The rest of the day passed pretty much the same, Alex doing what he was asked but lacking in his usual upbeat manor. Dr.Hellman never asked which Alex was thankful for, he didn’t exactly feel like explaining. He went the whole day without seeing Jack again, even when Cass found him and said Jack had been asking after him. Alex didn’t feel like facing him again, at least not yet. He just told her to page him if anything changed.
Alex managed to get home from the hospital at a reasonable time and had fallen asleep on the couch. Rian had put a blanket over him and left him to sleep, being intern meaning getting a sleep whenever and wherever you could so a couch would do.
Alex had just got to the good part of his dream where he was about to save a patient's life when he was woken up, annoying beeping was coming from across the room. He opened his eyes to see the clock next to the tv said it was 3am, so what the hell was the noise? As he sat up Alex saw it, his pager was on the coffee table and it was flashing.
“Shit,” he muttered, picking it up.
The message simply read patient emergency, Alex didn’t exactly have many patient of his own and only one was in any real danger of emergency…. Jack.
Alex was at the hospital in record time, racing through the wards until he reached Jack’s bed. He was lying in the middle of the bed, wires and tubes all over the place pumping full of liquids and medicine. He was wearing an oxygen mask again as he his chest struggled to get enough air into his lungs.
Alex turned to see a nurse standing beside him, he didn’t know her name but had seen her around the hospital often enough.
“What happened?” Alex asked.
“He was doing really well then all of sudden he just crashed, his fever spiked and he stopped breathing. They managed to get it going again but he’s been on oxygen ever since, it was almost like he’d given up fighting,” she said.
Alex acted like the words hadn’t just dug a little hole in his heart. He then thanked the nurse and said he’d take over from here, she gave him a sweet smile and left.
Alex took up his usual seat next to Jack’s bed, his hand reaching out for Jack’s warm one. He couldn’t help feeling guilty, if he’d just put his stupid feelings out of the way and watched over Jack like he was supposed to than maybe he wouldn’t be in this mess now. What a great Doctor he made… Rule one: don’t get attached to your patients. Alex just sighed and looked at the timer on his wrist, so much for that thing, it was meant to stop you from getting hurt by showing you who your true soulmate was. No one ever said they could be the one that hurts you.
When Jack woke up the sun was bleeding through the faded curtains, he blinked a few times before trying to take a deep breath. Bad move, it triggered a coughing fit but the oxygen mask still covering his face helped some. He didn’t remember anything of the night before, at some point everything has just become a feverish blur and he’d fallen unconscious. He tried to move but wires tied him down and there was something else, something warm next to his hand, it was a struggle to see around his mask but it was Alex. The Doctor had fallen asleep in the chair next to his bed, his hand still next to Jack’s. He smiled and moved his hand just enough to touch Alex’s, it felt cool to Jack’s fevered skin but very much alive. He didn’t know what it was but he’d felt a connection to Alex ever since he’d meet him, at first he just assumed it was because he was a good Doctor but now he wondered if it was something else..
He felt someone squeeze his hands and looked over to see Alex had woken up too, his dark eyes staring at him.
“I’m going to remove your mask for a moment, I’m sorry it’ll probably make you cough,” Alex said, standing up.
Alex was right it did make Jack cough when he no longer had the oxygen but it didn’t last too long.
“Sorry about that, I just wanted to ask how you were feeling?” Alex asked.
“Better, don’t feel like I’m dying now,” Jack replied.
“Good, hopefully you’re over the worst of it now. I’m going to take your temperature and see where we go from there.”
As Alex started doing his normal checks Jack noticed he wasn’t wearing his scrubs, in fact he was wearing jeans a t shirt, his hair was also messy and he hadn’t shaved. Had he been here all night? Surely not, he was a Doctor he had better things to do than sit with one of his patients all night. Jack was about to ask when Alex put a thermometer in his mouth.
“101, it’s gone down a lot. We might even be able to get you out of here soon,” Alex said, smiling.
“You mean I could actually go home?” Jack asked.
“Well as great as you are we don’t want you here forever,” Alex joked, trying not to blush.
Jack gave a small laugh, his first in a long time that hadn’t caused him to cough out his lungs.
Over the next few days Alex put his feelings aside and tried to be professional. He still visited Jack every day, checking his vitals, giving him medicine and talking to him. Jack told him all about growing up the youngest of three, being a mischief in high school and all the trouble he got into, he spoke all about his love of music, Alex loved seeing the passion in his eyes.
Jack hadn’t mentioned the timer thing since which Alex was thankful for, he was trying not to think about it. His plan was to get on with work and try and forget about the whole soulmate thing, it was not going to work so he was trying to over it. He’d never heard of soulmates not working before but hey there was a first time for everything, typical of it be him though. He was just going to have to let him go and get used to the idea that he’d be alone but hell he was Doctor, he’d just bury himself in work.
By Jack’s 15th day in the hospital he was going stir crazy and Alex was putting off letting him go, he knew that he’d improved and he was perfectly able to go home but Alex knew that the moment he walked out of that door Alex may never see him again and he wasn’t ready for that.
“Can I go home yet?” Jack whined.
Alex chuckled and looked at the charts in his hands, Jack’s temperature was down, his breathing was better, there was no reason he wouldn’t be fine on his own.
“Yes, I should think so.”
Alex smiled despite how much it hurt, he couldn’t help it when he saw Jack’s eyes light up and the thought of going home.
“I’ll get the paperwork and you’ll be out of here in time for dinner,” Alex said, forcing a smile.
“Yes Jack, you can do home.”
Jack did something Alex hadn’t expected and grabbed his arm, pulling him over to the bed before giving him a hug.
“You’re the best Doctor in the world,” Jack beamed.
“Thanks,” Alex replied, hugging him back.
“Thank you for always being there, I was really scared about coming to the hospital but then I met you.”
Alex tried not to let his emotions get the better of him as he pulled back.
“Okay well I’ll get this sorted for you,” Alex said before leaving, not trusting himself the room a moment longer.
Alex stayed true to his word, it was just getting dark and Jack was stood at the reception desk signing his release papers. He was backing wearing his normal clothes, his hair was sticking up on end, he looked good.
“Thank you again Doctor,” Jack said.
“Call me Alex.”
“Thanks than Alex,” he smiled, holding out his hand.
Alex shook it and tried to find the words to say goodbye.
“Remember to stay away from the alcohol for awhile ‘cause I don’t want to see you here again,” Alex said, smiling.
“I’ll do my best,” Jack replied.
Then there it was the goodbye, Jack waved, turned his back and walked away.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Alex turned around to see Rian standing behind him.
“What do you mean?” Alex asked.
“You’re just going to let him go? Just because you’re scared? Let me tell you a story, when my timer reached zero and I saw Cass I was terrified. She was so beautiful and I didn’t know it was her, God I hoped it was but you have to take that risk. You’ve got to go after him, you can’t let the one you’re supposed to be with just walk away.”
“But what if…”
“Alex, just go, if you don’t it’ll be too late.”
Alex wanted to argue but as usual Rian was right, the person that he cared about was getting further and further away and it was time not be scared anymore.
No one had ever run out of a hospital so fast as Alex in that moment, he tore down the street looking for the one person he should never have let slip through his fingers.
“Jack! Jack wait!”
Alex came to stop next to Jack, they were over a block from the hospital and standing under a streetlight.
“I’m sorry I just really needed to talk to you,” Alex panted.
“Is something wrong?” Jack asked.
“I don’t really know how to say this... But you’re… We’re… soulmates and I’m sorry that I never told you but you were talking about all these girls and I was scared… I was scared you wouldn’t want ...me.”
Alex had imagined many ways the conversion could go, most of them ending in Jack yelling at him and saying how that could never be true. He never thought Jack would take his hand, lean in and kiss him. It only took a few seconds for Alex to kiss back, his hands around Jack’s waist and Jack’s going up to his neck. As they kissed it felt like the world had stopped and everything had fallen into place and as they stood there the timers on their wrists began to fade. It was a known fact that once soulmates had made that connection than their timers were no longer needed and they faded to nothing as if proof that they really had found each other.
Jack was the one to eventually pull away, he looked down at his wrist as if to check that the timer was really gone.
“I’m sorry Jack I know I wasn’t what you were expecting but I hope we can make this work,” Alex said.
“I’m the one that should be sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel like that. You weren’t the only one that was scared of their feelings... “ Jack admitted.
“So you think we can do this?” Alex questioned.
“I do too.”
They kissed again, this time it was Alex who made the first move as their lips touched for a second time it felt even better than the first. The knowledge of having a soulmate in the world didn’t make it easy, there would always be problems, fights and misunderstanding but in the end they come back together in the end, they are soulmates after all.