I do not own Off the Map.
This is the first story I have written for Off the Map. It's my new favorite show and I quickly fell in love with all the stories that have been written for this show. I thought I'd add one! Anyway, here it is. I really hope you like it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I love reviews, so please let me know what you think when you are done!
It had been a long day under the scorching sun of the South American jungle. In fact, it had been a really long week. Ben was in New York with Ryan and without him, things around the clinic seemed out of whack and a little chaotic.
Nothing terribly exciting had happened this week. Just the usual cases came in. A man with a spider bite. A woman giving birth. Two kids who were goofing around in the jungle and fell into some poison ivy. Nothing that any of the doctors couldn't handle. Ben would be glad to hear that.
As Friday afternoon came to an end and the sun started to go down, all of the doctors sat on the front porch of the clinic awaiting Ben and Ryan's return. Although they weren't needed in the week that they were gone, they were a part of the family and everyone had missed them.
"What time did they say they were going to get back?" Mina asked as she sat down on the top step with a cup of water.
"They said around 6, should be any minute now," Otis said looking out towards the clinic's driveway.
"I hope everything went okay. It sucks not being able to reach them in New York from down here," Tommy chimed in as the doctors waited anxiously.
"I'm sure everything went fine. Remember it was only a consultation. The best we can hope for is that it went well and she is now on a donor list," Zee said calmly. She had a way of calming everyone down. The group considered her the mother of the family.
"Oh, here they come," Lily shot out and stood up as she noticed a taxi coming down the driveway. Everyone stood and waited for the car to stop in front of the porch. Ben got out first walking around to Ryan's side and helping her with her door. They took their luggage from the driver, paid him and headed towards their friends.
"Hey guys," Ryan said with a huge smile on her face. She hugged all of them individually after she set her bag down. "You guys didn't have to wait here for us to arrive."
"Of course we did. We all want to know how it went in New York," Otis said leading Ryan to one of the chairs on the porch.
After taking a deep breath Ryan began, "It went as well as could be expected. I met with the cardiologist who, after giving me a consultation, told me that I was well enough to get a heart transplant. He gave me some pills to take until I get that call saying there's a match. I would never ask for preferential treatment, so it's all a waiting game from here." She may not have been completely honest with all the details, especially the horrible condition of her heart, but she didn't want them to be too worried. It was her heart problem, and she should be the only one worrying about it.
"Glad to hear that," Zee added as Ryan finished. "We all knew everything would go okay."
"Well," Ben said walking over to Ryan, "We should get you back to the cabin. It's been a long day and the doctor said you needed to rest before getting back into things."
"Okay," Ryan said looking up at Ben. "Thank you guys for being here," she said to the group of doctors as she got up and grabbed her bag.
"Man, I'm glad everything went okay," Tommy said as he watched Ben and Ryan walk in the direction of the cabins. "Keeton was pretty quiet."
Otis nodded, "He's probably just tired. I can't imagine the week they just had."
Everyone nodded in unison as they thought about how scary it had to be for both Ryan and Ben going to New York and not knowing what they were going to hear.
"Well, time to get back to work," Zee said standing and helping Otis out of the chair he was sitting in. "We still have a lot of patients to tend to before we can call it a night."
Lily dragged her feet all the way back to the cabin. She had put in another four hours after Ryan and Ben had gotten back and she was now thoroughly exhausted. She got changed for bed, cleaned up in the bathroom and then planted herself on her cot.
Lily was so relieved that everything had gone well for Ryan. She was also glad that she had Ben to be there for her, right? Yes, she was happy that Ben was there for Ryan. She couldn't imagine having to do that alone, and since Ryan had no family, she was glad that she had Ben.
Lily didn't know what their situation was exactly, but she knew that they cared deeply for each other. She wasn't blind, and that much was pretty obvious.
She couldn't help but feel a little twinge of sadness in her stomach as she lay on her cot. She sort of thought she sensed something between her and Ben, in the beginning, but she must have just been imagining things.
Of course she was imagining things. After all, she did sort of start something with Mateo, right in front of Ben, and he obviously was still struggling with his wife's condition. Yeah, aside from what she might have thought at first, there was nothing between them. At least not right now, which was for the best. Ryan needed Ben.
And that was fine, since she was in the jungle to focus on her medicine, anyway. Right?
Lily woke up bright and early Saturday morning. She couldn't believe how easy it was to wake up at 5 a.m. here. It felt so natural. She got out of bed, headed to the surprisingly vacant showers and got ready to start the day.
The clinic was always busy on Saturday mornings. Although, none of the villagers this far out in the jungle had normal jobs, they still liked to come to the clinic on their "weekends."
As she headed into the clinic, she saw the line of people waiting outside. This didn't bother her like it would have bothered Mina or Tommy. She enjoyed helping these people. Not to say that they didn't, but she definitely knew she had more patience then the other two rookie doctors.
She washed up, grabbed a chart and headed out front to the waiting area to start tending to patients.
Once again, it seemed that it was going to be an "easy" day. Something, she was told by Otis the day she arrived, she should never say out loud. But it was true, and she didn't see anything wrong with thinking it to herself.
As the day went on, she treated a bunch of patients with a variety of problems. She treated a little girl, no older that five, for Malaria. Cases like that always scared her. She couldn't imagine being the mother of a child and being told that her child had a dangerous infection like Malaria. She also treated an older man, who obviously was visiting from the states, for a snake bite. He thought it would be cool to pet a snake and ended up with an arm the size of giant balloon. Cases like these, on the other hand, always made her laugh. It was nice to know that she wasn't the only tourist around.
She ended the day by helping Otis treat a guy who had overdosed at the local cantina. She hated cases like these, but knew that Otis enjoyed them. Since being nine months sober, he seemed to like to treat people who were going through something that he had also gone through and overcame. If he could make a difference in someone else's life, it may make up for the wrongdoings in his own.
Once her shift was over, she agreed to go out to the cantina with Mina and Tommy for a few drinks. She hadn't been for a while and figured it would be nice to get out for a little bit. The girls grabbed a table while Tommy grabbed some beers from the bar and joined them.
They each discussed their day and told the stories of the patients they had to treat. It still surprised all of them how wild some of the cases were that came to the clinic. Something they all agreed they would never get used to.
While listening to Mina and Tommy argue about a case they had earlier in the day, Lily noticed Ben walk up to the bar. He grabbed a stool and plopped down placing both elbows on the bar. He motioned the bartender for a drink. Lily couldn't help but notice that he looked like hell.
She told her friends she would be right back, not that they heard a word she said, and headed over to the bar.
She sat down next to Ben and placed her half empty beer on the counter. She assumed he was in pretty deep thought since he didn't even notice her sit down.
"Hey, Dr. Keeton," she said simply trying to get his attention.
By the look on this face, she confirmed that he definitely hadn't noticed her sit down. "Brenner, hey, what are you doing here?"
"Just grabbing a drink with Mina and Tommy," she said motioning over to the table they sat at, still deeply engaged in conversation. She shook her head still trying to figure out how the hell the two of them slept together.
He followed her gaze and nodded before taking another sip of his whisky.
"How's Ryan doing?" she asked. She wasn't sure if he would want to talk about Ryan, she wasn't even sure if she wanted to talk about Ryan, but she figured it was polite to ask and she really was wondering how she was doing.
He took another sip before answering, "She's doing alright. She's getting weaker by the day. The doctor in New York wants her to rest for a bit before she starts treating patients again, which I agree with, but she's stubborn and wants to get back at it."
"Yeah, she's an amazing doctor. I'm not surprised at all that she isn't able to stay away," Lily said taking a sip of her beer. Maybe talking about Ryan wasn't the best idea. She really didn't know what to say about her around him.
"Yeah, I guess I'll let her get back to it tomorrow. It's not like I can stop her," he laughed. He held her gaze longer than he wanted to, realizing that he hadn't spoken to Lily in over a week. It was strange how easy it was to talk to her. He really didn't want company tonight, but he was glad she came over.
"So how was your day?" he asked deciding to change the subject. He could tell she wasn't comfortable talking about Ryan and frankly, neither was he.
She sighed before explaining, "My day was alright. Nothing to out of the ordinary. I treated this guy from the states who thought the snakes here in the jungle liked to be petted. He quickly learned otherwise," she finished looking over to him with a huge smile.
He looked over to her and couldn't help but laugh. Only she could make him laugh on a day like this. "What an idiot," he added causing her to smile. Man, he loved that smile. He'd missed that smile lately.
"It is comforting in a way though," she began. "Knowing that I'm not the only one lost in the jungle."
"Brenner, I wouldn't say you're lost. Actually, I think you fit in pretty well. You're a fast learner and you're doing a great job here. You're great with the patients, you try to understand and respect they're culture. Which is a lot more than I can say for the other two," he finished motioning with his glass to the table Mina and Tommy were sitting at.
"Thanks," she said, slightly embarrassed. She hadn't expected that kind of complement out of him.
He nodded and held her gaze for what seemed like a century. She didn't shy away. He definitely made her stomach do flip flops. Maybe she wasn't just imagining something between them earlier.
She wasn't sure what to say next. They were beginning to cross into a dangerous territory. She smiled and looked away. "Well, I should call it a night and you should get back to Ryan," she said holding his eyes with hers.
He frowned as he realized what she was saying. "Why do you think I need to get back to Ryan?" he asked slightly confused and a little agitated.
"Well, I just mean it's getting late and she's probably wondering where you are," she said a little flustered. Had she said something to upset him?
"I guarantee you she's not wondering where I am. Besides, I'm sure she's sleeping," he let out in a tone that held a little too much anger. She hadn't done anything wrong and he wasn't sure why all of the sudden he was getting angry.
"Okay, I'm sorry," she said looking away. "I just assumed the two of you got back together. I mean, you went with her to New York." She didn't know where this was coming from.
"I went with her to support her, as a friend. That's all."
She nodded not knowing what to say. This conversation had taken a turn into very uncomfortable territory.
"We talked in New York. We had a lot of time on our hands. Although feelings may still be there, it's over between us. We had our chance and we could never make it work," he said. He wasn't sure why he was telling her this. For some reason he wanted her to know that he was not with Ryan.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have assumed," she said glancing towards him. So he wasn't with Ryan. She hadn't expected him to say that. She definitely thought that they had gotten back together. Were they really just friends? The thought of that excited her, she probably shouldn't let it, but it did.
"It's okay," he smiled. "I'm sure everyone is assuming the same thing," he said finishing his whisky.
"Well I'm gonna head back," she said placing some money on the bar. "It's late and we have to work tomorrow."
"Okay," he nodded. "I'll walk you," he said as he stood up and paid for his drink. They said goodbye to Mina and Tommy, who had big knowing smiles on their faces, and headed back to the clinic.
They didn't talk on the way back. They didn't need to. Unlike at the bar, there was a comfortable silence between them now.
As they approached her cabin, they stopped and she turned to face him. She practically ran into him not realizing how close he was standing behind her. She looked up at him and smiled.
She was about to thank him for walking her home when he began to lean in closer. His hand came up and he cupped her cheek, lightly rubbing his thumb over her soft skin. When she didn't fight him, he leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. It was gentle, as if he was asking permission with his lips.
She slowly gave him all the permission he needed as she deepened the kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. He responded by hugging her closer and continuing to explore her mouth. She parted her lips, allowing access to his demanding tongue.
They stayed like that, linked in each other's arms, kissing passionately, until they heard footsteps approaching. It was Mina and Tommy coming back from the bar.
She pulled back and looked past him to where the noise was coming from. "I should probably go to bed. I don't even want to think of the tormenting I would get if they found us doing…this," she said brushing her lips against his. She didn't want to stop. Not now that she knew he felt the same way. But they needed too. The last thing this clinic needs is another couple doing it in public.
"Alright," he said not letting her go. He kissed her again. A kiss that said way more than goodnight.
He backed away holding her gaze until she turned and headed into her cabin.
She sat on the bed and covered her smiling face with her hands. Oh yeah, she was definitely developing a case of jungle fever.
She pulled the covers over her face and closed her eyes with thoughts of Dr. Keeton threatening to keep her awake all night.
The end! =) I hope you liked it! Please, let me know what you think!