Title: Don’t leave me this way – part 3
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to CBS. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time.
Summary: Sequel to ‘Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking’. We find out if someone else is infected – at least kind of.
warnings: some angst and hurt/comfort
Derek jumped when he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry.” the nurse smiled at him. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
Worriedly Derek turned back to the woman on the bed. “Did something happen?”
“No.” the nurse quickly assured. “I just need to change her bedding. Maybe you should go and get yourself a coffee, you look like you could use one.”
“How’re my looks your business?” he grumbled.
Shrugging the woman replied: “I just thought you wanted to look at least rested for your fiancée. The last thing she needs at the moment is having to worry about you, too.”
Derek snorted: “As if…”
“You should be home, handsome.” a weak, raspy voice interrupted him.
“Baby.” Derek’s voice softened considerably. “How are you feeling?”
“Not worse than yesterday.” Penelope smiled. “How are the others? Was anyone tested positive?”
“I don’t know.” he replied honestly. “I haven’t seen House or Thirteen in a while.”
“Would you go and find out for me?” she pleaded.
Sighing Derek gave in and left the room to get his baby girl the required information.
“You’re lucky, you know that.” the nurse smiled as she started to pull the sheets off of Penelope’s bed. “I wish my husband would care so much about me.”
“I wish Derek was my husband already.” Penelope replied weakly.
“Don’t worry”, the nurse smiled at her, “you two will exchange your vows in no time at all.”
“Dr. House didn’t seem to be so sure about that.” Penelope whispered.
The nurse just gave her an apologetic smile wishing that all the other tests would come back negative.
Derek sighed outside the door. He hadn’t meant to overhear the conversation inside the room but he had wanted to make sure that the nurse wouldn’t cause Penelope any pain. Unwillingly he made his way towards the waiting room. The hospital had locked up the whole ward after it had turned out that Penelope had a hemorrhagic fever.
“How did she manage to make you leave her side?” Thirteen asked as she stepped next to Morgan.
He smiled bleakly: “She asked me to find out whether anyone else is infected.”
“I was just on my way to talk to your family and your team members.” Thirteen replied. “You can join me.”
Derek nodded wordlessly. At least one of Penelope’s doctors seemed to be caring and compassionate. It was good that she was the one telling the others what was wrong with Penelope.
Everyone in the room turned their heads towards the door when it was opened.
“Good morning.” Thirteen greeted. “I fear the news I have for you isn’t all that good. Apparently, Miss Garcia has been infected with a hemorrhagic fever.”
“Oh, my God.” JJ gasp.
“And do they know what type it is already?” Reid wanted to know.
“It’s CCHF.” Thirteen replied.
“Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. ” Reid added. “It has a mortality rate between ten and fifty per cent. It’s basically contagious through contact with infected blood.”
“That’s right.” the woman affirmed.
“So… how will you treat her?” Fran asked quietly.
“That’s the problem.” Thirteen sighed. “Basically, we can only treat the symptoms but not the actual disease. There is no cure for hemorrhagic fevers – even though we’ve had some success with ribavirin.”
“And… what exactly does that mean?” Derek carefully asked trying to sound not as worried as he actually was.
“It depends on the fever.” Thirteen replied. “As Dr. Reid said the mortality rate of CCHF is about ten to fifty per cent, maybe a little less if the ribavirin works.”
“But?” Derek grumbled.
“Well, the most common way of getting infected is through direct blood contact. But still everyone who had close contact with her since she’s been exposed to the virus is endangered as well.” she explained.
“How can we be sure?” JJ whispered.
“That’s why you’re here. We need to run blood tests on everyone Miss Garcia had had contact with.” Thirteen answered and got ready to leave the room. “Who of you wants to be first to have a blood sample taken from?”
“JJ?” Hotch asked. He had figured that the first one having their blood tested would be the first one to get the results.
She just nodded slightly and followed Thirteen out of the room.
“My God, Derek, how is she?” Fran asked sympathetically and put a comforting hand on her son’s arm.
“Bad.” he whispered almost not audible.
“Let’s go and get some coffee.” Fran smiled at him gently leading him out of the room.
Sighing Derek followed his mother into the cafeteria where they sat down in a quiet corner. “She’s suffering.” Derek silently told his mom. “She’s in pain and she has trouble breathing. Yesterday she almost suffocated because she had too much blood in her lungs. They attached her to a breathing machine. It’s getting worse every day but you know what’s worst about all this?”
Fran reached over the table and gently took her son’s hands in hers: “That there’s nothing you can do to help her.”
He gave her a joyless smile: “Sometimes I think you know me too well.”
“You are helping her.” she assured. “Even if you aren’t able to take her pain away or help her breathe. But you’re with her. Trust me, that helps a lot.”
“Thank you, mom.” Derek whispered and took a sip of his coffee.
“Mrs. Morgan?” a nurse suddenly asked. “I’m sorry to interrupt you but we need to get your blood tested, too.”
“Oh”, Fran frowned slightly, “I didn’t think you’d be that fast.”
“We have three nurses taking the blood samples.” she explained. “A case like this has highest priority.”
“I understand.” Fran nodded and turned back to her son. “I’ll see you in the waiting room in a few minutes. You both need some rest.”
Derek nodded. Even though he didn’t like leaving Penelope alone for even a second he knew that his mother was right. He wasn’t able to watch her suffer anymore – and she certainly couldn’t stand the worry in his eyes anymore. Otherwise she wouldn’t have wanted him to go.
He emptied his plastic cup and then walked back to the waiting room. His mother had already returned as well as everyone else. Most of them were pacing the room, even Hotch seemed unusually agitated.
“Any news yet?” Derek wanted to know.
Des was just about to complain that this was taken them way too long when the door opened and Thirteen walked in.
“We have the first test results.” she told them with a small smile. “So far Desiree and Sarah Morgan as well as Agent Jareau are cleared to go home. All your results came back negative.”
“What about the others?” Des asked impatiently. “Why is this taking so long anyways? I mean, it’s not like you still have to figure out what kind of disease…”
“Ma’am”, Thirteen interrupted her, “I assure you we’re working as fast as we can. All your blood samples have highest priority to be tested. But still we have to double-check them to be entirely sure that none of you were infected. They’ll have all the results in not more than half an hour, I suppose.”
JJ took in a deep breath, the news that she wasn’t ill finally sinking in, before she asked: “Where did Penelope get infected?”
“That’s what we need to find out.” House replied as he limped into the room, five other files in his hands. “The rest of you are cleared to go as well.”
“What about my son?” Fran wanted to know.
House eyed her up: “So you are Mrs. Morgan. No wonder he seems to be more attracted to white women.”
Knowing well enough where this conversation would lead to Thirteen sneaked out of the room to look for Derek’s test results.
“Hey, easy buddy.” Derek warned through gritted teeth.
“I’m just stating facts.” House shrugged. “Our parents considerably affect the type of people we’re attracted to. So if your mother’s white that at least partly answers the question of what you might find in this girl.”
Derek clenched his fists but his mother put a comforting hand on his arm. “I married my husband in the sixties so there’re only few things you can say I haven’t heard already – even though I have to admit that I haven’t met someone so narrow-minded in a very long time.”
House gave her an appreciative look and one corner of his mouth moved upwards almost not noticeable. “The results of your son’s blood test will be back soon.” he answered Fran’s former question. “We’re just triple-checking to make sure he’s not infected since he was… closest to the patient.”
“She’s got a name.” Derek grumbled.
Again House just shrugged: “I’m terrible with names. That’s why I became a doctor. I can just refer to everyone as ‘the patient’.”
“I wonder why you became a doctor at all.” Fran jumped in. “Didn’t they tell you that you’d have to deal with people.”
“Normally I don’t have to.” House replied. “That’s what my assistants are for. I only deal with diseases. But unfortunately, this time they only allowed me to take one member of my team with me. So you’ll have to put up with me.”
“I understand.” Fran nodded. “Thank you, doctor, I’m really relieved now.”
Both House and Derek gave her a quizzical look.
Fran gave the older man a warm smile: “Well, you indeed must be a great doctor.”
House raised an interested eyebrow at her.
“The hospital obviously doesn’t employ you because of your great social skills.” Fran said in the sweetest voice she could manage. “I know a thing or two about the policy of hospitals. If they are willing to take the risk of being sued because of your behavior it means that there’s no other doctor in the world as good as you. If there was, you wouldn’t be here.”
JJ and Emily giggled softly.
Derek gave his mother a puzzled glance.
Des and Sarah grinned at each other.
Rossi leaned over to Hotch and whispered: “I think, I’m in love.”
“Doctor, do you have any idea how or where Garcia got infected?” Hotch asked to get the conversation back to the actual problem.
“Well, since she hasn’t been in
“What does that mean?” Sarah frowned.
“Dr. House is obsessed with the idea that I’m cheating on Penelope.” Derek grumbled and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “Tell me, doctor, why then is she the one showing symptoms and not me?”
“Maybe you really didn’t cheat on her.” House shrugged. “Maybe she was the one needing to try and find what you didn’t want to give to her.”
“What, now you’re suggesting that Penelope cheated on me because I didn’t want her?!” Derek almost yelled at him.
“Maybe you should try and find out who else is having this specific disease.” Reid jumped in trying to argue logically to calm the situation. “Then you can look for a connection to Garcia.”
“What do you think we’re doing all day long, sitting on our hands?” House snorted. “We’re testing everyone in this hospital who’s showing the smallest symptoms of a flu for a hemorrhagic fever right now and we’ve asked every hospital within a radius of a hundred miles to do the same but so far we’ve got nothing. So what does that tell us? Certainly that Miss Garcia wasn’t infected here or anywhere near this place meaning that she must have…”
Thirteen interrupted him by storming back into the room: “Doctor, we have a problem.”
“What kind of problem?” he wanted to know without taking his eyes off of Fran who was holding his gaze with a small smile on her face.“We have another case of CCHF.” Thirteen informed him a little breathlessly.