Emma sighed as she stared up at the ceiling, trying to ignore the constant throbbing in her leg. It had been a week since soldiers with PEIP had pulled her away from the crashed helicopter, and brought her to the wing of the hospital in Clivesdale that they had commandeered. And she was starting to go completely stir crazy.
The nurses were always too busy to talk to her, and Colonel Schaeffer had only been by to see Emma twice. They had brought her a few books, but Emma could only manage to concentrate enough to read for so long before her whirling thoughts had her distracted and twitchy. TV was completely out of the question as it was impossible to find anything to watch that didn't have at least background music, which was almost guaranteed to send Emma into a panic.
It didn't help that the most random things would all of a sudden remind her of Paul.
She had almost convinced herself to try to take a nap when Colonel Schaeffer strode through the door, a faint smile on her face. Schaeffer moved to stand next to Emma's bed, hands clasped behind her back.
"I hope you don't mind, Emma, but we're about to move your new roommate in."
Emma frowned, pressing the button to raise the bed so that she wasn't flat on her back anymore. "Roommate? I don't understand."
Schaeffer just smiled, and a moment later the door opened again to reveal two nurses rolling in a bed with an unconscious man lying in it. "It took us this long to make sure that he wasn't infectious. But he's been deemed safe, so he can leave quarantine now." She paused. "And we thought that both of you could use the company."
As the bed came closer Emma had to blink to make certain she wasn't seeing things. He was black and blue, bandages were peaking out from his scrubs and there was a cannula at his nose and an IV in his arm, but the man in the bed was Paul. He looked absolutely awful, and he'd probably be in a lot of pain if he was awake, but he was still the best thing that she'd ever seen.
"Paul, he made it? He really made it?"
Schaeffer nodded, then shifted to sit on the edge of Emma's bed. "It was touch and go for a while. There were a few days when we were afraid that we'd have to put him down, actually."
Emma froze. "What do you mean, put him down?" Her voice was low and even, but she was only holding on to her temper by a hair.
"The Starlight Theatre where the meteor landed was absolutely filled with alien spores. Paul destroyed the meteor before it could take him over, but he was still infected." Schaeffer shrugged apologetically. "We had to make sure that the spores inside him were all going to die, or we'd risk starting the whole thing over again. And considering that he nearly blew himself up to stop it, I don't think Paul would have wanted that."
"No, he wouldn't have." Emma sank back on the bed, trying not to think about the fact that she'd been the one to send him to destroy the meteor in the first place. "But he's going to be okay?"
"He's a very lucky man." Schaeffer reached out and awkwardly patted Emma's good leg. "The meteor absorbed most of the shock wave from the explosion, which is the only thing that saved his life." She glanced over at Paul's bed. "As it is, while he should pull through, it's going to be a while before he's fit to be released. After all, he did have part of a building fall on him."
Emma swallowed, eyes firmly fixed on the unconscious Paul. "You said the spores were dead, right? He's not going to start singing or anything?"
"There is still evidence of them in his bloodstream, but the spores are all dead. PEIP will want to keep an eye on him for the foreseeable future, just as a precaution, of course. But we don't anticipate there being any issues." Colonel Schaeffer pushed herself to her feet, then looked back down at Emma. "Once he's well enough, PEIP will see to getting the two of you safely relocated to a new life. Be thinking about any requirements the two of you might have."
Emma nodded absently, still staring at Paul who was alive and safe and not infected. "Sure thing." She didn't even notice Colonel Schaeffer smiling and slipping back out of the room. All that she could focus on was Paul. And for the first time since she'd seen him walking away from her after the crash, she could finally relax.
"We made it, Paul. We made it."