Meeting Again

AUTHOR: Rebecca
SUMMARY: Syd encounters some weird things when she visits chicago to visit Kerry Weaver.

"Syd, darling why must you go to Chicago now. Your family needs you, and the clinic needs you," Lynda Hansen pleaded.

"Mother I am just going for a few days," Syd said as she finished packing for the trip ahead. "Please, I don't have time to listen to your lectures right now."

"OK Syd but you're in for a bumpy ride. Don't say I didn't warn you." Lynda disappeared before Syd had time to question her. She didn't want Syd to know what lay ahead.

Syd awoke with a start and sighed. She dressed and went into the kitchen to find the entire family gathered around the table. She tried to ignore the throbbing pain in her head.

"Carol Hathaway called," Joanie said. "She said that Elizabeth will pick you up at the airport." Joanie picked up Hannah who was getting fussy and quieted her down. "If I were you, I'd be very careful."

"Joanie I'm just going to spend some time with my friends, I'm not joining the Navy or anything," Syd snapped.

"Who got your mood all tied up into knots?" Joanie asked in a defensive voice. "I was only kidding."

"Iím sorry," Syd said kissing Hannah on the cheek. "I've been so stressed lately I can't even think straight."

"Then why don't you just stay home Syd, it won't kill you to rest a few days," Jim said. "Being around the ER won't help relieve stress."

"Thanks Dad but I haven't seen them in six months and I need to catch up on things," Syd said sitting down beside her father. "Besides I could use the vacation." An hour later Syd was at the airport, waiting for her flight. Finally she boarded the plane and took her seat. Within minutes she was asleep, and it was getting deeper and deeper as the time wore on.

--Dream Sequence--

Syd awoke on the plane two hours later. Her flight had left at ten that morning and now she was finally in Chicago. A sudden headache had developed on the plane and now her head was throbbing. When she went up to the baggage claim she saw a very familiar face and smiled. "Syd," Elizabeth Corday said. She hugged her friend. "How are you?"

"Fine, all except for a head ache," Syd said. She saw the concerned look on Elizabeth's face. "I'm probably just tired."

"How would you like to stay with me while you're here?" Elizabeth asked as she helped Syd with her luggage.

"That'd be great," Syd says.

"Did you know that Kerry has a med student?" Elizabeth said.

"Really, wow," Syd said as she followed Elizabeth toward her car.

"Well, she's an observer, not a med student but Kerry says she very eager to learn."

"I don't see Kerry the type to put up with med students or observers," Syd said as Elizabeth unlocked the car.

"Neither did I but Kerry convinced me that it's working out great. The girl has been here about a week now. I met her but I can't seem to remember her name." Elizabeth put a bag of Syd's in the back seat and hopped in the front beside Syd. "Do you want to go to the hospital first and see everyone or go to my place and unpack?"

"I'd like to see everyone and get something for this headache," Syd said.

"Sure, no problem," Elizabeth said as she pulled out of the parking lot and headed for Cook County General Hospital.

Forty-five minutes later Syd and Elizabeth arrived at the hospital and went into the lounge. They found Carter and Mark in there on break.

"Hi look whose here," Elizabeth said to the two men.

"Hi," Syd said.

"Syd, what a nice surprise. What are you doing here?" Carter asked standing up and giving her a hug.

"Iím here to see all of you," Syd said. "We haven't seen each other in six months, I figured it was time we got together. Where's Kerry?"

"Probably off showing her med student how to start an IV?" Carter said. "Actually she's just an observer from somewhere down your way. Weaver's treating her like a regular. She's even helped with some major traumas."

Syd nodded and sat down. Her headache was getting worse.

Lilly Gallagher pushed the doors open in trauma one. Kerry was there and was stitching up a three year old with a cut.

"There you are Lilly," Kerry said. She noticed the look on Lilly's face. "Something wrong?"

"Yes, I just spoke with my Dad. It looks like he won't be able to spend time with me at all this week."

"Are you OK with that?" Kerry asked not looking up from her work.

"Yeah, I'm fine I guess. I kind of wanted to spend time with him but I guess it doesn't really matter."

Kerry put a bandage on the three year old's cut and smiled. "OK Harry, you're all done. Come back in three weeks and have them removed."

Harry's mother thanked Kerry and walked out.

Kerry stood up and took off her gown. "Well, let's go see if we're in for a major trauma."

"I hope I don't throw up like yesterday," Lilly said.

"Don't worry, you won't," Kerry said. She followed Lilly toward the nurses station.

Syd took off her coat and sat down beside Carter. "So, what have I missed around here?" Syd put her head in her hands, trying to ease the throbbing pain in her head.

"Nothing much," Carter said. Then the door to the lounge burst open and Carol poked her head in.

"Carter, we need you. A trauma just came in, Weaver needs help. Syd we could use you to. A plastic surgeon may come in handy, this kid got some nasty cuts."

"Sure, no problem," Syd said. She followed Carol toward trauma one. Syd thrust open the doors and put on gloves and a gown.

"Syd, what are you doing here?" Kerry asked giving Syd a questioning look.

"I'll explain later," Syd told Kerry. She didn't even notice Lilly standing right beside her. "What happened?"

"Sixteen year old girl found unconscious about a block from here. Has bad cuts to her hands and feet. It looks like she fell on some glass," Kerry said. "We need to intubate now." Kerry got the intubation tray. She tried sticking the tube but she couldn't see the cords. "I can't see the cords, it won't go in."

"Let me try," Syd said. She grabbed the tube from Kerry and prepared to intubate. After a few minutes Syd was in. "OK, I'm in."

"Good job," Kerry said.

A few minutes later the girl was taken up to surgery. Syd had stitched up her cuts and had paged surgery. She followed Kerry down the hall, once again unaware of Lilly's presence.

"So what brings you back here?" Kerry asked. "Couldn't get enough of the ER?"

"Actually I'm here to fill in for Maggie Doyle, and to see all of you."

"Yes, Maggie is going to be gone for a week to see her family. I'm glad you could step in at the last minute. How's everything at the clinic?"

"Great," Syd answered. She then noticed a very familiar face. "Lilly?"

"Syd," Lilly said. She came over and threw her arms around Syd.

"What are you doing here kiddo?" Syd asked excitedly. Lilly was the last person she was expecting to see hanging around an ER.

"My Dad had to come here on business so I signed up for the observer thing here to keep me busy," Lilly said.

"You two know each other?" Kerry asked Lilly.

"Yes, I lived with her for about a month after I had the accident. She saved my life and we became fast friends."

"How's that?" Syd asked.

"I robbed you, broke your glass stained window and blood all over you," Lilly said.

"Right," Syd said remembering that night when Lilly had jumped through the glass stained window during a robbery with a friend from out of town. She turned to Kerry. "Do you mind if I steal this child for a moment. We have a lot of catching up to do."

"Sure, we're slow now," Kerry said.

"Great, we'll be in the cafeteria," Syd said heading toward the elevators.

"Syd, I have break in about ten minutes so I'll meet you in the cafeteria," Kerry said.

"OK," Syd said. She put an arm around Lilly and the two went to the cafeteria to catch up on each other's lives.

Back at the Barkery in Providence Joanie read Hannah a story, waiting for business to pick up, the weather had suddenly turned very cold and Joanie figured everyone was safe at home, by a warm fire. Joanie was just about to close shop when the door opened. Joanie saw her Dad come up the steps, Heather right behind him.

"Dad, what brings you to these parts?" Joanie asked. She saw a cage that Heather was holding with a small puppy. "Out of dog food?"

"Yes, I was hoping you could give him some of your Barkery's best, he hasn't been eating," Jim said. "We decided to close up early, with Syd out of town and everything."

"You know what that's not a bad idea," Joanie said. "She grabbed her stuff from the back and followed her Dad and Heather out the door, along with Hannah.

"Dr. Hansen I'm going to head home," Heather said.

"OK, bye Heather," Jim said. He took the cage with the puppy in it. "What do you say we go out to eat."

"Sounds like a plan," Joanie said. She walked with her Dad down the sidewalk and toward a place to eat, O'Neils.

--Dream Sequence--

"So, how are you?" Syd asked Lilly. The two had gotten their food and was sitting at a table catching up.

"OK, I guess," Lilly said. She wanted to tell Syd the truth, that her life was not going so well. "Actually, I'm not doing so great. My Dad has changed Syd. He's not the same guy you came to know, he's different."

"Different how?" Syd asked trying to ignore the pain in her head.

"He's never home and when he is he's working or all the phone. We rarely have dinner together. Syd I hate to say this but I want to live with you, not with him."

"Lilly why didn't you call and tell me things had gotten so bad," Syd asked very solicitously.

"I figured they'd get better but they haven't," Lilly said. She wished that she could tell Syd that all of this was just a huge dream.

"Listen, why don't you talk to your Dad about how you feel. Maybe we can arrange for you to come back with me until your Dad straightens up and starts being a parent instead of a businessman," Syd said. Then she saw Kerry head their way and waved her over.

"Hey," Kerry said. So, what's up?"

"Nothing," Syd said. "Lilly was just telling me about life in Connecticut."

Kerry nodded. "Great job on the trauma today Syd."

"Thanks, I just figured she wouldn't have made it if we didn't intubate right away," Syd said. She tried to ignore the throbbing pain in her head as she continued to talk to Kerry.

By the end of the day Syd had helped with six traumas and had shown Lilly how to start an IV. As Syd was gathering up her stuff she saw Lilly enter the lounge.

"Hey, going back to the hotel?" Syd asked.

"Actually I just found out that my Dad left me here in Chicago," Lilly said.

"What?" Syd asked turning around. "Why would he do that?"

"I don't know," Lilly said as she opened her locker. "I guess I'm stuck with you."

"Sure, I'm sure Lizzy won't have a problem with that," Syd said. She put on her coat and headed for the door. "Come on kiddo, let's go get warm."

Lilly smiled and followed Syd out the door. She hoped Syd wouldn't realize that this was a dream and not real life.

"So, Lilly what brings you to Chicago?" Elizabeth asked later that evening as Syd, Lilly and she sat around the fire.

"My Dad is on business but he completely forgot me and now I'm stuck all alone," Lilly said. She smiled at Syd. "Well, not completely alone."

Syd smiled and squeezed Lilly's hand. She was glad to see her again. Later that night as Syd slept on the couch she felt a tap on the shoulder.

"Syd, wake up," came Lynda's voice.

Syd sat up, her head had stopped hurting. "What is it mother?"

"Syd do you realize that you're dreaming?" Lynda asked her daughter.

"Yes, because you're here," Syd said.

"No, dear you really are dreaming," Lynda said. "You fell into a coma on the plane. I wanted to test you to see if you knew that Lilly was not alive. So far, you've failed."

"What?" Syd asked. "Mother the only thing I'm dreaming about is you. Lilly is alive, and dong well. She lives in Connecticut with her father."

Lynda sighed, she hoped Syd would remember what really happened. "No dear, she's not. Remember she was killed in an accident a year ago.

"Are you saying that this is a dream?" Syd asked. She was beginning to get scared. What was happening to her? why couldn't she remember that Lilly was killed in an accident.

"Yes, dear," Lynda said. "Close your eyes dear."

Syd did as she was told and when she opened them again she was in a hospital room. "That's me."

"Yes," Lynda said. "You are in Chicago, just not all there. You fell into a coma on the plane."

"My illness is back," Syd said. "Not again mother. I don't want to go back to Paradise Inn, it's lovely but I don't want to die right now."

"You're not going back to Paradise Inn darling. Your body is in a coma state but your mind doesn't know the difference," Lynda said.

"When can I wake up?" Syd asked.

"That's not up to me, it's up to you," Lynda said. She put an arm around Syd. "I know you'll make the right choice dear." Lynda walked toward the door. "Sorry dear I can't help with this one."

"Mother," Syd screamed. She felt her headache getting worse. Syd put a hand to her forehead. "Please stop, please stop...."

"Please stop," Syd screamed. She didn't know what was happening and why her headache was suddenly getting worse. Then Syd noticed that someone was shaking her and calling her name.

"Syd, Syd," Kerry said trying to shake her out of the state she was in.

Syd opened her eyes and saw that Kerry Weaver was sitting beside her.

"Hi, long time no seek," Kerry said. "We were getting worried about you."

"What?" Syd asked. She looked around and noticed that she was in a hospital room with IV's all in her arms. "What happened?"

"From what I understand is that you slipped into a coma on the plane. The flight attendant couldn't wake you up when they arrived here in Chicago. You were brought here by an ambulance. Elizabeth Corday was the one who was with you in the ambulance and called us to let us know what had happened."

"No, I came with Elizabeth in her car. I saw Carter and Mark and even Lilly. You were showing her what an ER was like. She was your observer for the week. I know this must sound crazy and I probably just dreamed the whole thing. My mom was here and she's dead."

Kerry checked Syd's IV. "Syd, whose Lilly? I don't know anyone named Lilly."

"Lilly was my foster child, and your observer," Syd said. It was all coming back to her now. The whole thing with Lilly had been a dream, no wonder she had seen herself lying in a hospital bed. "It's nothing, I'm probably just tired." Syd was beginning to get very frustrated. Her mother had said that she had dreamed the whole thing so why couldn't she believe it?

"I'm going to go page Elizabeth Corday, she'll want to see you," Kerry said. She disappeared out the door leaving Syd alone. Syd sighed, saddened by the sudden thought that struck her. If that whole experience with Lilly had been a dream then Lilly was dead. Syd closed her eyes, letting the memory of the dream sink in. She was glad to be with all her friends in Chicago but she wished that Lilly could have been among them.

"Syd," came Elizabeth's voice.

Syd snapped out of her thoughts and saw Elizabeth standing beside her.

"I thought you were never going to come back to us," Elizabeth said. "I know you don't remember what happened and I don't expect you to."

"No, I don't remember what happened," Syd said. "But what I do know is, I had a very weird but wonderful dream."

Elizabeth smiled, glad that her friend was all right. "I'll let you get some rest. I phoned your family, they should be here within a few hours."

"Great." Syd said. She watched Elizabeth leave and smiled. Even if it was just a dream Syd was glad that she had gotten to see Lilly again.


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