Length: Still expanding.
Pairing: JD/Dr. Cox, Jordan/Elliot
in this chapter: Jordan/Cox, J.D/Elliot
Rating: M
Warnings: Slash, obviously. And see above.
Set: Post 5th Season.
Songlist: Rockets,
Cat Power
Not What You Want, Cat Power

A/N: Okay. Again, for anyone who is icked out by het (which amuses me greatly); there's some warning in the pairing section above. Personally, I'm a big canon! JD/Elliot shipper, but this is a JD/Cox story, and you needn't fear that it will suddenly veer off into the realms of Jelliot for more than a couple of chapters. And even so, it'll be stepping-stone Jelliot, just as the Jordan/Cox is. So fear not!

A/N 2: Sorry YET AGAIN for the wait. But hey – I'm graduating in 9 days. FTW, thank you very much.

A/N 3: The usual reminder: I will update

Warnings: HET. Slash. Kind of lackluster writing. O.o.

Dedication: Uhhhh. Snow887 for leaving me the sweetest review.

IX: A Knee Jerk Reaction

Neither Jordan nor Dr. Cox showed up to work the next week. Monday dawned, both rainy and windy, and a desolate J.D, hair unusually limp, walked directly into the sliding doors of Sacred Heart.

"Good morning, Dr. Whoozitz."

J.D raised his head from his sprawled position on the concrete. The doors he had just run into were now magically open, and the Janitor was standing in front of them with a broad grin on his face. He held up his hand, chuckled, and flicked it upwards. J.D watched, feeling thoroughly depressed, as a shiny penny soared off his thumb to cartwheel through the air.

The Janitor caught it. "I've decided to tally the score from now on. And that's one for me. Now vamoose."

The day did not improve much. The scene in the cafeteria had become, over the past few days, the subject of a substantial amount of gossip. J.D was fairly experienced in being under discussion in Sacred Heart, what with all the pranks-with-Turk and sex-with-Elliot that the past years had involved, and he knew by now what to expect: those who had witnessed the scene first hand knew enough to draw the appropriate conclusions, and whilst they were going to be painful enough, those he had not been in the cafeteria that day were going to be far, far worse.

As it turned out, J.D was right. The Janitor had actually done him a favor by delaying the moment of his entrance slightly, because the second he crossed the threshold, J.D was accosted by a curious and not entirely well meaning amalgamation of colleagues, superiors, and underlings, all demanding to know, with varying degrees of subtlety, what on earth had happened. At lunch time he managed to shake them off by eating in a patient's room, but the instant he emerged, wiping crumbs off his mouth, a voice called out to him.

"Q-tip! Over here, I got cookies!"

"Cookies?" J.D raised an eyebrow, not fooled for a moment. He was really having a terrible day. Most of it so far had been spent wondering around with his eyes fixed determinedly on the floor, as this seemed the one reliable way of warding off questions. But of course, he had to raise his head occasionally, and when did, the vultures were waiting. "What's the catch?"

Laverne dropped her jaw in artificial offence and opted for a mothering tone. "No catches here, pudding. I'm guessing you've been having a rough day – a little bird told me you were there when whatever happened between Dr. Cox and hismissus happened."

"A little bird?" J.D queried warily, still refusing to meet her eyes. A part of him was tempted to correct Laverne on Dr. Cox and Jordan's marital status, but in the light of recent events, J.D's opera singer was intoning a loud mistake. "What little bird?"

In response, Laverne shifted silently, but her reluctance to answer didn't matter. In an instant, J.D knew the answer anyway: the Janitor poked his head around the corner, grinning broadly and clutching on to his security-blanket mop.

Automatically, J.D affected a tight smile. "Shouldn't have asked. Hello again, Janitor. Do I get to ask to what I owe this particular knife in the gut?"

The Janitor chuckled. "That's one more for me, Scooter. I'll beat you eventually."

"Why?" J.D asked, voice going very small. "Why, how many points do I have?"

"Mmm." The Janitor leaned on the handle, thoughtfully. "I don't know the exact count, but I'd say over 50. I'm counting retroactively."

"How did I get so many points?" J.D yelped.

"Well, you just greeted me by the name of "Janitor". You figure it out, genius."

J.D whimpered under his breath. He was starting to feel distinctly sick, so instead of answering immediately, he opted on swallowing a couple of times as the Janitor shrugged, smiled and moved past, humming to himself.

"Well – thank you, as always," J.D yelled after him once he was no longer afraid of throwing up on the Janitor's freshly "cleaned" floor. "You make my day!"

He balled his fists and turned around to run straight into Elliot. Her jaw dropped along with the files she'd been carrying.

"J.D!" She exclaimed, voice catching more than usual, "J.D, I'm sorry."

Angry as J.D was at Elliot, she was far more reassuringly familiar than an overly friendly Laverne. And there was another, more underhanded reason for not antagonizing Elliot.

"Well, hello, Pinkie!" He tried to sound cheerful. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Elliot frowned at him, totally nonplussed. Her hands moved to the stethoscope around her neck, as it always did when she was confused. She doesn't watch Cartoon Network?! J.D was scandalized.

"Did – did you just have one of your weird fantasies?" Elliot shook herself, disturbed. "Look, J.D...what I did to you…you must hate me."

"No, Elliot! Hate you?" J.D scoffed at the suggestion. "I don't hate you. I mean, hate is…such a strong word…"

Elliot made a noise between disgust and guilt. "What do you want?" she said after a moment, releasing her stethoscope to cross her arms over her chest. "You're not the only one having a bad day."

What did he want? J.D hesitated, glancing around quickly before seizing Elliot's arm and yanking her away from the nurse's station and down the hall. Predictably enough, she let off a high pitched shriek and began to protest in a slightly lowered voice, as though trying to appear inconspicuous whilst simultaneously dragging her heels on the hospital floor: "J.D, I have work, come on, not now!"

"I get it if you're angry at me but that is no reason to…to kidnap me!" she declared indignantly when he had finally pushed her into the supply closet and one-handedly shut the door behind him. "I have a…a very important patient to take care of –"

J.D closed the distance between them. The room was dimly lit, and combined with their sudden proximity, contrived an atmosphere that made Elliot take several wary steps backwards. J.D touched her shoulders, attempting to calm her down. The last thing he wanted was to make her panicky. A panicky Elliot was like a hurricane, and it would plough him aside before making its way through the hospital, leaving destruction in its wake. The visual made him freeze up for a moment, eyes going distant.


He snapped out of it. "Just hear me out, okay? What I wanted say was that…Elliot, you don't need to ask the Janitor out just because you're trying to figure some things out."

Elliot made a catlike noise of surprise and anger. "Turk told you that I…?" she demanded, infuriated. "I can't believe he told you!"

"Turk told Carla, who told me," he answered quickly. "But look, Elliot, what I'm saying is…we're pretty much in the same situation right now, you and I. And I know what I'm thinking…and I think I know what you're thinking…"

The mood from earlier, temporarily dispelled by Elliot's cat noise, crept back with the silence that followed this pronouncement. Not for the first time since this mad idea had occurred to him, J.D wondered whether it really was wise for him to push Elliot so soon after The Cafeteria Scene, capitalized into a title in his mind. Her reaction seemed to verify this doubt; she was chewing on her lip as she squinted at him in the darkness.

"J.D, I really don't think that's a good idea…I mean, you and I kind of have this habit, when we're in a mess…"

J.D cut her off. "No assumptions. No consequences. Just a quick and easy answer to the mutual question of, 'Am I still even remotely straight?'"

"God, I hope so," answered Elliot glumly. "Or else I have to call my mother and say I've changed my mind and 'gone over to the dark side', as she likes to call it. She always did think I was gay, ever since she met my college roommate Daisy…I think it's because she had such short hair…and the snuggling couldn't have helped…"

J.D listened to Elliot's lengthening spiel with wide eyes. He knew that Elliot could go on and on – especially when it came to Daisy – and then the mood would be ruined because one of their pagers would go off and J.D would have to emerge back into the murky halls of Sacred Heart with the frightening knowledge that he could not get Dr. Cox out of his head. This was not an unusual predicament, but the hugs J.D had always daydreamed about had somehow morphed into…slightly more explicit activities. Whilst the fiasco that had constituted their "relationship" for the past few weeks could easily be blamed on Perry, and therefore enjoyed fully and guiltlessly, pining after Dr. Percival Cox was not an acceptable milestone in his never-ending quest for manhood, and marked the beginning of a worrying obsession that had once been completely platonic, but could no longer unblushingly be called so. Faced with this terrifying possibility, J.D did the only thing he could think of: he seized Elliot by the shoulders again and kissed her.

For a second, J.D thought she wouldn't respond, but after a moment of stunned inertia, she did, and relief flooded him. The kiss, when J.D had imagined it, had been short and brief and in no way the beginning of something, but he had not anticipated the familiar feel of her slightly smaller lips on his. It took a nasal speculum falling on his shoulder for him to realize what had been a simple, friendly kiss was now a pash with hands under respective shirts, and god knew what base that was up to.

And then his pager went off. Breaking away, finally, J.D gave Elliot a half apologetic, half embarrassed look and glanced down at the message. It was serious, and any stunned astonishment he might have felt at what had just happened, making his reflexes slow, was gone in an instant. Avoiding Elliot's eyes, J.D flicked the light switch, found the door knob, turned it, and rushed out.

"Why didn't I just reach over his shoulder and switch the light on to begin with?" Elliot wondered aloud, alone, half standing with her back against the cupboard, holding a nasal speculum she had found on the floor. "Elliot Reid, you are such an idiot." She smiled. "But at least you don't have to call your mother."

A/N: Please, don't lynch me, anyone.

Marie Terensky: If only the rumors POV were my idea. XD But thanks all the same.

psychotic KAT: Thank you! Chase scenes are always good, very soap opera ish. I'm glad you like the angst. I fear I'm a little heavy-handed with it sometimes.

vanishingact: foams at the mouth with passion for her reviewers Thank you!

snow887: Thank you so very much! I'm glad I could cheer you up. I hope this update comes at an opportune moment as well.

a storm in a teacup: I'm very glad you like it.

Liveforthemoment-13: Thanks for your review, and for liking that last line. It sounded Carla-ish in my head!

LunaML: Hah! You lie. I am losing the ability to write. But thank you anyhow.

Black Goblin: J.D's a big boy, he can take the hit. And it'll be worth it in the end. XD

psychotic KAT: This comment amuses me so much. You may want to avoid this chapter too. XD

lil bishi hunter: Thank you! That's really nice to hear. It's a lot more fun, actually, from this angle.