"Dr. Cox. Dr. Cox. Perry!"

"Hm?" I was yanked out of my reverie by the gravelly voice of none other than Dr. Bob Kelso. "Whatever it is there, Bobbo, I'm sure my answer will always be the same." I turned on my heel and started to stalk away from the chief of medicine.

"And what would that be, Perry?"

"'Kindly blow it out your ass.' As always, glad to be of assistance." I sneer.

"Well, as stimulating as that new development of yours is, Perry, I need to speak with you about your treatment of your colleagues."

Intrigued, I turned around and faced Kelso. I tapped my nose and crossed my arms before regarding him. "I'm not sure I have any colleagues, Bob. There's you, and well now, wouldn't ya know that's just one big disappointment, hm? In between your morning, mid-morning, afternoon, mid-afternoon and right-before-you-leave-work nap," I tick them off on my fingers, "there's not much you do around here besides steal countless muffins from the nurses' muffin basket, which I gotta tell ya Bobbo," I lean in close and stage-whisper, "they're on to you." He turns his head to the side and there is a flank of nurses glaring pointedly at him, empty muffin basket on the counter in front of them. He rolls his eyes and turns back to me, clearly disaffected.

"Shall I go on about my other so-called, 'colleagues'?" I raise my hands and air-quote the word colleagues mockingly. "Dorothy there is just a ruffle skirt away from being a real live girl and seems to be clueless as how to behave like he's got a pair." J.D. comes floating by the nurse's station, twirls, and then settles against the counter with a dramatic sigh.

"Carla, would it be strange if I said I wished I were a ballerina?" He flutters his eyes, his head cocked to the side.

"Of course not, Bambi. I think you would make a great ballerina." Carla smiles indulgently at J.D. while handing him his patient charts.

I raise my eyebrows at Kelso. Point made. "Ghandi there thinks he is just God's gift to, well, pretty much anyone and anything. He is nothing more than a scalpel jockey and a disgrace to this hole of a hospital we work in." I turn my narrowed eyes to the black doctor entering.

Turk slides up to Carla, flashes his cocky grin, and fixes her with a stare. "Whasuuuup?" As if to emphasize my point (that he is unaware he is making) he sticks his tongue out and waggles his eyebrows at Carla as he's uttering his catch phrase. "My baby need her hourly dose of the Turk Love?" Carla places a chaste kiss on his lips to humor him and then walks off to a patient's room. "Yeah, you guys know what I'm talkin' about!" Turk announces to the room, refusing to be daunted by Carla's hasty exit, and stalks off.

"And let us not forget about our other colleague: Dr. Barbie." As if on cue she comes storming into the room with a coffee stain spreading over her blue scrubs.

"Frick! Why does Doug always have to leave a body unattended in front of the elevator every day?" She whines as she wipes at the dark stain.

"Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd our fine doctors of Sacred Heart. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, good night!" I aim the last part of this statement at Kelso as I do a victory shake of my arms above my head and slowly trot past him.

"We're not done, Perry!" Kelso yells at my retreating back. I continue on regardless. As I make it around the corner, I drop my arms and hunt out the nearest on-call room. It's been one hell of a night shift and I'm looking forward to a couple of winks of sleep, if that is at all possible.

I open the door and let out a sigh of relief. Empty. Shutting the door, I make my way over to the farthest bunk and crawl onto it cautiously. Damn, am I getting that old? I have to crawl into bed cautiously? Gone are the days of flopping into bed and falling asleep as soon as my head crashes onto the pillow; now I have to lay myself down nice and easy so as not to upset my back. I growl internally in frustration and ease down.

With nothing but the back of my eyelids and the gentle strum of the air conditioning to entertain me, my thoughts drift back to my reverie I was in the midst of when Kelso interrupted me…

Beep beep beep. The incessant sound of my pager was going off and flashing on it was Code White 334. The little boy, Dr. Barbie's patient in room 334, was coding. I drop the patient chart I'm holding and start to run. Who knows if Barbie has pulled herself together enough to actually answer one of her code pages? I enter the room to a hustle of activity; Nurse Roberts was lowering the bed while Carla was preparing an intubation kit for the first doctor on the scene, which surprisingly enough, is Barbie. I rush to the bedside and take over for a nurse administering the chest compressions.

"Quick, Barbie! Intubate him before we lose him!" I bark at her. She fumbles with the tube and yelps as she drops it. Carla quickly grabs another one from the tray beside her. Just as Barbie wraps her fingers around it I yank it from her grip. "Carla, take over for me." Carla replaces my hands with hers and starts hand compressions on his small chest. Jesus. The kid can't be more than 7 years old.

Barbie stands frozen in shock and I have to yell to get her out of my way. Like I have time for this. "Get out of the way, Barbie! If you're not going to put on your big girl panties and be the doctor you're supposed to be, then get the hell out of my room!" Shock registers on her face and tears start to pool in her eyes.

I turn my attention to the faltering boy in front of me and intubate him as fast as I can. Carla hands me the pump and I attach it, sending steady breaths into his lungs as she times her compressions to his chest. Looking at his monitor, I see his stats regulating, returning to normal. I sigh in relief and hand the pump over to a nurse so they can handle the next steps.

I glance up and notice Barbie's not around. I sneer and begin to look for the closest supply closet. I come across one in a couple of strides and stop to listen. Sure enough I hear sniffling coming from inside. I yank open the door to a startled Elliot and step in, closing the door behind me.

"For God's sake, Barboo, you're a doctor now, for crying out loud, not an intern. What the hell happened to you in there?" My words have the opposite effect of what I wanted (an answer) and she starts crying miserably, not bothering to wipe her eyes. She turns away from me, hiccupping in between sobs.

"J-just le-eave me alone, Dr. Cox." I roll my eyes, not pretending to even consider what she said. I turn her around to face me.

"Stop crying. Barbie, I'm serious. You stop it. Barbie—" When her tears don't seem to be on the verge of stopping anytime soon I try another tactic. I tuck my hand under her chin and tilt her face up until her eyes begrudgingly meet mine. My voice is serious and soft.

"Listen, Elliot," Her eyes widen at my use of her real name, "We've all had our moments like you did in there. Just because you froze up does not mean you're a bad doctor, it means you had a bad moment and acted as such. Don't be so hard on yourself, okay?" I stare a beat longer into her blue eyes. Her eyes flash and I feel my breath intake quickly. In direct opposition of my thundering heartbeat, I slowly lower my face down to hers. I gently place my mouth against her tear stained lips. An electric current passes from her lips to mine. I jerk back and—

—wake up with a jolt. Confused, I glance around at my surroundings. White walls. Concrete. Metal bed. On-call room, realization dawns on me. Confusion takes over again. When the hell did my memory turn into a dream? Wait, when did I even fall asleep? Damn, I must have drifted off while thinking of the encounter from yesterday.

I blearily rub my eyes, thinking. I remember comforting Barbie in the supply closet, but there sure as hell wasn't a kiss. Even if it was as magnetic as it was in my dream…I absentmindedly touch my lips with my fingers, the remembrance of the kiss from my dream sending a chill down my spine.

I shake myself visibly, forcing the fog from my dream to clear and my mind to wake up more. Oh God. I was not, not, na-hawt thinking of Barbie in that way…right? No. Of course not. I stand up quickly, remembering too late that there is a bed above my head as I crash into it with a loud thunk! Cursing I fall back to the bed with a thud and a spasm shoots up my spine. Damn this growing older business.

The door swings open sharply, revealing the star of my dream herself. "Dr. Cox? Sorry to wake you, but one of your patients is asking for you and I didn't know what to—are you okay?" She takes notice of me rubbing my head and holding my back simultaneously as I hobble to the door.

"Fine." I growl, brushing past her as I exit the on-call room. I glance down at my watch. Barely an hour's sleep. Another shift with Barbie today? I grit my teeth and keep walking; even if it kills me I will get through this day without thinking about her once. Or…anymore than I have already. Damn. This is going to be a long shift.