Revolving Doors Chapter 2

Republisher’s Note: A different set of circumstances guide Manny through similar scenes after Michelle gets Mick to the hospital.

Author’s Note: PG-13 for some Language

Revolving Doors by KDiane – Chapter 2

Danny’s mind was a blur as he tried to focus on what the nurse had just told him. He walked toward the girl sitting in the waiting room. “Hello, I’m Danny Santos, Mick was….is my brother”, Danny’s voice cracked with emotion.

Danny looked at the girl standing before him. He stared into her eyes. He became lost in them. What color were they? Like Dark Chocolate. Warm. They represented life. Not the life of tubes and machines he had just left in the other room. He broke away from those eyes and remembered where he was, why he was there. This place. It represented death to him. Papa’s death. Would it soon also represent Mick’s death?

He watched the girl react to what the nurse was saying. She seemed..nervous..or …flustered…or was it just embarrassed? She shook his hand. Such warm hands. What was the old saying? …Warm hands, cold heart. Not her, definitely not her.

Michelle wasn’t sure how to react to this man. She hadn’t expected Mick to have a family. She was only staying to find out his condition and now she had to make sure she didn’t bring any negative attention to herself. She looked into his eyes and for a brief moment she forgot all about the events of the day. She introduced herself, “Hi, I’m Michelle Bauer. I…I’m sorry about your brother.”

Michelle…Michelle…he knew he had heard that name before. It couldn’t be the same girl. Mick had talked about a girl named Michelle. Some bimbo at Millennium. This couldn’t be the same one. Mick had talked of her in locker room terminology. Cunt. Fuck. Pussy. Could this possibly be the same girl? Mick raved about her looks, her body. He had bragged about how she was after him, flirting with him. He’d had plans for her. Danny shuddered at the thought of what his brother could have done to this girl.

He focused his attention back to what the nurse had told him. “Thank you for helping Mick.”

“I…I’m glad I happened to find him. I was at the Lighthouse and I found him when I went for a walk on the beach,” Michelle tried to make her voice sound as normal as possible, she knew she wasn’t a very good liar.

The Lighthouse. The image brought back memories of he and Mick. They used to break into the place when they were kids. They hadn’t been there in years. Not since it was bought and remodeled by the….

The Bauers. The Bauers owned it. He stared at her again. Recognition of her name, her status, of who she represented to him came flooding into his brain. No, she definitely was not the girl Mick had talked about. Danny had known girls like her when he had gone to college. He remembered how they had reacted to the name Santos.

Danny realized he was staring at Michelle.

Michelle had hardly taken a breath since Danny had walked into ER. He was studying her with such intensity she felt he could see right through her. Could he tell she was covering up? She didn’t see how.

“Have you talked to anyone about your brother’s condition?” Michelle asked trying to get him to stop staring at her.

Danny shook himself out of his daze and answered, “What?…No, the nurse said the doctor would be out soon. Do you know who that might be?”

A smile flashed across Michelle’s face as she responded, “Uh…that would be my brother Rick…he’s in charge of ER.”

At that moment, Rick Bauer walked out of the double doors that led to ER. He paused to talk to the duty nurse, who pointed at Danny. Rick proceeded to walk toward him until he stood facing Danny. “Mr. Santos, your brother is in pretty bad shape.”

Danny frowned as he spoke, “How bad? Was he shot?”

Rick responded, “No, he sustained a fairly severe blow to the head. He’s still in coma. He was having difficulty breathing, so we put him on a respirator. Currently we have classified him in critical condition.”

Danny interrupted, “How long will he be unconscious?”

“Right now it’s a waiting game. I can’t give you any guarantees. We’ll be taking him up to ICU in a few minutes. You’ll be able to see him then. I’ll let you know when we do that.” Rick used his professional demeanor as he spoke. He still didn’t seem to have noticed Michelle, who was standing a little behind him and to the left.

“Do you know if the police have any suspects?,” Danny asked.

“No, I have nothing to do with the official investigation,” as Rick finished the sentence, he turned to go back into the ER when his gaze fell upon Michelle. His mouth dropped open and he said, “Michelle, honey, what are you doing here?”

Michelle stammered, “Well, I…I was the one who found Mick.”

“Did you know this guy?”, Rick was surprised that his little sister knew or even had any knowledge of a member of the mob.

Michelle looked down at the floor and mumbled, “Well,…he worked for Jesse down at Millennium.”

Both Rick and Danny stared at her. Rick’s stare turned into a look of disgust as he was reminded again of the kind of people her relationship with Jesse Blue had brought into his little sister’s life. “Michelle, I think we need to have a serious talk about the kind of people you’re becoming involved with”, with that said, Rick walked back into ER.

Michelle looked up at Danny and said, “I’m sorry my brother was so rude, he usually isn’t so quick to judge people. My mother always taught me not to prejudge people and that’s how I’ve always tried to live my life.”

Danny stared at her in amazement because it suddenly became quite obvious that Michelle could possibly be and probably was the Michelle that Mick had talked about. And yet she wasn’t. She was so far removed from the girl that Mick had described, he almost laughed at the irony of it all. He knew, too, that she was nothing like those girls he’d known in college.

Danny shrugged and said, “It comes with the territory, don’t worry about it. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman.”

“She was. She died when I was young, but she had a very strong influence on my life,” Michelle’s voice trembled as she remembered her mom.

Danny noticed Michelle’s eyes tear up and then added, “I didn’t know you knew Mick.”

She blushed and said, “Well, my boyfriend manages the club and I met him while he worked there.” She tried to make it sound as matter-of-fact as possible. Michelle watched Danny for any sense that he suspected the truth.

“Oh, I see,” was all Danny had to say.

“Well, I’m glad Mick has someone to be with him now, I guess I’ll go home, I’m kind of tired.” Michelle knew she needed to get out of the hospital before he started asking more probing questions.

Rick once again emerged from ER. He looked at Michelle with concern and said, “Michelle, I’m surprised you’re still here. I’d like to talk to you when I’m finished with Mr. Santos.”

He then turned to Danny and said, “Mr. Santos, your brother is being moved upstairs. You may accompany him and stay a few minutes if you wish.”

Danny thought of his mother and knew she would soon be breathing down his neck for answers. He pressed Rick for a few more details. “I need to call my mother and let her know what’s happened. She’s out of town, but I was hoping to be able to tell her a little more. How’s my brother doing?”

Rick began again, “As I said before, we just have to wait to see the extent of his injuries. Head trauma is difficult to predict. Right now, his brain is swollen. There has also been a lot of inner-cranial bleeding.”

Danny’s face fell for a moment as he took this in.

Rick noticed and then added, “I don’t mean to alarm you. On the positive side, his heartbeat seems to be strong and steady. I don’t think he’s in any imminent danger.”

Rick’s last few statements seemed to satisfy Danny.

Danny turned his attention to Michelle. He smiled at her, looking at her with the same intensity as before and said, “Thank you again for what you did and I’ll be talking to you soon.”

It wasn’t exactly what Michelle had wanted to hear. She wanted nothing more to do with Mick or his family and now she knew that was impossible.

“OK”, was about all Michelle could manage to say.

At that moment, the gurney carrying Mick emerged from ER. Danny raised his left hand, saluted at the both of them, as if to say both thank you and good-bye. He then turned and followed the gurney down the hall.

Rick escorted Michelle to his office. She knew that he had a lot of questions. She could tell she was in for it now.

“Rick, can’t this wait till later? I’m really tired. I just want to go home and go to bed.” Michelle didn’t need this on top of everything else that had happened tonight.

“Do you know who those people are?” Rick was almost screaming at her.

“Look, I only knew Mick before tonight. I told you that. Who are they anyway?” She asked in confusion.

“They’re, you know, mobsters, Michelle,” Rick said.

“What do you mean? Like in The Godfather or something?” Michelle said with a sense of disbelief. She had always thought the movies tended to exaggerate things.

“The Santos family is one of the biggest crime families in Springfield. I’ve had more to do with them than I care to as head of ER,” Rick said sarcastically.

“Every time there’s a powerplay between the crime families, we see the results right here. I could care less if the members of the mob kill each other off, but when the innocent get hurt that is when it really bothers me,” Rick continued with passion in his voice.

Michelle longed to scream out, “I’m the innocent, I was hurt” But all she could manage to say was, “I didn’t know about the Santos family.” Then she added, “I knew Mick was…is a creep, but Danny seems different somehow.”

“Don’t let his polished exterior fool you, Michelle. He was raised to be a cold-blooded killer. Just like his father before him. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Danny Santos here at the hospital. When I was in medical school, Dad treated Danny’s father. Dad did his best, but there wasn’t anything he could do,” Rick said in a somewhat softened voice.

“You mean his father died?”, Michelle asked incredulously. She realized that she and Danny had something in common. They had both lost a parent at a relatively young age. Now, he might be loosing his brother as well. She couldn’t let herself think about that right now.

“Yes. And you would think they would learn something about this circle of violence that surrounds their family,” Rick said with no sympathy in his voice, just disgust.

“Rick, what is the point you’re trying to make?” Michelle demanded.

“I just want you to stay away from these people. I don’t like the kind of people that you’re meeting at Millennium. I wish Jesse was more concerned for your safety,” Rick said.

He had a frown on his face and Michelle knew he was unhappy with some of the choices she had made in the past. What would he think if he really knew what had happened?

“Look…… I’m not attracted to these kind of people. I didn’t know Mick was a member of the mob. I just happened to find Mick on the beach and I didn’t mean to meet Danny. I just wanted to find out how Mick was doing. I have no intention of seeking out the Santos family, although from what Danny said, he’s expecting to talk to me about what happened to Mick. Don’t be surprised if you see us together. Just know I do not intend to make a habit of it. I hope this keeps you from worrying about me.” Michelle was hoping that what she was saying would be the truth.

“Michelle… I’m sorry if I jumped to the wrong conclusions here, but I’m just concerned about you. I haven’ seen much of you lately and I feel kind of guilty that I haven’t taken better care of you,” Rick’s voice seemed to calm down.

“Rick, I’m so glad you are my big brother and that you are here for me. I’ll talk you to later when I’m a bit more coherent. I’ll see you at home, OK?” With that said Michelle left Rick’s office to go to her car.

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