Disclaimer: I do not own Strong Medicine or the characters. They belong to Whoopi Goldberg, and Tammy Ader, and Lifetime TV. Special thanks to proofreaders!
Dr. Luisa Delgado stood in her office doorway, smiling as she watched Nurse Peter Riggs playing with a couple of kids in the RWHC lobby.
"What!" Peter asked in mock horror, "You've NEVER been to Timbuktu?"
"No." the little girl covered her mouth and giggled.
"You're silly." the small boy smiled.
"Who, me? Silly?" Peter turned to the boy, "Not me!" He exclaimed as he began to tickle the child.
"Yes youuuuuu!" The little boy roared with laughter.
Lu laughed quietly at Peter's interaction with the children.
"Hey," A voice broke into Lu's thoughts, "Waiting on someone?"
Lu looked up to see Lana Hawkins return to her desk and put her coffee mug down.
"Uh... yeah... Heidi." Lu responded a little too quickly.
Lana raised an eyebrow, "Heidi?"
"Yeah, she has an appointment this afternoon." Lu's gaze returned to Peter and the kids.
The receptionist looked down at the schedule book, "Heidi's appointment is not until four o'clock," she glanced at her watch, "it's only two thirty now."
"Yeah, well, you know Heidi, she always shows up early." Lu answered unable to look away from the lobby.
"But never an hour and a half early," Lana followed Lu's gaze, "Uh huh... Now I understand." she clucked in her motherly tone when she saw Peter.
Lu finally tore her eyes away and looked at Lana, "What?"
"I see right through your flimsy excuses." Lana smiled.
"I have no clue what you're talking about." Lu turned and walked into her office.
"Umm humm, sure you don't." Lana followed close behind.
Lu moved behind her desk and busied herself sorting through patient files.
"You like that boy, it's so obvious." Lana stood in front of Lu's desk. She leaned over, put her hands on the desk, and looked up at Lu.
"First of all," Lu sat down behind the desk, "Peter's not a boy, he's a man. And second, of course I like him, you like him too... he's our friend."
"That's not what I meant and you know it Miss Smarty Pants!" Lana exclaimed
"Oh you have no idea what you are talking about." Lu glanced out the glass door, "There's a patient waiting at the front desk. Get out there and earn your pay." she smiled, relieved at the distraction.
Lana raised up and sighed. "We'll finish this later." she glanced back at her friend as she hurried out.
"Not if I can help it." Lu mumbled as she picked up a pen and started writing in a patient file.
A Couple Of Days Later
"Who paged Delgado?" Lu ran in the emergency room looking around for her patient.
"Over here." One of the ER nurses waved.
At the sound of Lu's voice, Peter looked up from the patient he was working with. Slightly mesmerized, his eyes followed Lu as she ran past him toward her patient two bays over. Peter couldn't stop the smile from spreading across his face as he watched Lu's gentle manner with her patient. His mind wandered further from his present surroundings as he thought about how Lu treated her patients. She treated all of her patients, not just some of them, with a kindness and caring that very few doctors possess.
A voice suddenly jerked Peter back to reality. "Peter! Wake up man! Hang that IV." Dr. Nick Biancavilla frowned, "What are you looking at?"
Peter shook his head to clear his thoughts. "Nothing." he replied as he quickly hung the IV.
Nick turned to look behind him, "Ah! ok." he responded when he saw Lu talking to her patient a couple of bays over.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Peter asked as they finished with the patient and sent her off to surgery.
Nick shrugged, "You just seem to lose your concentration when a certain lady doctor is near by."
"Eh, that's all in your head B." Peter said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "I've got to get back to the clinic."
"Uh huh, ok." Nick's answer wasn't heard, or at least wasn't acknowledged.
Peter stuck his hand in his pockets and walked away.
"Boy has he got it bad." Nick mumbled to himself as he watched his friend leave.
"You're losing it, pull it together Riggs!" Peter mentally shook himself. Even after reprimanding himself, Peter's eyes never left Lu as he slowly walked out of the ER.
A Little While Later
Nick entered the RWHC and quietly watched, noticing how Lu and Peter took care of their patients, seemingly dancing around each other all the while.
"So, you see it too..." Lana spoke up from her desk, more of a statement than a question.
"I'd have to be blind not to." Nick approached the receptionist desk.
"You'd have to be blind not to what?" Dr. Andy Campbell rounded the corner, a pile of patient files in her arms.
"See that those two have the hots for each other." Nick motioned as he sat down on Lana's desk.
Andy looked in the direction of Nick's motion. "True," she agreed, "The problem is getting them to admit it."
"There's got to be a way." Nick looked back and forth between the two ladies.
Andy shifted her attention from her partner back to the desk. She sighed and handed her stack of patient files to Lana, "Lu will be the hardest, you know how stubborn she is."
Taking the files, Lana tapped her pink pen against them, "Just give Lana a little time to think..."
The Following Saturday Night
"How does pizza sound?" Nick suggested when he emerged from the movie theater with Lana, Andy, Lu, and Peter.
"Sounds good to me." Lana said as the others nodded in agreement.
"Peter? Are you riding with me?" Lana walked toward her car.
"Yeah." Peter responded as he turned to follow her.
"Me too." Nick hurried to catch up.
Lu opened her car door and looked at Andy, "Well, are you going with them, me, or taking your car?"
Andy glanced back at the movie theater then at her car, "It'll be safe enough here, I'll ride with you."
Ten Minutes Later
Lu pulled into Big Banjo's parking lot behind Lana "I'm surprised they picked this little hole in the wall."
Andy shrugged as she unbuckled her seatbelt, "Best pizza in town in my opinion."
"True." Lu turned off the ignition and got out of the car.
A few minutes later, the group sat around a table deciding what to order. Unnoticed, Andy stuck her hand in her pocket and made her pager go off.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP
Andy and Lu both fumbled for their pagers.
"Ah, that's me." Andy pulled her pager out of her pocket.
Lu grabbed her purse and started to stand, "Let's go."
"I'll take you back to your car." Lana stood up, "My stomach's not feeling so good anyway." she frowned.
Andy nodded and looked at Lu, "Stay, enjoy the pizza."
"Are you sure?" Lu looked between Andy and Lana.
"Yeah." Andy hurried toward the door.
Lana nodded and followed Andy out the door.
Within minutes, the waitress came and took their order. Lu sat with the guys, laughing at Nick. "Anyone ever tell you that your jokes are corny?" she asked.
"All the time," Nick smiled as his eyes followed a pretty woman to the register, "And I think I'll go try them out on her." He stood and started walking away.
"Nick..." Peter called after his friend.
"Don't worry about me, I'll find my own way home." Nick grinned and called over his shoulder as he made his way toward the woman.
"Well, that leaves you and me and a big table." Lu laughed.
"No need for that, let's move." Peter motioned to a smaller table.
Nick followed the woman out and hurried over to the car where Lana and Andy were waiting. "Well, did they fall for it?" Lana asked as he got in the back seat.
"Hook, Line, and Sinker." Nick laughed.
"Good." Andy and Lana said in unison.
"Now if they will just open their eyes." Lana backed out of the parking spot and drove off into the night.
An Hour Later
Lu drove back in at the movie theater and pulled up beside Peter's motorcycle.
"That was good, I wish you would let me pay for half of it."
"Nah, my treat." Peter unbuckled his seatbelt and turned in the seat to face Lu.
"Can you believe Nick? Running off after some woman he'd never seen before?" Lu laughed as she turned off the car and flipped on the interior light.
"Sounds just like him." Peter smiled.
An awkward silence fell over the car and lasted for several minutes.
Lu smiled nervously, "Well, what do you think of..." she was cut short as Peter took her face between his hands, leaned forward and suddenly kissed her. Lu returned the kiss. Pulling away, she slowly opened her eyes and looked at Peter in surprise...