Brodie picked Sophia up from Kate's lap and carried her into the hospital.
It was only for a fleeting moment that he glanced up at Kate and realised she had mascara and tears running down her cheeks and looked like she was about to throw up.
“Come on. You’ve come this far. You’re part of the team now.” He managed a wink as they headed inside and she rushed ahead.
“Help. Help my friend has a severe fever. She needs a doctor. Please, help us.”
Her frantic cries were joined by Brodie’s until, together, they raised enough attention that a flurry of medical staff ran toward them.
Blinking, Sophia glanced around and closed her eyes again as the bright lights that she only ever saw at hospital hit her pupils.
“Are you awake?” a female voice asked,
She ignored it. She was still trying to piece together what had happened. The nurses could wait. The last thing she felt like doing was answering questions and being poked and prodded. Her body felt exhausted, although her mind didn’t feel tired at all.
“I know you’re awake,” the voice almost chuckled.
“Kate?” Sophia’s eyes flew open to see the face of one of her best friends staring back at her.
“Am I dreaming?”
“Nope, I’m really here,” Kate pinched her earlobe and she let out a squeal.
“What are you doing here? Do you know what I’m doing here?”
“It’s so good to see you. I’m sorry I was late to the party, long and seriously dull story. You had a fever. You scared the crap out of me when I got to your place last night.”
“Sorry,” she murmured, wondering what Kate must have arrived to and remembering feeling as though she was going to die and wondering whether Brodie was going to come home and find her lying there, not breathing.
“You should be. It was like stepping into one of Mr. Cecil’s lectures on what a lack of sleep can do to the body.”
“And mind,” Sophia added, and they both smiled.
Mr. Cecil’s lectures on emotional wellbeing were comparable to the worst type of nightmare, the type that stayed with you for life, usually delivered after they’d been caught drinking alcohol on a camp night and at a time of the morning that birds would struggle to wake up at, never mind humans.
“Want me to get him? I practically had to push him out of the door to get some coffee. He’s not left your side all night. He’s the real deal, alright.”
“I knew you’d like him.” Sophia’s eyes darted around to the machines she was hooked up to and panic set in.
“Did they say what’s wrong with me?”
“Yeah, maybe you should wait for Brodie to tell you or the doctors to explain it?”
“Kate, you can just say it. I’ve dealt with worse.”
“What happened to that timid little thing I met at camp, hey?”
“I’m pretty bad-arse now. I had an excellent teacher in that department.” She smiled, and Kate’s own smile fell away. Her hazel eyes filled with a sadness that Sophia had never seen there before and she hated that her friend was hurting, but hated more that she felt like she couldn’t talk to her about it.
“You had a fever, you probably remember that part?”
“All I remember is wishing Brodie was home. I was drifting in and out of sleep, but I knew something was off.”
“Brodie said it’s happened before?”