to resuscitate him for ten minutes until we got him back! He's falling into hypotension and his heart rate is below 40! He's in critical condition and it's possible he might not make it!"
"Oh God," Nick's heart when he heard this. He jumped out of the helicopter, refusing to let go of Greg's hand. "Greg, just hang on, buddy, okay!?"
"Throat is inflamed," Dr. Michaels said as she shone a small penlight in Greg's mouth before placing an oxygen mask over his face. She lifted up his eyelids and Nick noticed that the whites of Greg's eyes were still existent. It scared him; he wondered if he'd ever see the kid's bright brown eyes again.
The doctor placed a hand on Greg's sweaty forehead as they stepped into the large elevator. "Definitely a fever from the infected wounds, probably about 103. We'll know more when we get him hooked up to the monitors."
"Blood pressure is dropping, doctor!"
"Give him a dose of midodrine," she said, looking at her watch. The kid was declining fast and she didn't want to be wasting any time.
Nick pursed his lips, breathing through his nose as he squatted down next to Greg's ear, stroking the man's knuckles with his thumb. "Hey. You listen to me, Greg and listen to me good. I know you can hear me. You gotta fight, kiddo. I love you like a brother and Morgan...she loves you man. You are so brave; the best CSI that has ever worked in this lab and without you...I don't know what I'd do. You have to push through this, Greg."
The elevator dinged and the doors opened. Nick stood up straight and continued to follow them down the hall. "It's gonna be okay, Greg. You're gonna be alright. Just hang in there, buddy. Fight for me and fight for Morgan. Don't let Walker win."
They reached the doors to the operation wing and one of the nurses stopped and kept Nick back, causing Greg's hand to slip from the Texan's. He looked over her, watching Greg being wheeled down the hall and disappearing around the corner.
"I'm sorry, sir, but this area is for personnel only."
"Someone will come out with information shortly."
Before Nick could say another word, she followed the rest of the group down the hall, leaving him alone with his thoughts and fears. Tears brimmed his eyes as he let out a deep breath, one hand on his hip and the other running through his short spikes. Greg was gonna be okay...he just had to be.
Half an hour later, Russell, Ecklie and Sara burst into the emergency waiting room and searched the area for Nick, finding him sitting all the way in the back, his head resting on his knees. Ecklie went to the nurse's station, trying to get some information on his Morgan, who had been brought in ten minutes after Greg.
"Nick!" Sara exclaimed as they ran over...and when they saw him, they knew it had been a bad ride over. His face was sheet white and his eyes were red rimmed and haunted.
"What happened?" Russell questioned as he sat down next to the Texan, placing a hand on his back.
"It was really bad, D.B," Nick shuddered. His face was wet with tears and Russell wondered what the hell went on, on the helicopter. "He...He was dead for ten minutes...they almost...couldn't get him back and they were...they were about to call it. God...and his eyes. They've been rolled into the back of his head since we took off." He looked up at the older man, anguish on his features. "They said he might not make it, Russ. What if he doesn't make it?"
"He's gonna make it, kid. Greg's not a quitter, you know that. He'll fight to the death; you gotta believe that, okay?"
Nick swallowed and nodded. He was still feeling cold like ice water had been poured into his body. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to make the nausea pass.
"Nick, why don't you go clean up. I brought you some extra clothes I got from your locker," Sara said. The man looked horrible; his face was pale and when she cupped it, she didn't like how cold his skin was. "Nick?"
"Huh?" He glanced up, unsure of what she had told him.
"I said you should go clean up; you have...you have a lot of blood on your hands and clothes."
Nick frowned and stared down at his trembling hands. They were, indeed, covered in dried blood...Greg's blood. And his clothes were no better. Suddenly, he felt bile creep up his throat and he bolted to the nearest trash can, puking out his guts. Greg had lost so much blood, had so many wounds and now, every time he closed his eyes, that's all he was going to see. Greg dying, Greg bleeding to death, Greg's tortured body no longer breathing. He felt someone rubbing his back and he stayed hunched over the can, sobbing.
"It'll be okay, Nicky," Russell comforted. "Everything will be okay." Hopefully.
"Family for Morgan Brody?"
Ecklie stood up quickly and waved Morgan's doctor over. "I'm her father, is she okay?"
The team looked at the man eagerly, but Nick was barely listening; as much as he loved his surrogate little sister, he wanted to know about Greg's condition more than hers.
"I'm Dr. Kelvin," he said shaking hands with the sheriff. "Ms. Brody is going to be fine."
They all let out a relieved sigh.
"She obtained a moderate concussion and a displaced fracture of the elbow. She underwent surgery and we've managed to set it back and she'll have to wear a cast for at least four to six weeks. Other than that, she had some shallow cuts and bruises on her arms and neck, but nothing was infected. We're pumping her full of antibiotics and she's currently under anesthesia at the moment, but she should wake up within the half hour or so."
"Can I see her?" Ecklie asked tiredly. He had come back from a worker's retreat the other night- which meant no cellphones- only to hear the bad news that his daughter and Sanders had been kidnapped. Even though he was freaking out inside- and out- he knew Morgan would be safe because of Greg. He would do anything to keep her our of harm's way...maybe he should be more lenient about letting them date. If that even happens at all; he heard that the kid was in very bad shape and he knew that if he didn't make it, Morgan would be devastated.
"Of course. Right this way, sir."
"Wait!" Nick stopped them, shooting up from the chair. "W-What about...what about Greg Sanders?"
"Unfortunately, I'm not his doctor so I wouldn't be able to tell you, but I can find someone as soon as possible, if you'd like."
Nick nodded hastily. "Yes...please. Thank you."
With that, Dr. Kelvin nodded and led Ecklie down the hallway to Morgan's room. Sara followed and Russell was about to when he noticed Nick sat back down. "You comin'?"
"M-Maybe later. I need to know if Greg's okay."
Russell sighed. "Are you gonna be okay?"
Nick rubbed his sore, red eyes. He had no more tears left. "No. I probably never will be even when Greg's back on his feet. Seeing him like that...on the helicopter and when he got shot down...it's something that's forever burned in my mind. That is something that no one could ever forget after they witness a thing like that. There was so much blood and then he wasn't breathing and-" he started to get worked up and Russell placed a hand on the Texan's shoulder.
"Hey. Nick calm down. He's safe now and he's in the best hands he could possibly be in. Once you see that he's okay and he's back to his old self, the memory will fade."
Nick took a deep breath and closed his eyes, rubbing the stubble that had appeared during the past few days. "You're right...he'll be okay."
"Alright. Do you want me to stay here?"
Nick gave the older man a weak smile and shook his head. "Nah, I'll be fine."
Russell was skeptical, but the man was under a lot of stress right now and he wasn't gonna push him. "Okay. Give me a shout when you hear something."
He just nodded and watched as the supervisor went to catch up to Sara. When he was gone, Nick sagged and put his face in his hands as he recalled D.B's words. "He's safe now and he's in the best hands he could possibly be in. Once you see that he's okay and he's back to his old self, the memory will fade." He could hardly believe them. He wasn't in the best hands, for one. He wasn't in his big brother's hands. And two, Nick had a feeling that Greg would never be back to his old self...not completely anyways. Whatever happened in that cabin would probably traumatize both him and Morgan for life.
Morgan opened her eyes and looked up at the ceiling with a deep frown. She sat up and glanced around, realizing she was at the lab, lying on the couch in the break room. It was cold and the color of everything was a dreary gray.
"Hello?" Her voice echoed. She pushed herself up and hugged her body. "Nick? Russell?" Where was everybody? "G-Greg?" She walked down the hallway, looking into each room to find that they were all empty. "Dad?" She was getting worried and scared. Something was wrong. Morgan turned the corner, going down to autopsy when she heard a deafening clang, causing her to jump. As she walked, she could only hear the sound of her harsh breathing and the hum of the ceiling lights. When she turned into the room, she gulped. There were the regular rows of metal slabs for Doc's cadavers, all empty, but at the last one she noticed someone was occupying it, a white sheet covering the body. She let out a breath, it being so cold she could see it in the air. Morgan slowly walked over, hands trembling violently, afraid of what or who she might see. Her heart thudded against her chest and it seemed to beat loudly throughout the whole room. She reached out and carefully lifted the sheet back...and the second the blonde saw the person's face, she gasped, her hand flying to her mouth and tears brimming her eyes.
"NO!" It was Greg. The man she loved was lying dead on a metal table. His face was sickly gray except for the dark bruises shadowing his face. She pulled the blanket down further and saw more bruises...and burns...and...the stab wound in his side and hand. She went around to the other side and her knees almost went weak. There was so much blood caking the side of his head and blonde hair. And underneath all that blood was a bullet hole.
"Oh god. G-Greg?" What was she thinking? He obviously couldn't hear her. She grabbed his cold, lifeless hand and brought it to her lips, her vision blurred by the tears. "Greg I'm..." her chin trembled. "Greg I'm s-so sorry. This is...this is all my fault. You shouldn't be dead...I l-love you." And she knew she would never be able to say that to Greg face to face. She had ruined her chances. She remembered...when they were running for their lives that she had kissed him. She had always imagined kissing the man- under better circumstances- but it felt...right. Now it was too late. That's when she broke down, letting go of Greg's hand and falling to the floor, sobs wracking her body. "Please don't leave me Greg."
"It's too late now," a deep voice suddenly said and Morgan looked up to see Walker towering over her.
"Please...just...just kill me already." Morgan whispered when she saw the gun in his hand. She didn't care if he killed her; she didn't think she could go on without Greg.
"Your wish is my command, sweetheart." He cocked the gun and pointed it at Morgan's forehead.
The blonde sniffed and closed her eyes, bowing her head.
"Say hello to your boyfriend for me." With that, he pulled the trigger and the gun went off.
"Greg!" She jerked up from her position, breathing heavily and her heart pounding. She felt hands on her shoulders and she tried to push away from them, believing that she and Greg were still in Walker's captivity.
"Morgan! M! M, you're okay! It's your dad, open your eyes. You're safe now."
The blonde blinked open her eyes and saw Ecklie in front of her. And when she looked around, she noticed she was in a hospital room, feeling a nasal cannula under her nose and a cast on her arm. They had escaped?
She started crying, flinging her arms around her father's neck and digging her face into his shoulder.
"You're okay, M. I got you; you're safe now," he soothed, rubbing circles on her back.
After a few moments, Morgan pulled away, wiping her eyes. "W-Walker...is he..."
"He's dead," Russell said as he stepped into the room with Sara, a sad smile on his face. "I killed him. You and Greg are gonna be-"
"Greg? Oh my god..." she prayed that dream wasn't real. She looked up at them with big blue eyes. "Is he...he's not..." the CSI couldn't bring herself to say it. When Russell and Sara shared a wary look, she had to assume the worse. "No..."
"We don't know his condition, Morgan. What do you remember?" Sara said sitting on the other side of the bed.
The blonde wiped her nose. "I...I remember seeing him fall. I heard a gunshot and before...before I passed out I saw him fall to the ground. Do you know if he's gonna be okay?"
Russell sighed. "Nick went with him in the helicopter...do you want the sugarcoated version or-"
"Tell me the truth...I have to know."
"Greg died...for a significantly long time. The paramedics weren't able to get him back for ten minutes. They did get him back, but nobody is sure what's gonna happen."
"It's my fault," she cried. "Greg might die because of me."
All three of the CSI's frowned and Sara glanced at Ecklie and Russell until they got the hint.
They silently left and Sara sat on the bed, resting her arm on the woman's arm. "What's the matter? What do you mean it's your fault?"
Morgan looked up tearfully. "None of this would've happened if I had just waited for back-up. T-They weren't there when...when Greg and I got to the scene and we just went in. I should've s-said something. And then...in the house, I let my guard down...I never should've let my guard down since back-up wasn't there with us. I could feel it, too. Something wasn't right when we got in there."
Sara stared at her friend sadly. "You couldn't have known. Neither of you couldn't have."
Morgan laughed humorlessly. "He wouldn't let them hurt me."
"Greg he...he kept getting hurt for me. He kept sacrificing himself for me. Why would he do that, Sara? Didn't he know how dangerous they were? T-They nearly killed him, tortured him for almost an hour. I could hear his screams through the walls...and I couldn't do anything about it. And when we were running, he fell and couldn't breathe. He told me to leave him...like he wanted to die. Why the hell would he do that?"
Sara smiled feebly. "That's Greg for you."
"He's really a gentleman...especially when it come to taking care of other people. He's too nice for his own good and such a selfless man. I don't know if he told you he was beat up about six years ago?"
Morgan nodded. "Y-Yeah, he told me."
"It was horrible. I cried after he passed out in the ambulance. But it was what he said that made my heart break. He cared more about the evidence than about himself. He was so calm, but I knew on the inside that he was freaking out...in so much pain. I remember him saying to process the scene and help him later...of course I was never gonna do that."
Morgan just listened quietly and Sara continued with a chuckle. "You know...it was so long ago, but Greg used to have this huge crush on me. It was sweet, he even asked me to dinner."
Morgan smiled a little bit.
"Anyways, what I'm saying is now...I kinda wish I gave him a chance. But it's your turn now; you clearly both have feelings for each other. You guys suck at hiding it, too. I've seen the way you look at him sometimes when he's not looking and the same thing with him. It's amusing actually. Don't tell anyone I told you this but...the lab started a pool a month back about when you guys would finally get together."
"What?" Morgan's eyebrow raised and she laughed, rolling her eyes. "You guys are ridiculous." She wiped her eyes and took a deep breath, sobering up again. "You know...when we were running, after he fell and told me to keep going...he said he loved me. At first, I didn't know what to say and then I couldn't help myself...w-we kissed."
Sara gasped. "You did?"
"Well, me more than him," she laughed. "I think he was shock, to tell you the truth. I was about to say that I loved him, too, but we were kinda running for our lives. If he..." she closed her eyes for a second, swallowing. "If he dies without knowing that I do love him, I'll never forgive myself; I'll live the rest of my life wondering 'what if' and why I waited so long to tell him how I felt."
Sara pursed her lips and grabbed Morgan's hand in both of hers. "Listen to me; he will not die. Greg is a fighter. He's not gonna leave you or any of us, okay? He's too stubborn."
Morgan let out a shaky breath and nodded. "Okay." She began to grow tired and her eyes drooped, slowly slumping back into the pillows. But she didn't want to sleep, she wanted to wait for information on Greg.
"Don't worry, I'll wake you up when there's news," Sara smiled, seemingly reading her mind.
"Thanks," Morgan whispered before finally drifting off to sleep.
When Sara figured the blonde was out, she exhaled, rubbing her forehead. Poor woman. Yes, she believed her own words when she said Greg was gonna be okay but even if he did live, would he ever be the same? He was shot in the head for godsakes! The questions would buzz in her mind and worry her until they knew for sure. But Morgan didn't need to know about her doubts right now; she was already under a lot of stress already and she didn't need to make it worse. She looked at her watch, realizing it was on hour two with nothing on the older CSI. Please be okay, Greg...don't give up now.