Here is the next part for: Cade/Joan/Thyme/Jordan
Mayacat and I wrote it together. She did an incredible job 🙂
Thyme awoke to a frantic rapping on her door. She glanced out the window as she rolled off of her couch, already pulling on a warm coat and a pair of work boots. It was pitch black outside, the pale moon only barely showing from behind the thick clouds. She grabbed a heavy bag from the corner of her room and made her way towards the front door.
Thyme opened the door carefully, letting the chain lock pull taut. There was the figure of a young man outside the door, obviously winded. She recognized the mop of dark hair and worn gray hoodie. She quickly closed the door and undid the lock, opening it again and grabbing the teen’s shoulders.
“Jordan? What’s wrong? Why are you here so late?”
At first Jordan seemed unable to speak, but finally he managed to gasp out a few words, “Cade- he’s- he’s not- breathing,”
Thyme went numb as her mind processed the shaky words before she blinked and sprang into a practiced routine, urgent, but calm. She carefully led Jordan inside and sat him down on a chair to catch his breath as she went around gathering her things as quickly as she could.
“Okay. Okay, that’s bad, but it’ll be alright. It’s going to be fine, okay, Jordan?” Thyme said, keeping her voice level and soothing although her mind was racing. She grabbed her final bag and helped the teen up, walking out the door.
“Alright, what-” she was able to take a long look at the boy in the yellowed light of the street lamps. The boy was covered in blood, the viscous red liquid already drying on his clothes in an ugly brown. The handle of a small knife was piercing through the hoodie directly below his right shoulder blade, and a large gash was running up his leg.
Thyme’s eyes grew wide in horror. “Jordan, we have to get you medical help right away. You won’t make it all the way back to the house- Did you run all the way here with- We have to get you help now.”
Jordan shook his head vigorously, “No- I’ll- I’ll be fine. Cade needs help right now. I- I don’t know how long-” he choked and looked away, but not before she saw tears forming in his eyes. His voice was fierce as he tried to keep the emotion out of it, “I’m fine! We’ve just got to get to Cade,”
Thyme admired the boy’s bravery and determination, but he obviously didn’t know the extent of his injuries and the danger he was in. The teen looked dead on his feet, and the blood loss was already severe. The doctor shook her head firmly, though she could feel panic setting in.
“Jordan, I’m sorry, but I have to get you help immediately. We can’t lose you.” Thyme slung her arm under Jordan’s, carefully avoiding the knife as she guided him quickly towards her clinic down the street. He protested loudly, but Thyme ignored it, though it hurt her heart to do so.
Jordan’s voice grew louder, though even more shaky, “What happens to me doesn’t- doesn’t matter! Wh-why should you c-care about me anyway? Cade- Cade needs help! He’s important- I’m not!”
Thyme grit her teeth. “Jordan, you are important. Every single Sparrow is important, and every single Sparrow deserves to live and see their dreams fulfilled. You can’t trade one life for another, we don’t work like that.” her heart hurt for the teen, and she resolved to save both him and Cade, even though it seemed impossible. She had made a vow to save everyone she could when she’d taken up her profession. “If it helps, I’ll leave you with two of my most trusted friends and coworkers while I go help Cade, does that help put you at ease?”
Again Jordan shook his head, “You- you sh-shouldn’t go a-alone. Y-you’re a girl and- I-I don’t want you to- to get hurt,”
Thyme smiled softly despite the nature of their situation. “I’ll be alright Jordan, I promise. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to travel at night to help a patient. I’ll take someone with me though, okay? Now, let’s get you some help before you bleed out.”
She kicked at the door of the clinic, the steel tips echoing loudly off of the cobblestone streets. The door opened and a frightened looking young intern stepped out. His eyes widened when he saw the state Jordan was in.
“Ruby, I need your help.” Thyme told him, helping the teen across the threshold of the clinic. “There are too many wounds to take care of before the blood loss could kill him, and we can’t physically manage to stitch all of them, so we’re most likely going to have to cauterize the gash on his leg. Can you get Noctis to help? I have to grab Winter and go, there’s another patient in critical condition.”
Ruby nodded and ran to the back room, yelling out some instructions as a dark haired woman came out and helped Thyme carry Jordan to a room. She took a quick look at the teen and started jotting down notes on a clipboard, gathering the necessary supplies for a cauterization.
Thyme started wrapping Jordan’s leg with a temporary bandage to stay the blood flow. “Jordan, can you tell me where Cade is right now? I also need to know if he has any other symptoms other than the struggle to breathe.”
All the big words she had been using seemed to have temporarily stunned Jordan. He stared at her a moment, then breathed shakily and tried to speak calmly, “Umm- Cade- Cade is at Miss Joan’s house. . .” he paused as though struggling to remember details. His face grew paler as he spoke again, “He- he wasn’t awake. I had to carry him. . .” he looked miserable and apologetic as he finished, “That’s about all I remember. . . sorry,”
“It’s alright.” Thyme said soothingly. “Thank you, you’ve done a great job tonight. You’re going to be safe here. And once Cade is stable, I’ll come and check on you. Thank you for all of your hard work.”
He looked shocked and almost confused by the praise and assurances, “I- I didn’t do anything – really. I’m not worried about being safe; I sleep on the streets some nights anyway,” His eyes grew darker with pain and worry as he spoke, and his voice was earnest, “I just want you to be safe. . . and help Cade. I’ll be alright.” he grinned weakly, trying to assure her that he was fine.
Thyme’s heart dropped when Jordan mentioned living on the streets. What had this poor child gone through? What had the world come to that young people were being forced onto the frontlines of an impending battle and being neglected and left to survive on their own? She forced a smile on her face though, hoping to reassure the teen.
“I’ll be safe, I promise. And I promise to do everything in my power to help Cade. you’re in good hands now.”
Winter leaned into the room now, his long white hair swinging in front of him. “Thyme?”
“I’m coming.” she said, rising and squeezing Jordan’s hand. She nodded towards Noctis and Ruby, striding after Winter as they made their way onto the foggy streets.
It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay. A mantra ran through her head, but she couldn’t tell if it was just her wishing or reassuring herself.
It has to be okay…
Joan sighed. It seemed like centuries had passed since Jordan had left. Worrying was not something that Joan did often, but now she seemed unable to push the anxious thoughts out of her mind. Jordan. Will he be okay out there? I know he’s lived on the streets most of his life, but which street fight will be the last? Thyme we need you!
She looked down at Cade and sighed heavily. Cade. She bit her lip. At least he was breathing now. But it was hard to see him like this. He was always so strong and seemed so invincible. She wondered if some of the sparrows had begun to take him for granted. He was the tall, handsome, charming hero that was supposed to be in every fairy tale. The one who would always be there to save the day when it needed saving. But this wasn’t a fairy tale and his role was one of the toughest in the current conflict.
She heard a knock on the door in the front room and stood up. Was Thyme here at last? Moving quickly, but quietly so as not to wake the sleeping boys, she hurried to the front room and opened the door.
“Thyme. Come in. Thank you for getting here so fast,” she managed to smile and mask her worry in the calm, clear-headed peaceful person that everyone knew her as. “Is Jordan alright?”
Thyme smiled back softly, but her expression turned more serious when she spoke. “Well, that’s debatable. Jordan wasn’t in good condition when he came to me, but I left him at the clinic with two of my most trusted and talented colleagues, so he should be alright. I’m sorry It took so long. Is everything okay?”
Wasn’t in the best condition? Clinic? NO! Jordan, what happened to you? How could I just let you go like that? Joan’s brain was in chaos as she calmly replied, “Not really. . . Cade’s still unconscious,”
Thyme nodded and stepped into the house, Winter following behind her. He inclined his head politely towards Joan. “Jordan said that Cade wasn’t breathing.” Thyme said. “Has his condition worsened any since Jordan’s been gone?
“No thankfully he hasn’t gotten worse. In fact his breathing has gotten better,” Joan replied as she led Thyme and Winter back into the room where Cade was.
Thyme nodded and knelt by the bed Cade was resting on. She pulled out a stethoscope and checked his lungs. His breathing sounded raspy, like he had something in his throat. She muttered something to herself and pressed her fingers softly against his neck. Winter was by her side, jotting down notes in a small handheld notebook. Joan heard Thyme breathe a sigh of relief as she turned back towards her.
“Good news.” Thyme said. “There doesn’t seem to be any sort of damage to his lungs or throat, and it seems like the only reason it became hard for him to breathe was due to excess phlegm in his throat.” Thyme looked at Winter’s notebook and nodded to herself. “He shows several signs of fatigue, which could have weakened his respiratory system. That would have led to catching a cold, which, while normally harmless, would have had the effects amplified due to exhaustion.”
“Thyme means that Cade probably hasn’t slept or eaten in a few days, which caused his to catch a pretty bad cold.” Winter deadpanned. “He doesn’t seem to be in any danger, he just needs to take better care of himself in the future.”
“That’s a relief,” Joan smiled, “Though I don’t know if him taking better care of himself is ever going to happen.”
Winter smiled wryly. “I know. We can at least try to help him though. I don’t think he realizes that he doesn’t have to carry all the pressure on his own.” he glanced at his notes again. “Other than that, he has a small inflammation in his right ankle, but it’s nothing pressing. It’s only twisted a little, and it’ll just be sore. If you can find some ice, that would be great, but otherwise he’ll be fine.”
“I’ll see if I can get a hold of some ice. That shouldn’t be too hard with how cold it is,” Joan sighed deeply, “Thank you so much for coming, Thyme,” she held out her hand to the doctor.
Thyme smiled and shook her hand warmly. “You’re welcome, Joan. I hope you can knock some sense into Cade when he wakes.” she chuckled. “I’m glad we could come, and I’m glad that Jordan’s finally getting some help. And don’t worry-” she said quickly, “Jordan will be fine. I’m sure you’ll be able to see him in the morning.”
“Good. That poor boy has had such a hard life. I’m glad he’s safe for now. If I can get someone to take care of everything here, I’ll go see him as soon as possible.”
Thyme nodded. “Of course.” a faint beeping noise sounded from a pocket of her thin jacket. She pulled out a small rusty com device. She frowned. “Winter, we’re needed at the new location. There are some minor injuries and some of the patients are having trouble adjusting, or their conditions worsened on the trip.”
Winter nodded, gathering his bag together and standing. “Thank you for keeping Cade safe.” he inclined his head towards Joan. “Hopefully you both will stay that way.” he smiled again and followed Thyme out the door and into the night. “Good night.”
“Goodnight,” Joan said quietly. As Winter and Thyme left she looked around the room. Safe. How much longer will this place be safe? All these poor, troubled children. Where will they go if the government men break up this safe haven as well? What will happen to Cade? She bit her lip and took a deep breath. God, I don’t know what to do.
Sold souls and dead promises