Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There


nicole_icon.gif robyn6_icon.gif

Scene Title Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There
Synopsis Find yourself in the debris.
Date March 10, 2020

Elmhurst Hospital ICU

Elmhurst Hospital has been busy as of late, more so than it has been in quite some time. Doctors and nurses hustle to and fro, dealing with consequences and aftermaths of an array of everyday and extraordinary problems. It feels the same as ever, just on a higher scale as the bustle of work fills every corner of the hospital.

Every corner except one. Nicole Varlane stands at the nurse's station of the Elmhurst ICU, where the rush seems to be at its quietest, waiting as one of the posted nurses speaks to his Nurse Manager. This time, it is not Nicole being admitted or discharged. At this moment, she's here to check in on someone else.

It was this morning when she'd received notification that Robyn Quinn had finally woken up from the coma she had been in for nearly three weeks now. For better or worse, it meant it was time to check on her fellow agent. To see how she'd held up. To inform her of what, exactly, had happened.

As the nurse reemerges, he draws Nicole's attention with a smile and a wave of his hand. Access to Robyn's room had been strictly controlled and restricted, with few allowed to see her much less stay for any length of time. But now that she was concretely among the living and aware…

As he pushes open the door, he steps in ahead of Nicole, looking in on Robyn before looking back to her. "It appears she's gone back to sleep. You're free to wait for a short time and see if she rouses, but… not too long." A cursory glance by Nicole as she steps into the room seems to confirm that, except…

The small, open rectangular case on her bedside table, her lit up phone beside it, and the black disc just visible in one of Robyn's ears. She's not asleep. Not at all.

Nicole gives a smile and a short nod to the nurse, waiting until the door is shut and privacy is afforded to them before she steps inside fully and comes to stand at Robyn’s bedside. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Agent Quinn.

Her smile is a tenuous thing. The ribbing a defense mechanism for the rush of relief that revisits her once she’s actually laid eyes on her friend, seeing this miracle for herself. Shrugging out of her coat, she drapes it over the back of the chair at Robyn’s bedside. “You’ve been missed.”

Looking down to meet Robyn’s gaze, her eyes don’t look like how Nicole remembers. She’d been told something had happened, but she hadn’t expected it to be visible in this way. “You must have questions.”

When Nicole first speaks, a smile begins to creep up on Robyn's face, one eye opening to help her find Nicole, followed by the other. It's a weak smile, strained and uncertain - but it is still a smile. "I wasn't even listening to music," she preemptively admits, reaching one hand up to pull an earbud out of one of her ears. "It's just kept them from bothering me constantly for the last hour."

Reaching up, she sets the earbud down on the sidetable and leans back again. The smile fades, expression almost vacant as she stares up at the ceiling. Her breathing is slow, still somewhat labored, though more because she's still fatigued than anything else. Swallowing, a small sigh filters out between breathes.

"Where's Matthew?" There's no playing with pretense, no witty lead in. It's been the only question on her mind since she woke up, and one she hasn't really been able to get an answer to yet. It's only once those words are out of her mouth that she angles her gaze towards Nicole and smile again. "It's nice to see you, Nicole. I'm glad you're here and not… Rhys or someone."

“You say this now,” Nicole teases. Then, she reaches out and takes Robyn’s hand in both of her own. “Your son is with Ms Darrow, per your directives.” Her smile fades away, replaced with a seriousness demanded by this situation. “We weren’t sure you were going to make it. Or wake up.”

Those hands squeeze around Robyn’s but only just enough to convey the sensation. Robyn’s been through a lot already, she doesn’t need an act of overenthusiastic friendship to cause more pain. “I’m glad you’re back with us.”

When Nicole takes Robyn's hand she closes her eyes and smiles, laying back against the headrest of her hospital bed. The cuts and lacerations left by the glass and the fighting have mostly healed, so the sensation is thankfully devoid of any lingering pain. In fact, she looks a little sad when Nicole pulls back, but it's short lived. Something else grabs her attention much more intently.

"Wait- per my directi-?" Robyn stops, sucking in a shallow breath. "Merde, I never updated my…" She opens her eyes, frowning as she looks over at Nicole. "If you see Elaine, can you tell her I owe her an apology?" She had never intended for her son to end up with her ex, but she'd never thought to update that protocol in her will. Now she would.

Eyes move from Nicole, glazing over a bit as she stares at the wall ahead. "I heard one of the nurses say I shouldn't be alive. No one- seems to know how I am." Her frown deepens. "I'm scared it won't last. That I'm going to just… fade away like lingering light at some point, Nicole." Like happened to Else so many years ago. So far, at least, she's been luckier than that.

Exhaling sharply, she shifts and sits up as best as she can, reaching for the controls to the back of the bed. "But I guess all's well for now. As well as it can be. I take it if Matthew's with Elaine, he's fine. I just…" Her gaze gets glassier, head tilting down slightly. "Did they catch him?"

There’s sympathy in Nicole’s expression when Robyn expresses her concern that she might just simply fade away, like the last lingering vestiges of sunset. She shakes her head, “No.” Spoken firmly, but with a gentleness to it. “You’re here to stay, I’m afraid.”

Elaine’s already had apologies delivered, but Nicole doesn’t see the need to tell her that. Not just yet.

Her expression grows serious, a crease to her brows. “You got him.” They didn’t catch him. Robyn got him. And Nicole is very glad for this, even if it means they can’t interrogate him about his method and his crimes. It suits her just fine that the man is dead.

"I- what?" Robyn stares at Nicole, confusion evident in her face as she furrows her brow and tilts her head. It takes her a few moments to recall something that, for her, still feels like it was just a short time ago. Sadler, bearing down on her son. The sword she had shoved through his chest. The glass, and her attempt to sever his cursed hand.

The pain.

"Oh." She understands now, at least, looking up at the ceiling. "Good. He deserved it." And that brings another thought back to the forefront of her mind: Saito. Saito, who didn't at all deserve what he got from Sadler. Her teeth clench and Nicole can see just the briefest shift in her demeanor - sadness, giving away to anger and then back around to sorrow. "Kenji'll rest better," she says quietly, before laying back again.

"Did they destroy the body?"

“Yes,” Nicole confirms. Sadler had taken one of their own from them. Nearly two. There is some justice in this outcome, even if it does ring so very hollow. It won’t bring Saito back.

Robyn’s question draws a look of confusion from the other agent, however. Nicole shakes her head slowly. “Look, I want to light a fucker up as badly as you do, but–” She’s deflecting. There’s a look that crosses her face so briefly that Robyn might have missed it if she wasn’t looking. “No. We decided to autopsy so we might better understand what– What some of his writing had meant. How and why he did what he did to people.”

Nicole’s lips purse as she cuts herself off. “He’s dead,” she attests firmly.

Robyn sighs sharply, nto out of frustration but for lack of breath. She had been holding her breath in anticipation of Nicole's response and hadn't realised it. "I guess… if nothing has happened yet, it'll be fine." The words are a bit labored, Robyn sitting up - or at least attempting to - mid sentence.

“Ï'll put in a statement as soon as I can. He… felt the need to tell me his life's story before he killed me, like a proper villain." She can't help but manage a chuckle at that. "Twice, even. He- He was troubled. He didn't deserve what he'd been dealt either." Wrinkling her nose, Robyn looks off to the side. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually felt bad for him."

A beat passes.

"At least at first. And then…" He tried to kill Matthew.

Turning her attention back to Nicole, she studies the woman for a moment. "But I guess that doesn't matter anymore. Have you talked to Corbin about our botched chemical plant run?"

“There’s a lot of people out there who’ve been dealt shitty hands,” Nicole says, affect flat. It’s not that she lacks compassion. Of anybody, she possibly understands this keenest. “What you do with it is what matters.” And she’s been on both sides of that line, too.

“I’ve got reports,” is what she says of whether or not she’s discussed the matter with Corbin. “You got something you want to add to that?” Nicole lifts her brows, questioning. “I’m all ears, but only if you promise not to overdo it.”

"Nothing relevant to the investigation," Robyn remarks quietly, letting her arms fall back to her side. "I still need to update my registration." Even though it was done in her last hospital visit, which seems to be slipping her mind. "I'm sure Corbin included the glowing blood and flash of light in his report."

Silence hangs for a moment before Robyn's gaze slowly tilts to look at Nicole. "But I doubt he mentioned that I can see that beautiful blue glow in your eyes now." The tone, more mischievous than anything, makes it clear this isn't Robyn coming on to Nicole, rather, it's clear that her biggest handicap as an Agent is gone.

If any of that information is new to her, it isn’t showing on Nicole’s face. It’s only when Robyn mentions the color of her eyes that her head tilts and she smirks. “Easy there, tiger.” She holds up her left hand to display the white gold ring that wraps around it, a curl of metal off the main band sprouts two diamonds.

“I’m getting married next month.”

Robyn sucks in a breath, closing her eyes and shaking her head. "No, N-Nicole, I meant that I-" But she doesn't finish that sentence, the rest of what Nicole has just said catches up with her tired and medicated brain. Stopping dead, Robyn slowly sinks back into the bed as she exhales a ragged breath. "Congratulations," comes a bit quietly, but with a clear note of happiness. "You'll have to tell me about it when I'm out. Or today. I don't know how long they're going to let anyone stay…"

Looking up, she focuses on the ring for a long moment. "It's beautiful," she notes of it. "And," she starts as her eyes move back up to Nicole's gaze, "it means you're no longer a Varlane." A beat passes, and her grin falls to a frown. "Right? Please say yes." Not that she has anything against Magnes, but with him alive she figures it must be awkward.

Nicole laughs, a bright and clear sound as she nods her head. “Yes.” A Varlane no more. Biting down on her grin, she drops her hand back down with a quiet slap against the front of her thigh. It had been awkward. Less awkward than sharing that surname with Magnes’ more famous war criminal father, admittedly.

Mistakes were made. They might be again.

“You’re invited, if they give you the all clear by then. I’m hoping they will.”

"Oh, I'll be there," almost sounds like a warning as Robyn's lips curl back into a smile. "If they have to wheel me out in a bed in a designer hospital gown, I'll be there." And God help anyone else should it come to that. "I'm just glad I'll at least be awake for it now." Her voice dips a bit at that, quieter. Almost introspective.

The smile doesn't last. The good mood ebbs and flows, Robyn's emotions like a river as she shifts in her bed to stare up again. "I want to get up and out of here. But I'm a little scared to. Thinking about going home with Matthew…" She shivers. "It's been, what, three hours? And I already don't like it." Swallowing, she closes her eyes. "But I have to. I have to get back out there."

“Robyn, you’ve almost certainly been through crazier shit than almost dying,” Nicole states plainly. It’s not the most helpful thing, but it’s a perspective she’s hoping might settle in after she’s had some time to think about it. “You can come back from this.”

And the implication is that she can come back to SESA as well.

“And I know you will.” Nicole smiles. “That’s what mothers do.”

"You don't understand, Nicole." Robyn's voice is almost pleading, willfully ignoring that Nicole probably does have an idea how she feels. "This wasn't- this wasn't some fucked up time travel trip or world saving mission I got caught up in." Hands fold into her lap and she looks down at them. "This was personal."

The silence that lingers afterwards stays just long enough to wear out its welcome. "He came for Kenji, and he came for me. In our homes." Her chin lifts slightly, pausing before she looks Nicole in the eyes again, a mixture of fear and uncertainty in her expression. "Sure I've been through worse physically. I have this scar on my face from Eileen's knife to prove it, not to mention others from shrapnel and bullet wounds."

Taking a deep breath, she shivers. "I worry this one may be the one that undoes me. But I'm gonna try and fight it every step of the way at least."

“I know.” Nicole is not lacking in empathy to the personal. Richard Cardinal breaking into her home and threatening her had been personal at the time. Facing down Leon Heller had been personal.

Nicole reaches out to take Robyn’s hand again. “He’s gone. You and Matthew are safe. All that’s left is to get back out there.”

It's a bit instinctive, the way Robyn's hand shifts to wrap around Nicole's. It's a gesture that shows how much she appreciates her friend being there without having to actually say it, relinquishing it back to her after a solitary squeeze.

"Yeah," comes as a quiet agreement from Robyn, punctuated with a shallow nod and a melancholy smile "And this time, the world won't know what hit it."

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