Happy Birthday, you're dead

(or a funny thing happened to Geoff on his way to a surprise birthday party.)

Part 9.


2030 - Geoff's Room

Gina checked Geoff's vital signs and initialized another scan. She shook her head as she looked out the door and could see Davy and Joey pacing the hallway.

Kicking them out had been hard, but their presence would only throw the equipment off. As she reviewed the results, she allowed herself a smile, the prognosis was good.

She opened the door and smiled. "I think he's going to make it," she told them with a smile. "He's going to have to take it easy for a while, but the prognosis is very good."

Davy pulled her out into the hallway and swung her around. "David Curtis Wilson, you put me down this instant," she groused.

Davy put her down gently, then hugged her again, hard.

"Davy," she exclaimed with a gaps. "You're going to start breaking ribs you keep this up."

Davy smiled sheepishly at her, his relief obvious in his smile. Joey stood off to one side, watching the exchange with relief. Then suddenly, Davy had grabbed him too. Including him in the celebration.

"Don't forget," Gina reminded him. "Meeting's in half an hour."

Davy nodded and was once again, all business. "Can you spare Bear?" he asked.

"Kenny's still out of it," Gina stated. "But if Joey can help out here, I don't see why not."

Davy and Gina looked at Joey and waited for his reaction.

"What can I do?" he asked softly.

"I was hoping you'd watch Geoff for me," Gina commented. "I'll have to check in on Tracker and Duck a few times.

"Of course," Joey stated with a nod as Gina led them back into Geoff's room.

She watched them as they sat back down and nodded. She knew Davy needed to talk to Joey alone.

"I'm going to go and check on Duck," she announced. "I'll let Bear know he's expected at the meeting."

Davy smiled at Gina and nodded.

"Joey," he called with a sigh after Gina had left.

"Sir?" Joey answered as he turned to face him.

"You were right about the rider, and the fact that its not valid after your Birthday. We can actually put an end to this thing legally tomorrow. The only problem is that if anything happens to you, this whole mess can start all over again."

Joey frowned and looked over at Geoff. "We have to stop them," he stated softly. "What do we do?"

"I'm hoping to settle this legally, with as little bloodshed as possible," Davy stated. "But they've declared war on us. And before I loose another man, I will strike back."

Joey looked at Davy and nodded. "Don't worry about me," he added as he saw the look in Davy's eyes. Like you said, they've declared the war. All you've done is try to survive it."

"I was hoping you'd understand," Davy stated. "This isn't going to be easy, it never is where family is concerned."

"They stopped being my family when they started this," Joey assured him. "I'll do whatever I can to help, just tell me what to do."

"I'll know more after the meeting," Davy stated. "As soon as we know the full score, we'll know what to do."

Joey nodded, then looked back at Geoff and bowed his head.

"Joey, you know why I'm not including you in this meeting don't you?" Davy asked softly.

"I know you have your reasons," Joey answered softly.

"Joey, I love Geoff like my brother, right now there's nowhere I'd rather be than at his side, but I have to make sure this doesn't go any further," he stated evenly. "I can't be here, so I want you to be here for me. Its that simple. I'll let you know what happens in the meeting," he promised.

Joey nodded. "I'll take care of him," he promised.

"I know," Davy answered gratefully. " I know."

2130 - Geoff's Room

Geoff groaned as he opened his eyes and tried to sit up. His muscles ached, and he found he had no strength. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he was surprised to find himself staring back at him, a much younger version of himself. "Hello?" he called to the apparition.

The image didn't fade as he expected but looked at him, swallowed then ran out of the room. "The ears are wrong," he thought to himself.

"Gina, he's awake!," he heard the boy cry out. "He's awake!"

He turned towards the door and was rewarded with one of Gina's biggest grins.

"Geoff," she called huskily, as she walked in and beamed at him. "Let me take a look at you," then switched into doctor mode, and began testing his reflexes.

"What did I miss?" he asked softly.

"Long version or short?"

"Let's start with the kid," Geoff suggested. "Mom adopt another one while I wasn't looking?"

"Not yet," Gina answered softly. "Rabbit wants to keep him though."

Geoff started to laugh but the pain stopped him. "Lets go for the long version."

"You asked for it," Gina warned him with a sigh.Geoff listened as Gina told him what all had happened. He resisted the urge to ask for details and clarification until she was done.

"Duck?" he asked hesitantly.

"She's stable, still unconscious, but stable," Gina assured him. "I'll need to check in on her. God its good to have you back," she sighed.

Geoff nodded with relief. "So Eclipse was telling the truth," he commented. "And it would seem I have a brother," he added in disbelief.

"He's been here all day," Gina informed him. "He and Davy."

"I remember Davy holding me, taking me home," Geoff stated as he tried to piece together things. "I remember him carrying me and being chased."

"Davy brought you here alright," Gina confirmed. "But it was Joey who was carrying you. "Even out numbered he tried to keep you safe, he just didn't know it was us."

"Can I talk to him?" Geoff asked softly.

"Of course," Gina answered softly. "But you need to take it easy. You've been through a lot, and your system still has to get used to the mechanical heart."

"I'll behave," Geoff promised.

"Joey," Gina called.

Geoff watched as the boy pushed the door open slightly. "Is he alright?" he asked softly.

"He's fine," Gina confirmed. "And if you'll come in and keep him company, I can go check on Duck."

Joey stood in the doorway, almost as if he was afraid to come in. Geoff was surprised by the hesitation

"Joey," Geoff called. "Please come in..."

Joey slipped in and let the door close behind him, but he stood as if his legs wouldn't move further.

"I understand I have quite a bit to thank you for," Geoff stated. "Please, come closer."

Joey looked at Gina and then back at Geoff. "I'm so sorry," Joey burst out. "If I had known how well taken care of you'd be, I would have just warned you all of the danger. I just..."

"Joey, I'm not mad," Geoff assured him. "You saved my life. Are you sorry about that?"

"No, of course not," Joey assured him. "But everything that happened afterwards, that was my fault," Joey added. "The sickness, the doc. And your friends. That's all my fault."

"Like hell it is," Geoff growled as he tried to push himself up. The pain went through him as if he'd been shot.

"Damnit Geoff," Gina swore as she grabbed his hand. "I told you to take it easy on yourself!"

Joey moved then, going to the other side of Geoff's bed and holding his hand as the pain seemed to increase. Gina bit her lip as Geoff seemed to be lost in the pain. Joey bowed his head and closed his eyes.

Finally the spasms relinquished their hold and Geoff was alert once more. "Ouch," Geoff managed to groan.

"Are you alright?" Joey asked worriedly.

"I'm fine," Geoff gasped. "Fine," he repeated as he looked at his little brother in amazement.

"I'll leave you two alone," Gina stated as she stood up. "But Geoff, you are not to move, you hear me?"

"I don't think I'll make that mistake again," Geoff admitted.

"Joey, he does anything stupid, you page me," Gina added.

Joey nodded. When he turned back to Geoff, Gina asked, "would you two like a formal introduction?"

"We're fine, Gina," Geoff assured her. "There's just so much I want to know."

Gina turned and saw Geoff's look of wonder reflected in Joey's eyes.

2200 -ISO

Rabbit sighed as he laid the needle next to the others. "Four more hours," he announced.

"Thank god for small favors," Tracker managed to groan.

"Tracker," he called anxiously.

"You were expecting somebody else?" Tracker asked raggedly.

Well, lately, yeah," Rabbit answered. "How are you feeling?"

"Like hell," Tracker admitted as he took a deep breath, then shook his head.

"That I believe," Rabbit stated. "Geoff's awake," he added, hoping the good news would help.

"That's good," Tracker answered. "Any news on Duck?"

"Just that she's stable," Rabbit answered shaking his head.

Tracker nodded. Rabbit could see the exhaustion in his eyes.

"Just hang on," Rabbit urged.

Tracker nodded, but Rabbit saw the pain and horror as it filled Tracker's mind.

"Here we go again," he whispered to himself. "Hang on."

2230 - Outside Geoff's Room

Gina watched as Davy hesitated at the door, he could hear Geoff and Joey talking inside. She saw the smile play across his face as he turned and started to walk away.

"Aren't you going in," she asked softly.

"They have a lot to catch up on," Davy stated. "I'll visit later."

"Davy," Gina called softly. "They need you too."

"Later," Davy assured her. "I think Rabbit could use some company right about now."

Gina nodded. "Don't stay away too long."

2245 -ISO.

Rabbit turned as he heard the chamber's airlock fire up. Tracker, who had been quiet had started thrashing around.

"I ain't leaving," he stated as he heard the door open and the rustle of a protective suit

"Good, cause I'm not asking you too," Davy answered as he entered the room.

"Davy, what the hell are you doing here?" Rabbit demanded as he recognized his brother.

"Checking up on you," Davy answered.

"No," Rabbit answered. "You don't need this."

"Me, no," Davy agreed. "But you and Tracker? "

"What about Geoff man, think about him."

"I am," Davy assured him. "Right now, he's getting to know his brother."

"Joey's a good kid," Rabbit agreed. "But there's no reason to both of us at risk here.

"Well, since I know you're too stubborn to leave, I figure the only other option is to join you." Davy stated. "How's he doing?"

Rabbit shook his head. "He's got another 6 doses to go. It's been pretty hard on him."

Davy nodded. "You know, we really don't know that much about Tracker."

"Yeah, I've realized that," Rabbit agreed. "Sometime's I think he's been through worse things than I have."

"You never know," Davy stated. "You never know."

They turned as Tracker picked that moment to start screaming once again. As he strained against his bonds, Davy placed a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder. "Don't take all this on yourself," he urged.

"Tracker's the quiet one," Rabbit stated. "The one that's always there to pull your ass out of the fire. The last one you'd want to go through something like this. The last one you'd expect to take it so hard..."

"And you're the last one I want to have to do this on your own," Davy stated. "He's family."

"We take care of our own?" Rabbit asked.

"We take care of each other," Davy answered. "Now, Tommy says you have a deck of cards..."

March 10th 0000 - Geoff's Room.

Geoff watched Joey as he slept in the chair beside him. He was almost afraid to disturb him, as if doing so would cause him to disappear. He pushed the page button, knowing that Gina would be nearby.

She entered the room quietly and looked around. "Everything all right," she asked softly as she sat down next to Geoff.

"Fine," Geoff assured her. "Can you get him a blanket?"

Gina smiled and nodded. "Not a problem."

"Where's Davy?" Geoff asked worriedly.

"He figured you two could use some time together," Gina told him. "He went to keep Rabbit company."

"How's he doing?"

"He'll be a lot better in two hours," Gina commented. "That's when the treatment's done for Tracker."

Geoff nodded. "Tell them ... Tell them I..."

"Don't worry," Gina assured him. "I'll let them know you were asking about them."

Geoff nodded.

"Now try and get some rest," she urged.

0030 - Duck's Room

Bear leaned forward as he sensed a change in Duck's breathing.

"How are you feeling ?" he asked her gently.

"Bear?" she asked as she tried to put a name with the voice.

"I'm here," he reassured her. "How are you feeling."

"Like I've been shot, and then had the room explode and land on me, why, what happened?"

"Pretty much that."


"He's here and safe. Matter of fact, he woke up before you did," Bear chided. "Must be getting old."

"Must be," Duck agreed, as she tried to sit up.

"Easy," He warned her. "You're left hand's been burned pretty badly. Face too I'm afraid."

"My eyes?" she asked as she touched the bandages with her right hand.

"We'll need to run some test," he told her. "But for right now, you're in the best of hands."

"Where's Tracker?" Duck asked suddenly.

"He's being treated for chemical toxins," Bear stated softly. "He should be alright in a day or two."

"What have I missed?"

"A lot," Bear answered. "A hell of a lot."

"Well, don't just sit there, fill me in," she chided.

Duck listened as Bear summarized what had happened since the explosion. "Okay Bear, now tell me the rest," Duck prompted after he had given her the rundown.

"What do you mean?"

"You've glossed over quite a bit," Duck replied. "Like Geoff's status, how Tracker's doing. The hesitation in your voice tells me there's a lot more going on. "

"Sorry," Bear answered as he shook his head.

"Geoff had an allergic reaction to a sedative. Seems somebody gave him a time release dose with a poison that attaches itself to the red blood cells and causes the heart to shut down."

"And you're telling me 'he's okay?"

"He is now. Gina and Kenny found it. It was really close but they were able to save him."

Duck bit her lip. "And Tracker?"

"Pretty bad," Bear admitted. "He's on a 12 hour course of CH-13." he paused hoping he wouldn't have to go into more details

Duck's prompt of "details," gave him the answer to his hopes. No.

"The toxin itself has a 38% fatality rate, after treatment. The treatment itself can sensory and or mental damage. There's no way we can tell the extent until after he's finished the course."

Duck nodded. "Can I see him?"

Bear took her hand in his. "Katya," he called to her worriedly. "We nearly lost you," he stated slowly. "Your heart stopped twice. You've had some very serious damage done, and I don't think you'll be walking anytime soon. If you want, I'll go down to ISO and tell him you're okay and asking about him, but there's no way you're leaving this room."

"Now I know its bad," Duck stated.

"How so," Bear asked.

"You called me Katya," she answered softly. "Tell him I said everything's freakin' wonderful and he's such a tease."

"I'm assuming he'll understand the message?"

"He'll understand," Duck assured him. "He'll understand."

"You'll be all right?" Bear asked.

"I'm not going anywhere," she promised.

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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