2007-10-16: Life in the ER


AJ_icon.gif Cam_icon.gif Micah_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Niki takes Cam and Micah to the ER after the events of Farewell, My Ragtime Gal, and run into Aidan.

Date It Happened: October 16th, 2007

Life in the ER

Uptown, NYC - Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai, being handy to the scene of the crime earlier this evening, has an ER packed with people in all states of injury. Minor, moderate, even severe, if they're not in danger of dying on the spot; they're all here, bloody, burned, trampled. But it's minus Niki Sanders and the two children she wasted no time in driving here; it only took minutes - it's in Emerge's parking that we find them, on their way in. That's the plan, anyway.

"There must be someone I can call for you," she tells Cam. There's been no time, yet, for things like questions, reprimands, or anything other than focus on getting away from Central Park and constant spikes of worry. "Someone to come get you."

Since being pulled from the mayhem in the park, Micah has been pretty much silent for the entire trip to the hospital. It's only now that he speaks up. "I don't need to go here, mom. I'm perfectly fine." Right. Absolutely. Micah's not afraid of hospitals or anything. Nope. Not at all. Just the technology that lies behind those doors. "I didn't see anyone with him at the park." Of course, there wasn't anyone with you either, Micah.

With his shoulder hit by severe acid burns, which tore a little in the escape causing the bleeding, and the pain returning the more calm he gets after the escape, Cam hasn't said much on the drive over. He answers now, though, wiping at his eyes with his good hand and answering honestly, for once, "I don't got nobody. I… I stay at a shelter near the park."

Micah may be okay, but Cam… Niki's no doctor, but she can tell his shoulder needs help. Always keeping close to the boys, the blonde mom-figure starts to head toward the hospital doors, guiding them with a hand on each of their smaller backs, but starts to hesitate at Cam's answer. In fact, she stops entirely in order to walk around in front of him and crouch. He's homeless? "Well," she gives Cam a warm, reassuring smile, exchanging glances with Micah, "Come on, let's get that shoulder taken care of. We'll make sure you're looked after. Okay? We'll stay, as long as we need." And maybe then some. She takes his hand - on the good side - and then Micah's, and walks to the hospital.

Micah's protesting seems to have done little to effect the course of present history. Intrigue fills his eyes as Cam bears honesty. "What happened to your parents?" It's probably not the best time for such questions, but curiosity overwhelmed Micah for a moment. Accepting his mother's hand, he continues along towards the ER doors.

Cam blinks at Niki's answer, "You'll stay?" A little shocked by this, but he doesn't object in the least, in fact seeming reassured. Being in a hospital alone isn't really anything anybody wants, no matter how independent. Then, remembering he hasn't even introduced himself, adds to both Niki and Micah just before they go through the ER doors, "I'm Cam." Then, answering Micah's question as they go inside, he answers, though obviously not telling everything, "They're missing. I dunno where they are." As they get inside, his eyes widen a little as he sees the crowd.

"Micah…" Niki is too late to stop her son from being quite so blunt, but she gives Cam a touched, apologetic look on his behalf. Sounds like a sensitive subject. Micah ought to know, given the fact that he lost his dad - for awhile. She lets go of Cam long enough to push the door open, and … chaos. Like the boy, she stares at the full ER, overwhelmed for a second by all the victims - that is, survivors - from Central Park. Even as they cross the threshold, they're in the way of more people coming in — though whether the next man in is from the same incident or not, who knows. "And, of course. I wouldn't want you to be alone. I'm Niki, and this is my son Micah." Now, where to go…? That desk over there with a nurse behind it, maybe. How to register a kid with no home and no parents for medical attention? Well, we'll find out.

After he got away, he went home. Probably not Aidan's brightest idea. Rebecca and some of the others were already there. They took one look at his side and dragged him to the car and towards the hospital. Not really something that he wanted to do. But, with strong-willed roommates, there's not much arguing. Though Rebecca comes in with him, he knows that she won't stay after he's officially gone in. Not that he minds. But he goes willingly to the ER with a sigh of reluctance. As he sees the sheer number of people, his eyes open wide. He pauses, only to be shoved further in by his roommate. "Becs. I don't know if this is such a good idea. We'll spend all night here." He says, biting his lip, eyes scanning about. His glances landing on random faces, wondering if he knows anyone here.

"Sorry!" Micah apologizes. Yeah, he should have know better, but kids and curiosity…dangerous mix. Whoa. What a packed house this place is, but that doesn't stop him from raising his eyebrows at Cam's response. "Maybe I can help you find them when we get out of here." Right, kid. You're probably going to be grounded for your next five lifetimes.

Cam shrugs to Micah's appology, an obviously instinctive response as he shrugs his bad shoulder too which makes him yelp a little. After, though, he says, "It's ok." Then at the offer he says, "Thanks. I dunno, I been looking all over, even on the net at school, haven't found nothing." He follows Niki along still, glancing around as they pass people approaching the nurse.

In the line for the nurse's station, Niki glances around the ER, eyeing the myriad of injured people with a hard look, no doubt thinking of those responsible. Of Micah's unique offer of help, she says nothing. It's not a bad idea, and her concerned look at Cam says that she wants to ask more questions too, but let's not get his hopes up yet. "Does it hurt too bad?" Niki asks gently, hoping the answer is no, but eyes the shoulder Mandy touched and suspects otherwise. As the woman ahead of them is ushered away, Niki steps ahead of the kids to speak with the nurse — she keeps her tones low, and urgent, as she explains the situation with such key phrases as "no parents or guardians…" and "like acid" drifting back.

A few moments later, a very overworked young nurse greets Cam with a resilient smile and leads him to the adjacent triage to check him over. Niki follows, arm around Micah. She has imprints of dark blood on her jeans here and there and her hands are slightly reddened from touching Micah's bloody clothes. And to think she looked tired before she got the text message of doom.

As he stands there, waiting for his turn for triage, with a clipboard and paper in hand to fill in his medical information, Aidan looks up in time to see Cam move into the triage. "Oh thank god that kid's safe." He mutters. Rebecca looks at him and he shakes his head. "Oh, I know that kid. He was at the comic shop I went to that day. And in the park with Kory the other day." He doesn't mention what he saw ON the kid, because that's nobody's business but his own. He does have to apologize, though. Not only for running away, scared, but for his disbelief in things the other day. But, that can wait. Hopefully he'll be sent over near where Aidan's sent after getting the basic checkup.

Micah's mom isn't nearly as covered as Micah is. Wonder how many passes through the laundry it'll take to get all the blood out? While they're waiting for Niki to finish, he turns back to Cam with a nod. "Yeah, but I know a few tricks that might help." As the nurse comes to help Cam, Micah follows along with his mom. Maybe they'll get out of here sooner, rather than later.

Cam nods a little to Niki's question, then stays back as Niki talks to the nurse, looking to Micah. "Thanks. That'd be awesome." Even through the pain, the possibility of finding his parents is big. Or maybe especially because of it. In any case, as the nurse takes him into the triage area he follows. His shirt, with the shoulder eaten away, has to be taken off to clear the wound area of stray fibres. The burns are severe, but a relatively small area, and not life-threatening except risk of shock and infection. His temperature is very low, too.

Sooner rather than later? Not likely. There are people worse off than Cam here, just as there are those who fared better, leaving him somewhere in the middle. After the triage finishes her job, she gives him and his impromptu guardians a curious look and asks, "Has this already been cleaned?" The wound seems to have had some contact with water recently, unlike most of the patients she's seen so far. When Niki can't answer, they're sent to wait - but not before Cam is given a blanket and Micah is given a wet cloth, for what good it will do for the blood.

"There's no way you're going back to a shelter tonight," Niki says, shaking her head, brow creased as she heads for a few of the rare empty chairs, sinking down beside Aidan without the first clue who he is or where he came from. "You can stay with us."

Fortunately, Aidan's own person isn't that bloody. He must have instinctively caused everything to 'not stick' to himself. Who knows? As they sit down beside him, Aidan offers his clipboard to a nurse. Turning to the left, he sees Cam and offers a half-smile. "Hey, kid. Glad to see you're relatively alright." He says softly. He bites his lip as he glances at the people surrounding him. He offers them a nod. "Don't know ya, but I'm glad you're safe, too." He says, since it's fairly obvious that they must have been there too. Bloodbath and all.

Micah accepts the wet cloth. "Thanks." As they're herded back to the waiting room, he uses it to wipe down his face and arms. That's all it takes for the cloth to become stained red. Luckily, the staff has set up bins for used clothes in the waiting area and the cloth is deposited in one they pass. Mention of Cam staying with them is cause for a grin. It's been a while since Micah's had any semblance of kids his age over to the house. Hopefully dad's not still sleeping on the couch though!

Cam blinks as he's given a blanket, "I'm not cold, really…" Of course, who'd believe the patient over the instruments, especially when that patient's a kid? He sits down by Niki and Micah, though unless Niki makes him he doesn't put the blanket over himself. At the offer he blinks, looking back up to Niki, "Really?" Then he adds, "Swear, won't steal nothing from you." As if people suspect him of that a lot. As Aidan greets them, he gives a wave with his free arm. "Hi."

Niki, a little surprised that someone seems to recognize the wayward twelve year old, smiles tiredly at Aidan. "You too." Some people weren't so lucky. Cam gets a curious look for his defensive answer, but— well, he's a street kid. She lets it slide. "Yeah. Really," she replies, smiling, as she starts to drape that blanket over him. It's just an instinct; she's running on automatic mom mode. Kind of like how she then reaches out for Micah to draw him closer and tugs down the end of her red shirt's sleeve and uses it to rub off a streak of blood he misses on his jawline. "And you. What the heck do you think you were doing running off to Central Park?"

Biting his lip, Aidan offers a lopsided smile to Cam. "Hey, I owe you a couple of apologies. The first… for that day in the shop and in the park. I understand why you like that stuff, and why my brother does. Just something that never caught my eye, but now, I can see why." He says with a bit of a grin, hoping that Cam understands it. Kids are often smarter than adults treat them. His brother was always way too smart for his own good. "And then, for freaking out back there. I was trying to get to you to get you out of there and when the lights blew, I freaked out. I lost control of myself." Hey, at least he's not too egocentric as to deny the truth. "You're a braver man than I am." He admits, wrinkling his nose in a chuckle.

Oh snap! Micah thought, just maybe, he might be off the hook for the moment. The current situation maybe having caused his mom to forget about his illicit expedition to the park. "It was the Amazing Magma, mom!" Right. Good answer. "And it was free. Besides, Frank's older brother was with us. We weren't alone." Yeah, except their escort got distracted by girls. And left them alone.

Cam doesn't object to the blanket this time, though by his face he still thinks he doesn't need it. He's careful to position his injured arm outside the blanket, of course. To Aidan he says, "I ran when the lights went out too. That's when she saved me." To try to help Micah's excuses, he adds, "There were lotsa kids there alone. Stuff like that don't usually happen at magic shows. Was an awesome show too, 'til…" He trails off there.

Amazing Magma, Frank's brother, she hears it all, but all those excuses are too flimsy to hold up. When Micah's expeditions put him in any sort of danger, you can bet Niki's not going to be so fast to forget. "You can't just go off like that," she scolds, but her anger is far overshadowed by worry and it's obvious by her tone of voice. She looks to Cam with a small frown. Of course he was alone. "You have to let me know where you are, Micah, always," she tells her son adamantly, leaning ahead in the chair over her knees. "Because things like this can happen, and— what if I wasn't close?" Speaking of Micah not being alone, "What happened to your friends?"

"Well, still. I'm sorry I ran off like that. I'm an adult. I shouldn't have." Aidan nods to Cam as he gets called into Triage, himself. "I'll be back." He chuckles. His own injury is not bad. He's more worried about the scarring than the actual damage. He's just missing a little skin and that'll grow back pretty easily. It's mainly blistered and bloody. Nothing really serious. But roomies freak.

Micah's face fades just a little bit, clearly displaying the fact he's sorry. Dark eyes look up sadly at Niki, hoping buy him some slack in punishment. "Maybe if I had my own phone I could have?" Bargaining for the potential win? Speaking of his friends…."Frank and Corey took off running. I think they made it away. Frank's brother though…." Does the sentence even need finishing? Or does the downturned smile on his face tell it all?

Cam, at the frown, shuts up. Attempting to help Micah right now obviously isn't going to work. He looks to Aidan as the man goes off to triage, and then looks back to Niki and Micah, biting his lip at the news of Micah's escort. He says nothing for the moment, though.

"He— " And this is why 'Frank's older brother' did not hold up as an excuse. "Oh, God." Niki's shoulders slump a little and her expression softens, but becomes even more worried, because what if it had been Micah? "A phone's not gonna help you if me or your dad are halfway across the city," she points out.

Coming out of triage, Aidan's labelled as low priority. Basically bandages and a good cleaning. Ah well, He told Rebecca that, but she wouldn't listen. He moves over to join where he was before. He doesn't know Cam doesn't have a family. Honestly, with the current state of things, he assumes he's with the other two. Rather than join in the conversation, he says nothing. Not his place. Family matters and all.

"No, but…." Micah trails off, knowing that retaliation isn't going to work. He could have called from Corey's house. He reaches out to give his mom a reassuring hug. "I'm sorry." It's not much, but all he can think of at the moment. Pulling back, he tries to cheer up the atmosphere by glancing over at Cam. "You read comics at all?"

Cam smiles just a bit at Micah's question, nodding emphatically, "Yeah! X-men and Spider-man are my favourites. There's this awesome comic store near my school, I go there every day after classes. They got a box of comics people can read for free if they want, but I buy stuff too sometimes, when I got money." A topic he can get excited enough about to distract him, it seems.

Niki hugs Micah tight, reluctant to let go — but she does, if only so he and Cam can talk. About comics. It's so fast, how kids bounce back sometimes. Her demeanour, on the other hand, couldn't be more opposite, save for the small, lingering smile of affection on her lips. Catching sight of the woman from the nurse's station waving her over - her, specifically - she tells the kids, "I'll be right back." Don't go anywhere is implied. She slips off to exchange a few quiet words with the nurse, which involves a lot of glancing back at Cam.

"I'm gonna have to start going there more often. Lots of things I need to look into." Aidan snorts to himself. But he's sure that Cam and the others will hear. "Not to mention, there's some other things I wanna find out about and Kory seems to know a lot." He nods, pondering the plannings of the future. As the kids talk, he leans back in his seat, wincing a little at the place on his side. "I just know it's gonna scar. Well, there's always parts for dancers that do wear shirts." he grumbles to himself.

"Not moving." Micah replies, nodding his head and causing his curls to bounce lightly. He watches as his mom heads to the nurse before turning back to Cam. "The Lair, right? I think I've seen you there before." He's not certain, could be wrong. "I've got a huge collection. Iron Man. Hulk. X-Men. 9th Wonder." Of course the last isn't produced anymore.

Cam nods to Niki, and then more quickly to Micah at the mention of the Lair, grinning, "Yep. Best store in town." His eyes widen at the collection mentioned, "Awesome! I don't keep mine long, nowhere to put them 'cept my locker at school, and not much room there."

Niki is caught up in filling out a form of some kind; she nods to the nurse and starts to head back to the boys when, as luck would have it, she's cut off by another member of hospital staff who gestures at Cam and points down a hall. The hospital is making progress with its more urgent cases, leaving more room for people like Cam, who aren't so dire but still need attention. It's probably another waiting room. "I guess it's time to move," she says, holding a folded paper in front of her as she appears behind Cam and Micah's seats. "Maybe it won't be so long after all."

Aidan offers a wave to the boys as the leave. "I'll probably see you at the shop. I'm planning to go there sometime to see Kory again anyway." He offers with a grin. His own case will be a while longer, as he's not so severe. He breathes a sigh of relief, to himself, at the fact that his running in fear didn't cause anything worse to happen to the kid.

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