PATRICK JANE'S DAUGHTER

CHAPTER 18

(Greer's POV)

Greer had a strange feeling. It wasn't as if she was feeling sick or anything.. but she had this tightening in her chest. She had noticed how worried Teresa had been about her father, and it was starting to bother her. She hadn't heard from either of them since Teresa had come to visit. Usually he would call, to say goodnight, but tonight, there was nothing.

She turned over and looked at the clock. 4am.

What if something had happened? What if there was something wrong with Patrick? Or Teresa had had an accident on her way?

She sighed in frustration.

Greer grabbed her phone, making to call Teresa, but stopped. Any sane person would be asleep right now.. and besides… she was probably worrying about nothing… right?

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

(Lisbon's POV)

Lisbon was sitting in the waiting room of the emergency department. Waiting for the EMT's to arrive had been one of the worse things she had ever had to do. Jane still hadn't gained consciousness in the ambulance, and she hadn't heard anything since she had been carted off by a nurse to a waiting room. The nurse had returned with a blanket, noticing she was still in her pyjamas. That was nearly an hour ago, and Lisbon was starting to go insane from the waiting. She was usually a very patient person, but today… not so much.

She couldn't stop thinking the worst. What if he died? What if something was seriously wrong? She couldn't bear to lose him, not after she had only just admitted to herself that she loved him… she wished she had told him now. She was scared she would never get a chance to.

He had just looked so ill. The last time she saw someone throwing up blood, ended up having lung cancer… but Jane couldn't have lung cancer.. he had been complaining of abdominal pain, not chest pain. This was just a virus gone wrong. It had to be…

Lisbon was brought out of her thoughts by a middle aged man in a lab coat entering the room.

"Are you here for Mr Jane?"

Lisbon got to her feet in a rush.

"I'm Doctor Wynters." He said extending his hand.

"Teresa Lisbon." She didn't bother with the agent formalities, but shook the doctors hand politely.

"How is he?"

"He's awake now."

Lisbon nodded, wrapping her arms around herself. Now that she knew he was alive, she felt the exhaustion take over her like she had been hit by a bus.

The doctor, noticing her discomfort, motioned to a seat. They both sat down.

"What's wrong with him?"

The doctor opened Jane's file.

"We believe he has acute Gastritis." The doctor took note of Lisbon's confused face and continued. "Gastritis is when the stomach lining is inflamed or swollen. This is most commonly caused by extreme stress, or a bacterial infection."

Lisbon nodded, waiting for the doctor to continue.

"Has Mr Jane been under any extra stress lately?"

Lisbon almost laughed. Lately? Try the last eight or nine years. He hadn't had a break from stress, and then finding about Greer… Lisbon realised the news had driven him over the edge.

"He found out about a week ago that his daughter is dying of cancer." She didn't bother with the rest of it, no point completely spelling out his life to a stranger.

The doctor just nodded sadly.

"When he arrived here his fever had spiked to 104.4 so we've got him on a saline drip to rehydrate him, as well as regular courses of Paracetamol to try to lower his fever."

"Why did he lose consciousness for so long?"

Lisbon had been around people that have passed out, but they always woke up after a couple of minutes, or they were somewhat responsive. Jane wasn't.

"He could have passed out from a number of reasons; his fever, dehydration, lack of nutrients, loss of blood… or even just extreme exhaustion."

Lisbon nodded. This was a lot to take in, in such a short period of time.

"When can I see him?"

"I have a nurse running some tests right now, but she can come and get you when she's finished."

"Thank you." Lisbon was on the verge of tears.

The doctor placed a comforting hand on her arm.

"I'll come and check on the both of you, once we know the results."

Lisbon shook the doctors hand again and then he left, and she was alone… again.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

About ten years later (ten minutes), the nurse walked in to find a very disgruntled Lisbon, pacing around the room.

"Miss Lisbon?"

Lisbon looked up and sighed with relief.

"Oh.. thank god. I've been going crazy!"

The nurse smiled kindly.

"I'm Jessie, Patrick's nurse. He's been asking for you."

"Really?" Lisbon asked in disbelief.

"More like demanding." Jessie laughed.

Lisbon smiled.

"Can I see him?"

"Of course, this way." She motioned down the corridor.

"He's been moved to a private room, but I must warn you, he's still in a bad way."

Lisbon felt her heart sink.

"What do you mean by that?" Was it possible that she had been lead into a false sense of security and he still wasn't out of the woods? Shit.. she really should have asked the doctor more questions about his condition.

"His temperature is still very high, and he still hasn't managed to last longer than 20 minutes without vomiting. Usually we wouldn't let you in yet, but it seems to be distressing him more with you not being there.

Lisbon merely nodded in response.

When they reached his room, the nurse spoke again.

"I'll leave you two alone for a while, but if you need anything, just press the buzzer and someone will come. I'll be back to check on Mr Jane in ten minutes."

Lisbon gave the girl a small smile.

"Thank you Jessie."

Jessie smiled back, and left to check on another patient.

Lisbon stood outside his room for a while longer, hiding behind the wall as his door had to be kept open. She had been so anxious to see him only moments ago, but now she was scared. She had no idea what she was going to find when she opened the door. She hated the unknown.

But Jane needed her, and on top of her fears, she knew she needed to see him, to know he was alive.

With a rush of courage, she moved from her hiding spot, and entered his room.

The first thing she noticed was how pale he was. It was almost as if his skin blended into the white of the bed sheets. He had an IV line in his left arm, that lead up to a drip containing a clear solution. On his tray table, he had an emesis basin and water pitcher. He was lying awkwardly, with his arms wrapped around his stomach. His eyes were closed and he still hadn't noticed her standing there.

The first thing she thought of, after taking in her surroundings was that he looked like death. If it wasn't for the small regular beep being emitted from the machine, she would have thought he was dead.

Tentatively, she walked over and sat by his bed. At the sound of her footsteps, he opened his eyes and looked at her. Seeing that it was Lisbon, and not another nurse, he let out a small smile.

"Hey" he cracked.

Lisbon felt her eyes fill with tears.

"Hey." She reached out and grabbed his hand, careful not to hurt his injured knuckle.

"How are you feeling?" It was a stupid question, but she didn't know what else to say.

He smiled though, touched at how much she really did care for him.

"I'm ok."

"Jane." She gave him a knowing look.

"Well, I will be ok."

"The doctors say you have Gastritis… they said it was caused from extreme stress."

Jane looked guiltily at her.

"I'm sorry Lisbon."

Lisbon looked at him, completely taken aback.

"You have nothing to be sorry for!"

"Yes I do." He paused, shifting slowly so he was sitting up a little more. "If I hadn't have snapped at you the other day, I wouldn't have worked myself up so much. You calm me down, you make me feel safe… and I didn't want any of that. I wanted to feel miserable, I felt I deserved it… and getting you away from me was the only way that was going to happen."

Lisbon rubbed his palm with the padding on her thumb.

"And now?"

She couldn't look him in the eye.

"It was the stupidest thing I've ever done, Teresa."

Lisbon looked up at the sound of her first name.

"Now I'm trapped in Malibu hospital, I can't see Greer, I feel horrible… and to be honest, I hate seeing you look so hurt… and knowing that I'm causing that hurt."

Lisbon reached out and cupped the side of his face, noticing how hot his skin felt.

"I will always be here for you Patrick. Just don't push me away again."

"Ok."

"Promise?"

He nodded.

Lisbon watched as Jane's face winced in pain. He brought his hand down to his stomach and struggled to sit up.

"Lisbon… I'm sorry… please… the basin."

Lisbon thrust the basin under his chin and helped support him up as another bound of painful heaves, took a hold of his body.

He finished throwing up moments later. He wasn't really bringing much up, just dry heaving in painful bursts.

Lisbon took the basin, emptied it and placed it back on the table. She took a cloth and wiped his mouth. As she was filling a cup from the water pitcher, Jane started to protest.

"Lisbon, you don't have to that." He eased himself back into the pillows.

"Now Jane… the last time I let you get your way, you ended up unconscious. I'm here… so let me look after you… I need you to be ok."

Jane nodded slowly, realization hitting him like a ton of bricks… she loved him back. He let Lisbon shove the straw into his mouth, he took a couple of pulls, but didn't really want anything in his stomach.

Besides… here was his less wet opportunity…

"Lisbon… Teresa…" she had moved, and was now sponging his forehead with a damp cloth. The cold water felt like heaven on his heated skin. Wait.. he was getting sidetracked…

He reached out and gently turned her face so she was looking at him in the eye.

"I've never met someone like you before. You're like dynamite in the field, ready to blow up on anyone who deserves it… and then.. out of the blue I see another side of you… this caring, soft amazing side that I always knew was there, but never thought I'd see. Teresa… I think I'm falling in love with you."

Jane watched as so many different emotions darted across her face; confusion, questioning, excitement, and then finally settling on a soft smile.

"I love you too." She bent over and kissed his forehead. A smirk played on her lips. "But I don't love you enough to kiss you on the lips when you've been vomiting all night."

He smiled sheepishly at her.

She brushed his curls out of his face.

"I guess we can add lovesick to the list… seeing as man-flu actually seemed to be a symptom."

Jane opened his mouth, as if to say something, but thought better of it.

"Well, you ended up in the hospital…"

"Haha Lisbon… but I said intensive care…"

Lisbon looked sternly at him.

"Yes… you did, but don't you go getting worse and ending up in the ICU, just to prove a point."

Jane made a cross over his heart.

Lisbon giggled. Even when he was feeling so sick, he could still manage to make her laugh. He really was incredible.

"When did you know?" Jane asked.

Lisbon, who caught on straight away, answered immediately.

"Now that I think about it, I think I always have loved you… but the first time I actually realized it was last night… halfway between Sacramento and Malibu."

Jane smiled at this.

"I've loved you from the moment I first laid eyes on you… but the love changed over the years… I too, came to the realization last night… just after I had thrown up the first time."

Lisbon chuckled.

"Wow, that's romantic. Standing in the freezing cold after you were just sick and suddenly you fall in love with me?"

Jane smiled and shook his head.

"No it was when I realized you would do anything for me, and I you."

Lisbon felt her heart swell with happiness. She hadn't felt this great since she had been promoted to head of the unit, and even now, comparing the two feelings, she felt on top of the world.

She brought his hand up to her mouth, and planted a sweet kiss on his knuckles.

"Lisbon… I know you said you wouldn't kiss me.. but would you lie with me? You really helped last night." His request was almost shy and Lisbon found it kind of endearing.

"Of course Jane."

She placed the cool cloth on his forehead, before she moved around to the right side of the bed and sat down. She waited for Jane to shift over, before she lay beside him. He snuggled into her almost immediately after she wrapped her arms around him. He reached up, pulling her right hand down to his stomach.

She giggled at his abruptness, but complied all the same, by rubbing small circles through his hospital gown.

After a few moments, she felt him relax against her.

"Better?"

"Much." he sighed into her chest.

"Lisbon, I…"

"Shh… Jane… just try to relax."

"Mmmmph.. ok"

He had to be exhausted and his unintelligible answer proved that.

Only moments later, Lisbon heard a soft snore come from Jane's mouth. Lisbon looked down, to see he had in fact fallen asleep in her arms again. Considering the circumstances, Lisbon couldn't help but feel a little blessed. It was so ironic that so many bad things had lead her to this moment… Jane's family's horrible murder, had brought them together in the first place. Greer showing up in their lives, and then them finding out about her cancer, that had caused them to come together in ways that were almost impossible to explain. And now… with him lying in her arms in a hospital bed… his illness had caused them both to admit their love for each other… Lisbon felt like she was in a fairy tale. He would be her happily ever after. They still had a tough road ahead, with Jane getting better and with Greer…

Lisbon felt her heart sink. The poor girl didn't have long… it almost seemed as if this tragedy would never end.

But one mustn't think that way. No, Lisbon needed to think positive, and keep an open mind. It was the only way either of them were going to survive this. Lisbon felt her own exhaustion wash over her. The night had been so long. It would be a night that she would much rather forget, but also a night she would cherish forever. Her and Jane had fallen in love. She smiled happily and closed her eyes.

Slowly, but surely, Jane's rhythmic snores lullabied Lisbon into her own sleep.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

(Jessie's POV)

Just under five minutes later, Jessie poked her head around the corner. She smiled at the sleeping couple on the bed, it really made the job worthwhile, seeing scenes like this. It wasn't against hospital protocol to let them sleep like that, but it was highly frowned upon. The nurse shrugged. They had been trying to get Mr Jane to calm down since he had arrived, the extra stress wasn't going to help his condition at all… and it seemed that five minutes alone with Miss Lisbon, and she could calm him to sleep.

No drug is more powerful, than being taken care of by the person you love.

She silently walked into his room and took his vitals down from the monitor. She turned the volume down on the thermometer (so it wouldn't beep in his ear and wake him) and softly stuck the device in his ear.

"Hmmm…" Jessie whispered at the reading. "103.6… still too high Mr Jane." She made a note on his chart to raise his Paracetamol dosage.

She rinsed the cloth under the tap and placed it gently, back on Jane's forehead.

She left the room with a satisfied smile. It wasn't every day she managed to take a patient's vitals without waking them.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

(Greer's POV)

8:06.

Greer had lay awake all night worrying. She still hadn't heard anything and it had taken all of her willpower not to make the call. She had made a deal with herself, that once the clock reached 8:09, she would try her father's cell. If he didn't pick up, then at 8:13, she would call Teresa.

She had busied herself by counting the seconds. She thought to herself, if she counted to 180, then the three minutes would be up and she would be able to call Patrick.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12…..

Ugh! This hospital really was wearing her patients thin. If it wasn't for her being stuck in hospital, she could go and find them… if she wasn't in hospital in general… they wouldn't be gone at all.

8:07.

Her mother had left last night. Gone to find a "real" motel. Said that the hospital motels weren't adequate enough for her standards. Greer was used to her mother's childish behavior. She had known her whole life that the most important person in her mother's world, was Tracy. No matter what Greer did, she could never seem to please her. Nothing was ever good enough. Then she was diagnosed with cancer and all of thathad to change. It wasn't like her mother liked it. It was just what had to happen. Greer had grown to know and love the staff in the Oncology Ward, at the hospital in Michigan. They were there for her more than anyone.

At the start her friends had been there, but as she had gotten sicker and lost her hair, she had urged them to stay away, to get on with their lives. They had refused, of course, but Greer was adamant she didn't want to bring them down with her. She wanted them to live their lives to the full, without always having to worry about if… or when she was going to die.

Greer turned and looked at her clock again. 8:09.

She let out a sigh of relief and grabbed her cell phone. Just as she was about to dial Patrick's number, her phone started ringing.

Caller ID: Teresa Lisbon.

Greer stared at her phone in disbelief.

"Huh… 8:09…"

She answered the phone quickly.

"Hello?"

"Hey Greer.. it's Teresa."

"Oh hi! How are you?"

Greer felt as if she should play the cheerful card.

"I'm… I'm ok…"

Greer felt her heart drop. Something definitely wasn't right.

"And Patrick…? How's he?"

She heard Lisbon let out a long breath. She sounded exhausted.

"Greer, yeah.. there's something I need to tell you."

"Teresa.. what's happened?" she asked in a rush.

"Um… Jane's sick. We're at the hospital in Malibu."

"What's happened?" she repeated. She had managed to keep her voice somewhat calm, but on the inside, she was beginning to panic.

"He has Gastritis.. it's a stomach condition that we believe has been caused from extreme stress."

Extreme stress… caused by her. Greer started felt the guilt creep through her veins again.

"Is he ok?"

"He's in a pretty bad way at the moment… but he will be ok."

Greer paused, trying to gather her bearings.

"How do you mean.. he's in a bad way."

She heard Lisbon sigh again.

"His temperature isn't coming down.. they think there is a bacterial infection as well as the stress related Gastritis… but we have to wait for the test result to come back before they can treat him."

"Can I speak to him?"

"I'm sorry Greer, he's asleep right now. The doctors want him to get as much rest as he can. I've snuck out to call you."

"Ok… well.. thank you for calling me Teresa…"

"No problem Greer. I'll call you back as soon as we know what's going on."

"Thank you." she said quietly.

"Oh… and Greer.. I'm taking care of him…"

Greer smiled at this. It was about time the stubborn man finally lay low and let her.

"That's great. Call me when you find out anything."

"Will do.. see ya.."

"Bye."

Greer disconnected the call and lay back against her pillows. She now knew what it was like to truly worry about someone… but she believed Teresa.. she was looking after him… he would be ok… he had to be ok. There were too many people counting on him.



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