One Way Or Another

Chapter 50

08/31/2005 Wednesday 8:00PM-10:00PM

Chapter Fifty

Reilly and Hillary stood alone in the room as Reilly looked over the paper that Hillary had handed her. She read it over twice to be sure she was reading it correctly.

She turned to Hillary as she handed her the report back. "Are you sure this is how you want to handle this?" Reilly asked the other woman.

She would respect whatever decision Hillary made, but she didn't like what the impact of that decision would do to everyone involved. She understood the circumstances though and was willing to give the woman her help for the time being.

"Yes." Hillary paused as she took the paper back and folded it putting it back in the pocket of her slacks. "Since Kevin's latest CAT scan shows the tumor in invasive, the odds of this surgery helping are about fifty-fifty and I think he needs to know this so he will keep fighting. I can't let him give up, not now." She looked Reilly in the eye. "I didn't want to tell him until I let you know, for Nick's sake too. I want Kevin to know he is having a son in case… well, just in case."

"And what about later on… after… down the line?" Reilly asked, crossing her arms over her chest.

"I'll handle that when later happens, right now I'm not even going to think about the possibility of a future without Kevin. I can't do that anymore than you can think of being without Nick."

Reilly knew she was right about that. That was basically the only reason she was listening to Hillary right now; because she couldn't think about losing Nick and him discovering… she shook her head to get that thought out of her mind.

"Alright. I'll tell Nick when he wakes up that you and Kevin are having a boy and you want us to be his Godparents."

"Thank you Reilly." Hillary smiled at her as she stepped over to hug the other woman. "I have to go now. Kevin is going into surgery first thing in the morning. The doctor moved it up so I had my doctor rush these results on the paternity test. I wanted to tell him before surgery."

"Okay. Take care and call me if you need anything." Reilly said as she watched Hillary leave the room and head for the elevator.

God, when did things get so complicated, she thought. And when did I get so tired? This is all getting to be a little bit more than I want to handle.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

He was dying and he knew it. He could feel it. Nick knew without a doubt that he was dying; but something was nagging at him. It was at the back of his mind. Something… something was telling him he needed to fight. To keep fighting. He knew he was dying, yet something was keeping him here.

He hurt… he hurt everywhere and he could feel it so intensely. But somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind he could hear something… someone talking to him. He knew that voice… from… where? Was he trapped in… a memory?

He tried to open his eyes to search for the voice, but his eyelids refused to move… but he needed to find that voice… he was dying… wasn't he?

"I love you Nick Stokes. Always." Nick could hear the voice saying. Someone loved him… his mother maybe?... no this voice was… more intimate; more personal… this was…

"Listen to me science guy, you need to help me… you're gonna be a dad… come back to me… Nick…." This was Reilly… Nick knew the voice was Reilly. God, he couldn't die, not now. Reilly needed him… but he hurt so bad and the darkness was so calming…

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Reilly leaned over Nick's bedside and kissed his cheek again as she had done earlier. She whispered in his ear, "I love you Nick Stokes. Always." She watched for any reaction from Nick but saw nothing. "Listen to me science guy you need to help me here. You're gonna be a dad Nick and I need you to come back to me. Nick please."

She reached down and squeezed his hand in hopes of a sign from him, but she was disappointed when he just laid so still letting the machines breath for him. Letting the machines keep him tethered to this world. The room was quiet save for the sounds of the machines.

Reilly felt the burn of the tears in her eyes as she reached down to brush some of Nick's hair back from his forehead and she felt the fever from the low grade infection burning his skin. The doctors had hoped he wouldn't develop an infection, but he had. At least it was a low grade fever and they felt that as long as they kept him on the antibiotic treatment for the next twenty-four hours, that he would be fine; when he woke up. If…he woke up. They felt there was a possibility that he could remain in a coma.

What he needed to do was wake up and everything would be fine. Reilly kept touching him because as long as she could feel him, she knew he was still with her. She needed to think that anyway. She pulled up a chair and sat next to his bedside. This may be the ICU department and she wasn't supposed to be in here more than a few minutes at a time, but she decided right then and there that she was not moving until Nick opened his eyes. Come hell or high water, she was going to wait the man out.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jillian Stokes came looking for Reilly when she didn't come back to the room after seeing Nick. She found her snuggled in the large hospital bed next to Nick as close to him as possible without disturbing his many tubes and wires. And she was asleep.

Jillian couldn't help but feel tears at the sight of her baby boy finally with someone to watch over him. She had always hoped her Nicky would find someone, but has time had went on and with Nick's career being so important to him, she had begun to think he never would.

She thought it was funny that while Nick had been busy concentrating on his career, life had had other plans for him. God had brought Reilly to her son and Jillian thanked Him for that. They may have had a rocky start and it may have been messy here and there, but that was the way life was.

Life was messy, confusing and at times outrageous. It was unplanned, unpredictable and unexpected. Nick had been given a career and now a family and Jillian just wanted God to let him come back so he could enjoy that life. He needed to know that life was worth living even when there were crazy evil people out there trying to mess it up.

Jillian continued to watch Reilly sleeping as the nurse on duty walked around Nick's bed checking and recording his vitals. When she noticed Jillian watching outside the room through the observation window, she completed her task and walked out to her.

"Is she okay in there with him?" Jillian asked the nurse.

"She's fine. As you know, normally this wouldn't be allowed, but I'm not saying anything if you don't." The nurse, Jenna from her nametag, spoke gently. "Besides, I think they both need each other right now, don't you?"

Jillian smiled at her. "Yes, I think they do." Yes, they really did need each other right now.

"You can still go in for a few minutes every hour. Unless there's a change in his condition, Nick needs to feel he has all of his friends and family pulling for him." Jenna paused watching her patient. "His fever has dropped in the last hour and his lungs are remaining clear of the infection, so hopefully he'll wake up soon. And with Reilly there, I think he needs to wake up to her."

"Yes." Jillian agreed. "He does."

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