I Can Only See Your Face
The world seemed to go into slow motion for Holly as the noise of the bullet shattered the relative peace of the street. Even so, she barely had time to realise that the shot was meant for Tom, and to fling herself forcefully to the ground. As she fell, she could see Patrick coming toward her, his arms outstretched, his expression a curious mix of anger and pain. She could tell he was heading directly into the line of fire and screamed out for him to stop. Automatically she closed her eyes to protect herself from what she felt sure she would see.
When she finally opened them, she saw both Tom and Patrick lying crumpled on the paving slabs beside her.
"Nooooooooo!" she wailed, the sound coming from deep inside her and resonating through her whole body. Tears blurred her vision as she looked down at Patrick. She could see the distinct colour of blood soaking through the shoulder of his pale shirt. She crawled across the rough ground; her knuckles scrapping against its surface, but that pain was nothing compared to how she already felt.
Memories of her medical training came back to her, but they were so interspersed with grief and guilt that they were muddled and useless. Only one thought had any clarity to it:
All this is my fault, I caused all this, Patrick was trying to save me, and now he's…he's…
Holly looked down at him, barely daring to believe her own eyes as Patrick rolled awkwardly over and struggled to sit up. Instinctively he pulled his arm across his body and grabbed at the wound. Holly knelt on the cold ground and stared at him as though he weren't real, trembling visibly.
From all around her Holly could hear voices and hurried scuffling as the police called an ambulance. A few of the officers were making their way up the steps to try to help. They could see that Patrick wasn't badly injured so moved over to see to Tom.
"That hurt" Patrick said, still too dazed by the events to think of anything more profound to say. The sound of his voice ripped though Holly's own thoughts and at last, she truly believed that he was all right. She lent forward, wrapping her arms around him in a warm hug, and found that she didn't want to let go. Patrick gritted his teeth against the pain in his arm, having her hold him again felt so good that not even his injury could spoil it. For a few seconds neither of them moved. Eventually Holly collected herself enough to pull slowly away from him.
"I thought you were… I thought…" Patrick nodded, for a split second he had thought so too.
"It's just a flesh wound" He moved his hand slightly to give her a better look. She tenderly moved the shirt material out of the way and saw a deep graze underneath. Holly pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and Patrick winced as she pressed it down on his shoulder to stem the bleeding. He let her hold it there briefly before taking hold of it himself.
As they sat there, their attention was drawn by the commotion around Tom. Holly got unsteadily to her feet and helped Patrick to follow, keeping one arm around his waist to support him. Two Policemen were knelt on the ground beside Tom giving him heart massage, next to them Gellar stood keeping watch for the ambulance.
"How is he?" Holly asked, quietly dreading the response, she had never meant for things to get this far, and didn't want Tom's death on her conscious. Gellar looked down at his colleagues; one of them shrugged. Gellar didn't need to relay the message, they could both clearly see the entry wound in Tom's chest, only an inch or two away from his heart. It would be touch and go if the ambulance arrived in time. Holly held more tightly onto Patrick, turning away so she couldn't see Tom anymore.
In the distance, the doctors heard the familiar sound of an ambulance siren.
"If he dies I'll never forgive myself, Patrick" Holly almost whispered to him.
"You can't blame yourself, the man was a nutter!" he replied, gently stroking her hair as he spoke.
"That doesn't mean he deserved this!" Patrick could feel her sobbing as she rested her head on his chest.
Patrick watched as Josh and Fin raced past him and went to tend to Tom's limp body.
"I'm sure they'll do everything they can to save him, but whatever happens Holly, none of this is your fault. D'you understand?"
"But if I hadn't gone to the hospital, he wouldn't have come after me, and none of this would've happened…"
"What do you mean you went to the hospital?" Patrick asked confused. Holly looked up at him like a small child afraid of being told off.
"I went to see him this morning, I wanted to try to put all this behind me, I thought if I saw him… I … I don't know what I thought, Patrick. I'm sorry." Tears overtook her again, and Patrick pulled her back to his chest, tenderly kissing her hair.
He couldn't see why she would want to see Tom, but it wasn't the right time to go into that. She needed to be reassured, not berated. Moreover, Patrick couldn't help feeling that if he'd made more of an effort to look after her, been more of a support in the first place, she wouldn't have got such a silly notion into her head.
"Ssshh, Holly. You don't have to apologise to me, it's not your fault"
"But you got injured…"
"I'll be all right. At least you're safe now" and she had to admit that wrapped up in Patrick's arms she felt safe for the first time in months.
Patrick watched as the paramedics lifted Tom and took him to the ambulance. Patrick was surprised by how little he felt toward the man. He wasn't wishing him dead; if anything, he was hoping the opposite, just to spare Holly from tormenting herself over it for the rest of her life. He gave Holly a reassuring squeeze.
"I'd better get my arm seen to…" Patrick said, not wanting to let go of her but becoming more and more aware of a light-headed feeling as he continued to bleed. Reluctantly she let go of him; reluctantly he started to walk away.
Fin bounded up the steps to help him.
"How's Tom?" Patrick asked, Holly moved forward to hear his answer.
"Our Mr Harvey is in for a long spell in ITU. Should keep him out of trouble until they find somewhere to lock him up!"
Holly felt herself breathe a huge sigh of relief. It was all over. She hadn't been the cause of any deaths, Tom physically couldn't come after her, and maybe one day she could put it all behind her. One day. Until then there was one thing that still nagged away at her, she called out to Patrick:
"What you said just now, before Tom came out of the house…" he nodded, "Did you mean any of that or was it all for Tom's benefit, to goad him out in to the open?" She looked at him expectantly, hoping that he'd meant it when he'd said: 'No one could love you more than I do'
Patrick looked back at her and allowed himself a small smile.
"You know me Holly, I never say anything I don't mean"
Slowly she walked over to him and stood facing him. He cupped his hand gently around her face, giving her time to pull away if she wanted to. She didn't pull away, Patrick kissed her, and she kissed back.
"I love you Dr Miles," he said so softly that only she could hear him.
"And I love you, Dr Spiller".