AN: Hey there, this is my first scrubs fanfiction. I only recently got into it and immediately watched all the episodes back to back, that was a fun week...heh.
Hope you enjoy.
"The identity of one changes with how one percieves reality."
The snow fell silently and slowly down on the parking lot around me. I put Sasha's keys in my pocket and wiped my nose with the sleeve of my jacket as I looked up at Sacred Heart. A quiet sigh escaped my lips and I trod towards the entrance. There was something about snow that made the world such a silent and beautiful place, but as a doctor I knew better. Motor accidents and other snow related incidents occurred a lot during winter, especially when it was as slippery as today. Also, this morning the local weatherman on my tv has predicted very bad visibility late in the afternoon thanks to a coming snow storm. Yep, this was probably going to be a long day, not to mention I had a back to back shift.
When I entered I was greeted by a flurry of activity. It seemed to be twice as busy as normal as I saw nurses scrambling with charts from one corridor to the other. Everywhere were patients, old and new, waiting to be treated. Most of them probably had the common cold or the seasonal flu, but I knew every last one of them was going to be checked out and the clinic was running over time.
I made my way to my locker and began to remove my scarf and jacket and tossed them carelessly inside. I knew I was going to regret that later when I was going home, because everything would still be damp from the snow, but frankly I didn't have the patience to track down a coat hanger. I changed into scrubs, took my stethoscope and tried to rub some warmth into my bright red fingers as the familiar burn of pins and needles began taking control of them.
I began walking towards the nurses' station as my imagination took my for a ride into a land with instant-hand-unfreezers and Personal Weather Bubbles™. I looked hazily off to one side when my daydream was disturbed by none other than my mentor, Dr. Cox, though the man would never allow me to call him that, ever.
"Hmn, I'd need to buy a whole bunch of Hawaiian shirts…" I mumbled dreamily as I focused on Dr. Cox, not having caught whatever the man had said that had disturbed me out of my daydream.
The older doctor's eyebrow rose only slightly in reaction to the comment, but feeling unfamiliar in such high territory, it quickly scrambled back down safely into Dr. Cox's permanent angry glare. I noticed that my mentor's arms were folded and temporally wondered if today was ethnic girl names day or if it was time for celebrities.
"Well there, Belle, I'm glad you're enjoying elaborate tourists traps as much as the next guy, though I've never been a big fan of the whole Oh-God-My-Eyes-What-The-Hell-Are-Those-Colors-are…are-those-flowers?? Hawaiian-shirts, but it's no secret your fashion sense has never been the same after you were locked up in your mother's closet for 3 days when you were five. However, I still have to remind you you're a doctor, Miss. Jasmine, how ever hard it is for me to believe and accept that…now, there's work to do!" With that, Dr. Cox dumped a whole pile of patient charts in my arms.
Ah. Disney Princesses.
"Well don't just stand there, Newbie, there's sick people out there! I swear, if you're gonna kill someone today…!" He glared one of his most intense glares I had seen in the last month or so, and I briefly wondered what had gotten Dr. Cox in such a bad mood. I also noticed with some annoyance that half the patients my mentor had dumped on me were actually Dr. Cox's. I smiled my trademark smile and opened my mouth to say something. However, taking another look when Dr. Cox's eyebrows twitched with annoyance at my smile, the I thought better and scampered off.
After JD had left, Carla, who had watched the whole interaction, made soft tsk-tsk noise. Cox glared at her. "What?"
"Be nice to Bambi." Carla warned, unfazed by the death glare.
Dr. Cox rolled his eyes, tapped his nose, licked his lips and fixed Carla with another stare.
"Jordon took the Porsche this morning unexpectedly and went to her mother's, so I had to take the bus, and by god am I cranky after being coughed on for half an hour only to arrive here and be coughed on in this hell hole. If that annoying excuse for a doctor manages to even look at me the wrong way today….it's not going to be pretty." After the short rant, Dr. Cox turned and stormed off.
Carla just shook her head and sighed quietly. She probably knew Dr. Cox better than anyone else in this place, and she knew he was just a big softie on the inside. However, she also knew his rants could get pretty harsh at times and she hoped JD didn't do anything to get himself into trouble today, because the fact of the matter was, JD was a very sensitive person. Whenever he felt miserable, Carla's motherly instincts just told her to smother the kid with care, something she knew annoyed Dr. Cox to no end.
"Something wrong, Elliot?" I had noticed something was bothering her as soon as she had walked past me at the clinic nurses' station. I felt for her; I had clinic duty in only an hour or so, just like Elliot right now and a lot of other doctors. It was impossible to cope with the number of clinic patients on days like this.
"You better believe something's wrong! I've got a patient in the clinic who's refusing to leave unless he's going to be examined by his dear Dr. Cox." Elliot said, frustrated. My eyebrows shot up.
"You're kidding, right? Someone actually wants Dr. Cox?"
"Yeah, and he's refusing treatment by anyone else. But Dr. Cox is too stubborn to come down here himself. Frick him!" Elliot seemed really stressed out.
"Well, I'm sure he'll come around eventually." I said hesitantly, not sure of my own words. Dr. Cox seemed particularly …well, Coxian today. I had already gotten a good ranting from him half an hour ago, when I had screwed up something completely minor. I couldn't even remember what it was. Anyway, it had set off the older doctor like no tomorrow and the rant had left me slightly more hurt than I cared to admit.
"I don't think so. Frick. Gotta go." Elliot said, as her pager went off, and stormed away, leaving a trail of 'fricks'.
I heaved a sigh. I just wished this day was over, I was spent. I hadn't really had a good night's rest last night.
I pricked the patient for a fourth time, only to get the IV in this time around. I sighed with relief, this was more a nurse's job anyway, but I had noticed it had come lose and wanted to redo it. It wasn't like me to not get it in one try, though. I smiled at the older lady apologetically. Suddenly, somewhere behind me someone started clapping and I froze.
"Well, Bravo there, Cinderella. For a moment there I thought you weren't gonna make it, but golly, if it isn't the little engine that could all over again."
I turned around with a sigh while Dr. Cox leaned over towards my patient.
"Be glad he didn't kill you, ma'am" The older doctor whispered conspiratorially at the frightened looking older lady. Then, as an afterthought he added: "…yet."
I rolled my eyes. "What do you want?"
Dr. Cox let out a laugh.
"I…want something of you? Never. I'm just checking you don't screw up while I'm not looking, because, see, I'm still responsible for anything you do. But it seems you'll screw up even when I am looking."
With that short and majorly unprofessional little rant, Dr. Cox left the room and I turned back towards my patient. I gave her another apologetic smile.
The lady just stared at me.
"Where's Miss Carmen's chart?" I asked as I approached the nurses' station. Carla gave me her I'm-sorry face and my heart sank.
"I'm sorry, Bambi, she switched off your service." Carla said, with a slight frown. I let out of breathe of annoyance. I was sure Dr. Cox was just venting his frustration, but this was just getting out of hand. This was the second patient that had switched off my service this morning.
"This is getting ridiculous, I'm going to talk to Dr. Cox." Carla said, with a huff of indignation when she saw my expression. But, noticeably to her surprise, I shook my head.
"No, Carla, that's all right. I'm sure he'll come around." I said uncertainly, echoing my words earlier with Elliot. Then, when seeing Carla's doubtful face, I added with a slight smile; "I was swamped anyway."
"Ok…" Carla said carefully, giving me a quick pat on my head. "Take care, Bambi."
I took one of my other patient's chart and looked at the clock. It was past lunch time already and I hadn't even seen Turk today. However, I wasn't feeling particularly hungry, although I slightly regretted skipping lunch break.
"What about Mrs. Harris?"
"Blood tests showed Hepatitis B, I think she's going clear it herself so I'm not going to start her on adefovir."
"And Mr. Moore?"
"I started him on a broad spectrum of antibiotics, took a few blood cultures and performed a Lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis."
Dr. Cox grunted and inhaled through his teeth, making a slight whistling noise. Nobody had died yet and newbie didn't appear to be screwing up, but that last part almost annoyed him. He had been looking forward to yelling at him again for something insignificant, although he had seen the hurt look on the man's face from the rant this morning. He had to admit he was being particularly hard on the kid today.
He took in newbie's appearance. The younger doctor was giving out as much smiles as usual, but he didn't appear to go through any lengths to be as particularly annoying as normal. In fact, now he thought about it, newbie wasn't even nearly as hyper, and when he looked closer a general tiredness seemed to be present in the man's posture, and there were slight black rings noticeable under his eyes.
As if on cue the younger doctor looked up slightly bleary eyed at his mentor. Dr. Cox looked at the clock, noticing that it was past lunch time, and he couldn't remember JD even going downstairs to grab something to eat.
"You. Take a break before you forget to concentrate and kill someone." He snapped, glaring at the younger doctor. JD looked confused with this sudden act of kindness, but then a wave of defiance passed over the younger doctor's face.
"I'm fine, Dr. Cox."
"It wasn't a suggestion."
"Sorry, but I can't. I've got clinic duty in less than five minutes. I'm just here to drop off these charts and go downstairs." JD said, with…was that really a annoyed expression? Dr. Cox frowned.
"Are you telling me off, Newbie?"
JD shrugged, thought better of it and looked up. "I think you should go downstairs and see that patient Elliot's been…talking… about…" He said, trailing off at the end of the sentence, leaving the convincing power behind the statement to trail off as well as he quickly looked down at his charts.
"Look here, Alice, I'm too busy to go down to some random patient who probably only has the flu just because Barbie can't keep her own. If she just went ahead and looked at the man for two seconds she could sent him on his way with some Kleenex and some advice for bed rest. And there's the difference between her and me, " He leaned closer towards JD. "I'm a good doctor."
He huffed and crossed his arms again. "Now be a good little lap dog and check up on these patients-" He tapped the small pile of charts on the Nurses' station bar surface. "after you're back from the clinic. If you say you're fine, then you can handle a few more cases. I'm off on my break however, so don't you dare disturb me with anything other then…." He thought for a moment, looking off to the right and then said; "Scrap that, don't disturb me, period."
Dr. Cox turned and didn't even wait for a reply as he walked off.
My hands itched. I didn't know what it was, but Dr. Cox's antics really annoyed me today. I was already covering most of the older man's patients and I simply didn't think I should cover every last one of his patients just because he was having a bad day.
Who was I kidding, I knew I was going to do whatever the man told me to do. And with a last weary glance at the pile of charts, I shuffled towards the elevator. The clinic was waiting for me.
"Hello there… Mr. Campbell. "I looked up from my chart to the patient seated on the bed after I closed the door of the examination room behind me.
The man on the bed looked up at me. He had a scruffy beginnings of beard, probably only a few days old and he looked angry.
"Are you Dr. Cox? I want Dr. Cox, I've been waiting for over an hour!" The man demanded immediately.
"I…" Suddenly, I was struck with a thought. If after an hour this man was still here, and Elliot hadn't gotten rid of him, the man must be really determined. I also knew that Dr. Cox wouldn't be showing his face down here any time soon today. I looked down at myself, noticing that the chart I was carrying was conveniently obscuring the man's view of my name tag. Then I decided to do something that I thought would do everyone a favor.
"-Yes. Yes, I'm Dr. Cox. What seems to be the matter?" I said, pretending to write something down on the chart while quickly putting my name tag in my front pocket. As I looked up I saw different emotions flitter across the man's face, and I briefly wondered what the man's reasons were that he so desperately wanted to be treated by Dr. Cox.
The man seemed at a loss for words for a few seconds, clearly taking in my appearance. Then he suddenly coughed.
Ah. Probably the common cold after all.
"Nasty cough you got there, let me take a look." I said while I turned around and placed the chart on the table. I grabbed my stethoscope from around my neck and looked around at the patient…
…And at the handgun the man had now trained on me.
Elliot spared a glance at examination room number 2. She had seen JD go in there, and remembered that weird patient from before was in there as well. She was sure he would have come out after less than ten seconds, remembering the patient's weird demand to see Dr. Cox.
But now she thought about it… She shot a quick glance at the clock, hmm… JD had been in there for a good 5 minutes already. Weird. Normally, the routine clinic check up were done in a few short minutes.
She shrugged, maybe he had found a way to examine the guy after all, without the help of Dr. Cox, but it had taken some time convincing him. She was glad JD had found a way to get the patient out of here though, because now it wasn't her problem anymore.
I looked as the man paced back and forth in front of the door, knowing that every minute we stayed here longer the chances of someone else coming into the room grew. I was now sitting at the examination table and luckily the gun wasn't trained on me anymore… for now.
"Maybe-" I began, but the man stopped abruptly.
I shut up.
The man muttered to himself and then looked up."You wouldn't remember me." The man said, angrily. "But you would certainly remember my brother, you bastard."
I didn't know what to say as I sat there, not taking my eyes off of the gun that the other man was waving around while he was mumbling. Clearly, Dr. Cox had done something to really piss this guy off.
I had briefly considered telling the guy I wasn't Dr. Cox after all, but thought better of it because I knew the man couldn't just let me go, after threatening me like this… and that only meant he was probably going to go after Dr. Cox anyway after the man had….disposed of me. I didn't want other people to get hurt.
"She believed you! She believed you, you know. You said she would be all better. They were so glad!" The man yelled at me, all kinds of emotions fleeing across his face. I shrunk back as the gun was yet again trained on me.
"She was gonna get better… But then, then she died. And it's your fault! You lied to us….You lied. They hadn't prepared themselves, but you said-" The guy's voice broke and he sat down with a huff. I refrained from saying anything as I watched silently with terror-filled fascination.
"He lost them both…Susan, oh god. ...Michelle cried for weeks, and then…then she went away..." He whispered and I had to strain my ears to catch that part at all.
Susan and Michelle.
The names stirred a memory in my head as I desperately tried to make sense of the situation. I remembered…. I remembered those names. I remembered the patient.
Ten year old girl. She had pneumonia. She was going to get better, she had been on oxygen for weeks but she was going to make a full recovery. Dr. Cox had told them. I had been standing next to him, right there!
It had been such a rare complication… Haemorrhagic cardiac tamponade. She had become unwell and her heart had failed. The diagnosis had come too late.
It had been a freak incident.
It had been months ago. But I remembered.
"I'm…I'm sorry." I croaked out, feeling painfully aware how hollow my apology sounded.
"Shut up!" The man said again, pointing the gun at me. He started pacing again, looking troubled, and I felt anxious.
Finally, after what seemed ages, the man looked up and looked at me. I swallowed.
"So, this is what you're going to do."
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