Love and Second Chances

By zeilfanaat

Category: Romance, Drama

Ratings: PG, K

Warning: Main character is doctor Oliver Crane. If that scares you, you have two options. One, you can decide not to read this story. Two, you can read this story and find that Oliver Crane too could have a nicer side. :)

Disclaimer: DOC is not mine. I merely borrowed for entertainment purposes. No profit is made, and the characters will be returned more or less unharmed. I did sort of shape Lynn Crane. Please ask if you wish to use her in a story.

Spoilers: Pilot, All In A Day's Work, Wake-up Call, (STFBE: Bounty Hunter)

Summary: Even though it is mentioned once or twice that doctor Oliver Crane is married, we never see his wife. It wasn't until the episode where Oliver's parents come to visit him, that I thought it was kind of weird they didn't mention his wife at all. Here's what my mind supplied as a possible explanation… and it kind of evolved into more than a thought.

Challenge: Valentine's Day Challenge 2008 on i2Eye Fan Fiction

Quote used: "Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you." Author Unknown.

Awards: This story has won the following awards: Best Short Story (tie), Best Use of Quote, and Best Drama (tie).

A/N: This story, if you haven't noticed yet, dives a little deeper into Oliver Crane's life. You have been warned. Reference to Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, although I may have adjusted the timeline a teeny-weeny bit to fit.

Finished: February, 2008

Part 1:

A high squeal came from the reception area, and about every person within the clinic looked up to find out what was happening. Several people poked their heads around the corner, and most smiled and turned back to what they had been doing when they noticed the receptionist dancing excitedly. Doctor Oliver Crane was one of them, although instead of returning to the medical article he'd been reading, he frowned. What had gotten Tippy so excited? Sure, she got excited often, but she didn't exactly squeal every time. Making up his mind, he decided to go and find out. He just hoped it wasn't Twila, Tippy's cousin, who might as well have been her twin.

When he got closer, he noticed a small group of people within the filing area. Donna DeWitt, the clinic's director, was there, wearing a small smile, and giving doctor Derek Hebert a pat on the arm, before shaking doctor Cassidy's hand. Meanwhile, Tippy was holding onto the hand of nurse Nancy Nichol, who was beaming.

Oliver halted a few metres away, and regarded the scene.

"I'm so happy for you two," he heard doctor Hebert say to doctor Cassidy, while Miss DeWitt turned to stand with the other two women.

Oliver started to get an inkling of what might be going on, but instead of continuing to watch, he decided to just go ahead and ask. "Just what is going on here?"

All five people looked up, as well as a couple of other nurses and doctors who were passing by. Doctor Cassidy gave him a smile. "Oliver, glad you're here. As you probably heard, Tippy got a bit excited when she noticed Nancy's new ring."

At Oliver's raised eyebrow, he continued, and his smile widened. "Nancy and I got engaged."

Oliver looked sceptically at the group of people, and the nurse and country doctor in particular, who shared a look of pure love.

"Well, I suppose congratulations are in order," Oliver said. "Now can we get back to work. There are patients after all."

He noticed Nancy roll her eyes, but ignored it; he had received those looks often enough in his life to be immune to them. It was the look doctor Cassidy gave him however, that made him turn, and walk back to his office. Once there, he tried to concentrate on the article, but it no longer held his attention. Finally he sat back, giving up on even pretending to read, and let his thoughts run free.

When the country doctor had first started working in the clinic, his unusual methods had caused numerous clashes between him and Oliver. Not only did Oliver think doctor Cassidy had no business practicing medicine in the big city, he wasn't convinced the man should even practice medicine - period. And where Donna DeWitt had been mostly on his side concerning the running of the clinic, that had changed as well when the cowboy had settled.

Over the years, they still butted heads occasionally, but had developed a mutual feeling of respect for each other - admittedly, reluctant and unvoiced from Oliver's side, but there nonetheless. Besides, it was with nurse Nichol he butted heads with on a regular basis. Oliver couldn't remember a time when they had seen eye to eye. Perhaps only that time when they were working together to get Westbury back from Richard Black. Maybe.

No, Oliver wouldn't go as far as calling him and the recently engaged couple 'friends'. Oliver would admit - to himself, and not out loud if he could help it - that both the doctor and the nurse were good at their jobs, but that's where his respect for them ended.

So why had doctor Cassidy looked at him with such compassion, even understanding, while Oliver was less than polite towards them at the news of their engagement?

With a sigh, Oliver picked up a pen, and fiddled with it. He may not know the reason for the look, but he sure knew why the gaze had unsettled him. While he had seen it coming that the two would end up as a couple at one point or another, the news had still caught him by surprise. Perhaps, after they hadn't made a move after the first two years, he'd been lulled into believing they would never make that move. Not that he really cared much beyond the fact of how it affected their work.

But it hurt to see a relationship like theirs, with such obvious love and commitment, knowing that he had once had that as well. And he'd lost it. The worst part was, he was the one who had slipped. Once only; almost a second time. By the time Gwen Hall had shown up, he knew better. He truly regretted those mistakes.

When he had met Lynn Carter, all those years ago, he had experienced the same feelings doctor Cassidy and nurse Nichol obviously felt for each other. Love. Every fibre of his being had scintillated every time he saw Lynn, and she had shared those feelings. They had dated for just over two years, before they had decided to marry. Part of the reason they hadn't been engaged earlier, was his parents' opinion of Lynn.

It just had never clicked. His mother at least tried, but his father… Well, that's doctor Franklin Crane for you. Just because Lynn had absolutely no tie with the medical profession, she had been considered as not important, and definitely not someone his son should marry.

Oliver sighed, and looked at the clock. It was still early considering his normal working hours, but he knew he wouldn't be productive anymore today, and he didn't have any patients scheduled for the rest of the afternoon. He might as well go home.