FINALLY. Okay, my stupid comp wouldn't let me login for the LONGEST time, so I finally begged my dad to borrow his laptop (which is EXTREMELY cool to be typing on!) to update with this fic. I needed it to be up before next week's episode, all things considered. This is a strange, twisted, slightly illogical take-off of the rabies episode last week.

Disclaimer: I don't own Scrubs or the song "Ironic".

I pass the surgical ward and sigh. I wish none of this had happened…I think today's been the hardest day we've ever had here at Sacred Heart. Three transplant patients dead in two hours. All I want to do is crawl into bed and never see the light of day again.

Too bad I've got another hour on my shift. I check the clock. Well, fifty-eight minutes now. Dr. Cox stormed out about twenty minutes ago. The whole room has been silent since then. Everyone is afraid to speak. The families of the patients are coming in soon, and I can only pray that I'll be gone by then.

"Lost something?"

At first I don't even hear him in my daze. Then the Janitor gets right in my face and says, "What…is…wrong…with…everyone? I…speak…English."

"Go away," I mutter, walking off.

"Lost something?"

I stop in my tracks, exasperated. I'm too exhausted to deal with this right now. If I have to deal with him I'm afraid I might strangle him.

"No," I tell him, continuing to walk away.

"Really? Because I could've sworn I saw a stethoscope in the garbage…"

Instinctively my hand flies to my neck. It's gone. "I really don't have time to deal with this," I tell him.

"Well, excuse me for trying to help you out. I guess all the big doctors are going to get angry with you now, huh? Deal with it. I tried to tell you it was in the trash can over there, but you wouldn't listen."

I listen to his footsteps echoing in the silent hallway. I know I have to go get it or I'll have to pay the money to replace it. This is just classic. Things like this tend to happen at the worst moments.

Rolling my eyes, I head towards the trash can. Ewww. Banana peels and…is that a condom? What are the surgical residents up to? Plugging my nose, I dig deeper and feel for the metal device. Dr. Cox would kill me if I lost it. Well, actually…scratch that. He's probably not in the mood, either.

Suddenly I come across something sharp. "Ouch!" I mutter, jerking my hand out of the trash. "Dammit," I mumble. My hand is bleeding. Just great. What's going on today? Everything's going wrong. Everything!

"JD…" Carla says softly, holding up the stethoscope. "I found this outside. Thought you might need it."

I nod at her, hiding my hand to avoid embarrassment. "Thanks, Carla."

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic ... don't you think

The remaining hour seems to go on forever. Turk doesn't want to talk about it. Elliot's shift ended right after the deaths, so she disappears fast. Carla's in that stage where you don't know whether or not you'll set her off by trying to converse with her, so I stay away.

I just wish things could be normal. Is that selfish? That in the midst of all this pain and sadness I want things to be normal?

"JD," Carla catches me before I leave, "I need you to talk to the kidney patient's family. Dr. Cox is…"

I'm literally right at the door. I can see my car from here. God, what I'd do just to bolt right now.

"O-okay," I say, nodding. I'm trapped.

She smiles sadly. "Thanks, Bambi. I'm sure it means a lot to him that you're covering."

Uh, yeah right. Like he'll ever even know. At this rate, we'll be lucky if he ever comes back, let alone cares that I "covered" for him. What was I going to say? Gee, sorry, your dad/husband/brother is dead, I'm so sorry?

Is there another way to say it?

"Mrs. Andrews…I'm really sorry," I finally manage to say. At least I'm not laughing. I wasn't allowed to inform people of deaths for my first few weeks of internship because I laughed randomly from getting so nervous. "Your husband's body rejected the kidney. The donor…" I swallow hard. The hospital was going to get in big trouble for this, sure, but I'm the one who is going to get in trouble with the wife.

"The donor died of rabies," I say softly. "There was really no way we could have known. He was inches away from…he needed the surgery right then. If we hadn't, he still would have…" I trail off, knowing that there's nothing else I can say except, "I'm sorry."

The woman cries softly to herself, nodding at me. "I know. Thank you…for giving him a chance."

But I wasn't the one who gave him the chance! I want to scream. "I…I knew him, but he was Dr. Cox's patient. He's unavailable right now, but he really tried."

She nods again. "Thank him for me."

"I will," I promise, putting a hand on her shoulder. I don't know what compels me to do this, seeing as usually human contact with another woman results in me either getting slapped ruthlessly or pummeled into the ground (courtesy of Elliot, but that was an accident, I think). But I just want her to feel better, even if I know that she never will again. I don't know if any of us will.

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

After a minute or two of silence I leave her.

"JD, could you…?" Carla jerks her head towards two women in their mid-thirties, standing by the entrance. "I just…I can't…the liver patient…"

"But…" And then I stop. I can't be a coward about this. Now Dr. Cox actually needs me, in a way, and I've got to step up to the plate. "Sure," I say, my voice cracking with a high-pitched twinge. "I'll just go do that, then."

Predictably, the family of the heart valve patient shows up, too, and I get to handle that. Carla apologizes over and over again, telling me she can't find another doctor and she's "swamped" as it is. I just keep nodding at her. I'm completely numb by the time I get into my car.

Then I cry. Like a stupid kid, I just get into my car and cry. I think I must have sat there in the parking lot for a half hour before coming to my senses and driving back to the apartment.

All those family members, living without someone they loved dearly. It seems to smother my existence. I remember when my dad died, just a little while back. Worst day ever. And now all those people get a big serving of hopelessness just like I did.

I still feel responsible. I was supposed to be Jill's friend. And I'm a doctor. Rabies…? Come on. Wouldn't it be obvious? Was I really that ignorant that I didn't notice she had rabies? I was not only a bad friend to her, but a bad doctor. For the first time in a while I question myself. I wonder what exactly I'm doing on this planet if I can't even muster enough attention for someone who needs it to see something's wrong. I don't even deserve to be a doctor.

And those people, their devastated faces, their heads hung.

I walk into the apartment.

"Hey, man," Turk greets me, sitting on the couch and watching a blank screen. He's in our apartment because we were going to have a movie marathon (Carla's shift was an all-nighter), but I guess now we're just here for support. Elliot's already asleep. She leaves earlier in the

I grunt in acknowledgment, dumping my backpack on the floor. "Life sucks," I mutter.

"I hear ya."

At least someone gets it. I walk into my room and immediately crash on the bed, falling asleep. In my mind I think to myself, I don't want to see another dead person for as long as I live…

But in the morning I will. Again. And again. And again…

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
'Well isn't this nice...'
And isn't it ironic ... don't you think

I wake up around three in the morning, thanks to my stomach. Realizing I hadn't eaten since my attempt at lunch with Dr. Cox, I get out of bed and fix up a fruit cup and pudding medley.

Then it hits me again. Those patients are dead and they're never coming back. Someone—many someones—are awake right now, crying over a lost loved one.

I throw away the fruit cup and the pudding, suddenly less hungry than I was before. Closing my eyes, I try to relax and clear my conscience. But something's not right. How could I have missed Jill's rabies? How could she have missed getting bitten by a rabid animal?

I itch the cut on my hand absent-mindedly, trying to pull the pieces together. Maybe someday it will make sense to me. I hope Dr. Cox comes back to work tomorrow…I think we sort of feel the same about this mess.

After a few minutes of silently sitting there and fidgeting, I resolve to go back to sleep. It doesn't work, though. Come morning I'm tired and annoyed, but I get out of bed and start the day anyway.

"Turk," I call, "time to get up."

But he's already eating a fruit cup and waffles (how he manages to smuggle these things, I don't know) at the table, staring at his fork.


"Hey," I reply, sitting on back of the couch frame to face him. "Tough day yesterday."

"Yeah, tough day. You okay?"

I shrug. "You?"

He shrugs back. "Not gonna change anything. We're still gonna go into work today and people are still gonna die," he laments, rubbing his temples. "You ready?"

"One sec," I say, switching to a new pair of scrubs with less blood on them. "Yeah, ready."

Then we leave in knowing silence. The sky is cloudy and I can hear the ground rumbling. This is going to be a crappy day…I can already tell.

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

By the time lunch rolls around I'm ready to shoot myself. Then I gulp, thinking of Jill and her attempt at suicide a year or so back. Okay, not the best reference. But I really want to get out of here so badly. It's like everywhere I go people are dying. Okay, only one person has died today—they were already dead when they arrived—but I can't help but feel paranoid.

"Dude, quit doing that and eat your lunch. It's gross," Turk says, wrinkling his nose.

"Huh?" I snap out of my stupor.

"Itching your hand like that. Go get a band-aid, would you? We're in a hospital, dude," Turk jokes. He's already made it to that look-the-sun-is-coming-up place in his mind again. I'm stuck in Gloomsville, and not surprisingly, it's still storming outside.

I glance down at my hand. Sure enough, I've rubbed it raw. "Oh," I say, "didn't notice. Just distracted, I guess. Besides, it's more manly than chewing fingernails."

"Hey, JD," Carla says gently, sitting down next to us. "Thanks for doing that yesterday."

"No problem," I lie, staring into my untouched bowl of soup. I just didn't sleep all night, that's all.

"Aw," she sympathizes, "it's okay to be sad. We all are."

I twitch. "Yeah," I say, trying not to itch at my hand. Damn, it's annoying me. "I'm going to go for a walk," I announce after a few awkward moments, throwing my lunch tray away. "I'll see you guys later."

Then I walk out into the pouring rain, effectively getting drenched. I don't even care right now. It feels good to be cold and wet out here. No patients can die in my line of view at this rate. I don't have to tell anyone that their family members are dead.

Funny thing is, I've done it a hundred times before. It's just different to have to do it three times in a row without getting to breathe, without any warning. If it ever happens again…well, it won't. I shudder. That could quite possibly be the weirdest medical mishap I'd ever see in my life as a doctor. I could write a book and make lots of money, but that would make it too real.

Finally I come back in and change into some dry scrubs, still itching at my hand. Then, for the first time in twenty-four hours, I stare at the scratch from the trash can in shock. I had been in the surgical ward. A scalpel or any kind of surgical instrument used on Jill…

I shook my head. I was paranoid. There were—what, like, thirty human cases a year in the US? Less than that, probably. I did not have rabies.

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

"Hey, JD, you okay?" asks Elliot, who is Keith-less for a rare moment.

I toss my wet scrubs in the machine. "Yeah, how about you?"

"I…heard about how you had to tell the families. I'm sorry I wasn't there…"

I wave her off. "You were off your shift, it's not your fault. Someone had to do it. It was…fast," I lie, absent-mindedly itching at the band-aid I'd placed over my hand earlier. I immediately stop, my heart starting to pound.

"Well, if you ever want to talk."

"There's not really much to say," I tell her. "I just hope Dr. Cox doesn't let this go to his head. We really need him around here."

She nods in agreement. "I'm scared," she admits.

I'd hug her, but I don't want to get too close. You never know. "It'll be okay," I assure her, stuffing my hand in my pocket. I hope it will be, at least.

Jill's funeral is next week, according to Turk. I'll show. It will be incredibly strange, but I have to—to make amends, I guess. I'll feel worse if I don't. It's already bad enough that I practically murdered her with my bare hands. Missing her funeral would probably cross the line.

Finally my day is over. "Hey, man, you going out for sushi with us?" asks Turk.

"Nah," I say, waving him off. "I think I'll go home."

And that's what I intend to do, until I get back into my car and see that the scratch on my hand is completely inflamed and throbbing. That can't be natural, rabies or no rabies. I bang my head against the steering wheel in frustration, then start driving to a doctor about five miles from the hospital.

"You're paranoid," I convince myself as I drive along. "Completely paranoid. What kind of a hypochondriac…"

But I have to be sure, because if there's a chance I have something and a patient suffers because of it, I'll be the one to blame. I shiver, suddenly growing cold at the thought of the dead bodies being crated down by a sullen Doug.

When I drive up to the clinic I willingly wait for three or so hours, seeing as the matter isn't as pressing as others. Finally my name is called by a Dr. Lee.

"And you are…Dr. Dorian," he greets me, smiling. "Where do you work?"

"Over at Sacred Heart," I say, jerking my thumb in the direction. "Nice place."

"Oh, really? I have friends there," he comments, leading me into the room. "So, what did you say you needed checked out?"

"Um, this scratch on my hand," I say, turning red in embarrassment. I take off the band-aid and see that it's even more prominently gross now. "I think I got it off a surgical tool looking through the garbage—for my stethoscope," I clear up with his odd stare. "This guy took it…and, well, I don't really know what I got scratched with."

He nods. "Good call, coming over here. Don't want to risk anything with patients."

"Thanks," I say, grateful that he understands my suspicions.

It's a traffic jam when you're already late
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

I spend the rest of the week at the hospital, covering for Dr. Cox's patients and obsessively wearing rubber gloves. Nobody notices the shift, thankfully, and I get by without alarming anyone with my strange, reddened hand. I start feeling tired in the middle of shifts, though. More tired than usual. I don't quite feel like myself.

The blood work comes back a few days later, and I immediately know why I've been feeling so funny. "You might want to come down here," Dr. Lee tells me in a foreboding voice. "I've got the results from that scratch of yours."

I sigh into the receiver. "I think I already know," I say, swallowing back my shock. I didn't think it would actually happen, but it did.

"It's rabies," the doctor tells me in awe.

"Yeah," I reply. "I thought so."

And uncomfortable silence between the two of us, both professionals coming to the same startling conclusion, fills the space of the telephone line. "I'll get right over there," I finally say, hanging up.

The drive seems long and tedious, every turn seeming to take centuries. At least I have the day off today. I've been covering for Dr. Cox all week, which pretty much means no sleep and no breaks. It's not like the patients understand, either—I had one yell at me for being a German communist, and another one tell Carla that my hair was so gelled up that she ought to hose me down.

I like my hair, thank you very much.

Dr. Lee is waiting for me when I arrive. "I assume you know the whole PEP treatment, but I still have to explain it to you," he greets me.

Hello to you, too. "I know. Okay."

"We're going to give you a rabies vaccine today, in three days, in seven days, in fourteen days and in twenty-eight. Then you should be free to go. It's a pretty fast procedure—you're in, you're out. There might be some mild side effects, but nothing too bad. It's like your average shot, except…"

"Different," I finish for him, shrugging. My muscles ache slightly. I wonder if it's lack of sleep or the rabies kicking in. Probably the sleep. The worst rabies symptoms are usually dormant for fifteen days or so, and it had only been ten.

We enter the same room I'd met with him in just a few days ago, sign the insurance papers and get down to business. "Ready?" he says, aiming the needle towards me.

"Hit me," I say, extending my arm to him.

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures
A few days later and I've taken the first and third day shots. I'm not contagious, according to Dr. Lee, so there isn't a chance of spreading it to patients. I'm good to go, so I've been covering for the missed shifts still. The only downside is the headaches the shots are causing, which are supposed to go away.

"Jill Tracy was everything I could have asked for in a daughter. Dependable. Loving. Always there when you needed her," Mrs. Tracy finishes the eulogy, her eyes downcast and sullen. "Her death remains a terrible shock to us, but she will continue to live in our hearts forever."

I close my eyes sitting in the pew, wishing the funeral would evaporate. I'd do anything to be out to lunch with Jill right now, as annoying as I found it only a little while ago. The open casket lays in the front of the room, her lifeless body inside. It's not right. She was perky, hyper, insane…not dead. Death just didn't suit her like it did everyone else.

Someone in Heaven is getting annoyed with her right now, I try to console myself. She's in a better place.

I swipe at my eye, hoping that I don't look too out of place here. I don't know anyone. None of the other doctors showed, not even Elliot, since she was working. I can't help but think of how strange it is that, in a way, it's what she wanted. She was suicidal last year…and now she's gotten her original wish, no matter how she didn't deserve it.


I look around and see Dr. Cox standing in the pew behind me as everyone gets up to the reception.

"Dr. Cox," I nearly stutter, surprised. "I didn't think…how are you? I mean, we haven't…I know you probably…" Whoa, way to make him feel better. I really ought to be forbidden to speak.

"Look, kid, I'm coming back tomorrow, so quit your blubbering," Dr. Cox berates me in a gentler voice than usual. Then he clears his throat awkwardly. "I…I was on the phone with Dr. Lee yesterday morning. He told me about a patient of his."

I look down at my feet. "Creepy, isn't it?" I say, laughing softly.

"I'm glad you caught it when you did, Newbie," he says. "Now, then," he declares after the moment of seriousness has passed, "where's the reception? I'm so hungry I might eat myself right out of this place."

"Over there," I point, smiling to myself. Things might just get back to normal with time.
Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

Yes. Yes, I am twisted. Just had to post this fic, mostly because of the way it came to me. I was playing basketball in gym, talking about how evil the P.E. teacher is, when BAM! the plot idea hit me outta NOWHERE. So, of course, being the blonde I am, I stopped dead with the basketball in my hand and squealed like a moron. Luckily we weren't playing any games, but in the event that that ever DOES happen during a game, I need to learn to control my strange channelings of fic plots. Lol. My friends were justa WEE bit weirded out.