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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Beat of my Heart
By zoe_rachael


Part One

The undeniable sound of rushing wind and the plummeting sensation deep in her core wasn't exactly what she had been hoping to feel her first day back inside a cockpit.

The sound of the 'back seat driver' as she liked to call them, screaming in terror wasn't a welcome experience.

It was indeed all her fault. She knew that she shouldn't be flying a plane, she knew that putting herself in that position, she had practically signed both her own and Lieutenant Raymore's death certificates.

She was too proud, her ego stroked too often. What she deserved was a severe suspension, not a promotion and a convenient reassignment. Not a medal and a medical clearance to ruin even more good men's lives.

The minute she pulled on her flight suite and helmet, she knew something was going to go wrong. It was more than a feeling, it wasn't intuition or anything like that, she just knew she shouldn't be flying. Not that she would ever admit that weakness to anyone.

When it first happened, it was close to the end of the run, and even Raymore didn't notice the slight unintentional sway off-course. At that point she thought it was all going to be okay. All she had to do was a simple double roll before heading back to base.

Or at least she thought it was simple. When it happened again, she was halfway through her second roll, tearing past a tall and thin rock formation, and her hand jerked in reaction.

The result was immediate, and she instantly heard Lieutenant Raymore scream, "What the heck was that Lieutenant?!"

She ignored the comment, trying her hardest to keep the swaying jet on-course. "Report?"

His voice slightly shaking, Raymore answered almost instantly, like he had been patiently awaiting the question. "Damaged right wing; fire in second engine. You need to land this right now!"

"Base is only a few miles North," she protested, still struggling to keep the plane straight, now using two hands on the steering column.

"Negative. We don't have that much time. That engine is going to blow. We need to get the hell outta here."

Nodding even though she knew he couldn't see, she started heading for the ground, putting the jet into a shaky nose-dive. It wasn't long before Raymore screamed again, this time in shock as the remainder of the right wing tore off from the pressure, hitting the tail end as it sailed off behind them.

Knocked off course once again, she couldn't do anything as the jet began spinning out of control, "EJECT! EJECT LIEUTENANT!"

She didn't even have time to radio the base before she pulled.

A second later, she was heading towards the ground as a huge explosion erupted over her head.

The wind was pounding in her ears and she could feel that unmistakable plummeting sensation deep in her core.

"I'm so sorry Janet."

With a smile, the young brunette shrugged on her knee length white coat, "It's not your fault. I'll be okay. Really."

She was lying, even to herself. There was no way, no way in this world that this was even remotely okay. As it was, she tried her hardest to keep the tears from her eyes as she turned away from her superior.

"Lieutenant, you need to talk to someone about this."

Janet turned back, "I will," she said, her voice only a little shaky, "I'll talk to David. I have to tell him anyway."

"Not David. Someone else; someone who can comfort you."

Laughter actually bubbled up at that comment, even if it was bitter "He is capable of comfort, he does have a heart."

"Not from what I've seen."

Rolling her eyes, Janet pulled open the door and strolled out, fighting back the tears that were threatening to spill.

"Lieutenant Fraiser!"

She heard the voice but had no intention of turning to confront her superior officer. This was a personal matter.


He was louder this time, and she had no choice but to turn. The entire room was full of injured patients and medical personnel, most of which were military, just like she was. Disobeying her CO with this many witnesses could result in something she really didn't want to deal with.

So she turned and looked him in the eye, an expression of clear dislike in her gaze.

"Front and centre."

Just as she was about to move towards him, readying herself for the argument she knew would follow, an argument she KNEW she couldn't win, when an alarm sounded overhead.

"Jet down! I repeat, jet down! Medical assistance required in sector 4C. Two men down!"

The message repeated as chaos erupted around her.

Her CO gave her a nod as he headed towards a phone on the wall and she took charge. "Get the kits together! Two teams people, and secure the stretchers on the trucks!" She moved towards the crowd of medics around the supply room, two male nurses inside chucking out bags to each of the waiting medics.

As she approached, the taller of the nurses saw her and grabbed for a slightly larger bag behind him. "Good luck," he said as she grabbed for the bag.

Smiling, she took off, pulling her white coat off and throwing it onto the hook, not caring how it landed.

As she reached the truck, she saw the CMO rushing past her, pulling on his pack and heading for the first truck. Pulling herself into the back, she took a green vest from one of the medics already waiting to go. She pulled it on, catching the zipper and pulling hit up to cover her chest. The vest matched her cargo pants, and she was somewhat glad that she hadn't worn her uniform that day.

"Lieutenant Fraiser, come in," came her CMO's voice from the walkie in the top pocket of the vest.

"Go ahead, doctor."

"We're expecting heavy damage in the area. F-15 exploded during routine test rounds, an investigation into the incident will be going ahead. Make sure you remember everything that is said. It's Lieutenant Raymore and the new pilot, Lieutenant Carter. They ejected close to the ground, so expect head injuries."

She nodded, pulling her bag close as the truck took off at speed, "Who am I taking?"

"Lieutenant Raymore is reported to be in worse condition, so I'll take him. Good luck Lieutenant."

"Thank you, sir. Fraiser out."

At the sight, for as far as she could see, there was devastation. Bits of the F-15 were scattered all over, teams racing around to secure the area.

Lieutenant Raymore was in bad shape from what she could see. Only half of his face was visible, the other covered completely in blood. As they drove past, she could see that he was thankfully unconscious, two airmen surrounding him, putting pressure on his many wounds.

Lieutenant Carter wasn't much better. Unlike Raymore, she was not surrounded by a chute, suggesting she impacted the ground without being slowed down. Her left leg was at an odd angle, clearly broken. To Janet's great surprise, she seemed to have few open wounds. There was a gravel burn on her right shoulder and small scratches along the right side of her face,

Ordering the medic at her side to get her the scissors, she set to work cutting the material of the flight suit away.

When her right arm was revealed, she moved to the Lieutenant's left to continue her examination while a medic cleaned the wound.

While pushing down on the revealed chest and abdomen, a worried look crossed her face. "Internal bleeding," she said softly, sliding her hands back to the pilot's chest, "Perforated lung, clear rib damage... we need to get her back right away."

Leaving her hands, she turned, yelling at a nurse behind her to prep the stretcher. Turning back and continuing to feel around, she was shocked when her patient groaned and opened her eyes.

"Lieutenant Carter, we're going to transport you back to the base. You need surgery," she said, her voice comforting, "How do you feel?"

"Like I'm dying," the blonde replied, closing her eyes again as she groaned.

"Would you like something for the pain?"

It wasn't long before they were back on the truck, Lieutenant Carter groggy from the drugs she had administered.

They set her leg and dressed the shoulder wound on site, and Janet after radioing the CMO Carter's condition, was once again feeling around the blonde's stomach, trying to determine the source of the bleed.

The drugged pilot looked up at her smiling, "In any other circumstance, I think I'd enjoy you trying to feel me up."

Janet had to smile, "You're high," she laughed, trying her hardest not to seem flattered by the comment.

"Yes. But in any case it's not every day a beautiful woman cuts off your clothes and spends minutes on end examining your body."

Against her better judgement, she blushed and winked down at the charming blonde, "Purely professional, I assure you."


Shaking her head and smiling, Janet continued her examination. The remainder of the ride was in silence, Lieutenant Carter succumbing to the drug just as they reached the infirmary.

As it turned out, Lieutenant Raymore's wounds were superficial, so she switched with her CO, cleaning and dressing his many wounds and wrapping both his legs in plaster as Doctor Williams raced Lieutenant Carter off to OR-2.

When she was done, she moved to the locker room, planning on changing from her bloody and sandy clothes and scrub in on the surgery.

Just as she pulled on her dark blue scrub pants and pulled the string tight, the adrenaline rush she had been experiencing seemed to wear off and she collapsed against her locker, her eyes closing.

It all came back to her at that moment, the pain, the dashed hope, the utter sense of loss she seemed to feel for something she didn't even know she had lost until that morning.

It was something she has always wanted, something she had wished for, for all her life. It was something she had hoped could help her marriage, could give both her and her husband something to hang on to, something to hold close when the other wasn't near. But most of all, and secretly, she wanted someone to love her, someone that was hers always, only hers, someone she didn't have to fight for or share with anyone. Someone that would love her unconditionally, a love she didn't have to prove, just a love that was there, no matter what.

Now all how of that was gone, and she was condemned, condemned to a life that she didn't want, a life that she hated, a life she wished she could escape, and all of this because she couldn't have kids.

And with that realisation, she snapped.

To Be Continued

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