Chapter 24: Fated Ink

She paced outside the hospital room door. The doctors were still inside working with her. It had been two days and she still hadn't woken up. She huffed as she crossed back across the corridor and sat in one of the hard plastic seats. She dropped her head into her hands.

The cold unfeeling white of the hallway and tile made her anxious. She scratched her chest, the pain so raw it seemed to make her skin burn. She felt so lost. She didn't know what to do. She looked at the door and broke down crying again. She couldn't help it. Her inkling was inside that room, fighting for her life, fighting to come back to her. She hit her knees and began to pray. There was nothing else that she could do. With all the smarts she had, all she could was pray and it sucked. She wanted to be in there with her and take her pain away. She wanted to walk in there and kiss her away like in the fairy tales. Hell, she'd be happy to wake up and find out that it was all a horrible dream and they were back at Micha's celebrating.

"Tiny!" a voice called from down the hallway near the elevator bank.

Her head whipped up to see Izzy and Jess. They came at a run to her. She didn't know who called them or when. She didn't even remember changing into the heather grey sweat pants and the black button up she was in. She had no idea where they came from. She ran a hand through her hair as she tried to weakly smile at them. Hell, she didn't know where the dress and everything had gone. She just stared at Izzy and Jess like they were a dream and hoped that it meant her horrible nightmare was over.

Jess picked her up out of the chair and wrapped her in a hug. Izzy was standing behind them, tears in her eyes, as she tried to give Miranda comfort by rubbing her back. She pulled back to look at the Nician girl. Their eyes met and said so much without the need of words.

"She'll be okay, Tiny. She'll get through this. She will. You'll see," Izzy told her.

Everyone wondered if Izzy really believed it or if she was saying it to keep herself calm. She turned to look at the door, but couldn't make herself go to it. Miranda reached out and took her left hand as Jess had her right.

"Micha's in there with her now."

"Good."

"Marj was here earlier, but she didn't go in."

"She was?" Izzy asked.

"Yeah, she was."

"Who stopped her?" Izzy questioned.

"No one. She couldn't go in. She just broke down outside the door. She didn't want to see her like that. She couldn't."

"She doesn't have the right to see her," Izzy said almost as a hiss.

"I know that, Izzy, but she is still her mother. I am not going to bar her from seeing her if she wants to. Micha wasn't either. The only person that can do that is laying in there..."

"Oh, Smalls," Izzy said taking her into her arms as she slipped, letting a few tears out, and used Wade's nickname for her.

They just held on to each other. They honestly didn't know what else to do. They just decided that they were going to wait there, together until Wade woke up. They couldn't believe that she wouldn't.

The Ciccones and the Molloys came up a few minutes later. They saw the girls and they stopped. They just moved closer so that they could be there for them when the breakdowns happened.

"Any word?" Maria asked as she looked over at the girls.

Miranda turned around and looked at them. She didn't let go of Izzy and Jess. She shook her head. They were all still waiting. Micha and the doctors were still inside. It had been an hours since they went in and Miranda was getting antsy.

Just then the door to Wade's room opened up and the doctors came out. Miranda was across the hall quickly. Micha was standing in the doorway. They were all waiting for someone to say something. Miranda looked from Micha to the doctors and back again.

"She's a fighter. She's physically fine except for some minor bruises and scrapes. She's very lucky. She hit head pretty hard. She in a coma right now. She will wake up when her mind is ready. I have every confidence that she will wake up soon. I can't really give you an exact timeline. There isn't one in this. I am sorry about that. But, go talk to her. Two at a time, I don't want to want her to overwhelm her. I'll be back later to check on her. If you need anything or have any questions, just ask at the nurses' station," the doctor told them.

They all nodded. The Ciccones moved closer to the girls as they were huddled up together. Micha looked over to them and then pointedly at Miranda.

"Smalls, go first," Izzy told her.

Micha reached out for her and took her hand. She knew that it was hard for Miranda to see her like that. She watched as she hand flew to her chest and she started scratching. Izzy caught the movement, too. Izzy turned and met Micha's eyes. They both had the same look as Miranda walked into Wade's room.

Micha gave Izzy a nod and closed the door. She watched as Miranda moved to the side of the bed and took Wade's hand. The tears were evident and she was valiantly trying to hold them back.

"Hey, Wade," she said as she looked up at the slumbering girl.

Her lip quivered and her voice shook, but Miranda wasn't leaving. She couldn't and she made a resolution to fight anyone that tried to make her. She would switch out and let others sit with her, but she wasn't going to leave the hospital. She wanted to be there when Wade woke.

"I'm here. I told you that I wouldn't leave you and I haven't. I need you to wake up, sweetie. I want to see your beautiful brown eyes."

She paused. She didn't know why, but she did. There was so much that she wanted to say.

Her chest started itching again. She scratched as she watched the steady in and out of Wade's breath. She noted the cut above her right eye and the bump that accompanied it. Her lip was busted, but other than that her face was unscathed. Miranda was grateful that it wasn't worse. She wasn't narcissistic enough to think that scars wouldn't make Wade beautiful. She was just happy that she was okay. Now, she just wanted her to wake up.

"Everyone is here. They are just outside the door. Izzy and Jess came as soon as they could."

"Wade..." Micha said interrupting Miranda's spoken thoughts. "You need to wake up, darling. Everyone has come out here to see you. Marj has even shown a couple of time."

"I love you," Miranda told her as she squeezed her hand again.

"I'm going to let Izzy in," Micha said as she turned back to the door.

Miranda just nodded and scratched at her chest. The burning was stronger when she was with Wade and she didn't understand it. She thought about letting Jess sit with her and going to the nurses' station, but she decided to wait. The itch wasn't that bad. And considering what Wade was going through at the moment, it was nothing.

"Heya," Izzy said quietly as she came into the room.

She pulled the other chair in the room up to the bed. She reached out to touch Wade, but hesitated. It wasn't because she was scared to touch her. She was worried. Wade just looked like she was sleeping after a particularly rough game of basketball. Her injuries weren't that bad and were mostly superficial. It was the head wound, the brain bruising that was worrying, but she was breathing on her own. Izzy knew that they'd lowered her pain meds hoping that the pain would get her to wake if only for a few minutes. Her father told her that it was a normal procedure, but that didn't mean she had to like it. She winced a little when she finally took in Wade's face. The bruises and cuts were minor. It was just that there were so many.

She played with the crisp white sheet by her hand. She needed something to do. Izzy was a doer and sitting here was killing her. She hadn't even been in Chamberlain for an hour and she was already antsy. She hadn't even been with Wade for ten minutes and she was ready to go. She didn't want to leave her friend, but she needed to be moving. Finally the urge became too much and she jumped up from the chair and paced the room.

Miranda followed her silently with her eyes. Izzy looked like a caged animal. Her eyes were wild and full of pain. Miranda never took her eyes off her as she mumbled and spoke quietly to Wade. By now, she was just talking to talk, but she couldn't help herself. She hoped that the sound of her voice would coax Wade to wake. Izzy finally switched out with Jess.

Jess looked at her and smiled. It wasn't the normal megawatt smile that Jess gave everyone. It was muted, but it was there. It gave Miranda hope, because as long as Jess was smiling, things couldn't be that bad. Or, so she hoped.

She scratched her chest again. Jess caught the movement. Her eyebrows furrowed in question and she bit her lip like she wanted to ask something, but she didn't. Miranda looked up into her green eyes. She could see the questions there, but Jess still said nothing.

"What?"

"What what?" Jess asked in response.

"What do you want to ask me?"

"Umm...nothing?"

"Jess..." Miranda warned quietly and without a lot of conviction behind it.

"It's nothing."

"Jess..."

"It's nothing. Don't worry about it. It's nothing, I promise," Jess told her.

"Jessica Molloy..." Miranda said with more emotion this time.

"Fine."

"Just ask it."

"How long has your chest been itching?"

Miranda looked at her. The question evident in her face, but Jess didn't elaborate more. She just sat there on the other side of the bed, in the chair that Izzy had vacated, waiting for Miranda's answer.

"I don't know."

"You sure about that?" Jess pushed.

Miranda looked taken aback by the new question. Her eyes hardened. She cocked an eyebrow and bored her eyes into Jess trying to figure out her angle, but couldn't find out. She just didn't understand and she knew it was either from her emotional state or lack of sleep. Nothing really made too much sense to her right now, but this was making even less.

"How long, Miranda?"

"I don't know!" she hissed.

"Think about it for a second for me," Jess pleaded.

"I don't know. The day of the accident maybe...I don't remember. It's just been an itch. It's probably an overactive nerve or something. It's probably from stress. It's nothing."

"The night of the accident?"

"Yeah, so what?" Miranda inquired.

"Was that your birthday?" Jess questioned and her eyes smiled a little bit more.

Miranda gasped. She hadn't thought about it. She hadn't wanted to. She was so focused on Wade that she'd forgotten her own birthday. Under the circumstances, she thought it was understandable.

She nodded. Jess got out of her seat and crossed the room. She stood beside Miranda and held out her hand. Miranda stood and allowing Jess to hold her again. When she released her, Jess looked into her sad, teal eyes and smiled.

"May I?" Jess asked her as she pointed to her shirt.

Miranda nodded again. She looked down as Jess's pale hands reached out and undid a few buttons. She wasn't trying to undress Miranda. She just wanted to see her chest. She could see exactly where Miranda had been itching. Jess reached out and pushed the shirt open a little more. She saw the pale blue strapless that Miranda was wearing.

Her skin was red with fever, but it was only because she'd been scratching it so much. Jess' touch was soft and tentative as she exposed more of her chest without removing her bra. She shifted the shirt more and more until she was happy with its position. Her eyes just smiled when she saw it. Tracing her fingers over it, she looked back up into Miranda's eyes.

"It's her name, Miranda."

Miranda looked down. She could make out the delicate script that followed the inner curve of her left breast. It was nine letters long.

"It's too short."

"No, it isn't."

"Her name is Kymmberly Wade Croft," Miranda countered.

"It was before the emancipation. After that, she is just Wade Croft," Jess said with a smile. "But, I think that there is something that you should see."

Miranda looked at her quizzically. Jess moved away from her and towards the bed. She reached over and brushed Wade's hair out her face. She gave the slumbering girl a quick kiss to her forehead.

"It's time she knew," Jess told the sleeping Wade as she reached down to her sheet.

Jess moved it down far enough to expose Wade's chest. She looked at the hospital pajamas and was grateful that they were on backwards so the nurses had easier access to her chest. She untied it and slowly opened the top for Miranda to see. When she'd exposed Wade's chest, she pulled Miranda closer. She pulled Miranda in front of her so that Miranda's back was to her front. And, that was when Miranda finally saw her own handwriting scrawled across Wade's chest.

She reached out and touched the words as she spoke them, "Miranda Sofia Rafaeli."

Jess smiled. Miranda finally knew. She looked up at Jess.

"How long?"

"Since her birthday."

"Why didn't she tell me?" Miranda asked her.

"She told Izzy it was because you were with Luke and she was afraid that you would think it was a joke."

"I wouldn't have."

"I know that, and she wanted to. She just couldn't. Her heart has been heart so many times that she couldn't believe it. She wanted to so badly. I think she tried to tell you so many times, but life got in the way. Hell, Izzy almost told you, but she kept her promise to Wade."

"You told me," Miranda countered.

"I didn't make the same promise," Jess replied. "I'll give you some time with her alone. Tell her, Miranda. Tell her and she'll wake up. The Fates promised you both to each other. Tell her that."

Miranda just nodded. She reached out and placed her hand between Wade's breasts. She could feel the heat and her steady heartbeat.

"You have to wake up now, Wade. I love you so much. I want you to see that I have your name on me. We are meant to be together, so I need you wake up. I want you so much, Wade. Please, just wake up for me," she told Wade.

Finally unable to hold herself together, Miranda climbed up into the hospital bed with her carefully. She laid on her side, curled up to Wade as best she could be, and put her hand over Wade's heart. She couldn't help it. Being there with her, knowing that they were each other's inklings, Miranda finally succumb to sleep. This was how Micha and the nurses found her. They didn't have the heart to move once they saw their inkings upon their chests. Micha would just move Miranda enough for the nurses to get their vitals.

After a couple of hours, Micha heard some moaning. She looked over at the bed. She saw Wade's eyes start to flutter open.

"Ow...what the fates?... Smalls?...Micha?...where am I?" Wade asked.

"The hospital. You're okay, Wade. Just rest. I'll get the doctor," she told her.

Opening the door, Micha took in the scene in the hallway. Izzy looked up immediately at the opening door. Her hand went across the seat and landed on Jess' lap. There was a collected gasp when they saw Micha's face.

"She woke up," Micha told them.

Izzy was out of her chair and down the corridor before they could stop her. Micha knew that he was heading to the nurses' station. As she came back with medical professionals in tow, there wasn't a dry eye in that hallway. They were all crying tears of joy. Wade was awake.