Chapter THIRTY SIX
Your friends keep you occupied for a couple hours while the doctors perform another round of tests and examinations on Jackson..
Soon, Yevie and Patrick have to take their sweet little boy home to bed when Felix can no longer keep his baby blue eyes open.. It's then that Paxton also decides to take his leave, telling you he needs to return to Specter..
While you're grateful that they came to check on you, you're also looking forward to them leaving.. Not because you don't want them there.. But putting on a brave face, pretending like you are strong enough to cope with what is happening, is exhausting.. Especially when the truth is, you aren't..
Not at all..
Your heart aches, every second of every hour.. You want so badly to hear Jackson's voice, his deep rich laugh.. To see his big brown eyes.. His smile..
When you re-enter Ford's hospital room, he looks almost peaceful, laying there beneath the fresh white linens.. Most of the medical contraptions and machines have been cleared away from him and the tubes removed..
Now instead of unconscious and deathly.. He could simply be sleeping..
Maybe even dreaming..
You move to the bed, laying down beside him your head on his chest.. He breathes in a slow rhythm and you can hear his steady heartbeat thudding beneath your ear.. Taking his hand you bring it to you lips, kissing his knuckles and whispering into his warm skin.. "I need you to wake up Jackson.." You look up at him, willing your request to come true..
When he doesn't move.. Sighing, you lay your head back down.. "I don't know how you survived this-this heartache.. But I don't think I can.. I'm afraid, Jax.." You squeeze his huge warm hand in your tiny fist.. "I'm afraid to lose you, Marine.. I'm afraid of what a future without you looks like.." Tears slip from your eyes at the very thought..
You realise now more than ever it had always been him.. From the second you joined Alpha team, he had this effect on you.. You were drawn to him.. Over and over, right up until the very moment he lay down his life for you.. "Please... Wake, up baby.. I'm afraid I'll never get to tell you that.. I love you.." You squeeze your eyes shut, in an effort to keep contained the flood of tears that threaten to fall thick and fast now..
A familiar raspy voice pierces the silence..
A voice you're sure your imagining, until you feel the subtle shift beneath you.. "I love you too, Sunshine.." He wheezes, coughing a little and you sit bolt upright, turning your wide eyed gaze on him..
He blinks up at you, eyes adjusting to the light from the bedside lamp.. "If I knew all I had to do was almost die in order to hear you say that.." He jokes, groaning before lifting his head to look around..
"Jax!" You reach out and place a hand on his cheek..
Is this a dream?
Did you fall asleep?
He reaches up to take your hand, turning it over in his and kissing your palm.. Your heart is breathing so hard, pounding so loudly you swear it might send you deaf!
"I thought I lost you, Marine.."
He smiles through a wince as he pushes up to his elbows, trying to sit up, looking a little woozy.. You place a hand on his chest to stop him.. "No.. Don't move.. I'm going to get the Doctor.."
He groans and lays back down.. "Ugh.. Alright.."
You hurry off down the hall to find a nurse, alerting her to the situation.. She nods in shock before rushing to call the doctor in.. Within seconds the doctor and several other medical assistants move into Jackson's room, you follow them, but keep to the corner, watching quietly as they begin to murmur to each other and begin to assess Jackson, asking him a bombardment of questions..
"How do you feel, Mr Ford?" The chief surgeon asks..
Jackson, who is now sitting upright, shrugs a shoulder.. "Believe it or not, it's not as bad the second time 'round.."
The doctor takes notes on his clipboard.. Asking Jackson different question about how he's feeling, if he is tired, nauseated or dizzy..
Jackson maintains that he feels good all things considered..
The doctor moves on.. "Do you remember what happened to you?"
Jackson looks over to you.. "Yeah, I was shot.."
The doctor nods, still scribbling away.. "Three times Mr Ford, you're extremely lucky to be alive.. If Miss Devereux hadn't acted so quickly I daresay we wouldn't be having this conversation.. She saved your life, son.."
The adoration in Jackson's eyes is almost unbearable.. You heart feels so full it could burst.. "Of course she did, doc.. She's an angel.." Jackson grins to the doctor, the medics all chuckle at his adorable joke..
You cross over to his bedside taking his hand and turning to the doctor.. "So he is going to be okay? Right?" Ford looks up at you and shakes his head at the way you take charge, with a smile on his lips..
The doctor furrows his brow looking over his clipboard one last time before giving you a warm smile.. "We will need to keep Mr Ford here for a few more days under observation, there are a few more tests you'll need to undergo.. but given all goes well you should be able to go home by the weekend.." He nods to you both before he motions to the others and they follow him out of the room..
You sit beside him on the mattress, his hand in yours.. You watch him for a long moment.. Still trying to process it all.. "Can I get you anything?"
He coughs rubbing his throat.. "Maybe some water?" You quickly fill the glass from the jug beside the bed and hand it to him.. He sips slowly..
"It'll be nice to sleep in your own bed again, huh?" What a stupid thing for you to say given he just woke up from the longest nap ever taken..
He chuckles.. "Yeah.."
You tilt your head to one side.. "What's so funny?"
He hands the glass back to you smiling.. "You, baby.. I know you want to say something.. So just say it.."
You smile shyly, caught out.. "Okay.. I'm sorry I was such an asshole to you.."
His eyebrows shoot up.. "Really? I thought you might be pissed about.. What happened in DC.. I know you can handle yourself but--"
You shake your head.. "No.. No, Jackson, you saved my life.. I have no idea what I would have done in your position.. But from now I will respect your decisions, like you have always respected mine.. I shouldn't have doubted that.. I shouldn't have doubted you.."
He reaches up to brush the pad of his thumb against your cheek.. "We both kind of saved each other's lives.. So how about from now on, instead of just respecting each other.. We actually try trusting each other.."
You nod, leaning into his chest as his arms wrap around you, pulling you close before dropping a tender kiss on the top of your head, his embrace warming you from your heart to your soul.. There is something so profoundly right about this moment..
Everything is perfect if only for this tiny sliver of time..