With everything she had been through, she never would have expected that such a simple things as a common virus would land her in the hospital. Flu was something that you stayed at home and dealt with by swallowing copious amounts of fluids and sat bundled up in clothes that you would die before allowing squad mates to see you in. Apparently, that wasn't true for Mace, though. She had collapsed during some routine training of the new squad and then had woken up in the hospital with an IV and orders to relax.
Relax? She wasn't even sure if that word made any sense in her mind right now as she fought to figure out why she had gotten so ill from something so simple. Not that she had any choice since a combination of the illness and whatever was in the IV didn't let her stay awake very long.
That wasn't the only problem, though. The other problem was that the nurses kept asking her names of her family so they could call them for her. She kept going in and out of consciousness and when she was awake, she couldn't talk enough to tell them to shut up and leave her alone. The only family she had left were Fee and Morgan, and Fee was out on duty somewhere.
She just couldn't remember where right now.
When she woke up from unconsciousness again, it was to find her redheaded lover sitting in a chair next to her bed holding her hand. There was worry in her eyes and Mace immediately felt guilty for putting them there. Fee was still dressed in her BDUs, which meant she had come directly from wherever she was when she was called.
“Sssh,” Fee cautioned her. “Your throat is going to be raw for a bit. Robin called me to tell me what happened.”
That made Fee smile. “I think as long as we agree not to do anything on his desk for at least a week, he’ll consider us even.”
“Apparently in your desire to always have the lead on the rest of the people in the unit, you went and caught yourself one of those new rare strains of flu.” Fee shook her head. “Don’t do that again. Apparently you scared the hell out of the new recruits when you suddenly just collapsed in front of them.”
“Have to keep people on their toes,” Mace tried to smile. It came out as a grimace, though. Her body really felt like it had been run over by something.
“Yeah, well, Bennett said if you ever do something so stupid with your health again he was going to kick your ass from here back to Sandhurst.”
“He can try,” she murmured, her eyes already closing again.
“Get some rest, Mace,” Fee said, running her free hand through her hair. “We’ll be here when you wake up.”
Mace didn’t even hear the response to the question as the medication took her down into unconsciousness again.
Mace was aware of a heated debate going on as she drifted back into consciousness.
“This is against regulations,” an annoyed voice was saying. “Only family is allowed back here with a patient.”
“Lady, we are Lieutenant Graham’s family,” a voice that was harsher than Mace was used to hearing from the person in question said. “I guarantee you that if you want her to behave and follow doctor’s orders when she wakes up, then you are not going to want us to leave.”
Mace opened her eyes and watched the scene taking place at the end of her bed for a moment in silence. Finally she tried to clear her throat. “Rachel,” she rasped. “What’s going on?”
It was Davis that ducked around the arguing pair to come to Mace’s side. “The nurse keeps trying to throw us out of here,” he explained, glad that she was too weak to try to do anything about it. “Rachel and Fee are just explaining to her that we’re your family and that we’re staying whether she likes it or not.”
Lily peered around Davis to grin. “And we haven’t even threatened to bring in our own medics, yet.”
Mace would have laughed except it would have hurt too much. She spotted Will watching all of this and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Go back to sleep, Sarah,” he said quietly. “We’ve got this handled.”
Mace smiled faintly, and let herself fall back into the sleep that the medications for the virus seemed intent on keeping her in. She had no doubt that Will, Fee and her Valkyries would get things situated before she woke up again.
Her last thought before sleep claimed her was that the hospital was really going to have to broaden their definition of family.