North: When I am allowed out of bed, can I come over too?

North: I understand if you don't want me to.

North: Kota wants to too.

Kota: I would be honoured to be invited over to your house, but don't feel obligated. If you want, I can tell Luke to back off. I know our group can be a little much, and I don't want you to feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

I glanced up at the boys, and wondered mildly how I'd managed to get them as my ward. Kota and North both greeted me good morning, and accepted their muffins. North only grunted a little bit about our choice in breakfast before focusing on something else.

I was too busy taking vitals and making notes to pay much attention. When I got to Kota's bed, he was sitting up and looked a lot more cheerful than he had yesterday. I smiled warmly at him.

"May I check your bruising?"

He nodded, and with my help, we got the top part of his gown untied from behind his neck. His bruises were much better this morning. Instead of the dark blue, they were light blue, the edges turning green. I smiled and helped him tie his gown back properly, before taking his vitals.

"So Sang?" Kota said, grabbing my attention while I took his temp.

I lifted my eyes to meet his curiously, and he continued.

"Will Gabe be allowed off of life support today?" There was worry in his tone.

Despite myself, I was jealous. Jealous that Gabriel had someone to worry about him that much. But then my mind drifted, and I knew in my heart that if I allowed it, I could have the same thing. I pushed the jealousy aside and addressed his concerns.

"Yes," I started, speaking loud enough for the others to hear as well. "Gabriel can be let off as soon as I finish my morning rounds, and while I write up an official report on how you all are doing, we'll make sure that he doesn't start getting worse. If he continues to show improvement, it's doubtful he'll need to go back on.

"I have some news on Victor as well. He'll be able to come out of his medically induced coma today. The surgeons worried that if he moved too much, he would rip the stitches. But since it's been a few days, he should be able to wake up no problem. He'll just have to be extremely careful."

I paused, letting them soak up the information. It was North who spoke first, his gruff voice growing on me in ways I couldn't comprehend.

"What about Silas? Is he in a medical coma like Vic?"

Kota looked over at me as well, pushing up his glasses as he did so. Luke's eyes were lighter than they'd been since I met him. I wondered what they were all like, when they weren't worrying about their family, and whether they would make it to the next day.

I cleared my throat.

"Silas isn't in a medically induced coma. They had to extract six different bullets from his self, and one of the shrapnel pieces managed to find it's way in his brain. They had to do brain surgery. Thankfully the surgeons didn't have to open up his skull and take a piece off, but they did do brain surgery," I paused, though recognition sparked in Kota's eyes. "He may not ever wake up. The brain is a complicated muscle that we don't fully comprehend. It's not often, but people sometimes just don't wake up. For right now he has brain waves," I walked over to the big, what I knew to be Greek, giant's bed, and pointed to one of the many monitors.

"This is a very promising sign. His body might just be in a sleep mode, trying to recover from the stress of being shot at six times, and having to undergo surgery."

North looked upset, and worried for Silas. Kota looked as if he was counting, and I could see Luke trying to pull back from everyone and thing. I knew they needed some good news. I hadn't planned on sharing with them the extent of the injuries that the others had gone through, but now I knew that they needed to know. They were all a family, and family gets updates.

"I'm going to go over everyone's injury list, and status as of date. Okay?"

Dakota nodded and sat up straighter. Luke didn't react, and North clenched his jaw in preparation.

I sat down to my computer, pulling up the page that showed each boy, their injuries, their current state, and projected treatment plans.

"Alright. Dakota Lee has suffered from two broken ribs, a hairline fracture in a third rib, and a broken arm. Recovery should be an easy path. Pain medication provided as needed. Sean Green suffered a stab wound to the abdomen and a bullet graze to the thigh. Surgery was required to remove the knife, and repair any damage it caused internally. He is currently resting at the hospital until he is cleared to be transferred- that was updated yesterday morning, so I don't know how he is this morning, but I'll make a comment asking for an update." I said.

The boys were silent, and I knew they wanted me to get through the list before interrupting.

"Owen Blackbourne, as you know, had some touch and go moments. He lost a lot of blood and his heart bottomed out quite a few times. His reports don't exactly say what his injuries all are, but they were severe. You know about Gabriel and being on life support, his body simply gave up after a rough beating he'd withstood. Any internal damage he had was minor, and now healed, it's basically up to him to survive right now.

"Nathan is still undergoing surgeries. They should be doing the last one this afternoon. Victor has two broken ribs, and stitches on his waist, which is why the surgeons didn't want him able to move very much."

I looked over at Luke and remembered that he wasn't present when I told the others extensively about the three who'd yet to join us at SRC. He met my eyes and smiled sadly.

"They told me already, don't you worry your pretty little head. Let's just get my best friend off of those machines, okay?"

I nodded softly, getting up from my seat and walking over to where Gabriel lay motionlessly. I numbly took him off of the machines and monitors that were essentially making his body function. When all of the machines were shut down, I held my breath.

He stopped breathing.

North started to say something but I held up a hand to silence him. Now wasn't the time for him to question my capabilities as a doctor. After two beats, Gabriel managed to catch his breath, and inhale on his own.

A strange feeling washed over me as he breathed in and out at a steady pace. Relief? Was it because I was right, and he was strong enough to live without machines assisting? Or was it because over the last three days, I'd begun to care for the sleeping boy who had a black eye and piercings along his ears?

I walked over to Victor, and pulled one of the drips from his IV bag, taking away the drug that kept him under. I could feel all of the eyes in the room on me, and I couldn't help but wonder what it would have looked like, if I'd met them while I still lived with my family.

Luke had suggested they all lived in broken homes, but would I have become a part of their group, living with the mother who beat all sense of normal out of me? They seemed like a strong, capable group. I imagined it would have been them rescuing me, and not me trying to keep them from falling apart.

I glanced around at them, at their various states of being thrown around and attacked.

What did these boys do for a living, that ending up in a recovery center was something they all seemed to have accepted as a possibility?

I wondered if they helped people.

I wondered if maybe I could help people, beyond when they were hurt.

I thought back on my days at my house, with my family. I'd never gone to a doctor. I wanted to help people like me, but would I ever actually help them if I was just the person who put a bandaid on the bruises they'd received? I was the fixer upper. Not the preventer.

As I watched Gabriel begin to regain consciousness, I knew that I was falling down the rabbit's hole with my curiosity. 

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