"More than ready," he said. "I think I'm feeling quite a bit better this morning." He slowly sat up with Sheridan's help.
"Is your back all right?" she asked, concern in her voice.
"I don't think it's broken, if that's what you mean," he said. "But I'm not going to pretend it doesn't hurt. I think I'll have a nasty bruise on it."
"You're lucky," his sister said. "I was so afraid. At first, I thought you were dead. And then I was afraid you may have broken your back - that you wouldn't be able to walk."
"Fortunately, I'm still here," he said. "And all in one piece, although," he stopped, wincing in pain as he tried to sit up straighter.
"Although what, Julian? What's wrong?"
He placed his hand gingerly on his right side. "I think I may have broken some ribs. That beastly clown with the bat must have done it when she struck me."
Sheridan's eyes revealed how worried she was. "I don't know what we can do for broken ribs," she said.
"Nothing," her brother said sadly. "If we had some tape, I guess we could bandage them - so I could move around."
"Maybe we could make a bandage, Julian," Sheridan said suddenly. "Your t- shirt - if we get it off you, maybe we can rip it to make a bandage."
"I guess it's worth a try," he said. Sheridan carefully helped him slip out of his jacket, going even slower when she could tell by his face that he was in pain. She then unbuttoned his shirt. She was able to get it off of him as well, as he carefully lifted his arms to help.
"Now the t-shirt's going to be the hardest part, Julian," she said. You're going to have to raise your arms as high as you can. I'll go slowly."
He smiled as Sheridan started taking off his shirt. "You know, usually when a woman's taking off my clothes, it's under slightly different circumstances."
Sheridan laughed. "We're almost there," she said as she finally pulled the t-shirt over his head.
"Now that you've succeeded in getting that t-shirt off of me, what are you going to do with it?" he asked, grinning as much as his injuries would allow.
Sheridan said, "I'm going to rip it, of course!"
"Oh, you're going to rip it, are you?" he joked. "I have to see this!"
"Well, you will!" she declared, as she struggled to no avail in her attempts at ripping the shirt. "I'm glad to see you're feeling so much better that you can make light of what I'm trying to do!"
"Here, let me help you," Julian said kindly. "Let's put one end under your foot - like that. Now you and I are going to pull up at the same time - in different directions...on the count of three."
"Are you sure you can do this? I mean, you're hurt." Sheridan said worriedly.
"That's all right, dear. It's my good side that will be doing most of the pulling. Besides, it will only hurt for a second. Are you ready? One, two, three..."
Sheridan and Julian pulled hard on the shirt at the same time. It ripped slightly. "See there? You've got it started," Julian said.
"I think I can handle it from here," Sheridan said confidently. She finished ripping the shirt apart.
"There, now I just have to wrap this around you..." She carefully put the makeshift bandage around her brother's midsection, tying it in back.
"Is that too tight?" she asked. "I know it has to be pretty tight, but..."
"It's fine - perfect," Julian said, sighing. "What did I ever do to deserve a kind nurse like you?"
"I'm flattered, patient," she joked. "But since I am the nurse, and you are my patient, I get to order you around, right? So, that's what I'm going to do. It's time for you to get some rest."
"Rest? I just got up!" he argued playfully.
"Now, Julian, you know that if we weren't in this pit, you would be in a hospital. You really do need to lie down and get some rest. Why don't you let me help you over to the cushion?"
"No," Julian said, "that cushion's for you, Sheridan. You're pregnant. I'm perfectly fine here on this blanket."
"All right," she sighed, realizing he wouldn't give in. "Just as long as you lie down. I think those ribs of yours have had enough movement for one day."
"Fine, fine. I'm not one to argue with my nurse," Julian said, lying down on the blanket.
"Oh, Julian, I'm so glad you're going to be OK," Sheridan admitted. "I was really worried about you. You know, what could have been an awful day has turned into a kind of happy time, hasn't it? I mean, as happy of a time as two people being held captive might have."
Her brother nodded. "You're right about that." Silently, he knew how true her words were. He knew that what lay ahead for both of them would be anything but happy. He closed his eyes and thought of how sweet Sheridan had been to him - how much she reminded him of his mother. He thought of Eve next. Would he ever have the chance to see his beautiful love again? He drifted off to sleep with Eve's face in his mind...