Dying Young

3

Dr. Michael Wayland sat at the end of the conference table studying his son at the other end carefully; he had not meant to sound so harsh when he spoke to Jace. Michael was under enormous strain with the situation with Clary; not only had he come to think of her as a daughter over the past four years but now he was also her physician; in charge of her medical care and at times found that it was a great burden to bear. He could not count how many times he had broken down to Dr. Robert Lightwood or Dr. Stephen Herondale; what if he could not save her; what if she died just as her mother did. Dr. Wayland remembered the day Clary informed him that she had chosen him to be her surgeon; to head up her medical team, that he was the surgeon she needed

"Dr. Wayland I understand my diagnosis and there is no other surgeon I want but you" Clary pleaded with him as they stood in the conference room.

"Clary please understand I am too close to the situation; it would be unethical for me to agree to this" Michael remembered pacing around the room as the tiny redhead stood still waiting for him to continue; not once wavering in her decision

"Dr. Michael Wayland I understand that you know me outside of this practice and I know that you truly care for me; none of that matters to me, what does matter to me is that I want you to do the surgery and I want you to head up my post-operative team of physicians" Clary's voice was strong and confident as she stared him down with her piercing green eyes. Michael had stopped pacing to walk over to her; gently placing his hands on her tiny shoulders and looking her straight in the eyes as he gently replied

"Clary I do not just care for you I love you as if you were my own; I cannot take the risk with your health; please understand"

Clary stepped back quickly and balled both of her small hands in to fist as she held them by her side "Do not tell me to understand anything Michael Wayland; I out of every one around me understands perfectly well about the risk of my health; I do NOT need you to help me understand any of that" Dr. Wayland noticed that her body was shaking in that moment and she was fighting with all she had not to break down in front of him right then. Clary took a deep breath as one traitorous tear slipped down her splotched cheek; looking again at Michael with such sorrow in her beautiful green eyes

"What I do need Dr. Wayland is to know that I am still in charge of my life and that I still have the right to make decisions for myself; you know I would never beg for anything Mr. Wayland but I am begging you right now please do not take this choice away from me too; just please"

With that Michael let go of any reasoning that he had left to refuse her, as he walked over to the crumbling girl before him; taking her in his arms he gently rocked her as he whispered in her ear

"Miss Clary Fray I would be honored to be your physician" and with that Clary fell apart in his arms; Michael remembers holding her for hours as she cried; even he shed a few tears of his own.


Michael Wayland was brought back to the presence by Dr. Stephen Herondale; who had leaned over toward him, quietly speaking

"Michael I really need to be going; Will and Clary will be wondering what's taking me so long"

Michael turned to Stephen with a sad smile and nodded in understanding before taking his attention back to his son

"Jace I am sorry that I spoke to you like I did; I want to explain everything to you but I need you to know that some things will be very hard to hear" Michael patted Stephen on his shoulder as he stood to make his way toward his son.

"Stephen go check on your patient; I can handle this" Stephen looked up at Michael with a questioning look; but Michael did not acknowledge him and continued on his path toward Jace.

Dr. Stephen Herondale stood from his chair and took one last look around the conference room before turning to leave.

Michael Wayland took a seat in the chair that sat directly across from Dr. Robert Lightwood and beside his son; Jace had yet to acknowledge his father's voice, as he stared at the carpet below him.

Just as Michael opened his mouth to speak; the door to the conference room flew open causing all three men to look up


There at the doorway stood, Alec and Isabelle Lightwood; looking as if they ran the entire way to the hospital after the phone conversation with Jace.

Dr. Robert Lightwood stood slowly trying to find the right words to greet his children; however Dr. Michael Wayland quickly stepped in

"Alec and Izzy I'm glad that you are here; please come in and take a seat; we have a lot to discuss" Alec and Izzy shot Jace a worried look; Jace just nodded to them and pointed to two empty leather chairs beside their father.

Alec and Izzy cautiously walked to their seats; still having absolutely no clue what could possibly be going on. Once seated Dr. Wayland began to speak in a shaky voice

"Jace, Alex and Izzy what I have to say is going to be hurtful and may even make you angry; please just listen to everything I have to say before speaking out" Michael looked at Alec and Izzy first for their answers; the two simply nodded as they shared a nervous glance with each other.

Michael then turned to his son, Jace for his confirmation to stay quiet until he was finished; Jace sighed as he ran his hand through his hair "Yes dad; I will wait until you are finished"

Michael looked to Robert Lightwood for what almost seemed like moral support; Robert gave him an encouraging nod to continue


Dr. Wayland stood up and walked to one of the many windows in the conference room; gazing out at the darkness as he began to confess the truth to Jace, Alec and Izzy

"It was the very end of July when Clary came up to the office unannounced; I had originally thought she had come in to visit or bombard me with more questions about General Surgery; sadly it was neither. She came to ask me to do an exam on her" Michael took a breath before continuing

"Why the hell are we talking about HER" Izzy blurted out

"Shut up Izzy" Alec hissed; noticing their father's angry glare.

"Oh sorry" Izzy whispered

Michael Wayland did not acknowledge the outburst as he continued to stare into the darkness as he spoke

"Clary advised me that she found a lump; a lump in her right breast and asked that I examine her. I told her that it was probably nothing more than fibrocystic changes or possibly a fibro adenoma; these things being nothing to worry about of course. I asked if she would put on a gown and if she would mind if I asked Dr. Lightwood to join us" Michael turned from the window and walked back to seat giving Dr. Robert Lightwood a knowingly look as he continued with his story

"Clary said yes of course; saying two physicians are always better than one" Michael had a sad smile on his face as he remember that day; Clary had put on such a brave face but anyone could see that she was terrified.

"Michael is it okay if I take over for a minute" Robert Lightwood knew that Michael was beginning to have a hard time and wanted to help out in anyway he could. Michael gave Robert a smile of thanks as he rubbed his hands down his face. Robert nodded as he began to remember that day's events

"When Dr. Wayland ask that I step in with him to check Clary's breast; I quickly agreed" Robert continued

"Clary looked so small sitting on the exam table; her gown was massive on her tiny body. She was shaking like a leaf as we tried to talk her through the breast exam; brave as ever she would tell us it was okay that she had just felt a slight breeze" Robert chuckled darkly as he continued

"Dr. Wayland did the first exam not speaking when he finished; and as I began my exam I knew immediately why he kept quiet" Robert looked down at the table trying to take a moment to control his emotions before continuing

"I finished my exam and looked to Michael; we both shared the same look; something was definitely there and even though neither of us voiced it we knew it wasn't good" Robert finished his last words in a whisper. As Robert Lightwood raised his eyes to look out at the people sitting in the room with him; he saw that finally the realization of the situation was starting to set in.

Alec Lightwood had a pained expression on his face, as Izzy held one of shame and then when Robert turned to Jace; he had no words for what he saw


Jace Wayland had not cried since the day of his mother's funeral; now in that room with his friends and family, he was freely crying. Tear after tear streaked down his pale face as he tried to come to terms with what was being said; his emotions were all over the place that he couldn't begin to explain how he was feeling. Jace felt a hand touch his shoulder but he did not have the strength to see who it belonged to.

Michael Wayland watched as his son openly wept in front of all of them; he had been unsure that he had any strength left in him to finish his story but after seeing Jace he knew he had to try

"Dr. Lightwood and I stepped out of the room before speaking to Clary; we knew she probably suspected something at that point but we had no other choice; her case needed to be discussed without her being present" Michael stood and began pacing the floor to keep his mind off of what he was saying and the three youth that watched him hanging on his every word

"I made a call to the hospital's breast center and spoke with Dr. Camille Belcourt; she is the best radiologist we have and she is the head over the breast center" Michael took a breath and continued

"Dr. Belcourt advised me to send her over right away; she planned on performing an Ultrasound-guided Breast biopsy on Clary that very day; we would not have the results right away but Dr. Belcourt has a great eye and would be able to share her thoughts when she finished."

Michael stopped pacing the room; remembering how Clary reacted when he had told her she needed to see Dr. Belcourt that very day.

"Why what did you feel Dr. Wayland" Clary asked fear apparent in her eyes.

"Clary let's not get ahead of ourselves here; we just know there is a mass just as you said and we want to get it evaluated" Michael was refusing to make eye contact with Clary as he spoke knowing she was a smart girl and would figure it out

"Dr. Lightwood could you tell me your thoughts on my possible diagnosis" Clary had turned her attention to Dr. Lightwood hoping for more answers than what Dr. Wayland was willing to give.

Dr. Robert Lightwood had been standing quietly in the corner not wanting to participate in the conversation at all; when Clary spoke directly to him; he had no other choice but to answer

"Clary given your family history we have no other choice but to proceed cautiously; if you were my own I would be doing the exact same thing. Now I know that you are frightened but you must allow Dr. Wayland and I to do our job here"

It was as if Robert had triggered something in Clary after he spoke; she simply told the two physicians that she needed to get dressed; that she shouldn't keep Dr. Belcourt waiting.

"Waiting for Dr. Belcourt's call was excruciating" Michael said as he recalled sitting in the conference room along with Dr. Lightwood waiting for the call about Clary's results.

Then after an hour or so the phone rang out; Dr. Wayland answered the phone hearing Dr. Belcourt on the other end with her prognosis on Clary Fray's biopsy.


"Dr. Belcourt confirmed our worst fears; she said that it was definitely cancerous" Dr. Wayland added quietly as he pulled the chair out at the head of the table to sit down.


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