Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Seventy Three Part Two

A/N: This chapter starts about three days after Harry’s accident. I hope you enjoy! Please let me know what you think, I always love to hear from you guys.


“Good afternoon,” Alex said with a smile as she stepped into Harry’s room. He was awake, smiling back at her, and his eyes were brighter than they had been since he’d been in the hospital.

“Will went to get a nurse and you walk in,” he said as she moved closer to him. “Does that mean it’s time for a sponge bath?”

The teasing joke made her eyes flash wide for a second and brought a startled giggle from her. “A sponge bath? Goodness. How many of those pain meds did they give you?” He laughed softly and Alex’s grin pulled wider. She moved in to sit on the side of the bed next to his legs and her hand reached for his, her fingers curling around his. “You look like you’re feeling better. A bit more…you.”

“I am,” he nodded. “William brought me some fish and chips that didn’t come from…here.” He pulled a face and Alex giggled. “And for the first time in three days I don’t feel like I’m in a complete fog.”

“I could have brought you some food,” Alex murmured, her head tipping to the side. “I didn’t know…”

“Please don’t apologize.” His fingers squeezed hers. “He just stopped by with it. I didn’t know I wanted it until he was here.”

“Okay,” she nodded, her smile pulling at her lips again. “Well, maybe I’ll run out and find us some bangers and mash for dinner later.”

“You hate bangers and mash,” Harry chuckled.

“Ugh. I really do,” she groaned, bringing another warm laugh from her husband. “It might have to be fish and chips again.”

“Hey, I’ll take anything as long as it didn’t come from here.”

“Fair enough,” Alex nodded. “Anything else you need? Something that I can get for you from the outside.”

“Hmmm,” Harry’s lips tugged up and his eyes danced as they held hers for a long moment. “How about a kiss?”

“A kiss?” Her eyebrows lifted and her lips twitched. “You want me to bring that to you from the outside?”

“Alexandra,” he shook his head and the look he threw at her was downright cheeky; she felt her cheeks flush. “I want my wife to give me a kiss.”

“Ah,” she smiled and scooted a bit closer. “As it so happens, I have the ability to make that happen.”

“I thought you might,” Harry grinned as she leaned forward and then pressed her lips to his.

And thought she had meant it to be a soft, chaste kiss, she couldn’t help but sigh as she felt his warm lips against hers and she didn’t have the willpower to pull away from him just yet. They couldn’t hold each other – Harry couldn’t move his arms around her, and she couldn’t risk causing him pain but putting her arms around him. But in that moment, sharing that soft, sweet, tender kiss was more than enough. It had been the kiss they couldn’t share for days and the kiss that held the promise of so many more kisses – kisses that both of them were more than aware that they had come too close to losing forever.

“Oh no, I don’t think your doctor has cleared you for those activities yet!”

They pulled apart, each of them laughing as they turned around to find Will standing there. The nurse behind him was furiously trying to avert her eyes anywhere but at Alex and Harry.

“I cleared him for it,” Alex replied with a smirk, her hand squeezing Harry’s once more before she moved to stand from the bed. “I assume you have no problems with that, William?”

“None at all,” Will chuckled, holding his hands up in surrender before moving in to kiss her cheeks.

“I’m very sorry,” Alex turned a smile to the nurse. “I know we’re holding you up from doing your job.”

“Not at all ma’am,” the nurse smiled back, a bit more at ease in the room now and silently touched at how normal they really all were. She nodded to both William and Alex and then stepped around them to attend to Harry’s needs.

“How are you, Alex?” William asked in a low voice, his concern for her wellbeing evident in his eyes.

“I’m doing much better,” she said. “Thank you for being here this afternoon with him while I picked up Emma from school. And for feeding him.”

“You’re welcome,” William chuckled. “Where is Emma? Did you bring her with you?”

“I dropped her off with Zara to have a riding lesson,” Alex replied. “Matt will pick her up and bring her up her after so she can spend time with Harry this evening. Even with everything going on…” She nodded back towards Harry. “I want her to do her normal things; give her something to focus her energy on.”

“Of course,” William nodded. “You know, if you need us to take her for a night here and there, we don’t mind at all. We love having her at our place.”

“You just like playing dress up with her,” Alex quipped, bringing a groan of a laugh from Will.

“I didn’t dress up. I judged…you know what? Nevermind,” he chuckled with a shake of his head.

“Thank you,” Alex said, her voice holding a bit more seriousness. “I appreciate the offer. If I need to take you up on it I’ll call you guys, okay?”

“Certainly,” William nodded. He glanced up towards Harry just as the nurse was stepping away and then heading towards the door. “She get you taken care of?”

“What did you need?” Alex asked, her attention turning back to focus on her husband.

“They changed up my pain meds,” Harry replied, leaning his head back against the bed. “They put me on something less intense, but they have to give it to me orally instead of through the IV.”

“Ah,” Alex nodded, secretly glad Harry was off of the morphine drip. She knew he couldn’t get more than the machine allowed, but for some reason the powerful narcotic bothered her a bit.

“They still make me sleepy though,” Harry sighed, leaning his head back against the pillow.

Alex exchanged a glance with Will, knowing that Harry was frustrated with not being able to move and not being alert for most of the time.

“It won’t be forever,” Alex said softly, stepping over to the bed to look down on him. “How about…you sleep now, and tonight when you wake up I’ll be back with food and with Emma. Plus, I think Matt and Charlotte are going to bring Cooper by to visit his Uncle Harry tonight.”

“Mmhmm…sounds like a wonderful night,” Harry nodded.

“It does,” Alex smiled, leaning down to kiss his warm lips once more, flat out ignoring Will’s playful groan across the room. “We will see you then.”


Harry spent just over two weeks in the hospital. In truth, he probably could have gone home a little earlier; the pain in his body had faded for the most part, and he only needed medication to sleep at night. But because there was no way to fix a broken collarbone or broken ribs other than just waiting for them to heal, his doctors made the decision to keep him a little bit of extra time to ensure he stayed immobile, allowing those bones to begin the healing process a bit faster.

The press camped out in front of the hospital didn’t diminish over those two weeks. The chord that Harry’s accident had struck within the people had ensured that waiting for any sign or word of Harry or his condition, as well as photographing the many visitors that came in and out to see him – including the recently widowed and still in mourning, Queen Elizabeth – was well worth the time spent outside waiting.

Alex was there every single day, of course. Some nights she spent at the hospital, while others she stayed home with Emma, choosing to go first thing in the morning after she had sent Emma to school. In the evenings, Emma would come up to the hospital to spend time with Harry, something she looked forward to every single day. She missed her dad at home; and made sure to tell him so as much as she could. On nights that Alex chose to stay with Harry at the hospital, Emma would stay with Molly or her parents. She also spent a night with Charles and Camilla and the next day she couldn’t hold back about how much she loved Papa Charles and Granny Cam (and their very large library of books, complete with many books from when Camilla’s children were small.) She always came back from visits with them clutching another classic children’s book in her hands and a wide smile on her face.

It was a couple of days before Harry was due to be discharged when Zara and Mike came from a visit; their second since Harry’s accident. Alex and Will were both there as well, and everyone was incredibly pleased that Harry seemed to be doing so much better.

And he was. The bruising and swelling on his face was gone and the color seemed to have permanently returning to his skin. They had all just gotten through commenting on those very things when a knock sounded out on Harry’s hospital room door.

“Knock, knock!” Nurse Rachel called out as she opened the door and stuck her head in. Seeing the visitors in Harry’s room she smiled and nodded at them and then turned to look at her patient. “I know you’re having some time with your family, but can we interrupt for a moment?”

“We?” Harry lifted his eyebrows. “Ah Nurse R, don’t tell me you’re bringing another doctor around to poke at me.”

“Worse,” she grinned, pushing the door open and stepping into the room. A tall, slender black man about Harry and Alex’s age walked in behind her. “This is Dr. Benjamin Scott. He’s going to be in charge of your physical therapy plan. He wanted to meet the man he’s going to be torturing for the next few months.”

Harry let out a surprised chuckle and his eyes slid to Dr. Scott. The dimples in his cheeks gave his easy smile the impression of kindness, but it also held the smallest touch of a smirk. He looked relaxed and easygoing but Harry could tell that exterior was carefully constructed; it could give way in favor of being disciplined when needed. Without a word exchanged between them, Harry thought the young doctor reminded him very much of himself.

He liked him immediately.

“I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be nervous or up to the challenge,” Harry joked.

“As an officer in the British Army, I’d expect you to be up to the challenge,” Dr. Scott responded instantly, the smirk in his smile only increasing. “I know if you were in the RAF you would be.”

Alex couldn’t help the giggle that fell from her lips at the dig, Zara and Mike both snorted with laughter in the corner, but it was William’s shout of laughter that filled the air around them.

“Now, how much did my brother pay you to say that?” Harry grinned, drawing more laughs from around the room.

“Absolutely nothing,” Dr. Scott laughed as he stepped forward to the bed. “It comes naturally to us RAF men.”

“You’re former RAF?” Harry’s brows lifted in surprise.

“Yes sir,” Dr. Scott nodded. “I served four years. Two tours of Afghanistan. And when they asked me to head up your recovery process, there is no way I could say no to getting paid to push around an Army man.”

Harry laughed and nodded. “I suppose I can’t blame you for that.” He lifted his good arm as much as he could, holding it out for the doctor who shook it gently. “Nice to meet you, Dr. Scott.”

“Please, call me Ben,” he returned. “If I may call you Harry?”

“Absolutely,” Harry nodded and then turned his gaze towards Alex, who grinned at the light that the banter with the doctor had brought into his eyes. “Ben, this is my wife, Alexandra.”

“Please, call me Alex,” she said, her smile widening as she extended her hand to the young doctor.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Alex,” Ben smiled as he shook her hand. “I hope you don’t mind that I’ll be pushing around your husband for the next few months.”

“Not at all,” she chuckled. “In fact, I’m rather looking forward to it.”

“Hey!” Harry called out, turning wide eyes to his wife. “Traitor!”

Everyone in the room laughed, including Harry, who then immediately set about introducing Ben to his brother, Zara, and Mike. A few more minutes were spent bantering and then, with the promise to come back before Harry was discharged with a comprehensive plan for his physical therapy, Dr. Ben Scott took his leave of the room, Nurse Rachel following along right behind him.

And with that, Harry was one step closer to going home.

And one more step closer to getting better.


Though things had been on the upswing for Harry, and the day of his release from the hospital should have been the pinnacle for that, the reality of the fact that the press were waiting outside in droves for him brought his mood crashing down the ground that morning.

Robin Jeffries, a no-nonsense gentleman in his mid-thirties from Harry and Alex’s office who was filling in for Charlotte while she was on maternity leave, had arrived first thing that morning. And he brought the start realities of Harry’s public life with him.

The press had been allowed to gather and wait for Harry to exit the hospital around noon. They would be getting the photo op they wanted; the first pictures of the injured Prince after his accident.

And Harry wasn’t happy at all about it.

“No,” Harry shook his head, his cheeks reddening as his gaze narrowed on Robin. “This is ridiculous. I’m not going out there to paraded in front of the press for their…amusement.”

Robin cleared his throat as he formulated his next words carefully. He wasn’t intimidated by Harry; he’d been working in the Prince’s office for years and knew him well. But he also knew that there was a reason Charlotte had always been the one to “handle” Harry when it came to matters of the press. It was a fine art sometimes; an art that Robin had yet to fully master.

“Sir, it’s really a standard photo op. You don’t have to do an interview or speak to them at all. Just go out, smile…”

“Smile?” Harry interrupted, his eyebrows lifting. “I am being paraded about then. I’m sorry Robin, you’re just going to have to call them off.”

“Sir,” Robin’s eyes flashed to Alex and then back to Harry. “You know as well as I do that we cannot do that.”

“Robin,” Alex said sweetly, stepping in when she saw the way Harry’s jaw clenched at Robin’s words. “I’m sorry, but would you mind giving me a few moments alone with my husband?”

“Of course, ma’am,” Robin nodded. “I’ll be right outside whenever you’re ready.”

“Thank you,” Alex smiled. She watched as he left the room, and as soon as the door shut she turned to Harry, crossing her arms over her chest as she raised her eyebrows at him. “Alright, what’s the deal, Sussex?”

“Alex…” he sighed as she continued to look at him, waiting for a response. “What?” he finally asked. “What do you want me to say?”

“How about why you’re so irritated to have to go out the front door with the photographers present?”

“You just heard me say why.”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “But I’m not buying it. You are practically on display everywhere you go in public. You know giving the press a picture in this case is…well, sort of expected. The public wants to see you. So why are you so grumpy about it?”

“Grumpy?” His lips twitched up at her word choice.

“Mhmmm,” she nodded, her gaze unwavering as she waited for him to answer.

“Christ, I don’t know, Alex,” he groaned, reaching up with his good arm to run his hand through his hair. “I mean, look at me. I can’t even walk out there. I’m going to be wheeled out and then helped into the car. The whole world is going to see me in pain and…”

“So?” she interrupted and his eyes swung to hers, widening in surprise.

“I’m sorry?”

“Harry, you were in a major car accident. Believe me when I tell you this – no one is going to think less of you for being in pain. Baby, they’re just glad you’re alive.”

“Alex…” Harry’s face softened with her words.

“I’m serious, Harry. I know you know there have been comparisons to your mother’s death but it really just…invoked this feeling in people. They loved her and they love you and they need to see that you’re okay.”

“Alright,” he finally nodded after a long moment, knowing she was right. “You’re right. I have to do it.”

“Yeah,” she smiled softly and then moved to sit on the best next to him. “You do. And…to assure that you’re prepared to go out there with at least a little bit of a smile on your face…I’m prepared to make a bargain with you.”

“A bargain?” he chuckled, interest sparking in his eyes. “What kind of a bargain?”

“Well…” She turned and reached for her bag. She slid out some sort of hat and then turned to Harry as she placed it on her head, her eyes dancing as she waited for his reaction.

Harry's eyebrows lifted. “A nurse's hat?”

Alex nodded and pressed her lips together to keep a giggle from slipping out at just how fast his attention was turned. “The rest of this outfit is at home and I thought that later on I know, play nurse for you. Give you that sponge bath?”

Harry's lips curved up. “What kind of outfit are we talking here? Scrubs or...the naughty nurse variety.”

“Ha! The naughty variety. Incredibly short skirt and all.”

“Oh God. Okay. I'll go out there. I'll make nice and pull a smile for the cameras.”

“Yeah?” Alex laughed. “Well, that was easy.”

“Jesus. You could probably make me agree to anything dressed up as a naughty nurse.”

Alex giggled. “I'll keep that in mind, Sussex.”

And Harry lived up to his word. When he was pushed in that wheelchair out of the hospital doors and down the ramp towards the waiting Range Rover, he smiled and even offered a wave to the cameras.

And the truth was that it wasn’t so hard to do. He hadn’t been outside in two weeks. He hadn’t felt the heat of the summer sun on his skin or heard much else besides beeping machines in all of that time. Being able to take a deep breath of fresh air eased him considerably and he really didn’t mind so much that the press were yelling questions at him and clicking away with their cameras.

It all moved rather quickly. Harry was assisted into the car by a member of the hospital staff and his protection officer. He stretched out across the backseat, propping his leg up and offering one more wave before his car door was shut. He let out a deep breath and then the doors for the front seats were opening; his P.O. slid into the passenger seat and his wife slid into the driver’s seat, shutting the door firmly behind her.

“You’re driving me home?” he chuckled, his eyebrows lifted in that adorably teasing way he had.

“Of course,” she said as she turned around with a determined but adorable look on her face. “I’m not taking any chances with you and cars. This way I know you’ll be driven home safe…no offence, Mark,” she deadpanned, turning to Harry’s protection officer next to her.

“None taken, ma’am,” Mark replied, his lips twitching up as he tried in vain to conceal how humorous he found it.

“Good,” Alex nodded before turning around to grin and wink at Harry. “Are you ready to go home, baby? Our daughter is waiting on us.”

“God yes,” he grinned. “Take me home, Alex.”


As soon as they had made it home and managed to maneuver Harry through the front door, Emma came flying in from the living room, sliding across the marble floor in her socks as she was tailed by the big ball of yellow fur that was their family dog, Gus.

“You’re home!” she squealed as she nearly stumbled as she halted in front of Harry. “Can I hug you?!”

“Yes,” Harry laughed, balancing carefully on his one crutch and his good leg as she moved forward and wrapped her arms gently around his waist.

“I missed you here, Daddy,” Emma said brightly as she pulled back from him. She sighed into a giggle as Gus pushed into her in his own excitement to see Harry. “And Gus did too.”

“I missed you both very much,” Harry said with a grin, reaching out to give Gus a scratch behind the ears and then moving to ruffle Emma’s head of blonde curls. “Now, who’s watching you? Or are you and Gus here all alone?”

“I’m here! I’m here!” a voice called out from the kitchen and moving closer to them. Molly appeared around the same corner that Emma had come from, her face lighting up and tears coming to her eyes when she saw Harry. “Well, look at you. Welcome home, Captain Wales,” she grinned as she moved forward to kiss his cheeks. “What are you doing standing? We need to get you sitting down and relaxing,” she continued without waiting for him to answer.

Alex set her stuff down and watched with a grin as Molly clucked over Harry; helping him into the living room and getting him comfortable and stretched out on the couch. Then she bustled off to the kitchen to get him something to drink and something to snack on and Alex followed, leaving Emma to some alone time with her dad while he got settled.

“Are you cooking for an army in here?” Alex joked as she moved through the kitchen door and took in the spread Molly had going.

“Psh,” Molly waved her hand. “You have a husband to nurse back to health. You don’t need to worry about cooking. I’m just making up some quick casseroles for you for the week.”

“What would I do without you?” Alex sighed as she plucked a chopped carrot from the cutting board and popped it into her mouth. “He looks a lot better, doesn’t he?”

“God, yes,” Molly nodded, turning towards Alex with wide eyes. “His color is back. He’s really so lucky, honey. That was…a terrible crash.”

“Yeah,” Alex sighed, biting at her lip. “It was.”

“Do they know why the brakes went out?”

“No,” Alex shook her head. “They’re investigating though.”

Molly’s eyes widened. “Do they think its foul play?”

“I can’t imagine it was,” Alex shrugged. “That would be…strange. I can’t imagine who would…”

“Mummy!” Emma’s voice interrupted their conversation and a moment later she pushed through the kitchen door, a hand on her hip. “What’s taking so long?! Daddy is thirsty.”

“Let’s think about that tone in your voice,” Alex said, narrowing her eyes and immediately Emma looked contrite.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Mum. But Daddy is thirsty. Can I have a drink to bring him please?”

“Better,” Alex smiled. She shared a look with Molly and then went to the fridge, pulled out a bottle of water, and then followed her daughter from the room, letting the conversation she was having with Molly fall to the side for now.


Harry was incredibly glad to be home; so happy to be surrounded by his girls. Molly visited for a bit and then took her leave, letting them settle into being together in their home again after two very long, unsettling weeks.

Alex heated up one of Molly’s casseroles and they had a casual dinner in the living room and then turned on a movie, but it wasn’t long until Harry was getting tired and his body started to grow achy. He’d done so much more moving that day than he’d done for a long time and it had worn him out. So Alex and Emma had both helped him up the stairs and to the bedroom. Emma had adorably offered to read him a bedtime story since he couldn’t come tuck her in and read her one and he happily accepted, letting her climb in between him and Alex and read him the classic Dr. Seuss book, “Green Eggs and Ham”.

After the story, Emma kissed Harry goodnight and Alex left to go tuck their daughter in for the night. And when she came back several minutes later, her eyes immediately fell on Harry. He was still propped up on their bed, just as she had left him; but something about seeing him there waiting for her to come to bed, hit her right in the chest and completely unexpected tears filled her eyes.

“Hey,” he said, his forehead scrunching up in concern. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she shook her head and let out a puff of a laugh. “I just…had a moment where I realized how much I’ve missed you here with me. And how…close I came to…not having you here with me.

And there it was. The words they’d both been avoiding for the two weeks since Harry’s accident.

Harry’s breath pulled heavy in his chest and he swallowed and the lump that formed in his throat. “Alex, I…” he blinked a few times and took a deep breath. “We need to talk about it.”

“We don’t have to do it tonight,” she murmured, shaking her head as she wiped away more tears.

“Yes, we do,” he responded, his voice softer; deeper. “Come on, Alexandra. Get in bed with your husband. We’ll talk.”

She smiled softly, nodded, and then took a deep breath as she moved to her side of the bed. She pulled back the covers and slid into bed with him, careful not to jostle him too much before pulling up the covers around her legs and turning to face him.

“Come here,” he murmured, lifting his good arm up.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” she whispered, her voice a bit timid.

“I’ll be fine,” he chuckled. “Come here…please?”

Her smile pulled a little higher and she leaned into him gently, curling into his side and laying her head softly on his chest. She couldn’t deny how good it felt to be nestled against him.

“I missed you,” she sighed, her eyes closing and her body relaxing as his warmth seeped into her. His arm moved around her and he held her closer, enjoying the moment just as much as she was.

They were both silent for several long moments; neither of them knowing exactly where or how to start. But in the end, it was Alex who spoke first, her soft, breathy voice making Harry’s heart clench with her words.

“I nearly lost it, Harry. When the crash happened…I was screaming and crying and…well, the media caught it all on camera of course. So I’m sure at some point you’ll see…”

“Alex,” his voice was gruff. “I don’t want to see…”

“And on the way to the hospital,” she continued, wanting to get the words out. “All I could think was, what if? What if he doesn’t make it? What if I have to tell Emma that her dad…” Her voice broke and she trailed off, squeezing her eyes shut against the hot rush of tears.

“Oh baby, I’m so sorry,” Harry breathed as his own emotions surged. “I’m so sorry that you had to go through that.”

“It’s not…you don’t have to apologize,” Alex sniffed, a small, breath of a laugh coming out with it. “It’s not your fault. You were in surgery, fighting for your life.”

“Yeah,” Harry let out a breath. “But it’s not like I remember that.”

And for whatever reason, his words struck some chord inside of Alex somewhere that made her giggle. The first one slipped from her lips unexpectedly, but even after she pressed her lips tightly together to keep her laughter in, it came rushing out anyway. Her shoulders shook with it and Harry was more than happy to let her lay there and giggle, loving the sound and the way it pushed aside the hurt in her voice.

That was, until she jostled him just a bit too hard, sending a sharp pain up through his broken ribs.

“Ow!” he hissed, sucking in a breath.

“Oh!” Alex gasped, moving to sit up. “See! I told you that I would hurt you!”

Harry let out a long breath as the pain subsided and then turned tired, but warm and sweet eyes up to her. “It was worth it.”


“Absolutely,” he nodded, reaching out to pull her hand into his. “I love you so much, Alexandra. I promise you that the thought that I could have left you and Emma here without me make…ache on the inside. It makes me restless and upset and…” His hand squeezed hers and the moment hung heavy in the air between them. I’m sorry you had to sit with that for hours without knowing how it would end.

She held his gaze for a long moment and then nodded, letting out a breath she hadn’t even known she’d been holding. “I’m so happy it ended the way it did. Well, apart from all the broken bones of course.”

“Of course,” he chuckled. “I’m willing to deal with the broken bones to be able to be here with you. And be Emma’s father. And make ten more babies with you.

“Okay, now I know the pain meds are kicking in,” Alex laughed, loving the look on his face as she joked with him.

“Maybe a little,” he conceded, his eyes already getting heavy.

“Oh! I was supposed to play naughty nurse for you,” she grinned, just a hint of something mischievous in her eyes.

Harry’s lips curved up and he tugged on her hand, bringing her down closer to him. “How about I take a raincheck? Say…for when I’m well enough to watch you prance around in that outfit and actually do something about it?”

“Deal,” Alex smirked. She leaned down and dropped a kiss to his warm, soft lips and then pulled up, her own eyes growing heavier by the moment. She knew that with Harry home, she was going to sleep better than she had in the past two weeks.

“Deal.” His smile was smug in return, but she could see sleep starting to overtake him.

“Goodnight, Harry. I love you.”

“Mhmmm…love you too, Alexandra Mae…”

She smiled down on him, watching him as his eyes slid closed. His breathing evened out and the worry in his brow disappeared and Alex knew he was fast asleep. She leaned down to press one more kiss to his forehead and then she turned to switch off the lamp and pull the covers up around her.

And she was almost asleep before her head even hit the pillow.