2007-09-10: Awake


Cass_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif


Billy Jones


Mr. Jones wakes up and has some questions. Can anyone blame him?

September 10th, 2007:


Bat Country Labs

Lee and Nima switch off shifts watching their father. But the store needs her. And Lee's job is 8-5. So there are times when he's alone in his room with his machines monitoring his coma. And of course, because Nima is innocent and the universe protects that, and Lee is a jackass and the universe punishes that, when the machines start beeping and whirring and there's a choking sound coming from his curtained-off room, there's no Jones twin around.

There is, however, an Aldric. Cass, ever since seeing Benjamin off, has stayed behind at the labs for one reason or another. Sprawled out on one of the comfy chairs the wrong way - her legs dangling off the arms and head nested against the side head rest, the woman is checking on some more test results and the like. However, the beeping and whirring and choking sound catches her by surprise and she quickly tries to extricate herself from her chair. What she manages to do is tumble from it onto the floor in a heap of limbs. Well. At least something is accomplished. Leaving the folder with the results on the floor, she goes dashing into Mr. Jones' room to check on him and the loud whirring machines.

Billy Jones is awake, and, considering that he is intubated, freaking out a bit. His arms spaz, the tubes and wires are going everywhichway, he hasn't hurt himself yet but he's definitely panicked.

Holy…! Mr. Jones' condition has been stable yet unchanged for more than a month now. Cass surprise at his sudden recovery is quickly replaced by the need to stop him from injuring himself in his panic. "Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones, please calm down!" Rushing to his side, she attempts to hold him down. "You're going to hurt yourself. Just…hold on a second. I'll help get these things off of you if you'll just calm. Down." Authoritative voice, that should help, right?

It does help, in fact. He recognizes he's in a hospital, and he relaxes, shuts his eyes hard, opens them wide several times, still adjusting to the light.

There are noises coming from the room where Nima's father is. Lachlan went to Cass' apartment, but when impatience took over, he decided to come to Bat Country Labs to see what was up. And if he finds Benjamin along the way, well, that's a bonus. Having left the binder at her apartment, he's empty-handed and hairy (still haven't shaved or gotten a haircut). He pokes his head in after hearing all the commotion, then blinks. "He's awake?"

Sort of a hospital. Once Billy has stopped struggling, Cass goes about removing the device that had kept him intubated. That's clearly the most important thing at the moment. The one thing he's most likely to hurt himself doing. Not even glancing over at Lachlan, clearly the father of her friends is awake because - hey look, his eyes are open - she focuses on the task at hand, trying to make it painless as is possible when you're pulling a tube out of a throat. "It would seem." Once the long tube is pulled out, she drops it onto a nearby countertop. "Wow. Okay. Now, don't freak out again. You're still hooked up to machines that would be a pain to replace."

Billy nods, tries to say something, but his throat is too dry and raspy, he finally manages: "Water?"

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Cass is doing doctory things with a tube down someone's throat. Lachlan's not usually the squeamish sort but holy Lord, he didn't want to see that. He grimaces, but says nothing.

Have the two found something that Cass is completely not squeamish about and Lachlan is? Incredible. Not taking a backward glance at the tube, she nods at Billy and goes out for a glass of water, bringing it back for him. "Drink slowly," she warns. For now, she leaves the other machines and instruments hooked up. Once they get things squared away, they can be taken off. "You've been out of it for quite awhile."

Jones drinks, he sips the water, like a good patient. He seems oddly calm about the prospect now that he is no longer choking. "…thanks." he says, his voice still scratchy. "Where am I?" he asks.

"Cassie, I'm just gonna go over here fer a bit," intones Lachlan, pointing to the other room. And off he goes.

That's good, at least. Calm Jones means a calm Cass. "Just let me know when you're finished, I can get you more water." First things first. Patient health. "You're at a private facility." The truth, at least. "Someone injected you with a powerful tranquilizer. It shouldn't have put you in a coma for this long, but it's been figured you had quite a bit of mental trauma while you were missing. I'm a friend of Nima and Lee." As Lachlan speaks, she looks up at him and nods to let him know that she heard. Right now, she's kind of involved with the strange turn of events in Mr. Jones waking up.

Jones eyes Lachlan's exit with a degree of suspicion (?), but he says nothing about it. "How long have I been here? What kind of private facility?" he croaks. "Nima and Lee…they were here earlier, weren't they? I…almost remember…"

Once Lachlan's gone, Cass gives the door a bit of a look, but that's it. Billy can be suspicious if he wants for the moment. "You've been here for almost two months now. It's, well, it's mostly a research facility but it's also set up for medicinal purposes. Your children were worried that if you were put into a regular hospital the police would try and arrest you. Or you'd try to walk off when you woke up." There's a nod. "They've been looking in on you." And will be quite happy to know that he's awake. "I can should actually call them to let them know you're awake now."
Jones offers her the water glass. "Not yet…please, I…I want to know what's going on. So I have something I can tell them, I don't remember anything. This research facility…is it involved with studying human evolution in some way?" Well, there's /that/.

Cass takes the glass from Jones with a startled sort of look. "Well…yes. Actually. Sort of." It's complicated and kind of hard to explain in one sitting. Especially when it's weird to talk about it all with a man who has been comatose for two months. Going for the sink, she pours more water for him. "I don't know what more I can help you with. We have theories and ideas about what happened while you were gone…but you're the only one who can say for sure. Really, I should call them. The two of them have been really worried about you. I can explain what I know while they're on their way."

Jones says, "It's just a blur, I really don't know…" He breaks down coughing, takes another drink of water. "I really don't know what I'm going to say, I feel pretty weak. Can't you just…just wait? For a little while…" He is a bit atrophied, although the top notch physical therapy has minimized any muscle loss. "And…I want to get up and go to the bathroom, um, in a minute." he says embarassedly. He'll need help with the machines.

Moving over, there's not much Cass can do to help him stop coughing other than make him drink more water. Frowning, she bobs her head in agreement for a moment. She'll hold off on calling Lee and Nima for the moment. "You don't have to say anything. Everyone's just going to be happy you're up and talking. The weakness is to be expected for now. You'll get your strength back up once you start digesting actual food not through an IV." In doctor mode, she's not embarrassed by the prospect of helping him to his feet and over to the bathroom when he'll need to. First, she'll make it easier by detaching most of the machines. The ones that were monitoring vital signs for changes. There are a lot of changes now and she can hook them back up if they're needed. "Of course, just let me know." There's a lot to talk about, but Cass will take it slow. There's a lot for him to take in after just waking up from who knows how long. "Do you know what the last thing you remember is? We might be able to take it from there."

Jones seems to think it over as she takes the wires off him. "Food actually…sounds good." He takes a drink, seeming to reach back. "We were in a car. There was a man. Evolved. Very dangerous." He ventures, quietly, as if experimenting with the memory: "I was trying to protect my family. Mary was there…" He pauses. He thinks. Nobody mentioned Mary - just Lee and Nima. "…oh god, she's still out there, isn't she?…" he says.

There's a frown and a touch of silence before Cass replies. "We'll find you some food. Something that won't upset your stomach." After not eating real food, he's going to be needing soup for a few days. But, that's not the answer to the question he actually asked. Most of the devices have been taken off now, but the IV is still in his arm. "She was in the hospital, but then she walked off on her own. No one's seen her since. But, there are people looking." When Billy mentions the Evolved, it takes her a moment to realize what he's said. "You said Evolved."

Jones says, taking a deep breath so he can get all the way through the statement: "Yes. You said you knew about it here. I assumed the only private facility that would pay for me and these machines for two months would be interested in that type of thing. Are you one of the Evolved yourself?"

"I. Well, I actually said I was studying human evolution." Cass gives him a wry grin and holds out her hand to see if he wants another refill on his water. Tilting her head slightly, she studies him for a moment. "Why do you figure that? And, uh, no, not as such."

Jones says, simply: "It's expensive. The shop didn't make that much money, Lee couldn't get me on his insurance if he wanted to, and this isn't a public hospital. So what is done here /exactly/?" He sits up and sips his water some more, clearly a little nervous about where this conversation is going.

"Well, I run more of a free clinic sort of research facility, so there you have it." Cass shrugs her shoulders and holds out her hands in a subdued 'tadaa' sort of manner. "As of the moment, not quite so much. Taking care of you, a few research projects, but it's not exactly fully operational quite yet." The nervousness is noted. "It's okay, Mr. Jones. You're still safe here."

Jones says, "Thank you. What's your name? Obviously you know mine…" He seems more relaxed.

Blinking, Cass shakes her head. "I'm sorry. I'm Cass. Cass Aldric. I've been friends with Nima for a few years now. And Lee, too, but I mostly know him through her." Now that he seems relaxed and has had his water, she looks again toward the door. Maybe to see if Lachlan is coming back or not. "They're good friends. If you're up for it…I could give them a call. Really, they're going to want to know you're awake. The both of them have been beside themselves about this all."

Jones seems to think about it. "Go ahead. Oh, before you go, are my belongings in here somewhere?" he asks quietly.

What with Mary having high tailed it as soon as she was up and about, Cass gives Jones a bit of a studying look as she stands up to go for the phone. Well, she'll be watching the door. "They're in one of the cupboards," she tells him, warmly enough. "I'll be right back." Standing up, she quietly steps out of Billy's room and goes for the phone, punching in Lee's number.

There's the sound of him - slowly, painedly - rummaging in the cupboard, or something like that. Lee answers the phone. "Hello?"

"Hey…Lee…" Cass is keeping an eye on the door as she talks, unsure of what to do. She'd ask Lachlan to keep an eye on Mr. Jones if she wasn't already attached to the phone. "It's Cass. Um, I've got some news." Spit it out! "You're father's awake."

"I'll be right down. He's not leaving, is he? I'll be right down." Lee says, in a hurry of a sudden, his sardonic snideness gone like the morning dew. But Jones doesn't come out. There's the sound of the little patient's bathroom door, the sink in there.

"No, I've got a pretty good eye on the door." Cass is kind of leaning over as she says this, checking on that door to make sure that no one is leaving. "We'll be here."

Lee hangs up his phone. A few minutes later, Billy has emerged from the bathroom. He is wearing his clothes, though he's not leaving, he's seated himself back on the bed. He's received excellent care - though weak, he's not infirm. It's only a few minutes after that that Lee's taxi squeals up outside and Lee comes bustling in, but Billy is back asleep again. Not in a coma, just asleep. He needs more time, more time to gather his strength, eat something, whether it's soup or solid. Lee is unbearably relieved. He lets his father sleep, sitting by the bed, trying not to break down again.

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