On Common Ground

Chapter 2


Stefan was worried. On the way to the hospital, Zander had slipped in and out of consciousness. Now Stefan practically had to carry him inside. "I need help!" he shouted, as they entered through the double doors.

Bobbie called for a stretcher and an orderly wheeled one over. He and Stefan helped Zander onto it. About that time Monica appeared. "What happened?" she asked.

"What do you think happened?" Drawled a soft voice as Cameron strolled over to the stretcher. "The usual. Drug deal gone bad? Money owed? Which one is it, Alexander?"

"Fuck you, dad!" Zander hissed.

Cameron shook his head. "Brilliant comeback. So what is your drug of choice today? Cocaine? Ecstasy?"

Monica glared at Cameron. "Leave him alone." She looked at the orderly. "Take him to treatment room one." Another glare at Cameron then Monica followed.

"Pathetic," Cameron muttered beneath his breath. He made to leave but found his way blocked.

"You, sir...are an ass!" Stefan stated as he glared at the other man.

Cameron was stunned. "Excuse me?"

Stefan smiled coldly. "Your…son...got hurt saving my life. Two, actual, thugs were robbing me at knife point on the docks. Zander took them on, unarmed, and saved my life."

"I see," Cameron replied.

"I doubt that," Stefan countered smoothly, then he turned sharply on his heel and strode away.

* * * * *

Zander felt Bobbie cutting away his shirt and he tried to push her away.

"Leave me alone."

Monica had been trying to check his wound but his movement made it difficult. “Zander…please be still."

"I want out of here." He knew he sounded like a petulant child and he didn't care.

"You need stitches. It's fairly long and deep in one spot." Monica nodded at Bobbie to set up a tray.

Zander glared at Monica. "I want out of here," he repeated.

Monica held his gaze. "You're staying put, and if you give me a hard time I will put you in restraints."

"I'd like to see you try," Zander challenged, even as he made to swing his legs over the side of the stretcher.

"Hope you're watching," Monica shot back as she hit the call button. On cue and orderly arrived. "Hold him," she directed.

Zander couldn't gain his feet before the burly orderly was pinning him down. Made his shoulder hurt when he struggled against him but he was too pissed off to care. Then he felt it, straps being wrapped around his wrist by Monica and Bobbie. "No!" Zander shouted. "Get off me!"

Monica checked the restraints then nodded to the orderly. "You can go." She looked at Bobbie. "You too." When they were gone she looked at Zander. "I know you're hurting." Monica smoothed his hair back as he went limp against the pillow. "I miss her too. But you need to stop fighting yourself, Zander. Stop fighting the world. What happened to Emily wasn't your fault, so you need to stop punishing yourself."

"I don't know how," Zander whispered, as a tear slid down his face. He closed his eyes as Monica wiped it away.

* * * * *

Stefan was pacing in the waiting area and he was about to march into the treatment room to see how Zander was doing, when the door opened and Zander was wheeled out. Stefan took note of the bandage on his chest and the restraints on his wrists. "Is he all right?" Stefan queried.

Monica sighed. "Physically he'll heal. But he lost a fair amount of blood and he needs to rest. He also needs to sleep off his drunk. So we're going to keep him for a day or two."

"NO!" Zander struggled against the restraints again. "I'm not staying here! You can't keep me here! Please!" The last time he had been here, Emily had died in his arms.

"I'll take him home and keep an eye on him," Stefan interjected. And he was more than a little surprised at himself for making the offer.

Zander shook his head. "I can take care of myself!"

Monica ignored him. She locked eyes with Stefan. "Are you sure you want to do that, Mr. Cassadine? Zander can be…a handful."

"I'm sure." Stefan replied, without hesitation.

"All right then." Monica turned to Zander. "You have two choices. Stay here or let Mr. Cassadine take you home. Which one will it be?"

Zander glared at her. "None of the above. I told you...I can take care of myself."

Monica sighed. "Okay...we'll get your room ready."

"No!" Zander tugged weakly at the restraints. "I'll go with Mr. Cassadine."

"Okay." Monica undid the restraints and helped Zander slide off the gurney.

Stefan could feel the tension and he felt the need to ease it. "Nice shirt," He commented, gesturing to Zander's attire. A green scrub shirt the doctors and nurses usually wore.

Zander glared at him. “They cut off my shirt. I liked that shirt." He swayed on his feet.

"Easy." Stefan caught him by his good arm and steadied him, letting go when Zander tugged away.

"Mr. Cassadine." Monica approached with a package in her hand. "Zander knows the drill but I'll tell you because I know he'll just blow me off." She held out the package. "There's gauze and tape. The bandaging needs to be changed often. I also gave him some pain pills and an antibiotic. He needs to keep an eye out for a fever." Monica turned to Zander. "If you develop an infection I want you back here ASAP! Got me?"

Zander nodded. "Yeah...I got it."

Monica sighed. "Other than that you need to come back in one week so I can check the stitches."

"I'll see that he does what he should," Stefan stated firmly. He felt the heat of Zander's glare and ignored it. He watched the young man turn and start to stalk towards the door only to stop and look back.

"Thank you," Zander said to Monica.

She smiled. "You're welcome."

Stefan thanked her as well then headed for the door. Zander was already gone.


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© Shelly 2004