© Beloved Doll
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As the day turns into the night, a few nurses enter Maria`s room at the hospital. Two of them begin to change Maria`s bandages for fresh ones and to check on the progress of her healing. A third nurse takes notice that Maria is still unresponsive and thus, hasn`t had any nourishment. She calls up the doctor to see what they ought to do. Between the two of them, the decision is made that an IV should be set up for Maria. No nourishment would mean that her body would not have the "fuel" it would need to heal and function.
Before the night is over, the doctor comes in to Maria`s room and gets an IV set up for her. As one of the nurses sets a bag up on a hanger by the bed that is attached to the tube, the doctor picks up Maria`s record papers and updates it with the information about the IV being added to Maria. Then she sets the papers back into the slot on the end of the bed and gives a final check over of the setup. Satisfied that everything is in order, the doctor leaves the room with the nurses for the night, leaving Maria to herself.
Shadow has set up his new base of operations in the park in front of the hospital. He tries to pass himself off as a prospective student to eliminate too much suspicion. Now that it is night, he carefully hides his belongings in the tree he usually rests in and starts to stealthily cross the grassy outsides of the front garden surrounding the hospital.
Looking around, he is careful to stay out of the light. Best keep his presence here a minimum as far as anyone would know. Spotting the tree he had planned to scale earlier in the day, he leaps upon it and begins to climb rather expertly. In his jacket pocket is an envelope containing the letter and money necessary for Maria`s care. Reaching the top, he carefully brings himself forwards. The branch is fairly thick and supports his weight as he sits there, hunched forwards. Just seeing her puts Shadow at ease. He tenderly looks through the glass at Maria, watching as she sleeps there. His eyes close a little, relaxing. Things are as they should have been; she is receiving medical care from qualified professionals.
Indeed she is in the best hospital she could be in this area. He had caught sight earlier of a nurse that had came in earlier to groom Maria. They are certainly taking care of her and doing their best to not leave out any details. The IV, though, would be a new sight for Shadow to see attached to Maria. It is attached to her arm, in which said arm is laid out straight to her side on the bed. The tube is long enough so that if she were to move, the tube would have room to move with her.
One problem still remains, what of her disease? Doubtful that simply being frozen for 50 years has cured her of it. Granted the hospital is very sterile and she should be all right here for a while, but she can`t live in a hospital for the rest of her life. Then again, Gerald once told Shadow that one of his purposes for creation was that he would be a cure for Maria`s disease. But how would Shadow cure that disease? He was no doctor and whatever plan Gerald had was lost. Even if a cure still isn`t in obvious sight, the world of medicine had evolved over time since Shadow`s time on the Arc. Is it possible they have come up with some way that would buy them time until Shadow found this miraculous way to cure Maria?
Shadow fully acknowledges the fact that it was this very disease that forced her to remain on the Arc space station for her survival and health to prevent the disease from killing her outright and to slow it down for the cure. She was somewhat fragile in that sense. Perhaps if he wrote it down, he could convey the message to the doctors. Feeling a bit adventurous, he carefully creeps forwards on the tree branch and opens the window. Stealthily, he leaps in and quickly shuts the window behind him. His presence here is to remain unknown or at least closely unknown.
Nearing Maria`s bed side, Shadow starts to kneel down beside it, looking tenderly at Maria. How he wants to remain sitting there, spending all his time with her. Even more so, did he want her to suddenly, and miraculously, be in good health and spending time with him. However, such is an impossibility...Eggman had seen to that, putting her in an even worse state of health than what she already was. For an hour, he sits there looking to her, clasping her hand very gently with both of his own. Eventually, on the bed side near the paper that holds her records, he sets the envelope. Written, he added a simple, brief message:
"Maria Robotnik has NIDS and needs to remain in good health."
Shadow obviously doesn`t spell it out completely, he in truth doesn`t know all about the disease. He has only a brief understanding of medical knowledge. Letting out a sigh, he starts to near the window, turning around to look upon Maria before he leaves. Unlike the previous time that Shadow had seen her here, Maria`s face is facing to the window tonight. Her facial expression still looks scared but seems to be less intensely so as it was when Shadow first found her at Eggman`s base. It is hard to believe that the two of them are actually related. Maria was always so kind-hearted and sweet...Whereas Eggman was always heartless and wanted to rule over everything. At least with Maria back in the hospital and Shadow around to watch over her, she will have a chance and is much safer now.
Shadow pulls out from the hospital, very hesitantly. She looks so beautiful, so tender, laying there on the bed. However, he knows better than to stay here for too long. He`d be suspected for doing something in poor taste on sight. Opening the window slowly and quietly, he carefully steps onto the thick, gnarled branch before him and balances himself. He begins to feel an ache within him to have to leave Maria`s side. He would much rather be able to be in the room with her throughout her stay at the hospital.
After climbing down the tree, Shadow walks off. It isn`t cold at all and he doubts anything bad would happen if he leaves the window open. He would be able to see it. It would be good for Maria to have some fresh air in her room anyway. Slowly, he starts to walk back to his spot in the park, acting as if nothing had happened.
As the sun is rising, everyone is getting themselves mobilized for their day`s tasks. The doctor that is taking care of Maria enters her room. Maria still seems to be laying peacefully in the bed, so the doctor conducts a few simple tests on the girl to track progress of her wounds and to look for any signs of returning life. Once the tests are done, she pulls out the papers from the slot at the end of Maria`s bed and starts recording in the test results and the updated information on Maria`s healings. As the doctor slips the papers back down in the slot, she notices the envelope. Curious, she picks it up and opens the envelope. She is surprised to see money inside and a note. The doctor quickly pulls out the note to read it.
"To whomever is taking care of Maria,
It is best that I am not openly seen visiting Maria, for her and my safety. She`s a big target for a few particular people and I want you, the hospital, to ensure her safety and wellbeing, and to give her the best care possible. That being said, I`ve left money in this envelope hoping it will be enough to pay for the medical costs and to ensure you`ll keep her in good company.
~ Anonymous Guardian"
That is all that could be read. It is written in plain, but neat, uniform writing. Simple so it couldn`t be misread. And there was quite a bit of money there at that. Whoever left it must really have been serious in hoping Maria the best care.
Looking between the money left and the papers on Maria`s history at the hospital, the doctor finds that the money left is the exact amount that the bill is going to be. The doctor looks back to the envelope and finds an additional note about Maria having NIDS. The doctor drops her mouth open at this. She quickly moves to the phone in the room and dials the main desk. She sends them an immediate order of some pills to send up right away for Maria. There will be additional charges for the pills that Maria will need but these new pills are to help her cope with her disease and would allow her to live longer.