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Disclaimer: I own no characters or settings, and don't wish any copyright infrigement toward those that do.

This story is my AU version of Season 6. I'm going to try to go episode by episode, but I can't promise a post immediately after each one.

This is for my light.
Lights. They were the first thing she was aware of, and it wasn’t exactly a happy awareness. She wanted them to go away; they hurt. Almost as much as her chest and head did, although she had no idea why they would. She was only sleeping, and she wished she’d never started to dream at all. The blackness had been so much better.

She didn’t remember exactly what had happened. She knew Jenny had thrown a lamp at her and kicked her out of the house, and in the back of her mind she found herself hoping that those things were just another part of the nightmare she was having. It was an empty hope, though. She knew they’d really happened, and the thought made the agony in her head increase. The lights seemed to be brighter here, and she felt almost angry at them, in a detached sort of way.

She heard voices, and really hoped they’d shut up. She hated not knowing what was going on around her, but she could hear the voice of the girl who had told her to be careful and asked if she was all right. That was a vague memory, but at least it was there. It wasn’t much on a night as fucked up as this one had been, but it was something. People seemed to be asking the girl questions, but she wasn’t able to make out what these were, or even what the girl’s answers might have been.

She’d had a lot to deal with tonight, including losing her home as well as her best friend, so she could take a wild guess as to where the pain in her head had come from. It was probably just a bad pill, or the booze. She couldn’t figure out what was going on with her chest, though. That really hurt. She wondered why she’d gone back to the girl’s house at all, all she’d been after was a fuck and it wasn’t like they couldn’t have just done that in the Jeep to begin with. Not that anything had ended up happening, anyway; she just wasn’t into it, and Shane had begged off the sex. It didn’t seem to matter much to the girl, she’d just handed her a couple of pills and asked to be driven home, so Shane had. Apparently the girl’s roommates had been having a party, and she’d been invited in. She’d been planning to leave and head to Helena and Kit’s club, but saw no point in leaving when she became aware that people were doing lines all around her.

It wasn’t something she was proud of. She’d been staying away from that stuff, and it was mostly because her life had seemed to be getting better and she hadn’t wanted to fuck it up. But what had happened over the course of the past few days had proven that her life was just as fucked up now as it had always been. And knowing that, she realized it didn’t matter how much coke she snorted or how many pills she swallowed. It obviously didn’t matter to anyone else, and at least this way, it’d be numb for a little while. She needed it to be numb.

Not that it really mattered, now. She just wanted to go back to sleep, where she didn’t have to feel anything, especially this pressure in her chest. She’d always thought that a broken heart was just a saying, but it really did feel like something was broken inside her chest. It hurt a lot in there, and nobody was turning the fucking lights off, although it had to be close to 5am by now. The last time she’d looked at the clock in the Jeep it had been around 4, and she’d stumbled back to the house for more drugs after that.

She remembered a moment of clarity at what she assumed was around the middle of the party. It came in the form of a phone call from Helena, which she hadn’t answered, and then one from Kit, which she had…Kit had always been there for her and Shane didn’t see that changing now. So, she’d picked up. By that time, she was well into her high and was able to assure her old friend that she was perfectly fine and that she’d found somewhere to stay the night. Kit had asked her not to do anything stupid. Shane knew that Kit was well aware of what she was doing by the sound of her voice and of the party in the background, but she hadn’t said anything about it, just asked her to be careful and to call if she needed anything at all. Shane had agreed while never intending to tell her a thing, and she was pretty sure that Kit had known that. Still, she hadn’t pressed the issue, and Shane had been immensely grateful to her for it.

She remembered how good the first few minutes of the high had felt. She’d had some of the pills along with a couple lines and was feeling pretty okay considering everything, although one of the girls kept telling her to be careful and that she didn’t look good. Shane had just shrugged, not giving a shit. After that, there wasn’t much in her memory. She was assuming she’d just passed out, and had woken up still high, and that was why she was having so many problems understanding what was going on around her.

She heard the voices again. She still couldn’t make out what they were saying, but they seemed a little more insistent now. There wasn’t much she could do about that, though. She could also feel people touching her, and this scared her to death because it seemed to be at a distance. She felt a twinge of pain in her arm and tried to show a physical reaction, but it was so far away that she was unable to do anything. She tried to open her mouth to ask just what the hell was going on, but she found that she wasn’t able to do that, either. She couldn’t even turn her head to see anything. Her eyes were unfocused and she couldn’t concentrate, although she was trying, and the lights overhead were passing by in a kind of fuzzy haze. One of the voices in the cacophony was closer than the others and sounded soothing, although she couldn’t make out any words at all. It didn’t matter. Her eyelids felt like concrete and she figured she was really going to start to come down soon, so she let them close and allowed the darkness to take over again.

**********

She’d only answered the phone so Niki would leave faster, if she was being honest about it. She didn’t recognize the number, but she didn’t think Shane would try to trick her that way. If it was Shane it would be Shane’s number, that much she was sure of. Because of this, it didn’t seem dangerous to answer. And as much as she wanted Niki out of the house, she really didn’t want to hear her begging anymore, and this provided a good excuse.

She heard the words, but waited until Niki was gone before she sank back down onto the bed. She didn’t know whether to cry or to scream. It was all too much for her to comprehend. Yes, she’d been a bitch, she was well aware of that fact. But for Shane to go and do this… She didn’t know exactly what the appropriate reaction was. Not that it mattered; all that did was getting to Shane as quickly as she possibly could and trying to get her to hang on. The events of the night before left her mind as though they’d never made a difference at all, and she was pretty sure that they hadn’t. As she got her bag she was struck by the image of Shane in her old hoodie, talking to her on the couch and telling her such nice things. Things that she wasn’t sure she deserved, after everything. And still, Shane had been so hurt by her angry words that she’d tried to…well, she didn’t know if it was completely intentional, but the simple fact that she’d hurt her enough to get her to even consider the drugs again was almost unbearable.

She was in the car and almost had her seatbelt buckled when her phone started to ring again. It was Kit. Had it been anyone else she wouldn’t have answered, but Kit loved Shane and Jenny felt she deserved to know what was happening, even if she didn’t know much about that herself.

Kit was calling to see if Shane had made any contact with her; Kit had called her in the middle of the night and Shane hadn’t sounded good, and Kit was worried. She started to cry when Jenny told her the news, and said that if it was all right she’d meet her at the doors to the hospital. Jenny agreed, relieved to have someone to be there with her when she saw Shane. She didn’t know how she was going to hold it together otherwise.

She swung the car into the first available place she saw, not caring that it was a handicapped space. She’d pay the fine. All she was concerned with was getting inside to see Shane, to make sure she was alive. She’d had a wild fear that Shane had slipped away while she was driving over, and although she was aware that it was unlikely, it didn’t make her any less scared.

She sat in one of the cushy chairs just inside the doors, too frightened to go to the desk and give her name. She was certain that they’d look at her pityingly and then tell her that Shane had passed away before she arrived. It was illogical, but that didn’t make her feel better. So, she sat and waited for Kit to get there, hoping she’d be a bit calmer once she was with her.

It did help, seeing Kit and being swept into a hug. It was enough to give her the courage to go to the desk. The nurse there seemed to know who she was, because she called a doctor over the loudspeaker and asked them both to have a seat.

She didn’t remember exactly what had happened or what had been said when the doctor finally came over to them, but she was allowed to go to Shane and nothing else was important. She was led to a small private room just off the ICU. Shane’s heart rate had been stabilized but she was still under observation, and all the wires and tubes coming out of her made Jenny cry. She was breathing, that much was obvious, but aside from that she looked like death. The doctor said that she was taking it well, though, and gave Jenny a few minutes alone with her.

She couldn’t think of anything to say, and even if she’d been able to, Shane was unconscious. So she did the only thing she could and hugged her, crying harder with each passing second and kissing Shane’s cheek at random intervals. She told her that she loved her, and kept saying it because she wanted Shane to hear, even if she knew that it was very unlikely that she could. It didn’t matter; she kept saying it, and she kept hugging her until a passing nurse stuck her head in and told her to step back and give Shane some breathing room. Suddenly remembering that Shane had had a heart attack, she jumped back and stopped touching her. A few seconds later, she was unable to bear looking down at her a second longer and went back into the hall to find Kit.

**********

She didn’t know how much time had passed before she heard a voice again, and this one sounded awfully familiar. It had to be a dream; there was no way. And then she felt the arms, and she knew them. She couldn’t quite believe that Jenny had driven all that way just to find her fucked up after everything that had happened, but she couldn’t think of any other explanation. Her brain was still muddled and she was unable to open her eyes, but the hug felt good and she wanted to return it, even if it was all just a dream. She heard another voice in the room, and this one wasn’t as gentle, nor was it familiar. Shane hated it because whatever it had said made Jenny loosen her embrace, and a second or two later Shane couldn’t feel Jenny’s arms at all and missed them desperately. Her chest was hurting again though, as was her head, so she figured she could wait until she woke up. She slipped back into the blackness hoping that someone would take care of Jenny for her until she could get up and do it herself.

**********

The day that followed was exhausting for both Kit and Jenny. They spoke to several doctors and learned that while Shane’s heart attack had been managed well and she would probably have no real lasting damage from it, she wasn’t out of the woods yet. Her heart rate was still a little abnormal from all the cocaine she’d ingested, and the doctors were worried about the possibility of bleeding in the brain.

“It can happen after the overdose, and it’s usually quite sudden,” the doctor told them. “We’re monitoring her very closely and doing scans every so often in case we need to know something, but we’ll need to keep her comatose quite a bit over the next week or so to be sure she doesn’t succumb to anything. We did a brain scan when she was brought in and it showed some swelling, so we’re trying to be very careful.”

After that, they’d been told that they could go home. Jenny refused, saying that she wanted to stay with Shane. One of the nurses agreed to let her set up a cot in the room, and Kit said she could take the waiting room if that was all right. The nurse hesitated; Jenny was the emergency contact, but she didn’t know who this other woman was supposed to be. She figured it didn’t matter much in the long run, though, and let her stay.

Kit tried to make Jenny eat something, but she couldn’t. Kit wasn’t feeling too hungry herself, but she forced down a chicken sandwich in the cafeteria. Jenny excused herself quietly and said that she was going to go sit with Shane again. Kit sighed but didn’t say anything. She stayed in the cafeteria a little longer, and contemplated calling Bette and telling everyone. But she decided against it based on Jenny’s reaction. The girl needed to be there with Shane without everyone else milling around right now. This was different. The only person she called was Helena, since staying with Jenny was going to make it tough to go to work. Helena took the news gracefully and said that if either of them needed anything or if they wanted company, all they had to do was call. She also said not to even think about work right now, and to give Shane her love.

Kit did insist that Jenny go for a walk, a little later. Jenny wouldn’t hear of it at first, until Kit told her that she wanted to talk to Shane. Jenny just looked up at her for a second before nodding and leaving the room. Kit sighed and sat down in the chair that Jenny had just vacated, and started to tell Shane exactly what was going on. She didn’t know what she could actually hear right now, if anything, but she figured that it was better to be on the safe side.

**********

Kit was there, wherever “there” happened to be. Shane had absolutely no idea how much time had gone by since she’d felt Jenny’s arms around her, and she had no clue where she was. She still wasn’t able to open her eyes, but this place sure didn’t smell like a drug party. And Kit was talking to her, and Jenny had been here. She was pretty sure that hadn’t been a dream, it had felt too real. And she highly doubted that Kit and Jenny would have followed her to a shitty house on the shore and joined her at the drug party. That wouldn’t make any sense.

She didn’t understand why she couldn’t open her eyes, or why she couldn’t move. The pressure in her chest had eased, but it felt like she was being weighed down by something. She was completely unable to figure out what that was, though, so she tried to relax. Kit was telling her to be strong, and to fight for Jenny; that things were fragile right now but that she could prove that she’d do anything to make it because that’s who she was. Shane had no idea what she was talking about with that last bit, but she assumed that Kit must mean that Jenny was fragile right now since it had all gone down and that Shane was going to have to fight to prove how sorry she was. She was willing to start immediately if someone would let her up, but that didn’t seem to be happening.

She didn’t have much of a choice but to go back to the blackness again. She just hoped Kit would take care of Jenny. She was really happy Kit was there to do that for awhile.

**********

Kit tried, she really did, but Jenny was no easy person to care for. She wasn’t demanding at all; in fact, she was the opposite, but that worried Kit because she was refusing to eat anything. After three days she’d only had half a vending machine sandwich, and Kit was getting worried.

Jenny seemed to want to spend all of her time sitting next to Shane’s bed, talking to her. Kit could understand that; she was prone to doing the same thing. She overheard Jenny telling Shane a thousand little things about her childhood, where she grew up; seemingly useless information, but Kit found it rather touching. Since Shane was still in her coma there was never a response, but Jenny kept talking anyway.

“They say that people in comas still have auditory function and will retain the information they’re given,” she explained one afternoon when Kit pulled up a chair beside her. “I don’t want her to be lonely…”

Kit just smiled and took her hand. “She’s not lonely, we’re both here and we’ll be here when she wakes up for good. You keep talking her, I bet she likes it.”

Jenny didn’t respond verbally, but she nodded. Kit took the cue and left the room, and Jenny just kept holding Shane’s hand. In these quiet moments, it was so easy to believe that things might be able to be salvaged after all, if Shane didn’t wake up hating her. She wouldn’t have been offended by that; she was already blaming herself for everything that had happened.

She’d spoken to Kit about it, briefly, a few days before. She’d given her a rundown of the events as they’d transpired, and had expressed her guilt for Shane’s condition. Kit had sighed and told her that it wasn’t her fault, but it was painfully obvious that Jenny didn’t believe her.

Jenny had asked her if she’d ever heard of something called sheol. Kit had pleaded ignorance, of course, and Jenny had explained that it was a Jewish concept, similar to Hades, where all the dead went. It wasn’t hell or heaven, just a place that one went when they were dead; a state of nothingness. She told Kit that she felt like that was where she was now, watching Shane this way.

“There’s a passage in Jonah that says, ‘...Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.’ Obviously the You in that passage refers to God, but…do you think that if she hears me, she might come back?” Jenny looked up at Kit, and the latter had never seen anyone look so devastated in all her life.

“She’s not dying, Jenny. They’re just keeping her like this so they can watch her,” Kit reminded, but Jenny shook her head.

“Are you sure she’s not dying? Are you positive?” she asked in a whisper. Kit couldn’t do anything other than shake her head, and Jenny nodded sadly. “Then yes, I think this is my sheol.”

**********

As more time went by and her periods of consciousness got a little longer, Shane began to realize that something was very wrong. This wasn’t just coming down off a very bad high. She still couldn’t open her eyes or move at all, and while it didn’t feel like she was being held down any more, it was even worse to know that she was the one keeping herself wherever she was. It had felt like she was being weighed down by something, but she began to realize that that wasn’t the case. She was just incapable of any sort of movement right now.

Her chest was tight. She wasn’t sure why. It didn’t hurt, exactly, but it felt strange and she wanted to know why that was. Whatever she was lying on was hard and uncomfortable, but she couldn’t change positions to make herself feel any better, so she had to deal with it. Her head felt like it was stuck in a vice, and there seemed to be voices floating around whenever she was conscious enough to hear them. They were always talking, but never really to her. It was more like they were talking around her, and she couldn’t figure out why. She was confused and wanted to get up and ask questions but couldn’t, and it frustrated her so much that she wore herself out trying to move. The blackness came back, but this time she fought against it. It didn’t really matter; even she knew that she didn’t have much of a chance against it. It was too big.

**********

She became aware of a distant humming sound. It was quiet but it was definitely there, and something about it was familiar. She wasn’t sure why, but she could sense that she wasn’t alone. That wasn’t exactly the most comforting thing in the world until she heard Kit’s voice, and this time she was elated that she could at least comprehend more than a sentence at a time.

“You gotta put her back under, then?” she heard Kit ask, somewhat shakily.

“Yes ma’am, we need to see if she’s at all responsive, and we need to do several tests while she’s awake. But she’s been through quite a bit of trauma to several body systems and won’t be able to handle full consciousness right now, so she’ll be given medication to induce the coma again as soon as we do those things.” The man who said this had a gentle voice, and it sounded as if he was used to saying things like that. Shane wondered who the hell he was talking about, and why exactly Kit cared enough about someone in a coma to be asking about them. Maybe she’d heard something on the news and was asking about that person. She’d have to ask her at some point.

She could feel something happening to her arm, and then it seemed like maybe it wouldn’t be as impossible to open her eyes. It was harder than anything she’d ever done, but she really wanted to do it, so she forced herself.

The first thing she saw was Jenny, standing right next to her and looking like she was going to cry. Shane tried to say something to assure her that it was okay, but her throat was too dry to make that a possibility. Kit saw and immediately started to explain things. Shane heard something about a drug overdose and a heart attack, and possible bleeding in the brain, but she tuned it out and focused on Jenny, who had begun to cry as soon as Kit started talking.

Through what seemed like a superhuman effort, she managed to move her hand an inch or so to bring it close to Jenny’s. She had been trying to move her own hand enough to touch hers, but she was way too tired to try anything more right now. It didn’t seem to matter much, because Jenny had already taken her hand and was gripping it tightly. She was crying harder now, though, and Shane was distressed by it. She wasn’t able to voice that, though, and it wouldn’t have made much difference anyway because she could feel the blackness coming again. It wasn’t as intense this time as it had been before, but it was enough. She looked apologetically at Jenny before falling asleep again. As she did, she heard the man say that she’d be going under again very shortly and if they wanted to go home, they could. Shane heard Jenny staunchly refuse, and for a brief second she wondered why the hell Jenny was arguing with the guy. He seemed to know what was going on. But she was way too tired to process it.

**********

It was such a small thing, but it meant the world to Jenny because it had been Shane. She was still in there. The heart attack and the other physical consequences of what she had done hadn’t taken her away somewhere that she couldn’t be found, and Jenny was surprised at how overjoyed she was to realize that.

She held Shane’s hand the rest of that day and long into the night, telling her anything she could think of. Kit, who listened at random intervals, couldn’t come close to piecing anything together from it, but she supposed it didn’t matter much. She’d fielded some questions earlier in the day from the rest of the group and had begged them not to try to come to the hospital. It wouldn’t have done much good anyway, since Shane was still being kept under. For Jenny’s sake, she told them all that she and Jenny were the only ones allowed in at this point in time, as any other people would be too much for Shane in her fragile state.

In all honestly, it was more Jenny’s fragile state that she was worried about. She’d come back from the cafeteria late the other night and had heard Jenny telling Shane exactly how much she meant to her. It wasn’t a long monologue by any means, but Kit certainly got the gist of what was going on and exactly why Jenny had reacted so strongly to the events at the wrap party. She hadn’t wanted to interrupt, so she’d just left and gone back to the cafeteria for a little bit, shaking her head as she went and wondering if it might be too late for all that once Shane was able to wake up. She really hoped it wouldn’t be.

**********

They woke Shane up a few more times over the next couple of days, and then told Jenny that the swelling had gone down and the immediate danger was past. Shane was still going to have a long recovery period due to the physical strain of the heart attack and other various effects of the overdose, so they’d keep her in the hospital for awhile longer until an outpatient rehabilitation program could be come up with. Jenny knew Shane was going to fight them on that one, and she tried to convince them that she only used drugs recreationally and that this had been a mistake.

The doctor in charge said he realized that, but with an overdose resulting in a heart attack the patient would be forced to go to therapy for a period of several months. It was a condition of being released from the hospital. Jenny didn’t think it would go over very well regardless, but said nothing.

Shane was given some kind of drug through the IV that would allow the coma to wear off on its own, but they were told that it might be several hours. Kit elected to go take a walk, but Jenny didn’t want to take any chances and stayed where she was. They’d been told that Shane wouldn’t be able to wake up completely right away, but she wanted to be there for any amount of consciousness she was afforded.

It didn’t take anywhere near as long as she’d been expecting. She’d barely opened her book when she heard Shane clear her throat weakly, and she sat forward to give her a sip of water, which Shane took gratefully. She looked absolutely exhausted and a bit confused, probably because Jenny was grinning like a loon at her.

“It’s all right,” Jenny told her, and gave a short description of what had been going on. Shane did nothing but watch her as she spoke. She was feeling far too tired to really react to the information in any way at the moment, even emotionally, but it was obvious that the entire ordeal had been draining for Jenny and she felt awful for bringing even more pain onto her.

“I’m sorry,” she croaked as soon as Jenny had stopped talking, but Jenny shook her head.

“No, don’t be sorry. Focus on getting better, and then you can be sorry if you want to be. You need that energy for other things right now.” She paused and leaned down to kiss Shane’s cheek. “I’m sorry too. And we’ll talk about it later. Right now I’m just happy you’re awake.”

Shane had drifted off as soon as she started talking, but by the way she was holding her hand, Jenny knew she’d heard at least the majority of it.

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