Friday Afternoon for Doctor Howland

This fic plays off the title of the unaired ep, Best of Enemies. Hoping my intuition is correct about Doctors Nick and Terry Howland facing off (based on the Guest Star listing for this ep)...well, it isn't a good afternoon for Doctor Terry Howland.

Doctor Barbara Michaelson (from Thief of Hearts) is with Doctor Terry Howland in the ER's Exam Room 3.

B: "You know the symptoms, Doctor Howland."

T: "I suppose you'll call the surgical suite."

B: "Unless you want that appendix to burst."

T: "Guess I don't have much of a choice."

B: "Doctor Andrews is on-call today, so things will be fine."

T: "That's a relief."

B: "Just what is it that bothers you about Doctor Kokoris? He's a fine surgeon."

T: "Please, don't mention his name, else I'll give you a pelvic exam."

B: (smiling) "Now, now, Doctor Howland. No need to get nasty. We'll get you fixed up shortly."

T: "You mean, Doctor Andrews will get me fixed up shortly."

B: "Yes. Rest now and I'll call up to the surgical suite."

T: "What did they put in this IV?"

B: "The usual. I'll be back shortly!"

Doctor Michaelson leaves the exam room. She wanders over to the front desk where several nurses (Marilyn, Arleatha, and Linda) are gathered. They look at her, trying to stifle giggles.

Marilyn: "Appendicitis?"

B: "Yes. Arleatha, could you please call up to the surgical suite and let them know Doctor Howland is going to be coming up shortly?"

A: "Sure thing." (Arleatha picks up the phone and phones the OR suite) "Yes, Doctor Howland will be up shortly for an appendectomy...Kokoris?...she won't have much of a choice, will she? We'll send her up shortly." (Arleatha hangs up the phone).

L: "Isn't Doctor Kokoris coming in? I heard he was paged to come in because Doctor Andrews had that accident victim and the rest of the OR's full."

B: "Oh, dear."

A: "Oh dear is right. When the barracuda finds out Doctor Kokoris is the backup surgeon she's gonna have a hissy-fit. The OR nurse said Doctor Nick has just checked in."

Marilyn: "Should we tell the barracuda?"

B: (leaning on the counter) "No. Let her find out later. Much safer for us." (she turns away, then turns back). "Not a word of this to anyone that we knew Doctor Kokoris was the backup surgeon before Doctor Howland's surgery."

Marilyn, Linda, Arleatha: "You bet!"

Doctor Michaelson waves for the orderlies into Exam Room 3. She herself enters the exam room.

B: "You'll be asleep and awake before you know it." The orderlies enter the room, smiling. Barbara shoots them a quieting look and they erase the grins from their faces.

T: "Yeah, well. It's just a small operation--laparascopic if you remembered to order it."

B: "The surgeon will make that call, but you know as well as I do that UMC does laparascopic surgery whenever possible."

The orderlies have begun to wheel the gurney out of Exam Room 3. Dotor Michaelson shoots them a sharp look.

T: "What? You aren't going to make some wise-crack about him being the best laparascopic surgeon UMC owns?"

B: "Anything you say, Doctor Howland."

T: "You do seem to be on his personal cheering squad these days."

B: "Yes, dear."

The orderlies wheel Doctor Howland out of Exam Room 3...and down the hallway to the elevator. Nurses and Doctors try to avoid looking at her as she's being wheeled past, but it's hard for them, for they heard about Doctor Kokoris being paged for backup surgery about an hour ago. Many of them saw Doctor Kokoris come in, and know that Howland will be operated on by Kokoris.

T: "Why does everyone keep looking at me? Why?"

The orderlies just smile as the elevator doors open and they wheel Doctor Howland into the elevator. As the elevator doors close, there is general snickering amongst the ER staff and the ER's regular patients.

Shortly, Howland's gurney emerges from the elevator into the OR suite. Up here, the nurses are more polite and don't stare at Doctor Howland as she's being wheeled into pre-op.

A short while after that, Doctor Kokoris is finishing his scrub up; a nurse is waiting to gown, mask and glove him. Nurse Marie Charlton enters the scrub room.

M: "Well, well, well. It's Doctor Nick. Do you know who your patient is going to be?"

N: "Patient is an appendectomy and my job is to save lives, not play guessing games as to the patient's identity."

M: "You don't want to know who it is?"

Nick looks at Marie as he finishes scrubbing up. Another nurse puts on a gown, mask and gloves for him.

N: "I prefer to wait until I get into the OR to discover who my patients are. Much less personal that way."

M: (in a sing-song voice) "You might want to know...the med students in the observation suite already know..."

Nick looks sharply at Nurse Charlton.

N: "That will be all, Nurse Charlton. I'll see you after the op."

Marie looks hurt, then smirks at Nick. She leaves the scrub-in room. Nick enters the OR where Doctor Howland is just about to be put under by the anesthetist. Doctor Nick walks towards the head of the operating table. A nurse stops him and tells him something.

He continues towards the head of the table.

N: "This hasn't been a good afternoon for you. I'm Doctor Kokoris."

T: "YOU!" The anesthetist places the mask over Howland's nose.

Nick looks closely at his patient.

N: "Well, Doctor Terry Howland. You know you signed up for the med student video taping for this operation."

T: "Sppppppppprrrrrrrrr."

N: "What's that? Well, not to worry. I'll have you fixed up in a jiffy."

T: "SppppRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"

N: "Sleep, now. Sleep."

Howland's eyes close, and Nick glances up into the packed observation room. He can't help but smile underneath his mask.

N: (to the OR staff) "Shall we get started?" He picks up the laparascopic instrument, signalling the beginning of the op....

A few hours later...

N: "Terry Howland! You awake?"

T: (opening her eyes and wetting her lips) "Yeah. What happened?"

N: "You don't remember?"

T: "No."

N: "You had an appendectomy. The anesthesia will clear from your mind in a bit."

T: (looking around groggily) "Who? You? You?"

N: (smiling) "Yes. Me. You'll be around for many years to be a thorn in my back."

T: "Good. I plan on planting the biggest thorn in your back as soon as I can."

N: "Now! That's more like the old Terry!" A ward nurse enters the recovery room. "Nurse? Could you get Doctor Howland a glass of water?"

The ward nurse nods, then obtains the water, bringing it to Doctor Howland.

N: "Now, Terry, let the nurse help you drink." With help, Doctor Howland sips the water.

T: "When do I get out of here?"

N: "About three days, unless you develop an infection."

T: "Then you can go back to making me suffer."

N: (smiling) "No. First, you'll go home and rest up for a few weeks. Then I'll be a thorn in your back."

T: "I'd rather have an enema."

N: "I can arrange for one, if you'd like."

T: (sharply) "No!"

N: "Time for rest. I'll check back on you later, Terry."

The nurse makes Howland comfortable as Nick leaves the recovery room.