RATING: PG13 (for Violence)
FEEDBACK: Sure, just subject it under ER so I don't delete it.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own nor intend any harm
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Set in 2015. There was no Kem and Carter and Abby are married w/ a 7 yr. old daughter Christine. Susan and Chuck got married and have a daughter, 11yr old Leila. Sam and Luka are married as well and have Alex whose 23 and another son Charlie whose 5. Everything else is the same.
SUMMARY: "I thought I could handle it... I guess I was wrong"
The early morning was the most wonderful time, when life stood still for a bit. That's what Elizabeth thought as she lay in Mark's arms. He kissed her neck and whispered "I love you." Smiling Elizabeth twisted around to kiss him back and reiterate her love as well, instead it was an empty spot that met her. The entire scenario had been a dream, one she often had when Mark's anniversary was close. It took a moment for Elizabeth to fully awaken when she sensed something, a bad something. Quickly she grabbed her robe and padded down the hallway, heading for her daughters room. Arriving at the door, Elizabeth pushed it in and found Ella struggling in her covers and crying. Going over to the bed she sat down and wrapped the girl in her arms trying to soothe her. "Ella, Ella its mum, shh" Elizabeth repeated these words over and over until her daughter awoke with a start. "Wha-what happened?" Ella asked in a quavering voice, "You had another nightmare, its all right now" her mother soothed. Elizabeth held Ella close until she fell in to a quiet sleep, then Elizabeth went back to her own bed.
'BEEP-BEEP-BEEP,' Elizabeth's alarm incessantly called out, screaming for her to awaken and begin the day. Stretching and rubbing the sleep from her eyes Elizabeth went to rouse Ella from her sleep. She walked in and again found Ella tangled in her covers and drenched in sweat 'What's going on?' Elizabeth thought to herself. Ella had been having nightmares for more than a week and it was wearing on both the teen and her mother. "Ella its time to get up," Elizabeth gently shook Ella, suddenly she thought she saw something dark on her daughters back. The teen turned and Elizabeth blinked, she was probably so tired she was seeing things."OK, I'm awake" Ella replied as Elizabeth left to ready herself for work. Sleepily Ella dragged herself to her bathroom to clean herself up. Minutes later she emerged and began to get dressed, peeling off her sweat-soaked shirt she grimaced at the ugly marks. The bruises on her side and back glared angrily at her, dark and colored. Ella prayed her mother had not noticed them as she continued to get ready for school.
An hour later mother and daughter were heading in opposite directions "Love you" Elizabeth called out and Ella waved and blew her mom a kiss. The doctor was headed for the EL and the teen for the bus... Elizabeth sighed as she sat on the train and closed her eyes, waiting for the train to make its stop at County. When it finally did she descended the stairs and made her way to the ER, grabbing a coffee she walked through Admit. Calling out greetings Dr. Corday stepped in to the elevator and waited for the lift to ascend. Elizabeth was soon in her lab coat and in the SICU tending to her patients."How you feeling Sophia?" she asked a young patient who recently had a hysterectomy due to profusely bleeding fibroids."I'm OK, a little sore but OK" Sophia replied, the two talked and Dr. Corday ordered 10 cc's of morphine and continued on to her other patients. She ordered the necessary painkillers and discharged a few fortunate patients then went off to scrub in on a Fem-Pop Bypass.
After an hour and half full of complications Elizabeth was finished and ready for lunch. She headed for the stairs leading to the cafeteria and met up with Abby on her way. "Hey" Abby greeted, "Hey" Elizabeth replied, "I'm just going for some lunch, care to join me?" Elizabeth asked the younger woman and Abby fell in step beside her. The two walked in companionable silence for a time it took to get to the cafeteria. The doctors ordered and went to sit down, "So how is married life these days?" Dr. Corday asked, "Not bad although a bit tiring" Abby replied with a smile. " Yeah I know what that is like" the older doctor empathized with a sad grin, thinking of Mark. Dr. Lockhart and Dr. Corday continued eating until Elizabeth asked a question that caught her colleague and friend off guard, "What would you do if you suspected something was wrong with Chris?". Abby was not sure what she meant but she tried to answer best as she could," Just ask I suppose, or keep my eye on her behavior"."Is everything OK with Ella?" Abby questioned in concern, "I'm not sure--she's just been acting strange and having terrible nightmares." Both women sat in silence for a few moments,"Just ask her, you two have a great relationship." Elizabeth nodded at Abby's suggestion and was about to say something more when both doctors' pagers shivered. They looked at the LCD and saw it was a 911 from the ER and hurried off, lunch all but forgotten.
Meanwhile at Eisenhower Central High School the day was dragging on for Ella. She had just received a mountain of homework from her English teacher and knew she'd get more from Mr. Jolson, her Biology teacher. Arriving at her locker she remembered something she had needed and wanted to do for a while but it was not a pleasant something. Lunch was a welcome rest from books and teachers voices, Ella, however was uneasy. She knew what she had to do but she was far from looking forward to it. The teenager was frightened but determined, so she walked up to Jules and asked to speak in private with him in a darkened side corridor. "Its over, its wrong and its not my fault" she stated in a forceful tone, "I refuse to be hurt by anyone this way and I am in no way bound to you." Jules eyes flashed and his hand met her face faster than she could think," You are the female and you WILL listen to me!" Jules said through clenched teeth. The impact of the slap sent her reeling and she stumbled backwards, dazed. Ella slowly met his gaze and repeated that she would no longer take this, where she found this strength and defiance she did not know. A second blow sent her to the floor where Jules kicked her in a fury, sending his foot in to Ella's abdomen. She gasped as the pain from what she knew was a broken rib registered in her being. Again he kicked, making contact with her stomach once more, the pain now excruciating. Ella tried to get up but fell back in pain trying desperately to keep her faculties under control. Jules knelt to her level and punched her several more times with such force that Ella was soon rendered unconscious. Jules kicked his girlfriend once more, this time he caught her in the chest and knew through her now labored, almost nonexistent breaths that she was out. Then he fled, not caring what happened to a girl he thought he loved.
Dr.'s Corday and Lockhart ran to the ER Admit and asked Jerry what was so urgent because there were no ambulances and everyone was in the usual chaos." Go to trauma 2" was all the clerk said, Elizabeth and Abby were puzzled and worried. Abby was the first to enter the trauma room and stopped dead as Elizabeth rushed up behind her, gasping at what she saw. Lying on the trauma gurney was Ella, battered and bruised, Elizabeth could distinctly remember seeing her daughter lying on that very gurney after an ecstasy overdose. She had only been nine months old and had gotten into Rachel's stash. "Elizabeth?" Abby called, pulling her from her thoughts, "Carter what happened?" she asked the younger doctor. "She was found in her high school hallway barely breathing, we don't know yet who did it but we'll find out" John replied and set to work ordering labs. Ella was intubated from suffering a collapsed lung and she had two broken ribs, thankfully there was no splenic or liver damage. Her mother stood in the corner as Abby, Carter, and Sam worked to stabilize Ella, whose body was fighting to get itself controlled. The X-rays came back and showed severe bruising but no fractures thankfully. All in the room breathed a collective sigh of relief when the young woman's body stabilized. Now it was a waiting game.
Two and a half hours later Elizabeth was at her daughters side, she hadn't left yet. Her eyes were puffy from crying and several of her friends came to check on her. Dr. Corday continued to stroke Ella's blue-green cheek and kept thinking, 'How had I not seen it?'. The question rang in her head like a bell and it made her feel sick. Early that morning, what Elizabeth had thought was an illusion, she now knew to be a horrid black bruise. They encompassed her whole body, it was disturbing to look at and Dr. Corday had a good idea of who had done this. It had to be Jules, his very demeanor bothered her, yet she had allowed her daughter to date him. Elizabeth thought Ella always was a good judge of character, so what had happened? Suddenly she mentally scolded herself for thinking this was in any way her child's fault. A quick movement jolted Elizabeth from her revere, Ella had awoken and squeezed her mom's hand lightly. Elizabeth smiled and a tear rolled down her cheek, her baby girl was going to be all right.
Pounding, pulsating sensations radiated through her body, making her feel sick. Ella felt a strange probing as she lay, or stood, she wasn't quite sure. Her mind screamed for her to wake up and she wanted to, she tried to but Ella's eyelids just wouldn't move. Darkness was all around, engulfing Ella's senses making her dizzy. 'Am I dead?' , Ella thought to herself, she wasn't sure what was going on. The teen could remember talking to Jules and then his rage ... that was it, that was all Ella could recall. That fact frightened her because it meant ... well it meant lots of things. Her body seemed to race and then calm down, when Ella realized she could think and actually feel she knew she wasn't dead. This realization allowed Ella to calm down and she could feel her body relax. She fell into a quiet calm state for a time, then suddenly Ella's body told her to wake up, open her eyes. She tried to engage her eyelids and this time they fluttered, the girl felt something in her hand and squeezed what she thought to be another hand. The face that appeared above her caused Ella to fully open her eyes. She felt the tear her mother shed mingle with the few tears that escaped her own eyes. Ella relaxed as best she could with the awful ET tube in and realized she was going to be all right, that her body was indeed living and breathing.
Carter, Abby, and several others ran in when Elizabeth called out that Ella was awake. Smiles and deep breathes of relief could be seen and heard around the girls bedside. Carter and Abby looked down in to their goddaughters eyes and smiled. Elizabeth continued to stroke her daughters cheek as Ella followed the light as Abby instructed. They all went through the motions for a time and then Ella caught Sam's gaze. Ella's eyes pleaded, 'Please take the tube out!' , "Think the tube out now?" Sam asked in earnest. Elizabeth instructed Ella on what to do and moments later Ella took a deep breath then expelled the device. Coughing she was given a cup of water with a straw and Elizabeth held it as her daughter took small sips. Ella pulled her mouth from the straw and her mother put it down, Ella struggled up to hug her mother but screamed in agony as excruciating pain shot through her body. John administered a small dose of morphine and Dr. Corday told Ella to relax, "Relax now, talk later." The teen took a deep breath and lay back, she closed her eyes and fell into a calm, slightly drug-induced sleep.
Walking out of the trauma room Elizabeth went to the lounge for some coffee. Two faces greeted her when she entered, "Aunt Elizabeth!" the children exclaimed when they saw her. "Well, what brings you two here?" Elizabeth asked Charlie and Christine, hugging them each. "Mommy and daddy and me are gonna go see Alex, he got into Medisal School" Charlie told her, mispronouncing medical in his haste. Elizabeth smiled at the little boy and turned to Christine, "Carpool dropped me off here after school" Chris, as every one called her, stated."Is Ellie gonna be OK?" Charlie asked, this caught Elizabeth off guard as both children stared at her curiously concerned. "Yes she will be soon" Dr. Corday told them, 'I hope so at least', Elizabeth mentally added. "Good cause I love El, she's gotta be OK" Chris said in a matter-of-fact tone, Charlie nodded vigorously. Just then Luka walked in, "Daddy!" his son exclaimed, "Hey pal" Luka replied hugging him tight. "I hear Alex has achieved some of his dream" Elizabeth said smiling as Dr. Kovac collected the family's belongings. Dr. Kovac smiled and confirmed it, "Tell him congratulations for me" Elizabeth told her friend. "Thanks I will, Come on now Charlie, see you two later" Luka replied, winking at Chris and exiting. The doctor looked down at the girl as she colored and decided to got back to Ella with her coffee. "I'll see you later Chris," "OK" the child replied and continued on contentedly.
Elizabeth found Leila sitting in the trauma room taking to her daughter."Hi Aunt Elizabeth" she greeted, "Well hello" she replied hugging the girl. "I'm gonna go Ella, feel better, see you guys" Leila said departing. "How are you feeling?", "A bit groggy and sore but other than that fine." Dr. Corday smiled at her child and thanked God she was fine, "We have to talk, then you have to talk to the police" she told Ella in a tone the bore no room for discussion. "OK, here goes" Ella started, "Jules was mad because I was late for our date about a month or two ago. He hit me once, it progressed from there, I started having the nightmare when the situation became really out of hand. For some reason I decided today was the day I would break it off, I tried. I asked Jules into the hall and gave it to him straight, only I guess he flew into a rage, kicking and punching me over and over. That's all I remember. Until I woke up here at least." Ella took a breathe as she finished and looked for her mother's reaction. It was one of disbelief, "Why did you not come to me or someone here?" she inquired with interest. "I don't know, I thought I could handle it" the girl told her mom. Elizabeth just looked at her baby, the one link she had to Mark, the love of her life, her child. "Well, at least you'll be all right" the doctor said, then she left to go get an officer. Ella had to tell her story over again with her mother and friends anxiously listening. "OK we'll take care of it" Officer Cotage said and told Ella to feel better. Abby and Carter hugged Ella, "You guys call if you need anything, even just to talk" Abby offered. Ella thanked them and they left, going to retrieve their own daughter. "Ready to go home?" Elizabeth asked and her daughter nodded fervently, so Dr. Corday acquired the necessary papers and equipment. Ella was given some painkillers and instructed on what to do, although no one was concerned because of who her mom was. "See you all later and thanks" Ella said, hugging the staff, Elizabeth said her good nights and mom and child walked into the quiet night.
Night had engulfed the city as the two entered their home. Flicking on lights Elizabeth asked, "Hungry?", "Starved" was the reply, so she made them sandwiches. They ate in silence and Ella took her prescribed medication. By this time it was already 11:30, "You can stay home tomorrow" her mother said, it was almost a command rather than a suggestion."Ok, good night mom, I love you" Ella said embracing her mom lightly for she was still sore. "Love you too, more than anything" Elizabeth said kissing her daughters cheek. The 16 year old went upstairs to bed and he mother cleaned up, she headed for a warm shower thereafter. Sometime later the doctor and mother emerged from her room clothed in her favorite robe. Elizabeth went down to Ella's bedroom and peered in, she walked over and pulled the covers around her daughter and kissed her again. Elizabeth hoped they caught the bastard who had hurt her little girl. Dr. Corday walked to the door and took a deep breathe of relief as she was about to leave she thought to herself,'Thank you Lord that my daughter is going to be OK'. At least physically.