Disclaimer: Doc Martin is the property of Buffalo Pictures. I own nothing.
Author's note: This takes place after chapter 26 of Rocky Road – please read that first. Contains spoilers for seasons 1-4.
Martin looked up as his consulting room door opened and realised that he'd forgotten the time. As Chelsey came in with her father and sister, followed by Paul Milligan, Martin hurried to put chairs in a circle for them. As they sat down, he noticed that Chelsey seemed annoyed; she had her arms folded across her chest and a big scowl replaced her usual shy smile.
'Everything all right?' he asked.
Chelsey's scowl deepened,
'Everyone's being stupid.'
'No, we're not. You're being a brat,' said Emily angrily.
'I am not!'
'Yes you are!'
'Girls, stop it,' said Ian Baker, firmly.
Chelsey and Emily looked rebellious but subsided.
'Has she been like this all day?' Martin asked.
'Yes,' said Emily.
Martin looked at Ian Baker, who nodded,
'She's not been herself.'
'In what way?'
'They've been arguing all day.'
'It's not my fault,' said Chelsey in an aggrieved tone, 'Emily started it.'
'I did not!'
'Yes you did! You told me to get lost!'
'Yes, because you wouldn't leave me alone.'
'I wanted you to play with me.'
'I didn't want to.'
'No. You wanted to do your stupid maths instead!'
'Maths is not stupid!'
'Yes it is!'
'No it isn't!'
'Shut up!' said Martin firmly.
Chelsey and Emily both glared at him but stopped arguing. Martin forced himself to talk quietly to Chelsey,
'How are you feeling today?'
'All right,' replied Chelsey sulkily.
'Have you eaten properly?'
'How are you emotionally?'
Chelsey gave Martin a puzzled look so he elaborated,
'Are you feeling upset? Angry? Guilty?'
Martin waited and after a pause Chelsey continued,
'I feel angry.'
'Mum and Dad keep making me angry.'
'It's perfectly normal to feel angry with your parents sometimes. I used to feel very angry with my parents from time to time.'
'But your parents were horrid to you.'
Beside him, Paul Milligan summoned up all of his years of medical training and somehow managed not to react. What did Chelsey mean by 'horrid'? Was Martin abused as a child? He decided to try to have a quiet chat with the Bakers as soon as possible.
'My parents are nice but I still feel angry all the time.'
'It's quite normal to feel angry in the circumstances. Your life has been affected by something outside of your control. You've lost friends and had a very frightening experience.'
Chelsey seemed reassured but Ian Baker was frowning,
'So, she's just going to carry on feeling angry?'
'For a while.'
'So, she's going to keep on being a complete brat indefinitely?' asked Emily, outraged.
'I am not a complete brat!'
'Yes, you are!'
'I am not!'
'Yes, you are. You're behaving like a spoilt baby.'
'At least I'm not a freak!'
'I'd rather be a freak than a baby.'
'I hate you!' said Chelsey, launching herself at Emily.
Emily held her off and Ian got up to pull her away, but before he could, Chelsey bent down and bit Emily's arm.
'Ow! That hurts!'
Horrified, Martin helped Ian Baker pull Chelsey away, then examined Emily's arm. Luckily, the skin was unbroken so Martin returned to his seat and listened. Ian Baker had sat Chelsey back on her chair and was talking firmly to her,
'That was naughty, Chelsey. Say sorry.'
Chelsey glowered and turned away silently.
'Chelsey! Apologise now.'
Chelsey ignored her father. Emily waited but when Chelsey stayed quiet, she said,
'Fine, then I'm telling Dad what a faker you are.'
Chelsey shot Emily a horrified look but before she could speak, Ian Baker said,
'What do you mean, Emily?'
'She's been pretending to be bad at maths. She's almost as good at maths as I am.'
'Is that true, Chelsey?' asked Ian.
Chelsey squirmed and looked at the floor but eventually nodded.
'April says Emily's a freak.'
'April's an idiot,' said Emily, 'She's going to spend her life cleaning other people's houses for five pounds an hour. I'm going to be a millionaire by the time I'm twenty-five.'
'Insurance companies pay top mathematicians a fortune. Or I could go into the Stock Market or one of the banks. Either way I'm going to be rich.'
'But Mum and Dad are sending you away!'
'No, they're not.'
'They are, they're sending you to Oxford. You're going to live with strangers and never see us again!'
'No, I'm not. Mum and Dad talked about me going to Oxford but I'm doing an Open University degree instead so I'm staying at home.'
'Yes. You don't get the house to yourself yet.'
Chelsey smiled, then looked guiltily at Emily who was unconsciously rubbing her arm where she had been bitten,
'I'm sorry I bit you. Does it hurt?'
'Not really. Sorry I told on you but Miss Glasson knows anyway.'
'No, she doesn't.'
'Yes, she does. When we were playing with Peter yesterday she asked you what the cube root of seven hundred and twenty-nine is and you said nine without even thinking about it. She knows.'
Chelsey looked embarrassed.
'Time to confess, kiddo, ' said Emily.
Chelsey sighed and nodded; her days of faking it were over.
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