~ Intents and Purposes ~

Lainey took another sip of the soda she'd bought from the vending machine two floors above her father's room. Nurse Epiphany Johnson had directed her there with specific orders not to return for at least sixty whole minutes.

Nurse Johnson was not a woman you told 'no'. It didn't matter if you were a doctor, nurse, patient, or even hospital administrator ... Epiphany Johnson inevitably got her way.

Thankfully she'd gotten her way with Roger Winters as well. Lainey's father had been confused and distraught when he'd shoved his only daughter across the room so forcefully that Lainey crashed into a nearby medicine cabinet. Epiphany stepped in and, barking the kind of orders ex-soldier Roger Winters could appreciate, distracted the Alzheimer's-stricken psychiatrist long enough for him to be sedated into compliance.

Lainey's dark eyes welled with tears at the memory of the frightening incident. She knew that her father in his right mind would never harm her. That he had done so earlier forced Lainey to painfully admit that they had reached a point where she could no longer delude herself about her father's future.

Lainey started when she heard masculine laughter. She looked up from her thoughts to find she was somehow back outside her father's room. Inside the room, her father was deep in conversation with Stanford Johnson. Stanford was the son of nurse Epiphany Johnson. He had generously pretended to be Lainey's old boyfriend, Dr. Mark Dettweiler. Stan's pretense brought a sense of familiarity to Roger Winters' world. For that, Lainey would long be grateful to the handsome computer whiz.

"I'm back!" Lainey pasted on a bright smile and stepped into her father's hospital room. Her friend and colleague, Dr. Patrick Drake, entered right upon her heels. He raised a curious eyebrow at Lainey's hurried introduction of Stan as Doctor Dettweiler, but merely played along with the pretense and asked them both to step outside the room for a professional consult.

Numbly, Lainey listened to Patrick's grim diagnosis of her father's condition. Roger Winters had suffered severe neurological damage during the episode placing him at General Hospital. The older man needed surgery - and soon. "Let's do the surgery," Lainey managed to say.

Patrick shook his head. "Lainey, it's not that easy."

"How's your father doing?" Dr. Ford, the hospital administrator, interrupted the two doctors' conversation.

"Studies show severe carotid stenosis," Patrick replied grimly. "It's only a matter of time before he suffers a stroke."

Dr. Ford pursed his lips. "Terrible what he's going through. But with Medcam looking over our shoulders, we can't perform any unnecessary surgeries."

"Unnecessary?" Lainey was incredulous.

"It's best," Dr. Ford said, "you take him to County." He paused. "My heart goes out to you."

Lainey bit back an angry retort. She left Patrick and Dr. Ford standing out in the hallway and returned to her father's side.

A single glance at her father told Lainey that his mind was clear and focused. He gave her a tender smile that nearly made Lainey weep with pain. "I love you," her father declared.

"I love you, too." Lainey had to swallow just to get the words out. "We're gonna figure this out."

Roger Winters smiled sadly. "I love you, so ... I want to die."

*dialogue between Lainey, Patrick, Dr. Ford, and her father are taken from GH:Nightshift episode #8 *