Adam sat, rather anxiously waiting in a chair beside the bed. He had paced from wall to wall in the small room earlier, to relieve his nerves, but the meds that the doctor had given him were starting to wear off, making movemnet uncomfortable.

He leaned over and checked on the occupant of the bed, the fourth time in ten minutes. Raven lay beneath the thin sheet, looking very small. Her normally pale skin looked positively white against the contrast of her namesake dark hair. Once again, no change. Adam's thoughts were in a turmoil and his guts in a knot. He wasn't sure what was worse—the condition that Raven was in, or the fact that with her unconcious, he was effectively alone....

It took a while for Raven to recognize the low, quiet rumble she heard as the familiar bustle of the clinic just outside her room's door. She felt strange, her mind drifing in a haze... maybe she was sick? She needed to ask Auntie about it. She forced her eyes opened, had to wait for a few seconds before they focused on the ceiling—clean and freshly-painted, so unlike most ceilings in the Zone. She looked around the room—it was her old room, except that it was oddly barren—no raven statues, no books... And no wheelchair. She was going to have to levitate herself to the clinic.

From across the room she saw movement, and turned quickly in that direction. Her eyes again slowly focused on Adam, standing up in torn clothing—his presence struck her as out-of-place. "Wh..." she mouthed, but her vocal cords refused to function. She strained and tried again. "Where's... my wheelchair?" she laborously asked the replicant.

Adam jerked slightly, surprise flickering across his face. He attempted to cover his reaction in a wince of pain as he hobbled across the floor, but for anyone who knew him as well as Raven does (although, in fact, Raven is the only one who DOES know him that well), his surprise had been evident.

"Rav," he said, uncertainty painted on his features. "You don't need a wheelchair, you can walk just fine."

"Huh?" Raven looked confused for a moment, then she tried sitting up—and to her surprise, succeeded, the covers falling off her. "Oh... Yeah..." she said slowly, seeing her legs in front of her. "Don't know what I was thinking..." She rubbed her eyes, then her forehead. "Wait... Lydia gave me something before I went to sleep. Sleep tab..." She shook her head. "...because..." An horrified expression flickered across her face, then she closed her eyes. "Oh, God..."

A pair of strong arms wrap carefully around Raven, pulling her into a warm embrace. "Shhh," comes Adam's reassuring voice. "You're okay now, you're safe, we won't let anything happen to you." He continues to murmur reassuringly to her, cradling her gently against him.

Raven let him hold her for a few minutes, saying nothing, eyes closed, seeming on the edge of tears, until she sighed, seemed to settle down, and said, "Thanks, I needed that." She coughed and added, "Can I have a glass of water? I don't think I can stand just yet."

Adam blinked, but stood and smiled down at her reassuringly. "Of course, sweetling," he said and hobbled off to the sink. Returning with a tumbler full of water, he helped her sit up in order to take a drink.

"Better?" he asked anxiously.

Raven nodded and took a long, steadying gulp of water. "I'm fine, just feeling a little dazed still. How's Falcon?" she asked. "I hope I haven't scared her off or something."

Adam's face cracked into a genuine smile. "You two are a lot alike. Even in the midst of this...fracas, you're both worried about the mission. Don't worry, she's still on board. And concerned about you, for that matter."

"Oh good. I was afraid she'd think I was a psycho or something." She looked into Adam's eyes, an unspoken question lurking within her gaze.

Adam shook his head, a reassuring twinkle in his eye. "Of course not, she's a fair bit brighter than the usual Zone runner. Present company excluded, of course," he said, gently tweaking her sense of pride. "She's smart enough to realize that you're not crazy," he said, matter-of-factly.

"Well that's good to hear," she said. "considering I don't really realize that myself. I'm glad she stuck around—but I couldn't have faulted her for being elsewhere when buildings started collapsing though."

Adam merely shook his head slightly, not devaluing her fears by simply dismissing them. "I believe she saw what I saw, someone who had been hurt and was lashing out in retalliation. Someone who needed help." He sighed, and abruptly held her close against him. "I just wish we could have gotten there sooner, dearheart," he whispered.

"I'll.. I'll be fine," Raven said. She sat up, swinging her legs to the side of the bed. "I think I'm gonna have nightmares for weeks, though." Her stomach growled then, loud enough for the two to hear. Raven giggled. "I wonder if Lydia's got any of those apples left."

The corner of Adam's mouth quirked. "Really, is it wise for a Doctor to keep apples around like that? She could end up 'kept away' from her own clinic." Trust Adam to try to lighten a situation with humour.

"Come on," he said, helping her to her feet. "We should get something into you, if you're willing to stomach it. Although," he said, eying her critically up and down, "you might want to put something on first. I don't mind, but..."

Raven looked down at herself. "Oh my." She shook her head to clear the cobwebs. "Errr... where are my clothes?"

A look of mischief flitted across Adam's face for a moment, but he retrieved Raven's clothing without incident and proceeded to skillfully help her dress—this model had ALL the extras, apparently.

Just as Raven was fastening her last button there was a knock at the door, followed immediately by Lydia's entrance with a small, white, cloth-wrapped bundle.

"Everyone up?" she asked briskly, her sharp gaze quickly assessing the situation. "Good," she goes on, crossing the floor as she unwrapped her bundle to reveal a pair of shiny red apples. "I've brought you something to eat, you must be hungry dear." She offered the fruit to Raven.

Raven smiled, took one of the proferred fruit, and bit deeply into it. "Fhanks," she said, her mouth full of fresh apple. She sat on the bed and watched as Lydia offered the second apple to Adam.

The synthetic accepted the proffered apple, his white teeth flashing into a smile before biting through the red skin of the fruit. Home-grown apples, without pesticides or wax. Strange how things that would be a luxury elsewhere are reasonably common in the Zone.

"About Falcon... I think she's proven we can trust her. And she's handled herself well in the battle afterwards, right?"

Bringing his attention back to business, Adam nodded as he swallowed. "Indeed. Not only that, but she kept the mission in mind, even in the midst of all the shooting. If you want my advice, I wouldn't let her away easily.

"She's passed the test with flying colors, then. So I think I can safely tell Sanato she's a good freelancer." She frowned. "I hope she won't come to regret it."

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