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Supernatural Hospital

Chapter Text

         “Good morning, Wei Wuxian” a tall young man with fair skin, long brown hair, and brown eyes dressed in a light gold shirt and beige pants overlaid with a white lab coat called out as he entered the medical lab.  A tall young man with light skin, long black hair, and brown eyes in black slacks and black dress shirt overlaid with a white lab coat and looked up from his microscope, smiling slightly.

         “Good morning Jin Zixuan” the man, Wei Wuixan, replied.  The man in the gold shirt, Jin Zixuan walked over to the microscope and peered into it.  

         “Any luck?” he asked before he pulled away and frowned.

         “I don’t see a difference” he stated. Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “Yes, the cultures are coming up negative” he replied but before he could finish his sentence, his pager buzzed.  He frowned and pulled out the device, looking at the message on it.

 

New case.  Conference room.

 

He sighed and placed the device back into his coat pocket before he looked up at Jin Zixuan.

         “New case” he declared before he looked over his shoulder.

         “Sara!” he called out.  A young woman, about 23 with black hair tied in low pigtails, walked up to him with a bright smile.  He smiled back.

         “Sara, can you finish this for me?  I’ve got something super important to attend to” he explained.  The woman nodded.

         “Yes doctor” she replied.  Wei Wuxian nodded to her before he looked over at Jin Zixuan.

         “Come on, let’s go” he ordered.  Jin Zixuan nodded and quickly followed the Pathologist as he exited the medical lab.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The two doctors walked down the hall when they were soon joined by two more doctors, Dr. Jiang Yanli, a young woman of average height with fair skin, long black hair, and brown eyes, who was also Dr. Jin Zixuan’s wife, and Dr. Lan Xichen, a tall man with light skin, wavy brown hair and brown eyes.

         “I’m guessing you received the page too?” Lan Xichen asked, glancing over at Jiang Yanli, Wei Wuxian, and Jin Zixuan.

         “I did.  Do you happen to know what kind of case this is?” Jiang Yanli asked.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “No, I don’t.  And I’m not sure why it involves all of us, as we’re from completely different disciplines” he replied.  Wei Wuxian shrugged.

         “There must be a reason for the overlap.  Now come on.  Wen Qing will have our asses if we’re not there soon” he declared.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

When the four doctors entered the conference room, the other doctors, Xiao Xingchen, Xue Yang, Jiang Cheng, Lan Wangji, and their boss, Wen Qing, a young woman of average height with fair skin, long black hair, and brown eyes, were already discussing the case.

         “Wei Wuxian, Lan Xichen, Jin Zixuan, Jiang Yanli, you’re late” Wen Qing, the head of Supernatural General, stated, glaring at the four doctors for their excuse.

         “I apologize ma’am, I was busy with another patient’s case” Lan Xichen replied.

         “I was finishing some pathogen cultures” Wei Wuxian replied.

         “I was filling out reports” Jiang Yanli replied.

         “I have no excuse; I just finished a case” Jin Zixuan stated.  Wen Qing hummed before she turned back to the case files spread out over the table.

         “A young girl around the age of six is experiencing personality change, seizures, myoclonus and ataxia.  Tell me, what disease is this?” she demanded.

         “It sounds like subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, otherwise known as Dawson disease” Wei Wuxian replied.  Wen Qing nodded.

         “Good Wei Wuxian” she replied.  

         “How long has this child has this disease?” Jiang Cheng, a tall young man with light skin, long dark brown hair, and brown eyes, asked.

         “She had measles when she was eighteen months old.  Barely survived.  Her parents began to notice the change in her personality around the age of four or five” Wen Qing replied.  

         “And she’s only six now, right?” Lan Xichen asked.  Lan Wangji, a tall young man with light skin, long dark brown hair, and brown eyes, nodded.

         “Yes.  Why?” he asked.

         “Because—” Wei Wuxian started before he cleared his throat.

         “—if we can catch it now, we can at least slow down this disease and treat it.  It’s still in stage 1 and it hasn’t progressed to stage 2, where it’s basically incurable.  So, if we want to save this girl’s life, we need to act now.  Have test been done on her?” he demanded.  

         “Yeah, a few months ago.  None have been done since” Lan Xichen replied, looking over at the Pathologist.  

         “Get her an MRI, now” Wei Wuxian ordered.  Lan Xichen nodded and quickly walked out of the room, Jiang Cheng following him; since he was a Pediatrician, he was trained to work with children.  Wei Wuxian then looked over at Xiao Xingchen, a tall young man with light skin, long dark brown hair, and brown eyes.

         “Once Lan Xichen has gotten the results, I want you to check them to make sure that I diagnosed her correctly” he stated.  Xiao Xingchen nodded before he turned out of the room while Xue Yang, a tall young man with light skin, long black hair, and brown eyes, placed his hands on his hips.

         “What about me?” he asked.

         “Follow after Xiangchen and if the results are what I think they will be, I want you to create a concoction of intrathecal interferon alpha and intravenous ribavirin, understand?” Wei Wuxian ordered.  Xue Yang nodded and walked out of the room, Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan leaving as well.  Once they had left, only Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Wen Qing remained.

         “If you don’t mind, Wen Qing, but I’m going to check on this girl’s family and tell her what we think is happening” Wei Wuxian requested, looking at Wen Qing.  The Dean of the hospital nodded and Wei Wuxian walked out of the room, Lan Wangji following him.

         “Wei Ying, you’re not the type of doctor who should be talking to a patient’s parent” Lan Wangji stated as he walked next to Wei Wuxian.

         “Don’t tell me how to do my job, Lan Zhan” Wei Wuxian snapped.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “I’m not telling you how to do your job, I’m just explaining to you that your brain runs on logic, statistics, and fancy words that most normal human beings don’t understand” he explained.  Wei Wuxian shot him a look, making him sigh.

         “What I’m trying to say is, let me deal with the child’s parents and you worry about the actual patient.  Okay?” he offered.  Wei Wuxian sighed and was about to reply when suddenly a scream echoed through the hallway.  The two doctors looked at each other before they ran down the hall to where they saw two men standing in the middle of the room, one pointing a gun at a young nurse named Jin Ling.  

         “If one of you is enough stupid to make a move I’ll shoot him dead, understand?” the man growled.  When Jin Ling saw Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian, his eyes widened in fear.

         “Hanguang-Jun!  Uncle Wei!” he exclaimed.

         “It’s alright Jin Ling, everything’s going to be fine” Wei Wuxian soothed while the other man, the one who wasn’t holding the gun, pointed at him and Lan Wangji.

         “Stay away from the doors.  No security guards.  No phone calls.  Just stay still and silent and no one gets hurt” he declared.  The man with the gun then pointed at Lan Wangji.

         “You!  Shut the doors, close the curtains, then bring me that damned phone and call the boss of this fucking hospital!” he ordered.  Lan Wangji nodded and placed a hand on Wei Wuxian’s arm, silently ordering him to do as the man instructed.  Wei Wuxian nodded and quickly walked over to the exit, locking the glass doors while Lan Wangji reached for the phone and handed it to the man.

         “What’s your name?” the man with the gun demanded, looking at Lan Wangji.

         “Dr. Lan Wangji.  Oncologist” Lan Wangji answered.  While the two men were looking at him, Lan Wangji let his gaze wander around the room for a moment.  A few patients and nurses were staring at them, holding their breaths anxiously, but other than that, everyone seemed to be unharmed.  Behind him, Wei Wuxian’s face was pale but he nodded when their gazes met, silently assuring him that he was alright.  He then looked back at the two attackers, noticing that they were both nervous and kept exchanging hesitant glances.

         “May I ask why you’re doing this?” Wei Wuxian asked as he walked over to Lan Wangji.  The man with the gun glanced at him as if he was crazy, his eyes showing the first sign of panic. 

         “Now, you’re not in the position to ask question, Dr. –” the man paused, looking at Wei Wuxian, expecting to receive a name.

         “Wei Wuixan, Pathologist” Wei Wuxian replied.  The two men nodded.

         “I’m Harry Spengler and the other guy is Victor Henriksen.  Phone your boss” Harry ordered.

         “That won’t be necessary” Wei Wuxian stated.  Harry and Victor looked at him with raised eyebrows.

         “She’s here, in the Clinic.  We just finished a meeting with her.  I’m sure she’s still in her office” he explained.  Victor narrowed his eyes at him before he pointed at Lan Wangji.  

         “Come here, Doc” he ordered and, as soon as Lan Wangji walked over to them, Victor grabbed him, letting Jin Ling go in exchange.

         “Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed as he pulling Jin Ling into his arms, holding him protectively.  Victor then snarled as he pointed the gun at Wei Wuxian, making the Pathologist freeze.

         “Now, Dr. Wei, if you want your friend to stay safe, take all these people out of here and go talk to your boss. Tell her what’s going on and that we need the best doctor in this hospital.  She mustn’t call the police or Dr. Lan is dead.  No tricks.  His life is in your hands” he threatened.  Wei Wuxian frowned before he removed his arms from around his nephew and gently pushed him away, motioning for him and the others to leave the room before he faced Victor and Harry.

         “Threatening a demon and holding an angel hostage.  That’s plucky” he sneered.  The two men blinked in confusion before Wei Wuxian’s eyes began to glow red and black smoke began to curl around him.  Harry and Victor quickly stepped away from Lan Wangji as he walked over to Wei Wuxian and stared at the two men as his eyes glowed white, a blinding white aura surrounding him.  Victor and Harry gasped but as quickly as they transformed, Wei Wuxian’s eyes dimmed and the smoke faded away as Lan Wangji’s dimmed and the aura disappeared.

         “Now, if you were ill, you could have just said so” Wei Wuxian scolded.

         “We’re in a hospital, we’re doctors.  Treating people is our job.  And you’re clearly one of them” Lan Wangji added.  Harry and Victor blinked in shock before Victor shook his head.

         “It’s not us, it’s our son” he snapped, making Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian look at him in confusion. 

         “Your son?” Lan Wangji repeated.  Victor nodded as he motioned to the gun in his hand.

         “Maybe this way I’ll convince someone to try and help my son!” he exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji said nothing as they stared at him.

         “No one understands what your son has?” Wei Wuxian asked gently.  Victor shook his head.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Well, this hospital is full of supernatural beings who are trained in the field of medicine, so with our training plus our supernatural abilities, I’m sure we can diagnose your son with the proper diagnosis” he assured.  Harry crossed his arms.

         “Are you sure?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “We are” he replied before he looked at the gun in Victor’s hand.

         “Now, if you don’t mind, would you please put the safety on that gun?  I understand that this is a hospital, but we’re not exactly prepared to take a patient with a bullet wound because you were being and didn’t bother to put the safety on” he snarled.  Victor looked down at the gun in his hand and let out a little laugh.

         “Oh , don’t worry Dr. Wei, this gun is fake!  The last thing we want is to hurt somebody” he explained.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked at him in shock.

         “What?!” they exclaimed.  Victor nodded.

         “We apologize for scaring you and the others, but we needed someone to look at our son’s case.  We don’t have the money for a private clinic and we didn’t want to create panic, but we couldn’t find a better way to get the attention our son needs” he explained.  Lan Wangji huffed.

         “I’m going to have to disagree with you on that last statement” he murmured before he looked over at Wei Wuxian.

         “Tell brother and Jiang Cheng that they’re in charge of the other case” he instructed.  Wei Wuxian looked up at him and pouted.

         “But Lan Zhan—” he started.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “Wei Ying, these men need us more right now.  We have more than capable doctors taking care of our young patient” he interrupted.  Wei Wuxian sighed before he pulled out his phone, typing a quick message to Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen, telling them that they were to oversee the case that Wen Qing had given them that morning while he and Lan Wangji were taking another case.  Once the text had been sent, Wei Wuxian put his phone away and looked up at Lan Wangji.

         “Alright, I’ve texted them.  Shall we get started?” he asked, now looking at Victor and Harry, who looked back at him in confusion.

         “We’ve attacked this hospital, we held you hostage…why are you willing to help us? I don’t get it” Victor asked.

         “We’re doctors and your son is going to soon be a patient.  We’re just doing our job” Lan Wangji replied calmly.  The two men started at the two celestial beings for a moment before Victor smiled.  

         “Thanks, Dr. Lan.  Harry and I are grateful.  Maybe not all doctors are so bad” he offered.  Wei Wuxian huffed.

         “You’re welcome.  Just…next time, please, ask before putting on such a mess in a hospital, okay?  You risked giving somebody a heart attack” he scolded.  Harry and Victor nodded.

         “Of course.  We’ll bring Liam in right away” Harry promised.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “See that you do” Lan Wangji ordered.  Harry and Victor nodded and quickly walked out of the hospital, heading home to get their son.

Chapter Text

While Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian were dealing with Victor and Harry, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen had just finished giving their patient an MRI when Wei Wuxian’s text came in.

         “Did you see A-Xian’s text?” Lan Xichen asked.  Jiang Cheng nodded as he put his phone away.

         “Yeah…not what I was expecting, but we’ll just have to role with it.  Now, what did the scan say?” he asked.  Lan Xichen looked at the scan and hummed before he pointed to the images that were on his screen.

         “See these two?” he asked, pointing to first two images.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “This was from her first appointment.  And these two are from her scan today.  See the huge difference?” Lan Xichen asked.  Jiang Cheng looked at the four images and blinked.

         “I have no idea what I’m looking at” he admitted.  Lan Xichen sighed and shook his head.

         “Alright, sit down, because this might confuse you a lot.  So, the initial MRI scan, images A and B, reveals a focal in the subcortical white matter of the left frontal lobe, consisting of a hypointense signal on the T1-weighted image, which is the arrow on A, and a hyperintense signal on the T2-weighted image, the arrow in image B.  In the scan that we did today, the focal abnormality in the left frontal lobe is less obvious than previously, which is the arrow in D, but advanced and diffuse cortical atrophy is present, signified by the ventriculomegaly and markedly enlarged sulci, the arrowheads in C.  Make sense?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “I have no idea what the fuck you just said” he replied.  Lan Xichen sighed.

         “Wanyin, it’s a good thing that we took an MRI or this child could have died.  If her parents had waited any longer, they would have to bury their child.  That make sense to you?” he snapped.  Jiang Cheng held up a hand.

         “No need to snap, I understand what you’re saying” he replied before he sighed.

         “Her parents are waiting out in the waiting room…should we maybe go tell them the good news?” he asked.  Lan Xichen paused.

         “We should first get her into a room and then talk to them.  Apparently, Xiao Xingchen is supposed to also be checking to make sure that Wei Wuxian correctly diagnosed her before we speak to the parents, since he does not want to misdiagnose the child and end up killing her with antibiotics that have nothing to do with the disease that she might have” he replied.  Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “Alright, fine.  Let Xiao Xingchen look, but as soon as he does, get her into a room” he ordered before he stood up and walked out.  As soon as he walked out, Xiao Xingchen walked in, smiling slightly.

         “This won’t take long.  I just need to see the scans” he explained.  Lan Xichen nodded and motioned to the computer, stepping out of the way so that Xiao Xingchen could look at it.

         “Yeah, looks like what Wei Wuxian said it would be.  This is such a rare disease, since the measles vaccine has greatly reduced the outbreak of measles and what-not” Xiao Xingchen murmured.  Lan Xichen nodded before he sighed.

         “I know, but I don’t think these people are from America.  Measles and this disease seem to happen in the Middle East and Asia, but you’re right, since the vaccine was created, the case studies have been going down.  They must be from a part of Asia where it is very poor and they can’t afford the vaccine or they are in such a rural area that no med team can reach them” he mused.  Xiao Xingchen frowned and shook his head.

         “That’s so sad…how did they even get here?  If they’re as poor as you say?” he asked.  Lan Xichen shrugged his shoulders.

         “Wen Qing must have pulled a few strings” he guessed. 

         “Oh no, they’re from here” Xue Yang called out as he walked into the room.  Lan Xichen and Xiao Xingchen turned and raised an eyebrow at him.

         “What do you mean?” Xiao Xingchen asked.  Xue Yang looked over at the little girl as she was reversed out of the machine and then placed on a gurney by nurses before looking back at Xiao Xingchen and Lan Xichen.

         “Her parents didn’t bother to vaccinate her before they went on a trip to Thailand and they encountered some folks who had the measles virus and didn’t bother to tell the parents.  And the reason why they didn’t vaccinate her was that they’re one of those people who believe that vaccinations can cause autism” he snarled.  Xiao Xingchen looked at Xue Yang in shock while Lan Xichen growled, making his eyes flash.

         “Jiang Cheng is not going to be happy when he hears about this…” he murmured as he took a deep breath and shook his head before looking at Xue Yang.

         “How fast can you make that cocktail?” he demanded.  Xue Yang smirked.

         “How soon do you need it?” he replied.

         “As soon as possible” Lan Xichen declared.  Xue Yang nodded.

         “Give me five minutes.  I’ll get you your cocktail” he assured before he turned on his heels and walked out of the room.  Xiao Xingchen watched him leave before he looked back at Lan Xichen.

         “I’m going to go and check on another patient.  You need anything else?” he asked.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “No, thank you.  I’m gonna go find Jiang Cheng and tell her the “news”.  I don’t think the reaction is going to be good” he explained, sighing.  Xiao Xingchen winced before he gave Lan Xichen a thumbs-up and walked out.  Once he was gone, Lan Xichen pinched the bridge of his nose.

         “Humans” he growled deep in his throat before he took another deep breath, stood up, rolled his shoulders back, then walked out of the room, looking for his partner.  When he found the pediatrician, in another room looking at some charts, he took another deep breath.

         “Wanyin” he called out.  Jiang Cheng looked up in surprise.

         “Huan?  What’s wrong?” he asked, frowning at the look that was on Lan Xichen’s face.  Lan Xichen took a deep breath before he looked into Jiang Cheng’s eyes.

         “Wanyin…this child…this child is dying because the parents didn’t bother to vaccinate her before they went on a trip to Thailand and they didn’t want to vaccinate her because they’re those type of people who don’t believe in vaccinations and think that they give kids autism” he explained in one breath, waiting for Jiang Cheng’s response.  Jiang Cheng was silent for a moment before his face began to turn red and his brown eyes flashed.

         “So…they decided to not vaccinate their child…and now he is going to die because of it?!” he exclaimed.  Lan Xichen flinched at Jiang Cheng’s tone but nodded in response.  Jiang Cheng whipped his head away from the dragon and slammed down his charts before he stormed out of the room, walking quickly down the hall, on a mission.  Lan Xichen’s eyes widened, and he quickly raced after Jiang Cheng, continuing to follow him until he came upon his partner standing before the two stereotypical American parents: blonde hair, blue eyed mom in a beautiful dress while the dad was dressed in a typical business suit, looking a little annoyed.

         “How dare you” Jiang Cheng snarled as Lan Xichen quietly stepped into the room behind him.  Both girl’s parents looked at him in confusion.

         “Excuse me?” the mother asked.  Jiang Cheng snarled and took a step forward.

         “I said, how dare you not vaccinate your child, just because you think that vaccines give your kid autism!” he shouted.  The father frowned.

         “Sir, I assure you, we researched online that vaccines give children autism and we didn’t want our child to be autistic, so we decided to not vaccinate her” he explained.  Jiang Cheng was very close to stepping forward and ringing the man’s skinny neck for how idiotic he sounded.

         “So instead you decided to take her to a place where he’ll be exposed to the measles virus and have a much easier time contracting the virus which ended her up here?!” he shouted.

         “We thought he would be fine!  We didn’t contract the virus” the mother declared.  Jiang Cheng was about ready to pull his hair out.

         “That’s because you’re still in your prime and your immune system can handle this type of virus.  Your daughter’s immune system is still developing and needs a vaccine to make sure that her immune system can already build up antibodies to counter the virus if she ever encounters it!  I don’t even know how you were able to even enter the country unless she had a vaccine” he exclaimed.  The man in the suit stood to his feet.

         “Are you questioning us, sir?” he asked, his voice deadly and quiet.  Jiang Cheng blinked before he stood to his full height, which was a good foot or so above the man.

         “Huan, shut the door and close the blinds” he ordered.  Lan Xichen nodded, even though Jiang Cheng couldn’t see it, and quickly shut the door and closed the blinds.  Once the blinds were closed and the door was shut, Jiang Cheng stormed up to the man and loomed over him.

         “I am a doctor with a medical degree of twenty years, so yes, I AM questioning you.  And I’m very close to calling child protective services to take your daughter away if he survives this disease and lives a few more years.  If not, then you’ve just killed your child.  And no court is going to forgive you for parental neglect of a child under a certain age” he hissed, brown eyes now glowing purple as purple sparks crackled around him.  The mother and father gulped.

         “What kind of hospital is this?!” the woman exclaimed.

         “One that doesn’t put up with this kind of bullshit, ma’am” Lan Xichen called out from the back of the room, eyes glowing white as golden lightening crackled around him.  The man and woman cowered in fear underneath Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng’s glares and God must have been looking down on them because suddenly both Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng’s pagers went off.  Lan Xichen pulled out his pager first and when he saw what one it, his eyes widened.

         “We got a code blue!” he shouted as the lightening around him quickly disappeared and he ran over to the door and threw it open, rushing out.  Jiang Cheng looked over his shoulder at the two parents.

         “This isn’t over” he growled before he took a deep breath, reeling in the magic and returning his eyes to normal before taking off after Lan Xichen.

         “What happened?” Lan Xichen shouted as he and Jiang Cheng ran next to the bed.

         “He was fine a few moments ago and then he just started to have convulsions before going into cardiac arrest and flat lining” one nurse, Lan Jingyi, explained. 

         “Did you try to start her heart through CPR?” Jiang Cheng demanded as he walked over to the AED device with pediatric programming next to the girl’s bed. 

         “We did, but it didn’t do anything” Lan Jingyi replied.  Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “Charge 50 J” he ordered as he picked up the paddles.

         “Charging” Lan Jingyi replied, placing jelly onto the pads.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “Clear” he called out before he placed one pad on the right center of the girl’s chest above the nipple while he placed the other pad slightly below the other nipple and to the left of the ribcage.  A shock was set through her body, making her body jump a little but still nothing showed on the heart monitor.  Jiang Cheng growled and pulled the pad away, looking at Lan Jingyi again.

         “Charge 70” he ordered.  Lan Jingyi nodded and changed the voltage on the AED.

         “Charging” he replied. 

         “Clear” Jiang Cheng called out as he placed the pads back onto the little girl’s chest, sending another shock through her body.  The body jumped and before he could order Lan Jingyi to up the charge, there was a weak heartbeat on the monitor.

         “We got a beat” Jiang Cheng called out.  Lan Xichen and Lan Jingyi let out a relieved breath, just as Xue Yang walked in the door, a small vial held in his hand.

         “I got the cocktail.  Move” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Lan Jingyi stepped out of the way as Xue Yang walked forward and grabbed a syringe from out of his pocket and stuck it into the vial, drawing out a little bit of his concoction.  He then walked over to the little girl, pushed up the sleeve of her hospital gown, and injected the concoction into her muscle before placing the sleeve back down and gently petting her hair.

         “There now…sleep little one” he soothed before he turned on his heels and began to head towards the door.

         “Xue Yang” Lan Xichen called out.  The endocrinologist paused and looked over his shoulder at the dragon.

         “Yes?” he replied.  Lan Xichen’s eyes flashed gold.

         “Go with Xiao Xingchen and escort a blonde woman and a brunet man out of the waiting room.  They nearly killed their daughter due to refusal of vaccination before entering a foreign country” he explained.  Xue Yang nodded and quickly walked out of the room, paging Xiao Xingchen and relaying what Lan Xichen told them to do.  Once they found each other, they went to the waiting room and dragged the parents out of the room and towards the hospital’s exit.  From the hospital room, Lan Xichen watched as the couple was dragged out, kicking, screaming, and cursing.  He tsked.

         “You messed with the wrong hospital” he murmured under his breath before he put his pager back into his pocket and headed back down to his lab.

Chapter Text

While Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen were working on the little girl, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were working on Harry and Victor’s son’s case.

         “Ten-year-old boy who screams for his life for no reason” Lan Wangji stated as he and Wei Wuxian walked into his office.  Behind them walked three other doctors, Lan Sizhui, Wei Wuxian’s son and Immunologist, a young man of average height with light skin, long black hair, and brown eyes, Wen Ning, Surgeon, a tall man with fair skin and black cracked lines that extended from his neck to his face, long black hair, and brown eyes, and Song Zichen, Pulmonologist, a tall young man with light skin, long dark brown hair, and brown eyes.

         “He’s autistic” Wen Ning replied.

         “Severely autistic” Song Zichen clarified.

         “Can’t talk, can’t make eye contact.  Screaming is probably his way of communicating” Lan Sizhui added.  Wen Ning shook his head.

         “And he went to three different doctors who all said just that” he stated.

         “So, clearly that can’t be the answer” Song Zichen replied.

         “His brain can’t filter information.  It’s a constant assault on his senses” Lan Sizhui explained.

         “I’d scream, too” Lan Wangji murmured.

         “Or it’s something medical-sounding, like dysesthesia” Wei Wuxian stated, speaking up for the first time.

         “Parents are convinced that there’s something wrong with their son” Wen Ning interrupted.

         “Since when did we start believing parents?  Or anyone?” Song Zichen asked.  Everyone had to chuckle at that statement.

         “Harry was on Wall Street, Victor was a partner in an accounting firm” Wei Wuxian stated.

         “When their son was diagnosed with autism, they both quit” Song Zichen added.

         “So…they’re over-protective and scared.  That’s all the more reason to discount—” Wen Ning started.

         “They studied this child.  Heard him scream a million times but in ten years of caring for him, this is the first time they’ve brought him to a hospital” Lan Wangji interrupted, voice calm.

         “ER checked his throat, no obstructions, nothing” Lan Sizhui stated from where he was leaning against Lan Wangji’s office wall.

         “Which means the only symptom was a scream, which is diagnostic of nothing” Lan Wangji replied.

         “Kid clutched his chest, BP was elevated, maybe there was chest pain” Song Zichen offered.

         “ER said the heart was fine” Wen Ning argued.

         “Don’t be so quick to dismiss pain” Lan Wangji instructed before pointing at Song Zichen.

         “Stool sample to check for parasites, blood culture to rule out infection, and ANA for lupus” he ordered.  Lan Sizhui frowned.

         “Because he screamed?” he asked.

         “Could also be an environmental reaction; an allergy.  Dust, wheat, pollen, a toxin or something he ate” Wen Ning offered.

         “Check the house and run a lung ventilation scan” Wei Wuxian ordered.  The three doctors nodded and quickly exited the room, leaving only Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji.

         “This child’s just a lump with tonsils” Lan Wangji murmured, making Wei Wuxian look over at him with wide eyes.

         “Lan Zhan!  There’s no need to be so cold and callous!” he exclaimed.  Lan Wangji sighed before he looked over at Wei Wuxian.

         “Wei Ying, I am just stating a fact.  Do you know how difficult it is going to be to try and put this child into a nuclear scanner?  I don’t envy my brother” he murmured.  Wei Wuxian sighed as he walked over to him and placed a hand on his arm.

         “Lan Zhan…have a bit more of a heart, please” he pleaded.  Lan Wangji looked over at him and saw the look on his face, so he let out a sigh before he nodded.

         “Alright…I’m sorry” he apologized.  Wei Wuxian smiled slightly as he gave Lan Wangji’s arm a squeeze.

         “Thank you” he murmured before he walked over to Lan Wangji’s couch and sat down, Lan Wangji walking around his desk to start some paperwork.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

As Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian, and their team were working on their case, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen were keeping an eye on the little girl to make sure that her disease didn’t worsen.  When Lan Xichen was not in radiology, he would spend hours in the little girl’s room, reading stories to her or just singing soft little lullabies that he remembered from when he was little.  While he did that, Jiang Cheng would be checking on her status, making sure that all her vitals were normal, her heartbeat was regular, her blood pressure and blood sugar were normal, and that her brain activity had not worsened.  As he was working, he would listen to the stories that Lan Xichen would tell or the songs that he would sing from his childhood.  After almost a few days of hearing the same stories or songs, Jiang Cheng practically had them memorized.  Whenever Lan Xichen was busy and could not watch the little girl, Jiang Cheng would watch her, making sure that his other patients were still taken care of as well.  One day, however, when he was watching her, she went into a spasm that lasted longer than a few minutes.  After calling Lan Xichen and the other doctors, they all quickly worked to calm her down and once she was calm, he looked over at Lan Xichen.

         “We need to give her another scan.  I think she’s deteriorating” he whispered.  Lan Xichen nodded and ordered an immediate MRI, rushing out of the room.  While the nurses and other radiologist were setting up the MRI, Jiang Cheng was prepping the little girl for the scan.

         “You’re doing great sweetheart” he soothed once he was done.  He then took the little girl over to Radiology and let Lan Xichen and the other radiologist do their job. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After about ninety minutes of scanning, the test was finally over.  When the results appeared, Lan Xichen called Jiang Cheng into the room.

         “Well?” the pediatrician demanded.  Lan Xichen sighed and shook his head.

         “She’s fading…she somehow jumped from stage 1 to stage 3 in a matter of moments…she doesn’t have long to live” he whispered.  Jiang Cheng blinked and shook his head.

         “But Xue Yang gave her the cocktail” he whispered back.  Lan Xichen shook his head again.

         “It doesn’t matter.  Her body seems to have rejected the concoction and it caused this disease to deteriorate faster” he explained calmly.  Jiang Cheng blinked before he let out a deep sigh and ran his hand through his hair. 

         “Did we really just kill this girl?” he whispered.  Lan Xichen’s eyes widened and he quickly reached out, gripping Jiang Cheng’s arm.

         “No Wanyin, we didn’t kill this girl.  Her parents killed her due to their neglect and stupidity.  He’s now just going to become a vegetable, unfortunately” he soothed.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “I wouldn’t wish that on anyone” he murmured.  Lan Xichen shook his head as well.

         “I wouldn’t either.  But that is just what happens at the final stage of this disease.  We can’t save her…we just have to make her as comfortable as possible before he passes” he offered.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “Alright…move her to hospice.  They’ll know what to do better than we will” he murmured.  Lan Xichen nodded and turned towards one of the nurses, whispering in their ear to order a room in hospice for the little girl.  Once the nurse was gone, Lan Xichen walked closer to Jiang Cheng and looked into his sad brown eyes.

         “I’m sorry Wanyin” he whispered before he reached out and pulled him into a hug, holding him tightly.  Jiang Cheng let out a sniffle before he melted into the hug, burying his face into Lan Xichen’s shoulder.  The two men held one another before they pulled away, Jiang Cheng smiled at Lan Xichen, tears coming down his cheeks.

         “Thank you” he murmured.  Lan Xichen smiled sadly and reached out, wiping the tears from his eyes.

         “You’re welcome” he whispered.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were in Lan Wangji’s office, Wen Ning was in Liam’s room, watLan Xicheng as Liam played on his PSP while Harry and Victor watched as well.

         “He just needs to finish this level” Harry murmured to Wen Ning.

         “We only have the scanner for the next half hour.  After that –” Wen Ning started.

         “Trust me, you don’t want to move him until he’s finished” Harry interrupted.  Wen Ning sighed.

         “The sooner we do this test, the sooner we can get you guys home” he offered.  Harry bit his lip before he slowly walked over to his son.

         “Liam, do you think that –” he started, reaching for the PSP when Liam shook his head and began to whine and whimper.  Harry sighed while Wen Ning took a deep breath.

         “Ten minutes.  Tops” Harry ordered, looking up at Wen Ning who shook his head.

         “If he has a vascular disorder, he might not have—” he started.

         “He might not have ten minutes?” Harry interrupted.  Wen Ning sighed and ran his hand through his hair.

         “I don’t have ten minutes” he replied before he walked forward and grabbed the device in Liam’s hand.  Instead of letting him take it, Liam clutched to it tighter and began to scream, making Wen Ning quickly release the game as Victor and Harry surrounded their son, holding him while Wen Ning took a step back, hands raised in surrender.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

A little later, Liam was still screaming, only this time he was screaming on the table to the MRI scanner. 

         “Can’t you sedate him or something?” Victor demanded as he tried to hold his son’s head steady.

         “I could if I didn’t want the test results to mean anything” Wen Ning snapped back as he tried to strap the child down.  Once Liam was finally strapped down, he took a step back and let Lan Xichen, who they had called in to help, do his job.

         “You’re doing great buddy” Lan Xichen soothed as the machine lid closed over Liam’s body and the table slid deeper into the machine.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Lan Xichen was running the scan, Jiang Cheng walked into Lan Wangji’s office, knocking on the door as he opened it. 

         “So, heard you got a new case” he called out as he stepped inside the office.

         “Mm” Lan Wangji replied.  Jiang Cheng leaned against the door.

         “Autistic kid?” he asked.

         “Mm” Lan Wangji answered, still working on his reports.

         “You guys need any help?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “Yes” Wei Wuxian replied from the couch.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “Will do.  Call Lan Huan and I when you need us” he instructed as he pushed himself off the door and then turned and left.

Chapter Text

At Victor and Harry’s home, Song Zichen was putting some egg salad into an evidence container when Lan Sizhui walked into the kitchen.

         “Big shocker, Dad’s depressed” he stated, showing Song Zichen the bottle.

         “Save your time.  SSRls don’t cause chest pain” Song Zichen replied as he took the egg salad and placed it back into the refrigerator.  Lan Sizhui hummed as he placed the pill bottle into an evidence bag.  When Song Zichen closed the fridge door, he blinked in surprise at the time schedule that was hung on the door.

         “Wow.  Every minute of every day is booked; when he eats, sleeps, plays his handheld” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui huffed.

         “Not much of a life for them” he mused. 

         “They chose to have a family.  You don’t get to decide what your kid’s going to be like” Song Zichen snapped.  Lan Sizhui sighed and looked over at him.

         “Nobody chooses this” he replied calmly as he walked away from him and out to the backyard where all of Liam’s toys were.

         “It’s funny, you get a normal kid, the parent works.  You get a special kid that costs more, you quit and turn the backyard into a therapy circuit” Song Zichen sneered as he took a sample of some leaves in the backyard.  Lan Sizhui took a deep breath, trying to calm his growing anger.

         “Yes, if only you were handicapped.  All the good times you could have had with Dad” he replied as he put some sand samples into a container.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Lan Sizhui and Song Zichen were investigating Victor and Harry’s house, Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian were still in Lan Wangji’s office when a pretty girl with dark brown hair opened the door and stepped inside.

         “Ahem” he called out.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked up from their reports at her.

         “Hi Doctor Lan” the girl greeted.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “Can I help you?” he asked.  The girl smiled slightly.

         “Ma Jing” the girl replied.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “What can I do for you, Ma Jing?” he asked.  Ma Jing smiled flirtatiously.

         “I think I caught what my dad has” she replied.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “You have colon cancer?” he asked.  Ma Jing blinked before she nodded.

         “Yeah” she replied.  Wei Wuxian frowned.

         “You’re lying” he called out, making Ma Jing turn and looked at him, narrowing her eyes.

         “Who are you?” she snapped.  Wei Wuxian stood to his feet.

         “Dr. Wei Wuxian, M.D.” he replied, crossing his arms at Ma Jing.  Ma Jing growled and took a step towards Wei Wuxian, trying to intimidate the archdemon, but instead ended up looking very stupid, since she was just a vampire.  Wei Wuxian chuckled and shook his head as he took a step towards Ma Jing, staring at her.

         “Trying to scare a demon?  How cute” he sneered as his eyes glowed red and black smoke-like tendrils snaked out of his body and surrounded him, darkening the room.  Ma Jing gulped and quickly took a step back before turning on her heels and rushing out of the room, just as Lan Xichen popped his head in.

         “Who was that?” he asked, looking in between Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “I don’t know” he replied as he stood to his feet.

         “How can we help you, brother?” he asked.

         “The ventilation scan was normal.  Time to send him home” Lan Xichen stated.  Lan Wangji hummed while Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “I don’t think so.  Call the others in” he ordered as his eyes dimmed and the smoke receded back into his body. Lan Xichen nodded and quickly sent a page to Jiang Cheng, Lan Sizhui, Wen Ning, and Song Zichen to meet in Lan Wangji’s office.  Once they were all there, Wei Wuxian stared at all of them.

         “Talk to us” he ordered.

         “All the tests are normal” Wen Ning stated.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “So, whatever’s bothering him, it wasn’t his lungs.  What about the house?” he asked. 

         “There were some pesticides and some alcohol, but the tox screen was negative” Lan Sizhui replied. 

         “Which means there’s nothing physically wrong with this kid” Wen Ning exclaimed.

         “We already had that discussion” Lan Wangji reminded.

         “We get a fecal smear?” Jiang Cheng asked.  No one replied.  He groaned and ran a hand through his hair.

         “Hello?  Fecal smear!  Talk to me.  Is there a sample we can look at?” he snapped. 

         “The parents have a smear kit, but the kid is constipated” Song Zichen replied. 

         “Go up his rear and get a smear” Jiang Cheng ordered.  Song Zichen nodded and quickly exited the room, Wen Ning following him.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “Need a stool sample” Song Zichen stated as he and Wen Ning walked into Liam’s room.  When Wen Ning noticed that Liam was on his PSP, he paused and grabbed Song Zichen’s arm.

         “We should probably wait until he’s finished playing that level, huh?” he asked with a small smile on his face.  Harry smiled gratefully while Victor petted Liam’s hair.

         “I actually think he’s a bit better today.  He seems more like his old self” Victor replied. 

         “It’s possible that he was never sick” Wen Ning offered.  Harry nodded.

         “I guess we could’ve overreacted” he replied.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, Liam began to choke before throwing up liquid all over his play table.

         “Liam?  Liam?  Liam?  Liam?” Harry and Victor exclaimed at the same time as they both rushed over to him, Song Zichen and Wen Ning joining them in trying to sooth and calm the child.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After the incident, Wen Ning and Song Zichen reported back to Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen, making the four doctors frown.

         “So, what makes fluid fill the lining of a kid’s lungs?” Jiang Cheng asked once everyone had calmed down.  No one replied.

         “You stuck your finger in the kid and gave him a pleural effusion?” Lan Xichen asked, looking at Song Zichen and Wen Ning.

         “I took the stool sample after his lungs failed” Wen Ning snapped. 

         “If there’s a pleural effusion, we have to rule out heart failure” Wei Wuxian stated. 

         “Get the kid an echocardiogram.  The fluid comes back and exudates, get him on broad spectrum antibiotics” Lan Xichen ordered.  Song Zichen, and Wen Ning nodded, quickly exiting the room, only leaving Wei Wuxian, Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Wangji.  The four men were quiet for a while before Lan Xichen walked over to Lan Wangji’s desk and picked up a little ceramic bear dressed as a doctor.

         “Wangji, what’s this?” he asked, showing his brother the bear.  Lan Wangji smiled sadly.

         “That’s a gift from an eleven-year-old patient of mine.  She and I both knew it was a piece of junk, and that’s what made her laugh” he replied.  Lan Xichen raised an eyebrow.

         “So why did you keep it?” he asked.  Lan Wangji went silent before he shook his head.

         “I don’t know” he replied quietly.  Lan Xichen nodded before he placed the ceramic bear back down, glancing over at Lan Wangji.

         “It’s time to let go of the past, brother.  Look towards the future” he suggested.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Meanwhile, in Liam’s room, Liam was screaming and struggling as Harry and Victor held him down in his bed while Wen Ning tried to take an ultrasound of his heart.

         “Liam, I need you to stay still buddy” Wen Ning soothed.

         “It’s okay, it’s okay, I got him” Harry reassured.  Wen Ning nodded as he placed the scanner over Liam’s chest and began looking into his thoracic cavity.  As he was scanning it, Wen Ning noticed something and quickly put down the scanner, clicking a few buttons on the ultrasound.

         “What?  What is it?  Is his heart okay?” Victor demanded.  Wen Ning took a deep breath before he sighed and looked over at the two men.

         “No” he murmured. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “Echo suggested a conduction abnormality, EKG confirmed it” Wen Ning stated as he walked in the door and handed the results to Wei Wuxian, joining the other doctors in Lan Wangji’s office.

         “Still doesn’t explain the effusion.  The pleural fluid was an exudate.  We should be looking for something that explains both the heart and lung problems.  An infection, parasite, cancer” Song Zichen suggested.

         “Microbiology showed no organisms in the fluids, so forget infection” Wei Wuxian called out.

         “What about parasites?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “Stool sample’s negative” Lan Sizhui replied.

         “That just leaves cancer.  Get a lung biopsy” Lan Wangji ordered, crossing his arms.  Wen Ning nodded.

         “Yes sir” he replied as he turned and walked out of the room, Song Zichen following him.  Once they left, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen turned towards Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian.

         “We’re going to check on our other patient.  Call us if you need anything” Jiang Cheng stated before he and Lan Xichen walked out.  Only Lan Sizhui remained.

         “Hanguang-Jun?” he called out, causing Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji to look over at him.

         “Yes Sizhui?” Lan Wangji replied, placing his hands behind his back.  Lan Sizhui sighed.

         “Your “girlfriend” called the clinic 15 times today” he declared.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s eyes widened.

         “How do you know that?” Lan Wangji demanded.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “It doesn’t matter.  Hanguang-Jun, she’s a stalker!” he exclaimed.  Lan Wangji hummed, nodding his head in agreement.

         “I agree.  Please call security” he instructed.  Lan Sizhui nodded.

         “Yes Hanguang-Jun” he replied before he turned and headed out of the office.  Once he was gone, Wei Wuxian frowned.

         “I don’t trust this girl, Lan Zhan” he murmured.  Lan Wangji sighed.

         “I don’t either…we must be extra careful” he declared.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “I agree” he replied before he clapped his hands.

         “I’m going to check on Sizhui, make sure that security listens to him” he declared before he walked out of the office, leaving Lan Wangji to write his reports.

Chapter Text

A little while later, Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui walked back into Lan Wangji’s office.

         “Lan Zhan…” Wei Wuxian started, making Lan Wangji look up from his reports.

         “Mm?” he replied.  Lan Sizhui then cleared his throat.

         “So, you know how we have a ten-year-old with pleural effusion and conduction abnormality, but no heart failure?” he asked.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “Mm.  What’s wrong?  Was there protein in the pleural fluid?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui nodded in reply.

         “Yeah...that’s why we’re thinking cancer.  Non-Hodgkin’s probably” he explained.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Which is why I ordered the lung biopsy” he stated.  Wei Wuxian huffed crossed his arms.

         “Lung biopsies usually come back negative, so biopsy a lymph node under the arm” he ordered, looking at Lan Sizhui, who frowned.

         “I thought you were a pathologist; how do you know about biopsies?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian smirked.

         “I’ve been hanging out with Lan Zhan too much, so I’ve picked up on a few things” he replied.

         “But a biopsy is something an oncologist should do, right?” Lan Sizhui asked, looking at Lan Wangji, who smiled softly.

         “There’s nothing real tricky to it.  It’s a biopsy” he replied.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “Still, just to be safe.  Do you mind?” he asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “No, of course not” he replied as he stood from his desk and followed the two into the emergency room.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

In the emergency room, Liam was screaming and thrashing while Lan Wangji tried to place the mask containing anesthesia over his face. 

         “It’s alright, Liam” Lan Wangji soothed as Victor and Harry held Liam down.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui were standing nearby when suddenly Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen opened the door and walked in.

         “Alright, where’s the fire?” Jiang Cheng demanded as he and Lan Xichen walked over to the bed before Jiang Cheng looked at Lan Wangji.

         “Why don’t you show him a teddy bear or something?” he asked mockingly.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian glared at him while Harry gave him an evil side-eye.

         “Who are you?” he demanded.  Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “I’m Dr. Jiang Cheng, and this is Dr. Lan Xichen, your son’s doctors, along with Dr. Lan Wangji, Dr. Wei Wuxian, Dr. Wei’s son Dr. Lan Sizhui, Dr. Wen Ning, and Dr. Song Zichen” he answered before he looked over at Lan Wangji and grabbed the mask from him.

         “High test, please” he ordered.  Lan Jingyi, the nurse assisting with the biopsy, nodded and turned up the dial on the anesthesia.  Jiang Cheng then looked down at Liam.

         “Hey, hey, hey, hey!” he shouted into the little boy’s face, trying to grab his attention.  When Liam was sort of looking at him, Jiang Cheng placed the mask over his face and took a deep breath in, causing all the doctor’s eyes widened.

         “What are you doing?” Victor demanded.  Jiang Cheng pulled the mask away and breathed out.

         “Eating the red berries” he replied before he placed the mask back over his mouth and took another deep breath in.  He then removed the mask and placed it over Liam’s mouth, who in turn took a deep breath.  Jiang Cheng repeated the process of placing the mask over his mouth, taking a breath, removing the mask, placing it over Liam’s mouth and having him take a breath a few more times before Liam’s eyes finally shut.  Jiang Cheng then placed the mask down while Harry and Victor looked at him in awe.

         “He trusted you” Victor whispered.  Jiang Cheng shook his head, feeling a little out of sorts.

         “No, that wasn’t trust.  That was self-preservation” he replied.  Harry shook his head.

         “No, that was huge.  It was like a conversation” he argued.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “A monkey’s afraid to eat the red berries until he sees another monkey eat ‘em.  Monkey see, monkey do.  That’s all it was.  Your child is still just as messed up as when we admitted him” he declared as he tried to stand to his feet, only to stumble into Lan Xichen’s arms.  Lan Xichen then shook his head and led Jiang Cheng out of the room while the other doctors and Liam’s parents looked on.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in Wei Wuxian’s lab, Wei Wuxian was working on some slides while Jiang Cheng sat watching and Lan Wangji was assisting.

         “That was sensitive” Wei Wuxian declared.  Lan Wangji nodded in agreement.

         “Hope is all those parents have going for them” he murmured as he handed Wei Wuxian another glass slide.  Jiang Cheng shook his head, clearing the anesthesia from it.

         “No, hope is what’s making them miserable.  What they should do is get a cocker spaniel.  A dog would look them in the eye, wag his tail when he’s happy, lick their face, show them love” he ranted.

         “Is it so wrong for them to want to have a normal child?  It’s normal to want to be normal” Lan Xichen stated from the wall.  Jiang Cheng looked over at him and smirked.

         “Spoken like a true Circle King.  See, skinny, socially-privileged white people get to draw this neat little circle.  Everyone inside the circle is normal.  Everyone outside the circle should be beaten, broken and reset, so they can be brought into the circle.  Failing that, they should be institutionalized, or worse, pitied” the dragon declared.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “So, it’s wrong to feel sorry for this little boy?” he asked as he handed another slide to Wei Wuxian, who placed it underneath a microscope. 

         “Why would you feel sorry for someone who gets to opt out of the inane courteous formalities, which are utterly meaningless, insincere, and therefore, degrading?  This kid doesn’t have to pretend to be interested in your back pain, or your excretions, or your grandma’s itchy place.  Can you imagine how liberating it would be to live a life free of all the mind-numbing social niceties?  I don’t pity this kid; I envy him” Jiang Cheng muttered.  Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Lan Xichen rolled their eyes.

         “Jiang Cheng, shut up, please” Wei Wuxian ordered as he looked into the microscope and adjusted the lenses so that he could see clearly.  Jiang Cheng smirked.

         “Sure, brother.  Whatever you say” he replied.  After a few moments of silence, Wei Wuxian looked up from the microscope, a puzzled look on his face.

         “Um…no cancer because these aren’t lymph cells” he stated.  Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen frowned.

         “Then what are they?” Lan Xichen demanded.  Lan Wangji gently pushed Wei Wuxian out of the way and looked into his microscope.  When he looked up, he frowned.

         “Liver cells” he replied.  Jiang Cheng frowned as well and walked over to Wei Wuxian’s computer, clicking a few keys, making a screen pop up. 

         “Wow, liver cells under his arm.  Wonder what he’s got where his liver’s supposed to be?” he muttered.

Chapter Text

After the lab results, everyone gathered in Lan Wangji’s office.

         “Anyone got a clue how liver cells got into the kid’s armpit?” Jiang Cheng demanded, looking at all the doctors.  No one replied.  Lan Xichen crossed his arms.

         “So, you think maybe Gray’s Anatomy got it all wrong?” he sneered from where he was leaning against Lan Wangji’s desk.

         “Lymph system circulates fluid, not organ cells” Song Zichen stated.

         “Cancer cells break into the lymphatic system all the time” Lan Sizhui offered.  Wen Ning shook his head.

         “But we’re not talking about cancer cells” he argued.  Lan Wangji then cleared his throat, causing everyone to turn and look at him.

         “What’s the difference between cancer cells and liver cells?  Why can one pass through walls but the other can’t?” he asked, looking around the room.  Everyone was quiet before Wei Wuxian looked at him.

         “Cancer cells are damaged, it lets them grow into blood vessels, go wherever they want” he replied.

         “So, if the liver cells are damaged—” Lan Wangji started.

         “The liver isn’t damaged.  The tests were normal” Wen Ning interrupted.  Lan Wangji looked at him before he took a deep breath.

         “So, if the liver cells are damaged, it’s theoretically possible they passed into the lymphatic system.  Liver failure could also explain pleural effusion, even the heart issues” he continued.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “The liver cells are fine.  He was immunized for Hep A and B, and do you really think this kid is having unprotected sex, or sharing needles?” he asked, giving Lan Wangji a look.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “No, I don’t” he replied, just as Song Zichen cleared his throat.

         “Lan Wangji, when we echoed his heart, we got a piece of his liver.  There was no scarring” Song Zichen explained.  Lan Wangji nodded slowly.

         “Cirrhosis explains the symptoms, heart problems, lungs –” he started.

         “Look up cirrhosis in the dictionary, it means scarring” Lan Sizhui interrupted.  Lan Wangji said nothing as Wen Ning shook his head.

         “Parents aren’t doing or dosing this kid” he assured.

         “How would you know that?  The child can’t talk” Lan Wangji argued before he sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

         “Why do you think I took this case?” he asked.  Everyone gave him a look.

         “Because his parents threatened you with a gun?” Wen Ning offered.  Lan Wangji cracked a small smile.

         “Correct, but also, this child is not going to give away the ending” he explained.

         “They quit their jobs for him!” Song Zichen exclaimed.  Lan Wangji was quiet before he hummed.

         “Yes, they are everything you’d want in a parent.  Unfortunately, their child is nothing you’d want.  When a baby is born, it’s perfect.  Little fingers, little toes, plump, perfect, pink, and brimming with unbridled potential.  Then it’s downhill.  Some hills steeper than others.  Parents get off on their child’s accomplishments.  They’ll annoy you with trophy rooms and report card.

They’ll even show you a purple cow and tell what a keen eye for color their kid has.  But this child, he doesn’t smile, he doesn’t hug them, he doesn’t laugh.  His parents get nothing but the right to brag that their kid picked orange juice out of a lineup” he explained, voice calm and face void of expression.

         “So, you figure they slip the kid a mickey so they don’t have to deal?” Wen Ning asked.

         “Do a biopsy to confirm cirrhosis” Lan Wangji ordered.  The other doctors nodded and left the room, all save for Lan Sizhui and Wei Wuxian.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow at them.

         “Can I help you two?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui said nothing as he handed him a sheet of paper, making him raise an eyebrow.

         “What’s this?” he asked.

         “Restraining order” Lan Sizhui replied.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian looked at him in shock.

         “Restraining order?  For what?” Wei Wuxian demanded.  Lan Sizhui looked over at his father.

         “For that brunette bimbo that keeps coming around to see Huanguang-Jun” he snapped.  Lan Wangji looked down at the restraining order again before he looked up at Lan Sizhui.

         “I appreciate your concern, Sizhui, but don’t you think the restraining order’s a little much?  I’m not going to have sex with a 17-year-old patient” he assured.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “That’s not going to stop her from trying” he declared before he turned and walked out of the room. Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji watched him leave before Lan Wangji looked up at Wei Wuxian.

         “He’s definitely your son” he murmured.  Wei Wuxian looked down at him.

         “Am I really that scary, Lan Zhan?” he asked, eyes wide.  Lan Wangji chuckled softly.

         “You can be” he replied.  Wei Wuxian blinked before he laughed.

         “Well, in that case, I don’t know whether I should be proud, or scared” he replied.

Chapter Text

Later that evening, as Lan Wangji was going home, he entered the garage of the hospital to find that Ma Jing was sitting on his motorcycle.

         “Hey” Ma Jing greeted flirtatiously.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “You could get into a lot of trouble being here” he replied.  Ma Jing shrugged.

         “I wanted to see you” she replied.  Lan Wangji huffed.

         “Well, you’ve seen me.  Now please, get off my bike” he ordered.  Ma Jing ignored his order and shrugged.

         “I’ve heard that people are calling me a stalker.  One could argue those people might be jealous of your attention” she replied with a smile.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “Hmm” he hummed.  Ma Jing then smiled wider.

         “You going home?” she asked.  Lan Wangji nodded slowly.

         “Mm” he replied.  Ma Jing’s smile got even bigger.

         “In Iceland, the age of consent is 14” she stated.  Lan Wangji frowned but said nothing as Ma Jing smiled and leaned seductively on Lan Wangji’s motorcycle.

         “Today I’m jailbait, but in 22 weeks, anybody can do anything to me.  Will I be so different in 22 weeks?” she asked.  Lan Wangji sighed deeply.

         “Twenty-two weeks is enough for an embryo to grow arms and legs” he reminded.  Ma Jing shrugged.

         “It’s just a line.  An arbitrary line drawn by a bunch of sad, old men in robes” she declared.  Lan Wangji said nothing again as Ma Jing smirked.

         “You know, you’re such a stickler for rules even though you drive something that breaks a lot of rules” she purred.  Lan Wangji glared at her.

         “You are over ten years younger than me” he snapped, finally speaking again.  Ma Jing gave him a look and Lan Wangji’s eyes narrowed.

         “I said, “Over”” he growled. 

         “Lan Zhan!” a loud voice boomed from across the garage.  Lan Wangji and Ma Jing turned to see Wei Wuxian looking at them with glowing red eyes as he threw out his arms and flew over to them, black smoke like tendrils surrounding him as he landed before the two.

         “Dr. Wei” Lan Wangji greeted, bowing his head slightly to Wei Wuxian before he motioned to Ma Jing.

         “Do you happen to know the way to the Icelandic consulate?  This young woman was asking directions” he explained.  Wei Wuxian hummed before he walked up to Ma Jing and stared at her.

         “Security was going to call the police.  I don’t want to do that to you.  Go home” he ordered.

         “I needed a ride” Ma Jing stated, glaring back at Wei Wuxian.  Wei Wuxian narrowed his eyes.

         “You got here on your own, you can get home on your own” he snarled.  Ma Jing gave him a very evil look, but Wei Wuxian just smiled as the black smoke like tendrils began to expand from his body, making him look more intimidating than ever.

         If I see you on hospital grounds again, I will call the police” he snarled, voice reverberating throughout the garage.  Ma Jing barred her teeth at Wei Wuxian, showing fangs, but Wei Wuxian just continued to glare at her until she got off the motorcycle and smiled flirtatiously at Lan Wangji before she walked away.  Once she was gone, Lan Wangji looked over at Wei Wuxian and smiled a little bigger.

         “Thank you” he thanked.  Wei Wuxian smiled brightly as his eyes faded and the smoke disappeared.

         “You’re welcome, Lan Zhan” he replied.  Lan Wangji then threw out an arm, grabbing Wei Wuxian by the front of his shirt before pulling him in for a tight hug.

         “Thank you” he whispered.  Wei Wuxian blinked at the sudden contact before he smiled and wrapped his arms around Lan Wangji’s waist.

         “You’re welcome Lan Zhan” he replied before he buried his face into the seraph’s neck.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

At Victor and Harry’s house, Wen Ning did a full investigation of the house and backyard, before returning to the hospital and Lan Wangji’s office, where Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian were working on reports.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen were there as well, since their patient had recently passed. 

         “Jimsonweed.  I found a small patch of it in his backyard.  Jimsonweed contains atropine, poor man’s acid” Wen Ning explained as he, Song Zichen, and Lan Sizhui walked into Lan Wangji’s office.

         “Our kid’s been tripping on “Lucy in the Sky with cubic zirconium.”  Explains the pleural effusion, the heart arrhythmias” Song Zichen added.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Anything else?” he asked.  Wen Ning and Song Zichen shook their heads.

         “No sir” they replied.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Jimsonweed doesn’t explain the screaming” he stated.  Wen Ning looked over at him.

         “You’ve obviously never had a bad trip, Master Wei” he teased.  Wei Wuxian shot him a playful glare before he looked back at the others.

         “Treatment for jimsonweed OD is physostigmine.  This child’s got heart issues.  The two don’t mix.  We’d better make sure that’s what he’s got” he stated before he sighed.

         “Serum from the lab in Patterson is three days, minimum.  He won’t survive three days” he explained.  Lan Wangji hummed before he looked over at Lan Sizhui.

         “What time does he wake up?” he asked.

         “7:30” Lan Sizhui replied.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Walk me through it” he ordered.

         “7:40-7:50, goes to the toilet, washes his face.  What does this matter?” Lan Sizhui asked, looking up from his report.

         “I’m trying to prove he ate the plant” Lan Wangji replied.

         “His schedule has nothing to do with jimsonweed” Song Zichen argued.

         “There are two possibilities.  Either the parents saw him eat the plant or the child has

unsupervised time and eats plants instead of playing with blocks” Lan Wangji explained. 

         “Even if you find 15 minutes of free time outside, it doesn’t mean he spent it eating a bush” Jiang Cheng murmured from where he was leaning on Lan Wangji’s wall.

         “So, what do we do?  Nothing?  Wait for the child to tell us?  What?” Lan Wangji demanded before he stood up and walked towards his door.

         “Where are you going?” Lan Sizhui asked.  Lan Wangji looked over his shoulder.

         “To talk to him” he replied before he walked out the door.  Wei Wuxian sighed before he stood to his feet and followed Lan Wangji, a blue binder in his hands.

         “Mother?” Lan Sizhui called out. 

         “Everyone go back to work.  We’ll call you when we need you” Wei Wuxian called out before he opened the door and followed Lan Wangji.

Chapter Text

Down in ICU, Harry and Victor were sitting around Liam’s bed while Liam rested.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian walked through the sliding door, Wei Wuxian hanging back while Lan Wangji walked over to Liam’s bed.

         “Have you ever seen your son eat a bush?” he asked as he sat down on Liam’s bed.  Victor shook his head.

         “I haven’t” he replied.  Harry shook his head as well.

         “I’ve only ever seen him eat—” he started.

         “Liam, you ate something at your house.  Something that made you sick.  I need you to show me what you ate” Lan Wangji instructed, interrupting him.  Liam began to whine and struggle, forcing Wei Wuxian to walk over to Lan Wangji’s side.

         “He can’t answer you” Harry stated.

         “Neither can you” Wei Wuxian snapped before he opened his blue binder and held it out to Liam.

         “This is your backyard.  You may know it as Mel’s Diner” he stated as he pasted a picture of the backyard onto a black divider with double-sided tape on it. 

         “This is your sandbox.  Your jungle gym” he continued, placing more pictures onto each strip of tape.  He then placed the picture of the jimsonweed onto the last strip of tape.

         “And under it is this” he stated.  Liam whined in response. 

         “We need to know if you ate this, Liam” Wei Wuxian ordered.  Harry glared at him.

         “He doesn’t know what you want” he growled.  Wei Wuxian glared at him, brown eyes flashing, before he looked back at the little boy.

         “Liam, you have to tell me because if you don’t, game over” he snapped, picking up Liam’s PSP and showing him the “game over” screen.

         “You’ll be dead” he snarled. 

         “What the hell are you doing?” Harry exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian stared at Liam.

         “Show me what you ate.  Liam, show me what you ate” he ordered.  Liam whined as he weakly reached up and grabbed the picture of the sandbox.  Wei Wuxian sighed in relief and continued to look at Liam when suddenly his right eye rolled into the back of his head.  Victor and Harry quickly stood up from where they sat and looked at him in shock.

         “Liam?” Victor asked. 

         “Honey?  Liam!”  Harry exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked at one another before the two celestial beings stood up and walked out of the room.  They then walked back into Lan Wangji’s office and quickly paged Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen.  The two doctors were soon in the oncologist’s office, looking concerned.

         “What’s wrong Wangji?” Lan Xichen asked.  Wei Wuxian motioned for the two doctors to sit down as he leaned against Lan Wangji’s desk, Lan Wangji joining him.

         “We have a new symptom” he stated.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen nodded.

         “Yeah, we were all notified about that” Jiang Cheng replied. 

         “Can you explain as to why this poor child’s eyeball rolled back into his head?” Lan Wangji asked. 

         “It’s consistent with jimsonweed poisoning, ocular paralysis” Jiang Cheng replied, crossing his arms.

         “His ocular muscle didn’t paralyze, it pirouetted” Wei Wuxian snapped.

         “MS?” Lan Xichen asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “Not MS” he replied before he sighed.

         “A stroke, bleed in the brain.  We’d be seeing other symptoms besides a single eye misalignment.  Like a coma” he continued.

         “It’s a tumor” Jiang Cheng murmured.

         “And all the imaging just missed it?” Wei Wuxian asked, skeptical.  Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes.

         “It’s a micro-tumor.  It started in his lung, which caused the pleural effusion.  Then it metastasized to his liver, which made it slough cells.  And then it went to his brain behind the eye, which caused it to roll back into his head” he explained.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “So, he had three tumors and we missed all of them?” he asked. 

         “I have a better chance of finding it, now that I know exactly where to look” Lan Xichen offered, looking up at his brother.  Lan Wangji looked right back at him, causing him to sigh.

         “So, unless you have a better idea, I’m going to go CT his head and then, if I have to, remove his eye” he stated.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “You remove this kid’s eye, he’s only going to be half as good at not making eye contact” he snapped.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen sighed before they stood to their feet.

         “Alright, we’ll do the scan.  Page us if you need anything” Jiang Cheng offered before he and Lan Xichen walked out the door.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji watched them leave before Wei Wuxian pushed off Lan Wangji’s desk and headed towards the door.

         “I’ve got some reports to catch up on.  Let me know how the scan goes” he instructed before he walked out the door.  Lan Wangji sighed and looked at his watch; he had a meeting in fifteen minutes. 

         Guess I better go’ he thought to himself with a sigh.

Chapter Text

While Lan Wangji was in his meeting, Wei Wuxian was down in his lab, and the other doctors were with other patients, Lan Sizhui was walking down the hall when he noticed that Lan Wangji’s office door was cracked open.  He frowned, he knew that Lan Wangji was in a meeting (he kept a tab on both him and Wei Wuxian) so he shouldn’t have been in his office.  He walked over to the door and pushed it open.

         “Hanguang-Jun…” he started, stepping into the room.  Ma Jing turned and smiled sweetly at her, which only made Lan Sizhui frown.

         “What are you doing here?” he demanded. 

         “I’m waiting for Lan Wangji” Ma Jing replied.  Lan Sizhui narrowed his eyes.

         “Dr. Lan is in a meeting at the present moment.  Why don’t you come back at another time?  I can schedule an appointment –” he started when Ma Jing suddenly pulled a gun out of her bag and pointed it at him. 

         “I want to see Lan Wangji NOW” she growled, making Lan Sizhui gulp.  As he was standing there at gunpoint, Wei Wuxian was thankfully walking down the hall to discuss their case with Lan Wangji when he noticed that the oncologist’s door was wide open, which he found strange because he knew that Lan Wangji was in a meeting.  He walked over to the room and stepped inside, only to gasp.

         “A-Yuan!” he exclaimed when he saw that his son was being held at gunpoint.  Ma Jing quickly turned away from Lan Sizhui and pointed the gun at him.

         “You” she growled before she barred her fangs and cocked the gun.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui froze as Ma Jing turned back towards Lan Sizhui.

         “Get me Lan Wangji, or Dr. Wei dies” she ordered.  Lan Sizhui hesitated but Wei Wuxian just looked over at him and nodded.  Lan Sizhui sighed and slowly backed away from his father and Ma Jing until he was out the door.  As soon as he turned away, there was a “crack” and a “thud” that followed quickly afterwards.  His eyes widened and he quickly ran back into the room to see Wei Wuxian on the floor, a gunshot wound close to his heart.

         “MOTHER!” he shrieked, running over to his father.  Wei Wuxian coughed as Lan Sizhui placed his hands over the wound, trying to stop the bleeding.

         “A-Yuan…find Lan Zhan” Wei Wuxian whispered.  Lan Sizhui looked down at Wei Wuxian with tears in his eyes and the archdemon smiled weakly.

         “I’m fine” he assured.  Lan Sizhui sniffled before he quickly stood to his feet, glared at Ma Jing, then turned and ran out the door.  Once he was gone, Ma Jing stalked over to Wei Wuxian and stood over him, pointing the gun at him.

         “Nowhere to run, Dr. Wei” she purred.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Ma Jing was being a psycho stalker, Lan Sizhui was running through the hospital, tears streaming down his face.

         “Hanguang-Jun!” he screamed as he ran through the hospital, getting strange looks from patients and other nurses.

         “Hanguang-Jun!” he screamed again, searching for the oncologist.  Finally, he found him in the hospital’s meeting room with another patient. 

         “Father!” he shrieked, bursting through the door.  Lan Wangji’s head shot up, brown eyes wide with surprise. 

         “Sizhui?  What’s wrong?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui sucked in deep breaths, trying to calm down.

         “Mother, he…Ma Jing…she….” he started before bursting into tears.  The minute he heard “Mother”, Lan Wangji quickly stood to his feet.

         “A-Yuan.  What.  Happened” he demanded.  Lan Sizhui sniffled and looked into the seraph’s brown eyes, letting out a sob.

         “Mother was shot!” he wailed.  Lan Wangji froze for a moment before he tore out of the meeting room, running towards his office, Lan Sizhui following behind.  He then entered his room to see Ma Jing standing over Wei Wuxian as he bled out onto Lan Wangji’s carpet.

         “Wei Ying!” he shouted, eyes wide with horror.  Ma Jing looked up from the dying archdemon and smiled brightly.

         “Hi Wangji!” she greeted.  Lan Wangji looked at her and snarled, stalking over to her while Lan Sizhui rushed over to Wei Wuxian and pulled him into his lap, pressing a hand over his wound to stop the bleeding. 

         “Do you have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed with me?  Nine chances out of ten, we’d both wind up in a jail” Lan Wangji spat as he stood before Ma Jing, who pouted.

         “You’re only saying that to make me go” she whined.  Lan Wangji snarled.

         “I’m saying it because it’s true” he snapped as his eyes glowed white.

         “Inside of us, we both know that you belong with someone else” he stated.  Ma Jing frowned at him, making him sigh as he tried to remain calm while his partner was bleeding to death on his son, who was trying to keep him alive.

         “If you’re not with someone your age, you’ll regret it.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life” he explained.

         “What about us?” Ma Jing asked as tears came to her eyes.

         “There was no us.  There was never an us” Lan Wangji growled before he grabbed Ma Jing’s face.

         “Was there an earthquake when you were in Dradena?” he suddenly asked.  Ma Jing frowned as she sniffled.

         “What?” she asked. 

         “Was there an earthquake when you were in Dradena?” Lan Wangji repeated, angrier this time.  Ma Jing flinched. 

         “Yeah, a little one” she replied.  Lan Wangji smirked.

         “It’s not love” he declared.  Ma Jing’s mouth fell open.

         “What?” she whispered.  Lan Wangji released her face and took a step back.

         “You have spore in your brain.  Coccidioides immitis.  Zasmait’s full of them.  They get an earthquake, they get released into the air, you breath it in, you get a cold.  Turns into sinus congestion, aches, weakness, milky tears, and sometimes loss of inhibition and judgment” he declared.  Ma Jing sniffled.

         “So, loving you, wanting to have sex with you was all just the spores talking?” she whispered in disbelief.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “You’ll probably live” he replied.  Ma Jing sniffled and lowered her head before she raised her gun and pointed it at the seraph.

         “If I can’t have you, then no one can!” she screamed, firing the gun.  Before the bullet could even reach Lan Wangji, Lan Sizhui’s head shot up, eyes glowing silver, and he threw out a hand, sending Ma Jing flying into a wall before directing his attention towards the bullet that was going to hit Lan Wangji.  He waved his hand, sending the bullet flying into one of Lan Wangji’s office walls, before looking over at Lan Wangji with a small, weak smile.  Lan Wangji blinked in shock before turning to Ma Jing, anger quickly replacing the shock as he pulled an angel blade out of thin air and surged forward, stabbing her through the sternum before she could fire the gun again.  Ma Jing looked up at him in shock as he pulled the blade out, watching as she crumpled on the floor.

         “Go to hell” he spat before he threw away the blade and ran over to Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui, who was desperately trying to keep Wei Wuxian awake and alive.

         “Wei Ying.  Wei Ying, stay awake.  Stay awake” he ordered before he paged Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng to get into his office stat.  When the two supernatural beings arrived in Lan Wangji’s office, they gasped at the scene before them.

         “Get Wei Ying to the ICU, immediately” Lan Wangji ordered.  Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng nodded, not questioning what had just happened (they had an idea), and walked over to Wei Wuxian.  Jiang Cheng pressed two fingers to his brother’s forehead and snapped his fingers, transporting him to the ICU.  Once they were gone, Lan Wangji looked over at Lan Sizhui, whose clothes were soiled and whose shoulders were shaking.  The seraph sighed and walked over to him, sitting down next to him.

         “A-Yuan” he started, reaching out and placing a hand on his shoulder.  Lan Sizhui let out a wail before he threw himself into his arms, wrapping his arms around his waist and burying his face into his chest.  Lan Wangji sighed sadly and wrapped his arms around him, holding him tightly.

         “It’s alright little one” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui whimpered as he tightened his grip on his waist.

         “Hanguang-Jun” he whimpered.  Lan Wangji stroked his back, gently hushing him as he held him tightly.

         “I’m here, shhh…I’m here, I’m here” he comforted.

Chapter Text

While Wei Wuxian was in ICU and Lan Wangji was comforting Lan Sizhui, Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng were now in charge of Liam’s case.  The two doctors were in Liam’s room, Lan Xichen playing with a slinky while Jiang Cheng was pacing the room.  The pediatrician paused in her pacing when he noticed Liam’s chalkboard and his eyes widened.

         “Huan, come on” he ordered, storming out of the room.

         “Wanyin, wait up!” Lan Xichen exclaimed as he rushed after him, putting down the slinky.  The two doctors quickly walked down to Liam’s room, frowning when they saw him, his parents, and Wen Ning inside.

         “Why isn’t he in surgery?” Jiang Cheng demanded.

         “Some emergency bumped him.  We’ve got another room in ten minutes” Wen Ning answered.  Jiang Cheng shook his head and stormed over to Liam’s bed, sitting down on it.

         “You’re not taking him in” he declared before he looked over his shoulder at Lan Xichen.

         “Kill the lights” he ordered.  Lan Xichen nodded and killed the lights as Jiang Cheng pulled an ophthalmoscope out of his coat pocket and looked into Liam’s eye.

         “He was seeing them all the time” he muttered.  Wen Ning frowned.

         “What are you looking for?” he asked. 

         “He was telling us what he was seeing.  Telling us exactly what was wrong with him.  Drawing them for us over and over again.  But nobody knew how to speak autistic.  When Wei Wuxian asked him what he ate, he even told him that” Jiang Cheng explained as he held up the picture of the sandbox from Wei Wuxian’s blue binder, showing it to Wen Ning.

         “What are you talking about?  What was he seeing?” Harry demanded.  Jiang Cheng continued to look into Liam’s eye and smirked.

         “Hello, my pretties” he cooed before he looked up at Liam’s parents.

         “It’s not a tumor, Wen Ning, it’s worms swimming in his eye” he explained as he put away the flashlight.

         “What?” Victor asked, confused.  Lan Xichen sighed and pushed himself off the wall he was leaning on.

         “Animal makes potty in the sandbox, boy plays in the sandbox.  Boy eats the sand.  You can probably tell where this is going by now” he explained as he stood next to Jiang Cheng. Harry and Victor looked at them, confused, and Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “Stool samples were negative for parasites” Wen Ning exclaimed.

         “Raccoon roundworms are not excreted by their human host” Jiang Cheng explained. 

         “A-Yuan tested the sand” Wen Ning argued.  Lan Xichen crossed his arms.

         “All of it?” he asked.  Wen Ning remained silent, making Lan Xichen nod.

         “Worms spread from his gut to the rest of his body.  They attacked his lungs, that’s what made him scream and caused the effusion.  They invade his liver, sending dead liver cells coursing through his system.  They attacked his eye and the muscles surrounding it, making his eyeball do a back flip” he explained.  Jiang Cheng then looked at Wen Ning.

         “Laser photocoagulation to fix the eye, and a high dose of benzimidazole to kill the worms” he ordered as he and Lan Xichen stood and began walking towards the door.

         “Wait a minute, that’s it?  He’s going to be okay?” Harry asked.  Lan Xichen smirked and looked over his shoulder at the two men.

         “Good news.  He’s going to be with you for a long, long time” he replied before he and Jiang Cheng walked out of the room and headed towards the ICU.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

In the ICU, Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan were working intensively on Wei Wuxian, and even though they were not surgeons, they were trained to perform surgeries if necessary.  Outside of the ICU, Lan Sizhui, Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng, Wen Ning, and Song Zichen were waiting anxiously for the archdemon to be okay.  After almost five hours, Jin Zixuan and Jiang Yanli came out of the room.

         “He’s going to be fine…he just needs to rest.  It was very lucky that the girl didn’t shoot a centimeter to the right or she would have killed him” Jin Zixuan declared.  The other supernatural beings breathed out a sigh of relief as Lan Sizhui looked into the man’s eyes.

         “Thank you Uncle Jin” he thanked.  Jin Zixuan smiled and nodded.

         “You’re welcome” he replied as he walked away to get cleaned up.

         “You should be able to visit him soon” Jiang Yanli stated, a kind smile on her face, before she followed Jin Zixuan to get cleaned up.  Once they were sure that Wei Wuxian was okay, Lan Wangji looked over at Lan Sizhui.

         “Come on A-Yuan, let’s get you home” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui nodded and followed Lan Wangji out of the room as he looked over his shoulder at the other doctors.

         “Go home.  Wei Ying will be better in the morning” he assured.  The other doctors nodded and decided to head home; if Lan Wangji said that Wei Wuxian would be fine, then he would be fine.

 

CASE CLOSED

Chapter Text

The next morning, while Lan Wangji was finishing some reports, he heard a hesitant knock on his door.

         “Come in” he called, not looking up from his reports.  The door slowly opened and Wei Wuxian popped his head in.

         “Lan Zhan” he replied, voice soft.  Lan Wangji’s head shot up and he looked over at the archdemon standing in his doorway.

         “Wei Ying” he breathed as he quickly stood up and walked over to the man, throwing his arms around him and holding him tightly.

         “You’re okay” he whispered.  Wei Wuxian smiled as he wrapped his arms around the seraph.

         “I’m okay” he agreed before he buried his face into Lan Wangji’s neck.

         “A-Yuan and I thought we had lost you” Lan Wangji murmured.  Wei Wuxian shook his head from where it was buried in the seraph’s neck. 

         “You couldn’t lose me” he whispered.  They then pulled away and Lan Wangji looked into Wei Wuxian’s eyes.

         “We’ve got a new case.  Call in the team” he ordered.  Wei Wuxian nodded and quickly paged the other doctors, ordering them to come into Lan Wangji’s office.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Soon all the doctors were in Lan Wangji’s office, waiting to be debriefed on their new case. 

         “So, Wangji, what have we got?” Lan Xichen asked as Wei Wuxian walked in, carrying copies of the case.

         “Mother!” Lan Sizhui exclaimed, eyes shining brightly.  The other doctors turned and when they saw Wei Wuxian, they all gasped.

         “Wei Wuxian!” they cried.  Wei Wuxian smiled.

         “Hello everyone” he greeted.  Lan Xichen raised an eyebrow.

         “You’re out already?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “Jin Zixuan said that I’d be fine and that my A-Yuan had basically healed me, they just had to get the bullet out of my system or it would have gotten infected and then I would have had serious problems” he explained.  Lan Xichen hummed as Wei Wuxian handed out copies of the case file to everyone.

         “Young boy.  Abdominal pain increasing in severity and frequency, fever, dehydration, diarrhea, weight loss” Lan Wangji stated once everyone had gotten a copy.

         “Mom died from kidney failure caused by type 1 diabetes, which has been ruled out” Lan Sizhui added, looking at the file.

         “Seventeen doctors.  Everything’s been ruled out, which means we have to re-rule out” Wei Wuxian stated before he looked over at Jiang Cheng.

         “You’re the pediatrician, get a new history and physical” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng nodded and stood up, Lan Xichen following him. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The two doctors walked down to the young boy’s room and stood before him while his father stood behind him.

         “Hey there.  I’m Dr. Jiang Cheng and this is Dr. Lan Xichen.  We’ll be taking care of you along with a few other doctors, okay?” Jiang Cheng greeted.  The boy nodded.

         “Okay” he replied.  Lan Xichen then cleared his throat.

         “Been out of the country or on any recent camping trips?” he asked. 

         “No camping.  But we were in Montreal back in January” the father answered. 

         “We went to see the NHL All-Star Game for my birthday” the boy explained.  Lan Xichen smiled.

         “Awesome” he agreed before he walked forward and began feeling underneath his Lan Xichen and his neck.

         “What are you doing?” the father demanded.  Jiang Cheng looked over at him.

         “We’re starting over.  One of the other doctors on this case, Dr. Wei Wuxian, decided that we should do that.  You never know what previous doctors may have missed” he explained as Lan Xichen moved his examination of the little boy to his stomach, pressing gently on his stomach.

         “Like this” he called out.  Jiang Cheng looked back over at Lan Xichen with concern in his eyes while Lan Xichen looked down at the little boy.

         “Does that hurt more when I push there?” he asked.  The little boy shook his head.

         “Not really” he replied.  The father took a step forward.

         “What is it?” he asked.

         “I’m not sure” Lan Xichen whispered.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in Lan Wangji’s office, the other doctors were sitting around, working on other cases or reports, when Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng walked in.

         “He’s constipated” Lan Xichen called out.  All the doctors turned towards him as he pulled out a large X-ray and gave it to Jiang Cheng to hold so that everyone could see it.

         “Physical revealed a mass in his abdomen, so I repeated the X-ray.  Old one was clean, new one shows that his colon is almost completely impacted” he explained.  Everyone looked at the X-ray and Wen Ning frowned.

         “Obstruction would explain the pain.  You think they just screwed up the old X-ray?” he asked, looking at Lan Wangji. 

         “No” Lan Wangji replied.  Lan Xichen sighed and took the X-ray back from Jiang Cheng and placed it back into the folder.

         “Alright Wangji, you’re coming with me” he instructed, turning and walking out of the door.  Lan Wangji sighed and followed his brother out of his room and down to the little boy’s room, where the father and son were waiting anxiously for them.

         “Wangji, this is Noah Müller and his father Roy Müller” Lan Xichen introduced.  Lan Wangji nodded and shook Mr. Müller’s hand.

         “I’m Doctor Lan Wangji, Head of Oncology here at Supernatural General, and I’m one of your son’s doctors” he introduced.  Mr. Müller shook his hand before he put his hands on his hips.

         “What’s wrong with my son?” he demanded.  Lan Wangji sighed.

         “We think it might be Hirschsprung” he explained.  Mr. Müller frowned.

         “Hirschsprung?” he repeated.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “It’s a congenital disorder of the nerves in the colon.  Very rare in a child your son’s age.  Most doctors would never think of it” he explained.  Mr. Müller raised an eyebrow.

         “And you came up with this?” he demanded.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “No, our pathologist, Dr. Wei Wuxian, came up with it.  He’s another one of your son’s doctors” he explained. 

         “We need a barium enema and biopsy to confirm” Lan Xichen stated from Noah’s bedside as he mixed distilled water and some white powder that Noah couldn’t distinguish.

         “Let me guess, it tastes really bad, but it’s gonna make me feel a lot better” Noah asked.  Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen looked at one another before Lan Wangji smiled softly at Noah.

         “Actually, you’re not gonna taste it” he replied as Lan Xichen poured the solution into an IV bag.

Chapter Text

         “Last week, yesterday, today” Lan Xichen stated, pointing to three different X-rays before he turned to Mr. Müller, Noah, and Lan Wangji.

         “I can’t believe it.  He’s pain-free for the first time in months, he’s even hungry” Mr. Müller exclaimed.

         “I’m starving” Noah giggled.  Lan Xichen smiled.

         “We’re still waiting for the biopsy results, but obviously, it’s a good sign” he explained as he fixed Noah’s blankets.

         “You’re gonna want to take it slow.  Don’t try to regain all the lost weight in one meal” Lan Wangji instructed.  While Lan Wangji was trying to make Noah as comfortable as possible, Lan Xichen gently prodded Noah’s abdomen, frowning.

         “What’s wrong?” Mr. Müller asked, noticing Lan Xichen’s frown.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “The abdomen feels normal, but looks bigger” he explained.  Mr. Müller frowned and looked over at his son.

         “Noah, are you feeling—” he started when he noticed that Noah was staring into space, one eye not facing forward.

         “Noah?  Hey, Noah, you okay?” Mr. Müller exclaimed, gaining both Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen’s attention.  Lan Wangji quickly grabbed a pen-light and shone it in his eye.

         “Right eye is fixed.  Lateral rectus palsy” he stated, just as Noah began to have a seizure.

         “He’s seizing” Mr. Müller exclaimed.  Lan Wangji looked over at Lan Xichen.

         “Need five milligrams of diazepam” he ordered.  Lan Xichen nodded and ran to get what he ordered while Mr. Müller looked at Lan Wangji with confusion.

         “What’s happening?” he demanded.  Lan Wangji ignored him, just as Xiao Xingchen ran into the room.

         “Hanguang-Jun!” he exclaimed.  Lan Wangji looked over at him and motioned with his head to come over to the bed.

         “Hold down his head and turn off the lights” he ordered.  Xiao Xingchen nodded as Lan Wangji pulled out his pen-light and tried to look into Noah’s eye.

         “I need to see his optic disk” he stated.  Lan Xichen looked at the heart monitor.

         “Heart rate’s elevated” he called out.  Lan Wangji glared at Xiao Xingchen.

         “Hold his head” he snapped.

         “I’m trying” Xiao Xingchen snapped back.  When Mr. Müller tried to get closer, Lan Xichen gently but forcefully pushed him away.

         “Mr. Müller, we need you to step back” he ordered as Lan Wangji shone his light into Noah’s eye before he shook his head.

         “His optic disks are swollen.  He’s got intracranial hypertension.  Xiao Xingchen, need five more milligrams of diazepam” he ordered.

         “If we could intubate him –” Lan Xichen started.

         “Need five more milligrams of diazepam” Lan Wangji snapped, making Lan Xichen sigh.

         “DC the monitors.  Push 500 milligrams of phenytoin” Lan Wangji ordered.  Xiao Xingchen and Lan Xichen looked at him in shock.

         “You can’t push that much” Xiao Xingchen hissed.

         “We need to relieve the pressure, or his brain could herniate” Lan Wangji snapped. 

         “Oh, my God” Mr. Müller exclaimed.  Xiao Xingchen held Noah down as Lan Xichen injected phenytoin into his pick-line.

         “Fifty milligrams of phenytoin in” he stated.  Lan Wangji looked at Noah, who was still seizing, and shook his head.

         “Page Wen Ning.  Tell him to meet us in the OR” he ordered.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Noah was still seizing, Xiao Xingchen, Lan Xichen, Lan Wangji, and other nurses rushed his bed out of the room and towards the OR.

         “We need your consent” Lan Wangji stated as Mr. Müller ran behind them.

         “What’s happening to him?” Mr. Müller exclaimed.

         “The pressure in his skull’s too high.  If we don’t reduce it, it could irrevocably damage his brain” Lan Xichen explained as they continued running towards the OR.

         “But he was just talking.  He was smiling!” Mr. Müller shouted.

         “We need to drill burr holes” Xiao Xingchen explained.  Mr. Müller’s eyes widened.

         “Drill into his head?” he exclaimed.

         “Phenytoin’s not working.  Paralyze him.  Three milligrams of pancuronium.  Then intubate and hyperventilate” Lan Wangji ordered, looking at Xiao Xingchen and Lan Xichen as they ran into the OR.  He then looked over at Mr. Müller.

         “Do we have your consent?” he asked.  Mr. Müller said nothing.

         “Do we have your consent?” Lan Wangji repeated before he looked at the others.

         “Ready?  One, two, three” he instructed as they moved Noah from his hospital bed to the examination table.  Lan Xichen then grabbed a syringe and placed it into Noah’s pick-line.

         “Injecting three milligrams of pancuronium” he stated.  More doctors began to swarm around them and one nurse placed an oxygen mask over him while another put a breathing tube down his throat.  Lan Wangji then walked over to Mr. Müller as Wen Ning walked into the room and was helped into a surgical gown.

         “Look at the monitors.  He’s still seizing.  We need to do this now” he explained.  Mr. Müller blinked before he looked over at the oncologist and nodded.  Lan Wangji then turned to the other doctors.

         “Go!” he ordered.  Mr. Müller was then escorted out by a nurse as another nurse began to drill holes into Noah’s head.  Once one hole was in, Lan Xichen looked up at the monitors.  His eyes widened.

         “Electrical seizure activities stopped” he stated.  Lan Wangji looked at the monitor as well.

         “Intracranial pressure’s declining.  Come on, keep going” he murmured to himself.  When the monitor stopped beeping rapidly, Xiao Xingchen, Lan Xichen, and Lan Wangji let out a deep, relieved sigh.

         “Pressure’s down to eight” Lan Wangji breathed.  Xiao Xingchen then glanced at him.

         “I’ll go tell the dad” he stated before he turned and walked over to the OR doors, while Wen Ning looked at him, confusion in his eyes.

         “What happened?” he asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “I have no idea” he replied.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Later that day, in the imaging room, Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng,Lan Sizhui, Wen Ning, and Xiao Xingchen were surrounding one table full of Noah’s x-rays.

         “He hasn’t had any more seizures, and cytological examination of the subdural fluid showed no abnormalities” Lan Xichen stated.  Lan Sizhui crossed his arms.

         “Don’t usually see brain damage after a rectal biopsy” he mused.  Wen Ning shrugged his shoulders.

         “He was fine after the procedure.  No headaches, no mental status change.  It wasn’t anything we did” he stated.

         “It’s not just his brain.  He’s continuing to build up fluid in his abdominal cavity as well as the dura.  We’ve inserted shunts to drain it” Jiang Cheng explained.

         “It’s got to be some sort of systemic infection” Wen Ning suggested.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Not after spending the last week getting pumped full of IV antibiotics” he replied.  Lan Sizhui looked at the X-rays and frowned.

         “You notice anything odd about the shape of the fluid collection?” he asked.  Xiao Xingchen looked over the results and he sighed heavily.

         “Oh, God” he muttered.  Lan Xichen looked at them as well and frowned.

         “The edge should be tapered, lens-shaped” he explained.  The other doctors noticed what he was talking about as well and Wei Wuxian took the X-ray out of the radiologist’s hands.

         “Unless the dural layer was already separated from the brain when the fluid started to build up.  Get a dural biopsy to confirm brain cancer” he ordered, looking over at Lan Xichen.  Lan Wangji looked at the archdemon and nodded.

         “Nice catch” he praised.  Wei Wuxian looked up at him and smiled softly before it faded and he became completely serious once more. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After their talk in the imaging room, Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian went down to talk to Mr. Müller about what they had discovered. 

         “Brain cancer?” Mr. Müller exclaimed.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “We should know for sure by the morning” he replied.  Mr. Müller shook his head.

         “Our luck just keeps getting worse, huh?” he asked himself, glancing over at his son’s room.  Wei Wuxian looked at him.

         “Treatment options are getting better every day.  There’s no visible mass, so even if the biopsy comes back positive, we’ve caught it early” he soothed.  Mr. Müller turned on him.

         “Oh, so, you’re telling me this is good news?” he snapped.  Wei Wuxian’s eyes flashed, startling Mr. Müller.

         “I’m saying we will do whatever we can” he replied calmly, but Mr. Müller could hear the edge in his voice.  Mr. Müller sighed.

         “Right.  I’m sorry” he apologized.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “It’s understandable, your anger.  You’re scared for your son, as you should be.  I know you want what’s best and we will do everything humanly and celestially possible to make sure that he survives” he soothed.  Mr. Müller smiled gratefully while Lan Wangji smiled to himself.  So Wei Wuxian’s bedside manner wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian, Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng were eating breakfast down in the hospital cafeteria when Lan Sizhui appeared before them, holding a file.

         “I got the biopsy results.  It’s not cancer” he stated.  Lan Wangji frowned and grabbed the file, opening it.  He took one look at it and groaned. 

         “Come on, to my office” he ordered.  The five doctors then headed towards Lan Wangji’s office where Lan Wangji stood before them as they all took seats around his office.

         “How can so much be wrong with nothing being wrong?” Jiang Cheng asked.  Lan Wangji looked over at him.

         “Since when is cancer being considered nothing?” he snapped.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “I just said it’s not cancer.  The cell morphologies were all normal” he exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian looked over at him.

         “And so are the most recent CT scans” he reminded.

         “On the other hand, adenocarcinoma of the stomach would cause pain, constipation, and nutritional deficiencies that could cause seizures” Lan Xichen suggested.

         “And wouldn’t show on a CT” Jiang Cheng agreed. 

         “You were right about the cancer, just wrong about the place” Lan Wangji stated before he looked at Lan Sizhui.

         “Go scope him, get another set of biopsies” he ordered.  Lan Sizhui nodded and stood up, walking out of the office. 

         “I’ll assist him” Wei Wuxian stated, standing up and following his son. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After the biopsy that Lan Sizhui and Wei Wuxian ran, they walked down into Noah’s room, stood before Mr. Müller, introduced themselves, and told him about the biopsy.

         “So, it’s still cancer.  It’s just somewhere else” Mr. Müller asked.  Lan Sizhui nodded.

         “That’s what we’re looking for, but it would explain all the symptoms and all the normal tests and imaging studies” he explained.

         “Got biopsies of the mucosa and the submucosa.  I’m moving towards the pylorus” Wei Wuxian stated.  Mr. Müller sighed and shook his head.

         “It’s my fault” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui frowned and shook his head.

         “Adenocarcinomas aren’t caused by diet or environmental factors” he soothed.  Mr. Müller shook his head.

         “I inherited a $10 million pipeline business when I was 24.  By the time I was 30, it was worth over a billion.  Since then, I have been involved in over 50 deals that make that first one look like a loser.  Everything I do, everything I touch, turns to gold, except my family.  First, my wife and now my son.  This is my fault.  It’s karma” he explained softly.  Lan Sizhui frowned and shook his head again.

         “That’s obviously not true” he argued.  Just then, Noah began to have a seizure, making Wei Wuxian’s eyes widen.

         “He’s seizing again” he called out.

         “Get the scope out” Lan Sizhui ordered, moving Noah onto his side so that the seizure could not do anymore damage his body.

         “We need five milligrams diazepam” he called out.

         “How’s the ICP?” Wei Wuxian asked.  Lan Sizhui looked up at the monitor and frowned.

         “It’s eight.  But the shunt’s open and clear” he replied.  Wei Wuxian looked at his son.

         “This isn’t intracranial pressure” he declared.  Lan Sizhui looked up at him.

         “Then what the hell is it?” he demanded. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui had stopped the seizure, Lan Wangji was standing outside of the room, looking inside.

         “Seizure’s stopped, but he hasn’t regained consciousness.  No sign of any masses in his stomach or esophageal lining.  And he’s still accumulating subdural and peritoneal fluid” Wei Wuxian stated from behind him.

         “And every time we look to see where it’s coming from, he starts seizing” Lan Wangji replied. 

         “You think we’re setting this off?” Lan Sizhui asked, placing his hands on his hips. 

         “I think something is” Jiang Cheng answered from besides him.

         “One of his stomach biopsies shows an arteriole partially occluded” Lan Xichen suggested.

         “But with no abnormality in the other layers, and no evidence of a cellular inflammatory reaction—” Lan Sizhui started.

         “It’s definitely not cancer” Lan Wangji finished.

         “Then it has to be some sort of infection” Jiang Cheng offered.

         “We already ruled out infection” Wei Wuxian replied.

         “Only because he was treated for it and got worse” Jiang Cheng snapped back.  Wei Wuxian shrugged.

         “Seems like a sound reason” he replied.

         “Unless it’s a drug-resistant strain” Lan Xichen suggested.  

         “Drug-resistant strain of what?  Bacterial cultures, viral serologies, ANA, and ANCA were all negative” Lan Wangji stated, turning around to face them.

         “Everything’s negative.  We obviously missed something” Jiang Cheng exclaimed.  Lan Sizhui crossed his arms thoughtfully.

         “Maybe the seizures aren’t a new symptom, they’re an old one” he suggested.  Lan Xichen looked over at him.

         “No doctor noticed a thrashing kid?” he asked skeptically.

         “Abdominal epilepsy.  The seizures would just look like pain until it spread to his motor cortex” Lan Sizhui replied.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “Wouldn’t explain the fevers” he countered.

         “Protein malnutrition can cause fevers.  And nothing causes malnutrition like excruciating stomach pain that gets worse every time you eat” Lan Sizhui explained.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “For right now, it’s the best we got” he agreed before pointing to Jiang Cheng.

         “Start him on gabapentin, hook him up to an intracranial EEG for continuous monitoring” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng nodded and quickly walked away, following through with Lan Wangji’s orders.

Chapter Text

After Jiang Cheng completed the biopsy, he called Lan Sizhui, Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Lan Xichen into Noah’s room.

         “Continuous EEG shows no interictal spikes” he explained, looking at the people in the room, before shaking her head.

         “It’s not abdominal epilepsy” he stated.  Lan Wangji crossed his arms.

         “You paged me to tell me what it’s not?” he demanded.  Jiang Cheng shook his head again.

         “I paged you to show you this” he replied, opening Noah’s gown to show sores all over his chest.  Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian, Lan Sizhui, and Lan Xichen’s eyes widened.

         “That, I did not expect” Lan Xichen murmured.  Mr. Müller looked at them in confusion.

         “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” he demanded.  Lan Wangji looked up at him.

         “We don’t know” he replied.  Mr. Müller’s eyes widened.

         “You don’t know?  You think this is a joke?  That’s my son.  He’s dying, and not one of you seem to have the slightest clue why” he spat.  Lan Sizhui looked up at him, brown eyes softly glowing silver.

         “We’re trying our best, Mr. Müller.  Now please, calm down, and let us do our job” he commanded, authority coursing throughout his voice that was not there before.  Mr. Müller gulped before he nodded.

         “Yes sir” he whispered. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in Lan Wangji’s office, Lan Wangji was pacing while the others sat waiting for his analysis.  Wen Ning and Song Zichen were busy with other cases, so they weren’t needed at the present moment.

         “Fever, stomach pain, seizures, peritoneal and subdural fluid collection and now spots” he listed off.

         “Could be an allergic reaction to one of his meds” Lan Xichen suggested.

         “That suddenly developed eight hours after he started the meds?” Wei Wuxian replied skeptically.

         “If it’s not cancer or infection, it has to be autoimmune.  Systemic lupus complicated by a CNS vasculitis would explain the rash, fever, ascites—” Lan Sizhui started.

         “CNS vasculitis would cause a stiff neck along with the headache” Jiang Cheng interjected.

         “And would’ve showed up on the dural biopsy” Lan Xichen added.

         “What about polyarteritis nodosa?  It can occur in kids” Jiang Cheng offered.

         “Except you can’t have arteritis without inflammation” Lan Wangji reminded.  Jiang Cheng turned and glared at him.

         “Okay, you come up with something better” he growled.  The other doctors turned to look at Lan Wangji before he sighed and looked back at Jiang Cheng.

         “Go on” he urged.  Jiang Cheng cleared his throat.

         “There was some inflammation in the skin biopsy.  Plus, he’s got elevated diastolic pressure” he stated.  Lan Xichen rolled his eyes.

         “It’s barely elevated, which you’d expect given the number of procedures he’s undergone” he snapped.  Jiang Cheng glared at his partner.

         “Well, barely is more than not barely” he growled.  Lan Wangji sighed and shook his head.

         “Start him on prednisone and get a testicular biopsy.  If he’s gonna have any real inflammation, it’ll be down there” he ordered before he stood up and walked towards the door.

         “Lan Xichen and I will do it” he stated.

         “Why?  It was Uncle Cheng’s idea” Lan Sizhui called out.  Lan Wangji looked over at him.

         “The child’s father is not gonna be happy about a fourth set of biopsies, and Lan Xichen’s has a better rapport” he explained.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “But Father, Uncle Cheng’s a pediatrician.  He should be the one doing the biopsy.  He works with kids.  You’re an oncologist.  You work with cancer” he stated, not even noticing his little slip of calling Lan Wangji “father” instead of “Hanguang-Jun”.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian both blinked before Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, get that biopsy done” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen nodded and stood to their feet, walking towards the door.

         “Is it on his penis?  The kid’s rash?” Wei Wuxian suddenly called out.  Lan Wangji, Lan Sizhui, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen stopped and looked over at him.

         “Yeah, why?” Jiang Cheng asked. 

         “Means it’s most likely affecting the small blood vessels.  That’s why we didn’t see any inflammation on the biopsies.  It’s not polyarteritis, it’s Degos disease” Wei Wuxian replied, looking sorrowfully at the other doctors.  Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Lan Sizhui’s eyes all widened before they too became sad like Wei Wuxian’s.  Wei Wuxian then stood to his feet.

         “I’ll do it” he declared before he turned and walked out the door.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian then walked down the hall away from Lan Wangji’s office down to where Noah’s room was, stepping through the sliding door.  Mr. Müller looked over at him before looking back at Noah.

         “Your son has Degos disease” Wei Wuxian stated calmly.  Mr. Müller looked up at him in confusion, making him sigh.

         “It causes micro-blood vessels in the brain, skin, and GI tract to break down, clot off.  It sometimes manifests early on with atrophic papules on the penis.  In your son’s case, we don’t know why, but they came much later” he explained.  Mr. Müller nodded slowly.

         “What’s the treatment?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “There isn’t one.  It’s incurable” he calmly explained.  Mr. Müller shook his head.

         “You’re wrong.  You’ve already been wrong a bunch of times” he whispered back.  Wei Wuxian nodded slowly, silently agreeing with him, before he sighed deeply.

         “We rechecked the biopsies.  It’s definitely Degos” he assured.  Mr. Müller continued to look up at him as tears filled his eyes.

         “I’m sorry.  I wish there was something we could do” Wei Wuxian murmured apologetically.  Mr. Müller then tore his gaze away from the archdemon and looked down at his sleeping son.

         “How long?” he whispered.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Not much longer” he replied softly. 

         “What does that mean?” Mr. Müller asked.  Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “A day at the most” he replied.  Mr. Müller went silent as he continued to stare at his little boy as tears filled his eyes and began to stream down his cheeks.  He then reached out and grasped his son’s hand, clutching it tightly as he pressed it to his lips.  Wei Wuxian looked at the father with sadness in his eyes before he turned and walked away, tears glistening in his own eyes.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

As he was walking away from the ICU, two lawyers were heading straight for it.  He frowned and stepped out of their way as they stepped into Noah’s room and began talking very heatedly with Mr. Müller.  His frowned deepened as he quickly paged Lan Sizhui, Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen.  Soon the four supernatural beings were in the hallway.

         “What’s wrong?” Lan Xichen asked as they looked at Wei Wuxian.

         “I don’t know, but it looks like we got trouble” he replied softly as he wiped his eyes and headed back towards the ICU, the other four doctors following him.

         “With all due respect, you don’t know what’s at stake here” one of the lawyers shouted at Mr. Müller as Wei Wuxian and the others walked in.

         “What’s going on here?” Lan Wangji demanded.  The two lawyers looked over at him.

         “Who are you?” they replied.

         “Dr. Lan Wangji, Oncologist.  This is Dr. Wei Wuxian, Pathologist, Dr. Lan Sizhui, Immunologist, Dr. Lan Xichen, Radiologist, and Dr. Jiang Cheng, Pediatrician.  We are that little boy’s doctors” Lan Wangji stated, pointing to Noah.  The lawyers looked at the five doctors before one of the lawyers pointed at Mr. Müller.

         “You need to stop him.  He’s about to ruin his life” he exclaimed.  Mr. Müller glared at him.

         “Like you give a damn about my life” he spat.  The other lawyer sighed.

         “Roy, he’s right.  You’re borrowing money to buy options that are already out of the money.  Even you won’t be able to cover the losses.  Your house, cars, bank accounts, you’ll lose everything” he stated.

         “That’s the point.  The billionaire thinks that the gods will treat him better if he’s broke” Lan Xichen snapped, stepping forward.  Mr. Müller sighed.

         “There has got to be some sort of balance.  You can’t have all the good fortune in just one area of your life. That’s not how the world’s supposed to work” he stated softly.  Lan Xichen scoffed.

         “Who said the world was supposed to work?” he sneered.

         “Don’t just wipe everything out.  Put your assets in a trust, give it to a charity –” one lawyer suggested.

         “I can’t get anything back” Mr. Müller interjected.  The other lawyer rolled his eyes.

         “He’s insane” he exclaimed.

         “He’s irrational, so are most people.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t make them insane” Jiang Cheng interjected.

         “If he signs that paper, he’s not only gonna destroy his own life, but the lives of thousands of people who rely on this company to make a living.  If he is insane, we will sue this hospital –” the first lawyer started.

         “Mr. Müller, I know you’re upset, but you shouldn’t make a decision like this right now.  Give it some time” Lan Sizhui soothed.  Mr. Müller shook his head.

         “My son doesn’t have any time” he spat back.

         “Your son’s dying from an incurable disease, not bad karma” Wei Wuxian soothed.

         “No.  He’s not dying.  It’s not gonna happen.  I’m not gonna let it” Mr. Müller growled.

         “Roy.  Please” one of the lawyers begged.  Mr. Müller looked over at Noah and smiled sadly.

         “I’m sorry.  I can’t let him die” he whispered.

         “People don’t get what they deserve.  They just get what they get, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it” Jiang Cheng stated.  Mr. Müller looked up at the five doctors before he looked down at the papers in his hands and signed them before thrusting it at the lawyers.

         “Deliver it, or I’ll make sure you end up the ones with nothing” he growled.  The two lawyers looked at one another before they sighed and walked out of the room.  Everything was silent before Noah’s heart monitor began to beep, making all of them look over at him.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen rushed forward, Jiang Cheng pressing two fingers to Noah’s neck while Lan Xichen looked at the monitors.

         “Call a code.  He’s flat-lining” Jiang Cheng called out.  Nurses rushed over as he began to perform CPR while Lan Xichen placed an oxygen mask over Noah’s face, trying to get some oxygen into his lungs.  While they were working, Mr. Müller looked on in horror while Lan Sizhui looked up at the monitor, only to see flat lines.  He then looked over at Mr. Müller to see him looking back at him and he gave him a weak smile, trying to give him some hope.

Chapter Text

That evening, Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Lan Sizhui were all sitting in Lan Wangji’s office, all filling out reports while Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng were down in Pediatric ICU, checking up on Noah.  While they were working, Wei Wuxian suddenly had an idea and quickly stood up, heading out the door.  Lan Sizhui and Lan Wangji looked up at him.

         “Mother?  Where are you going?” Lan Sizhui asked.  Wei Wuxian didn’t respond and continued walking away from the office.  Lan Sizhui and Lan Wangji looked at one another before they stood up and followed the archdemon, who headed down to the Pediatric ICU.  He then stepped inside Noah’s room, where Mr. Müller was sitting by Noah’s bedside, clutching his hand.

         “Wei Ying, what are you—” Lan Wangji started.

         “Is he still alive?” Wei Wuxian demanded, looking at Jiang Cheng.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “Yeah” he replied.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “Good.  Start him on heparin and IV immunoglobulin” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, Lan Wangji, and Lan Sizhui frowned.

         “For Degos?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “The cardiac arrest wasn’t just an “everything goes to hell in a hand basket” arrest.  It was a coronary event.  Coronaries are large vessels.  Means it can’t be Degos” Wei Wuxian explained.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “But the biopsies confirmed –” he started.

         “Obstructed blood vessels.  They can’t be obstructed because of Degos.  Means it’s primary antiphospholipid syndrome” Wei Wuxian interrupted.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, Lan Wangji, and Lan Sizhui looked at him curiously.

         “You sure?” Jiang Cheng asked.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Nope.  But I will be if he responds to the heparin and immunoglobulin” he replied.  Lan Sizhui rolled his eyes before he turned and went to go get the heparin and the immunoglobulin while Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen remained in the room.  Once he had gotten the medicine, he put it into his IV and looked back at the other doctors.

         “Now, can we go home?” he asked.  The other four nodded and they all turned, Lan Wangji stopping to look back at Mr. Müller, who was looking at them in confusion.

         “Goodnight, Mr. Müller” he bid before he followed the other doctors out of the room.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The next morning, in Lan Wangji’s office, Lan Wangji was reading the paper, noticing that Mr. Müller’s picture was on the front page.  He frowned and quickly stood up, walking out of his office down to the Pediatric ICU, where Mr. Müller was sitting next to Noah’s bed, smiling as Noah sat up, tubes no longer down his throat.

         “It worked” Mr. Müller exclaimed.  Lan Wangji smiled slightly and crossed his arms.

         “The medicine worked” he corrected.  Mr. Müller smiled, tears glistening in his eyes.

         “It worked” he repeated.  Lan Wangji let out a chuckle before he nodded his head in farewell before he walked back to his office.  What a great way to start the morning.

 

CASE CLOSED

Chapter Text

After Lan Wangji had seen Noah and Mr. Müller, he went back to his office, only to find Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui waiting for him.

         “Can I help you two?” he asked.

         “16-year-old patient with the severe edema” Wei Wuxian stated, handing him the case file.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “Edema?” he repeated.  Lan Sizhui nodded.

         “She’s got rhabdo” he explained.  Lan Wangji hummed and read the file.

         “Sixteen-year-old girl suddenly has the joints of an 80-year-old” he mused.

         “Like, I said, it's rhabdo.  Patient gave you the answer.  He fell down and went boom” Lan Sizhui stated.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “The fall would explain the lower leg damage, but not the swollen hands” he argued.  Lan Sizhui rolled his eyes.

         “Hard landing caused crushed muscles, crushed muscles released toxins into the bloodstream, toxins caused swelling in the hands and legs.  Just another way of saying it's rhabdo” he grumbled.

         “She’s a credit-card kid.  Parents are architects.  They're working on a project in Shanghai” Wei Wuxian interrupted.

         “It doesn't have to be rhabdo.  The swelling could also be caused by deep vein thrombosis” Lan Wangji suggested.

         “He has allergies, could be anaphylaxis, or some heart condition that we don't—” Wei Wuxian started.

         “It can't really be any of those things since it's rhabdo!” Lan Sizhui exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked at him in shock.

         “A-Yuan, what’s gotten into you?” Wei Wuxian demanded, frowning at his son.  Lan Sizhui took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair.

         “Sorry…” he apologized before he stood to his feet.

         “I'll test for everything” he murmured as he turned and walked away.  Once he was gone, Lan Wangji looked over at Wei Wuxian.

         “Everything alright at home?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian glanced back at him.

         “Yeah...” he murmured, looking down at the file in his hands.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “Wei Ying, don’t lie, what’s going on?” he asked, turning to face the archdemon.  Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “A-Yuan has been plagued by nightmares of…his parents” he murmured.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “For how long?” he asked calmly.  Wei Wuxian shrugged.

         “A while…a couple of weeks or so?” he replied.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “What triggered it?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “I have no idea, but he hasn’t been sleeping very well and every time he does try to sleep, he wakes up screaming a few hours later.  I think the most sleep he has gotten this past week is two hours.  He can barely close his eyes anymore without seeing them” he murmured.  Lan Wangji smiled sadly as he stood up and walked over to Wei Wuxian, wrapping the pathologist in a hug.

         “I’m sorry” he soothed as he pressed a kiss to Wei Wuxian’s hair before releasing him and motioning to the door.

         “I’m going to go assist him in the test, alright?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian nodded, a faint blush on his cheeks.

         “Yeah, that’s fine” he replied.  Lan Wangji smiled.

         “Okay” he agreed before he turned and walked out the door.  Wei Wuxian watched him leave before he buried his face in his hands, blush burning on his cheeks.

         God damn it Lan Zhan’ he cursed in his head.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Lan Wangji walked down the hall until he found Lan Sizhui in the MRI room, sitting down at the computer.

         “So, a little birdie told me that you’ve been having nightmares” he started as he sat down next to him.  Lan Sizhui paused before he continued working, glancing over at him every now and then.

         “Yeah…” he replied softly.  Lan Wangji smiled.

         “Are you alright?” he asked as he too began to work on the MRI.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “Not really” he replied.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Do you want talk about it?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “No.  We should really focus on this ultrasound” he answered.  Lan Wangji sighed and turned in his chair so that he was facing him.

         “A-Yuan, your father and I care about you very much.  And I know that you haven’t been getting a lot of sleep.  I can now see the dark bags under your eyes.  Please, A-Yuan, talk to me” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui sighed deeply and turned to face him, grateful that they didn’t start the ultrasound yet. 

         “Every night for the past couple of weeks, I’ll be sleeping, and then I’ll just see them behind my eyes, covered in blood, reaching for me…I don’t even know where that image came from, I don’t remember talking about them or thinking about them and one time, when I woke up, I swore I saw them standing by my bedside.  It wasn’t as bad at first but now…now in my dreams they keep trying to kill me, and I don’t know why and every time either my father stabs me or my mother chokes me I wake up screaming and, and—” he explained as he started hyperventilating.  Lan Wangji quickly reached out and placed calming hands on his shoulders. 

         “A-Yuan, little one, breathe, breathe” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui took a deep breath and looked into Lan Wangji’s brown eyes.

         “Am I going crazy?” he whimpered.  Lan Wangji shook his head and leaned forward, pressing a kiss to his forehead.

         “No.  They’re just dreams.  They’ll eventually go away.  And if not, we’ll go seek some professional help” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui smiled gratefully at him.

         “Thank you, Father” he whispered before he pulled away and turned back to the computer.  Lan Wangji smirked before he too turned back to the computer.  They then went through with the ultrasound, looking at computer screens.

         “No sign of obstructions or clots” Lan Sizhui called out.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Let’s go tell Wei Ying” he instructed, standing up from his chair.  Lan Sizhui stood up as well and when they walked back towards the door, Lan Wangji wrapped an arm around him in a sign of comfort and support.  Lan Sizhui smiled and leaned into the seraph, not regretting calling him “Father”.

Chapter Text

The two doctors walked back to Lan Wangji’s office, making Wei Wuxian look up for his reports.

         “Well?” he asked.

         “CK levels point to rhabdo” Lan Wangji started.  Wei Wuxian hummed as Lan Sizhui sighed.

         “Except for the part where imaging shows no sign of muscle crush” he replied.  Wei Wuxian frowned before he stood up, grabbed his laptop, and walked towards the door.

         “Mother, where are you going?” Lan Sizhui asked. 

         “Follow me” Wei Wuxian ordered, walking out of the room.  Lan Wangji and Lan Sizhui looked at one another before they followed the archdemon into their patient’s room.

         “Hello.  I'm your doctor, and this is Lars Ulrich, greatest metal drummer of all time” Wei Wuxian greeted as he stepped inside and placed his laptop on the girl’s movable bedside table. 

         “You know the song?” he asked.  The girl looked up at him and nodded, smiling slightly.

         “Good” Wei Wuxian replied as he snapped his fingers, drumsticks appearing out of thin air, which he then handed to her.

         “I want you to rock out to the music, the way you did last night” he ordered.  The girl looked at him in confusion, as did Lan Wangji and Lan Sizhui.  Wei Wuxian smiled.

         “Come on.  This is a classic medical test.  Hippocrates used it.  Let's go” he urged.  The girl blinked before she began to drum along to the song.  Wei Wuxian tsked.

         “Come on, you gotta keep time.  Crossover on the high-hat” he instructed.  Lan Sizhui crossed his arms as the girl continued to play along to the song.

         “Mother, what are you doing?” he asked.

         “Chart said her potassium's low.  Rhabdo elevates potassium” Wei Wuxian replied, glancing back at his son and best friend.  He then looked at the girl, whose rhythm was still not in time with the song.

         “And the monkey drums” he ordered.  The girl nodded and tried to do what Wei Wuxian instructed while the archdemon looked back at his son and Lan Wangji.

         “Ergo, her levels must have been really low last night.  Which causes—” he started when the girl looked over at him in horror.

         “I can't move them” she exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian nodded and turned off the music.

         “—temporary muscle paralysis.  Given this rate of muscle fatigue, there's no way she could have climbed stairs and then a fence to the pool.  Low potassium means no jump, means no trauma” he explained before smiling at Lan Sizhui.

         “Tests mean, yes, rhabdo” he praised.  Lan Sizhui smiled slightly as Wei Wuxian turned to look back at the sixteen-year old.

         “Ergo, something else caused both the rhabdo and the low potassium” he stated before looking back at Lan Wangji and Lan Sizhui.

         “This time, start by getting an accurate history” he ordered, glaring back at their patient, who looked a little ashamed at being caught.

         “Be careful, our patient's a big, fat liar” he snarled before he picked up his laptop and walked out of the room. 

         “Is he always like that?” the sixteen-year-old’s friend asked.  Lan Sizhui smirked.

         “Oh, don’t worry, there are others who are much worse than him” he replied, brown eyes flashing.  Lan Wangji chuckled.

         “Think we should call them in?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui turned and smiled evilly at him.

         “Oh yes” he replied. 

         “Wait, call in who?” the sixteen-year-old asked.  Lan Sizhui clicked his pager and suddenly a tall young man with light skin, long brown hair, and brown eyes and a tall young man with light skin, long dark brown hair, and brown eyes walked into the room.

         “Meet Dr. Jiang Cheng and Dr. Lan Xichen.  They’re much worse than my father” Lan Sizhui stated as he and Lan Wangji stepped back to let Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng do their job.

         “What did you really do last night?” Jiang Cheng demanded right off the bat. 

         “We need to find the cause of your low potassium.  You could have a kidney disorder, leukemia, adenoma” Lan Sizhui called out from the back.

         “We need to know about any drugs or alcohol, anything that might have threatened your health” Lan Xichen added.  The sixteen-year-old looked at her friend who nodded.

         “Come on, Liz” she urged.  The sixteen-year-old, Elizabeth Smith, sighed.

         “Okay, we didn't spend the night with the band.  You can't tell our friends” she begged.  Lan Wangji, Lan Sizhui, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen nodded.  Elizabeth then sighed again.

         “Have you heard of Stiletto: Warrior Queen of Space?” she asked.  Jiang Cheng blinked.

         “It's a comic book, right?” he asked.  Elizabeth and her friend, Amelia, gasped in surprise before they smiled brightly.

         “Thank you, yes!” Elizabeth exclaimed.

         “Yeah!” Amelia exclaimed.

         “And a freaking amazing new sci-fi series, and they're filming the motion picture now” Elizabeth explained.

         “It’s a prequel” Amelia added.

         “The other girls wouldn't get it.  Only Amelia understands my passion.  Only Amelia understands "the bushido of the heel"” Elizabeth explained.  Lan Xichen rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.

         “So, what actually happened last night?” he asked, annoyed.

         “We were with our friends, trying to get into the Pharmacide tour party at the Adams.  And  then I found out that Jeffrey Schneider was gonna be there.  I follow his tweets.  It's tragic that I have to explain this” Elizabeth stated with a smile.  Lan Wangji, Lan Sizhui, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen all smirked.

         “Oh no, we know what twitter is.  We all have a twitter account” Lan Sizhui called out.  Elizabeth and Amelia looked a little shocked before Elizabeth shook her head and cleared her throat.

         “No, Jeffrey Schneider is the creator of Stiletto issue number one and the TV show” she explained.

         “He’s a god” Amelia added.  Lan Sizhui, Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen all rolled their eyes at that statement before Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “So, did you guys go up to him?” he asked.  Amelia and Elizabeth looked at him, horrified.

         “God, no.  We keep a 10-foot rule.  It's not stalking if you don't go up to the person and bother them” Elizabeth explained.

         “So we just followed him around” Amelia continued.

         “Discreetly.  He ditched after half an hour and went down to the hotel restaurant for a late dinner” Elizabeth added.

         “And you went with him?” Lan Wangji asked.  Amelia and Elizabeth smiled.

         “Discreetly.  We played it so cool” Elizabeth sighed dreamily.

         “For two hours, we lived his life.  We did everything he did, ate the exact same meal he ate” Amelia explained with a wide smile on her face.  Lan Sizhui nodded before he tapped Lan Wangji on the arm.

         “Cool” he agreed before he and Lan Wangji walked out of the room.

         “Thanks guys” he thanked, winking at Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng.  The witch and dragon nodded before they turned on their heels and walked out as well, going back to another case.

Chapter Text

         “The rest of their story checks out.  Hotel manager says Mom and Dad were charged for food and a room, three pay-per-view episodes of Stiletto—” Lan Sizhui stated as he took food out of a bag from the hotel restaurant that Elizabeth and Amelia ate at.  Wei Wuxian then took the box of oysters, opened it up, took out an oyster, and popped it into his mouth.  Lan Wangji looked over at him in shock.

         “You trying to kill yourself?  It's from the same batch the girls ate” he exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian looked over at him.

         “They ate what he ate, and what 100 other healthy people ate” he stated as he passed a box over to Lan Sizhui, who was looking at them with skepticism.

         “Dig in, lunch is on the Adams” he declared.  Lan Sizhui was quiet as he continued to stare at the food boxes before him.

         “What if food is the answer?  Not this food, any food.  Elizabeth says she ate all of this.  She's 16, all about body image, and she obviously worries about fitting in” he started.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian looked up from their food.

         “Bulimia would account for her symptoms.  We should do a barium swallow for Mallory-Weiss tears, start her on nutritional supplements, get a psych consult” Lan Wangji replied.  Lan Sizhui nodded before he grabbed one of the boxes and began digging in.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian soon followed suit.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After their lunch, Lan Wangji and Lan Sizhui were back down in the ultrasound room, giving Elizabeth another ultrasound.

         “Feel better after lunch?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui looked over at him and nodded.

         “Yeah…feel like some of my energy has returned” he replied.  Lan Wangji smiled.

         “Good” he replied before he looked at the screen.

         “No sign of tears.  It's not bulimia” he declared.  Lan Sizhui frowned.

         “Then what is it?” he asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head and stood up, walking out of the room that kept them safe from the radiation as Jiang Cheng let Elizabeth’s parents into the room.  The two parents gasped and quickly walked over to Elizabeth, making her smile as she sat up.

         “Baby, how are you?” her father asked.  Her mother smiled and caressed her cheek.

         “Sweetie” she cooed.  Elizabeth smiled up at them before her eyes closed and she collapsed back onto the table.

         “Elizabeth!” her father exclaimed.

         “Normal sinus rhythm.  Heart rate's fine” Lan Sizhui called out.  Lan Wangji quickly walked over to the table, looking at the monitors.

         “BP's dropping” he called back.  Jiang Cheng quickly walked over to him as Lan Sizhui walked out of the room as well.

         “What's happening to her?” Elizabeth’s father demanded.

         “No pulse” Jiang Cheng called out as Lan Wangji began to perform CPR.

         “Oh my god!” Elizabeth’s mother exclaimed.  She then turned and glared at Lan Sizhui as he ran over to the table full of equipment and pulled out a syringe.

         “You said her heart rate was fine” she spat. 

         “Cardiac tamponade, drain the fluid now” Jiang Cheng ordered as he placed an oxygen mask over Elizabeth’s face and began squeezing it, trying to get oxygen into her while Lan Sizhui took the syringe and stabbed it into Elizabeth’s chest.

         “What is going on?” Elizabeth’s father demanded.

         “She's bleeding around her heart” Lan Sizhui stated as he began to pull on the back part of the syringe, draining the blood.  Elizabeth’s parents stood nearby as Lan Sizhui, Lan Wangji, and Jiang Cheng worked on their daughter, afraid for her life.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “Blood constricted her heart muscle.  She's on antiarrhythmics, but we don't know how long we can keep her stable.  Seemed to be triggered by stress. Her parents had just –” Lan Sizhui started as he, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Wangji walked back into Lan Wangji’s office where Wei Wuxian was sitting and finishing some notes.

         “Did her blood pressure drop during the barium swallow?” Wei Wuxian interrupted, not looking up from his notes.

         “Dropped to 50 systolic in three minutes” Lan Sizhui replied.

         “Rules out chronic conditions” Lan Wangji added.

         “Acute conditions limit us to toxins, infections –” Jiang Cheng started.

         “Could be anything.  A gas leak, arsenic in the wallpaper, fungus in the shower…I'll get samples from her room and the restaurant” Lan Sizhui declared.

         “Talk to our little Gossip Girl.  You need to know exactly where she's been and what she's done in the last 24 hours” Wei Wuxian ordered, still not looking up from his notes.  Lan Sizhui, Lan Wangji, and Jiang Cheng nodded before they turned and walked out of the office, leaving Wei Wuxian to finish his notes.

Chapter Text

After they had talked to Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen (whom Jiang Cheng had called for help) all walked down to Elizabeth’s room.

         “Do you need me to leave, too?” Amelia asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “You might remember stuff she doesn't” he replied.  Elizabeth looked at him and narrowed her eyes sleepily.

         “We didn't do anything we haven't told you about” she grumbled.

         “We hung out at Elizabeth's all day, and then we called a limo to go into the city” Amelia explained.

         “We stopped at Bruce Springsteen's house” Elizabeth interjected.  Amelia looked down at her friend in shock.

         “Liz, don't joke around, okay?  You're really sick.  Just tell him the truth” she exclaimed.

         “Bruce let me play the first electric guitar he ever owned” Elizabeth continued.

         “My God, why are you lying?” Amelia asked in disgust.  Elizabeth looked over at her.

         “How can you not believe me?” she asked.  Lan Wangji looked at her and frowned.

         “Turn to your right” he ordered.  Elizabeth did as she was told and Lan Wangji pushed back her hair, revealing blood slowly coming out of her ears.  Amelia looked at him in shock while the seraph just sighed.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

At the restaurant, Lan Sizhui walked over to a table where a man was signing a book.

         “Mr. Schneider, I really appreciate you coming” he thanked as he stood in front of him.  The man, Mr. Schneider, smiled.

         “Oh, it's not that much of a hike.  My room's only six floors up” he replied a little sarcastically.  Lan Sizhui let out a huff of a laugh before he crossed his arms.

         “Last night, do you remember two girls, about 16?” he asked.  Mr. Schneider nodded and pointed to a table two tables away.

         “That table right there” he replied.

         “They made an impression” Lan Sizhui stated, raising an eyebrow.  Mr. Schneider shrugged.

         “They were hard to miss, with the giggling and the staring” he replied.  Lan Sizhui nodded.

         “I'm sure that happens to you a lot” he declared.  Mr. Schneider eyed him up and down before he smirked.

         “I'm sure that happens to you a lot more” he purred.  Lan Sizhui’s eyes began to glow silver as he leaned forward.

         “You’re playing a dangerous game, Mr. Schneider” he whispered as he let an angel blade slip out of his jacket sleeve, just enough to show him that he was not someone to be taken lightly.  Mr. Schneider looked at it and gulped before he looked back up at Lan Sizhui.

         “A very dangerous game” he hissed before he turned and walked away, pushing the angel blade back up his jacket sleeve.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

That night, outside of Elizabeth’s room, Lan Wangji was talking to Amelia, trying to explain to her what was happening.

         “She can't control it.  A bleed in her brain is affecting her thalamus, causing her to lie.  We need to know everything.  You two were never apart?” he asked.  Amelia shook her head.

         “Except for when she went to go get ice.  But that couldn't have taken very long” she replied.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “You don't know?” he asked.  Amelia shook her head.

         “It was in the middle of the night.  I woke up when she came back into the room” she explained.  Lan Wangji nodded slowly.

         “And she told you she went to get ice?” he asked.  Amelia opened her mouth to respond when she promptly shut it, not knowing how to respond.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After talking to Amelia, Lan Wangji called Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui and told them to meet him at the hotel.  When they got there, Lan Wangji asked if they could take a look at the security system, which the staff was more than happy to let them.  Once they got to the system, Lan Wangji began to look through it.

         “Well, she didn't get ice.  She got out in the lobby.  She could've gone anywhere.  Let's start with for how long” Wei Wuxian ordered from behind the seraph as he stood next to Lan Sizhui.

         “Fast forward” he ordered.  Lan Wangji did what he was told.

         “Stop” Wei Wuxian commanded.  Lan Wangji did what he was told again.

         “Rewind.  Back” Wei Wuxian ordered.  Each time, Lan Wangji did what he was told.

         “Wherever she went, she was only gone for like five minutes.  She's holding something” Lan Wangji stated, looking at the screen.  Lan Sizhui frowned.

         “That's Schneider's journal.  He must have left it in the restaurant that night.  She went back, claimed it belonged to her.  She was looking for an excuse to knock on his door” he deduced.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian looked over at him.

         “Well done” Lan Wangji praised while Wei Wuxian smiled fondly at him.  Lan Sizhui blushed.

         “Thanks” he replied.

Chapter Text

The next morning, the three doctors took the elevator up to the sixth floor and walked over to where Mr. Schneider was staying.  Lan Sizhui knocked on the door and it opened to reveal Mr. Schneider.

         “Um, I don't mean to be rude, but I'm expecting a notes call from LA.  Can we make this quick?” he snapped. 

         “Did Elizabeth come to your room the other night?” Lan Wangji asked from behind Lan Sizhui.  When Mr. Schneider opened his mouth to respond, Lan Sizhui held up his hand, silencing him.

         “Let me put it another way: we know Elizabeth came to your room the other night” he stated.  Mr. Schneider laughed.

         “Look, I've tried to be helpful.  I don't know why you want to pretend I'm lying to you, but this is getting too weird for me” he replied, about to shut the door when Lan Sizhui took a step forward.

         “We need to search your room” he declared.  Mr. Schneider looked at him before he shook his head.

         “You don't, because she was never here” he spat and before he could close the door again, Lan Sizhui slammed his hand on the door, making the ground underneath them shake.

         “You would cover your ass at the expense of someone's life?  We know she brought up your journal” he growled softly.  Mr. Schneider gulped before he slammed the door on his face, making him seethe.

         “That was helpful” Lan Wangji muttered.

         “He'd be crazy to risk his marriage for a one-night stand.  With a teenager” Wei Wuxian replied.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “He doesn't care about his marriage, what about his career?  Statutory rape would ruin it” he offered.

         “It's admitting statutory rape that could ruin it.  Which is why we'll never hear the truth out of him.  Roofies OD explains all her symptoms.  We should start treating her with flumazenil” Lan Wangji ordered.  The three doctors nodded and walked away from Mr. Schneider’s room, towards the elevator, going back to the hospital.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Before they got back, Lan Wangji had texted Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen, ordering them to test Elizabeth for roofies so that when they got back, they could look at the results.  When they returned to the hospital and walked into Elizabeth’s room, Jiang Cheng looked up at them.

         “It’s not roofies” he declared.

         “She's bleeding behind her kidneys.  We're transfusing another two units packed red cells, but she keeps springing leaks” Lan Xichen explained as he placed a cotton swab back onto the medical table from where he was wiping away the blood from Elizabeth’s abdomen.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “It looks like a toxic reaction.  Schneider must have given her something” he replied.  Wei Wuxian looked over at him.

         “The guy's a comic book writer, not a drug dealer” he corrected.  Lan Sizhui looked back at him.

         “There’s a lot that wouldn't show up on a standard tox screen.  But he's never gonna tell us the truth” he snapped.

         “We’re not going to get the truth out of her either” Lan Xichen stated, interrupting the argument.  Lan Sizhui suddenly smirked.

         “We will if we drug her” he declared.  Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng, Lan Wangji, and Wei Wuxian looked at him in shock.

         “What?  Amobarbital would suppress her thalamus” he explained.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “She's on antiarrhythmics.  Amobarbital could stop her heart” he stated.  Lan Sizhui gritted his teeth.

         “She’s already dying” he spat.  Wei Wuxian sighed and stepped over to his son, standing in front of him and placing his hands on his shoulders.

         “A-Yuan, stop it.  You’re angry because you keep having nightmares and you can’t sleep and you’re taking it out on this man because you think that he’s lying to us and you're going to kill our patient in the process” he scolded.  Lan Sizhui looked at him angrily.

         “We need to know the truth” he snapped.  Wei Wuxian just sighed and moved one hand from his shoulder up to his cheek, stroking it gently.  At the softness of his father’s touch, Lan Sizhui’s hard shell cracked and he lowered his head as he began to cry.

         “I just want to sleep” he whimpered.  Wei Wuxian nodded and stepped forward, bundling him into his arms.

         “I know, baby, I know” he soothed as he held him close. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After Lan Sizhui’s breakdown, Wei Wuxian took him back to his office so he could get some sleep.  Once he had helped him get comfortable, he walked back into Elizabeth’s room as Lan Wangji and the others were setting up an infrared camera to check to see when Elizabeth was lying or not.

         “I thought truth serum was only stuff they gave people in lame spy movies” Elizabeth grumbled.  Lan Xichen smiled as he sat down next to her.

         “We know you're scared, and we know you want to tell the truth. We're going to help you do that” he promised.  In a room above him, Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji were sitting down at computers that were monitoring Elizabeth’s condition, Wei Wuxian and Elizabeth’s parents joining them.

         “What happened between you and Schneider the night you went up to his room?” Lan Xichen asked.  Elizabeth laughed mercilessly.

         “I couldn't believe he even talked to me.  I told him how much his work means to me.  I figured I must sound like a moron, but he was nice about it.  He said I was special” she explained. 

         “Heart rate’s increasing” Jiang Cheng stated, glancing over at Lan Wangji. 

         “140’s acceptable.  Let her talk” Lan Wangji replied.

         “Did he give you anything, a drink, pills?” Lan Xichen asked.  Elizabeth nodded.

         “He said it was Ecstasy.  But it didn't look like Ecstasy. And it didn't really make me feel how Ecstasy usually does” she replied.

         “How did it make you feel?” Lan Xichen asked calmly.

         “It just made me really tired” Elizabeth replied.  Lan Xichen nodded slowly.

         “What did it look like?  A capsule?  Tablet?” he asked gently.

         “It was a tablet.  Round” Elizabeth answered.

         “Could be lithium” Lan Wangji murmured, making Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng nod in agreement.

         “He just started touching me.  At first, it seemed nice, but then I didn't want to insult him” Elizabeth continued. 

         “That’s enough” Wei Wuxian called out from the upper room.  Elizabeth looked up towards the room where her parents were and she shook her head.

         “I'm so sorry.  I love you guys so much and I just I feel like I've let you down” she called out.

         “I'm gonna kill him.  I'm gonna kill that son of a bitch” her father growled.  Wei Wuxian placed a hand on his shoulder.

         “Before you do that, look here” he ordered, pointing to Lan Wangji’s screen.  Her father and mother leaned down so that they could look at the screen.

         “Increased periorbital blood flow throughout.  It means everything she's been saying has been a lie” Wei Wuxian explained. 

         “Everything?” her mother asked.

         “So you still don't know what's wrong with her?” her father asked.  Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Jiang Cheng shook their heads.

         “Sorry” Jiang Cheng apologized.

Chapter Text

After their little experiment, Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Wei Wuxian walked back into Lan Wangji’s office, where Lan Sizhui was fast asleep.  Lan Wangji looked over at Wei Wuxian.

         “Did you drug him?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian shrugged.

         “Maybe, maybe not.  Now, let’s discuss our patient” he ordered, softly clapping his hands so that he did not disturb his sleeping son.

         “Okay, so patient's losing blood faster than we can transfuse” he stated.

         “I did an online search and found out Schneider travels with his dog.  We're treating for Rickettsia” Lan Xichen replied.  Lan Wangji nodded, just as Lan Sizhui began to toss and turn on the couch.

         “Mm…mmhm” he moaned.  Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, Wei Wuxian, and Lan Xichen looked over at him.

         “Sizhui?” Jiang Cheng called out.  Lan Sizhui continued to toss and moan before suddenly his breath caught in his throat and he began to cough and gag as if someone were choking him.

         “A-Yuan!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed, running over to the couch, the others following behind.

         “A-Yuan, A-Yuan!” Wei Wuxian shouted as Lan Sizhui continued to choke and clutch at his throat.  Wei Wuxian then knelt beside the couch and began to shake his son’s shoulders until Lan Sizhui sat up and screamed.  Wei Wuxian quickly bundled him into his arms as he sobbed into his shoulder, wrapping his arms tightly around him.  The archdemon hushed him as he stroked his back, trying to calm him, but now all the doctors could see what was going on with Lan Sizhui and it explained his behavior earlier.

         “A-Yuan… A-Yuan, what happened?” he demanded.  Lan Sizhui didn’t remove his face from his shoulder as he shook his head.

         “Blood…so much blood.  Mother was holding me down and while Father poured blood into my throat and I was choking and gagging on it and –” he sobbed.  After hearing his nightmare, Lan Wangji’s eyes widened. 

         “Wei Ying, stay here with Sizhui.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, come with me” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen looked at one another before they followed Lan Wangji down to Elizabeth’s room.

         “Take down the bags” he ordered, pointing to the bags of blood hanging on Elizabeth’s IV.

         “It's too soon to tell if the meds are gonna—” Jiang Cheng started.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “It’s not the meds.  It's the blood that's killing her” he replied.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Elizabeth’s parents looked at him in shock.

         “What?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “She's had internal bleeding; she needs the blood to –” her mother started when Lan Wangji glared at her.

         “Sure, she needs blood, if you want to kill her.  Then you'd have nobody left to neglect.  Great plan” he sneered.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith looked at Lan Wangji in shock, as he never sneered or revealed too much emotion in his voice, making the seraph groan.

         “Your daughter has Vibrio vulnificus, courtesy of a few scrumptious oysters on the half shell” he snapped.  Elizabeth shook her head.

         “I didn't eat any oysters” she replied.  Lan Wangji motioned to her.

         “Thus, proving that she did” he explained.

         “A hundred-other people ate those oysters” Lan Xichen argued.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “All oysters have Vibrio, but almost no one has hemochromatosis.  It'd give her a unique susceptibility to Vibrio, cause the swollen joints. It got attributed to bulimia, so she got supplements” he explained.

         “With iron” Lan Xichen added in realization.  Jiang Cheng realized it as well and slowly walked over to the IV and began taking down the bags of blood.

         “Which overcooked the liver, which caused bleeding.  More blood, more iron, more bleeding, more blood” Lan Wangji continued. 

         “Is she going to be okay?” Elizabeth’s mother asked.

         “Only if we give her high-dose ceftazidime for the Vibrio and chelate for the hemochromatosis” Lan Wangji replied.  Once Jiang Cheng had taken down the blood bag, Lan Wangji nodded to Elizabeth and her parents. 

         “Good day” he bid as he turned on his heels and walked out.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen nodded goodbye as well, heading home while Lan Wangji headed back to his office, where Wei Wuxian was sitting next to his couch, running his fingers through Lan Sizhui’s hair, soothing him as he was sleeping.

         “Is he okay now?” he asked softly as he walked inside, looking down at Wei Wuxian, who looked back up at him and smiled softly.

         “Yes…I think he’s finally calmed down and this is the longest he’s been asleep” he replied.  As soon as those words left his mouth, however, Lan Sizhui began to moan and whimper.  Lan Wangji’s eyes widened and he quickly sat down on the edge of the couch and took Lan Sizhui’s hand, stroking the back of it with his thumb.  Lan Sizhui immediately calmed down and went back to sleeping peacefully.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked at each other in surprise before they just shrugged their shoulders and continued to comfort the young immunologist, hoping that he would finally get the rest that he deserved.

Chapter Text

The next morning, after Lan Sizhui had finally gotten one good night sleep, he walked down to Elizabeth’s hospital room, letting Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji catch up on their sleep, since they stayed up all night making sure that he got the proper rest that he needed.  The immunologist smiled at the sixteen-year-old as he walked over to her bed and opened her gown to take a look at her abdomen.

         “Infection's clearing up nicely.  You should be out of here in a few days” he declared.  Elizabeth’s father smiled.

         “That is wonderful” he exclaimed, just as his phone rang.

         “Brian, how are you?” Elizabeth’s father asked as soon as he answered the phone.  While he went to go talk on the phone, Elizabeth’s mother turned to smile at her.

         “Sweetie, your father and I think we should reward ourselves with a little time off” she explained.  Elizabeth smiled weakly.

         “That meeting's gonna have to wait a couple of weeks.  We're staying here” her father stated into his phone. 

         “You should think about where you'd like to go” Elizabeth’s mother suggested.

         “Honey, they're saying the specs are off for the whole foundation.  Can you at least come talk to him?” Elizabeth’s father asked, walking over to his wife.

         “Let me see” his wife ordered, taking the phone from his hand.

         “You okay?” Lan Sizhui asked, looking down at the teenager.  Elizabeth looked up at him and nodded.

         “Yeah” she replied, looking over at her mother who was still on the phone.

         “No, soil engineering report was fine” her mother grumbled.  Elizabeth then looked back at Lan Sizhui.

         “I'm used to it” she added.  Lan Sizhui smiled apologetically.

         “So, about what happened that night—” he started.  Elizabeth shook her head.

         “I never even got up the courage to knock on his door” he replied.  Lan Sizhui nodded and patted her on the arm before he walked out of the hall and back to Lan Wangji’s office.  When he opened the door, he found Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian sitting on Lan Wangji’s couch, Wei Wuxian’s head resting on Lan Wangi’s shoulder as Lan Wangji’s head rested on top of Wei Wuxian’s.  Lan Sizhui smiled and quickly took out his phone, snapping a picture before he walked out, closing the door quietly behind him.

 

CASE CLOSED

Chapter Text

After Lan Sizhui had taken a picture a picture of his parents, he walked down to the clinic and started to fill out some paperwork for Elizabeth when suddenly two EMTs rushed into the hospital, gaining his attention and the rest of the patients.  HIs eyes widened and he quickly ran over to them, abandoning the paperwork for running alongside the gurney.

         “What happened?” he demanded.

         “4-week old infant submerged in the bathtub.  Don't know how long, non-responsive at the scene” one of the EMT stated.  Lan Sizhui looked down at the baby and saw that it was crying, which he thought was a good sign.

         “Obviously breathing now.  Continue to blow by stat portable test” he ordered, just as two more EMT rushed in pushing a young woman on a gurney as well.

         “Caucasian female, 32, catatonic seizure in the bathroom” another EMT called out.

         “Where...where am I?” the woman asked, glancing around since she couldn’t move her head, for it was in a neck brace.

         “One, two, three” one of the EMTs counted as they lifted the baby onto a hospital bed before the other two lifted the young woman onto a hospital bed.

         “You're in the hospital, honey, you're in the hospital.  Mikey's here and the doctor say he's going to be okay” the young man next to the young woman, who Lan Sizhui thought was her husband, assured.  He then scoffed as he pulled out a stethoscope and plugged the eartips into her ears.

         “Hopefully.  He needs to be checked out by the NICU” he snapped as he began to check the baby.

         “What happened?” the young woman asked.

         “You passed out” the young man replied. 

         “What?!” the young woman exclaimed.

         “Mikey fell” the man added.

         “Has your wife had a seizure before?” Lan Sizhui demanded, glancing up from the baby, “Mikey”, at the man.

         “No” the young man replied.

         “I can't move my head; I want to see him!” the young woman shouted as Lan Sizhui lowered her head and went back to checking the baby.

         “He's right here, honey, he's okay, he's right here” the young man assured, stroking the young woman’s arm comfortingly.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Lan Sizhui was down in the ER with the baby, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were just waking up from their nap when Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng walked into the room.

         “Rise and shine, boys, we’ve got a case!” Lan Xichen called out.  Wei Wuxian groaned as Lan Wangji removed his head from his, shaking it.

         “What?  What case?  Where’s A-Yuan?” he asked, looking up at his brother and brother-in-law.  Jiang Cheng walked over to him and Lan Wangji, handing them both a case file.

         “Sizhui got a case in the ER; he wants us to take a look” he explained.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “What is A-Yuan doing in the ER?  He’s supposed to be filling paperwork out for Elizabeth” he replied.

         “He was, when EMTs raced into the hospital, two pushing a crying baby that had nearly drowned from a mother who had an unexplained seizure in the bathtub” Lan Xichen stated.  Wei Wuxian frowned.

         “Seizure?” he repeated as he stood up, holding out a hand to Lan Wangji.  The seraph took it and the two men followed after Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng, who motioned for them to follow as they walked out of the office.

         “Yeah, the seizure can’t be explained by epilepsy.  And accompanied by elevated calcium levels” Jiang Cheng explained.  Lan Wangji hummed.

         “Well, seizures with mildly elevated calcium are diagnostically simple.  It's either hyper parathyroid, cancer or calcium-mediated neurotoxicity” he stated.  Lan Xichen chuckled and shook his head.

         “Ah, that’s where you’re wrong, brother.  Those things that you just listed?  The ER already ruled them out” he stated.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian looked at Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng in shock before they quickly picked up their pace and headed towards the ER.

Chapter Text

Down in the ER, Lan Sizhui placed the chest piece of the stethoscope on the little baby’s chest and listened to its breathing before removing the earpieces and turning to a nurse.

         “Lungs are clear.  Get an EEG, confirm that brain functions are okay” he ordered as he picked up the chart that was at the front of the baby cart.

         “Can we focus on the task at hand?  Why did mommy twitch so hard she tossed the baby in with the bathwater?” Wei Wuxian asked as he, Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, and Jiang Cheng walked into the ER.  Lan Sizhui looked up at his father and raised an eyebrow.

         “You don't need me for this” he stated as he placed the stethoscope around his neck.  Lan Wangji smiled slightly at Lan Sizhui.

         “Of course we need you, we're a team” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui smiled before he turned to face his family.

         “Polyarteritis nodosa.  Inflamed arteries in the brain cause seizures, inflamed arteries in the kidneys cause calcium build-up” he stated.  Lan Xichen raised an eyebrow.

         “Did you even look at the file?  Kidney functions fine” he stated.  Lan Sizhui glared at him before Jiang Cheng stepped in front of them, hands out in placation.

         “Whipple’s” he stated.  Lan Sizhui, Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian, and Lan Xichen all looked at him in shock.

         “What?” Wei Wuxian demanded.

         “Whipple’s” Jiang Cheng repeated.  Wei Wuxian nodded and handed him back the case file.

         “Test her” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng nodded and walked out as Wei Wuxian turned to look at Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, and Lan Sizhui.

         “Jiang Cheng thinks it starts with a "w"; I'm thinking "v"” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui hummed.

         “Dad vomited this morning, maybe they've both got strep” he suggested.  Wei Wuxian then looked over at Lan Xichen.

         “Think you can do a strep throat culture without the swab ending up in the guy's poop chute?” he asked, slightly teasing.  Lan Xichen shot him a look before he nodded and walked out of the room.

         “V for vasoconstriction” Lan Wangji stated as soon as the dragon left the room.

         “That would be my guess” Wei Wuxian replied as he turned to watch his son gently tap on the baby’s stomach.

         “Excess calcium makes blood vessels in the brain clamp down, best case scenario, seizure; worst case, stroke” Lan Wangji continued.  Wei Wuxian nodded before he looked over at his son.

         “Do a digital subtraction angiogram” he ordered.  Lan Sizhui looked up at him.

         “Would love to, but can’t.  I have to stay here…I don’t know why, but I just have to” he replied.  Wei Wuxian nodded before he turned to Lan Wangji.

         “Get Wen Ning on the digital subtraction angiogram” he ordered.  Lan Wangji nodded and sent a text to Wen Ning, telling him what Wei Wuxian wanted before he and Wei Wuxian left the NICU, letting Lan Sizhui work.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in the room where they take MRIs, Jiang Cheng was sitting at the computers, running tests on the young woman, Kara Mason.

         “Both mom and dad are negative for strep” Lan Xichen stated as he sat down next to the witch.

         “Well, that’s good” Jiang Cheng murmured, not looking up from the computer.  Lan Xichen hummed as he studied the computer image of Kara’s internal cranium before he looked over at Jiang Cheng.

         “You think the child is gonna be okay?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng paused in his typing to look up at the dragon.

         “I refuse to lose another kid like we did with that little girl” he growled.  Lan Xichen nodded and remained quiet as Jiang Cheng continued to type on the keyboard.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in the NICU, Lan Sizhui was checking on another baby when he looked up and saw that Mikey’s father, Brent Mason, was standing hesitantly next to his softly crying son.  He smiled as he turned to face him.

         “They say that physical contact helps the healing process” he called out.  Brent looked up at her and smiled slightly before he reached out and placed his index finger in his son’s hand, smiling as the little boy touched it and stopped crying. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Meanwhile, down in the MRI room, Jiang Cheng, who changed out of his suit into scrubs, was working on cleaning the tubes that were attached to Kara, making sure that nothing was going wrong.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in the NICU, as Brent was smiling down at his son, an alarm went off on Mikey’s crib.  Brent’s eyes widened and he looked up at Lan Sizhui as he quickly walked over to crib, looking at the screen that showed heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure.

         “What’s happening?” Brent exclaimed.

         “Your son's not getting enough oxygen” Lan Sizhui replied before he looked over at one of the nurses.

         “Take Mr. Mason outside” he ordered before he turned to the other nurses.

         “Lung's collapsed, he's not getting any air, I need an IV catheter!” he shouted. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in the MRI room, Kara suddenly screamed loudly in pain, her body bending upward as blood suddenly spurted out of her vagina onto Jiang Cheng, making the witch look at her in shock.  He then quickly placed one hand on her chest as the woman continued to cry out in pain.  Lan Xichen suddenly walked in the room, eyes wide with shock.

         “Another seizure?” he demanded, looking over his partner.  Jiang Cheng shook his head as he continued to gently hold Kara down; placing his other hand with a towel in it over her vagina so that it would soak up the blood.

         “Her chest muscles aren't contracting, it's something else.  Her whole back is spasming, two milligrams of diazepam, stat” he ordered.  Lan Xichen nodded and quickly grabbed what Jiang Cheng ordered, handing it to him.  Once he gave it to Kara, he thought that he would stop screaming, but he kept screaming as he nearly became a bridge on the MRI table.

         “What the hell is happening?” he exclaimed.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “I have no idea” he replied.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back up in the NICU, the nurses were scrambling to help Mikey while Lan Sizhui took a needle, gently ran a finger down his chest before stabbing a needle in between the ribs, creating a hole for him to breathe through.

         “He's okay” one nurse stated.  Lan Sizhui glared at her.

         “His lung wouldn't have collapsed if he was okay” he growled.

Chapter Text

As Mikey laid in his crib with a breathing mask over his face to regulate his breathing and Kara laid sideways on her side in her hospital bed, Lan Sizhui was in the NICU, looking at an X-ray of Mikey’s lungs.

         “So, what causes seizures, hypercalcemia and the thing where mommy bends like Gumby?” Wei Wuxian asked as he, Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, and Jiang Cheng (who cleaned himself up) walked into the NICU and over to Lan Sizhui.

         “A little busy here” Lan Sizhui called back.  Wei Wuxian hummed as he noticed the x-ray.

         “Uh-oh, baby's lungs are going to conk out any minute. Probably want to deal with that” he stated.  Lan Sizhui looked over at him and glared.

         “Thank you, Captain Obvious, I’m trying” he snapped.  Lan Wangji just sighed and reached out, placing a hand on his shoulder.

         “Hey, breathe.  Deep breaths” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui nodded and took a deep breath before he looked over at Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Wei Wuxian.

         “Chemical pneumonitis.  Bubble bath got into the baby's lungs when he was underwater” he explained before he turned to a nurse.

         “Start him on prednisone; keep him on high FIO2” he ordered before he faced Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxian, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen.

         “Lithium could cause all 3 of the mother's symptoms” he stated.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “No record he's on lithium” he replied.

         “And tox screen was negative” Lan Xichen added.

         “Lithium doesn’t show on a basic tox screen” Lan Wangji argued.

         “Myelogenous meningitis could also cover everything” Lan Xichen countered.  Wei Wuxian hummed and nodded.

         “Rare complications of a rare blood cancer.  Interesting” he murmured before he looked at Jiang Cheng.

         “Get an S-pep and an MRI for the myelogenous meningitis” he ordered.  The witch nodded and walked out of the NICU before Wei Wuxian turned to Lan Xichen.

         “Search the patient's place for lithium.  While you're searching, take a water sample and check the pipes” he ordered.  The dragon nodded and walked out of the NICU after Jiang Cheng, leaving only Lan Sizhui, Wei Wuxian, and Lan Wangji.

         “Baby's lung problem is bacterial, not chemical, start ECMO” Wei Wuxian ordered, looking at his son.  Lan Sizhui looked at him in shock.

         “I'm not putting that baby on ECMO, the chance of there being bacteria in bathwater—” he started.

         “He’ll be fine, A-Yuan” Wei Wuxian assured.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “The baby's x-ray suggests a chemical pneumonitis” he replied.  Wei Wuxian sighed and shook his head.

         “Not to me; X-ray was too consolidated” he stated as he turned and walked away, Lan Wangji following after him.  Lan Sizhui groaned as he followed after them.

         “ECMO could kill him!” he exclaimed.

         “You don't start him on ECMO and that infection could rampage through his body like pistons fans after a championship.  But you do it your way.  Nothing more honest than a dead baby” Wei Wuxian snapped, turning on him.  Lan Sizhui looked at him in shock before he gritted his teeth and briskly walked back to the NICU.  Lan Wangji watched him leave before he looked at his partner.

         “Was it necessary to be so rough with him?  He’s just concerned” he murmured.  Wei Wuxian looked up at him before sighing.

         “It was probably a little much, but A-Yuan has to get used to being treated like a doctor, not like a child” he explained.  Lan Wangji shook his head as they continued walking.

         “But you never treat him like a child.  You treat him like a young man in a line of work where lives are placed in his hands and it’s up to him to do his damned best to save them.  So, I think you were just being a little harsh on him” he concluded.

         “Really?” Wei Wuxian murmured, glancing over at him.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “He’s doing his best, Wei Ying.  He’s doing his best to try and save this baby.  Give him a little credit next time, don’t go all hard ass on him” he instructed.  Wei Wuxian nodded as they continued down the hall.

         “Alright…I’ll apologize to him the next time I see him” he promised as he and Lan Wangji walked back to his office.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After getting snapped at by his father, Lan Sizhui stood before Brent outside of the NICU, explaining what an ECMO was to the young man.

         “ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; basically we remove your son's blood—” he started.

         “All of his blood?” Brent exclaimed.  Lan Sizhui nodded.

         “We run it through a machine which takes out carbon dioxide and adds oxygen. Then we re-warm the blood and run it back into his body.  There is a significant risk of internal hemorrhaging and he may also suffer from—” he continued.

         “You put him on antibiotics; won't that take care of the infection?” Brent interrupted.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “Not fast enough” he replied.

         “Are you sure this is Mikey's best shot?” Brent asked, concern on his face.  Lan Sizhui nodded solemnly.

         “Absolutely” he replied.

Chapter Text

In his office, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were working on reports when Jiang Cheng burst through the door.

         “Mom's MRI was negative for masses, abscesses, there's no sign that she has myelogenous meningitis—” he started.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian looked up from their reports.

         “Fascinating, but what does –” Wei Wuxian started.

         “She has a subarachnoid bleed” Jiang Cheng interrupted.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were quiet before they motioned Jiang Cheng inside.  The witch stepped into the office and closed the door behind him as Lan Wangji crossed his arms.

         “So why is our patient bleeding into her brain?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “Her blood workup shows her ProTime's elevated” he explained.

         “She's bleeding because she's not clotting.  So why is she not clotting?” Wei Wuxian asked, just as Lan Xichen walked into the room.

         “What'd you bring us?” Lan Wangji asked, looking at his brother.

         “The only mood altering drug was vodka, at the back of her drawer” Lan Xichen replied.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “Hiding booze is classic alcoholic behavior, that'd explain the bleeding” he agreed.  Lan Xichen looked over at him and frowned.

         “What bleeding?” he asked.

         “The bleeding that happened in the MRI room?” Jiang Cheng replied, looking back at him.  Lan Xichen nodded in understanding.

         “Ah, that one” he replied.  Jiang Cheng then looked back at Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji.

         “If she's an alcoholic, she would also be more prone to hypercalcemia” he stated.  Lan Xichen frowned.

         “But tox screen was negative for alcohol” he argued.  Wei Wuxian shrugged.

         “Hey, it was your idea.  Now it's even better.  Mommy quits, she gets the DTs, it even explains the seizure” he stated.  Lan Wangji nodded slowly.

         “Also fits conversion disorder. They're deep in debt, he's working round the clock, they got a new baby…I think the seizure was a physical response to psychological stress” he deduced. 

         “Boozing mommy covers more symptoms.  Put her in a nice Phenobarbital coma before the DTs kill her” Wei Wuxian ordered.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen nodded and moved to leave when Wei Wuxian held up a hand.

         “Wait!  What if I’m wrong and daddy’s the drunk?” he demanded, looking at the dragon and the witch.  Lan Wangji, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen looked at him in shock.

         “Do you want us to give her the pheno or not?” Jiang Cheng exclaimed. 

         “I want you to argue your points!” Wei Wuxian shouted back.  Lan Xichen sighed.

         “I assume you considered the father and ruled him out” he stated. 

         “What's that saying where you assume you become a pain in the ass to me?” Wei Wuxian snapped.  Lan Wangji quickly stood his feet and glared at the archdemon.

         “Wei Wuxian, that’s enough” he growled before he turned to Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng.

         “Jiang Cheng, talk to the mom, Lan Xichen, talk to the dad, figure out if the mom was a drinker” he ordered.  Wei Wuxian scoffed.

         “Waste of time; put her in a coma before the DTs kill her” he commanded.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen nodded before they walked out of the room, leaving only Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian.  Lan Wangji glared at the man before him.

         “What’s wrong with you?!” he exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian glared at him.

         “What’s wrong with me?!” he shouted, standing to his feet, eye to eye with the seraph.

         “You’re not yourself” Lan Wangji exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian snarled.

         “I’m trying to do my fucking job here!” he shouted as Lan Wangji suddenly grabbed his face and pulled him in for a harsh kiss.  When they pulled away, Wei Wuxian looked at Lan Wangji in shock.

         “What the fuck was that –” he started when Lan Wangji placed a finger over his mouth, silencing him.

         “Something to try and snap you out of your mind.  You’re being an asshole, Wei Ying, and it’s starting to show.  Come on” he urged, removing his finger from the archdemon’s mouth before taking the man’s hand, leading him over to the couch.  He then patted the cushion and smiled.

         “Lie down.  Take the rest you need.  Please” he begged, looking into the archdemon’s eyes.  Wei Wuxian sighed before he sat down on the couch, maneuvering himself so that he was lying down.

         “There…sleep now” Lan Wangji murmured as he sat down next to the couch and began running his fingers through Wei Wuxian’s hair, just like Wei Wuxian had done for Lan Sizhui when he was trying to sleep.  Wei Wuxian smiled as he felt Lan Wangji’s fingers run through his hair and within minutes, he was asleep.

Chapter Text

The next morning when Kara awoke from her coma, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen were standing before her.

         “How are you feeling?” Jiang Cheng asked.  Kara smiled slightly.

         “Okay.  A little groggy” she replied.  Lan Xichen smiled and motioned to the door of her room.

         “There's somebody here to see you” he stated as he and Jiang Cheng stepped aside to reveal Brent holding Mikey.  Kara let out a gasp.

         “Hey Mikey, mommy's awake” Brent whispered to the baby as Kara sat up.  He then walked over to her and handed her the baby while he stood by her side.

         “Oh Mikey, oh gosh, I was so scared!  Oh...I love you” Kara exclaimed as she pressed a kiss to the baby’s head before looking up at her husband.

         “I'm sorry” she apologized.  Brent shook his head.

         “You don't have anything to be sorry about.  You were sick” he replied.  While they were talking, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen walked out to the nurse’s station outside of the room.

         “Turns out he and her husband met in AA, obviously he slipped.  Good call, Wuxian” Lan Xichen murmured.

         “It wasn't hard considering my other choice was your stupid psych theory” Wei Wuxian called out as he and Lan Wangji walked towards them.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen looked over at them, eyebrows raised, and Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “Which was not stupid.  I'm telling you, I'm going to drop the "N" bomb if I have to” he continued.  Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng blinked before Wei Wuxian sighed again.

         “Look, I’m sorry for snapping at you and at A-Yuan and at everyone…I didn’t mean to and I’m sorry” he apologized.  Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng smiled before they shrugged their shoulders.

         “It’s alright A-Xian.  You’ve seemed stressed lately.  You’re gonna snap at some point” Lan Xichen soothed.  Jiang Cheng nodded before he looked back into Kara’s room and noticed that she was facing away from the glass wall and was doing something.

         “Um –” he started, gaining the other doctor’s attentions.

         “Mm?” Lan Wangji asked.  Jiang Cheng pointed to the room.

         “Where's the baby?” he demanded.  Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Lan Xichen said nothing before Jiang Cheng ran into Kara’s room.  The three supernatural doctors looked at one another before they ran after the witch, bursting into the room as Jiang Cheng pushed the baby crib away and swung around the end of Kara's bed where he saw Kara using the blankets and pillows to try and smother the baby.  His eyes widened and he quickly grabbed the baby from her grasp while Lan Xichen ran over to Kara and grabbed her by her wrists, pinning her down.  While he was pinning her down, Jiang Cheng placed his ear to the baby’s chest.

         “No breath sounds; crash cart and epi, stat!” he shouted as he began to start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  Lan Wangji nodded and ran out of the room to get the crash cart while Wei Wuxian stared at Jiang Cheng.

         “I told you your psych theory wasn't stupid” he murmured under his breath as he watched his brother work.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Outside of the NICU, Brent was watching as Lan Sizhui worked on Mikey. 

         “Your son is stable but the lack of oxygen damaged his kidneys” Lan Xichen called out as he walked over to the man.  Brent looked over at him.

         “He must have rolled over on him by mistake” he stated.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “Mr. Mason, I was there.  Your wife tried to smother your son” he stated.  Brent shook his head.

         “That's impossible.  Kara would never hurt Mikey” he argued. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in Kara’s room, Jiang Cheng was standing next to Kara’s bed, arms crossed.

         “He knows.  They said Mikey knows” Kara whimpered.  Jiang Cheng raised an eyebrow.

         “You hear voices?” he asked.

         “They wouldn't quit, saying that Mikey would be better off if...they were right” Kara murmured.  Jiang Cheng frowned before he took two wrist straps and strapped Kara’s wrist to the sides of the bed so that he wouldn’t hurt herself or anyone else that came to check on her.  He then walked out of the room and headed to Lan Wangji’s office where he called the other doctors, except for Lan Sizhui, who was still working on Mikey.

         “We've been trying to diagnose a seizure that didn't exist.  She faked it when her husband caught her” he stated when Lan Xichen, Lan Wangji, and Wei Wuxian walked into the office.

         “I don't think she faked it” Lan Wangji replied.

         “She just happened to seize right in the middle of drowning her child?  Lucky break for the kid” Jiang Cheng sneered. 

         “Hey, hey, play nice” Wei Wuxian ordered as he walked over to Lan Wangji’s couch and sat down.  Jiang Cheng sighed before he ran a hand through his hair.

         “Postpartum psychosis makes her want to drown her child; the internal conflict triggers a seizure” Lan Wangji suggested.

         “You know what else might be a trigger?  A physical illness.  It's a wild idea, I know especially since he doesn't have any obviously physical symptoms like internal bleeding or excess calcium” Lan Xichen voiced.  Lan Wangji looked over at him.

         “What, you want me to run a blood test?” he asked.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “No, drinkers don't eat right, which explains the bleeding and the calcium.  This might just be some crazy drunk and I'm telling you that she's about to die of myelogenous meningitis” he replied.  Jiang Cheng frowned.

         “But we’ve already tested for—” he started when Lan Xichen looked over at him.

         “Exactly!  It's an insane idea!” he exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian looked over at him.

         “Xichen-ge, calm down.  We don’t need to run any tests, we just need to stress her into another seizure” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “We can't, she's on Haloperidol” he replied.  Wei Wuxian looked up at him.

         “You also can't because it's dangerous and highly unethical” he reminded before he sighed.

         “Take her off the Haloperidol, hook her up to an EEG, flash some lights, make her pant, shoot her up with a placebo.  When she starts twitching, if the machine twitches along, its real.  If not, call the cops because she's a psycho killer” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen nodded before they walked out of the room, leaving Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian alone.

         “It seems like you’re back to your normal self” Lan Wangji murmured, smiling slightly at Wei Wuxian.  Wei Wuxian looked up at him and quirked a smile.

         “Yeah...sorry for shouting at you too” he apologized.  Lan Wangji smiled.

         “It’s alright, all’s forgiven.  Now all you have to do is apologize to A-Yuan and everything will be alright” he declared.  Wei Wuxian looked up at him.

         “You think he’ll forgive me?” he asked.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “Wei Ying, you’re his father.  Of course he will” he replied.  Wei Wuxian huffed.

         “I hope you’re right” he murmured.

Chapter Text

In the seizure lab, Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng were testing Kara to see if he actually had seizures or if he was faking them.

         “Kara, look directly into the light” Lan Xichen ordered through a mic as lights continued to flash in front of the young woman’s eyes.

         “Keep looking” he ordered before looking over at Jiang Cheng.

         “You don’t have to stay, you know.  I can do this by myself” he reminded.  Jiang Cheng looked back at him.

         “Yeah, I know, but still.  Besides, I have to wait for the bone marrow biopsy results anyways” he replied.  Lan Xichen hummed and went back to watching Kara when Jiang Cheng’s pager buzzed.

         “Results are in, I’m gonna go look at them, okay?” he asked.  Lan Xichen nodded and Jiang Cheng walked out the door. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in the NICU, Brent was standing next to Mikey’s crib when Lan Sizhui walked in, carrying a syringe and vials of medicine.

         “Mr. Mason, because of the damage done to your son's kidneys, his potassium is climbing.  It's causing irregular heartbeats.  I'm doubling the meds and starting him on dialysis. Unless we get his potassium down, he's going to have a heart attack” he stated.  Brent looked skeptical, but he was no medical man, so he just nodded and decided to trust him.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in the seizure lab, Lan Xichen was still testing Kara.

         “Kara, just another few minutes” he assured, just as Jiang Cheng walked into the lab, carrying a case file.

         “Biopsy's back, he's negative for myelogenous meningitis” he called out as he walked over to Lan Xichen.  The dragon looked over at him and frowned.

         “And she's not seizing.  So, we're wrong and Wei Wuxian’s wrong” he added.

         “You're okay with that?” Jiang Cheng asked, just as alarms started to beep.  He then looked at Lan Xichen’s computer screen and frowned.

         “She’s seizing” he stated.  Lan Xichen looked down at his screen as well and frowned before he looked up at Kara through the glass.

         “She’s not doing anything” he replied.  Jiang Cheng leaned down so that he could see the screen better.

         “Brain activity isn't accelerating, it's slowing down” he murmured before he looked up to see Kara grasping and sucking like as if she's a baby drinking milk from a mother's breasts.

         “What the hell?” he whispered to himself.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The next morning, Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng walked into Lan Wangji’s office, where Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were waiting for their results.

         “Well?” Lan Wangji asked when his brother and brother-in-law walked in.

         “Muscle rigidity, involuntary grasping and sucking motions, she's in an encephalopathic delirium” Jiang Cheng stated.  Wei Wuxian raised an eyebrow before he frowned.

         “Hmm...a genuine physiological illness that rules out a few things.  Like what I wonder?” he asked aloud.

         “Postpartum psychosis and conversion disorder” Lan Xichen offered.

         “The delirium means her brain is shutting down, reverting to its most instinctual functions” Jiang Cheng added.

         “Since it's progressing, we can assume it's progressive.  Which means it won't be long before the brain closes shop altogether.  Ideas?” Lan Wangji asked, looking at Wei Wuxian, Lan Xichen, and Jiang Cheng, all who were silent.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in the NICU, alarms were beeping on Mikey’s screen.

         “He's in v-fib!” Jin Ling exclaimed, causing Lan Sizhui to run into the room.

         “Potassium's still too high.  No pulse, get him off the machine” he ordered as Jin Ling handed him paddles to an AED machine.

         “Charge it up to 10” he ordered.  Jin Ling nodded and turned up the dial.

         “Clear!” Lan Sizhui called out as he placed the paddles on Mikey’s chest, sending a shock through his body.

         “Still in vfib” Jin Ling replied.  Lan Sizhui growled as he handed the paddles back to Jin Ling.

         “Another amp of epi!” he ordered.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Back in Lan Wangji’s office, the four doctors were discussing what was happening to Kara.

         “Could be Wernicke's” Lan Xichen offered.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “No, treatment for Wernicke's is thiamine; we gave her that together with the vino” he replied. 

         “Delirium points to lithium, I know we didn't find any but—” Jiang Cheng started.

         “She had to be smuggling it in to be getting sicker” Lan Wangji interrupted.

         “Whipple's causes encephalopathic delirium” Jiang Cheng argued.

         “Test was negative” Lan Xichen reminded.

         “The test could have been wrong” Jiang Cheng snapped back.

         “Ideas are not soda cans, recycling sucks.  Give me something new and shiny.  Or go retro, take an old idea, shine it up, add a new symptom...encephalopathic delirium.  Pellagra” Wei Wuxian called out, interrupting the shouting match that he knew would happen if he didn’t step in soon.

         “She drinks.  Alcoholics get pellagra.  They eat lousy diets so no niacin” Lan Wangji added.  Lan Xichen nodded.

         “You’re right, a lack of niacin starves the brain which causes neurons to shut down which causes seizures, encephalopathic delirium, and psychosis” he agreed, just as Lan Sizhui walked into the room.

         “We give Kara niacin, she'll come out of her delirium and she'll be totally sane” Jiang Cheng declared.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “Don't think she's ever going to be sane again.  Her son just died” he croaked.  The four doctors turned to look at him and when they saw tears in his eyes, Wei Wuxian slowly stood to his feet and walked over to him, wrapping his arms around him.  Lan Sizhui froze for a moment before he crumpled into his father’s arms, clutching at his lab coat as he wailed into his chest.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

While Lan Sizhui was crying into Wei Wuxian’s embrace, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen went to Kara’s room to see how she was feeling.

         “How do you feel?” Lan Xichen asked as he and Jiang Cheng stood by her bed.

         “Err...my err...stomach kinda hurts” Kara replied.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “We need to ask you some questions, see how you're doing” he explained.  Kara hummed in reply.

         “Can you tell me your name?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “Kara Mason; is my son here?” Kara answered.

         “When were you born?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “Please, where is Michael?  Is he okay?” Kara demanded. 

         “Do you hear any other voices besides mine?” Lan Xichen asked, ignoring her question.

         “No!  Answer me!” Kara shouted.  Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng sighed before Jiang Cheng cleared her throat.

         “You've been suffering from delusions.  They were caused by a vitamin deficiency, pellagra.  Made you believe things that were not real” he explained.

         “Like the voices.  I err...remember doing things to Mikey...were those real?” she asked as tears began to fall. 

         “I'm afraid so” Lan Xichen replied sadly.

         “So I—” Kara started.

         “You tried to suffocate your son” Jiang Cheng answered.  Kara blinked.

         “But I...you...you stopped me” she stated, pointing to Lan Xichen before looking at Jiang Cheng.

         “And you…you got Mikey breathing...” she continued. 

         “Your son’s organs were damaged too severely.  He passed away this morning” Lan Xichen declared softly.  Kara’s eyes widened before she broke down sobbing.

         “Oh nooo!  No no no noooo!  Noooo!  Oh my god, no!  Oh my god!” she screamed before she suddenly leaned over the side of the bed and vomited up blood.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen’s eyes widened before Jiang Cheng called a nurse to clean up the mess.  He then looked over at Lan Xichen.

         “We need to tell Wei Wuxian that she’s getting worse” he whispered.  Lan Xichen nodded and the two doctors quickly walked out of the room, heading back to Lan Wangji’s office.

Chapter Text

Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen walked into Lan Wangji’s office, where Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian were sitting on either side of Lan Sizhui, who was sniffling and clutching at a cup of coffee to calm down.

         “Pellagra doesn't cause bloody vomit.  She’s still sick and getting worse” Lan Xichen stated, looking at the three doctors before them.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked up at them while Lan Sizhui continued to look down at his coffee mug.

         “So... what causes pellagra and crimson spew?” Wei Wuxian asked, standing to his feet as he looked at Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen while Lan Wangji remained seated and placed a hand on Lan Sizhui’s shoulder, getting his attention.

         “Sizhui, snap out of it.  While it is sad, there was nothing we could do to save him” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “I should have given him more polystyrene” he sniffled.

         “You killed him; if you don't get over it, you're going to kill momma too” Wei Wuxian called out, looking over his shoulder at his son. 

         “Her alcoholism caused the pellagra, maybe it also explains the vomiting.  Gastritis” Jiang Cheng offered.

         “Gastritis meds aren't helping, which may confirm her story he only slipped once” Lan Xichen countered.

         “You remove the drinking from the equation, internal bleeding, hypercalcemia, seizure and pellagra are all back in” Jiang Cheng argued.  Wei Wuxian hummed as he looked back at Lan Sizhui, who looked depressed and a little haunted.

         “A-Yuan…A-Yuan” he called out.  The young man looked up at him, eyes still red, and he smiled slightly.

         “How much polystyrene did you give the kid?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui sniffled and wiped his eyes, wiping away the tears.

         “One gram.  His potassium just kept rising” he replied before he burst into tears again.  Lan Wangji quickly grabbed the coffee cup out of his hands before he spilled it and placed it on the coffee table before he wrapped his arms around him and pulled him into a comforting hug while Wei Wuxian walked out of the office, heading towards the NICU.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in the NICU, Wei Wuxian walked in to see Brent cradling his dead baby.

         “I need your son” he declared, walking over to Brent.  The young man looked at the archdemon and frowned.

         “Who are you?” he demanded.

         “Dr. Wei Wuxian, your wife's doctor.  Your son may have had the same condition she does” Wei Wuxian replied.

         “My son didn't have a condition, she killed him” Brent spat.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “If I biopsy her intestines, she'll bleed out.  He obviously won't” he stated, pointing to Mikey’s body.

         “You're not using my son's body to help her” Brent exclaimed, clutching his son closer.  Wei Wuxian groaned before he put his hands on his hips and looked Brent in the eye.

         “Okay, how about trading him for a beer?  Or maybe you're more of a whiskey guy?  You didn't have strep or stomach bug the morning you came in, you puked because you were hung over.  If he was a recovering drunk and slipping most of the time, you'd be right” he stated. 

         “So I drink.  You're acting like this is my fault” Brent growled.  Wei Wuxian shrugged.

         “People are going to feel sorry for you; they'll tell you that you can't anticipate the unthinkable, well the fact is you can. It's just not all that pleasant” he replied.

         “Look, you don't know anything about how—” Brent started.

         “I know that people don't get crazy enough to kill someone without first being crazy enough for someone to notice.  How many times did you go out for a drink because he was crying?  How many times did you stay at work because you couldn't listen to her telling you what a bad mother she is?  You were relieved; when she shut down.  She just sat staring for hours at a time.  She held the pillow over his head; you slept while she went nuts.  Not exactly a draw but—” Wei Wuxian interrupted.

         “What is wrong with you?  What kind of a person says those things now?” Brent shouted.  Wei Wuxian held up a placating hand.

         “Let me do the test.  It'll be one less thing for you to feel crappy about” he soothed.  Brent glared at him before he sighed deeply and nodded.  Wei Wuxian smirked triumphantly and walked back towards Lan Wangji’s office, where Lan Sizhui was now sitting alone, since Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, and Jiang Cheng went out to check on other patients.

         “Got a dead baby for you to autopsy” he called out.  Lan Sizhui looked up at him.

         “Get Uncle Cheng to do it” he replied softly.  Wei Wuxian sighed before he walked over to his son and knelt before him.

         “A-Yuan, I need you to do it.  Please” he begged softly.  Lan Sizhui glared down at him.

         “Why?  Just so you can yell at me again?” he spat.  Wei Wuxian sighed again.

         “No.  Look, A-Yuan, I didn’t mean to snap at you and I’m sorry.  I’m sure you can’t forgive me—” he started when Lan Sizhui surged forward and threw his arms around his neck, hugging him tightly.

         “I’ll always forgive you, Mother” he whispered.  Wei Wuxian smiled, hugged him back tightly, and when they pulled away, Wei Wuxian wiped the tears from his eyes.

         “Now, can you do that autopsy for me?” he whispered.  Lan Sizhui nodded and he pressed a kiss to his forehead.

         “Good boy” he murmured before he stood to his feet, holding out a hand to him.  Lan Sizhui smiled and took his hand, standing to his feet.  Before he left, Wei Wuxian gave his hand a small squeeze of comfort and he smiled back at him before he walked out.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in Wei Wuxian’s lab, Lan Sizhui was doing the baby’s autopsy while Over Yonder played on the radio that Wei Wuxian sometimes liked to listen to whenever he worked. 

         “God of compassion, take Michael into your arms, welcome him into paradise. There will be no sorrow, no weeping and no pain.  Peace and joy forevermore” he whispered as he began to unwrap the baby from the cloth.  He then sniffled as he looked down at his little body.

         “I'm sorry” he whimpered before he continued with the autopsy.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After the autopsy, Lan Sizhui walked into Lan Wangji’s office, where Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, Wei Wuxian, and Lan Wangji were all waiting to hear the report.

         “Well?” Wei Wuxian asked, looking up at his son.

         “Baby's intestines show slight villus atrophy” Lan Sizhui replied.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “How would a baby have flattened villi?” he asked.

         “He was being treated with polystyrene, remember?” Wei Wuxian replied.

         “Polystyrene shouldn't—” Lan Xichen started.

         “It didn't.  Question is what do they use in the NICU to bind it together?” Wei Wuxian interrupted.

         “Wheat gluten” Lan Sizhui replied.

         “It's great stuff.  Unless your body can't tolerate it” Wei Wuxian stated.

         “The baby didn't have colic; he had celiac disease?” Lan Sizhui exclaimed.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “Just like mom.  Celiac can be triggered by all kinds of stress.  Bills, childbirth, drunk husband” he explained. 

         “Every time she had a bowl of pasta or a slice of bread, a slosh of soy sauce, her small intestine became more damaged, less able to absorb the vitamins and minerals in her bloodstream.  Her body couldn't absorb enough niacin, caused the pellagra.  Didn't absorb vitamin K, caused the bleeding.  And celiac is why the baby's meds didn't work.  His body just couldn't absorb them” he continued before he looked at Jiang Cheng.

         “Switch mom to IV nutrition, its gluten free, that'll spruce her villi right up” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “No, celiac causes nutritional deprivation.  Our patient has excess calcium” he argued, causing Wei Wuxian to look over at Lan Wangji.

         “Lan Zhan, tell them what causes excess calcium.  With a chaser of bloody vomit” he instructed.

         “Celiac patients are susceptible to cancer of the stomach lining.  She has MALT lymphoma” Lan Wangji explained.  Wei Wuxian smirked as he crossed his arms.

         “Now, it’s your patient” he declared.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “But she’s always been our patient.  We’ve all dealt with them together” he replied.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Nope, this time, it’s your time to shine, Lan Zhan” he declared.  Lan Wangji sighed before he walked out of the room and into Kara’s room.  Wei Wuxian, Lan Sizhui, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen all were about to leave the office when the seraph came back, a look of annoyance on his face.

         “Back so soon?” Lan Xichen asked, raising an eyebrow.

         “Kara won’t let me touch her” Lan Wangji replied.  Wei Wuxian sighed before he motioned for the others to follow him to Kara’s room.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

In Kara’s room, Wei Wuxian was sitting next to her bedside while the other four were standing around her.

         “I killed my son” Kara whimpered.  Wei Wuxian rolled his eyes.

         “Is it my turn to say something obvious now?  Oh, I know, you were insane” he snapped.

         “I did it.  I chose to do it” Kara replied.  Wei Wuxian huffed.

         “Yeah, like diabetics choose to not produce insulin.  Listen, someone got sick, someone died.  Happens every day.  The only difference in this case is it wasn't the same someone” he explained.  Kara shook her head.

         “I could have stopped.  I didn't have to listen to those voices” she cried. 

         “Spoken like a true sane person.  This is not your fault.  You're healthy now...except for the cancer” Wei Wuxian explained.

         “Those voices felt as real to me as Michael's hand.  Right here when he nursed.  And... the smell of his hair...” Kara whimpered.

         “You do not deserve to die” Wei Wuxian urged.

         “Maybe.  I don't want to live” Kara replied.  Wei Wuxian sighed before he stood up and walked out of the room, the others following him.

         “So what are we going to do?  She said no” Lan Xichen stated.

         “We get her declared unstable, appoint a medical proxy” Jiang Cheng replied.

         “She was unstable, now she's sane.  She’s entitled to refuse treatment” Wei Wuxian countered.

         “We have to change her mind, you can't just walk away” Lan Sizhui exclaimed.

         “Fine, go on in there and tell her that every day is a blessing!  So you killed your baby, shake it off, think positive!  At least you're alive” Wei Wuxian snapped, turning on all of them.  He then took a step back, realizing that he had snapped at them again and quickly snapped his fingers.

         “Mother, wait!” Lan Sizhui called out, but his father was already gone.  He sighed and hung his head before he looked at the others.

         “What’s going on with him?” he asked, tears slowly coming to his eyes.  Lan Xichen sighed.

         “I don’t know how to put it into words… Wangji?” he asked, looking over at his younger brother.  Lan Wangji sighed.

         “Wei Ying is taking this case a little personal” he explained.  Lan Sizhui huffed.

         “Yeah, no, I got that” he snapped before he sighed.

         “But I want to know why.  Why is he yelling at us?  Why is he snapping at us?  Why is he so angry?  He’s normally not affect by cases like this” he murmured.

         “Maybe because he’s afraid he’s going to lose you like this family lost their son” Lan Wangji suggested softly.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Lan Sizhui looked up at him.

         “What?” Jiang Cheng asked.  Lan Wangji motioned for the three doctors to follow him to his office, where he knew Wei Wuxian would not be.

         “Sit down” he ordered, motioning to the couch.  Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Lan Sizhui sat down as he walked over to his desk and leaned against it.

         “Wei Ying is afraid to lose you, A-Yuan.  Plain and simple.  He’s afraid that something is going to happen to you like something happened to that baby and he’s afraid that no matter what he does, he won’t be able to save you” he explained before he looked over at Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng.

         “That goes for you too” he stated.  Lan Sizhui was quiet for a moment before he looked into Lan Wangji’s brown eyes.

         “So…he’s afraid that he won’t be able to save the day?” he asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “No, he’s afraid that he won’t be able to save the ones he loves the most and it scares him.  It scares him so much that it causes him to snap at us and not even realize what he is doing” he explained.  Lan Xichen frowned.

         “How did you figure all of this out?  Did you ask him?” he asked.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “I didn’t ask, I just kind of figured it out for myself” he replied.  The four doctors were quiet before Lan Sizhui pushed himself to his feet and walked towards the door. 

         “Sizhui, where are you going?” Jiang Cheng called out.  Lan Sizhui looked over his shoulder.

         “To find my father” he replied before he walked out of the office and shut the door behind him.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Lan Sizhui walked through the hospital, waving goodbye to Jin Ling and Lan Jingyi who were heading home for the evening, saying hello to patients that were either leaving or getting checked in, and saying goodnight to the security guard and janitors before he walked over to the elevator and pressed the basement button.  When he reached the basement, he walked out and walked into the pathology lab where he found Wei Wuxian studying some cultures under a microscope.  He smiled at the seriousness on his father’s face so to not interrupt that concentration, he quietly walked over to him and wrapped his arms around his waist, burying his face into his back.  He felt the man freeze beneath him and he chuckled.

         “A-Yuan?” Wei Wuxian murmured. 

         “Hi Mother” Lan Sizhui replied, nuzzling his face into his back. 

         “What are you doing?” Wei Wuxian asked.  Lan Sizhui squeezed him slightly.

         “Giving you a hug” he replied.  Wei Wuxian sighed and pushed himself away from his microscope.

         “Let go of me” he ordered, strictness in his voice.  Lan Sizhui flinched at the tone and quickly released him from his embrace.

         “Sorry, I just thought—” he started when Wei Wuxian turned around and pulled him into a hug, smashing his face into his chest.

         “Thank you” he murmured into his hair.  Lan Sizhui smiled and nuzzled his face deeper into his chest.

         “Please don’t worry about me, Mother…I can take of myself, you know that right?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian tightened his grip on him and hummed.

         “I know, but I’m your father so I’m allowed to worry about you.  It’s my job” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui chuckled as he relaxed into his embrace.

         “Well…thank you for worrying” he murmured.  Wei Wuxian grinned and pressed a kiss to his hair.

         “You’re welcome, A-Yuan” he replied softly as he leaned against his workstation, holding his son tightly in his arms.

 

CASE CLOSED

Chapter Text

The next morning, Lan Sizhui and Wei Wuxian were walking through the halls to Lan Wangji’s office when they stopped two doctors coming towards them, brothers Dr. Nie Huaisang and Dr. Nie Mingjue. 

         “So, the Hartigs?” Nie Huaisang asked as he and Nie Mingjue continued down the hall, completely ignoring Lan Sizhui and Wei Wuxian as they paused to eavesdrop on their conversation.

         “Their baby gets a fever” Nie Mingjue replied.

         “Wait, don’t tell me.  Their kid had a seizure” Nie Huaisang stated.  Nie Mingjue nodded.

         “Yep.  The parents, of course, start freaking and I have to deal with that for an hour” he grumbled.

         “Like it was your fault” Nie Huaisang soothed, placing a hand on his brother’s arm.  Nie Mingjue shook his head.

         “She was perfect when I delivered her.  If you want to blame someone, blame the pediatrician” he grumbled.

         “So, how’s the kid now?” Nie Huaisang asked.

         “Bowel obstruction.  He’s under observation, he’ll be fine” Nie Mingjue replied.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui looked at one another before they quickly continued to Lan Wangji’s office.

         “Pediatrician’ll take all the credit” Nie Huaisang murmured as he as Nie Mingjue continued down the hall, not even realizing that Wei Wuxian and Lan Sizhui had listened in on their conversation.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Father and son continued towards Lan Wangji’s office and when they reached it, Wei Wuxian opened the door and popped his head inside.

         “We’ve got a case, Lan Zhan.  Call Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Wen Ning” he ordered.  The oncologist looked up from his reports and nodded, calling the three doctors that Wei Wuxian requested.  Soon the three men appeared in the middle of his office, eyebrows raised.

         “What is it, Hanguang-Jun?” Wen Ning asked.

         “We’ve got a case” Lan Sizhui called out.  The four doctors turned to look at him and Wei Wuxian as they motioned for them to follow as they walked out of the door.  The four doctors looked at one another before they followed the two siblings down to the maternity ward, where they stood before Baby Hartig.

         “Another baby?” Jiang Cheng asked.  Lan Sizhui looked over his shoulder.

         “Trust me, it was just a coincidence” he replied while Wei Wuxian motioned to the child.

         “Exhibit A: Baby girl Hartig.  Term baby, 42 hours old.  Went into seizures 6 hours ago, brought into the intensive care, diagnosed with obstruction of the small bowel” he declared.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “I’m amazed we’re taking on another baby case…” he murmured.  Lan Sizhui looked over at him.

         “Maybe I can redeem myself this time” he replied solemnly.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “You don’t have to redeem yourself, A-Yuan.  Mikey was not your fault.  You couldn’t have saved him” he soothed.  Lan Sizhui sighed.

         “I know, I know, but—” he started.

         “But it’s still eating at you” Wen Ning finished.  He was filled in about what had happened with the last case by Lan Wangji as they were walking to the maternity ward.  Wei Wuxian cleared his throat before he motioned to another child.

         “Exhibit B: Baby boy Hausen.  Another term baby, 48 hours old.  Brought into the NICU before the Hartig baby: fever of unknown origin, 101 degrees, trending upwards” he stated.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow at them.

         “Where did you even find this case?” he asked.  Lan Sizhui smirked.

         “Overheard Nie Huaisang and Nie Mingjue talking about the first baby, so we decided to make it into a case” he replied.  Lan Wangji hummed as Wen Ning walked over to one of the babies and reached out a hand.

         “Don’t touch that” Wei Wuxian ordered.  Wen Ning looked up at him.

         “All right…” he replied, confused.  Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “We have an infection spreading in the hospital” he replied.  Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen, Wen Ning, and Jiang Cheng frowned.

         “These kids have totally unrelated illnesses” Jiang Cheng stated, unbelieving.  Lan Sizhui crossed his arms.

         “They fell sick within four hours of each other.  They had the same delivery rooms, maternity rooms are neighboring, so transmission’s possible.  They have the same symptoms” he stated.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “The Hartig girl has a bowel obstruction.  No matter how close their beds are, I’m pretty sure kids can’t share a blockage” he replied.  Wei Wuxian looked up at Lan Wangji.

         “What does bowel obstruction on a chart indicate?” he asked.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “Well, normally, I’d say it indicates a patient’s bowel is obstructed, but I’m pretty sure you have some deeper truth to impart –” he started.

         “It means that some random doctor of indeterminate skill thinks that the patient’s bowel is obstructed” Wei Wuxian finished.  Lan Wangji blinked before he shook his head.

         “Wei Ying, we talked about this…” he started when Wei Wuxian grabbed an X-ray and held it up so that everyone could see it.

         “Look at the x-ray.  It’s a normal gas pattern” he stated.  Everyone nodded.

         “Okay, so?” Wen Ning asked.

         “Air.  Air in the colon” Lan Xichen replied, studying the x-ray.  Everyone looked at the radiologist while Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “If it’s air, no bowel obstruction” he replied.  Jiang Cheng frowned.

         “Even if it is air, it could have been there before the obstruction” he argued.

         “No.  Something’s infected both these infants” Lan Sizhui stated.  Lan Wangji crossed his arms.

         “So, what do you want us to do?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian looked at him.

         “We need to talk to Wen Qing” he replied.  The others nodded as they walked out of the maternity ward and walked to the Dean’s office.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

When they walked into Wen Qing’s office, they explained why they were there and what they had figured out.  The kitsune frowned.

         “And you’re the only ones who put this together because…?” she asked, looking at the doctors.

         “Because we’re the only one who looked at both kids. We want them isolated; we want the maternity ward shut down” Wei Wuxian replied. 

         “Because you’re better at reading an x-ray than a radiologist” Wen Qing replied, motioning to Lan Xichen.

         “Actually, Wen Qing, I looked at the x-ray too, and we might be on to something” Lan Xichen replied.

         “No, you’re over-reading the baby’s x-rays and you’re trying to find a cluster because you think it’s interesting to find a cluster.  Two… plain old sick babies would bore you” Wen Qing replied.  All the doctors looked shocked.

         “No, Wen Qing, we actually care about the babies.  They would not bore us” Lan Sizhui snarled.  Lan Wangji placed a hand on the small of his back, silently telling him to calm down.

         “I’m sorry, Sizhui, but I just don’t think you have a case” Wen Qing replied as she stood to her feet and walked towards her office door.

         “We have an epidemic!” Lan Sizhui exclaimed.  Wen Qing sighed and looked back at the six doctors.

         “Two sick babies is very sad, but it doesn’t prove an epidemic” she replied slowly before she walked out the door and shut it behind her.  The six doctors stood in silence before Jiang Cheng hummed.

         “How many do?” he muttered, just loud enough for everyone to hear him.  They all turned and raised an eyebrow at him.

         “What are you suggesting, Jiang Cheng?” Lan Wangji asked.  Jiang Cheng smirked.

         “I’m suggesting that we go hunting” he replied.  Wen Ning frowned.

         “For what?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng grinned.

         “Wabbits” he replied before he walked out of the office.  The other doctors looked at one another before they followed after him as he first walked into a room where a family had just delivered a baby.  He walked up to the baby, looked down at him, then quickly turned on his heels.

         “He’s fine” he muttered before he walked out of the room.  The others sighed before they followed after him as he walked into a delivery room.  HIs eyes widened.

         “Shit, wrong room” he murmured, quickly walking out.  The other doctors muttered their apologizes before they quickly followed after him.

         “Okay, not there” Wei Wuxian murmured. 

         “Split up” Jiang Cheng ordered.  The others nodded and soon they went into every room before reconvening outside by the elevators.

         “12 rooms, that’s it?” Wen Ning asked. 

         “Yep.  We’ve definitely checked the whole floor” Lan Wangji replied.  Lan Xichen then looked over at Jiang Cheng.

         “Good news, no epidemic” he replied.  Jiang Cheng nodded before he looked over at the elevator and saw a lot of coming out.

         “Overflow rooms, third floor” he stated as he walked over to the elevators.  Lan Sizhui looked over at Wei Wuxian.

         “This imaginary infection has spread to the next floor?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian shrugged. 

         “I guess” he replied.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

As Jiang Cheng walked into the first room on the third floor, the two mothers looked up at him, looks of worry on their face.

         “We were just going to call” one mother, Judy Chen-Lupino, stated.

         “Did he get hot all of a sudden?” Jiang Cheng asked.  The mothers frowned.

         “Yeah” they replied, wondering how he knew that.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Outside the hallway of the NICU, Wen Qing was watching as babies were being brought in and turned toward voices near the elevator.

         “Don’t worry, we’re almost there” a man cooed to a woman in a wheelchair.

         “Excuse me!  Hi.  Intake sent you up here?” Wen Qing asked with a straining smile.  The man nodded.

         “Yeah, my wife’s contractions are less than—” he started.

         “Yeah, Intake messed up.  I’m very, very sorry.  Nurse Alpret will arrange for an ambulance to take you to Princeton General” Wen Qing interrupted as she began to wheel the woman away.

         “Wha—” the man started.

         “The maternity ward is temporarily closed” Wen Qing explained. 

         “We have to leave?!” the woman exclaimed.

         “Yes, I am very sorry” Wen Qing apologized as she walked over to the elevator, which opened to reveal Wei Wuxian stepping out.

         “Why are you doing this?” the man exclaimed as Wen Qing walked into the elevator and glared at Wei Wuxian.

         “Happy now?” she snarled before she looked down at the woman.

         “You’ll be there very, very soon” she assured.  As the elevator closed, Wei Wuxian hummed.

         “No.  But I am interested” he murmured as he walked away.

Chapter Text

After checking the third floor, Wei Wuxian went back to Lan Wangji’s office, where the others were waiting for him. 

         “Three sick babies, and a fourth showing early symptoms” he stated as he snapped his fingers, making a whiteboard appear.

         “How bad?” Wen Ning asked.

         “Spiking fevers” Lan Sizhui replied.

         “BP’s plummeting.  They’re barely able to keep systolic up; at this rate, they’ll be dead in a day” Lan Xichen stated.

         “Where did this come from?” Wen Qing asked as she walked into the room, startling the six doctors.

         “Two delivery rooms, four different maternity rooms, no common personnel and no common equipment” Jiang Cheng answered.

         “Well, there’s gotta be something in common” Wen Qing exclaimed.

         “Yeah.  That would be the difference between an epidemic and a coincidence” Wei Wuxian agreed.

         “I’m putting a team together.  We’re going to start swabbing” Wen Qing declared before she walked out of the room.  Lan Xichen looked over at Wei Wuxian.

         “What’s she gonna swab?  Every respirator, sink, vent, drain in the entire hospital? That’ll take months” he exclaimed.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “A needle in a haystack” he added.

         “It’s worse than that.  We don’t even know what’s the needle we’re looking for” Lan Sizhui grumbled.

         “Why’d you let Wen Qing make the team?” Lan Wangji asked, looking at Wei Wuxian.

         “Because the hospital’s her baby, and her baby’s sick.  If she doesn’t solve this soon, her head’s going to explode, and I don’t want to get any on me” Wei Wuxian replied, making the others snicker.  He then cleared his throat and tapped the whiteboard.

         “So, let’s figure out what’s in the haystack.  Differential diagnosis, people” he ordered.

         “Parasite?” Wen Ning offered.  Lan Sizhui shook his head.

         “Spreading too quickly” he replied as Wei Wuxian wrote parasite on the board before crossing it off.

         “Next?” he asked.

         “Virus?” Lan Xichen suggested.  Wei Wuxian hummed and wrote it on the board.

         “Kids are too sick, and the blood tests show no lymphocytosis” Lan Wangji countered.

         “And they’re not responding to a cycle of avirarapovirin.  If it’s some other virus, we’ll never find it in time, anyway” Lan Sizhui added as Wei Wuxian wrote a question mark next to “virus”.

         “Which leads us to bacterial infection” Wei Wuxian declared as he wrote it on the board.

         “It’s not responding to broad-spectrum antibiotics, so we’ve got something resistant. The usual suspects” he explained. 

         “MRSA.  It’s always MRSA in hospitals” Jiang Cheng stated. 

         “Maybe a contaminated food or water source?  Psuedomonas” Lan Xichen offered.

         “VRE?” Wen Ning asked.  Wei Wuxian nodded and wrote all the suggestions down.  He then looked at the board and hummed.

         “Okay, those are the big ones.  Cultures will take 48 hours, might as well be post-mortem.  We’ll start them on Vancomycin for the MRSA and Aztreonam for the rest.  Let’s get MRIs, check for abscesses or some occult infection” he ordered.  The other doctors nodded and quickly left the room, leaving Wei Wuxian to stare at the board. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After Wei Wuxian issued the MRIs for the babies, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen took one of the babies, placed it on the MRI belt, then slid the belt towards the machine before pushing in the correct code.  They then stepped back and waited as the machine began to run and make noise.  As the machine was running, Lan Xichen walked over to one of the computers and began to look at the results.  As he was looking, he looked up at Jiang Cheng.

         “Go talk to the parents” he ordered.  Jiang Cheng nodded and walked out of the room, heading to find the parents of the children.  Finally, he found Kim and Judy, who looked up at him expectantly.

         “We did an MRI on all the babies, and unfortunately, we didn’t find anything, so we’re starting him on the strongest antibiotics we’ve got, and we’re hoping that that’ll take care of it” he explained.

         “But he’s so tiny” Judy murmured.

         “How sick is he?” Kim asked.  Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “His fever’s up to 103.5 and his blood pressures 80 over 40” he explained.  Judy frowned.

         “Um, how bad is that?” she asked.  Jiang Cheng paused before he sighed again.

         “It…it’s low. The heart needs to circulate the blood.  If it’s weak, oxygen isn’t getting to the liver, the kidneys, the brain” he explained.  Kim nodded sadly while Judy looked up at him.

         “Um, I have to ask you something” she started.  Jiang Cheng raised an eyebrow while Kim placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder.

         “Judy—” she started.

         “No, no, Kim.  Let me.  Um, I had a cold last month, and I told the doctors about it, and –” Judy started, ignoring her wife.

         “Honey, this has nothing to do with you” Kim soothed.  Jiang Cheng smiled and shook his head.

         “Kim’s right, your son was born healthy.  He caught the infection after his birth.  There’s no reason to think he got it from you” he assured.

         “But you don’t know, I mean – You don’t know how he got sick” Judy replied with tears in her eyes.  Jiang Cheng sighed before he knelt before the two women.

         “We don’t know how he got sick ma’am, but we will do our damnedest to find a cure” he promised.  The two women nodded and smiled gratefully at him as he stood up and walked away.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in one of the rooms, Wen Qing and her team of med students were swabbing everything in sight.

         “Well, we’re checking the vents, it could be airborne.  Somebody get the sinks, too, and underneath them” Wen Qing ordered.  One of the med students, Meng Yao, nodded.

         “I’ll get it” he replied as he walked over to one of the sinks.  Lan Wangji was walking down the hallway and paused when he saw what was going on.

         “How many med students have you got swabbing the decks?” he asked as he walked into the room.  Wen Qing looked over at him.

         “Oh, what else are they going to do?  It’s not like they’re delivering babies” she snapped. Lan Wangji raised his hands in apology before he crossed his arms.

         “Find anything yet?” he asked.

         “Ah, yeah.  About half the antibacterial gel dispensers are empty or broken” Wen Qing replied.

         “That’s bad.  And diagnostically, completely insignificant” Lan Wangji added.

         “Well, if the staff can’t wash their hands, it’s no wonder an infection has spread” Wen Qing grumbled before she noticed that Meng Yao’s tie was hanging in the sink and being a nuisance.

         “Hey, tie clip!” she shouted.  Meng Yao looked up at her.

         “Sorry?” he replied. 

         “We have an epidemic in this hospital and your tie is becoming a Petri dish. Put on a tie clip or take the damn thing off” Wen Qing ordered.  Lan Wangji chuckled before he walked out of the room and back into the hallway where he continued towards his office.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

As he walked into his office, he saw Jiang Cheng, Wen Ning, Lan Sizhui, and Wei Wuxian sitting around, looking somber.

         “What happened?” he asked, crossing his arms.

         “The Hartig and Chen-Lupino babies.  Their kidneys are shutting down” Jiang Cheng replied.

         “And the urine tests show no casts” Lan Xichen added as he walked into the room and handed Lan Wangji the test results.

         “Which means the antibiotics are causing the kidney failure” Wei Wuxian stated as Wen Ning looked over at Lan Sizhui.

         “You’re the immunologist.  Which one did it?  We’ll take ‘em off that one” he started before he paused.

         “Don’t tell me both Vancomycin and Aztreonam can—” he started.

         “They both can cause this.  There’s no way to know which one it is.  No test” Lan Sizhui answered.

         “We can’t take them off the antibiotics.  They’ll die of the infection” Lan Wangji concluded.

         “If we leave them on both the antibiotics they’ll die of kidney failure” Jiang Cheng argued.

         “So, we take our best guess, then.  Which drug’s causing the kidney failure?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “It’s like I said: it’s always MRSA in hospitals.  Take ‘em off Aztreonam” Jiang Cheng instructed.

         “I still think it’s the pseudomonas.  I vote to take them off the Vancomycin” Lan Xichen challenged.

         “There’s no point in guessing.  Take one kid off Vancomycin and the other off Aztreonam” Wei Wuxian stated, speaking up before Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng could get into a shouting match. 

         “They have the same disease, you want to give them different treatment?” Wen Ning exclaimed.

         “What the hell are you doing?” Lan Sizhui shouted, glaring at his father.

         “Therapeutic trial to find the cause of the infection” Wei Wuxian replied.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “That’s wrong” he muttered.  Wei Wuxian looked over at him.

         “We have four sick kids, at least.  Who knows how many more haven’t started showing symptoms yet?” he asked.

         “We have a duty to these two!” Jiang Cheng exclaimed.

         “If these two have different reactions we know how to save the rest” Wei Wuxian stated, looking over at him.

         “So, you’re condemning one of these kids to die based on random chance” Lan Sizhui growled.  A pregnant silence fell over the six doctors before Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “I guess I am” he replied.

Chapter Text

After the meeting, Lan Xichen went to talk to Ethan and Karen while Jiang Cheng went to talk to Kim and Judy.

         “Your daughter’s kidneys are shutting down…” Lan Xichen stated, looking at the young

man and woman.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “Your son’s kidneys are failing” Jiang Cheng stated, looking at the two women.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “…so we’re going to take her off the Aztreonam” Lan Xichen continued.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “We’re taking him off Vancomycin” Jiang Cheng declared.

         “But, uh, but what made her sick in the first place?” Ethan asked.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “What do you think is causing it?” Kim asked.

         “It seems to be a germ called pseudomonas” Jiang Cheng replied.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “We think it’s MRSA.  Methicillin-Resistant Staph Aureus.  It’s a very resistant form of a very common bacteria” Lan Xichen explained.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “We’re hoping the Aztreonam will clear it up” Jiang Cheng assured.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “Vancomycin is the best treatment for MRSA, so we’re gonna keep giving it to her” Lan Xichen continued.

         “Right.  Is it gonna cure her?” Ethan asked.  Lan Xichen shrugged.

         “Your child is very sick.  You need to know that.  This is a ‘hail Mary’ pass.  It might cure her, it might not” he replied.  Ethan sighed and sat back on the couch, defeated. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

         “So, so that’ll cure him?” Judy asked.  Jiang Cheng knelt before them again.

         “Your child is very sick.  You need to know that.  This is a ‘hail Mary’ pass.  It might cure him, it might not” he stated.  Judy and Kim looked at one another before they began to ball.  Jiang Cheng just sighed and stood up, walking away from them before meeting up with Lan Xichen.

         “So, how’d it go?” Lan Xichen asked.  Jiang Cheng shrugged.

         “I told them the truth” he replied.  Lan Xichen raised an eyebrow.

         “You tell them how sick their kid was?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “Yeah…” he murmured. 

         “How’d they take it?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “They began balling” Jiang Cheng replied.  Lan Xichen nodded.

         “Then we did our job” he murmured, giving Jiang Cheng’s shoulder a gentle squeeze.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in another room, Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian walked up to see Wen Qing swabbing medical equipment.

         “Find anything yet?” Lan Wangji asked.

         “No, just some baby formula being stored under a sink with a dripping faucet” Wen Qing replied.

         “Tap water contamination. You thinking pseudomonas infection?” Wei Wuxian asked.

         “I was.  I wasted a couple of hours chasing it down, but of course the formula hasn’t been anywhere near the babies” Wen Qing spat.

         “Huh” the two doctors replied.

         “Whatever idiot stored them there—” Wen Qing started.

         “All right, we’ll figure it out!  Just… just calm down” Lan Wangji soothed.

         “I am calm” Wen Qing snapped as she looked over at Meng Yao and his not clipped tie and snarled, snapping her fingers, slicing the tie.  Meng Yao looked up at her with wide eyes and she snarled.

         “I warned you” she growled before she looked back at Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji.

         “I did that calmly” she spat before she walked out of the room.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji looked at one another before they shuddered and walked away towards the NICU.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down at the NICU, Karen was standing by the window as Lan Sizhui walked out, shutting the door.

         “Hey” Karen greeted.

         “Hi” Lan Sizhui replied, walking over to her.

         “Is she any better?” Karen asked.  Lan Sizhui sighed as he crossed his arms.

         “Her fever’s been stable the last hour” he replied.

         “We’re not going to make it, are we?” Karen asked softly.  Lan Sizhui looked over at her.

         “Sorry?” he replied.

         “Me and Ethan.  Our next-door neighbor, their little boy died in a car crash and she and her husband split up, like, four months after the funeral.  It’s just, uh, what always happens, right?” Karen asked, glancing at the immunologist.

         “Um, what happens to patients after they leave the hospital, I don’t know, but… try not to get ahead of yourself” Lan Sizhui replied, just as beeping was heard inside of the NICU.  The immunologist frowned as she walked over to the door and opened it, walking inside.

         “Sizhui?  Activity on the monitor” Jin Ling called out.

         “How long?” Lan Sizhui demanded as he walked over to the baby with the beeping monitor.

         “I don’t know, it just started” Jin Ling replied.

         “Pulse?” Lan Sizhui demanded.  Jin Ling muttered something, making Lan Sizhui groan.

         “Fluid wide open.  Do we have an arterial line?” he asked as Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen walked in, putting protective aprons over their clothes before walking over to help the immunologist.

         “Not yet” Jin Ling replied as Karen walked into the NICU.

         “Let’s get a BP” Lan Sizhui ordered before he looked over to see Karen standing next to him.

         “You can’t come in here” he stated.

         “Is my baby dying?” Karen asked.

         “Mrs. Hartig—” Lan Sizhui started.

         “Is she dying?!” Karen screamed.

         “Ma’am, you’ll have to leave” Jin Ling stated as he began half-pushing Karen out the door.

         “It’s not your baby!” Lan Sizhui exclaimed as Jin Ling pushed Karen out of the door and shut it in her face.

         “Fenlay.  BP 60 over 20” Lan Sizhui stated as Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian walked into the NICU.

         “Heart rate’s 180” Lan Sizhui called out.

         “They start the levofed?” Wei Wuxian asked, looking over at Lan Wangji.

         “They’ve got it” Lan Wangji replied as Kim and Judy came to the window.

         “Still dropping.  50 over 10” Lan Sizhui continued as Jiang Cheng placed an oxygen mask over the baby’s face.

         “Can’t hold BP with three pressers?  We’re losing pulse” he stated.

         “V-fib” Lan Sizhui ordered. 

         “Shut the blinds” Lan Wangji ordered from where he was standing.  Wei Wuxian nodded and shut the blinds as Kim and Judy began to cry while Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng prepped the defibrillator.

         “Charging.  Clear” Lan Sizhui called as he placed the pads over the baby’s chest, sending jolts through its body.

         “Still v-fib” Lan Xichen stated.

         “Charging.  Clear” Lan Sizhui continued, sending another jolt.  Still nothing.

         “Charging.  Clear” he exclaimed, trying again.  Once again, nothing.

         “Still v-fib” Lan Xichen declared.

         “Charging.  Clear” Lan Sizhui murmured for the last time, sending another jolt through the baby’s body.  Again, nothing.

         “Charging—” he started when Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “A-Yuan” he called out.  His son looked up from the baby at him with tears in his eyes, and he let out a sigh as he looked up at the clock.

         “Time of death: 6:57 PM” he called out before looking at the others.

         “The Aztreonam doesn’t work.  Double-cover all the other babies with Vancomycin” he ordered. 

         “I’ll do it” Lan Sizhui offered, tears in his voice.  Wei Wuxian shook his head before he looked over at Wen Ning, who had walked inside a few minutes after Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian had entered.

         “Tell the parents.  Tell them their child probably saved five lives before double-covering the babies” he commanded.  The man nodded and walked out of the room while Lan Sizhui slowly placed the pads back on the defibrillator before looking at the baby.

         “Not again…not again” he sobbed before he collapsed in a heap of tears.  Before he could hit the floor, Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen surged forward, catching him as he began to wail.  The two doctors didn’t know how to comfort him so they just decided to stay on the floor with him and hold him as he continued to wail.  Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian watched as Lan Sizhui broke down in Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen’s arms before they walked out of the room to see Judy and Kim crying over on a couch.

         “I really hate it when babies die…” Wei Wuxian muttered.  Lan Wangji nodded in agreement and before they could walk away, Wen Ning walked up to them.

         “What is it?” Lan Wangji asked.

         “The Hartig baby.  She’s getting sicker, too.  The Vancomycin isn’t working, either” he stated.  Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s eyes widened before Lan Wangji looked at Wen Ning.

         “Tell the others to come to my office when they’re done” he ordered.  Wen Ning nodded and walked into the NICU while Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji walked back towards Lan Wangji’s office.

Chapter Text

After Lan Sizhui let out all his emotions, he, Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Wen Ning all joined Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji in Lan Wangji’s office.

         “Vancomycin doesn’t kill it.  Aztreonam doesn’t kill it.  What the hell is this?” Wei Wuxian exclaimed.

         “It’s a super bug” Lan Xichen replied.

         “It could be VRSA” Lan Sizhui offered.

         “There’s only been two reported cases of it ever in the United States” Lan Wangji replied.

         “One of the kids, the Hausen baby, had a skin rash.  It could be scalded-skin syndrome which would be a sign of VRSA” Lan Sizhui argued.

         “Then these kids are dead” Jiang Cheng snapped.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “This is our fault.  Doctors over-prescribing antibiotics.  Got a cold?  Take some penicillin.  Sniffles?  No problem.  Have some azithromycin.  Is that not working anymore?  Well, got your Levaquin.  Antibacterial soaps in every bathroom.  We’ll be adding Vancomycin to the water supply soon.  We bred these super bugs.  They’re our babies.  Now they’re all grown up and they’ve got body piercings and a lot of anger” he grumbled before he sighed.

         “On the other hand, maybe antibiotics had nothing to do with it.  Did you notice how low his BP was at the end?  Even with three pressers?” he asked.  Lan Wangji frowned.

         “Heart damage?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian looked up at the doctors and shook his head.

         “Go home.  There’s nothing more you can do tonight” he ordered.  The five doctors looked at him before they sighed and stood up, heading out the door for the night.  Before he left, Lan Wangji walked over to Wei Wuxian and pressed a kiss to his forehead.

         “See you in the morning” he murmured.  Wei Wuxian smiled at him as he left and once he was alone, he sighed deeply.

         “It’s going to be a long night” he murmured before he walked down to his office and changed out of his suit into scrubs before he began to do an autopsy on the dead baby.

         “Baby boy Chen-Lupino. Time of death 6:57 PM Thursday, December 2nd, 2019” he stated into a microphone before he took off the covers of the tools and removed the baby’s diaper.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The next morning, in Lan Wangji’s office, Wei Wuxian pulled up an image on Lan Wangji’s computer before showing it on the wall in the oncologist’s office.

         “This is a cross-section of the Chen-Lupino boy’s myocardium.  Fibrosis, lymphocydic infiltrates” he stated.

         “There was no sign of lymphcytosis in the blood tests” Lan Sizhui replied.

         “Yes, well, we all had plenty of good reasons to think bacterial.  Nobody is scolding you” Wei Wuxian replied as he walked over to his whiteboard.

         “Unfortunately, all of those clever reasons were wrong.  It is a virus infecting their hearts” he stated.  Wen Ning shook his head.

         “We’re screwed.  We can’t chase down a virus; there’s a thousand possibilities” he exclaimed.

         “We could run gels, antibody tests” Lan Xichen offered.

         “A thousand of them?  The kids don’t have enough blood” Jiang Cheng argued.

         “A-Yuan, you’re the intensivist.  How many could we do before we risk exsanguinating the kids?” Wei Wuxian asked, crossing his arms.

         “You’re talking vials, not stick tests?  I wouldn’t take more than five or six” Lan Sizhui replied.  Wei Wuxian hummed as he wrote “virus” on the whiteboard. 

         “Okay, so we have to narrow the thousand viruses down to six.  Now, the autopsy’s shown us what the virus does.  So, let’s go.  What do we know?” he asked.

         “Ribavirin and encyclovir don’t knock it out” Lan Wangji stated.

         “Cross out the herpes viruses” Lan Xichen added.

         “Also adenovirus” Wei Wuxian continued as he started to make a T-chart on the board, one side saying “yes” and the other saying “no”.

         “What else, what else?  Keep talking” he ordered. 

         “Well, it, it only seems to hit children.  The mothers aren’t sick, so…” Lan Xichen started.

         “No toxoplasmosis, no rubella.  Cross out the entire TORCH Syndrome” Jiang Cheng finished.

         “You didn’t find any lung damage?” Lan Wangji asked.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “No” he replied.

         “None of the paramyxoviridae” Lan Wangji stated.

         “Cardiac scarring, people” Wei Wuxian grumbled as he wrote “Torch”, “Herpes”, “HSV ½”, “Paramyxoviridae”, and “Andeovirus”, “on the “no” side of the board.

         “CMV?” Wen Ning asked.

         “Enteroviruses, too, I think” Lan Sizhui added.

         “Echo 11” Wei Wuxian muttered as he wrote “CMV”, Echo 11”, and “Influ A” on the “yes” side of the board.

         “Influenza A” Lan Xichen stated.

         “Influ A.  Yes.  And?” Wei Wuxian asked, turning to look at the doctors.  They continued to rattle off names until the entire board was almost full.

         “I’m putting RSV down as a yes.  That makes eight” Wei Wuxian finally declared.

         “Eight vials of blood are pushing it” Lan Sizhui stated.

         “Pushing it, but we love that!  Get the antibody kits, start testing the sick kids” Wei Wuxian ordered, turning to look at the doctors.  Lan Wangji nodded as he wrote down all the options on a sheet of paper before walking towards his office door.

         “All right, I’ll start looking into whether there are any antivirals for these eight” he declared.

         “Wait a second.  The, the kids on the floor who didn’t get sick.  Are any of them still in the hospital?” Wei Wuxian asked, looking at him.

         “They got moved to the fifth floor.  But they’re probably all checked out by now” Lan Wangji replied.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “No, the Lindpert boy had a bit of jaundice.  He should be checking out today” he replied.

         “I want to test his blood, too” Wei Wuxian declared.  Jiang Cheng frowned.

         “Why?” he asked.

         “Cause we need all the information we can get. The healthy kid can be our control group” Wei Wuxian replied.  Jiang Cheng nodded as he followed after Lan Wangji.

         “I’ll just tell his parents he can’t check out because he has the smallpox” he declared before he and Lan Wangji walked out of the room. 

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After the meeting, Lan Sizhui, Wen Ning, and Lan Xichen all went to the different floors and began taking blood; Lan Sizhui took blood from the sick babies down in the NICU while Wen Ning and Lan Xichen took blood from the healthy babies on the fifth floor.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After taking the blood, all the doctors, including Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng, reconvened in Lan Wangji’s office.

         “What did we get?” Wei Wuxian asked, leaning against Lan Wangji’s desk.

         “Well, the sick babies all tested positive for Echovirus 11” Lan Sizhui stated.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “Good” he replied.

         “And CMV, and parvovirus B19” Lan Sizhui continued.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “Three viruses?” he asked.  Wen Ning and Lan Xichen nodded.

         “What’s weirder, the healthy kid we tested: he’s positive for Echovirus 11 and CMV antibodies as well” Wen Ning stated.  Wei Wuxian sighed.

         “They’re infants.  They have their mother’s blood, their mother’s antibodies” he muttered.

         “So, we just learned nothing?” Lan Xichen asked.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Uh-uh.  We have half the picture.  The healthy kids survived because their mothers’ antibodies saved them” he stated.

         “The mom had CMV in the past he’d have the antibodies for them, the kid would be immune from it.  So, we test the sick kids’ moms for Echovirus, CMV, and parvovirus” Wen Ning suggested.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “And whichever they don’t have the antibodies for, that’s what’s killing their kids” he declared. 

         “I’ll test the mothers” Wen Ning stated before he stood up and walked out of the room, heading towards Karen’s room where he drew blood from the woman.  While he was taking the blood, Wei Wuxian crossed off Parvovirus B19 and CMV and circled Echo-11.

         “I fucking hate viruses” he muttered.

Chapter Text

After Wen Ning had run the test, he, Lan Sizhui, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen went to talk to Karen and Ethan.

         “Echovirus 11. It’s an enterovirus. It lodges in the intestinal tract” Wen Ning explained.

         “Enteroviruses cause diarrhea and flu-like symptoms in adults, maybe a rash, but for newborns it can be deadly.  It’s damaging her heart” Lan Sizhui added.  Karen frowned.

         “Well, is there anything you can do?” she asked.

         “Viruses are more difficult to treat than bacterial infections. We still haven’t found a cure for the common cold” Lan Xichen explained. 

         “So, there’s no vaccine, or…” Ethan asked.

         “There’s a company in Pennsylvania developing an antiviral.  It got positive results in a lab setting and we managed to get our hands on it” Jiang Cheng stated.  Karen and Ethan nodded and the four doctors walked away, Lan Sizhui heading to the NICU while Wen Ning, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen went to go check on some other patients.

         “Imagine not being able to touch your own baby” Lan Sizhui murmured to himself as he stood next to Baby Hartig.  He then saw Karen and Ethan standing outside and he smiled as an idea popped into his head.

         “Can I get your guys’ help with something?” he asked.  Ethan and Karen nodded.

         “Sure” Ethan replied. 

         “Your daughter, her –” Lan Sizhui started.

         “Maxine” Karen interrupted.  Lan Sizhui raised an eyebrow.

         “Excuse me?” he asked.

         “That’s her name” Ethan explained.  Lan Sizhui nodded as he smiled.

         “We need someone to hold Maxine off of the bed while the nurse changes her sheet” he explained.  Karen and Ethan nodded.

         “Sure” Ethan replied.  A nurse helped the man and woman into scrubs and they followed Lan Sizhui inside the NICU.  They then stood on either side of the crib and lifted Maxine as a nurse began to change the sheets.  Lan Sizhui watched them hold Maxine for a moment before he smiled and walked out of the NICU.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

That evening, Wei Wuxian was sitting in Lan Wangji’s office on his couch when the oncologist walked in.

         “Unfinished business?” he asked. 

         “I’m in the haystack” Wei Wuxian grumbled.

         “Ah, because now you know you’re looking for a needle” Lan Wangji replied with a small smile.

         “Right” Wei Wuxian muttered.  Lan Wangji sighed and crossed his arms.

         “If I tell you to “let it go,” it won’t make any difference, will it?” he asked.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Enteroviruses are spread by humans.  Fecal, oral…could be respiratory secretions, though” he grumbled.

         “So, Wen Qing got stool samples from the whole staff.  Just wait until they come back” Lan Wangji offered.  Wei Wuxian shook his head again.

         “That won’t do it” he muttered.  Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow.

         “Why not?” he asked. 

         “The shedder, whoever he is, is so virulent, Wen Qing must have noticed him” Wei Wuxian explained.

         “Hmmm” Lan Wangji hummed.

         “And the babies didn’t share any common personnel.  That’s what’s weird” Wei Wuxian continued.  Lan Wangji hummed again and was about to leave for the night when the two doctors heard a rather harsh cough coming from outside of the office.  The two men turned and watched as old woman pushed a cart around with teddy bears to give to the newborns.  She coughed and then reached for one of the bears but before she could touch them, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji ran out of the room.

         “Excuse me!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed.  The old woman looked up at him and Lan Wangji.

         “Oh, hello.  Can I help you?” she asked.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “Yes, ma’am, do you realize that this hospital has a policy about people coming into the hospital sick?” he asked.  The old woman frowned.

         “I’ve never heard of this policy” he replied.  Wei Wuxian frowned and crossed his arms.

         “Well, the policy is: if you’re sick you either place a mask over your face or you don’t come to work at all” he stated.  The old woman smiled, a smile that Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji didn’t particularly like.

         “Oh, I’m terribly sorry dearies, I’ve never heard that policy before” the old woman apologized.

         “Well, I’ll just have to ask you to put on this mask, you know, to protect the babies that you’re giving those teddies to” Wei Wuxian explained, snapping his fingers to summon a mask.  Before he could even hand the woman the mask, the old woman began to shift and grow until she was towering a good couple of feet above him.

         I don’t think so” the old woman growled before she launched herself at Wei Wuxian, making the archdemon cry out in surprise as she grabbed him by the shoulders and tackled him to the ground, making him hit his head rather hard on the hospital floor. 

         “Wei Ying!” Lan Wangji exclaimed, but before he could even assist the archdemon, the old woman shot out her hand and flung the seraph far away from them, making him crash into the wall.  He then turned back to look at Wei Wuxian, who was looking up at her with terrified eyes.

         I’ll infect every baby in this damn hospital if I must” the hag growled, eyes glowing red as she moved her hands from Wei Wuxian’s shoulders to his throat.

         “Gah!” Wei Wuxian gagged as the old hag began to choke him out.  As she slowly tightened her hands on his throat, Wei Wuxian began to see stars but before he completely blacked out, a bright light suddenly shone around him and with a shriek, the old woman exploded in a puff of golden ash.  The archdemon gasped and coughed as he slowly pushed himself to sitting position to see Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng, Lan Sizhui, and Wen Ning standing before him, Lan Xichen’s hand out in front of him, eyes glowing gold.

         “Mother!” Lan Sizhui cried as he ran over to his father and threw his arms around him, careful to avoid his neck.  While he was hugging his father, Jiang Cheng, Lan Xichen, and Wen Ning ran over to Lan Wangji, who was groaning as he pushed himself to a sitting position.

         “Fuck…my head” he groaned as he clutched at his head.  Jiang Cheng looked down at him and raised an eyebrow.

         “You good?” he asked.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “Fine…how’s Wei Ying?” he asked.  Wen Ning smiled.

         “He’s fine” he replied.  Lan Wangji let out a sigh of relief before he looked over at Lan Xichen.

         “Thank you…for saving us” he thanked.  Lan Xichen smiled and nodded.

         “Of course” he replied. 

         “How did you know where to find us?” Wei Wuxian croaked, looking over at the three supernatural beings.  Jiang Cheng motioned to Lan Sizhui.

         “He had a feeling that something bad was going to happen, so he thought that we should go check on you guys” he explained.  Wei Wuxian looked down at Lan Sizhui and smiled as he ruffled his hair.

         “Thank you A-Yuan” he muttered before he looked over at the other three doctors.

         “And thank you as well, for saving us” he thanked.  Jiang Cheng shrugged, Lan Xichen smiled, and Wen Ning nodded.

         “Luckily we got here when we did.  You would have been well…I hate to say it…but dead” Wen Ning stated.  Wei Wuxian winced and patted Lan Sizhui’s hair when he gave him a squeeze before he looked at the others.

         “Yeah…yeah, I would have been.  But you guys didn’t let that happen, so thank you.  Again.  Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go home and sleep all this crap off, if it’s all the same to you” he stated.  Lan Sizhui and the others nodded as Lan Sizhui removed himself from his father and stood to his feet, holding out a hand.  The archdemon took it and was helped to his feet before Lan Wangji walked over to him and wrapped an arm around his waist.

         “Come on, let’s go home” he murmured before he looked over his shoulders and motioned for the other doctors to follow as they began to walk away from the teddy bear cart.  The other four doctors nodded and quickly followed after the seraph and archdemon.  They all could do with a good night sleep.

 

CASE CLOSED

Chapter Text

The next morning, after a goodnight’s rest, the six doctors walked into the hospital, only to be stopped by Song Zichen, who was holding out a case file to them.

         “New case” he stated.  Wei Wuxian raised an eyebrow as he took the file from the hellhound’s hand.

         “What have we got?” he asked as he shifted through the file, walking once more.

         “Male, spiking fever, congested chest and coughing up green sputum, pain in breathing –” Song Zichen explained as he began to walk with them.

         “Sounds like pneumonia to me” Wen Ning stated.  Song Zichen looked over at him and nodded.

         “His X-ray and CT scan showed an atypical pattern for pneumonia” he replied. 

         “Zichen, I know this sounds like a weird question, but is this kid’s parents a big donor for this hospital?” Lan Xichen asked, looking over at the man.  Song Zichen looked at him and raised an eyebrow.

         “Um…I don’t know, actually.  And the child had no infiltrate, just enlarged hilar lymph nodes” he added.

         “Hmm…interesting.  And to answer your question, Lan Xichen, yes, the parents are very big donors.  Says so here in his file” Wei Wuxian stated, handing the file over to the dragon.  While Lan Xichen was looking over the file, Song Zichen continued to talk about the boy.

         “He’s not responding to cefuroxime, his pulse is dropping much faster than it should for pneumonia, and plus, he’s got an odd little rash” the hellhound explained.  Jiang Cheng frowned.

         “Excessive irritation.  He’s 12, he’s on auto-stroke—” he started.

         “On his arm.  Papular lesion, one centimeter, on top of a long thin scab” Song Zichen interrupted.  Wen Ning hummed.

         “Sorry Zichen, but it looks like you’re going to need a dermatologist for this one.  And besides, all we would be able to tell you is if it’s dry, keep it wet, if it’s wet, keep it dry, if it’s not supposed to be there, cut it off” he stated.  Song Zichen crossed his arms, looking at the six doctors, waiting for one of them to say something, since he knew that there was no way in hell he was giving this case to a dermatologist.

         “The rash is a total snooze unless it’s connected to the pneumonia, then it’s party time” Lan Xichen stated, closing the chart with a snap before he quickly began to walk towards Lan Wangji’s office.  The other doctors quickly followed after him while Lan Sizhui stopped and smiled at the Pulmonologist.

         “Thanks for the case” he thanked, waving goodbye before he turned to catch up with Lan Xichen and the others.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Lan Xichen quickly walked into Lan Wangji’s office and walked over to Wei Wuxian’s whiteboard as the rest of the team followed in after him.

         “Purulent sputum, dyspnea, bronchi bilaterally.  What causes this kind of rash?” he asked, writing down the different symptoms that Song Zichen listed off to them.

         “Legionnaire’s disease?” Lan Sizhui answered as he walked over to sit down on Lan Wangji’s couch.

         “Usually means industrial ventilation systems, convention centers.  He’s twelve years old” Wei Wuxian added.

         “Send off a urine antigen and check if he’s joined the Elks.  Next?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “Fungal” Wen Ning offered.

         “Excellent.  Maybe the lodge went spelunking” Lan Xichen sneered.

         “Chlamydia and pneumonia” Lan Wangji suggested.  Jiang Cheng looked over at him and gave him a look.

         “Twelve-year-olds don’t have sex” he stated.  Lan Xichen hummed.

         “Their mistake.  That’s it?  Other possibilities?” he asked, writing all of the options down.

         “What if you’re thinking about this backwards?” Wei Wuxian asked.

         “The rash came first, caused the pneumonia.  Nice” Lan Xichen declared, nodding.

         “Rickettsial.  Tick bites.  Nymphal ticks are out now, they’re bloodthirsty little bastards” Wen Ning grumbled.

         “Rash would be more pustular” Lan Sizhui reminded.

         “Not always. And there’s only one rash, which fits” Wen Ning stated.

         “New Jersey, it’s most likely Lyme disease” Lan Wangji suggested.

         “All right.  Let’s keep him on fluids and cefuroxime to be safe.  And biopsy that rash.  And take another history.  Even if we don’t learn what’s causing this we definitely need to know if twelve-year-olds are getting any action” Lan Xichen ordered.  The others nodded and quickly left the room, ready to follow Lan Xichen’s orders.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in the little boy’s room, Jiang Cheng and Lan Sizhui were taking samples from the boy, as his parents, Mark Horvath and Hannah Dimka, watched.

         “What are you doing now?” Mark asked.

         “We’re collecting fluids from the rash” Lan Sizhui replied.

         “Why?” Mark demanded.

         “They know what they’re doing, Mark” Hannah soothed, placing a hand on his arm.

         “Oh, great endorsement coming from the woman who thought it was a nasty cold.  If I’d had him last week and –” Mark started.

         “This isn’t helping” Hannah interrupted.

         “We’re checking to see if your son has a tick bite” Jiang Cheng explained, looking up at the parents, before looking down at the little boy.

         “Zack, have you been camping recently?  Playing sports outside, anything like that?” he asked.

         “I’m not that good at sports” the little boy, Zack, replied.

         “No hanging out anywhere new, strange places?” Lan Sizhui asked.

         “We’ve been through this.  We don’t let him run wild through the neighborhood” Mark snapped before he turned to Hannah.

         “Right?” he asked.  When the woman didn’t answer, there was an awkward silence shared between all of them.  Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “Okay, this might be a bit delicate.  We need to know if you’re sexually active” he stated, looking at Zack.

         “I beg your pardon?  Who do you think my son—” Mark shouted when Lan Sizhui held up a hand.

         “Mr. Horvath, we need to –” he started.

         “No!  Nothing like that” Zack interrupted before he began coughing again.

         “We’ve got to get another CT scan, check his lungs again” Jiang Cheng muttered, making Lan Sizhui look at him in confusion.

         “Third floor, right?” Mark asked.  Lan Sizhui and Jiang Cheng both looked at him.

         “Yeah, Radiology is just—” Lan Sizhui started.

         “Sorry, medical personnel only” Jiang Cheng interrupted, making Mark glower at him, but Jiang Cheng didn’t care.  This was HIS hospital and this entitled father wasn’t going to boss him around in it.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

After that little confrontation, Jiang Cheng took Zack out of the room and wheeled him around the hospital.

         “Where’s the machine?” Zack asked.  Jiang Cheng smirked.

         “We passed it, actually.  Little tension in the room back there.  Thought you could use a break.  Your dad’s a pretty high-powered guy” he observed.  Zack nodded.

         “Yeah.  He was an Air Force test pilot.  Real top-gun stuff.  Flew a Mach 3” he explained.

         “Hard to deal with, sometimes?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “I guess I’m more like my mom” Zack replied.  Jiang Cheng hummed before he pushed Zack over to the side, locked the wheels, then walked in front of him, kneeling.

         “Listen, I promise to keep my mouth shut, but I need to know.  You definitely haven’t had any sexual contact of any kind?” he asked.  Zack scoffed.

         “I wish” he replied.  Jiang Cheng smirked before he stood to his feet and walked over to the vending machine.

         “Know what?  Boys and girls like the cool guys now.  You give it a few years, they start liking the smart guys.  You’ll be all right” he called out as he punched the buttons for two candy bars.

         “Can you keep a secret?” Zack called back.  Jiang Cheng smiled as he took the candy bars and turned around, handing one to Zack before sitting next to him on a bench.

         “I have to, it’s my job” he stated.  Zack nodded before he sighed.

         “I’m cursed.  I’m not kidding.  This séance thing the kids in my neighborhood did?  It spelled out my name, said I was gonna die” he explained.

         “First name and last name?  We’ve got a Zack upstairs.  He’s very old, very sick” Jiang Cheng stated.  Zack shook his head.

         “No!  It’s me.  I have the worst luck.  One time, I broke this mirror.  The next week, my parents got separated” he exclaimed.  Jiang Cheng frowned.

         “I’m sorry buddy, but a lot of parents get split up.  Every kid thinks like it’s his fault, it never is.  So, what about the rest of the stuff?  Any playing outside that your parents don’t know about, anything like that?  Maybe you were somewhere you weren’t supposed to be?” he asked.  Zack frowned and ran a hand through his hair.

         “Oh man” he murmured.  Jiang Cheng put down his unopened candy bar and looked at Zack sternly.

         “Zack, it’s important” he urged.  Zack looked up at him before he motioned for him to come closer before he began to whisper in Jiang Cheng’s ear his secret.

Chapter Text

After Zack had told Jiang Cheng his secret, Jiang Cheng quickly walked back to Lan Wangji’s office, where the others were working on other reports.

         “Hi Uncle Jiang.  What did you find out?” Lan Sizhui asked, looking up from his reports as the witch walked in.

         “Zack was involved in some sort of secret club” Jiang Cheng replied.  Wei Wuxian frowned.

         “Secret club.  What’s the secret, they’re all morons?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes before he shook his head.

         “He fell on something in the attic, scraped his arm, got the rash the next day. Said it smelled really moldy up there” he explained.  Wei Wuxian hummed.

         “Fungal pneumonia without the cave.  Clever” he muttered. 

         “I’m going to get a sample” Jiang Cheng declared as he turned towards the door.

         “I’ll come too” Lan Xichen declared, quickly standing to his feet.  Jiang Cheng looked over his shoulder at him and motioned for him to follow as he walked out the door.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Once Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen left the hospital, Jiang Cheng snapped them over to the house where Zack said he fell.  The two walked over to the door and Lan Xichen bent down, picked up the key from underneath the mat, and unlocked the door.  The two then walked up the stairs to the attic where some kids were drinking and when they saw the two men, they immediately started to panic and began climb out of the windows.

         “Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Hold on, guys, we don’t care that you’re up here!” Lan Xichen exclaimed.  The boys paused and narrowed their eyes at the two doctors.

         “You cops?” one of the boys, Cliff, asked.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen shook their heads as Jiang Cheng took out a pair of rubber gloves and handed them to Lan Xichen before he pulled on a pair of her own.

         “We’re doctors.  We’re treating Zack Sørensen.  He said he fell over near some pipes?” Jiang Cheng asked.  Cliff nodded and motioned to some pipes not too far from him.

         “Yeah, over there” he stated.  Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng walked over to the pipes and knelt before them. 

         “What, here?” Lan Xichen asked as he waved his hand and summoned a mask, handing it to Jiang Cheng before putting on over his mouth as well.

         “Yeah” another kid replied.

         “Right, any of you guys been feeling sick lately?  Rash, cold, anything?” Jiang Cheng asked as he and Lan Xichen began to take samples of the dust covering the pipes.

         “No” the rest of the kids replied before a speaker blared outside of the house, startling everyone inside the house.

         “Oh, crap.  They are cops!” Cliff shouted as he and the other kids split the premises.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Xichen looked at one another before they walked over to the window to see a policeman walking up. 

         “Shit” Lan Xichen swore but before the police officer saw them, Jiang Cheng snapped his fingers, transporting them out of the house and back to the hospital.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

Down in Wei Wuxian’s lab, the archdemon was looking at the samples Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng had collected while the two doctors stood a few feet away, just to give him some space.

         “He fell on it.  Some weird kind of insulation.  It’s old, house was built in the sixties” Jiang Cheng stated.

         “What’s it made of?” Lan Wangji asked, walking into the lab with Wen Ning and Lan Sizhui following behind.

         “Felt.  Fibers are made of what, cotton?” Lan Xichen asked.

         “Not cotton, animal hair” Wei Wuxian called out from the microscope. 

         “Get the CT scan” he ordered.  Lan Xichen nodded and quickly handed Wei Wuxian the x-ray, which the archdemon quickly put up on the x-ray lamp.  As he was looking at it, the other doctors crowded around him, looking at the scan as well.

         “First, find the name of the company that made the insulation and second, tell me what I’m seeing that makes me want to short their stock” Wei Wuxian ordered.

         “Uh, enlarged hilar lymph nodes” Wen Ning called out.

         “Parabronchial thickening” Lan Sizhui added.

         “Purile effusions” Lan Xichen finished.  Wei Wuxian shook his head.

         “Less obvious, more scary” he ordered. 

         “Well, the mediastinum doesn’t look right” Jiang Cheng stated.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “Slightly widened.  It can be transmitted through infected animal hair, but the gram stain would have shown –” he started.

         “No, the cefuroxime would have killed some of it, clouded the result” Wei Wuxian interjected.

         “We’ve need to get this kid on Levaquin” Lan Wangji urged.

         “What does he have?” Wen Ning asked.

         “Anthrax.  This house belonged to old man Hussein?” Wei Wuxian asked, looking over his shoulder at Lan Xichen and Jiang Cheng.

         “Maybe he is cursed” Lan Xichen muttered.

         “Let’s not jump to conclusions.  Just get him on the Levaquin and we’ll see how things go from there” Lan Wangji stated.  The others nodded and walked out of the lab, heading towards Zack’s room.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

In Zack’s room, Lan Xichen was giving the boy the medication while Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji were talking to Mark and Hannah in another room.

         “Anthrax.  So, what, you think there were terrorists in that attic?” Mark asked.  Jiang Cheng shook his head.

         “It’s a naturally occurring bacteria.  We believe it was in the insulation” he explained.

         “How sick is he?” Hannah asked.

         “Anthrax is very dangerous, but we’ve caught it early.  He’s on Levaquin, it’s the best antibiotic we have” Lan Wangji explained.  Mark looked at Lan Wangji before he narrowed his eyes.

         “Who are you?” he demanded.  Lan Wangji looked taken aback while Hannah looked at her ex in shock.

         “Mark!” he exclaimed.

         “There’s all these weird diseases that can cause a rash.  What about leishmaniasis and filariasis?” Mark exclaimed.  Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji looked at one another before they looked back at him.

         “Where’d you hear about those?” Lan Wangji asked.

         “The internet.  I did some research” Mark replied.

         “Well, those are very rare conditions” Jiang Cheng stated.

         “Oh, and anthrax grows along the interstate?” Mark exclaimed.

         “Leishmaniasis doesn’t cause pneumonia and filariasis –” Lan Wangji started when Mark got up in his face.

         “Just look into everything, this is my son, alright?” he growled as Hannah shook her head and stormed out of the room.  He turned and watch her leave before turned back to Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji.

         “And I’m going to stay on top of you until I know he’s safe” he spat before he followed after his ex.  Lan Wangji blinked as he placed his hands on his hips.

         “Well then…” he murmured.  Jiang Cheng huffed.

         “Intense, right?” he asked.  Lan Wangji nodded.

         “You could say that again” he replied when suddenly there was a loud beeping from down the hall, making all the heads turn towards Zack’s room.  Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng looked at one another before they ran out of the room into Zack’s room, where the boy was having a hard time breathing.

         “Breathe, baby.  It’s okay” Hannah soothed.

         “His breathing!  It’s on the inhale!” Mark exclaimed.

         “What does that mean?!” Hannah shouted.

         “It means his airway’s closing up” Lan Wangji stated as he pushed Mark and Hannah away from bed.

         “Is the anthrax doing it?” Mark exclaimed, pushing forward to get to his son.  Jiang Cheng stepped in front of him, grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him back.

         “Sir, we need you to step back” he ordered.  Mark growled before he drew his fist back and socked Jiang Cheng in the jaw, sending the Pediatrician to the ground in a daze.

         “Wanyin!” Lan Xichen shouted, looking up from Zack to see his partner on the floor, still.

         “Brother, you need to focus” Lan Wangji hissed, gaining Lan Xichen’s attention.  Lan Xichen shook his head before he looked down at Zack.

         “All right, hold still Zack.  This is going to be a little uncomfortable” he murmured as he looked down the boy’s throat with a scope.

         “We’ve got you, it’s okay” Lan Wangji soothed, stroking the boy’s arm.

         “Two nodules in his throat” Lan Xichen stated.

         “Airway’s inhibited?” Lan Wangji asked.  Lan Xichen looked up at him.

         “We’ve got to intubate.  Ativan!” he exclaimed.

         “Pushing 3 ccs” Lan Wangji ordered as they moved the bed out, careful to avoid Jiang Cheng, who was still laying on the floor, out cold.

         “Airway’s too tight” Lan Xichen growled.

         “What’s wrong?  What’s wrong?!  You’re killing him!” Mark shouted, taking a step towards the two doctors, only to be stopped by Hannah.

         “Mark!  Mark, let them do their job!” she exclaimed.

         “Airway’s too tight, get me a smaller tube” Lan Xichen ordered, holding out his hand.

         “We’re traching” Lan Wangji stated.

         “Smaller tube!” Lan Xichen shouted, ignoring the seraph’s statement.  Lan Wangji just sighed and handed a smaller tube, which Lan Xichen tried to use.

         “Brother, his lips are cyanotic” Lan Wangji stated.

         “Oh my God, he’s not breathing” Hannah exclaimed.

         “Brother!  We’re traching!” Lan Wangji shouted.

         “No, I can do it, I’ll get it” Lan Xichen argued back.

         “Brother, you’re not getting through!   He’s not getting air.  We have to trach him right now” Lan Wangji exclaimed.

         “No, I can do it” Lan Xichen assured.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         Damn it brother’  he thought to himself as he grabbed a swab and coated Zack’s neck with Betadine.

         “I’m doing this” he growled, about to cut Zack’s neck with a scalpel when Lan Xichen suddenly pulled back.

         “Got it!” he exclaimed, showing Lan Wangji and the parents a small nick in Zack’s neck.  Lan Wangji then began to ventilate before checking the boy’s breathing.

         “He’s okay” he assured.  Once they boy was stable, Lan Xichen quickly walked over to Jiang Cheng and knelt next to him.

         “Wanyin, wake up!” he exclaimed softly, shaking his partner’s shoulder.  Jiang Cheng groaned and clutched at his head as Lan Xichen slowly helped him into a sitting position before pulling him to him feet.  He sagged into Lan Xichen’s embrace and Lan Wangji quickly walked over to them, wrapping an arm around Jiang Cheng’s waist before he looked at Lan Xichen and nodded.  Lan Xichen nodded back before he turned to look at Mark, eyes glowing gold as he stormed up to the man.

         “Hit Dr. Jiang like that again, and I’ll make sure you’ll never sleep for the rest of your god forsaken life” he threatened before he walked back to Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji, the three doctors walking out of the room.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

The three doctors walked back to Lan Wangji’s office, quickly walking Jiang Cheng over to Lan Wangji’s couch, laying him down.

         “What happened?” Wei Wuxian asked, looking at Jiang Cheng with wide eyes.

         “Zack’s father punched Jiang Cheng in the face for keeping him away from his son” Lan Xichen growled, eyes still glowing.  Wen Ning looked over at him before quickly walking over and placing a hand on his shoulder.

         “Breathe, Master Lan, breathe.  Jiang Cheng will be fine.  He’s a fighter, he’ll be back on his feet soon” he assured.  Lan Xichen nodded, taking deep breaths before he looked over at Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Lan Sizhui, who were looking at him in concern.

         “You okay Uncle Xichen?” Lan Sizhui asked.  Lan Xichen nodded.

         “I’m fine” he breathed, eyes also no longer glowing.  Wei Wuxian nodded before he looked at Lan Wangji.

         “So, the kid had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics?” he asked, a little confused.  Lan Wangji shook his head.

         “I don’t think so.  We switched him to rifampin and there was no change in swelling” he explained.

         “We should try another antibiotic—” Lan Xichen started.

         “You really think he’s allergic to two antibiotics?” Lan Sizhui asked, looking over at his uncle.

         “You know, we could be wrong” Lan Wangji muttered.  Lan Xichen looked up at him and frowned.

         “What are you talking about?  The rash is classic anthrax” he snapped.

         “Except the color” Lan Sizhui reminded.

         “The rash hasn’t turned black yet.  No necrosis, no anthrax” Jiang Cheng murmured from the couch.  Everyone turned to look at him in shock and Lan Xichen quickly widened the circle that they were standing in to include him.

         “Necrosis can theoretically take as long as two weeks” Wen Ning stated.  Wei Wuxian hummed.

         “Interesting.  But let’s go with the theory that it’s not anthrax.  What changed?  What do the nodules tell us?” he asked.

         “Sarcoidosis” Wen Ning replied.  Wei Wuxian nodded.

         “Excellent.  Send an ACE level.  If it comes back positive, put him on methotrexate” he ordered.  Wen Ning nodded and walked towards the door before pausing to look over his shoulder at Lan Xichen.

         “You coming?” he asked.  Lan Xichen shook his head.

         “No, I’m gonna stay with Jiang Cheng.  Sizhui can go, though, right?” he asked, looking at the Nephilim.  Lan Sizhui nodded, smirking.

         “Hell yeah.  Besides, I want to give this guy a piece of my mind for hurting Uncle Jiang like that.  That shit ain’t gonna fly here” he growled before he walked over to Wen Ning and the two then walked out of the door.  Once they were gone, Lan Xichen looked over at Jiang Cheng, who had placed his arm over his eyes.

         “Wanyin, how are you feeling?” he asked.  Jiang Cheng removed his arm and looked up at him.

         “Like shit, honestly” he replied before he touched his jaw.

         “God, that fucking hurt” he swore.  Lan Xichen smiled slightly before he reached out and placed a hand on the witch’s jaw, closing his eyes.  Jiang Cheng hissed as Lan Xichen’s healing energy flowed throughout his body and when Lan Xichen pulled his hand away, his jaw no longer hurt and the headache that was starting to form was gone as well.  He blinked before he looked up at his partner and smiled.

         “Thank you” he thanked.  Lan Xichen smiled too before he reached out and brushed Jiang Cheng’s bangs out of his face.

         “Welcome” he murmured.