Characters: Pretty much the entire cast!
Characters, Trauma Center © Atlus
Today was a morning she was not looking forward to. Her surgeon, her friend, her husband had to leave across the country due to an international conference that had specifically requested Dr. Derek Stiles. Even Sidney Kasal and Dr. Hoffman couldn't refuse this invitation for them. If they did, Caduceus would lose face and possible funding.
"How long does this conference go?" the messy-haired surgeon had asked. He had a frown on his face from the news and sulked in the chair across from his superior's desk. While being disrespectful was never acceptable, both men could understand the heartache the infamous surgeon was going through. After saving the world from GUILT twice, he had been constantly bombarded with request surgeries, meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Dr. Hoffman was the first to speak, "It's not a conference like the ones you've been going to, Derek."
Brown eyes widened slightly. "It is, but more like a class. You'll be speaking to surgeons from all over the world and teaching them about PGS. Caduceus USA has their eyes on only you, Derek. No other person can take your place. We're sorry."
Derek's frown deepened. "How. Long." he growled. Sidney was slightly taken back by the tone of Derek's voice, but Dr. Hoffman remained unfazed.
"No need to lose your temper, Derek. However, this conference will take two months. You'll be completing classes too, as well as visiting different countries—"
"Two MONTHS?! Are you joking?" he shouted loudly. "No! Tell them I refuse! I just got married a month ago, and they're already planning to ship me off to God knows where?" There was a long pause as Derek regained composure, his breathing slowing and his anger abating. "I'm sorry, Dr. Hoffman."
The older man was able to comprehend much of what the surgeon before him was experiencing. The Healing Touch had sent him to places he could only dream of and to places that were in his nightmares. However, the pressure was even greater for Derek since he was also the man that defeated GUILT and could cure any PGS that appeared. He placed a hand on his shoulder, his tired eyes looking into the chocolate ones seriously.
"It's alright, Derek. Just be prepared to leave in two days."
With a grim voice, he spoke, "Yes, Dr. Hoffman."
Angie sighed deeply as she walked to get the mail. Derek left two days ago to New York, but this would be the first day without him at work. This happened before when he worked at Hope Hospital while he was recuperating, but never did they part after they got together. Every conference he went to, she was able to accompany him as his faithful and loyal assistant. However, their marriage had caused an uproar in the system. Never did a doctor and his assistant get married. The Kasals were in different fields and didn't rely on the other so much, rather than Derek and Angie who needed the other to be in sync.
She scanned through the mail until she found a letter… from Derek. Her hands took over as they ripped open the envelope viciously, but pulling out the letter very carefully. When a photo fell, Angie slowly picked it up, looking at the smiling face of her husband standing next to Dr. Naomi Kimishima and a young girl that was dressed in a hospital gown.
How are you? I hope you're doing well. I'm fine, but I miss you still. I miss having my favorite assistant helping me with surgeries, but currently Dr. Kimishima has been assisting me. I still wish it were you. This is a photo of one of my patients, Victoria, she's nine-years-old. She used to live in Angeles Bay during the GUILT outbreak and developed PGS. Luckily she lived close to where I was staying so I was able to treat her easily and she'll be making a fast recovery.
My stay here hasn't been all that exciting. I haven't had a chance to catch up with Dr. Kimishima at all, but it looks like she'll be moving to Angeles Bay soon. Also, I encountered some of the doctors we met in Caduceus Japan like Dr. Kitagawa. He was watching Victoria's PGS operation in the observation room. There are so many doctors with their assistants that it feels as if they're rubbing it into my face that you couldn't come with me. Just to assure you, no matter how many assistants throw themselves at me, you'll be my only one.
Till death do us part,
The address I've written on the bottom is where I'll be at around the time you send this letter. I'll be sure to bring you and everyone a souvenir from wherever I'm at.
I love you.
A blush rose on her face as she read the letter once more. No matter how many years would pass, his words in ink or by mouth would always make her heart beat fast. "I love you too, Derek," Angie whispered to herself, hoping, praying that he would hear her.
- Day 8 -
Derek sighed to himself, taking out a gold chain and on it, a locket. It was a gift that he had given Angie for Christmas, and she had lent it to him as a reminder of home. Once Angie had received a copy of their wedding photos, she quickly made a miniature of one and placed it for safe keeping inside the locket. They were just holding each other, smiling brightly at the camera. This memory made him smile just thinking about it, but it was soon broken by the call of his name on the speaker followed by applause.
After the conference was let out, Dr. Kimishima met him with a smile. "You've gotten better at making speeches, Dr. Stiles."
He put a hand at the back of his head with a modest smile, "You think so? I thought I stuttered quite a bit."
The silvery haired woman chuckled softly, shaking her head. "It was fine. Actually, I thought you sounded a bit cold. It was very much unlike when we met previously in Germany last year. Is it because Angie isn't here?" Naomi couldn't help but smile when a faint blush appeared on his face as he nodded. "I see, well, you must make the best of it. I doubt Ms. Thomps—"
"It's Stiles now. We got married a month ago." Derek interjected, feeling a surge of pride being able to call Angie his wife.
"Mrs. Stiles," she corrected, "would hate to see you doing things half-heartedly. You're a doctor that was invited to speak upon Caduceus USA's behalf, and you can't be doing things like this halfway. It would be the same as not doing everything you can to save a patient." The words stabbed Derek like a knife, his chocolate eyes losing its shine. She was right. Angie would be disappointed in him, after all the fights and arguments they had in the past, it was amazing that it wasn't drilled into his mind.
Derek looked up with a smile. "You're right. I'll do better. I'm sorry about that, Dr. Kimishima. It must be hard to always look after me." He laughed awkwardly, but calmed down once he saw Naomi Kimishima smile back at him.
"No problem, Derek." She replied, turning on her heel and leaving.
Soon after the quick meeting with the other surgeon, he found himself on a flight to the United Kingdom. Dr. Kimishima would also be accompanying him as well on a different flight from New York seeing as she had to attend to some matters concerning her move from Caduceus Europe. Once he exited the airport to find his waiting car, a blast of cold air and some tiny droplets of rain met him with unfaltering cruelty. He lifted the collar on his trench coat as he walked past people with his luggage, finding the waiting driver and car.
"Good evening, Dr. Stiles. My name is Alvin, I'll be your driver during your stay." The red-haired driver said politely. He didn't have an accent and while they got to know each other, it was proven the man wasn't from England, and instead Boston, Massachusetts.
Derek found himself nodding to Alvin. "Shall I take you directly to the hotel or would you like to go sightseeing? I was informed during your travels you never visited London."
"Actually, I was wondering, do you know any place where I can get a perfect gift for my wife? I got them some souvenirs from New York, but I promised I'd get them something from every place I went to."
Alvin smiled brightly, "Of course, Dr. Stiles." Somehow, Derek was beginning to like Alvin more and more by the minute.
At eleven o'clock at night, both driver and surgeon found themselves in their respective beds. "I'll be picking you up at noon for lunch with Dr. Miller and Dr. Kimishima who I'll be picking up from the airport that same morning. Please dress nicely as you will be attending a conference soon after, Dr. Stiles."
The surgeon nodded at the news, soon collapsing on his bed afterwards. It was a very successful day; he had gotten another luggage to fit all of his friends' souvenirs and had bought each one something. It was an impressive thing when you were married to a nurse and were a surgeon yourself. There was a lot of spending money when you needed it.
- In Angeles Bay… -
Angie had been feeling rather fatigued in the days that followed Derek's departure. She had received another one of his letters, explaining that he would be leaving New York to London, England. While she envied his ability to travel, she became slightly concerned at her own predicament. It became a struggle to work her normal fourteen-hour shifts and every night she seemed to just fall apart on the large king sized bed.
After a quiet dinner by herself, she found herself dialing her husband's number, praying that he wasn't too tired to answer the phone.
A smile broke out onto Angie's face. "Hey, sweetie. How's London?"
"Mm, good. I haven't really started out my day much."
There was a pause.
"How are you, Angie? I've really missed hearing your voice. Have you gotten my letters?"
"I'm fine, Derek. No need to worry, but I miss you. A lot. And yes, I've gotten every letter you've sent. It looks like you're having a fun time. I'm glad."
Angie could tell a distinct change in the tone of Derek's voice. "You're wrong. I never have any fun without you. I can't. But… somehow, I'm managing. Dr. Kimishima's been with me this entire time. I haven't slacked off at all, because I want to be able to return to your side as fast as possible. I miss you so much, Ang. I wish you were here."
"I know. I do too."
"Are you tired?"
"Me? No, I'm fine." How could he tell when he was thousands of miles away?
"You're lying, Angie." She could almost see him smirking. If he were right in front of her, he would be trying to make her tell the truth straight out. But from thousands of miles away, Derek settled for a mere plea that she take care of herself. "Take it easy and don't overwork yourself. Please? Hey, Angie, I'm gonna head to bed. It's almost three in the morning right now and I have a conference in the morning. Good night, okay?"
"Okay, good night, Derek. I love you."
Almost as if she could see his loving smile right in front of her and hear him whisper in her ear, he said, "Sweet dreams."
- Day 16 -
Derek wondered to himself if being apart from the woman you loved was ever this hard. After five days in London, they had migrated him to France and soon he'd be in Italy. These were the places Angie had showed him in her childhood photographs with her family. The beautiful vineyards of France and the amazing cathedrals and art in Italy were often the backgrounds during her summer vacations as a small girl.
This time there was no Alvin that would drive and accompany him as he toured the sites. It wasn't torture to walk, and it allowed him to get a new perspective on his surroundings and find things and stores he might not have seen otherwise. Once he bought all of his souvenirs from France, he had them delivered to his hotel, while he continued to scan the area. France was a crowded place, but at night it was the best place to clear your head.
With his hands in his pockets, he opted to skip a dinner with Dr. Kimishima to take in the nighttime scenery. His eyes widened as a long set of blonde hair, elegantly pass by him, a small gasp of surprise escaping his lips. "Angie!" He jerked his head around to look, but saw the woman meet with her boyfriend at the nearby restaurant.
Derek clenched his fists in agony, knowing that it would be a long time until he saw his Angie. With his head hung low, tears rolled from his cheeks in a midnight glow.
- Day 28 -
"Hey, Angie," Tyler Chase said, gently supporting the sick woman, "You've got to call Derek. This isn't looking too good. Have you even gone to seen a doctor?" he asked seriously.
Angie shook her head. This was the fourth time she threw up in one day. It was a mystery that she still had something to throw up. "Can you call Leslie? She's off today, right?" Tyler nodded, dialing his cell phone and quickly hanging up after calling his girlfriend. "I'm sorry, Tyler." she murmured before throwing her head into the bucket again.
Tyler hated seeing his best friend's wife this sick, and it annoyed him to no end that the blonde would rather deal with it herself, pain and hurl included, than 'interrupt' her husband while he was on a business trip. Once he saw his temporary assistant off, he quickly called Derek.
"Hey, dude, it's me. I need to tell you something about Angie." Tyler spoke solemnly into the phone. He could immediately hear the worry evident in his best friend's voice.
He let out a sigh, wanting to put a hand on the nerve-wracked man's shoulder. "Don't worry too much. It's just, she was throwing up today and it wasn't just some one time thing. Leslie just picked her up from here and is taking her back to the house, but I wasn't sure if Angie would actually call you. She says she didn't want you to worry about her when you've been having a hard time keeping up with all of the meetings and conferences."
"What!" He heard Derek shout furiously. "I can't believe Angie would keep something like that from me! She's in pain and I can't go home! I can't be with her and comfort her! Why didn't she tell me?" Derek yelled out frustratingly. It was hard for Tyler to hear his best friend call out so desperately. He knew that Derek was hurting, because he couldn't fulfill his promise to be with her during these times.
Tyler understood how torn Derek was. Between an entire organization—Caduceus was relying on him, and there was no one to replace him—and his sick wife, his gut told him to go back home, but if he did, Angie would just become more upset. A person would only need to spend five minutes with Angie to understand how seriously she took her work.
"Tyler, please take care of her. I'll call the house in a bit, but please, I'm begging you, take care of Angie for me while I'm gone. I have a few more weeks until I get to go back home, but I can't stand Angie being sick and I can't do a damn."
"You got it, Derek. I'll take care of Angie."
"Thanks, Tyler. I have to go to a quick meeting with another doctor, so I'll talk to you later. Bye."
- Day 30 -
He looked out onto the balcony of his hotel room with saddened eyes. How could Angie even think that when she called she was being a burden? He lived to worry about her, he lived to love her and care for her, but he couldn't do that if she wasn't willing to tell him these things. When he heard a knock on the door, Derek hesitated on just ignoring it, but went to answer it.
A pure feeling of shock was left in his body when he saw Heather Ross standing in front of him with a smile. "Ms. Ross!" Derek said with a bright grin.
The dark-haired woman gave him a warm hug, something he hadn't felt in ages. "It's nice to see you're doing well, Dr. Stiles. And please, just call me Heather." Derek nodded, welcoming Heather into his hotel room. There was a different aura about him, Heather noticed, when he greeted her. Tyler Chase has called her earlier to see if she could get a flight out to the foreign country to assist the older man. There was no way she was about to reject the offer and immediately got ready to leave for a flight.
"Dr. Chase informed me about Ms. Thomps—I mean, Mrs. Stiles' condition. He said that Ms. Sears has been attending to her yesterday until she'll be well enough to go see a doctor. However, aside from that, the only thing is that she misses you, Dr. Stiles."
Derek couldn't help the blush rising onto his cheeks. "Thanks for coming, Heather. I appreciate it."
- Day 41 -
"Leslie! Come here!" Angie Stiles whispered furiously to her best friend. Hiding out in a bathroom was not her idea of fun, but she couldn't face everyone else after she found out this news. The green-haired woman stealthily avoided her boyfriend and went to Angie as fast as possible.
With hands on her hips, Leslie raised an eyebrow at her. "What happened at the doctors?"
Angie took a deep breath, moving closer, and whispering the diagnosis into her ear.
"OMGOMGOMG! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
- Day 52 -
Heather smiled as several nursing assistants wheeled the patient out of the operation room. "Well done, Dr. Stiles."
The duo had recently arrived in Hong Kong only to be greeted by an emergency patient that required immediate attention. So instead of relaxing in a five-star hotel, they rushed to the hospital to get suited up, before starting the operation.
Derek returned the smile with one of his own as he pulled down the mask when he exited the OR. Even though there was a soundproof wall between him and the observation room, he could still hear the rumble of his audience when he successfully completed a Neo-GUILT operation. It never went to his head, however, it was one of the reasons for a major fight he once had with Angie that lasted for several days and almost lost him his patient.
"Thanks for assisting me, Heather. You did a fine job."
The nurse had the grace to blush, hitting him on the shoulder playfully. "Aren't you excited, Derek?" she asked later when they had lunch at a nearby café. Heather felt lucky that she was allowed to help the infamous surgeon on the second half of his travels around the world. Also, he was treated like royalty in the medical world, earning translators for even menial needs.
A smile appeared on his face. "Of course, just two more weeks until I'm back home with Angie."
While Heather was happy for him, something in her heart felt saddened that she wouldn't be able to sit down and chat with her favorite surgeon. He was a reliable man and she felt as if she owed a debt, from the way she took his confidence after the GUILT outbreak that took Emilio's life. "I'm glad to see you've cheered up quite a bit. The last place we'll be going to is Caduceus Japan in five days, so let's enjoy our stay for now."
- Day 60 -
"So, Angie, how are you planning on telling Derek? Waiting until he notices your stomach's like a…" However his thought couldn't be completed, because of a hard hit from Leslie Sears. Tyler gave an annoyed groan as he rubbed his sore arm. "That hurt! I wasn't going to say anything bad!" Despite his plea, it only earned him another painful reminder to shut up.
Leslie put a hand on her friend's shoulder. "Derek doesn't come home for a few more days. You'll figure something out," she said gently.
The blonde woman nodded, trying to figure out how she would break her news to her husband.
- Day 63 -
Today was the day he finally got to go home. However, when he arrived it would be the day earlier. It was astounding; he never thought he could live without Angie by his side, but miraculously, with some help, he survived. Derek hailed a taxi for both him and his temporary assistant, Heather. She would be taking a different flight that arrived earlier than his if she were to take the same plane he was.
At the airport, Derek hugged the woman that was his support for several weeks. "Thank you for everything, Heather. I don't know how I could've done it without you." Derek said, with another one of his modest grins.
Heather let out a sigh, putting her chin in her hand, saying, "Angie is really lucky to have you, Derek. I'll come visit as soon as I can."
"Of course, you're more than welcome. Have a safe flight." With a final wave, the doctor and nurse headed to their respective gates, grateful to be going home.
It felt slightly lonely as he sat on his long flight. The conferences he attended and everything he learned just might have been worth leaving his wife, until he found out that she was sick. Luckily, Angie had called him to say that she was going to the doctor three weeks earlier. When she told him that she would be fine, Derek didn't push it, only taking the earliest flight possible after his last meeting. Now he was just looking forward to getting to go home.
- In Angeles Bay… -
Angie ran a hand through her long blonde hair in frustration. Her husband would be returning home earlier than planned due to an earlier flight, and she had yet to figure out how to tell her husband that she was pregnant. Sidney Kasal and Dr. Hoffman knew already due to work matters, but not Derek. Pretty much everyone knew that she was pregnant except for the one person that mattered the most.
Tyler Chase shrugged on his coat, preparing to greet the coming surgeonl. The Chief and Dr. Hoffman would also be meeting them at the airport to greet him and afterwards they would all go back to Angie's and Derek's house for a welcome back party. He could remember watching the news, seeing Derek surrounded by people at a press conference about GUILT or what had happened the previous year.
A sigh escaped his mouth as he turned on the engine. Leslie was still helping Angie prepare food with Cybil, who was partly watching over her daughter, Kari. "I wonder how Derek will take to being a father." He paused to imagine the bespectacled surgeon taking out his child to the park and off-tunely singing his child to sleep. "Angie worries too much. Derek will be happy to know that she's pregnant." he said to himself.
Once he met up with the other male surgeons at the airport, they saw Derek in the distance, behind a cart filled with three pieces of luggage.
"Hey, everyone!" Derek called out with a bright wave. However, Tyler didn't miss the brief pause of shock when the surgeon noticed his wife wasn't among the men. "Where's, uh, Angie?" Derek asked hesitantly.
Greg put a hand on the man's shoulder, just smiling, "Waiting at your house to celebrate your arrival back home." The Kasals were also aware that the missus was awaiting the coming of both her husband and a new addition to the family. However, none of the males wanted to break it to Derek that his wife was still trying to figure out what to do. "So, let's not leave the girls waiting, shall we?"
When they reached his and Angie's apartment, Derek was forced to open the door, and was greeted by the loud shouts of surprise.
"Welcome back, Derek!"
There was a bright grin, but it faded as a woman with long blonde hair stood apart from the crowd. Her green eyes were unwavering as they stared into his. "Welcome home, Derek." He heard softly. The entire room was quiet and still. He smiled softly, walking over and holding the woman tightly in his arms.
"I'm home, Angie."
Derek parted slightly to give his wife a swift kiss, grinning slyly as he stole it. "Thanks, everyone," he said turning to face the rest of the crowd, still not letting go of his wife.
"Now, let's party!" Tyler exclaimed with enthusiasm. Everyone in the room laughed as Derek began to tell about his adventures on his worldwide conferences he attended as well as the people he met along the way. Angie listened attentively at his side, only nodding, while other people like Greg or Dr. Hoffman made remarks about his expedition.
"All of the places were wonderful and very hospitable. Let's go there together next time, alright?" Derek asked her, a warm, loving smile on his face that made her heart melt. But the mood seemed to silently shattered as she realized "together" meant them plus one newborn. They were both only in their twenties and had gotten married three months ago. Would Derek take to being a father like how he took to being a surgeon?
However once the time came for food, Tyler stood up to make an announcement. "Welcome home, Derek! All of us really missed your paper work skiving nature this past two months. Losing one of our best medical duos is a hard thing to handle at Caduceus." He paused to see if Derek caught on. Apparently he did, as his eyes narrowed slightly and his mouth remained tightly shut. Chocolate eyes glanced over at the nervous nurse, who was given immediate attention.
Everyone in the room knew that Angela Stiles was pregnant except for the man that had been absent the last two months. "Angie? You're not working at Caduceus?" Derek asked unsurely. It was unbelievable! Why would his wife quit a job that she loved?
"She's working at Hope for now." Cybil put in to ease the tension between the couple.
Disbelief was the only thing Angie saw in his eyes. "I'm working at Hope Hospital now, Derek. But it's not like I quit Caduceus! I'm just taking a break," she added gently.
"From what? You never used to mind the shifts or the surgeries we got. Do you not want to be my assistant? Are the board members asking that you transfer?" Derek babbled.
"No! Derek, I'm…" Angie hesitated.
At the change in tone, Derek's voice dropped an octave as his eyes became filled with worry rather than disbelief. He took a deep breath, looking up to meet her close to tears expression. "You're what? Angie, I promise there is nothing in this world that could make me stop loving you. No matter what, I'll be by your side."
She looked over Derek's shoulder and saw all of the other 'family members' giving her a thumbs-up and encouragement. "I'm pregnant, Derek." she said in a voice barely above a whisper. Her eyes shut tightly to avoid the look of hurt that was probably running across her husband's face, but quickly opened them when she felt herself being lifted off the ground and a soft kiss on her forehead.
"You're pregnant." he stated with a grin.
"I'm pregnant," she repeated with a smile when she saw his million-dollar grin.
Everyone began to congratulate the happy couple, but once the party was over and the couple was left by themselves, Derek approached his wife slowly when he spotted her on the porch. "Ang, why were you scared of me knowing?" he asked, taking a spot next to her. Green eyes avoided his gaze, until he gently forced her to look up at him.
"It's not like this was planned, Derek. We're only in our twenties and we got married three months ago, in which two of them you were absent for. Plus, you're always needed somewhere else! How can we even think of having a family in a crazy life like this?"
Derek placed a soft kiss on his wife's forehead, embracing her tightly. "You worry too much," he whispered. "Plus, a surgical duo that has saved the world from two major outbreaks cannot and will not ever be considered conventional, Ang."
To this, all Angie could do was laugh.
Surprise, surprise! I have brought forth another Trauma Center fic. Right before I, myself, am going under the knife! Eek. :O But I am determined to survive in order to write more DerekxAngie fluff. Well, I hope you enjoyed Derek and Angie's second and third month of their marriage from my mind.
- Jammed Radio