"Concussion" by Tristan the Dreamer

A/N: I put this up really fast because I was rushing to a family New Year Party, and the Author's Notes didn't make it. So here they are now! This is an angsty one, b/c that's what I like to write best. It's nonslash, which is also what I like to write...and it stars Victor and Derek. Yeah, so all the characters are copyright Atlus, as is Trauma Center itself. Reviews are celebrated! Thank you, Dan F, for reviewing already! And now on to the show..

"I'm afraid I have an urgent meeting with the Secretary," Dr. Clarks sighed.

"You mean, now?" Derek inquired, struggling to focus his eyes. His cracked glasses rested gently in his left hand.

Dr. Clarks studied his wristwatch. "No…ten minutes ago…he's probably furious. I told him over the phone that punctuality is required at Caduceus."

"Yeah, you're in for hell," Victor smirked, lounging against the wall.

"Oh well." Dr. Clarks smiled ruefully. "I'll be back when I can, Derek." He left the room.

This left an uncomfortable silence between Victor and Derek, the latter laying prostrate in a hospital bed.

"So…how's your head?" Victor finally asked.

"Ugh…sore, but not too bad. What I'd really like is to know what happened. The first thing I remember is being on the floor."

"Derek! Look out for that—"

"Whoah!" Derek stepped in the puddle of spilled chemicals on the hall floor and his feet flew out from under him. His shoulders and upper back hit the floor first, followed by his head, which snapped back and cracked on the green tiles violently. "Ugh…"

Victor scowled. "Damn it, can't you watch where you're going? Would you eat a package of staples if someone wasn't babysitting you? Hello, I'm talking!…Derek…?" Victor's expression changed to concern. He knelt by Derek and quickly started shouting for help.

"W-what.." Derek spoke with disorientation and difficulty. He looked pale and his hand was reaching for the back of his head.

Two thoughts raced through the researcher's mind, fast as the two thumps of a heart beat. Oh God PLEASE don't let him have brain damage, and, Why didn't I clean up that mess?? "You'll be fine, Derek," he managed. "Just hang on, okay?" Without thinking he gripped Derek's arm until Dr. Clarks burst in…

"So?" Derek was looking at Victor with interest. "What hap—"

"It was a simple case of slipping on a wet surface. If you'd just looked where you were going…" the researcher trailed off meaningfully. "And ask a nurse to clean you up next time she stops by. It was low molarity Hydrogen Peroxide, but you still don't want to take chances."

"Oh." Derek's voice was quiet and tinged with shame.

Victor looked up upon hearing the small sound. His usual smirk had dropped and there was a hesitant flicker of something in his dark eyes.

"It's okay, Victor." Derek laid a friendly hand on Victor's arm. "It's not your fault. I should have looked where I was going."

Victor flinched at his touch. "If it's not my fault, why are you even mentioning it? You should be apologizing to me for interrupting my research." He stood up. "Speaking of which, I have to get back to it."

"Oh, don't be like that, Victor. Please stay a minute. You're good company." Derek gave a tentative smile.

Victor hesitated, and then stiffened with resolve. "I'm not your nursemaid, Stiles. And I have things to do that actually matter." He walked to the door, forcing himself to forget the time Derek had stayed by his bedside. I'm no nurse. I don't have to take care of him! Unbidden, his eyes flashed back to Derek. The hurt look in the young doctor's face stabbed at his heart.

He closed the door quietly behind him and continued down the hall.