Friends in High Places

Rated: T for swearing

Pippin Bardsley thought she had seen everything there was to see in the world of therapy. From whackos to sickos to parents who named their daughter 'Pippin'-, she'd had them all, so when an appointment was set up with a famous neurosurgeon from Seattle Grace, she figured there was nothing that could be really wrong with him. Depression, maybe? Yes, Pip assumed, that's usually what's the matter with doctors. She'd do what she always did with mild cases- doodle on a legal pad for an hour and then send him away with a business card and prescriptions for enough Prozac to kill a horse. Worked every time.

Pippin was setting up tea on her garden patio (She always had low-risk patients at her house. Offices were just a bit too stuffy to occupy constantly) when Derek Shepard opened the ivy lined gate, dressed in his Sunday best.

Cute. She thought, before putting on her best professional smile and setting the kettle down. "Good afternoon, you must be Dr. Shepard." pleasant, smooth, detached.

"Please, call me Derek."

"Derek it is, then. I'm doctor Pippin Bardsly- tea?" Pip motioned to the table, pouring them both a cup when he accepted the offer. "Now, Derek, let's begin." She took a leather breifcase from under the chair, opening the snaps and pulling out a pen and legal pad before setting the object back on the ground. Derek sipped his tea as she found a clean page and scribbled Patient: Derek Anthony Shepard at the top. "Why not start with telling me why you're here today?"

"Well," He paused "relationship problems, mostly."

"Oh?" How could a man that hot have any relationship problems? That girl must be off her damn rocker- or that guy. "Can you elaborate?"

"Well, it kind of began when I caught my wife cheating on me with my best friend. I ran away to, uh, here, and before I started my job at Seattle Grace I had this one night stand with a girl. Only, the next day it turns out that she's an intern at the hospital I'm working at..."

Pippin had to keep her jaw from going slack as she listened to what could have been a synopsis for the big season finale of one of those cheesy hospital dramas her mother loved so much. To conceal her surprised posture and keep the facade of collected professional, she assumed a pose reminiscent of Thinking Man- elbow on table, index finger over upper lip and thumb on chin, seated diagonally with over arm slung across back of chair and legs crossed.

"...so then I got kind of trapped and slept with her younger half sister, who also happens to be working as an intern at the hospital..."

"Oh, uh...dear me..." Pippin stuck her tongue in cheek as she nodded along, looking down at the notes she'd written in the past twenty minutes, which consisted of a sketch of Mickey Mouse in scrubs and CALL JERRY SPRINGER!!! Underlined five times.

"...and so now I'm in love, living with the dream of getting married, building a house and having kids and she's just wanting to have a friends with benefits thing, y'know?"

"Well, Derek, that's, er...quite the story." M O T H E R F U C K E R ! She scribbled, still trying to look professional. "But I'm not sure how I can help you, I'm used to dealing with..." people who just need a buttload of Zoloft or Prozac and a good night's rest. "...other sorts of cases. Unless you wanted to bring this, er," She looked down at the few legitimate notes she'd actually written "Mary to one of your sessions, of course."

Derek put down his tea cup " If I told her about this, She'd laugh at me and then beat me over the head with a medical textbook for bringing somebody else into this. Years later CrimeTV will do an expose about how they found my body stuffed in the trashcan of pediatrics and how she sanded off her fingerprints, changed her name, and then became a stripper in Las Vegas. Izzie and George and Christina will have to go into witness protection..."

"So, that's a no then?"

"er, yes."

"I see. Well, Derek, I'm afraid that our time here is up. You can schedule a follow up appointment with Christie over the phone." Pip stood abruptly "I...look forward to seeing you next week."

"Thanks. I guess." He shrugged and grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair, "It was good tea." and with that, Derek Shepard walked down the cobblestone path to the gate, closing the door quietly behind him.

"Suddenly, I cannot fight the urge to watch reruns of General Hospital." She said in mock surprise, putting her things back into her suitcase and returning to the house.