Shades of Grey
Part 22

She hated this place. She hated the stark whiteness and the smell. But more than anything, she hated the memories it stirred.
As Toby and CJ headed for the nurses' station, she glanced down the long corridor of emergency rooms, desperate to see Josh and Sam, but terrified of what she'd find. They hadn't told her anything.

Donna gripped Cathy's hand a little tighter as she started down the hall.

Please, God, let him be okay. Please let him be okay...

She let go of Cathy's hand and walked faster. She had to know. She couldn't wait anymore. She was practically running, peering into each room as she passed.

Wait.

Donna stopped and backed up. There was someone lying on an examination table, partially obscured by a curtain. She knew those shoes, and those pants. She had just had that suit cleaned...God, was it only two days ago?

"Josh," she said, barely a whisper.

He sat up abruptly, turned and swung his legs over the side to face her. He slid to the edge then hopped off the table.

His face was stubbled with a day's growth of beard, his shirt was hanging open and the tee shirt beneath it wasn't tucked in.

She stood in the doorway just looking at him, her legs refusing to move. Once she managed to take the first step, the rest were easy. She ran to him and Josh's arms enveloped her. She lost control. She didn't want to cry, but she couldn't stop. He needed a shower, but she didn't care. At that moment, he was the most wonderful thing she had ever smelled.

"Hey, it's okay," he said softly into her hair. "I'm all right."

And his voice was the most wonderful thing she had ever heard.

She was vaguely aware of the others gathering around them. Josh shifted his weight from one foot to the other, but he held onto her. They were talking, but all she could really hear was Josh's heart beating. Thump-thump, thump-thump. It lulled her. She didn't want to move.

A sudden change in the beat startled her and she pulled back to look up at him. He was looking at Toby.

"I don't know," Josh said. "They haven't told me anything."

Sam. They were talking about Sam.

Josh's eyes were red, and there were tiny blotches around them, like a rash.

He glanced down at her and offered a smile. "Tear gas," he said. "I'll be fine."

How did he always know what she was thinking?

His arms slipped from around her. She grabbed his hand, needing the contact. A part of her still couldn't believe he was really here, that it was really over.

Josh didn't try to pull free; he squeezed her hand tighter as if needing the contact himself. He gave CJ a one-armed hug.

Donna wiped her cheeks with her left hand and attempted to compose herself.

"Mr. Lyman?"

There was a man in a white coat standing in the doorway.

"Doctor Powell," Josh said, "how's Sam?"

"He's in x-ray right now."

"X-ray...?" Cathy echoed.

"Just a precaution," the doctor explained.

"Doc, was he...did he...?"

Donna gave Josh's hand a squeeze as his voice faltered.

"I examined his head wound. I think I can say for sure that Mr. Seaborn does not have a bullet in his head. He's responding to stimulus. He's aware. It could be a graze, but I doubt it. Too jagged. I think it's a laceration. We'll know for certain once we have the x-rays. If that's the case, he'll need a few stitches. He has a dislocated shoulder, and bruises and abrasions, the worst of which were on his wrists. There could be more, but, like I said, we'll know when we get the x-rays."

Donna was sure her fingers were turning blue. She wondered if Josh knew how tightly he was holding her hand. But as the meaning of the doctor's words sank in, the Josh's grip loosened and he sighed.

"When can we see him?" Toby asked.

"I'll let you know," the doctor said. "In the meantime, Mr. Lyman, how are your eyes?"

"Fine."

"Okay. I want you to see your own doctor in a few days, just to be sure. You're free to go. Just stop by the nurses' station to sign some paperwork."

"Doc-"

The doctor smiled. "I'll come and get you in the waiting room."

CJ and Toby followed the doctor from the room. Donna waited for Josh to move, but he didn't. When she glanced up at him, she found he was looking at her. He was looking at her like he hadn't seen her in weeks. She suddenly felt very warm.

"What?" she asked.

A smile played over his lips as he shifted his gaze to the doorway. He let go of her hand and draped his arm around her shoulders. "Nothing. Come on."

 

Shades of Grey - 22

 

 

 

 

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