Summary: Fresh out of medical school she must serve her term with the Army where she'll cross paths with a mysterious pilot with a heart of stone she is determined to soften. (KaoruEnishi)
Disclaimer: I don't own Kenshin. It's the work of Nobuhiro Watsuki. If I owned it Kenshin wouldn't have abandoned Kaoru and their son. Which is why I write so much alternate pairings in fiction!
Kaoru took a deep breath and tried to relax. Today was her first day as a real doctor. It was hard to believe that just the week before she was a fourth year medical student cramming for her Boards exam. Now she was to serve her country in the war-torn Middle East. Joining the Army to pay for medical school had seemed like a good idea at the time. She could be both patriotic and work towards saving lives at the same time. The reality was quite different. She smiled at the soldier sitting stoically across from her, but he simply ignored her. He was too focused on his next mission to pay her much attention.
The driver of the desert jeep parked outside of the camp that would be her home for the next six months. Kaoru tried valiantly to keep a fresh smile upon her face as she gathered her small bag of medical supplies. The rest of her belongings should have arrived the day before.
She felt very alone as the stoic soldier walked her to the entrance, still not saying a word to her. He led her to the main officer's headquarters where Hajime Saitou, the man in charge, was seated at his desk comfortably smoking a cigarette.
The soldier saluted the general before exiting the room, leaving Kaoru alone with the amber eyed man. "It's nice to meet you Dr. Kamiya," Saitou greeted, gesturing towards the chair in front of his desk.
Kaoru sank deep into the leather cushions. "I'm excited to be working here." Kaoru smiled at him, unsure of the proper greetings. She went to officer's training, but it was different now. She was a second lieutenant, but because she was a doctor she wasn't a real soldier. It was all rather confusing.
Saitou ground out his cigarette into a nearby ashtray sitting on his desktop. "Excited isn't the word I would use to describe how you must be feeling, Kamiya." He offered a thin lipped smile that sent shivers down her spine. "I would say scarred witless is a more accurate description."
"I'm not scared." Kaoru's smile disappeared as she sat rigidly in the leather chair, gripping the armrests tightly.
"Good." Saitou rose from his chair and moved to the front of the desk and gestured for Kaoru to stand as well. "Then you won't have any problems getting started. I had just received a call a few minutes ago from the Med-Evac team. We've got a chopper full of injured men that should be arriving in the next fifteen minutes."
Kaoru followed General Saitou towards the medical unit. She tried to ignore the nervous jitters she felt for suddenly being pushed into the role of doctor. No longer was she a student but she was responsible for the lives of men!
"Dr. Takani, this is Dr. Kamiya. You are to show her around," Saitou ordered a tall, slender woman.
The woman gave Saitou a brief salute before extending her hand to Kaoru. "Call me Megumi, you must be Kaoru."
Kaoru smiled at the woman in relief. Things weren't going to be too bad with at least Megumi around. She seemed nice enough. Megumi dropped her hand quick as if she was burned and then turned on her heel and smacked an injured man hard on his bandaged chest.
"Jeez fox, can't you give me a break? I've got two broken ribs here!" Sanosuke cried. He looked over Megumi's shoulder towards Saitou and Kaoru. "Hi General, any new missions you got for me?"
Saitou's eyes narrowed in annoyance. "After you help unload the Med-Evac helicopter you can go to the kitchens and scrub all the pots. Maybe you'll be less likely to break more ribs that way." Saitou turned to Kaoru. "Dr. Kamiya, I suggest you prepare for your patients." He looked down at his watch. "They should be here momentarily." He then left the three without another word.
Megumi left Kaoru and Sano as she sought out the nurses to prepare the medical supplies for the latest injured soldiers. Sano cleared his throat. "Don't worry missy, you'll like it here. The wolf and the fox just like to make others nervous."
Kaoru wasn't sure how to reply to the statement the wild haired man just made. She wasn't sure what the wolf and fox comment were in reference towards but perhaps it had to do with General Saitou and Dr. Takani. A roaring sound soon filled the air around them. "Chopper's here," Sano murmured heading towards the door, without waiting for Kaoru.
Kaoru ran her fingers nervously over her long pony tail. This whole army thing was feeling more and more like a mistake by the minute.
"Dammit! Hurry up! Do you want these men to die due to your incompetence?" an angry voice shouted. Kaoru looked through the open doorway to see Sano helping another figure pull a stretcher with an injured soldier towards the medical center. Kaoru stepped out of the way as they came towards her, only earning a glare from the one that had just shouted.
The look he sent her chilled her blood. His eyes were hidden behind some peculiar blue spectacles but she could tell that he was annoyed with her. His hair was a shock of messy white hair. She wondered if it was natural, dyed, or if it turned that way from stress. She'd seen many-a-medical student gone prematurely grey. "There are men that need your help doctor, how about you see to them instead of staring at me?" he asked coldly.
Kaoru clinched her jaw at his callous remark. The fact that he was tall and handsome and sort of exotic looking hardly mattered because he was acting as if she was purposely doing nothing. She just got there! How was she supposed to know how things worked? "How many more in the helicopter?" she forced herself to ask, trying to stay composed.
"If you would stop wasting time and looked yourself you would see," he answered as he and Sano deposited the man on one of the waiting cots. Megumi and an older man hurried to the soldier's side. Several nurses seemed to have appeared out of no where.
Kaoru quickly got out of the way as a couple of soldiers hurried to carry in more injured men. She decided to let the patients be carried in by those that knew what they were doing. It wasn't her job to transport the patients but to treat them. Quickly she headed towards one of the young men writhing in agony on a cot.
The young man couldn't have been more than 19 years old. She quickly discovered he had been shot in the arm. She called over one of the techs and they did a quick x-ray of the limb in question. It didn't appear that the bullet had injured any nerves or vessels but had simply went through the muscle and grazed the humorous bone. Kaoru spoke reassuringly to the young man, and made certain to start his IV drop of pain medications.
The nurse beside her handed her the tools she would need to remove the bullet and the few shattered bone pieces. The suturing kit lay unopened as she went about the task. In the back of her mind she counted four soldiers had been transported from the helicopter to the clinic. There were three doctors all together including herself plus a slew of nurses, so she was able to focus on the young man with the bullet in him. "You'll have a nice scar to impress all the ladies back home," she assured him.
The comment earned her a weak laugh from the young man. "I don't know that Tsubame is such a fan of my impressing a bunch of ladies." His dark eyes showed he had some humor about him. Kaoru automatically liked the young man. "I'm Private Yahiko Myojin by the way. I don't think I've seen you before."
Kaoru smiled at him. "I'm pretty new. Dr. Kaoru Kamiya at your service." She noticed that her nurse had vanished. She smiled apologetically. "I'll have to open these myself, just one more second okay?" Yahiko grimaced.
The kit was taken from Kaoru's hands before she could open it. "You must learn to control your help. An assistant is no good to you unless they are present to assist," the white haired man explained, presenting the tools for Kaoru's use. She quickly assembled the suturing kit and finished sewing up Yahiko's wounded arm.
"Thank you," Kaoru said to the man who stood beside her holding all the tools she needed ready before she asked for them.
"I didn't do it for you," he answered coldly. He glanced down at Yahiko's arm. "Private Myojin if you expect to have my job one day this is not the way to go about it," he said to the young man in what might have been considered a joking tone. He gave Kaoru one more cold look of indifference before leaving the clinic.
"Wow, he usually isn't that hostile," Yahiko commented as he inspected the job Kaoru did on his arm. He gave it a few experimental movements side to side and only grimaced a little.
"It's not pretty, but it should be fully functional in a few weeks. I want to put you in a sling for at least one week and for you to keep it immobilized," Kaoru explained. She looked over her shoulder towards the other doctors. It seemed they had everything under control. "I don't see why he was being such a jerk earlier, no one was in critical condition," Kaoru muttered to herself.
"Are you talking about Captain Yukishiro?" Yahiko asked. Kaoru furrowed her brows. "The white haired guy with the attitude that flew the chopper?" he explained, earning a nod from Kaoru. "Yeah, well, he lost his sister a few years ago."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Yahiko leaned closer to Kaoru's ear. In a whisper he explained, so as not to be overheard and accused of gossip. "He was in medical school back in the states and he found out about it afterwards. She was pregnant and apparently she was having some troubles. The doctor didn't think it was anything urgent and sent her home."
"Wait, the helicopter pilot is a doctor?" Kaoru asked confused, mimicking Yahiko's whispered tones.
"No, his sister died in a way later that night and he quit medical school and joined the Army as a pilot within the same week."
"What do you mean by she died in a way?"
"It turns out her pregnancy caused her blood pressure to rise rather high. By the time she had it measured at the doctor's office it had pretty much stabilized so he sent her home. Later that night she had a blood clot go to her brain." Yahiko paused. "She lost the baby too."
"I don't understand. She had pre-eclampsia? Or maybe a stroke?"
"Right, one of those and she's never been the same since. She has poor function of the left side of her body plus she can't have children anymore. She lost her balance at the top of some stairs after the stroke and fell down. Yukishiro's had a problem with doctors ever since, which is why he didn't want to become one." Yahiko hopped off the cot and flexed his arm once more. "You sure I need a sling?"
"Only if you want to be able to have full range of motion in your future," Kaoru answered as placed the sling around the young man's shoulder and elbow.
"Thanks doc, I hope to see you around, but not here of course." Yahiko grinned before lying back down on the cot. "I'll just hang around for a while until my pain medicine runs out. Sound good?"
Kaoru smiled, knowing that she had made the right decision in coming here. After all it was the patients that made life as a doctor worthwhile. She glanced at her fellow staff, each busy with their own tasks. She'd only been there for an hour and already she seemed to have met the key players for her life for the next six months.
The question now was how was she going to survive half-a-year with these people? Especially the white haired young man that already hated her for the mere fact that she existed!
A/N revised 6/17/2008