Chapter 6

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the North Star

But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

— Bless the Broken Road, Rascal Flatts

Noah was surprised when Bobbie slipped into his room that evening. “I would have thought you were on duty.”

“I am,” she sighed, exhausted. She sat in the chair next to his bed. “But we’ve taken care of everything we can for now. Until the research staff makes some headway, there’s not much else we’ll be able to do.” She rubbed her eyes. “I’ve had a few people in my life come back from the dead, I’m not sure if you know that.”

“It does seem to be a trend in this town,” Noah agreed. “Who’s back this time?”

“I mean, we have an overabundance of people who ought to be six feet under,” Bobbie continued. “Laura came back twice, Carly came back at least once that I can think of, Roy came back, I believe Alan faked his own death at one time, Brenda, Anna came back and Stavros Cassadine–don’t even get me started on that but I felt sure that least Robert Scorpio was dead because he would never leave Robin to grow up without him.”

“But he was alive,” Noah stated.

“And he’s with the organization that’s quarantining the hospital, if you can believe that irony.” Bobbie rubbed her eyes. “And I thought January was the month from hell.”

“Yeah? What happened in January?”

“My son came out,” Bobbie replied. “He told me in the middle of an entire police station that he was gay.” She laughed ruefully. “As if giving me Carly as a child wasn’t enough.”

“Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, Robin,” Robert said, “but you will give me the chance to at least explain what happened.”

“The way you gave me a chance to grow up with my father?” Robin snorted and set a slide onto the stage of her microscope. “Maybe in fourteen years.”

“Robin, you owe me the opportunity–”

“I don’t owe you anything.” Robin slammed her pen down and got to her feet. “You disappear for most of my life and you show up, bark orders at me, treat me like I’m nothing to you and you suddenly decide that I owe you something? Well, I’m sorry, Dad, but we’ve both changed since you died.”

“I left to protect you,” Robert told her. “To protect you and your uncle. I didn’t know for sure that everyone had been killed in the explosion and if they thought I was dead, you would be safe.”

“And you stayed away because?” Robin demanded. “I notice you’re not so focused on protecting me and Uncle Mac that you’re staying away now.”

“Once Anna turned up and regained her memory and no attempted to harm her or you, I knew you would be safe. And by then, it was easier to let you believe I was dead. You had lived more time without me than you had with me.”

“Wow…” Robin shook her head. “I can’t believe that you are my father, I can’t believe that you are the same man that I knew when I was fifteen. I just–” She turned her back. “I have work to do now, so if you’d just leave me alone.”

“I don’t expect you to understand, Robin–”

“Well, good–because I don’t. I don’t get how you can let me believe that you were dead.” She whirled around. “Do you have any idea what I’ve been through since you’ve been gone? My boyfriend died of AIDS, Dad. And I tested positive for HIV.”

Robert exhaled slowly. “I know and it was hard not to come back I found that out but it was for the best, Robin, you must believe that–”

“Uncle Mac was shot, he got married, Dad and he got divorced-and he was burned in a fire. Did you know any of that? Did you even care to find out?”

“There isn’t much I don’t know about you, Robin,” Robert told her. “But it doesn’t change my mind about making the right decision–”

“No, I didn’t think it would because that’s something we still have in common–we’re stubborn.” Robin smiled bitterly. “And I’m pretty damn sure I would like you to leave. Now.”

The door to the lab slid open and Patrick stepped in. At seeing Robin with Robert, he stopped. “I’ll come back.”

“There’s no need, my father was just leaving.” Robin folded her arms. “I just have one more question, before you go. Does Mom know you’re alive? That her marriage to David was invalid because you are still alive?”

Robert sighed. “No, Anna does not know.”

Robin nodded. “I didn’t think so–she would have told me at least.” She flicked her gaze to Patrick. “Did you need something?”

“Ah…,” Unused to discomfort, Patrick shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I was just checking on Robin–her progress, I mean.”
“You can go, now, Dad. We have nothing else to talk about.”

Robert waited a moment but when he realized she wouldn’t relent, he left, brushing past Patrick.

“I haven’t made any progress,” Robin said immediately. “There’s just not enough information and the WHO is being stingy about turning anything over–”

“I’m not–if you’d made any, you would have said something. I saw your dad heading in this direction and I just–” Patrick shifted again, clearly out of his element. “I wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“No, I’m not,” Robin muttered. She sat back on her stool and stared at her fingers. “He stayed away to protect me and when he knew I’d be safe, he’d decided that it was easier to let me believe he was dead. And my mother–” Robin closed her eyes. “Mom doesn’t even know he’s alive. Her marriage is invalid. I mean they’re divorced now but it’s the principle of the thing. You don’t let your wife believe you’re dead, you don’t let your child, your family, the people who love you–” her voice cracked and she put her heads in her hands. “I am so tired of this.”

Patrick approached her and hesitantly put a hand on her shoulder. “I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a parent and then find out that they’ve been alive all along and never told you.”

“It’s like having your whole world ripped out from underneath you,” she murmured. “And he doesn’t even understand why. He’s so damn stubborn, so sure that he’s right.”

“Well, at least now I know where you get it from,” Patrick said. She looked up at him, incredulously. “Sorry–just trying to make you smile.”

“No, you’re right. My uncle Mac’s been saying it for years–I’m just as stubborn as my parents.” She sighed and rubbed her eyes. “Is there any changes in the patients? Do you know Cameron’s status?”

“Everyone’s admitted, we have one or two new cases and Cameron’s fever has leveled at 104.3 the last time I looked in on him. The elderly and the children are being monitored very closely, but no one’s made any improvements.”

“I should go check on them, get a first hand look–maybe there’s something I’m missing.”

Patrick tightened his hand on her shoulder to keep her from rising. “You’re not going anywhere near them.”

“Your son is gay?” Noah repeated. “And why was he in a police station?”

“Because he was beaten up,” Bobbie sighed. “He’s going to counseling to deal with it all and I’m just praying it’s a phase.” She shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about this transplant of yours. Tony says you’ve refused treatment.”

“I’m not going to get a liver that ought to go someone else more deserving–I won’t do that, Bobbie and I’m sure as hell not going to let my son put his life in jeopardy to do so either.”

“Noah, don’t be ridiculous,” Bobbie chastised. “You know the success ratio of a surgery like this–there’s almost no risk to the donor, it’s usually to the person getting the organ, with rejection and all that but Patrick will be safe.”

“Things go wrong all the time in the OR,” Noah shook his head. “Surgeons make mistakes, they lose patients.” He looked towards the wall. “How could I live with myself if my selfishness cost me my son?”

“And how will Patrick be able to live with himself when you die and he could have saved you?” Bobbie demanded. “Oh, you men are all alike–you think you know everything and that you know what’s best. Well, you’re being plain out ridiculous, Noah Drake and I can’t believe you’re going to let your son have your death on his hands.”

Robin bristled. “Excuse me?”

“You’re tired, you haven’t eaten all day and your immune system already isn’t as strong as everyone else’s. There’s no way you’re going anywhere near those patients until you get some sleep and eat.”

“Who do you think you are? You’re not my doctor,” Robin retorted.

“But they are my patients and if you fall sick with this flu, then where will be?” Patrick demanded. “You’re too susceptible to this virus, Robin and I’m not taking the chance that’ll you get sick.”

“Why do you care?” Robin snapped. “If I get sick, they’ll just get another researcher, I’m not irreplaceable–”

“You can’t possibly be this blind,” Patrick all but snarled. He spun her seat around and gripped her shoulders. “Why do you think I don’t want any thing to happen to you?”

A sarcastic comment was on the tip of her tongue but Robin bit it back when she met his eyes and saw something that would go unsaid because it, quite frankly, terrified them both. “Oh.” She bit her lip. “Okay, well–I–I should probably take a break, get something to eat–a nap.”

Patrick released her. “You do that, I’ll go do another round on the patients and check in on Cameron.”


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