Author's Note: Welcome back everyone! I imagine this story will be longer than 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt' but hopefully with a little more structure (famous last words!). There are going to be a few issues for our favourite couple in this one and we should see the resolution of some previous issues like Rafi in addition to the introduction of new problems (life wouldn't be fun if it was easy).
With regards to the final chapter of BRD, it may not have been the ending you were anticipating (I certainly wasn't) but that's how it turned out. This story starts off near-enough where that one finishes, it would be helpful but not essential if you read that before reading this one.
As always feedback is more than welcome.
Disclaimer: I still don't own anything to do with Holby City; I'm only playing with the characters and promise to put them back where I found them once I'm done.
The tall Swede makes his way over to Mr. Hope at the other end of the the ward corridor and the shorter man can clearly see the displeasure at being dragged out of bed early on Boxing Day morning on the Director of Surgery. He contemplates apologising to his boss as he looks down at his notes one final time before falling into step with his boss as they make their way to Theatre 2 but figures that he won't want to hear it.
As Elliot relays the information he's been given about the incoming patient, he sees the scowl disappear off the other man's face and a look of calculated focus replaces it. Elliot inwardly sighs with relief, as annoyed as Hanssen might be, Elliot knows he'll put his patients first – he has no problem admitting that the Swede is the best man for the job.
As they separate to get changed and scrub in, Elliot ponders the reason for Hanssen's scowl and initial terseness. Although he does not support only gossiping about his colleagues' private lives, he's not above speculating to himself about them. He discards ideas as soon as they cross his mind. Hung over? No, Elliot realises he's never seen Hanssen touch alcohol. Perhaps he just had a late night and is simply tired. The result of a passionate affair? Elliot snorts and smiles to himself, getting carried away, no, more than likely the poor man was up working all night, even on Christmas Day, trying to keep the hospital afloat.
Hanssen has almost finished scrubbing in by the time that Elliot joins him and in an attempt to be sociable – he decides that he needs to make a greater effort, the man obviously needs a friendly face in this place – he tries to engage him in conversation.
"So, did you have a pleasant Christmas, Mr. Hanssen?" Elliot wasn't sure what reaction he was expecting from him but a sideways glance and narrowing eyes wasn't it.
"Passable, Mr. Hope." Hanssen moves away before pausing and looking back at him, his facial expression unreadable but he still seems a little uncomfortable. "And yours?" Elliot smiles and rambles on, telling Hanssen inconsequential details whilst admitting to himself that although it's a start, he has his work cut out for him in his mission to be a friend for Mr. Hanssen. His last thought before he enters theatre behind the Director of Surgery and focusses on his patient only is that perhaps he'll enlist the help of Ms. Shah, she seems to be on friendly terms with him after all.
Sahira drifts awake slowly, enjoying the warmth of the duvet and the softness of the bed. She frowns when she realises Henrik isn't with her, it's still dark and she can make out his phone on the bedside table so he can't have gone far. That realisation is comforting and she drifts back to sleep.
It's nearly nine o'clock by the time that Sahira wakes again, surprised and secretly pleased that Indy hasn't yet bounded into the room and disturbed them. As she stretches to take note of the time, she is aware of gentle aching in muscles she'd almost forgotten she had. Sporting a satisfied smile she turns over to Henrik's side of the bed and pauses as she wonders when she started considering it to be Henrik's side?!
Eyes still closed, she moves towards him, hoping to coax him into something this morning only to find the bed empty and cold – he's been gone some time. Sahira vaguely remembers him getting up at some point during the night but frowns when she can't recall if he came back to bed.
By the time they close up their patient, the relief to both surgeons is visible as the operation was far from straightforward but thankfully didn't result in any problems. Making his way out of theatre, Elliot is quite hungry and contemplating his options for a late breakfast and doesn't notice that Hanssen hasn't followed him and is just about to decide not to wait for him when he spots Ms. Shah walking towards him and he approaches her.
"Hello, Sahira, a good Christmas, I hope?" Peering over his glasses at her she returns his smile until she catches sight of the Director of Surgery leaving the theatre behind him when it disappears.
"It was." Elliot frowns, he knows he's missing something but doesn't know what and Hanssen seems not to notice as he comes to stand next to Elliot, looking a little more awkward than he'd want but trying his best not to let it show.
"Ah, Ms. Shah, a word if you would, please."
Elliot watches the Swede stare at Sahira without meeting her eye, he's puzzled but Sahira seems oblivious to Hanssen's scrutiny, furious though. He wonders if they've argued. In an attempt to diffuse the situation which is threatening to develop, Elliot turns his attention to the younger woman.
"I was wondering, Ms. Shah, if at some point we may also have a small word. There is a..." he pauses, searching for the right word "...procedure..." that'll have to do, he decides "...that I would like your input on."
"Certainly, Elliot." She still hasn't responded to Hanssen's request and Elliot winces.
"As you wish, Ms. Shah. Mr. Hope." Hanssen turns smartly and strides off and as he does Elliot watches him, noticing a slight unevenness to his gait, almost as if he'd hurt his leg and was trying to hide it. Elliot turns to Sahira with a frown on his face but knows better than to question that scene and he leads them away, through a different set of doors.
"You've known him longer than anyone else, Ms. Shah. Has he always been so..."
"Rude? Infuriating?" Elliot smiles at her word selection.
"'Abrupt' was my first choice." Sahira sighs.
"For a man with impeccable manners... Never mind, what was it you wanted to talk about, Elliot?" She turns to him, her curiosity evident on her face.
"It can wait, if you two need to sort whatever is bothering you out. My 'procedure' isn't about a patient, per se." Elliot begins to explain his plan to befriend the Swede as they make their way to the cafeteria for some breakfast.
Hanssen sits at his desk and broods, waiting for Sahira. He knows she'll come to him, she's angry and she is almost certain to shout at him. He knows what he has done to cause her anger and he accepts that it's all his fault. He's been stupid. He'd managed to put the problem out of his mind when Elliot called him in for an emergency surgery but his heart nearly stopped this morning when he saw her, the panic returning as he thinks back to this morning.
The world as he sees it currently reminds him of Sweden and Hanssen isn't sure if that's a good thing or not. He runs on, he hasn't been able to sleep after waking suddenly this morning. Too wired to attempt to go back to sleep, he untangled himself from the warm duvet and tiredly got changed before he made his way to the front door and left.
He's only been running for about 30 minutes but is already feeling the effects – he's not run as much recently as he would have liked to, work has seen to that. He has missed this time to himself, it seems to be the only time he gets these days.
Reaching the top of a hill, he spots a good place to let him stop for a moment, stretch and catch his breath. Looking around him as he stretches, searching for any signs of life but apart from a bus and a couple of cars he's not seen anyone else this morning, then again it's only 07:05 on Boxing Day morning. Only the desperate are out now; everyone else is tucked up in bed.
Bed. He should be in bed himself, not out on a dark bank holiday morning with a bitter wind. He grunts as he finishes his stretches and moves off again, along the pavement, heading back home and trying to avoid thinking about bed and about the woman he left asleep in it.
After sixteen and a half years of teaching her, of watching her, of wanting her, last night Henrik Hanssen was finally able to love Sahira Shah. He managed to progress past the pitifully scared attempts at a relationship that he'd been content to use for the previous few months and plunged head first into something which terrifies him.
Hanssen's pace slowed unconsciously as he recalled the events of the previous night. He's glad that no-one from work can see him right now, the smirk he's sure is plastered across his face would give him away and make them all very nervous and / or suspicious depending on who saw it. He's not going to allow this to change anything, even if it is his first adult relationship. After the debacle with Collette at Med School he'd sworn off relationships and after he met Sahira as her consultant mentor as she began her F1 placement, he knew that it would be her or no-one.
When she married Rafi it broke his heart and then it all eventually reduced to a dull ache instead of the constant, gripping pain he found that he'd grown an extra-think protective layer of scar tissue around his heart and he was ok with that, so he kept telling himself. Romantic relationships were an inconvenience at best and he was fine by himself.
Although he outwardly tolerated Sahira's affection and initially tentative friendship, inwardly he alternated between longing for more and praying that she'd stop so he wouldn't be required to attempt to respond or return her actions. Over the years he'd built up such a resistance to any form of emotional attachment or affection, to the extent that when they kissed on Bonfire Night, it took him what seemed like forever just to pluck up the courage to kiss her again, let alone allow their relationship to progress in the way it has.
In a way Henrik is glad that as a result of removing Sahira's shirt last night that all the blood leaving his brain rendered it incapable of higher function because if he'd been capable of thinking, he'd have run away not long after that and certainly before they...
"Shit!" He stops running as suddenly as his thoughts stop and his momentum carries him forward and he trips over the edge of the pavement and sprawls into the road.
Hanssen sits in the road for a moment, making no move to get up, he's aware that he's cut his knee from the fall but it doesn't really register. Instead his mind is threatening a total melt-down, he swears again, unable to comprehend how they could have been so stupid, they're both doctors. He suddenly feels sick and the thought paralyses him. What if she is... 'Oh God,' he thinks, knowing his luck Sahira will be pregnant. With triplets. All girls.
"Fuck." He doesn't often swear but he feels that this situation is an acceptable occasion.
Acceptable? He berates himself 'there's nothing fucking acceptable about this at all'. He still hasn't come to terms with the idea of being a role-model or father figure for Indy and this demonstrates why it is such a stupid idea and he is certainly not ready to become a father.
He's fucked this up royally. Even if Sahira isn't pregnant, the thought that he was careless enough to risk it... He imagines that she'll be angry at him, he deserves it. He constantly expected her to come to her senses and leave him up until last night and in his naivety he hoped that once they made love that they'd stay together forever. He sneers at himself, at his stupidity, he looks up at the sky, hoping for a suggestion but there's nothing.
He needs to speak to her, picking himself up off the tarmac, Henrik turns around and heads back to Sahira's house as quickly as his sore, bloody knee will let him.
Don't worry, it isn't going to be that much of a problem for them, a little bit of panicking HH is always good to write; I just got the idea in my head and couldn't shift it and thought it'd be funny add in. Anyway, as always, let me know what you think. Thanks.