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War of the Heart

Summary:
Lieutenant General Charlie Swan moves his family to Forks while he and his sons our deployed to Iraq. Can the Cullens & the Hales help Bella survive while her whole family is on tour overseas? What happens when the only family member she can rely on runs away? Or when a brother is injured in a road side explosion? Thanks to XxBleedingSoulxX for the amazing banner :) NOTE!! I'VE GIVEN UP UPDATING ON THIS SITE, IF YOU WISH TO KEEP READING YOU CAN FIND THE STORY AT FANFICTION. THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE.


Notes:
Everything belongs to the one and only Stephanie Meyer.


14. I'd Come For You

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2828   Review this Chapter

Chapter 14 – I’d Come for You

My body went numb trying to process what was happening. Why now? Things were just settling into a routine, I was beginning to let my guard down and was genuinely happy, for once. But none of that seemed to matter; now all I could think was who? Which one of them was it?

I held my breath as the sergeant continued to talk. “Bella, there’s been an accident.” He said, removing his drill sergeant hat and placing it over his heart. “A Taliban suicide bomber struck a car carrying 8 soldiers in Pakistan this morning. Six of them were killed on impact and one died on root to hospital. Bella your brother, Private Austin Swan, was hurt in the line of duty. Out of the eight, he was the only survivor. Although he’s in real rough shape, he just barely survived the explosion, and it’s still touch and go...”

“What?” I gasped, barely able to get the words out, I just couldn't comprehend that this was actually happening. My chest was heaving now, the tears falling faster, soaking the top of my costume. I was so distracted I didn't even notice when Jasper pulled me tightly into his arms.

He pressed my back against his chest and crossed my arms with his in a criss-cross over my chest. I was having a panic attack, and he was trying his best to calm me down.

“Breathe, Bella. Breathe for me, darlin’. You need to calm down.” he whispered to me as he held me tightly in his embrace.

I tried to focus and copy Jasper’s breathing pattern, he was right, I needed to calm down... this wasn’t the time for freaking out yet, I needed to stay strong. My family needed me right now.

“Where is he? Where are you taking him?” I gasped, after calming down enough to find my voice again.

“He was first transferred to the American military hospital in Iraq, but as soon as they got him stabilized, he was transported by helicopter to the St. Vixen hospital in Germany. The last we heard, he was being discharged and flown back home, to the Seattle Grace Hospital so that a group of specialists could help work on him. They already have a team being prepped as we speak, and as soon as he lands there going to rush him into surgery. We weren’t informed of the full extent of his injuries; they just told us his legs took the brunt of the shock.” Seattle... I could probably make the trip in five hours and be there by four tomorrow morning if I left in the next half hour...

“He’ll probably be arriving any moment at Seattle Grace Hospital, you can find him there. What can we do to help you Miss Swan?” they asked.

“Has my father and brothers been contacted?” I whispered.

“Word has been sent to them, yes. They’ll most likely call as soon as their in reach of a phone.” I nodded my head, I doubt any of them would be able to come in time, if at all, so I’d have to handle this myself.

Standing there was just making me anxious, I had to move, I had to do something, being here was just wasting time. I had to get out of here; I couldn't listen to them anymore they didn't know anything and I was wasting time being here when I should be on the road to Seattle. So I just took off in a mad dash for the house, not bothering to turn around for the people calling out after me as I threw open the front door to the house.

Sobs rocked my body, as I climbed up the stairs to pack some things. I tripped many times, once most likely leaving a bruise, but at that point I was so numb, I couldn't feel anything. The thought made me cry harder.

I packed a change of clothes, not carrying if they matched or not, a tooth brush, and other essentials in a bag, still shaking with tears. Once I was done, I tried to calm myself down before I had to face Jasper again. It wasn’t working very well. I tried not to think of my current situation, just concentrate on getting to Seattle.

“Bella, I really don't think it’s a good idea for you to be traveling alone right now, I really think you should take someone with you...” he said, I shook my head; “Okay then, will you at least allow me or Rose to come with you then?” He asked, standing in my doorway as I continued to run around throwing the last few things in my bag.

“Jasper, you can help me by staying here by the phone,” I said, facing him. “That’s the biggest thing you can do for me right now. I need someone here in case my father or one of my brother’s calls. I don't think they know too much, and I don't have a way of contacting them other then writing a letter, so please just stay here and talk to them if they call.”

“Of course.” He sighed, giving me a hug. “Just promise me if you need anything you’ll call, okay?” I nodded as I buried my head into his shoulder.

“I promise,” I whispered, kissing his cheek before grabbing my bag and heading for the door.

I hopped in my truck, throwing my bag in the passenger seat. But before pulling out of the driveway, I took one last glance at the house; life as I know it was about to change yet again...

*****

The entire drive to Seattle was miserable and long. It was the hardest drive I ever made. The hours seemed to creak by, and I found myself unable to drive fast enough in my mad dash to get there. It took forever to find the hospital, and when I did I wasn’t welcome with a very warm affection. The nurse at the front desk looked more irritated than anything else.

“Umm, hello?” I asked, clearing my throat in an attempt to gain her attention.

“How can I help you?” she asked, not even bothering to look up from her computer.

“I was told that Private Austin Swan had been flown here?” I said, my voice trembling.

“Are you a member of his direct family?” she asked, finally turning towards me.

“Yes, he’s my brother?” I said, making it sounded more like a question.

“Okay, he’s in surgery right now so take a seat in the waiting room and an attending will be out to talk to you shortly.”

I sighed frustrated, could this girl care any less? I wanted to yell, scream, cry, something! But I decided that probably wouldn’t achieve anything, so I grudgingly went to the waiting room, curling up into a ball on one of the chairs.

*****

An hour had passed by, and not a single soul had come out to talk to me with news on my brother. A couple times I tried to approach the receptionist, but she’d just wave me off and feed me some line about how they’d be out as soon as they knew something.

I just didn't understand why no one was telling me anything. Was that a good thing or bad thing? I needed answers, and I needed them soon! I just couldn't believe how fast my life has done a 360°! Seven hours ago I was worrying about whether or not I was going to lose my best friend to some blond floozy, and now I was a sixteen year old girl, all alone in a strange city, solely responsible for making my brothers medical decisions! If that wasn’t enough to cause a nervous breakdown, then I don't know what is.

Waiting was the hardest part. It let my mind wander to all the possibilities, the number of things that could go wrong. No one was telling me anything, but I knew in my heart it was bad. I could just feel it.

Finally I got frustrated enough I just exploded. “I’ve been waiting for an hour, can someone just tell me what the hell is going on?!” I yelled. “Please...”

Just then, a doctor, still in scrubs, approached me. “Miss Swan?” he asked; I nodded.

“Bella, call me Bella.” I said, standing up. How’s he doing, how’s my brother?” I asked, holding my breath, not sure of what was to come.

“My name is Dr. Eric Maniago, I was one of the general surgeons on your brother’s case he’s actually just finishing up surgery right now. We had to perform an incredibly invasive surgery, his blood was having a hard time flowing to and from his heart, and so it was of great importance that we removed the clotted blood out around his heart. That was actually the easy part.” He sighed, pausing for a moment to remove his cap.

“Bella, I'm not sure how much they’ve told you but his legs are in pretty rough shape. His legs were crushed during the explosion; many of the bones in his left leg were shattered on impact. Before we can worry about the neurological aspects, we need to get his legs in an anatomically correct position. His Lower limbs were left exposed and we still need to remove the dead skin before we can insert the metal rods to help reset his legs.” I didn't understand. Neurological aspects? Anatomically correct? Why was he talking in gibberish? God I wish Carlisle was here; actually I’d settle for pretty much anybody right about now...

“I don't understand Dr. Maniago, is he going to be okay or not?”

“The good news is we successfully remove the clots around his heart, so that hurdle has been cleared. However his legs are a whole other story. There is a very high possibility that he may never be able to reclaim use of them. There’s even a chance that he might lose them.” He sighed. “The damage has been isolated to his legs and he has been sedated and he will most likely remain unresponsive until the sedative wears off. Bella, the main thing is that he wasn’t strong enough to perform surgery on his heart and legs, so we will most likely schedule a surgery for his lower limbs as soon as he’s strong enough. Are main goal at this point is doing everything possible to save his legs and refrain from amputation.” Oh God! Austin can’t lose his legs, he’s so active it would kill him to have that taken away! I gasped

“Dr. Maniago, there’s just one thing I don’t understand... if Austin wasn’t doing so well then why did they risk flying him back home? Shouldn’t he have stayed overseas?” I asked, confused as to why the military would jeopardize my brother’s safety, considering his fragile state of health and all.

“There’s only a certain matter of time before he loses complete function of his legs. They sent him here in hopes that are specialists would be able to help him save his legs. We’re still fighting the clock, but we can’t do anything until he stabilizes from his previous surgery, and as I said, there’s no guarantee whether or not he’ll be able to walk again.” The doctor explained. Disability, severe injury or death; apparently these were his only three options left at this point.

I sniffled and looked up at the doctor, “what should we expect next?”

He sighed, rubbing his head. “We need to remove the splints off his legs so we can insert the rods. The faster we get him back into surgery, the better.”

I nodded, “can I see him?” I whispered.

*****

Dr. Maniago led me to my brother’s room. Doctors and nurses were coming and going, but none of that mattered as I drowned out everyone’s voices. All I could focus on was the shattered and damaged body of my brother. He looked so vulnerable lying there. I tried my best to look away, but I couldn't. He was so broken and helpless.

I remembered Carlisle telling us stories the other week of patients being able hear people talking to them, when they were unresponsive. So I pulled up a chair and took his hand in my own. A few stray tears fell as I looked down at his listless white palm in my hand.

“Hey Austin, It’s me Bella...” I mumbled, tears starting to trickle down my face. “I need you to make it through this big brother, I really need you. I missed you so much these past few months, you have no idea. I don't care what they say, you’re going to make it through this, and I'm going to be right here the entire time.”

I felt so useless just sitting there while my brother lied their writhing in pain, I didn't know what to do, I felt do hopeless. ‘God please, please, please let him be okay... God please just let him make it through this; please I need my brother...’ I prayed; as I leaned down and kissed my brothers cheek.

“I'm not going to leave you Austin. I'm going to be right here holding your hand through all of it. I'm not going to leave your side. We can make it through this. You can make it through this.” I murmured as I rubbed soothing circles in the psalm of his hand.

I choked back my own tears as I watched my big brother unconsciously riffling around in pain. I leaned down, wrapping my arms around him. “It’s okay, Austin, it’ll all be okay...” I said, speaking softly, still not knowing whether or not he could hear me.

I didn't really know what to say. What do you say to a man who just lost seven of his brothers, the men he’s spent fighting and defending our country with for the past three months? What do you say to a man who might never walk again? How do you tell your brother that he may not even be able to keep his legs? The answer was I had no clue. So I just continued to hold his hand and whisper soothing and encouraging things to him.

I would do anything to trade places with him. I just couldn't stand seeing him vulnerable like that. Anytime I’ve ever seen my brother, he’s always been so strong, tough and full of energy; full of life. The world needed Austin. Our family needed Austin. I needed Austin.

*****

I refused to move away from the side of Austin’s bed, I didn't want to leave him for one second. I was scared if I blinked he would be gone.

I was sitting beside Austin; when I was awaken from my thoughts, by a movement in his arm. “Austin...” I cried, he was awake, thank god! “Austin, it’s me, Bella. Don't try and talk, they have a breathing tube down your throat. Everything’s going to be okay.” I said soothingly, as I placed my hands on either side of his face, trying to get him to look me in the eyes.

That’s when his heart rate monitor started going crazy. His arms were flailing, and he was desperately trying to move his legs.

“Austin, your legs are hurt. Don't try and move them.” I warned.

But he wouldn’t stop. He was thrashing his whole torso and attempt to move them. He reopened many of the wounds, and there was blood everywhere.

“Help!” I cried. “I need a doctor in here!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.

“He’s woken up” one of the doctors yelled.

“Give him 5cc’s of codeine, stat!” another one cried.

“He’s having a Fight or Flight response. His brain being starved for oxygen and he’s panicking! We gotta get him into surgery now!” the first one called. As the nurses came scurrying in, getting the hospital bed ready for transportation back to the O.R. I was frozen still; all I could do was watch the scene play on helplessly.

“Come on honey,” a nurse s.aid, successfully waking me from my frozen state. She took hold of my shoulders trying to pull me out of the room.

“No! What’s happening?! I need to know what’s happening!” I yelled, thrashing against the nurses arms. One of the male residents came over and took old of my arms and lifting me out of the room and carried me back to the waiting room.

“No, no, no, no! Please!” I screamed, my legs giving out as I fell to the floor on my knees. My head fell into my hands as I started sobbing.

I just leaned against the wall, and sunk down to the floor whispering at this point, I wasn’t above pleading. “Please God; I’ll do anything, just don't let my brother die.”