|One Of Those Days
Author: Ondine03 PM
Modern A/U. Scarlett is a neurology resident and Rhett is her supervisor. May have epilogue in the future but complete for now.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 15 - Words: 27,961 - Reviews: 160 - Favs: 31 - Follows: 50 - Updated: 02-10-13 - Published: 06-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8177126
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A modern AU. Scarlett is a neurology resident and Rhett is her supervisor. No, I don't know any doctors who think like Scarlett does, this is fiction and I'm trying to stay in character. Scarlett is not PC even in this Universe, so consider yourself warned. Events and people from the book are used or discarded to suit my fancy. All patients are made up. All doctors are made up. All nurses are made up. The hospital is made up. I own nothing and merely indulge myself.
"There's another one of yours in room fourteen", the Dr Meade, the geriatric ER attending, had said grandly, sweeping past her with his mousy scribe and even mousier PA in tow.
Scarlett Butler, MD was seated at the main Nurse's station in the ER and looked at his retreating form with ill-concealed loathing. He had already referred her three crazy people and a drunk going into DTs and it wasn't even nine o'clock yet. She wasted a few pleasurable seconds imagining a slow, torturous death to whoever had suggested that this elective was a great way to prepare for the boards next year.
Who had it been? Oh yes. Ashley. It figured.
She sighed and pulled up the hospital's electronic medical records. Room 14, Amanda Wright.
She clicked on the name and opened the triage note. "28 y.o female, no previous medical history. New onset numbness/weakness in her left leg, began 2 hours ago."
Scarlett sighed again, trying to decipher if 'new onset numbness' was code for another crazy person. But crazy people usually didn't have a virgin chart until they were twenty-eight.
Unless she'd recently moved to this area.
Scarlett clicked on the lab results. Negative toxicology screen, etoh 0.00.
Not drunk, not high, at least not on anything they could measure. Well then. She pushed herself up, and rounded the ER until she came to the 10s. 13. 14.
Deep breath. Fake smile. Square shoulders. Run hand through hair. Enter.
A brunette, well dressed, recently showered, in male company. Obviously educated. Worried, but not frantic. Yes, she had woken up like this. No, she had never had anything similar happen. Yes, there was an episode of dizziness last summer, but it had gone away after a week or so, and …
On physical exam, she had an obvious left foot drop, and complete loss of sensation below L5. Great. MRI, lumbar puncture probably. The day was getting better and better.
Pager. Maybelle Merriwether, the new intern, who'd probably bungled the LP on the inpatient unit as usual. And Ashley, the junior chief, was worse than useless at anything requiring manual dexterity. Actually, he was useless at most things.
Incredible that she had ever fancied herself in love with the guy.
Pager. Scarlett finished charting room 14 (rule/out MS, pending workup) and called back first Maybelle, then the charge nurse. The new admission she had sent up had arrived on the floor and the orders were dropped on transfer. Could she please reorder them? Sure. What. Ever.
She took the elevator up to the floor and helped Maybelle, wasting at least forty-five minutes walking her through the procedure for what must be the fourth time this week. She, Scarlett, had never been this hopeless as an intern. Beeeeeeeeep. The ER again. Could she come down?
Two admission, legit this time, beginning stroke. History, exam, chart, orders, repeat. Call floor nurses.
Pager. Dr Picard from radiology. The MRI wet-read was suspicious and could she come see. She crossed the hospital, took the elevator to radiology and wound her way through several dark rooms to Dr Picard, who had her patient's brain and spine suspended on his illuminating computer screens. She saw the tell-tale periventricular white spots before she even entered the room, repeated at irregular intervals down the cord. Crap Crap. MS. And what was worse, this would net her another hour long conversation with everyone crying. Scarlett hated crying people. Had always hated them, even before becoming much too personally acquainted with grief. If she had wanted to deal with feelings she would have gone into psych like Melly. Why did Melly have to die? Melly knew how to talk to crying people and make them think everything would be ok. Even being in a wheelchair at 50, and that's if they were lucky.
The brunette didn't cry. She asked sparse, sensible questions about workup and treatment, and agreed to be admitted for a round of steroids. Mature people were odd, Scarlett decided, especially if they were about her age. Being this together wasn't normal.
Beeeeeeeeeeeeep. Four more admissions. Lunch had long come and gone and she hadn't even had time to eat a sandwich.
And then, to round off a crappy day, came the 58 y/o with tongue fasciculations. Luckily, she didn't have to be the one to tell him he would be dead in three years because he hadn't had his EMG yet, and there was nothing they could do anyways. She told him to make an appointment with his outpatient neurologist and let them deal with it.
But still, crap. ALS.
Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Another lumbar puncture Maybelle needed help with and she had run out of needles. Could Scarlett please ….
She took the elevator to the neurology ward and swiped the key to the supply room from the hook next to the charge nurse desk, without notifying the charge nurse like she was supposed to. She walked down the corridor, unlocked the room and began searching for the specific lumbar puncture set she wanted.
"Scarlett. Imagine finding you here," a lazy voice mocked. Scarlett looked up briefly.
Rhett. Immaculately dressed as always, in dark trousers and a pink silk shirt and tie that only he could pull off without looking effeminate. Her to-be-ex husband, and unfortunately, also her consult attending and interim program director. Without his usual swarm of adoring med and PA students batting their fake eyelashes at him and hanging on to his every word.
Must have sent them home early.
She pulled out the lone blue lumbar puncture set out of the tray, heedless of the others that lay scattered about, and made towards the door. He blocked her.
"You may want to clean up that mess. The nurses here work hard enough."
"You would know all about that," Scarlett jeered, but without much energy. It had been a well known secret that he had been messing around with Belle Watling, LPN from Trauma while still living with her. She tried keeping her eyes averted so they wouldn't tell him she found him attractive. Rhett had always been much to perceptive for his own good.
"You wound me," he grinned. He stepped inside, closed the door with one hand and pushed her against the wall in one smooth motion. Then he kissed her. Scarlett struggled half-heartedly, but he was strong enough to keep her in place with one hand, keeping the other on the door knob.
If only he wasn't such an excellent kisser.
She finally twisted her head away. "Go to hell, Rhett."
"You're surprisingly hard to resist when you look at me like that," he said. There was an echo of mild reproof in his voice.
Great. Now it was her fault. She glared at him openly, which he repaid with a look of mock innocence.
"I only came by to ask you to dinner. Dr Meade told me you'd gone to the floor when I looked for you downstairs. Are you free later?"
She scowled. "What for? If you want to discuss the divorce have your people call my people."
"Just dinner, Scarlett. Catch up. The kids' vacation. Talk. We're friends, remember?"
Right. Friends. Whatever. She suddenly noticed how tired she was. It had been a draining day. Wade and Ella were in Ireland with Pa for the summer, so no one was waiting for her at home. And her fridge contained nothing but last week's leftovers, that would probably walk off on their own if she opened the door.
She would probably regret this.
"Short call takes over at five, right? You'll need an hour for charting. I'll pick you up outside of the ER at six."
She realized that she was staring at his midsection. She suddenly giggled.
"You may want to start wearing a lab coat."
He paused at the doorway, and winked at her. "You may want to fix your lipstick."
Scarlett looked around for an LP set to throw at him other than the one she was holding. She needed that one.
He grinned, and stepped out of the door into the corridor before she could grab one. "See you at six."