|Waiting in the Rain
Author: pygmymuse PM
Sometimes it's saying too much. Sometimes not enough. And sometimes, just the right thing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Eva Zambrano & M. Procter - Chapters: 9 - Words: 29,012 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-03-10 - Published: 05-24-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5996698
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Waiting in the Rain
Word Count: 2,663
Disclaimer: I can't own anything. The pygmies and debt collectors own me.
Summary: Sometimes it's saying too much. Sometimes not enough. And sometimes, just the right thing.
Spoilers: Up to 1x07. *sigh*
Author's Note: This is me working out some issues arising from episode seven. I have to do another fic after episode eight. I was searching for a title for this and listened to Genesis' "Misunderstanding," and it kind of fit, so the title is from a lyric to that song, "waiting in the rain for hours."
I will admit, I almost ended this story back at the end of chapter six. It was the plan. Not sure going ahead further was a good idea. *shrugs* Anyway, I reached the point where I think it ends well, but I know my ideas of endings... differ from other people's. Oh, well. This is where it ends. :)
"Since you are all determined to have a celebration, I should tell you, we've settled on a going away party."
"For Proctor's mother?"
"She's not his mother," Eva said, shaking her head. She had decided, at least in her opinion, that neither of them deserved to be Proctor's parents, and she wasn't going to call the other woman Proctor's mother. Proctor gave her some loyalty, still, after all these years, but while Eva admired him for that, she didn't share that same loyalty, didn't owe the woman anything, and she didn't think Proctor did, either. She knew she didn't have the whole story, would probably never get it from Proctor, but she didn't blame him for his distance.
"Oh-kay," Chris said, drawing out the word. "I take it you don't like this woman. A lot. Did she interrupt the two of you again?"
"Let's just say that Proctor is evasive for a reason."
Chris looked at her. Then he frowned. "A reason?"
"His family? Messed up, to put it mildly. And, no, I'm not telling you why or how. That's his business. No one else's. If he chooses to tell you, that's up to him, but I won't say anything else," Eva told him. She sighed. "Besides, it's not just the maybe-mother going away."
"That's right. That's why we got the whole 'ding dong the witch is dead' song earlier. Sable transferring out must be nice for you."
"Considering that I just sat through a review of my entire time here, had practically every patient I treated analyzed and nitpicked as well as having my personal life invaded and made a part of public record, yeah, I'm glad she's gone," Eva muttered bitterly. What happened a few days ago shouldn't have caused all this. Yes, people had died, but there was nothing they could have done differently. It still angered her that she'd had every single medical decision she'd ever made—yes, she'd made mistakes, and she knew that she had—questioned and debated. It wasn't just what she'd done as the head of Bravo. It wasn't what she'd done running Alpha while Proctor was gone that was questioned, but all of it. She had been through her whole damn career. It had felt like a witch hunt, like they were looking for a reason to fire her. She hadn't given them one. She was sure of that, but the whole thing bothered her.
"You thinking about telling them where to shove it?"
"I did. A few times. Guess I still am," Eva answered. She shook her head. "It wasn't supposed to be like this. What does it even matter if I'm involved with Proctor? He has his team, I have mine. Why the hell is that a problem? If they didn't think I was qualified to lead Bravo, why offer it to me? Proctor doesn't have that kind of pull around here, and even if he did, we weren't dating when I got the offer. He wasn't even in the country. Es la mayor cosa ridiculosa que yo eschucho."
"Okay," Chris said after she'd finished a long rant of curses in Spanish. "Take it easy. You know if you want to leave, you can. They don't deserve you. And you've got one member of your team that would follow you because, yeah, their heads are in their asses. Wherever you go, you'll still be the same great doctor that you are. You know that. I know that."
"You know what's really annoying? I'm not so sure that this crap would be happening if I wasn't a woman."
"Maybe not. How much of this is coming down on Proctor?"
Eva sighed. "I'm not sure. He's not exactly talking about it. Apparently, things came down pretty hard over that asshole of a resident that was on his team, and he's dealing with fallout from that. I don't know all of the details because he won't tell me, but apparently, the resident's turned his whole 'unorthodox' approach back at him, and all of his decisions are under review as well. If he has been dealing with them over this, too, he hasn't mentioned it to me."
"You know, in this case, he might actually be... protecting you by his evasion."
"I don't want to be protected. I don't need to be protected," Eva said in annoyance. "No, I just need a long vacation and some time to figure out if I'm willing to put up with this bullshit."
"Let me know if you're going to quit, okay?" Chris said with a half-smile. "I have to put together my resume."
She laughed. "Just call up that headhunter. I'm sure she'd still give you that spot."
He made a face. "I like what I do. I might not like the bureaucrats and what they're putting you through, but I do like this place. Don't want to be here without you or Warren. Not so sure about Proctor..."
Eva rolled her eyes. "Even you learned a few things from him."
Chris nodded. "I did. Which makes all of this worse."
"We'll survive. We always do."
"Tuck! Good to see you. How are you feeling?" Proctor greeted the other man as he entered the restaurant. He had suggested this compromise when the discussion of a celebration was brought up again. Some had wanted a party, others drinks at the Crab Shack, but given the recent surgeries that Tuck had endured, a restaurant was a better choice. Besides, Matt did not enjoy parties.
"Good, Doctor Proctor," Tuck smiled. "And always a pleasure to see you, Doctor Zambrano."
"I've missed you, Tuck," Eva said with a smile, giving him a hug. "It really is good to see you on your feet again. I bet Proctor can't wait to have you back at work."
"You are quite fortunate that the nurse from Charlie team wanted to jump ship," Proctor told her, for Kathy was a disaster, and it didn't help that she was one of the resident's few supporters. She had no reason to think that ill of him, for he put on a good act in her presence and flirted with her shamelessly. "But Tuck will be back soon, won't you?"
"And you still get Tuck, so stop being jealous," Eva teased, stepping up to kiss him. Matt was surprised by the gesture. They had not had much time together recently, with the inquiries they were both involved in, and the situation with his family had put a strain on things as well. He wondered if this kiss was for Tuck's benefit.
Tuck smiled at them both. Eva wrapped her arm around Matt's waist and leaned her head on his chest. "I kind of wish we'd put this off again."
"I should very much like to be alone with you. I fear there is much we should have discussed," he agreed. "Not that I am a good conversationalist, as we've proved several times in the past months."
She shrugged. "You say the right thing when you need to."
"Sometimes," she answered, and Tuck laughed at them. "Chris and Warren are late."
"Next time that he bothers you concerning us, I suggest you tease him about them," Proctor told her, and she looked at him in surprise. "What truth there is to it, I do not know, but I think it would unsettle him nonetheless."
She smiled at him. "See? You said the right thing."
He shook his head with amusement. He reached to touch her cheek. He loved her, and he did wish to be alone with her again. With all that had happened, their time together had been short, they did not talk, and he was not—he was uneasy about it. Though he knew that he was better at saying the wrong thing than he was the right, they really should talk. He knew that she had been dealing with a lot, the inquiry and everything else that her involvement with him was costing her. He should, perhaps, end it, for it would be less selfish that way. She would not have to endure all that she did.
"Tuck," Eva began, "how have you been? Your family was here, right?"
"And they made a big fuss, all of them trying to smoother me with love," he answered. He smiled. "It was good to see them. I missed them, but I'm glad they're gone again."
"I bet Proctor knows a bit about that, right?" Chris asked as he and Warren finally walked up to them. "You heard about Proctor's family coming to town, too, right?"
"I did," Tuck said. "I still hear everything that goes on in my hospital."
He looked at Eva and Proctor as he said this. He knew about the inquiries, knew about the difficulties they'd had because of them. Matt shook his head. "I believe they may have some money on whether or not the woman they met was my mother. Do you, Tuck?"
"No bet, but I know what I'd say if I was asked," Tuck said. He smiled as the hostess came back to seat them. "Man, I have been looking forward to this. Four doctors at the table, I can get away with breaking my diet, right? Because I have been craving a steak like you would not believe."
"Well," Proctor began. "Your secret is safe with me."
"Any secret is safe with Proctor," Warren said as Deleo pulled out a chair for her. She sat down, putting her purse on the table. Eva looked over at Proctor, and he offered her the chair he had just pulled out. He had not meant to slight her, but she was not one for gestures like that, either, as she proved by taking a different seat. "Unless Eva knows differently?"
She gave her friend a wicked look, and Eva laughed. "Meaning I could get things out of him by means of... feminine wiles? Really? Do I have that kind of power, Proctor?"
He reached for his water glass and took a sip before he spoke. "Do you believe me so easily led, and have you found me truthful when you employ such means?"
She leaned over to kiss him. "No more than you are when I don't."
He smiled back at her. "And here is when they all start to wonder why you put up with me at all."
"Someone has to, mi loco, and it may as well be me," she answered.
"And there is your answer. You don't even know why you want me."
She shrugged. "Maybe it's because of the rain."
"It was a good meal."
"We should talk now," Proctor began, and Eva almost winced. She looked over at him, knowing that he was right. They did need to talk. They'd done a lot of not talking in the last few days. She knew they weren't exactly talkers, but they were more or less honest with each other. Even if Proctor wasn't willing to tell her something, he was at least honest about not telling her. "Eva, I realize you can't be thrilled about this because I am... really bad at this, but we do need to talk."
She nodded. "I know."
"I... I will start by saying that I love you. I think that's best."
She laughed. "You're afraid that you're going to say something that will upset me, huh?"
"I seem to have a remarkable ability to put my foot in my mouth," he said, shrugging. He touched her face. "But I have missed you, missed our... intimacy. Of late, it has seemed forced and superficial."
"It wasn't—maybe it was," she said. She took his hand. "I think there was just too much on the outside, too much pressure. The whole thing at the hospital, your... not-mother, and..."
"Well, Chris and I were calling her your maybe-mother, but I decided she didn't deserve it," Eva answered. She smiled at him. "What can I say? I think I've developed a protective nature, too. Jealous and protective. I like you too much, and you can ask me why that is, and you know I don't have a good answer other than that I love you."
"Jealous and protective?" Proctor asked, smiling. He leaned over and kissed her. "That just makes you more attractive to me, you know."
She reached for his shirt, undoing the buttons. "You know what I'm starting to think? I don't want to talk anymore."
He caught her hands. "And I like that idea as well, but you know that we should keep talking for at least a little while. If all we had was sex, this would already be over."
"It's not just about sex. It wasn't before we started dating, and it's not now," she told him. She had been attracted to him at first, yes, but she liked him for more than the way he looked. He was funny and quirky, and she enjoyed figuring out the way his mind worked. He fascinated her in so many ways. She would spend the rest of her life trying to figure him out, and she didn't mind that idea at all. She licked her lips. "How much of that did I say out loud?"
"If I tell you it was all of it, will you be angry?"
She laughed. "No."
"At this point, I owe you a similar admission. You can ask Warren, if you like, and she will confirm that I asked her about you shortly after our first meeting," Proctor began. "I had to throw in a comment about Deleo just to avoid suspicion. Not sure how successful I was at that. You caught my interest from the very start, Eva. I may not always know what to say—indeed, I would say that I don't know most of the time—but I do admire you and for many reasons, not just one."
"Not sure that's an equal admission."
"I lack eloquence."
"You do well enough sometimes," she said, knowing that he was trying, in his way, and that if he wasn't so nervous about it, it would have come out better. She took his hand again, pulling him out onto the balcony. "Here. Maybe being outdoors will help."
"Hmm," he observed, wrapping his arms around her waist. She leaned into him as he kissed her neck. "I think it's going to rain."
"You're just saying that because you know what that makes me think of."
"I was the one that was trying to have a conversation," he protested. "You wanted to jump right to sex."
"Well, if you'll recall, talking hasn't been the only thing missing in the last few days."
"Yes, and that is a problem," he agreed, turning her around to face him. He caressed her cheek and kissed her. Her hands went back to the buttons on his shirt, undoing the rest of them. She figured they had talked enough for the night. There was still time to do more talking tomorrow. Beyond that, even, since they were... Well, whatever they were, they were going there together. She still had lots to figure out about him, and he seemed just as fascinated by her. She felt something wet and looked up. Damn him, he was right. It was raining.
"We can go inside."
"No, I like the rain."
"So do I."