Chapter 2

Alex sat in her hospital bed, hooked up to several beeping machines, all making sure she wasn't going to die. Even though the pain was enough she kind of wanted to. 

That wasn't actually fair. She didn't really want to. She was just tired and the pain meds were making her feel sick and she was bored with the TV and bored with her book and bored with just sitting there. 

Her parents had come to visit, using a large amount of money to just fly across the country, bringing her comfort food and hugs and kisses.

“Thanks for coming, Mom.” She’d said. “I super appreciate it. Though you didn’t have to.”

“Of course I did!” her mom had kept unloading the care package. “You got shot! You weren’t even supposed to be in danger and you were shot!”

“Accidents happen, Mom.” Alex tried to sit up in bed, but decided against it when her stitches protested otherwise. “It was another training exercise. We chose the building so we could record the majority of it to use for training videos and recruitment.”

“It sounds like that won’t be necessary.” Her dad shook her head.

“What do you mean?”

“The UN caught wind of what happened.” He sat down on the chair next to her bed. “They are talking about shutting down the program.”

“Wait,” Alex’s heart dropped to her stomach. “They can’t do that. It’s a stimulus program.”

“Apparently it’s eating more money than it’s putting into the public.” Her dad shook his head. “Plus with your injury and David’s…” he trailed off.

“Death?” Alex growled. “He died, dad. He was a soldier and he died.”

“I know, sweetie.” He sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s hard for us, too. We felt very close to him with your emails home.”

“And I felt very close with him, too.” Alex picked at her blanket. “With him being my partner and all. You know.”

“I know, hun.” Her dad, stood. “Or, at least, I’m trying to understand.”

“I know.” Alex rubbed her eyes. “I’m just tired and these meds are taking a bit to wear off and they’re making me feel sick.”

That had been days ago, and her parents had left her to her own devices. And the meds weren’t wearing off, in fact, they had given her more in her IV bag, even though she’d asked them not to.

She looked down at her phone, laying next to her on the bed. Her parents had brought it back from the lock up. They weren’t allowed to have personal phones in the field. But she could have it in recovery.

Maybe she should text Leo. Leo would be fun to talk to, but she was out a lot of the time, now. Not answering texts until three or four in the morning. Alex had her suspicions as to what Leo was getting up to, but didn’t want to mention them out loud. She knew who could be listening and that they knew exactly who Leo was.

She shot her a text: “Super bored in recovery. Tell me a joke? One I will understand?”

Alex looked around her room and decided to try to stand, gently swinging her legs off the bed. She disconnected from the beeping things, and wheeled her IV stand out of the room.

A nurse was sitting at the orderly station, she stood as if to stop her.

“It’s okay.” Alex smiled. “I just want to walk a couple laps. The bed makes me stiff and I’ll take it easy.” The nurse sighed and nodded. Alex took a couple laps, checking her phone as she went. Nothing from Leo, over and over. 

Finally, twenty minutes later, Leo finally video chatted back. Alex picked up and smiled.

“Hey friend!” Leo said, she was at home, but out of breath, plunking down in a desk chair. “How goes recovery from a gun wound?”

“Slowly.” Alex winced. “Painfully so.”

“Dude,” Leo shook her head. “I’m so sorry. You’ll be alright. What are you doing?”

“I’m walking the halls, just trying to keep from getting bed sores.”

“Oh,” Leo waved a hand, doing something while her device rested on a desk. “The bed should do that for you. That’s why it inflates in random places.”

“I knew that.” Alex shook her head. “But it drives me crazy to sit still.”

“That’s what Spec. Ops training gets you.” Leo smiled, typing at a keyboard. 

“What are you doing? Why so out of breath?” Alex smiled. 

“Sam and I were doing some sparring and I went on a run.” Leo shrugged.

“You know I don’t believe you.”

“Believe whatever you like!” Leo shrugged, stopped typing and peered at the screen. “Are you just gonna walk in circles? Let’s go somewhere fun!”

“All right.” Alex smiled. “But I can’t go too far.”

Zoe FleischerComment