Summary: Edward is finally prepared to begin his medical career—a career ninety-years and four medical degrees in the making. But what he's not prepared for is his first ever patient at Seattle Presbyterian Hospital.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, if I did, it would be a vampire tradition to never wear clothes… just saying.
The Best Medicine
"The doctor is often more to be feared than the disease." French Proverb
November 9th, 2008
He is nervous. In fact, he hasn't been this nervous since his first time back among humans. The situation is after all, remarkably similar. He is finally beginning his medial career—a career ninety-years and four medical degrees in the making.
Today marks his first day as an intern at Seattle Presbyterian Hospital. He realizes that he might spend the rest of his days as a medical intern, after all the is only so long he could stay in one place before people would begin to stop and say, "You know, he still looks like he did on his first day." But he also knows that for most people, four years of high school is torture enough, let alone more than forty. So despite spending the rest of his days at the bottom of the medical totem pole, he is relieved at the change.
As he prepares to leave his house in Forks, Carlisle claps a hand on his shoulder and Esme hugs him warmly. The rest of his siblings aren't quite so sentimental considering it will take little more than ten minutes to return here after his shift ends—one of the benefits of being able to break the sound barrier by running. Alice, his almost all-seeing sister, acts peculiar, well, more peculiar than normal. Her thoughts are meticulously reviewing the Fall lines of her favorite designer collections, right down to the color of the thread. Shrugging it off, he gives her a hug, and she holds him a moment longer than necessary. The worry and encouragement in her eyes is downright motherly, and he regrets again the childless life to which their curse has doomed them.
You'll do wonderfully. Everything will be okay, we have so much faith in you.
Her thoughts break through the rest, and he smiles and says his goodbyes, before setting off towards Seattle at a brisk run. He arrives in about eleven minutes—his breathing even and normal and his brow sweat-free.
He ignores the stares that follow him to the reception desk, and he tries not to encourage the already swooning girl sitting there. Her name tag read Jessica, and her thoughts read shallow and almost non-existent. As he enters the locker room, he barely notices the awed stares and nearly imperceptible way that people instinctually back away. He hears several heartbeats speed up and stutter as he shrugs off his sweater and begins to dress in his scrubs. He can tell just by listening that there are fifteen more people in the room, all clumped together in small groups of three or four. Judging by smells, there were eight females, six males, and one that could possibly go either way.
After being assigned a resident, Dr. Clayton, he and the others in his group follow him to the Emergency Clinic. It is interesting hearing the different paths each mind takes in response to the new location. A rusty, salty smell fills his nostrils and he is proud at how remarkably easy it is to resist. A blonde boy in the group, Mike Newton, smiles at the sight of blood and pumps his fist in excitement. Dr. Clayton forces himself not to roll his eyes for the benefit of the group, but he can't hide his thoughts of irritation from Edward. The day begins slowly with the listing of rules, review of procedures, and an overview of paperwork. At first, Edward becomes easily frustrated at the child-like treatment the interns receive, as though they are incompetent. But then he'll here someone think something stupid, incorrect, and dangerous, and he changes his mind.
After four medical degrees, there isn't a question asked that Edward can't answer. He lets about half slip by him, trying not to snicker at many of the ridiculously wrong answers thought by the rest of the group, and the much more numerous thoughts of 'Please don't call on me, please!'
Soon, however, Dr. Clayton realizes Edward to be the most knowledgeable in the group and doesn't allow him to dodge anymore questions. He also offers Edward the first direct interaction with a patient. He leaves the group in their place, scouring the pit for a suitable case. Edward hears him laugh on the other side of the room as he steps behind a curtain.
"Again, Ms. Swan?"
He shuffles around the room, checking her chart and a few other things before say, "I believe I have an appropriate punishment for you. After all, on your last visit, you did promise me you'd stay safe, and it's been what? Eight days?"
She groans, but doesn't deny it. "Okay. I guess I deserve it, but really, I was being careful!" Her voice is soft and smooth.
"I'll be using you as a demonstration for my interns today."
"What?" She cries, and her heart best so furiously that Edward almost believes she is right next to him, rather than across a long and crowded room.
"No, Dr. Clayton, please. You know how I hate attention."
He laughs and replies, "And you know how I hate an injured Bella."
There is more groaning and shuffling of feet before Dr. Clayton appears outside the curtain, beckoning the group over. He pulls back the curtain revealing a petite girl with long, straight brown hair, tucked behind her ears. Her cheeks are painted red, and her small delicate hand covers her eyes in embarrassment. Edward waits at the back of the group, studying her curiously.
"This is Isabella Swan." Dr. Clayton introduces. "If you manage to stick around, you'll probably end up seeing quite a lot of her."
She looks up shyly and Edward hears Mike thinking that he'd love to see a lot more of her. Edward rolls his eyes, but can't disagree. She is rather pretty, with large brown eyes and those enticing pink cheeks. He shakes his head, forcing himself to think of things besides blood. He'd resisted plenty today, and this is no different. He steps backward, taking in the familiar, easy to resist, scents of the interns in his group. His eyes scan her form, from her carelessly dangling feet to the bruised wrist cradled carefully in her lap.
"Dr. Cullen?" The resident calls.
Nodding, Edward steps towards to girl, but he only makes it one step past the group before he freezes. With the scents of his group behind him, he is exposed for the first time to that deliciously floral and deliciously dangerous scent. His body becomes rigid and his eyes darken, before he closes them tightly. As soon as his eyes close, his mind fills with images… terrible images, and he wrenches his eyelids back. Her wide eyes meet his, and she blushes further. Her blood rushes to the top of her skin, rushes to him, calling, singing to the creature inside of him.
"Anytime now, Dr. Cullen." His resident intones.
Edward walks forward cautiously, his movements stiff, takes her chart, and then steps away again.
"Isabella Swan?" He asks, his voice strained, but inviting nonetheless.
"Bella." She whispers in correction. Her heartbeat flies, and he forces himself to scan her chart.
Surprise coloring his features, he asks, "This is your eleventh visit in the last three months?"
She blushes again, unknowingly sending the monster in him reeling. He envisions himself attacking, sucking her dry, or whisking her away for an x-ray, and taking his sweet time with her sweet blood.
He turns his thoughts to Carlisle and Esme, and their confident assurances this morning. He then remembers Alice's curious behavior and realizes that she's seen this all. Knowing that she would have said something, if this were to turn out badly, he is finally able to push the horrifying images away.
"And how did you injure your wrist, Ms. Swan?" he asks.
She thinks for a moment, her expression hesitant. He waits for the entirely truthful explanation to appear in her mind, but it never comes.
She answers, "I-I took the stairs a bit too quickly. Well, actually, it was rather slowly, but any type of speed on stairs is too fast for me."
Dr. Clayton laughs, and it gives Edward time to search for her mind. At his intense gaze, she panics and lowers her eyes.
Dr. Clayton clears his throat, gesturing Edward forward. Slowly, unwillingly, he approaches, his entire body rigid, desperately fighting to maintain control.
"Have you taken anything for the pain?" He asks, his position in dangerous proximity to her own. She nods and the second he had to wait for her unknown answer was like torture.
"Tylenol." She provides.
He points to her wrist, "May I?" He asks, his musical voice sounding rougher than ever before. She looks into his eyes, startled by their darkness. She stares for a moment, and for a split second, it appears as though she leans toward him ever so slightly, but it surprises him nonetheless. Most humans naturally shy away, but this mysterious girl with the most intoxicating spell only moves closer. Finally, she seems to remember her question and offers up her wrist, her eyes focused decisively on the floor.
He steels his control, knowing that she'll naturally jump at the temperature of his skin. But he is not prepared for the sudden electrical charge that surges through them at their momentary contact. He pulls away sharply, hearing the questioning thoughts of both Dr. Clayton and the rest of the group.
Trying to distract the group, and himself from the thought of her warm soft skin, he asks, "The pain. What would you say it is on a scale from one to ten? Ten being the highest."
She thinks again, and he nearly growls in frustration at his inability to hear her thoughts. Who is this girl? What is she? Could she be human—with the sweetest blood he'd ever known and thoughts that remained a mystery even to him?
"About a five." She answers.
A mystery—that's exactly what she is.
"And what course of action would you recommend, Dr. Cullen?"
Edwards shakes his head to clear his thoughts and answers, "There's clearly an injury, as indicated by the extreme bruising. First, an x-ray to determine whether it is a break or fracture, and some treatment for the pain, until we can determine a further course of action."
"Very good, Cullen." Dr. Clayton replies, "Would you like to get started on that?"
Edward blanches and replies immediately, "I don't mind giving someone else a chance."
Edward doesn't need to hear his thoughts to know that Dr. Clayton is disappointed. He half-heartedly waves Mike Newton forward, whose thoughts of Bella assault Edward in an excited rush.
"Dr. Newton, take Ms. Swan to x-ray, please. I'll see you soon Bella."
Mike replies, "My pleasure," and then they're gone.
Edward takes deep breath, realizing that he'd resisted the impulse from the first moment he'd smelled her blood.
Dr. Clayton begins to assign the interns tasks, and they all trickle away, until only Edward remains.
"Cullen." His resident says, "You've got a great deal of knowledge about medicine, but you've got a ways to go in learning this business. No one is going to hand you anything, so you take everything you can get. Refuse another opportunity, and I'll question how much you want to stay in this program."
Edward curses mentally. He'd made a royal mess of everything already.
"I'm sorry, sir." His voice the very tune of regret, "I don't know what I was thinking."
Or more correctly, he didn't know what she was thinking.
Dr. Clayton nods, regarding him carefully for a moment. He hand him a chart with instructions to check up on a patient. Before he walks away, he replies with a grin.
"She's quite pretty, isn't she? Ms. Swan, I mean."
He is gone before Edward can agree or disagree.
'Pretty.' Edward thinks. 'Yes, she's pretty. She's beautiful and shy and intoxicating and human.' He sniffs, taking in the remnants of her presence, before muttering so low, that only he can hear.
"Yes, very human."
A/N: Well, there's the first chapter. Do you like it? Should I continue? I'm sorry if any of the medical stuff is wrong, I'm sort of clueless in that department. If there are any medically inclined folks out there who would like to give me some pointers, I'd much appreciate it!
I'm not entirely sold on the title, but I needed a title in order to post it, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.
Review if you want to read more!