The Next Emergency – 5

Andy sat beside the bed where Leon was sleeping. He wasn’t badly injured and he hadn’t lost too much blood. However, it was severe enough that they wanted to keep him overnight. When he was released, they’d want his arm kept in a sling for a few weeks. He wouldn’t be allowed in the field.

Somehow, Andy couldn’t bring himself to feel upset about that last. He heaved a sigh as he smoothed his hand through Mariya’s fur, focusing on the soft, smooth locks between his fingers. He had so much he needed to tell Leon and very little of it was good. At the same time, he wasn’t ready for his partner to wake yet.

“Hey, Andy Capp,” a soft voice said.

Andy’s eyes flew opened and he bit his lip. Releasing his breath in a huff, he said, “We’re both out of the field.”

“Nate took you out of the field for what you did?” Leon asked, his brows furrowing.

Grimacing, Andy said, “She says it’s not a punishment. It’s… until I come to terms with what I’ve remembered. She wants… My doctor will have to clear me.”

For a moment, Leon simply lay on the bed with a frown on his face. “That make sense,” he said, finally. When Andy tensed, Leon reached out and set a hand on his knee. “Don’t misunderstand me, Andy Capp,” he said, in a gentle tone. “It’s just that… I know that this isn’t easy for you to know. It’ll take some time for you to get your head wrapped around it.”

Andy nodded. In a softer voice, he added, “She wants to see… if maybe the Organization’s doctors can get rid of the conditioning too.”

Leon grimaced.

Dropping his gaze, Andy said, “She… called it a d-dangerous liability. If Dr. Caudill hadn’t been there to call me off…” he trailed off. He could feel himself beginning to panic.

However, Leon surprised him by saying, “Name five things you can see.”

“What?” Andy asked, blinking rapidly. Meeting Leon’s gaze, he said, “You… the window, the trees outside, a lamppost… cars?”

Leon grinned. “Name five things you can hear,” he said.

Although he didn’t understand what Leon was doing, he said, “My voice, the machinery, the public address system, my – my breathing, and – and I can hear my eyelids fluttering. Leon, what are you…”

“Name five things you can feel,” Leon said, nodding encouragingly.

Frowning, Andy shook his head. “Your hand on my knee, Mariya is sitting on my foot…” he trailed off and closed his eyes. “My clothes… I can’t think of anything else.”

“You also aren’t panicking anymore,” Leon said, his voice soft. When Andy looked at him in surprise, he smiled. “We’ll get through this, Andy Capp. Whatever happens, you aren’t alone anymore.”

Tears welled in his eyes, but dashed them away with the back of his hand and smiled. “Thank you,” he breathed. Heaving a sigh, he nodded quickly. “You’re right, but I needed the reminder.”

“That’s why I’m here, partner,” Leon said, nodding.

Heaving a sigh, Andy said, “There was an incursion by ACRE at the Brussels field office.” His voice was soft and his tone serious, but he was perfectly calm as he spoke. “They got away with certain Organization files. The Section Two agents that were sent are trying to figure out exactly which ones.”

“That’s bad,” Leon murmured, scowling.

Nodding, Andy said, “There’s more… Kolya and Kit were both injured in the attack.” His brows furrowed. “Kolya will be out for a couple weeks, but he’s at home for his recovery. Kit… is at OWL medical in Albany. He’s in rough shape, but he’s conscious and the prognosis is good.”

Leon heaved a sigh and flopped back again his bedding. “He’ll be fine,” he murmured. His eyes closed for a moment as he repeated the words.

Nodding, Andy said, “From your lips to the Great Father’s ears.” Heaving a sigh, he threw propriety to the wind and climbed onto the bed, to curl up against Leon. “We’ll all get through this, Leon. ACRE won’t win, whatever files they may have gotten.”

“From your lips,” Leon said, his tone wry. He kissed Andy’s brow and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. In a few moments, Leon had drifted back to sleep. Andy reached down to lift Mariya up beside them. Then – as she curled up against him – he drifted off to sleep as well. If the nurses were bothered by the scene, they also had the good sense not to disturb their slumber. Heaven knew it might be the last true rest they would get for some time.

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