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Beyond Measure

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Session 6
Danger

6 months earlier

"Our technicians found high levels of serotonin in his blood samples. Along with adrenergic, dopamine, andー"

"Doctor please," Luella gripped her husband's arm tighter, voice filled with emotion. "Please just tell us what happened to our son."

The heart rate monitor sputtered for the fifth time since the young man had been admitted. Martin turned his head toward the sound and gazed at his son's peaceful face. If he hadn't known better, he would have assumed Noll was sleeping, not unconscious. But the thin bandages wrapped around the superficial cuts on both his hands made it hard to forget.

The doctor sighed, pressing his glasses back into place. "I believe it's most likely that your son was drugged."

"Drugged?"

He nodded. "Oliver isn't on any medications, right? No, by any chance, 'recreational' drug use either?"

"No." Luella supplied immediately.

"If there's any doubtー"

"What are you insinuating?"

Martin squeezed his wife's hand, glancing again toward his son. "You don't know Oliver; he won't even take medication for headaches. There is no way he would ever take any kind of drug, prescription or otherwise."

"That's what I suspected." The doctor sighed, glancing down at the clip board in his hand. "I've seen this combination of solutions before in an antipsychotic prescription drug called Sychol. Drowsiness and confusion are some of the most common side effects."

"Are you sure?"

"We are still running tests, but yes."

Luella bit her lip. "How could someone drug him with a pill?"

"It would be pretty simple, actually." The doctor jotted something down on the paper and slid the clip board back into its holder at the end of the bed. "These tablets are made to dissolve relatively quickly. It could have been slipped into a drink or food ー it has no taste."

A soft groan filled the room. All three occupants turned to watch as the heart monitor sputtered again and Noll scrunched his eyes against the offending light. His hand that sported the IV needle flexed into a loose fist.

He felt like shit. Both his hands stung like he'd lost a fight with a bottle of antiseptic. A wave of nausea washed over him with the throbbing of his knee. And his head hurt.

God his head hurt. It throbbed from temple to temple, shooting strings of pain down to his jaw. Noll forced his eyes open, panic settling in his expression. He jerked up, deft hands reaching over his chest and wrist, pulling on the jelled wires and IV tube.

"Noll!" Luella flitted to his side with tears of relief shining in her eyes.

A resounding alarm muffled her yell, though. The heart monitor drew a flat line across the screen, screeching its warning for all there to hear. Noll flinched at the sound and at his adoptive mother's arms as they wrapped around his shoulders.

The doctor took a step around the bed and unplugged the machine, gracing the room with silence.

Noll exchanged a look with him, realization dawning on his face. "Sorry," he offered curtly, watching as the doctor waved away a team of panicked nurses with what looked like a crash cart.

Martin stood beside his wife as she sat on the edge of the small hospital bed. "Are you alright, dear? Does anything hurt?"

Noll blinked a flash of déjà vu at the worried look in her misty blue eyes. He cast a glance around the room. "I'm fine," he said running a hand through his hair, a habit he picked up from Gene. "Why am I in the hospital?"

"You fainted."

Funny, he didn't remember fainting. It did explain why his leg hurt so much, though. "What happened?"

His parents shared a look with the doctor.

"We were hoping you could tell us, Oliver. Do you remember anything at all from yesterday?"

Yesterday? Noll's eyes drifted toward the window and the offending afternoon sun. He'd been out for almost a day. Sighing to cover his surprise, Noll glared at the sheets. He searched his memory but there was nothing, no sign of the lingering buzz of PK or any hint of feeling sick. He remembered dinner and then... nothing.

"No," he said finally.

The doctor managed a smile. "Unfortunate but not unexpected. It's likely the memories won't come back at all," he added, sensing the question before Luella could ask it.

"Okay," she sniffed.

Martin shook the doctor's hand. "Thank you for your help, Doctor Cameron."

"Of course. As soon and as long as the nurses don't find anything else troubling, Oliver should be able to go home in a few hours."

Noll watched the doctor leave with as much of a curious expression as he could muster. "Where's Lin?" The last he remembered his Chinese colleague had been at the Davises' for dinner and he could probably help jog Noll's memory more than either of his parents.

"The airport; he left about an hour ago."

Noll bit his lip in an effort to keep the surprise off his face. "Airport?"

His parents shared another look and the suspense was really starting to piss him off. He hated not knowing. Then Martin flashed him a knowing smile, glancing at the silver watch on his wrist.

"Her flight landed about 15 minutes ago. They'll be meeting us at home."

"Who?" he growled, trying to ignore the way his heart leapt in his chest. Suddenly he didn't feel so guilty for ripping off the heart monitor's wires.

Luella squeezed his hand with an adoring smile. "Mai."

.
.

Noll had heard Mai's heavily accented voice ring out in unsure English, "What time do you think they will get here?"

"Soon," Lin answered offhandedly.

Noll limped down the hall, taking care to keep as silent as possible. He heard her sigh as he rounded on the archway to the living room. Mai was gazing at the black bookshelf, running her fingers over the well-worn spines. The one titled Supernatural Systems made her smile as Noll allowed her thoughts to take precedence in his head.

Of course, she thought, what kind of narcissist wouldn't own his own book? Mai debated reading it, but decided she wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

She moved slowly over to the fireplace where she saw the mantle filled with pictures. Some of them featured Martin and Luella at what could only be their wedding, but most of them were of the twins. It was immediately obvious which one was which in the picture closest to her. Gene was sporting a huge grin while Naru looked blankly at the camera.

"It's hard to believe Naru was ever this young..."

"Your accent is terrible."

"Naru!" Mai spun on her heel so fast it was all she could do to not go careening into the fire pit. "You're here!"

The teenager leaned against the wall, arms crossed over his chest and a sullen smirk on his face. He was in his usual dark attire but unusually, it was just a plain t-shirt and sweatpants. No dress shirt, no slacks. He looked exactly the same as he had a month ago, but somehow his dressing down made him look... hotter.

That was when a tall blond haired boy dressed a butler's uniform entered the room with a steaming cup of tea. His eyes fell over Mai before stopping dead when he saw Noll standing there beside her. "Oh. Welcome home, young master."

Naru didn't move from his spot but cast an annoyed glance at the slightly older teen. "It's Oliver."

"Right, sorry. My mistake."

Noll's anxiety spiked as he studied the butler.

"Not even home five minutes and you're already harassing the staff, Noll? You must be feeling better." Luella's teasing voice drifted through the hall as she appeared behind her son. Her wide smile only got wider when she spotted Mai. "Oh, Mai sweetheart! It's so nice to see you again!"

Mai met the woman in the middle of the room, hugging her back tightly. "It's nice to see you too, Mrs. Davis. Thank you for having me."

"Call me Luella! And please, you're welcome here anytime."

A bespectacled man crossed the room and stretched an arm around his wife. Mai had never met him but she recognized him from the pictures and a few spare moments at the camp ground in Japan. "Hello, Miss Taniyama. It's nice to finally meet you. My wife has been talking nonstop about your visit here."

Mai bowed her head in a rushed greeting before realizing he had stuck his hand out for her to shake. She took it quickly, feeling a blush heat her cheeks. "It's just Mai," she stammered. "It's nice to meet you too, Professor Davis."

"Please, call me Martin."

Noll watched his parents from the archway, trying to ignore the ache in his leg. It wasn't until he'd gotten up to change that he realized he'd sustained a pretty bad flesh wound from his knee down. The nurses had dressed it with gauze and some wrap to keep it from getting infected but the longer he stood, the worse it seemed to burn. It was the only time he was grateful for the sweatpants Luella had brought him.

Unfortunately, Mai sensed his discomfort.

"Naru? Are you in pain?" She asked as a dull panic started to rise in his chest. He glanced at the source. Mai stared at him with wide eyes.

He immediately slammed his mental block down; he didn't need Mai reading all of his thoughts. But Noll was grateful for the switch in languages. "No," he said curtly. "This is not necessary. Mai, you should go home."

"Butー"

"I know you meant well, Lin, but you're hurting Mai more than your helping me. She shouldn't miss schoolー"

Lin closed the file with a louder smack than should have been possible with the manila folder. "Think about yourself for once, Naru. Someone is gunning for you, and if Mai can help keep you safe then she is staying here."

Noll blinked a few times in surprise. Lin thought someone was after him? Anger welled in his chest, "If Mai is here," Noll seethed, "then SHE is the one in danger."

.
.

Present Day.

"Why did you think Mai was in danger?"

"What?" Noll felt like an idiot as his brain slowly came back to the present.

"Why did you think Mai was in danger when she came to England? You didn't know who Dumont was until the kidnapping, correct?"

Dimly, he nodded.

"Why did you think Mai was in danger?" Doctor Arainn asked again.

Noll sighed. It was a stupid question and the answer seemed blatantly obvious. "Mai was in danger."