Author's Note: I do not own the amazing television show Scrubs or any of its characters.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I really hope it was a good day for you and your significant other!
This, the very last chapter of this story, is told from J.D.'s point of view.
My Almost Absolution
When I wake up again, my mind is fogged with drugs, so much so that I could've sworn I saw a two thousand four hundred sixty pound giraffe pass by my room last night. That's right, we had a little chat, mainly about his enormous size, but I briefly remember discussing Sweet Tart flavors, which is the best topic of conversation for any man. Who wouldn't want a giant, yellow animal to talk about candy with? Except I'm not a fan of sour things, so it's not as good for me. Maybe I should've switched it to Jelly Bellies.
I feel...better today. Better than I've felt in a while actually. Yes, everything is still too sore to move and I'm almost positive I've soiled myself with the events of the past few days, but being injured isn't all I can think about today. This is a stride in the right direction for me, considering the way I've been acting lately, which I'm sure my friends don't appreciate.
"Vanilla Bear!" Turk shouts, startling the crap out of me. He runs to my bed, wrapping his big, brown arms around me and squeezing as hard as he can. He's sweating, I notice. I guess he just got out of surgery or something. I hunch up my shoulders and don't hug back, feeling too awkward and out of place to actually do anything else. I sense his hesitance as he pulls away, the look on his face practically screaming What the hell is wrong with him?
"Hey, C-Bear," I mumble back. It feels forced, not like it would have flowed two months ago. C'mon, just try to relate to him again. I got all excited about my first day dream in weeks and now I can't figure out what in the world I'm supposed to say to my best friend. He's the guy I used to stay up with on the weekends watching Judge Dredd, the guy who I used to play poker with, using Skittles as the chips. Turk's even the guy who took care of me the night before I had my appendix taken out. I still feel bad for drinking the last of the Sprite.
Turk pats his hand on my good arm. "How you doing, man?"
I nod, gulping in the process. "G-Good. H-How about you?"
"What's wrong with us?"
I scratch the top of my head, avoiding the stitches as much as possible. "What do you mean?"
"We used to be so close, but now I feel like I don't even know you anymore."
I look away and shake my head at the same time. "I'm not the same."
What I just revealed to my best friend is completely, one hundred percent true. I'm not the same. I haven't been the same since Mrs. Reilly grabbed my hand in her room and begged me to do her right then and there. And the sad thing is is that I'm not sure if I can ever be the happy, go-lucky guy I was before. I can somehow manage to drift off into my crazy day dreams in my imagination, but I can't say or do any of the things I could do before. I guess, in a way, I'm not even J.D. anymore.
"What?" Turk sounds shocked.
I begin to mess with the loose ends on the hospital blanket, trying to keep calm and not freak out like I did with Dr. Cox. Wait...Dr. Cox. He was here last night! He was here with me. Not just checking on me as my doctor, but doing it as my friend. As my mentor. As my father figure. Oh my God, I can't actually believe he would do something like this! Dr. Cox likes me! I knew after seven years of working here that he would eventually come around. I mean, c'mon, who doesn't like J-Dizzle? It's uncanny, I tell you. Uncanny!
"Wait, um, what? Oh...Oh yeah. The not the same thing. Right. Well, um..."
"It's okay, man. You don't have to explain anything to me."
I'm so eternally grateful that he doesn't want to know right now. After telling Dr. Cox, I almost had a heart attack. Not really, but I did end up having a panic attack somewhere in there. See, this is why Turk is my best friend. He knows how hard this is for me and is okay with waiting until I'm comfortable with telling people what happened to me.
The thing is that I'm not sure if I'll ever be okay with telling people. Sure, I told Dr. Cox, but me and that guy have a newly-formed, unbreakable bond. I'm forced by unwritten law to tell him things like that. But, anyway, every time I think about it, my insides start to quiver, like I'm freezing in the arctic or something. It's hard to explain what happens when I get to thinking too hard about it, but, in short, it usually ends with me in the fetal position and praying that Mr. Reilly doesn't come find me and kill me. But he's already tried his hand at that last part.
"Get some rest, V-Bear."
"Thanks, Choco," I say with a small smile on my face.
I'm half-asleep when there's a knock on my hospital room's door. I can't see who it is, mainly because I'm laying on my side with the covers pulled up to my chin. "Come in," I say softly, too groggy and out of it to say it any louder. I don't adjust my body, I just try to go back to my previous state of mind, figuring that it's one of the nurses coming to check on me.
"Hey, J.D.," I hear an all too familiar voice say.
I immediately sit up a bit and notice someone who I thought I wouldn't see for a few months at the very least. Kim is standing there with my baby boy in her arms. Neither of us say anything else as she brings him over to me, carefully placing him on my lap. I can't hold him very well with a broken arm, and my baby-holding arm nonetheless, so she stays next to me to him support him. Sammy coos and I see his bright blue eyes look up at me. I give a real smile for the first time in weeks. There is no feeling in the world that compares to seeing your child, even if it only has been a little over a week since you've seen him. Sammy already looks older to me, more mature, more understanding. Maybe he'll forgive me for the car accident.
Words can't describe how glad I am that he didn't get hurt. If he had, I might as well have killed myself then because there is no way I'd be able to live with myself if he had. I'm just happy to see his chubby cheeks, his crooked smile that he gives us sometimes (usually just when he has gas), his streams of spit that I have to clean up often. I know he's okay if I see those features on him. I know he's okay if I can see him period. This revelation is odd because I didn't think I was going to get to see him for who knows how long. Kim must've come around.
"Are you okay?" Kim asks quietly, breaking my trance.
I nod. "I'm fine. The real question is are you okay?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"Kim, I...I know the way I've been acting has...affected you in some way. Affected the way you see me as a Dad, or even as just me. I dunno. All I know is that you don't see me as the same guy. And I can tell just by looking at you." I tell her this because it's true. I noticed it when I was at her apartment last time, sick and completely out of it.
She rolls her eyes at me, giving this exasperated look, basically telling me that this conversation is useless. "You can't tell me you wouldn't think of me differently if someone said that the mother of your child may be dangerous. Look, this isn't about me, it's about Sam and my duty as a mother is to protect him, whatever the cost may be."
I nod. I understand where she's coming from, I really do. "Why didn't you just talk to me instead of listening to Dr. Cox? I mean, I am the one that it concerned, not him."
"In my defense, I figured if anyone in the hospital were to give a judgement call on you, it'd be Dr. Cox. I know I shouldn't have just listened to him, but you were going crazy and I honestly don't think you would have talked to me anyway."
I sigh, leaning farther back into the pile of pillows behind my back. "You're probably right."
"I know. I'm always right when it comes to things like this," she jokes.
"Uh huh, that's what they all say. So, why'd you let me see Sammy again?"
"Do you want the truth or the story I made up on the way up here?"
"You know what, the truth would be preferable."
Kim nods. "Okay then. A...friend called me last night and said that you were held hostage by some nut-job of a patient and would really like to see Sam. He said you'd be talking about it nonstop lately, so I figured I would drive up here and let him see you. He missed his Daddy anyway."
"Does this friend have a name?" I put air quotes around the world 'friend'.
She sighs, rubbing her hand down the side of her face. "D...Co...," is all I can make out.
I gulp. "Oh."
Kim leaves a few hours later, our son sleeping soundly in her arms. I kiss him on the top of the head and a couple of times on the cheek, mumbling "I love you" as many times as I can. Tears swell up in my eyes as she walks away without saying anything else, except that she'll be in touch with me and she'll arrange a visit to see Sammy some time soon. I hope her definition of soon is within the next week or so just so I can see him again. Every time he leaves, it feels like a small part of my soul dies.
That may have sounded a little gay, but, hell, I don't really give a damn right now.
I roll back on my side and close my eyes, exhausted even after only being awake for a while. But, as soon as I do, the door to my room clicks open once again. Maybe Kim just forgot something or...something. I dunno, all I know for sure is that my vision is going double as I look around, which tells me that I need to sleep badly.
That voice didn't sound like Kim's. It's like four billion octaves higher than hers.
The other blond in my life, better known as Elliot Reid "The Moment Killer", prances over to my bed. What the hell is she so perky about? Her best friend is in the hospital for the second time in a a single week! She pulls up a chair and puts her feet on top of my aching legs, but at least she's gentle about it.
"Hey, Elliot," I murmuring, my voice dry.
Elliot reaches over and pours a glass of water, handing it to me with a giant smile on her face. "I heard you got to see Sammy today!"
"Yeah," I say. "He just left."
"Are you okay?"
"Will you please stop asking me that! I'm fine!"
Maybe this isn't the best time to snap at her.
"Okay, Cranky Pants, I'm just wondering. You scared me to death when I woke up yesterday morning and you were gone! And then Dr. Cox tells me that you were stabbed by this guy near his apartment! Why were you at his apartment? Did you go there to talk to him about Sammy? But why didn't you trust me with that? J.D., I'm your best friend, you know you can talk to me about anything right? Even if it is something disgusting, which with guys it usually is, but you can say anything as long as you use the word bajingo for the dirty words-"
"Elliot! Please stop!"
"Sorry, I guess I just got a little carried away."
"So how was Sam?"
I smile as I think about my baby boy. "He's good, you know. He didn't cry when I held him."
"Well that's always good. J.D., I don't really want to beat around the bush. I have something to ask you, but I don't want you to run away from it."
I roll my eyes playfully. "I kinda can't run away at the moment. What's your question?"
"Look, when I was taking care of you two days ago, some...feelings came back. Feelings that I haven't felt in years. I swear, I mean I really don't think of you like that anymore. But, anyway, I don't know if you necessarily felt them too, but I just wanted to know what you think about us? I mean, do you feel the same way...or are you just repulsed because-"
"Yes that you have feelings?"
"No, yes to that bra you're wearing. The yes was directed to the feelings!"
"So you're not repulsed?"
I grab her hand with my good one and gently start to rub it up and down. "Elliot, I gotta be honest with you. I've never stopped liking you. So, no I'm not repulsed."
"Not even by my-"
"Elliot, please stop neurotic for a second."
"Okay," she says with an exaggerated sigh.
"Are we boyfriend and girlfriend?" I ask her.
"Only if you want to be."
I nod. "Okay! What have we got to lose?"
Elliot smiles. "Pick me up at eight when your bones heal."
So this is it. I may not be okay yet, I may need a lot of therapy after all this emotional baggage in the future, but now, with Elliot and Sammy, I'm not alone.
I jolt out of my sleep, wincing as every fiber in my body protests. Groaning heavily, I roll over to face the shadow of my mentor in the dusk. I've had an eventful day so far, from seeing my son again to re-kindling my romance with Elliot, but never in a million years did I imagine that Dr. Cox would come in here for a second time to talk to me.
"Good Lord, Patricia. It took ya long enough to come back around."
"Good evening to you too, Dr. Cox."
"Can it, Newbie."
"I miss the sweet talk," I tell him as I pull the covers up farther.
I watch my mentor look away dramatically for what feels like hours. So much times passes that I don't think we're even going to talk anymore, so I just start to drift off once again. "I can't do this," is what I hear when he comes back around.
"Can't do what?"
"This," he motions to me with his hands. "This whole 'saving you' thing."
"So you're saying that saving my life was a mistake?"
"In a nutshell...that is what I'm saying. But I can't deal with...you knowing."
He doesn't respond, he just looks away again.
Vintage Cox, always running away from his problems.
"Knowing that you care about me?"
"Do nawt go using the 'c' word on me."
"Dr. Cox, it's perfectly normal to feel the need to care for someone. Especially someone who's worked with you for seven years, someone who you've grown close to, someone who you could call your s-"
"Don't start, Newbie."
He sighs and stretches his legs out in the chair next to my bed. "I never used to care."
"You did, you just couldn't get to the place where you could show it."
"I don't care."
"You do. But I'm okay with you not admitting it. That's just who you are."
I guess I'll never get the proper "I care about you" talk from Dr. Cox, but it doesn't really matter. It's been seven years and, chances are, he'll never be ready to say it to me. But, like I said before, it's okay by me. Just having this conversation with him proves all the more that he does care, whether he verbally admits it to me or not.
He stares me down. Hard. "If you ever tell anyone about this, I will brain you."
"My lips are sealed," I tell him as I zip up my lips and throw away the key.
"You are such a girl. How the hell are you nailing Barbie when you say things like that?"
Wait, how does he know about that? It's been four hours! I shrug my shoulders as he stands up, pushing the chair back in underneath the table. He looks at the table for a few minutes before he comes over to me and then looks at me for so long that I feel like my insides are swimming. Dr. Cox pats me on my shoulder and then turns around to the leave the room.
I always knew he cared.
"Thanks, Dr. Cox," I say as he walks out the door.
"No problem, Newbie."
Author's Note: There you have it, folks! Thank you so much for reading! Reviews are the perfect Valentine's Day present!