Once and Again
Gardenia

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Niki: A | 1 USERS: A+
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Gardenia

Soliloquy Karen stretches languorously and smiles, rolling over onto her back. "We're at the house," she sighs. "In case it rains." Oookay. Must be the morphine drip.

Back in Karen's room, the camera slips in and out of focus, mimicking Karen's reality. We see fuzzy blue shapes as personnel shuffle around her, and we hear snippets of their observations between Karen's breaths.

"My cat has a collar like that!" Soliloquy Karen slurs, delighted. She finds this very funny, and laughs for the first time in a very long time.

The camera flashes to the broken Karen again, struggling to open her eyes. She only gets them half-open before Soliloquy Karen takes over, though, still laughing and murmuring, "That's so funny!"

Jessie paces in the hallway while Rick and Lily sit helplessly. Jessie asks if they want anything to eat. They thank her but decline. She strides off around the corner, where Eli's holding up the pop machine and trying not to cry. He lifts his head when she arrives but can't quite look at her. "I know," she says. "It's okay. I know." He turns his head away, and they stand there, arms folded, trying to be strong.

Cut to Lily and Rick getting the hallway summation from the attending doctor. He starts by telling them that it's going to take time. He then breaks the news that Karen's pelvis is shattered, as are her femur and left knee. Oh, and she has a ruptured spleen. The camera pans so we can see that Eli and Jessie are standing there, too. The doctor tells them that Karen will be staying at the hospital for a while, and that walking will be hard. "It's going to take some time. But at least you've got her," he says with a wan smile. Wrung out, they nod slightly and try to see the bright side. Jessie asks if they can see her.

Cut to one of those blippy machines, beeping away next to Karen's bed. The camera pans away from it, along a tube up to Karen's face. She's badly scratched and scraped. Jessie and Eli enter tentatively. "Hi, Mom," Jessie says softly. Karen struggles to turn her head toward the sound. She opens her eyes and blinks to focus.

Soliloquy Karen turns her head in the same direction.

Jessie tries to fight back her tears and smile while Eli swallows hard.

Soliloquy Karen stretches out her hand. "Oh my god!" she sighs, awed. "They're so beautiful!" She's about to cry from sheer joy.

Karen lies there, expressionless, her face taped and immobilized. She fights to keep her eyes open but can't.

Fade into Rick and Lily in the hallway, getting on with the business of making arrangements.

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Once and Again

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