By Erin

AN: Well, chapter seven. Sorry for the long wait, but I had some trouble with this chapter due to dialect and other things. I still need a beta, though. Pete, if you're reading this, beta for me, please? Oh yeah… and finally we get to meet Mia's mother. Most of her dialogue is weird, because I actually hear her with a New York/North Jersey accent, but I can't write it how it sounds to me without making her seem kind of uneducated, which she isn't, she's just got an accent and a scary attitude. Uh, yeah, so now you know how they talk.  Also due to the introduction of Mia's mom, the swearwords go flying in this one.

Disclaimers: The story is mine; Characters (except for Zeke) are mine. Ask before using.


Chapter Seven:

Sterile Hell


She stared at the sterile white wall on the right side of the bed she occupied in the double hospital room. She kept her eyes fixated on the shiny spot that the too bright, but not bright enough florescent light left on the glossy finish of the white paint. Stared at it in a feeble attempt to keep herself awake. She'd gotten good at depriving her body of sleep, but for some reason she felt tired. Infinitely more tired then she'd ever had before. She sank even further into the strange trance that she'd been in since earlier that night, the one that had taken control of her as soon as she'd stopped running. She barely registered the sound of soft-soled shoes squeaking on the white and green linoleum in the hall outside. Those seemed to be the only colors allowed in this godforsaken place, white and green. It wasn't even a pretty green, the kind of color she would wear to accentuate her eyes when she felt girly. No, it was that muted, hospital green color. She'd read somewhere that the green served a purpose, it kept the doctors from seeing spots as the operated on people. Apparently looking at the red innards of people made you see spots if not balanced by green. She didn't quite understand it. The sound of the soft shoes came closer, she didn't pay attention, she focused harder on the wall, trying to make her mind blank, but every time she succeeded, she saw Aunt Gaia, bloody, torn apart, from within her mind's eye. And the squeaking of the shoes stopped in front of the door for an instant before the door opened. Then the squeaking began again, closer to her. She forced herself back to reality long enough to eye the nurse, to see that she carried a syringe. She brought the syringe to that odd little thing on the IV drip and prepared to inject.

What if it was a sedative in that syringe? She couldn't afford to sleep. If she slept, someone else would die. Then her body responded and in a flash she was up, the IV needle ripped out of the vain in her hand and she was out of the bed, electrodes and wires pulling off of her body painfully. She ran, her bare feet caring her out of the room and down the hall. She wouldn't have much time, she had to get out of there, no time to worry about the fact that the hospital gown was open in back, or that she had no chance of getting much further then she already was. She couldn't let them sedate her, to make her sleep. Sleep was the enemy here, her own mind, and her nightmares. She was creating these things, and as long as she didn't sleep she'd be able to stop them. Two orderlies tackled her, pulling her to the ground. She struggled, but they got her still enough for a nurse to jab a needle into her arm. She screamed as loud as she could, an inhuman sound, but the world was already starting to seem fuzzy, and she started feeling impossibly heavy. It was only then that she noticed Zeke there, staring at her openmouthed. Then all faded to the black of a beautifully dreamless sleep.


That was… that was intense, Zeke had thought as he'd watched a sedated Mia being carried off by one of the orderlies that had stopped her when she'd come running around the corner. It was slightly comforting to know that she was at least moving around again. He'd been so scared that she was hurt somehow; she'd gone into that weird trance-like state and it was like she was gone. Why was he so worried about her anyway? He'd only talked to her for five seconds at school, so why'd he feel the need to stay here? He hated hospitals, they smelled of antiseptic and sickness, it made him think of death, that smell. And yet, there he was, sitting on one of those hard, uncomfortable plastic chairs in the waiting room. They hadn't let him see her before, what right did he have anyway? He wasn't family, hell, he wasn't even a friend, really. He'd seen Brandie though; she'd left with her parents hours ago. He'd stayed behind, though, even when his own parents left. He was going to sit here until he got to see Mia, or someone told him she was all right. He went back to pacing the length of the waiting room that smelled just as much like death as he was sure the rest of the hospital did.

Then he saw someone. She was short, only about five feet tall, if that, but he recognized her face. Mia's family, it had to be. She had the same nose, small and delicate, but with enough structure to make her face seem strong. She had the same pouty, girlish lips, though there were creases bespeaking greater age around this woman's. The woman wasn't that old, though, in her early thirties at the most, but she had a worn, tired look about her that detracted only a little from her beauty. Apparently, beauty ran in the family. This woman's beauty was different from Mia's though. While Mia was tall and lean, with a tomboyish charm that showed even in the few minutes he'd spent with her before her breakdown, this woman was different, with long chestnut hair, and blue-gray eyes shining with an unknown secret, where Mia's own eyes were an acid green that spoke of loneliness. Both of them had the same dark circles underneath their eyes, from lack of sleep, but while it only seemed to add to the helpless, haphazard beauty that Mia possessed, on this older woman it looked wrong, as did the frantic expression that seemed a little too frantic. There were little things wrong in her mannerisms, something that didn't reach her eyes. But it couldn't be just an act, if this woman was part Mia's family, then she must be genuinely worried.

He'd been so focused in finding things alike between the two of them that she almost didn't catch her name, and relation to Mia. Andrea Lewis, Mia's mother. He walked over to her at an accelerated pace that could have constituted a run. "What did they say about Mia? Is she all right? What's going to happen to her?" He asked as quickly as the words could come out of his mouth.

"Who are you?" The woman said, her voice far to calm for this situation, her daughter was in the hospital for Christ sake!! Her sister had been killed! Shouldn't she be more worried, sad, something? Again he got that feeling of wrong. "What do you have to do with my kid?"

"I'm a friend of her's." He lied. He wasn't her friend but he was worried. He needed to know how she was before he left this place.

"They said she'd be fine, now get out of here and leave me alone. Don't you have parents or something?" And with that the woman who was Mia's mother turned and walked away towards the restrooms. He let her leave, having gotten the information that he needed. Mia was okay, her mother was here, and everything was fine. He'd visit her at a more suitable time. Now he just needed to get a hold of his parents, and forget that uneasy feeling he got at the attitude of Mia's mother.


Mia woke slowly as the sedative wore off. She felt like her head had been stuffed with cotton, or something equally thought-numbing. As she looked around at her surroundings, she realized that she was somewhere completely different from before. The walls were still that same white, as was everything else in the room, except for the floor, the linoleum tile of the floor was still that awful white and green combination, which meant she was still in the hospital. The differences in this room were slight, for one thing, there wasn't an occupant in the bed next to her, and there had been someone in the other bed before. She hadn't gotten a good look at them, because of the white screen between the beds, but she had seen the silhouette of the person. She didn't see a silhouette here, the bed beside her was empty. The thing that bothered her wasn't that she was somewhere different, no, the thing that bothered her was the woman sitting in the armchair next to her.

"Good, you're up." The woman's tone was sharp, as if she was in trouble for being sedated. "What the fuck were you thinking when you up and ran? You're fuckin' stupid on top of useless." She shook her brunette head and sighed, reaching into her purse and pulling out a cigarette before she realized that she was in a hospital. "I'm going outside to have a cig, get your shit together, we're out of here as soon as I get that idiot doctor to sign you out." She stood from her chair, and as she did she muttered to herself  "Like the fuckin' rug rat needs observation. Nothing fuckin' wrong with her, except maybe her brain." She left the room, and Mia made to stand, only to find that as soon as she sat up, the cottony feeling in her head turned to a painful feeling. Better to endure the pain of whatever was wrong with her head than have to listen to her mother's complaints when she came back to find her in the bed and not ready to go. She got to her feet weakly and went in search of her clothes.

By the time she'd found her clothes and dressed, her mother had finished her cigarette and come back. "Chill out toad, you're staying here for the night. The doc's orders." She slunk back into the chair and sighed. "This'll cost a fuckin' fortune… you know the insurance company's not going to pay." Mia was shocked, as she always was, by her mother's thinking. Her sister was just killed, her daughter almost killed, and yet she's worried about how much a trip to the hospital's going to cost? Maybe she hadn't heard about Gaia, maybe nobody had told her why she was in the hospital.

"Ma? You… uh… you know about Aunt Gaia, right?"

"Yeah… she's dead, I know." Her voice had gotten a little softer, but there was so very little emotion in it. Mia knew her mother was a bitch, but the way she was acting about Gaia's death was, it was downright scary. It was common knowledge that Andrea Lewis was a nut, but right now she seemed kind of like a sociopath. Mia just nodded and muttered, "I thought you should know." Then she turned so that she lay on her side, her back to her mother, and stared at the wall.

With her back turned, she never saw the tear that smudged Rea's perfectly applied eye makeup.