"Mornin' Natalie. Good to see you, you're looking well." A smile lifted Natalie's lips as she turned to find Crockett walking toward her. "Thanks, you too.
How are you doing?" "I can't complain." He answered nonchalantly as he embraced Natalie with a hug.
"How are you holding up today?" He asked, his charming, thick, Cajun accent bleeding through his words.
Exhaling a short breath, "Honestly Crockett, I'm still pretty shaken up by the whole ordeal." "Understandably. All in good time.
" "As soon as I got cleaned up that night, I rushed home, scooped Owen in my arms and didn't let go." Natalie recounted.
Crockett's heart squeezed as the longing pain to hold his own little one gnawed at him. He hadn't told anyone his story yet.
Natalie was the only one he'd given the slightest indication about his past.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to look at another stranger in need again, without a little suspicion." Natalie confessed to Crockett as they walked the familiar road where everything started.
He let out a chuckle as he put a reassuring arm around her slender shoulders, bringing her in close to his side. "In same ways that's a good thing.
We'll most definitely be more cautious going forward." Letting out a weak laugh, "Damn right we will. I cannot stop imagining what the worse case scenario could have been for us.
All of those, what if, questions have smashed through my brain.
What if something happened to us that day? What if they never found us? What if one of us didn't make it? What would have happened to my son?
" Natalie squeezed her eyes shut for a moment trying to banish the thought of her son being orphaned and realizing that mommy was never coming back.
Feeling her rapidly increasing unease, Crockett stopped short, turning Natalie to face him as he did.
Dipping his head to be eye level with her, "We were kidnapped, it's going to take some time to recover from that. But you can't think like that Natalie. What matters now is that, we're alive.
That's in part to your quick thinking to leave bread crumbs so they could try and find us." He paused for a moment to look at her.
"Plus, if something did happen to us, you know there is a whole family, right inside that building, that would step up and take care of your little boy." That statement was comforting.
Natalie smiled at the assurance of knowing that if something were to happen, her family at Med wouldn't hesitate to step in for Owen.
" Chicago Med was more than just a job and a workplace; they were a community, who always looked out for each other. Pulling Crockett along, she started walking.
"I know but still, I can't get those questions out of my head." "I get that, I do. I keep replaying how everything went down and how all of this could have been prevented.
In the end, what could we have done? He asked us for help, we had no way of knowing that it was trap. But even still after everything that happened, I can't help but feel compassion for them.
" She looked up into his stony, dark eyes, amazed that he could pity the monsters who endangered their lives.
"I can't believe you stopped him for shooting himself after he let you go.
He could have shot you!" "There was no reason for his story to end that way, and why should he be let off that easy for what he put us through?" "How can you be so sympathetic toward them?
" Crockett sighed. "The Clemons family were in an impossible, heartbreaking situation and were desperate.
Yes, they could have, at any point, taken us out, but you can't tell me you didn't feel a little sympathy for them once we saw Tommy's son.
" He was right, seeing Tommy's son, lying in that hospice bed, made her feel sorry for the family. Tommy was a criminal, but he broke out of jail to see his dying son.
"Seeing that young man like that was tragic." "Exactly. Its hard to see past the sins and pain that someone has caused another and sometimes you just can't overlook those sins.
For others, if you can get past the bad, misguided actions and find the broken human underneath, it's easier to empathize.
" "That's your approach to life? Try to find the humanity in everyone?" She asked earnestly. "To some extent yes, but I more so employ this philosophy as a doctor.
Doing my best to keep personal bias out of the medicine and uphold the Hippocratic Oath." He said finishing his statement with a smirk.
Crockett has not ceased to amaze her. Behind Crockett's easygoing, blaze, and sometimes boorish demeanor, lied a complicated man with a big heart and deep capacity to function objectively.
She found that more she got to know him, the more she realized how wrong she was about him.
He was different, and knowing him was changing a lot of the preconceptions she had, not only about him, but about life in general.
Thinking back to that fateful day, when the Clemons brothers accosted them, outside of the hospital, Crockett did everything in his power to keep Natalie out of harms' way.
Having to leave him behind in the house that night and subsequently awaiting his fate once the gunshot rang off was agonizing.
The relief she felt to see him walk out of the house, unscathed was nothing short of jubilance. She couldn't stop herself from running into his arms once she laid eyes on him again.
Even still, at that moment his concern was foremost for her safety and well-being. He wanted to make sure she was ok before he even took another step away from the crime scene.
She will always be grateful to Crockett for that day.
Even as their lives hung in the balance with the threat of lead bullets staring them down, Crockett remained as calm and collected as he could.
She saw the fear and uncertainty in his eyes during those long endless hours, but he still did his best to work as efficiently and diligently to save Tommy's leg.
" Crockett and Natalie would always be tied together by that day and she was thankful in gaining a new friend out of this ugly situation.
.... Two hours into her shift at the hospital, April slowly rolls her beck, hoping to release the tension already building between her shoulder blades. Cursing the long day she has ahead of her, she longed to back in bed right now, snuggled in Ethan's arms.
April stood behind the computer updating a patient's chart when she heard Crockett Marcel's laugh. She shuttered at the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach, momentarily.
Turning to glance his way, she saw him and Nat walking into ED together. She wasn't surprised that Natalie and Crockett were getting closer now. Natalie was an amazing person and so was Dr.
Marcel. Not to mention the harrowing experience the two of them shared of being kidnapped at gunpoint, and forced to do a makeshift surgery under such stressful conditions.
That experience would undoubtedly bond Nat and Marcel forever. What did surprise her was the tinge of jealousy she felt when she saw them together.
They were all happy to see that Crockett was alive.
But having to stop herself from running up to Crockett, and watching Natalie run into his arms instead, hit April with a jealous feeling she didn't see coming.
She knew she had no right to feel this way. April kissed Crockett one time, it didn't mean anything, at least that was the lie she kept telling herself.
Even more than that, the part that really mattered, was that she had Ethan. He was everything she ever wanted in a partner.
He was handsome, strong, kind, compassionate, loving, attentive, considerate, and staunch in his beliefs.
April and Ethan had been through so much together and still managed to come out on the other side stronger than ever...or so she thought. They loved each other.
This secret of kissing Crockett was weighing on her.
With every kiss and thoughtful gestures on Ethan's part, every moment she spend thereafter with him, with every conversation about their future together,
or all the interactions between him and Crockett, since then, made her sick with guilt.
Still as she watched Natalie throw her head back in laughter and Crockett's swoon-worthy smile break across his face she could still remember the feel of his lips on hers.
As much as she tried, she couldn't stop thinking about Crockett. She could no longer deny her attraction for him.
Even as she glanced down at the beautiful, diamond engagement ring on her finger, she hated herself and all the jealousy she felt in that moment.
Maybe if she finally came clean about the kiss to Ethan, she could get Crockett out of her head and move forward.
Maggie has warned her a few times to get her head straight about Crockett, but her heart hasn't seemed to got the memo. Ethan was her one and only; he was her future.
So how could letting Crockett go, be so darn hard for her?