Aaron was up early after not sleeping well. He was so afraid to hurt her, so he just dozed off for little pieces of time. Although it had its benefits for him, while she was still asleep he would kiss her and tell her how much he loved her, but that didn’t allow him to sleep much. He washed his face and brushed his teeth with a toothbrush one of the nurses had given him.
He was sitting in the chair drinking some horrible coffee from the visitor’s kitchenette and holding her hand when Mike and Sarah came back up. Even though it was still early, Aaron knew they wouldn’t have been able to stop themselves. Sarah came over and hugged him, then looked at him deeply.
“You didn’t sleep much! Is she doing ok?” She scolded. Aaron noticed that Mike couldn’t help but roll his eyes then grin at Aaron.
“I know, but it’s ok. I take a nap later. Aren’t you here a little early?” he asked, teasing her.
She smacked his arm gently then sat down in the other chair and Aaron moved to let Mike have the one he was in. They were talking quietly for a little while when the nurse came in for the shift change. They were talking when they heard a voice grumble at them.
“Geez, what’s a person got to do to get some sleep?”
They all chuckled and Sarah leaned over and kissed her daughter’s cheek, “Still with that smart mouth and so early!”
“Hi Baby girl, how are you feeling?” Mike asked.
“I’m ok Daddy. My head hurts some and the rest of me is just sore,” She told everyone.
The nurse promised some meds and went back out to retrieve them. As soon as she was back and Lorelai had swallowed the pill, she started in on being released.
“Lorelai Honey, don’t you think you should stay in at least another day? I mean you do have a concussion,” Sarah tried reasoning.
“I want out!” Lorelai replied.
The nurse raised an eyebrow and replied, “Let me talk to the doctor when he comes in to do rounds. He gets the final decision. In about 20 minutes when the meds have had a chance to kick in, I will be back and we will get you up and washed up, ok?”
“Perfect!! And am I ok for some real food?” she suggested.
The nurse agreed and Lorelai clapped in joy. She brought back a menu and Lorelai immediately called down for scrambled eggs, toast, yogurt and sausage links. She was starving haven’t not eaten much the day before.
Mike was desperately wanting to talk to Aaron and see how much Lorelai remembered and how she was doing. Her actions now had him totally confused, especially since the first time this happened. His phone vibrated and he saw that Joel had texted him, letting him know that Dr. McCormack would be up to see Lorelai soon. Mike thanked him profusely and explained her behavior this morning and both were concerned that she was in shock.
Sarah and Lorelai chatted and Mike looked from Aaron and back to them again in confusion. When her breakfast came she ate everything quickly and leaned back on the pillows and smiled as best as she could at her family with her swollen face. The nurse came in and kicked the men out so they could get her in the shower and clean up. They went down to the cafeteria so Aaron could eat.
As soon as they sat down at a table Mike started, “What does she remember? Anything?”
Aaron swallowed, “Mike, she remembers everything up until she fell and hit her head.”
Mike sat back and stared at him, “Then why is she acting like she hasn’t a care in the world? I don’t get it!”
“I know… You should have heard her last night talking. She said she was done being afraid and she wasn’t losing her life again… and everything she had achieved over the last few years…our life together and our future. You should have heard the fierceness in her voice when she talked about fighting back…I was so proud of her! I never told her what happened to Max.”
Mike was shocked, ready to see his daughter crumble like she did before and was ashamed that was the only option he thought of. After the first time he thought he would be seeing the same breakdown again, but this wasn’t the case and he didn’t know what to think. He voiced his concerns to Aaron who told him how he completely understood and was also thinking she would regress.
“I guess we just need to wait and see what Dr. McCormack says and what the future could hold,” Mike said and then finished his coffee.
Thinking they had been gone the requested hour, they threw their garbage away and went back up. They went in to see Lorelai sitting up and laughing with her mom and a nice looking older woman. The three looked up when the door opened and saw Mike and Aaron standing there.
“Is it safe to come in?” Mike asked cheekily.
“Mike, while I am not happy with the circumstances I am happy to see my favorite FBI agent!” The woman replied.
The two men entered and she hugged Mike then turned to Aaron, “Well, you must be Aaron. Hello! I’m Dr. Marilyn McCormack.”
Finally understanding Aaron relaxed and shook the extended hand before him, “Yes, I’m Aaron O’Shay. Nice to meet you.”
Aaron went over and bent down to gently kiss Lorelai then went and leaned against the wall by the bed to watch over things. It was almost 10 am and it seemed the day was going to keep going for a while. He just listened and observed Lorelai and the therapist interact and wasn’t sure what to think. She seemed totally at ease and unaffected by the events and he was just confused. They talked for several minutes before he heard his name.
“…Right Aaron?” Lorelai asked.
He looked at her and smiled inquisitively, “What Baby?”
“We are going to Hawaii for Christmas.”
His eyebrows shot up, “You heard me say that to you?!”
“It was garbled and sounded like you were underwater, but I heard you say that you would take me and something about cliff jumping…”
“Well Sarah, I guess we are going to Hawaii for Christmas,” he said with a big grin, “At least you know now and you and my mom can kick my ass over it for the next few months!”
Mike chuckled and Sarah glared at him. Before any blood could be shed, a knock on the door and the detective, Tom Woods came in and introduced himself to the woman in the bed. They shook hands and he asked if she would be able to answer some questions about what happened and she agreed. So they started talking. She recounted the same story that she had told Aaron the night before and then answered his questions. Her final question was the one that Mike and Aaron were waiting for, the one they were certain she would finally lose it.
“So where is Max now? Has he been arrested?”
Tom looked at Aaron and Mike out of the corner of his eye and cleared his throat, “He didn’t make it Lorelai.”
She looked at him with wide eyes, then at her parents and Dr. McCormack then finally at Aaron, “Seriously? He’s dead?” she whispered.
“Yes Lorelai, He’s gone…” Mike said.
A tear ran down her face as she looked at her therapist, “I never wanted that to happen! I just wanted him to leave me alone!”
“Everyone knows that Lorelai, the police had to do that. He wouldn’t listen to their commands and he was hurting you and threatening them. It was the only choice they had. You will not be charged,” Tom assured her.
She nodded her head and wiped the tears from her face that were falling, “If we are done, can I talk to Dr. McCormack alone please?”
Tom gave some final instructions and left. Aaron followed and thanked him when Mike and Sarah came out too. The three stood in the hallway and waited to see what was happening in the room. Sarah asked Aaron about the night and when she talked with him.
“Do you think she is ok?” Mike asked Sarah, “You talked with her and Dr. McCormack, what do you think?”
Sarah sighed, “She seems ok, despite what happened. I don’t know what to think. It’s like Aaron said, she just had this fierceness about her when she talked about Max. And you should have heard her talk about Aaron- the love in her voice was just…just about made me cry!”
Aaron blushed and looked at her parents, “I can’t tell you how much I love her too…”
“We know Aaron, it’s evident on your face every time you see her or talk about her. I’m just so happy that you found her,” Sarah said.
She hugged him again, pulling him tight in appreciation. She excused herself to go to the bathroom and walked down the hall.
Aaron took a deep breath and looked at Mike, praying the next few minutes went well, “Mike, I know Lorelai will need a place to stay and I want to take her home with me. I have been getting some things together to convert part of my basement to a studio for her because I want her to move in with me. I know she loves that house, but that may have changed now and I want you and Sarah to know that she has a safe place to land. And I want to protect her and continue to love her and be with her. But I want to make sure it’s ok with you and Sarah before I even bring it up. “
Mike admired the man’s determination to make sure she had everything she loved and the love he had for his daughter. After all, isn’t that what any parent wants? For their child to be loved and cherished with someone that they love too?
“You are a damn good man Aaron. I am fine with it, just double check with Sarah,” He responded.
Sarah came back to the two men and Aaron explained to her what his idea was and Sarah thought Lorelai would like being with him more than at her parent’s house and agreed. The three also realized that they needed to get some things from the house and then figure out how much Lorelai wanted from the little bungalow and then sell it-if she agreed to move in with Aaron. They agreed she would never want to go back to the little house.
They grabbed a few snacks from the little kitchenette and waited for the ok to be back in the room. Aaron was checking in with Steve about Thor and on work. His Captain really understood the situation and told Aaron to take the next few days off to ensure Lorelai was healing properly. Mike talked with Gary and gave him an update and to check on how Grady was doing. Gary assured him that he was doing well and was just concerned about his favorite teacher. Mike told him that she was doing very well and would hopefully be discharged soon. Gary would pass the news along to the Martin’s.
Sarah had the same conversation with Joel and was waiting for Evelyn and Dave to come up after lunch. They were tired from their drive down the night before in all the craziness.
After what seemed like hours, the door opened and the therapist invited them back in and had everyone sit down.
“So Lorelai and I had a really great conversation and I want to share some of what we talked about. So I know that Mike and Sarah, you both are concerned that Lorelai isn’t reacting the same way she did last time. And you are right, she is not. She is in a totally different place in her life and her emotional state is much stronger than before. She is different now, more mature. She also has seen and been in a real loving and respectful relationship, unlike before. Being with Aaron has changed her to the core, she has admitted that to me and when Max wanted to take that from her, it triggered something in her that she wasn’t willing to give up. So she fought back and fought hard. Did the whole ordeal affect her? Absolutely, but not to the extent that she needs therapy three times a week again. We agreed that Lorelai would see me once every two weeks, unless she needs more, for a little while. Does that make sense?”
The others agreed and Aaron took Lorelai’s hand and kissed it again. She smiled at him with tears in her eyes. He smiled and squeezed her hand before looking back at the Doctor.
“With that being said, Lorelai does have something she wants to say. So go ahead and say what’s on your mind.” Lorelai took a deep breath and looked at everyone in the room.