OMG Challenge – The English Patient
Just the oneshot AU – For the "OMG" effect to work, I'd suggest not to scroll down to the very last line until…well…you reach it by ending the story! But whatever works for you, I hope you enjoy however you decide to read it!
It was late afternoon, dinner was ready and yet Alex was still affected by this morning's events; or, more accurately, by this morning's new acquaintance.
She had found working as an independent psychologist much more rewarding and (rather selfishly) easier for her own mental health than working for the police. Her experiences of the last few years had changed her perspectives and herself as a human being. And switching from a police psychologist to a private one seemed to help immensely. She even found herself being a better, more "relaxed" mum to her now teenage daughter, and their relationship seemed to be better than ever.
And this morning…when her new patient had arrived in her office…She was NOT prepared for this. She thought she had her life finally sorted, a good, fulfilling job, a nice house, a solid relationship with her brilliant Molly…OK, she did not have a "personal" life in…other ways but she did not seem to mind. She was a single (for too many years) mum in her late 30s, she above these sort of worries now – wasn't she?
Well, she thought she was, until HE came in this morning. Referred to her by a common friend who had warned her that he was a "special" case, he came in seemingly looking nonchalant and fully composed, yet his nervousness was obvious, to both of them. They had quite an interesting first discussion/assessment and, after the initial icebreakers, he quickly relaxed and was able to talk to her rather freely, with an openness and an honesty that had inwardly surprised them both.
She was moved. And excited. And shocked and fascinated by his words, his emotions, his unbelievable stories. And fiercely attracted to him. God help her, it was all there – the sexual chemistry, the attraction that drew each other like a powerful magnet, the sense that, whatever THAT was, or COULD be, would be right. When they (nervously, as she can now recall in horror) shook hands as he was exiting her office 45 minutes after their first mutual glance, his touch did to her insides more than all the feelings she had experienced for at least the last year combined. And now she would have to wait a week to see him again…God, had she swapped places with her daughter? Was she becoming a teenager again, all excitement and hormones and a romantic anticipation for the second meeting with her new patient?...
At the dinner table, Molly sensed that there was something…different with her mother that night, but she could not pinpoint what exactly. As Alex looked up and caught the inquisitive glare of her daughter, she decided she needed to say something. She HAD to share it with her…
"I met someone today…a patient! I mean, I met my new patient…", she trailed off, as she quickly realised that her daughter had already caught on and that this patient was going to be quite different than her previous ones.
"Oh! And is HE interesting?", the emphasis on that one word and the cheeky, yet expectant grin confirmed to Alex that Molly was indeed too fast and insightful…
"H-how do you know it's a he? I mean, he is but…Alright, alright yes, he is…different…"
"Oh my GOD, mum, you did NOT just blush right then!". Molly had by now abandoned her tortellini and was staring at her mum in total, fascinated, enjoyable shock.
"Molly! No, I didn't, what on earth gave you…?", but her argument was crushed as she tried to prove it by looking everywhere else but Molly.
"Wow! OK, come on, who is he, what's his name? Come on mum!", Molly was by now over-excited, more like a small girl than a smart teenager. But, then again, she had never seen her mother reacting like that. Not in THAT area of life, anyway. She had seen her mum going out on dates and flirting with a few men but this…she was not expecting to see this!
"Wha…I cannot tell you his name, Mols, you know that! Or anything else on the matter, really, it's my business, it's strictly confidential…Forget I ever said anything, will you?" The intense blushing and the embarrassed desperation in her voice were chosen to be discarded by her daughter who ruthlessly went on with her interrogation.
"There is NO WAY I can forget this, mum, so come on, throw me a couple of bones here! Ok, don't tell me his name…Age?"
Alex was secretly starting to enjoy this, after the initial embarrassment. This was totally new within her 15-year-old relationship with her daughter, talking about men, A man in particular. She saw that her daughter was genuinely excited and besides, she really did not mind talking about him to someone else, sharing a bit of her…excitement (?) with her beloved daughter. So, after a pause…
"Nice! Dark haired or blonde? Or ginger? Oh, just don't tell me he's ginger! Or bald!"
Alex gave a short but hearty laugh. "Blonde. Very blond, actually…"
"Yes! I love blond men! Oops! Forget I ever said that mum! Tall or short?"
"Tall. Very imposing." Alex felt her lips turning into a soft smile of admiration as she started talking about him ("and oh, sooo sexy", she wanted to add, but that was not for her daughter to hear!). "He was nervous, initially, but that's because he himself is…never mind that…so yes, he was understandably nervous at first but we seemed to…to get along well soon after. He opened up to me quite a lot, although the shutters remained half closed, it was clear to see. But that's why I'm there for, eh? To encourage him, to help him…"
"To go out with him…"
"Molly! This man has experienced a series of unbelievable, traumatising events lately. He is confused, he feels lost, he needs to put his life back into some sort of regular track – he's a patient, not a speed-dating prospect! And yes, I did feel a sort of…connection with him and an…well, an attraction, but this is what I do, Mols, and what I have to do, most of all, is help him!" To her own ears, she sounded defensive but what she said was, in fact true. She DID want to help him, first and foremost, and afterwards…if things turned out that way…Her daughter seemed to have read her thoughts.
"Alright mum, yeah, you're right, you first need to help him, and I'm sure you will. If you fail, then who will? But I'm just saying…if, after your sessions are over, you still feel this way, don't let him get away, do something! Please?" Molly pleaded; she had not seen her mother like this before, smitten by an enigmatic man, and she would not let her throw it away. "And if he still needs therapy after that, you can refer him to someone else and keep him…well, to yourself, right? And then I can finally meet him too – now THAT I'm looking forward to!"
Molly decided to keep the conversation light. She knew her mum would not discuss his, or any other, case with her, due to her professionalism but she also knew that both her mum and that man had experienced quite difficult times in the recent years. Perhaps that was another thread in their instant, powerful connection.
"It's still too soon, Mols, we'll just have to see…", said Alex in a soft voice.
Cutlery re-entering their long-abandoned plates, they resumed eating in silence. That is, until Molly could not stand the suspense any longer, banged her fork on the table and pleaded with her mother, resuming her girly attitude:
"Oh, come on mum, just tell me his name, his first name. Just tell me this and I'll shut up for good about this, promise!"
Alex paused for a few seconds and then, with a soft smile as the name exited her lips:
"Quinn. His name is Quinn."
Hope you liked it. To repeat: this is an oneshot and not a crossover, so feel free to fill in the gaps and "mysteries" left unsaid as you like. For a brilliant full-blown story about Alex and Quinn, please read "Trauma" by sillygenie – could not have written a better fanfic about them two even if I tried (which I won't)!
Thank you for reading.