Trauma Center: Second Opinion

"Questions Unanswered" by Tristan-the-Dreamer

A/N: I wrote this because I was sad when I won the game, and I wanted to keep living in the world. I know this is short; hopefully I'll get at least another chapter up sometime. Please r/r, but try to keep the flames on low!

Derek sat quietly in a chair by Victor's bedside. He'd been sitting there for an hour in the late afternoon light. He looked down at his colleague, lying so still. Damp shocks of black hair fell across Victor's darkly complexioned face, defined by sharp cheekbones. Long, skinny arms lay across the white blanket, when normally they'd be crossed over his chest defiantly, a cocky smirk completing the picture. Derek had always admired Victor's sharp intelligence, but Victor's complete lack of social awareness left a chasm between them. He didn't seem to have any friends, or want any, but still Derek wondered…

"Derek." A voice suddenly shocked Derek out of his deep thoughts.

"I'm here, Victor," he said quietly.

"I'm not blind, Stiles," Victor snorted. "I was trying to get your attention. You were off in some kind of make-believe land. So anyway, are there any aspirin lying around this room? I have a wicked headache."

Derek scouted around the room and scared up a bottle, along with a cup of water. "Here."

"Thanks." Victor popped two in his mouth and swallowed them. He set the cup of water by his bed, then sighed unhappily, staring at nothing and no one. "I'm such an IDIOT!" He finally exploded. "RRRRGGGHHH!!"

"Victor, listen. Triti is a delicate GUILT to work on, and this was an unstable case. Anyone could have…"

"But I'm not anyone!" He snapped. "I'm too smart to make mistakes like that! I've seen a dozen or so Triti operations. It's simple, ridiculously simple! Just pluck out the stupid thorns!"

"Simple in theory, yes, but—"

"Oh, just shut up."

"Victor!" Derek leaned forward, staring intensely. "Stop beating yourself up! You know that the failure of the operation was partially due to…" he hesitated. "Look, I don't know Camden that much; he's new around here. From what I can see he's a brilliant surgeon. But he shouldn't have used the Healing Touch during that operation."

"Why not?" Victor challenged. "You use it!"

"Yes, but he wasn't up to it—you said yourself earlier that he looked tired. No matter how you look at it, he should not have attempted it during that surgery. And what were you supposed to do when he collapsed? The GUILT was multiplying like crazy in the patient's pancreas, you couldn't just stand there! I've snapped more thorns than I can count."

"But you've always drained the poison in time," Victor countered. "I didn't. Now…Jonathan Roster is dead. Because of me. And you'll never convince me otherwise."

Derek sighed deeply and sagged, defeated. "As you wish." He felt Victor's forehead. "I think you have a bit of a fever. I'll get a cloth for your forehead."

"Whatever." Victor crossed his skinny arms over his chest in defiance of the world. It was his fault, right? After all, he had to do everything perfectly. He held an important position at Caudecaus and was therefore expected to perform at the highest level. But…maybe Derek was right. After all, could he really have done anything differently?

Derek returned and started wiping Victor's sweaty forehead.

"Derek?" Victor said quietly.