Ack, I know that was a terrible cliffie, I know! Sorry peeps. But there wasn't really anywhere else I could end it.

Thanks you's to so many lovely ladies for this one. The amazing Midnight Cougar and fantabulous SunflowerFran3759 for pre-reading and beta-stuff and lovely AzraCullen for imparting her medical knowledge.

I am not a doctor however, so I will probably still have a lot of the medical stuff mixed up and that'll be my fault, so please chase me with your batons.

As always, love reading you thoughts.

Chapter 19

My brain is frigging fried; I'd be surprised if I could remember my own name right now.

It's two a.m., the hospital is quiet or sleeping, rotation was over an hour ago – time to hit the sack for at least twelve hours.

I place Stuart 'Grizzly' Adams' chart on the dimly lit nurses' station, rubbing at my tired eyes. There are only so many times you can listen to the same three stories of someone's life, no matter how funny they are.

I can't wait for a hot cup of milk and my soft bed. It almost makes me sigh out loud.

"Jeanne, I'm leaving." I unclip my name badge and start to walk away.

The permanently smiling, orange-haired nurse looks up from a chart. "Bella, hold on. Dr. Maher wants you to assist with something."

I stop and backtrack to the desk.

"What is it?"

"There were a couple of guys in a road accident just off of Park Avenue. I hear one of them is that famous boy from town; you know the one who's face they plaster everywhere"

I'm running before she finishes.

My hearts skips hazardously in my chest.

Don't let this be true.

Let it be someone else.

How many famous boys from our town are there?

Of course it's him.

Shit.

Maybe he's okay.

Maybe Jeanne is mixed up. It is late after all.

I know I'm clutching at straws.

My shoes make a skidding noise as I round the corner and Emmett's voice resounds through the open doors of the room on the other side of the ER waiting area.

"When I was a young cherub-faced boy, they used to give us these happy face stickers for doing well at the doctor's office."

The corner of my eye catches bronze, disarrayed hair.

Relief courses through me and I lean against the wall, trying not crumble on the floor from the adrenaline.

Breathe.

Just…breathe.

Edward and Emmett are the only two in the room, sitting in two bays next to each other. Emmett chats and pulls his shirt back on. Edward is looking down at his swinging legs like a naughty school boy, as Dr. Maher stands above him in a white coat with her notes.

Dr. Maher gives Emmett a formal, curt smile. "I'm afraid we only keep those in paediatrics."

"What about the lollipops then?" He trails off as he catches sight of me. "Hey, look who it is, Bella!" Emmett bellows excitedly from across the room. "Bella! How busted up do I look?" He says proudly, like he's showing me a battle scar.

Edward looks up from his Chucks, surprised.

My heart picks up pace, if that's even possible.

"You'll be fine," I tell Emmett, coming to stand in front of him. His left cheek has been stitched up and his lip is swollen, but it's not serious damage and not likely to leave any scarring.

"Still the most handsome then?" Emmett says, trying to grin but wincing instead. "Good thing that my driving surpasses all skill levels. God knows where we'd be if Ed here was driving…"

Emmett continues his chatter and I'm thankful for the distraction as my eyes move to where they've wanted to go all along.

I scan Edward's face, neck, arms and every other place I can see bare skin.

No scratches or blood.

He's sitting upright. Posture is good.

A blue bump is still forming above his left brow. Only danger from that might be a mild concussion.

He's alert. Looking straight back at me all subdued and stubbled.

"'I'm okay, too," he says suddenly, softly, even though I didn't ask.

My face heats up and I wonder why it feels like he can read the 'Thank God' in my mind, even though I haven't said it out loud.

If Dr. Maher senses anything unusual, she doesn't let on.

"Bella, it looks like you already know Emmett and Edward. They were hit earlier by a car driving at around sixty from their left. C-Spines have been cleared. Ruby's just been paged into surgery, so I'm going to take Emmett in for a CT, there's some bruising on his ribs and I want to make a final check. "

"I can finish up with Edward," I say, because I know that's what she wants.

"Good." She smiles at me.

Then I know he's okay because Dr. Maher doesn't let interns get close to anything too serious without assistance. It's just a precautionary measure she needs to take.

"Page me if you need me."

"Sure, will do."

I nod at her and turn to Edward.

XXXXXXX

Edward

Emmett is wheeled out of the room still animatedly talking as the doors close behind them.

Then it's just silence and Bella and I, and some annoying machine beeping in the background.

Her hair is tied in a knot on her head; she looks exhausted; and hot as hell in scrubs. It's been a fantasy of mine to see her in them since she decided on medicine as a major.

She doesn't disappoint.

"Is she always that stern?" I say because it's too silent.

"Who Dr. Maher? She's not stern, just practiced."

Bella takes the bait, walking toward me and still scanning me, like the other doctors might have missed a shard of glass sticking out of my face or something.

"No, definitely stern. She's got that whole Thatcher thing going on."

"Please. Just because she's British and doesn't take any crap from you boys, doesn't make her Thatcher."

"I was talking about the hair."

She starts to laugh and then stops, like she's internally taking a hold of herself.

Her eyes soften.

"How are you feeling?"

I'm caught off guard. I didn't expect her to ask. Then I realize she's only doing her job.

For a mere second she looks like the Bella that would fuss over the superficial scratches I would get all over myself, after attempting a stupid stunt on set.

Quickly I squash that thought from my mind.

That was then.

"We're fine. The Jeep is wrecked, but Emmett's not exaggerating for a change. He did everything right."

"What happened?"

"The paps got all keyed up when they pinned my location. Decided to come exchange pleasantries."

"God. From LA?"

"Yeah. They're with the police. I spent some time at the station giving a statement; Emmett had to get to the hospital because he was bleeding."

She takes a deep intake of breath, pauses like she wants to say something else, but then just doesn't.

Her demeanour changes.

"I need to check a couple of things as a follow up from Dr. Maher; just a couple of questions and some simple checks, okay?"

"Yes, doctor."

She sighs and looks at me all serious.

"Um, Edward, are you all right with me being your doctor, because of…well, you know, and…"

"It's fine, Bella."

"I can get another doctor, really, I-"

"Bella, I said, it's fine. I mean, it's not like you haven't seen it all before." I smirk.

Bella rolls her eyes and moves closer to me. I'm eye level with her chest.

"Did you hit your head?"

"Well, they tell me I was dropped a couple of times when I was a baby. I once had a collision with a cricket ball and then later I fell…"

She's wearing her 'this is not a joke, you idiot' face. I try to hide my smirk because strict Bella is, well, cute and darn sexy at the same time.

"I'm talking about the car accident," she says deadpan, "though the rest of it would explain your general behavior."

Touché, baby.

"This looker is from the airbag." I nod upward to the raised bruise on my forehead. "Other than that, no."

She's close. Her eyes are bruised, like she hasn't slept in a while, but all I notice is how brown they are. Were they always this fucking big?

A shock of desire shoots through my body.

Neither the time nor place for this, Edward.

Bella half smiles at me in way that some medical guide probably calls: 'reassuring'.

Images of Bella really smiling up at me on my bed, naked underneath my sheets, assault me.

Stop it.

This is no longer your Bella.

This is your doctor.

Doctor Bella.

There it goes again, the all-encompassing surge of need, tinged with memories and regrets.

I watch her, watch me.

Bella in scrubs.

Taking Bella out of scrubs. Bella on top of my–

Fuck, Edward.

Control yourself, dammit.

"Did you lose consciousness?"

"No."

Her hand is ice cold against my fevered skin, as she lifts me up my stubbled jaw like she's about to kiss me. She fingers the back of my neck, probing, kneading and pushing.

"Does any of this hurt?"

Her lips are swollen and bright, cherry red…

I swallow. "No..."

There's a pause and Bella touches the light switch. The room becomes dim and shadowed.

She pulls a penlight out of the breast pocket of her scrubs. "I'm going to shine this light in your eyes, okay? I'll be checking for signs of a concussion. Nothing to worry about, it's just precautionary."

I nod silently, because really, what else can I do?

Then she's close to my face, her breath burning hot on my cheek as she shines the light in each eye.

I blink, and then she places her fingers on my eyebrow and holds one eye open. An assault of bright light, wriggly lines and shapes of blood vessels and nerves. Brown eyes zoning in and out.

"Look at me."

Anything.

I look straight at her. I can feel the temperature of her skin; it's like a searing blaze, soaking me through my t-shirt.

"Okay…" She moves in and her knees knock my legs.

"Can you tell me the months of the year in reverse order?" she says soothingly against my cheekbone. If I move my mouth up right now it'll brush hers.

Her bottom lip pouts out, begging to be sucked.

All I want to do is make the tiny movement.

End this distance between us.

"Edward?"

I'm not sure if I'm imagining it or her voice actually breaks.

Yes, right.

Months.

Okay.

I list them in reverse order as she leans into me and checks the other eye.

Her tits brush my arm softly.

Jesus.

Having her so close is worse torture than not having her at all.

I ache.

To hold her, to talk to her, simply just have her smile at me in a way that counts.

"Okay. Good," she says, finally moving away and switching the lights back on.

Her cheeks are flushed, crimson red.

Our eyes connect and unspoken words fizzle through the connection holding me to her.

Where do we begin?

And where do we end?

"So, I need do a standard abdominal exam to check for ruptures." She clears her throat and she turns around to the counter and starts scribbling something down. "Please take your t-shirt off, undo the top button of your pants and lie down."

Right.

Just like that my dick forgets whether Bella's command is in a hospital or in our bedroom.

I take off my shirt and throw it somewhere on the bed.

I undo the top button of my jeans and they slip farther down my hips but I don't lie down.

I watch her tensed back instead.

She stops writing and doesn't turn around.

I wait.

That idiot beeping sound is the only noise I hear.

Bella puts her pen on the counter and looks at it for a long time. What is she thinking?

She finally turns around, her eyes trained on my face.

"I said you need lie down for this."

"Is the stern thing a part of the job description?" I joke, attempting to lighten the tension.

"You should just learn to follow instructions," Bella says, not having any of it. I put my legs on the bed and she depresses the bay so my head is parallel with my torso.

"You know I've never had an issue with taking orders from you." Then I stop because that's probably dangerous territory.

I look at Bella. Yep, definitely a no-go area.

She looks down at me, all calm and composed. The only thing that gives it away is the small tremor in her fingers when she brushes an imaginary strand of her hair away. "I'm going to touch your abdomen. I'm going to press downward softly and then harder. Tell me to stop if it hurts."

Stop if it hurts.

If only she knew…

Then her hands are on my stomach, pressing and stroking; her eyes on my face watching for reaction.

I know this is just a standard procedure but my dick definitely doesn't.

I make the right noises and answer her questions as she tells me what she's doing to me.

Her hands move farther down.

Then I think about the weather.

Laundry.

Taxes.

That fucking, stupid noise.

About not straying to Bella's hands on me.

Bella all over me.

Then I just give up and let it be.

If she notices my growing reaction she doesn't show it.

It's not hard to miss.

"Can you cough, for me?"

Her cold fingers slide inside my jeans, resting on each side of my pelvic bone and I wince at the contact.

My aroused dick twitches in recognition.

I cough and Bella's brow is furrowed.

"Again, please, Edward."

Fuck me.

I didn't know it was even possible to be so fucking aroused during a standard medical examination, but if she puts her fingers inside my jeans and says 'again' one more time, I swear I'm going to lose it. Christ.

She looks at me.

I long for her.

My dick protests.

I cough.

She drags her fingers out and I want to both mourn and celebrate.

She checks my breathing. I pretend to listen as she advises me, asks me a couple more questions, and then gives me a disposable icepack and nods to my head.

"It'll help with swelling."

I snort, even though her insinuation isn't intentional.

It's not my head that needs it right now.

She looks up, reddening. "What?"

I hold up the ice pack. "It's cold."

"It's an ice pack."

"I'll need to be treated for frostbite after this, Dr. Swan."

"You'll live."

"Your boss is definitely teaching you well."

She shakes her head and makes a few notes as I pretend to be busy with the ice pack. "You're done."

I'm disappointed.

I sit up, wondering if she'll notice if I decide to fake an ache or two.

Bella puts her notes down on the bed, and then crosses her arms over her chest, as I pull my shirt back on.

"I've been good."

I blink.

"What?"

XXXXXX

Another cliffie! *ducks*

Admittedly this is because I couldn't fit it all in one chapter. I tried cutting it down, but then made this into two chapters instead… wouldn't you rather have two than one? ;)

I'm pretty much done so it'll be with you soonish (probably this weekend).

Reviews are loveeeed!

Twitter: Blueissoul