Title: My Protector
Disclaimer: ER and its affiliated characters do not belong to me, even though I wish they did so that I could finally make Ray and Neela get together.
Summary: Reela story. Ray has to help Neela cope after a terrible ordeal.
Note – This story does have to do with rape so, if that offends anyone, please don't read it.
This is my second ER fic, but hopefully not my last. This story does have to do with Neela being raped (although the act of the rape is not specifically written about), so please just be aware of that as you read. I really wanted to write something that was angsty and that would bring Neela and Ray closer together. Of course, I would never want this to happen to Neela (or anyone for that matter). I always love hearing comments and suggestions so let me know what you think!
Ray rolled over and looked at the digital clock by his bedside. He groaned and closed his eyes again. When he heard the front door slam shut, he opened his eyes for a second time, and realized that it must have been the door opening that woke him. He quickly reminded himself that he should fix the hinges on the door that screeched loudly every time the door was opened.
Ray rolled onto his back and placed his arms under his head, sighing. He closed his eyes once again but then heard yet another slam.
Annoyed, Ray swung his legs to the side of his bed and stood. He grabbed a pair of lounge pants off the floor, and pulled them on over his boxers, but left himself shirtless. He groggily walked down the hallway.
As he passed Neela's bedroom, he noticed that it was dark and her bed was still made. He quickly calculated in his head that her shift had ended three and a half hours ago. He wondered where she could have been all that time.
Ray glanced at the bathroom and noticed a stream of light coming through the crack at the bottom of the door. Still annoyed that he had been woken up, he banged on the door loudly.
"Some of us are trying to sleep, Neela," he yelled through the door. There was no response. He rapped his knuckles against the door more loudly and was about to yell her name once more when he heard the sound of her gagging and vomiting.
"Neela, are you alright?" He asked through the door, suddenly less annoyed and more concerned. "Neela?"
"I'm fine," she replied meekly. He barely heard her.
"Let me in," he commanded, trying the doorknob. It was locked. "Neela…"
"I'm fine," she repeated, this time slightly louder. He heard her throw up once more.
"Please, Ray," she said, practically pleading with him. "I just have a stomach bug."
Ray stared at the closed door and thought about knocking again, but he knew that it would do no good. Neela was a doctor, after all, and knew how to take care of herself. A part of him, though, couldn't help but feel as if something more was wrong that a simple stomach bug.
Ray stood outside the door a moment longer before heading back to his bedroom. He laid down in bed, but knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep.
He was about to get up again to knock on the bathroom door and ask if Neela needed anything, when he heard the bathroom door open. He listened as Neela went from the bathroom to her own room.
When he heard her door close, Ray got up and walked to her room. He stood outside her door and listened, but heard nothing. He raised his hand to knock on her door, but didn't. Whatever was wrong with her, she obviously didn't want him to know.
Sighing, Ray walked down the hallway. As he passed the bathroom, he slowed. Curious as to what was going on with Neela, he went inside.
He inspected the bathroom carefully. There was a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on the sink next to a wet face cloth. The medicine cabinet was partially open. Ray opened it the rest of the way and something fell out. He bent over, picked it up, and realized that it was Neela's birth control pills. Not thinking anything of it, he put them back in the cupboard and closed the door. He was about to leave when he noticed something bright red inside the garbage.
Ray stood, opened the medicine cabinet, and grabbed a latex glove. He put it on his right hand and then knelt beside the garbage once more. He picked up the red object with his gloved hand, and furrowed his brow. Immediately he put the object back in the garbage, and threw his latex glove away with it.
Ray stood once more and opened the medicine cabinet. He took out Neela's birth control again and pulled the pills out of the sleeve that they came in. He examined the pills. When he saw what he was looking for, he dropped the pills on the counter and raced to Neela's door. Her light was still on. He pounded on the wood heavily.
"Neela, open the door!" He shouted.
"Please, Ray, leave me alone," she pleaded quietly.
Ray shook his head, not taking no for an answer. "Let me in, Neela."
She didn't respond.
Knowing that there was no lock on either of their bedroom doors, Ray reached for the door handle and opened the door.
He stepped inside, not expecting to see the scene that was before him. Neela was sitting on her bed with her naked back to him. But it wasn't the fact that she was sitting there in her underwear, topless that shocked him. It was the scratches on her back.
"Get out!" She shouted, quickly grabbing her bed sheet to cover herself up. She wrapped herself in the sheet as tightly as possible. She wouldn't turn to face him.
"Neela, what happened?" He asked, approaching her.
"Leave me alone!"
He walked to her bedside and looked at her back. Although she had managed to cover most of it up, he still could see that it was in bad shape.
"Ray!" Neela warned as he walked around her in order to face her. She kept her head down with her hair covering her face. "Please get out," she muttered.
Ray crouched in front of her and lightly pushed her hair back from her face. He placed his fingers under her chin and lifted her head up so he could look at her better. She wouldn't meet his eyes. He stared at her face and noticed that her eyes were red from crying and her cheeks were stained with tears. He felt a tear fall on his hand. He quickly looked her over and noticed that her face was pretty scratched up, just like her back. She had a large cut above her left eye.
"Neela," he whispered, urging her to talk to him.
"Please don't," she sobbed as he reached his hand up to examine the cut on her face. "Ray, please…"
Despite her protest, she didn't do anything to physically stop him.
"You need to get that cleaned up," he reported, "and the wounds on your back."
"They're fine," she insisted, sniffling. "I cleaned them and…"
"You can barely reach them..."
"I said I'm fine," she insisted.
Ray put his hand on top of hers. She jerked her own hands away.
"Let me help you," he whispered.
She hesitated but eventually nodded, not having the energy to fight with him. He stood and went back to the bathroom to gather supplies.
When he returned, he saw that she had barely moved. She sat completely still with her head down. He approached her and set the supplies he had gathered on the floor. A million questions flowed through his mind but he knew that his priority was her. Questions could come later.
He sat on the bed behind her. She jumped, obviously startled.
"It's okay," he soothed. He looked at her back but she still had the sheet wrapped around her. "Neela, you're going to have to take the sheet off."
She slowly unwrapped the sheet from her body, but held it against her chest, covering herself. Ray examined her back. She had nine, fresh cuts. Two of them were deep and still oozing with blood. Ray began by cleaning them. Neela was silent through the entire ordeal even though he knew that the peroxide against her wounds burned.
"Do I need stitches?" She asked softly.
"You should be all set with just a bandage but we'll have to take a look at it in a little bit to be sure."
Ray finished treating her back in silence. When he was done, he moved so that he was facing her. She hadn't stopped crying.
Ray looked at the wound on her head and began to treat it. Again, she said nothing.
"Talk to me, Neela," Ray said as he placed a bandage over her cut.
"I just…I fell," she stuttered.
"I saw your underwear in the garbage."
"I have my period," she replied quickly.
"I looked at your birth control. You're only two weeks into it." She looked down at the floor once more, knowing that he knew.
"Who did this to you, Neela?" He asked. "Tell me who raped you."