A/N: Just a quick little something that popped into my head during work today. This could very well be considered a crack!fic. Or maybe not. I'll leave that up for you guys to decide. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own a very large nothing.
His Eight Legged Terror
I think there are two kinds of fears in this world: Rational and irrational.
As for me, my fears tend to fall in both categories, though I guess that's the way most people work, when you think about it.
Now as far as my rational fears go, well…I have a bit of a list, to be honest. I'm afraid of losing my patients; of being a bad doctor in general. I'm definitely afraid of letting down the people I love, and yeah, I'm a little afraid of change.
As for irrational? Sharks and pennies. I usually just tell people the first one out of those two, since the second one sounds kind of odd. And okay, maybe it is, but I have my reasons!
Then, of course, there's my mentor. I think Dr. Cox actually has a lot of fears, but unlike most people, not a single one of them falls into the irrational category. He's afraid of disappointing his family, of being a bad dad, of being a bad doctor, of all around failing, and, no matter how much I try to get him okay with the idea of it, being vulnerable. Now I honestly can't imagine any of Perry's fears ever coming to fruition. He's an amazing doctor and, while he's already four years in, I still don't think he realizes just how great of a father he really is. And look at him and Jordan! They're so much better now. No, I don't think he'll be disappointing her any time soon.
So no, my mentor's fears, while I wish they were things he wasn't afraid of, would still definitely be considered rational. And for the longest time, I didn't even think he had any irrational fears.
Until yesterday; when it was just the two of us in the doctor's lounge.
I was sitting on the love seat while he was sprawled out on the main couch. ESPN was on, so I wasn't really paying much attention to the TV screen. I didn't want to get up though. It was just me and him, and, after stepping into the room and realizing I was interrupting his sports time, I would've sworn he was going to kick me out. But he just gave me a small scowl before turning back to the TV, and when I went to sit on the other couch, he didn't say a word.
Of course, only ten minutes in and I was already bored. But I wasn't going any where. Not when Dr. Cox had voluntarily allowed me to stay and keep him company, even if he wouldn't say that's what he was doing…
Now because I was bored, my eyes were wandering around the room; looking for things to amuse myself without actually having to get up or interrupt Perry from his game. The sandwich that sat idly on the far off coffee table held my interest for a little while. Was that smoked turkey? Then, after that quiet examination was over with, I turned my attention to the ceiling fan. I wonder if I could convince Turk to give that another go. Hmmm… Then after that was over, I found my eyes traveling back to the small coffee table in front of Dr. Cox, and oh! Look at that! Why hello, spidey. Now what're you doing in the hospital?
Okay, so I really didn't want to kill it, but I knew it wasn't good for bugs to be wandering around in a building full of sick people either. Still, I felt bad! Well, Perry would kill it, right? Besides, he was definitely closer to it than I was.
I glanced up at the TV screen, thankful that the game had just transitioned into a commercial, so I could alert Dr. Cox of the bug without getting yelled at. "Hey, Dr. Cox?"
"You know, Newbrella, I was just thinking how wonderful it was that you hadn't yet interrupted my break. My body may very well combust into flames after admitting this to you, but I was actually starting to believe that I could allow you in here more often. But whaddya' know? You just had to ruin it by opening that girly, full-lipped mouth of yours."
"But there's a commercial on!"
I tried not to flinch as Dr. Cox let out a clearly frustrated sigh, but he seemed content enough with my logic, even if he still wasn't going to say it out loud. "Fine then, Sally. Go ahead and say whatever it was you were going to say."
"There's a spider on the coffee table, and I thought you'd want to know so you could swat it."
Now here's the thing – I had already been at the hospital for a good sixteen hours, so I was definitely feeling a little beat by this point. So when I looked at Dr. Cox and saw his face completely blanch, I really had just thought I was seeing things. "Um, Dr. Cox…? Did you hear me? There's a spider on the –"
"Why're you crying to me about it, Newbie? Just kill it yourself!"
I couldn't help the small pop my eyes gave at Dr. Cox's latest demand. I think it meant to come out menacingly, but his voice sounded more hesitant than anything else.
"But Dr. Cox…it's right there in front of you. And there's a box of tissues there too! Wouldn't it be easier if you just –"
"Newbie! Shut up and just kill the damn thing already!"
"But I don't want to kill it! I'll feel bad!"
"You'll 'feel bad?' Good Lord, Newbie, fine! Just take the thing outside then, if it bothers you that much!"
"Okay, okay!" I stood up and made my way towards the coffee table, feeling a little angry as I did so. We'd been having a pretty good time together, right? And it wasn't like I interrupted his game to tell him about the spider, so why was he so mad at me?
I put my hand near the ledge of the table, and with my free hand, I tried coaxing Mr. Spidey towards my open palm, but I didn't know beforehand that it was a jumping spider, so I was surprised when, after touching the tip of my finger, it threw itself into the air, landing directly on one of Perry's pant legs.
What I saw next will forever remain a part of my memory.
Dr. Cox swung his entire body over the couch in a flurry, and no – he did not do that little "Get off me" dance you see in all of the cartoons. What he did do, however, was a solid round house kick; his face looking pale and terror stricken as he did so. When the poor little creature came flying off of his scrubs, Perry raised his sneaker covered foot and smashed the thing into the carpet. Once, twice, three times –okay, Perry, it's dead…
And honestly, if I hadn't known the cause of the spectacle, it would have been an intimidating sight to behold, but all I was able to do was just sit there and gawk at him, the realization from his earlier spout of anger dawning on me all at once.
And, unfortunately for Dr. Cox, the realization that I was still very much in the room had suddenly dawned on him as well.
Slowly, he turned to face me; his breathing a little erratic as his blue eyes widened upon seeing my current expression, which was slowly morphing from an open gawk to an openly amused grin.
I couldn't contain myself any longer, yet at the same time, I found myself at a complete loss for words. After a long pause (though it must've seemed much longer to Dr. Cox) I was finally able to manage the only three words I could muster: "Oh – my – God!"
"No," he responded firmly. "No, Newbie, no! That was nee-hot what you're thinking it was, do you hear me? That wasn't –"
I could barely pay attention to his rant though; my mind still going over what I had just witnessed.
A part of me wanted to laugh hysterically, but I knew he'd interpret it the wrong way and think I was making fun of him. And, well, okay…it was really funny. But a part of me, in a weird way, felt happy too. I was happy to be able to see this side of him; to be a part of this secret that probably nobody else knew about. I felt special. Trusted. Even if the whole thing had been an accident on both of our parts.
Of course, there was the more dominant side of me that wanted to get up from my spot and go hug him; to tell him that it was perfectly alright, and that being afraid of spiders wasn't an uncommon thing at all, but I had a feeling he'd react worse to that than the laughing bit.
"Newbie, I swear! If you do not wipe that smile off of your face in two seconds we are going to have a sa-herious problem!"
Allowing myself a small giggle, I stood up from my place beside the coffee table, walking over to him and daring to put a hand on his shoulder. "Perry…it's okay, alright? I'm not going to tell anybody."
"There's nothing to tell, because I am not, I repeat not, afraid of spiders!"
"Oh really? So the karate kick was just for fun?"
I went to remove my hand when he, much to my astonishment, started blushing; something very few people were privileged enough to see from Perry Cox. Still, I was beginning to feel really bad. I didn't want to push him. In fact, I wanted to be really good about this, so that maybe he'd let me in on things more often. "Dr. Cox, look," I started up, but he didn't let me finish. He was staring at the dead thing on the floor, looking grim, and suddenly a hurried confession was spilling out of his mouth.
"If I admit that I might kind-of-sort-of not like spiders, will you just puh-lease pick up the damn thing and flush it down the toilet, and manage not to tell anyone?"
I nodded, shocked by his latest bargain, but obedient all the same, as I went back to the coffee table for a tissue to pick the poor buggy up from the floor. "Bye, Mr. Bug. Sorry I couldn't help you get outside again." I heard a small growl from behind me as I said this, but I ignored it long enough to go flush it down the toilet. When I came back, Dr. Cox was still standing there; hands shoved in the pockets of his lab coat; his jaw very, very tight.
"I maybe sortakindadon't…"
"Perry, you're mumbling…"
He whipped his gaze in my direction, eyes flaring, and I tried not to openly flinch before him. Seriously…how was this man, of all people, afraid of spiders!?
"I maybe-sort-of-kind-of don't like spiders. Okay, Newbie? Are you happy?"
I contemplated telling him that I hadn't even planned on making him confess if he had just listened to when I had first tried to apologize, but instead I just stuck with a nod, giving him a genuine smile rather than one of amusement. "It's fine, Perry. Really. And I won't tell anyone, okay? Scout's honor."
He rolled his eyes as I gave him a little salute, and when I saw the game had come back on, I went to leave the room. I stopped, however, when my pager went off. "Dr. Cox? Um…I'm right here. Why did you page me?"
"Because the game's not over yet. Now sit, Newbie. Though if my team doesn't start winning soon, we're switching seats."
Trying to retain myself from turning into a pile of excited goo, I walked – not skipped, walked! – back over to the love seat, curiosity over his last statement getting the better of me. "Why do we need to switch seats?"
"Just shut up and watch the damn game, Newbie."
I let my smile overtake me as I wriggled a little into the couch. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my mentor had such a silly and irrational fear over spiders! But I also wouldn't have guessed that I would be a part of the secret, or that, simply because he could trust me enough to keep it, I would be invited back in to watch the game.
Still though…spiders!? I swallowed a small giggle as I turned my attention back to the TV screen. Well, I couldn't blame him. After all; it makes more sense than sharks and pennies.
A/N: I don't really think that Dr. Cox is afraid of spiders, but once the idea entered my mind, it simply would not leave me until I wrote it all out. Oh, and the switching seats thing: I read an article that featured John C. McGinley and his love for the Detroit Red Wings. Inside, he confessed that if he's watching the game and his team isn't doing well, he'll get up and switch seats. Who knew he had a superstitious side? ;) Anyway, that's about it. Hope you enjoyed it, and until next time!