The Recreant - Part Three
Here’s the next chapter where Emma is finally back home so yes - this one brings on the angst. This also delves into the first of a couple of slightly controversial topics as the mystery that led to the attack deepens.
Situated on the third floor, Storybrooke Hospital’s tiny Intensive Care Unit was just steps away from the elevator. Designed for the care of no more than four patients needing special care and round the clock monitoring, the unit had its own dedicated nursing staff and even its own operating room. While it didn’t see a lot of traffic - even with the town’s isolation and often torrid developments - it was a necessity in a magical town where it wasn’t exactly possible to airlift patients to another facility. They’d had to adapt to take care of their own and currently, Killian was the only patient they were tending to. He’d come out of surgery only a few minutes earlier so the team was scurrying about, darting in and out of the doorway off to the left of the nurse’s station that was positioned in the middle of the floor, right in front of the elevator doors as they parted for Emma.
Her heart was heavy with uncertainty and she was both physically and mentally tired as she glanced around for Dr. Whale, tempted to poke her head into the room she knew her husband occupied, but she resisted – for now. She’d spoken to the doctor not fifteen minutes ago and he’d implored her to meet him as soon as possible, again not really getting into a lot of detail. Just the mention of the words “Intensive Care” gave her chills and she wasn’t feeling any less uneasy as she stood here now, slightly nauseated by the overwhelming scent of disinfectant in the air, even as she caught sight of Dr. Whale strolling toward her.
“Emma,” he greeted her while tugging off a pale blue surgical cap and tossing it into a bin labeled soiled linens. “Why don’t we talk over here?” He directed her toward an almost claustrophobic waiting room off to the right of the elevator which was spartanly furnished with only a battered black leather sofa and a scarred wooden armchair that appeared to have been borrowed from someone’s office (sometime back in the mid-1990’s maybe).
She nodded, moving slowly and apprehensively as she awaited Whale’s assessment of her husband’s injuries. She lowered herself onto the sofa and steeled her composure, finally looking up at Whale to make eye contact as he sat down in the chair across from her. If she hadn’t already been so upset, she might have been distracted by his ridiculous spiky platinum hair, but she fought to remind herself that she was here for his medical expertise, not for a fashion lecture.
“Okay,” she began, taking a deep breath to prepare herself for all that he would have to say. “You wouldn’t really tell me anything over the phone. I know this must be bad or you wouldn’t be so evasive.”
“I wasn’t intending to be evasive,” Whale replied sincerely. “I simply intended to have this conversation in person and in private.”
“Then be honest with me – how serious is this?” Her question was blunt, but that was not unexpected.