Title: A Sudden End
Pairing/s: none yet
Character/s: Gwen, Elyan, Tom, Gaius, Merlin
Summary: There was a sudden change in Tom’s condition.
Warnings: character death
Word Count: 824
Prompt: 173 Lullaby
Author's Notes: Where The Heart Wanders #4
A Sudden End
Gwen was waiting for Elyan when he got home. She was sitting on the stairs, blocking his usual escape from her.
“Why didn’t you tell me Dad was ill?” Gwen asked.
“He didn’t want you to worry. He said the treatment would take care of it. He told me not to call you.” Elyan said.
“He almost collapsed. What is it?” Gwen waited for Elyan to finish shuffling on his feet. “Tell me or I will find out from Gaius.”
“He has a thing in his head. They can’t operate so he’s doing the treatments.” Elyan said. “He didn’t really explain it to me that well.”
“I think you just weren’t listening like you always do.” Gwen spat back at him. “If he has a brain tumor and it must be chemotherapy for the treatment. Elyan, this is serious. He could die.”
“He said the treatment would make him better.” Elyan shrugged. “I believe him. You should too.”
“I’m going to check on him. There are some leftovers in the fridge.” Gwen stood up and started up the stairs. “Don’t eat all the cookies. Dad hasn’t had any yet.”
“Thanks Gwen.” Elyan hesitated. “I’m sorry I should have told you.”
“Yes. You should have.” Gwen said at the top of the stairs.
Gwen rounded the corner to her Dad’s room and knocked on the door. It was unlocked so she went inside. Tom was on the floor. He had blood coming out of his nose and he was very still.
“Dad!” Gwen went down on her knees beside her father. “Can you hear me?” She checked for a pulse and found a weak one. “Elyan! Call 999! Now!”
A moment later, Elyan came to the door with his mobile phone in his hand. “They want to know his condition.”
Gwen took the phone. “He’s unresponsive and his pulse is weak and breathing erratic. He has been undergoing treatment for a tumor in his brain. … Right.” She put the phone on the floor. “Elyan, go wait out front.”
Elyan left the room and Gwen did the only thing she knew. She slipped into ‘nurse mode’ and kept a close eye on his pulse and breathing.
An few hours later, Tom was in a private room attached to monitors. He looked pale and he hadn’t regained consciousness.
Gaius stood at the doorway with Gwen and Elyan. “It doesn’t look like the treatments did any good. You should say your goodbyes. I’m afraid he want last till morning.”
“Go on Elyan. I want to talk to Gaius a moment.” Gwen said. She put her hand on the old doctor’s arm and guided him away from the doorway. “How long has he been like this?”
“Six months. The tumor was shrinking but it seems that was only temporary. He isn’t in any pain.” Gaius rubbed Gwen’s arm. “Is there anyone you want me to call? I could call Merlin to sit with you.”
“No. Does he have a standing order?” Gwen asked.
“Yes he does.” Gaius said.
“Thank you Gaius. I think we will just sit with him until he passes. We will call if we need anything.” Gwen took a breath to collect herself.
“I know this is a hard thing to deal with after just coming home but it’s good that you are here.” Gaius patted her cheek. “He and I had a plan. I was supposed to call you in London if he got to this point.”
“It would have been better had you told me straight away. We lost Mom five years ago and now Dad.” Gwen sighed. “This is too soon.”
“Life doesn’t care about those things, Gwen. You must deal with it as it comes.” Gaius said. “I know it’s a tough thing to hear but it is true.”
Gwen nodded. She went back to the room where her father lay and sat by his bed.
Elyan paced the floor at the end of the bed. “Why didn’t he say it was this bad?”
“I suppose he didn’t want us to worry. Sit down and hold his hand.” Gwen pointed to the stool on the other side of the bed.
Elyan sat down and picked up toms hand. He looked at Gwen and bowed his head
Gwen started to hum a lullaby that her mother had sang to them when they were children. She looked over at Elyan and realized he was crying. She checked the monitors and started to hum again. It was all that she could do for her father now.
When the monitors alerted them that his heart had stopped, Gwen turned them off and sat quietly until the nurse came in to record the time.
Merlin came to the room as soon as the nurses called him. He put his hand on Elyan’s shoulder and went to put his arms around Gwen. He motioned for them to leave the room so the nurses could prepare Tom’s body.