Summary: Sequel to More Than Anyone
Hey all, sorry for the delay...hope you enjoy this chapter...I wasn't expecting to take it this route, but I had a dream about it so I figured I'd use it...Enjoy
The winter season had come quickly upon England, as did the Christmas season. Georgie exited the main campus doors of her University smiling at the snowflakes that were falling slowly. This time of year was always her favorite. The Christmas season had always reminded Georgie of magic and it gave her a sense of overwhelming hope. Walking down the stairs of the University, her boots treaded through the snow and she pulled her jacket tighter around her, deciding to button it. By the time she had finished, Georgie's hands were practically frozen. She had forgotten her gloves this morning at her apartment and hadn't had time to go back and get them before her classes started. The walk back to the apartment shouldn't be too bad, Georgie thought. Normally, she would have driven to University in this weather, but it hadn't been snowing in the morning and the forecast hadn't mentioned it.
Placing her hands in her pockets, Georgie tried to push past the multitude of students that were in front of her. She had left Skandar in bed this morning and she wanted to get home as quickly as possible to rejoin him. When she reached the end of the walkway, she looked up to see Skandar standing there waiting for her. Georgie smiled as she came to stand in front of him.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Thought you'd want some company for the walk home," Skandar replied.
Georgie brought her hands to cup his face and kissed his lips. Pulling away, she noticed her boyfriend frowning. "What?"
"Your hands are bloody freezing, Georgie," Skandar said. Taking Georgie's hands in his, he rubbed them between his own gloved ones. "They're almost blue..."
"I didn't know it was supposed to snow. I forgot my gloves at home this morning."
"Let's get you home then before your fingers fall off."
Skandar kissed Georgie's lips once more and they started heading towards her apartment.
"So how was your last day of classes?" asked Skandar.
"Alright. Thankfully none of the professors gave us any assignments to do during the break. I'll be able to spend more time on my Senior Project and have more time to relax," Georgie answered.
"As hard as you've been working, you definitely need a break, love. By the way, Will called earlier and wanted to know if we wanted to have dinner with them tonight. Colin is spending the night at Anna's parents' house so they could finish Christmas shopping for him."
"That sounds like fun. Speaking of Christmas shopping, I still have some left to do as well," Georgie said.
"I haven't even started. With the exception of you, of course," stated Skandar.
"Can I have a hint?" inquired Georgie, tucking her arm under Skandar's, who brought a gloved hand to cover Georgie's.
"Nice try, but no. You'll just have to wait until Santa comes," Skandar replied.
After arriving back at the flat, Georgie immediately went into her bedroom and changed into a sweatshirt and sweatpants. It was still early afternoon, so she and Skandar weren't meeting Will and Anna until later. That gave her plenty of time to warm up and relax. When she came out of the bedroom, Skandar was already seated on the couch with two cups of hot chocolate.
"Thank you," Georgie said taking a seat beside her boyfriend. She kissed his cheek and accepted the mug he offered her.
"You're welcome. Do you want to watch a movie or something?" Skandar questioned reaching for the remote.
Georgie grabbed his wrist with her free hand, placing a kiss on his knuckles. "No. I just want to sit here with you."
Skandar wrapped his arm around Georgie's shoulders and she snuggled closer to him. They sat in companionable silence for quite some time, until Skandar spoke.
"Georgie...my agent called me today..." he began.
"What did he have to say?"
"He...well, there's a new play that's being produced for West End and I've been requested for the part. They don't even want to audition me. They just want to give me the role."
Turning so that she looking into Skandar's eyes, Georgie asked, "Is it something you want to do?"
"I think I might...The plot sounds very promising. I told my agent I'd like to meet with the director and producer...after I spoke with you."
Stroking her lover's cheek gently, Georgie said, "Then I think you should go ahead with it. If this is something you want, I'm not going to stand in your way. I know you've been going mad having nothing really to work on and I appreciate the fact you are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for me...but I have your heart, Skandar and that's all I want from you."
Skandar kissed the palm of Georgie's hand and then her forehead. "And you will always have it. I just want to make sure you're alright with this. We won't be able to spend as much time together as we have been. At least not for the first couple of months of production and you'll have your schoolwork as well."
"Absence does make the heart grow fonder...isn't that what they say?"
"Yes, I suppose it does. But we're different than most, Georgie. You and I can't stand to be away from each other for more than a few hours."
Georgie giggled, lacing her fingers with Skandar's, she squeezed his hand reassuringly. "I'm sure we'll be able to manage."
"Do you think...how would you feel about...maybe...I don't know..." Skandar stuttered, not quite sure exactly how to ask his next question.
"Come on, out with it," teased Georgie.
Running a hand through his hair, Skandar mumbled rather quickly, "whatifwemoveintogether?"
Georgie rolled her eyes, "Annunciate, love, if you don't mind..."
"I said...what if we move in together," repeated Skandar.
"Are you serious?"
"I wouldn't have said anything if I wasn't."
"It's a rather big step, don't you think?" asked Georgie.
Nodding, Skandar then added, "But we practically live together already."
"I don't want you to think you have to do this, Skandar...because you feel we might grow distant from each other..."
"Maybe that is a bit of the reason I suggested it, but that's not the only reason either. I love you, Georgie. More than anything that it scares me a bit sometimes. And I want to be with you. Just sitting here thinking that we won't get to see each other every day or possibly weeks at a time is unbearable. I want to be able to come home to you at night. Every night."
Georgie rested her forehead against Skandar's and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "I think it's a brilliant idea, love."
"Well, I've always been brilliant," smirked Skandar, pushing strands of hair away from her face.
"And arrogant, too..." Georgie rebutted.
"A rather lovable quality, if I may say so."
"That depends, really...”
Skandar chuckled. He then cupped Georgie’s face, searching her eyes for a moment before speaking again. “What if I wanted to give you one of your Christmas presents early?”
“Why? Because you want one of yours, too?”
“No. Because I...I want to...if it’s alright with you.”
Georgie felt his hands shaking as he held her face. Fear seemed to flash in his eyes and she furrowed her brow in concern for a moment. “Are you okay?”
“Yes...just...I’ll be right back.”
Skandar got up from his seat on the couch and went over to his jacket. He sighed heavily grabbing the object from his coat pocket and made his way towards Georgie. Standing in front of her, Georgie could tell that Skandar was nervous as he kept running his hand through his hair and shifting back and forth. Before she could ask him what was wrong, Skandar knelt down on one knee in front of her. Georgie put her hands to her mouth and gasped.
“I’ve never been good with all this sentimental stuff. You know that as well as I do...so if you could bare with me. You, Georgie Henley, have given me more out of life than I ever thought I wanted. And I...when I think of my future...I see you. I want to be with you forever...And...I just...I love you, Georgie. And I want you to know that no matter what happens, I will love you. Always. Will you marry me?”
Georgie choked back a sob and put her head in her hands. Skandar’s body tensed, waiting for her rejection, but she continued to say nothing.
Her tear filled eyes, met his own misty ones.
“Of course, I’ll marry you, you great prat...”
Skandar smiled, slipping the ring onto Georgie’s finger and then captured her lips with his own.
Anna sat at the kitchen table, reading the paper, with a hand resting on her stomach. Her second pregnancy so far was going much smoother than her first, yet she still had the occasional bout of morning sickness. But her body wasn’t reacting as it had when she was carrying Colin. Humming to herself softly, Anna waited for Will to come back inside from shoveling the snow off the walkway. The weather had worsened considerably since earlier in the day and Anna was tempted to just have Skandar and Georgie spend the evening with them at home rather than going shopping. Glancing at her watch, Anna furrowed her brow when she realized that her two friends were half an hour late. It was expected of Skandar, but never of Georgie.
Anna's train of thought was broken by the sound of Will coming in from outside.
"It's bloody freezing out there," Will said, his teeth chattering as he slipped off his boots and gloves.
"You're very perceptive," smirked Anna.
Narrowing his eyes in mock irritation, Will walked over to his wife and put his freezing hands underneath her shirt.
"WILLIAM!" she yelled shivering. She slapped his hands away and glared at Will who was laughing.
"I love you," Will replied innocently, leaning over to kiss his wife. When he pulled away, he frowned at the look upon his wife's face. "What's wrong?"
"Georgie and Skandar are late. I'm a bit worried," she answered.
Will rubbed his wife's shoulders reassuringly. "There are probably quite a few delays because of the weather, love. I'm sure they're fine."
Before Anna could respond, their house phone rang.
"See, that's probably them saying they're almost here..." Will said.
Anna stood and grabbed the phone off the hook to answer.
"Anna..." came Skandar's strained voice over the phone.
"Skandar? What's wrong? Where are you?"
"There's been an accident..."
"WHAT? What do you mean?"
Skandar's voice broke when he replied, "Georgie and I were on our way to your house...and another car hit us and...she...She's in the operating room now, but they...don't know if she's going to...make it..."
"Oh my God," Anna gasped, tears immediately flowing down her cheeks. Will rushed to her side at once.
"Anna...please...I need you and Will here...I've...I've already called her parents, but...Please..."
"We're coming...we'll be there...just...we're coming, Skandar," Anna said hoarsely. She hung up the phone and threw her arms around Will's neck, who was perplexed not knowing what had happened.
"Anna, love...what's going on?" he asked rubbing her back comfortingly.
"Georgie and Skandar were in an accident and she's in the hospital...Skandar said she may not make it...Oh God, Will..."
Will's eyes widened in shock and they immediately filled with tears. "We have to go...now..." he choked.
Skandar sat in the waiting room, his leg bouncing up and down. This isn’t supposed to happen. Not to us, he thought, fighting back tears. When they had first arrived at the hospital, the doctors had to pry Skandar away from Georgie’s body and for a minute he thought she was already gone. But the doctor had explained they were taking her to surgery and would do everything they could to save her. He had heard the nurses and EMT’s when they brought her in saying how she probably wouldn’t make it. And it took everything he had not to strangle every one of them.
Putting his head in his hands, Skandar couldn‘t help the guilt that overwhelmed him. He partly blamed himself for what had happened. In reality, the driver of the other vehicle had been at fault. Not only was he speeding in these horrendous conditions, but he heard the police officer say that the driver had been drinking. But I could have done something. Anything, Skandar thought again.
Skandar turned his head at the sound of footsteps running down the hall. He saw Will and Anna running towards him and he immediately stood from his chair. Anna launched herself into his arms, hugging him tightly. And with two of the most important people in his life finally there with him, Skandar allowed himself to break down. He sobbed uncontrollably into Anna’s arms and he felt Will’s hand on his shoulder. When he pulled away from Anna, he embraced Will just as tightly. He needed his big brother and big sister and was so thankful they had arrived before anyone else.
“Are you alright?” Will asked, wiping the tears from his own eyes. “Were you hurt?”
“Just...just a few scratches...a bruise or two I think...but that’s it,” Skandar replied.
Holding Skandar’s hand, Anna asked, “Have they said anything about Georgie?”
“No...not since we got here. They rushed her into surgery and haven’t said anything since. I heard a few of the nurses talking about how she probably wasn’t going to make it...but she has to...I can’t...I can’t live without her...”
“You know our Georgie, Skandar. She’s a fighter...she’ll make it...we just have to have hope,” Will said.
Skandar pressed a hand to his forehead, a few more tears falling from his eyes. “I’m so...scared.”
Anna rested a hand against his cheek, stroking it gently. “We all are, darling. But we’ll get through this. Like Will said...have hope.”
Taking a deep breath, Skandar motioned for them to sit in the waiting room with him and they followed. Anna sat on his right, holding his hand tightly. And Will sat on his left, a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
“Have you called her parents?” Will asked.
Nodding, Skandar added, “They’re coming. Rachel is in the states though so they’re going to wait to tell her until after Georgie’s out of surgery. But they won’t be here for a few hours since they’re in Yorkshire. My dad is away on business, but my mum is coming. Soumaya’s on a cruise with her husband.”
“Do you want me to get you something from the cafeteria?” inquired Anna.
“No thanks. You know, we were going to move in together. I was offered a role in a West End production and I was afraid that we wouldn’t spend as much time with one another. So tonight I asked her and she was thrilled. And then...and then I...” Skandar shook his head, choking back his tears.
“And then you what?” Will pushed.
Shaking slightly, Skandar continued. “I asked her to marry me tonight, too. And she said yes. We’re supposed to be celebrating our engagement and planning our wedding...”
“Oh Skandar,” Anna breathed, her eyes glistening with tears. “You’re still going to be able to do all that. I promise. Georgie’s isn’t going to let you go that easily. Please...”
Skandar abruptly stood from his chair and turned to look at Will and Anna. “She shouldn’t be here. Georgie doesn’t deserve this. I do...after everything I’ve put her through...After everything I’ve done...I should be the one fighting for my life...not Georgie...”
“Skandar...” Anna said standing, but he continued.
“It isn’t fair!” he yelled and punched the wall beside him. “It isn’t fair,” Skandar repeated, but this time his tone was quiet and weary and full of fear. Skandar rested his head against the wall, his entire body shaking as he tried to calm his breathing.
Anna couldn’t bear to see him like this. It broke her heart. Will pulled Anna into his arms knowing she was just as upset and knowing it was best to give Skandar the room to calm down. All three were quiet for the longest time. Anna pulled out of Will’s arms, kissing the corner of his mouth and walked over to Skandar. He was still resting his head against the wall, his eyes closed, but Anna noticed his breathing was steadier now. She wrapped her arms around Skandar from behind, resting her head against his back.
“Did it help?” questioned Anna.
Sighing heavily, Skandar covered Anna’s hands with his own. “A bit...I’m sorry...”
“You have nothing to be sorry for...If it were Anna, I’d be the same way...You love her Skandar...you’re allowed to be angry and you’re allowed to be afraid...”
Walking back to her husband, Anna added, “Will’s right. You can’t be strong all the time, Skandar. You’re human too...so Will and I will be strong for you...and we’ll be right here for you until everything is okay again...”
Skandar put his hands in his pockets, leaning back against the wall. His eyes were on the floor. “I love you both...”
“We love you, too...” Will smiled. And he then gestured for Skandar to take a seat once again. Taking another deep breath, Skandar did so. Will said he was going to grab something to eat for all of them and Anna stayed with Skandar.
William returned from the cafeteria later with food for all of them and a few extra snacks for Georgie’s parents and Mrs. Keynes when they arrived.
“Thank you,” Anna said when Will handed her a sandwich. Will responded by kissing her cheek and then handed a sandwich to Skandar.
“I’m not really hungry...maybe later...” Skandar said.
Will nodded knowing it was better not to push him. “I’ll save it for you...for later then,” Will replied.
Just as Will was about to take a bite of his sandwich, they noticed the door double doors that led to the operating room open. Immediately, all three stood.
“Are you Mr. Keynes?” the doctor asked.
“Ye...Yes,” Skandar replied, a wave of nausea filling him.
“Miss Henley is out of surgery...we were able to stop the bleeding...but it seems as if she’s in a coma...She awoke for a few minutes after we brought her out of the anesthesia, but then she was out again. Miss Henley is able to breathe on her own slightly, but we’ve put her on a ventilator just in case.”
“What does that mean?” Anna questioned, squeezing Will’s hand tightly.
“The trauma from the accident and then going straight into surgery may have been too much for her and that’s why she slipped into a coma. We’ve done everything we can...it’s all up to Miss Henley now.”
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Skandar groaned. He placed a hand over his stomach and ran towards the nearest bathroom. Will chased after him and Anna stayed to speak with the doctor a few minutes more.
William stood outside the bathroom stall, listening to Skandar’s retching. It didn’t bother him a bit since he was used to it because of Anna. He waited a few minutes until his friend was finished before speaking.
“Are you alright, Skandar?” Will asked.
“Skandar...” Will said again.
There was silence again for a minute before Skandar opened the stall door with the back of his hand pressed against his lips. Will walked over to the sink, grabbing one of the small paper cups that were provided and filled it with water.
“Here...” Will said handing Skandar the cup.
“Thanks,” Skandar replied. He walked over to the sink and used the water that Will had given him to wash the remaining bitter taste out of his mouth. Skandar filled the cup with water again, but this time he drank it. After crumbling the cup in his hand, Skandar felt a sudden wave of anger hit him and he threw the cup across the bathroom. He stared at the paper cup a few moments before saying anything. “Will...I don’t know what to do...I feel so guilty.”
Will hugged Skandar once again and held him tightly in a brotherly embrace. “Listen to me, Skandar. What happened wasn’t your fault and there was nothing you could do. You have no reason to feel guilty. I know you want to protect her...I do too, but there are some things you can’t control. And we both know that Georgie loves you more than life itself and she’s not going to let you go...and you aren’t going to let her go either...you can’t give up, Skandar. If you do, than so will Georgie.”
“Will? Skandar?” Anna called on the other side of the bathroom door.
“We’ll be right there, love,” Will replied. He then turned back to Skandar who was wiping his eyes. “Are you ready?”
Skandar nodded and they headed out into the hall where Anna was waiting for them. She hugged Skandar tightly and then laced her fingers with her husband’s. “I talked to the doctor and he said that we can go in and see her. She’s right through the double doors there. First room on the left. Only two at a time though. Skandar, you go in and take as long as you need. We’ll wait out here for your her parents and your mum.”
Leaving a worried Will and Anna behind Skandar made his way towards Georgie’s room. He walked through the double doors and ventured into the room where Anna said Georgie was and when he entered, Skandar thought he was going to be sick again. The sight of Georgie lying in the hospital bed, tubes sticking out of her, bruises and cuts covering her body made him want to scream and cry at the same time. He thought he knew pain before, but it was nothing compared to this. Skandar approached Georgie’s bedside slowly, trying to take everything in. He had heard stories before that people in a coma, even thought they weren’t awake, could hear what was being said to them. I hope so, Skandar thought.
Taking a seat in the chair by Georgie’s bed, Skandar took her hand in his and kissed it gently. He stroked her fingers lovingly, trying to think of what exactly he should say. He hadn’t realized tears were falling down his face, until a few dropped on the white sheets.
“Georgie...” he whispered, his voice breaking. “I’m...I’m sorry that you’re here. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do. I feel like there was something I could have done to prevent this. Will told me that it was out of my control, but when it comes to you...if I can’t protect you...I feel like I’m not...like I’m not worthy of you, I guess...that if I can’t protect you then I don’t deserve you...Georgie, my love...” Skandar continued as he stroked her cheek, “you have to wake up...I need you. I need you more than you’ll ever know. My life isn’t anything without you. We have a wedding to plan. You can do whatever you want...I don’t care what it costs...I’ll even wear a pink suit if you want...just please, you have to wake up. I love you, Georgie...I love you more than anything and if I could have take your place, I would do it in a heartbeat. You have to know that. I would rather die than see you like this...to see you in any pain whatsoever. You have to know that you have my heart, Georgie and if you die...I die with you...Because I cannot live without you...It’s not even an option...Just know that until you decide to wake up that I’m not leaving. I’m going to be right here every day and every night...I’m never going to leave you, Georgie. Never. I love you, brat. If you don’t mind, I’m just going to sit here with you for a few minutes longer, but then I’m going to let Will and Anna come in and see you. Your parents will be here soon and they’ll come in to see you as well. I love you, Georgie...”
Squeezing, Georgie’s hand lightly, Skandar rested his forehead against the bed, just taking in the silence around him. Waiting and hoping.