Return of the Renegades Aftermath

Before she even knew what was happening, a flash of light had transported her. Transported her out of the terror scene that was Gothic City as its absolute worst and straight into the warm, sunny embrace of Los Angeles. But while it may be named for angels, Los Angeles was anything but heavenly, at least in this moment.

"Jacob? Jacob?!?!" she shrieked his name even as she realized she was nowhere near him.

Bright lights assailed her sensitive eyes as she opened them, her heart pounding a staccato beat against her chest. The smell that wafted up to her could be described only that of medicine and other medical contraptions as she fell to her knees in the middle of the Cedars-Sinai emergency room. People milled about her, whispering, yelling, calling for gurneys. And she fought to retain consciousness, because she needed to find a way to get back to Gothic and ensure that Jacob stayed alive.

"Is that... is that Haven O'Shea?"

"It's the Commish's daughter."

"You need to call him."

"Call Murphy, while you're at it."

"Get some of her detail down here, do it now."

"I NEED A GURNEY NOW!"

She hadn't even realized her legs had collapsed beneath her until she felt the cool cement floor against her cheek. Everything had gone topsy-turvy, and it was hard to keep her thoughts in check. Everything went hazy as her lids began to drift close, and her hand curled as she fought for purchase.

The floor was cool and slick beneath her skin, and she knew that she had to stay conscious. That much had been ingrained in her since birth, since childhood, in every facet of her training. As long as you were conscious, you could do something. Anything. But the moment that you slipped, then you were fair game. She couldn't reconcile safety with being in a hospital, not when she had just been abruptly ripped from a war zone with no warning.

Strong hands lifted her body, and the metal frame of the gurney supported her as they ran with her to a private room, connecting an IV line and beginning a battery of tests even as they moved. Heaven forbid anything happen to the Commissioner's daughter, she silently mused. She knew full well that there were plenty of people who wanted to see her die for the truths that she had uncovered. But she'd be damned if today were that day.

Her eyes slipped shut as she lost the battle against unconsciousnesses, even as the nurse running alongside the gurney was calling out her stats, and for all to clear the hallway as they move dher along.

Hours Later

She came to with wires connected to her and a mechanical beeping whirring in the background. She hated hospitals with a fiery passion. She had since her mother had lost her life in one. The taste of bitter coffee still sat like a bad pill on her tongue, and the fact that she was essentially trapped in one at the moment did nothing to quell her temper.

She was a famously tepid woman, at least in the public's eye. But right now, all she wanted to do was thrash in the bed and rip the IV line out of the thin vein running through her skin.

Haven shoved the blankets away, only to discover that she had been stripped out of her clothing and placed into a hospital-grade nightgown. A tremble ran through her body as she closed her eyes and counted her heartbeats. He hadn't known what a hospital would do to her, he hadn't known, she had to forgive him.

The monitor connected to the probe on her finger began beeping with a frantic pace and she held her breath and counted, before exhaling and beginning deep breathing. The last thing that she wanted right now was a nurse. No. No nurses, no medical staff.

She quickly disconnected the medical equipment, despite knowing that it would send an alert, and slipped her legs over the side of the bed. This had seemed like a good idea before she had actually put it into action. Now her head was swimming, and if she were a cartoon, birds would be doing laps around her skull. In reality, she took a deep breath, dropped the electrodes on the bed, and slipped her feet onto the floor.

The entire world spun. Again. Frack. Frack frack frack. She'd really screwed up this time. She'd pushed herself too hard, too far, too quick. And now Jacob knew what she was able to do, and she'd never hear the end of it. But that wasn't her immediate concern. Her immediate concern was getting out of here.

Her legs wobbled like a newborn deer, and she almost skittered Bambi-style across the floor as she reached for the clothes that were folded on her chair, as if they'd been freshly laundered. The old beat-up pair of jeans and the softly worn tank-top were go-to's for her. Her old leather jacket was there as well, and she knew that somebody who knew her had been here.

That led to another thought, one more disastrous than any that came before it. Murphy. No... no. She screamed out in her mind. Murphy couldn't be here. Because if he was... her father had assigned a personal detail to her. Again. And she just couldn't swallow that injustice down.

The entire room spun and she drew in another deep breath as she stripped off the hospital gown and began the laborious process of dressing. It took her three or four tries to pull the skintight jeans up her legs, and to fasten them, but she managed finally. She caught a quick view of herself in a warped mirror and shuddered again. There were clear bags under her eyes and her dirty blonde hair was in a bedworn toussle around her head. But she was alive. She was alive. And so was Jacob, she hoped. And in this moment, that was all that mattered.

Her hand slipped against the cold metal lever of the door as she tried three times to open it, each more frantic than the last. She needed out, and she needed out immediately. She was going to go crazy in here if she stayed, for even a moment longer, she feared.

Finally, she got the door opened, and was immediately met with another obstacle. Officer Murphy, one of her father's most favored officers was positioned just outside of it. He looked so official in his uniform, but just slightly dangerous. His hair hung a little longer than it should have, the mine brown locks brushing his collar. And a small scar slicing through hsi right eyebrow spoke of the dangerous nature lurking beneath the placid surface of his temperament.

"Murphy?" she whispered, as she leaned against the doorframe, gathering all the energy that she possibly could in this one quiet moment. He turned his head to the side and the light green of his gaze met hers. She froze for one moment of time, knowing that she shouldn't be feeling this. There was nothing right about this, and all she wanted was out. Out of here, out of protection. Out.

"Haven, get back in bed," he muttered. Under any other circumstances she may have been amicable to such an order from him. But not under the current ones.

"No," she whispered. "I can't. I need to leave. I need to leave now, Murphy."

"Your father assigned me to guard this door, and to ensure that you stay inside and that no harm comes to you."

"Great harm is going to come to you, if you do not allow me to leave this room, Officer Murphy," she admonished.

Something flickered in his eyes. For just a moment she thought that she saw humanity there. And then it was gone, all emotion shuttered from her view as he stiffened his shoulders and straightened his stance. "Get back in bed."

"Did my father send you?" she asked, as she leaned against the doorframe, taking deep breaths.

"You know that he did."

"Do you think my father would approve of me injuring myself further in an attempt to escape due to the negligent officer he posted failing to read the room and act accordingly?"

She swore that he growled, and she caught something againn approximating human emotion in his eyes. She wanted to draw it out, to languor in it, to explore it. But she wanted to do none of those things at this moment. "Haven Isobel O'Shea," he growled, as if he were disciplining her.

She just smiled, knowing that she had struck a chord. "You don't hold any real authority over me. So your options are simple, my friend. Either escort me out of here, and help ensure my safety as I make my way home or to the destination of my choosing. Or..." she drifted off, grinning mischievously. "You can stand there on duty, wondering at which point I'm going to leave this hospital room. Out through the window? Bribe a nurse. Convince them I'm being held against my will? The options are so many... and all so much work for you. Don't you want to cut your losses and take the path of least resistance?"

"Haven..."

She was beginning to glory in the way that he said her name like that. Half as if he wanted her to shut the hell up, half as if he wanted to shove her against the wall and shut her up himself. She wouldn't be opposed to the latter, not by any means.

"Officer Murphy," she repeated in a sing-song voice. "It's time to make your choice."

He growled again, and she shivered in response. He grabbed for the phone in the holster at his hip, and she watched as his wide shoulders shifted, the uniform stretching across the impossibly large expanse of his muscle. "Commissioner? Haven's conscious and requesting.... err, she's demanding release. Yes sir. Yes... I. No sir, I don't believe that's prudent." His gaze darted to her as she fastened the buttons of the flannel overshirt that had been left out for her. The elbows were worn and the fabric was soft as can be. "Sir, I don't... yes, I have met your daughter." She fought outright laughter at that. "Sir, this is not a good idea by any stretch of the imagination, she's just been removed from a war zone and she's not looking her best."

"Not looking my best?" She interrupted quietly, an eyebrow arched with tepid amusement.

"No, not at all," he answered both of them simultaneously. "Sir... Yes, I. Yes sir, no sir. Yes.... sir, she's your daughter, this is not the most advisable of options.... Yes, I understand. I'll see her home safety.

Haven fist pumped while Murphy hung up the phone with her father, and batted her lashes at him with an arrogant level of confidence. "Time for home?" she asked, even as she struggled to stand upright.

"Time for home," he muttered in agreement, as he walked side-by-side with her to release herself AMA from the hospital.

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