(Hehe, welcome to the first multi-chapter Scrubs fic I ever attempted. This was posted on LJ about 3 months ago, and was written over a crazy ass period of around 3 days. I spent 8 hours at one point glued to the computer chair, letting my muse whirl. I think it shows too; I do enjoy how this came out. Hope you enjoy it as well :D)

If Sacred Heart Hospital was a boomtown in an old Western movie, this would be the part where the tumbleweeds would start rolling and the mysterious, whistling music would begin playing. All was quiet on the home front, but, if history was any indication, the peace wouldn't last.

You could even count off the seconds till the next big incident. Three, two, one…

SLAM.

Perry Cox had arrived.

He wasn't alone, as Jordan stormed in after him, eyebrows raised so high that it seemed they would float away into the open ceiling tile that the janitor was currently repairing. Nurses and doctors dove for cover, as the hurricane known as the weekly Cox Family Feud came roaring down the hospital hallways.

"Where the HELL do you get off canceling our dinner plans for tonight, Perry?" Jordan growled, seething at the man. Perry could imagine tendrils of smoke beginning to curl out of her ears as her brain overheated from rage… slowly the pressure expanded and became too much… boom! Her head exploded all over the hospital walls. The janitor just made a face before retuning to work.

Since when did I start daydreaming like Newbie?, Perry thought to himself before turning his attentions back to Jordan. "Look, darling dearest, I've got a patient who has about a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the next twelve hours, which means I need to be HERE for the next twelve hours. And unfortunately, that cuts into our little 'let's pretend we're a big happy family' plans for today." His phrasing was of course accompanied by air quotes. Perry Cox never would miss an opportunity to use air quotes.

"Cut the bullshit Perry. You haven't been home before eleven any day this week, and it's always a damned patient that apparently has dragged you away from your home and family. Tell me, do ya just blow your patients immediately, or do you buy 'em flowers and dinner before you let them fuck you on their hospital beds, because I know you, and you cannot stand to be in the same occupied space as anyone for that long unless you're getting some action out of it."

"Christ, Jordan!" Perry cried, slamming his fists into the counter of the reception desk. The only two people who hadn't abandoned their posts, Carla and Laverne, gave him scathing looks but said nothing, returning to their paperwork. Perry momentarily wondered how long it would take Laverne to spread news of this fight to every corner of the hospital, but his train of thought was interrupted as Jordan spoke again.

"Fine, spend all your time here. I don't give a shit. You obviously don't give a crap about anything we discussed in therapy for the past two months. I guess Dr. Arkin was right," she said, laughing bitterly. "You don't have your heart in this relationship. And frankly, Perry, I don't think you even want to try anymore." Before he could speak, she whirled on her heel and stormed out the door.

Perry stood there for a few moments, red faced and seething, brushing the side of his nose enough times in the next minute to make him consider the possibility that he was having an obsessive-compulsive attack of some sort. The answer to that question would have to wait however, as someone tapped him on the shoulder.

"Dr. Cox? Can I ask you something?"

Newbie. A devilishly maniacal grin spread onto Perry's lips, and even Laverne was tempted to duck for cover. Perry saw Carla motioning frantically to JD, to try and get him to leave; apparently the younger man realized what was going on, as Perry could feel the body behind him moving away. But it was too late; Perry whirled around and gripped JD's shoulder, the grin still plastered on his face like an obscene gargoyle.

"Shirley, are you just brain dead, or did you not understand what happens when I have a fight with my ex-wife?"

"Uh, I, um…" JD's eyes were so wide at that moment that Perry likened him to a deer caught in the headlights of a 16-wheeler. Too bad he's about to be turned into road kill, JD as a deer would be pretty cute.

"Zip it, 'Insert-Girl's-Name-Here.' You see how I didn't actually call you a girl? That's the point where you might want to realize that I'm so pissed off that I can't think straight enough to come up with a logical girl's name for you. Generally this is the time when even Kelso uses Ted as a human shield against me, but nooooooo; you feel the need to actually commit hari-kari. My god Newbie, I've become my ex-wife's bitch and you actually expect me to care about your problems right now?"

"I'm sorry! I'll just g-"

"That's right, Grace, you just turn your little behind right around and go get some actual work done, instead of staring off into space for ten minutes while you try to figure out whether you're a summer or a winter- which by the way, you're totally a winter, so that saves you about three day's worth of second guessing yourself; hold onto that information wisely. In fact…"

Perry wrenched the three charts out of JD's hands and flipped through them. "Aha! Not a single one of these is complete, or even close to it. Tell me, Tiffany, do your patients actually cry out for help when they go into cardiac arrest while you read Cosmo, or do they just resign themselves to the fact that they're going to die, so they might as well let you enjoy your makeup tips in peace?"

"Dr. Cox, I've only been in for like a half ho-"

"I don't care how long you've been in, Newbie. I want your ass in motion and working, now. In fact, you took so much time up talking to me, that you could've cured all three of these patients and had the time to get me a coffee- which you will be doing by the way; make it a double shot with cream. Now move." He grasped JD by the shoulders, swung him around, and gave him a hard shove.

JD stumbled a little, catching himself and barely managing to miss the wet spot that had somehow appeared behind him during this whole affair. He glared at the janitor, who whistled absentmindedly as he mopped a few years away, before turning back to Perry.

"Some mentor you are," he huffed, shooting a hurt glare at Perry before turning and trudging away. Perry noticed his shoulders slumping in a sigh, and to his own annoyance, found that his heart squirmed a little as he watched the kid go. Damnit, I do not do guilt, he thought to himself as JD disappeared around the corner.

Turning back around, he found Carla glaring at him and preparing to launch into one of her own rants at him. "Would you rather yell at me or go comfort the kid?" he asked before she could start.

She hesitated, weighing her options. Finally, she groaned and moved out from behind the desk. "You're getting off easy for now," she snapped, stabbing a finger against his chest and meeting his gaze squarely. "If you don't want JD to have to remove a foot from your ass, you'd better avoid me for the rest of the day." Then she turned to the side and ran down the hall to catch up with JD.

"You were being a pretty big bastard," Laverne murmured from between the pages of her magazine.

"Hi, I'm Perry Cox."

"Point taken," she said. "Now then, time for today's episode of Sacred Heart Gossip." She strode away, quickening her pace to catch up to a group of nurses.

Perry just leaned against the wall and banged his head into the plaster.

>>

The dull glow of the plasma screen TV did nothing to soothe the tensions Perry was feeling. Neither did the glass of scotch he had gripped in his fist. In fact, if he didn't loosen the pressure on the glass…

Shit.

The glass shattered between his fingers, cutting into his palms and splattering scotch onto the carpet. "Motherfucker!" he growled quietly, being careful not to wake Jordan or the baby. He quickly stood and went into the bathroom, pulling the shards out of his hand and cleaning it off, watching the blood mix with the tap water and drain downwards.

Scotch, he reflected, was not as good of a tension relief as he'd wished. Hell, maybe he'd had so much stress in his life up to this point that he'd built up a tolerance to anything that might've helped. The next time I want to squeeze something until it breaks, I should get Newbie's neck or a stress ball. He winced as he pulled the final piece of glass out and thrust his hand fully under the faucet.

The blood brought back clear memories of the day he'd had. Running around the hospital for hours… saving numerous coding patients… avoiding Carla like the plague… yelling at JD at least twice more… he considered it a very productive day. And these type of days were why he was a fucked up, angry bastard.

Then he came home to the tornado known as Jordan, and they had another half hour long fight over dry cleaning. Apparently, after slaving away at the hospital, he was supposed to pick up her suit for the board meeting tomorrow. Well, excuse me for working my ass off while she stayed at home with the kid. I really should be thinking more about her fashion needs; not my own health and sanity.

She'd eaten dinner alone in their room, and had only come out to use the bathroom for the rest of the night. That was fine with Perry. She could be mad in any part of the apartment, as long as it didn't distract him from the TV. Hell, she could destroy the rest of the apartment for all he cared.

He considered for a moment sleeping on the couch, but some of the scotch had gotten on one of the cushions, and he didn't feel like lying on a wet spot all night. After binding his hand up with gauze, he cleaned up the glass shards and rubbed the scotch on the couch with a towel. There's another good chunk of cash to have this cleaned, he thought to himself, sighing unhappily.

Finally, he walked to the bedroom door and opened it quietly, peeking his head inside. Jordan seemed to be sleeping, so he quickly shed down to his boxers and crawled in next to her. Apparently though, she was still partially awake, as she mumbled something like "stop moving the damn mattress up and down."

Alright, Newbie. What would you say in a situation like this? JD's face popped into his brain, grinning with a naiveté that only he could pull off.

Don't go to bed angry.

Gee, thanks, Dr. Phil, he thought to himself. I'll use that advice when I'm in Happy Huggy Love Land.

Fortunately, Jordan drifted off, and Perry spent the next hour bitching to himself about the woman lying next to him. And that feeling of guilt that had begun to swell in his chest when he thought about JD? Well of course, that was nothing to be concerned about. Not at all.

>>

Murphy's Tavern was only a few blocks from Perry's house. The old establishment was known for its good liquor and atmosphere that catered to people of all ages. These reasons made it the bar of choice for Perry's night out with JD.

He wondered momentarily how JD had managed to convince him to go out for a drink, but as he laughed at another one of JD's stories from his college days, he found that he didn't care how so much, and resigned himself to enjoying the moment.

"So then Turk walks out of the bathroom carrying Rowdy, and that pretty much finished my date with Anna. Apparently women don't find the idea of a stuffed dead dog very appealing…" JD sipped his drink, tilting his head back as if he was daydreaming again.

"Yo there, Gilligan, snap out of it," Perry said, snapping his fingers in front of JD's face. JD jumped on his stool slightly, before blushing and taking another swig. Perry turned his head away for a moment, letting a grin play on his lips.

"So how's it going with Jordan?"

Perry's head snapped back around in an imitation of the demon child from The Exorcist. JD's expression was eager, as if he hoped that Perry might let him into this special part of his life. And to his own surprise, Perry found his lips moved quite easily as he related the newest feud that they'd had.

"And then she has the gall to suggest that I'm not trying my damned hardest to keep this relationship afloat! She's on the fucking board; she should get what I'm doing!"

"Well, maybe…"

"You'd better think long and hard about what you're gonna say there, Newbie," Perry growled, shoving the beer bottle against JD's nose.

JD seemed determined to speak however, and pushed the bottle away. "Maybe the reason you're so busy at the hospital is because you're piling up your workload, so you don't have to deal with your relationship."

"That's just stupid, Newbie."

JD shrugged and took another sip. "Maybe, but it's the only thing that seems logical to me."

"Alright, since we obviously won't get anywhere on this conversation route… topic change. What in God's name is playing on the jukebox?"

Perry didn't know what time they left the bar that night; they were both a little tipsy. Scratch that. Perry was tipsy. JD, who was determined to keep up with Perry's drink consumption, was unfit to even tie his shoelaces in this condition. "Damnit, Newbie, how did I let you convince me to go out when I've got to be in by seven tomorrow?"

JD giggled and stumbled a little in the parking lot before righting himself. "S'pose 'm just too cute ta refuse?" he queried, grinning at Perry, who rolled his eyes. "Hey, 's true! I'm a cute drunk." He stumbled again; this time Perry had to catch him.

"Alright, that's it. Sit your ass on that bench."

They sat for an hour outside the bar, watching the sky, until JD was less of a stumbling drunk. "You good to walk now?" Perry asked, standing up.

JD nodded eagerly and stood, walking back and forth in a straight line for a few moments as if to prove a point.

"Lovely, you've mastered the abilities of a two year old. Let's go."

They left the parking lot and headed down the street, back towards the area where Perry's apartment was. "There's no way I'm letting you drive like that. Give me your car keys," Perry said, holding his hand out as they walked.

"Dr. Cox, I know you don't believe me, but I did get to the educational level where they taught us that driving while inebriated was stupid. Can I crash at your place?"

"Wow, Newbie, you are a comedic wit tonight!"

"Aw, come on! I don't take up much space!"

"But you take up too much to be stuffed in a shoebox, and if you can't fit in a shoebox, you're not coming inside."

JD's face had drooped into a pout, and he was giving Perry a look that tore the older man up inside. God damnit, it should be illegal to look that cute.

"If Jordan isn't home, it means she decided to stay at her sister's house overnight. Then, and ONLY then, can you stay. Otherwise I'm taking your ass back home."

"Yaay!"

"If you start dancing, the deal is off."

JD shook his head. "No dancing, promise."

They turned the corner, and Perry directed JD into a small alleyway between two buildings on the left. "It's a shortcut," he explained after JD gave him a questioning look. "Don't worry, Fiona; I didn't take you over here to rape you. Your precious little maidenhood is safe."

They walked quietly through the alleyway, and Perry heard JD gulp as the light from the streetlamps on the corner began to get too far away to light their way. "It's only a little bit through this dark area. Need me to hold your hand, Lucy?" he teased.

To his surprise, JD suddenly wrapped his arm around Perry's and drew in closer to him. "I hate the dark," he said, shivering slightly. "Normally I'm okay with it, but when I'm going into an enclosed area that I don't know anything about… I get a little freaked." He lowered his head, and Perry could even see in the darkness that his cheeks were tinged with red.

The compassionate side of his brain overrode the side yelling at him to dropkick the kid, and Perry just sighed and continued walking. "If you touch any other part of my body, your death will be quick and painful," he warned. JD nodded, but kept his arm firmly wrapped around Perry's. The older man was a little surprised to find that having a warm body next to him won over any part of his brain still in protest.

Turning the corner, they could both see the streetlights in the distance, only about two hundred feet or so away. Perry felt JD relax next to him, and was just about to tell the kid to release the arm he was wrapped around, before he felt something slam into the back of his head. In the next moment, he was on the ground, and there was weight on top of him, holding him down. A pair of hand's yanked his arms up behind his back, and Perry gritted his teeth as the socket twisted painfully in its joint. As he struggled to get whoever was on top of him off, his hair was grabbed and his head was yanked back, causing his face to turn upwards.

There were two large men dressed in black and wearing ski masks. That was the entirety of detail that Perry noticed about them, because they were currently manhandling JD. The kid was giving Perry a terrified look as they men pinned his arms behind him and attempted to lift him off the ground. "Let him fucking go!" Perry shouted, thrashing on the ground. JD bucked and twisted, trying to get out of their grasp, but they were too strong, and kept a firm hold on him.

Perry was about to scream at them again when he felt something bash into his head a second time. This time it was hard enough to knock him out. The last thing he remembered seeing was JD's eyes, frightened and imploring Perry to help him.