Okay. You all, are going to think I'm SO WEIRD for this one, but I couldn't help writing it.
This is based on Trauma Center: Second Opinion's game over screen, where basically as CGP puts it, "Derek loses the will to live, and wah wah wah"
So, here's a story about it. To classify it better than the two genres I was allowed to use, I can tell you this.
Yeah. I shortened it to Hurt/Comfort/Humor. You'll see why. This is incredibly random, and Derek is a tad OOC, so I apologize in advance.
"Vitals are critical!" Angie shrieked, amazed at how fast they had dropped.
If all these people weren't watching.. if they all weren't – pressuring me to succeed.
As the Healing Touch expired, Derek realized he was in some hot water. Lacerations riddled the patient's intestines and vitals hung around 10. Derek looked around at the damage bewilderedly as he tried to keep up with suturing the lacerations, but it was to no avail. Before he could finish the stitching, two of the Kyriaki simultaneously struck, causing vitals to plummet straight to zero. His first operation at Caduceus had failed… he, had failed, and every member of the staff had watched it happen.
Sidney keyed in over the PA system, speaking words that crushed whatever was left of Derek's spirit.
"Stop the procedure… It seems, your skills were greatly exaggerated.."
Hands on his hips, he muttered the time of death as Angie looked on, tears in her eyes. This couldn't be happening to him… he was an exceptional surgeon, he was… brilliant. Why now, why today.. why, here…
"Why him…" Angie thought, her mind filling with sorrow for him. She could tell just by one look at him that this had devastated him more than she ever could imagine.
Derek slowly removed his mask and walked from the room and to his office. He sat down in the chair, silent, before taking out a small box to collect his possessions. Though he had only worked at Caduceus for a mere two days, there were some things there that he would need to take with him.
A few days later, Derek Stiles mysteriously disappeared without saying a word to anyone. The burden of the patients lives turned out to be more than he could bear…
After his final operation, most people who hadn't known him would agree that Dr. Stiles had no business treating patients in the first place. Angie, on the other hand, was worried sick about him. She had tried his cell phone numerous times, but to no avail – he really had seemingly disappeared.
One Thursday afternoon after her shift at Caduceus, which she had stayed at after that fateful day, Angie got curious. Driving on her way home, she took a quick detour, traveling towards Derek's apartment. Even if she couldn't convince him not to abandon the profession he loved so much, she could at least make sure that he was okay.
Angie parked her car and walked in through the doors to the lobby of Derek's apartment building. Uneasy, she stopped at the front desk, where a woman noticed her and asked how she could help.
"Yes, I need to speak with someone who lives here – his name is Derek Stiles, apartment 16—"
"Derek Stiles?" the woman interjected, shooting a questioning look at Angie. The nurse became nervous under the woman's look, before watching her turn around and ask her supervisor a question that Angie could not hear. The man stared at her as well, still conversing with the desk attendant, before he walked over to the counter where Angie was waiting.
"Excuse me, Miss…?"
"Thompson." Angie finished, wondering why all the formalities were present.
"You know Mr. Stiles?" he asked.
"Dr. Stiles…" she continued, "And yes, he's a very good friend of mine and I'm worried about him… Can I speak with him please?"
The man stopped and handed Angie a piece of paper. It was unfamiliar to her, her eyes scanning it up and down, trying to make sense of the words. "W-what is this?" she asked, overwhelmingly confused.
"That, Miss Thompson, is Dr. Stiles's lease. He cancelled it yesterday and moved out…"
Shocked, Angie's mouth dropped. "He… what?! Where did he go!?"
"We, don't know, Miss… he just, left us the paperwork and the early termination fee in this envelope. He moved out late last night.."
Angie was crushed, but still very very worried. This was really unlike Derek, though, she knew his whole life was wrapped up in what he did. As she stumbled out of his building, her heart ached to see him, to comfort him… but, she had no idea where he would go, what he would do. They weren't close enough yet for her to know where to look for help if he needed it, so she went to the only person that she could think of.
Shaking his head, his dark eyes studied his desk as she talked, wondering how this had happened. Slowly, Greg Kasal lifted his head to look at the distraught nurse.
"Sidney said what to him?" he asked in complete disbelief. "I don't believe this… he.. said WHAT… to him?!"
Angie shook her head. "You, should've seen his face… Dr. Kasal, it was… heart-wrenching. I just watched, as all the life faded out of it…"
Dr. Kasal nodded. "Okay, Angie – thank you for bringing this to my attention… we'll wait for awhile and see if he pops up, and if not, I have family member's numbers somewhere in his old files… we'll find him, just – don't worry. I'm sure he'll be back he's just…. having a hard time, right now." He finished, spinning his chair around to reflect out the window and over the horizon. A hand settled on his chin disappointedly as he racked his brain, sorrow overwhelming it for the young man who had been so eager, so talented, so… brilliant.
"Pull it together Derek – we're all waiting for you…"
Two weeks later, the memory of her fallen surgeon refused to leave Angie's mind. Every time she walked into what used to be their office, she felt a slight twinge of pain, of, longing, in her chest. All she needed was to talk to him, to convince him that everyone makes mistakes, that he couldn't give up because of this… and most importantly, that she still believed in him.
Slightly depressed, Angie decided to cool herself off by going for a run through the park – it was the only thing that could make her feel better.
The crisp, autumn air stung as her cheeks as she jogged through the paths of Angeles Bay's park, crushing the fallen leaves underneath her pink Adidas. The park was incased in a delicate background of yellows, oranges, and browns, signaling that fall was here to stay. Taking out her frustrations on the asphalt path, Angie kept running, desperate to free herself from the thoughts bombarding her mind. She passed children on swings, a couple playing Frisbee with their dog, and people jogging just like her. As she rounded the corner in front of the pond, she saw a sad, homeless man sitting on a park bench in front of a big herd of ducks, feeding them bread and talking to them. The path wound in a circle around the man, and as she continued to run she periodically looked over at him, giggling at the fact he was talking to the animals, though she knew it was mean. When he ran out of bread, the man slumped back against the park bench and stalled for a second, before he raised his head and looked directly at Angie.
As his soft, brown eyes bored into her green ones, Angie's mouth dropped open in shock. Misplacing her foot in her surprise, she tripped on herself and pitched forward onto the asphalt, rolling a few times before she eventually skidded to a halt. Quickly, she looked at her hands which were scraped, but not too badly, before she turned her attention back to the man. Slowly standing up and dusting herself off, she swallowed hard before she walked towards the park bench, playing with her hands in her nervousness. As she closed the distance between the two of them, she realized why those big brown eyes looked so familiar.
Unshaven, dressed in long pants and a sweater with a dirty brown blanket wrapped around his shoulders, Derek looked at his former nurse before he hung his head, seemingly unwilling to converse with her. She stood in shock as he reached his hand back into the bag which held the loaf of bread, his winged companions crowding around him once more.
"I don't know why you're here, but you should just go – I have more important things to attend to…"
He threw another piece of wheat bread to the ground, where one of the ducks fought the others to get it, tilting its brown head back as it swallowed the morsel whole.
"…feeding, ducks?" she inquired, raising an eyebrow.
Derek said nothing, as he tossed another piece of bread out into the herd. Using this as her chance, she slowly walked over to the bench and sat down next to him. Something stung at her nostrils as she sat there, realizing that for some reason, Derek smelled of old pond water and moldy cheese. Angie twiddled her fingers silently for a moment, before she looked up at him, still very serious about feeding the ducks.
"Derek, can we… talk?" she asked.
He let out a sharp sigh, irritated that she didn't just leave him alone, but when he looked up, he saw that there was genuine concern in her eyes. Raking a hand through his greasy brown hair, he sighed again before turning back to the ducks, signaling that he was listening to her.
Almost inaudibly, Angie asked, "What's happened to you, Derek? You're… a.."
"A what?" he snapped.
"…a, hobo.." she replied.
He shot her a look which made her cower a bit, but when he noticed that she was scared, softened his expression. After a few moments of silence, he opened up to her.
"…I killed someone. I failed – I never should've become a surgeon… Sidney was right, I don't have the skill.."
"No, Derek!" Angie pleaded, resting a hand on his shoulder. She felt him tense, but kept it there. "You are a brilliant surgeon! That man's disease was already so far progressed, there was nothing that anyone could've done… it was, too strong…"
"No. You're wrong – I just wasn't good enough… so, I quit. That's all there is to it. My place is here now.."
Angie looked at him, eyes widened as if to say, "Here, seriously? Are you nuts?" but she didn't say a word. The two sat in silence for awhile as Derek threw more bread to the ducks. Suddenly, Derek broke the silence, scaring Angie so bad she nearly jumped off the bench.
"NO, THAT'S NOT FOR YOU!" he yelled at a seagull that had butted its way into the herd of ducks, gobbling up the morsel of bread. Not realizing what he was doing, Angie watched as Derek's foot shot out, punting the bird a considerable distance away.
"Derek! Don't!" she shrieked, but it was too late. The bird honked a couple times, visibly pissed off at being nearly dropkicked, before it flew away, unharmed.
"What?!" he snapped, turning towards her.
"Derek, you just punted a bird!" she replied matter-of-factly, letting out a loud sigh.
Bravely, she placed her hand on top of his.
"I'm worried about you… you haven't left my mind since that day, Derek. I just wish…"
"…nevermind.." she muttered, looking at the ground.
This caught Derek's attention, as he threw the last part of the bread to the ducks. He turned towards her slightly.
"No… what, Angie?"
She looked up at him. His eyes were wide, the sparkle she used to see in them nearly gone, replaced by a world of pain that she would never understand. Sighing again, she continued.
"I just wish… you would let me help you…" she trailed, the end almost inaudible.
Derek straightened his back, looking off over the pond as he thought, running his own through his hair again.
"Why, Angie – why would you even care… I had no business treating patients in the first place.." he replied, voice shaking. "And everyone knows that – that's probably all they're saying about me at Caduceus…"
"No, Derek… Sidney didn't know what he was talking about – the rest of the staff thought it was awful what he said to you, they're all worried about you, just like I am…"
Somewhere beneath his smelly tattered clothing, Derek's heart skipped a beat. He felt like such a nobody, and she was right – he had really become a hobo. Silence wafted through the air, the only sounds now present were the ducks waddling back to the water and the wind blowing in the trees. Angie and Derek sat together for a few seconds before he broke the silence.
"But, what can I do now – I already cancelled my lease, I walked out of Caduceus… I'm living on a park bench for Christ's sake… and its weird, but I don't completely hate it…"
Their conversation was abruptly interrupted by the beeping of Angie's watch. The beep usually signaled that her break from work was over, but it had gone off by accident – Angie was already done for the day.
Derek bowed his head, however, knowing what that beep signified. He bit his lip, thinking for a minute about swallowing his pride and asking her to stay with him, but he quickly snapped out of it, realizing that she wouldn't want to spend her afternoon with a hobo who talks to ducks and kicks seagulls.
Instead of getting up and leaving immediately, Angie lingered for a minute.
"Ask him to stay with you! Help him through this Angie – if you don't help him, nobody will, and he'll just stay here and be friends with nature for the rest of his life…"
Instead of complying with what her mind told her to do, she stood up, giving him a sad smile. Yes, she had strong feelings for him, and that's why she couldn't ask him to stay – he needed to get better, not worry about something so stupid as his nurse having a crush on him.
"I, should…" she started.
"Yeah…" he interrupted, eyes still on the ground where his companions had once been standing.
As she backed away, Angie felt Derek's eyes on her back, but she kept walking. About ten feet away, something in her mind snapped as she realized that while she didn't want her feelings to get in the way, that he needed someone to pick him up off the ground right now – not another person to walk out of his life.
Sadly, Derek watched as she slowly walked away, incredibly dejected and sad that she hadn't stayed. He reached in the bag for more bread and tore off a small piece, but before he could throw it, he mind snapped to attention as his ears picked up something he didn't think he was going to hear.
"Wait." Angie said, turning around and walking back towards him. He watched, hope filling him, as she paced over in front of him, and stopped, looking at her feet.
"I, was just wondering… maybe, you know, if you want…" she started, visibly nervous, but with a big breath, she finished the question.
"Would you like to come stay with me for awhile? You know… maybe, I could help…"
Derek stared into Angie's green eyes, feeling the genuine warmth inside them wash through his whole body. Her eyes searched his, desperate to know what he thought of what she said, before he spoke.
"…You would do that, for me?" he asked her, completely surprised that the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on actually wanted something to do with him.
Smiling, she nodded. "I.. care about you, Derek… I want to help."
A shiver lanced through his whole body. She more than likely meant it in a friend way, but for a minute, Derek decided to take it as she had feelings for him. Staring at her, expressionless, Derek sat in silence for a few seconds, before he smiled softly.
"Are you sure?"
Angie broke out into a smile. "Of course I'm sure – you could use a friend right now…" she replied, holding out her hand to him. He accepted it and she pulled him off the bench, walking hand and hand with him down the path, slowly. A seagull walked next to them on the path for a bit, and Derek had to fight off every urge to punt it like the last one, but he smiled as he ignored it.
Butterflies formed in her stomach as she held his hand. Though he had been out in the elements for who knows how long, it was soft and warm, and fit hers perfectly. Snapping out of her daydream, Angie turned her face towards him as she spoke.
"I think as your friend, I should let you know that the first thing we are doing when we get back home is getting you in the shower…"
She laughed as he scowled at her, before he chuckled as well.
Meanwhile, the couple playing Frisbee looked on from across the park at the two of them, their eyes widened in shock.
"Is, she, taking home that hobo?" the woman asked, completely baffled.
"That's what it looks like…" her boyfriend replied, stunned as well. "How the hell did he manage to get her to take him home?"
That statement was met with an elbow to the ribs, as the couple continued to watch Angie and Derek walk out of the park.
After stopping at the storage facility to grab some of his things, Derek and Angie drove back to her apartment. As she opened the door, the sweet scent of vanilla flooded his sense, before he was flooded with yet another smell – himself. She ushered him over to the bathroom where she provided him with towels and showed him how to work the shower, before she left him to clean up.
About an hour later, Derek had finished in the bathroom, clean shaven, and smelling good. As he walked out of the bathroom, he scanned the room for Angie, seeing her in the kitchen.
"What smells so good?" he asked, pacing towards her.
She looked up at him, a huge grin spreading across her face.
"I made us a couple of steaks… but wow, you look much better!" she said, continuing to mess with a pot that was on the stove.
"Steak?" he asked, his mouth watering.
She nodded. "Yeah, I know its your favorite, and you've been through a lot.. so, I made us some good stuff… I figured you'd be hungry.."
Derek smiled as he sat on the barstool at the counter she was working at, watching as she finished sautéing a pan of fresh green beans. "I'm starving… and that shower made me feel much better…"
He quieted down as she shoved a plate in front of him. A giant slab of steak, fresh beans and a huge mound of mashed potatoes took up nearly the entire thing. His mouth watered again as he looked at it, before she came and plopped on the stool next to him, setting a glass of milk and silverware down as they began to eat together.
After dinner, he cleaned up the kitchen for her as she threw his dirty clothes in the laundry, washing them three times to be safe. Derek walked back into the living room after he was finished to find Angie hanging up her cell phone from where she was seated on the couch. As she turned on the TV, he sat down next to her and smiled, before thanking her again for dinner. They watched Friends for awhile, before a knock was heard at the door.
Nervous, Angie rose to her feet and answered it.
Derek's mouth dropped as he looked at her. She had remorse in her eyes, but he knew that this had to happen sooner or later.
"Hello, Sidney…" Derek muttered, averting his gaze to the ground.
Angie closed the door and excused herself from the room, leaving the men to talk. Standing in her bedroom, she tried eavesdropping on the conversation but could only pick out certain parts of the conversation. She heard Sidney apologize for what he said, and heard him mention ducks, to which Derek laughed, completely mortified. The rest of the conversation was in hushed tones, and Angie ducked back into her room as she saw them stand up, shake hands, and Derek walked him out, shutting the door behind him. Curious to know what happened, Angie kept her cool – their talk was none of her business. If Derek wanted to tell her, then he would tell her. She walked outside and sat down next to him on the couch quietly. Looking at his furrowed forehead, she could tell that he had a lot to think about, to sort through – she just hoped that the conversation with Sidney turned out well.
Silence lingered in the air before Derek yawned.
"Oh, I'm sorry – it is late, I should probably let you get to sleep, huh…" Angie said, standing up and walking to her room. She brought back a pillow and a blanket, which she laid down on the couch, getting herself comfortable.
"What, Angie… no, go sleep in your room… I'll take the couch…" he pleaded, extremely guilty for even thinking of taking her bed.
Angie sat up, curled in her pink blanket, as she looked at him.
"I'm not taking no for an answer, Derek… now go."
He recoiled from her stern tone but lightened up as he saw her smile. Nervously, he knelt on the ground next to her and hesitated, before shakily wrapping his arms around her. Her heart fluttered at the unexpected hug, eyes wide, but she relaxed in his hold and rested her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes. Derek lingered for a moment before pulling back, smiling.
"Well… uh, I guess, I'm going to uh.. get goin to bed…" he stammered, cheeks a nice shade of pink.
Angie smiled lovingly at him. "Okay – I'll be out here if you need anything… don't hesitate, okay?"
Still unable to believe how much she had done for him, he nodded in agreement, smiling.
"Thank you… for everything, Angie…"
"Anytime…" she said, rolling over and closing her eyes. "Sleep well, Derek…"
Angie heard his slow footsteps as he paced over to her bedroom, shutting off the light in the living room before she heard him climb into her bed. Relaxing herself, she dozed off, almost asleep before something grazed her arm. She rolled over quickly, coming face to face with Derek. Surprised, she lifted her head off of the pillow, still slightly groggy, as her eyes silently looked at him questioningly. Angie watched as he looked at the ground and took in a big breath, before he asked her a question that took her completely off guard.
"I know, this may sound weird… and, you really don't have to… uh, if you don't want t-to, but, I was, uh.. just wondering…"
"…will you stay with me, tonight?"
Angie's eyes widened even further in shock before she relaxed, smiling. Pulling her blanket off of her, she stood up and helped him to his feet as she nodded. Silently, they walked over and crawled into her bed. Fearing that it would be awkward, Angie relaxed – it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Mere inches apart, the two got comfortable, Derek on his back, hands behind his head, Angie on her side facing him, as they conversed.
Derek explained that Sidney had apologized to him for what he said after Greg called him and yelled at him, and also after the staff at Caduceus had told him that his statement was way out of line. He offered him his job back at the hospital, but told him to take some time to get his life back together and get over the incident before he returned. Derek had agreed to that, and would be back working with Angie in two weeks. She smiled upon hearing that and congratulated him, before he thanked her for calling Sidney. He then began to explain to her the chain of events which led to his homelessness – apparently, he had only slept on that park bench for a few days. His mother lived in the next state over, and he had stayed with her for a week before coming back. After he had explained everything, another silence filled the room, before Derek broke it once more, turning to look at her.
"Angie…I, just wanted to apologize to you…" he started.
"For what I did – I'm sorry for worrying you, and for yelling at you… and for kicking that seagull…" he said, chuckling slightly.
She laughed as well. "Yeah, that was pretty bad… it was kind of funny to see you lose it over a bird though…"
He scowled. "Hey! Well, actually, you're right… I've embarrassed myself more than I ever could've imagined.. I was actually, a hobo there for a little while…" he said, chuckling.
Angie started to crack up, and he followed, the tension in the room flying right out the window. Derek watched her smile, illuminated by the window, the sight warming him from the inside out.
"I seriously will never be able to live this down!" he exclaimed, the both of them still laughing. "I mean, the only thing I could do now to make it worse is to tell you how crazy I am about you!"
He continued to laugh, but Angie grew quiet. Suddenly, he realized what he had done as his eyes widened, staring at the ceiling, his mouth slightly opening.
"Uh, I mean… um, what I meant to say was, uh.." he stammered as he squeezed his eyes shut.
"Stiles, you are SUCH an IDIOT!! YOU SHOULD'VE STAYED WITH THE DAMN BIRDS."
Slowly, he turned his head over to look at her, fearing her reaction. As he worked up the nerve to look in her eyes, he noticed they were wide with surprise, which he had expected.
"A-Angie.. I-I'm, sorry… I shouldn't have, said… that… I'm sorry…"
"Did you mean it?" she asked, sitting up.
He stayed in his position, unable to move as he looked at her. With a big inhalation, he slowly nodded his head as he slightly raised his eyebrows, biting his lower lip.
"Just, say something… anything…" he pleaded internally to himself.
He had fully expected her to return to the couch after the incident, and that's why Derek was stunned when she laid down next to him, wrapped an arm around his waist, rested her head against his on the pillow, and cuddled up next to him. He literally couldn't move – his heart was beating out of control, and the only thing that he could bring himself to do was smile, knowing that his face was probably almost purple. Calming himself, he pulled his arms out from behind his head, and hugged around her shoulders. After the initial awkwardness of the moment, both of them relaxed in each other's grasps as Angie sighed, incredibly content. Sure that he would kick himself for it afterward, Derek opened his mouth to speak to her once more, spitting out his question quickly out of terror.
"Do you, feel the same way?" he asked, his entire body shaking.
Without picking her head up, she smiled next to him. She could feel his entire body tense up, waiting for her answer, which she delivered in the form of a kiss on his cheek. Relief washed over him as she did that, before he hugged her tighter, the both of them relaxing again.
"What can I say…" she started, interrupting the silence again. "I'm crazy about a hobo…"
Angie giggled softly as he followed suit, before he squeezed her again. It took awhile for his excitement to wind down, but he eventually drifted off to sleep, still cuddled up to the one person who had been there for him when he needed it the most.
While he would never admit it to anyone else, Derek Stiles' small stint as a hobo was probably the best thing that ever happened to him.
Haha. Hahahahahahah! HOBO DEREK!
WHAT IS IT WITH ME AND TURNING EVERYTHING TO ROMANCE AT THE END.
Eh, I'm not so happy with how this one turned out. I liked the hobo section, but it turned too romance-y at the end and didn't stay hobo enough. Boo to me.
I couldn't resist this, though I tried very hard to. I saw in a few reviews people that referred to him as Hobo Derek, so thank you for the inspiration for this story. I hope you all enjoyed it.
Poor seagull :)