The tricky thing about working in a hospital is that, once you've got a crisis going on, there's very little time to be taking breaks to, say, eat. Or drink. Or cool off due to eh, let's say temperatures of maybe 84 degrees Fahrenheit. And that was an estimate, the last time Will had chance to check was a few hours ago.
"Last one coming in!" Maggie shouted up, dropping the phone onto the base again and watching the doors with her breath held. Will and Connor emerged from a room panting and tugging off old gloves to replace them with a fresh pair.
The side issue to this huge catastrophe of a main problem was also that, on top of the lack of breaks for any sort of self care, you rarely got a proper idea of the state of a patient before they were inside the ward. Sure, the paramedics would give you some details- critical condition, stable but high risk, cardiac distress -but they can only be so detailed when their main concern is keeping the person alive. And with a mass case of severe sunstroke, it really was a lottery.
"You think this is really the last one or are they fucking with us?" Will said, albeit quietly, to Connor. His counterpart laughed, snapping the band of the glove back against his wrist with a flourish.
"You can never be certain, can you?" Connor turned to look at Will and grinned, both if them holding their hands just far enough away from their body so that they could ensure there wasn't a risk of contamination.
"I'm actually going to die of thirst, if I can't get a drink soon" Will complained, shaking his head with a grin on his face, regardless.
Connor was about to respond with something incredibly witty, he was certain, but they were cut off by the arrival of the patient. One of the paramedics was hurrying alongside the gurney with the majority of this kid's clothes bundled up in their arms.
"Temperature is 104, pulse is weak, the patient is a 10 year old male; he seized in the ambulance on the way here and I administered .15 of Midazolam" one of them was reeling off information and Connor and Will were following along as the wheeled the child into a spare room and transferred him to the bed.
"We've got it from here, thank you." Connor nodded to one of them, who nodded and dropped the clothes on the chair before leaving. "I need cool packs under the armpits, on the groin and on the back of his neck!" He called, one of the nurses was already on it though. Will was attaching wires to the patient's chest to hook him up to the heart rate monitor.
The kid's temp started to come down quickly once the cool packs were in place, and the heart rate slowed in tandem, Connor let out a sigh of relief as he checked the numbers on the thermometer again just to make sure he was actually seeing it. Will was stripping his gloves off with a pleased look on his face.
"Numbers are improving." Will spoke evenly, Connor himself was starting to struggle to catch his breath.
"Yeah." He responded quietly, a throbbing in his head becoming all too clear now that the patient wasn't as dire. He was watching the numbers dance around the screen, if he was honest, and there was this dreadful ringing sound in his ears. He could feel the strength draining out of his feet, like someone had turned on a tap, and his knees were starting to buckle.
Will frowned, watching Connor grip the end of the bed as he stared at the floor, swaying. He gave Connor a concerned look.
"I...I think." He spoke like he wasn't sure of what he was saying, knitting his brows together as he struggles to focus his eyes. Taking a few moments to try and slow his breathing, he tried again. "Uhm, I...I'm gonna-"
Will, misunderstanding, made a quick move to grab the pink emesis tray from on top of the shelves, but when he turned back to Connor he watched his legs give.
Connor's shoulder smacked against the floor, head lolling as his body went completely limp. Will cursed as quietly as he could manage before he crouched next to him and pressed two fingers to his neck to try and find his pulse. It was weak but steady,, and he was hot to the touch.
"Can someone give me a hand in here?!" Will shouted through the curtains, Choi yanking them open seconds later and raising an eyebrow at the sight before him.
"What happened?" He spoke so calmly that it was almost contagious, and Will felt some of the nervous energy dissipate.
"I think it's heat stroke, he was fine a few moments ago but the next thing I knew he was on the floor. Can you give me a hand to get him into a spare room?" Ethan nodded, squatting to loop an arm under Connor’s; Will did the same.
It was a lot harder to haul him down the corridor than either of them had anticipated, but April was jogging alongside them with a couple of ice packs in her hands when they got there, opening the door for them.
"Is he alright?" She asked, pressing a hand to his forehead as they laid Connor on a bed.
"He'll be fine." Will said, though he was mostly convincing himself. Ethan nodded in agreement before he spoke
"We need to take some layers off." Choi instructed, hinting for April to leave; she nodded, closing the door behind her. When they were sure it was safe, Ethan and Will worked his shirt over his head, deciding to leave the pants for now.
"Is it true you two are dating?" It was certainly a way to start conversation, and Will almost choked on his own breath.
"Wh- uh, that's-" he scrambled to find words, pressing the cool packs to the back of Connor’s neck and to his armpits. He let silence settle in the room for a while, thick and heavy, before he replied "Does everyone know?"
"No, just those who pay enough attention." Ethan offered him a soft smile. Will hesitated before he spoke again.
"It’s been about three months. He asked first, if you were wondering." He ran a hand through Connor's hair, relieved to find it sweaty. Ethan watched him with a thoughtful look on his face, and Will held his breath in anticipation of some sort of backlash; none came.
"I should get back out onto the ward, but I'll let them know you'll be in here for a small while." As he walked past Will, he squeezed his shoulder lightly. "He'll be fine, just need to bring his temperature down."
Will looked at him for a moment before nodding, turning back to watch Connor's chest rise and fall. Taking his hand, Will sat down in the chair next to the bed, ready to wait as long as necessary to shout at him for being an idiot.