It's been hours. Hours since he let go of her hand, hours since he has seen her face, hours since he washed her blood off his hands, hours since he tumbled into the ambulance beside her, hours since she was laid out dying beneath him on the bright green grass, hours since he first told her he loves her, hours since the bullet ripped through her skin and their lives changed forever.
He sits by her bedside endlessly. Waiting and hoping for a twitch, a sign, anything that will let him know she will be okay. But she is frozen in time. Her dark hair spread out under her head a sharp contrast to the unusual paleness of her skin and the stark white hospital sheets.
She doesn't even look like Kate, not his Kate. The mere sight of her after the almost five hour surgery was heart stopping, she was just a shell of the maddening, challenging, frustrating person he had ever met.
He would give anything for just one more eye roll, one more smart comment, one more eyebrow quirk, one more of her shy smiles, anything. He would wait another hundred years to hold her in his arms if she would just open her eyes.
Everyone is down the hall waiting for news. Her father had been in earlier, but the sight of his daughter wasting away was just too much. Rick volunteered whole heartedly to be with her. Lanie, Espo, Jenny and Ryan, Alexis, and Martha were all huddled in the ICU waiting room.
There wasn't a lot of information. The doctors had revealed the internal damage, however, the extent of her injuries had yet to be seen. They would have more answers if, no when, she woke up.
The bullet had struck low. Too low. Ripping through her stomach. Twenty- five feet less distance between her and the shooter and the bullet would have ripped through her spine. They removed the bullet and all of the fragments. They been able to repair the various organs that had been nicked and put everything back together again. The danger now was how much affect the bullet and surgery had had on her spine. Judging by the look on the surgeon's exhausted face, it didn't look good.
He didn't care. He didn't care about anything but seeing the gorgeous green-brown eyes open again.
She was covered in wires and tubes. One breathing for her, one draining an unidentified liquid from her spine, one comforting him with the constant beating of her heart, one keeping a constant stream of drugs into her system, and too many others to name. The only unaffected piece of her was her left hand. That hand became his lifeline. He held onto it as if his life depended on it, to be honest he wasn't completely certain that it didn't.
He had never felt this helpless in all of his life. There was absolutely nothing he could do for her, no amount of money or connection could help her now. So he sat by her side and begged her to fight, begged her to hold on for him, to open her eyes for him, because he loved her. He loved her.
It had come spilling out of his heart as she closed her eyes on the too bright grass. Now that he had gotten it out there was no way he was going to be able to stop. He loved her. Always.
It had been three days. Three of the longest days of his life. Three days of silence. Three days before it all exploded.
He had dozed off when it happened. His head resting next to their twined fingers on the bed. He hadn't slept, really slept, since she was shot. His mother and Alexis had brought him some things from home. He just couldn't bear to leave her.
He had just let himself slip under when the alarms went off, literally. Her hand twitched slightly, but he chalked it up to no sleep and wishful thinking. Not three minutes later the room erupted. Four machines all blaring at once. He whipped his head up to see a wild eyed, thrashing Kate Beckett. She was terrified and confused and in pain. His heart broke for the millionth time in the last three days.
The nurses rushed in with the doctors on their heels. The alarms were still screaming and the attending doctors yelled codes and orders above them. He tried to get to her. To grab hold of her hand again, to comfort her. Run her fingers through her hair and tell her she would be okay, to tell her that he was there and they would be okay. But he was just pushed farther away. He tried to break into the hustle around her bed, but before he knew it he was being pushed out the door. It slammed in his face before he could even utter her name.
Again he was helpless. But she was awake and that was the best thing that had happened in the last three days, longer than that really. His emotions were all out of whack and all he wanted to do was run into her room, take her into his arms, and take all her pain away. He was exhausted and relieved and worried and he finally gave in to everything he was feeling. He slid down the wall and finally broke down. Finally allowed himself to feel everything that he had been trying to hold back.
Sobbing into his knees he didn't even register her room door opening and all of the doctors filing out.
He found Jim after the embarrassingly long time it took him to pull himself together. His heart stopped when he walked into her room and found it empty except for Jim Beckett slumped over in a chair with his head in his hands. The gasp caused the older man to look up and see the terrified man in the doorway.
"No, no. Relax Rick. She's alright… well she will be." He didn't sound too convinced but Rick breathed a sigh of relief anyway. "They just took her down for some extended tests."
"She was lucky she didn't hurt herself anymore when she woke up. Luckily, they got her sedated and resting peacefully after only a few minutes. They took her breathing tube out and removed some of the wires now that they know she can breathe on her own. They assured me that it's a step in the right direction, but they really don't have anything more to report. I guess we'll know more when they get back." He was rambling, the calm, cool, and collected Jim Beckett was a mess. It put Rick on edge and he could tell that there was more Jim was choosing not to say.
"That's good to hear." Rick was surprised that his voice was anything other than a squeak.
"Pull up a seat, son." Rick pulled a seat from the other side of the room and came to sit beside the older man. "There's one more thing I think you should know…"Jim took a deep breath before breathing out the four words they had all been afraid of "she can't move her legs."