"Mr. Jung! MR. JUNG!" A firm hand clapped his shoulder and his heart fluttered a bit as Sam whirled in the direction of the ringing voice. A woman wearing a face heavy and unattractive with impatience promptly retracted her claws. "Mr. Jung," she began, crossing two thick, meaty arms over a crisp uniform. "We've been waiting for you in Discharge for almost an hour." "I-uh--" "Never mind." Her hand sliced the air between them angrily, silencing whatever was about to stumble from his mouth. "Is everything okay?" *Just nod and give her a smile.* He dipped his head obediently and Sam relaxed his host's face into something that felt easy-going and friendly. He could swear he saw the gleam of her perfectly capped incisors before she whipped away and stalked back in the direction she'd come from. He tagged along at a safe distance, his feet feeling as though they were barely touching the cool linoleum floor. The air was thick with antiseptic and conversation and the persistant peeping of alarms. Bodies of white, blue and green streaked by him like cars on a highway. They wove through a maze of hallways until the woman skirted around a large station shaped like a horse-shoe. >>WELCOME TO NICU FL. 3!!<< cried the happy little plaque from the desk. She assaulted a stack of papers with a series of angry red slashes and shoved them over at him. "Sign at the "X" on each page." *'Release Forms'...?* Sam skimmed through the first few paragraphs, a frown knitting his brow. *Did I get hurt? Is someone else here? Am I okay?--* "~Mr. Jung,~" The frost in her voice was unmistakable. "There's nothing in there you'd needa lawyer for." "Right." He dashed off a few quick signatures, a horrible first-grade scribble that made his name illegible. For now, he was Mr. Jung. He doubted Nurse Attila would be so kind as to volunteer any more. He had already begun retreating towards an elevator when her words crackled in the air behind him. "Mr. Jung, aren't you forgetting something?" Sam spied the carbon copies on the desk. "Uh, thanks," He smiled sheepishly, scooping the papers into a messy pile in his arms. "I guess I'll be on my way now to..." "Room 306." "Room 306," Sam echoed, unable to hide the relief in his voice. He studied the color-coded directory on the wall, his eyes drawn to a little star sporting a band-aid on its crown. >>YOU ARE HERE<< *Yes, I am here. ~Why~ am I here?* He glanced at the nurse. Attila wasn't telling. The corridor was eerily quiet, save for the soft *ding!* of some machine in the distance. Voices were hushed behind blinds that had been closed. A nurse scurried out of a room ahead of him and offered a smile. He returned the favor. And just like that, she disappeared. As quickly as a mouse. The warm light from an open door spilled out into the hall and onto his shoes. The low buzzof talk inside came to a complete halt. The small hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. All eyes were on him. "Mr. Jung?" Sam swung his shoulders slowly to face a anxious technician who stood balancing a chart the size of a phonebook on her hip. He only noticed her minutely as he fell devastated by the vision that was beside her. The silky curtains of sunshine drizzled on the shoulders of a young woman who sat delicately in a rocking chair. Her beautiful dark eyes locked onto him and he felt his heart thundering away in his chest. A tiny bundle, which had been carefully packaged in blue, nestled in the gentle swell of her breast. "Oh boy," Sam breathed. "~And~ girl." He snapped his head towards an older woman in the room. Beaming with pride, she came to him, taking the crumpled bunch of papers and gingerly placing a warm pink swaddle into his trembling arms "Congratulations, ~mijo.~"