Tony was stunned to see the familiar face coming toward him as the medics pushed the gurney through the emergency room doors. He rushed to her, dropping his small armload of files into a passing nurse’s unprepared hands. He leaned down over Alexis, pushing her hair out of her face as he examined the injuries to her face.
“Her temperature just hit 104 and she’s been unconscious since we got her into the ambulance. We’ve been getting her re-hydrated though. The saline drip’s been going for about fifteen minutes…” The medic didn’t get to finish his sentence.
“What the hell happened to her?” As Tony’s hand moved to her arm to check a pulse, his eyes swept down to find her damaged arm.
The medics looked at each other, confused. The older man finally spoke up.
“Dr. Jones, we called it in to you not ten minutes ago. Don’t you remember? Female, late thirties, heroin overdose with a high-grade…”
“Heroin…WHAT?” He stared at them in shock.
“You are Dr. TONY Jones, right?”
Tony’s eyes were back on Alexis, the angry scratches and needle marks on her arm. This made no sense.
“Heroin?” He repeated, his voice a whisper as he took her face in his hands and tried to rouse her. “Alexis? Alexis, it’s Tony Jones. Can you hear me?”
A moment later, Sonny Corinthos followed into the ER with Johnny one step behind him. Tony glared at him, shaking his head.
“I might have known this would somehow involve you, Corinthos.” He turned his attention back to his patient.
Sonny spoke loudly, directly. “NOT him. Who else is here? Monica Quartermaine, Alan…”
“Me! I’M here! Live with it.”
Tony began giving orders to the staff surrounding him. “I want her vitals monitored – temperature, respiration, heart rate…”
“You’re not hearing me Dr. Jones. NOT YOU!”
“And you’re not hearing ME, Mr. Corinthos. I’m IT! And I’m not going to let Alexis go into convulsions while I stand here arguing…”
His statement took Sonny aback. “Convulsions? What?”
“With a fever this high, it’s a distinct possibility. Having just overdosed on heroin – and I’m STILL trying to process that one – seizing right now could kill her. So I suggest you just shut up and stay the hell out of my way.” Tony turned back to a nurse.
“Pull up any records for Alexis Davis, check for pre-existing conditions or drug allergies. We needed to get her started on an antibiotic drip ten minutes ago.”
Sonny started to speak again, but Johnny’s hand on his shoulder stopped him.
“Sonny – she knows Dr. Jones. It’s good that she knows him, right?”
Sonny turned his head slightly, then nodded. He looked back to watch Tony’s hands move over her, checking for other damage.
“You gave her 6 milligrams of Naloxone?” Tony questioned the medics.
“Yeah. Her respiration was seven when we found her, and we administered two milligrams, three times each at two-minute intervals. That did it”
“Was she lucid when she regained consciousness?”
Sonny jumped in, unnerved in the face of all the medical terms he didn’t understand.
“She said my name. When she woke up, she looked right at me and said my name. So, that means she did get enough oxygen, right? Her…her brain wasn’t hurt, right?”
Tony didn’t answer, his hands gingerly examining the bruising on her throat. “Any other damage you need to tell me about?” He finally looked up at Sonny.
“Any signs of sexual assault?”
The blunt and unexpected question sent Sonny’s hands into fists at his sides. The possibility was one he hadn’t even allowed himself to think about. His mouth went dry, and he ran his tongue across his teeth before answering.
Alexis began to move her head, a low sound emitting from her throat as her body lightly squirmed underneath the blanket that covered her.
“I don’t suppose you’d like to fill me in on exactly what happened to her? Or at least, how much heroin she’s been given?”
“Doctor?” The nurse called Tony aside, a chart in her hand.
“And the truth would be good.”
“It’s a police matter, and the specifics are private right now. Taggert will be here when he can. As for how much of the drug…I don’t know.”
Tony rolled his eyes in disgust. “Excuse me.”
As Tony turned away, Sonny bent down to Alexis. Her body shivered. As she groaned, he took her hand in his.
“Alexis, can you hear me? It’s Sonny. You’re going to be just fine. Alexis?” There was no indication that she heard him as she wriggled, restless.
“Alexis, you’re at General Hospital and Tony Jones is here with you. You know Dr. Jones. He’s going to take good care of you, I promise. Don’t be scared.”
Her breathing grew faster, more ragged as she struggled toward the familiar voice.
“Tony? I think she’s trying to wake up.”
Tony turned back to Alexis as the nurse moved away. “Alexis, it’s Dr. Tony Jones. If you can hear me, just squeeze Sonny’s hand, okay?”
Her fingers trembled as she tried to wrap them tighter around Sonny’s hand, her eyelids heavy against her efforts to open them.
“I know, honey. But Dr. Jones is going to make it better.”
The nurse returned, attaching a second bag to the IV already dripping saline into her veins.
“We’re starting an antibiotic drip, which will hopefully start working on the infection very soon, bringing the fever down.”
“If not, we try something stronger. Her body’s very weak right now and as important as it is to get this fever under control, I don’t want the cure to kill her, so to speak. We’ll work our way up, if need be, but in the meantime we can use some ice packs around her body if this doesn’t start doing something in the next half-hour, forty-five minutes. That’s as long as I want to hold out for now. She’ll be closely monitored, regardless.”
Alexis’s eyes were beginning to flutter open as the nurse returned with a tray holding a syringe and various tubes. Sonny turned away, suddenly feeling squeamish. He looked down at Alexis’s face, her arm...her poor body already so invaded.
“Make sure you get a tox screen with that blood work-up.” Tony looked at Sonny. “Since we don’t know exactly WHAT - or how MUCH of what - is in her system.”
As the nurse took hold of Alexis’s arm, Alexis rolled her head toward the feel of it. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut, then opened them once more against the glare of the overhead lights behind the nurse’s head. She saw the glint of the needle held up above her.
The panic set in.
“NO!” She began another fruitless fight against all the hands…she wanted them gone.
She pulled her arm away, pushing at the hands that tried to hold her down. Her mind was screaming, but her throat was closing up, forming only whimpers as her breathing quickening to a frantic pace.
“Alexis don’t, please…” Sonny tried to sooth her, holding her arm down as gently as he could.
“Honey, it’s okay.”
“Can I get some oxygen over here?” Tony called out, afraid of what the onset of her hyperventilation might trigger.
It was a big mistake. As the mask came toward her face, Alexis screamed out.
“NO! DON’T…Let me GO!”
The nurse faltered at the outburst, looking to Tony. He took the oxygen mask from her and tried to speak to Alexis through her panic.
“Alexis, calm down. This won’t hurt you, it’s just going to help you breath.” He looked to Sonny for help.
“Alexis, listen to me…”
But as Sonny began his attempt, Tony took advantage of her closed eyes to suddenly slip the mask onto her face. She arched her back, crying out again as the image of a face, a dark, featureless face burned bright in her mind’s eye. She was flooded with it.
“NO! Ow…it hurts!”
Sonny felt the tears springing back into his eyes. He would have done anything to take away her pain, but he was powerless. He loosened his hold on her arm, moving his hands to her face. He brushed his fingertips across her skin over and over, trying to melt it all away. Her body suddenly grew still, though her breathing kept its fast pace. Her eyes stared at nothing, half-closed and without expression.
“I know it hurts…I’m sorry. Please, Alexis, believe me. Nobody’s going to hurt you again…I won’t ever let anybody hurt
As her breathing began to slow, her eyes fluttered again, wanting to close. She rolled her head toward him, finding his face. Sonny looked to Tony.
“Can we take this thing off her now? She had the same reaction when the paramedics put it on. She really fought it. I think she feel suffocated.”
“If she does okay without it, we’ll leave it off. But I’ve got to get some blood drawn. Do you think you can keep her settled enough for us to do that?”
As Tony slipped it back off, Alexis kept her eyes on Sonny. Finally, she spoke.
“You promised.” Her voice was raw, flat, as were her eyes upon him.
“Promised what, honey?”
Her gaze shifted to Tony, then scanned the bright, noisy room before settling back on Sonny’s questioning face.
“You said you’d take me home. This isn’t home.”
Her words cut into him. He leaned down closer to her. “Alexis…you’re sick. Do you understand?”
Sonny’s eyes locked with hers, trying to speak more than his words could say. His jaw was quivering - he bit down hard on his lip as she took in his intense gaze.
Tony abruptly jumped in, feeling the need for further detail. “Alexis, you’re feeling hot because you have a very high fever. And I think it’s also making you feel confused. But we’re going to take care of you, if you’ll let us.”
She slowly looked to Tony, then swallowed, her brow furrowing. It seemed to be dawning on her - where she really was, and that the screaming voice she'd heard had been hers.
Sonny continued. “Alexis, do you understand…”
“Yes.” She finally whispered, closing her eyes again. She was exhausted…she wanted to sleep.
“Good.'' Tony laid his hand gently on her shoulder. ''Now we need to take some blood, which I know you don’t want us to do…”
“I’m sorry…” She shivered again, as Sonny took her hand.
“Don’t be sorry. You have nothing to be sorry about.” Tony reassured her. “You just rest and let all us high-paid medical types do all the work.”
Sonny smiled, relieved that she had settled down and praying that it meant the antibiotics had begun to kick in. The nurse resumed her business with Alexis’s co-operation. For a brief moment, order was restored.
Suddenly, the muffled sound of raised voices drifted into the room. Sonny and Tony looked up at the door leading out to the hall. Through the small window, they saw Johnny holding Ned Ashton at bay.
“Alexis…Ned is here.”
Alexis rolled her head toward Sonny, who held her hand up against his face. Her eyes opened and she looked at him strangely. Then, Sonny watched as a subtle change crept over her face while her eyes wandered down, taking in the image her ravaged arm. He understood that that she was finally seeing the result of Sorel’s repeated attacks…and of what she’d done to herself. But it was too late to protect her from it. Instead, he tried to pull her focus.
“Alexis, did you hear me? Ned it right outside that door, waiting. He’s been scared out of his mind for you. And he’s been a royal pain in my behind these last couple of days, I might add. But now, he’s all yours.”
Her eyes grew larger and Sonny saw the rise and fall of her chest begin to speed up again.
”No…no…” She shook her head slowly.
“No…what, honey? I don’t understand.”
Sonny numbly repeated. “No…Ned? Are you saying you don’t want to see Ned?”
“No.” Alexis turned her head away, a fleeting look of pain crossing her face.
“But…I don’t…” Sonny was confused.
“Please, Sonny, no…” She squeezed her eyes tightly shut.
“If you don’t want to see him, then you don’t have to. I’ll send him away.”
She nodded. “Okay. Okay…” Her voice drifted as she fell off into sudden sleep.
Tony mumbled under his breath. “Good luck to you on THAT one.”
“Tell me about it.” Sonny replied. He bent down to Alexis, whispering in her ear.
“You rest. I’ll be right back.” He laid her hand back down at her side, content in the sight of her at rest.
“Is this the antibiotics working, her dropping off so quick like that?”
“It isn’t them NOT working.”
“Good! That’s good.”
As he stood to his full height and squared his shoulders, Sonny shot one last look at Tony before heading for the door.
“I suppose it’s also good that I’m already in a hospital?”
Tony looked to the window, catching a glimpse of the anxious, unhappy look on Ned’s face.
“It isn’t a BAD thing.”
With a flash of his dimples, Sonny pushed through the ER door.